he’s a stud, she’s a slut

As you probably know by now I am an avid fan and reader of Jessica Valenti, both her books as well as her articles on feministing.com

One of the books of hers I finished recently is called He’s a stud, She’s a slut (And 49 other double standards every woman should know.)

When beginning this book you are introduced to what I’d like to call “Feminism for beginners”. Essentially, every decent human being is a feminist both man and woman, we just might not all know it yet. The book is a quick read with each “chapter” being one of these double standards. He’s a stud, she’s a slut. He’s angry, she’s PMSing, the list continues. I admit that I have never been the most passionate feminist and I am a newcomer in the world of protesting and activism in general. Reading this book is the great beginning motivator for anyone who wants to become involved or just become educated.

These double standards not only bring women down, but bring men down as well. Are all men players, ruthless, tough to the core? Clearly men have no emotions, they are empty shells! Just as women are degraded in our culture men are put on a pedestal and often times not all of them can equate to what society wants them to be. If you feel like the double standard gets played out both ways, read this book. Start to get angry- because you should be. Male, female, transgendered… everyone should be angry.

Highly recommended, quick read, thought-provoking.

If you pass through this book and want more, pick up another one of her books- Full Frontal Feminism. It goes into many of the similar ideas but as a book itself has more meat to it. Again, easy for a femi-beginner and incredibly interesting. You’ll just fall in love (with her, the ideas, whichever. It’s all brilliant.)


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rape fantasy: extended version

Note: I originally posted this on my blog February 2009. I’ve had a few requests since then to re-post it but I only just found it today, sorry for the wait.

As promised, here is my revised “rape fantasy” blog. The initial blog I wrote was a three page paper for my Violence and Aggression class. The article I reviewed was called “Women’s Erotic Rape Fantasies: An Evaluation of Theory and Research” put out by the Journal of Sex Research in 2008.

Because I think a lot of you may be intrigued by this topic I decided to rewrite it with more information and more points. I also realize since it’s going to be a lot of information it may be difficult to stay interested so I’m going to number my points and try to keep it short.

As a note, I obviously believe that rape is wrong, and disgusting. As I’ll mention a few times throughout the post, I personally believe that they should not be called rape fantasies. It gives a bad name to an otherwise potentially enjoyable fantasy for many people. Here we go.

1. What is rape?
Rape is unwanted sexual intrusion. Rape is physical force, threat of force, or incapacitation (for example: sleep, intoxication) to coerce someone into sexual activity. Since rape is overwhelmingly committed against females, the length of this post will refer to women. Keep mind however that there is no stereotype as to who a rapist can be. It can be someone you know, it can be a friend, it can even be your spouse.

2. What is a rape fantasy?
Just in case you didn’t know, a fantasy comes from the imagination and is unrestricted by reality. At least, that’s what Princeton says. But I believe it. The problem with the rape fantasy is that people hear the word rape and are in disbelief that anyone could desire such a thing. We’ll get to that part later.

A rape fantasy is basically a fantasy of control, and there are two basic kinds that I want to focus on.

A) Erotic Rape Fantasies
According to a study done in the 80s, Erotic Rape Fantasies low levels of fear and no realistic violence. An example of an Erotic Rape Fantasy:

A handsome cable man greets you at the door, he says something suave. You protest. No! I could never! He grabs you by the waist and kisses you. No! I can’t! I’m married! He sweeps you off your feet and takes you to the bedroom. I can’t do this! I don’t want to! You kiss back. This is wrong! You continue to kiss.

Remember the cable guy, I’ll mention him again in the third section coming up.

B) Averse Rape Fantasies
Then, there are the Averse Rape Fantasies. The ARF is more realistic in what you think of in terms of real rape, but is still far from actual rape. The Averse Rape Fantasy will have more of an aspect of domination towards it. It may contain aggression and will likely have a darker overtone to it than the former fantasy. For example:

You’re walking through the alley at night when a man confronts you. He’s absolutely hideous and he demands your wallet. You refuse. The man then decides to take sex in place of the wallet. She will say no, but gain sexual pleasure out of the encounter.

It’s easy to look at that situation and see it as entirely wrong. How could she get pleasure out of that situation? Remember this guy as well, because I’ll talk about him later too. The point is, though, that throughout these entire fantasy she IS giving consent. The point of a fantasy is, that you are not actually losing control of the situation. You are getting the sensation that you’ve lost control. She was never in any danger.

Any rape fantasy contains three aspects. Sex, nonconsent, and force.

3. Why do people have these fantasies?

There are quite a few theories, all of which any of us should be able to relate to or at least understand.

A) Masochism
Masochism deals with the desire for suffering and pain, but don’t stop reading there. This theory as you may have guessed tends to ride with the Aversion Rape Fantasy. The fantasy that tends to involve more aggression. A study done in the 80’s by Bond and Mosher showed that when given two rape fantasies (one involving pain, and one involving minimal discomfort) the arousal level went up when there was only minimal discomfort. That would show that if masochism is a reason some people enjoy the rape fantasy, it’s not a very large percentage of them. Also, in a different study, over 99% of the people interviewed said they would not want to be raped in real life. They reported that they felt rape was a repulsive and traumitizing experience.

B) Sexual Blame Avoidance
Another popular theory for the rape fantasy is that women want to be “taken” as so they can enjoy sex but not feel the guilt of expressing their sexuality. This theory stems from a long history of sexual repression, in a society that doesn’t allow women to enjoy sex. The idea is that if the sex is forced from her, she cannot be blamed for it.

C) Openness to Sexual Experience
This is the opposite of Sexual Blame Avoidance. Basically, this persons sexuality is so open that they are advancing to new fantasies, and trying new things. Researchers saw that as womens sexual experiences grew, so did their fantasies. I could see this theory stemming to either Aversion Rape Fantasy or the Erotic Rape Fantasy. It would really depend on the individuals personal preference, I imagine.

D) Desirability
Basically “they want me so much they’ll do anything to have me.” Women desire to be desired, and when a man loses control because of that it can be arousing. Or at least that’s what some researchers believe. Kanin (1982) believes that it enhanses the females self-esteem. It can also establish her sexual power.

E) Male Rape Culture
A lot of people may argue that this is one of the more dominate reasons why the rape fantasy exists, though I don’t agree. The Male Rape Culture theory basically means that women have rape fantasies because we live in a male dominated culture. Full of strong, testosterone heavy men who will take advantage of you. There are no valid studies to really hold this theory up, and the fact that many men also have similar fantasies kind of writes it out.

F) Biological Predisposition to Surrender
As keen as I am to follow the biological aspects of sexuality, this point I too have to disagree with. In 1999 Helen Fisher said that females may have the natural tendancy to surrender to a dominant male. There have been no studies to confirm nor deny this, but it seems as though a stretch.

G) Sympathetic Activation
There is however one biological theory I can agree with, along with a personal testament. For those of you who haven’t taken a biology class or a psychology class, there is something called the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our body that gives us the “fight or flight” feeling when put into dangerous/scary/anxious situations. Our heart rate goes up, so does respiration.

This theory suggests that when put into a situation where we’ve lost control (such as rape) we have a natural sexual response. We become aroused. In all definition of it, we are technically “aroused”. But I too believe that the sexual arousal is tied to that. As an example, many people enjoy having sex where they know they might get caught. That fear or excitement causes extra arousal. An added sensation. A new height to the experience. That is the main idea.

H) Adversary Transformation
This too is a long stretch for me to believe. Basically, it stems around romance novels. The idea is that women take the men from the books they read (or, whatever) and turn them into their fantasies. The men are generally strong, sometimes cruel, but handsome. Instead of being the women reading the romance novel, wishing that man were hers, she puts the man in her fantasy and makes HIM want HER. It makes sense, on a level, but if it were put into a rape fantasy it would be Erotic Rape at most. And even then, a small percentage of rape fantasies I imagine.

4. Why should it be renamed?
I applaud those of you who have read this far. If you read all of the above, you may agree with me by now that it should be renamed because the rape fantasy is nothing at all like real rape. A rape fantasy consists of two willing, and consenting adults. It is a game of control. It is, for lack of a better word, roleplay. And it is not roleplaying the dangerous and horrible situations that happen all over the world. These are not mockeries of real rapes. They are make believe situations in which we lose power. And for whatever reason people decide it arouses them (as you can see, there are many above) it does NOT make light of the horrible thing that is rape.

5. Why is there such a bad stigma towards the rape fantasy?
When someone outright disagrees with someone they will often not put time into understanding it. They disagree with it, they think it’s wrong, they don’t want to know about it. Perhaps if they were to understand what exactly happened during a “rape” fantasy they would change their mind. And, above all, if the name were changed it would probably not have any stigma attached to it at all.

6. What if I’ve been raped and have the rape fantasy?
It has been written about time and again that women who have been raped can develop a rape fantasy later in life. I have even heard of cases where women are unable to get themselves off to anything besides the fantasy of rape or being controlled. In these situations, there is clearly some sort of mental problem that they haven’t worked out. The situation that they were put into wasn’t fair. They shouldn’t have to put themselves in similar situations. I would imagine it is a sort of coping mechanism. I would suggest anyone who has been through this to seek counseling. If anyone has any information regarding this I didn’t mention, please don’t hesitate to tell me. I don’t think this is really something anyone can know about except the people it happens to.

Another theory (which I didn’t take mention to) is that women use the rape fantasy to prepare themselves for the possibility of being raped in real life. If they feel as though they have control over the situation in a fantasy, it becomes less of a nightmare to them in real life. I don’t think this is a good reason to be having the fantasy, as it takes the rape fantasy from more of a control fantasy to more of a actual rape-fantasy. It’s my opinion that it’s not healthy to combine the ideas of actual rape with the act of sex. Just like I wouldn’t suggest joining together thoughts of murder with sex. They just aren’t things you want to associate.

Thanks for reading, as always please let me know if theres anything else regarding this you want to know.

Email: suggestivetongue@gmail.com

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trans awareness month

Being a volunteer at the Queer Resource center not only allows me to help make a difference (however small it might be) with LGBTQ rights but it also allows me to stay informed on the happenings out there in the world of sexuality.

For trans awareness month the QRC is hosting a variety of different events and workshops to help educate people and promote awareness.

In honor of this I thought I would pass along some definitions I was given when I started volunteering. While these might be obvious to some of you, there are many people out there who have no idea what they mean. Some people just confuse them.

Thanks for reading, and pass on the knowledge!

Cross Dresser: Cross dressers periodically dress up as members of the “other” sex, but do not desire to change their birth sex. They dress up for a variety of reasons including self expression, personal enjoyment, and/or sexual gratification. Many cross-dressers are heterosexuals, but cross-dressers can be of any gender identity or sexual orientation.

Trans: An inclusive term that describes a gender identity and/or gender expression that is outside of social norms.

Transgender: Describes individuals who cross-over gender identities without necessarily changing their bodies. This includes individuals who identify as a gender different than their assigned sex at birth as well as those who experience themselves as being genderless. People of all sexual orientations can be transgender.

Transsexual: A person whose gender identity does not match the culturally assigned gender identity for their anatomical sex and who generally desire a physical transition that includes hormones and/or surgery. People of all sexual orientations can be transsexual.

Transvestite: A person who derives sexual pleasure from dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex.

Queer: Having a sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity expression different from that of deemed respectable by mainstream society. A term that was originally derogatory but as been transformed within the LGBTQ community to be more inclusive of various identities.

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your sex life is not private

People often assume that your sexuality is something that is private. You do it behind doors, you probably don’t tell everyone about it, and you consider it something you just do with a select few people. It’s important to you, and whether or not anyone else is actually involved in it probably doesn’t influence you on a day-to-day basis.

What most people don’t realize is that your sexuality (and your sex life) is controlled in almost every conceivable manner.

Take popular children’s actor Pee-Wee Herman. He was arrested for exposing himself in an adult theater and thusly banned from children’s television. While what he did is no doubt outside the boundary of what is appropriate, he did it in an environment that was exclusively meant for adults. Never mind the fact that he didn’t actually expose himself to children (which, might I add, most people think he did.) What he did in his own time affected how people viewed him in his career and he was cut off from that part of his life.

You can use the same example for teachers who are fired because of pornography. A few years ago (and there are several other cases with similar plot) a teacher was fired because students of hers found a pornographic video she had filmed and posted online a dozen years before. According to the school, they believed that the students would now be too distracted by her to learn. She might have been the most fantastic teacher in the world, but you can see her tits online? We’re sorry, we’re going to have to let you go.

How many of you would make a pornographic video… if you didn’t want to be something besides a porn-star later in life? I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been talking to someone and they’ve said they would never take a nude photo of themselves because they want to be a politician. A scientist. Something “respectable.” Well, are you suddenly less respectable because you created a pornographic film? What in that makes you a less respectable person? Does it make you less reliable? Does it make you less human? Does it make you less of a nice person?

Everyone has sex, but if you admit it you better start looking for a new job.

Besides regulating just how public your sex can be, your sexuality is regulated in many other ways. For example, birth control. The history of birth control “distribution” is disturbing, at the very least. Not too long ago doctors were able to prescribe birth control on a case by case basis, basically allowing them to decide who they personally thought birth control should be prescribed to. And let me tell you, single women who just wanted to have sex without getting pregnant weren’t on that list. Doctors were affectively able to control the sexuality of women by not allowing them a prescription to birth control.

 

And while condoms and other contraceptives were still relatively easy to get your hands on, many women did not feel protected without the pill and thusly did not engage in intercourse because of this. These days you still have the possibility of this happening. Some doctors have “a moral conscious” from prescribing birth control to the younger crowd. Some pharmacists have been to known to refuse plan b to teenagers just looking to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. And in some smaller cities, there are even stories of people working at grocery stores refusing to checkout condoms because they think the person buying them is too young.

This isn’t even getting into how hard it can be to obtain birth control itself. Don’t have insurance? Don’t have a job? Don’t want to tell your parents? Live in a small city? Scared? Don’t know what to do? Well you might be screwed. If you live in a city (or situation) that has made it easier to obtain birth control consider yourself lucky. Realize that many people want it, but are unable to get it for whatever reason.  Why isn’t birth control equally available to everyone? Thought provoking, isn’t it?

The final point I want to bring up is the hetero-norm of our culture. If you go beyond having heterosexual penis to vagina intercourse in the missionary position someone is going to judge you. This judgment is then bundled up with the judgment of everyone else into a giant stereotype that if you are having sex in a way that isn’t in the hetero-norm then you are doing something wrong. When you believe that you are doing something wrong (and are for whatever reason ‘dirty’) then you might be persuaded to stop doing it. Even if it’s a part of you, or something you enjoy. A great example of this is when people who are homosexual live a heterosexual lifestyle because it’s simply not socially acceptable to be gay. That’s the most simplistic example. Another one? I’m not going to let my boyfriend have anal sex with me because people will think I’m a slut. It might sound ridiculous if you read my blog and already understand all of this… reality… but the truth is that a lot of people don’t. They get sucked into the lie that if you aren’t having normal sex then you aren’t normal. The truth is that no one knows what normal is.

So the next time you’re having sex and your legs are spread wide in the air just wonder who is watching you. Taking notes. Judging you. And you’ll realize that while there might not be literally someone in the room with you, the same thing is happening regardless. Whether you know it or not.

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It’s not fair, said the sheep

Some mornings the only thing that gets me up is the concept of a routine. I lay in bed covered in warm sheets wrapped around my boyfriend and wonder why I would ever want to leave. What could possibly coax me from the warmth and the comfort and the absolute bliss.

It’s not fair, I’ll tell myself.

Just this once, just this once I’ll lay.

I deserve to lay like this, I’ll tell myself.

So I curl back up and take a big breath of satisfaction. I’ve made an adult decision to stay in bed today. And while I lay there in the warmth and feel all the muscles in my body relax back into the mattress I know somewhere inside of me that I shouldn’t be so comfortable.

I’ve got to get up, I’ve got to get moving.

Everything around me is telling me it’s morning. The sun is breaking through the blinds and the ceiling fan is kicking light off the walls. My alarm has been on snooze twice already and I’m confounded as to how I manage to close my eyes and dream in those ten minutes between buzzes.

I feel rested but I want more, like a drug, like an addiction. I curl myself back into it like I’m wounded.

Some mornings the only thing that gets me up is the concept of a routine. Another drug. Another twisted perception of whats real. I get up because I know I can make coffee. I try to convince myself that I want the coffee more than I want to be curled up in bed.

The coffee is warm Lorelei, and deep roasted, rich and smooth. The whole place will smell like coffee. The grounds will seep into your skin. You’ll be so awake, you’ll be so ready, you’ll have never been so alert.

And then I close my eyes.

I get up because I know I can check my email. I’ll sip my coffee in the big round mug and read my email. I’ll have so much email and I’ll feel so important. That big red number over my mail icon. You have twenty three new messages. You have forty two new messages. People need your attention.

Get out of bed.

Sometimes despite this routine I can’t help but lay just a few moments longer. I find myself twisted. Entangled in the sheets. Halfway down the bed and upside down. I think it’s with this contemplation that I end up this way.

