Italy’s Contributions to Our Sexual History

I am on vacation this week. Please enjoy one of my favorite postings. XOXO   I was that child who asked “Why is the sky blue?” until I was satisfied with the answer I was given. My mother quickly adapted to my questions; she bought my brother and me a set of encyclopedias and a “how science works” book series along with two dictionaries. She gave us both unlimited access to the public library and encouraged me to bestow some questions on the librarians. We were both encouraged to read anything we wanted, no matter how challenging the material or how questionable in nature the material was deemed by other mothers. Our mother never stifled our creativity, intelligence or curiosity. Perhaps this is why I still ask questions to this day. I want to know as much as I can about everything that interests me, which is one reason I spend more time reading and researching than watching television. The other day I was reading a book for some ideas for some Tweets and found information that excited me. I discovered a treasure trove of anatomy-related information about sex and reproduction. I want to share this information because it is just good stuff to know.   The Italian anatomist Gabriel Fallopius was born in 1523 in Modena, Italy, and served as a canon of the cathedral of Modena before returning to the study of medicine. In 1549, Fallopius became a professor of anatomy at the University of Pisa. He performed multitudes of dissections using human cadavers and described his work in the book Observationes anatomicae, which was published in 1561. Fallopius...

Let Tragedy Strengthen Us

This week, I am not writing about sexual health, sexual issues or taboo topics. Every time I tried to write, I kept thinking about the 49 souls lost in the Orlando shooting. I kept thinking about people in general and our sense of community. I spent last weekend with Coolest. Mom. Ever. at an outdoor women’s survival event. The event is open to 110 women and is a collaboration between state Department of Natural Resources conservation officers, volunteer instructors and other volunteers who worked throughout the day and behind the scenes to give the attendees a great experience. This is the fourth year we attended and, as in previous years, we left the event feeling connected to others, like we were our own remote community, despite the lack of internet and stable phone service in the area where the event is held. I arrived back at my own house on Sunday to the news of the Orlando mass shooting. I was bewildered at the incredible and tragic loss of life. I thought about the victims; they were someone’s light and love in this life. And they were violently and abruptly killed. Actor Frank Langella said during his Tony speech on Sunday night, “When something bad happens, we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us.” I agree that when bad things happen we should let them strengthen us. Remaining positive in any situation is a sign of strength. It typically only takes one person who is positive to turn the negativity of others into something more bearable. We...

Linking Social Media and STDs

Swipe right for “yes.” Swipe left for “no.” In less than a second, someone can easily use social media to meet a stranger and have a sexual encounter with him or her. Prior to the widespread use of cell phones, people had to try harder to hook up. They actually had to interact in person or over a land line with one another. Social media applications, such as Tinder and Grindr, along with social media websites, such as Facebook, and websites devoted to meeting others for the intent purpose of having a sexual encounter, such as HookUp and Ashley Madison, have been cited by health professionals as a big reason for an uptick in sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases. Social media expert Thomas Dodson told Sacramento, California, TV station KCRA 3, that “constant connectivity” (through cellphone apps), the pictures being shared between people (sexting, which is the texting or emailing of sexually suggestive or even sexually explicit photographs, is on the rise even on websites such as Instagram) and the access people have to the internet are all factors in the “rise of sexual activity spawned by social media itself.” Grindr, a hookup app for gay men, was associated with more than half of New Zealand’s syphilis cases in 2012, according to Christchurch Sexual Health Clinic, which is located in that country. The free app uses GPS to notify users when other gay men are in the same geographical area, making it much easier to indulge in some frisky business. A 2013 New York University study found that Craigslist ads, used for hooking up, were responsible for a 16 percent...

Happy Holidays!

It’s Christmas Day, and I am taking the day off from research, writing, editing and blogging to spend it with my partner and our family and friends....

Vivienne’s Westwood’s Connection to Sex

            In the world of blogging, trackbacks and pingbacks are a good thing. Both are the same type of comment in which a link has been created to a person’s blog post from an external website, thus allowing a reciprocal link to that website to be created. In a real-life explanation, I posted a blog titled “Learning From the Past,” and a website selling clothing and jewelry inspired by Vivienne Westwood created a pingback to my blog post. The site in question contains a shortened version of her surname, but my mind immediately read “Vivienne Westwood” when I checked the site out.             Normally, a pingback is an amazing thing to be given, but I admit I was confused by this clothing company creating not one, but five, pingbacks to my blog post. I could not find any direct link between this clothing line and my blog about sexual health, sexual issues, and other taboo topics. For this reason, I labeled all the pingbacks as spam and thought little about it, until I was stuck in traffic on my drive home.              I began to wonder about Vivienne Westwood and if she had any connection to my blog topics, so I did a little research. I discovered she is a famous fashion designer with some direct and much indirect influence on certain aspects of our sexuality today. I personally admire women who encourage others to be strong and to achieve greatness, which is one reason I really wanted to write about Westwood and her connections to our sexuality.  ...