The Biological Crock?

The Biological Crock? A little rant on what society says my body shall order me to do.

Ah, the bioclock. The preset number of eggs women are given with, that age and die off as she gets older. The body sends a “warning” that a woman doesn’t have much time left to reproduce. This is called the “ticking”. The random dreams about pregnancy. The sudden staring at baby clothes. The passing thoughts, particularly among professional women, who say, “Well, it wouldn’t be so bad to go a few nights without sleep,” or something like that. It’s the nagging poke of the uterus extending her finger into a woman’s side, saying, “Hey. Get knocked up before you can’t. NOW.”

A basic rundown of the process of the clock can be found in this lamely written article from the Chicago Tribune.

An interesting fact that comes into play here too, is the socioeconomic factor brought in by the ever-persistent, fucking useless gender inequality. In this CBS News article, the following quote seriously pissed me off:

“The more qualified, the more successful, the higher earning the woman, the less likely it is she has either a partner or a child. For a man, the reverse is true. The higher earning the man, the more powerful, the more likely it is.”

There’s another bit later in the article where a woman relates something called the “H-bomb”:

According to the fertility charts, Lisa, Ani and Leslie, in their mid- to late 20s, are at the perfect age to have children. But like most men their age, they want to have it all: Big careers in top management and children. They also want husbands, which isn’t so easy for take-charge, high-achieving women.

“It’s actually very difficult,” says Vartanian. 

In fact, at Harvard, she says, they call it the H-bomb: “The H-bomb is basically, some guy turns to us and says, ‘So what do you guys do?’ And we’re like, ‘Oh, we’re students.’ Oh, great. Well, where?’ ‘Oh, we got to school in Boston.’ ‘Oh, great. Where in Boston?’ ‘Oh, in Cambridge.’ ‘Oh, where in Cambridge?’ ‘OK, Harvard Business School.’ And as soon as you say Harvard Business School, or even Harvard, they turn around. I mean, that’s the end of that conversation.”

Why should a woman have to choose when a man doesn’t even have to give the second thought to it? Have kids or have a career? The allusion to the choice of either have a life or have a husband is even more infuriating. 

Yet in all this, even if a woman ends up “waiting too long” either because she is having trouble finding the right partner, or because of career or life circumstances, or whatever the case may be, few of the articles I’ve read through before becoming angry or nauseous with this topic mention adoption as a viable option. And not even adoption abroad — adoption domestically. There are OVER HALF A MILLION children in the American foster care system today, with 150,000 waiting on being adopted.

If you really, really want a kid, adopt. Honestly. While we may feel a call to get children from other countries (which I definitely do stand behind as well), it is easier and less expensive too to just adopt domestically first. These kids need homes and help just as much — they may not be somewhere wartorn or going without food or water — but in the end their needs are the same: a loving home. All that damn clock is telling us is to reproduce, and love what you make. Love is at the basis of it all. Give it to the ones who need it, be they your biological or adopted children.

Is “the ticking” real or is it the result of some kind of social conditioning?

My mom had me when she was 41. This was in 1981. I am 28 now. I was not born retarded, crazy, or somehow dysfunctional. I made it through just fine, and my mother did not go to drop thousands of dollars on a fertility doctor. My parents didn’t have me earlier because they weren’t interested in having kids really. I was a happy little bundle of accident (I think that’s cooler than to be planned, really. The best things happen on accident!). As a woman in the CBS article mentions, women are not their uterus. One can make a decision not to have kids and that clock could be playing the fucking star spangled banner at full blast. My mom didn’t care.

Being 28, I am supposed to be in the beginning of the ticking. I have noticed more of an obsession with furry animals and taking care of things, but outright wanting to have a kid has not crossed my mind. 

Catherine Redfern writes in glorious grumpiness about the choice issue presented by the fucking biological clock:

The idea that there’s a ticking time bomb inside all women, making us desperate, obsessed, and broody – its just horrendous. It’s not the idea of babies themselves that makes me mad – it’s the concept of having to choose whether to have one or not, and being forced into that choice by our imperfect, time-bound bodies. But it’s a decision that the majority of us will have to make at some time or other: do I want kids or not? Well, do I? Do I?

… 

Not to mention the unspoken pressure of expectations. If I don’t have kids, I’m denying my parents the pleasure of being grandparents. And there’s my partner’s parents too – so straight away that’s four people disappointed, not to mention aunts, uncles, etc. Although I’m sure no-one would ever pressure me into it, there’s still a feeling that by making a choice for yourself, you are denying someone else of something they may never experience any other way. The amount of pain mum went through having me – the scars, the drugs – surely I should give something back? Am I selfish not to?

The clock, I conclude, is in the societal expectation. 

“Not everyone wants or has to be a parent,” a wise soul said on this message board

Don’t do it if you don’t fucking want to do it. And if you feel the wild pressing urge to have a child but can barely support yourself, DEFINITELY don’t do it. And if you want one, and can’t find the right person, or your uterus put up the “CLOSED” sign at the cervix, then adopt.

There are 6 billion people on the planet. Let’s take care of each other first.

Prostitution – Who? Why? and How?

Why do women go into the sex industry?

In “We Die at Night“, Therese alludes to loneliness from being “passed around” as a foster kid as a contributing factor for why she became a prostitute. She stayed in it as a habit, and as a known way of living. These reasons are certainly not uncommon. 

Some information on the sex industry from Feminist.com talks about poverty, unfairness in the common workplace, racism, class bias, and drug use as being motivators for turning to sex work as a means for survival. There are other women who felt more like they were prostituting themselves at regular jobs than they were as formal prostitutes. 

This old Arts & Opinion interview features a sex worker positing that intelligent women owe it to themselves to become prostitutes, because it points to a “very interesting story of the relationship that exists between a woman’s strength and a man’s weakness.” Some weird points but definitely some interesting lines to start some conversation. 

This interview from Boloji.com features a woman talking about why women do it, as well as the social demands that come with it. “[T]he reason prostituted people are sold is because there is someone to buy them. Prostitution is demand-driven.”

Why do men go into the sex industry?

An interesting thing, as found in this study, states that the driving forces behind male prostitution are less about “survival” or some kind of economic or surrounding pressure, and more about sexual identity, drugs and early abuse as catalysts. 

This article, with what I think is a PERFECT title: “Male Prostitutes: The Invisible Sexworkers, and Are They All Gay?” puts a deeply interesting spin on the same standard reasons: it raises the question of expoitation on both sides of the fence. Society may rally behind the female prostitute as being helpless and needing to be protected, yet the male prostitute, even if he’s “pushed” into this situation by the circumstances of his life, retains all his control over himself and his body, primarily when he is hired by a woman. The woman has allowed him into her home or hotel room or whatever, and the guy’s just there to be a guy.

Oh, gender. When will it die?

What do you think?

sensualists and aural sex — of sorts.

Sexionary

nympho – term often used for a sex-obsessed woman. 

blowjob – fellatio; dick-sucking.

autoerotic asphyxiation – suffocating oneself during masturbation to intensify orgasm.

sex surrogate – a counselor who helps people solve their sexual problems by having sex with them.

smurf – when a man slaps his partner(s) in the face with his dick

paraphilia – sexual obsession, usually with an object or act. See also objectum sexuals and mechaphiles for some VERY interesting paraphilia acticities.

What’ve you got to add?

Thanks to the folks at Sex Dictionary. 

Gender Roles

For some people, checking that little box on applications and some website data forms that ask if you’re “male” or “female” is a taxing experience, for myriad reasons. I tend to be annoyed with the example I just gave, where “male” is always placed as the first option. Some people get frustrated with it because they don’t identify with either gender, consider themselves to have no gender, or possess one gender’s features/voice/mannerisms while feeling and believing quite clearly that they are the opposite gender. There’s all sorts of stuff in between. Our fascination with gender role and expectation in modern society is a deep one. For this blog entry, I’m just going to keep it to sex play. I’ll let Wikipedia do some of the basic  explaining on gender roles.

An interesting article on the issue of gender and gender roles is on Melted Dreams and talks about there being more than one gender, and the differences between “sex” and “gender”. Interesting, intelligent and digestible writing on the topic.

I miss gender roles being challenged more in media. Aside from the stovepipe-legged hipster. No no, not American Apparel-endorsed androgyny… oldschool shit like Grace Jones.

An article that recently irritated the shit out of me was “Why Are Women Leaving Men for Other Women?” from Oprah.com, which I think, if anything, does some work to support the: a) never-ending fantasies of straight men; b) encourages an idea that women are built to be sexually accessible regardless of the person that approaches them; and c) should really — and I don’t care that it’s Oprah.com — look at the whole issue here, and address that men are also sexually dynamic and have breadth and depth to their experience as well. The article suggests a connection with sexuality that is inherent and easily warpable in women.

Bah.

What do you think?

The song this article reminds me of is Berlin’s “Sex”. Don’t know it? Love it? Wanna hear it? Here it goes …

 

Aural Sex – Bonus Reading

I usually only read once from a story. Why not do two, since people have been so happy to check out the first sex vid

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Your friend to the left …