Links & Hijinks: Tinder Troubles & Fisting Femmes

• I love this comic about how toxic masculinity fucks up your sex life. “Sex is not something you do to somebody, it’s something you do with somebody.” Amen!

• This article is about femme fisting covens and you don’t need any other reason why you should run-don’t-walk to read it.

• Apparently T-rexes may have engaged in foreplay. This article says that the T-rex was therefore “a sensitive lover,” but I don’t think prioritizing foreplay is necessarily something you do only for your partner’s sake: it makes sex better for you, too!

• After the above article came out, Tracy Moore wrote about how to fuck like a T-rex. Amazing.

• This article about bionic penises is fascinating. C. Brian Smith is one of my favorite sex journalists, and he shows why here: he went above and beyond reporting on the scientific/mechanical story of penis reconstruction and found, in addition, some conflict between his two main subjects (apparently they hate each other). What a story!

• Here’s an interesting article on why rapists rape, and how our cultural ideas about rapists’ motivations have shifted over time.

• Consistently good sex with a partner takes consistent work, practice, and conflict resolution, according to a new study. So next time you have bad sex with a new partner, don’t think of it as proof you’re not meant to be with them – maybe view it as an opportunity for growth and improvement instead!

• I found it cathartic to read women’s responses to straight-dude Tinder clichés. God, why are most straight men on dating apps so dreadfully boring?!

Is Tinder the new meet-cute?

• And while we’re talking about Tinder… Here’s why people are getting bored of it and what might come next.

• Okay, one more Tinder thing… I loved this essay about dating-app fatigue, particularly this revelation: “Just knowing that the apps exist, even if you don’t use them, creates the sense that there’s an ocean of easily-accessible singles that you can dip a ladle into whenever you want… the apps’ actual function is less important than what they signify as a totem: A pocket full of maybe that you can carry around to ward off despair.” YUUUP.

• A very sweet and smart reader of mine wrote this response to my post about the orgasm gap. It explores these issues from a (cis-het) male perspective: the frustration of not being able to get a female partner off, and some ways to center female pleasure without being overly pressure-y or goal-oriented. I wish more men had this attitude!

• The great Alana Massey wrote about how the internet never forgets anything. Here she is, mirroring my own childhood back at me: “A born adventurer and a blossoming pervert, I regularly pretended that I was a hot and bothered 19-year-old, and lured men away from group chat rooms to private chats where my digital captive and I would proceed to have cyber sex…”

• On porn sites and encryption. I’m not as savvy as I would like to be about this kind of stuff, so this article was illuminating for me.

• Many people have written about why you should watch porn with your partner; here’s the case for why you shouldn’t. This made me think long and hard (har har) about my own porn preferences and how a partner might interpret them.

• I know why men announce when they’re about to come, but this article on it was an amusing read nonetheless. “So we agree this is a very useful behavior in men and women, gay and straight. Cumming must be announced, and should be announced. Declared, even.”

• Two of my current favorite writers, Helena Fitzgerald and Alana Hope Levinson, both wrote about the “boyfriend shirt” and why we love/want/crave ’em. (I am guilty of this. And admittedly not just with boyfriends.)

Catcalling and sexual harassment are normalized in our culture and nobody knows how to “properly” react to them. Ugh. Fuck the patriarchy!

• Nicole Cliffe wrote fanfiction about what life would be like if Benedict Cumberbatch was her lover, and it’s divinely funny. “I had decided to play Irene Adler, of course.” “Such a brave choice, considering you are not particularly attractive, and have never acted nor shown any aptitude for it.”

• Ever wonder how the concept of a fetish came into being? Here’s a psychological history of the fetish. Particularly interesting to me: sexually progressive physician Havelock Ellis was apparently an impotent virgin until the age of 60, when he saw a woman peeing and realized he had urolagnia (a urine fetish). Brains are so cool!

What should you do with a condom after sex? “You can also tie the condom off before tossing it to work on your career as a balloon animal artist,” Tracy Moore reports. (God, I love her.)

• The science is in: what makes a relationship last is good talkin’ and good fuckin’. This does not surprise me, but it sure is affirming!

• Timely: last month I got fucked with a penis extender and this month there’s an article on MEL about them. I, for one, always celebrate there being more options in the “toys for penises” category. I can also vouch for the fact that you don’t have to be insecure or have a small penis to derive some enjoyment from using these; the partner of mine who wanted to try an extender with me is quite well-endowed as is, and just wanted to explore a fantasy and try something new. Yay, sexual freedom!

Hot Tip: Enthusiastic Consent Isn’t That Hard

What with the barrage of rape cases flooding through our media outlets at the moment, a lot of people are talking about what it means to consent to sex.

You may have heard of one of the sex-positive responses to the question “How do I avoid raping someone?” – the idea of enthusiastic consent. In short, it means that no always means no, and only yes means yes.

