Tag Archives: safe sex

Long Time No Talk! Some new stuff…

I’ve been thinking a lot about Matilda lately. You remember Matildaright? The Roald Dahl masterpiece about a tiny girl with terrible parents who can magically move things with her mind? [SPOILER ALERT, though seriously, this book is 26 years old so you probably would have read it if you were going to read it] At the end, when Matilda finally gets some quality education, from Miss Honey instead of the evil Miss Trunchbull, her magical powers go away. When she finally puts her brain to some serious learning, she doesn’t have all the extra mental energy to move salt shakers across the table.

I have a new job and I feel like Matilda when her powers vanished. A little bit bereft, but mostly thrilled to be fully engaged by the thing that I theoretically am supposed to spend so much of my time doing. I had…ahem… outgrown my previous role, and I was directing all my mental energy towards writing, blogging, and communicating with you fine people of the Interwebz.

I hope that explains a bit about my recent absence. I’m planning to continue writing and posting as much as is feasible, because I love it and it’s good practice, but if it looked like I was using magical powers to produce content before, know that it was only a Matilda situation.

That said, I’ve written a few things lately that you should read. This week, I wrote about the douchery of dudes who try to avoid wearing condoms through pressure, guilt-tripping, shaming or old-fashioned TRICKERY. I got SO many stories from people who have experienced this terrible phenomenon. On the bright side, I learned a new term, “micro-consents,” which references all the many other “yeses” we say after the initial “yes” that help us continually stay on the same page as our partners re things like protection and preferences.

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Speaking of new jobs… I got this job I’m doing now through an all-lady, invite-only Facebook group. For a split-second I felt guilty about “taking advantage” of this “exclusive” network, but then I was all like, OH RIGHT OLD BOYS CLUBS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR EVER. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the specific values of all-lady spaces:

Why_Women-Only_Spaces_Are_Not_Sexist___Role_Reboot

Lastly, if you didn’t catch my segment on The Morning AMp a couple of weeks ago, listen to me, Molly Adams, and Brian Babylon chat about Mt. Holyoke’s new policy about transgender students, the new “normal” family, and other fun stuff.

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165 pounds and up? Don’t rely on Plan B.

In case you missed it during the eat-a-thon, football-a-thon, couch-sitting-a-thon that was Thanksgiving, last week I wrote about Mother Jones’ investigation of the efficacy of Plan B (aka emergency contraception aka The Morning After Pill) for women over 165 pounds. The European equivalent (chemically identical, branded differently) has recently added a warning that the pill loses potency for women over 165 pounds and is ineffective for women over 176 pounds.

I found this revelation to be extremely disturbing. Frankly, both the scientific details (i.e. why 176 pounds? Is this BMI related? Can I just take two pills instead?) and legal intricacies (i.e. What kind of testing does the FDA require? What is a legally acceptable fail rate? When are you required to disclose this information?) of this announcement are over my head.

From an ethical perspective, however, it seems clear to me that when 25% of women (and 50% of black women, FYI) take a pill that advertises itself as emergency contraception, they deserve to know that it is not designed to work for them. All contraception has a fail rate, duh, but this is bigger than that. Some people are trying to make this an issue about promiscuity, or the politics of obesity, but they’re missing a point. The drug is already out there, the women already take it, they are already over 165 pounds. None of those facts change, so the only question on the table is whether there should be a big sticker on the box that says, “Over 165 pounds? Please consult your doctor before taking Plan B.” As a sexually active woman over 176 pounds, I would really appreciate that.

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Related Post: What if an 18-year-old female pop star talked about her safe sex habits?

Related Post: Female figures are, by definition, feminine.

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What if it were an 18-year-old female pop star talking about her sex life?

Remember that plug in Jailbreak the Patriarchy? It’s been too long since we gender swapped the internet, don’t you think?

A few weeks ago, Harry Styles, the 18-year-old member of the pipsqueak band One Direction, was interviewed by OK about his sexual history. He speaks quite candidly his safe sex habits and about how the first time he had sex, he was “terrified” that he might have gotten his partner pregnant (even though they used condoms).

