Archive for February, 2013

February 27th, 2013

Recommended Reading #139: Digging Deeper, Pt. V



      “Privilege Checklist.” by A Glasgow Sex Worker (Sex Work, Sex and Culture, Sociology) Undated

Nicely, nicely put.

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      “Call things by their proper names” by Sofie Buckland (Pornography, Sex and Culture, Gender, Sociology) 1/12/12

I appreciate what this says a lot (I interpret it as expressing a number of things I too have long since stated), and when I went to skim the article it references and to which it links, I soon found myself horrified by what I interpreted from it. For one thing, I will say I all but can’t stand the word “rape” being used to mean what someone outside of an interaction perceives as something that shouldn’t happen or looked like rape to him/her/them. This seems to me a severe dilution of, as Ms. Buckland states, perception or understanding around the actual experience of rape. (As an aside, this is why I deplore the use of the term “statutory rape” to describe anything consensual.) The flippancy with which Withnail threw around the word “rape” left me breathlessly appalled. To get back to Ms. Buckland’s piece, I especially appreciate her pointing out that women’s performance in porn is indeed labor; I have found the seeming way there has been a difference in perception between genders doing the same work on a porn set maddening. As I see it, a perception that such work is “degrading” to one gender and not another is a commentary about sex and gender (and an ominous one), rather than about pornography. That is something I wish we would recognize more.

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      “From Emily, Who Really Gets It.” by Heather Corinna (Youth, Sexuality Education, Social Support) 2/27/13

I feel this speaks for itself.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

February 20th, 2013

Recommended Reading #138: Observation and Assessment, Pt. II



      “Staying Present During Sex” by Virgie Tovar (Self-Awareness, Consciousness, Psychology) 12/14/12

It is only recently that I even began to realize how dissociated I have tended to be during sex (and in general). I appreciate the acknowledgment of its potential commonness here as well as the practical offerings she lists (especially the daily on-the-hour journal exercise and the invitation to slow down and think small).

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      “Dear Writing” by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Writing, Self-Awareness, Memoir) 2/19/13

Very much of this resonates with me, and I imagine many of us, both writers and not, feel similar to this sometimes. I wish us all success in becoming more aware of and less inhibited by any self-imposed limitations we may experience.

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      “The secret to desire in a long-term relationship” by Esther Perel (Recommended Watch, Relationship, Sociology, Psychology, Self-Awareness) 2/14/13

This is fairly long (about 20 min., like most TED presentations), but if you have the time, I recommend watching it. I especially recommend it for those who have not read Esther Perel’s book, Mating in Captivity; for those who have, this sums up some comprehensive points concisely and in a way I found engaging and compelling.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

February 13th, 2013

Recommended Reading #137: (United States) Public Policy, Pt. III



      “A Good Year for Red Umbrellas: Advances in Sex Workers Rights in 2012” by Cheryl Overs (Sex Work, Public Policy, Politics) 1/14/13

This seemed like a substantive wrap-up to me of sex worker rights goings-on over the last year. I admittedly do not follow or know enough about all of it around the world to know how comprehensive it is, but I would guess that for most of us, it’s rather informative. Very cool.

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      “Libertyville Abortion Demonstration” by At Center Network (Recommended Watch, Reproductive Rights, Health and Body, U.S. Public Policy) 7/30/07

I admittedly found this uncomfortable to watch, mainly because it does indeed point out how absurd and intrusive telling women they shouldn’t have the right to choose abortion is, but it does seem a worthwhile illustration of the very lack of clarity the perspective seems to espouse. I think overall I felt uncomfortable watching it because the idea of people truly feeling okay about aiming to dictate that kind of thing over other people feels so profoundly intrusive and perverse to me that I experience it viscerally in watching people talk about it like this….

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      “Too Big to Fail has become Too Big for Trial” by Senator Elizabeth Warren (Recommended Watch, Non-Sex-Related, Politics, Economics) 2/15/13

I found this just inspiring to watch. Wow. Not only does she make what seems to me a great point, her persistence and clarity in pursuing it seems both direly needed and correlatively refreshing in Washington. Beautiful.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

February 6th, 2013

Recommended Reading #136: Health and Body, Pt. III



      “So what if abortion ends life?” by Mary Elizabeth Williams (Reproductive Rights, Health and Body, Politics) 1/23/13

I found it fascinating that I encountered this article mere hours after noticing this very issue in my consciousness for some reason. I have and had no idea why, but earlier in the morning on the day I read this I had found myself contemplating the fact that I did indeed recognize abortion as killing something. Like the author, this has never influenced my pro-choice perspective. I appreciate her mentioning this and agree that it (and other nuance) is an important thing to address/consider in discussions about reproductive freedom. As I’ve mentioned before, pregnancy and childbirth are unique, and I think this is where we’ve historically run into challenges around it—we want to compare it to something, but really, childbirth and pregnancy are not comparable to anything. They are their own phenomenon.

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      “If Condoms are Not the Problem, Why Are Men Still Complaining?” on the Good Vibrations Blog (Safer Sex, Sex Education) 1/25/13

As a huge proponent of condom use and safer sex in general, I’m delighted to see this targeted post dedicated to informing about them and encouraging their use.

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      “Down for the Count” by Yvonne Wray (Health and Body, Menopause, Consciousnes) 1/31/13

This struck me as not only powerful and fascinating but also something we virtually always have the option to do in the face of whatever we are experiencing–breathe, relax, and be. I recall doing something like this once when I was experiencing menstrual cramps, and I too found I experienced them differently when I paid close attention and didn’t focus on wanting to avoid or being at odds with them….

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday