Recent posts

Movie Sex: The Holy Grail?

When you think about how sex is pictured in the movies, what do you think of? Brute Reason gives us a summary of the usual scenario: man meets woman, and without much or any discussion of their sexual preferences or desires, they proceed to have awesome, mind-blowing sex. How often does that actually happen in real life? We’re gonna say infrequently, if ever. And  yet it’s still held up as this Holy Grail, the object of never-ending quests, the goal to which all sexual partners ought aspire. Continue Reading →

Book Review: Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser

Longtime MSP readers will know that we are big fans of Clarisse Thorn’s writing: she intelligently tackles important sex topics such as BDSM, sexual submission, open relationships, and sex-positivity. So we of course were super-excited when her book, Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser, came out (available on Amazon and Smashwords and in paperback). Clarisse guides readers through her discovery of and interactions with the pickup community, explaining relevant concepts from feminism along the way. In fact, the book is so packed with anecdotes about her interactions as well as interesting ideas that she concludes each chapter with a tl;dr summary (for those of you who don’t live on the internet, “tl;dr” stands for “too long; didn’t read” and indicates that if you skipped the main content, you can get a tidy summary). So, my tl;dr summary of this book is that it’s a fascinating exploration of one sex subculture – pickup artistry – through the lens of another few subcultures – BDSM, open relationships, geek culture, and sex-positive feminism – which Clarisse puts into dialogue with one another. Continue Reading →

Is There A Double Standard With Alcohol And Consent?

This controversial essay addresses the question of whether the concept of date rape under the influence exists in a double standard with the notion that people under the influence of alcohol should be responsible for their own actions. Consent where alcohol is involved is a tangled issue, as I’ve discussed previously, because of how social pressures to drink interact with social pressures to have sex. Add in the altered state that alcohol induces, and it can be a recipe for disaster. Consider this point from the essay:

If you’re blacked-out drunk, but still capable of talking, walking and doing things, you’re still responsible for your actions and your decisions. … Continue Reading →

Consent Is Sexy!

I’m a big fan of Scarleteen; the site bills itself as “sex ed for the real world” and I think it’s fantastic. Some articles are clearly aimed at a teenage demographic, but the material is still relevant to any age group, in my opinion. As someone who has volunteered for a rape crisis center for a few years now and a sex educator, consent is a very important topic to me. Scarleteen recently posted two things that I found very interesting and wanted to share. The first is their Sexual Inventory Stocklist , and as it mentions, can be used as a starting point for conversation with a partner. Continue Reading →

Undercover Cop Cleared To Have Sex With Activists

According to a recent article from the Guardian, an undercover police officer was recently granted permission to have sex with political activists as a tactic for collecting more information. The police force “officially” refers to this as a tactic of “promiscuity”.  According to the cops, “You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you’ll stand out straightaway.” As a result of this information being leaked, hundreds of feminist activists marched in protest on Scotland Yard. As one of the climate activists who knew the accused police officer said,  “We know women have been abused by men posing as policemen and it’s becoming clear this was state-sanctioned. Continue Reading →

Moving Beyond “No Means No” to “Yes Means Yes”

We have feminism to thank for many things, including women’s rights to vote and to get an education, as well as the newly increasing visibility of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, war zones, the domestic sphere… well, sadly, lots of places. One significant element feminism has contributed to dialogue on sexual assault is the phrase “No means no” when referring to consent. Totally important–but not the last word on consent. I’d like to talk about the “No means no” model of consent, the newer “Yes means yes” model of consent, and why all these feminist discussions are important for everybody who’s sexually active, thinking about being sexually active, or generally a member of Western society, which sends us aggressive sexual messages through advertising and the media every day. Continue Reading →

Tangled Webs Of Consent At College Parties

Consent is not always a clear-cut issue, especially when mind-altering substances like alcohol are involved. But the “party culture” on many college campuses confuses the issue of consent even farther, adding social incentives to get laid and muddying the premise of personal responsibility. This article from the Indiana Daily Student crosses traditional journalistic boundaries and provides a fascinating perspective on some of the problems with college partying. The journalist was out during one of the most party-intensive weekends at Indiana University, the Little 500 bicycle race and its accompanying annual events, when she witnessed a girl too drunk to walk who was being kissed by a guy (also drunk) while her female friend stood nearby. Plagued by questions about the situation (as well as the fact that she was only supposed to observe, not intervene), the journalist later arranged to interview the three people involved. Continue Reading →

Sex Talk: A Sexy Comic About Consent!

I was tickled when a friend forwarded me a link to Sex Talk: a comic about communication, consent, & gettin’ it on! Providing examples of informed consent and of negotiating different boundaries or levels of consent, the comic features people of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and even makes fun of Twilight. Go have a look (and a chuckle), and maybe you’ll be inspired to think about consent in new ways! We hope you’ll follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor and make friends with us on Facebook. Continue Reading →

How to Have Sex: Instructions For…

“How to Fuck” by Mellissa McEwan may be the best instructions I’ve ever read for having sex. Generic, sure, but that’s part of what’s so amazing about them. This set of instructions leaves pleasure up to whoever is involved and assumes that you want to protect yourselves. There are no assumptions of what normal is and nor do I think the author even cares. Sex is fun and should be had for fun. Continue Reading →