Cheap Thrills Thursday: 70s Feet Edition

In the 70s, footprints were big things. Sometimes they were quite literally big things; such as the giant, and very fuzzy, footprint rugs my sister and I had in our room. (See other things that may have been in your bedroom back then.)

vintage footprint rug ad

Other times, the feet were smaller.

And in pairs.

If you were cognizant in the 1970s, you likely recall all the pairs of mating feet. Because many adults labored under the incorrect belief that such pairs of feet were somehow not understood by children (umm, this is exactly what many children saw when they opened the door to your bedroom), these sex feet were everywhere.

Bare Feet Sex Knockin' Boots 1978 Solid Brass Vintage Belt Buckle

And — surprise! — there’s sexism involved in such a sexual revolution.

Typically, sex feet are shown as heterosexual couplings in the missionary position; which is neither all that revolutionary or, for many, very pleasurable. We are able to see that it’s a man and a woman doing it missionary style as there are two sets of feet — but not of the same size. This is typically deciphered to mean that the larger feet belong to a man. After all, hetero-normative rules state men are to be larger than their lady partners. And his feet must be much bigger because, you know, big feet mean big penis. That’s the myth, anyway. And he must be on top because he is The Top.

vintage retro master slave Sew on Cloth Patch Badges 1970's

Besides, who would change their minds (cross their legs and feet) and say “no” other than a woman?

2 Sets of Feet Glass Vintage Ashtray I've Changed My Mind

But if you think this is all about the Free Love movement, sex feet were often presented or captioned with odd supposedly humorous notions revealing traditional values. Like this ashtray and its “Man does this mean we are engaged” speech bubble.

Kitsch Risque Ashtray bare feet Man Does This Mean We're Engaged - Grizelle Japan

Along with confusion caused by missing punctuation, there’s more than a little cognitive dissonance between the “free love” and the marital sentiments or concerns. But then, the liberating 70s was always more than a little confusing that way.

Let’s Talk About Sex — With & For Youth With Disabilities & Special Needs

As a parent, I’ve long been upset with the sad state of sex education in this country. As a parent of a (now adult) child with special needs, I’m even more upset. Children and even adults with special needs, especially those with disabilities which are not physical or so easily seen, receive even less sex ed than their mainstream counterparts. And this lack of knowledge apparently extends to the professionals and staff which work with those who have disabilities.

This has been made quite clear to me over the past few years in staff meetings for my daughter — especially when I have broached the subject of getting my now 25 year old daughter a vibrator or other sex toy. I don’t find it odd or irresponsible to teach young adults, especially young women how to please themselves; like former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, I believe a lot of good can come from masturbation (pun kind of intended?). Or at least a lot of bad, including bad relationships, can be avoided if a person knows how to thrill and please themselves. But while I have often been reminded by the professionals in my daughter’s life that “those with disabilities have the right to fail”, few, if any, have any comprehension that part of a full life is the right to a sexual life — and a pleasing one at that.

This was why I was so astonished and delighted to find this series of videos produced by KIDS, a charity which works with disabled children, young people and their families. While broken-up into three parts, the videos are from The Love Programme – Relationships and Sexuality, a Young Person’s Perspective, a film mad by and for young adults with disabilities. These young adults discuss good and bad relationships, personal space, forms of birth control (including which ones prevent sexually transmitted infections and diseases — and which do not), how to buy and use a condom — and part three even has a section for parents, with links to resources, and an amazing glossary (which even includes the word “consent”!).

Watch and be amazed.

[Be prepared to turn up the volume after the intro song (Let’s Talk About Sex, of course); the voices are a bit quiet.]

But, of course, the KIDS organization is in the UK.

Meanwhile, we in the US still fight over whether or not there should even be any sex education for “regular kids”. Never mind that if there’s one expectation in the “family values” culture, it is to produce a family. So shouldn’t one know just how that happens?

For the sane among us, we also know that there’s more to sex than pregnancy. There are health matters to contend with, such as STIs and STDs. And there are relationship issues as well. Which is why I so applaud the KIDS videos. The icing on top is the frank and accepting matter of sexual orientations as well.

Recommended Reading

Sex education: young people with learning disabilities are being left out:

“Learning about sex and relationships equips young people not only with the skills to say yes, but to say no, too,” [Gill] Leno says. “Understanding emotions, boundaries and how to stay safe are vital for people with learning disabilities. A good, well-rounded awareness of sex and relationships is important as it helps to protect against abuse and exploitation as well as providing a solid framework for appropriate behaviour, both sexually and socially.”

Sex Education for Physically, Emotionally, and Mentally Challenged Youth:

Myth 1: People with disabilities are not sexual. All people—including young people—are sexual beings, regardless of whether or not they live with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. And, all people need affection, love and intimacy, acceptance, and companionship.

…Start talking with your children about sexuality while they are very young. Do not wait until they reach puberty (or later) for these conversations!

Additional resources on Sex & Disability at the Sexual Health & Disability Alliance (SHADA).

FireShot Screen Capture #397 - 'The Love Programme - Relationships and Sexuality, a Young Person's Perspective Part 1_mov - YouTube' - www_youtube_com_watch_v=4ASCysU1wto&feature=plcp

Feminist Porn Depicts Sexuality’s Unruly Side Too

As this type of porn gains visibility, it reflects a greater demand for explicit sexual representations among women, where sex isn’t always a “ribbon-tied box of happiness and joy,” say editors in this excerpt from “The Feminist Porn Book.”

 

…With the emergence of new technologies that allow more people than ever to both create and consume pornography, the moral panic-driven fears of porn are ratcheted up once again. Society’s dread of women who own their desire, and use it in ways that confound expectations of proper female sexuality, persists. As Gayle Rubin shows, “Modern Western societies appraise sex acts according to a hierarchical system of sexual value.” Rubin maps this system as one where “the charmed circle” is perpetually threatened by the “outer limits,” or those who fall out of the bounds of the acceptable.

 

On the bottom of this hierarchy are sexual acts and identities outside heterosexuality, marriage, monogamy and reproduction. She argues that this hierarchy exists so as to justify the privileging of normative and constricted sexualities and the denigration and punishment of the “sexual rabble.”

 

See on womensenews.org

Feminist-porn

50 Shades Of Humiliating

Fifty Shades Magazine

When I spotted the cover of the Fifty Shades magazine leering at me from it’s in-your-face product positioning in the check-out lane at a local grocery store, I immediately broke out into a grin of disbelief. Here? In Fargo, North Dakota?! How utterly fabulous!

In a world where human sexuality is taboo — and women’s rights to have it is steadily shrinking, I was so giddy with the mere idea of the magazine sitting on display so blatantly, so defiantly, that I pounced on a copy. And unable to contain myself, I dared to speak aloud.

“I bet you’ve seen a lot of these leaving — and with old ladies like me,” I said to both the male cashier and the bag boy precisely at the moment the cashier was scanning the publication.

The cashier managed to avoid eye contact and comment via hyper-focus on his check-out duties. The bag boy, caught off guard, looked to see what I was speaking about as it was handed to him and he awkwardly, loudly, replied, “Umm, we must have just got these in; I haven’t seen them before now.” Followed by profuse blushing as his brain caught up with what his eyes were reading.

It was rather anticlimactic.

