As tech journalists work themselves into a lather over RIM’s BlackBerry 10, another potentially ground-shaking development in the world of Canadian consumer electronics has been largely overlooked. At last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a senior exec at a Canadian sex-toy manufacturer predicted that today’s vibrators could be museum pieces within five years.
Grant Bechthold, VP of product development at Ottawa’s Standard Innovation Corporation (slogan: “Shaping the future of health and wellness”), told gadget lovers that the next three to five years will see enormous changes in the design of what he coyly termed “personal massagers.”
Anonymous asked: Do you think there's anything wrong with waiting until marriage to have sex? Like if someone said they were waiting until marriage would you judge them?
Since not everyone has marriage rights, I hate having conversations about the morality of abstinence until marriage. It makes the conversation inherently heterosexist and I’m just not cool with that. I will answer your question however.
I’m going to guess that by sex, you mean partnered, penetrative sex—not masturbation or other forms of sexual expression. Either way, the short answer is no, I would not judge someone for choosing to wait until marriage to have sexual intercourse. I’m not in the virgin-shaming business. I label myself as a sex-positive feminist. I know the term,“sex-positive” may be a little confusing to some people. Being sex-positive doesn’t mean all sex, all the time. It doesn’t mean sex-positive people are sexual hedonists or perverts. Sex-positivity is about owning our own desires, or lack thereof. It’s about ethics, self-development and health rather than simple pleasure seeking. In the sex-positive sphere, having sex is healthy, but so is not having it.
I absolutely believe there is nothing wrong or unnatural with choosing to wait to have sex until your married as long as the decision is being made by you and isn’t something that your religion, family or partner is shaming you into doing. When it comes to sexuality, everyone is completely unique. Everyone’s sexual needs, desires and requirements for sexual health are individual and therefore any decisions should be made by you, and no one else. Having sex or not having it is completely O.K. as long as it’s your decision and it isn’t something that is going to be detrimental to your well-being. Just because an institution (family, religion etc.) tells you something is good for you (i.e. abstinence ‘til marriage), doesn’t mean that it actually is. And similarly, just because you like something sexually, doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. As long as sexual activity is informed (knowing the health risks/benefits), consensual (enthusiastic consent, not just the absence of no—and it is important to note that animals cannot give consent), safe (condoms, dental dams, and lube to protect against STIs and physical damage to sensitive genital and anal tissue), and isn’t physically or psychologically traumatizing anyone, no one who is truly sex-positive should judge.
While I believe that saving yourself for marriage is a valid choice, I do feel that you still need to develop a healthy sexual relationship with yourself. Waiting to have sex until marriage shouldn’t mean that you live your life completely indifferent to your body and sexuality until you meet that special person. I don’t think that is healthy, or smart. I know it’s easier said than done since we grow up bombarded with sex negative messages including, “Good girls don’t touch”. And that message is ten-fold for those growing up within a religious faith. But seriously, getting to know your own body is probably the best thing you could ever do to protect yourself from harm and develop body confidence. Not only is it essential for your reproductive health, when you finally do meet that special someone, you’re going to have the knowledge and agency that will enable you to have a safe, sexy, and enjoyable experience rather than potentially participating in activities that may be harmful and/or make you feel bad.
What can you do to develop a sexual relationship with yourself while being celibate? Learn what your own genitalia looks like—grab a mirror and get acquainted. Masturbate. Masturbation is completely healthy and normal! Grab a mirror and watch while you masturbate—you’ll notice that your clitoris will swell and become erect, your vulva will darken—these things might not seem like they are important, but they are! Read erotica, consume porn. Learn about your anatomy and physiology. See your doctor regularly for pap smears and breast exams. Journal. Go to your local feminist sex shop. Pamper your body with baths and lotions, healthy food, and exercise. The possibilities are endless!
