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Archive for March 2009
I am grateful for…
- … a half-baked idea for a new blog (shh! don’t tell anyone about it yet) that I’m really excited about. I think I’ll have fun with it even if no one else pays attention (which is a good sign).
- … the chance to learn stuff, one of my favorite things to do.
- … the opportunity to watch the crazy, improbable miracle of life as I watch young things sprout and grow.
- … the perspective that watching things die gives me.
- … the good fun I have with my wife.
I just finished a fascinating article focusing on women’s sexuality. In the process of discovering what makes women tick, it shines the light on parts of female sexuality that we would rather not admit exists.
No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, the women showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women, and women with men. They responded objectively much more to the exercising woman than to the strolling man, and their blood flow rose quickly and markedly as they watched the [bonobos engaging in sexual intercourse], though to a lesser degree than during all the human scenes, except the footage of the ambling, strapping man. And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person. During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women claimed less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more.
[Dr. Chivers] has confronted clinical research reporting not only genital arousal but also the occasional occurrence of orgasm during sexual assault. And she has recalled her own experience as a therapist with victims who recounted these physical responses. She is familiar, as well, with the preliminary results of a laboratory study showing surges of vaginal blood flow as subjects listen to descriptions of rape scenes.
â€œFemale desire is not governed by the relational factors that we like to think rule womenâ€™s sexuality as opposed to menâ€™s.â€™â€™ [Dr. Meana] finished a small qualitative study in the past year consisting of long interviews with 20 women in marriages that were sexually troubled. Although bad relationships often kill desire, she argued, good ones donâ€™t guarantee it. The generally accepted therapeutic notion that for women, incubating intimacy leads to better sex is, said Meana, often misguided. â€œReally, womenâ€™s desire is not relational, itâ€™s narcissistic,â€™â€™ she said. It is dominated by the yearning to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need. Still on the subject of narcissism, she talked about research indicating that in comparison with men, womenâ€™s erotic fantasies centre less on giving pleasure and more on getting it. â€œWhen it comes to desire,â€ she added, â€œwomen may be far less relational than men.â€
According to an analysis of relevant studies published last year in The Journal of Sex Researchâ€”an analysis that defines rape as involving â€œthe use of physical force, threat of force, or incapacitation through, for example, sleep or intoxication, to coerce a woman into sexual activity against her willâ€â€”between a third and over a half of women have entertained these fantasies, often during intercourse, with at least 1 in 10 women fantasising about sexual assault at least once per month in a pleasurable way.
If you have any interest in seeing that justice is done in Nevada, please contact the Commerce and Labor Committee of the Nevada State Senate about SB 283 that would extend to all committed couples the same state-level benefits and obligations enjoyed by married couples.
Simple fairness tells us that we should all be able to choose whom to spend our life with, who gets to visit us in the hospital, who are our beneficiaries. No matter what our own opinions about those partnerships, we—the recipients of the American birthright—are duty-bound to protect the liberty of all who fall within the influence of our vote.
The commitee will hold a hearing about the bill tomorrow (Friday) at 1:30 PDT, so please take a moment and contact them immediately.