Chronic Sex Chat 101: Participating in Twitter Chats

Have you wanted to participate in Twitter chats, but aren’t sure how? Wondering about the best ways to lurk? You’re in luck!

Twitter basics

Since not everyone spends all day on social media, here are some basics about Twitter.

I find it to be a great medium, especially for disability activism. That said, there is a lot of harassment and abuse on Twitter, too. They have a history of not condemning actual hate speech, siding more often with aggressors especially in marginalized communities.

Anatomy of a Tweet

Let’s look at a Tweet, shall we?

Tweet from Chronic Sex (@chronicsexchat) at 4:04 PM Central Time on 14 Oct 2017 with 3 retweets and 10 likes: "Blocking someone for [new line] Self-care [new line] Care of others [new line] Energy reservation [new line] Any other reason [new line] Is something that no one should have to explain"

As you can see, this is the Chronic Sex Twitter account posting something. There’s a time stamp here along with some information. We see that this has gotten 3 Retweets, listed in text but also as the recycle symbol at the bottom there. A Retweet or RT is when someone clicks that recycle button and reposts your content on their page. It still comes up as your tweet with nothing changing, aside from a person’s followers being exposed to what you’re saying.

Someone’s followers may also be exposed to your tweet if who they follow has ‘liked’ what you say. Here, we see that 10 people ‘liked’ this tweet as demonstrated again in text and with a little heart. To like someone’s tweet, you simply click that heart.

There’s also a text bubble at the bottom with a one next to it. This means there is one reply to this tweet. In this case, I replied to it myself to expand on my thought. When people do this, it’s called a thread.

That little carrot in the upper right allows you to copy the link to tweet or share this elsewhere, embed the tweet, or even do things like report content as long as you’re logged in.

Additionally, you can now quote-tweet which allows you to add a short comment while sharing the tweet in question.

Quote tweet example - original tweet from Cameron Esposito: "One more time: the President of the United States said the Vice President wants to hang all queer ppl" with my quote above it "If you weren't already concerned, you should be"

One of the best uses for this is to add trigger or content warnings. A post on these is coming soon, but some of the most important to add are gifs in link, sexual assault, rape, childhood sexual abuse (or CSA), murder, death, suicide, suicidal ideation, and various forms of discrimination (ableism, transmisia {gifs in link}, misogyny, etc.).

Twitter Profile

It’s always good to look at an account’s profile page to learn more.

Twitter profile for Chronic Sex (@chronicsexchat)

There is a banner across the top, much like Facebook has. There is also a circular profile photo. You have your name as you want it displayed, which is different than your handle. For instance, because someone else has the handle @chronicsex, ours is @chronicsexchat despite the fact that our organization’s name is Chronic Sex.

You can include hashtags in your profile bio. You have a limited number of characters in which to express what you want to show the world. Brevity is something Twitter is great for, though they are working on expanding character limits for Tweets. This is rolling out in stages, though, so don’t expect an expansion for your account soon.

You can also pin a tweet to the top of your page. Most people use this to share either a popular tweet of theirs or the beginning of a thread to share more about themselves than they can in the bio.

A quick note

In this age of White Supremacists on social media, there are some very important things to keep in mind. It may be best to have a screen name that isn’t associated directly with your name. A nickname or something might be good.

If anymore makes comments to you that are uncomfortable, you have every right to block them. There are two features that I suggest using. The first, of course, is block. The second is mute. You can mute people while they participate in chats that might be triggering to you, etc.

General Twitter chats

Most Twitter chat hosts will post rules specific to their chats in the moments leading up to chat time. When in doubt, stick to those rules.

Most importantly, in order to fully participate in chats, your profile should be set to public. You also need to include whichever hashtag the chat is using. That way, people will be able to see and interact with your tweets.

The easiest way to follow a chat is using that hashtag. Type the tag (including the hash) into your search bar. You’ll be taken to a page full of tweets with a navigation bar like the one below:

navigation bar from Twitter: Top, Latest, People, Photos, Videos, News, Broadcasts

If you click on ‘Latest,’ you’ll see tweets as they come in under the tag. You can also use TweetChat or another third-party site. These tools ask you to log in with your Twitter information. TweetChat automatically adds the hashtag for the chat to every tweet you send which is valuable.

