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Why I tell gross boys at parties that I’m a lesbian (not true).

21 Jan

Here is something I don’t like: saying no. Rejecting people. Resisting the urge to start nodding before the question is even asked. (I just want people to like me??? Is that a crime???)

Here’s something I do like: parties. I like Absolut and dancing and treading on the fun side of “too glittery”. (Who makes the rulez anyway? Fight me. I have more glitter than you will ever understand.)

Here’s an experience that connected these two things and revealed something small and unimpressive about myself:

I was standing at the edge of a party, panting and getting ready to rejoin the fray, and I saw a Boy approaching. A boy that had already approached my friends but had been put off by their defensive group formation. But I was alone, and recovering from a surprise piggy-back, and there was nothing I could do apart from wait.

He swooped and slotted next to my bum with his delighted grin already prepared, showing his slick teeth. There was nothing less I wanted in that moment than to speak to him. Nothing.

He said words which I could not hear over the bass but it really didn’t matter because we can probably all guess. I definitely caught the word “beautiful”, which is always a bad sign when from someone you don’t know.

I grimaced at my friends who gave me cheerful thumbs ups and laughed. Cruel friends!

This boy got closer and closer and my feeling of please don’t touch me got closer and closer to overcoming my politeness until he said something like “so, are you here alone,” and I was like. No.

The time honoured excuse of

“I’m sorry, I’m a lesbian.”

burst out.

This is not true. In the plastic language of describing sexuality to teenage straight boys, however, it is partially true.

I am into boys. I was not into this boy. At this point, I was really into spinning in circles with my excellent friend until light smears and we collapse laughing, and at the back of my mind was a fierce desire to obliterate anything that got in the way of that.

The boy says “What??”

And then “You’re too cute to be a lesbian. I never would have guessed.”

And then “Are you sure?”

And then, blessedly, he detached in search of some goddamn straight girls.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was less drunk, I thought about this incident and what it shows about how I perform being queer and a lady – alternate hidings and dramatic reveals when it suits me.

The way I just described this, it sounds like I was against it from the beginning. Although I was never going to do anything with him and it was too noisy to flirt properly anyway, the vibe he got from me at first was probably “Lol, whatever, at least this boy appreciates this dress because none of my friends gave me enough credit and I look like the one hundred emoji tonight.” I was not flirting with him, but I was also not giving him the No as soon as he walked up, probably because I was too out of breath to move fast. He took this as a yes – lol @ entitlement – but this is kind of his problem. However, I didn’t say no. Is that my fault?

So why didn’t I? Why did I semi-lie to get him to go away? Why is the word no trapped somewhere deep in my throat when it comes to situations like these?

I turned him down with amusement, with the word sorry of all things because no way in hell could I just say no. I was so unable to say no that I couldn’t just say I’m queer and therefore interested in all genders (true), I had to shut him out completely, provide an excuse for not being interested in him and not appreciating his unwanted attention.

Being a lesbian, in the snap judgement I made at the time, more acceptable to this random guy’s ego than a straight (( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)) rejection in a situation I was uncomfortable in.

I mean, it worked! He went away! But this entire experience – and it’s not just a one-off – makes me realise that I should work on rejections, because my sexuality is not, technically, a reason, but my lack of attraction is.

Another thing: I am femme AF. Make-up, shiny everything, heels, whatever. This is why this dim boy thought I was ””””too cute”””” to be gay.

People think I’m straight, all the time (itself a form of erasure)*, which can make life easier for me in specific situations. It can hide me, and I am often hidden. If I am flirting with a boy, sometimes I purposefully don’t tell him I’m queer for fear of putting him off (I’m fully aware I have bad taste in boys and don’t know how to flirt.) I’m also white, cis, acceptably-bodied, etc. (see below for me breaking this down further). I also don’t want to deal with the endless nonsense of explaining what queer means and having  people say, actually from a straight person’s perspective I don’t understand and think you’re wrong. (Good).

 

IN SUM TOTAL: FUCK MALE ATTENTION AND APPROVAL 2K16 BUT ALSO STAY SAFE GALS, DON’T FEEL FORCED TO COME OUT UR NOT LYING TO ANYONE FUK DA SEXUALITY POLICE. KEEP ON TRICKIN THOSE FUCKBOYS @ PARTIES AND LAUGHING WITH YA GALS, WHO GIVES A SHIT.

