Why doesn't it feel suffocating when taking a shower?

When one walks into a bathroom where someone is (or just finished) taking a shower it is hard to breathe, because it's filled with steam, yet the person taking a shower can breathe just fine despite being in the area with even more steam.

Why is that?

Most likely a matter of relative perception.

For example, if you start with empty hands and pick up a 20 pound weight, you will perceive it as heavier than if you start with a 10 pound weight and then pick up a 20 pound weight.

Likewise, whoever's in the shower had plenty of time to get accustomed to gradually increasing steam, while you walked in and got the full blast immediately.

Breaking the Hymen: 9 Facts about Hymens and the Concept of Virginity

The concept of "virginity" for people with vaginas has a complicated history, and has often been (incorrectly) linked to breaking the hymen. Bleeding after sexual intercourse was incorrectly thought to be proof of an unbroken hymen, and thus, proof that a person had not had sex before. The reality, however, is that the state of your hymen has nothing to do with sexual activity.

With the help of Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a board-certified ob-gyn and a spokesperson for Paragard, and Alexandra Eisler, a health and sex educator from Healthy Teen Network, we're going to separate fact from fiction and explain what a hymen is, how a hymen breaks, and its complicated relationship with the historical concept of virginity. Read on for 9 facts you need to know about this tiny tissue. But first, let's get our definitions clear:

Our Bodies Are Backwards When Monitoring Oxygen

As it turns out, the human body can detect oxygen levels in the blood, but most of our breathing decisions are instead based on the level of a different molecule.

Instead of making decisions based directly off the oxygen level, the body focuses on detecting two components of our blood:

  1. How much carbon dioxide (CO2) is present
  2. What the pH level (acidity level) of our blood is.

Remember, carbon dioxide, or CO2, is created as the byproduct of respiration. We pull oxygen into our cells, use it for energy, and carbon dioxide is produced as a waste product that must be discarded. We discard it by pushing it back out into the air through our lungs, exchanging it for fresh oxygen.

When carbon dioxide levels rise too high in our body, this signals that we aren’t pushing it out to exchange for fresh oxygen — and we begin breathing faster.

Our bodies are designed to remain in balance, and are pretty good at adjusting to maintain this balance.

Similarly, carbon dioxide is acidic the more of it is in our bloodstream, the lower the pH level of our blood. Our pH receptors send an alert signal when the pH of our blood falls too low, also triggering us to breathe faster.

This is a great example of a negative feedback loop, where too much of something starts a chain of reactions that remove the original stimulus. In this case:

  1. We work hard, using more oxygen.
  2. The oxygen is converted to carbon dioxide, which enters the blood and makes our blood pH level drop.
  3. Sensory receptors detect the increased levels of carbon dioxide and the lowered pH, and send signals to our brain to increase our breathing rate.
  4. We breathe faster and more deeply, expelling more carbon dioxide and taking in more oxygen.
  5. The lower levels of carbon dioxide make our blood pH rise back up to normal.

Generally, this system works pretty well. You can test it out for yourself — go outside and jog around the block. Even if you try to focus on breathing slowly and steadily, you’ll soon find your breathing rate increasing as your body adjusts to the increased production of carbon dioxide. Our bodies are designed to remain in balance, and are pretty good at adjusting to maintain this balance.

But if this is the case, what’s the deal with carbon monoxide? Why do we need a machine to detect when we’re suffocating on this gas?

How It Feels According to People With Depression

Leela R. Magavi, MD, psychiatrist, and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry, says the most common question asked in her practice is: "How does depression feel?"

“Some people ask me this question for comfort and to ensure that they are not alone with their experience, while others feel so confused by their tumultuous feelings that they struggle to clearly identify their inner experience,” she says.

