ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: sex

WTF Ohio? A Guide to Current Legislation and Activism

Right now, there are no clinics in Ohio with active licenses to terminate pregnancies. Every single clinic is currently out of compliance with Ohio legislation. RH Reality Check just released a run-down on Ohio’s newly renewed anti-abortion budget yesterday. Over the past few months anti-choice legislators and activists have been engaging in attempts to shut down clinics one by one, without much interference from local lawmakers. Recent Ohio legislation has constructed a terrifying model for shutting down clinics — and it could get used by states across the country. Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and other states have seen their fair share of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider, also known as TRAP, laws that are designed specifically to shut down provider service facilities. Fortunately for women’s health advocates, many judges have ruled… Read more »

Uncovering Undercover Colors: A Cosmetic Fix to a Systemic Problem

Undercover Colors, a nail polish that can detect date-rape drugs (also known as benzodiazepines) in potential rape victim’s drinks, has proven to be highly controversial throughout mainstream media and the feminist blogosphere. The product invented by invented by four male undergraduates at North Carolina State University, is being marketed towards female identifying individuals to use to prevent their own rape. Like the many rape-prevention products that have come before it, under this nail polish’s cover of empowerment is just another product that functions to place victims of rape, harassment, and assault at blame. This cosmetic could be genuinely helpful and a great product for those who like to wear nail polish, those who can afford to buy it, and those in situations where benzodiazepines are involved. The service it will… Read more »

“Wait…THAT’s What Assault Looks Like?”

One of those funny things that’s sometimes forgotten about being young is that you’ll pretty much take what you see at face value. Not that we don’t question the world around us, but if something is happening all around young people, every weekend, and people call it hooking up or they call it dancing or they call it flirting, it’s pretty easy to simply believe them. So when I was 18 and dancing with a boy at that party and he moved quickly to put his hands up my skirt without even showing me his face, I thought that’s just what happened when you “accepted” (read: didn’t reject) a dance partner. When at age 19 a guy I worked with got me alone and asked for “just one touch,” then… Read more »

Lost in Translation: API Sex and Sexuality

The United States suffers from an unfortunate epidemic known as abstinence only programs. These sex after marriage talks are a common procedure in awkward health and sex-education classrooms around the country. For LGBT folks, abstinence only programs do us no good because, you know, we can’t really get married, and if we have to wait until after married, we’re going to be on a dry-spell for quite a while. Some advocates of abstinence only programs believe it is the right of the parents to have that conversation with their children, but for the API community, that is never a conversation we ever have. The API community is very private and though I’ve never been a parent myself, I honestly believe our parents don’t want to encourage the ideas of “promiscuity.”… Read more »

In Defense of Bossy Girls

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer and the author of the famous Lean In, is calling for a ban on the word bossy. Sandberg argues that words are powerful and that the word bossy discourages girls from taking on leadership positions, ultimately holding them back long-term. I love the message this campaign sends to young women as well as those who help raise them. Words do matter, they are incredibly powerful, and the way they’re used when we’re growing up helps to shape the way we interact with the world around us. “Bossy” girls are often strong-willed and opinionated, two of my favorite attributes in any person and vital skills that we need in the workplace and in society. 

Culture of Shame: What Duke’s First-Year Porn Star Says About Us

There have been about a million posts about Belle Knox, the Duke first-year and self-proclaimed porn star, over the past couple of weeks.  From the apparently shocking news that there is a current porn star actually pursuing her education (!!) to the immediate and incessant slut-shaming and double standards, to the conversations around porn consumers and producers, to Stoya’s beautiful and eloquent piece on sex-workers and privacy in the New York Times, it would seem that there is not much left to add to this conversation.  But I feel the need to add a few of my own words to all of this. Part of the critique against Knox inevitably comes from the fact that she is relatively young.  At eighteen years old, her work in the porn industry is entirely… Read more »

Let’s Talk About Sex, During Sex: Expanding Consent

Since entering the wide and wonderful world of feminism, I’ve always been known as the “sex educator” friend. I’ve put condoms on bananas, explained how the hymen works, and of course, hammered in what consent actually is numerous times. I talk about sex, a lot. Especially with those I actually have sex with—which is often what surprises people the most. Just the other night I was talking with two of my best friends late into the night, and we were discussing our relationships, current challenges, successes, how great Space Jam is, and of course, sex. At one point I was personally sharing a recent sexual encounter that I’d had with someone I’m seeing. In describing the story, I told my friend matter-of-factly that I asked him if he’d want to… Read more »

Unwrapped: The Best Valentine’s Day Gift!

Chocolate, stuffed animals, and flowers might be nice, but nothing shows your affection like a big lubricated pack of condoms! In honor of February being National Condom Month, and with it being Valentine’s Day, what better way share the special day than with a pack of condoms. We’re always told to use protection because with no glove, there’s no love. However, not all of us were taught the important lessons of wrapping it up.  Almost a decade ago, 87% of high schools taught abstinence as the most effective method to avoid pregnancy and HIV. Yeah, it makes sense that if you never have sex, you won’t be at risk of anything. Unfortunately, hormones don’t work that way and we eventually all grow up. There are still many states and schools promoting… Read more »

How Ohio State’s “Condom Club” is Promoting Inclusive, Safe Sex — One Prophylactic at a Time

One of the first things I did when I set foot on to the Ohio State University campus was sign up for “Condom Club” membership. “Condom Club” briefly known as “Safer Sex Society” is the place on campus to get almost all things a person might need to have safe sex. Oh and they also provide free sex-ed workshops to students. Ohio State is home to about 60,000 students. The presence of  “Condom Club” on campus is very important. For me, the Club has been instrumental in my sexual education and practice. (Fun fact: the very first lube I ever used was from the “Condom Club”). The Club is about more than providing students with prophylactics. For some like myself, attending one of “Condom Club’s” safe sex workshops was their… Read more »

The Revolutionary Act Left Out of Most Sex-Ed Programs

I was perusing the internet as I’m wont to do and I discovered an article that made me scream. I wasn’t sure if the scream was in excitement or terror. The article? It was about a university in North Carolina, Elon, which is going to have a class on masturbation. A class that students can take to learn about masturbation. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet if this class at Elon will actually happen, I think it has the potential to be revolutionary. Finally, a sex-ed class that will focus on anatomy and pleasure, not how to prevent pregnancy. I’m not the only one who got shoddy sex-ed in high school. The fact that it was almost always penis centered (how to put on a condom!), always about preventing pregnancy… Read more »