Apparently queers everywhere are so eager for me to tell them what to do about their relationships that I felt compelled to add a few more rules to The Rules. But the first and foremost Rule bears repeating: Be a creature unlike any other. Which leads nicely into my next rule:
14: "Resist the 'Urge to Merge.'" This applies particularly to gals: you shouldn't have the same haircut, borrow each other's clothes, or start looking alike. And don't wear matching outfits. Please.
15: "Don't get too intimate." Call me old fashioned, but I feel very strongly that all bathroom-oriented activities should be done privately, with the door closed. Even if you've just fucked someone senseless and seen every part of their body naked, allow them the dignity of doing their business alone. Same goes for using gendered, multi-stall bathrooms: for the love of god, don't stall up next to each other. That's just gross.
16: "Accept only one cancellation." I follow this religiously: just ask the [person] who cancelled on me twice in one week. S/he's dead to me now. Being queer doesn't make the repeated cancellation of previously made plans any less completely fucking rude. If someone you're dating keeps breaking dates with you, it's because they don't want to date you.
17: "Don't forget you don't have to settle down and move to the suburbs." Being queer used to be about not doing what everyone else did, mostly because queer people weren't allowed to. But nothing upsets me more than breeder gays and lesbians. I mean, live and let live, and if they want to get all HRC on us and pretend that nothing but gay marriage matters, so be it, but don't let them brainwash you into thinking that that's what a grown up queer life has to be like. You might be surprised to know that you can buy china and flatware if you're single. Crate & Barrel doesn't discriminate.
18: "Don't date someone who pressures you to have kids." Straight men know this; most of them will run away if a woman talks about babies too soon. This seems particularly intense with lesbians, perhaps because of what my dad calls "baby noises" that women begin to hear at some point. Some women hear them more loudly than others, and some (like me) only hear sirens. But if you're ambivalent about having children and you're dating someone who is not, say so. Children that endure gay and lesbian parental "divorce" suffer no less than those whose straight parents break up.
For further reading:
"The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right," by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider
"He's Just Not that Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys," by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Thanks to Andrew Sullivan (www.andrewsullivan.com), for this powerpoint (http://www.abstinence.net/pdf/contentmgmt/EricKeroackPresentation2003.pdf) by newly-appointed HHS Deputy Secretary for Family Planning Eric Keroack that is called, and I am not making this up, "The Neuroendocrine and chemical Basics of Human Sexuality: The Results of Non-Marital Sexual Activity." In this presentation, he calls premaritial sex our generation's "Germ Warfare." He suggests that sex, because of its neurochemical processes, causes addiction to pleasure chemicals in a way that mimics drug abuse. The slides explaining this process are artfully illustrated with drawings that look like his 9-year old kid got a hold of a biology textbook and some markers. (see slide 19) Keroack suggests that the stress caused by non/pre/extramarital sexual activity acts as an opiate in the brain, increasing tolerance to oxytocin, the "bonding" brain chemical highly touted by conservatives as the chemical that proves women shouldn't have promiscuous sex lest they bond with every frat guy in sight. Besides Keroack disturbing overuse of Looney Tunes characters to illustrate his slides, his argument fails because it is basically this: the effects of oxytocin include an "airbrushing" of memory: for example, because of the oxytocin released during labor and delivery, women "forget" how painful childbirth really is and are usually willing to go through it again. So oxytocin in sex helps "airbrush" women's memories of fights or other upsets in relationships, which is apparently a reason why sex should be saved for marriage. So it lasts longer. Or something.