Really, Sex, Really?

The Sex, Really blog opens to much mockery. Mike Huckabee shoots his mouth off about things he doesn’t understand, and Cari Sietstra talks about the SRH concerns of Burmese refugees.


Subscribe to RealityCast:
RealityCast iTunes subscription
RealityCast RSS feed

Links in this episode:

Immersion: Porn

Is Sex, Really the worst sex blog out there?

Sex, Really

What could you be thinking, Daily Show?

Huckabee’s opinion on women’s autonomy (hint: he’s against it)

On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing Cari Sietstra about the reproductive health concerns of refugees from Burma.  Also, a review of the new sex blog Sex, Really and a look at Mike Huckabee’s anti-choice blathering on the Daily Show.

Thanks to Ampersand at Alas, a Blog, for linking one of the more unusual videos I’ve seen in a long time.  It’s called Immersion: Porn by Robbie Cooper, and it’s a video of people talking about their relationship with porn interspersed with images of them, just from the waist up, masturbating to it.

  • porn *

I don’t quite know what to think of this video, but for people interested in human sexuality, it’s definitely worth watching and pondering.  Cooper has done other immersion projects, such as filming kids playing video games.


Tatiana at Jezebel asked the pertinent question regarding Laura Sessions Stepp’s new sex blog Sex, Really: Is it too soon to call Sex, Really the worst sex blog out there?  Laura Sessions Stepp has been out there preaching about how young women who adopt her very specific map for dating are the only ones who could find success.  Her map is basically go on dates and lure a man into commitment by refusing sex, and doling out a little teasing here and there until you guys are an item.  His reward for overcoming his male revulsion at acting nice to a woman is that you have sex with him.  

The first podcast from Sex, Really is called "Starting a Relationship with Sex: Running the Bases Backwards".  The reference to 50s-era slang about the bases is how you know that Sessions Stepp is hip to how the kids these days are thinking.  To make it even more fun, she doesn’t even understand the old, sexist metaphor she’s invoking.

  • sex really 1 *

I’m not like a perfect writer by any means, but this is an obvious abuse of metaphor I have to point out.  Sessions Stepp is right that the base metaphor is a leftover from the days that she wants to bring back, where good girls didn’t want dirty things like orgasms, and therefore their job was to hold men off.  Metaphorically, then, this means that women were supposed to be playing defense, which means that women are the team on the field.  I know ladies aren’t supposed to like sports any more than sex, but even we sports allergic ladies have to know that means that the woman isn’t running the bases, the man is.  Women are trying to strike out men and they’re pitching, too, which is why this metaphor breaks down under even the slightest scrutiny.

That, and teams switch off during a real game of baseball.

Suiting the childishness that women are supposed to maintain throughout their lifetime, we’re instructed in the proper order of doing sexual things by Barbie demonstration from memory.

  • sex really 2 *

I think what I love best about that is how it’s assumed that 3rd base is the blow job base.  Men going down isn’t even in the pantheon.  Dunno what kind of fake affection a man has to clear before he gets that sexual service.  Is that what you do in exchange for roses, or do you have to require payment in jewelry before you offer that?

So one of her interviewees talks about supposedly not running the bases.

  • sex really 3 *

At this point, I’m really confused about all this talk about running the bases.  Clearly there was kissing before intercourse, but maybe what’s naughty is that they didn’t take time for the boob-touching base or something.  Just kidding!  Obviously, Sessions Stepp is using the metaphor to mean that you secure some commitment before you do it, though I’m not sure at what point in baseball the runner is supposed to bring the guy on 3rd base home to meet his mother before he lets him tag it. This girl, like many others, finds that you can have sex with someone for the fun of it and then you end up dating.  Sessions Stepp doesn’t approve, and she is going to use corny language at you as punishment.

  • sex really 4 *

I like how the assumption is that every woman who ever has sex with a guy is doing so strictly to get a "honey", and not to get one of those filthy bad girl orgasms.  And that if a guy condescends to call you after sex, you will automatically be thrilled, because women want the love of a man, any man.  That you might be the one who doesn’t want a relationship is considered impossible.  They’re our social superiors, and we should be grateful for what we get, especially if we’re dirty sluts who don’t deserve to have standards.

Sessions Stepp finishes the show by telling the sob story of a woman who had an unrequited crush on a guy she had sex with.  It’s pretty cruel, because in order to make this work, Sessions Stepp has to encourage the woman’s sense that she’s entitled to someone’s time or affection.

  • sex really 5 *

The lie that Sessions Stepp is peddling is that holding off for some undisclosed official amount of time to have sex will prevent you from every feeling rejected by a man.  This is a worldview that depends on ignoring a number of realities.  People have crushes on others without ever touching them, and it still hurts. Men can actually have feelings for women that reject them. People dump people they claimed to have loved.  Marriages can go on for decades and then one spouse decides they’re done with it and drops it.  Compared to that, falling for a guy you slept with who cuts you off to be merciful is a walk in the park.  Of course, Sessions Stepp may explain in a future podcast why your husband of 20 years leaving you is your fault because you let him touch your boobs before he made a diamond-based down payment on your body.


insert interview


I love you Daily Show, I really do.  Usually, you succeed beautifully in your mission to mock some of the stupider things the mainstream media does.  So why then did you repeat one of most ongoing, egregiously insulting choices that cable news shows engage in all the time, which is bringing a bunch of dudes who will never, ever be pregnant on to talk about how many rights they should "let" women have to control our own bodies?  Worse, why give Mike Huckabee a huge portion of your show to trot out all these arguments about abortion that presume that abortion has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy?   I’m not kidding—Huckabee seems confused about what abortions are, and when they happen.  

  • huckabee 1 *

It’s funny how Huckabee accuses pro-choicers of not thinking through the implications.  After all, to take his argument at face value, you have to believe that he doesn’t understand that abortion is terminating this thing that medical scientists call pregnancy.  If the term confuses you, look it up.  For our purposes, however, pregnancy is an event that happens inside a woman’s body, and the right to abortion is a right that women have to control their own bodies.  

All jokes aside, I do believe that Huckabee knows what a pregnancy is and that abortion is about pregnancy, and not babies, which come into being because of pregnancy.  He just knows it sounds bad to assault women’s rights directly, so instead he relies on the old anti-choice trick of mixing up the order in which things happen.  In the real world, you get pregnant before the baby  Anti-choicers believe that it’s baby then pregnancy.  

  • huckabee 2 *

Ah yeah, I also forgot.  He invokes the unscientific anti-choice belief that a heartbeat is a person.  Which is kind of weird, because outside of abortion, no one seems to believe this.  If you put a heart on a plate and make it beat with electrical impulses, no one is going to call that a person.  But if you could find a way to use that to restrict a woman’s human rights, anti-choicers would be all up on it.

Does make you wonder if fundamentalist Christians object to the scientific theory that the human brain is the source of thoughts and feelings.  They object to evolution and the theory that pregnancy proceeds babies, so why not?

Jon Stewart just doesn’t get control of this conversation, though he does try to remind Huckabee that there are these people called women involved.

  • huckabee 3 *

Southern politicians who rely on a voting base that loves the Confederate flag don’t realize how insulting it is to minimize slavery this way.  You may not like that the woman next door decided to get an abortion and live out her life how she wants instead of settling for a miserable marriage like yours, but that doesn’t mean that she kidnapped you and sold you into slavery.

Anyway, this is why Jon Stewart lost control of the situation.  Right then was an opportunity to point out that Huckabee does believe that some people own others, and that’s why he opposes abortion.  He believes that men own their wives, and signed an ad chastising women who resist being treated like property. Stewart should have immediately brought that up, and reminded the audience that Huckabee isn’t some indifferent lover of fetal life, but is in fact a strong patriarch who objects to no-fault divorce, sex education, and abortion, all because they give women power to escape direct male control.


And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, I’m not done with you yet, Mike Huckabee.  One more clip from his atrocious interview on the Daily Show, because seriously, it’s screwed up.

  • huckabee 4 *

Yeah, anti-choicers like this one, which makes me wonder if they don’t know what phrases like "liberty" or "pursuit of happiness" mean.  In reality, I guess they must think because women weren’t included when it was written, they don’t deserve life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, either.  But if women aren’t included, then why should zygotes be?  Is it just that men like Huckabee see fetuses as extensions of themselves, and women are just incubators?


Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • invalid-0

    This post is interesting. Here is my response. I don’t have time to respond to everything I disagree with, but I have responded to a few major issues with each of your four points.

    1. Like you said, Huckabee knows what pregnancy is. The difference between you and him is that he believes that the baby the pregnant woman is carrying has the same rights as you and I do.

    2. Would you say that an organism that has a heart beating on its own is not living?

    3. Does the fact that the state in which he was born, ran for office, and still lives was a confederate state over 140 years ago mean that condones slavery?

    Where is there evidence that Huckabee has a “miserable marriage?”

    The ad that Mike signed, did it really “[chastise] women who resist being treated like property?”
    The Bible does say in Ephesians 5:22 that a wife should submit to her husband. As any good preacher would say, let’s make sure that the verse is taken in context. Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives just like Christ loved the church. Christ gave up his life for the church. Please note that there are three verses in Eph. 5 that address wife to husband, there are 9 verses that address how a husband is to treat his wife–it boils down to the fact that he needs to love his wife.

    According to the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient and kind; NOT envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking or easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrong. Doesn’t delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Now, if a man were to truly love his wife in the way just described, isn’t that someone his wife would want to submit to? Keep in mind, that the Bible does allow divorce in cases of unfaithfulness. A husband treating his wife like dirt is being unfaithful to the marriage and a woman should not submit to him.

    Does Huckabee object to all sex education, or certain types of sex education taught in the public school?

    4. I’m not even going to waste my time arguing this point because it is one big logical fallacy.

  • invalid-0

    Uh Fred…just a friendly heads up. If you are going to come onto a site dedicated to the promotion of women’s equality, and you post at length the SBC talking points on female subordination, you will be dismissed out of hand.

  • invalid-0

    I once dissected a fertilized chicken egg with a beating heart. The heart with its supporting blood vessels lay atop the yolk and the heart was beating away. I was able to remove the entire network of vessels and the heart, still beating, and put them in a petri dish. Funny thing; there was nothing there that looked like a chicken at all. All that was there was the heart and some blood vessels. The heart eventually stopped beating. Did I kill a chicken?

  • invalid-0

    OK, but I don’t know the SBC talking points. (Well, I guess I do, since I just I just posted them, but that is a coincidence.) I’m not even a Baptist. I was just posting my reaction to the article to get a discussion going. I just ran across this website searching Google news.

    I reread my post and realized I should have left some things out and reworded some things.

    I do want you to know that I have no problem with women’s equity. A man is no better than a woman. My view on marriage only works when both agree. One is not superior to the other, they just take on different roles. Like positions on an athletic team, every position is important, they are just different.

  • invalid-0

    they just take on different roles

    Again Fred…you will not be taken seriously on RH if you attempt to define people solely in terms of their reproductive apparatus. Also, denying individuals full participation in their intimate relationships and in the wider world…denial based on arbitrary “rules” of gender behaviors… is a non-starter.

  • invalid-0

    I do want you to know that I have no problem with women’s equity.

    When we’re discussing an article about male control of women via reproduction, that’s an interesting Freudian slip.

  • amanda-marcotte

    And I resent Huckabee’s attempt to impose his religious, unscientific beliefs about how women are ordained to be servile and how babies come before pregnancy on me.  How about he is free to live according to his beliefs and me according to mine?  Huckabee is free not to have an abortion if he thinks babies precede pregnancy.