barrier methods

I heard a rumor that butches have access to the world of men by virtue of their polished boots and perfect Winsor knots
Some tragedy tells me that they are the pretend women; the women born wrong; the women-not-women
who inhabit a spectral plane where they wear shackles identical to mine but cannot name the cage they’re in

I heard a lie that butches are men in a bad plastic mask
That their privileges include public hisses, leering eyes, and strangers plodding close behind
I heard that butches sink venom
into femme women
into straight women
into whoever passes by their street corner
at which of course they are leaning against a brick wall with their thumbs hooked into their Dungarees

(But this is not about my fantasies)

I was told some tedium
when I was a baby gay
salivating over Stephanie with the chain wallet and the sneer
who spoke against the cruelty of boys in my class
when I was sold the snake oil that butches were hiding in the shadows
with lighters
waiting to burn my bra
But here is what I have learned:

Butches swing bats against true predators
scaled monstrosities preying up and down the block
They have dug their heels in for my right to call myself a lesbian
to free me from every constricting dress and shapewear that men would otherwise cram me into

I was always good enough, small enough, big enough, loud and quiet and sour enough

A butch woman taught my public school sex education class
and gritted her teeth when her students asked about barrier methods
hands tied by the confines of simply needing to pay her rent
so no she could not dismantle the system
But, she said,
“If anyone–anyone–Has any questions, my office is open”

Butches ask me if I’m doing okay when I’m in a new space
They ask me to dance
if I feel safe
if I need to get a cab home
Butch women have been the ones to catch my terrified stare when I have Shrodinger’s rapist standing next to me on the subway

because you don’t know
until you know

Butches love flowers,
split the bill
whisper sweetly to their cats
secretly sleep with teddy bears

Butches snore like sleeping dragons and bite like them, too
but only when their homes have been invaded
caved in, gutted
and carved beyond recognition

Butch is not a liminal space
a go-between
Butch is a force to be reckoned with, but if you let it, then the rain will come
and everything good will grow from the ground
The rain will come

The dyke rages on.

—  Dan Yell, @anarchism-lesbianism
Herbs to avoid during pregnancy

 There’s a lot of reasons to use herbs. You want a more natural medicine to treat something. You enjoy the taste of fresh herbal teas. You practice some form of paganism and/or witchcraft and use herbs in your craft. You should always consult with your medical care provider before starting any herbal regimen. Be sure to look into any herbs and natural remedies you want to try too, to make sure they don’t negatively effect you because of any pre-existing medical conditions.

This particular section though, I’m going to be talking about herbs and pregnancy. Some plants contain substances that we know can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects and more. I know some people will use this list as a reference for natural contraceptives. That’s fine, but there is an important part to touch on with that.

When we think of contraceptives today, we think of hormonal contraceptives or barrier methods. Herbs are neither of those. Herbs that work as contraceptives are abortive. They don’t prevent you from becoming pregnant, they terminate a pregnancy very early on. It is important to note that if you’re using contraceptive herbs, and still become pregnant enough that you’re aware of it, you should either stop use immediately or look at your other options for terminating the pregnancy. I’m not promoting abortion, but you should be aware that using contraceptive herbs, and having them fail, can result in serious birth defects. If that’s not something you want to deal with, be aware that continuing to take the herbs may make it worse, not just get rid of the pregnancy.

If you’re looking at this for a list of herbs to avoid while you’re pregnant, so as not to risk hurting the fetus and ensuing baby, then you should be avoiding these herbs if you’re trying to become pregnant too. Studies show that 30% to 50% of all fertilized eggs are lost before a pregnancy is actually established, and the woman never even knows about it. Of known pregnancies, 10% to 20% end in miscarriage. So, it’s important if you’re trying to have a baby, to do everything possible not to contribute to those numbers.

So, with no further ado, these are the herbs to avoid if you are now, or are trying to become pregnant.

Saw Palmetto

Goldenseal

Donq Quai (used in combination with other herbs to induce miscarriage)

Ephedra

Yohimbe

Pay D'Arco

Passion Flower

Black Cohosh (used in combination with other herbs to induce miscarriage)

Blue Cohosh (used in combination with other herbs to induce miscarriage)

Chamomile (roman)

Pennyroyal

Ginseng

Evening Primrose

Feverfew

Kava Kava

Aloe

Valerian

Rosemary (in amounts greater than normally found in food)

Yarrow

Licorice

Angelica (used in combination with other herbs to induce miscarriage)

Lovage

Mistletoe

Myrrh

Sage

Thyme (in amounts greater than normally found in food )

Tumeric

Motherwort

Also, while you (hopefully) don’t ever ingest known poisonous herbs, I’d also advise not handling them while pregnant as some things can be absorbed through your skin. Not a lot, but better safe than sorry. These are herbs that are listed by the USDA as Unsafe or Potentially Unsafe for use during pregnancy.

