Tag: Women

A Truly Shocking Number of Women Find Sex Painful

They say sex is like pizza: Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. But findings from a new study suggest that’s not the case for many women. One in 13 women reported experiencing painful sex in the past. A smaller subset—one in 53—said sex is “often or always” painful for them.

Researchers surveyed about 7,000 sexually active British women and found that the intercourse issues are most common among women in their late 50s and early 60s, but women between the ages of 16 and 24 aren't far behind.

The study didn't break down the causes, though there are a number of medical conditions, such as vaginismus, endometriosis, and fibroids, that can make sex painful. Many women have eased their pain by experimenting with different lubes, and some women with vaginismus have had success with Botox injections in their vagina. It's case by case, so if this is something you've experienced, it's a good idea to consult a doctor.

Kristin Mitchell, one of the lead researchers of this study, said the underlying problems aren't always physical. Anxiety about sex can lead to painful experiences too. The best way to treat this? Better education.

“Often, sex education is about STIs and pregnancy, but it should also prepare people to think about what makes sex enjoyable and how to communicate what they like and dislike in a trusting and respectful relationship,” Mitchell told the BBC.

At the end of the day, painful sex is a sign that something is amiss, either in your relationship or in your body. If this is something you're struggling with, never be embarrassed about asking for help.

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Dating Other Women Helped Me Love My Own “Imperfect” Body

How Dating Other Women Helped Me Love My Own "Imperfect" Body

The first time I fell in love with a woman, I was 16, and everything about her seemed perfect: her curly red hair, her freckles, the way she moved from one yoga position to the next so effortlessly she seemed bored. Her name was Ruby.

In hindsight, I’m pretty sure I over-romanticized that first encounter, as one does as a teenager in search of self. We were at an outdoor yoga class at my local park, and everything seemed to shine brilliantly with magic: the pink lemonade that I sipped at the entrance; the soft, dewy grass between my toes; and the smile of the girl who set up her mat beside me.

While I couldn’t see it at the time, of course Ruby had imperfections. But there was one thing I remember that would have been called a “flaw” by most beauty standards, though I didn’t see it that way: She had cellulite—small, sweet dimples appeared on the tops of her thin legs. And even in a public space, she didn’t bother to cover them up or seem embarrassed.

That sort of carefree spirit was so foreign to me, and I envied it. I had such a distorted body image, partially formed by an all-girls’ school obsessed with making us look like “little ladies,” that I couldn’t even recognize myself in photographs. I wished I had Ruby’s confidence, her grace, her aura of self-acceptance. I remember going home that day and stripping down to my underwear. I twisted my spine to look at my cellulite in the mirror and thought, “I have something in common with a goddess.”

In my social circles, I’ve often encountered the assumption that queer people inherently have fewer issues with body image than our straight peers, but I can assure you, dating women is hardly a cure-all for body image issues. In my case, dating women has sometimes felt like an obstacle to self-love. The women I date always seem to be thinner than I am; they’re also traditionally prettier, softer, more feminine. And while I’m trying to unlearn the idea that being fat is “bad,” it’s always hard for me not to compare myself to my partners and feel like I’m inferior. When you’re held to the same standards as the person you’re dating, it can be especially easy to see your so-called shortcomings.

Self-love isn’t a linear journey.

When my girlfriend grabs her stomach fat and talk about going on salt-water cleanses, it’s difficult to look at my own body and think that I look fine. I sometimes find myself worried that strangers see us holding hands in public and think I don’t deserve to be with the woman I love because of the way I look.

But on the other hand, there’s transference. The beauty I saw in Ruby’s “flaws” made it easy for me to see beauty in my own. I met Ruby back when I still believed in the concept of “leagues” — she would be out of my league by any mainstream teen movie’s standards. I thought she wouldn’t like me the way I liked her because I wasn’t as conventionally attractive, but she proved me wrong. She didn’t just love me; she actively pursued me. She didn’t just think I was beautiful; she worshipped me the way I worshipped her.

This surprising turn of events led me to think two revolutionary thoughts:

1. Maybe I’m attractive. Maybe, just as I loved Ruby’s thighs and untamed eyebrows, she loved something that would be considered “imperfect” about me—my soft arms, or my strange chin.

2. Maybe Ruby loved me for reasons other than my appearance.

Ruby and I didn’t last, but loving her was a learning experience. In loving her, I ultimately opened the floodgates to loving myself. When I saw beauty in her imperfections, I learned to apply the same eye to my own body. I found myself thinking of the things we call flaws, and wondering why we’re trained to think this way.

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I wanted Ruby not because she was “perfect”—she wasn’t—but because there was a light inside her that shined for me. So why should I hold my body to a beauty standard that I don’t hold my romantic partner to? When I try to be full of love, I can shine as brightly as Ruby did, and my so-called imperfections can’t stand in the way of that.

Self-love isn’t a linear journey; I still fluctuate between treating myself with the gentle kindness I deserve and wanting to cut my stomach off with a knife. But slowly, I’ve managed to transition out of thinking, “I hate my body” on a daily basis. For a while, I replaced it with the thought, “Actually, I look great!” But now I try to remember the most important part: “It doesn’t matter how I look. I love myself anyway.”

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What Happens When Plus-Size Women Try to Look Like Top Models

More and more plus-size models are killing it on the runway and in the pages of magazines. But when it comes to big-time high-fashion ads (think: the ones you see flipping through Vogue), the models still have a slender body type.

Thankfully, BuzzFeed took matters into its own hands by remaking five popular fashion ads with badass plus-size women as models. The results are stunning, and watching these ladies call BS on the fashion world (“No one would ever wear [just] a f*cking scarf and a pair of jeans anywhere”) is pretty hilarious.

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Domino’s Shames Women for Eating Salad, and We’re So Not OK With It

Choosing a healthy dinner is hard enough—the last thing you need is someone making you feel sh*tty about that decision. That’s exactly what happens in Domino’s latest commercial announcing its new salad menu. The pizza chain’s ad implies that people who opt for mixed greens over a slice (or two) are the worst. See for yourself:

We get the ad is supposed to be over the top, but it shouldn’t make people feel ashamed about eating greens. And we couldn’t help but notice women were the only ones ordering salads in the ad, sending the not-so-subtle sexist message that it’s just females who want or need to eat healthy. Domino’s should be advocating that a balanced life includes pizza and salad—the company want to sell you both, after all.

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Who Has Better Orgasms: Men or Women?

Orgasms feel pretty great for everyone, but does one sex have it better? As this video from asapSCIENCE explains, that depends on how you answer this simple question: Do you prefer frequency or duration? It sounds like a physics equation, but we promise we’re talking about masturbation.

The sticking points: Men’s orgasms last somewhere between 3 and 10 seconds. For women, it can be upwards of 20. But guys tend to get off more often than women. So really, we’ve got a hung jury.

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