Fridays and Feminism

I love Friday. It signals the start of the weekend, when I have more time to, um...write papers. Such an exciting life.

It also gives me the opportunity to catch up on the news. Do indulge my occasional ranting; I've been reading Feministing lately, as well as discussing feminism amongst classmates, so I'm more willing to snarl than usual.

Some highlights:

- Michelle Bruce, a councilwoman in Georgia, is being sued because she "misled" voters by identifying herself as female in the latest election. Ms. Bruce is transgendered and was born biologically male. Georgia Fuller, who finished third in the council election, is claiming that the election wasn't fair because Riverdale, the city for which the election was held, tends to vote for women.

What a prickly situation! Ms. Bruce is transgendered! Okay, so what? She apparently hasn't made a secret of it and one can determine that after four years in office the voters have figured it out, unless they're all deaf, dumb, blind and keep their heads in the sand. How has she at all deceived the voting populace? Or are we assuming that voters should vote based on the sex and/or gender of the candidates, instead of their political stances and platforms? Now I might be from New York, which tends toward being liberal, but I would rather not base my voting strategy on someone's gender identity.

- Apparently there's a "new debate" about female circumcision (often referred to as FGM - Female Genital Mutilation). I must admit that I'm a little confused by this debate; one of the debaters is an anthropologist who has undergone one type of the procedure (her paper is 33 pages long and I'm still sorting through it) and claims that the sexual dysfunctions of circumcised women cannot be attributed to the circumcision.

Like I said, I'm confused. I realize that there are cultural differences; maybe I'm being "imperialistic". Maybe I'm being an ignorant Westerner. Something about the idea of female circumcision, no matter how it is performed (even if there is a doctor and a sterile environment involved!), sends absolute chills down my spine. This anthropologist calls it "empowering"; given every description of FC/FGM I've ever read, I cannot figure how. Keeping in mind that I don't really agree with male circumcision either*, I'm having trouble relating "empowering" to "removing a small bodypart with the potential to cause enormous pleasure in a woman's body during sexual intercourse." I'm having trouble also sorting through Dr. Fuambai Ahmadu's paper; a lot of it seems to be her desperately trying to cling to her ideas of culture and female sexuality (sans clitoris), while accusing anti-FGM/FC scholars/advocates/etc of clinging to their ideas about culture and female sexuality (vulva still intact).

The paper in question can be found at http://humdev.uchicago.edu/AhmaduAintIWomanToo.pdf

Opinions are welcome.

*I'm clarifying for the hell of it: I would never refuse to date or break up with a man who has been circumcised due to said circumcision; rather, my position is such that I will not, should I ever have a son, have him circumcised.


Dream Sword Fights on Bridges

It would seem that whenever the temperature in my room changes, my dreams change. My room has been swelteringly hot since I got back from my Thanksgiving vacation; last night I finally covered the vent with printer paper (the vent on my side is already off; I share it with the person next door, so it's their heat that's busy making my room into a sauna!), and fell into a more peaceful sleep as I sighed happily and curled under my sheets and one blanket at last.

Or at least, it was intended to be more peaceful! Instead I dreamed a somewhat confusing mix of being a swordswoman or some kind of fighting cleric/priestess (I had a staff with a golden angel on one end, it was a big clue!) and fighting...the bad guys? I don't know why they were bad, but they were really easy to kill until I came across one guy who looked a lot like a cross between Orlando Bloom a la Lord of the Rings and my significant other, M. Oh, and I also had some kind of secondary weapon that looked a lot like the "Instead" menstrual cup or a diaphragm.

So here I am, fighting this guy, and we end up on a bridge; a suspension bridge. But are we fighting on the actual deck of the bridge? No of course not! Instead we are up on the cables, climbing fearlessly up to the tower from which the cables hang. Inexplicably, on the way down we decide to..hold each other instead of fight?

And then I defeated him, converted him and we all lived happily ever after, or something. What the heck?


The Tango

EdenFantasys sent me the "Tango" for my next review. The website claimed 4.5" circumference, so I expected a relatively modest vibe.

This thing is huge. I mean, huge. Bordering grotesque. I measured it and mid-shaft it measures 6" around.

This thing scares me!

First thoughts on the Tango:

- Oh. My. God. it's huge.
- It smells funny
- It's not made very well (someday I need to try some vibes/dildos made by small companies)
- Gelatin Rubber sounds like a euphemism for jelly
- Vibrations are mostly down at the base, but ahaha I can't even get the damn thing far enough in to feel them on my clit
- It's realistic, it has balls and is veiny and stuff, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand it's my first realistic vibe; on the other, disembodied orange penis = what the hell?
- Multispeed is always good.
- The top have is squishy; the bottom half is really firm
- Beneath the gelatin rubber on the bottom half is stuff that looks like styrofoam or building material.

Respect and "Getting Any"

So, I didn't post during my little sojourn for Thanksgiving, though I did (mostly) enjoy my time in Florida - it was sunny and warm every day. Of course, I came back to school last night and it's been miserable since then - it's been raining since a bit after dark Sunday night, and it's still raining now. I like the rain, but it's a little depressing at the moment.

With a very poor segue, mostly what I want to natter on about is respect and what it has to do with "getting any".

My significant other, like so many other nerds, plays World of Warcraft (WoW). Several of our mutual acquaintances play said game with him; I do not, as I don't particularly like dealing with these people in large groups - I find that while I can speak to the males in this group one-on-one and find them cordial, even friendly, but putting them in a group miraculously transforms every single one of them into completely immature assholes who get off on, frankly, being mean.

The members of this group base whether they respect a person of the male sex (there are a few gay men in the group but no one is openly transgendered) primarily, it would seem, on two things: ability to play WoW and whether said male is "getting any".

I have no idea why this group would base its respect on the latter factor, as most of the people in said group...don't. Including my significant other, mostly due to distance. Due to this distance, however, I as a person do not "count" and I "don't exist"; my SO isn't getting any because we're in a long-distance relationship, and that's a reflection upon his manhood (apparently). It is apparently unacceptable to be in a relationship in which one is not having sex.



Okay, so one more before the airport (ugh I hate flying so much!)

Did you know that Overstock.com sells vibrators and "massagers"? How hilarious is that? You have to search pretty hard for them: they're in the "relationships and intimacy" section.

Mind you, the vibes are hidden behind "adult image available". The women in skimpy corsets, thongs and "bunny" outfits are not. Go figure.

I wouldn't buy vibes from Overstock unless I already knew the brand and the specific vibe's properties; for instance, I might buy a Fun Factory vibrator if it was way less expensive than EF because I know that the vibrator is well-made and phthalates-free. I would NOT buy just any random vibe; apparently Overstock labels jelly/jel-ee/whatever brand variation as "plastic" at times (because I know that rabbit vibe is made of Jelly, dear Overstock, and you call it plastic!).

Anyway. I found it amusing. Since as a reviewer EF gives me free toys and lets me keep them, I'm not in desperate need of a vibrator right now.

Untitled #3

"Go take a nap," he told me a few hours ago. Maybe it was the dark circles under my eyes or the way that I was practically sleeping on his shoulder standing up that tipped him off to my exhaustion.

Little did I know that he had an ulterior motive for sending me off to bed. While I slept peacefully M was busy with his plans; plans that he put into action as soon as I woke up.

For of course M intended me to wake up and wonder why there were soft things wrapped around my wrists and ankles, why I couldn't move my arms and legs. Handcuffs, my still-tired mind realized. With my eyes finally open I spotted him at the foot of the bed, cock already hard and waiting for me. "Hmmm, have I done something bad, Master?" I asked, letting out a sleepy yawn.

"Of course not, slave," he murmured in his deep voice. I loved that voice. "I'm just going to help my little slave relax." I struggled against my bonds playfully, and in response he crawled onto the bed, slid up my body and kissed me until I was pliant and purring against his mouth. He distracted me oh-so thoroughly so that I didn't realize he was covering my eyes with a blindfold until the fabric was pressed against my eyelids.

"Wh-- Master, you know how I feel about these," I protested, but he soothed me with another kiss. "I'll be here the entire time, slave. Just be a good little slave and relax for me." Then he kissed his way down my body until he reached my pussy. I couldn't see him, couldn't tell what M would do next, and so I had to rely on touch alone.

Over and over he licked my soft, bare skin. He spelled words with his tongue and traced shapes on my skin until I was panting and moaning. He slid two fingers inside of me and pushed upwards, stroking along until he found the spot that made my breath hitch.

He sucked on my clit until I begged for more, rubbed at that place inside of me until I begged to come. "Come for me, slave," he ordered against my skin, the words slurred by his preoccupation. I gushed against his hand as I came, feverishly rocking my hips and moaning "Master!"

By the time I'd come down he'd removed the bonds from my ankles and wrists, then crawled further up the bed to wrap his arms around me. "That was beautiful," he whispered. "Don't you want to please your Master, now? I want you to suck my cock." I could tell that I was blushing just a little, and so could he, because he whispered into my ear, "suck my cock, slave. Right now!"

But that, of course, is a story for another day.

(note: I know that many authors, whether of blogs, short stories or novels use "i" instead of "I" when writing from the perspective or for the dialogue of a slave or submissive. I am unfortunately a little OCD, and all I can think about when writing something utilizing this convention is that I'm doing it wrong! Additionally, maybe I'm what's called a "fluffy BDSM"-er, however the sort of relationship I am intending to portray via this little exercise is not a 24/7 D/s relationship. So please, do forgive my OCD-ish need to use proper spelling and grammar!)


I may or may not be posting for the next week; I'm visiting my family for Thanksgiving and it depends on whether I can get a moment where someone isn't leaning over my shoulder and saying "Ooh, what's that? Who are you talking to?"

I mean, my mother is aware, academically (hah!) that I possess a vibrator. She is not aware that I am a sex toy reviewer, nor that I have a sex blog.

It really is better to keep it that way, as upon occasion I do believe she'd rather find out that I'm having sex with random frat boys, than find out that I'm growing a collection of vibrators (albeit slowly, since the latest vibe was a total failure!).

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading; I'll be putting up one more "Untitled" before I run off to the airport.


Untitled #2

"I've been a bad, bad girl," I whisper oh so softly. I can feel you hardening against me with just those simple words.

"Is that so, slave? Tell me how you've been bad," you demand, even as your hand strokes over my ass - the ass you seem to love so much.

"Mmm...while you were out, I came without permission!" My voice is soft and just barely apologetic, just the way you like it. And then your hand slaps my ass and I gasp, moaning my apologies as you spank me over and over, until my skin is pink and I beg you for forgiveness, saying that I'll be a good girl, Master, if you'll just forgive me.

"Of course I forgive you. I love my slave," you murmur just before pinning me to the bed. With one hand you make sure I am dripping wet before sliding your cock into my hungry little pussy, to give me a good hard fucking.


Untitled #1

I want you to whisper sweet words into my ear, words like "I love you" and "you're beautiful". I want your hands all over my skin, brushing over my arms, my breasts, my hips. I want you to kiss me and tell me oh so softly that you'll always be here.

I want you to growl against my mouth that I'm yours, all yours, and that you're going to fuck me until I'm raw. I want you to wrap silk around my wrists and bind me to your bed, order me to lick, to suck, to beg for what I want.

I want to beg for your mouth on my pussy, your tongue on my clit. I want you to lick me until I scream.

Then I want you to push into me with one hard thrust and fuck me hard while you order me, "rub my clit for me, slave" (for right then all of me is yours). I want it rough, rough and deep so that I beg you to let me come and you tell me to come for you, all over your cock.

And then, of course, you'll come too, and collapse atop me, sheltering me while you whisper "good slave" and tell me you love me before we snuggle together and breathe...at least until we're ready for a second round.


Safer Practices vs. "Wait until marriage"

If you live in the US, you've likely been inundated with 4parents.gov's commercials about abstinence until marriage. Kids who can't possibly be older than 14 say "mom and dad, please talk to me about sex, tell me what you want for me, and tell me to wait until I'm married."

On the one hand I understand that STDs/STIs are out there, so is pregnancy, and that many teenagers just aren't ready for sex. I believe parents SHOULD talk to their kid about these things in a balanced manner, because if the religious right has its way sex outside of marriage will just be illegal before too long. The site does talk about birth control, surprisingly. On the other hand, I find the "until marriage" slant distasteful and ill-advised and their "marriage is just better" attitude distasteful.

