Monthly Archives: September 2012

I Don’t Care About Your Abstinence, and it Doesn’t Make You Better Than Me

There have been a few recent articles about the “moral case” of either completely abstaining from sex until marriage, or having sex with partners beforehand.

This all started with an incredibly egotistical and almost horrifyingly judgmental article by Steven Crowder on foxnews.com.  In his piece, Crowder calls women who have sex before marriage “floozies”, and is openly disdainful of another couple after meeting the bride at breakfast the morning after their wedding.  That newly married man’s crime?  Deciding to drink at his wedding.

The people next to us that morning? Well, theirs was just one big party.  And the morning after? Just another hangover.

Our “weddings” were the same event in name only. They know it, and we know it.

Honestly?  That is precisely how I envision my wedding next summer: one big party.  I want my family, Fiance’s family, and all of our friends to be there, and to be celebrating our union.  I want dancing and toasting and laughter and fun.  The fact that I am intimately acquainted with Fiance’s nether regions (and vice versa) does not make our wedding, our engagement, or our relationship any less than yours, Mr. Crowder.

Fiance and I lived together for quite some time, and, unlike you, we have already gone through the awkward stages of living together.  We know that we are compatible in practically every way possible, and that includes sexually.  Yes, it still annoys me that he forgets to put his dirty laundry in the hamper, and he is largely baffled by my beauty regimen, but we have reached a point of homeostasis in our relationship and we know that we can actually share the same space.  You’re going to have to learn all of that, and you’re going to have to learn everything about sex.  Don’t worry, Mr. Crowder, I’m here for you and your wife!.

On the other side of the coin, Jill Filipovic (of Feministe fame) wrote a fantastic response article for The Guardian, detailing precisely why it is better to have sex with your partner before a long-term commitment.  I honestly couldn’t have constructed a better article.  This is my favorite quote,

Sex is good whether you’re married or not, and certainly folks who wait until marriage can have a lot of sex once they tie the knot. But waiting until marriage often means both early marriage and conservative views on marriage and gender – and people who marry early and/or hold traditional views on marriage and gender tend to have higher divorce rates and unhappier marriages. We know that, on the other hand, there are lots of benefits to marrying later and to gender-egalitarian marriages. Couples who both work outside the home and also share housework duties have more sex. Financially independent, college-educated women who marry later in life have extremely low divorce rates.

It turns out that feminist values – not “traditional” ones – lead to the most stable marriages. And feminist views plus later marriage typically equals premarital sex.

I wish you luck with your marriage, Mr. Crowder.  I wish you and your wife every happiness.  It’s a pity that you, with your nose in the air, can’t find it in your “Christian” heart to do the same for me and others who are like me.

XO Expo and Pink Cross

I spent a little time this past Friday at the opening evening of the XO Expo, hosted by the Adult Video Network.  I was expecting to see fun new sex toys, maybe some interesting demonstrations, and crowds of people.

I saw none of those.  Instead, there were tattoo and piercing booths, tables of the same sex toys I can find anywhere else, and the crowds were mostly men.  These men were standing around the booths with the porn stars, and the booths that were advertising local strip clubs, staring and taking pictures of the women like they had never seen a woman in a bikini ever before in their lives.  It was gross, and made me feel very uncomfortable.

One booth in particular caught my eye.  It was pretty incongruous with the rest of the expo.  This booth was for a group called the Pink Cross (I am choosing not to link to their website, because I really don’t want to direct traffic to the site.), which is a Christian non-profit dedicated to telling the young women who are involved in the sex industry that they are bad people who just need a little more Jesus in their lives.  I was completely baffled, but after delving into their website a little bit today, I am even more baffled.  Some of the testimonials are just ridiculous.  One was equating BDSM with the occult and devil-worship.  I actually laughed out loud at that one.

While I understand that there are some young women who are forced into sex work, there are even more who choose to be a sex worker.  I have many friends who work in the local pornography scene, and they are happy with what their line of work.  Equating all of the women who choose to work in pornography as unwitting and unwilling participants simply doesn’t ring true to me.  What are your thoughts, dear readers?

Book Review: Sex at Dawn

If you’re a fan of Dan Savage, you’ve probably heard Dan talking about this book on his podcast, Savage Love back in 2010.    In the book, authors Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. and Cacilda Jethá, M.D. explore “The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.”

Covering everything from the form and function of the modern human, to the ways that we act in relationships, Sex at Dawn turned the study of human sexuality upside down.  Through observing and drawing parallels between modern humans, and our evolutionary cousins, the Bonobo chimpanzee, the authors draw the conclusion that modern humans have a difficult time with monogamy because we are genetically engineered towards multiple partners.

On the website for Sex at Dawn, a chart by Franklin Veaux maps the different relationships that modern humans engage in.  The overlap is fascinating.

Although it may seem that the authors are advocating for non-monogamous relationships, they claim that is not their purpose.  An excerpt from the FAQ on the website for Sex at Dawn:

So you’re recommending the everyone should have an open marriage or not get married at all?

Definitely not. We’re not recommending anything other than knowledge, introspection, and honesty. In fact, as we say in the book, we’re not really sure what to do with this information ourselves. We hope Sex at Dawn advances the conversation about human sexuality so people can focus more on the realities of what human beings are and a bit less on the religious and cultural mythologies concerning what we should be and should feel. What individuals or couples do with this information (if anything) is up to them.

It took me longer than I expected to read Sex at Dawn, because each page has information that borders on revelation.  I found myself having to stop frequently just to absorb each new piece of information.  I am normally the type of person who breezes through books, but I simply couldn’t do it with Sex at Dawn.  The authors did an amazing job at fully researching the topic, and presenting it in a way that is entirely accessible to those of us who are not in the academic field.

If you are struggling with any sort of infidelity in your relationships, read this book.  If you found yourself suddenly no longer attracted to a partner after going off of hormonal birth control, read this book.  If you are curious about how and why the modern human body and sexual organs are shaped differently than every other species, read this book.

If you’d like to support Nice Girls, you can purchase Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality through this link.  As an Amazon Affiliate, I will receive a small amount of the price of your purchase.  Thanks!

Some Blogs I Follow

Good afternoon everyone!  I’ve been busy reading books to review for you all on Nice Girls, and I thought that in the meantime, I would share some of the fantastic blogs I follow.

For reading up on feminist issues, these are my top four:

Patriarchy Survivor.  This blog comes from a Facebook page I follow: No, I will NOT be quiet.  This blog has a lot of submitted personal stories, and some of them may be triggering to anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault, or domestic violence.

Make Me a Sammich.  The author describes this as “a place to read and talk about being a woman in the USA in the 21st century.”  It’s a great description, and she recently started posting some pretty awesome fiction!

Another Angry Woman describes her blog as “Part anarchist. Part feminist. All angry.”

Damn Right I’m a Feminist has shorter posts, mostly about current news articles and some fantastic quotes.  Don’t miss her Sexist Song of the Day posts.

For some reading that is a little lighter in topic and tone (in other words, you’re much less likely to read something that will make you angry), check out these blogs.

Sex Lives of Moms has some occasionally hilarious posts, but offers advice and commiseration for those awesome moms who are struggling with regaining intimacy with significant others.

Online Dating – Why I’ll Soon Be a Crazy Cat Lady always cracks me up.  If you’ve ever tried to find the genuinely good guys in the cesspool that is online dating, you will probably recognize your experiences in her blog.

 

Tomorrow’s post will be a review of Sex at Dawn!

Slutwalk SF 2012

L’Shana Tova to any of my Jewish readers!  I spent the last two days attending Rosh Hashanah services with Fiance and his family, which was quite an experience.  I attended with them last year, and, to be honest, I find the amount of Hebrew kind of overwhelming to someone who doesn’t understand a bit of it.  It is traditional for those attending services to take the two days of Rosh Hashanah off of work to celebrate the Jewish New Year, so I did this as well.  Learning about Fiance’s culture and religion is fascinating.

