Thursday, February 14, 2013

5 Need-to-Know Ways to Happily Hump on Valentine’s Day

Image by Deborah Durham via Blisstree
by +Alyssa Mompoint: We all know It’s officially Valentine’s Day. 

So, Here are 5 Need-to-Know Ways to Happily Hump (or not) on Valentine’s Day:

1. SERENADE your friends and lovers with some heart-lifting rather than heart-wrenching music. Skip the overplayed rap songs that will require you to get “Bands to make her dance.” Forget the fist pumping electronica that leaves ringing in your ears, yes “Don’t you worry child”. Eliminate love songs that make you want to yank that friggin’ arrow from sweet ole’ cupid’s chubby hand. Stop the pop that will really push you over the edge and make you truly say we are “Never ever ever getting back together”. No, this time around try some good old fashion soul music. Repeat after me, “You’re a Bad Mamma Jama”. Now, aren’t you feelin’ good already? Just make sure to sing that soul with soul. Please.

2. TUNE into “He Said.. She Said” Lifestyle Condom Factoids. You may be surprised at what you’ll learn.  And I’ll give you a hint, put those overpriced chocolates back on the shelf.  You’ll thank me later when you realize how many extra calories you’ll be saving and how much more you can be burning.  

3. GRAB a pillow and go have fun with feathers at the Seventh Annual SF Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight. It’s the new and improved form of foreplay and a legit excuse to act like a kid again. Think about it. The adrenaline rush you’ll get from throwin’ around will be a sure way to get you in the mood to be thrown around. What are you waiting for?  Hop to it!

4. BE socially responsible and use B Condoms with your lover for the night. Get this...part of each sale goes into funding prevention and educational efforts in at-risk communities. Since Whole Foods officially now supplies them, you can also do yourself a favor and pick up some fancy schmancy overpriced wine. Oh, see those mini cheesecakes pretentiously placed in the bakery section? Yeah, throw those in, too. Joining a social movement is the new loophole of justifiable self-indulgence.

5. LOVE yourself first. According to the recent 2011 Report on STI Trends, the U.S Center for Disease Control revealed that 20 million new sexually transmitted infections are diagnosed costing a whopping $16 billion in taxpayers funds. Most of these costs are caused by HIV treatments but the real complications are due to untreated chlamydia which can cost you a pretty penny. Let’s be real--an average 25-year-old probably doesn’t have the funds to pay for treatment. So, this Valentine’s Day, please show yourself some love by using a condom and getting tested.  Munch on some sweetheart candies while you search for the nearest clinic and make an appointment.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Are You One of These 6 Types of STD Testers?

After Your Streak of Countless Nights Screwing Around (pun intended). Let's just hope you aren't on one of the Worst College Campuses for Sexual Health. Ok, What Type of STD Test Taker Are You...Really?

a). The Goodie Two-Shoes: Your fear of doing anything “wrong” or “immoral” forces you to set an IPhone calendar reminder, red flag it on your Microsoft Outlook calendar, or scribble it on a post-it note to regularly schedule an STD Test. After you leave your appointment, you tend to have a little pep in your step,your nose is slightly turn up, and your smugness is almost tangible. Because you’ve always viewed yourself as morally superior to others, you berate others for not getting tested instead of encouraging them by giving them the name, number, and location of your go-to clinic. Forget offering to go with them next time, as long as you’re clean, that’s their problem. (You’ve only had sex once and that was 3 years ago).

b). The Hypochondriac: Your obsessive compulsive behavior like tendencies leave you no choice but to make a doctor’s appointment every other week to get tested. (It’s possible you could’ve had a false negative test result). More if you happen to frequent the bathroom more that week, start sneezing, or if that papercut takes a little too long to heal. It doesn’t matter if your sexual partner kisses you, unzips your pants, or even hugs you for a second too long, there’s a chance you could have contracted an STD. In the rare occasion that you engage in casual sex, you have a 3 feet pole between you and your partner until they have strapped on a condom. STDs could be airborne. Better safe than sorry.

