Thursday, May 27, 2010

On Vacation

I've decided that I'd like to spend my time in San Francisco with my family, instead of blogging.

BeccasSexBlog will return on Monday, June 7th.

See ya when I get back!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh Disney...


As you may have noticed, I did not post yesterday.

I am flying back to my homeland today and had a busy day yesterday.

I don't have anything too substantive, other than this excellent commentary on Disney Princes.

Keep Thinking!

-Becca

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Becca Rants About Adults Ruining Everything

Note: Link, fixed. My apologies.

Recently, the following video came to my attention.

As the title says, those little girls killed that dance. They rocked some moves that I can only dream of making look half as convincing. From what I saw, they loved doing it too.

So enjoy their joy!

End of post, right?

Wrong. Of course, there is controversy around this video.

I bet you all can guess the controversy before I even type it: Should those girls be doing those dance moves in those outfits?

This blog is a rant on why my answer is unequivocally, ‘Yes!”

As someone who spends her life swimming in the intellectual water of sexuality, here’s what I saw:

I saw little girls who are beginning to understand the power of being able to use their bodies to create art that makes people stand up and applaud. Because that applause was not for those outfits, it was for the level of skill the audience saw.

I saw little girls who possibly knew the word ‘sexy’ could be used to describe those outfits, but at that age probably understand only that ‘sexy’ means good.

I saw little girls who spent hours and hours learning how to pop it and lock it and pirouette and do a whole other host of dance moves that I could only dream of making look that good.

I saw little girls whose hopes and dreams may be someday to dance and were being trained in the craft of contemporary dance, in all its raw sexuality and power.

I saw little girls working together and sharing the spotlight.

I saw little girls having the time of their life.

I saw powerful little girls.

That’s what I saw. But there are a whole other host of people who maybe saw that, but it all took a back seat because they also saw sex.

And when sexuality and children come within range of one another, we’re living in a cultural epoch where, for most adults, shit just does not compute. Children are supposed to be ‘innocent’ and ‘asexual’ until puberty, right?

Wrong. Children are sexual from the moment their hands can touch their genitals (in utero, yo) to the moment they kick it (talking about death).

And even in saying that, the reality is while children may be sexual before they even pop out into this world, their experience of sexuality is not an adult experience.

Let me repeat that: CHILDHOOD SEXUALITY IS NOT AN ADULT EXPERIENCE.

This is where shit gets hard. Because of course, adults are terrified when they see things they think are sexual because most of us here in the good old U.S. have grown up in a world where sex is bad and shameful in most contexts. Plus, for adults, sex isn’t just sex. It has such incredible nuance, that when we see a 9 year old displaying sexuality, we automatically equate their action with our perceptions.

Let me give you a non-kid example of how this happens:

How many times have you seen someone, let’s say … eating a popsicle. Let’s say it’s one of those “big stick” popsicles. They liberate it from the wrapper. They examine it closely, and then plunge it into their waiting mouths. They plunge it deep, toward the back of their throats and you see their lips wrap around the popsicle at they bring it back out. Over and over and over.

What are you really thinking about right now?

Whether or not you’re thinking about how that person is totally blowing a popsicle, I can guarantee you, all that person is thinking about is how fucking delicious that big stick is. A BJ wasn’t anywhere in their consciousness.

It’s the same with kids. We see something, we say it’s sexual, but our perception is completely estranged from their actual experience. Those little girls were dancing, but all we see is pseudo-lingerie and some sexual movements.

So we ask, "Should they be doing those moves in those outfits?"

And in doing so, I am of the opinion that we negatively affect those girls.

I’ll say it again. We’re not protecting them from being sexualized by posing that question. All we really accomplish in asking it is shaming them.

Rather than congratulating them, telling them they did a great job, telling them that they are valuable and important and incredibly talented, we reinforce stigma.

We tell them they shouldn’t be wearing that (i.e. be ashamed of your body).
We tell them they shouldn’t be doing those moves (i.e. be ashamed of your sexuality).
We devalue all their hard work and effort in one fell swoop because we can’t see past the sexuality that I doubt they even thought about while learning that routine.

So, do I think that those little girls killed that dance routine, sexy moves and all? Hell yes.

I even think that their cutsie little outfits made me appreciate it more because I saw what their bodies had to go through to make that dance happen. Mad respect to those little ladies.

Do I think that someone should sit those little ladies down, and tell them that someday when they’re powerful adult women they can try to change all of dance culture so they can dance in whatever outfits they want to? Hell yes!

Do I condone adults continuously ruining everything for kids because we can’t separate ourselves from our own adult experiences of sexuality? Hell no.

Rant. Done.

Keep Thinking.

-Becca

Monday, May 17, 2010

Susan Faludi Figured Out Why American Dudes Don’t Feel Like Real Men

Considering I’m in school, I’m sure you all are shocked at the lack of paper translations this semester. Well, due to a number of circumstances, I didn’t have a paper returned to me until a few days ago. But here we go.

Original Title: Seeking Masculinity

New Title: Susan Faludi Figured Out Why American Dudes Don’t Feel Like Real Men.

As you know, the dudebro (aka, the “real” man according to a bunch of academics), is a dude who only feels manly when he is in complete control over money, emotions, and society AND when dudebro is dominating women and not doing anything that would get him called ladylike. Susan Faludi wrote a book called “Stiffed” which looks at how that definition hella backfired on the dudebro in post WWII society, leading to a sense that no one actually knows what it means to be a real man.

BREAK IN PAPER TRANSLATION. I realize that I need to do some summary for y’all before I can continue with my paper translation. We’ll continue in a moment.

According to Faludi, when soldiers came back from WWII, they were given these tokenized jobs making lots of money with no real purpose. (Holler at Corporate America). Rather than learning a skill or a trade, their jobs were to watch other people do their jobs, and no one could tell you what they did. Empty jobs to make money, basically. As a result of this, dudes basically became ladies.

Wait what’d you just say?

During the years following WWII, ladies were taken out of the factories and put back into the home, and told that their sense of happiness lie in raising kids and spending all this money that their men were making. It was what was supposed to define ladies as ladies.

Guess what happened? It was meaningless. Buying things didn’t make ladies happy. Ladies weren’t happy about being shoved back into the home. So guess what happened next?

Feminism happened, friends. And from then until present, women have been working to get much more meaningful roles within society.

However, dudes never had feminism. So, when their wives said “F This, I’m out” all they had left were their paychecks. Whereas before, ladies were defined by how much green their dudes brought home, and dudes were defined by providing for a family. Now, dudes were simply defined by the size of their paycheck and their ability to buy things.

Sound familiar? Dudes are now defined exactly the way ladies used to be defined before feminism happened.

BACK TO PAPER TRANSLATION

Because of this whole fathers having meaningless, tokenized jobs, there was a lot of talk of fathers not really being present for the sons of post WWII America. Dads just weren’t around either literally because they were working so much, or figuratively because they realized that they didn’t have any wisdom to pass to their sons. For the dudebro whose dads weren’t around, they had no one to ask ‘what makes for a real man?’ These are the dudes who engaged full tilt in consumer culture or celebrity seeking, only to find that they still didn’t feel like real men and still didn’t know what it meant to be a real man, despite their stuff or their fame.

For the dudebro who had a father figure, it was all about utility. These dudes who worked in this shipyard in long beach had great ‘father-son’ relationships. The older shipyard workers would pass knowledge down the younger ones, and while in the shipyard, people felt like real men. However, the shipyard eventually closed, and when it did many of the younger workers transitioned to not knowing what it felt like to be a real man outside of the shipyard.

So, basically, looking to a father figure in post WWII to figure out how to be a real man … wasn’t’ really working.

So what about looking to each other?

Still didn’t really work, unfortunately. The first reason was institutionalized homophobia (like in the government during the Lavender Scare where they made laws to fire gay people). The second reason was the rising resentment over ladies being in the workplace. The third was trying to define masculinity as anything that wasn’t feminine. These three things together made it so that dudes couldn’t be intimate with other dudes for fear of being seen as gay or ladylike. Even in groups that were supposed to be about growth and support (like this group called the Promise Keepers), the group still only found friendship around buying Promise Keepers gear and spending hella money on Promise Keeper conferences.

Even dudes who were trying to break out and find support were trapped by the dudebro style of masculinity.

So, wtf? What’s a dude to do in a world where looking to their father figures or looking to each other always leads down a path to a definition of manliness that is totally empty and meaningless?

Faludi thinks that’s it’s gonna take letting the dudebro definition of masculinity go. Instead of defining one’s masculinity as opposite of femininity, it’s time to create a new definition. One where the definition of being a real man revolves around embracing some of those girly things like being intimate with same sex peers, and caring for more than just the self, and wanting more than just lots of money to spend on empty things.

END

For those of you who have time to sit through a 600+ page book, Stiffed was actually a really engaging read with much more nuance than I was able to provide in a translation of a 2 page paper.

Keep Thinking!

-Becca

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Becca Answers D’Angelo’s Rhetorical Question

A couple days ago, I was rollin’ through Philly in Lil’ Berry (that’s the name of my car for those of you who aren’t familiar), and D’Angelo’s song “Shit, Damn, Motherfucker” from his Brown Sugar album came on.

For those of you unfamiliar with the song’s premise, it’s pretty simple. The main character of the song (we’ll call him Dudebro for the rest of the post) finds his woman sleeping with another dude, pulls out a gun, kills them, and gets arrested.

For the full lyrics to the song, you can click here.

The song is basically a series of rhetorical questions. The rhetorical question that got me really thinking was:

“Why am I in handcuffs.”

There was a bit of disbelief in that question.  And the disbelief, regardless of how heinous the crime, may actually be for a reason.

Mad props to Dr. Susan Kellogg-Spadt for doing an amazing lecture on the physiology of love during one of my classes. This rhetorical question could not have been answered in this way without her course.

Why is it that Dudebro can’t believe what he’s done?

Because his brain may have been firing off chemicals that make his decision making completely different than when he had not just found out his boo was sleeping with another dude.

It all breaks down to three brain chemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

To explain those really simply:

Dopamine (dope -ah-mean) = The chemical that makes you want to go out and seek pleasure and reward.
Norepinephrine (Nor-ep-en-eff-rin) = A stimulant which make you energetic, sleepless, exhilarated (sound like Cocaine much?).
Serotonin (sare-oh-tone-in) = The chemical that creates calm.

When someone is in a state of love rejection (like Dudebro in the song), dopamine and noreprinephrine are hella high, and serotonin is hella low.

This means that there is no sense of chill, the person is jacked up and looking for an easy way to solve the problem they've encountered.  When the brain is all out of whack, it can cause rash decision making.

It’s why someone who really likes food but normally may be able to control their food portions will eat themselves into oblivion after getting dumped. It’s why sometime people will show up on doorsteps or stop at nothing to try to see their ex. Although there’s more to the story than just brain chemicals, they play a part in that impulsivity.

So, to answer D’Angelo’s rhetorical question, ‘Why am I in handcuffs?”

It’s all because dudebro:
a) Had a gun.
b) Probably had some socialization that taught him violence was a way to solve problems.
c) Had out of whack brain chemicals.


BIG IMPORTANT NOTE: Just because brain chemicals are out of whack, that isn’t ever an excuse to kill, stalk or otherwise do something nonconsensual to anyone else.  Brain chemicals are NOT the whole story, they're only part of it.

I’m sure someday D’Angelo will thank me for answering a question he never needed answered.

My work here is done.

Keep Thinking!

-Becca

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Chicken Man

First, my apologies for the Radio silence on Thursday. Sometimes even I need a day to recover from life. Thursday was one of those days.

But, I am back in action today with something a little different. I've found myself thinking a great deal about acculturation. You know, the process where little kids learn about how their culture works. We do it everyday by telling kids what actions are good and bad; by rewarding them for good actions and punishing them for bad ones.

We also teach kids how to act through our own actions. One of these actions being storytelling. We tell our kids stories or read them stories. The topic of the stories often have morals that we're trying to portray. A common moral for these stories is: someday you are going to fall in love with one person and be with them forever. (And a lot of them are like 'when you're a lady, you're helpless but some faceless dude will come save you and THAT will be the person you're with for the rest of your life).

It makes me stop and wonder what life would be like if we had different stories for children. So I wrote one. I'm thinking it's more a late-childhood story, but I don't usually write for people who are younger than teens, so I have no idea if they'd get the moral.  In any case, I thought I'd take a swing, and here it is.

Keep Thinking!

-Becca

The Chicken Man

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Parker who grew up in a small village next to a river. Parker lived with her mother, father, and 3 brothers. Parker and her family ran a small inn where weary travelers could go to rest their heads and fill their bellies. Parker liked working in the inn because she got to meet a whole bunch of interesting people.

One time, a man with a boat full of 700 chickens stayed in the inn. When Parker found out about his cargo, she said to him “I will call you the Chicken Man”. The Chicken Man was very handsome and also very nice. He smiled at Parker and said “Then that will be my name.” Parker grinned a wide grin and noticed that her mother was also grinning at the Chicken Man.

That night, Parker thought that she would bring an extra glass of water to the Chicken Man because he had been so nice to her. She knocked on the door to his room. No one answered, so she slowly peeked her head in to make sure he was all right. Instead of the Chicken Man, her father was sitting on the bed, reading a book. She was so surprised that she dropped the glass on the floor.

“Father,” Parker said, “Why are you staying in the Chicken Man’s room? And where is the Chicken Man?”

Parker’s father looked at her for a moment. Parker was almost 13 years old. She had started her monthly bleeds over a year ago and her breasts and hips were starting to fill out. She watched her father look at her until he said “Parker, it is time you know how love really works.”

“But father” said Parker “you’ve already told me of love. Was everything you told me a lie?”

“No, child” said Parker’s father “but I did not tell you the whole story because you weren’t of an age where you would understand. I think that you are old enough now. Would you like to learn?”

Parker nodded her head and sat with her father on the bed.

“If I am in the Chicken Man’s room right now,” Parker’s father asked “where do you think the Chicken Man is?”

Parker thought long and hard. She figured he wasn’t at his boat. It was too cold and all those chickens must be really loud. She figured he wasn’t in the dining area. She had just cleaned that up and it was empty. She figured he wasn’t in the washroom. She had seen one of her brothers go in there with a book. He’d be there for a while. She thought and thought and thought, and then it finally dawned on her.

“If you are here, the Chicken Man must be in your bedroom with Mother,” she said.

Her father smiled at Parker, and she felt proud of herself for being so bright. Then, Parker got confused.

“Wait a second,” Parker said “Why is Mother in your bedroom with the Chicken Man?”

“What do you already know about love?” asked Parker’s father.

Parker repeated what her father had told her many times, “Mother is the love of your life. You care for her more than anyone. Well, except for my brothers and me. The only person that you want to share the rest of your life with is her. You like seeing her and being around her very very very much. And she feels the same way about you.”

“That” said Parker’s father “is emotional love. But there is another kind of love called ‘physical love’.”

Parker’s brow rumpled in confusion. “What is the difference?” Parker asked.

Parker’s father smiled and asked, “When you look at Jared from three cottages down, how do you feel?”

Parker’s face turned red from her chin to the roots of her hair. Jared was tall, had dark hair, and could climb a tree higher than any other kid in the village. How could her father know that looking at Jared made her heart race and her stomach do loops? She had never talked to Jared in person, but she wondered if her father knew that she thought about Jared and touched herself.

Before she could say all this out loud, her father said, “What you feel when you look at Jared are the pangs of physical love.” He told Parker that ‘lust’ was another word for physical love. Lust was when you wanted to rub and touch and sometimes have sex with another person.

“Do you and Mother have lust for each other?” asked Parker.

“Very much, Parker,” said Parker’s father. “But sometimes we also have lust for other people.”

“I always thought that once someone fell in love that they didn’t feel lust for other people,” Parker said, confused.

“I think it would be easier that way, sometimes,” said Parker’s father “But, the idea of two people falling in love and then NEVER feeling lust for anyone else is a fairy tale. Even when you love someone as much as I love your mother, sometimes you still feel lust for other people.”

“But shouldn’t you just ignore those feelings? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you love someone?” asked Parker.

“Some people try to be in love that way,” said Parker’s father “For some, it works and they are happy. For others, they find lust to be too powerful and they rub or touch or have sex with another anyway. When their love finds out, they can be hurt or sad or they can fall out of love. Your mother and I decided that we would rather tell each other first. This way, if we are feeling hurt or sad, we can tell each other before we fall out of love.”

“But when you have lust and you rub or touch or have sex with someone that isn’t Mother, do you love Mother less?” asked Parker.

“No Parker,” said Parker’s father, “When I have lust for other people, it is usually only lust. After I rub or touch or have sex with other people, I am still very much in love with your Mother.”

Parker thought and thought and thought and then said, “So mother is feeling lust for the Chicken Man. And that is why she and the Chicken Man are in a room together. That is why you are in the Chicken Man’s room.”

“You are a very smart girl, Parker,” said Parker’s father. “Do you have any other questions?”

“Yes. Let’s say Jared and I fall in love. Does that mean I could still lust after and rub or touch or have sex with Adrian from the market?” Asked Parker.

Parker’s father laughed loudly and smiled deeply at Parker. “Yes. But you would have to have lots of talks with Jared first,” said Parker’s father.

“What kinds of talks?” asked Parker.

“That, my love, is for another night. It is past your bedtime,” said Parker’s father.

As Parker went to bed, she thought about her mother and the Chicken Man. She understood a little better why her mother had been grinning at him so widely. She bet that her mother was still grinning.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Becca’s Gonna Valprehend You (If You’re Lucky)

val.pre.hend [vālp'rĭ-hěnd']
v. valprehended, valprehending, valprehends
1. To actively grab or seize with a vagina or rectum. When in reverse cowgirl, she valprehended his cock until he orgasmed and passed out.

Believe it or not, when I write these posts, I think very carefully about the language that I use and the way in which I say things.

Despite how much time I put into thinking about my language, I am not always perfect.

Sometimes, I’m not perfect on purpose because I feel that a less ‘pc’ phrase or statement is more powerful than one that isn’t.

Sometimes, I’m not perfect because I’m writing a blog post in less time than I should because I’ve procrastinated.

And then there are times when I’m not perfect because there is no language with which to describe certain things.

This is how the word ‘Valprehend’ came to be.

A reader sent me a message concerning how they had issues with my Yes, No, Maybe Chart. Not huge issues, but simply issues with the fact that in the section pertaining to penetrative positions, I defined all of them in terms of the penetrator. The critique was that this creates a framework where only the person penetrating gets credit for effort.

And while at first I was like, ‘I’m just trying to make things clear,’ I eventually put my ego in check and realized that my reader was totally right. However, upon examining words that exist, I could not find any that, for me, had the equivalent power of the word ‘penetrate.’

Being someone who has valprehended many a person in her day, I know how active, powerful and strong valprehending can be.

But I hadn’t found a word yet, so I turned to someone that I consider a good resource for sex language, Charlie Glickman.  He also didn’t know of a word, so he suggested we make one up.

So, being as that lots of English is based in greek roots, I scoured the interwebs and found out that Val means strong and Prehend means to grasp or seize. Imagine my joy when I put those together to make a word that has strength, agency, and the same sizzle as penetrate: Valprehend.

I e-mailed my idea to Charlie, and he dug it. He breaks it down in a really great way, so you should check out his post on Valprehending too!

So here’s why I think actually using this word is important, and although there are many viewpoints that could back me up, I’m going to use the one I’ve heard most often from the dudes I’ve been chatting up lately.

A HUGE complaint that I get from lots of these dudes is that they have to do all the work during penetrative sex. They’re the ones thrusting and grinding and riding and whatnot, and their partners are just laying there receiving. While this is okay part of the time, these dudes that I’ve talked to often mention that it would be nice (and hot) if their partner would put in a little more effort.

Although there have been many folks who have valprehended in the past, many who are velprehending right now, and even more who will valprehend in the future, up until this word they were simply ‘receivers.’ Regardless of the work the valprehender was putting in, their actions were reduced to passivity because of the limitations of language. No matter how hard they worked, the receiving partner is never seen as active in language.

Until now.

The word Valprehend is a word that is meant to make people feel powerful (val does mean ‘strong’ after all). It’s specifically designed to bring up the idea of a person doing work, being active, and putting in effort.

And if we all begin to use a word with that meaning, it makes the concept real and makes the activity more likely to occur in reality.

So for all you ladies and gents who identify as penetrators, you should use the word to help your partners get on equal footing and maybe get those passive partners to step up their agency. And for all you receivers out there who have been grasping and grinding and putting in effort, you should use the word to give all your effort meaning.

Although Valprehend may not be a word you shout during sex (unless you’re me and love nerdy sex talk), using Valprehend in everyday conversation can make a world where there is a possibility that anyone can be the active partner.

So go out and have some consensual valprehensive sex. You deserve it!

Keep Thinking (and Valprehending)!

-Becca

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Becca Copes with Being Dumped

Although I usually like to spit straight knowledge at y’all, I thought that I would provide a different service today.

Today I’m going to show you how I’m coping with being recently dumped (for the first time ever).

But first, because I understand that just like my daily poop, not all dumps look the same, I will describe to you the situation.

Basically, I met Dude while he was in a polyamorous marriage where Wifey knew about and approved of Dude dating me. When I started dating Dude, he told me his marriage was on the rocks. Throughout the time I knew Dude, shit with Wifey was confusing and shaky, as relationships on the verge of divorce tend to be. Not to mention Dude and Wifey have kids, which makes things more complicated.

(And yes, I realize that while managing to avoid relationships most of my life, I picked the least complicated situation to try one out in.) <-- Sarcasm

So, although our relationship was no doubt fun and introduced me to many a new experience, Dude had some serious personal shit that he needed to take care of.

And so on Monday, Dude held my hand and in a very compassionate manner told me that he couldn’t see me anymore. He couldn’t do right by his family or by me by splitting his attention, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t make the right choice by choosing his family.

Bummer, right? Well, yeah, but I’m coping.

And I feel like because many of the ways in which people cope are seen as qualities that constitute weakness or frailty (in this culture, anyway), that people don’t share what goes down after that bombshell moment.

So, even though I know I’m probably not out of the woods yet, I felt like sharing my process might a) help me to continue on my stellar processual trajectory and b) perhaps help my 12 readers to process previous or future moments where they are the dumped.

Or maybe even just help people out there to know that they’re not alone in their emotions.


Coping Mechanism 1: Hella Crying

When he told me, after he told me, 24 hours after he told me, and still sporadically when it needs to happen. Crying, sobbing, bawling. All different kinds of crying to best suit the emotion.

Crying has probably been the most healing part of this process. I’m not sure why it feels so damn good, but all these good cries I’ve been having have helped tremendously in letting me get out the wordless emotions that I’m currently experiencing.


Coping Mechanism #2: Thinking About The Relationship

Have you ever had a chancre sore or a cut in your mouth? You know how you lick the wound and it stings the first time you do it … but as you do it more and more the stinging sensation dulls and then goes away, eventually?

This is like that, but with thoughts. At first, thinking about the experiences that had gone down brought me to mechanism number 1. Many times.

But as I thought about the same moments on loop, they began to dissociate with the hurt. That is to say, the more that I thought about my memories, the more they regained the emotion originally associated with their creation.

Which, generally means the re-associated themselves positively and no longer produced a crying response. This serves to both help me hold on to some of the really positive elements of the liaison, and to not ruin the whole experience simply because I currently feel shitty.

Coping Mechanism #3: Doing Math

Apparently, doing math is my new favorite thing!

But I looked at Day 1, and Day 1 was filled with hella crying pretty consistently.

Day 2, I didn’t wake up crying, but there was a good amount of it throughout the day.

Day 3, I maybe cried like 5 times.

The amount of crying and feeling bad about the situation is exponentially decreasing day by day.

This makes me even more driven to repeat step #2, as that seems to be helping in decreasing the instances of crying.

Coping Mechanism #4: Having a Good Friend on Call

This friend happened to be pretty familiar with the whole situation. Although I’m not entirely savvy with pouring my heart out, I felt like my homey’s very presence and support has been pretty clutch in quickstyle healing.

Coping Mechanism #5: Food Therapy

Ice cream, coffee, cheesesteaks, soda. I’m mandating an end to this by Friday, but a little food therapy has gone a long way in making me feel better about all this. I do love me some delicious comfort food.

Coping Mechanism #6: Substance

Not too much, but enough to help my brain shut-off for a couple hours at a time. Although thinking about what went down has helped me to desensitize, sometimes shutting down and giving my brain a rest was a good call. 

Coping Mechanism #7: Complete Electronic Censoring

So, something that I’ve always said is that the best way to get over someone is to simply cut them out of your life for a while. I’ve never really understood the whole ‘let’s be friends’ concept because I think all it does is create emotional confusion. Don’t get me wrong, I think after a period of separation (and that period, of course, depends upon how long the relationship lasted), peeps can totally be friends.

I don’t think that’s possible until emotional separation has been completed. And I don’t think emotional separation is possible in a world where you’re still connected to that person.

With that being said, I deleted text messages, facebook contact, twitter feeds, and wherever else I was connected to Dude.

Although thinking about him is important, being subjected to his reality is something that I don’t need until I’ve completed my emotional separation. I’m not trying to erase the past, but I don’t need him to be a part of my present until I’m ready to make that a conscious choice.

Coping Mechanism #8: Seeing the Ending as a Possibility.

I don’t know why I see every ending as a new possibility, but it’s something that I have endless belief in. Doors have to close, eventually. And for whatever reason, I feel like all this time I now have is going to manifest in a level of productivity I’ve not yet seen out here in Philly.

Along this end, I’ve been keeping busy, which is always good. Keeping busy means that I am, at times, distracted. This keeps me from being holistically preoccupied with the situation. The more I spend time in good, busy time, the less time I’m able to spend wallowing.


Coping Mechanism #9: Self-Absorbed Blogging

Gotta admit, this shit is therapeutic. Although for some, escaping is perhaps the easiest way to cope, for me, making this as real as possible is helping me to work through it.

Sharing it with my 18 readers makes it real.

Coping Mechanism #10: Asking You To Forego the Pity

Because of all my coping mechanisms, I’m chill. I don’t need a Pity Party. You’re welcome to try to give me a hug, but that’s like the extent of my tolerance for pity. I don’t pity me in this situation because I actually respect Dude’s decision and think it’s for the best. I just wanna get rollin’ on the rest of my life, because life moves whether or not I’ve been dumped.

In Conclusion:

I don’t know how you all have coped with being dumped in the past, but I’m feeling pretty good about things … all things considered.

I would also like to say that although I love talking, educating and thinking about poop … I’m not a fan of the word ‘dumped.’ Sometimes, ending a relationship doesn’t need the connotation of excrement … because sometimes it really isn’t that bad.

Just Sayin’.

Keep Thinking!

-Becca

Monday, April 26, 2010

How Ditching Pads and Tampons Can Save The World

Those of you who are close to me know how much I love Menstrual Cups. When I began to hash this post out, I was simply going to rave about how amazing menstrual cups are.

And believe me, they are. They last for up to 10 years, can be worn for up to 12 hours, are hypoallergenic, have no TSS risks, don’t suck away the body’s natural fluids, are easy to carry, easy to transport, and are really cheap. Plus it’s my personal opinion that because they require manual removal by putting your fingers in your vag that they eventually make you less grossed out about periods, and help you to become more connected to what’s going on with your body.

But this post is not about all that stuff. This post is specifically going to speak to helping you all think more critically about how pads and tampons affect the environment.

DUDES. FELLAS. GUYS. PEOPLE WHO DON’T MENSTRUATE. This post is for you too. Even though I know that you don’t surf the crimson wave, I’m assuming that you may know one person who does. Maybe you have a wife or a girlfriend. Maybe you have a sister or a mom or an aunt or a daughter. Maybe you have a female friend. Maybe you know someone with a uterus. Even though you can’t use a menstrual cup, you can forward this post along or have a conversation with your uterus bearing acquaintance.

So let’s get on with it!

Pads and Tampons made by mainstream companies (Tampax, Kotex, OB, Playtex, Always, etc), are made in such a way that they do not biodegrade. This means that when you use these products, they will sit in a landfill far after you’ve stopped menstruating and even long after you’re no longer on this earth (either because of interplanetary travel or, you know, death).

And I’m not just talking the actual pads/tampons themselves. There are also the plastic tampon applicators, the plastic packaging that the pads/tampons come in, and any plastic packaging used to sell the products in multiples (assuming it’s a non-recyclable plastic).

All of it becomes waste that just sits in a landfill forever.

How much waste? Let’s do some math!