I have a dream about a friend of mine. He’s naked and he’s chasing me around my house. Eventually I end up cornered in the bathroom and he’s on top of me and I keep screaming no but he doesn’t stop. Nothing happens and we’re all laughing. I sit on the couch between my naked friend and a bunch of my other friends, all wearing clothes. That’s all I remember and then I wake up.

I don’t know why I don’t get out of bed now, afraid to close my eyes again, to slide into some sort of twisted lucid dreaming. It’s far too easy these days, I’ve conditioned myself.

So many mornings, I just can’t get up. My bones have melded into the frame. I think I’ve become apart of the pillow top. Sometimes I forget I’m in bed, and I say I’m tired. Then I close my eyes and I sleep. And then I wake up. And I want to sleep some more.

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common ground

One of my more well known stances is that I do believe there is common ground in the abortion debate. I believe that common ground (between people who label themselves pro-life or pro-choice) is sex education. If you give kids proper comprehensive sexual education from the beginning they will be more prepared to face their sexuality. They will know how to protect themselves properly, leading to -I imagine- a great reduction in unexpected pregnancies.

According to a news article I just read, China has more than 13 million known abortions each year. That, is a lot of abortions.

According to the article, nearly half the women having sex are not using any type of birth control. Is this because they aren’t able to get their hands on it, or because they aren’t educated in the proper usage? Either way, these are both things we can put a dent in by educating and supplying.

Hopefully China will now start educating at a younger age (those who are being educated about contraceptives and birth control are typically young married couples) and hopefully this will reduce some of those abortions.

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aversion therapy does not work

The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

source

You know, because some people thought just living a straight life and marrying someone of the opposite sex could make you heterosexual.

Fucking idiots.

This is a great step away from ignorance.

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I think I love you (more)

“I have love in my life, a soul mate–absolutely. When someone asked me why Angie and I don’t get married, I replied, ‘Maybe we’ll get married when it’s legal for everyone else.’

“Would it bother me if a child of mine turns out to be gay? No, not one bit. Listen, I want my kids to live the lives they want to live. I want them to be fulfilled. I hope I teach my kids to be who they really are.”

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Discreet sex toys

I’ve been wanting to buy a vibrator for a while now. I’m 18 and I have the money and I know where to buy one so that’s not a problem. The thing is, I live with my parents and I don’t want them to know that I have a sex toy. I’m having second thoughts though. In the back of my mind, I think it might be a little disrespectful to bring a vibrator into my parents house but, then again, I still want one. I mean, I’m 18. I have to right to own one.
What’s your opinion on buying sex toys while still living at home? Do you have any recommendations for discreet vibrators?

I don’t think it’s disrespectful at all to have a sex toy when you are living with your parents. It’s something completely personal, it’s something you’ll be doing in your own time, and it’s something that I’m sure you’ll keep very private. Absolutely no harm done. As for my own personal opinion, let’s just say I have an entire box of sex toys and I still live at home.

As far as discreet vibrators you have a lot of options. Since you’ll only be doing this when you’re alone with the door closed, size really isn’t an issue as long as it’s still easy to store away somewhere. In my opinion, the biggest hurdle to jump is the sound the vibrator makes. In my case, I’m about five feet away from my parents door so if I’ve got something really noisy it’s not going to be as discreet. If you’re further away from your parents/family then that might not be an issue.

There are many sex toys out there that are simply made for discretion. (You can go to edenfantasys.com, click on vibrators on the left hand side, and then click on the discreet link for just discreet toys) Most popular, the lipstick vibrator.

If that weirds you out a bit, there are also bullets that don’t look like inanimate objects.

If you’re really paranoid, one of these smaller (easy to hide) and (fairly quiet) options would be your best bet.

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How to tell when you are ovulating

male 17

How can a woman know if she is ovulating?

Really, there is no tell-tale sign that a girl has when she is ovulating. There is no red light that goes off, we don’t feel a pop, and it doesn’t smell like scrambled eggs. Typically women ovulate between days 11-21 of their cycle, if they have a 28-31 day cycle (which most do)… There are many ovulation calenders out there to predict when you will be ovulating, but, it’s just that. A prediction.

As a side note, some women notice a change in vaginal discharge or cramping feelings. I rarely take these sorts of signs as anything set in stone though because when you’re looking for symptoms like that you’ll typically see them regardless.

If you want to ask me a sex question, please CLICK HERE

aim: suggestivetongue
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