Friday, August 28, 2009

What are we thinking?!

Yes, I know I was supposed to write one about safe sex toys...but I got enraged by something before I could. Violet Blue has written an extremely informative article about the dangers of sex toys and other interesting fun-facts over at her website,

After reading this particularly enraging blog post on the SHM website,, I decided that this attitude warrants a blog post.

1. Why on Earth are the only two 'guilty parties' discussed women and "Hollywood" (and by Hollywood, she means hetero porn)?

It takes 2 (or more) people to transmit an STI. Perhaps the male role in pregnancy should be addressed? Both parties are equally at risk of being infected, and both parties are equally responsible for their own safety and the safety of their partner. If either party thinks that it is possible that they, or their partner, could have an STI, then it should be discussed like adults. Yes, women need to take responsibility for their bodies, but men have an equal responsibility not to cause harm to a sexual partner.

It's a constant double-standard that is seen in both people's attitudes and the structure of Australian sexual health education. Women bear the most burden from an unhappy encounter, and so it's a woman's fault if she is harmed. Women who have to learn self-defense, and a woman who has to carry the burden of a reduced sex-drive and a schedule revolving around tiny tablets that results from the pill and other forms of non-barrier birth control.

It takes a perverse culture of silence and sexual anxiety for the notion of sexual communication to be a novel idea. Surely you should be at least on talking terms with your sexual partner in order to be bumping uglies with them...right? Even if it's just to let the partner know what you like. No wonder one-night-stands are almost universally reported to be underwhelming non-events.

2. The article seems to legitimise the "I don't like wearing a condom" excuse.

At the same time as pointing the finger at women for not forcing a sexual partner to wear a condom, the article brushes over the issues actually raised by her male friends concerns.

"'I don't want to have to get out a condom when the times comes but, by the same token, how am I going to ask her to get tested? It would take all the romance out of the equation,' he said."

You know what's really not romantic? Open sores on your junk, herpes, syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea. Suck it in and be a man. Besides, looking out for your and your partners health is probably the most romantic thing you can do. It shows you care about them, and you are a responsible, thinking, rational adult. Hell...the second most romantic thing my partner says to me is "I'll go get a condom," falling just behind "I love you and I want to make you happy".

"I don't like wearing a condom" is a absolutely shitty excuse to put yourself or someone else at risk. You don't like condoms? Well I hope you like syphilis, fatherhood and an intermittently itchy crotch...or even the knowledge that because of you, your partner contrated an STI that rendered her sterile.

You'll need more than a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates to make up for that one.

On another note, you don't like wearing a condom? Cry me a river. I don't like crippling period pain, mood swings, weight gain and reduced libido that result in my taking the pill. I win.

3. You're blaming Hollywood? Seriously?

Every time someone makes a bad decision, out comes the blame hollywood/video-games/television/internet trope. Aren't we sick of delegating our decision-making to popular culture yet?

Granted, the news article regarding the Aids Healthcare Foundation issuing complaints to pornography companies is informative and relevant, but it could have warranted a post on its own without all this finger-pointing at women and blaming Hollywood for ditsy women having unprotected one-night-stands.

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