See, to actually fight rape culture you need to say “Sex is always optional. You are never obligated to have sex.” You must always be concerned with consent, and that means you must accept that the answer may very well always be no.
Hm. First of all, I like the show. I devoured the first season in 3 days. I feel like it is talking about race, gender, and sexuality in ways that no other show is doing. Laverne Cox is a goddess and that bisexuality is being so visibly explored (plus the unique anxieties bisexuality/pansexuality invokes) is really fantastic. However, like everything that is meant to be consumed, the show is created within a neoliberal capitalist framework and that comes through. It comes through in the way they write or act and certainly, in this case, the way they advertise. But this is an impossible thing to remedy and OITNB is certainly not unique in this. We could say this about almost everything within pop-culture ….
I can see that, but I don’t know if or how that translates. The show, already, is doing some paradoxical things with race/gender/sexuality which makes it compelling to watch, albeit with a cringe every now and then. But these photos, to me, work in favor of what makes the show cringe-worthy. These pictures are glorifying something that is profoundly wrong with the United States. The prison industrial complex, and the ways in which it works upon the bodies of poc/trans/queer folks is really fucking serious and violent and leaving these pictures without commentary/critique allows a very misleading image of prison life to be consumed and then ultimately reproduced.
I do feel there is a preoccupation with that. The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things.
Often, after doing that, they’ll also report following that up with a second common oops, which is just flipping that same condom over and then putting it on the right way.
Condoms are highly effective safer sex tools to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring STIs, as well as a very effective method of contraception. But that effectiveness depends a whole lot on using them not just consistently, but properly. This isn’t proper use.
If you can see the image here on the page, you’ll notice the edge of the condom is rolled facing up. Like the brim of a hat. Or a rolled up sock or stocking before you put it on. Or, if you cuff your jeans, how the cuff looks when you look down at it.
Rolled up, towards you when you’re looking at it, rather than rolled under or down, with the rolled-up rim facing away from you.
When you — or a partner — go to put it on a penis, toy or prosthetic, you want to be looking at it like that, with that rolled edge facing up, then roll it down from there, which will usually be easy when it’s the right way.
If it’s a struggle to roll down, chances are when you look at it, you’ll find it’s not facing the right way: and whoops, you or yours didn’t put it on right.
If that happens, you’ll need to toss that condom out, and try again with a new one.
That one you flubbed with is no good to you anymore. It’s potentially had contact with fluids or pathogens if it’s had contact with whatever it was being put on, the fluids or pathogens a condom, properly used, keeps you from having contact with.
Read the rest at Scarleteen here!
TW: abuse, mental health, misogyny, sex addiction
I tried to write some big long complicated post, but instead I’ve ended up with this.
I was prescribed Zoloft yesterday. My stress and anxiety have been so high that I’ve created a serious hormonal imbalance for myself, which has created symptoms that only compound my stress and anxiety. A Looping Effect. I think my body is communicating with me?
It is saying, help.
So I starting taking the Zoloft. Today is day two and, I don’t know if it is the actual medication or just the relief of knowing that I could find some small amount of peace, but I feel better (slightly). Soon after I take it, I momentarily feel my brain working. Like little fires being burned in the meadows of my mind.
I’m going back to therapy on Thursday. I haven’t been to therapy since 2008. I hope we like each other, my therapist and I, that they are able to help me move through this.
My head says awful things to me sometimes. It likes to punish me - I’ve made so many unbelievable mistakes this past year. Life shattering mistakes that pushed the relationships that mean the most to me to the brink of existing. I didn’t speak to my sister for six months. Not a word. The silence between us was made up for in nightmares and telepathic (imaginary?) arguments.
When my head doesn’t say the awful things, I just hear my ex-boyfriend on repeat.
You should know that there was not an inch of my body that he didn’t critique.
"I hope our children don’t get your feet"
"You’re just not my type"
"You’re vagina is boring"
If it wasn’t my body that he was critiquing, he would compare me to every other woman on the street.
"She’s cute. I’d love to fuck her"
He stored hundreds of screenshots of random people from his Tinder account on his phone and would show them to me. Hundreds. One weekend in Los Angeles I found myself on the floor, beating my own legs in rage, as he told me he felt like I was preventing him from sleeping with other people, that I was imprisoning him. He would stay up late watching porn and masturbating, leaving his underwear in the living room and the trashcan full of tissues, as if to say fuck you you are not enough for me.
This is not what non-monogamy looks like.
My body nor my sexuality was not enough for him to crumple, so he attacked my mind too.
"School is the only thing you’re good at" he would say, because he felt that I did a poor job of doing the dishes. "You’d forget to pick up our kids from school you’re so absentminded".
Now we aren’t together its as if he is a different person. Now he is kind and thoughtful, patient. The other day he remarked at how “tiny” I was, that he could “just put me in his pocket”. I wanted to strangle him, but instead I stayed still like the concrete pavement and didn’t let him see my quivering insides.
None of this describes the depth of what I experienced with this man. None of this explains or gives life to the enormity of his rage, to the depths of his hopelessness, nor the complexity of sexuality. None of this does justice to how all of these characteristics came together to rob me of everything good within me every single day.
Furthermore, I cannot reconcile the fact that I chose him, I chose that reality, I chose him. I was not a victim in that relationship - he never lied to me. He let me know from beginning EXACTLY what I was getting into, and I said yes. What does he reveal about me? What does he reflect?
There is a voice inside of me that says: That my life is so sweet now we are not together, that the goodness of my coworker (who was one of the only lights I had around me as I tried for months to leave) is quite possibly the most precious love I have ever known, that I still managed to achieve a 4.0 at UC Berkeley and maintain this blog feels so profoundly painful to me. I am angry with myself that I chose to power through and get over myself to perform well. That despite being submerged in the shadows of my psyche, a kind and good person was able to witness me and love me despite panic attacks, anxiety, and intense body dysmorphia. Someone who hurts their sister the way i did, someone who disappoints their best friend the way I did, someone who allows and invites the kind of abuse i remained in does not deserve exceptional love, or joy, or to feel beautiful.
This is the voice I attempt each day to convince is wrong. They have to be wrong.
Mostly I am over myself. I am tired. So many adventures with “interesting” people who are really just deeply wounded and divert me from living my own life. Laura, if you want adventure, go on a trip, do LSD, finally run the marathon you’ve wanted to, write a book, or let yourself actually love someone for once. Actually love yourself, Laura. Forgive yourself. Perhaps that is the adventure of a life time.