Pornography and feminism

September 1, 2014

Pornography is a hot topic (no pun intended) in society, and especially in feminism. A lot of feminists ague that mainstream pornography is degrading to women, gives people an unrealistic idea of sexuality and distorts body image. This is all very true, to some extent, but I don’t think that porn is inherently harmful (even the way it is depicted currently) and that with proper education and moderation, porn can be a fun little escape into fantasy where the user knows the difference between fantasy and reality (as with video games). I love porn. I think it’s a great way to enhance fantasy alone or with a partner. Are there problems with it? Oh yes, I will not refute that, but I think there are some factors people don’t always consider when arguing against porn.

The concept that porn is degrading to women is not a new one. Since porn has become more and more available, and more aggressively marketed to men, the scrutiny on the porn industry’s portrayal of women has increased exponentially. And it’s true that some porn does depict some pretty degrading stuff. The most important factor being ignored here (on both sides) is consent. In the majority of porn, the people in the videos appear to be consenting to whatever acts are being displayed. Now, note I said, appear to be. In a society where women are highly sexualized, objectified, and blamed if they are assaulted, I think it would be super awesome for the porn industry to have more depictions of enthusiastic consent where someone asks “do you want ___?” and the other says “YES!” Some videos do this. I like those ones. Most of them though, the consent is implied, and I can see where that would be problematic.

As for the unrealistic idea of sexuality, well, sure, if porn is someone’s ONLY introduction into sexuality. If parents have more active and realistic discussions about sex with their children, it might be easier for them to understand that porn is just a fantasy world when they do stumble across it one lonely night browsing the web when they’re 13.  Kids explore their sexualities much sooner than that though, and they explore each others bodies at a very early age way before they discover porn, and so when they do look at porn for the first time, chances are it’s not the first time they are looking at naked bodies and it’s probably unlikely they haven’t touched, licked, or otherwise fondled someone’s genitals (their own at the very least).

Distorted body image, okay, yeah, this is true. Most porn actors aren’t exactly average looking. Porn isn’t the first (and won’t be the last) to use airbrushed, made up, and surgically altered models. The attack here shouldn’t just be on porn, or even the media and fashion industry, but on society for continuing to consume this unrealistic and impossible standard of perfection. For them to stop producing it, the demand for it has to decrease dramatically. Public outcry isn’t going to stop them from wanting to make money, unfortunately.

I think that another very important issue that is often ignored in this debate is that with the rise of internet use and free porn sites, “mainstream” porn is being redefined. Amateur porn is more popular than ever, and different types of people of all shapes, sizes, and colors produce porn. More and more women are creating and maintaining their own cam websites and erotic picture galleries, or directing and producing porn that is more orientated to sexual pleasure and more sensual themes. Porn is not what it used to be, and I welcome anyone who is tired of the perfectly sculpted bodies, and unrealistic sex acts to do a little internet digging and find some different porn, because it’s out there, waiting for you to pleasure yourself to it.

Sh*t OkCupid Says Pt. 2

August 10, 2014

Since my first “Shit OkCupid Says” post, messages have gotten more and more ridiculous. They have some of my male friends apologizing on behalf of their gender! I have even added to my profile that I don’t wish to have people ask for sex right off the bat, and that tact and class go a long way. So, I’ve saved some of the funniest ones, just for you, dear readers…

I’d love to fuck you like an animal. Message me if you like huge dick
Sent from the OkCupid app Jul 7
Nine Inch Nails called, they want their lyrics back. Seriously though, huge dick? Have a hard time believing that one, and even so, no, I don’t like huge dick. I like my dicks pretty average sized. Too big can be painful!
Hey , How is it going ?
i`m a bisexual lady, im looking for fun , sex , I want to be the dominant in the relation ,,,, also i have a bf so if u r interested in threesome that would be awesome , please note that my profile is empty cuz i like meeting ppl not just talking ,,,, thanks
Sent on Jul 22
Okay…this is not from a guy…but totally deserves to be on here because hey, women can be fucking creepy too. First, what’s with the commas and lack of periods or apostrophes? What is even happening here? Confusing grammar aside, I notice a trend with bisexual women on OKC: most of them (or the ones who message me, anyway) just want a threesome with their boyfriends. What’s up with that. As a queer woman, I know most bisexuals are not interested in such en devours, but damn, I see now where the stereotype comes from.
Be my gf?
Sent on Jul 23

LOLWHUT? I can’t even…this guy isn’t even in an adjacent state.

