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Selfcare & Sexual Wellness

Gender Specifics

There was a time when the question was a simple ‘Male or Female’? Nowadays, the question has expanded to a whole paragraph, with many people not even understanding some descriptions on the page in front of them.
It comes back to that whole labelling obsession we now have. Society demands we label ourselves and each other and at times it’s difficult to recall which labels we have attached!
If (as a female who may occasionally partake in some female company) I must categorize my gender as no longer simply being ‘Female’, which option should I go for?
I could go the whole way and decide that I am ‘Gender Neutral’. Gender Neutral is a term invented by people who prefer that language, policies and social institutions avoid distinguishing roles according to someone’s sex or gender.
Almost 40% of the world’s population speaks a gender native language. This of course proves problematic for those against any kind of gender based societal practices.

Gender Types
In general terms, there are only 4 genders that apply to living and non-living objects, which are masculine, feminine, neuter and common.
Other more recent listings will have you believe that there are more than 50 different genders, including Androgynous, Bigender, Cis Female, Genderqueer, Non-binary, Pangender, Transexual and many more.
Why the need to produce type after type of different styles and types of being. I am (after all) a product of my parents, born a female and still acting to all intent and purposes, as a female. However, does my sexual activity mean I should be relabelled as bisexual?
The big question is whether it is the individual themselves who wish to be labelled or indeed invent the label, or is it others unable to accept someone outside of the norm, who are making up these labels on (what seems to be) a daily basis?

The Language of Gender
If you play sport, you may refer to yourself as a ‘Sportsman’ or ‘Sportswoman’. That definition allows other people to identify the individual as female or male. It doesn’t necessarily provide any political or social reasoning behind the person participating. If we all start using the term ‘Sportsperson’, doubts and questions are immediately at the forefront of our mind.
If it’s a footballer, those opposed to females playing footie will be desperately trying to ascertain if their interest is piqued or not. I personally dislike watching female footballers and cannot watch female boxers but to be honest, with boxing, which includes males also. I hate fighting – period! For similar reasons I dislike Rugby and Wrestling. Some men feel the same way. It’s nothing to do whether it is a female or male dominated sport. It’s the activity and general feeling behind the sport in question.
There is no denying that when someone excels in an activity normally undertaken by the opposite sex, people generally sit up and take note. Whether it is due to their physique being matched to the pursuit, or achieved through years of training, they are noted and celebrated as going against the norm.

Gender Neutrality and the Human Race
The incidence of individuals being born which are neither masculine or feminine is incredibly small and yet society has introduced any number of descriptions relating to someone who does not fit the typical mould.
The big question is, who requested those labels? Was it the individuals themselves, or those seeking to extract them from a generalised description?
Surely a world where we are all classed as individuals is paramount to allowing everyone to exist in a world of equality. We are (in the main) either male or female because of the chromosome that the male parent contributes. We are born and then grow with a straightforward set of biological structures, depending upon whether we are born male or female. Our parents tend to concentrate on supplying the care required, depending upon our sex.

Acceptance
Some people do not feel comfortable with their allotted gender and struggle from an early age to fit into a mould which doesn’t suit them. Instead of seeing these people as having problems, why do we not see them as simply not conforming to a nominal standard? Why can we not allow them to flourish as an individual human being?
We do not need to label or put them inside a box which conforms to a set standard. Looking beyond what society demands is surely the way forward. Allowing everyone the freedom to be whomever they want to be, at any time they want to be, is surely a better way forward.

Removing the stigma of labelling and anything which does not conform means we progress towards a greater understanding of others. Acceptance is the key to opening up a much bigger and brighter world for all.

Love Carla Sez x

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Have you ever ‘sexted’ someone?

Sexting, or the sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos, messages or videos on mobile devices, is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away. Compared with Adam & Eve’s survey results from 10 years ago, adults seem to have embraced the virtual habit.