Birth Control Methods: Diaphragm.

What is a Diaphragm?

A diaphragm is a flexible, latex, dome-shaped cup with a bendable rim. It is designed to fit securely in the vagina to cover the cervix. Diaphragms have been used since the 1830s and require a prescription to obtain. They are considered to be the first major innovation for women seeking personal control to protect themselves from an unintended pregnancy. Due to improvements in design and effectiveness, diaphragm use still remains a popular birth control choice for many women.

Keep reading

Crystal Elixirs

a crystal elixir (otherwise known as gem water) is essentially water that has taken on the properties of crystals. it’s used for the same purpose regular crystals are used for. this guide on how to make crystal elixirs uses a barrier method to keep the crystals from directly coming in contact with the water. this is because a lot of crystals are toxic and can cause serious harm to you if ingested. some crystals are also water soluble. if you decide to place the crystals directly in the water PLEASE do your research first.   

how to make: 

materials: 

  • glass jar
  • crystal(s) of your choice
  • a barrier (preferably of glass, this can be a glass sheet, smaller glass jar/cup)

1. fill your jar with water. you can use moon water, rain water, sea water, ect. 

2. put your barrier on top of the jar or within it and place your crystal(s) on top.

3. leave in a window or outside in the sunlight or moonlight to charge for a few hours (some crystals may fade in the sunlight, do research on your crystals first).  

really simple to make & can be very useful. blessed be everyone! 

I have a friend I was counseling through an STI scare and she just got her results and she doesn’t have herpes or any bacterial/fungal infections. However, she has had genital itching and sores for three years.

I’ve given her information on avoiding infections:

Avoid using Bubble baths, soaps, vaginal contraceptives (spermicide, diaphragms, cervical caps, and the sponge), feminine sprays, and perfumes. If you use lube make sure it doesn’t have glycerin or parabens. Never get food near your vulva. If you use condoms try latex free condoms. Using barrier methods during sex (vaginal, oral, manual, and genital rubbing) can help as well.

Avoid tight fitting non absorbent clothing. Wear cotton underwear and loose bottoms.

Avoid disposable tampons or pads. Menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads work better.

Upping the immune system can help tremendously. Using  vitamins like vitamin C and eating garlic and taking Echinacea help. Eating yogurt (especially organic or sugar free) can help a lot.

Only wash your vulva with water. Avoid using soaps, “feminine hygiene products” and douching. Wipe from front to back and never put anything that has been in your anus in your vagina.

Always urinate and clean up after sex.

Drink plenty of water and limit sugars as much as possible. Eat good food and exercise regularly. Get lots of sleep and avoid stress.

and on genital bumps:

If it’s a large, red, painful bump with a head it sounds like a cyst. If you put a warm compress on it it’ll help with the pain. If the bumps are on either side of your vaginal opening it could be a bartholin gland cyst. If it’s painful you need to go to a doctor. Usually the infection goes away before it gets painful but if it doesn’t it’ll need treatment. If it’s a clump of bumps that looks like a cauliflower it’s genital warts. if it’s a few to a lot of painful red blister looking things that pop and crust over it could be herpes. If it just looks like regular acne, vulva acne is common and will go down as you age just like regular acne. If it kind of looks like gooseflesh (or your arm whenever you get “goosebumps” and you’ve always had them, it’s probably fordyce spots. They can occur on both penises and vulvas and are totally harmless. If it is small, painless and kind of resembles a pearl it could be  Molluscum contagiosum. It can also occur in a line of bumps. This is a viral infection and you should see a doctor for it. If you have multiple red lesions and blackheads that enlarge, break open and drain pus it could be Hidradenitis suppurativa. It is a skin problem that’s considered a severe form of acne.

and I told her to make an appointment with her GP and try to get tested for hormone imbalances, blood sugar issues, and immune issues. I also told her to check her medications to see if that’s causing it.

Is there anything else I’m missing that could help her?

anonymous asked:

actually, if you are disregarding the cdc's information about npf and all that, you are as dumb as they come, sister. the cdc is run by people who didn't just get a college education to run around protesting abortion. lol. they are scientists and doctors. but hey, keep pretending you don't want to trap your childfree husband. go for it. it'll be hilarious to see that all happen. lolololololololololol!!!!

How the CDC Screwed Over NFP

Okay. Hear me out. This is the CDC’s page on contraception.

