Category: Sex

Quick Hit: The biological realities of bad sex and really bad sex

Eggplant lying against a white background, with little protrusions that look like shrugging arms

A famous quote from Margaret Atwood lays out one of the big divides that stands between women’s and men’s life experiences: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” At The Week, Lili Loofbourow presents a bad-sex corollary: Men think sex is bad when she’s just lying there, and women think it’s bad when we come away bleeding.

Birth control pills are for healthcare. And other stuff.

Waist-down photo of a woman on the subway with her legs crossed at the knees and ankles

Passage of the Affordable Care Act provided a major benefit to women of reproductive age: Employers with religious or moral objections to birth control weren’t allowed to exclude those benefits from health plans just because they thought birth control was wrong. When Trump rolled back that mandate — effective immediately — he removed that protection, meaning that women whose prescriptions had been covered could now have to pay out of pocket for medication crucial to their lives. And it can be crucial — hormonal birth control is essential to treatment of conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids, and debilitating periods.

It’s also good for other stuff.

Amnesty International, CATW, a bunch of celebrities, and decriminalization

[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety.

Look at them ladies, trying to do science: 1 of 2

This isn’t particularly new, but I couldn’t let it go un-commented-upon because… I guess because I’m a masochist? Cranking it back to April: Two female scientists had a manuscript (about, interestingly enough, the effect of gender bias on job prospects…

Bad Sex

Content note: bad sexual experiences, like it says on the box.   There’s something I’ve wanted to discuss in a feminist context for a while, and I guess now I have the platform, right?  I find myself nervous, though, because…

The Good2Go sexual consent app: Oversimplifying consent so you don’t have to

In all the discussion of sex and consent — and there’s been a lot of it, and it’s not all recent, and unfortunately it doesn’t change all that much for all that the debate is pretty much constant — a recurring theme is the idea of somehow recording consent and negotiating it in an official context to avoid any confusion. Now, a smartphone app is available to address that. Available for iPhone and Android, the Good2Go app encourages prospective sexual partners to assess consent — electronically — before embarking on their sexual adventures.

Banned Books Week: Your banned-kids’-book reading list (updated)

It’s Banned Books Week, celebrating books that are absolutely, objectively horrible and mustn’t be read by anyone. They’re books that need to be blocked from school libraries, ejected from public libraries, struck from publisher’s lists and set on damn fire every time they’re encountered. Which means that most of them (although by no means all of them) are worth reading, particularly when it comes to books for school-age kids who shan’t be exposed to naughty language or mentions of sex. Because if there’s one thing that abstinence-only education has taught us is that if you never, ever mention it, kids will never do it.

So here are six banned and/or challenged children’s and young adult books to read to a kid this week in honor of Banned Books Week.

Hobby Lobby = The Worst

I’ve been writing about it over at Here’s the basic summary of the case. Here are 13 of the biggest misconceptions about the case (this one is especially helpful for Twitter / Facebook / family dinner table fights). And, finally, how the right-wing reaction to women with opinions on Hobby Lobby is a pretty good illustration of how this is all about misogyny and hostility toward female sexuality, not religious beliefs.

VLOGGING – Virgins Literally Pop Cherries?

Finals are here, but we managed to squeeze out one last episode before semester’s end. Yes, it resembles the question we answered last time, but… Okay, we really just wanted to do a simple, non-intersectionality-laden question, to avoid extra stress on top of revising for exams. But even if you already know everything about virginity, feel free to watch if you want to be entertained by what we played whilst answering the question

PUAs and MRAs respond to the Santa Barbara killings

Well hello again! Yes I am still here, although MIA for the past month or so as I wrapped up my freelance life and started at full time. And I’m writing a lot over there: On illegal abortion in Brazil, on pro-choice advocates embracing life, on the minimum wage, on the increasing inaccessibility of abortion in the American South, on the kidnapped Nigerian girls. I’m also doing a series of interviews with women who have interesting careers, detailing how they got to where they are. So far I’ve spoken with Jordan Zimmerman, a cheese educator; Anna Holmes, a journalist and the founder of Jezebel; and Sadie Nardini, a yoga instructor who was paralyzed as a child and now runs a massive international wellness empire. The latest: On PUA and MRA responses to the misogynist murders in Santa Barbara. Here is one of those things:

“Revenge” shootings in Santa Barbara

[Content Note: shootings, murder, misogyny]

Andie and Donna have both posted links in the Open Thread to news items about the Isla Vista mass shootings, and rather than let this atrocity swamp the social thread I’ve decided to give this its own post.

I ask commentors to avoid speculating about possible mental health diagnoses. What we know as facts is horrific enough.