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These 5 awesome apps are way better than your high school sex ed class.

Because caring for your body should be simple and shame-free.

These 5 awesome apps are way better than your high school sex ed class.

You called your insurance, you got the list of doctors who are on your plan, you called 12 of them to get an appointment within the next three months, and now you're ready. You've finally scheduled an appointment! Congratulations! 

That was a lot of work, wasn't it?

And that's just for finding a primary care provider. The search for specialists — like gynecologists and mental health providers — can be even more frustrating, especially for people without health insurance.


And then there's the issue of comfort. Let's face it: most people are uncomfortable talking about their genitals with anyone, even a doctor. Discomfort leads to avoidance, which means that people are putting off important preventative care visits all because we're embarrassed about our bodies. And that's a really big deal, because more than 50% of people will get an STI at some point in their lives.

Taking care of your sexual health can seem like an unpleasant inconvenience, but it shouldn't be that way.

These two agree with me. Gif via Giphy.

Luckily, the creators of these 5 apps agree. And they're here to help.

These apps can help you book appointments, ask questions safely and anonymously, and just have fun while learning about your body. And an extra plus? You don't have to pay to download them.  

1. Maven gets you face to face with a real doctor, from the comfort of your own home.

One day a few months ago, one of my coworkers walked into the office bubbling with excitement. She had just had an appointment to get birth control —  over a video call on her cell phone. For someone who doesn't own a car or have health insurance, that appointment was a game-changer.

Maven is every over-worked, over-scheduled person's dream. The app, launched in April 2015, allows users to talk with doctors face-to-face through video call technology — so you can make your appointment and never have to leave your bed. We're talking birth control consultations, birth education, and even therapy appointments. Maven's rates are lower than most copays: their sliding scale starts at just $15, and there are no hidden costs, so you won't be surprised by a bill in the mail afterwards. 

Maven lets you select what area you're seeking services in. It also hosts a forum where users can ask questions and get answers.

If the idea of a "teledoctor" sounds scary to you, Maven's got your back. The app doesn't just list providers, they require a rigorous application process before providers can be affiliated with the app. According to the Founder & CEO, Kate Ryder, Maven only has a 35% provider acceptance rate.

Though Maven's tagline is "health and wellness by women, for women," don't let that fool you — Maven is open to people of all genders to use. 

2. Bedsider helps you find your best birth control option.

When I'm teaching workshops at colleges, one of the most common questions students ask is "can I get an IUD? I heard that I can't." After assuring them that yes, people who haven't had kids can get IUDs, and yes, you can get an IUD if you're under 30, I tell them that they should check out Bedsider.org for more information on different forms of birth control.

Bedsider is hands-down one of the most comprehensive birth control information websites out there. Their site allows you to look at an interactive method-by-method breakdown of different birth control options, ranging from withdrawal (the pull-out method) and fertility awareness to IUDs and sterilization. 

Image powered by Bedsider.

Their resources are totally free, and they even offer a second site in Spanish

3. Lemonaid has nothing to do with lemons, and everything to do with urgent care.

Lemonaid seeks to make treating common complaints easier for those with busy schedules and without insurance. Users fill out a questionnaire about their current health concerns, upload a picture of their face (per state regulations), and a medical provider writes a prescription. 

It's that simple.

Users can get prescriptions for birth control pills, antibiotics, acid reflux, and more. There is no sliding scale: you just pay $15 flat. Unfortunately, Lemonaid is only available in a few states — California, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

4. My Sex Doctor isn't actually a doctor at all.

My Sex Doctor is like an encyclopedia entirely focused on sex. It offers hundreds of definitions, descriptions of STI symptoms, and answers to commonly asked questions all in one app. For sex geeks and curious learners alike, this app creates an awesome learning space. 

"A" is for...

While this app doesn't give you access to an actual doctor, it can give you is the comfort and safety of being able to get your questions answered anonymously. Which brings me to...

5. SexPositive is the best cell phone game you'll download today. Or ever.

Ask a sex educator what their favorite group activity is, and they'll probably tell you that they love teaching games. Because really, what's not to love about learning and having fun? When I found out about this app, I told all of my friends about it and we played it together, giggling every time the spinner landed on "finger on nose."

SexPositive is the sexual health Wheel of Fortune that you didn't know you needed in your life. Developed by the University of Oregon Health Center, the app allows users to identify the risks associated with different behaviors. 

SexPositive allows users to match up what different body parts and objects to identify risk factors. Rather than just sharing risk info, SexPositive also provides tools for safety and communication.

While they're a ton of fun, apps like SexPositive are also incredibly important for folks who might be embarrassed about not knowing about, say, the potential risk of pregnancy from a hand job. 

Because trust me, people have a lot of questions that they're embarrassed to directly ask someone. Just check out this basket of anonymous question cards at The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health (The CSPH) for proof:  

Saturdays @thecsph -- going through all of our #SSCT question cards for our new video series.

A photo posted by Cassandra Corrado (@feministsexed) on

Shame shouldn't prevent you from seeking quality health care. You deserve to have your questions answered and your health needs fulfilled.

Whether you're looking for information, discrete treatment, or even just convenience, these apps are helping make it happen.

True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

via US Secretary of Defense / Flickr and The Today Show

As the nation braces itself for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, President Biden has embraced the family of George Floyd at what has to be an incredibly stressful time.

Following closing arguments in the Chauvin trial on Monday, Judge Peter Cahill has sent jurors to deliberate. The verdict is expected to come in the next few days.

"He was just calling," George's brother, Philonise Floyd, said about the president. "He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we're going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK."

Biden lost his wife and one-year-old daughter in a tragic car accident in 1972 and his son Beau to cancer in 2015.

Keep Reading Show less
True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.