Things That Matter

Artists Open Cuba’s First Ever Sex Store, But It Won’t Last Long

Cuba has come a long way since the communist rule of Fidel Castro. A lot of restrictions have been lifted including travel from the U.S. to the island (despite some Trump-era issues). Yet, there’s still a lot that the government there forbids including some luxuries that we can easily buy anytime we please.

Cuba forbids the sale of any obscene items, which means there are no sex shops until now.

Credit: consolezvous1 / Instagram

In New York, there are sex shops in every neighborhood. Even in the Bible belt, you can score sex toys at Adam & Eve, but in Cuba, it’s a whole different story. The island does not give out licenses or permits to vendors who sell anything sexual related. If you want a dildo, you have to sneak it into the country in your suitcase — that’s what the New York Post is reporting.

A group of artists successfully opened a sex pop-up store called “Consolez Vous” because technically it is “art” and not a typical business.

Credit: consolezvous1 / Instagram

Yanahara Mauri, Javier Alejandro Bobadilla, and Joan Díaz sought out to open a pop-up sex shop at this year’s Havana Biennial and to their surprise were approved.

“We want to break the taboos,” Mauri told the Post. “In the rest of the world, this is normal now.”

The group creates the sex toys in Cuba and use resources such as “entwined fish line for whips and resin for dildos.”

Credit: consolezvous1 / Instagram

While demand continues to increase, according to the publication, some customers have complained that their sex toys aren’t as smooth as the silicone products that are sold everywhere else.

“At the end of the day, we are not harming anyone,” Ernesto said. “On the contrary, we are giving people benefits.”

The sex shop might be a pop-up but a lot of people are hoping they could become a regular occurrence on the island.

Credit: consolezvous1 / Instagram

What do you think about this pop up shop? Let us know your thoughts by commenting on the Facebook post.

READ: Here’s How Cuba’s Tumultuous History Forced A Cuban Diaspora That Changed The World

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

Things That Matter

Travel Restrictions Limit Americans To Only Flying Into Havana But Sube Let’s Americans Explore The Island

subecuba / Instagram

The progression of Cuba’s modern world has been a slow one, but it’s also been eager to thrive thanks to the younger generation. The integration of the internet didn’t arrive on the island until the late aughts. Back then, when U.S. relations with Cuba became friendlier under the Obama Administration, it looked as if Cuba was ready to get online. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Cuba decided to team up with Venezuela in order for the country to help them venture into the digital age. Now, under the Trump Administration, who is putting the breaks on the Cuba/U.S. relationship, the Cuban people have something more to aspire to. 

A Cuban startup has launched a cab service that will help tourists get around the island now that the Trump Administration has blocked airline travel to all areas of Cuba except Havana.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

The company is called Sube (which translations to “get on” or “hop on”), and it’s basically a ride-share service like Uber and Lyft, although their intention is to seek out tourists who wish to visit the areas outside of Havana. 

Late last year, the Trump Administration issued a travel ban throughout the island, which meant that American airlines could only fly into Havana. All other airports in Cuba were forbidden. The announcement didn’t automatically erase flights that were already booked. U.S. travelers can only arrive in Havana, so if they have plans outside of the capital, getting there is trickier and expensive. The solution is Sube. 

Sube wants tourists to know that their service is safe and that they can provide an exciting and fun way to get around the island.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“Sube is a ridesharing app founded in Cuba,” their About section states. “Our drivers will help you move around safely and fast while sharing their knowledge of our customs and culture.”

One of the most popular attractions in Cuba is their vintage cars. So how can these old cars keep up with this new motive of transportation? Sube owners say all cars, vintage ones as well, are in perfect condition and can drive long distances. All drivers have verified licenses as well. 

The app launched in 2018, and since then, the app has been downloaded at least 10,000 times and so far has 6,000 registered users.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“We knew the trouble people go through in Cuba to get to work every day, to get home, or if they just want to go out,” Claudia Cuevas Alarcón told NBC News. Aside from Cuevas Alarcón, a 27-year-old, Sube’s creators include 26-year-old Damián Martín, 26, and 27-year-old Darién González. 

What makes this company even more fascinating is that these young entrepreneurs have found a way to work the system to their benefit. For example, U.S. credit cards are prohibited on the island, which means travelers can only use cash. 

Sube creators registered their company in the U.S., so this makes it possible for travelers to download the app before they leave their home country, upload their credit card information. Once they arrive on the island, they have already reserved their car service, and the exchange of payment is not needed. 

It’s not just tourists who use the app, locals are using Sube to get around the island as well.

Credit: subecuba / Instagram

“If you are visiting Cuba this December, move with SUBE and pay from abroad,” one of their beautiful Instagram posts says. “We have 70 registered and available taxis, which will make your trips more enjoyable and safe. You can book them before your arrival at the airport, until departure. Do not hesitate.”

Other ways to use Sube is pretty straightforward. You can use Whatsapp or Facebook to reserve a cab. Travel experts also suggest that if you’re traveling to Cuba, you should also download apps that will help not only with travel information but translation, money exchange, and texting capabilities. Here are some useful apps that extremely useful: Maps.me, XE currency, Google Translate, Pocket, Havanatrans, Zapya, AlaMesa, CubaMessenger, and ProtonVPN. And, of course, Whatsapp and Airbnb. 

It’s very exciting to see young Cubans not allowing connectivity or travel regulations (or any sort of limitation) stop them from progressing into a new frontier of digital capabilities.

READ: The Trump Administration Took Another Swipe At Cuba By Banning Almost All Flights To The Island

‘My Mom Insisted My Hips Changed’ Latinas Talk About Their Moms Finding Out They Had Sex For The First Time

Entertainment

‘My Mom Insisted My Hips Changed’ Latinas Talk About Their Moms Finding Out They Had Sex For The First Time

mitu / Youtube

There comes a time in a young woman’s life when she has to venture out into the world and experience everything out there that the world has to offer. And yes, “everything” includes sex. And while sex is a totally natural and expected step in a young woman’s coming-of-age journey, the Latinx community often holds notoriously conservative views about when it’s “okay” for a young woman to have sex for the first time.

This conservative attitude towards woman and sex is nowhere more prominent than it is in the minds of Latinx mothers. Many Latinx moms, especially from older generations, have been trained to believe that a young woman’s worth is tied to her virginity and that it’s a sin to have sex out of wedlock. This attitude makes it hard for girls to talk to their parents about sex, which means a large portion of the Latina population is uneducated about STIs, unwanted pregnancy, contraception, and how being sexually active can impact your emotions. Because of the shame surrounding extramarital sex in the Latinx community, many young women hide the fact that they’ve been having sex from their mothers in order to avoid conflict or avoid being shamed.

That’s why Fierce by mitú took to our Instagram page to ask our followers how their madres reacted when they found out their daughters were no longer virgins. We also wanted to know if our followers decided to keep their virginity statuses to themselves.

Check out the answers below!

1. This mom’s nosiness gave her more than she bargained for

@addictivestock/Instagram

“My mom found out I was having sex when I was 23 years old and she found my birth control (cringe!). This is a pretty common story I share with a lot of my friends but the way my mom found out was pretty mortifying. My novio, who I have been dating since I was 14 and who she has known for as many years, was over at the house. Because my mom has always been very nosey and a helicopter mom I would give him my birth control for safe keeping (For so many reasons Don’t DO THIS!!) Anyway. The birth control fell out of his bag and my mom flipped out. Any other scenario, had I hid it in a closet or sock drawer she would have found out sooner but I probably could have convinced her it was just for acne.” – Veronica, Chicago

2. This mama read between the lines and stayed silent

@lcdfotografia/Instagram

“I kind of had to fess up to my mom because I was moving in with my boyfriend. She’d been asking me since we started dating if I was using protection over and over again and I was too embarrassed to even say that we were having sex. I finally just told her that I was moving in with him and I think she got the deal.” Kathryn, Los Angeles

3. This mom insisted she could tell by just LOOKING at her daughter

@addictivestock/Instagram

“I told my mom years after, but she swears she knew the night I came home that it happened. I’m like c’mon, Mom. No way did you know. But, you know how they are–they know EVERYTHING.” – Laney, San Bernadino

4. The old “hyper-emotional” reaction

@addictivestock/Instagram

“My mom cried so so hard and then instantly got mad at me and gave me the silent treatment. She also claimed she “knew” that I wasn’t anymore anyhow ’cause I “started talking back”. But, I was 21 at that point!” – Yvette

5. The mom who doesn’t know…but c’mon: she knows

@precious.earth.nature/Instagram

“To [my mom] I’m still [a virgin] ’till I’m married….Nahhh I think she probably suspects I’m not by now”. – Connie, Southern California

6. The mom who lives in blissful ignorance

@maarjavahiphotography/Instagram

“I’m 30 years old and still haven’t told my mom. At this point she’s gotta suspect I’m not [a virgin]. But at least I waited until I was 19!” Anna, Chicago

7. The Suffocating Silence

@jevgenijasorokina/Instagram

“Literally my current situation, lol. I want to tell her but, I’m afraid of her reaction. I don’t think she’ll be mad, but I really would hate for her to cry about it. Send help!” Darlene, Riverside

8. The “Live Your Life” Type of Mom

@olga_lukaneva/Instagram

“I keep it to myself, but I’m pretty sure she knows me better. 😉 ” – Belle, Puerto Rico

9. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy

@bailandoconjulieta/Instagram

“She never asked and I never told her… but for what it’s worth, I waited till I was at least 18.” Tania, Los Angeles

10. The Mom Who Tries and Fails to Guilt Trip

@glam_.dps/Instagram

“She said: ‘Why didnt [you] wait ’till marriage like [I] told over and over again?’. So, I said: “Who said I’ll ever get married?” Lizet, Bakersfield, CA

11. This mom who started crying when she walked in on the act

glam_.dps / Instagram

“I had skipped school to lose my virginity to my high school boyfriend. We had planned it out so that I would play sick and he would skip school and do it when my parents were out of the house. They boy work long hours so we figured we had some time. The actual act went well, but literally just as we finished we heard my front door open. No snuggling. We both jumped up to hide. I’ve always thought it took maybe 30 steps to get from my front door to my room, my mom took five. My boyfriend ducked out of the bathroom and somehow my mom got to the front of the house to confront him. I mean he had no shirt on and was pulling him his pants. She knew. She knew so much she cried.”  Ana, Austin, TX