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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.

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!

Book Review: The Choice Effect

To be honest, I don’t remember purchasing The Choice Effect by Amalia McGibbon, Lara Vogel, and Claire A. Williams, for my Kindle, but I just finished reading it two nights ago.  I wasn’t impressed.  On one hand, I commend the authors for writing a semi-sex-positive book about dating (except they portray men as completely disposable), and some of the interesting problems the Millennial generation faces.  On the other hand I finished the book feeling vaguely insulted by some of the ways they characterize my generation, and I became increasingly annoyed by the constant pop culture references.

Their term for the ladies currently in their 20s, “choisters” is an interesting portmanteau created from the word “choice” and the phrase “the world is your oyster”.  The entire book revolves around their hypothesis that because, as a generation, we are more mobile and more connected to the world, we are paralyzed by the plethora of choices available to us and refuse to commit to anything.

When it comes to jobs and a place to live, the economy and ever changing job market are the main factors in my generation’s inability to “settle down”.  By and large, companies are no longer promoting from within and rewarding loyalty and increase in job responsibility with higher titles or compensation.  I read articles all the time bemoaning how it doesn’t pay to invest in Millennial employees, because they leave the company in a few years anyway.  It’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It no longer pays off to be a “company (wo)man”.   When you’re looking for a new job every two or three years in order to experience career growth, it becomes difficult to put down roots.

Likewise, with such volatility in the job market, it is difficult to make what is ostensibly a lifetime commitment to a partner unless one or both of you have a mobile career, or an agreement to move if the other person is presented with an amazing opportunity.  The latter can lead to an imbalance in the relationship if one partner is unable to find a job in the new area, or cannot contribute to the household finances as they did previously.

While it is true that my generation is delaying marriage and family life to a much later age than previous generations, I disagree with the authors’ assertion that it is because the women of my generation are constantly looking for someone “better” than the person they are currently dating.  The notion that we are all a bunch of commitment-phobes who just can’t choose a partner, or a job, or a city to live in rings false to my ears.  I’d argue that my generation’s hesitation to commit to a partner, job, or city is born of intelligent caution, and is a legitimate choice, in and of itself.

In the end, it is hard to take a book seriously when the authors are constantly dropping pop culture references to songs, movies, TV shows, and even mobile applications left and right.  I sincerely hope I didn’t pay anything for this book (I can’t find the receipt, I looked), because it wasn’t worth the e-ink it was printed with.

Comprehensive Sex Ed? Not in Clovis USD!

Hey everyone, I am still very sick, so I apologize again for the short post.

I am very proud of California’s commitment to comprehensive sexual education in the school systems. A law passed in 2003 requires that sexual health education in California’s public schools be comprehensive, medically accurate, bias-free, and appropriate for students of all sexual orientations.

Unfortunately, the Clovis Unified School District is now being sued for their abstinence-only and heavily religious leaning sexual education curriculum.  They are now being sued by two parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics California District IX, and the Gay-Straight Alliance network, with the ACLU providing free legal assistance.

Students were being taught that HIV could be spread through kissing, and that getting “lots of rest” was an effective way to prevent STIs.  Both of these statements, of course, are ridiculously inaccurate.  There were also passages in the textbook “Lifetime Health”, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, comparing a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe, and states that men who are aroused are unable to control themselves.  Oh, and there are no mentions of condoms.  Anywhere.  At all.

Congratulations, Clovis.  You have now handed these young men the mental excuses they need to rape someone: “But I just couldn’t control myself!  Besides, she’s not a virgin, so she’s dirty anyways.  Condoms?  Eh, those don’t work anyways.”

Fresno County has had one of the highest teen pregnancy and birth rates in California for over a decade now. The Central Valley area also has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases.  Why, then, are the schools barring their students from medically accurate information?  It almost seems like they are proud of these statistics.

A Call to Men

I recently came across this video on the TED talks website.  It features Tony Porter, the founder of A Call to Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women.

His eloquent 11 minute speech is a work of art.  It was definitely worth the standing ovation he received at the end.

To my male readers: what is your experience with stepping outside the “Man Box”?  Do you believe it is real? If so, what can we do to raise the next generation outside of this “Man Box”?

To my female readers: what are your reactions after watching this?

Grace’s Diary

Thanks to a tip from one of my dear friends, I found out about Grace’s Diary, a beautifully drawn point and click game.  But this isn’t your ordinary game.

Grace’s Diary is a visual novel with easy gameplay, but this game has a purpose.  Grace is concerned about her friend Natalie and Natalie’s relationship with her boyfriend, Ken.  Grace has decided that she should call Natalie and voice her concerns, but Grace needs to write down the behaviors that concerned her.

As Grace, you explore your own room for reminders of times that Ken or Natalie have acted in strange ways.  If you find all of the evidence, and you navigate your conversation with Natalie successfully, there is a happy ending.

Although I think some of the gameplay is a little clunky (there is one piece that is particularly difficult to find, and I had to use a walkthrough to find it) and some of the dialogue could use some work,  there is no doubt that Grace’s Diary is a great game.  You can find Grace’s Diary on the Amazon App store here, and it is free.

Your Questions: Answered!

For those of you who don’t know, WordPress gives bloggers the ability to look at a lot of the data associated with a blog that one owns.  The information that I find the most intriguing (and often hilarious) is the search terms that lead people to Nice Girls.  The searches are often in the form of a question.

After sharing a couple of these on twitter, I thought I would amuse myself by answering them here.  Hopefully you will find these as interesting as I do! Read the rest of this entry

Ten Dirty Little Secrets: A Response

One of my favorite fellow bloggers had a recent post titled “Ten Dirty Little Secrets She’s Not Telling You“.  Carolina was responding to male bloggers claims of how “deceitful” women are in relationships, by claiming that yes, women are deceitful and are hiding things from you or outright lying to their partners.

While her generalizations are true for a lot of young women, once you reach 25 or so, these really should no longer apply to you.  Most of these are more about a lack of maturity than anything else.  I am going to respond to these, line by line.

1.  She tells her girlfriends everything, including what you’re like in bed, and how big you are. You would cringe if you knew the juicy personal details about you she’s blabbing everywhere she goes.

Again, this is something that is typical of young women who are in their first few relationships.  I know that I did this for years.  I eventually realized that this undermines the intimacy of my relationship.  My girlfriends and I talk, but as I have positioned myself as a sexpert, I have kind of invited that into my life. We vent to each other only when we are not being heard by our partners, or we know that we’re talking about something trivial and don’t want to bother our partners with the fact that they put the toilet paper on the dispenser the wrong way. We feel better afterwards, but if any of us is having a real problem, then we talk about it with our partner, not our girl friends.

2.   She really doesn’t like to go camping, hiking, parachuting, bungee cord jumping, white water rafting, hunting, mountain climbing, etc. She only says she does to make you think you have things in common.

I absolutely love to go hiking and camping.  When you live in an urban environment, going out into nature feels almost magical, and is a welcome respite from the hustle, the bustle, the feeling that everything around you never stops.  Boyfriend loves to do these things too, but right now, his knee injury prevents us from doing a lot of these things.  At one point, I dated a guy who loved to do indoor rock climbing.  I went with him once, but I quickly figured out that it wasn’t for me, and declined further invitations to go climbing.  You should never feel pressure to lie about your interests so that you make yourself more appealing to a partner.  If you begin a relationship by lying to your partner about “shared” interests, you won’t be able to keep up the lie for long, and the relationship will end in resentment.

3.   She doesn’t like most sports—not to watch it—and certainly not to play it.

Again, I feel that this is a gross generalization.  I know of so many women who love to watch sports!  I have several girl friends who have season tickets to the SF Giants, or follow a particular sports team religiously.  I, personally, LOVE football.  I grew up in the Denver area, and my grandpa has amazing season tickets.  Going to see a Broncos game with my grandpa was a special treat, and it translated into a love for the game.  In fact, Boyfriend and I recently attended an arena football game (Go, Sabercats!), and he was completely unprepared for how excited and LOUD I became over the course of the game.  I played softball as a kid, and have considered joining a co-ed adult team here in San Francisco because of how much I enjoyed it as a kid.  It’s actually a little sexist to assume that all girls dislike sports.

4.   She doesn’t like giving BJs.

I certainly know quite a few women who hate performing fellatio.  For me, due to issues that I have with my jaw, it can actually be physically painful.  However, that is not to say that I hate pleasing a partner in that way.  In fact, it can make me feel kind of powerful, and I know that a lot of my girl friends feel the same way.  There’s almost a feeling of, “Look what I can make you do! *insert evil laugh*”.  It is sexy to feel that you are pleasing your partner.

