Back for more

11/18/2009 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Dear internet, I have returned from some scheduled downtime. During my off-time, I had many adventures with my boyfriend, and did not check my e-mail or blog on a regular basis. As a result of this break, I returned home feeling refreshed, renewed & restored…

…and buried by work that piled up in my absence, and new content in my RSS feeder online!

Needless to say, I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do. We’ll get to that in a few moments. First, to bring interested readers (all what, 8 or 9 of you,) up to speed with what’s been going on with me,

I picked a very good time to take a break in terms of not letting too much work pile up on the job or at home. The weather where I went was pleasant, the crowd levels minimal, lots of things to see and do, and my boyfriend and I had some private time together. We had plenty of activities to keep us busy and amused, and we ate so much good food… I really could not have asked for a more perfect vacation.
Well, actually, there is one thing that could have made our time together even better. A certain piece of jewelry presented to me with a certain flourish would have made my year… but apparently it is not time for that yet. So be it then.

This time around, although we’ve done it before and have very few opportunities to try this, we did not attempt to have intercourse. Nope. Did not even try it. We both wanted a pressure-free, totally relaxing time together. Intercourse is this whole big production for me and we’re both so new at this. Attempting intercourse can be nerve wracking. It’s definitely worth it when it happens, but it’s not too far off the mark for me to say that for us, the act of intercourse is about as intricate & requires about as much rehearsal as a Broadway musical.

That’s not to say that we didn’t have sex though – we had enough quality sex & intimacy to keep both of us satisfied. No pain on my end, however it looks like that Bartholin’s gland cyst is going to keep coming back whenever I spend a lot of time aroused (as I often do when I’m with my boyfriend.) The cyst is already starting to decrease in size and firmness on its own, so I’m not worried about it right now. But I know that sooner or later I’m going to need to have that gland looked at. Some day it will likely require a more complex and permanent intervention than warm compresses & sitz baths.
One thing at a time. Worry about that later when the time comes.

While my boyfriend and I are comfortable with the quality & quantity of sex we enjoyed while on break, unfortunately the rest of the world is not satisfied with it.

Upon my return home my family started in on me about whether we’d had sex – by which they mean intercourse. On one hand, it’s great that I have their support – they want me to have a happy, healthy sex life. My mother & sister especially supported me when I was recovering from vulvovaginal surgery. On the other hand, it’s not great that their support can often turn into invasive nagging & pressure to perform. “Did you do it? How was it? That’s all?! Aw K, you gotta put that vag of yours to good use while you can!”

Even my boyfriend had some family pressure regarding sex, or rather pressure to not perform. Even though he is an adult, and even though we’ve been together for years, his family still does not approve of our relationship. His family certainly does not want him sleeping with me, and so he returns home to a different kind of nagging.

Why is sex so heavily policed by peers & family?

Anyway, now that I’m back online, I mean to return to regular blogging about feminism & sex & female sexual dysfunction – and all the work I left behind before my break remains to be done. Those draft posts don’t write themselves. Even the “Fluff” needs more tweaking.

It’s probably going to be a few days yet before I’m all caught up with my RSS feeder, and even longer before I find time to pick up & read some books on my shelves. Unfortunately for me (fortunate for the interested & patient reader though,) more articles & editorials & blog posts were written about FSD in my absence. I must have picked a bad week to take off in terms of blogging. I won’t be able to put together a weekly blog-link roundup for awhile longer, yet I still want to bring attention to a few pieces you may have missed:

For instance, that Nation article I had such a big problem with a few weeks ago – it’s been joined by yet another anti-FSD cohort. So someone (probably me) is going to need to sit down and analyze this article & see if it contains any troublesome (even if well-meaning) implications and dismissive language (hint: it does.)

Meanwhile, there’s a new drug for female sexual dysfunction on the horizon, and I’m sure it will set the feminist blogosphere abuzz once word spreads – so far Violet Blue is on the ball, a sex therapist sees the potential benefit for patients, and a sex educator takes a comprehensive look at it, including the history of FSD. This drug, Flibanserin, is a type of antidepressant – it’s an SSRI rather than a tricyclic. (Tricyclic antidrepessants, in low doses, are sometimes used to treat pelvic pain, including sexual pain.) It won’t work like Viagra, which increases physical response but doesn’t necessarily instill a craving for sex in and of itself. Flibanserin is designed to increase libido.
This drug actually sounds like it would be less appropriate for me than Viagra, as I am comfortable with my current libido. My main problems in sex are with this physical body of mine.
So I may need to talk about Flibanserin, Viagra, et al soon.

Regarding vulvovaginal surgery (labiaplasty in particular – always with the labiaplasty to the exclusion of other genital surgeries and/or surgeries done without aesthetics in mind,) we have some Fightin’ Words:

Angelica Kavouni, a cosmetic surgeon who carries out labioplasty, said it was wrong to “terrorise patients” with suggestions of long-term consequences.

Them’s fightin’ words! Strong, unequivocal language – you may be wondering what sort of anti-surgery/surgery awareness tactics could possibly terrorize a patient about to undergo vulvovaginal surgery, whether the surgery is for purely cosmetic reasons or not. I may be inclined at a later date to tell you some examples of tactics which yes, even I would consider over the top and counter-productive.
Also, if Kavouni is a surgeon, I wonder why the editor did not include “Dr.” or “Ph.D.” in the title of her name… she does have a medical degree, yes?

Brie is keeping up with Private Practice, the ABC television show which a few years ago aired an episode about a patient diagnosed with vaginismus and vulvodynia. The show now includes a recurrent theme of a female sexual dysfunction clinic, but it is not doing a very good job of actually talking about FSD.

There’s a LOT of news going on outside the realm of FSD that I’m trying to stay abreast of. One of most frequently-spotted topic in my RSS feeder is about US health care reform, including discussion of the Stupak amendment. I’m also overwhelmed & appalled by the amendment itself – this is bad news for women’s health. Health insurance reform, but at a very high price. One particularly good post on the topic I’ve seen is over at Female Impersonator. I, too, speak legalese (although possibly not as fluently as Jenn.) This isn’t the only news topic going on; I’ve seen posts about the Carrie Prejean slut-shaming scandal, the Ft. Hood shooting, and more. Then there are the posts that are not necessarily political in nature, but are interesting invitations into bloggers’ personal insights.

And that’s just for starters. Stay tuned – we’ve got a lot of work left to do.

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  1. Thanks for the mention. Definitely would love to hear your take on “Viagra for women.” Is there any situation where such a drug might be appropriate? Is the drug company just trying to cash in on an easy target? Are women yet again being used as guinea pigs for profit? Or will all the women that say, “If I could just take a pill…” be jumping for joy?


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