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.


17 lies we need to stop teaching girls about sex

Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there are certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won’t die. That sex education in America has gaping holes doesn’t help much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools’ sex ed curriculum included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is “done to them.”

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Gendered language, but otherwise an excellent article

(Source: micdotcom, via rosietherevolter)

Anonymous asked: So I have this friend who has recently come out as transgender (FTM) and it's great. However since this transition is still so new people are still learning that it's happening and the other day I mentioned it to a family member who was under the impression that my friend was a cisgendered lesbian and they asked me why he couldn't just be a 'dyke' essentially. For whatever reason I couldn't articulate a very good answer to really explain how gender identity works. Any thoughts or resources?

If you’re trying to explain in plain terms the complexities of gender, or at least why your friend identifies as a man, what being trans* is, etc. to someone then the best thing I can recommend for you, though it may seem a little obvious or on the nose, are the Wikipedia articles related to the subject: Gender identity (I highly recommend this one as a starter to introduce the others), Transgender, Transsexualism, and Trans man.

The articles are highly extensive and respectful, and having the information come from an objective, widely-used and well-known source will likely help your family member (or others you may attempt to educate that do no have any understanding on the issue or how their comments/view may be harmful, disrespectful, or simply incorrect) accept the information, and ideally encourage them to have faith in its accuracy. Being well-versed in the knowledge and terms presented in the articles yourself may equip you to better explain these issues on your own as well.

Anonymous asked: I have a kinda similar query as the other anon, but not quite as severe - I have the issue of, even when I'm about to orgasm, being just barely too small when first getting penetrated. Like it's uncomfortable but not agonizing, and it goes away.I haven't felt comfortable talking to the nurse practitioners that handle most of the smaller women's health things about it, but should I see someone about it?

I would suggest you follow the same advice on stretching and muscle exercises as detailed in the previous post you mentioned. It sounds like you may have trouble with muscle tension/vaginismus, if you are “just barely too small” and the kegel exercises and focus on relaxation should help with that. Otherwise, just make sure you’re plenty relaxed, lubricated, and aroused before trying penetration. But if these techniques don’t work for you and pain persists, I highly suggest you see a professional, even if it’s just a nurse practitioner. If you don’t feel comfortable with them, then you should be able to specifically request you see your doctor/gynecologist though it may be a bit of a wait.



From the Durango Pregnancy Center in Colorado:

It is important to remember that when you are in a sexual relationship with someone you are also having sex with whoever they have had sex with previously. For example: If you and your partner have each had sex with 5 other people you both have had sex with 31 (thirty-one) people. This number grows considerably with the increase of sexual partners (i.e. if you and your partner have been with 12 other partners you are literally having sex with over 4,000 people).


Can someone do this math for me? Pro-life math and science were never my strengths.

(Screenshot for posterity, even though it’s tiny)


This is by far one of my favorite things I’ve found on a crisis pregnancy center’s website.



[Image: Cute drawings of three couples, each with a label indicating what kind of couple they are: a gay cis man and bisexual trans man, a lesbian trans woman and a pansexual cis woman, and two polysexual nonbinary individuals. Underneath each is the caption: “We are a queer couple able to reproduce.”]


can we stop referring to all sex that could possibly result in pregnancy as “heterosexual reproduction” now


(Also, “pregnant person” does not necessarily mean “woman” for the seventy-millionth time)

(Source: pokemoneggs, via gtfothinspo)

Anonymous asked: So my boyfriend and I recently tried to have vaginal sex. Tried being the keyword. I've never really had anything up there. I don't use tampons, and I don't finger myself when I masturbate. He can barely fit his head in. We've both been using fingers for the past week or two to try to stretch it out, but whenever a second finger is added, it becomes very painful. Sometimes it's even very painful with one finger. Lubricant isn't the problem... so do you have any stretching solutions?

I highly recommend medical dilators, and maybe even seeing a specialist like I did, as your situation sounds very similar to mine (link to an explanation of the trouble I had with penetration, may be worth reading for your specific situation). There is also a similar question we answered here, but since you are looking for stretching techniques specifically, I’ll go more in-depth.

For at-home stretching and control techniques, you have a few options:

  1. Try laying on your back and focusing on relaxing as much as possible. Use artificial lubrication (water-based and glycerin-free is best) and/or your own natural lubricant if you are comfortable trying stimulating yourself some first or getting yourself aroused to aid the stretching (this is an excellent idea with any stretching technique as the vagina extends and widens to accommodate anything that may penetrate it during sexual activity; you may even consider masturbating to orgasm to relax your self first if this does not make further stimulation uncomfortable or undesirable). Insert one finger into your vagina to a comfortable point (it does not have to be very deep) and press upward toward your stomach gently but so that you feel a distinct pressure and possibly a little stretching or tension within the opening of your vagina. Hold it there and count to 10 slowly. Repeat this at each degree of a clock (as though pressing upward toward the top of your pelvis/your stomach/bladder is 12 o’clock noon). Do this exercise just a few times a week to start and increase the frequency to once a day until you feel comfortable penetrating with two fingers, and then continue the exercise with two fingers. At this point you may also try opening your fingers slightly (without the pressing/clock motions) to create tension and achieve stretching.
  2. For some, muscle relaxation and control can be the main issue with being averse to penetration, or at least having more vaginal muscle control can aid them in relaxing to penetration in addition to stretching techniques. You can improve your strength and control of vaginal muscles by doing “kegel” exercises. This simply consists of clenching the muscles of your pelvic floor (the ones you would use if you were attempting to stop urine flow mid-stream) and holding them like that for 10-30 seconds (increase your time as your stamina grows) in sets of 5 or so. You can start by doing a set of 5 each day, and increase your numbers from there. The key to improving your control with kegels is to get yourself to be able to completely relax your muscles after holding them tense for a period of time. Once you are familiar with the sensation of doing this, you should be able to better focus on getting yourself and your pelvic muscles to relax, which will make penetration much easier.
  3. Lastly, I again recommend medical vaginal dilators. Dilators are essentially a series of smooth plastic dildos that start at incredibly small sizes and gradually increase in thickness from about the size of a pencil to 3 inches. I would order a set with many different small sizes to get you to larger ones. All you have to do is follow the same set up as the stretching exercises—use lubrication, whether it be artificial or your natural lubricant from masturbation/arousal or both, lay on your back, and focus on relaxing—and begin by inserting the smallest sized dilator into your vagina, and either masturbating with it or leaving it in place and just relaxing until you feel comfortable with it. Once you feel no discomfort, you can remove it and move up to the next, larger size. This may take very few sessions, or a regimen of frequent (every day or every-other day at the most frequent) to see results, but I have found it to be highly effective.

All of these methods can be used alone, but there is no harm in trying multiple, and they should only enhance one another and help your likelihood of becoming comfortable with penetration.

However, if these techniques do not work and you continue feeling pain from any penetration, there is a small chance your discomfort/pain could be due to vaginismus, endometriosis, or various other conditions. In this case you should not try to self-diagnose or treat, but see a gynecologist.

There are no such things as “opposite” genders, any more than a strawberry is the “opposite” as a plum.

—Hanne Blank, Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality (via insidethesnowglobe)

(Source: transschmuck, via hotdogcephalopod)

Anonymous asked: you've talked on this blog before about guys making their foreskins come back by strching out the skin there. i never had my foreskin removed, which is fine, and i dont mind my foreskin, except that there is a lot of it, and because i've tugged at it basically since i started masturbating , there's so much now that i kind of looks weird, and i'm worried it might affect my sensitivity, is there a way to make smaller without circumcision?

The “tugging” method to restore foreskin is usually a lot different than the natural stretching and tugging at a foreskin you likely would do during masturbation, or just regular touching of yourself, or any mild stretching at or playing with your skin. Manual stretching of the skin is intensive and highly consistent to have any noticeable effects, so unless you’ve actively been trying to extend your foreskin, it sounds like you may just have redundant prepuce (also known as redundant foreskin, overhang, or overhanging foreskin).

Redundant prepuce is the slight overhang or extra lip of skin extending beyond the end of the penis once the glans is covered. It is completely normal, and so long as you do not begin experiencing phimosis (hardening of the foreskin or opening of the foreskin preventing retraction or making retraction painful) there is absolutely nothing wrong with having some extra foreskin. If anything, this may increase your sexual sensitivity, as the glans and inside of the foreskin/the ridged band are the areas most packed with sexually sensitive nerve endings.

Here is a link to the foreskin “Coverage Index” notating different levels of coverage/length and detonating each a number should you be interested in placing yourself along a scale or seeing real-life examples of foreskin lengths and redundant prepuce (it should be noted that the first few rankings on the scale and their accompanying images are of those restoring their foreskins, not naturally born with that little coverage). The index includes actual pictures of genitals and is NSFW.

Anonymous asked: You know, right after the semen comes out, the porn I just masturbated to becomes disgusting and boring and everything related to sex too. Just for some minutes, I almost swear to myself to never do that again. Every time after masturbating.

This is very common during the refractory period. The refractory period is the time after orgasm during which it is physically impossible for a male-bodied person to achieve orgasm again, and sustaining physical arousal at all is also unattainable for most. The reason for this is that upon orgasm, prolactin is released into the brain, which represses the dopamine that is necessary for sexual arousal. Most people report feeling very non-sexual and uninterested in sexual thoughts and activity as a result. The refractory period is partly responsible for many male-bodied people desiring sleep after sexual activity. Even many female-bodied people report experiencing milder versions of refractory periods.

santonijones13 asked: So its thr first time my bf went doen on me; everything was going fine. So just as I came my legs involuntarily choked him and I'm super nervous to do it again. Help please?

The best thing you can do is just focus on relaxing. If or when your boyfriend performs cunnilingus on you again, try to take things slower and keep calm—hopefully that will allow you more control over your body during orgasm. And, if possible, tell your boyfriend when you feel close or know you are about to orgasm so that if you can’t control your muscles again, he has time to prepare.

So long as you simply explain why it occurred and do your best to avoid it again, or at least warn him, I’m sure he won’t mind.