Thursday, February 27, 2003

We had the most wonderful yoga class tonight, quite wonderful.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Much like Caro I've been spending alot of time lately thinking about what to do and how to afford it. It's rather depressing in some senses. Somehow it just seems like no matter what there will just not be enough money. Now maybe it seems that way to me because I've always had it pretty good. I've always had good insurance and could afford to see whatever healthcare professionals I needed/wanted to see. I never really worried that much about how things cost (beyond reasonable things, I mean). But now I'm sitting here trying to figure out how two people can live on next to nothing. Yeah, I know it can be done, I just don't like the idea of doing it. I don't want to give up my doctors and my good health care. I understand that things would be tight, but going without insurance for two years scares me. But at the same time, the prospect of living with my parents for another two years is not all that pleasant either. My relationship with my boy is not really something that exists compatably in close quarters with my parents. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents. But they don't really see things the way I do, and my relationship is part of that slight oversight. The way my relationship with my boy exists is not something that's really compatable with my parents. Being married is the solution to that, and I do want to be married to him. I want that very much. But getting married comes with this huge set of problems on its own.

Now of course it's important to understand the fact that I'm only covered under my parents insurance till I'm 24 anyway. That means that in less than two years I'll be without insurance anyway, and we're talking about getting married in a little over a year. I'd only be sacrificing about 7 months of coverage. And I suppose there's always the option of me getting a second job to provide extra income. It's a terribly frightening thing though, I've never had to worry about things like this before. I've been crunching numbers, trying to figure out how this would work. Somehow I figure that I must be doing something wrong. It seems like other people make stuff like this work all the time, I'm just not sure how they do it, honestly. It's awfully confusing. I mean, I know how to come up with a budget and everything...I guess maybe I just don't know how to estimate the cost of EVERYTHING. I just don't know.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

I believe that it's time to address something quite serious in here. This has been prompted by Heather's most recent entry concerning why it seems that most sex education leaves out a very important aspect, or even gives the impression of condemning it...masturbation.

I have a very clear memory of the first time I ever masturbated. Of course I didn't call it that at the time. I didn't really have a word for what I did, and although I knew that boys did something called masturbating, I had no real sense of exactly what that was. I was in fifth grade, and I had recently started secretly "borrowing" my mom's trashy romance novels and reading just the "good parts". I realized one day that this was making my nether regions distinctly tingly and rather damp. I'll admit that I wasn't quite sure why this was happening, or what it was all about exactly, but it didn't seem like a bad thing. Then one day I stayed home from school. My parents were at work, I had the whole house to myself. I was watching something on TV that either had to do with strippers or harem girls, I'm really not sure which. And all those odd feelings from reading those "borrowed" novels seemed to come rushing back. The next thing you know, I'd concocted a very vivid mental story having to do with what I was seeing on TV. I was a player in my little internal narrative, and I was enjoying it. Here I was suddenly thinking these things, and discovering wonderfully inviting bits of myself, and doing it every chance I got.

No, I didn't have an orgasm that day, nor any day after that. In fact, I didn't have my first solo orgasm until I was 20. During high school, I attended a Christian school. Sex wasn't even mentioned unless it was in the context of "fornication", "adultery", "sin", or any other number of unpleasant words. And I feel that I can quite safely say that the word "masturbation" was never spoken. However, it was presented quite plainly that ANY sexual feeling or expression outside of marriage was wrong and evil. If you had a sexual thought, feeling, or inclination, you should pray to God to take that feeling away and to give you something more holy to think about. Sexuality in general was something dirty if it was outside marriage. It was supposed to be something like a gift given to you as soon as that little gold ring wrapped itself around your finger. A light shines down, the angels sing, and your sexuality descends from Heaven. By the time I was in high school, I knew more about what masturbation was, but it still seemed to be something that was solely male. It existed within the male sphere. Women were never to even consider such a thing, their sexuality existed solely within the context of male sexuality. You see, while there may have been this definate negative statement made against masturbation in general, it was still silently accepted for men. As long as they were private about it and kept it to themselves, you just pretended it didn't exist. I had begun to feel somewhat like a stranger living in my own skin by that point. While I knew that I shouldn't be ashamed of my body or hide it just so I would not ever provoke someone else to have a sexual thought, some of that insidious nastiness snuck into my subconscious. My genitals were somehow suddenly off limits even to me. While just a few years earlier I had been happily sliding a finger into my vagina just to see if I could do it and what it would feel like, now I found myself suddenly unable to even wear a tampon. I just couldn't bring myself to put anything in THERE. As Heather said, it was like, "please step away and take your hands off the coochie, step AWAY from the coochie." I wasn't really in charge of my own body anymore.

As far as what I learned at home, there was never a mention of masturbation. Sex was something that should exist within marriage, and doing it outside marriage was like playing with a loaded gun. Though I must admit, there was never any genital shame taught in my home. My mom's a nurse, so it became clear very early on that everything down there was perfectly normal and wasn't anything to be ashamed of.

I'll admit that for quite a while I did labor under the misinformation that my sexuality had to be tied up with some man's before I could reach orgasm. In fact, I'll even admit the fact that my first orgasm was during partnered sexual activity. Even then I still had such a mental block about it that I just could not reach orgasm on my own. Sure, I could get close, but I could never actually orgasm because this horrible, insideous feeling of dirtyness would surface from someplace inside my subconscious. By the time I reached that first orgasm with a partner, I was incredibly close to being able to orgasm on my own. And given a few more weeks, I probably could have. The first orgasm I ever had on my own was still an incredibly special thing though. I had finally overcome that feeling of guilt. And I was so excited that I just wanted to tell everybody that I'd FINALLY done it. Now I'm happily guilt free and able to orgasm at will...with or without someone else being present.

And I love having that ability. I look back at the years of uneducated fear and shame with a sense of sadness. Saddness because this is something that clearly could have been avoided. For this reason, I totally agree with Heather. Masturbation should definately be included in sex ed cirriculum. Kids are getting their selves all tangled up sexually. Confusion and misinformation are running rampant. No, you can't teach somebody to masturbate, nor should you. But you can teach them that masturbation is not dirty. It's not evil. If won't make you grow hair in strange places, or stop your genitals from growing, or scar you forever sexually. And frankly, they are your genitals and you may do with them what you wish. There is no reason whatsoever to continue to foster this idea that a part of your body is off limits even to you.

I'd also like to second this idea about handing out vibrators as a first menstruation gift. Wonderful idea. That's one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. I'd have met my clitoris much sooner if someone had done that for me.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Ooo, what a day. I wrote an entry in here earlier this week, but apparently the server has eaten it or something. It seems to have disappeared into the primordial limbo of the net.

Anyway, about my last entry...it was basically about how fabulous my weekend was. I completely suprised my boy for our anniversary. :) He was pretty excited about it, as was I. However it does mean that I'm dead tired this week. I'm better today, but still, I am tired.

Monday, February 03, 2003

I realize that I have not yet said anything here about the recent shuttle explosion. In part, that is because I simply have not known what to say. And in part, it is because I simply haven't been ready to deal with it.

I'll begin by saying that I remember the Challenger explosion. I was quite young at the time, but I can remember exactly where I was when I heard. And I can remember that sinking feeling that I had. I remember bursting into tears. I had wanted to be an astronaut, and was so excited that a lady who was a teacher would be going into space. After that, space seemed a little bit scary, and I thought it might be best to wait until they'd perfected things.

Last weekend's events certainly prove that sometimes things simply happen. I'm sure that they had prepared very carefully for the shuttle mission. But sometimes things just go wrong. It may be someone's fault, it may be no one's fault. It is sad that it happened, and my heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones on that shuttle. But I do take comfort in the fact that those people died doing something that they obviously loved and believed in. They wanted to be on that shuttle and worked very hard to get there. Each one must have been fascinated by space and the promises it holds. I do not mean to minimize the tradgedy, but there are worse ways to die than by doing something that you love and believe in. And it is for that reason that people will still be lining up to board shuttles. We will continue in space and their memory will help to guide and encourage us.

Wherever they are, may they walk freely and with the knowledge that we will never forget them.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Blah, what a boring weekend it has been. I haven't gotten nearly enough done, and that's no one's fault but my own. I really should have done more...but ya know, some days are just like that. Somehow, no matter how much you may WANT to get something done, it just seems impossible. Next week I've got alot to do though. I'll have a quiz on Friday, and a test on Monday that I'm rather worried about.

Ooo, Sydney and Vaughn are getting it on...yay for that! Can I just say, "Yum!" I'll volunteer for a mission to get in the middle of that! :)

Time to do more homework...