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@cooglifemag COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
L E T T E R
F R O M
T H E
E D I T O R
NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT FIT Inside these pages, I hope we ﬁnd a common connection in our individuality, and that the signiﬁcance of sex and our interaction with it is left more informed, more engaged and more open. Here’s to our diﬀerences. There are so many forms, with inﬁnite shapes and curves and lines Rigid, soft, angular, round, they ﬁll up our world with individual beauty No one exactly like the other, occasionally bumping into each other Colliding in passing or with purpose Shapes and lines blur together in our world, but they remain singular Beautiful and attractive to one another in myriad forms Mixing and matching in individual, evolving methods Constantly changing and melding with other shapes To ﬁll voids or create new ones Touching, grasping, ﬁtting into complementary spaces Holding on or letting go, reaching out or pulling away In the action of the touch, the physical often dips into the psychological Romantic, erotic, sexual, or friendly Each touch means something new or diﬀerent to each shape And each shape creates a unique experience within their own lines and angles Sometimes falling apart to be placed back together in ways the previous shape wouldn’t bend A triangle reaches to an oval and the world says their shapes do not ﬁt right But the oval rests their head on the back of the triangle in quiet acceptance And the triangle tilts their point forward And they meet in a blended form unique to their shapes and their thoughts Complimentary is subjective In this world of shapes and lines and curves and angles A “perfect ﬁt” is a choice, not a mathematical rule And the colliding of shapes an art form, not a status quo There are so many inﬁnite curves and lines No matter their size or the ﬁt, the angle or the slope Each is diﬀerent, each is valued, and each has a choice For who they reach out to and who they don’t Because every shape is striking in their diﬀerences Deserving to choose their own ﬁt and ﬁll Observe our curves and angles, our lines and their beautiful diﬀerences Our contrast in touch and taste is magniﬁcent
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T E A M
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COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
LO V E W I T HOU T L IMI TAT IONS
W O T S : I S S E X A T A B O O T O P I C F O R W O M E N ?
10. W H A T ’ S T H E C H I L I P E P P E R A B O U T ?
14. V A L E N T I N E ’ S D A Y S H O U L D B E A B O L I S H E D
T U R N I N G U P T H E H E A T : C R A F T I N G A L I T E R A R Y S E X S C E N E
N G O S T U P I D Q U E S T I O N S
Here are the stories that make up this month’s issue
BDSM W O R K I N G O U T T H E K I N K S
P R O F I L E : M O D E R N A B O L I T I O N I S T C O A L I T I O N
18. B A C K P A G E : G E T T H E Z O N E
WANT TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD? COME TO THE SGA
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 6:30PM, HOUSTON ROOM
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
Love without limitations
Students with disabilities talk about their experiences with dating, sex and relationships and how others view them
‘I bounce on dick all the time’ Written by Nicole S. The dating game has always been a little weird for me, personally. Much like every late teenager and folk in their 20s, I have been on dating websites and apps such as OKCupid and Tinder, and I was rather successful up until a certain point. I always chose to keep the information about my disability, cerebral palsy, out of my proﬁles, so people didn’t start their understanding of me with misconceptions and assumptions. Even the pictures of myself that I had up didn’t include my crutches. Everything would be great from initial communication; we would tell each other our interests and have active interactions. I normally didn’t disclose information about my disability until about 3 days to a week after the ﬁrst contact, and when I did, it was often times like night and day. People, both men and women, would either ask me to prove it because “you don’t look disabled,” or they completely stopped contacting me. In these cases, I just shrugged them oﬀ and said “on to the next." Despite these challenges, I have managed to have four people talk to me long enough to meet me. One of them ended up in a threesome, and another ended up being my husband of 7 months while being together for a total of 3 years.
As far as dating and meeting people completely in real life, however, I have had more successes, but the weird interactions and comments never failed to sprinkle themselves throughout my entire life, and my family is no exception, either. One example that I will never forget is when my husband, then boyfriend, came to visit me at my dorm a couple years ago. It was around midnight, and we were both hungry. Naturally, we decided to go to the nearest food truck, and we ran into a friend of mine and a couple of his friends. We had a nice interaction right up until it was our time to order. All of us said goodbye once we got our food, and while we were walking away, one of the people who we were talking to said “it’s so nice of
him to date her.” What the hell? I retell this story all of the time. Some are amused; others are surprised. However, this happens all the damn time. On campus, at Walmart, during dinners, at church, on the phone with my family from Korea. Everywhere. When I’m on campus, I combat this by saying, “I bounce on dick all the time,” because when the topic of relationships comes up, the idea of sex is frequently linked together. Plus, it’s a good shock factor. If they are thinking that I’m not worthy enough for relationships or sex, then they probably think that I’m pretty innocent and inexperienced. What better way to say otherwise? Anywhere else, I smile and say “thank you because I’m usually on the go. Also, people usually don’t believe
things that are contrary to their beliefs unless they experience it themselves, and I’m not about to date or have sex with all of those people, especially my family or church members. Along with these strange comments, I have been asked the question “How do you have sex?” at least 14 times in my 4 years, more reoccurring in my freshman year, and I just respond with the sex talk. That never fails to work. Followed by them muttering “But… I mean… not… never mind” every time. All in all, folks, yes, I have had boyfriends. I have had girlfriends. I am happily married to a husband. Yes, he’s a great guy, and our sex life is great. No, he’s not great because he wants to show how he’s “a leader” for marrying me. Thanks for wondering!
