Saturday, August 28, 2010
As an individual who uses objective scientific research to speak out against sex negativity, body negativity, and oppression, I cannot support male OR female circumcision in infants. It goes against everything that I believe in and stand for.
-I will never look warmly upon procedures which serve to alter the body without significant medical cause, whether it is breast augmentation, labiaplasty, or circumcision (but I do support the right for individuals to modify their body when they are consciously able to choose). Without medical cause for the procedure, the implication is that there is something wrong with it when there absolutely is not. I feel that natural bodies are beautiful (this belief is one of the big reasons I started Sex+).
-It deprives males of pleasurable nerve endings and leaves their body permanently altered, almost invariably without their consent. It is not anybody else's right to make such a drastic decision about a person's body & sex organs - not even a parent. Such is a textbook example of injustice.
-I do not feel that tradition is a viable reason to engage in such practices, and there is heaps scientific literature to refute claims of hygiene and STD prevention by circumcision proponents several times over. Even if there was significant benefit, I would still advocate sexual health education as a way to promote cleanliness & stop the spread of disease instead of mutilating baby's genitals.
-After much research, I am convinced that the only reason a circumcised preference exists is because it is a cultural norm. I do NOT support degradation and bullying based on body parts - whether they are circumcised or not.
-Additionally, circumcision is born out of religious doctrine, and as I am not religious, I do not personally feel that it is worth supporting, especially since religion has facilitated sex negative practices such as breast ironing, female genital mutilation, and castration in the past.
-I do, however, respect the decisions of others to what they will so long as they have taken ample time to properly educate themselves on the matter with literature from both sides of the argument. :)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
People should have the right to live in their organic state, to reach their full and maximum potential, so long as this does not impede upon another’s equal right to do so.
By “organic state”, I mean to say who you actually are at your very core. The essence of you; an unashamed, unrestricted expression of everything that you can be.
There are thousands of social and institutionalized oppressors in global society. These oppressors systematically distort your true nature. They tell you:
How to be, who to be, what you like, what you don’t like, what to do with your life, how to express yourself, who you are attracted to, etc.
Examples of oppressors may include but are by no means limited to: religion, capitalism, sexual oppression, laws, etc.
This form of power and control is not usually overt. It is subtle, engrained, and hard to see without strong critical thinking skills. Though these oppressive institutions make up the majority, there are a few liberating institutions as well.
III. THE GOOD NEWS:
It is possible to free yourself mentally even when the oppressor invades your environment.
With this in mind, we get to the core of this idea. In order to become a liberated individual, you must first recognize the various forces which oppress you.
After you are aware, you must understand 3 components of the oppressor:
What makes it an oppressive force
How it is oppressive to instances in your life specifically
How the institution continues to thrive.
It is important to note that many oppressive forces are self-perpetuating.
Then, you can come to terms with the dynamics of the institution, grapple, philosophize, perhaps grieve, and then detach.
This process can take days or decades, depending on the damage done.
This process must play out for every oppressor you identify.
The previous describes the “baseline state” of liberated existence. We will now go forward to part 2 of the liberated existence, that is, the “higher state” of liberated existence.
I. Once you have freed yourself from a particular oppressor, or are amidst doing so, you are prepared to begin a higher state of liberated existence.
II. The higher state of liberated existence addresses the issue of liberating others from their oppressors. To achieve this state, 3 dynamics must be thoroughly understood:
Every single person is a part of several institutions which systematically oppress others. These may be by default (IE: race) or by will (IE: homophobia).
These systems we are a part of reflect power and privilege in our society.
In order to free others of their oppression, we again turn to awareness. This time, we seek awareness of our own power and privilege.
Dominant forms of privilege include:
III. THE PROBLEM:
It is difficult to identify, accept, and understand one’s own privilege. Part of being privileged is not realizing that you are in fact privileged.
Those who are hurt by your privilege are the first to see it.
Once you are aware of your privilege you must understand:
What makes it a “privilege”
How you have benefitted from it
How it has hurt others
How the oppressor/privilege continues to thrive.
Once you have come to terms with these elements, you can either:
Relinquish your power
Augment their power
Then, you can stand on equal human footing toward the organic self.
Unlike the “baseline state of liberated existence” the previously described “higher state of liberated existence” cannot be accomplished alone. The higher state requires collaboration with the community, thus essentializing the importance of social activism and community outreach.
What questions does this formula answer?
I. The general:
Why should we be socially/politically active?
What is one purpose or condition of life?
II. The personal, specific to me:
Why do you talk about religion/sex?
Why do you do social work?
c. Why are you studying law
What inquiries doesn’t this formula answer?
I. The subjectivity of selflessness as a higher state of being
II. Does liberation lead to happiness? Should it?
III. Less so: the subjectivity of what it means to be liberated and/or oppressed.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
So, why do I talk about sex? Am I just a sexual deviant taking cover on the internet? Or a pervert who just can't stop talking about it?
