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As a dear friend and I venture back into the dating scene, I have combined everything I have learned about dating from pre-marriage to post-marriage, as well as from the experiences of other women in my life. If you want to add your own advice for other dating newbies, feel free! Also, this advice is pretty much for heterosexual females, due to my own realization that I am either NOT bisexual as I have thought lo these many years, or just incredibly lazy in bed (GIRLS ARE HARD IN BED!!!!!!)
1) Your sexuality truly is yours and yours alone. I used to think it was an asset, i.e. that I was more valuable if I was better in bed, or would be considered a more desirable person. The only self-esteem bolstering I can get from my sexuality is based on my being true to it. However, people wanting to fuck me says nothing about how they actually feel about ME.
2) Men do not have to like you or even find you attractive to want to fuck you. This can be confusing for naive people.
3) However, by that same token, do NOT rule yourself out based on what you think are your physical flaws. I am a big girl, WITH pubic hair, who sometimes forgets to shave her legs. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE been kicked out of bed. Ever. In fact, if a man WERE to kick me out of bed based on some physical attribute, I would thank him joyfully as I ran from his bed and dodged that douche bullet.
4) Competing for cock is ridiculous. There is plenty of cock. More than enough in fact. Whenever God closes a door of cock, she opens a cock window.
5) People show you who they are, even when you do not want to see it. Pay attention. Someone who is not friends with any of their exes, or has only dated “crazy” bitches, probably IS himself the crazy bitch.
6) Sex can be 100% technically great and still not be good for me. By that same token, I can have sex with someone with ED or other issues, and it be mind blowing. Without sounding too woo, sex is about energy for me, not just pawing at meaty parts. Meaty parts are nice too though.
7) If a guy wants to date you, he will pursue you. I hate to sound all “The Rules” and “He’s Just Not That Into You”, but do not make excuses for a dude who supposedly likes you not trying to see you. When a guy likes someone, he is pretty much going to go after her. If he is too scared to go after you, he might be too scared OF you. Trust me, it is no fun to be in love with someone who is scared of you.
8) Finally, and most importantly, if I was not me, I would totally fuck me. I would also fall madly in love with myself and remind myself constantly of just how adorable, sexy, precious, and important I am. However, this is probably WAY too much to expect of someone else. Or at least, only one someone else :) Being open, honest, and sincere about wanting more than one lover in your life is not slutty. It is ETHICALLY slutty (kudos to Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton!)
PS No truer words have been spoken than from my friend aagblog: ”You can put up with a lot of Ayn Rand for a man in panties.”
Last year, I was sure that discussing safe anal sex procedures in front of famed atheist/evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins at TAM (during a workshop on sexuality) would be the highlight of my speaking career. Now, I am not so sure.
In April, on the weekend of my 38th birthday, I will be in Washington DC presenting a workshop at Momentum, at conference that is “making waves in sexuality, feminism and relationships through new media!” Not only that, but I will be presenting at the same conference as just about every single one of the women I have followed in the sex positive community, including Tristan Taormino, Always Aroused Girl, Anita Wagner, Jenny Block, Dylan Ryan, Carol Queen, Ducky Doolittle, and SUSIE FREAKING BRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!
Sexual assault prevention has generally been focused on two things: teaching women strategies to avoid being victims (watching your drink, parking in well lit areas) and teaching men that “no means no!” This not only reinforces the “women are the gatekeepers and men are the aggressors” sexual stereotype, but also patronizes, alienates, and makes heterosexist assumptions about the very audience it is intended to reach. In addition, the heavy focus on date rape drugs and stranger assault ignore the reality of what the majority of sexual violence actually looks like.
But what if we approached it from a different perspective? What would happen if we used the opportunity to share a vision of healthy sexuality, rather than using horror stories to scare young people into “good behavior?” What would a consent curriculum based on sexual negotiation techniques practiced in BDSM and non-monogamy look like? Can kink practices make sex safer for everyone?
How many teenagers truly NEED sex education? Surely they know what they are doing, are practicing safe sex, having good boundaries, and making sure they are engaging in partnersex for the right reasons! Why am I so sure of these things? Because I was a teen who did all of these things, and I NEVER had Scarleteen! In my day we learned about sex the old-fashioned way, from our parents,schools, and churches! AND WE LIKED IT! None of this fancy “interweb” for us!
Everyone’s parents teach them to respect their bodies from the time they are tiny children – right? All parents pass on the message that “your body belongs to you and YOU choose what to do with it” and follow it up with a respect for boundaries! And what parent does not tell her child that she is allowed to tell someone NOT to touch her, for any reason? If parents did not do this, we might see an epidemic of sexual abuse in this country – as if!
It is just good parenting to teach children proper names for anatomy, including the names of the genitals of BOTH sexes, and making sure to include the clitoris, vulva, AND vagina! All parents explain the mechanics of sex to children in an age appropriate, truthful, non-judgmental, scientifically accurate manner! I mean, if parents can get children to understand the logistics of a fat man delivering presents to millions of children in one night, surely they can do the same with a matter as important as sexuality!
Parents and caregivers approach childhood masturbation and sexual exploration with a healthy attitude towards privacy AND encouragement of pleasure! Only in ancient times did people try to convince children that masturbation was evil and destructive, and that hellfire and brimstone awaited those who touched themselves! We live in an age of enlightenment where people recognize the need for children to develop their sense of sexuality for themselves BEFORE they try to share it with others.
While the role of parents, families, and religious communities is to provide our youth with a strong foundation for creating sexual values that work for them, schools focus on the public health perspective of youth sexuality. Thank goodness that all of our youth have access to healthcare and information on contraception, disease prevention, and the range of variety in sexual orientation, gender expression, and healthy relationships!
Can you IMAGINE what it would be like to live in a society that did not train its members to be responsible sexual partners? Where variety was discouraged? Where people were encouraged to lie about who they were rather than be different? Where teens regularly face socially and institutionally accepted harassment for being 10% of the population? Where people learned how to be sexual from “Cum Sluts 2: Electric Boogaloo” instead of real live people they trust? INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!!!! There would be pandemonium – everything from girls becoming young mothers, STDs running rampant, sexual assault in high numbers, and even kids killing themselves rather than be honest about their sexuality!
If we lived in a society that sent mixed messages to youth about sex, pleasure, relationships, and their place in the world, I could see the need for an organization that has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998 and provides free, inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and one-on-one support to millions, and has never shied away from discussing sexuality as more than merely posing potential risks, but as posing potential benefits, something rarely seen in young adult sex education.
But let’s get real here – that’s about as likely as a creationist being healed from demons, shooting wolves from a helicopter, promoting abstinence while her own teen daughter is pregnant, being part of a failed presidential team, quitting her job, and STILL maintaining relevance in national politics!
*For the sarcasm impaired, here is the bottom line. Scarleteen talks to teens and young adults about sexuality in a respectful, truthful manner that seeks to honor where that person is on their sexual journey while at the same time encouraging responsibility and self-respect. And they do it on a shoestring budget of less than $70,000 per year.
To put my money where my mouth is (Is there a fetish for that? Putting your mouth on money? I guess now that I have thought it someone has made porn about it!) I pledged $20 per month to Scarleteen myself.
I remember my first encounters with the sex positivity/sex positive movement, especially through the internet. I remember loving the basic principle of the thing: “Sex is awesome! No one should be ashamed of their sexuality or wanting sex! Let’s bring it out into the open so we can all enjoy a healthy, happy relationship with sex!”
Yeah! Rock on. Sex positive is awesome!!!! And then . . .
But there was this lie in the whole thing, and the lie was told by blog after blog, webpage after webpage that talked a great game about how we can be open about sex, but seemed to equate sex with the nude bodies of thin, conventionally attractive, blonde white women in male-gaze centric pornography, as though if I really pushed myself to enjoy such titles as Biker Bitches 5 and clinically lit photoshoots of a woman with her legs in improbably acrobatic positions, I’d be making the world a better place.
Oh yeah. That part.
People have been celebrating the sexualities of attractive white people for centuries. In fact, I’d say if there were ever a time when people’s discomfort towards sex dissipates and they’re willing to accept, tolerate, and engage with sexual content is WHEN it comes in the form of these bodies, these pre-approved forms.
But what about the queer porn?
Worse yet, so many queer oriented blogs are so white, able, and cis that it hurts. I’m a pansexual/cisgender/cissexual person, and when I see these blogs I see the white, Western version of queerdom splattered across the screen.
Oh god. She is right. Jesus.
If you’re sex positive and you’re not making an active effort to include and celebrate all kinds of sexuality from all kinds of people? You’re a fucking liar. There it is. You’re a liar.
Because sex positivity and body positivity and anti-racism and fat acceptance and the disability movement and queer positivity and womanism are part of the same thing.
So I say FUCK sex positivity. I want sex inclusivity.
I think we just got schooled. I know I’m taking notes.
Having described myself as a sex-positive feminist in many places, I am often asked what that means. Rather than strain my own overworked brain on describing it, I have found a remarkable resource on the internet that has already done it. According to Wikipedia, the resource of choice for scholars such as myself, the sex positive movement as described by sexologist Carol Queen is as follows:
Sex-positive, a term that’s coming into cultural awareness, isn’t a dippy love-child celebration of orgone – it’s a simple yet radical affirmation that we each grow our own passions on a different medium, that instead of having two or three or even half a dozen sexual orientations, we should be thinking in terms of millions. “Sex-positive” respects each of our unique sexual profiles, even as we acknowledge that some of us have been damaged by a culture that tries to eradicate sexual difference and possibility.
