Art by Ryan Huertas, www.ryanhuertas.com
I'm an Asian American woman in my
thirties living in a large urban city. I have gotten to this point where I
honestly could not care less about having sex. My last relationship was several years ago and I don't
have the energy to "put myself out there." Am I becoming too complacent
or is this just a period of perfectly normal asexuality?
--Asian American Asexual
Dear Asian American Asexual,
If you’re happy with your life and the
things you’re doing right now, that’s all that matters. Put energy into the
things you want to and care about. Our culture places an exaggerated amount of
importance on “finding love” and being in a relationship, which pressures
everyone to have a romantic partner all the time. The implicit message is that
if you remain single for too long you’ll be unhappy and lonely for the rest of
your life, which is obviously not true.
It takes a lot of confidence and
courage to be pursue happiness independently or even say that you can be happy
being alone. To me, you are inspirational and I hope that as I grow older I
will gain confidence and gratification from being by myself as well. Also it’s
when you’re keeping busy with your own business that you randomly meet people
you click with. Keep doing you and the things you enjoy, and remember that you
are the only person who can go out and attain your own happiness.
Nadia Cho is an undergrad at UC Berkeley majoring in psychology, with strong interests in sociology, Asian American Studies and gender and women’s studies. She was a Sex on Tuesday columnist at UC Berkeley’s student paper The Daily Californian. She continues teach sex positive thinking and living at her blog nadiacho.com. Her hobbies include drinking coffee, playing with cats and being sassy. She secretly loves Tumblr and kale.
I heard Asians are more prone to yeast infections. Is that true?
I seem to be getting them regularly -- what gives? Is it caused by
too much sex? What can I do to prevent them?
--Pants On Fire
Aw, sorry about the frequent infections! Yeast infections are all too familiar for many women: more than 75% will experience a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. And up to 8% of women suffer from recurrent yeast infections (that is, at least 3 times year).
Some things increase your risk for yeast infections, like diabetes, pregnancy, antibiotic use, any condition that suppress the immune system, and estrogen-containing birth control pills. However, most women with recurrent yeast infections do not have any of these risk factors. There is no evidence of increased rates among Asian patients that we could find. But yeast infections are much more common in younger women.
Yeast infections (by the Candida species) are not sexually transmitted. Instead, they are caused by an imbalance of the normal microorganisms that naturally inhabit the vagina. There is no relation between yeast infections and sexual intercourse or the number of sexual partners you have. This is different from Bacterial Vaginosis, which is also an imbalance of the normal microorganism of the vagina, but can be triggered by contact with semen.
If you love your vagina as much as we hope you do, there are a few steps you can take to prevent this imbalance that leads to yeast infections. You can try to avoid estrogen-containing birth control pills and opt for progestin-only methods (e.g. the IUD, depo-provera shot or implanon). Try to wear cotton underwear and avoid irritating vaginal douches, perfumes and sprays. If you still get yeast infections frequently, one possibility is to talk to your doctor about weekly medication to prevent recurrence.
Bottom line: There is no evidence for Asians getting more frequent yeast infections. But you are not alone! Women of across this great nation stand with you in solidarity against this great Candidal scourge. There are many things above you can try. Hope you feel better and good luck!
--Monica and Dharushana
Doctors Monica Hahn and Dharushana Muthulingam
Monica Hahn (L) is a resident physician at the UCSF Family and Community Medicine Residency at San Francisco General Hospital. She received her MD from UCSF School of Medicine and her MPH from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She has been involved in community-based youth empowerment advocacy, as well as HIV prevention projects. She is currently interested in adolescent health, HIV prevention and sexual health. She enjoys capoeira, Afro-Latin dance, and Brazilian percussion.Dharushana Muthulingam (R) is a resident physician in the department of Internal Medicine of the Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland. She studied medicine at UCSF and public health at UC Berkeley. She is interested in infectious disease, healthy aging, health justice and working with patients to live the good and flourishing life. In her spare time, she has been attempting to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. After two years, she is happy to report she is almost half way done.
Is it weird to fantasize about my gay
lover getting me pregnant? As a bottom, I squeal in delight at the thought of
being seeded by my hubby. Should I be ashamed to have a breeder kink?
-- Preggers Wanna-be
What's weird for one is never for some! That's why we call it a fantasy, a
"kink," and it's totally fine with me as long as it keeps you and
your hubby's drives kickin.' You want to consume your man's prowess and
virility as an intimate and ultimate act of receiving his love while imagining
yourself accidentally inseminated and growing "bigger." How hawt is
Could the fantasy to have children actually become realized? Sure thing! Your
turn-on could be an unconscious a desire to have and care for a child of your
own. Empower yourself by exploring your craving to procreate. And then ask
yourself why you find the combination of gay sex, pregnancy and kids to be a
mixed bag. Consider why couples queer and straight do want to make a family and
perhaps you’ll accept that it is in our nature as human beings to nurture and love
one another. It’s also in our nature to give into our drives. Now that’s sexy.
Barbie is your sister and pal in all things love and taboo. NYC-based, she loves long walks on city streets, watching sunsets over the river, farming and looking for the next big thing. She's your wellness connector, media maker, and fellow troublemaker. She loves her food homestyle, hands down. If you're ever in NYC, look her up to chat and chew.