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Sad with Shitty Insurance? Try Online Group Therapy

June 12, 2012

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Ever feel like you could benefit from a therapist but you don’t have the cash or you can’t travel to sessions or you just don’t wan to make the commitment? Now the magic Internet is bringing the therapists to you for only $9.99 per hour-long sesh. Talktala:_ is a brand new site (so new they’re still in the beta stage) that¬†democratizes therapy by providing it in small groups for a low price.

You attend a group session — whether by chatting, talking, videoing or a combination of all three, your choice — with a max of 8 people including the therapist. It can be completely anonymous, if you prefer. Their projected audience is mainly women and many of the sessions are centered around relationship issues; for example, “I can’t seem to get the relationship I want” and “I want to break my relationship patterns” and “My spouse is cheating on me” and “Divorce Support.”

We haven’t tried it and can’t vouch for the experience, but we were intrigued enough by the idea — especially since we often get advice questions from people who should be seeking professional help but can’t afford it — that we asked Talktala:_ for more information:

Read our interview with Talktala:_ on SUNfiltered



Doctor Claims He’s Located the G-Spot

May 1, 2012

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photo via flickr

Yes, Virginia, there is a G-spot, and one doctor in Poland claims he’s located it — and he says it’s tiny, less then one centimeter across. But other G-spot experts are not so sure of his claim. Dr. Adam Ostrzenski (what are the odds his buddies now call him Dr. O?), a semi-retired Florida gynecologist, did a postmortem on an 83-year-old woman in Warsaw, where the use of cadavers is not nearly as regulated as it is in the U.S. (In Poland, doctors can dissect bodies very shortly after death, which allows them to explore fine distinctions in tissue.) And according to an article he published in the¬†Journal of Sexual Medicine¬†last week, he uncovered small, grape-like clusters of erectile tissue inside a tiny sac between the fifth and sixth layers of vaginal wall tissue. But¬†then there’s this noteworthy (and rather shady) aside: in his day job,¬†Ostrzenski performs plastic surgery on women’s genitalia — and you’ll never guess what service is on his menu — “G spotplasty.” Kinda shady…

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Naked News: The HPV Edition

March 30, 2012

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poster via NCCC-online.org

We’ve been writing about sex and sexual health for more than a decade, and HPV still makes our heads swim. It’s such a complicated subject — complicated further by the emotional and political climate surrounding the vaccine — and guidelines on HPV seem to be constantly changing. It’s been in the news a lot lately, so we thought we’d review some of the latest headlines.¬†If you want to brush up on the facts, check out the CDC’s HPV page here.¬†And you can review everything we’ve published on HPV here.

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



What Do We Want? An Affordable, Non-Hormonal, Long-Lasting Contraception Option for Men!

March 29, 2012

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When do we want it? Now! Of course, these kind of things take time and money. And if these things don’t fit the Big Pharma money-making model (take a pill, day after day, year after year, and keep shelling out the dough for it), then getting backing and support is an uphill battle. But¬†Vasalgel¬†seems to be the little birth control that could. After three decades of research and trials in India, this method of reversible male contraception has made it’s way to America thanks to the¬†Parsemus Foundation, which is dedicated to finding low-cost solutions neglected by the pharmaceutical industry. The latest news on this front: preliminary rabbit safety and efficacy studies in the U.S. just started this month!

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered 



It’s Official: Your Insurance Provider Now Has to Cover Your Contraceptives

August 4, 2011

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We reported¬†last week that a leading U.S. medical advisory panel recommended that all insurers be required to cover contraceptives for women free of charge. Well, guess what? The Obama administration went for it! And we don’t mean the kind of “free” where you have to pay an annoying co-pay or other deductible. We mean 100% on the house.¬†Let the celebratory protected boot-knocking begin!¬†Insurance providers will be required to cover every single contraceptive method approved by the FDA, including sterilization procedures and… wait for it… emergency contraceptives including the Plan B pill. Halle-fucking-lujah.

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Give Us an I! Give us a U! Give us a D!

