The Birds & The Bees (new & improved)

This is a sex-positive blog for the purpose of education, and answering questions anyone has concerning sex, gender, sex education, sexuality, bodies, and anything else in your education and experience, or lack thereof, that has left you wondering.

0alien:

primadollly:

This is a starter list I made with people in mind who A) Don’t have any makeup, and/or B) Have not had access to makeup before. Makeup is expensive, and unfortunately, even this list is beyond what people can comfortably spend. However, for the same price of a palette (most of which will set you back $50+), I’ve compiled a start-to-finish shopping list that includes everything from the makeup to the tools to the cleaning products.

Below the cut is a full list of products + links, a dupe list (most if not all of these items are dupes for high end brands like MAC, NARS, and Make Up For Ever), and a coupon code. Note that for this cart, I am using a current promotion on the E.L.F website; If you are not able to make this order before the promotion expires, don’t worry, because E.L.F has several similar sales every month!

[Also, a quick note: Everything on this list is from E.L.F, one of the few drugstore makeup brands that is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. They also have the highest concentration of high-end dupes. The site/their international sites ship to several countries, but in some cases, it would be less expensive to order through a local online drugstore beauty supplier/on ebay/have a friend in the US ship it to you. I’m not affiliated with E.L.F, I’m just a fan]

Read More

im pretty sure e.l.f brushes are not vegan, but only the brushes. all other products are vegan

(Source: primadollly, via hotdogcephalopod)

Facebook refuses to change "real name" policy

gaywrites:

After meeting with a group of drag queens and a San Francisco official, Facebook has refused to change its policy requiring that “real names” be used on performers’ profiles. 

Facebook has been deleting the profiles of drag queens and others who go by their drag names on Facebook. Some of these individuals say they can’t appear with their legal names online for fear of losing their jobs or even endangering themselves. Along these lines, depending on how strict Facebook is, this could also end up harming trans people and other non-performers who go by different names online for safety reasons. 

Instead, Facebook is suggesting performers create “fan pages,” but the queens say it’s harder to build a following and spread the news about gigs that way. Plus, many say they want to build friendships online, not just fan bases.

If Facebook doesn’t change its policy, the drag queens at San Francisco City Hall Wednesday said they would organize protests and boycotts.

"Abused women, bullied teens, transgender people… (there are) a million different people with a million different reasons to use fake names," said Sister Roma, a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Facebook says it policy “helps prevent bad behavior, while creating a safer and more accountable environment.”

Oof. Something tells me this fight isn’t over. 

(via hotdogcephalopod)

robothugscomic:

New Comic!

Pronouns, right? Super weird little lexical referents. 

My site moved to a new host, so everything should be better now! Everything -  my site, my comic, my life, my cats, my cooking, my sex. Everything. 

(via hotdogcephalopod)

captainqueeg:

princess-palea-super-idol:

transgayinfo:

transclothesswap:

THERE’S THIS NEW COMPANY STARTING UP THAT SELLS CHEAP CUTE LITTLE ‘STARTER KITS’ TO TRANS PEOPLE WHO NEED ALL THE ESSENTIALS!

IN THESE KITS THERE’S STUFF LIKE BINDERS AND PACKERS AND BREAST FORMS AND CLOTHES!

IT MEANS COMING OUT AS TRANS AND GETTING ALL THE ESSENTIALS TOGETHER WILL BE LESS CONFUSING AND TAKE LESS TIME AS ITS ALL IN ONE PLACE!

THIS COMPANY HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED TO START UP 100% BUT THEY ARE JUST ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO FILL IN THIS SURVEY TO HELP THEM GAGE WHAT PEOPLE WANT FROM A SERVICE LIKE THIS!

PLEASE JUST TAKE 2 MINS OUT OF YOUR DAY TO FILL IN THIS SURVEY EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT TRANS!

Something that might be good to add under their “MTF Package” section might be a basic waist cincher/body shaping clothes. If anyone has any suggestions to write into the “other” box, and wants us to publish them so other people can get ideas too, shoot us an ask to publish!