5.   She’s all lovey-dovey with you, but when you’re not around she’s complaining about you–to everyone. (And it isn’t just family and friends. It’s hair stylists, manicurists, bank clerks, cashiers, that guy who works at Home Depot, neighbors, waitresses, co-workers, everyone.)

This is like the first item in the list, but it goes even further.  Complaining to strangers about your relationship exhibits some serious insecurity, and those strangers are probably thinking, “Wow, this person is completely unstable.”  Unless you have a previously established friendship with that person that includes sharing intimate details, then talking badly about your relationship to strangers shows a lack of respect for yourself, your partner, and your relationship.  If you are doing this with acquaintances, then they are probably wondering what you are saying about them behind their backs.

6.   She fakes it—a lot.

This is, of course, speaking about orgasms.  Ladies, if you are at a point where you are faking orgasms at all, then you are doing your partner a serious disservice.  Think of how betrayed and insecure he or she will feel to find out that even though they thought they were a great lover and a giving partner, they have not satisfied you in the least, and you felt the need to lie to them about it.  That’s really what faking an orgasm is, you know.  It is lying, pure and simple.  It is up to you to teach your partner the things that make you feel good, because no one is a mind-reader.  Learn to communicate your expectations and desires instead of expecting your partner to magically “know” what you like.  Unless your partner has some serious insecurity issues, he or she will be happy to oblige and may actually thank you for helping them become a better lover.

7.   She can’t stand your buddies, thinks they are a bad influence, and would like to remove them from your life.

This one is also disturbing to me.  Unless your partner’s friends are actively encouraging illegal behavior, or things that will undermine your relationship (like cheating), or they are disrespectful to you, then it is best to just accept that these people are a part of your partner’s life, and have helped shape them into the person you know and love.  If you don’t like particular people in your partner’s life, then excuse yourself from events that these people are going to attend.  But don’t try to change your partner’s friends.  That is controlling behavior and he or she will resent you for being so negative about people that are important to your partner.

8.   She got into the relationship with you for your potential. She thinks you need improving and she’s going to fix you.

This kind of thinking is poisonous.  A person is not a project, and you should never decide to get into a relationship with the end goal of molding that person into some lofty ideal.  No one is perfect, and while it is good to encourage your partner, you should love them for who they are, not who you want them to be.

9.   She’s keeping a close eye on you. She uncovers intel on you with an efficiency that would
make James Bond envious. She snoops through your cell phone, email, glove compartment, Facebook, and anything else she can get her hands on. She will drive past your house late at night to make sure your car is there and someone else’s isn’t.

Oh, and her girlfriends are watching your ass, too, and they’re gonna rat you out.

This speaks more to your insecurity than anything else.  If you are snooping through your partner’s things, you are GROSSLY violating his or her privacy, and that is just not okay.  How would you feel if you found your partner looking through your text messages, or found out that he or she had figured out your passwords to your Facebook or email, and had gone through everything?  You would feel angry and violated.  If you are feeling the need to do this, then you need to spend some time with a therapist and figure out why you have trust issues, and why you feel that it is “okay” to completely violate personal space and boundaries.  Seriously, acting this way speaks of some serious issues, and you should see a professional about it.

10. She may be your sweet innocent angelic ‘lil Pookie Wookie Wookums. But, if you do her wrong—like lie your ass off or cheat—she’s going to turn into a snarling, fire-breathing, vengeance seeking handmaiden of Satan.

Yeah, pretty much.

Fifty Shades of Red Flags

 

The Fifty Shades trilogy has been at the top of the NYT Bestseller list for 10 weeks now.  I can’t even begin to count the number of people who have suggested I review these books.  I’m on vacation in the Outer Banks, North Carolina right now, and I figured they’d be good for reading on the plane.  I started reading the first book at 3:30am, and knew that I probably wasn’t going to like them, as I had started cracking up laughing at the terrible writing by 3:45am.  Warning, those who have been in an abusive relationship may be triggered by the following post. Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Talk About Sex, Part 2

Ideally, in every new sexual relationship, there is a period of time when you and your partner can sit down and discuss your expectations and boundaries in a frank and honest manner. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.   Read the rest of this entry

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