Emma McGowan is a sex positive feminist and SFSI-endorsed sex educator whose hobbies include embroidery, sewing ridiculous clothing, oversharing on the internet, connecting with other women, and reading at least three books a week. Her work has appeared in Mashable, Broadly Mic, The Bold Italic, The Daily Dot's The Kernel, and her own site, Kink&Code.

6 Things You Never Knew About Female Condoms

When it comes to protecting yourself from STIs and unplanned pregnancies, condoms are pretty standard. A lot of us can remember that “condom on a banana” demo that we got in high school sex ed, even if we giggled through the whole thing. Plenty of…
By Emma McGowan

Yes, You Can Get Herpes From Oral Sex — Here's How

Before I was a certified sex educator, a good friend of mine got genital herpes in high school — from herself. She had a cold sore on her mouth, gave her boyfriend a blow job, and then had intercourse without a condom. She didn’t know (and I didn’t…
By Emma McGowan

No, Your IUD Probably Won't Break A Condom — With This One Exception

Can an IUD break condom? That’s one of the many questions about IUDs that have been popping up lately. IUDs have become increasingly popular over the past few years — and for good reason. They are one of the most effective forms of birth control,…
By Emma McGowan

7 Myths About STIs You Learned In Sex Ed

In this week's Sex IDK column, certified sex educator and writer Emma McGowan addresses common STI myths and the facts you should know instead. Oh, sex ed class — the day that teenagers simultaneously fear and eagerly await. It’s going to be…
By Emma McGowan

Is It A Good Idea To Wear Two Condoms? The Answer Is More Complicated Than You Think

So many myths about sex are so over-the-top that by the time we leave our teenage years, we know they’re not true. But some persist because, frankly, they make a lot of sense. One of those myths is the idea that you should never wear two condoms…
By Emma McGowan

Here's How Your Chance Of Getting Pregnant Changes Throughout Your Cycle

When I was a teenager, I thought you could get pregnant any time you had sex. That’s basically what we’re taught in sex ed, right? That any time sperm gets anywhere near your vagina, you’re at risk of pregnancy. Beware of pre-cum! Don’t even rub up…
By Emma McGowan

Here's What Happened When I Quit My Job At 24 & Said F*ck Everything

This year, Bustle is celebrating Rule Breakers — the women and non-binary individuals among us who dare to be themselves no matter what. In the lead-up to Bustle's Rule Breakers 2018 event happening Sept. 22, we are featuring stories from an array…
By Emma McGowan

Amber Rose Tells Us What's Different About The SlutWalk This Year

If anyone knows what it’s like to be slut-shamed, it’s Amber Rose. You could even argue that she’s famous for it. But the onslaught of comments, insults, and attacks that came as a result of her past as a stripper and her relationships with Kanye…
By Emma McGowan

These 5 Zodiac Signs Are Having The Most Sex

If you’re into astrology, you believe that it influences every part of your life. From how you interact with other people to the type of job you take to, yes, your sex life. But are there differences in the zodiac sign's sex lives?Like are some…
By Emma McGowan

Why You Should Make The First Move, According To Bumble's Chief Brand Officer

When the dating app Bumble launched, people were… skeptical. The format of the app requires women seeking men to message them first after a match is made — and a lot of people said it would never work. People said that it was a gimmick; that it just…
By Emma McGowan

Here's How Likely You Are To Get That STI

In Bustle's Sex IDK column, certified sex educator and writer Emma McGowan answers the questions you still have about sex. No topic is off limits, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Think of it as the sex ed you should've had. Today's…
By Emma McGowan

Why I Tell Everyone I Have HPV

I have HPV. Or, to be more accurate, I was diagnosed with HPV when I was 19 and found a little bump on my vulva in an area where there was no chance it could be an ingrown hair. The nurse at the health clinic at my college put acid on it, watched…
By Emma McGowan

Why Saying Someone Has A “Clean Bill Of Health” Is So Dangerous

Have you ever said someone has a “clean bill of health” or that they’re “clean,” when you mean to say they don’t have an STI? Probably, right? They’re pretty common terms, and people often use the word "clean" to describe someone’s STI status. The…
By Emma McGowan

7 Ways STIs Impact Women Differently Than Men

Did you know that many STIs affect women differently than men? Or, to be more specific, they affect people with vaginas and uteruses differently than people with penises. Yeah, I know — annoying. Women already have to deal with so much crap —…
By Emma McGowan

17 Women Reveal Their Hacks For Making Working Out More Affordable

The average price of a gym membership in the United States is between $40 to $50 per month. That’s not including sign up fees or extra classes, which are additional fees that add up. And when you consider the popularity of boutique class like…
By Emma McGowan

How The Birth Control Mandate Rollback Has Affected Women, Nearly One Year Later

Last October, the Trump administration rolled back the birth control mandate that was implemented as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Under the mandate, every employer — public, private, non-profit, or for-profit —…
By Emma McGowan

STI Cases Are At A Record High In The U.S., The CDC Says

The CDC just released preliminary data on STI rates for 2017 — and the news isn’t great. For the fourth consecutive year, STI rates have sharply increased. And 2017 beat out 2016 for the record of the most diagnosed cases ever. While we know that…
By Emma McGowan

This Major Patent For Sex Toys Expired — Here's What It Means For The Industry

Teledildonics. It’s not a word most people are familiar with — but you might actually be more knowledgeable than you realize. You know those sex toys that are controlled by apps? Those are examples of teledildonics. The simple definition of…
By Emma McGowan

Just 23 Women Celebrating Their All-Time Favorite Carbs, Because Why Not?

Pasta, potatoes, bread, cookies, cupcakes — you name it, I probably love it. I love carbs so much that I will happily eat noodles at every meal. Or give me potatoes in any form; cupcakes in any flavor; pasta with (almost) any sauce! Give me pizza!…
By Emma McGowan

Here's The Reason Your Cycle May Be Out Of Whack After A Vacation

Does travel affect your period? Anecdotally, I can say yes. I traveled full time for five and a half years and when I went to a new country, it absolutely messed with my cycle. After flying somewhere new, my period would come late — or not at all.…
By Emma McGowan