THIS IS HUGE. Like, awesomely huge. This has potential to be awesome.

hey guys! they’re actually up and running now, with waist cinchers and body shaping clothes as well. at genderplus.tumblr.com.

(via nonbinary-support)

Online dating isn’t weird!

SexFact:

The sale of sex toys is completely banned in the state of Alabama.

What is Intersex?

Intersex is anything that is not strictly “male” or “female,” when it comes to “biological sex” which means that intersex itself is a very inclusive group and not one specific biological state, but rather a spectrum, or more accurately a scatter plot, based upon the combination of a few factors.

This is the current list of criteria that the AMA (American Medical Association) uses to define intersex:

image

The points this list basically boils down to are genitalia, gonads, chromosomes, sex hormones, and secondary sex characteristics. There are reasons for these specific divides between categories, and ways each category can contain intersex variations:

  • Genitalia

Though to the laymen it may usually be applied to only the external sex organs, this is all of the reproductive & directly sexual organs located in/on the pelvic area. For the “female” genital set this means the vulva (the sets of labia, clitoris, clitoral hood, vaginal and urethral openings) which is external, and the vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes which are internal, while the “male” genital set includes the external penis, and scrotum, and the internal urethra, prostate, seminal vesicle, vas deferens, and epididymis. Then there is any “combination” of the two genital sets, often categorized by a point along a sliding scale for the external genitalia (which is to say there is no one specific intersex set of genitals, simply any variance from what the medical community deems to be close enough to the “male” or “female” polar ends of each spectrum, and then what is not so close). There are two main scales used for this.

The Quigley scale is more vague and dependent upon external genitalia, but is designed specifically for intersex categorization:

image

Whereas the Prader scale is more specific and categorizes commonly corresponding internal genitalia as well, but only applies to those with female gonads (a.k.a. ovaries; see next bullet point for more on this), and is considered a “masculinization scale.” However, it is mostly accurate to any kind of intersex development, ignoring the gonads being specifically “female”:

image

The linear scale along which intersex genital development usually occurs is due to the fact that all genitals develop in utero from the same set of genital buds. The development from the original buds along strictly “masculinizing” and “feminizing” lines is shown below:

image

*Note that the hymen is labeled above. This is because the development shown is still in utero and the hymen is vestigial skin that still has not receded yet. This should not be misconstrued to make one believe that grown women have hymens of any significant substance, especially not that they block the vaginal opening, need to be “popped,” or any other virginity myths.

A person will almost always have one set of genitals (especially fully developed ones), rather than two, different (such as two different exclusively masculinized and feminized ones) ones, which I will explain further below in conjunction with their corresponding gonads.

  • Gonads

Gonads are the reproductive glands that have the ability to produce germ cells/gametes. In the case of humans, this means either sperm of eggs, which translates to having ovaries or testes (testicles). This is why you do not see either of these things listed among the parts included amongst genitals, because while they are an intricate part of the reproductive/sexual structure and within the genital system, they are not, strictly speaking, genitals themselves, but gonads. It is a misconception that intersex people have “both,” just as it is a misconception that they have two fully developed “male” and “female” sets of genitals, which is where the confusion with “hermaphrodite” arises. “Hermaphrodite” comes from the mythical Greek god/goddess Hermaphroditus who had both male and female genitalia and secondary sex characteristics, and was considered “both” sexes. Subsequently, to call an intersex person a “hermaphrodite” or to assume that all intersex people are hermaphroditic in the near-medically impossible way that Hermaphroditus was, with both sets of fully developed genitals/gonads and having all secondary sex characteristics, is not only inaccurate but offensive and outdated, especially as it was a term used to other and vilify intersex people historically.

