Thanks for the birthday wishes, kind people!
Alu Ravele Art
Rn. like now. Pronto. Go 😀
The Concert Game! Which one did I NOT see:
Huey Lewis and the News
The Rolling Stones
Just when I thought that my month was sucky and disappointing my absolute favourite showed up. Yayyy #happy
The powerful story of a high school that took a day to talk with its kids (and their parents) about mental illness in a deep, real way. Perhaps something only a small school like this can do, but inspiring all the same. Way to go, SLHS!
Warning: This post contains graphic talk of sex. If you are easily offended, the word sex scares you, or if you don’t want to know anything about my sex life, then just scroll right on past this post. If you would like to engage in a productive conversation about the way girls are educated about sex in this country, then please continue reading and please chime in!
This essay is courtesy of the sweet woman who owns the diner next door to the gallery who brought me two pots of coffee for my artist’s talk today. She mixed up the decaf and regular and tasted them to determine which was which. She guessed wrong and I accidentally drank an entire pot of regular coffee at 2pm. I can’t even have caffeine at 6am, or I’m up until midnight!
If you know me at all, you know I love to talk about sex. I always have. I can remember when I was in middle school, leaning into the cluster of 4 desks, one hundred percent of my attention devoted to the the science lesson being given by the two 6th grade girls in front of me rather than what was being taught in the front of room. I carefully listened to all the graphic details the girls dished about what they were letting boys do to them. “They did what to you?” I thought, not speaking, trying to decipher what their titillating slang meant. I listened hard, wanting to absorb as much knowledge as possible. I was still practicing kissing on the back of my hand and these girls were already at 3rd base. I could see I had some catching up to do. Lucky for me, I still wore the soft roundness of childhood chubbiness brought by afternoons alone with endless packs of graham crackers, Oprah and Days of our Lives until my mom returned home from work.
In Freshman year of high school, after I discovered the magic of calorie restriction and exercise, boys began to take notice of my long blond hair and eagerness for their attention. I had a friend, whom I greatly admired. She was born sexy. She had a rich voice, coy eyes and always smelled amazing. She didn’t even need the Victoria secret underwear her mother bought her, but it added to the feeling that she knew more than I did and possessed a kind of charisma I could only dream of. One night, after hanging out with me and a friend on the waterfront, she told me she could hardly wait to get home and spend some time under the running bathtub water. “What?” I thought. Why the urgency to bathe? I think my friends laughed at me and had to explain what self-pleasure was, what an orgasm was and how one might go about achieving this. It seemed like such a foreign concept to me. Down there is pleasure? What were they talking about? To me, below my belly button was a place of dirty shame, my early childhood experiences taught me that anyone touching my private area was bad (including myself). But I watched movies, I talked to friends, my hormones raged, and I knew that boys wanted what I had. I wanted their affection and by then, I knew just how to get it.
I can remember spending the night with a girlfriend my sophomore year. We had just polished off a box of Kix cereal (fat free so we wouldn’t get fat of course), and we invited my crush and his cousin over. We got into a heated truth or dare session and he asked me all the kinds of sex I had had. Me, wanting to impress him, said in my most sultry 15 year old way, “All of them.” Thank God he went home that night without me finding out what “all of them” really meant.
I lost my virginity on a late August afternoon when I was 17. I remember staring at my pink digital phone clock, as the sun rays sunk lower against my bedroom wall, shocked at how long it was taking. As I made all the appropriate moans and moved my body in all the ways that seemed “sexy” I was designing the most amazing omelet in my mind – six egg whites, sautéed zucchini, tomatoes, Greek olives and feta cheese. When it was over, he called his friends to report his conquest and I finally ate my first meal of the day.
With every partner it was always the same: it felt good to be wanted and I wanted to give them the best I had. I wanted them to like me. I wanted them to want more. I floated above myself, watching the show, measuring my pleasure by their satisfaction. Pain was a regular part of sex for me. I never said anything. I just kept on with the show until the finish, like running a race with a foot full of blisters. I felt accomplished that I pushed through the pain. Anything to make sure he was fulfilled.
It never ever once occurred to me that I should experience pleasure or that it should be reciprocated.
It wasn’t until I was 35, freshly single, my last-chance-baby-hormones pumping that I became determined to figure out how my own body worked and what brought ME pleasure. I bought copious amounts of books: Great Sex Made Simple, The Secrets of Tantric Sex, The Art of Fellatio, I visited She-Bop and bought toys and registered for classes. I quizzed my friends and pried for details. Were they satisfied? Every night I did my homework and I figured myself out, but enlisting a partner, that’s a whole other level. I have a hard enough time ordering a salad without feeling guilty for my complicated order: “Just lettuce, no onions, no cheese. Does that chicken have gluten in it?” but now I have to direct a partner about what feels good down there? It takes me a half an hour, in total darkness and total silence, to do it by myself and now I have to hold in my stomach, make sexy moans (not make any gross sounds), make sure he’s feeling pleasure and give directions all at the same time? I am a progressive, strong independent woman and I still choke on the words, ”That feels good” and “Keep doing that”.
So how do we teach our daughters from a young age to seek a partner who is all about their pleasure and expect reciprocation- to choose partners who respect them and measure their satisfaction by their partner’s pleasure? Author Peggy Orenstein, author of ‘Girls and Sex,’ says that when it comes to sexuality, girls hear that “they’re supposed to be sexy, they’re supposed to perform sexually for boys, but … their sexual pleasure is unspoken.” I listened to Orenstein on Fresh Air this week and watched her Ted Talk and I am fascinated by her discussion about the effect of hook-up culture, porn, and pop stars on girls’ lives. She talks about how when we discuss sex with boys we talk about erections and ejaculation, but when we talk to girls about sex we talk about periods and birth control. It was only LAST YEAR that scientists unanimously agreed that women can ejaculate during sex. For years they claimed women were peeing when reaching orgasm, but it was finally proven, that just like men, the urethra does not allow urine to flow during ejaculation. What about multiple orgasms and the magic of the ever-reaching, million nerve ending clitoris? Now that’s information I want my daughter to know about!
So how do we not spread the shame we learned about our bodies? How do we teach our girls’ that their pleasure is of equal value to that of their partners? We live in a culture that picks us apart by our breasts and our butts, values us on our waists and tautness and never ceases to remind us that we are not enough as we are. How can we ask men to not objectify us when we objectify ourselves by distracting ourselves with eliminating our love handles and achieving a thigh gap? How can we ask a lover to connect with us when we can’t connect to ourselves?
How do we facilitate open conversations about using sex to create intimacy with a partner you trust? How do we teach young women to seek a partner who they can tell what they want and what they don’t, what feels good and what hurts? How do we discourage a hook-up culture and encourage waiting for a worthy partner? How do we teach our girls’ these things when we can’t do it ourselves?
I always tease my friends that I’m going to buy my daughter a vibrator on her 14th birthday. I’m not really kidding. I strongly believe that girls and women should know their own bodies before they invite a partner to join them on their quest to pleasure. Boys practice all the time! Think how well they know their own bodies by the time they experience a partner. Girls should know their bodies this well too.
If our girls’ only sex education is what they are seeing in the media, then they will be sorely mis-educated. Good sex doesn’t just happen. It isn’t two people locking eyes, ripping each other’s clothes off and both coming away satisfied (If this IS your sexual experience then more power to you!). Sex can be messy and vulnerable. Good sex takes kindness and gentleness and lots of communication and lots of talking in the beginning, “Does this hurt? Does this feel good? Is this okay?“. It takes two people who know their own bodies and who are willing to explore together with patience and tenderness. This means before sex even becomes an option, I want to coach my daughter to spend enough time with her future partner to establish trust and see if he is thoughtful and considerate in all sorts of settings. If he isn’t kind or gentle and a good communicator with his clothes on, he definitely won’t be with his clothes off.
Are you embarrassed by the idea of your own pleasure? How can we talk to our daughters if we can’t talk about it with our partners or our friends? This subject is endless fascinating and I would be happy to facilitate adult, teen and middle school discussions about relationships, sex and body navigation. How will you talk to your daughters? What do you want them to know? Is this something you are comfortable doing or do you want someone else to do it?
The boy is enjoying a lazy afternoon with his pig collection.
There are two dogs living near my house in a very sorry state. One lives around an alcohol shop and the second (brown) lives in a dumpster. They both look like abandoned cases as they have collar around their neck. The brown doggy’s hind leg is broken. They need immediate help. Can anyone please put me in touch with an organization who can do help these two poor babies. I am willing to help find them. Area –
White dog – Wind Tunnel Road, Murgeshpakya, Bangalore
Brown dog – Domlur flyover, Bangalore.
Rohan Rawat help.
I said to the moon
I’m heading to the stars…