c). The Skeeze: You pride yourself on being able to sleep with whomever, whenever, wherever (you may want to wipe that smirk off your face) without ever thinking to use a condom. Pssh.. asking my booty call about the last time they got tested? Get outta here. The funny thing is, you have the audacity to get mad if anyone dare ask you to use protection let alone ask if you’ve been tested. You have slept with so many people unprotected that you basically have lost count. In fact, you're one of the few that disagree with interpersonal sexual behavior study where 457 heterosexual college students were polled about what constitutes cheating. 83% agree texting erotic messages and 97% agree oral sex is defined as cheating. Cheating doesn't have a definition in your book. You may be on the verge of being a walking STD, the truth hurts doesn’t it? Yet, you have never gotten tested. Ever. You can go miles in the bedroom, but a trip to the clinic remains uncharted territory.
Don’t be fooled. What goes around, will come around. Literally.

d). The Narcissist: You’re a pleasure seeking drug addict that is always looking for your next sex high. You live for the euphoric feeling that an orgasm gives you and you’ll basically do anything to experience it. You don’t care about anyone’s health but your own and even though you may have tested positive for an STD and are in the midst of getting treated your druggie like habit will drive you to get your “pleasure fix” for the night. (Who cares if I don't have a condom, I'm tryna get it in.) As long as your “area” ain’t itching or burning anymore, you don’t think it’s your responsibility to mention to your partner that “hey, I’m being treated for the clap”. Of course, you would have the nerve to ask your partner to stay arms length away if you even suspected they had something.

e). The Dumbass: You have a tendency to believe anything and everything your sexual partner tells you. “It’s rare to get an STD”. Oh ok. “So, anal sex is the only way you can get an STD?” Yeah, you are probably right. “You don’t think we should get tested after we’ve have unprotected sex for the 5th time?” Great, saves me a trip. Basically, you also don’t think you should ever ask your partner about being tested let alone using a condom because you figured, Hey, they haven’t given me a reason to and I feel just fine. (Never mind, you’ve had burning sensation “down there” for the past 2 weeks, no worries,it’ll probably go away on its own).

f). The Team Playa*:
While you have had more than your fair share of sexual escapades, you have enough self-preservation to use a condom and get regularly tested. You’ve sucked it up on more than one occasion and asked your lover if they’ve been tested and even suggested you take that trip to the clinic together. It is an absolute must with those who are looking kinda suspect. After all, if I don’t take some responsibility, why should my hook-up? Whether it be through innuendos, metaphors, or straight up gossip, you are comfortable talking to your friends about when and if you should be tested for an STD. You’ve mastered the art of turning the convo about STD signs and symptoms into quite an entertaining one. “Do me a favor will ya and pour me another glass of wine.” It almost always leads to exchanging sexual ploys and need-to-know deets. Your team player mentality makes you a damn good lover and a clean one at that. Bottoms up!

Image by Visual AIDS  via "Sean Strub..Thinking about Testing on National Test Day"

*Being a “Team Playa” will minimize your risk of contracting or spreading an STD and may even afford you more sexual suitors. So might I suggest that if you haven’t already,to start acting like one. Don't put your sexual health in jeopardy.*

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Sex Spree in San Francisco: Why I Signed Up

Image by Coffee Meets Bagel
{Coffee Meets Bagel: Debunking 3 Dating Myths in San Francisco}
By +Alyssa Mompoint: Let's be honest, San Francisco is one of the few cities populated with the greatest amount of sexually free singles. In any given night and in any given neighborhood a 26-year-old single girl (yes, I’m talking about myself) can actually have the option and dare I say even the right to ask herself the following before going out: “Hmm, which type of single beaut tonight am I in the mood to hear bullsh**t lines from, smile and uncontrollably bat my eyelashes at, give my doe eyes to, engage in witty banter with, accept a tasty drink from which is almost always followed up by the unspoken obligatory small talk, and who most likely not only has the balls to ask for my number but has the common decency to take me out on a real date?”

Lastly but certainly not the least, “Who has the greatest potential of giving me the best night of sexual pleasure of my life?”

