This post is about alternative forms of sex

Thought I'd throw that warning out there.

I was involved in a discussion about the "True Love Waits" sort of pledge for chastity. 4 peer reviewed studies have found these bizarre ceremonies where Daddy pledges his protection of his daughter's "purity" to be essentially totally ineffective. It did, however, find high instances of anal sex in pledgers. I was stunned by this, as I was under the impression that the Bible forbade anal sex. Apparantly not. Although arguable by those who believe that sex should be for procreation. Nonetheless, I found a website that had THIS to say:

This is a good question: If you’re going to have sexual contact before marriage, why not just go the whole nine yards and have regular sex? There are many good reasons for having anal sex instead. The first reason is practical: having conventional vaginal intercourse can lead to unwanted pregnancies. While it’s true that the Lord bade us to “be fruitful and multiply,” (Gen 1:22) the Bible also counsels that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecl. 3:1) Pregnancy outside of wedlock can have dire and life-altering consequences for all those involved. Having anal sex allows you to greatly reduce this risk.
Second, for a young woman who has never engaged in sexual intercourse, having anal sex allows her to preserve her virginity (i.e., maintain an intact hymen) until marriage. There is no greater gift that a bride can give than to offer her pure, unsullied maidenhead to her husband on their wedding night.
Finally, anal sex allows both partners to save the most intimate and powerful sexual act, that of face-to-face vaginal intercourse, for their mates in marriage. This type of sexual relationship represents the most powerful union between a man and a woman, and so it rightfully should be reserved for one’s life partner. Fortunately, you can engage in anal sex prior to marriage and still be able to share the deeper, more meaningful act of consecrated love through vaginal intercourse with your wedded spouse

WHA? That is possibly the most bizarre thing I've read. This week anyway. I didn't link to it, because I really don't want them visiting me. If you're interested in the website, it is called "Sex in Christ".

Now. Let us discuss this purity nonsense. I respect a young woman's decision to wait to have sex until she is married, ready, 17 and three quarters, whatever. In other words, I respect her decision. What I do not respect is this notion that virginity is some prize that belongs to Daddy, and then to a husband. A virgin is no more "pure" than a non-virgin. What would that make her? Sullied, dirty, sinful? I realize the patriarchal religious roots. I do. I'm not addressing those. I'm addressing logical thougtful reasoning. I think if we can get away from seeing virginity as some sort of prize, it will go a long way toward viewing women as whole beings, rather than by the status of their hymen.

I'm sick of the idea that sex between myself and my husband is somehow lesser because we'd both had previous sexual partners. I remember this skit I did in church once. I had a paper heart and I slowly tore pieces off and gave them to different boys. Then when my "husband" came along, I only had a tiny little piece to give him. I have found that to be slightly misleading in reality. As I did not have a tiny remaning fraction of myself to give to him. I had a whole person. Me. With all my experiences that made me the person he loved.

Well when it comes to YOUR daughter, you'll think differently. Yes, I can hear your thoughts. Something else I'm sick of: The idea that teenaged girls are somehow pressured into sex as if they aren't sexual beings. They aren't someone's future wife, they are THEM. Making their own decisions. Nothing good will come of further demonizing sex, with the implication that for a woman, it makes her less than she was. That social construct will do nothing but perpetuate the idea that a woman's body belongs to someone other than HER. How 'bout I empower my kids to make informed decisions that are best for them and their partner.

Excuse my rant. It had nothing to do with any of you.


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- An inmate stole the gun from a corrections officer and shot him to death Monday when the prisoner was unshackled for a doctor's appointment, authorities said.
Curtis Allgier fled the University of Utah medical center on foot, carjacked a Ford Explorer and was captured miles away at an Arby's restaurant after a high-speed chase.

So how far did this guy think he was going to get? I think he would find it ulitmately difficult to go incognito.


What The World Eats

A Time Magazine photo essay. It's really fascinating. Take a look. Tell me who you most closely resemble.

Visual DNA

I got this from Ann


Take a whiff

ATTENTION LURKERS: I know you have favorite smells. Everyone does..... Delurk already.

Having just taken a big breath of hot rain, I got to thinking about my favorite smells. What are your top 5?

5) Summer thunderstorm
Not very original.
4) Starbucks bathroom soap
Seriously. That stuff smells great.
3) Jasmine.
The actual flowers, not pseudoscent. They remind me of India. They were incorporated into womens' braids and garlands. It's a bonus if they happen to be mixed with the smell of street vendors' cooking. As you can imagine, that doesn't happen too often.
There is something very nostalgic about it. I suppose because I grew up with a wood stove in the basement.
1) Breastmilk breath. There is not a sweeter smell on earth than baby's breath au booby-milk. I heard someone describe it as "applesauce breath". That's pretty close, but I think it's really indescribable.


Top 10 Most Peaceful Countries:

1 Norway
2 New Zealand
3 Denmark
4 Ireland
5 Japan
6 Finland
7 Sweden
8 Canada
9 Portugal
10 Austria

(We're number 96 by the way)


19 countries have banned spanking. They are:

United Kingdom

Canada,Switzerland,and Belgium have limited bans that depend on a child's age.

The top ten peaceful countries are:

New Zealand


You make every day special, just by being you.