Hi ru intrested to see big cok on cam ?
Sent from the OkCupid app Jul 17
Can’t even spell interested, why should I expect him to know how to spell cock?
Wat if u wake up suddenly and u find ur self in bed ……….. With me
Sent from the OkCupid app Jul 28
Holy effing creepy! I actually replied to this one with, “probably shoot you because WTF random stranger in my bed.” This one wins. It just wins for most horribly creepy and douchey message ever.
I would love to lick your kitty
Sent on Aug 2
Ew. I mean, I like oral sex, but this message is just ew.
BBC Friendly?
Sent on Aug 3
Ugh…just…what? Why? No, I do not have a race preference…but…ugh.
hello! are you interested in ciber-sex?
Sent on Tuesday
Ciber-sex. CIBER. These messages just make my spell check go insane.
So do u like male cock?
Sent on Wednesday
…as opposed to female cock? Now, I realize not everyone with a penis is male, but generally speaking, when asking someone their genital preference, you don’t need to attach gender to it….especially if you are cis-gender. Just sayin’. This just confuses me.
Come over…
Sent on Thursday
That’s quite presumptuous. Maybe you should read my profile, D-Bag.
Hey sexy how are you ? Do you like big thick cock ?
Sent from the OkCupid app Yesterday
The big dick questions just never get old…they’re classics at this point.

A guilty pleasure of mine is the TV show “Degrassi.” It airs on TeenNick and is aimed at teenagers, but I rather enjoy the story lines. I think the biggest reason I continue to love the show is that it tackles real-life issues. From pregnancy to sexual assault and consent issues to sexual orientation and gender identity, it seems no topic is too taboo for the show, which is fantastic, because with its diverse cast and multiple portrayals of how to deal with said issues, it is really relate-able for people of any age.

This week was the season finale, and there was one story arc in particular that made me really give the makers of the show huge kudos.

*Spoiler Alert*

One of the main characters, Miles, used to date a girl named Maya, who has an openly gay best friend Tristan. After their break-up, Miles developed a very close friendship with Tristan, and it was confessed that Tristan has a crush on Miles. Miles has always identified as straight, and has always been secure in that identity, and has never expressed any homophobia or discomfort with Tristan’s crush. Eventually, in the season finale, Miles and Tristan are playing a hide-and-seek type game with some friends on a stormy night, and as Miles is about to tag Tristan, Tristan threatens Miles with a kiss if he comes any closer. Miles walks up to Tristan and tell him “go ahead.” They kiss and are caught by Miles’ friend, who laments that since Miles is straight, he will only break Tristan’s heart when it never happens again. Later, Miles approaches Tristan to talk about the kiss. Tristan is dismissive and says he understands it was a “heat of the moment” kind of thing, but much to Tristan’s surprise, Miles says that all he knows is that he feels good when he is around Tristan and that the kissing was fun.

I loved this because there was no identity crisis with Miles as is usually the case in TV shows and movies when a heterosexual character (especially male) gets involved with someone of the same sex. He didn’t need to let Tristan down, or remind anyone he’s straight, he simply evaluated his feelings, and accepted that there might be something between them. I really look forward to seeing where things go with Miles and Tristan and hope that the show doesn’t let me down. It’s a great example of how sexuality is fluid, and how sexual identity doesn’t always have to be immediately questioned or evaluated when you have feelings for someone you didn’t expect to.

Female Ejaculation

July 14, 2014

Female ejaculation, or “squirting” is a very fascinating sexual phenomena. It occurs during orgasm, usually when the G-Spot is stimulated, and a thin, clear fluid “squirts” from the urethra. This fluid is sometimes confused with urine, because of the consistency and where it comes from, however, it looks, tastes, and smells very different. Because of this confusion, women sometimes feel embarrassed when they ejaculate for the first time. It is also a medical mystery becuase it is unclear from where this fluid is produced, and it seems that not all women can ejaculate.

Until a couple of days ago, I had though that I was incapable of squirting, as to my knowledge, I had never done it before. Well, it turns out I can, because I very much did and it was a very interesting experience. I didn’t even realize I had done it until after my partner at the time had finished fingering me, he quipped, “sorry I got your bed all wet” and sure enough, there was a soaking wet spot on my bed. I thought, “holy shit, did I really just do that?” It was kind of awesome, and I think the guy I was having sex with was very pleased with himself (rightfully so). The orgasm was very intense, and very good, and I was so caught up in the orgasm, that I didn’t even feel the fluid come out.

I don’t know why he was able to make me squirt this time, as he and other partners have gone to town on my G-Spot before. Maybe it was persistence, because when I told him I had never done it, I’m pretty sure the voice of Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother” proclaimed, “challenge accepted” in his mind.

For those wondering how to try and make a woman ejaculate, as I said before, you need to stimulate the G-Spot, which is located on the anterior vaginal wall, about 1-3 inches in. It is easiest to stimulate with your hand or a toy (I suggest hand until you get a feel for where it is on your partner). Another thing that can help is if you use your other hand to press down on your partner’s abdomen, just above the pubic bone.

Don’t be discouraged if ejaculation does not happen, because the orgasms are outstanding either way, the squirting is just an added bonus. It may take a few tries, or it may take a while, or it may never happen, but you cam sure have a lot of fun trying.

 

If you would like to send a question for the monthly Q&A post, please email perspectivesonsex@gmail.com

Sh*t OkCupid Says

July 5, 2014

I’ve recently started an OkCupid profile, in hopes of meeting some new people for casual dating/casual sex. It seems, however, that the majority of men on there think that if a woman is looking for casual sex, there is absolutely no requirement to treat her like an actual human being. I’ve heard a lot of guys complain about not getting a response from women when they are not interested, and I’ve had to explain, that by sheer volume, if I responded to every guy who messaged me, it would take up my entire day. Ain’t nobody got time for that! A lot of the messages I get, are simply “hi” or “hello” and sometimes I’ll take a look at their profile, but for the most part, I pass, because as I stated in my profile, I’d like someone who messages me to have something interesting to say. I may be looking for casual sex, but that doesn’t mean I want to hook up with anyone that comes along. I’d like to sleep with people I actually like, or, at the very least, is not a douchebag.

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone on OkCupid is a sleaze, I have met at least one person on there who is decent, and he and I are developing a very fruitful friendship, and we have similar intellectual and sexual interests. I like him. It’s awesome. It seems though that he’s a damn unicorn.

I read some of the messages I get to some of my friends, and they’ve given me the idea to do an installment of my blog dedicated to some of the more funny/sleezy/creepy/moronic messages I get: “Shit OkCupid Says” where I post a few messages, and add some commentary (not actual responses, as again, that would be time consuming, and I really don’t want to interact with these people).

 

What up sexy ( ;

Sent from the OkCupid app Jun 21

Ok, he called me sexy with a winky face emoticon. How fascinating. Let’s see, he’s a 39% match. I know, online dating algorithms are flawed, but they do have at least some merit, particularly since they have to do with the personality questions we answer. This guy has answered 36 questions and is looking for a monogamous relationship. Did he even read my profile? Probably not.

 

Don’t want to waste anyone’s time, so if what’s in my profile isn’t what you’re looking for – no problem, good luck in your search! Otherwise, I’d be very interested in chatting with ya! 🙂

Sent on Jun 21

 

Okay, not a terrible message, 94% match, promising, but his ONLY picture is a pic of his chest, pulling his pants down slightly, not showing his face. His chest isn’t even anythings special. His profile states, “So to not waste anyone’s time: I’m on here looking for something very casual, like a friends with benefits/fb situation. No strings, as they say. I won’t bother putting anything into this profile, since if you’re not interested in what I’ve put in the above paragraph, you’re not going to care about anything else, right? But if you are, then we can get to know each other.” So he basically contradicted himself. If you want FRIENDS with benefits, perhaps you should make an effort to make people interested in who you are as a person. He answered 86 questions. But I thought he wasn’t going to bother putting anything in his profile? The pic is kind of a deal breaker, I mean, if you can’t be bothered to show your face, and you think your body is the best thing you can offer, I’m not interested.

Wanna blaze and make out? I’m out by u right now

Sent on Jun 29

First of all, come on now, my profile states that I do not smoke pot, sooo, that’s a big no. 66% match. Meh. Oh, he’s looking for something long term. He actually has quite a bit in his profile, even though he’s only answered 91 questions. For someone who has put so much effort into his own profile, you’d think he would put a little effort into reading profiles.

 

Hookup..for America? Lol

Sent from the OkCupid app Yesterday

Oh, how so very clever. Yes, that totally makes me want to celebrate freedom with orgasm. Come on, you can do better than that.

 

Dtf

Sent from the OkCupid app 9:10am

Wow. Thanks for sharing. Oh, blank profile, no pic…yeah this is a spambot.

 

so do you.enjoy giving head?

Sent at 5:08pm

you horny tonight?
Sent Just now!
 These two messages from the same guy. Oh yes. My vagina is a tropical storm of sex, take me now. Seriously though, no profile pic, however, he’s answered 281 questions. Really though, that’s just tacky.These kinds of messages I get every day, and it gets so annoying, but at least I can have fun making fun of them. Maybe some of them will see these posts and learn how to actually talk to a woman, as I plan to do these posts monthly.
If you want to get to the point, and are just looking for a one night stand, fine, but don’t act like a sleaze. It’s somewhat dehumanizing and disrespectful.

Women’s healthcare

June 30, 2014

My Facebook feed blew up this morning with news that the Supreme Court ruled that employers no longer have to provide contraception coverage if it goes against their religious beliefs. Basically the Supreme Court has given employers the right to impose their religions on employees, discriminate against women, and deny women medication. This decision is a horrible one that opens the door for many other discriminatory practices and denial of basic healthcare needs under the veil of religious freedom.

I think the first point that should be noted is the fact that employees pay premiums, copays, and deductibles on their employee covered medical care. The importance of this is that women can’t necessarily afford the added expense of having to pay for their own contraception. Healthcare plans are provided to employees for a reason, and should cover such a basic need. These are plans that would otherwise cover contraception if obtained privately, but due to being provided through the employer, the employer’s religious beliefs are imposed. Employees pay for their employer provided healthcare through labor in addition to the premiums, copays, and deductibles.

I also have to wonder how much scope this provides employers. That is, who is considered the employer? Who makes the call on whether contraception is covered or not? Whose religious beliefs are we abiding? The CEO or simply the managers? Women’s healthcare decisions are in the hands of whom? And why does that person decide? If the manager can make the decision, can the CEO or owner override that decision?

Contraception is not just for preventing pregnancy. Many women have other medical reasons for taking it, and it should not be the business of an employer for which reason someone is taking contraception. It’s a privacy issue, and just as employees don’t have to justify needing any other medication, women should not have to justify taking birth control.

Of course, since “religious freedom” is involved, this also opens the door for employers to deny healthcare altogether if their religion prohibits it. Christian Scientists reject modern medicine, so they could, in theory argue that they shouldn’t provide health coverage at all, and, it could potentially go so far as only allowing medical leave if the employee plans to pray and not obtain a doctor’s care.

Further, if employers are still allowing coverage for prenatal care and birthing, they are discriminating against certain women who, again, may need birth control for medical reasons, which, again, is none of the employer’s business. If they allow coverage for vasectomy or even Viagra, they are discriminating against women because they are allowing for healthcare based on sexual choice for men, but not for women.

 

I am very saddened by this Supreme Court decision, and I would urge President Obama to follow through by offering a free, supplemental coverage for contraception for women affected ( some states have this, but others do not and their qualifications vary).

 

I am a gun owner and have a concealed handgun license, and so I often read blogs and Facebook groups for female gun owners, because hey, women need visibility in the pro-gun community, especially so that products (holsters, range bags, concealed carry purses) can be made for women. One common theme I see in such communities is the concept of “refusing to be a victim.” Now, I take issue with this idea. Yes, I have a gun for self defense. But to say I keep it because I refuse to be a victim rubs me the wrong way.

For one, it’s implying that women who don’t choose to carry or own a gun or other kind of weapon are choosing to potentially be victims. It’s kind of a roundabout way of victim blaming, and that’s not okay. No one chooses to be a victim, whether they fight back to comply. Whatever they do, they are doing what they think at the time will cause them the least amount of harm (physical or emotional). I was manipulated into compliant victimization, and of course I didn’t choose to be a victim, quite the opposite, actually. I refused to accept that what happened to be was rape, and to the detriment of my mental health. I started experiencing symptoms of PTSD two years after the fact because of my denial of what happened to me.

Second, it’s assuming that a gun is a fail safe against being attacked. It’s not. Even with training, there is no guarantee that you will be able to draw and fire your gun in time. There is no guarantee your weapon won’t be taken from you. It’s one of the risks of carrying a gun.

 

I carry a gun in the hope that it can help protect me from being assaulted if someone tries it. But I do not delude myself into thinking I will 100% be able to stop an attack if it happens. I choose to carry because it makes me feel a littler safer knowing I have something that may be able to be used to defend myself. I really hope I never have to use it. But if I do, it’s nice to have a feeling that I can try to stop it. This does not mean that women who choose not to carry choose to be victims. It does not mean that women who choose not to carry cannot defend themselves in other ways. It absolutely does not mean I am guaranteed to successfully defend myself against an attack, it just betters my odds slightly. There are still risks to gun ownership, and it’s important to consider these risks when choosing a firearm for self defense.

Of course, the idea that any woman should feel like she has to take measures to prevent her own assault is another issue entirely, but that’s for another post.