Even though I’m not sure what I was expecting or hoping for.

But if buying this magazine was anticlimactic, it was a major disappointment to read it.

Filled with pages of uncredited “articles” which were so bland it would make the much disliked and even hated Cosmo seem intelligent, Fifty Shades just left me feeling sad, yet again, about the sad state of magazines for women.

In Underwary, feminist platitudes serve to bolster mocking men — while focusing primarily on male pleasure: “It’s your body,” “Men don’t understand lingerie,” “He will blow it,” “Instead of letting him navigate the world of satin and lace all alone, surprise him and say you’re going shopping together. He’ll think you look great, you’ll feel great, and everyone will benefit. (But mostly him.)”

Oh, and don’t forget to exercise and diet too.

Because it’s important for women to focus on their appearance even during fantasies.

*heavy sigh*

Now, I’ve never ready any of the 50 Shades books, so as an ethical reviewer I can’t say anything about how “true” the magazine is to the “steamy series”. But that won’t stop me from having an opinion — an educated opinion — regarding the reaction to the books.

As a woman, I’ve not only taken a rather long road to my own personal sexual discoveries and satisfaction, but along the way I’ve uncovered and pondered our historical and cultural cues regarding sexuality — these being, largely, the reasons it was such a long road. And as a collector, I’ve been documenting this as a part of women’s history as well. The short story is that this whole Fifty Shades thing is not new. Not in terms of books; not in terms of shock and backlash either. We have a lot of dumb rules and taboos about gender and sex (NWS).

For those reasons, this Fifty Shades magazine will not be tossed out but rather saved as part of my collection. As will my scarlet letter “A”. (I got mine! Did you get yours?) The difference, obviously, is which one I believe in, like, admire…

The biggest question then is, do I leave some sort of notes about that so that my kids or future people know why I saved these things, what kind of person I was?

If It’s Antique Is It Still Porn? (NWS)

If you thought the matter of who makes art exploring the issue of abortion difficult, perhaps the following antique erotic artworks will be too upsetting. That’s your warning to leave.

For these works go beyond the issue of basic nudity in art, beyond even the matter of erotic art, to  explore sexuality along with religion and what appears to be the opulence of wealth.

I’m no expert, in art or in the French language, but I’m rather certain these works by Marcel Vertes (Le Pays a Mon Gout aka The Country to Your Taste, 12 original lithograph prints, circa 1921) and Martin van Maele (De Sceleribus et Criminibus , 11 erotic etchings circa 1908) are not theoretical works expressing confusion or commentary on the corruption of religion or other issues of decadence, but rather are fantasies exploiting such distorted delights — i.e. they are 100% erotica, illustrated meant to arouse.

But does that make them any less interesting in terms of art? Does their age make them more credible as art? Does the status of the artists, one an Oscar winner the other an illustrator for the works of H. G. Wells, improve your opinion? Is it art, erotica, or just plain old porn?

…And if you say “porn” or “old porn,” doesn’t that mean it still moves you?

Which would rather give points for “timeless” or “classic” to the works as well as kudos to the artists themselves, wouldn’t it?

Now That You’re Big, Stop Being A Sexist Pig

Now That You’re Big, by Simon Greiner “with apologies to Dr. Seuss,” is an amusing parody of the classic kids’ books with a twist: Now That You’re Big is about sexuality. Including the one activity that is supposed to make you go blind — masturbating.

At first glance, it’s down-right clever; but then something creeps in and creeps you out… Men are having all the fun in this book, not women.

Ms.JayLynn notices and points it out too:

The Dr. Suess nature of this is great, but unfortunately I have to offer a bit of criticism. You’ve done a lot to reinforce standard gender stereotypes.

The section for guys reinforces the idea that it’s ok to ogle girls, and masturbate. The section for girls is all about “be careful because you might be pregnant. Really? Is that the message you want to be sending?

How about teaching girls that masturbating is a good thing and not something to be ashamed of? And what about teaching guys the importance of being respectful and mature about birth control?

Also, where’s the safer sex message? With the millions of euphimisms about condoms, there’s gotta be a way to put at least one of them in a Dr. Suess fashion. Don’t you think that’s an important message to put out there?

Maybe this was all done in fun and games, and you were just amusing yourself with it. Great! I’m glad you had some fun and put together an awesome piece in the style of Dr. Suess. However, there’s a much bigger picture here as well, and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to consider it.

Be well.

Despite her “Be well,” Ms.JayLynn was, of course, bashed for not having a sense of humor.

Hey, Ms.JayLynn, come on over here where we understand that sometimes inequality just isn’t funny. Sometimes even jokes and humorous pieces when just left to their own comedic devices do more than inspire giggles — they perpetuate the stuff that makes us insane. Like treating women as problems not people entitled to their own pleasures. Like not discussing the health concerns by omitting condoms — but still pointing out pregnancy, as if it were “the worst” and something women are responsible for. Ugh.

As for those leaving nasty comments to MsJaylynn, here’s something for you to consider: Now that you’re big, stop being a sexist pig.

The Sweet Smell of Sex

Over at Pretty Dumb Things, Chelsea Girl wondered about her committed relationship and why they were having less than stellar sex:

And I have tried, I have tried and I have tried to get Donny to hear my complaints. I have mentioned how he used to tie me up and wasn’t that fun, wouldn’t he like a go at the old ropes again? I have said, wow, I really liked it when you dripped me with candle wax, whaddaya think, got a match? I have said, you know, I really enjoy being spanked. How about spanking me? I have insinuated, intimated, directly addressed, queried, said outright and asked point blank. I have done so for almost a year, and for almost a year, I have seen our sex life get more and more firmly entrenched in what I can only term in absolute honesty as a rut.

Saturday, I lost patience, and I kinda sorta, no really, let Donny have it. I told him that I was dissatisfied. I reminded him of the sex we used to have–long, languorous and perverse loops of time and experience where we held each other suspended in passion and occasional pain. I told him that I realized that this kind of sex wasn’t an everyday option, but given how rarely we do fuck, that I needed it to happen more frequently than it had.

I told him, in short, that we were in a rut. I told him that I wanted out. Whether I meant the rut or the relationship was intentionally ambiguous.

“Well,” he said, a stricken look on his face, “when I met you and we did all that stuff, I wasn’t in love with you. But now I love you, and…” his voice trailed off.

Which leaves me to wonder. What has love got to do with it? Why now that my boyfriend is in love with me and I with him, now that he takes care of me, now that he’s committed to me, why with all of that, does the nasty need to go away? Why can’t he fuck me like the little whore I used to be (and still am in my mind)? Why must I sacrifice the wild ecstatic pleasures to the domestic delights? Why do I have to lose my lover to gain a partner?

Why can’t I have it all?

…I hope fervently that we can relearn how to be beasty in the bedroom and keep the commitment. It’s a lot less easy than I thought it would be.

Yes, Chelsea, it is. It will be. Relationships take work and sometimes that work along with the daily grind make sex between committed partners seem more like sex with a friend or a sibling even. (Yeesh!)

That spark, that je ne sais quoi, that makes folks tumble into bed together is dampened if not completely put out by the wet blanked of security, familiarity and comfort which we all prize in our relationships — well, at least until it smothers the sex, then we wonder if it’s all it’s cracked-up to be.

