Hump Day Links

What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure? (Sorry the ending is so cheesy everyone)

Five Lessons From Poly Relationships That Everyone Can Benefit From

This Is What The Female Orgasm Really Feels Like

To give you an idea of the lack of sex-positivity of the community I grew up in: Bikini coffee shop agrees to change drink names

She’s not ugly in my opinion, and her body is amazing. Inspiring me to practice my head and handstands: 10+ Reasons I Love My Ugly Body

And this gem that was posted in my Open FB group:


Virginity & Hookups

J had passed along these two articles a couple weeks ago, and because of my deluge of school reading, I just read them this week:

Does My Virginity Have a Shelf Life?


In Hookups, Inequality Still Reigns

So many points I want to make. But the main takeaways from both for me were:

-Debra Herbenick rocks. Definitely check out her blog, My Sex Professor. Her point in the second piece about why we are so focused on women’s orgasms, if women aren’t as focused on orgasms themselves, is spot on to me. If orgasm is important to someone, and they aren’t satisfied with their current sexual relationships and encounters because they aren’t having orgasms, then it could be rich to explore that. Otherwise, what’s the fuss?

-This also points to a larger lack of sexual intelligence in our culture. Orgasm does not equal sexual perfection. Yes, orgasms are pleasurable and connecting and relaxing and cathartic. But not having an orgasm does not necessarily mean that the sex was unsatisfying, unwanted, or otherwise negative.

-The first piece left me a bit speechless (a rarity, really). I felt sad and shocked reading it. Not because virginity is sad to me, but because a lack of sexual intelligence is sad to me- it points to a lack of sexual education and self awareness, pieces that everyone deserves to cultivate and benefit from. The author seems clear on defining virginity as no PIV sex, and it seems like she has engaged in other kinds of sexual acts with partners. Why is the penetrative PIV act the epitome of virginity? Who does that serve? In this instance, it seems that the concept has done a pretty big disservice to the author, creating discomfort and insecurity, and perpetuating an idea of “the soul mate” for whom she can finally give up her (PIV) V-card.

-I had a (woman) customer at work this past weekend, who was so fabulous at differentiating at different types of virginity.

“Yeah, this guy I’m dating is a threesome virgin. Crazy, right?!”

“What about a private dance? I’m a lap dance virgin!”

I appreciated my conversation with her so much, and even more so after I read the above articles.

It adds richness to our lives to broaden our definitions of what sex is, of what being sexual means. Have different definitions for “virgin.” Know why you hold onto certain definitions, dig into them. Try being sexual without reaching orgasm to experience a different range of your sexuality. Let me know your thoughts on the above articles; there’s a lot there to chew on.

Schemas, The New Sex Rules, and Women Liking Sex

Taking notes for my basic psychology class has been a good thing for me, especially when I get to learn about and relearn basic concepts. For example, schemas are cognitive structures for perceiving, processing, and organizing information. Scripts are sequential schemas (for example, going to the movies, or going on a traditional straight date: most people understand these scripts and act in accordance with them without needing explicit instruction).

In his most recent blog post, Marty Klein discusses The New Sex Rules, and how even though we (as a society) have worked past old, harmful rules about sex (you shouldn’t tell your partner you masturbate, real women orgasm from intercourse, etc.), we have new ones floating around (everyone should masturbate, you should be able to orgasm from oral sex, etc.). All of these rules introduce scripts for sexual relationships that can provide “easy” ways of going through the motions of having sex, but also mean that sexual relationships may not have explicit communication embedded within them, resulting in sex that is not satisfying or fun for either or both (or more) individuals. 

J also passed along this NPR article about an interview done with Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying. In the summary about the interview, Jong also introduces her own schematic understandings of sexual relationships, some of which are more progressive than others. Her own ways of structuring sexuality and sexual and romantic relationships, although progressive for when she wrote her book 40 years ago, clearly impact her perception of kinky relationships (ala Fifty Shades of Grey) and “college hook-up culture” (which I place in quotes because I think it is completely overblown).

She says something like “If you look at Fifty Shades of Gray, it’s a very, very retrograde book, because if you’re tied up and aroused, what are you really doing? You’re giving up all responsibility for your sexuality. So, you cannot be a bad girl, because you’re tied up. … You can be a victim.” And with regards to college hook-ups: “I think that [young] women today — particularly in universities and so on — are doing hook-ups… But I don’t think that they’re getting much joy out of it. If you look at Girls, Lena Dunham’s program … in many ways is very dark — these girls are not getting any pleasure. They’re watching the men get pleasure. And so if hook-ups are so wonderful, why are these shows so dark and disappointing?” It’s pretty clear to me that even if you create and act on a new and revolutionary schema for yourself that women can and do enjoy sex, you may get to 2013 and not have a cognitive structure that allows for kinky sex to be enjoyable or for casual sex to be enjoyable. Maybe I am out of bounds here, but that’s what it seems like to me from this interview summary. 

Any other thoughts out there?