Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sexual Relationships

by Krystina Johnson

The popular song “No Scrubs” by TLC discusses how women only want a man with money. In the chorus of “No Scrubs” the man is talking to flirt with a woman walking down the street while he is sitting on the passenger side of the car. The man is seen as not having any money so he is not worth the effort to get the young lady’s phone number.

Here is the link to song and lyrics: No Scrubs.

This popular song shows that women do not want to date the man that is willing to take money from them. Brennan says that “men are praised for sponging off of women and for working less” although this man has the material gains he is unattractive for marriage because he is not the one buying the material gifts.

To be in a sexual relationship money is required. A man must prove that he has some money for a woman to take notice of him, “premarital sexual relations also involved money” (Bähre). Proving that women will only give sexual favors when money is involved. Some women avoid becoming sex workers but start dating so to receive money for sex, “her boyfriend should only come to her for sex and before having sex she wanted to see money. . . she explicitly stated that money had to be given in exchange for sex” (Bähre). Sex in relationships for money is not always the actual money but can be seen in other products such as sex toys, lotion, as the like. Curtis says that “romantic and sexual promise, insinuates itself into the consumer’s aspirations and sexual-subjectivity . . . consumption and desire within this ethnographic context are closely tied to sociality” (Curtis). The only difference between prostitution and dating is that the money is given freely and not because the man is required to give his girlfriend or wife his money. Traditional gender roles do require men to take care of his family so the money is required. When men does not have money or a job and are involved in a sexual relation they are “constantly afraid that their wives or girlfriends were going to leave them because they had no money” because they are not needed to take care of their family which makes them emotionally depressed and vulnerable (Bähre). The raunch culture creates emotionally strong people since the constricting gender roles and thoughts of sex are not in effect also because sex and intimacy is connected to commodities the thought of sex as a commodity is a positive thing.

Bibliography

By Krystina Johnson

Bibliography

Bähre, Erik. "Witchcraft and the Exchange of Sex, Blood, and Money among Africans in Cape
Town, South Africa." Journal of Religion in Africa 32.3 (2002): 300-334.
Brennan, Denise. "Women Work, Men Sponge, and Everyone Gossips: Macho Men and
Stigmatized/ing Women in a Sex Tourist Town." Anthropological Quarterly 77.4 (2004):
705-733.
Curtis, Debra. "Commodities and Sexual Subjectivities: A Look at Capitalism and Its Desires."
Cultural Anthropology 19.1 (2004): 95-121.
Levy, Ariel. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. New York: Free
Press, 2006.
Manderson, Lenore. "Public Sex Performances in Patpong and Explorations of the Edges of
Imagination." The Journal of Sex Research 29.4 (1992): 451-475.
Winter, David G. "Power, Sex, and Violence: A Psychological Reconstruction od the 20th
Century and an Intellectual Agenda for Political Psychology." Political Psychology 21.2
(2000): 383-404.

Easy Sex





By Krystina Johnson


Lenore Manderson determines in his article “Public Sex Performances in Patong and Explorations of the Edges of Imagination,” that in the sex trade it is understood that “the objects of the ‘new consumerism’ were women” (Manderson). Since women are the commodity sex is very easily accessed but it has limitations that keep it from being completely accepted in open society.

“Brother keeping, procurement and prostitution were banned only in 1960, with the introduction of the Prohibiting Prostitution Act; the Entertainment Places Act in 1966 resulted in the flourishing of places alternative to old style brothels: “massage parlours, nightclubs, bars, coffee shops, tea houses and barber shops were erected in every major town” . . . by the 1980s, the industry had diversified further to cater to all tastes and pockets: brothels, work as prostitutes primarily because of factors that relate to gender rather than desire” (Manderson).

Laws were erected to answer the problems for prostitution so that lewdness could not be in the public eyes of political officials. The sex trade was transferred to the private so that sex and women could still be a commodity but have some form of decorum so that it could be accepted in society.

