mở tài khoản_thế giới bắn cá_ucw18 https://www.google.com//c1f/en/rss/blog en SPRING TALKS SEX: Menopause 每 whose information do you trust? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46596 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>A friend asked me if I was going to talk about menopause during aworkshop I am offering on sexuality and aging. She is 68 and still getting hot flashes. News ※flash§: I*m 66 and still getting them too. It made me wonder what has been going on in the world of menopause since I first started getting hot flashes in my late 40s.</p> <p>I was lucky. Apart from driving everyone around me insane with my perimenopausal moodiness, I was not disturbed by night sweats. For many women, night sweats are debilitating, because they affect sleep and therefore the ability to function.</p> <p>Thank Google; there is lots of useful information out there. The website <a href="http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/hot-flashes/articles/hot-flashes-after-age-60.htm" target="_blank">34 Menopause Symtoms</a> gives a plausible explanation about later life symptoms and some <a href="http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/hot-flashes-treatments.htm" target="_blank">common sense advice about relief</a>.</p> <p>Common sense advice is not the approach you are likely to get when you visit your doctor. Big Pharma continues to dominate the discussion, and Big Pharma probably has your doctor*s ear.</p> <p>Back in the day, I found common sense in every issue of Janine O*Leary Cobb*s newsletter <em>A Friend Indeed</em> and her book <em>Understanding Menopause</em>, reading both from cover to cover. Other books, like <em>Menopause Naturally</em> by Dr. Carolyn Dean, put this natural part of a woman*s life into perspective. But doctors were offering women hormones like they were candy.</p> <p>The Women*s Health Initiative (WHI), a.k.a. the nurses* study in the States, made great headway in debunking the dangerous practice of offering HRT to every woman with symptoms (and in many cases those without).</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46596" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:51:23 +0000 cwhn 46596 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN: We Are All Out of Africa! https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46594 <p><strong>By Carol Amaratunga</strong></p> <p>Forty-five years ago, as a student, I had the incomparable privilege of being accepted as a volunteer with Operation Crossroads Africa. In the summer of 1969 I was sent to the remote village of Bendaja, Liberia to help build a rural health clinic.</p> <p>I have a vivid, startling memory from that summer of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, an event that is no doubt seared into the minds of those of us who are a bit older. As Neil Armstrong said, it was ※a giant leap for mankind.§ Seated around an open fire on that dark and cloudy evening, my Crossroads team and the villagers of Bendaja glanced up to the heavens as we listened to the Apollo mission being broadcast by the Voice of America. When the broadcast ended, one of village elders turned to me and said, ※It is just an American trick.§ For my part however, I was both awe-struck and devastated. How could we spend millions of dollars to send men to the moon while down here, in the villages of Africa, people were sick, destitute and hungry?</p> <p>You may wonder what this story has to do with women*s health. Bear with me for my <em>memoire</em> has everything to do with women*s health, humanitarianism, and the current Ebola crisis in Africa. The real question is:&nbsp; what can we do to help?&nbsp;</p> <p>It was the rainy season and the women, children and families of Bendaja Village were essentially cut off from the rest of the world. The laterite roads were awash with a blood-red mud slurry and were impassable. There were no stores, no Loblaws or President*s Choice. It was a lucky hunter who could provision his family with wild meat. The night of the moon landing, the villagers brought us some of their valued hunt. It was a feast they shared with selfless generosity.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46594" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Fri, 03 Oct 2014 22:15:27 +0000 cwhn 46594 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX: Disordered eating and sexuality https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46595 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>In preparation for some upcoming workshops, I*ve been learning more about barriers to healthy sexual functioning, including age, disability and eating disorders. For this month*s blog, I am focusing on eating disorders and trying to understand the complex physical, emotional and psychological issues involved. The literature is extensive and theories about causation abound; but there is less written about their effects on sexual functioning.</p> <p>What is food preoccupation, how common is it, when does it become a concern and how does it affect relationships and sexual health?</p> <p>If considered on a continuum, food and weight preoccupation runs from concern about weight to compulsive dieting to compulsive over-eating to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating can persist for years, even an entire lifetime. An estimated 10 per cent of individuals with anorexia nervosa die within 10 years of their first episodes. In 2002, <a href="http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/human-humain06/10-eng.php" target="_blank">1.5 per cent of 15 to 24-year-old Canadian women surveyed</a> had an eating disorder.</p> <p>Weight preoccupation can begin at an early age. Twenty-eight per cent of girls in grade nine and 29 per cent in grade 10 have engaged in weight-loss behaviours. Thirty-seven percent of girls in grade nine and 40 per cent in grade 10 perceived themselves as too fat. Even among students of ※normal-weight§ (based on BMI), 19 per cent believed that they were too fat, and 12 per cent of students reported attempting to lose weight (see <a href="http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/human-humain06/10-eng.php" target="_blank">Public Health Agency of Canada information</a>).</p> <p><strong>How does weight preoccupation affect sexual functioning?</strong></p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46595" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 03 Oct 2014 21:50:23 +0000 cwhn 46595 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX: When sex gets boring https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46590 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>I guess it depends on what you call ※sex,§ but sexual routines, even when they work, can become repetitive.</p> <p>Although you may get off with partnered sex, you may also find yourself observing your pleasure rather than mindfully enjoying it. Author Carol Shields called it, ※going through the motions of love.§ If the running internal commentary sounds like this: ※Now they*re going to move to the other nipple; now they*re going to check to see if I*m wet...§ it doesn*t sound like fun. Recognizing that it*s no fun is a good place to start.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>When boredom sets in, it may affect frequency of sexual contact, resulting in a discrepancy of desire in the couple. Of course, there may already be other relationship issues requiring attention. Avoidance, or a shoulder shrugging ※let*s get it over with§ attitude; or worse, the possibility of a real or implied threat of coercive sex, may lead to the end of the relationship entirely.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46590" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Sat, 06 Sep 2014 01:15:44 +0000 cwhn 46590 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX: Personal Puff Piece: The fabulous world of online dating https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46589 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Everyone knows someone who has tried online dating. Was it fabulous for them? Perhaps from the outside looking in. From inside, it can be rather dingy and depressing. Speaking personally, there may be other 65-year-old women who are having a blast. I am not.</p> <p>It*s been a year since my last online dating experience. A promising (somewhat younger) man who was clearly turned on to me, disappeared in a puff of smoke after a very brief affair.</p> <p>Here*s how it works. You begin with a profile, trying to make yourself stand out from the crowd〞cheerful, attractive and interesting. You are encouraged to post pictures of yourself doing fun stuff. In my age bracket, there are lots of photos of men with their cars, their dogs, their children and their grandchildren. Of course, when you begin to read through the profiles of the potentials whose photos are appealing (in my case, no dogs or cars), they seem dismally similar. Comfortable in a tux or jeans. Loves to cuddle by the fire drinking wine (does everyone have a functioning fireplace?). Works out every day, cycles, skis, loves to travel#</p> <p>Then, if you finally find someone literate and interesting, you work up the courage to send a message and# Well, like my last go round, it may result in a rushed first coffee date with enthusiastic follow-up. Or, you get nothing. If you*re lucky, you get a civil ※thanks, but no thanks.