How much should your family know about your sex life? Most straight people will probably say “not much,” given how our heteronormative culture just assumes most of us are screwing opposite sex partners behind closed doors. But lots of other people — I’m talking gay, bisexual, polyamorous or kinky folks — may feel like openness and acceptance of their sexuality is openness and acceptance of themselves. Yes, sexuality is very personal. But keeping info private which others happily flaunt can make a person feel like she’s keeping a big ol’ shameful secret.
Such is the conundrum of a bisexual woman married to a man who wrote to Slate’s advice columnist Dear Prudence, asking if she should “come out” to friends and family. Keep reading »
I’m a regular reader of Slate’s advice column, “Dear Prudence,” which counsels letter writers on problems great and small. While the questions fairly often have to do with matters pertaining to sex, this is the first time I’ve seen Prudie advise a letter writer who caught a tween masturbating with a kitchen utensil. Which may or may not have been suggested by the letter writer’s sister, a ‘cool aunt.’ From the letter:
… This weekend, I came home to hear a commotion in the kitchen and found my daughter holding the hand mixer against her body. Embarrassed, she said her aunt had “taught her this trick.” Now, I can easily imagine she may have just thrown that out as an inappropriate joke, but I wouldn’t put it past her to have meant it seriously. Obviously, our daughter wouldn’t be the first 13-year-old girl put in an awkward situation to lie, either.
Well then. Keep reading »
In today’s Dear Prudence letter, a woman going by the name of “Feeling Dirty” wrote in “grossed out” and “confused” that her boyfriend of two years seems to be turned on every time she poops — especially if it’s of the diarrhea variety. The woman, who mentions that she grew up in a house where bathroom behavior was never discussed, admits that she’s one of those secret poopers, even in her own home, which she shares with her boyfriend, “Ron.” She writes:
“Now that ‘Ron’ and I are living together, I have to divulge certain information on a need to know basis. More specifically, if I have diarrhea. These times I have had to explain, ‘You may not want to go in there for a while.’ The weird thing is, 15 minutes or so after telling him such, Ron initiates sex. I find it gross and confusing. He knows how uncomfortable I feel as it is. This has happened four times so far. He denies a pattern or that it’s unusual. Am I the one being weird about this?”
Keep reading »
Slate.com’s modus operandi is to troll the hell out of everyone. Today’s piece by Dear Prudence author Emily Yoffe, “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk,” is a classic example.
In her piece, Yoffe recounts a statistic from a 2009 study that 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. She then gives what she thinks is sound personal safety advice for “young and naive women,” but it’s actually a slippery slope to victim blaming:
Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.
Keep reading »
Love, sweet love — it’s basically a transactional agreement between two people who believe that they’ve successfully traded upon their skills and abilities to find a suitable mate. No? That’s not your definition of love? What about if you’re really, really pretty? And maybe you think you could find a richer, more successful man by trading on your looks? Meet Dear Prudence letter writer “Sincerely Shallow,” who asked the advice columnist just that. Here’s her question:
“I’m recently engaged to the most honest, thoughtful, and loving man I’ve ever met. He has supported me through many hard times, including losing my job and being assaulted. Here’s the but about him: He makes no money. He has ambitions, and he’s smart, but will likely only bring a middle-class income at best. I have an OK job and I’m self-sufficient. Now here’s the but about me: I’m really, really pretty. My whole life people have told me I could get any man I want, meaning a rich man, and are shocked that I’m engaged to my fiancé, nice though he is. I’ve never dated a rich man, but it does make me curious. So part of me thinks I’m squandering my good looks on this poor man, and the other part of me thinks that I’m so shallow that I don’t even deserve him or anyone else. Am I a fool for thinking that a poor man can make me happy, or an idiot for believing a sexist fantasy?”
Before you say I’m bashing her just because she has high self-esteem, give me a sec. Keep reading »
A few weeks ago, I had to have an awkward conversation with O’Boyfriend about appropriate versus inappropriate times to grab my butt, or as the Irish call it, my “bum.”
“I like it when you grab my butt in bed, cuddling or playful moments that feels like foreplay,” I told him. “I don’t like it when you do it at completely unsexy moments, like when I’m covering up a pimple or flossing my teeth. Then it’s just weird and awkward and annoying.”
He seemed to get the point. Playful bum-grabbing: good. Annoying bum-grabbing: bad.
If only this poor woman who wrote Dear Prudence about her boyfriend’s face-licking problem was as lucky! Keep reading »