A Crash Course on Anorexia

In today’s sex+ I covered some thoughts on the anorexia, including:
I. Pro-anorexia blogging communities
II. The spiral into anorexia
III. The difference between dieting & an eating disorder
IV. What’s behind an eating disorder: more than weight
V. What causes anorexia – personal characteristics of anorexics
VI. Why anorexia affects more women than men – cultural theories

This article will fill in the gaps to give a fuller understanding of anorexia, including:
I. Defining and classifying anorexia
II. Anorexia statistics
III. Identifying anorexia in someone else
IV. Could you be anorexic?
V. What anorexia does to your body
VI. How anorexia is treated
VII. How to help someone with anorexia

What is anorexia?
Anorexia Nervosa is referred to as an eating disorder and a mental disorder and is socially transmitted. It is defined as:
-Refusal to maintain a healthy body weight
-Fear of gaining weight
-Distorted body image

The life and thoughts of an anorexic revolve around their weight and eating habits. Mealtimes are points of stress in the endless pursuit of losing more weight. No matter how skinny someone with anorexia becomes, they never feel it is good enough. Those with anorexia will, in general, adamantly deny that they need intervention.
Continue reading

The War on Birth Control

More and more it seems like “Republican” is just a code word for “religious”.

As a sex educator, this seriously alarms me. In examining oppression, culture, and discourse around sex, it comes up time and time again that religion is one of the most oppressive institutions around — especially the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism).



What is most deeply insulting to me is the effect these religions have on the lives on their victims. Far too often, religion robs people of a powerful human experience by telling them what to do with their bodies, when to do it, how to do it, what reasons they should have for doing it, and with whom they should do it with (and if you don’t obey, you will burn forever in hell). Abrahamic religion makes its victims feel detached and resentful of their sexuality. It creates a culture of shame and guilt around sex. It stigmatizes “virginity” and reduces women to baby-making factories. It encourages mass mutilation of mens’ genitals. It is the sole force behind “abstinence only education” – a taxpayer funded program which keeps people ignorant about sexuality. It polices our expression of gender. It forces us into relationship structures that hurt us. It encourages poor, self-sabotaging behaviors in relationships. It apologizes for & even condones rape. It glorifies heterosexuality & men. It teaches people to be okay with discrimination and hatred. It punishes the innocent, from day 1, with a life of fear and unquestioning obedience where there should be discovery, bravery, and endless curiosity.

The latest in their never-ending assault on human beings is the Republicans/religious right’s war on birth control. I’ve got to say, they must be out of their minds if they really think this is the right battle for them. 99% of women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.

99%.

I’m in awe at the sheer stupidity. Whose bright idea was it to wage said “war” on birth control when it affects the vast majority of the population? Politically speaking, do conservatives realize that women fought for the right to vote 90 years ago…and won? OHAI Romney, Santorum, Paul, and Gingrich–each of whom have laced their campaigns with sexism– just a reminder that women vote.

Continue reading

Chest Binding Guide

I can haz emailz?

Hi Laci! I’m a female that identifies as male, and I’ve been curious about maybe trying to bind my chest (in a healthy manner). I’ve heard about all of these ways to bind your chest, but so many of them seem to have these side effects or health issues. Like one friend of mine tried to bind herself using Ace bandages (which, as you know, compress), so she unknowingly was binding her chest with bandages that compressed! I’m sorry if this is a really random question, but…Do you think you could help me out with a nice, safe way to chest bind?

I once tried binding my boobs down when I was in high school. My friends and I somehow decided that DUCT TAPE was a good idea. Dear lord….never again! I thought that shit was going to pull my nipples clean off.

Yeah….I know. Lesson learned.

For those who are wondering, FTM (female to male – female sex/male gender) binding is pretty common as a way to alter gender expression. Chest binding is also used for cosplay or to cross dress. While Duct Tape is the bottom of the barrel, Ace bandages are not a very sustainable idea either. These bandages work in a way that causes them to become tighter/less flexible every time they are used, which with multiple uses could: warp your ribcage, weaken your chest muscles, cause fluid to build up in your lungs, or other serious back harm. Do not want.

To reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of injury by binding with an Ace bandage:

(1) Use each bandage only a couple times.
(2) Don’t bind for longer than 8 hours.
(3) Don’t bind too tightly (try puffing your chest up while you’re binding).
(4) Wear something under it to prevent digging & binding too tightly (tank tops, t-shirts, and sports bras seem to work well for this).
(5) Stretch a little once it’s on – this helps, especially if it comes out a little lopsided. Take a deep breath, hug yourself, and twist back and forth a few times.

Continue reading

Gaming is for STRAIGHT GUYS!

I love that more gamers are speaking out about the straight-white-male character domination in video games. Awhile ago, I had a tweet stream discussing Bioware’s outspoken stand against players who felt “violated” by the option to choose gay relationships in the game.

I’ll sum up the exchange.

Neglected straight male gamer“:

I don’t think many would argue with the fact that the overwhelming majority of RPG gamers are indeed straight and male. Sure, there are a substantial amount of women who play video games, but they’re usually gamers who play games like The Sims, rather than games like Dragon Age. That’s not to say there isn’t a significant number of women who play Dragon Age and that BioWare should forego the option of playing as a women altogether, but there should have been much more focus in on making sure us male gamers were happy.

“Neglected straight male gamer” translated: WAHHHH!!!! What about ME?! I’m a neglected majority! How dare you think about women & gays as much as ME? This is oppression! I’M MORE IMPORTANT, DAMNIT!!

Here was Bioware’s response:
Continue reading

President Roosevelt…in a dress?

Speaking of gender….

Ah, an ode to the “gender obsession” that has only recently been exhibited in much of the world. I remember once getting into my parents’ old photo box. My dad got super flustered and embarrassed when I pulled out a picture of him as a baby living in Iran. There he was in the garden with my grandma, sporting long curly locks & a big poofy dress. Haha, I find it hilarious how deeply the photo seems to disturb him. It’s definitely not considered “normal” anymore to grow a male child’s hair out and dress them in dresses.

If the baby has a penis, we gender them “boy” and immediately immerse them in their social training about what it means to be a boy. I recall a particularly amusing episode of Rugrats which commented on this phenomenon. In the episode “Clan of the Duck“, Chuckie and Phil notice that Betty (feminist mama extraordinaire, incase you didn’t catch that when you were 7) wears pants. With a swift kick of radical baby logic, they decide that it’s not fair that boys aren’t allowed to wear dresses. So, they cross dress. The commentary thickens as Chuckie and Phil embark on an adventure wherein they encounter other babies who think that they are girls. Oh mayn. I love Rugrats.

Continue reading