Sex With 900 Men in Nine Years (or, Where Does She Find the TIME?)

SLUT

Posted by TERESA

So, I was listening to Elvis Duran and the Z Morning Zoo this morning, as I am wont to do most mornings, and they were talking about this story.  Apparently, a woman in England “confessed” to having slept with 900 men in nine years.

My first question?

Who the hell did she “confess” this to, and why did she want to make this news??

My second question?

Where did she find the time??

However, what bothered me most was the way it was being discussed on the radio, both by the DJs and the people calling in.  I’m sure you already know how it went.  Hell, you might even have chimed in the same way yourself!  There was a string of calls saying she was a slut, but more than that, that she was “disturbed” or had “psychological problems.”  My absolute favorite quote (and by favorite, I mean that I wanted to punch the guy in the face) was when this guy called in and said “It would even be a bit abnormal if a guy did that!”

Check that word choice, people:

It would even be a bit abnormal if a guy did that.

First, let me get this out of the way….900 men is A LOT.  A LOT.  Like, way more than your usual amount, and I’m including porn stars and gang bangers when I say that.  That many people definitely increases your risk for all sorts of STDs and pregnancy no matter how much protection you use, or what kind of pill you’re on.  I mean, that’s just a matter of numbers.

But what bothered me was the way people were talking about this woman.  First, there was the knee-jerk reaction in calling her a slut, to which I say….so?  OK, so she’s a slut.  Now what?  People think that pointing out the fact that a woman has slept with many men is the ultimate insult.  As if what she’s done is, of course, inherently morally wrong.  As if the discussion stops there.  My next question would be, “Why?”  And no, “It just IS” is not an answer.  (If you’d like to answer that question in the comments, feel free)  I, for one, don’t think it is.  No one who called in actually had a reason why what she did was wrong, and every assumption they made was proved wrong by the story:

– she was never abused as a child and was, in fact, raised in a Catholic home with Catholic values and sent to a Catholic school.

– she always used protection (and never got an STD or pregnant)

– the sex was always consentual and initiated by her

– there was nothing in the story pointing to the fact that she actually did have clinical psychological problems, nor do any of her quotes lead me to believe that.

John Bell, one of the DJs on Z100 who’s USUALLY the voice of reason, said “Someone who sleeps with that many people doesn’t do it for pleasure or because they like sex.  Clearly, there’s something wrong.”

Clearly?  Really?  Is this according to your years of psychological study?  Cause, I know lots of people – women, specifically – who just REALLY LIKE SEX THAT MUCH.  And *gasp* they prioritize sex over having a relationship.

EEK!  THE HORROR!

What bothered me about the whole thing was that every response people gave to this story was rooted in the idea that women shouldn’t have lots of sex.  That a “normal” woman doesn’t want it that much, and if she expresses wanting it that much, then “clearly” there’s something wrong with her.  Meanwhile, while this would “even” be a lot for a man, clearly it would be more permissible if it were.  Hell, if this had been a guy, it probably wouldn’t have been news! (Though someone might have taken out a congratulatory ad)

That’s the other thing – the idea that she shouldn’t have done that, because no guy will want her after that.  Because men don’t like it when women are “tainted goods” and would never want to be in a relationship with a woman who’s been with that many men.    So, we’re back to the old chestnut that women have to control and compose their behavior to suit what men want so that they can land one and be in a stable relationship.

News flash: not every woman wants or cares if she’s in a relationship.

News flash #2: not all guys care how many partners a woman’s had, and some actually see a very experienced woman as a plus, because it means his sex life with her will be hot

News flash #3: lots of women, I would say MOST women, enjoy sex.  Like, as much as men. (*again, gasp*)

News flash #4 – and this is important – TO HELL WITH MEN!  I know a lot of you reading this are thinking “Teresa, obviously there’s a double-standard, but that’s just how it is, and if a woman wants a man she can’t be advertising her numbers like that.”

The people who’ve said that to me DRIVE ME CRAZY!  First of all, just because that’s “how it is”, doesn’t mean it’s right.  It was once common for there to be separate “White” and “Colored” bathrooms, too.  It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.  If you live your life according to the way it is without also pursuing life as you want it to be, nothing will ever change for the better.  Any positive (or negative) changes in the world happen because enough people believe they should.  That’s all it takes, but apparently, it’s the most difficult thing to have happen.

So, say it with me: women like sex, too.

Sometimes they like it more than having a boyfriend. This should not be news.  Sometimes they have a boyfriend and that boyfriend lets them sleep with other men (and the women let their boyfriends sleep with other people, too). This should not be news.  Sometimes women don’t have miserable first times. This should not be news.  Sometimes women pursue sex! THIS SHOULD NOT BE NEWS.

My only problem with this woman is that she allowed it to be a news story.  Who did she tell, and why did she feel the need to make it public?  The sluts I know (and I use the term with love, and they know that) are all also extremely classy and discreet.  They are ethical people who are  open about how they live, but they never shove it in people’s faces, never use it as party story fodder unless requested, and generally act (and dress) tastefully.  And they treat their sex partners, whether they are in a relationship with them, or it’s a one night stand, with respect.  Just because someone has a lot of sex doesn’t mean they have to make themselves a sideshow attraction.

So this woman is a slut, but I have more of a problem with her being a media whore.  I think that’s more indicative of the aforementioned “psychological problems” than the sex is in and of itself.

What do you all think? I’d love to hear from guys in particular.  If you found out that the girl you were dating successfully and exclusively had slept with 900 guys before you, how would you react, and why?

**ADDENDUM: I’m sure if any of you reading this actually sat down and counted everyone you’ve ever had sexual encounters with – be it boyfriends or one night stands, be they full-on intercourse, oral sex, or any variation thereof – I think you might surprise yourself with your own number.

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Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 5:23 PM  Leave a Comment  
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To Mourn, or Not to Mourn?

jackson 5

Posted by TERESA

There have been more than the usual number of celebrity deaths this week.  Ed McMahon died earlier this week, and today had the deaths of Farrah Fawcett, after losing her battle with cancer, and more recently, Michael Jackson, of heart failure.

While they all saddened me, as they each in their way took a piece of my childhood with them (I used to say ‘Heeeeeeeeere’s, Johnny!’ all the time when I was little, and made fun of my sister’s ‘Farrah hair’), it was Michael Jackson’s death that prompted me to write something.  Not just because I was a fan of his music, though I was.  I loved his stuff pretty much all the way up to his Dangerous album.  Not just out of nostalgia, though Michael Jackson’s music, be it with the Jackson 5 or solo, was some of the first pop music I ever listened to.

What prompted me to write this was the reactions to his death.  For every person who was posting sad comments on Twitter, or posting old music videos in tribute on Facebook, there was someone else talking about how glad they were he was dead, or how we shouldn’t pretend that he wasn’t a child molester who should be in jail.

thriller

What surprised me wasn’t that those reactions existed – Michael Jackson’s always been a controversial figure – but how angry they made me.  While I loved the man’s music, and respected his place in pop culture, I was never a Michael Jackson fanatic.  Truth be told, before today I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d heard a song of his.  (No wait.  I listened to my Jackson 5’s Greatest Hits CD the other day.  Never mind.) Yet every time I saw someone either speaking ill of him, making light of his death or acting as though we should focus only on the man’s flaws, I got angry.  I couldn’t put my finger on why until I started to write this.

Those comments smack of hatefulness and hypocrisy.

First, it isn’t up to anyone to police grief.  If someone is upset about someone’s death, it isn’t your job to tell them they’re wrong for doing it.  Hateful.

bad

Second, imagine this:

You’re born into a large familly with an emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive father who pretty much pushes you into a music career before you’re remotely near puberty.  This then becomes YOUR LIFE – at the expense of freedom and normal socialization.  It’s as though you’re being punished for being more talented than your other brothers and sisters.  You get older under the constant glare of the spotlight.  There is a solace in music…but on one side your father makes you feel worthless even though you’re the cash cow (Your nose is too big), and on the other you are the BIGGEST STAR IN THE WORLD, which means that you are loved, but impersonally.  You become a well-attended exhibit at the zoo.  You become dehumanized, as any humanity you might have held onto has been replaced with words like “icon.”  After decades, it becomes the only way you know how to interact with the world.

In trying to hold onto your humanity, you latch onto childhood, possibly trying to recreate the one you never really got to enjoy.   This gets you into trouble, because as you’ve been building a fantasy world – creating a child’s play paradise as your home, owning a chimp, dressing up in elaborate costumes – you haven’t figured out how to engage as well with adults.  You try, but it never seems to work as well.

And all the while, people are dancing to your songs in clubs, watching your videos, loving and buying the music.

You’ve mutilated your face to meet with your father’s approval – approval you’re probably never going to get – and people use your love of children and childhood to make a monster of you in the court of public opinion in exchange for hefty payment.  The world of adults has taught you that you are nothing but a commodity to be bought and sold at their whim.  And so you retreat further into childishness…

And all the while, people are dancing to your songs in clubs, watching your videos, loving and buying the music.

Only now, you are also fodder for talk show hosts and comedians.  And they’re not just making good-natured jokes, but very personal ones about you, your family, your children…And everything you do, be it respond in song, face it head-on in a TV interview, or retreat from public view, only seems to exacerbate things.  You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and the gates of hell.

And all the while, people are dancing to your songs in clubs, watching your videos, loving and buying the music.

black or white

Picking up on a theme here?  Michael Jackson’s music has continued to sell.  But not only that – he’s continued to sell magazines, get ratings for TV networks, and have other people make money at his expense.  From the time he was about eight or nine, the American public has been complicit with his father in driving him so far off the deep end that, when asked about it in an interivew, he visibly cannot understand why anyone would think it’s wrong that a child that isn’t his sleeps in his bed.  We’ve continued to buy and enjoy his music as we’ve fed him to the wolves.  Hypocrisy.

Lastly, we don’t just mourn the man.  Only his family and close friends knew him enough to really mourn him.  For the rest of us, it is the passing of an artist we respect, a piece of our childhoods, an influence in music, fashion, dance.  We’ve also lost someone who spent much of his life raising awareness and funds for AIDS research, children’s charities, and the poor and hungry in Africa.

I don’t understand anyone who feels the need to jump on the Death Celebration Train.  Call me crazy, naive, or a bleeding heart, but I’ve never been someone who could be happy about someone’s death.  One of my first thoughts after I heard about Jackson’s death was about his kids.  I’m not trying to be funny, but those kids aren’t accustomed to normal sunlight.  I can’t imagine what they’ll go through now that the one adult they had who was making sense of the world for them – nonsensical as it may have seemed to us – is gone. 

michael and children

Hell, even when Saddam Hussein died I didn’t jump on the celebration bandwagon.  One of my first thoughts was Someone, somewhere misses him and is sad he’s gone.  And HE didn’t write Thriller.

RIP Michael.  Thanks for the music.

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 11:13 PM  Comments (8)  
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Green = Revolution

Just like us.

Just like us.

The Itinerant Artists already think that “Going Green” is pretty important from an environmental standpoint.  But these days, green means something entirely different; something that’s also very important.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know about what’s going on in Iran.  None of us here at The Commune are experts on the situation by any means, but being the artsy, politically active bohemian-types we are, we stand in solidarity with the people of Iran who are trying to ensure that their elections are and remain fair, and that they are allowed their voices – dissident ones included.

This blog, along with many others, has gone green to show our support, and will remain so until the situation ends, or comes to a standstill.  It isn’t much, but we’re doing it in the hopes that some Iranian citizen brave enough to use the internet to organize protests might come across a sea of green and know that they shouldn’t be discouraged; that they have support; and that there’s a whole, wide world out here that cares what happens to them.

ما با شما ايستاده است. ادامه مبارزه با! 🙂

– Head Commune-ist

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 12:07 PM  Comments (2)  
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Dad Was Right

Posted by ADAM

My dad never let me join the Boy Scouts because they were a paramilitary organization and he didn’t want me indoctrinated. Ridiculous, huh? I just wanted to hang out with my friends and learn how to tie knots.

Well, turns out my dad was right.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 11:07 AM  Leave a Comment  
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