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WTF, YouTube?!

Female Sexual Education is not “inappropriate”, YouTube.

Female Masturbation!

Second video is up! WOOOOO!

Thanks, Feminism!

I’ve been thinking a lot about “traditional” femininity, and I’ve come to one conclusion: I really suck at a lot of the things girls are “supposed” to do, and that’s kind of awesome.

I have more colors of eyeshadow and nail polish than anyone really should, but I am hopeless with things like makeup or doing my nails.  I keep thinking “oh, well, maybe if I have the right things, I will magically be able to look all pretty and feminine and girly!”  I subscribe to multiple versions of makeup grab bags, and I have at least 50 different makeup brushes.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with most of them.  I can’t do those cool smoky eye looks (or anything that goes beyond wearing one shade of eyeshadow, really, and even then it ends up looking uneven), I end up looking like a clown when I attempt to use powdered blush, and my at-home mani-pedis generally look like a 5 year old went crazy with the nail polish.

I also can’t do anything with my hair that goes beyond a ponytail, half ponytail, braid, or messy bun.  I am adept at washing and drying it, and my at-home touch ups on my hair color are passable.  I have been known to use Pinterest to find cute hairstyles, and then I spend two hours trying to get my thick, straight-as-a-pin hair into a cascading braid, or some other adorable up-do, before I ragequit in utter frustration.  Attempting to curl my hair is just a way for me to completely waste time.  Within 15 minutes that perfect curl is flat again, no matter if I use a curling iron, styling products, or hot rollers.

I am, however, a professional at walking in high heels without looking like I’m about to fall over.

As an adolescent, when I imagine most girls were figuring these things out, I was more interested in figuring out a cure for the profuse sweat that would pour out of my armpits whenever I was talking to a cute boy.  Thank god I was in middle school and high school when it was still acceptable to wear a flannel over your t-shirt, because I would stand there, horrified, as I felt the growing patch of wetness travel down my torso to my waist.  It was like my deodorant would magically evaporate in the presence of a cute boy.   It still does, sometimes.  Now I just carry a spare stick of deodorant in my purse and reapply as needed.

I hate cleaning and doing the laundry.  Right now, there are at least twelve coffee cups in my room, and I can’t be bothered to take them to the kitchen and wash them (sorry, housemates!).  I never make my bed.  I actually hate doing the laundry SO MUCH that I take it all to a wash-and-fold, and pay at least $40 once a month for someone else to do it for me.  Even then, I forget to put it away at least every other month.  I love to cook and bake, but I am terrifically lazy about purchasing ingredients for dinner before the local grocery stores close.

I have realized that the time I could spend on learning these things is better spent doing things like writing my blog or working on my book, reading, or spending time with friends (who could probably teach me about the makeup/nail/hair stuff).

I am fortunate that I live in a place and a forward-thinking culture where I am encouraged to better myself, instead of just looking pretty.  I am so thankful that Fiance doesn’t think my worth as a woman is directly tied to how clean I keep our living space, or having dinner on the table when he comes home from work.  My brain matters more than how I live up to the cultural standards of femininity.  And that’s pretty awesome.

Thanks, feminism, for creating that culture!

Cute Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day!

Oh, Valentine’s Day.  Aside from Christmas, this is the number one holiday fraught with crazy expectations.  You can hardly go into the grocery store or drugstore without being bombarded with cutesy heart-themed items, oversized stuffed animals, and reminders that if you don’t make dinner reservations and spend a lot of money, you don’t REALLY love your significant other. It’s exhausting.  Not everyone has the money to get a dozen red roses, a card, and reservations at that really cute restaurant with the overpriced prix fixe menu; or to spend a bunch of money on makeup, a new dress with accessories, and a cute hairstyle at the salon. So, as a service to you, dear readers, I have scoured the internet for some of the cutest date ideas that don’t cost a ton of money, or ideas to spend the day with other single friends.

If You’re Single And Hanging Out With Other Single Friends:

  • Buy a bunch of pretty but cheap flowers, like carnations, and hand them out to strangers on the street.
  • Go somewhere cheap to eat (like a fast food restaurant), dressed to the nines (do each other’s hair and makeup beforehand), and giggle at the people who give you weird looks.
  • Invite your friends over to your house for a nice dinner.
  • Buy movie theater candy, make some popcorn, and watch a movie that is anti-Valentine’s Day, like My Boyfriend’s Back, or any of the ones mentioned in this article.  My girlfriends and I used to do this!
  • Do a “secret valentine”, similar to a secret santa, and send your friends notes to tell them how much you appreciate them.

If You’re Attached And Don’t Want To Spend A Lot Of Money:

  • Cook dinner at home, and then go out afterwards for cocktails and dessert. (Thanks to Moneycrashers!)
  • Find a local arcade, bring a roll of quarters, and challenge your date to a game of Street Fighter.  If you’re in the SF Bay Area, like me, Musée Mécanique at Fisherman’s Wharf is an excellent choice.
  • Play hooky from work and spend the whole day in bed together.
  • Order a pizza and ask them to put the pepperoni in the shape of a heart.  Have some wine ready, snuggle under a blanket, and watch that movie on your Netflix queue that you’ve always meant to watch.
  • If you live in a city, go to the local park and find a water fountain. Take a bunch of pennies and make wishes one at a time out loud while throwing them in.
  • If it’s too cold, make a picnic inside with hot chocolate. (This one and the water fountain are from Londonlady.)
  • Go on a late night drive.  Find somewhere to stop and get a nice coffee.
  • If you’re following me on Facebook, then you’ve already seen this!  And if you’re not, then you should definitely click that button on the right!

Unusual Date Ideas

Am I missing anything?  What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Tearjerkers

My emotions today have reached a heretofore unprecedented level of sappiness.  I kid you not, as of 1:30pm Pacific time, I have cried over three different things I have seen online.  I’ve decided to share them with you here.

First up is Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDx talk, where she discusses the potential psychology behind the cybermob that attacked her so viciously over her Tropes vs. Women kickstarter project.

I teared up at the end.  Male and female video game characters pander so excessively to the heterosexual male fantasies that it leaves little room for those of alternate genders or sexual orientations to also indulge in the fantasy.  I love playing video games.  Love it.  But just once, I’d like to see a female character that isn’t weak, or aggressively sexualized.  Am I really asking too much when I ask to play a female character who isn’t wearing a chainmail bikini over the balloons on her chest?

And then there’s this picture.

That is Dan Savage (one of my personal heroes, though we disagree from time to time) and his longtime partner Terry, getting their marriage certificate signed in Washington state.  I wept like a baby.  I am so happy that my home state has made same sex marriage legal.

Finally, the fact that this is an actual film that will be shown at SXSW 2013 did me in.

I am so very excited for this film.  Wonder Woman is a personal favorite superhero of mine (and really, she should be for anyone else too!).  I recently read The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and the entire premise of this movie ratcheted my geekcitement up to 11.  I’m interested to see how the filmmakers will compare with the author of The Supergirls.

Has anything touched your heart today?  Maybe made you squee a little?  Share your excitement with me in the comments below!

AsapSCIENCE

There is a lot of misinformation about Plan B, also known as the Morning After pill.  I’ve found that a lot of this is spewed by the same people who fail at basic chemistry (I’m looking at you, people who believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old!), and this video does a pretty fantastic job at explaining exactly how Plan B works.  Contrary to what those protesting Planned Parenthood would have you believe, Plan B is not an abortifacient, in fact, if the fertilized egg has already implanted, it cannot harm the zygote.  I know so many people who actually believe that Plan B is the same as RU486, the abortion pill.  This is patently untrue.  Plan B prevents unintended pregnancies, and RU486 aborts unintended pregnancies.

Another cool video from AsapSCIENCE explains some of the biological responses that men and women experience during orgasm.  I’m sure that little in that video will be surprising to readers of this blog (savvy smart people that you are).  I did find it both interesting and slightly vindicating that there is actual research to prove what many men and women in the BDSM scene have been saying for ages: that pain and pleasure are linked.

I’m really looking forward to more videos explaining the science behind sex.  What did you think of these videos?

DrinkSavvy

Because I am a terrible procrastinator, and I am desperately trying to stop doing so many “This thing makes me so ANGRY! HULKSMASH!” kind of posts, I was browsing Tumblr earlier for some post ideas.  I found a few really awesome things, like the Hawkeye Initiative, where a talented artist has taken to re-drawing the poses of female comic book characters as Hawkeye.  If you need to giggle a bit, and then weep when you realize how ridiculous female comic book characters are drawn, take a look.  But that wasn’t enough for a whole blog post.

But this?  This is seriously cool.

DrinkSavvy is the brainchild of Mike Abramson, and his invention could save lives.  How many times have you heard to “never leave a drink unattended”, or “watch your drink, you might get drugged”?  I know that I have definitely had my drink spiked by someone that I trusted, while I was dating him.  Normally, this sort of advice is directed towards young women, but the creator was inspired after being drugged himself.

DrinkSavvy is a series of products (cups, glasses, straws and stirrers) that actually change color in the presence of GHB, a common “date rape” drug.  Although it has a slightly salty taste, GHB is colorless and odorless, and can be difficult to detect in a flavored drink.  Here’s what GHB can do to a person, according to Wikipedia:

Its effects have been described anecdotally as comparable with alcohol and ecstasy use, such as euphoria, disinhibition, enhanced sensuality and empathogenic states. At higher doses, GHB may induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia, unconsciousness, and death. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, or even longer if large doses have been consumed. Consuming GHB with alcohol is dangerous as it can lead to vomiting in combination with unrouseable sleep, a potentially lethal combination.

If these products become widespread, then we can effectively eliminate one tool in the date rapist’s arsenal.  Do me a favor, share this indiegogo campaign on every social media platform you currently use.  I want to see these used in every bar in the US.

I donated to the campaign, will you?

Dear Jezebel: Your Sex Advice Column is STILL Crap

Jezebel’s new sex advice columnist is still absolute crap at giving advice.  Here’s my responses to the questions directed at “Slutever”.

Dear Slutever, I do not engage in any sexual activity unless my prospective partner and I both get full STD testing. In the past five years, not one woman that I dated agreed to this. Why are so many women against getting tested prior to sex?

Sincerely, Alan

Hi Alan,

While I agree with Slutever’s assertion that you should probably start presenting this in a different light to your dates (and using condoms!), I’m more concerned with your reasons behind this request.  Would you stop seeing someone if they tested positive for an STI?

As someone who has struggled with germ phobias, I would suggest that you engage the services of a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy so that you can get past this particular quirk.  Condoms and dental dams, when used correctly, are extremely effective at preventing transmission of most STIs, and I suspect that you know this already.  So, before jumping into the sack with someone, even if they’ve shown you a clean bill of health, take care of yourself first and talk with a trained professional about your concerns.

 

I’ve been at war for the past three years but I’m coming back next week, and I really need to take my mind off things and want to lose myself in some self-love. I’m in a small town with little access to sex shops, so I was wondering if you had any unique ideas for sex toys I could fashion out of household items, or any tips that would help achieve a great orgasm experience. I really need something to get excited about!

Thanks, Steven



Hi Steven,

First of all, congratulations on finishing your tour of duty!  I really wouldn’t recommend fashioning your own sex toys or using things from your kitchen.  There are intricacies of the human anatomy that are better left to the experts.  Fortunately, although you live in a small town,  you can easily order masturbatory aids online that will be shipped to you in discreet packaging.  Smitten Kitten comes to mind immediately!  As for interesting sex toys, there are a plethora that you can choose from!  If you are interested in penatrative objects, there are items like the NJoy butt plugs, or vibrating butt plugs/perenium massagers.  If it tickles your fancy, you could also experiment a bit with sounding, though I can’t find any online retailers that I would wholeheartedly recommend.  For other masturbatory aids, there’s the ever popular fleshlight, and along the same lines, you can purchase a Tenga egg masturbation sleeve, or the slightly more elaborate Tenga 3D masturbation sleeves.

Just make sure you eat and drink plenty of fluids, use lubrication, and go out of the house every once in awhile during your “me time”.  It would be tragic to see a headline like “Soldier Starves to Death During Marathon Masturbation Session.”



I am a 31-year-old woman who has been married for 5 years. We still have frequent and awesome sex, but I have an issue that (oddly) seems to be getting worse with age. I orgasm way too quickly! And then I’m basically over sex. I’ve never had multiple orgasms, ever. I have one gigantic, eye-popping orgasm after about 3-5 minutes of intercourse and then I’m ready for sex to be over.  I’m constantly telling my husband to slow down or stop totally during sex so I can prolong it enough for him to get off too, but it’s getting to the point where he’s a little hurt that I can’t “hang on.”

Love, Caitlin

Hi Caitlin!

Much like last week’s column, I would recommend that you spend a lot more time on foreplay, concentrating on getting your husband close to orgasm.  It would also help if you talked about this outside of the bedroom, and make sure that he knows you are asking him to slow down or stop because you want him to enjoy sex too!  The numbing agents that Slutever recommended can help, but you also might have an adverse reaction to them.  I know a lot of women, personally, who find that creams or lubricants that are supposed to numb their genitals give them a burning sensation instead.

It is uncommon for a woman to orgasm that quickly, especially if there isn’t some sort of direct clitoral stimulation during intercourse!    A little more communication between you and your husband can really go a long way here.

 

I think this is going to be a regular post for Nice Girls, at least until Jezebel hires a better sex advice columnist.  Some of Slutever’s recommendations are downright dangerous or unhealthy, and I hope my responses provide a needed balance.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sex Positivism In Medicine

It looks like medical professionals are getting on the sex-positive bandwagon, and it’s about time.

Yesterday, the American Association of Pediatrics recommended that pediatricians give their young female patients advance prescriptions for Plan B.  For those of you outside the US, if you are under 18, you cannot get Plan B over the counter, and need a prescription.  Plan B has been available over the counter for those 18 and over for about a year now.

The FDA originally decided that it should be available over the counter to everyone, regardless of age, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA’s decision because of her doubts that young women under 18 would use it properly.  This is despite Plan B being safer to use than aspirin or ibuprofen, especially since it is impossible to overdose on Plan B.

This comes one week after the American College of OB/GYNs has recommended that hormonal birth control pills be available for everyone over the counter, just like condoms.  I can’t tell you how excited this makes me.  It is so important that young women have access to things like this, so they can engage in healthy sexual activity without fear of parental judgement, pregnancy, or the heartbreaking choice of abortion.

With studies showing that teenagers in the US have less sex than teenagers in other first world countries, but are getting pregnant more often, access to emergency birth control in conjunction with comprehensive sex education could help that pregnancy rate continue to decline.

Dear Jezebel, Your New Sex Advice Column is Crap

Jezebel introduced a new columnist yesterday.  Karley Sciortino, aka “slutever” has published her first column, and honestly, I can’t tell if this is satire or not (if it is, it is poorly done), so I’m going to go ahead and write my own answers to the questions posted.

I’m a 26-year-old European exchange student currently studying in the US for five months. I have a (relatively new) boyfriend back home who I’m totally into, and before I left we agreed to be monogamous. But now I have a dilemma: I love Chatroulette, and I usually skip over the random masturbating men, but recently I’ve been fantasizing about not skipping over the dicks and engaging in some hot, anonymous Chatroulette-cybersex. Would that be cheating? I want to think not, but I also realize it’s different than porn — it’s an actual sexual interaction with another human being. My boyfriend and I Skype sometimes, but it hasn’t turned into Skype-sex. And besides, the fantasy is more about the anonymity of it. So: cheating or not-cheating?

–G

While my personal inclination leans towards “not cheating”, your long-distance boyfriend may have a different opinion.  Tell him about your fantasy, G.  Who knows, he might also find the idea hot, and he might try to be the person that you have hot, anonymous Chatroulette-cybersex with!  A supportive partner should try to help you fulfill your fantasies, especially when you are trying to make a long-distance relationship work.

I would caution you to make sure that your face and any other identifying characteristics are hidden from view if you do engage in anonymous cybersex.  Protect yourself, just as you would if you were engaging in real-world sexual activity.  Like some STIs, images on the internet are forever, and can come back to haunt you at the most inopportune times.

Ever since I started having sex I’ve always shaved my vagina without even thinking about it. It may look a bit nicer, but it’s a pain in the ass having to plan ahead and make sure you’re pristinely smooth every time there’s the possibility of sex. I don’t know if I’d like it grown out, but I think I want to try it. But I’m terrified the guy I’m sleeping with will freak out! It’s my body so I can do whatever with it, but should I tell/ask him about it before the experiment begins? Where do you stand on the ‘to shave or not to shave’ debate?

-Reba

Hopefully your partner likes you for more than your pubic hair grooming habits, Reba.  Any guy who actually freaks out at the sight of the perfectly natural hair between your legs has probably not had much experience with women, and may have some maturity issues.  It’s your hair, and while your partner may offer input about his preference, it is ultimately your decision.  Pretty much every partner I’ve had has expressed the opinion that they are fine with pubic hair, but they would like it if I keep the area trimmed.  I bought a $10 trimmer from my local big chain drugstore, and have used that ever since.

Dear Slutever, I am a 26-year-old boy, and though I’m not a virgin, I am terribly inexperienced. I’ve recently started seeing a girl (yay!), however I’ve been having a little ejaculation problem. The problem isn’t that I cum too quickly, but rather that I stay hard all night and can’t ejaculate! It’s no problem for me to get hard, and stay hard, but it just requires too much mentally and physically for me to reach the point of orgasm. Am I not emotionally connecting? Is my problem psychological? Should I find some way to ‘sensitize’ myself?

Yours,
M

I’m interested to find out your masturbation habits, M.  If you are the kind of person who masturbates frequently, you might want to hold off on that until you find that you are able to orgasm more easily.  You and your partner should also try doing more foreplay before penetrative sex.  Kissing, fondling, oral sex, and mutual masturbation are all ways that you can get your motor revving and ready to go before sex, and you may find that the increase in stimulation will make it easier to orgasm during sex.  Just make sure that she also reaches climax!

 

What do you think, readers?  How did I do in comparison to the writer on Jezebel?

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