With that in mind, here are some of the responses Magavi hears in her sessions:

  • "Depression feels like a weight on my chest, which brings me down everywhere I go."
  • "Depression is receiving praise at work but still feeling worthless."
  • "Depression is the loneliness I feel when I see other couples and families laughing and enjoying their lives."
  • "Depression is feeling like I am a failure as a person, family member, and friend."
  • "Depression is when I cannot take care of my children because I cannot take care of myself."
  • "Depression is not brushing my hair and teeth because I simply cannot move."
  • "Depression is smiling when others laugh, hiding behind the fabricated mask, and wishing I could just disappear."
  • "Depression is my life and shadow, which haunts me every day."

Christian Sismone, someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety her entire life, says it’s important to provide a non-clinical perspective. She shares these examples:

  • “Depression makes my mind feel like a turtle running in chunky peanut butter.” Sismone says this is most evident when she is not able to have clear thoughts.
  • “Depression feels like I'm suffocating in my emotions, and at times I feel as though I can breathe, but only through a straw.” Being someone who attempted to end their life 10 years ago, Sismone says the complicated emotion of depression can feel too great.
  • “Depression can feel like an old friend that doesn't quite fit, but you know the ins and outs.” For Sismone, learning how to work with depression instead of running away from it, helped her move forward.

9 Things You Should Never Do While Getting A Blowjob

In case you didn&apost know, there are certain things men do when getting a blowjob that make the head-giving experience suck for women, no pun intended. That&aposs why we put together a list of things you can go ahead and stop doing to make things a whole lot better for both you and your lady friend. 

1. Don’t push her head down.
You’ve definitely heard this before, and you’re about to hear it again: the first rule of getting a blowjob is to never, ever, ever push her head down. It&aposs basically the most heinous thing you could do while getting a blowjob, considering you&aposre literally forcing her to take your dick further into her mouth. Not cool.

Pushing down on her head will make the woman slobbering all over your dick promptly retreat in haste, leaving you with an unfortunate case of blue balls. And you don’t’ want blue balls, do you? Didn’t think so. That said, if you feel the need to reach down and push on her head, it’s best to retract your hands and instead push on your own head, or something. 

2. Don&apost stare at her
If you refuse to break eye contact with the top of her head while she’s going down on you, it might get awkward when she looks up. Let’s face it – you basically have no control over your facial expressions when you’re getting your soul sucked out through your penis. 

Making some kind of eye contact while your soul is in the process of ascending to orgasmic heaven might make her laugh, or it might creep her out, so maybe it’s a good idea to close your eyes or look around, or something.

3. Don&apost rub her back like a concerned parent
If you think this doesn’t happen, you’re wrong. It happens, and it’s really weird. You can rub your dog’s back, that’s cool, but don’t rub the back of a woman who has your dick in her mouth. Why? Because it&aposs feels way too fatherlike for something so sexual.

4. Don&apost thrust inside her mouth
My dudes, please attempt to keep your hips still when you&aposre receiving a blowjob. I know, I know, it feels so good and you naturally want to gyrate your pelvis into her face. Like Shakira says, hips don&apost lie, but please contain yourself. She’s giving you a blowjob you’re not having sex with her mouth.

5. Don&apost be creepily silent
Are you enjoying it? Do you hate it? Are you dissociating real hard and feel like you’ve returned to the void? SAY SOMETHING!

If you stay completely silent while receiving a blowjob, your lady friend won’t know if she’s pleasing you, and she will probably feel a little discouraged. She’ll also think you’re kind of weird, because it’s very strange to keep totally silent during something that feels so good. So, you should probably say something – curse, moan, groan𠉪nything. Well, not anything -- no yodeling, no animal sounds -- you get the picture. 

6. Don&apost come without warning
You know what’s worse for a woman giving a blowjob than a completely silent man? A man who blows his load without some kind of warning. Most men are guilty of committing this crime at least once in their life, so don’t even try to deny it.

Think about it – maybe she’s not a swallower, maybe she gags at the smell and taste of jizz and will throw up all over your junk, or maybe her tongue is blocking her throat and your baby batter is going to come flying out her nose simply because her mouth is not ready to accept your glorious gift. Long story short: coming in her mouth without warning is risky, messy, and just not very nice, so please don’t do it.

