Female sexual dysfunction discussion Bingo!

09/26/2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments
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[Description: A 25-square bingo board with light blue and lavender accents. The theme of the board is feminist bingo-worthy quotes in relation to female sexual dysfunction. A transcript is below the cut.]

Hey you! You there! At the computer! Everyone! Step right up folks, step right up and come on dooooown! *Fanfare plays, light bulbs flash in the marching ants pattern*

Have YOU ever run into stereotypes and archetypes about what sort of women develop sexual dysfunction? Have you been offered unsolicited advice on what to do about your sex life, which perhaps has quite a few major complications going on? Have you become frustrated with a lack of satisfactory resolution to your problems and feel like you have nowhere to go to talk about them? Are you tired of hearing the same tropes over and over again when talking about female sexual dysfunction?

Well then step right up folks, yes step right up and get ready to play Female Sexual Dysfunction Discussion Bingo!

It’s easy to play along! All you have to do is hang around any discussion of female sexual dysfunction long enough or experience in real life some variation of the experiences described above, and then mark the corresponding box off on your Bingo board. Fill in five in a row up, down or diagonally, and you “Win!”

(Unfortunately I’ve been cleaned out of prizes to give to the winners of this game and in fact if you have FSD then lurking in the comments section of a discussion of female sexual dysfunction is likely to be upsetting at best and triggering at worst…)

Impress your friends!

Annoy your enemies!

Stop in your tracks with the sudden realization of, “Oh my god but I’ve done stuff on this board! I never realized how much it piles up on the folks I’ve been talking about!”
[I am pessimistic that anyone will have this reaction in real life; the most likely scenario that will play out is probably more like: Upon realizing that someone has used variations of the above and upon meeting this bingo board, that same someone will say, "Well this blogger is clearly a bitch and is much too close to her own experiences to be able to look at FSD ~objectively~."]

Think you can’t play because you don’t got FSD yourself? No problem! Simply support someone who does! You can start by checking your own privileges at the door and listening without judgment to a friend who does have a dysfunction!
Don’t know anybody with FSD? Yeah maybe you should think about that for more than 5 seconds and see if you can think of any reasons why no one has felt comfortable disclosing their sexual health problems to you.

With FSD Bingo, everyone’s a winner!

Yes folks this right here is a brand-new, limited edition addition to the collection of social justice Bingo Boards! Trade with your friends! Complete the set! Gotta catch ‘em all! Collect ‘em all!

Right-click save (or click and hold) your copy of FSD Bingo today!!!


But seriously folks,

This is another collaborative effort brought to you by me and frequent commenter and sometimes guest poster Flora. (Hence, version 1.2 presented here – I have incorporated elements and feedback from boards we came up with.) You asked, and we delivered.

Everything in the bingo board box is based on real stuff we’ve seen & heard. I’m not making any of this up. Read the archives back far enough, and you’ll probably be able to trace a lot of these boxes back to their original inspiration.

There were even more valid candidates to make it onto the board – I just ran out of room and couldn’t include them all. Unfortuantely there are more than just these 25 pieces of sexist, rampantly disablist rubbish floating around in discussions of female sexual dysfunction. Perhaps some day I’ll release a version 2.0 if this one gets enough feedback to warrant revisions.

Until then, enjoy. Don’t leave home without it!

Transcript follows below the cut in case you can’t see the above image.

Continue Reading Female sexual dysfunction discussion Bingo!…

Blog note and partial link roundup

09/15/2010 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Like many people, I find that the amount of activity in my life suddenly spikes around September. Some of you will be returning to school or work (or both, if you are a teacher. Or an adult getting a degree later in life.) I graduated a few years ago and I’m glad to be free of academia – I’m not quite ready to go back for a second degree or my master’s yet. Nonetheless, although I don’t have any official homework, I do find myself swept up into home + work stuff.

So if I’m not returning to school, then what’s the reason for the lack of new and interesting content this week? Don’t worry, I’m not burned out yet! As frustrated as I get dealing with feminist blogs (don’t we all?) I’m not ready to give it a rest. But I find myself needing to cut back, at least temporarily. There are reasons. Sudden, life-altering, stressful, meatspace reasons that I prefer not to blog about here. These reasons are not relevant to this blog content except inasmuch as the reasons interfere with my time + energy to write. Hopefully these life changes will prove to be a positive thing in the end, but for now, I’ll be quite busy for the next few days at least, probably spilling over into a few weeks.
I swear, every day, for the last two weeks, it’s been something. Everybody wants a piece of me. This is the first time in about a week that I’ve actually sat down at my nice comfortable “Work” station to bang out a hello on the computer. Well, they say that when you’re a blogger, self-care has to come first.
Sooner or later during these life changes I’m going to have spotty internet connectivity but for now I’ve got reliable wifi. If worse comes to worse I plan to call an IT support person in to fix the internet when things settle down. I don’t have the patience to set up the wifi myself.

Now I do have some goodies working their way down the pipes for you to look at… but they’re not all ready to go yet. Until I get re-established on firm footing, things may be spotty or on the lighter, fluffier side around these parts. Damn, I was even working on another big post which I now realize is going to have to be split into two separate posts and the one that goes up first, unfortunately, is going to require more evidence-gathering in order to support the second post. Evidence gathering takes time. So maybe until I get that done to my satisfaction, I may try to come up with something “Easier.” Hopefully something relateable.

Or, better yet! I have a great idea! Since I’ll have my hands full for awhile, perhaps you would be interested in writing a guest post? Maybe there’s something on the list of stuff we still need to talk about on this here blog that you’d like to pick up and run with. Or maybe you have a different idea that could be relevant to the intersection of feminism + sexual dysfunction. Or maybe you want to take an existing idea we’ve already covered in a new direction. Or maybe you’d like to open up and share something more personal with readers here? If you’re feeling righteous, creative and bold, then perhaps a guest post is right for you!

Look at this, I don’t even have time to do a proper blog link roundup. Oh this is just unacceptable. There was some neat stuff last week I wanted to direct your attention to! Oh well, let’s at least get a partial blog link roundup. Here’s some interesting posts that you may have missed over the last week & a half. Share links if’n you got ‘em.

Plus-Size Sex Positions – This post provides some guidelines for sexual positions if you or your partner(s) is on the larger size.

Why I Keep Having Sex Despite the Pain – A different kind of perspective. There are many reasons women have sex, and that includes women with vulvar pain.

Bed Bitch & Beyond (Not So) Good Vibrations: A Confession – *Gasp* A feminist who does not personally love vibrators! She’s a witch! Burn her! Naaah, I don’t mean that; It’s totally fine. Another different kind of perspective.

Big wins for the Tea Party; losses for hairy palms – The winner of the Delaware primary is a Tea Party member and an anti-masturbation activist. Yes, really. Well, really, more of an abstinence-including-anti-masturbation activist.

Sexting and Slut-Shaming – That sounds like a miserable sexting awareness campaign :( It shouldn’t have to be that way! You know it’s, this comes just a few years after instant messaging. I don’t remember such a campaign for teenagers cybering back in my day. Maybe that’s for the better that I don’t remember being exposed to such a campaign.

Ask Matt: Estrogen is Hurting My Relationships - I hope Matt does not mind if I lurk in the comments to this one; I am cis myself but have had issues with my hormones in the past and fully expect to have more issues later on as I get older.

36-Hour Arabian Nights – The post is SFW but the advertisements maybe not so much – because the commercials being discussed here are for erectile dysfunction medication. It’s a comparison of marketing for ED drugs in the US and in Saudi Arabia.

Good Vibrations House Calls: He Doesn’t Cum - Some suggestions for addressing difficulty orgasming in men, should you choose to address it at all.

THERE IS MORE but this is all I have to offer for now. We’ll catch up next time.

Happy birthday, Feminists with FSD

09/06/2010 at 11:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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Pretty cupcakes

[Description: 6 cupcakes in yellow cups with thick icing and pastel rainbow crunchy bits on top. On top of a white platform with a blue ribbon tied around it. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons, by Janet Hudson. Used under a Creative Commons License.]

Feminists with Female Sexual Dysfunction turns 2 years old today! Holy crap! Has it really been that long?

