joreth: (polyamory)
This has come up in several venues lately, so when [ profile] thisisjessa posted an article by Mistress Matisse, I decided to repost it.

Control Tower
The One-Penis Policy
by Mistress Matisse

I am naughty by nature, but I'm actually not down with OPP. Surprised? Well, OPP has a different meaning to me. OPP means this: A bisexual female/heterosexual male couple are discussing polyamory, but he doesn't like the idea of her fucking other guys. So he says, "Okay, you can sleep with women—but no other men." Sometimes they'll just leave it at that: She'll get him plus her girlfriends, but he'll remain monogamous. Often, however, the next sentence out of his mouth is "And if you get to sleep with other women, then so do I." This is what polyamorous people refer to, disparagingly, as the One-Penis Policy.

Why disparagingly? On the surface, the OPP sounds equitable: Both partners get to do exactly the same thing. Only it's not. It's about as fair and balanced as Fox News. Under the OPP, the straight man is free to pursue any woman he wishes, while his bisexual partner must limit her choices because of his fears.

And fear is the reason for an OPP. Fears like: If another man fucks "my" woman, he'll steal her away. Only by isolating her can I keep her. Men who fuck lots of women are studs, but women who fuck more than one man are dirty whores; my partner cannot be a dirty whore! (Sex with other women, though—that's different. If there's no penis, then it's not real sex, merely foreplay for me.)

Fear of the woman getting an STD from a new male partner is often mentioned as additional justification—which conveniently ignores the fact that straight men can get STDs from women, and thus the One Penis is also capable of bringing one home. Also implied is that a vicious, Highlander-esque competition for status and dominance is biologically inherent to men. They can't help it; it's just their nature. A good, loving woman restricts her sexuality so she doesn't tarnish her man's image and rouse his inner beast.

Women in this position often reluctantly accept the OPP as a stepping-stone. In time, she thinks, he'll relax the rule and let me have sex with other men, too. But it's a rare individual who willingly gives up an arrangement where he gets everything he wants and nothing he doesn't. If you want the freedom to have sex with other men, then work out the jealousy issues in some other fashion. But don't adopt the OPP, because it builds resentment and the temptation to lie.

Male practitioners of the OPP say, "It's not unfair! She doesn't want to fuck other men." If she doesn't want to, obviously she doesn't have to. But why have a rule forbidding it? Lift the gender ban and let her choose as freely as you do. Or stay monogamous and let OPP stand for One-Pussy as well as One-Penis.
This was written by Mistress Matisse.

The OPP is couched in a lot of rational-sounding reasons.  But humans are very, very good at having an emotional reaction and then rationalizing it later to the point that even they don't understand what they just did.  An MRI study just recently showed that almost all our decisions are decided up to 10 seconds before we act on them (actually giving the MRI reader the opportunity to predict someone's actions), and another one showed that the act-on-this part of the brain lit up before the rational-reason-making part of the brain did. (wish I had the links to cite my references).  This means that we do stuff, then we explain why we did it after the fact.  

[ profile] tacit also likes to reference an interesting study where they looked at people who had the connection between the hemispheres of the brain missing, for whatever reason.  When that connection is gone, both eyes can still see and can still send images to the brain, but only one half of the brain has the ability to talk about it.  That half of the brain has absolutely no clue what the other half of the brain is doing, since the connection is gone.  

So, for example, let's say you show one of these people 2 pictures - one to each eye.  To the eye that can send images to the half of the brain that communicates, you show a chicken coop.  To the other eye, you show a picture of a snow bank.  Next, you hand them a pile of toys and have them pick out one toy with each hand that references the picture they saw.  The hand that correlates to the eye that saw the chicken coop picks out a stuffed chicken.  The other hand picks out a toy shovel.  Next, ask the person why he chose those toys.  Remember, the half of the brain that speaks has absolutely no idea that the other half of the brain recorded a snowbank.  Without noticeable hesitation, the person says the chicken goes in the chicken coop, and the shovel is to clean up the bird shit.

So we are very, very good at making shit up and rationalizing and justifying our actions, even to ourselves.

In one particular thread online, a couple of guys were absolutely standing by their excuse to limit their woman to only female partners by way of progeny.  You see, they did not want to spend resources raising someone else's kid.  The only progeny allowed in his house, by god, would be of his own bloodline!  He also wanted to make sure that his genetic heritage remain in an unbroken line from wherever it is he started counting.  And since you can never really be sure who the father is, the only way to control that he was the father was to restrict his partner from any and all male partners to avoid accidents from happening.

I threw out the adoption argument (how dare you say my mother couldn't love me as much as my natural mother) because the idea that bloodlines have anything to do with love is offensive.  What I didn't bother to get into is that he has no way of knowing that his line is "unbroken" already and that even with his rule restricting his woman, she could *still* produce offspring that wasn't his, if she wanted to.  If he was convinced that he had her properly isolated, he would have no reason to ask for a paternity test when she gets pregnant, and, as he pointed out in his rationale for being against other male partners, the paternity test takes place after the baby is conceived anyway and it's too late to do anything about limiting the fatherhood.  [ profile] tacit proposed letting men who have vasectomies be potential partners, how did Mr. Caveman feel about that?  Funny enough, no response the last time I checked the thread.  That tells me that it's NOT about progeny at all, it's about rationalizing an emotional reaction without understanding the emotional reaction at all.

As [ profile] tacit likes to say, if your partners are loving and kind and considerate and genuinely do not want to hurt you, then rules are not necessary.  If they are not loving and kind and considerate and genuinely don't care if they hurt you, then the rules won't stop them.

When I do not want my partner to be with a particular partner, I can express my fears to my partner, who will then seriously consider the consequences of taking on said new partner.  A kind, loving, considerate, and compassionate partner will evaluate the fears for their real impact and decide that either yes, the fears have merit and refrain, or no, the fears are about something internal and work with me on resolving that internal issue.  It is not necessary for me to forbid him from doing anything.

As Mistress Matisse says, if your wife just happens to be only interested in other woman, you don't need the rule to forbid it.  

But if she is interested in men, and you feel the need to restrict her behaviour, that says an awful lot about you, none of it good.

It says you're insecure.  It says you're an asshole.  It says you let your emotions cloud your judgement.  It says you don't believe your wife can make her own decisions, because if she does, she will necessarily choose something harmful to you and to your relationships  That says your relationship is awfully weak and fragile..  It says you believe your relationship can be threatened by the mere presence of another partner based on his gender.  It says that you devalue the importance of same-gender relationships because other woman couldn't possibly be threatening to your relationship the way other men could.  

It says you believe you actually have the ability and the right to control another human being.  It says you believe you are entitled to your wife's body, time, and sexuality, as opposed to it being a shared experience between the two of you that you are both *offering* to each other.  It says you have no idea about your own emotional and psychological makeup because you adhere to a 1950s Flintstone's version of biology that has been discarded by actual scientists decades ago to justify internal insecurities as "just what a man has evolved to do".  It says that you are completely self-centric and selfish, and that's a sign of someone who hasn't grown up yet.  It says that you still live on the junior high playground where everyone is a competitor and no one can communicate their feelings in an honest and considerate fashion, while the rest of us grew up and moved on to adulthood.  It says that you are in for some huge shocks when you realize that the world does not, in fact, revolve around you, and your partners are whole and complete human beings that you can't actually control - only their consent to acquiesce maintains that illusion at all, in which case, we're back to the main point, which is that rules are either unnecessary or unenforceable. 

It says that you have Little Dog Syndrome, which is someone who is actually very small, but who doesn't know it (or who does and won't admit it) and overcompensates by barking a lot and annoying everyone else around him.  The problem is that little dogs often pick fights with bigger dogs, and when the bigger dog isn't a lovable pushover, that little dog often gets injured or killed.  Meanwhile, the bigger dog doesn't have to go around barking at everyone to stay off his property because he's confident and secure in his place in the world.  Where the analogy fails, of course, is that men are *not* territorial, protective-by-nature animals.  That goes back to the '50s Flintstones view of history.  Some individuals may be territorial, and some cultures have certainly encouraged territoriality, but the idea that one's mate falls under the category of one's territory is a concept that was culturally evolved, not biologically, in humans, along with the idea of material possessions.  Our closest relatives are much more communistic.  It's also plain offensive to a species of animal that can think, make predictions of consequences, and can override much of biology because of it (birth-control anyone?).  I am absolutely not anyone's "territory", you're damn lucky just to have me spend any of my time and attention on you, what with all the other things I want to spend my time and energy on.

It says that I should stay the hell away from you.  I prefer to date grown ups, not scared little boys overcompensating for their inadequacies with machismo attitudes and a reign of fear.  

joreth: (Flogging)
I haven't taken the Purity Test in a few years, and it came up in conversation recently, so I thought I'd look it up and see what my score was now. I took the 500 Point ACL test:

You answered "yes" to 264 of 500 questions, making you 47.2% sexually pure (52.8% sexually corrupt); that is, you are 47.2% pure in the sex domain.

Unfortunately, all the questions about drugs keeps my score more-pure than I think of myself, but I don't consider drug use to be synonymous with "sexually pure".
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
If you don't listen to Poly Weekly yet, you should. Adam And Eve online adult store was a sponsor for Poly Weekly for a while, and [ profile] cunningminx was reviewing some of their products. She was sent a Clone-A-Willy kit, which is a mold-making kit that allows one to make an exact vibrating replica of one's own penis. At the time, [ profile] cunningminx was not interested in the product (and I forget the reason why), but during a conversation with her over dinner one night, the subject was brought up and I mentioned how I have always wanted to try it.

In fact, I always wanted to have a Clone-A-Willy party, where I could purchase the mold-making materials in bulk and pass along the savings to my friends. A private room could be made available for those who wish to make the mold without an audience, but at the end, everyone could leave with copies of the penii they so desired.

But party aside, I have always had a fascination with life-like replicas, particularly of people I know personally. So when I mentioned how much I always wanted to try the kit, [ profile] cunningminx said she'd send the kit to me so I could review it for her.

Now, I didn't really expect it to happen - after all, there are so many more important things than for [ profile] cunningminx to remember to send me the kit. But one day, I got home to find a package waiting for me. And, lo and behold, it was the Clone-A-Willy kit from [ profile] cunningminx!

Read all about my Human Cloning Experiment )

Hopefully next up ... Clone-A-Pussy for a copy of myself, clones of my other sweeites, and a Clone-A-Willy party for my friends! They also sell a glow-in-the-dark kit, a Lover's Kit (both Willy & Pussy kits at a discount), and a Chocolate Clone-A-Willy kit. The girl's mold claims to be reusable and safe to use as a Jello Mold!
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
First of all, I want to make absolutely, explicitly clear at the beginning that I am in no way condoning sex abuse, child molestation or non-consentual sexual acts. I am speaking ONLY of the system of justice and punishment that deals with actions and activities regarding people's genitalia.

I have a BIG problem with the way laws dealing with sexuality and genitalia are written in this country. In people's non-logical, emotionally-driven absolute terror when it comes to anything related to sex, to say that we go overboard on protection laws is an understatement.

I wrote once before about how people were so freaked out about sex offenders living in the same neighborhood as their children that they increased the prohibitions to such an extent that they increased the homelessness problem by something like 800%, thereby actually making these sex offenders more difficult to track and monitor and more desperate, which significantly increases the likelihood of lawlessness.

Then there's the fact that pretty much everything dealing with penises gets labeled as a "sex offense", with very little distinction between "indecent exposure", consensual sex between minors, violent rape and child molestation.

For instance, in this article, a man has finally been pardoned, after 15 years, from his sex offense crime.  This is 15 years too long, IMO.

A 19-year old kid (yes, a kid, in the grand scheme of things) fell in love with a 14-year old girl.  I'll be honest and say I don't think very highly of a 19-year old who believes he has enough in common with a 14-year old, and that they have a similar level of emotional maturity, to call it "love".  But the fact of the matter is that 19 and 14 is not such a large difference that having sex with her should result in him spending the rest of his life labeled as a "sex offender".  XKCD provided a formula to determine a minimum age for any given person that I happen to think is a pretty good guideline*.  

And the reason I think that he should not spend his life labeled as a sex offender is because being labeled as a sex offender means that this 19-year old kid with poor judgement will spend the rest of his life suffering for a mistake he made as a kid - and a mistake that did not leave behind any victims.

The girl was consenting (yes, I realize some people will debate how "consentual" it can be when the person is not a legal adult - the point was she wanted it) and biologically old enough to have sex.  He didn't coerce her, he didn't violate her, he didn't abuse her, he didn't beat her, he didn't steal from her.  He dated her.

And they got married.

And had 4 kids.

And because he had the misfortune (or the stupidity) to fall for a girl who was 5 years younger than he was, he has been unable to hold a job or provide for his WIFE (y'know the "victim") and KIDS for 15 FUCKING YEARS.

Now, again, I realize there are people who will debate whether or not she was victimized because of her age.  And I agree that we should take extreme caution when analyzing the mental and emotional fitness of young teenagers when it comes to sex, particularly with sex and older partners.

But I was 14 once.  And anyone who thinks that I was a "victim" to any of my partners at that age doesn't know me very well.

I gave my first blow job at age 12.  I lost my virginity at age 15.  One could say I was "precocious" if one tended towards the understated.

When I was about 14 and a half, I decided it was time for me to lose my virginity.  So I very deliberately set out to find a person for this function.  The point was to not be a virgin, not to find a boyfriend or have a romantic adventure.  I wanted to know what the big deal was.  I had already been making out with guys, so what was so epic about the act of penetration that it was to be held so far high above all other acts?

I decided upon a particular guy I knew.  He was 17 or 18 and he seemed much less antagonistic towards me than the other guys in the neighborhood.  He stood up for me when they picked on me and he seemed to enjoy talking to me.  So I began flirting.  He seemed to flirt back, and in short order, we began candidly discussing whether or not to begin a sexual relationship.  We had not yet kissed at this point.  He actually began to plan with me how to help me lose my virginity (it had to be planned - we both lived with our parents).

But then, before the date happened, he suddenly began acting elusive and awkward around me.  Finally, he confessed that he was uncomfortable with the idea of being someone's "first".

So I set out to find another person to take my virginity.

A couple of months later, my best friend's older sister's boyfriend began spending more time at the pool where I worked (he lived in the neighborhood but didn't work at the pool like everyone else in this story did).  He was 19 and kind of cute, but I didn't really know him very well.  I realized that he started to spend time chatting with me when I was on duty.  Throughout the conversations, I learned that he and his girlfriend (my best friend's sister) had one of those rocky relationships that break up every time they fight.  Even at the time, I never understood those kinds of relationships, but whatever, he wasn't *my* boyfriend.

So, I come to find out that he's throwing a Fourth of July party and he invites me to come.  He pointedly mentions that his girlfriend won't be there.

So I went.  Most of the party was pretty boring for me - a lot of his relatives that I didn't know, food I didn't like.  I have a very vague memory of fireworks and a roof, but I can't be certain that has anything to do with this party.  Eventually, though, the party wound down and I found myself alone with him in his kitchen.  

Suddenly, he starts flirting with me.  Then, from out of nowhere, he picks me up by the waist and sets me on the countertop, stands between my legs and starts kissing me.

So I kiss him back.  We begin making out, but when it seemed like it was going further than just making out, I stopped him and explained that I was a virgin.  He pulled back, and there was a bit of awkwardness, and after a while, I went home.  But I thought a lot about what had happened.  Somewhere in all of this, I learned that he and his girlfriend had broken up, yet again, and that he had signed up for the military.  He was scheduled to leave for boot camp later that month.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me.  I wasn't all that attracted to him, but he was nice enough-looking.  But the important thing was that he was leaving soon, and the most important criteria for me in finding someone to lose my virginity to was a person I could trust not to blab to all the other guys in the neighborhood.  I decided that I would approach him with the idea of sex.

So, a handful of days before he was scheduled to leave for boot camp, he calls me up to ask if we could get together before he leaves.  So I go to his house, and we hang out for a few minutes, but pretty quickly, we're making out.  I honestly can't remember who started what, but I know that I went over there with the intention of having sex with him.

He takes me into his room and we end up having sex.  It was not good.  It was painful and quiet and not a lot of time was spent getting to know each other physically so I wasn't really all that aroused.  But I definitely wanted to have sex and I set out for the express purpose of having it.  I was 15 and a half, to the day.

Should he have been punished for the rest of his life for this?  Should his decision to have sex with a 15-year old girl who very clearly and consciously decided to have sex result in him being refused housing or losing jobs for the rest of his life?

I don't think so, and I don't think the guy in the article should have either.  She might or might not have been as deliberate as I was, but she obviously didn't mind so much, seeing as how she married him 4 years later and had 4 kids with him, and remained married to him for 9 years with no indication that it will end in the forseeable future.

I have no problem with making a blanket statement of no sexual activity prior to puberty, regardless of the "victim's" "consent", because the body just can't physically handle the act of sex prior to puberty.  And I have no problem with making blanket statements of no sexual activity without consent regardless of the age of anyone involved.  But past that, I do have a problem with making blanket laws that do not take into account individual circumstances, with making punishments fit on a chart that a judge does not have to actually "judge" but just move his finger down the side to find the guilty sentence and across to find the punishment that goes with it, and with making laws at all prohibiting consentual sexual acts.

Maybe we can have a suggested age guideline for what determines "consentual", since we have age barriers for giving informed consent to legal documents, but I think each case needs to be investigated individually.  

A 13-year old girl who is given to her 45 year old uncle as a bride with no choice in the matter benefits from an age of consent law.  A 16-year old girl who voluntarily (and joyfully) gives an 18-year old boy she knows a blowjob at a party does not.  These cases should not be treated equally.  

A man who physically assaults a woman, beats and rapes her, should not have the same repurcussions  with regards to life-long consequences in job and housing availability as a man who is driving through the middle of nowhere and stops to take a leak on the side of the road while his 2-year old child sleeps in the carseat a few feet away.  These men should not be treated equally.

And people who have served their time and have been released by the state without any notes in their file that their rehabilitation is not complete should not continue to be punished by lack of housing and job opportunities because of prejudice for past mistakes.  If a person is considered to be still a danger to the community, then they shouldn't be let back into it at all.  If he has served his time, if he expresses regret, if he is not a repeat offender, and if his "crime" did not leave behind any victims, then he should not continue to be punished by registering as a sex offender, having his home address listed publicly, by restricting his job and housing opportunities, and being reviled and shunned for a past mistake.  But apparently, when it comes to sex, you are guilty until proven innocent, and you are never innocent.

*It's (your age) / 2 + 7 and I would like to tack on 2 qualifiers because it doesn't work well for very young or very old.  If the resulting age gap is enough for the older person to have parented the younger person, then the minimum age should be re-examined, in particular for what stage of life each person is in.  Personally, I don't see anything wrong with someone who is 70 dating someone who is 50 - at that point, they're both in similar life *stages*, whereas a 16 year old and a 36 year old are clearly in differen tlife stages and the parental age gap is more apparent.  

The second qualifier is that the formula doesn't work for anyone 14 or under, so I would just say 2 years in either direction for age 14 and younger to be "dating" is acceptable.  At any rate, 19 and 14 is outside of the acceptability with this formula, but I wouldn't say it's "disgustingly" outside.  I would say that 19 and 14 are not the same life *stage*, so I would question someone's interest and maturity level with this particular age gap, but I don't think it's a clear-cut case of abuse or rape.  Just questionable maturity.

joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Here is a hip hop song about safe sex that doesn't fall into the abstinence-only / promiscuity dichotomy. It's refreshing to see popular media take the stance that sex is good and fun and enjoyable, but we should be responsible at the same time.

Oh, OK

Jul. 15th, 2009 03:52 am
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
"If there is someone on your friends list you would like to take, strip naked with, let them tie you to a bed post, have them lick you until you scream, then fuck until both of you are senseless and unable to fuck anymore, then wait about five minutes and do it all over again, post this exact sentence in your journal."

As [ profile] tacit says, there are several people on my friends list that I have done this (or similar) with and several more that I haven't but would like to ... plus a good number of people I wouldn't mind doing this with all at once!  But I'm finding this particularly amusing right now in light of my recent party activities (along with a coincidental Twitter Astronomy Survey) so I'm joining the meme.

And for those of you on my friends list who are reasonably or even just pretty sure that this statement applies to you ... it probably does ;-)
joreth: (Nude Drawing)

Apparently the San Francisco Zoo has a homewrecker penguin named Linda who has been running around with every male in sight, including breaking up one of the two gay male couples (who have even incubated an egg together).

Linda left her long-time mate for an older widower within a few hours of his mate's death.  Then, when he died, she made the moves on Harry, who had previously been in a monogamous relationship with another male named Pepper.  Pepper didn't take to being jilted and has been causing enough problems that he had to be removed temporarily from the group facility.  He's been reinstated, but the zoo-keepers are keeping their eyes open.

Once again, a story about homosexuality being "normal" and being hetero or "monogamous" does not make you immune to scandalous affairs, jealousy, losing a partner, or relationship drama.

And in related news, here's a very touching article about two other gay male penguin couples:

Z and Vielpunkt's chick, who is unnamed and whose gender is currently unknownAt this German zoo, there are 3 separate gay couples and the zoo keepers were concerned about reproduction (they're apparently endangered species), so they once tried to introduce 4 new female penguins but that didn't work.  One of the hetero couples rejected one of their eggs, so the zoo-keepers gave the egg to one of the gay couples, Z and Vielpunkt, and they faithfully cared for the egg until it hatched, and now feed the baby mashed fish because it's too young to feed itself.

Another gay couple, Roy & Silo, wanted children so badly that they tried incubating rocks until their zoo-keepers gave them an abandoned egg to raise, with the same result.

And yet another gay couple in yet another zoo were so desperate for children that they would actually steal other couple's eggs AND REPLACE THEM WITH ROCKS!  They were actually removed from the group habitat for their theft, but visitors complained, so the zoo-keepers put them back in general population, but gave them 2 eggs of their own.  They promptly stopped stealing and have raised their chicks, becoming "the best parents in the whole zoo".

Take that you homophobic nitwits!
joreth: (Super Tech)
With billboards and commercials aimed at low-income populations to try and correct some of their low-income problems, it surprises me how few people know that vasectomies are available for a reasonable price.

One of the many, many problems contributing to poverty is the difficulty in regulating the size of the family. When people don't have money for healthcare, people don't know how to control the size of their families, and in a post-agricultural society, children are no longer assets, but liabilities.

So it benefits both the individual family and the governmental agencies aimed at providing assistance (and therefore the taxpayers who contribute) to offer low-cost options to help limit procreation. This is why Planned Parenthood just gives out condoms for free (preventing disease follows the same benefits).

But female sterilization is complicated and expensive because of the intrusive nature of the surgery.

Male sterilization is much more simple, easier on the patient and the doctor, and cheaper. Plus, a single male can produce more offspring than a single female. So it should be obvious that it is in the government's best interest to offer low-cost/free vasectomies.

And, coincidentally, the government health agencies and other socially-conscious agencies agree!

So I'm posting a few links to a few resources here in the Orlando area for low-cost vasectomy options, much like I have posted in the past for low-cost STD testing options. For people who are not in the Orlando area, hopefully this will at least make people aware of the option and do some research in their own areas. - $490 no-needle, no-scalpel - $350 - $1000 depending on local Planned Parenthood office, plus many offer cost on a sliding-scale. - I can't find cost info at the website, but I did send an email asking for more information.  However, the county also offers vasectomy services and they're typically low-cost because that's their target audience.  I'll update that when I get a response.

So, there ya go men, it's cheaper, simpler, and safer for men to get vasectomies and there are low-cost options available everywhere.  And if $500 is a steep price to pay, I'm going to suggest that the cost of an abortion or raising an unplanned kid isn't any cheaper (for the record, an abortion in Orlando costs roughly $450 or more and is only available at 2 locations).

Of course, vasectomies are not the answer for everyone.  Most people want to have children someday, just not today, and there are lots of temporary preventative measures available that I'll be happy to talk about elsewhere. 

But, for the men who are done having children or who never want to have children, a vasectomy is a pretty reliable method that a person only has to do once and he never has to worry about it breaking or whether his female partner is keeping up with her method of birth control.

**Some of you may have noticed that I tagged this with my STI tag.  Of course, pregnancy isn't an infection, but I'm pretty firmly on the position that an unwanted parasite could fall under the umbrella of sexually-transmitted illnesses for the practical purposes of Things To Avoid That Are Caused By Sex and is usually included in safe-sex agreements, the likes of which include things like "don't bring anything home that you can't take back"**
joreth: (polyamory)
Anyone who reads [info]summer_jackel's journal knows that gay sex is ALL thoughout the animal kingdom.

But in case anyone has had their eyes shut and their fingers in their ears, here's an article about it (all emphasis mine) (Thanks to Phil Plait's, the Bad Astronomer, tweet for the link!):

"Same-sex behavior is a nearly universal phenomenon in the animal kingdom, common across species, from worms to frogs to birds, concludes a new review of existing research."

"It's clear that same-sex sexual behavior extends far beyond the well-known examples that dominate both the scientific and popular literature: for example, bonobos, dolphins, penguins and fruit flies," .

"For example, male fruit flies may court other males because they are lacking a gene that enables them to discriminate between the sexes," Bailey said. "But that is very different from male bottlenose dolphins, who engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding, or female Laysan Albatross that can remain pair-bonded for life and cooperatively rear young."

"Same-sex behaviors—courtship, mounting or parenting—are traits that may have been shaped by natural selection, a basic mechanism of evolution that occurs over successive generations," Bailey said. "But our review of studies also suggests that these same-sex behaviors might act as selective forces in and of themselves."

"But like any other behavior that doesn't lead directly to reproduction—such as aggression or altruism—same-sex behavior can have evolutionary consequences that are just now beginning to be considered,"

" We are pursuing work on the Laysan Albatross, in which females form same-sex pairs and rear young together. Same-sex behavior in this species may not be aberrant, but instead can arise as an alternative reproductive strategy."
joreth: (sex)
CARAS-endorsed research study call for volunteers. Please feel free to forward and cross-post!

Seeking Volunteers for a Study Addressing Menopause and Sexuality

What are some of the issues that affect sexuality during menopause? African American and Caucasian women are needed for a study addressing questions about menopause. Participants must be women between the ages of 40 and 60, experiencing menopause, English speaking, currently not taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or on hormonal birth control, in a relationship with a sexual partner, and without major medical or mental health problems.

Participation requires completing an online or paper survey. Some volunteers who live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area may also be eligible to participate in a substudy that involves a small blood draw. Participants in the blood draw substudy may be compensated. For more information, please contact Robert Clark, MS, at 301-295-9666 or at

This research study is sponsored by the Uniformed Services University, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, in Bethesda, Maryland. You can access the on-line survey here:

This study was endorsed as a meritorious research project on January 30, 2009 by the CARAS Research Advisory Committee, a community advisory board hosted by the Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative
Sexualities (CARAS).

For more information on CARAS, please visit the CARAS website at . Download the current CARAS Calendar at
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Thanks to [ profile] meowse for introducing me to this:

Sex With Ducks by "Garfunkel And Oates"
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
There's a debate going on in the comments to this article I read and it's really pissing me off.

The article is titled "Is It Necessary To Always Tell Partners About Your STD?"

In this short article, the writer mentions a friend who has herpes who hasn't had an outbreak in 8 years but still tells all potential partners about it, even though her OB-GYN said she wouldn't have to as long as she isn't currently experiencing an outbreak. Then she references an advice columnist who answers a letter from a girl who said she contracted genital warts, called her past partners to notify them, then when she talked to her boyfriend about it, he said "oh, yeah, I was gonna say something about that ... sorry!" The writer takes the position in this example that the advice columnist was right to come down hard on the guy.

But then she points out that scary statistic that says 80% of women will probably catch HPV at some point in their lives, so if it's so common and we can't avoid it, she asks, are there ever any circumstances that justify not disclosing an STD?

Most of the responses are adamantly on the side of Always Disclose, but what is pissing me off is a vocal minority of responses that say "well, yes, you should always disclose, but don't be so hard on the people who don't.  After all, it's scary to disclose".

And this just infuriates me.

"If you disclose, you'll never get laid again"
"If you disclose, no one will ever date you and you'll live alone forever"
"If you disclose, there's a social stigma that makes people not like you and that social pressure is scary"
"If you disclose, you risk rejection"
"If you disclose, you might get your feelings hurt"
"If you disclose, you could destroy a budding relationship"

And I'm supposed to be sympathetic to people in this position, apparently.


Point 1) not all STDs are permanent.  Some are easily treatable with antibiotics and will go away in time, so this is hardly a life-long celibacy punishment.

Point 2) not all STDs result in death.  Some people are willing to trade the risk of exposure to certain STDs in exchange for what they perceive is a life-long or long-term relationship.  Plus, there is that 80% statistic, which means that some people out there have accepted that they will probably get it, so they just don't worry about preventing it.

Point 3)  There are dating websites out there specifically for people with STDs so that they can safely have sex without infecting someone else ... because their partner is already infected.

Point 4) There are things people can do to minimize the chance of infection while still maintaining a romantic relationship, including using condoms and medications for certain STDs, and limiting activity during the most contagious times.

Point 5) Non-disclosure to avoid destroying a budding relationship is hardly likely to yield better results than scaring off potential partners ... when you infect your new girlfriend and have her find out from her doctor that you lied to her and intentionally threatened her life, health, and fertility, all to get laid (as she will probably see it).

Point 6) I don't fucking care if you get your feelings hurt.  This is part of what being a grown up is all about, taking responsibility for your actions.  Some things are scary, sometimes we feel bad.  DEAL WITH IT.  This idea that we're supposed to cushion ourselves from ever feeling bad is completely ridiculous, unrealistic, and childish.  I have a news flash for you all ... YOU WILL SOMETIMES FEEL BAD.  Get used to it.

Now, this is a totally separate issue from needing to remove the stigma from having an STD (which contributes to people feeling scared) or creating better sex education for our society.  This is about someone who has chosen the path of least courage.  This is about someone who is choosing to protect their own ego or hurt feelings AT THE DIRECT EXPENSE OF THE LIFE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING through their actions (and by "life", I include the quality of life as well as the life itself - affecting someone's quality of life *is* affecting their life).

This is absolutely reprehensible to me.  The fact that someone might be scared is totally irrelevant.  I've been there, I've had to disclose, I've faced rejection, I've been rejected.  FUCK THAT.  Be a fucking grown up.  There is no excuse whatsoever that deserves my sympathy or compassion.

Having an STD, or any illness of any sort, earns a level of sympathy from me because of the difficulties faced with living with that illness, including public perception of said illness.

But the instant you knowingly infect someone with a potentially life-threatening illness (or even just an "inconvenient" illness) without giving them the information necessary to make an informed decision about their exposure levels, you lose not only whatever sympathy I might have had for you regarding your illness, but you lose all sympathy and compassion I have for any human just for being human.  This falls under the category of "evil", in my book.

Being "scared" does not give you a free pass.

Being a responsible, ethical, courageous person does not mean doing the right thing when it's easy.  It means doing the right thing when it's hard.  It means being afraid of being rejected AND DISCLOSING ANYWAY because it's the right thing to do.  Because if someone else had disclosed to you, then you wouldn't be in this position of potentially being rejected and feeling scared and alone in the first place.

I'm being told that, because it's so scary, that I should have some compassion for people who have to face that scariness and that I should understand why people might want to avoid disclosure.  I'm being told that not everyone is as courageous as me, and that it's not easy to learn to overcome one's fears.

FUCK THAT.  I know EXACTLY how scary it is, how hard it is, how isolating it is.  I was in that position.  And I overcame it.  The fact that some people are not as strong or courageous as I supposedly am is not a reason to allow our society to protect that cowardliness or to reward it by excusing poor behaviour.  When you done bad, you done bad.

And absolutely no reason or excuse justifies non-disclosure.  Ever.

Someone pointed out "misinformation", as in, the person doesn't understand that they are contagious and therefore doesn't disclose based on those grounds.

My rage at that person might be lessened, but not removed.

First of all, how many people do you know keep people at arms-length away before hugging when they have a cold?  They might not know exactly what's wrong with them, but they know a runny nose isn't normal and they tell people about it so that other people can choose to expose themselves to the cold virus, or the flu virus, or strep throat, or even non-contagious allergies, or not as they see fit.  People "disclose" all the time, even amid ignorance of the condition.  Yet, when it comes to STDs, people treat total strangers with more consideration than the people they want to be intimate with, by disclosing a cold but not an STD.

Disclosure and self-educating/self-education is all part of being a responsible and ethical adult.  Engaging in a sexual relationship requires being educated about the process.  Now, I might allow society, or their parents, or the church, or whatever, to share the blame in this case.  But that still doesn't absolve the person from not taking it upon themselves to learn about the activity they are engaging in.

Plus, if you're in the Abstinence-Only camp, then you're not supposed to be having sex at all, so you're a hypocrite on top of it.  But that goes back to what I prefaced this rant with - that education of the ignorant is a different issue and one I also address in other venues (such as the entire STI tag of this journal and the Safe-Sex sections of my poly lectures).

Several years ago, I began dating a guy, and I sat him down to have our Safe Sex, Sex History, & Disclosure talk prior to sharing in below-the-belt sexual activity, as is my custom.  He seemed like a reasonably intelligent person and earnest in his efforts to be responsible.  He had no problems with getting tested, with sharing his history with me, etc.  But then I started to talk about HPV, which, as my Constant Readers will know, is my little Pet Research Project, the STD I spend the most time on.  

He had no idea that HPV is what caused genital warts, or that other strains of HPV caused cervical cancer.  As I continued to talk, he got more and more nervous, until he told me the story of his most recent girlfriend.

He had been out of town for a while, long enough for he and this girl to break up and get back together.  When he came back into town, they started to have sex, and he was using his hands.  He noticed some small, hard bumps along the vaginal walls.  Naturally, he stopped what he was doing and asked her about it.  She said that, while he was gone and they were broken up, she slept with someone else and subsequently developed these little bumps, called genital warts.  But don't worry, she says, they're not contageous.  I'm taking these all-natural, herbal remedies that render them non-contageous and they'll go away soon.  Here's a pamphlet from my natureopath doctor.

Well, being a hippie-anti-Big-Pharma-conspiracy-theorist (which I didn't really understand at the time, or I would have never have dated him in the first place), he just accepted that her treatment was working, that her doctor had the right information, he didn't even read the pamphlet, and they had unprotected sex.

My jaw dropped.

I then had to explain to him (totally unable to keep the incredulousness out of my voice) that she was at her *most* contagious when the warts were present, but that she needed no symptoms at all to still be contagious, and that HPV is a virus that does not "go away" with herbal suppliments.  The only treatment is to have them burned or frozen off, just like regular warts (convenient, since they're the same virus), and, maybe, if she's lucky, the virus will become undetectable to our current testing methods approximately 2 years after her final outbreak (but you won't know it's your "final" outbreak until the next one doesn't come).  He was horrified.  He was mostly pissed at her for not researching it properly, but he was also upset at himself for taking her at her word and not educating himself about something that affects his own genitalia.  He blamed them both equally for his predicament.

Sure enough, about 2 years later, he developed warts.

As for me, I chose to maintain HPV Boundaries in place for the duration of our relationship and have since had only 1 abnormal pap smear in the intervening years (for which they followed up with an HPV DNA test, that turned out negative).

So, my point is that ignorance is not a valid excuse, because *I* am not ignorant and I asked him the kinds of questions that, even with his lack of knowledge, I was able to get his status that only a baldface lie could have hid.  I felt sympathy and compassion for him in his ignorance, but his willingness to discuss sexual safety, and my own self-education on the subject, prevented this from spreading any further.  

His ex-girlfriend, however, allowed him to have sex with her without disclosing up front that she had an STD, all mis-information aside.  If she had told him prior to their sexual encounter, perhaps with his blood flowing properly to all his organs instead of just one, he might have been clear-headed enough to do some independent research before allowing himself to be exposed to something he didn't really understand.  She intentionally engaged him in sexual activity and only disclosed after she couldn't hide it.  She might have been ignorant about the STD's contagion, but she was not ignorant about having it, and I believe she willingly hid this information out of a fear that he would reject her because of it, since they both claimed to be each other's "best friend" and they told each other "everything" (I knew both of them while they were dating).

And now *he* suffers through the fear of rejection and a limit to his dating pool because *she* didn't disclose to him.  Yet, even with his own ignorance on the subject, *I* do not suffer this same punishment because I questioned him, and I did so in a manner designed to bring us both to the same level of education on the subject, so only a lie on his part would have put me in his position.  Yet, he took the path of greater courage and disclosed the information when I removed his ignorance from him, thereby saving me from suffering the same fate.  For all his other flaws, I give him that.  He didn't, however, think to disclose his exposure in the first place - I had to ask the right questions, share the right information, for him to be aware that this was something he needed to disclose, which is part of the education problem that is a different subject, as I've repeatedly said.

Ironically, she once condemed me for having vengeful thoughts about someone who was harassing me, and for wishing harm to another human being, yet I never took any action against that other person, although I almost did.  

When I open myself up to another person, figuratively and literally, I take my responsibility for how my actions affect them very seriously.  I allow them the dignity to choose how their own life should look and what risks they should take, even if it means I risk losing the type of relationship I might want from that person.  My care and consideration is for the other person above my own desires, because what I desire above that is the happiness and safety of people I care about.  

I can't even fathom the idea of liking someone enough to want their bits and pieces inside of my own yet willfully endangering them without their input on the subject.  Part of the concept of "caring" about someone, or loving them, or even just liking them as a person is the idea that I care about their happiness and well-being too.  How can anyone rationalize "love" (or even like) co-existing with actively harming someone else?  And for the casual-sex crowd, I can't fathom allowing someone inside of me that I dislike enough to want to harm them by infecting them with an STD yet liking them enough to want those bits inside me in the first place.  Either they are a human being, deserving of being treated with dignity or respect, or they are not.  And if they are not, then why do they have access to my vulnerable parts in the first place?

And atheists & polyamorists are the immoral ones.  I've got your "immorality" right here, you fucking weak, cowardly hypocrites.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Myth:  Women Don't Like Porn / Aren't Visually Stimulated

Now, I don't doubt for a moment that some women truly aren't visually stimulated. I don't even doubt that many women aren't. The point is that not ALL women function the same way. I also happen to know for a fact that there are some heterosexual, sexually active males who don't really get porn. Because, and here's a shocker, men aren't all the same either.

Once again, some very graphic details of my own sex life and my own sexual preferences to illustrate how one woman feels, and some other women might agree, but that is most definitely not what ALL women feel. )
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I'm going to take some time here to discuss some very personal details about my sex life. I'm going to do this for 3 reasons:

1) I am apparently paradoxical about some things so I want to clarify them. I've had many conversations over the years that have, apparently, confused lots of guys, regarding whether or not I like sex. So I'm taking this opportunity to try and explain some seemingly-paradoxical claims I make, and possibly refer to this in the future.

2) My personal tastes and preferences are not like other women's. We are all very individual people, and I'm royally sick of books and movies like "What Women Want" and stupid OKC forum users making broad generalizations about "all women are [fill in the blank]". Men and women are individuals. We have individual wants, needs, desires, dislikes, preferences, tastes, goals, and lifestyles and the sooner we, as a society, understand that, the easier it will be for us to find, keep, and appreciate partners.

3) At the same time, we all have *some things* in common with other people. I have spent an enormous amount of my life being embarrassed about certain aspects of my personality or my likes, because I felt (or was told) that I was "weird" or "different". So I think it would be helpful for me to spotlight some of those parts of myself so that other women who share them can know that they're not alone, whether they speak up here or not. Knowing that one is not alone is a very powerful tool for building one's self-esteem and self-confidence. And being confident in oneself leads to a much more fulfilling and satisfactory sex life.

So today, I want to talk about why I love sex and why I make statements that indicate that I do not like sex.

What follows behind the cut is an extremely long and extremely detailed look at my sexuality, otherwise known as TMI and NSFW - although there are no pictures )
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Someone just sent this video to an email list that I'm on. I highly recommend everyone watch it. It's NSFW, and that's the part I'm going to rant about.

In case you didn't see the video because I branded it NSFW, let me summarize. It's a video of some of the most amazing, beautiful, athletic women I've ever seen, performing amazing feats of strength and flexibility and agility, and wearing bikinis or workout shorts/tops.

So why is it NSFW?

Because they're pole dancers.

Yes, that's right, these fully clothed women doing gymnastics and Cirque du Soleil acrobatics are flagged as NSFW by YouTube simply because of the cultural association that we have that "only strippers" dance on a pole.

So, now that you know there are no nipples or pubic hair, and no sexual activity, and no foul language, you might want to go check out the video if you didn't before.

Because these women should be celebrated. They are truly athletes. They are truly beautiful. Their lines are pure elegance the likes of which I see in ballroom dancing. The strength of their bodies is deceptively amazing. They are pure works of art that combines the radiance of strength and sexuality.

These women weren't even doing anything particularly sexual in this video. There were no moves that I often see at strip clubs, the spread-your-legs-in-front-of-some-guy's-face move, no gyrating or grinding, no tongues sticking out, nothing at all that isn't seen in a Silk Dancer's routine or any other acrobat.

So it just infurates me that this is considered NSFW just because the women who do it are wearing platform heels, that poles are usually associated with strip clubs, and that strip clubs themselves are bad.

Strip clubs are the essence of a good relationship.  The participants are made aware of the rules up front, everyone agrees to the structure, it's an open and honest arrangement.  And it doesn't transmit STDs.

I don't even have words for how angry it makes me that women are penalized for their sexuality.  One of the things I enjoy so much about ballroom dancing is the hyper-awareness of my own body; how each muscle group works cooperatively with the others, the interplay of tendons and bones and muscles.  I love the feeling of being conscious of one set of muscles contracting and sliding against another.  And just watching these women brings that awareness back. 

