Thank You and Thanks Birth Control: A Few Highlights
Image via Suburbia Interrupted.
Wowza. That was fun! Yesterday thousands of people said thanks for what birth control makes possible, and we are so thankful to each and every one of you who took a moment to be part of it. Everyone who reblogged a postcard, shared an article, tweeted about why they love their method or what birth control has made possible for them, or simply liked a postcard on Instagram helped make talking about birth control a little less controversial. We’re sharing a few highlights from the day—but there’s lots that we’re not capturing here, so please share your favorite #ThxBirthControl posts/activities in the comments!
“Thanks, Birth Control! You Made This Possible" by Stephanie Kaplan, CEO of HerCampus.com. Huffington Post also had excellent “Thanks, Birth Control” articles by Devon Corneal and Laura Sessions Stepp.
“Birth Control: A Love Story" by Julia Sonenshein for The Gloss.
“Mommy is Done and Just Wants to Have Fun" by Dani of Suburbia Interrupted.
A post about the day by our fabulous former intern Hannah for Bitch Media.
And the conversation doesn’t have to end there…Let’s keep it going till the next “Thanks Birth Control” day comes around!
When people try to use ‘slut’ as an insult it’s like, what’s next? What else you got? ‘Cos that’s great. Oh so I have sex a lot? Okay. Oh no! Don’t say anything else. What, do I dress well?
Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t wear heels around them because it makes them feel short. And don’t let them make you feel any less feminine for being taller than them. You can date whoever you want. And you can wear whatever freaking shoes you want. That’s Tall Girl Code.
Stumbled upon this gem thanks to Buzzfeed’s "24 Important Pieces Of Life Wisdom From The Ladies Of ‘Girl Code.’" We like to think Ryan Gosling is totally into safer sex, but the point still stands—carry a condom!
4 Steps I’m Taking to Avoid a “Catfish” Situation
As a person who spends most of my life either on my computer or on my phone, I have never hesitated to online date. Sure, I’ve had creeps make me feel gross after they sent an inappropriate sexual “compliment” in a message… but that’s also happened to me on the subway. Just like I take the good with the bad when dating in the real world, I’ve moved on quickly after negative experiences online. But one thing has made me pause a little while longer. It’s an MTV reality show, it’s a popular hashtag on twitter…It’s “catfish.”
The term “catfish” was made popular by a 2010 documentary, (by the same name), and it refers to any time a person lies about who they really are—from their name to where they live to what they look like—in order to forge or maintain a romantic connection (or just to maliciously deceive someone). And as I said in my latest vlog, From Manti Te’o to Catfish: Men & Online Dating, I now know too many of “catfish” horror stories to ignore how often it happens. Still, I have no intention of excluding the internet as a possible place to meet “him.”
Here’s what I’ll be doing to make sure I never meet a catfish:
1. Updating my online profile: As of right now my online dating profile is a great look at who I am, what I like to do for fun, and what I’m looking for in a guy—but I will be adding what I’m NOT looking for too. I was recently telling a guy friend how it’s a huge turn-off when men bring up sex right away, and he asked me if those exact words were in my profile. They weren’t! The conversation made me realize an online profile is basically a living document—meant to change as you have experiences that change you. Also going in: “Loved the movie Catfish, but never want that to happen to me.”
2. Going beyond the profile picture: Too often we are distracted by how FINE someone looks in their profile pictures (pleading the fifth on whether this has ever happened to me), but when you see someone you want to meet, it is so important to read his or her entire profile. Not only does this force you to think about whether this is a person you’d want in your life, but if you like what you read, you can use it for conversation fodder when you’re messaging. Bring up the fact that he said he loves soccer, or that she said she enjoys cooking. Ask follow up questions, and see if the story holds up.
3. Checking out my “friends of friends”: What better way to make sure someone is real than to ask your old classmate, co-worker, or best friend who knows him or her personally? To me this a no-brainer! Meeting someone who knows one of your Facebook friends means you have access to a co-signer (a.k.a. someone who can vouch for him or her).
