Two Sexy Announcements

Life is one evolving series of announcements. In keeping with the spirit of life, and hoping to keep you in tune with the latest sex-related news, I have some interesting news to share with you.

1. VibeReview, as was announced in the previous post, has several articles and reviews featured on DivineCaroline. Much like Digg and other social networking sites, DivineCaroline relies heavily on reader votes to place articles and reviews in advantageous situations for additional exposure. Put simply: The more readers hit the “I Liked It” avatar at the bottom of articles, the more exposure the article will receive.

Since many of you are VibeReview affiliates and/or reviewers, your support would be appreciated. Though your altruistic nature might be hibernating at the moment, you might also consider that each of you will benefit either directly or, more likely, indirectly by helping to promote these articles. After all, VibeReview enjoys sharing its success with affiliates and reviewers – and in a lot of different ways that may or may not go unnoticed.

Here are the articles currently on the site:

Beginner’s Sex Toy Guide
Introduction Guide to the G-Spot
Pearl Thunder Review

Please take 5-10 minutes to check out DivineCaroline and vote for all VibeReview’s content. The more popular these articles are, the more aggressive VibeReview can be with making decisions about future writers, reviewers, and so much more. We have plans, big plans for the future.

Additionally, if any of you use StumbleUpon, please take a minute to add VibeReview to your favorites page and write a 1-2 sentence review of the site. Every little bit helps.

2. Please check out and support The New York City Sex Bloggers 2009 Calendar Project. Some of the industry’s best writers and most recognized names are participating in the project, which is an extension of Sex Work 101, created by the everywhere-all-the-time, talented Audacia Ray. This exciting project aims to do away with the stigma associated with sex work while simultaneously promoting rights for sex workers.

Here is a breakdown of how you can support the project:

We’d like to offer everyone, readers and fellow bloggers, the opportunity to join in the fun and excitement, as well as promote your own blog if you have one. That means for $30 you can buy a day in our calendar and personalize it. If you’re a blogger you can have your blog url on your day, or if you’re a reader, any personal message – you can wish us luck or send a greeting to your favorite blogger or celebrate your birthday or anniversary – up to 80 characters will be printed on your day. That $30 includes one pre-ordered calendar (shipping is extra) with all funds in excess of our expenses going directly to Sex Work Awareness. You can purchase as many additional days as you like depending upon availability for $10 each. Since this is a 2009 calendar, we are on an extremely tight schedule and can only sell days through October 1st, 2008. We hope you will consider this a fun and creative way to promote your blog or just as a way to share in the pleasure and excitement this project has been bringing us in our effort to make our community and world a better, more sex-positive place to live.

So, yes. Please support this worthy cause by purchasing a calendar, writing a short post about the project and/or spreading the word to your sexy friends.

Thanks to all!

-Heather

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DivineCaroline: Networking and Socializing for Women

Anyone else visit iVillage.com frequently? I used to spend hours and hours reading the pro-woman content posted on iVillage. However, in the last two or three months I realized that I was spending more and more time, trying to find an article or editorial bit that appealed to me. I don’t have enough time in my life trudge through a bunch of frogs to find the prince (or princess!).

Task. Journey. Search.

To find a new source of information. To find a community of female writers, professionals, sexual enthusiasts, intelligence, class, and maturity …

The Holy Grail of Pro-Woman Content: DivineCaroline
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Vaginal Douching: An Itch Away from Perfection

Indoctrinated. Female products, everywhere. Not all are bad. In fact, many are useful. What about vaginal douche products? Is vaginal douching this important? After all, since you were kid, you’ve been exposed to vaginal douche products at your local drugstores and grocery markets. The sheer volume of products must mean vaginal douching is important – or at least has some value or contributes something positive to female hygiene. Right?

Only if a doctor views it as a treatment, in which she or he will give you specific instructions about what product to use, how frequently, and for how long. Even then, ladies, you should ask your doctor why he’s recommending douching and if there is another alternative.

Here are a few facts about douching:

1. A “bad” vaginal odor can be covered up by douching, but the cause of the bad odor has not been addressed; thus, this is only a temporary solution to a potentially serious problem – maybe a bacterial infection, urinary tract infection, yeast infection, or an STD. A foul odor originating from your vagina is your body’s way of saying, “Pay attention to me! Something isn’t right. Go to the doctor!” – unless you refuse to wash your vagina on a regular basis, which is remedied by – well, taking a warm shower and using paraben-free and glycerin-free soap. Contrary to what myths people spread about vaginal odor, even the healthiest vaginal environment has its own unique odor.

2. Your vagina has its own natural cleansing system that produces mucous to flush out blood, semen, and vaginal discharge. After douching, women wash away important vaginal flora that helps regulate the acidity levels. As this acidity level increases or decreases, straying from the natural balance maintained by vaginal flora, bacteria levels increase – which leads to infections and other female problems. More harm than good, and only for temporary fixes.

3. Ladies: Douching does not prevent the transmission of STDs. This is a myth, if believed factual, that leads to serious consequences. There are many women who believe they can wash away the potential danger of last night’s sexual intercourse. No, no, no. Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent STDs. Condoms, of course, are the next best method. Safer sex, which doesn’t include douching. Some studies are being conducted to see if douching might actually make it easier to get an STD, as the vagina’s natural acidity level is compromised – which makes it more difficult for the vagina to fight off infections. Could it be that short-term or long-term douching leads to an even greater risk of catching STDs? Stay tuned for more information on this issue. We’ll let you know when more information is available.

4. Pregnancy. No, douching does not prevent pregnancy. Again, abstinence or safer sex is the way to go. Though some studies suggest that regular douching does effect the time-frame in which a women gets pregnant (usually takes longer than women who do not douche), douching should never be used as a birth control method. Ectopic pregnancies, also, have been linked to women who douche on a regular basis. No way, no how – Not gonna happen. The potential risks are far greater than the reward. (I am still trying to figure out what those rewards are – beyond the obvious “odor cover up.”)

If you notice these things, you should visit a doctor and stay away from douching:

1. Bad odor
2. Thick white-yellowish and/or green discharge
3. Burning, redness, stinging, or vaginal swelling (external/internal)
4. Uncomfortable or painful when urinating or during intercourse

Many women have been led to believe that the above symptoms are justifiable reasons to douche. That’s backward thinking. You want to address the causes of the above symptoms, not merely cover them up, which requires that you visit a doctor for examination, to see if these symptoms are caused by serious problems.

In our commercialized culture, these “quick fixes” seem to be legitimate solutions to common and uncommon problems. More sex education is required to combat the many myths associated with douching, specifically as it relates to birth control and STDs.

Personal Touch:

I used to douche. Yep. I started out douching in high school. I wanted to be “fresh” for my boyfriend. Not that he pressured me or anything. He probably didn’t even know what a douche was or why I would do it. I didn’t really know why I did it. Part of it, I believe, had something to do with my perception of womanhood, or what it meant to have finally “arrived” as a sexually active female – that douching is what you did, as if sex and douching went together like peanut butter and jelly. You have sex, you douche, and then have sex again.

I didn’t believe it prevented STDs or pregnancy, but I did believe douching was a female’s responsibility to her man and herself. To keep a clean, clean vagina – that was the goal. After douching off and on for several years, my vagina started itching. My solution: Douche more. Finally, I went to the doctor and found out, to my surprise, that douching can lead to yeast infections, which is exactly what I had. It took me a long time to get my vagina back to its natural acidity level, and there’s no way in hell, maybe even if a doctor recommends it, that I’ll douche again. I’ve gone through a similar phase with water lubes that contain irritating formulas, mostly those lubes that contain fragrances. I’ll discuss water lubes in more detail later this week.

If you’d like to read more about vaginal douching and safer sex, please visit these links:

MedicineNet.com
About.com
Planned Parenthood