Let’s Talk About Sex Wen-dy

Let’s Talk About Sex Wen-dy
May 5, 2015 Kelly Logue

Wendy Chapkis is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Sociology at the University of Southern Maine.  She didn’t really see herself as studying sex workers, but more like studying the practices and meanings of prostitution for women.  Men clearly get the benefits from the prostitution institution.  Sociology has been receptive to her work, she has experienced more hostility within feminist circles, even some women’s studies.  Her ideas about sex workers have often contradictory and always complicated.  “I also often imagined some of them to be proudly renegade women who were sexual outlaws, women who made conscious and instrumental use of men’s ability and desire to pay for sex, who embraced the stigma of the whore and rejected the social controls meant to discipline women’s erotic lives.”

Gay bathhouses, also known as “the tubs” are establishments where men gather for sexual encounters.  In today’s modern world, these bathhouses have even added high-speed internet as some of the services that they offer.  These bathhouses play an important part in the development of the modern gay politics, culture and identities.  These bathhouses are also organized around the pursuit of sex.  “Sexual encounters are initiated and negotiated largely through a number of non-verbal cues.  For example, sustaining eye contact is a sign of sexual interest.  When a man sees someone in whom he’s interested, he will fix his gaze on the man.. If the man returns and holds the gaze, it’s an indication that he shared the attraction.  Breaking eye contact indicates that a man is not interested in a sexual encounter with a particular person.”  These bathhouses serve as sexual and social for many gay men.

Family means a lot of different things to a lot of different peop.e.  For some of us it means love and support.  That these are the people we can always depend on.  “The reality is that families differ.  They differ across time, across cultures, and within a particular society.  However, in terms of ideology, some families are better than others and certain families are not even recognized.”  LGBT families challenge existing cultural assumptions which includes the assumption of the relationship between marriage and procreating.  “Alternative insemination (AI) procedures such as donor insemination (DI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) have had a significant impact on the ways that families are formed, and how they are being legally recognized.”

There are many sex stores that can be found all across America.  Sex stores are allowed to sell pornographic media, sex novelties, toys, sexual accessories, devices, and sexually charged humor items.  “Traditional sex shops sell a variety of goods, ranging from gag gifts and novelties like penis-shaped pasta and drinking straws and bachelorette party favors to vibrators to pornographic videos.”  On the other hand, feminist sex shops often do not carry anything made with jelly plastic.  Every feminist sex shop provides classes and workshops on given locations.  The workshops are also offered on flirting, strip-tease, communicating about sex, masturbation, and a variety of sex practices. “As feminist sex stores continue to grow, new generations of people of all genders and sexualities find ways to meet their sexual needs and explore the depths of their sexual pleasures through these retail and community spaces.”

Kelly Logue
I am 22-years-old and a Broadcast Journalism major with a minor in Justice. I am also on the women's basketball team for UAF and will be graduating spring 2015.


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