women’s personhood is on the ballot

women’s personhood is on the ballot

Somehow or other, this presidential election has become a referendum on whether it’s acceptable that the president of the United States – sometimes called “the leader of the free world” – believes women’s bodies are in the public domain, for him to touch and comment on as he likes. And the evidence so far is that about a very strong third, or maybe as much as 45% of the American electorate is saying, “Yes. Yes that seems fine.” Or at least, “It doesn’t matter as much as WHICH EMAIL SERVER SOMEONE USES.” Which is actually pretty encouraging, from my point

BMI, mortality, weight stigma, science… *sigh*

BMI, mortality, weight stigma, science… *sigh*

You guys, I really enjoy Health Care Triage, a video series on health-relalted issues that often includes the phrase “To the research!” – which is basically my life motto – so of course it’s, like, my fave. You should totally watch these takedowns about milk and vaccines not causing autism. So I cringed a LOT when I realized I was going to write a blog post being critical about the newest video, on the relationship between BMI and health. It’s based on a giant new meta-analysis. Here is the research paper itself and here is the video:   So. Look

How Not to Fall

How Not to Fall

Today is the book birthday of the novel I wrote because I was *sure* it must be possible to write the story of a young woman experiencing her sexual awakening with a more experienced, older, more powerful man… in a way that’s feminist, sex positive, and, not least, medically accurate. And you, dear blog readers, said, “Write that. You should write that.” And darn it all, I did.   And it turned out, writing it was good for my soul, and I have continued to write because of that. Even if I never publish another romance novel after How Not

what to teach your boys – prevent violence with one simple idea

what to teach your boys – prevent violence with one simple idea

In addition to the horrorshow that is the news of the United States these days, recently a friend of mine called in a panic. He was supporting a friend of his, who had just been sexually assaulted – a woman, assaulted by a man. Once we got through the basics – how to support a survivor; going to the police; going to the hospital; calling a crisis line; etc – we gradually got to the crux of his experience: He is a good man, and his is the father of two young boys. So he wanted to know what to teach

“interesting if true, but so what?” – managing the long-term injuries to sexual wellbeing

“interesting if true, but so what?” – managing the long-term injuries to sexual wellbeing

Cleaning the house today, I am listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estés’s The Joyous Body: Myths & Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype, and was moved to write about something she said that I think is profoundly relevant to those of us who are trying to heal from the wounds inflicted on our sexualities by a sex negative culture or by sexual predators. She says to take full care of your hurts. Take full care, and then if it still hurts, she says, tell yourself, “Interesting if true, but so what?” Here’s why: If you shift focus away from pain, it

“they don’t want to hear that from us!”

“they don’t want to hear that from us!”

I finished “Girls and Sex.” It was a lot harder to read than I expected – which is to say, it was really, really important. The book ends on the note of “what we need to do to change the mess.” More than anything else, as I telegraphed in my last post, is talk to girls (and boys) about pleasure. The author writes of talking with a mom like herself – progressive and feminist – about talking to her daughter about mastubration and orgasm, to which the mom replies, as so many adult caregivers would, “They don’t want to hear

talking to girls about their own pleasure

talking to girls about their own pleasure

I can’t wait to read Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Girls and Sex. I was looking forward to it before I listened to this interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, and now I’m champing at the bit. And. The interview makes clear to me something someone who has already read it told me: “Girls & Sex is a deep dive into the problem. Come As You Are is the solution.”   The interview – and the book – comes to the conclusion that the problems girls face in the midst of porn culture, rape culture, patriarchy, and all the rest of it,

Kinsey’s “new priorities”: a threat to humanity? (Answer: No.) (Sorry.)

Kinsey’s “new priorities”: a threat to humanity? (Answer: No.) (Sorry.)

Dan Savage is FREAKING OUT, you guys, because Sue Carter, the new head of the Kinsey Institute (where I was trained) told a USA Today reporter that she was going to be studying sex in the context of relationships. Let me say first that I think I GET why this triggers so much fear in Dan Savage – indeed, why it prompts him to tell his massive readership that they, too, should “be very, very afraid.” He has been part of a culturally CRUCIAL push to de-“should”-ize sex, to let sex be in a person’s life whatever it wants to