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?

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.


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