*two interesting articles about femme privilege and whether it exists or not. It’s all about intersection of identities, guys! The main point is – the shit I get is shit that all women get, and the good stuff is probably due to white privilege. WoC, trans women etc. are likely to have a very different experience as being femme from my middle class white one. Still interesting points though. And also, is people wilfully ignoring the possibility of queerness a plus? Are small favours rooted in misogyny (free bus rides, free drinks etc.) really evidence that I’m lucky? idk

http://femmedreamboat.tumblr.com/post/39734380982/femme-privilege-does-not-exist

http://www.autostraddle.com/femme-privilege-does-exist-a-little-153400/

THE POWER OF LOOOVVVEEEE

23 Sep

Heavily inspired by this post.

Love is our only treasure. Women are told to find ‘the one’, and are groomed to be an easier choice for a heterosexual man. For us being in love means total, perfect, happiness. If you listen to popular culture (and sadly, people often do) for men, it often means a depleted wallet and nagging phone calls when you are having fun. Heterosexual love in our society, like anything else with a gendered aspect, is completely skewed so that women are passive, submissive, dependent on a man. Love, in its truest form, in the Greek ballads and I-would-die-for-you-in-a-heartbeat form, seems to have the power to change governments and to start revolutions and to be radical and exciting and incredibly powerful. But to be in love, to be a woman in love (especially with a man), changes that force into something with a tinge of contempt. A woman in love with a man means you give up power – and a man in love with a woman gains it. I know that most heterosexual relationships are not like this, but the very idea that they might be needs to be changed so that love as a – I hate to say it, as it is the title of most 80’s songs, and therefore imbues the very text of my article with a sort of desperate cheesiness – power becomes recognized.

To be in love, says the dictionary, is to ‘have a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude towards a person’. My sister describes it as simply ‘an intensity’. We all know it is strong. But a woman in love has no power at all. Observe: a girl must wait for her lover. A man must search. A woman in love is giggly, silly, faintly ridiculous and pitiable. A teenage girl in love is fickle and will soon move on to the next ‘perfect man’. (She must, when she realizes that men are not all that everyone built them up to be). A woman in love must fight hard to keep her man that way too. She must not pursue him, for that would be ‘trying too hard’ but instead, perhaps, pursue one of the thousands of internet ads. A woman must change herself, squeeze herself into what someone else thinks they should be, to laugh and toss her hair and to pretend that she doesn’t care too much, to have perfect sex (and hair and smile and a perfect forever after) in order to be what everyone thinks a woman in love should be. And finally? A woman in love must put up with shit with her lover (because that comes with being in love, of course, a woman must always compromise) and roll her eyes and say he is lovable because what else can she do?

I am in no way shaming heterosexual relationships, you must understand. God, I know a million (billion?) heterosexual relationships are what they should be, rather than what someone else thinks they should be. I am merely analyzing the way even something as supposedly innocent as love is laden with expectations that the ‘fairer sex’ must live up to.

And a man in love has expectations but they are not the same, of course not. He saves her, he chases her, he brings her flowers when he does something wrong, he complains about her nagging to his friends, his life remains the same and hers does not. And yet a man in love is an amazing thing compared to a woman in love; positively mundane compared to things a man would do for his woman, the ways a man could love his woman.

To be in love as a female with a man appears, on the surface to be pure. You have found happiness, what you were born here to do. Digging a little deeper produces a melee of contradictory and uncomfortable truths about the way a woman has to love, and seems to be very unradical. But, despite my cynicism (and my assumptions) love is powerful because what else can be better than wholly trusting someone with everything you have? Being in love means changing your identity to fit them in, to partly unravel yourself so another human soul can be beside yours. If nothing else, something has to be said for the most written about subject in history. 

