This week, I will be talking about sexual assault, more specifically, sexual assault on males in the military. The military used to be dominated by male soldiers. Today, still only 20% of the military are made up of women. Being overseas and far away from your partner, urges for sexual pleasure creep up. Being that the vast majority of the military are males, men have been sexually assaulted quite often. They can get attacked, raped, and traumatized for life. That is why in the article that I read, they talked about health care facilities that make support groups for veterans who have been sexually assaulted. The victims are able to tell their story and hear other victims’ stories. The environment is meant to support one another get past the traumatizing event that happened when they were on duty.

I never knew about these programs, but I’m glad they have them available for veterans. Sexual assault to anyone is traumatizing and should be stopped. No one deserves to be raped. As humans, we should decide who we want to have sexual encounters with. Rape is NEVER the answer.

~ “Magic” Mike

article: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-30/news/ct-male-survivors-military-sexual-trauma-met-20140330_1_sexual-assault-support-group-10-men


I think it’s time to demystify female genitalia. Getting a good understanding of what our own bodies, or our partner’s bodies look like, can help tremendously when exploring masturbation or having sex! So if you ever wanted to know what a fallopian tube is, or where the clitoris is located, look no further! I’m here to answer those inquiries you may have.

Mila Fem Anat post 1Let’s start with the outer genitals. The entire outer female genital region is called the vulva (not the vagina!). And the vulva consists of the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and the external openings of the urethra and vagina.

The mons pubis is a fatty layer of tissue that covers the joint of your pubic bones. Pubic hair covers the mons.

The labia majora (labia=lips) or outer labia, are two folds of fatty tissue that surround the inner labia. The labia minora or inner labia, are also two very sensitive folds of skin that lie inside the outer labia that vary in color and size from female to female.

At the top of the inner labia, right below the mons pubis is the clitoral hood, and underneath the hood lies the clitoral glans. The clitoris is considered to be the most sensitive part of the vulva with at least 8,000 nerve endings (twice as many as a penis has)! It also interacts with 15,000 nerve endings throughout the pelvic area. In fact, the clitoris is the only organ in the body whose sole purpose is sexual pleasure! Different bodies respond to different levels of stimulation of the clitoris. If you have a clitoris, it’s important to get to know what feels right for you as you explore your lovely lady parts. And though it looks very small on the outside, the clitoris is actually much larger than we can see, with most of the organ being internal.

Mila Fem Anat post 2Next, right below the clitoris is the very tiny hole or slit of the urethra, where one pees from. Then right below the urethra is the vaginal opening. Now, since the urethra and vagina are so close, sometimes, sexual activity can cause a urinary tract infection. Which is why it’s important to urinate after sex and make sure you and your partner are washing properly. Next, right inside the vaginal opening, one may or may not see the vaginal corona, or hymen. The corona generally wears away over time, and not all people born with vaginas have a noticeable corona. Sometimes, female-bodied individuals express pain, bleeding or discomfort during the first few times of having intercourse. When this happens, in most cases pain may occur because of anxiety, or not being properly lubricated or relaxed. In very rare cases, the corona may be too thick, or covering too much of the vaginal opening and can be remedied by a medical procedure. The vagina is actually really good at expanding when aroused. The average vagina is 3-4 inches long but is very elastic and can expand to accommodate a penis, and a baby being born.

Going up the vaginal canal leads to the infamous g-spot. The easiest way to find the g-spot is by putting a finger inside the vagina, facing the belly. It can feel like a spongy bump in the vagina. It is a potential source of sexual pleasure, though not all necessarily find that g-spot stimulation leads to orgasm. Going farther up the vaginal canal leads to the cervix. The cervix is where the vagina meets the uterus, it is also where sperm can enter and menstrual blood can exit the body. The uterus is the organ where a fetus may form, and can expand to hold the developing baby. Attached to the uterus are the fallopian tubes on either side, which serve as tunnels for the ova (egg cells) to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Mila Fem Anat post 3

Another component to the inner female sexual anatomy is the clitoris. Only a small portion is exposed on the outside, but on the inside, the clitoris splits off into two legs called crura (found inside the labia majora) and the clitoral bulbs (vestibular bulbs) that surround part of the vaginal canal. Thus, the clitoris can be directly and indirectly stimulated during sexual activity!

If you have a vulva, take some time to get to know it, by touching it and looking at it. That way you can figure out what feels good for you. Everyone’s bodies are a little different when it comes to how we experience pleasure. Getting to know yours is a great way to feel comfortable in it and it will help you communicate to a partner, if you decide to have sex, what feels right for you!

 ~ Mila

SHEP Candidate


Personal lubricants are used during sexual activity like sex or masturbation to reduce friction and increase pleasure. They help to reduce the friction between body parts like the vagina, penis, anus, or between sex toys and the body.

Mila Lube postFirstly, here’s a breakdown of the three types of lube: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. Water-based is one of the most prevalent and commonly used all-purpose lubrication. It’s generally compatible with all toys, and latex and polyurethane barrier methods. However it’s important to read the instructions of a particular brand. It comes in a lot of varieties but often requires reapplication. It’s water soluble, as its name implies, thus it washes off easily and can dry more quickly than the other types.

Silicone-based lubes are longer lasting than water-based ones, and they take more of an effort to wash off. It is compatible with latex and polyurethane condoms and other barrier methods. It’s also compatible with glass, metal, and plastic materials. This type is best for anal sex, since the anus and rectum aren’t self-lubricating. Silicone-based lube will not be absorbed by the skin or mucous membranes, thus lasting much longer, and leading to more comfortable sex. Silicone is also very safe to use, and is good for those who have sensitive skin. One should not, however, use silicone-based lubrication on silicone toys, since silicone on silicone will cause the toy to break down.

The third kind is oil-based. Oil-based lubes also last very long, but are not safe to use with latex condoms or any other latex-based safer sex supplies. Another caution regarding oil-based lubes is the possibility of irritation or bacterial infection if residue remains inside the vagina or rectum. This is why oil-based lubes are generally considered safe for external use only.

Now, before you scoff, “but I don’t need to use that,” I just want to take some time and highlight some of the wonderful benefits of a little (or a lot) of lube during sexual activity! Lube can be a wonderful ally when it comes to sexual pleasure.

  1.  A lot of people complain that condoms take away from the sexual experience because they “don’t feel like the real thing.” Condoms can increase the friction when having sex, possibly leading to dryness and not so pleasant sensations. However, adding a couple drops of lube to the inside of the tip and then a little more on the outside when the condom is fully on, can lead to more comfortable and pleasurable sex for both partners!
  2.  Vaginal dryness happens. It can be brought on by a number of factors like stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, or medications. It happens and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. Lube is here to help you have a good time!
  3. There are so many kinds of lubes out there. Some are flavored, while others provide sensations like tingling or warming ones. It’s just important to note that flavored lube is only to be used for oral sex. Trying something fun and new can really enhance your sexual experience whether with a partner or on your own.
  4. Lube can also be used in foreplay, like when giving your partner a sensual massage.
  5. Lubrication is also a great idea when using toys, but be careful not to use silicone-based lube on silicone toys!

So go out there and make lube your friend! Find one that works for you; just remember to test it first in a small area to make sure nothing in the ingredients will cause you irritation. Have fun experimenting!

~ Mila

SHEP Candidate


EmpowerU BrittanyEmpowerU is a fantastic program that every Cal student is required to take. The facilitators Alicia and Gill use a safe and sexy approach with their awesome revamp of the program.  As opposed to the old version of the program that students in the past may have attended, the newly revised version is interactive and entertaining and truly gets its point across.

Sexual assault is a difficult topic to address on any occasion and in a formal setting such as EmpowerU, it can be triggering and even tense. However, Gill and Alicia did a fantastic job at relieving any stress that may have been promoted with light hearted and enthusiastic discussions on otherwise intense topics. It promotes active discussion regarding how and why you might intervene to prevent sexual assault in a subtle and effective way. Furthermore it helps educate individuals on how to direct a person to help in the event they need.

The new EmpowerU film will help educate students on a basic social skill that many people avoid or even lack. It’s difficult to intervene in a tense situation, especially if it involves a stranger and this revamped version of EmpowerU certainly teaches students how to stand strong for themselves and for others. This is important and certainly applicable during the current rush of sexual assault complaints filed against the campus. Where there are steps toward prevention there is another small step towards reducing or eradicating sexual assault as a whole.

That said, its great to see the changes around campus as a result of the current campaign against sexual assault. A topic long held in the dark it is refreshing to see it more actively combated through tools such as EmpowerU.

~ “Bondage” Brittany

 


Brittany Sather HealthThis past semester I had the fantastic opportunity to lead an LGBT workshop for the Sather Health group on campus  in Evans hall. Sather Health focuses on delivering accurate health information to the student body through their own website. As a result they have different speakers come in to discuss various health topics over the course of the semester.

They were a warm and welcoming group eager to learn, if a bit shy. Which is understandable as sexuality is a difficult topic to broach and not everyone is always as eager to do so as I can be. Unfortunately for me, before I could even get the workshop started, technology was against me! I had a handy power point presentation for them full of awesome facts and cool pictures, but alas, the projectors refused to cooperate with my laptop.  So instead,  I had to default to a plainer lecture mode. Luckily I had some interactive activities up my sleeve such as a visual Kinsey scale and two truths and 1 lie.

Overall, the group was incredibly receptive to the information I had for them and I’m thankful they bore with me and didn’t get too antsy when I tried to use the chalkboard. Did you know chalk gets everywhere when you use it? It definitely gave me a new appreciation for my GSI’s.  That said, it was a true pleasure to present for Sather Health and I hope I gave them new insight into the LGBT community!

~ “Bondage” Brittany


Brittany LGBT HealthEquality should be a right and not a prize to be won. Unfortunately in our society, it is difficult to discern when and where equality is sufficient. Thus, our society is intrinsically unequal. Campaigns such as the Human Rights Campaign (often denoted by a gold equal sign on a blue background) attempt to promote equality for the LGBT community.

LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Often members of the LGBT community are stigmatized and discriminated for their life choices. They are placed in a position of inequality and lower status in comparison to the heterosexual norm.  Such stigmas result in a fear of health care due to policies, which often discriminated against members of the LGBT community. This prejudice of the health system resulted in uncomfortable encounters with medical professionals, which proved inadequate and often resulted in avoidance of health care.

October 2013 efforts were made to improve the quality and availability or access to health care for the LGBT community. It is an effort to combat the stigmatization and discrimination (and on occasion criminalization) associated with LGBT health procedures. This in turn would assist in decreasing Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) transmission among the community. For example, in 2008 the CDC reports 63% of syphilis cases occurred in homosexual and bisexual men. This is a result in part of insufficient health care and in some cases insufficient availability of health care.  However, please remember that STI’s are not solely for members of the LGBT community – anyone practicing unsafe sex can be the unfortunate recipient of an STI. Therefore it is important to practice safe sex whenever a sexual encounter is likely to occur.

The move towards universal health services for hetero-normative communities and LGBT communities alike is a momentous step. It is an inch towards equality that is incredibly important for public health and the health of individuals in the LGBT community. That said, it is best to keep it “Safe and Sexy” for any person- so don’t forget that Tang provides safer sex supplies for a small fee so take advantage of it!

 

~ “Bondage” Brittany

 

Response to: http://blog.aids.gov/2013/11/a-victory-for-lgbt-health-in-the-americas.html

 


DeCal student DominiqueI completed my Random Acts of Sexiness on Monday, 28 April at around 2:30pm with Connor! Before beginning my Random Acts of Sexiness, I ran into my SHEP DeCal Facilitator Daysha and I was so excited that she was so excited to see us do this. We started out in front of GBC, then up Sproul Plaza and I ended over at Dwinelle Plaza. I only gave out a little over half in the hour I was there, with about 12 left over. It seemed like Connor had an easier time handing them out, because I sure didn’t. Some folks looked at me funny, others laughed and were quick to decline. It seemed as though nobody was down for protecting themselves and staying safe and sexy! But that’s cool too – they have their reasons. However, there are always the few people who were super excited to receive a little treat…

~ Sex 101: Topics in Sexual Health DeCal student


Ticha Community 1 Asian American community at Berkeley boasts a diverse range of students of all nationalities and ethnicities, making up a staggering 40% of the newly admitted freshmen this year on campus, my community of choice was a broad range of individuals. I decided to team up with APASD, which is the Asian Pacific American Student Development, which is a program that serves the diverse and changing needs to the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community. They provide accessible and relevant programming and resources, cross-cultural community building through education and empowerment. Since most of APASD already was familiar with doing workshops and outreach, I asked Vy Hoang for her help and soon we were work -shopping for the communities that the APASD was already educating and reaching out to.

Vy was our special focus on the API community, so after Anal-Play Angela and I would give our SHEP information, Vy would jump in with speicifc analysis on the community.

Our first workshop was for the Asian Pacific Islander Conference, and was titled #NotYourAsianBlowUpDoll and focused around Sexual debuts and Healthy relationships.

Our second workshop was with the Southeast Asian Student Coalition, and I saw many familiar faces from the previous workshop. Our focus was on Sexual positivity and Consent. This workshop was especially dear to me because I am half Thai, so the experiences and intersectionalites as it specifically applied to myself and my mother, made me feel very connected to the stories our community shared during the time in the workshop, and I think I really want to make a difference specifically in the southeast Asian community, where voices of marginalized women are sometimes hidden underneath the predominant narratives of east Asian women.

Ticha Community 2Our third workshop was for the Asian Pacific American Theme house, and this workshop focused also around healthy relationships (consent!) and sexual debuts, as we were presenting to a majority first-year API group, all facilitators thought it was very important to emphasize and role play asking for and giving consent within this community.

We have two or three more workshops planned, so hopefully we can get the details of all the specific workshops worked out over the next week, but I would really love to do a sexual pleasure workshop in this community because I feel as if I haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet, and I think some very good discussions would come out of it, with Hardboiled magazine, and the Queer and Asian Conference.

I think overall I really learned a lot about this community, and they received it very well, with progressive open minds and smiling faces, I genuinely think a lot of women especially in the API community learned very valuable information. Vy and other members of the API spaces have expressed their concerns that sex is often a slilent topic within the community and I’m glad that I was able to provide a forum in which we could open up a discussion and engage in discourse about these issues.

My community can continue to learn about sexual health information by engaging in our SHEP decal, and coming to more SHEP outreach events. I also know that there is an Asian Pacific Islander health issues decal, so I’m sure they also provide very great information.

~ SEXpert, Ticha

 


Sexual Assault Blog EthanI recently read an article that spoke about several facts about sex offenders and how these facts are more shocking than some would expect. The article, Megan’s Law – Facts about Sex Offenders – was outlined in a true-false questionnaire fashion, which allowed the reader to ponder these generally conceived questions before learning the truth. Some of the information listed in this article pertained to the reasons that sexual offenders participate in these unethical acts. It is stated that they do not do so in order to gain sexual satisfaction or because they cannot find a consenting partner, when in fact, many offenders are married, in a relationship and only commit these acts in order to feel some sort of power or control over their victim. Something that I knew going into the article was the fact that sexual offenders are often familiar to their victims and are usually close to them or attempt to get close before abusing them. This lulls their victim into a false sense of security, I believe, and allows them to do whatever they want to the child or adult victim over time.

The article mostly tried to debunk many of the common misconceptions people have about sexual offenders and who can potentially be one. Women, just as much as men, can be sexual offenders and most victims do not say that they’ve been assaulted right away due to feelings of fear and confusion. To me, this scares me because it shows that there could be an invisible world out there, and a community of people that have been hurt or scarred by these events. But at the same time, the people that do step up and speak out their experiences are probably some of the bravest and most humble.

~ “Eat ‘em Out” Ethan

Original source: http://meganslaw.ca.gov/facts.htm


DeCaler Yujung Kim.fwMy experience of handing out condoms on Sproul was interesting. It was one hot Friday afternoon in April between one to two o clock. I gave out total 60 because I could not partake in giving out condoms during condom week. I distributed with my friend, Keistrel. This experience was very interesting because many individuals had different reactions. Some people shamefully walked away while others smiled and grabbed it in a heartbeat. For example, a Cal athlete jeered at me for giving a standard-sized condom. This one particular guy said he would not need it because he is practicing abstinence and believes in sex after marriage. I gave him a high-five for staying true to his beliefs and wished him luck.

I also noticed that people who participate in Greek System were more prone to take condoms without shame or grossness. Two fraternities who was doing a philanthropy event and the other handing out flyers for an event on that day, each took a condom. When I handed these to familiar faces whom I seen in my class, they did not take it. I think they didn’t take it because they didn’t want me knowing about their sex lives. These varied reactions of people made me realize that sex is perceived differently to different groups of people. Overall, it was a great learning experience and I was glad to promote safe sex on my campus.

~ Sex 101: Topics in Sexual Health DeCal student




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