The reality is that I'm neither...well, maybe a little bit of the second one. To answer this question that I've gotten...hmmm, occasionally over the last few months, it's important to understand the type of person that I am. It is my belief that people should to live out their identities as organically as possible, with the ability to reach their full potential and personal reality without the impedement of various oppressors which try to restrict us. Some oppressors might be our social norms, religious tradition, familial expectation, or even internalized beliefs. A beautiful part of life is exploring and learning about who you are, and there are a lot of forces out there that try to tell us exactly what that is, or what we SHOULD be. I believe that you should have the freedom to be yourself, loveyourself, and live your life to the fullest.
I also like to help people. And...I'm not afraid to talk about taboo subjects. Many taboos are born out of those oppressors I was just talking about. Plus, I know a lot about sexuality. My curiosity has driven me to continually learn about it--sexuality is just so multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary--it's absolutely fascinating. From self study, to university study, to my own experience, to teaching peer sex ed to high schoolers and now leading the Female Sexuality course at my university in the fall. I figure, it's a perfect match.
Further, I see a lot of benefits in talking about sexuality. The most obvious being the hundreds of you who have written me lengthy letters of gratitude for my willingness to be upfront and provide you with resources you were afraid to or didn't know how to seek out yourself. Talking about sexuality also eases the taboo and helps shatter the ignorant idea that--"SEX IS BAD, MKAY" and that exploring your sexuality, or lack of it, makes you dirty. It's not something we should be afraid of--it's how we exist, how we keep existing, and something that millions of people are doing at any given second of the day. It is a part of relationships, it is a part of our health, it is a beautiful part of our nature. By talking about sexuality, we can slowly eliminate oppressive sex-negative attitudes so prevalent in our culture. Not to mention it opens avenues to increased learning, increased sexual responsibility and autonomy, and increased self-love.
The coin has two sides. I also love learning from you. Some of you already know this, but I read nearly every comment on my newest video for the first week it's out. I ask you questions because I sincerely want to know, and I love to get you thinking about it. I have taken away an abundance of knowledge and insight from everything you share in your comments and video responses.
So there you go. That's my philosophy at its simplest.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Hey guys! Please keep in mind the limited demographic this survey presents. Enjoy & thanks for all your help! :)
1. Females only: do you watch porn? (Erotica, softcore, graphic novels, etc are included) **THIS SURVEY IS 100% ANONYMOUS**
- 86% yes
- 14% no
2. Females only: if you do watch porn, why do you watch it?
- 66% To aid masturbation
- 43% Curiosity
- 34% Boredom
- 10% Other
to get my man hard
To find new ways to satisfy my bf
learn new moves
I find it can be arousing, especially if watched with my partner
I watch it with my boyfriend to enhance sex sometimes :)
Graphic Novels: Just for Fun
to find new things to do with my partner
As a foreplay technique with my boyfriend
Because I just plain like it!
together with my boyfriend when we have sex
I have watched passively when others in the room have watched (boyfriends, roommates)]
3. Females only: do/would you care if your partner watched porn?
- 30% Yes
- 70% No
[Expansions on 30%-Yes:
id breakup with him if he watched it too much
Only if he hid it from me.
i feel like he should only want me be satisfied by me
some guys watch it too much.
Depends on the kind of porn, if it was rape porn or kiddie porn I'd get kinda freaked out.
I don't know it just seems weird to me. Which I realize is a double standard, ah well.
he should be spending time with me and not porn.
It would make me feel as if I'm not statisfying him enough so he has to get off on something else wanted too
how often is he watching it?
Only if the porn was needed instead of me
I am okay if he watches porn when we aren't together/having sex, but any other time I feel uncomfortable with it. He shouldn't need to use it WITH me.
watching it too much
its there own life and im not going to tell them they cant
no reason to watch it that much
The girl from the TV isn't going to pop out and have sex with you!
It just doesn't matter. It's not a big deal.
Makes me feel as though he's less attracted to me. Im fine if we watch it together tho lol
because i would feel like i wasnt giving them what they needed, and that they had to resort to porn and masturbation to feel satisfied.
I would like to say no, but it does bother me a little bit.
only if it was in a sneaky way, like if I caught him and he lied about it
It would depend on what kind. I would be really disturbed if my partner was into violent porn.
it makes me feel inadequate. i know it's normal for guys to like porn and it shouldn't make me feel bad, but it does.
I would be worried about porn becoming more important to him then me/addictd....
Because I wouldnt want him looking at other women
they should be watching me]
4. Females only: do you feel pornography objectifies you or liberates you?
- 30% Objectifies me
- 50% Liberates me
- 20% Other
[20% Other replies:
depends on what is being done
I don't think it does either inherently (as a genre) - I think individual pieces of porn can do either.
it does so much more than objectify. it's disgusting.
Neither, I don't really think that much into it!
Let women get money by cashing in on a male's weakness.
Both, with more objectification than liberation...
