Michaela

Michaela

Michaela is a recent Seven Sisters graduate with a self-designed degree in Sexuality Studies. When she's not blogging, you'll find her teaching Health and Wellness and A Cappella to high school students, helping women find properly fitting bras, and working as an editor on a documentary. She hopes to continue her education one day with a PhD in Feminist Anthropology.

Recent posts

HIV Awareness Through Dessert

Public health campaigns take all kinds of forms, whether it be billboards, public service announcements, or kitschy jingles. But Alvin Leung, head chef at Bo Innovation restaurant in Hong Kong, China has taken a whole new approach. According to this article from Delish.com, Chef Leung has created a dessert called “Sex on the Beach,” which features an edible pink condom over edible sand. The condom, made of a “kappa and konjac” mixture and shaped around a cigar, also features a “white gooey substance” inside, made of mixture of honey and ham. Sounds appetizing! Continue Reading →

“The Last Taboo”: Dealing with Disability and Sexuality

Alexander Freeman, Taken from The Last Taboo courtesy of OUTCAST PRODUCTIONS

“When someone looks at someone in a chair, or with a disability, or someone who is outside what we call ‘normal’, they, in their minds, they’re not thinking ‘this person could meet me on an intellectual and sexual level,’ and they’re not thinking ‘oh, I can have a fling with this person’ or ‘I’d like to go out with this guy in a chair’ or ‘this girl in a chair,’ or ‘this is different but I’ll try it out’ and that’s part of the problem…able-bodied people aren’t willing to take the first step to find out what is possible.” At age 25, Alexander Freeman is no newcomer to the social politics of having a disability. Having dealt with cerebral palsy since the day he was born, Freeman has come to both understand and question the nuances of social interaction that are specific to people with visible disabilities. A few years ago, during his time at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, all of these lingering questions came to a head. After sharing a very personal experience with a close friend, Freeman “was determined to change people’s perspectives” on disability and sexuality “and capture the stories of many people, and tell [his] own story.” Continue Reading →

Limits of the English Language – Revisited

Our most recent theme week, Sex and Language, has prompted me to revisit a topic that I blogged about a while back: the use of language when describing a significant other. At the time, I was struggling with what I should call my Sig O. Since my partner (yes, I’ve settled on that word) is transgender, I was bouncing between boyfriend and partner. “Boyfriend,” on the one hand, led everyone to assume heterosexuality, while “partner” made me sound like an old lesbian (no offense whatsoever to that crowd, I’m just not quite there yet). This of course brings up the question of whether or not I actually care what people think of me. When I use boyfriend and people assume I’m straight, should that bother me? Continue Reading →

Polari: Gay Slang of the 60s

Though it sounds like a term straight out of Twilight, Polari is actually a 50 yea- old queer slang language. Used among gay men in the UK, Polari (often seen as Palare, as the word comes from the Italian “parlare,” or “to speak”) was born out of necessity; gay men in the 1960s needed a certain level of privacy, and thus a secret slang language was born. According to the few sources I was able to find, Polari is a mix of several different languages and slang dialects, including English, Italian, Yiddish, circus-slang, and Gypsy languages. Polari was made up of a small lexicon of only about 20 words, but was ever-changing and often included up to 500 words. This website has a lot of Polari words and their modern translations, but I’ve picked out a few of my favorites to share with you here:

plate                   feet; to fellate

onk                     nose

oglefakes           glasses   (definitely going to use this one)

meshigener       nutty, crazy, mental (ah, there’s the Yiddish I recognize!)

cottaging           having or looking for sex in a cottage

cottage              public loo (particularly with reference to cottaging)

basket               the bulge of male genitals through clothes

chicken            young boy

So, MSP readers, if you catch me throwing in a few Polari words into my posts here and there, you’ll know where they come from! Continue Reading →

What to Call Your Kids’ Naughty Bits

As someone who has been babysitting for over 10 years, I’ve probably heard fifty different words that parents use to describe their kids’ naughty bits. Really, I’ve heard it all, from pee-pee to bajingo, vee vee to private parts. As children of a self-proclaimed feminist, my brother and I grew up using only the anatomical terms for our genitalia, so it’s always interesting for me to see the other terms that children use. All of these pet-names I keep hearing have gotten me thinking about the pros and cons of using scientific terminology to describe childrens’ genitalia. I recently came across a blog post in which a mom discusses her reasoning for using pet-names. Continue Reading →

“You’ve Got She-Mail”: The Use of Gendered Pronouns on RuPaul’s Drag Race

Okay, so I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I just started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. I had heard of the show before, but it wasn’t until I started watching some reruns at a friend’s house that I realized how much I’d been missing out. The show is, in a word, fabulous. From RuPaul’s ever-changing wardrobe to the weekly “She-Mail” messages, the show is like a bad car crash- you just can’t stop watching. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of dramatic divas compete for the title of #1 Drag Queen? Continue Reading →

Toy Review: Dual Bliss Bullet Waterproof Vibrator

Thanks once again to our friends at Good Vibrations, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing another awesome product- the Dual Bliss Bullet Waterproof Vibrator. I absolutely love the concept of dual pleasure! The Dual Bliss may look like a basic bullet vibe, but it is anything but basic. With two separate bullets controlled by the same remote, the Dual Bliss allows you and your partner to enjoy some good vibrations at the same time. It’s waterproof capability makes it an awesome toy for a steamy shower or relaxing soak in the hot tub. Continue Reading →

Young Ears are Listening: Gender, Body Image, and Top 40 Music

Yesterday, I was in the passenger seat of my roommate’s car. We were guiltily enjoying some Top 40 in the background as we enjoyed the gorgeous scenery, when suddenly we were accosted by these lyrics:

“Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby
Let me know
Girl I’m gonna show you how to do it
And we start real slow
You just put your lips together
And you come real close
Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby
Here we go” (Whistle, by Flo Rida)

So, not exactly what I want to hear on my car ride. Or, um, ever. Not to mention that it took us a good minute to even hear the lyrics. The song has a repetitive “whistle” riff that makes it sound like children’s music. Continue Reading →

Queering Jewish Traditions

Though I’ve become far less spiritual in the past several years, my Jewish cultural identity is still a huge part of my life. I treasure all of the holidays- for the food, the family, and the inevitable craziness that comes with all of the above. However, I have struggled to find my place in the Jewish community as a queer individual. My family and the Jewish community I surround myself with are extremely supportive of me, but the “laws” don’t always agree. In fact, the synagogue that I attended all throughout my childhood (I even had my bat mitzvah there) does not perform same-sex marriage. Continue Reading →

Attachment Parenting and Sexuality: Does Co-Sleeping Mean No Sex?

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you know that I’ve gotten a bit baby-obsessed as of late. No, it’s not the realization that my biological clock is ticking (though it definitely is), but in fact my new-found interest in parenting has stemmed from spending 18 hours a week at a baby boutique. Working in Western Massachusetts, I hear a lot about baby-wearing, green parenting, and, of course, co-sleeping. Co-sleeping, one of the three tenets of attachment parenting, is the practice of sleeping in the same bed as your child. Co-sleeping has tons of benefits, the most important of which is feeling close to your child. Continue Reading →