Just like having two completely different, fully developed sets of genitals is highly unlikely and essentially impossible, it is incredibly uncommon for a person to have more than one set of gonads, one being “feminized,” and one “masculinized.” An intersex person will almost always have one set of either “female” (ovaries) or “male” (testes) gonads, though there are less common cases of mixed gonadal dysgenesis which is the asymmetrical development of a set of gonads which can be of mixed masculinized and femininized gonadal tissues. There is also the medically recognized “true hermaphroditism” (though this term is fading out of use and being replaced by the more respectful and appropriate “ovo-testes”) where a person has some portion of both testicular and ovarian tissue, though, again, this is almost always only a portion and never fully developed, working, separate sets of different gonads. There are essentially no scientifically respectable recorded cases of two sets of fully developed, functioning gonads with two corresponding, fully developed, functioning sets of genitals, which is why, again, “hermaphrodite” should not be used or factored into the discussion of intersex people (outside of the medical definition of “true hermaphroditism” which it may be more appropriate to call a case of ovo-testes anyway).

Having gonads that do not align with your genitals, or any other sex-determining characteristic on this list would determine that someone is intersex.

  • Chromosomes

The common chromosome pairs we hear about are XX (“female”) and XY (“male”). This is called the XY sex-determination system, and is used in humans and most other mammals. Usually, one chromosome is provided by each parent, resulting in one of the two combinations above and leading to the body either “feminizing” or “masculinizing” in utero based upon instructions from the specific chromosome pair, but that is not always the case. There are different chromosome sets outside of simply XX and XY, such as X, XXY, XYY, XXYY, XXX, XO, and others. Some people with variant chromosome sets may develop in what is perceived as “normal” masculinizing or feminizing ways and never know they have variant chromosomes, as most average people do not usually have their karyotype examined, and subsequently never find out what sex chromosome set they have, so they also never know if they are intersex.

The development does not always follow the assigned “instructions” of the XX or XY chromosomes as well, meaning that there are intersex people who have either XX or XY chromosomes but do not have strictly “male” or “female” corresponding biology. This can occur in a number of situations, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome (someone with XY chromosomes but does not respond to the masculinizing hormones androgens, so develops in a feminizing way, and has all “female” sex characteristics outside of their “male” gonads) which also factors into the effect of sex hormones. This also results in people with XX chromosomes developing in masculinized ways and those with XY chromosomes developing in feminized ways, so that they might be indistinguishable from a “male” with XY chromosomes or a “female” with XX chromosomes at the surface level. So, again, there are people with variant chromosome sets who may not realize it without getting tested.

  • Sex hormones

The presence, balance, and sensitivity to sex hormones both in prenatal and early childhood development, as well as on into adolescence and adulthood can have masculinizing and feminizing effects on the physical structure of the body (again, and example would be androgen insensitivity syndrome) as well as the secondary sex characteristics. The main sex hormones in humans are the “female” progestogens (mainly progesterone) and estrogen, and the “male” androgens, the main androgen being testosterone with the lesser dihydrotestosterone, all of which (both androgens, and estrogen, etc.) exist normally and healthily in either much lower or higher quantities in every person who is exclusively “male” or “female.”

This is a very broad range of effects and sources of change, and can be anything from an unusual balance of sex hormones in someone who aligns with exclusively “male” or “female” characteristics in every other category, to someone with ambiguous physical features developed in utero or adolescence from their sensitivity to a sex hormone being ineffective, or from a lack of a certain sex hormone or the presence of one in unusual quantities, but it is not limited to exclusively these kinds of cases.

  • Secondary sex characteristics

Secondary sex characteristics include “male” features of masculine hair patterns (including facial and chest hair), thicker, darker, courser, and more hair overall, average torso shape with low waist to hip ratio, no specific, noticeable breast tissue development outside of low rates with added weight overall and little to no breast duct development, thicker epidermis, and more oily skin; while the “female” features are finer hair with no distinct facial/chest hair, average torso shape with high waist to hip ratio, specific breast tissues and duct development, thinner epidermis and softer, drier skin, and wider pelvis.

There is a large overlap between secondary sex characteristics and sex hormones, as much of the body’s secondary sex characteristics are developed as a result of having certain balances of sex hormones in the body and being appropriately sensitized to them. However, they are divided into two different categories as the sex characteristics simply existing and manifesting is deemed “secondary sex characteristics,” while the presence of the hormones and what balances they are in falls into “sex hormones” mainly because even with the presence of hormones the expected or usual secondary sex characteristics do not always manifest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Someone strictly biologically female or male would have all of the “feminized” or “masculinized” traits, or land on the “female” or “male” side/end of the spectrum/general area in all of these categories, and anyone with any other combination of them or variance from them falls into the intersex category. Since being strictly one sex or another relies upon so many factors, as you can imagine, there are a lot more intersex people than most assume. And with some categories, as I’ve explained, it can be hard to tell if you may not fall neatly within the “male” or “female” area, or if that sex characteristic may match to all of the other manifested ones you may have (such as with chromosomes), so there are people who may be intersex but do not and may never know or realize it. It’s estimated that the actual percentage of the world population that is intersex (having any variance from strictly male or female in all sex characteristics) ranges anywhere from less than 1% to around 4% (the same frequency range with which people are born with red hair in the world). But because of its vagueness and complexity, as well as occasional difficulty to determine, it is impossible to know the exact percentage of the population that is in fact intersex.

The complexity of these factors and their many combinations has created controversy over what exactly defines intersex, male, and female in the first place, and leaves much of the concept of strict categories for sex up in the air, which also means that some people take their own volition and choice in either identifying with intersex or not depending upon if they believe or know they fall into the category according to medical standards, and if they see it as an identity at all or not. Many speculate that our problem lies in the idea that we need to strictly categorize sexes in the first place, and propose that a more accurate representation of sex would be something closer to the following spectrum:

(The AMA’s quick guide on intersex can be found here and the Intersex Society of North America’s intersex briefing page can be found here.)

*Apologies for gendered terms like “feminizing” and terms such as “biological sex,” there are just gaps in the accurate medical terms used for these subject that have not yet found more appropriate substitutions and I have been deferring to them to be medically accurate. If anyone has feedback or suggestions for alterations, just let us know!

sootonthecarpet:

transrants:

gravekat:

softkats:

pizzatomb:

aside from being cissexist the whole XX = female and XY = male thing is Straight-Up Wrong

AFAB people can have XO, XXX, XXXX and XY chromosomes while AMAB people have have XXYY, XYY, and XX chromosomes and since the majority of the population never has their karyotype examined,  they’ll never know that they have one of these chromosomal quirks unless that specific combination has associated symptoms, and not all of them do. you could literally have one of the aforementioned combinations without even knowing it and meanwhile you’re insisting that all AFAB people are XX and that anyone else who has this must also be female

we could also talk about how hormonal patterns for XX persons can naturally and biologically mirror that of a typical XY person, or vis versa, which gives rise to things like androgen insensitivity disorder. here u have it, folks, an whole group of intersex people who have XY chromosomes and testicles and vulva and vagina, all grown naturally, all at the same time. 

the number of people who are intersex mirror the number of people who are born with red hair, but no one goes around trying to say that red isn’t a natural hair colour just because the phenotype doesn’t manifest in the majority of the population. 

seriously consider the bold if you are aggressively upholding the ridiculously flawed theory that is the sex and gender binary.

I see a lot of trans people who eschew the gender binary (as they should) but still emphatically and ignorantly uphold the sex binary. This is shitty and nobody really acknowledges it. (Including this post, which assumes that if you’re doing the XX=AFAB XY=AMAB thing, you’re also doing the AFAB=female AMAB=male thing, and calls out only transphobic cis people, instead of acknowledging that the sex binary can be perpetuated by people who do not uphold the gender binary.)

(Source: exeggcute, via fuckyeahsexpositivity)

Sexualities/Genders (And Other Terms One Should Know)

  • Heterosexual: Male-identifying individual sexually attracted to a female-identifying individual, and vice-versa.
  • Homosexual: Someone attracted to someone of the same gender as themselves.
  • Bisexual: Sexually attracted to two or more genders (for some people this means "attracted to men and women," while for others it means attracted to two specific genders [i.e. agender people and women], and for others it means "attracted to genders the same as yours and genders different than yours" which leads to the large overlap in bisexuality and pansexuality [see below])
  • Polysexual: Sexually attracted to multiple/many genders, but not all.
  • Pansexual: Sexually attracted to all genders. (this and bisexual, and sometimes polysexual, are often considered to be the same thing and different people may simply identify as any one of them due to their own personal reasons)
  • Demisexual: Sexually attracted to people only after forming a bond with them first.
  • Asexual: Having no /sexual attraction/ to others; having no desire to have sex.
  • Queer: a reclaimed slur used by some in the community as an umbrella term for any non-straight sexuality (or sometimes also non-cis [see below] gender identity) or on it's own as a more open-ended and non-specific sexual orientation of its own.
  • Heteroromantic: Male-identifying individual romantically attracted to female-identifying individuals, and vice-versa.
  • Homoromantic: Attracted romantically to the same gender.
  • Biromantic: Attracted romantically to two or more genders
  • Polyromantic: Attracted to many genders (but not all)
  • Panromantic: Attracted romantically to all genders
  • Demiromantic: Romantically attracted to people only after forming a bond with them first.
  • Aromantic: Having no /romantic attraction/ to others; having no desire to be in a romantic relationship.
  • Polyamorous: Someone who is attracted to, and is comfortable with being in a relationship with more than one person at a time.
  • Sex: Physical, the biological structure of one's body in relation to their combination and levels of sex characteristics (e.g. chromosomes, genitalia, gonads, hormones, and secondary sex characteristics)
  • Gender: Psychological, the expression of one's own perception of self within or outside of the social construct of gender (sometimes via clothing, action, identification, etc.)
  • Transexual/Transgender (Term depending on generation/location/transition status/personal preference): An individual who identifies as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth to be. Often shortened to trans (trans is often used as a blanket term for all non-cis people [see next term], but so is "Gender Non-Conforming")
  • Cisgender: Someone who identifies as the gender that they were assigned as at birth. (ex. matches their birth certificate) Often shortened to cis
  • Intersex: Someone who has ambiguous genitalia/sex characteristics (eg. chromosomes, hormones, genitalia, secondary sex characteristics, and gonads, or any combination of these things) that doesn't fit into our strict dichotomy of uterus or testes. Often forced into surgery to "correct" their genitals at a very young age, causing psychological and physical harm later in life
  • Nonbinary: Outside of the gender binary of male and female. (Can be used as an umbrella term or as its own identity)
  • Genderqueer: Outside of the gender binary. (**This is not an appropriate umbrella term like the post said before I edited it! Do not use this as an umbrella term for nonbinary individuals, simply use 'nonbinary,' as 'queer' is considered a reclaimed slur and not everyone likes to be associated with the word--though this can be used by those in the community as an umbrella term or its own identity.)
  • Agender: Someone who feels gender neutral, or someone who experiences a 'lack' of gender.
  • Bigender: Someone who identifies as two separate genders.
  • Trigender: Someone who identifies as three separate genders.
  • Genderfluid: A gender that changes, or is 'fluid'.
  • Demigirl: Identifying partially as a woman, but not wholly.
  • Demiboy/guy: Identifying partially as a man, but not wholly.
  • Polygender: Identifying as multiple/many genders
  • Pangender: Identifying as all genders (this term can mean very different things to different people due to their own perceptions of gender and their cultures. Some see this as a culturally appropriative term because "all genders" implies the inclusion of tribal/native genders that are specific to those cultures, which the person identifying as pangender may not belong to and subsequently could not fully identify with.)
  • Dmab: Designated Male at Birth.
  • Dfab: Designated Female at Birth.
  • Amab/Afab: Same as dmab/dmab, except with 'assigned' instead of 'designted'.
  • Camab/Cafab: Same as previous, except prefixed by 'coercively', to highlight the lack of choice.
  • Reblog to inform! And if there's any I missed or anything that should be clarified, please message me! Always looking to expand the proper vocab. : )
  • **I edited this post because it used some archaic and incorrect terms/definitions, and needed more terms added to it. -Vivian Mareepe
  • ***Further additions made
  • It should be noted that these are terms that are in relatively common use in modern western culture currently, and does not include terms specific to other cultures the authors do not claim to have an exhaustive knowledge of.

Fake “Clinic” Cons 17-Year-Old Girl

misandry-mermaid:

prolongedeyecontact:

An Indiana mother recently accompanied her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to one of Indiana’s Planned Parenthood clinics, but they unwittingly walked into a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” run by an anti-abortion group, one that shared a parking lot with the real Planned Parenthood clinic and was designed expressly to lure Planned Parenthood patients and deceive them.

The group took down the girl’s confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their “other office” (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby). When she arrived for her appointment, not only did the Planned Parenthood staff have no record of her, but the police were there. The “crisis pregnancy center” had called them, claiming that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will.

The “crisis pregnancy center” staff then proceeded to wage a campaign of intimidation and harassment over the following days, showing up at the girl’s home and calling her father’s workplace. Planned Parenthood’s clinic director reports that the girl was “scared to death to leave her house.” They even went to her school and urged classmates to pressure her not to have an abortion.

The anti-choice movement is setting up these “crisis pregnancy centers” across the country. Some of them have neutral-sounding names and run ads that falsely promise the full range of reproductive health services, but they dispense anti-choice propaganda and intimidation instead. And according to a recent article in The New York Times, there are currently more of these centers in the U.S. than there are actual abortion providers. What’s more, these centers have received $60 million in government grants. They’re being funded by our tax dollars.

http://www.ppaction.org/ 
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 24 April 2006

[Emphasis mine. Hear that folks? We are funding terrorists with our tax dollars. The fact that this is legal is absolutely mind-blowing. And when we dare complain, they cry about how they’re being persecuted and censored unfairly, and we’re infringing on their freedom of speech. No, just no. This should not be fucking allowed.]

ETA: Some people in the notes were wondering about the veracity of this story so I found the original source (the citation above was all that was given at the website I got this from). Here’s some more quotes from the original story:

We [Planned Parenthood] have obtained permission to share some of the remarks the patient and her family wrote soon after their encounter with the CPC.

"I have been getting phone calls [from the CPC volunteer] at home and on my cell phone, and they came to my work… saying ‘we will come get you and throw you in a car and take you to a place that is safe.’  I made my decision [to have an abortion].  Even though I had talked to [the CPC person] before, she has no right to be giving out information about me [and my family].  They need to quit harassing me and my family and loved ones.  They have come to my home banging on my door and non-stop calling me.  I have heard racial comments about my boyfriend [and me].  They keep yelling my name, my mother’s, and my boyfriend’s.  They have no right giving out my information, and they need to respect my and my boyfriend’s decision. … They are trying to trap me but this is my decision and no person has forced me and I would like them to stop harassing me, my family, my boyfriend, and my work."

Her mother added:

"These people have given [our personal contact] information to someone at [my daughter’s] school.  Now it seems even the students know certain things and are giving my daughter and her boyfriend a hard time as well.  Also, the faculty has heard things, too.  These people [the CPC personnel] have been standing outside Planned Parenthood yelling obscenities at all who enter.  My daughter’s, her boyfriend’s, and my name have been yelled out for all to hear."

ETA #2: You might also be interested in this post I did awhile ago on more recent investigations of CPCs and their deceptive tactics.

Denying a teenage girl her bodily and mental autonomy, harassing herself, her family and friends, stalking her, sharing her private contact information, making racist comments, threatening to kidnap her, and using intimidation and manipulation to force their beliefs on those who disagree. This is the anti-abortion movement when you give it money and power.  How very “”“pro-life”“”.

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)