[Poll #1799574]

Final paper is looming terrifyingly on the horizon. I have limited time this week, and it is due Monday. I have widely varying knowledge on the topics I listed on the poll, but I would have to do substantial research for any of them. So if anyone has tips like, "This one slim volume is the single best resource on the soul-figure/asexuality/fisting which can be read in a short period of time," please go for it! (These are not all the possible topics. They're drawn from a much longer list, whittled down considerably by factors like lack of interest and the phrase "object relations," which in my very short experience so far tends to point to excessively eye-glazing articles.)

I got so frazzled last week that I misread the due date for the final paper for another class, and madly wrote and turned it in yesterday... a week early. I guess that turned out to be a good thing, all things considered.

Also, I have to register for classes tomorrow and am worried that I won't be able to get into the classes I am most dying to take, now that I know who the best professors are.

Given my current state of stress-driven absent-mindedness, I should probably mention now, since it randomly popped into my mind, that there is a new Sarah Tolerance book out! I have my own copy of The Sleeping Partner: A Sarah Tolerance Mystery, and am saving it for the winter break, when I will have more relaxed time to read. Also, Sherwood Smith's Blood Spirits (Coronets and Steel), sequel to Coronets and Steel, is out! I read it in manuscript, and it is excellent. Both series will satisfy all your "women who fight with swords amidst a background of history and intrigue" needs.

ETA: Okay, I'm doing fisting. I found the Pat Califia essay I had recalled. It's called "Gay Men, Lesbians, and Sex," and it's worth reading. On Google Books. If anyone has further good fisting resources, online or offline, keep them coming!

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From: [personal profile] lferion - Date: 2011-11-30 09:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com

Heh, good title. Thanks for the rec; I've placed an order! (And grumbled in my LJ about a small usability roadblock.)

From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com

So many interesting topics; the first three listed and asexuality would probably be my top choices. But given your limited time, finishing a ten page does seem daunting. Good luck!

If you do go with BDSM, I hope you'll look into what I've heard anecdotally and from one researcher[*]: Apparently, a large proportion (the vast majority) of people practicing BDSM were abused in some form as kids.

[*] As I recall, she led a discussion after a screening of Secretary, and she mentioned it and/or I asked her about this afterward (since a straw poll on alt.sex.bondage answered this strongly in the affirmative), and she said that was what she was studying. So I asked if she'd let me see a draft or let me know when she was ready to publish; she said yes, and then I never heard from her. Unfortunately, I didn't write down her name.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I've heard that too, but it's a little hard to untangle from the question, "But are people who are into BDSM AND willing to talk about it to researchers also more open to discussing "taboo" sex-related issues in general?" But it's an interesting question. I'll see if there's any actual statistics.

From: [identity profile] neery.livejournal.com

Apparently, a large proportion (the vast majority) of people practicing BDSM were abused in some form as kids.

Huh, I've never heard that from a kink-positive or kink-neutral person before, although I've heard it from the "Those kinky people are all fucked in the head and need to be in therapy For Their Own Good" fraction, and immediately discounted it because of the source, and because it runs counter to my own anecdotal experience. Interesting!

From: [identity profile] neery.livejournal.com

Telephone survey of 19,000 people, on pubmed:

People who had engaged in BDSM were more likely to have experienced oral sex and/or anal sex, to have had more than one partner in the past year, to have had sex with someone other than their regular partner, and to have: taken part in phone sex, visited an Internet sex site, viewed an X-rated (pornographic) film or video, used a sex toy, had group sex, or taken part in manual stimulation of the anus, fisting or rimming. However, they were no more likely to have been coerced into sexual activity, and were not significantly more likely to be unhappy or anxious-indeed, men who had engaged in BDSM scored significantly lower on a scale of psychological distress than other men. Engagement in BDSM was not significantly related to any sexual difficulties.

Our findings support the idea that BDSM is simply a sexual interest or subculture attractive to a minority, and for most participants not a pathological symptom of past abuse or difficulty with "normal" sex.

(emphasis mine)

I need to go to bed now, so I don't have time to look into the authors' methodology or biases any closer right now, but I will tomorrow - I just figured people here might also be interested in the link.

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From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-11-30 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-11-30 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com

I recall that Suzie Bright's Lesbian Sex World had a good essay on fisting...which I read over a decade ago, but it was short!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Pat (now Patrick) Califia had a very memorable essay on fisting which made me understand the appeal, or at least the appeal to him. I think it might have been in Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice.

