While I am a sex-positive & pro-sex movement activist, I think it’s sad that the majority of the body-positive photos of women I see are in and amongst the BDSM and sexualized violence porn of Tumblr. There are many amateur sites that feature full-figured women, but the amateur photo-snaps are not of the technical quality of a professional photographer. And where are the professional photographers taking professional photos of real-sized women, using beautiful lighting and honoring the female body? The average sized woman in the United States is a 14/16. You can be a size 14 or 16 and still be healthy. Why aren’t we represented in the media and culture? Do I really need to go into a rant about matriarchal cultures of the past and the ancient preference for curvy women, immortalized in goddess images like those found at Willendorf? Seriously?
Why aren’t women allowed to be “heavy” or real-sized in magazines and on TV and film? Why aren’t stretch marks a sign of accomplishment for giving birth rather than a source of embarrassment or shame because our skin isn’t flawless anymore?
Why is a thigh-gap so sought after by teenage girls and 20-somethings? Is it because they don’t know that thigh fat makes sex feel really, really good for the guy? AND for the woman?
I’ve seen a statistic that girls see 400 ads per day telling them how they should look. Is anyone telling teens and young women they are beautiful the way they are?
One of the best things about the amateur porn on Tumblr is the real bodies. The women have real breasts — large or small. They have thigh fat and butt fat. They look healthy and natural. Usually, the men are not overly muscled; they are athletic but not steroid- addicted, bodybuilder over-muscled. For the men and the women, their bodies look normal and natural. And the best part — the orgasms are real. Real people with real bodies having real orgasms. Who knew?!
We come in all shapes and sizes, and these shapes, sizes, skin tones, hair textures, and nose and lip shapes should be reflected in the media. Diversity is a beautiful thing. Women who are naturally skinny are beautiful, and so are those of us who are not.
Be you. Be proud. Be seen.
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Today, the endemic rape-culture of the United States is front and center again, only this time, it’s not Rush Limbaugh shaming women and victims of sexual assault or GOP gyneticians re-inventing women’s physiology — it’s an editor for the Wall Street Journal.
In today’s WSJ article, “Drunkenness and Double Standards: A balanced look at college sex offenses”, James Taranto makes a point to victim-blame women who are assaulted while under the influence of alcohol. Just when you think the days of the Neanderthal have passed, one pokes his misogynist head up and says things like this:
“Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life.”
Really? “Disrupted his life”??? This isn’t like changing your lunch order from beef to chicken. This is a life-changing event for the woman who is brave enough to report the assault. Of course, it will “disrupt” the man’s life as well.
Taranto uses a drunk driving analogy:
“[W]hen two drunken college students ‘collide’, the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”
I have recounted my own rape and my Steubenville-esque experiences, and I’ve heard from other women about their similar unintentional experiences. So judging from his attitude, I’m sure Taranto has never been on the receiving end of an assault or rape.
Taranto goes on to say,
“What is called the problem of “sexual assault” on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike.”
I want to point out that the men who participate in these drunken assaults caused by “reckless alcohol consumption” never seem to feel as if they have been assaulted. The women do. Maybe it’s because of the mechanics of “reckless sex” and how a man pounds into a woman’s vagina when he’s “reckless” — he doesn’t feel the physical or emotional effects of the “act” the way a woman does, and perhaps the woman would have said, “No,” had she not been under the influence. Keep in mind, that everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different.
In some areas, if a person has had at least two drinks, he/she is considered unable to give informed consent due to the effect of the alcohol on the brain. Alcohol is an entrenched part of American culture as well as college campuses. It’s no wonder that date rape and assaults involving alcohol seem to be on the rise.
The best thing is to steer clear of alcohol if you’re at a party like that. Keep your wits about you at all times. But if you do drink and are assaulted, please report the assault to campus police as soon as you can so a rape kit and STD tests can be done.
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To start the New Year off right, the universe sent me an experience to remind me the work here is not yet done. Thankfully, it was not violent, but it was annoying to see how far women still have to go on the path of being respected.
A few days ago, I needed to go to the store, but I realized I was going to miss the bus at the time I wanted to go, so I made sure I caught the next pick-up. Had I caught the bus I wanted, I would not have witnessed the interchange that occurred on the bus I got on.
I sat in the only available seat, the one behind the driver. I like this driver; she’s very nice and tolerates the annoying passengers well. As we ambled along, I could hear a woman four rows behind me tell someone, “No. Stop touching me.” Then she giggled. I assumed it was a man doing the unwanted touching. A few seconds later, again, “No. Stop touching me there.” I heard him murmur something as she sort of laughed. Again, she said the same words, but more insistently, “No. Stop touching me.” The half-hearted laugh was faint. Again, the guy murmured something to her, his tone obviously trying to convince her that she should let him continue to do what he was doing.
As I sat, facing the front, my ears were piqued. The bus passengers were quiet, each one keeping to himself or herself. No one seemed to be bothered by this interchange. She was giving off little giggles at first, but my ears heard something else. I heard a woman who is saying “No” and then apologizing by laughing, so as not to offend him even though this man was violating her personal space and her right to body autonomy.
Even for myself, I thought, If it’s actually a problem, wouldn’t someone who’s closer to them speak up? Wouldn’t someone who can see what’s going on stop this guy? Were they confused by her laughter? Could they not hear that the giggle was a mask of her true feelings?
I kept listening. Their interchange continued, but it was different. Her refutations grew more loud and more insistent. “NO. STOP touching me.” No giggling. He murmured, laughing to himself. “NO! STOP touching me THERE.” No giggling. He laughed again. “NO! STOP touching me!”
I whisked around in my seat, sitting slightly taller to make sure they could see me over the two rows between us, and I said very loudly where everyone can hear, “Do you need the bus driver to call the police for you?” Stunned, she looked at me. So did he. They were both in their 30’s. He had one arm around her shoulders and the other on her torso. She was by the window. She was pinned in. I know that feeling of being trapped by a man with no way to get out. Now, I was really pissed off.
I continued, “We’ve all heard you tell him five or six times to stop touching you and he hasn’t. That’s assault,” then I looked at him but talked to her, “And he can go to jail.” She looked at him, her eyebrows arched, yet said nothing. But he did. “We were just playing,” he smiled. Clearly, he still thought it was a game.
I responded,”‘No’ and ‘Stop’ are not playing a game. We all heard her tell you five or six times to stop touching her. When a woman says ‘No,’ she means ‘No.‘”
He replied, “Yes, ma’am,” almost sheepishly.
I turned back around in my seat, still pissed off at the situation, pissed off at her for not giving him an elbow to his nose, pissed off at every other passenger who had said nothing.
The bus driver pulled up to the local grocery story, and this couple was the first to exit the bus. Then someone else exited, while I debated continuing with my plan to shop at this store or continue on the route to Wal-mart. I loathe Wal-mart. More importantly, I wanted to make sure she was okay — that he wouldn’t do something to her once they were away from people. So I got off the bus there. As I did, he sort of glared at me, and she sort of tried not to look at me. It was a very strange moment, but I walked by with my head held high and continued on inside the store.
It so happened that they almost crossed paths with me a couple of times in the store. She was looking around at what she wanted. When he saw me, his eyes darted away. But I did notice that she kept about a foot of distance between them. Every time he tried to get close to her, she moved away. I could only hope that she was okay.
I finished my shopping, and got the bus the next time it came by. The bus was empty except for one passenger and the bus driver. As I put my $1.25 in the machine, the bus driver exclaimed, “Okay, tell me what happened!”
She had been unaware of what was going on until the woman had said “STOP touching me THERE.” This was about the time I spoke up, so she heard my comment about calling the police. The bus driver told me, “I couldn’t see what was going on, but the bus has cameras, and I was ready to call the police after I heard you. But you turned around, so I figured I’d check on it when we came to a stop, but they got off.”
Ironically, the bus driver was worried about me. “He didn’t say anything to you did he? Are you all right?” I assured her I was fine, and I had been concerned about the woman. She replied, “Yeah, you always worry about that — what happens when they get home.”
Exactly. This is the same reason some people are afraid to correct a parent for being mean or even abusive to their kids in a public place — you worry what the parents will do to the kids at home. (I have also spoken out on these certain occasions, the most recent being a woman who came back at me with her fist raised ready to punch me in the face for telling her grandmother not to yell at her infant.)
At the next stop, a couple of the passengers from the last trip got back on the bus. As they saw me, sitting on the front seat on the right side of the bus, they laughed a knowing laugh, and the entire bus ride centered around the incident. I’ve seen these people many times before on the bus, and they had been closer to the man and woman. So I was curious, “What was he doing? Why didn’t anyone speak up?”
One woman said, “She was laughing. I thought she was okay. He was just playing.” I said, “No, her laugh wasn’t a real laugh. It was a nervous giggle and a fake laugh.” I wasn’t imagining this. I could tell.
The bus driver even had insight to the matter. “When you said that to them, she didn’t speak up in his defense. If he really had been playing and she didn’t mind what he was doing, she would have defended him. But she didn’t say a word. Not a word.”
Without seeing the incident, I could only go by what I could hear. It sounded like a woman being harassed or assaulted and giving a nervous laugh, as women do when they’re trying to maneuver their body away from a man they don’t want touching them. The bus driver couldn’t see the incident, but she knew something was amiss by what she didn’t hear — the woman defending him. The woman was silent. As so many of us are.
I made the comment, “She may have felt she had to put up with it becaasue she’s in a relationsghip with him. The reason I felt I had to speak up wasn’t just for him to leave her alone, but so she could hear from another woman that what he was doing was wrong. In case she needed permission to speak up.”
I made the point then in talking with the bus driver, and I’ll make it here now. When a woman says, “No,” she means, “No.” When a woman says, “Stop,” you stop.
Even if you’re in a relationship or legally married, he does not own you or your body. You are your own, autonomous human being with rights to self-determination. Just because you’re in a relationship with a man does not mean you give up your rights to yourself.
I was wondering, what is it supposed to feel like when somebody touches your clit? I have heard it’s supposed to bring a good feeling but not in my case. When my boyfriend touches my clit, I get a really intense kinda uncomfortable feeling. It doesn’t feel bad or hurt but it definitely doesn’t feel good either. And it’s not something I look forward to. My bf always wants to touch it but even if I let him, I stop him after a couple secs cuz it feels intense and uncomfortable. Is this normal?
So much to address here!
Let me assure you that pain or discomfort is never “normal” for any kind of sex ever. No kind of sex (vaginal or anal) or touch or penetration should EVER be painful. EVER. (Okay, that wasn’t exactly your question, but I just want to reiterate that for the readers.) What is “normal” touch sensation for you will be different for someone else, so my “normal” will be different from yours. My “normal” now that I’m extremely in touch with my body will be very different from the “normal” that is “normal” for a female just starting to explore her body. So without knowing your age (18+), your sexual experience, any previous trauma, how you touch yourself, and how he specifically touches you, there’s no way I can guess what would be “normal” for you. But I can say that not-quite-pain, not-quite-pleasure feeling is common at first. So let’s look at this bit by bit.
The external clitoris is literally the tip of the iceberg! Most of the clitoris is inside the body, with several inches of innervated erectile tissue that expands and zings with sensation during arousal. Those inches of erectile tissue that men have hanging outside their body, a.k.a. the penis, is synonymous with the inches of erectile tissue women have; ours is just inside us.
The tip of the clit, that little nub we can see, is technically called the glans, just like the tip of the penis is called the glans. The tip of the clit is usually protected by the clitoral hood, which is synonymous with the penile foreskin. With around 8,000 nerve endings, the clitoral glans is VERY sensitive to touch. In fact, if you can see the tip, the clit is actually in the non-erect state; but that doesn’t mean she’s not enjoying herself — she probably is! Nearing climax, the clit will seem to “disappear” into the fleshy folds of the vulva; but she’s not retreating from touch, she’s actually getting a full erection on! This is usually when “vigorous” touch can be exquisite.
The clitoral body can be stimulated externally by (gently) pressing on the mons pubis area or internally via various fingering and stroking techniques inside the vagina. (Reminder: the female prostate is on the anterior wall of the vagina and is a different anatomical structure.) When a woman is nearing climax, there is often a “vice grip” clench at the opening of the vagina; these are the clitoris’ vestibular bulbs near the entrance. The clit is actually quite extensive and complex, comprised of 18 distinct parts. Your clit is MUCH MORE than just the nub on the outside!
But let’s remember, those are 8,000 plugged-in nerve endings. Touching them before they are ready to receive pleasure input can feel awkward or even painful. Since you sound like a young adult, I’m going to assume your boyfriend is the overly eager type who just wants to start pawing at your body (perhaps because that’s what he’s seen in porn, or he may be new to all this as well). This is NEVER okay. The man NEVER touches you anywhere unless YOU are ready to be touched. You’ll know when your clit is begging to be touched, and if he doesn’t touch you properly or is clumsy, you have the right to tell him how to touch you. It sounds like you are willing to stand up for yourself, and that is great! You have complete autonomy over your body.
Here’s were I have to interject yet another consequence of circumcision. If your man is circumcised, he may be accustomed to needing “rough” stimulation due to keratinization (callousing of skin) on his penis glans. If your man is not circumcised, explain to him that touching your clit with little or no prior arousal is like someone yanking his foreskin back and going straight for the underside of his penis glans. This can be very uncomfortable for the intact man! No one likes too much sensation too soon, which is what it sounds like you’re experiencing from your boyfriend.
