Friday, March 30, 2007
My review of the Tantus G-spot is up at EdenFantasys!
Products from Tantus are hand-made with high-quality silicone. No phthalates there, folks! This wasn't the best toy I've ever used, but I think it would make a good g-spot toy for use with a harness, so if you use one of those you should check it out.
In other news: apparently my immune system survives full-on attacks better than guerrilla warfare. Ten days of throwing caution to the wind with my sick boyfriend got me approximately two days of mildly sore throat. Then my roommate got sick, and somehow -- even though I make out with her a lot less than I make out with my beau -- today I feel like hell. Go figure.
But we can hope. And like I said, good riddance. Click here to go send a letter urging President Bush to "take this opportunity to appoint a medical professional who actually believes in birth control to lead the nation’s family-planning program."
Thursday, March 29, 2007
In their April issue, GQ is running an article titled Where to Find Her, 2007. The caption beneath the title reads, “A whole world of smart, beautiful women are out there, from the beaches of
The article, which if full of pictures of women who are indeed beautiful (in the most current sense), contains a sidebar which describes where not to find her. The list is meant as a joke; for example, men are instructed not to look for her at the family reunion, in high school, or while on vacation with the wife and kids. They’re also instructed not to look in Hooters or a Red Light District window, since of course women who use their bodies to make money cannot be both smart and beautiful (nor would they be fit company for a gentleman – for more than a night, that is).
According to the article, men should also avoid looking for her at a goat show in
I suppose I don’t even need to tell you that Smithies are pissed. Well, some Smithies at least. The Facebook group “F*ck You, GQ: Smithies are Beautiful” has 487 members as of 1pm today, and that number has grown by more than a hundred since I looked last night. The group constitutes a call to action to Smithies to send photos of themselves showing off their inner beauty and confidence to the editor of GQ to demonstrate their beauty. From the website:
…while this list offends all different types of nationalities, sexualities, religions, hobbies, and age groups in addition to ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE, I feel that it is our JOB to stand up for our college. Smith does not get enough positive publicity. This article appears in a well-known, well-read magazine. It offends our school, our intelligence, our beauty, and our beliefs. It lowers us to a worthless thing. According to GQ, we are merely a place where smart and beautiful women cannot be found…
I am damn proud of my Alma Mater, and make a point of loudly declaring myself a Smithie whenever possible. Smithies are beautiful on many different levels, and it’s really hard to be at Smith if you’re not smart. But there’s another thing Smithies are, and it’s the thing that got the college landed in this article.
Smithies are Queer.
Okay, wait, don’t get mad at me yet. I know that not all Smithies like the ladies or identify with the queer community in any way. After all, some of my best friends are straight. But Smith has a reputation for being The Big Gay. Now, that reputation doesn’t go as far as you might think – in fact, it’s primarily known by people who went to other Small Liberal Arts Colleges in the Northeast. Students at SLACs like
Although there are debates about how Smith got its gay reputation, I am proud of the atmosphere at the college that allows that reputation to thrive. Smithies are open-minded, tolerant, willing to learn from each other and politically and ideologically minded. It’s a tough place to be conservative, and I’d like to see both students and faculty make a more concerted effort to have those kinds of political discourses, but in general I think that Smith is a good place to learn how to be who you are. If that means that the “gentlemen” who read GQ don’t want to date us, so be it – we can do better than them, anyway. You know, like by having partners who respect us.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
You've probably heard of the rhythm method. Young people often receive a simplistic version of this complex birth control method i.e. "A woman can count the days since her last period and not have sex around the 14th day, which is when she ovulates." The method is often joked about -- after all, this is the only form of family planning approved by the Catholic Church. How many married childless Catholics do you know?
Of course, not all women ovulate on the 14th day, and (when practiced correctly) the rhythm method is a lot more complex than just counting days. The sympto-thermal method of family planning (which has evolved from "counting days") requires a woman to wake up at the same time every morning to take her temperature (called basal body temperature), monitor her cervical secretions, and keep a fertility calendar. During her two most fertile weeks of the month -- which other research suggests is when she'll want it the most -- the couple must abstain from sex. A recently released report on a German study reveals that, when practiced properly (one might say "religiously"), the method has a .6% failure rate, which is comparable with hormonal birth control.
But according to this article in the Scientific American, failure rates for normal couples are actually much higher. I know, I know, you're shocked. You thought that young women, some of whom can't even remember to take their pill at the same time every day, would simply jump at the chance to get up early on weekends and get all up-close and personal with their lady-juices. Not to mention the fact that it's a good way to get out of sex for half the month -- more, if you don't have sex during your period -- since, of course, women don't actually enjoy sex.
Okay, I'll be serious. The thing is, if you're willing (and have the leisure) to be diligent about it, fertility awareness is a great option. It means you don't have to put hormones into your body -- and the environment -- in order to effectively avoid getting pregnant. Fertility awareness over long periods of time is also of use when it comes to intentionally getting pregnant. I'd even go so far as to argue that charting her fertility can put a woman more in touch with her body and her sexuality. This is a family planning method that deserves a place in the adult birth control arsenal. For the average person, though, this isn't going to be the right option.
So, what do we tell the kids? Not the kids, so much as the teens: a book called Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body, which describes fertility cycles in detail, is stirring up debate among proponents of comprehensive sex ed. Some argue that giving teens too much information about their fertility cycles will lead them to have unprotected sex on days the believe they are "safe". Others say that young women should be given as much information as possible about their bodies, and support the book. Cycle Savvy doesn't go into detail about fertility charting or discuss in detail which days are less fertile. It contains no reference to any day of the month being "safe", and encourages young people to always use protection, describing fertility planning as a useful tool for adults.
All of that being said, I have a confession to make: as sex-educated as I am, I still consider the rhythm method when having sex. Not the fancy sympto-thermal method, either. I wouldn't say it's my primary birth control method, but I usually find myself counting days, as in "okay, I'm on day 15 of my 24 day cycle, what are the odds I'll get pregnant if something goes wrong?" And when I was younger, there was a point in time -- before my 17th birthday, when I went on the pill -- when I did use the so-called rhythm method as my sole form of birth control. If I'd had this book to explain to me just how complicated fertility awareness really is, maybe I'd have thought twice. I fail to see how arming girls with solid information about their own bodies could ever be a bad thing.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Last night, a man came into my place of employment. He'd been in before; last time he'd stayed only a short while, and commented to me that he didn't like the music that was playing. When he came in last night, I smiled like I do at every customer, and cracked a joke: "I'm playing NPR tonight, so you don't have to run away from the Dylan." He laughed, was surprised I remembered him. "That's great!" he said. "And you're here consistently, so you'll be easy to track down."
Only a mildly weird comment, right? His body language made clear that he was getting ready to chat me up, though, so I decided not to play too nice. "That's kind of a creepy thing to say, actually," I told him, arching my eyebrows. "Oh jesus," he groaned, "you're one of those fucking paranoid..."
"I'm kidding!" I said, cutting him off, "and anyway, I just won't tell you my last name." He started to change the subject, but then he backtracked:
"You know, I hate that men have to walk on eggshells around women now. It hasn't always been this way, you know. This has just happened in the last five years or so. It's like you can't say anything to a woman without her getting all paranoid."
"Seriously, I was just kidding," I said, although what I was thinking was you fucking misogynist. "But anyway," I added, "women have had to deal with being afraid of men for ages. I think men will have to walk on eggshells for a while, spend some time really examining their own privilege, before things will ever be equal."
He made a face. Isn't that vindictive?" he asked, and it turned out to be rhetorical. "I'm still getting over my ex... now she was paranoid, like seriously..." He trailed off and looped his index finger near his temples, the western hemisphere's sign for crazy. He paused, then he continued, "But you know, I was just making an offhand comment, and you took it and went someplace dark. You went someplace dark and twisty with that. There are some really crazy people out there these days, some real kooks on the street, it's true, but it isn't me, it isn't men like me, it's these women who think men are out to get them."
At this point I was completely uncomfortable -- too uncomfortable and nervous to even be angry. Nice Girl is so ingrained that I felt like I couldn't ask him to leave with other people in the store, so I let him talk and nodded and pretended to listen. He told me I was cute. I thanked him. He told me about his band, gave me a flyer, signed it. Asked if I had a boyfriend, and I told him I did. He asked if I was in love and I told him I am. He went on about what a shame it was, but I was nice and young and -- was I 18? yes, okay, good -- had plenty of time to change my mind. How old did I think he was? Actually, never mind, he hadn't slept in a few days, he'd ask me again the next time we talked. I still didn't tell him I hoped there wouldn't be a next time. I was too busy hoping the situation would just go away.
He held out his hand for me to shake as he was leaving and I took it, happy he was heading for the door, but then he turned my hand over and kissed it. I yanked it away and gave him a dirty look. I spent most of the rest of the evening feeling vaguely nauseous.
There was more to it than that, but the details are fuzzy. It's hard to put into words exactly what was so unnerving about the interaction; in text it looks like he was just some patronizing asshole trying to get a date. But in the moment it felt like I was being manipulated, talked down to, and searched out. I don't like that he knows where he can find me.
More than that, though, I think the incident left me shaky because I didn't stand up for myself. I should have told him exactly where to go the moment he called me paranoid -- you try walking down a dark street at night by yourself in my (female) body, and tell me if you feel paranoid. It makes me SO angry to have to be concerned for my safety in a city where very few men have that same feeling. It makes me furious that I can't just pick up and travel the world by myself, working odd jobs along the way, without constantly being on guard. And it makes me literally sick to my stomach that I couldn't tell this asshole that I'm not fucking interested and to get his chauvinist ass the hell out of my store. If I can't stand up for myself, what kind of feminist am I?
Then, this afternoon, I came across a link on Amber's blog to a post by Sassywho, whose blog I Never Leave the House Without Incident is a consistently good read. This post made me want to yell and cry all at once. As Amber says, "HELL FUCKING YES." Go read the whole post, but I'll snip the best part for you:
I am the Woman that misogynists love to hate. I am the Sister, who, before puberty I could kick your ass, or at least take as good of a beating as you could give. The Tom-boy on the playground who did not respond to you telling her that girls couldn't play football, instead tackled your ass when you caught the ball.
I am the Slut that owns her sexuality, and will insist that you give me head or there will be very little chance of another sexual encounter. I am the Tease that allowed you to buy me dinner, but that does not give you an automatic pass to my body for the evening. I am the Irresponsible Hussy who if we had an oooops and I did not want to have children, I would be at the clinic as soon as I found out with $400 in hand and a smile on my face.
I am the Cunt who challenged your ideas in a meeting, and it even turns out I was right. I am the Whore who has slept with more men than your quota for a woman who deserves your respect, even if it is less than your number. I am the Fucking Slut who responds to your verbal abuse while I am bartending by making you wear that beer you just ordered.
I am the Bitch who wants equality in a relationship and refuses to be your mother. I am the Ballbuster who isn't intimidated by your masculinity. I am the Wife that was not okay with your 15+ affairs, so I had an affair myself before I left. I am the Fucking Bitch who filed a restraining order on your ass and prosecuted you to the fullest extent of the law when you tried to intimidate me and my friends with harassment to keep me in the relationship. I am a Misogynists worst nightmare.
I hope that asshole comes back in. I have a few things I'd like to say to him.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Believe it or not, there are times when working at a sex toy store gets boring. Yes, even in
I started with a pair of SM novels. Carrie’s Story and its sequel, Safe Word, both by Molly Weatherfield, follow a young woman (the eponymous Carrie) from her introduction to SM through her experience as a trained pony. The first book was sexy and intense and pushed my kinky boundaries. I’d never so much as thought about the idea of a 24/7 relationship before then, and although it still doesn’t really appeal to me, there are aspects of it that are exciting to imagine. The sequel, though, felt a little like sexual tourism. Butt plugs with horsehair tails attached? Pony carts? Slave auctions? After work I’d sit at my computer for an hour, looking up websites on pony play, trying to make myself understand that this stuff does in fact happen. Don’t get me wrong; Safe Word was a good read (with an interesting ending). It just also happened to be an eye opener for me.
From there I moved on to some lesbian pulp fiction, which was terribly depressing. If you’ve never read any, let me summarize the plot (because there’s more or less only one): mild mannered straight woman meets extremely seductive lesbian; “straight” woman is seduced; people find out and trouble ensues. In the end, the “straight” woman is saved or cured, and the lesbian dies or goes crazy. Published in the 50’s and 60’s, these books are interesting from a historical and sociological perspective – in a sense, they’re the mid 20th century’s prescriptive literature. I’m sure I’ve got some friends-of-friends who’ve written women’s studies papers on the topic, in fact, or if they haven’t they ought to. Anything by Ann Bannon is classic, and there are some great anthologies of lesbian pulp fiction out there.
Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue was a fabulous read, but then it did combine sex and history (two of my favorite topics, if you hadn’t noticed). The novel takes the bits and pieces left to us by history of a young woman whose name made the news in 18th century
Best Sex Writing 2005 left me, like the best lovers, wanting more. Although some of the pieces are sexy, it isn’t a collection of erotica – it’s a collection of sex journalism. I keep meaning to pick up 2006.
Noelle Howey’s Dress Codes weaves her own memoirs in with biographies of her mother and father and the story of her father’s social and medical transition to female; she writes with grace, humor and compassion, making the book and entertaining read even if the situation isn’t a familiar one for you.
I was utterly entertained by Bingo, by the prolific Rita Mae Brown (and before you ask, no, I never got around to reading Rubyfruit Jungle, and no, that doesn’t make me a bad queer). The familial fiction, clearly based on Ms. Brown’s own experience, had me laughing out loud even when there were customers in the store. It relates the story of Nickle, an out lesbian having an affair with a man, and her cast of friends and family. I found myself saying “YES! That’s my family!” over and over. Six of One, the book that precedes Bingo in the story of
Eventually I ran out of fiction and had exhausted our entire library of Dykes to Watch Out For (and Allison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, Fun Home). I skipped past the exhausting shelf of “How To Have Lesbian Sex” books – honestly, why is it that publishing companies think women need so much help figuring out how to do it?
I read SM 101 by Jay Wiseman, which is a fabulous beginner's guide (and intermediate's guide, actually) in terms of tools, tricks, and safety. The author is about as well-informed as one can possibly be, but the book is definitely written from an “SM scene” perspective; I kept finding myself thinking that anyone who just wanted to tie up her girlfriend once in a while would be completely overwhelmed by the details of floggers vs. paddles, etc. On the other hand, the section on consent and negotiation is crucial and extremely accessible.
I fancy myself a sex educator, and as such it’s important to me to read books on a wide variety of sexual health topics – even if they don’t apply directly to me. A Survivor’s Guide to Sex was interesting and informative and certainly got me thinking. The way that we relate to our sexual selves is so complex, and I liked the way the book highlighted that. It made for an enlightening read. I read large portions of The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability. I seem to remember not liking parts of what I read, although I can’t recall why, but I clearly remember the light that switched on in my head when I realized how complicated sex can be. The way we shroud it in secrecy makes it much more difficult for people with disabilities to get what they need in the bedroom.
Following that, I read A Hand in the Bush, which is a guide to vaginal fisting. If you own a vagina, you probably don’t need this book. Allow me to sum it up: cut your nails, go slow, and use lots of lube. I tried to follow that up with Anal Pleasure and Health, but I had a fainting spell while reading about anal fissures and decided to set that one aside. It was full of wonderful, important information for men and women looking to engage in anal play. It just happened to make me very dizzy.
“But Amanda,” I hear you asking, “what about the smut? Didn’t you read any good erotica this summer?” Oh boy, did
The other collection that stood out for me was downright kinky: Best Bondage Erotica was edited by (surprise!) Alison Tyler, and is comprised of stories spanning different sexual appetites. It’s not too intense – if you’re looking for stories about bloodsports, or even watersports, look elsewhere – but it covers a good range and… well, it definitely got me off.
By the way, if anyone has recommendations for me based on the above, I’d love to hear them!
Also, in illustration of the fact that I'm even worse at food-blogging than I am at cooking, go check out my guest post at my roomate's blog Veggie Love -- I made Greek food!
And now, the Sugasm:
The best of this weeks blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #72? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the linklist within a week and you’re all set.
This Week’s Picks
“Her sighs of contentment build as my touch does its work.”
Wrong Number (http://radicalvixen.com/blog)
“They said clients were trying to call me and getting this restaurant instead.”
Ride to the Cabin (http://eroticawriter.blogspot.com)
“As he pulled into a dark lane that led into a grove of trees, I reached over to stroke him.”
Mr. Sugasm Himself
Your hair (http://erotischism.blogspot.com)
More Sugasm Erotic Writing and Experiences Podcasts & Poetry Sex Work BDSM & Fetish Thoughts on Sex and Relationships NSFW Pics (& videos)
Join the Sugasm
3 is The Magic Number: Three Songs (http://dirtydetails.blogspot.com)
AMBER~~”Anything You Want” (Part Four) (http://buttocksblog.blogspot.com)
The Desperate Tango (http://femmefataleteen.blogspot.com)
The Dress II (http://wanklog.blogspot.com)
Entry Box…. (http://afterschoolmonologues.blogspot.com)
Midnight Thrusts (http://kinkyfarmwife.blogspot.com)
My Wet Dream (http://maude-tim.blogspot.com)
The Need (http://joeheather.blogspot.com)
Public Affections (http://www.sex-kitten.net)
Rug Burn (http://confessions112.blogspot.com)
Setting Your Panties on Fire (http://secretbrain.blogspot.com)
Startled Awakening (http://bikersballsandteacherstits.blogspot.com)
That night instead of round 2, I passed out (http://thatjuicyjuicy.blogspot.com)
Turning Tricks for Tapas, Dos (http://cakeandcock.blogspot.com)
Why Aren’t You Naked? (http://designingintimacy.blogspot.com)
“Cocaine” Kimberly Was Her Working Name (http://eroticjournals.blogspot.com)
Episode #1-Sex with another woman (http://deliciously-naughty.typepad.com)
Styx Orchestra-Inspired Poem, thanks to Public TV (http://totalsensuality.blogspot.com)
Birthday Spankings! (http://sexualevolution.blogspot.com)
Distracted pixie (http://insidedarkpixie.blogspot.com)
Happy HNT - Sexy St. Patrick’s day (http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com)
His rope (http://www.kinkerbelle.com)
Nature versus nurture, spanking-style (http://www.spankingwriters.com/blog)
Relationships and the lifestyle (http://alternativealbany.xlogz.com)
“So punish me” (http://blog.atlantabondage.com)
Solipsist’s travels in subspace (http://mistress160.blogspot.com)
Afro-desiacs and “Blow” Jobs (http://shayssexcolumn.blogspot.com)
Feeling Unsafe– Tease Me! (http://perverselypoly.blogspot.com)
Lights On or Lights Off? (http://sexeteria.net)
My Own Sex Confession (Part Two) (http://aslipofagirl.blogspot.com)
The SXSW date that wasn’t, and why (http://lustylady.blogspot.com)
Can’t blame a man for being a man (video) (http://myhotbox.blogspot.com)
Half-Nekkid Thursday: G-String Season (http://www.taratainton.com)
Half-Nekkid Merkin (http://sweatshopsissy.wordpress.com)
Half-Nekkid Sex Blogger (http://www.tarasnaughtyshop.com)
Nora Marlo Peek-A-Boo Shots (http://eroticandy.blogspot.com)
Poll result: Shower sex (http://marriedexploits.blogspot.com)
Stairway To Heaven (video) (http://myhotbox.blogspot.com)
Erotic Writing and Experiences
Podcasts & Poetry
BDSM & Fetish
Thoughts on Sex and Relationships
NSFW Pics (& videos)
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
We were talking about living green and reducing carbon footprints in the apartment tonight when my beau tapped me on the knee:
"Your job," he said, "is to make environmentally friendly sex toys."
From across the room, Roomie chimed in: "Isn't that what cucumbers are for?"
And this is why I love my friends.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Yesterday, March 20th, was Back Up Your Birth Control day. Emergency contraception is available without a prescription to women over 18 now, and should be available at your local pharmacy. If you're a woman having potentially reproductive sex it's a good idea to keep a dose on-hand -- that way this is less likely to happen to you.
If was 7am on July 5th, and I woke up still tipsy in the arms of the guy I'd been dating (Mr. Spring, that is) on my best friend's couch. He wanted to leave -- he was restless, and possibly embarassed by my antics (our antics, to be fair) from the night before. I crept into my friend's bedroom, found my pants, kissed her and her boyfriend on the forehead and told them to call later. We were literally 20 minutes into the hour drive back to our hometown before I realized I wasn't wearing my shoes --I'd left them behind in my friend's room.
Somehow, as we drove along, the subject of birth control came up. We hadn't used a condom the night before, and I wasn't on birth control, but since he hadn't ejaculated inside of me I wasn't that worried (though there's still plenty of reason to worry in that situation). Or at least, I wasn't until I realized he was.
"What do you mean you're not on birth control?" He asked. I shrugged. "Look," I said, "I know it's a risk, but it's a fairly small one and I'm comfortable with it."
"Small risk?" he said incredulously, "My dad got both of his wives pregnant the first time he had sex with them. I come from a fertile family. It's a pretty big risk." Normally too emotionally unavailable to lose his cool this much, he was in quite a tizzy over some pre-ejaculate fluid.
"Okay, look, it's not like you actually came, so we're probably--"
"Yes I did," he cut me off, shooting me a quizical look. "When?" I demanded, wondering how I could possibly have missed it.
I won't go into much more detail, but he explained when and I guess I must have had more to drink than I thought, because... well, I just had no idea. Anyway, we decided on EC. I called my clinic for a prescription, but they were closed. Panicking, I hung up and we headed to the ER attached to the clinic in hopes that someone there would write a prescription.
My honey pulled a u-turn as we passed his house on the way to the hospital. "What are you doing?" I asked. "My folks are away," he responded, "and there's no way I'm going into a hospital for emergency contraception with you barefoot. You're borrowing my step-mom's shoes."
I got my EC and I didn't get pregnant, thank goodness, nor did anyone get the opportunity to make "barefoot and pregnant" jokes (until now!). The moral of the story, though, is go get some EC! It's so much easier to have it on hand than to chase it all over town in borrowed sneakers.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Today is Sexual Evolution’s first birthday! Unfortunately, you can’t really spank a blog. I’d offer to let you spank me instead, but I’m not sure my beau would approve.
I wasn’t always a spanking kind of girl. There was a time, long after I’d begun to explore my kinky side, when I found spanking fantasies laugh-out-loud funny. Erotica with spanking in it was an immediate turn off. When Virginia, who was older than me and had already gotten in touch with her spanko-self, asked me to spank her one night, I tried, and wavered the entire time between laughing (because it felt so ridiculous) and crying (because I was utterly mortified by the whole thing). Needless to say, it was not a satisfying experience for either of us.
But then I found myself in a relationship that was outright kinky.
I knew he liked to top, he knew I liked to bottom, and even our most vanilla sex usually had some element of power-play. When we had our initial series of “what would you flag?” conversations, we agreed that neither of us was turned on by spanking play and it wouldn’t be a part of our bedroom repertoire.
Then something changed. I got into the habit of making a certain kind of silly joke which happened to drive him crazy. He warned me one day that if I kept making those jokes he was going to have to spank me – so of course I had to test my limits. He grabbed me and spanked me and I squealed and we both laughed. It was funny, not sexy, and it became a game for me – I’d see if I could slip in a joke without him noticing. Inevitably, he’d notice. He spanked me in front of friends once, and I was horrified (although probably not as horrified as them. Then one night, as we were leaving my house for his apartment, I made the forbidden joke as we walked past the living room full of people. I said goodbye for the evening to my friends, thinking nothing of it, and as we stepped onto the porch and the door closed behind he pushed me up against the rough brick wall.
“No!” I whispered, “someone might see!”
“Guess you shouldn’t have made that joke then,” he said, and brought his hand down hard against my backside. I stifled my yelp and swallowed the safeword that had been on the tip of my tongue. This felt different. He meant business, and it completely changed the way I felt about the spanking. We stepped off the porch, my backside stinging. I hoped that no one had seen, but the whole walk to his apartment I struggled to get a grip on the intense and new experience of being so incredibly turned on by my own sense of shame. By the time we made it to his bedroom I was pretty much ready to tear his clothes off.
