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Dec 17, 2013 shurenka commented on Savage Love.
@10 nocutename, your story/advice was spot on. It can seem crass to think of people using "leverage" in a romantic relationship. But ultimately if something is a real dealbreaker, is damaging your self-esteem, you shouldn't put up with it. Otherwise you run the risk of feeling less self-respect later for having put up with a shitty situation so long.
Dec 17, 2013 shurenka commented on Savage Love.
For PODAQ, I wonder if she's communicating feeling strung along to her boyfriend. Or if she's just been dropping hints that she wants to be married and have kids and is silent when he expresses ambivalence.

I feel like I'm kind of in her position--in a situation which bothers me a lot, but doesn't bother my partner as much (and ultimately only he can change it). And, for better or worse I haven't yet come to the place where I would leave because of it. In such circumstances it's very tempting to make an ultimatum but once you do, if you go back on it, then you just look like a manipulative asshole (and you've hurt the relationship). So she needs to make sure, if she forces the issue, that she is ready to walk away. But only she can know whether his ambivalence is likely to resolve or whether he is stringing her along.

Also, 35 is hardly "old" to be a parent.
Dec 6, 2013 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: LGBT&P?.
I personally don't think that the difference between "orientation" and "structure" is more than a social construction.

In the old days, before orientation was a "thing", more important was one's role... That is, a gay man who bottomed was considered womanlike or deviant while the man fucking him would be considered "normal". It was considered understandable that a man could be lured by the charms of either a woman or feminine man ("fairies"); and the "fairies" were considered to be basically transgender women. Only gradually did the concept of a sexual orientation, based on what sex of person you were physically attracted to, develop. That is not to say that people who were only attracted to one or the other sex didn't exist before that, but it is not clear whether they conceptualized themselves in the same manner as a gay or straight person would today. (To those interested in the development of the concept of sexual orientation, I'd recommend Gay New York by George Chauncey).

The thing is, for some people, orientation might be at the core of their sexual identity. For others, especially bisexuals, other factors may be more important, such as BDSM or a kink or the structure of the relationship. This is just as, for some people they define their sexual orientation by their partner's gender identity, whereas others couldn't imagine dating a trans* partner because, well, they can't get past dating someone with parts they aren't attracted to. (I.e., sexual orientation is in and of itself a problematic term, because it is unclear whether it refers to attraction based on physical sex, or gender identity.)

Sep 13, 2013 shurenka commented on Age of Consent.

Clarifying on my previous comment: yes there was a strong congressional response to Rind's paper, but there is no evidence to suggest that lawmakers refused to read the paper "because pedophile". Lawmakers rarely read the full copies of any papers or even bills presented to them, relying on summary. At the time, continuing to now, there were valid criticisms of Rind's paper of sampling bias and what variables were looked at (notably not PTSD). Undoubtedly some people rejected the study because it conflicted with conventional wisdom, however the study was not without its flaws.
Sep 13, 2013 shurenka commented on Age of Consent.

My faith in Congress is as dim as the next person's, but what evidence do you have to suggest that that is the response of lawmakers with regards to age of consent? Also, this article didn't exactly raise any scientific evidence to promote a lowering of the age of consent -- it basically was just a longwinded way of saying "your mileage may vary". Which, great! But as @4 pointed out, the law cannot account for every exceptional individual in this case. There must be a fixed number, and if there's not hard evidence to suggest a different number, the age at which most people actually become independent seems to be reasonable.
Sep 13, 2013 shurenka commented on Age of Consent.
So this article's argument is... societies have disagreed about this therefore we can't know anything? Or is it that we should take lessons from cultures and countries hundreds of years old, even more deeply entrenched in racism and sexism than today? Strong intellectual rigor, there!

Tellingly, this article fails to even *mention* Romeo and Juliet laws, which protect minors from having sex with others within 3 years of age, when both are over 14. Statutory rape laws hardly punish adolescents from exploring their sexuality, but they prevent adults from preying on them during a vulnerable time.

The power differences between an adult and an adolescent can be significant; the adult will have more financial resources and worldly experience to draw upon. The 16 year old partner will simply be much easier to manipulate, control, blackmail, and emotionally coerce -- even if consent was given initially.

Yes, the age of 18 is somewhat arbitrary; some people older than 18 are arguably not mature enough for sex while some younger are. But it's done to protect the majority of people from harm, even if the precociously mature 16 year old will have to suffer the -- gasp -- truly terribly fate of waiting a whole 2 years to bone someone outside their age group.

I recommend those who laud this article to search for "A “Predatory Teenage Girl” Speaks Out" to get the other side of this story.
Sep 8, 2013 shurenka commented on SLLOTD: Call Me.
I disagree with Dan that 2 months of fucking is too soon to open up the possibility of being in a relationship. And more to the point: better to know 2 months in if he doesn't want anything serious, with you or simply at all right now, than to hope that things will develop into a relationship when things have progressed as far as he wants, to him. No offense to #3, but the Dan's advice will ultimately only be satisfying if the two already want the same thing or if you're the party who wants less and who thus benefits from not having the "OD".

This reminds me of the notion of the "friend zone" and the oft reiterated (and good) advice to come clean about your feelings even at the risk of rocking the boat; and IMO she should even do it more directly than Dan suggested, especially if she is going to regret having continued to sleep with this guy after starting to become attached, when she hears he has missed or ignored her hints of feelings and does not reciprocate the desire for a relationship.
Jul 19, 2013 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Unwitting Sex Tourist?.
Another thought...One rape myth I've observed time and time again is that rape is an error of miscommunication or misinterpretation, and almost always this is bullshit, and any "miscommunication" could have been avoided if the rapist had bothered to ask before acting. Yet this is precisely the complex issue that is raised in blackout-sex/rape stories -- how much of what happened was the result of miscommunication or faulty judgment due to drunkenness, and how much was premeditated or purposeful? How much culpability can we excuse for drunkenness, given that we do not give people a pass for, say, hitting someone with a car while drunk? And given that we can't recover exactly what happened in the absence of evidence clearly pointing to assault a la Steubenville, what should we do in these cases? Dismissing the charges as AP would have us do is not a good solution, as rapists will just claim they were drunk to avoid prosecution. I think it's at least reasonable to expect that students who are accused of rape using alcohol are forced to attend classes on alcohol abuse and sexual consent.

It's worth bearing in mind not all situations with two intoxicated people are equally ambiguous. I'll share my example: I was drinking with a longterm friend. He had tried to hit on me many, many times but I'd always told him I wasn't interested in him that way. When we were both drunk, me almost falling asleep, he offered me a massage, which i accepted, and then he stuck his penis inside of me without my consent, with no warning.

On the one hand, I could chalk this up to "we were both drunk and so neither of us could consent". On the other, I honestly believe that he should have known better, and given our respective body types, there's a 99% chance I was far more drunk than he, and part of me will always wonder whether he hadn't planned on the situation happening or tried to bring it to fruition.
Jul 19, 2013 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Unwitting Sex Tourist?.
Augh, AP letter made me so furious.

I think part of the "double standard" Anonymous Prof points out has to do with our cultural assumptions that men can't be raped (because they always want sex!), and the notion that men can't get hard enough to have sex if they're really black out drunk, but it's also worth pointing out that many men *do* use alcohol to lower women's inhibitions in a decidedly predatory fashion. (Undoubtedly this happens with all gender/sex combinations, but it seems particularly pervasive in college frat culture.) And many of these people do not identify as rapists or see anything wrong with manipulating a person's consent through verbal or alcoholic means.

If both people are drunk, yes, it's an ambiguous situation, but labeling something a "total regret-rape accusation" is incredibly problematic, and I'm glad this asshole resigned. Sometimes it can be hard to call a rape a rape when you've grown up hearing that rape is committed by minority strangers with weapons... instead you end up feeling guilty and ashamed for being violated, when it wasn't your fault. A woman's delay in reporting or identifying a sexual assault should not be held against her.

It's also impossible to tell how drunk someone was in hindsight. A person can exaggerate their drunkenness and claim rape, but they can also claim drunkenness to avoid being called a rapist who went after a visibly intoxicated woman.

The solution is not to bemoan teh poor menz being accused of rape. It's to encourage people to not have sex while drunk -- at least not with new sex partners or without having asked the person, while both sober, if they would be ok fucking you while drunk. And if the idea of having casual sex while sober is awkward or difficult, then clearly you aren't ready for casual sex.
Jul 19, 2013 shurenka commented on Savage Love.
As someone who formed a loving LTR online with several timezones away, I say it can happen, but you should definitely meet before moving and make sure physical chemistry is there.

Also, an advantage of an online relationship is that it allows you to distance yourself easily if need be -- such as if you're not in a great mood or want alone time. It's easy to present your best self if you only interact on such terms, whereas "IRL" you have to deal with each other's best and worst selves. So, learning to interact well in person is a serious adjustment and not to be ignored.

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