Skip to main content

feminism

Thoughts on the "hook-up culture," or what I learned from my high school diary

Crossposted at Girldrive

Debates about "hooking up," swinging from genuine concern to hysteria on both sides of political spectrum, have been raging throughout the 2000s.* And this week, it's seemed to bubble up to the surface again. I've spent the day reading ruminations by teen girl expert and Teen Vogue advice columnist Rachel Simmons, the always-thought provoking Kate Harding of Broadsheet, and Amanda Marcotte, who gives us a searing and passionate rebuff of any sort of nostalgia we might have about dating rules and traditions.

This rips open a wound for me--I spent most of 2007 contemplating this issue. But I'm gonna weigh in afresh now that I've just celebrated 2 years with my healthiest, post-high-school, Completely Committed Relationship (technically marriage, but that's another story)--the sex-and-love "holy grail," according to the many women's and teen magazines Kate lists in her Salon piece. Before, it was my "sorta" this or my "fuck buddy" that or my "I wish I knew what h

Read more...

How can I stop feeling so guilty?

chechelle asks:

I am 23. I started having sex with my boyfriend of 7 months at age 17. I was raised Christian, have stayed in the church until now but am seriously questioning what I believe. Ever since I first started having sex I have never been completely ok with it, always wondering whether I was doing something wrong or whether it was even ok. I would often feel extremely guilty once I reached the point of orgasm because it was like that was the time that I realized that I had given in to my desires and have done something wrong-again. (I had/have these same guilt feelings whenever I masturbate which I remember from age 12.) After the high school boyfriend I had sex with someone else a few years later but that one doesn't affect me nearly as much. A few years after that I met my now spouse. We started having sex after a few months and I always questioned whether what we were doing was ok or not, but I still wanted sex and I still enjoyed it. We got married a year ago and now I just cant enjoy sex at all. I just don't want to. When we do have sex it does feel good but not great and I feel like I am being punished for having sex before marriage. I also had a lot of pain starting close to when we got married and I eventually learned I had trich. So I don't know if I am now terrified of that happening again too? (even though we were both treated and I am supposedly cured) I have a great partner: he isn't pressuring me to get better and really wants me to be truly wanting sex otherwise he doesn't want it either. But I know he is getting anxious. How can I let go of the guilt that I have had for half my life? How can I enjoy sex again? What is wrong with me? I've discussed the spirituality aspects with several ministers and none of them think God is punishing me or that I have done anything wrong. I am also currently in counseling and we have talked at length about this sex issue and she is stumped too. I am ready to let go of this and move on but I just can't. Where should I go from here? Or should I just realize that there is no more sex in this life for me?

One Bloody Mess: Myths & Realities of Bleeding with First Intercourse

go_warriors_cc asks:

How long after a girl's first time should they bleed for and how heavy should they bleed?

My Stake in Abortion Access

I've wondered, with a lot of women's sexual issues, why I'm so passionate it? I am not on the pill, and somehow, I don't think we'll ever be at a point that condoms will be banned, and in the event that any store pulled a CVS, I like to think I'd have the ovaries to look the cashier dead in the face and say, "I would like a size x box of brand y condoms, please. Thanks." This is passing over the fact that most health clinics are well stocked with condoms. Banning condoms is just not happening. It's marginally more likely that women will be barred from buying them, and that too, is highly unlikely. And then even if that did happen, I'd probably don baggy clothes and wear a hat and forego the make-up and beautiful perfume and tell them my name is Virilus Andro Maximus and buy those things. Then I'd offer to do just that for other women for a price, and make some money on the side.

Every three years, I buy a dose of emergency contraception, which, knock on wood, won't actually be useful

Read more...

