Social Justice, Stigma, & Gender

Apparently, I Have a Dry Vagina

My new gynecologist changed my life. Despite my conditioned fear of doctors, she has relieved me of the occasional vaginal pain that I’ve had for years — quickly, and without the need for surgery, therapy, or anything invasive or expensive. Why is this story worth telling? Because every time I researched painful vaginal intercourse online, all I found were recommendations to consult doctors about surgical options or therapy involving graduated dilators. Nowhere did I find the simple solution that my gynecologist recommended. That’s what I want to share with anyone else experiencing pre-menopausal vaginal pain not associated with any type of sexual abuse or trauma. I’m hoping to spare other vagina-bearers some frustration, time, money, and energy. (more…)

That Time I Was Slut-Shamed by the Turkey Lady

I was strolling through the halls of my high school as a young sophomore when I was grabbed at the scruff of my neck by the turkey lady. (more…)

Sh*t My Dad Says 1: Consent

My dad is a smart guy, one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. Like, Spock-with-a-sense-of-humor smart. Growing up, he always knew all the answers to every question I had. In fact, I’m still in awe over both his wealth of knowledge and how he interacts with the world, often to the extent that I take notes (yes, actual notes) when we have substantive conversations.
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Dear Men of the Internet: Stop Pretending You Know What’s Best for My Love Life

A trend I’ve noticed on OkCupid, and in life, is of men who choose to blatantly disregard women’s preferences, whether they be sexual preferences, romantic preferences, dating preferences, and/or other preferences. 
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An Open Letter to the Father of the Stanford Rapist, Brock Turner

Dear Mr. Turner — or, as you signed your statement to Judge Persky, dear Dan,

Your “twenty minutes of action” comment horrified me even more than Judge Persky’s refusal to punish Brock. Rape is not ‘getting some action.’ Rape steals another human being’s bodily autonomy. By this logic, are you saying you would have no qualms about someone dragging Brock’s unconscious body behind a dumpster and inserting whatever they wanted into any of his bodily openings for twenty minutes? Or is “action” only palatable when it’s a male-on-female crime? (more…)

Dominant Men vs. Dominant Women: Who I Hate More

Since my introduction to the world of kink, I’ve become attuned to the omnipresent power dynamics in other people’s platonic and romantic relationships, as well as my own. For example, despite my dominant nature, in platonic settings with dominant women, I tend to take on a co-dominant or sometimes submissive role. However, when in the company of dominant men, I usually find myself compelled to challenge their leadership and assert my own.

I wondered, why the sex discrepancy with my platonic relationships? Why wouldn’t I be equally annoyed at all other dominants, not just the men? (more…)

Do You Mind If I Tell People We Met at the, Uh, Gym?

Why is there still a stigma about online dating? We do EVERYTHING else online. We’re constantly technologically connected, and we crave instant gratification. Sure, that means you’re choosing between infinitely more people than you could otherwise meet day-to-day, but the convenience of being able to peruse countless (well, practically countless) potential dates from your couch, your bed, your toilet, the metro, or wherever is unparalleled. Why shouldn’t dating — or at least the preliminary stages of dating — be as easy as online shopping? (more…)

Man Up, Guys.

One of the radio shows that keeps me company on the way to work in the morning has a segment where they set up hoaxes for listeners who are concerned about the faithfulness of their significant others. The hoaxes usually entail calling the person’s significant other on the phone and posing as someone who works in a flower shop, under the ruse that the shop buys magazine subscription lists and the significant other has won this month’s random draw for sending a bouquet of a dozen roses (and sometimes a romantic massage for two) to someone special. (more…)

What Makes a Man Pathetic?

Recently, someone remarked that I date pathetic men. To my ex-partners who may be reading this, I certainly don’t think any of you are pathetic, and I apologize that this person has perceived you as such. While I bear a strong preference for sexually-inexperienced men who prefer to play an exclusively submissive role in intimate relationships and have ample emotional baggage, I would like to clarify to onlookers that fewer than half of the men I’ve dated meet these qualifiers.

My feelings aside, that comment got me thinking — what does it mean to be a pathetic man in our society? (more…)

The Politics of My “Lady” Handshake

It started with a business meeting between three men and me. Our law firm is contracting the services of a local accounting firm to assist on a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and the time arose to talk details with the accountant for the first time. After the meeting, we all shook hands. No big deal, right? Then, my attorney and I helped ourselves to the delicious pastries the accountant had furnished upon our conference room and began retreating back to our firm’s office. My attorney held the door for me, as he tends to do, and as I passed through, the accountant made an odd remark.

Bluntly, he exclaimed, “You have an excellent handshake for a woman!” (more…)