Generally, I think it’s none of my business who celebrities are having sex with or how, but if we’re going to talk about it, I kind of love Styles for talking about it like this. It’s matter of fact, it’s honest, and it reinforces the idea that safe sex can be sexy (at least as sexy as mop-topped teenagers). But just take a minute and imagine the reaction if an 18-year-old female pop star spoke in exactly the same way. Genderswapping in 3, 2, 1….

“She is a bona fide heartthrob with all the male attention any young woman could want. But Harry Styles has revealed that she was not always that confident or experienced with men. The One Direction star has revealed how after the first time she had sex she was terrified she may have gotten pregnant. Speaking to OK! magazine, she said: ‘The first time I had sex, I was scared I got pregnant. And that was despite the fact we were safe. Luckily, we were fine.”

Harry, 18, has built up a reputation as quite a manizer but despite the many rumours she admitted that she always practices safe sex. She told the magazine: ‘I would never risk not [having him] wear a condom, it’s too much of a risk. If you’re not ready for a child, then don’t risk it.”

Can you ever imagine reading that about Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato? Even from the mouth of a 25-year-old actress I would floored to see such sexual candor in print. Here’s what jumps out to me:

  • “Having all the male attention she could want” – Women are expected to shy away from attention, to minimize it, or at least pretend it’s not what they’re seeking. It’s completely acceptable for a male pop star to admit that he enjoys it.
  • “Being experienced with men.” – How many people read this and kind of smirked. “Experienced with men” is code for slutty, right? If a woman were to claim that she was experienced, especially a teenager, she would absolutely pilloried for setting a horrifying example for her fans.
  • “Manizer.” – Ha. Genderswap doesn’t even have a word for this. You know why? It’s because a “manizer” is another code word for “slut.”
  • Safety – When a 18-year-old guy swears by prophylactics, he’s a responsible, stand-up guy (and seriously, if he’s telling the truth, good for him!). If an 18-year-old girl swears by contraception, she gets Sandra Fluked (who, by the way, is 31).

The goal here is not to berate Styles for being sexually active or to idolize him for his avowed commitment to condoms. The point here is to acknowledge how differently we treat burgeoning sexuality among teenaged boys and girls.

Related Post: Genderswapping the Marissa Mayer Yahoo announcement.

Related Post: The week in feminism, Taylor Swift and more.

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The Weirdest Safe Sex Ad You’ve Seen in a Good, Long While

To be accurate, I guess it’s not a safe sex ad so much as an HIV-testing ad. It’s called “Sexy Fingers” (NSWF, more on that in a bit) and it’s by a French AIDS awareness group. If you can tolerate it all the way to the end, you might (though no guarantee) get the message I think (though who can be sure) that they’re trying to convey.

The whole thing is animated, but the animations are pretty NSFW. There’s a decent chance your boss would think you were watching some trippy music video, but if he or she looked closely, they might notice all the cartoon genitalia dancing around. You’ve been warned.

Via Copyranter

Related Post: Before this, there was the previous title-holder of weirdest safe sex campaign.

Related Post: Sigh. Who could argue with “medically accurate” sex-ed info? You’d be surprised.

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Accidents Happen (or Not)

Sam Seaborn: About a week ago I accidentally slept with a prostitute.
Toby Ziegler: [pause] Really?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Toby Ziegler: You accidentally slept with a prostitute?
Sam Seaborn: A call girl.
Toby Ziegler: Accidentally?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Toby Ziegler: I don’t understand. Did you trip over something?

~West Wing: Season 1, Episode 2 “Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc”

I loved that scene about Sam and Lori the Hooker almost as much as I love these German safe sex ads (found on Copyranter):

Jezebel also posted them in their “Badvertising” category, which I find a little off the mark. They refer to a “slightly rape-y undertone” and I have to say I really don’t see it (and I see rape-y undertones in just about everything…). Both players seemed shocked at their predicament… which I think is kind of the point. How often do we hear stories (16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, etc) about teenagers being “caught in the moment,” and everything “kind of accidentally” progressing. “It just sort of happened,” they say.

The point of these ads is that sex doesn’t “just kinda happen,” and that there’s usually more than 4 seconds beforee intercourse unless you uncontrollably rollerblade into someone’s crotch. And during those more-than-4-seconds, maybe protection should be addressed, discussed, and purchased.

Related Post: A few examples of things “kinda sorta just happening”

Related Post: Another example of where Jezebel and I don’t see quite eye to eye.

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