Q:Hello! I'm 19, and I don't really have a regular menstrual cycle. It varies from 38-47 days. I'm not even sure if this is healthy. But, I don't know if I'm pregnant, or just REALLY late this time. So on June 8th, I had sex with my boyfriend, protected. And I got my period the next day. It lasted 5 days. But now I'm 23 days late, and for the past few days, I've been feeling a pretty light headache. But, I've also gained some weight over the month due to stress. Could this be just an imbalance?
Q:This is kind of an embarrassing question but I'm a virgin, mostly because I'm too nervous to have sex with anyone out of fear of the way my vagina looks. First of all, I'm pretty hairy down there, I mean I shave but it grows back really fast, and secondly, my clit and labia are bigger, and kind of look different than what's normal, or at least what I've seen. I'm really afraid that if I'm with someone who's attracted to me and then they pull down my pants to see that, they'll leave. What do I do
Q:I'm really thin, I have scoliosis, small tits, and a really small ass, all which I'm made fun of for a lot. I'm usually pretty confident in outfits that kind of mask my figure, until someone says something to me. I know I don't have a "good body" but will anyone ever think of me as beautiful and sexy?
Sometimes the desire to have a ‘good body’ comes from our thoughts of what ‘good’ bodies should look like. Whether that idea is created from the media, our family, friends, or peers, it can be difficult—especially for young people—to shake the feeling of ‘not being normal’ or not looking ‘good’. But we should all understand that there is no ‘normal’ or ‘good’ definition when it comes to our bodies. Just like no two faces look alike, no two bodies look alike—and girls are especially pressured into thinking they need to look a certain way in order to be ‘beautiful’. This is not true. Just because you happened to be thin and have more petite features does NOT mean you can’t be beautiful and sexy. Beauty is NOT skin deep—it’s an attitude and attribute that we can all be described as when we love ourselves. (And believe me…if you are worried about others (especially significant others) not finding you ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ because you don’t look like a photoshopped Victoria’s Secret model…you don’t want to be around superficial people like them!!)
Unfortunately, in this day and age the media make us believe that ‘pretty’ breasts are big and perky with small nipples and areola, and ‘good’ asses are round and voluptuous (think Kim K)—when in reality, female breasts and butts come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. It’s hard to escape that image on the TV, internet, and in magazines, but you’ve just got to know that it’s all been created to fit an ideal standard of beauty (a very unrealistic one too!). The world is beautiful because of its diversity—and human bodies are no different in that regard.
As far as the scoliosis goes, I too have mild scoliosis (although its definitely more noticeable when I’m naked). I asked my significant other what he had thought about it for 2+ years and his response was that ‘he never noticed it because it didn’t matter to him’ and he ‘loved me regardless’. This positive attitude about my own perceived imperfections made me feel 100% better about my own body image, and it doesn’t bother me at all anymore. Now I think, if this person cares about me, they’re not going to judge me based on the curve of my spine, but in the goodness of my character! It’s a healthier and happier way to live :)
So to sum it all up—-You should be proud of the person you are—both inside and out. Anyone worth having in your life will believe in that too.
Last Thursday night, The Masakhane Center was present at Newark City Hall for the annual LGBTQ Pride Flag-Raising ceremony! Personally, I had never stepped inside this magnificent building, and the pride flag decorations were so beautiful to behold!
Happy (belated) Pride Week Newark!!
Natalie, Masakhane Sex Educator
Myth or Fact
Pornography is just images, it doesn’t effect us.
Myth! With emotions as powerful as arousal and pleasure, images that induce them are very important. Pornography has provided a visual of actions and behaviors that are not so easily discussed by society. While some watch for simple entertainment, most pornography is watched with the intention of sexual satisfaction. These images that are showcased unfortunately have established a common idea of what sex is “supposed to be.” 200 million copies of Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustler are distributed to U.S. homes annually. These objectifying, patriarchal, heteronormative magazines become the “informal sex education” for a substantial proportion of the teenage men in this country.
Cindy, Sex Educator
FACT OR MYTH
If I use two condoms instead of one I am more likely be protected from contracting an STI
Myth: We may here that two is better than one but for condoms this is not the case. One condom when used correctly is effective in preventing the transmission of STIs as well as preventing pregnancy. Condoms manufactured in the United States go through a series of test before they are packaged and sold. If you may think: What if the condom breaks? That’s unlikely because condoms do not usually break because of quality issues but when used improperly. It is always recommended to check the condom expiration date and to look for damages such as torn condoms before having sex. You can click this link to find out how to correctly use a condom click here.
Arianna Cohen , Masakhane Center Sex Educator