Profile for Rachel Kramer Bussel

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http://www.rachelkramerbussel.com

Girl Talk: I Lied To My Gynecologist About My Number Of Sexual Partners

Numbers Don't Matter
How many partners she's had is irrelevant. Read More »
What's Your Number?
Here's why I don't care. Read More »
Slut-Shaming Rant
silver linings playbook
It has no "silver lining." Read More »

I didn’t think I was ashamed of the number of sexual partners I’ve had in the 20 years I’ve been getting it on until I found myself filling in a number half the true total at a recent gynecologist appointment. Although I know doctors are trained not to judge, and this doctor in particular had been particularly kind, helpful and professional when I’d seen her previously, in my head, all of a sudden the number (at best an approximation as I haven’t kept an exact count in year) seemed like cause for alarm. Even if I never had to say it out loud and its size was simply one more piece of data for her to use in evaluating me, something about it made me erase what I’d typed in the online form and halve it. As it turned out, she didn’t even ask me a single thing about my number, so that fretting was for naught—except that it taught me a lesson: slut shaming isn’t just something other people do to us, but something we can do to ourselves. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: What Calorie-Obsessed Vogue Diet Mom Dara-Lynn Weiss Ignores In Her Memoir The Heavy

Weight Talk
One writer is sick of talking to women about weight. Read More »
Former Fat Kid Responds
...to the Vogue mom who put her 7yo daughter on a diet. Read More »
Open Letter To The Fat Girl
Winona pens an open letter to the fat girl. Read More »

Dara-Lynn Weiss, the woman who became infamous for writing in Vogue about putting her daughter on a diet, wants it both ways: she repeats over and over in her new memoir The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet, how much she loves every inch of her daughter, including her pesky belly, but then painstakingly details the lengths she went to in order to shrink it. That dichotomy surely wasn’t lost on her daughter, and there’s no telling how that will affect her in later years. Weiss’s attitude is that she had to take extreme measures to combat the extreme problem of childhood obesity, but it’s the very extremity that concerned me. I felt anxious reading it as Weiss panicked and seemed completely consumed by this project when her four foot four, 93-pound daughter was pronounced obese by her pediatrician. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Taking A Pregnancy Test At 36

Soapbox: No Kids
Women writers without kids understand human emotions, too. Read More »
Pregnancy Test
Am I pregnant or not? Only one way to find out. Read More »
Broken Biological Clock
Some biological clocks just don't tick. Read More »

The first time I bought a pregnancy test I was 17. I’d gotten my period but was so new at the whole sex thing, not to mention paranoid, that I wanted to be sure. We hadn’t used condoms, but instead a small, see-through film that hardly seemed like it was going to do its job. I used it anyway because I was 17, and he was hot, not to mention 31, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. I wasn’t pregnant, but taking that test set the tone for every other pregnancy test I’ve taken, including one last weekend.

The biggest difference for me between taking a pregnancy test at 17 and 36 wasn’t so much the technology as the fact that I’m in a vastly different place than I was then. I know more about sex, relationships and myself, and while at 17, I was pretty sure I would get an abortion if a test were positive, now I’m almost certain I wouldn’t. I was scared, but not as scared as I’d been at 17. Another difference is that at the moment, I don’t have health insurance—bad, I know, and after this scare I’m joining the Freelancer’s Union and getting health insurance ASAP. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Why Checking Your Partner’s Email And Phone Is Not Smart

Snooping His Profile
online dating photo
If your man still has a profile up, there's trouble ahead. Read More »
I Swore I'd Never Snoop
...but then I did. Read More »
Snooping Vs. Stalking
What's the difference between online snooping and stalking? Read More »

Recently, Jools Oliver, wife of chef Jamie Oliver, and writer Samantha Brick both proudly declared that they check their husbands’ emails and phones regularly, and credit their successful marriages in part to such snooping. Oliver said that even though she monitors her husband’s email, phone and Twitter account, “He says I’m a jealous girl, but I think I’m fairly laid-back, considering.”

While it may work for them, I would caution against following their lead. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should find out everything you possibly can about someone, even someone you’re sleeping with or married to. I know because I once read my boyfriend’s email (while using his computer with his permission) and found out he’d been sleeping with prostitutes while having unprotected sex with me, and promptly broke up with him. Do I wish I’d remained ignorantly blissful for a little while longer? Not necessarily, but it was a harrowing way to find out. With an ex, I read an email that criticized me in a way that I’ve never forgotten, and in that case, I wish I hadn’t seen it, because it wasn’t intended for me. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: I Don’t Have A Dating Checklist

The Do-Not-Date List
Guys you should avoid at all costs! Read More »
Change Your Type!
Five ways to change the type of guy you go for. Read More »
This Is Not A Date
5 signs what you're doing is not actually a date. Read More »

In the preview for Bravo’s upcoming reality show “Miss Advised,” internet personality Julia Allison boldly exclaims that she’s looking for a husband and has a 73-point checklist. When I heard that, my immediate thought was that I’ve never had a checklist, and even when I’ve set vague goals for the types of people I wanted to date, I’ve found that the universe tends to throw people in my path who are explicitly not the types I’d have said I was looking for, as if it’s testing me. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Leave Lolo Jones And Her Virginity Alone!

The Soapbox
Why Lolo Jones' reason for being a virgin is infuriating. Read More »
Virginity & Depression
Why do girls get depressed after losing their virginity? Read More »
Virginity Regrets
Regretting the way you lost your v-card. Read More »

I have to respectfully disagree with Alexandra Gekas’ recent Soapbox excoriating Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones for considering her virginity “a gift I want to give my husband.” Taking Jones to task for how she’s decided to pursue her sexuality strikes me as yet another way to be holier-than-thou, through a feminist lens, almost the opposite of slut-shaming (conservative-shaming? virgin-shaming?). There are a seemingly infinite number of ways women are told we are expressing ourselves, sexually and otherwise, incorrectly. Are we showing too much cleavage? Putting out too soon? Living in sin? It’s like we can’t win, and while I’m not in Jones’ position, I’d like to think anyone who’s been judged for being “slutty” can empathize with being judged in this way. Keep reading »

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