Without trying to play counselor to Chelsea and Donny — the former I’ve ‘conversed with’ a few times, the later I don’t know from Adam — I do have general advice for this general situation of a general sexual rut. And it’s really simple: Hit him in the nose.

No, not literally. Use his sense of smell to get him in the mood.

Memories, complete with all associated emotions such as arousal and lust, can be prompted by smell. I’m serious — it works for both men and women. And I’m not talking about pheromones or other odors you either aren’t aware of or cannot control; I’m talking about recreating the fragrances you both fell in lust with. Your perfume, his cologne, candles, incense — even the smell of a smoky bar can literally be that magic “something in the air” which you’ve been missing.

Smells are strongly linked to memory, so simply spritzing on that signature perfume you always used to wear when you were dating or lighting candles in the same scents you first made-out to can take your partner back to those emotional feelings. I personally know a couple whose sex life soared to re-newed heights when she took a part-time job back in waitressing. Every night that she returned home smelling of fried foods it took him back to when he used to pick her up after work late at night… They were young then, and their night was just beginning…

Who knew fried foods could be so sexy?

Well, in truth, it’s not the fried foods but the smell connected to emotion. One whiff and he was transported back in time… A time when he couldn’t wait to get a chance to feel her up under her polyester uniform and prayed for more. His drive returned with the memories (and she made a bit of extra spending cash to buy herself new trinkets which made her feel sexy too). Win-win!

So dig out that bottle of perfume or cologne you once put on for every date night — I don’t care if those fragrances are so last year (or even so 1980’s), just put them on again. (Unless these bottles themselves have turned bad, then head to the store and buy a new bottle. If they stopped making that fragrance, ask the lady at the perfume counter to help you find the latest scent which is the closest match.) Ditto on the candles — burn Christmas candles all year long if you were getting hot and sweaty during holiday time.

If you don’t believe me, then believe Dr. Alan Hirsch founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Dr. Hirsch has studied olfactory-evoked nostalgia (sometimes called the Proust Effect) and he says, “The quickest way to affect somebody’s moods or behavior, quicker than with any other sensory modality, is with smell.”

This is because of how smell and memory are linked — in fact, we must first remember a smell before identifying it. This means that not only is odor linked to experiences, that smell evokes memories, but that smell is better at this memory cue effect than the other senses. So if you want him to remember a special time, a special feeling — that feeling — think less about how you look or what you are wearing, but about what you both are smelling.

This is entirely unconscious, so you need not get your partner to agree — or even tell them about your sweet-smelling seduction plans!

Of course, some scent memories may have changed over time. For example, some women can no longer wear their old favorite fragrance because that smell is linked to the memory, and nausea, of morning sickness. But this too is good news — it’s proof that your smell-memory connection can be relearned. If your partner isn’t keen on smelling like fried foods every night just to get it on, start spritzing on a new perfume, lighting candles, or even get a new car fragrance tree on the rear-view if you can’t wait to get home to do it — whatever new scent you add to the hot steamy sex will quickly become the new sexy smell memory.

If all else fails, serve him pumpkin pie while burning a lavender candle. Or burn a pumpkin candle and a lavender candle at the same time. Because Dr. Hirsch found the smell of pumpkin pie, when mixed with the smell of lavender, stimulated male sexual arousal more than any other aroma tested. It increased penile blood flow in test subjects by 40 per cent, 13 times more than designer perfume.

And keep those candles burning until you are done and both (I hope!) blissfully basking in the afterglow, because after sex there’s an increase in the production of the hormone makes the brain to form new neurons in the olfactory center. Which not only improves sense of smell, but, again, helps link the smell to the sense of satisfaction.

Pinups Perverting With Pink Plush

This is Jayne Mansfield, surrounded by her pink plushies; but lots of babes of yesteryear posed with stuffed animals and little girl gear (yes, I now are a “tumbl tard”).

I have really mixed feelings about sex kittens taking their “adorable youth” and “cutesy girl” status past shy coy smiles while wearing babydoll lingerie and dresses and move right on into props which promote themselves as children or as having a somewhat diminished emotional &/or intellectual status; then it’s pushing pedophilia and issues of consent. And both creep me out.

“Yeah, I’m still going!! They forgot to cut my tongue out!”

There’s truth in comics, you know. Just look at this statement on the power of women’s voices:

The brunette is Pat Patriot, “America’s Joan of Arc,” and the blonde is Heppy, her sidekick, I guess. This is how they appeared in Charles Biro and Bob Wood’s Daredevil #11, June 1942. Lovingly scanned & presented at Pappy’s Golden Age Comics, where, just in case you think I picked the most misogynistic or salacious part, Pappy notes the following:

Pat has a villain worthy of his name, The Mallet. He’s a torturer, and we get some juicy panels with some bondage and torture.

As is oft the case with comics, sex and sexism are in there as a mix of thrill and the ultimate threat. (And, as this is wartime, so is the racism.) But what’s really interesting is the fact that even if the setreotype of the jabber-mouth woman is there, this vintage comic does present the truth: No matter what you go through, if you’ve got your ability to communicate, your truth is your power.

Heppy! We women with voices are all right indeed.

PS As a feminist, I heartily support your right to consensual bondage and torture scenes. I just felt that needed to be said.

Cosmo Aims To Sweep Her Off Her Feet With Bad Sex Advice

At Motherhood Metamorphosis, Deanna writes, “You Know Sex Ed Is Really Bad When… Cosmo can’t even get it right. In their instructions for Sex Position of the Day: Sensual Shower, their diagram for how to achieve erotic thrills literally misses the mark — the genitals don’t even line up.”

And then she proves the point, by illustrating the error of Cosmo‘s ways.  (If you’re a curious grown-up who won’t be offended, click here to see the line drawings.)

The one thing that Deanna failed to note is that along with impossible penetration, the female form is levitated. Perhaps that’s Cosmo pandering to men again, allowing him to imagine his pen-is a mighty sword, capable of lifting women off of the ground

Does Makeup Keep You From Getting Laid? (Or, When He Professes He Likes The ‘Natural’ Look)

Don’t you just hate it when your man turns to you and says, “I like you better without make-up,” or makes some comment about how he “prefers the natural look” — and you remember how you looked when you met, all dolled-up. You (and I) know that he was drawn to you for how you looked that night… His lust was written all over his face — in his own drool! Yet here is now, acting like that never ever happened. Infuriating, isn’t it?

So just what is the deal, anyway?

Is he complaining about the artifice because he feels tricked? No, not if he’s been with you for months, treating you like a queen, married you; he’s already gotten over you, your morning face, and the fact that your push-up bra is a devilish bit of engineering and your lips aren’t naturally that rosy.

Is this his way of making you less attractive to other guys? Well, I can’t rule that possibility in or out without knowing more… Some controlling guys do do that. But I can tell you what I know.

Fact: Men are naturally, biologically, attracted to beauty. So when they say they don’t like the ‘unnatural’ beauty what they are really saying is that they don’t like living with it. And not because they aren’t man enough to shave at the same sink where pink lipstick sits.

Sure, men see you all dolled-up and are attracted to it, but that’s more of an unconscious thing, a perception; their complaints are based on more direct and palpable experiences.