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From: [identity profile] marzipan-pig.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-11-30 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] marzipan-pig.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-11-30 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] mme-hardy.livejournal.com

Sequel to Coronets and Steel SQUEEEE! (I"d already read The Sleeping Partner, also squee.)

I suggested Therapy With Rape Survivors because I'm sure it's something you will be glad to have researched in your counseling career.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

You will enjoy Blood Spirits. ;)

I'm pretty sure I will eventually be taking entire classes on therapy for rape survivors, or at least partially focused on that - I'm doing a double concentration in Spiritual and Depth Psychology, and on Non-Combat Trauma. The latter is primarily focused on domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual trauma.

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From: [identity profile] mme-hardy.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-11-30 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
ext_6283: Brush the wandering hedgehog by the fire (naked hedgehog)

From: [identity profile] oursin.livejournal.com

You do not need to plough through Laqueur's Solitary Sex to write about masturbation - if you want to look at the history of horrormongering over selfabuse, I can point you at some articles.

From: [identity profile] mearagrrl.livejournal.com

Ooh! I had no idea there was a new Sarah Tolerance!! I randomly ended up with those after a trip to a used bookstore and was very disappointed it was not a longer series at the time.

I'd read most any of those as a paper, with interest, but I think since you listed Asexuality twice, it's a sign you should do it.

From: [identity profile] movingfinger.livejournal.com

I made a vote, but...

My approach would be (given the deadline) to figure out what topic I could get hold of the most credible resources on, quickly, and do that.

From: [identity profile] torrilin.livejournal.com

Agreed. Sadly, I have no useful resource suggestions, so it looks to me like fisting is it.

From: [identity profile] umbo.livejournal.com

I don't actually know what a relationship with the soul figure would be, but it sounds fascinating, so I voted for it!

From: [identity profile] nancylebov.livejournal.com

I voted for it because it was the only one that I knew nothing about.

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From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-12-01 07:29 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-12-01 08:13 am (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] juliansinger.livejournal.com

You could put fisting in as a sub-category of BDSM. (If you're finding you can't talk about fisting for 10 pages.)
rosefox: My hands. (hands)

From: [personal profile] rosefox

Susie Bright on lesbian fisting:


And on medically-recommend fisting during pregnancy, aka "perineal massage":

http://web.archive.org/web/20090202124117/http://susiebright.blogs.com/susie_brights_journal_/2006/06/egg_sex.html (the original post seems to have been taken down because she included it in a book)

From: [identity profile] writingpathways.livejournal.com

Since you have Asexuality there twice do you really want do that one?

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

You're the second person to suggest that, but I am pretty sure it was a mere accident. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. ;)

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From: [identity profile] writingpathways.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-12-01 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] glitter-n-gore.livejournal.com

I'm torn between BDSM and Asexuality, as I think they're the most misunderstood/under-addressed topics you have listed. I wound up voting for BDSM (sounds like you have some good material to work into the paper already, from preceding comments!) but honestly, I think both of those are good ones.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (KB: tongue piercing)

From: [personal profile] eruthros

I am always interested in BDSM/kink research, so just in case you decide to do it at any point I thought I'd drop my favorite sort-of academic blog in here: Orlando's kink research overviews. He is not an academic, but his partner is, and he lists all the kink research he can find and also summarizes it in some nice overviews of things like stigma, demographics, etc. It's reference database + commentary + blog all at once!

Re: fisting, I also recommend Gayle Rubin's articles on fisting clubs in San Francisco if you're interested in fisting in the leather community - I don't have the books to hand, unfortunately, so I can't remember which article is which, but iirc the one in Leatherfolk — Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice is interesting, as is the one in Archaeologies of Sexuality.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Thanks, that looks very useful. I will definitely be writing more papers on BDSM/kink in other classes. It's an area I'm pretty interested in, and I'd like to eventually be part of the kink-sensitive therapist network.
ext_14419: the mouse that wants Arthur's brain (Default)

From: [identity profile] derien.livejournal.com

I think you really want to do Asexuality, since you put it in the poll twice and between the two instances on the poll they currently have 39% of the votes.

From: [identity profile] evalangui.livejournal.com

This is a trick question, right? You just listed asexuality twice to give it double chances and make sure it won XD.

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