Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No Babies: The Pill

The first birth control pill was FDA approved for use as a contraceptive in 1960. By 1964, 25% of all American couples were using them as their primary method of contraception, and today they are the most commonly used method of birth control in the US. Many people credit the introduction of The Pill as the start of the sexual revolution.

you say you want a rev-o-lu-shu-uu-uun...

Most birth control pills are comprised of a combination of two hormones: estrogen and progestin, though some contain progestin only. These hormones prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs, so when spermies show up, there's nothing for them to fertilize. They also thicken cervical mucus (to make it harder for spermies to swim) and thin the uterine lining (so if on the off-chance something is fertilized, there's no soft warm place for it to latch on to and grow into a person.)

The Pill (of which there are a zillion brands to choose from) comes in monthly packs that cost between $15-$50. The packs usually contain 28 active pills and 7 placebo pills, which allow for a menstrual period each month. Some newer pills, though, come in packs without placebo pills, with the intention of reducing the number of periods women have each year, which I think is rad.

Birth control pills are taken once a day, and should be taken at the same time every day. This is super important, because each pill is formulated to work for 24 hours, and 24 hours only. A delay in replenishing the medication, even of just a few hours, can conceivably leave the body unprotected. If a pill is skipped, or more than a few hours late, it should be taken as soon as its remembered, and a backup method should be used for the rest of the month. It's a drag, but it's the reality.

There are considerable side effects of The Pill, though not all of them are considered negative. Happy side effects include a reduction in facial and body acne, the regulation of wacky menstrual cycles and the reduction in severity of menstrual cramps. They can also reduce the risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which is something I did not know! I love learning new things!

On the negative end of the side effect train are weight gain (about 5lb., on average), nausea and vomiting, mood alteration, reduction in sex drive and vaginal lubrication, bleeding between periods, and an increased risk for blood clots and stroke, especially in women who smoke cigarettes or have certain kinds of migraine headaches.

It's very important that all your healthcare providers knows you're taking birth control pills, as there are medications (like some antibiotics and anti-depressants) that can kill the efficacy of The Pill.

So, it's not right for everyone (I, for example, have experienced every single negative side effect of every pill I've ever tried), but birth control pills are crazy effective and very safe. If your bod can handle the side effects, and your brain can remember to take them on time, it's an excellent, safe and extremely popular choice for No Babies!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ballistic Twirl

I read in a book once that bird penises remain inside bird bodies, except during sexual intercourse, for aerodynamic purposes. I've never had reason to doubt this, but after seeing this possibly NSFW video, my belief in the concept is cemented:

"Ballistic Penis" - not just a good band name, it's a real thing!

Oh. My. God. Did you see that?! It's twirly! I never stopped to think about what a duck's penis would look like, because...well, I don't think about ducks that way. But never, in my wildest dreams, would I have guessed a duck penis would be huge and twirly. Or ballistic!

The penises have to be to be huge and twirly because duck vaginas are - get this - deep and twirly! This deep, twirly, highly muscled vagina evolved to help the mama duck control who would be papa to her ducklings. If she's excited about a duck, she will loosen her muscles and essentially guide him down the long and winding road. If she's not interested, she can clamp down and keep him out in the cold.

Ducks have rape-proof vaginas. Now that is smart. Go evolution.

A more detailed explanation can be found here and here. And many thanks to my sister's amoureux for sending me an article that will forever make Howard the Duck even MORE creepy!

kinky, indeed

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka, Peeps

Or so our president, my sister and many other sunny Hawaiian folk are uttering this fine Christmas morning!

Whether or not you believe in the virgin birth that many are celebrating today, we all can use the lessons in kindness, compassion and acceptance that baby is said to have brought the world. May you be both the bearer and the recipient of those gifts throughout the upcoming year.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone (please keep doing so!!) and the very best of the season to you and yours. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Kinsey Scale

Alfred Kinsey, the granddaddy of modern sexuality research, believed that human sexual orientation is a variable thing. That a people's sexual thoughts, desires and behavior toward either their own or the opposite sex can be fluid over time. To exemplify this idea, he and his colleagues used their extensive research to devise The Kinsey Scale:

0 - exclusively heterosexual
1 - mostly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 - mostly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 - equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 - mostly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 - mostly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 - exclusively homosexual

I believe almost everyone is somewhere between 1 & 2 or 4 & 5, especially considering you don't necessarily need to have sex with someone to tip the scales. It's most culturally acceptable for straight women to indulge in such fantasies (in the brain and in life, not to mention porn), but I think most every person of every stripe dabbles with their "Other" at least once or twice, even if it's only in a private sexy fantasy.

I love the Kinsey scale because it shows this 'dabbling' to be the natural expression of human sexuality that it is. A straight man can get hard thinking about sucking a guy off without being gay. A gay man can get hard thinking about licking a woman's breasts without being straight. Hell, according to this scale, they can even do those things without needing to rearrange their whole sexual identity.

That's the beautiful thing - we all can, men and women alike, without any shame. And healthy sexuality free from shame is what we're aiming for here at Chakabox. It's what we're all about! Thank you Granddaddy Kinsey!

