It’s easy to think that some behaviors are just inherently male or female. Boys like to play with trucks. Girls like to play with dolls. Men propose marriage, women take their husband’s last name. But what may be normal in the Western World isn’t necessarily around the world.
See what we discovered about gender norms across the globe.
1. Belgium: Boys Wear Pink
When it’s time to paint a baby’s bedroom or pick out an outfit, many of us immediately choose pink for girls and blue for boys. But it wasn’t always that way, and, in some places, it still isn’t. Up until the early 20th century, the opposite was true — blue was considered feminine and pink was considered masculine. Pink was thought to be stronger, and blue was thought to be dainty, hence the gender distinction. In contemporary Belgium, this is still considered normal. Read more…
So this is majorly depressing: Petter Kverneng, a teenage boy in Norway, really wanted to have sex with his crush Cathrine, though she wasn’t particularly into it. So she — allegedly — told him she’d have sex with him if he could get one million likes on Facebook. Because there’s nothing the world cares more about than the deflowering of a desperate young be-pimpled child, the Internet has helpfully chimed in with a barrage of support. The board 4chan (don’t go there, seriously), got wind of the offer and ponied up the necessary likes, so now, we suppose, Cathrine is going to have sex with Petter. The tally is currently at 1.2 million and rising. Keep reading »
Guernica’s Kristen O’Regan went undercover as a woman seeking a labiaplasty to investigate the world of vaginal rejuvenation, a field of surgery which is “relatively unregulated and frequently botched, as indicated by the staggering number of clinics that advertise discreet revisions of bungled previous surgeries.” One of her many disturbing discoveries was a that a procedure called “The Barbie”is growing in popularity:
Dr. Red Alinsod, a urogynecologist in Laguna Beach, California, claims that his most requested surgical procedure is the Barbie: a procedure that excises the entire labia minora. This results in a ‘clamshell’ aesthetic: a smooth genital area, the outer labia appearing ‘sealed’ together with no labia minora protrusion. Alinsod tells me he invented the Barbie in 2005. “I had been doing more conservative labiaplasties before then,” he says. “But I kept getting patients who wanted almost all of it off. They would come in and say, I want a ‘Barbie.’ So I developed a procedure that would give them this comfortable, athletic, petite look, safely.”
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“I have a shopping fetish!”
“I have a total fetish for caramel-covered popcorn — it’s my favorite snack!”
“She watches the Kardashians’ shows because she has a weird Kim fetish. She’s wants to dress like her so badly.”
You’ve probably heard a comment like this at least once a week your entire life. These sorts of comments drive me bonkers, because those people are not really referring to fetishes.
Instead, they’re misusing the word “fetish” to describe anything they really like, instead of something that sexually turns them on. I imagine it might be the same way gay folks would feel when a straight-person says to their same-sex friend “I’m gay for you,” when really they just mean their friend is a good buddy.
This is a subject we could all stand to know more about. Obviously I am not a psychologist or a medical expert of any kind; I’m just a woman with a spanking fetish who is researching official information on the subject on Google and including my own experiences and tips. I highly recommend visiting a sex-positive therapist, specifically a sex therapist, for a professional consult and to sort this stuff out if you or a loved one have a fetish or paraphilia.
But for a basic 101 on fetishes and paraphilia, here are some commonly asked questions and answers:
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One lucky paparazzo thought he’d hit pay dirt when he spotted Zac Efron in a sea of dildos at a NYC sex shop. Before you get all excited, you should know that Zac was at Fantasy World for business, not pleasure — he was filming a scene for his upcoming movie, “Are We Officially Dating.” Zac allegedly tried to bargain with the photog to erase the pics, so as not to corrupt all his young fans, but the photog refused. [NY Post]
Nothing to be embarrassed about, Zac, you’re not alone. These other celebs (Zac included!) have been caught having sex shop romps …