‘Find that one special ﬁsh’ Written by Elisabeth S. Dating, with a disability or not, is mixed with romance and sex. Of course, dating attempts to discover the suitability between two people for a more committed intimate relationship or marriage later. It can be a form of courtship with activities, such as going out to dinner. Importantly, it explores whether the two people are romantically and sexually compatible with each other. Dating is a little harder for people who does have a disability, though. I think it is more of doing what you can. While I was growing up, I developed a couple of brain injuries that gave my body diabetes type two and nerve damage. My brain injury put me on a wheelchair for I don’t know how long. This means going in and out of doctor’s oﬃces and endless trips to therapy. 6
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
‘I am not weak’ Written by Camille M. When people go on a ﬁrst date or take someone home for the ﬁrst time, they normally get that warm, fuzzy feeling in their stomach. The only warm, fuzzy feeling that I am getting, however, comes from the heating pad placed over my uterus. I was diagnosed with endometriosis almost a year ago, but have had the symptoms since I began menstruating. This disease is caused when the lining of the uterus grows on areas outside of the uterus, and causes horrible cramps, long or irregular periods, pain during sex and even infertility. In some cases, like mine, the disease can cause bowel and urinary problems, too. Endometriosis aﬀects hundreds of millions of women, but is often written oﬀ as “bad cramps” by many medical professionals, due to a lack of knowledge of this un-curable disease. In my college years, when things like stress, sex and societal inﬂuence are more prevalent in a female’s life, I felt the physical and emotional side eﬀects most of this invisible illness. My body was at its lowest point last year due to the amount of pain I was in, and that aﬀected my life greatly, especially the social aspect. Due to the fact that I could barely move without wincing, staying in touch with friends and keeping social connections was a diﬃcult task. Despite my pain, my emotions were as strong as ever and I didn’t want to stop dating. Before my diagnosis, and before my pain became unbearable, I was dating my then-boyfriend for
about six months. When I started hurting with every move I made, and when I started to have over 50 procedures and surgeries done to try to resolve my pain, he didn’t know how to take it. He couldn’t relate to me, and the nature of the disease made him uncomfortable. I had to break up with him due to his lack of support, which was the best thing to do on my part. When I was admitted to the hospital for my pain, the doctors asked me if I was dating anyone. “I recently broke up with my boyfriend, but what does that have to do with my pain?” I asked, puzzled. “I think you are psychosomatic, and your emotional pain is being expressed as physical pain,” the doctor said. This shows how the story goes both ways: how my health can aﬀect my dating life, and how people assume that my dating life aﬀects my health. On the other side of the spectrum, however, my current part-
ner is a completely diﬀerent story. To many men, the side eﬀects may be a turn-oﬀ and something they are not willing to put up with, so I knew I had to approach this carefully if I wanted to pursue a relationship with said partner. When we ﬁrst started going out, I brieﬂy mentioned my endometriosis and gave the most basic description of what it is, just to see if it scared him away. It didn’t. As the relationship progressed, and as we got closer and more intimate, I told him more and more about how the disease aﬀected me. The whole time, I was testing whether he would be supportive throughout the relationship, and luckily, he passed the test. Although I am not currently having menstrual cycles, because of the recommendation of my OB/ GYN and the thanks to the help of birth control, I still have irregular vaginal spotting. After I had my ﬁrst laparoscopy a few months ago, during which my OB/GYN
burned oﬀ the uterine lining that was out of place, I had irregular spotting and bleeding for months straight, and am still experiencing those symptoms right now. My partner respects all of my needs, and I always express my pain level, and he takes it at whatever pace I feel necessary for the sake of my well-being. Although my endometriosis causes me irregularity and pain, I am not weak. I know my limits, and I will always express these limits to my partner. It may be more diﬃcult for me to date, since so may relationships revolve around sex, but if my partner can’t accept my limits, then he is not welcome in my intimate life. Sometimes, there is no one there to hold my hand during the struggles of my endometriosis. But in the rare occasion that my partner supports me, I am relieved that I don’t have to go through this journey alone.
I got rid of diabetes after a few years but I still have nerve damage. All of this was going on throughout high school. Today, it still goes on. All I want is to go back to my normal self. Back then, I was a teenage girl with hormones just like everybody else. Dating in high school ended up more diﬃcult than I thought, so I waited for my ﬁrst relationship until my second year of college. My parents weren’t too fond of him but my older sister talked to them. My parents acted like any other parents would act if their child had a disability. Thinking back, it seems more understandable: What if he took advantage
of me because I was handicapped? Whenever my ex-boyfriend was with me, though, I forgot that I had a disability. We loved each other, and I trusted him so much. We both were young and new to the dating world so, in the beginning, I felt shy. Then, slowly, I started to break out of my shell and loosen up. We were so latched on to each other that it was hard for each of us to leave the other to go to our next class. Eventually, our relationship became more intimate; we lost our virginity to each other. Having nerve damage didn’t seem like it bothered him at all. Whenever I was with him, I forgot
about everything. I’m partially numb. My whole left side of my body got aﬀected by this numbness. I am getting more feeling back every day. Our relationship never lost its spark, though. We were so attached. It turned out to be a hot-and-heavy kind of relationship. We went to Planned Parenthood because I told him that I wanted birth control pills. I felt better because I was more acting more responsibly for my own body. As our relationship continued, we went on dates to diﬀerent restaurants. On our anniversaries, we went out to the movies and then out to a fancy restaurant. He often came to my house,
and he knew my parents. I even attended a dinner at a restaurant to meet his parents. I remember that I felt very nervous because I was worried that they might not like me. Anyway, we went out for three years. Eventually, he broke my heart. I thought I had found the one over those years but it’s OK. I don’t regret any minute of it. Because, at that moment, he was all I ever wanted. The thing about love is that you learn from your mistakes, and you have to keep moving on. There are plenty of ﬁsh out there, so you should go and test the waters. Once you ﬁnd that one special ﬁsh, you will ﬁnally be happy again. COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
WOMAN ON THE STRE ET
Is sex a taboo topic for women to talk about casually?
