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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Event: Orgasm Inc @ Hot Docs

World Premiere of Orgasm Inc at Hot Docs Film Festival

Two screenings, both followed by a Q&A with the director Liz Canner

Saturday, May 2, 1 pm, Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West (Toronto)

Tuesday, May 5, 1:30 pm, Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West (Toronto)

Admission: $12

In this shocking and hilarious documentary Orgasm Inc., filmmaker Liz Canner takes a job editing erotic videos for a pharmaceutical company's drug trial. Her employer is developing what they hope will be the first female "Viagra" that wins FDA approval, to treat a new disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Liz gains permission to film the company for her own documentary. She soon begins to suspect that her employer, along with other medical companies, might be trying to take advantage of women (and potentially endanger their health) in pursuit of billion dollar profits. Orgasm Inc. is a powerful look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire and that ultimate moment: orgasm.

- Alice

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WASH Logo!!!

I'm pleased to announce that WASH now has a logo that you will find at the top of this page. It was created by Evy, one of our coordinators. Thanks Evy!

- Alice

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

:-( Economy = More Vasectomies?

Here's an article from the New York Times online which has made a connection between the economic crisis and the rise in men seeking vasectomies.

Here's a discussion on the article from

Whether or not there is a connection between the economy and vasectomies, some individuals on seem pleased to see a form of gender parity occurring in the realm of birth control. Let's hope that this trend continues!

- Alice

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yoga @ York

Luke Madonia is a York student who teaches yoga at the Keele campus.

"My classes change with the seasons and the needs of the students. They are typically gentle, informative, lighthearted, warm and restorative."

You can find Luke on Mondays at 3pm in the Student Centre (403).

Below is some information on yoga and menstruation put together by Luke that we thought would be of interest to those who follow this blog!

- Vivian


Delayed Menses

- Doing yoga regularly helps mitigate the stress that causes your cycle to go off kilter.
- Doing restful, restorative poses when you feel overwhelmed, overworked or on the edge will calm your nervous system and give your reproduce system a chance to get back on track.

Heavy Bleeding

- Focus on poses that open up the pelvic region, which has a drying effect on the uterus (practice against the wall for support).
- Take care not to stay in the pose too long; instead, go in and out of it a few times.
- Don’t try to get better at or go deeper into a pose.
- Never do inversions when you are bleeding (headstand, shoulder stand, plough pose, downward-facing dog, legs-up-the-wall)
- Inversions pull your uterus toward your head which cause the broad ligaments to overstretch.
- Relax completely in each pose. Soften your abdomen, let your brain relax deeply, and direct your breath to any areas that feel discomfort – your abdomen, your head, and your legs.
- Relax your vaginal walls completely now is not the time to focus on toning that area.


- Lots of rest during the first day or so of your period, and gentle yoga asanas (poses) to relive cramps, reduce stress, and deliver fresh blood to your pelvic region.


- Soft instrumental music can help you turn inward, quiet your mind, and relax more deeply.
- Perform: Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose) using a strap, bolster and blanket.
- Reduce dairy products and animal protein in your diet.
- Reduce stress by increasing relaxation and body awareness activities.


- If you eat junk food, drink lots of caffeinated beverages, function with very little sleep, lack an exercise routine and consistently fail to deal with your emotions you can count on problems later on in the month.
- Yoga eases stress and promotes relaxation so the hypothalamus can regulate your hormones more efficiently.
- Practice yoga consistently.
- If you feel irritable or angry do the poses with props.

Once your period is over

- Don’t rush into things. Your body needs to regain strength and stamina
- Don’t do backbends right away, allow your body to recover from the fatigue of your monthly cycle
- Do incorporate inversions because they help dry up your uterus, restore your endocrine system, increase circulation in your abdominal region, and help your body regain its strength
- Don’t do a lot of standing poses the first couple of days if you still feel fatigue. Ease into them.

Staying Healthy All Month Long

1. Get sufficient rest: rest during the first day of your period. Relax, listen to calming music, paint, go for walks with no particular place to go. Lighten your school work load, take the evening off.
2. Be Selfish: The first day or two of your period is a time for reflection. If you meditate, now is a good time to practice loving-kindness toward yourself, your family, and your friends. Do things that make you feel good about being You.
3. Exercise in Moderation: exercise is fine (unless you are having debilitating cramps) just don’t overdo it. Walking or gentle yoga stretches work best. During the rest of the month, a consistent yoga practice and moderate aerobic exercise should help prevent PMS and menstrual problems from occurring in the first place.
4. Eat Pacifying Foods: During the first day or two of your cycle, eat warm foods that are easy to digest, such as rice (soak them in water overnight) cooked green veggies and soups. Avoid cold, raw foods, as well as anything else that’s hard to digest, such as red meat, cheese and chocolate. Sip warm water throughout the day to aid digestion and have lemon ginger tea before meals to aid digestion. Avoid drinking coffee and soda, and alcoholic beverages. Substitute processed foods with home-cooked whole foods.
5. Modify your routine: Baths disrupt the natural rhythm of your menstrual flow, so shower the first few days of your period. After that, treat yourself to a warm oil massage or a facial to distress your nervous system and soothe your mind. Whenever you can, wear menstrual pads rather than tampons, especially during the first few days of your period to encourage the downward flow of blood.

Source: The Woman’s Book Of Yoga & Health

Friday, April 10, 2009

Artist Of The Month - Annie Sprinkle

Annie Sprinkle (Born Ellen Steinberg) is a performance artist and sex educator. She is a sex positive feminist who has stared in, produced, and directed hundreds of different types of pornographic films and shows. She is well known for being one of the first porn stars to receive a Ph D. Her work is now studied in many university classrooms, which is exactly how i found out about her. When i first saw her work, i honestly did not know how to react. Her fun and encouraging attitude towards sex and female sexuality is not only what makes her work successful but also, educational.

Her website contains tons of images and writings from almost all her work. Her performance piece, Public Cervix Announcement is my personal favourite. In this piece she literally sits in a public space with a speculum placed in her vagina and allows viewers to come up and look at her cervix. While this takes place she talks to them about the functions and beauty of the female cervix. She also talks about how to perform a cervix self examination. A little over the top? Perhaps, but that is exactly what gets people's attention.

Her work, although sometimes seemingly comedic, usually contains serious political and social undertones, and is most of the time accompanied with writings or even dissertations from her PhD. Some common themes and issues prevalent in her work are sex trade work and the education and protection of sex trade workers; female orgasms, masturbation, and sex sex sex. Some links below. ENJOY!

Annie Sprinkle Writings
Annie Srinkle Art Index

-Evy Hareven

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

International Feminist Art Journal

I found this today. The articles from each issue are available online. It is also a useful resource if you are interested in feminist art and would like to submit a paper/article.

International Feminist Art Journal

- Vivian

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Event Hot Docs Film Festival

The 2009 Hotdocs film festival is featuring a number of documentaries about sex and sexuality. It runs from April 30th to May 10th. Click here for a link to the flims , to see the schedule and to purchase tickets!

- Alice

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I need a bitch

Here's some mid-day sexism to chew on. Enjoy!

Click here to listen to Cherry Pie by ICP (Insane Clown Posse) on youtube.

Here are some lyrics that stood out to me:

I need a bitch, I need a slut
I need a bitch who like bananas in her butt
I need a bitch now more than ever
I need a bitch who gots a head that I can sever
I need my cherry pie

Baby I want you, baby I want my cherry pie
Baby I want you, baby I need my cherry pie
Baby I want you, baby gimme my cherry pie
Baby I want you, baby my cherry cherry pie

I found this part of the song particularly disturbing. I feel that it reinforces sexist and misogynist notions of women as disposable posessions who are ultimately reduced to their "cherry pies". Apparently, one's body should be made available upon request, and after it is used it should be disposed of (I presume by means of decapitation according to the lyrics). For the record, I'd just like to say that I am more than my vaginal opening, and my "cherry pie" belongs to me and no one else! This final statement is not intended as a puritan call for women to hold on to their sexualities. Rather, it is an attempt to resist the social acceptance of misogyny and to reclaim expressions of sexuality that are based on mutual respect for all parties involved.

- Alice