Questions may be either numbered or labeled as Q# or T#. Q stands for Question and T stands for Topic. Chats using the Q format generally ask that answers then use A# or quote-tweeting. This way, it’s easier to keep track of which question you’re addressing. If you’re on a chat using T, know that they tend to be shorter and focused on up to 5 topics in total. That’s not a rule but seems to be the case.

I always suggest lurking for one or two chats. You’ll start to get a feel for the people within the chat as well as how things are handled.

#ChronicSex chat

Ground rules

First off, I do ask that we stick to the topic at hand as much as possible. There are a few reasons for this. If we used the tag as just another way to talk about everything, it wouldn’t mean as much. There are also topics that can be quite triggering and I like to give people a heads up on if we’re discussing those things. It’s bad to come into a space and then find yourself triggered because of a lack of warning.

Likewise, staying on topic can be incredibly important for many of us who need structure. I need rules. It’s a part of my anxiety and growing up in isolation. Rules and guidelines can help set expectations that, for many of us, are beneficial.

I also always ask that people refrain from the following while participating in chat:

  • Bigotry or discrimination
  • Insulting or bullying
  • Selling ‘cures’ or any ‘replacements’ for medications
  • Cockblocks to connection like
    • Unsolicited advice
    • Comparisons
    • Cure Evangelism
  • Hitting/creeping on people
  • Soliciting sex

It’s also important to know that, while someone may share their personal success stories with something, our chat is not set up for giving medical advice, endorsing types of care or activities, or replacing information from your personal healthcare team.

Chat details

For our chat, we utilize the Q# system. Since many people don’t feel comfortable using our hashtag for a variety of reasons (work, family, etc), I’ve also started asking as many questions as I can via poll. This is great because you can click an answer that resonates with you and it’s anonymous.

Chronic Sex Twitter acct (@chronicsexchat) asks "Q2: How are you feeling right now? #chronicsex" Poll answers are: Scared AF (9%), Angry (4%), Burnt Out (72%), or Powerless (15%). This had 46 total votes.

People are welcome to answer the questions via poll, reply, quote-tweet, or whichever method(s) are easiest for them.

If you’re answering a question with your own words, your answer may be retweeted or quote-tweeted by myself or others in the chat.

Our chat time is 8 pm Eastern | 7 pm Central | 6 pm Mountain | 5 pm Pacific. If you’re outside of these time zones, please consult a time zone converter. Unfortunately, my health currently prevents me from running two chat times. That said, the polls are open for 24 hours after they’re posted and plenty of people participate throughout the next week. It’s perfectly fine to jump in whenever it’s most convenient for you.

Interested in other chats?

Here are a few other chats you may be interested in.

SpoonieChat – Weds, 8 pm Eastern

Dawn Gibson started this chat a few years ago to help bridge the divide across illnesses and disabilities. Many of us face similar issues – such as planning for disasters – and can learn a lot from each other. Commonly referred to as the web auntie, Dawn is one of the most caring people. I’m lucky to call her my friend.

HCLDR – Tues, 8:30 pm Eastern

Run by Colin Hung and Joe Babaian, the acronym stands for Healthcare Leader. This chat talks about a variety of issues those working in and around healthcare face today, regardless of what role we play. Patients are always a large part of the discussion – and always welcome.

FilmDis – Sat, 9 pm Eastern

Dominick Evans is a well-known disability activist. He’s been running this chat since 2014 due to the lack of disability representation in film and media. Recently, FilmDis took off as an official national non-profit. Past topics have included disability in Disney, video games, and shoddy Autism representation in shows like The Good Doctor.

CriptheVote – varying schedule

Run by three prominent disability activists – Alice Wong, Andrew Pulgrang, and Gregg Beratan – CriptheVote is a space to talk about disability and politics. While their schedule is varied, the tag is always engaged with people sharing everything from fighting the dismantling of the ACA to interviews with politicians.

Many others are out there

I highly suggest finding organizations centered around illnesses you may have and following them. Many have chats at least once a month.

If you’re looking for others, I suggest checking out Yuri’s calendar. Note that times are listed in Pacific Time. Symplur also keeps a list of Twitter chats registered on their site.

Hope that helps a bit with Twitter basics – happy tweeting!

Sexual Side Effects of Medications

photo of a person with a dark bob haircut in a white tee; they are looking down with their hair covering their eyes; a black box under has white text "Sexual Side Effects of medications " and "Chronic Sex"

October is National Talk About Prescriptions Month here in the US.

It’s important to be mindful of the medications we’re on. I often hear from patients who don’t know about the options they have for medications, let alone things like patient assistance programs. Many pharmaceutical companies will help you gain access to their medications in addition to staff familiar with various issues you might run into. One of the things I’ve found them most useful for is discussing side effects and how to handle them.

Side effects aren’t discussed as often as they should be. When I was going untreated for my arthritis, I was made to fear all the side effects listed during pharmaceutical commercials. When I started medications, then, I was understandably quite nervous. I would cry reading the pamphlets that came with my biologics and wonder how long it would be before I experienced a major medical event because of them.

As time went on, I became more comfortable learning and talking about side effects. Part of it was that I learned more in general, like how even vitamins can have side effects. I also do a lot of nerdy research, read journal articles and studies, and talk to people who have been in or helped run clinical trials. There is an art to discussing and reporting side effects.

Why don’t we talk more about side effects?

In general, we don’t talk enough about side effects we may be embarrassed about. It makes sense. Stigma clouds our responses, making us more timid to speak up. We don’t talk about how medications can change our bowel and bladder habits, for example. Everything thinks talking about poop is gross or that Depend products are only for the elderly. Reality is much different.

The biggest area we don’t talk about is sex and sexuality. As a society, we inject sex into everything from burger commercials to hidden jokes in children’s movies. Despite being bombarded by sex, we really don’t talk about it. Even our sexual education system is lacking in current, agenda-free information. That becomes even more true for marginalized groups like disabled and chronically fabulous people.

One thing we absolutely must start doing is discussing sexual side effects of medications we take. Sex is a natural part of the human experience, just like disability. To help start the conversation, I’ve pulled side effects of commonly used medications for various categories. I’ve removed the actual names, but will also share further down how you can look up your medications.

Possible sexual side effects of common medications

ADHD medications

  • Increased UTIs

Alzheimer’s medications

  • Increased UTIs

Anti-anxiety

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty orgasming

Antibiotics

  • Yeast infection
  • Vaginitis
  • Vulvovaginal disorder

Anticonvulsants

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

Antidepressants

  • Long-lasting and painful erections
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Decreased genital sensation
  • Difficulty getting aroused, getting or maintaining an erection, or ejaculating
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Increase in UTIs
  • Breast discharge
  • Vaginitis

Antifungals

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

Anti-histamines and allergy medications

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting aroused
  • Decreased genital sensation
  • Difficulty getting or keeping an erection
  • Increased UTIs

Anti-hypertensives

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Long-lasting and painful erections
  • Difficulty getting aroused

Antiretrovirals

These medications are utilized to treat HIV and AIDS.

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, arousal

Asthma and COPD medications

  • Yeast infections
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Increased UTIs

Cancer medications

  • Increased UTIs
  • Breast enlargement in males
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Difficulty getting arousal
  • Nipple pain
  • Swollen testicles
  • Breast inflammation
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Bladder spasm
  • Testicular pain

Congestive Heart Failure medications

  • Decreased libido
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Breast enlargement in males

Diabetes medications

  • Increased UTIs

Diuretics

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

DMARDs (rheumatic diseases)

Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) is a category that encompasses a wide variety of medications. As such, this list looks a little different than the one above. Let’s go medication by medication.

  • Methotrexate: vaginal dryness, fertility issues, decreased libido
  • Prednisone: decreased libido
  • Hydroxychloroquine: difficulty getting aroused/erections
  • Sulfasalazine: difficulty getting aroused/erections, reversible fertility issues
  • Cytoxan: fertility issues
  • Biologics and Biosimilars haven’t really been researched enough to really say what any long-term side effects are, especially on sexy things

Heartburn medications

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

Mood disorder medications

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Long-lasting, painful erections
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Increased UTIs
  • Vaginitis
  • Breast enlargement and pain

Muscle relaxers and nerve damage medications

  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Inability to achieve orgasm
  • Pelvic pain
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Inflammation in the foreskin and head of the penis
  • Swollen cervix
  • Pain during sexual activity

Multiple Sclerosis medications

  • Yeast infections
  • Missed periods
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Breast enlargement
  • Long-lasting, painful erections
  • Swelling in the urethra

NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are things like ibuprofen, naproxen, and other (possibly over-the-counter) pain relievers.

