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Nerdanelism redux

OK, this article on female masturbation in our campus newspaper (the </i>K-State Collegian</i>) was interesting and mostly sensible, if not extremely original. My only question: why was it in the Arts section instead of Health or even the op-ed section?

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Banazîr

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
istari_ala
Oct. 11th, 2003 06:17 pm (UTC)
My only question: why was it in the Arts section instead of Health or even the op-ed section?
Because good sex (of any kind) is an art, not an exercise or procedure. Health benefits were only a part of the article, not it's main topic.
banazir
Oct. 11th, 2003 06:22 pm (UTC)
Health benefits were only a part of the article, not its main topic.
Hrm, you think? It seemed to me that that was one of the main points, but I guess you're right.

I was also underscoring the fact that there isn't a Health column in the Collegian, though. Also, Arts tends to be the place where some of the even slightly controversial topics get buried.

(Which poses the question of why there isn't a Life section cf. USA Today and instead there are unofficial campus papers, but you know the answer to that.)

--
Banazir
istari_ala
Oct. 11th, 2003 10:11 pm (UTC)
Hrm, you think? It seemed to me that that was one of the main points, but I guess you're right.

The points seem to be layed out quite clearly

- In 'our society' female masturbation is a more taboo topic than male masterbation
- FM can help women who have difficulty achieving orgasm
- FM can help detect disease earlier
- FM is an easy way to experiment with new ideas.

The main drive of the article, as I read it, is saying that we should feel able to treat FM as openly as we treat MM, and that FM can benefit other parts of you life.
banazir
Oct. 11th, 2003 10:51 pm (UTC)
The points seem to be laid out quite clearly

In 'our society' female masturbation is a more taboo topic than male masturbation
True (that it's one of the author's theses). Whether it's factual or not is another matter, though I think it probably is, to some extent.

FM can help women who have difficulty achieving orgasm
But that's health, as much as it is art, IMHO.

FM can help detect disease earlier
Certainly, health.

FM is an easy way to experiment with new ideas.
Which was funny, actually.

The main drive of the article, as I read it, is saying that we should feel able to treat FM as openly as we treat MM, and that FM can benefit other parts of your life.
All correct. I was really just questioning its being pushed into Arts because there's no Life section. The lack of a Health section is underscored by a lot of more health-related articles than this one.

--
Banazir
istari_ala
Oct. 11th, 2003 11:44 pm (UTC)
FM can help women who have difficulty achieving orgasm
But that's health, as much as it is art, IMHO.

Not so much health. If a guy has trouble with that, it's usually a physical problem (including tiredness/drunkeness) (if it's psychological he probably wouldn't get it up in the first place). With women it's more likely to be due to a lack of stimulation, or even embarrasment/shyness/lack of confidence. Plus see my reply to Mia.

FM is an easy way to experiment with new ideas.
Which was funny, actually.

Umm... if you say so... but an important point.
banazir
Oct. 12th, 2003 02:46 pm (UTC)
With women it's more likely to be due to a lack of stimulation, or even embarrasment/shyness/lack of confidence.
True, but it could still be physiological. You're right, though, in that (the way I read the article) the author made the leap from "learn what feels good for you" to self-examination.

Plus see my reply to Mia.
P6int well taken.

Umm... if you say so... but an important point.
I was just referring to the nipple electrocution part, but taht was boviously put in fro levity.

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Banazir
istari_ala
Oct. 12th, 2003 03:46 pm (UTC)
True, but it could still be physiological.
Sure, but because in a small minority of cases of something can be cause by an illness, it doesn't make the whole topic a health issue. If an article about kids swearing more these days is thorough enough to mention Tourette's syndrome, it doesn't make that article about health.

I was just referring to the nipple electrocution part, but taht was boviously put in fro levity.
uh.. I think I'm gonna leave you to play with your snowball.

banazir
Oct. 12th, 2003 06:57 pm (UTC)
Sure, but because in a small minority of cases of something can be cause by an illness, it doesn't make the whole topic a health issue. If an article about kids swearing more these days is thorough enough to mention Tourette's syndrome, it doesn't make that article about health.
This is true.
I think we agree on most points - i.e., that it could still legitimately belong in Arts even if the Collegian did have a Health section, and that the article was definitely centered on Life (or Life/Arts) rather than primarily around Health.
And I'm not saying that putting something in the Arts section is necessarily "relegating" it, only in this case (and in this particular paper) I think it was.

uh.. I think I'm gonna leave you to play with your snowball.
O_o That is gnus to me, then.
I've read stories aboat it, but it doesn't sound liek it'd be up most eople's alleys. Hrm.

