Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sex Workers Are People Too

The stereotypical idea of sex workers is that of women who are perhaps addicted to drugs, fleeing violence, in desperate need of money and/or of low socioeconomic status. It is undeniable that sex work can be a terrible, violent and exploitative trade in which the sex workers get malignantly manipulated by persons with more power than them.  Sex workers who are assaulted physically and sexually have very few rights in terms of legal action against their assaulters and the working conditions for many people in the sex trade are absolutely horrifying.

But there is an other, less visible face of sex work that is starting to become more vocal and more visible. These are the people who have chosen, of their own volition, to become sex workers.

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The English Language Sucks At Being Gender Neutral

There are many in the queer community who are not content with the two genders that we as a society assign to people. It’s true that for many, both male and female are limiting or just don’t quite nail down how a person feels in terms of their own gender. There are very specific roles associated with these genders and they tend to be mutually exclusive. For the genderqueer among us finding an identity somewhere in between the two (or outside the male/female paradigm all together) feels more comfortable and more authentic.

One of the main issues that queer people and queer allies deal with in terms of gender is pronouns. She, her, hers, he, him, and his are the only pronouns we english speakers have for referring to someone in the singular. I think we can all agree that ‘it’ is not a desirable pronoun for anyone and can feel down right offensive.

The most commonly used gender neutral pronouns these days are ‘they’ and ‘their’ but, as any grammer freak will tell you, using those words in the singular form is just no good. “They is such a thoughtful person,” is clearly poor english and would make my mother cringe like it’s nobody’s business. In old english there were some gender neutral pronouns like “ze, nis and nir,” but I don’t see anyone adopting them any time soon either.

I don’t know what the solution to the problem is. Perhaps some new words need to be created. There are all sorts of stupid words being invented to describe stupid thinks like burkinis (a burka bikini), why not invent a useful word that can be used to empower people who are being actively discriminated against by the very language they speak. Granted, if your not a straight man, the english language is pretty discriminatory towards you, but if you are one of the many who don’t identify as either a man or a woman, the language practically denies your existence.

Language is powerful. It can greatly affect the way you view the world, in fact the two are intimately intertwined. If your language doesn’t acknowledge you and how you view yourself, you lack the ability to be fully self expressed to a certain extent. I mean how can you be self expressed if you don’t have an expression that adequately describes yourself. Change the language, change the world. Now the only problem is coming up with the words.



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The Feronia Project

Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida have an associated sexual health blog called The Feronia Project. Their mission is to be:

A safe place to learn about sexual health, engage in discussion about social and reproductive justice, and find trusted resources for comprehensive, medically-accurate sex education.

This mission fits in pretty well with what we’re trying to do here at The “Oh!” Face. They have recently republished my post about the Skene’s gland (original post here) and will be posting another piece I wrote for them sometime next month. I will be making monthly guest contributions over there throughout 2013 and I am very excited to be doing so.

So if you’re over on that side of the internet be sure to check out The Feronia Project and stay tuned as always to The “Oh!” Face for more on sex, gender and sexuality. I’ll make sure to let you know when my posts are up at Feronia so that you can go check them out and take a peek at the rest of the blog. If you like it here at The “Oh!” Face then The Feronia Project will feel pretty familiar. Feel free to ‘like’ them on facebook, they’d love the support, and thanks everyone for supporting The “Oh!” Face. I don’t know if you can tell but I’m having a lot of fun!

What’s On Our Radar 11/27/12

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, I just got a new job (woohoo!) and all sorts of life is happening so all I got’s for you is a What’s On Our Radar post for now, but stay tuned for our regularly scheduled programming coming up later in the week. but without further ado:

Contrary to popular belief Guys Don’t Just Want Casual Sex – Salon

The wonderfully titled, Sex, Booze and the Meaning of Life in which Big Think makes fun of a recent study about how people prefer getting drunk and having sex than raising their kids – Big Think

New research suggests yet another reason why sex education should be taught in the classroom – because teens can learn from each other how to successfully use contraceptive methods. Sex education, a topic dear to my heart – Dollars and Sex

Sex Taboos: A brief and incomplete tour – Mind Hacks

This April the New York times had a great panel of 8 debaters pouring over the pros and cons of legalization of prostitution: Is Prostitution Safer When It’s Legal – New York Times

The Nasal Spray Created To Give Women Orgasms is as much about the spray as it is about the contentious issue of stigma surrounding “disorders’ and the medicalization of women’s sexuality – The Atlantic

Dr. Justin Lehmiller (one of my personal favs) asks: Are Men’s Standards Really So Low Their Willing To Date ‘Sociopaths?’ Answers: No – The Science Of Relationships

And finally there is a new web series coming out about animal sex (read more about it here), it’s called Wild Sex, check out the preview:

Porn Stars Are Not ‘Damaged Goods’ According To Study

A new study of mainstream porn actresses in California tried to see if there was any validity in the commonly held belief that women who enter porn have been sexually abused in childhood, suffer from low self esteem, psychological disorders and drug addiction. They surveyed 177 porn actresses and compared them to a sample of women matched in statistics such as age, marital status and ethnicity.

There were some notable differences, such as, the porn actresses being more likely to identify as bisexual. They were also more likely to have first had sex at an earlier age and also more likely to have used one or more of a list of 10 different drugs.

But more importantly the porn actresses actually had higher levels of self esteem, social support and positive feelings than women from the other sample and there were no difference in likelihood of childhood sexual abuse.

Long story short, the Damaged Goods Hypothesis is invalid. Porn stars are not drug addicted victims of abuse and low self esteem. If anything they seem to be sexually expressed people who seem be quite happy with their lives. Take that haters.


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Myth Bustin: Sex Doesn’t Make You Go Into Labor

It has long been though that having sex in the later stages of pregnancy can induce labor. It is believed by some that orgasm can stimulate contractions and that a the hormone prostaglandin which is present in semen can induce labor. Doctors actually use prostaglandin in artificially induced labor so it’s understandable why this belief has persisted but a new study in Malasia has found no evidence to support this theory.

Women who have sex towards the end of their pregnancy are no more likely to induce labor than women who didn’t have any sex. Turns out that sex during pregnancy is just a fun thing to do and not much more than that. Oh well, last time I checked, “because it’s fun” was a pretty good reason for having sex.

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Premature Orgasm: Not Just A Male Problem

Premature orgasm and ejaculation is a fairly common phenomenon amongst men of all ages. It often leads to feelings of shame and discouragement but other than that is really not a major medical issue. Seldom are women considered when talking about premature orgasm except for the partners of the premature ejaculating men. So it may surprise some people to learn that some women also experience premature orgasm.

A Portugese study published in 2011 surveyed 850 women aged 18 to 45 about orgasm. Of the 510 respondents, 40% claimed to have had an orgasm earlier than they would have liked and 14% reported having premature orgasm on a regular basis. 3.3% or the respondents had premature orgasm frequently enough meet the criteria for “sexual dysfunction.”

Unfortunately, this is the only study dealing with this particular subject matter so there isn’t enough research to draw concrete conclusions about female premature orgasm. We don’t know what causes it, if it’s related to male premature orgasm and how it can be treated for those who find it to be problematic.

I suppose there is some irony since some women have a hard time reaching orgasm at all, but for women who orgasm earlier than they’d like, the psychological impact could be as devastating as it is for some men. Luckily, women are capable of multiple orgasms which may explain why we don’t hear about female premature orgasm very much, it doesn’t put a halt to things in the same way as premature ejaculation seems to. Once again we encourage people to take some of the pressure off their genitals and focus on the other parts of the body and how they can enhance the sexual experience. Premature orgasm doesn’t mean the sex has to end prematurely.

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Health Disparities Faced By The Transgender Community

Last week was Transgender awareness week, this is a fantastic infographic explaining the myriad issues the transgender community faces when trying to get medical treatment. Some numbers not on the infographic: 50% reported having to teach their medical practitioners about transgender care, 28% reported being subject to harassment in a medical setting and 19% reported being refused care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status.



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Are Women’s Orgasms Different Than Men’s?

There is this popular notion that men and women experience very different things when they orgasm. It is as though they are two completely different things all together. And this notion is not based on nothing. It does often seem that the two sexes’ orgasms are qualitatively different. But what does science have to say about the matter?

Well, in the early years of this century, Dutch scientists studied the PET scans of men and women during orgasm. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans display images of blood flow to the different parts of the brain. These studies showed that blood was flowing to different parts of the brain for men and women during sexual arousal but not during orgasm. As far as brain blood flow was concerned, men and women’s orgasms looked pretty much the same.

In 2012, however, a new study was done using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, which are pretty much a better, faster and higher tech PET scan. At first this study showed similar results to the older ones but upon closer investigation it was noticed that there were some significant diferences between the sexes and between individuals. The neuroscientists involved in the fMRI studies have stated that they need a larger group of participants to make any solid conclusions about the differences between the sexes.

So are women’s orgasms different than mens? No? Yes? Maybe?

Science will tell us eventually, but unfortunately we still can’t be sure right now. Neuroscience is a burgeoning field for research and as they say, the brain is the biggest sexual organ. There is a lot of good work being done and to be done in neuroscience in regards to sexuality and gender. I’m looking forward to the coming years and decades to see what more we can learn about ourselves and each other.

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Cuckold Fetish: When A Man Wants His Girlfriend To Cheat On Him

The word cuckold is an old timey word to describe a man who’s wife is cheating on him. It’s not really used in that same way anymore but this old definition of a cuckold does a fair bit to explain the word in terms of the cuckold fetish.

A person with a cuckold fetish is typically a man who gets aroused by the idea or reality of his significant other sleeping with someone else. Typically in a cuckold sexual relationship the woman is dominant and the man is submissive. There can be a humiliation aspect involved for some men in which they also like to be verbally abused or told that the other man is better in bed than they are. This is not always the case though. The woman, however, sometimes has full control over when and if the cuckold can have sex, in some cases the cuckold is completely celibate while the woman is free to sleep with other partners. It is also not necessary for her partners to be male.

This fetish is most commonly found in men in heterosexual relationships but it isn’t unheard of for women to have this same fetish too. A female cuckold is referred to as a cuckquean, where as the significant other of a cuckold is sometimes called a cuckoldress or hotwife.

There is a certain amount of room in this particular fetish for disfunction. If it comes about in one’s relationship because one’s significant other actually was cheating and the cuckold just let it go because it turned him on, this could lead to problems down the road. This, like all relationship things, requires a ton of good communication. Often people cheat because of a communication breakdown in a relationship, so already this is not the best place from which to start exploring the cuckold fetish.

It should be noted that cuckolding is not the same as swinging or having a threesome, although in some instances the woman will have sex with someone else while the cuckold is in the room. Sometimes the cuckold will do “clean up” duty in which he performs cunnilingus or anilingus on his significant other after she has had sex with another man in order to clean up after him.

Cuckold fetishists are pretty common as far as kinks and fetishes go. It can be a very healthy, fun and exciting way to express your sexuality as a couple and gives men and women an great opportunity to reverse the traditional heterosexual power dynamic.

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