Saturday, 25 January 2014


I was studying for my exams when I leaned back to stretch out my arms and noticed a sudden pain. I stretched again to pinpoint the location of the pain and realised it was coming from my boobs. I tentatively prodded one of them and winced; it was sore and tender all over! Of course the first thoughts running through my head were something along the lines of 'OMG I have cancer', 'I'm going to die', 'What if they get chopped off' etc. etc. I have a tendency to overreact when I don't know what's wrong. 

However, as I later found out through research and consulting a doctor, breast pain is very common and there are a range of reasons why it could happen. 

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., breast pain is any discomfort, tenderness or pain in the breast or underarm region. It is important to note that breast pain is generally NOT a sign of breast cancer. 

Breast pain is also called 'mastalgia' and it's really common. According to California Pacific Medical Center, breast pain affects 50% - 70% of women. The pain is categorised as either cyclical or non cyclical. 

  • Cyclical pain is associated with your menstrual cycle. Pain linked with the menstrual cycle tends to lessen during or after your period. 
  • Non cyclical pain can have many causes, including injury to the breast. Sometimes non cyclical pain can come from surrounding muscles or tissues rather than the breast. Non cyclical  pain is much less common than cyclical pain. 

To find out whether your pain is cyclical or non cyclical, you just have to keep a log of your periods and record when you feel pain. After a few cycles, the pattern will become clear and you'll know whether it's to do with your period, or if it's due to other factors. 

Reasons for breast pain include: 
Puberty in girls (and boys, they have breasts too remember), menstruation and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), pregnancy, menopause, certain medications, stress and lumpy breasts due to fibrocystic tissue. 

Sometimes breast pain can be caused by something as simple as wearing the wrong bra, and this can also contribute to back pain. Make sure to pop into your nearest undergarment store and get sized correctly; it's usually a service that's offered for free (but if not, pretend you're going to buy a few bras so you can find out your correct size anyway!) 

Ultimately, if you have persistent breast pain, you should see your doctor. It's always wise to inform your doctor about any sudden changes in your body and if you're worried then make an appointment; it's better to be safe than sorry. 

If you do go to get checked out, the doctor will generally do a physical examination on you and may order a mammogram which is an x-ray of the breasts to find out what's going on. 

As it turned out, my breast pain was due to the stress of my exams. I made sure to wear a good bra for their duration and avoided banging into things, with the result being that the pain was completely gone about a week after the last exam finished. 


Wednesday, 15 January 2014


This method is about 98% effective. 
A condom is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs - such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV). It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner. 

This is generally the most common form of contraception, and you should aim to have a few handy just in case some impromptu rolling in the sack occurs. The best place to store them is probably a bedside locker, that way they're easily accessible, yet out of the way as well. One of the worst places to keep them, and so many men in particular are guilty of this, is your wallet. A wallet takes a beating in its life, that is it bends constantly with movement or when a man sits down; not to mention the friction from opening and closing the wallet between transactions. It can cause a condom to deteriorate and you may not be able to tell if you look at the condom, though small tears and holes could be present, rendering it useless.

Also, make sure to check the expiry date on the condom as this can elude some people, resulting in STDs or unwanted pregnancy. 


I refuse to eat cauliflower. They're tasteless and they look like an alien/mushroom hybrid of some kind. They're just icky! Many people find themselves repulsed by certain foods, and no amount of nagging from parents is going to get it down your throat. The same can be said for semen, though I'm assuming your parents won't be encouraging you to eat that! It's a bit of a gray area, but the majority of women that I've talked to find semen 'icky', the same view as my feelings for cauliflower, although admittedly not the same ball park. 

At some point in your life, you may find yourself staring down a penis that's about to ejaculate. Several thoughts could be running through your head. For instance, what if it gets in my eye? What if it tastes bad? Do I spit it out? Do I swallow it? Can I get pregnant if I swallow it? (The answer to the last one is NO by the way, just to clear it up). 

Surprisingly, semen may have quite a few health benefits. According to News Medical, there are mixed reports regarding the benefits of consuming semen. Some studies suggest that absorption of semen past the vaginal mucus membrane lining its inner walls has positive effects like reducing depression and reducing the likelihood of breast cancer. 

Women who have chronic morning sickness may be suffering this because of the presence of antibodies that destroy the proteins or antigens present in her sexual partner's semen. Having oral sex and swallowing the semen of her partner may help make the pregnancy safer and more successful as the woman is swallowing her partner's antigens. It sounds crazy but when you think it over it starts to make sense. The body is attacking something it isn't familiar with. Maybe a few shots of semen throughout the pregnancy, or even a few weeks before if it's planned, could help with that. 

There are some possible dangers to ingesting semen, however, as semen can contain several viruses that may be sexually transmitted past bodily fluids from an infected man. The most common examples are HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C, herpes and chlamydia. If you've decided that you want to swallow the semen of your partner, you need to be sure that they are STD free, otherwise you're taking a risk. Things like a cut in your mouth, or bleeding gums from flossing could be ideal entry-ways for STDs to sneak in and wreak havoc. 

Whether you spit or you swallow, or you give oral sex with the aid of a condom, just make sure you're being safe and that nobody is making you do something you don't want to. Swallowing semen can be pleasant for some, and unpleasant for others, but it doesn't make you any less of a sexual partner if you decide it's not for you. 

Monday, 25 February 2013


The problem with growing up is that you have an idea in your mind of how you're going to look as a woman. As there's not a lot of information given to you about the female form besides periods and the birds and the bees, I assumed that getting past puberty would get rid of the awkward buds attached to my chest that seemed to go through different stages of growth.

Some women grow up to have symmetrical breasts, although it is rare for them to be perfectly even. However it is accepted that slight asymmetry is the norm. This anatomical nuance is of little concern to most women but there are some of us who notice a large size difference and it impacts greatly on body image. It can seriously affect some women's self esteem.

The term ‘Asymmetric Breasts’ usually refers to breasts that differ in size by at least one cup size, which may become noticeable during puberty as the breast tissue starts to develop. Subsequently, as the years progress, the asymmetry may become more obvious to the point where it is unflattering and even embarrassing for a woman. 

Asymmetric breasts can be corrected with surgery but it is important to realise that although one may be bigger than the other, there is nothing wrong with you. Almost 99% of women have asymmetrical breasts and in 40% of those cases, there is a cup size or more in difference. Breasts and nipples come in all shapes and sizes and I have included several pictures of breasts that are perfectly normal:

Share your thoughts in the comments section and if you need to talk to someone about breast asymmetry, there is a great helpline called Get Connected and you can contact them by emailing:


In the previous post I talked about the falsehood of a hymen covering the whole vagina. As teens in this country, sex education is lacking AT BEST. And even then, there isn't a lot of emphasis on the hymen. It's kind of just said that it'll be broken when you have sex and that's when you know you're 'not a virgin'. 
It's so silly and not only is it WRONG, it's violent aswell. It gives the impression that the man is going to be like, "Here I am with my huge penis, I'm about to break into your vagina and take away your flower!" - No wonder women can be anxious about the first time! The myths about sex are straight up scary! 

My dad, for instance, used to take any opportunity he could to point the finger and say, "Don't have sex! You'll get pregnant and your life will be ruined!" The fear he instilled with me stayed for ages until I began my rebellious phase and decided a ruined life would be worth it if I could irritate him. 
And several years later, we've both gotten over our immaturity. 

Sex should not be about taking things from people, it shouldn't mean that a man gets a trophy or gold stars for 'taking' something valuable from the woman while she's left viewed by society as some promiscuous tramp. It's such a double standard and where does it stop? After the man gets a high five from his friends and the woman is left with rumours about her sex life to deal with?
Granted, this is coming off a tad sexist. But it is true, just talking to male friends of mine shows this attitude. 

