Skip to main content

gender

How to Understand, Identify and Make Choices About Desire

What does desire feel like, and how does feeling desire -- or not feeling it -- have an impact on sex or masturbation? Is it okay to feel strong desire, low levels of desire, or even no desire? We aim to answer your most pressing questions on sexual or erotic desire.

“What’s Your Preferred Gender Pronoun?”

Here’s something that happened to me last month: I got asked my preferred gender pronoun.

For those who aren’t familiar, this is a thing that tends to happen a lot at queer-positive conferences and gatherings these days. When you go around the room at the beginning of a session, you’ll say your name, something about yourself, maybe answer an ice-breaker question, and state your preferred gender pronoun.

It can be he/him, she/her, they/their, or one of the newer invented substitutes like ze or hir. Or, you can say you’d prefer to be referred to by your name.

I first encountered this tradition in 2011, I think. Maybe 2010. Most likely it was at a United States Student Association conference. The not-so-radical-anymore idea behind it is that respecting people’s gender identity is important, and volunteering your identity can be awkward, and misgendering someone is hurtful. So rather than guessing, or asking individual people to speak up if their preferences are non-standard or non-obvio

Read more...

Like a Virgin: What Having Sex and First Time(s) Have Meant to Me

Figuring out who you are as a sexual being, and what your sexual experiences mean to you, in a world full of double standards and outdated definitions can be quite confusing. Here's my story of "losing my virginity" and finding my identity when it comes to sex.

Trans Boyfriend, Uncomfortable Girlfriend

Sarah H asks:

My boyfriend is transexual and often likes to express it. I'm completely fine with this kind of lifestyle but I find myself becoming nervous/distant when he brings it up too much. How should I become more comfortable with it?

He says what I wear is slutty: what should I do?

c10el asks:

My boyfriend sometimes tells me what I wear is "slutty." I've tried to explain to him that I find this possessive, sexist and objectifying but he can't understand why. When I give up on that argument and try to just tell him that the only thing that should matter to him is that I feel good wearing it, he responds that he doesn't understand why I need to dress "slutty" to feel good. How can I articulate my feelings to him in a clearer way? Should I just compromise and not wear the offending articles (it really is only one or two things in my closet).

How should I have sex with him if I hate his body parts?

rainbowboy asks:

So I am 17, and I am a gay boy. I was talking to this guy for a while over the internet, we met, and we both really hit it off. Well one thing that I didn't really notice is how feminine his body was. Well we were texting, and he told me that he was a FTM (female to male) transgender individual. The issue I am having is that I really like this guy, but I don't like females. And while he has a female anatomy, he still acts completely male. So I was wondering what a smart way to experiment, to see if it would work, would be, while at the same time not hurting him. Please let me know... I really like this guy, but hate his body parts.

A little more background: I am a pretty sexual person, so it makes a kind of a big deal to me. I can watch straight porn and enjoy it. I can imagine having sex with a vagina. I never have experimented with a girl. I have always been with boys, and have always acted as the "bottom."

I'm scared to touch my own vagina: why?

birthdaycake123 asks:

Hey. I'm 14 and I've never fingered myself. I've done other things, but the thought of fingering myself just seems gross. A couple times, I've tried to, but then I get to thinking about how gross vaginas are, and I chicken out. I know this is irrational, but do you have any advice on getting over this? Thanks.

The Cutting Room Floor: Ms. Magazine/Future of Feminism

As we've done in the past -- like here and here -- today we've got a the whole of a short interview that was excerpted in small part for a piece over at Ms. Magazine yesterday, Future of Feminism: Sex Education As a Human Right.

Given some of the content and certainly some of the comments on another (just a note: a lot of the comments there are really rough, and there is intense transmisogyny afoot) of those pieces, one that I saw right after I'd sent this interview back to the author, I feel like the second half of this interview is particularly important, and I was sorry to see it didn't make the cut.

Q: How would you define feminist sex education?

A: I consider that a work in progress, ever-evolving, but you can see how I do that currently here:

Feminist sex education:
• Emphasizes -- for all sexes and genders, not just one or two -- autonomy, personal responsibility, full and active consent, sexuality in the holistic context of a whole, well-rounded life and healthy, equitable r

Read more...

Does sex have to involve penetration? The idea of it makes me totally sick.

whydoihavetohaveanaccount asks:

Okay so I'm pretty sure I'm lesbian and the reason for this is that when I read something naughty straight stuff makes me sick. When I read lesbian erotica I like it... until they start penetrating each other, but everything else excites me and I know I want to have sex. If you are having sex with a girl does there have to be penetration? Is it unusual to not want it? I mean just the thought of it makes me sick.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.