Quick safe sex PSA…
As many as 30% of herpes cases transmitted genitally are actually from “oral” herpes, HSV-1. So, if you get cold sores, please be safe. (From Scarleteen.)
Oral safe sex is really important. You can transmit herpes even when not exhibiting symptoms. Condoms are great for going down on a bio-cock, and dental dams (or Saran wrap) are fabulous for cunts and assholes.
Most places do not test for herpes, and you can have it (and pass it on) without ever showing symptoms. So please, be safe y’all!
I don’t watch much TV. It and I don’t quite get along. I mostly only watch when I’m at my mother’s, because it’s a family event. But the main reason I don’t watch much is because most times, television shows end up erasing my personality a bit. As in, I get rather zombified. So, I don’t watch television, except for the kinds of shows that don’t do that.
And Joss Whedon shows have never done that.
Firefly, Dollhouse… Yup, I’m a geek. But, I hadn’t actually seen any of his television shows until I was in college. Firefly? Well okay, I had only heard of it during high school, so that I just got around to watching it in college makes sense. But what surprises people, especially myself in hindsight, is that I had never seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer until my frosh year of college. Somehow, I missed that phenomenon.
And now, I’ve started to get S into it. We’re into season 1, and seeing how it goes. Meanwhile, I’ve decided to finally finish the series (no, I never did make it all the way through) and picked it back up partway through season 6 where I left off. Which creates some really interesting dynamics, watching where the characters end up and where they came from at the same time. Watching the much fluffier first season just start to grapple with these characters, versus the much more serious issues and confrontations of season 6. Buffy engages with sexuality, stereotypes, drugs, gender roles, and family dynamics. It’s cliche, it is about a modern day superhero girl and vampires, and I have no delusions about that.
But, the early seasons are so delightfully 90s that I can’t help but enjoy myself. At heart, I am a 90s child. Just with a very different sense of gender and masculinity.
Older boy: Hey, can I get this gum? *holds up a black pack with pink writing*
Mother: *glances at it* No, get something else.
Older boy: Why? It’s just berry-flavored.
Mother: You can’t have it, it’s pink. Get a different one.
The boy rolls his eyes and grabs a spearmint-flavored one, which has blue writing. I just gawk, mutter “Really?”, but don’t say anything audible because, y’know, at work and all. But I never knew anyone would be that ridiculous.
Not my story, but when I came across it I felt the need to share with all of you.
This morning I was reading an article from a few years ago about how ethical it is to choose artificial insemination in order to pick the “gender” of a child. There were a lot of presumptions in the article. Some of the highlights include:
- There are two sexes, corresponding to two genders, which are based on the chromosomes XX or XY. (Apparently people who are trans, intersex, or otherwise not fitting into that rigid structure do not exist.)
- Eugenics is not a serious ethical concern. We don’t need to think/worry about it. (On so many levels, WTF?!)
- Pro-choice people “see no principled objection to all PGD” because the only principle concern is whether or not pre-implanted fetuses are considered children. (See previous assumption highlight.)
- Class issues are not connected to an ethical debate (Because a costly, not likely covered by insurance, medical procedure limits the people who could use it, and that isn’t an ethical issue at all. Nope.
As I read through this article, part of my brain was screaming “Gattaca! Gattaca!” I admit, probably not the most logical response. The author was right in that we tend to get caught up in what “could be” instead of dealing with the ethical situations of the moment. But the entire article was so chock full of bullshit assumptions, and missing so many arguments, that his one redeeming moment is completely overshadowed.
First of all, there are not two genders, based around two chromosomes. Actually, it isn’t even directly the chromosomes that determine the physiological characteristics of a child. Not to mention, there are plenty of people like myself who regardless of birth assigned gender, are NOT that gender and are working to change their body as a result. So, pretty much anyway you slice it, the author’s head needs to be rather removed from his ass in order to realize that no, he is basing much of his argument on false claims. (As a side note, that I sadly cannot cite because I do not recall where I read it, but apparently the demand for girls has dramatically outpaced the demand for boys at clinics. He claims it to be otherwise, but gives zero citation for that fact. Not like I can find my citation either… But figured it was worth a mention.)
My biggest “wft” moment of reading the entire article though was the quote “PGD is ethically controversial because it involves the screening and likely destruction of embryos… those who view the early embryo as too rudimentary in developement to have rights or interests see no principled objection to all PGD.” The only thing I left out of this quote was how anti-choicers who believe embryos to already be children endowed with rights have huge issues with PGD. Unsurprising. And the author is right that I do not see the embryos as being developed enough to have interests or rights. But the phrasing it so that there could be zero other “principled objections” to PGD is bullshit. Maybe he was attempting to get the question of rights out of the way, except that is not how it was phrased.
Maybe I’d give the author the benefit of the doubt if he didn’t keep doing things such as saying “They might reasonably argue…” without ever addressing the arguments themselves. If he is going to attempt to defend the ethics of something, he needs to put forth the arguments in support of that claim. Just saying they exist is not sufficient. Great, so there is an argument (or many) out there for PGD. Tell me them? But no, nothing of the sort happens.
The author completely ignores any wider than the family itself response to PGD. He did not address a wider community effect, other than saying that we shouldn’t worry about what the future may enable us to do, because we can’t do that yet. So, only engage with the present ethical dilemma. And there is value in holding the debate about current ethical situations rather than debating about a nebulous future. Except, he didn’t engage the current issues!
Class problems with PGD were not mentioned at all. The author never addressed the major problem of access to this procedure, saying it should simply be the decision of the parents (when not made from a sexist standpoint.) But a large number of people cannot afford to pay for it. This is one reason why my brain started screaming “Gattaca!” over and over. Creating the ability for the higher class individuals to alter the genes of their kids, removing illnesses, selecting for gender, or even perfect pitch? I’m sorry, that is an ethically discussion that the author seemed to completely miss even existed.
As did the entire question of genetic selection. The entire article had a huge underlying assumption that other than the objection relating to destruction of embryos, there is nothing seriously wrong with genetic selection. The author functions in a purely libertarian philosophical outlook, where the individual choice, preference, and liberty of the parents are all that matters. Know what? I love individual choice, I’m really big into liberty, and I feel both of those to such an extent that I’m rather anti-statist. But know what else? I’m also rather a bit of a communitarian. No, these are not incompatible, but they inform each other.
The conditions that PGD currently targets are already some ethically sealed deal. First of all, anything can be debated ethically. But using the tactic of pretending something doesn’t exist when it is a major deal still is bullshit. A lot of it comes from ableism, the very basic assuming that certain diseases, conditions, etc. makes someone have “less” of a life, and investing in these very expensive medical attempts at prevention rather than dealing with society and making it more likely for more people of different abilities to have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as everyone else. Because know what? The genetic potential for something does not mean that will happen. It is a potential, a possibility, and even if it does that doesn’t justify eugenics. Curing something? Certain things yes, but plenty of things don’t need a cure. Homosexuality for instance, does not need a cure. Trans people don’t need a cure, unless it is getting our bodies right, but we got needles, pills, and surgeries for that (though FtM bottom surgeries have a long way to go still.)
Gah. I’m done. I really can’t keep thinking about this. I thought it was bad enough when I was reading through the eugenics section of Mad In America, but no, I’ve had to go on and read more. Least I have tomorrow’s AwaA to look forward to, with lots of delicious sex. And yes, that adjective was very intentional.
Article: John A. Robertson, “Extending Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Medical and Non-Medical Uses,” Journal Of Medical Ethics, vol. 29, 2003.
The first time through puberty I got incredibly lucky. I had great skin, from day one through the bitchy days of middle school and the angst-ridden days of high school. Acne was never a major problem, except sometimes on the backs of my arms. But my face? I rarely got zits. My back, never. So here is a demonic duck to express my frustration.
I knew that acne would come with T. I knew that, I had been told that, and naively thought because I got so lucky the first time through that it would be the same this time. S and C are probably shaking their heads, laughing at me, because even though I have been dealing the worst acne of my life, it isn’t that bad. I haven’t felt the need to go to the dermatologist, so long as I scrub my face a few times a day with acne wash, and every other day with a deeper exfoliant.
No, the pet peeve are zits just inside my nostril. They hurt. Moreover, I have pretty terrible allergies, and so every time I blow my nose, it hurts even more.
It drives me crazy. It annoys me endlessly, or at least until it goes away again. I know I’m lucky, I’ve never needed Accutane, and I still barely get break outs on my back. My arms have also been calm this time through, so that’s better than last time. I know I’m lucky but it is still driving me crazy. Because it isn’t angering, it is incredibly annoying, constant, and every time one goes away, within a week another one appears at my nostrils. Recurring, highly frustrating… yup, pet peeve of T.
Generally speaking, acne also makes shaving a pain in the ass. Or perhaps more accurately it is a pain in the face, as it makes cutting so much more likely. Shaving is difficult enough, but adding painful bumps I have to dodge just makes it worse. At least I have some whiskers to shave, right? Still…
My mind shivered at the feel of the rope in my hands. Sliding it through to get the right length for tying her hands together; nothing elaborate I have to remind myself. My mind shivered, but I could not let her see, instead I smirked keeping control.
After over a week’s aftercare being done in one shot that same day, I agreed to play on one condition: we kept it light.
If you want me to dom, then submit. You have to be willing to give up that control… and as I moved her head, turning it however I would, I saw surrender in her eyes and I thought “I love her.” So, I leaned in and bit her hard, digging deep into her muscle, her traps, loving the feel of her between my teeth, of her tensing, then slowly relaxing into me, submitting. I pull back and look at the mark before slowly licking around those enticing indentations…
I had her pinned down, ropes laying across her chest held by my hands, enough pressure for her to know there was no point in fighting me. Black rope, blue sheets, white skin, light from the windows reflected into an ambient glow by the white walls, she glowed under the rope. I pulled back to watch, pinning her down with the rope pressed into her skin. Keep it light, just some rope, just some power, add a dash of teeth…
Curled around her after, aftercare was no issue this time. We had talked about the last two times, finally talked, and she was trusting me again. Wrapped around her, I let go. I let myself open up in return. It wasn’t make up sex from the night before, it wasn’t “just” anything, because no matter how “light” it seemed it reached both of us as we needed it too. I don’t know quite what opened up for me the last few times… but I want to keep finding out.