Feb 282010
 

“How can I make the person I like like me back?”

The heartbreak in this question just kills me, and I can scarcely bring myself to respond, so hopeless is the answer.

But. It’s a useful illustration of the important concept of distance management, so let’s have a swing at it, eh?

ANSWER A (plausible but unlikely):
When you’re in proximity-seeking mode, your goal is to close the distance between you and your object of attachment – physical distance and emotional distance.

People have different needs in terms of emotional (and physical) space. As you’re closing the space, if the person feels you’ve moved too close, they’ll move away. If you keep closing the space, they’ll feel threatened and make LOTS of space.

Your best strategy, then, is stealthy encroachment, moving into their emotional world so gradually that they don’t notice the change.

To do this, you must first not make any requests that feel too demanding to the other person. To be safe, ask for nothing and give like it doesn’t cost you anything. What do you give? The stuff we give and receive in relationships. Briefly, give your attachment object unconditional positive regard, accepting even the not-so-good things about them; express appreciation for their best qualities; and create a sense of freedom, letting the attachment object be responsible for meeting their own needs.

Okay, so you’ve gotten closer. You’ve made yourself a valuable source of social resources. But no matter how close you get, you won’t have what you want until they start wanting to be near you.

To create that, withdraw some of the resources you’ve been lavishing on your attachment object. The hope is that they’ll notice the gap and come looking for you. That’s your in. Stay cool and give them what they were looking for.

Then… Lather, rinse, repeat, as they say.

I have to add that all of this is bound to be torturously painful to you, as you manage the separation anxiety of not having what you want and not being able to talk to your attachment object about your pain. You risk becoming a relationship bore, alienating friends with your incessant planning, obsessive rehashing of every interaction, and agonies over what punctuation to use in a text message, Tweet, or Facebook status update.

It’s also dangerous insofar as attachment blinds us to real and dangerous flaws in our attachment objects. “Unconditional positive regard” doesn’t mean forgiving someone who belittles you or makes you feel bad about yourself. An environment of freedom doesn’t mean your object doesn’t have to respect agreements they made with you about what you will or won’t do – like if you agree to be sexually exclusive and they cheat? That’s not freedom, that’s lying.

So.

ANSWER B (downer):
You can’t. Your best strategy is to separate yourself entirely from your attachment object to break the attachment and move on with your life. It’s painful and slow and hope will rage against the dying of your love; hope is the real bitch in this scenario. Maybe, always maybe.

If you get really, really fucking lucky, you’ll catch your attachment object when they’re both on the rebound and ready for a relationship. Both those things need to be true. If just the former is true, you’ll get used. If just the latter is true, they won’t attach.

I know, see? It’s just one of the shittiest things that can happen in life.

Feb 272010
 

This is the sort of thing I forget people don’t know.

Female sexual response is typically characterized by “responsive desire,” while male sexual response is more likely characterized by “spontaneous desire.” (I’m going for biological categories rather than social categories here because the research is based on male- and female-bodied people, without reference to social role.)

“Responsive desire” is when motivation to have sex begins AFTER sexual behavior has started. As in, you’re doing something else when your partner comes over and starts kissin’ on ya, and you go, “Oh yeah! That’s a good idea!” Or you and your partner set aside Friday night as Sex Night, and then Sex Night gets here and you’re like, “Oh, Sex Night. But I’m so tired…” But you made a deal, so you get started… and before long you’ve forgotten you were tired.

This is contrasted with “spontaneous” desire, more typical of male sexuality, which works more like this: you’re walking down the street and for no immediately obvious reason you think, “Hm. I’d like to have sex!” Or you’re taking a shower getting ready for bed and you think, “Hm. I’d like to have sex!”

Regardless of what body or identity you have, if you’re more of a “responsive” desire person you might have worried that your interest in sex was abnormally low – worrying about how much we do or don’t want sex is something we’ve been well-trained to do. Indeed, so many people have asked me how often they’re “supposed to want sex,” I’ve started looking for a memorable, funny stock answer that gently illustrates the absurdity of the question.

Every 5 minutes.

At least twice a decade.

Sundays.

(Suggestions warmly welcomed.)

Okay so… oy, I wonder how often I’ll use the phrase “pervasive and intractable bullshit” on the blog. I’ll use it again here:

The idea that functional sexual desire requires wanting sex out of the blue is bullshit – pervasive and intractable bullshit, but bullshit nonetheless. Yet again we’re confronted with what is becoming the theme of the blog: when you use male standards to assess ALL sexuality, shit goes to hell. In this instance, when spontaneous, “Hey, I think I’d like to have sex!” desire is the normative standard, anyone whose style that isn’t suddenly becomes “abnormal.” Which is bullshit, however pervasive and intractable.

It’s different for girls. Have we got that yet?

Problematic dynamics emerge when one or both partners in a relationship are responsive desire types. In a differential desire scenario, the spontaneous desire type partner may feel rejected and undesirable because they always have to initiate, and then the responsive person may start to feel pushed and will resist more. In a dual responsive desire relationship, you might end up hardly ever having sex because neither one of you wants to start. (This is a really good theory to explain the putative “lesbian bed death.”)

So looky here, suppose you’re a responsive desire person. You now know that that’s totally normal, you’re not broken, and it’s really okay that it doesn’t often occur to you to have sex. Excellent. But what do you do about the potential issues that may emerge? How do you untangle these knots?

Feminist lesbian sex therapist (who doesn’t want THAT job title??) Suzanne Iasenza suggests reframing the issue from “desire” for sex to “willingness” to have sex. We’re a highly social species, females in particular, and it’s totally legitimate to start sex because your partner is interested, even if you’re not particularly horny. So first communicate with your partner that this is a characteristic of your sexuality, to help reassure them that you find them attractive. And then try setting a standard for yourself, like once a week you’ll initiate at a time when you’re willing to have sex, even if your body isn’t longing for it.

Another possibility is organizing nights when you’re not allowed to have sex; you’re only allowed to touch non-genitally, for mutual pleasure. This wakes up your sensations without creating undue pressure to want sex. (Pressure to want sex makes you not want sex, fyi.)

Finally, you can increase the amount of non-initiating physical affection in your relationship. Someday I’ll talk about the mechanism that generates responsive desire, but the practical upshot is that if you have more physical affection, more trust, more caring, less worry and stress, and less performance pressure, you’ll actually start to respond more readily and have more instances of spontaneous desire.

Three suggestions. One of them may help. Untangling the knots of sexual dynamics in a relationship takes time, patience, and practice, but consistently using these strategies (which are based, by the way, on Sensate Focus sex therapy) will put you on the right track.

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Feb 252010
 

It’s the hokey pokey – it’s what it’s all about.

It’s two turn tables and a microphone – it’s where it’s at.

It’s a Visa card – it’s everywhere you want to be.

It’s the clitoris and I can’t say enough about it.

Averaging just one-eighth the size of a penis, yet loaded with nearly double the nerve endings, it is the only human organ with no function other than pleasure. The penis? Bah! Urination, penetration, ejaculation. It’s a workhorse, a solid and reliable trooper, but without the finesse or precision of the clitoris. Watson to the clitoris’s Holmes.

Biologically, the clitoris is emphatically not just the nubbin of tissue at the dorsal end of the vulva; that shaft bends back deep within the tissue of a woman’s vulva and splits into two legs (crura) that terminate at the mouth of the vagina. Stimulate the clitoris up north, get lubrication down south. The anatomy of the clitoris extends right down to the bottom edge of the vaginal introitus – the delicate, ever so sensitive tissue of the forchette, female homologue of the frenulum. Thus the clitoris extends everywhere throughout the vulva. It really is everywhere you want to be.

As exquisitely specific as it is sensitive, the clitoris demands trustworthiness, respect, and appreciation or it will not be tempted. Treat it with kindness, generosity, patience, you’ll be rewarded. The brusque, the indelicate, and the inattentive need not apply.

Above all, the each clitoris has a different personality. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. Some like a pointy tongue, some a soft and flat tongue. Some like it direct and intense; others would flinch from anything more than the softest, most peripheral of caresses.

But nearly allllllllllllll of them want to be warmed up. Never start with the clit. In fact, start with mood and mind and trust and affection. Move from there to kisses, and from there to caresses, and from there to fondling. Like ovens and baking, women need to be pre-heated.

Be kind to the clit and it will be kind to you. Be excellent to the clit and, well I won’t say that you’ll generate world peace, universal love and respect, or eternal happiness… but you might. Worth a try, anyway!

Also, use lube. And confidence and joy.

Can’t go wrong.
e

Feb 252010
 

Thanks to Rachel for this article by Susan J. Douglas, deliciously written and dazzlingly clear about a topic I’ve found to be, at best, operose to discuss unless you’re glad to sound like a shrew, a prude, or an irrelevancy.

Truly, it’s wonderful to read and I won’t be at all offended if you ignore my post and go read Douglas’s article instead.

Still here? Aw, that’s nice.

So. “Enlightened sexism” is a term I’ve been searching for all my life; now that I’ve found it, we’ll build a little nest, enlightened sexism and I, and we’ll settle down for a cozy life of cheery criticism.

Briefly, it refers to the cultural dynamic wherein women are pressured to conform to escalating extremes of gender presentation and to define their value as a human by their sexual desirability (desirable to men, of course). It’s why young women might think standard porn is empowering – they’ve bought the line that a woman’s sexuality (as opposed to her brain, her values, or her skills) is her way to be in control.

It’s an incredibly clever slight-of-hand on the part of the media and the other corporations that communicate through it, making women feel empowered when in actuality they are subservient. So clever I almost can’t bring myself to begrudge them the callousness and manipulation inherent in the trick. Almost. If it didn’t result in women dying of eating disorders, putting their lives at risk with unnecessary surgery and, oh yeah, distracting everyone from the REAL problems in the world (global hunger, HIV, small things like that) with obsessive worry about non-problems like if your teeth are white enough or your belly is flat enough, I might find it easier to brush it aside.

Profit motive, blah blah, I know. But I have a utopia, don’t forget, I have a utopia in my head. I can see what it could be like if we all valued our bodies and our sexualities and each other and… to a great extent I live it myself, because I can, because I know this stuff and believe it. I can see what it could be like.

What I can’t see is the path between the world we’ve got and the one we deserve.

I have this fantasy that if the US ever gets healthcare right and the government starts paying for it, then the government will realize they’ll save lots of money if they ban smoking and hydrogenated fat, tax sugar, and make fresh fruits and vegetables affordable, ubiquitous and attractive, among a great many other things. This is the insane way my brain works, see, which is why I have a sexual utopia in my head. What if the government set quotas, requiring that a range of body sizes, shapes, and colors be represented in all media, if they banned airbrushing altogether, and, just for kicks, prioritized creating economic opportunities for women and making businesses family-friendly? Why NOT demand a penalty fee when a corporation contributes to the mental and physical detriment of the people whom the government represents?

Couldn’t we get there?

I have seen the promised land. I know we’re a mess at the moment – enlightened sexism and I are snuggled on the sofa kvetching about it even now – but but but! Surely! Is it crazy to think the government might protect us, even if it does cost companies money? Or is it possibly, possibly completely brilliant and a vision of the future?

Feb 232010
 

Thanks to Brody’s useful comment, I’ve decided to spend a bunch of time focused on helping men understand women.

We are, it’s true, a complex stew of contradictory feelings and ideas. We are mysterious and sometimes demanding. But we’re AMAZING and totally worth the effort!

So each one of these will identify something that women want, and offer some ideas about how to give it to them.

First thing women want: Women want to feel good about their bodies.

But it’s really, really, really, really, really, really difficult in the face of multiple generations of pressure from the media to be thin, young, and beautiful or be worthless.

“Easy!” you think to yourself. “I can compliment her!”

So let me tell you this story. A couple weeks ago I met up with a friend and his buddy at a bar. The buddy – call him Ulrich – seemed nice enough, kind of arrogant, but fine. My friend went off to get another drink, leaving me and Ulrich to chat about the Olympics, which were on TV. So I’m vaguely watching the race and blathering on about how I’ve had a maternal sort of affection for Apollo Anton Ono ever since he sambaed to “I Like to Move It”on “Dancing with the Stars.” We start talking about attractiveness and symmetricality (I swear he brought it up, not me!) and he goes:

HIM: You’re a very attractive woman.
ME: (eyes dart from race to Ulrich and back) Uh. Thanks.
HIM: You are. It’s not a compliment, it’s just a fact.
ME: (eyes now glued avoidantly on race) Uh… thank you.

And here’s what that conversation sounded like in my head:

HIM: I’ve assessed your physical appearance and judged it to meet or exceed my minimum standards.
ME: Um, ew. I have a brain and a life.
HIM: I’m interested in your body. I’d like you to think about me in terms of how I might interact with your body.
ME: Um, Double ew! I have a brain, a life, AND standards. Fuck off forever!

The moral of the story here is that if you talk to a woman about her physical appearance, it will seem like that (and only that) is what’s important to you. She will feel like an object, like a nice table lamp you’re considering taking home and incorporating into your decor.

If you actually like the girl and want to get to know her better (or even if you just want a fair shot at taking her to bed), don’t compliment her appearance.

How on earth, you ask, are you supposed to help a woman feel good about her body, which is where this all started? And fair enough – if you can’t TELL a woman you think she looks great, what are you supposed to do? Well.

Step 1. Actually be attracted to her. If you can’t do this, skip the rest of this post and go read some feminist critiques of the media.

Step 2. (the hard part) Memorize this idea: Her body is the home of the person. She lives in it every day, experiences emotions through it, has ideas in it, makes jokes with and about it. Her body is her personhood and it belongs entirely to her; it is a gift she got for being born, as yours is a gift to you, and folks get to decide when and where they’re interested in sharing these gifts. She’s much more likely to decide to share if she believes you’ll appreciate it as the literal embodiment of her personhood – even if she has a hard time appreciating that fact herself. Her body is? The home of the person, that’s right.

Step 3. (The easy part) When she says, “Oh I hate my belly,” you say, “I love it.” When she says, “My boobs are too big/small/saggy/pointy/high/low/whatever,” you say, “I love them.” When she says, “My thighs are huge and gross,” you say, “I love your thighs.” Got it? And why do you love them? Because her body, all those parts she criticizes, are HER. Again, the key is being attracted to her as a person, and being honest about that. (Don’t YOU buy into the media myths about dangerously thin mid-adolescents as the height of attractiveness. )

Remember, there is virtually no body party a woman can’t feel self-conscious about. Facial features, hands, feet, fingers, knees, calves, and triceps are as hateable as boobs, bellies, butts, thighs, and genitals. She can hate anything and everything about herself. Have patience with her; billions of dollars are spent annually to remind her that she’s ugly and that her ugliness makes her fundamentally unlovable.

Also remember that nothing you say or do will take away the decades of voices telling her how flawed she is. It’s not your job to undo all that tangled knot of nonsense; your job is not to contribute. You can be a supportive “mirror” (as opposed to the “funhouse mirror” of the media), showing her the beauty you see, and gradually your vision, along with her own personal growth, will countervail the cultural messages.

Eventually.

And finally, the answer all men seem to need. The only correct answer to, “Do I look fat in this?” is:

“You’re beautiful.”

Not “You look beautiful” or “It’s fine,” but “You are beautiful.” Got it? Okay.

Making the world a better place for women, one blog post at a time.

Feb 232010
 

There are two things I’d like everyone in the universe to know about women, orgasms, and vibrators:

First, 95% of women who masturbate do so with no vaginal penetration (see Orgasm 1). So even though many quality sex toy shops feature a rows of phallic vibrators lined up like soldiers, with oscillating heads and beaded shafts and god only know what else, and even though these displays make an awe-inspiring, wallet-opening presentation, in fact most of women’s masturbation involves clitoral stimulation alone.

Don’t get me wrong, ain’t nothin’ wrong with penetrative masturbation, heck no, I just wanna make sure ya’ll know that most women, most of the time, don’t do it, despite what porn, mainstream media, and, indeed, too many sex educators might have you believe.

Second, the important thing about vibrators is the intensity of stimulation they provide – far more stimulation than you can get organically. (Reference the dual control model.) For women who take longer to orgasm than they want (avg. 10-30 minutes, with wide variability, from 2 minutes to an hour +), or who have difficulty orgasming from oral, manual, or penetrative sex, a vibrator can provide more stimulation and give you more control, and it will never get frustrated, bored, or impatient.

Can you get “addicted” to your vibrator? I get asked this fairly frequently. The short answer is “No.” The longer answer is that you can certainly get used to needing only a few minutes to orgasm, and so when you go for orgasm without the toy you might feel like it’s taking aaaaaaaaaages, when really it’s just taking as long as it always did pre-vibrator. But using a vibrator will not make it impossible for you to orgasm by a different modality, just as learning to orgasm through (random example) earlobe stimulation will not prevent you from orgasming through direct clitoral stimulation.

The reason for this is that there are not 60 kinds of orgasm; there is just ONE orgasm: the explosive release of sexual tension – but that’s another post.

Feb 222010
 

Philtrum. The divot between your nose and your lip. It has no purpose – it’s a spandrel, a byproduct of what happens when your face assembles itself while you’re a fetus and it’s not particularly sensitive, but it is a GREAT visual cue that you can use to draw attention to your lips. Dab of lipgloss right at the center of your top lip. Excellent.

It’s apparently also a good focal point for your attention while practicing yoga, according to friend Patrick.

Feb 212010
 

The best way to think about sexual arousal is the Dual Control Model of Sexual Response, a newish theory developed at the Kinsey Institute by Erick Janssen and John Bancroft. As you might guess from the name, the dual control modelhas two parts:

Sexual Excitation System (SES) – SES is the gas pedal of your sexuality, responding to sexually relevant stimuli in the environment, from visual stimuli to tactile stimuli and everything in between. It constantly scans the environment (including your own thoughts and feelings) for things that are sexually appealing and as it finds things, it sends signals from the brain to the genitals to tell them, “Turn on!” SES is constantly at work, on an utterly subconscious level.

What constitutes a “sexually relevant stimulus”? Some things, like the sight of a woman’s genitals, might be innately sexy, but many other things are learned. This might be part of the reason why men vary in their sexual preferences. (This doesn’t seem to apply to gender preference – there’s mounting evidence that sexual orientation has some genetic basis and that boys establish their sexual orientation very early.) It also helps explain how “what’s sexy” has changed over time – culture shapes our understanding of what’s “desirable.” For example, modern American culture tells men that mid-adolescent bodies, with their relatively narrow hips, low body fat percentage, and young faces (with tanned complexions among Caucasians), are the most attractive. In paintings from the Renaissance, many of the women have rounder, softer, more developed bodies and porcelain skin. And the difference makes a kind of sense – during the Renaissance, the only women who had leisure and luxury enough to gain weight and stay out of the sun were the wealthiest women. Only the wealthiest women survived into their thirties. Nowadays, the wealthiest women have the leisure and luxury to have personal trainers, personal chefs, and tanning beds.

Sexual Inhibition System (SIS) – SIS is the brakes system. Research so far shows that it’s likely there are two different SIS systems, one that responds to fear of performance failure (erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, etc) – call that SIS-1 – and another that responds to fear of performance consequences (STI transmission, unwanted pregnancy, social consequences) – call that SIS-2. Just as SES scans the environment for turn-ons, SIS scans from turn-offs, and all day long it sends a steady stream of “Turn off!” messages to your genitals. SIS is responsible for keeping a person from getting inappropriately aroused in the middle of a business meeting or dinner with your parents. SIS is also the system that slams on the brakes if, in the middle of some nookie, your grandmother walks in the room.

A lot of what constitutes a “threat” depends on the context. The extent to which a person’s brakes are engaged because of fear of an STI changes depending on the perceived likelihood and the perceived impact of that STI. Using a condom? Know your partner’s health history and sexual history? Trust that you’re both being monogamous? Less threat. No condom? No history? Potential for non-monogamy? More threat. Same with social consequences: damage to your social status, your reputation, to your relationship, all can serve as threats, depending on how likely they seem and how negative they would be if they happened.

The Dual Control Model is “the man behind the curtain” – it’s the mechanism that underlies arousal. Arousal is really two processes: providing gradually increasing stimulation for the SES, and getting rid of everything SIS might respond to, which includes physical, emotional, and social risks. Both men and woman have both of these systems, and a person’s level of sexual arousal is a combination of how much stimulation SES has gotten and how little stimulation SIS has gotten.

If you had to guess, would you say men or women tend to have more sensitive SES? Yeah, men. And which has more SIS? Women. More sensitive gas pedal (SES) and less sensitive brakes (SIS) means easier acceleration. Dig? This varies greatly from person to person, but overall, men tend to be easier to arouse than women.

Feb 202010
 

Yes, my bit there last week about male beauty begs the question, “Is quaffed perfection what men want?” If it’s not true that straight women want the lapidary man of magazine covers and romance novels, could it be that men also prefer their women a little unkempt, a little degagee in their body maintenance?

Answer: yeah, could be! A recent Australian study apparently found that men prefer the average body size of ordinary women, around an American dress size 10 or 12, to the superskinny ideal we’re trained to venerate.

A substantial body of research about heterosexual men shows that men’s beauty judgments of faces are shaped by the faces they’re exposed to. In other words, men like what they see, and, no matter how media-saturated the culture may be, they still see more actual real women than images. So they like women, not perfection.

There’s other stuff that seems to be more or less hard-wired, like waist-to-hip ratio and facial symmetry, all generally indicators of health and fertility. (NB: That 10-12 dress size equates roughly to a 25ish BMI, technically “overweight,” yet associated with the longer lifespans than the obese, the underweight, or even the “healthy weight.”) But in the industrialized world of the twenty-first century, the superabundance of nutrition and medicine means nearly all of us pass muster on the fecundity front.

Anyway, I don’t think men pay close enough attention to tell the difference. If there is even one woman out there, even one, who has had a real life experience like they show in the movies, where the guy actually notices what it took you two hours, four gallons of hair product, and an industrial strength slimmer to achieve and then bursts out breathlessly, “Wow,” or “You’re so beautiful!” you must tell me. As far as I can discover, no woman has ever had her intensive grooming efforts explicitly noticed by a man without some kind of prompting.

Perhaps the straight ladies of the world long to believe that efforts to conform to some fictional standard of beauty will result in actually being more beautiful to the men in our lives… but the men in our lives aren’t too fussed about it.

See, c’z you know what men like? They like us in our bathrobes, dewily pink cheeked after a glass of wine and a soak in the tub, and actively interested in giving them a blowjob.

And that’s how it should be.

Feb 192010
 

Never let it be said that I shy away from controversy.

Pubic hair.

Apparently about half of all college women remove all of it, all the time.

Many of my peers think this trend, borne of the hairlessness of women in pornography, is a pedophilic return to pre-pubescence. They say that women are buying in to their own objectification and subjugation. My peers, they judge the college students.

I have two things to say in response to that. First of all, most of my peers shave their legs and would hesitate before going out bare-legged without shaving. What exactly is the moral difference between shaving your legs and shaving your vulva? Why is it okay to feel kinda gross about leg hair but not okay to feel kinda gross about pubic hair? And where is the line? Would we judge a woman for shaving her upper thighs or her bikini line to wear a swimsuit? Probably not, right? With what sacred status is hair that’s covered by panties endowed, that it should be left intact?

There’s the pedophilia thing that might answer that – we’re women, after all, not little girls, and we should look it. Which brings me to the second thing I have to say. I don’t think it’s about looking pre-pubescent; I think it’s about expressing the extremes of sexual dimorphism.

Men and women look different, and in the heterosexual world the things that make us look different are typically things we find attractive in each other. Men should have broad shoulders and narrow hips; women should have small waists and round bottoms. Men are more hirsute, so the less hair evident on a woman, the more feminine she looks. The more of men’s and women’s bodies that are visible in daily life, the more we emphasize these differences. It happens that some of the things that are feminine are also childish, like face shape, being smaller than men, smooth soft skin, that kind of thing.

So let’s say removing all your pubic hair is maybe along the same lines as wearing a corset – it takes to the extreme a natural difference between men and women. And at the time that corsets were a thing, no self-respecting middle-class woman would be seen in public without one. And in fact corsets were much worse for women’s health than hair removal could be.

Pubic hair, unlike leg hair and corsetry, is only seen (or missed) when you’re naked and there’s someone else there. Mostly, for young women, that means during sex. And this, I think, is the real issue. Removing pubic hair is ultimately underpinned by how a woman feels about her sexuality. My peers think that it indicates a woman’s acceptance of her own objectification.

Well… yeah. But I think it’s not much different from the long-established social dynamic that makes women feel ugly, dirty, shameful, unfeminine, or morally degraded if they don’t shave, wax, pluck, abrade, moisturize, deodorize, and otherwise force themselves into the increasingly narrow range of acceptable body traits. (And I don’t even wanna talk about weight. OMFG.)

I’m not up for fighting that. We all know that it’s wrong, that it’s bad for women, that it’s controlled by corporations who profit by our self-hatred, and we all know that as long as it works, as long as razor companies and soap companies continue making money by making us feel bad, it will continue. We all know that most women in America will spend their entire lives running toward the goal line, never recognizing that the goal was constructed by a corporation, which will move the goal farther away as soon as women get too close.

So should you remove your pubic hair? Hell, it’s your hair, do what you like with it. My thing is, be aware that you’re in an arms race constructed by capitalism. Be aware that the cultural standards you perceive weren’t made by the people you might go to bed with, they were made by identityless corporations that want your money. And especially be aware that having or not having pubic hair has no relationship to your body’s capacity for experiencing or giving sexual pleasure.

Okay that’s all. Thanks.