Category Archives: Social Theory

Social Theory

When You Hate Your Gender, But Don’t Want To Leave

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A few weeks ago, I stood in front of a room and asked eleven high schoolers to think of one way in which they were masculine and one way in which they were feminine. I was met with blank stares and some giggles.

“Well,” I said, “let’s take me for example. I wear a beard, which people would probably consider to be masculine. But I also cross my legs when I sit and I’m really expressive with my voice, which people sometimes consider to be feminine.” I popped my leg behind me and added, “Oh, and I do that!”

I suddenly felt naked. Here I was, revealing something to my kids which I had barely acknowledged to myself: I’ve never been comfortable being a man. Heck, I don’t even use the word “man” to describe myself–I still call myself a “boy” even though I’m nearly twenty-five and, like I said, wear a beard most of the time.

[A mother kissing her son and wiggling his face, with the caption, "My little boy is a man."]

Or something.

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Mythbusting Social Theory

Do “Hot” People Really Have Hotter Sex?

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I’m sorry for waiting so long to do another post (again). I was busy doing very important thinks. Like binge-watching Eastsiders, a webseries about sad gay alcoholics being sad and gay and alcoholic.

Oh, and hot.

[Cal and Thom from "Eastsiders." Cal, shirtless, leans up against a door.]

Hot Person™ Kit Williamson, folks.

I have a crush on Kit Williamson, apparently, because every time he stared dolefully into the distance or slinked coyly around the room or rolled over in bed (shirtless!) I had to take some time to calm myself down. Seriously, I could spend all day looking at him. All. Day. I texted my partner about this–multiple times–because I could not keep it inside of me. I was transfixed.

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Relationships Social Theory

Why All Men Should Be Penetrated

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Despite the fact that I’m a sex educator and spend much of my time thinking about sex, I’m not actually very good at instigating sex. Despite the fact that I’m basically always down for sex, I almost never initiate, which has been a point of contention in some of my relationships. One Saturday morning a while back, however, I woke up in bed next to my partner and – to my surprise – really wanted to roll around with him. Even more surprising was that I wanted to top him, which is another thing that almost never happens.

I hugged my partner closer and tried to slide one of my legs in between his, but he didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to do and simply moved his legs out of the way. So I tried another tactic, this time turning towards him and trying to climb gently on top of him. He rolled onto his side.

[Animation: a baby panda falling off of an adult panda's back]

I just wanna be on top!

Huh?

As it turned out, my partner knew exactly what I was angling for, and he wasn’t down. “But I bottom for you all the time,” I said, knowing full well that that I was at risk of violating the oldest, most obvious rule of consent: no means no.

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Sex Ed Social Theory

Stop Talking About Sex

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First of all, I’m sorry for disappearing. In my never-ending quest for financial solvency, I did the unthinkable and got a job. It’s been hard to find a regular writing schedule since then, but I haven’t forgotten about this blog (or its wonderful readers!), and I’ve got some exciting pieces in the metaphorical oven.

Speaking of metaphors, I’d like to throw around a theory that I’ve been contemplating recently. It goes like this: for some people, the best way to talk about sex is to talk about something else entirely.

Here at Yaybody, I try my best to approach sexuality head-on. I’ve found that if I get cutesy or beat around the bush too much, it becomes harder for people to understand what I mean. Also, I want to equip my readers with the language and concepts necessary for them to understand their bodies and desires.

That’s all well and good, but sometimes it seems as though people – even sex educators – would rather talk about anything aside from sex. Take food, for example. Al Vernacchio says that we should talk about sex the way we talk about pizza. Emmeline May says that sex (or, more specifically, consent) should be treated like tea. My sex ed students have decided that sex is actually more like macaroni and cheese.

What gives? Or, in the words of one of my students: “Why you gotta make all of my meals about sex?”

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Dating Relationships Social Theory

Poly Armory: Thoughts To Keep You Safe In Polyamory

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I’ve mentioned a couple of times on this blog that I’m polyamorous. I’ve been inclined towards polyamory for at least the past four years, maybe longer. My current partner is the first one who’s been willing to jump into the polyamory pool with me, though, and to my surprise, the water’s not always warm. Sometimes, it’s downright frigid. Sometimes, I’d much rather be hanging out on the shores of monogamy. I’m not even a very good swimmer.

Animation: From "The Incredibles." A little boy bobbing up and down in the water. Text: "We're dead! We're dead! We survived but we're dead!"

It’s not all bad, I swear.

Shouldn’t polyamory feel good? I know that it is “right” for me: I’ve been articulating its basic tenets since before I ever heard the word. I’ve read countless articles about the ups and downs of ethical non-monogamy. I felt prepared.

And yet.

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Social Theory

Your Ugly Fantasy Does Not Make You Ugly

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[Content Warning: Discussion of rape, sexual violence, racism, misogyny, etc.]

Sorry about the long delay between posts. I’ve been trying to find the words for this one and they just weren’t coming.

Today I want to talk about fantasies, kinks, and fetishes. This is a hard topic for me to write about, because I wish I could simply tell you that your fantasies and preferences are 100% fine and good.

I can’t, though.

Don’t get me wrong; fantasies can be wonderful and healthy, and everyone has them. But they also tend to reflect the worst parts of society: violence, racism, sexism, ableism, and more. In this post, I want to talk about how to turn your ugly fantasy into something healthy for you and your partners.

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Relationships Sex Ed Social Theory

Beyond “Yes Means Yes:” Navigating Differences in Desire

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Have you ever not known whether you’d like to have sex?

Try this scenario on for size: You’re at a party. You’re sober enough to give consent. You’ve been talking to (and dancing with!) someone who you’re very attracted to. They turn to you and ask, very respectfully, “Want to go back to my place?”

Or this one: You’ve just gotten home from work. You and your long-term partner are preparing dinner together. The two of you are laughing and having a great time. Your partner looks particularly good this evening, and apparently they think the same of you, because suddenly they turn and ask mischievously, “Can we go to the bedroom?”

Or even this one: You wake up in bed with your partner. You’re both obviously aroused. “Sex?” says your partner.

For many folks, those are pretty straightforward questions. If you’re anything like me, however, here are some things that might pop into your head when your partner pops the question:

  1. Yes! But no! But yes. But… no? But… !
  2. Sex sounds nice, but so does a long, intense conversation.
  3. That sounds like a whole lot of effort.
  4. I don’t know!!

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