Friday, May 30, 2014

Life is for the Living

I'm blogging from my iPhone for the first time ever. I'm staying with my best friend Rose and her husband Landon, in their new house, and they haven't set up wifi yet. 

Blogging is sometimes complicated and unexpected, just like life. 

I separated all the church flowers into several small bouquets, at the bequest of my mom.

May was supposed to be my perfect month of blogging. I have an ad up at The Life of Bon, and I wanted my blog to look nice and shiny and well maintained for any new visitors. I had more wedding posts and travel posts planned, with lots of pictures that y'all apparently prefer. 

I was supposed to have a guest post at The Life of Bon two Fridays ago, but Bonnie ran into technical difficulties. I had stayed up late to write a killer post for my own blog that day that was authentic, but would still ease in potential new readers. I didn't want to scare anyone off with a feminist analysis of honeymoon sex, but I didn't want to be all lah dee dah I'm pretty look at me--I save that for Instagram

But fate intervened, and I'm trying to sway new readers with a late-night rushed post from my iPhone. 

This year was supposed to be perfect for my mom. She quit her stressful job, I got married in March, we celebrated my marriage at three receptions in April, my little brother graduated college in May, and my twin brother is getting married in October. Oh, and my parents finally sold their first house, which has been an albatross of a rental home for almost 30 years. 

And then she got diagnosed with brain cancer, less than two years after my twin brother's diagnosis. 

Yet, even faced with possibly the worst news of her life, my mom's faith never wavered. I'm not sure who has a stronger faith--Mom or Grandma--but they are both so strong, even in the worst of circumstances. 

Our minister came to the house on Monday, with an elder, and annointed my mom with oil. This is unusual for Presbyterians, but it is biblical, somewhere in James. My mom told our pastor that the insurance delay with the surgery brought her one of the best weeks of her life, one in which she got to spend time with her entire immediate family, including my husband and my FSIL. And apparently she reached a level of peace and clarity in her relationship with God that she had never known before. 

At this point, I'm dying to be back in the Midwest with my husband and the life we're building there. I want to return to a routine of work, chores, Star Trek: Voyager, sex, friends, and my blog. When I fly back on Saturday, I will have been in my southern home state for two weeks, half of that time without Beau. 

But I've learned that sometimes you can drop everything. You can throw your schedule and your lists out the window to focus on what's important. We think that our jobs and our chores and our daily schedules are so so so important, but they're not. 

Unless you're a neurosurgeon, then yes, you are important, and thank you for now having saved two lives in my family. 

So sometimes I will blog four times a week. Sometimes I will blog only four times a month. It is important to me that I take some time to write about my life. 

But it's more important for me to LIVE my life while I can, a lesson I hope not to relearn anytime soon. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jumbled Thoughts on my Mom's Cancer

Tomorrow... well, today, since it's after midnight, my mom will finally have her surgery, after the whole insurance debacle. She and Daddy met with the neurosurgeon out-of-town last Thursday, and they felt very good and confident after meeting with him. We hope she will be discharged as early as Saturday.

It's been good if weird being at home (the South) for over a week now. Beau left on Sunday, since he had to go back to work this week. I go back to the Midwest on Saturday. The whole family being together was nice, but stressful. Like I love my aunt whose visiting, but sometimes I want to strangle her. But other times she's so interesting and tells me the best stories about her own feminist activism. Strong personalities. My family is full of them, and when we're all together and super-emotional, it's a little chaotic. 

One of my mom's best friends created a hashtag and requested selfies for my mom. We've received pictures of family and of strangers holding up signs in Paris and all across the United States. Everyone is praying for my mom. I've cried a lot, humbled by the outpouring of love.

I really miss my husband. Sleeping alone sucks. He was such a comfort to me while he was here. 

I won't be totally alone. I'm spending the next three nights with Rose and Landon. Silver lining and stuff. Landon is in a play. Rose saw him Opening Night, but we're going again Thursday night. It will be a nice distraction after spending all day in the hospital, most likely.

This is super stream-of-consciousness, but I just have all these thoughts about my mom and cancer and our family and I don't know what else to write.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Club Friday: Bitterblue, a Young but Good Queen

It has been a long year and a half since I first reviewed Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore. This week, I finally got around to reading Bitterblue, a sequel to Graceling.

Note: Both the summary description itself and my review contain extremely mild spoilers for both Graceling and Fire, since Bitterblue should be read after them. 

From the author's website: Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is queen of a kingdom that was under the spell of a madman for thirty-five years. At eighteen, Bitterblue is still learning how to rule the kingdom. The influence of Leck—a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities—lives on. When Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle to walk the streets of her own city, she meets two thieves who hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace, holds the key to her heart

Based on the Amazon reviews, I was a little apprehensive about reading Bitterblue, but I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed Graceling and Fire

What I like most about Cashore's writing is her ability to write such complex and distinctive characters, especially the women. Bitterblue is just as brave and intelligent as Katsa and Fire, but in a completely different way. Bitterblue is young and lonely, desperate to improve her kingdom, but overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. She soon learns that not all is as well in her kingdom as her advisers have insisted. 

While the plot might not be as active or exciting as the other novels, it is equally intriguing. It is also much darker than the other books, as Bitterblue discovers the extent of her father's evil deeds. 

Even though I own these three books in paperback, they're so good that I might invest in hardcover copies of all of them. That's how much I love these novels.

*Amazon Affiliate links, blah blah blah

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pray Like You've Never Prayed Before

Last Wednesday my parents called and told me that my mom has brain cancer, with a Grade 4 tumor.

This is the second person in our family to get brain cancer. My twin brother was diagnosed with a Grade 2 brain tumor two years ago. And yes, my younger brother and I plan on speaking with the neurosurgeon this week to see if we need genetic testing or an MRI, because this much brain cancer is straight-up weird. 

Almost the whole family spent today together. My twin brother and future sister-in-law showed up at the house Saturday night. My aunt and I showed up late Sunday night. Beau just arrived at the airport an hour ago, but he'll be with us first thing tomorrow morning, to avoid waking anyone up.

My mom was scheduled to have surgery tomorrow in our local hospital, but because her neurosurgeons (the same ones who operated on my twin brother in 2012) are out-of-network, her insurance won't cover the procedure. The neurosurgeons have already offered to waive their fees and do the surgery for free. Regardless, the insurance won't cover the surgery, even though the hospital is in-network.

She has to have the surgery this week. Postponing the surgery a day or two is okay, but this is a fast-growth, malignant tumor that did not show up on her MRI six months ago. She will need radiation and chemo afterward. The sooner she can have this removed, the better.

We are trying to figure out an acceptable combination of neurosurgeons and hospitals that will be covered by insurance and will have the experience and technology necessary for a successful surgery. We are all extremely upset that she can't have her neurosurgeons, in our local hospital, perform the surgery. 

Please pray for my mom and my family. Please pray that the insurance gets worked out. Please pray that everything will be okay.

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Lies Told by Modesty Culture

It's that time of year again. The weather is finally warming up, even here in the chilly Midwest. We traded our boots for our flip-flops, wool hats for straw hats. My husband and I even bought a new grill and celebrated a recent warm night with pork chops and bell peppers with my brother-in-law P and his wife E.

Of course, with the hot weather and the switch to seasonally-appropriate clothes come something slightly less cheerful...

All the admonitions that girls should dress modestly or else.

During my bikini series last year, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about modesty culture. Today I'm critiquing five of the worst and the most common lies told by proponents of modesty culture. 

photo via

1) Women are responsible for men's lust.

Women. It is impossible for you to control how another person thinks or feels. Literally the only way you can stop any man in the world from noticing your existence is by not leaving your house. Ever. You cannot anticipate what will or will not cause a man to lust. Ankles used to be quite scandalous while generous decolletage was NBD. Don't let anyone tell you that your mere existence in a female body is cause for male lust.

Some Christian bloggers have sorta wised up to the flaws in this argument. They start their writing with a throwaway paragraph or two insisting that only men are responsible for their lust... BUT. There's always a but involved. Men are responsible for their lust, BUT women need to dress modestly to help them. Their scriptural basis for this is usually a horrible misinterpretation of Romans 14, which I addressed in detail last summer in my post "My Bikini Answer: All Women Cannot Prevent the Lust of All Men."

They all assume that Christians are called to modify their daily behavior to prevent the potential sin of every single person they ever meet.

Well, no, that’s not exactly it. They all assume that Christian women are called to modify their daily behavior to prevent the potential lust of every single MAN they ever meet.

No. Stop asking women to anticipate the weaknesses of every single man ever. It is not our responsibility to keep your thoughts pure. 

2) Any woman who causes a man to lust has committed a sin.

Wait, what? First, this is based on the premise that women are responsible for men's lust, which I just pointed out is ridiculous. Second, this is again a horrible misinterpretation of scripture. Look at Matthew 5:27-28. A typical translation is as follows.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NSRV)
Anyone who claims a woman sins if a man lusts after her is a person reallllllly fixated on the two words "with her." As though she has somehow consented to this adultery of the heart. Quite often, a woman doesn't even know if a man has lusted after her. What is her sin again? Being female in public?

Furthermore, this article examines the Greek and explains in detail why most translations of these verses are so bad. The author explains the true meaning of the verse this way.

The look is not the problem (nor is the presence of a beautiful woman, which some of that day tended to blame as the real problem); no, these are assumed. What is remarkable (given the popular misinterpretation) is that Jesus likewise assumes the presence of sexual desire in the man as a given, and that sexual desire isn’t seen as the problem. Instead, Jesus addresses the matter of intent, of volition, the purpose of the look. The issue is not the appetite itself but how a man directs this natural appetite and inclination...
In modern terms, it’s the difference between seeing a woman and being attracted to her—a natural part of the God-created appetite and a good indicator that one is alive—and actually considering or seeking an illicit activity.
Which, by the way, is really similar to my point last summer that sexual attraction is not lust.

3) Modesty isn't about strict dress codes--it's a heart issue.

If people actually believed modesty was a heart issue, they would stop talking about the need to dress modestly. They would discuss the importance of living within your means, being generous with your gifts, not driving expensive cars or wearing flashy jewelry. If modesty were a heart issue, pastors would question country club memberships, debutante balls, and lavish charity events. 

But when was the last time someone said that modesty is a heart issue, and then followed it up with anything except a conversation on women's responsibility to dress modestly?

Modesty actually is a heart issue. That's not a lie. It becomes a lie when a proponent of Modesty Culture tells it, because it's just another attempt to control women's clothing.

I was a debutante. I was a debutante at 19, when my boobs were huge, and I couldn't hide them. People talked to me about my boobs. No one talked to me about the temptation to feel sinful pride in being a debutante. I was only aware of it because my mom confessed her own struggle with pride after our invitation, which helped me recognize and squash my own prideful thoughts. Modesty should have been a heart issue, but all anyone cared about were my boobs.  

4) Dressing immodestly shows a lack of self-respect. Dressing modestly reveals your dignity. 

Whatever happened to: "Don't judge a book by its cover?"

Here are all the reasons a woman might wear a bikini:
But you cannot know why a woman is wearing a bikini, or any other type of clothing, just by looking at her. You can't. 

The opposite is true as well. A woman can wear a buttoned-up cardigan with loose slacks, and no one can just assume she's broadcasting self-respect and dignity. For all you know, she wears buttoned-up cardigans to church to cover up her tattoos.

5) A man's opinion of your appearance is the only opinion that matters. 

Honestly, this is the biggest and most harmful of all the lies told by Modesty Culture.

The irony, of course, is that Modesty Culture claims to be the counterculture to the objectification of women. Except instead of valuing women based on how sexually appealing we are with all our skin showing and boobs flaunting, Modesty Culture values women based on how beautiful we are with our tasteful expensive clothing that still emphasizes our femininity, if not our female bodies. 

Modest is hottest, right?

I'm not gonna try and say I never think of my husband when I pick out an outfit. But... um... huh. Actually, I just spent two minutes trying to think of the last time I wore anything just for him, and I drew a blank. Bikinis in Puerto Rico were not for him. My wedding day lingerie consisted of an expensive strapless bra necessary for my dress and hot pink panties that secretly matched the rest of my accessories.

The truth is, I'm usually thinking a million things or one thing when I get dressed. Either I'm balancing the weather, the occasion, the necessary bra, the potential accessories, how long has it been since I wore this?, the adaptability, etc. to pick out my clothes OR I throw on the first thing that is clean and comfortable, which is why I end up wearing the same outfit two or three days in a row. 

