Posts Tagged ‘sex’

thanks again alternet! below, an excerpt from sex pill for women article:

Even though Boynton declined, Boehringer-Ingelheim invited her to write a paper for the British Journal of Sexual Medicine. “They had clear instructions about what they wanted me to say and how this would set the scene that HSDD was a prevalent and distressing problem doctors ought to be aware of — presumably so they could be alerted to a problem and be more willing to prescribe a pill when said medication became available.”

Flash forward to March of this year when Boehringer-Ingelheim rolled out its Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection campaign starring TV personality Lisa Rinna — replete with glitzy disease branding web site in the Restless Legs/Excessive Sleepiness/Social Anxiety Disorder tradition. Nowhere is flibanserin, not approved yet, mentioned.

“If There is No Desire to Get Physically Romantic, You Could Be Suffering from HSDD,” blares a Top News article in June with the indicated boudoir photo, auguring the next “epidemic.”

Of course,  some gynecologists, sex researchers and patients welcome the fact that pharma is no longer ignoring women’s sexuality. Why should men have all the fun, they ask? But others see in HSDD marketing the same forces responsible for the terms “frigid,” “nymphomaniac,” battles for safe and effective birth control and reproductive health care and social tolerance of violent or degrading pornography — namely, men defining women’s sexuality for their own purposes. Nor do Google search images for HSDD, which are pretty “800 number/phone sex” allay fears.

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The theme for this Sex Ed class shifted from the “You’re going to be a fat, knocked up 15-year-old with visible, terminal lesions all over your nether-regions’ to ‘You’re going to go away to college, be sexually assaulted by a masked assailant who will never be caught, and subsequently be left for dead in a trash-filled alley.” (There was, of course, another variation, in which the aforementioned masked assailant was replaced by the captain of the football team and “left for dead in a trash filled alley” was swapped out with: “And there’s no use reporting it because no one will believe you, and it will only serve to further ostracize you from your peers.”

it is weird to me that sex is something you’d need education for! however, i feel like the way contemporary american society views sex, female-bodied people having hetero sex need to know what is what, like a lot.

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Or, alternatively titled: “Making the Brown Sex Week 2010 Poster”

(This is a cross-post from the SHEEC blog/my blog)

My goals were that the poster:

  • Wouldn’t imply a certain relationship status
  • Wouldn’t be objectifying and just like any other ad on TV
  • Wouldn’t be heteronormative (and ideally not homonormative, either, which is…not easy to do–most images out there are very either/or)
  • Would simultaneously bring something “non-traditional” to the fore but NOT in a “LOOK HOW RADICAL I AM!” way or in a “LOOK HOW FREAKY THIS IS!” way
  • Would focus on sexuality and sensuality, but in a fun, not intimidating, fashion
  • Re: above, would also not be too explicit or obviously and “traditionally” sexual, so that it could have more interpretations (including “platonic” ones?)
  • Would reflect an air of inclusiveness
  • Would not represent people from just one ethnic group (and this was the hardest to achieve while still trying to keep to the other points; I resolved this issue by making the skin tones a rainbow)
  • Would not glorify a particular body type, especially one that corresponds to the dominant ideas of beauty in the media
  • Would be welcoming and attractive
  • Would hold all the text necessary!



Do you encounter similar situations when you have to do the promotional material for events? How do you feel about the world of advertising/promo in college and/or specifically at your institution of “higher learning”?

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Hey folks. So I posted this link on the facebook a while ago after I saw it on Feministing:

I think it provides a great overview about trans and genderqueer identities (it’s not perfect). Our language doesn’t provide much room for gender flexibility, as you might have noticed. It’s a little awkward, if not, impossible for some people to speak of a person without assigning them a binary gender. As I’ve been working on my thesis, which is essentially about that awkward space–created most obviously by intersex people (people whose sexual make-up puts them outside the sexual binary), I’ve been feeling more and more uncomfortable with gendered pronouns. Especially applied to me. But I also cringe when I find myself categorizing other people who haven’t specified their pronouns to me (which almost never happens anyway). I’m trying to make a conscious effort to stop putting people in boxes and asking more questions like, “what pronouns do you use?” When I was living in New Orleans, my friends had a whole bunch of discussion and reading groups they participated in, and when we went around the room everyone would say their name, why they were there, and the pronouns they preferred. Stuff like that makes me so happy. I know some people feel awkward about it, but, in my personal experience, I have been delighted when people ask me my pronouns (I’m a fan of ze, hir, and hirs, by the way). HOWEVER, the point of this post was to point out a simple thing everyone can do that I think would make the world a better place. So here’s my thoughts:

When you are talking about someone whose gender identity or pronouns have changed throughout their life, please don’t say “okay, so they were BORN a woman… and now they’re a man”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my thesis is that human sexual development occurs, in fact, on a spectrum. When babies are born a doctor decides what sex, of the two options, that baby belongs to. If the baby is one of the estimated 4% who are born intersex, often parents put them through “corrective” surgery or put them on hormones. Sharon Preves wrote,

“It is my argument that medical treatments to create genitally unambiguous children are not performed entirely or even predominantly for the sake of preventing stigmatization and trauma to the child. Rather, these elaborate, expensive, and risky procedures are performed to maintain social order for the institutions and adults that surround the child.”