This is the NFP section: 

Natural family planning or fertility awareness—Understanding your monthly fertility pattern can help you plan to get pregnant or avoid getting pregnant. Your fertility pattern is the number of days in the month when you are fertile (able to get pregnant), days when you are infertile, and days when fertility is unlikely, but possible. If you have a regular menstrual cycle, you have about nine or more fertile days each month. If you do not want to get pregnant, you do not have sex on the days you are fertile, or you use a barrier method of birth control on those days. Failure rates vary across these methods. Overall, typical use failure rate: 24%.

Emphasis mine. 

They admit that different methods have different failure rates, but they only give one overall rate to cover all of them. Those methods include the rhythm method (which is not at all accurate) and methods that involve a lot of guessing.

If you want to know which contraceptive method is right for you, overall failure rates spanning multiple methods aren’t helpful.

There are outdated methods, and then there are more modern, more accurate methods. I’m using one of the latter – the Sympto-Thermal Method. It has a typical use failure rate of just 1.8%

Interestingly, the CDC doesn’t lump all the hormonal methods together and give them one failure rate. They even list the combined and progestin-only birth control pills separately, even though they have the same failure rate: 9%

The Depo-Provera shot has a typical use failure rate of 6%.

In fact, if you want to beat NFP with a hormonal method, you need to get an implant. Even then, you’re only 0.45% safer than if you used the Billings Ovulation Method (with only a 0.5% typical use failure rate). 

Typical Use vs Perfect Use

Why do I always quote typical use failure rates? 

Perfect use failure rates assume you have used the method exactly as you’re supposed to. If you’re on the pill, that means never missing a pill and taking them at the same time every single day. If you’re using the shot, that means never missing or delaying an appointment to get your next injection. If you use a condom, it means using them correctly every time. If you’re using the Sympto-Thermal Method, it means taking your temperature at the same time every morning before you get out of bed and keeping track of your cervical fluid every day. 

Nobody’s perfect. I know I’m not. No matter what method you use, something will happen. You forget to refill your prescription. You oversleep. You get sick on the day you were supposed to get your injection. Your partner is using a condom that’s the wrong size. It happens. 

The typical use rate tells you how effective your method of choice will be when crap happens. And crap happens. So when evaluating a contraceptive method, always look for the typical use failure rate of the individual method you’re considering.

For Your Reference

Typical use failure rates of modern NFP methods:

Marquette Method: 10.6% (not one I usually recommend – less accurate and more expensive. Bleh.)

Creighton Model: 3.6% (if you’re having fertility problems, you can use this to find out what’s wrong)

Sympto-Thermal Method: 1.8% (the one I’m using)

Billings Ovulation Method: 0.5% (yeah, only a 0.5% failure rate for typical use)

I live! + No Condom Herpes Sex

Hello to all,

Yes. It’s really me. 

First off, I’d like to apologize for my unannounced hiatus from Tumblr. 

For those of you who know, I recently (about 3 months ago) starting seeing a man that I was working with. It was my first time in over 6 months talking to somebody (in real life, not over the interwebs) who I had genuine feelings for & knew that disclosure would be necessary. It was my first time disclosing in person, and I was terrified. If you’re interested in the whole story, you can feel free to read my post about it here: http://stoptheglitterstigma.tumblr.com/post/137034899662/personal-disclosure-story


Now, here’s a little bit of wise words for those little herpeeps who, like me once upon a time, felt destined to a life of abstinence after diagnosis. I have been having sex with my S.O for almost 2 months now. I take two 400 mg tablets of Acyclovir daily for suppressive therapy & to reduce viral shedding, and I sometimes take 1,000 mg of lysine on top of that. Now, here’s the nitty gritty & an honest truth that I need no finger wagging about: while I do everything on my end to protect myself and my partner sexually (#1 way to do that is by COMMUNICATION), we both feel comfortable not using condoms. In fact, we’ve used a condom once, and that was the first time that we had sex. And want to know a cool little snippet? He doesn’t have herpes. I’m keeping my little herpes muggle 100% herpes free by knowing my body, understanding its signs & taking medication. 

While some of you may roll your eyes at my stupidity (did I not, and many of us, contract herpes in the first place by not using condoms?!) here is the reason that it is okay to have sex without a condom, herpes or no herpes: If you and your partner have an open and truthful conversation about each other’s status, what you’re comfortable with, hopes, dreams & aspirations in this world then you are 100% justified to make any decision in regards to your sexual health TOGETHER. If you have herpes & your partner is aware of this fact but only feels conformable engaging in sexual activity with a condom, then you use that condom! On the flipside, if you have herpes & your partner is aware of this fact and wants to NOT wear a condom, but you feel safer doing so– then wear that condom! Every sexual decision made in a relationship should be communicated from both ends, and when it comes down to it, I think that if a person in the relationship feels safer using some sort of barrier methods then that practice gives priority, because safety is more important than sensation.