Think back to your own first experiences with makeup… Remember when you first put on that Chapstick, Bonnie Bell Lipsmacker, gloss or lipstick? You sure could feel the pure petroleum, the carnauba wax, and whatever else puts the Eeeiiww in eeeiiww-mollients. It took some time getting used to… But you put up with it for the attention you got. Men (at least the complaining sort) don’t find any perks for dealing with it and just plain don’t want to get used to it.

Some guys will accept a girl who is high-maintenance because she’s needy, neurotic or controlling longer than they will a high-maintenance glamour girl, simply because it’s a lot easier for them to avoid the emotional sticky-stuff than it is the unappealing tactile issues of cosmetic goo.

So just how does a woman balance the application of makeup to highlight her features and be desirable yet remain touchable?

For help I enlisted the help of some other women who make their livings off of being attractive to men: sex workers. Yup, I asked strippers, escorts, and call girls for some beauty advice. I figured they’d be the ones to know.

(I shouldn’t have to say this, but many people are paranoid when it comes to sex workers, so I will. No one is stating or implying that men seek the services of a sex worker simply due to makeup issues; those reasons are far more complicated. No one is making the comparison between the use of cosmetics and being a whore; so-called ‘painted ladies’ are everywhere now. And, for the record, not all sex work is illegal; and let’s not get all tied up in the ‘morality debate’ — today anyway. This is just about working girls sharing how they work the makeup.)

Beauty Tips From Sex Workers

When it comes to make-up, less is definitely more. You want to create “come hither,” but not “look, don’t touch!” So don’t go the model route, with layers of concealers, color correctors, foundation, lip liner, filler, and stains. You’re not posing for hours here, looking aloof and untouchable, so don’t create any unnecessary barriers to being touched.

If you don’t want to discourage the nooners, that potential kiss at the office, or you just don’t want to wake-up scary (plus sleeping in makeup does bad things to your eyes and skin), the old K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple Stupid — really does apply to makeup application.

Skip the foundations; just use a sunblock and powder. If you insist, blusher. And if you’ve got a blemish or two, just dab on a concealer (or concealing zit treatment) before you powder.

Keep your eye makeup simple too. The most natural eyeshadow color is a violet or mauve — these are shades naturally found it most every complexion, believe it or not (think of the tint blood vessels give the thin skin on the eyelid) so they look the least like “make-up.”

Either use waterproof mascara that will last; or one that is super easily removed (with soap & water or baby wipes — very portable!). Several of these sex workers also said that they ‘cheated’ by using mascara as a liner, using the tip of the applicator to line at the base of the eyelashes. It gives a less noticeable line and it stays put longer than eye liners.

Do not ever line the inside of your eyes with liner. Not only does it actually make your eyes appear smaller, but it’s not good for your eyes and it always goos-up in the corners of your eyes. Not a good look for intimate situations, when he’s taking in your every little detail.

Powder, powder, powder! Use a light application of loose powder to set everything from your blusher to your eyeliner and eyeshadow. Your makeup will wear longer, rub off less, yet it’s easily removed when you want to take it off.

Lipstick: Red lips work. Get a really good sheer red lipstick (One worker specifically noted some shades: “I love Lauder’s Sheer Cherry, though I think that color’s not regularly sold anymore; look for it in the Gift With Purchase sets and seasonal sets. And Avon’s Slick Tint in Glossy Wine is fab!”). If you keep your lips exfoliated (easy to do when you wash your face by gently rubbing your lips with a wet washcloth), you can use a liner to fill in your lips beneath the for extra vibrancy and longer staying power — but if your lips tend to be dry, beware how dry the liner will make your lips look if you blot your lipstick off. Of course, if the skin around your lips is very dry, avoid reds and other bright colors as they bleed and make a mess even before you kiss.

(Of course, there are plenty of guys who get-off on smeared makeup — especially when your eyes tear from err, taking it deep & gagging. But these aren’t the guys who are going to complain that you’re too made up!)

Some men are extremely sensitive to scents & smells and you might be surprised just how many smells there are on you when you’re using beauty products — especially when things heat up and scents start to rise into the air. Take it from the women who make a living off of men who don’t want to go home smelling like another woman: avoid lots of scents. Look for ‘sensitive skin’ beauty & skin care products as one of the first things they remove are the perfumes and masking scents. This includes your skin care, your shampoo, your body care products too.

Men don’t like hair they can’t touch. Generally speaking, they want to pull your pony during doggy; not get slapped by you for mussing the ‘do or harming a weave.

Oh, and finger nails! Sure, long nails are pretty in faux lesbian porn, but generous men worry that you won’t be able to rub-out your own orgasm, voyeurs worry they won’t be able to watch it, selfish or quick guys know theire days (and nights) are numbered, and very few men want to see a dragon lady nail going for their prostrate! (One escort noted, “I compromise and have 9 long ones, keeping ‘the shocker’ short.”)

Now that he’s taken you up on the come-hither-offer, it’s time for clean-up. You know that furtive post-coitus pee you take (or at least you should be taking it — urinating after sex helps wash away bacteria; otherwise you risk urinary tract infections) — use that to fix makeup smudges or wash it off entirely and reapply it in minutes. You’ll look as fresh as a daisy — that’s just been plucked!

If you follow these tips, you likely won’t hear him complain about makeup anymore. (But don’t blame me if he can’t keep his hands off you!)

Two Tickets To Erotica Novella-Land, Maxim Style

In a real shocker, Maxim publishes obvious sex information with girl-on-girl photos. (Just ‘cuz hubby got shafted with a Maxim replacement subscription when Stuff folded, does he have to keep re-subscribing? Maxim ain’t no Stuff; Stuff was Stuff. ‘Nuff said?)

Anyway, the article is all about how people have more sex (including kinkier sex) on vacation because they’re relaxed. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the best vacation spots for steamy sex are literally hot spots, like the tropical islands. I think the only stereotypical thing Maxim missed in the trite and trashy Have Condom, Will Travel was a reference to powerful thrusting love swords.

Anyway, if your man’s a subscriber to Maxim and he suggests taking you away for a relaxing vay-cay, well, you know what he’s expecting.

maxim-have-condom-will-travel

november-maxim-sex

Women Who Want Sex Are Still Novelties

We women who admit we want sex must still be novelties if a national television show is putting out a casting call for us:

Women, what are the reasons that you have sex? Do you do it because it’s fun? Do you do it because you are truly in love with someone? Do you just do it just to make someone else happy or jealous? Will you have sex with someone you might not necessarily be attracted to just because you can? Do your spouses and partners understand why you want to have sex? Do you wish they could understand your needs better? We are looking for women to talk about why they want to have sex. Write in and tell us about it.

Aside from the sexploitation angle, why would this be done? You don’t see a need for TV to “document” men who want sex — that’s a given, right? But women who want sex, well, that’s downright odd. Heck, please tell us, odd woman, why do you want sex? We promise to marvel at your uniqueness! *snort*

About Those Notches On Your Bedposts…

That September/October issue of Psychology Today is chock-full of incredible information on relationships. On page 45, an article by Jay Dixit examines how men & women remember and count their sexual partners.

Conventional wisdom tells us that men inflate their numbers, while women demur their digits — and according to this article, that’s true. But why? Are we both lying to look better, with men trying to project their stud status and women trying to protect their reputations — or their lovers’ feelings?

