All Articles Tagged "sexuality"
The connected nature of the world is blurring the line between our public and private personas. Does privacy even exist anymore? This phenomenon can be seen in how celebrities are viewed. The public balks when they withhold the slightest detail about themselves. But, with personal and professional lives feeding off one another like never before, it is important to keep some things sacred.
Raven-Symone, a child star of Cosby Show fame that has since retired to the Broadway stage, became the topic of discussion when she responded to rumors surrounding her sexuality that were first ignited by the National Enquirer. Sources told the tabloid that Symone was living with a female love interest in her New York City apartment.
Raven took to Twitter to respond saying, “My sexual orientation is mine, and the person I’m dating’s to know. I’m not one for a public display of my life,” an odd choice of words for someone who makes a living in the limelight. She’s not the only star to remain aloof about her sexual orientation. Queen Latifah has repeatedly told publications that her personal life is personal and she wouldn’t speak on such rumors.
Many articles on Raven’s situation focused on whether she should fess up to the rumors either way. Even when dealing with matters not as intimate as sexuality, the public scoffs when a public figure is not forthcoming about their personal life. Beyoncé’s decision to hide her marriage and go without her wedding ring for months on end only stoked the media’s interest in her marital status.
For celebrities, work-life balance takes on heightened importance. Maintaining a boundary between their personal and public life is an attempt to keep some part of their lives personal and real, without being tainted by public opinion. The average person requires the same courtesy, if on a smaller scale.
Kameron Slade won a class speech competition and that allowed him to be part of the school wide speech competition at P.S. 195 in Queens, NY. Instead of taking on a topic that many other students would probably pick, 10 year old Cameron decided on something else: same sex marriage. Kameron, along with his mother and teacher, worked diligently on the speech so that he would be prepared for last Friday’s competition.
He didn’t get to do the speech because just two days before, the principal told Kameron’s unidentified mother that he needed to change the topic or be removed from the contest. Although Kameron changed the topic (he spoke on animal cruelty) and subsequently lost the speech contest, his opinions on same sex marriage conversations as it pertains to children apparently remained the same:
“There is no point in really trying to hide it because us children, we are going to figure it out some time now or later.”
When news fthis story broke on NY1, there was immediate outrage from gay and lesbian advocates and caused Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to speak on what was happening. Walcott said the principal, also unnamed, felt she needed to connect with the parent community first because of the nature of the topic. A final decision was made on Friday that Kameron would be allowed to deliver the speech at an assembly at the school on Monday. If any parents have problem with their child hearing the speech, they’re encouraged to contact the principal.
Interesting indeed. There would likely be some children in the audience who would might still be sheltered from knowing about same sex relationships and marriage so to find out from a fellow student might be a bit much. On the other hand, children today learn a lot about social happenings while being in school so it’s possible that it would have been easier to understand coming from a classmate.
Do you think the principal made the correct decision? Would you have been upset if a speech like that was delivered in front of your child? What is a good age to talk to your children aboutgay and lesbian relationships?
We know black women aren’t the sexual prudes we’ve been made out to be, but there hasn’t been a place for us to read bold, informative information about sex and some of our intimate taboos in a non-sensational way—until now. Arielle Loren, a writer who’s written extensively on women and sexuality for The Grio, Jezebel, NPR, Ebony, The Root, AOL Black Voices, and many more outlets has launched a new digital magazine titled Corset, as the go-to-publication for all things sexuality. According to the magazine’s website, the writers and creators:
“Embrace human curiosity, honor sensuality, and celebrate sex through real-life stories submitted by an international community of writers and photographers. We believe that activism starts with conversation, and Corset is a catalyst for finding solutions to real issues related to sex, health, and human relationships. We’re currently on tour partnering with local communities and organizations to spark an international movement for better teachings and stronger activism related to sexuality.”
Having checked out the Spring issue, which is dedicated to orgasms, I can tell you this publication is not for the squeamish (just click the link to the magazine). The imagery alone forces you to think outside of your sexual comfort zone, not to mention the topics. What’s great about the magazine is that real experts from a variety of backgrounds weigh in on everything from tantra and “self-love” to ways to raise a sexually aware child and increase you and your partner’s mental and physical sexual pleasure.
