How breast-aware are you?

BREAST cancer does not develop overnight. In most cases it’s detected by women who notice that something is not right whether through self-examination or because they have taken the time to do a mammogram.

Unfortunately some women are too laid back and remain unaware as they don’t take the time to monitor their bodies. Take our quiz to find out which category you fall in.

1. When it comes to Breast Self Exam (BSE) you do that:
a. Once every month
b. Never
c. Maybe twice for the year

2. You think mammograms are:.
a. Very important and ensure you do it once per year
b. For old women
c. You plan on doing it ‘sometime in the future’

3. When it comes to informing yourself about the risk of breast cancer you:
a. Read everything you can get your hands on.
b. Figure what’s the use? It’s not in your family anyway
c. Make a mental note to start researching soon

4. If you looked at your breasts would you would be able to:
a. Detect the slightest change.
b. You couldn’t tell if anything was amiss
c. You would need a few more days to tell

5. Do you know the earliest signs of breast cancer?
a. Definitely
b. Don’t have a clue
c. Have some vague idea

Mostly A’s
Congratulations, you are a real health police when it comes on to your body. You are one of those persons who will detect the slightest change and act quickly on it.

Mostly B’s
Wake up! You need to be more vigilant about your breasts. You don’t want to be caught off guard do you?

Mostly C’s
You are on the brink of getting careless about your health…but it’s not too late for you. Stop putting off for tomorrow what can be done today.

– Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Buju Banton meets with gays in San Fran

courtesy of Petrelis Files

(Back row, L – R: Jonathan, Buju p.r. rep, Bevan Dufty, Andrea Shorter, Eric Mar, Rebecca Rolfe, Tracii McGregor. Front row, Michael Petrelis and Buju Banton.)

Four members of San Francisco’s gay community met this afternoon for 40-minutes with Jamaican singer Buju Banton in Larkspur, up in Marin County, to discuss his troubling history with gay people.According to Buju and his advisers, this was his first meeting ever with gay advocates, and they really want to put an end to the controversy that continues to dog him over violent homo-hating song he sang in his late teens, “Boom Bye Bye.”At the meeting were gay leaders Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who arranged the meeting, Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the SF gay community center, Andrea Shorter of Equality California and myself. Also present was Supervisor Eric Mar, a progressive straight leader in the Asian community, and, of course, Buju and Tracii McGregor, president of his music company.

About ten minutes into the meeting in the hotel lobby of where the singer is staying, some of his p.r. people joined the conversation.The meeting was very civil and productive, even though at times I had to play the “bad cop” activist, especially when Buju was dominating the discussion, and we made several suggestions for him to consider, in order to start to undo some of the problems he has in the gay community because of his past anti-gay lyrics.

We proposed that he think about making statements in Jamaica calling for love toward gays, donating to the JFLAG group, hold a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays, and sing about loving gay people. All the suggestions were rejected, frustrating us.It was explained by us that American gays are not singling him out, as we advocate for gay tolerance in Jamaica, but that we have also applied pressure on the government and business leaders to affect change that benefits gays across the island nation.

While there certainly was little movement on his part, and we didn’t agree to tell any other gays to stop protesting his concert tour or suggesting he do more to confront the terrible, and sometimes deadly, anti-gay violence in Jamaica, we felt it was a very positive step forward that the meeting took place.Our hope is that we will continue to speak with him and his representatives to address the pervasive hatred gays face in Jamaica, and work together to reduce homo-hate. I believe Buju fully understands that today’s meeting was a beneficial first step and that the gay community will want more concrete steps taken, before our actions against his concerts cease. Many thanks to Bevan for arranging this important first meeting, and thanks to Buju for taking the time to listen to us, and to let us hear his views.

Let’s keep the communication going.

The Art of Erotic Biting

In modern American culture we are familiar with love bites characterized by the neck hickey, a red, discolored spot or bruise resulting from biting or pinching with the mouth. Among young teens the hickey is almost a rite of passage, a badge of honor symbolizing sexual maturity and success at winning a lover. They become a somewhat subtle way of saying “I got laid last night”. Among younger children the hickey is sometimes given without much sexual involvement as something of a love game from their earliest attempts at serious kissing. We have heard of cases of older boys pinching “virginal” girl’s necks (creating a false hickey) to embarrass them before their parents and other youth. Of course kids (especially boys) quickly discover they can fabricate their own false hickeys to win admiration or envy of their peers.

Some gay and bisexual men are aroused by slight bites on the buttocks, the crotch area, the spinchter opening of the anus and the balls (slight nibbling)

Erotic biting has long been a part of serious sexuality. The Kama Sutra devotes an entire chapter to it and like other chapters has a complete taxonomy of forms and styles. “Local customs should be consulted” since the practice varied widely. In some cities the practice was offensive (even dangerous) where in other places it was a honor to one’s lover and even expected. The women of Koshala for example loved violent biting and “dildos are much employed”. The author(s) warned “One should not be led by a state of excitation into performing acts that are considered unfitting”. These practices “if lightly performed, arouse desire and provoke sighs”. Biting and scratching is observed “in all species” and the main goal is excitation prior to copulation. In some women this can produce a true orgasm.

All parts of the body were considered suitable except the upper lip, tongue, and eyes. The forehead, lower lip, neck, cheeks, chest, breasts, sides, crotch, ear, feet, armpits and genitals were favored. Attention to specific erotic zones in the woman was essential. The writer advises that “kiss marks on the ear, as well as scratch marks on the cheeks are considered ornamental”. These ancient lovers of sex also left fingernail marks in conjunction with bites.

The major types of bites are as follows:

Discreet: gentle bite to the lower lip, leaving only short-term redness. Today we might call this a love nip.

Impressed: firm bite to the lower lip or cheeks, leaving lasting redness.

Pointed: a tiny piece of skin is bitten by the teeth and pulled.

Coral Jewel: a spot is squeezed several times between the top teeth and lower lip, leaving a dark rose mark in a jewel shape.

Necklace of Gems: coral jewel (larger) marks left in a line along some part of the body. They were favored along the neck in two lines, down both sides of the torso, or near the sexual organs.

Necklace of Dots: pointed (smaller) marks left in a line or two on the body.

Scattered Cloud: small teeth marks arranged in an irregular pattern (ie. cloud shapes) on the body. Leaving these marks below the breast is mentioned.

Chewing the Wild Boar: Closely spaced bites over a wide area “forming a red center” below the breasts. Due to the swine association this term is best avoided in modern times!


Initialing: bites form the initials of the lover’s name. These variations serve as a type of short duration tattoo and denote a type of “ownership” of the lover’s body.
Symbology: bites form a symbol of a group, gang, or organization. Shape of a heart is also very common in symbol of general love. We have heard of one fraternity who bit females from a sister sorority with a Greek letter.
Circling: bites form a circle around an object such as the naval, nipple, tattoo, piercing, or male glans. The Necklace styles are generally a line rather than a circle and do not ring a specific landmark on the body.
Vampire: two small bites (perhaps Pointed type) on the neck to resemble the two punctures of vampire fangs. This was a Halloween pastime among a group of swinging friends.
The practices of erotic biting varied in their violence according to the type of lover, their tradition, and personality. In some cases the Indian man would bite the woman with a necklace. He/She would return the favor, giving him a necklace “as if she were in anger” or “like a madwoman”. In some cases the hair is grabbed and light bondage is involved. For instance “she bites wherever he had bitten her and rejoices in his efforts to free himself”.

Like scratches these bite marks were considered “a souvenir of sexual relations”. They were also marks of adultery and might serve as legal evidence. Necklaces were considered proof the woman have consented for an extended period of a time with her lover. Recent, visible bite marks also told others that a man or woman had a current lover and might be unavailable. It was also a sort of advertisement of the lover’s erotic skills. If the lover was known others could admire his or her skill in this important erotic artistry or lack thereof. This is why some bites were done on visible places (neck, arms) vs. hidden places (below breasts, pubic area) to be either public or private knowledge. But in our modern beach culture with skimpy outfits few such protections are possible.


Frottage & Toucherism

Frottage or frotteurism is rubbing against unknown persons (usually female), often with the clothed penis, for sexual gratification of some kind. Frottage usually involves rubbing the clothed penis against a clothed woman’s leg, buttocks, or pubic region in a public place. Toucheurism is similar but involves full use of the hands on an unknown female’s body, often including the buttocks, legs, crotch, and breasts. Both of these practices usually imply a lack of permission and in this manner are distinguished from activities such as tribadism and “dry humping”. The term frottage is sometimes used to indicate any public rubbing while standing, consentual or not. Indeed some of the sexual fantasy involved in these practices has to do with the fact the victims, usually women, are strangers. The term toucheurism derives from the French toucher meaning touch.
Both frottage and toucheurism are considered sexual deviations or paraphilias (even by the most liberal minds) because they involve violation of personal space and privacy. In most modern societies these practices are punished by law. Psychiatrists have made a clear connection between toucheurism in particular with propensity for sexual aggression including rape. Thus persons, usually men, having a fondness for or record of toucheurism are often carefully watched. Attempts at either frottage or toucheurism in a confined, secluded space is usually classed as attempted rape by law enforcement authorities. For example, a man finding a woman alone using a payphone who attempts to rub against her would usually be subject to more severe charges than one acting so on a crowded subway.