Norman Brown, a psychologist at the University of Alberta (who finds that American men report an an average of 18 while women report an average of just 5), says it’s not simply a matter of lying. “It has to do with self-presentation, estimation, and memory.”

Women are more likely to “just know,” or to have a tally somewhere, a method psychologists call “notches on the bedpost.” Women are also more likely to use enumeration (“Let’s see, Dave, Tarik, that guy from the gym…”), which produces underestimates, since people forget instances.

Men are more likely to use rough approximation (“Jeeze, I don’t know, like maybe 50?”) or rate-based estimates (“Let’s see, one a month for the past five years…”) — a method that produces overestimates.

But the gender discrepancy isn’t just a matter of poor counting either; the survey method itself matters.

Extremely sexually active women downgrade phone estimates compared to onine. (Men don’t.)

While the article doesn’t expound, I’m guessing vulnerability and anonymity are key here.

Another factor is undersampling prostitutes, who don’t get included in surveys due to “lifestyle issues” — they’re not in the phone book and they aren’t often home during dinner hours.

This is especially important, in my mind, because male clients are included in the surveys — and surely such professional interactions inflate their numbers. (Enlarge scan below to see evidence of this in male celebrities’ self-proclaimed numbers — which, by the way, does not include female celebrities. Arg!)

Surprisingly, men base their sexual partner count on the overheard comments of others — lowering their count to match conservative opinions, raising their count to match permissive sentiments. Women who overhear such conversations are unaffected.

I cannot but help to wonder if it this sheep mentality on the behalf of males which dictates a knee-jerk response to the “moral majority” — men clearly are more insecure and willing to submit to conservative cultural conformity (in word, in preaching; not in deed), and this must drive much of our current politics and societal conversation (including the control of women who aren’t affected by such espoused norms).

The article ends with more familiar territory; in which men are more likely to inflate their numbers when the researcher is female, even though the research shows that the more sex partners a man has had, the less attractive he seems.

Wouldn’t it just be simpler if men just resisted the urge to do or say anything to get laid? It doesn’t work anyway.

psyc-today-oct-gt-your-number

Who Came Last, Brad Pitt Or Your Eggs? Maybe It Was You…

This economy has everyone worried about money, and more results from that sex survey in September’s Health magazine prove it.

According to that survey, women think men would rather have more money (53%) than more sex (47%). (My husband asks, “Why not more of both?”)

And a whopping 89% of the women asked aren’t above admitting that they’d prefer a $1,000 bonus at work over sex with Brad Pitt. As one respondent, “Katrina from Scottsboro, AL,” put it, “Brad Pitt would be nice, but I’m sure $1,000 would last a lot longer!”

I’m not sure if that’s a slight against Mr. Pitt, or if Katrina doesn’t have a large balance due on her electric bill, car loan, or MasterCard… In most cases, a phone call to make a payment on any bill — even with waiting on hold &/or pressing the keypad in response to prompts — lasts less than 4 minutes. I suspect Brad lasts longer than that; Katrina, I think you owe him an apology.

Anywhooooo…

The Health survey also reveals that 30% of (their surveyed) women would sell their eggs in a money crunch. And they aren’t talking about their hen’s eggs, either.

Apparently, the women Health surveyed came in a little under recent figures: “Our calls have just about doubled,” says Robin von Halle, president of Alternative Reproduction Resources in Chicago.

But the question was, “Who Came Last, Brad Pitt, your eggs, or you?” and sadly, it’s “you.” Or the women who took this survey anyway.  Because when asked to choose between financial security or orgasms every time they”do it,” 80% of the women opted for the money.

According to one “Susan” from North Carolina, she’s “perfectly happy with orgasms every other time!”

Uh, these poor women must not be having the orgasms I’m having.

I’d not trade my orgasms for money or “financial security” or all the money in the world.  In fact, my quality of life is directly tied to my ability to get off. Money may be a necessary evil; but there’s nothing evil about my orgasms.

Maybe Susan et all are “perfectly happy” with every other time… Maybe that’s a dream for them… Maybe they don’t know how to achieve their own orgasms by themselves… I don’t know. But it sure explains why they would turn down sex with Brad Pitt — even in a fantasy question. I know I can get myself a whole lot more “happy” just thinking about that than I can fantasizing about spending one grand.

(As usual, you can click the image to get a large scan.)

sept-health-4

Money & Career Woes Affect Sex Lives (Who-da-thunk!)

More from that What’s Sexy Now survey published in the September issue of Health magazine, the surprising reveal that only 25% of women claim to have used sex to get their partner out of a money or career funk.

I find that very hard to believe. Not because women are manipulative, but every relationship expert and mental health professional knows that the endorphins from sex lift spirits and personal connections bond & build already secure relationships — sex is quite often a helpful, healthy suggestion for what ails people in monogamous sexual relationships. And the question is “have tried,” not “were successful.

If these women didn’t out-and-out lie, and it’s a strong possibility, it’s only because a “money or career funk” is actually depression for most men — and when men are depressed, their sex drive takes a big dive. Men’s self-image and identities are very connected to their work; their self-worth is directly connected to their libidos. Further proof lies in the survey results in which half the respondents (or their men) gave the old “Not tonight, honey” because of work and/or money worries.

Click the image to read more results from the survey.

sept-health-3

The Facts About Children, Sex, Predators & The Internet

Last year the Internet Safety Technical Task Force released the Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies, the Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys General of the United States, but I wouldn’t have heard of it if it weren’t for the recent article by Michael Castleman at Psychology Today:

Last year, the attorneys general of 49 states created the Internet Safety Technical Task Force to investigate sexual solicitation of children by molesters who troll for targets using sites popular with kids, among them, MySpace and Facebook. The 278-page report concluded that there’s no real problem.

The task force, led by Harvard researchers, looked at reams of scientific data dealing with online sexual predation and found that children and teens were rarely propositioned for sex by adults who made contact via the Internet. In the handful of cases that have been documented-and highly publicized-the researchers found that the victims, almost always older teenagers, were usually willing participants already at risk for exploitation because of family problems, substance abuse, or mental health issues.

The report concluded that MySpace and Facebook “do not appear to have increased minors’ overall risk of sexual solicitation.” The report said the biggest risk to kids using social networks was bullying by other kids.

“This study shows that online social networks are not bad neighborhoods on the Internet,” said John Cardillo, whose company tracks sex offenders. “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are inhabited mostly by good people who are there for the right reasons.”

The bottom line is, the actual threat to children from sexual predators online is negligible.

So I’m guessing the reason I hadn’t heard of this before was that the findings, though incredibly clear, aren’t willing to be heard & accepted by the population at large. Instead of shouting from the rooftops that the internet is as safe a place as any for children, or even breathing a sign of relief, people would prefer far more salacious, fear-mongering headlines.

In truth, the actual Internet Safety Technical Task Force report says that, “Bullying and harassment, most often by peers, are the most frequent threats that minors face, both online and offline.” Which means parents should be paying a lot more attention to what their children are experiences (and dispensing) at school, with their friends, etc., than they should be about the invisible “they” known as internet boogie men.

From the report:

Much of the research based on law-enforcement cases involving Internet-related child exploitation predated the rise of social networks. This research found that cases typically involved post-pubescent youth who were aware that they were meeting an adult male for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

And if you think that’s only gotten worse because kids today are bombarded by internet porn, well, that’s just plain wrong too; from the report:

The Internet increases the availability of harmful, problematic and illegal content, but does not always increase minors’ exposure. Unwanted exposure to pornography does occur online, but those most likely to be exposed are those seeking it out, such as older male minors.

In other words, most kids ignore it, but those (mostly male) youths who want it go for it — just like those meeting with adults or others for sex. Because teens have sex drives, so you’d better be prepared to deal with the issue.

However, the report does not ignore the few times where child molesters have connected with youth online. It says that in the small number of cases, the internet was the first of several steps — the rest of which are no different than how “real world” hook-ups are made. So, if the sexual predator finds prey on the internet & the prey responds, the next step is telephone contact (right under their parents’ noses), followed by eventual meetings in person.

Here’s what the report suggests in terms of advice (I’ve bullet-pointed them, so they are easier to read):

Careful consideration should be given to what the data show about the actual risks to minors’ safety online and how best to address them, to constitutional rights, and to privacy and security concerns.

Parents and caregivers should:

  • educate themselves about the Internet and the ways in which their children use it, as well as about technology in general
  • explore and evaluate the effectiveness of available technological tools for their particular child and their family context, and adopt those tools as may be appropriate
  • be engaged and involved in their children’s Internet use
  • be conscious of the common risks youth face to help their children understand and navigate the technologies
  • be attentive to at-risk minors in their community and in their children’s peer group
  • and recognize when they need to seek help from others.

All of this, though, ignores the basic facts regarding child molestation: Most rapes, sexual assaults, and abuse is perpetuated by someone that the victim knows and trusts.

And I guess that’s the real reason I hadn’t heard of this report & its findings before; people still prefer to pretend they are safe at home, that the unknown danger is “other” and locked outside — or on the internet.

New Film Explores Sex Offender Status

A December 8, 2009 DVD release date has been set for the new dramatic film Warning!!! Pedophile Released, starring Kai Lanette, Sean Cain, Shane Ryan and Molly Wryn.

warning_pedophile_panic_film_poster

Synopsis
An 18-year old boy is accused of molesting a 12-year old girl. They call each other “soul mates” and claim they never more than kissed. He’s put away for 6 years and she waits for him but in the meantime is beaten, gang-raped, impregnated and thrown out onto the streets only to eventually turn to a life of drugs, theft and prostitution. Did society make things better for her by putting this “sex offender“ behind bars? And when he’s released can they ever go back to how things once were? This is the story of true love.

DVD details
110 minutes, color and black & white, ntsc, 16×9, not rated, 2009 production

Trailers for the film can be found here:

http://vimeo.com/4961420
http://vimeo.com/5646592
http://vimeo.com/5586389

Questions? Contact Alter Ego Cinema at alteregocinema@yahoo.com for more information.

wpr-official-poster

Less Physical Dating Violence & Greater Condom Use — Among Boys Only?

Research done at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Centre for Prevention Science in London, Canada, reveals that a course on dating violence and healthy relationships may provide benefits for high school students, particularly boys.

According to ModernMedicine.com:

David A. Wolfe, Ph.D., of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Centre for Prevention Science in London, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,722 ninth-grade students attending schools that were randomly assigned to the intervention or to serve as controls. The intervention was a 21-lesson program led by teachers, integrating dating violence prevention with core lessons about sexual health, substance abuse prevention and healthy relationships.

After 2.5 years, the researchers found that physical dating violence was higher in control versus intervention students (adjusted odds ratio, 2.42). Although boys in intervention schools were less likely than the controls to engage in dating violence, girls in both groups had similar physical dating violence rates. Condom use was higher among sexually active boys in intervention schools (67.9 versus 58.6 percent).

“We found support for the hypothesis that teaching youth about healthy relationships and ways to avoid physical dating violence in Grade 9 Health classes would reduce physical dating violence 2.5 years later, but this effect may be limited to boys,” the authors write. “Although overall rates of substance use and peer violence were unaffected by the intervention, exploratory analyses indicated that boys in the intervention schools reported safer sexual practices (indicated by always using condoms).”

Before I say anything else, let me give a great big “Hooray!” that more young men were using condoms!

And a giant “Wo0t!” as the kids would say, that the boys were less likely to be involved in dating violence.

But isn’t it interesting that while the boys in the class were less likely to participate in dating violence, the girls in class were still experiencing the same amount of dating violence…

That sorta changes that “Wo0t!” to a “Shoot.”

Do we conclude that there was some gender bias in teaching &/or course work, and so the girls didn’t learn or accept the information as readily as the boys?

Do we conclude that a large number of the girls date boys outside those classes — and that the girls “knew better” but in the intimidation of the moment(s), they fell prey to boys with a more predatory nature?

Are there just a few bad boys dating all the girls?

Or do we conclude there is some sort of discrepancy between what the boys reported and what the boys did — *cough* LIARS!

Because the abstract gives very little information & reading the full report & findings published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine requires a fee, I can’t really say for certain what I think…

