Monthly Archives: February 2011

So You’ve Got the Necessary Supplies…

So now that I’ve got all these condoms, how do I go about putting them to good use?

I’ve been watching the Oscars, ogling Mila Kunitz, drooling over JTime and marveling at how fucking amazing Natalie Portman looks pregnant. Damn. Now, Ms. Portman didn’t just thrill me in ‘Black Swan’, she also made me laugh and want to get laid in a lovely picture she made with Ashton Kutcher called ‘No Strings Attached.’ In case you somehow missed it, here is a trailer:

Now, as luck would have it, Justin and Mila are also making a film about this situation. Trying to explain to you how excited I am about this movie is truly impossible in this medium. Here is a trailer, I hold my breath when I watch it, I can hardly stand it:

Now, I am sure I am going to thoroughly enjoy the latter film as much as I enjoyed the first. But what is this sudden flux in movies about friends who fuck? Could it be because we are all trying to figure out why it is SO GOD DAMN HARD to feel the same ease, comfort, trust and joy in our romantic lives that our friends provide? All these movies seem to be a bit cautionary, espousing that eventually sex will in fact lead to love. Which, to me, isn’t that surprising if you were friends first, because in that case obviously you already liked/cared for one another (hopefully.) I kind of think this is a smart way to go, but its also a difficult transition to navigate. I usually go the other way (sex->friends) which I think is way easier. Friends to lovers, though, is actually really appealing to me. In that scenario you already know a lot about a person, hopefully you care about them and thus are less likely to do hurtful things… My problem is that I feel sexual attraction really hard when it’s there, and I’m super bad at ignoring/putting it off. I suspect that these movies are indicative of an age where sex happens faster, where categories are getting blurrier and less easy to navigate. And where we are all hungering for those movie-magic moments, when the camera closes in and the light dims and we feel a kiss perfect enough to sing about (or at least have someone play ‘As Time Goes By’ on the piano in the background…)

Follow up! The Emphasis on Safe Sex Continues…

So I went to Babeland, as promised, to talk condoms. There was a lovely ‘sex educator’ who spent lots of time with me, and agreed to pass on the idea for an organized program about this topic. She was super knowledgeable and helpful, and here are just a few fun facts I learned:

– All condoms have expiration dates on the back. So that clears that up.

– You should store them in a place without moisture and very little pressure, so no wallets or back pockets.

– Reservoir tips should be pinched when you put them on, so there aren’t air bubbles. Air bubbles will pop.

– There are ridges and there are dots. Different sensations. Try both.

– They should roll down, unrolling outwards not inwards.

Ok, there was a lot more, but thats all I remember well enough to feel confident about passing on. The great thing about going to Babeland instead of a DR or CVS is that a) it’s a sex positive, female focused establishment, b) they have greater brand variety and c) you can mix and match condoms, which are all about $1 each, and its buy 12 get 1 free.

Rivington St! and Ludlow!

I split a dozen with my lovely partner in crime Uptown Girl, I couldn’t help myself, they seemed so fun! The Birds and Bees are packaged fun: ,

and the Vivids have large and ultra thin: .

Finally, the Proper Attires have Dots, XL, and Ultra thin,

and some of their profits go to Planned Parenthood!!!: 

Finally, the website has a wonderful section on How to Choose a Condom. I hope you find all this information as helpful/empowering as I have. It’s bullshit that I had to learn geometry and chemistry, and somehow that is supposed to be more helpful than the information above. I mean, honestly. If you guys have questions, or if you wanna organize a trip to Babeland, holler at your girl.

Wrap it Up, and Keep it Clean

So I went to Duane Reade for a few items yesterday. Downstairs, near the pharmacy, I faced a wall full of condoms. I am very into sex being an equal partnership, which means all parties are responsible for keeping it safe (and good). Personally, I find that stopping the process because you don’t have the proper coverage is AWFUL. And I for one don’t wanna be caught unprepared. So, after putting it off for more than a week, there I stood.

don't be scared, its just me!

 

And I realized, I know very little about condoms. Truth be told, I’ve really only ever bought them a few times in my life, because mostly I rely on guys. Which is totally lame and also unreliable. And that’s why I sucked it up and decided to make a purchase. But, I was perplexed. I mean, there are ‘her pleasures’ and ribbed and lubricated. There are 3 packs, 34 packs, MAGNUMS. I mean, how optimistic should a girl be? Maybe a 34 pack of MAGNUMS is wishful thinking, but just a 3 pack seemed like a waste of time. All the sudden my face got hot, and I started sweating, and I could feel the pharmacist’s eyes burning in the back of my head.

I grabbed what I think is a standard type in a median number and fled. I couldn’t look the young man behind the counter in the eye, even though I had other items. When I got out into the cold, rainy night I was hugely relieved. Which is really annoying, but probably typical. Listen, I am a single cute girl, and it isn’t outrageous at all that I should be in need of contraceptives. Also, even though I started to feel dirty and sinful (that shit gets really ingrained in us, doesn’t it?) I was actually being responsible and mature. I was doing something that showed forethought and sufficient knowledge of my actions and their potential consequences. I was being a smart cookie.

these are for smart cookies! yes we can!

But it’s hard to feel that way about it, because girls aren’t supposed to be smart (and sometimes we aren’t supposed to be mature and self sufficient either). And there is also this weird thing that its a guy’s responsibility, but we all know not every guys is a 10, or reliable, and that sometimes situations happen when you aren’t expecting them and the more prepared all parties can be the better. So despite my discomfort, when I use up my modest stash, I am gonna go back and get more. Also, I’m going to stop into Babeland on my way to work and suggest that they get some condom workshops on the schedule. I need some serious instruction, and maybe I’m not alone. I don’t wanna be caught unprepared, and I don’t wanna be caught unawares. Safe sex is good sex because instead of your mind worrying about all the various icky consequences, it can focus on your orgasm. Stamp.

Tatted Up

Guys, I’ve been thinking about my mom so much lately. The reasons are many and varied. But I was talking to a friend about tattoos, explaining the ink I want to get for my Mom one day. The thing is, my mother hates all of my tattoos and would really not appreciate anymore on my body, even and especially one in tribute to her.

My mom and I have had many uncomfortable discussions about body art, and I hid a lot of my tattoos from both of my parents for a long time. It was exhausting. I finally completed a project, a creative non-fiction piece, about my tattoos in my senior year of undergrad. I sent it to my mom to read. I wanted her to hear, in my voice, why I continued to undergo this painful process and mark up my body, which in her eyes (I am her one and only child) is perfect. Here is just a snippet from that paper:

And tattoos are sexy. Or they should be. There are days when I think my tattoos are the sexiest thing about me. This forbidden, subversive art form has always had a touch of danger and mystery. And its permanence lends it immediate recognition as important. My tattoos are illustrations of my life story. They exist only in the context of my history. They are part of what makes me unique because they are not just words or images or melodies, they are moments. When a person sees me undress for the first time, they are looking at symbols that can reveal to  them major events in my life, and bare the feelings I had in the minutes and hours surrounding my visits to the parlors. If you really look at them, and if you take pause to ask, you could learn everything you need to know about me.  When I’m naked, I am even more exposed than if my skin was unmarked. Vulnerable, but also powerful in my expression. It’s not just that I let my guard down, it’s also that I command you to see.

This contradiction is necessary in a world where my naked body is never detached from a political state of being. When claiming sexual assertiveness you run the risk of claiming labels like bitch, slut, dyke and whore. Independence is not always lauded or encouraged. Adding art to my skin is a way to assert my ownership over it. To make it even more valuable, more of a sight to drink in. I politicize in on my own terms. I get a rush when I see another person’s eyes light up with surprise and discovery. Nothing nourishes intimacy like the possession of a secret. A women’s body has always been said to possess secrets, and by adding tattoos I have added more secrets. Asserted more control. Declared myself beautiful.

Typical of me, making everything feminist. But honestly, writing that paper made me see just how strongly I felt about feminism, and my body, and my freedom of expression. I did not begin knowing that I’d end up where I did. It was illuminating, that writing process.

And now I’m in the midst of another writing process, this time about food but really about my Mom. Honestly, it’s been really super hard. But I am grateful that I can use words to make sense of my past, and of how the world interacts with my emotional landscape. Basically, I’m glad I can write, because otherwise my life would make a lot less sense. And I think that reading that paper, my Mom made some kind of peace with my ink. At least, I think she gets my point of view now, though I know we’ll never really agree. But I’m hooked. I’ve been hooked since my first tattoo on 4th street that first autumn, 17 and silly and unafraid of so many things.

back of my neck, just below the hairline

I’m not sure how to end this post. I guess I just wanted to say that expressing yourself honestly can happen a variety of ways, and that it can be hard. Especially in a society that dictates who gets to be loud and who should be quiet, who gets to run wild and who needs to be contained. It’s hard when you want to say things that people don’t really want to hear, especially if those people are close to you. But if you feel, like I do, that it’s life or death, then being who you are and saying what you mean have got to be the paramount occasions in your day. Thats why I’ve been sitting in a coffee shop all day writing and researching. Just trying to use the platforms at my disposal to say something worthwhile.

Let’s Listen to Jon Stewart

Ok guys. Instead of me going on and on about this, lets just listen to Jon Stewart. Go watch that video and come back. I’ll wait.

Daily Show Video

My friend Uptown Girl is here, and we are both just pretty furious. In particular, she hates that Michigan lady Michelle Bauchman. Remember, just because a woman is a product of the feminist movement doesn’t mean she has feminist values or ideals. Ick.

Ok, now go watch how AMAZING Whoopi is. Joy is dope too. Seriously, I’ll wait.

The View Clip

I mean, does anybody care about women’s healthcare? Or about the low income population? Or about women in general? Whoopi is the bombdotcom. Hassleback contributes nothing. That billboard is out of control heinous. I hope people get angry enough to do something.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m with Tim Gunn on this one…

whatever happened to ANDRE? carry on with your healthcare services!

Props to Cali

2 post day, you know something is amiss, a foot, a… something’s up.

Guys, Planned Parenthood continues to take huge hits from the idiots we let run the country. I tend to agree with Jon Stewart that Congress is pretty useless, and I get seriously frustrated with the way things work. We need to yell back.

This is California Congresswoman Jackie Speier. She got personal. I think it was extremely courageous, and I admire her honesty and emotionality.

I know this is a contested issue, but she spoke so candidly it was refreshing and inspiring. She totes spoke my mind entirely when she called that asshole from Jersey out. This procedure is serious, and women aren’t running around willy nilly all eager to do it. But it is sometimes necessary, sometimes life saving for medical or personal reasons. And it has to be noted, and LOUDLY, that Planned Parenthood does way more than provide abortions. It also needs to be noted that abortions are still legal (although they’ve been chipping away at abortion rights since Roe vs. Wade passed, and you should check your state laws to see just how far they’ve managed to limit women’s rights. It varies…) Use your voice! Its been less than a century that we were granted the right to participate in the political realm. If women could get it together and harmonize in a collective voice, we would be super duper powerful. In fact, we could take it all back. That’s right, it’s finally out, this whole blog is really about female world domination… j/k LOL I digress.

Support Planned Parenthood so we can ensure that Margaret Sanger’s legacy is protected, and for gosh sakes can some of you smart sassy bitches get a law degree or whatever the hell it takes to get into Congress so that we can be seen, heard, and recognized as full and complete persons. Women’s health care isn’t secondary or unimportant, it’s not extraneous and its not cut-able. We gotta take care of each other, cause if we leave it up to them… well, you see how those nitwits reason. Oy.

