5 Myths about Anal Sex

5 Myths about Anal Sex

Are you new to anal sex? Have you been thinking about trying, but find yourself scared due to the unknown? There are a lot of myths about anal sex that are out there and you may feel better seeing some of them debunked. Read on to learn five anal sex myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1 – It Must be Painful

Anal sex should not be painful as long as you use lubrication, relax, take it slow and do not have hemorrhoids. You have to be gentle — especially in the beginning — because the anus is much tighter than the vagina. Take it slow and warm up. The chances are good that you haven’t followed the above instructions completely if you have experienced some pain in the past or have heard horror stories from friends.

Myth #2 – It Can’t Feel Good Because Women Don’t Have a Prostate

Pleasure during anal sex involves way more than a prostate, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “The anus is rich in blood vessels and nerves and thus highly sensitive, making anal play popular and erotic for some women.” Actually, one study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that 94 percent of women who received anal in their last sexual encounter had an orgasm.

Myth #3 – You Do Not Need a Condom

The chance that there is nearly no chance of pregnancy with anal sex makes it that much more pleasurable for many women. But it does carry a risk of STD transmission, so you need a condom. Also, condoms can not only prevent STD transmission they also reduce friction and make for a more smooth entry. Be sure to change condoms before switching from either vaginal to anal or anal to vaginal sex.

Myth #4 – It Will Literally Be Dirty

While it is possible to get feces particles on his penis or letting loose, it is highly unlikely. “Most waste is sitting in the lower intestine where a finger, sex toy, or penis is not going to reach,” says sex therapist Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. Your rectum only contains small fragments of feces. If you’re worried about getting anything dirty, wash your anus with mild soap and water and/or empty your bowels before having sex. This is another way a condom is useful as well.

Myth #5 – Your Butt Hole Will Stretch Out

Just because you receive anal sex does not mean you’re going to end up with a penis-sized hole. “Tissue is elastic, and the anal sphincter muscles are tightly toned, so unless you are receiving ‘larger than life toys,’ this shouldn’t pose a problem,” explains Dweck. “In fact, please ensure all toys have an easy ‘retrieval’ mechanism, like a string or base. You don’t want to lose toys inside.” It is that tight, which is one reason it feels so great for men to give it.

 

3 Vaginal Skin Disorders, Explained

3 Vaginal Skin Disorders, Explained

Invading microbes may cause vaginal skin disorders. The Mayo Clinic says that vaginal discharge consists of fluids, cells, and bacteria that shed from the vagina. This discharge serves to protect and clean the vagina and can be of different consistencies, such as clear and watery or sticky and white. If you have an unusual discharge with an unfamiliar appearance and odd odor, it can be a sign of an infection, an STD, or cervical cancer. It’s important to have regular appointments with a gynecologist to maintain your vaginal health. Read on to learn more about vaginal skin disorders.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Anyone is at risk for allergic contact dermatitis, according to Dr. Summers, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine. This is especially true for women. Allergens like latex, a dry climate, fabric softeners, detergents, and fragrant soaps and body lotions may trigger this skin disorder. Symptoms may appear as flaking of the skin and chronic yeast infections.

Erosive Lichen Planus
This is an autoimmune skin disorder that affects the entrance to the vagina and the labia minora. The area experienced pain and looks red and raw. Erosive lichen planus is one of three clinical variants that the vulva is affected by, according to an article that was published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The most common of the three is erosive lichen planus, which is seen as a severe form of the disorder and can cause erosions, leading to erosion that is more extensive and even ulceration.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is acquired when particles enter through skin that is minimally traumatized on the vulva. This virus results in genital warts, dysplasia or cancer. People who take immunosuppressant drugs and smokers are at a higher risk for developing HPV. Genital HPV infections are extremely common. In fact, almost all sexually active women and men get it at some point in their lives, but most people who have the virus don’t know it.

 

6 Signs of an Unhealthy Vagina

6 Signs of an Unhealthy Vagina

Do you have an unhealthy vagina? Maybe it’s not on purpose, but maybe your vagina isn’t being given the attention it needs and deserves. Read on to see whether you’re experiencing any of the following problems that suggest you may have an unhealthy vagina and need to seek medical attention.

Dryness or Irritation

According to gynecologist Ronald D. Blatt, M.D., vaginal irritation or dryness can be signs of an unhealthy vagina, especially because of menopause. Menopause can make these symptoms occur inside and outside of the vagina. Flaking of the skin and irritation may happen, which can cause uncomfortable sexual intercourse.

