Recent posts

5 Ways to Celebrate World AIDS Day


In honor of celebration week, I wanted to write about an important event that just happened this past weekend: World AIDS Day. In case you missed it, or want to keep up the spirit of World AIDS day for all of December, here are 5 things YOU can do to celebrate World AIDS day. Donate (your time and/or money) – Go here to find an AIDS Service Organization (ASO) near you. Give them a call and ask to speak to their volunteer coordinator. You could hand out condoms, make condom packets, work the table at events, or even answers the hotline phones with a little training. Continue Reading →

My Traveling Tradition: A Couple’s Christmas

A more local adventure: The Great Ocean Road, just a few hours drive from where I live

Every other year or so, my husband and I forgo presents and family gatherings in favor of traveling someplace new together and celebrating the holidays with just the two of us. Although it might seem paradoxical, I love how this practice balances the comfortable predictability of a tradition with the energizing excitement of the unknown. Since we live thousands of miles away from our nearest relatives, it makes the decision a bit easier when the cost of traveling to parents and siblings is often much greater than one of our couple’s adventures. To further reduce the holiday financial burden, we give each other homemade cards on Christmas morning instead of exchanging traditional gifts. My husband’s quite a cartoonist and he makes these wonderful drawings that celebrate the previous year, often reflecting the adventures (local and international) that we’ve had together. Continue Reading →

Eight Holiday Gifts for the Sex Geek in Your Life

sti microbes bowl

It’s that time of year again! While everyone’s out buying gift cards and ill-fitting sweaters, you can be the holiday hero to a sex geek in your life. If you’re the sex geek in need of a gift, pass on the list as a hint to a friend or lover, or just keep it as a shopping list for yourself. 1. Giant microbes of STIs

Who wouldn’t love a cute plushie syphilis? Continue Reading →

Henna As Celebration Of Identity

The ethnographic film Painted Bride follows a Pakistani henna artist in New York as she practices her art – temporary plant-based body painting – in the context of fellow immigrants’ wedding celebrations. Check out the video when you get a chance; it’s vibrant as well as informative! And see this older post by me for information on women’s dress in a similar cultural context (India). Continue Reading →

Folklore, Celebrations, And Rites Of Passage

I’ve written about the intersections of folklore and sexuality in the past. Now, with the upcoming holiday season, I’d like to focus on two aspects of folklore – celebrations and rites of passage – that are both relevant and interesting to discuss, especially in light of gender and sexuality. If we define folklore as expressive culture, then most holiday celebrations are informed by and can be categorized as folklore. Whether the holidays or festivals celebrated today are sacred or secular or some mix of both, when people gather in groups they display important aspects of their identities. To be sure, holidays in America are also influenced by pop culture and the mass media, not to mention capitalism and commercialism. Continue Reading →

This Week on MSP: Celebration


Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, MSP’s blogging team will discussing “celebration” in its many forms. We find cause for celebration in many things: great sex, fantastic relationships, and even one’s gender. While family gatherings for the holidays aren’t always stress-free, the practice of celebration over the season can remind us of what we want out of our lives and relationships. It can catalyze self-awareness about what we value, such as whether you find tradition satisfying, or if it’s spontaneity that lights your fire. We hope our posts will interest, inspire, and offer a pleasant antidote to the increasingly annoying Santa-themed songs that have been playing in every store since October. Happy Holidays from MSP! Continue Reading →

My Non-Thing Holiday Gift Guide

Recently, two friends and a few readers have asked if I’m planning to pull together a sex-themed gift guide. We’ve done this in the past and may do so again this year. I’ve heard from people who have bought the books, art, and sex toys we’ve suggested and their relationships and/or orgasms have been the better for it, so that’s encouraging. Certainly, books and sex toys can make a difference in a person or a couple’s sex life, relationship, or marriage – especially when they are chosen with thought. But, these days, my heart and mind are elsewhere. As holiday shopping emails arrive in my Inbox at an ever-feverish pace, my eyes scan for the “unsubscribe” link and I disengage from all but my favorite stores. Continue Reading →