• Tampons are about 5 cubic inches in size.
• Since I’m supposed to change my tampon every 4-6 hours, I’ll probably use about 6 per day.
• If my cycle is 5 days, that’s 30 tampons.
• Every cycle, I will create about 150 in3 (or .01 ft3) of waste that will sit in a landfill forever.
• If I menstruate from the age of 11 to the age of 51 every 28 days; that means that I will have 521 cycles over the course of my menstruating life.
• Over the course of my lifetime, I will leave behind 78,150 in3 (45 ft3) of non-biodegradable waste.
• To reiterate that, I will leave behind a box that measures 3’ x 3’ x 5’ of used tampons (plus all of the plastic waste that came with my tampons) as a gift the next generation has to deal with. (And that box will be larger if I use pads.)

Now a 3’ x 3’ x 5’ box doesn’t seem like all that much space. Except, I hate to break this to you all, I am not the only menstruating woman in the world.

There are about 3 billion women in the world, actually. At some point in their lives, if not currently, most of these women will experience menstruation. Which means that even though I only fill a small box personally, if even a quarter of the women in the world use mainstream tampons … we’re working together to create some serious long-lasting waste.

To counterpoint this with Menstrual Cups; here’s some more math:
• Menstrual Cups are about 1.6 in3 (.0009 ft3) in size.
• Over the course of my lifetime, I might go through 5 menstrual cups.
• Which means, if the cup doesn’t biodegrade (some do), I will leave 8 in3 (.005 ft3) of waste behind.
• To reiterate, that is a box that is 2” x 2” x 2” of waste over the course of a lifetime. (Note that this is a tiny 2 inch cube, and the last example was a box measured in feet).
• The cardboard box (if it came in one) and the paper instructions, along with the fabric bags I carried my cup in were all recycled or will biodegrade.

In addition to landfill space, there’s also the manufacturing process to think about. Now, I’m not a tampon manufacturer and I surely don’t know the process involved, however I’m assuming that to manufacture tampons, one needs electricity, raw materials, chemicals, and water.

Which are things you also need in manufacturing menstrual cups.

But, because I’m all about math right now, let’s look at this in numbers again.

• If we go back to the 30 tampons per cycle and 521 cycles in a lifetime model, over the course of my lifetime, I will need 15,360 tampons.
• Let’s say I buy my tampons in 20 packs. This means I’ll need 782 packs of tampons over the course of my lifetime.

In thinking about my tampon use, I need to think about more than just the waste that results when I discard my tampons. I also need to think about all the resources required to make them AND the resources required to make the packaging my tampons come in. (Not to mention the shipping process that gets them into stores).

I need to think about this with menstrual cups too, but over the course of my lifetime, I may only need 5.

15,360 is way more than 5. 782 is way more than 5.

So even if it takes more resources to make 1 menstrual cup than it does to make 1 tampon, I’m using so many less menstrual cups that in the battle of both product and packaging manufacture, using tampons results in a much greater environmental strain.

Not to mention that tampons and pads are manufactured with chemicals (bleaching agents, adhesives, etc) that (while being bad for your body) also leach into the soil after you’ve thrown them away.

Now in terms of why they’re manufactured this way, I have no answers for you. But I can tell you that you’re not powerless in all this.

So what can you do?

Depends on your commitment. I’ll break it down for you:

Starting Small:
• Switch to tampons that don’t use applicators or that use cardboard applicators instead of plastic applicators, thereby getting rid of applicator waste.
• Use the smallest pads/tampons possible for your flow to cut down on the number of pads/tampons you’re using per cycle. (Don’t, however, leave them in/on longer as that could result in TSS or infection.)
• Switch from pads to tampons.
• Forward this post to other people you think should know about this.

Getting Serious
• Switch to 100% cotton pads/tampons (Natracare, 7th Generation, etc) because they will biodegrade AND because their packaging is often paper-based and recyclable.
• Write to the mainstream pad and tampon companies asking why they’re not making environmentally conscious products.
• Ask your local drug stores, health food stores, and other retailers to have products like 100% cotton pads and tampons, cups, and reusable pads in stock.

Go Big or Go Home
• Switch to a menstrual cup (Moon Cup, Diva Cup, The Keeper, Miacup, Lunette).
• Switch to a washable, reusable pad (Glad Rags, Lunapads, etc.)
• Start a petition to major corporations demanding they change the way their products are made.
• Start a petition asking major tampon/pad companies to start manufacturing a line of ‘Green’ products.
• Petition large retailers (like Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc) to carry products like cups, reusable pads and 100% cotton products for purchase.

In Conclusion

Go Green! And although I didn’t mention this specifically, this is one of those instances that by going green, you’re also going to save some green. Do I hear more math? Hell yeah!

• So, we’ve already discovered that I’m going to use 15,360 tampons over the course of my life.
• I randomly looked up tampons on Amazon and the cheapest deal I could find was $.15 per tampon.
• Which brings my lifetime grand total to: $2304 (pre tax and shipping).

• I’ve estimated 5 menstrual cups over a lifetime, but I’m going to up it to 10 for this example (people lose things, burn things, etc).
• On Amazon (although I’ve found them cheaper elsewhere) the cheapest cup price is $22.
• Which brings my lifetime grand total to: $220 (pre tax and shipping).

A total savings of: $2084

By switching to a cup, you’ll be saving your bank account AND the world.

Keep Thinking

-Becca

Thursday, April 22, 2010

10 Sexuality Haikus

As The Sun Rises
Tired, Sexy Awakenings
Morning Sex is King

Hitachi Magic
A Guaranteed Orgasm
Wand Your Clit Daily

Wrapped Around a Cock
Watching in a Sex Mirror
Damn that’s Fucking Hot

Peeing before Sex
Keeping UTIs Away
Let’s Pee After Too

Bend Over Boyfriend
Harness Strap-On Dildo Fun
He Loves Taking It

He has a Prostate
She’s Rocking Hella Skene’s Glands
G-Spot Fun for All

Hair Pulling, Spanking,
Hands Held Firmly Above Head
Let’s Do Light SM

Pull Boobs Out of Bras
Nipples, Nipples Ev’rywhere
Need to Find a Mouth

Mainstream Tampons Are
Non-Biodegradable
Try a Menstrual Cup

Don’t Hate on Foreskin
More Sensitive Penis Heads
Maybe you’re Jealous

I Love a Haiku!
Fun to Write and Fun to Read
Keep Thinking -Becca

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Black Box

Throwback Erotica from my days as an undergrad! Enjoy!

-Becca

My hands are tied behind my back. I’m sitting in the most uncomfortable chair I’ve ever been in. I’m completely naked except for the stilettos on my feet and the bow in my hair. I couldn’t get out of this even if I wanted to. He enters the room with a box. I get wet thinking about what could possibly be in that box.

He smiles at me coyly, and sets the box down on the floor next to my feet. He looks at me and just smiles. This silence from him is unbearable, as he is usually already barking commands at me. He’s fucking gorgeous draped in black leather. His eyeliner is perfect, and his long raven hair is pulled taught back away from his face. He begins to touch my face softly, and I can smell that his nails are freshly painted. The smell of the enamel kisses my nostrils, and I close my eyes to take the smell in.

Upon seeing this, he harshly grabs my chin, forces me to look at him, and shakes his head ‘No’ at me. I don’t want to be punished too harshly this evening so I stop. His hands move from my face to caressing my belly and nipples, and I marvel at how gentle he’s being with me this time. It makes me even wetter, while at the same time I want him to be a little rougher. He sees this in my eyes, and he crouches down over his black box.

He takes my nipples into his mouth, while forcing my head back so I can’t watch. And then the harsh, painful sensation rushes into my nipples. I look down and he’s applied clamps on my now heavily throbbing nipples. The clamps are smaller than I’m used to, and the pain is so intense a tear escapes my right eye.

He sees this and smiles. He licks the tear off my face while he forces my legs apart. His mouth travels in between my tits, grazing the clamps, reasserting the pain on my nipples, and then his tongue is quickly buried in my wet cunt. He is only gentle with me at first, until he knows that I can handle what he has to throw at me. What started as soft licking becomes a hard pointed tongue stabbing at my clit. My back begins to arch in approval, but he plants his hands on my hips, constricting their movement. He then sucks and bites my clit, sending shocks of both pleasure and pain coursing through my body. It’s so fucking amazing I’m about to come, but he’s definitely not finished yet.

He brings his face away from my cunt just a few minutes before I’m about to come. I’m sweating and wanting nothing more for him to let me finish right there. He sees this in my face and once again, wordlessly, lets me know that it’s his show, and I’m going to come when he very well wants me to.

He turns his back to me, and leaves me there, panting, wet, sweating, and helpless. I can see him put it on. He pulls it up over his pants. I know what’s coming, and I only hope that he hurries the hell up. I want it and the thought of it makes me almost lose my shit right there, alone, in the chair.

He looks over his shoulder and sees the anxious look in my eyes. He walks behind the chair without turning around, and then there it is. Large, black, and silicone. Not like flesh colored black, but a deep ebony black, like piano keys. It’s sitting there, on my shoulder. I turn my head to lick it, but he pulls my hair and wrenches my mouth away from it. He moves the dildo in the crook of my neck, near my mouth, teasing me with it. I let out a little whimper, hoping he will hurry it up, because I want it in me. He forces my head back and, again, without a sound lets me know that he’ll do it when he’s good and ready.

He slowly rotates around the chair, and the huge dildo is right at the level of my mouth. He grabs my head and forces my mouth around it. I take the dildo in as far as I can, gagging every so often as he tries to force it farther down my fairly inexperienced throat. As I go down on his massive silicone member he fiddles with the clamps on my nipples. The pain of the rubber cock in my mouth as well as his tampering with nipple clamps makes my body throb.