§ What feels worse is a flurry of messaging back and forth, and then nothing. I am told that the lack of etiquette <em>is</em> the etiquette of online dating.</p> <p>Sometimes you get a date〞or a few with the same person. Sometimes you have a short-term or even longer-term relationship; and then it*s back to online dating, unless you meet a real, honest-to-goodness long-term partner, which for some is the ultimate, seemingly unattainable end game.</p> <p>So what does all this have to do with sexual health?</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46589" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 01 Aug 2014 14:27:02 +0000 cwhn 46589 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX: Murder by misogyny? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46579 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>mi?sog?y?ny&nbsp; <strong><em>noun.</em></strong>&nbsp; 1. a hatred of women (<a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misogyny" target="_blank">Merriam-Webster</a>).</p> <p>Laci Green, self-described sex-ed activist, uses the phrase ※misogyny as murder§ in her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPFcspwbrq8&amp;bpctr=1401823560" target="_blank">YouTube rant about the May 2014 </a>murder of six people and wounding of 13 others by Elliott Rodger in California. People seeking out the definitive answer to ※how could this have happened§ fall all along the blame continuum that runs from <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/02/us/elliot-rodger-killings-in-california-followed-years-of-withdrawal.html?_r=0" target="_blank">blaming his family life and early mental health issues</a>, to the <a href="http://www.cchrint.org/2014/05/26/will-lawmakers-investigate-elliot-rodgers-psychiatric-drug-use-or-ignore-it-that-is-the-question/" target="_blank">medications that he was prescribed</a>, to his blatant hatred of women, and to easy access to guns and ammunition. The latter is of course refuted by the gun lobbyists who continue to assert that guns don*t kill, people do〞citing their right to bear arms. Interestingly, in their effort to deflect attention from Rodger*s modus operandi, some <a href="http://libertycrier.com/nearly-every-mass-shooting-last-20-years-shares-one-thing-common-weapons/" target="_blank">gun lobbyists have put all the blame on prescription medication</a>.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46579" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:50:43 +0000 cwhn 46579 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Choice denied https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46449 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>A law with teeth is only as good as its enforcement. But when a law is struck down, politics determines how it will play out in society.</p> <p>When the Supreme Court struck down the law on abortion in 1988〞the famous Morgentaler decision〞a woman*s right to choose was enshrined in Canadian society. In 1989, the argument of ※fetus as person§ was rejected, as was the attempt by men in three provinces (Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba) to stop their partners from having abortions. These legal decisions left the right to choose firmly in the hands of individual women.</p> <p>But a woman*s ability to exercise her choice is limited by several factors: location (it is hardest to get an abortion in the eastern part of Canada); cost, when a woman has to travel to get an abortion or a province does not fund the procedure; and by people, including doctors, who push their anti-choice agenda on a pregnant woman trying to make her decision. (<a href="https://www.prochoice.org/canada/regional.html" target="_blank">Read more about which provinces cover hospital and/or clinic abortions and which ones do not</a>).</p> <p>Only 17.8 per cent of Canadian hospitals provide abortion services. <a href="http://www.canadiansforchoice.ca/" target="_blank">Even hospitals that provide abortions may place obstacles in the way of women who try to obtain one</a>, especially if their administration is anti-choice.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46449" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Mon, 02 Jun 2014 22:46:33 +0000 cwhn 46449 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN: (Not) Shopping our way to safety https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46308 <p><strong>By Robyn Lee and Dayna Nadine Scott </strong></p> <p>Media coverage of the risks posed by brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and phthalates almost always includes advice on how to limit exposure to these chemicals in the home. Those seeking policy change often call for effective labelling of consumer products, including &nbsp;※green consumer§ campaigns such as ※wallet cards§ with long lists of chemical names for shoppers to avoid. Apparently, consumers are expected to pull these out of their wallets in the grocery aisle, at the drugstore, in the electronics superstore. These campaigns attempt to address a lack of effective government regulation of chemicals; however, they overlook the extent to which women carry out the majority of household cleaning, shopping, food preparation, and caring for the health of family members. Attempts to limit household exposure to BFRs and phthalates require additional work that consistently and disproportionately falls to women.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46308" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:34:43 +0000 cwhn 46308 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Female genital modification https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46331 <h2>...the cutting edge of a double standard</h2> <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>In February, 2014, the Ontario*s Sexual Health Network organized an update on ※female genital mutilation§ (also known as ※female genital cutting§). At the meeting, I raised the question that was so eloquently discussed in a <a href="http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/crcl/vol40_1/ehrenreich.pdf" target="_blank">paper on intersex surgeries</a> about the cultural parallels between genital cutting practices in ※developing§ countries and genital surgery in ※developed§ countries. This issue was raised again in a <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2446133132" target="_blank">recent discussion on CBC Radio*s program, The Current</a> to which I listened attentively (yes, I took notes) as I am interested in these surgeries and have participated in two public discussions on the subject.</p> <hr /> <h6><a href="/c1f/en/webinars/designergenitaliapodcast" target="_blank">Listen to the CWHN podcast on "designer genitalia"</a></h6> <hr /> <p>The Current invited the CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC), Dr. Jennifer Blake, to speak about the SOGC guidelines on both <a href="http://sogc.org/guidelines/clinical-practice-guideline-female-genital-cutting/" target="_blank">female genital mutilation/cutting</a> and <a href="http://sogc.org/guidelines/female-genital-cosmetic-surgery/" target="_blank">female genital cosmetic surgery</a>. They also invited Dr. Sean Rice, a plastic surgeon who performs labiaplasty as well as a triathlete who had requested〞and was satisfied with〞the surgery.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46331" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Wed, 30 Apr 2014 22:36:06 +0000 cwhn 46331 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN: Another silicone bracelet? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46306 <h2>This one claims to measure toxic exposures</h2> <p><strong>By Abby Lippman&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>It seems that my tendency to see glasses half filled, if not empty, when others are happily seeing them brimming with new possibilities only increases with time.&nbsp;With this advance warning, I want to outline why I am not going to rush to get〞nor to suggest others rush out to get〞the newest of the wide array of color-coded silicone rubber bracelets which will likely soon become hot-ticket and heavily marketed items.</p> <p>It used to be that a person could be said to wear her heart on her sleeve when her feelings for a new love were obvious to all. Of late, it has become more a case of sporting a cause on one's wrist. And to do so, one can sample〞if not wear examples of〞a full palette of color-tinted rubber circles on an arm: red (heart disease); yellow (testicular cancer); blue (arthritis); teal (cervical cancer); ;&nbsp;green (liver cancer); purple (Alzheimer*s disease); a rainbow braid (LGBTQI); and the almost omnipresent pink (breast cancer).</p> <p>These designer accessories〞the products of feel-good cause marketing campaigns〞have, to date, offered individuals an outlet for their ※political§ self-identification. But for the future, it seems they are possibly to be restyled to also become technologically <a href="http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2014/mar/chemical-testing-bracelets" target="_blank">enhanced forms of ※arm candy.§</a></p> <p>In brief, some clever researchers appear to be taking &nbsp;advantage of silicone's ability to absorb compounds to which it is exposed. By developing a way to measure what is captured in the silicone, they may then be able to determine what chemicals are probably entering an individual*s body and subsequently link these exposures to conditions and diseases she may later develop.