At Least Someone Gets to See You Naked!

We have been writing quite extensively about advertisements that we find sexist, stereotypical, or in other ways bothersome. Whether overt or covert, all advertisements send a message about not only the product they are selling, but also society as a whole. Gender battles are typically played out in advertisements, pitting men and women against each other in a biologically driven battle (because it is so much easier to view gender from a strictly biological perspective) where drinking beer and watching sports is strictly “manly,” while shopping for the latest Glade product and worrying about residue on dishes is strictly “feminine.” This is exactly the way gender works, right, both on and off the screen?

One specific advertisement has been bothering us for a while now because of its play on gender and sexual behavior. The advertisement, from Direct TV, wants consumers to switch from cable to their services.

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Sex, so many little choices…

So, I realize that generally this post is full of specific information or advice around having safer sex, but this month I seem to be without a good question. Instead I thought I’d try to spark a discussion about one of the hardest aspects of sexual actions to identify, name, or teach: Decision Making. [Read more...]

A Refresher on Consent and Safe Sex

Domestic Violence Awareness Purple RibbonOctober is such an important month in the sex-positive community.  Not only do we celebrate LGBT history, we are also urged to be aware of the dangers of domestic violence.  Given that, this seemed like the perfect time for a refresher on sexual consent and the things we can all do to prevent sexual assault in our own lives.

Sexual consent is the cornerstone of the safer sex discussion, this seems pretty simple as the most dangerous sex is the sex that isn’t consented to.  But the biggest problem is that consent not only seems like such an individualized concept, but it is also legally ambiguous.  The Washington State University Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response Task Force says that consent is actual words or physical conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.  They continue to say that it is an ongoing process of communication as sex progresses, regardless of who initiates it.

This is a great start, but there are still some components missing from it, consent must also be from the perspective of a clear mind (not to say that one that is inebriated can’t give consent, but rather that we should take it upon ourselves to require a higher threshold of willingness when we are unsure of the state of our partner), and it must be voluntary, not coerced.  And remember, it is incredibly important that the conversation continues after sexual contact has begun, just because you got the green light to start doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to stop if your partner becomes uncomfortable and wants the sexual contact to end. [Read more...]