July 5, 2011

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illus. of Paraguard IUD via Med.unc.edu

Move over, Pill! According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the IUD is a whole lot more effective — and safer than was traditionally thought.¬†For a long time IUDs have been recommended only for women in long-term monogamous relationships who’d already had children — this was based on concerns that IUDs raised the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which, left untreated, can cause infertility. But according to ACOG, the evidence does not support these concerns — meaning, IUDs do not cause PID.

When you combine this news with what we already knew — the overwhelming effectiveness of a device that you insert once every five or ten years, as compared to a pill that you have to remember to take daily — it’s kind of a no-brainer. Or, at least, the IUD is definitely a contender. Currently it’s the redheaded stepchild of the birth control world — in 2008, IUDs, were the chosen method of 5.5% of women using contraceptives (and only 1.3% in 2002). But as more and more women find out that (a) IUDs are a lot safer than they’d been warned and (b) a lot more effective than the Pill or condoms, we’re guessing that will change. Here’s more from us on IUDs:

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Abortion Foes Seek to Redefine Personhood

June 6, 2011

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photo via Flickr

If anti-abortion activists thought that redefining the laws of gravity would help their cause, they wouldn’t let a little scientific evidence get in their way. And the latest campaign is almost as far-fetched: A group called Personhood USA is trying to redefine when life begins. It starts “exactly at creation,” according to Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA. “It’s fertilization; it’s when the sperm meets the egg.” Mason wants laws to recognize every fertilized egg as an individual and complete human being.

Not that it matters to Mason, but the, um, facts aren’t exactly on his side. Medically, fertilization does not mark the beginning of pregnancy — because only about half of all fertilized eggs end in pregnancy. Medically, pregnancy begins once a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. But perhaps Mason doesn’t realize this, given that he probably thinks sex ed is for losers.

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Your Brain on Porn

May 25, 2011

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photo via Flickr

There has always been great debate between sex-positive free-speech porn advocates and anti-porn chicken-little moralists. We’ve always fallen somewhere in the middle: you can’t really legislate desire and fantasy, but at the same time all this porn, like too much fast food, can’t be good for you. An interesting site we’ve found that seems to rely heavily on science without any moralistic judgment is YourBrainOnPorn.com — it smartly and succinctly explains how heavy porn use can have unwanted effects on the brain and offers suggestions for reversing those effects. The founders of this site have a blog on Psychology Today called Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow and just this week posted one guy’s account of his “rebooting,” an attempt to rewire his brain circuitry with a porn/masturbation/orgasm fast — pretty fascinating stuff:

Read the rest of this post on SUNfitlered



Insecurity May Improve Your Chances in the Dating World

December 29, 2010

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photo by chelseagirl

We have long repeated the adage that confidence — whether real or faked — leads to success on the pick-up scene and in the dating world. But a new study by a psychology professor at Queens College in New York suggests the exact opposite: insecure people try harder in the dating world, which can lead to success at least as often as it can lead to your appearing desperate and needy.¬†‚ÄúInsecure individuals [present] themselves as warm, engaging, and humorous people,‚ÄĚ the professor, Claudia Brumbaugh, writes. In other words, maybe insecure people who fake confidence actually do better than confident people who take their self-confidence for granted.

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered



Emergency Bras at the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony

October 4, 2010

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The 20th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, which honors achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think,” was held Harvard University last Thursday. On hand to help honor the 2010 prize laureates was Dr. Elana Bodnar, last year’s winner of the Ig Nobel Public Health Prize for her Emergency Bra, a brassiere that can quickly be transformed into a pair of gas masks (which sounds kind of ridiculous until you learn that as a young Ukrainian physician, she treated people affected as much by particle inhalation as by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident). At this year’s event, she gave out her Emergency Bras, which are now on sale commercially at ebbra.com, to the winners, which included a team from Bristol who won the biology prize for documenting fellatio in fruit bats. (One of the team’s professors said, “It is the first documented case of fellatio by adult animals other than humans to my knowledge, and opens questions about whether female animals can manipulate males via sexual activity.“)

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