I don't dress for the male gaze.

If objectification of women is wrong when we tie their worth to their fuckability, then objectification of women is wrong when we tie their worth to their purity, which is still their fuckability, just saved for after marriage


Women, you cannot control men's thoughts or their actions. ♥ A man's lust is not your sin. ♥ Modesty actually is a heart issue, so listen to your heart. ♥ Self-respect includes knowing yourself well enough to pick out your own clothes. ♥ God loves you for you, not for your appearance. 

And if you don't believe in God, your opinion of your appearance is the only one that matters.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring Fling Giveaway! Show Me Some Love and Win You Some Cash!

If you're a big fan of Bonnie at Life of Bon, you might have noticed my brand-new, married-person button on her sidebar. I had the chance last year to buy a month's worth of advertising at a discount, and I quickly snatched up one of her May spots!

My husband doesn't realize the amount of money I spend on my blog, but it's way less than he spends on his Miata, so I think we're even.

I teamed up with some of her other sponsors to give one lucky reader $120. Since you're already reading my blog, you probably have some easy entries that don't require doing much! Bonnie did make it mandatory to like her facebook page, but that's still really easy. And when I enter giveaways, I use my blog page to like other blogs. It keeps my personal facebook personal, and my blogging one bloggerific!

Most of you already follow me on Twitter... But have you liked me on Facebook yet? And even though Bloglovin has attempted to silence me, my blog does still exist there, and you can gain an additional entry in the giveaway by following me on Bloglovin. I'm hoping that if I can get my numbers up, they might be more inclined to whitelist me. 

That's three entries, right there, for doing what I hope you're already doing...

Brought to you by Long Drive JourneyThe Kay Times,  The Loud Mouth Lifestyle, Designs by Katy, Belle FemmeSparrow in the Treetop,  When you're making plans...,  Small and Trivial and Always, Lissa

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: Happy Mommy Blogger's Day!

Beau and I have had a great weekend. I went to a baby shower Friday night, and Beau went golfing with the dad-to-be and other guys from the office. Yesterday I did a bunch of chores and finished a guest blog post before having amazing sex with my husband. Today we repeated the amazing sex, celebrated Mother's Day with my in-laws, did more chores, and grilled out for the first time with our new grill, with my brother-in-law P and his wife E. And as always, we watched several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager

In honor of Mother's Day, I want to recognize my favorite "mommy bloggers," or mothers who blog about life and occasionally parenting.

Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies: Melissa Atkins Wardy is the author of Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween. While she first started writing about gender issues that primarily affect girls, she now writes about why and how she doesn't limit her daughter or her son. A recent post is about boys who play with dolls. Melissa's facebook page features regular, engaging discussion with many parents and future parents (like me!).

Jessica Lynn Writes: I've been reading Jess's blog since a few months before she officially became a mom to the most expressive baby on the Internet, Julia. Jess could stop blogging about food, or travel, or the military, and I would keep reading because Julia is so darned cute. I LOVE her recent post on Julia's birth story, in which she encourages all moms for being awesome, no matter how they became a mom. 

Blonde, Undercover Blonde: I have no idea how Heather works full-time, takes care of a toddler, and still manages to read a book every week for her link-up, Book Club Friday. That is some mad superpower, y'all. Her daughter is totally cute and healthy now, but she started out as a preemie

Scattered Seashells: I follow Chantal on twitter, but I confess I don't read her blog daily. Usually I end up binge-reading old posts of hers like once every 4-6 weeks. 

Bible, Beer, and Babies: I'm pretty sure it's been less than a week since I discovered this blog. Basically her post on selfies was so awesome that I decided to start reading her blog.

To all you awesome moms who somehow 
manage to keep your kids alive, and then still 
have time to blog about it, you rock! 
Happy Mommy Blogger's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Club Friday: The Hangman's Daughter

Last week I started the Summer 2014 Book Challenge, hosted by Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life! Inspired by my reading list, I immediately started my first book, The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch.


From Amazon: Germany, 1660: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play. So begins The Hangman's Daughter--the chillingly detailed, fast-paced historical thriller from German television screenwriter, Oliver Pötzsch--a descendent of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan.

I absolutely loved this book. It was quite the page-turner! Honestly, the plot was even more intriguing than the description implies. The town's hangman Jakob works together with the town's young physician Simon to find the murderer. 

The story alternates third-person POV between Jakob, Simon, the town clerk, the unknown murderer, the man who hired him, and a few other characters. 

I was able to figure out the identity of the man who hired the killer before it was confirmed in the book, but not until a few chapters before the reveal. I like a mystery that drops multiple clues. I suspected a few different characters at first, but eventually the clues came together. 

I almost wish I weren't doing the reading challenge so I could immediately start the sequels, but I'm still excited about branching out and trying new books!

*Amazon Affiliates link, etc etc

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Puerto Rican Honeymoon: Bacardi, the Beach, and a Bio-Luminescent Bay

Our last day in Puerto Rico was the best day. Once again, Beau planned out a fun day of sight-seeing and relaxation. We had three destinations: 

at the end of our tour of Casa Bacardi on our Puerto Rican honeymoon

We had originally planned on going to the Bacardi factory after visiting Old San Juan, since some women at the hotel had recommended it to us, but we were too tired that day to tour anything else. But it was on our way to the bio-luminescent bay, so it was the perfect start to our day.

Beau and I each received two drink tickets when we arrived at Casa Bacardi. While we waited for our tour group, I sipped on rum punch, and Beau enjoyed a rum & coke. I also took advantage of the free wifi since my phone was out of network!

The tour started with a quick overview of the history of rum and the history of Bacardi rum itself. Then we watched a short film that provided more details on the Bacardi's history. Unfortunately, it was out-of-focus, which spoiled the effect. The next part of the tour was my favorite, but it was over too quickly! The guide explained the process for making rum, and then we had the chance to look at belongings, old documents, and other historic artifacts of the Bacardi family! Everyone else in the group spent very little time examining all the books and the letters, so I felt obliged to leave with them and continue into the next room. There we could smell the different types of Bacardi rum. Finally we ended in a fake bar with a fake bartender who showed us a few different rum cocktail recipes. 

After the tour, we each enjoyed our second drinks. Then it was time to take the scenic route on back roads for a few hours! We stopped in a small town for a late lunch at a restaurant where none of the workers spoke English, but a regular customer spoke a little. We did our best to communicate with hand gestures and big smiles (plus a big tip!), and it worked! We ate a delicious meal and then hit the road again. 

After a week in Puerto Rico--so a week of wearing sunscreen almost daily, showering daily, and applying hotel lotion to my skin--my skin was pretty unhappy. So even though we were at the beach, I opted not to apply sunscreen and stay in the shade. The beach at La Pared provided several shady palm trees, and my gamble paid off--no sunburn later! We only stayed an hour or two. I mostly read my book, and Beau built a sandcastle. 

Finally, it was time for the highlight of the day! Puerto Rico has three bio-luminescent bays. For non-scientific folks, that means the water glows in the dark like glow sticks!

We took a boat tour with Bio Island and the best tour guide of all time, Mario. I learned so much that night, and I laughed a lot while learning it! He told us about the science behind the bio-luminescent bays. The plankton glow when disturbed to prevent translucent shrimp from eating them because the translucent shrimp don't want to be visible to larger predators. He told us about the natives who thought the water was sacred, and the Europeans who thought it was haunted. The night was incredibly clear, and he used a powerful green laser to point out the constellations. 

We didn't get back to the hotel that night until quite late. Luckily our flight the next day wasn't until early afternoon, so we could sleep in a bit the next morning. Our last day in Puerto Rico was easily the highlight of our trip, and I'm so glad we took the time to take a boat tour in Laguna Grande. I've never experienced anything quite like glowing water. 

Stay tuned to find out about Puerto Rican food, 
poolside massages, and honeymoon sex!

Travel Tuesday


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Shoutouts: May the Fourth be with You!

Apparently I got married and stopped doing Sunday Shoutouts every week. My last one was three weeks ago. :( I'm sorry! I've been distracted!

As all good nerds know, today is Star Wars Day. May the Force be with with you... May the Fourth be with you... Yeah, it's fun. Beau and I celebrated by buying a few items off ThinkGeek. A baby shirt that says "Size Matters Not" on it for some friends and their baby. A Death Star tea infuser for me. And while not a Star Wars product itself, we rounded out our order with an unofficial Harry Potter wizarding hat charm for my Pandora bracelet. 

My tea will be the strongest in the Empire!
But enough about all our nerdiness! Let's take a look at what I read last week.

#BringBackOurGirls refers to the schoolgirls in Nigeria who were kidnapped by religious terrorists several weeks ago. While I have read some good news coverage from traditional sources, two blog posts on the tragedy really humbled me and inspired me. Melissa Atkins Wardy, who writes my favorite feminist parenting blog, wrote the piece "Where Are Nigeria's Stolen Daughters?" She reminds us that this particularly horrific act is part of a larger culture that devalues girls and women. 

The other blog post is one that I found on twitter, and I'm not familiar with the overall blog. "Everyone is an Expert on Nigeria Now" points out that even in our (American/European) outrage at the lack of (American/European) news coverage, the way we discuss this massive kidnapping perpetuates our feelings of superiority. Reading this blog post was a needed reminder even to me to check my privilege and to remember that the United States is not the center of the universe. The writer points out the continuous news coverage in Nigeria and in other African countries, along with the local efforts to find the kidnapped girls. 

That was depressing. Let's talk about Star Wars again. I don't have the emotional or mental energy to focus all my attention on the horrors of the world. 

If you are anything like my husband and me, you are dreading the upcoming Star Wars movie. You know, the one that you plan to attend at midnight in costume. 

The principal cast was just announced. The six original stars are returning to reprise their roles. Seven new actors will join them. A principal cast of thirteen! Awesome! 

Guess how many are women.

Two. Carrie Fisher will be back as Princess Leia, and Daisy Ridley will play a new role.

This article explains why exactly the gender disparity is so disappointing and why we need more kickass women like Leia in our sci-fi/action movies. 

Finally, not that I really need to blog more on blogging, but I loved this post by Bonnie on criticism. It's definitely hard for me to accept criticism, even constructive criticism, so I admire Bonnie for recognizing the different forms of criticism and learning how to respond to them in a healthy way. 

What did you read this week? Did you write something extra-awesome that might be worthy of a shoutout? Share in the comments below!

P.S. Did you know that virginity is now a four-letter word? Yeah, I had no idea either. Read my post from yesterday on how Facebook and Bloglovin have both tried to censor me

In a Sex-Saturated Society, Honest Discussions of Healthy Sexuality are Stifled

Most of the time I blog in this Christian feminist bubble of sex-positivity and critiques of purity culture, so sometimes I forget that not everyone associates virginity with religious values or patriarchy.

But three things happened to my blog recently that reminded me that with everything wrong about proponents of purity culture, they make at least one good point:

Gender equality starts by not treating women like sex objects.
Feminists make this point too, but I try to find common ground with everyone for the greater good.


I recently got a custom url for my facebook page. I tried to choose the url But when I tried it, this is what happened.

On the off chance that someone else had already taken the url, I tested it, but the url only took me to a page saying it didn't exist or had been moved. 

For whatever reason, a custom url with the word "virginity" in it is not okay with facebook. I had to settle for the French form of virginity.

Have you liked me on facebook yet? 


I was recently looking at my profile on bloglovin when I noticed that the dropdown box prompted me to "Claim my blog." Since I had already claimed my blog about a year prior, I was confused. I searched for my blog, and nothing came up. So I contacted Bloglovin's support, and this is the response I received. 

So yes, you can still follow me on bloglovin, but no one can search for my blog on their website. 


I received this gem in my inbox.

I guess I should be happy that it's taken almost three years of blogging about sex and virginity via a Christian feminist lens for someone to sexually harass me via email?

No matter how hard I try, I can't always escape the prude/slut dichotomy. Just the other day, I wrote that my blog is not porn, and yet I'm being treated as though it is.  

Women's sexual autonomy, even the choice not to have sex, has been distorted into male fetish. 

And just like women who are called sluts and whores when men are called studs and players, those of us who write candidly about our own sexuality must be punished. 

Girlhood is becoming more and more sexualized, but when teenage girls absorb those messages and try to be "sexy," we judge them for leading teenage boys astray

Add in abstinence-only education and church lectures about dirty roses, and suddenly we're stuck in the cesspool of fucked-up American attitudes towards female sexuality. Oh, and don't forget the stubborn insistence that a woman's "first time" MUST BE PAINFUL OR ELSE!

But I won't be silenced. I won't be shamed for writing honestly about sex and virginity. I stand by both my sexual choices and my decision to share them with the world. I am SO OVER the male gaze and the paternalistic control of female sexuality, and my blog is my small attempt to change that. 

To write about women's sexual choices from an actual woman's perspective, not a man's creepy or controlling vision of slutty virgins. To be an advocate for healthy sexual relationships. To share medically-accurate information about sex. 

While keyword-filters might dismiss my blog as pornographic, I hope that you do not. I encourage you to share this post if you agree that women should be free to make their own consensual sexual choices. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Club Friday: The Nerdy, the Quirky, and the Downright Bizarre

More than a month after my honeymoon, I'm finally recapping the last few books I read. In contrast to my other honeymoon reads, these books are all e-books. So instead of reading them at the beach or by the pool, I read these at the airport and on the plane.

And as usual, these were all priced at $3.99 or less when I bought them!


Collections of short stories helped me get through undergrad, when I still desperately needed fiction, but when my time was dominated by textbooks and French literature. I could read just one or two short stories and get my "fix" for a few days.

But even though I have more time to read now, I still enjoy collections of short stories. It's a great way to discover new writers.
The Last Girlfriend on Earth 
and Other Love Stories

From Amazon: In "Center of the Universe," God struggles to balance the demands of his career with the needs of his long-term girlfriend. In "Magical Mr. Goat," a young girl's imaginary friend yearns to become "more than friends." In "Unprotected," an unused prophylactic recalls his years spent trapped inside a teen boy's wallet. The stories in Simon Rich's new book are bizarre, funny, and yet...relatable. Rich explores love's many complications-losing it, finding it, breaking it, and making it-and turns the ordinary into the absurd. With razor-sharp humor and illustrations, and just in time for Valentine's Day, Rich takes readers for an exhilarating, hilarious ride on the rollercoaster of love.

This collection of sci-fi love stories is hilarious. Like there's one story where women trade their boyfriends like sports teams trade their players. The title story is takes place in an alternate universe with only one woman left alive after some epidemic. The story about the goat, listed enough, brilliantly mocks Nice Guys. Basically, if you like wit and biting social commentary wrapped up in sci-fi and romance, then you should read The Last Girlfriend on Earth and Other Love Stories.  

We Had Stars Once

From Amazon: Join a girl discovering her true, supernatural origins. Follow a famous babysitter into space.  Journey through dystopia with a man who has lost everything, and experience the exhilaration of finally making it home. Aliens, cocky knights, and superheroes do battle with inner darkness and things that go bump in the night. From the writers of Thursday Tales comes an imaginative anthology of darkness, adventure, betrayal and mystery. From sixteen minds come sixteen tales of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. A world of worlds awaits.

On Twitter, I know that I casually mention GroupThink occasionally. It's the group blog/forum associated with the website Jezebel. Each of the Gawker Media sites has its own group blog/forum, and one of the groups self-published a collection of short stories submitted by members! Each story is very different, and some were so good, I wanted them to be expanded into a novel.

The Rosie Project

From Amazon: MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

Okay, so this is not a collection of short stories, but it's still nerdy and quirky, if not science fiction. The Rosie Project was AMAZING. It's narrated by Don, a professor who has Asperger's, but is completely clueless about this. There are several hints that his friends are trying to enlighten him, but he never connects the dots. He likes order in his life, but Rosie disrupts all of that... in a good way. It's really adorable how he awkwardly and cluelessly tries to figure things out between him and Rosie. 

All of these books are quick reads, and I highly recommend them!

Linking up with Book Club Friday!

*Those pictures? Amazon Affiliate links.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Reading Challenge

I love to read. A lot. But I've been slacking off lately--something about planning a wedding and three wedding receptions has kept me busy.

So when I read Amanda's post yesterday about the books she's reading this summer, I was intrigued. Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life is hosting a Summer 2014 Reading Challenge starting today!!!!

This is my proposed Reading List for the summer, although I retain the right to change my mind!


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