This lack of acceptance causes shame and embarrassment to be felt by the female sex workers and the men in their lives. The economy in society is declining so sex is used to earn and gain money. Denise Brennan’s article “Women Work, Men Sponge, and Everyone Gossips: Macho Men and Stigmatized/ing Women in a Sex Tourist Town,” says that the change “proliferatation of sex-tourist destinations/sexscapes throughout the developing world reflect global capital’s destabilizing effects on less industrialized countries’ economies where globalization of capital not only shapes women’s work options in the developing world, but also often forces them into dangerous and insecure work” (Brennan) This dangerous work includes working as a sex worker and working long and irregular hours that causes people to believe an extramarital relationship is occurring. Any extramarital activities are the main topic of gossip of neighbors and coworkers causing the women to be both shamed and embarrassed about their way of earning money, “as sex workers compete with one another for clients, especially sober, clean, and generous customers, the atmosphere in the bars and boarding houses is ripe for gossip and back-biting” (Brennan). The gossip proves that the traditional roles of women and the traditional ideals of sex are still in place making prostitution, life as a sex worker, and even working outside of the home much harder for these women.

For some working the sex tourist spots is a stepping stone for marriage to a foreigner. This plan to marry a foreigner shows that beside the shame and embarrassment lies an agency to retain a visa and leave the poor country.

“Sosúa’s sex workers use the sex tourist trade as an advancement strategy, not just as a survival strategy. This strategy hinges on their performance of “love” as they try to marry their European clients-turned-suitors and migrate to these men’s home countries. Their earning power, retention of earnings, and the migration strategies they weave into the sex trade, are examples of how women struggle to take advantage of foreign men who are in Sosúa to take advantage of them” (Brennan).

This agency allows the women to take control of their lives by using their most valuable asset, sex, as a commodity to sell until they can figure out a way out of sex trading and away from the gossip. Plus these women are intelligent enough to have a plan to make a way from the abuse of the gossip and men in the poor country.
This gossip from neighbors and coworkers leads the men of sex workers and women that work outside of the home to abusing the women while stealing the money earned from these taboo jobs. Erik Bähre argues in his article, “The Exchange of Sex, Blood, and Money among Africans in Cape Town,” that due to women in the work force men are treated as though they are children, “money was transferred from the wife to the husband, among other ways through theft, and the man’s status as husband and father regressed to that of an irresponsible child” (Bähre). Losing his traditional place in the household the man is devolved to childhood since the woman is paying for him. Another uncomfortable position that men are placed in due to the sexual commodity is the thought that their wives or girlfriends are unfaithful which is fueled through gossip, Zuko was hearing from his sister that his working wife Nomahobe was seen with someone else so “as a ‘proper man’, he had to make the accusation” this is when sex becomes a dangerous commodity (Bähre).

Sex as a commodity is dangerous since men believe that powerful and violence is sexy. Men in history are to conquer women since women and their sexuality are their propery once these women are conquered. According to David G. Winter in the article “Power, Sex, and Violence: A Psychological Reconstruction of the 20th Century and an Intellectual Agenda for Political Psychology,” men have a higher status than women because “the presence for sex-exclusive ‘men’s houses,’ marriage by capture, restrictions on women’s sexuality after marriage, and property rights in women” (Winter). This enforcement of traditional gender roles in marriage shows that not challenging the gender roles is dangerous since the men in gender roles are very violent. This violence is shown in courtship.

“Rank also gave examples of the reverse symbolic connection, in which the ‘courting’ (or sexual conquest) of a woman is represented as the siege or seizure of a city. In Italian novellas collected by Giovanni Sercambi, for example, men and women having sex call it playing “the Sultan entering Babylon” or “storming Constantinople”. The connotation is also apparemt in our everyday representation of proposals of love with metaphors of ‘assault’ and ‘capitulation.’ Rank analyzed these symbolic connections in terms of a fusion of the libidinal and mastery instincts (in contemporary terms, a linkage of sex and violent power).” (Winter) The instinct to be the “conqueror” is threatened once the woman is doing the financial conquering and controlling.

