Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sugasm #68

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 #69? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form.


This Week’s Picks

First Client (http://thismuse.blogspot.com)

“He buries his nose in my pussy, licks me while I suck him, rubs his mouth up and down me.”


His point of view (http://junohenry.wordpress.com)


“Once he shut the door — urgently, impatiently, with a deft kick of his heel and a satisfying thud as the lock caught, all vestiges of decorum disappeared.”


Why is my sex ed class so sticky? (http://deliciously-naughty.typepad.com)

“This game was played for NINE years, and it’s only this year that parents are writing the school board?”


Mr. Sugasm Himself

Thumbnail Gallery Problems… (http://www.sugarbank.com)


Editor’s Choice


More on submissives with lists (http://principalquattrano.com/blog)


More Sugasm

Join the Sugasm


Thoughts on Sex and Relationships

Great Moments in Sex Education (http://sexualevolution.blogspot.com)


Half-Nekkid Nightie (http://sweatshopsissy.wordpress.com)

Hot Studs Have Feelings Too. (http://onlyamirage.blogspot.com)

I Am Greatful! (http://totalsensuality.blogspot.com)

If I Die… (http://perverselypoly.blogspot.com)

Let Me Out of Here! (http://inkserotica.blogspot.com)


Pull my hair (http://lustylady.blogspot.com)

The thing about size…. (http://dirtylittlecockslut.blogspot.com)


NSFW Pics (& videos)

“26 Reasons for The Birth of This Blog” (http://buttocksblog.blogspot.com)

Belated VDay Gift from Tila Tequila (http://myhotbox.blogspot.com)


Crystal Klein nude photos (http://eroticandy.blogspot.com)

Happy HNT - Masturbation erotica (http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com)

I wish it was summer (http://myhotbox.blogspot.com)

Jamaica in the Kitchen (http://kitchen-girls.blogspot.com)


Sex Work


Session To Do List (http://radicalvixen.com/blog)


Sex News, Reviews and Interviews

Baby Bug Vibrator Review (http://stilettodiaries.blogspot.com)

It keeps going and going and…dying (http://nocloudnine.blogspot.com)

Kiri or Jules? (http://www.connectbycam.com/blog)


Taco Tuesday: Toy Review 3 “Adonis” (http://themilfblog.blogspot.com)


Sex and Politics

Anti-Anti Pornography, Part V: How Hypocrite Can You Get? (http://www.teen-porn-site.com/blog)


BDSM & Fetish

Atlanta Flight (http://eroticjournals.blogspot.com)


Contrast revisited (http://pick-up-pieces.blogspot.com)

Dirty laundry (http://kinkerbelle.atlantabondage.com)

From memory (http://sexcakes.blogspot.com)

Knowing looks (http://pandorablake.blogspot.com)

Meeboguest G confesses: “I’ve been watching my wife get fucked” (http://anawtymouz.blogspot.com)


Quest for fire… (http://blog.atlantabondage.com)

What to do in a tight situation (http://sadiedark69.blogspot.com)


Erotic Writing and Experiences

Belated NYE Party @ T’s part 2 (http://slutissimo2.wordpress.com)

Do you want to share a cab (http://gentlygently.blogspot.com)


Giving and Receiving (http://sarawinters.blogspot.com)

Grinding it (http://plum001.blogspot.com)

Indulging in a Virtual Tryst Part VII (http://www.taratainton.com)

Lips…. (http://ellesnovellas.blogspot.com)

My girlfriend the stripper, part 5 (http://erotischism.blogspot.com)


My idea of a love letter to SMW (http://marriageishot.blogspot.com)

Swingers Night!! (http://mandyseroticlife.blogspot.com)


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What's a Flower?


Dear February,

Thank you for being an unusually short month, because I'm pretty sure I couldn't take much more of you.

Love,
Amanda

Monday, February 26, 2007

Quickie: on Gaydar and Likin' the Ladies


So I'm sitting in a coffee shop writing cover letters and distracting myself with the internets, and the subject of my queerness came up in virtual-conversation with a straight male friend who's not so much with the gaydar. Referring to the cute law student studying next to me, I said "I'm pretty sure she's straight. Either that or she's like me and doesn't "vibe" the right way."

"What do you mean, you don't vibe the right way?" my friend asked. "Even I could tell that you were queer."

"Really?" I asked incredulously. "You mean it?" Most people think I'm straight unless I specifically mention ladyfriends. I've considered getting a rainbow (or perhaps a blue star) tattooed somewhere obvious (like, oh, my forehead) to help people figure me out.

"Yeah," he responded, "you look at girls. It's kind of hard to miss."

"I mean, you don't blip as bigdyke," he added as an afterthought, "but you do blip as likin'theladies."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Deep Desired, Long Awaited Spring


Hello and welcome to my inaugural usage of peek-a-boo expandable posts, brought to you by Hackosphere! I've decided to put some of the more NSFW posts, as well as the personal stuff which people who actually know me don't necessarily want to read, "below the fold". Just click the link below to expand the post and read on!

Ah, springtime. It’s my favorite season, even though it only lasts about three days where I’m from. There’s the smell of regrowth in the air, and people actually look at each other instead of the ground when passing on the street. You might think it’s a little early to start talking about spring – after all, it’s still February – but I know it’s nearly spring when I dream about a certain ex, and last night I did.

I’m not sure why he’s so closely associated with spring in my mind. I’ve analyzed it to death – it’s because my attraction to him is chemical, and spring triggers my desire to “mate”; it’s because spring is about new growth, and he was always pushing my boundaries; it’s because that’s when a certain storyline developed on a certain show (I was always a P/J-er, not a D/J-er), and that storyline reminded me of us. But today I realized that it may simply be because my very first moment of attraction to him happened on a beautiful early June day, almost 8 years ago. We were between final exams, sitting with classmates on the back hill outside our high school. I don’t know what he said or did, but I remember thinking how strange it was to find myself so attracted to someone so quickly.

It was something like four years (or five? Maybe five.) before we actually finally dated, and in the years that intervened I found my mind (and yeah, my hormones) drifting back to him each spring. It would begin with a sex dream, and then, completely regardless of the state of my love life at the time, I would find myself preoccupied with thoughts of him, talking to him more often, and wondering to myself if he was always going to be the one that got away.

He wasn’t, as it turned out. Eventually we dated. It was nice, although the timing was bad. I was crazy, and he was emotionally unavailable, and I was left feeling unsatisfied and sad, but ready to move on. Still, in the years since then, the beginning of every spring has been marked by dreams of him.

Last night’s dream was different, though, because for the first time it wasn’t sexual. We were at a dinner party, and he was there with his current significant other. She was charming and he was himself, wrong about politics and planning to take over the world. At the end of the evening we hugged and said goodbye. I woke up happier than I have all week, and very much excited that spring is almost here.

10 points, by the way, to anyone who understands the reference in the post title. Another 10 to anyone who knows the connection between myself and the reference!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More on the Wilson Case

Sick of it yet? I know I am. But somehow as long as people are making Wilson out to be a victim I can't seem to let it go. Anyway, I came across this transcript of a segment from (you might want to sit down) The O'Reilly Factor from February 19th:
[Speaking to attorney B.J. Bernstein & attorney Sunny Hostin]
"We're going to show you a very disturbing piece of tape. It concerns a convicted sexual offender having sex with a 17-year old woman. She says it was rape, but a jury didn't convict Genarlow Wilson of that crime. Instead, the jury convicted him of another crime, the sexual abuse of a 15-year old girl. Wilson got ten years in a Georgia prison for that, and many in the liberal press objected to the sentence. Editorials in the New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other papers condemned the prison term, implying Wilson was the victim. A report on CNN called him 'a good son, a good athlete, a high school student with a 3.2 GPA.' Wilson is an object of sympathy in some quarters, but should he be? The 17-year old girl says she believed she was drugged, and by most accounts she seemed to be intoxicated. The reason we're reporting this story is sometimes the media glorifies people who don't deserve to be glorified. Mr. Wilson and his supporters want you to believe he's a victim; the girl wants you to believe she's a victim. Talking Points believes that once again the media has not reported the full story."

For more on the case, The Factor was joined by former prosecutor Sunny Hostin, who saw the tape showing Genarlow Wilson with the 17-year old. "It was vulgar and reprehensible," Hostin declared. "This woman was knocked out, there was no way she could have consented. She was dragged into a bathroom." But Wilson's lawyer B.J. Bernstein stressed that her client was acquitted of raping the woman. "The jurors spoke out that he was not guilty of rape, and the only thing they convicted him of was consensually receiving oral sex from a 15-year old. I don't say that Genarlow Wilson didn't do anything wrong. Was it right? No. Was it rape? No!" The Factor argued that Wilson is where he belongs, behind bars. "From what we can see on this tape, it doesn't look like this woman wanted it to happen. The media jumped out and said Wilson should be set free, but the tape shows that maybe this guy got what he deserved."


I can't emphasize enough how rare it is for me to agree with this man, or to reference Fox News as a credible source, but this time I'm glad to see someone in mainstream media pointing out that maybe Wilson isn't the victim/hero he's been made out to be.

Linkage: Bad Vibes, Sex Ed, Veggie Love and More


Tristan Taormino's Pucker Up column has tackled the subject of phthalates in Dangerous Dildos (Part 1, Part 2). I like that she makes the distinction between "adult novelty" manufacturers and those who proudly craft and sell sexual aides:
When you look at the phthalate issue in a larger context, what you see is the current split within the sex toy industry between old-school adult novelty makers and new age sex-positive toy companies. The former are stuck in a model of "get it as cheap as you can from China, make it look like a penis (that's what women want, right?), and spend as little as you can on packaging." Toys from these companies scream, "Who cares if this looks good or actually works? No one's going to return it or complain, they'll be too embarrassed. Besides, it's just a dildo," reinforcing people's low expectations and shame.

In the article she mentions the Coalition Against Toxic Toys (badvibes.org). Their shopping guide gives fabulous advice for how to spot potentially hazardous toys -- take it with you on your next trip to the toy store!

At Mother Talkers, a group blog of "Rants and Raves on Modern Motherhood", Amy has written about her nephew's experience with public school sex education. Recounting a conversation between mother and son:
"What have you learned?" my sister asked.
"I learned about AIDS. That if you have unprotected sex, you get AIDS and die. But Mom, I don't even know what unprotected sex is. What is protected sex?"

Meanwhile, Oakland teens got so sick of cheesy sex-ed videos that they made their own:
The 15-minute movie was written, acted, filmed and edited almost entirely by students from East Oakland's Fremont Federation, a campus with four small high schools. With a hip-hop soundtrack and multidimensional characters — such as a peer educator who makes some poor decisions at a party — it was clearly made with its audience in mind.

The Condom Project has received support from the school district and had its premiere on Valentine's Day.

A Guardian piece discusses why rape charges so seldom lead to rape convictions in great detail, including the way stereotypes about women, previous sexual activity, and alcohol consumption on the part of the victim all contribute to the dismissal of the vast majority of rape cases. The whole thing goes right back to the Wilson case: why is the media championing this young man who was captured on film having sex with a semi-conscious woman? I'd really like to see some REAL journalism on the subject -- what evidence led to his acquittal on the rape charge? Did the alleged-victim recant, or was it simply a case of his word against hers? The whole thing makes me feel sick to my stomach.

HIV vaccine testing made the AP newswire this week. The article discusses how the test is being done on sex workers in the Dominican Republic. Since Phase 2 of the vaccine trial requires that it be tested on high as well as low risk groups, sex workers and injection drug users are obvious subjects. The tests are also being conducted in Haiti, the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Jamaica and Peru. Merck, the company running the tests, is walking a thin public relations tightrope: If the trials are successful with no extreme adverse effects, they'll be heaped with praise. If something goes wrong, though, the papers (and eventually the history books) will be filled with scorn for the exploitative nature of the testing. HIV vaccine testing is a double-edged sword, but the impression that I get is that researchers are being as scrupulous as they can be in this inherently exploitative situation. Probably more to come on this soon.

The inaugural post is up on Veggie Love, the brand-new blog of my ever beautiful and brilliant roommate! Go check it out, and be jealous -- she cooks for me. Yeah, it's awesome.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Great Moments in Sex Education


I’m a sex educator, but that hasn’t always meant that I’m as careful as I should be. Just like pretty much every other young person I know, my high school self was convinced that she was invincible. As the following story demonstrates, though, by the time I was a sophomore in college the sex-ed message had taken hold.

