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Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent

Most of us understand being in transit means there's a possibility of getting hurt, hurting others, having a good time turn into a bad one or just not getting to where we intended, and to try and prevent those outcomes, we need to follow basic rules of the road like being attentive to and actively giving clear signs and signals. Just like it's important on the road, it's important between the sheets.

If Guys are Coerced by Girls, Is It Still Sexual Abuse?

arielleknowles asks:

A friend of mine was in a relationship about 2 years ago. He's a guy. His girlfriend at the time pressured him into doing oral sex by saying that if he didn't do it that meant he didn't love her. Would that be sexual abuse? Because if a guy pressured a girl into giving him a blow job that would be considered sexual abuse and I'm just double-checking to see if that goes both ways.

Please Stop Calling Rape Sex

That's it, just what seems -- to me, anyway -- to be a relatively simple request I'm putting out to the universe today, because it's something that comes up almost constantly in work and discussions around sexuality, something where I've grown impatient waiting for change.

I'm asking what I'm asking as an advocate for survivors, as a survivor myself and as someone deeply invested in sex being something truly beneficial for people, and which we only define as something people willingly, wantedly, choose to do when they do choose it.

Please stop calling rape sex (especially if you are not talking about your own experiences with sexual abuse and assault, where those experiences are things you yourself choose to call sex). Please stop calling rape or other kinds of sexual violence things like "unwanted sex."

Please stop saying someone engaged in sex when you know it was abuse or assault, suspect that it was, or just don't know if everyone involved was consenting. Please stop asking wh

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For 2013: More, Not Less.

I don't celebrate most holidays, but I've always been a fan of New Year's. New Year's Day, actually, more than New Year's Eve. I relish fresh starts and new beginnings.

I even like New Year's resolutions. I know, they're cliche, and that much of the time, when we make them, we don't stick with them or know where that list is come February. But even just the practice of taking stock of where we've been and where we're at, thinking about what we want for ourselves and our lives in a new year; thinking out or writing down ideas or mantras to help support us in living the life we want? I'm a big fan of that kind of self-evaluation, meditation and positive affirmation.

However, so much of the time, the leading words in resolution lists look a whole lot like these:

  • Quit...
  • Stop...
  • Lose...
  • Get rid of...
  • Renounce...
  • Dump...
  • Ditch...
  • No more...
  • Don't be...

Obviously, none of that's exactly the language of shiny beginnings. They're negatives, rather than positives. But even more so, those are

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Does an orgasm by any other name still feel as sweet?

toodlesnoodles asks:

Is cumming and having an orgasm the same thing? I'm a virgin. So I've never had sex. I just masturbate often. When I rub my clit for a while I get this amazing feeling and I can tell I squirt something out. After that, I get tired and stop. I can make myself do this multiple times and I consider that cumming. Is it an orgasm though? Is that how it's going to feel when I have sex?

Rescripting Sex

Life has scripts. Little socially-agreed plays that we enact rather than trying to figure out all our interactions from scratch every time. Many of them are very simple. There's also scripts for sex. Unfortunately, the most common script out there is terrible.

The Rules of Ooohs and Ahhhs (Hint: there aren't any)

Ohhhyess asks:

I think that I am on my way to being ready to have sex with my boyfriend but I am just worried about the whole moaning thing...during masturbation I sometimes moan, but mostly keep it quiet. Are you supposed to moan when having sex? If so, is there a technique to what you are saying or do you just do it?

Words Matter: Cheers to the FBI for Recognizing How Much

(This post contains candid discussion of rape and sexual violence.)

As some of you may know, I experienced two different sexual assaults when I wasn't yet in my teens within just one year of one another. The second time I was assaulted, my experience ticked all of the boxes there currently are in our culture for what is so often -- now, anyway, easily considered a "real" or "bonafide" sexual assault, or what Whoopi Goldberg, to my great disappointment, would call "rape-rape."

I was a girl, and one with body parts universally recognized as "girl parts." My attackers were guys. Even worse when it comes to the rape cliché all too often (misre)presented as universal truth, I was a white girl raped by guys of color. I did not know any of the perpetrators: they were all strangers. It was violent. It was forceful. I said no, I yelled, I tried to run, and I fought, but I lost. I was conscious until I was knocked unconscious. I hadn't been drinking or doing recreational drugs, nor had I ever

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How Can a Lesbian Have Sex With a Dyke? (Or, How Good Consent & Communication is the Answer to Everything for Everyone)

Sun11 asks:

I'm a 19 year old lesbian ("Lipstick") and my girl friend is a "Dyke" and I know she has had previous partners and well so have I but never a Dyke. I'm scared of what may happen when we actually do have sex. What if I do something she's not comfortable with? Matter of fact what do I do if I do? I'm scared that I'll completely blow it and ruin our sexual relationship.

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