My regular roundup of interesting reads, found from all over the place.
the problem with polynormativity: “At its most basic, I’d say some people’s poly looks good to the mainstream, and some people’s doesn’t. The mainstream loves to think of itself as edgy, sexy and cool. The mainstream likes to co-opt whatever fresh trendy thing it can in order to convince itself that it’s doing something new and exciting, because that sells magazines, event tickets, whatever. The mainstream likes to do all this while erecting as many barriers as it can against real, fundamental value shifts that might topple the structure of How the World Works. In this case, that structure is the primacy of the couple.” (Andrea Zanin aka Sex Geek) comments are worthy
Queen City: A Secret History of Auckland: “Cities all have human histories, but the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered stories from the past often remain hidden – and Auckland is no exception, even today … There are no books or websites that tell us about our particular past. Time in Auckland City appears to be a very, very straight thing.” (David Herkt / Public Address)
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II: “The Lykov children knew there were places called cities where humans lived crammed together in tall buildings. They had heard there were countries other than Russia. But such concepts were no more than abstractions to them. Their only reading matter was prayer books and an ancient family Bible. Akulina had used the gospels to teach her children to read and write, using sharpened birch sticks dipped into honeysuckle juice as pen and ink. When Agafia was shown a picture of a horse, she recognized it from her mother’s Bible stories. “Look, papa,” she exclaimed. “A steed!”" (Mike Dash / Smithsonian)
The dangers of a gender essentialist approach to sexual violence: “Another way gendered violence functions is by erasing the many people whose experiences of sexual violence don’t fit this model – survivors who are men (cis or trans), trans women, genderqueer, two spirit, or in some other way gender non-conforming, intersex folks, and survivors of crimes perpetrated by atypical attackers, like survivors of queer relationship violence. Sadly, feminists end up perpetuating this exclusion when we talk about victims only as women and perpetrators only as men.” (Jos / Feministing)
My Love of Sex: “It’s worth the time, energy, patience, and communication it takes to learn about each others’ bodies, physical and psychic scars, the kinds of touch each person wants, the kinds of licking or not-licking, the positions, the kisses, the vanilla parts, the kinky parts, the pace and rhythm of parts of sex and of the whole act. Having grown up playing violin in an orchestra, I think of the Saturdays we spent practicing together, sometimes perfecting a few bars in the middle of a piece and other times starting from the top and trying to get all the way through to the end. Sex is a bit like that. Sometimes you’re trying to get something as concrete as oral sex down. Other times you’re trying to improve the bigger picture.” (Dr. Debby Herbenick / My Sex Professor)
Being an Intersex Nudist; Nicky’s Story: “I have been a nudist since my teenage years. I learned about nudism, when a friend of mine in high school took me out skinny dipping at a local lake. It was at that time I learned about the different body types and learned not to be ashamed of my naked body type including my own intersex body. Through nudism, I learned to accept my body for what it is, and learned to love my body for what it is.” (Nicky K.D. Chaleunphone / Naked Vegan Cooking)