It has been a rough week in sex, and it really shows us how much further we really need to go. There are still so many damaging attitudes and beliefs out there. Yet, let’s also recognize where we’ve made progress. The long road is always getting shorter. Let's check out some of the top sex stories from the past week.

The Rock Cock Blocks

It is impossible to ignore the massive sexual harassment scandal that enveloped Hollywood and North American culture this week. A powerful man habitually forced himself on and used his influence to coerce women into sexual situations. Yes, it is possible to ignore it. Police and the entertainment industry have ignored Harvey Weinstein’s transgressions for years. Sometimes there were lawsuits and hush money was provided - along with non-disclosure agreements. Other instances were just brushed under the rug. Pathological criminal behavior was ignored, just like it tends to be other sexual assault cases. Women are harassed all the time, but more reports keep coming out about men being afraid of being deemed a harasser. Well, if you have cause to worry, you are probably the problem. But if you’re a fella and still aren't sure if you’re a dickhead sexual harasser, take The Rock Test.

The Power of Words

Here’s something for sex nerds and cunning linguists alike: a significant study of the words that have been used in sex research and study over close to 50 years. Language continually plays a huge role in how sexual culture progresses. It influences and defines us as individuals, in relationships and as social groups. It shapes our laws and the direction of social growth. Someone like Harvey Weinstein might claim to be a product of an earlier time. And yes, we did not have the language, at that time, to articulate as clearly how what he has been doing is wrong. But we do now and we all have a responsibility to keep up with changes. You may not like it, but language is a part of evolution. Those who can’t evolve get left behind.

Understanding Intersex

Speaking of language and change, one group of people we should to learn more about and hear more from are those who identify as Intersex. It is estimated that 1.7% of the U.S. population can identify in some way as Intersex. Although there are different criteria that determine whether a person fits that description, the pathological definitions are becoming less important. Rather, advocacy, identity discussion, and human rights recognition are presenting as the forefront concerns. There is still much to learn for those who are not involved, but good steps forward are being taken.

Turning Tom

Another way we can tell that our sexual culture is on the move and evolving is when our artists get involved. The iconic works of Tom of Finland have fueled both the libidos and politics of the gay community for years. The hypermasculine figures Finland often presents had a difficult route to being seen, but are now an instantly recognizable part of queer culture. That doesn’t mean they aren’t open for reinterpretation, though. Canadian musician and artist GB Jones may very well have been ahead of her time with her project Tom Girls. As part of the seminal queercore zine JDs, Jones subverted Tom of Finland’s work by using female characters. She made the images for women, by women. JDs was published many years ago, but the way GB includes depictions of punishing oppressive men is very applicable to our current times.

Pegging Progress

Of course, sexual evolution and progression can focus on particular sexual acts that are game changers for our sexual culture as a whole. While I might take umbrage at the idea that 2017 is the peak of pegging culture (I wrote about it in a zine about 18 years ago and someone replied “yet another person writing about the overplayed topic of pegging”), the act itself has been particularly positive for revisiting ideas around pleasure and gender expectations. Pegging is the specific act of someone, usually male-identified, being penetrated anally by another person, usually female-identified, by means of a strap on dildo. Certainly, there’s nothing new about that and I am positive it has been happening as long as there’s been string and dongs. But, in recent years, the growing prevalence of pegging has helped reduce the stigma that heterosexual men cannot enjoy anal pleasure. It has also demonstrated that women can be that active partner in penetration.

Donut Follow This Example

Finally, yes, change can be hard, but it is good. Making a statement can be a great way to help. But be sure your graphics truly help to make change and don’t just muddy a situation.