Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Be or Not to Be: A Single Mother

A stylish unique individual, Nikki, introduces herself:

My name is Nikki, i live in Brooklyn, and i'm 24 years old. Oh, and i'm pregnant.

Sex Edge: How did you find out you were pregnant?

Nikki: i found out i was pregnant after taking two pregnancy tests.. which i took just for the hell of it, i had been drunk and thought it would be funny to take one. I had no idea it would come out positive!

Sex Edge: Do you usually take tests just for the hell of it?

Nikki: Actually, i do. Even though i was taking birth control, i would become very paranoid. I tend to not use condoms and i always had the fear i would get pregnant

Sex Edge: In your experiences with unprotected sex, have you ever had an incident with STDs?

Nikki: I never have had any incident with STD's. Then again its never a safe bet to play Russian roulette with one's private parts so i think ive just been very lucky. I don't think its something i will chance any more, i have taken this pregnancy as a lesson.

Sex Edge: What were your first thoughts when you found out you were pregnant?

Nikki: I was shocked! Very very unexpected!

Sex Edge: Is this your first pregnancy?

Nikki: Yes this is my first pregnancy.

Sex Edge: Do you feel that you are ready to have a baby?

Nikki: No i do not feel that i am ready, then again who is ever really ready to have a baby?

Sex Edge: Who was the first person you told and why? What was their reaction?

Nikki: I told my best friend Laura, i have known them since i was in JHS so i felt they were a safe source to turn to. They sort of laughed they couldn't tell if i was serious or not. I sent them a picture of the at home test to make sure it was actually positve.

Sex Edge: How did you tell your family and what was there reaction?

Nikki: I didn't even have to tell them, i told my grandmother i had to tell her something and her first reaction was... your pregnant? It was somewhat shock and somewhat like they expected it.

Sex Edge: Was it hard to tell them?

Nikki: No it honestly wasn't that hard. Ive seen movies and talked to friends who make it out like its incredibly difficult to discuss things like this with family but really being honest and open is much easier if you have been all along.

Sex Edge: Do you have any support?

Nikki: I have the support of my friends and family. They are more than enough.

Sex Edge: What is your current relationship to the father of your child?

Nikki: The father of my child and i are no longer on speaking terms. I found out he was seeing someone else behind my back, i cut him out of my life.

Sex Edge: How is that affecting your situation at the moment?

Nikki: Things have been more stressful and stress while pregnant is never good. It wasn't the best time to have a splitting, and i wish he could have been more supportive and honest but, this is how things are so i am doing my best to not let it affect the situation at the moment. I am focusing on my child more than him. I dont recommend a break up while pregnant though no matter whats going on.

Sex Edge: How was he not supportive and honest?

Nikki: He was unsupportive in that when we discussed keeping the child (since he wanted me to have an abortion) he would talk about wanting to be absolved and desired to not be a part of the child's life. He was dishonest in that he said he would try to make things work better with me romantically and would be faithful to me, but he decided to start dating one of his friends and would lie to me saying he was looking for work

Sex Edge: You said you don't recommend a break-up during pregnancy "no matter what is going on". Do you also believe that it's better for the child to have an abusive father than no father at all?

Nikki: I do not believe its better for a child to have an abusive father. but a breakup during pregnancy causes so much stress to the unborn child. I feel it is better to wait till after the child is born so that only one person (the mother) carries the burden of the breakup. The father of my child was emotionally abusive, and the child has already felt that through me, but the effects of the breakup i feel are worse.

Sex Edge: Are you in school? If so, do you plan on continuing your education?

Nikki: I had to drop out for a while but i plan on going back after the baby is born to continue my degree. It will be hard, and i expect it to be, but its nothing that i cant do so long as i put my mind to it.

Sex Edge: How long after the baby is born do you want to go back to school?

Nikki: 2 months after he is born i am registered to attend classes. I will be taking one Saturday class for 4 hours.

Sex Edge: Who is going to take care of the baby when you go back to school?

Nikki: My friend, my landlord, and possibly the father

Sex Edge: I think that the abusiveness causes more stress than the breakup, but I am not here to give my opinion and I obviously can't know exactly what you're going through. The father of your child is unfit to be a father at this point. Why do you still want the father in your child's life?

Nikki: I want the father of my child in my life for financial support above all. I would love for him to physically be present to help raise the child but part of me really does not trust him to be alone with the baby because of his abusive tendencies. I never had a father, and even though my own father was quite unfit, i would have rather had him in my life. I feel also that the father needs to pay his dues. If i have to raise this child and sacrifice my time (which will be a labour of love) he should not be entitled to go on living his life free of this. As of right now i can not afford a baby sitter, and again he should not be able to be psychically absolved from the responsibility of taking care of his child.