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46306" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:33:14 +0000 cwhn 46306 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - &Getting off* the barriers https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46301 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>At a sexuality conference in Guelph, Ontario about 20 years ago, I watched in awe as a man using a wheelchair danced at a social event with his partner seated on his lap. It was mesmerizing. That was my introduction to the now more commonly acknowledged fact that people with disabilities are sexual beings. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But it is one of the persistent myths about people with disabilities that they do not have sexual lives, despite the fact that as the Canadian population ages more and more of us will become disabled in one way or another. The current figure of <a href="http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=40" target="_blank">14 per cent of Canadians with disabilities</a> does not even cover chronic conditions. We will all have to make adjustments in our sexual lives as we develop the diseases of aging like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis or other mobility problems. Our sexual self persists despite these barriers. My mum was still asking me to pluck out her chin hairs just months before she died.</p> <p>Disabilities include mobility issues, spinal cord injury, head trauma, hearing or vision impairments, as well as psychological and mental health issues. Aside from the disability itself, sometimes treating the conditions of the disabilities can interfere with people*s sexuality. For example, medication for heart disease or diabetes may further affect a person*s ability to enjoy their sexual life. Surgeries to treat certain conditions can leave nerve damage in key areas, affecting one*s sexual response. Some people who have lived with mental disabilities for years have found that their medications affect their desire and ability to have an orgasm. Negative sexual symptoms from anti-depressant use may even persist after discontinuing the medication.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46301" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:05:58 +0000 cwhn 46301 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Sex work https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46280 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>On December 20, 2013, the morning the Supreme Court of Canada struck down three aspects of the prostitution law, my phone started ringing off the hook. Three Radio Canada programs were asking for interviews. Luckily, I had recently given a talk to a francophone agency arguing (unsuccessfully) in favour of decriminalization and had a file full of information in French. Some interviews were wide ranging discussions〞from the specifics of the decision (solicitation, ※living off the avails§ and keeping a bawdy house) to my opinion on what the new and improved law should look like.</p> <p>These 2013 interviews had nothing in common with what I would have said 40 years earlier.</p> <p>In 1968, I had clear (and rigid) views about both prostitution and pornography. I have written in this space about my evolution regarding the latter. Like pornography, for me prostitution was rooted in sexism and therefore exploitative. End of story. &nbsp;</p> <p>As prostitutes* rights groups began to form in the mid-70s, they changed the language of the discussion. The term ※sex work§ required us to consider prostitution as work. I eventually came to accept the term and all that it implied, but was still unable to accept the notion that some people <em>chose </em>to do this kind of work.</p> <p>Part of my assignment for a while at a local public health agency was teaming up with a community centre to do the rounds of places where local street-level workers hung out. We discreetly distributed condoms and information, while on the lookout for the police. These tours did little to disabuse me of the notion that there was ※choice§ involved in the trade. Most of the women we encountered had personal stories of abuse and subsequent addiction to crack cocaine. We got to know some of the women, like Debbie.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46280" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Mon, 03 Mar 2014 06:08:47 +0000 cwhn 46280 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN - Journalists: Stop blaming women https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46237 <p><strong>By Kelly Holloway</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/10/sexual_assault_and_drinking_teach_women_the_connection.html" target="_blank">Emily Yoffe*s article ※College Women: Stop Getting Drunk§</a> published in <em><a href="http://www.slate.com/" target="_blank">Slate</a></em> is yet another example in a long line of highly problematic advice to women to stop dressing, talking, walking or acting in a way that makes them victims of sexual assault. Nothing that a woman does justifies sexual assault. Period. The author*s defensiveness about being painted with that brush does nothing to dissuade that reading; she is blaming women for sexual assault.</p> <p>Yoffe argues that the common denominator in the cases of women being sexually assaulted by their male classmates is copious amounts of alcohol. In fact, the common denominator is assault. If, as Yoffe suggests, some of the men who perpetrate these assaults are not thinking clearly because they are drunk, then perhaps they are the ones who should not drink. They are, after all, the perpetrators.</p> <p>It is despicable to suggest that the solution is to tell women to stop drinking so much to curtail sexual assault. First, sexual assault does not take place because women drink. Second, if women curtail their drinking habits there will still be sexual assault.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-best-of-cwhn"> <div class="field-label">Best of CWHN:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Best of CWHN </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46237" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:50:40 +0000 cwhn 46237 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - The case against hormonal contraception https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46245 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>I*m no big fan of hormonal contraception. That said, it has its place in the limited birth control options available to women. As I have written here before, the principle〞as always〞is informed choice and individual circumstance. ※Informed§ is the operative word and the provenance of the information is critical. Nevertheless, with the recent demonization of hormonal methods, I feel like weighing in once again and trying to seek some kind of balance.</p> <h6> <hr /> For a related article, see also the <a href="/c1f/en/networkmagazine/reviewsweeteningthepill" target="_blank"><em>Network</em> book review of <em>Sweetening the Pill</em></a><em> <hr /> </em></h6> <p>A friend posted an <a href="http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/16799-gates-foundation-pushing-dangerous-contraceptives-on-black-populations" target="_blank">article on Facebook from <em>The New American</em></a> about Depo Provera and how the Gates Foundation was ※killing African women.§ I started to read the article on which the post was based and got as far as the statement that Depo causes STIs and cervical cancer.</p> <p>The Rebecca Project For Human Rights* Kwame Fosu quoted the reverend Dr. Randy Short,: ※The used [sic] of Depo Provera contributes to and in several cases causes life threatening diseases and medical problems: cervical cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, heart attack, sterility, miscarriages, HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia, and other STIs/STDs.§</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46245" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:41:15 +0000 cwhn 46245 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN - My sexual education in the 1950s https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46213 <p><strong>By Mary J. Breen</strong></p> <p><strong>Reprinted from <em><a href="http://the-toast.net/2013/07/31/my-sexual-education-in-the-1950s/#idc-container" target="_blank">The Toast</a></em></strong></p> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" align="left"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img style="float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" src="/sites/default/files/images/shewasbaffled.jpg" alt="" width="278" height="600" /></td> </tr> <tr> <td> <h6>Image from <a href="http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/search?q=%22she+was+baffled%22" target="_blank">Vintage Ad Browser</a></h6> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Once upon a time long ago in my small Ontario town, menstrual pads were called sanitary napkins, and they came in boxes wrapped in plain brown paper lest any man see them and drop dead from embarrassment. These pads were about an inch thick〞bulky, awkward things that were held in place with little twisty belts or safety pins. To be extra safe, some women even wore special rubber-lined underpants. This was long before the wonders of stick-on ultra-thin pads with wings. When revolutionary new things called tampons arrived on the drugstore shelf, I set about trying to convince my mother of their superiority based on the fact that one could hide a whole month*s-worth in a purse, but nothing I said convinced her to let me buy them. Tampons, she said每whispered actually, barely containing her disgust每were only for married women. Perhaps, like the Archbishop of Dublin who banned them in Ireland around this time, she thought tampons had the potential to be sexually stimulating. Someone should have told these people that sometimes a tampon is just a tampon.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46213" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:39:57 +0000 cwhn 46213 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Pap registries: Do it right https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46211 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Well, it turns out I don*t have cervical cancer. At least, that*s what Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has told me in an unsolicited letter. Like many women, I usually expect to hear from my doctor if there are abnormal results. No news has been good news in the past. Getting my Pap test results from CCO in the mail was a bit of a shock.</p> <p>I had heard about these letters from Ayesha Adhami, who runs a women*s sexual health centre in Toronto. She was concerned for her teenage clients, some of whom have little privacy. Lots of moms would find it difficult to resist opening a letter with the word ※cancer§ in the return address. So a young woman may find that her Pap test results have already been read by a snoopy parent or guardian〞and that*s not good.</p> <p>I called the number provided to ask some questions and to give them feedback about the letter and its accompanying pamphlet. The woman I spoke to was pleasant and took notes.</p> <p>I first expressed surprise at receiving a letter from the provincial government about my Pap test results.</p> <p>She said women were supposed to receive an initial letter to advise them of follow-up letters. I didn*t. Like cable companies who operate on an ※opt out§ system, if you don*t call when you receive the first letter, you will continue to receive them.</p> <p>I shared my above concerns about confidentiality. She commiserated.</p> <p>Then I painstakingly reviewed the letter and pamphlet while she listened patiently.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46211" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Sun, 01 Dec 2013 12:07:02 +0000 cwhn 46211 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN: Do psychotropic medications increase disability rates in Canada? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46190 <p><strong>By Rosemary Barnes and Susan Schellenberg</strong></p> <p>Advances in medicine are intended to improve life for the ill or injured. So, have advances in medicine improved life for those with mental illness? American journalist and author <a href="http://robertwhitaker.org/robertwhitaker.org/Anatomy%20of%20an%20Epidemic.html" target="_blank">Robert Whitaker</a> asks this question in relation to psychotropic medication, first introduced in the 1950s and generally described as a significant advance in care of those with mental illness.&nbsp;</p> <p>Consider the experiences of Susan Schellenberg, co-author of this article and of the book <em><a href="http://www.susanschellenberg.com/Susan_Schellenberg/writing.html" target="_blank">Committed to the Sane Asylum</a></em>. A former public health nurse, Susan experienced a psychotic break in 1969 and understood that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. By 1969, antipsychotic medication was the widely accepted treatment for schizophrenia, and doctors prescribed this treatment for her.</p> <p>Susan wanted to be a good mother to her young children, so she took antipsychotic medication as directed for the next 10 years. During this time, she was offered no other treatment and developed increasingly severe speech difficulties and tremors that she came to understand to be adverse effects of the medication. After committing to a better life for herself, Susan found a doctor willing to help her to discontinue psychotropic medication and took up various healing activities. By the early 1980s, she was no longer taking medication and was feeling much better. She then tried to return to nursing, but was only able to achieve a mark of 11 per cent in a nursing refresher course. Could Susan*s experience point to a more general problem?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46190" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Thu, 31 Oct 2013 05:36:38 +0000 cwhn 46190 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Treating pelvic pain https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46188 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>My file on vulvar pain stretches back several decades. One thing has not changed: a woman may seek up to 10 medical opinions before getting a correct diagnosis and possible help. In the absence of pathogens or a clear physical ailment, a woman*s concerns tend to be dismissed as being ※all in your head.§</p> <p>At a meeting of the Sexual Health Network of Ontario in September, I was absolutely floored to learn about the use of physiotherapy to treat chronic pelvic pain (CPP). A sex therapist, a physiotherapist and a health advocate talked about pelvic pain, which can include vestibulodynia (pain at the "front porch" of the vagina), vulvodynia (pain in the superficial tissues of the vulva, also used as a general term for vulvar pain), clitordynia (pain at the clitoris) vaginismus, (the inability to have penetration into the vagina) clitoral pain, pain from endometriosis (where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus) and interstitial cystitis (a condition that involves pain, frequency and urgency). (<a href="http://www.pelvichealthsolutions.ca/for-the-patient/" target="_blank">More about these conditions</a>).</p> <p>I was entirely ignorant that physiotherapists could be rostered by their college to do a manual pelvic exam and treat CPP. According to Pelvic Health Solutions, research has shown that treatments carried out by a physiotherapist for pelvic floor problems are highly successful, and should be the first line of defense for both pelvic pain and incontinence.</p> <p>Many of us were told that we should do our Kegels (pelvic floor exercises) to prevent some of these issues. But Kegels are not a one-size-fits-all exercise. There are Kegels where you tighten and relax; and reverse Kegels where the goal is to relax and open the pelvic muscles. The prescribed exercise depends on the condition.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46188" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Thu, 31 Oct 2013 05:28:46 +0000 cwhn 46188 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - There*s an app for that https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46157 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Having worked in a sexual health clinic for so many years, I thought I had seen and heard it all, including imaginative self treatment for various bumps and secretions〞following self-diagnosis. Only when these treatments repeatedly failed, would they come to the clinic, saying, ※I researched it.§This usually meant they had done a Google search and landed in Wiki land. However, I applauded the do-it-yourself approach when a client told me she was using an app on her smart phone to chart her menstrual cycles (e.g., <a href="https://www.justisse-charting-app.com/" target="_blank">Justisse Charting App</a><a href="https://www.justisse-charting-app.com/"></a>). I also approved heartily when some Public Health Units started using e-cards to inform infected partners they should get tested.</p> <p>But an app for diagnosing sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? That*s where DIY may cross the line.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.wired.com/business/2013/03/std-triage/" target="_blank">Wired Magazine</a> </em>interviewed the Swedish orthopedic surgeon who developed an app that would allow users to take pictures of suspicious spots on the skin (e.g., unusual moles) and send them for interpretation to a licensed dermatologist in Europe. One dermatologist interviewed on CBC about this technology dismissed it as highly unreliable for finding precancerous conditions. But while this may discourage some from using the app for serious dermatological problems, others have found a different use:&nbsp; sending pictures of unusual spots on their genitals, specifically to diagnose STIs.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46157" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Thu, 03 Oct 2013 04:10:30 +0000 cwhn 46157 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN - Women*s health and the sum of our choices https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46126 <p><strong>By Kathleen McDonnell</strong></p> <p>This year marks a double milestone in the struggle for women*s reproductive rights. 2013 is the 25<sup>th</sup>anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that repealed Canada's abortion law, as well as the 40<sup>th</sup> anniversary of <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. Though serious inequalities of access persist on both sides of the border, abortion is a fact of life in North America and having access to safe abortion is vital to women*s health. The battle is over. Our side won. Apparently, the news never got through to two Conservative MPs who recently called for the RCMP to investigate nearly 500 late-term abortions carried out between 2000 and 2009 as possible murders. In other words, they want the Mounties to track down women who*ve undergone the procedure and subject them to invasive, traumatic questioning, possibly resulting in criminal charges. This is a grossly heavy-handed tactic, and one that*s wildly out of-step with the public mood on the issue.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46126" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Wed, 11 Sep 2013 14:42:45 +0000 cwhn 46126 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Oral sex 每 is the getting still good? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46124 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Besides Human Papillomavirus (HPV), there are other issues that should be raised following <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/audio/2013/jun/03/michael-douglas-cancer-cunnilingus-transcript" target="_blank">Michael Douglas* oral sex and throat cancer theory</a>.</p> <p>Who*s giving, who*s getting, who*s at risk and who cares?</p> <p>Let*s start with cunnilingus (a very good place to start, some would say). There have always been negative attitudes about oral sex on women because of repugnance towards female genitals. Apparently, we smell, we*re dirty; and we don*t look the way we should. Feminine hygiene products included Lysol in the early days of making women feel bad about their genital scent. Female genital cosmetic cutting and anal bleaching are the contemporary equivalents. However, it would appear that some people have gotten over that prejudice, because in films and on TV, men are going down on women in droves, not to mention woman on woman action as well. However, I*ve met many young men who gave their female partners oral sex, but didn*t want their male friends to know; it was considered unmanly.</p> <p>Interestingly, there are also prejudices against oral sex on a man. I worked with young women who said they could never kiss their baby after they had put their mouth on a man*s penis.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46124" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:45:21 +0000 cwhn 46124 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Sex ed: Let*s get real https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46087 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Sexual health curricula. Who writes them, and for whom? &nbsp;Is a curriculum written for the benefit of students; or is their language carefully edited to assuage dissenting organizations and reassure jittery bureaucrats? When new curricula are published, opponents of sexual health education will inevitably be poised to cherry pick material to discredit the contents. Provincial governments worry about political backlash to progressive sex education that teaches about pleasure, choice, inclusion and current sexual realities.</p> <p>And yet, that is the job of a sex educator.</p> <p>Comprehensive sexuality education is critical to society. In Canada, it has been partly responsible for the dramatic drop in adolescent pregnancy since the 1970s, the other factors being increased availability of effective birth control, and access to abortion. But sexual health education must go far beyond birth control and sexually transmitted infections. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as ※a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality§ requiring ※a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.§</p> <p>How does sexuality education support children*s development so they become sexually healthy individuals? The <a href="http://www.sieccan.org/pdf/guidelines-eng.pdf" target="_blank">Canadian guidelines to sexual health education</a> are a good start and required reading for anyone planning on offering it. But there are a few contemporary issues I would like to address.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46087" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 02 Aug 2013 00:09:55 +0000 cwhn 46087 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Confused about Pap tests? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/46034 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>When the <a href="http://www.cmaj.ca/content/185/1/35" target="_blank">Canadian Medical Association recommendations</a> on new guidelines for screening for cervical cancer came out recently<a href="http://www.cmaj.ca/content/185/1/35"></a> several of my sexual health colleagues were aghast. They asked me if it was part of an austerity program〞cutbacks on screening programs.<strong> </strong>In my opinion, not this time.</p> <p>Women and health-care providers are well aware that regular Pap testing is essential to women*s health. Pap screening has reduced deaths from cervical cancer by 70 per cent. The reason it has been so effective is that when irregular cells are detected, a woman can be followed and treated when necessary to prevent these cells from becoming cancer. Cervical cancer is very slow growing (10 to 20 years).</p> <p>Until recently, most women were told they needed an annual Pap test. It was often done at the annual health exam. Some clinics tied it to birth control pill renewal to ensure that women were screened.</p> <p>The most notable changes from the CMA are the recommended age to begin testing and the interval between tests.</p> <p>According to the CMA, testing should begin at age 25. Regular screening should take place at three-year intervals until age 70. There are, of course, exceptions, in particular for women with symptoms of cervical cancer or previous abnormal test results on cervical screening; and for immunosuppressed women (e.g., women with HIV/AIDS).</p> <p>The CMA*s reasoning is that while there is strong evidence for screening women 30 to 69, the value of screening and the balance of benefits and harms for women outside this age group is unclear. That is why the recommendation for routine screening for women 25 to 29 is weaker; and the recommendation for women 20 to 24 is for not routinely screening for cervical cancer; the CMA also recommends ending screening at the age of 70.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/46034" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:21:07 +0000 cwhn 46034 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Birth control 每 whose choice? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45993 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Ask a woman if she is using birth control and she will likely tell you whether or not she is taking ※the pill.§ For most women, they are synonymous. Often, she*ll ask her doctor to ※put§ her on the birth control pill, which conjures the image of a five-minute consultation, prescription pad at the ready. Do the words ※informed consent§ have any real meaning when it comes to birth control?</p> <p>Women who need birth control are likely to change methods several times during their reproductive years depending on their age, health status, income, partner(s) and number of children. Knowing those circumstances is key to assisting a woman in finding the method that suits her at that particular time in her life. While health-care providers may have prejudices and biases regarding certain methods, the operative word should always be ※choice§: hers.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45993" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Mon, 03 Jun 2013 22:35:43 +0000 cwhn 45993 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Adolescent sexuality: Out of hand? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45945 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Actually, it seems to be <em>in</em> their hands. Handheld devices give teenagers access to sexual images〞including unsolicited images of their peers〞as well as anything they could possibly want to know about sex, both positive and negative. The unsolicited photos are an obvious negative, but some of the positives are that they can find a clinic, text a health agency for information, even let a partner know anonymously that they have an STI and need to get tested.</p> <p>With the increase in information from all sources, there have been some real advances in sexual health for adolescents and young adults; but there are still serious problems. So what are they really up to?</p> <p>Media messages mislead adults about adolescent sexual activity, giving the impression that they are having sex at increasingly younger ages. <a href="http://www.sexualityandu.ca/sexual-health/statistics1/statistics-on-sexual-intercourse-experience-among-canadian-teenagers" target="_blank">Federal and provincial health surveys seem to tell a different story.</a> In 1996, 32 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds reported that they had had (vaginal) intercourse; in 2003 and 2009, it was 30 per cent. Moreover, for 18- to 19-year-olds, fewer are reporting having had intercourse than previously. In 1996, it was 70 per cent; in 2009, it dropped to 68 per cent<a href="http://www.sexualityandu.ca/sexual-health/statistics1/statistics-on-sexual-intercourse-experience-among-canadian-teenagers"></a>.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45945" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 26 Apr 2013 05:38:03 +0000 cwhn 45945 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Body hair https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45906 <h2>... when shiny and full are not the operative words</h2> <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>In the shampoo ads on television, ※a woman*s glory§ shines and shimmies. She runs her hands through it, swishing it back and forth like a living mane, mesmerizing viewers, inviting them to get their hands on it too. But if your legs are like a pelt, no one seems to want to run their hands through that, at least not in the ads.</p> <p>Standards of beauty vary of course through eras and cultures. In North America, hair removal has extended to men, too. These days ※bears§ (hairy men) have become a specific category for their mostly male admirers.</p> <p>It has been argued that the prevalence of pornographic images of hairless women with girlish vulvas sparked the current mass removal of pubic hair. Whatever the reason, women are taking off their body hair in droves〞if the proliferation of waxing salons in my neighbourhood is any indication.</p> <p>In the changing room at my local gym, where most of women are not at all shy, I have seen everything from naked vulvas, to a ※landing strip§, to the full, classic look. And yes, there*s fashion when it comes to vulvas. I have also seen a few women with lush leg hair. I freely admit, although that look was more common in the 60s and 70s, it*s a shocker to see, because it is so far from the current norm.</p> <p>Women choose many ways to remove hair, some permanent and some painful. Each method also comes with some health risks. Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that requires training to perform and usually needs multiple sessions. Women are told to expect discomfort and temporary skin discoloration.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45906" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Tue, 02 Apr 2013 04:13:50 +0000 cwhn 45906 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Women, sex and substance use: chicken and egg? https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45871 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>The risk of developing alcohol or marijuana ※dependence disorders§ for young people is linked to the number of sex partners they have, according to a recent article published in the <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23400516" target="_blank"><em>Archives of Sexual Behavior</em></a>.</p> <p>The researchers say that alcohol and marijuana use may encourage sexual behaviour.</p> <p>There*s a shocker. The reason they link multiple sex partners and later substance abuse is because they are both part of a cluster of risk-taking behaviours that happen in adolescence and young adulthood. The association in the research was stronger for women. They added that the alcohol industry encourages the view that alcohol is entertainment, and that young women are encouraged to keep up with the boys.</p> <p>The study was done in New Zealand where the ads for alcohol mirror our own in their intent. Ann Dowsett Johnston in her article <a href="/en/networkmagazine/womenandalcohol" target="_blank">※Women and Alcohol: To Your Health?§</a> published in <em>Network</em> magazine refers to Mike*s Hard Pink Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice Light, wines like MommyJuice and Stepping Up to the Plate, berry-flavoured vodkas, Vex Strawberry Smoothies, coolers in flavours like kiwi mango, green apple, wild grape; and alcopop, also known as the cooler, ※chick beer§ or ※starter drinks.§ Judging from the statistics of alcohol consumption for young women, the ads have been very successful.</p> <p>While the <em>Archives</em> article also discusses anxiety and depression, what interests me is the notion of ※risk-taking behaviours.§</p> <p>People who lack the basics for good health tend to have <a href="http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/determinants/determinants-eng.php" target="_blank">risky health behaviours</a>, like tobacco and alcohol abuse. So do people who are survivors of sexual abuse.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45871" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 15 Mar 2013 22:02:13 +0000 cwhn 45871 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - The sticky question of pornography https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45842 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>About 40 years ago, feminists were making a distinction between pornography and erotic films. Of course no one was able to quite put their finger on the difference, although it was easy to hate pornography after Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace revealed her abuse during the 1972 filming; or Bonnie Sherr Klein*s Not a Love Story showed us the shockingly exploitative side of adult entertainment. For some of us, <em>all</em> pornography is exploitative, demeaning and violent.</p> <p>Enter women who began to make erotica for women, followed by women who started making porn for women. Today there are plenty of women who consider themselves feminist and who love their porn.</p> <p>So what*s a girl to do?</p> <p>As a sex educator, I believe that a big downside of pornography is the role it has played in the sex education of boys. I winced during a sexual health workshop with adolescents when a male student said, ※it*s not like that in porn, miss.§ I could just picture him playing out some of the common sexual acts in contemporary pornography without asking for consent. Pornography creates a script for adolescent sexuality as do music videos and reality shows. Not being a consumer, I had to do a lot of reading to familiarize myself with the current norms in pornography, such as ※facials§ and ※double penetration.§</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45842" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Tue, 05 Mar 2013 17:36:38 +0000 cwhn 45842 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN - Being proactive about your breast health https://www.google.com//c1f/en/tothepoint/beingproactiveaboutyourbreasthealth <p><strong>By Verna Hunt</strong></p> <p>Women and girls of all ages in today*s culture are stamped with the colour pink as the fantasy for the fairy princess lives they are lead to believe they should yearn for. It is like a plastic film that society puts over us at birth. Onward from birth they are made to think that nothing other than a fantasy life should ever happen to them. Never get old. Never get sick. Never be sad or mad or frightened. Women should be perfect〞in pink. This is not reality. As a result women often feel that they are not ※good enough§ in the inevitable imperfect lives they lead, and their breasts are no exception.</p> <p>Another unreality propagated by campaigns such as ※the pink§ is that there is a cure for every disease and that it can be discovered if the medical scientists just have enough money to discover this magic bullet cure.</p> <p>Our culture does not teach coping strategies for tragedies such as someone near and dear to us or even ourselves developing a disease such as breast cancer. So, in an effort to turn our understandable emotional strife into something constructive, crusades such as the Pink Ribbon Campaign have evolved. Often they end up as a business enterprise unto themselves more interested in keeping the organization going than looking at how to serve humanity.</p> <p>But what is the point of it all? Is the point to find the cure for breast cancer, or is the point to find the cause for lack of breast health? The Pink Ribbon Campaign is a distraction from what is really going on with breast health. All of the pink sound bites urge us to pitch in and find the cure like there is a missing link of knowledge, a holy grail, the one thing that will solve it all. Our society tries to commodify everything as if we all have the exact same disease. It is like assuming that we all wear the same size and style of shoes.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/tothepoint/beingproactiveaboutyourbreasthealth" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Fri, 15 Feb 2013 22:02:13 +0000 cwhn 45807 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - I*ve been thinking about orgasm https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45810 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>For years, women have been told we are responsible for our own orgasms; no one can hand it to us on a silver platter. And most of us can manage to get there very nicely on our own, thank you.</p> <p>There are some obvious blocks to orgasm, like prior trauma, repressive sexual upbringing, shyness, overthinking, inability to relax, control issues, problems in the relationship or other stresses. What is a partner*s role in a woman*s desire or ability to come?</p> <p>Two-thirds of women who have sex with men don*t have orgasms during vaginal intercourse. These women often minimize their desire for it, saying they enjoy the good feelings and intimacy that they get during sex. But women*s partners〞male or female〞sometimes feel cheated, both by women*s lack of desire for orgasm or because they don*t know how to get us there. There*s nothing new here. Shere Hite reported the same dilemma in the 1970s (<em>The Hite Report</em>, 1976). Communication is, of course, key. But ※I really want you to come§ may be perceived as pressure. ※How can I get you there?