Speaking at the Femedic launch on uncovering the secrecy, shame and stereotypes surrounding women’s sexual health

Great to meet so many inspiring women at the launch of the Femedic, a new website that is determined to ‘normalise women’s health taboos’.

Most online editorial about sexual health just tweaks the visible tip of the topic rather than delving deeper. The Femedic is fast becoming a trusted source of clear and comprehensive information that not only addresses symptoms and treatments, but also empowers women to better understand their bodies, the health system and the impact that cultural and lifestyle factors have on their health decisions.

I spoke on ‘Uncovering the secrecy, shame and stereotypes surrounding women’s sexual health’.  So much to say! Highlights in video clip coming soon…

From ‘ouch’ to ‘ooooh’

In advance of the publication of my book, The Chilli Pepper Sex Club, I’ve written a piece for Netdoctor about my journey through vulvodynia. More media to follow and I’ll be running a series of workshops (in London and Brighton) to support all aspects of women’s health, including ‘Mindfulness for sexual wellbeing’. Please sign up to the Women4Real database for more info – full details available soon.

Tackling misogyny in music

Brilliant piece on the Funny Women site by Lily Phillips of The Ruby Darlings, about misogyny in music, a topic she’s tackled ‘head on’ in her fabulous new comedy music video. We’re excited to be co-writing a show with Lily all about sexual health, for Brighton Fringe 2017 – watch this space!

‘The Ruby Darlings’ – brilliant feminist comedy with a vagina based agenda

I spent a fabulous evening at Brighton’s Komedia last night (5th June 2016) in the company of the mightily talented Ruby Darlings. Perfectly pitched feminism – funny, clever, sexy, cool. If you’ve got a vagina – or know someone who has – I urge you to give them a google and book the best night out you’ve had in yonks!

Online petition to get vulval pain included in UK University curriculum

Please consider signing this important petition to get pelvic (including vulval) pain included in the UK university curriculum for all medical students. You can read more about the petition here:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128528

“The Vulval Pain Society (VPS) supports this initiative to help increase the knowledge, skills and competencies of all health professionals, including medical students, in improving the assessment and management of chronic pelvic (including vulval) pain. Pelvic pain conditions are poorly managed and have a major impact on patients’ quality of life, everyday functioning and reproductive health. It is vital that we invest in the education of our future workforce in the field of pelvic pain if we are to improve treatment and support available to all those living with pelvic pain conditions.”

– The VPS

  • APPG

Into the Moses Room, but where’s the burning bush?!

On Tuesday I went up to parliament (to the Moses Room) to attend the launch event for the APPG on Well-being Economics. The report is the result of a year-long inquiry exploring how well-being evidence can be translated into policy in four diverse areas: labour markets, planning and transport, mindfulness in health and education, and arts and culture. Some inspiring discussion and I’m excited that politicians are embracing the concept of measuring well-being in more ‘human’ ways other than just tracking the GDP and economic growth. The report suggests that training new medical and teaching staff in mindfulness techniques would embed a culture of well-being in health and education, with a  focus on addressing mental health issues, which cost the UK economy an estimated £70bn annually.

Sadly no depiction of ‘Moses and the burning bush’ in amongst the biblical paintings at the venue and I do hope chronic sexual pain and sexual health will not be absent from the report’s remit if and when it is actioned.  Sexual well-being is key to physical and mental health and deserves to be a central area of focus as it is a core part of our identity…and there are 3.2 million UK women with ‘burning bushes’ (as a result of vulvodynia) who may also benefit from this approach to healthcare! As a Women4Real initiative we are now using mindfulness techniques to help women manage chronic sexual pain and are developing an Attentional Shift Training programme which we believe will be an even more effective way of helping women manage sexual health issues.