Do you have any ideas?

~~~

This post is part of the blogathon for Hope For Healing; Twolia generously sponsored me in this wonderful event raising awareness of domestic violence & funds for supporting victims!

You can help too: Comment, link, Tweet & use this special link to iSearch.iGive.comclicking it and performing searches will raise money for HopeForHealing.Org.

Refreshingly Honest Pond Scum

I have mixed feelings about AshleyMadison.com, the “married dating & affairs” site… With a trademarked tagline of “Life is short. Have an affair.” they’re really putting the “tery” in adult dating sites. The adultery dating site even guarantees “an affair to remember.” While I suppose divorce court, public shunning, and loss of respect from your own family are all things you’d remember (literally protecting the guarantee), what the guarantee actually does is offer your money back if you don’t err, have an affair.

According to this article (page 2):

It’s free to become a member and to create a profile and search others. But to chat with another member, a user has to buy credits– $49 for 100 credits (it takes five credits to initiate a chat; subsequent back-and-forth chats are free). For the Affair Guarantee Membership it’s $249 and the Web site will refund your money if you don’t have an affair in three months. “If somebody had a genuine, sincere message and sounded like a nice person, I would send a message back,” she says. “You had to really weed through those who didn’t want what you wanted.”

(And don’t you just love the idea of a person screening requested messages for affairs for “genuine, sincere & nice” people to cheat with?)

Obviously, the whole idea is disheartening. But these people are going to break their vows with or without AshleyMadison.com — and if that means there are less of the lying cheats on other dating sites and social networks, then that’s a good thing. And hey, at least these like-minded cheaters are being honest with one another; they are all saying they are just there to get inside one another’s pants.

Then again, I suppose AshleyMadison.com has its own liars… People who aren’t married who just want a lay. But again, let them stick to fishing in that dirty water with the other pond scum — refreshingly honest pond scum.

When He Just Wants To Get Into You

Vittorio at Toronto Men Unite, a blog encouraging “open and honest discussion” about “the problems many men face in the ‘trenches’ of modern dating,” writes the following in Why Men Lose Interest After Sex:

Many women mistakenly believe that the only reason guys lose interest after sex is because they gave it up too soon. While this is true sometimes, there are other reasons as well. One reason is that the men only wanted to have sex one time, and then move on. So witholding sex will not change this outcome.

Another reason is, men lose interest because the women have difficult personalities. Let’s look at this one more closely. Some women have difficult personalities, and guys will put up with them until they get the sex, and then they will bail shortly after. If these women had sex after one date or several dates the result would have been the same – the men would have ditched them regardless.

Sometimes, these women mistakenly assume that the solution is to hold out on sex even longer the next time. It never occurs to them that they are the problem.

Yeah, that sure sounds like women are the problem — why won’t we just understand & accept that, despite what they tell us on dates, that all men want is sex. Even if that sex is with a woman with a “difficult personality.” What are we women, stupid or something?

But why would we consider the problem is “us” when men play such games?

If all a man wants is to get laid, why doesn’t he walk up to a woman & say so? “Hi, I’m Bob and all I want to do is screw you.”

He doesn’t do it because he’s afraid of the, “No way, Jose,” response. So he decides to lie to get his lay. And then complains about what happens.

*snort*

Worse yet, he uses the “cycle of f***-and-dump,” as he calls it, as a way to explain women and their “difficult personalities” — of course, he neatly leaves out any responsibility from men in their creation; this is all something that just happens to women. It is to be expected:

If the cycle of [f***]-and-dump continues, it can feed increasingly neurotic behaviour. These women can become increasingly demanding before and after they have sex with a man, needing constant attention and affirmation from the men that they will stick around. This of course has the opposite effect, driving the men away, which in turn can further compound the problem, causing the women to further “ratchet” up their efforts. The result is an insanely demanding woman who pulls out all the stops, even by going so far as screening men right away to make sure they can provide all that she needs, so that she doesn’t “waste time”. It’s a sick cycle.

You’re right, Vittorio; it is a sick cycle. But it’s not neurotic; it’s a learned self-preservation mechanism. And it begins with men who pretend to want more than sex.

If you want to break the sick cycle of “neurotic cock-blocking,” why not stop the “f-and-dump” cycle? Be honest, admit you’re just after sex and take getting shot-down like a man.

Vittorio finishes up his post with the following advice to men:

As men, you need to trust your instincts. If a woman shows signs of insecurity and possessiveness at the beginning, she is most likely a time bomb ready to explode. So cut your losses early.

Me? I say first of all that males need to act like men, be honest and face the rejection. And second, women, follow your instincts; if he shows signs of being a dawg, he probably is a dawg and block him accordingly. And feel free to be as neurotic as you like about it. You’ve got my permission.

On the other hand, when an honest guy actually says he justs wants sex with you, please praise him for his honesty. Your praise need not include putting out (unless you’re already agreeable!), but at least throw the guy a bone for being honest about the fact that he’s only in it for the bone.

Is Paying For Phone Sex Infidelity?

Hi Alessia,

I’ve been happily but stressfully married to my husband for 5 years. I say “stressfully” because my job takes me away from home & to other countries for weeks & even months at a time. As a result, we’ve had to really work on communication and our sex lives long distance.

Recently my husband confided that he’s been using phone sex services to help, umm, bridge the gap in sexual loneliness and frustration while I’m way.  I honestly didn’t know what to say…

I’ve got really mixed emotions — and logical reactions — to this.  On one hand, he’s not physically cheating, just masturbating; and I totally understand his needs because I certainly use a lot of batteries in my hotel rooms. I know he watches/downloads porn, and that doesn’t bother me at all. But on the other hand, he’s interacting with another (other) women.  And because phone sex is all we have for long periods of time, I feel more than a bit jealous.  But then I go back to the facts, which are that with time differences etc., there are weeks when not even that is possible…

Alessia, can you help me figure this out so that I can understand myself well enough to communicate with him?

Thanks so much!

Kate

Dear Kate,

First of all, the matter of what is or isn’t cheating is something that the two of you must decide on.  It’s one of those areas that couples think is “so obvious” that they often don’t discuss it; but then you’ve got a relationship — and in this case, because you are married, a commitment — based on assumptions.  You know what happens with those.

(At this point, the cheating guideline are the horse already out of the barn; but I have to mention this need to clearly define your idea of “cheating” and coming to an understanding & agreement with your partner about the issue for other readers.)

So now you find yourself in this ambiguous situation; so let’s deal with that.

Since you said that you don’t mind his use of adult materials, at least while you’re away, I’m going to believe that you’re not just jealous in general for his *ahem* affections.  Porn usually upsets women more than erotica… Since you’re OK with his use of porn I have to say that personally, I don’t find paying for professional phone sex providers much different than erotic stories. Other than the ability to shop for the specific character you want and the ability to “write your own stories” with an interactive person, as opposed to a static erotic text or audio story, what’s the harm?

There’s no shared fluids; and because she’s a professional, she likely isn’t at all considering running off with your man like some girl in an IM or chat room. He’s just a guy paying (or helping to pay) her bills.

That’s no different than the girl in the films & photos, right?

So I’m gathering your personal reaction of jealousy & discomfort comes from two fear-filled places.

One, a fear that because she is real (not a fictional character that only exists & remains fixed in a written or read story) that there is the potential for your husband and the phone sex girl(s) to talk about other things…

For example, if he’s calling one of these women to discuss his bad day at the office, his loneliness without you, etc., rather than telling his buddies or family members, then perhaps there is more to their relationship than “just sex.”  If he’s growing dependent upon one phone sex provider for something more akin to a relationship — and that’s at the expense of your relationship as husband & wife — then you might want to establish clear boundaries.  Remember, though, do not accuse him of such emotional dependence or infidelities out of your fear; tell him of your concerns and establish whatever boundaries you have regarding them.

The second fear is likely that of performance anxiety.

We women can be very insecure creatures.  Just as some of us take our man’s lusty delight of a swimsuit model’s figure and turn it into fear that we will never measure up to that standard, you could be feeling that you will not be able to “give good phone sex” as well as a professional phone sex operator.  Since phone sex is one of the few ways that you and your husband can remain sexually & romantically intimate while you travel, this fear is likely increased.  But remember, you have lots of things the phone sex girls don’t, including the fact that he knows (and therefore can “see”) your body (always a great asset for turning men on), you have an intimate knowledge of his body & emotions (you know the buttons to push), a history to build on (“remember that time we…”), and the power of longing (he misses you!). Phone sex girls don’t stand a chance against you!

