Grace Interviews CORA Episode 1: This is Life For Many People

Grace and Cora

Originally posted on The New Grls Club we wanted to spread the love for this incredible work.


Listen to the interview on SoundCloud

Grace DuBois is back for our first podcast ever! In this episode, she introduces us to CORA, San Mateo County’s Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse. This is the first episode in a three-part series and features CORA’s Director of Development, Lynn Engel. Lynn talks about her role in the organization, why organizations like CORA are so important, and how you can get involved in helping people overcome abuse.

CORA’s toll-free, 24/7 emergency hotline is (800)300-1080

127 Minutes

By Karen Joseph

Have you seen that movie 127 Hours? Yeah, me neither BUT I saw the trailer, so I got the gist. White man walks among the rocks. The rocks rebel against him and all he’s done to harm Mother Earth. White man cuts off arm as penance to Mother Earth.

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Like I said. I got the ~*gist*~.

 

Don’t worry, I’m not here to give you three sentence versions of blockbuster movies. I’m here to talk about my own 127 Hours… and by 127 hours, I mean what felt like 127 hours but was probably closer to 127 minutes.

 

Fade in on me standing in line at Sugarfish with a guy from Tinder I’d only just met in person. Sugarfish is what you could call a “bougie light” sushi restaurant. Its website explains it serves traditional sushi of the highest quality and its prices reflect that promise. Nevertheless, you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it. They’ll be fine with one leg and a finger(tip). Okay lame jokes stop now.

 

Anywho! I’m looking him over. He’s… okay. This was only my second time going out with a guy I’d met on an app. The first guy was H. O. T. hot on paper. He was literally tall, dark and handsome. He played basketball in high school and could certainly pass for a young Denzel. My mom would have been so proud (she loves Denzel). Yet… get ready for this… he pronounced the “L” in salmon. I MEAN, REALLY? We had nothing to talk about, and I basically ran out of that restaurant after. I’d gone for brawn over brains, and I suffered for it.

 

Suffice it to say, I realized I needed to go a different route if I really intended to find love and/or free food. Gorp (names have been changed to protect me from an awkward “did you write about me on the internet” text) was nice. Gorp was smart. Gorp knew everything about movies and music. Our texting before the date had been nonstop. The interesting kind of nonstop, not the “wyd?” “nothing. u?” kind of nonstop.

 

So what’s the catch? Physically, Gorp was on the heavier side. He honestly wasn’t someone who would – as Missy would say – make you do a double take. But like I said before, I was trying to do something different. Take a walk on the wild side.

 

This was my first time at Sugarfish, so he encouraged me to get one of the bigger meals for variety. Sushi always fills me up quickly, so I struggled to scarf down the Trust Me Lite (three pieces of sushi, one piece of sashimi, a hand roll and edamame). Meanwhile, Gorp threw down on the Trust Me (twice the sushi, twice the handrolls), and made sure I knew that on a good day, he could destroy the Nozawa Trust Me (add three more pieces of sushi and a “daily special” to the Trust Me). The boy could eat.

 

When the meal was almost done, he looked over at me with puppy dog eyes and asked what I wanted to do now. He could drop me home… or I could go to his place and listen to that Logic album we were talking about. Gorp promised he had really nice speakers.

 

I don’t know if it was the raw fish or the smell of salt water wafting over from the Marina, but I said, “I could listen to some Logic, right now.”

 

I texted at least four friends on the way there to send them my location (shootout to Khalid). I was super new to LA at the time, so I had no idea where I was. On the way up, the elevator got stuck for a couple minutes. I don’t listen when God sends me clear messages, so I still followed him into his apartment.

 

We sat on the couch, and the album began. I stared straight in front of me like there was some visual component that went with it. Eventually, Gorp asked if he could kiss me. Consent is sexy but like… chemistry is even sexier. To make it plain – I wasn’t feeling it.

 

So I said, “yeah… after this next song” and prayed we had a Bohemian Rhapsody-esque ballad on our hands.

 

We did not.

 

The song faded out – as songs tend to do – and he went for it. I mean, he REALLY went for it. The only way I could describe it is that I was concerned he’d lost something in my mouth and the fate of the human race itself depended on his ability to find it with his tongue. You ever shove your hand into your bag to frantically look for your keys? Yeah. It was like that.

 

The kissing was bad, so of course when he asked if I wanted to move over to the bed to “watch some Netflix” I said no, because I’m a sane adult who’s skilled at articulating what she wants and doesn’t want…

 

Nope. You have me confused for someone else. I said yes. We relocated. His wifi was conveniently acting up, so we had no choice but to go at it again – horizontal this time.

 

He lay on top of me. Now, remember when I said Gorp was on the heavier side? I’m not exaggerating when I say I could barely breathe. I took short breaths and assessed the situation. I’d found myself between a rock and a hard place (his dick). I was like James Franco’s character in 127 Hours, and it was time for me to decide which body part had to go if I intended to survive. Seeing as he was on top of me, I considered a life without a torso. My face and head are cute enough, so I had no doubt this severed version of me could survive on her own.