In this way, the treatment of intersex children relies on the insecurity and fear of the “adults that surround the child” who cannot tolerate a human being outside the gender binary in their lives. (aside: I think that statement could start an entirely new and fascinating discussion about competitive child-rearing in our society and how consumerist childhoods form) However, it is important to recognize that although intersex people are representative of a small section that the binary cannot accept, everyone is part of the gender and sex spectrum. After all, not all people designated to the “male” category at birth without question have the same “penis”, and not all people designated to “female” have the same “clitoris”. There is a wide range of sizes, shapes, and hormonal drives. So. People aren’t born “male” or “female”–doctors assign these labels, and parents uphold the gender law in the household. I, and I think many trans and genderqueer people, feel that a decision was made for me, out of my control. But human beings made the decision.

“If nature really offers us more than two sexes, then it follows that our current notions of masculinity and femininity are cultural conceits”

Saying someone is “born” one way or another implies that nature made the decision. And the fact is that nature says nothing more than that there are as many sexes as there are people.

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anal sex non graphicMy friend showed me this article.

If you practice penetrative sex, are you usually the penetrator? If so, would you be okay with being penetrated?

If not, then maybe that means that you think of penetration as degrading, when you are on the receiving end. Which means that you should stop penetrating the people you are fucking.

What my friend (who identifies as female and mostly has penetrative vaginal sex with men) said about it:

“but, despite how they say that more and more guys are trying it, i still feel that the vast majority of guys i have fucked / will fuck wud not at ALL be okay with this.  and that bothers me.  it bothers me that they’d do something to me that they wouldn’t want done to them.  like sex is when a guy does something to a girl that he considers so degrading that he would never ever EVER let the girl do it to him.  because then he’d be a worthless woman (like how he sees me), or a worthless gay man.”


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lafitnessI just had a debate with a friend about George Sodini.  It was prompted by an article he linked to his profile, with a caption saying “you might find this disturbing.  or thought-provoking.”  It was a short but good conversation and I hope you’ll give your take on it, and on the George Sodini incident itself.   Here’s the original article:   http://exiledonline.com/revenge-of-the-nerd-what-the-media-wont-tell-you-about-the-rampage-killer-who-attacked-a-pittsburgh-aerobics-class/

ME:  well you got the first part right. That article IS disturbing. I’m all for sympathizing with disturbed people who commit crimes and then take their own lives. but the writer seems to forget that 3 women are dead, in large part, because of Sodini’s socialized sense of entitlement to female attention. I find it odd that the writer could find the classism angle (not a bad angle) but not the sexism angle. Instead, he came to the easy, privileged conclusion that maybe if those cold-hearted women fucked this guy more, he wouldn’t be “forced” to punish 3 female strangers for it. I. Call. Bullshit.

Wow that was longer than it was supposed to be. I guess it was thought-provoking. It just provoked thoughts that made me want to vomit.

HIM:  Well, the class angle doesn’t really even make sense either when you take into account the fact that he had a pretty nice job and even got promoted instead of laid off. I don’t know though, is a net worth after debt of over 250K doing well or doing poorly? I don’t really even know what that means.

But where do you get the idea that he felt entitled to female attention? If anything, it seems as if he felt he didn’t deserve to be loved by a woman. I don’t think it’s so unhealthy to feel worthy of being loved by someone of the opposite sex, in fact I think it’s necessary for your psychological well-being. I know from experience that lack of self-confidence can cause some serious frustration and mental issues. I don’t disagree that for Sodini this led to sexist thoughts and actions, but I have a hard time finding any evidence of a sense of privilege.

ME:  Oh really? The author made it seem like he was a working class guy. I should’ve known not to take his stupid word on anything. It depends. 250K a year? or like in his life?

when a lack of success with women leads to sexist thoughts, and especially violence, against them, that is gendered entitlement in its truest form. If he really felt no hostility towards women for not having sex with him, he would’ve only shot himself.

