Advice from a Seasoned Activist on How to Avoid Burn Out

Feminist Conversations is a regular feature here at Feminists for Choice, where we talk to difference feminists about what activism looks like for them. Today we’re talking to my good friend, Emily Herrell. Emily is the former Advocacy Coordinator for Planned Parenthood Arizona. (That’s Emily is the hat on the left.) Emily has been an incredible mentor to me as I have volunteered with Planned Parenthood over the last three years. In addition to being a huge zombie fanatic, Emily is also a runner and a bicycling enthusiast. Emily recently left her position at Planned Parenthood Arizona and transitioned over to Habitat for Humanity Tucson.

Find out what Emily has to say about being a pro-choice activist, and read her advice for sticking it out in the movement.

How did you get involved in the pro-choice movement?
I have always been pro-choice, but when I got hired at Planned Parenthood, that was my first official role in the pro-choice movement.

When I was in high school and I decided to start having sex, I put $300 into a savings account so that if I ever needed an abortion, I had my own funding to pay for it. I had that savings account all through college, and I always told my partners up front about it. [Read more...]

Planning a Feminist Wedding

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post comes from Lindsay Marie MacAllister. Lindsay Marie works for an anti-poverty non-profit agency as the Program Coordinator. She attended the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counselor and Advocate program at George Brown College as well as school for Psychology at Queen’s University. Lindsay currently lives in a small town in Northern Ontario in Canada with her two dogs and partner. You can follow her on Twitter @LindzMcAllister.

Since I am getting married in two weeks, and at this point, can barely go a few minutes without thinking of something I still need to do, it would be the most appropriate topic for me to write on. When my partner and I decided to get engaged, I knew I would need to incorporate my feminist beliefs into the ceremony and planning process. As I mentioned we decided to get married together, there was no pressure for a huge proposal on my male partner or expectation that I wait quietly and patiently for him to propose when I was not willing to do so. We knew we wanted to spend forever together and that was all that mattered to us. We both got each other an engagement ring, only fair really, and went about sharing the news with our friends and family, together.

Planning a wedding involves a lot of compromise between the bride and groom; it is a big day for both people, not just the Bride. In our case, my partner cared about one thing beyond the two of us spending the rest of our lives together, that his parents and siblings be there at the ceremony. Through discussion we decided that if I gave up my dream wedding in Jamaica on the beach and had it locally, the rest of the details could be my choice. We chose to go with a toned down Scottish themed wedding, a rustic outdoors affair, with brown as the main color, a favorite for both of us. [Read more...]

Condoms – Maximizing Sensation and Protection

condomsMy boyfriend doesn’t like to use condoms, because he says it decreases his sensation. He and I had unprotected sex and I got an STD. I don’t want to break up with him, because except for the condoms issue, he’s great. What can I do?

Dear Reader,

The most important thing about having sex is that it should be happening on your terms, not someone else’s. There is certainly room for negotiation, but you should never be forced to compromise your values. Given that, the easy answer is that if you want your sex to be safe, which seems to be the smart answer, then don’t have sex with him anymore unless he’s willing to wear protection.

This would also be a good opportunity to explore different kinds of protection in an effort to minimize the impact on sexual sensation. Many companies are releasing thinner condoms that have a create a smaller decrease on sexual sensation. There are also a variety of lubricants designed to increase stimulation. It may take a little experimentation, but finding the right combination of protection that creates an acceptable sexual experience for the two of you.

Also, make sure that your partner understands how important it is to you that he wears protection during intercourse, if your partner isn’t willing to have sex on your terms then don’t have sex at all. [Read more...]

FAQs: Feminist Asked Questions – Fisting for Feminists

Fannie Fierce

Fannie Fierce

Welcome to my Semi-Weekly/Whenever-she-feels-like-it Advice Column, FAQs… or Feminist Asked Questions. I’m Fannie Fierce and I will be your sassy advice giver for this evening. Think of me as you personal queer drag-queen yenta. I’ve been giving advice for several years, first at BelowtheBelt.org, and then at the Bilerico Project. I like to think of my brand of advice like Dan Savage, only with theory. That being said, I’m looking to answer all kinds of questions that pertain not only to sex, but also to love, life, and the pursuit of penis happiness. Please feel free to send your questions into fannie@feministsforchoice.com or in the comments below! Enjoy!

Dear Fannie,

I’m a feminist trying to get her kink on. I’m pretty adventerous where sex is concerned and have heard a lot about fisting. I’ve never tried it before but it sounds worth the try. Any tips for a newcomer?

Help A New Dirty Diva

Dear HANDD,

Welcome to the deliciously delinquent world of fisting. Just for clarification for all of our readers, fisting is when a fist, forearm, etc. are inserted into either the anus or vagina of either a man or woman. It’s just my inkling that fisting tends to be more popular amongst the gay male community, but that could easily be merely due to the highly visible kink and BDSM contingent under the queer umbrella (hey, if you’re already getting the shit kicked out of ya for wanting to rub sticks together, I imagine it makes it easier to break other social taboos where sex is concerned).

What fisting is not: punching a person’s vagina or anus; ripping anything

That being said, fisting is not for the feignt of heart, or hole, rather. Like any kind of sex requiring penetration of the anus or vagina, due care and time should be taken before you start playing hand puppet with your ladybits or bussy (that would be boy pussy… as coined by the indelible Rufus Wainwright).  Here are a few things you need to know for safe fisting fun (i should disclaim this with the fact that I have never actually partaken in any fisting festivities, but in the course of being an advice columnist have consulted with many a fisting enthusiast): [Read more...]