Sex Edge: It sounds like you feel all the burden is placed upon you and he should take some responsibility, not because the child needs a father, but because you're getting stuck with it, so why should he be allowed to roam free. Life is unfair sometimes; but are you sure your reasons for wanting the father around are for the well-being of your baby as opposed to justice?

Nikki: I guess its a mix of both but one is heavier in my mind at the moment. I without a doubt want this child to have a father, but my anger from the current situation is wanting revenge and that's where the responsibility aspect comes into play... life is unfair, and the well being of my baby is more important, but i feel like he should have to do some things. For example if im caring for the baby he can help in ways that dont require him being around the baby such as getting grocery's or helping clean the house. This way he is still not absolved but yet he is forced to take responsibility, and the child will see a father figure around at least sort of. My opinon on all this may change but right now this is where my mind set is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Female Ejaculation

“Once intercourse has begun [the woman] experiences pleasure throughout the whole time, until the man ejaculates. If her desire for intercourse is excited, she emits before the man, and for the remainder of the time she does not feel pleasure to the same extent; but if she is not in a state of excitement, then her pleasure terminates along with that of the man,” so writes Hippocrates, a Greek physician (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC), on the topic of female ejaculation.

Female Ejaculation, also known as "squirting", has been one of the most controversial topics in its field. The debate has been going on for centuries. In the early days, the debate was whether or not female ejaculation aided in childbirth; currently, the debate is whether or not it exists.

Squirting definitely exists. Trust me, I know from experience. Still don't believe me? Well, there is further proof. Now comes the boring research stuff. If you'd rather skip it, go ahead, scroll down past the next four paragraphs and read on.

There were many studies done on this topic. One of the people that conducted a research on Female Ejaculation is Dr. Gary Schubach. He experimented on several women who claimed that they had expelled fluid during sexual intercourse.

The goal of the experiment was to determine where the ejaculatory fluid comes from (in women). The procedure was done by inserting a catheter inside said women. The Foley catheter was used because it allows for the separation of the bladder from the urethra, to determine where the fluid was coming from. Before the catheter was inserted, urine samples were taken from the women so they can be compared those to the fluids that were expelled while aroused. After the urine was collected, the women were aroused for a considerable amount of time before the insertion of the catheter, which was inserted when they were ready for the ejaculatory part of the experiment, at which point their bladders were drained and the fluid bag was changed and saved for later analysis. After the bag was changed, the women resumed what they were doing before (actual intercourse was not possible due to the catheter being in the way).

The conclusion was that 90% of female ejaculatory fluid comes from the bladder. Even though their bladders have been drained, they still expelled between 50-900ml of fluid. Other research found that the fluid was coming through the urethra as well.

John D. Perry, PhD and author of the "Beer-Piss theory" suggests that they expelled that much fluid due to drinking a lot of liquids before or during the experiment. Dr. Schubach claims that not only did the women not drink that much before or during the experiment, they lost a lot of fluid due to a high activity level and sweating.

So now that we got that settled, another questions remains.

What is female ejaculation? Let's get technical.

According to Webster's dictionary, to ejaculate means to eject from a living body; specifically: to eject (semen) in orgasm. Well, they got most of it right. It does not specifically have to be semen, and you don't necessarily ejaculate when you orgasm, or orgasm when you ejaculate; but that's for a different article.

So what is it, really?

I think you've heard enough from me. Let's see (or read) how our experts would describe it:

"Female ejaculation (commonly known as squirting & gushing) refers to the expulsion of noticeable amounts of clear fluid by human females from the paraurethral ducts through and around the urethra during or before orgasm." -Wikipedia

"It's a clear substance like clear water, and kind of like tears, kind of has the consistency of tears." - Tallulah Sulis, Certified Somatic Sexologist.

"If there is an opportunity to observe the orgasm of such women, one can see that large quantities of a clear transparent fluid are expelled not from the vulva, but out of the urethra in gushes." - Ernst Gräfenberg, German doctor/scients who discovered the G-spot.

"Female ejaculation basically is an expulsion of fluid through the urethra, not from the vagina, through the urethra at orgasm" - Gary Schubach

At this point, I think most of us are gushing to know how much liquid is actually being expelled from "squirters". Let's get back to our experts:

"You can wet an entire bed, or it can be just a few droplets.” - Tallulah Sulis

"There can be a lot of liquid, from a teaspoon or two up to almost a litre" Dr. Pega Ren- clinical sexologist

"Well some of them show what I call ‘gushers’, rather than squirters, and ejaculations are, female ejaculations are… you know there are some women who expel a very small amount of fluid, and then there are some women who expel large amounts of the fluid" - Gary Schubach

"It's a liter, you know, water bottle full in one lovemaking session, in a woman who has completely uncorked her feminine fountain." -Deborah Sundahl, international sex educator and author.