  • Increase in UTIs
  • Difficulty getting aroused
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginitis
  • Fertility issues

Osteoporosis medications

  • Vaginitis
  • Increased UTIs
  • Endometrial pain

Sleeping medications

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Breast enlargement
  • Vaginitis
  • Swelling of the urethra
  • Increased UTIs

Statins

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Difficulty getting aroused

Didn’t find your medication category listed?

If you’re curious to find out more about sexual side effects, there is a relatively easy way to go about it.

I use Drugs.com to look up medications. I’ve just always found it the easiest site to use for any med-related research. You can see variants on pills, look up interactions, and more!

The problem is a lot of sexual side effects aren’t listed on the patient/consumer page. For the most info, you’ll have to scroll down to the section labeled “For Healthcare Professionals.” Look for things in the category ‘Genitourinary.’

It’s okay if what’s listed isn’t easily understandable. Googling a word is always acceptable.

What do you do if you think one of your medications is causing sexual side effects?

The most important thing to do is bring up your concerns with a physician. This could either be the prescribing physician (i.e., rheumatologist), primary care doctor, or a health care provider specializing in that area (i.e., gynecologist).

Before you bring it up, though, it may help to track some information. I always feel better when I can show my health care team what I’m talking about.

I find it best to keep track of symptoms. It always helps when we have data to backup what we say, even if it’s basic. You could do something like write down each time you have difficulty becoming aroused. You could go super nerdy, too, and plot things like vulvar pain in Excel. Plot points tend to do better when you can create a numerical value for what you’re plotting, so keep that in mind.

You can then look at if the medication is helping you, other medications you could try, or ways to combat the effects you’re dealing with. There isn’t always a way to get off a prescription or switch to a different one, and that can be hard to deal with.

The key is to figure out what is most important to you and work within your wants and needs.

Were you surprised by anything?

I know I was! The Lyrica I’ve been on for years sits in the muscle relaxers and nerve damage medication category. In fact, that’s what the last few side effects really reference. As someone going through pelvic floor therapy for pelvic pain and spasms, I was surprised to see that this medication might be contributing to this problem. Since this is a relatively new issue, I don’t believe Lyrica caused this for me. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t play a role.

The tough thing is that Lyrica is the only thing that really helps me medically to lower my fibromyalgia pain. Since I work for myself now (and know flogging helps me), maybe it’s a good time to consider lowering my dose.

Ask the Sexperts: Facebook Live

colorful question marks against a white background over a pink text box with white text "Ask the Sexperts: Facebook Live" and grey text "chronic sex"

My friends over at Tool Shed Toys are hosting a Facebook Live tomorrow night (October 17th)!

Here are details from their event page:

When it comes to sex, it seems like the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Do you have a question or three about sexual health or pleasure? Wanna get an honest answer and a couple of good laughs? Spend the evening in the virtual company of Tool Shed staffers Lucky and Hudson and anonymously ask your secret questions. We’ll combine honesty and humor, while providing accurate, up-to-date information to anyone with questions. Please join us!

For this event, we’ll go live from our Tool Shed Facebook page at 8:30 pm (Central) on October 17. Questions can be sent to our Facebook message inbox starting at 7:30 pm (Central). Sending us a question grants us permission to read the question aloud, but we will never reveal any personal details like your name, age, or location when reading the question.

Lucky is one of my favorite people in the world. As a midwife and sex educator, she is incredibly knowledgeable. On top of that, she knows so much about sex and chronic illness.

This really should be quite a treat, so make sure to check this one out!

Vibrant Weekend Sale!

photo of a mountain lake with ice over part of it; blue text "15% Off" white text "New Toys! Use code: NEW15" black box with white text "shop now"

The weekend is here, and so is Vibrant’s newest sale!

You can save 15% off their newest toys by using the code NEW15. This offer is valid until 11:59 pm Mountain Time on Sunday, October 15th.

My suggestions? Well, the Broad City Yas Kween Bullet looks super cute and fun. The Elvie Kegel Exerciser looks amazing, and I’ve heard great things. If you’ve been looking for a dilator kit, the 5-piece one from CalExotics is a hit.