4parents advises that parents not allow televisions or computers in a teenager's bedroom, and that parents carefully monitor their children. Who they hang out with, what they do on the Internet, etc etc. Is this in the name of keeping your kid from being too...sexualized? Something like that, I suppose. Somehow I managed not to turn to drugs, sex and alcohol despite having a computer in my room. Maybe I'm a fluke!

How about not buying your kid a bunch of FPS games that will likely desensitize him or her to violence? How about protesting things like the gratuitously violent "Saw" series or "Hostel" duology? Why don't we have children on television saying, "Mom, dad, talk to me about violence. Help me learn the difference between reality and fiction and help me to be a good person" or some such? Why is violence more OK than sex?

Blog Promotion

Let's see if I can manage to add myself to Technorati; I managed a blogroll somehow, after all.

Technorati Profile

It works! I'm not completely and utterly technologically inept!

As an aside, I should probably give credit where credit is due for the header image.

Background: Blogger
Book: Free clip art; text added by me
Flower-thing: GIMP "Floral Abstract" paintbrush created by Angeles

Clearly I am much more talented at "abstract art" (read: "splattering" a bunch of colors on a blank GIMP canvas and fucking around with the filters until I like the results). At least the glasses on the book are appropriate; my vision sucks without mine.


Oh, how awesome am I? I managed to get RSS-feed thing from Feedburner without destroying the universe! It even works. Back in the old days, I tell ya, we had to write our own HTML for everything. There was no such thing as a "blog", or a "wysiwyg" or any of that rubbish!

Also, we needed to walk to school uphill both ways, in 15 feet of snow.

Submission and Sexuality

Exploring one's sexuality - not just sexual orientation but what turns you on, gets you off and leaves you panting for more - can be interesting and sometimes empowering. Sometimes it can even be a little scary when you find that you want things you didn't think you would or that society teaches is wrong/perverse. It can even be a little odd to find that a person wants things that seem somehow contradictory: how can a woman be a feminist submissive (with a male dom)? Is it contradictory at all, since if the situation is consensual, the woman in question is choosing to be submissive to that particular male dom?

I'd argue, of course, that sexuality isn't "static", and perhaps those more learned than I would agree with me. I'm using purely anecdotal, personal evidence here; certainly my sexuality hasn't been entirely static.

I call myself a submissive but I haven't always been; originally I didn't think of my sexuality in terms of "dominant" or "submissive" at all. I was interested in straight vanilla sex (of course, at the time I wasn't having sex - I was almost 20 the first time I got in bed with someone, but that's another story entirely).

AN Roquelaure's (that being Anne Rice's nom de plume) "Sleeping Beauty" series opened my eyes to dominance and submission; I was fifteen or so and a friend had let me borrow the series. Soon enough I realized that really, Roquelaure/Rice was wallowing in the idea of BDSM, and that not everyone interested in D/s, BDSM, powerplay etc wants a plug with horsehair coming out of it shoved up their ass, or to be ridden like/called a pony. Or to be fucked with a candle, for that matter.

I've explored various activities and "kinks" from the safety of the Internet (wonderful thing, really). I've thought about being a domme, about being a sub, being the penetratee and penetrator, questioned my orientation once or twice, admired the idea of being fisted, and dated a dom who really didn't have a clue about what the hell he was doing but thought he knew everything, and thought that all women orgasm from penetration (uh, hello? Clitoris is on the outside). Of course, this same person didn't understand the meaning of "stop gnawing on my clit, that doesn't feel good" or "for the love of all that's holy stop pinching my nipples like you want to rip them off".

My actual experience differs greatly from my grand ideas; I've never been properly dominated-in-person nor have I dominated someone. My current relationship is long-distance, so the only D/s occurring there is via phone sex; wonderful really but I want the real thing, please and thank you. What interests me at the moment is the apparent domme (Domme?) streak I have going on; that and my significant other's utter disinterest in being submissive for more than, say, 5 seconds. I'm not the type to "switch" between Domme and sub frequently; I believe this is more of an occasional itch.


New Review Up!

Eden Fantasys had me review "Liquid Sex", a glycerin-free lubricant designed for sensitive skin. Check out the review here.

I'm up to review #5; four of the five are posted on EF's website. You can see my other reviews on my contributer page.

Happy reading!

I just finished my review of the Intimate Basics Siena. It should be up on EF in a week or two.

A quick summary of my experience:

The Intimate Basics Siena at first appears to be an excellent toy for anyone who wants to start using sex toys but is intimidated by some of the more advanced toys out there. It's not too thick, not too thin and it's actually quite powerful. Unfortunately, it also appears to be cheaply made despite being endorsed by Dr. Laura Berman. The Siena has a cardboard cylinder inside, ostensibly to help the user figure out which direction the batteries go in. This insert doesn't come out, which means that the C-size batteries just barely fit in.

Less than ten minutes after I turned the Siena on, while I was well on the way to an orgasm, the toy. shut. off. Needless to say I was irritated - especially since it suddenly lost its multispeed capabilities and only worked on "high". Not to mention the fact that the toy claims to be waterproof but isn't, and the plastic base-piece is already cracking!

If you are reading this, dear anonymous reader, I urge you to avoid this vibrator: its only redeeming quality is in being phthalates free, and for a few dollars more you can get a much better vibrator with that safety feature.

EDIT: I'd like to note that I can't get the effing battery out, by the way.


Disclaimer: I Find Complaining Cathartic

So, being a student, especially a student of history, it is my responsibility to read lots and lots of historically relevant texts for class. Sometimes these are really interesting (check out Jeanne de Jussie's "The Short Chronicle"). Some of these are, unfortunately, extremely boring (at least to me; I find Polunov's "Russia in the Nineteenth Century" dry as a bone).

Most unfortunately, however, some of these books are extremely depressing, however well-written they are. Primo Levi's "Survival in Auschwitz", Anna Seghers' "The Seventh Cross" and Graham Swift's postmodernist novel "Waterland" are all, frankly, a drag; and I'm reading all three of them at the same time. In fact, I should really have finished Seghers and Levi, since I have a relatively short essay due on the pair tomorrow.

Instead I'm 100+ pages short of the finish in Seghers' novel and about the same amount in Levi's (which is sad really, because Levi's book is only 172 pages long!). What this should tell me is to stop procrastinating.

What it does tell me is that, for all my ranting and raving (don't worry, it's upcoming) about feminism, women's rights, liberation and whatnot, I am quite nearly pathetic in my preference for fluffy novels. Give me a book by Mercedes Lackey or Christine Feehan. Give me a book by Robin McKinley (admittedly, "Deerskin" is about as fluffy as broken glass), Sharon Shinn, Kelly McCullough. Argh! I want something with romance and a happy ending, not books of human pain and suffering.

This is so un-sexy. Oh well. I feel as sexy as an elephant, between the need for chocolate, my depressed mood (due 90% to these books I do assure you; the rest is general stress-related at the moment) and the realization that yes, I really should lose weight. I've switched from excessive sugar in my coffee to stevia; that's a good start, right?

Time to read another 100 pages of Levi and maybe bullshit a little on the Seghers book; I'm not sure I can take another 200 pages of sadness and desperation.


Bienvenue (Welcome)

I'm Ariane. Welcome to my blog!

- a student
- an academic
- a feminist
- a nerd/geek
- a writer
- heterosexual
- sex-positive
- submissive (in bed)
- opinionated

At some point in the last, say, week or two, a friend came to me and described an all-too-common situation to me: a young woman comments in response to a poem, "I'm so glad that this poem doesn't have any references to sex or homosexuality in it. It shows that poetry can be beautiful without being crude and indecent."

Oh young lady. You don't know me but yours is an opinion I'd like to pin on a wall and throw darts at, and at the same time it has inspired me, for somewhere in the last few days I decided that I have a few things to say about sex and sexuality, and maybe they're things that people will find interesting.

Or maybe I'll get flamed to Internet Hell for being openly feminist, sex-positive and happy to rail away at the injustices of this world.

So let's be sex-positive for a little while, shall we? Even the staid academics are doing it!