From Mental Floss Magazine

15 Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever
Back when I was in 7th grade I stood up in front of my English class and delivered a tongue-in-cheek, poorly researched presentation on why I thought Mister Rogers should be the next President. I ate up the first few minutes zipping up my cardigan, and putting on some sneakers, and then I proceeded to mock him roundly. It was a riotous success. Fourteen years later, I’m using this post to repent. The following are 15 things everyone should know about Fred Rogers:

1. Even Koko the Gorilla loved him
Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English. What most people don’t know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she’d always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!

2. He Made Thieves Think Twice
According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

3. He Watched His Figure to the Pound!
In covering Rogers’ daily routine (waking up at 5; praying for a few hours for all of his friends and family; studying; writing, making calls and reaching out to every fan who took the time to write him; going for a morning swim; getting on a scale; then really starting his day), writer Tom Junod explained that Mr. Rogers weighed in at exactly 143 pounds every day for the last 30 years of his life. He didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t eat the flesh of any animals, and was extremely disciplined in his daily routine. And while I’m not sure if any of that was because he’d mostly grown up a chubby, single child, Junod points out that Rogers found beauty in the number 143. According to the piece, Rogers came “to see that number as a gift… because, as he says, “the number 143 means ‘I love you.’ It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’ One hundred and forty-three.”

4. He Saved Both Public Television and the VCR
Strange but true. When the government wanted to cut Public Television funds in 1969, the relatively unknown Mister Rogers went to Washington. Almost straight out of a Capra film, his 5-6 minute testimony on how TV had the potential to give kids hope and create more productive citizens was so simple but passionate that even the most gruff politicians were charmed. While the budget should have been cut, the funding instead jumped from $9 to $22 million. Rogers also spoke to Congress, and swayed senators into voting to allow VCR’s to record television shows from the home. It was a cantankerous debate at the time, but his argument was that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family.

5. He Might Have Been the Most Tolerant American Ever
Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. Despite being an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first. Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, “God loves you just the way you are.” Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.

6. He Was Genuinely Curious about Others
Mister Rogers was known as one of the toughest interviews because he’d often befriend reporters, asking them tons of questions, taking pictures of them, compiling an album for them at the end of their time together, and calling them after to check in on them and hear about their families. He wasn’t concerned with himself, and genuinely loved hearing the life stories of others. Amazingly, it wasn’t just with reporters. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec’s house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host). On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver’s home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life—the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.

7. He was Color-blind
Literally. He couldn’t see the color blue. Of course, he was also figuratively color-blind, as you probably guessed. As were his parents who took in a black foster child when Rogers was growing up.

8. He Could Make a Subway Car full of Strangers Sing
Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn’t be noticed. But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting “It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood.” The result made Rogers smile wide.

A few other things:
9. He got into TV because he hated TV. The first time he turned one on, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other’s faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for better than that. Over the years he covered topics as varied as why kids shouldn’t be scared of a haircut, or the bathroom drain (because you won’t fit!), to divorce and war.
10. He was an Ivy League Dropout. Rogers moved from Dartmouth to Rollins College to pursue his studies in music.
11. He composed all the songs on the show, and over 200 tunes.
12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.
13. Michael Keaton got his start on the show as an assistant– helping puppeteer and operate the trolley.
14. Several characters on the show are named for his family. Queen Sara is named after Rogers’ wife, and the postman Mr. McFeely is named for his maternal grandfather who always talked to him like an adult, and reminded young Fred that he made every day special just by being himself. Sound familiar? It was the same way Mister Rogers closed every show.
15. The sweaters. Every one of the cardigans he wore on the show had been hand-knit by his mother.

you did it!

I've been thinking a lot about praise being the flipside of punishment. I know I've mentioned before that we don't punish. Perhaps I'll post a detailed reasoning sometime. But for now I'm thinking about praise. We try not to praise. Sounds weird, huh? We don't believe in using emotional manipulation, which is one of the reasons we don't punish. We don't use rewards, praise, or punishment to elicit behavior.

As a matter of clarification, I will say to Violet that I really like it when she does such and such. It is an honest statement of appreciation, or a celebration of her accomplishment. What we don't do is use praise as a way to elicit "desired behavior". In other words, we don't use our approval or disapproval of her as a parenting tool. The occasional "good girl" pops out. Which makes me cringe. She's a "good girl" whether she's doing what I want or not.

I met a little girl once who was a praise junkie. She would constantly tell you about her accomplisments, vying desperately for your praise. She had zero self-satisfaction and could only really feel good about what she had done if someone else placed their value judgement on it. When you give kids a "good boy/girl" every time they sneeze, how are they to develop a real sense of accomplisment?

You see this at the park. Wow, you're such a good slider! It's gravity, people. If the child had been previously nervous about sliding and conquered that fear, you could acknowledge that. Like, "Jane, you decided to slide. I'll bet you feel good about that!" Allowing the child to revel in what THEY accomplished, rather than being limited to what YOU think of what they did.

It is my desire that my children learn to do what is right for the right reasons. Not because someone may approve or disapprove, or because they'll be punished if they don't. I want them to pursue what interests them with no concern for what others may think of it. It's a complicated and difficult road to navigate, but I'm feeling my way along.

All this to say Violet has started saying "YOU DID IT!" everytime she finishes something she set out to do.

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