As I said previously, I attended the SF Slutwalk, and took a lot of fabulous pictures.  I had a great time, and it really re-energized my dedication to Nice Girls.  For the complete set of pictures, you can visit the album on my new imgur account (some images may be NSFW).  There were some fantastic speakers at the pre-walk rally in Dolores Park, including Carol Queen, the founder of the Center for Sexuality and Culture, who wore a fabulous shirt that said I <3 Female Orgasm; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, who spoke about his experiences being a drag queen in Philadelphia in the 1970s; and, my personal favorite, Assemblywoman Carol Lieber, who told us that she is a slut, and hopes to be one all of her life.

Then, the Slutwalk began.  We walked about half a mile, some of the ladies managed to do it in their stilettos!  We cheered as a woman came out, asked what the march was about, and joined as soon as she understood.  There were chants, but I spent most of my time running around taking pictures of everyone (but not before asking for their consent, of course)!  We ended up at a small plaza in the Castro.

At that time, anyone at the walk could take the bullhorn and share a story.  A few chose to just thank the crowd of people who attended.  I got up and spoke about how the walk had inspired me to continue writing on Nice Girls and some of my experiences with rape culture.  There were a couple of men sitting at a table who were definitely angry at their pleasant afternoon being invaded by a group of women, some of them dressed in lingerie.  Unfortunately, a couple of the attendees had already responded to the gentlemens’ consternation with some anger, but I took the opportunity to sit down and explain the purpose and the message of the Slutwalk.    They seemed a lot less upset afterwards, and I even saw one of them cheering after an attendee’s speech.

Overall, as I said, the Slutwalk was an overwhelmingly positive experience.  I had a great time meeting new people, test driving the new-to-me camera, and listening to the poignant and interesting stories each speaker had to share.  I can’t wait for next year!

Book Reviews!

All right, now that I am back on my feet, and no longer sick, I want to do some book reviews for you all!  The only problem is, I’m a little overwhelmed at the sheer volume of books that would be relevant to Nice Girls.  Seriously, everyone, I went through the “self help” section on Amazon, and I found over 100 books that seem like my readers might be interested in reading.  Here is my list on Amazon.

So, I want to hear from YOU!  Is there a book that you’ve had your eye on, but you’re not sure if it’s worth the time to read?  Is there a book that you’d like my perspective on?  Anything I missed on my list?  Let me know in the comments!

Ack! I’m Sick!

Hey everyone, I apologize for not updating at all in the past few days.  I caught some sort of stomach bug from Fiance’s little sister, and have been feverish and nauseated for several days now.

I am so glad that Fiance made me get out of bed early on Saturday morning so that I could attend the SF Slutwalk.  You see, I’ve been feeling some pretty serious internet burnout for a few weeks now, and it seemed like every time I found something to write about, it was an issue that made me angry.  It is exhausting to be angry for hours every day.  I had reached a point where I dreaded sitting down with my laptop, because I knew that by the end of my posts, I would be emotionally exhausted.

SF Slutwalk rejuvenated me.  It made me realize that I needed to get back to doing more sex-positive stuff in general, not just finding something to be angry about.  Hopefully in the next few days, I will have the energy to go through the 350 pictures I took at Slutwalk (thank you, to those of you who let me take your picture!), and post a write up.  For now, I would like to say thank you to the organizers and attendees for giving me some much-needed encouragement.

I’d also like to say thank you to Fiance, for helping me create a schedule and to find topics that still fall under sex-positivity, but won’t leave me feeling disgusted with the world.

I’d also like to thank you, dear readers.  I’ll still be posting on feminist issues here, but I’m going to re-focus on sex-positive information, including reviews on toys, books, and yes, even some pornography.  Thanks for sticking with me.  I hope you’ll enjoy the new content.

Street Harassment: Ladies Just Can’t Win

If you’re a fan of Nice Girls on Facebook (and if you’re not, then you should definitely go click “like” right now!), then you’ve probably already seen this post I shared yesterday.  Trigger warning: there’s an account of a pretty verbally violent situation.

A friend of mine had shared it, and I got pretty angry at the conversation in the comments on her page.  I had never been witness to such oblivious “mansplaining” in my life.   I’d like my readers’ thoughts on this conversation (names have been intentionally omitted): Read the rest of this entry

Some really lovely thoughts for you, my readers. Cherish your friends.

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