Social Issues

Why Consciously Awake Women are Virgins AND Sluts

I remember the first time someone called me a slut.

I was 12 years old. It was 7th grade. And I had just completed my usual 7:30am routine in the bathroom mirror.

Partial ponytail affixed to head via fuchsia scrunchie? Check.

Strawberry ChapStick plus Lisa Frank lip gloss? Double Check.

And that day…a fresh coat of Wet ‘N Wild blue eye shadow and mascara from a recent trip to Drug Emporium.

I stepped out of the girl’s bathroom, ready to take on Algebra, when these two guys (one of whom I had the HUGEST crush on) started giggling.

“What?” I asked, attempting display my best “I-don’t-really-care-what-you-think-of-me” attitude.

“You look like a prostitute,” said one of the boys.

I’d never heard that word before, but it didn’t sound very good.

“What’s that mean?” I asked, again with my signature teenage faux nonchalance.

“You know…a slut. A whore.”

I wanted my face to melt off right there. I was shocked that anyone would think of me that way. I’d never even kissed a guy. Hell, I hadn’t even started my period yet (though if you had asked me back then, I would have pretended otherwise).

I rolled my eyes and walked off in a dismissive huff.

But his words stuck with me.

There I was, the epitome of society’s definition of virgin, yet already bearing the cultural shame of being a woman who engaged in a lot of sex. To add even more confusion to the mix, part of me liked being thought of as someone who was sexually precocious. I yearned to doff the “little girl” image, but I also knew I wasn’t quite ready to “go all the way.” All of this because I decided to experiment with a little makeup.

And so the began the split between my innocent self and the one who felt desire.

Fast forward several years later, I still sometimes feel myself yo-yoing between the poles of virgin and the slut. Breaking the bondage of shame is a slow process requiring a lot of compassion. However, freedom is found when we embrace the whole of who we are as women.  We can do this by stepping out of the current cultural definitions of these words, and rediscovering the roots of their true meanings.

First let’s look at the word virgin. Most of us think of a virgin as a woman who has never had vaginal intercourse. However, the original Latin meaning of virgin was a woman who was not betrothed, married or bound to any man. Essentially, she was a whole being and sexually autonomous. It was later, when the patriarchal creators of history, religion and culture tried to strip women of their autonomy, that the term came to mean “a woman who was undefiled by sex.” Virgin then became (and still is) a social requirement for a woman to be marriageable and it is up to her father to protect this “virtue” before passing her on, like chattel, to a husband, who then carries the burden of guarding her virtue. At no point within this exchange is a virginal woman erotically free, but must engage with her sex only in relationship to the men around her.

To deter women from losing their patriarchally-defined virgin status, society then created an image of the “dirty” woman with loose morals known as slut. However, the first known use of the word slut was not in reference to women, but to men. In 1386 Geoffrey Chaucer used the word sluttish to describe a slovenly man. It didn’t take patriarchy long to refer to women with “slovenly” reputations as sluts but the term’s definition did vacillate for several centuries. Even in the 17th century when Samuel Pepys used slut to describe a young servant girl, it was with affection, not rancor. These days though, slut is used almost exclusively to describe a woman who enjoys sex at her leisure—and if the term does refer to a man, it is almost always accompanied with the descriptive qualifier “male” in front of the word slut.

Going one step further into our inquiry, we can look at the etymology of whore, a term often used as an interchangeable epithet for slut, and find its roots in the Proto-Germanic word “horaz” meaning “one who desires.” But again, in keeping with the ideals of modern patriarchy, to display even the slightest inkling of passion or desire, is to betray the revered ideal of virginal womanhood and thus be branded the pejorative interpretation of slut or whore.

All these words, virgin, slut and whore, in their modern day iterations, present a starkly different range of femininity based in shame. They are not who we are, but shadow aspects born out of oppressive dogma meant to dominate—not to liberate.  In freeing the roots of our language, we too, as women, find ourselves freed from the internal split created between these archetypal aspects of ourselves. The virgin and the slut teach us that both our sexual autonomy and desire are not just acceptable, but noble guides on the heroine’s journey. In embracing them not as foils, but as partners, we embrace the totality of all that is “woman” and discover that our erotic feminine essence is not born of original sin, but original wisdom.

SLUT

 

I was a Virgin for a long time.

 

Perhaps you think

I mean

I took 21 years

To let a man Penetrate me

 

Measuring

My Worthiness

By the diminishing inches

Of his Cock?

 

No.

 

I mean a Virgin

In a language long forgotten:

Lost in the ashes

Of burned witches

 

Or lost in the silenced vows

Of Brides of Christ,

Whose names were erased

In canonical Genocide.

 

I was a Virgin.

 

A woman unto herself;

Whole; Unshackled; Owned by No One;

And in this way

We’ve always been Virgins.

 

Our Women’s wisdom,

Written in our Mother’s bosom,

Survived the translation migration

From Page to Pyre.

 

Observe your Holy Rights.

 

Do I deserve to be attacked,

Unwritten from history,

Because I fucked my way

Through the Zodiac?

 

Keep your righteous indignation.

Your taunts and jeers

Only urge my Vestal Reclamation

And the resurrection of my Erotic Innocence.

 

We. Are. Coming.

 

So here I stand:

Palms stretched, legs spread,

Re-Virginized once more,

While making love to the Sacred Whore.

*****************************************************************************************************************

Follow Slut Positive on Twitter: https://twitter.com/slutpositive

References:

Willful Virgin by Marilyn Frye (The Crossing Press, 1992)

“An Informal History of the Word ‘Slut,’” by Donald D’Haene, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/donald-dhaene/slut-walk_b_1771218.html

 

Completely in Tears After Reading this Sweet & Heartbreaking Comic

Originally posted December 9, 2013

“Animals don’t hate and we are supposed to be better than them.”

~ Elvis Presley

 It’s often said: that which we despise in others is what we despise in ourselves. We see this kind of hatred all around the world: warring religious factions in The Middle East (descending from the same ancestry) fighting over what’s the “right” name for “God”; Christian leaders who preach against homosexuality while having affairs with male lovers; even just the everyday battle of the sexes between women who think all men are pigs and men who think all women are b*tches—when really what everyone wants from the other is simply love and acceptance.

“In time we hate that which we often fear.”

~ William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

We are more alike than we like to admit because that means we have to do the hard work of accepting all of who we are, especially the dark and shadowy bits—the bits that we fear will prove that we are unlovable. This is where the power of unconditional love shines the brightest.


