“Requiring Michigan women to plan ahead for an unplanned pregnancy is not only illogical, it’s one of the most misogynistic proposals I have ever seen in the Michigan Legislature.”—
Michigan Democratic Leader, Gretchen Whitmer. The board of medicine just approved a Right to Life of Michigan petition banning abortion insurance coverage. If approved by the Republican majority legislature (and not allowed to go to the voters), it would require patients to purchase an additional rider to cover abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
Nearly half of the pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and about 40% of those are terminated. The cost of a first trimester abortion ranges anywhere from $300 to $950. Nearly 60% of women who experience a delay in accessing safe, legal abortion have cited the time it took to raise the money and make arrangements. Those delays increase the cost of abortion, as well as the risk of complications.
“Of course, this is one of the profound ways in which oppression works—to mire us in body hatred. Homophobia is all about defining queer bodies as wrong, perverse, immoral. Transphobia, about defining trans bodies as unnatural, monstrous, or the product of delusion. Ableism, about defining disabled bodies as broken and tragic. Class warfare, about defining the bodies of workers as expendable. Racism, about defining the bodies of people of color as primitive, exotic, or worthless. Sexism, about defining female bodies as pliable objects. These messages sink beneath our skin.”—
Eli Clare, “Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies” (via genderqueer)
Trauma is always embodied. Oppression is traumatic. Therefore oppression is embodied.
Breakups sure can suck. But you can get through them, and come out on the other side okay. Find out what can make that easier, what can make them harder, and some ways to help yourself with so you can deal, heal and get back to the business of being your kickass self.
Hi all! This might be a super specific question only to me, or it may help some of you out in the Interwebz, too. I am a university student with a disability called cerebral palsy. As a result, I walk on crutches. I have also been a virgin for all my 21 years. Generally I’m a romantic type of guy, but in a university environment, this tends to get me friend zoned pretty quickly. Lately I’ve realized I carry a lot of shame about my body and my sexuality. I can’t be seen as a sexual object, because it would “ruin” my romantic image. Because of the disability, I tend to live in my head and not deal with my body as much.
Even though I’m an outgoing, positive person, anything to do with sexuality makes me feel bad and down on myself. This can be anything from meeting a girl on a night out and getting rejected, to thinking about all the fantasies and kinks I may or may not have. What should I do? How can I feel comfortable in my own body and with my own sexual nature, particularly when it doesn’t look like I’ll be sharing it with someone anytime soon?
Thanks so much for all the work you do on the site. I recently discovered you guys, and you all are awesome!
Robin Mandell replies:
What you’re asking about here is something a lot of people experience and wonder about whether they have a disability or not. Even if these kinds of uncertainties about our sexualities weren’t pretty common, even if what you’re talking about was unique to you and a few other people, that wouldn’t make it any less important, or any less worth exploring and finding solutions to.
Most of us struggle, in some way or other, to get a sense of our sexual selves, which is made even more tricky by our sexual selves changing over time.
It’s also not uncommon for people with disabilities to feel left out of, or behind the curve in, interactions related to sexuality and relationships. Sex has been set up as something that only people with certain kinds of bodies and certain kinds of lives have. This view of sex doesn’t work for most people, whether or not they have a disability, but it can be particularly marginalizing to those of us who do.
To give you some context for my answer here, I just wanted to let you know that I, too, have physical disabilities, though not a mobility impairment, and, from my own experience and that of friends who have various disabilities, I know social interactions can be tricky because of other people’s fears or preconceived ideas about disability.
Our sense of ourselves as sexual beings can also get tricky because of that tendency to separate ourselves from our bodies that you describe.
I think what you’re experiencing is very common. I feel really confident saying that other people feel just as worried about their sexuality, and the future of their sexuality, as you’re expressing here. What you’re expressing is, I think, made trickier for you by your own feelings about your disability, body and sexuality, and by the things other people have said to you about your body, or that you perceive they feel about your sexuality.
You’ve mentioned feeling separated from your body; living more in your head. People with physical disabilities often describe that feeling of separateness. It can come from a variety of emotional places and experiences. Sometimes people feel this way because they don’t like their body, because their body gives them a lot of pain or discomfort, because they worry about how their body is perceived by others since it doesn’t meet the (unrealistic for anyone) standard for desirability set by our society, because they’ve experienced so much medical and rehabilitation intervention that their body really doesn’t feel like their own anymore, and for a whole host of other, interconnected reasons. Does any of that resonate with you? If not, that’s okay. Sometimes, people will express feeling this separation of mind and body without really knowing why. Knowing why is one route to helping ourselves, but not the only one.
We can get to be friends with our bodies without fully understanding the reasons we weren’t before.
“Children and teenagers can handle a lesbian or gay orientation within themselves. What they cannot handle is the trauma of concealing it, not being able to express it or talk about it, and the negativity surrounding it by others around them.”— Joe Kort, gay affirmative therapy for the straight clinician (via disabledbyculture)
You’ve probably heard or thought some things about condom use that might be keeping you or others from using them or from using them consistently, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard everything I’m about to say. Even if you’re already using condoms and using them every single time properly, I bet you know someone — a sibling, a friend, maybe even a sexual partner — who could stand to hear some of this. So, why use condoms and other barriers?
Millions of young women across America struggle with eating disordersâan estimated one in five women have disordered eating, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, with 90 percent of those between the ages of 12 and 25. Yet even with these numbers, Asian American women in particular may often feel ignored in the national discussion.
One of the reasons pieces like “Leaning Out” are so offensive is that they tend to reflect the idea that Black women owe their care and concern to everyone but their family. Is this intentional? Probably not. But the intent has no bearing on the impact. Our bodies were property, our labor was…
“Let me make this abundantly clear, to you and to the other men reading this: when you comment on a woman’s appearance, you are not doing it for her. You are doing it for you. It’s not some great way to make a woman feel sexy and appreciated. It’s not flattery, even if you mean for it to be. The only thing it is is a great way for you to create a shitty power dynamic, by which you have announced yourself as the arbiter of her value, and you’ve deemed her fuckable, and she is supposed to be happy or impressed by that.”—http://samuel-warde.com/2013/09/best-response-catcall-craigslist-missed-connections/ (via slutgrrrlinternational)
Hanne Blank is not a virgin. (She’s almost 37 and she’s been living with her life partner for nine years — we just thought we’d get that out of the way.) But she is a historian, a writer, and an expert on virginity, having written the first-ever history of the subject, Virgin: The Untouched History.
Since virginity is such a hot topic these days, we asked her if she’d play 20 Questions with us about the subject of her book.
So now that the holiday season has officially descended upon us (I am one of the purists who wonât allow a chord of Christmas music in her home until after Thanksgiving ends), weâre in for a month …
A short piece about dealing with family as a queer person as we move into the Thanksgiving through Late December holiday season.
According to data from the National Abortion Federation, nearly 70 percent of medical students in the United States have received less than 30 minutes of class training about abortion by the time they finish medical school. This disregard for reproductive health education is an experience Dr. Nancy Stanwood, associate professor and section chief of Family Planning at the Yale School of Medicine and board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, remembers well. “We spent literally an hour and a half learning about birth control in two years of lectures,” she says. “We spent more time on cochlear implants — an important, but far less common, procedure.”
The problem with this kind of uneven training is that a lack of early exposure to reproductive health issues not only hurts a student’s ability to become, as Stanwood notes, “informed physician citizens,” it also shapes their career choices. It’s far less likely for students to choose a specialization in reproductive health care if it’s not something they’re hearing about during their training.
Social stigma around abortion may drive the marginalization of this training in medical school curricula, but the scarcity of students being trained to perform the procedure is also directly connected to the proliferation of GOP-backed state-level restrictions — on funding, on clinics and on physicians themselves.
Sex, relationships, and masturbation can be tricky when you’re Trans*. You have to deal with social stigma as well as your own dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is the feeling that your body isn’t quite right. For trans* people this usually involves the genitals and chest, but it can also involve body hair, voice, facial features, weight distribution, and many other parts of the body. This can make it difficult to even be naked, let alone touching your body or having it be touched. There’s also the constant fear of rejection or even violence which is why many trans* people are hesitant to start up relationships or approach someone for sex. In this article we’ll discuss some tips on how to deal with each of these issues.
I had anal sex last month 2 weeks after my period, and I have yet to get my period this month. It was early last month, could it just be late this month? Am I pregnant? Please help: I’m so worried.
Heather Corinna replies:
Just so that this is clear, for you and plenty of other people who have been in the same spot, here is what anal sex is and is NOT:
Anal sex is not a method of birth control. While vaginal intercourse presents a much higher risk of pregnancy, unprotected anal sex can also present pregnancy risks. During sex, when we’re all aroused, things usually get mightily slippery down there. So, if you’re a receptive partner to anal sex, when your partner ejaculates, that ejaculate will run out of the anus, and sometimes can easily slide down the perineum to the vaginal opening. That can create a pregnancy.
Anal sex is not safer sex. In fact, anal sex is just as risky when it comes to sexually transmitted infections and diseases as vaginal sex, and also presents greater risks of bacterial infections (even among partners who have both had full STI screens with negative results).
Anal sex IS sex. I don’t know if this is the case for you, but a lot of young women come here reporting this is the case for them — that anal sex isn’t “real” sex, or isn’t really sex — or what their male partners have told them, so just in case: anal sex is sex. Just as much as vaginal sex. It carries risks just as high, physically and emotionally, and is “real” sex. So in the case you’re having anal sex to try and preserve virginity or because you’re not feeling ready for “real” sex, please understand that that’s flawed. Anal sex IS “real” sex, and if you don’t feel ready — emotionally, physically, or both of you are not ready to manage it responsibly — for sex, then it’s not smart to be having anal sex.
“Empowerment should be as much about teaching women and girls to support each other and confront the system collectively as it should be about individual experiences, which unfortunately are often the focus. Beware the lesson that tells girls to bootstrap their way to equality, for such lessons rarely end well.”—Empower Girls, Don’t Blame Them – this ain’t livin’ (via brutereason)
What does desire feel like, and how does feeling desire — or not feeling it — have an impact on sex or masturbation? Is it okay to feel strong desire, low levels of desire, or even no desire? We aim to answer your most pressing questions on sexual or erotic desire.