I knew I had enough material to last for one year’s worth of blogging about feminism + sexual dysfunction, but two years?! Spilling over into a third year?! I’m getting up there in internet time. I’m going to be an old timer.

A two year blog birthday sounds like as good a time as any to indulge in some Navel Gazing!

General observations:

***Feminism and sexual dysfunction are not mutually exclusive.*** You can be a feminist and still have sexual dysfunction. QED. This is real, this is valid. I still have sexual dysfunction last time I checked. I had it yesterday, I have it today, I’ll have it tomorrow. And the next day, and the day after that… All the education in the world is not dispelling the dysfunction. This ain’t no myth!
So what’s wrong with being dysfunctional? Is there something inherently wrong with having a sexual dysfunction? Am I not supposed to do this? What, is what I’m going through somehow making life harder for women without FSD? How? What. What.
Sexual dysfunction is a stigmatized condition.
A lot of what is considered valid forms of “Sex” where I live in the US is dependent on being cis, straight and able-bodied. If you don’t meet those conditions, then mainstream media and a lot of folks who consume it won’t have much interest in you except to scandalize.
Unfortunately needing medical help with sexual problems is likewise stigmatized. It’s a rock-and-hard place position. The only way you can get medical help for sexual dysfunction is to get a diagnosis of some kind of sexual dysfunction. But sexual dysfunction is a stigmatized condition, so who wants to live with that label?
The more stuff I read online by sex therapists, the less interested I become in pursuing sex therapy as a possible treatment. There’s some good stuff out out there! And some bad stuff. Sometimes a mixture of both.

Alas to this day, I must once again disclose that I still have no respectable credentials. I have a degree, but in a completely unrelated field. While I have taken women’s studies and psychology classes, to this day I do not have a Ph.D. or certification in sex education. I make good faith efforts to do my homework diligently and present my sources, but everything I say, you must take with a grain of salt. However, I come here not to offer advice but perspective. Still, sooner or later I think I should pursue some kind of higher education. Get certified. Something…

On the other hand, I am not necessarily obligated to educate you. While I acknowledge that I reap the benefits of several kinds of privilege, there are other privileges I do not have. If you were to insist of me, “Educate me NOW, disabled person! Why should I care about women with sexual dysfunction?!” I may reply “Kiss my ass, read the archives, use Google and for gods sakes if you want to hear what I’m talking about on this blog then shut your pie hole for five minutes and make a safer place for women with FSD to speak out on their own!” (I now know for sure from interacting with commenters here that I am not the only one who feels this way.)
Yeah let’s face facts already and just own up to it, I got fuckin’ vulvodynia over here; it’s both chronic pain AND sexual dysfunction at the same damn time, and even if it weren’t there I’d still have to deal with the vaginismus & pelvic floor dysfunction which is likewise a sexual dysfunction with spillover into my non-sexual activities.

How’s my driving?

Have I done enough to make this blog feel like a ~relatively safe space for women with sexual dysfunction? “Relative” being the operative word; I can not guarantee true “Safe space.” So is safe space even too strong of a term. But I’m hoping to do a better job than other feminist blogs where the conversation tends to become dominated by people who do not have sexual dysfunctions themselves and are unfamiliar with it.

With regards to comment moderation, it’s a little tricky. I work full time. Sometimes I’ll get comments with problematic elements that I still think are overall worth letting through. I get drive-by commenters with sexual dysfunction who don’t necessarily identify as feminist but still need a place to vent – I’m inclined to let those through too.

I offer no apologies for making direct contact with me deliberately difficult (you have to leave a comment here with a valid e-mail address so I can reach out to you.) There is a reason my blog e-mail is private and it’s staying that way.

How’s my Guest Posting policy? Is it too vague, too strict, just right? I don’t feel comfortable actively recruiting new guest posters, because I think doing so could be invasive and presumptuous. Even if I saw someone talking about something that could be considered a sexual dysfunction, if I reach out and say, “Hey you wanna write a guest post about your experience on a blog about sexual dysfunction?” Well what if that person does not identify as having sexual dysfunction. It would be like an accusation. I can’t go around applying that label to anybody else except for me – nor can I go around taking it away from anyone who’s come to embrace it. But on the other hand, I have reached out to bloggers like SnowDrop Explodes and Ms. Sexabilility to help me out with BDSM and FSD related posts… Hmmm…

Basically I’m hoping that by writing this blog, those who need to will gravitate towards here and come around of their own free will. Trying to make it OKAY to talk about sexual dysfunction.

