We can learn a lot from each other and hopefully we are taking in new ideas about sex on the regular. And those new ideas, well, they just might help you rethink some previous thoughts. They might make you look at things differently. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in a full reconsideration of sex. This week's Sex Stories We Love is all about sharing. So ... here we go!
This ain’t your Grandpa’s Playboy anymore ... or maybe it is! Hopefully he’s as excited about the magazine’s choice of transgender model Ines Rau as an upcoming Playmate! Putting aside the many issues that plague the very idea of Playboy, the fact that Rau, who has done runway shows, campaigns, and is working on a book (all helped by her earlier inclusion in the magazine), is being featured in such a high-profile role is fantastic. It could be argued that one of the things that transphobic people fear the most is the possibility that they might see trans people without clothes on. Is the growing understanding of trans folk based on an idea that “You’re OK as long as we don’t have to see…” I sure hope not, but the previous social battles to regulate the bodies of women and people of color might be the precedent of how much of a struggle this could become. Someone who should understand this is former Playboy cover model and porn performer Jenna Jameson. Nope. Jameson's latest tweets and interviews have shown that even a marginalized person in a marginalized industry can have some pretty awful views when it comes to trans people. Forget her, Ines! I’m looking forward to picking this issue up.
Zine culture has always been a big part of changing and rethinking sexual cultures. For years, some of the most influential thinkers and creators have come from the cut-and-paste tradition of DIY publishing. Having been a part of that scene for 20 years, I am glad that self-produced sex zines are a still a thing and that people are continuing this great tradition. A big reason for their enduring appeal is that fantastic information that is being shared - sexual content and education that you’re not going to find anywhere else. Lately, this includes a delightful sexual technique called muffing. Shared in the inestimable zine Fucking Trans Women, muffing sounds like a very hot way to have some delicious sexytimes with a trans woman. While trans people are becoming better understood, the mainstream isn’t really reporting or providing education on things like sex tips and pleasure techniques. And we need it! Currently sex ed is very limited and I hope educators are looking beyond the standard fare to reach all audiences.
Reclaiming Slut Shaming
One of the reasons Vanessa de Largie is one of the best sex writers around is because she can always make us consider the many different sides to a situation. Her recent piece should make everyone think about how and when slut shaming starts and the effect it has on girls and women throughout their lives. But Vanessa takes it one step further by applying thinking from a recent study on promiscuity and applying ideas of resiliency. By acknowledging how she has been slut shamed, she can draw strength from the experiences. Being able to move beyond the stigma is amazing and hopefully others will be inspired. Let’s not forget those for whom this might not be possible and offer care and support. As Vanessa notes, slut shaming is so ingrained in our society, people may not even know they are propagating these hurtful ideas. So we should cheer those who can make it through, and help those who struggle with the effects.
Not One Size Fits All
I’m not really sure why this had to require the idea of “rethinking,” but apparently somebody realized that not all penises are the same size and that more condom sizes might be required. I can’t really say I buy the idea that improving the fit will greatly increase the pretty damning stat that only one-third of men actually use condoms, but there could be some merit there. So, the company myONE Perfect Fit is offering a template of different sizes and customers can order from 60 different sizes (custom condom sizes have been available in Europe for years). Again, the idea has merit, but this only speaks to one demographic: those who will get on a computer and order condoms for sexytimes that will happen in the future. Improving condoms for the here-and-now situations seems key as well.
Fetish still gets a pretty bad rap. Things are getting better and the perception of people who have fetishes has improved a bit over time. But there are still some strong ideas out there, perpetuated by popular movies, television, and books that give us a very wrong impression about what people with fetishes actually desire sexually. Dr. Justin Lehmiller recently wrote that some of the stereotypes we associate with fetish just aren’t true. Recent studies are dismissing the ideas that fetish is a solitary activity, and that those with with object fetishes often do not need that object directly involved to enjoy sex. These are just some of the ideas being dismantled and it is a great peek (if that’s your thing) into our emerging understanding of fetishes.
Change in Position
Finally, if you feel you need to update your sexytime repertoire and possibly have a good laugh at the same time (that is, if no one gets hurt!), give these wild sex positions a try!