As I’ve mentioned in previous posts recently, I’ve been marathoning Grey’s Anatomy. I’m up to season 8 and what I want to know is what the hell are the residents and attendings using for Birth Control?! Without naming names, two women got accidentally pregnant, and while one decided to keep their baby, the other aborted their foetus.The show’s handling it well and there’s no judgement about their respective choices so far, but what I want to know is why! They’re both doctors and they are highly intelligent women at the top of their games, so why are they messing around with condoms? (I am assuming the characters are too smart to risk bare-backing! Good god, I hope not. The circumstances of their situations are never discussed, which seems like a missed opportunity.)
Yes, always with the condoms to prevent STIs, but if you’re in a long term relationship and you know you don’t want kids, why are you not backing it up with hormones? And if you’re not using hormones because the side-effects are not worth it (something I do understand), surely you’d be taking extra special care with the aforementioned condoms? If you thought it had torn, or you “forgot” in the moment, why didn’t you get prophylactic Plan B as soon as you realised? I don’t even. Continue reading
People identify as queer, or gay, or lesbian, or asexual, or poly, or any number of other complex sexual orientations and sexualities and relationship orientations, because the norm is monogamy and heterosexuality. Unless someone explicitly labels otherwise, that person is going to be assumed to be part of that norm, which means that a crucial part of her identity is quietly erased. She must explicitly out herself, with a label, in order to assert her humanity and her place in the world.
For example, a bisexual woman in a relationship with a man must either allow people to erase her by assuming (and calling) her heterosexual…or she must repeatedly be outspoken about her bisexuality. She needs a label to describe her sexuality because she’s not conforming to the social norm, because her sexuality is different. If she doesn’t have that label, if that label is taken away from her, if people insist that labels aren’t needed to talk about sexuality because ‘we’re all human beings (man),’ then she becomes smaller. Lesser. She is invisiblised, simply because people don’t want to be confronted with the reality of her sexuality, and they don’t have to be if she has no label to identify with.
— We Need Labels, Because the Alternative is Disappearing | this ain’t livin’
Via Brute Reason.
My bisexuality has been on my brain a lot recently. In looking for stuff that maybe some what captures how I feel, I stumbled across this post at the Vegan Abolitionist.
I have often questioned my sexuality, because I have been in relationships with men, but not really women.
My sexuality is fetishized by most of the people with whom I engage in a relationship. Its true validity is negated by nearly everyone who expects me to just end up with a hetero man (and if I do, then I was never bisexual at all!). It is erased by straight and queer people alike. I’m “too straight”, never queer enough.
“You shall not grovel in the dust and weep, you are worth so much more.”
I had this thought in my head the other day and ugh, so many feelings. So many memories.
I had been thinking about a beautiful post titled “Dear daughter, I hope you have some fucking awesome sex” that I read the other day and that got me thinking about the religious guilt hangover I am still affected by.
I was walking home past a primary school and I got thinking about the kids I want to have in the future, and how I want to raise them. I realised I have absolutely no intention of baptising them, and that even if the best school around were a Christian/CofE one, I would be very unlikely to send them there. I don’t want to raise my kids with the same guilt that I absorbed growing up. Continue reading
My mate Jupiter bullied me into going essentially. Up to about a year and a half ago I was quite involved in the BDSM public scene. I had folks I played with at events and my two girlies, Jupiter and Freyja, whom I still play with privately. Then I moved cities and fell into a relationship with my current partner. Suddenly, what with Jiu Jitsu and general life things, I had a lot less time and inclination to be out on the scene. I went to a few munches in the new place but didn’t really click with the different groups, and I drifted away. Jupiter insisted that the SM Dykes Conference would be amazing, as it was for her the last couple of years, and she needed the moral support to cope with facing an ex, so I went.
And actually, it was pretty good.
I went to five different workshops over the two days with topics on ways of using words for effect, different play styles, and flogging with emotion. There was an excellent speed-meeting event that led to lots of great conversations. Ooo, and there were two hands-on sessions, a rope workshop and a latex hoods drop-in, that I really enjoyed. Sessions I didn’t get to go to that I wish I had included a boot/shoe fetish one, a discussion on feminism and kink and a discussion about penises and cocks from a trans* and dom(me) point of view.
The event was open to women and people with links to the female community, so there were genderqueer people, transmen, transwomen, people in transition, people who want to transition but cannot yet for whatever reason and those who are only out in certain situations. It was a crash-course for me in pronoun usage, and it was an eye-opener for me for the kinds of difficulties trans* people face. The best thing though was seeing and hearing the joy and confidence they gained from being in a safe space, where they can be exactly who they are, without fear. Continue reading
I had the good fortune to attend a conference this weekend for lesbian, bi, and transgender folk (MTF and FTM) of the kinky persuasion. Fun was had, new friends made and interesting insights gained but feelings were stirred and it was difficult.
I know I’m bisexual, I’ve known it for several years, but this weekend? I felt too straight. I realised I feel like a trespasser every time I walk through the Gay Village. I know my crushes on women are just as important to me as my crushes on men, and I know that if I met the right woman at the right time, I would date her. But in the face of that many queer folk whose relationships and gender presentations put them in the path of significant social stigma, I felt like I didn’t have the right to my voice.
Best T-shirt I saw all weekend!
I said I wanted to talk about kinky things, so to get us started here’s another comment-turned-full-length-post that I wrote a long time ago, edited and updated for you all. The starting point was a post by Cliff titled ‘What am I?‘ that was all about labels and descriptors and how we can get ourselves all tangled up in the labels we and others apply to ourselves, to the exclusion of what actually is.
Labels are helpful when they act as signposts to help us find others in similar situations and they ease conversations when the people involved use the same meanings. But, when people have differing meanings, and when they, for ease of thought, think and act as if the label is the whole reality of the person it’s applied to, problems arise. It’s a habit we readily apply to others and it’s also easy to do to ourselves. We get wrapped up in the shorthand description and start measuring everything we are by it. We worry about how x behaviour makes us less y, and we worry that because we do m that makes us n, and when n conflicts with y we get really stressed out, because what does that make us? An example from my own life: I discovered I liked Industrial music but I also still loved listening to pop, so did that make me less Goth? Would I be goth-enough for the in-crowd to accept me? Was I still Goth if I didn’t own a pair of New Rocks and didn’t have permanent synthetic dreads because of work? Worry, worry, stress, stress.
How many identities do you have?
What we are great at ignoring is that it is possible for different identities to co-exist in the same person. The things we think define us do not make us. It is possible to be different things to different people in different situations and yet maintain internal integrity. If the labels aren’t making life easier, bin them! They are descriptors, not reality. The boxes people put us in are not the sole extent of our identities, and just because coming to terms with those identities and building a coherent self out of them is bloody hard work, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Continue reading
So, Kasey over at Valprhension has written a couple of interesting posts about what it means to them to feel sexy. Go read it here and here. I wrote a long comment and thought it was worth turning into a full-on post. Apparently, today, I have lots of words. 2000 to be precise. Enjoy!
I’d not much thought about what it means to me to ‘feel sexy’ but I remember it becoming a thing I liked feeling sometime after I hit puberty. I remember the first time I got to choose my own bras, and I bought a cheap basque from Primark, which I recall Mum pulling a disapproving face at, but she let me buy it anyway which was all good by me. I remember getting wolf-whistled at by a couple of builders when I was about 14, maybe? I remember thinking ‘oo, I feel hot’ and walked off with a swagger in my step and a swish in my hips but I think I also felt uncomfortable about it, and used the feeling sexy-thing to try and distract from the unpleasant feeling. Let’s not have the conversation argument about catcalling and street harassment here – just because I, and others, have used it in the past to try and boost our self-esteem, doesn’t make it acceptable.
So, in light of these memories, I think ‘feeling sexy’ is about feeling desired. It’s about knowing that other people find you attractive. It’s also about believing that in some way you match up to the things that are considered “sexy”. Which means that really I should try to explain what ‘sexy’ even is.
Sexy Librarian, need I say more?
I think ‘sexy’ is about hinting at sexual availability while also making it unobtainable. People in advertising say “sex sells”, but it’s not actually sex that sells their product, it’s the suggestion that sex is obtainable if you have their shiny, must-have thing. Which implies that sex is scarce. Women are taught that sex is precious, and that they should guard it. Men are taught that they have to persuade, or even fight!, women to get it. If a woman gives sex away freely she is generally considered a slut or a whore. Good girls guard their gift of sex and only give it to the men who give them true love and commitment, as per the virgin/whore dichotomy. In short, ‘sexy’ is about arousing sexual desire in others without being so crass as to be unable to deny that that’s the effect you were aiming for. Continue reading