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Old 07-25-2011, 03:54 PM   #31
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if you can't manage it with someone you're (hopefully) in love with, comfortable with, and know very well, then I'm skeptical how good the chances are you'll be able to do it with anyone else. Especially for women unfortunately, just because you've had a lot of partners doesn't mean you've learned a lot about what works for you and how to speak up about it.
This.

And, I think that most men do not seem put off when a woman is open about what she likes and are very happy to oblige, but they have to know....
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #32
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The tampon thing, the only time I've ever heard of that was from an older Catholic coworker who once mentioned the nuns at her former school told them not to use tampons because they "might learn to enjoy touching themselves." I still giggle picturing what these women must've envisioned unfolding when a girl tries using a tampon for the first time...

when i was coaching swimming, i had a swimmer's mother tell me that her daughter couldn't compete in the championship meet because she was having her period that weekend. i was kind of stunned, but polite about it. but i asked my (female) assistant coach why -- i'd never heard of a woman not be able to compete in something athletically because of her period, and the coach told me that the mother was Indonesian, and Muslim, and tampons were a "cultural issue" for them. again, at the time, i just nodded. but now i understand why it was such an issue.




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And of course, speaking openly about how your experiences are working out for you is important, but if you can't manage it with someone you're (hopefully) in love with, comfortable with, and know very well, then I'm skeptical how good the chances are you'll be able to do it with anyone else.

and this is the biggest fear, isn't it? that cultural upbringing and a focus on virginity and slut shaming pretty much can cripple you for life. i think it's nice to think that people who choose to wait to have sex do so out of thoughtful conviction and boundaries that they themselves have had their own hand in creating, but that's certainly not always the case. i think a lot of it is about slut-shaming, what with "promise ring" culture -- when in TX very recently, i saw a billboard for promise rings for those who were about to be incarcerated, "GOING TO JAIL? GET HER A RING!" was what the sign said, paraphrased, because if you're going to jail you get to lock her vagina up with you -- and resisting temptation and whatnot. this culture certainly doesn't always manifest in sexual hangups or dysfunctions, in the same way that having sex at 14 also doesn't necessarily mess you up for life, but i'd rather we move away from both ends of the spectrum.



and on another note, i recently saw an interview with Pawlenty about how glorious and sacred opposite-sex marriage is and how men and women are "joined together for obvious reasons."

doesn't seem like, when it comes to sex, men and women are all that "obvious" together. seems like there's wild dysfunction that's precisely the result of gender differences and 5,000 years of wild, abusive gender inequality that's far too complex to get into here.

in many ways, i'm glad i don't have to deal with that.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #33
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the coach told me that the mother was Indonesian, and Muslim, and tampons were a "cultural issue" for them. again, at the time, i just nodded. but now i understand why it was such an issue.
It's kind of a graphic topic, I know, but I wonder what the reasoning is behind that prohibition in (some sects of?) Islam? Because when this Catholic woman told me that story, I was initially assuming the issue must be "preserving" the hymen. Then when she explained what these nuns' stated concern actually was, I laughed incredulously at the anatomical absurdity. But, that said, I don't think you need scenarios of sadistic men fantasizing about bloody deflorations to explain how "intact" hymens attained ritual importance in many cultures. Men didn't want to devote their resources to raising children not their own, no one anywhere understood how conception works before modern times, and in the absence of a girl/woman being visibly pregnant, the surest "proof" you weren't cuckolded before bringing her under your own roof was an "intact" hymen. (Of course, what other ideas accrue once that "test" attains ritual importance in its own right may be another story.) In Judaism (all sects), any sort of "test" was long ago dispensed with due to increasingly late ages of marriage and resulting recognition that, very often, older girls and women don't bleed upon first intercourse at all.
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and this is the biggest fear, isn't it? that cultural upbringing and a focus on virginity and slut shaming pretty much can cripple you for life. i think it's nice to think that people who choose to wait to have sex do so out of thoughtful conviction and boundaries that they themselves have had their own hand in creating, but that's certainly not always the case.
Well, yeah, if you've been raised by your parents (and/or socialized by your peers) to feel that the man's desire for and satisfaction with you is The Important Thing, or that you must be a shamefully bad person if having (or even thinking about) sex with someone not your husband felt good, or that men are untrustworthy wolves whom you'll constantly have to be protecting yourself sexually from, then that quite likely will cause sexual problems for you and your partner(s) eventually. But there's no reason why abstinence necessitates any of these lines of thinking, nor is a lack of emphasis on it while growing up any guarantee you won't be exposed to at least the first and the third of them, which are depressingly pervasive across religious and cultural lines, probably because of their historical ties to reproductive security.
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and on another note, i recently saw an interview with Pawlenty about how glorious and sacred opposite-sex marriage is and how men and women are "joined together for obvious reasons."

doesn't seem like, when it comes to sex, men and women are all that "obvious" together. seems like there's wild dysfunction that's precisely the result of gender differences and 5,000 years of wild, abusive gender inequality that's far too complex to get into here.
Of course by "obvious" he meant reproductive reasons, and in a strictly evolutionary sense that's true; Nature may care whether women are receptive, but certainly not whether they get off from it as readily as men do. Both (i.e., fertility and erotogenicity) obviously have consequences and those won't always mesh as well as we'd like, that's just life though and only so much can be done about it. I can totally believe that heterosexuality actually sometimes looks like an appallingly raw deal from a gay or lesbian perspective, then again gays and lesbians certainly seem to have their bitch-and-moan moments about some of their genre's subtypes too, and I assume at least sometimes wish producing/procuring a child might be "easier," even if that added effort tends to result in greater appreciation of and readiness for the job. Anyway, for heterosexuals difference is in itself compelling and sexy; unlike Tim Pawlenty, I know that's my genes and hormones talking not my righteous responsiveness to God's Plan, but whatever, it does the trick.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:24 AM   #34
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Abstinence only education for teens? Doesn't seem to work very well.

Don’t Have Sex—You Will Get Pregnant and Die | The Nation

In Cincinnati, Ohio, a high school sex education teacher carefully places a Jolly Rancher candy on each student’s desk. The 14- and 15-year-old students feel the crinkly plastic wrapping in their hands, wondering when they will get to eat their tantalizing treats.

“Don’t eat the candy!” warned the teacher, although she had just finished placing one on each desk. “You must wait until after class. It will taste much better if you allow yourself to wait.”

And so begins the young Ohioans' lesson on abstinence—the only method of pregnancy or disease prevention that they will learn during their high school sexuality education class.

One in every four adolescents receives this type of abstinence-only sexuality education. According to recent statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, 41 percent of teenagers (regardless of the type of sexuality education they received) know little or nothing about condoms and 75 percent know little or nothing about oral contraception. One in three teenagers claims to have never had any formal education on birth control, suggesting that even those not necessarily enrolled in abstinence only programs are still unable to access critical sexual health information.

There is no significant difference in the rates of teenage sexuality in the United States compared to other similar, developed Western countries. American teens are simply far less likely to use contraception. It is no surprise that the United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy and STI rates in the developed world.

Sexuality education in the United States has evolved to teach everything besides sex itself. Although teenagers in more progressive schools may learn how to slide a condom onto a banana, they rarely learn how to access birth control conveniently and affordably. Instead, students in both abstinence only and comprehensive programs are given projects that test and assess their knowledge of how to avoid sex, rather than their knowledge of sexual health. At the end of a typical course, many students know that they can “go to the movies” or “play soccer” instead of having sex, but they do not know what to do in case their alternative activities plan falls through and the condom breaks.

Sexuality education, more intimately known as “sex ed,” began in earnest in the mid 1980s with the advent of the AIDS epidemic. Once it became established that the HIV virus spread through sexual contact, policy-makers both inside and outside the federal government felt a social and moral responsibility to educate students on disease prevention through the public school system. Despite the Reagan administration’s notorious silence on AIDS and support of religion-centered abstinence-only policies, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) distributed $310 million in HIV/AIDS education marking the first federal funding for “comprehensive” sexuality education.

However, implementing truly comprehensive sexuality education was difficult during the Reagan years, despite the large grant from the CDC: less than half of the programs taught factually accurate information and many programs framed HIV/AIDS education as a gay issue and contended that homosexuality was both sinful and the cause of the AIDS crisis. Only 10 percent of the CDC programs even revealed the great value of condoms as a method of disease prevention.

And we've moved depressingly slowly since that time and, in some important respects, even backward: in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Bill, which included Title V funding—an annual $50 million allocated for abstinence-only-until marriage programs—as a rider. Although it was slated to expire June 30, 2009, it was reauthorized in 2010 as a condition of Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Thirty states currently receive Title V funding despite an $8 million Congressionally mandated study stating that abstinence-only programs do not significantly halt, or even delay, sexual activity.