Visit Corset’s website for more info and to check out their first two issues. What do you think about this magazine idea?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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As if dating wasn’t interesting enough, imagine the look on a guy’s face when a sistah breaks this news to him: “I’m a virgin.” The reaction given is usually similar to the one given when a person (to be specific, black person) says they’ve never seen The Color Purple (say WHAAAAAAAAT!?). Yeah, in their face, it’s like they’re reaching for the right thing to say, but the fact that they’re stunned keeps them pretty speechless. You actually can find a much worse reaction when you tell other women about your virgin status. They’re initially pretty confused or say “awwwwww” (like you’re a bunny) and then play like it’s all good: “But seriously, that’s awesome!” However, we know inside they’re all thinking, “That couldn’t be me…”
In a society that is driven by sex, to claim yourself one of the few people around who passes on doing it comes with a lot of side eyes and misconceptions. I thought I’d take a moment to clear a few of these things up.
Dear Gay Best Friend,
I have been dating my boyfriend for two years now. When we first met he was dressed really nice and looked really good, almost pretty. As we talked more and got to know each other he told me that he had a lot of friends that were girls. I told him don’t gay guys have a lot of girlfriends, and he did get upset for me saying that. But, he said he just got along better with them.
He does have a small group of male friends which I have meet and all hung out. When he’s with his guy friends they joke around and grab each other, and sometimes they touch places that shouldn’t be touched. He’s freely admitted that he’s touched another man’s penis and seemed proud of it.
He recently ran into an old best friend he had when he was a kid, and now they are glued to the hip. He would rather go hang out with him than see me, or we’d do something and his friend comes along or at least he gets an invite.
My boyfriend has told me that he and this friend have been real close in the past and that they have showered together, and he mentioned they’ve had sword fights with their privates. They also had a 3-some with a girl. All I know is that he seems like he worships the ground he walks on. I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t seen each other in a long time and that he’s making up for it. But, honestly I think he’s gay or bi. And, another thing, he always seems to mention or announce that he’s comfortable with his sexuality. Please let me understand.
Find out how “The Gay Best Friend” responded to her [obvious] question at Hello Beautiful.com
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Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a high appreciation for the female form. Seriously, I’m a boob woman. They’re soft, life sustaining and nurturing. I’ve even been known to rub my own in public places, at inappropriate times. I could go on and on about boobs, they’re the greatest.
In general, the female form is something to be admired. But admiring from a distance is as far as I think I can go. As much as I love boobs, the thought of another woman’s breasts touching me literally repulses me. Have you ever had a woman’s boobs accidentally graze your arm or has a woman ever hugged you too hard, forcing her boobs into your own chest? I can’t speak for anyone else but the sensation makes my skin crawl.
Why am I telling you all this?
Recently, I linked to a post from our partners at Your Tango, asking whether or not you’d be pissed if your man went to the strip club and didn’t tell you what went down while he was there. Surprisingly, when we posted the question on Facebook and Twitter, a lot of you mentioned the fact that you would have no problem whatsoever and would probably join the boo at the strip club, some of you even mentioned getting a lap dance of your own.
Hmm…I can’t say that I was surprised. Ya’ll have said freakier things. But I just couldn’t get with you all on that one. Call me prudish or puritanical or whatever you like, but it never occurred to me to go into a strip club for enjoyment or even pleasure. Sure, I’m heterosexual, but even that is not enough reason not to go. Plenty of hetero women hit female strip clubs all the time.
A friend and I recently asked our co-worker what she thought about the subject and she said women can do some amazing things on those poles and move their butt cheeks in downright acrobatic motions. Tis true and they are to be commended, but I can catch the pole work in a number of pole dancing classes and a booty clap certainly isn’t hard to come by, even after the days of BET’s Uncut. Being the germaphobe that I am, I’d probably watch the whole spectacle wondering how a woman could so comfortably grasp an object her co-worker had just held between her open a** cheeks? I just don’t understand why I would ever have a reason to venture into a female strip club…or really any strip club for that matter.
Years ago, I attended a bachelorette party with a male stripper. I knew there was going to be a stripper and he was going to be my first one, so I was excited. Unfortunately, the man that entered the room was none too attractive and by the end of his routine, I couldn’t help but think he was desperate and pathetic. Something about flaccid wang flopping in my face, did anything but arouse me.