But I’m really taking issue with the author, who said that Sodini cracked because he was out of the Darwinian competition, and that he was just honest enough to admit that sex is one of the only things that matter. And what exactly am I to make of that? If I’m to accept that premise, how does it affect my daily life? Well I better watch out the next time I want to politely reject a guy at a bar. Instead of just calling me a bitch (also a sign of entitlement) he might blow my brains out and i’ll be partly responsible. 
your move sir!

HIM: I don’t know, whatever “net worth” means.

while i don’t wish to compare the two in terms of the pain they cause or anything else like that, I think this is the kind of desperation and frustration most women can never fully understand, just like rape and sexual assault is something most men can never fully understand.

i’m sorry, but hostility towards women =/= gendered entitlement. if you can show me what specifically makes you think he feels “entitled” as you say, other than “he’s pathetic and sexist and wants to get laid” then I’d be glad to take a look.

What I see is that he thinks there must be something wrong with him, and no one will tell him what it is. He thinks women are shit, it’s true. But he thinks of himself as not even being worthy of what he thinks is shit. that’s the opposite of entitlement. that’s complete self-deprecation.

Also, I do think sex is very, very important for a happy, healthy life. Don’t you?

ME:  He refers to women as “edible” and “so beautiful as to not be human.” He was reading a book on how to get young girls if you’re over 35. Not only did he feel entitled to a woman’s attention, he felt entitled to a much younger woman’s attention. When his illusions about this were threatened, it confused him and he snapped.

To say that a less-than confident man can’t exert male entitlement is like saying that a less-than-confident white person can’t exert white privilege. Whether you’re objectifying women out of overconfidence or underconfidence, you’re still objectifying them, and they still pay the greater price, ultimately.

Dan Savage sums up my view of George Sodini pretty well in his column. You should check it out, it’s the third question:


And yes, sex is an awesome thing and sexual frustration is depressing for men and women. but Sodini’s frustation could have been lessened if he didn’t believe (understandably considering the world he grew up in) that “a man needs a woman for confidence.”

HIM:   alright, well that’s not the impression I got from reading his blog, but I suppose we all have different interpretations. Dan Savage does have a lot of experience, obviously, so he must have good reason to see it that way.

Maybe I’m just fucked up and influenced by society and feel gendered entitlement as well, but I never feel as confident when I’m lonely than when I’m with someone. It’s not everything, but it’s a crucial part of the puzzle, at least for me.

ME:   Well we’ll agree to disagree I guess. At some point we should mull this shit over in person…and then have a fist fight.

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In this post, you will find: some incendiary thoughts to promote discussion. i do believe in these ideas, but i’m open to changing my opinions if compelling arguments are offered. and a bunch of personal revelations. for me, it is about time to come out with it!

  1. Patriarchy is everywhere. Example follows in #2.
  2. Men have the incentive to promote sex-positivism, as they have a lot to gain from the idea that women who exercise sex and sex appeal are using them as tools for empowerment. When in fact, these women are tricked into assuming a very specific kind of power, while forgoing many other avenues of expression and empowerment. Of course men would want to promote the idea that women having sex and being sexy and doing sex-work is a good thing for the women themselves. When in fact, I believe that it hurts women, while helping men to get what they want, i.e. sex. This kind of empowerment is dependent upon male response, and is therefore, not empowerment at all.
  3. Heterosexual penetrative vaginal intercourse is inherently unequal. The man in this situation can orgasm so he has less incentive to stop, while the woman will rarely find it as pleasurable. Most women cannot climax through this kind of sex. Why, then, are they even having it? I know it must feel good for many women. But it doesn’t feel as good as so many other things, for many women. Why do women settle for an action that only feels kind of good sometimes? I have some ideas for why. It is because women feel culturally pressured into having sex, into feeling that they are not complete people if they have not had sex. I know why I sometimes have sex. It is to please the man. Coincidentally, it may sometimes feel pleasurable for me. But even if it didn’t, I would probably have this kind of sex. I have been tricked into attaching some of my self-worth to whether a man wants to, and will, have sex with me. (To my bejai-baby: I love you and we’ve talked about this and you are amazing and it’s awesome that you are willing to not have sex with me, though I won’t thank you for it, as it’s not exactly a favor that you are granting me so much as not prohibiting me from exercising my right that I already have to not have sex.)
  4. It seems unnatural to think of not having sex. But power structures survive from generation to generation by the illusion of naturalness. The oppressor will make the victim think that SEX is how it has always been, that SEX is natural, that SEX cannot change. And the victim will believe him. And it will go on and on and on. The idea that women should reconsider having sex is met with great opposition, even from my like-minded feminist peers!

Thoughts please.

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