Archive for July, 2014

July 30th, 2014

Recommended Reading #212: Sexual Hysteria, Pt. II

      “IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Waited Until My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and I Wish I Hadn’t” by Samantha Pugsley (Religion, Gender Socialization, Memoir, Sex and Culture) 8/1/14

Partly, I’m sure, because this hits a little close to home for me, I truly found this difficult to read, as well as terribly disheartening and sympathy- and empathy-evoking. I so wish this author all the best and appreciate her sharing her story with the aim of supporting others.


      “Porn Stars Want to Know: Why Did Facebook Delete Me?” by Aurora Snow (Pornography, Sex Work, Social Media, Sex and Culture) 8/2/14

Beyond the practical ramifications, of course, I feel this speaks (as so many things seem to) to a larger way collective culture treats sexuality and sex work. I share this and other posts like it because I want us to continue to be reminded and aware of that. Perhaps, then, we will successfully support a shift in it.


      “This Is What Sex-Positive Parenting Really Looks Like” by Lea Grover (Parenting, Youth, Sex and Culture) 7/29/14

Beautifully put. This of course isn’t an example of sexual hysteria itself, of course—I include it under this heading because I feel it offers an example of a helpful counter-approach to the sexual hysteria that seems to pervade our culture, particularly around kids and young people.


Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 29th, 2014

Sommer of Love

SLIn “I Am Behind on Blogging” news, I have a reading to report on that took place last Thursday, and I also have had a busy enough week (most particularly due to traveling over the weekend) that I missed the release of Summer Loving, which came out last week.

Summer Loving, if you haven’t heard about it, is a special anthology. The entire project was conceived by Tamsin Flowers and organized and edited by Alison Tyler. It is a summer-themed anthology from which all the proceeds will go to author Sommer Marsden, whose husband received a cancer diagnosis last year.

I met Sommer online and have known her (virtually) for several years. It’s possible Alison will organize a bit of a blog tour for the book next month, so I’ll wait until then to go into more detail about my story’s back story and how I feel about the project and getting to take part in it. For now, I just want to get the word out that this book is available—and that, again, all the sales proceeds it generates will go to support Sommer and her family. And to say that I am truly honored that my story “Fireworks Display” is included in this anthology.

All buy links can be found in Alison’s post here. As one of her comments on the post mentions, the highest financial amount Sommer would receive per sale would come from Amazon sales of the print edition.

Thank you and love to all,

“Knowing I was under the watchful eye of six boys likely 10 years my junior made my breath shudder slightly as I drew it. I reached back to tighten the tie on my halter top, desperately tempted to pull the strings and let it fall, let the six behind me see the tie slip from my neck, know I was topless in front of them, my tits exposed to the night even though all they could see was my naked back.”
-from “Fireworks Display”

July 23rd, 2014

Recommended Reading #211: (United States) Public Policy, Pt. VI

      “Supreme Court Breakfast Table” by Dahlia Lithwick (Reproductive Rights, Law, Sex and Culture) 6/26/14

I appreciate deeply the constitutional right to free speech and generally don’t condone censorship. I also appreciate the difficulty this case did present, and I don’t pretend to be a first amendment scholar. I do, however, feel resonance with what I read in this piece.


      “Sex work is work: exploding the ‘sex trafficking’ myth” by Margaret Corvid (Sex Work, Sex and Culture, Sociology, Law) 7/7/14

When I first read the line about sex trafficking’s being a myth, it gave me pause, and I went back and read the first part of this piece again after I finished it the first time. As I interpret it, the author is not disregarding that force and horrendous violations of human rights occur in sex work; she is asserting that this is not unique to the sex industry and that separating it out as such as though it is a separate phenomenon does not necessarily help any aspiration to eradicate human trafficking and increase safety for workers. That resonates with me. I would maybe have devoted a few more sentences to clarifying a reverence for the profound tragedy that is human trafficking (not just sex trafficking), but I found the thrust of the piece about the nuances of sex work and the problematic nature of seeing it as inherently degrading, harmful, or nonconsensual, as society (or at least certain factions of it) still seems to, potent and relevant.


      “Who gets shot in America: What I learned compiling records of carnage for the New York Times” by Jennifer Mascia (Non-Sex-Related, Memoir, Sociology, Violence, Public Policy) 7/15/14

For an online read, this may seem a fairly long piece. If you have the time to read it, though, I found it unusually interesting and consideration-provoking.


Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 16th, 2014

Recommended Reading #210: Digging Deeper, Pt. XI

      “91 Bad Words About Young People and Prostitution: The New York Times Edition” by Elizabeth Wood (Sex Work, Youth, Sex and Culture, Media) 6/25/14
As I see it, Elizabeth just nails it in this analysis with incisive, articulate, relevant commentary. (I’ve come to not feel surprised by such with anything with the name “Elizabeth Wood” on it, but I appreciate it nonetheless.)


      “I Think My Son Is Into BDSM, What Do I Do?” by Cory Silverberg (BDSM, Parenting, Youth) 8/5/11

While I don’t have (human!) kids and thus do not find myself in this situation, I really like what Cory had to say about it.


      “Life-Long Sexual Monogamy Just Isn’t Natural — Here Are Some Other Options” by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson (Relationship, Non-Monogamy, Sex and Culture) 6/12/14

I love this (not surprisingly—if you missed it, please see my post on the authors’ latest co-authored book, Partners in Passion). I love what they say, how they say it, and that they say it. I so appreciate seeing this piece—and indeed, a piece like this—receiving a platform and exposure as wide as Alternet’s. (Note that the authors have stated that they did not choose the headline/title. I can appreciate their pointing that out, as it’s not a title I would have chosen or that I feel does justice to the piece’s content. Rather, it does what headlines seem at this point designed to do—incite reaction and, thus, a “click.”)


Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 9th, 2014

Recommended Reading #209: Advocating Progress, Pt. II

      “18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who’s Really in Charge of Women’s Bodies” by Julianne Ross (Gender Socialization, Health and Body, Gender Identity, Sexual Identity) 7/2/14

Huge fan of these!


      “Let’s Talk About The Sex-Positive Movement” by Kitten Karlyle (Sex and Culture, Feminism, Memoir, Sociology) 5/14/14

I experienced this as a thoughtful, articulate, important examination of relevant issues around feminism, sexuality, and society.


      “Ultra-rich man’s letter: ‘To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming'” by DNA (Non-Sex-Related, Economics, Sociology, Politics, Humanity) 6/30/14

I am so in love with this I don’t even feel I know how to break down into articulation why right now.


Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday