Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: sexual health

HIV Stigma and Queerphobia in Pop Culture and Public Health 

Disclaimer: Mentions of HIV Stigma, anti-LGBTQ+ stigma, and healthcare discrimination  As I entered adulthood, I began having more access and space to talk about sex. Being raised in a household where sexual health was not discussed, and there were anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes, talking about sex and expressing curiosities about dating were new to me. One thing I noticed from conversations I had with my peers about sex (many of whom identified as cis-straight Black women), was that there was frequent speculation about other people’s sexual identities. I remember being asked a couple of times if I would engage romantically with a bisexual guy. At the time, I didn’t understand these types of questions because I, too, was queer. I couldn’t fathom why it would be my concern if I dated other… Read more »

My Introduction to Pleasure and Sexual Liberation 

Disclaimer: This blog includes references to sex and implicit erotic and nude imagery  As I raced home from school, I immediately turned on Music Choice, a TV channel that aired popular music videos. I heard Slim Thug’s voice over a silhouette of Beyoncé doing body waves against silk, pink backgrounds. Everything was pink—pink wigs, pink suits, pink leather, pink eye shadow, and pink lip gloss. I remember mimicking Beyoncé’s choreography in the video and trying to keep up with the flexible, agile, and sensual movements of the dancers while following along to the lyrics, “dip it, pop it, twerk it.”   A few phrases that repeatedly stuck to me were “check on me tonight,” “boy, I know you want it,” and “lookin’ like you like what you see.” I did not know… Read more »

Reproductive Justice-Themed Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Folks

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and, for students, the semester is nearly over, gift-buying and gift-giving season is upon us. During the holidays, I like to give gifts that are useful, meaningful, and unique to the people I am giving them to. Here are some gift ideas for all of your feminist and reproductive justice-loving friends this holiday season. 1. Birth Control Pill Pin This colorful and simple birth control pill pin from Dissent Pins is a great option for people who like to make a subtle statement. It’s perfect for fashion-conscious folks and friends who might be going into the medical or pharmaceudical fields. 2. “No Politics in My Uterus” Mug Why not get that avid coffee or tea drinker something that’s bold but also practical? This mug is… Read more »

Artist We Love: Erika Moen

What encouraged you to become an artist? The friendships I made as a teenager with other kids who were passionate about art. We all egged each other on and supported each other and we’re all in the professional art world today as 30 year olds. My studio, Helioscope, has been absolutely invaluable in teaching me how to turn my creativity into a career. My community encouraged and enabled me to become an artist, really. What is one of your favorite pieces that you have created over the years? Collaborating weekly with Matthew Nolan on our comic Oh Joy Sex Toy is my proudest achievement of my life. In addition to that, I’ve spent the last several years making very slow progress on a painting and print series called Venerable Vegetable…. Read more »

Getting Your Period Shouldn’t Be This Expensive

I admit that, until recently, I was only aware of the luxury tax on tampons in the UK. I didn’t think it was a problem anywhere else, probably because of the  strong media campaign that has been used to target and change the tax code on menstrual supplies in the UK. The issue on the domestic front has not seen the same amount of media frenzy, which could play into some of the reasons we aren’t talking about it stateside. One could speculate that part of the reason tampon taxes don’t received the same kind of media push back in the US is that there isn’t one uniform tax code to fight. States all set their own guidelines for sales tax. But that only makes tampon tax harder to fight… Read more »

Dear Trojan: Make Your Ads More Inclusive

Dear Trojan brand condoms, A few weeks ago, you released a trilogy of ads promoting the Co Zone, short for “condom zone,” in an effort to encourage couples to use a condom every time they have sex. The commercials, which were created in a partnership with MTV, are meant to target Millennials. And in most ways, they do so very successfully. The ads show condoms as part of a happy and healthy relationship. Good on you, Trojan. But they also miss the mark in something that is increasingly important to my generation: inclusivity. I’m sure you already know this, but this specific campaign features a white-appearing, male/female couple. Now, I’m a curious person, so this made me wonder: what’s the general demographic trend in contraception commercials? I had to know the answer, so… Read more »

March is Bisexual Health Month, Here Are Some Things You Need to Know

March is bisexual health awareness month. According to the Bisexual Resource Center, it was created ” to help raise awareness about the severe physical and mental health disparities the bisexual community is suffering” Week one of March was dedicated to biphobia and mental health. Week two, this week, is all about sexual health. The Bisexual Resource Center has given us three Ts we all need to know when dealing with the sexual health of bisexuals. The three Ts are Talking, Testing and Tools.

Five Ways the California Bill to Provide Condoms in Prison Falls Short

The California State Senate recently approved a bill to provide condoms to currently incarcerated adult prisoners. The controversial piece of legislation would require five adult prisons to have condoms available by 2015 and the other 33 by 2020. If passed, California would become the second state in the union to provide condoms in prison, next to Vermont. The legislation would provide an important resource to incarcerated people and help to protect those in incarceration from the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections Nonetheless, the initiative to provide condoms to prisoners is merely a band-aid solution to a much bigger problem. Here are five additional things California needs to do in order to fully protect vulnerable prison populations.