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Societal and Familial Disapproval of an Age-Disparate Relationship

ccangl asks:

I'm 21 years old and my boyfriend is 52. The age difference does not matter to me or to him but it bothers me that our families do not approve of the relationship. We love each other and even want to get married. Our sex life is great, we are on the same level spiritually and have lot in common. I just need some advice dealing with peoples' reactions to our relationship (family, friends and even strangers!). As far as family goes, his family does not tolerate me, they think I have some kind of conspiracy to hurt him. They think I'm going to use him and break his heart, they cannot believe that I truly love him. My family (especially my mom) is more understanding, he spends time at my house, etc. My biggest concern is that we will not be able to be happy (if we get married) because people disapprove of our relationship. I'm used to people looking at us and wondering if we're a couple or not but it bothers me when they try to make us feel bad by giving us the "look." How can we tell people to get off our backs about our relationship without being rude? Thanks for your help.

I, Being Born Woman and Suppressed

Menstrual suppression is becoming increasingly popular, and has been widely promoted for women. For some, especially women with reproductive health issues which are helped by suppressing periods, it's an obvious boon, and some using it electively also report it to be a blessing. But what about the health risks? What about the attitudes informing that choice which cheerlead suppression by maligning menstruation? What about the benefits, emotional and physical, our periods can offer us? An opinionated, no-holds-barred look at the whole works and a paean to the period, no matter what a woman chooses to do with it.

The ABCs of Size Bias

Body image ideals, like race and gender, are social constructs that have grown out of a combination of history, politics, class, and moral values. One need look back only a few generations, or across cultures, to see that attitudes about thinness and fatness are fluid and ever changing.

Am I less of a man for waiting?

Miguel asks:

Hey there. I'm a 20-year-old male and I've been in a long term relationship with my girlfriend for about 3 years and 6 months and well ... we still haven't had sex. As weird as it seem it had never been a problem for me. We are both virgins and well, I just love her enough to wait. We've been together since I was 17 and back then well, sex wasn't that big of an issue.

But now that I'm 20, with college and going out and stuff, it's really starting to hurt my masculinity. I feel stupid really because I feel like by know it shouldn't be a big deal and it bothers me that it only gets to me when we are around other people, or when I'm watching sex advice shows on TV, or even just regular shows were sex life is a big deal.

I just would like to know two things:

  1. How can I deal with this thing? I mean is there like .. . some mental yoga or whatever method I can use to just go back to not caring that much about not having a sexual active life (which I've wanted since I'm like 15)
  2. How can I explain what I feel to my girlfriend? She doesn't really understand what I go through.

I'll be waiting for your answer. THANKS!

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