I have a friend who does bodywork — massage and chiropractic, basically — who is helping me to get through marathon training. This happens to be the same friend who’s training me in practical self-defense and who knows all about my traumas.
When he was working on my quads last week, I instinctively did what I always instinctively do — tensed up. “Agh, I hate having my thighs worked on,” I said.
“Yes, I’m aware of your safeguards,” he said.
“No, it just tickles.”
“Well, some people have physical safeguards and emotional safeguards. Just relax.”
And, it being for the benefit of my tired legs, I did. But it got me thinking about something I’ve been mulling over since I wrote about posting on Reddit’s GoneWild forum and my new approach to body image. Some of the feedback that I got was that I was unconvincing as far as my body positivity went, and that the GW posting would’ve been more interesting if I had been more upfront about overcoming body issues. Reading that made me think, Well, what if some women just don’t really have big problems with the way our bodies look? Keep reading »
If there’s one thing we gotta be sure about when it comes to sex education textbooks, it’s that they can’t be too sexy. We wouldn’t would impressionable children getting any ideas that sex can be pleasurable, right?! Teachers and parents in Fremont, California, gave input leading to the purchase of Your Health Today, which will be used for ninth-grade classes. But other parents are griping about the book being “pornography,” cranky that the sex ed book is more appropriate for the college level thanks to drawings of anatomy and topics like birth control, foreplay and masturbation. And God forbid, it even mentions orgasms! Keep reading »
Last week, Nicki Minaj released the artwork for her new single “Anaconda,” featuring the rapper in a squat position with her large posterior aimed directly at viewers. The image was met with mostly support from fans and critics but some questioned if the image was “too racy.” In response to those criticisms, Minaj tweeted several Sports Illustrated photos with White swimsuit models in similar poses and the message “angelic” and “acceptable,” hinting at society’s racial bias that does not treat Black bodies with the same respect as White ones — a statement that was met with more controversy. Keep reading »
Welcome to the 21st century, Alabama!
On Friday, an appeals court in the state overturned the anti-sodomy law, which criminalized consensual oral and anal sex between unmarried partners. The great state of AL punished “any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one and the mouth or anus of another” with a year in prison or hard labor or up to a $2,000 fine. The law was meant to harass and intimidate gays in particular — I mean, you know they weren’t going after teen boys getting BJs from their girlfriends in the backseat of their pickup trucks. Keep reading »
“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.
Keep reading »