Birth Matters: Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Week

Happy Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Week! To celebrate, lets talk about sex!

A couple in Brooklyn, New York have been enjoying city attractions, skateboarding and eating hot dogs all while dressed in vagina costumes. Their mission, which they write about on their website called Conceived In Brooklyn, is to draw attention to women's sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, if you are in the market for a giant vagina costume you're in luck! You can purchase a vagina costume on their website and with every costume sold $10 is donated to their charity partner "50 Cents. Period", an organization aiming to empower women and girls in marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Images from @concievedinbrooklyn

Sexual and reproductive health consists of two interconnected and equally important components: the physical and the mental. The mental wellness component of a healthy and satisfying experience with sex and sexuality can be a challenge, for women face scrutiny in every way, shape and form. The sources of which vary from mainstream media's standards of beauty to the little voices inside all of our heads. However, things are starting to change, slowly but surely!

This article is a sweet compilation of girls in their 20s sharing "The Most Important Things Their Moms Taught Them About Their Bodies". Here are a couple of my favorites below:

" She taught me that you don't need to shave anything at all to be loved or beautiful "

- Marina

" Never compare your body to someone else's. It's exhausting and won't make you happy" You know what makes you happy? Loving your body and taking care of it. It is your home: the more you take care of it, the more amazing it will be." - Alyssa

" When I was a kid, I noticed stretch marks on my mom's belly when she was pregnant. I asked her what they were, and she told me stretch marks are a sign that your body loves you. We call them "love lines". When I got to middle school, I started noticing stretch marks on my thighs and boobs, and decided I liked them. It's funny how much control you have over what upsets you." - Megan

You cannot have a conversation about sex without discussing safe-sex. Recently, an all-women team produced a "sexy web series" called F*CK YES. Their goal is to create short films that exhibit affirmative consent between partners and simultaneously dispel the idea that stopping to put on a condom or any method of birth control "ruins the mood".

Below is the link to the first episode that portrays the story of a heterosexual couple who realize neither of them have a condom, and it is so sexy!! Future Episodes will show an inclusive array of stories including a Muslim couple and gay couples.

Safe-sex is not only about the use of protection against STD and/or birth control, but it is also about a positive, pleasurable experience for all parties involved, or more concisely, consent!

Another amazing film series has been produced by a non-profit called Project Consent. Their videos titled Dancing, Laughing and Whistling, are apart of a mission to combat and deconstruct rape culture, and highlight the importance of consent with their tag line "Consent is Simple: if it is not yes, it's no". This is a serious issue in sexual health, but like their tag line, their approach is simple and catchy through the use of animated vaginas, penises, breasts, hands and a bum!

Though times are changing and culture is shifting, talking about periods and talking about sex remain taboo topics, or at least topics of conversation that often happen in whispers. So combining these two topics and talking about period-sex or having sex while a partner is having their period is very hush-hush. A few weeks ago I came across this article, "14 Men and Women Get Very, Very Real About Period Sex" (Huffington Post). It is so interesting, enlightening and will absolutely give you some new perspective!

Happy Sexual and Reproductive Health Week! Continue celebrating women's health this weekend with a great conversation about sex with your partners, friends and/or family.

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