Naturally, we want to take care of our bodies, especially our private areas. Too often, however, someone comes up with a ridiculous plan or cure for any array of vaginal issues. From Gwyneth Paltrow's steamed vagina and jade eggs to some non-scientist’s bright idea to turn weed into suppositories to ease PMS cramps, people are doing the absolute most with their vaginas.Read More
We gamers are humans and many, if not most, are sexual beings (we love our Ace friends, though).
But the inaccurate info from guys in a World of Warcraft trade chat let us know just how much our male counterparts need to learn about sex and the female body. What’s sad is that these same guys will also make the most sexist and ignorant remarks. But that’s a topic for another day. Right now, we just want to our nerdy guy friends, young and old, learn something about our bodies and dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about sex. So let’s start from the beginning, shall we.Read More
To celebrate May the Fourth, and in honor of the upcoming release of Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25th, we’ve collected some of our favorite Star Wars-inspired manicures. These are definitely the nails you are looking for!
It’s hard to believe that this manicure could be so detailed. Each nail is worthy of framing!
Porg - Yay or Nay?
It seems people have very strong opinions on the Porg, love ‘em or hate ‘em. No matter your stance on them in The Last Jedi, you have to admit they’re cute on fingers.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, dressing up or not, May the Fourth be with you!!!
Content/Trigger Warning: mentions of suicide
Let's talk toxicity. As you go through life you'll encounter toxicity everywhere: at work, on the street, and games are certainly no exception. So what do you do? Do you get upset, mad, or sad? All of these things are completely reasonable to feel when you're dealing with toxicity. Not everyone can shake off someone telling them that they should kill themselves for doing poorly in a game. And you shouldn't have to. That’s where the mute button comes in.
The trick to knowing when to mute someone really comes down to knowing if they are willing to work with you as a team player or if they're truly, simply a troll. More often than not someone commenting on your actual gameplay is just wanting to help you get better even if it comes across poorly. It is when people start attacking you as a person or threatening your well-being that you know that person is no longer a team player and you can safely mute them without any fear of losing valuable communication. We've all been there, we know we're having a bad game. But here comes Negative Ned to top it all off. “You're playing like garbage,” reads the screen. This is a comment a large majority of players can shrug off, and that alone isn't really worth muting someone for. They're just as frustrated as you probably are. Did you need your performance pointed out to everyone in the match? Probably not but with a little work on your part, (kill them with kindness, kids) you can probably turn that person's attitude around. After all, communication wins games and you don't want to get too happy with the mute button.
There is also knowing the game you are playing and the community that plays it. While I love League of Legends it does have a notoriously toxic community. I have received threats, been told to kill myself, and been told that I deserve to be raped over my performance in a game, and a low ELO one at that. No game is 100% free from toxicity and if you're going to play in a toxic community it benefits to have slightly thicker skin. Some games have a reputation of toxicity while others have reputations of a welcoming community, and it’s important to know which you’re playing in.
That said, imagine my surprise when last night I was playing a Battleground in World of Warcraft, defending a point by myself against three other players. I was up there on damage meters and, by my viewpoint, having a pretty solid match. That said, after I died we lost the point and I was promptly told “kill yourself but you'd probably mess that up to”. I was shocked to say the least as this is not what I've come to expect from World of Warcraft. It was a solid reminder that toxicity isn't limited to one game or when you’re doing poorly. I went through the steps, I muted, blocked, and reported the toxic player. I wished my team good luck and I left the Battleground. I wish that I could tell you that I stuck it out and we won but I'd rather tell you the truth--that it shocked me and I immediately stopped playing for the night.
So to those of you who might be too quick with your words, you never know who you're talking to on the other side of the screen. You will never know if that person just lost their best friend or if they're facing depression or if they've just had the best day of their life. So, stranger, I know you don't know me and I know you probably didn't mean it, but I didn't need you to tell me that when I already deal with those thoughts on a daily basis. As someone who struggles with mental health issues, and as a suicide survivor, I ask you to consider what you say to people that you do not know and I hope that you consider my words and choose kindness. To those of you who struggle dealing with toxicity like I do, I welcome you to use the mute button. It’s an act of self-care, after all.
The mute button can totally be an act of self care. And it's up to you you know when you need to utilize it. If someone is telling you to kill yourself, go ahead and mute them. If you struggle with suicidal thoughts it's completely self-care to take yourself out of that situation. If someone has done nothing but yell at you the entire game, and you suffer from self-deprecating thoughts you don't have to sit and listen to that. You are worth more than that.
Illustrations by VinnieDraws
Here are 10 Things Adulting Taught Me On Putting the Self in Self Care
The topic of self care has become extremely popular within the last couple of years and can be seen in many conversations from women’s studies to mental health and from social activism to public health. It’s a topic that has been revisited many times over and it’s value can’t be underestimated. It was the legendary Audre Lorde who offered the wisdom that, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
In my own journey to self care and dealing with anxiety within the last year, these words have certainly rang true. What I have found essential to coping with my day to day is creating moments and patterns of self care that transition it from being a foreign umbrella word appearing in these larger discussions to something that feels tangible, accessible, and extremely personal because at its core, it is self-preservation. Personally, I define self care as an intentional act that provides a sense of restoration to oneself and offers reprieve in some form from mental, physical, and emotional stressors.
Regardless of how you define it, key to the concept is the fact that self care is not a monolith. The most important thing to keep in mind is that whatever you do, do so because it’s what makes you feel well. Self care will look different for everyone so it’s important to explore a variety of options and create habits that are individualized and grounded in your needs and experiences. For some of us who have anxiety, deal with other issues around mental health, or any other experiences, just getting out of bed can be a challenge. When we do it feels like a victory and most certainly an act of self care and that’s okay. I recognize that effort to intentionally and holistically nurture and replenish yourself no matter what form self care takes on.
Please note that in no way is this article a replacement for the help or advice of a licensed professional, but the hope is that something provided here from my experiences and shared moments with friends will be helpful in terms of guiding you in finding something that helps you in your journey as well. So without further ado, here’s my 10 lessons on self care.
1. The Game Plan
I’ve found that creating a checklist or self care plan can be incredibly helpful to have, even the most simplistic of self-made guides or reminders can do when you’re not feeling your greatest. This list could contain a step by step action plan, list of suggestions (like what’s listed here), a to-do list i.e. did you wash your hair, take your medication, did you eat today?
2. A Room of One’s Own
It can be challenging to create a safe space for yourself and even an act of privilege to be able do so. My safe space has been my bedroom many times in the last two years, but there have been times were it hasn’t felt as such. In those moments, I have found refuge in the spaces owned by friends and others in my support system. Being able to nap at a friend’s house and have an impromptu sleepover has reminded me that a safe space can also be found in the comfort of checking in with another person, a cup of tea shared at a local café, my work space where I keep a picture of my mother, or while taking in the city with a friend on the steps of a monument. It can be challenging to confide in others but doing so can be an incredible act of self care.
3. Just Breathe
It’s important to know your limits, your boundaries, and most important when it’s time to rest. I have constantly felt rushed and when I’m not on the move, I feel as if I am stagnant. Establishing a work-life balance and understanding that taking a break is a part of the journey as well – that you are still in motion on your journey to becoming who you want to be even while at rest, has been something that still challenges me.
4. Wiggle Your Big Toe
Taking time to stretch, take a few deep breaths, and flex my muscles each morning or night has been a good way to ground myself and practice some mindfulness. What started off as homework for physical therapy has turned into a meaningful daily reminder to myself that I have ownership on this vessel and I’m driver, not my anxiety.
5. Set the Mood
Candles can be an easy and inexpensive way to alter the mood of a room. A diffuser can be a wonder alternative as well and it has been my best friend. I often mix grapefruit, sage, and lime in the mornings and then switch to lavender at night. If you don’t have either options, take some essentials oils like lavender or eucalyptus and add a drop your hands and cup over you mouth for a deep easy breath or two during a shower or before bed.
6. 8 Glasses and Counting
Every organ is your body requires water to function. I have a tough time maintaining a good habit around drinking water, but recognize how much better I feel when I do. Making sure you stay hydrated is another way to ensure you’re feeling your best self and able to take on your day.
7. The Great Outdoors
I discovered that I loved hiking after a friend dragged me along. Whenever I feel stressed, a good hike does the trick. It’s an activity that not only stimulates my mind from the visual component but works my entire body. Going for a walk or just spending some time outdoors on a porch is a wonderful and simple way to also clear your mind. If you lack the ability to get outdoors, opening the windows to let in some fresh air into your space could be a simpler alternative. I also keep a miniature garden of succulents at my work desk and the act of caring for nature serves as substitute as well.
8. Affirm and Repeat
I keep affirmations on my mirror in my bedroom. The latest one reads “I am at peace with my journey and in control of my experience, stay positive and breathe.” Place affirmations and reminders in places your frequent whether that’s your bathroom mirror or in your planner. Write notes to yourself when you are having a good day to read as needed and repeat the act of positive self talk and self love.
9. Express Yourself
In whatever, however you can whether that’s writing, doodling, journaling, painting, coloring, playing an instrument, dancing or all of the above. Expressing yourself and using your hands or body can be an amazing way to refocus your mind and channel your energy into something you may find to be more constructive. This has also been a therapeutic way for me to work through whatever I’m feeling. Reflecting on my writings has been an interesting way to chart and recognize my stressors.
10. Find Your Simple Joy
When my mother passed away my freshman year of college, one of the ways I coped was by watching reruns of old Scooby Doo episodes and playing my PS3. Even to this day, my PS4 is one of my favorite ways to de-stress. Anxiety screams at my brain to focus on this thing over here, and gaming allows me to engage my mind in an alternative way. So find your go-to for joy - watch an episode of Sailor Moon, play a game, listen to your favorite album or playlist, bake yourself cookies, sleep, or watch reruns of The Office on Netflix (all of which make my list and I’d recommend to you).