It’s the cultural philosophy that understands sexuality as a potentially positive force in one’s life, and it can, of course, be contrasted with sex-negativity, which sees sex as problematic, disruptive, dangerous. Sex-positivity allows for and in fact celebrates sexual diversity, differing desires and relationships structures, and individual choices based on consent.
Professor Wikipedia then describes how this relates to feminism:
In 2009, Will Phillips, showed more courage at age 10 than many adults do their whole lives. After being raised to believe in the inherent worth of each person by his parents, Laura and Jay Phillips, in the small town of West Fork, Arkansas, Will put his values into practice when he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance until gays could marry; or in his words, until “there truly is liberty and justice for all!”
Will and his parents have been celebrated and honored at not only the GLAAD Media Awards, but also by GLSEN, GetEQUAL, and most recently, as the Grand Marshal for Northwest Arkansas Pride. However, they have also had tremendous amounts of hate directed at them, including people claiming that his parents are “harming him” by raising him to be speak his mind and stand up for what is right.
I have been extremely lucky to become friends with Laura and Jay Phillips, and even had the opportunity to interview Jay and Will for the Podcast Beyond Belief earlier in June. During this interview, I spoke with Jay and Will about their love of Star Trek, and geekiness in general. I told them about DragonCon, one of the largest pop culture conventions in the world, held in Atlanta every Labor Day weekend.
I mentioned DragonCon to Laura again, and she explained that it would indeed be something that Will would go crazy for, and that his birthday was even in September, but that with all of their travel they would have to look at it for another year. Despite what people may think about “fame” and TV appearances, the Phillips are just like most of us, regular people struggling to get by.
And then I had an idea.
Surely, other people would join with me in thanking Will for taking a stand, and providing inspiration to people of ALL ages.
Surely, we could raise enough to get his family to Atlanta for DragonCon, and show them how much we appreciate the gift they have given us, the gift of a future with Will Phillips in it!
So, if you want to help get Will and his family to DragonCon in Atlanta THIS Labor Day for his birthday, PLEASE help me by donating below!
I have already booked their lodging, and will guarantee that I will do whatever it takes to get enough money to make this happen, even if it means filling in gaps myself.
For donors who will be at DragonCon, I am sure we can convince Will to come to a birthday party on-site :) I know for a fact that he and his family like cake and pie!
For more information on Will’s story, I have provided links below.
Will’s first TV appearance, with his father Jay Phillips, on CNN in 2009.
Will’s Award Acceptance Speech at the GLAAD Media Awards in March 2010, which ends with the Vulcan Salute, “Live Long and Prosper”
Will’s GetEqual Pledge
Thank you for helping to give back to this little boy, who has given us so much hope for the next generation.
I was at a lovely Mexican restaurant with my children and husband for dinner tonight. The sweet young hostess even put the tv near us on Nickelodeon so the children would zone out while eating and Marty and I could talk. Bliss.
When the next show came on, she comes up and says, "Are you ok with your kids watching Spongebob? Do you want me to change the channel?"
I smile and say "Oh no, we have been watching Spongebob for years. I love it, and know all the episodes by heart." It's true. My favorite line is Patrick laughing and saying "Hahahaha, it's a giraffe!"
She says, "Well, I don't let my 21/2 year old daughter watch it because some people think Spongebob is . . . you know, GAY! I don't want her to be exposed to that."
I am horrified. I did not know people like this existed apart from the "Good" Reverend Jerry Falwell; I thought it was just a myth. I mean, for Christ sake, he is a sponge! Although I guess Patrick did dress up as a girl once, and Spongebob and he did adopt that clam together. . . but it's a cartoon!
I just smile and nod, and hope she goes away.
The rest of the meal was good, but it stuck with me. And then, in my mind, I replaced gay with black, or Jewish, or Muslim, or anything this young girl might have been afraid of. I decided I had to say something.
As I got my sons' coats from her, I thanked her profusely for her assistance in making our evening enjoyable. I then leaned in, when no one else was there and said, "You need to be careful about talking poorly about gay people with strangers. You don't know me, and you don't know what I think. I have friends and family members who are gay, and I don't appreciate it."
She mumbles some apology about also having gay friends, and how sorry she is, and whatever.
I smile sweetly, and tell her "Also, Spongebob is a sponge. Sponges are asexual invertebrates – just so you know."
I felt so smug and self-aware and proud of myself. And I still am.
But I just wiki'ed sponges, and goddammit, they reproduce sexually!