Hopefully in the future, people can be more willing to know that nothing should be stolen or taken during sex between two people, it's an act of physical passion and should be enjoyed by both parties. There shouldn't be any pain involved in first time sex (unless you're into that, which I can't imagine you would be during your first experience). 

The best thing you can do during first time sex is to just have fun with it and not take yourselves too seriously, it's unproductive to think that it's going to work out like the way porn is portrayed. People who have sex for the first time are inexperienced and are in no way porn stars, so it's unfair to expect your partner to perform to a certain degree. 
Sex is messy and funny and laughing makes the experience all the better. 


'Losing virginity' is one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding women. This term is used to describe vaginal penetration with a penis. It is rife with the perception that it’s going to hurt. For some women that is going to be the case, even if they spend a long time on foreplay and use lube to ease the process. 
But in most cases pain can be avoided. There may be discomfort due to the vaginal walls stretching out further than ever before, but it should never be to the point where she is in tears or is experiencing a great deal of pain. If it is, more often than not, something is wrong. 

There are lots of people out there who believe that sex is supposed to be painful for the woman on her first time as this is when her hymen is being 'broken' as such. WRONG! It’s uncommon for this to be the case.
The hymen is a piece of tissue that surrounds the external vaginal opening. IT'S NOT INSIDE THE VAGINA! You can actually see it when looking at the vulva. The opening can be of any size or shape and the tissue may be thick or thin. So this silly notion that a man 'takes' a woman's virginity by 'breaking her seal' is nothing but misogynistic crap created to make a man feel dominant.

Having sex for the first time can be unnerving at any age, but it is important not to make a woman feel that something is being taken from her that she can't get back. Particularly if it is a situation where the woman was perhaps peer pressured into experiencing sex for the first time. Words like 'popping the cherry' and 'deflowering' should be avoided. 
Think of your hymen as an appendix, it's there and you have it for life but you never use it!

Sunday, 11 December 2011


I know a lot of gay people and one of my best friends is gay; he's known his orientation since he was quite young but only came out of the metaphorical closet about a year ago. Many people say that homosexuality is a choice and that they CHOOSE to be that way, but my question to those people is: when did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual? The answer is that you didn't, you just DON'T choose, you don't look at someone and decide you like their gender, that's not the way it works! People are born as they are and the world would be a whole lot happier if there was equality and acceptance. 

I think some homophobic people are under the assumption that the gay people are going to chase them down the streets trying to dry hump them. It's so irrational to think that gay people don't have the same rights as heterosexuals. We're all people! This just brings us back to the days where black people were discriminated against, and to what end? It took a long time but they have rights now aswell, and once certain people get a grip on themselves then gay people will be treated with the same respect as everyone else. 

Unfortunately that's just not happening now! They're not allowed to marry or adopt, in some countries gay people aren't allowed to give blood despite the shortage at donor banks, the list goes on and there are many people who stand back and watch this, including some who actually cheer this on.

Just to clarify because sometimes these terms are confused: homosexuality is attraction to the same sex, bisexuality is attraction to both sexes and heterosexuality is attraction to strictly the opposite sex. 

Despite laws that say otherwise, gay people receive the greatest percentage of harassment in the workplace. In fact, Ireland is lucky when compared with America; some states in the country are still legally allowed to fire gay people simply because of their sexual orientation. Everyone needs to chill out! Being around a gay person does not make you gay in the same way as being around someone who is religious doesn't make you adopt their beliefs. You are what you are.

And on another note, you can be completely heterosexual but still have certain curiosities about the same sex. There's nothing wrong with that, and when some people leave the family home and attend college there is a certain independence that comes with it that can lead to experimentation. It doesn't make someone gay and hey, everyone's dabbled! There shouldn't be anywhere NEAR as much judgement!