It is utterly amazing the skill and strength and beauty that they encompass, which is only enhanced, not diminished, by their awareness and acceptance of, nay, control of, their own sexuality.  These women are powerful, and in control; they own their sexuality, they are comfortable in their own skin.  And as well they should be!

One of these women simply standing there in a bikini is not nearly as beautiful as the same woman performing these athletic feats, not because of the contortionist positions she puts herself in (although the graceful lines of her body *are* attractive), but because she claims her body as her own by doing so.  She is embracing all that she is, strong, feminine, graceful, and sexual.

I just can't wrap my mind around anyone who sees this as ugly, shameful, or evil.  And I'm royally pissed off that our society tells me I should see it that way too.  I think our society is deeply flawed and inherently diminished for the loss of this beauty when it views this specific form of art as "shameful" simply because "only strippers pole dance".
joreth: (Purple Mobius)
May 23rd The Woodshed will host the Orlando Munch's Polyamory Discussion Panel. Join several members of the Central Florida community as they discuss polyamory and what it means to them.

The panelists come from a variety of backgrounds and include those who mix BDSM into their poly relationships as well as those who don't. They'll talk about what has worked for them as well as the pitfalls that they have discovered along the way.

We hope to make this an interactive discussion with plenty of time for Q&A so please don't be afraid to bring your own thoughts and questions!

The dungeon will be open afterward starting 8pm.

Date: May 23rd
Time: 6:00PM-8:00PM
Location: The Woodshed Dungeon
6325 North Orange Blossom Trail,
Suite 138A,
Orlando, FL 32810
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Going through the "security" line at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the security guy noticed my pocket knife clipped to my pocket (visible to avoid any possible charges of "concealed weapon") and said I couldn't bring it in the park. That part was fine, I put it back in the car and only had it with me because I forgot to leave it at home, but the knife just happens to sit very close to the keyring that I wear on my belt.

Which happens to have a set of handcuff keys on it.

Which the real cop standing nearby happened to notice.

So I leave to put the knife back in the car and someone calls after me "are you a cop?", which I didn't hear. [ profile] sterlingsilver9 did and yelled back "no, she's not" as I continued walking.

I drop off the knife in the car and return to the line. The security guy goes through my camera bag a second time and we proceed, only to be stopped by the cop before I completely clear the gate:

Cop: Is that a handcuff key you're carrying?
Me: Yes.
Cop: Are you a cop?
Me: No.
Cop: Are you a cast member?
Me: No.
Cop: Are you with security?
Me: No.
Cop: Then why do you have a set of handcuff keys?
Me: (brief pause) Because I use handcuffs during sex and I keep the keys with me for safety reasons.
Cop: (blank expression & brief pause) Well, we don't want any trouble in the park.
Me: Ok.

His actual parting shot was a bit more mumbling and unfinished sentences, interspersed with [ profile] sterlingsilver9's assurances that we fully supported the park's efforts for a safe environment, but that's a little hard for me to write out.

Basically, we came away from the encounter under the impression that the cop could think of only 2 reasons to have handcuff keys: 1) law enforcement and 2) escape from law enforcement.

Since I was not #1, I must therefore be #2 and he just couldn't wrap his brain around a third option, which was 3) None of the above. In his world, it appears as though there are two types of people, those who cause trouble and those who take care of trouble. His attitude towards me and his reaction implied that he believed I was there to cause trouble. That's why I finally went for the absolute bald truth for shock value, to try and make it sink into his head that there are other options.

The moral of the story is: Becareful of what questions you ask. Make sure you really want to know the answer.
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)

Please tell Senator Peaden, Chair of Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee, to hold strong and zero fund these fake clinics!  The Senate has zero funded the dangerous CPC funding.  However, the House maintains the full $2 million appropriation while many desperately needed programs are on the chopping block. 

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are fake clinics that have been known to use anti-choice propaganda, medically inaccurate or incomplete information, and intimidation tactics to dissuade women from obtaining abortions. Crisis pregnancy centers are not legitimate medical facilities.

CPCs have withheld essential, often life-saving, medically accurate reproductive health information from women who are led to believe that they are visiting a neutral and objective medical facility.  According to the 2004 report by Congressman Waxman of California, during the investigation of crisis pregnancy centers, 87% of the centers provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion.  Specifically, the Waxman report found that the centers provided false and misleading information about the effect of abortion on future fertility and false and misleading information about the mental health effects of abortion.

We cannot have our tax dollars being used to support deception and lies rather than proven programs like family planning.   Please ask Senator Peaden to not yield to pressure and to zero fund the dangerous "crisis counseling" line item

joreth: (Purple Mobius)
I don't know that I've ever felt envy before for a situation that I was so physically unable to participate in that I wouldn't have even wanted to participate in had I been given the option.

I'm a proponent of sharing the compersion and the up sides to polyamory.  Although I don't advocate outright ignoring the down sides, it's generally better PR to not focus too much public attention on them - the opposition will do that for us.  But sometimes, polyamory offers us the opportunity to experience unique negative emotions and situations in addition to the unique positive experiences and emotions.

Here's one of those negatives.

Fortunately, it wasn't an earth-shattering, mind-crumbling negative, just a twinge of envy and a "oh, hey, that's interesting - didn't know I could envy something I didn't actually want to do anyway".  But it was kinda wierd.

And because some people will ask for the details, and others won't but will want to hear them, here's what happened. Beware, I discuss my sexual interests and preferences, so if you don't want to know this about me, don't click here )
joreth: (::headdesk::)
Many people have written about this, but I've copied and pasted [ profile] tacit 's post and I urge everyone else to participate:

So apparently, has recently shot themselves in the foot.

Specifically, they've taken to removing sales rank from books that are deemed to have a gay or lesbian theme. This means, among other things, that books with a gay or lesbian theme won't come up in certain kinds of searches and don't appear in lists or pages of popular books regardless of their popularity.

Amazon's given a number of explanations for this behavior, each of which has been contradictory. Their explanations have been all over the map; at first they claimed that "adult" books aren't ranked or listed by popularity (which is, as any user of Amazon knows, manifestly untrue); more recently, theyre calling it an unintentional "software glitch". They've sent emails to some of the authors of the books that have had their rankings removed, which have likewise been all over the map.

Since the street finds its own uses for things, one of the ways that annoyed Net users have retaliated is with a good old-fashioned Google bomb. A Google bomb raises the Google keyword result for a specific keyword (in this case, "Amazon rank") by placing links using those keywords all over the place.

So, in the spirit of using Google as a blunt instrument for social change (as former Google engineer Christophe Bisciglia said of MapReduce, "When you have a really big hammer, everything becomes a nail"), I present to you:

Amazon Rank

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked
1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)

So, at some point in the past, I filled out one of the Planned Parenthood forms to send a pre-written email to various government officials complaining about the Abstinence Only program.  The other day, I got a response back from the office of Governor Charlie Christ.  It wasn't from him directly, but it claims to come from his office.  Here, I'll post it in full:

From: "Governor Charlie Crist" <>    
To: "Governor Charlie Crist" <>
Subject: Thank you for contacting Governor Charlie Crist
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 10:53:24 -0400
Thank you for your recent e-mail to Governor Charlie Crist regarding the
federally-funded Title V, Section 510 Abstinence Education Program.
Governor Crist appreciates hearing your views and has asked me to reply
on his behalf.

Governor Crist believes in a comprehensive approach and supports
programs that emphasize personal responsibility and quality abstinence
education.  Abstinence education is only one of the strategies included
in a continuum of services provided by the Florida Department of Health
to protect the health and safety of Floridians, more specifically its
teenage population.  Teens in the state of Florida may receive services
through the state's Family Planning  program which provides a wide range
of family planning methods including abstinence only education.

The overall goal of the Abstinence Education Program is to prevent and
reduce teen sexual activity, teen pregnancy and births, and the spread
of sexually transmitted diseases by promoting abstinence as the expected
norm for unmarried teens.  As such, the Florida Abstinence Education
Program implements programs and services that stress abstinence until
marriage as the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies,
sexually transmitted diseases, and other health problems associated with
the early initiation of sexual activity.

The Abstinence Education Program has been well received in Florida since
its formation in 1999. As of June 30, 2008, the Florida Abstinence
Education Program has served more than 559,000 youth and 50,000 parents
and significant adults.  Additionally, the program averages in excess of
5,500 unique visitors per month to its "Great to Wait" website with more
than 160,000 unique visits having occurred since February 2006.  More
than 10,000 individuals and organizations have signed up for the
program's mailing list and 6,000 individuals have placed their e-mail
addresses on the program's e-mail distribution list.

The Executive Office of the Governor and Florida Department of Health
monitor changes in this program.  Florida's Abstinence Education Program
will continue to apply for Federal funding using the Title V guidance
offered, while ensuring all proposed programs are in keeping with the
needs of their local communities and the State as a whole.  All funded
abstinence programs in Florida are expected to address the risks
associated with early sexual activity, equip youth with the decision
making skills and support needed to make healthy, responsible choices,
and to focus on education and healthy relationships during their teen
years.  Additionally, the program equips parents and significant adults
with the information, skills, and resources necessary to support and
educate their children in decisions related to sexual activity.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact Governor Crist.  To
receive Governor Crist's weekly newsletter, "Notes from the Capitol,"
please visit and click on "Subscribe to Notes from the


Warren Davis
Office of Citizen Services


Notice how all his statistics could only say how many people have gone through the program?  Notice how there isn't a single statistic to show how many of those people remained abstinent once having completed the program, or how many of them didn't get pregnant or have an STD?  Notice how there isn't one single mention about the efficacy of this program?  Just that "people like it".

Yeah, well, people seemed to like hanging black men a couple hundred years ago too ... doesn't mean it was a good policy.

Now, please, don't confuse that statement with me attempting to compare the tragedy of slavery and racism to the Abstinence Only program, my only point is that "people like it" doesn't mean that something works.  And all the evidence so far shows that Abstinence Only not only doesn't work, but it's actively harmful because of its misinformation, lack of information, and the fact that teenagers are the least-likely demographic to refrain from doing something just because a grown up said "don't do that".  Facts?  What facts?  We don't need no stinkin' facts!

So, there is his email address if anyone wants to write in and tell him what a stupid policy this is.
joreth: (Flogging)
From [ profile] tacit:

I (he) have enough pre-orders for the poster version of the Map of Human Sexuality, and the job is at the printer's right now. Plates are done and it goes on press Monday. I expect to have the posters by the time I (he) get back from the Poly Leadership Summit next Monday.

Once I have the posters in hand, I (he) plan to raise the price to $15, so if you want one at the pre-order price (or you want it signed), now's the time!

joreth: (Bad Computer!)

This article starts with the headline:  "New research challenges long-held notion that masturbation is healthy, abstinence rises on campus."   This confused me, since all the research I've seen up until now says the opposite.  The link didn't go to an obviously-religious paper, so I followed it to read what it had to say.

It starts out by telling us of a new study that shows an increased chance of prostate cancer in men who masturbate frequently.  Then it goes on to give the scary statistics of how many people currently have various STDs (it uses the HPV statistic, among others, which, although high, also has a very low mortality rate in comparison to other STDs, and a low symptomatic rate - not to downplay the seriousness of HPV, but let's not start a panic either by leaving out those details).  Then it gives a few anecdotes from college kids who are afraid to have sex.

Halfway down the second page, the reporter finally gets around to telling us that the study was not well done, it relied upon surveys of men who had prostate cancer to tell the researchers about their masturbatory habits in their 20s and 30s, and how this same study ALSO showed that masturbation can PREVENT prostate cancer for men older than 50.  So, it showed an increased risk for prostate cancer in young men and a reduced risk of prostate cancer in old men?  This study was circumstantial and not double-blinded or placebo-controlled (I'm not even sure if one *can* do a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study on the effects of masturbation against prostate cancer).

PLUS this same study showed other increased health benefits, like helping with insomnia, depression, reducing stress levels.  This study is also the first (and so far only, I think) study to go against an established, well-accepted claim with a wide body of evidence and research.  This means that it should fall under that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" category.  At best, this would be considered a preliminary study, one that poses an interesting question for further research, not a conclusive, robust study that makes a claim as this article has implied.

I have to give her some credit, the "journalist" did include those details about how poor and inconclusive and even contradictory the study was.  But she waited until the end of her article, the bottom of PAGE 2, and her headline is worded in such a way as to strongly imply support for the "conclusion" that masturbation is unhealthy.

It's because of sloppy journalistic writing like this that we have such an uninformed populace in our country.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I just have to say that kissing someone with a tongue ring is loads of fun!

That is all.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)

Remember that Sex Map I posted a while ago? Now you can get it on a poster!   Hurry up and order one now!  Click on the image below to order your very own Sex Map Poster!

joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I made a couple of mistakes, but I didn't want to have to reset it, so I just left them in there.  For instance, I have a green "I've been there" pin for rape and a purple "I want to go there" pin for rape because I didn't see there was a rape fantasy land in another place.  In this case, I've been to "attempted but not completed rape" but I don't particularly want to go there again, but I *do* want to visit "fantasy rape".

tacit has updated the map but not the interactive map, so I'm just going to leave it as it is until the interactive map gets updated.  Since I'll have to do this all over again anyway, I can fix the mistakes in the next version.

I'm also thinking of adding this to my Sexual History and Health Disclosure procedure, along with the History form and the clinic paperwork.  I think it'll add a little bit of fun and be less dry and technical (and hopefully less off-putting).

Find out where I've journeyed
on the Map of Human Sexuality!
Or get your own here

joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)

I noticed that Huckabee never once actually addressed or contradicted or provided evidence against any claim that John Stewart made.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)

This is a great article about things you should do before you have sex for the first time - either your first time ever or your first time with this particular partner. This is one of those examples of things that all poly relationships require just to function at the basic level, but all sexual relationships of any model will be better for.