4. Being honest about my needs: I have always believed in meeting up with online dates right away, as in-person chemistry is very important to me. But to be honest, now-a-days I’m suffering from a little dating-fatigue and I’m finding it less of a priority in my busy life. For the first time, I can see how getting to know someone just through messages in the beginning could be very fulfilling. Sometimes all you’re looking for is an ear… someone to talk to. But once I’m ready for romance, at the very least, it’ll be time for a skype date.
What are your tips for avoiding catfish? Have you ever been lied to online? Would love to know how you handled it!
Online dating can lead to some interesting encounters on MTV’s Catfish. But how do people miss the signs that something just isn’t right? As Wes explains, “when we want something bad enough, we’ll sort of let the details slide…”
GQ: You interviewed students all over the country about sex. What school had the horniest population?
Savage: Tulane [laughs]. Tulane, hands down. It might as well be a school in the New Jersey state system.
5 Handy Facts for STD Awareness Month
When we think of April, two things come to mind—rain and STD Awareness Month (not necessarily in that order). We recommend an umbrella (or a romantic spirit) for the first and our friends over at GYT for the latter. You’ve probably heard the stat—one in two people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by age 25, and most of them won’t know it. The GYT campaign aims to reduce the spread of STDs (which, BTW, we at Bedsider refer to as STIs for sexually transmitted infections) among young people first through information (and prevention), then through testing and treatment as needed. On their site you can find a testing center, get tips on talking to your partner and your provider, and read about STI prevention, a.k.a. condoms. You should head on over there right after you check out these 5 handy facts we put together for your STI-awareness-raising arsenal.
1) Going for your routine pap smear/check up is really important, but don’t assume because everything is normal with your pap that you’re in the clear for STIs. Generally you have to ask to be screened for any STI you’re concerned about. (And if you’re nervous about bringing up sex with your doctor, we’ve got tips for making that less awkward, too.)
2) HPV is really, really common. Still, there are things you can do to reduce your odds of getting it like getting vaccinated, being selective in terms of partners, and using condoms. Screening to make sure you don’t have it, or to keep an eye on it if you do, is also super important.
3) We hear nasty rumors sometimes about the pill causing infertility, but science has shown that to be the stuff of myth. Actually, if you’re worried about your fertility—current or future—the best thing you can do is get screened for STIs. Take Chlamydia, for example—somewhere in the neighborhood of three million Americans are infected with it each year. STIs like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can cause scarring in the tubes connecting your ovaries and uterus and make it hard to get pregnant later.
4) Some STIs don’t have any symptoms, so you can’t always tell if you (or someone you want to sleep with) have one. Do you see where we’re going with this?
5) Oral sex is not a free pass. Or rather—oh, puns!—it can be a free pass to STI transmission. So always use a condom or a dental dam for oral sex if you don’t know your partner’s status.
Speaking of knowing your partner’s status, there is actually (would we joke about this?) an app for that. In fact, we know of at least two—Qpid.me and ChecMate—that help make sharing your status easier.
If this is all old news for you, pass it on to a friend. Don’t feel like scrolling up? Here’s that GYT link again. And check back here for our next Method Monday—we’ll be posting about that magic method that protects against both pregnancy and STIs…condoms.
Sex advice and a road trip? (Sign us up.) Savage U kicked off Tuesday with a visit to the University of Maryland. A choice excerpt from a random conversation with a guy waiting to get tested for STIs at the school health center:
Dan Savage: “What kind of safety precautions do you take with [your girlfriend]? …do you use condoms?”
Mike (guy in the waiting room): “I don’t.”
Lauren (Dan’s travel companion): “Is she on the pill?”
Mike (guy in the waiting room): “No.”
Dan Savage: “Are you insane?”
This is gonna be good…