BY BREEANGELA HAMILTON
I know a lot of women think it’s taboo, but I don’t really think it’s taboo. I think sex is a very natural thing that happens. Women need to take advantage of liking sex because it’s a cool thing, especially when you’re protected. Sex shouldn’t be as taboo as we make it. People in Europe talk about sex all the time—why can’t we be like that? ART JUNIOR
// ALEXIS PYE
“Yes, because if you talk about sex too much you’re seen as a slut or whore. I think women have created their own social boundaries because they don’t want to be seen as promiscuous, we even apologize for talking about sex and call ourselves sluts and whores. Guys do the same thing and when they do it seems more socially acceptable.” BROADCAST JOURNALISM SENIOR
// MARISSA CUMMINGS
“I personally don’t feel like sex is a taboo topic, but I feel like it is to other women. Men talk about sex so freely, you don’t see that in women all the time. Most women don’t bring up sex at all so it becomes a taboo topic.” DIGITAL MEDIA SENIOR
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
// BRITTNEY BUFORD
TURNING UP THE HEAT:
CRAFTING A LITERARY SEX SCENE WRITTEN BY ERIN FEHRES // PHOTO BY LEAH NASH
As a woman who is unashamed to admit she devours at least one (read: closer to three) smutty romance novels a week, I began to consider myself a bit of an expert on the sex scenes found between their pages. By the time I ﬁnish reading the main characters’ ﬁrst steamy encounter, I determine how much I will love or hate the upcoming amorous entanglements. Unfortunately, as Rachel proved in "Friends," not just anyone can successfully write a sex scene—they require ﬁnesse and an extensive vocabulary, or a very dirty thesaurus. Here are a few of the things that every hot, ﬁctional sexual encounter should have. DIRTY TALK No matter how well written, a sex scene is incomplete without dirty talk. The best kind fully immerses the reader, a task that can seem herculean when writing about something intimate. When the characters communicate, the scene feels more real to the reader, especially when it is written from only one character’s perspective. Often, the main characters having sex for the ﬁrst time is something the author builds up over the course of the book, so having them communicate not only makes the scene hotter, it clues the reader into what the characters are feeling. I like my dirty talk so ﬁlthy it would make Howard Stern blush, but that’s a matter of preference. CHEMISTRY It is impossible to successfully write a romance novel without chemistry. The main characters should have an undeniable connection that jumps oﬀ the page. My favorite romance authors write books ﬁlled to the brim with angst. No romance fan in the history of reading has ever thought
to themselves, “I’d like to read a book where two people meet and have sex immediately without any chemistry whatsoever.” There must be build-up, tension, stolen kisses and ﬁnally that amazing moment where the characters throw caution to the wind and rip each other’s clothes oﬀ. Without the build-up that strong chemistry provides, that moment isn’t nearly as enjoyable. Monica McCarty, author of the "Highland Guard" series, is the angst queen. By the time McCarty's characters ﬁnally have sex, her readers are as worked up as they are. BOUNTIFUL WORD-STOCK On occasion, authors are afraid or unwilling to use expletives when writing their sex scenes. I can only read about the male lead’s “arousal” (code word: penis) before I lose interest. For a sex scene to be enjoyable, the author needs to mix things up— use that dirty thesaurus I mentioned earlier and ﬁnd diﬀerent ways to describe the experiences. VARIETY For those of us who live
our sex lives vicariously through reading, a book in which the male and female lead have sex in the same place and position throughout the novel is the kiss of death. In a fair amount of novels, the lovebirds have sex once at the end. Authors like Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter and Christina Lauren, however, generally have more than one sex scene per book. These ladies are great examples of authors who diversify their sex scenes. Christina Lauren’s books especially—her characters enjoy oﬃce sex more than my cats enjoy milk. In "Beautiful Bastard," Bennett and Chloe have sexual encounters in boardrooms, stair wells, oﬃces and just about anywhere else they can be alone. Then again, Bennett is also a dirty talk savant with a penchant for tearing panties. The constant change in locale and position keep the book’s sex scenes from being redundant and uninteresting. So, readers, writers, and romance fanatics, keep this in mind: Everything in this list can also be applied to your personal life–living vicariously is overrated.
