Showing posts with label Sexuality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sexuality. Show all posts

January 14, 2020

Girls are Disconnected from Their Bodies, Boys From Their Hearts



 "I ended up feeling when I was talking to girls was that they were systematically disconnected from their bodies, and with boys, it was that they were systematically disconnected from their hearts. My biggest bias going into this was that I thought boys wouldn’t talk about their feelings and their sex lives. That was completely blown out of the water."Pegy Orenstein



TERRY GROSS

Editor's note: This interview contains a homophobic slur. 
Author Peggy Orenstein knows that talking to your son about sex isn't easy: "I know for a lot of parents, you would rather poke yourself in the eye with a fork than speak directly to your son about sex — and probably he would rather poke himself in the eye with a fork as well," she says.
But we don't have "the luxury" to continue avoiding this conversation, she says. "If we don't talk to our kids, the media is going to educate them for us, and we are not going to love the result."
Orenstein spent 25 years chronicling the lives of adolescent and teen girls and never really expected to focus on boys. But then came the #MeToo movement, and Orenstein, whose previous books include Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter, decided it was time to engage young men in conversations about gender and intimacy.  
Her new book, Boys & Sex, is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys and young men of diverse backgrounds between the ages of 16 and 22.
"When I was doing the girl book, the kind of core issue with girls was that they were being cut off from their bodies and not understanding their bodies' response and their needs and their limits and their desires," she says. "With boys, it felt like they were being cut off from their hearts."
Orenstein notes that society doesn't often give boys "permission or space" to discuss their interior lives. Maybe that's why the young men she spoke to were so eager to open up: "When they had the chance [to talk], when somebody really gave it to them and wasn't going to be judgmental about what they had to say, they went for it."
Orenstein says the boys she spoke with felt constrained by traditional notions of masculinity. One interviewee confided that he preferred to partner with girls for school projects because, "It was OK to say you didn't know what you were doing with a girl, and you couldn't do that with a guy."
"That idea of emotional vulnerability was so profound for boys," Orenstein says. "Vulnerability is basically essential to human relationships, so when you cut boys off from the ability to be vulnerable, you're doing them a huge disservice."

Interview highlights 

On how boys described an "ideal" man to her 
They saw girls as equals and deserving of their place on the playing field and in class and in leadership, and they had female friends. So that had really changed. But I would ask them all the time to just give me a kind of lightning round of the ideal guy. And when we would do that, it was like they were channeling 1955. It was still all about stoicism, sexual conquest, dominance, aggression — or this weird combination of being both aggressive and chill — athleticism, wealth. It was really narrow. And they would talk a lot, particularly about ... suppressing feelings. And a lot of guys would say to me that they had figured out ... how to build a wall inside to block off any feelings except, maybe, happiness and anger. They would talk about training themselves not to feel or training themselves not to cry.
On boys' use of homophobic epithets, such as f**
Boys used that word, that epithet for a gay person, a lot with each other. But what they would say to me — this is straight boys talking — is that they would never say that to a gay person. That they had gay friends, that they weren't homophobic, but they use that word all the time. And it had become basically a slur on masculinity, not so much a statement of sexual orientation. But I think that word — that slur for gay — is what kind of draws the lines of the "man" box for boys.
And it is basically the fear of being called [that] that shuts down any objection to stepping up and standing out. So it polices boys, basically. And I also was really interested in "#nohomo." C.J. Pascoe, who is a sociologist in Oregon, had done a survey of the way boys use that hashtag on Twitter. And it wasn't just a homophobic slur. It was also a protective shield that allowed them to express just really basic human ideas about affection and joy. So they would say, like, "I miss you, man. #nohomo," or even something as innocuous as, "I like chocolate ice cream. #nohomo." It was just a way that allowed them to be fully human.
On how Internet porn has affected boys 
What they're getting in porn is a really distorted vision of what human sexuality is. They see image after image of sex as something men do to women, of female pleasure as a performance for male satisfaction, of distorted bodies — of a whole lot of things that frankly wouldn't feel very good to most people. And without discussion with parents and without discussion by schools, that's becoming the de facto sex educator for a lot of kids. ...
One thing that research shows is that [porn] actually reduces their satisfaction in their partnered relationships. So they feel less satisfied with their partners' bodies, with their own bodies, with their own performance. So right there, something to talk to boys about is, "It's not going to be doing any favors once you get into the actual bedroom." But it affects their ideas about what women should look like. It affects their ideas about how women should behave. It affects their ideas of what acts should be performed and the way that those acts should be performed. One of the boys [told] me that his girlfriend was a curvy African American girl, and he said that having spent hours and hours and hours looking at and reacting to what he called "all those skinny white women," that he had a hard time being aroused by her body. And that was really disturbing him.
On the ambiguity of the term "hookup" 
"Hookup" is an intentionally ambiguous term. It can mean anything. It might mean kissing. It might mean oral sex. It might mean intercourse. And, in truth, when you look into the research, about a third of college hookups fall into each of those categories. But that ambiguity allows young people to vastly overestimate what their peers are doing. And then that can actually trigger a kind of anxiety and fear of missing out, or expectation of what you are supposed to be doing, that can make you engage in sex that maybe you don't want to have, or push harder than you might otherwise push.
On learning that gay boys are better at communicating consent than straight boys 
That was something that was a big surprise and a big takeaway for me — that gay boys were so much more willing and able and capable [of negotiating] the terms of their sexual experiences with their partners. And that's partly because they sort of have to, because what's going to happen is not necessarily obvious. But they were always so befuddled by the resistance among straight guys to doing that — if we're talking about it, it means we're going to have sex. And that's great. Why would you think that was a bad thing? ...


