Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: Great Feminist Reads

I thought my double life was hard before, but keeping up two blogs and working on blog promotion is HARD. These are all the accounts that I have double:

Blog
Twitter
Tumblr
Pinterest
Google+
Facebook (my personal account and my page for Finding My Virginity)

So, yeah. I spend a lot of time online.


Here's the best of the Internet from this past week!

Oklahoma! and the missing stair by Dani Kelley: I haven't seen the musical Oklahoma! in a really long time, but I'm not surprised that older works of literature are problematic. Dani has written a great analysis of the misogyny and male entitlement in Oklahoma!

Comic about sexual harassment: I love this comic that breaks down what sexual harassment looks like and why men might not notice it.

Great series on Modesty Culture: I've only read one post so far, but I'm very impressed by this detailed series critiquing all the aspects of Modesty Culture. The one post I read addresses the poor definition of lust


What did you read last week?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Don't Have Sex with My Husband Every Night (and That's Okay)

Beau and I have been married a little over four months now. Yes, we are definitely still newlyweds, and since we saved coitus for marriage--and didn't live together until four weeks before our wedding--our marital bed is still very new and exciting for us. 

But even with the newness of it all, and no pregnancies messing with my hormones or babies zapping us of energy, we still don't have sex every single night. If I had to guess, I'd say we average 3-4 times a week. While Beau has a higher libido than I do, I initiate about 40% of the time, and I only turn him down if I'm sick, exhausted, or libido-less in the middle of my period. It's safe to say we're both pretty satisfied with our sex life.

That said, a blog post gone viral on the Huffington Post suggests our sex life is sub-par because we're not going at it every single night. And the writer does so by invoking some tired, sexist stereotypes. 

  1. "Being a mother, one of the ultimate expressions of womanhood, can often leave a girl feeling stripped of her femininity." I'm 27, happily childless at the moment, and I'm very much a woman. Being a mother is NOT the ultimate expression of womanhood. Most people don't say that being a father is one of the ultimate expressions of manhood, so why do we still insist upon the opposite? Furthermore, even on days when I do feel less feminine than I'd like, sex with Beau doesn't suddenly make me "feel like a woman." Sex with my husband is a wonderful and intimate thing that's both carnal and emotional at the same time, but it doesn't really change how feminine I feel. Silly things make me feel feminine, like wearing pearls or putting on lip gloss or giggling with my girlfriends. I don't need to have sex with my husband every night to remember that I'm a woman.
  2. "If you want your husband to act like a man, you need to treat him like a man... Women need any number of criteria met to feel loved. Men are far simpler. They need to be fed, they need to be appreciated, and they need to have sex. That is it. Really." Are you fucking kidding me? For all the whining and moaning that sexist men do about feminists, women like this are treating men like a step above cavemen. Personally, I feel incredibly loved when Beau cooks for me, like when he made us breakfast both Saturday AND Sunday this past weekend, and I hope he feels the same when I cook for him. But I'm not the only one who needs a little more than food, appreciation, and sex. We both need emotional support in our careers, we both need non-sexual physical affection, we both need time with our friends and families, we both need time separate from each other! Having sex with my husband every single night will not make him feel like more of a man. Treating him like a human being with complex emotions and needs, however, does help him feel like a man.
  3. "You need to have a moment in each day that is just about the two of you." I agree with this sentiment. I love that Beau kisses me each morning before he leaves for work. I love IMing throughout the day about nothing and everything. I love watching Star Trek together. I love cuddling before bed. We have many moments that are just about the two of us--special moments don't have to be sex.
  4. "Sex relieves stress." Uh, if you're in the mood to have sex, and thus properly aroused, sure, sex relieves stress. If you really don't feel like having sex, and thus can't relax your muscles enough to enjoy sex, it can be painful and the exact opposite of stress relief. While I certainly enjoy sex with Beau even if it's not a huge priority to me, sex is WAY better for me when I initiate or when we mutually initiate. If I'm really in the mood for sex, penetration can happen sooner, we can try multiple positions, I enjoy a longer duration of sex, and I'm basically guaranteed an awesome orgasm. I've never had sex when I really didn't want to, because my husband treats me like his beloved wife and not a blow-up sex toy, but I have had it when I was ambivalent about it. I still end up enjoying it, but it takes me a lot longer to be sufficiently aroused for penetration, and I'm sometimes too tired for more than two positions. I can't imagine how awful sex would be if I was really uninterested. 
  5. "It is so much blasted fun... But tell a girl to have sex every night and she looks at you like you are crazy, An orgasm? Every night?" Again. Going back to #4. I don't have an orgasm every time I have sex. I don't know any woman who has an orgasm every single time she has sex, especially if she's having it when she really isn't in the mood.  
Tell me fellow married friends. Do you have sex with your spouse every single night? Or have you found a frequency that's a little less often, but more suitable to you two as a couple?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: Too Tipsy for a Title

Beau made me breakfast yesterday. And today. He also made us dinner tonight. I had a big glass of wine. I'm thinking about a second glass of wine. I am tipsy.


Choosing to be a father instead of a CEO: So this dude just stepped down from his CEO position because he wants to spend more time with his kids. And he totally calls out everyone for asking female CEOs or his wife how they "do it all," even though he was never asked that.

If Men Were Women: This video reverses gender roles to point out how totally ridiculous and/or disheartening the reality of women's lives can be.

Breastfeeding and Weaning: I really love what Jessica wrote about the weaning process for the most adorable girl on the Internet, aka her daughter Julia. I think it's important that mothers are honest about their parenting experiences, especially with something that can be unnecessarily controversial, like breastfeeding. I love how honest Jess has been first as an expecting mother, then as a SAHM, and now as both!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Three Months Down, One Month to Go!

Post contains Amazon Affiliate links.


I did not do nearly so well with my reading in July as I did in May and in June.

This month I need to hustle and read four books if I want to complete the Summer 2014 Book Challenge

Here is what I did manage to read last month.


             
 
25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.  
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey (201 pages, 5 stars)

25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir.
 
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (222 pages, 4 stars)

This month I will read the entire Divergent trilogy, which should count towards a book read by another blogger for this challenge, a book being made into a movie, and a book on the NYT bestseller list. Then I just have to find a book written before 1987 that I want to read!


I also want to take a moment to thank all of you for your overwhelmingly kind and supportive response to my three-year blogoversary and announced changes. Book reviews will be posted at my new blog, and I also live-tweeted Jesus Feminist because reading it just inspired me so much. Please continue to comment or email me or DM me on Twitter if you'd like my new blog url and personal Twitter handle.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Three Years--I Can't Believe It!

Three years ago today, I started writing Confessions of a Virgin, known today as Finding My Virginity.

I didn't have much in mind except to challenge stereotypes about virgins. I figured I could lure readers in with provocative pictures and honest, titillating stories of my past. And then be like BAM, I'm saving sex for marriage, WHAT THEN?!

And while I've certainly managed to show off pictures of my cleavage and write a series on virginity myths, writing this blog has changed me more than I ever could have predicted. I mean, I started this blog with the intention of changing other people. I had no idea that I needed to change my own ideas of virginity.

Like Therese from How to Lose Your Virginity says,

What if all we had to lose were our virginity myths?

This blog inadvertently chronicled my entire relationship with Beau, from dating to becoming "official," from saying "I love you" to mutually sharing our first fellatio experience, from being long-distance to getting married.

And as our physical relationship has grown, always completely entwined with our romantic relationship, I learned to challenge my own ideas of virginity.

Can I have a heteronormative definition of virginity, even though I'm bisexual?

Why was saving coitus for marriage the right choice? It definitely was the right choice for us, but why did we call our pre-coital sexual status virginity?

Will I ever be honest about my personal definition of virginity and "waiting til marriage" outside of my anonymous identity?

Can I ever come out to my family and friends from high school/college as bisexual? 

I don't know the answers to all these questions, but I'm ready to start exploring them.

I'm ready to share how Beau and I prepared for a painless wedding day.

I'm ready to reveal how wedding day sex changed me--and didn't change me.

But I'm also ready to be a better advocate for Christian feminism, under my own name.

Confession: I've been blogging under my own name for almost a month now.

I have a fancy self-hosted WordPress blog, with an SEO plugin to help me focus on keywords, and a ridiculous quantity of good pictures with my watermark, and a social sharing plugin to help me cross-promote, and a consistent photo across all forms of social media.

If anyone noticed the decrease in blog posts for the month of July--this is the 8th--after six months of 11-14 posts a month, well, now you know why. I've written eight posts under my own name this month, with all the bells and whistles that a blog needs to stand out. 

Because while I'm ready to talk to y'all more about sex and virginity, I've also discovered how much I like the "lifestyle" posts. And I've really really not enjoyed keeping my location anonymous. My new blog already has four location-specific blog posts about what Beau and I have done this summer. 

So while I plan to write more here about the big stuff, I will also be writing less about the little stuff. 

Book reviews will be at my new blog, although I'll finish my Summer Challenge updates here. After all, I will debut my first paid column next month, and it's a monthly column reviewing books. I want a blog to back that up.

Feminist posts that are NOT about virginity/sex, consent, and/or rape culture will be at my new blog. Mainly, I will no longer feature posts about Christian feminism here. 

This blog will no longer include travel posts, either about trips Beau and I take in the future, or about my past trips to France.

While I love the expanded writing that I've done, and I love that my devoted readers have accepted non-virginal topics, I want this blog to return to its original subject. More or less, at least. 

Over the next six months, I will also slowly remove old posts that are better suited for my new blog. I will then edit/revise them and post them under my real name.

Even though I will be writing here less, and the writing will be more focused, I want to share my life with my blogging friends. I've been so blessed to befriend bloggers across the globe, and I want to take y'all with me! 

I want y'all to know my real name, and where I live, and where I'm from. I want y'all to know Beau's real name, and the names of our friends, and what other people in our lives look like. I want to stop hiding so much of my life from people I've grown to love, my friends, even if we haven't met in "real life."

So while I won't post a link to my new blog here, I will give it freely to (most) people who email me or DM on Twitter to ask for it. A few blogging friends already follow my personal Twitter, and I'd like to extend that invitation to more.

I just ask that you continue to keep this half of my life anonymous-ish. If you're talking to me as Belle, don't use my real name or location. If this sounds paranoid... well, you'll understand when you learn my name. I need to keep a clear Google history for now, since my job is in digital marketing.

Thank you for being with me for three years. I hope that my announced changes will not lose me any readers. I appreciate the love and encouragement I've received these past three years, and I hope y'all will continue to support me as the direction of my blog refocuses to its original intent.

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