Monthly Archives: December 2013

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 5/29/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Special: Guest Entry

Today’s guest entry is written by Grace. You can find the original Note here. This is a topic that is something of a “hot button” for me, because of my personal history with it…and I did originally get on BCP for reasons other than contraception. However, once those reasons sorted themselves out (thanks to the BCP), I stayed on BCP to be able to enjoy sex without fear of pregnancy. I remember, though…when my dad “found” my pill compact, and the fallout OF that…Grace speaks here to the truth of that. I also know that I was in no way alone in that particular experience.

P/L/S

~*~

Birth control taken for the sake of birth control is OK. Stop apologizing.

I find it disturbing to see many women commenting on the birth control issue as follows:
“I have a health condition that is treated by birth control.”
“I have acne”
“I have severe periods”
“I had an ectopic pregnancy, so I am higher risk”
and so on. I understand that BC is used for many other reasons than as BC. I used it myself for years to control blood clotting, severe pain, extreme blood loss and loss of consciousness every month. However, this is NOT THE ISSUE, and I am wary of seeing so many act apologetic, and as if they are making excuses for using BC.
I have used BC in the past so I could have fulfilling, condom free sex on a daily basis without the fear of unwanted pregnancy. I was a healthy, full grown woman and I LIKED sex and I am not ashamed to say so. I used BC for the purpose of having intense, enjoyable, orgasmic SEX WITHOUT PREGNANCY.
Men can have sex without being scared they will become pregnant – which is a medical condition FAR more serious than ED with long lasting consequences and severe risks. Why is it so wrong for a woman to be a sexual being, let alone to want to have fear-free sex like a man does?
Men have no immediate consequences to their health. Indeed, men are expected to be able to have worry free sex – unless you count their fear a woman may become pregnant and “trap” them into paying for half of the child’s care. But women are being told that BC encourages ‘looseness’ and ‘whoring around’.
Lets look at the idea of whoring around. Why is it so bad for a woman but accepted in men? Because -wait for it – men can’t get pregnant and women can. Men can go blithely on their way after a quick shag and never think about the one night stand again. Women cannot – unless we have access to birth control.
STOP apologizing for having sexual drive. STOP caving to pressure by the slut shamers and hiding behind the umbrella of “BC for alternate purposes”. Speak up and say you like sex and you are not ashamed of it and that you deserve to be able to have and enjoy sex just like men do.
(When I say “men” in this next section, I DO recognize there are many great men out there, and that there are female traitors who side with the main GOP stance on BC.)
You would think men would appreciate the idea that they can have sex with women who are not fearful, that they themselves don’t have to fear financial responsibility. You would think men would not be so violently opposed to the idea of a woman having control over her own body.You would think that the country would wake up and realize that bitching about welfare mommies on one hand while forcing women to give birth on the other MAKES NO SENSE.
However, the consensus seems to be that women should “know their place”, which means returning to a Victorian time of prudery where women were expected to be quiet and bear children for their masters, while men used mistresses or whores for sexual release – and women who found pleasure in the bedroom were considered sluts.I am SO SICK of this issue. I am SO SICK of being told I am a silly little slut for wanting sex for purposes other than procreation.
FUCK THIS SHIT. Women, stand up. Own your own body. Own up to liking sex. Demand birth control. If men get pills so they can have sex without feeling emasculated, let us women have pills so we can  have sex without feeling like broodmares.
That is all.

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 5/15/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Happy Hump Day: Sex and Food

Short Hump Day post today. Had to make a run up to Cane Creek Farm today (missed going last week) to pick up some fresh eggs, beef, and greens. LOVE that place. But first, I had my chiropractic visit. I really like my chiropractor, even if I hate going to any doctor for any single thing…truly.

Anyway, after my electrotherapy and my adjustment, Dr. D & I got to talking about food, since I spent much of the past couple of days cooking and baking…and he made a really funny comment about the great topics of “Sex and Food” ~ and how those two things must be a lot of fun for me (meaning, conversationally)…and I started cracking up.

I shared with him one of the funnier conversations I have had online with a young man asserting that an orgasm is simply the super-bestest thing in the big, whole, wide world…and my response about “have you ever heard of context?” ~ which made Dr. D crack up, too. Hey, I love “The Big O” as much as anyone…but really, the “bestest thing ever” depends entirely on situational context.

Teehee!

Happy Hump Day!

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 5/8/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Not-So-Funny: WTF Is Wrong With North Carolina?!

I’m not feelin’ up to a cutesiepoo PruthPetals Westheimer Hump Day opening, so let’s just dive right in, shall we?

