culture

Decoding Sex in the Media: There are No Blurred Lines When it Comes to Consent

For many young people, Robin Thicke’s hit single "Blurred Lines" has become the anthem of the summer. Recently topping the Billboard Hot 100 list and rising to the position of most-downloaded song on iTunes, “Blurred Lines” seems to be thumping out of every stereo speaker on the planet. And for good reason -- it’s a very catchy song, with a strong beat and ostensibly fun lyrics.

Like many artists before him, Thicke sings about a complex topic -- sex -- but he makes the mistake of ignoring a crucial underlying issue: consent.

Please Stop Calling Rape Sex

That's it, just what seems -- to me, anyway -- to be a relatively simple request I'm putting out to the universe today, because it's something that comes up almost constantly in work and discussions around sexuality, something where I've grown impatient waiting for change.

He's Queer, I'm Straight, and It's Great Except...

elinor
asks:
Help! I'm in a relationship with a man (I identify as a straight woman) who identifies as queer. He's mostly had sex with men in the past (there might have been 1 woman), but this is first heterosexual relationship. It's also my first relationship with a queer man. I really care for him, but I am struggling with checking my own heteronormative attitudes....

The only thing I might not be ready for with sex is what other people will say.

Aliciapash
asks:
I truly think I'm ready for sex, I'm comfortable with myself and my partner and am not at all nervous for losing my virginity. I'm only 16 but people say that different people are ready at different times right? and I think I'm ready now, I've ticked off all of the checkpoints on your "am I ready" checklist but there is one problem. I'm worried about if people will judge me for it....

The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone

Everyone has a sexual orientation and a sexual identity. Here are some basics and not-so-basics about what orientation is, some of the ways we can talk about it, how to figure yours out, and finding support.

Why did I wind up in dating abuse?

Sauce
asks:
I am from a country where dating is taboo. I was not in a relationship till my early twenties. The following may be hard to understand but I need to talk about it and know why I let this happen to me. It was my first relationship and I had little idea what to expect. Things were fine till my bf learned another man was interested in me and I might be interested in him too....

Words Matter: Cheers to the FBI for Recognizing How Much

As some of you may know, I experienced two different sexual assaults when I wasn't yet in my teens within just one year of one another. The second time I was assaulted, my experience ticked all of the boxes there currently are in our culture for what is so often -- now, anyway, easily considered a "real" or "bonafide" sexual assault, or what Whoopi Goldberg, to my great disappointment, would call "rape-rape."

The first time around was different.

I want to have sex. He doesn't. Why not? And what do I do now?

beccaboo71
asks:
I've been dating my current boyfriend for 5 months now, and I really am ready and willing to have sex. But, he's not. He wants to, and he's curious but he feels that he shouldn't? I don't know what to do, I don't understand why he's feeling this way about it. Is there something wrong with me? Something he's afraid to say? Or is he just really scared himself? Help!...