July 31, 2011

“Proper Swimwear” for a Toddler Girl Includes a Top?!

(This article was originally published at Good Vibrations Magazine.)

"Proper" (girly!) swimwear
At the city pool on a steamy Sunday, we were recently told by the lifeguards that our daughter, who just turned three, needs to wear a top and not just a bottom. Isn’t that taking the sexualizing of young girls to the extreme?

Really, what is going on when the nipples of a girl’s undeveloped breasts are asked to be covered? Is the case as bestselling author of three parenting books Liz Fraser poses that “the public’s media-fueled terror of pedophilia is now so strong that many parents don’t want their children to be seen naked by strangers ‘just in case’ they are photographed and put onto the internet, or peered at by sexual predators”?
A naked child has become, for many, a potential sex abuse incident, rather than the beautiful, pure thing it is, despite the reality, which is that — mercifully — abuse by pedophiles is far less prevalent than the furore that surrounds them would imply.
Continues Fraser:
Most damaging in all of this is the bizarre paradox that this whispering, blushing shunning of nakedness comes hand in hand with our culture’s obsession with sex and sexuality.

July 24, 2011

Women's Breasts Are Not Just or Always Sexual!

The Village Voice
In Canada, women are celebrating the 15th anniversary of their right to walk around topless in public. Next year, women in New York can also celebrate the 20th anniversary of their right to walk around topless in public based on the right not to be discriminated against based on their sex.

“Breasts like the entirety of women’s bodies may not always be sexual,” explains SlutWalk co-founder Heather Jarvis to the Toronto Sun.

Amazingly, they are in fact also capable of turning into enduring feeding machines. But with our culture's sexualizing of women's bodies and breasts (that even affects girls as young as toddlers who're asked to wear tops at the pool), many breastfeeding women still feel the need to hide beneath nursing tents. Though every state in the US but three (Nebraska, West Virginia and Idaho) have laws protecting the rights of breastfeeding women.

July 17, 2011

When He Wishes to Cuddle but She Wants a Quicky

The Telegraph: Men want cuddles ...
"An international survey of couples for the Kinsey Institute suggests that it's men who thrive on non-sexual physical intimacy, while women are remarkably unfussed about being cuddled," reported the Guardian earlier this week. Continued the article:
We certainly don't seem to be very good at valuing sex as a part of relationships. Over the weekend, I was surprised to read a moving confession from a man describing himself as "the rejected husband," who describes the misery and rejection of being in a relationship where sex has died. "I ache for you," he writes. "Not for sex, but for sex with you."
What the article didn't make clear, was that this specifically rejected husband is a father of three whose wife will only "reciprocate the physical contact," as he explains, "on a Saturday, long after our last child is asleep." He concedes that they have "long working days made more frenetic by three energetic kids." -- Yet he complains:
I'm tired of you being tired all the time. Do you have to go to the gym quite so often? Must you devote so much energy to the PTA?
Perhaps this rejected husband should drop the cuddly foot strokes and suggest a quicky to his wife. Perhaps the idea of "sex with you" sounds like too big of a production to her; something to be left for an occasional Saturday night.

A Mother's Sexuality: Taking Back MILF | BlogHer {featured read}

I've entertained the discussion of women as Marilyns or Jackies, generalizing to describe problems of misaligned expectations between partners, but it wasn't until I finished reading America's Queen, Jackie Kennedy Onassis' biography by Sarah Bradford, that I realized how wrong these assumptions are, and how damaging they are to women who fall into Marilyn versus Jackie discussions.

... My point is that these two women against which so many of us have measured ourselves are not points on a spectrum between virgin and whore, good and naughty, mother and home-wrecker (Marilyn may have slept with JFK, but Jackie became close to Aristotle Onassis during her sister's affair with him and never stopped competing for his attention with his lover of nine years, the soprano Maria Callas). No, these women aren't points on a two dimensional plane, they're complete beings, with their own motives, drives, goals and stories. Just like every one of us.

July 12, 2011

The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust | Time Magazine {featured read}

Men who cheat on their spouses have always enjoyed an expedient explanation: Evolution made me do it. Many articles (here is one, and here is another), especially in recent years, have explored the theory that men sleep around because evolution has programmed them to seek fertile (and, conveniently, younger) wombs.

But what about women? If it's really true that evolution can cause a man to risk his marriage, what effect does that have on women's sexuality? Read More >>

July 10, 2011

Sex and Bodily Fluids

Have you ever given a thought to the fact that in Hollywood movies, women never need to wipe off the male ejaculate that's bound to run down their thighs after sex? They just hop out of bed or get up from the floor, or wherever they've had intercourse, and jump into their clothes again; or they kiss, cuddle, and then go to sleep.

So it's perhaps not so strange that in Hollywood movies, female ejaculate is completely extinct. But what about in porn?

In Great Britain, feminist porn maker Anna Span, who at the Feminist Porn Awards in 2007 received the award for Indie Porn Pioneer, has fought the British law’s prohibition of porn featuring female ejaculation. -- Which it defines as urination and therefore obscene to portray according to the British Obscene Publications Act. After initially submitting her DVD Women Love Porn to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), Span received requests to remove the female ejaculation section.

Orgasmic Meditation: Practicing Sensory Awareness | BlogHer {featured read}

"In just fifteen minutes every woman can become orgasmic," the PDF promised. It was part of a press kit for a new book about sex called Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm by Nicole Daedone. That the PDF told me all kinds of other things about the book, its philosophy and practice and its author, didn't matter, all I could do was groan.

I've become weary over the years of advice writers, self-help gurus, and authors who capitalize on sex by perpetuating messages that further hinder the enjoyment of our bodies instead of helping us. You’ve seen me rail against the lie-detector techniques perpetuated by AskMen.com, GQ's sex-for-chores barter system and even this new craze with the 40 beads. I worry because these suggestions focus on sex in a way that makes it about everything but sex. Read More >>

July 7, 2011

The TSA Knows That’s a Vibe and They Don’t Care | My Pleasure {featured read}

Recently I read an article where a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) agent discussed inspection of sex toys in luggage during airport screenings. Basically the agent said if you don’t want it inspected don’t pack it or bring it on your trip. If it is in your suitcase, it will be inspected just like any other item.

While I know TSA agents have probably seen every type of item come through the conveyor belts and x-ray machines, and nothing shocks them, I was happy to see the agent normalizing sex toys as just another item people pack and not a big deal. Read More >>

July 6, 2011

What’s The Deal With Rape Fantasies? | Kinsey Confidential {featured read}

For many “rape fantasies” seem controversial and somewhat of a social enigma. On the one hand, we are talking about rape fantasies so questions come to mind like—why would someone want to fantasize about a real-life situation which is traumatic and repugnant? On the other hand, we are also talking about rape fantasies which are unconstrained by social consequences, so can’t a person fantasize about whatever they would like to? In order to help alleviate some of the conceptual challenge for people, it may be helpful to better understand rape fantasies. Read More >>

July 4, 2011

Miss Representation {featured trailer}

Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from on Vimeo.

Miss Representation.org is a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential and transform our culture for the betterment of all.

About the film: "When the new documentary film Miss Representation premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, audiences were riveted, and Oprah Winfrey acquired its broadcast rights. Writer/Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom interwove stories from teenage girls with provocative interviews from the likes of Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Dr. Jackson Katz, Dr. Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem to give us an inside look at the media and its message."

About the campaign: "American youth are being sold the concept that women and girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality. It’s time to break that cycle of mistruths. Miss Representation.org believes that all people should be equally represented in our media, that our voices should be heard and that we should all be valued for our talents, capacity as leaders, and ability to contribute to the world at large."

July 3, 2011

Is age really just a number? | Salon {featured read}

News that "Lost's" Doug Hutchison, 51, had married a 16-year-old girl sparked outrage this week -- both over the general skeeviness of it (the groom is four years older than the bride's father), and the fact that such a partnership is actually legal with parental permission in Las Vegas. (But a marriage between two gay adults? Nope.) And a New York Times Vows item raised eyebrows after telling the story of a newlywed couple that met when the bride was a 17-year-old high school student and the groom, a John McCain staffer, was 28.

[But] what does the research into adult-teen relationships -- not to mention men and women with first-hand experience -- have to tell us? Read More >>

Strolling Topless in New York City {featured news}

The Village Voice
The news last month about a woman beating the heat by walking the streets of New York City topless delighted me not for the apparent shock value this had for many, but for its affirmation of sexual equality. Explains the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information to The Village Voice:
The state's highest court established long ago that women have the same right as men to appear topless in public. Absent a link to some commercial enterprise or promotion, the woman's lack of certain attire in this instance does not appear to be a police matter.

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities {featured resource}

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) provides information on disabilities in children and youth (birth to age 22), including on the topic of sexuality; an "aspect of development that’s important not to ignore with children with or without disabilities." On this resource page you will find information on human sexuality in general, how disabilities can affect sexuality, the special role of the parent, the content to be taught, materials developed with specific disabilities in mind, and commercial products.

The Mating Call of Drunk Woo Girls

The Mating Call
Can a girl be horny and politically correct? In a keynote talk I gave a few years ago at a conference on heterosexual desire, I spoke about "the freeway speed limits of desire" that seem to affect women in particular; not above 70 miles per hour, not below 45. -- Too little desire and you're frigid, too much and you're a nymphomaniac, lacking in self-control.

In the United States, comments Mama Sutra in a recent post at Good Vibrations Magazine, it is "not acceptable for women to be overtly sexual." -- In fact, she writes; "women of any age are not permitted to appear interested in sex."
Because of this cultural view of female sexuality, American women have adapted to get what they want and preserve their persona. There is a phenomenon that I have observed in multiple heterosexual settings. I call it The Drunk American Girl Mating Call – it is a behavior exhibited by women who seek the attention, most often sexual attention, of the opposite gender. Everyone, especially men, seems to recognize this behavior without even realizing what is happening.

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability {featured book}

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness is written for a broad audience of individuals who live with disabilities, pain, illness, or chronic conditions, from chronic fatigue, back pain, and asthma to spinal cord injury, hearing and visual impairment, multiple sclerosis, and more; and regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation.