Author Archives: SuzyKnew!

About SuzyKnew!

SuzyKnew! is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health and sexual pleasure of women of color.

Dr. Drai: How To Talk To Your Husband About Sex

Hello #GYNEGirls it’s Dr. Drai again…. Are you married? If so, there is a lot that you and your hubby probably discuss throughout the day. Your conversation topics may cover work, family, and the bills. What about sex? Do you and your husband talk about sex? If not, it may be something that you need to discuss with him. One of the biggest signs that a conversation is needed is if you are currently unhappy in the bedroom. As much as you may want to talk to your husband about making improvements in the bedroom, you may be curious as to whether or not it is really a good idea.

So, is it a good idea to talk to your husband about sex? Yes, it is and it is something that you two should discuss. In fact, an open line of communication is important for all relationships to succeed. Poor communication is often the downfall of many marriages. A lack of communication or poor communication may have a negative effect on your whole relationship, not just your sex life. As a partner in this relationship, it is your responsibility to talk to your husband and to keep an open line of communication. If you don’t, you may end up putting your happiness and your marriage on the line. Do not let this happen to you.
As for the talk itself, it is important that you proceed with caution. Do not criticize your husband or make them feel inadequate. If there is one thing that men take pride in, it is their ability to have sex and please their partners. Unfortunately, that pleasure may not be enough for you. Yes, you want to bring this to the attention of your husband, but do so gently. Outright telling your husband that he isn’t fulfilling your needs is likely to create even more problems in your relationship. Instead, gently approach the subject. You may want to start by casually making a suggestion, such as a new position.

Next, it is important to listen to what your husband has to say. This is important as your communication should not be one sided. When talking to your husband about intimacy say what you have to say, but then let them speak his mind.

Why it is so important to listen to what your husband has to say concerning intimacy? For starters, as previously stated, a happy and healthy relationship must involve communication from other parties, not just one sided conversations. It is also important to note that their may be a good reason why your husband may not be performing up to your standards in the bedroom. Are they experiencing uncertainty due to an increase in age, a weight gain, or another change in physical appearance? What about medical problems? Did you know that some medical conditions, such as depression, and some medicines can lead to a decrease in the want or need for intimacy?

Even with the above-mentioned tips, you may still be unsure as to how you should talk to your husband about sex. You may be feeling this way if you are worried about the consequences or hurting his feelings. This is completely natural, but do know that you do have another option. Consider giving a gift or performing a gesture that may lead to the topic of intimacy being discussed. Whether you plan a spontaneous romantic dinner, purchase a romantic or pornographic movie, or buy something sexy for your husband to wear, a gift may help to get a new conversation started.

As previously stated, talking to your husband about sex and intimacy may be hard for you. With that said, it is important that you do have the talk. Not only is an open line of communication important for intimacy, but it is also important for a healthy relationship in general. As reminder, don’t just talk to your husband about sex, but be sure to listen to what he has to say as well. For a FREE copy of my latest book “20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina” go to www.drdrai.com/vagina. Until next time… it’s Dr. Drai.

Fertility Friday: No Period. Now What?!

This Friday SuzyKnew! shares Fertility Friday’s podcast on overcoming hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), a condition that causes you to lose your period because of what is happening in your brain. Founder and host Lisa Jack-Henderson interviews Nicola Rinaldi, the author of No Period. Now What? in a second interview.  The first interview can be found on Fertility Friday’s episode number 141. The focus of this episode is on the emotional aspects of hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), whereas our first episode focused more on how to identify the condition, and identifying the difference between HA and PCOS.

Topics discussed in today’s episode:
What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA)?
Why regular ovulation is important for overall health (not only when you want to have babies!)
The role of estrogen and progesterone in the menstrual cycle
Are periods necessary?
HA as a symptom of a broader social issue
The role of under-eating and over-exercise in HA
Overcoming the mindset associated with severe caloric restriction with food
Why hormonal contraceptives aren’t the solution for HA
Overcoming HA when trying to conceive

Click here for more information and podcast.

All Women Benefit From Judge Wendy Blocking Trumps’s Attack On Contraception

In October 2018, Trump moved reduce American women’s access to contraception by allowing more employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception on the basis of religious or moral objections. It is estimated that more than 55 million U.S. women have access to birth control without additional payment because of the contraceptive coverage mandate put in place by the previous Obama administration.

Courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org

Since then states and judges all over the country have gone hog-wild to halt, at least temporarily, Trump’s move. However, this approach was piece-meal, affecting women in less than half of all U.S. States.  Blatantly left out were women in southern states such as Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana where access to accurate reproductive health information and quality care is woefully lacking.

Luckily, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone is on the case. On January 15, she placed an injunction stopping the Trump Administration from enforcing these rules.  All American women will benefit from this ruling and are ensured of being able to access contraceptives through the contraceptive coverage mandate.

Now, Ladies, we have to wait and see if The Donald retaliates…

 

 

‘Pro-Life’ MAGA-Hat Teen Shows Total Disrepect For Life

Being the sophisticated, woke SuzyKnew! reader you are, we know you’ve been following the horrible story of Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic School MAGA*-hat wearing teen who boldly stared down an elderly Native American Vietnam Vet at the Lincoln Memorial over MLK-Day weekend.  What’s worse is now there are journalists and commentators saying they jumped to conclusions after only seeing a short video of the clash. They are taking back their criticism after longer videos surfaced showing Black Israelites shouting insults at the Covington teens and others before the privileged teens broke into hateful whoops and Tomahawk Chops while their classmate confronted Nathan Philips, who fought for this country, with a mocking deriding smile.

Well, ladies… You can count on SuzyKnew! not to back down on these issues.  Additional video tapes did nothing to dispel the fact that Nick and his classmates showed utter disrespect for life.  All the videos depicted the boys in a horrible light. These boys and their chaperones came all the way from Kentucky to attend a ‘Pro-Life’ rally just to show their true colors and hatred in the nation’s capitol.

Ladies. Tell me. How can you finish up a March for Life to protect life of the ‘unborn’ only to go jumping up and down with Tomahawk Chops aimed at Native Americans? So, Native Americans’ lives don’t matter? Just ‘unborn’ babies? There are multiple videos and reports that the Covington boys wreaked more havoc during their Washington, DC trip by harassing girls shouting “MAGA!” and more.  I guess these people’s lives don’t matter either. Is this what their ‘Pro-Life’ rallies, communities and parents teach them? Is this how they behave in Kentucky or only in Washington, DC where the majority of the population is Black there is a rich vibrant and diverse population?

Another point that hasn’t received a lot of press: these children and their chaperones displayed complete ignorance of urban life and no true interest in wanting to learn. This is reflected in how they engaged with the Black Israelites.  Black Israelites are a fringe religious group known for their confrontational and sometimes offensive recruitment style. You find them in urban settings, especially with large Black populations.  This group should be pitied more than feared. None of the members are likely to become the nation’s next lawyers, doctors and CEO’s like the Covington boys.  To compare the Black Israelite group’s actions to what the Kentucky Catholic kids did is to downplay the reality of the country’s racial, class and religious history to the benefit of those with power.  Anyone passing by the Black Israelites would know they’re are a group to stay away from instead of engage with.  Would these boys confront Hari Krishnas at the airport?  Do these kids’ parents  and community have any basic understanding of the breath and depth of life in the United States? Do they have any interest in learning about others’ lives in their country – or only their own?

To make matters more embarrassing, Nick appeared on Good Morning America today to give his side of the story.  Nick was unrepentant.  Yes – unrepentant! He said he had every right to do what he did – to stand up there  in Nathan Philips’ face. Will Nick be as brave and fight and go to war for his country like Nathan Philips?   Here is a young teen basically telling the world he has every right to have utter contempt for others’ lives. Even for those who fought for the freedom he enjoys.

It appears Nick, his classmates, and community only value their own lives. Their March for Life is a false claim.   Both their actions and words speak loudly.

 

*MAGA is short for Make America Great Again, the Trump 2016 campaign slogan

Connecting To Possibility – By F. N.


Happy New Year, Suzyknew! Sistas.

Hope 2019 is full of orgasms, laughter, moolah and living your best life!

I want to start the year off with a question: Would you date a guy who was significantly older or younger than you? Or do you have an existing rule about the age range you’ll consider? For me, the rule was my age minus three, plus ten. So, not less than three years younger but at most ten years older. More than ten might not seem like a big issue at the beginning of my relationship with a dude. But as we aged, the differences in health and vitality would get really real really fast. I would be stuck taking care of an infirm eighty-year old man when I was still a vibrant sixty-five. As for more than a couple of years younger? Couldn’t do it. I was already too grown for the guys my age, how much dumber would a twenty-something-year old be? Did I really want to get it on on an air mattress in an apartment shared with two roommates? I had seen How Stella Got Her Groove Back as a kid, and melted for Ween-stun Sheks-pee-yerh. But I had also seen how that turned out, and cringed along with everyone else as a whole Terri Macmillan had to go on Oprah with her soon-to-be-ex-husband and cry about the fact that the young hottie she had met on vacation, who inspired her book and the Angela Bassett movie, had confessed that he was gay. If even Stella’s groove couldn’t stand the test of time, then that was Jesus talking to me. Big age difference? Nah.

Another question: Would you ever marry someone with children? I would. But only one child. My mother was a step-mother and she and my half-brother were the same person in different bodies. I mean, they were closer than close. So, I knew loving and co-parenting another woman’s baby wouldn’t be an issue for me. I wouldn’t disqualify a man because he had had a life before he met me. But I only wanted to birth one child of my own. I saw myself raising one child. If a guy had a kid, I would have two — which was not the plan. But, hey, I loved him: I would deal. And I’d be the best mother to this child I could be. But let’s be real, going from one to two is different from one to three or one to four. I mean, what if it was one to five, or six? Nuh-uh. I had met a rather nice gentleman who had four children and I had been glad when he turned out to be a bit of a douche, because I had written him off anyway. How would I split my time among so many little humans? How would I get along with an ex-wife when the logistics of co-parenting exponentially multiplied with every additional child? What if four kids meant two baby mamas? Three baby mamas? Kill me now. Guy with a kid? Fine. But kids? With an ‘s’? No thanks, I’m good.

Third question: Would you ever date a guy who drove a school bus? Who hadn’t been to college? Who was struggling financially? Personally, I didn’t care about money or a guy who could take care of me. So… low-paying job, very little disposable income, hmm, I could live with that I guessed. But would that mean bad credit? Didn’t that mean you were irresponsible with money? Maybe, you didn’t pay your bills on time. Maybe you were financially illiterate. Maybe you lived large on credit cards. The dude I needed didn’t have to be liquid but he had to have ambition and a plan to get financially stable. He had to be responsible. And he had to have no sexist ego stuff happening. He had to be the kind of man who would be totally cool that I made more money than him or was more educated than him. The kind of dude that wouldn’t demand that I atone for his bruised masculinity by making myself smaller. How many of those dudes were there, realistically? Not many. How do you find out if a dude is gonna be a nightmare until you are already in it? It’s hard. “Yeah, girl” I told myself when I was making my list, “Just stick to people who have their lives together.” Construction worker? GED? A man like that would eventually resent me. It wouldn’t be worth the risk. Better to just get my American Idol Randy Jackson on and say “Issa ‘No’ from me, dawg.”

How about looking for love online? I’m not just talking Match.com or Eharmony, I’m thinking more Tinder, Craigslist, Blackpeoplemeet.com, Bumble. The ones that don’t have ads on TV. I mean, my bestie from college was getting married in a few months to the man she had just had the most beautiful baby on earth with. They had both swiped right on Tinder. But that was an anomaly, as far as I was concerned; she should just say they met on Twitter or Facebook. Me personally, I wasn’t down for meeting anyone romantically on the internet. A guy I don’t know and can’t verify? On a website that’s known for one-night stands? That’s the quickest way to end up in a body bag at the bottom of a river.

I mean would you date a guy from a hook-up site? Or a guy who is significantly shorter than you? Who has health problems? Who has cheated on an ex before? Who is bad in bed? Who is covered in tattoos? I’m talking two full sleeves plus chest.

You already know my answers. I think y’all have also noticed the trend. I recently realized that I’ve spent so much of my dating life saying no. And all of my friends are the same. In a world that has always said black women are nothing and will amount to nothing, sistas have always had to prove that we were a good thing, we could identify good things, could work to achieve good things, were worthy of good things. Doesn’t that include a “good” black man?

Successful black women get the message that living a life that shows the breadth of black excellence includes meeting an awesome person who matches you and loves you. A Barack to your Michelle. There’s nothing wrong with that message. But, somehow, we are never taught that this person could be younger than us; less educated than us; have money problems because they paid for their mom’s hospice care; have children from a prior relationship (and maybe a dramatic ex or two); be from another culture; have been a player in the past before they learnt to do better; need tutorials between the sheets; be anything less than what society expects us to end up with. Somehow, we are taught that making our list and checking it twice, sticking with the required, perfect match is a foolproof method for not choosing people who don’t end up being the one. Somewhere we learnt that though most relationships are a roll of the dice and trifling niggas exist in every specter of the universe, getting your heart broken is less shameful if the asshole is an investment banker, not a carpenter.

But what if for the next eleven months we put all of that conditioning aside? We looked for people we genuinely connected with. We knew our worth and insisted on being treated with respect and affection. We required support, acceptance and love, but we also made getting those things a bigger priority than our preconceived notion of who we should be getting them from. What if we called that guy from high school whose Facebook friend request we were ignoring because he was kinda weird back then; smiled back at the fine-ass UPS delivery man; nodded at the compliment that pretty young thang at the gym gave us about the “Sarcasm burns calories” slogan on our T-shirt; asked that Asian guy at the farmer’s market where he was from? Wouldn’t that be dope? Just giving things a chance? Seeing where life and love takes us this year?

Photo credits: Mashpo.co.ke, Jay Harold, Bustle

The Best Of SuzyKnew! 2018

New Year 2019 replace 2018 on the sea beach summer concept

Ladies, it’s hard to believe 2018 is now history and we’re flying into the third week of January 2019.

Before we completely say “bye-bye” to 2018 and bring in 2019, let’s take a look at which SuzyKnew! articles got the most views.  Make sure you know what your fellow SuzyKnew! readers know!  Here are 5 articles that got some of the most reads in 2018:

Sexual Assault Survivor’s Testimony Occurs The Day Before World Safe Abortion Day

 

 

 

 

Is A Three-Some For Me? ASK JANICE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fertility Friday: What Does A Healthy Menstrual Cycle Look Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melania Schools Us On How To Put Your Man In The Doghouse

 

 

 

 

Ain’t I Woman? By F. N.

Fertility Friday: Should You Freeze Your Eggs?

Today’s Fertility Friday’s episode and podcast is on fertility preservation, cryopreservation, and egg freezing.  Host Lisa Henderson-Jack interviews Valerie Landis, who has been working in women’s health for the last decade. Valerie’s medical career experiences and passion for helping women merged when she founded her educational website eggsperience.com. She focuses on guiding women of any reproductive age through the complex and challenging paths of fertility decisions.

Valerie compliments the Eggsperience website with a fertility podcast called Eggology Club that she hosts to continue to change the conversation around cryopreservation and egg freezing. She provides non-bias and fact-based information to empower women to feel inspired, brave, and act progressively to take control of their future families and protect their fertility.

Click here for more and the podcast.

A Sista’s Guide To Celebrating Kwanzaa

Created as a way for African-Americans to celebrate their heritage and reflect on African cultural values, Kwanzaa has seven principles which celebrated for seven days from December 26 – 31. These principles are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith). Celebrated all over the world, Kwanza is coming to an end.  But, there is still time to observe and benefit from this reflective holiday, even if you’re not an annual adherent.

Here’s how:

  1. Participate in your local Kwanzaa celebration – Many cities have Kwanzaa celebrations. Many of these celebrations take place during the last days of Kwanzaa or on New Year’s Day.  Google the cities around you to find a Kwanzaa celebration to join.
  2. Reach out to a few girlfriends and organize a “salon” to discuss and reflect on Kwanzaa principles. Kwanzaa was started in 1966 during the civil rights era. This was also when African countries were becoming independent from colonial rule and Marxism hadn’t been debunked by the fall of the Iron Curtain.  Discuss how Kwanzaa principles can be put into practice in today’s context.  Principles such as unity, self-determination and cooperative economics seem a lot more profound and take on a whole other meaning in the era of Trump.  How do friends close to you think we can put such principles in place?