7. Don&apost skimp on cleanliness
Ball sweat is real. As the proud owner of a pair, you would know. That’s why it might even be a good idea to excuse yourself and take a couple minutes to check yourself before you whip out the goods. You know, maybe clean up with little soap and water to get rid of any unsavory funk.

Trust me when I say, women tend not to enjoy getting a mouthful of funk, so please be courteous and clean and preen before anyone gets intimate with your package.

8. Don&apost fart
No. Just no. I can&apost believe I even have to say this. If you’re feeling a little bloated and gassy, you hold those farts in out of gentility. It’s an unspoken rule of humanity. You simply cannot fart that close to someone’s face – especially someone who’s face is only a few inches away from your butthole. Have some decency.

9) And always return the favor.
Come on, fellas. Your selfish ass doesn’t return the favor often enough. You know it, I know it, the whole fucking world knows it. 

After she spends a solid amount of time bobbing up and down on your dick even though she doesn’t like it too much (it’s a fact – most women don’t enjoy giving blowjobs, but they do it anyway like the champs they are), it’s only your humanly duty to reciprocate and spend some time south of the border. It’s the least you can do.

3. Cultural shaming doesn’t die easily.

I still feel “bottom shame.” I still feel a little embarrassed when I say I’m a bottom. I was in the closet for the first 18 years of my life and I remember the things my peers in school would say. They knew I was gay and so did I. I think, perhaps, we were all just daring me to say it aloud.

For some reason, homophobes assume all gay men are bottoms — the concept of dom tops must be too much for them. When guys on my varsity football team joked about how I wanted a dick in my butt, it struck a chord of shame in me, because I did want a dick in my butt, and I feared they knew. I wondered if they could read my mind. (I used to fantasize about double penetration with the quarterback and the left tackle.)

Bottoms bear the worst of cultural homophobia. Homophobes hate us because, among other reasons, the only thing they hate more than women is feminized men, and in their warped view of the world, heavy with antiquated gender norms, getting penetrated is the ultimate form of feminization.

Rare, non-spine conditions that cause back pain

Occasionally, our spine team finds that a patient’s back pain is caused by an underlying condition that is not spine related.

Kidney and digestive issues, including pancreatitis and gallstones, can cause low-back discomfort that patients might assume is spine pain. In women, uterine fibroids and endometriosis are notorious for causing core pain that can radiate into the back.

Rarely, we discover that a patient with sudden, severe back pain has experienced a ruptured aneurysm, which is a weakening and tearing of part of a blood vessel. This is a medical emergency because it causes internal bleeding that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Similarly, aortic dissection – the tearing of an inner layer of tissue in the aorta, the main vessel carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body – sometimes causes back pain and can be fatal if not immediately treated.

Research suggests the spine is also prone to receiving cancer cells that spread from other parts of the body. Batson’s plexus, a network of veins that connect the venous system and spine, might (for unknown reasons) direct spreading cancer cells to the spine. For example, prostate cancer has been known to spread to the spine.

'If back pain can be associated with a specific activity, such as lifting or twisting wrong, and the pain goes away within 72 hours after resting and applying ice, it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, if pain creeps on gradually, appears suddenly, or doesn't go away, you might have a more serious condition.'

Douglas Dickson, M.D.

How Often Do You Actually Need to Shower? Science Weighs In

If you're like most people, the answer is probably less than 24 hours ago.

There's no official protocol for how often to shower, but folks around the world — in countries like India, the US, Spain, and Mexico — all bathe about once a day (either with soap or without), according to Euromonitor International.

On reddit's 'AskAnAmerican' channel, top commenters in the US say they shower even more than that — up to twice a day, depending on how often they exercise.

And in Brazil, where temperatures in some areas routinely exceed 100 degrees in the summer, some rinse more than 11 times every week, Euromonitor says.

But are frequent suds really necessary?

No official guidance

The American Academy of Dermatology gives parents advice about how often to bathe their tots, based on how dirty and smelly they get.

If they're not too dirty from playing, the recommendation is a bath at least once or twice a week for kids between the ages of six and 11. Their little developing immune systems need some dirt (organisms like bacteria and small doses of viruses and infections) in order to grow up strong.

