Tag Archives: sex

How I Confront Sex Positivity and Consent as an Asexual Feminist

2 Aug

Ace Flag 1

I was scrolling down my Tumblr feed the other day, when I came across a post in all caps that read, “THE ‘A’ DOES NOT STAND FOR ‘ALLY!’”

I immediately got the reference, and chuckled a bit, because it’s a common misconception about the LGBTQIA+ acronym I used to have. It wasn’t until I started to question my own sexuality that I understood the A represented a sexual orientation I hadn’t realized I was: asexual.

I first considered that I was asexual about three years ago, when I was still a virgin. I had met the perfect guy, but I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to sleep with him.

For some reason I thought I would feel something magical and intense, and in that moment, I would know it was the right time. It seems silly, but for someone who has never experienced sexual attraction, that is how I imagined people decided they wanted sex.

That feeling of readiness never happened. Eventually, I became impatiently curious, and figured I’d try it out. My first time was more of an experiment for me rather than a real desire to have sex.

As an asexual person, “ace” for short, I do not experience sexual attraction, which is what generally characterizes aces. As an added bonus, I also do not experience sexual desire and sometimes feel a bit sex averse. Asexuality has a spectrum, so there is a lot of diversity in the asexual community, people who experience varying levels of attraction, desire, and aversion.

I wasn’t ready to accept my asexuality three years ago. After misunderstanding it for about two years and reading about alternatives for why I had no desire for sex, I decided to take an online test that was supposed to tell me if I was asexual or not.

My results… read more at Slutist.

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I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse to be a Virgin

13 Mar

Virgin Photo Hey Everyone. I published another article on XO Jane this week–and at first I was keeping it a secret. The article gets really personal, and because of that, I’d originally decided not to publish it on this blog. I usually don’t mind if strangers know my business; however, I know that some of my friends and family members read my blog–and I didn’t really want them to know the details of my (non) sex life. Also, in the midst of searching for a job, I didn’t want potential employers to read the post either.

Then, Jezebel republished the article-and it started getting more attention. Random people and feminist publications tweeted me about it.  A friend of mine saw it and posted it on Facebook. And you know, after something hits Facebook, everyone sees it.
At first, I was somewhat embarrassed that people I knew were reading my private thoughts about sex. But then, more friends wrote on my wall and tweeted me, telling me how the article resonated with them. Apparently, there were many  women who felt the same way I did.

Now I’m glad I shared my story.

So here it is:

I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse to be a Virgin

A few months ago, my friends went around the table talking about the most bizarre places they’ve had sex. When it was my turn, their jaws dropped at my response. Then someone made a soft, “Awww,” — the kind you give a baby after she lets out a burp. It was the first time I admitted to a group of feminists that I was a virgin — something I’d been ashamed of for a while.

I’m not religious, I don’t have a fear of sex, and I have an awesome boyfriend of 2 years who would be at my doorstep in seconds with a box of condoms if I made that call. On top of all that, I occasionally write for a sex-positive site called Slutist. But despite these factors, I am a 22-year-old virgin.

I know 22 isn’t really that old. But in a country where the average age of virginity loss is 17, teens are having sex on popular TV shows (I’m sure in a few years, even characters on Disney Channel will be getting their freak on), and feminists have worked tirelessly to make it OK for young women to embrace their sexuality, 22 seems a little late in the game. My few virgin friends and I are the weirdoes.

Most people don’t understand it — not even my own mother, who is beginning to wonder if something is psychologically wrong with me.

What my mother and friends don’t know is that just like them, I also don’t understand why I’m not having sex…Read more

Author’s Note: This piece was originally published on XO Jane and republished on Jezebel. You can read the full article by clicking the link above.

Welcome to Slut Shamer Rehab

25 Jul

ShaeSlut

Confessions of a Reformed Slut-Shamer

We’ve all done it: Shook our heads at the girl who decided to dress in a way that was too provocative for our own good taste, while in the back of our minds thought, “Where are the rest of her clothes?” Then we’d mentally label her a slut or skank, and if we were mean enough, we would give her a stank face and utter a few words under our breath. We’d stand high and mighty in our not-so-skanky stilettos and turn our noses up at the “slut” who dared leave the house and enter our wholesome presence showing all her goodies.

Sometimes I am that “slut.” I’ve worn ultra mini-skirts with my high heels to show off my legs and curves.  I used to think that because I was smart, sophisticated, and in fact, not a slut—I could dress however the hell I wanted and if people judged me, the joke was on them.

I know better now. I know that criticizing a woman for dressing proactively, for having an overtly sexual presence, or for having an active sex life is called slut-shaming. Basically, slut-shaming teaches that a woman’s (but not a man’s) body and a woman’s sexual desires are immoral, and must be restricted. It’s a specific type of bullying that targets women. Men are rarely victims. We all know the double standards: men are applauded for sex while women are shamed. There are such things “man-whores,” as people call them, but within our society, they do not bare the same burden as women who are known to have sex. The fact that you have to put the word “man” in front of whore displays just how gendered the term is.

When girls commit suicide because of this type of criticism, the need to end slut-shaming becomes even more serious. A few months ago, 15-year-old Audrie Pott killed herself after finding out that explicit photos of her being sexually assaulted were circulated via texts and emails from her peers.  A year before that, 15-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons endured a similar fate of photos going around, and in addition, was tormented by her classmates. In response, she hung herself.

Unless we take slut-shaming and victim-blaming seriously, more young women will die.

In an article I recently read, which discusses these suicides, the writer argues that everyone, including you and me, is responsible for these deaths. When we perpetuate certain ideas that blame the victim and shame young women, we spread hate and violence.

I am guilty.

I have never shamed anyone after they’ve been raped; however, I have shamed women for having active sex lives and wearing revealing clothing. If you are like me, then you have a problem.

 Welcome to Slut-Shamer Rehab

Step 1: Be woman-enough (or man-enough) to own up to your mistakes.

Step 2: Know that it is only partially your fault. We grow up in a society that likes to blame the victim. Our mother and grandmothers have sometimes taught us that only “loose girls” dress provocatively. Generations and generations of women have been raised to believe that women who have sex lose their purity and become forever tarnished. But those outdated ideas don’t have to be your ideas.  Cut the crap! Repent and don’t do it again.

Step 3: Whenever you see someone you want to call a slut, skank, whore, (or any other variation), stop yourself! Take a moment and ask yourself: “If I think this way about this woman, what oppressive ideas am I progressing?”

Step 4: Educate Yourself. Google “slut-shaming” or visit this awesome blog I found recently called She Must Challenge, a blog to promote strong women and positive trends toward gender equality. Read up on the implications of slut-shaming. You might also want to learn more about rape culture while you’re at it.

Step 5: Know that we all are prone to relapse. Just last month I was in Vegas. At the Hard Rock Hotel, where I stayed, a lot of women walk around in their bathing suits. The slut-shamer in me thought, “What the hell? Put some damn clothes on, we’re in public!” Then I caught myself doing it and had to repeat Steps 1 and 2.

Step 6: Take a healthy dose of humility. Do you deserve to cast the first stone?

Try Hard: The fate of women’s empowerment and freedom lies in the ideas we spread.

Related Posts: I Wear Short Shorts BECAUSE I’m a Feminist

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