Although my decision to have sex for the first time was made for the wrong reasons, I know that in the long run, pursuing sexual relationships with romantic partners was the right thing for me. With the exception of one or two, all of my sex partners have had a positive influence on my sexuality. They’ve helped me develop sexual agency and feel more body confident and attractive. They’ve taught me things about my needs and desires that I couldn’t have figured out on my own. I’m an incest survivor and I feel that having sexual relationships with people I trust has helped me heal in so many ways. For me, I think waiting to have sex until marriage would have been a huge mistake. I have a lot of triggers. What if I had waited to have sex until marriage and my husband (or wife) wasn’t respectful or understanding of them? I mean, you can talk about how to handle triggers and establish boundaries ‘til the cows come home, but you truly don’t know how someone is going to react until they are in the situation. Yes, I’ve had lovers who have been insensitive to my specific needs and they’ve triggered me without any remorse…but at least I wasn’t stuck in a legal contract with them, allowing me to leave guilt-free. But again, these are decisions I’ve made for myself, because of my own unique needs.
So I’m gonna wrap this up. To reiterate, I do not think there is anything weird, wrong, or off-putting about waiting until marriage to have sex. I do not think there is anything special, or morally superior about it either. Everyone’s sexual needs, desires and requirements for sexual health are individual and therefore, any decisions regarding your sexuality should be made by you, and no one else. Your body, your choice.
Thanks for your question!
“It’s important to clarify that sex education that teaches about pleasure doesn’t have to teach about technique (though elective college-level sex education that does this is great). Letting teens know that women usually achieve orgasm through the rubbing of the clitoris, whether fingers, mouth, object, or penis, isn’t the same as screening an instructional video on giving good cunnilingus. It’s not the same as writing down the names of sex-toy shops on the blackboard, or handing out diagrams of cool and exciting coital positions. And teaching that lubricants reduce pain and increase safety and pleasure during many kinds of sex should be thought of not as performance advice, but on par with vital lessons about condom use.
Real sex education is not the same as porn education. Instead, it’s about teaching that pleasure is an important part of any sexual relationship. It’s about teaching that there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexual pleasure and seeking it out, so long as it is done safely and responsibly. It’s about teaching comfort with one’s body and a lack of shame over desires, and there is more to sex for all people than sticking penises into vaginas. Real sex education teaches how to go about making intelligent , safe choices, rather than just stating the choices available. I believe there is a big difference. And I believe that teaching teens to make smart choices about sex must involve teaching them that having sex, partnered or alone, can be a smart choice”."
Real Sex Education by Cara Kulwicki in Yes Means Yes
Last night. Me vs. 8 possibly lubricated college men. It could have went way worse than it did, but it doesn’t make it any less acceptable or upsetting. After getting home late from a 9 hour shift, I realized I forgot to export payroll. So I angrily marched back to work, exported payroll, and started back home. As I exited the mall I was confronted by 8 college guys. After inappropriate comments, obscene noises and efforts to stall me, one of them grabbed my ass and tried to steal my phone from my back pocket. I got home, cried to my boyfriend and stuffed my face with Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Their intentions may not have been to physically harm me, but certainly to harass, and make me uncomfortable for their entertainment. It PISSES me off that there are some men out there who feel that they are entitled to that sort of behaviour. And it equally pisses me off knowing that there are people out there who would probably tell me to just laugh it off or that I’m too uptight.
In THIS society (because sexual assault & harassment free societies DO exist), by default, women are vulnerable to sexual violence. The knowledge that safety can never be a sure thing is hard to swallow. It’s terrorism. None of us deserve to feel ourselves tense up and shrink when passing men on the street. None of us deserve having to think about taking the long way home because there’s a group of guys standing on the corner of the short cut we usually take. None of deserve to have obscenities shouted at us.
IF WE LIVED IN A HEALTHY SOCIETY, I would have been able to simply walk home and enjoy my Saturday night. And yesterday, I really just needed to have a stress free evening. Fuck you, you assholes.