How Writing About Sex Made Me A Better Person

 

Extremely good article about being a sex blogger/writer.   A lot of these points mirror our own.

 

The summer before my senior year, my friends got jobs in retail or food service, and I got a job writing about sex — my mother was very proud.

I was hired as a staff writer for Sex, Etc., a sex education magazine by teens and for teens, overseen by a board of writing and medical professionals. It’s produced and distributed nationwide by the nonprofit Answer, whose mission is to provide “unfettered access to sexuality education for young people and the adults who teach them.”

It’s definitely a niche job; writing for Sex, Etc. requires a unique skillset and a willingness to talk openly about some very taboo ideas. I learned a lot in my short time here thus far, but it has already revolutionized the ways I understand the world, my community, and myself. I am a better person because of it.

1. It made me more mindful and tolerant.

No matter how open-minded I claimed to be, working at Sex, Etc. made me realize even I am prone to the knee jerk reaction of being judgey. I hadn’t realized how much my own criticisms were affecting my activism and my journalism ― which is supposed to be unbiased.

Especially when it came controversial subjects like sex, my LGBT-inclusiveness and anti-slut shaming rhetoric masked some deeply ingrained prejudices. I made sweeping generalizations about people who may think or behave differently than me.

But at Sex Etc., that type of unproductive mindset was called out and challenged. As one my editors said the first day on the job: “Don’t ‘yuck’ someone else’s ‘yum.’”

In other words, if it’s legal, consensual, and not hurting anyone, don’t worry about what happens behind closed doors.

2. It taught me to respect people’s boundaries.

Prior to working at Sex, Etc., it never occurred to me how often I really should be affirming consent with the people around me.

The answer: Always.

Writing for Sex, Etc. isn’t all about the nitty gritty. Likewise, sex isn’t the only boundary you should be wary of crossing. Even a well-meaning hug requires some form of consent.

It isn’t limited to physical interactions either. You should get explicit consent before posting someone’s photo online, giving out their personal information (such as social media or phone number), or engaging someone in a conversation about potentially sensitive subject matter.

3. It made me more confident.

As a journalist, it’s important I state the truth no matter how uncomfortable it is. As a teenage girl, I’ve been conditioned not to cause a fuss, and to shy away from words like “vagina” or “menstruation” in public (sorry again, Mom).

Working at Sex, Etc. helped me realize my body isn’t uniquely gross and weird. Rather, we are all equally gross and weird, and it’s important to accept our natural selves as we are.

4. For the first time in my life, I received quality sex education.

My freshman year of high school, my teacher showed the class a slide show of late stage gonorrhea. Then, during my senior year, I got to carry around a flour sack baby to learn about the “miracles of life.”

But beyond that, my sex education came from Google. Despite my best efforts to use reliable sources, I learned at Sex, Etc. how complicated sex education can really be. Even sources that seemed reliable ended up giving me misleading information about my sexual health.

Not to mention, public school sex ed all but ignored LGBT topics. So, being on staff provided me with comprehensive education about sexual orientation and gender, as well as contraceptives, STDs and consent, in ways I probably wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

5. I learned how much I have to learn.

I see myself as someone who is well-read. I spent a lot of my early teen years reading about gender studies, sexuality, rape culture and reproductive rights, among other things.

So, it was a real culture shock when I started writing about this stuff and realized how in the dark I really was.

Even with the world at my fingertips I wasn’t able to adequately educate myself on my own. I couldn’t have. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know, and that’s terrifying in its own right. But even scarier is the fact that most of my peers will never learn these things, especially in states where sex education is abstinence only, if it even exists at all.

Sending young people out into the world without comprehensive sexuality education is setting them up for failure. All people have a right to know about their own bodies. But between the active suppression of sex education, the defunding of sexual health resources, and the blatant disregard of fact in favor of political censorship, that can seem like an almost impossible feat.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to write for Sex, Etc. I am a better, more educated person because of it. Now, I hope to use that experience to shape a society in which all people of all ages are empowered to make healthy sexual choices for themselves.

