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I saw a young woman the other day who was in her late teens.
I had a moment of admiring how strong her legs looked, how able her shoulders; where she had curves and where she didn't, how kind of mixed-up and funky some of her coloring and parts were, a study in contrasts. It was a moment of appreciating what, in my eyes and perspective, her beauty was and how aesthetically beautiful I found her. As someone who's worked in art and photography, who looks at people and their details deeply and richly out of habit, I didn't think anything of it until I realized something about her was really resonating in a big way with me. I was having a hard time looking away.
Then it struck me: the things I was admiring about her and taking in so much of? Those were all ways my own body looked at her same age. It was like looking in a mirror that traveled through time.
But when I was her age, and my body and its parts looked like hers, I didn't appreciate them this way; I didn't find them so interestinRead more...
When I was younger, I was caught "experimenting" with oral sex by my parents. They reprimanded me severely. Ever since then I've had a hard time coming to terms with my sexuality. It took me a long time to get over my feelings of how "sex is bad," but now I'm in a healthy, sexually active relationship. My problem is that, although I want to be intimate with my boyfriend, there's a part of me that still feels the shame of my younger self. It's led to me being uncomfortable with myself, and especially uncomfortable with oral sex (giving, but mostly just receiving). My sex life is fine, but I can tell that my partner doesn't really understand where I'm coming from. I haven't told him any of this, and I'd rather not. What can I do to get over this feeling?
Today is my birthday.
If you've been a reader here for more than a year or two, you might have noticed that some years, I ask for something for my birthday here, and not usually something that's a thing, like a pony, a fire hoop, a scooter with a sidecar for my little dog, or a life-sized Fozzie Bear I could tell bad jokes to while going wokka-wokka (though I'd oh-so-gladly accept all of those things, for the record).
If and when I have a birthday where I blow out candles, the wish I make when I do is usually something around positive social change, and often positive social change in regard to sexuality. In a word, what I usually really, really want for my birthday is for people to have happier, healthier sexual lives, to feel better about sex and whatever their sexualities are, and to be more accepting and supportive of the diverse sexualities of all people.
One of the very biggest problems we have in most of our cultures and communities around sex and sexuality is silence, secrecyRead more...