What Dan Savage, who is a columnist who writes about sex talk, says is, there are four magic words that gay guys use in a sexual encounter: "What are you into?" And the beauty of that phrase is that it's a truly open-ended question. It's not a yes or a no to a set of possibilities that is predetermined or decided by the other person, but it's a conversation. And that's ultimately what one is aiming for in this whole discussion of consent — to make sex a conversation that people can have not just for the legality of it, but so that it will be a more mutually gratifying experience for everybody involved.
Sam Briger and Thea Chaloner produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Deborah Franklin adapted it for the Web.

January 5, 2020

Many Humans Love to Insert Stuff In Their Body Cavities





We Americans as a people are extremely good at shoving things inside ourselves. We are slightly less good at getting them back out without the aid of trained medical personnel. 
For a decade I've been chronicling our country's cavity misadventures, and I've learned several things. First is that it's dangerous to be horny. (The sheer number of sex toys removed in emergency rooms is too high to include on this list, for the most part.) Second is that men are far, far stupider than women when it comes to estimating what will fit and what will be retrievable. This is obvious, but it's nice to have the data to back it up. The third is that the human body is a wondrous thing, but the human imagination is even stronger. 
All reports are taken from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s database of emergency room visits, and all descriptions are verbatim. Objects are sorted by orifice, working south:

EAR

  • 2 WIRELESS EARBUDS
  • JEWEL
  • “SISTER PUT LONG SLENDER TOY IN PATIENT'S EAR”
  • METAL PIECE OF SHIRT
  • ROCK SALT
  • BERRY
  • “PATIENT SAYS SHE HAD WAX IN-EAR & ATTEMPTED TO REMOVE WITH TWEEZERS & PIECE OF STRING”
  • PAPER IN BOTH EARS
  • “PLACED THERMOMETER IN-EAR, FELL ON BED”
  • JUICE BOX STRAW
  • PEARL
  • WOOD CHIP
  • MICROCHIP
  • DECORATIVE SEASHELL
  • TOOTH OF COMB
  • ZIP TIE
  • SLIME
  • PLASTIC SPIDER
  • CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

NOSE

  • 2 RARE EARTH MAGNETS
  • SMALL HEART STICKER
  • 2 BUTTON BATTERIES
  • BATH BEAD
  • CHALK
  • “BUG, TRIED TO REMOVE WITH BOBBY PIN, BOBBY PIN NOW STUCK”
  • CANDY WRAPPER
  • GOOGLY EYE
  • MOTHBALL
  • SUNFLOWER SEED
  • CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