Imagine truly loving ourselves without having to prove our worthiness.


Imagine if just our very existence merited that we are lovable? What if we are, in fact, love itself? And what if that radical self-acceptance inspired the same in others?


Animals exemplify this concept with such touching purity. There have been numerous studies to suggest that living with pets helps with health and happiness. Animals are empathic creatures and can feel us. They know when to come near when we need them the most. They offer companionship and love, while asking for nothing in return.


The Brazilian comic below deeply touched me with its message of compassion and self-acceptance. May we continue to heal and grow from the unconditional love of animals and may we humans soon be the face of unconditional love itself.

Max J. Van Praag: Bringing Sexual “Private Matters” to the Public

Originally posted November 13, 2013. Please note that Private Matters is now called Love, Intimacy and Sex Talk.

View this article on Elephant Journal

When was the last time you had a frank and multi-perspective conversation about G-spot orgasm?

How about porn addiction? Or being an “ethical slut”?

Virgins over 30? Power play? BDSM?

While, for many of us living in mainstream America, the answer may be “never,” it’s simply a day in the life of Talk Show Host, Max J. Van Praag, founder of the Private Matters TV show.

Private Matters is a San Francisco Bay Area-based series (though episodes are available to watch online from anywhere in the world) that interviews sex and relationship coaches, teachers, therapists and experts with a variety of specialties.

The show’s mission is to awaken men and women to their erotic potential through raising awareness of the many aspects of sexuality and bringing these kinds of topics to the mainstream. The belief is that through raising awareness of sexuality, intimacy can arise, shame can be released and old wounds can be healed.

Mr. Van Praag is so passionate about his mission that he has personally financed the first 40 episodes of Private Matters. Now, he wants to go bigger. More episodes, higher profile guests, a greater reach of people and broadcast on major television networks—which is why he is ambitiously raising $150,000 via Indiegogo to improve the quality of his show and to develop a website portal with advice, products, workshops and links to sexuality teachers.

In the following interview, Mr. Van Praag delves deeper into his inspirations, desires and personal relationship to his own sexuality and reveals why he is so passionate about bringing Private Matters to the public.

1. Who are you and where are you from? What did you do in your “previous life” (before starting Private Matters)? 

I was born in Holland, and have lived in several countries growing up. I am a polyglot (fluent in five languages) and consider myself a citizen of the world. After my studies in the performing arts, classical music and psychology, I came to the US from Holland in the mid-nineties to study and do research in human development and spiritual growth. I first lived and worked in a large workshop retreat center in the Catskill Mountains, then settled in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996. I have also facilitated seminars in self-expression.

2. What inspired you to create Private Matters? 

My own life journey and learning with women and the awareness that both of those may serve a greater purpose. [I was also inspired by] watching the movie Bliss in the nineties. This profound and beautiful movie brings potent knowledge about sexual healing into the mainstream. I shared the movie with hundreds [of people] and decided to create art and media with similar messages. As I explored various possibilities, I finally settled on the talk show format. 

3. Why are these topics so important to you and how do they affect you personally? 

I am passionate about bringing messages about intimacy and sexual awakening into the main stream. I love to take people to new places and I know that I am extremely comfortable in some of these controversial, edgy, taboo areas where most people are not. Nothing shocks me. Also, the quickly growing interest in these topics in our culture is apparent. Look at all the TV shows and movies coming out: Fifty Shades of GreyThanks for SharingThe Sessions, etc. 

4. Describe your relationship to your own sexuality. 

I am a romantic at heart and am deeply moved by powerful love stories and by people walking their own path. Many of my relationships and connections with women have been powerful, catalyst experiences for healing and growth, both for her and myself. I think I am a very good communicator and I love that about myself. I am also really comfortable with who I am sexually as a man and I make it a point not to label myself but to stay open to what is most loving and fulfilling in any particular situation. 

5. Who has been your favorite interviewee so far? 

One of my favorites, because of her niche, is Marion van der Stad in Holland, an intimacy coach who only works with virgins over 30 years old. There are more people in their forties, fifties and sixties who have never had sex. This is news for many viewers—just watch the new feature film The Sessions

6. Whom would you most like to interview (the person can be living or dead)? 

David Deida. It will happen! I remember when I had just moved to California in 1996. I had the trunk of my car filled with the first version of The Way of The Superior Man in spiral bound format to give away to all my friends. 

7. What has Private Matters accomplished so far? 

40+ episodes about different topics, viewed by over 100,000 people worldwide, [along with] many letters from people thanking me for influencing the way they relate and communicate. 

8. What is your desire for Private Matters in the future? 

A high-caliber show that is trusted and watched by millions worldwide, and that changes peoples intimate lives. A show that networks want to broadcast, with a live studio audience and bigger sets in the US and Europe.


Michelle Obama (Almost) Opens Up About Sex with The President

Originally posted November 13, 2013

View this article on Elephant Journal


The headline read: “Michelle Obama Opens Up in ‘Marie Claire’: Our Sex Life Has Never Been More Open, More Experimental, More Generous.”


I almost gushed my panties.

“Holy shit,” I thought. This is groundbreaking. The First Lady (of all people) speaking so candidly about sex. Not to titillate. Not to sell albums. But simply because it’s her desire. Because she’s a grown adult woman who deeply loves her man and wants to share the wisdom her relationship has taught her.

Then I read the article’s origin. America’s Finest News Source, The Onion.

But I clung to hope. Maybe Michelle Obama did give a candid interview to Marie Claire and maybe (just maybe) The Onion was mocking the interview.

Nope. One simple Google search revealed that no such interview occurred.

But what intrigued (and alarmed) me more in my internet findings was a vitriolic editorial from one writer and the corresponding comments in response to the article.

Ashley E. McGuire, a writer for Acculturated, The Washington Post and many other publications, described the article as “sexually humiliating and disgusting,” and treated the president’s wife “like a dog.”

Hmmmm…

Was the article funny? Not particularly. 

A little tacky? Perhaps.

But disgusting? Well…only if you think sex is disgusting and that “dignified ladies” shouldn’t be having it.

And it’s exactly this Virgin/Whore double standard that is harming relationships and keeping women from claiming our erotic power.

Had the article been about Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus or Madonna, McGuire and her readers might have been more inclined to ignore it. Because society already perceives these women as  “slutty and stupid,” so they deserve sexual parody—and are probably already defiling themselves with the “disgusting” acts described in the article anyway.

But to insinuate that the First Lady has a sexual beast inside of her is not only distasteful, it’s degrading.

However, the truth is that every woman, no matter her status, job, race, creed, religion or any other labeled box we can stuff her into, has both the saint and the sinner (and infinite variations in-between) within her.

Plus, despite the satirical tone of The Onion’s article, I found some of what Mrs. Obama “said” rather refreshing and in alignment with my sexual values.

“Their sex life has never been more open, more experimental or more generous.”

Well that sounds like the goal of every couple with whom I work.

“A recent spike in the frequency and intensity of their lovemaking has resulted in the most satisfying and adventurous sex she has ever known.”

That sounds delicious.

“It doesn’t have to be a big production every time. Sometimes we’ll just do oral, or we’ll only use our hands.”

Dude! I want to scream this to the planet! Sex can be anything you want, anytime you want. We get all caught up in the script that ends in screaming intercourse and mutual climax that we miss the whole buffet of possibilities.

“I remember I actually stopped masturbating for a while because I started to feel like a less sexual, less desired person altogether.”

While this is an attempt at a joke, it’s actually a disheartening and accurate sentiment shared by many women in relationships where the sex has faded.

“Obama noted that as a lover, the President is now 100% available emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and that he’s never been more attentive or celebratory of her body.”

Men, take note. This is the very thing women want from you.

“Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint,” Obama added. “We’re riding a high right now, and I know it’ll dip again. That’s okay. That’s how it works. But for right now, I’m just enjoying this flood of hot, hungry sex with my husband.”

Godspeed, fake Mrs. Obama. Godspeed.

Granted, I can understand how The Onion’s references to the First Lady participating in threesomes, BDSM play and watching porn might ruffle some prudent feathers.

But then, that got me thinking: what if the first lady spoke as candidly about sex as any starlet. What if a classy, powerful woman were courageous enough to share her erotic journey (no matter how kinky it might be) with her partner and with the public.

What if we, as a society, could receive and celebrate this woman? Without embarrassment. Without the giggles and scandals and tee-hee-hees that often come with talking about celebrities’ sex lives. Without trying to denigrate or shame her.

What if…?

In my opinion, we need more frank conversations about sex, if only to stop feeding on the sensationalist pop culture that masquerades as sexuality.

We need to be revealing hidden fantasies and desires, if only to foster compassion by looking at each other and saying “Yes, I feel exactly the same way!”

We need more female role models declaring, with great love and dignity, “Yes, I am a sexual being,” if only to break through the private tyranny that comes with trying to be a “good girl.”

So perhaps, Ms. McGuire, The Onion left a bitter taste in your mouth.

However, to relegate any talk of the First Lady’s sexuality as “disgusting and defiling” only adds to the trauma we women already carry within our sexuality and tightens the noose around our already frightened throats.

Therefore, we need a public discourse about sex, if only so that publications like The Onion aren’t the only ones talking about (and subsequently lampooning) it.

Yup. Another Article About Sex (& Why That’s a Good Thing).

Originally posted August 20, 2013

View this article on elephantjournal.com

Ah, sex. It seems like it’s all around us, huh?

We can’t turn on the television without seeing a scantly clad woman holding a beer teasing us to quench our “manly” thirst.

Or open our emails without receiving a barrage of spam promising us hot & horny women, bigger penises and affordable Viagra.

Or pass by a checkout counter without seeing women’s magazines offering advice for “5 Sexy Moves to Blow His Mind” or “How to Catch a Man (and Keep Him).”

From the evidence around us, it seems we are swimming in a sea of sex and it would make sense that many people are sick and tired are hearing about it.

However, the truth behind the “sexy” façade is this: sex sells, but sexuality does not.

Post an article on healing your sexuality and readers blast the entire comments section with angry cries of how the author is a “charlatan” or the publication is “selling out.”

Want to build your business using Facebook? Good luck if you are a sex educator. FB now blocks and even deactivates accounts that “violate their terms”—terms that are vague and vary on an hourly basis. Sex toy shops, sexuality teachers and even breastfeeding pages all face shutdown if enough “offended” people (aka angry and pissed off trolls with nothing better to do) file a complaint.

All the while profitable mega-businesses like Hustler and Playboy continue to operate unscathed in the social media world, despite the proliferation of asinine and even disturbing hashtags like #TittyTuesday, #MorningWood and #BarelyLegal.

The over-saturation of sex-like images in our culture is an example of what I call SEX-sationalism, which is the sensationalistic and commercial use of sexuality for the purpose of making a profit. Profit can means anything from money to relationships to ego-validation. Like any drug, we need it, can’t live without it and have to have harder and harder hits in order to feel its mollifying effects.

We are talking around sex, but never actually experiencing it.

It’s as if we are in a restaurant looking at the menu, talking about the menu, smelling the menu, maybe even eating the menu, but not going anywhere near the food. We fill ourselves up with pseudo-orgasmic experiences, which leave us sexually bloated yet malnourished.

SEX-sationalism works for the business of sex, but not for sexual freedom. SEX-sationalism says “Drive this car” or “Subscribe to this site” or “Buy this handbag” and all your empty voids and insecurities will magically go away.

That is, of course, until you need the next “hit” of pseudo-orgasm.

While SEX-sationalism works from the outside-in (by telling us what is sexy and trying to sell it to us), sexuality works from the inside-out. Genuine orgasm teaches us that turn-on starts from within and that pleasure is our birthright and our most natural state of being.

SEX-sationlism depends upon its customers feeling “less than,” but sexuality teaches us that we are already perfect exactly as we are.

SEX-sationalism offers unsustainable quick fixes, but sexuality teaches us that it takes a commitment to presence, vulnerability and approval to plumb the rich and nourishing depths of orgasm.

When I talk about orgasm, I am not simply referring to that 30-second crashing sneeze known as climax. I mean that living, breathing, pulsing life force that births every moment.

Our cultural fear of the wild and humbling journey of orgasm is what keeps us locked in shame around sex and resorting to recesses of our shadows to steal a tiny taste of the erotic.

The erotic has much more than just the act of fucking.

Eros, the root word of erotic, is originally defined as a form of love connected to our fundamental creative impulses. It is directly linked to our feminine self-expression, power and genius. However when are we cut off from this source (as most of us are in this cut-throat and greed-driven society), we are left hollow, voiceless and searching for anything to smother the aching hunger for intimacy.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the way women are treated regarding sex. In the US, women are fighting to maintain sexual rights in the realms of abortion and planned parenthood. Around the world, women face such atrocities as female circumcision, honor killings and sex trafficking and are routinely blamed and often punished for being rape victims (especially women who work in the sex industry, who are considered contaminated and sub-human in our society).

On the surface we go, “Yeah, obviously rape and murder and mutilation are bad. Let’s do something about this.”

But when women speak up to reclaim our right as autonomous sexual beings, we are treated with derision and contempt.

To say that a woman has found her voice through knitting or singing or being a mother is worthy of applause and a 5-page spread in Ladies Home Journal.

But to say that a woman has found her voice through orgasm leads to everything from ridicule and accusations of being privileged man-haters to death threats and acts of violence.

We say that sex is all around us and that we are tired of hearing about it. I say we are not talking about it enough. The fact that we didn’t even know the full scope and power of the female clitoris until 4 years ago (yet had hundreds of studies documenting the function of the penis) is proof enough that even the medical field has a very cloistered and limited knowledge of sexuality.

Ultimately this post isn’t about shaming anyone who watches porn or reads Cosmo or doesn’t know the first thing about non-ejaculatory orgasms. It’s simply a call to action—a call to the courageous men and women who are willing to educate themselves, experiment with desire and free themselves from sexual shame, especially in the realm of feminine sexuality. From there, porn and Cosmo can be a conscious choice, rather than the default source of education and get-off.

So here’s to more posts about sexuality.

Here’s to giving voice to that part of ourselves that we’ve been so afraid to share.

Here’s to casting an honorable light on the journey to orgasm.

And here’s to ushering in a new perspective of sex: from sex as a bartering tool that wins us scraps of pseudo-orgasm to sex as an expression of our deepest truth.

To Meat or Not to Meat: A Recovering Anorexic Contemplates Going Veg (Again)

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they are more finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other Nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth” ~ Henry Beston

I was a vegetarian for eight and a half years. Until I wasn’t.

During those years I was anorexic—then I decided I didn’t want to be anymore.

It’s been four and half years since I introduced meat back into my diet. I started with the big guns: the hamburger. Red meat (insert bloodcurdling scream here).  Then chicken. Then sushi. I wanted to face my fear of meat-eating and fat-gaining in order to disprove all the twisted theories I had about food and my body.

I also chose to eat meat because I hadn’t had my period for two and a half years. My acupuncturist “prescribed” it for me to get the iron and other minerals my nutrient-deficient blood so desperately needed.

In these recent years, I ate meat pretty much without a problem. I gained weight, my menstrual cycle returned and I started sleeping better. Over time, the desire for red meat naturally waned until all I was eating was white chicken and fish.

All that changes when I went to a recent meditation retreat. While sitting, I had the experience of deeply connecting to birds. As freaky as it may sound, I felt the angry and agonizing spirit of the animals and how disconnected we have become to them.

We “build” animals now like we make cars in a factory.

We view them as objects for our consumption. They are “other.” Not like us. We have forgotten that they too carry the mystery of life inside their bodies.

Of course, there are cultures where an animal’s sacrifice is honored and where the continuation of life depends on the gift the animal brings. But in these cultures, animals are not overbred and tortured simply for our own selfish needs.  These people take what they need in utmost gratitude and leave the rest be.

I struggled in silence as I sat with the realization of the horrors of factory farming. Birds injected with hormones until they are too fat for their brittle skeletal systems. Chickens confined to only 67 inches of cage space. Fish piled on top of each other in vats of their own excrement. Geese force-fed so we may extract their precious ‘fatty livers.’ Thousands of sharks pulled from the ocean and killed simply for a single fin, the ultimate ‘status food.’

Even animal products listed as ‘free-range,’ ‘organic,’ or ‘hormone-free’ are not exempt. Though they may not use any pesticides or hormones, many farmers still keep the animals in squalid conditions, burn or cut off their wings, feet and beaks and overstuff them with GMO-filled feed (or starve them so they will molt faster).

I recalled how much of the world’s resources goes into maintaining animal farms and noted that if we put those resources into renewable energy and non-meat based foods, world hunger and global warming might not be an issue.

I felt sick. Even as I sat with the arguments for meat consumption like getting enough B12 or we are naturally-born omnivores or animals “just taste good,” I knew inside my body, I could not eat the same way.

The next day, I pulled out my organic, free-range turkey slices. I put one in my mouth. I started to chew. Slowly and with very little pleasure. I had a second. And then I felt sick. My stomach rolled over and I couldn’t bear it anymore.

I haven’t touched meat since.

That was three months ago. In that interim, I’ve struggled with two sides of my conscience. One is obviously the newfound compassion towards animals, as I described above.

But the other is just as powerful: how I honest am I being with myself and my relationship to food? I have a fear that this pull towards vegetarianism is the first step on a ‘slippery slope’ back to anorexic thinking. One plagued by guilt and devoid of pleasure. I remember family dinners or parties where I knew meat was being served and lived in fear that people would discover my secret: that I was desperately hungry despite my cool exterior as I passed the plate.

The excuse was simple: Health reasons.”

(Side note: please know that I am not insinuating that people who are vegetarian have eating disorders—this is simply how the disease showed up for me).

I want to feel alive and energized in my body. I want total vitality and orgasmic living. And eating meat was a huge part in helping me face my fears and reclaim my power.

Honestly, I don’t harbor any judgments about other people who eat meat. My husband eats meat and I love him just the same. How we live our lives and what we choose to put into our bodies is a very personal journey. One must go deep inside one’s moral, ethical and spiritual codes and discover what is right for her.

My goal in sharing my struggle isn’t to shame anyone for liking what she likes, nor to suggest that only one way of eating is the ‘right.’ Perhaps it is less about the fact that we eat meat and more the how we do it (often unconsciously and in a way that uses food as a buffer from feeling our emotions).

What I do want to do is foster a dialogue around our cultural relationship with food, animals, consumption, compassion and perhaps find solutions with how we can get in right alignment with what is loving and sustainable, both as a society and as individuals.

For me individually, that means abstaining from meat in this moment and continuing my inquiry into the nexus of spirituality, pleasure and nourishment.

And we continue to rapidly evolve, technologically and globally, as a culture and species, we must ensure that we do not lose our humanity and connection to each other along the way. We are unique in that we have the intelligence and cognitive capacity to choose how we’d like to evolve; which is what makes the following quote that much more potent and pressing:

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet” ~ Albert Einstein

Special thanks to my dear friend, August Schulenburg, for inspiring me to post this article.
Article adapted from its original appearance on elephantjournal.com

Pornography vs. Erotic Voyeurism

Image Credit:  BaronBrian /Flickr

Image Credit: BaronBrian/Flickr

Originally posted July 3, 2013

“Suspense is like a woman. The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock

Let’s be honest: like it or hate it, pornography is not going away any time soon.

It is estimated that the porn industry brings in $13 billion in the US alone and nearly $100 billion worldwide.

With accessibility going up (thanks to the internet) along with demand (thanks to a growing population and the sharp increase in women and couples who download porn), those numbers are expected to rise.

For those who have had porn addiction or who have been lovers with someone who was addicted, this can seem devastating. Men who regularly masturbate alone with porn are more likely to have problems connecting with a partner, either through premature ejaculation, impotence or an inability to feel emotionally connected with him/her.

Of course to completely demonize porn or attempt to ban it is not the answer either. This “sexual prohibition” will only amplify the cultural embarrassment we already feel around sex, and relegate the production of porn to an even seedier caste of society (is it any coincidence that I can download “Hot Chicks, Small Tits 4” on the same website where I can search for my mail-order Russian bride?). The fact that adult film stars are being denied bank accounts does not represent that porn stars are wrong for doing what they do, but highlights the social stigma around sexual pleasure and our collective fear that someone will “discover” our dirty fantasies.

I think it’s vital that we have a candid discussion around pornography, if nothing else than to get everyone out of the shame closet and admit that we all watch it!

Porn has affected many people’s lives positively. For some, it was the first place they saw people enjoying sex. That can be especially liberating for women, who may have grown up with the notion that sex is something they were obligated to do for men’s pleasure.

Porn can also be educational and shine an approving light on taboos. A man who previously felt that anal sex was not for him, may discover a hidden turn-on when he sees another man taking it from behind (and liking it!).

Finally porn can just be fun and provide the much needed playfulness and variety many couples need in longer-term relationships.

♦◊♦

I feel that porn limits us when we view it as the ultimate authority on sexuality. For those whose only sex education is pornography, sex must equal a penis entering a vagina, a big-busted women screaming as if she’s in the midst of an apoplectic attack, an impossibly endowed men pounding her like a jackhammer and both of them cumming (hard) at the same time, preferably with jiz everywhere (especially on her face).

Porn can also hinder the sexual maturity of men, as they become trained (á la Pavlov’s dogs) to lump orgasm, climax and ejaculation into one act. In reality, all three are separate physical phenomena and can be experienced independently.

Where our relationship to porn becomes especially devastating is when we confuse the business of pornography with authentic sexuality. Porn is built on filling people for the moment, but for the most part is nutritionally deficient. Sort of like the McDonald’s version of sex. Yet, even though we feel a little bloated from it all, we still have an innate hunger (addiction) to consume more. And that’s how most businesses work: in creating a product that people need over and over again.

Therefore sex becomes a commodity. A thing to be possessed. A trophy to be won. And many people who make porn don’t even care if you watch it, as long as you pay for the privilege of possessing it. Fast forward to the end. Grab it, spank it and go on to the next one.

◊♦◊

The antidote to sexual consumerism is something I like to call “Erotic Voyeurism.” In Platonic philosophy, “eros” (the root word for “erotic”) is defined as a kind of love that is a fundamental creative impulse with a sensual element.

I am especially fond of this definition because I believe it provides the extra sexual nutrition that is often lacking in pornography: a way of interacting with visual stimulation and orgasm that is about building energy and utilizing it towards creativity (as opposed to the “jerk it out as fast as possible” approach to which porn often caters).

I recently discovered a brilliant example of erotic voyeurism in Clayton Cubitt’s video art series, Hysterical Literature. In each video, a woman reads an erotic passage from literature while she is genitally stimulated with a vibrator under a table. The results are hilarious, sexy, intriguing, intelligent and, yes, super fucking hot.

We see each woman as a human, rather than a thing. We are invited into her world, rather than trying to stuff her into ours. We ride the wave of her authentic turn-on, which can go from nonchalance to surprise to slight embarrassment to delicious agony to ecstasy to joy to relief. We feel what she is feeling, which fosters empathy and compassion.

We also don’t see any nudity in Hysterical Literature. Because so much is left to the imagination the mind is invited to play and create. Oftentimes, in conventional pornography, we can feel desensitized to what is happening and crave bigger “hits” off the climax crack pipe because of porn’s intensely graphic nature. While this SEX-sationalism, may make for rousing entertainment once in a while, overuse can deaden the subtlety of our sexual palates.

Another site I found that exemplifies erotic voyeurism is called “Gentlemen Handling.” Here, men share with the viewer their own personal style and taste of self-pleasure. The site aims to share the “human-ness” of each of its contributors in a way that is “honest, attentive and reverent.” And although this site still focuses on climax, I appreciate the vulnerability, inspiration and diversity of masculine expression.

This is not to say that we can’t approach conventional porn with an erotic eye. I saw a recent interview on Sex, Lies and Consciousness where a young man said that when he watches porn he likes to see what emotions arise and feel them. Shame, inadequacy, connection, curiosity, horniness — all of it is valuable inquiry to him. I though this was a marvelous and mature way to explore one’s relationship with sex.

Below are ten comparisons of porn versus erotic voyeurism. Of course, not all porn is the same (as evidenced by the rise in feminist porn), and ultimately, it’s never about what’s on the screen, but about our mindset and the level of consciousness with which we engage it.

However, like food, some sexual “meals” offer more nutrition than others. And while a “Big Mac” fuck can be fun every once in a while, it’s important to balance that with a sexuality that is nourishing and fulfilling.

  1. Porn tends to tell us what is sexy. Erotic voyeurism asks us “What is sexy?”
  2. Porn tends to numb ourselves from the present. Erotic voyeurism brings us right into the center of the moment.
  3. Porn often disconnects us from seeing the humanity of the people. Erotic voyeurism is a breeding ground for sensual compassion.
  4. Porn thrives on consumption. Erotic voyeurism demands participation.
  5. Porn relies on scripts and formulas. Erotic voyeurism is spontaneous and unpredictable.
  6. In porn, it’s usually about the money shot. In erotic voyeurism, it’s about the connection.
  7. Porn is fictionalized entertainment. Erotic voyeurism invites out our personal truth.
  8. Porn often feels like one big clanging note. Erotic voyeurism is a multi-textured symphony of surprises.
  9. Porn tends to focus on stimulating the genitals. Erotic voyeurism stimulates our entire being: mind, heart, soul and genitals.
  10. 10.  Porn rushes towards climax. Erotic voyeurism savors lingering in the uncomfortable tension between wanting and having.

Article adapted from its original appearance on The Good Men Project

Can Pornography be a Catalyst for Spiritual Growth?

Originally posted January 11, 2013

View this article on elephantjournal.com
 

“Sex isn’t something men do to you. It isn’t something men get out of you. Sex is something you dive into with gusto and like it every bit as much as he does.” ~ Nina Hartley

“[makelovenotporn.com] is not anti-porn. I’m a fan of hard-core porn. I watch it myself…but because the porn industry is driven by men, funded by men, managed by men, directed by men and targeted at men, porn tends to present one world view: Porn says ‘This is the way it is.’ And what I want to say is, ‘Not necessarily.’” ~ Cindy Gallop

Imagine a society where sexuality is an acceptable part of everyday culture. Where children are taught to appreciate their bodies, rather than fear them. Where it’s not just ‘normal’, but encouraged to explore the depths of one’s sexual desire, kinks and all. Where sex ed isn’t squeezed into a semester of gym class and taught by some ex-football player who keeps stumbling over the word ‘vagina.’

Now return here, to the center of 21st century America. Sexuality, especially female sexuality, is a battlefield for possession and control, as evidenced by the current controversy surrounding abortion, planned parenthood and the definition of ‘rape.’  Our most touted (and emotionally safest) form of sexual education is fear, a.k.a. ‘don’t do it, unless you want to get a disease or unwanted pregnancy. ‘ Archaic sodomy laws linger on the books in many states and the legal recognition of same-sex marriages remains several election years away from nationwide acceptance.

We are a society that’s afraid of sex and we’re too proud and frightened to admit it.

Of course, many may argue that we are inundated with sex: everywhere you turn there is a picture of a half-naked woman selling beer or another article on how have mind-blowing orgasms.

In fact many sexual naysayers are within this very community: people who profess that they are tired of seeing elephantjournal stooping to fashion magazine-level material and discussions on porn.

However, as evidenced by the fact that the #1 elephantjournal article for the past five weeks has been a nude yoga class led by a Playboy model, I think we can safely say that all of us (even the sanctimonious yogis) aren’t done with sex yet.

Of course, we aren’t watching her to perfect our Adho Mukha Svanasana. We watch her because she’s naked and hot. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with feeling aroused when we see two people having sex.

Regardless of our opinions of what we see, we are affected on a primal, physical level by watching porn—whether it’s engorgement of our genitals, watering of our mouths or flushing of our cheeks. It’s all an example of orgasm bubbling to the surface. Whether or not we are in agreement with our experience determines whether this orgasm expresses itself as turn-on (yes, I’m present and totally accept what is arising for me) or tumescence (what the fuck is this BS!?).

Moral indignation is our usual ‘go to’ response when we experience this tumescence. It’s just too easy (or rather lazy) to disown our own responsibility while watching porn and sit in righteousness: How dare Playboy commercialize something as sacred as yoga? We get to feel ‘right’—and there is nothing more satisfying than ‘being right.’ We get to have a place to project our anger (fucking misogynists) and shame (I’m not as pretty as she is), instead of doing the dirty work of admitting just how hungry and—dare I say it—perverted we just might be.

But I wonder: what makes sitting in YabYum any more ‘conscious’ or ‘spiritual’ than a dude just looking to get his jerk on (or off)? In fact, tantric philosophy espouses that everything is fuel for spiritual transformation. Who are we to judge what is the next right step in the evolution of one’s sexual maturation? Besides, if we spent all our time persecuting everyone who‘s ever watched porn, there wouldn’t be a single male (or a goodly number of females) left.

Now, if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of Playboy’s yoga video, just as I’m not a huge fan of conventional, i.e. male-marketed & produced, porn. It’s simply not to my taste. I feel like much of what mainstream media bombards us with lacks authentic desire and is meant to capitalize on insecurity and ignorance.  It tamps down our ability to feel rather than invites us to sit in the uncomfortable magnitude of our orgasmic power. It’s something I call ‘SEX-sationalism.’ It is meant to titillate and entice, but rarely satisfies—sort of like Chinese food for your cock.

From a business standpoint this makes sense: if you satiate the customer, then they will not need to buy from you again. But if give him a hit off the sexual crack pipe while keeping the fantasy just out of reach, he will continue to throw money at you in the hope that one day, his needs will be satisfied and thus beginning the addiction (in fact, I found a website with the slogan ‘Porn is the answer to all your problems’).

Therefore, it’s the addiction, rather than the porn per se, that can contribute to marital breakups and intimacy problems. This doesn’t absolve the porn industry from responsibility (frequently depicting woman as decorative jizz receptacles doesn’t help), but it can’t be our scapegoat either.

Unfortunately, we’ve become a nation of Marlboro men masquerading to disguise the fact that we have no idea what to do with a woman’s pussy and hide our fantasies that may (gasp!) involve another man.

On the other side, we’ve become a nation of Cosmo women, who act like we’ve got it together in bed, but have absolutely no sense of our own pleasure. Or we hang on to our virginity for dear life (as if anyone could actually possess such a thing) lest we be thought of as unworthy for marriage.

With all this culturally ingrained pretending, it’s no wonder we fear speaking about sex to our children, who then have to resort to the next best thing for a sexual education: surreptitiously discovered pornography, which, thanks to the digital age, more readily accessible than ever.

And this is where things can really go off track.

If the only reference for sex that kids have is porn, then to them, sex is this secret, dark thing that they shouldn’t be thinking about or exploring, despite the fact that their innocent curiosity is taking them towards what feels natural, i.e. pleasure.

Also, if porn is the primary children’s sex educator, then many get a limiting download of how sex should be: the woman has to be skinny with big boobs, the man has to have a giant cock, she has to scream like a banshee, has to pound her hard and fast and the sex ends when they concomitantly cum and he spectacularly ejaculates somewhere near her orifice. Even the supposedly ‘artistic’ porn, X-Art, adheres to this formula, complete with hot, 20-something postcoitally ogling the camera as if the viewer was the one who just fucked her good.

Therefore, if we wish to be the primary educators for our children and foster their sexual health, we must take a look at healing our own sexuality, And if we wish to liberate ourselves as sexual beings, we cannot continue to scrutinize pornography from the lens of shame and judgment; we must be open-minded and curious enough to investigate the need that pornography serves rather than relegating it to the recesses of our shadows.

Which led me to ask the question, “How has pornography affected you positively?” I know, asking the porn industry to guide in sexual education and healing may seem a little like asking McDonald’s for nutritional advice. But I wanted to plunge below the ‘icky’ surface of addiction and shame and focus on what’s good about porn. By changing our relationship to it from within we can learn its secrets and change our actions on the outside.

For many, the answer was simple: it’s fun. It makes them feel good. Seeing images of beautiful women is a pleasurable experience, and, if kept as an occasional treat and in total transparency with partner(s), can contribute to a well-rounded sexual diet.

An answer that came up repeatedly for women was that it was the first time they had ever seen a female in a state of orgasm, i.e. a woman who was actually enjoying herself during sex. No guilt about taking her own pleasure or touching her own body (my friend, Vixen on the Loose, even wrote a little haiku about it).

Also, for some, porn was the first time they saw someone doing something ‘taboo’ and discovered that they themselves liked it. Perhaps it was around homosexuality, threesomes, anal sex or some BDSM kink that they never thought would have turned them on, but upon watching porn, made that discovery in their own sexuality.

Some couples incorporate porn as a way to ‘spice up’ their sex life. Perhaps by watching and masturbating together or by imitating some of the sexy positions on the screen. In my own life, I’ve sucked a guy’s cock or fucked a man while he watches porn—not because he’s asked me to, but from my own desire. For me, there’s something fun about being an active participant in his fantasy and feeling him squirm in agony as all that sensation builds to a peak.

For other couples, it can be a starting point for better communication, not just around sexual desires, but also around sexual fears and shadows. Being vulnerable enough to say to your partner, “I notice this feeling of betrayal when you watch porn and I have a fear that I can never live up to your fantasies” or “I feel ashamed when I watch porn and feel like I have to hide it from you” immediately unmasks both people and deepens the intimacy in the relationship.

Finally, it can be quite liberating or the only place one feels free to literally ‘let it all hang out’. For some people who have gone years in stifling relationships or have had no sexual partners, porn has been their only outlet and anchor to their sexuality.

With this understanding of the value that porn provides some people, i.e. fun, education, personal discovery, variety, communication and liberation, I then asked myself the question: can we then use porn as a tool for our sexual & spiritual awakening, rather than as an escape from our own fear?

Many people are already working to make that shift: from porn as male-driven outlet of escape to cultural exploration of authentic sexuality.

Forthegirls.com, where some of my material has appeared, is a porn site dedicated to erotica and porn from a feminist perspective.  This means that female pleasure, still a longstanding taboo, and taste is valued. The site also includes toy reviews, advice and erotic writings to stimulate the mind. From my perspective, this can be a jumping off point for women to reclaim their sexuality and take that out into their relationships.

Someone who has been an insider activist within the industry is porn star Nina Hartley. She’s worked tirelessly to promote sexual education as well as defend the porn industry’s right to exist as place where classy, well-spoken and mentally-sane sex workers can create porn with a point-of-view about sex (as opposed to widget-making porn whose only interest is in generating money). She has also worked to eliminate illegal drug use from porn culture and encourage ‘safe sex’ practices, including eliminating alcohol from sexual encounters so people can make more conscious decisions.

Two more sex-positive advocates are Jamye Waxman, a writer and sex educator, and Candida Royalle, a sensuality pioneer. Jamye runs the website gasm.com, which features a variety of sex educators sharing their knowledge on a wide variety of topics. Candida was one of the first female entrepreneurs in the adult entertainment industry, spearheading female-oriented porn and porn with the goal of helping couples in therapy.

Finally, a true trailblazer in the porn revolution is Cindy Gallop, founder of makelovenotporn.com &makelovenotporn.tv. While she’s not creating the porn herself, she is hosting the forum for viewers to create their own porn, or as she calls it, #realworldsex. She originally hatched the idea for makelovenotporn after multiple sexual experiences with younger men who tried to recreate what they have seen in porn, most notably the infamous cum-on-her-face money shot. She wanted to begin a dialogue comparing what we seen in porn to what we experience in real life and through this dialogue, begin to dispel the myths we have around sex.

This dialogue then spawned the TV site, where people can create and upload their own sex videos. Makelovenotporn.tv is different from conventionally-produced porn in three distinct and vital ways.

1.     Desire. The people you see on the screen are not actors (though not necessarily unprofessional). This means that they are having sex with someone they actually like. They are internally motivated to do what feels good for them in the moment, as opposed to the director telling what to do so it will look good for the camera. And they are certainly not adhering to any sort of A+B=C sexual script. Again, this is #realworldsex, #realworldfeelings, #realworldrelationships, #realworldeverything.

2.     Vulnerability. The people in the videos aren’t surgically enhanced starlets or schlong supermen. They are human, with normal-looking (and beautiful) bodies. Also, the sex they have isn’t ‘perfect.’ A slip, a bump, something unexpected flies at them, they laugh and roll with it—thus adding a level of humanity back into the experience. In the short intros preceding each video, the performers themselves give highlights of their favorite moments and will even reveal an insecurity or two they felt while taping. You as a viewer become less of passive voyeur and can more easily connect with the people onscreen. In fact, videos are categorized by feeling words, i.e. romping, gushing, cozy, yummy, succulent, friendly, instead of the cold descriptors of anal, small tits, fisting, SheMale and handjobs.

3.     Participation. Within the forum you are invited to share your voice regarding what you’d like to see and, if you are so inclined, can even make a sexy video to satisfy your inner exhibitionist. And half of all monies collected for a particular video go directly to the artists themselves. That is a huge shift from the way mainstream porn works, where producers and distributors take the lion’s share of profits.

Of course, Gallop sets firm boundaries to keep the content within the limits of ethics (no children, no animals) and taste (no scat). And it’s this part, knowing her edges, naming them and honoring them, that sets a tight, clear and safe container for play.

