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Posts Tagged ‘sex’

When I was a teenager, I used to be friends with this guy. We were reasonably close and I felt pretty safe with him. Oftentimes we’d hang out at his place alone together. We’d stretch out together on the couch in his rec room and talk about our days while he absent-mindedly twirled my long hair around one of his fingers.

One night, we were hanging out when we got into a bit of an argument about something. I don’t even remember what it was, but it made him really angry. In fact, he got so worked up that I didn’t feel particularly comfortable being in his presence, so I decided that it was time to go home. When I turned to leave, he reached over and grabbed a chunk of my hair, pulled me backwards by it, pushed me down on the ground and climbed on top of me. He started saying something to me, but I didn’t hear his words over the loud “GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT” echoing around in my brain. With some effort, I managed to push him off, bolted straight for the door and ran all the way home.

The next day when I was home by myself (my parents had gone to work), he called me. I had a feeling it was him, so I screened the call through the answering machine. At first, he started to apologize, but then he began defending himself saying he “was just kidding around” and “what was (my) problem if (I couldn’t) take a joke?” All I could think was that the force with which he had grabbed me by the hair and the expression on his face as he pushed the weight of his body down on mine had been anything but funny. I deleted the message and I never spoke to him again.

I also never told anyone. I was so young and I felt too embarassed and ashamed about what had happened so I kept it to myself and focused on other things. I changed my hair, I threw myself into school and my job and stayed away from boys. After a few months of this, one of my girl friends teased me about being anti-social. She said I needed to get out and date, so I agreed to be fixed up. The guy was fine. He brought me flowers and took me to dinner. Then, midway through the date, he reached behind me to slip his arm over my shoulder and I jerked violently away from him. We did not go out again.

When I got home from the date that night, I sat on the cold tiled floor of my bathroom and wondered if I would ever feel normal again. Truth be told, it did take a while, but over time, I came to trust people again . . . and one of those people later became my husband.

It’s weird to say I was “lucky”. The experience certainly didn’t make me feel “lucky” at the time, but I did manage to get away from the person who wished to do me harm before anything more serious happened which, unfortunately, is “luckier” than the experiences of other women who feel the full wrath of their attackers when they are violently sexually assaulted.

A little while ago, a Toronto Police Officer spoke at York University about sexual assault. Unfortunately, York has a bit of a reputation as being an unsafe place to be at night. There are certain areas of the campus that are consider “rape traps.” In fact, back in 2009, a student was even sexually assaulted in the school’s library. While speaking to students on January 24th at a campus safety information session, the officer told students that women could avoid being raped so long as they didn’t dress like sluts.

This comment was insulting, not only because of its sex-shaming “blame the victim” nature, but because it also implies that nonconsensual sex is sometimes justifiable or permissable. It is insulting to women and it is insulting to men because it also somewhat tacitly implies that men are sexual predators who can barely keep their libidos in check.

In response to this incident, a friend of ours, along with a group of other strong, like-minded women, decided to take action and created Slutwalk. The idea behind the event was to not only reappropriate the word “Slut” by making it something empowering instead of shameful, but to also re-enforce the idea that crimes of a sexual nature need to be taken seriously and not brushed under the rug with hateful words and attitudes. No one is asking to be assaulted, period. I know that when I had my brush with sexual violence, I certainly wasn’t inviting it, not with my words, my actions or my wardrobe (a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and Converse sneakers, if you were wondering).

So yesterday, we hit the streets – Boy with a headset as one of the Slutwalk marshals, and me with my camera to document the event. It was an impressive sight as about 3,000 people walked from Queens Park to Police Headquarters where they listened to not only people who spoke firsthand about sexual assault but those who educated others about it. And education is a big part of what needs to happen. The Toronto Police need to re-educate those on the force* and the public needs to be educated about not only sexual health, but about the issue of consent in a sexual situation.

The event was filled with many people. Sexual assault survivors were represented, as were their many allies. Women, men, children and even dogs banded together and the atmosphere was great. It was one of trust and healing and support and it felt good to be surrounded by so many people who believed in the message.

Here are some of the pictures I took .

Early volunteers meeting.

Red volunteer arm band.

Our friends Jack & Sally. Jack was a walk marshal like Boy.

Proud to be sexually free.