“Your tits look amazing in that dress,” Virginia said breathlessly, leaning in to me. It sounded so vulgar; coming out of her mouth, that only made it hotter. She had shown up to the party in a black silk slip with a black ribbon around her neck, next to which her skin was that perfect shade of creamy white you always hear described in smutty stories. Her flask was tucked into the lace at the top of her thigh-high stockings. She looked amazing, and she was paying attention to me. My cheeks felt hot. “Your tits look amazing.” How was I supposed to respond to that? “Thanks! Want to go upstairs and do it?” No, no. I didn’t want to scare her away. Everyone said Virginia scared easily when it came to relationships.

I waited until she turned back to the entertainment – drunken college a Capella – before resting my hand on the base of her neck. I traced a pattern there with my fingernail. She shivered. I stopped, just in case I was annoying her, but she pulled my hand back to her neck without even looking at me.

By the time the party moved upstairs to my bedroom I was drunk and desperate to get her out of that little black slip. On my bed, in front of a room full of people, she was taking off my borrowed stilettos and kissing and biting her way up my leg. The rest of the room was oblivious until Virginia reached the back of my knee – and sucked on it. Hard. Let me tell you, if you’ve never had the back of your knee sucked on, you’re missing out. I gasped and cried out, and the entire room turned to look – and then left. Quickly.

I flipped Virginia onto her back, kissed her mouth – hard – and her neck, pulled the straps of her slip down over her shoulders and touched and kissed as much of that creamy white skin of hers as I could manage. She was breathing hard. I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe my luck in having this beautiful, brilliant creature underneath me. I kissed her thighs, slid my hand over her underwear, moved my mouth higher and started to pull the damp material away from her body. My heart was pounding. I’d been looking forward to this moment for months, ever since she’d pushed me up against a door and left me with a hickey that no amount of makeup would cover.

“Wait,” she said, reaching a hand down to stop me. “I have my period.”

I think I laughed. Of course she had her period. “Me too,” I said, letting out a deep breath. I felt like someone had popped my balloon. There’s always a risk of STI transmission during oral sex on a woman, but when there’s blood present that risk is much higher. And did I have any dental dams? Or even a non-lubricated condom for turning into a dental dam? Oh no, that would just have been too convenient. But I was well past feeling invincible at this point – an STI scare or two had ended my days of unnecessary risk, and apparently this thing with Virginia wasn’t supposed to happen after all.

In the long run, it’s okay with me that she and I didn’t end up having the kind of sex I’d imagined that night. It wasn’t okay with me at the time, of course, but I know I made the right decision, because finally – in college – I had gotten the kind of sex education that I should have gotten years before.

Scarleteen, a website devoted to promoting sexual health among young people, provides the exact kind of sex education that young people should be getting. The fact that it’s run independently means that it isn’t subject to the kinds of restrictions that many other youth sex ed sites are (although still subject federal “decency” regulations), but it also means that the entire site is completely donor-funded. So, if science-based, realistic, respectful and intelligent sex education is important to you, please consider making a donation!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Violet Blue is my Hero of the Day


I mentioned here a month or so ago that Kink.com had bought an old armory building in the Mission district of San Francisco to use as a studio. Since then there have been some protests from neighbors (although not very large-scale protests, from what I can tell). In an SFGate column this week, Violet Blue exposes the ways in which the supposedly unbiased news media are... well, dumping all over porn. As Violet would say, snip:
Steve Rubenstein and Jesse McKinley are reporters, and so we require that they report and not serve us with opinion, instead. In both articles, slanted phrases such as "dirty movies" were slipped in like a hostess silently sliding a coaster under your drink -- blink and you don't even notice it's part of the judgmental scenery -- when a more accurate term like "adult" could serve better. Rubenstein's piece went the distance, making Kink's employees into "manacled performers."

Since the column went up, SFGate has dug the hole even deeper. From Tiny Nibbles, Violet Blue's blog:
It's very, very controversial, and the SFGate is right now, at this very moment, fucking with me on it again. Instead of the front page title and subhead my editor and I requested they use with the column, they are using one that runs against the very principles of the entire article. They are illustrating my whole point. Read my piece and you'll see why calling it an article about "dirty movies" is biased and unacceptable[...]

They've since changed the to something more appropriate. Go read the column!

Municipal Condoms Come to Town


NYC debuted its new line of municipal condoms on Wednesday of this week, just in time for that most romantic of holidays – National Condom Day! The Lifestyles brand condoms have been wrapped in packaging reminiscent of the subway system’s colors and lettering, and the tagline reads “We’ve got you covered” (wink, wink). City employees and volunteers handed out more that 150,000 of the free condoms in a massive launch campaign that was intended to get condoms into hands and conversations started.

