Growing up is all about figuring out who you are, who you can call a real friend, and if you are really (really?) just going to turn into your parents. So, yeah, it’s a pretty crappy experience for everybody — and especially so if the place you call home does not embrace being “different.” In the past few decades, LGBT groups and their allies have made huge inroads helping gay young adults feel welcome with gay-straight alliance clubs and the like. In fact, Human Rights Watch’s nationwide event, National Coming Out Day, is next week, on October 11. The day doesn’t necessarily promote gay folks “coming out” of the closet, but it promotes everyone voicing their support for gay rights and equality. Given how just last month, an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman jumped to his death after his roommate live-streamed his gay encounter on the internet, events like Coming Out Day are so important for visibility.
Later this year, there will be another coming out day: a recent college graduate is organizing “Feminist Coming Out Day” to take place on March 8, 2011, which also just happens to be International Women’s Day. Keep reading »
If you’ve read the news at all lately, you have heard of the trials and tribulations of Bishop Eddie Long. The Atlanta mega-church pastor is accused of sexual coercion of young men within his flock. Four men filed lawsuits last week claiming Long, a televangelist, forced them to have sex. Through a spokesman, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church pastor has categorically denied the charges against him. We will leave the sexual assault allegations to the lawyers. But even if he is found not guilty of sexual assault, Eddie Long has a well-established history of abusing power of another kind: his “relationship advice” book, What A Man Wants, What A Woman Needs, is chock full of swill that preaches keeping your trap shut, also known as “wifely submission.” Keep reading »
Even if you were the worst volleyball player on your middle school team, or if your parents dragged you kicking and screaming to basketball practice every week, chances are that you got some serious benefits out of playing an organized sport. A ton of research shows that women who played sports as kids and teens not only went further in their education, but landed better jobs and now make more money. In fact, one study showed that of women in executive positions, 82 percent played an organized sport after elementary school. And in general, while only 1 in 6 women identifies themselves as an “athlete,” that number shoots up to 1 in 2 for women who make $75K a year or more. That’s enough to make you kick a soccer ball around, no? Keep reading »
For all the sex positive writing that I do, I’d never actually talked with someone who worked in the adult entertainment industry for a living. Like a lot of people, I just assumed they all were failed actresses and cokeheads.
That was unfair of me.
Over the summer, I met up with Ryan Keely, an adult film star, Penthouse Pet and Penthouse advice columnist, and an erotic dancer. Ryan, who is originally from Seattle, is as smart as she is beautiful; it’s clear from spending time with her that her heart lies in bringing the joy of sexuality and sensuality to others. Recently, Ryan has been teaching seminars for Porn Star Sex Life, co-founded with Josh Rosenberg, a pick-up artist who created UpYourAttraction.com. I was a little skeptical, too, of Porn Star Sex Life classes. Generally speaking, I think porn gives us stupid role models. The actors and actresses fake great sex and know how to make it look really awesome on screen. Why would we want to emulate that? But Ryan is an approachable educator: she’s had a lot of sex with a lot of partners, both men and women, both onscreen and off, and she is ashamed of nothing. “What it takes to be a porn star is you want to explore your sexuality,” she told me. “The people that are in this industry for the right reasons are people are want to take sex to the next level. We’re sexual athletes.”
I walked away from an afternoon of cake and milk with Ryan thinking, “Damn, I want this girl to be my best friend and I want to sleep with her.” After the jump, Ryan opens up about why missionary is the best sex position for women, her stance on sex positive feminism, why she hates KY Jelly, and her one-woman campaign to bust sexual taboos! Keep reading »
Well, that’s one way to get the job done: A feminist group in the Ukraine has gone to extreme measures to get out their message. Members of FEMEN, a Ukrainian feminist group, have taken to topless protesting to get their point across. The group supports everything from equal pay and anti-sex trafficking bills to fighting for increased voting rights and against unfair utility taxes.
Founded in 2008 by a group of fed-up Ukrainian college students, FEMEN aims to rally young women to feminist causes. “I set up FEMEN because I realized that there was a lack of women activists in our society; Ukraine is male-oriented and women take a passive role,” explains founder Anna Hutsol. Keep reading »