I leave you with the following important messages: Make radical love! Destroy things! Kiss! (if you like that!) Make sure that all your relationships include a large amount of healthy communication and reciprocal compromises! Never feel forced into anything you want to do! Much love is anti-establishment, so please continue! I don’t know why you’re reading a 700-odd word essay about heterosexual love written by a probably-never-been-in-love not heterosexual 15 year old girl, but thanks anyway! I wrote this largely after midnight, so don’t judge!

thank

Teenage girls are much like werewolves:

24 Aug

maligned, misunderstood, moods often regulated by a 4 week cycle, prone to staying up late, running in packs, hairy in unexpected places… the list of cliches (and disturbing similarities) goes on. Some of these cliches, admittedly, are true. We are dangerous. We do like tearing things up, and staying up late, and eating odd foods at odd hours. But much like the imaginary werewolves of legend, teenage girls have a lot more to them than what you hear from books and magazines. Before you say anything about us, ask yourself: when is the last time you spoke to a teenage girl as a human being?

I’m a teenage girl, and therefore my in-depth analysis of this much undermined species may be a little biased. But I believe, to the contrary, that my close position gives me a unique insight into their lives. Let’s start with the basics. What do they look like?

Well, the answer is anything and anyone. The only requirement for being a teenage girl is to identify as female and be aged between 13 and 19. That’s it. Between those constraints, everything you do is automatically ‘teenage girl’ behavior. Leading on from that, every aspect of your appearance, your likes and your dislikes, are ‘teenage girl’ things. Congratulations! Simply by existing as a teenage girl you’ve filled these imaginary requirements. Unfortunately, being a teenage girl is not as easy as that.

Due to many factors, including your age and gender, society is out to get you. Not in the pitchforks and angry mob sense that is usually associated with your hairier counterpart, but nonetheless, society has a grudge against you. As well as the usual shit that comes with being a teenager, including stuff like exams and puberty (ugh), you’re a girl, which means that your opinion is taken less seriously, if you have lots of sex people think you are worth less, you are far more likely to get sexually harassed and raped, and you are constantly made to feel insecure and disgusted about the body you inhabit.

Now we’ve got that covered, the most important question is left to be answered: what are teenage girls actually like?

Books and magazines, films and music, tell me that I can be the sort of teenage girl who has low self esteem, who curls her hair, who parties every night, who is in a band, who only ever thinks about clothes and boys, who does badly in school, who does well in school, who plays video games, who wears pink. You have to be one of these things; you cannot be many, or all, or none.

The strange thing is that I know lots of teenage girls, and none of them are like this. My little sister is a teenage girl, and she bites me hard enough to leave bruises and bakes me cookies and is still scared of that scene in Harry Potter. My friends, who are teenage girls, are, collectively: good at making grilled halloumi, passionate, lazy, literary, pretentious, loving, bargain hunters, good at maths, pregnant, not interested in boys, very good snoggers. None of them have ever been written about. No editor of a magazine covered with things we cannot afford and bodies we shouldn’t want to have has ever seen these teenage girls, angry and scared and multi-coloured and myriad in our unclassability.

Do you know what the most important similarity between werewolves and teenage girls is? Neither should be underestimated.

#Campaign4Consent

21 Aug

Hello! This is Lilipop and today I wanted to tell you all about an exciting new TYFA campaign called #Campaign4Consent. This campaign is all about having sexual consent taught in the UK National Curriculum. At the moment the curriculum in sorely lacking and what teens are actually receiving in schools is even worse.

I just got my sex ed last term and I could have learned more typing “Sex Education” into google. I was so disappointed. We had two twenty-minute sessions in our PSHE lessons. Before the first session I was quite hopeful because some sixth formers had been talking to the Headmaster about improving sex ed at school so I thought it would probably be quite up to date with all however that was not the case. My sex ed was wholly contraception based. If nothing else it did give some quite good comprehensive information about contraception and how to get it but in every other area it was lacking. In fact I don’t think it even went into detail how conception works. We didn’t discuss relationships, consent, oral sex, abuse, kinks, LGBT+ sex or relationships didn’t even get a word in and it was generally just not informative enough. I know that most teens these days normally get most of their sex education through the internet and way before the age of 15 when most of us get our sex ed at school and some others get “the talk” from their parents however information from the internet is not always right and can often be exaggerated or very biased and parents may be selective with the things they talk about or more often wont talk about sex with their children at all. Sex ed at school is meant to give comprehensive and accurate information to kids so that they don’t have to rely on ropy information from the internet.

There are so many issues with the sex ed curriculum I can’t think about them all at once but a simple and universally relevant one that is missed out is consent. Sex without consent is rape and any other sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. We are not taught this at school and I would be quite surprised if someone stumbled across lessons on consent randomly on the internet unless they were specifically looking for them which they can’t if they don’t know what consent is! This is a problem because, in some assault cases, people don’t know what they are doing is wrong or that what happened to them was wrong. It is not uncommon, particularly in younger people, for a rapist or assaulter to not know what they are doing is rape or assault and I have read stories of victims not knowing what happened to them was assault or rape for twenty years or more. Victims will be affected by this and not know why they feel so bad and often blame themselves for what happened even though it is their assaulters fault. If teens, who grow up to be adults, know more about consent, what is a crime and where to report assault it will help as victims can get help the help they need, report what happened to them and hopefully the assaulters will be arrested and taken to court. It also will educate potential rapists or assaulters that what they are doing is wrong and a crime.

As you can see consent is pretty important and I think it is important enough to be taught in schools. Almost everybody engages in some kind of sexual contact at some point in their lives and so this is relevant especially to young people as they discover and explore their sexualities. The TYFA (which you readers know I’m involved with) have launched #Campaign4Consent, asking the government to put consent in the UK National Curriculum. We have a website (it’s not quite finished yet) but there are details on how to get involved on there. We want help from everyone, regardless of age, gender or sexuality to get involved!

#Campaign4Consent www.campaign4consent.co.uk

Is the same sex marriage bill shit on purpose?

22 May

Is the same sex marriage bill shit on purpose?.

I just thought this is a really interesting take on the shitty “equal-marriage bill” by the ever wonderful stavvers.

Things I hate: slut-shaming

28 Apr

Jelly speaking.

Something out of the many, many things that annoy me is slut-shaming.

Slut-shaming, and our society with its double standard for sex, is an idea which is pervasive, clinging, and damaging to our self-esteem and fight to be truly equal. I hate it. The idea of a lady, or of anyone really, being judged on simply how much sex they’re getting is completely irrational. There is no reason why frequency of sex should have any relation to things such as intelligence. And yet it does – according to sources as wide-spread as my little sister to the media. Despite the fact that our society reveres sex to an irrational extent, we judge those ladies who are getting a lot of it (or who look like they are getting a lot of it) in what seems like an absurd display of jealousy.

To start with, why is sex such a big deal? If it’s fully consensual, then people should be able to enjoy it, however, with whoever, as often or as little or as never as they like. Instead we have a stupid situation where girls are not allowed to have sex before they are married, and yet are supposed to be amazing at it on the pinnacle of their lives, their wedding nights. Boys are supposed to have lots both sides of  the perfect marriage, although the question arises, with who, if not the chaste and virginal girls? God forbid not other boys (although that’s another matter entirely)! Something I like that sums this up is this post. (Shamelessly linking to my tumblr there).

Surely, if sex is this great, everyone should enjoy it? Men do. A man who has lots of sex with multiple partners is called ‘lucky’, a ‘player’. The position of having lots of sex puts them in a position of respect.

Now imagine the same situation – someone getting laid a lot – but this time with a lady. A slut. That is all the commendation she would get. It doesn’t matter what she wears, how she acts, this insult is based purely on how lucky she’s getting. Her entire character would be based on her perceived sex appeal to men.

Laid out like this, it seems utterly ridiculous. And it is. People like my father can use the excuse that promiscuity has more dangers for the girl (namely getting pregnant), which is why ‘nature’ has made society look down on girls having lots of sex. This is a ridiculous argument though, because in this day and age of easy contraception and protection (although you shouldn’t get me started on places where contraception is neither free nor easy) girls, if possible, can be as safe as men. Also, ahem, STIs?

And this argument certainly doesn’t explain why frequency of sex seems to have something to do with what you’re wearing. Regardless of your actual sex life, you can still get called a slut because of what your clothes, which doesn’t even slightly make sense. If you reveal flesh, you reveal flesh. Maybe it’s a hot day, or your legs are looking particularly fine that day and you want the world to know, or you want to feel sexy and wearing a low-cut top makes you feel sexy – so be it. Maybe you do base your clothing decisions on whether you are getting laid that night or not – so be fucking it.

