Alyssa Milano smiles from behind me. Mia Hamm in her college uniform is here, too, looking strong and serious, concentrating on a point just beyond my shoulder.
The whole female cast of “Beverly Hills, 90210” gazes past me and into the mirror and Sheryl Swoopes in her Texas Tech uniform stares intently just above my head, her body sweaty and intense.
I am eleven-years-old, standing in front of my bedroom mirror.
It is a full-length mirror that hangs from my closet door. Images of women surround me: athletes and beautiful characters from TV. The posters cover my peach walls; those diverse and womanly forms greeting my eyeballs each day as I wake and get dressed for school. Right now, I have half an hour to get ready.
While the sun cuts soft slants of yellow light across my carpet, I stand naked in front of my mirror, astonished by what I see.
Slippery sex is fun sex. Whether alone or with a partner, internal or external, pretty much no matter what you are doing, using some lube will make it better and possibly safer. Using lube helps things/people go in and out while lowering the risks of tearing or hurting delicate tissues (which is especially important as we age or when we engage in more extreme forms of penetration). Extra lube helps reduce the possibility of your condom breaking. Lube with sex toys make them feel great inside or against your body and putting lube on your fingers before touching yourself or someone else, allows for less friction and a more pleasurable sensation.
Kansas Joins the Personhood Debate
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill into law which declares life begins at fertilization. The bill was allegedly introduced to ban gender-selective abortions, though no data shows this to be a problem in Kansas (or any U.S. state, for that matter.) The bill was carefully worded to criminalize abortion, should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned. It also cuts tax deductions for abortion providers and requires doctors to issue exhaustive, scientifically false warnings to women seeking abortions. Any doctor distributing accurate information can face up to a year in prison for a first offense. Because this infringes on doctors’ First Amendment rights, this new law is likely to be called into question.
France Passes Marriage Equality!
On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, France became the fourteenth nation in the world to legalize marriage equality. Sponsored by France’s President, François Hollande, the “marriage for all” law passed 331 to 225 in the National Assembly after months of bitter protest–some peaceful, some violent–from conservative religious parties, especially rural Roman Catholics but also from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders as well. However dramatic the protests, opinion polling has shown a considerable majority of the French public stand in support of marriage equality.
Research Connects Age and Reproductive Cycle with Heart Disease Risks
In a recent study done by doctors at Fujian Medical University in China and Fujian Provincial Hospital, it was found that Chinese women who began menopause after fifty were at a lower risk for osteoporosis and heart disease than younger women. 3,304 post-menopausal women were surveyed. Chinese women who began menstruating after age 18 were also found to have a lower risk for heart disease. This type of research has been conducted in the West, but never explored to see if the same statistics apply in Asia. These studies will allow doctors to more accurately distinguish who is at risk for women’s heart and bone disease as well as predict and improve future conditions.
Success with Genetically Engineered Ovaries
A team from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine has genetically engineered ovaries that function naturally, releasing estrogen and progesterone in the same manner as a biological ovary. This suggests a more natural possibility for women’s hormone replacement therapy because, rather than taking a specific oral dosage of hormones every day, an engineered ovary will release hormones as needed, in smaller quantities but more often. Because it raises the risk of heart disease and breast cancer, hormone medication is not recommended for long-term usage—an engineered ovary may bypass that problem.
New Treatment Possibilities for Endometriosis
Angiogenesis, the process of forming new blood vessels in the body, sounds harmless at first glance. Because of menstruation, angiogenesis is a constant in the female reproductive system; angiogenesis also helps heal wounds and tumors. But sometimes abnormal angiogenesis occurs. One abnormality is endometriosis—often dismissed as severe menstrual pain, endometriosis is a condition in which uterine cells travel to other places in the body. Over 170 million women suffer from this painful condition worldwide, and because there is no treatment they had no choice but to suffer. Prof. Ruth Shalgi and research associate Dr. Dana Chunderland of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine have discovered a prospective treatment option for abnormal angiogenesis. The treatment is PEDF, a protein that comes as an injection, does not negatively alter fertility, and has been successful in mouse testing.
Connection Between Adolescent Smoking and Low Bone Mass
Dr. Lorah D. Dorn of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center lead an investigation of the connection between depression, anxiety, and smoking and how they associate with lower bone mineral density (BMD) in adolescents. Though it’s known that a connection exists in adulthood, a study has never been focused on adolescence, during which 50% of bone accrual occurs. Dorn’s study is the first to show that smoking and depression in adolescent girls damages bone accrual, raising warning signs of future low bone mass, osteoporosis, and raised chances of fracture in postmenopausal years. When applied to alcohol and anxiety, however, no association with bone measure could be drawn.