Okay, so this yahoo, one Republican Representative Chris Whitmire

…is a total fucktarded douchecanoe. Let’s begin with that. Yeah, yeah…ad hominem right off the bat. Ask me if I give a flying monkey fuck? This head-up-his-assclown has proposed a modification to the already egregious parental notification law in North Carolina to include: “…provide medical health services for an unemancipated minor for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of (i) venereal diseases and other diseases reportable under G.S. 130A‑135, (ii) abuse of controlled substances or alcohol, (iii) emotional disturbance, or (iv) pregnancy unless the physician or agent thereof or another physician or agent thereof first obtains the written consent of the minor and the written consent…”
 
Ya get that? A potentially suicidal teen would have to get parental notification –with notarization– before seeking mental health treatment.
And who the fuck calls STIs “venereal diseases” anymore?!?! Before you think that the above-pictured cum-crusted cunt muscle is alone, he brought a few of his pals along with him to sponsor this travesty of a proposal — and I am going to put all of their names, images, and links to their pages here…because for ALL of us fighting what bullshit like this really is (control of female sexual behavior and attempts to shame all teens in general), we need to know the names and faces of our adversaries. I would also encourage my friends in (AND outside of) North Carolina to write letters, make phone calls…express LOUDLY your dissent of this garbage.
Whitmire was evidently quite clever with this proposal, too…he made sure to get bipartisan sponsorship support, and made sure to get a token female on board, as well. The primary cosponsors for this proposal are:
Representative (Republican) Jim Fulghum
Representative (Democrat) William Brisson
and Representative (Republican) Jacqueline Schaffer
I’m rather disgusted by these reptilian-brained people and their disingenuous claims that this is all about getting parents involved. What if the household is part of the problem? Yeah, let’s create more issues for at-risk young people by forcing them to tell their parents… Yes, parental notification laws are primarily about abortion, and have been shown to be abysmal failures (never mind the conflict of interest with a federal law known to most of us as HIPAA).
I completely agree that most parents want to be in the loop insofar as their kids are concerned…but part of the problem (and one that I’m working on trying to add assistance as part of my own work) is the matter of when, and this problem is tied in VERY closely with sex education. Sorry, moms & dads out there…by the time your kid hits puberty, if you haven’t already firmly established an environment of safe communication between you and your child, you’re a little late in demanding that they come to you with information related to sexual behavior and activity, substance use/abuse, and/or emotional and mental concerns. If you spent those early childhood years on solely “s/he’s so cute” and never bothered attending to all areas of the body (yep, that includes the genitals), then why should they come to you? So now you’ve got elected officials who you are hoping to make your kids come to you with concerns when you failed to do the entirety of your job?! Well…FUCK YOU.
This proposal won’t fix the problem.
Look, I know how tough raising kids can be. I have a now-adult son, a teenage daughter, and have started the entire cycle again with an almost-4-year-old. I’m in no way a perfect representative of parent-teen communication…but ya know what? My older kids come to me when it actually matters. In the realm of sexual concerns, emotional concerns, and yeah…even substance questions (the eldest kiddo primarily)…they come to me and ask questions and we have actual conversations. Sometimes there’s discomfort, which is to be expected…but that is part and parcel of parenthood. You don’t get to just be a parent for the cute and cuddly stuff. It’s a complete package, with nuts & bolts included.
Reading about Whitless’ (et al) proposal makes me truly angry…but it’s the sort of anger that pushes me to work all the more diligently at completing one of my primary post-doctoral projects to get it out into the public. *mutter-grumble-mutter*

Ah well, enough for now. Time for Prosey to head over to the chiropractor.

Happy Hump Day!

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 5/1/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Mishmash – 90 of 100 (and tying a few threads together)

Second Generation
 
Happy Hump Day!
In previous posts from about a month or so ago, I mentioned researching connections between food and sex. I have (as I said) found a few somewhat interesting items, but nothing really directly about what I’m searching for. This doesn’t mean there isn’t anything (though there really might not be) it just means I haven’t -at this point- found anything and I will keep looking. If there isn’t anything at the end of my search, I may wind up having a rather useful topic to write extensively about, given where so many different points intersect -both directly and indirectly.

