This week’s Sex Stories We Love traces the many different paths our identities can take us in our sexual lives. Some parts of our identities may be consistent throughout our lives while others might change - whether slowly or rapidly - due to new and exciting circumstances. One aspect should remain constant: be true to yourself.

It's About Time!

It seems everything old continues to be new again, particularly in Hollywood. A common lament about the entertainment industry is that there seem to be no new ideas as the powers that be just trot out retreads of characters and stories from the past. Same old story lines, no new character developments. Fortunately, fans of the immensely popular "Xena: Warrior Princess" will not only get something new in the upcoming franchise reboot, but something new will actually be a confirmation of a long-held belief. Indeed, it seems the updated Xena and Gabrielle will be explicitly queer, confirming what we thought all along. This is a great development for television and displays some more progression in an authentic representation of people on the queer spectrum.

Growing Up Queer

Just as Xena and Gabrielle are finally allowed to let their queer flags fly, they’re going to find themselves in good company. With sexuality and gender a more readily discussed topic, we’re learning that younger folks are embracing more diverse identities than ever before. Recent research shows a distinct shift away from binary representations of gender and sexuality and a growing move the embrace the fluidity in both. Perhaps the most remarkable information taken from this research is the rapidity of fairly significant social change. The fact that 13-20-year-old people have such confidence in their sexual and gender ideas and expressions is amazing and gives much hope for an understanding and balanced future.

Women's Struggles Continue

Why is it so important to have educated, understanding and compassionate young people who understand sex and gender? Because we still have to deal with assholes like Cory Hunter. This Georgia teacher recently resigned after he was recorded telling Shaniaya Hunter, a female student, "Your purpose is going to be to have sex and have children because you ain't gonna be smart."

It would be easy to pick on a person who uttered that statement decrying someone’s intellect. However, there is obviously a much bigger problem here. This man - this adult, this person in a position of power, influence, and trust - demeaned a young woman of colour with vision problems. He reduced her to “roles” that women have been subjected to for far too long, roles that we thought were becoming a thing of the past. Unfortunately, this incident proves that the fight is still on. I hope the young folks who are coming up are ready for it.

Beyond Master

Past beliefs and historical trauma can continue to play a significant role in a person’s future sexual life and fulfillment, particularly when they have been subjected to oppression. This is why it is important to incorporate intersectional thought and consideration into discussions of sex, gender, race, class and more. As people discover and discuss social identities, it is key to learn about, remember, and learn from how those identities intersect in terms of discrimination and oppression. Luna Malbroux’s exploration of BDSM and submission as a woman of colour expertly weaves together those intersections, those intricacies that make the past, present and future explicitly intertwined. This is a must read.

The New Safer Sex

The future holds much promise when it comes to sex - particularly when it comes to sex toys and aids. The development of new sex technology that will unite play partners across the world via online connection offers so much for those who can’t be together. However, as with any other kind of online or sexual dealing, safety is going to become paramount. As more sexytime products become interactive, the potential that those sex toys might be hacked will only rise. It might sound like the plot of a sci-fi porn, with someone controlling a vibrator from across the world, but there is a greater concern. If you need to connect to the Internet to use your toy, then everything connected to your account or your IP becomes a target. Play safe, even digitally!

Dedicated to Research

That warning isn’t intended to completely scare people away from interactive sex toys! While you should definitely be wary and careful about what you connect to and who you connect with, there is more than just great pleasure potential with Web-connected pleasure products. We already discussed sex toy connection being used to collect data for nefarious means, but it could also be used for legitimate research into new pleasure. This is what the folks behind Crescendo are looking to do as they work to launch a “spy-brator” that will measure women’s pleasure and then transmit those results back for data collection and analysis. So, now there’s a conundrum: would you rather ensure your online safety and integrity or participate in potentially significant research into sexual pleasure and health?