Posts filed under ‘Sex’

Towelhead

Cover of "Towelhead"

Cover of Towelhead

Towelhead is the unfortunate title of a 2007 movie written and directed by Alan Ball (Cybill, American Beauty, Six Feet Under). The movie is based on a novel of the same title and concerns a 13 year old girl who is experiencing puberty and her own sexual awakening at roughly the same time. The story has a theme of racism, but it’s not the predominant theme.

Jasira is living with her mother and experiencing ridicule by classmates because she is developing. As such, she has hair at her bikini line. Because her mother has forbidden her from shaving, the kids tease her mercilessly. So, mom’s live in boyfriend volunteers to shave her himself. And this is where the fun begins because Jasira’s mother kicks her out to live with her father.

Is she trying to protect her daughter? You be the judge. She tells her daughter that this is her fault for how she acts around men. And also, of course, because she doesn’t watch how she dresses in her own home.

Jasira’s father isn’t any better. He backhands her on her first morning there for coming to the breakfast table in a pajama top that displays her midriff. He forbids her to wear tampons. He also doesn’t allow shaving or makeup. He finds himself a Greek girlfriend through his work at NASA. He lets the girlfriend put makeup on Jasira but tells her to wash it off before he even backs out of the driveway. This is the first of many nights and weekends that she will spend alone because her father is with his girlfriend.

Jasira begins babysitting for a neighbor boy. They find his father’s stash of pornographic magazines, which he hasn’t taken the trouble to hide very well. The father comes home early one day and catches the two of them going through his porn.

The neighbor promises not to tattle to her father, but then he wants her to sit down next to him, asks her if she likes to look at the magazines, and tells her that she has to “pay a toll” to get past him. She makes it out without paying the toll, but this is inappropriate behavior for any grown man toward a 13 year old girl, let alone a married man with his own family. If you feel sick already, then stop watching here ‘cause it just gets worse.

The neighbor takes her out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant while her father and his family are gone for the weekend. He’s a reservist, and the movie is set in Houston during the Persian Gulf War. He tells her he’s been called up and that he really needs to be with her before he leaves. She has sex with him and is then surprised to see him pulling into his driveway the very next day.

Eventually, Jasira, who also begins a sexual relationship with an African American boy her own age, is befriended by a pregnant neighbor lady. The neighbor lady buys Jasira an age appropriate book about sex and puberty and gives Jasira a key to her home. When Jasira’s father finds one of the creepy pedophile’s porno magazines in her room, he beats her in the car on the drive home, and Jasira runs to the home of the neighbor woman.

When we see Jasira’s father drive her to the hospital to be with the neighbor woman as she delivers her child, we think things just might turn out alright for Jasira. Along the way, she’s learned to stand up for herself, and she turns in her neighbor for statutory rape.

Towelhead is a sad movie. It was probably a sad novel as well. It’s disturbing to watch, and if you have a little crush on Aaron Eckhart you should probably skip it since this movie will definitely kill it for you.

The movie misses the mark with its message, for while it does give Jasira the ability to find her voice to say no, it doesn’t cause her to understand that she’s too young to appropriately deal with the consequences of her sexual actions. She makes her boyfriend wear a condom, but I doubt if a girl who’s so sheltered, with limited friendships, could deal with the inevitable breakup that will happen one day. Jasira isn’t mature enough yet to be having sex, and the pathetic thing is that it’s her own immaturity that also causes her to be unable to recognize this fact about herself.

June 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm 2 comments

Reese Witherspoon Tells It Like It Is

Actress Reese Witherspoon in the Oval Office o...

Image via Wikipedia

Reese Witherspoon just made points with me, big time. She accepted an award at the MTV Movie Awards. In her acceptance speech she slammed reality stars who got famous making porn tapes and sexting nude photos. Witherspoon said that she was afraid that lots of teenagers were getting the message that that’s the way to get famous. Then she said that she vowed to make being a “good girl” look cool.

No secret just who her messages were meant for. Blake Lively, Vanessa Hutchens, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, stand up and take a bow. Recently, Laurence Fishburne’s daughter, Montana, made her porn debut because she believed that it would catapult her legitimate acting career. Why not? How many of us believe that Kim’s sex tape being released was an accident? I don’t. It’s more than just a “coincidence” that Paris and Kim are close friends.