I leave you with a little something we can all shamelessly enjoy, I daresay even you Level 6 boys and Level 0 girls, because holy crap, Charlize is a stone FOX stomping down the hallway gettin' all nekkid:

Nope, I am not a Kinsey 0. And I suddenly want some perfume...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The singles scene is a nightmare. Maybe it's just me (who is autistic-like with my avoidance of crowded rooms full of loud music and flashing lights), but trying to meet someone actually interesting in the full light of day in a club or bar is nigh unto impossible.

Then there's the internet. Some people are freakin' wizards at internet dating. One of my best friends met her adorable Dutch husband online, and while another has not yet met the man of her dreams, she's met some amazing people and will get an incredible book out of it. For most people, though, it's an exercise in awkward silences and disappointment.

There's something new out there, though: PlayDate US. This company sets up evenings where single people come, pay a $10-$15 cover charge and play games. All kinds of games! Monopoly, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Musical Chairs, CatchPhrase, Pictionary...the list goes on. There's also a cash bar, food and a dance floor with a DJ. FUN!


I looked around to find out what people thought about PlayDate, and most seem to think that the games break the ice really well and make people come out of their shell in ways they don't in a bar or club. Personally, I think it's great to have a venue where cleverness and wit can be displayed as prominently as a beautiful body.

The only negatives I could find were that the evenings tend to get crowded, and that "it's kind of for old people". Age, however, is always relative...the average participant in a PlayDate is in their early to mid thirties. Ba dum bum.

Have you participated in one of these events? Are you planning to? Let me know about your experience!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sexing up White Elephant

We went to a White Elephant party over the weekend. My idea was to take some of the freebie insurance calendars we have lying around the apartment, but the Manfriend pointed out that was lame. With my wheels turning, I thought about the most prominent white elephant gift in my memory.

Several years ago, at an exchange peopled primarily with Microsoft employees and their associated conference schwag, I ended up with practically the only gift not emblazoned with a stupid flying window logo: an issue of Penthouse and a copy of Anal Fever on bright-red VHS tape. Perhaps it was the slew of dirty looks shot my way all night from the ponytailed (I kid you not!) programmer from whom I stole the porny goodness, but I have never forgotten that gift.

Alas, Anal Fever was not available for this weekend's fete because my ex-boyfriend broke it years ago while trying to catch the Fever while I was in the shower one day. He could have waited until I was out of the shower, I suppose, but he was a pretty selfish guy. Super hot, though.

Anyway, we agreed that a box of condoms and a Penthouse would be an excellent addition to the evening's gifting festivities. On the way to our local purveyor of such things, I decided to stop by Babeland (the best sex toy shop ever) just in case they had anything cheap and fun. Note to all: Babeland is an excellent place to find cheap, fun and sexy White Elephant gifts!

The party was a blast, and our cherry-flavored pasties and candy g-string were among the most fought-for gifts. They were unable to top the appeal of 10 lottery tickets, but did beat out the singing/dancing stuffed chihuahua and the - can you believe it? - James Bond wall calendar. We came home with gourmet cookies and Polish booze. This suits us well.

To close, I have an announcement for unmarried men in the Greater Seattle Metropolitan area who are not assholes or mama's boys: there is a smart, sexy, soon-to-be-divorced 6th grade science teacher with newly procured edible underthings that will be looking for a good time here in a bit. If that's not fantasy fulfillment waiting to happen, I don't know what is!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Pearl of Africa Loses Some Lustre

Uganda is a beautiful green country in central Africa, a place so fertile and verdant that you could bury a rock it it's rich, red soil and it would sprout little rock trees. The air is thick with moisture, and filled with more butterflies than you ever knew existed. I worked at a hospital in its capital city for a couple months back in 2005, and was forever changed by it. For all its beauty, though, it's at the center of some real ugliness at the moment.

Sassy Posing Girls: a universal truth

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. Gay and lesbian Ugandans face violence, employment discrimination, arrest and even life imprisonment. New pending legislation would add insult to injury.

Anyone found guilty of one same-sex encounter would face life imprisonment. A family member or friend found to have helped a gay or lesbian person with their 'unnatural' lifestyle - or even knowing about it without reporting it - could be jailed for anywhere from 3 to 7 years. And though recent reports say that the final bill will exclude such language, the original wording would impose death on 'serial offenders' and gays and lesbians with HIV+. Death. WTF.

Look, I respect that there are cultural and religious differences between countries. I also respect that people feel differently about the nature of homosexuality, no matter how much I may disagree with some of them. But I do not respect lawmakers that would kill their own people for no other crime but loving differently than they do. I do not respect a government that allows fundamentalist religion to dictate the human rights of its constituents.

There are some good articles about the situation here, here and here. This is not the first darkness that Uganda has undergone, and when viewed from a certain angle, not the darkest. What it is, however, is a finite, preventable action (rejecting the bill) that will save Ugandan lives. And I am all for anything that does that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

No Babies: Implanon

This one is relatively new - it was FDA approved in 2006. Implanon is a tiny rod that's inserted into a woman's upper arm that delivers a continuous supply of the hormone progestin, which prevents ovulation (among other things) for about 3 years. It's similar to an older product called Norplant, which was discontinued in the US in 2000, but is more effective and has fewer side effects.

these guns ain't tryin' to have no babies

Implantation is done with a local anesthetic, takes only a few minutes, and costs between $400-$800. Removal also occurs under local anesthetic, but takes longer than implantation and only costs between $75-$150. Both are usually covered by insurance or Medicaid.