If you're not doing these things at the VERY least, you shouldn't be having sex at all. I don't care if you're poly, monogamous, swinger, "playing the field", or saving yourself for marriage. If your future includes any amount of sexuality with another person, you should be doing these things ... ALL of them, before engaging in any sexual act that can result in an STD or pregancy (and for those victims of Abstinance-Only Education, that means penis-in-vagina sex, oral sex, anal sex, and manual stimulation of the genitals):

(my personal comments are in italics and parentheses)

Ten Things To Do Before You Have Sex
by Karen Rayne

As a sexuality educator, I spend most of my time helping parents understand how to talk with their children and teenagers about sex, sexuality, gender, and all of the myriad issues that go along with those things. One question that parents often ask me is how to make sure their teenagers are ready to have sex. Putting aside issues of whether parents should have substantial input and control over their teenager's sexual activities, I found that parents were relying on goals that were far too vague. Parents want to make sure that their teenagers are mature enough, have good communication with their partners, understand the health and reproductive consequences, etc.

One parent lamented that she and her daughter had (what the mother thought were) great conversations about the need for all of these things, but that her daughter went ahead and had sex even though she never had good communication with her partner and ended up having unprotected sex. Was her daughter not listening to her? Pretending to go along and then choosing a different route? While those are possibilities, the more likely problem is that the daughter was not sure how to measure and assess her relationship to make sure that she had reached the goals she enthusiastically agreed with her mother were important.

And so, my list of ten concrete things that teenagers need to do before they have sex was born. Just to be clear, these are things to do before you have oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anything else that could get you pregnant or an STD.

1. Have an orgasm.
Yes, before you start having sex, you should give yourself an orgasm. It's important to know what feels good to you before you can show another person what feels good to you.

2. Know the other person's sexual history.
And I don't mean just vaginal intercourse for this one!
(A great reference guide to use is the Sexual Health And History Form)

3. Know the other person's STD status, as well as your own.
The only way to know this for sure is to be tested! And if you're both virgins, well, you're not going to be for long. You might as well get that scary first STD testing out of the way so you'll know what to expect next time around.
(this is why some poly people trade paperwork - it's not an assumption that your partner is dirty, it's merely a tool to make sure both parties have exactly the same understanding of the situation ... some STDs can be passed through skin contact, not penetration or fluid transfer, so you and your partner can technically be a virgin and still have an STD, and just as likely, you can not know you have one and wouldn't it suck to pass that on to your partner just because you didn't know?)

4. Talk about exactly what STD protection and birth control you will be using.
These two issues go hand-in-hand (for heterosexual couples), and it is the domain of both parties to be intimately involved.
(it's not any single person's responsibility - it's both/all of your responsibility, so make sure you both/all are contributing to your precautions)

5. If you are part of a heterosexual couple, talk about what happens if the woman gets pregnant.
Here are a few options to talk about, in alphabetical order: abortion, adoption, raising the kid alone, raising the kid together. With the understanding that reality is different than the theoretical, make sure you're both on the same theoretical page.

6. Have your best friend's blessing.
We can rarely see someone we're in love with clearly. It is often our best friends who can see our lovers and our potential lovers for who they really are. Listen to what your best friend has to say, and take it to heart. If it's not what you wanted to hear, give it some time. Wait a month. A good relationship will be able to withstand another month before having sex. Then ask a different friend, and see what they have to say.
(if your relationship is destined to last forever, waiting a month or two won't kill you!)

7. Meet your partner's parents.
At the very least, make sure you know why you haven't met your them. The best sex comes out of knowing someone well, and knowing someone's family is an important part of knowing them. (Even if they're really, really different from their family.)
(this is actually more important that one might think - we are all products of our environment and upbringing, and meeting the family and other friends contributes a lot of data to the whole picture of who your partner is)

8. Be comfortable being naked in front of each other.
You don't actually have to strip down in broad daylight to make sure you've reached this milestone, but it sure helps!

9. Have condoms on hand.
Make sure they fit right, that they're within the expiration date, and that they haven't been exposed to extreme conditions (like the inside of a really hot car). Condoms should be part of any respectful sexual relationship. There need be no assumption of hook ups outside of the relationship, just an assumption of good sexual habits being made and kept.

10. Make sure that your partner has done all of these things too.
Part of a happy, healthy sexual encounter is taking care of everyone's emotional needs and physical health. Both people need to pay attention to themselves and to their partner. That way each person has two people looking out for them. It's just the best way to do things.
joreth: (::headdesk::)
I just had the most vexing conversation. It is a shining example of all that is wrong with sexual education in this day and age. So, a guy IMed me on OKC, opening with "can I ask you a question about sex?" I responded with "that depends, did you read my profile?" People routinely message me with honest questions about sex, poly, and BDSM, so I didn't want to immediately tell him to fuck off. Luckily for him, he was not hitting on me. That was the only good thing I can say about him.

The rest of the conversation was an excercize in frustration as it consisted almost exclusively of me repeating the following phrases over and over:

~Every woman is unique and individual, there is no "normal".
~I have no idea what she wants, ask her.

Basically, he's a 22 year old male who has never had a sexual encounter in his life, now planning to marry a girl whom he didn't used to like when he first met her, has broken up with her several times, and she has demanded that he provide her with sex every day once they get married (and he doesn't want to), and who makes him so uncomfortable that he has forbidden her from talking about anything sexual until after they get married.

He knows absolutely nothing about the reproductive system like, how does the female orgasm work, do women squirt stuff out like men do when they orgasm, where is the g-spot, and what happens to the sperm when it enters the female body.

But, worst of all, he knows absolutely nothing about his partner, what she likes, what she doesn't like, what she expects, other than she expects sex daily for the rest of her life.

Now, I made a point about insisting there is no "normal", but before ya'll go off about "average women" and "most women", etc, let me explain.

He wants to save himself for marriage and believes he will remain married for life. When he asks "what do women like", he does not actually want to know what women like, he wants to know what *his partner* will like. He has no interest in learning what other women like, he wants to learn how to be good at sex before actually experiencing sex and he wants to know what will turn his partner on without asking her what will turn her on.

Most of his questions revolved around preferences, not actual biology. Biologically speaking, yes, there are some standards, some normals, some usuallys, and some typicals. But knowing what is "normal" in this respect is really only good for isolating if there is a medical problem that needs attention.

When it comes to preferences, the only constant is that there is no constant. The human sexual experience is as varied and unique as each human who has the experience is. What turns me on will not turn on his girlfriend. What turns me on right now will not turn me on tomorrow. The sheer depth, breadth and scope of my likes and dislikes have taken me an entire lifetime of experimentation to discover, and I'm not done yet! And that has absolutely nothing to do with his girlfriend.

So I really needed to hammer home to him that the only way to find out what his girlfriend likes is to ask his girlfriend. I did mention 3 times that I could discuss biology with him, but when it comes to preferences, it is totally useless to ask me about "normal" when what he is really trying to do is find out how to please his girlfriend without asking and without practicing. But he absolutely refused to listen and insisted on continuing to ask me preference questions, getting upset when I merely repeated "ask your girlfriend".

I'm afraid I was quite impatient with him, but mainly because I was so frustrated with society in general for letting him get to age 22, having so little experience with sex that he doesn't know even the most basic reproducive facts, or even where to start experimenting to find out what makes his partner tick. He wanted to know if he should stroke her hard or soft. How the hell should I know? Maybe she likes it hard. Maybe she likes it soft. Maybe she likes it both ways, and which way depends on a lot of different factors, including her mood and her personal physiology at that moment. Or maybe she has no fricken idea because she's just as inexperienced as he is.

He is so inexperienced, that the very topic of sex makes him umcomfortable to the point of refusing to even discuss sex with the woman he wants to marry and who expects him to have sex with her every day. It never occured to him that he had some say in his sexual future and that he should be working *with* her to find a cooperative sex life OR that practicing at sex was what made it good. He actually said to me that he figured he would take care of all that after the wedding. They would find out if they were compatible after the wedding. They would talk about their needs and wants after the wedding. Is there possibly a worse setup for a marriage?

A wedding ring is not a magic ring that makes sex good and makes two people compatible in the bedroom. There are only 2 things that have even a chance at accomplishing that, and they're not guaranteed. Those two things are practice and communication. You absolutely cannot learn what your partner likes, or expect your partner to learn what you like, if you do not communicate. You've got to be able to have frank and candid conversations about sex, what you like, what you don't like, what your expectations are, and to ask questions. Verbal communication is important, but non-verbal communication can be important too, especially during sex. If you are too embarassed to say "yeah, baby, keep doing it like that" or "honey, can you move your hand a little slower please?", moaning, moving your body, taking your hand and physically directing your partner will work too, and can be very helpful. And if you haven't been practicing, then you won't even know what to communicate to your partner in the first place.

The idea that none of this should even be considered until after you're married is the most ludicrous idea I've ever heard for relationships. Abstinance-only philosphy perpetuates the myth that the wedding ring is a magic ring. That you won't ever have to practice anything or talk about anything, it will just magically be good and you will magically be compatible because your relationship is directed by god.

Now, regular readers of my journal already know that abstinance-only education's goals of preventing teen pregnancy and STDs is absolute bullshit. But let's just assume that it's true. As [profile] zen_shootersays, let's just pretend that abstinence-only philosophy isn't the biggest load of horseshit ever. What we're left with is a generation of 18-year-olds getting hitched to the first guy with dreamy eyes and who absolutely have no idea how to control their own reproductive system. And we have 16-year olds having anal sex before vaginal sex because "anal doesn't count"!

Now, when I was a kid, anal sex was the advanced sex. That's what you did if you were especially kinky. Now it's what you do before PIV sex! Huh? And kids are getting anal STDs because they're not using condoms because anal sex isn't real sex, so it doesn't count!

So, anyway, back to this kid. I don't know if he's a product of the American abstinance-only education or somewhere abroad, I only know that English is not his first language. But I do know that a very large portion of people who save their virginity for marriage are religious-based and usually completely ignorant of sexual biology, I assume because those who are educated about sex understand the need for practice (even if it's only solo practice) and communication for a satisfying sex life. And this kid is no exception.

It actually took me over an hour of repeating "talk to your girlfriend" before he stopped saying "stop telling me to talk to her, I want to know in general what girls like" and finally agreed to talk to her. I'm pretty sure he still doesn't understand why that's important.

He doesn't know sexual biology. He doesn't know what girls like in bed. He doesn't know what *his* girl likes in bed. And he's terrified to talk to her about it. He's going to tie himself for life (I give him more like 8 years) to a girl who wants to have sex more often than he does, and he's afraid to talk to her. She's going to see him naked, she's going to see him completely ignorant of her body, and he's afraid to talk to her.

I really can't do anything else but bang my head on my desk, turn on another episode of Red Dwarf, and try to forget that there are people so intentionally ignorant of life just long enough to stop ranting in my own head so I can go to sleep.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)\Movies\20081015\Film-Porno-Ads.xml&cat=entertainment&subcat=movies&pageid=1

There's something just so frightening about sex.  Kevin Smith has made a movie called "Zack And Miri Make A Porno".  It's about a couple of platonic friends who are so deep in debt, they decide to make a porn film to make money.  Now, we all know Kevin Smith's movies.  This is an outrageous comedy, not to be taken seriously, although it probably has some good commentary on our society between the fake tits and queef jokes.

It's a rated-R movie (Kevin Smith must be a big-enough name now, he was actually able to appeal and knock down his NC-17 rating!), so it's not like kids are gonna see it.  They are, however, gonna see the ads if they have any interaction with the world outside.  Controversey is raging over these ads.  They're banned at bus stops and on certain television spots.  Why?  Because kids will notice them and then parents will have to do their job of explaining to kids what it means and what their own moral structures says about it.

One guy was watching a Dodgers game with his son and explaining something to do with baseball that I really don't understand, nor care about, when the game went to commercial and the name of the movie was said.  His son interrupted, asking, "Dad, what's a porno?"  The dad is furious with the network for playing an ad that would make his son aware of the word.

Why is it so difficult for parents to take that opportunity to teach their kids an important lesson?  A simple "it's a movie for grown-ups" would suffice.  A more complex "It's a movie that grown-ups make and the industry that supports it is fraught with drug abuse, harassment, and low self-esteem and mom and I believe it is immoral to participate in this kind of movie" would be even better (whether that's the truth about movies or not, at least the parents can take back some of the control they think they've lost and interject their own moral imperatives while it's still early enough to indoctrinate the kiddies).

Apparently, the original designs for the posters included images of the actors from the film in "suggestive" poses that most places will not accept.  So Smith's new idea was to make stick figures, because he figured no one would find anything "racy" about those.  What happened is that now everyone is up in arms because stick figures apparently attract kids' attention and now they're actually looking at these posters with the word "porno" in them.  Some "experts" are even claiming that the movie encourages kids to think of porn as an "acceptable career choice".

First of all, no it doesn't.  That's just stupid.  It's a comedy and all sorts of calamity will probably befall the actors because other people's pain and humiliation is funny.  The title doesn't tell what happens to them, ultimately, that would give away the ending, so there is no implication that making a porn is the way out of trouble.  It probably causes a fair amount of it in the movie.  It's also rated for adults, not kids, and the kids aren't supposed to ever see it, regardless of how their activities turn out.  The movie isn't "encouraing" or discouraging kids at all since the kids aren't supposed to be watching it.  I suppose American Pie encourages kids to masturbate with their musical instruments and make bets to lose their virginity before graduation?  I suppose Knocked Up "encouraged" kids to make relationships out of one-night stands simply because the girl got, well, knocked up?  Oh, wait, no, the movies don't encourage that, right-wing conservatives do.

Second, it's no less of an "acceptable" career choice than many other degrading, humiliating, and much lower-paying jobs.  Of course, porn has a universal social stigma that other jobs don't, but there are lots of jobs that each individual family looks down upon as "not acceptable".  The porn industry needs regulation and there are lots of flaws with it, to be sure.  But I just don't see how that's really much worse than working for minimum wage when minimum wage is below the poverty level, in hot, stinky, no-respect jobs with no hope of advancement and no medical benefits, other than the attached social stigma.  I'll take porn star over garbage man and McD's employee any day. 

Many people view any entertainment job as "unworthy".  John Denver is a classic case.  His father thought musician was a "sissy" job and refused to speak to him until right up at the end of Denver's life, when, in a desperate attempt to woo the respect of his father, he started doing "manly" things, like flying a plane (his dad was an old military pilot, I think).  My own mother despairs of my choice of careers.  It's not stable and it's "blue collar".  My mother didn't give up her own college education to become a secretary for her entire life to save enough money to put me through private school only to have me take a manual labor job!  Plenty of far-left hippie liberals, when faced with their children confessing dubious jobs or alternate sexualities, have been quoted as saying "as long as you're not a Republican, dear!" 

There are LOTS of jobs that people do not think are worthy for their children, and that's fine.  So talk to you kids to make them understand your own value system. 

Third, banning the ads on the basis of a word that has previously not been legally accepted as a "bad word" (remember the 7 Dirty Words?) is censorship.  It hurts the potential profits of this movie because they cannot advertise their product.  This is exactly what the MPAA rating system does.  I'm not opposed to a method of notifying people of the content before they are exposed to it, but the current rating system has such close ties with the movie industry, that an NC-17 rating will actually hurt profits because certain places will not carry it or advertise for it.  Which is just ridiculous.  If you don't like the movie, don't go see it, but don't prevent others from seeing it if they want to by keeping it hidden so they don't know it's there!  This is flat-out censorship.  The MPAA and the FCC have managed to white-wash our entire society so that no one can express themselves in non-violent manners simply because a handful of people think their own comfort is more important than our freedom of speech.  It is there to protect uncomfortable speech, not comfortable speech.  If you don't like it, change the station.  The posters do not depict activity or words that has been legislated to be outside the realm of "free speech".  There are no pink parts showing and no cussing.  The uproar is over a word that is a legitimate name of an object that is prevalent (and legal) in our society.  That's fucking bullshit.

I hate to break it to ya'll, but there is a big, wide world out there, filled with all sorts of people who have different value systems than yours.  Our own country specifically legislates the protection of other people's value systems (in theory).  So your kids are gonna bump into these other people sooner or later.  Keeping them in the dark about their existence is not the way to protect them.  It leaves them wide open and vulnerable to whatever value system you disagree with because the kids have absolutely no tools with which to deal with exposure to alternate viewpoints.

A graphic, play-by-play description is not necessary to explay what porn is (or gay people, or hookers, or sex shops).  These things can be explained simply, appropriately, and without embarassment, in such a manner as to impart your own value system and to give your children the tools they need to survive interacting with the outside world.

"Dad, what's a porno?"
"It's a movie for grown-ups that some adults like and some adults don't, like your mom and me.  We do not approve of the morals found in those kinds of movies.  Now, back to baseball..."
joreth: (Nude Drawing)

I have been in sort of an ongoing discussion with someone about how safe it is to have multiple sexual partners.  He insists on a very basic math formula that simply says "more people = more risk".  I maintain that there are several variables to the safety probability, and one of the most important variables is how well you know the other person and what their own criteria for taking on additional partners is.

In an open and inclusive poly network, where regular testing is done before a new partner is added, I maintain that more people does not necessarily = more risk, as long as those people do, in fact, require tests beforehand and do, in fact, notify all people when an incidence does come up. 

If you have 3 people in a group, he believes, this is inherently safer than having 5 people in a group because that is two more people who the group has to monitor to ensure they are following the safety rules.

However, if you have 3 people in a group, one of whom is prone to cheating or taking on partners without testing first, I state that this is inherently more dangerous than a group of 5 people who have shown a consistent pattern of testing and notification.  As the number of people rises, at least within a certain range, the risk level does not, in my opinion, significantly increase when all people consistently use regular testing and disclosure.

To illustrate my point, a couple of researchers actually wrote a book about it.  Well, they wrote a book about sexuality and within the book was a segment on HIV risk for a variable number of partners.   It's called With Pleasure: Thoughts on the Nature of Human Sexuality by Paul R. Abramson & Steven D. Pinkerton.  The premise of this math formula is that each person's HIV status is unknown and the partners are randomly selected from the population at large.

According to the calculations (which use math symbols that I can't enter here because I write in plain text editors), "the risk resulting from 100 protected [sexual] contacts is about the same as that arising from only 10 unprotected [sexual] contacts".  They go on to say:

"For sexually active individuals with more than one partner, the situation is slightly more complicated.  Although the probability of becoming infected as a result of sexual contact with any one of these partners can be calculated using [this equation], the rules of probability calculus prevent us from simply adding them together to arrive at the overall risk of infection. ...

As might be expected, the probability of infection arising from N one-night stands is greater than the risk from N contacts with a single partner (monogamy).  However, the difference is not nearly as great as one might suppose.  ... the relative risk reduction acheived by engaging in N sexual contacts with a single partner rather than N one-night-stands is greater in the high infectivity condition (a=0.01) and increases as the number of one-night stands gets large, but is less than 40% in any case.  In contrast, the relative risk reduction due to the consistant use of condoms is about 90% regardless of the infectivity or number of partners.  In other words, in this situation even the most dramatic change in the number of sexual partners - from 100 to 1 - provides LESS protection than does the simple expedient of always wearing a condom.

These results highlight the inadequacy of educational programs that focus on getting people to limit the number of sexual partners as a means of reducing HIV risk.  Although there are conditions for which this is sound advice (such as populations with a high prevalance of HIV and other STDs) the simple strategy of always using condoms is usually a superior means of reducing risk.  ...

Finally, to return to the question posed at the beginning of this discussion: is everyone at risk?  Obviously that depends on her sexual behaviour, including who she has sex with, what kind of sex, and whether or not her partners wear condoms for penetrative activities.  For the sake of argument, suppose the infectivity is 1 in 1,000 and she selects 10 male partners at random from a population in which 1 out of every 200 men is infected with HIV.  If she has intercourse 100 times with each of these men and never uses condoms, she faces an infection risk of 0.0047 (in other words, out of 211 such women, we would expect one to become infected with HIV as a consequence of her sexual behaviour).  If, instead, she and her partners used condoms for every act of intercourse, her risk would be reduced by about 90%, to 0.0005 (1 out of 2010)."

The part that really impacts the poly community is that all of these scenarios and formulas are done with choosing a partner totally at random from the entire population without knowing his or her HIV status.  With regular condom use, regular testing, and open and honest communication about status, the probability of becoming infected with HIV drops to a very small number close to zero.  With a known status of HIV-negative, and no exposure to HIV since testing, the probability drops to a small number close to zero even without the condoms. 

This, of course, only affects those STDs that are fluid-borne, like HIV.  The incidence of contact-borne STDs like Herpes is only partially reduced by condom use, not the 90% quoted above.  And for the untestable or hard-to-test STDs like HPV, I assume we cannot significantly lower the incidence rate by changing the variable from "unknown status" to "known status", but none of that was discussed.

Anyway, this book sounds pretty fascinating and I plan to pick up a copy sometime soon.  One of the other thoughts they propose in the book is that the primary purpose of sex has evolved to be pleasure and procreation is a by-product.  When I did a search for the title, I didn't find any negative reviews of the book, no blog entires claiming they're hacks and peudo-scientists, so I'm curious to see the research they used to reach this conclusion.  Here's the link to read what I quoted above and you can follow the links from there to purchase it:

joreth: (Default)
From Planned Parenthood:
  • John McCain opposes equal pay legislation, saying it wouldn’t do "anything to help the rights of women."
  • John McCain opposes requiring health care plans to cover birth control.
  • John McCain opposes comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.
  • John McCain opposes funding to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies.
  • John McCain opposes funding for public education about emergency contraception.
  • John McCain opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women.
  • John McCain opposes Roe v. Wade and says it should be overturned. 
  • John McCain wants to nominate Supreme Court justices who are "clones" of conservative Justices Alito and Roberts.
  • John McCain said he was "stumped" when asked whether contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV.
  • In his 25 years in Washington, DC, John McCain has voted anti-choice125 times!
And before anyone jumps on those crazy liberals distorting McCain's words and the Democratic Conspiracy, here is a list of McCain's Own Words regarding these issues.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)

This touches on several of my problems with nudity in our society.  For instance, I believe that wherever men go topless, women should also be allowed to go topless because I don't see the difference.  Many people think that mamary glands automatically make breasts a sex organ and therefore there is a difference.  I disagree.  I think that, when the rules are first changed, there would be a big stink about topless females, but that's a cultural issue that will evolve with acceptance over time.  It is clearly not a biological issue because other cultures do not view breasts as sex organs and I know plenty of guys who are sexually aroused by contact with their nipples.  I also know plenty of people of either gender who get aroused by caresses and kisses on the neck, but we regularly expose those and no one has been unable to prevent himself from attacking a woman in a sexual frenzy over the sight of someone's neck.  No one has been struck blind or developed cancer by looking at a woman's genitals, and expecting a person to cover up because someone else can't control himself is not solving the problem, it's ignoring it.

I also see no problem with children running around naked within the context and confines of an environment that does not include adults who sexualize all nudity (particularly nudity in children).  I had a discussion about this recently with a mother of a child who likes to run around the house naked.  The mother has no problem with it, but a close family friend suggested that this behaviour be discouraged when company comes over, or at least when certain individuals come over that outsiders might use as a wedge to cause trouble for the family.  At the moment, the child's nudity is not sexualized because she has no concept of sexuality.  As soon as you start enforcing clothing, particularly if it is inconsistent with regards to whom, when, and where, she will start to learn that there is something "wrong" with with her body.  It's important for her to eventually understand that *some people* think nudity is "inappropriate" in certain contexts, but it's a very delicate matter to separate social "appropriateness" from her own feelings of "wrong" about her own body.  And anyone who has ever tried to convince a toddler to wear something when she doesn't want to knows the futility of the argument, all philosophical issues aside!

I also have conversations trying to explain that nudity is not automatically sexual.  When a woman gets naked at a party where others are also getting naked, and then hugs someone goodbye, she is not "pressing her breasts" and initiating a sexual act.  In this context, the nudity is not sexual.  Like love, nudity is separate from sexuality but often entertwined. 

The point that Greta Christina is making in her article is that people who are comfortable with their own sexuality also tend to be comfortable with nudity in general in a non-sexual context.  She seems to note that there is a correlation between people who get uncomfortable with casual nudity and people who believe that any and all nudity is erotic.  And it's my opinion that the belief that all nudity is erotic can lead to feelings of shame, low self-worth, & low self-esteem about their own bodies and selves, and can contribute to a difficulty in relating to other people, particularly to those members of the gender one is usually attracted to. 

In my observation, people who are more comfortable with casual nudity, who understand that nudity is not always sexual, have an easier time relating to members of their preferred romantic gender and have less confusion and less awkward situations regarding what is "flirting" and when someone is interested or not.  People who understand that  nudity and sexuality are separate (but related) have an easier time understanding when nudity is being separated and when it's being used for sexuality.

"The more grown-up part of me understands that bodies have lots of functions, of which sex is only one. The more grown-up part of me understands that other people’s bodies exist for their own pleasure and their own purposes, not necessarily for mine. The more grown-up part of me understands that being comfortable with my body doesn’t just mean being comfortable with my sexuality — it means being comfortable with my body when I’m not feeling sexual."

Greta Christina makes a few good points in this article, so I recommend that everyone read it.

joreth: (Nude Drawing)

I'll post my reaction to this later, but now I'm sleepy.  But this is a hilarious and informative site.  It's delightfully awkward.  Spread the word, especially to young people!
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
As [info]zen_shooter says, they ought to put a label on "poly" movies to warn us that "this movie contains idiots".

We start out with James and Heather. The spark seems to have gone out of their relationship. Heather comes from a rather progressive family, her parents have an open marriage and firmly believe that jealousy and possession have no place in romantic relationships. Heather and James tried to open their relationship once in the past, but when Heather went on her first date (that did not include sexual activity), James called up his old girlfriend for a one-night stand to help him ignore his intense jealousy about Heather on a date. Since that didn't seem to work, they closed up their relationship again, but are now looking for something else to "fix" things. Heather recommends attending a seminar given by a relationship counselor.

Next we meet Ellis and Renee. They are also bored with their relationship and seem to snip at each other rather easily, flying off the handle every time one says something. They take every statement the other makes in the worst possible interpretation and spend the entire movie being accusatory and suspicious of each other. They also attend the seminar.

The counselor advocates group sex as a method to "fix" a flagging relationship. She signs up our two couples for therapy and each couple goes to their respective sessions where the counselor can't seem to see that group sex for each of these couples is probably the worst possible thing they each can do. Everyone say it with me ... Relationship Broken, Add More People!

Next, we see James and Heather in a very typical situation - Heather's old boyfriend comes to town for a visit and James is jealous. James is so insecure that he cannot even be civil towards Sixpack (the boyfriend's nickname) on the car ride home from the airport. Of course, Sixpack is an arrogant prick, but James is not mad about that, James is instead seething with jealousy and suspicion regarding what he imagines will be happening later that night after he drops Heather and her old boyfriend off at Heather's apartment and James has to go home alone. Of course Heather starts to bristle at the constant jabs from James at what a dumbass Sixpack is. Here's a hint guys (and gals), even your partner agrees that a past partner is a dumbass, you can say so once, but harping on the fact only makes your partner feel defensive for having once chosen to date/marry that past partner. Don't pick on your partner for past mistakes - especially if he or she already agrees it was a mistake. So James provokes Sixpack into an argument even though Sixpack was mostly pretty friendly towards James (albeit a little dumb).

After some vicious insults in the car, Heather and Sixpack leave James to his jealousy, who then panicks and thinks this fight might just have pushed Heather into the arms of her old boyfriend afterall. So, his method of damage control involves breaking into her secured apartment building and sneaking into her apartment, where Sixpack, the former football star and current military man, tackles James, thinking him to be an intruder. Heather comes out of her bedroom (where she was sleeping alone) to see what the fuss is all about and rescues James.

Could James have been any more idiotic? Hmm, I've pissed off my girlfriend with my unreasonable and unfounded jealousy and now I'm going to stalk her when she explicitly told me to leave her alone, and break into her apartment with the intention of having a heartfelt, intimate discussion while her old boyfriend is sleeping on the couch in the next room. This doesn't sound like the most disasterous plan known to man?