While I haven’t found what it is that I’m looking for exactly, I have found other things…some interesting, some tucked into the card file cabinet of my brain called “Repository of Useless Information.” Such as…

Did you know that the development and production of Crisco was originally intended for making raw material for soap?! Seriously…soap! The word “Crisco” is a modification of the words “crystallized cottonseed oil” — and at around the turn of the 20th century, different vegetables and such were being experimented with for things to make other things. Of course, anyone who has ever watched “Fight Club” understands the rudimentary idea behind the connection between fat and soap-making. Still…Crisco ended up outpacing lard (in sales and use), and wound up becoming the “healthier” product because, you know,vegetables or something.
Turns out, though, lard and other marbled animal fat contains Vitamin D…and with the increased use of Crisco, and the eventual push for consuming leaner meats (and better still, poultry & fish), Vitamin D ended up having to be put into something else …which, as most of us who consume dairy products know, the milk most of us purchase in the supermarkets is fortified with Vitamin D.
That’s what I mean by “useless information.” None of that is anything particularly really helpful or meaningful to anyone…at least I don’t know how it would be at this point. Still, it’s interesting stuff…to me…and so I file it away.
Anyway, I came across the Crisco information as a result of two things. First, a discussion with a friend of mine about lard versus vegetable shortening (specifically with respect to baking a type of cookie I had never baked before), and whether or not using lard would make any difference (since I did not have any Crisco on hand). Second, in connection with my recent entries here about fat shaming, I decided to look into a couple of different comparative items in women’s history in diet/fashion between the 1940s/50s/60s and today, and wound up writing this. Yes, that little note is public, so if you’re interested in where my thoughts went, feel free to click through and read. I find the comparisons between the generations very interesting and relevant to our lives today (especially as women), but really, that isn’t what today’s entry is about. Oh, and it may be useful to see where my thoughts went if any of the thoughts shared in the next portion of this blog seem disconnected.
While I’m still not finding what I’m looking for specifically with respect to the food/sex connection (and I know they are connected, seeing as they are both essential human needs), I’m seeing something of an indirect connection between “idealized” physical beauty (specifically in women) connected directly with diet (and exercise)…and that is undoubtedly connected with sex. The main thrust of my linked note above is that women today are (socially) held to a rather unrealistic standard of perceived perfection (by whom?) in order to be considered attractive (oh, and “healthy”, but I’ve covered that in previous posts already). And while several of the “Do’s & Don’t’s” in the suggestions “For Every Age” contain basic common sense ideas with respect to healthy eating…the premise is not healthy eating, really…or even health. The idea is weight loss, and being as thin as possible while fitting as closely as possible into “the correct bust, waist, hip and ankle measurements” defined as the “graceful, perfectly proportioned” figure…
…and unless you’re a masochist, do not break out the measuring tape.
Those measurements are from 1940, and looking at today’s glossy fashion magazines, one thing that becomes seemingly clear is that those “perfect standards” are still idealized. Now, in the other vintage magazine article that I was looking at, the one with the “7-DAY MENU” that I’ve been reading women blogging about how they’re faring with it, what they conveniently leave out of their commentaries are the other blurbs on the specific vintage article pages…such the “figure line to follow” addressed to female teens (from the 1953 article)…
“Figure problems in this age-group nearly always spring from bad posture. Stand tall, and you’ll find that this will flatten and raise your tummy, tuck your tail under, and square up your shoulders. You should avoid wearing a tiny suspender belt for all occasions and try a light-weight pantie-girdle with a section of satin lastex in front to keep a flat line over the tummy. Suspenders detach so that the girdle can also be worn in summer without stockings. From the time the breasts start to develop a brassiere should be worn. They are made in several cup fittings to coax both the immature bust and the fuller, young bust into a firmly rounded line.”
 
(And there are blurbs addressed to women in their 20s, 30s, and…*cough*…the “Mature Years” also.)

Now, I’m all for good posture, since good posture helps with back alignment (trust me on this, lower back problems are no fun)…but every single bit of the above sounds like something my grandmother might have suggested. No mistake, many of my grandmother’s suggestions about many things were really useful and practical…but when it came to posture, body size, and “ladylike” presentation, it was very specifically set up by gender (for example, I don’t recall her ever slapping my male cousins between the shoulder blades to encourage standing upright), and had nothing whatsoever to do health but with “proper form”…which was about attractiveness and desirability. That, at its core, is about sex. (I won’t even go into what a recent study is suggesting with respect to bras and how much they appear to have harmed women in the long-term…or how a bra fitting specialist is worried about potentially losing clients and money, you know, since the study findings are preliminary. Yeah right.)

