Good Parenting

Vanessa Fuchs, proprietress of adult store Sassy Sensations, shares a story:

Fifteen years ago, a visibly uncomfortable woman came into one of her stores looking for help. But she wasn’t there for herself; she was looking for a sex toy for her daughter that would allow her to experiment with her sexuality in a safe way.

“To tell you the truth, I had tears in my eyes. The other customers who were walking around and overheard, had tears in their eyes,” says Fuchs. “I said, ‘You’re amazing. I admire that you don’t feel comfortable in a store like this, and yet you came for the benefit of your daughter.’”

Now that’s sex positive parenting.

Throwback Thursday: Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts

Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts was published here on SK on 08/27/2008; sadly, it is still relevant.


When bodies & their parts are controlled, we diminish not only autonomy in the physical and legal sense, but the constraints send the message to all that those beings those bodies & parts belong to are not free & equal beings.

OK, This Guy Loves His Cam Girl ~ But This Is Not For Kids

Link hopping from this post about cam & clip girls, I found these “This Guy Loves His Cam Girl” shirts ~ for infants & kids.

inappropriate cam girl gear

This is not OK. We do not believe in sexualizing kids.

And while we do believe there are enough women watching girls on cam to support sales of such merch, please get their gender right. Simply change “guy” to “gal” or something.

Lesson: Don’t automate your merch-making activities.

Creepy & Complex Sexual Discussions In The News Part Two (Trigger Warning)

It wasn’t until David Bowie passed that I heard about how he had slept with an underage girl.

At the age of 15, Lori Mattix was a self-described groupie in the 70s ~ a groupie who lost her virginity to David Bowie. Last November, in an interview at the Thrillist, the adult Mattix seemed fine about it. Even when Thrillist reporter Michael Kaplan pressed her about it, she seemed dreamily happy, gushing, “Who wouldn’t want to lose their virginity to David Bowie?”

Mattix’s stories of her groupie years, deflowering, and age have varied over the years ~ which is not stated here to cast doubt on her claims, but to point out that she clearly hasn’t viewed her sexual activities with Bowie (or others) to be rape or anything remotely close to it. But, as told in the Thrillist piece, Mattix was a minor and Bowie was not. So even with Mattix agreeing and desiring to have sex with Bowie, her age removes her legal ability to consent. This would make Bowie guilty, ethically if not legally, of statutory rape.

Yes, I know; we all took David Bowie’s death pretty hard. But I’m not posting this about Bowie per se…. I mean, sure, there are definitely implications and conversations we should be having regarding celebrities and abuse. And we do have some consumer power we can wield. But the real issues I am looking at in this conversation are the rights of young people to have any sexual autonomy, who decides who is victimized, and how autonomy and victimization impact one another.

While there are laws that specify ages at which a person is “adult enough” to legally consent, even those which outline what sorts of authoritative relationships render sexual acts as abuse, we all know that there is no magic age at which every person automatically becomes a mature adult. It’s clear ~ or damn well ought to be!~ that infants and young children are not in any sort of position to make decisions about their sexual lives, outside of masturbation, anyway (which is why the “part one” post is so upsetting). But at what point do we give young adults the power to make decisions about their own bodies and sexual needs?

At Medium, Jes Skolnik, survivor of child sexual abuse, writes poignantly about the Bowie situation from her point of view:

[Mattix] does not view herself as a victim. This does not excuse the fact that Bowie had sex with her when she was underage, but we need to allow survivors the ability to define our own realities and speak our own experiences. We can believe it was on him, as the adult, not to have sex with her, and we can understand the context for his actions without excusing them.

I had sexual contact with a lot of men inappropriately older than me when I was 13 and 14. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-year-old men. Sometimes I initiated it; sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I felt coerced; sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I was forcibly raped. Sometimes these men used the power that they had as musicians I admired to appeal to me. Sometimes I was manipulated. Sometimes I wasn’t. I wanted to be loved; I wanted to be desired. I felt that sex was all I had to offer. This is clearly based on my own history as a survivor of child sexual abuse. You learn early on how to be used, how to offer yourself. That is what grooming does.

Were these men ethically wrong? Yes.

Do I feel that I was abused? Only in the situations where I felt forced or coerced. Which, again, was not all of them. Some of those relationships, even with uneven power dynamics involved, felt real, and mutual, and loving. I look back on them and don’t know how to feel about them. They are part of my life.

Were they pedophiles? Some of them. Some of them had a history of going after inappropriately young girls. Some of them didn’t. Some of them found themselves with me as an anomaly. Not everyone who commits statutory rape is a pedophile, someone who seeks out such encounters and has a significant pattern of doing so.

Others, including Mistress Matisse & Alex Morgan, added to the story on Twitter, addressing the issues of age, consent, and victim’s rights:

When does a child become adult enough to consent?

In some cultures and points in history, a girl was considered a woman when she began her menstrual cycle… Of course, with today’s diet, toxins, and changing parenting styles, adopting such a stance would make some six year old girls legal adults. And what about boys? When would they be considered adult men?

Do two fumbling 14 year-olds having sex make it less abusive simply because neither of them can know better under the law?

We should all seem able to agree that a victim’s opinion matters ~ but even there, people disagree. Many voice the “If she was too young to consent, she was too young to know better at the time ~ and whatever her memory of the event, it is permanently flawed by her age and trauma” sentiments.

These are complicated ideas, fraught with strong feelings. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be struggling with them. On the contrary. We should endeavor to struggle through these nuanced issues because of the strong feelings evoked.

In a rather odd way, even after death, Bowie continues to challenge us, make us take a look at what rules ought to be bent or broken.

Traveling With Kids This Holiday? Be Prepared! (Or, It Doesn’t Matter What Gender Your Kids Are, You Should Be Present)

Since we’re always trying to make your life better, here’s another classic holiday helpful from Sex Kitten.

This tip is a great reminder to prepare yourself for what can happen during holiday travel. It doesn’t matter if you are flying across the country, just driving ten minutes, or if you are going over the river & through the woods to grandmother’s house; if you have kids along, be prepared from unexpected, perhaps even unseemly questions. Don’t take my word for it; look what happened to Bryanne Salazar:

My sons and I were in the car driving home from Target, when my oldest, then 12, asked, “Hey mom, do girls actually have orgasms?”

Thankfully, Salazar was alone with her boys in a car; this sort of question cause additional discomfort on a fully packed 747 when your worries include being overheard by everyone from sexually frustrated frequent fliers, prudes, and parents who are protective of their own youngster’s sex education.

girls-orgasmsAs with most parenting issues, it is easy to say “be prepared for the unexpected” ~ less easy to know how to be prepared for what you are not expecting. However, in this case, Salazar would have been better prepared ~ or even avoided this whole situation ~ if she has simply been present for the sex ed conversation her husband had had with her kids. But she ducked out of that one, playing the gender card, believing men should teach boys about sex.

Salazar doesn’t mention how old her boys were; but I’m of the opinion that if boys are ready to hear about male orgasms, including how to clean up after one, they ought to be told about female orgasms. And vice versa.

Sure, female orgasms are a lot more complicated, which adds to the length of the sex talk. But perhaps if all children learned about female orgasms, those orgasms could be a lot less complicated. And achieved more often.

Image Credits: Lefteris Heretakis.

Let’s Talk About Sex — With & For Youth With Disabilities & Special Needs

As a parent, I’ve long been upset with the sad state of sex education in this country. As a parent of a (now adult) child with special needs, I’m even more upset. Children and even adults with spec…


See on Scoop.itLet’s Get Sex Positive

Selling sex doesn’t make you an unfit parent

See on Scoop.itSex Work

“It’s absurd that sex workers don’t have more protection, and their reputation suffers from the victimization. Jasmine suffered from the reputation and from someone spreading lies about her,” explained Jacobsson, who had professional ties with Jasmine through Rose Alliance, where the mother of two was a board member.

Jasmine told her colleagues in the Rose Alliance that the district court took away her children because she “romanticized sex work” and that it deemed her an unfit parent. Social services received a tip-off suggesting the she was using drugs and drinking in front of her children. There were even suggestions that the 27-year-old was working from home, Jacobsson told The Local.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth. For one thing, she hardly touched alcohol, but also, she was an upper-class sex worker. She would be coming into Stockholm from Västerås to luxury hotels, just once or twice a week, for a fee of around 4,000 kronor ($610) per hour,” she added.

“She was doing it all for her kids. And she enjoyed doing it. You tell me another job where a mother can earn 6,000 or 7,000 kronor a week and still remain a stay-at-home mum.”

See on