THROAT

  • FIDGET SPINNER
  • CONDOM
  • “7 NUTS FROM THE CHRISTMAS TREE MOM AND DAD WERE TAKING DOWN”
  • LASER POINTER
  • TAPE DISPENSER
  • DECORATIVE ROCK
  • PIECE OF BED
  • TROPICAL BREEZE DETERGENT POD
  • “SWALLOWED 3 BUTTON BATTERIES LAST PM & THUMBTACK THIS AM B/C 'THEY TASTE GOOD'”
  • FUSE
  • CAPSULE THAT EXPANDS INTO A-FOAM DINOSAUR
  • PLASTIC SWORD
  • “SWALLOWED STAMP INK PAD THAT HE RECEIVED AS A PRIZE AT THE DENTIST'S OFFICE”
  • CLEANING SOLUTION, RAZOR BLADE COVERED IN TOILET PAPER, BROKEN PLASTIC SOAP DISH
  • STUFFED BIRD
  • “ABOUT 10” PUZZLE PIECES
  • “HAD NECKLACE IN MOUTH TRYING TO UNTANGLE IT & ACCIDENTALLY SWALLOWED IT”
  • GLASS CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHT
  • ICE CREAM CUP LID
  • DRILL BIT
  • HEARING AID
  • KEY
  • “SWALLOWED A THUMBTACK THAT SHE THOUGHT WAS A MINT”
  • CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

PENIS

  • CRAYONS
  • MARKER CAP
  • CHOPSTICK
  • BALLPOINT PEN
  • PIECE OF TOY PLIERS
  • LOLLIPOP STICK
  • COAXIAL CABLE
  • WEDDING RING
  • MAGNETS
  • SCREWDRIVER
  • BOBBY PIN, “UNABLE TO ACHIEVE ERECTION & THOUGHT IT WOULD HELP”

VAGINA

  • TOOTHBRUSH
  • “A METAL AND PLASTIC CONTAINER”
  • TAPE
  • “WAS BEING ARRESTED BY THE POLICE SO SHE TOOK HER CELL PHONE AND HID IT FROM THEM - STUCK IT IN HER VAGINA”
  • PERFUME BOTTLE
  • MAKEUP SPONGE
  • LARGE PIECE OF UNDERWEAR
  • TOY ACTION FIGURE
  • RUBBER BALL
  • “JUMPED OFF COUCH LANDED ON SPOON”

RECTUM

  • “PATIENT STATES: HE STATES SLIPPED IN THE SHOWER AND LANDED ON A METAL AIR FRESHENER CAN AND IT WENT INTO RECTUM”
  • FOLDING KNIFE
  • PLASTIC TOY, “ABOUT 6 INCHES LONG”
  • TOOTHPICK
  • TOOTHBRUSH
  • TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER
  • PLUNGER HANDLE
  • MATTRESS FOAM
  • TWO RAZOR BLADES
  • TWO SMALL VIBRATORS
  • TURKEY BASTER
  • CONDOM WRAPPER
  • COAT HANGER, “PATIENT UNSURE HOW IT GOT THERE”
  • GARDEN HOSE CAP
  • CIGARETTE LIGHTER
  • TOY HOCKEY STICK
  • WATER GUN
  • BAG OF HEROIN
  • COINS
  • EGG TIMER
  • SMALL SHAMPOO BOTTLE
  • LARGE SHAMPOO BOTTLE
  • LIGHT BULB
  • APPLE SAUCE CAN
  • “ACCIDENTALLY GOT A DILDO LODGED IN RECTUM & CUT THE END OF THE DILDO OFF”
  • “STUCK A 4 INCH BUTT PLUG UP RECTUM YESTERDAY, HANDLE BROKE. HE CONTINUED TO PUSH THE TOY IN”
  • “WAS USING PROSTATE MASSAGER & IT GOT 'SUCKED IN'”'
  • CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT
Follow Barry Petchesky on Twitter

November 17, 2017

A New Sexuality, "Mostly Straight"



