“How do women decide to begin a sexual relationship? Pricing!”
The above video showed up in my Facebook feed the other night. It’s from a purported think tank, the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, which is actually a Christian think tank/advocacy group. The video claims to be a scientific look at the “Economics of Sex” based on the concept that men want sex for its own sake but women want sex for intimacy, security and, ultimately, marriage. Therefore sex is a “resource,” subject to supply and demand, which women control. “Men know that sex is cheap these days if they know where to look!” we are told. The video then implores women to dole out the supply of their resource to men (the “demand”) in exchange for other stuff. Essentially: ‘All sex is prostitution and women are prostitutes.’ Hello, Christian Right! Thought you were in there somewhere.
There’s so much in this video that makes me mad, I almost don’t know where to start: the fact that it’s a call to female solidarity drawn and directed entirely by men; the fact that they talk about women ‘policing women’s relationship interests’ when they mean slut shaming; the comparison of the birth control pill to chemical pesticides; the blazing heteronormativity. Smart women have already chimed in on this stuff, though, so I’ll focus on the completely bullshit notion that “men want sex more than women do.” I’m not saying this statement is untrue — I’m saying it’s utter nonsense to which no truth value can be assigned.
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“I don’t think you’d make a very good ‘Bachelor,’” Jessie says to me, halfway through the second episode of the current season. (“The Bachelor” is appointment snuggle viewing in our marriage.) For some reason, it really bristles me.
“What, you don’t think I could show a couple dozen ladies a good time?” I remember asking. “I would be a great ‘Bachelor’! I’m a fun date! I’m a good time guy! You should know that about me by now.”
“Of course you are,” she reassures me. “I just meant I don’t think you would fall in love with the kind of girls who end up on ‘The Bachelor.’”
“Well … fine, I guess you’re right,” I admit. “Just don’t forget: good time guy. I could date the shit out of these women if I wanted to. They would know they were being romanced and they wouldn’t forget it.”
“They would like it, too.”
“Alright!” Keep reading »
I remember the first time I went back to Jessie’s apartment after a pretty awesome date. Like most first times, I felt excited and more than a little nervous. I already knew I liked her more than anyone I’d met in a long time, so the stakes were high. Also, we’d both eaten more cheese that evening than I consider ideal for hot sex.
I figured she was thinking along the same lines when she stopped me in the middle of wrestling with her bra clasp. (I’m about raw passion, not fine motor skills.) Instead, she crossed to her dresser, flipped her laptop open and punched up a Spotify playlist. I couldn’t help laughing a little when I recognized the beginning of Kelis’ “In Public,” one of the sillier sex jams of the early aughties. But the extra sway in her hips as she walked back to the bed shut me up.
I later found out that the playlist was straightforwardly titled “Sex Songs” — an ever-growing and evolving beast of a thing she’s been gradually adding to for years. It still forms the background to most of our bedroom-bound sex and I’ve come to regard it with considerable affection. Keep reading »
To explain to an audience who knows nothing about me: I have dated horrible people. Horrible, just awful. I’ve been cheated on more times than I can count, gotten yelled at once for being sick, and have thrown away more money than I wish to admit trying to repair each and every one of these doomed relationships.
If we’re going to get technical about it, then yes, I can say I have a type that I’m attracted to. Because I’m kind of a loser, I’ve made a list of every girl I’ve kissed, slept with, dated, and loved. There are roughly 15. Hooray for me, right? Out of these 15, ten have been brunettes. Typically under 5’6’’, usually with bangs, always the type of person who would be considered “cute.” Out of those 10, I’ve been in love with seven. Of those seven, four have come from broken homes, enjoyed punk rock, and lost their shit at the drop of a pin. Out of those four, three of them had the middle name Jean. That’s the weirdest part to me, albeit a coincidence, but weird nonetheless. Also of interest to me are the wildcards who don’t quite fit into, um, any categories at all. Out of those wildcards, there were four outliers who made quite an impression on me. They were as follows… Keep reading »
I’m about one more “and then he came inside me” away from blowing my brains out.
