AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “consent”

AskMiriam about Nudity on the Internet

Q:¬†You seem to be sexually “liberated” (if that’s not too old-fashioned a term), and so I’m just curious to know your opinion regarding women who post nude pictures of themselves on the Internet.

(1) Do you believe, as some would assert, that, despite the “average housewife/girl-next-door” image that many websites seek to promote, the majority are in reality professional, or at least semi-professional, prostitutes?

(2) Do you feel that they contribute to – again as some would maintain – a general decline in social morals or are they rather brave pioneers opening the way to a better, sexually freer future?
A: I find this question very interesting for several reasons. First of all, I’ve done nude modelling. I’m fortunate in that, with a few exceptions, I’ve not been made ashamed of my body. As for the first part of the question, I don’t take well to women being categorized as prostitutes. There is nothing wrong with women who choose to be sex workers or women who have lots of sex, and this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with whether they are posting nude photos of themselves or not. I’m sure that there are some sites that use women’s photos to promote sexual services, but I hope that the majority do not. Women should have the choice to post nude photos of themselves without those photos being misappropriated. Women also have to contend with the fact that, as an example, Facebook will not allow photos showing women’s nipples. However, it’s perfectly ok for men to show theirs. This double standard needs to end.
As for the second part, I’m more inclined toward the latter, but it’s a complex issue. Our sexual mores have changed and will continue to change over time. Nude photos are just one part of the equation. Women post and send nude photos for all sorts of reasons; men do the same. Men send pictures of their penises to both men and women all the time, often without being asked to do so. Does this indicate that we are sexually freer? Perhaps, but I also think that being sexually free involves consent. I think that we should all have the freedom to post nude pictures of ourselves without being nervous as to what that could entail. Many people are afraid of the consequences for their careers, their children and other family members, and on their social interactions. As we continue to live in a sex and body negative culture, nudity will be seen as taboo. Will this change as a result of women posting nude photos on the Internet? Maybe. I think it’s a matter of how those women are seen by those close to them, and by society in general.
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A Poly Emergency

The most important thing you should know regarding this post is that I’m an avid cyclist. I use my bike as my main mode of transportation. 2 days ago, I was hit by a car for the first time. I’ve been regularly cycling for about 10 years, so you can imagine my shock when this happened. I escaped with a scraped arm and a small bump on my head (I was wearing a helmet, but it came off). I was very lucky to be helped by 2 women who took me to my doctor’s office, which happened to be across the street from where the accident happened. My doctor wrote a note, which I took to the emergency room. The 2 women stayed with me until my mother arrived. My mom happens to work close to the hospital I ended up going to. I wasn’t horribly injured, but my mom wanted me to stay with her that night. I explained to her that I recently started seeing someone and I wanted to stay at his house. Her first reaction was, but you’re marrying Ben. Her second reaction was, does Ben know about this? My father had the same reaction when I told him about Tony last weekend. I wasn’t shy to tell my father about the birthday threesome with Ben and Tony, but I didn’t share this information with my mother.

Communication and consent are the cornerstones of polyamory. When the word polyamory was first created by Morning Glory Zell in the 1980s, the given definition was: The practice, state or ability of having more than
one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full
knowledge and consent of all partners involved. I bolded the words knowledge and consent because they are very pertinent, especially in this case. Yes mom and dad, Ben and Tony know about each other. One would think that my mom would be happy that I have 2 men to take care of me, especially when one lives out of town. I realize that I deprived her of the opportunity to take care of me 2 nights ago, but one would hope that she’d be happy that I have Tony around; Ben certainly was. After I left the hospital, I walked myself and my bike home. I got a few things, talked to Ben, and then Tony picked me up.

In the car to his place, Tony and I talked about our relationship. We’ve known each other for less than a month, but we definitely get along well. However, the circumstances are somewhat strange because Ben and I might be leaving soon to go overseas. I realize that I often rush things. I want to put a label on the relationship, partly because I don’t like the beginning of relationships; there’s a lot of uncertainty around how things will develop. I asked Tony if he might want to attend one of my ultimate frisbee games. The week after next, Ben will be in town, so the 3 of us could go together. I told Tony that I would tell my teammates that these are my 2 boyfriends. Then we got into a conversation about the term ‘boyfriend’ – I think it’s a very juvenile label and prefer to use the term partner. He said, that’s a very serious label since we haven’t known each other that long. Of course, partner can be an ambiguous term. In this case, I think I need to let go of my need for labels and just let this relationship be. After all, this is no emergency…

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