In fact, setting boundaries has been the biggest takeaway for me from this inquiry around porn. It’s not that we are necessarily bad at sex or that porn is spiritually impure; our wounds go much deeper than that.  We, as children, never felt safe enough to explore what we wanted and hid our sexuality as it grew and now, as adults, we have no clue how to set and maintain proper boundaries. As a result, in an effort to sidestep delving into our own shame and ignorance, our children are now denied their rights as sexually autonomous beings, as documented in Dana Northcraft’s excellent article “A Nation Scared: Children, Sex and the Denial of Humanity.”

I was lucky enough to have a mother who believed that if I was old enough to ask about sex, I was old enough to know about it. She never shielded me from proper anatomical terms, made up stories about storks or made me feel ‘wrong’ for asking direct questions. Through this level of respect, acceptance and personal freedom, I made educated sexual choices aligned with my personal integrity.

My belief is once we, as adults, cultivate a healing relationship with our sex and become masters of our own boundaries (without building walls), we can then encourage the sexual curiosity and development of our children in an open, safe and loving way. Then porn will no longer be this dirty, cryptic, calorie-deficient candy bar we stuff down to stop feeling our sexual hunger, but a tool for education, responsible play and maybe even a step towards spiritual growth.

“Being a Woman Today” Launches 5-Year Study on Female Orgasm

smells like pussy.png

Originally posted November 16, 2012

In a world of Cosmo BJ tips, porn sex ed and pre-pubescent pin-up girls, I often lament the dearth of quality articles, research and erotica from an empowered, mature feminine perspective.

It seems like everywhere I turn, I’m hit with another piece on how my sex ‘just isn’t good enough’ and if I am going to ‘snag Mr. Right,’ I had better learn how ‘handle his manhood,’ ‘cum so hard that he’ll never want to leave’ and ‘sculpt a sex-perfect body (lest I be outcast from the League of Highly Successful Woman Who Make Six Figure Incomes, Take the Kids to Soccer Practice and Still Have the Energy to Ride Their Husbands Like Jenna Jameson).

Not only is our culture ill informed on the vastness and complexity of female sexuality—so is the medical field. Yes, most doctors know the difference between the clitoris and the labia, but the psychology and more subtle and nuanced characteristics of a woman’s sex are not well documented. Most studies on sexuality either predominantly use males as test subjects, use small numbers of women from a limited cultural or social stratum or are based on opinions and observations from studies done decades ago.

Also, as seen in Liz Canner's highly successful documentary 'Orgasm Inc.,' pharmaceutical companies are pouring billions of dollars into creating the new 'female Viagra' as a cure for the so-called 'Female Sexual Arousal Disorder' (FSD). The notion that a woman has to orgasm a certain way and within a certain time frame is ludicrous, and the fact that there are companies profiting off of women's frustration, desperation and heartbreak not only angers me; it also highlights the pervasive misogyny that underlines much of our consumerist culture.

Please. We don’t need pills. We need foreplay and a safe space.

However, Being A Woman Today—a new, 5-year project sponsored by Human Innovations, LLC and the Institute for Advanced Study for Human Sexuality—is hoping to tip the scales in our favor. Their plan is to use large-scale, international surveys (approximately 50), online communities and interactive talk shows, as well as bring together some of the world’s leading clinical sexologists and related researchers, to conduct the largest research project in history.

Their goal in launching such a global endeavor (35 countries!) is to educate and empower women and improving the understanding, acceptance and importance of a woman’s sexual well-being.

To help raise capital for the project, The Exodus Trust has donated over $600K worth of erotic art, much of it previously available only to wealthy collectors, to be used as ‘Perks’ for BAWT’s Indiegogo campaign.

My personal desire for every woman is to know the power of her own hunger and depth of her own orgasm. For me, Being A Woman Today is a much-needed guiding light in a world shrouded in violence, insecurity, misinformation and shame.

You’re Right, Lee Aronsohn: There are Just WAY Too Many Women in Television

Lee Aronsohn, Creator of  Two and a Half Men

Lee Aronsohn, Creator of Two and a Half Men

Originally posted April 3, 2012

Dear Mr. Aronsohn,

I for one would like to personally applaud you for your cogent argument in last Sunday’s Hollywood Reporter that the time for women in television has peaked. When you said, “Enough ladies, I get it. You have periods…we’re approaching peak vagina on television, to the point of labia saturation,” I felt like pulling out my tampons and waving them in celebration! You’re so right! I am sick of seeing women and their ‘issues’ invading my male-dominated entertainment.

It’s not as if women’s issues are even relevant these days anyway. I mean, who’s really talking about abortion? Or contraception and reproductive rights? And the fact that women only make $0.77 for every man’s dollar in the US (which is so 2009)?  Personally, I’d take a fart joke any day.

Plus, women have their own television network, for chrissakes! When I’m in the occasional mood for vagina in crisis, there’s nothing that boosts my self-esteem more than a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and an evening of Lifetime: Television for Women.

Speaking of having their own channel, I’ve noticed a lot of black people hanging around the major networks these days. What’s say you and me start a rally to corral them back to BET? And the Hispanics! Shouldn’t they be all at Telemundo? Gay people have Bravo. Maybe the Asians could start something called the Oriental Express? And what’s up with that short dude on Game of Thrones?

I mean, it just feels like there’s some sort of invasion against the hetero-normative, white-male-centric sort of television that your show, Two and a Half Men, produces. But as you have stated, those times have peaked. I’m sure we’ll see those bitchy woman and their angry pussies heading back to the kitchen anytime now. Thank God women television writers are a vast minority! It shouldn’t take long to squeeze them out.

And as for bitchy women, I, for one, would like to formally apologize on behalf of all women for feeling angry and having a voice. My heart just ached for you when you said, “We are centering the show on two very damaged men. What makes them damaged? Sorry, it’s women. I never got my heart broken by a man.” I can understand. I mean, it’s not as if men (and people in general) are responsible for the wreckage in their lives. It couldn’t be that your characters are deeply insecure and use women as a way to assuage their pain (only to find out later that the mother/whore they created in their mind doesn’t match the three-dimensional human before them). And I’m sure these men don’t have an ounce of attachment in their relationships, which could be the root cause of their suffering.

No. You’re right. Project all that pain on those f*cking women.

And so, Mr. Aronsohn—sage, visionary, mouthpiece for our times—I raise my sugar-free, virgin daiquiri in your honor and salute you.

Now, if we’re done here, I’m gonna head back to the latest episode of 30 Rock (oh…wait a minute…)