Archive for December, 2011

ask anything: when can I get tested for STIs?

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Q: I had a possible exposure in August 2010- unprotected receptive anal. Im a female btw. At 5 and 6 1/2 months I got tested for all STI’s. All results were negative. My main concern is HIV. Do I need to test again? P.s. I had no exposure since that night.

Since you got tested twice, and your results were negative both times, I would feel pretty confident in your results. You also got tested after 6 months, which fully covers the window period for HIV (the time frame in which the virus can’t be accurately detected by a test – for HIV it’s 3-6 months). In your case, I would let go of the stress and start enjoying safe sex again.

In general, when you are sexually active, you should get tested for STIs every 6 months even if you use protection – that way, you cover all the window periods of the different tests. People sometimes choose to get tested every year, or even less often, if they have one partner and they’ve agreed on a monogamous relationship. In your case, it sounds like you’ve got your bases covered for that one situation, and you could consider getting tested regularly (e.g. every 6 months to a year) in the future. You can also stock up on free condoms and lube at Head & Hands (and most other clinics), to further protect your health!

ask anything: orgasms, pleasure and more ‘first times’

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A couple of questions related to sex and pleasure, answered by our resident sexology stagiaire, Gabrielle!

Q: How many orgasms can you have in a day?

There aren’t any real limits to how many orgasms you can experience in a day.

But…

Different people have different “recovery periods” between orgasms – basically, the time it takes for blood to flow back to those areas that it just rushed out of. Usually female-bodied people are more disposed to get more orgasms or multiple orgasms than male-bodied people. That distinction comes from the fact that male-bodied people have a recovery period that’s longer and different than for female-bodied people – it’s the period after an ejaculation where you can’t get another erection. Female-bodied people also have that recovery period after an orgasm, but it can be shorter or non-existent in some cases. Other factors like stress, mental and physical health, confidence or trust between partners, drug or alcohol use, your age, etc… can have an impact on your capacity to have an orgasm, and by default, many orgasms. Sometimes, focusing on the number of orgasms you are having or trying to achieve orgasm can prevent you from actually “getting there”, because your mind and body are too preoccupied! Just keep in mind that having an orgasm is not the ultimate goal of sexual activity, so the number of orgasms that you have doesn’t qualify the quality of your sexual activity.

Q: My first time with my girl friend, I didn’t last very long, and I think she was disappointed. What can I do?

We say this all the time, but the basic thing in any relationship is communication. If you want to be sure that you’re on the same page as your partner and you really want to know what they’re thinking, you should start a conversation with them. We can stress for a long time about what the other person is thinking, when there might be nothing going on. If you feel like your girlfriend might believe that you didn’t last very long, it might be a good idea to address it with her, instead of letting these feelings grow in the background of your relationship.

I also think that the notion of lasting very long is pretty subjective: how long a person can and should keep an erection is different from one person to another. Usually, our expectations are very high, because we think that sex should be a certain perfect way. (more…)