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Monday, October 1, 2018

How To Get That Job You Really Want

Pic by @shotsbyfifi

Trying to find a new job is always daunting. Whether you're planning to jump ship from a different job or you're unemployed and looking for work, job hunting is always a soul-crushing process that can leave you feeling less confident about your professional capabilities than when you started.

After graduating university (and despite having earned a 1st class honours degree with plenty of industry-relevant work experience), I still struggled to find a job. Don't get me wrong, I always knew that job-hunting in London would be a cut-throat experience, but there were a lot of things I didn't expect.

Now that I've secured what I can confidently label as "my dream job", I can share my experience and advice on how to land that job you really, really (please, please, please) want.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

What To Do When You Need Emergency Contraception

Let’s talk about sex, and contraception, and what you should do when your contraception plan doesn’t quite work out.

This blog post is written in collaboration with ellaOne in support of their Morning After Manners campaign, and I’m proud to have been given a chance to participate and help empower and educate people so that they feel like they can talk about contraception and emergency contraception with a partner. I really believe that it’s important for people to understand their options enough to comfortably make the best choice for themselves.

You can visit the Morning After Manners website for more information, and to take the quiz to test your own morning-after etiquette.

After taking the quiz, I got the Morning After Master score, which I’m very happy with! I’ve always been quite mindful of approaching sex with respect and honesty, and I think it’s important that we maintain that level of courtesy for the other person.

You certainly don’t have to sit and make small talk in the morning if you don’t want to, but you don’t have to rudely kick the other person out of your home or sneak out of theirs before they wake up.

There is so much stigma around the morning after pill, and I feel it too! Although I film all kinds of sex-positive videos and frequently tell my viewers about my embarrassing sex stories, I’ve never actually spoken about my experience with it.

There’s still a lot of judgement surrounding emergency contraception and I didn’t want to expose myself to people’s opinions and misconceptions.
About two years ago, I was in the early stages of a new relationship and I wasn’t on any hormonal contraception. We were just using condoms at the time and the condom split, but we didn’t actually realize until it was too late.

My experience was unnecessarily stressful because I didn’t know how to approach the conversation. I knew about the morning after pill, but I had no idea what my options were or how to even have that conversation with the guy I was seeing.

This was the same guy who thought the pill protected you both against STDs, so I wasn’t confident that he’d have understood emergency contraception. There is a huge lack of education, which only makes things more awkward and complicated.

I did a quick Google search, walked to my local pharmacy and got it over the counter.

My experience shouldn’t have had to be like that. I should’ve been able to have a normal conversation with the boy I was seeing. I should have been educated enough about the morning after pill to know what to do without having to look it up online, and I definitely should not have been too embarrassed to talk to people about it.

Whether you’re single, in a new relationship or in a long-term commitment, accidents can happen, and your preferred method of contraception can fail. Knowing about emergency contraception is important so that you know what your back-up options are, and so that you can have an easy conversation with your partner without either of you freaking out.

Recent research carried out by ellaOne reveals that seven in ten (69%) of 17-35 year olds surveyed agree that the responsibility of emergency contraception should lie with both parties. (1)

On top of that, nearly half of the men surveyed (47%) said that they’d go with their sexual partner after a first date to get emergency contraception if needed. (i)

Emergency contraception needs to be right for you and your situation, and you need to be making informed decisions. You need to know your options, so here they are:

Option 1 - The morning after pill

I think we’ve all, at some point, heard about the morning after pill. At least I hope so.

There are two types of morning after pill available - one type contains ulipristal acetate (ellaOne) and has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex. (2)

ellaOne is the most effective morning after pill available. (3) The other contains levonorgestrel and has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex occurring. (4)

You can get the morning after pill over the counter at the pharmacy without prescription. You can also order it online, which is super convenient if you’re in a situation where that suits you better.

However, and I didn’t know this, the morning after pill only works if you take it before you’ve ovulated...

Morning after pills work by delaying ovulation (when your egg is released), if it hasn’t already happened. This means that the sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes will be unable to meet an egg and fertilise it, which is similar to regular contraceptive pills. Those also work by preventing egg release.

This is why morning after pill is most effective when taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. (ii.iii)

Option 2 - The IUD, otherwise known as the copper coil

This is another thing I didn’t know - I had no idea that the coil could be used as emergency contraception.

The coil can be inserted up to 5 days after you’ve had unprotected sex and is considered to be the most effective method of emergency contraception overall. (5) Obviously, if you choose to go with the coil, you should still go and get it fitted as soon as possible after you’ve had unprotected sex.

The copper IUD is available from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics and GP surgeries. You will need to schedule a consultation and an insertion appointment, so make sure you do this as soon as possible. It’s also always worth consulting your pharmacist about the morning after pill while waiting for your appointment. In the event of a delay or if you change your mind, you should still have reduced your risk of pregnancy.

This method works by releasing copper into your womb, which alters the cervical mucus and makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive. It can also stop a fertilised egg from being able to implant itself, thus preventing pregnancy.

Make it right for you

Emergency contraception is exactly that - it’s to be used in an emergency. No matter who you are or what your situation is, accidents can happen. Unfortunately, the majority of us didn’t get thoroughly taught about it in school, so there still are many misconceptions that leave people feeling embarrassed, ashamed and scared to ask the important questions when they need to.

This lack of awareness is why it’s important to go out of our way to be informed and to have the knowledge we need in order to make smart and responsible choices.

People nowadays still often confuse taking morning after pill with getting an abortion. It’s important to know that emergency contraception has nothing to do with abortion. The morning after pill, or the coil, are used to prevent you from getting pregnant, not to end a pregnancy.

We shouldn’t feel any shame for having sex and enjoying a healthy sex life. Sexual encounters put you at your most vulnerable with another person, and you should feel comfortable talking to them about the sex that you’re having. Being open and honest about your contraception and your plan in case something goes wrong helps you feel comfortable in the unlikelihood that you might need it.

Morning After Manners is about opening up the discussion about 21st-century dating etiquette. We want to break down the stigma associated with emergency contraception and to educate and empower people so that they understand their options enough to comfortably make the best choice for themselves.

Please remember that I’m not a medical professional and I can’t give you any medical advice. If you do have any concerns or questions about emergency contraception, please speak to a pharmacist or a doctor.

* ellaOne® 30mg tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception for unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.

* This blog post was kindly sponsored.

1) ellaOne consumer research, conducted by Censuswide, Last Accessed July 2018

2) Electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC): ellaOne 30 mg. Summary of Product Characteristics. (Last accessed: July 2018)

3) Glasier AF, Cameron ST, Fine PM et al. The Lancet 2010; 375: 555-562

4) Levonorgestrel Summary of Product Characteristics. (Last accessed: July 2018)

5) (Last accessed: July 2018)


Monday, July 2, 2018

Losing Someone To Competitiveness

This story starts with my love for a man. Doesn't it always? I dream of a day when I've run out of stories to tell about men who've done me wrong. Today isn't that day - yet.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Why I Talk About Taboo Topics

When I first started YouTube, I was doing so for no reason other than trying to satisfy my boredom. I had many months of nothing ahead of me and I needed a creative outlet to keep me occupied. I struggled to find my "niche" because I wanted to create content that was true to me.

Finding your USP is hard to do when your personality is at the centre of it all - what makes you different? And most importantly, how do you then maintain that USP despite your inevitable change and growth as a person?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Living With Depression & Working Full-time

I was diagnosed with depression for the first time when I was 16. I'm confident that I first started to feel the effects of depression when I was 14 or so, but I wasn't confident enough to ask my parents to go to a doctor back then. At 16, I moved to the UK and had access to going to doctors on my own and without having to explain or justify myself, and that's when I was diagnosed for the first time.

Monday, April 9, 2018

On Handling Online Hate & Criticism

Sharing my life online has come with a fair amount of criticism. I have spoken about this before, but it's not until this year that I have really started to see its effects. I'm a pretty strong person and I take pride in the thick skin that I've developed over the years, but watching strong people crumble under petty criticism has really made me realise how damaging anonymous online hate can really be.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

There Is No Such Thing As "Too Much Sex"

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you might have missed my angry response rant to the BBC Radio 5 and Amber Davies' new "rules" for sex.

I'm a very passionate person at the best of times, but I really couldn't stay quiet when I saw someone I previously voiced my support for online suddenly telling girls that they shouldn't be having casual sex.

Monday, March 26, 2018

On Sex Positivity, Masturbation & Other Taboos

A year-and-a-bit ago, I decided my YouTube channel & content had become stale with "2nd-channel-worthy" content. There was nothing new or different bringing people back to my platforms, and I was generally disheartened with the kind of subjects I was talking about.

I announced the shift in content in a very spontaneous video called We Need To Talk, which went on to become one of the single most raw videos I have ever posted on the internet. It changed everything.

Friday, March 23, 2018

My Mindfulness & Self-Care Practices

I wrote this on a plane. I was on my way back to London after having spent a few days in Portugal with my family. The morning I left London, I started vlogging with every intention of making a video of my trip home, but then I stopped.

I think it’s really important to take a break. In reality, I am always doing something. I am always either working at my full time job, or I’m working on my YouTube channel, streaming on Twitch or writing for this blog. These are things I do for fun, but it’s also a lot of work.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

"That" Relationship

Photo by Jon D Barker
There is nothing easy or simple about leaving an emotionally and/or physically abusive relationship. All the signs and red flags might be extremely obvious to those outside of the relationship, but it's a little harder to navigate when you're the one being made to feel like everything is your fault.

I have never publicly spoken about this relationship out of respect and out of wanting it all to just disappear. Now, in 2018, I know that the only one that deserves respect here is me. Not talking about it has let it continue to live in my head and affect me more it should have ever been allowed to.

Even now, I feel absolutely horrible writing about this.


Friday, March 2, 2018

What Smear Tests Are REALLY Like

Smear tests are one of those things that make a lot of women profusely sweat and perform extra kegels as they involuntarily clench their vaginas at the simple thought of them.

I have had a total of 13 smear tests in my lifetime. As your honorary twenty-something-year-old smear test expert (a totally-real title that is definitely not self-proclaimed), I thought it would be interesting & helpful for me to talk to you about what smear tests are really like.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

On Self-Respect in Relationships

Pic from September 2014
At my core, I'm a forgiving person. It takes a lot to push me over the edge and get me angry. My ability to be introspective & to understand myself and my feelings on an extremely deep level also allows for me to understand other people, sometimes in a way that they might not even understand themselves.

Monday, February 26, 2018

We Don't Have To Share Everything

I'm almost writing this as a bit of a video script, but I think it's also important to have it written down for days where I need a little reminder. It may seem odd for me to say this, considering the level of open conversations and sharing that I do throughout social media, but here's my truth:

We don't always have to talk about everything.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year's Resolutions

I never used to like the idea of new year's resolutions because I sucked at setting them, and I sucked even more at keeping them. Every year I'd forget about my goals by the time April rolled around. By the time the end of the year came along, I'd be feeling like an utter failure.
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