Room for improvement:

But am I letting enough people know that this blog exists and what its purpose is? Is it enough to read and link to and comment around on blogs by women of color, trans women, disabled women, and more marginalized groups, to let them know that I’m reading and I’m out there? How else are you supposed to find out this place exists and who else is going to tell you? Am I doing enough to reach out?

With trans folk and sexual dysfunction, I think I need help with something… When I named the blog, I named it feminists with female sexual dysfunction. So far to the best of my knowledge I haven’t had any trans women or trans men guest posters. (I haven’t had any intersex guest posters either.) I see no reason that being transgender and developing sexual dysfunction would be mutually exclusive for everybody. But now since I put “Female” in the blog title, does that mean that I’ve isolated trans women because the “Female” part usually refers to cisgendered, cissexual women… on the other hand have I isolated trans men from posting because if the blog title says “Female” in there and you are a trans man with sexual dysfunction, have I un-gendered anybody? There was a post at bird of paradox that’s sort of related, about trans women and prostate health but it sounds like it did not go over as well as hoped…

Um. I didn’t think that far ahead… :o I deliberately chose to keep the “F” in “FSD” because FSD is more controversial a topic than sexual dysfunction in general. And because it’s an accurate identifier for myself. That’s what I have. So I want to keep it in there…

Some stuff I still want to talk about (not necessarily in order of priority):

Book reviews – lots of them. I get so caught up with the blogosphere sometimes that I neglect to do my book reading. But book reviews can take a long time to put together. I may have to skip a week or so of new content in order to make time for book reading.
Reach out to the asexual community
Cancer, treatments and sexual dysfunction
Chronic health conditions and sexual dysfunction
Language (“Frigid,” “Broken,” etc.) (“Sexual problem” vs. “sexual dysfunction” and other euphemisms. Here’s what I’m thinking: I hate hate hate a hierarchy of sexual dysfunction, like how pain is generally recognized as a valid sexual dysfunction but low libido is not. And I am certain there is a difference between a “Problem” vs. a “Dysfunction.”)
Birth control (esp. The Pill)
Adult toy reviews (Because why not. But they should probably go behind wordpress cuts)
What might sexual medicine for women advertisements look like in the future – would they be sexualized, romanticized (I’m thinking of the Viagra family of tv ads here,) or would the ads place an emphasis on other side benefits in a very abstract way like how ads for The Pill talk about acne & PMDD more than they do about sex.
Women of color and sexual dysfunction
Trans folk and sexual dysfunction
Re-visit sexual dysfunction as disability some time in the future – What works? Does anything not work?
Partner’s perspective (careful on this one though; it’s not all about you.)
Consent and enthusiastic consent
Polyamory
Is sexual dysfunction contagious? (Of course not but I have read two things online now that said if one partner has a sexual dysfunction it may be caused by the other partner’s dysfunction. Sexual pain is explicitly named by one source as a cause of men’s low desire. Oh hey yeah that, that totally doesn’t disproportionately blame women for men’s sexual dysfunction. Except for when it does.)
FSD treatments, the placebo effect & homeopathy – I recently read an FSD article in Vogue that contained a quote which sent me into rage-rage-rage mode. The quote was about the power of the placebo effect and I thought to myself, waaaaait a minute… Is positing the placebo effect as an explanation for improvements to FSD good, scientific based medicine? Isn’t there criticism about prescribing worthless treatments somewhere… OH YES I remember now, there is a certain type of medicine that is just like prescribing placebos! And what so you know – it’s subject to feminist critique!

I don’t know if or when I’ll get around to talking about these things. I need time, patience, research, resources… not to mention motivation. I haven’t burned out quite yet but burnout is a real risk of any feminist blogger. And with a lot of these things, I do not have personal experience with and would much, much prefer that someone who does have the experience would be interested in writing at least one guest post about it.

But you see, there’s a lot to talk about with FSD besides Big Pharma!

And then I’m sure I’ll think of other stuff to talk about as we’re going forward…

Is there anything you’d like to write about here, or anything you’d like to suggest as a topic going forward?

Some stuff I want to talk about but still don’t feel comfortable talking about:
Vulvovaginal surgery (mine, cosmetic, medical and in general)
My New Pink Button dye and vulvar dermatological conditions like lichens sclerosus. There are some dermatological conditions which can change the appearance of your vulva, dramatically if left untreated.
Sexual dysfunction and pop culture
Why I don’t want sex therapy

I am reluctant to write about these topics openly because I am getting the impression that these are topics for which there is a definite right vs wrong answer. And I am on the wrong side of the tracks.

I’m sure there’s more…

Some search engine terms that bring people here:

feminists with fsdI sense a disturbance in the Force. Lately, a lot of people are finding this blog because they’re deliberately looking for it. Who are you and have you found what you are looking for? This is a dual-edged sword… That people are finding the blog by looking for it is good, but somewhat risky too. My greatest dread to this day is that some of the famous sex therapists & experts whose work I have criticized will find me and then hunt me down, doing everything in their power to out & ruin me so that I can’t find a job in even my completely unrelated fields.
But on the other hand, if I want to see broad changes in the way FSD is handled within feminist outlets, then sooner or later the big experts are going to have to find some of the ideas on this blog. And (without stealing!) acknowledge that changes are needed & be the change, incorporate it into their own work. I am pessimistic about the prospects of this taking place any time soon.
Permutations - feminists with sexual dysfunction

vulvodynia natural treatment – Oldie but goodie, this is still a very popular post! People translate it into all kinds of languages! Wow, I guess alternative treatment for vulvodynia is a popular treatment after all. Permutations include: vulvodynia homeopathy, natural remedies for vulvodynia, natural cure for vulvodynia, vulvodynia natural remedies, etc.
Let this be a clear message to all of you: Anybody who suggests alternative medicine for vulvodynia… yeah… whoever you’re suggesting it to probably already thought of that.

lovers stores – I guess this must be one of just a few sites that’s done an in-depth report on Lovers.

20/20 vulvodynia – You are looking for this post with a video link. Still very popular.

dr. oz vulvodynia - Also very popular.

natural sexuality – you may be looking for this post or this series of posts.

sexual dysfunction statistics – you’re looking for this two-part series.

I get a lot of searches for porn too but surprisingly very few searches for Viagra or flibanserin. Sorry buddy, can’t help you out there.

So as Feminists with Female Sexual Dysfunction enters its third year, I wonder, Can we keep it up for another year? Where are we going with this project? What am I even doing here? Where is the nearest bathroom? What’s for lunch today?

There’s really only one way to find out the answers to these burning questions. But I can’t do it alone. I need you to join me on this long strange trip.

Stay tuned…

Interesting posts, weekend of 9/5/10

09/05/2010 at 9:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Dear internet, summer is coming to a close soon. Some of you have already returned to class and others will be going to school shortly. Not me though. I graduated school and I’m so not ready to go back for an ever-higher degree. Or to start over doing what I really love. The sun is setting earlier, the weather’s getting cooler… some of these late summer days are just lovely. I spent some more time outdoors this week for work and play. The only downside is that bugs still try to eat me whole. And this late in the season means hurricane season may still have quite a lot left to throw at us. I went shopping again this weekend and I got some more nice new clothes for cheap. I could still use some new sweaters for th winter though… and pretty soon I’ll need to load up on new thigh-high socks. And possibly 1980s leg warmers.

No pictures of strangely named stuff to show you this week. I ran out last time and I’m still looking for neat stuff to break up the massive walls of text here.

Friendly reminder: I am looking for Guest Posters. I want to hear more perspectives on the themes dealt with here at Feminists with Female Sexual Dysfunction. Because I am dealing with such a sensitive topic, I don’t think I can actively recruit new posters, since if I went onto someone else’s blog and said something like, “Hey u wanna write a post about your sexual health and/or feminism on a public forum?!” that would probably be very invasive. For this reason, Guest Posters requesting to remain anonymous will also be taken seriously.
At this time, criteria for inclusion is, “If you think you would fit in here, you probably would.” This may be subject to change but for now we’ll try that & see how it goes.
In an attempt to preemptively fight spam and rude comments, this blog’s email is private. Please leave a comment on this post if you want to write something. I’ll screen comments so you can remain anonymous if you want. That way I’ll have your email and we can collaborate.
Have something you’ve been working on? Send it my way.
Comments made by new e-mail addresses here are auto-screened before going live, so if you want to stay anon use an e-mail address that you haven’t used here before.

Can’t get enough of feminism and sexual dysfunction on the internet? You may want to think about following the Twitter feed, which is more accurately described as my Twitter feed since no one else manages it. Some of my daily mundane and/or angry thoughts sneak in there but I try to include trendy topics as well as a healthy dose of sexual dysfunction related news when I find it.

Now then, on with the weekly blog link roundup. Posts I found interesting over the last week. Share links if’n you got’em.

A new survey for women with vulvodynia and/or other chronic, invisible conditions is up on Survey Monkey, conducted by the authors of Secret Suffering. The topic is how the medical community treats patients with these chronic conditions. Found via Living with Vulvar Vestibulitis.

Accessible Sex Toys What Does It Mean to Say a Sex Toy Is Accessible? – and then Sex Toy Accessibility Checklist Tips on Choosing a Sex Toy That’s More Accessible – Takes a broad view of what accessible means; technically there’s no sex toys specifically for disabled people just because there’s so many different kinds of disability, not monolithic. Via Babeland.

August 2010 comments on the F-Word – includes feedback from the Honeymoon Cystitis article recently posted. Some of the feedback is better than others… For example according to one of the comments published, apparently I am a mythical creature once again.

Hmm, let’s offset the one comment that I wasn’t too fond of in that last link with something about the language surrounding PIV sex. Intercourse, suffering, pleasure, and feminism: more on “envelop” v. “penetrate”

Good Vibrations House Calls: Too Tight for Penetration! – Some suggestions for addressing difficulty with vaginal insertion of objects, including vaginismus.

Boyfriend pressing you for sex? Buy him a scented candle! - Yet another reason I don’t want sex therapy.

Sexual Subject vs. Object - Hugh Hefner does not understand the difference.

If Gail Dines Would Stop Shaming People, Maybe Folks Would Listen – Saw this one going around on my Twitter feed for the last few days. I’ve also seen Gail Dines in the news (or at least, the blogosphere) more recently (she’s a prolific critic of pornography.) I’m not sure though if she’s always this active or if she’s going ’round the tubes extra lately as part of marketing for her new book.

Social Justice: What Do We Want? – There is some discussion going on across blogs about re-thinking the social justice blog tactic known as a call-out, which in effect looks like a swarm and can feel like bullying to the person being called out.

Why I use that word that I use: Problematic – If you see feminist blogs (like this one) using that word and you don’t know what it means, read this.

There’s Good News and Bad News. And Fat News. – Also about depression and getting good medical care.

Focus on the Family attacks anti-bullying efforts as part of the “gay agenda” – How could any organization possibly be in favor of bullying?! Focus on the Family is just that.

I Ain’t Sayin’ You’re a Golddigger – Because my partner and I have different degrees, different experiences and … different sexes, we are likely to find ourselves in this or a similar situation shortly, where he will be at least partially supporting me, financially. Which is going to feel really awkward and as though I failed to put my degree to good use, but for now I just feel gypped that my education is NOT proving to be the magical ticket to financial security everybody told me it would be. My partner & I haven’t figured out how to address that yet but we know from watching our parents relationships that it can lead to trouble down the road later.

Restrictions on Choice in States – Ways in which reproductive freedom is anything but in many states within the US. You may still be able to get an abortion but only after jumping through unnecessary hoops that aren’t supported by good science. Comments recommended on this one.

More on floods in Pakistan and gender impact – A few weeks ago there were major earthquakes in Pakistan. Women are disproportionately effected by disasters worldwide and that’s the case now too. This also links to some places where you can donate funds to support relief efforts.

Go Where?: Sex, Gender, and Toilets – Fun, feminist roundup & analysis of bathroom signs.

I’m sure there’s more…

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