Exchanging Sex for Monetary Gain

By Krystina Johnson

Women will only have sex for money. Meaningless sex happens for women when money is not involved. With the new involvement of using sex for marketing, women become disappointed when commodities are lacking in any sexual act. Woman have been told that “good” girls do not have sex and if they do have sex then they do not enjoy it so this change in the way sex is viewed is problematic for traditional gender roles this causes the gender roles to be seen as confining and outdated. The outcry for sexual freedom causes the conservative culture to battle with the raunchy culture. Since “sex sells” is there a moment when sexual appeal does not work for the commodity? Has sex lost its emotional appeal due to the transition to the raunch culture? Is it dangerous to challenge the gender roles through sex? Sex will only have emotional attachment if it is connected to monetary gain, making sexual acts comfortable and used for the advancement of wealth, although sexual innuendos aids marketing there are moments when the product is not recognized due to an overabundance of sex.

Emotional attachment comes in several forms of desire, shame, addiction, embarrassment and calculated moves for advancement. The disgust appears to come from the society deeming any sexual acts as “bad” and “gross.” Debra Curtis says in her article, “Commodities and Sexual Subjectivities: A Look at Capitalism and Its Desire,” that often “a part of sales pitch” for sex toys or any other commodity, capitalism uses sexual innuendoes (Curtis). Majority of commercials that are selling anything to the public uses the powerful marketing tool of sex appeal. One current commercial that uses a big amount of sex appeal is the Reebok EasyTone gym shoes. In this commercial the camera is so focused on the woman’s body describing how her body became toned from wearing the shoes, but the model is lounging in a chase wearing nothing more than her underwear and the Reebok EasyTone gym shoes.

Here is the link for the commercial: Reebok EasyTone gym shoes

This commercial uses so much sexual innuendoes to increase the worth of the Reebok EasyTone gym shoes that viewers cannot help but desire those gym shoes to increase their own sex appeal, “desire is produced through the sexualization of commodities, tapping into the consumer’s fancies, appetites, and needs” (Curtis). The popular society shows that to be considered sexy, women must be thin and toned because of this vantage point of sexy and desirable work out clothing and exercise technology are sexualized to answer the need for sex appeal.
Normally marketing executives know when sex appeal can be used to sell items and when sex appeal has no place in the commercial. The worst use of sexual innuendo was used by Boost Mobile to sell one of their unlimited calling plans during the Christmas season. In this commercial Mrs. Clause is shown having an affair with a snowman while Santa is out delivering toys.

Here is the link for the commercial: Naughty Mrs. Clause

This sexy commercial although using satire and humor fails at selling any plans due to making several beloved childhood characters racy. According to Curtis, Boost Mobile is attempting to “establish an emotional bond between not only the product and the consumer but, more importantly, between themselves and the consumer” by placing a new twist on a childhood memory but is highly unsuccessful in doing so (Curtis). Once this bond is formed between the consumer and marketer, the consumer will “feel” comfortable buying the product in the present and possibly in the future regardless of the product’s sexual implications. Proving further that sex still has an emotional attachment that can be transferred to commodities.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How To Have American Sex: The Final Word

We started this blog with a mission: to explore the various facets of the American mentality about sex. We put our thoughts, ideas, and opinions out here into cyberspace and, with your help, facilitated a discussion that drew a comprehensive picture of the nation's sexiest people! Our thanks go out to every one of our readers for taking the time to give us thoughtful feedback on our various posts. And now, without further ado, the WebMistresses of Red, Sex, and Blue present to you...

AMERICA'S CHARTER FOR SEX!

1. Sex is Choice
The decision to have or not have sex is a choice. To pressure someone about the decisions that they should make about their own body is wrong. Whether alone, with a partner, or as part of a Roman-style party, the word "no" is as acceptable and easily heard as the word "yes".

2. Sex is Expression
Everyone doesn't dress the same way, speak the same language, or even eat the same food. So why should sex be confined to one standard? There is no "right way" to have sex or to express one's sexuality. Not everyone has to agree with another's expression, but they do have to respect it. From missionary, to outdoors, to leather and lace, freedom of sexual expression is as American as apple pie...as long as there is whipped cream!

3. Sex is Individual
The definition as well as the significance of sex is going to change from person to person. What may be spiritually binding for one, may be simple, enjoyable fun for another. These differences should not be subject to judgement, but should be openly communicated, which is why the next charter point is...

