Sexuality


Should Kim Davis, Rowan County Clerk, be in jail for refusing to grant marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples? Was her refusal to do so an example of injustice? Should she be applauded for standing up for what she believes in? Is it hypocritical for her to oppose marriage equality when she has been married four times?

I cannot believe such a horrible and exploitative show was ever greenlit. Actually, considering that A&E has shows that publicly shame hoarders and addicts, it really isn’t surprising they would expand their dehumanization to sex workers. It’s also not surprising that they misrepresent prostitution with their assumptions that prostitution is always human trafficking or than all prostitutes have pimps. They also portray the women as being morally and emotionally weak. They’re also shown as being unintelligent, drug addicts, and bad parents. It seems that they (including the “advocates” who are former prostitutes who shame and yell at the “victims”)1 don’t view these women as being fully human because of their profession. That’s really gross. The attitude of “Pastor Kevin” and his team towards prostitution, as well as the actual lack of resources that they provide to the women they’re “rescuing” is reminiscent of crisis pregnancy centers. There are grand promises they make to these women, but the reality of how they “rescue” them is a hotline number, a prayer, and a bunch of empty promises. None are trained to actually help or identify the people they claim to be rescuing. They coerce these women into talking about traumas and life stressors to at least two total strangers in the eight minute timeframe. They try to make these women trust them & seem shocked when they aren’t “empowered” to change. They seem shocked when they aren’t ready to leave a potentially abusive situation to go with a group of people who have emotionally abused you & lied to you in the less than ten minutes that you have known them. Human rights and sex worker advocates have rightly called them out for doing more harm than good to these women & to the cause of ending human trafficking. And when there are even reports that the women that said yes are being reported to cops? Yeah, that really sounds like they want to advocate for these people. And their idea that they are saving these women or that all sex workers need saving really speaks more to the egos of the “savior” than it does the SW. This show is messed up. I view the advocates as people who are dealing with Stockholm Syndrome. ↩

Review: 8 Minutes 



Yesterday morning, mom’s nurse came by. My mom updated her on my strep and the Keflex allergy. This time the nurse didn’t suggest that I should try colloidal silver, but she did say a lot of stuff about how medicine is bad and that it causes more problems than it helps.1 Anyway, this visit she focused on the blood tests that were ordered. I made the mistake of saying an RPR had been included in my lab work. She didn’t know what that was, so I explained that it was a test used to find syphilis. She then asked if I had been having sex. That is not something that I really want to talk to her about. It really isn’t her business. I can’t really stop my mom from over-sharing about my health.2 I could have kept from mentioning the test when she asked, but I was trying to be nice and just kept answering whatever questions she had. But I didn’t like telling her. I disliked her asking more, not only because it isn’t her business and she isn’t my nurse–my issue with answering is that it doesn’t matter if I did or didn’t. The infectious disease specialist, whose business it could be, didn’t ask about my sex life. She ordered the test because the symptoms could fit syphilis. They could fit a lot of things, including infections that aren’t transmitted sexually, cancers and autoimmune disorders.3 And the tests help rule those issues out. And the tests aren’t even 100% foolproof. Obviously when I’ve had inconsistent strep test results recently, as well as positive skin tests in the past on things like tuberculosis45 or the saline6 control test for allergy tests, it’s quite clear that a positive test doesn’t always mean the worst. So I’m not freaking out about the possibility that I could have an STD because I’m pretty damn sure that I don’t. Having her ask that really frustrated me, but I guess that until I explain that I’m uncomfortable with her being so interested in my health, it really doesn’t do any good for me to be upset with her. Until then, I’ve just got to smile and nod and be polite. I may scream the next time she tells me to gargle with salt water, though. Oddly, one of the legit medical uses of silver is silver sulfadiazine. That is classified as a sulfa drug–a classification which also includes Septra, to which I am allergic. ↩I’ve tried. She doesn’t respect that request. ↩aka things that don’t happen when you smush your naked body against someone else’s naked body ↩Every time they test me. And that makes sense because the CDC fact sheet on test says, “Once you have a positive TB skin test you will always have a positive TB skin test, even if you complete treatment. Ask your doctor for a written record of your positive skin test result. This will be helpful if you are asked to have another TB skin test in the future.” ↩I had to have the first one done before my parents could be approved by the state for foster kids. I’ve never had TB. I’m just an odd duck who reacts to the skin test. ↩I inherited a salt sensitivity from my father. My skin can break out it rashes or hives when exposed to too much. My mouth can break out in ulcers. ↩

Boundaries, Get Some


toomuchor: I have repeatedly told her I don’t believe, I haven’t, and I won’t. Why does she insist on continuing everything? I know why. She sees only one outcome- me returning to true belief and revoking my “homosexual feelings”. Even if a “miracle” happens and I loose attraction to girls, I won’t return. Even without including my sexuality, I don’t respect/agree with/desire to be apart of the church. The times where I have been most happy has been the times where I was inactive or doubting. Where my mother sees one outcome, I see one as well- they are just polar opposites. 

How many times




Breathe by Abbi Glines My rating: 2 of 5 stars Once upon a time, I decided that I was never going to read another book by Abbi Glines again after reading books in the Rosemary Beach series. They were books that degraded women and promoted sexist ideas, stigmatized mental illness, and suggested adoption meant that your adoptive parents weren’t your parents. Her books also tended to lack things like plot and proper grammar. Well, I changed my mind when I found the Sea Breeze books in my local public library’s catalog. I figured that if I didn’t have to buy the book that I wouldn’t feel quite as disappointed if it sucked. I was right. Of course, I went in with the expectation that the book would be pretty bad, so I shouldn’t have been disappointed at all. But there were still some slight feelings of disappointment. I think they were mainly due to the fact that I felt that a book like this one should not have been published in the first place. As you have probably figured out by now, I was not a fan of the book. As with other books by Glines, there were serious issues with her writing style. The dialogue never flowed right. Conversations were wooden; they felt forced. There was only one continuity issue that I found, which is better than some authors do. There were some grammar issues, of course. I was a bit taken aback by the capitalization issues with directions. It seemed like no one had been taught that regions get capitalized. I even wondered if maybe I wasn’t remembering my English classes properly. I wasn’t. It was just that the writer and/or the editor failed to recognize it. There was a lot of repetition going on. One example is the introduction of Dewayne. Over the course of two pages, his name was mentioned six times, including one time where it was misspelled. You would think with that many mentions of him that he was an important character. He wasn’t. I’m not even sure if he showed up at any other point in the book, but I digress. Another example of repetition, in the first twenty pages of the book, Sadie, the seventeen-year old lead female character, complained about the cost of the condoms she bought for her mother. She would go on to complain about that through the book, as well as her mom’s sex life. Speaking of things Sadie did that were annoying, she was extremely whiny and judgmental. She viewed herself as being superior to her mom because she had never been interested in dating. She was a “good girl” and her mom was treated like some sort of evil, unintelligent, lazy, slutty monster. It was clear fairly early in the book that her mom needed some therapeutic help, but Sadie just wrote her off as being spoiled and selfish. There was a dependence upon tropes and stereotypes. Marcus, who is four years older than Sadie, was described as a “nice guy” and he behaved in a way consistent being a Nice Guy™. He befriended Sadie when she first started working with him. He was her first friend and she didn’t feel attracted to him, but he was extremely attracted to her–or attracted to what she represented. He would tell her how she wasn’t like other girls, which Jax also told her. (Writers, can you stop using that line in books? No one is 100% like any other person.) As Sadie expressed her body image issues, Marcus told her that he hoped that she stayed “this way. Sweet and innocent.” He basically was telling her that her self-esteem issues made he attractive. No. No. No. Marcus also had a tendency to follow her around and always seemed to show up whenever she was crying about something–this was particularly disturbing because the crying typically happened after he shared some gossip about Jax. (He even had his sister stalk her for him.) He was actively working to end her relationship with Jax, which he knew hurt her, so that he could be with her. This is not acceptable. This is not what a nice person does, but it is what a Nice Guy™ would do. And his badness didn’t end there. Sadie told Marcus that she wasn’t interested in him as anything other than a friend. She told him that she wass in love with Jax. She actually rejected him a few times. And what did he do? He waits until Jax is out of town and Sadie is alone and he kisses her. This was after yet another time where she told him that she wasn’t interested. This is a type of assault. If she hadn’t run away, I wonder if he would have tried to rape her. You might think that with all this Marcus talk that he was one of the leads. Nope. He was a secondary character. Jax was one of the leads, but Jax was a poorly developed character. As a teen pop star, he had a life that he led in front of the cameras and a different life he led in private. It doesn’t get much more descriptive than that. There was talk of the “old him”, but it was mainly just little mentions of how he had changed at some point in his career. One of the frustrations that I felt towards his character was after the Marcus kiss attack, he flew all the way across the country to rescue Sadie. That felt like he was underestimating Sadie’s ability to take care of herself. In the whole time that they were together, the brooding pop star began making her more and more dependent upon him. And here’s where I get to another thing that really bugged me about this book. This book felt like Glines took different parts of all four Twilight books and mixed them up, then wrote a story. The love triangle between Marcus, Sadie, and Jax was so similar to Jacob, […]

Review: Breathe



Lay off: the slut-shaming the suggestions that women who date or befriend womanizers need protecting the kisses and other acts (including anal, oral, or vaginal sex) that female characters say they don’t want from aggressive male characters the continuing complaints of the male BFF that he wants more than a friendship that same BFF actively trying to sabotage the relationship of his BFF and her boyfriend labeling male characters who participate in these activities as “nice guys” This kind of stuff perpetuates a culture where women are disrespected, are afraid, and believe that their feelings/boundaries do not matter. That they do not matter. It harms anyone who sees the normalization of this crap. And crap is putting it very nicely. via Tumblr

Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes My rating: 2 of 5 stars This book. How do I explain how I feel about this book? My feelings toward this book are very complicated. Why? I found the book entertaining, but it was also horrible. The things that entertained me were the worst parts. A good example of this is the horrible quality of the writing itself. The writing was repetitive to the max. One of the favorite repeated phrases in the sex scenes was the main character’s “weeping entrance”. It was inspiring thoughts of either weeping blisters and hives or the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who. Neither of those images are really conductive to setting up a hot scene. And when this happens in almost every chapter–sometimes multiple times in a single chapter–it becomes really hard to take. I didn’t know if I should just laugh at that particular issue or throw the book at the television. It was really confusing. There were other things that were regularly repeated, which mainly had to do with Jeremiah’s genitalia. It felt like the writer lacked the creativity to come up with any other descriptions of the characters. There were some spelling and grammar issues, as well. The most memorable one for me was where Lucy was noticing how the “sunlight shown” into the room. I’ve heard that sometimes publishers leave grammar mistakes in to ward off bad luck, so maybe that’s why that particular noticeable error got left in this story. Aside from the bad writing, there was the problem of just how disgustingly abusive Jeremiah was. You think that Christian Grey is bad? Jeremiah is, in many ways, much, much worse. Where Christian kissed Ana on the elevator before she knew of his sexual proclivities, but after they had actually had a few conversations, Jeremiah fingers Lucy on the elevator the very first time he is on the elevator alone with her. He didn’t even know her name before that day and she didn’t know his until the next day. And he didn’t have permission by her to finger her. She was attracted to him, which he took to mean that he could do whatever he wanted without ever asking. The next meeting with him is more intense and more grotesque. He sneaks up on her, has sex with her, and then offers her a ride home, but seems shocked when she doesn’t want to get in the car with a man whose name she doesn’t know and who just had sex with her without getting consent. The next day, she finds out who he is and that he knows a lot about who she is. After terrifying her by having her come to his office, he tells her that he’s been planning on firing all the temps, which is what she is, but that he wants to hire her as his personal assistant. Part of her duties include doing, as the title says, anything he wants. Because Lucy is poor and no one else is hiring, she sees the job as being necessary to her survival. This is coercive. It is sexual harassment. It is abusive. Her choice has essentially been taken away and she even admits as much. Lucy has been stripped of her basic rights & dignity and we’re just 3 chapters into the story. Of course, there’s the nice-ish side to Jeremiah. There’s the side that some people might see as being caring and compassionate. Usually, it is just him throwing a tantrum about how he hired her to whatever he wants. And the tantrums work. He gets what he wants over and over again. This is not a Dominant and submissive relationship. This is an overgrown toddler dehumanizing a woman who has been through enough trauma and grief already in her young life. Most of the book is about sex between Jeremiah and Lucy. It seems that it’s used to distract the reader from noticing that there’s not really any development of the characters or the plot. The suspenseful part of the book isn’t that suspenseful. It’s just random acts of nakedness and violence thrown together in a very haphazard sort of way. I may read the sequel to this story, but I will only be doing so if I see it at my local library. I would not buy it and I’m reconsidering my desire to read any other works by this author. View all my reviews

Review: Anything He Wants



1
I saw Fifty Shades of Grey today and… The movie is better than the book. That was the consensus of everyone who talked about it as they left the auditorium. The movie doesn’t include most of the abusive behavior. Anything abusive that was left in was not as bad as it was in the book. Ana actually comes off as less of a “doormat” and Christian isn’t as horrifyingly creepy as he was in the book. He actually comes off as almost sympathetic, which could be worse in some ways because it might lull some people into thinking that his behavior is acceptable.  The movie highlights how poorly written the books were. Like the books, there’s no real plot. There’s no real way to gauge the time. It ends in what should have been before or during the climax of the story, but that’s a problem with the books.  Though Christian mentions his mom’s drug use (and her preference) and being a prostitute, there was no calling her a crack whore. (His doing that in the books always made me cringe.) I don’t know why they couldn’t hire total nobodies for roles like Mia and Grace. They barely had any lines at all. Also, Max Martini’s main job in the film as Jason Taylor is to stand behind Jamie/Christian and take objects from his hands. It felt like they were using him as an extra. There was one scene where you could infer that oral sex was supposed to be happening. And it was actually a Christian going down on Ana one, which is still oddly taboo in American cinema. But it was the only oral scene. It was also the only real foreplay scene of any kind, which is a little cringe-worthy because there would be a whole lot of chafing. And there were a lot of shots of Dakota’s magically always-erect nipples and Jamie’s very lovely butt.  Oh, if you don’t want to see the movie yourself, for whatever reason, I would still recommend getting the soundtrack. It’s pretty damn awesome. via Tumblr

Fifty Shades of Tame


The Proposition by Katie Ashley My rating: 1 of 5 stars I’m not really sure what other people are seeing in this book when they rate it so highly. It wasn’t good. Emma is clearly in need of some therapy to get over her fiancé’s death. The dude died four years earlier and she’s still treating it like it’s the first day after his death. I think that her inability to truly get over his death is part of why she is so obsessed with having a baby before she turns thirty. (Unless she has a full-on fertility issue, she shouldn’t be as concerned about being almost 30 and baby-less. And clearly she doesn’t, since it only takes a couple of tries.) Aidan’s proposition was also pretty shameful and could be considered sexual harassment. He isn’t seducing her. He isn’t really even helping her. He wanted to have sex with her and she turned him down, so he uses her obsession with having a baby to advance his own agenda. That’s not a sign of a caring and giving person. There were some serious issues with overzealous religious types. Emma’s backwoods family get-together was so trope-y that I almost expect it to be a prequel for Deliverance. I could almost hear the banjos playing in the background as I read. I know a lot of people still have issues with the idea of out of wedlock pregnancies, but these people were a bit over the top about it. And then there was the male entitlement and slut-shaming. A cleaning lady at the office simply smiled at Aidan and he thought she was being a tease. That’s pretty indicative of some of the more problematic thinking that went on in this book. Of course, it fits in well with the previously mentioned Wanna Baby attitude that Emma has, the religious nuts, and Emma’s judgmental tendencies toward certain sex positions. (Who knew that kitchen sex was trashy? Only Emma and some people who probably have very boring sex lives.) Women are treated as sex objects whose only real importance is to provide pleasure for the men and babies to continue the human race. Basically, women are just ovaries, a uterus, and a vagina, but not in the well-written, let’s-stop-thinking-this-way style of The Handmaid’s Tale. No, this is one that PROMOTES the idea that the only value a woman has is her fertility and her ability to make a guy orgasm. Very, very backwards. Very, very gross. It was extremely easy to read. Sometimes ease of reading is a good thing, but in this book it most certainly wasn’t. It was too easy to read. There wasn’t really enough going on in the story, which made it too short. It also left it feeling like she didn’t truly put effort into the story. There was a lot of rushing going on and the sex was boring. There was no chemistry between the characters, which meant that the entire story felt very flat. I knew going into the book that it wasn’t going to be some great work of literature, which is why I waited until I found a copy at my local library. Of course there was a cliffhanger, so the author wants you to pay up so you can find out what happens next. She needn’t have done that because this book was short enough that another 200 pages or so wouldn’t have been some horrifying reading task. I can only assume that she split the book into two parts because she wants the moolah. Well, I have no intention of buying the other books because the quality is so low and the story-line/style is so offensive. I may want to know what happens with these characters, but I will only find out if I stumble across a copy of them at the library. And I really hope that my library doesn’t buy the other books because they could spend that money on much better books. View all my reviews

Review: The Proposition