As far as things I’ve tried on this list, I highly recommend the Doxy Massage Wand Vibrator. I haven’t written my review yet, but I am in love! It’s incredibly helpful for my terrible back and neck. Oh yeah, and it’s an effective sex toy, too! Many people find them helpful in taking steps towards finding what tools they like best.

love the Almost Naked Lube from Good Clean Love. I also don’t think you can ever go wrong with Sliquid lube selections.

If those toys aren’t your bag, you could save 45% off the Ola Vibrator by using the code VIP45.

Otherwise, you can always use the code CHRONICSEX to save 10% all non-sale prices. Heck, to save even more, check out these toys under $50!

What are you waiting for? Head to Vibrant today!

Ways to Help California Fire Victims

woman sits cross-legged on a bed with white bedding; she is wearing a white cardigan, greyish pants, and a dark shirt; she is playing on a silver laptop; blue transparent overlay with yellow text "Ways to Help California Fire Victims" and yellow text box below this with blue text "Chronic Sex"

There are over a dozen fires raging through California right now. Most of them are in and around where my sister lives – Northern California. They have not had to evacuate yet, but with her having asthma and small kids, the tension is high.

She’s not alone, though. There are a ton of people sitting on the edge of evacuation zones struggling with ash, heat, and more.

Thousands of people have evacuated, lost their homes, or worse. Right now, the death toll sits in the mid-20s with nearly 300 people missing.

Here’s how to help if you’re in the area:

  • You can open your home for free via Airbnb. This is currently open through the 30th, but I’ll bet it gets extended.
  • You can donate supplies and clothing to Love on Haight in SF. Tutto Capelli Salon, 1234 Go Records,
  • Donate to the North Bay Fire Relief fund at Redwood Credit Union locations
  • Volunteer! You can register at the Sonoma Community Center (open from 9-5 daily). You can also register online at CVNL for Marin and Napa.
  • Sonoma County Animal Services needs food and supplies. Napa Community Animal Response Team needs help with sheltering and moving animals. Hop Along and Second Chance Animal Rescue needs foster pet parents and donations.
  • Here are evacuation centers and other locations you can drop off supplies to:
    • Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds Evacuation Center – 442 Franklin Avenue, Yuba City
    • Veterans Memorial Building and Hall – 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa
    • Petaluma Community Center – 320 N. McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma
    • Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds – 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma
    • Napa Valley College Gym – 2277 Napa Vallejo Highway, Napa
    • Ramekins Culinary School and Inn – 450 W. Spain Street, Sonoma
    • Sonoma Valley High School – 20000 Broadway, Sonoma
    • Sonoma County Animal Services – 1247 Century Ct, Santa Rosa
    • RYSE Center – 205 41st Street @ MacDonald, Richmond
    • Salute E Vita Restaurante – 1900 Esplanade Dr, Richmond
    • Seaport Storage Center – 1703 E. Bayshore Road, Redwood City
If you’re remote, like me, or can’t venture out due to the ash and smoke, you can still donate:
Are you affected by the wildfires in Northern California? Here are some of the resources in the area offering shelter, food, and other supplies. Make sure to keep up with evacuation orders in your area.

 

Shelter

  • Check out Airbnb’s open home program. It’s free and people in the area are opening up their homes to help.
  • Official shelters
    • Cloverdale
      • Cloverdale Citrus Fair – 1 Citrus Fair Dr.
    • Healdsburg
      • Healdsburg Community Center – 1157 Healdsburg Ave.
    • Petaluma
      • Casa Grande High School – 333 Casa Grande Rd.
      • Cavanaugh Youth Center – 426 8th St.
      • Church of Christ – 370 Sonoma Mountain Parkway
      • 1st Presbyterian Church – 939 B. St.
      • New Life Church – 1310 Clegg St.
      • Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds – 175 Fairgrounds Dr.
      • Veterans Memorial Hall – 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S.
    • Santa Rosa
      • Cook Middle School – 2480 Sebastopol Rd.
      • Elsie Allen High School – 599 Bellevue Ave.
      • Finley Community Center – 2060 W. College Ave.
      • Sonoma County Fairgrounds Pavillion – 1350 Bennett Valley Rd.
      • St. Eugene’s Cathedral School/Gym – 300 Farmers Ln.
    • Sebastopol
      • Analy High School – 6950 Analy Ave.
      • Hessel Church – 5060 Hessel Ave.
      • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church – 500 Robinson Rd.
    • Rohnert Park
      • Burton Recreation Center/RP Community Center – 5401 Snyder Ln.
      • Sally Tomatoes – 1100 Valley House Dr.
      • Technology Middle School – 7165 Burton Ave
      • Waldo Rohnert Elementary School – 550 Bonnie Ave.
    • Sonoma
      • Adele Harrison Middle School – 1150 Broadway
      • Sonoma Raceway – 29355 Arnold Dr.
      • Sonoma Valley High School – 20000 Broadway
      • Sonoma Veterans Building – 126 1st St. West
    • Windsor
      • Windsor High School – 8695 Windsor Rd.
    • American Canyon
      • American Canyon High School – 3000 Newell Dr.
    • Calistoga
      • Calistoga Fairgrounds – 1435 N. Oak St.
    • Napa
      • Crosswalk Community Church – 2590 First St.
      • Napa Valley College Gym – 2277 Napa Vallejo Highway
    • Fairfield
      • Alan Witt Sports Complex – 1741 W. Texas St.
      • Solano Community College – 4000 Suisun Valley Rd.

Restaurants

  • Amy’s Drive Thru (58 Golf Course Dr. W, Rohnert Park) is offering free meals to those evacuated.
  • Sauced BBQ Restaurant (151 Petaluma Blvd S Suite 129, Petaluma) serves free food from 9-4 every few days for victims and offers a place to rest and view TV.
  • Better Homes and Gardens (186 Main St., Sebastopol) will give you a cup of coffee and wifi and you can charge your phone.

Wifi and Computer Use

  • FREE Internet/Comcast/Xfinity: Removed restrictions and opened their WiFi hotspots for all to use through Fri. 10/13 Log in as “Guest.”
  • Copperfield’s Books (140 Kentucky St, Petaluma): Free wifi, allows dogs, water, stickers & crayons for children.
  • Mystic Theatre/McNears/The Roaring Donkey (23 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma): Offering laptops for fire victims to use if they need to get a hold of their financial institutions or family. They have wifi and chargers, too. Ask for Sierra Bradley.

For pets and animals

  • Strong’s Second Chance Ranch (771 Liberty Rd, Petaluma) is offering to home horses, can message on Facebook.
  • Chanslor Ranch (2660 CA-1, Bodega Bay) – Offering free beds and campsite. Kid and pet- friendly.
  • Sonoma Humane Society (5345 Highway 12 West, Santa Rosa) – Taking in animals for boarding, lost & found animals. No cost vet treatment for burn victims, owned or stray animals affected by fires. Open 8-5 daily.
  • Unleashed Dog Training (301 2nd St, Petaluma) is boarding and open if you need a place to hang. Call at 707.763.9882
  • Marin Humane Society (171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato) is offering free boarding.
  • Misc animal issues: Anyone encountering animal-related issues can call 707-565-4406. This number will be available 24/7 until further notice. Donations can also be made through this line. Please be prepared to share information about the number of animals, type of animals, address and location for the animals, and any information about the families associated with the animals, if known.

Other

  • Petaluma Swim Center (900 E Washington St, Petaluma) is offering free showers for victims with soap, shampoo and towels provided. Check their FB page for times and dates.
  • Synergy Health Club (1201 Redwood Way, Petaluma) is offering free showers plus towels to those in need. Also, a place to relax with couches and TV.
  • Adventure Recreation Center (2200 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma) is open limited hours for kids to play out of the smoke. Free for fire victims, and they have coffee. Proceeds from others will be donated to relief efforts.
  • Ethical Clothing (122 Kentucky St., Petaluma) has free clothing for those in need. For non-evacuees, they will also sell newly donated items for $25 a piece and donate the money. Check their FB page for hours.
  • Yoga Hell (1484 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma) is offering free yoga classes and showers.
  • If you’re affected by the Tubbs fire, there is a FB group for you. Facebook also has a community help section for those dealing with the fires, including those willing to volunteer.

Originally posted on Oct. 12. Updated Oct. 12.