"It’s like parenting or establishing friendships, or pretty much any other intimate, cooperative endeavor: It takes attention and recalibration to be done well even when you’ve made a particularly felicitous match." Sex can be unpleasant, awkward, or even upsetting - and that's okay. In Defense of Bad Sex.
Women haven't always gotten to play a big role in the scientific advancements, studies and cultural conversations concerning sexuality. […] But numerous powerful women have elbowed their way in, taking control over female sexuality and introducing innovations that actually what women want and need.[more inside]
bell hooks calls Beyonce a "terrorist" and a "slave" At a panel discussion at the New School yesterday, bell hooks raised eyebrows in a conversation about the controversial Time magazine cover seen here, saying that Beyonce "colluded in the construction of herself as a slave," going on to say “I see a part of Beyoncé that is in fact anti-feminist — that is, a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls.” [more inside]
Amy Schumer's tale of courage, sex and self-worth as told at the Ms. Foundation Gala. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it."
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. [more inside]
If You Want a More Thoughtful Boyfriend, Try Pegging Him. Want to make straight men better in bed — and better feminist allies? The path may be simple: fuck them up the ass. According to one brand new book, the path to making men more compassionate, appreciative and playful may be straight through their butts.
Victoria's Secret has a new line of feminist-friendly underwear: PINK ♥s Consent. Except not really -- it's a hoax site created by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. The internet's response has been tremendous.
The Hairpin's Jia Tolentino holds three interviews with virgins. (Trigger warnings on the second and third stories.)
One thing I am going to do differently as a parent is go easy on the ‘save sex for someone special’ rhetoric with my kids – both with my daughter and my son. Feminist and mother Blue Milk on the downside of encouraging young girls to "save themselves."
The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. (Probably SFW in itself, depending on your W - no naughty images - but links out may go to NSFW content) Holly Pervocracy (previously), a feminist sex blogger, revisits Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's classic but contentious Geek Social Fallacies (previously).
"As someone who [...] advocates against violence against women and for rape survivors' rights, I never really felt I was allowed to participate in the fantasy of my own violation."
"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."
The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
Angry Jane Doe: "I have started to sleep around. I sleep with men I am not dating. I sleep with men and refuse to date them, actually. I come to their houses, fuck them, say thank you for a nice time, and don't let the door hit me on the ass on the way out. You might think this is a pretty good deal, but it is not. Because I fuck and tell. Because I'm pissed." (NSFW.) [more inside]
"Just as the watchword of my generation was freedom, that of my daughter’s generation seems to be control." Erica Jong finds a lack of passion in the longings of 20- and 30-somethings. Her claim is that internet porn and motherhood have replaced the quest for free love initiated by Boomer feminists. Sex educator Violet Blue (both links potentially NSFW) disagrees. Rosie Grey concurs in the Village Voice.
"The problem stems not from there being 'too much' casual sex on campus but from the overall dissatisfaction with sex on campus and the lack of alternatives."
So suddenly, everyone was talking about hookup culture, and they wanted to know: "What is this thing? What is it?" And they were afraid that somehow college was some alcohol-fueled Bacchanalian orgy.The Promise and Perils of Hookup Culture: a talk by sociologist Lisa Wade (previously).
Mariella Frostrup on International Women's Day, feminism and the emancipation of women in the developing world.
Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life. Remember this thread from last weekend? Here is another interesting take on the dynamics of modern heterosexual relationships.
We are two women from different worlds with very different experiences. I, Annie, have performed in, directed and produced pornography for twenty five years. Mae Tyme has been anti-pornography for equally as long. We met at a lesbian video night several years ago. You might think that we'd be enemies, because we have such different viewpoints. Could we come together to record a conversation, share our ideas, and show that women of desparate [sic] backgrounds and beliefs can communicate and collaborate?
"The so-called Victorian conception of women's sexuality was more that of an ideology seeking to be established than the prevalent view or practice of even middle-class women."
"Some enjoyed sex but worried that they shouldn't. One slept apart from her husband 'to avoid temptation of too frequent intercourse.' " Standford Magazine on the accidental discovery of an unpublished sex survey of American women made 55 years before Kinsey . (via)
As if being rich and trashy weren't already enough work, now there's vajazzling, too. (NSFW)
"Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves." Also: male gaze on the Gender Ads Project. Laura Mulvey's original 1975 essay on Male Gaze in cinema.
Moving beyond no means no. The anthology Yes Means Yes brings together writers, male and female, to explore the power of enthusiastic consent and to promote female desire free of coercion. The book has spawned a series of readings, live chats, and some interesting blog responses. [more inside]
This is not sex. A Web Essay on the Male Gaze, Fashion Advertising, and the Pose.
A review of the current state of gender based brain research shows that women and men differ both in the way their brains are constructed and in how they function.
..correlation between brain region size in adults and sex steroid action in utero suggests that at least some sex differences in cognitive function do not result from cultural influences or the hormonal changes associated with puberty--they are there from birth.Treatment for such things as schizophrenia and depression will likely have gender specific variations in the future. Previously, brain research that examined gender differences was considered controversial because it was argued that the results might give rise to more sex discrimination against women. That view may be changing.
Whether she is called a geisha, a courtesan, a prostitute, or a dominatrix, women who make their living by offering intimate, one-on-one companionship to men (sexually or otherwise- as is more often the case) have been around since day one. Often reviled, marginalized, and belittled, are they truly the hapless victims and social parasites they are often portrayed as? Or is this sort of profession really one of the few areas where an intelligent woman can achieve financial security and prosperity, even in a patriarchal society? (note: I am well aware that sex is not normally part of the deal with geishas and dommes. However, they are frequently lumped in this category.)
A survey on Gender Bias recorded that America's largest survey of sexual activity asked, "What is the best moment of intercourse?" Of the top three men's answers, the MOST popular single response was "my partner's orgasm." Feminists complain that men are preoccupied with performance rather than intimacy ("my partner's orgasm" did NOT make the top three list for women). If things were reversed and men's favorite moment was their own orgasm; (a) Feminists would complain that men were self-centered. (b) Feminists would complain that men didn't care about satisfying women.