Source: RSS Feed Huffingtonpost

8 Things People Who’ve Been In Open Marriages Wish You Understood

Open marriages and other types of “monogam-ish” relationships are still considered taboo by many. But for couples with a strong foundation built on love, trust and communication and a mutual desire to open the marriage, it can be a positive experience. 

Below, men and women who have been part of an open marriage clear up some of the widely held assumptions that are just plain wrong. 

MYTH: They don’t take their marriage seriously. 

“[People think] that we are not committed, that we are cavalier about our relationship or marriage. This could not be further from the truth! I am 100 percent committed and loyal to my husband. That is why I do consensual non-monogamy ― in the long term I see that it enhances our connection.” ― Gracie X, author of Wide Open

We both take our relationship and marriage very serious.  We have been married for nearly 20 years and we our intimate twice a day and haven’t had any outside experiences in nearly 2 years.  Just because you can, doesn’t mean you will.  And just because you do, doesn’t mean you don’t.

MYTH: The relationship must be on the rocks. 

“There’s a misconception that it must mean there’s something wrong with your relationship or that you no longer love each other. All it really means is that you’re both very horny and want some variety. It can get monotonous eating your same favorite meal night after night, year after year. This way, you relearn to appreciate that meal even more.”  ― Richie Cohen of the married comedy duo Dick and Duane

Our entire blog is proof that this entire idea is a myth.

MYTH: The conversation about opening the marriage is always initiated by the husband. 

“Women have sex drives just like men. And jealousy is not a female prerogative. Open relationships have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with relationship style. Both men and women can desire non-monogamy, and that desire can change throughout one’s life. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself a serial monogamist one day and an open relationship proponent the next.” ― Jenny Block, excerpted from “The 9 Biggest Myths About Open Marriage” 

The conversation about an open marriage began with us talking about our sexuality.  I am bisexual and felt like exploring those feelings while with my husband.  Although we have memoirs about our entire experiences with other women, I feel it was mutual communication that got us into an open marriage where we share the same women.

MYTH: They’re not considerate of their partner’s feelings. 

“Being open or polyamorous requires being incredibly considerate and conscientious with regards to the feelings and well-being of everyone around you. In my experience, the most adept and successful polyamorous people are ones who live by the calendar and hash out dates relatively far in advance and with the prior knowledge and enthusiastic consent of their primary partners.” ― writer Grant Stoddard 

This is just silly.  

MYTH: Only selfish and immature people take part in open relationships.

“I think a huge misconception is that if you’re doing non-monogamy, you must be emotionally immature and not really in love. Non-monogamous couples who are mutually interested in this relationship model ― starting from a strong foundation and committed to one another as their primary relationship ― truly do enjoy the best of both worlds that many monogamous people secretly fantasize about: the security and love of marriage and the adventure and eroticism of variety. There are more couples making this work than most people believe. I failed at it, but there are many people succeeding.” ― Robin Rinaldi, editor of the online magazine Together 

A lot of couples that openly enjoy the experience of playing with other woman together, no strings attached, and openly use the 3rd person as a living sex doll. As long as all 3 people are totally okay with this idea, there is nothing selfish about it.  I suppose the couple is being selfish towards the 3rd person’s feelings, but usually the 3rd person is in the situation because they want to be used by a couple.  

MYTH: They’re just a bunch of wild sex addicts. 

“Not everyone in an open marriage is some kind of sex-addicted freak show. Between household duties, raising children and having a meaningful relationship with my husband, I do not have a lot of time to dedicate to having sex with other people, even if I wanted to. I do not have sex with every man I meet. I do not want to steal your husband. I do not even want to have sex with your husband. I do not have sex at the grocery store or soccer practice or bring strange men into our home.” ― Gwen & Lark for YourTango, excerpted from I’m In An Open Marriage And You Would Never Know It” 

We personally haven’t actively pursued any partner in 2 years, but our intimate with each other twice a day.  This is called our circle and we have been practicing the circle for about 4 or 5 years.  We do leave the door open for partners, but we are intimate so much, a 3rd person is simply a tool we use to get our own rocks off together.  

