Hi, I'm Rachel. I'm a twentysomething journalist and social researcher interested in the relationship between sex, status and the self. I'm also writing a book on the topic. These are the ingredients that fuel my theories.
Check out my main blog, Musings of an Inappropriate Woman.
Click here to email me.
If we wish to construct a feminism that is truly “sex positive,” it must address the myriad forms of oppression that violate women’s lives and bodies on a global scale.Why “sex positive” feminism is negative for me
It’s also worth noting how many of the people commenting that Daley and Bello shouldn’t need to parade their “lifestyle” in public because these things are no one’s business appear to be straight men, apparently completely oblivious to the actuality that representations of their sexuality are EVERYWHERE. Films, television, movies, commercials - they are able to look around and see themselves portrayed in every part of popular culture, so much so that they are now don’t even notice it - in their minds, everything is just how it has always been and always should be. So when something comes along that isn’t personally relevant to them (for instance, gasp and horror, a young man cheerily announcing he’s fallen in love with a dude), it is extremely jarring and they are the first to denounce it as unnecessary and irrelevant.Tom Daley and Maria Bellow: The world of human sexuality is far from black and white
In the world of football, mateship is king. It matters little that Milne is financially well placed to fund his own defence because this isn’t about money. It’s about solidarity and closing ranks, ‘bros before hoes’ and a team united. Most galling about it though is how it once again reflects the lack of interest in supporting the victims of alleged crimes - particularly sexual ones - especially where masculine codes of power are concerned.Clementine Ford
My guess is that as taboos and strict sexual categories begin to fall away, men will be more willing to explore same-sex relationships and hookups — and be more willing to admit as much to researchers — without panicking about which label to claim. For people of all genders, figuring out who we are and what turns us on has always been difficult. But we’ve failed to accept that many of us continue to question our sexuality well into adulthood. Given that most of us go through dozens of other major changes throughout our lifetime, doesn’t it make sense that our sexual desires could shift, too? That we might not be simultaneously attracted to both men and women, but that some of us might go through cycles of being more interested in a particular gender?Why should fluid sexuality be women only?
for all those knuckle-clutching articles about how girls everywhere are about to pirouette into twerking, puking, self-hating whorishness, we do not actually care about young women - not, that is, about female people who happen to be young. Instead, we care about Young Women (TM), fantasy Young Women as a semiotic skip for all our cultural anxieties. We value girls as commodities without paying them the respect that both their youth and their personhood deserves. Being fifteen is fucked up enough already without having the expectations, moral neuroses and guilty lusts of an entire culture projected onto this perfect empty shell you’re somehow supposed to be. Hollow yourself out and starve yourself down until you can swallow the shame of the world.Laurie Penny
Everyone I know is dithering about whether they want to be with someone or not; whether they should ask them, wait to be asked. Or should they send a series of messages that suggest an interest so casua11111l it could be mistaken for disdain. Alright, that was a typo ‘cos someone just bashed into my keyboard but it looks about right. Casua111111l. Whether they should wait and hedge their bets on this other person even though he said he wasn’t sure he could handle a relationship at this time because he’s a bit messed up and all, but maybe they could, you know, like, just hook up and shit, it’s cool, don’t stress me out, don’t ever appear needy. Or there’s Tinder. Grindr. Drinking a lot and seeing what comes of it. It’s a laugh. You’re so lonely. You’re not lonely. You keep yourself warm at night.Why is Britain falling out of love with love? (A little pessimistic, I feel.)
What’s a virgin?” I asked my female Saudi students during a recent women’s lunch hour at the English school where I work. “An unmarried woman,” one of them confidently answered. In other societies, the word doesn’t even exist. Waiting to have sex with one man would be considered being stingy with your sexuality, which is something to be shared with the community. What is natural and healthy for one culture is unnatural and unhealthy for another.Does my virginity have a shelf-life?
You know what? It would be OK if McCracken had reached the unfathomable age of 35 without having orgasmed (if that was her preference). The average woman loses her virginity at 17.4 (compared to 16.9 for men), but a CDC study shows that rates of teenage sex are declining: Almost 10 percent fewer 15- to 19-year olds are knowing each other biblically now than in 1988. Furthermore, in our culture of postponement, we are already leaving home, finishing school, marrying, and bearing children later. It makes sense that a subset of us would delay having sex too, particularly if we are able to get pleasure in less traditional ways— as McCracken says she does.It’s easier to be a “slut” than a virgin
McCracken may hint that she’s living a chastely romantic fairytale—“Friends who happily have sex with men they don’t love are adamant that I hold out for ‘the one,’” she writes—but she seems acutely aware that the pendulum of social acceptability has swung in the other direction, away from her. Sexlessness implies hang-ups, while lots of (possibly unattached, emotionally low-stakes) sex means you are transcendently liberated, positive, exciting. This is overall a good development, since erotic desire counts as a basic human appetite. But, like all appetites, horniness varies from person to person. I hope we aren’t marking our progress against slut-shaming by turning around and virgin-shaming.It’s easier to be a “slut” than a virgin