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
Do kids’ movies like Frozen and The Boxtrolls push the “gay agenda?” I certainly hope so.
So excited to see another movie from Laika! The beginning is so adorable, and a great, simple way of being more inclusive to different types of families. What I like about studio Laika’s approach of including LGBTQ+ characters is the fact they aren’t one-dimensional stereotypes.
Like in their previous movie, Paranorman, the character Mitch isn’t just defined by the fact that he’s attracted to men. We only find out about his boyfriend from a passive comment at the very end of the movie. His sexual orientation isn’t a gimmick or just a joke - his character is already established before it’s even mentioned.
I don’t know if there will be more openly queer characters, but I have my fingers crossed!
Christine, Sex Education Writer
Q:Hi, person with the friend who I think is experiencing implantation bleeding and I'm not sure how to tell her. She's under the impression she's having a hormone imbalance and I wanted to know how likely that is, and if I should still try to tell her I think she might be pregnant. I'm so worried
Spotting between periods is not uncommon, and in certain cases could be considered normal (for instance, being on birth control pills may cause spotting between periods during the first few months of usage). However, there are multiple instances where the spotting is abnormal and your friend should seek the attention and care of a medical professional. In terms of your direct concerns, pregnancy could be a potential explanation if your friend had unprotected sex in the time after her last period. Implantation bleeding usually starts about six days after fertilization and takes about 3–4 days to be complete. Some people experience slight cramping and spotting of blood during this week while implantation is taking place, and they may mistake this for a period, as it often occurs around the time their monthly period was due.
To be sure, your friend may want to take an at-home pregnancy test. For any pregnancy test, whether it is done at home or at a health care provider’s office, you want to wait a minimum of 10-14 days from the time of your risk or until your period is late. Pregnancy does not occur immediately after intercourse or unprotected contact. Once a pregnancy does occur, it takes your body some time to produce enough hCG (pregnancy hormone) to be detected by a test. So testing any earlier than 10-14 days after the risk may not provide you with an accurate result. Once you have taken a test, you can verify the results (if you wish) by taking another home pregnancy test in about a week if your period has still not appeared or by calling your health care provider for a test around a week from when you took your first test.
Do remember, we are not medical professionals and our advice here should not be substituted for a visit to a health care clinic or provider. Best of luck.