Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things, that may be…
I thought I’d take this chance to talk about the differences in how the Europeans I have met since moving to Denmark handle sex culture as compared to the typical American. It’s probably important for me to mention that I grew up in a household where sex and sexual growth were freely discussed. It was never a matter of shame or fear for me, as it is/has been for so many of my friends. My parents encouraged questions and discussion. I was VERY lucky.
Some interesting and terrifying info: the night I lost my virginity was also the night I found out I have a latex allergy. I was 15. I had to go home to my mom that night and tell her that I had just had sex and now my vagina was covered in red bumps and it hurt to pee. She asked me if we had used a condom and I said yes. She was so cool about it. She was like “Ok, let’s head to planned parenthood and get you checked out.” Hell yeah, Mom. You da real MVP. Can I get a shout out for planned parenthood!? I’ll take this moment to plug monthly donations to them. If you can swing it (even just five bucks a month), please do. They are such an important institution for so many people. But I digress, the point I’m trying to make here is that I grew up in a very open and supportive environment. My parents handled the whole ‘you’re growing up into a sexual human being’ thing like fucking champions. I hope I can do the same some day.
So, the cultural change of moving to Europe was not so shocking to me with regards to sex culture. Some overarching themes I see:
- In general, sex does not carry the same stigma or taboo here that it does in many places in the US.
- People are way more comfortable talking about sexual experiences, joys, dislikes, etc.
- Interestingly, I have found that getting a full gamut of STD tests is not as simple in Denmark as it was in CA. They will do the tests for the most common ones (read: chlamydia and herpes) at the local doctors, but if you want the full range (especially if you want HIV testing) you have to go to one of the bigger hospitals and often they won’t do the HIV test unless you specifically say you have had gay anal intercourse or sex with a prostitute recently. I guess this is because the STD rates of the non-typical diseases are so low here. I still found it a bit strange.
- In general, I have found the dating and courting atmosphere to be pretty similar. Obviously, I have not experienced it first hand – props to Harry for locking this B down. 😉
- As with pretty much every place, alcohol plays a pretty large role as the most typical social lubricant.
- Nudity is WAY MORE COMMONPLACE here in Denmark than in the places I have lived in the US.
- Sex education is carried out much earlier, and in what seems to me to be a much healthier way. Basically, people tend to think that since sex IS GOING TO HAPPEN we might as well teach our children how to protect themselves. This means everything from birth control, to consent, to understanding the risks of trying new sexual experiences.
I’m sure there are more differences, but this is what I can think of at the moment. If you have any questions or other points of discussion – please comment and let me know!
Now I want to switch gears and talk about my new betula cup! It’s the same thing as a moon cup or diva cup – but it’s the variety that Danish women prefer. Real talk – I fucking love this thing.
I am 29 years old (ugh, when the fuck did that happen…). I started my period at the age of 12. I have been buying pads, tampons, and panty liners since then. I have no idea what the total cost of what I (and my parents before I was old enough) have spent, but it is a rather large number I am sure. My new betula cup cost me ~30 USD. It is medical grade silicone, and it is reusable for up to 5 or 6 years. Other have written reviews and breakdowns of menstrual cups, and my review would sound very similar. I really like this one by oh joy sex toy: http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/mooncup/. I trimmed the little tab thingy on mine. Otherwise, I felt like it was poking my vulva and that was very uncomfortable. No pants dance gave me some pretty helpful advice about that part. She also gave me some good general advice about getting used to the cup and the switch from traditional menstruation control devices. Thanks NPD!
One difference I have found in my case is that I much prefer to insert this thing sitting down as opposed to the squatting/leg up on a ledge technique. Some folks say it took them a solid three cycles to get used to insertion and cleaning, etc. I legit was used to it (and in love with it) by the end of my first cycle in which I used this miracle cup. I feel SO MUCH CLEANER with the cup. More than that, I feel like I am lessening my environmental impact in a real way. No more bleachy pads or blood soaked wads of compressed cotton to throw away every month – and I’m saving money! I wore panty liners with my cup until I was used to the insertion process. So far I have tried using it during all normal daily activities, during strenuous excercise, and of course while sleeping. A OK. No leaks (after I figured out how to properly insert), no problems. I can’t wait to try it while swimming some time. Probably in a private bath tub first, just to be on the safe side.