Implanon is more than 99% effective, meaning less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant while using it. It's progestin-only, so women who can't take estrogen or are breastfeeding can use it. Monthly period often become lighter and less frequent, with 1 in 3 women stop having a period altogether after about 6 months. If a woman wants to get pregnant, she can usually do so within a month or two of removing the implant.

There can be spotting between periods for the first 6 months or so, and there can be some discoloration, scarring and pain at the implant site. Other than that, the side effects are similar to that of other hormonal birth control: nausea, decreased sex drive, sore boobs, weight gain and mood swings.

From what I can see, women are split on Implanon. Those who like it really like it - a former co-worker of mine loved hers, and she was not one to be shy with complaints. Most women do experience some of the side effects listed above, especially in the first 6 months, but for some they either go away or are not troublesome. For others, though, the symptoms are more serious - acne, constant nausea, headaches and serious mood disturbance. Several women reported needing to have the implant removed after only 8-12 weeks.

I would personally hesitate before using Implanon, but systemic hormonal birth control tends to make me go batshit crazy. If hormones are something you tolerate well, though, Implanon sounds like it could be your new best friend.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Gift for Your Lady Love

The other day, the Manfriend came in from our TV room and asked,

"Babe, what would you say if I got you a Pap Smear for Christmas?"

"Umm...thank you and know you loved me, I guess?" replied the sexual health dork.

"Well, I do love you, but a Pap Smear seems like kind of a tricky present to me," said the sweetest man on wheels.

While I agree that it can be tricky, and advise making it part of a present, a Pap Smear is a fantastic gift. Even if you don't follow any of the many KwanzSolChristMukkah traditions going on this time of year, it's still a great time to celebrate the lady - and the yoni - you love. Help make sure they're both healthy and happy for many New Year celebrations to come!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Seriously, I love me some Lady Gaga. She is beyond fabulous. She's not the first to do the whole life-and-fashion-as-art thing, but ohmigod she does it so damn well with her teacups and her fashion and her never wearing pants. She's just delicious.

Recently, the buzz around le Gaga has been all aswirl...omg, does she have a penis?!?! Is she a MAN?!?! Well, here it is from her own scrumptious dollface:

"It's not something that I'm ashamed of, just isn't something that I go around telling everyone. Yes. I have both male and female genitalia, but I consider myself a female. It's just a little bit of a penis and really doesn't interfere much with my life. The reason I haven't talked about it is that it's not a big deal to me. Like come on. It's not like we all go around talking about our vags. I think this is a great opportunity to make other multiple gendered people feel more comfortable with their bodies. I'm sexy, I'm hot. I have both a poon and a peener. Big f*cking deal."

How can you not admire someone that down with being exactly who she is?! This woman grew up with a penis in a country where girls destroy themselves over a couple of extra pounds, and she came out of it as a positive, smart, talented and successful woman in love with herself and her body. If that's not something to look up to, I don't know what is.

Get some Gaga!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What's Sexy This Holiday Season

D&G would like you to know that watches are sexy. So sexy they drive sexy people to do sexy things that shock their mothers.

I've always believed that open and honest communication is the best way to make Boyfriend okay with Other Boyfriend showing up and joining in, but apparently it's watches! Thank you, Dolce and Gabbana!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Babies: Our Intrauterine Friends

The intra-uterine device, or IUD, is extremely effective (more than 99%), and lasts for a very long time. There are 2 IUDs currently on the market: the Paragard (or 'copper T') and the Mirena. I had the Mirena placed about 3 years ago, and I heart it.

Both types look very similar - a small plastic 'T' that rests inside the uterus. The Paragard contains a small amount copper which inhibits sperm motility, while the Mirena contains a tiny amount of the hormone progestin, which prevents ovulation and thickens cervical mucus so the sperm can't swim well. The devices themselves create a physical obstacle, as well. The Paragard remains effective for 12 years, the Mirena for 5 years.

Paraguard Mirena

Both are placed by a health care professional. The placement procedure takes about 20 - 30 minutes, costs between $175 and $650, and is covered by most insurance. Now, I can't lie...the placement hurts like hell. It's supposed to be easier for women who've given vaginal birth, but even then, it's not fun. Don't fear, though...local anesthesia is available and is WORTH EVERY PENNY. It's called a 'cervical block', and it is your friend.

Side effects are few, but include spotting between periods, especially in the first several months. The Paraguard can make monthly periods heavier, which can lead to anemia, and can also make cramps worse. Mirena can stop periods completely - I only have 3-4 super light periods per year, which is win.

One rare side effect (that I experienced, unfortunately) is a temporary, but marked, decrease in sex drive. For me, it lasted about 5 months. Everything got 100% back to normal, but it definitely put a kink into my relationship for a while there, and not in the fun way.

If someone is ready to get busy right away, Paragard is effective immediately. Mirena is effective immediately if placed within 7 days of a woman's last period. If it's placed at any other time during her cycle, a backup method is needed for 1 week.

IUDs are best suited to women in monogamous sexual relationships, as the strings used for retrieval pass through the cervix into the vagina, creating a veritable superhighway for bacteria (chlamydia, gonorrhea, even normal flora) to enter into the uterus. Bacteria + uterus = OW. I have known a few health care professionals that insist women with more than one partner can safely use IUDs, but most recommend against it.

