This idea of cleansing oneself has permeated this season—and the theme continues in this episode. Our characters here aren't particularly good at cleaning up and starting afresh, but what they are good at is self-sabotage. In this episode, "On All Four," several characters successfully take themselves out at the knees.
Last week, a woman at Adam's Alcohollics Anonymous crowd set him up with her daughter, Natalia. Surprise, surprise, the two actually hit it off. Suddenly, they're going to see romantic comedies starring Sandra Bullock, taking lunch breaks together and even attending friend's engagement parties. Natalia seems good for Adam, mostly because she's completely up-front about what she wants. When the two first have sex, it at first seems awkwardly negotiated. But Natalia tells Adam what she won't do, what doesn't work for her, and is clear about her boundaries. Adam isn't really used to. He says, "I like how clear you are with me." To which Natalia responds, "What other way is there?"
Welcome to the latest installment of Ms. Opinionated, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don't.
Dear Ms. Opinionated,I'm a college student of 21, and engaged to a 30 year old man with whom I've been for two years. He's very respectful and loving and I plan to marry him after I graduate (in a little more than an year), but chances are we might move in together before that. Right now, he lives in another city almost two hours away, so seeing each other ends up tiring and consuming—time and money-wise.The thing is, our parents will probably oppose. My mother has had terrible experiences with being a single mother, and then moving to an unknown country to end up in a psychologically abusive relationship, plus has very traditional views (i.e. sex after marriage). His parents are traditional Christians. None of them know my fiancé and I have already had sex. How can I bring up the possibility of moving in together without gaining opposition from the people we expect the most support?
To celebrate the release of our new Pulp issue, I dredged up a handful of pulpy 1960s bottom-of-the-barrel paperbacks from a Portland vintage store. I'll be bringing three of these long-forgotten titles back to light this week.
It's not about a smell, or a particular shade of yellow the pages become. I like a musty paperback as much as the next girl, but I will read Persuasion on a tablet or Jane Eyre in a spare browser tab. The dirty secret of old books—the ones you've heard of, the one's you may cringe at the thought of reading—is that they are often dirty too. And if they are skimpy on sex, they are brim-full with melodrama. This is what I can't get enough of: a crazy-ass plot buried beneath the prim patina of age. Madame Bovary: lots of carriage sex. Ulysses: actually mostly farts. Moby-Dick: a "sperm squeezing" scene that is even more masturbatory than you can imagine. Obviously these works are also rich and complicated and subtle, too, but that's no reason not to enjoy their crassness, their buffoonery, their animal charm. (And why deny yourself the bragging rights?)
I recently read a book I've been meaning to devour forever: Dracula.
What all vampire stories are about, ultimately, is sex. Full of nighttime assignations, penetration, the exchange of fluids, visceral desire and latent shame, and the fear of contagion, of contamination, of death—Dracula is no different.
Welcome to the latest installment of Ms. Opinionated, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don't. This week, how to be the perfect feminist by accepting you're not the perfect feminist.
Dear Ms. Opinionated,
As a feminist I am always trying to stay up to date on news, research and blogs like Bitch. Lately, though, I have been feeling very muddled. I vocally criticize objectification of women in TV and movies, yet I am a huge fan of artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna who are marketed as sex symbols. I go on about the lack of coverage and opportunities for female athletes but I rarely watch women's sports myself. I tell my friends not to worry about their weight, but I get upset when I put on a few pounds. I confront sexual harassers on the street yet my sexual fantasies often involve domination by men. I tell myself that everyone is feminist in their own way, but it also seems that most activists and websites espouse a "right" way to be feminist. I can't help feeling that I am doing it wrong or not enough. How do I (and other women reading) reconcile all of these contradictions?
With its intrigue, espionage, thousands of inappropriate emails, and shirtless pics, the coverage of this sex scandal has everything. And by "everything," I mean a depressing amount of retrograde sexism.
This tepid installation of the longest-running movie franchise in history still peddles woman's bodies as disposable, continues the tradition of white-valued imperialism, and features a mark of homophobia. Shocked? You shouldn't be.
Polio just got a whole lot sexier! That's because later this month The Sessions, a new film starring the always incredible John Hawkes (and directed by Ben Lewin, who's disabled) will be making the rounds in theaters. I am extremely excited.
I have been told by some I am creating inspirational porn in a different form by showing images that are too queer, too sexuality provocative, and too fabulous—but I am sharing what people are sending me.
"Why do I have a playlist labeled 'Sexy Jamz' with nothing in it?" I exclaimed one day while looking through my computer's music library, "...your life," a friend said jokingly. I scoffed. But basically, the statement was true—when you're buried neck deep in papers, books, and homework, there's just no time to get down and dirty. But now it's summer, so you must just have all the time in the world to get nasty, right?
Okay, maybe it's not always quite that simple, but here are some songs that might make you feel like an awkward tween again.