I suggest that you consider these issues for awhile and ask yourself not only how much they apply to you, but if these issues were removed, how much of a non-issue would his use of phone sex services be?

And once you have those answers, yes, communicate your thoughts, needs, and fears to him. And listen to his.  I suggest you long distance lovers do this via email so that you have time to carefully word what you have to say so that you are asserting your concerns without being attacking and accusatory. Plus, then you can save your precious phone time for *ahem* more fun conversations.

Let me know how it goes!

Alessia

Of Abuse & Avatars — And Outrage

At first glance what I’m about to post may seem to be back-peddling on my stance regarding rape (the lengthy debate of which you can follow with these posts); but keep reading, because I think what I’m about to share has a lot more to say about society than what’s presented…

CNN reports on a recent study, lead by Jennie G. Noll of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics titled Childhood Abuse, Avatar Choices, and Other Risk Factors Associated With Internet-Initiated Victimization of Adolescent Girls. From CNN’s report:

“Results indicated that abuse status was significantly related to online sexual advances, which were, in turn, related to offline, in-person encounters,” the study says.

The authors say there was no direct link between abuse and offline encounters, but that a history of abuse puts girls at greater risk.

Looking at the girls’ avatar choices, the authors found that girls who present themselves provocatively in body and clothing choices are more likely to have had online sexual advances.

That risk is tied not just to an avatar, but to the overall image a girl projects online, they say. On sites that don’t use avatars, such as MySpace or Facebook, simply compiling suggestive photographs or narrative descriptions can increase girls’ vulnerability, they say.

“Those adolescents who may be unaware of how their appearance might be perceived may not, from a developmental perspective, possess the social sophistication necessary to field and ward off sexual advances in ways that protect them from sexually explicit suggestions,” the study says.

“This may be a particularly important lesson to convey to female adolescents who are especially vulnerable to exploitation and victimization, such as those who have been victims of childhood abuse,” it says.

CNN ends their report with the mandatory, “watch your kids!” mantra.

“Caregiver presence was associated with significantly fewer reports by adolescents of online solicitations,” the study says. “As such, the importance of parental monitoring of adolescent Internet use cannot be understated.”

I’m not against such things; I not only believe in such parental involvement, I participate in it with my own children. But, as Diana Hartman notes, this bland bit of advice might actually be counter-productive when it comes to adolescent victims of abuse:

While the study found “caregiver presence was associated with significantly fewer reports by adolescents of online solicitations,” it is also important to note that 62 percent of females under the age of 18 were abused by someone known to them. Furthermore, in more than half these cases the biological father was the perpetrator.

Hartman ends her fine post with this sentiment:

Instead of studying the girls, the authors might seriously consider the best way to treat them.

I agree — but equally important, where’s the study &/or training of would-be victimizers and exploiters?

Once again, the behavior of victims & potential victims is what is scrutinized and therefore held accountable rather than that of perpetrators.

It’s easy to dismissively wave your hand at such a thought, to poo-poo me with a, “Where are we going to get honest perps from?” But that poo-pooing only leaves us with more of this shit.

We keep identifying victims, defining their behavior as risqué and risky (and doesn’t that just stink of judgment and victim blaming), regurgitating that information to dictate behaviors of potential victims (mainly women), and through it all, we turn a blind eye to the culprits — the very people who need to stop/be stopped.

You might not think this has much to do with adults online &/or adults dating, but honestly, yesterday’s adolescents are today’s adults; has that much changed? I don’t think so.

And today’s adolescents are the adults of tomorrow; are we educating them for the creation of a better world tomorrow?  I don’t think we’re doing that either.

When He’s (Sexually) Shrinking From You, Violet

In response to my “Helping You Get In The Mood” Contest, Violet writes in:

Hey, Alessia,

I have the opposite problem — I’m always ready and my husband’s never ever in the mood.

I’ve tried all the crappy magazine suggestions and the tips from your readers in response to your contest, but all I have is more rejection.

Any ideas besides spiking his coffee with little blue pills disguised as sugar cubes?

Thanks,
Violet

Violet, your situation is not as unique as you might think — frustrating & painful, yes; but it’s not rare for women to have, err, blue ovaries.

First, I’m hoping you read this — and this. Because that will save us all some time & ovary-ache.

Second, please consider having hubby get a check-up — and not just for the plumbing & physical parts, but for depression & other mental health issues. One of the most typical signs from men who are struggling with anxiety &/or depression issues is a lack of interest in sex. (Over) simply put, they do not feel worthy of having sex. It’s the emotional equivalent of women packing on the pounds (whether depressed or not) whereby males think they are not “masculine” enough in terms of “success” etc.

However, if hubby passes such screenings & is otherwise fine, the honest to gawd’s truth is the exact opposite of what most women’s & men’s mags tell you.

Cover text screams that men want sexually aggressive women — but that’s a lie. A big fat stinking lie.

At least for some men.

“Aggressive” should not be confused with “confidence”; confidence is sexy period, no matter the person or the gender. But when it comes to making the moves, giving out the sexual invitations, many men (unless they are into Dominatrix scenarios) literally shrink from sexual offers, Violet.

And it’s not just about the pressure to perform; it’s about a perception of your sexual value.

I know I’m going to get a bunch of men (and women) telling me this is BS. But please spare me your anecdotal evidence; I’ve got my own & I raise you some basic evolutionary evidence.

Men are hunters, providers; they are the risk-taking, chest-beating victors to whom the sexual spoils go because they have won. In this case, they’ve won “the woo” so they get to bed you.

Now, when you, female of the species, are on the sexual hunt yourself — especially when you are living with them or are otherwise sexually available to them — men no longer have to work, woo or win you & your favors. They lose interest because there is a shift (in their perception) of your value.

If you think I’m nuts, ask yourself why so many men are led around like bulls with rings in their noses by spoiled princess-types who demand trinkets or deeds in order to put out.

Some men just have to work for it in order for it to be any good.

Some women think, instinctively, that they can ignite more heat with a few sparks of jealousy; but don’t do it. Even if it works in the short-term, it’s eventually likely to garner you additional issues to sort out — and doesn’t he already have enough reasons not to go to bed with you? Let’s not add insecurities about your faithfulness to the mix. Not to mention that he might feel it’s fair game now for him to go after those other birds rather than your bush…

No, the best way to increase your sexual value & “up” his desire, is to have him think it’s all his idea — that he’s worked for “it” or talked you into “it.”

How?

For starters, just stop asking, hinting, insinuating and throwing yourself at him. I don’t mean become a cold mean bitch; just make yourself a little less obviously available… Instead of suggesting sex (verbally or by lounging naked in Saran-wrap), just relax.

It may mean dialing down your sex drive — pushing it out of your mind so that you aren’t watching the clock, expecting that since 15 minutes (or a two days) has passed, that he out to be lunging at you by now. And if you are having difficulty doing that, let me remind you that May is Masturbation Month. Spend some quality time with yourself — it will relax you in any case. (He’s likely doing it — otherwise how does he manage to function? If he’s not, I’d really drag him in for medical care — seriously.)

Generally speaking, a few days or weeks maybe and most men find themselves thinking of you in that way…  From there, you’ll likely find a balance for yourself between “aggressive” and “willing” that won’t feel like game-playing.

If you honestly have dialed down your sexual pursuit of him and he’s still just not that willing to get into you, then seek counseling. Because something’s just not right.

The “Helping You Get In The Mood” Contest

k-y-brand-intense-arousal-gel-for-women Thanks to the makers of K-Y Brand, I’m giving away 5 full-sized tubes of K-Y® Brand INTENSE™– the female arousal gel scientifically shown to enhance female pleasure, arousal and satisfaction during intimacy.

If you read my review, you know that I not only liked the product, but said that a little dab of K-Y Brand Intense Arousal Gel For Her there will do more for you & your romantic sex life than that perfume you dab behind your ears.

If you want a chance to prove it to yourself, just leave me a comment telling me what other tips, tricks &/or products you’ve tried to help you and your partner get in the mood at the same time — and be sure to let us know which ones work!

(Try to keep it at or below an an ‘R’ rating, ladies!)

Fine Print: This contest is open to US residents of the contiguous 48 states who are over 18 years of age only; entries must be dated on or before midnight, May 19, 2009. I’ll draw & announce the five winners at random on May 20, 2009.