Less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant while using and IUD. Unfortunately, if a woman does get pregnant while using one, there is an increased risk for ectopic or tubal pregnancy. A woman can get pregnant within a month or two of having the IUD removed, so if "No Babies!" turns into "Babies, Please!", you're solid. They're also both safe to use while breastfeeding!

An IUD gives the protection and forget-about-it-ness of permanent birth control without having to commit to the permanent part. It's the most effective non-permanent method (some say it's most effective, full stop) and also the most cost-effective. That equals 2 thumbs up 'round these parts!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kiwi Jerk

There is room for all kinds of selfishness when sex is involved. It can range from benign (cutting oral sex a little short from time to time because it's been a long day and your face is getting tired) to insidious (sabotaging birth control in the hopes a baby will save a relationship) to criminal (roofies).

But fer serious, this guy wins the dubious title of King of the Selfish Assholes.

Short version: guy in New Zealand finds out he's HIV+ during a routine physical. His wife and children are not infected. Wife stays with husband, but won't have sex with him. Guy then injects her with his blood while she's sleeping so she'll also be HIV+ and therefore have sex with him again.

Way to go, prick.

I'm not sure which part of "honey, I stuck you with needles while you were sleeping and infected you with an incurable disease that could make you agonizingly sick and will likely shorten your lifespan" is supposed to inspire amorous feelings in someone. But he's facing a 14-year prison sentence in Auckland, so I'm guessing his sociopathic plan didn't exactly go as he'd hoped.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Defile It, Baby!

A zillion years ago, I learned that the verb 'to masturbate' meant 'to fool oneself' in some ancient language. As it turns out, this is wrong. How the modern word came about is a little convoluted, but to sum up, it actually means "to defile [oneself] with the hand". Not quite as catchy as 'to fool oneself', but still very good to know!

Unsurprisingly enough, I'm a big fan of masturbation. I think it's something absolutely everyone should do on a regular basis - men and women, young and old, whether single or partnered. It gets people familiar with how they like to be touched. It provides an escape from reality - to a place where the sex is always good! It's also a way for people to pamper themselves a little and to love on themselves for a while.

Joycelyn Elders, one of the most awesomest humans ever, was appointed Surgeon General by Bill Clinton in 1993. Just over a year later, at a United Nations AIDS conference, she said that promoting masturbation to young people as an alternative to riskier behaviors was an idea worth considering. She was promptly fired by the White House, instantly becoming a martyr for reason and rational thought.

In fact, it was only after hearing about Bush II's abstinence-only-sex-education plans that I stopped believing the government couldn't get any stupider than firing someone for suggesting it's ok for kids to masturbate. But, as usual, I digress. I do that, if you hadn't noticed.

We'll get into the nitty-gritty of self love on another day. For today, I just want to state that everyone should be putting out for themselves from time-to-time. You deserve to get some just the way you like it, even if you're not ready to share exactly what that is yet. And no matter how well or how regularly you might be getting some from a partner, make sure to save a dance for yourself every once in a while.

Finally! An excuse for a Glee clip!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Various Miscellany for Your Consideration

I have been totally neglecting my Chakabox duties in the face of Thanksgiving and graduate school interviews (fingers crossed, please!) and the wedding of my friend-since-I-was-6-months-old (yay M+K 4evr!!!), but I have been gathering awesome tidbits of knowledge for your enjoyment and enrichmentizing!

1. First Thanksgiving shocker: Pilgrims weren't as prudish as you might think! If you were a married pilgrim, you could get as freaky as you wanted. They did have all kinds of laws against unmarried sex, though, and said they'd kill anyone who broke them (they were puritans, after all) but they usually just ended up flogging people and putting them in the stocks for a while. The only thing they'd actually kill you for is schtupping the livestock. They killed one guy for schtupping the livestock, anyway.
totally asking for it

2. My family was sitting around the appetizers on Thanksgiving and my uncle told us the craziest story about his vasectomy: when the electric cauterization began, his veins conducted the electricity throughout his whole body like he was being tazed. It happens very rarely - his doctor had only seen it once before in his whole career and was super excited about it. Unlike my 18-year-old cousin, who was not excited to hear a story about her father's junk.

3. Happy day after World AIDS Day! The first World AIDS Day was celebrated on December 1, 1988 to bring attention to the growing AIDS epidemic. Since then, it's celebration has been used to promote education, reduce stigma and increase prevention efforts around the world. World AIDS Day is accepted pretty much universally - even the Pope (JPaul and Benedict) sends a greeting out each year. Here's some ways to help, with the fight, iffin' ya wanna!
any color = too many

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Purity Test!

When we were about 14, my sister came home with this 'test' - The Purity Test. I have no idea where she got it, but I discovered it accidentally whilst sneaking into her room to steal her Doc Martens. Which I feel kinda bad for, but I'm over it already. Love ya, sisterperson, fo reals.

Anyway, the Purity Test was supposedly created by frat brothers at some college somewhere. My best guess is that they were trying to create a metric by which to determine girls' willingness to get freaky. Who knows if any of it is true, but if that was their goal, they did a pretty good job.

The original test has 500 yes-or-no questions, and is broken down into sections: friendship/dating, sex (several different sections on sex), masturbation, illegal activities, drugs, fetishes, etc.

The questions start out very basic in each section:
(have you ever held hands with someone?)
...then get more serious:
(have you ever gone to work or class under the influence of drugs?)
...and then they just go there:
(had sex or oral sex with an animal in the presence of 1 or more people?)