§ assumes that*s where you want to go. On the other hand (so to speak), ※I want to come. Let me show/tell you what to do§ sounds like a plan.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45810" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 15 Feb 2013 21:44:53 +0000 cwhn 45810 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Sexual assault 每 Seeking a sea change https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45762 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>At the end of 2012, when a 23-year-old woman in India was viciously attacked and later died of her injuries, it touched off a movement which will hopefully have a profound effect on their culture. Not surprisingly, there is no such movement in the Congo where rape continues to be used against both men and women as a weapon of war. During the last American presidential election, the absurd and enraging remarks about rape and pregnancy got a lot of press as well as more activity from women*s organizations in a long time. In a Toronto neighbourhood last summer, people came together after a series of sexual assaults, resulting in well-attended and well-publicized demonstrations.</p> <p>And yet, despite decades of feminism and talk of ※rape culture§ we do not seem to have affected a fundamental shift in thinking in Canada.</p> <p>Working in middle school and high school classrooms for three decades, I dedicated considerable time to issues of gender equality, including developing an education module on sexual assault specifically in a dating situation.&nbsp;</p> <p>Years ago, I was in a class of Grade 8 students, 13-year-olds. We were working through the first part of an exercise on sexual assault. I was asking them to respond to a list of statements. It was interesting that they often gave the thumbs up to what they thought was the ※correct§ answer. For example, ※no always means no§ almost universally got a yes. Then, I would explore why some girls and women may say no at first, but then seem to accept the advance. They understood that some girls and women don*t like to be considered ※easy§; that they worry about their reputations. They also understood that the tone of voice or body language could lend their ※no§ a certain ambiguity, resulting in miscommunication, especially if alcohol was involved.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45762" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Tue, 29 Jan 2013 18:52:08 +0000 cwhn 45762 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Great sex https://www.google.com//c1f/en/SpringTalksSex/greatsex <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Do you ever watch a movie, riveted by those slow, languorous, delicious lovemaking scenes; or the rip-your-clothes-off-and-get-sweaty-in-the-heat-of-the-moment scenes that make you want to howl at the moon: ※I want that!§</p> <p>Sex columnist, Dan Savage, says as partners, we are to be ※good, giving and game.§ I don*t know about you, but I think some more specific guidelines for good sex would be really useful.</p> <p><a href="http://www.reuniting.info/recipe_for_great_sex_orgasm_optional" target="_blank">A wonderful piece of research</a> asked the question about great sex to an eclectic group of participants. I had jotted down the list below of the common themes that emerged, tucked it away and then forgotten where I*d seen it.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>being present </li> <li>connection</li> <li>deep sexual and erotic intimacy</li> <li>communication</li> <li>interpersonal risk-taking and exploration</li> <li>authenticity</li> <li>vulnerability</li> <li>transcendence</li> </ul> <p>So this is my personal take on these themes.&nbsp; Feel free to compare them to the original research.</p> <p>Being present: We hear more and more these days about the importance of being fully present in all of our activities. When you are with someone〞here and now〞and they are with you too, your presence creates the basis for physical and emotional intimacy. If you are truly there with each other, every move you make, every caress and kiss given and taken with deliberation resonates with both of you.</p> <p>Connection: Presence forms the basis for connection because you are embarking on a journey together. Although our sensations are our own, being connected to another person sensually allows both to appreciate the other*s sensations.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/SpringTalksSex/greatsex" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Wed, 09 Jan 2013 18:55:43 +0000 cwhn 45710 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN - Unpacking the great mammography debate https://www.google.com//c1f/en/tothepoint/unpackingmammography <p><strong>By Cornelia J. Baines&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Since the late 1980s people have argued heatedly about the usefulness of mammography screening, especially in women aged 40 to 49. This unceasing controversy continues. Burgeoning new research in the first decade of 2000 clearly revealed that therapy was outweighing the impact of mammography in terms of mortality reduction. But the defence of screening persists. In September 2012, the <a href="http://jms.rsmjournals.com/content/19/suppl_1.toc" target="_blank"><em>Journal of Medical Screening</em></a> (JMS) issued a supplement reporting that, based on European data, screening benefits were unquestionable. I document the flaws underlying this conclusion, but these flaws are more easily understood when framed by the controversy*s history. So I outline events up to 2000 and then critique the JMS message.</p> <p>Since 2000, many downsides of screening have been widely reported. Twenty-one hundred (2,100) women aged 40 to 49 must be screened every two years for 11 years to avoid one breast cancer death. Of these, 700 women endure false-positive screens leading to unnecessary diagnostic work-up and anxiety, and ten to 15 will be over-diagnosed and receive unnecessary breast cancer treatment. (Having breast cancer, I am appalled that anyone might undergo unnecessary therapy.)&nbsp; Importantly, contrary to expectations, screening has not reduced subsequent incidence of advanced cancers, a prerequisite for successful screening.</p> <p>The good news is that even in jurisdictions without screening programs, breast cancer death rates have declined to the same extent as observed in screened populations, with declines even in women in their 30s to whom screening is not offered. The message is clear: breast cancer treatment has radically improved over the last few decades leaving little opportunity for screening to help. And downsides to screening are incontrovertible.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/tothepoint/unpackingmammography" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Wed, 19 Dec 2012 04:42:37 +0000 cwhn 45604 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Monogamy https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45593 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Recently in a radio interview, a sexologist suggested that flirting with other people could be a very positive addition to a monogamous relationship if both parties were confident in themselves and the relationship. Flirting can indeed be titillating for a couple, sparking their own romance and intimacy. It can be seen as complimentary (someone is interested in my partner, which means that my choice of partner is a desirable one). Or it can be just plain stressful: one more thing to fight or worry about.</p> <p>We sometimes make the assumption that monogamous couples don*t step outside the relationship; but it depends entirely on their ※deal.§ The deal can be no stepping outside. Or it can be no stepping outside without telling me. Or no stepping outside without sharing all the details for our mutual enjoyment. Or no stepping outside without using protection. Any of these permutations can work〞if you work it out beforehand. U.S. sex columnist Dan Savage likes to use the term ※monogamish§ for couples who are mostly monogamous.</p> <p>Teenagers and young adults tend to engage in serial monogamy〞one partner for a period of time, followed by a break-up, mourning period, and then a new relationship.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are other types of long-term relationships which are not monogamous.</p> <p>Casual sexual relationships (CSRs) were the topic of two articles in recent issues of <em>The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality</em>. They were identified as ※one-night stands, booty calls, fuck buddies and friends with benefits.§ CSRs are quite common amongst young adults. I haven*t read any studies on other age groups, but I can assure you, casual sexual relationships&nbsp; exist at all ages from teenagers to seniors.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45593" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Sun, 16 Dec 2012 06:11:28 +0000 cwhn 45593 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Sex after baby https://www.google.com//c1f/en/SpringTalksSex/sexafterbaby <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>After my first baby (18-hour labour plus episiotomy without anesthetic) I thought I would never let anyone near me again〞not even myself. The thought of peeing or having a bowel movement was inconceivable. And yet, we continue to pee, shit and have sex. How do we get back to that beautiful place?</p> <p>Every woman, every delivery and every baby is different, as is a woman*s relationship status at delivery. What follows are some general remarks about sex after baby.</p> <p>No matter how ※easy§ or difficult the delivery, every woman has to heal after childbirth. With a Caesarean section, clearly the healing period is longer: it is major surgery. Immediately, the baby*s needs are paramount. Anyone who has heard a newborn cry can attest to that. If there is a partner on the scene, hopefully they get it. You are sore. You are tired. If you are breastfeeding, your vagina (when it heals) tends to be dry. Your libido has been tamped down by all of the above.</p> <p>You may not feel particularly gorgeous. Some women spend their pregnancies feeling undesirable, others highly sexual. If you are breastfeeding, you may feel closer to other mammals than any human except your baby. You probably feel ※touched out§ and want to get some of your body integrity back.</p> <p>That said, if you have a partner and you want them to stay in your life while you go through this incredible adjustment, it means sharing tenderness. Everybody gets some.</p> <p>Hopefully, you were still engaged in some way with your partner right up to the birth, whether with loving words, sweet kisses, warm embraces or other sexual activity. Some pregnant women prefer fingers or oral sex to other vaginal activity, especially close to the birth. For others, all physical contact may have come to a full stop long before.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/SpringTalksSex/sexafterbaby" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Thu, 29 Nov 2012 01:07:24 +0000 cwhn 45542 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Raising sexually healthy children 每 Part 2 https://www.google.com//c1f/en/springtalkssex/raisingsexuallyhealthychildrenpart2 <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong></p> <p>Welcome back and thanks for your comments. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>In parenting workshops, we like to use practice questions as a group to discuss possible answers. Here are a few examples for children aged 3 to 9.</p> <p><em>Mummy, why are you bleeding?</em></p> <p>Even if you close the door when you*re changing your pad, tampon or washing out your cup, three-year-olds haven*t quite grasped the concept of privacy. Although common guidelines suggest just answering what is asked, in this case, you may want to consider what is <em>not</em> being asked; namely, ※are you hurt?§</p> <p><em>※Honey, I didn*t cut myself. I*m not hurt. The blood is coming from inside and will stop in a few days. It*s normal.§</em></p> <p>Of course, that still doesn*t answer the question: ※Why?§&nbsp; Until recently, I was suggesting, ※Because my body is showing me I*m not going to have a baby§; but that doesn*t cover every woman*s situation.</p> <p>In the same way, <em>※Where do babies come from?§ </em>can be a minefield. Cory Silverberg*s book, <a href="http://www.what-makes-a-baby.com/" target="_blank"><em>What Makes a Baby?</em></a> speaks to everyone, no matter how their child was ※made.§ &nbsp;LGBTQ parents who use assisted reproduction or adopt will appreciate the way he leaves the details to the parent, while sticking to some very basic notions about sperm and egg.</p> <p>Some people like to start with, ※Where do you think they come from?§ to tease out the correct information from the bizarre. In my experience, for a three-year-old, ※They grow inside their mummy*s body§ seems to be generally acceptable. If the next question is, ※Where?§ the answer can be, ※In a special place called the uterus.§</p> <p><em>※How does it get inside?§</em></p> <p><em>※It grows from something very small.§</em></p> <p><em>※Hunh?§</em></p> <p><em>※To make a baby, you need something from a man and something from a woman.§</em></p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/springtalkssex/raisingsexuallyhealthychildrenpart2" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Thu, 08 Nov 2012 20:55:49 +0000 cwhn 45458 at/c1f GUEST COLUMN - Looking my age https://www.google.com//c1f/en/Tothepoint/lookingmyage <p><em>Sometimes we come across women*s health issues that are simply crying out for a response, be they from the world of research, from popular media, or from the experiences of individual women. At the CWHN we decided to create a space for that response here on our website, and to invite guest commentaries from people with health knowledge and expertise who are willing to speak out and get "To the point" about some of these issues. Watch this space for informed guest columns with a new topic every month. And let us know what you think by writing to us at <a href="mailto:cwhn@cwhn.ca">cwhn@cwhn.ca</a>. <br /></em></p> <hr /> <p><strong>By Abby Lippman</strong></p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/Tothepoint/lookingmyage" target="_blank">read more</a></p> To the point Thu, 01 Nov 2012 00:09:40 +0000 cwhn 45434 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - Raising sexually healthy children 每 Part 1 https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45407 <p><em>The CWHN is happy to introduce to those who don*t already know her, Lyba Spring, a sexual health educator who spent nearly 30 years with Toronto Public Health. Working in schools with children and teens, counselling in a sexual health clinic, giving workshops, university lectures and doing guest spots on TV, Lyba has addressed every aspect of sexuality from safer sex and gender identity, to raising sexually healthy children and female ejaculation.&nbsp; From sex workers and principals, to staff in long term care facilities, she has worked with them all〞in English, French and Spanish.</em></p> <p><em>Lyba will be blogging for us every two weeks on a range of topics relating to women and sexual health. She welcomes your feedback and suggestions</em></p> <p><em>We think Lyba is a treasure. We hope you will, too.</em></p> <p><em>You can contact Lyba at: <a href="mailto:springtalks1@gmail.com">springtalks1@gmail.com</a> <br /></em></p> <hr /> <h6><em>Information provided by the CWHN is not a substitute for professional medical advice.&nbsp;If you feel you need medical attention, please see your health care provider.</em></h6> <p><em> </em></p> <hr /> <p><em> </em></p> <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong><img style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" src="/sites/default/files/images/Lyba_banner_final.jpg" alt="" width="352" height="99" /></p> <p>In workshops, when we ask parents when sexuality education should begin, they often answer &nbsp;※age 10, 12 or more.§ But it doesn*t take long before someone in the group will point out that it*s much too late. With some girls beginning puberty at age seven, and sexual images at every turn, we need to reconsider.</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45407" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Fri, 26 Oct 2012 05:25:03 +0000 cwhn 45407 at/c1f SPRING TALKS SEX - NEW blog https://www.google.com//c1f/en/node/45359 <p><em>The CWHN is happy to introduce to those who don*t already know her, Lyba Spring, a sexual health educator who spent nearly 30 years with Toronto Public Health. Working in schools with children and teens, counselling in a sexual health clinic, giving workshops, university lectures and doing guest spots on TV, Lyba has addressed every aspect of sexuality from safer sex and gender identity, to raising sexually healthy children and female ejaculation.&nbsp; From sex workers and principals, to staff in long term care facilities, she has worked with them all〞in English, French and Spanish.</em></p> <p><em>Lyba will be blogging for us every two weeks on a range of topics relating to women and sexual health. She welcomes your feedback and suggestions</em></p> <p><em>We think Lyba is a treasure. We hope you will, too.</em></p> <p><em>You can contact Lyba at: <a href="mailto:springtalks1@gmail.com">springtalks1@gmail.com</a> <br /></em></p> <hr /> <h6><em>Information provided by the CWHN is not a substitute for professional medical advice.&nbsp;If you feel you need medical attention, please see your health care provider.</em></h6> <p><em> </em></p> <hr /> <p><em> <br /></em></p> <p><strong><img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" src="/sites/default/files/images/Lyba_banner_final.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="98" /></strong></p> <p><strong>By Lyba Spring</strong><br />After nearly 30 years working as a sexual health educator in the public sector for Toronto Public Health, I realized that I wanted to ※keep a hand in§ after retirement. But posting medical articles on my professional Facebook page to help keep former colleagues up to date has not been enough. Although I have continued to do media work and present at the occasional conference, the need to make a difference remains unsatisfied.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/c1f/en/node/45359" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Spring Talks Sex Wed, 17 Oct 2012 17:15:52 +0000 cwhn 45359 at/c1f