MYTH: All people in open marriages are cut from the same cloth.

“The biggest misconception is that non-monogamous people are of a certain stripe and conduct their relationships in a certain way. As Lux Alptraum wrote in an article published just recently, ‘It’s important to recognize that ‘non-monogamy’ isn’t one specific, discrete thing. In the same way that ‘non-Christians’ practice a wide and varied array of religions, people who eschew monogamy do so in a number of different ways.” ― writer Grant Stoddard 

Silly.  All fingerprints are the same too.

MYTH: Once you open a relationship, it stays open.

“You can be open for any part of a relationship. It may be something you want after you have been with someone for a long time. Or you may find that after being open for a long time you find yourself craving monogamy again. Just be warned that the transition from closed to open and open to closed is not always easy, and both partners have to be on board at the same time, which can be tricky. Again, talking all along the way is the only way to make this work. (In case you have not noticed, being in a successful open relationship requires a lot of talking.)” ― Jenny Block, excerpted from “The 9 Biggest Myths About Open Marriage” 

Since we have not had a 3rd woman in our room in almost 2 years, I’d say this is totally a myth.  I don’t see why we would close the door to a better lifestyle, but I suppose we could if we communicated and both thought it was best for our marriage.  We no longer believe in the idea of monogamy and feel it’s how a lot of marriages fail.

Source: RSS Feed Huffingtonpost

Keeping It Real – Trash Articles “7 Differences Between A Healthy Relationship And A Toxic One”

 

Over the years we have used RSS Feeds and other methods to read random articles regarding Love, Sex, and Relationships.  Most of the time we will add our opinions to them, usually agreeing for the most part.  After reading the following article, we have decided to add a new idea called “Trash Articles”.   Although this is our opinion, a lot of times the internet and blogs are used to create lists simply for click bait purposes and keywords.  That’s it.  Some of these articles are trash and deserve to be called out.  

 

You feel like a better version of yourself when you’re in a healthy, mature relationship. That doesn’t mean your partner completes you, but they do complement your life in just the right way. 

What are some other signs that you’re in the right relationship? Below, marriage experts share seven key differences between a healthy relationship and a toxic one

1. You’re free to pursue your hobbies and maintain friendships. 

Nothing about your core identity should change drastically because of your new relationship status. A mature partner will recognize that pursuing outside interests is necessary and a healthy way to get some air from the relationship, said Kari Carroll, a couples therapist in Portland, Oregon.

“When a partner is too attached to allow you to enjoy something on your own, it can lead to sacrificing one’s own identity to appease the relationship,” she said. “If your partner has fears about you doing things on your own, it could turn into the self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, you may ultimately seek even more space and leave.”

In school books, I’m sure this seems like pretty intelligent stuffs.  I mean, you should be able to find your soul mate and still do everything you did without them. Nothing wrong with keeping the same friends either, ex boyfriends, best friends that you had one drunken night with, flings that became friends, or just your toxic single friends that enjoy lady nights (or night out with the fellas) and hanging out.  Why wouldn’t you?  I mean, who doesn’t want to keep celebrating ladies night right?  This isn’t toxic at all.  

/sarcasm

When you find a life partner it should be your goal to become one person with him/her. Although having your own hobbies isn’t a bad thing, there isn’t anything toxic about two people becoming one and sharing everything together. Sharing hobbies, sharing friends, and keeping a strong circle is the most important part of a relationship.  And although the books may suggest otherwise, 20 years of a very good marriage is what matters.  I’d argue keeping your hobbies you had while single, the same friendships while single, once you find a partner you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, is the most toxic thing in a relationship.  Lack of commitment, wanting to maintain your single lifestyle, yet have the advantages of marriage.  Although this can be spun both ways, I am spinning this behavior as selfish.  And selfishness in marriages ends up in divorce court.  Selfishness with your love and attention, ends up on “Relationship Goal” meme posters.