My clit is burning, waiting for attention from him. But instead of just proceeding, he steps back from the scene. He slips a hand under the harness into his pants, and begins to rub his cock. He’s looking into my eyes, with a smirk on his face. I begin to rock my hips in an attempt to satiate my yearning clit, and he immediately rushes over and prohibits any movement on my part.

He straddles me and the huge black dildo is positioned in between our stomachs. His hand is in his pants still caressing his own cock, and his hand is close enough only to tease my clit. I’m starting to get impatient, but afraid to act, in fear that he will stop.

He moves so that his hand hits my clit as he caresses his own dick. The contact is small and indirect, but it fucking felt great. As I’m starting to enjoy this more and more, he gets off me and crouches down to untie my ankles.

He licks my dripping pussy once and then pulls my legs open and forward, positioning my pussy on the edge of the chair. He pulls one of my legs up and thrusts the large dildo into me. It’s wider than I’m used to and is uncomfortable at first. As he thrusts in and out in long, fast strokes it gets easier and feels better. He’s thrusting hard and fast and I can see the perspiration stand out on his forehead. As he thrusts, he roughly plays with my clit. After only thrusting for a few minutes, my body is hot and I know I’m going to come. I look at him to let him know, and I rock my hips in time with his thrusting. The dildo is still moving smoothly in and out of my pussy as I start to come. My eyes roll back into my head and as they’re half open, he rips the clamps off my nipples. The pain rushes into my nipples and it adds a whole new level to the intensity of my orgasm. I spew juices all over the cold floor and my body, covered in sweat, goes limp in the chair.

He unties my hands, and lays me down on the cold, wet floor. He collects all of his materials, puts them in his little black box, and turns to leave. Just before he leaves, he pulls the bow out of my hair. He looks at me, and I know he wants to take it with him. I nod at him approvingly, and he places the black ribbon in his black box.

“Thanks.”

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chla … what? Chlamydia!

‘They’ say that you should always write what you know. And right now, something that I know a whole bunch about is the Sexually Transmitted Infection, Chlamydia.

So sit back, and enjoy the obligate intracellular bacterial pathogenic ride, kiddies.

First things first, Chlamydia is actually a genus.

Not a genius, a genus. That means that there are actually HELLA different species of Chlamydia. And most of those species actually affect animals (like hamsters, cats and livestock!).

Two species of Chlamydia affect people: Pneumoniae and Trachomatis.

The sexually transmitted one is Trachomatis (pronounced track-ohhh-mah-tis). That’s the one I’m talking about!

Second things second, Chlamydia Trachomatis affects five places on your body.

Cervixes, Urethras, Rectums, Throats and Eyes.

This means that any time affected fluids come into contact with one of those surfaces, Chlamydia can spread. (Which means you may want to think twice before you ejaculate or fejaculate into someone’s eye.)

Third things third, Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI around.

There are an estimated 90 million cases of Chlamydia Trachomatis worldwide per year, and 2.2 million in the U.S. Now, that doesn’t mean 90 million people a year are being infected, as Chlamydia can reinfect you even after you've been treated for it.  Which means that it COULD be 3 people getting infected 30 million times per year (it's not).

Fourth things fourth, Most people don’t know when they have Chlamydia.

It’s estimated that 75% of ladies and 50% of fellas who have Chlamydia have no clue that they have it.

Why?

The most common thing that happens to your body when you get Chlamydia … is absolutely nothing. But even though you’re not showing any symptoms, you can still totally spread Chlamydia to other people.

Fifth things fifth, let’s talk about what happens when Chlamydia gets into your body.

In the short term, if you are gonna rock symptoms, ladies will have things like inflamed cervixes or urethras, which can lead to irregular discharge (yellow, usually), irregular bleeding, painful peeing, pain and/or bleeding during sex.

For fellas, it’ll be an inflamed urethra, which can lead to irregular discharge and pain when you pee.

Anuses can also get inflamed, so if you’re receiving anal sex, make sure the person testing you knows.

Also, if you have a sore throat and can’t seem to pin down why it’s sore … it’s possible you’ve gotten Chlamydia back there if you’ve been giving head.

For ladies, leaving Chlamydia untreated can lead to health problems like PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), Salpingitis (inflamed oviducts), and Endometriosis (where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus). These, in and of themselves, can be a painful ordeal. These can also cause scarring in your uterus and oviducts (fallopian tubes), which can lead to pregnancies in the fallopian tubes (ectopic pregnancies) or the problems even trying to have babies (infertility).

For fellas, long term effects are rare, but can lead to something called epidimo-orchitis. What? That means that your epididymis (a part of your testicle) can be painful, you can have a fever, and sometimes it can lead to infertility too.

Remember … these symptoms could also be signs of about a million other things. The only way to know what’s going on for sure is to talk to a health care practitioner!

Sixth things sixth, what in the hell does Obligate Intracellular Bacterial Pathogen Mean?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Obligate = C. needs a host (person) to survive. Intracellular = C. reproduces inside a cell. Bacterial = C. is a single celled organism. Pathogen = a disease spreading agent.

So wait what? Basically, in order for Chlamydia to spread, it HAS to get into the cells of a host.

So, if you ejaculate onto a table, the Chlamydia isn’t going to be able to reproduce, because it doesn’t have a live host to feed off of.

Also, because Chlamydia only attacks certain cells (the ones on the sites I listed earlier), you also can’t spread Chlamydia by say, fejaculating all over your partner’s back. Although it comes in contact with cells, they aren’t the right cells.

Seventh things seventh, there are certain ways to spread Chlamydia.

Penis-vagina sex, penis-anus sex, oral sex, mother-to-child, and by sharing sex toys.

And, like I mentioned, if sex fluids get into eyes or throats, that can spread Chlamydia to the eyes or throat.

In terms of mother to child, this isn’t an ‘in the womb’ kinda thing. Basically, babies get Chlamydia in their eyes while they’re being pushed through the birth canal.

This means that preventing infants from getting Chlamydia is as simple as making sure that Mama has been tested and treated for Chlamydia BEFORE she gives birth.

Eighth things eighth, Chlamydia is totally preventable.

Don’t want Chlamydia? There are lots of things you can do to not get it.
1. Dry hump, strip tease, have cyber sex, or basically do anything where you avoid coming into contact with sex fluids.
2. Not realistic for you? Then when you are doing things that involve sex fluids, make sure you use things like Condoms, Female Condoms, or Dental Dams to avoid as much contact with sex fluids as possible.
3. Get tested! If you have a partner, get them tested. If either of you have Chlamydia, get treated for it, and hold off on having sex until you’ve finished treatment completely.
4. Be fluid bonded. That means you both get tested (for all STIs, of course) and then you only have unprotected sex with each other. If you have other partners, make sure that you’re doing step 2 with them.

Ninth things ninth, when should testing happen?

1. Anytime you have symptoms, or anytime a partner tells you that they’re infected.
2. If you’re having sex with more than one person, get tested at least once per year.
3. If you’re pregnant.
4. If you are a lady under 25, you should be especially vigilant with testing because your cervix isn’t fully developed and more likely to pick up infection.

Tenth things tenth, Chlamydia is totally curable.

Luckily, Chlamydia is caused by a living thing. Living things can be killed. For you, that means that Chlamydia can be completely removed from your system through treatment.

If you get Chlamydia (and unless you’re allergic to these meds or pregnant) your doc will hit you up with a 7 day, twice a day dose of Doxycycline, or a 1 shot dose of slow-releasing Azythromcin.

Conclusion

So … what should you take away from this?

• The best way to deal with Chlamydia is not to get it at all. So rock some dry humping, testing, and/or condoms to keep yourself having to deal with it.
• Although you may not be showing symptoms, it’s possible you may still have Chlamydia, so make sure you get screened regularly!
• If you think you’ve got it, hit up a doctor or clinic.
• If you do have it, don’t have sex until your treatment is over AND make sure you’re following the instructions for treatment.
• Obligate Intracellular Bacterial Pathogen is a sweet phrase.

Keep Thinking!

-Becca

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sex? WTF is Sex?

First, my apologies for this post being on the later side. After a long ass weekend of crazy hardcore studying so that I could rock a presentation on the physiology of Chlamydia AND pass a test on sexual physiology … I did not want to use the brain at all. But luckily, my brain is pretty resilient, and we’re back in business. So let’s get to it!

So, this is a sexblog, right? Right.

Being as that this is a sexblog, I’ve decided that I’ve missed a very important opportunity to take the time to give you all a solid definition for the word 'Sex.'

My apologies for those of you who have been reading this and have been like … wait, sex? WTF is sex?

So … wtf IS sex?

Aside from being the second track on Oomph!’s album ‘Sperm’, sex, in the way that I think most peeps think about it, has two main definitions.

One definition is talking about biological sex. I.e. when a baby pops out of a vag or gets pulled out of a uterus surgically, or whatever … the doc opens up the baby’s legs, looks at the tiny genitals and goes: “This baby is a ….” And then based on that, we either slap a football in its hand or tell it it’s going to be a great mother someday. This is not the kind of sex that I will be defining for you today (although based on my previous statement, perhaps I need to dedicate some blog time to it).

So what am I talking about then?

SEX. Sex. Sssssseeeexxxxx.

Say the word. Roll it around in your mouth and in your brain. What do you think of?

If you’re a dictionary, my guess is you think that word means sexual intercourse … which in dictionaryland is most commonly defined as a penis going into a vagina (i.e. coitus).

Some of you, even if you’re not dictionaries, may have thought that as well.

I’m guessing that many of you thought of something that was completely different. Maybe what you thought about didn’t have anything to do with a penis. Maybe it didn’t have to do with a vagina. Maybe it involved other parts of the body. Maybe it didn’t involve two people. Maybe it involved more than 2 people.

For those of you whose definitions of sex don’t line up with the dictionary, I’m here to assure you that you are 100% correct in your definition.