Well, there you have it folks. Be sure to stock up on those water-proof bedding supplies, just in case. Still worried about the mess? Don't! Just relax and take this useful advice: “Mostly, I think just to get out of bed, get away from the mattress,” says Sundahl. “Stand up, go in the bathroom, go in the bathtub, go out in the hardwood floor, the tiled kitchen. Go out in the garden; go out in nature where you can feel like you can flow freely”.

This sounds great, doesn't it? Everyone should be doing it. Wait, but if it's so great, then why are only a small percentage of women experiencing this phenomenon?

There are many reasons; embarrassment, pain, discomfort, and not being relaxed are only some of the problems.

The main problem is one of the biggest myths behind squirting, which is that it is that if you expel any liquid during arousal, it is due to urinary tract infection. This has led to many problems and even break-ups and divorces. That is absurd. Female ejaculate is obviously not urine. The most obvious indicator of this is that they both have different scent and consistency. There are many chemical differences as well. There were many experiments/studies done to prove this:

A study done by Cabello Santmaria shows that 75% of the samples showed that there was a concentration of PSA in the urine that was collected after orgasm, and there was none in the urine that was collected before the orgasm, proving that anything expelled during orgasm is not necessarily urine.

Also, Edwin G. Belzer, Jr., PhD, tried an experiment where she took a chemical to dye her urine blue. Her urine had a strong blue color, but her ejaculate while she was masturbating varied being a "slight blue tinge" or no color at all.

Or you can take it from Grafenberg, who said "I am inclined to believe that ‘urine’ reported to be expelled during female orgasm is not urine, but only secretions of the intraurethral glands correlated with the erotogenic zone along the urethra in the anterior vaginal wall."

Female ejaculation is much closer (chemically) to male ejaculate than urine. And even if a tiny drop of urine is being expelled along with the ejaculate, so what? Urine is much more sterile than saliva, and there is a much higher percentage of people that are ok with "swapping saliva" than with insignificant amounts of urine. That is besides the fact that men's ejaculate contains traces of urine as well. Think about that next time you nod your head in agreement when some clueless spouse divorces his/her wife for squirting.

One thing that has been used to try and prove this misconception is the fact that ejaculate contains some urea and creatinine, which are the primary chemicals in urine, but ejaculate only, has 25% the amount of those two chemicals that urine has. Just make sure to empty your bladder before arousal and you have nothing to worry about. As for the rest of the problems mentioned above...

“So how do I fix these problems?,” you may ask. Have no fear, Sex Edge is here. Defying myths and fixing your sex life. One inch at a time.

The main thing is relaxation and comfort. Aside from workshops and videos, there are many toys and techniques you can try.

Some of these are include but are not limited to: stimulating the G-spot which is an inch or two inside the inner wall of the vagina. It can easily be reached by positioning your fingers in a "come hither" motion while inside (not deeply inside though, it's right at the front wall, which is also why it's easier to reach with fingers or toys than with a penis. Nipple and clitoris stimulation can help; it also helps to push out when you feel an orgasm coming. Toys will definitely help (the toys that would help the most would be curved ones that are not too long), and kegel exercises strengthen the muscles and make sex more enjoyable. You have to find what works best for you; different things work better for different people. The previous suggestions would work in general, but you have to be comfortable and feeling sexy, that is the main "technique".

Divine Nectar: A Guide to Female Ejaculation
Liquid Love: The G-Spot Explosion
Tantric Journey to Female Orgasm
Female Ejaculation for Couples
The Art of Female Ejaculation

Tallulah Sulis-
Carla Tare-
Deborah Sundahl-
Kristal Magic-
Magic & Sulis-

Female Ejaculation and the G-spot by Deborah Sundahl

Monday, July 27, 2009

Q&A with Evasive Anthropologist

Spunky and attractive, Suzanne Lafont is not only an anthropologist, but also a professor, researcher, author, among other things.

The editor of three books, Lafont took various essays relevant to her book title and incorporated them into smooth flowing books with great self written (nice length) introductions which she uses as the first chapter in her books. Along with those books she also wrote a monograph titled Help Wanted: Sex Workers in Katutura, Namibia (2008) and an additional book called “The Emergence of an Afro-Caribbean Legal Tradition – Gender relations and family court use in Kingston, Jamaica” (1996).
Her other titles include “Unravelling Taboos: Gender and Sexuality in Namibia” (2007), “Constructing Sexualities: Readings in Sexuality, Gender, and Culture” (2002) and “Women in Transition: Voices from Lithuania” (1998).