So now James has to sleep over because he has a concussion and Heather doesn't want him driving. But she's plenty pissed off.

Meanwhile, Ellis and Renee have been having issues of their own. Ellis also has a serious case of jealousy, only his is topped off with a massive load of machismo. Renee has to constantly placate him, reassuring him that she loves his penis and that she loves having sex with him. Seriously. In one discussion, they talk about the upcoming group sex therapy the counselor has suggested for them and the subject of fantasies comes up. Ellis admits to being turned on at the thought of watching Renee have sex with someone else. So Renee admits to being attracted to other women. Ellis immediately turns on her and accuses her of being "sick" and "perverted" because of her "homosexual" desires. While having this argument at a restaurant, the waitress appears to be quite friendly with Renee, who then seems to encourage her friendly overtures while then getting offended at Ellis' assumption that "friendly" implied "flirting".

Somehow or another, Renee ends up with the waitress' phone number and schedules a get-together. When Ellis finds out, he insists on coming along. They show up, the waitress offers marijuana, and while stoned out of their minds, Ellis interprets their totally platonic agreeableness as flirting and shouts at the waitress to keep her hands to herself because Ellis has the supercock and he won't let her get between them. I'm not paraphrasing, he actually says "I have the supercock and I won't let you get between us!" He uses the word "supercock" more than once.

Naturally, the waitress throws them both out.

Somewhere in there (I forget when exactly, their fights all seem to blend together), Renee and Ellis are fighting in the elevator and Renee shouts "I love your penis!", to which Ellis says "prove it!" and Renee responds by fervently kissing him, beginning a rather passionate bout of angry-sex. Because when you're pissed off at your partner, the thing you want to do most is fuck him, right? Sorry, but I do not have pity sex. I will not fuck someone just to reassure him. I will have sex because I want to have sex and have hopefully found a partner who also wants to have sex with me, but a pity-fuck is never a good idea for the long-term stability or reassurance of someone's ego. Then he's likely to wonder how much of the sex was a pity-fuck and if you really are attracted to him or just feel sorry for him.

Anyway, the morning of the scheduled group sex (keep in mind, neither couple knows who the other couple they're scheduled to fuck is), Renee and Ellis are taking a shower together and Renee seems to think his previous night's stoned proclamation about Renee being the woman he wants to marry and no one coming between them is now romantic and offers to cancel the group sex session. Unfortunately, Ellis now seems to be looking forward to it, so Renee agrees rather reluctantly for his sake.

Now we have probably the most awkward sex scene since Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

All 4 people arrive at the same time and wait for the same elevator. They all try to surriptiously scope each other out. Then, an old couple shows up and waits for the same elevator. Everyone has a moment of panic as they consider that it might be the old couple.

While in the elevator, everyone tries very hard not to look at anyone else. The old couple start bickering about whether the wife remembered to bring the rubbers and why the husband thought he didn't need to shower for the appointment. Less contained panic in the eyes of the two young couples. As everyone exits the elevator on the same floor, the old couple finally let it slip that they're there for a dental visit with a dentist on the same floor, the "rubbers" being a brand of gloves the old man prefers.

So now the two couples enter the counselor's waiting room. In a very awkward silence, they sit and wait. Finally, Heather breaks the silence by asking if Ellis and Renee are the other couple and expressing relief that they look so clean. Everyone looks around uncomfortably.

Finally, the counselor walks in, asks if they've introduced themselves, then leads them down the hall to another room. She opens the door and lets them in, closing the door behind them and leaving the two couples totally to their own devices, without a word of encouragement or instruction.

In silence, they four stare at each other, not sure what to do. Finally, Heather starts taking off her shoes. Then she kisses James. So Ellis and Renee look at each other as if to say "you wanna? I guess so" and begin kissing each other too. Eventually Renee turns around to start kissing Heather, but Heather pushes her towards James after only a brief kiss. So the couples swap partners.

Next we see a series of shots where each of the now-swapped couples is having silent and uncomfortable-looking sex across the room from the other. We never see a true group encounter, just two couples who happen to be having sex in the same room, all the time with James and Renee rolling their eyes towards Ellis and Heather, more interested in what their regular partner is doing than in what they are doing themselves.

The next morning, both couples wind up at the same restaurant, unbeknownst to each other. They discuss the previous night. Heather thinks the experience was great, she learned that she could actually orgasm and it wasn't a physical disability that has prevented her from having orgasms with James all this time. Unfortunately, James thinks that means that Heather doesn't really love him and he breaks up with her. It couldn't be that Heather does love him but James actually just sucks in bed - and sex isn't like a learned skill or anything that James could improve at with a little instruction. As if I didn't think James was the stupidist character ever, he goes and does this. Heather has been unable to orgasm, but her experience has not told her that James is a bad partner, it only tells her that it's possible and now she can start experimenting to figure out how to get an orgasm *with* James. But James decided long ago that love is exclusive and Heather's interest in other people means that she doesn't really love him, and her orgasm with Ellis the night before only solidifies his belief.

Renee and Ellis don't seem all that happy about the group sex and when Ellis goes to the bathroom, the waitress talks to Renee and expresses her wish to continue being friends (and maybe more) as long as Renee doesn't bring Ellis with her. Renee seems receptive. In the bathroom, Ellis runs into James and they have a fairly pleasant chat. James returns with Ellis to say hi to
Renee and for some reason, this makes Renee decide to throw away the waitress' phone number.

James goes back out to his patio table to discover that Heather ditched him.

I took two morals away from this movie. 1) If you're James and Heather, alternative relationships and sex outside of the primary are BAD. 2) If you're Ellis and Renee, sex with strangers will fix a relationship that is basically comprised of two people who don't like each other much.

The counselor should have her license revoked. Her character was the absolute worst example of a counselor possible. After only one session, she decided to match up these two couples when anyone could tell in the first five minutes of the session that neither couple was in the right frame of mind to successfully enjoy open relationships. Both men were being dragged into it kicking and screaming and both women think the way to fix their own relationships is to fuck a totally random stranger - that somehow this one night of meaningless, anonymous sex will fix their lack of communication, lack of chemistry, lack of common interests, the boys' insecurities, and their own emotional issues all at once.

Heather is the one character I truly felt for. I believe that she is that poor case of isolated poly. She is poly and doesn't know anyone else to help her, guide her, or even date her. Instead, she hooks up with this schmuck who is so deeply co-dependent that she can't even spend the evening with a male friend without him suspecting her of infidelity or fucking his ex-girlfriend in retaliation.

Ellis is equally as insecure as James, but his is exhibited in his retreat to machismo, where he has to prove he's King of the Castle, He of the Supercock. Apparently, it's his ability to penetrate his girlfriend that makes up his entire identity and the source of his entire self-esteem.

And Renee! An attractive, assertive, reasonably intelligent, sex-positive woman who, for some bizarre reason, feels the need to remain in a relationship with a man she has to placate on an hourly basis. She constantly panders to him, reassuring him of his manliness, refraining from exploring her own desires in deference to his bruised ego.

Jesus, I hated this movie and all the characters in it. Well, I didn't hate Heather, I felt sorry for her and I sorely wanted to jump in the movie, put my arm around her and tell her that she's not a freak and there's nothing wrong with her just because she wants to experience love without jealousy and posession.

And the sex scenes weren't even sexy! They were awkward and uncomfortable.

Don't watch this movie, it sucked, and not just from a poly standpoint. The characters were detestable and the writing was deplorable. I'm not sure if the acting was any good because the script they had to work with sucked big fat donkey balls.
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
OK people, let me say this one time, very slowly.

Just.  Because.  People.  Fuck.  Several.  People.  Doesn't.  Mean.  This.  Is.  A.  Poly.  Movie.

So I watched another recommended movie from a "poly movie list".  It's called "The Last Picture Show".  Perhaps you've heard of it.  I guess it's quite famous for all the nudity.  The story takes place in 1952 and stars people like a very young Cybil Shepard, Jeff Bridges and Clores Leachman.  It's all about a very small town in Texas.  There's the mute "dumb" kid, there's the town slut who happens to be married to the rich oil baron, there's the slut's daughter who seems to be taking after her, there's the football star and his buddy, the lonely housewife, and the pool hall/picture show that is the town's main entertainment.  People flirt, people fuck, people fight.  It's all about Small Town America In The '50s.

It's not poly.

There's no long-time deep love shared between two high school buddies and the town sweetheart, like in Leaving Cheyenne.  There's no quirky artist commune like in Carrington.  There's no triad hidden among the pines like in Summer People.  It's just horny teenagers and cheatin' wives.

I'm not sayin' this was a bad movie, I'm sayin' don't watch it for any poly content.

There is none.  The absolute closest we get is the two best friends who make up after one kicks the shit out of the other for screwin' around with his girl (the make-up happens after that girl goes off to college and leaves both of them).  Maybe the husbands who look the other way when their wives have affairs because it's sort of general knowledge that 80% of marriages aren't happy (so says the wise old rancher) are the reason someone thought this was a poly flick?

It's not poly.  Don't bother.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)

Here's an article I found on MySpace, of all places. The writer seems unaware that the Texas anti-dildo law was recently repealed, but the overall article sentiments are still valid. Once again, female pleasure is viewed as dangerous and immoral by the religious right. Haven't they ever heard the phrase "when momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"?

Alabama Has Got To Be The Stupidist Place To Live On The Planet, Even Worse Than Texas

Female orgasm = more dangerous than a semiautomatic weapon?

Down in Alabama, vibrators seem to pose a greater threat than firearms to the safety and morality of citizens. Last month, the Supreme Court refused to hear the "Alabama sex-toy case," ending an almost 10-year battle since the law's enactment in 1998, which banned the sell of sex toys. Sherri Williams, a plaintiff and Alabama sex shop owner, refuses to give up hope. "They are going to have to pry this vibrator from my cold, dead hand," she told The Associated Press.

While states like Colorado, Kansas, and Louisiana have deemed similar laws unconstitutional, Alabama joins other states such as Georgia, Mississippi and Texas who have upheld sex-toy bans, citing concern for the "morality of the state" in doing so. Texas has a limit on the number of "obscene devices" one can own, because the government says owning too many indicates the intent to sell.

Those residents of Alabama desperate to find certain vibrating objects of pleasure in their state can still satisfy their desires, albeit without any blatant sex labels. Regular vibrators and body massagers remain on the shelves because they are not marketed specifically for sexual purposes. As long as the product doesn't look particularly phallic, lawmakers are not concerned.

According to Alabama's Anti-Obscenity Enforcement act, the commercial distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value" is prohibited. However, only the sale of such items is forbidden, so one can use, possess or "gratuitously distribute" to their heart's content. The law excuses sales of sexual devices for any "medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose." It isn't immediately clear why law enforcement might need sex toys. But while the Alabama court may not want everyday citizens enjoying the thrill of their hot pink vibrator, perhaps Alabama's law enforcement will add a new kind of holster to their gun belt.

The medical exemption can be applied in several ways, such as those who are handicapped or sexually dysfunctional. To a certain Catholic priest in Wisconsin, however, that is no excuse. Earlier this year, he dismissed his church's organist and choir director for her involvement in selling sex toys on the side. Although she said she was involved with the business to help other women, as she became sexually dysfunctional after her brain tumor and treatment, the priest said her behavior was "not consistent with Church teachings." As The Associated Press suggests, her attention certainly did seem to fall on the wrong organ.

The penalty for disobeying the Alabama ban includes a $10,000 fine and up to one year in jail for a first-time offender. Selling a pistol to a minor, on the other hand, results in a maximum fine of $500. So hand a child a Heckler & Koch handgun and pay the few hundred-dollar fine, but forget selling the latest Adam & Eve Chameleon Cock unless you wish to wear handcuffs of the non-furry variety.

The vibrator was first used in the late 1800s as a way to cure "hysteria" in women who were unable to achieve orgasm through sex alone. The medical use faded in the 1920s when the vibrator began to be used in the porn industry, now seen as something "sexy." Legislators in these Southern states still fear these sexy stimulation devices, failing to realize the foreboding return of such hysterical, anorgasmic women, but "moral" citizens nevertheless


joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
Copied from [profile] trollprincess  ( because her answer was just way too cool and I have to repeat it every single time I hear "I don't like it because I'd have to explain it to my kids" from now on:

Lesbian kisses at game ignite Seattle debate

A quote:

"I would be uncomfortable" seeing public displays of affection between lesbians or gay men, said Jim Ridneour, a 54-year-old taxi driver. "I don't think it's right seeing women kissing in public. If I had my family there, I'd have to explain what's going on."

*sigh* All right, let's try this again.

If you're out with your family and you see two people of the same sex kissing, you don't actually have to explain anal sex or fisting or the workings of a strap-on or the precise anatomical location of the prostate or what a bear is or how to put on assless chaps or what gay-for-pay means or how edible flavored lube really is or why that well at the tip of a condom has to be there or what kind of batteries go into a dildo or how many sexual positions two six-foot-tall guys can get into in the cab of a pick-up truck or why Heath Ledger was robbed of that Best Actor Oscar or what Melissa Etheridge needed David Crosby for or what poppers are or why those really flamboyant guys in the Pride parade only wear a sparkly thong or Leonid the Magnificent.

If you're having such a hard fucking problem understanding what to say to your kids about gay people, ask them. Ten bucks says they will look at two guys or two girls kissing, shrug, and say, "They must like each other a lot."

You know, if you haven't already broken them, you moron.

No, we wouldn't want parents to have to actually explain things to their kids!  It's not like parents are in the explaining-fucking-business!  Did the parental handbook ever say that parents would have to have discussions with their kids to explain the world around them?  No, I don't think so!

Jesus fucking Christ.  Kids are going to come in contact with the world.  Sorry, it's just gonna happen.  And "protecting" them from having any information about the society in which they live doesn't actually protect them.  It leaves them completely defensless when they actually do come in contact with something that you didn't see fit to inform them about!  And they will come in contact with that, I guaran-fucking-tee it!  The moment you made your decision to carry the pregnancy to term and accept responsibility for the care and rearing of that infant is the day you agreed to be a teacher, mentor, and guardian and that includes FUCKING EXPLAINING SHIT!

It's the same problem people have with poly or swingers or kinky people ... what about the children?  You don't have to go into details, just say that they like each other!  It's really not that difficult of a concept to grasp!  As several people in the OP's comments have said, it takes grown-ups to make the issue complicated.
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
So I followed a link from someone else's journal to a GLBT (or at least glbt-friendly) editorial website and it told a story about Topless Baristas.

Apparently, some woman went through the drive through of a coffee shop called (yes, actually named) Hot Chick-A-Latte where the serving girls (I assume - there was no mention of men) serve your coffee topless.  The woman at the drive through was wearing pasties, so no nipples were showing, but the woman complained because her kids were in the car with her and saw boobies.

I could rant and rave about this, but the article actually does a wonderful job of being sarcastic for me.  The author describes the woes that befall children when they are exposed to body parts and how damaging nipples can be to a young, impressionable child.  Not to mention our god-given right to walk into a Hooters or Hot-Chick-A-Latte and not be assaulted by the sight of boobs!

::bangs head on desk:: 


Jun. 19th, 2008 09:05 pm
joreth: (Purple Mobius)

And don't forget, the third episode of Swingtown is tonight on CBS.

joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)

And people still want him in the white house?!?  People are worried about him choosing Huckabee as his VP (and I am too), but he's a bad enough threat all on his own!
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I have a hard time getting a certain concept across to certain people.  There are people who define sexuality by one's actions.  And then there are those of us who define sexuality and orientation based on what goes on in the mind.

For example, some people consider me bisexual simply because I have had sexual encounters with other women.  They don't take into account an "experimentation" phase, or situation specifics.  No, if I've had sex with women at any time, and especially if I'm willing to consider it again in the future, by their definition, I'm bisexual.

But I consider myself straight.  Why?  Because, frankly, women don't do it for me.  Women don't turn me on.  Women don't get me off.  So why did I have sex with them?  Partially because I was curious.  Partially because I don't have the disgust-gene for same-sex activity even if I also lack the turn-on gene for it.  Partly because I also don't have any artificial taboos against it, such as an belief that it's "wrong", so I can appreciate a tactile sensation simply for what it is, regardless of the gender of the person providing the sensation ... and once you're in a sexually-charged situation and all the sex synapses are firing, some things just feel good within context (ask anyone who likes to be flogged).  Partly because I was confusing an appreciation for aesthetics with a sexual interest in females (which I now know better).  Partly because I have always expressed my emotional connection to people with sex, making me think that my feelings for a close female friend should also be expressed sexually (which I also now know better).

And partly because some very specific situations allow same-sex interaction to be appropriate with very specific individual women.
"Sexual fluidity, quite simply, means situation-dependent flexibility in women's sexual responsiveness. This flexibility makes it possible for some women to experience desires for either men or women under certain circumstances, regardless of their overall sexual orientation. In other words, though women--like men--appear to be born with distinct sexual orientations, these orientations do not provide the last word on their sexual attractions and experiences."

--from Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire by Lisa M. Diamond

*Emphasis mine*

I am straight.  I have, on very rare occasion, had sexual activity with women.  It has always been in the context of threesomes.  The first time was with a friend when I was still confused and considered myself bi-curious, and her husband would not allow her to have a partner unless he was present.  I was not impressed.  From that encounter I learned about the latter two lessons above (confusing appreciation of beauty for sexual interest & believing that I needed to express emotional connection sexually) and began calling myself "straight".

The next two times were because another woman and I had a shared boyfriend and I had enough of an emotional connection and the dynamics of the relationship were just that right mix that made threesomes an appropriate and desired activity for all of us.  I don't rule out sex with certain women in the future, but those are happy exceptions to the rule.  Because I'm straight. 

Sexuality is just not cut and dried, black and white, yes or no.  Even a spectrum does not quite cover the complexity of the human sex drive.  And the word that best suits my sexual orientation is heterosexual because that is what does it for the real sex organ - my brain.  Just because I have a little sexual fluidity thrown in, it doesn't change my "overall sexual orientation".  I am straight.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I want to try and elaborate and clarify a subject that I've had to talk about a lot fairly recently and I think I haven't been very well understood.  Greta Christina wrote a post today that very well explains my position on fantasy vs. reality.

See, to me, there's a difference between finding someone attractive and being attracted to them.  What that means is that I can find someone physically attractive, even stimulating and the subject of my private fantasies.  But that doesn't mean I want to actually get involved with them.  It's not just about physical appearances, there are all sorts of things that make it into my fantasy life that I don't actually want to do in real life.  Because real life is not a fantasy and the reality of the situation is nothing like the dream.

Greta Christina's post, for example, talks about fantasizing about her plumber, but when he actually gave her the opportunity to star in her own I Shagged The Naughty Plumber scene, she wasn't interested.  Why?  Because the reality of what gets her hot is different from the fantasy of what gets her hot.  In her fantasies, she can have no-strings attached sex with a total stranger.  But in reality, she does not get wet about a guy she doesn't know.  

Because she has enough sexual experience to know what actually works for her in bed.  She needs to know if she has something in common with the guy (or girl), what his usual sexual practices are, is he safe?  Does he share her kinks?  It's not enough for him to be hot, does he like spankings?  She already knows that vanilla sex doesn't do much for her, no matter how hot her partner is.

So, I can see someone attractive and think "man, I'd fuck him!", but if he actually walked up to me and said "I saw you looking at me and I think you're hot, let's fuck", I'd have to say no.  I can even have friends I know and like and have them feature in my fantasies on a regular basis, but if we're not compatible in some important way, even then my friend can offer himself to me and I'd decline.

For instance, let's say I have a friend who is hot, shares a lot of my common interests, but is monogamous.  Let's say I fantasize about him nightly in all sorts of kinky scenes.  If he walked up to me right this very minute and said "Everything about me is exactly the same as it was yesterday, but now I'm telling you that I want to fuck you", I'd say no.  Because he's monogamous and I already know that me and mono people are not compatible AT ALL.  Even if he were to say "I know I said I was monogamous, but I think I'd like to try the poly thing", I'd still say no.  Because if he were actually compatible with me, I'd have already made a play for him.  Something fundamental about him would have to be radically different - and then he wouldn't be this person, he'd be someone similar, but different.

I don't feel any particular need to try out every single thought that pops into my head, and I pose that it's probably a psychological issue for those who do.  This goes for kinks too, not just entire humans.  What might get me hot as a thought, or even watching as a scene in a movie is not necessarily what will get me hot in real life if it happened to me.  I think it's very important to recognize this about oneself, and to know which fantasies wouldn't work out in real life.

I have friends who are monogamous, who are young, who are not kinky, who are just *something* that I am not.  And I might idily or regularly fantasize about them.  I have ideas and I've seen pictures, movies, and read stories about kinky sex scenes that get me turned on and aid in masturbation.  But I know the reality is different from the fantasy.  I do not need a partner to restrict me from a high-risk partner because I am not actually interested in such a partner, even if I might enjoy looking at him and thinking about him while I masturbate.  I know how I feel about high-risk partners and that turns me off.  I don't need the government to tell me that the Sleeping Beauty series is perverted and keep me from being exposed to it because I know that this story isn't really plausible, even if Bill Gates wanted to create his own little sex kingdom with all his money.  Even if someone had the money to create Eden, I know that sex has to be stopped for silly things like, oh, eating, going to the bathroom, and the body just can't have sex all the time - well, mine can't, anyway.

There is a difference between having sexy thoughts about someone or something, and being actively interested in such a person or thing.  I don't see anything wrong with having thoughts about a person or act you wouldn't want to do in real life, but I think it's very important to recognize the difference.  

Related to this, Greta Christina writes about how being poly has actually narrowed her interest in other people.  She postulates that mono people are forever staring at the "forbidden", so some people may leave their relationships to see what they're missing out on elsewhere.  But as a poly person, she can (theoretically) be with anyone she wants.  Consequently, she doesn't want as many.

For instance, she says "When you’re not monogamous, you realize that not every single person you’re attracted to is someone you’d seriously like to fuck if given the opportunity. ... you remember that you don’t actually want to go to bed with every attractive person who crosses your path. Some attractive people become much less attractive on closer acquaintance. Some attractive people are crazy; some attractive people are dull; some attractive people have appalling political opinions. And some attractive people you just don’t connect with. Especially if you have a busy, reasonably fulfilling life, the reality of non-monogamy may well turn out to be that most people who you’re passingly attracted to are not, in fact, people you actually want to fuck. They may be perfectly lovely, but they’re just not worth the effort."

I know I'm not explaining this as well as she does.  I guess the point is that I don't have to be with everyone who catches my eye because I already know we're not compatible.  What looks hot on screen isn't anything like what feels good in real life.  And I'm not just talking about contortionist sexual positions.  Sex with the naughty plumber might look good on screen, but the parts they're leaving out are about needing to take a piss and interrupting right before your partner has his orgasm, bumping heads because you're different heights and haven't learned each other's rhythms yet, that really annoying sound he makes as you bite his nipples, the fact that he couldn't find your clit with a roadmap and a neon sign.  The parts they're leaving out is that he's an utter moron and intelligence gets you really hot, or that he just fucked 30 girls last week and has never been tested for anything, or you can't come without a little spanking and he's so inhibited about kink that he can't come if he's not in missionary position with the lights out.  

Real life is messy and painful and awkward and our sexual kinks are totally unpredictable and there whether we want to have them or not.  So, in order to get to the good parts, we can either go along trying anything and everything, just in case, or we can learn from our past experiences and start weeding out those encounters that we *know* are more trouble than pleasure.  Lotus position with Monkey and Chainsaw might sound fun, but the prep time takes so long, you might go dry and start worrying about the bills you need to pay tomorrow before you ever get around to the fun parts.  And if you're mind isn't into it, the fun parts won't feel so good anyway.  Then again, for some people, the long prep time might enhance the anticipation, but if you're getting started right before work, you'll probably be disappointed when you run out of time to finish.

I don't have to try everything.  Even some things I get off on in my head are not things I have any intention of trying in real life.  And I don't have to have sex with everyone, even people I think are hot, even people I consider friends, even movie stars and celebrities, because I know that certain people (read: most) have the types of incompatibilities with me that would make the reality of the relationship (long term or one-night stand) not nearly as perfect and steamy as the fantasy.  So what if he's hot?  He's trouble and I know better.
joreth: (Purple Mobius)
Sometimes It IS About The Sex

Polyamorists have a phrase, "It's not all about the sex". What they mean is that it's not ALL about the sex. The point is not to downplay or ignore that our relationships are sexual, it's to focus on the multidimensionality of our relationships, to focus on the relating to each other that may or may not include sex. This is opposed to relationships that are purely about sex, that have no other quality, no other dimension, no other purpose.

But, what makes us different from monogamists is that we do have multiple sexual relationships. If it weren't for the sex, we'd just be a bunch of friends. Friends, even in the monogamous world, can have many different levels of intimacy, from social acquaintances to closest, lifetime confidantes. So can polyamorous relationships. The difference is the sex. So, at some point, we do have to address the question of how to handle multiple sexual relationships.

And that's what the book The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt tries to answer.

Come visit our online bookclub to read the rest of the review and discuss it with us!

Next book is Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurty due June 1st.
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Thanks to [ profile] madmanatw  for the idea.

Here's the deal - take the LJ Sluts quiz, but answer each check box as "wants to", not as it is. Answer in a totally hypothetical, fantasy "wants to" without any regard for the reality of the situation. Doesn't matter if the other person returns your feelings, doesn't matter if it wouldn't actually work, if someone is not available for whatever reason, doesn't even matter if you are currently or ever have in the past, and the reality of STDs and scheduling and distance are totally irrelevant for these purposes. 

Check each box for everyone in your friends list as if the question is "In a perfect world or in your fantasies, would you want to..."

Your LJ Slut Stats!
Out of your 31 friends, percentages you have:
met 70.96%
hugged 70.96%
dated 16.12%
kissed 22.58%
seen shirtless 25.8%
seen naked 25.8%
had net sex 0%
made out with 22.58%
had oral sex 19.35%
fucked 22.58%
Get your LJ Slut Stats!
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
Your LJ Slut Stats!
Out of your 31 friends, percentages you have:
met 96.77%
hugged 96.77%
dated 16.12%
kissed 25.8%
seen shirtless 48.38%
seen naked 45.16%
had net sex 0%
made out with 25.8%
had oral sex 9.67%
fucked 16.12%
Get your LJ Slut Stats!
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
 Especially for [personal profile] tacit:

Oh, I think this word might mean &#39;Crisco&#39;!

joreth: (Nude Drawing)
I finally got around to subscribing to Poly Weekly, a weekly podcast with poly themes. I decided to go back to the very first episode available through iTunes and listen to everything to "catch up" before listening to the current episodes. While all of the episodes are interesting to some degree or another, a few of them have caught my attention. This entry is based upon one of those: Episode #79 Return To The Original Orgasm.

Minx relates some of her thoughts about how she first explored her sexuality and how that relates to her later explorations. Other than the quirks of dialect that mark this as *her* speech, this episode could have been written by me. I transcribed the portion of this episode that was most relevant to this entry and I will post it now. My thoughts follow. (This is a very detailed look at my own sexuality - I'd recommend skipping this if you don't want to know this kind of thing about me) 

Very Graphic Sexual Descrptions - The Return To The Original Orgasm )
joreth: (Nude Drawing)
That's right, it's not just science-fiction or wishful thinking anymore:

""We have been trying to develop a non-surgical male contraceptive for ten years now. The contraceptive works through an injection that affects the sperm's ability to fertilise. Simultaneously, we have also invented an antidote which guarantees its immediately reversibility."

I am looking forward to its full disclosure at this convention to more fully understand it's success rate and side effects.    


Thanks to a comment in one of the other places I posted this, here's a link for more detailed information of how it works.  A very, very simple explanation is that it electrifies the vas deferens so that sperm gets blasted apart as it travels through on its way out.

That's WAY cool!
joreth: (Polydragon)
Convincing Pickup Line  
This is a totally good reason to get together with someone!


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