 

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Here’s Why All Teens, LGBTQ And Not, Need To Learn About Anal Sex

Teen Vogue’s recent publication of “A Guide to Anal Sex” has brought out the usual crop of right-wing, anti-LGBTQ religious conservatives who are stirring a backlash against the magazine.

Radio host and Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, one of the most outlandish anti-queer bigots on the airwaves, zeroed in on the issue this week, bringing onto his show Elizabeth Johnston, otherwise known as “The Activist Mommy.”

Johnston is an Ohio-based conservative vlogger and mother of ten children who has gained notoriety and a huge following for her campaigns against LGBTQ people, in particular attacking Target’s gender neutral rest room policy last year. A video she posted to her Facebook page in 2016 was titled, “LGBTQQIAAPP?? Asexual? Non-binary? Gobbledygook! Gender insanity! This is out of hand! 😡 ”

Johnston has predictably led the charge against Teen Vogue, with a video in which she burns copies of the magazine. She told Starnes: 

I was truly flabbergasted. They should not be teaching sodomy to our children…All of us are trying to do our best to protect our children from immorality and over-sexualization in our culture. And to see this disturbing article where sodomy is being normalized, not discouraged ― even the CDC says that sodomy is the riskiest sexual behavior for getting and transmitting HIV for men and women.

And therein lies the reason why it’s so vital to talk to all teenagers, straight and LGBTQ, about anal sex and how to engage in it safely. But just as importantly, they must be taught that it is normal, natural and healthy―yes, healthy―and that it is nothing about which to be ashamed nor to stigmatize others about. Telling young people, as Johnston does, that “sodomy” is “disturbing” and a part of the “immorality” in our culture, and should not be “normalized,” is encouraging bullying, violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people.

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The Psychology and Marketing Behind Magnum Condoms

Magnum Condoms

Just because you see him packing the gold wrapper doesn’t mean he is packing the golden rod.   Magnum Condoms Magnum Condoms 

Marketing.

If by the time this blog comes out and I a missing, just know the illuminati of average sized men that all buy Magnum condoms got me.  

When Magnum condoms were first introduced to the world, I was young and told myself, “So yea, pretty much I will never have the need for those.”  Although I hadn’t had sex, I did buy a condom from a dispenser once and tried it on just to see what it was like.  Truthfully, this was probably the first time I realized I had a normal penis and told myself, “Hey, my penis must be normal because this fits fine.”  I just assumed the gold wrapper was for those chosen few.  And remember, in the 90s, all condoms came in silver or white wrappers. 

Years later, horny and wanting to masturbate differently, I went to the store and figured I would masturbate with a condom on just to see what it felt like to cum in one. As previously stated, I had tried one on, but didn’t have the perverted mindset to think of enjoying it back then. I was still a virgin so it felt kinky to me, almost like it would be a step closer to sex. At the same time, I could see how it felt to cum inside a condom while I was wearing, and how it felt afterwards if I kept stroking using the cum as lube (it felt great).  Nervously I grabbed the Magnum pack and palmed it so no one could see.  As I stood in line, I noticed the lady in front of me blushed a bit.  My heart was racing and I felt like I was announcing to everyone around my actual dick size. As it was my turn to be rung up, the cashier also blushed and had a big smile on her face.  I consider myself a pretty realistic person, not someone who sees false reactions based off how I feel.  I am a people watcher.  And I am telling you, the women that saw the box back in those days had the same exact assumption I had, if you had the Magnum, you were packing a huge dick.

Marketing.

 

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