Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sequel* to How to Lose Your Virginity and Other News

Out of everything I've accomplished with Finding My Virginity, being a part of the amazing documentary How to Lose Your Virginity is my second-best achievement. (Supporting survivors of sexual assault and giving them a safe space to talk is my best achievement).

And so much exciting stuff will be happening in the next few days with it!!!!

"How To Lose Your Virginity" Trailer from Trixie Films on Vimeo.

If you live in New York, you're invited to a special screening of How to Lose Your Virginity, co-sponsored by Hostos Community College, Planned Parenthood of NYC, and YWCA of Brooklyn. 
When: Friday, September 12th, 6pm
Where: Hostos Community College
120 E. 149th Street, D-Bldg Savoy
2nd Floor, Multi-Purpose Room
Bronx, NY 10451
What: Film Screening and Discussion with Therese Shechter herself!
Who: Anyone is AWESOME

If you don't live in New York, don't get too sad. EVERYONE has a chance to watch the documentary AND an awesome panel discussion featuring your favorite (former) virgin on Sunday!

Fusion is airing an encore of "Documental" featuring How to Lose Your Virginity with a panel discussion featuring Therese, Ellen, and me! Find out more information here.

Rumor has it, both of these screenings will include a trailer for the documentary's sequel,* Belle & Beau Lose Their Virginity. So you definitely don't want to miss that! Check out the movie poster below!

But if you don't get the Fusion Network, and you don't live in New York, you now have the opportunity to buy a DVD copy of How to Lose Your Virginity. Host your own screening party! Eat cherries! Play Virgin Myths trivia, and see what myths still need popping. Try out the virginity tests demonstrated in the documentary. So many ideas! Beau and I actually own two DVD copies. That's how much we love Therese and her documentary.

*Joke. Obviously a joke.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Successfully Completed the Summer Book Challenge!

August was a busy book month for me. Any day now, I will have my first column published, under my own name, reviewing fairy tale books. It was supposed to go up at the end of August, but the website owner suffered a hand injury, and posted that she and her website would be out of commission for awhile. I keep checking back daily to see if my first column has been posted, but alas, not yet. So I read a few fairy tales every month now to keep that going.

On top of my fairy tales, I had four books to read by midnight on August 31st to finish the Summer Book Challenge. And I did! I finally finished The Screwtape Letters at the last minute on Sunday, not an easy feat when I was exhausted from a full day of family activities in Denver.

10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (209 pages, 4 stars)

15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times' Best Sellers List when you begin reading it. Allegiant by Veronica Roth... Hey, the trilogy is on the Children's Series list. Totally counts. (526 pages, 4 stars)
15 points:
Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge. Insurgent by Veronica Roth... Lots of bloggers had the same idea as me and read the whole trilogy. (525 pages, 4 stars)

20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014. Divergent by Veronica Roth (487 pages, 4 stars) 

With those four books, I did it! I read all the books on the original challenge, even if my selections veered off-course from my proposed reading list at the beginning of the summer.

Just a reminder that all book reviews will be posted at my new blog under my own name. Comment or email or DM me on Twitter for the link. 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Virgin Myths: Popping Her Cherry?

I am so incredibly glad that I started blogging about virginity more than three years ago. I started writing about virginity because I wanted to share my story as an intentional virgin, to clear up some misconceptions about virgins, and to let other virgins know they weren't alone. 

But part of my writing process has been a learning process. And if I hadn't spent the last three years reading everything I possibly could about virginity, I might not have discovered one very important fact:

Penetrative sex, or PIV sex, or coitus, is not supposed to hurt. Even the first time a person's vagina experiences penetration (commonly referred to as virginity loss) is not supposed to hurt. 

There is no "cherry popping." 

The hymen (vaginal corona) doesn't break.

If I hadn't spent so much time reading up on virginity and first-time coitus, I would have just accepted the cultural narrative that my wedding day sex would be painful. Instead, I was able to prepare for the first time Beau and I had coitus, to guarantee that our married sex would be awesome (or at least pain-free) the first time. 

If a woman* bleeds or experiences pain during intercourse, one of three issues are at play.

1) She is not properly aroused
2) Her partner is too forceful
3) She has vaginismus

"Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse."

I've never had problems using tampons, and I did have that one visit at Planned Parenthood several years ago, so I was pretty sure I didn't have vaginismus. Beau and I focused on the other potential causes for pain in order to avoid it. Long story short, we used lots of lube, and I was on top so I could control both the angle and speed of entry.

So coital virgins, listen up! You are not supposed to experience pain during penetration. Your partner is not supposed to experience pain during penetration. Whenever you decide to engage in coitus for the first time, whether it's a one-night stand or your wedding night, be prepared! Take things slowly, enjoy other fun things first like kissing and touching, and use lots of lube. 

Are women supposed to bleed the first time they have intercourse?



I know this post was a little on the technical side. Posts explaining my feelings about wedding day sex, and describing more in detail what toys helped us prepare for it, are coming up.

*I refer to women here because the cultural narrative is about cisgender women with vaginas. I know that transgender men can have vaginas too.

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:

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?


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