My girlfriends and I used to take this test together at regular intervals for years. It was a blast - tons of giggling and talking and learning new things (which makes it a great bachelorette party activity, if you're looking for that type of thing!) I wish I knew what the experience was like for guys, but I've never known any guys to take it. Men! Take the test! Tell me what it's like!

The first time I did it, I scored in the 90th percentile, which is good, because I was, like, 14. By the time we did it the last time in my early 20s, it had gone down considerably. I just took it again...and those frat boys would want a second look at me. It's a fun way to kill some time and learn something about yourself - you can even get some ideas. Just...not about animals, okay?

Monday, November 23, 2009


After plugging vasectomy as the superior choice for couples looking for permanent birth control, I got an email from Nicole, senior account executive with Loomis Group. Nicole is part of the team that is marketing a type of female sterilization method that I had neglected to mention: Essure.

The Essure system places a nickel coil into each fallopian tube using a 'simple, in-office' procedure. The system was FDA approved in 2002. Both Nicole and the Essure website make it sound fantastic - short recovery time, no anesthesia required, no incisions and high efficacy. However, advertising executives and websites are around to make shit smell like roses, so I decided to do a little more digging.

you want to put that where?

Research shows that women do tend to be happy with the procedure compared to standard laparoscopic tubal ligation. It sounds like if it goes well, it's pretty great. The procedure is only supposed to take about 15 minutes, and usually works after about 3 months (alternate birth control is required in the interim), and works permanently.

However, the stories from women who've had bad experiences scare the crap out of me. First of all, it may be simple, but it's not painless - which is not surprising considering it has to be placed through the cervix. Pain, bleeding, expelled coils...yowtch. It also appears that the coils are difficult to remove without at least a partial hysterectomy. Internet forums are hardly unbiased reporting, but they're also unsolicited and uncompensated.

So, I'm sticking with my guns and going on record as saying that vasectomy is the way to go, but think that Essure is definitely something for women with higher pain threshold than I to talk to their docs about. If you've had Essure placed and are willing to share your experience, please comment!!

Finally, although I can't fully recommend the product, I appreciate Nicole for contacting me and letting me know I'd missed something - and for being the first person I don't know to read Chakabox. Thanks, Nicole!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Babies: Women Go Under The Knife

Tubal ligation is the clinical name for female sterilization. The fallopian tubes are altered in such a way that egg and sperm can't ever get together. There are 4 methods utilized to make sure those frisky cells don't dance their magical conception dance:
  • cutting the fallopian tubes then re-attaching them off-kilter (most common)
  • squeezing the tubes shut with clips, causing scar tissue to permanently block them
  • same as above except using fancy hi-tech silicone rings in place of clips
  • cauterizing teach tube closed with electrical current (can be done laparoscopically)
You will notice that none of the methods involve any tying of any tubes, but "she got her tubes tied" is just catchier than 'she got a partial salpingectomy'.

knot tying badge not required

These procedures can be done under general or epidural/spinal anesthesia. If general anesthesia is used, there is no pain at all during the procedure, but there can be some discomfort if the epidural is chosen. Happy drugs are usually given in conjunction with the epidural option. The cost can be anywhere from about $1500 to $6000.

Recovery can take everywhere from a couple of days to a week or two. Aside from pain, there can be some period-like symptoms...bleeding, gassy feeling, cramping, etc. Sexual abstinence is recommended for at least a week, and alternate forms of birth control are needed until blockage is confirmed if the clip/ring procedure was performed.

Tubal ligation is intended to be permanent. It can be reversed, but it's a pretty serious surgery. As a result, it's generally difficult for women under 30 find someone to do it for them. It has a failure rate of less than 1%, but when it does fail there's an increased risk of it ending up as a tubal or ectopic pregnancy, which is lame.

All in all, folks, a vasectomy seems a whole lot easier than tubal ligation to me. It carries less risk and costs a WHOLE lot less. Should it come time to choose sterilization in Chakabox's hoping the Manfriend can be convinced to wear an ice jock for a couple of days. I'd totally make it worth his while.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chakabox Answerbox

[First, a little background: There are 2 distinct types of herpes simplex virus, or HSV: type 1 and type 2. HSV1 most commonly causes cold sores, and about 80% of Americans have it. HSV2 is the cause of most genital herpes, and about 25% of Americans have it. Despite these location 'preferences', both viruses can live either place.]

This morning a friend sent me an email asking me to confirm or deny the following statement, and both the asker and I thought it would a great first entry to the Chakabox Answerbox:

"Acquisition of one type [of herpes] is more difficult - though certainly possible - if you already have the other type. This is because either type, contracted orally or genitally, causes the body to produce [immune proteins called] antibodies, some of which are active against both HSV-1 and 2. This acquired immune response gives some limited protection if the body encounters a second type." (text taken from*)

In the experience and knowledge of Chakabox, this statement is mostly true. HSV2 infection does appear to protect against subsequent HSV1 infection. Meaning, if you get genital herpes first, you're not going to get cold sores in the future. It's a small thing, but sometimes you've gotta find the bright side.

The same can't be said about HSV1 infection, however. There is some protection afforded, it's true, but not in a way that's interesting to anyone but infectious disease researchers. The practical reality is that having cold sores will not prevent you from getting genital herpes down the line. I can't find the bright side to that, but here's this.

