I’m really bad about updating my blogroll regularly, but I do have this exponentially growing list of blogs I follow on Google Reader. So I thought I might do a weekly (posted on Thursday) series for a while called “in love with new blogs” in which I highlight some of the bloggers and blogs I think y’all might be interested in.
And I’m going to start with one I recently discovered (or possibly re-discovered; it looks familiar so I know I’ve come across it before but why oh why did I not subscribe to its RSS feed then?? because this blog is awesome!): Emily Nagoski ::sex nerd::
Emily Nagoski is a health educator who lives in Northampton, Massachusetts and works at Smith College. In her own words
In 2006, she completed a Ph.D. in Health Behavior with a concentration in Human Sexuality. She also holds a MS in Counseling Psychology and a BA in Psychology with minors in Cognitive Science and Philosophy. She’s worked for well over a decade in the field of sexuality education and has grown into an impassioned advocate for social justice through sexual fulfillment. Politically progressive and unapologetically atheistic, Emily has strong opinions and a big vocabulary, and she’s determined to use both to make the world a better place for human sexual expression.
And maybe in another ten years I will have a job (somewhat) like hers! ‘Cause damn, that sounds like fun.
Emily Nagoski ::sex nerd:: offers one post a day, roughly speaking, on the subject of human sexuality. Combination sex column, opinion column and ideas-in-progress space, this looks to be a great (and often funny!) resource for sexuality information.
A few recent posts to give you a flavor of her style.
So look, I’m going to say this thing, and you’re going to listen and believe me because… I don’t know, why would you believe me if you haven’t believed it from anyone else? Because I’m clever and have a PhD and things? No, you’ll believe me because it’s just true. Because in the patient corners of your heart, you’ve ALWAYS known it’s true. It’s this:
You’re not broken. You are whole. And there is hope.
You might be stuck. You might be exhausted. You might be depressed, anxious, worn out by the demands your caring makes on you, and in desperate, dire need of renewal. You might be tired of feeling like you need to defend yourself. You might wish that, just for a little while, someone else would defend you and protect you so that you could lower your guard and just be. Just for a while.
Those are circumstances, they’re not YOU. YOU are okay. You are whole. There exists inside you a sexuality that protects you by withdrawing until times are propitious.
I completely get how terribly frustrating it can be that your partner’s body feels like times are propitious right now, while your body is still wary. And it’s even worse because the more ready your partner’s body seems, the more wary your body becomes. It is The Suck, Like Woah, for both of you.
But it’s in there, your sexuality. It’s part of you, as much as your skin and your heartbeat and your vocabulary. It’s there. It’s waiting. You’re okay. Just because you’ve had no call to use the word “calefacient” or “perfervid” lately doesn’t mean it’s not longer available to you. Should the opportunity arise, there it will be, ready, waiting. Like the fire brigade. Like a best friend.
There’s a bunch of stuff you can try to create propitious circumstances.
Now imagine you’re a person who’s always identified as straight and then you come to college and you meet this amazing person who happens to be the same gender and you just fall head over heels, even though you never even imagined being in a same-sex relationship before… are your feelings less genuine simply because they might not have occurred in a less inclusive environment?
Should you choose NOT to get into a relationship this person you’re attracted to, on the grounds that you might not be attracted to that person under other circumstances?
Is the only REAL love a love that would thrive even in a hostile, hateful landscape? Only if you can love through being egged and threatened on the street is your love real?
That’s not the standard we set for straight relationships or relationships that look heteronormative.
I can totally see where the resentment would come from, and yet… I can’t bring myself to judge a person’s individual, internal, emotional experience on the basis of its political import. How could *I* know whether or not someone really loves someone else? Can I tell from the outside whether she’s a “real lesbian” or “just experimenting?” If it not my relationship, is it any of my business?
how to fall in love (if you’re fictional).
With so many barriers lowered these days, it’s hard to generate compelling and original reasons for your hero and heroine NOT to get together. I think sci fi romance, vamp stories, werewolf stories, shapeshifter stories are so popular because you can invent all kinds of rules about how risky it is for a human to mate with a whatever or who knows. And historicals, where you can use the rules of society that USED to keep people apart but don’t anymore.
Dorothy Sayers needed three novels – two of them VERY long – to disentangle her hero and heroine from their stigma. He saved her life; it’s a problem. 5 years later he allowed her to risk it, thus giving her life back to her. Her “Greater Than Themselves”? Detection, murder investigations and, under that, the truth at all costs. Her big “They Know” scene takes place in a punt on the Isis in Oxford, where they both went to school and which represents intellectual refuge from the discord and bitterness of the human world.
Me, I like writing Reunited Lovers stories because the stigma is built in: one of them done the other one wrong, enough that they split up. How are they ever going to fix it? But whatever brought them together in the first place makes a perfect Greater Than Themselves.
So now you know the trick to falling in love if you’re fictional.
read the rest here. I say she made extra bonus points there for the Dorothy Sayers reference.
Sometimes, she’s a little women’s sexuality is different and more complicated than men’s! for my taste, but I think the overall advice she gives about being open to more fluid, expansive definitions of sexuality and sexual activity is good so I’m willing to at least go along for the ride and keep reading.