Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pleasurists #88

Washed Up by bubs84

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Transwomen are Real Women

After reading a very painful passage in a book this morning that completely invalidated transwomen, I think I need to make something perfectly clear.

Transwomen are women. They are "real" women. They are not men who want to be women. They are not men who "think" they are women. They are not even men who identify as women. They are not delusional or liars about their womanhood. They are not frauds, or freaks, or fakes, or trying to destroy the feminist movement.

Transwomen are not "really men." They are women. Regardless of what genitalia are currently between their legs, they are women. A pre-transition transwoman is just as much a gal as I am, or as a post-transition woman is. The fact that they were born with a penis and a prostate instead of a vagina and a uterus doesn't make them less of a woman. More than once, when confronted, cis-women have told me that a transwoman can't be a "real" woman because, you know, she doesn't have a uterus or anything! She can't have kids, never could never will!

To that I have to cry bullshit. Lack of a uterus or inability to have children does not remove someone's womanhood. A childhood friend of mine had to have a hysterectomy at age 6 because of a rare cancer. She has no uterus, and is completely infertile. She can't have kids, never could never will. Does that make her something less than a woman? She sure as salt isn't a man, or a boi, or a grrl, or genderqueer. She's a woman, an ordinary cis-woman, but the rational that invalidates my trans-parent's womanhood would remove this girl's as well.

Please, think before you completely invalidate someone else's gender. Remember that, in our culture, we constantly and incorrectly use gender and biological sex terms interchangeably. A "male" is generally accepted to be a human with masculine secondary sexual characteristics, a penis, and usually XY chromosomes. That is biological sex, which can be greatly altered through surgery and hormone therapy. "Woman" refers to gender identity, which does not always match up with biological sex.

That's part of why it's called "transgender": because the gender does not match up with the biological sex. Transitioning refers to the process of fixing the sex part of the equation, because the research has shown that gender can't be changed. One of the most important things to remember is that the person's gender always trumps the biological markers. If a transperson tells you she's a woman, but she has a penis, she is a woman. A little voice in the back of your head may quip: "Oh, ok, she's a dude!" No. Reach back and correct the voice. She is a chick. She may have a dick, but she's still a chick. Respect that, even if it's not your cup of tea. You don't have to want to fuck a transgendered person to respect their gender. Respect that, and you'll earn the gratitude of a terribly marginalized community.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review: Best Women's Erotica 2010

I'll admit it: I love erotica. Absolutely, completely adore it. I could honestly give up porn forever if you promised me an endless supply of the kinds of erotica I love best. It's my guilty pleasure, and has been for years, even before I really understood why I liked it.

The problem is, I'm endlessly picky about my erotica. It has to be very well-written - nothing turns me off like poor grammar and incomprehensible spelling or chat-speak. I'm talking stuff that's just about literary quality, not something dashed off in a few minutes. I rarely find the quality of erotica I want. Then Babeland stepped in and offered me Violet Blue's Best Women's Erotica 2010 anthology.

Review: Heart 2 Heart cuffs

I'm generally underwhelmed by mass produced bondage gear. They're usually made of cheap, poor quality materials, with shoddy workmanship. If they're made for any use beyond merely decorative, they're often uncomfortable after ten seconds because they pinch or chafe or, toy gods forbid, break during use. They're mostly ugly or tacky; most of the ones that actually look really nice aren't up to even moderately hard play.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is a summer break?

I have not had sex in almost three weeks. Though we're less than three miles apart, I haven't seen my boyfriend in almost a week (though not for lack of trying). I'm spending about 6 hours a day studying for the MCAT. I'm working out an hour to an hour and a half a day trying to get this weight off (because my body decided that 1400 calories a day wasn't enough of a cut back to drop a single pound). I'm sewing costumes for our theater production 3-4 hours a night to meet the deadlines of Directorzilla. And I'm cooking meals, cleaning the house, dealing with the dog, keeping my little sister on track, making sure my MTF parent gets off the conference calls with enough time to hit all those doctors appointments...

Somewhere in here I'm supposed to be resting and recovering from severe burnout this summer. Somewhere in here I'm supposed to be meditating for at least 15-20 minutes a day. Somewhere in here I need to find time to masturbate, or I'm going to go flipping insane!

Thank goodness for my boyfriend. Tomorrow is date night. He's taking me out for Thai, then we're going to go to his place to watch a movie and chill out. (because why go to a movie theater when he's got a nice TV and Netflix through his PS3? Given cash flow, saving money rocks. Besides, groping in a movie theater is generally frowned upon)

I promise myself...
I will try to make sure I get my workouts, because I always feel better after
I will try to make sure I get enough sleep, so the doc doesn't yell at me
I will try to make sure I make time to meditate, because it reduces my stress level and helps my acid reflux.
I will try to make time for masturbation more than once a week. Once a day would be nice, but we'll start with baby steps.
I will try not to throw a pile of fabric and pins at the director's head, even if he changes his mind about what he wants after I've cut it YET AGAIN. I won't even throw scissors.
I will make time for my boyfriend. Just because there simply aren't enough hours in a day to get everything done, doesn't mean that I should neglect our relationship. We both deserve better than that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Family Wedding and such

You'd think that now that the semester's over, I'd have a little free time. You'd think that in the summer I decided to take time off for my health, I'd have a little time to rest. Seriously! I'm starting to wonder if I just don't know how to not be busy. Frankly, having absolutely nothing I had to do would probably drive me completely insane within a few weeks.

Two and a half weeks ago, I shlepped out to a gorgeous piece of the middle of nowhere to help prepare for my cousin's wedding. I designed and organized the decorating of the church and reception hall, and helped them get stuff finished. (by this point, the bride and her mother were going nuts, as is the usual state of affairs right before a wedding) My wonderful boyfriend had volunteered to come along and help, so I had an extra strong back to carry things and set things up and move things around. Aren't guys wonderful to have around?

The wedding was wonderful. Everything went off perfectly, the weather was great, and the groom and father of the bride were crying as my cousin came down the aisle. I'll admit, I was crying, too. She and I had always been close. She was born only a few months before me, and until my sister was born almost a decade later, we were each other's only girl cousin. The wedding also drove home that we really were growing up, and that my wedding would probably be the next one in our part of the family.

You can learn a lot about a boyfriend by bringing him to a family wedding. Mine never looked uncomfortable, never tried to escape to run off and get drunk, never changed the subject when people nudged the wedding conversations our way, or did any of the things you'd expect a commitment-shy guy to do. He even sometimes started talking about specifics for our wedding someday, without any prompting. (We'll probably be having the no ice cream cakes argument right up until the moment I order our non-frozen wedding cake!) This is a long, long way from the guy who was so terribly commitment-shy in the beginning that he was afraid to even say "I love you."

I also learned a bit about myself. The week before the wedding, we were staying at my grandparents' house. There weren't enough rooms for my parents, my sister, my boyfriend, and me, so my boyfriend slept on the couch. He got to keep his suitcase in the room my sister and I shared, and he shared my closet. While I always have gotten a strong OCD twitch when I see his stuff strewn across my floor, making a mess and making it impossible for me to find my stuff easily, the closet was different. It was orderly, for one thing, but that wasn't what really got me. Clothes scattered around a suitcase taking up half my floor has a vibe of "I'm just here visiting." Seeing his clothes and mine lined up together in the same closet? I got this big, warm fuzzy feeling of permanence. I liked it. A lot.

There is one thing I need to figure out, though. Every time my boyfriend come with us to visit my family in the lovely mountains in the middle of nowhere, he acts differently. A good kind of differently. He's sweeter, gentler, more forgiving, less touchy, more understanding, more romantic... he's different. I'm not sure if it's because he's less stressed out because we're away from his family/friends/work stress, or if he's less stressed because we're out in the country or something. I'm not sure if he's just on his best behavior because so many of my family are around. I'm not sure if he's trying to butter me up into one of our rare, late-night sneak-some-nookie-without-the-grandparents-hearing escapades.

So that's what's been percolating in the back of my head for the past two weeks while I ran around shadowing doctors at a hospital here in the mountains of the middle of nowhere. That, and the MCATs I'm preparing for. Jeepers, those study books are huge.