The previews for the Anna Faris vehicle “What’s Your Number?” couldn’t make me want to see that movie any less if they added “Exorcist”-style projectile vomiting. The premise, if you have magically managed to miss the media blitz, is that Faris’ character realizes her list of sexual partners has one more digit than most of her friends’. She spirals into a panic attack induced by slut-shaming and spends the rest of the movie trying not to add a new guy to the list. It’s supposed to be funny, but I can’t work up more of a response than a frustrated eye-roll and a long, exasperated sigh.
Here’s the thing about counting sexual partners: context matters. A number is just a number. It gives no background on the who, what, when, where, and why. If we want to judge people’s sexual activity (which I’m not convinced we do), the qualitative matters so much more than the quantitative. Keep reading »
To write this article on cunnilingus, I created a mini-survey to get some perspectives from readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends and a bunch of total strangers. I threw “box job”—as Dan Savage once described the act—in the title simply because, sad as it seems, I assumed that that the technical term (which is derived from the Latin words for vulva and tongue) wasn’t widely known. Keep reading »
Not so long ago, my wife and I were talking to a recently-divorced friend of ours. She’s younger than we are, in her early thirties, and as far as she’s concerned, she’s never tying the knot again. Not because of an objection to the institution, but because she’s convinced that most men marry for one reason: they want to be taken care of emotionally.
“I got tired of thinking about someone else’s needs all the time,” our friend said. “I’m prepared to take care of a baby. But I don’t want my first-born to be my second child.” When she heard that, my wife turned to me and gave me a grin. She knows my history.
In three previous marriages and a handful of other long-term relationships (I haven’t been single for long since I was 16), I found myself—like so many men—taking on the parts of the “naughty boy” and the “helpless child.” Time and again, I turned wives and girlfriends into mother-figures, and the result was inevitably disastrous. Keep reading »
I’ve been online dating and I have not met my one true love, my soul mate, my Prince Charming, my knight in shining armor, or my other half. You may consider this a failure, but by my metrics, it’s going just fine. I’ve met fascinating, attractive, intelligent, opinionated, funny people and enjoyed a ridiculous range of conversation over a delicious assortment of snacks and beverages.
I have a lot of male friends who are online dating as well, and I’ve learned that the rules are a little different for straight dudes. What follows are some suggestions for gentleman who want to meet some ladies from the safety of their living rooms. Caveat #1: I cannot speak for all ladies dating online, I can only speak for myself. That said, my advice is aimed at men who want to appeal to the set of women whose profile features more than a bikini pic. Caveat #2: This is not advice to get you laid. Keep reading »
Fact: women are too often judged solely on their appearance, and treated differently based on how they measure up to men’s ideas of what they should look like. This much is obvious, and I’m sure the majority of us here applaud the women who stood up and continue to stand up to this offensive treatment that reduces women to just one aspect of who they are, while ignoring their many other strengths. But—there had to be a “but”—women should acknowledge that they often do the same thing to men—not based on looks as much as on our jobs, careers, and success. Keep reading »
My mother and many of her second-wave feminist peers view pornography as an institutional ill that is degrading to women and damaging to developing sexuality. She believes that the camera-ready angles, waxed and plastic body parts and pervasive depiction of extreme acts as “normal” distort human sexuality and give young porn-viewers a whole bunch of false and dangerous expectations.
My mom is a smart lady, and she’s not wrong. While I agree that some porn (okay, most of it) fits the bill she describes as damaging, I don’t find the filming and viewing of sex acts as objectively offensive. In other words, I think that porn is not inherently problematic, but its content often includes problematic ideas and attitudes. I also believe when viewed as entertainment, porn can be a positive element in the repertoire of adult sexuality, Keep reading »
There are few more famous snippets of film dialogue than this exchange from the 1989 Blly Crystal and Meg Ryan classic, “When Harry Met Sally”:
Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Keep reading »
“I was always daddy’s little girl. We did everything together. He was my hero. My father was always there with a hug for me; when I was little, he let me climb all over him like he was a jungle gym.
And then my body changed. I developed early; I had boobs by 11. And all of a sudden, my Dad stopped hugging me or touching me. He went overnight from being my best friend to being remote and critical.”
I read that in a student’s journal earlier this semester (quoted with permission). I’ve read and heard similar things countless times over the course of nearly 20 years teaching gender studies and doing youth ministry. Ask any family therapist who works with teen girls, and they’ll report the same thing I’ve heard: story after story of fathers withdrawing physical affection as soon as their daughters hit puberty. Keep reading »
“You’re either gay, straight, or lying.”
I first heard that oft-repeated phrase when I was an 18-year-old freshman at UC Berkeley. I was at my first meeting of the GLBA (Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Alliance). I’d recently broken up with a girlfriend, and had been dating (and sleeping with) both men and women; I was ready to “come out” as bi and to get involved in campus activism. But as I quickly found out, though there were equal numbers of gay men and lesbians in the group, the only bisexuals were women. And while many of those women faced a certain amount of “bi-phobia,” at least the GLBA acknowledged their existence.
Bisexual men, I was told, didn’t exist: we were either cowards or liars, too scared or too dishonest to admit we were really gay. Keep reading »
I don’t think I have a small penis. I mean, I’ve stared at it all of my life. I can wrap my fingers around it, so I know it’s not of Sasquatch proportions. There are inches there, multiple inches, of love. I’d say it would make a nice cigar. I have been given the standard statement I think most women tell men who are small to average size, that I’m “just right.” Like the bowl of porridge Goldilocks most preferred. I imagine men who are prodigiously gifted are told the same thing, just to keep their ego in check. Maybe during sex, these women also say “Slower! Stop stabbing me in the guts!” I wouldn’t know. I just know that once upon a time, for a hot minute, I thought I had a huge dong. Keep reading »