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GUEST POST – How you as women can help detect the first signs of Testicular Cancer

I met Mike when I was at Sexhibition in August, he had a serious message to give to everybody that was there. I saw him in action a couple of times – speaking with the visitors – and it looks like he made a huge impact. I got in touch with him afterwards and he was willing to write me a guest post so the message can be spread that little bit further. Here is is story:

“Mark had been ill for a while, visiting the doctors with various ailments, but being assured it was nothing more than him being run down. Then on December 27th Mark collapsed and was rushed to hospital.

I still remember Mark calling me from hospital on the evening he was told it was cancer, I remember just bursting in to tears and falling to the floor, handing the phone to my wife, I couldn’t speak. Jen calmed me down gave me the phone back and told me to just go and see him.

Marks cancer was different, he had been diagnosed with Teratoma  with no primary site, this translates to testicular cancer without the common signs and symptoms. I’ll spare you the details of the 11 months that followed, just know it was painful for all involved.

Mark passed away at the age of 24, having married Leah only a few weeks before. In the weeks leading up to Marks passing he decided to start a charity to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer and to promote self-examination.

Its Mark’s determination that drives us to speak to as many people as possible, to let them know about TC and what they should be looking for. During our first 5 years we have had conversations with couples and seen research that’s shows that its often the man’s partner who finds the change to the testicle during sexual activity.

That’s what brought us to Sexhibition in Manchester with our ‘While You’re Down There’ awareness stand.  We spoke to hundreds of men and women, both single and couples, talking them though the signs and symptoms and showing them how to perform a testicle examination using our prosthetic testicles.

Now the important bit, how to check and what to look for.

  • The best time to check you testicles, or those of your partner, is after a warm bath or shower when the skin of the scrotum is looser, but any time is fine. Do this once a month.
  • Hold a testicle and gently roll it in-between between your thumb and forefinger. Get used to how your healthy testicles feel, that way if you do notice any changes you know to get to the doctors.
  • You are looking for any lumps, bumps, hardening or swelling in the testicle. Most men have one testicle that is larger than the other, or one that hangs lower, this is perfectly normal. But if you notice a change in the size of one of your testicles this should set alarm bells off.
  • Other signs and symptoms include pain in the stomach, pain in the lower back, loss of sex drive, pain or swelling in the breast area, being over tired or being unwell for a longer period than usual.

If you notice any of the above then you need to visit your GP as soon as possible, if your GP is female and this makes you uncomfortable then you can request a male GP. Most lumps and bumps turn out to be harmless, but you need to make sure.

Early detection is key.

If it does turn out to be TC and you have caught it in stage 1, then it is 98% curable, surely that’s good enough reason to start to check yourself once a month.

We will be at Sexpo London in November, so come over and see us and learn what to do ‘While Your’e Down There’ it will be great to meet you.



love your balls themgf


while you're down there












Mark Gorry




I’m still alive!

Hey you lot,

I have spent the last month trying to mend a problem with my blog – it hasn’t let me access the admin side for a few weeks and I have been backing and forthing with tech support to no avail, and of course, with me being somebody that likes to post every week, and enjoying providing such good quality information (most of the time!)  it has distressed me somewhat!

This morning I finally got in touch with my web designers who set this up for me (I was trying to be Ms Independent and sort it out myself!) and they sorted it out for me in 30 seconds, darnit!

I have a few posts to get up – the first one is my final blog for of the L Fest series of blogs, and the part 4 was already embarrassingly late and now it’s a month later than that now!

So yeah, will get that up now, innit!

Rhi x

Sex in Class – a Call to Teachers in South Wales!

I’ve just finished watching Sex in Class on Channel 4 – GET IT ON CATCH UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN! Here’s the link!

A fabulous sexologist –  Goedele Liekens – who normally works in Holland and Belgium was invited to a school in Lancashire to teach sex education the way that she teaches it.

First of all, did you know that The UK is the worst pupil in Western Europe concerning sex education? And in the UK, only safe sex & reproduction are compulsoryin secondary schools. Anything extra varies from school to school.

It started off with her chatting with some teachers about what they used and did when they taught subjects surrounding sex. The things they said exemplified what is wrong about the British way in which we teach sex in schools. Here are just a few things the teachers said:

Teacher – ‘In science we talk about the vagina and the cervix’
Goedele – ‘Clitoris?’
Teacher ‘No we don’t mention the clitoris’

‘If we encourage pupils to go home & masturbate, we’ll get in trouble with the parents’

Goedele – ‘In Holland and Belgium we talk about masturbation with 8/9 year olds’
Teacher – ‘If we did that in the UK there would be a lot of outrage’

Goedele – ‘Sometimes I give the girls sex toys and sometimes give them a tiny one as a present. Would that work here?’
Teacher – ‘Bottom line is if you send children home right now with a vibrator, that will not go down well. It will make news, that.’

One of the teachers then went on to say that Goedele was quite direct when she spoke about this subject. Nah, she wasn’t direct, she was just comfortable talking about it (I am also told that I am quite direct about it!)

When it came to teaching the class, it became very obvious that the girls were much more nervous and overpowered by the boys. They addressed pornography first – this generation is the first generation to have all the access to all the porn, and this is how they are now learning about sex. Bear in mind that this group is 15-16 years old, too old in my opinion to be learning about sex. The lads thought that coming in a woman’s face was taken as granted!

I have in the last few months been contemplating contacting schools to lead some sessions in female pleasure and masturbation – for boys to recognise how women experience pleasure differently to them, and that it isn’t like porno. It is also a way to help teenage females have a proper think about who they want to jump into bed to – having these talks will curb teenage pregnancy and STD’s, because they girls are enjoying their own company!

Despite the fact that I wholly believe that this subject should be out in the open and discussed, the reason I am yet to pursue these talks with the schools – I don’t feel that schools are ready. But now that this programme has aired, it may change some teacher’s minds and may give them the push they need to get their pupils talking about it.

Goedele also addressed  discussing sex and masturbation in the home – there is a general consensus that parents think that this is a good thing to do, but they just don’t know how to do it. Should I be holding discussions for parents on how to discuss it with their children?

I’ll tell ya what the most heart breaking bit was in this programme – her session with the girls. Bearing in mind that they are 15/16 – they were very fuzzy on what was where when it came to the vagina and vulva and they learned a lot in a very short time. They cringed so much when she gave them mirrors so they could explore themselves at home… COME ON!!! WE NEED TO STOP THIS ATTITUDE!!! The change in these young women by the end of the programme was amazing and this should serve as a great example of how these talks can change attitudes almost immediately.

I loved what the Headteacher had to say about her lessons – he had discussions with the pupils that he never would have had before, and he used the word ’empowered’ – YES!

So if you are a teacher/assistant head/head teacher based in South Wales and are wondering how to bring this subject to the school, know that you have an expert here in Cardiff that has knowledge as good as Goedele’s – me. Contact me and we can discuss it.


Hugs are a good alternative!

I posted a silly status on my personal Facebook recently talking about ‘Hug Tension’. I had experienced it with somebody at that time. I recently started a new casual hours job with a small company and at the end of my shifts I always feel like I should hug my boss, but think ‘no, she’s my new boss’ so I don’t, and I say goodbye and feel a bit weird about life for 5 minutes.

The other day I decided to go for it and give her a hug and she hugged back! I said something like ‘I’m a hugger, and have decided to hug you’ and she said that she was a hugger too… and that’s when I realised that there had been hug tension between us for the shifts leading up to that! So my little message on Facebook was basically ‘if you are a hugger and notice a tension with somebody when you say goodbye, it probably means they want to hug you back, so just hug them!’ and it provoked quite a few comments!

One friend told me that his work now has a policy that they must hug somebody when they spot that they are stressed – how brave a policy is that! But I totally support it too! It reminded me of a Greys Anatomy episode that I had watched. There was a surgeon there for a while who had Asperger’s and got quite distressed at something at one point and asked the two other doctors to hug her. They were confused because this surgeon wasn’t great at social interaction and definitely not with physical touch. The surgeon then explained that hugging relieves tension by ‘blah blah blah something biological attached to bits to do with your body’ So I thought I would do a quick Google and find out properly!

I found out that hugging increases the level of oxytocin….a hormone you are maybe familiar with? This is the same hormone that increases when you are masturbating! The love hormone!

I also learned that it reduces blood pressure and heart rate, so is able to reduce your stress level. How amazing. Here is the whole article –

Here is a list of other things that hugging does:

It reduces the worry of immortality It stimulates dopamine, which is that ‘feel good’ feeling It stimulates Serotonin (when serotonin is absent, this is when you can feel lonely or depressed) Well-hugged babies are less stressed as adults Hugging balances out the nervous system It also enhances the immune system.

See for the whole story.

The effects of hugging has quite a few similarities to the effects of masturbating, so I would like to ask you to invite more hugs into your life generally, and if you are just too busy to get a sneaky fiddle in, a few hugs could work instead!