    Happy Kwanzaa 6th Principle (Creativity / Kuumba)
  3. Make do with the candles, time and food you have.  Each year I vow to order a $77 Kinara and red, green and black candles way in advance of Kwanzaa. But, I never do. I also know from experience you just can’t  run out to Target and buy a Kinara or black and green candles.  (Red candles are usually easy to find.) You have to order these things from special sites or Amazon.  Making wonderful African or soul food for 7 days can take time and money you may not have. Not to mention the special mat, unity cup or ears of corn for Kwanzaa ceremonies. Don’t feel like to have to skip out on Kwanzaa because you don’t have all the right accoutrement, time or food. Make do with what you have and celebrate how you can.  Ok – I confess that this has been my approach, and I get a lot of Kwanzaa even though I’m far from a perfect observer.
  4. Take the principles of Kwanzaa to heart and put them into action on a daily basis, instead of viewing the observance as a seven-day event. Kwanzaa isn’t a religious or political event. But, for many it’s a life style.  Start 2019 by taking the principles of Kwanzaa to heart and living them out on a daily basis. As one young Indianapolis woman explained: “It’s about knowing who you are and what your worth is. No matter what you do for a living, if you don’t have these principles, you will fall short.”

These are just a few of many ideas out there on how to celebrate Kwanzaa. SuzyKnew! hopes you don’t let the holiday slip by without reflecting on a principle or two and determining how you will put them into action.

Joyous Kwanzaa!

Photo courtesy: Blogging Black Miami

Fertility Friday: Bleeding Problems With “Essure” Contraceptive Medical Device

Today, SuzKnew! shares Fertility Friday’s episode about the issues with Essure, a highly problematic form of permanent birth control that has affected tens of thousands of women worldwide. The podcasts also covers the recent Netflix documentary The Bleeding Edge and the issues with the medical device industry.

Fertility Friday’s Lisa Jack-Henderson interviews Angie Firmalino, who founded ASHES nonprofit in 2015 and is also involved with Medical Device Problems, a website launched in July of 2018 and Amanda Rusmisell, a wife and mother of two boys, who after being harmed from a medical device and having major surgery joined the Essure Problems Facebook Group. Amanda was shocked to see the harm caused to so many women and was compelled to help. She is the Legislative Liaison for the Essure Problems Group and has spoken before the FDA. Amanda has also organized and participated in numerous advocacy meetings in Washington DC and collaborated with other nonprofits to bring awareness to the issues surrounding Essure and medical devices.

Click here for more information and the podcast.


Lisa Hendrickson Jack

Short Christmas Stories By Famous And Everyday Black Women

Below, SuzyKnew! shares a radio broadcast, a couple of poems, and news stories on Christmas by famous and everyday Black women

Looking For Black Santa, Leoneda Inge, WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio December 2011

Durham, North Carolina is one of the most diverse communities in the state. Mayor Bill Bell likes to say it’s the city with NO racial majority. Then why is it so hard to find an African American Santa Claus?

….Two years ago, I found the cutest 1970s photo of me and my younger sister sitting on a white Santa’s lap. I loved the photo so much, I decided to make it my annual holiday card. But before the copies went out – I asked a friend to do a little photo-shopping – to give Santa a tan. Now that really made me smile. I mailed it to black friends and white friends, relatives and co-workers – they loved it!

Click here to  read more and listen

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem (First shared during the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony.)
By Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.

Peace.

Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal’s, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

***

Choose to be Happy, Ayesha Karim 2012

I am happy because I choose to be; my life is far from perfect.

Others are content but I make conscious choices to be Happy and to be a positive person.

You don’t have to be rich or have a lot of money and material wealth to be happy.

Many wealthy people are poor in Spirit with all the money, fame and things that they have.

This Christmas Eve night as I write this poem I think about how I manage my money focusing on my needs first and then my wants.

I ask myself: Can I afford that? Do I need this? Can I wait for the store price to go down and get that dress on sale?

I hope that once I am financially stable with a decent job I can have a coat drive for kids age 1 through 16 in Trenton, New Jersey when every boy and girl gets a cute new coat and I hope that my story inspires others my battle with mental illness over 19 years…

 

Finding Black Christmas figures in getting harder.

Collecting Black Christmas Figurines – The challenges and the rewards

Merry Christmas to all!