Friday, April 22, 2011

I think conversations about the variability of what people like in bed are fascinating.  I don't say much about my own sexuality here (other than the obvious, that I'm married to a dude!), but one thing I will say is that I don't watch porn.  I get why others do, but it just has never interested me.  So, for an outsider's view, reading about what people are actually looking for and at is super interesting.  And a study just came out talking about porn and search terms.  I know this study is poorly researched and not at all valid ( which has been discussed in some of the science blogs I read, though i can't remember which ones, or I'd go read them now!  And if I knew at the time it was about sexuality research, I would have paid more attention to those posts!  But since it came in the midst of a sea of posts on climate, I just ignored, sadly, but at least i recognized the researchers names), but I think it's still worth thinking about, because of the basic assumptions of what porn is, and who views it, and the fact that even if they have their numbers wrong, the searches themselves do exist.

See, in general, it seems as if porn is angled as something men view to see women.  Obviously there is porn made for women, and porn made for gay men, but the idea of porn directed at straight men that depicts women as sex objects to be used/consumed is the predominant one, both among anti-porn groups, and in casual discussions about porn online and off, even with people who use porn regularly.  But i know plenty of ladies who enjoy porn, too, and some guys who don't.  One of my best friends from college discovered porn when she was about 14, and proceeded to lock herself up every day after school and watch it for hour.  A guy I knew in college said that he never watched porn because it was never as creative or specific as his imagination could be.  Granted, I'm not saying either of them is representative of their genders, but just that the scope of how people interact with porn is likely broader than most of us initially picture.

I haven't read the full study, just the highlights on Jezebel (which, as I always mention, is a site that I strongly feel has gone downhill and which I would not call feminist, but which I still read because hell, it may be little more than a news aggregator these days, but it's an aggregator of things that interest me, at least).  Two of the things they highlight are that there are a surprisingly large umber of searches for older women and fat/chubby women.  Though this is likely in part due to the fact that a non specific porn search will turn up a lot of young, thing woman, it IS worth noting, because we as a society so often desexualize heavier and older women-- but there are plenty of people out there for whom that's right up their alley.

And yes, there are conversations to be had about whether being reduced to a sex object is actually progress, but I still think acknowledgement that different people like different things is important.

It emphasizes how much personal preferences play into who we find attractive-- something that really first hit me in college when I realized that my closest girl friends and i did not really have overlapping taste in men.  And when I realized most people find Brad Pitt hot.  Personally, I think he has a nice body, but looks like a monkey.  But anyway-- variety abounds!  And preferences for different parts of that variety abound too!  So much of culture and, from what I understand, mainstream porn tells us that there is something that is universally desirable, and that all people would go for that if given the chance-- but the porn searches (and conversations in which people just can not figure out where their friends are coming from) show that that isn't really the case.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why I don't have pink hair

I've been thinking some about personal preferences for one's partner, mainly due to some reddit threads, most of which focus on the always argumentative topic of pubic hair grooming.  It's really interesting to me how different people are in what they think is reasonable in a relationship-- the people there span from those who don't think it's appropriate to ask a partner to change anything about themselves, to those who think its fine to ask them to change things that take real effort, like weight loss.

I'm somewhere in the middle, there-- because on one hand, I really strongly value bodily autonomy and being happy with yourself, and on the other hand, I do get that sexual attraction is an important part of adult romantic relationships.  Which means that I don't have pink hair, since JD finds it appalling, but I also am not entirely sure what his favorite style of clothing is for women, since I wear what i like.

Point is, I think that compromise is an important part of relationships, and I think that that compromise can-- and sometimes should-- extend even into parts of yourself as personal as appearance, whether its shaving, haircuts, facial hair, clothing styles... basically, if it isn't something you are really uncomfortable with, or something that is against your morals, or something that is unsafe/expensive... why the hell not at least give it a try?

So many blogs, especially feminist and sex-positive blogs, talk about how we should generally be willing to try our partner's kinks (though I DID also just read a really good post about how we should respect the more vanilla partner more than many sexuality bloggers do, but since I open too many tabs, which then crashes chrome and makes me lose all the tabs... no linky.  sadface).  And if we're encouraging people to embrace things they aren't totally comfortable with in the bedroom (which, granted, is private), why is it so bad for people to "change" aspects of their physical appearance for a partner?

I'm not advocating a total extreme makeup, or changing a style completely.  That's not a compromise either.  And I strongly feel that the person whose body it is should get far larger than fifty percent of say in what's going on with it.  But I do think a partner's preferences, and their sexual turn ons, should get some consideration if it's a serious relationship, especially since people grow more comfortable talking about what they do and do not like as relationships become more serious.

A part of feminism is owning your own body, and be honest about your wants and needs, but I don't think that doing things to please a partner are at all in conflict with that-- especially if your partner is also doing things to please you.

EDIT: JD has pointed out that he thinks pink hair would be cute on me, but inappropriate for someone who is going to be an attorney.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The first of our wedding pictures!

I think they just look amazing.  I can't wait for the rest!  Our photographer was also super friendly and fun to work with.

Go check them out:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kyl and Beck say a lot of stupid stuff, huh?


So, we all know Planned Parenthood is under attack from so many angles, and that so many people are lying about them, some senators (Hi Jon Kyl!  How is something presented as fact on the senate floor NOT meant to be taken as fact?) and some talk show hosts making ridiculous hyperbole (Hi Glen Beck! Hookers, huh?  Really?  I mean, REALLY?)  (and yes, I am not linking to these things because, hi, I'm sick, and also, hi, Google is your friend, really.

I don't even know how to respond.

We all know, or should know, at this point, that any abortions that PP does are not federally funded already due to the Hyde Amendment.  We also know, or should know by now, that abortion is only ~3% of what PP does.

Look, guys.  I'm a married 26 year old lady.  I think it is probably not a secret that I am having sex.  And since I am unemployed, my husband and I can't really afford to have a kid right now.  So you know what we do to prevent that?  BIRTH CONTROL.  and you know where I am going to most likely be going to get my birth control when my prescription runs out, since I have no insurance?  PLANNED PARENTHOOD.  And you know where I will most likely get my pap and yearly check up, that will ensure that I will be able to provide my husband with joyous offspring, thereby demonstrating his virility to the world in a Republican-approved manner?  PLANNED PARENTHOOD.  And you know what else I could go to PP for if I did manage to get knocked up earlier than planned despite the birth control?  PRENATAL CARE.  That's right, guys.  PP will do all the SUPER EXPENSIVE prenatal checkups a woman should have at an affordable price!  And if I wanted to get pregnant and had trouble conceiving, you know what else they could do?  Tell me all kinds of medical stuff about how to up my chances of conception!  Because they actually do employs doctors and nurse practitioners who know about this stuff!  If we wanted a kid and got pregnant now, PP would actually be able to help us have a healthy baby and reduce the risk of miscarriage!  


Walgreens and CVS can't prescribe me my birth control (that enables us to have condomless sex the way most men like it, GOP!).  They can't give me a pap smear and help make sure I don't get cancer (Are they going to look up my vag in the stationary aisle?  The candy aisle?  No.  They DON'T DO THAT KIND OF STUFF).  They can sell me vitamins, but can they sample my blood and help me deal with gestational diabetes if I get it?  NO, THEY CAN'T.  The kids in pharmacy school who usually fill my prescriptions may well not even know of doctor's offices to refer me to if I need a specialist!

So, yeah, guys.  Planned Parenthood does provide abortions, and in my opinion, that's a super important thing that shouldn't be prevented.  But through their birth control services, they do a whole hell of a lot more to prevent abortion than the Right does, and through their many many services, they do a whole hell of a lot that benefits married men and women, whether the lady in the equation is a housewife or holds down a demanding career.

Oh, and for the dudes who want to sleep around while they're young and single?  WHERE DO YOU THINK THEY GET TESTED FOR STDS AFTER COLLEGE, HUH?

EDIT: Oh My God, Stephen Colbert.  I think I love you.  How did I not know about this clip until right now, 2:01 PM?

I hate the T

I realize I just posted, I live on the green line.

So check this out:

Or, if you live on another line, will allow you to examine any of them, based on their real time data!

I hate the T.  I am consistently half an hour early or half an hour late to nearly everything, even when I leave at the same time.

sick. sniffle sniffle

After waking up from a horrible nightmare (that sounds SO STUPID when I relate it, so don't even ask) I discovered that my low level stuffyness has turned into a full fledged cold.  But I still feel fine, except for the whole hot stretched face thing I get when ill.  So I am adamantly trying to fix it via hot tea, and some chicken carcasses which are currently in the oven and which will be a lovely thick broth in a few hours.

Because that's how I combat being ill.  I make chicken soup from scratch.  Ridiculous, I know.

At any rate, it puts a damper on plans for today which included a cleaning frenzy (not sure I have the energy) taxes (which will get done), and a steamed crab leg or panko encrusted scallop dinner... but I think the flavors are far too delicate for my mouth to currently appreciate them.

The point is, all this has me thinking about all the small obstacles or stops that happen in daily living, and how easy some are to get around, and how difficult others are to deal with.  My passport, for example, is somewhere hidden in the apartment.  THANKS CATS.  Which normally wouldn't be a problem, but I'm trying to get my name changed on all my official documents, and I sort of need to have it with me.  This makes it a Big Hassle.  But not being able to cook the dinner I want?  Not a big hassle!

Anyway, I'm sick today.

In a lot of popular media, when a woman gets sick, she's portrayed as being a martyr, while men are portrayed as being enlarged children who wine and moan and need to be taken care of.  It's a pretty shitty portrayal for both parties, because for women, it says we must be self-sacrificing and that paying attention to our own needs is not acceptable.  For men, it says they're juvenile idiots.  Modern advertising often manages to be sexist in a way that's both misogynist and misandric at the same time, which is impressive in a saddening way.  Men aren't all idiots, and women aren't all martyrs.  It would be nice to see more ads with people behaving in non-gender-stereotyped ways.

In our house, JD does a lot of taking care of me when I'm ill.  If I'm too ill to make my chicken soup, he goes and buys me soup from the drugstore or Trader Joe's, and he heats it up for me.  It sounds like a little thing, but it's sweet, and it's him being the caretaker, a role men are often not shown in, even though many men do fill the role with ease.  And when JD gets sick, he tries to hide it and tough it out in a way very similar to how moms are often shown in commercials.  He just... ignores the sickness until it leaves his body, or takes over.  I wish I could do that, but I guess I'm too much of a mess or something.

And now, I'm going to drink my tea, and prepare to give JD a sad, suffering face when he comes in the room, as a means to display that wah, I'm sick.  Oh, and blow my nose.  Nonstop.  Because red, chapped nostrils are just so attractive.

Anyway, if this post makes less sense than normal... well, I guess I might be sicker than I think I am.  Funzies.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I didn't realize until now that a wedding gift could be offensive

We received today a wedding present from an older couple who were invited to the wedding, but not able to attend.  The present consists of a generous gift card, and a book.

The book is Unplanned, by Abby Johnson.  It's "The dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader's eye-opening journey across the life line".  Abby Johnson, as you may recall, made national news when she quit her job as a director of a Texas Planned Parenthood.  Citing sudden religious conviction and a new realization about how abortion worked.

They thought I "might find the book interesting, in light of our conversation" at our engagement party about my goals to work for a pro-choice non-profit-- in my dream world, Planned Parenthood, and that "Often an evil is made to look like a good, as was the case in the author's personal experience".

I would find the book an odd and inappropriate gift if they had not known about my personal politics and feelings, but the fact that they did know makes it not only inappropriate, but offensive.  It's like a very personal attack, in a way-- implying that my life goals and beliefs are evil.  I know, as JD mentioned, that they are probably doing this is some misguided effort to save my soul, but we're moving to the city they live in.  There are more effective and appropriate ways of challenging someone's views then sending them something like this as a wedding present and implying you think their path is one of evil.  It's rude and unkind and not a loving action.

I have no desire to read the book.  I read some things in the news when she resigned, saw how her story seemed a little... off (How can someone be a director of PP and not know how abortion works?  Or have never seen an ultrasound?)

Abortion is a necessary medical procedure for many women.  It is important, and while I would love for the number of abortions to be reduced through greater access and affordability of birth control and greater access to sex ed, the availability of abortion must be protected, for the sake of women's health.  I've never had an abortion, or even a pregnancy scare, so it isn't an issue that has directly affected me in the ways it has so many others, but it is so, so important, and I will fight to keep abortion safe, legal, and available for women who need it.

I just don't even know what to say.
I guess this is my first Oklahoma culture shock (even though I know they are not representative of most Oklahomans, or even any of the other Oklahomans I have met.)