I hate the way that we think we can make judgements about someone else’s supposed promiscuity because of their clothes. It’s not your problem. It’s no-one’s problem except the judged, because it’s their body, and their sex life, and for some reason, boys don’t undergo this same scrutiny and hatred. I wonder why? Hmm, maybe it’s because of sexism.

In my school of anxious teenage girls, this has led to the story circulating like wildfire that someone I know gave a blowjob to her boyfriend in the park and then got the favour reciprocated. She is extremely intelligent and strong-willed. She likes her boyfriend. I know that she wouldn’t do anything that she didn’t want to do, and so why the fuck is it anyone in my school’s business? The word ‘slut’ is getting bandied around a lot in regard to her, which is even more stupid once you think that slut is equal to promiscuity, and this girl has had one partner. My dad’s argument of unsafeness and ‘biological necessity’ against lots of sex doesn’t apply. Why, why, why, is she now getting a reputation, is she looked down on, is she judged?

Why, why, why, is slut shaming an easily accepted part of this culture that even my innocent little sister knows? She calls girls sluts, chooses clothes on ‘sluttiness’ rating, and yet can’t articulate why sleeping with lots of people is such a big fucking deal. Along with everyone I know.

Please stop slut-shaming, stop using the word slut, and instead join Katharine Whitehorn in her famous 1963 article and ask yourself “Have you ever taken anything out of the dirty-clothes basket because it had become, relatively, the cleaner thing? Changed stockings in a taxi? Could you try on clothes in any shop, any time, without worrying about your underclothes? How many things are in the wrong room—cups in the study, boots in the kitchen? … [this makes] you one of us: the miserable, optimistic, misunderstood race of sluts.”

Talking about my sessuality

19 Jan

Jelly speaking.

Hey, world, um, yeah, how are you? This is sort of an awkward post to make. It shouldn’t really be, but turns out that talking for the first time about your sexuality to the internets sort of is.

Let’s start with girlllsssss. After all, that’s where the main issue lies, I guess. Society doesn’t really like anything that’s out of the ordinary and being queer or gay or bi or not completely heterosexual is definitely out of the ordinary. (Yes, I am aware there are a whole lot of other ways that one can be ‘out of the ordinary’ but none of them appears to be an option to me at the moment.) I started wondering about that a while ago when I started reading about lesbians in books and on the web, heard some of my closest friends talk about it and generally switched my mind set from “Oh no. That can’t be me. Everyone I know is totally straight.” to “Ha. I could totally do that.”

I mean, I go to a girls’ school and practically everyone I know has a vagina. (Although of course if you don’t have a vagina you can still totally be a lady.) I am surrounded by girls, although not necessarily girl power, and the next natural step, it seemed to me, is to become a lesbian.

After analysing this thought further, I came to the conclusion that maybe I like girls IN THAT WAY for more reasons than they are the only people I know. For me, a bookish, loud and decidedly strange almost 15 year old, girls are my best friends, my buds through everything, and sometimes I can’t really imagine having that kind of easy intimacy with someone who doesn’t know about the woes of periods or bras or cake (although I am pretty sure that everyone likes cake).

And a lot of my friendships turn into something tight and absorbing and so full of worship for one another that I think it could easily turn into a “real” relationship if either of us let it. I have pretty major girl crushes, as you can see. Girl crushes that are actually real crushes and not just “OMG MY FRIEND IS LIKE THE BEST” although it does contain a lot of that. It seems like it could be easier to just go there, into kissing and *ahem* more, then to go through all the judging and, I don’t know, awkwardness, that seems to come with boys. To me the best friendships are kind of like falling in love anyway.

Also, I know how vaginas work and I like boobs.

What do you think? I guess I swing both ways, but girls have a lot of stuff going for them. I DON’T KNOW THESE ARE RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT ME

READ ITTTT

This book is a great graphic novel about Bechdel’s relationship with her father and also her sexuality. Really made me think. Also awesome story and art.

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