Thursday, April 30, 2009

Doc Queen Sexversates

Dr. Carol Queen recently spoke to a group at the Oxford Union debate society about promiscuity (read about it on her blog) and we’re glad she took time to join our Sexversation® too! Here's what what Dr. Queen had to say about say about promiscuity-

What constitutes a woman as being promiscuous? What about a man?

As a sexologist and a sex-positive feminist, I'm very uncomfortable about the notion that promiscuity would be defined differently based on someone's gender. But I know, of course, that society does just that. So let me tackle my gender-neutral definition first, with some commentary, then go on to gendered ways of looking at it.

A pretty value-neutral definition of a promiscuous person would be one who has sex with various partners, not one sole monogamous relationship. (Over the lifespan, of course, since few of us are life-long monogamists any more, you could say even more of us are promiscuous than might otherwise identify that way!) Within this definition you'd need to consider people who are polyamorous (have multiple partners, but consider themselves to have committed relationships with all of them); people who have a circle of "sexual friendships" (gay men sometimes call these relationships "fuckbuddies"); people who have sex with many people for a specific reason, like prostitutes having sex for money (they may think of this as work as distinct from other sexual and relationship choices they make); and people who will have sex with anybody they feel like having sex with.

Generally how gender plays into this is that women are culturally allowed less freedom in this realm than men before they're accused of being "sluts" or other disparaging terms. When guys sleep around, they're "players," "studs," or "sowing their wild oats." When women do it, the "boys will be boys" tone is gone. People of any gender might choose to have multiple, casual sexual connections for many reasons -- curiosity, arousal, and seeking to enhance personal connection and relationship are three pretty positive reasons to do so, and there are also problematic ways this can play out in someone's life, like having poor boundaries and low self-esteem and seeking validation only through sex (not to mention the way drugs and alcohol sometimes make sexual decisions less true choices).

So women's promiscuity tends to be defined around whether or not she's having sex to foster a relationship; culturally, women's sexual experience is best accepted within a relationship context. Just wanting to exercise sexual freedom and curiosity is less accepted for women, though there are certainly subcultures where this is more accepted today -- my community in San Francisco, for one. Historically, women's sexual exploration has been more controversial and punished than men's: two examples are the furor over 19th century feminist Victoria Woodhull's call for sexual freedom, and the mid-20th century controversy over Kinsey's report on female sexuality, which was much more damning than the one he did about men (and basically led to the end of his career). But my perception is that people of any gender are attracted to the idea of sex with multiple partners, if they ARE attracted to it in the first place, for similar reasons: they're attracted, they're curious, they want variety. As I point out in my post below, promiscuity is the best sex education many of us ever get in a society that does not choose to give its youth really good, useful sex education.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


“Since We All Came From A Woman, Got Our Name From A Woman, And Our Game From A Woman,

I Wonder Why We Take From Women, Why We Rape Our Women, Do We Hate Our Women?

I Think Its Time We... Be Real To Our Women, Try To Heal Our Women, 'Cus If We Don't We'll Have A Race Of Babies That Will Hate The Ladies………..”
- Tupac Shakur

We saw this in a ppt Jimmie Briggs shared with us recently. The rhyme jumped off the screen and while this old school jam danced around in our heads and brought back memories of the many unfortunate wardrobe choices made in the early 90's it also became the starting point of an in depth discussion about violence against women in our communities and not just in our city or state or country, but throughout the entire world.

Just how many quiet voices and invisible faces are out there? When did it start? Why do we let it continue? How can we help them be heard, help them be seen? What can we do to make it stop and help these women and children feel safe, to help them heal?

We can start by facing what we hear, what we see and talk about it. Take lyrics, photos, art, movies, stories and turn them into conversations. Discussion leads to action and action brings change. One person can make a difference.

Jimmie is Executive Director of MAN UP, a campaign to end gender violence and personally, we think Mr. Briggs is one of the most righteous dudes on the planet. Thanks for sharing this with us JB and thank you for all you do to challenge our thoughts and help bring change to the world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Steps to Empower Survivors of Sexual Assault

Believe them - Believe them without question or hesitation is one
of the most important things you can do. Never question a person’s
actions, details of the assault or why they feel the way they do.

Help them explore their options - Empower them! Let them know
they are not alone and remind them of available resources (campus
counselor, campus or community rape crisis center, women’s center,
hospital, police department, etc). It is always up to the survivor to
make choices that will affect their healing process.

Listen to them - Offer your support and time. Let them know they
can talk to you about their experience when they are ready.
Never blame them - Say clearly and with care, “It was not your
fault.” It is important that you help them understand that no matter
what happened, it was not their fault.

Allow them to react - Remember, there are many ways for a survivor
to respond. It is important not to ask a lot of probing questions.
Your presence can reassure the survivor and allow them to work out
their feelings in a safe environment.

Helpful Phrases:
• What do you want to do?
• How do you feel about that?
• Do you want to?
• What would you like?
• What is the best thing that could happen?
• What is the worst thing that could happen?

Phrases to Avoid:
• Analyzing, interpreting: you’re doing that because…
• Dominating or interrupting conversation
• Warning or instructing: If you don’t ____, you will regret it.
• Questioning or grilling: When did it happen,
where did it happen, why did you do that?
• Offering solutions: I think you should____.
• Providing overly positive evaluations: I’m sure you will be fine.

Learn more and get other great tips at

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear Mr. Presdent: We think you're awesome!

For the first time since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) became a United States Federal Law in 1994 the President of the United States officially declared April Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). We’re glad this proclamation made it into the long list of things President Obama has done within his first 100 days. Thank you President Barack Obama! We are honored, proud and grateful that you are leading our great nation.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A recent Sexversation® with our homeboy Ian Coburn, author of "God is a Woman: Dating Disasters" lead to the question, “What constitutes a woman as being promiscuous? What about a man?” We thought keeping the Sexversation® within the confines of our trio would be, well just plain rude. Our southern manners kicked in and prompted us to share baby, share. So here’s Ian’s response. He keeps it real and as always, humorous. Read, enjoy and feel free to join the Sexversation®! To learn more about Ian visit his web-site

What constitutes a woman as being promiscuous? What about a man?

I think we all know the answer to this one, at least from society's POV. Generally speaking, a guy is never promiscuous; he's a stud if he gets laid by a bunch of different women and revered by other guys and magazines like Maxim as someone to aspire to be. A guy getting laid is only bad for him if he is hammered and will go home with anyone... and then he must hope the photos of him hanging all over her don't show up on Face book. (Or if the woman a guy is sleeping with twitters during the actual sex--not good! "This guy is lame, he has like one move and he's already overused it; when will this end, already?") If a woman has sex outside a monogamous relationship she is promiscuous (except during spring break... just trying to help some of the guys out...). Of course, I deem these definitions as pointless and stupid. You'll be much happier if you do the same. I've had sex on first dates--if that makes my date a slut, I'm a slut. If it makes me cool, it makes her cool. Case closed. The real question is why the double-standard?

The difference lies herein: Typically, what happens between a guy and a woman from the guy's POV is between the guy and the woman. He doesn't discuss it much beyond "She looks great naked, nice rack, we did it standing up in front of a mirror." And most other guys don't even want to hear that much. What happens between a guy and a woman from the woman's POV is between the guy, the woman, her friends, her mom, family, her church choir group, her softball team, Oprah, every woman everywhere... It's discussed in far more detail--there's a lot of questions, is she gonna see him again, where's it headed, what were his moves...? Whenever you create that much discussion, you create judgment. And perhaps jealously. Ergo, women who have sex when they want it get labeled promiscuous. Guys avoid the label because it's just not discussed that much so it isn't really given that much thought.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spread the word. Share the love.

A sparkling new Unite for Change resource is going up and will be available at in the coming days and we want to share the scoop with you. We hope you find this information helpful and wish you loads of luck, success and of course mad empowerment for your next campus event!
ALPHA TO OMEGA- Creating Successful Campus Programs that Thrive

What’s in a name? Everything! Brainstorm, get creative, be bold and go for it. Coming up with an exciting title for your program may seem like a minor detail but it can make a huge impact on the appeal, attendance and overall success of your program. Suggestion: Think interesting and powerful rather than mysterious and fearful.

When choosing the topic of your program be sure it is relevant to your campus community, that the information is current and you have resources available to refer students to when they ask for more information. Also, make sure it’s something your core group of activist’s is comfortable discussing.

Reaching out to the entire campus community takes a lot of effort, planning and partnering. Reach out to student organizations separately; you will likely be surprised with how willing they are to encourage participation among their members. Think about class and team schedules as well as other campus events and plan in advance (one year out is ideal). Also consider how much time the audience is willing to commit to. Is a lengthy event too much?

Know what your goals and objectives are. In a perfect world, what’s the ideal outcome of your program? Remember, simple is good. You can’t change your campus culture over night.

Whether it’s on-line ads, posters, media, several small events, a big bash, info tables or a combination there of, when deciding on the best approach to convey your message consider your current campus vibe. Try one or two things or incorporate as many as you like to create a massive campus wide campaign. As with any event the most important elements to consider are: the audience, location and budget. No matter what you choose, keep it fresh and keep it real.

Publicity and promotion are muy importante! 50% of your time should be focused on building up the hype. Booking a speaker and reserving a room is not going to do it, you’ve got to get excited, get creative, and develop a marketing plan and work - it- out.

Partnering with other organizations will not only ease your work load and unite campus leaders, it will diversify your audience and increase attendance. Working as a team will help you achieve optimal success. P.S. Isn’t coming together what ending sexual violence is all about?

Get a diverse group of campus leaders involved and invested in the cause. Consider inviting a representative from each student organization on your campus as well as several key faculty and staff members to your meetings. Invite those people to invite their people to your event(s). Participation contests are fun.

Find out what your event committee’s strengths are and use em’! Assign small groups to take care of specifics such as budget, advertising, donations, d├ęcor, speakers, recruitment, set-up/ clean-up, etc.

Find out what people thought about the campaign or program. Evaluation forms are useful for formal events but asking for general feedback works too. De-briefing will help your programs get even better.

Keep talking about your event afterwards. Get coverage in the paper, on-line, wherever you can. People will wonder what they missed and be more likely to attend next time, but at the very least people will be talking about it and hey, isn’t that the goal?

Make it more than one program, get the campus community involved year round. Monthly discussion groups (free food is always good), dance-off fundraisers, student speakers’ bureau, volunteer activities, etc. It’s nice to have an awareness day, week or month but year round action is supreme.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Summer 2009 Internship Opportunity

Are you interested in making a difference while gaining professional experience, college credit and some fundage for your bank account?

Job Title: Visionary Rock Star

Ideal candidate will be a self starter who has interest in developing a strong portfolio. This is not a copy’s and filing job, this is a chance to get real experience in PR and marketing.

-Contribute articles and submissions for blog, e-news and web-sites
-Implementation of marketing plan for Sexversations®
-Strong emphasis on web-based social networking (such as Face book, Twitter, Digg and other emerging trends)
-Draft and disseminate press releases on a regional and national level
-Assist in increasing online visibility
-Opportunity for media pitching

Qualified applicant must be proficient in web-based social networking, have strong communication skills both oral and written, a background in or currently studying public relations, marketing and/ or media relations.

Prefer applicants who are passionate about sexual assault awareness and prevention, sexual empowerment and sexual equality. Only sexually empowered individuals or those with the desire to become so need apply.

This is a part-time position located in the Tampa Bay area with opportunity for commission based on performance. We will work with the student and university to ensure college credit is given for the internship.

Please submit your resume, cover letter and writing samples to with subject line: Intern Resume.