WHAT’S THE CHILI PEPPER ABOUT? WRITTEN BY KARIN KELLER // ART BY LEAH NASH
As college students, most of us are relatively well-versed in the art of creeping via ratemyprofessor.com. Rate My Professor is a database of most college professors where students anonymously rate them on a variety of criteria. Unsurprisingly, students rate grading and the mechanics of how the class is run—level of diﬃculty, whether they would take it again, textbook use, attendance and if the class was taken for credit. But the real issue here: There’s a hotness option. Initially, a professor's proﬁle on Rate My Professor appears as a chili pepper icon. If the chili pepper is red, that indicates the
teacher is hot, whereas if the icon is gray, it indicates that no one has chosen to rate them as hot. Most professors aren’t exactly thrilled about this rating option. Apart from being an extremely partial opinion, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the course. Still, it can still inﬂuence students. “It is not only irrelevant but also a very subjective opinion. What one ﬁnds easy might be really diﬃcult for another,” said professor Tanja Hellman. It’s true. Preferred learning styles vary. While some may prefer lectures, others may prefer small, interactive envi-
ronments. I ﬁnd this especially problematic on Rate My Professor when ratings don’t include a comments section. Many of the comments have contrasting opinions and it is my belief that the comment section is crucial if the ratings are to be helpful. The main complaint among professors is the chili pepper’s importance. Why would a student need to know how attractive a teacher is when enrolling in a course? In what way would, or should, a professor’s attractiveness aﬀect their ability to teach a subject, or the students' ability to learn? On the other hand, some professors seem impartial. “I personally don't put much thought into it,” said professor Kenneth Abbott, who also happens to be the second most-rated University of Houston professor on Rate My Professor. Abbott said that some of his colleagues in the past have been uncomfortable with the fact that there even is a chili pepper option on the site and believes the site should remove
that option. Still, he doesn’t let it bother him. Moreover, Abbott goes on to mention that he thinks the site gives the students a chance to make a more informed decision about which professors they take. As mentioned before, the ratings that deserve the most merit are those that include a comment section with insightful knowledge into the class and the professor’s teaching style. Overall, Rate My Professor is a controversial topic amongst professors. While some acknowledge the site’s purpose, others would feel more comfortable with students blindly going into a course or simply asking their peers. As for me, I always consult with Rate My Professor before enrolling in a class. It is my belief that it is an essential tool for any college student, especially those trying to balance other priorities and coursework simultaneously. Both Hellman and Abbott have earned bright red chili peppers in their proﬁles.
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
NGO STUPID QUESTIONS
CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH A SEX THERAPIST intro by katelyn kenney // photo courtesty of dr. norma ngo
Very few topics elicit the number of wide-ranging emotions and spark as many debates as sex. But how has a topic that is essential to the human experience become so taboo? Mainstream television portrays sex casually, and pornography has become so prevalent it’s almost commonplace. Honest discussions about sex and are critical, but good questions are often asked in secret. Cooglife recently gathered questions from students for Dr. Norma Ngo, a professional sec therapist on campus, and received her professional point of view to not only satisfy curiosity, but to continue the effort to destigmatize sex talk.
Should swallowing be avoided? It depends. If you perform oral sex on a man who has a sexually transmitted infection-STI (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis), you are at increased risk of contracting the STI, whether you swallow or not because the risk stems from having the ejaculate in your mouth. If you are not absolutely certain about the man’s STI status, you should use a condom during oral sex to prevent contact with his semen. If the thought of performing oral sex with a condom is not appealing, you might want to try the many flavored condoms available out there, which is a better alternative than contracting an STI. If you are absolutely certain the man does not have an STI, there are very few risks associ-
ated with having his ejaculate in your mouth or swallowing it. What is the clitoris, and what is its function? It is the female sex organ purely for no other purpose than pleasure. According to the Museum of Sex, the outer part of the clitoris contains roughly 8,000 sensory nerve fibers. This makes it not only the most sensitive part of a woman’s body, but also much more sensitive than the penis, which contains around half as many nerves. It is more than a nub that resides under a hood at the top of the vagina. That top part is just the glans, while the internal clitoris consists of two corpora cavernosa, which also form two legs that extend up to nine centimeters and is a wishbone-like shape. The clitoris is the key ingredient to a woman’s orgasms. Most sex researchers would say that the majority of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, and that approximately 75% of women are unable to have an orgasm
during intercourse without some sort of clitoral stimulation. What is a healthy amount of masturbation? A healthy sexual life includes masturbation across the lifespan. The amount is different for each person, and hard to quantify given the uniqueness of an individual’s sexuality. Masturbation isn’t like medication where there’s a recommended dosage. Generally speaking, however, there may be a sign of problems if the individual’s masturbation is causing them distress or is disruptive to their life. To help assess if your masturbation is problematic, ask yourself the following questions: Is your masturbation getting in the way of your life in undesired ways? Are you using masturbating to avoid something? Is your masturbation causing (undesired) physical pain or damage to your genitalia? Do you have any problems with orgasm or ejaculation
Safe Sex Consent
Need a condom? Condoms Get Tested Consent Safe Sex Want some educational materials? Have safe sex questions?
Make A Budget
Good Night Sleep
Lifelong Learning Be Open Minded Pay It Forward Balance Don’t Smoke Get Involved
Make A Budget
Eat Fruits and Veggies
Ask For Help
Wear Sunscreen Dress For Success Appreciate Diversi Challenge Yourself Exercise Get Involved Try Something New Ask For Help Safe Sex Appreciate Diversity Exercise Safety in Numbers Find Your Passion
e Diversity Pay It Forward
Listen Without Judging
Choose Well, Do Well, Be Well.
Ask For H
1038 Campus Recreation and Wellness Center . 713-743-5430 . www.uh.edu/wellness 10
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
alone or with your partner? Do you ﬁnd yourself literally unable to stop masturbating? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may consider talking to a professional to determine if there should be reason for concern. However, I do want to stress again, that there may be times in your life when it feels perfectly ﬁne and not disruptive to masturbate daily or even more than once a day. Remember, there isn’t a magic number because we all have a diﬀerent sexual template. How should one properly prepare for anal sex? Let me ﬁrst preface by saying that anal sex can be incredibly hot but it can be intimidating, and not for everyone. If you have no desire to try anal sex, then don’t. Just like with any other sexual activity, you should never feel pressured into doing something that you aren’t comfortable with. Before having anal sex, you want to make sure you’re clean to
enhance the experience for yourself and your partner and to reduce some of the feelings of self-consciousness you may have. Showering with your partner can even be an erotic prelude to anal sex. Investing a lot of time in foreplay is critical to heighten arousal and relaxation. This may involve kissing, sensual touching, oral sex, partner masturbation, and vaginal penetration. Relaxation is key. If you’re the one being penetrated, you will want to try to relax your sphincter muscle. It’ll take a little time to relax it, so you may want to prepare yourself in advance. To relax this muscle, you may try to insert a lubed ﬁnger in your anus and hold it in there for a couple minutes. You’ll feel it naturally loosen up. For some, experimenting with butt plugs is another way to prepare for anal sex. You can either insert it yourself or have your partner insert it as form of foreplay. There are various shapes, sizes and materials, so have some fun ﬁnding the perfect ﬁt for
Open discussion about safe oral sex, flavored condoms/dental dams, & the risks of unprotected oral sex. Tips on how to create your own dental dam!
you. Just remember to take it slow and don’t pressure yourself into anything. Slowly massaging the anus is important before inserting anything in there. The anus is naturally meant to dispel, so you don’t want to rush or it will tighten up. You need to use a lot of lube. Everyone needs some kind of lubricant for anal sex. Water-based ones are best. While the vagina self-lubricates, the anus does not, making lube a requirement. Using a condom is a critical factor in safe and enjoyable anal sex. What is absolutely important to keep in mind is that you should not switch from anal to vaginal sex without changing the condom because you will introduce bacteria into your vagina. Anal sex is even better when partners are communicating openly and honestly with each other. If something is uncomfortable or hurts, you need to tell your partner and pause to reposition, add more lube, or ﬁgure out what’s going on. Pay attention to your body,
and don’t hesitate to stop and try it again at a later time. This reduces any pressure and increases your chance of potentially enjoying this on a diﬀerent occasion. If your partner is wearing a condom, should they still pull out? I am not a medical doctor, so it is best to check with one for accuracy. However, according to Planned Parenthood, if a condom is used perfectly it has about 98% eﬀective at preventing pregnancy, but because people are not perfect and may not always use them correctly, the eﬀective rate is probably lower. Using condoms and another form of birth control such as the pill or IUD may be an even better way of preventing pregnancy and STIs. Withdrawal and condom use may also do the same. However, the decision is an individual one because some are comfortable with using one or two forms of birth control without feeling the need to withdraw.
Just us along with the Wellness Center as we talk about consent and trust in relationships!
Participate in our condom races to win a fun prize!
All of our previous activities will happen again on this day for those who missed out and for those who just can’t get enough! Fun new activity: penis ring toss!
Internal condoms, external condoms, we have it all! Fun activities include condom demos and make your own condom rose.
FREE HIV TESTING, FREE CONDOMS, CONDOM GRAMS, CONDOM DEMOS, CONDOM GUESSING JAR
AVAILABLE ALL WEEK:
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
MODERN ABOLITIONIST COALITION
WRITTEN BY ANDREA FERNÁNDEZ VELÁZQUEZ // PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MODERN ABOLITIONIST COALITION After a deep conversation over several cups of coffee at Cougar Grounds on a cool February day, two UH students melded their passion over a common issue and a new organization was born: Modern Abolitionist Coalition (MAC). In June 2016, without any previous experience in how to create and run an organization, Anna Catherine Purcell and Faith Nomamiukor decided to start a group who would raise awareness about human trafficking and engage the student body in the movement. According to surveys conducted by Gallup and published in 2016 by The Global Slavery Index, in 167 countries, approximately 45.8 million people are in some form of modern slavery. Countries that possess economic wealth, like the United States, have a lower percentage. However, according to the same site, it is estimated 12
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
that 57,700 people are trapped in slavery in the United States right now. “I realized it was a big issue in the Houston area. And college students and the community in general were not aware of how big it is in the Houston area,” said psychology senior Jeeva Babu, who is the communications coordinator at MAC. “I wanted to make an impact and show others that it is happening in their own city and we must fight it.” MAC’s main goals are that UH students know what human trafficking is and how it impacts Houston, while also ensuring that students are able to recognize the signs of a human trafficking victim and feel empowered to report a trafficking situation and stand up against it. MAC also aims to find students who are passionate about
this issue and connect them with different volunteering organizations in the city so that they are able to continue with the mission past their time at UH. For every meeting held, there is an educational component where members learn and discuss about topics related to human trafficking such as pimp culture, prostitution, national and international trafficking laws, among others. MAC currently has six active members. The sudden creation of MAC came with a positive response and encouragement as they put up flyers of the “Not in My City” campaign with statistics, the hotline number and information about human trafficking all over campus and businesses around. “We also got to talk to different managers,” said marketing and management sophomore Anna
Catherine Purcell, who is the awareness coordinator at MAC. “All of them were so supportive, especially the manager of Bullritos, who was wanting to do fundraisers with us. So they were extremely supportive with us, which is awesome.” “Skip the Traffic” was an event organized by MAC on Nov 18. in A.D. Bruce Religion Center. The purpose of the event was to hear the story of a victim of human trafficking, inform students how they can help, and collect tubes of lipstick that were donated to Elijah Rising, a Houston anti-trafficking organization that uses them to share the national trafficking hotline number with victims. “I was hoping we were going to get 50 when we did that drive, but we got over 200,” said business management and leadership senior Canyon Sanford, who is the public relations and partnership coordinator
at MAC. “That was really great because literally each one of those lipsticks goes to a different girl and it can impact a diﬀerent life.”
anti-human traﬃcking organziation, Free the Captives, Nomamiukor worked with teenage girls who were traﬃcked in the past.
“When you realize that 93 cents are possibly the way out for a human being from this, it puts it all in diﬀerent perspective from this,” Sanford said. “It makes me feel I am wasting my paycheck sometimes, if I am not buying a bunch of lipsticks.”
“One of the most important things that I learned from that internship is (that it is) really important to respect the victims of human traﬃcking because they don’t like to look at themselves as the victims,” Nomamiukor said. “They like to have their own autonomy and independence and they do not want to be pitied.”
During an internship program last summer with another
Where: Joseph Secrest’s oﬃce at Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, second ﬂoor, the oﬃce across the ﬁtness desk. When: Weekdays during business hours. Important upcoming events for MAC: - Hotel and street outreach to create awareness in the ﬁrst week of February, before the Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 (VOLUNTEERS NEEDED) - Baylor College of Medicine’s Doctors for Change will speak to health students on Feb. 8th. Twitter: @MACatUHouston Facebook: @MACatUH National Human Traﬃcking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 Anybody can call the national human traﬃcking hotline number. If you notice suspicious activity at any time of the day, you can call and report it. If you think someone you know might be suﬀering from sexual, labor or any sort of traﬃcking, you should call. If you are a victim, please call whenever you are ready to leave and start a new life.
“A couple of our members at our awareness event did an interpretive dance about human traﬃcking, and that was just something they are interested in, and they are talented with and so they used that as an expression as a way to raise awareness about human trafﬁcking,” Purcell said.
As far as Sanford’s experience goes, there are not many young males who are active in the cause. Most of the people he has seen involved are women and older men. With that in mind, MAC hopes to keep engaging more students to get active in ﬁghting against the unlawful labor of human beings. Although MAC is a UH organization, it has already started laying the groundwork at the heart of campus to expand its awareness campaign all over the city in the future.
FEBRUARY 14-17, 2017
WAYS YOU CAN HELP Modern Abolitionist Coalition welcomes everyone to contribute to the cause. There are two places where you can drop oﬀ lipsticks on campus: Where: Modern Abolitionist Coalition carrel’s space #22 in Student Center North. When: Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Flyers, stickers, lipsticks and talks are not the only ways in which MAC tries to send the message. Students are free to use their creativity as much as they want.
Campus Ministries Association’s
Interfaith Week at UH All events are at the A.D. Bruce Religion Center except where noted
Tuesday 14 • FREE Lunch 11AM – 2PM, Baptist Student Ministry Building, 4801 Calhoun Drive • HR Wellness: Faculty / Staff Brownbag Noon, Rockwell Pavilion. Sponsored by Human Resources and Campus Ministries Association. Spiritual Wellness with Brooke Summers-Perry, Executive Director, Hines Center for Spirituality. • Ask the Rabbi Lunch Noon - Hillel Lounge-Rm104 Enjoy a free bagel lunch and ask Rabbi Kenny Weiss of Hillel anything at all about Judaism. • 40 Hadiths of Imam Nawami 5– 8 PM, Atrium Muslim Students Association • Israel in Depth 6 – 7PM, Conference Room, Houston Hillel • Love and Christianity 6PM - Room 202, Why is love such a central teaching in Christianity? Campus minister Clint Boyd will teach and host discussion. All faiths welcome. Free, light meal -- sponsored by the Point Campus Ministry • Bible Study and Choir Rehearsal 7 – 9 PM, Meditation Chapel – Good News Gospel Choir
Thursday 16 • InterFaith Dialogue FREE Lunch 11:30 AM – 1 PM – Atrium - “Can Only One Religion Be True?" with Rev. Jackie Collins, Campus Pastor - Wesley Foundation • Exploring the Common Story of the Flood Baptist Student Ministry Building-4801 Calhoun Rd [Dinner included] • Potluck Dinner 7 -9 PM, Catholic Newman Center [across from the Wellness Center] Bring a dish to share with about 8-10 people that is customary for your family, cultural, or religious celebrations and join us for lively discussion connecting to and learning from students from different Faith backgrounds. [RSVP to email@example.com.]
A.D. BRUCE RELIGION CENTER
Wednesday 15 •FREE Lunch 11:30 AM – 1 PM, Atrium – Church of Christ, This week’s meal is hosted by Houston Lutheran Campus Ministry [ELCA] • Eucharist Common Worship 12:15 – 1 PM, Meditation Chapel, Hosted by Canterbury, Houston Lutheran Campus Ministry [ELCA] and United Campus Ministries • 3rd Annual Interfaith SermonSlam 7PM - Legacy Lounge, Student Center South, Campus Ministries Association
Friday 17 • Jumuah Friday Prayer 12:30 PM – Atrium – Muslim Students Association • Shabbat Dinner and Prayer Service, 6 PM – Houston Hillel Lounge-Rm104 This event is open to everyone of any religious tradition
COMPLETE SCHEDULE AT WWW.UH.EDU/ADBRUCE
713-743-5050 COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
STOP THE WAR ON VALENTINE’S DAY It’s not just for making single people feel bad WRITTEN BY THOMAS DWYER
T E G R O F DON’T UPCOMING DATES & DEADLINES Last Day to Drop (without grade).....................................Feb. 1 2nd Installment Payment Due...........................................Feb. 9 Spring Session 4 Payment Due..........................................Feb. 17 Short Term Tuition Deferment Payment Due...................Feb. 24
UH Enrollment Services
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
Every year that Valentine’s Day rolls by, it is inescapable to everyone. The stores are stocked with ﬂowers, candy, gifts and all sorts of other treats. Some people who are single don’t enjoy the day (for obvious reasons) and even some people who aren’t single don’t like it because, to them, it means that they must spend more money than they would like to get a thoughtful, heartfelt gift for their partner. Needless to say, there are a lot of people, some single who wish that Valentine’s day was an event visible only to those who were eligible (i.e. those who are in relathionships) and some not single persons, who simply wish that Valentine’s Day was more of a celebration instead of what feels more like an obligation. It’s especially tough for those who do not have a signiﬁcant other because real life as well as social media have become heavily inundated with the holiday to a point where the only way to avoid it is to spend the whole day inside and cut oﬀ from the rest of the world. Furthermore, regardless of how it makes people feel, Valentine’s Day has gradually devolved into nothing more than a monetized holiday where the masses are taught to believe that the amount of aﬀection they have towards their partner directly correlates with the amount of money they spend on
them on that speciﬁc day. Valentine’s Day is, in it’s purest form, about spending time with the person that you really care about and celebrating the time you have spent together. No amount of money spent on gifts can ever get that single point across. Even with that, not everyone wins during Valentine’s day because to some, it seems to be nothing more than a reminder of how single and alone that they are. And it’s not hard to see why when on this day, everyone showcases what touching and exciting things that they are doing with their signiﬁcant other. It has gotten to a point where every year, its abolition is called for because it makes single people feel bad. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Valentine’s Day. Whether it be the mindless consumerism that drives it, or the impending loneliness that some who are single feel on this holiday. As for the consumerism, no person in the world will be able to talk some sucker out of dropping $80 on a giant stuﬀed bear because he thinks that sums up the aﬀection that they have for their signiﬁcant other. The one thing that every single person can control is that feeling of loneliness, there are two solutions to this predicament, either everyone can agree to keep them and their partners oﬀ
social media and out of the world so that single people do not feel bad. Or, single people can learn to quit comparing themselves to the lives of others. With social media, that is becoming increasingly hard to do. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram can become painfully dense with couples photos and heartfelt statements that people have for their special someone. It sounds silly, but there are studies that even show how social media on any day promotes a sense of isolation to frequenters of platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook where users are constantly posting their highlight reels. I would not be surprised if this eﬀect was compounded on a day such as Valentines. Constantly seeing couples would only serve to more strongly reinforce that feeling of loneliness especially if one does not have anything planned with any friends on that day. Escaping the feeling of loneliness that so many associate with being single is diﬃcult but possible. True happiness does not come from material things or partners or outside sources. True happiness and love comes from within. With enough work, it can become a sustainable resource that can take people who feel worthless and turn them into persons who love themselves and do not compare themselves in unhealthy ways to all those around them. Even better, single people can take matters into their own hands and organize an event or a get together on that day with other single friends. What better way to pass time on Valentine’s day than with friends who can
relate to the feeling and still manage to get over it and have a good time? The idea that Valentine’s Day should be abolished because it makes single
people feel bad is silly. In the very same way those who are in relationships choose to partake, single people can act accordingly and choose not to feel lonely.
They can make plans with friends to do something that night or at the very least, not become engulfed in the social media spectacle that takes place on that day.
O I D A R G O CO
T R A E H T E SWE feb. 14th r Plaza e t n e C t n e d u t S Y T R A P 11 AM - 2 PM
free food, drinks, prizes, music, etc COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
WORKING OUT THE KINKS
WRITTEN BY JULIE ARAICA During the summer of eighth grade, I discovered the world of BDSM . I had stayed up late on my computer reading manga when suddenly an ecchi (non-pornographic but heavily sexualized manga) caught my eye. I had never really been a fan of the genre, but for some reason, I felt compelled to read this one. “Fifty Shades of Grey” had just taken oﬀ in the literary
community; I still had no clue what that book entailed. As far as I understood at the time, it was just people who liked to hurt people that liked being hurt. It seemed strange to me. But that night, Ryuta Amazume changed my life forever with “Nana to Kaoru,” which explores the world of BDSM through the eyes of two inexperienced high school students.
BDSM is an overlapping abbreviation for the three main practices of this term: bondage and discipline,domination and submission,sadism and masochism. Although many of the practices that fall under this term have been practiced since the beginning of our history, a term used to describe these practices wasn’t created until 1969. When I ﬁrst read “Nana to Kaoru,” I knew nothing about BDSM. But this manga introduced me to the art of shibari, the psychological aspects of BDSM and how BDSM doesn’t have to be inherently sexual. Despite my initial judgement, I was itching to try BDSM after reading this manga. Five years and two relationships later, I have, and it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Allow me to share my experience with BDSM. ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES I brought up my interest in trying BDSM with my ex-boyfriend that I dated during my freshman and sophomore year of high school. He didn’t like the idea of hurting me or me hurting him. I tried to educate him about it to see if that would make him more willing to try it, but he just wasn’t interested, so I accepted his feelings and never mentioned it again. I think the ﬁrst step in trying BDSM or anything new with someone is realizing that not everyone will be willing to try it, and it’s up to you whether you want respect what their bound-
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
aries and let it go or decide it’s not worth it and ﬁnd someone else who is willing. BDSM just isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. With my current boyfriend, I brought up my interest in trying BDSM early in the relationship. He seemed perfectly ﬁne with the idea, but I decided to wait until a bit later into our relationship to try it out. I wanted the ﬁrst time I tried BDSM to be with someone I could trust, someone who I knew I felt safe with and understood sexually. After a year and a half of dating, we tried BDSM. A week later, I wrote this. We created a safe word to shout if anything in the experience was too much for us or we needed a break. We chose pizza--who shouts pizza on accident during such encounters? We established what we were and were not OK with. There were a few things we crossed oﬀ the list that we just weren’t comfortable with yet, such as nipple clamps, strap-ons, etc. We also took budget into consideration. We decided that we could do without the PVC/leather aesthetic of BDSM and the only item we actually needed to buy from a sex shop was a ball gag. All other items, such as the rope, the handcuﬀs and the mask were purchased at Walmart for a fraction of the price. We decided to use a belt for a whip and then we went to town. Next came deciding who would play what role. We decided that both of us would
switch roles because we both felt comfortable in either a sub or dom position. THE EXPERIENCE In the ﬁrst run of our session, I was the sub and he was the dom. He brought me to the bed, told me what to do and that was it. I was no longer in control of my own body. I was completely under his control. I felt both terriﬁes and excited. He put the blindfold on me and the ball gag and began by running his ﬁngers up and down my body. The sensation of his touch without knowing where it was coming from was probably my favorite part of the whole ordeal. Then after stimulating every part of my body and removing my clothing, he got out the rope and tied my body up into a style known as karada, which is basically just a rope harness. The Japanese term karada actually translates into simply “body” but it’s come to be associated with mostly rope dresses in Shibari.
Because shibari always looked so beautiful to me, I thought that I would feel beautiful being tied up that way. However, it didn’t exactly feel the way I expected, but this was probably due to my partner had no experience in tying anything like this before. There was slapping and such, but one thing he didn’t really get down that I wish he would have is the psychological aspect of being dom. For him, this was probably the hardest part since his personality isn’t that of a dom. But for me, the most sensual part of the BDSM is the personality of the dom. Working hard to earn their approval and praise, being guided by them and completely succumbing to their own desires is what makes the whole ordeal seem worth it for me. There is this great relief of tension that comes when you have lost control of your own body that I can’t really explain, but it just reminds me that I’m no more than ﬂesh and that I’m feeling and alive. Next it came my turn to be
dom. Despite being dom by nature, I actually didn’t look forward to this. But to my surprise, I think I actually enjoyed it just a little bit more than being sub. Allow me to explain. I didn’t know how to tie shibari or anything, but I tried my best to get the psychological aspect of being dom down. I told my sub what to do, I praised them and scolded them and I took advantage of their lack of vision by stimulating their other senses. I whispered softly into their ear, I ran my belt up and down their leg until slapping them with it and I used various different items to stimulate them as well. Not all of which were successful, admittedly. But I tried my best as dom, and from the feedback I received from my partner, I did pretty well. I found an exhilarating pleasure in being dom that I didn’t think I would. I found myself smiling a lot, trying to think of ways to be creative and pleasurable to the sub, but really it ended up pleasuring me.
FINAL THOUGHTS I think the media does a very good job at making the whole ordeal seem much bigger than it actually is. It isn’t this odd, strange thing that only crazy people partake in, and the people who do it aren’t twisted in the head either. My partner and I speciﬁcally chose not to have intercourse during the experience. We wanted to experience pleasure in new ways that were more rooted in our emotions and inner psyche than in our pants. In the future, we probably will incorporate penetration though. It’s just that for the ﬁrst time, we wanted any arousal to come solely from roleplaying. Overall, the experience was amazing. It wasn’t anything like how my manga or (god forbid) “Fifty Shades of Grey” portrayed it, but it was still an enjoyable experience nonetheless. And in the future, I know I will deﬁnitely be splurging on that $100 PVC bodysuit and maybe a faux leather harness or two. Or three.
XOXO XOXO RELAY XOX XOXO XOXO XO GET REC’D
March 24–26, 2017
WHEN TUE, FEB 14, 2017
TIME 5AM – 5:45PM
Registration Deadline: February 26, 2017
February 16, 2017 February 27, 2017
6pm & 8pm 6pm
CRWC 1017 CRWC 1017
WHERE CRWC MP1
* This is not solely a couples group cycling only class. You may
bring anyone you love like your sister, brother, or your best friend!
200 MILES. 12 RUNNERS. 1 TEAM.
INTRAMURAL SPORTS LEAGUES / TOURNAMENTS
For detailed information for all intramural sports offered this Spring, visit uh.edu/recreation or log on imleagues.com
Outdoor Soccer register by 2/16
Interest Meeting Pre-Race Meeting
9-Ball Pool 2/17 at 3pm
Table Tennis 2/24 at 3pm
CONNECT WITH US
sweat it out with your
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
Get in the zone Relationships—sexual, romantic, or both—often begin with passion and excitement. But it's no secret that open communication, especially when dealing with sexual desires or fantasies, can be diﬃcult at best. It's not often that you open up about your dream where your partner is licking Nutella oﬀ your...well, you get the point. So, we created this body map and a legend of various objects for you to mark up, tear out and tape to your partner's bathroom mirror tomorrow morning. Trust us, they'll get the hint.
COOGLIFE // FEB 2016
T N N N
W 2BRDL E OHTX
M T T N COUCH O
R R W MONTROSE O A D A/C PARKING P D $ A GYM
DEPOSIT LEASE POOL PET-FRIENDLY DRYER RENT MI CASA ES SU CASA WASHER&
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