Keep in mind, there is a reason the female needs to be fully aroused before going for the clit or the vagina. From a Tantra perspective, the woman and the man have positive and negative poles, like on a magnet. For the woman, the positive pole is the heart chakra, home to her heart and her breasts, with the negative pole being the genitals. For the man, the positive pole is his root/sex chakra, home to his penis and testicles, with the negative pole being his heart chakra. Biologically, the woman needs 15 to 30 minutes of dedicated arousal, or as I like to call it — puja (worship :-) ) to prepare the vagina for sex. The same way a singer has to warm up before performing, think of this time as necessary preparation — fun, delicious preparation for continued, evolving, expanding, rapturous ecstasy. Therefore, this time allows the woman’s body, especially the genitals, to become ready to receive touch and penetration and pleasure. It’s no coincidence that focus on the woman’s heart chakra would be key. Not only does it stimulate the woman emotionally, but a woman’s nipples are wired directly to her clit. Breast puja = a turned on, horny clit. Any man who doesn’t want to commit 15 minutes of breast/sensual touch puja isn’t worth your time.
This 15 minute warm-up doesn’t have to be solely focused on the breasts. Any sensual touch and massage will awaken the subtle body. This includes kissing, nibbling, caressing, talking, laughing. Once the woman is ready for more direct touch, the woman can allow the man to begin with touch and kisses on the insides of her thighs, the outer labia, the mons pubis — basically, loving all the way around the clit until you are ready for more. As you become more experienced and more familiar with your body’s responses, you may not need this much time. In fact, when you are able to stay in an aroused state — recognize that orgasm is an energy field you can slip into any time you want, you may not need much prep touching at all. Just thinking of your man will send your spine arching back into orgasm and your clit throbbing for touch! (In time, you’ll learn how to control this response when you’re in public, like shopping at the grocery story or the library. :-D )
Keep in mind, physical climax is different from energy orgasms. Men often confuse ejaculation (climax) with orgasm. These are two separate functions: ejaculation is a physical reflex of the sympathetic nervous system, while orgasm is a response via the parasympathetic nervous system. Since men need less time to get aroused and ready for penetration, they tend to focus on the end, rather than enjoying the journey. (Another horrible legacy of standard porn, too.) Just like for the woman, this arousal time is also a time of breathing and relaxing for the man. When your mind and/or body is stressed, pleasure can be elusive. Take your time to get warmed up and totally invested in your body’s journey to pleasure. There is plenty of time to get hot and heavy — once you’re BOTH aroused to the point of a crazed fuck-for-all.
Note: This initial phase of arousal is usually called “foreplay”, a term I despise since it places the importance of the sexual experience on “sex” which is usually defined by the penetration, i.e., when the penis enters the vagina. This devalues the woman and the woman’s biological needs of arousal in order to accept a penis (or toy) without pain. So I do not use the term foreplay. Puja is my personal preference. Puja, the idea of honoring the person and their body, also puts respect back into the sensual, sexual experience, in my opinion.
You should know, Anon, that it takes time to get to know your clit and the rest of your sexual anatomy. And you should spend a lot of time with her — just you and her. This way you get to know how she likes to be touched, without the pressure of a panting, horny Lothario rushing you and making you feel uncomfortable or not “normal”. Masturbation is a beautiful way to honor yourself (self-puja) and learn about yourself and your body. Through masturbation, she won’t feel so foreign to you, and you will begin to integrate her into your body and your overall sexual being-ness.
After you are more familiar with your body, show your boyfriend how you like to be touched. Masturbate in front of him, but he can’t help you — he needs to watch and learn. (He can help later on.) More often than not, a lighter, gentler touch is needed at first. In fact, once your body is awakened, you might even have labia-gasms and sheet-gasms. Hard touch is usually ONLY desired at the absolute height of passion and usually NEVER at the beginning of a love-making session. When your clit is really ready, you’ll know because you’ll start looking for things to hump. If you start eyeing the arm of the sofa with lust, that’s usually a good sign your clit needs some determined lovin’.
Recap of what we covered:
1 – Learn your clit’s likes and dislikes via masturbation; then when you’re ready, it’s show-and-tell time to teach your man.
2 – Female and male sexual anatomy are synonymous, for the most part. Some things are similar to both the woman and the man, so teaching the man about the woman’s anatomy will help him understand how your body responds.
3 – Prior arousal is required for pleasure. As you become more experienced, you may not need as much prep-time, but for now, insist on at least 15 minutes of sensual touch on other parts of your body to get your clit primed for touch.
4 – To learn various touch techniques for the clit, look through some of the videos and info here where the clit rules and men are glad to offer puja to a woman’s body (or willingly lie back and let the woman drive the orgasm train).
Feel free to leave a comment, especially if you want to offer more info so we can be more specific.
Thanks so much for trusting me with your clit. :-)