Posts Tagged ‘safe sex’

Moving Forward – Together

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Dear community,

The official announcement has just been made – unfortunately, we did not win one of the grand prizes in Aviva’s online competition. However, we did win $5,000, and you can rest assured that we will use it to bring Street Workers back to NDG as soon as possible!!

Although we are sad to hear the news, overall participating in the Aviva competition has been a rewarding experience. In just a few weeks, we managed to gain 4877 supporters and over 11,000 votes from people and organizations who believe, as we do, that NDG’s at-risk youth deserve to be supported. We are extremely grateful to be part of a community that is so fiercely dedicated to youth health, and who supports our work with such strength and love.

WHAT ARE WE DOING NEXT?

We are working hard to carry the momentum created by all of you far beyond this competition.  We have received letters of endorsement from multiple community organisations who supported us during the competition and can’t wait to work side by side with our street workers again.  We’re excited to share these letters alongside our funding applications that are already in progress for a range of promising government and foundation grants.  We are happy to announce that we recently secured our first successful “save street work” grant of $15,000 from the Silver Dollar Foundation, which means that a quarter of the first year’s budget is already covered!

Although we’re doing the best we can, grant-based funding alone might not be enough to bring this program back as quickly as it is needed.

Head & Hands has always believed that social services are strongest when they are offered for the community, by the community.  If you are able to contribute any amount towards restoring this essential service to NDG, please click the link below!  Write “save street work” as an instruction with your donation, and we will designate your gift specifically for the return of this program. If you prefer to give “offline”, please check out other giving options on our website. 

 

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Another great way to contribute is by organizing a fundraising event!  If you have time and energy to help us in this way, please get in touch so we can share some tips and guidelines: funds@headandhands.ca

Again, thank you so much for the amazing support you’ve already shown us.  Together, we will put street workers back in this neighbourhood and ensure that our community’s most vulnerable youth get the support they need!

we got some new condoms at head & hands!

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What’s up, everyone? We just got some new condoms over here, of the “moulant” a.k.a “true fit” variety.  We were pretty excited about this shipment because we often wish that condoms were made in more shapes and sizes… so we had a little photo shoot to introduce our new friends in the bright green packaging!

Testin' them out on some woodies!

Testin' them out on some woodies!

“Moulant” translates more literally into “skin-tight”, so these condoms are basically narrower in the shaft area, taper in slightly, and then are roomier in the head/tip area. Lengthwise, they are the same as the “Regular” condoms we have here at H&H. Condom fit is super important for comfort, pleasure and safety, and Scarleteen agrees that the roomier fit around the head of the penis can increase pleasure and stimulation.

More pics if you click! (more…)

In the Land of Condoms…

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While you should know that female condoms exist; today, I want to talk about male condoms. Why? Well, if we’re talking about pleasure, we should also be talking about safety.

A few key points about male condoms:

  1. Most condoms are made of latex. Only water-based lubes can be used with latex and latex also happens to prevent all sperm, bacteria and viruses from passing through it.
  2. Male condoms can also be made out of polyurethane. Therefore, if you or your partner is allergic to latex, this is a good option. And, they can be used with both water and oil based lubes.
  3. Lambskin condoms exist; but, the pores are too big to prevent the transmission of some viruses. Bottom line is…You can use them to prevent pregnancy but not for safer sex. Actually, you should always read labels closely to see if your condoms will protect you from STIs.
  4. Condoms come in a variety of shapes and sizes because not all penises are the same shape or size.
  5. Condoms come in many flavours which is great for oral sex.
  6. Do not wear two condoms at the same time!
  7. Protect your condoms since you never know when you’ll get lucky. So, don’t stick them in your wallet or keep them loose in your pockets (yup, they can get damaged that way). You could put them in a plastic cigarette case, which you can buy at the dollar store to prevent damage. Always store your condoms in a cool dry place.
  8. Be proud, not embarrassed, when you purchase condoms!
  9. You can get free condoms at places like Head and Hands, the ACCM, schools and many other community health service providers.
  10. For more info and for a very detailed 6 step guide on how to use a male condom, please download our Peer Education Manual and see pages 94 to 97.

Midwest Teen Sex Show on condoms:

Fun condom ad by AIDES:

Backdoor Business: A Beginner’s Guide to Anal Sex

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Here’s an awesome video created by the Midwest Teen Sex Show that talks about anal sex. If you want additional info, please check out our Peer Education Manual (pp.152-154).