Many of us have signed on to this agreement. I find it really sexy to imagine a world in which everyone “checks in” before progressing sexually. It’s hot to have sexy things done to me, but it’s even hotter (in my humble opinion) to have someone respect me enough to ask for permission first.

But, predictably, there has been a lot of pushback in the wake of this idea. “What, am I supposed to ask every time I do anything sexual?!” these protesters cry. “What if we’re already in a relationship and I know my partner’s body language well enough that I don’t have to ask?” And my favorite: “But asking for consent is so INCONVENIENT and AWKWARD and HARD!”

I’m not going to tell you how to negotiate consent within your own relationship, because obviously, that’s a personal thing. If your partner is really okay with you never explicitly asking for consent, that’s fine, as long as you still know you have to stop when you’re told to. But let’s get something straight: asking for consent does not have to be awkward or difficult.

You do not have to engineer a wordy question like, “Do you consent to me touching your vulva?” You can literally just say, “Is this okay?” or “Do you want me to stop?” or “Should I keep going?”

Some people have a Dominant/submissive relationship. Most people do not. And if you and your partner are equals in and out of the bedroom, acquiring verbal consent on a case-by-case basis really should not be a big deal. You respect your lover and you want them to feel free to express their feelings, right?

On the flipside, if you want your partner to ask for consent every time, that’s an absolutely fair request to make. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Our culture has a contempt toward consent. If this wasn’t the case, no one would be crying that asking for consent is “too much work.” Respecting your sexual partner’s body and mind is never “too much work,” and if you really feel that it is, you’re not ready to be in a sexual relationship.

Bonus reading:
Shakesville: Today in Rape Culture
Yes Means Yes
Scarleteen discussion: enthusiastic consent
Persephone Magazine: Why Do People Hate the Concept of Enthusiastic Consent?

Sharing the Sexy #21

Female porn stars with and without makeup. Draven Star sans makeup is tooootally the kind of girl I would’ve had a huge crush on in high school. Or, you know, now.

• My mom forwarded me this link: vibrators can be used by actors and singers to warm up their voices. I also hear you can hold a Hitachi to your nose to clear up congestion…?

• Here is a great article for introducing trans men’s health to healthcare providers.

• Stoya writes about heteronormativity and monogamy.

• Um, people are upset because of some mannequins shaped like average women. Our culture’s confusion about the definitions of words like “overweight” and “obese” is really appalling sometimes.

• Arabelle Raphael put together this great list of self-care strategies for sex workers.

Can a tantric awakening ruin you for other kinds of sex?

• Here is an excellent piece on that horrific Steubenville rape case we’ve been hearing so much about, and the sexism in its media coverage.

• Trans icon Kate Bornstein needs your help to pay for cancer treatment. She’s one of the sassiest, sweetest gender outlaws out there, so I highly encourage you to donate what you can to help her survive.

Sharing the Sexy #11

• An anonymous Frisky contributor wrote about 5 sexual acts she was surprised she enjoyed. I don’t have enough sexual experience to make a list of my own, but I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed the one and only rimjob I’ve ever received. How about you?

• Artist and entrepreneur Molly Crabapple wrote a piece for Vice about being “a professional naked girl”. (On a related note, I recently had some very nice nudes taken of myself and it is taking all of my willpower to keep myself from posting them everywhere.)

• Melissa McEwan wrote eloquently and emotively about how anti-choice legislature is pretty similar to rape, in the sense that both involve superseding a woman’s consent (or lack thereof) to what’s done to her own body.

• This Japanese sex guide is too weird.

Sharing the Sexy #6

• Fascinating stuff on Sexxit: do guys with bigger penises enjoy sex more? (Answer: not really.)

• The son of one of famed sex research team Masters and Johnson was arrested for exposing himself. You just know that conservatives are going to use this guy as an example of why sex-positivity is eeevil.

• Conscious Cunt shares holistic strategies for avoiding yeast infections. As someone who has recently come off of antibiotics and has therefore felt the need to eat a lot of yogurt and take probiotic pills: I feel ya, gurl.

• Naomi Wolf’s got a new book about vaginas coming out. This article discusses the taboo-ness of vaginas in this day and age.

• Would you buy a straw that can detect date rape drugs?

• Buck Angel has opened a dating website for trans men and their admirers. I don’t know how to feel about this.

• Tips for beginners: how to call a phone sex line!

• Being sexually harassed? Here’s what to do about it.

• Since I know you’re all as obsessed with sex toys as I am, here’s some infographics on the subject.

• A woman is in trouble for injecting silicone into a man’s penis to increase its size. What?!

(Trigger warning: rape, bestiality.) Have you been following the sad story of “ConcernedDad1965” and his dog-sodomizing son? Here’s the list of threads if you need to catch up. And here’s the latest update, which is looking slightly more optimistic, at least for Colby the dog.