To make a short story long, many people in this community are not only petrified to have sex after their diagnosis for fear of transmitting the virus, but the thought of having sex without a condom seems almost downright homicide. The reason I do not have anxiety about this choice that my S.O and I have made together is because we are both aware of each other’s status, & have enough information about each other and our thoughts to make decisions for ourselves. I would be completely fine using a condom each time if my S.O desired that, because I care about his safety (not only about not physically contracting HSV, but possible anxiety that it might have caused him worrying about catching it). So when it comes down to it, I do not feel bad about not using condoms because my partner is educated enough about my status to made decisions for himself. If it comes down to it & he does eventually contract HSV, while it would be tough for both of us to deal with, we made an open, honest decision and there is nobody at fault for that.

I love you all.

XOXO

So, I’m getting into Private Practice, the spinoff from Grey’s Anatomy and I’m up to the season three episode “Parent Trap” in which Violet and Charlotte treat an Orthodox Jewish woman who doesn’t want to have any more children, and tell them that birth control is not an option.

Which means that in this universe, doctors have twice treated Orthodox Jewish patients and had them refuse “modern” treatments for religous reasons, even though those treatments are not against halachiac law. Orthodox Judaism prohibits barrier methods such as condoms, but allows for hormonal birth control such as the pill or an IUD. Interestingly enough, the reason for this, that the prohibition is against spilling the seed and hormonal birth control doesn’t involve that, is freaking brought up by Charlotte when the team consults with a Rabbi and the Rabbi disagrees with her!

The other time was in season one of Grey’s Anatomy, when Alex had his Orthodox Jewish girl who refuses to have a pig valve transplant, because she won’t put a treif animal in her body. This is so not Jewish law it isn’t even funny.

If my memory serves, there is only one other time a patient has been explicitly Jewish, the one where a thirteen year old boy wants breast reduction surgery, and his Judaism amounts to a passing reference to his bar mitzvah.

It just pisses me off so much. It’s not like these shows don’t have the budgets to just ask an Orthodox Jew what the halachiac view on birth control and pig valve transplants are. A simple google search would suffice. They are just assuming that all Orthodox Jews are backwards and irrational and then are too lazy to fucking check. Hell, in this episode of PP they couldn’t even bother to find out the correct pronunciation of Shimon.

I know Shonda Rhimes gets a lot of praise, but her track record with Jewish characters is fucking abyssmal.

Can we stop acting like pregnancy is accidental?

I’m 29yrs old and have never had a pregnancy scare. You know why? Cause condoms and birth control work. There are tons of non hormonal options and barrier methods other than condoms too! Do your googles and take charge of your reproductive health.

Obviously this sentiment is geared towards consensual sex

Unexpected

Oh look it’s a horribly overdone premise, hurrah. This is what happens when I ask myself one too many “what if” questions.

If you hate unplanned pregnancy storylines, uh, maybe skip this one. I didn’t tag it NSFW because it’s not aside for some swearing, but there is implied sex, so read at your discretion.

***

It isn’t supposed to be like this.

Her hands shake and she tries to figure out how this happened, how she got here. This isn’t right. They’ve always been so, so careful. True, synthetic hormones made her too sick, so they’d had to rely on good old barrier methods, but they’d been meticulous about it.

Except for one night a few weeks back when they’d both been a little drunk and a lot less careful than usual but it would be fine because there was technically only a 20% chance on any given cycle even if all factors lined up perfectly, so the risk was negligible, really, and he had been so so so hot in those skinny jeans and even hotter out of them.

Apparently the odds were in their favor. Maybe they should head to Vegas and take up gambling.

She stares at the pair of pink lines and her heart pounds in her ears.

It’s not like they’re kids anymore, and it’s not like they’ve never thought about it or talked about it. But it’s always in the abstract, always a maybe-someday fuzzy future vision for down the road. She’d always assumed it would be planned right down to a big red circle on the calendar that said “conception here,” if anything. They’d have plenty of time to mentally and emotionally prepare, they’d be done risking their lives every other week, they’d have a fucking dog or something.

There’s a clatter outside the bathroom door and she jumps a mile. He can’t be home yet. He’s not supposed to be home yet. The room tilts a little.

Keep reading

In today’s Fact Friday we answer an anonymous question: “When having sex should both people wear a condom?”

Condoms are made to be used one at a time.

Someone can choose whether to use an external condom that goes over a penis OR an internal condom that is inserted into the vagina. Either of these barrier methods can help prevent STDs and/or unintended pregnancy.

If someone chooses to have oral sex (mouth to penis) they can use a flavored condom or a latex barrier (for moth to vulva).

Someone should always use a new condom or barrier for each act of sex.