Tag Archives: sexuality

Did being founded by the Puritans make us uptight forever?

Did being founded by the Puritans make us uptight forever?

miley vs madonna

 

There was a valuable article in Alternet this week that I highly recommend.

We are an uptight nation. All you have to do is see the freak out that occurred when Janet Jackson’s nipple was exposed on national TV. We can watch people get strangled, beaten, shot, knifed, and everywhere in between but god forbid we see a nipple.

“The real story here is how we’re such a hypersexualized, yet pleasure-starved culture. America is a Christian consumer nation bent on policing sexual expression, while selling smut and sanctimony steeped in shame. Profitable sexual transgressions are the norm, yet apparently the only threat to childhood innocence. So conversation about healthy sexuality to combat today’s paradoxical messages must be squashed to “protect the kids.” Conservative culture warriors—aided and abetted by an infotainment media that feeds off of extremes—conflate the progressive push toward sexual freedom and justice with the toxic byproduct of anything-goes commercialism.”

So how do you balance the objectification of women with the fact that we shouldn’t be so uptight?

Let’s begin by acknowledging once and for all that sex isn’t about procreation. People don’t have sex just to make babies. It turns out we do it because we like it.  Not just me. Not just you. All of us. It is the true unifier for both genders and multiple sexualities, regardless of age. Everyone likes pleasure.

The next step is to stop assholes from thinking that they’re entitled to use women for their sexual pleasures and raise boys to be respectful of women.  Not hard, right?  Rape is not ok and comes out of a lack of respect for other people. Let’s remember our humanity, and stop cutting funds for mental health services to violent offenders.

And finally via the Alternet piece:

“Questioning the stories we tell ourselves about sex frees us from having to squeeze into any Silver Slipper sexual ideal. To unlearn shame culture we must teach something else. To break the chains of purity vs. perversion, performance vs. pathology binaries, change the conversation. Let’s start with the elephant in the room, America’s unspoken taboo: pleasure. Talking sexual pleasure can be tough when most conflate pleasure with hedonism and selfishness. But sex is not only fun. While most of the animal kingdom does it solely for procreation, sex for pleasure is what makes us human.”

Having It Both Ways: The Professor

Having It Both Ways: The Professor

To read more about the Having It Both Ways Project click here.

I am so sick of 40 year old men who wake up one day and realize they didn’t have a family.  I feel like they’re everywhere.  Somehow all of these men that I know or that I meet within a certain age group have been having fun, screwing around, sleeping around, building their own careers and suddenly are like…” oh shit!  I want kids!”  And then start acting responsible, and trying to clean up their lives.

This is the point that we’ll enter “The Professor.”  Whose name I wish so very much I could post here and link to.  I met The Professor on an online dating site a while back – we’d talked off and on he wanted to go out.  I wasn’t ready yet (as usual) – then when I was I had to reschedule because a work thing came up and I ended up going to Phoenix for a week.  He got irritated I had to reschedule and that my schedule was so all over the place and I couldn’t say with any certainty from now until the election where I would be or what my availability would be.  So I just shut it down and said, “ya know, right now isn’t a great time to be trying this so lets just chat off and on and when the election is over maybe we can have a drink.”  He said fine.

Then about 3 days later started asking me to set another date again.  I was like… um… what part of “after the election” was unclear?  So we kept talking – email… gchat… pretty sexy flirtation.  I had a break in my schedule so I said – how about X night he says great so we made it a date.

Then he mentions something about himself that I didn’t know and he says “Oh that’s right we didn’t meet on OKCupid” (we met on another site).  And I said no but I’m on OKCupid so you could see my profile if you wanted.  He sends his link I send mine and I start looking through and notice he’s looking for a girl from 25-35 years old.  He’s 40.  So I comment to him and say “oh you like em young, eh?”  And he says something like “well, I want to have a family so I can’t really date in my own age range.”  And right there I was like… woah.  First of all – there are PLENTY of women 35-45 who are ready and eager to settle down and have a family like… NOW.  So, the presumption that those women don’t exist is bullshit.  Secondly, how nice for you that you’ve spent the last 40 years screwing around and focusing on yourself – now you want someone like me to come along who’s just starting out and you want her to start popping out babies for you?  No.  No.

So I say, “Well, I’m not interested in having children.”  And he says “Well maybe this is more like a friends with benefits than a dating thing…. because that’s a deal breaker for me.”  And I’m like – “ok take care… good luck.”  And he proceeds to get pissed with me because I somehow lead him to believe that I would – yet again – enter into a no strings attached relationship with some random dude that could just use me with no emotions involved.  No.  I have that.  I’m up to my neck in men who just want to sleep with me.  From the beginning of our conversations I was very clear that I was looking for something more emotionally intimate than a sexpal.  But I refuse to serve as some selfish asshole’s breed cow as well.  I was very clear that I’m looking for someone to adventure with to travel with to see the world and find new things and experience life with.  This does not include a picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a dog.  I’m not that girl.  I don’t know if I ever will be that girl.

I seriously resent this idea of some dude totally discounting all of these amazing women in his age range who are ready for that life.  Instead he wants some 25 year old who is too insecure to demand her own life.  He’s not looking for someone like me who will say let’s have fun for 5 years as a couple and adventure around the world and then maybe think about family planning.  No, he’s going to want to get married and start popping out babies before he’s 45.  Good luck finding a 25 year old in the Beltway who isn’t ambitious and wants to focus on her career less than having your kids … this town isn’t really the place for that…

And in the end – he’s turned into quite the sarcastic asshole emailing me things like.  “What the fuck?!?!  Well I’m glad you had all this worked out in your head a month ago. It’s a fucking shame you didn’t share.”  I just responded “It’s ok, I can be the adult one here and accept responsibility for starting to like you and think we could have more than that.  All my fault.”  Class act… it’s a wonder he’s still single at 40.  SHOCKED I say … SHOCKED!

BTW this is just one of the many stories I’ve been meaning to write.

READ PART 2: THE RETURN OF THE PROFESSOR

Having It Both Ways: Never go to the store when youre hungry!

Having It Both Ways: Never go to the store when youre hungry!

Read more about the Having it Both Ways project here.

You’ve heard it before, right?  Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.  Don’t do it.  Have a sammich or grab a cappuccino … but if you go when you’re hungry you’ll end up with $150 of Cheetos puff balls, wine, several pounds of deli meat, frozen pies, not to mention the things you’ve somehow convinced yourself that you’re going to cook throughout the week but then realize you probably won’t really.

This is a lot like sex.  No, seriously, go along with me, here.  When you’re hungry …. don’t go to the grocery store.  See what I did there?  Because ultimately you’ll end up with a crazy dude you met off the internet that is throwing up all sorts of red flags, but your libido is saying “oh … yes… right there… right there….”  Why?  Because it’s hungry. You don’t need the cheetos.  Put the pie down.

This is exactly why I have the all too infrequent Fifty Shades of Grey.  Fifty came into my life at a particularly difficult time in my romantic journey when I needed a distraction.  Our sexy repartee and his sexual puns provided hours of email and gchat enjoyment.  And now that we’ve taken it offline, it’s kept me from making any additional bad mistakes.

It serves as a lesson for everyone but also a question for those too uncomfortable with the idea of someone only serving that role in your life.  Is the expectation that you’ll end up in the happy endings you get with “Friends with Benefits” or “No Strings Attached?”  Because, I’ve long held that Hollywood’s interpretation of relationships like that are sensationalized for the “chick flick” viewing audience who longs for the music to swell and the lovers to be together forever…. awwww…  But its not always going to end up like that, and it’s unrealistic to believe that it will.

This is why I assume I keep getting comments from my girlfriends telling me to “cut him loose.”  I always ask why and the answer is always – “There’s no relationship in it for you.”  My question becomes…. So, whats wrong with that?  That’s not what I want either, that’s not what I’m striving for with this person.  That isn’t our relationship now nor am I hoping it will be.  So… why is it not ok to have a “friendship” or “relationship” that isn’t going to end with marriage, 2.5 kids, a house with a picket fence, and a dog?  Are we so conditioned as women to think that our relationships should end that way that when we see them taking a different path we cut the line loose?  What would happen if the end game wasn’t a long-term, traditional, monogamous, marriage?  How might we do things differently?  How might dating or sex change?  How might we as people change?  Food for thought, dear reader, food for thought….

Having it Both Ways: America’s Favorite Past Time – Sex and Judgment

Having it Both Ways: America’s Favorite Past Time – Sex and Judgment

Photo credit goes to Sprinkles Guy

Read more about the Having It Both Ways Project here.  Or just imagine you did and instead watch dirty videos… i don’t care.

I’m still pretty shocked by the responses I had this week after the post I did on my fear of falling in love.  I guess in retrospect I should have been more clear instead of just rambling my feelings like a confused mime expecting readers to see past the initial two paragraphs.  It seems once folks saw I’d slept with a married dude that was all they could read.  Most missed the point entirely.  And even in the follow up piece, few got to the next to last paragraph that said the last thing I wanted was to end up in a relationship where I wasn’t having my needs met and even thought of cheating on my partner.

What I should have done is simply describe the 4 relationships and ask you, dear reader, which one is the healthiest relationship.

Relationship 1:  Couple has sex rarely, argues constantly.  This has gone on their entire short marriage.  Husband has had multiple affairs and is unhappy.  Wife knows nothing.  Husband would leave if it was financially feasible.

Relationship 2:  Couple loves each other deeply, soul mates … the whole bit.  Wife is incredibly vanilla, husband is incredibly… not.  Husband seeks non-emotional detached sex toy that just happens to be human without wife’s knowledge.

Relationship 3:  Couple is deeply and profoundly in love.  Only had a few relationships in their lives.  Married after college.  Have incredible communication, tell each other everything, talk and process, have good sex.  Husband falls for a friend of theirs – friend falls too.  Couple considers open marriage with rules and guidelines for potential play as their relationship evolves and they try to understand more about their needs both individually and as a couple.

Relationship 4:  Couple has been married a long time.  Constantly fight.  Wife feels she’s not there’s no emotion in their relationship or their sex.  Desperate for passion, intimacy, and someone to love her.  Would never have affair.

Answer which one is the healthiest relationship.

Now.  Which one is the most socially acceptable relationship?  Answer why that is.

As I’m looking at relationships to pattern my own life off of, I’m seeing these and wondering which is the best for me, knowing that I don’t want to end up in a situation where I’m in relationships 1, 2, or 4.  How do you navigate that is my question?

Having It Both Ways: Let’s Talk about Sex

Having It Both Ways: Let’s Talk about Sex

Let's Talk about SEXCheck out more from the Having It Both Ways Project.

The presumption seems to be that because I write and talk about sex a lot, I am also having sex a lot.  Boy do I wish that were true.  The reality is a bit more pathetic.  Married people have more sex than I do.  Priests probably have more sex than I do.

The freedom that comes from finally figuring out who you are and what you want is a liberation that somehow makes you want to start having conversations about those very topics and asking questions to your much more experienced friends.  I ask … because I don’t know.  I talk about it because my experience is lacking.

But despite my confidence in talking about sexuality, relationships, and dating, my actual comfort in a free-love type of world…. well …… I’m still not exactly the free love type of person that many of my friends seem to be.  I’ve never had a one night stand.  I’ve never picked someone up in a bar and taken them home or gone back to his or her place.  I’ve never had sex on a first date… second date… or third date for that matter. And until today, never been kissed on a first date.

It took me two years before I was comfortable with the idea of sleeping with Dude 3 and six more months before I fell for him.  It took me a month before I trusted 50 to even stop by my apartment.  My hands were shaking so much, and we didn’t even do the deed.

Sex doesn’t have to equal love, so I’m not holding out for my heart to flutter the perfect way or angels to sing.  Sex can be fun, relaxing, it can be stress relief, and too it can be a physical expression of the love you have for someone else.  For me, sometimes, the things I do with the guy back home just helps me clear my head.  Like a mental and emotional reset button that helps me stop being so intense and uptight.  And any of you who know me well know that I can be pretty intense and uptight – despite my sexual liberation.

The truth is, while I admire those who are so free and able to express their sexuality with folks they’ve just met, I’m still very slow to trust anyone, whether they’re friends or sexual partners.  That’s slowly getting better, thanks to Dude 3‘s influence challenging me and pushing me for the 6 months we were getting closer.  But I still have to remind myself not to revert back to the fearful yet eager person I’ve spent most of my life being.