When I say it’s all about sex, I mean quite seriously that it really does boil down to sex. Desirability and attractiveness (to attract a mate) over a lifetime (to keep said mate), no matter what the potential negative effects on women might be. And…more telling…with no equivalent measure for the male half of the species. Even setting aside my grandmother’s admonitions, my dad is also a strong proponent of the “perfection standards” — and I know he’s not alone in any way — which means that no matter how far we progress, women are still expected to conform somehow to unrealistic norms (by most men)…and I do mean all women…even while all women were not actually the intended target.
What do I mean by that, you might be wondering…? Well, this is already a long entry, so I don’t want to make it into War and Peace with the fuller explanation, but to be perfectly clear: the intended female audience was and is white women. There is a well-documented history of how marketing and perfection advertising was/is geared toward white girls and women…with the overarching expectation that all girls and women conform to that “normative standard.” No matter how harmful…no matter what actual differences reside in ethnic groupings, no matter how age changes women’s bodies in myriad ways, no matter those things, the underlying expectation is that all women force themselves into a very specific (racial) mold…hell or high water.
And no…this is not me saying that the above-noted body type is unattractive in any way, or that women who are genetically predisposed toward that body type are somehow lacking in some way. I’m not saying that at all. I have quite a few women friends who actually fit that mold and I think they are lovely. No doubt. However, what I’m asserting is that A body type is not necessarily ideal to turn into THE body type for perfection to strive for. Talk about creating body shame issues, particularly among girls and young women…and even more sadly, girls and young women of color, whose genetic predispositions may not be geared toward that body type even remotely.
Another problem that isn’t addressed in this perfection striving is the level of smug degradation in terms of female hostilities toward one another. On a long-standing social level, women are (and have been) viewed as “cat-like” in terms of feral hostility toward each other…and that is assumed to be a “natural” disposition of women. I would argue, though, that is not something that is inherent to women, at least not in general. I would argue that the constructions of these models and ideals to strive for have contributed to the creation of a false “perfect”, creating an equally false sense of “good” and “bad”, in terms of what we “should” strive for…so women who fit that model and ideal gain a false sense of superiority…be it a moral superiority (“fat girls/women must be lazy”) or just a sense of “being better than” other women who don’t fit that model for whatever reason.
Think about the implications of that idea over the long-term, generationally. The idea of keeping women “busy” with something or other is not in any way new. We live in a patriarchal society, and even the old sexist “barefoot and pregnant” coin is connected with that idea. While there’s no consensus that I’ve found on the origin of that particularly sticky phrase, it is directly connected with the idea of keeping women busy and in competition with each other (therefore “out of men’s matters”) ~ with the former (now deceased) Arkansas Representative Paul Van Dalsem saying directly in 1963:
“We don’t have any of these university women in Perry County, but I’ll tell you what we do up there when one of our women starts poking around in something she doesn’t know anything about. We get her an extra milk cow. If that don’t work, we give her a little more garden to tend to. And then if that’s not enough, we get her pregnant and keep her barefoot.”
 
If that isn’t a blatant enough statement for you, I don’t know how much more explicit you require. Man-tailored (and more specifically, white, heterosexual man-tailored) ideas of keeping women occupied…busy…in competition with each other…are age old (they predate Van Dalsem’s chauvinistic comment considerably — he just put it directly to words in a way that is really familiar), and are just as sickening today as they ever were.

To use our own bodies against us…so that we are nasty with each other…for hairy-palmed cat-fight gratification…while women play into and seem consistently oblivious to it, and even work toward those same masturbatory ideas that are damaging to us all. I recognize this acutely because, at one point in my life, I was one of those girls who believed that because I was slender (and never really thought about the possibility of gaining weight) that I was somehow…in some way…better. Not because I judged people by weight exactly (I didn’t), but because of how I was taught; I believed I had more “desirability options” than other girls who were heavier than me. This created a type of competition in my head with other women (that I recognize today for what it was) rather than speaking out against the bullshit of body shaming and how it is a manufactured idea…bought and sold to women by men, gobbled up and regurgitated so as to be repackaged, and then sold by women to other women. Instead of simply saying FUCK OFF, because:

…because our bodies alone are NOT a reflection of who we are as people, or what is in our hearts and minds, AND our bodies are NOT sole reflections of actual desirability and sensuality…and sexuality.
Again, I am not -and will not- denigrate women who fit the “perfect” standard expectation. Ya don’t blame someone for their genetic predispositions…they didn’t actually do anything to earn that. *chuckle* They simply inherited it.
I am also not trying to downplay the importance of healthy eating and physical activity as part of overall healthy living. Furthest thing from it. However, healthy eating does not automatically translate to food deprivation or enjoyment of eating. Physical activity doesn’t automatically translate to hours daily at the gym. Healthy living is bigger than a formula, and it’s bigger than a “perfection ideal.” Healthy living is a process…a daily, active, conscious choice we make…and it is more to do with living full lives than it is to do with shrinking waistlines to fit into vintage clothing.
Getting back to one of the main points of today’s entry … today is Day 90 of 100, and I am excited that I actually remembered to look at my calendar and actually write today’s entry with my “time with Hanne” as part of the grand scheme of today’s Hump Day entry. See, over the past 90 days (more actually…but today is the 90th day I’ve actually been actively thinking on and documenting about being this), I’ve been placing active focus on getting moving. From walking in preparation for the Color Run, and…looking forward…in preparation for being a zombie in September (yeah, watch for pictures of THAT down the road), to getting outside on a regular basis since the weather changed and digging in the dirt, to actually getting elbow-deep into housework and domestic goddessing and not using all of the convenience items available. And whodathunk pulling weeds and mowing the lawn (even with an electric lawnmower) would count as getting one’s body moving? But I’ll tell ya, I sweat and am sore afterward…and it feels good.
I don’t feel any need to fit into some outdated mode of “perfection” — I am enough. My mother’s and grandmother’s generation passed these ridiculous ideas onto this generation…and I am seeing the continuation of those ideas sadly being passed on to the next generation of young women. I find that very troubling, and this is one area that I would like to address more fully and fight against…if nothing else, by raising more awareness to the ideas that are mostly harmful.
But to end on a more positive note, and closing up the entry where it began… The opening image of this post is of my second generation of gardening. Meaning, I didn’t have a lot of success last year with my black bean plants or with my attempt at a pumpkin patch…but I did manage to save the seeds of that less-than-successful adventure. The opening image is what is developing so far with those second-generation seeds (black bean on the left; sugar pumpkin on the right) and I am very excited that they’re already sprouting. Who knows? Maybe in a few months, I’ll have images to share that are beyond the dirt.
Until then, I hope you have a VERY Happy Hump Day!!
 
P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 4/17/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Happy Hump Day — Permanent Proof of Temporary Insanity

Happy Wednesday! The past couple of days, I have been on the busy side…happily creative and enjoying working on a short-term project. I’m in-between tasks at the moment, so I have time to type out a quick entry here.

I used to believe that tattoos were the only things that qualified as “permanent proof of temporary insanity” — and I know now that I was wrong. Totally. Wrong. A dissertation most certainly qualifies. Yes yes…I’m finished with the dissertation…that was done quite a while back. Defense is all done. The title is firmly in place. All that…yeah. However, the matter of the signature page nightmare from hell is not yet finished. You would think, of all the damn things, this part would be easy by comparison. And you, my friend, would be dead wrong.

Everyone who goes through the process of completing a dissertation has something that goes wrong. I have yet to meet a person who flew through the process with no complications whatsoever. I had a few minor hiccups along the way, as do most folks who survive the process. I have a tremendous amount of respect now that I didn’t have before for all people who go through the process. No doubt about it. But to get hung up on the signature page? Really?! *sigh* It would be no big deal in and of itself…except that, this time around, all told, I will have spent approximately $250.00 on postage alone JUST for this bit. (Why so much? International FedEx…for the THIRD time…) — and all for two tiny (and really insignificant) details. A title “upgrade” that was not included in the university-specific template promoted by the university for students who have to write either a thesis or a dissertation — meaning, the software itself is available generically, but the software company works directly with universities for institution-specific details — and that happens to be the software that I used. So on the signature page in the template, the Dean of the School of Advanced Studies is right on the page. I guess, however, the Dean of the School of Advanced Studies is now the Executive Dean of the School of Advanced Studies…and silly me, I would know that HOW?!, given that I used a template that wasn’t updated with that title. Nobody told me that the Dean became the Executive Dean and that the missing “Executive” might throw a monkey wrench into the process. Oh…and the other detail? The date format, which…when I was given sample signature pages…those samples had all different date formats…so, I sent out the signature pages with the date formatted: 12/14/2012 — which is the date the university notified me had to be on each date line of the signature page…except NOW, they want it formatted like so: December 14, 2012 — okay, fine, I can do that…no problem. But, when the requirements change regularly, seemingly on a whim, and it causes fuck-ups in the process for a student who is just trying to be finished with all the nittanoity bullshit already…oh, and did I mention that postage is NOT FREE???

Yeah, so…I feel better now that I’ve ranted a little about that bit o’bullshit.

Temporary insanity? Yeah…know the feeling. Right up close and personal.

Ah well…I probably ought to head over to FedEx and get these signature pages routed. Again.

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful (and I’ll get a proper write-up about the usual stuff I normally write about on Hump Days later).

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 4/10/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Special: April is *Also* STD Awareness Month

Happy Hump Day!

First things first today…I need to openly admit that I don’t have the very best memory. Life gets busy, and other issues surface, and sometimes I forget things that are important and that sometimes fly completely under the radar. Such as the point that not only is April Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but also STD Awareness Month. Given my personal and professional focus, you might think I would remember that more readily (suuuure); like I said just a few sentences up, my memory isn’t the best.

Second, to knock this question out of the way (since it’s one of the questions I am often asked) — the terms “sexually transmitted disease” (STD) and “sexually transmitted infection” (STI) are frequently used interchangeably. They are not exactly the same thing (as diseases and infections are not the same), but more people tend to be familiar with the term “STD” as opposed to the frequently more (clinically) accurate “STI” — in much the same way that just a generation ago, “VD” (venereal disease) was more commonly used. Many folks today haven’t even heard the term “VD,” but most are familiar with “STD” ~ hence the coining of “STD Awareness Month” even within the CDC.

With those two bits knocked out, I got my reminder yesterday about April & STI Awareness from one of my favorite places: Bedsider. LOVE Bedsider! Yesterday, an entry was posted – entitled “The Fine Art of Condom Negotiation” — and it is worth clicking through to and watching the videos in the entry. In today’s Hump Day special, I want to discuss condom negotiation, and its importance on a wider scale.

I know there are folks (I am one of them, actually) who get annoyed with “Awareness Months” — and yet, the importance of awareness of certain realities in our society cannot be overstated. Three major points noted in the CDC link above:

  • 20 million – new STDs that occur each year.
  • $16 billion — the cost of treating STDs contracted in just one year.
  • ½ of all new sexually transmitted infections each year are among youth.

The numbers are truly frightening, and there are distinct connections between those numbers and sex education in public schools…particularly those that accept Title V funding for sex education (aka Abstinence-based and AOUM sex “education”).

When I began my own research for my dissertation, my initial focus was on chlamydia, which is currently the fastest spreading STI on the planet. The numbers, both in terms of transmission, the cost of treatment (compared with the cost of prevention), and the ages of the hardest hit demographic are appalling. I won’t pull those numbers, but I will note that the cost of prevention is significantly lower than the cost of treatment, and the hardest hit demographic is females between the ages of 15 and 24 — with diagnoses of chlamydia being three times more frequent than males in the same demographic. Additionally, minorities are disproportionately affected by all of the above.

What does this have to do with the art of condom negotiation? Quite a lot, actually. Particularly with respect to females. In my research, I interviewed parents of female teens for their perspectives and perceptions about sexually transmitted infections across the teenage population, and one of the themes that surfaced (with respect to condoms) was a “good girl” versus “bad girl” notion that has been prevalent in American culture (and elsewhere, too) for many, many, many years. Further, there exists a really depressing lack of understanding of how exactly STIs are transmitted across the cohort I interviewed — which translates sadly (and is documented elsewhere outside of my research) into teenagers (both male and female) lacking knowledge and understanding.

Example: Blow jobs. Oral sex is not seen as “real” sex by a large percentage of the teenage population. Why? Because the primary focus of sex education is pregnancy prevention (automatically organizing sex education by gender, I might add)…any and all sexual activity that falls outside of the singular sexual act that can result in pregnancy is ignored and omitted entirely. Further, in abstinence-based settings, kids are taught that condoms have x-percentage failure rates (without the explanation of why those failure rates exist — which has to do with inconsistent and incorrect use)…it’s essential fear-mongering in the hopes of getting kids to simply abstain from sex. And mainly females.

It’s a nice idea…and, in fact, abstinence is encouraged as a leading preventive measure against pregnancy and STI transmission by organizations like Planned Parenthood. However, given the actual reality of kids having sex…and not just penis-in-vagina sexual intercourse…the potential for STI transmission increases exponentially when complete, comprehensive information is omitted in sex education. The evidence? Look again at those bullet points above. That is the stark truth, no matter how much parents might squick out over it. It’s not girls “being sluts”…it’s teenagers doing what teenagers have always done.

So now, we have female teens giving head and not using condoms (because if oral sex isn’t real sex, and condoms don’t work anyway, and she can’t get pregnant from giving head…et cetera) — then being shocked to discover that what they thought was tonsillitis was really chlamydia. And…the numbers continue to climb.

Negotiation of condom use can be touchy…it can be uncomfortable…but it is certainly necessary. Not just to prevent chlamydia (which, as I said, was my initial focus), but to prevent most STIs — regardless of whichever sex act is involved where fluids are exchanged. Further, “accidentally” getting carried away in the heat of the moment (“turning the situation somehow more innocent”) is a notion that needs to be done away with if we’re ever going to actually reduce the transmission numbers. As a parent of both a young adult son, a teenage daughter, and a toddler son…I know how uncomfortable thinking of kids as sexual beings really is. There is a lot of what I call “Squick Factor” involved. But the bottom line is, if we wouldn’t teach our kids preventive measures for their protection when teaching them how to drive a car (which is a machine with the potential to kill), why would we knowingly treat sex any differently? Much as it squicks me out, I would rather my daughter know how to put a condom on a guy (with her mouth, if needs be) than contract an STI or become pregnant. Would I rather she not have sex at all? Sure…the Mommy in me would prefer that. The human being (and health care professional) in me knows thathoping for abstinence is simply not enough.

Learn the realities of STIs…read up the CDC numbers…learn the importance of prevention…teach your kids the importance of prevention…it MATTERS. Safe sex is the sexiest sex there is!

That’s all for today. Wishing you the happiest of Hump Days!

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 4/3/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Funny (NSFW…more than a small bit of Eww-Factor, too!)

It’s no secret that here in the House of Prose, we enjoy The Walking Dead. Admittedly, Rene can take it or leave it…but the rest of us (including the one who just moved out and the toddler) all enjoy it. My daughter and I have read the graphic novels, even, so we are capable of going full TWD-Snob. (If that isn’t bad enough, my daughter also wants to do the Run For Your Lives 5K obstacle course race…as a zombie, no less!)

So, understandably, we’re a tad impatient for October to roll around and for Season 4 to get started.

However…the last thing I expected to see as a “tide you over” was this:

I had to file this under: Things You Can Never Unsee, and was reminded of a conversation about sex education and scare tactics about STIs. The above lovelies immediately took my thoughts there, along with the thought that these probably would not be offerings at “traditional” Passion Parties. Hmmmm.

Anyway, depending on how today goes, I may write a more serious entry…since goodness knows, there’s enough to write about lately. For the moment, though, gonna go grab the ice pack.

UPDATE: I just had another tidbit shared with me… If you’re not into zombie sex, then perhaps some glittery vampire bouncing? You can “toss it in the fridge for that authentic experience” ~ AND you can take it “out in the sunlight and watch it sparkle”! (*facepalm*)

Happy Hump Day!

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 3/20/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Late Hump Day Post…Some Days Are Just Screwy

Y’know…

…it’s been one of those days.

The briefest of rundowns:

1. Striving to convince my eldest that enlisting in the military should be a very last resort. He seems really surprised by my and the ex-asshole’s less-than-thrilled response to his seriously considering enlisting — more surprised about the ex, given the ex always made it sound (to my son’s ears) as though the military was some sort of “ideal.” I got left with the wondrous task of explaining why the ex might have mixed feelings. Why the ex (a retiree) and my dad (grandpa and also a retiree) might have mixed feelings. That was fun…being in the position of explaining why we respect and support the military, why wedistrust the leadership and the politics, and why-oh-why we’re very guarded about him enlisting.

Not to mention…IF he decides firmly that the military is his choice, why the Air Force is preferable to the Army…and this is one of those very, very, very few things my dad, the ex, AND I all agree on.

2. My son’s best friend, who has lived with us now for several months, and whose legal situation only became fully clear last week. Oh. My. Gawd. You have nooooooo idea how ridiculous this situation is. It’s beyond absurd. After a full week last week of stress…a weekend of his mom contacting variety contacts…and a spare bit of time today for me to make a few additional phone calls. When I made those phone calls, after getting re-routed several times, and the fuller picture became clear…I wanted to laugh AND I wanted to scream. I really and truly am not ready to go into details on this topic…but let me assure you that after an hour of research, a couple of emails, two phone calls, and staring dumbstruck into space for about 20 minutes after hanging up…there wasn’t any time at that second to ponder it too deeply except to let Rene know how ridiculously stupid the entire situation actually is. *faint*

3. My daughter. A second oral surgery consultation. Getting lost in a tiny town because Google Maps is not always clear in this tiny town. Fortunately, the appointment time was at a slow period for the office, and the receptionist was able to talk me to her office from up the road until we got there. Second consultation completed, surgery date set. Joy.

4. THEN…my car. Curb-check from January…I’m just not going to go into that topic…but I’ll say it’s fecking reeedickuuuuloussss…

5. Two trips to the grocery, the second one I decided to just knock out tomorrow’s grocery run and get it out of the way, freeing up (maybe, depending on 1. decision…otherwise, a drive to Duluth — MORE fun) tomorrow morning, at the very least. Then going to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for 3. in preparation for next week.

6. Helping my daughter make lasagna (her first time), along with teaching her how to make the complete meal, including salad and garlic bread, during which…

7. A visit from the mechanic to drop off stuff related to 4. and a random, unexpected drive to the ATM in the middle of 6. — rushing back home to keep that going, and feeding Travis slightly late since 6. was going to be really late, much to his chagrin, since he LOVES lasagna. The promise of a Cadbury egg made it all better, though.

8. Late dinner, followed by routine evening stuff, a tad later than usual…and deferring our evening walk because of 6. and 7. as well as really cold wind picking up (we’re supposedly under a freeze warning through tomorrow)…we shall see.

9. Because there were no Cadbury eggs yesterday, the deal Travis and I had yesterday was that I would get them today, but that also meant that I would get to put him to bed tonight (which created its own different drama, since Rene happens to be home, and Travis can be Tardis when it comes to his routine).

10. Survived 9. with 2. on the back-burner until I could communicate with his mom again, amid keeping my word that I would keep still…and handing him the phone so that I can also keep honest.

~*~

Yeah, I won’t say that I’m quite the statue today, but I’m not exactly the pigeon either. I’m just relatively sure that I’ll sleep very well tonight. *sips lemon-infused water*

Hope your Hump Day was lovely!

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 3/13/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

PruthPetals Westheimer: Hump Day Special

So… Vagina? or Cunt?

What a way to start an entry, eh?

With many thanks to my coffee buddy (and to all of you, really!), who hit the 25K mark the other day, she got to pick the topic for today.

So…you may be wondering…how would the ProsePetals approach this –erm– delicate topic?

Ask any woman you know what she thinks of the word “cunt”…and you’ll likely get an ear FULL of how offensive the word is. Ask any woman if she’s bothered by the word “vagina”…and you may see her flinch a little, but no offense will likely be taken. Why is that? The two words mean …basically…the same thing… right?

Of course…some of the difference happens to be usage, and some of that usage is dependent on where one happens to be from, of course…

…but an odd observation that I happen to have about the use of the word “cunt” is that it really can be (and IS) used on anyone, regardless of gender…but you rarely hear a woman called a “dick” or something similar related to male genitalia. Why is that?!

You might see things like…oh…this, in response to various political stuff:

…but really? The word “cunt” seems to strike a chord in a lot of people that is somehow more visceral…and seems to regularly evoke a stronger response. Did I say response? I meant reaction. Really.

If I were to say, “You Fucking Cunt!” …which I probably wouldn’t, but if I were to say that, it would have more punch than saying something like, “You Silly Twat” or “You Vagina”…lol.

One of the more neutral words that we don’t hear a lot about that has a lot to do with “cunt” is cunnilingus (the act of licking…erm…technically…the vulva). Which doesn’t actually mean…I mean, technically here…vagina, in terms of actual usage. The vagina is, well, to put some perspective on it, the vagina is the canal. Cunt, having its etymological origins in the word cuneus (Latin)or cunte (from Middle English)…which means “wedge” or “female genitalia” (respectively, of course)…and, well…has just always had some sort of vulgar usage, really…but at the brass tacks level is just no big deal.

Eh…I don’t really have much in the way of “clever” quotes or things to say, really, about this topic. A cunt is a cunt. A vagina is a vagina. Every woman has a vagina. Not every woman (or man, for that matter) earns the title of cunt. There seems to be an unspoken, but clear-cut (hehe) delineation between who we call what…and why. However, no matter what a cunt your coworker might be, for example, calling a coworker a cunt directly might not be a good idea.

With that in mind, because…you know, I’m a giver… a gift idea for that coworker might be the “Unt Mug” ~

~ they might not appreciate it as much as everyone else will, but it sure will get the point across.

Too bad there isn’t a cup that says “Vagina”, eh?

P/L/S
~dw

Vintage Prosey Project: 2014 Prioritization — 3/6/13

Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.

Hump Day Thoughts

Less than a schmexytime special today…because my thoughts are on Texas…and the bullshit that Texas is trying to put forth … Texas GOP haven’t quite figured out that preventing pregnancy in the first place costs a LOT less, in the end, that defunding Planned Parenthood is the equivalent of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. They really are, the Texas GOP that is, that dumb. And they may have no choice but to walk some of their nonsense back…even while they try to fuck with sex education even more. Which is going to make an already bad situation worse, but what would I know.

I hate bringing family thoughts into the equation, but I look at one of my sisters…and the daughter of one of my cousins…and I consider the states they are from and live in (and Texas is one of those states), and I want to shake sense into people who don’t seem to get it. Who don’t seem to get that kids are having sex…whether parents or lawmakers approve or not…that blithering about “married sex is the only okay sex” is going to go into one ear and right out the other. And the numbers bear that very simple truth out.

Because…biology.

Idiots.

Ah well, I’d like to make a few heads explode with some basic human facts…but that obviously isn’t happening today. So instead, I’ll just share this. It’ll serve as the Hump Day Funneh that is needed to lighten this entry up:

Ciao for now… *smooch*

P/L/S
~dw