One of the many survivors of sexual assault speaking to a member of the press.

The group at large as it formed.

Arriving when there were maybe 20 people and seeing that number swell was really great.

Sex positive dog!

Sex positive sex workers.

Our friend, Sonya Barnett, who helped organize the event. The orange sign she is carrying was made by her 8 year old son.

A smattering of protest signs.

The crowd on the move.

Some of the awesome little kids in attendance.

Gay or straight, people really seemed to rally behind the cause.

Heading over onto College Street.

Somebody really doesn't like our new mayor.

Boy working the crowd.

Don't make me a target.

One of the volunteers leading a chant: "However I dress, wherever I go, yes means yes and no means no."

How much do I love this three-legged dog? He was so charming.

I was also really impressed by the number of young guys who came out. They really got behind what could have been written off as a women's cause.

This is one of my favourite shots of the day. Dudes can be sluts too!

Huge group at College Park.

A shot from the other direction. At this point, I had climbed up and was bracing myself against a tree to get shots.

People as far as the eye can see.

Deb Singh from the Rape Crisis Centre. She said only about 6 per cent of sexual crime gets reported.

Michael Kaufman from The White Ribbon Campaign. He talked about how men look to other men to learn how to act and how sexual conduct should be discussed more openly.

Alyssa T., a student from York University. Apparently, their student safety manual includes nothing about rape or assault.

Heather Jarvis, one of Slutwalk's organizers and a survivor of sexual assault.

Another good poster.

A bunch of girls from the Toronto Roller Derby came out to the event. Never got a good shot of them in motion but they were cool.

My friend Terrence (another marshal!) talking to one of the cops working the event.

My friend River, standing strong and supporting the cause.

There are satellite rallies popping up all over the globe, so if you support the cause, keep an eye out for events in your city. And if you live in Toronto and missed the walk but want to contribute somehow, Slutwalk’s website is still open for donations. The initial proceeds will help cover the costs of yesterday’s event and additional funds will be donated to the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre.

*To be totally fair, there are many on the force who are helpful and were respectful of the message that was being put out at yesterday’s rally. In fact, one officer even stopped my friend Jack and shook his hand for the good work he was doing for the event.

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Okay, look, I don’t do this very often, but I’m about to get on my feminist soapbox for a minute here for a rant so brace yourselves because I’m a wee bit pissed.

This morning, someone sent me a clip from a movie called Pamela’s Prayer. The movie was made by Christian filmmakers and revolves around the idea that you shouldn’t kiss anyone until your wedding day.

Now for full disclosure, I am not a Christian. My mother was an Irish Catholic, I think my dad was raised Anglican and I was baptized United, but aside from a brief religious interlude I had at 14 where I belonged to my school’s Christian fellowship group and attended church*, I have not lived my life as a religious person. Basically, I just grew up with my parents telling me to be an honest and nice person and I stuck with that.

Having had some exposure to them, I generally do not have issues with Christian based teachings. Most of the Christians I know are awesome, loving people and I like having them in my life and learning from them. However, what I do have an issue with is when those teachings are turned into something based on the idea of shaming other people. We may not all agree about the way we want to live our lives, but singling other people out because they do not adhere to a specific lifestyle is wrong to me.

I especially hate it when this kind of stuff is focused on women. Young girls have a shitty enough time growing up and dealing with their sexuality as it is, so making them feel like dirty whores because they kiss a dude or two (or – gasp – decide to have sex before marriage) isn’t helping things. They don’t need the guilt or the shame or the judgment of God pressed on top of an already confusing situation. Young adult sexuality is not black and white. It’s not a question of right or wrong and it shouldn’t be presented as one. In real life, women are not the sexual gatekeepers of all relationships and failure to “guard the gate” as it were shouldn’t be made out to be a blameworthy situation.

Before we got married, I lived with Boy for two years, so I obviously did not adhere to this no kissing thing myself and, well, he was not the first person I slept with. As a young girl, I truly believed that I would wait until marriage but over time, my feelings changed significantly because I changed significantly. My first time wasn’t ideal, and it certainly didn’t match the candlelit, rose petal strewn, Mazzy Star accompanied experience I had in my head, but I don’t think it was wrong or feel ashamed of it. It was an experience I felt ready to have, so I had it.

In spite of my experience, I wouldn’t begin to judge anyone who felt or feels it is important to wait because that is a matter of personal choice. I know a number of people who waited because it was what they wanted to do and have gone on to have happy, healthy married sex lives because that was the right way for them to go about it.

But after watching these clips, I can say pretty definitively that this kind of movie is not the right way to go about espousing the no kissing philosophy. It’s mean and misogynistic and just downright creepy. And I don’t just mean the hairstyles (which border on mulletlike – hello Colorado 1998!), I’m talking about the main character’s dickbag of a dad. Your poor daughter probably gets enough $h!t at school dude, the last thing she needs is you being overinvested in her sex life and giving her grief about how “none of this would have happened if you’d listened to your father.” If I were her, I would go to a lawyer and get legally emancipated pronto!

I’m posting a montage below so have a watch and see what you think. If you have/had kids who were hitting serious dating age, would you encourage them to wait? Would you be honest about your own sexual past? What would you tell them about this kind of stuff?

*Incidentally, I left my school’s Christian fellowship group when I came to the conclusion that I was interested in having premartial sex and didn’t want to be a silver ring wearing hypocrite. I was lucky enough to have a mom who supported me and brought me to the doctor to pick up “precautionary measures.” I didn’t end up using them for some time (most of my friends lost their virginity before I did), but I appreciated that I was prepared and that I had parents who trusted me to make a good decision. I hope to do the same for my kids someday.

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madonnalav

As much as I have grown to enjoy video games over the past few years, I have to say that one of the the things I find most interesting is the development and ideas behind the games.

Of course a lot of this has to do with the fact that I live with a video game designer, so I see the levels that a game has to go through to reach it’s release, but it’s funny to see how abstract ideas are turned into a working thing.

Which is why I was highly entertained to hear that at this year’s GDC in San Francisco, there is going to be a 60 minute Game Design Challenge entitled “My First Time” in which three competitors have to pitch a game using the themes of sex and autobiography.

What will come out of this exercise is of course anyone’s guess (it is definitely something one can imagine going horribly, horribly wrong) but if it somehow involves pressing X to roll over on your partner’s hair or if it encorporates the X-Box controller’s rumble effect, I think I will have to laugh my ass off.

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The other day, as I was tooling around (hehehe) on the internet, a site I read regularly mentioned this ridiculous thing and I couldn’t believe it was true, so I looked it up and, low and behold, humanity just got a little weirder with the creation of this new piece of technology . . .

(This is another saucy post, so again, the details are under the cut . . .)

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swingtown

I was just looking at my stats and such since it is dead here today and I am highly entertained since, according to my feedback, my minorly risque post about Pharmaplus managed to link me to a webpage about swingers. I guess the word sex is seriously loaded out there in cyberland.

Anyway, you get out there and experiment little blog! Just remember to keep it safe! No firewall, no love!

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NUP_111026_0515

Last night, before the power went off and Boy and I were left in the dark for almost 9 hours, we watched the first new 2009 episode of The Office.

When we last left the intrepid gang at Dunder Mifflin, Dwight and Angela were having sex again and everyone knew. Well, everyone except her dorky fiance Andy.

Now, I’ve never particularly loved Andy and have often thought of him as kind of a presumptuous self-absorbed rage-a-holic, but this storyline kind of changed that for me a bit. Because no matter how clueless someone is, being cheated on sucks. And it sucks even harder when everyone else knows.

The episode really made me think about the relationships and their different angles. Was it fair for Dwight to shoulder that much of Andy’s rage when both he and Angela did the cheating? Did Dwight really have the right to initiate a brawl with Andy when he was knowingly in the cheating party? Or was Dwight also wronged because Angela was also double crossing him by sleeping with Andy? Plus, what about the people in the office who knew? In keeping a secret like that, were they enabling the affair?

Because there were many things going on here, it was hard to definitively say who was wronged and who wasn’t, but it certainly was good food for thought.

If you watch the show, who do you think was in the wrong? Did certain people have more responsibility than others? If this were going on at your workplace with someone you knew* what would you do? Why?

*Sadly, I have worked in a place where this kind of thing did apparently happen and it was really messy and sad. 😦

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This is slightly more risque than what I normally write, so just in case anyone is surfing at work, I’m posting under the cut.

Ooh La La!

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