I’m a sex enthusiast, perhaps even a connoisseur on the matter. I peruse publications about sex, participate in deep conversations on the act, and occasionally even engage in the monstrous business. But for fuck’s sake, if I have to read another article about unprotected sex, I’m going to jump off a bridge.
This all started a few years ago when I was reading Vice magazine, specifically the section “People Who Just Had Sex With Each Other.” It’s a column in which an interviewer talks to a couple who just had sex and asks them intimate questions about that particular love-making session. This one painfully hip couple were giving an account of their intimate nudie-sesh. They talked about the foreplay: touching each other’s business, licking each other’s things, fingering each other’s hoo-has. All normal stuff. Then the girl talks about how the guy came inside of her because she was on her period. They had just met the previous week, yet were already at the stage where they could, not only have period sex, but have unprotected period sex. Imagine taking the red ski lift into cream-village with a complete stranger like it’s not even a big deal. I just remember sitting back in my chair and thinking about all the new STD’s that could be swimming inside of their hipster bods. Keep reading »
With all this fine literature along the lines of I’m Beautiful and I Hate It! circling the Internet, I’ve felt it’s my time to chime in with my point-of-view on the subject. But how does one comment on their level of attractiveness without putting out the vibe that they’re a self-obsessed jughead dingbat or, worse, starving for attention? As I walked around my apartment, glancing at my reflection in various shiny household objects, the answer came to me: Honesty.
See, the problem with a lot of the articles making the rounds are their lack of total honesty. Of course, I don’t think they’re lying. I know these attractive people truly believe they’re beautiful, but what’s missing for me is how beautiful they think they are, or aren’t. So for the sake of integrity, I’d like to talk about how attractive I think I really am. Keep reading »
Late last month, in the midst of several recent and prominent examples in the steady stream of stories about the challenges that women in the tech industry face, Complex.com published its list of “The 40 Hottest Women In Tech.” Tone deaf move, fellas! People were understandably upset. Maybe if it had been published a month or two earlier or later, a big website that caters explicitly to the libidos of straight dudes tossing up a list that ranks accomplished women on a scale of “hotness” would have just been another eye-rolling example of the sort of overt-yet-casual sexism that women in the industry (and many others) have to deal with on a regular basis. But the timing couldn’t have been worse. The author of the piece, Luke Winkie, went to The Daily Beast to explain why he’d taken the assignment and how, after his editors got their hands on it, it didn’t turn out the way that he’d planned.
Luke is my friend, and I know the position he was in: Dude is a young freelancer who got offered almost a month’s rent to write something that he knew was kind of shitty. He thought that he could make that shitty thing a little bit better (he wrote at the Beast that he “got the idea that maybe we could make a list called ‘The Hottest Women In Tech’ sound as earnest and empowering and good-hearted as it could possible be”), and then it didn’t work out. I’m not here to defend the guy – he can do that himself – but I can relate, because I had been in similar positions in the past. When you’re a straight, white, cisgender dude who benefits materially from living and working in a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic society, it’s easy to overestimate the amount of power you have. Keep reading »
The best way to define what is “sexy” is to first define what is not sexy. Duck face? Not sexy. Fake tans? Not sexy. Internet think pieces about how some young woman making millions in the public aquarium isn’t sexy? Not sexy AND IRONIC.
Lena Dunham’s character Hannah in “Girls” is sexy. Apparently this is a thing that has to be written. She combusts with sexual energy and heartbreaking vulnerability — she simultaneously claws out of and slinks around comfortably in her tattooed skin. Keep reading »
Let’s say you and your significant other are having an issue—one that isn’t a relationship killer, but is serious enough that it can’t be ignored. How do you deal with it?
Here’s what I do: I go into a mental huddle. I sit down, by myself, and I replay the situation in my head. I think about what exactly I might be frustrated with, what would need to happen for this frustration to go away, and what steps I can take to get myself there. Next, I think about what the issue might be for her, what exactly she might be frustrated with, and what an acceptable solution might be for her. From there, I decide how best to tackle the issue. Only then am I ready to talk about it. Keep reading »