These women who make sex tapes and send nude photos on the internet make a pretense of a lawsuit, cry on command for television talk shows, and always claim that the videos were “private,” and that they were in love. But it’s interesting to note just how often these women actually end up receiving a substantial percentage of the profits from the resulting home video sales. Just how badly did they really protest? How hard did they really fight to keep that moment “private”?

Once upon a time, in an America far, far away, if you made a homemade sex tape, and it was found and distributed, then your career was hurt. Not so, anymore. Maybe Rob Lowe should think about re-releasing his. Couldn’t hurt. I think he could probably do it legally in Thailand. Think about how it might increase the foreign receipts on his movie DVDs.

I never had any special affinity for Reese Witherspoon, but I sure as hell do now. It took a lot of courage for her to get up on that stage in front of Hollywood and say that. But it needs to be said.

As a word of advice, ladies, whether or not you want to be a porn star is no longer in your hands the moment that you agree to let anyone tape you having sex. You are now a porn star. I don’t care if it’s a stranger, a friend, a lover, a boyfriend, or even your husband, if you allow someone to tape you while you are having sex then you deserve what’s coming to you. Ooops. Scratch that. If what’s coming to you is fame and money, then you sure as hell didn’t earn it. If what you experience instead is shame, then you earned every minute of it.

When a man wants to make a “private” sex video what he’s saying is that he is devaluing what should be an actual private and special moment. You can rest assured that he’s not taping it for himself. He’s taping it so he has a record and something he can show to his buddies, in a best case scenario.

Here’s a news flash. Any man who’s in love with you (and some who aren’t) is going to have an indelible, virtual photo gallery of Polaroids in his head from your lovemaking. He can pull those out of his brain anytime he wants to use them. He doesn’t need any reminding.

Do you value yourself so little that you’re willing to share yourself sexually with the world? If so, then I hope that reality show and the monthly check from the video proceeds can help you buy back your self-esteem.

http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/06/reese-witherspoon-slams-stars-who-make-sex-tapes/?iref=obinsite

June 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment

Aging Italian Lothario

Silvio Berlusconi in a meeting

Image via Wikipedia

We all know that I like to read. I was reading last week’s issue of The New Yorker when I came across an article on Italy and Italy’s Prime Minister, Sylvio Berlusconi. And you thought the title of Italian Lothario was going to be a puff piece on George Clooney! Berlusconi is currently the European leader who’s been in office the longest but not consecutively.

He’s embroiled in a controversy that involves a sex scandal, a divorce, allegations of government corruption, and sex with teenage girls. In Italy the age of consent is 16, but paying for sex is illegal. It’s alleged that Berlusconi, in his 70s, paid for sex with underage girls.

The article that I read in The New Yorker made it sound like Berlusconi’s sexual exploits are not only tolerated but virtually approved. It sounds like in Italian culture the primary qualification for public office might be the ability to get an erection. Maybe if both candidates have access to Levitra, they measure penises in order to find out who will be the better leader. Okay. That’s an exaggeration but not much of one. It is a heavily sexist, machismo culture.

Berlusconi describes his politics as moderate right, and he hangs on to the number of votes he needs to retain office by the skin of his teeth and with the help of another political party called the Northern League. The Northern League is dedicated to making the money in the North stay in the North and tends to be divisive. However, they say if Berlusconi will back what they term “fiscal federalism,” they’ll stand behind him.

But I gotta wonder why this guy is Prime Minister. Clinton couldn’t keep it in his pants, either, but at least our economy thrived while he was in office. And as far as I know he wasn’t playing the cigar game with teenage girls. He also wasn’t objectifying women or rewarding political positions to women that are basically based on whether or not he wanted to nail them.

Sure enough, if you can ignore the allegations of paying for sex or paying for sex with underage girls, then there’s the problems of this yahoo’s mismanagement. Corruption (in the form of bribery) abounds. The unemployment rate is high, particularly amongst young people, and those that are employed are mostly underpaid. They are second only to Greece in terms of debt ratios of European Union Nations.

It begs the question of how an effective businessman can manage to run his nation’s economy into the ground while he’s busy throwing parties to rival Hugh Hefner. Berlusconi has escaped criticism so far because he actually owns all 3 television networks in Italy. That’s not a conflict of interest. Not at all. It’s like if Rupert Murdoch ran for President, if Rupert Murdoch also purchased ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN. I shudder to think.

Berlusconi works to make sure that his country sees only positive images of him. He squashes anyone who protests or opposes him in the court of public opinion. Mostly, the message is that anyone who criticizes him must be partisan and leftist, as well as disloyal to Italy.

The tide is turning. Some Italians are finally tired of this guy’s nonsense. Guess who’s one of the groups leading the charge. Just guess. Feminists. They recognize this dick for just what he is. In case you were inclined to feel sorry for this dirty old man, just keep in mind that this is a man who also calls Muammar Ghadafi his dear friend.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/silvio_berlusconi/index.html

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/12/13/world/europe/1247466111431/an-attack-on-silvio-berlusconi.html?ref=silvioberlusconi

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/20/berlusconi-italian-women-backlash

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2011/04/11/110411crat_atlarge_parks

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/feminists-for-the-italian-future/

April 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm 1 comment

The Law of Supply & Demand

Prostitute in Tijuana, Mexico.

Image via Wikipedia

I read an article recently on CNN, written by a Swedish woman in law enforcement, about how they have reduced the rates of human trafficking and prostitution in their country. Since I identify as a feminist, this topic is of obvious interest to me.

Also, the fact that the article is specifically about how they tackled prostitution in Sweden is of particular interest. You see, I detect a lot of similarities between the culture of modern America and the culture of modern Sweden, particularly when dealing with the relationship between the sexes. I actually get a noticeable amount of traffic on this website from Sweden.

You might wonder what they did that helped with the human trafficking and prostitution in Sweden. Here’s what they did. They decriminalized prostitution and cracked down on solicitation and trafficking. So, in other words, if you are a prostitute you won’t be punished for it. However, if you’re a john, a madam or a pimp, then you’ll be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.

I’ve personally been saying for a long time that the key to combating prostitution is in focusing on the demand rather than the supply side of the prostitution chain. How do you decrease demand? You do it by creating consequences for the buyer. Consequences for the seller sort of defeat the purpose. Not to mention that criminalizing prostitution in some cases is kind of like prosecuting a rape victim for her rape (which is still done in some countries).

Let’s put this in more understandable dynamics. The typical prostitute is either forced or coerced into prostitution. Frequently, they start at a young age, before the age of consent, and more often than not, they are dependent upon drugs. Sometimes the prostitution funds a drug habit and sometimes the drug habit is what necessitates the prostitution. Sometimes the prostitute is made dependent upon drugs in order to keep her dependent upon her john or madam. She can’t run very far away from her bordello if she starts to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Typically, what happens in America’s penal system when it comes to prostitution is that a police department receives complaints about street prostitution. The police department is under an obligation to respond to that complaint. So, they send out their vice squad to run a sting and they send out more patrol cars to enforce laws on loitering. The sting involves vice officers posing as johns in order to arrest and prosecute the prostitutes. The prostitute goes to jail. She gets convicted. She pays a fine or serves her time and then goes right back out on the streets. She just moves to a different neighborhood next time. The problem isn’t solved. It’s just temporarily migrated.

The reason why attacking the problem in this manner isn’t working is that prosecuting prostitutes is kind of like giving a man on death row a consecutive 153 year sentence. First off, no man is going to live to be 153 years old. If he were convicted as a newborn baby, he’d spend his entire lifetime in jail. Secondly, he’s already going to die. What’s the point of the extra sentences? He’s never getting out. Sadly, we actually do stuff like this in the American justice system. It’s not just a metaphor for idiocy.

Getting arrested for prostitution and subsequently convicted of prostitution is like a life sentence. It’s a criminal record that will stick to a person for the rest of her life, like an unfortunate tattoo. If a prostitute isn’t already convinced that she has no other alternatives available to her before her first conviction, then she’s certainly convinced afterward. She sees no opportunity for redemption. What decent company would take her on? She probably can’t pass the background test for McDonald’s.

What happens when we prosecute for solicitation instead? Well, I imagine that you see a lot of men go to jail and pay fines and experience severe punishments. A lot of these men will be married men with families and some might lose their families. They will quite possibly lose their jobs. They will be publicly humiliated. They will lose friendships. And after all of that is over? They will think twice before paying $20 to a stranger on the street for a blowjob. Why are consequences more effective for the buyer in this case? That’s because the buyer has more to lose.

The way to combat prostitution is to penalize the people who perpetuate it. We need stiffer sentences for human traffickers, pimps, madams, and customers. This should go hand in hand with programs to provide housing and educational assistance to sex workers as well as freedom from prosecution for prostitution. I would propose that we expunge past records for prostitution so that sex workers can apply for decent work and have the chance to get it.

This is a no brainer, and there’s nothing inherently sexist about it. If a woman is purchasing sex, then she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law just as a man would be. And for those sex workers who are boys and men the same principle should apply as to female sex workers.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/03/31/sweden.beatrice.ask.trafficking/index.html?hpt=C2

April 6, 2011 at 12:32 am 11 comments

Evolutionary Psychology: Science, or Merely a Male Chauvinist Justification of Sexism?

The Gilded Cage

Image via Wikipedia

Men who comment here sometimes, and men from the manosphere, frequently espouse views of evolutionary psychology in order to refute feminism. As “evidence” they mention sex stereotypes and attribute them merely to animal behavior and the human species’ wish to propagate our genes to the next generation.

The problem with this, of course, is two-fold. First of all, people are not merely animals. We have the ability to reason which differentiates us from many other species. Secondly, how does evolutionary psychology explain anomalies in our culture and how does it explain the phenomenon of feminism. Does it?

Evolutionary psychology says that women are valued only for their ability to reproduce and carry on a man’s genes, that women are only interested in sex in order to produce babies and are choosier in picking partners because it’s in their best interests to do so. Evolutionary psychology says that men are solely interested in young, hot women and that women are reduced to their “sexual market value.”

It doesn’t take into account those men who mate with older women. It especially discounts all the media cases lately of young men featured in the media who are “hot for teacher,” even when sometimes these much older teachers are not especially physically attractive in a conventional sense. It doesn’t take into account that most women don’t lose their desire for sex after they reach menopause.  How does evolutionary psychology explain these behaviors?

Men do generally prefer younger women, but what explains the differentiations from this? How do we account for the couples where the woman makes more money or has more money than the man? What is the evolutionary psychologist’s explanation for how this propagates the species? If evolutionary psychology can explain the relationship between the sexes, then how does feminism help to propagate the species? I’d be interested in hearing some theories.

But someone smarter than I am has written an article that refutes evolutionary psychology’s claims better than I can. Check out the article here:

http://www.evoyage.com/Evolutionary%20Feminism/Feminism&EP.htm

February 9, 2011 at 12:30 am 4 comments

In-N-Out

Troy Aikman, American football quarterback.

Image via Wikipedia

No, this post is not about fast food burgers. This post has been inspired by recent events in the media. Tiffany (remember her?) outed one of the New Kids on the Block. This was done inadvertently. I guess she didn’t know that he hadn’t officially come out of the closet, and there were some twitters back and forth, etc.

A few weeks before that Carrie Fisher made the news again with her comments about John Travolta in The Advocate, which for those of you that live in the mainstream and don’t know, is a gay publication. John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston have recently made the news for having another baby, which Kelly delivered at the age of 48. He, like another Scientologist actor, has been dogged by rumors of homosexuality for decades. He’s spent a lot of money on lawyers to sue people who make the allegations.

Carrie Fisher and John Travolta were friends, but I doubt if they are now. Carrie Fisher said that everyone knows and no one cares. And I think Carrie’s right about that. Everyone knows, and no one cares. He could be bisexual or homosexual, and most people know this and like him anyway. Of course, only John knows for sure.

Now again, the latest speculation in the media that someone is gay is swarming around Troy Aikman, the sports commentator and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback. He and his wife are separating and getting a divorce after two daughters and eleven years.

I lived in Dallas for seven years when I was in my twenties, and I’ve “met” Troy Aikman. I met him at a book signing after he wrote a children’s book. My brother was a big Cowboys fan so I stood in line for hours to get Aikman’s signature for my brother. Judging from the lack of clothing on some of the women, not everyone had gotten the memo that Aikman was gay.

I’d heard the rumors. People would talk about having seen him walking around Turtle Creek. That was enough to get a rumor started, walking around a toney area of Dallas that’s known for an all gay male chorus. I think there may have been other factors as well. Aikman was also rumored to be a racist, and the black culture tends to look very negatively upon men with homosexual or bisexual tendencies. That’s where the term “on the down low” comes from. It could have been a simple matter of “office politics.”

Troy Aikman dated such beauties as Lorrie Morgan and Janine Turner. He could be straight. He’s never come out and denied the rumors. He just chooses not to acknowledge them, and that’s his prerogative.

I have to wonder why certain members of the gay community feel that it’s so important for everyone to come out of the closet and shout it to the rooftops. I get the concept of political activism, but you can still attend the Gay Pride Parade without being gay. They let straight people lend their support. Why is it a requirement to “out” as many celebrities as possible, even ones we no longer care about like some member of New Kids on the Block whose name I now forget?

Sex is a private matter. I don’t run around all day letting everyone know that I prefer to have sex with men, just in case there might be some confusion. Whether or not John Travolta is gay or bisexual, if he and Kelly Preston have some arrangement that works for them, then more power to them. If Aikman is gay or bisexual, I don’t care. His job is to be a sportscaster, not the poster boy for gay rights. It should be up to him whether or not he shares his sexual orientation.

January 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm 1 comment

Love & Other Drugs

B.F. Skinner at the Harvard Psychology Departm...

Image via Wikipedia

This is not a review of the movie. Maybe I’ll get around to seeing it one day.

In one of my earlier blog posts I mentioned the concept of partial reinforcement, and it turns out that I was paying attention in my psychology class because partial reinforcement is a term coined by B.F. Skinner, the father of modern behavioral modification therapy.

If you take the time, like I did, to look this up on the internet you’ll find that partial reinforcement is closely related to addiction. Specifically, it’s cited in reference to gambling addictions and video games. But I think you could apply it to any addictive behavior: shopping, drug addictions, alcoholism, overeating, you name it. And yes, you could even apply it to love.

What we commonly refer to as romantic love is regulated biologically by two chemicals that are naturally manufactured by the human brain: phenylethylamine and oxytocin. The infatuation phase, marked by the butterflies and sweaty palms and shaking and other outward appearances of nervousness, is produced by phenylethylamine. The attachment phase, that produces that feeling of calm and well being, can be attributed to oxytocin.

You can think of phenylethylamine as being like the rush of excitement you experience when making love with a new partner. Oxytocin is more like the cuddling afterward.

Not surprisingly, we like the feelings that these drugs in our bodies produce. It’s like the feeling of being drunk, not the slurring out of control feeling, but the “buzz” that drinkers feel after that first, second or third drink, depending on our tolerance level. Drunks, because we are addicts, then try to chase that elusive buzz feeling for the rest of the night, consuming more and more alcohol and finding it impossible to recreate that original high.

It’s the same with any drug of choice. And thus we come back to the concept of partial reinforcement. The concept of reinforcement is a cause and effect relationship between a behavior and a type of reward. A mouse taps on a lever and gets a food pellet. A budding juvenile delinquent creates havoc or mischief and achieves the attention of his parents.

With partial reinforcement a mouse taps on a lever and gets food pellets. First, he learns that cause and effect relationship. If we were to add a click or a ring, then we would be able to show the effects of Pavlovian reflex, and the mouse would salivate at the mere sound. Then what happens with partial reinforcement is that the mouse taps on the lever and doesn’t get a food pellet. Maybe he has to tap three times in order to get a food pellet. Maybe the reward is regulated by a specific time measurement. The mouse taps on the lever and only gets the food pellet five minutes later. And maybe we submit the mouse to a variable ratio schedule. The amount of times the mouse has to press on the lever to get the food pellet changes every time. It’s random.

Guess which schedule results in the most lever pulling? It’s the variable ratio schedule. Think of the little old lady on a riverboat in Louisiana, playing the nickel slots. Again, again, and again she puts in her coin and pull the lever because she knows that if she just pulls that lever often enough, eventually she’ll win a bunch of coins. Or maybe she won’t if she doesn’t play long enough. Or maybe she will win, but she will have put in more coins than she got back in the end. Odds are that even if she wins, in the end, she loses.

With some of us, it’s the same with love. We try over and over and over to get that original high. Sometimes we get it. But how much do we lose in the process? If you break even, then you’re extremely blessed.

January 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm 2 comments

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