When asked if they engaged in sexting, 42% of the respondents admitted they had, compared to only 17% in 2011. While 46% of those polled said they did not sext, that is significantly lower than the 56% polled in 2011 who said they did not. Additionally, 12% of recent respondents preferred not to answer, versus only 2% in 2011.
“Sexting can be a fun, flirty way to let your significant other know you are thinking of them during the day or when you are separated by distance,” says Dr. Jenni Skyler, resident sexologist at Adam & Eve. “As a method of foreplay, sexting can set the mood and let your partner know exactly what’s on your mind. I encourage sexting participants to remember that naughty photos and fantasies don’t take the place of consent or communication.”
They also found that the prevalence of sexting increases with age among adolescents, but not among adults, and that people who are in a relationship are more likely to engage in sexting. These results suggest that, contrary to popular belief, young adults are more likely to engage in sexting than teenagers, and sexting may be a common behavior in established young adult relationships.

Sexting and other factors
The research found that:
· Females were more likely than males to feel pressured to send sexts;
· People who send and receive sexts are more likely to be sexually active; People who send and receive sexts are more likely to engage in sexual risk-taking behaviour (e.g., unprotected sex, alcohol and drugs); and
· People who had sent or received sexts regarded sexting more positively than those who hadn’t.
Some of the study’s reviewed looked at demographic factors such as race, sexual orientation, education or employment status but results were mixed and no clear associations between these factors and sexting were able to be determined.
The web-based survey, conducted by an independent third party survey company, of over 1,000 American adults age 18 and up, was sponsored by Adam & Eve to study sexual preferences and practices.

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New Dating Trend Prioridating

You don’t need to hold your sex, dating, love, or relationship life hostage for a perfect someone. Newsflash! No one is perfect. The quest for the best one has left many suitable people blue-ticked.

How Prioridating Works?
Everywhere you turn online, there are relationship goals and new dating standards. If you follow them, no one will ever be good enough for you. And if you’re a perfectionist, you’ll be too fantastic for everyone else. What is the middle ground? Prioridating!

The term was coined by dating coach Laurel House, a relationship expert at eHarmony, and it’s all about prioritizing yourself and your primary needs in order to find and build a healthy, lasting relationship. “Prioridating is dating on purpose, the purpose being to find someone who fulfills the one most important thing you need in a relationship,” House explains. “Historically, many people have dated based on a list of wants. Many of those wants are being superficial or not thoroughly thought through, as opposed to core values and relationship-sustaining needs that will impact your future.”

“What’s your number one most important priority when it comes to finding a partner? Determine that, and you WILL find and fulfill your need. Your one most important thing might be Safe- physical, emotional, financial safety. It might be feeling Cared For, or Romance, or a Partner, or Fun, or Friendship, or Adventure, or Family. Whatever your one priority is, you must align with it. Your conversations, associations, thoughts, actions, attitude must all align with the Priority of being, feeling, experiencing, living that Priority.​”

“PrioriDating is about you- your life, your experience of life, based on your perspective, created by your past experiences, that shaped who you are and what you need moving forward. It’s time to own and show up as the Priority and with your Priority in mind and in action. Once you define and align with your priority, you have a better chance at discovering and fulfilling your needs — first (and most importantly) within yourself and then within a partner. Win-win-win.” — Laurel House.

Before you think everyone’s just going to be like “I want someone hot,” that’s actually proven to no longer be the case. According to Match’s 2021 Singles in America study, 22 percent of people don’t really care about “physical attractiveness” in a partner, which is a 12 percent increase from 2020. On the flip side, 84 percent of singles want someone they can confide in and 83 percent want to be with someone “emotionally mature.”
If the years the study took place made you double-take, that’s because the pandemic had a clear impact on what people are now looking for when it comes to love. While that era seemed like an endless hell of Zoom dates and Skype calls, in reality, it prompted the majority of singles to re-evaluate their concept of relationships. With so much time spent chatting and connecting in isolation, people realized the value in qualities like humour, open-mindedness, and effective communication over more superficial traits like physical attractiveness and lifestyle, says Lozano. You know, things that really stand out during a global crisis!

Prioridating is not settling.
You deny your deepest desires. You don’t have to be this person who resents others for getting what they deserve. Someone’s looks, height, or bank account won’t matter when you need emotional support. It’s true.
I had a friend who said she could carry her baby’s looks. Why would she say this? We were being picky about how her man looked. But she knew he was a supportive guy. And would not question her decision because of something frivolous.

It is not settling. Why?
You aren’t expecting the world of your partner. Because you have removed society’s checklist to use for comparisons. So, choosing them doesn’t feel like settling. And you can always self-confirm your choice when external people criticize your decision.

How can prioridating work for you?
Pick someone who meets your current priority. But this person is also self-developing. By then, they should have grown to meet your new needs.
For example, you require support. You picked a supportive partner, but they don’t have it together financially. It’s okay, for now, because they are building their startup or returning to school. Years later, you can evaluate your needs and your partner’s ability to meet them.
On paper, that sounds terrible. But in a relationship, you will do this evaluation, anyway. That’s why people regret who they married or their age at first marriage or child. Prioridating allows for planning to reduce regrets.

Your partner complements you. They do not complete you.
If you want to align with a partner, aim to be that person for yourself first. If you have trauma and this isn’t possible, give yourself the grace to grow emotionally.

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Will genetics progress make sex bygone?

According to Hank Greely, the director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Law and Biosciences, human reproduction may become automated faster than you realize.
Greely believes that within three decades, people will no longer have sex as a way to reproduce, and instead rely on genetically edited embryos grown from skin-derived stem cells, not the combination of an egg or sperm, The Independent reported.

According to Greely, this process ensures that the embryo is free from any devastating genetic diseases, and would also be cheaper in the long run because of the money it would save in healthcare over the years. What’s more, Greely predicts that couples would be able to choose other genetic traits in their children, such as physical features and intelligence.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to say this embryo will get a 1550 on its two-part SAT,” Greely said this week at Aspen Ideas Festival, Quartz reported, “But, this embryo has a 60% chance of being in the top half, this embryo has a 13% chance of being in the top 10%—I think that’s really possible.”

This may sound far-fetched, but the gap between sex and procreation has been widening for the past 50 years thanks to the rise of fertility drugs, embroynic genetic testing, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Over the last ten years in the UK, egg freezing has increased tenfold, from just under 230 cycles in 2009 to almost 2,400 cycles in 2019. IVF birth rates in 2019 were three times higher than in 1991, and the use of egg and sperm donors has risen, too. “Now, maybe three or four per cent of the babies born in the developed world are conceived in some manner other than sexual intercourse, and I think in the future that percentage will go up,” Greely adds.

When scientists figure out how to make this work for humans, infertile and queer couples could have biological babies without needing to go through costly and risky procedures like IVF, donors or surrogates. Single people, meanwhile, could produce ‘uni babies’, using both eggs and sperm grown from their cells.

The idea may sound far-out, but according to Quartz, it already happens on a much smaller and limited scale as a way to prevent certain diseases. Although extremely expensive at the moment, advances in stem cell technology will help to drive down the cost. In addition, the amount that the government would save on not having to take care of sick babies would also make this more cost-efficient.
As many of you may worry, this is not the end of sex because recreational sex will always be with us, but it’s the end of sex as a way of procreating.
It will not be the complete end. People will still get pregnant the old-fashioned way, maybe for religious reasons, for philosophical reasons, for romantic reasons or maybe because they are teenagers and the back seat of the car is there.

“Eugenics is a slippery word; it means many things to different people. To some, it’s state-enforced reproductive control. To some, what we had was state-enforced sterilization. To some, it’s any kind of reproductive choice, but those are different things. For me, I think coercion is much more important than the issues of selection. The concern about the state or the insurance company or someone else, forcing you to pick particular babies, worries me a lot more than having parents make choices, though that raises its own set of questions.” Greely said.

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