She also served as a Family Court Counselor in Kingston, Jamaica. Sweden seems to be the country of choice for Lafont, she spends part of the year living there in her cottage, where this interview took place (through e-mail, of course).

In person, Lafont seems to be more open, less reserved, talkative, opinionated and willing to supply more information.

Lafont takes a lot of value in being credible and is not scared to say when something is just her opinion over researched. She always refers back to research and backs up her information with facts.

Sex Edge:
Tell me a little about yourself.

Suzanne Lafont: I am a Professor at Kingsborough Community College. My field is Cultural Anthropology with a specialization in gender, sexuality, and human rights. I have taught at many institutions, including the University of Kaunas in Lithuania and the University of Sophia in Bulgaria.
My fourth book Unravelling Taboos: Gender and Sexuality in Namibia was published spring 2007. I have also published articles on homophobia in the Caribbean and gender in Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. My next book is on the life story of an amazing woman I met in Jamaica 19 years ago while living in a shantytown in Kingston.
I was born in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate (dance/psych). I moved to NYC many years ago tried my hand at different endeavors. Disillusioned, I left NY and backpacked around the world by myself. When I returned, I signed up for anthropology courses at Hunter College. I've never looked back. I went on to earn my doctorate at Yale and kicked around a lot before finding a home at KCC.

Sex Edge: How did you become interested in this field?

As a woman, I have always been interested in the female experience (I joined NOW – the National Organization for women when I was 16). I quickly realized that you cannot study women without studying men. So I began researching gender and gender relations. This led me to the study of sexuality – how can you understand gender relations without first understanding the dynamics of sexuality?

Sex Edge: What do you mean by "I quickly realized that you cannot study women without studying men"? It sounds a bit sexist.

Lafont: You need to study gender wholistically - femaleness and maleness create, shape, and reflect gender. If you study only men or only women you miss out on the bigger picture.

Sex Edge: That much I understood. The statement implies that you had an “aha” moment of something like “Oh yea, men are important too; I guess I have no choice but to research them” type of thing.

Lafont: Not really, it was really more of an evolution of thought. Colleges all over the world morphed from having Women's Studies Departments into having Gender Studies Departments.

Sex Edge: What do you think the most misunderstood topics in sexuality are? Why?

Female sexuality – phallocentism has, until recently, prevented informed dialogue about female sexuality. In many ways, women’s liberation of the 1970’s became connected to sexual liberation and translated into the idea that women were supposed to be easily aroused and multi-orgasmic. While this was better than the idea that women viewed sex as a marital chore, it still left women with only two sexual identities, nymphomaniac or sexually repressed prude.
Gender diversity: intersexuality, transgenderism, and transexuality – most people do not understand the complexity of gender diversity and sexual diversity. They collapse many different behaviors into a simplistic concept of “queer.”

Sex Edge: What three countries do you think have the most negative view and why?

Lafont: This is just opinion – I have not done any research on exactly the order but I would guess that it would be Afghanistan Iran, and Saudi Arabia. These countries do not have a separation between religion and civil law. Fundamentalist interpretations of religion have led to gender and sexual repression which sometimes translates into law. For example, homosexual acts are punishable by death in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Sex Edge: What steps do you think the U.S. needs to take in order for our society to have healthier views on sex and sexuality?

Lafont: Sex education – we need to implement an age-appropriate sex ed starting in early grade school and continuing through 12th grade. It should be comprehensive – teaching about the positive AND negative aspects of sex and sexuality – not just the negative.

Sex Edge: If we implemented age-appropriate sex ed classes here in the US, what specific positive aspects should be taught in said classes?

Lafont: That sex and sexuality have benefits. If we feel good about our sexuality, we feel good about ourselves. Young people should be taught that having sexual feelings is normal; that masturbation is normal, etc

Sex Edge: In general, how does your approach to sexuality compare to that of other researchers?

Lafont: My approach is not radical and scientists usually agree with each other. However, much of what get presented to the public is based on morality instead of science and I disagree with a many of those messages.

Sex Edge:
In your research, have you come across any disappointments? What were they?
Lafont: Alas, none of the books based on my research have made it to the New York Times Best Seller List.
Sex Edge: Is there anything else I forgot to ask or anything you’d like to share?

Lafont: No.

Sex Edge: Ok, thanks for your time.