{{Cornell University and the author most recently of Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity Among Men}}
We hear a lot about the Big Three Sexualities — straight, bisexual and gay. Most of us assume that these three orientations encompass the universe of sexual identities. But there is a new kid on the block: The mostly straight male.
To the uninitiated, mostly straight may seem paradoxical. How can a man be mostly heterosexual? If you’re a young man, you might assume that either you’re straight or you’re not, meaning you’re likely gay and maybe bisexual. Yet the evidence suggests that more young men identify or describe themselves as mostly straight than identify as either bisexual or gay combined. 
2011–2013 U.S. government poll found that among 18- to 24-year-old men, 6% marked their sexual attractions as “mostly opposite sex.” That’s nearly 1 million young men. Yet when these men were forced to choose between straight, bisexual or gay, about three-quarters marked straight because for them bisexual, even if it is understood as “bisexual-leaning straight,” is too gay to accurately describe their identity. Given such constraints, these young men were left with no place to truthfully register their sexuality, thus forcing them to be less than honest.
For my book, I spoke with 40 mostly straight young men, some over the course of several years. They were a very diverse group. In high school, they were hipsters, jocks, nerds, druggies, skaters, class clowns, burnouts and straight-laced achievers. Long hair, short hair, clean-shaven, bearded, tattooed, pierced, muscular, lanky, hyper and pudgy. They wanted to change the world, fit in, drop out, go into medicine, advocate marketing strategies, fight for social justice, write novels or be unemployed, and many have no clue what they’ll do.
Talking to them, I found that in the most general sense, a mostly straight young man is sexually and/or romantically distinctive; we might say that he’s fluid or flexible, supposedly uncharacteristic of male sexuality. Traditionally, our understanding has been that if you’re male and have even a slight attraction to the same sex, then you must be gay. Even if this isn’t immediately apparent, we tell men, it will become so once you come to terms with your true self and exit your “phase” of bi-curiosity or questioning. Women, by contrast, we give more space to be sexually fluid, as the sizeable literature on the subject attests.
The mostly straight man belongs to a growing trend of young men who are secure in their heterosexuality yet remain aware of their potential to experience far more. Perhaps he’s felt attracted to or fantasized about another guy to a slight degree or intermittently. He might or might not be comfortable with this seeming contradiction, a hetero guy who, despite his lust for women, rejects a straight label, a sexual category and a sexual description that feels foreign. He’d rather find another place on the sexual/romantic continuum, some location that fits him more comfortably. 
He knows he’s not gay, but straight with a dash of gayness. But how much gayness? Not much — a relatively small percentage, say around 5% to 10%, of his sexual and romantic feelings. Strict rules don’t apply. These attractions are sexual, romantic or both and can be expressed in various ways, from erotic fantasies to actual behavior. Perhaps he’s made out or he wants to make out with a guy friend. He’s participated in all-male group masturbation or is willing to receive oral sex from an attractive guy he’s just met. But it’s unlikely that he has had penetrative sex with a guy, though he might be willing to if the right guy or circumstance appeared. He might have had an intense guy crush. But to fall passionately in love with a guy is too much, though he might have quite strong feelings and cuddle with a best friend. 
He feels his same-sex sexuality internally more than he lives it externally. Perhaps if his culture were not so stigmatizing of same-sex sexuality he might be more inclined to express himself through tangible expressions of sex or romance — not frequently but occasionally.
Harvard University Press
He’s not transitioning toward identifying as bisexual or gay. He’s not a closeted gay man who fears to be gay yet wants to keep a slight, perhaps secretive, gay side by dangling his potential for guy sex. He’s not saying, “I’m available for guys who want to have sex with a straight guy” while enjoying the privileges afforded to heterosexual men in our society. He’s not an equal opportunity bisexual in disguise trying to hold out hope for straightness, nor is he afraid to identify as bisexual because of societal stigma and prejudice. He is not a disgruntled straight man tired of sex with women, nor is he necessarily unhappy or frustrated with the availability of heterosexual sex. He may retreat from a full identification with heterosexuality, but rarely does he gravitate toward bisexuality, and almost never does he move toward homosexuality of any sort. Thus, he is a close cousin of straight guys than to traditional bisexual guys. 
“Mostly straight” is a category that was not readily available to previous generations of men. A 2015 survey revealed striking contrasts across age groups. One question asked, “Thinking about sexuality, which of the following comes closer to your view?”
  • “There is no middle ground—you are either heterosexual or you are not.”
  • “Sexuality is a scale—it is possible to be somewhere near the middle.”
A majority of millennials endorsed the second option, which means they believe in a spectrum of sexuality. Adults from other generations preferred the first, which signifies a two-category approach — straight, not straight — to sexuality.
Millennials were also less likely than other groups to label themselves as “completely heterosexual.” And even among those who identified as straight, they were more likely than their parents’ generation to respond to the following three questions with “Very unlikely, but not impossible” or “Maybe, if I really liked them.” The lead-in was, “If the right person came along at the right time…” “Do you think it is conceivable that you could be attracted to a person of the same sex?”
  • “Do you think it is conceivable that you could have a sexual experience with a person of the same sex?”
  • “Do you think it is conceivable that you could have a relationship with a person of the same sex?”
To each of these questions, their parents’ generation overwhelmingly responded with “Absolutely not.”
Identifying as mostly straight is now largely possible because the millennial generation is adding new complexity to sexual and romantic relationships. The New York Times-branded the cohort as “Generation Nice.” What does nice mean? Contrasted with previous generations, young people today are more confident, connected, introspective, and open to change. They’re skeptical of traditional institutions and ways of viewing the world, and they are willing to improvise solutions that are both creative and good for the environment and future generations. As adolescents and young adults, they are happier and more satisfied with their lives than previous generations. They express liberal, progressive attitudes toward religion and race relations, social policies and sexuality. How do these values and practices play out in the future? Well, if we are prepared to accept mostly straight as a fourth sexual identity, we gain an increasingly nuanced understanding of sexual orientation — and its close cousin, romantic orientation. We won’t stop at four; no doubt we will soon recognize additional sexual identities — which might be yours.
Adapted with permission from Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity Among Gay Menpublished by Harvard University Press.