Maybe the wack stripper ruined me for all strippers, male and female alike. Or maybe, and I think this reason is far more plausible, something about the human form being overtly broadcast as a sexual object elicits disgust instead of arousal from me. Something about a stripper, male or female, seems so forced and unnatural in comparison to the way real life sexual encounters go down. When you think about it, even pornos try to create some semblance of normality, though they often fail.
At the end of the day, for me it’s the little things that I find sexually appealing. Anything too in my face, even a pair of perfectly crafted, supple breasts, is just cheap.
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By now you’ve probably heard some of the hype behind the independent short turned feature film “Pariah.”(You might have even heard about it here.) Well, I, along with another Madame Noire editor, had a chance to see an advanced screening of this movie back in September. Even though we saw the film months ago, it’s a story that sticks with you. Shortly after the screening we had the opportunity to tape into one of the masterminds behind the film, director Dee Rees.
After seeing a group of what Rees describes as “out and proud” teenagers in Brooklyn, she started thinking about her own story and how she lacked confidence and self awareness when she first came out as a lesbian. This thought eventually turned into the subject for Rees’ senior thesis for NYU’s film school.
“Pariah” is a coming of age story for a black, lesbian teenager growing up in Brooklyn, New York. The lead character Alike, played by actress Adepero Oduye, deals with expressing her sexual identity, fighting to maintain a relationship with her mother Audrey, played by Kim Wayans, and finding herself as a woman.
Rees who has stated that the movie is largely autobiographical spoke with Madame Noire about what inspired the film, her own story and what she wants audiences to learn.
While half of women (51%) believe engaging in sexual activity a few times a week is considered sexually healthy, far fewer (30%) are engaging in sexual activity at this level. The majority (66%) reported they are engaging in sexual activity once a week or less often.
“The new research shows that women really don’t understand the physical benefits of an active sex life,” said Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive director of HealthyWomen. “Beyond the benefit of forming a closer bond with her partner, an active sex life can decrease stress, strengthen pelvic floor muscles, increase immune system function and burn calories.”
Naomi Greenblatt, M.D., a board certified psychiatrist specializing in women’s health, said, “There seems to be a growing trend in women having sex for obligation, not enjoyment purposes. Women say there are only 24 hours in the day, and they simply are not prioritizing sex.”
This is a common theme among most career women and mothers who are too tired to engage in sex after working and taking care of the home and kids, but I think most women understand the benefits of sex and would find it more enjoyable if they didn’t have so many other obligations getting in the way.
Do you find yourself engaging in sex more for enjoyment or obligation?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Sex is a bigger deal than we all like to admit. Often our day to day handling of the big “S” doesn’t quite match up with society’s prim ideals and values. Whether you think it’s the way things should be or not, the horizontal mambo, or at least the glorification of it, is a thriving part of every institution known to man.
But is there something wrong when a woman takes this basic, widely known aspect of humanity and uses it to her advantage? If a woman is in charge of her sexuality, it seems she has a God given right to use it at her disposal.
“Play your strengths,” is generally accepted as a great strategy to get ahead in life. Why shouldn’t that apply to sex? Isn’t a woman using her “body capital” to get a head (get it?) the epitome of female empowerment?
On one hand, our hyper sexualized culture leads to episodes like the 14-year old caught Getting Her Jaws Worked on camera and thinking it’s all good. On the flip side, a well positioned display of sex at the right time, with the right guy, has launched some women’s dreams, inspiring every other woman to follow her own.
I’m sure you have an answer. In fact, it’s very likely your thoughts on the matter have limited you from using your own vagina power in your quest for success. But this list of modern day temptresses are thinking different than most. And they don’t give a dam what anyone else thinks.
Prince can strut in a pair of 4” boots better than most supermodels and I know, B. Scott’s lovely locks are the envy of female hair follicles across the continent. They’re the men whose talent we admire, whose fashion sense we respect, and whose tough talk but tender taste makes them stand out from the rest. They’re the men who make androgyny work and we don’t care half as much about whom they are attracted to as much as we care about how attractive their style is.
Prince has always tip-toed along the thin line of feminine and masculine style in stilettos that are about as high as his 4 octave vocal range. Choosing to rock ruffled blouses and crushed velvet in shades of purple that rival the passion in his lyrics, Prince threw a bit of color into the rock and roll game long before Lil’ Wayne was shopping for leopard jeggings.