This morning, I picked up my mother's copy of “Brigitte”, a German woman's magazine geared at women between 30 and 50. I often borrow the magazine from her, because it tends to have pretty interesting articles. More recently, I've declared myself an out-and-out fan after Brigitte became the first magazine to stop using professional models for their photo spreads.
However, what caught my eye today was one of the titles on the cover: “The sex I didn't want – Confessions from a Gray Area”. In my mind, I immediately flashed to the infamous Cosmopolitan article by Laura Sessions Stepp ( A New Kind of Date Rape ). With a funny feeling in my stomach, I flipped to the article.
This year, we'd like to invest some extra energy in being sure we're doing our level best to serve our readers of color well.
By all means, a lot what we do here is applicable to everyone and can serve everyone, and there are a lot of parts of sexuality and relationships that are fairly universal. At the same time, we know -- either firsthand or by proxy -- there are some issues or aspects of sexuality, sexual life and relationships and sexual health which are different for people or communities of color, or where there are additional barriers or complexities.
The title above refers to a famous series of fitness and bodybuilding advertisements from the 1940's & 50's. The not so subtle suggestion in these ads, and many male-targeted ads and products since, is that masculine identity is primarily about being strong, about having power; often, masculinity is seen as something literally embodied. But that's not the case: masculine identity is so very much more than what can be seen, about so much more than expressions of power and dominance. And it cannot be bought from the back of a magazine.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2010!
The Fourteenth of February is a day that can conjure up various feelings, depending on the person and the context. Often people fall into two V-Day camps: those who delight in the sweet celebration and those who wish it were February 14th that happens only once every four years.
That question probably either sounds like a really important one or a really stupid one, depending on your view. But I want the answer regardless, and am seriously tired of waiting for it.
Talk, images & representations of men and sex are EVERYWHERE in culture and society.
One recurring and dominant theme in our understanding of male sexual behaviour is the idea of the male "need" for sex. The common narrative for this concept of men's needs is one based on some sort of biological imperative, be that a study about some fundamental wiring in a male brain (or genitals) that requires men to regularly engage in sexual intercourse to maintain physical well-being, intimate relationships and a healthy sense of self. Or perhaps it is some essential part of the male brain, left over from our ancient forefathers - for whom constant procreation ensured the survival of the familial line, if not the entire species.
What strikes me again and again is the frequency with which cultural understandings of sexuality are reinforced and legitimised through this language of science.
Am I/is he/is she/is this/are we normal?
As anyone who works in sex education or sexuality can tell you, when it comes to the questions people ask us, variations on the theme of "Am I normal?" reign supreme.
We've said it before, and we'll keep saying it: what's most normal and most common in sexuality is diversity.
Happy New Year to you from all of us at Scarleteen!
Nearly a month into 2010, we hope your new year has been and continues to be happy, healthy, and all-around awesome. Have you set any New Year Resolutions this year? We have and would like to share them with you!
Over 1000 Scarleteen users are doing just that! Since December 19th and as of yesterday, 1001 visitors to the Scarleteen website have voted in the poll: Which of these is the best sexuality-based New Year's resolution for you?