4. Sex is Vocal
Communication is key! Only when people are honest about what they want and need sexually-with themselves and each other-can true sexual fulfillment be attained.

5. Sex is Necessary
Some people have sex; others don't. Sex is a way for people to bond, reproduce, and enjoy themselves. What is important to acknowledge is that sex is a driving force behind many facets of our society (consumerism, religion, and politics, to name a few), and ignoring it will not make it go away.

6. Sex is Educated
With so many STDs and STIs being contracted and treated every day, sex can be a dangerous activity. Not to mention the frequency of unplanned families for people who are not prepared for the responsibility. Too many of these incidents can be prevented by giving people the tool they need to defend themselves: knowledge. Sex education (based on scientific fact rather than moral philosophy) helps people make informed decisions that keep all involved parties happy and safe.

7. Sex is Genderless
From a historical context, sex has never been only between one man and one woman. The range of gender dynamics and vocabulary have expanded and changed so much, that to define sex as an activity between two individuals of opposite genders will exclude a large part of the American population. In today's American society, individual roles that are chosen hold more significance than gender roles that are prescribed.

8. Sex is Private
Simply put, what goes on in the private life of a person, couple, or group is no one's business but their own. To be nosy and judgemental is like loving to go to the beach but being allergic to sand. Mind your own.

9. Sex is Timeless
People don't stop having sex just because they are no longer young. Don't put an expiration date on something that has the potential to improve! With maturity, comes wisdom, and with wisdom, better choices in life and in love!

10. Sex is Social
America is a society that incorporates sex into its everyday life. As citizens, we share, teach, love, ask, answer, and uplift everyday as we connect from person to person. Sex is a part of life, and American life functions as a community.

Thank you for your participation. Now...go forth and have fun! Comment and let us know if you think our Charter for Sex can change America!

Love,

The WebMistrisses of Red, Sex, and Blue

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sexiness/Sluttiness: Same Difference.


Imagine this: You and a couple of girlfriends are leaving the cafeteria after lunch and you see a fellow student wearing a so-called “skanky” looking outfit. You and your friends look at her, then look at each other like “What is she wearing?” But then you all recognize her as she comes closer. It is none other than "Leticia Leslie" your close friend from Psychology 101. You decide to ask her why she is so scantily clad, to which she responds “Oh girl, they had the nerve to make me wear this for my "Dancing All-Stars" audition. I was so mad, but I got in though!!!” You and your friends finish up the chat with Leticia and go on your merry way. You still think she looks like a slut, but you also understand that she was required to dress the part for her dancing audition. This example can be applied to the understanding of the slutty and sexy perception that the public has about certain famous women. People can separate the job “requirements” from the person’s character if their craft is respectable according to societal standards. Tyra Banks was a model, so she revealed her skin to model. Halle Berry is an actress, so she bares her chest for the acting roles that require this of her. Beyonce is a performer, so she wears skimpy outfits to entertain her fans and spectators. The partial nudity is not an actual mandate and these women do not have to expose their bodies, but because being a model, an actress, and a singer are reputable professions in mainstream American society, the public makes this distinction and these women can be accepted as "sexy" and not as "sluts". On the other hand being a video vixen, a bisexual reality dating show star, and a rapper are not ideal professions that mothers would want their daughters to embark on, so famous women like Karrine Steffans, Tila Tequila, and Lil’ Kim are perceived as "slutty" even though they do or did what was expected of their craft as well.

Click the title to link you to a Karrine Steffans interview, you'll be very suprised about what she had to say about one of the aforementioned "sexy" women. Are sluts and sexy women so different after all?

Food for Thought...Kinda Like Chocolate Syrup!!

The pill. Some might argue it womankind's best invention! No worries about condoms breaking, someone "forgetting" to bring one (or a handful), or even being judged for being the kind of girl who carries Magnums around in her purse. You are in charge of your reproductive system. So, what happens when someone hijacks your right to reproductive autonomy? Let us know what you think!

p.s. The title of this post is a link to a pretty interesting article. I recommend you read it!

I Wanna Be a Hooker When I Grow Up!


Prostitues have always had a bad rap. They are "loose women", cold, calculating, and most likely the victim of some kind of abuse. Or maybe they're welfare moms, with no man in the house, just trying to feed their family. Sometimes(rarely) they are "escorts": beautiful, glamorous, and very expensive. No matter what their title, hookers are definitely on the bottom of the social food chain. Not to mention, destined for an eternity of fiery torment in whatever afterlife one may believe in (when it comes to ladies of the night, the religious status quo is pretty uniform). What few people consider is the useful and undervalued service these ladies provide. When you're sick, you can go to a doctor. If you're hungry, you can find a chef in a restaurant to make you anything your heart desires. Feeling a little...unhinged? Your friendly local therapist would be more than happy to take your money in exchange for listening to you pour your heart out. Priests are available for reassurance of a spiritual reward for not going to the club last week. Almost every need that we have as human beings can be serviced by one of the various branches of the American commercial industry. So, why is sex, another human necessity, left out of the loop? It's pretty widely accepted that the majority of people have sexual needs that they are going to handle in one way or another, so why not leave it to a professional?

Now, I'm not saying go out and pick up one of the hookers that strolls the back alleys behind that club or call the number on the late-night television ads. What I'm suggesting is that perhaps our country would benefit from a legalized, regulated option for sexual fulfillment. Prostitution could be like any other government job, with a paycheck, benefits, training, and references from a previous employer. If getting laid was as easy and safe as ordering a pizza, would the statistics about sexual assault be different? Of course, tragic situations like rape are very rarely about sex, but about an exercise of power over another individual. But why does sex have to be equated with power or control? Is it possible for society to develop in a way that does not stigmatize sex, but instead treats it as a human need that deserves as much attention as hunger? For now, it doesn't seem possible, but it is still nice to imagine..."Thank you for your order. Would you like whipped cream on that?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'll give you head for a McDouble

Sex is nothing more than a commodity that is traded for other goods such as material wants and emotional needs. People will have sex so they can give or receive pleasure, intimacy and gifts from their sexual partner. When people are in some type of committed relationship they will trade sex for chores. Giving flowers, candy, cards, poetry and other trinkets to someone is bartering for some sexual favors. This bartering system promotes the relationships of sugar daddy/momma and sugar baby. Although the culture of older women acting as sugar mommas that pamper young men and spoil them with endless expensive gifts. I found that so interesting that older women from England are going to Africa to date men young enough to be their grandsons. These young men are being cared for by these older women using the money and gifts given to them these men are just trying to survive. The young men do not believe that being "sugar babies" is not so bad because they have sex with these women once or twice a week. Does this aspect of the young men make them prostitutes and the older women pimps? When a older gentleman starts dating a young woman it is more acceptable. Or is it? Would you be a "sugar baby"? What do you think about offering sex to survive? Can sex be traded for goods? Is it okay to trade sex for other goods? Which is more important to trade sex for, emotion or money? Which is given more often?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Asexuality & Virginity: Not Synonymous


Why are virgin’s left out of sexual discussions? In this generation of raunchy culture where women feel liberated by being openly sexual and promiscuous without shame, how is a twenty something year old virgin supposed to feel, especially when all his/her friends are having sex often and can’t seem to live without it? Like an outcast. Well, that depends on their situation. If the person claims that they are saving their virginity for that one “special” person or waiting to get married, then I don’t think they’ll necessarily feel so bad about being a virgin, they might even be proud (even if they think their missing out in the meantime). If they have religious beliefs concerning pre-marital sex, then they’ll probably be a little judgmental about their friends’ sexual behavior and think they’re being immoral. If they are choosing to abstain from sex until they’re finished with school or getting their career established, then they might not feel so horrible about being an “old” virgin either. However, all of this does not address the frustration a virgin might feel when all their friends and family had sex ages ago and doesn’t want to talk to them about sex because they don’t want to hurt their “virgin ears”. In fact this may make the virgin feel really left out and abnormal.
To make this dilemma even more problematic and stigmatizing, there are even studies that conclude that losing your virginity later on, around the ages of twenty one to twenty three, can cause sexual health problems later on according to research done at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute's HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies. (For more information go to abcnews.com and enter “virginity” in the search bar) So should a virgin feel proud or ashamed of their sexual purity in contemporary American society? If the virgin has to deal with peers and family members who render them asexual then they will more than likely feel ashamed, but if the virgin is socially engaged as a sexual being that has not yet experienced sexual intercourse, then they will probably feel more secure with their sexuality. The bottom line is this: Virgins are not asexual and should not be excluded from sexual discussions just because they are virgins. They have as much, if not more, sexual desire than a sexually active person. So feel free to talk to a virgin about sex because they will understand, for the most part anyway.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Forbidden Sex. . .