A Fishy Scent

A healthy vagina has its own scent. But a fishy odor can be a cause for concern. “A fishy odor with extra clear discharge can be a sign of BV, bacterial vaginosis, that is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria and an imbalance of the pH balance of the vagina. BV is very common and easily treatable with antibiotics from your gynecologist. Natural remedies include apple cider vinegar douche and changes in diet. A strong odor with green discharge can be a sign of an STD, trichomoniasis, so you should get tested immediately,” says Psalm Isadora, a sex and relationship expert.

Irregular Discharge or Itching

It’s possible that you have a yeast infection if you have discharge that has a yellow or white color and looks like cottage cheese.

Burning Sensation During Urination

This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs are treatable with antibiotics.

Inability to Insert a Tampon

“Painful sex is usually a psychological issue, but in rare cases it’s an imperforate hymen — women born with extra tissue around the opening of the vagina,” explains Isadora. This is usually diagnosed by a gynecologist and surgery is used for treatment.

Irregular Bleeding

Spotting or bleeding that happen when you’re not menstruating can be due to a hormonal imbalance. This is frequently caused y stress or birth control methods. It’s also a sign of pregnancy. Be sure to see a gynecologist immediately if you bleed after sex, as it can be a sign of cervical cancer.

Painful Blisters

This can mean you have an STD, so it’s important to get tested immediately.

 

5 Tips on Having Sex with Another Woman for the First Time

5 Tips on Having Sex with Another Woman for the First Time

If you’ve never had sex with another woman, the thought of it may be exciting, but also very intimidating. After all, what do you do? You might be worried that you won’t be able to give her an orgasm. Or, if she’s had plenty of experience with other women, you might feel as if you won’t be good enough to have her coming back for more. If you’re thinking about having sex with a woman for the first time and need some tips, read on to learn five important pieces of advice.

Be honest.

It’s best not to pretend you’re experienced if you’re not. Who knows—it might be her first time, too. How exciting would it be to discover each other’s bodies then?! On the other hand, she might be very experienced and only want to be with a woman who has a similar level of expertise. Honesty is best for both of you. Make sure to discuss STDs, which are a possibility no matter the gender of the person you’re in bed with. Once you’re in bed, discuss what each of you wants. For example, you can verbally communicate your desires, or move her head to a different place on your clitoris, if needed. Make the right noises when she makes the right moves.

Get a manicure.

Let’s face it—the labia is sensitive. Nails that are long and sharp may cut the delicate skin on the inside and outside of the vulva. Ouch! Keep them neat and short.

Remember it’s more than an orgasm.

Of course you’re going to want to give her an amazing climax, but don’t forget to enjoy each moment of taste, smell, and overall feeling of being with her. An orgasm is not a measure of success in bed. It’s a bonus, but if you think of it as mandatory, you’ll miss out on what’s happening each moment. If you find yourself getting close to orgasm, let her know to keep going. You can help her get there more easily if you listen, too.

Don’t worry about whether it can be defined as sex.

You might think of sex as just vaginal penetration by the penis, but it’s so much more. Your best bet is to ditch thinking about whether you’ve had sex or not. Sex can be so many things from mutual masturbation to using a dildo or putting your mouth on a woman’s vulva. And you don’t have to call yourself a lesbian just because you have sex with a woman (unless you want to, of course).

Remember that she’s not your therapist.

Of course you’re going to be nervous and new to the entire experience. But remember that any concerns you may have about your sexuality or nervousness regarding what your family may think are better topics to bring up in therapy than in bed. Seek out a consultation with a local therapist or counselor for some unbiased advice that will help you know yourself better.

 

Getting Familiar with the STD Trichomoniasis

Getting Familiar with the STD Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by the organism Trichomonas Vaginalis.  More women than men are affected by the disease; however, men can be infected and pass the infection to their significant other during sexual contact.

This STD is more common in younger women who are sexually active.  There is an estimated 7.4 million new cases that occur each and every year.

How does someone know if they have Trichomoniasis?

Men usually don’t know if they have trichomoniasis because they do not have any symptoms, and many do not know they are infected unless their partner needs treatment. If symptoms do occur, they usually include:

  • Slight burning after ejaculation or urination
  • Mild discharge
  • Sense of irritation inside of the penis

Women who have Trichomoniasis usually display the following symptoms:

  • Lower abdominal pain, but this is rare
  • Discomfort while having intercourse
  • Painful urination
  • Grotty, greenish-yellow vaginal discharge with very strong odor

In order to diagnose trichomoniasis, the doctor must perform a lab test and physical exam.  The lab test is performed using a sample of urethral or vaginal fluid. The doctors will look for disease-causing parasites, although these parasites are harder to detect when looking at samples from men compared to women.

Trichomoniasis can be treated with the antibiotic known as (flagyl) metronidazole.  Before you take this drug, know that it is very important to tell your doctor if there is any chance you are pregnant as this drug can harm your baby.

It is also wise for both you and your partner to get treated at the same time because the two of you will be less likely to re-infect one another. You should also refrain from having sex until the treatment is completed and you and your partner are showing no signs of infection. Even if you are feeling better, it is best to continue taking the medicine until you are done with the whole script.

What happens if only one person gets treated for Trichomoniasis?

Trichomoniasis in pregnant women can cause premature rupture of the membranes that provide protection for the baby.  It may also cause early delivery.  Because of the genital inflammation associated with trichomoniasis, it may increase the risk a person has for contracting HIV infections.

To reduce the chance of contracting trichomoniasis infection, here are a few tips you should follow:

  • If you think that you are infected, you should avoid sexual contact until you see a doctor.
  • Limit sexual contact to only one person that is uninfected, or practice sexual abstinence.
  • Use protection, such as condoms, every time you have sex.

If you experience any symptoms, such as unusual rash or sore, burning during urination, or discharge, you should stop having sex and talk with your doctor as soon as possible.  Notify all sexual partners if you are diagnosed with an STD, including trichomoniasis.

Facts You’ll Love about the Female Condom

Facts You'll Love about the Female Condom

Female condoms are not as widely used or as well known as they should be.  It’s as if they’re a secret when they’ve actually been around for a couple of decades.  The chances are, the idea of being able to have your own form of contraception and not feel as if you have to rely on a male to use a condom is appealing.  The following are some facts about the female condom you’ll feel better knowing.

It’s a unique and powerful form of contraception for women.
The female condom is great because a woman is not only able to initiate protection with it (as she can with other forms of birth control), but she can also know that it’s the only method she can initiate use of with dual protection (from STIs and pregnancy).

Men often prefer a female condom.
Research has shown that men enjoy female condoms because they do not fit tightly on their penis and don’t seem to dull sensation like male condoms do.  Men also tend to appreciate the fact that they don’t have to be the only one ever responsible for wearing a condom.

Female condoms can make sex feel better.
It’s quite a juicy secret that female condoms have been known to increase pleasure during sex.  It can be in place before intercourse occurs and not halt the moment in any way.  Female condoms don’t have to be removed right after sex, so it’s possible to add more quality time in bed without worry.  And, as an added bonus, some female condoms are made with materials that transmit heat, so it feels even more natural than latex.

There are many types out there.
You can have your pick with female condoms.  The one most known is the FC2®, which is available worldwide.  There are female condoms being developed that will reduce costs and will be more accepted in general.  For example, a new one is being developed to be comfortable to both partners and easy to use.  There are female condoms that are latex-free and all of them are hormone-free.

It means less people are having unprotected sex.
Studies have shown that more people are having protected sex when female condoms are available.  It’s important to know not to use a female and male condom at the same time because the friction of the two together can cause one or both of them to break.

7 Common Myths about HPV

7 Common Myths about HPV

Approximately 79 million people in the US are affected  by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It’s the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country. Despite this fact, there are many myths about HPV. Here are some of the most common myths and misunderstandings:

Only women get HPV
Men also get HPV. And, it’s also true that most men and women will have at least one HPV infection during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All HPV strains cause cancer
There are a few types of cancer that are caused by HPV including cervical, vaginal, penile and vulvar cancers, but not all strains of HPV cause cancer. The strains that cause cancer (high risk strains) such as types 16 and 18, can cause cervical and other types of cancer. 70 percent of cervical cancer cases come from these strains. Different types of cancer can also be caused by those strains.  The National Cancer Institute states that within 1-2 years, most high risk HPV infections go away, not causing cancer.

You can’t get HPV if you don’t have sex
Even if you have protected sex, you can contract HPV if you have skin-to-skin contact. It’s possible to get HPV through skin-to-skin vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Men can get HPV screening
Unfortunately, there aren’t any FDA-approved screenings for HPV in men.

HPV has treatment options
Genital warts and precancerous lesions can be treated, but the virus itself cannot.

If you have HPV, you’ll notice symptoms
This is untrue. In fact, most individuals with HPV never develop any symptoms.

You don’t need to get pap tests if you received an HPV vaccine
You still need to get regular pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. The two available HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix) only protect against the high risk, type 16 and 18, HPV strains that cause cancer. These vaccines are preventative measures and don’t help those already infected with HPV. Gardasil is the only vaccine available for men.