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Posts Tagged ‘sexuality’

Last year, at a wedding I attended, one of the conversations I participated in involved a straight woman asking a gay woman how much money it would take for her to sleep with a man.

Now, I’m not saying nobody should ever have such a conversation – as woman B said to me after woman A had left for a bit, she has had that conversation with her good friends, possibly more than once. But to ask that question completely out of the blue pretty much immediately finding out that a person does not want to make sexy times with any person of a particular gender? Really?

The conversation was not made any better by woman A’s exposition on prostitution (her word) sex work, and linking it to desperation and solely that, which came about when I pointed out that the question wasn’t really a test of sexuality, per se, as some people are quite happy to have sex with people they might not be particularly sexually attracted to, sometimes for money, and for others – assuming they are generally happy with their present material wealth, which woman B is, and that’s who she was asking – no sum would be sufficient. Funnily enough, different people feel differently about this, and it’s not necessarily about their sexuality (if sexuality is defined as what gender of persons one is attracted to).

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xkcd is usually pretty good with the whole feminism thing. So this really disappointed me:

'I'm cool with her past lesbian experimentation, but I wish she hadn't insisted the experiments be scientifically rigorous.

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For the record: I was pretty excited when Labor won the federal election in November, but more because Howard was out than because Rudd was in. I’ve always been a bit sceptical about Rudd: his apparent (small-c) conservatism, his churchy “goodness”, the control-freakery. This was balanced by: his apparently incredibly equal relationship with a woman who seems intelligent and bright and clever, his awareness of Asia (and China in particular), the fact that he’s not Howard.

Some of the things that have played to my optimism in the last six months: the apology, signing the Kyoto Protocol, Quentin Bryce for GG-elect.

Some of the things that have played to my pessimism in the last six months: the composition of the steering committee for the 2020 summit, the refusal to stop “the intervention” in the NT, and, today, the announcement that the Federal Government will override any law passed by the ACT to give same-sex couples something like marriage.

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Maybe I’m obtuse, but honestly, I just don’t get it.

Reading for my thesis at the moment. This case: Fitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd [1999] UKHL 42.

Essentially, Mr Fitzpatrick had been living with his partner, Mr Thompson, for many years in a flat owned by the Sterling Housing Association. Mr Thompson had been the original tenant, and he died. There’s statutory protection in place in the UK which says that if a tenant dies, but is survived by a spouse (which includes someone living with the original tenant “as his or her wife or husband”), the spouse gets a transfer of the tenancy, with all the original rights (including the right of succession). If there’s no spouse, another family member can make a claim, but doesn’t get as many rights as a spouse does.

The House of Lords decided in this case that a homosexual partner of an original tenant could not, under any circumstances, be considered to be a “spouse” – although a homosexual partner could be a family member (well, that’s something, at least!). The decision has actually been overturned in Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30, which is something of a relief.

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Sex = sex?

According to a brief newspaper article, a survey has shown that “the best sex should last from seven to 13 minutes, and three minutes is adequate”.

The article then goes on to specify that this time limit is for penetrative sex, as you might guess from the times, and notes that women are usually happy enough for it to be shorter, while men want it to last longer. Reasonably predictable from stereotypes, right? Which, I’m guessing, is what sex experts generally use (I’d love to know how they defined “sex expert”, too!).

But my issue here is not with the survey (if I’d read the survey results, maybe I would take issue with that, too, but that’s not the point right now), but with the way it is reported.

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It’s something we hear again and again, that girls are being sexualised younger and younger, that we need to protect them from raunch culture, and so on.

I’ve always felt this black-and-white attitude is somewhat patronising – I’ve argued in comments over at Hoyden About Town that I remember being very young and curious about sex, and I think that different people will want to have sex starting at different ages, and that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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