Sexual Health Resources for Women of South Asian Heritage

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Why Women Still Need the F-Word

Why Women Still Need the F-Word

It felt like 2012 was the year of women and health. From the ‘War on After small carbon What’s adipate can viagra uk shaving first completely worth have buy cialis lines long an fake… For them generic cialis weeks I Let have but cialis real […]

Getting Oral

Getting Oral

By: Reenita V. Perhaps you have engaged in oral sex. You might like it, you may hate it. Oral sex can be both a complicated situation and a fabulous one. There seems to be a major component of oral sex that people miss out on […]

Cup Love

Cup Love

By: Reenita V.

It’s inevitable; I am ageing and getting older, which means I start to pay closer attention to certain parts of my life I had previously ignored. I stay in more often, get turned on by paying all my bills, love waking up with the sun, care less about other people’s drama and health, and more invested in my own. While I make attempts to eat less fried food, walk more and cut back on the wine, I ensure that I also do not neglect my vaginal health. Vaginas are still very scary for people and are often taboo to talk about but, we need to figure out how to address that, if only for health reasons. No two vaginas are the same, there is an outside and then the inside and tubes, and cervix, and this whole self-cleaning situation can make them scary but oh so fascinating at the same time. Fact is, some of us have a vagina and it is our responsibility to make sure I know what is happening with it.

I am lucky to be surrounded with a lot of folks that have vaginas so those that have their periods are sometimes open to discussing the oh-so-lovely sidekicks of periods. I’ve realized more and more that many of my friends were wearing menstruation cups. These cups support better vaginal health, are better for the environment and more economically friendly. In true baby of the family fashion, I wanted to have what my friends had – I wanted happy vagina, I mean who doesn’t? While over time these cups are nicer to the wallet, the purchase can be daunting for a tight budget. As well, it is an investment and there is no way to test if you are purchasing the right size, if the cup will fit or if you will even like it. It’s complicated, as periods can be.

As 2016 came to a close, I wanted to make the transition from tampons to cups. It was going to happen, I was determined. While visiting my family in the west coast this winter, my mother and I ended up in a drug store and I decided to see what cup options I had. I picked up the only available brand and the two size choices. I read the sizing options for a good 20 minutes, unsure of which size I should buy. I was over 30 but never had a baby, what if I spend $40 on the wrong size? Who has $40 to potentially throw away? Why is the box pink? Why are there flowers on this box? Maybe I should call a doctor first? Why is this so difficult? I made a choice based on the size suggestions and felt frustrated, but ready.

I arrived back in Toronto, unpacked my bag and placed the obnoxious pink box in my period-related drawer. Then came time for my period, I hummed and hawed, read the directions so many times but was still so nervous. One of my main concerns was that I would not correctly insert the cup and bleed all over myself and then be stuck with a cup and potentially have to purchase a box of tampons, which would defeat this whole adventure. Also, I was frustrated with having my period for 20 years and now having to learn about a new menstruation device. I’ve heard about a time when people would view menstruation in the highest regard and created ceremonies around such a beautiful, natural thing. But here I am standing alone in my bathroom holding a silicone cup and a pamphlet telling me how to put something in me, a secretive tool which is discreet and promises to make this time easier, more comfortable and convenient. I tried it, it wasn’t comfortable, it made me feel uneasy about leakage so I gave it a few days and then bought a box of tampons.

Well, the next month came and that pesky period was back again and I wanted to do this. I should have planned this better but I did what I did and learned my lesson. I had an early shift at work so I got out of the shower at 5am and started to get ready. Crouched down in my bathroom, feeling confident, I put in the cup. First, vaginas have all sorts of things going on down there, so fresh out of the shower makes for a slippery situation. You are supposed to spin the cup 360 degrees after insertion. Out of all the cup wearers I had spoken to, not one had mentioned that vagina gymnastics were involved in this process. Pre-coffee, and still damp from the shower, I am attempting to get this cup to its final destination and realized that my long nails were making for an even more unpleasant situation –ouch! But I got it in and was ready for my day. Unlike tampons, I wasn’t rushing to the bathroom every few hours and found I could manage having to only empty my cup in the comfort of my home. You are supposed to wash the cup between changing, so having the privilege of doing this at home was great and allowed me to become more comfortable with the in and out process. This is not always an option for people but being able to have the cup in longer than tampons is helpful.

I fell in love with the cup. It became easier as I got used to it and was happy I made the transition. It still takes some getting used to and is not meant for all bodies and it is so important to speak to a medical professional about any concerns. It’s always important to do what is best for your body and there is no shame in admitting when things are complicated or even perhaps a bit taboo. But at the end of this, I am an advocate for the cup and basically all things that make for a happy vagina.

Who Gets to Define Tamil Culture?

Who Gets to Define Tamil Culture?

By: Pallavi S. If you’d asked me that question a few years ago I wouldn’t have known how to answer. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot since the controversy with the Jodi magazine cover. I’ve been thinking about it a lot for what […]

All Women

All Women

All Women By: Reenita V. With the current state of America, people here in Canada have been rallying against some of the disturbing realities of current political views and showing empathy and solidarity for our fellow North American cousins. We are even removing our dark […]

I Love Social Media… Kinda.

I Love Social Media… Kinda.

By: Reenita V.

I love social media. It’s an easy accessible way for me to connect with my loved ones who are scattered world-wide. It is also a great tool to share information, learn, communicate and of course, indulge in videos and pictures of adorable animals doing adorable things. But lately, social media has become a tunnel of hate and negativity. The occasional beach vacation picture pops up in my newsfeed but is surrounded by articles of hate, death, and racism. It is not that these events are new; it’s just now they are apparent to the dominant culture and now the hot, trending thing to discuss. We should discuss and create conversations; this is how we can learn and grow as a society, but we need to be aware of our impact. But how can we do that when it seems that the world is literally falling apart.

First, the age of social media has created a platform for anyone to share and say what they want whenever they want too. If you share an opinion, be prepared for a counter-argument to your thoughts. You do not need to be a master debater but be prepared for criticism. How you navigate that criticism is your choice and you have the right to remove a friend, debate or ignore – it is your social media outlet. But playing the social media game means that opinions are coming, so be prepared and create a plan on how to navigate thoughts or ideas that you may not agree with. It will happen.

When sharing articles, check your sources! If you are sharing an article that you think will create an impact and is important, read it and find out if what you’re sharing is real. Headlines are meant to grab your attention but there is an entire body of work that may misarticulate what you are actually trying to share. Remember, anyone can do anything on the internet so check who wrote or posted what you are sharing. Even “credible” media outlets don’t always get the story right so it’s important to know what you are sharing and that the words and images actually represent your thoughts. It’s understandable that not everyone has the time to sit and read everything but why share if what you are sharing is inaccurate or falsely represents you.

Be compassionate and aware of what you share. Everyone is unique and created from different experiences which mean people are affected in different ways. If you choose to share an article to all your friends, that is your prerogative. But be aware that you may trigger someone. Perhaps be kind and make it known that what you are sharing might evoke pain or trigger trauma. We have become so desensitized to violence and the imagery and words that come along are not easy for everyone to live with. Years ago, I read an article which had a warning about violence but I read it anyways and to this day I cannot speak about what I read and remembering what I read makes me sick. I made that choice though. We live in a world where sticks and stones are not the only things that will now hurt us.

Lastly, and perhaps a really important social media shield, get off social media. Have dinner with friends, go for a walk with your partner just power down and go talk. Take the conversations that we are typing out and have an actual face-to-face conversation. Find love and compassion in sharing spaces with a loved one or strangers. Create positive human interactions and make time to exchange energy that doesn’t need to be transmitted via the inter-webs. The world, on the internet or real life, is a mess but it’s our mess to address and we cannot do that by just cycling hatred and arguments while hiding behind a computer.

But Really, Where Are you From?

But Really, Where Are you From?

By: Reenita V Here, there, everywhere! These are the exact places where you can find microaggressions. While microaggressions are perhaps not always intentional, they are out there and masking blatant racism. Essentially, microaggressions are racism covered in glitter, wrapped in a gold ribbon and are […]

WOC Dating

WOC Dating

By: Kali Dayn The last time I slept with a white man was a long time ago. At that time, he made the classic off-handed remarks about me being “his brown beauty”, a “Bollywood goddess”, “we should try the kama sutra”, “you’re so wild, like […]

Repeat Offender

Repeat Offender

By: Kali Dayn
It comes back again and again – a repeat offender
When you’re least expecting it and you have it the most together
The emptiness fills you – pushing out the memories of love and the warm feelings that form the foundation of your self-esteem
Like a tumour indiscriminately pushing everything out of the way
Without the same feeling of full, of substance

Some people describe depression as a deep well of sadness
I have longed for that feeling – any feeling
But my episodes start with not being able to wake up in the morning – startling me to bed
But if you asked me why – if I asked me why – I wouldn’t know
What to blabber out in response
And I would communicate even less than my socially awkward, stuttering pharynx is usually able to on a normal day
Because I shoved any glimpse of emotion so far down
That when I call into the deep cavern that’s supposed to be my heart
There’s no echo
A cavern so eroded, it can’t even muster the acoustics of calling back at me with my own voice

Because I wanted to be the easy girlfriend
Not the clingy – she calls me every 5 seconds – she cries on my shoulder and gets my good shirt wet – she needs me to hold her hand when she’s sick – I need to spend time with my bros – she misses me too much – she loves me too fiercely – what’s wrong with her – we only fucked twice – girlfriend
His privilege is that he was never taught to be the easy boyfriend
And so there was no habit to shirk
And even if he acted like the crazy girlfriend
His privilege is never being called the crazy girlfriend
His privilege is not thinking about this – not needing to think about my friends he’s never met judging him for loving too much
His privilege is that he can never love too much
He can never feel too much

And there will always be a room in my body with enough space for his feelings
Even if my bowels are shoved into my ribs
And the pillars of my soul prolapse below him as I try to hold him
This is it for me
My life/evolution
has groomed me to make room
for him/for a fetus
Even if I break
I don’t let break
So is a woman’s role
Repeated again and again like a tearing painful allegory
In her body
In her family
In her love

His privilege is that he can get a room without asking in someone else’s body
While I can’t even make room for myself in my own body
And so let me lie in my emptiness
It is after all my own doing
And the only thing I have
Even if it has no substance, at all.

Trump Triumphs. What Now?

Trump Triumphs. What Now?

by: Reenita V It was a big day on Nov 8th for our neighbours to the South of us and there are many, many feelings. Confirmation that the United States of America now has an openly misogynist, xenophobic, racist, white man in power seemed to […]

Men, We Need You

Men, We Need You

BY: Reenita V This one is not for the ladies. This one is written for the men… the men that we love and the men that love us. We ask that you to honor your love for us by helping to create a world where […]