To Divide is Not to Take Away: My Life as a Polyamorist

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by Matthew Pridham

In the Beginning—My Poly Predecessors

I blame the Bible.

This is the response that runs through my head every time I’m asked how I became a polyamorist. It is a snarky answer, the sort of thing one trots out in order to be provocative of either thought or a nice juicy argument, but there is some truth to it. I was born into a family and a sub-culture saturated with all things Biblical. Characters such as Jacob, David, and Solomon have been a part of my imaginative landscape as long as Darth Vader, Sam Spade, and the Gremlins have.Continue Reading

You are More than your Vagina: Lessons in Cissexism

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by Melissa Brooks

Part I: Acknowledging your own cissexism

Although transsexuals have long existed, they have not long been at the forefront of public consciousness. While mainstream society is finally beginning to acknowledge and openly discuss trans issues, trans people remain very much marginalized and continue to be persecuted. Most cissexual  individuals—those of us whose gender identity matches the one society assigned us—have such a limited understanding of the trans experience because we grew up learning limited definitions of gender, biological sex, sexuality and sexual orientation that fail to account for trans people. As a result, even the best intentioned among us inadvertently harbor cissexist ideas—the belief that transsexual genders are less legitimate than, and mere imitations of, cissexual genders.Continue Reading

Princesses, Prostitutes, Penises and Patriarchy

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Princesses, Prostitutes, Penises and Patriarchy—What Pretty Woman and The Little Mermaid Taught Me About Sex, Bodies and Womanhood

by Courtney Morgan

Edward: Tell me, what kind of money do you girls make these days, ballpark?
Vivian: Can’t take less than a hundred dollars.
Edward: Hundred dollars a night?
Vivian: One hour.Continue Reading

Dancing Dirty, or Blurred Lines and Other Balancing Acts

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by Loie Merritt

Dirty Dancing came out the year I was born. It received an unanticipated level of popular acclaim. It seems no one thought the film would do well. After test audiences shuddered at the abortion subplot and rumors of the cast despising each other (naturally calling their quick and engorging passion into question), the film nearly went straight to VHS and into the dusty corner of your local video store forever. Instead, it became a fixture in late 20th century American Romance. Patrick Swayze made modern dance cool, combining ballroom style with the dirty boogie. It won an Oscar. It won a Grammy.Continue Reading

Escaping Hell: Sexual Horror in Titanic, The Shining & Scream

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by Melissa Brooks

When I was a little kid, I didn’t understand the role periods played in reproduction. I didn’t know sex had anything to do with penetration. My understanding was only that it involved two people rolling around together, kissing and moaning, and that it was a cardinal sin unless it occurred between a husband and a wife in the privacy of their bedroom.Continue Reading

Re-imagining the Language of Sex, or: Squirting and its Synonyms

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I have always considered myself a “late bloomer.” In my early teens, I had a makeshift “camp boyfriend.” He was a blonde, lanky guy. Outside of the end-of-camp dance, he kissed my cheek too hard and too wetly while I sat on his lap, fidgeting over his erection. I did not enjoy my first real kiss until the end of high school.Continue Reading