It's a mix of both.
i don't exactly understand this question
I don't really feel it affects me at all. It isn't objectifying me because I choose to watch it, and every person has their own taste. It isn't liberating me, because I don't feel the constant need to be watching it.
big words here
Neither. It has nothing to do with me specifically as an individual. No one is forcing these women in pornography to do anything. If they had a problem with it, they'd say no.
I believe it does a little of both, depending on the program
Again, it depends on what kind. I think certain kinds can be inherently degrading to women.
idk what that means
Doesn't really affect me; people can do as they please as long as I'm not affected...I don't really care.
turns me on
A bit of both.
5. Please feel free to add any more of your thoughts on pornography as it pertains to yourself, your partner, or society as a whole.
I think it's a healthy and normal thing to do. Me and my boyfriend sometimes watch together to get in the mood. I just think it's distastful when a girl is shown masterbating while men watch and i really hate rape scenarios.
- I don't think pornography should be taken so seriously. It's just a fun visual to have when you want to masturbate. And the people in the videos willingly participate.
- Today's society taboos pornography. Why? Especially when almost everyone in said society has a sex drive and DOES masturbate.
- I think our revulsion to porn as a society is symptomatic of our puritanical natures. Violence is peachy keen, but sex - gasp! oh noes! - is nasty and dirty and bad. Pornography is like any other genre of film, literature or art - some is good, some is bad. Some satisfies curiosity, some is liberating, some is objectifying of both women and men. I perceive some to be twisted and nasty, but that doesn't mean others do, or should.
- I'm not really bothered by adult porn. I know men are visual creatures (so I've been told ha ha) so naturally they are going to want to watch. I like to watch it with my bf every now and then because it really makes for a great experience for us both. It's all about having an open mind!
- Why not?
- In general I feel like porn itself (of other women) is objectifying. But at the same time it is liberating when he takes photos of me and looks at them. I like that he wants to see me, but I hate when he looks at other women even if they are just girls online.
- i think that it is good to occasionally watch pornography either by yourself or with your partner to learn / try new things together or with yourself to better understand sexuality.
- Porn also helps me and my partner with learning out of the box techniques to enhance our sex life
- They should have more respect for ladies.... Like seriously...
- Pornography, to me, is just something that I do on my own time. It's something that I do partly out of boredom, and on the rare occasion that it aids my private time, I go in, get out, and done. I don't like to waste much time on it.
- I think society already has it in their heads that women are meant as wives or worth nothing... Okay, maybe exageration, but think of it this way: If a guy goes out, has sex with 5 different girls that are nuts for him then its more likely than not that this man will get a positive feedback from it, he'll be considered more masculine, and, well without a better word for it, " a badass in bed"....But if a woman were to go out, have 5 guys following her around and having sex with alllll of them then the world degrates her, calls her a whore, she is trashy and will disgust other women's rights....So why is it that a woman's body is shown so publicly more than man? Because men get away with being a player so it's OKIDOKE if they shamelessly check out her "stuffs", since they can get props for being a manwhore anyways...If the situation were to be turned around then, well, there is either WAY less porn or WAY more whores...I'm not a genius, I'm just not for pornography and wouldn't care to meet a guy who was....
- I'm really disappointed to hear that so many women do not "allow" their boyfriends/husbands to watch porn and that it makes women so uncomfortable. I'm not saying that women are to blame for this, I just wish that more females weren't so afraid of/disgusted by it. It just seems like bad things ultimately happen when you try to tell your partner what they can and cannot do sexually (to a certain extent, of course).
- i think people view porn as a degrading thing when most of the time its not. as long as you want to do it and are not being forced its fine by me. people know i watch porn and masturbate and i dont mind saying it cuz i think its a perfectly natural thing. my fav porn star right now is Sasha Grey (mostly her lesbian stuff) i like her viewpoints on porn and how we can make it better.
i like it just as much as any man, porn produced by women (viv thomas, etc.) is very very sexy.
- I dont think pornography is any different than watching any other movie. The only difference is that pornography is a movie designed to turn you on, while general movies may do that also, they are not specifically designed for it the way pornography is.
- I have read various feminist points of view on this subject and it's something I have a really hard time articulating my position on it. I think it's because it has the potential to be very degrading to women, but it can also be liberating. It's complicated, but that makes it interesting. If you haven't read this article yet, I recommend it: https://www.adbusters.org/magazine/83/pornocalypse_now.html?page=1
- Just want to clarify that I only enjoy *good* porn, mainly real lesbian porn and gay porn. Although I will say that bad porn is sometimes fun to watch with friends at laugh at.
MALES, TAKE THIS SURVEY FOR NEXT WEEK: http://tigersurvey.com/survey.php?survey=14783
"Porn Addiction!?" VIDEO SOURCES:
**be weary. A lot of websites claiming to give legitimate information actually have an agenda about porn they are out to portray.
Internet Porn Addiction, American Psychological Association:
Porn addiction newspaper article:
Porn & Relationships: