An awesome question: what is “enthusiastic consent”?

An awesome question: what is “enthusiastic consent”?

Here’s an awesome question, and I’ll put a gentle notice here that it’s a discussion of consent, including the absence of consent:   Please define enthusiastic consent.   Enthusiastic consent is the gold standard consent. It’s not just an active “Yes” – which is bare minimum consent- it’s a “HOLY MOSES YES NOW PLEASE DO IT OH MY GOD THAT YEEEEEEEES!” From the point of view of the dual control model,  enthusiastic consent happens when sexually relevant things are activating your brain’s sexual “accelerator,” and nothing, no potential threats at all, are hitting your brain’s sexual “brakes.” The “ons” are turned

is sexual violence like Bubonic plague?

is sexual violence like Bubonic plague?

On Facebook I posted this Gentlemen’s Guide to Rape Culture, which includes, “seriously, like, the least any man can do in public to make women feel more comfortable in the world we share.” An alum read it and commented that when she showed it to her family, they insisted that “a woman shouldn’t ‘send a message’ that she wants it” and that “a woman always has some responsibility for a man’s actions.” Oy. I am also, coincidentally, currently listening to the audiobook of Doomsday Book, which is a novel about a time traveler who [spoiler] lands in 1348 England, right

the science of (sexual) frustration

the science of (sexual) frustration

Arthur Chu wrote this lovely piece about Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds over at Daily Beast, and this is me adding some brain science to his sentiment. It’s science that has totally changed my own life, both personally and professionally, and I want you all to learn it and then tell everyone you know, okay? It’s science I’ve blogged about maybe once, but it’s science that forms the foundation of the second half of my book (which won’t be out until next spring). It’s about how frustration works, and what to do about it when it happens to you. Ready? Here

how to support a survivor, in 4 difficult sentences.

how to support a survivor, in 4 difficult sentences.

This is one of those times where you’ve got to say something, right, and you’re like, “What on earth is there to say?” Well. One of the things I can say is: go read the #yesallwomen hashtag on Twitter, for a primer on what it’s like to live in a culture where living in a feminine body is still – STILL – a risk factor for violence. And another thing I can say is, to survivors: I believe you. Thank you for trusting me with your stories. I am sorry that someone hurt you. And I support you, whatever you

why are there so many virgin romance novel heroines? hypothesis: because neuroscience.

I’ve got a theory about why there are so many virgin heroines in romance novels, and it has to do with the neuroscience of novelty. It’s easy to dismiss the abundance of virgins, putting it down to simple historical byproduct – when the genre evolved, middle class women (the target audience of romance novels) were simply assumed to be virgins, and so, therefore, were the heroines. Or we could chalk it up to the inherent conflict – and therefore literary appeal – of a woman trying to protect a resource that someone else is after (this is a kind of

3 big problems (and 1 awesome thing) in huffpo’s article about women’s orgasm

I don’t often do things like this, but sometimes a mainstream media thing gets SO many things SO wrong that I can’t not correct it. HuffPo UK has an article today called National Orgasm Day: Experts Reveal Everything You Need To Know About The Big O with info from “a brilliant expert panel” who apparently either explained things poorly or are stuck in a 20-years-out-of-date paradigm of sexuality and sex education. “There are two types of female orgasm: clitoral and vaginal” Seriously? If there are “two types of orgasm,” both defined by their genital stimulation, then people without sensation below

monogamy is like math. desire is like dinner.

Look. Who’s worse at monogamy, men or women? *sigh* You can only make a question like that MEAN something if you think there’s some inherent THING that is “men and monogamy” and “women and monogamy” and “heterosexual relationships and monogamy.” And there isn’t some inherent THING that is men or women or monogamy. So the question doesn’t mean anything. It’s nonsense. It’s a questioned framed by very boring, very ordinary sexual politics. May I attempt to reframe it? Many science educators answered the question: Can you be an astronaut if you’re bad at math? And in many ways, I think

the reality is much quieter

(trigger warning) So first of all, go read this Slate article about how drowning doesn’t look like drowning. Then join me back here. Got it? Okay. I couldn’t read this article without thinking, “We make the same mistake with sexual violence, and we make it for the same reasons.” The media teaches us that sexual violence is a noisy event. It happens in a dark and empty street to a woman of culturally sanctioned beauty, by an evil man. The woman screams and fights and runs, but the man overpowers her with physical force. The reality is much quieter. The