Pornography, Strip Clubs & Other Feminist Relationship Quandaries

sylviaplath asks:

I could really use some help on this issue. I am a feminist, and pride myself on being open-minded and trying to keep my insecurities in check. I have been with my boyfriend for years, and we have lived together for 2. Within the past few months I have been looking at his computer and seeing that he watches pornography. While I do try to understand why, I cannot help but feel hurt. It brings up issues I have with my own body and makes me feel bad and inadequate. While I am trying to come to grips with this, I have found out that his friend is getting married and they are going on a trip. I know they will be going to strip clubs, and this is making me crazy. He is not the type of guy who would cheat on me or that would probably really enjoy this, but then again I didn't think he was the type to watch porn. I feel like I have become more paranoid knowing about this porn-viewing and now I am not able to see clearly this situation. My main question is, if he gets a lap dance, this is considered cheating, right? It seems like this male tradition that for some reason is okay, and it's just this free pass. Should I talk to him about it? Do I have a right to be upset? I feel so anxious and like I'm losing my grip with him and with my own feminism. Please help me.

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Mary C.

If you're a regular reader of the Scarleteen blog, then you're probably already familiar with her fierce, fantastic, and, yes, frisky blog entries: Mary C. a.k.a. Mary Lingwall may be a relatively new arrival at Scarleteen, but she's already made quite a splash with some strong stories. Not afraid to push the envelope, Mary's posts are a mixture of fresh personal narrative, social commentary, and academic comparative that is tasty and easy to swallow-- just what the empowered sex-positive educator ordered!

In her first piece, "From Closeted to Comfortable", we accompany her on her journey from the closet as a reluctant masturbator to her dorm bathroom where she unabashedly washes her dildos while holding court with friends. However, that post is not just fun to read but even manages to connect the assiduous with the intense. Mary asserts that she can, indeed, feel comfortable with her whole self, sexual or not. She credits resources like Scarleteen for "reminding me that my sex

Read more...

Welcome to the 6th Feminist Carnival!

We're pleased to host the 6th edition (oops, make that the 8th!) of the newly reborn Feminist Carnival! In the spirit of rebirth, and in alignment with the readers and mission of Scarleteen, this round puts it's focus on young feminist bloggers and feminist issues particularly pertinent to younger women.

The F-Word & The Myth of the Invisible Young Feminist

Read more...

It's Smart to Chart

What's charting? It's a person taking and keeping notes about their menstrual and fertility cycles. Those notes may be as little information as what days you get your period, may have more information, like what kind of flow you had and what discharges you experienced that month, or have just about anything and everything you can think of that does or may have something to do with your fertility cycle: your basal temperatures (a vaginal temp you take daily with a thermometer made for that purpose), your libido, your sleep patterns, the whole works. What information you include depends on what you want to observe, and what your needs in charting are.

When you hear about people charting their periods or overall fertility cycles, it's usually either about trying to conceive or using natural family planning (NFP or FAM) as a primary method of birth control. Many of you are not trying to conceive, and for younger people, NFP isn't a sound sole or primary method for you either because your

Read more...

Sisters Are (or should be) Doin' It for Themselves.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. (Well, short for me anyway.)

Why are so many of you kickass, take-charge gals leaving the buying, having and using of condoms only up to the men? I gotta tell you, it confounds my mind.

Read more...

Feminism and Facials

In the past few weeks, the topic of facials (the act of one partner ejaculating in another partner's face, most commonly seen by mainstream audiences in the context of heterosexual pornography wherein the female is ejaculated on as a form of submission and/or humiliation) has popped up in posts around the feminist and sex positive blogosopheres.

Discussing the sexual ethics of giving and receiving facials is nothing new. However, when Jessica Wakeman of TheFrisky.com mentioned facials in her article "10 Things Women Forget to Do During Sex", not only did her commenters roar in defiance of her pro-facial opinions, but noteworthy feminists took note as well, and the facial debate ignited in full.

The overwhelming consensus from Wakeman's commenters was that facials are offensive and that letting a man (Wakeman's column at TheFrisky.com is pretty heteronormative and her column was aimed at a facial situation in which a man would ejaculate on a woman's face) ejaculate on

Read more...

Please notify us of any inappropriate ads