Rape me! You know you wanna. Forced sex is considered hot and erotic. Americans are so fascinated with forbidden sex. The list of forbidden sex includes rape, sex with minors/students, sex with your superiors (instructors, coaches, bosses), bondage, etc. Americans are closet freaks, but few will admit it to people out loud. What stops people from revealing what turns them on? I mean how are people going to reach sexual fulfillment if they do no explore their turn ons and turn offs. The lack of fulfillment causes people to accept sub-par sex. But then what about the people that already know what they like and what they want???? Hmm interestingly enough that is scarier than not knowing what you want. Because now more pressure is placed on you. Several questions cross your mind such as "she wants me to do what?" and "he wants me to do that where!?!" These questions start to force people into adventurous act they would have never heard of let alone have done. So what would you do to please your mate? I know this is a redundant question but seriously if you significant other told you that he or she wanted you to wear costumes or handcuffs? Would you do it? Or what if your sexual partner said they wanted to have sex outside? How far would you go to satisfy your mate?

-Click the title link to check out the top ten female fantasies from America's Mental Health Channel. Interesting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Whores and Virgins going Head to Head!!!

Virgin or whore, those are the only two categories for women in America. Once a woman admits to having more than 2 sexual partners she is deemed a whore and several other names. I find this very strange especially since some men while dating avoid virgins like the plague but when these same men hear wedding bells they begin searching for a virgin to marry. Why it is that once an American woman reveals her sexual understanding to an American man all hell breaks loose? After reading an article that revealed that a new generation of young women in England has more sexual experience and partners than men, I thought about how traditional sexual ideals governs America. (This is the article if anyone is interested : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3685314/Young-women-have-more-sexual-partners-than-men.html) Sadly these ideals do not just influence a preference for men they also control the lives and thoughts of women too. Women are afraid to be seen as someone with sexual knowledge because those with that type of experience are the whores that give their bodies away freely. These traditional views of sex have severely confined American women to the Elizabethan age when clearly we are in the 21st century. Ironically the Elizabethan age connects directly to England but it is America that holds on so strongly to this era’s ideals about women’s sex lives or the lack there of.
I believe that a woman should be able to have as many or more sex partners than a man so that she knows what pleases her in bed. A woman should be able to tell her partner what to do to please her just as a man can guide a woman to pleasing him. This double standard towards sex is mind boggling. Another thing that boggles my mind is that a man can have sex with as many women as he wants and he is just perfecting his technique. Plus this same guy is considered a hot item by women and a celebrated hero by men. Women on the other hand are seen as someone carrying an STD or just too easy for comfort. Even more surprising a woman cannot talk about her sex life to other women for fear of being judged too harshly. The word promiscuous alludes to a prostitute or a woman of the night so there is no good adjective for a woman with sexual experience. Although a man with sexual experience relates his knowledge to “baseball” since each time he gets a woman in his bed, he “scores a home run.”
What does everyone else think? Should Americans end this sexual double standard? Will the United States ever become “liberal” and allow women to be as sexual active as men? What is wrong with women have multiple sex partners? Do you think that women should have sex lives? Why or why not? When can women relate their sexual experience to a game just as men do? Ladies is it fair to consider your knowledge as a disadvantage? Are there any public advantages in women having sexual experience? Who do you prefer in your bed, the virgin or the whore? Is it possible to be both or something in between the two labels?