So, the “bottom” line is:

-Respect the rectum (i.e. never insert anything in the anus that doesn’t have a flared base to prevent it from slipping up into the rectum and beyond, poop before (if necessary), make sure whatever you use for penetration is clean and be safe).

-Proceed slowly and use lots of lube (i.e. use water-based lubricant and massage the area…You know, work with the rectum).

-Don’t double dip! (i.e. anything that goes into the anus should be cleaned or given a new condom before it goes anywhere else)

-Try different positions and have fun!

    Today is World AIDS Day!!!

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    So, why do we make bad decisions when we’re naked? Well, I don’t think that even the most reputable social and natural scientists in the world would be able to provide a clear answer to this question or be able to agree on one. And, I happen to think that human beings are pretty complex when it comes to their behaviours and practices so the answer to this question might always remain an unsolvable mystery. This means that the only thing we can do is learn about what constitutes risky behaviours and practices that might put us in harms way and of course, educate others.

    Throughout the month of November, the Sense Project posted a series of myth busting questions and answers, opinion polls, videos and other related content in the hopes of clarifying certain misconceptions about HIV/AIDS while pointing to prevention strategies. We began by illustrating that HIV/AIDS affects us here, in Canada. After that, we addressed the infamous “mosquito bite” myth, confirming that mosquitoes cannot, in fact, transmit HIV. This was followed by a controversial poll which inquired into the possibility that we live in a post-AIDS world. It was inspired by a very interesting talk I attended given by epidemiologist, journalist and author of The Wisdom of Whores, Elizabeth Pisani. Afterward, issues pertaining to HIV stigma were discussed with the help of provocative videos created by other awesome organizations such as AIDES and COCQ-SIDA. Then, we tackled particular sexual acts such as anal and vaginal intercourse in the hopes of illustrating that safe sex always needs to happen, regardless of the ways you choose to have it and/or your sexual orientation. Evidently, this provided the perfect introduction to a discussion on the ways in which HIV is transmitted and the different stages of HIV infection.

    And, today is World AIDS Day which means that the Sense Project’s e-blitz has come to an end. Though, we hope that the month of November along with our regular programming has provided you with the opportunity to learn more about HIV/AIDS and well, we hope that we’ve better equipped you to fight against prejudice and practice safe sex.

    So, please take a moment to reflect – to think about the millions of people worldwide who have died and/or who continue to be affected by HIV and AIDS. But, also, show your support.

    Be fair, be aware and BE SAFE.

    Cheers!!!

    Chopstix

    If both partners are HIV positive, they should still practice safe sex!

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    If both partners are HIV positive, they no longer need to practice safe sex. TRUE or FALSE? 

    FALSE.

    When both partners are HIV positive, they need to practice safe sex to protect themselves from contracting each other’s strain of HIV – a strain that could possibly be more aggressive and resistant to antiretroviral drugs.

    Answering MyTh BuStIn’ QuEsTiOn III

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    What’s more risky for contracting HIV – having unprotected vaginal intercourse OR having anal sex with a condom?

    While the answer to this question might seem obvious to some, both HIV stigma and homophobia have skewed the manner in which some people define and perceive anal sex. The point of this question was to destigmatize certain types of sex and show, that no matter what kind of sex you’re having, you should do it safely!!! Indeed, having unprotected vaginal intercourse is way more risky because you are, simply, unprotected.

    Eco-Sex?

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    Last week, I came across an article on Macleans.ca entitled “Good for Her, Great for the Planet” that talked about the greening of the sex-toy industry. Author, Anne Kingston, sheds light on the increasing demand for eco sex toys that are fair trade and/or safe for the body. Apparently, sex toys are less regulated than dog toys which is alarming when you start considering all of the carcinogenic chemicals such as phthalates that could come in close contact with very sensitive areas of the body. And, while the Canadian government has begun to regulate children’s toys, sex toys are still tucked away in many legislators’ drawers…

    So, add a little anti-sweatshop politics into the mix and you have an emerging industry to save the day. For instance, Red Tent Sisters, a Toronto store committed to women’s sexual and reproductive health, recently launched ecosex.ca, selling a variety of different products like organic vegan lube and fancy dildos made from safe and sustainable materials like hardwood and bamboo. They even have vegan, fair-trade condoms…Point is, it doesn’t matter where you stand on the idea of fair-trade sourced, eco-sensitive products, just know that there exists safe, good sex out there for everyone!