Decoding Sex in the Media: Why the Media Should Leave Kate Middleton's Baby Bump (And Everyone Else's) Alone

The implicit message behind OK!’s headline is clear: a new mother’s first concern should be her appearance.

This woman’s body just produced a tiny, squirming human being—we should celebrate it for this incredible feat! Instead, the media chooses to focus on presumed “flaws" of a person's body post-pregnancy, encouraging Kate—and women like her—to return (and immediately: do not pass go, do not collect $200) to the body she inhabited before she gave birth.

These types of headlines illustrate a disheartening phenomenon: the pervasive belief that a woman’s physical attractiveness (a trait dictated by an increasingly narrow beauty ideal) determines her value.

How Do I Let Go of Feeling Sexually Unattractive?

I had sex for the first time shortly after turning 20 (about a year ago), but I wish I had done it sooner. I know I had been ready and willing at age 16 or so -- the problem was just that no one was interested in me that way, but in the other girls around me. It still hurts, in a bizarre and surprising way....

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

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....

I take birth control because it is my f*@&I#g right to take it.

I am so fucking fed up.

The latest is from Arizona: now, if an employee uses the company’s health insurance to purchase contraceptive pills, they must prove to their employer that they are using them for “non sex” purposes. If they don’t, they could be fired.

How is this supposed to go?

“Oh, yeah here is my ultrasound from my ovarian cyst. See it over there? Yeah, its a big one.”

I had casual sex, and my friends reacted pretty badly. Now what?

I'm a 20 year old girl, who's...well, I'm not going to say perfectly confident, because I do have some fairly major esteem issues, but I know my own mind, I'm independent & I'm not one to go with the crowd just because it's the "done" thing. Three years ago a guy I was making out with on a regular basis, assaulted me sexually....