Meanwhile, our nation’s capital was a day late and a dollar short. DC’s own municipal condom campaign was due to launch on Wednesday as well, but “internal complications” and that pesky snowstorm delayed the launch until today. DC’s condoms are wrapped in yellow and purple and the slogan is “Coming Together to Stop HIV.” Unfortunately, according to the Washington Post, the pun was not intended (come on, even if it wasn’t couldn’t they have just let people think it was? So much cooler that way). Although the Post seems critical of DC’s campaign as it compares to NYC’s, I’m really impressed with DC for stepping it up even this much. In a town where sex is almost always scandal and even the proprietress of the best local erotic boutique is afraid to reveal her name, a massive free-condom campaign is remarkably sex-positive.

As for the trend of municipal condoms, I hope it catches on. Clearly the current federal administration isn’t going to help, so for now it’s up to local communities to rally around HIV prevention and municipal condoms is a great, practical way to do that, as long as those condoms are accompanied by easy access to information. I hope more cities follow in the footsteps of DC and New York.

Can’t you just see Northampton with its own line of dental dams? And condoms, of course. With little rainbow Massachusettses on the packaging! Think Mayor Mary Clare Higgins would go for it?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Your Chance to Support Comprehensive Sex Ed!


On Friday, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will introduct an Act that would create the first federally funded comprehensive sexuality education. The Responsible Education About Life (or REAL) Act would fund science-based, medically accurate, age appropriate health education in public schools. Consdering the fact that $1.4 Billion has been wasted on Abstinence-Only programs with no proven track record, I think it's about damn time for a change. Don't you?

Advocates for Youth has made it incredibly easy for all of us busy young people to support the act. Just follow the link to urge your Representative to co-sponsor the bill. It takes two minutes -- which, if you're like me, is time you'd probably otherwise spend stalking people's away messages or facebook profiles. This is really historic legislation, don't miss your chance to get in on the action!

PS: Sexual Evolution has its own Myspace page now. Be my friend?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hot Date

Multi-speed rabbit vibrator with realistic penis design and texturized shaft.

Oh, Valentine's Day.

I know it's cheesy. I know I'm the type of person who's supposed to condemn it as just another consumerist bonanza, a way for corporations to force people who can't afford it to buy stuff their loved ones don't need. And yeah, I do agree with that, but that doesn't mean I don't celebrate. In fact, there's a celebration package filled with homemade and inexpensively purchased gifts of love on its way to my beau right now. As far as I'm concerned, it's all about having an excuse to take the time out of our busy lives and do something fun and thoughtful for our significant others.

Of course, since said beau is so far away, I will not be seeing him this evening. Instead, he's on a date with a friend of ours (who better not be getting handsy!), and I'm on a date with my new buddy Flex. I'll be reviewing him for EdenFantasys.com, and let me tell you -- I am very much looking forward to our date! You can find out how it went when the review goes up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sex News: the “Are You Kidding Me?” Edition

A pair of young people in Tallahassee, Fla. has been convicted of producing child pornography... of themselves. That's right. The two young people, both minors, used a digital camera to take naughty photos of themselves fooling around. She sent them to his email address. Neither teen showed the photos to anyone else, but somehow they were brought to the attention of local police who arrested the pair and charged them with production of child pornography; he was also charged with possession of child pornography. According to CNet’s “Police Blotter” column, the young woman was found guilty and her first appeal was overturned 2:1; the majority opinion was that “Appellant was simply too young to make an intelligent decision about engaging in sexual conduct and memorializing it. Mere production of these videos or pictures may also result in psychological trauma to the teenagers involved.” Judge Wolf, who wrote the majority opinion, also insinuated that one of the parties involved (y’know, the teenagers whose naughty bits were caught on film) might have eventually sold the photos for profit.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the point of child pornography law to protect against the sexual exploitation of children? Instead, this young couple – both of whom were legally able to consent to sexual relations – are being punished for a “mistake” that adults make every day. Good job, Florida. Way to catch the bad guys.

Meanwhile, the $6,000 raised by a coalition of exotic dancers apparently isn’t good enough for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. The women have been raising money for breast cancer research and awareness ever since another dancer – a friend of theirs – was killed by the disease. That particular charity had accepted money from the women before, but apparently certain major donors objected to the charity’s connection with strippers. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, but apparently the Breast Cancer Society of Canada does. Honestly, they should be ashamed. (via Fleshbot)

In Florida, a complaint from a driver led a theater to change its marquee from “The Vagina Monologues” to …wait for it… “The Hooha Monologues”. Yes, that’s right, apparently “vagina” is a dirtier word than “hooha.” The complaint came from a woman who was apparently concerned that her niece saw the title (because lord knows little girls shouldn’t know about vaginas!). The group of law students producing the show informed the management of the theater that their contract to perform Eve Ensler’s project stipulates that the show cannot be censored in any way, and the sign was returned to its former glory. (via Feministing)

And finally: KY brand lubricants have come out with a new product called Intrigue. Intrigue is, according to the website, super-slippery, not water-soluble, condom-safe, long-lasting, and might stain sheets. Sounds like silicone, right? And it is: the two ingredients are Dimethicone and Dimethiconol. But the words “silicone based” don’t appear anywhere on the Intrigue website. Instead, in a bit of sexual aide double-speak, KY says the product is made with new Liquimer ™ technology. They actually invented a word for it. So instead of actually knowing what they’re putting on (and in) their bodies, consumers are tricked into thinking that KY has come up with something NEW! And AMAZING! By the way, silicone lube, by any other name, is still not silicone-toy safe.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Massachusetts,

I know how much you hate to hear this, but I’m very disappointed in you. Texas has mandated the HPV vaccine as a part of girl’s routine vaccinations, and now Virginia has passed legislation to that end as well. Michigan tried it, and even South Dakota passed legislation to provide the vaccine to girls at no cost.

Meanwhile, tried-and-true blue state that you are, you have yet to even introduce legislation on the vaccine! How could you let Texas beat you to the punch? I realize that a big part of the reason Gov. Perry acted so quickly with his executive order was to prevent the political wrangling that would have gone on had the measure gone to the legislature, and that you don’t anticipate having that kind of problem, but you know what I think is really going on here? You’ve gotten complacent. What with your newly instated Democratic governor and your traditionally liberal politics, you don’t feel like you have to rush into this whole HPV thing. You know it’ll happen eventually, so you’re taking your sweet time about it.

The thing is, MA, no matter how badly you’ve treated some of my friends in recent years (y’know, the MCAS debacle, the abstinence-only sex education, the absolute dearth of funding for the university), I still love you. I still want you to be the best little state you can be. You have so much potential! You could be a leader in liberal politics. Remember how exciting it was to legalize same-sex marriage? In those first weeks you felt like an innovator and a guide for the rest of the nation. We’re all still waiting for them to remember that separate is not equal, but when they come around you will have been there in the beginning (and, unlike New Mexico, you will have seen it through). You could have been right there on the HPV vaccine, too, but you dropped the ball.

But just because you got a little bit behind doesn’t mean you can’t catch up. It’s very simple, really, just a few easy legislative steps:
• Mandate that the vaccine be given to school age girls along with other required vaccinations.
• Require the Department of Health to create an awareness campaign and create literature about HPV to send to parents. Encourage young women who are too old to be affected by the mandate to receive the vaccine anyway.
• Fund the vaccine! This is a crucial point. We pay plenty of taxes. Make them useful please. Consider mandating insurance and state health plan coverage.

See! Piece of cake. And MA, this is the health of your young people we’re talking about here -- so let’s get on it, okay?

Love,
Amanda

Links:
Write to Deval Patrick, Governor
Write to your MA State Senator
Write to your MA State Representative
Lists of HPV Vaccine Measures by state

what is wrong with people?


This is so sad: Brandy Britton, the former University of Maryland professor accused of working as a call girl, committed suicide this weekend. Her trial date was coming up. I'm a little too stunned by the whole thing to be coherently angry about it, but to sum up: even if Britton was doing sex work, who was she hurting? What purpose was there to wasting tax dollars to ruin her life? Who would benefit from her being in jail? Who will benefit from her death? Not a damn soul. (NYTimes)

In other anger-provoking news: Did you see the Snickers superbowl commercial? In it, two men working on a car share an accidental kiss, are horrified, and "do something manly" (rip out hunks of chest hair) in order to counteract the kiss. That's homophobic enough, but Snickers featured different endings to the commercial on their website, including one in which the two men beat each other up. The Human Rights Campaign is not pleased:
“The makers of Snickers and its parent company at Mars should know better. If they have any questions about why the ad isn’t funny, we can help put them in touch with any number of GLBT Americans who have suffered hate crimes.”

The Snickers micro-site, which also featured footage of Bears and Colts team members watching the commercial and reacting to the kiss, has been taken down, but whether that's because the parent comapny got a grip or because the Superbowl was two days ago is unclear. There's no mention of it on the Mars website. In any case, I'm pretty sure someone in the advertising industry is going to get at least a talking-to over this.

Certain low-dose birth control pills, namely those containing a synthetic progestin called desogestrel, can double a woman's risk of potentially fatal blood clots. Public Citizen, an advocacy group, is urging the FDA to stop the sale of those newer pills. They've created an information-packed website that includes a list of pills that contain the problem hormone: Not My Pill. Check it out, and if you're on one of those pills talk to your doctor. Your risk of developing a blood clot because of your birth control is actually extremely low, but really, why double it when there are other options?

Finally, some levity: a ballot measure has been introduced in Washington (the state) that would require heterosexual couples to have a child within three years of their marriage, or it would be annulled. The measure is clearly a farce, but it's sure to start some discussion, and I bet same-sex marriage proponents all over the country are having a bit of a laugh over it.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Slumming It: Family and the Pink Ghetto

I’ve been reading, and loving, Sexerati’s series on The Pink Ghetto. Lux Nightmare and Melissa Gira have expressed remarkably well the ways in which work around sex is made illegitimate and treated, often even by those doing the work, as a phase (for example, we use pseudonyms and keep two resumes in case we ever want to go “legit”). The series is already creating some dialogue in the sex positive community, and although in a lot of ways it’s depressing to think about, it’s an important conversation to have. Because I, for one, am pissed about the Pink Ghetto. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and I want my bragging rights.

The thing about sex is that you’re not supposed to talk about it. I don’t know when I figured that out, exactly, but by the time I was sex educating in college I knew that my extracurricular activities were off limits for the family Christmas party. As sexuality education (and the history of sex, and the art of good sex, and sexual politics) began to take up more and more of my free time, my family probably began to think I was incredibly dull – I could talk politics, and gossip, and chat about my history classes, but I dreaded hearing “so what have you been doing with your free time?” What could I tell them? “Well, I teach women how to female ejaculate, and host events where students stand up and read erotica. Oh, and last weekend I dressed up as a fairy and handed out condoms and dental dams at parties! Yeah, that was fun.” Somehow, I just don’t think that would fly.

I’m occasionally reminded of how little my family knows about my interests and career goals. “I was talking to George the other day,” my aunt Marie said over tea last week, referring to her employer, “and I told him you had just graduated from Smith. He sounded very impressed.” I smiled and felt a little self-conscious. I’m a first generation college student and I always feel some strange balance between admiration and animosity from my family, like they’re proud of me and skeptical at the same time.

“He asked what you were going to do now that you’d graduated, and I told him that, you know, you weren’t really sure yet” she continued, and I bristled. I know exactly what I want to do. In order: work in health outreach, get a degree in public health, design sex education programs, own a sex toy store, live on a working goat farm and write a book. But because of the nature of the work I want to do (well, except for the goat farm), my aunt has only the vaguest notions of what my plans are. I protested mildly, trying to explain that I do have an idea of what I want to do, but I knew there was no way to explain.

This is where the pink ghetto has hit me the hardest. I love my family, and respect them; they’re interesting, and I love to talk to them. Unfortunately, they have no reason to think I’m interesting. I was an opinionated and passionate little girl, and I’m still that way, but few in my family get to see it because it just seems inappropriate to launch into a discussion of the way in which the media is treating the Genarlow Wilson case over tea. So instead, they think I’ve gone from strong-willed adolescent to strangely reserved goat-enthusiast and not much else.

Just as I could not boast to my family that I had been made coordinator of my peer sex ed organization, or that I had been hired to consult on the toy store’s web site, I will relinquish bragging rights about my health outreach position because I will not be able to go into any detail about what it entails. When I publish work on sex education, my excitement will be tempered by my inability to share it with my extended family. And lord, if I ever decide to write erotic fiction, I had better use a pseudonym or risk giving uncle Joe a heart attack.