Let’s see, considering half the males are single in SF, do I want to try to have sex with:

  1. The skinny jeans, cool tee, beanie wearing quintessential hipster. (You may have to be ready to step up your artsy side but faking it should suffice).
  2. The sharp suited, smooth talkin’ yuppie. (Warning: He may turn out to be an arrogant ***hole).
  3. The laid back, newly minted tech millionaire. (This may guarantee a night of being intellectually stimulated first).
  4. The sexy foreigner who swoons you with their accent which undoubtably gives off a sexual energy.
  5. The polo shirt buying, khaki pant struttin’ marina dweller. (Beware, there is a slight chance they may use their money to compensate for their lack of personality).
  6. All of the above. (Hey, its San Francisco, most are up for anything).

On this particular night, I had two girlfriends visiting from Los Angeles,who let’s just say, have made a commitment to pimp each other out when necessary. Please Note: I was determined to have a new and exciting sexual escapade story to regale my friends with. Thanks to my friends that night, I snagged a blond haired blue eyed, pony bun wearing Swede who offered me a cigarette on the street corner.

For the next 3 months, I got roped into the most wild, inappropriate, dramatic, sexual experience of my life with whom I came to nickname “Pony Bun.” I’ll put it to you this way, I had never had a man ask me so many times to have a threesome (Um, not my style). Ask the nteenth time about what my fantasies and what type of porn is my favorite. Attempt to have anal sex with me without my permission. (Um, where are your manners?). Suggest we watch his roommate and her booty call get in on while we have sex (I’m sorry but this is not a synchronized event). Smother me with raspberry flavored lubricant and then proceed to stick his finger in...well....just make an educated guess. He also attempted to seduce me in a closet, requested we try having sex outside on a hedge, and admitted he watched tranny porn.

Did I mention that I secretly indulged in the drama and enjoyed his blatant freakiness?

As many times as we had sex, I could not muster up the nerve to ask him to use a condom. 

I never asked him when's the last time, if ever he even got tested. Why? Gee...because it’s awkward as hell. C’mon,what was I supposed to say and when was I supposed to ask it? Right before he busted out the lube and right after he bit my ass (I guess it’s a new form of foreplay). I did not want to be offensive and more importantly I did not want to jeopardize one of the most sexually freeing nights of my life. Sorry.

I also have a confession. At that point, I had not been tested in 2 years. I had a habit of not using a condom.I was on a streak of engaging in casual sex. I know all the signs, symptoms of most STI/STDs and I of course know all the ways to practice safe sex. Yet, I did not protect myself. I was too friggin’ lazy to make a doctor’s appointment but ironically not too lazy to flee my apartment in the wee hours of the night for pony bun lovin'. I knew I was putting myself at risk but frankly I just wanted to believe I was immune. I blame it on the sex haze.

One week after yet another freaky night...I started having symptoms-I’ll do you a favor and spare you the explicit details. I finally got tested which I am not going to lie, was only because I was due for my annual pap smear. Got my results. Turned up positive for bacterial vaginosis which is a condition a woman can get by having unprotected sex.


10 days of antibiotics later, I thought maybe it’s time to be more responsible and stop being a walking contradiction. (I think I forgot to tell you I have a Masters in Public Health a.k.a I should know better) Side note: When the pharmacist says don’t drink any alcohol on your antibiotic, it really means DO NOT drink any alcohol. Yes, one sip counts. It ain’t on the label for nothing. Trust me. 

Needless to say, I learned my lesson.

Here are my Top 6 Tips on How to Enjoy a San Franciscan Man, STI/STD worry free:

1. Grab a Friend and Get Tested. Identify at least one friend who you can open up to if you notice any changes "down there". Chances are, she has had a similar experience and at least you'll get validation that your symptoms aren't normal. The team effort won't make you feel so alone and the trip to the clinic will allow for more gossip time, don't you think?

2. Kill Two Birds with One Stone. We all have to go get an annual pap smear, right? Make it a habit to always get tested in the same check up! Be sure to ask your Ob-gyn to get tested for All STI/STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, HPV, and HIV) Since you are already there, what's another few minutes, eh?

3. Start being honest with yourself. Take a minute and figure out why you haven't gotten tested or why you don't always use protection. Is it sheer laziness? Are you afraid of ruining the moment? Do you not have health insurance or know where the nearest clinic is? Is it simply because a using condom doesn't feel as good? The sooner you figure out what is preventing you from keeping track of your sexual health, the better.