If you have any questions about this entry to the Answerbox - or about anything regarding sex or sexuality - please write me! Your name will remain out of it unless you expressly tell me you'd like it used. I love questions, have lots of resources and would love to hear from you. The submission email is!

* is a good site. Very thorough, generally up-to-date and factual, despite all the ads. Just ignore the ads - they're all malarkey, and this coming from someone who believes in naturopathic medicine.

Monday, November 16, 2009

No Babies: Men Go Under the Knife (or not, apparently!)

A vasectomy is a procedure that cuts or blocks a man's vasa deferentia, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles during ejaculation. Traditional vasectomies involve a small incision in the scrotum. Newer, 'no-scalpel' vasectomies do not.

Both procedures are hella outpatient - traditional ones take about 20 minutes, the no-scalpel methods only 5-10! Local anesthesia is used, and if a guy's nervous, he can ask for sleepy/happy drugs.

Recovery time ranges from a day to a week (no-scalpel methods boast shorter recovery time). Not having a scrotum or vasa deferentia, I can't really imagine what a vasectomy would feel like, but it doesn't sound horrible - I saw the pain generally classified as 'moderate', 'achy', and well controlled with OTC painkillers. Ice and a jock strap for a day or so also appear to be keys to happy post-snip balls.

nope, can't even imagine

Sexual abstinence is recommended for a week following the procedure, but there should be no lasting sexual side effects once recovery is complete. An additional form of birth control is needed for the first 3 months to make sure no stragglers try and make a run for glory.

There is less than a 1% chance that a vasectomy will fail, making it the most effective form of male birth control available. The procedure is intended to be permanent, so it's definitely something to think about before having it done. Prices range from about $350 - $1000, and many insurance plans cover the procedure in at least one form.

For those of us who love balls, it can seem a little freaky to go messing with them like this. But, as a fan myself, I wouldn't tell y'all it's safe if it wasn't. Cross my heart and hope to die, fer serious.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Babies: 100% Effective

There are 3 methods of birth control that are utterly foolproof. No matter how drunk you are, no matter how caught up in the moment you are, no matter how hard you try:

1. Same-sex partners

The whole birth control thing is moot if you're shaggin' your own sex. Gay and lesbian couples can raise babies as well as anyone, but making them...that's a different story.

2. Hysterectomy
GTFO, uterus

Taking it out merely to prevent pregnancy is not a good call, because it also creates and helps regulate a woman's hormones. However, if the uterus is removed for other reasons, not having to worry about birth control is a bonus. No oven, no bun. Commence boning.

3. Abstinence from intercourse.

Now, I'm not suggesting replacing sex with a walk in the woods or a rousing game of Uno. I'm suggesting that it's possible to be sexy while making sure your tingly bits don't ever touch. Easy tip for success - only one person gets to be naked at a time!

Next up - the almost foolproof!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Babies!!

For the most part, animals have little need for birth control. The only reason most species have sex at all is for reproduction. Some do have sex for fun (humans, bonobo chimps and dolphins, to name a few), but if dolphins are boning for fun and that fun leads to babies...well, what else are they doing? It's not like dolphins need to pay for fish or decide if they want to establish a career before having kids.

We humans, however, do have these considerations, and need to be a little more careful with our fun. For one thing, just because two people CAN have a baby, doesn't mean they should. I mean, 13-year-olds and meth addicts can have babies - 'nuff said. Secondly, not everyone wants to have children, and even those that do mostly don't want a million of them.

Three (or nine million) cheers for birth control! It allows humans to enjoy their bodies without making new ones until they're good and ready to make them. There are tons of options available: condoms, hormones, spermicides, cervical barriers - we'll get to them all. So sit back and enjoy the cavalcade of contraception!!
just say no

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chakabox's 5 Most Memorable Sex Scenes

1. Secretary (2002)

Elbows ON the table, please

(Starts at 12:40) Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has been released from a mental hospital after a severe self-mutilation incident, and has gotten a secretarial job for a seemingly uptight Edward (James Spader). Shy, quiet Lee has become increasingly attracted to the forceful Edward, and her submissiveness is extremely attractive to him. This scene is the beginning of a sexual and personal awakening for them both, and is one of the sexiest scenes ever filmed ever.

2. The Name of the Rose (1986)
That's not the volume he's pumping up....

(Starts at about 0:27) Young apprentice monk Melk (Christian Slater) is helping to investigate a series of bizarre deaths in an abbey. During the investigation he is seduced by a beautiful peasant girl (Valentina Vargas) who has come to the abbey to trade sex for food. My sister and I watched this movie with our parents when we were about 13, and they totally fast-forwarded through this scene, immediately making it the most memorable sex scene I never saw.

3. Original Sin (2001)

Looking at Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas is the only reason to see this movie about a hot Cuban businessman and his hot-but-sketchy wife. If you go in with that understanding, it's a cinematic masterpiece. After looking amazing in corsets and suspenders for a while, they get naked and look amazing. Then they have lots of sex while looking amazing, and then look amazing while some crap I didn't pay attention to happens. What's really amazing, though, is that a major Hollywood studio released something this explicit.

4. Monster's Ball (2001)
this does not make me feel good

Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) has recently witnessed his son's suicide, and likely helped drive him to it. Leticia's (Halle Berry) husband has recently been executed, and her son (to whom she was not kind) has just been killed in an accident. The sex these two have on the night of that accident is brutal and desperate, but not without tenderness as they try and obliterate their pain with each others' bodies. Berry went on to win Best Actress for this role.

5. Stealing Beauty (1996)


19-year-old Lucy (Liv Tyler) is spending the summer with family friends in Tuscany after her mother's suicide to find herself, her real father and to lose her virginity (we're not talking American Pie style, here. This is art, dammit). After several disappointing encounters with sexy Europeans and figuring out the whole dad thing, she finds herself on top of a golden Tuscan hill watching the sun set with her friend Osvaldo (Ignazio Oliva), who reveals that he's loved her since her first trip. They proceed to have the sweetest, most awkward, most wonderful first time that anyone could possibly hope for. Sigh, indeed.

For your further perusing pleasure, the Independent Film Channel has listed their top 50 sex scenes here. Share your favorite or most memorable in the comments!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yay for the Yoni!

lady flower
I call the ladyparts "yoni" in situations where referring to them as "pussy" is just not appropriate. Vagina doesn't really cover it, because it leaves out all the good stuff outside. Vulva doesn't do it, either, because goodness of the inside parts cannot be denied.

Yoni, on the other hand, is pretty and all-encompassing. It means "origin or source of life" in Sanskrit, which you can't really argue with. It can sound a little hippie coming from a white girl, but I'm okay with that, man.

I've been unable to find examples of the kind of religious devotion to the yoni as I was for the penis, but the folks that first used the term 'yoni' (in India a kajillion years ago) were serious about loving her. They practiced a form of worship called "yoni puja", or yoni worship - which was known as one the most powerful in Hinduism.

And she inspires art!

eat this, andy warhol!

Crafty (get yours today!):

Musical (here's more!):

Theatrical (note - I don't think it's a crime if you like your/her yoni smooth, but I love this monologue, anyway. And sorry for the crappy quality):
the bush is not gross, galldangit.
Bush is not a crime

So, yay for the yoni! She is splendiferous indeed.
Yes, it's true!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Last night, some girlfriends and I went to see The Time-Traveler's Wife. It was mostly terrible, although watching Eric Bana run around naked is not a bad way to spend an evening. (Rachel McAdams is also gorgeous, if painfully thin). Not worth seeing.

Anyway, we went to an early show, so afterwards we went to this little place down the street for a nightcap (bottle of white with some fried plantains and guacamole - both were yummy and spicy). As it often does when women and wine are combined, the conversation turned to men, then to sex. As it often does when I am involved in sex conversations, we got to talking about what we termed "non-vanilla" sex.

I find it fascinating - how if you can imagine it, someone is getting off on it. There's a book I saw about 10 years ago called Deviant Desires, which piqued my interest. It's a primer on several fetish sex practices, like (links NWS) pony play, sploshing and balloon fetishes. The book, while fabulous, only scratches the surface. This image (created by the author of Deviant Desires) illustrates how complex the fetish world can get:

Then there's a whole crazy-sexual-position world, which is a whole 'nother thing. An episode of South Park opened the door to things I never knew existed: it's the one where Mr. Garrison is quizzing kindergartners the names of different sexual positions. All the positions mentioned in that clip, along with countless others, are illuminated in the Urban Dictionary. Each one was thought out by someone, and I have no doubt that each one has been tried, multiple times. It goes on and on! It's fantastic!

While I may not be into all of them, I wholeheartedly support the consensual pursuit of all non-vanilla sex practices. Life is way too short to not get some the way you really like it. I support finding and having partners that you can share your secret desires with - and getting flavorful with each other!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mike Hunt

So, in 1990s Seattle, this dude, Mike Hunt (Mike Aivaz, in real life) advocated super leftist politics, the smoking of huge amounts of weed and the free consumption of pornography on his weekly public access program, "Mike Hunt's Get Your Friend Laid Show." He actually ran for mayor once, too, on his "Pizza and Porn Platform". Hilarious.

In between lefty rants and copious bong hits, Mike Hunt would intersperse clips of hardcore porn. If I were to see it now, it wouldn't be particularly was mostly run-of-the-mill stuff, occasionally sprinkled with some light S&M and male-to-female transsexuals. However, as a kiddo, it was totally scandalous.

There was one scene, in particular, that I will never forget. It started as a closeup of a woman's face, obviously having sex. The shot widened to show her big ol' boobs bouncing around everywhere, as porn boobs do. The shot then widens further, which is where still-young me got kinda confused.

See, there was a guy there, too, happily thrusting away into this pretty woman. However, this pretty woman was also masturbating. Masturbating her penis. Looking back, it was mostly mundane as far as 'tranny porn' goes, but man at the time...the color of the world changed a little that day. Got a little bigger. In a porny kind of way, at least.

The Seattle Cable Access Network pulled the plug on Mike Hunt several years ago, after some parents (a total of about 6) complained that if their kids happened to be awake and watching television at 1 am (the only time the show aired), they might stumble upon this program and be corrupted. OK kids were stumbling upon it (I did, obviously), but why do SIX uptight people (in a viewing population of tens of thousands) get to spoil the fun for everyone? Is this America or what?! I hate people who get what they want by yelling loud enough. But I digress.

Mike Hunt still has a (very, very NSFW) website. If you want to look at some majorly porny porn, read about how 9/11 was an inside job, hear lots of Ron Paul and Ralph Nader speeches and feel good about that bong hit you're gonna take, Mike's gotcha covered. I warn you, though, the site has none of the charm of the show and mostly sucks. However, the brother brought me many hours of quasi-educational entertainment in my youth, so I'll give him a shout out and leave it to you to do as you wish. Yay America!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

...or whatever.

Recently, I discovered that every single episode of the incomparable 90's teen angst-o-rama My So-Called Life is available on Hulu. I didn't watch it the first time around, because I was graduating from high school and obviously too cool to watch a show about sophomores, but watching it now, I'm impressed. Here are real (albeit mostly white) kids in a real school facing real issues.

One episode, called "Pressure" really struck me. Unsurprisingly, it was about sex! The main character, Angela, is totally in love with Jordan Catalano (first and last name always, please) and makes out with him in the boiler room at school every day, but isn't ready to have sex with him. He's pressuring her and she's worried that she's somehow abnormal because she's not into it.

What I found so refreshing was that the show tells kids there are all kinds of 'normal' when it comes to sex and teenagers. There is:

the smart girl with opportunity who wants to wait,
the sexy boy who is unused to girls wanting to wait
the wild girl who screws everyone and likes it

the shy boy that would hop in bed in a second - if he had someone to hop with
the good girl who really only likes her boyfriend because they have great sex
and the sweet boy coming to grips with wanting to sleep with boys.
Unlike the CW, which would have kids believe they're some kind of prude if they don't want to have group sex in the VIP lounge of some NY nightclub, this show lets kids be KIDS, to be dorky and confused and sexy and even ugly. And I think kids today could, like, do with a little dorkification. Or whatever.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You know, or not

Dammit. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a gleeful report that Thai scientists had developed an HIV vaccine that was 31% effective. It wasn't the magic bullet to end a global epidemic, but it was a damn good start. Well, my buzz has been officially killed.

Apparently, as soon as the Thai data were looked at by anyone who wasn't directly involved with the trial itself, it was determined that the vaccine was really only about 26% effective. 26% is statistically insignificant, meaning there's no way to tell if the result was just due to chance or not. Which sucks, and has killed my buzz.

Goes to show that you can't get too excited about revolutionary findings that haven't yet gone through peer review. You'll most likely end up disappointed with no buzz at all.

Oh, well...the fight goes on! In the mean time, don't forget yer rubbers!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who Wants to be Sexually Harrassed?

The Manfriend forwarded this video the other day:

Total sexual harassment! I mean, it's a game show and not a workplace, the outcome of the game didn't ride on whether or not he responded favorably to her, and the dude did seem to roll with it, but he's clearly uncomfortable in several places.

And think about it - can you imagine the shitstorm that would have ensued if Regis Philbin had made any one of those comments to a female contestant? Equality only works if everyone is held to the same standard. And I'm pro-equality.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Taking Baby Pictures to a Whole New Level

I was tooling around on YouTube listening to Jupiter (I'm a total dork for outer space) and found this video after a few clicks on 'related videos' links:

How this is at all related to the sound of Jupiter, I cannot say

I don't know why these things blow my mind so completely, but it's just amazing to me. I've been doing this whole ovulation thing every month for 20 years, but seeing it somehow brings it home in a whole new way.

I'm going to take my ovaries for a cocktail this evening. It's Friday, they work hard, and they deserve it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Company Inkwell

David Letterman has been in the news (if we can call it that) because he admitted to sleeping with people he works with. I have to ask...who hasn't? I mean, we spend most of our waking lives at work, so it's a natural place to meet people. It's also a natural way to get yourself into a hot mess.

Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic when things are going well. Picturing that hot security guard naked is greatly improved when you can actually rip his clothes off later. Sex breaks make a workday go by like THAT, I'll tell you. But, oh man, if things go south, we're talking Antarctica, folks.

There are some strong-willed individuals that can take it in stride, but most end up in a drama that could be in contention for a daytime Emmy. You not only have to see the person every day, you have to interact with them in this smooth, detached way, when what you want to do is run away or scream or cry or punch them in the face.

Letterman's situation is complicated further because the women he slept with worked for him. Bonking the boss brings up issues surrounding coercion and favoritism, either real or imagined. There's also a real power imbalance in a relationship like that, no matter who is in the boss role. When you can punish your partner professionally for something that happened in your personal lives, it skews things.

So I say proceed with caution, whether it's the boss or a colleague. Getting into a situation that could ruin both your personal and professional life in one fell swoop is not something to play with, no matter how delicious that situation may be. I say find yourself someone from another inkwell and use your imagination. One day you're the boss, the next day you're the personal assistant, the next the copy repair person...the fun is endless!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yay for Penises!

Yay for days and days!

There is little I could say that hasn't already been said about the wonderous wang, especially because I don't want to get all porny, and I know how I feel about wangs. I will just say I am wholeheartedly pro-penis.

I'm not the only one, either: here is a list of religions that worship penises!

And there's Kanamara Matsuri, or the Festival of the Steel Phallus. It takes place on the first Sunday in April in Kawasaki, Japan. It's a fertility festival that involves a shrine of phallus worship - there's some neat info and background here.

Kanamara Matsuri - I love a parade!

Finally, to round out this ode to all things glorious and penile, here is a list of famous units, thanks our friends over at the Listverse. Yay for penises!!!

I surely do