But once we hit age 12, the official bathing guidance stops.

The AAD seems to assume that just about everyone is trying to wash away those awkward teenage smells, and that most people have a daily shower routine by the time they have reached puberty.

The truth is that we probably don't have to shower that much.

Showers strip the skin's moisture

Soap is built to pull dirt and oil off the skin and wash it away. The science of this sudsy magic is based on a two-part formula: a combination of either fat or oil plus an alkaline substance that dissolves in water (like salt or baking soda).

The two ends of the soap molecule work together to pull grease and oil off of skin (or clothes, or pots and pans) and into the water.

Shampoo also strips essential oil (called sebum) out of the hair, which is why most hair experts agree you should only clean your mane at most once every two to three days.

When the loss of natural oil is combined with harsh scrubbing and scalding water, a long, hot, soapy shower can become a recipe for dry skin. This is especially true in the winter, when air is drier both indoors and out.

And skin damage from the shower doesn't stop when you turn off the water, according to David Leffell, author of Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care For Life and chief of dermatologic surgery at Yale School of Medicine.

Leffell told Business Insider that as a bather steps out of the shower and dries off with a towel, additional moisture left on the surface of their skin gets lost in evaporation.

In other words, top layers of moisture are being "pulled from your skin" as you exit the shower, Leffell says.

Unfortunately for those who love a piping-hot shower, the hotter the water is, the worse this moisture-sucking phenomenon gets, since warm water evaporates even faster than cool.

How to keep skin healthy

Leffell offered three pieces of advice for a skin-friendly shower:

  • Don't make it too hot.
  • Don't hang out in there for 30 minutes.
  • Moisturise when you get out, since slathering on some lotion while the skin is still damp can lock escaping moisture in the skin.

He said you can usually get rid of the most offensive body grime in under three minutes by focusing on the armpits and the groin, while not overdoing it with soap on the other (less fragrant) parts of the body.

"You don't want to do the Lady Macbeth thing where you're scrubbing and scrubbing," Leffell said.

"The purpose of showering is to eliminate dirt."

And while some people swear by an invigorating 'cold blast' at the end of a shower, Leffell said you can skip that part, since it doesn't have any lasting impact on skin health.

The bottom line? No one's going to tell you what to do in the privacy of your own bathroom, or determine which regimen is best in your own shower. If a daily rinse is the best part of waking up for you, then just keep it short and follow up with a moisturizing routine.

But every other day is probably plenty, as long as it doesn't lead to poor sniff test reviews from those closest to you.

If you're just popping in to the water on the daily because it feels like the 'right' thing to do, then feel free to skip some of those showers and get on with your life.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

Hot Showers Might Lead To "Winter Itch"

While hot showers may feel great, making them a part of your daily routine can dry out your skin — especially in the winter months. "The effect of prolonged exposure to steaming water on the skin can leave your skin dry, cracked, and irritated. And inflamed skin may itch," Dr. David Lortscher, a board-certified dermatologist, and CEO and founder of Curology, tells Bustle. "In a dermatology office, we often see this 'winter itch' in our patients [when the weather is cold.]" So turn down that temp a bit, and keep your showers shorter.

Chemical Reaction

The reaction between a triglyceride molecule (fat) and sodium hydroxide (lye) to make soap yields a molecule of glycerol with three ionically bonded molecules of sodium stearate (the soap part of soap). This sodium salt will give up the sodium ion to water, while the stearate ion will precipitate out of solution if it comes into contact with an ion that binds it more strongly than sodium (such as the magnesium or calcium in hard water).

The magnesium stearate or calcium stearate is a waxy solid that you know as soap scum. It can form a ring in your tub, but it rinses off your body. The sodium or potassium in soft water makes it much more unfavorable for the sodium stearate to give up its sodium ion so that it can form an insoluble compound and get rinsed away. Instead, the stearate clings to the slightly charged surface of your skin. Essentially, soap would rather stick to you than get rinsed away in soft water.