Because, the thing about sex is that there is no simple dictionary definition that can encompass what sex really is. Not to mention that the dictionary definition of sex implies that the only kind of sex you can have is heterosexual sex designed for making babies. Most of the sex that we have in this world is not designed for making babies, and I definitely know that non-hetero folks have sex too.

So the meaning of the word sex is totally up to you to define.

If walking through a field of daises holding hands with your partner is sex to you … then it is.

If putting your penis in a vagina is sex to you … then it is.

If having peanut butter licked off your toes while you sing the national anthem is sex to you … then it is.

If putting your vulva in someone’s mouth is sex to you … then it is.

If transferring certain bodily fluids is sex to you … then it is.

And if two of those things, none of those things, or all of those things are sex to you … then they are (or aren’t).

So if I had to scribe a dictionary definition of sex, what would it say?

Sex (seks) – noun – Whatever you damn well think it is.

Keep Thinking (about sex)

-Becca

PS. Despite the fact that I believe that you can define sex however you'd like, I do also still believe that when you're having sex, it needs to be consensual.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What do YOU wanna know?

So,  I'm not gonna lie, my previous blog post needs to be the feature for at least a week.  So if you haven't read it already, please do.

Even though I'm trying to keep the focus on last week's piece, I realized today that I have more than 3 readers.

Which is awesome!  Keep reading and forwarding posts to people you think could benefit from a little light (okay, sometimes heavy) reading.

But because I realize I have more than 3 readers, I also realize that there are some topics that you all may want to hear about.  Don't get me wrong, I have lots that I can continue to pump out, but I also like to gear my content toward the people who are reading!  Because, well, this blog really is for you (okay, it's for me too ... I think writing is pretty damn fun).

So, have a topic that you want to know about?  Post a comment with your topic idea.  Send an e-mail to smarthotfun at gmail.com, and let me know what you'd like to hear about!

I can't guarantee I'll ever write about all the topic ideas I recieve, but I promise I will keep a repository!

Also, I finally caved and got a twitter.  Follow me at @SuperHotFun!!

Keep Thinking (about what you'd like me to write about)!

-Becca

Monday, April 5, 2010

Moving Past Rape Permissive Culture (aka: Yous a Douche Alex Knepper)

Recently, the following controversy over the views of an editorial writer (Alex Knepper) for American University’s student newspaper was brought to my attention. You can click here for the original column.

I read both pieces and at first was simultaneously dumbstruck and not completely unsympathetic.  But because I often feel I cannot fully grasp sexual assault and rape because I've never experienced either, I almost decided not to respond.

Because when I sat down to write I thought, “What could I possibly lend to this topic? I am one of the lucky ones.”

And then I thought very critically about that sentiment.

I consider myself lucky because I have never been sexually assaulted or raped. In considering myself lucky, that necessarily points to an idea that rape and sexual assault are so normal, so routine and such a common occurrence that if I haven’t experienced it, I am amongst a charmed few to escape something that is so pervasive it has become normalized.

Although I am one of folks who sees the sexualized world we live in through a slightly more nuanced lens than others, I am still a part of the culture which I so carefully critique. When I use the word lucky to describe the fact that I’ve never been raped or sexually assaulted, I am contributing to a cultural consciousness that is permissive of rape because I am essentially saying that rape is something that is destined to happen.

Because I believe in a world where that someday isn't true, and because I know that my silence is just as permissive as using the word ‘lucky,’ I realized that I perhaps can contribute to this conversation by, at the very least, critically looking at Alex Knepper's argument.

To begin, and perhaps controversially so, Alex Knepper’s opinion piece does not make me feel that he is pro-rape.

He is in my opinion, however, deeply entrenched in and a contributor to rape-permissive culture.

Although I feel that he expressed himself in possibly the douchiest way available* (not to mention I think his ideas about feminism are antiquated, his notions about the gendered nature of sexual passion are narrow, and he is misguided if he thinks that rape and hate violence against gays aren’t interconnected…), I don’t think that his sentiment is wrong.

What Alex Knepper was trying to say, if I’ve got the story straight, is that there is a level of personal responsibility that, as adults, we need to keep in mind when we’re engaging in any activity.

In his specific example, if you go to a party and get blasted, there is always a chance that you’re going to make a bad decision and bang someone you shouldn’t have banged. In which case, you shouldn’t go crying rape afterward just because you regret it. I totally agree.

(This is COMPLETELY different than if you go to a party, get blasted, and someone forces you to have sex. Then, of course, it is well within the purview of rape, and you should definitely report it, in my opinion.)

However, where Alex Knepper fails, and where he will continue to fail in his argument, is that he only seems to put personal responsibility on one party. He basically says that if you’re a lady, and you have hella drinks, and you go to someone’s room, you’re giving them the hint that you want to have sex. If they end up banging you and you regret it, sucks for you, because the responsibility is all on you.

But as the cliché statement says … it takes two to tango … so where is male responsibility? He says that as adults, there are certain responsibilities that we all need to keep in mind. So where was the part where he reminds guys that there may be all these ladies drinking it up and when they’ve got 5 drinks in them, no matter how much it may seem like they want to bang you, there is a good ass chance that they don’t. That it’s the alcohol talking and not them. So if a lady goes back to your room, maybe instead of trying to bang her right there and then, as an adult, it’s your responsibility to be like, “I’m cool, let’s bang when you’re sober.**”

?

Where was it?

It wasn’t there. Why? Because Alex Knepper, younger than me though he may be, has grown up in the same rape permissive culture I have. He has grown up in a culture where we tell women and girls, “Don’t go out alone at night, don’t wear certain clothes, don’t get too drunk at parties, and say ‘No’ when you don’t want sex. Rapes are probably going to happen, but you can maybe avoid them if you follow these rules.”

Although I personally chafe when I hear some of those messages because they feel a little bit like victim blaming, they are nonetheless, not bad messages. Although I might teach them a little differently (the word “don’t” is not often an inspiring teaching tool), these messages teach the responsibility piece that Alex Knepper is talking about.

The issue is that this is an unbalanced message. We don’t teach personal responsibility to would-be perpetrators.

We don’t teach boys, “Don’t drink too much, don’t sleep with drunk girls, don’t assume that because she hasn’t said no that she means yes, and just because you can see her cooch hanging out the bottom of her skirt, doesn’t mean she wants you to put your dick in it. Keep these things in mind, and rape might not happen at all.”

Don’t get me wrong, I teach those things … but there are many parents, teachers, and other educators, who don’t.  It’s just not the water we swim in when we live in culture that assumes rape will happen. I assume that growing up, Alex Knepper was never taught these messages, which is why he can wholeheartedly believe that it is only a lady’s responsibility to prevent rape in this situation.

Teaching a balanced message can take care of one of Alex Knepper’s concerns over the lives that are being ruined by false rape accusations.

If we teach dudes not sleep with drunk chicks (as well as the prevention messaging we can send to ladies), a whole hell of a lot of those false rape accusations are never going to happen. You don’t want your life ruined? Take personal responsibility and know that a false rape accusation could happen if you fuck a drunk person.

Knepper also seems to be really concerned that men can’t know what women don’t tell them … but he also paints a picture of asking for permission in a way that makes it so that I wouldn’t want to ask for permission either. He’s really concerned about the lack of knowledge, and yet admonishes getting permission. Despite communicating this in his signature douche-tooley way, he brings up a really good point about how this culture views getting permission for sex.

We live in a culture where asking for permission is viewed like this:

“I would really enjoy having sexual intercourse with you. Does that sound to you like a good course of action?”

Although it could work, it isn't very sexy.  I would be like "Hell no. I'm done."

But what if we lived in a culture where asking permission is viewed like this:

“Mmmmm. I want you to feel my cock deep inside you. You want that? Huh? You want it?”

Or this:

“I’m going to slide myself over you excruciatingly slowly at first because I want hear you to beg for more. Ready to beg?”

Or even:

“When you put yourself inside me I feel so much closer to you. It’s like my whole world opens up. Will you do that for me?”

I don’t know about you, but I’m both ready to ask for permission and be asked my permission.

Going back to the issues raised by Alex Knepper, if he could widen his idealization of consent, he could solve the problem that he’s so concerned with. Dudes can’t know what a lady is thinking … unless dudebro takes the 2 seconds to ask. And asking can totally happen in a sexy-ass way.

Perhaps by teaching that consent can possibly be one of the sexiest things there is (and that verbal cues need not be the only way to establish consent), we can begin to change a culture that sees rape as inevitable. If we can teach that there are ways to ask for permission that don’t ruin that raging clitoral hard-on, maybe people would ask more often.

In Conclusion:

Dear Alex Knepper,

I don’t think you and I will ever be friends, but I’m glad that you’ve brought up male concerns around rape and sexual assault. People educating (myself included at times) are just as entrenched in rape-permissive culture as you are, and our messaging often excludes being critical of whether or not we’re perpetuating the idea that rape is inevitable.

Because you’re such a huge tool, I will commit myself to continue to encourage personal responsibility on both sides of the issue, and will continue to encourage the eradication of rape permissive attitudes. Because, honestly, I don’t want more people spouting the nonsense that you’re spouting.

Also, although you may feel that rape is rape is rape, Date Rape is important terminology in a culture where most people think that rape happens because of a stranger in a dark alley. The word date rape helps us to remember that the majority of the time, rape is actually perpetrated by someone the victim knows in a place that is familiar to the victim. Just because you don’t understand things, doesn’t mean they’re bad, guy!

I also hope that you, as a self-proclaimed gay man, begin to understand that when we say that the responsibility for violence falls solely on the victim, we are in essence allowing the violence to persist.  We, as a culture need to recognize that when we put responsibility solely on the victim, we are giving perpetrators permission to say "that victim shouldn't have been there, it's not my fault."  Just as I hope that one day women can walk alone at night without fear of sexual violence, I also hope that you will one day be able to walk down a rural street holding hands with another man without fear of bodily violence.

Even if you are a douche.

Keep Thinking

-Becca

PS. I am a feminist who understands biology, history, psychology AND sexuality (probably way more than you do, sucka).




* This is not about him being douche, BUT since Alex Knepper uses a very gendered critique where men are perpetrators and women are victims, I am going to be using that language throughout this post. However, I do want to put it out there that anyone of any gender can either perpetrate or become a victim of sexual assault or rape.

**I also understand the whole “but what about the fact that drunk people do stupid shit?” thing. I’m working within the framework that Alex Knepper set up, which is apparently that if you’re binge drinking, you can make solid decisions. NOT TRUE, but that’s the world that Alex Knepper has painted.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

You’re a Douche-Bag, Douche-Bag

We live in a culture where we use sexuality related terms in a negative way all the time. You don’t like someone? They’re a dick, an asshole or a cunt. When something doesn’t go my way, I personally say ‘balls.’

The list for the ways that we use sex language to mean negative things could go on and on and on forever. I could write a whole blog post about how using sexual language that way perpetuates a sex negative culture. But instead, I want to talk about the one word that, I personally, am totally okay with meaning something negative.

And that is the word “douche.”

Let me tell you why!

Let’s start by talking about what a douche is for those of you who may not know. Aside from being that coworker who always steals your lunch out of the communal fridge, a douche (or douche-bag) is a bottle or bag full of liquid, attached to a nozzle. Upon insertion of that nozzle into the vagina, you squeeze the bottle/bag and the liquid goes into the vagina.

What’s the purpose of this liquid? To ‘clean’ the vagina.

Now, what any sex educator (or high school student in the Daly City/Pacifica, CA area) knows is that the vagina is self-cleansing. That means that through a series of amazing processes to maintain a balanced equilibrium, the vagina keeps itself clean.

This means that when you’re taking your weekly shower, there is no need to clean inside of your vagina. (Washing your vulva, however, is totally legit.)

In fact, if you douche, you’re washing away all those lovely natural fluids that help to keep your vagina in balance. This can actually increase your risk for things like yeast infections.

So … if douches aren’t actually good for your vagina? Why do douche-bags even exist?

Aside from annoying you by cutting you off on the freeway, douches exist because they make money. I don’t know if you follow advertising, but there are lots of ad-campaigns (whether it be for douches, feminine washes, or those pads that come with wipes) that are designed to make women feel insecure about the way their vaginas smell.

Summer’s Eve (being the Douche Kings … and I say Kings because it’s a male owned company), does this by saying things like “During the busy week you need to take time for yourself. Our products let you do just that. So no matter what your day brings, you can face it comfortably and put your best self forward.”

Because apparently if her vagina doesn’t smell like “Sweet Romance” or “Tropical Rain” there is no way a lady can be confident enough to get through her day.

That, for those of you who don’t pick it up well, was sarcasm.

Vaginas aren’t supposed to smell like an “Evening Breeze” or an “Island Splash.” (I’m not even making this shit up.)

Vaginas, my friends, are supposed to smell like “Vagina.”

And I don’t know about you, but I happen to like “Vagina.” It’s a smell that I think is sexy and timeless.

Douche-Bags, just like the woman talking hella loudly on her cell phone about how her 43 year old mother is banging a 17 year-old in a Planned Parenthood waiting room while you’re trying to watch Spiderman, however, are not.

At the most, the scents inside of douches and/or the very fact that they’re washing away your vagina’s natural elements, can contribute to infection. Not to mention they contribute to a system of advertising that makes women feel bad about something they shouldn’t feel bad about.

At the least, they’re wholly unnecessary.

This is why I support Douche as an insult. Because Douches, just like closeted politicians who vote against gay rights and then get caught blowing someone of the same gender in a public bathroom, don’t make any sense.

In closing … douching is a bad call, but calling people douche-bags can be quite fun.

Keep Thinking

-Becca

Monday, March 29, 2010

There Are HELLA Myths About G-Spots and P-Spots

Myth: The ‘G’ in G-Spot stands for “Good”

Fact:  The "G" in G-Spot Stands for Grafenburg.

Although, for some, it may feel quite good when stimulated, the “G” actually stands for Grafenburg. As in Dr. Grafenburg; the dude who “discovered” the G-Spot.


Myth: Dudes don’t have G-Spots.


Fact: Hell yeah dudes have G-Spots! 

It’s called the Prostate (although you may have heard it called the Male G-Spot, P-Spot, or A-Spot). From here on out, so as to not confuse the two, I will refer to a lady’s G-Spot as a G-Spot, and a fella’s G-Spot as a P-Spot.


Myth: Once you find your G-Spot or P-Spot, you are going to have the craziest orgasms of your life.

Fact:  The G/P-Spot isn't for everyone.

So, SOME people will start having crazy, intense orgasms once they find their G/P-Spots. For others, G/P-Spot stimulation may not actually be all that exciting. For some, it can even be downright painful. Just like everything in sex, what works for some doesn’t work for everyone.

And lemme tell you, you’re no less of a person if this particular part of your body doesn’t do it for you. I’m sure that there are plenty of amazing spots all over your body that bring you pleasure. So don’t worry if you’re not a fan of the G/P-Spot.



Myth: Someone was playing with my G-Spot, and I orgasmed so hard, I peed all over my bed.

Fact: Fejac and Pee are NOT the same thing.

Although I know that after you had an orgasm you looked down and there was probably one hell of a wet-spot … if your G-Spot was being played with, chances are you just ejaculated. Female ejaculate (or Fejac as the ladies of Female Sexuality liked to call it), has been chemically tested and is actually chemically similar to the fluid that comes out of the prostate.

Also, the volume of Fejac can range from 2 tsps up to 1 cup! Which means you may experience a wet spot … or you may experience a small lake of fejac on your bed. Either way, enjoy it (and maybe have some towels on hand)!

Did you just read this and go, “Me! Me! I wanna do it!”

In order to reach your Fejaculatory Potential (that phrase is straight copywrited, fools), try having a clitoral orgasm (or two) without anything in the vagina. Then, bring yourself to orgasm with G-Spot stimulation included. The more turned on you get, the more likely the G-Spot will expel fluid. If you’re not a lady who can have more than one orgasm per session, bring yourself to the brink of orgasm a couple times and then go for the G-Spot stimulation.

Remember, not all people can Fejac, so if you don’t reach your Fejaculatory Potential, no worries. At least the journey will be fun.


Myth: The G/P-Spot is in the same place for everyone.

Fact: There is a general location, but the location of G/P-Spots vary.

Think of G/P-Spots like they’re noses. Even though the nose will generally be found below eyes and above mouths, where they are in that space can vary.

It’s the same basic principle for the G/P-Spot. It will always be on the anterior wall of the vagina or rectum. Anterior means the top wall, or the wall closest to someone’s bellybutton. But some people’s G/P-Spots are really close to the openings of their bodies, and some people’s G/P-Spots are farther back.

That being said, don’t expect someone else to just know where your G/P-Spot is. If they’re searching around for it help them out by communicating that they’re on the right track (for example: “You have located my G/P-Spot. Excellent work.” OR “OOOOOHHHH GOOODDDD YESS. THERE. THERE. THERE.”)


Myth: Once you find your G/P-Spot, it will always feel good when you stimulate it.


Fact: Your G/P-Spot sensitivity can change.

For some this true. G/P-Spot stimulation feels good anytime they are in a consensual sexual experience. However, sometimes getting pleasure from G/P-Spot stimulation happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. It can depend on things like how turned on you are, who your partner is, where you’re at in your menstrual cycle, the nature of your poops that day, whether or not you’ve been drinking, etc.

So if one day your G/P-Spot is the best thing ever and the next day it’s just not doing it for you … never fear, that is totally legit.



Myth: I was looking for my own G-Spot and I couldn’t find it … so I probably don’t have one.

Fact: Your G-Spot may have been 'hiding.'

This one is specifically for our lady-bodied people. The prostate in fellas is shaped like a walnut and is always protruding into the rectum. That’s why Docs can find it pretty easily when they’re doing a prostate exam (which, by the way fellas, you should start getting at age 40/50).

But, for our ladies. So, you’re like “I’m gonna find my g-spot today.” You strip down, you put some fingers in your vag, and you search around and you’re like …”WTF, where is it?”

Instead of concluding that you don’t have one, try getting yourself turned on first. Watch some lady-friendly, non misogynistic porn. Read some erotica. Diddle your pearl (i.e. masturbate your clitoris, sucka). Have a dirty talk session with your boo on G-Chat. Whatever works best for you.

Then, after you’ve gotten plenty turned on, try to find your G-Spot once again. You may find that with the increased blood flow to the pelvis everything is more sensitive and finding the G-Spot is easier. If you’re having issues getting the angle right on your own, you may also want to use a G-Spot toy (a toy with a curve, generally) OR ask your favorite sex partner to come on over and lend a hand.

Pun TOTALLY intended.

Note:  If you do happen to find your G-Spot, there is a chance that when you first play with it, you'll feel like you have to pee.  If you just let this feeling ride for 10-30 seconds, there's a chance the 'needing to pee' feeling will go away.  If it doesn't go away, you may just need to pee.  Crazy, right?

Myth: Only gay dudes let people play with their P-Spots.

Fact: As someone who has personal experience playing with the P-Spots of some of the straightest dudes I know … all I can say is this is hella not true.

They may have let me put my fingers in their butts, they may have moaned and asked for more, but at the end of the day, they only enjoyed every skillfully implemented moment because there was a hot lady doing it.

Something I encourage every man, woman, and post-pubescent child to do is think about how homophobia may be limiting your sex life. Doing things that gay people happen to do doesn’t make you gay. In fact the only thing that does make you gay is if you look at yourself and say, “Dude, I’m gay.” True story.

But, getting back to the P-Spot. If you let someone play inside your butt and you like it, what that means about you is that you like when people play inside your butt. It may also mean that you’ve opened up a whole new avenue of pleasure for yourself.

AND letting someone play with your P-Spot (or just ejaculating on a regular basis, for that matter) can help to reduce the risks of prostate cancer later in life by regularly flushing potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) cells. You could be saving your own life by letting someone play with your P-Spot.



Myth: If someone wants to play with a P-Spot they have to go through the rectum.

Fact: You can indirectly access the P-Spot by playing with the taint.

To directly play with the P-Spot, this is true. It does require fingers or toys or penises covered in lube (the lube part is important) going inside someone’s butt.

However, you can indirectly stimulate the P-Spot through the perineal body (also known as the Taint, The Gootch, or The Grundle). It’s that spot between the balls and the anus. If you put firm upward pressure on that spot you’re directly stimulating the root of the penis AND you’re indirectly stimulating the P-Spot.


Myth: I have one more myth to talk about.

Fact: I don’t. 

BUT, one last thing to take with you is, whether you own a G-Spot OR a P-Spot, your brain is still the most powerful sex organ you own. Especially if you’re a first time G/P-Spot user, I recommend looking for your G/P-Spot at a time when you’re least likely to be distracted (and that means either distracted in the moment OR distracted by things happening in life).

I wish you and your G/P-Spots the best!

Keep Thinking

-Becca

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Journey Through Sexually Transmitted INFECTIONS

Some of you who aren’t in the sex ed world may notice that throughout my blog posts I refrain from using the acronym ‘STD,’ and instead use the acronym ‘STI.’

Have you ever wondered why?

I am going to take you on a journey through STIs to give you the lowdown on what I think is important for everyone to know.  This journey will also enlighten you as to why I'm ditching the 'D.'

1. STIs come in two basic varieties: Curable and Treatable.
What does “curable” mean? It means that if you get it treated right away, the antibiotics get the infection completely out of your body. Of the most common STIs, the following are curable: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea (The Clap), Syphilis, Trichomoniasis and Pubic Lice (Crabs).

The other four STIs are classified as “treatable.” This means that while there are no medications available to get them out of your system completely, they are manageable with a regiment of medications. HIV/AIDS, Herpes, Hepatitis, and HPV (Genital Warts) are all treatable STIs.

Want an easy way to remember the difference?  Of the most common STIs, all the treatable ones start with “H.”

Side Note:  You can’t cure crabs by shaving off all your pubes (or even waxing for that matter). Why not? Because the little bugs in your pubes lay eggs in the hair follicle. Even if you don’t have a bushy forest for them to grow in, it’s possible for the eggs to last long enough to sustain your infestation when your pubes grow back in. The only way out of a crab infestation is to get a medicated pube shampoo from a clinician.

2. When treated, STIs will not kill you.
Unless you leave an STI in your body without taking medication, you shouldn’t have any fear of STI related death.

And because of the advances in HIV meds, people are living long, long periods of time.  And although HIV sets up your immune system for failure, it is actually an opportunistic infection (i.e. a type of illness that wouldn't normally kill you, or wouldn't affect a healthy immune system) that becomes cause of death for folks that have HIV/AIDS.

3. The most common thing that will happen to your body when you get an STI is …
…NOTHING.

That’s right kiddies. Even without symptoms, you still have the STI. This means that you can still spread it to others AND that it’s still in your body. If you leave some STIs in the body untreated they can result in complications to your reproductive system later on down the road.  Also, if you’ve been rocking STI symptoms and they go away … that doesn’t mean the STI is gone. You could totally still spread whatever you’ve got.

4. How do you figure out if you have an STI?  Get tested.  When?

At a time where someone calls you up and says “Um, hey brah, I have Chlamydia. I’m pretty sure I had it while we hooked up.” That’s a time where you should get tested right away.

Or maybe, you’ve decided that you and your partner are going to (safely, of course) stop using condoms. That’s a time where you should get tested right away

Or you look down and your genitals are unexplainably itchy, drippy, smelly, swollen, bumpy, or in any other way not looking or feeling like they usually look or feel. That’s a time where you should get tested right away.

Or if you’re deciding to sleep with somebody new and you happen to have two weeks to wait for test results. That’s a time where you should get tested right away.

If none of that is going down, rocking to your doc every 6 months for an STI screening is a good call. Note: This is even important if you’re in a long-term monogamous relationship. Not because STIs will magically arise out of thin air, but because People Are Probably Going To Sleep Around, Even If They’re In A Relationship.

5. STIs are spread through sexual contact.
Like i just mentioned, STIs don't just magically appear.  Either you or one of your partners has to have one for it to spread.  If one of you does have an STI, keep reading to see what kinds of stuff will spread an STI.


If you’ve got a penis, you can spread or get an STI when you…
• Put your penis in an anus (butthole).
• Put your penis in a vagina.
• Put your penis in someone’s mouth.
• Rub your penis on someone else’s penis, vulva or anus (without putting it inside).

If you’ve got a vagina, you can spread or get an STI when you…
• Wrap your vagina around a penis.
• Wrap your vagina around a sex toy that someone else used without cleaning it first.

If you’ve got a vulva, you can spread or get an STI when you…
• Put your vulva in someone’s mouth.
• Rub your vulva on someone else’s vulva, penis, or anus.

If you’ve got an anus, you can spread or get an STI when you…
• Wrap your anus around a penis.
• Wrap your anus around a sex toy that someone else used without cleaning it first.
• Put your anus in someone’s mouth.
• Rub your anus on someone else’s anus, vulva, or penis.

6. There are things that are more likely to spread an STI than others.
The order is Anus-Penis Sex, Vagina-Penis Sex, Oral Sex, and then Skin-To-Skin Contact.

STIs can also sometimes be spread with fingers, but the likelihood is pretty low. Wait, how, you ask? If you’ve got an open cut on your fingers, an STI that travels via blood could possibly get into your partner, or your partners fluids could possibly carry an STI into your blood stream.

7. STIs are preventable.
One of these ones is not like the other one. Guess which one and think about why!

• You’re on public transportation and the person who you were lucky enough to get crammed next to coughs on you the whole bus ride home. You wake up the next morning with a wicked cold.
• You’re walking down the street and all of a sudden a crazy dog starts chasing you and bites your forearm. You go to the hospital to get patched up and find out you’ve got rabies.
• You’re having sex with a slammin’ hottie and you decide you want to fuck them without latex getting in the way. You wake up a week later and your genitals are dripping and itchy.

I’ll give you a moment to think.

So, obviously the third one is the one that’s different. Why? Because of the choice factor.  Although you could choose to not take the bus, walk down the street, or have sex ... you can’t choose who you stand next to on the bus, you can’t choose not to get attacked by a rabid dog, BUT you damn well can choose to use a condom when you're fucking.

Important Note: I want to acknowledge that despite my former example there are times when people are forced to have sex against their will and contract STIs as a result. Obviously in a scenario like that, there is little choice in being able to prevent an STI.

8. Barrier?
When we’re talking about sex, a barrier is a piece of latex (or sometimes Polyurethane or Polyisoprene) that stops STIs from jumping from one body to the next.

Condoms can be used when a penis involved, either during insertion OR during oral. Condoms can also be used when there are plans to share sex toys. Dental dams or plastic wrap can be used on a vulva or anus during oral sex. Gloves can be used over fingers.

REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT. And I mean seriously … DO NOT try to use plastic wrap (or plastic bags or sandwich bags) as condoms. Seriously. It won’t work.

9. Condoms are pretty damn good, but not perfect in preventing STIs.
Condoms have been shown to be super effective in preventing STI transmission when they’re used correctly.

However, some STIs (like Herpes and HPV) can spread through skin-to-skin contact. So if there are any parts the condom isn’t covering, STIs could spread.

And … sometimes condoms fail. There is a 2% chance that any condom you use (even if you’ve used it perfectly) will malfunction.

This means that the most effective way to prevent an STI is through avoiding all the activities listed in #4. That doesn’t stop you from some hot dry humping, a sexy massage, convincing your partner to rock a sexy strip tease for you, or even jacking off out a window. (That last one is stolen from Ricky Gervais’ standup.) There are some seriously creative ways you can still have hot sex with your partner without putting yourself at risk.

10. Time to bring it home.
So, now that you know all this new information about STIs, why is it that there has been a switch from using ‘disease’ to using ‘infection?’

Disease. Say it out loud (or think it in your head if you’re at work). What do you think about?

When I asked this question to high school students, the answer I usually got went something like, “When you have a disease, you get really really really sick. And then you probably die.” Not only is that the connotation that comes with the word disease … but then there’s also the idea that it’s uncontrollable and non-preventable. Also, if we’re talking specifically about the definition of disease, it is generally associated with some sort of symptom.

Now think about the word infection. Say it and/or think it. What do you think of now?

Still not the most pleasant of words, but ‘infection’ definitely has a different swagger than disease. It’s still not something you want, but it does have the connotation of at least being something manageable. Infection is defined by the characteristic of the body being invaded and preyed upon by whatever has gotten in there.

Although there are lots of justifications that folks have come up with in terms of phasing out the "D", the information I've shared with you today shows you why I use STI instead of STD.  I feel like calling them STDs would be misidentifying them both in terms of raw definitions AND in terms of the connotations associated with them.  As someone who likes to promote accuracy, calling them STDs, to me, feels inaccurate.

And now, my friends, you know.

Keep Thinking.

-Becca