March 20, 2013
Where the Wild Things Are

A literature professor in my new england Liberal arts college makes a sweeping generalization: Man destroys the wild because we fear the Wild in ourselves. It is a narrative that dates back to the beginning of our nation’s history. The white man hunted the wolves, called the people he found ‘savages.’ He conquered the land, claiming it was His manifest Destiny. John Winthrop spoke of a City upon a Hill, creating a rhetoric of self-importance, of anthropocentricity. So prideful that we use the word animal to describe something primitive and barbaric, she says, we ignore our roots and chop down our family tree with no hesitation. We try to suppress what is wild and fearful, but instead it escapes in diseased ways. Our culture, she says, is a diseased culture.

The first time I saw a vagina that wasn’t my own was in fifth grade when I was assigned a group project with three other girls. Jackie was the only one of us with her own computer, and we sat huddled around it one afternoon researching American history. None of us were yet privy to all the possibilities the Internet held. Being fifth grade girls in the early 2000s, the four of us tried to find Christina Aguilera’s website and subsequently learned two important lessons. 

One: Her last name is not spelt Agulara. Two: if you try to visit “www.ChristinaAgulara.com” you will be directed to a porn website. We had never seen pornography before. We shrieked and squealed, but we were intrigued. We clicked around on the website for a long time, gawking over the perverse but captivating images of bare flesh and forbidden acts.

The next few times we got together, we couldn’t help but slip back onto the website. We had never seen anything like it. We vowed never to tell our parents; we knew it was wrong, but we weren’t sure why. All we knew was the dirty feeling under our nails that we could not scrub clean.

Our culture has created this taboo, its attempt at suppression forcing our curious hands. If we had been raised to view sexuality as natural, perhaps we would not be driven to seek it out in such distorted ways. Perhaps it is not the animal inside us to blame, but the caging of it.

March 12, 2013
Toys R Us

The address is 308 Harvard St, and I walk by it twice. 312, 310, then a Baby Gap. On the third try, I walk down the alleyway between 310 and 306. I turn the corner and find it, its windows blocked out by an abundance of purple signage. I am suddenly nervous.

Good Vibrations: the “diverse, woman-focused retailer” who “invented the concept of the clean, well-lighted vibrator store.”

The sign on the door says that they will ask for an ID upon entry. I reach into my bag and touch my wallet. Should I get my ID ready so I don’t have to dig through my purse when they ask for it? Or would that seem too eager? I decide to put my wallet in my pocket, so that it’s easily accessible, but not obviously so. 

When I open the door I am immediately greeted by a male clerk. For some reason this startles me; I’d expected everyone to be female. He is a skinny redhead with horn-rimmed glasses. We are roughly the same age.

"Hi, how are you?" he asks. He doesn’t ask for my ID. I’m grateful he doesn’t ask if there’s anything he can help me find today. 

The atmosphere reminds me of a CVS. It is clean, it is bright, it is well stocked and well organized. A Matt Nathanson song is playing. I wonder if the redhead has a girlfriend. Does he buy her vibrators with his employee discount?  

An Aisan woman in her thirties approaches the register with a small box in her hand. The boy rings it up, asks if she found everything okay. I imagine she is on her way to pick up her son from soccer practice. The boy reaches for the box containing the object that will at some point in the future be put in and around this woman’s vagina. 

For desires so natural, there sure is a lot of silicone involved, I notice as I scan the shelves. The twisting shapes are limitless, the materials ranging from glass to rubber. There is a line disguised to look like makeup, others are unabashedly penis shaped. I’ve heard of choice fatigue when it comes to groceries, but dildos?

I wonder which one the woman at checkout has selected and how she came to that decision. Does her husband know she’s here? Is this an act of rebellious independence on her part? The fluorescent lights suddenly overwhelm me as I grapple with the normalcy of the checkout exchange versus the intense privacy of the product.

The boy scans the box and tells her the total: $45. Pleasure has its price.

- Sara 

February 19, 2013
Virgin America

You will take his virginity in a room full of pillows, this boy you’ll have met only days before. Afterwards he’ll smiled proudly, looking down at you from his place between your legs. You’ll laugh then, but feel slightly sorry that his first time will have been a quickie at some party with a girl he hardly knew. You won’t even have taken your dress off.

The next day your roommate will say to you,

"You wrote yourself into his history."

And this will seem true. But why?

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines virginity as the state of never having had sexual intercourse. Throughout the course of human history, though, virginity has always meant more than that.

Read More

February 15, 2013
Fun Fact:

Ancient Roman priestesses had to keep their hymens intact until age 30 or be buried alive.

4:50pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZryB6yeDLEvH
Filed under: sara sex virginity 
February 11, 2013
Let’s Talk About Sex

At a very young age, I realized that if I wrapped my right leg tightly around my left and squeezed my thighs together, a warm tickley feeling would emit from my crotch and spread pleasurably through my body. I soon learned that further pressure in that area had an even more intensified effect. I remember lying under my pink Minnie Mouse comforter with various Barbie dolls stuffed in my pants. I’d pretend they were having a tea party in my cotton underwear, and I’d lie awake relishing the strange sensation their presence elicited. I knew nothing about sex then, but I knew this feeling, and I liked it. 

You could say that was my first experience with sex toys.

Right now there are over seven billion people in this world, all defined by infinite differences: gender, race, religion, class, foods, thought, etc. And yet there is one commonality that transcends all of these barriers: we all find (consensual) sexual contact to be pleasurable. 

So why is sex tiptoed around in every day conversation? Why, in our American culture, is sex only brought up in hushed voices with self-conscious rhetoric? This single deed is the origin of our collective existence. So why do we pretend it doesn’t exist, except in the closest of company under a promise of secrecy? And why do girls pretend they don’t masturbate? And why do we squirm or giggle at the sight of sex toys? Why do we fear judgement for things that everybody does?

These are questions that I will be exploring in detail over the course of my blog this semester. Check back weekly for more embarrassing sexual escapades, masturbatorial inner monologues, and other thoughts involving vaginas (mostly my own).

Cheers!

- Sara