July 13, 2017

Researchers in Canada Have found Top Men, Bottom or Versatile is in The Genetics





For many men who date men, chats on dating apps usually start with a particularly important question: Are you a top or bottom? Sex roles are often the base of relationships between men, and verifying who’s pitching and catching is critical. Sure, some fellas are versatile and enjoy giving or receiving equally, but for those who prefer a position, your sex role could be a deal breaker.
Recently, researchers in Canada found that there’s a biological element that decides whether a queer man tops or bottoms. The University of Toronto conducted two studies and discovered fascinating similarities among men who have sex with men. In 2015, the researchers talked to 240 men at Toronto Pride. The participants took a survey that asked about their sex-position preferences as well as questions around their physical and character traits and their families. 
VanderLaan, an assistant psychology professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, told Jezebel’s Rick Juziak, “What’s interesting about this work is even among a group of individuals who are pretty similar in terms of their sexual preference — that is, gay men preferring men — there could be a diverse set of processes that lead them to exhibit that same sexual orientation outcome.” 
The study found that men who bottom are more likely to be non-right-handed and gender-nonconforming, and have more older brothers than men who top. According to VanderLaan, the handedness question proved to be a particularly useful in the study.
“One thing about handedness is we know it’s related to brain organization and we know that it takes place really early. People very early in life — infants and children — will show hand preference for activities. That’s what makes handedness such a valuable marker is that it tells us about a particular developmental window,” VanderLaan explained. 
Although the findings are captivating, the team doesn’t expect concrete evidence linking sex roles to biological traits. Instead, they’re focused on finding “biomarkers” that help clarify the decision-making process and complex identity formation. 
“Sex role identity development is a complex process that unfolds over decades, so the idea that some early life developmental experience that happened in the womb has a direct impact on someone’s sex-role behavior decades later,” VanderLaan continued, “that seems potentially a little too simplistic, and we certainly don’t have demonstrative evidence that that sort of scenario is indeed the case.”
Gayety.com
To learn more about the findings of this study, head over to Jezebel.


Featured Posts

Former Michigan U Dr. Now Being Investigated For Sexual Assaults on The Physician Team

Kim Kozlowski , The Detroit News Palm Springs, California  —  The University of Michigan is investigating several "dist...