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I snapped out of this headless fantasy when Gorp started grabbing at my breasts. I almost felt bad for him. I was wearing a strapless bra, so he was getting more industrial strength padded fabric than boob. He kept lifting my shirt. I kept sliding it down. He kept guiding my hand toward his crotch. I kept sliding it up.

 

After what felt like 127 minutes (there’s it is) I mustered up all the strength I had left, lifted my metaphorical knife and cut the hookup short. I sat up and asked him to take me home. I was an adult about it and texted him the next day to say I didn’t think things were going to work out.

 

JK.

 

I responded less and less frequently to his texts until he got the message. (Lolz)

 

I never said I was a role model. I just said I had a funny story to tell. Wait… did I not say that either? Dang, my bad. I’ll start off more clearly next time.


Follow Karen on Instagram or Twitter for more hilarious ramblings.

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Period Sex

By Isabelle Duffy
Oh, period sex.
You have always been such a confusing subject for me. While the idea of semi swapping male and female roles in the bedroom and having a man have to endure MY bodily fluids this time round should be empowering there was something about it that always made me feel…. icky?
I’ve gotten so many different responses with partners over the years. From one ex who was disgusted with the idea and even said – while wincing and looking down at my body – “you have to promise that there isn’t a lot of blood” before trying to insert himself inside of me. Obviously, that made me feel incredibly UNsexy in that moment, like some bleeding disgusting behemoth with a “ Red Wedding” reenactment happening currently in her panties so things were shut down pretty quickly.
Then there have been a handful of men who have been down to clown, quickly grabbing a dark towel and ready to party till it’s dry. For them, the extra lubrication ( and possibly the taboo aspect of it) just added to the excitement, which definitely allows me to feel safe and sexy.
Even recently, after things were getting pretty hot and heavy I had to quickly inform a guy about the arts and crafts week at Panty Camp that was currently happening downstairs.  As I was hastily and regretfully telling him, my head was spinning full of  cool & chill ways to apologize for it:
“ I didn’t mean to lead you on, eugh this is sooo lame”
“ I know, it’s so unsexy. I’m so turned on right now too, this suuuucks.”
But before I could use one of my apologies, he just shrugged and said
“It’s all good. It’s just biology bro”
And we proceeded to do just a bunch of hand stuff. Still a good time.
While this was the first time anyone who’s ever been inside of me has called me bro, it’s not the first time I was completely unsure what kind of reaction I was going to get when bringing up the topic. Everyone has a different, usually STRONG, opinion on period sex. So I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned in my time.

1. It’s always significantly less messy than you think

We all picture our vaginas during that time of the month looking like that iconic scene in The Shining. You know, this one.  

 

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I like to think of the twins as my ovaries.  

 

Because I’m a professional googler, I learned that the average amount of blood that’s usually released during a period is 30-40ml. Which leads to an incredibly small amount being released a minute and unless you’re into hours and hours for your bang sessions (nightmare) it’s a pretty incremental and not a huge deal.
Feel free to use these fun facts in the bedroom – nothing gets a partner more ready to storm the trenches than a page from WebMD that you printed out in your spare time.

 

2. Shower sex is everything

 

I personally hadn’t ever been a huge fan of shower sex before period sex. Someone always ends up cold and shivering while the other person is getting a persistent stream of hot water in their eyes. Unless wearing goggles in the shower suddenly becomes sexy, I usually avoid it.

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Though I got a sweet pair of these laying around so here’s hoping.

 

There’s never enough lubricant to get the job done – just some awkward fumbling, some wet make outs, followed by drying off and moving to the bed to just get it done right.
That is until I was introduced to period sex in the shower. I’ve always been someone who’s a little more self-conscious when it came to the amount of blood but the water just washes it right away while the blood provides a natural lubricant. Everybody wins! So bring your snorkeling mask and get ready to party.

 

3. 90 percent of the time it will just make your life better

 

If you’re like me, the week leading up to your period is full of tears and burritos. I’ve been told that my experience is not universal, but let’s roll with it and say it’s day of 3 of your cycle and you’ve got burrito belly. Classic.
You’re not really feeling your sexiest, you’ve got cramps, a migraine and just all around pretty bummed out. If you’ve got a partner who treats you right, period sex will usually improve most of those things. There have been a few studies about how orgasms can not only relieve cramps but also your migraines!
They cause the uterine muscle to contract and release a ton of sweet brain chemicals such as oxytocin which basically is like a natural pain reliever, bro.

 

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This guy gets the importance of mutual orgasms. The guy on the right maybe gets it a little too much.

 

Plus having a partner worship and enjoy your body even when you’re not feeling 100 percent can definitely improve your mood and make you think a little bit less about the 4 burritos you had for dinner. Classic.

 

4. It tells you a lot about the person you’re about to sleep with

 

At the end of the day, having period sex just feels significantly more intimate than run of the mill sex. Being able to trust a partner to enough to not be freaked out by blood all over their nether regions is a big deal. There are almost zero depictions of periods in the media, let alone period sex so it’s one of those rare things that you have to define on your own.  Hell, they can’t even show blood in commercials literally FOR PERIODS.

 

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What white nonsense is this?!

 

For me, it’s always been a good testing point to see if I’m going to even be able to get along with this person. Whether period sex is your thing or not, shaming someone for having a menstrual cycle is just completely unacceptable and a total dealbreaker. Communication is everything, period. Hah.
It all, of course, comes down to your comfort levels and what makes you feel best.  Like Rachel Bloom wisely states – “ Just think of it as mother nature’s juice cleanse”

 

 

How To Buy A Bra in Six Easy Steps

By Ailish

Confession: I don’t regularly buy bras. According to some studies, you’re supposed to replace your bra every six to nine months. I usually buy new ones once every two years. Why? Because bras are expensive and as Heather from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would say:

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(Which is to say I have limited funds.)

So here’s how I buy a bra in Six Easy Steps.

 

Step 1

Realize your bra is getting a little worse for wear.

The underwire is gone, there are holes in the straps, the lace isn’t as cute as it once was. You’re wearing your sports bra more often than your everyday one. There are many tell-tale signs.

Step 2

Check your bank account.

See if you have an extra $50 -$70 in your bank account. This could be for just one bra. Unless you go to a place that has a sweet deal maybe you can snag two!!

Step 3

Find a store

There’s plenty of places online that have dope deals on dope bras (shout out ThirdLove), but sometimes you just gotta get measured and find your true size. Go to a place like Nordstrom or Victoria’s Secret where they specialize in boob holders AND have ladies who work there with special boob measuring tape.

Step 4

Get those boobies measured

You gotta get measured! Obviously. Or else you’ll end up with a bra that’ll have you constantly nip slippin. Find a nice looking employee who looks like she won’t judge you (your body or your janky ass old bra) because you’ll have to be shirtless to be measured properly. She’ll put the tape around the part under you boobs, and your boobs themselves. Be chill. Make conversations. Good topics include “How long have you worked here?” Weird topics include “What are your favorite boobs to measure?” Just be super chill.

Step 5

Find dat bra

Once you have your true size. Go find yourself some cute bra options. There’s about a billion varieties. You got your strapless, racerback, your tee shirt bra, push up bra, bralette or a bandeau if you’re feeling fancy. Grab all the bras you want to try on in your size and have at it!

Step 6

Find a sale and make that purchase

Once you find the bra or bras you like. Check out those prices and see if you can find a sale where you get two for one or half off. I personally get one strapless and one push up. That way I basically have three bras AND lucky for me there was a two for one sale so I managed to snag two bras for $52. Still, a shit load of money to spend in my opinion, but bras are mad important and make a huge difference when they’re good bras. It’s basically an investment in your body.

 

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I could write a whole thing about how bras are just another form of the existence of the patriarchy being in control and forcing us to conform to old school gender stereotypes.

(But I like bras.)

I like feeling feminine and confident and like an adult. I like that there are so many options and how cute they are. Obviously, I hate how expensive they are. But bras are bras and I need them to wear my clothes properly so, for now, I’m a bra wearing lady.

And I know now I won’t go two years without buying a replacement bra.

I’ll probably just go one.

 

 

#TBT Becoming a Woman

 

This is a story I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s a story about me becoming a woman. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back it was a pretty pivotal moment.

 

Every girl knows the moment when they truly became a woman. For some, it’s the day they lose their virginity. For some, it’s the day they get cat called. Everyone has their own moment.

 

Mine was neither of those. It happened when I was thirteen and I was in Macy’s.

 

Before going to Macy’s I went to my favorite bookstore, just to casually browse the new teen fiction section. Maybe I would finally buy that Go Ask Alice book everyone seemed to have read or start the Gossip Girl series.

 

A weird fact about me: bookstores excite me. Not just your regular run of the mill “I’m super stoked be add a new book to my collection” or “I can’t wait to be swept away by this story I’m about to purchase.”

 

No, for me going to a book store was it was like there were a bunch of teenage butterflies circa 2013 in my stomach who had just won front row tickets to One Direction. That kind of excited. Excited in my bathing-suit area.

 

I tell you that to set you up for the second part of the story. The bookstore was not where I became a woman.
There was nothing particularly special about that day or my reason for shopping. But little did I know it would be a very important day for me coming into womanhood.

 

It wasn’t the day I got my period for the first time and I already had my first kiss. It was something much more important.

 

I was walking through the overly expensive new bikini section looking for what I thought might be the perfect summer suit. Something that would stand out and be different from any other girl. I did NOT want to accidentally match with anyone. (My ultimate worst nightmare) Maybe something brown? Maybe I should mismatch my top and bottom? People seem to be doing that these days.

 

As a grabbed what I thought was a cute brown stripped bikini top, I felt a fart coming on. I looked around to see if I was alone. I was, for the most part, there were just a few people in the section over. Still, though, you can never be too careful.

 

I tried to hold it in, but my body had other plans. What came out of me was not the fart I was familiar with. It was tiny and didn’t even come from my normal fart hole. I was shocked at this weird unexplainable sensation. What just happened to my body?

 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was my very first queef. Also known as the day I truly became a woman.