arvan's picture

Aimee Mullins on humanity and beauty

Aimee Mullins gave a truly delightful talk on being human.


I have watched this piece several times, each time coming away with something precious, that reaffirms the beliefs at the core of this site:

I define my sex, gender, body. You define yours.

arvan's picture

Intimacy on wheels and batteries.

This week, I attended another screening at Clarisse Thorn's Sex+++ Film Series at Jane Addams' Hull House in Chicago.  Two documentary films were featured.  The first one, "Sex, Disability & Videotape" (Beyondmedia Education) was about women from age 16 -24 with disabilities claiming and exploring their self image, self worth and sexuality.  The second feature, "Orgasmic Women" (Marianna Beck) is a film of 13 women interviewed about masturbation, with demonstrations.

I did not initially sense how these two films would pair with each other around any central theme or related conversation.  The first film was about a group called Empowered Fe Fes, which is a support group for young women with disabilities.  The film focused on two relationship conversations.

arvan's picture

Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday

One thing I like about the internet, the blogosphere and this new world of technology - is how we make each other strong by adding our own voices to the common discourse.

I have used and loved Shameless Self-Promotion Sundays at several sites and am deeply grateful to them.  I am especially thankful to Feministe! for their version as not only a place for me to offer up my work, but to discover so many wonderful voices.  I have also used and read the Diary Rescue over at MyDD & DailyKos to the same end.

So, with no further ado, I leave the floor to you.  Let's hear about something you published online this week, that you would like us all to see.


arvan's picture

Now, there's something you don't see everyday...

After reading The Ultimates' primer on swing lifestyle, I got to thinking about shaving.  I don't swing, so this whole conversation about hair was new to me.  I'm  a fairly hairy individual.  Not quite Austin Powers, but my Welsh blood has me wearing a sweater all year long. 

Honestly, I've always been proud of it.  When I was a teen, my hair was among the first signals of my adult body to arrive.  I wasn't the guy that had a full beard in Freshman English, but by Junior year, I had more hair on my chest than my old man. 

In my 20's & 30's, I thought my hair looked pretty good.  Curly, bushy and vibrant.  It was soft and sensual.  I would run my fingers across it on hot summer nights when sleeping on the sheets was the only choice. 

I thought of shaving hair as something for swimmers or openly gay men that were into the pretty boy image.  I saw myself as some sort of hybrid between Burt Reynolds and Che Guevara, thumbing my nose at body-grooming neuroses with bravado in pursuit of the "real (hairy) man" lifestyle.

Annabelle River's picture

Different Loving

Over a year passed between the time I realized clearly that I am a masochist and the time that I found the BDSM community, with its social coffee gatherings and open-to-the-public play parties.  It was a lonely year between my junior and senior years of college, during which I wasted entirely too much mental energy wondering if I was crazy.  It did sound irreconcilable to be a sane, empowered woman and also really like men hitting me and/or calling me a whore.  After a bad reaction from my college boyfriend, it took me a year to confess my "big dark secret" to a second person.

But in hindsight, blaming the college boyfriend was mostly a convenient excuse for my own confusion.  Alternative sexuality scares a lot of people.  I had to do a lot of reading and a lot of introspection on my own before becoming the sort of confidant woman who writes columns about BDSM for the world wide web.

arvan's picture

I Was A Teenage Sexist Chicken

This post is not about Sexism or Feminism, it is about my experience in talking about them.

I have had several conversations lately about how people engage in debate over sex / gender / body (SGB) identity issues.  I am launching a blog that supports dialogue on those issues and in the communities that they create.  As I frame the terms of the conversations and the goals of the site, I have begun to articulate my view on the structure of dialogue itself.

The Ultimates's picture

Practical Tips for Swinger Wannabes

Most people know that couples who are swingers, (in “the lifestyle”) define a committed relationship as one which does not include monogamy. But having sex with other people is not the only trait that separates swingers from the vanilla (non-swinger) mainstream.  There is a whole swinger culture which includes, among other things, specific grooming, clothing, products and sexual behavior.  

EvilSlutClique's picture

Pam Anderson is Not Cosmopolitan

We have a confession to make.

We read the May issue of Cosmopolitan. Okay, and the April issue also. We went on a trip at the end of March that involved long boring train rides! We’ll try not to let it happen again, especially since we’ve learned that for all of their willingness to talk openly about sex and encourage their readers to have a lot of it, the editors of Cosmo can also be pretty judgmental when it comes to expressions of sexuality that break their arbitrary rules. There's a section in the front of the magazine called "Cosmo News", which I can only assume means "here in Cosmoland we think this information qualifies as news", because it's all stuff about Zac Efron and random studies about kissing and the new trendy style of sandals among celebrities. On the "Hot Sheet" page, there's a little sidebar on "What's Not So Hot", and the victim this month is Pam Anderson:

What's Not So Hot: Acting Age-Inappropriate Dear Pam, You can still be hot in your 40s. You cannot, however, do it by acting like you did when you were in your 20s. Sincerely, Cosmo

This little love note is accompanied by a couple of images of Pam wearing a revealing bathing suit/bodysuit/sparkly thing, and one of them is captioned, "Her sons must be psyched."

Clarisse Thorn's picture

"There is no 'should'" and the sex-positive "agenda"

Arvan suggested that my first authorial post to Sex/Gender/Body be this one, which I wrote a couple months ago. Enjoy!

What's my "agenda"? What does it mean to be a "pro-BDSM activist"? What's the "sex-positive agenda"? Who is part of the "sex-positive movement"? These are all questions I've been thinking about a lot lately -- and they seem to constantly recur around the blogosphere, in varying forms. But here's a question that's rarely posed explicitly, and it's the one that preoccupies me the most: What action can I take in the real world to help create a powerful, energetic sex-positive -- and pro-BDSM -- movement?

I'm thinking fairly pragmatically and concretely these days. Sure, I love discussing highly theoretical questions like, "Why is there stigma against certain sexual identities?" But what I really want is to have a larger cultural impact, not just worry ineffectually at these mysteries like a dog worrying at a bone.

arvan's picture

Welcome To SexGenderBody

I define my sex, gender, body.  You define yours.

These words summarize the intention of this site.  There are no experts to tell us how to claim or identify our own sex, gender, body (sgb).

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