What about the Ladies?!

Alright guys, it’s President’s Day. And I love presidents day. But it is a holiday that celebrates great men, and I think it only necessary to point out that we celebrate great men way more frequently then we celebrate great women. History is still really skewed (thesis alert!!!) and so we gotta try extra hard to remember the ladies that were also doing really dope things, even in times when they were encouraged to sit down shut up and look pretty. Here, in no particular order and oh so briefly, are some of my personal dope female heroes:

Lilith: Adam’s first wife.

Didn’t know Adam had a chick before Eve? That’s because those big bad religious texts have editors, just like this blog (well that’s just me, and I’m pretty shoddy…). Lilith was kicked out of the garden because she was disobedient, and feminists love how she is sassy and also how she got hung out to dry by the dudes who put together the Old Testament. She is usually depicted with flaming red hair to symbolize her uncontrollable sexuality, and a snake (which was actually an ancient symbol of wisdom and the sacred feminine, and it got turned into a symbol of treachery and deceit by the writers who were trying to get believers on their side. The whole snake thing was just political propaganda, but I digress). She is my favorite disobedient housewife, and I love how she sticks around despite attempts to erase her.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Dopest First Lady

Wife to one of the greatest President’s, this woman did some totally amazing shit. My favorite things include drafting ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ for the UN and chairing the Kennedy administration’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She is a native New Yorker born right here on the island, probably had some lesbian affairs, gave birth to 6 children and cared for an ailing husband who just happened to be Commander and Chief. And her own work leaves a legacy that is almost unmatched. So dope.

Margaret Sanger: Birth Control Pioneer

This lady had a serious mission, and that was to get health and contraceptive information out to women when it was actually against the law to do so (sounds kind of familiar, huh…). She traveled extensively to find the most effective methods of birth control, and to promote contraceptive knowledge. She wrote illicit material, distributed it, lectured across the nation, I mean this woman was fearless. She founded the first legal women’s health clinic, and eventually the organization known today as ‘Planned Parenthood.’ She had an unwavering commitment to a cause that she knew was of the utmost importance for women everywhere, and it is this commitment and dedication (enacted with grace and ferocity) that I so admire.

Billie Jean King: Women’s Sport Dynamo

Most of you may have heard of BJK thanks to a match she played against Bobby Riggs which was called ‘The Battle of the Sexes.’ She won, but I am here to tell you that her career means WAY more than that. This woman was  number 1 in the world, earning 129 titles including 6 Wimbledons and 4 US Opens. She founded the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Association, as well as World Team Tennis. She was an early and relentless advocate for equal prize money (which is only just happening), and she has personally helped me with my serve. No seriously.

 

check that fresh tennis gear!
I am SO attentive!

Marilyn Monroe: Icon

Marilyn has one of the best known faces in 20th century culture. But she was so much more than just a stunning beauty. In the face of ridiculous odds, she built a career and a legacy that even she herself never believed in. She was an orphan with a familial history of drug abuse and mental disease. All of the men in her life used and abused her, and the men with power did not believe in her talent or encourage her almost at all. She was ravaged by insecurity and a crippling drug habit (uppers, downers, uppers, downers, uppers, downers…). Did I mention that everyone, even people supposedly in her corner (studio execs, acting coaches, Strausberg, Arthur Miller, Sinatra), just used and abused her to promote their own needs/careers? Despite all this, she sparkled on screen and created a new kind of female character. Her talent, as far as I’m concerned, is still under-appreciated. The fact of her broken-ness hidden behind such a dazzling facade is one of the most tragic stories I’ve ever read. (This biography is wonderful, if you want the whole story.)

Ok so there you have it. Some of my favorite ladies, and their stories in my own personal and so incomplete words. Oh, wait, one more:

Patricia ❤

Isn’t my mom thebomb.com?!?!

PS Please comment with a mention of your own personal fav dope lady ❤