4. Just ask. You can be forward and just straight up ask "When's the last time you got tested?" or go the more sly route and work it into the conversation early on. For example, I purposely
told one of my dates about a sexual health startup. Why? To gain a sense of how serious he takes STI/STD testing, if he's comfortable talking about it, or if he even knows squat about it. 
Tip: Beware of body language, keep it lighthearted, and if you don't get an answer do yourself a favor and don't have sex until you do.

5. Take Responsibility. Ok, so you got caught up in the moment, didn't use a condom, and now you may feel guilty about it. Take responsibility for your actions, admit you were careless, and please ask him to use a condom next time. Think of it this way. The safer you are, the more sexually free you can be. Wouldn't you say?

6. Use a Condom. Period.

Want to share your personal advice on how to engage in casual sex, STI/STD worry free?  Please, go ahead. I beg of you.

Folsom Street Fair, HIV Testing, and the Founding of BeforeWeDo

1. “Volunteer with us at the Mr. Friendly at the Folsom Street Fair!”
I came to San Francisco from Germany by way of China to immerse myself in the world's most advanced startup culture. And after exploring its meetups, conferences and hackathons, I also found the city to have the most sexually progressive community I've ever seen. I was intrigued by Gay Pride, the Castro and the overall tolerance towards all sexual orientations.
I see myself as homophile (opposite of homophobe), and far from being a prude, yet I never expected to find myself shirtless in leather talking about sexual health at the Folsom Street Fair. But a friend said, “Volunteer with us at the Mr. Friendly booth” and I did.

CC: Folsom Street Fair 2012 by

Ever since I’ve been sexually active, my fear of HIV regularly drove me to the Gesundheitsamt in Freiburg, Germany. Sometimes with a partner before going all the way and sometimes alone after I quite literally screwed up. Living in China, I experienced testing taken to the next level. There, full medical screenings - including sexually transmitted diseases (STD) - are required for all foreigners desiring student or employment visas. On the one hand, this practice is discussed with much controversy - see for example this discussion on Robert Koehler's blog. But on the other hand, it made the sexual health conversation a whole lot easier when you could just ask for the type and the issuing date of the visa rather than ask for STD status directly ;-). Compared to China, San Francisco’s culture is a lot more sexually progressive, yet when I started dating here, I found the sexual health discussion with a partner to be a lot more uncomfortable.

2. The Sexual Health Problem
So back to the Folsom Street Fair - which after all is the world's largest leather and fetish street festival and actually the third largest one-day festival in California (Carly Schwartz put together some intriguing photos on this blog post - so you can get an idea)! As I was standing at the Mr. Friendly HIV Awareness Campaign booth and talking with folks about STDs, I started to wonder about the magnitude of the sexual health problem. And when I later that day went home to research statistics about sexual health in the US, I was appalled to discover that there are still over 19 Million new STD infections every year in this country alone (see a more detailed write up by William Hudson.)! - It is still a huge problem!

So I was thinking... San Francisco: the world capital of innovative startups and probably the world's most sexually progressive community - there MUST be an app for this. Managing your health with apps has already become quite the trend. There are over 7,500 different mobile health apps for the Apple IPhone alone, that range from managing medications for chronic diseases, to tracking your exercise regime, to monitoring your eating habits. I did a search for “STD” on Google Play and this is what I found:

Screenshot of Google Play, searching for “STD” on Feb 1, 2013.

… Apps about Indian Area Codes??!!! I decided that I knew what I wanted my next Startup to be about.

3. Starting up BeforeWeDo
I went to the Founders Institute Incubator and Startup Leadership Program and created BeforeWeDo. I see a huge potential to combine social web, mobile apps and new STD testing technology to bring sexual health to the 21st century. I want to empower sexually active singles to understand and manage their sexual health and make it incredibly convenient and easy for them to get tested regularly. Based on the user’s personal demographics and sexual activity, BeforeWeDo recommends personalized STD vaccinations and screenings. The service is anonymous and recommendations are provided without judgment or bias. Users can then schedule testing appointments or, even easier and more private, can have FDA approved in-home test kits delivered regularly to their door.

BeforeWeDo brings clarity, convenience and peace of mind to its users - and ultimately makes regular STD testing a new standard for sexually active men, women and everyone else in between.
Join us and let us bring sexual health to the 21st century!


The Maker of this Blog: