Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “double standard”

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.

Polyamory: Erasing Double Standards Everywhere

I’ve gotten into many conversations here in Vietnam about the existence of double standards between the sexes. Men are allowed to smoke, have lots of sex, and dress however they like. Of course, in many societies, the same trend exists. Even in Western countries, men have certain liberties that women don’t. Many remember the Toronto police officer who commented that women who dress in a certain way are sluts and are asking to be raped. As an extension, it’s fine for men to have as much sex as they want, but women are judged for doing so. Especially here in Vietnam, many women feel that they need to remain virgins until they get married. I don’t think men here appreciate the pressure women are under to maintain a certain image. Polyamory erases those double standards. Men and women are equally allowed to date and have sex with whomever they want. In fact, women are often encouraged to do what and whomever they wish. If only this were the case in all relationships and societies…

Ben and I thought we’d be leaving for China this week, but that has been delayed to next week due to the Chinese embassy in Hanoi being closed, barring us from processing our Chinese visas. On the upside, that means we can continue seeing some people in Hanoi and meeting new ones. Recently, Ben has been in touch with many people who are interested in swinging and we met 1 such couple yesterday. I was very surprised that the supposedly straight woman was making eyes at me, though she didn’t seem that comfortable with Ben. The man was definitely interested in me. We had a pleasant conversation, centering around culture and travel. However, once that got tired, I felt like we were all just beating around the bush, so to speak. I asked the couple if they were interested and the man told us that the woman was a bit uncomfortable and needed time. Ben and I were a bit disappointed, but at least, we got to go home and have sex. Right after orgasm, the man called us and told us they wanted to see us again that night; the woman had changed her mind. Ben and I were very surprised, but went out to meet them. We found a hotel that would accomodate us. I can’t even imagine what the hotel receptionist thought we were doing, as we booked the room for 4 hours. Regardless, we all had a really good time. Ben and I haven’t had any sort of group sex since we got to Asia, so it felt very overdue. The woman had initially been nervous because she had never been with a white man before, but she really enjoyed being with Ben and I enjoyed being with the man. We all enjoyed watching each other. I sincerely hope that we’ll be able to have such experiences in China, but at this moment, we have no idea…

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