Monday, June 29, 2009

At Home, Away From Home: The Irish

I am in an strange city, alone, but I find a fairly cheesy, inauthentic "Irish" pub. I hear a penny whistle, a bodhran, and a beautiful voice. I walk in, no longer tired, alone, and lonely. I sit down; order a black and tan....I am suddenly home. My mother's voice is with me, my aunts, my family....everything that I need to make it through one more long work day is here.

I am a mutt, but I am Irish. I can always go home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sex For Younger Ladies Is Healthy, Normal, and Fun....Really!

Okay, this is not another addition to the conversation about the whole madonna/whore, capitalist notion of female sexuality, and whether girls going wild can be empowering or just drunk and stupid. Those conversations have been augmented many times by others who've added more value and cohesion than I.

Okay, I lied. It is another one of those conversations.

We've entered into this Bizzar-O-Land of muddled sexual mores, and I can no longer take the Sex = Slut argument. It's really messing up a lot of Young Ladies, some of whom I am related to.

I say "entered" into this weird land, because I feel as though there had been a tiny window of opportunity in the early, pre-AIDS 80s where feminist ideals of female sexuality converged with cultural acceptance of said, and us gals were genuinely empowered about seeking out, and enjoying, lots of sex. Sadly, that time passed far too quickly.

I have had a lot of sex. Some of it was fun. Some of it was really fun. Some of was awful. Some of it was really awful. Some of it was with a known entity, some of it was not. So here's what I have to say on the subject.

Having a lot of sex, on your own terms and by your own choice, does not make you a slut.

I encourage the Younger Ladies to, in the absence of a partner, learn about their bodies and understand what makes that body feel good....sort of like training wheels. After all, you don't just go out there and immediately ride that two-wheeler, do you? So, spend quality "you time" first, Younger Ladies. Then, after figuring it out on your own, have a lot of (safe*) sex!

(*By "safe sex", I mean: condoms always and an additional method such as: foams, suppositories, creams, the Sponge--which is finally coming back again--oral contraceptives, Depo Provera, the ring, the patch, you name it; you've got options, Young Ladies, and barebacking with withdrawal is not one of them.)

Have sex because:
* It's fun.
* It feels good, physically.
* The guy/girl is hot and you want him/her for that night only with no strings attached and don't ever expect to hear from him/her again.
* It can help you learn about what you like and don't like.
* You love the person, and the person loves you right back and it's nice to be intimate with your loved one.

Do not have sex because:
* You think your boy- or girlfriend will leave if you don't.
* You think it will bring you closer. (If you need closeness, just ask for a hug and have an long conversation instead.)
* You think it will make you appear to be smarter/prettier/more important/popular.
* You are depressed and think it will cheer you up.
* You are pressured into doing so.
* You expect that by having sex, you will end up in a relationship with this person.

Yes, there are risks to having a lot of sex. Believe me, I know. However, there are far more risks to labeling and shaming an entire generation of Younger Ladies with the Sex = Slut argument, and by offering that generation yet another double standard about their own healthy, normal, exciting sexuality.

Monday, June 15, 2009

BMI Is a Lie

Kate Harding is a Chicago-based blogger, who, along with several other equally fabulous ladies, maintains the Shapely Prose blog. Ms. Harding has just put together The BMI Project.

It's a slideshow of average folks (mostly women, but a few fellas, too.) Using the Body Mass Index, which many healthcare providers default to as a measure of overall health, Harding demonstrates that BMI is really bullshit.

And, as testament to just how bullshitty and asshatty BMI really is as a measure of fitness, the delightful Ms. Harding starts the slideshow off with a photo of her doing yoga, in the Crow Pose.

Just another reminder to love the body you have, eat as well as you can, don't smoke, and get some exercise on a regular basis.

Carry on!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Very Short Story

Last night, Husband asked for a bedtime story. Here it is:

Once upon a time there was a little pig named Ralph. He ran away from the farm because he didn't want to be turned into bacon. He went into the forest, and lived happily ever after eating acorns. The end.

(I'm thinking Ralph is the one in the back...he looks ready to make a break for it.)