In order to receive the grant, abstinence-only programs are required to teach eight key concepts, among them, that “a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of sexual activity” and “sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical side effects.” Contraceptives are only discussed in the context of failure rates, and extramarital sex is stigmatized as morally wrong and psychologically damaging.

It is worth repeating that a full one-fourth of all American teenagers receive this type of sexuality education unfettered by any alternative views.

Even comprehensive sexuality education—curricula that cover and discuss contraception, sexual orientation, and abstinence—can be technically comprehensive while still restricting key information. While contraception is discussed as a method for birth control and disease prevention, abstinence is often stressed as well. Class discussions and projects often show how to resist and avoid sexual encounters rather than how to practice sexual health.

Making matters worse is the lack of any standardized program monitoring system. Though a state may provide comprehensive sexuality education on paper, what is actually taught in schools depends far more on what material the teachers are comfortable teaching and how much controversy the principal is willing to tolerate. Most teachers are not formally trained in sexuality education, and are hesitant to discuss “controversial” topics out of fear of backlash that could jeopardize their employment.

Many abstinence-only advocates further compromise comprehensive programs by pushing for sex segregation, parental notification and consent, and opt-out policies where students (or their parents) can chose an abstinence-only course instead of other fuller, if still limited, approaches.

This is not a youth issue. This is not a women’s issue. This is a social issue. It is a war on information, waged against women and teens whose consequences ripple throughout society costing taxpayers through unwanted children, perpetual poverty and a strain on the welfare state. The real tragedy—and whatever hope there is—lies in the fact that, unlike many social issues, this one is immediately preventable.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #35
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It seems to be pretty clear - the evil, liberal, slutty Safe Sex/Contraception kids need to stop fucking the good, conservative Abstinence Only kids. Then, and only then, will the Abstinence Only kids stop getting knocked up.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:00 AM   #36
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I have to give a presentation on Monday about schools' competing sexual-health / abstinence policies (so, thanks for that link above, Mrs. Springsteen). Essentially, the article we're studying says that 'Abstinence Only' (AO) and 'Comprehensive Sex Education' (CSE) curricula are, though in some ways opposed, actually similar in many ways. These include being 'nostalgic' and having a belief in rule-governed, state-sanctioned systems that will offer safety and security as long as we give youth access to knowledge. Neither approach seems willing to start from the position that kids are actually sexually active already, and both seem to not want kids to have sex (surprise, surprise!). Of course, LGBTQ youth are largely overlooked in both curricula.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:48 AM   #37
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Of course, LGBTQ youth are largely overlooked in both curricula.

and then we wonder why the only group that has been identified by the CDC as having an upswing in HIV infections in the past 5 years are young, black men who have sex with men.

homophobia and ignorance kills.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #38
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The public schools where we live have 'comprehensive' sex ed; the curriculum basically starts in 5th grade and ends by 10th. The school board says there simply isn't room in the curriculum after that because of the need to fit in all the core 40s (state-mandated college-prep), which I find unfortunate because at least based on recent surveys of district students, that means it's ending right around the time substantial numbers of them are first becoming sexually active. So that does tend to tip the sex ed in a very nuts-and-bolts direction, e.g., STIs are covered but not how to talk to prospective partners about them. Our oldest, who's 13, mocked the textbook they used last year because of its studiedly sterile prose, which for example covered the medical basics of sexual fluid production as a key development of puberty but was utterly silent on what sexual desire and physical attraction might have to do with that, as was the teacher. On the other hand, our state doesn't actually require sex ed at all and many school corporations here don't offer any, so at least this is progress. (I never received any sex ed in school whatsoever as an older child/teen in the 80s.) In general, I'm not fond of the medicalized 'body management' model most classroom sex ed seems to be wholly based on; that's appropriate for some topics, but I think something like contraception for example is better taught in the context of families and relationships, where it's associated from the beginning with, this is what responsible adults who care about each other do.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:19 PM   #39
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Well, Brita and Track had their baby. Either really, really early, like 6 months early or hello shotgun.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:24 PM   #40
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And she has a non-Tracky name, Kyla Grace. Pretty name.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:00 PM   #41
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do these Palin kids ever go to college? or do they just get themselves and others pregnant?

i sense their 15 minutes might be up.
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