Frottage is not uncommon in young males and is sometimes considered harmless if outgrown towards puberty. There is sometimes an illusion that this activity will please the girl and become consentual. The fact that some popular dances and bar scenes encourage similar contact (thought consentual) may encourage them. Yet older males may practice frottage almost as a hobby – though frottage is rarely their exclusivve form of sexual expression according to studies (Wilson, Glenn. 1987. Variant Sexuality: Research and Theory. Johns Hopkins. Baltimore). Concerts, crowded noisy bars, and rush-hour transportation systems (mainly subways, buses, and trains) are popular locations for this activity. Indeed some devoted practioners of frottage have been known to plan trips on subway trains during specific times when it is most successful for them. These crowded public forums for frottage provide some “cover” because the male may offer a false apology if caught or easily disappear into a dynamic mass of other people. When alcohol is involved such men often claim a sort of clumsiness or exaggerated intoxication to explain their movements. Frottage and toucheurism is also common with mentally defective (ie. Downs syndrome) or socially inadequate (ie. very shy) men.

In crowded buses here in Jamaica many have been heard to give accounts of their experiences being aroused by close contact with other passengers and the bus conductor, if he or she is attractive. The infamous barber shop rub up is also of note where barbers have been known to let their “equipment come to rest on ones shoulder while one is trimmed or shaved and same equipment is known to have risen to the occassion in full attention.

There is a also a rare paraphila (deviant sexuality) which we may term frottophilia for lack of an existing term. It refers to one being aroused by being touched or rubbed by strangers in a public place. While most recipients of frottage or toucheurism do not consent nor enjoy the practice, the occasional person does. We have found reference to teen girls at rock concerts and men in crowded gay bars admitting to enjoyment of the activity by others. It has been described as anonymous, mysterious, and low risk arousal.
SEX ED 601

Tribadism and safer sex

Tribadism (pronounced /ˈtrɪ bæd ɪzm/) or tribbing, also known by the slang term scissoring, is a form of non-penetrative sex in which a woman rubs her vulva against her partner’s body for sexual stimulation. This may involve female-to-female genital contact or a female rubbing her vulva against her partner’s thigh, arm or stomach; it can also refer to a masturbation technique in which a woman rubs her vulva against an inanimate object such as a bolster, in an effort to achieve orgasm.

The term is most often used in the context of lesbian sex, but is not exclusive to lesbians.

In the sexuality of the ancient Romans, a tribas was a woman who wanted to be an active partner or “top” in intercourse. The Romans did not classify according to homosexuality and heterosexuality. They instead had words for who was the active partner and who was the “bottom”.

Until the 20th century, the term was used to refer to lesbian sexual practices in general. Therefore, lesbians were occasionally called tribades.

This position is not exclusive to humans. Females of the bonobo species, found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also engage in female-female genital sex, usually known as GG rubbing (genito-genital).

Safe sex issues
As with any exchange of bodily fluids during sexual activities, tribadism has the potential to transfer sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) if those are present in one or more of the partners. Participants have the option of safe sex practices.

Tribadism in popular culture
The glam pop band Scissor Sisters derived their name from the scissoring position.
Bands named after tribadism include Scissorfight and the lesbian punk band Tribe
Genital-genital tribadism was depicted three times during the “D-Yikes!” episode of the cartoon South Park, referred to in that episode as “scissoring”.
Australian band Rocksteady pay homage to tribadism with their song “Scissoring”.

SEE: Bonobo Sex and Society
The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution

Remember HIV OK:
It infects CD4 cells and uses them to make new copies of HIV, which go on to infect more cells. The lower a person’s CD4 count, the weaker their immune system will be.

Very low risk but NOT No risk
HIV is transmitted when blood, vaginal fluids (including menstrual blood), breast milk or semen from an HIV+ person enters your bloodstream.

It is true that instances of female-to-female HIV transmissions that have been documented are far less than the other modes of transmission mainly unprotected heterosexual and homosexual penetrative sex. The route possibly being sex toys, used vigorously enough to cause exchange of blood-tinged body fluids.

Lesbians are fortunate enough to be in the lowest risk and it’s very rare for women to transmit HIV to each other sexually.

Each woman must assess the risks for herself and decide how she’s going to conduct her sex life. Many of us consider monogamy to offer all the ‘safety’ we need sexually. Although it can’t protect against HIV if someone already carries the virus.

Sexual identity does not necessarily predict behaviour. Just stay aware and enjoy what and who you do!

Safety first
Safer sex for women who have sex with women is a personal choice. If you are concerned you may want to follow the following tips:

Use protection during oral sex. Dental dams, cut up condoms, or cling film can be used to minimise contact with fluids during oral sex
Don’t share sex toys, or if you chose to, make sure you use a new condom every time it enters a new hole!
Cuts on hands create risk during vaginal masturbation/ fisting so you may want to use latex gloves
Rough sex is safe if there is no blood involved
If you are piercing each other then disinfect the needle and body areas
If shaving the vaginal area, do not share razors.

Frottage (rubbing bodies together) is better and recommended by most experts in HIV as the risks as outlined briefly above can pass HIV and other STIs if the action is rigid and there is contact with blood and other bodily fluids to blood.

Peace and tolerance