— This Bridge Called My Back
Anonymous asked: Samantha -- saw your article on Project Underblog and nearly stopped reading at your mention of latex allergy. I had the same experience, went through physical therapy after getting the pain misdiagnosed and ultimately figured out what was wrong myself. But not after a lot of trauma in the bedroom. Would love to hear about how you manage your latex allergy -- not just for sex but life in general!
I am so sorry to hear that! What a terrible experience! It can be a long road to discovering what’s wrong, but from the sounds of it you were able to experience a positive sex life and figure out what was happening to your body. Doctors are just not up to speed on the complexities of sexual issues, which is so sad and damaging for the patient!
I can’t say my experience was much different.
During the course of my early sexual experiences, I used latex condoms. I didn’t have a proper sexual education and didn’t know they made ones without latex, let alone female condoms. It was painful and I rarely got any pleasure from those instances. It all left me thinking, “What is the point of all this?” I took a long break from sex and tried to figure it out on my own. I did research and I tried asking my doctor but he laughed me out of the office. He thought it was all in my head and that I just “wasn’t doing it right.” Super helpful.
It wasn’t until my last year in college when I started to do sex research. I was looking into the sexual health practices of college aged students, and as you would have it, I discovered latex free condoms! We had a lot to hand out to our participants so I grabbed a handful of the latex free that were left over and tried it on my then partner.
It was magical! No pain. No itching after. No swelling! It was just as I had always assumed good, great fun! Ever since then I have been using latex free everything. I have been lucky that I haven’t experienced issues on other parts of my body, but to be safe I always ask when I see someone coming at me with a glove of some sort. I couldn’t tell you if I had issues before because medically they always use latex free and the TSA does as well (trust me I always ask, they love me for it-not).
I am also careful with what kind of lube I use. I always recommend using a water base one just to be safe. Also make sure you are checking your sex toys- you never know what could be hiding in those things!
Dealing with a latex allergy is just like any other allergy, you learn to live with it and be safe by keeping an eye out for when the allergen comes your way. Thank you so much for reaching out to me and I hope you got the chance to look around.
This time of year is busy for everyone. With schools coming to a close for summer vacations, conferences, wedding season quickly approaching, family/friend obligations and the every day chores, it’s sometimes hard to take a step back and review how far we’ve come. I know I had to stop myself several times this week to say a quick prayer to the powers that be for my crazy, amazing, beautiful life. I am so full of gratitude these days I wanted to take a moment to remind you to do the same, but I also wanted to share with you why I am so full of hope, love and light.
This week has really made me feel that what I want to do with my life, is really the path I should be on. From wonderful teaching moments in my class to getting to guest lecture to finally obtaining my acceptance letter to Mercer University, I have realized that through hard work, determination and positive thinking, almost all of my dreams have started to come true! That is a wonderful feeling and I just feel so grateful for all the amazing opportunities I have been granted.
It isn’t just my accomplishments I am grateful for it’s the surprising amount of love and support I have gotten from various friends, family and colleagues. You never know how much you are loved until something happens in your life that really makes you take a step back and look around at all the smiling faces. It really does bring tears to my eyes thinking about the surprising fact so many people believe in me and my work. It’s really unreal and I am so thankful for every second of it!
With all that said, I challenge you- my wonderful followers, readers and supporters- to take a moment today to think about one good thing that you are thankful for in your life. It is my belief that from just that one moment of love and light, you can create other wonderful moments to come! Just think about all the warm fuzzies you can get or give. So let’s take a moment for gratitude!
— Elise McKenna, Somewhere In Time
Anonymous asked: I agree with almost all of what you said about porn - we should be more open about it and stop treating it like some big taboo. Except... some people actually, genuinely don't watch it. And when people keep insisting EVERYONE watches porn, it makes people who aren't interested or don't like it feel like there's something wrong with them. There's enough shame and judgement about sex without accidentally introducing more!
That is an excellent point and I am really glad you pointed it out!
I guess from where I was coming from, I wanted to call out the liars who say they don’t watch, but actually do and then judge the rest of us.
No offense to anyone who really doesn’t watch or care for it. :)
I am all for anyone getting their rocks off in any way, shape or form, as long as it’s consensual and safe! Not sure how much you are interested in my work, but I do try to write from a very open (and honest) place that tries to respect everyone. Thank you for pointing out that my latest piece does the opposite of what I was trying to get out there.
Yesterday I decided to try something for the first time, no I am lying to you, I’ve tried it many times before: I went to watch porn. Not just for my viewing pleasure, but because I was actually interested in watching.
Everyone watches porn. No, stop, you know you do. Porn is one of those polarizing topics, such as abortion, that once mentioned, people quickly form teams and very strict options. Sometimes I think that the porno I am watching is awful and in bad taste- no one actually makes sounds like that. And as a sex educator, I know it’s very unlikely a woman is orgasming in such a position. Then other times, I think it can be liberating and exciting. I see things that I never imagined or tried before, of which I then make a note to discuss it with my partner during our next sexual tryst.
I don’t dare believe that all porn is created equal. There are some awful people out there that have created videos that are not consensual, filled with respect nor have the best intentions. But from what I gather from the various sex workers I have met and doing some research on the topic, most porn videos we watch are discussed well in advance and all parties are healthy and ready to get it on (in?).
With that in mind, I choose to think that porn is a good way to experiment and to see what is out there. From the media we get images of heterosexual couples doing it in the missionary position- hella boring if you ask me and definitely not the position for mutual pleasure (for most hetero couples). Why don’t we talk about it? I am pretty sure I started writing this post to boost metrics for my blog because I knew if I said “porn” a lot of people would start to freak out (sorry, Mom and Dad).
But let’s be honest with ourselves: if everyone is doing it, then why are we so afraid to share? I started, now you tell me why we can’t have a water cooler discussion about the latest porn flick we watched over the weekend.
(For a response, read here!)
Anonymous asked: Feminism and Porn?
My first thought would be to answer yes! Why not?
But without a clear understanding what you are asking I can only point you into the direction of pro-sex feminism and sex positivity. I wrote about it awhile back, "I Like Sex: Am I Sex Positive?" I think that would be a great place to start. I also quickly wrote something I had been working on for awhile, now I feel is a good time to post it, take a look at it here.
Please let me know if you still have any questions or comments. I’d love to help clear things up for you!