But I digress. Happy Birthday, blog-o-mine! Here’s to another year of smart sex.
Friday, March 09, 2007
This is pretty awesome, and ties in nicely with the last post:
When you want something a bit racier to go with your organic strawberries, break out the Eco-Sexy Kit. This all-in-one kit includes the body-friendly Laya Spot vibrator and a selection of premium, all-natural spa products. The attractive Laya Spot is made of Elastomer, a new latex-free and phthalate-free material. The Babeland Massage Candle is made of skin-safe soy that transforms into warm, deliciously scented massage oil as it heats up. Emerita Natural Lube moisturizes while keeping things slick (and the company doesn't test on animals or use animal-derived ingredients). Top off your sexcapade with the Mamba Condoms, produced by a well-regarded Swedish non-profit whose testing process is 15 times more stringent than any other condom company in the world!
Can be purchased here, for what is actually a pretty good price.
Women’s shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly, and, while agencies generally assist with everyday necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, this most basic need is often overlooked- women hygiene.
You can help contribute to rectify this situation by making a VIRTUAL donation below!
For each VIRTUAL donation, Seventh Generation will send a pack of organic cotton tampons or chlorine-free pads to a shelter in your state.
Bear in mind that you can list any state you want as the recipient, it doesn't have to be the state you live in. Women in Kentucky need pads too.
Want to know more about Seventh Generation's chlorine-free pads & tampons? Go here.
The field tests will lead to a Montgomery County school board decision on whether or not to go district-wide with the new curriculum in the fall.
Topic previously discussed here.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
A friend recently brought to my attention a series of news stories about a clinic in Northern New Jersey that was closed by health officials last week, following a review of the facilities. The review found that Metropolitan Medical Associates’ Englewood clinic posed a risk of "immediate and serious risk of harm to patients,” with violations particularly concerning infection control and proper care of instruments and equipment. It was prompted by a report from Newark Beth Israel Hospital, who admitted a patient a month ago soon after she underwent a procedure. The patient, Dinkins suffered from a stroke and a collapsed lung, probably due to blood loss, and was in a coma for a month. She also had to undergo a hysterectomy.
The procedure that Dinkins underwent was an abortion, and the Englewood clinic is one of only a handful of clinics in the state which performs second-trimester abortions. Since the media began reporting about the temporary shutdown of the clinic, at least two more women have come forward to talk about complications they experienced at the clinic. It seems likely that the temporary closing of the clinic, as well as the requirement that they hire medial safety and administrative consultants, are well founded.
Meanwhile, anti-abortion activists have gathered outside the locked doors of the clinic to demand that it stay closed, and North Jersey’s papers are reporting on the subject with all of the sensationalism that is typical of an “abortion clinic” story, describing the reactions of protesters and including a photo of two white middle-aged men holding anti-abortion placards. Articles like these continue to allow abortion to be viewed as a political issue.
Abortion is a medical procedure. It is so safe that it’s generally considered safer than childbirth. IT SHOULD NOT BE A POLITICAL ISSUE. It shouldn’t be any more political than lasik eye surgery, or hysterectomies, or a heart bypass. Why should anyone’s medical history be political?
Most articles have referenced the 1993 closing of the clinic following the death of a 20 year old woman who had an abortion there, although only one was kind enough to mention that the death was determined to have been caused by predetermined factors; the clinic was cleared of all charges in that instance. The Englewood clinic has been a focus of anti-abortion protesting over the years, and was at the center of a couple of important trials regarding safe perimeters and the required legal distance of anti-abortion protesters from clinic entrances.
In a letter to the editor of one of North Jersey’s papers, one man writes: “Legalized abortion was justified on the grounds that it would end dirty illegal abortions. So now we have dirty legal abortions. And given the number performed every year, there may be more women maimed by them than was ever the case before Roe v. Wade.”
Let’s see… this clinic performs TEN THOUSAND abortions a year, many of them of the riskier second-trimester variety. I can’t seem to find statistics for abortion complication rates, but my guess is that there are bound to be a handful in any clinical setting, and to actually come out and SAY that the back-alley might have been a safer option is an insult to abortion providers. Can you imagine someone saying that men would be better off having vasectomies done by unlicensed providers in unclean facilities with unsterile instruments? Somehow I doubt that the women who obtained those (TEN THOUSAND) abortions would have preferred a back-alley provider to a clinic setting.
I don’t mean to diminish, at all, what happened to Dinkins. It’s an incredibly sad story, and I’m glad the state is doing something to clean up the Englewood clinic. But the politicized way in which the media is handling the case, and the political maelstrom of “abortion politics” in which this case exists, only makes abortion harder to provide and harder to obtain. This should have been a story about a clinic being temporarily shut down, not a political war over whether or not it should reopen.
I would like to draw your attention to the following three news stories, though:
A proposed resolution in the United States Congress would demand that the Japanese government publicly apologize to WWII's "comfort women," mostly Chinese and Korean women abducted or lured to serve as prostitutes to Japanese soldiers on the front lines. China has recently issued a similar resolution. Japan is resisting.
Two Sunni women were allegedly gang-raped by US trained Iraqi Security Forces last month. This comes on the heels of a guilty plea from a second US soldier in the rape and murder of a 14 year old Iraqi girl and her family. I'd just like to point out: These are just the women who have been able to come forward.
According to a recent study of female military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 90% of the women studied had experienced sexual assault -- and 70% of that was from other US soldiers. Salon.com has much more on the subject.
Maybe the US government should get its head out of its ass and stop demanding apologies from other countries for things that happened 60 years ago when its own military is still having the same kinds of problems. Fucking self-righteous hypocritical bullshit.
To make the evening not a total waste, my abbreviated wishlist of kink:
SL's Medium Chrome Plug (partially because it matches my kegelcisor)
SL's 24" Leather-Wrapped Spreader Bar
SL's Roller Drum. Can't you feel the tingling just looking at it?
The Genevieve Corset. I've worn this. It's amazing. I could have had it for like half that price, but no, I decided to buy groceries instead. That was silly.
These thigh cuffs from BDSM Toybox.
Pin Up Girl shoes, also from BDSM Toybox, although I really want them in a color to match that powder blue dress of mine...
mmph, okay, consumerist lust-fest over. The truth is, all I really need to be a happy bottom is for someone to be stern with me. And call me that dirty, dirty S word.
The best of this weeks blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #70? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form.
This Week’s Picks
The Adrenaline Moment (http://theprovocateur.wordpress.com)
“As soon as they stood, I was certain they spotted me – for they rose and both walked right up to the tall windows before them”
Bewitch Us Both! (http://perverselypoly.blogspot.com)
“She’s starting to breath shallow as your tongue makes its way along her outer lips, followed by one, two then three fingers.”
All Dressed Up And No-one To Fuck (http://joeheather.blogspot.com)
“The bra and thong stayed, though. I love to fuck my woman when she’s still partially clothed. “
Mr. Sugasm Himself
The Ron Jeremy Economy (http://www.sugarbank.com)
Kiss Me (http://lafillemariee.blogspot.com)
More Sugasm Erotic Writing and Experiences BDSM & Fetish Sex Work Sex and Politics Thoughts on Sex and Relationships Sex Reviews & Interviews
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The birthday gift… (http://clearslate2007.wordpress.com)
Cum for Me (http://bikersballsandteacherstits.blogspot.com)
His point of view, continued: Kismet (http://junohenry.wordpress.com)
My Number One (http://confessions112.blogspot.com)
Swing Club, Part 2 (http://maude-tim.blogspot.com)
You’ll have to ask my friend (http://marriedexploits.blogspot.com)
The art of you and me…. (http://ellesnovellas.blogspot.com)
Butt it’s Fun (http://sweatshopsissy.wordpress.com)
Happy HNT - slave on a leash (http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com)
Meet Amber….”The Middle of the Story” (http://buttocksblog.blogspot.com)
Ouch Overheard (http://radicalvixen.com/blog)
Spanking on a Dark Country Road (http://www.spankingwriters.com/blog)
Sins of The Mother (http://aslipofagirl.blogspot.com)
A Few More of My Own Sexual Oddities (http://www.taratainton.com)
Is Independence Overrated? (http://www.ricksguide.com)
Pussy Shaving Questions (http://www.model-chat.com)
Wannabe nurse fetish (http://lustylady.blogspot.com)
Where and How Does Inspiration Strike? (http://inkserotica.blogspot.com)
Another Interview (http://www.swelteringcelt.com/blog)
Sugasm Review (http://adultblogmarketing.blogspot.com)
VIP (Very Intimate Pleasures) Store-CT (http://deliciously-naughty.typepad.com)
Erotic Writing and Experiences
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Sex and Politics
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Friday, March 02, 2007
I’m not really a slut in the classic sense. I’ve had my fair share of sexual partners, sure, but they’ve all been people I’ve known for some length of time and given some thought to. Even my one and only one night stand was with someone I’d known casually for years. Despite the fact that there are people in my life who have more or less called me a slut, and the fact that my mother still worries about my reputation, I’m not what most people would consider a slut.
But there’s a word – a bedroom word – that makes me weak in the knees. Rachel Kramer Bussel thinks everyone has one, and she may be right, but I know for certain that I have one.
I get a little shivery just typing it, actually. I had fantasies about that word for a year or so before someone finally unleashed it on me. It was one of my most secret fantasies, because (as a 14 year old feminist) my rational brain thought it was horribly degrading. How could I be so turned on by something so against my politics? But one afternoon, after we’d been having sex for about a year and a half, my high school boyfriend pinned my arms above my head and whispered “You’re such a little slut” into my ear.
I went absolutely wild. I locked my eyes with his for a second, and then I was finally able to act out the fantasy I’d been having in my head for years. It’s not a very complex fantasy: the person I’m with calls me a slut, and I say I’m sorry for being such a slut, and then he (or she) has his (or her) way with me (this is one of my few equal-opportunity fantasies). Of course, he brought out the s-word because he’d seen it in porn and read it in erotica, but it didn’t matter to me where it came from. All that mattered was that my dirty little secret was out in the open.
For the rest of the time we dated, he expanded on the “slut” theme. Words like “cockslut” and “cumslut” became part of our bedroom vocabulary. I’ve said a lot of mean things about this particular ex and his sexual prowess in the past several years, but I’ve got to hand it to him: he knew how to talk dirty.
Why Slut? My theory is that it allows me to let my sexually ravenous side out. After all, if the person I’m with knows my dirty little secret – that deep inside of this innocent looking blonde girl is a debauched, wanton harlot just waiting to make her appearance – well then, why hide it?
Years later, I was up against the wall of my dorm room, pants around my ankles, being done with such force that I thought my knees would buckle. Call me slut, I pleaded in my head, tell me I’m your dirty little slut. I wasn’t quite ready to give voice to that taboo desire in the context of my new-ish relationship, though, and apparently my telepathic skills were a little out of practice that evening.
When it was over, we collapsed onto my bed and I curled up against his chest. After a few minutes of conversation about the power-structure of our sexual relationship, he tentatively asked if there was anything I was particularly opposed to. Was he asking what I hoped he was asking? I began a faltering answer, unsure if he really meant what I thought he did, but he cut me off.
“Any words, I mean,” he clarified.
He was asking! I told him in a rush that I wasn’t easily offended and in fact I love being called slut, and he let out a long breath and told me that was the exact word he’d wanted to use, but he hadn’t wanted to offend me. Apparently my slut nature is more obvious to the people I sleep with than I realized! We spent the rest of the evening proving to each other that the label was an appropriate one.
So there, now you all know my dirty little secret. Just for the record, it doesn’t work unless I’m already attracted to you – if someone walked up to me on the street and called me a slut, I’d punch him in the balls and be done with it. But in bed… mmmph. Hearing that word makes any sex better.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Ce n'est pas un vagin (parce que c'est un vulva).
Artist Billy Pacak works in wood because "it feels alive" when he carves it -- judging by the skill with which these vulva pipes are carved, I'd say that isn't the only live thing he's working! The pipe itself is designed to look like labia minora (that's the inner pussy lips, for those of you who know your porn better than your anatomy), clitoris, and vagina, and is removable from the rest of the vulva. Very pretty. I wonder what it feels like to have your vulva immortalized in wood? The pipes are not actually meant for use, but I bet there are plenty of pipe collectors who would love to add one of these to their collections! (via Fleshbot)
From RH Reality Check, the HIV epidemic hits home:
Imagine that you live in a country where HIV infection rates are on the rise. In your nation's capital, one out of every 20 people is HIV positive. In some socially marginalized communities, nearly half of people are HIV positive.
In this place, about half of all people who need to be taking HIV medication to stay healthy are unable to access medication on an ongoing basis, and some have died while on waiting lists for drugs. Hundreds of thousands of HIV positive people pass through prisons and jails each year, and no effort is made to coordinate education, prevention or social services for them.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports on two new HIV drugs. One of the drugs is the first to work on the body's cells rather than the virus itself -- it blocks the point at which the virus gains access to the cell. Not surprisingly, there are debates going on about the long-term effects of the drug -- similar drugs that have undergone testing previously have led to increased blood cancer rates and liver toxicity. Tests for Merck's new drug haven't demonstrated any of those effects yet, though, so this drug seems to have a lot of potential.
Also from the New York Times, a study tracking the prevalence of HPV in women found that about 25% of women are infected with some strain of the virus -- and among women ages 20-24, the number rises to almost 45%. Do I even need to say it? If you're eligible, go get vaccinated.
Again from RH Reality Check, Marylin Keefe discusses aspects of the HPV vaccine issue that are getting overlooked in all the arguments about parents' rights and promiscuity -- for example, the fact that none of that matters if no one can afford it:
There are nearly 17 million uninsured women in the United States, a number that grows daily. Many women—especially in the 19-26 year old aged group, don't have any type of insurance—public or private. At $360 for the vaccine, it is certain to be out of reach, even if they can even find a health care provider who offers it.
Massachusetts Rep. Marty Meehan introduced legislation that would reverse the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. One hundred six Democrats and three Republicans co-sponsored the bill, with the general rallying cry that discriminating against LGB folks is bad for the country's defense. I suppose that's a good way to get the bill passed, but "Yeah! Let gay people into the military so we can send them off to fight in unjustified wars!" is something I have trouble getting behind.
And let's finish things off right: I don't watch America' Next Top Model, but judging from this photo, maybe I should start... just for the record, I think the photos of Jael that have turned up are very tasteful. And hot. Photo below the fold!