Archive for the Human sexuality Category

The other side of the sexual spectrum

Saturday, January 12th, 2013 | Permalink

A few months ago, the topic of involuntary celibacy was brought up to me and a blog was requested. I really do appreciate requests, especially of this nature! I haven’t come across much research, or even definitions, of involuntary celibacy, so needless to say, I’ve been doing some research and reading up on the topic for a much needed blog on the little known topic of “Incel”.

I initially thought involuntary celibacy was like asexuality, so I decided to brush up on the basics of asexuality before dividing into the Incel world.

As asexuality.org explains, asexuality describes a person or people who do not experience sexual attraction. They experience emotion and can have typical intimate relationships but sexual attraction to others is not there. Where sexual abstinence and celibacy (differing from “involuntary” celibacy) are choices, involuntary celibacy – much like the name suggests-  as well as asexuality, are not choices.  Asexuality is more of an identity thing.

After summing up my research on the two topics, and in my opinion, it seems like asexuality is more a physical thing whereas involuntary celibacy is a psychosocial concern. More often than not, research suggests that those suffering from involuntary celibacy have symptoms or causes bigger than the Incel: depression, anxiety, stress, and so on.

Put simply, involuntary celibacy is the state of a person who hasn’t had intimate relationships, sex or sexual intercourse for reasons other than voluntary celibacy or sexual abstinence. These individuals want to have sex but for varying reasons cannot. These reasons seem to be social in nature.

Now it is necessary to be aware of this definition in the context of individuals at an appropriate age for sex. For example, I don’t think it is valid to consider a 14 year old involuntarily celibate. Insert Sarahism: “Bitch please! What 14 year old is having sex?! Girl, you know what sex is?! When I was 14, boys had cooties!” 

Also, a “dry spell” and involuntary celibacy are not the same. If you ain’t got mojo for a week or a month, it’s entirely normal. Maybe you are super stressed at work. Maybe your boyfriend has a moustache that he refuses to shave even after you’ve reminded him that Movember ended 5 months ago… *pause* … Just sayin’.

In all seriousness though, involuntary celibacy implies a lack of intimate physical connection for a long period of time – years, sometimes decades.

It is hard to decipher why one is involuntarily celibate, but as I stated above, it is more often than not due to a deeper psychological or social reason. Some researchers state that individuals may be fearful of sex while others suggest a strong link between lack of sex and depression. In a psychological session, it is imperative to look beyond the physical act of sex to pinpoint what the symptoms could be or if sex itself is only a symptom to a bigger cause…? It’s possible.

 

It is difficult for individuals with involuntary celibacy because there is such a strong cultural expectation surrounding sex! Hell, these days with media overpowering the universe, it is expected that one will have sex in their 20’s let alone 30’s and 40’s! With shows such as Jersey Shore and Gossip Girl (guilty pleasures for the win) skyrocketing in popularity, especially in the Western world, people may feel the need to label sex as the norm and virginity, celibacy, abstinence or involuntary celibacy as abnormal. Really… who’s to say what’s normal? Fun fact: I watch both of these shows. Embarrassed? Bitch please, I love a terrible reality show and a delicious teen soap! I’ll own it. 

There is a common misconception that Incels (this, I believe, stands for involuntary celibates, describing individuals who define themselves as having involuntary celibacy) want to be without intimate relationships and sex. They want nothing to do with intimate relationships and physical connection with others. Not the case! Some Incels feel like they are behind in the dating game. At an advanced age when typically the normal picture of a dating scene has adults from teens to late 20’s, people with involuntary celibacy may feel like they don’t know how to “court” if you will, or don’t know how to “lose one’s virginity” at a later age. Girl, who cares about your age! There’s no rule that states one must lose their virginity at a certain age!

 

I still don’t know too much about involuntary celibacy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research out there. I did find a couple of websites and resources which I will post at the end of this article for anyone who is interested in learning more about these interesting topics.

I think the answer is awareness, comprehensive information, and an openness to either sex therapy or general therapy. Talking about issues helps them become and feel more “normal”. Again, I have no authority on stating what is “normal”, but I think you readers catch my drift. Reflection on one’s sex life and values may help the sufferer to explore why he or she might be feeling a certain way towards sex. Also, taking in different viewpoints on sex could help with a comprehensive overview of different sexualities and different sexual dysfunctions, making the sufferer feel at ease to know there are others out there who are dealing with sexual issues.
I’m currently dealing with a sexual issue: Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Emile Hirsch topless as my desktop photo?? 

 

Here are some sites that are a lot more helpful than I am. I just wanted to raise the issue and bring some light to a very important sexual issue. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Asexuality: http://www.asexuality.org/en/forum/5-asexual-qa/
Involuntary celibacy: http://www.involuntarycelibacy.com/
Incel forums (I always think people with firsthand experiences are the best resource!): http://incel.myonlineplace.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=1f21a8c983a40463b8e12e58fa3213bf&f=6
Sex isn’t everything… true, An interesting read: http://men.webmd.com/features/sexless-in-the-city?page=3

Stay safe, sexually speaking.

The Sarah

Love your face in black lace!

Friday, October 26th, 2012 | Permalink

MY people,

I’ve been MIA for over a YEAR! I apologize profusely. For those of you who know me, I met someone, I was rapidly writing my amazingly amazing (now complete) Master’s thesis, I did four thousand other things that impeded me from keeping up with my blog, including got married — THANK YOU!!!

So anyway, I am BACK. Sarah, who still loves sex education even though she is currently living in a beyond conservative part of the world — hey girl, I’m in the Middle East! Yes, I am also teaching English in Abu Dhabi.

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!

However, yesterday I had a revelation. I was washing dishes in a black lacy thing when I realized something. These past few months (I’ve been in Abu Dhabi for two months and culture shock, among other things, has caused me to become a tad depressed and confused), I have had to garnish myself in long sleeved shirts and long skirts so has to hide my “sinful” elbows and knees (the horror… — on the contrary, I love that I don’t have to shave my legs!!).

So YESTERDAY, I decided to frolic about in my black lacy thing. It had NOTHING to do with sex and everything to do with confidence. I washed the hell out of those dishes, happily. I looked super good and felt super good.

Tell me this isn’t effing beautiful?!?!

Here’s my point: Everyone needs black lace. Trust me, I am looking mighty homely lately, but DAMN IT when I put on my black lace, I felt so incredible. My husband says he loves me in anything (awwww), but no one can doubt the treasured feeling of the black lace. Whether it be underwear, a nighty, an overshirt, a scarf, or gloves… black lace knows what the hell it’s doing!

And JUST because this blog is partially about sex, I may as well throw out the idea that black lace is sexy beyond belief! To everyone, ever.

I dig it.

If you are confident, life is just better… sexually speaking AND otherwise. :)

Black lace is undoubtedly empowering. Maybe you prefer red? Red also works. White? Purple? Lace is a beautiful thing. As women, we must sometimes surrender to the beauty of super female-y things, such as lace.

Men in lace? I’d dig it… LACE IS POWERFUL! I want to wear my black lace all the time. With red lipstick. And a tight bun. Business woman chic. HOT!

Alas, that’s enough of that.

It’s great to be back. I’ll try to blog here but alas I have little to no internet in the desert.

The new and improved, Sarah

My issue with judgmental people

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 | Permalink

So I’m currently reading a lot of research and popular literature surrounding “issues of disagreement”, so to speak, when it comes to sexual health education.

I have an issue:

WHY do people care about stuff that doesn’t pertain to them?!?! Do I care about the couple sitting across from me making out and wondering if they will use a condom tonight? Well, yes… HOWEVER, I assume that because they are 18+ (I’m in a university right now) they have been equipped with healthy decision-making skills and/or are aware that free condoms are available at the health centre. Also, it’s SEX WEEK, (holla), so people should not be having any unsafe sex damn it!

WHY do assholes people care about petitioning things that have NOTHING to do with them?!?!?! For example, petitioning for a lower tuition as a university student makes PERFECT sense to me. Petitioning against hiring homosexual teachers at a school (I know! Ridiiiiiculous) makes no sense to me when you SHOULD be perfectly aware that a person’s sexual orientation does not negatively reflect his/her ability to teach. It probably makes them a more passionate teacher! Just saying… Because self-confidence and awareness is a beautiful thing that only makes someone stronger!! Be yourselves my friends. <3

WHYYYYY do bitches people care about picketing outside hospitals?!!!???? Like, if someone was having a really intense life or death situation surgery and people were holding signs that said “You can do it!” and “I believe in you!” and awesome stuff like that, then please continue to sing and dance outside of hospitals. That would be wicked actually. If I was in a situation like that and people were holding signs outside saying “I love you” and such, awwww… :)

What I MEAN is people who picket against abortion. Who are you? Seriously, who are you? Women have rights just like others to do whatever they please with their bodies. People make mistakes (unsafe sex, just saying), but keep your mothereffing opinion to yourself. Freedom of speech my ass. You are hurting people.

I only ever saw abortion pickets o television until I moved here. Now I see them all the time when I drive by the hospital. It makes me feel bad going in when I need a blood test! Go get educated my friends and stop blocking my way into the ultrasound room. (Exaggeration… but still).

WHY do people feel the need to preach against others? Don’t be judgmental. No one is defined by ONE decision he or she makes. As for sexual orientation, the decision is not to be gay/straight/bi/trans/black/white/penguin/hippo, it is to accept what you are BORN with: that is your sexual identity.

I can’t wait until we live in a world where no one cares and there aren’t even labels. I can’t wait to live in a world where people are people. Let’s make it happen.

Educate. Liberate. Celebrate! (Slogan from Vancouver 2010 Pride that I loooooove and want to marry).

Forgive my rant… I just find so much negativity around something so positive: Freedom of choice, Freedom of identity and self, and Freedom to live the life you want to live.

Stay safe, sexually speaking.

PS. Don’t GET me started on masturbation. If you’ve read any of my sex ed preachings, you know how I feel about the wonderful world of masturbation. Boys and girls: You will not die if you masturbate. Words of wisdom: Don’t do it on the subway. Keep it private kids.

Menstruation is still a sensation!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 | Permalink

The Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health is a website about the history of menstruation and focuses on topics surrounding women’s health and positivity in the inevitable experiences in a woman’s life.

I am on the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health website!!!

I recently submitted my article about the beauty of periods to a website that embraces menstruation. The website editor evidently enjoys my writing and published me on the site!
My name will be known!!! There is also a link to my blog at the bottom of my essay. Brill. Thanks dude. I appreciate the publication.

Summary: Periods are inevitable. Enjoy them.

The purpose of my article is to address growth and development in a sex positive way. My thesis encourages advocating the positivity of sexuality, so I thought this was relevant. Also, I can’t get enough of the period. .___. I mean…

Stay safe, sexually speaking.
–Sarah Always ultra pads Bryant

Alternative means of sexpression: Enter CYBERSEX

Monday, May 9th, 2011 | Permalink

Sexual expression over the internet… thoughts? It’s fair game. Here are some realities about the wonderful concept that is cybersex.

Healthy alternatives are necessary in order to meet the needs of all individuals. Much like the meat and alternatives food group, which encompasses more than just ‘meat’, sexual health education should discuss more than just heterosexual intercourse. Advocating for healthy alternatives promotes inclusive classrooms that adapt to a wide variety of student needs. This article looks at alternative means of sexpression for youth by focusing on an easily accessible form of sexual expression: internet sex, or “cybersex”.

Using the internet as a means to sexpress: Cybersex and beyond


What is cybersex?
Cybersex is a sexual encounter that takes place entirely via the internet, often in a chat room or through instant messaging (Sexetc.org, 2010). Cybersex is a way to privately live out one’s fantasy without in-person social interaction. Using cybersex as a form of fantasy is an autoerotic behaviour over the internet in which only words and imagination are the stimulus. Cybersex is a safe way for teenagers to express themselves without the physical harm of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy.

Tell me about the internet and cybersex.Okay! The internet is a limitless space, like one’s mind; however, the internet is more harmful in that one can be exposed to all kinds of unhealthy sexual expression, like violent images, sexual violence against women, child pornography, and other dangerous sex websites (Creed, 2003). It is thus important to monitor and regulate internet use in young individuals who are using this medium of communication. As long as cybersex remains a type of sexual fantasy, it is a safe behaviour that relies on words and imagination for pleasure.

Are there limitations to cybersex?
Although cybersex is a healthy form of autoerotic sexual expression, one cannot ignore the significance of physical contact and body language in intimacy. Shouldn’t we teach youth that physical intimacy is pleasurable? The Canadian guidelines for Sexual Health education suggest that a healthy sexuality encompasses the teaching of behavioural skills and socialization that includes physical intimacy and healthy relationships (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). This definition suggests that physicality is important in healthy relationships and thus cybersex is not an intimate, personal, shared experience because it limits contact and distances people rather than brings them together. Healthy physical contact or physical intimacy such as kissing, caressing, cuddling, and other forms of tactile stimulation emphasize healthy sexual expression (Rathus, Nevid, Fichner-Rathus, & Herold, 2010). The guidelines also stress the importance of physical intimacy and healthy socialization in relationships, indicating that cybersex alone is not a satisfactory way to communicate intimately.

Who uses cybersex?
A hell of a lot of people; however, marginalized individuals, specifically, often find comfort in the internet medium: “for many individuals, the Internet constitutes an important avenue for healthy sexual pursuits….[The Internet] might prove very useful for homosexual adolescents, physically/mentally challenged, shy individuals” (Philaretou, 2005, p. 81). The unknown distance of the person one is talking to on the internet provides a sense of security in shy individuals (Rathus et al., 2010).

So is cybersex good or bad?
The issue of comfort and feeling free to express oneself is a positive characteristic of using the internet for sexual purposes. ***Please note for your safety, always use caution and do not give out personal information over the internet. Also, you should be over 18… just my opinion, but it’s true***

Dependency on the internet can be positive or negative, but there is no doubt that technology has become a primary filter for information, including sexual knowledge: “Internet sex is more than just the use of a modern medium for sexual ends; it is more a reflection of today’s fast-pace social life characterized by individuality, impersonality, materialism, and social isolation” (Philaretou, 2005, p.80). This critique of the use of internet for sexual means suggests that it inhibits socialization and necessary physical components of interaction. Physical interaction, which more often than not works in conjunction with emotional closeness, is a necessary skill for young people who are learning about sexual expression through many filters.

What are other alternatives?
Other ways that teenagers could gratify themselves sexually is through foreplay, visual stimulation, other autoerotic behaviours such as masturbation through fantasy, and reading erotic novels. These forms of sexual expression omit the ambiguity factor that comes to play in cybersex where one cannot be sure who he or she is communicating with. Despite limitless possibilities and vulnerabilities surrounding the internet, cybersex is a safe way for individuals to express themselves sexually without the risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. As long as it does not become the only means of sexual expression, cybersex can positively impact one’s sexuality.


References

Creed, B. (2003). Media matrix: Sexing the new reality. Australia: Allen and Unwin.
Philaretou, A. (2005). Sexuality and the Internet. Journal of Sex Research, 42(2), 180-181. Retrieved from PsycINFO database.
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2008). Canadian guidelines for sexual health education. Ottawa, Ontario: Public Health Agency of Canada.

Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J. S., Fichner-Rathus, L., & Herold, E. S. (2010). Human sexuality
in a world of diversity. (3rd ed.). Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.
Sexetc.org. Sex, etc. “What is cyber sex or phone sex? How do you do it? Is it safe?” Rutgers University. 2010. http://www.sexetc.org/faq/sex/899. Retrieved 3 Feb 2010.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Cyber it up! It’s you and the keyboard.

One lay, two day, three way, foreplay

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 | Permalink

Dr. Seuss said it best when he rhymed Sam and ham and all that jazz. It just makes sense, doesn’t it? Rhyming is fun, hence the title of this article; however, I did not make this article rhyme. That is a goal for another day.

One of my dear friends asked me to publish something about foreplay, so I did. I aim to please. Here is the article as it was published in UBC Okanagan’s school newspaper, The Phoenix. Enjoy!
More to come! Forgive me, I’ve been in Europe both adventuring and boasting about my research. A blog will highlight the sexual health fun soon time! :)

–Sarah

http://www.thephoenixnews.com/articles/45718

Max wants to know "what’s a vagina?"

Saturday, February 19th, 2011 | Permalink

My people…

Sex! There. I said it. Once upon a time, I was born. My name is Sarah and I WILL be known as a sexpert one day!
Just to clarify, by sexpert, I mean an informed filter intended to promote knowledge, health, and understanding surrounding sex education. I do not mean this. When I say sex education, I mean sex, sexuality, sexual health, health and wellness, wellbeing, self, identity, Who am I, a little bit of gender, a little bit of anatomy, vagina, penis, boobs, belly button, and all that jazz, education. All of this encompasses sex education. I will not be focusing on how to HAVE sex, but rather how to understand one’s body in respect to the actions it can perform, undergo, etc. This includes sex. I cannot escape this fact.
Therefore, sexpert does NOT equal “hey baby let’s have a good time” *enter cheesy sex music*. Although I DO have some lovely songs that convey a sexual undertone, they are intended to show that sex is everywhere and we need to get used to that.
I am a scholar. A sexuality scholar. I read, write, and do sexual health education. With an emphasis on EDUCATION.
Let me tell you about some issues to which I would respond “well obviously”:
1. Boys have penises.
2. People are afraid of sex.
3. Teenagers think about sex.
4. Sex.
This blog is intended for anyone and everyone who wants to come to terms with the realities of human sexuality. Because of my education background, I will be posting specifically educational documents directed at educators, parents, and sexuality enthusiasts.
Because this is on the internet and people love flashy things, I will be posting pictures, videos, and music to entertain the magpie in all of us. Although I thoroughly enjoy reading research, not everyone does, so I will accommodate those of you who would rather not read and just view Cookie Monster holding a condom. (WHAT DID SHE SAY?!?!?!)
Alright,
I welcome you. Please stay a while and fall in love with my passion to write. My passion to write about my passion: sexuality and how it’s such a ?!?!?! to lots of people.