Tag Archives: sex

How Girls Learn Emotional Reciprocity (and Why Boys Don’t)

From that same Metafilter discussion:

“Adolescent female friendships are LEGENDARILY difficult and drama-prone. And they are! Being an adolescent girl and navigating the emotional landscape of female friendship is hella hard! It’s not just media hype to sell Mean Girls narratives! But I think the narrative the media wants to attach to it is “girls are so over-emotional and mean to each other” when actually I think the deeper narrative here is, “Girls make intense emotional demands on their friendships in ways that boys don’t, and girls have hyperdramatic adolescent friendship landscapes because they are learning to engage in reciprocal emotional relationships without an adult to mediate them. Adolescent girl friend drama is children learning to manage reciprocal emotional relationships like adults. Boys friendships are not, culturally, allowed to be so intense, dramatic, or emotionally-involving, so I think boys do not get the opportunity to learn and practice adult interpersonal relationships in the same way, and boys friendships simply do not place the same emotional demands on them. Girls MUST learn to function with emotional reciprocity in their friendships or get shut out of them; emotionality is so proscribed in male friendships that they simply never face that demand.

“So you have a lot of girls arriving in their late teens and early 20s with a decade of watching adult women manage other people’s emotions and considering it a skill to emulate, and then a decade of struggling through the whirlpools of adolescent female friendships and learning to do the work themselves. They’ve served their apprenticeships. They face demands of reciprocity from other women they’re friends with, and they’re accustomed to the idea that relationships involve giving as well as taking.

“Some boys, however, arrive in their late teens and early 20s without having ever had a peer make emotional demands on them, and without having ever had to function in a peer relationship where they have to both give and take. Their closest emotional relationships are with parents, and parent-to-child is give-give-give so the child is take-take-take. I think a lot of these young men, it has literally never occurred to them that someone they are emotionally close to would make any emotional demands on them, because that has literally never happened, because their early childhood years were full of nothing but women, and their adolescent years featured culturally-limited friendships that were emotionally superficial. So some of these guys? Yeah, they finish college and start dating seriously and they’re perfectly nice guys who have literally no idea how to function as emotional adults because they’re only just now starting to practice. They have the emotional literacy of 11-year-old girls. And, yeah, basically someone’s going to end up having to raise them from 11-year-old-ness in interpersonal relationships to adulthood, because it’s not really a task you can accomplish in the absence of other people with whom to be interpersonally related. …

“And Because Patriarchy we’re going to act like that’s just how 23-year-old men act and all roll our eyes instead of recognizing that, no, they’re actually behaving like 11-year-old girls, but it’s pretty embarrassing for them because it’s one thing when you’re 11 but when you’re 23 you really ought to know better. And at 11 you’re just making everyone around you miserable but at 23 you have the full power to ruin lives with your bullshit.

Full discussion in context.

Dating an Emotional Charlatan

From a Metafilter discussion about modern dating and emotional labor:

“A few years ago, one of my friends began dating an accomplished lawyer who made good money. He was charming and generous. He 100% seemed like he had his shit together and could keep up with her. He cooked for her occasionally and his home was clean and comfortable.

“When they moved in together, his mother emailed her a list of links to Brooks Brothers and his measurements. He had never bought work clothes for himself. During the year they lived together, she had to put him on an allowance because he ran out of money most months. He wanted takeout every night and would pout if she offered to cook instead. His idea of helping out around the house was to unload the dishwasher once a week and demand enthusiastic praise for it. At the end of that year he put extreme pressure on her to re-sign their lease. She ended up paying hundreds of dollars to break the lease two months later, when she broke up with him “out of nowhere.”

“I assure you, the men who are good at fooling women into believing they are competent adults and quality partners are good at fooling you into believing the same. This kind of emotional charlatan isn’t someone a few unlucky women meet in their 20s–these men are everywhere, across professions and classes. I’m definitely skeptical of your confidence in determining which men are good partners from the outside. If women–who have a much larger stake in not dating man-size toddlers–are so often wrong, how do you know that your assessments of other men are correct?”

Full discussion.

Race, Masculinity and Gay Hookup Apps

Lester Brathwaite gives up on the hookup:

“My looks, as validated by the very men I was rejecting, gave me license to be more selective. As I grew more selective, my profiles grew less playful. I erased my face. I added more shirtless pics and naked pics; I worked out harder; I left my descriptions blank so I would have nothing to blame for a guy not messaging me back, other than his own ‘preference.’

. . .

Was it something I said or didn’t say? Am I not muscular enough? Am I not masculine enough? Am I too black? Not black enough? Guys that I would strike up a casual conversation with immediately became potential boyfriends. We would either meet and have sex and I’d never see him again or we’d casually text until one or both of us lost interest. Some times, we’d meet and I’d face my rejection in-person. Were we to meet in another, less sexually-charged way, things would probably be different. Giving all the goods off the bat, however, takes the surprise and spontaneity out of meeting each other.

But these apps and sites have rendered me completely unable to interact with guys in any other way because they cater to my insecurity. My insecurity about talking to guys. My insecurity with coming off too effeminate or too needy. My insecurity of attracting someone without using my body. It’s one thing to be rejected based on a picture and a headline, but to be rejected based on something more substantial like personality is a soul-crusher. I broke myself down and I beat myself up and I compromised my values and what I believed in in order to satisfy my all-consuming sexual desire. I recognized that this desire was just a desire to be less lonely, which explains why I would often get attached to someone so quickly and so easily.”

Full essay http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lester-brathwaite/adventures-in-sex-and-sel_b_4921467.html

Image from the essay

Good Groups, Bad Groups and Gender Representation in Entertainment

Commenter on a Reddit thread about Wolf of Wall Street:

“If you continually see, over and over and over again, men doing these great things, and women not even present for it, your stupid human programming is going to kick in and those are going to be the set rules. Good Group, Bad Group. Or – in my case, COOL Group, Bad Group. The need to see someone who looks like you doing the things you want to do is SO huge. It’s SO necessary to have positive self worth.

Imagine only seeing you as a sidekick or a hot reward. Maybe you would be like me – I was like, “That’s NOT me. I’m more like [the White Guy]!”

Like, it was possible for me to identify with male characters, but in order to do that, every single day I enjoyed that media, I would have to set aside the female part of myself. I honestly didn’t realize how damaging it was until recently. Or how easy it had become for me to dislike it, to think less of being female. I wanted to be cool, and cool was completely synonymous with being male. This is what I was taught, so it’s what I learned, and I would do my best to be that, by golly by gosh.

In order to pretend to be someone I wanted to be – fun and kind and goofy – I had to pretend to be a guy. In order to be the kind of hero I wanted to be, I was Flash or I was Robin – Wonder Woman wasn’t fun, she wasn’t goofy. Batgirl was never really part of the adventures, Crystal Kane just sat up in Sky Vault and ran a computer, I wanted to be part of the adventure! I was Ace McCloud! I was Michelangelo, not boring April! Stupid, stick in the mud girls aren’t part of the adventures! Or if they are – imagine a child pretending to be one of those super sexual heroines? Just…? Why is that what they’re limited to.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/cringe/comments/1zd1cs/female_version_of_the_wolf_of_wall_street/cft05e8

Image from Etsy http://www.etsy.com/listing/89972756/spiderman-spidergirl-tutu-perfect-for

Domestic Abuse Survivor Tells a Future Victim What Happens Next

A survivor of domestic abuse explains what happens next:

“He doesn’t think you can make your own decisions. He doesn’t want you to be able to, either.

he would rather pay me the same amount to not work and stay home/stay with him.

He would rather sacrifice money to have you as personal property in his control.

I’d be relying in him to give me my “allowance”. What if he decides he’s not happy with me, I just end up out of pocket?

It takes away all of your financial independence.

1) This is his intent, and your danger. Abusers aren’t just fucked from day one, or even year one. They show their true colors once they have you financially and emotionally stranded.

He is saying he wants your time to the point of paying for it.  Not only are you now his whore, but there’s another level… Do you hang out with friends without him? Is it a problem if you do? Does it make him feel like he isn’t important, or that it’s taking too much time away from him? This may not have popped up yet, but once he is the sole breadwinner I can garun-fucking-tee that you won’t be seeing friends or family without him, and only when he’s okay with it.

2) you are neither smart, or an equal in his eyes. Look back at arguments. I don’t doubt that he compares himself to you… He already did that with finances.

3) I bet you really feel like he loves you. I bet he’s really good at making you feel that way… Just a little less so recently. Come to think of it, I bet a lot less recently. It’s not that he’s making you feel worse, he’s just worrying about your needs less. All those romantic things you love him for are from quite a while ago.

4) you’re going to stand strong, and he’s going to try to make it up to you romantically if he’s a good abuser, but something like this doesn’t rear it’s head in a normal relationship in the first place. He is going to be sweet as pie for a few days, or maybe even weeks if he works hard, until he’s annoyed that you still aren’t doing what he wants.

Am I crazy for being pissed off about this?

No, but it’s crazy scary that this is something you’re asking. It should be obvious, especially when you’re saving up for a house with him that he can’t even wait to financially isolate you in order to expedite getting a house faster.

Leave. This is fundamental, and he will not change, only hide it until you’re in his control. His intent is clear even if you don’t want to believe it. I’m sorry, and I try to rarely advocate leaving, because this sub is where you go to seek solutions, not to be told to throw in the towel. The difference here is that at this point the cheetah has shown it’s spots, and anything he does now is trying to hide them. He is waaay too sneaky about what he’s doing.

A normal person who respects you might offer you the choice to be a stay at home spouse or mom if you want it… But he’s trying to pay you to do it, getting mad that you’re trying to support yourself like he’s pointed out that you don’t do as much as he does, and is telling you that he won’t even allow you to do certain things for independence, even if it means financing a future together. You can’t win.

You are going to be controlled and abused by him. Remember, abusers must lure you in first with seemingly beautiful acts of love and kindness. Nobody thinks they’ll let themselves get into a relationship like that, but you’re going down that path right now. You need to get out. By the time it’s bad you won’t have friends, family, or money to turn to in order to escape.

Even if you don’t leave, build a financial safety net that he doesn’t know about or control. Sadly, many will not heed advice to get out when the signs are in plain red lights spelled out for you. Denial is a powerful thing. At least make a safety net for yourself so you aren’t powerless when the time comes.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/relationships/comments/1ywh5l/me_23_f_with_my_partner_23_m_3_years_he_wants_to/cfojpdt

Graphic from http://www.domesticpeace.com/

An Ex-Mormon on Cutting and Self-Abuse

An ex-Mormon on how shame about sex turned him to cutting:

“Masturbation isn’t self abuse, cutting your skin to deal with the feeling of abject depression because you aren’t strong enough to not masturbate is self abuse.

The first years of my marriage were fraught with extreme sexual issues between me and my wife. I wanted sex maybe 2 or 3 times a week, she wanted it maybe 2 times a year. I hated pressuring her into anything so for the first 4 or 5 years of our marriage we had sex maybe, at best really, once a month.

Year two of my sexual desert and I finally caved in and masturbated after a longer than normal absence of intimacy. I was overcome with extreme shame, grief, and stress. I went to church leaders, church counselors, etc, and they all said the same thing:

  1. Pray more
  2. Go to church regularly
  3. Really study your scriptures

If I could do this to the best of my ability I would be blessed and everything would be fine.

I did this for a whole year, to the letter and spirit of the law. Nothing made my situation better. Wife still hated sex, and I still masturbated on a occasion and felt incredibly bad about it. Then, on a midnight drive to calm my nerves I discovered cutting.

I pulled off onto a secluded road and parked my car. I was livid, anguished, deeply depressed. I got out of my car and starting screaming, yelling at god and everything about why I hadn’t been comforted yet. I walked over to a nearby tree and started punching it. The bark was sharp and instantly cut open the knuckles on my right hand. The pain was excruciating, blindingly painful, and made me nauseous. I fell to the ground and grabbed my hand. It was sticky with blood; a lot of blood. The bark of the tree had severely lacerated my skin, almost to the point of needing stitches.

A funny thing happened though, I actually felt good. The pain in my throbbing hand was intense and removed the pain of my mental state. The flowing blood was a testament to me, it meant I could overcome my struggles with pain. It was a realization that would plague me until even now.

After this experience I started cutting my skin with a knife anytime I felt the sexual tension or urge to masturbate. Here are some pictures to show you what I did…”

Full thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/1y00na/about_the_march_2014_issue_of_the_ensign_by_elder/cfgeure

Image from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Schnittwunden.JPG

Abortions at 30-Year Low (and Not Because of Clinics Being Closed)

It’s amazing when you give people the full education and resources and tools to make decisions about their sexual health, it usually ends up for the best:

“The study, released by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion-rights think tank, concluded that nearly 1.1 million abortions took place in the United States in 2011, some 700,000 fewer than in 2008. That’s the equivalent of 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women between 15 and 44. During the same time, the number of abortion providers fell by 4 percent and the number of abortion clinics fell by 1 percent.

“The national abortion rate appears to have resumed its long-term decline,” conclude researchers Rachel K. Jones and Jenna Jerman. The rate of abortions in the United State has decreased almost every year since 1981, when, according to Guttmacher spokeswoman Rebecca Wind, there were 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women. The decline halted from 2005 to 2008. As of 2011, the abortion rate not only began to drop again, it also hit its lowest point since 1973.

Still, Jones and Jerman write, “It is crucial to note that abortion rates decreased by larger-than-average amounts in several states that did not implement any new restrictions between 2008 and 2010, such as Illinois (18%) and Oregon (15%).”

The increased use of contraceptives is thought to have played a role by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies—in particular among women living in poor economic circumstances who may have used birth control more consistently during the recession and the sluggish recovery period that followed.”

Full article <a href=”http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/abortion-rate-record-decline-map”>http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/abortion-rate-record-decline-map</a>