Sexuality & Body Image with Virgie Tovar
Today, we tackle Sexuality and Body Image with Virgie Tovar. Virgie is the author of the upcoming fat positive anthology Hot &Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion(Seal Press, November 2012). She holds an MA in Human Sexuality, is certified as a sex educator, and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book, Destination DD: Adventures of a Brest Fetishist with 40DDs. After teaching Female Sexuality at UC Berkeley she went onto host The Virgie Show (CBS Radio) from 2007-2008. When she’s not teaching sexuality seminars or shimmying as her burlesque alter ego, Dulce de Lecherous, she is creating content for her video blog: Virgie Tovar’s Guide to Fat Girl Living. Virgie has been featured on Playboy Radio and Women’s Entertainment Television. She lives in San Francisco.
In The News:
- The City of Anchorage kills the gay-rights bill, again. It’s a city legacy, and a family tradition, as the last time this happened, it was at the hands of the current mayor’s father. Sigh, if it weren’t for Salmon, Crab and some of the most beautiful nature imaginable, we’d wonder if Alaska had anything going for it. Maybe it’s just their insane politicians that are the problem.
- The State of Nebraska forced a woman to carry her dying fetus until her body naturally rejected it, thanks to their new anti-abortion legislation. Yup. Felt her baby grasping for life, over the course of a week, as it was inevitably crushed by her uterus thanks to a “fetal pain” law. Irony at its worst.
- The US Supreme Court approved state’s rights to strip search anyone arrested and entering jail for even minor offenses, regardless of criminal background or the absence of any sort of violence or threatening behavior in the arrest and subsequent transport. That’s right, if you look suspicious, you can be stripped, as long as you are in their control. If they weren’t cops, that would be called rape.
- iVillage.com lists the best & worst states for women based on a variety of criteria. Thankfully, both California and Washington (our home states) are in the top 10, so we don’t have to move.
Word Of The Week:
Gender! People often confuse gender with what we think of as “sex.” Sex typically refers to the biological reproductive organs and chromosomes that people are born with. Gender, on the other hand, refers to how people see themselves, and how they “feel.” So a trans person, for instance, is typically born with the chromosomes and genitalia of one sex, but they feel – and therefore ARE – the other. So they don’t fit in the neat box of “sex.” A trans woman who lives as a woman IS a woman and has the right to be treated as one, regardless of the genitalia she was born with.
To further complicate matters, some people are born what’s called “intersexed” with indeterminate genitalia. So they don’t fit in the neat little boxes of “sex” either.
None of these things are choices. Nor are they disorders. But because society often looks down on people whose gender identities aren’t easily aligned with the little sex boxes, they can face discrimination and abuse, and live with a great deal of shame and fear.
Tops & Bottoms:
Lanae’s Top: Mirror, Mirror, for rewriting this tired tale into a playful feminist manifesto that is as fun as it is empowering.
Lanae’s Bottom: Either Karl’s Junior or Kate Upton for their appalling pseudo-porn burger ad.
Alyssa’s Top: Audacia Ray for her State Of The Sexual Union Opening Panel talk at Momentum Conference, which addressed issues of inclusiveness and sexual freedom head-on and balls-forward.
Alyssa’s Bottom: Dara Lynn Weiss for the article she wrote in March’s Vogue about putting her 7 year-old on a diet and demeaning her in public and private. Then rewarding her with pretty dresses.
Tip of the Week:
Take a guided tour of your body. With the lights on. You can do it alone, or with a partner. Either way, look at every nitty gritty portion of your body. Find all the places, that make you “you.” Scars, wrinkles, muscles, whatever…. If you’re doing this with a lover, let yourself feel exposed and vulnerable, admit if you feel that way, and let them tell you what they love about you, even if it’s things that you don’t love. As silly, or simple, as this sounds, this is a really great step towards knowing that you are lovable and loved, exactly as you are. No masks. Treating yourself to this kind of self love is just as important, maybe more. So find 3 things that you LOVE about your body and say them outloud – alone or with a partner.