Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.
I think her curiosity and frankness is really touching, and I think she's got a good head on her shoulders. The next few years might have its ups and downs, but I think she'll do alright.
I assume any women I might find myself socializing with identifies as a feminist.
However, "feminism" is a very broad term that includes a wide variety of perspectives, some of which are implicitly or explicitly hostile to men and thus tend to appeal to women who, when it gets right down to it, are man-haters.
So, probably a good idea to qualify what specifically that term means to you if you are going to hitch your identify to it.
I would replace Dan's advice on #8 with the advice to politely but firmly explain before you allow the doctor/nurse to touch you that you still have a hymen and that you would like them to use extra caution/lube/time etc. If at any point during the exam you feel too much discomfort, insist that they stop and give you a moment or explain what is happening.
A *good* doctor/nurse will do this anyway (and I recommend Planned Parenthood as a good place to go) but unfortunately not everyone is good at caring for their patients and this disproportionately (and sometimes traumatically) affects people who have no choice as to where they can go.
Dan has a lot more patience than I have. Sheesh!
Zionism essentially means a belief in the right of Jewish people to self determination in the land of Israel. Given that definition, most Americans would identify as Zionists. But Zionism, for better or worse, has become synonymous with the more radical elements of Israeli nationalism (thanks U.N.) If I were to tell someone I was a Zionist, it would cause many people to judge me as an extremist.
Similarly, feminism at its core is an essentially is a belief is equality of the sexes. But many people associate feminism with the radical components.
Being feminist doesn't necessarily make you anti-male any more than being a Zionist makes you anti-Palestinian. But many people will associate that declaration with the potential for extremist positions.
I think it's great that she's trying to get the answers to a lot of different questions, some more serious than others, and my one concern is that her friends seem to be shutting her down a lot--telling her that her physical preferences are invalid because she's "fetishizing" an ethnic type, suggesting that she's too picky and that she should expect less than basic respect from a man, and that it's a turnoff for her to identify as a feminist.
TAB, it sounds to me like your friends' responses to you are grounded in their own insecurities. It's okay to like what you like and want what you want. A few men may not want to treat you decently, but that doesn't mean that your holding on to that as a base-level standard is unrealistic or too picky.
Also, I've totally been this girl, though I never wrote a novella questionnaire for an advice columnist. Especially, I never dated in high school or had random crushes on boys like my friends did. It honestly took me hanging out with groups of friends to meet guys on neutral ground, where I got to know them a little first, before I started having any thoughts of "something more" like a date. I'd say- don't be afraid to just hang out with new people and see who is fun to talk to. If you click really well in a conversation with someone, and find them non-repulsive, ask them out. The only criterion I had for an early date was: am I interested in hanging out one-on-one with this person for a few hours? Do I want to know more about them? And then you'll start to recognize when one of these interesting people does something more for you. For me, it was when I didn't want them to leave at the end of a date- not about sex, just that I wanted them to stay because I liked them being there (and the making out was nice, too). That was the signal for me that I was really into someone. This method worked fine for me, and maybe thinking through the baby steps will make the whole attraction thing seem less mysterious.
Get some lube (KY Jelly is perfectly good for this sort of thing) and put some pressure on your hymen every day or week or whatever. If you can find some kind of tapered toy that might help, since fingers aren't that comfortable due to the knuckles. While you're doing this, pay attention to any sensations you get from not having enough lube: if it's all over you'll feel a general tightness and resistance, if it's in one spot it'll be like pinching or pulling. I was sexually active before I stated having vaginal exams, but it took years more experience before I learned to recognise the feeling of excess friction in that context. I haven't had an uncomfortable exam in years now that when necessary I can ask for more lube where I need it.
Sorry for my rant, but as soon as I read that, I felt the strong need to call bullshit.
2. Methinks Dan was asleep on this one. Huge variety of vagina and cock/ball smells. Not everyone has stanky armpits -- go google dry ear wax genes and sweat glands.
3. Pre-cum is high in fructose and so is actually salty/sweet like delicious taffy. Hello, Dan, how could have you missed this? Pre-cum is God's ambrosia. :-)
Plus it's spelled pre-cum not pre-come. Did too much blow in LA to celebrate your new TV show?
Cum can taste sweet, can taste sour, varies widely depending on the dude and what he's been putting in his body (food, drugs, etc.). Likewise with vaginal secretions.
4-8 +1 on Dan.
Mr. Savage has moved on in his books to bigger and more important political issues like gun control, health care policy, and writes incredibly well on those topics, better than on sex to be truthful where he's starting to phone it in at times.
e.g. Dan's essay "Extended Stay" in American Savage, about the moral and emotional issues around physician assisted suicide. It's told through the story of his mother's death and brought me to tears. It's one of the most powerful defenses of the right to choose how we die that I've read, should be mandatory reading for all politicians and voters who oppose this.
4. I think that you've done a good job of examining your preferences. Here's one thing to think about though - it's sometimes not that sexy for people to hear "I'm into you because you are my type." If you end up meeting the Asian boy or girl of your dreams, and tell them that you like them because of the physical characteristics you associate with their race, they would be perfectly within their rights to be creeped out and run away. You're allowed to have preferences for sure, but always approach people as individuals!
6. Don't change yourself in order to be able to date people. Yes, men in their early 20s may often expect that of you, but you don't have to do it. Being single is definitely better than playing coquette for some domineering jerk.
7. Identifying as a feminist can be great. People who are freaked out by that are probably misinformed.
8. Make sure to let the doctor know in advance that your hymen is intact. You may also have what's called a "tough hymen" that is too thick to easily go away on its own. For that, there's a very simple remedy - getting it snipped. Takes about 2 minutes, involves local or general anaesthesia and is not a very big deal at all. Take it from me, former owner of a tough hymen.
@delta35 Actually, Dan has Casanova's backing on this. In the foreword of his Story of my Life, he explains : "j'ai toujours trouvé que celle que j'aimais sentait bon, et plus sa transpiration était forte, plus elle me plaisait" which translates as "I always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the strongest her perspiration, the more I liked her". The word perspiration here probably includes vaginal secretions, which Casanova sometimes describes - "she was flooded by her own distillations" - but never formally gives a name to.
3. To me pre-cum or pre-come (how is it really spelled ?) tastes good, salty/sweet and is more tasty than saliva. To me cum or come smells exactly like the blossom of chestnut trees, and doesn't taste nice. My prefered way to dispose of it, is to kiss my partner and let him swallow it - that's in condomless monogamish sex ; with condom sex the taste of semen is not an issue.
There can be asshole doctors, but there can also be malpractice suits ; an obgyn has absolutely no right to break your hymen, no more than of breaking your finger.
and re: feminism: at least for (straight, male) me, a woman _not_ identifying as a feminist is a huge turn-off. Either she's stuck in the 1950s, or she's painfully unaware of gender politics in the US, both of which are pretty unattractive to me.
I love the "how exactly do they tuck their penis?" question - As a teen, I was as clueless and at least as curious about girl bits and their proper handling.
If she can be as forthright with her future partners, she'll do fine. Who doesn't appreciate an honest partner and want to help them out? (A total asshole, that's who - you show them the door and date someone else.)
She seems a bit the science geek (all the acid and alkaline distinctions). I'd love to see an xkcd.com "What-if" comic done in response to her questions.
Way to make Feminism look like a zero-sum game. That's a pretty shit analogy that turns MRAs into Palestinians.
Feminism is not just a "rightful place for Jews", but a greater peace in Israel and happiness/security for all [women and thus happier men]. It's at nobody's expense.
(Just had to get that off my chest. It's been 25 years and I'm still affronted by it.)
It wasn't about a hymen, either. My vagina was always just really uptight and painfully sensitive until I had had PIV sex for maybe the 7th time.
The people who stubbornly refuse to give anything a further try, ever, for the rest of their lives are probably not that numerous.
Besides, we're referring to persons who aren't going to try things once and never again. We're talking about less fickle eaters :)
Hell, I could still use it now.
These kind of experiences happen quite frecuently to me, I'm starting to notice as I type I must just be a very disconnected/ oblivious individual.
Anyway, I always enjoy your comments, so thanks for the response.
The analogy seems pretty strained, as someone with extremely terrible and very corrected vision, I noticed it when I was in kindergarten. Granted, it probably took some adult explanation and coaxing at that point to getting me wearing the cokebottle lenses, but poor vision is something objectively measurable, hating brussels sprouts is a bit more subjective.
I really wish I could suck it up and myself to appreciate unaided vision the way I have with my least favorite childhood foods:)
My take: if you're talking about a teenage boy (or overgrown man-child) who's going to jerk his hips a couple of times, like a rabbit, and leave his partner unsatisfied, then spelling it in a short, immature way is illustrative. Otherwise, spell it "come".
Plus: "Plus it's spelled pre-cum not pre-come. Did too much blow in LA to celebrate your new TV show?"
Wow, what an ass. People get really bitter over the possibility of losing their childish terms.
"Cum" is the stupidest-looking word I've ever seen, and there's no good reason to use it. Don't worry, folks, we know exactly what you mean even when you spell it out with the extra letter. We don't ever mistake it for the verb meaning "arrive." Because context.
Any 21-yr-old woman should have regular GYN exams (once a year). However, you should never, ever deal with a doctor that you don't trust or don't feel comfortable talking to. It's even more important for someone that you'll be sharing intimate details with. Ask for references from friends that you trust. You can also ask for someone to accompany you. (I asked for my husband come with me once to a place, and I got looks, comments, and weirdness from the staff, even though he was friendly and quiet through the exam. I never used that doctor again; it's their responsibility to make patients feel comfortable and be able to deal with benevolent patient supporters. What if this had been my first visit? What if I was a minor and wanted a parent with me? Anyway.)
Know what a standard exam should be: a history/Q&A session, a breast exam, an abdomen/vaginal exam (looking for ovarian cysts) and pap smear, and a quick rectal check. Of those, the worst is the pap smear, but it isn't bad at all if the doctor has a light hand with the speculum and swab. Ask questions about anything and everything, ask the doctor to go through each process verbally before they do anything, and speak up if you are worried, scared, or have any discomfort/pain. You are doing this for your own health. They are there to help you. And if you don't like what's going on, call for a pause, a stop, or end the exam. Remember, you are your own best advocate for yourself.
As a late 20s feminist myself, I'll say that you should be prepared to continue to refine your ideas and feelings for a long while (probably forever!). Go out and find places, blogs, and communities that expose you to lots of variations and perspectives on feminism. You'll find out what you feel really strongly about, what you're not sure about, and what you've never thought about, and hearing from more and more people will help you define your own thoughts. You'll be challenged in lots of ways and also gain more confidence.
The great thing about doing this online is that it'll be easier to learn without getting into a lot of confrontation (unless you want to). It'll also be easier to hear what other people say without having to insert yourself into a conversation you're not informed enough to take on yet. Lurk!
Another side benefit is that this will also help you in the many inevitable situations when you will have to defend yourself.
On the same subject, another point against "cum" is that it has no proper past tense -- what would that be, "cummed"? Please. "I am going to come, I am coming, I came" -- those all follow neatly from one another. As does "...and then he lapped up my come."