--
Banazir
(Anonymous)
Oct. 11th, 2003 07:22 pm (UTC)
But then *everything* should be in the Arts section; it should include any work done with heart, skill and meaning. Since that would be most confusing, mediation exercises, sex and the like aren't normally considered arts. I thought the whole article was about health, but what do I know. :)

Cheers,
Mia
banazir
Oct. 11th, 2003 07:30 pm (UTC)
Fine lines
it should include any work done with heart, skill and meaning
Heart, skill, and meaning?
Gosh, that's a tall order for Nerdanelism and Feanorism.

mediation exercises, sex and the like aren't normally considered arts
In Merkia, ataleast, Arts and Lifestyle are foften the same section of the paper.

I thought the whole article was about health, but what do I know.
Welp, yes, that was my line of reasoning. "Sexual health", nazwaz. But it's a fine line.

--
Banazir
istari_ala
Oct. 11th, 2003 11:21 pm (UTC)
But then *everything* should be in the Arts section; it should include any work done with heart, skill and meaning.
Well I won't dare to quibble about definitions of art with you, but there's a lot of work done without heart, skill and meaning. There's a lot of sex done without heart, skill and meaning. That's why I said good sex is an art.

. I thought the whole article was about health, but what do I know. :)
If I don't find my partner's jokes funny, I don't consider that a health problem (though sometimes a health problem could be the cause).
If I'm not getting any orgasms from sex with my partner, I don't consider that a </i>health</i> problem (though sometimes a health problem could be the cause).
Not a great comparison, but hopefully it shows why I don't see all sex issues as health issues.
banazir
Oct. 12th, 2003 03:01 pm (UTC)
Well I won't dare to quibble about definitions of art with you
Ehhm... Hax is the resident expert, but welp, heck, I dare, and I prolly know much less aboat art than you (and mnaz others). Nazwaz, we're just talking about what an "Arts" section of a paper is or ought to be, as opposed to wot Art is, right?

That's why I said good sex is an art.
One can't argue with taht. (Wlel, one could, but it'd be p6intless. :-))

If I don't find my partner's jokes funny, I don't consider that a health problem (though sometimes a health problem could be the cause).
But humor is usually its own purpose and its own reward ("by default", one could say).
Sex isn't always, and it's more directly linked to physiology.

If I'm not getting any orgasms from sex with my partner, I don't consider that a health problem (though sometimes a health problem could be the cause).
Well, I see your point, certainly. And if your analogy means that sexual health includes (aspects of) mental health, I think you're right.

Not a great comparison, but hopefully it shows why I don't see all sex issues as health issues.
Oh, surely not. And this article is perhaps a bad example to cite in which some sex issues should be discussed in a Health section, as (a) the author doesn't claim any medical expertise; (b) it's not about self-evidently health-related issues such as fertility or (as you cited in your reply to my comment above) male sexual function.

OTOH, the author cites health benefits, too (both related to sex and general gynecological self-examination). It's a fine line, and again I'm only underscoring our university paper's lack of a health section. e.g., "grad student undergoing chemo" is generic headline or feature news.

--
Banazir
istari_ala
Oct. 12th, 2003 04:56 pm (UTC)
If I don't find my partner's jokes funny, I don't consider that a health problem (though sometimes a health problem could be the cause).
But humor is usually its own purpose and its own reward ("by default", one could say).

Umm.. it's also beneficial to health (both physical and mental) and social bonding, whatever you think it's 'purpose' or 'reward' is. But thats beside my point.

Sex isn't always, and it's more directly linked to physiology.
The comparison was made with orgasms during sex, not sex itself. Thats a very significant difference.

And perhaps this is news to you, but sex for (most) women is much less linked to the physical, and much more affected by the psychological. If you do the right physical actions to a healthy man, he'll come. If you treat a woman in the same purely mechanical manner, she probably won't. (And you can't tell if she's faking).

I read an interesting article once about how men watch porn about complete strangers, while women read things like slash where they're familiar with the characters and can make an emotional connection, even when the story is plain smut. That's just a small example of a result of the difference I'm talking about.

And if your analogy means that sexual health includes (aspects of) mental health, I think you're right.
No, my analogy was trying to break free of this 'sexual health' concept covering all aspects of health. Sheesh, is the quality of my knitting gonna start getting called 'knitting health'. If I don't finish off my last line of knitting properly (which I've never actually done, even though I've knitted a few things), so the whole think will soon unravel, do I have a knitting health problem?? No, I just need to learn how to do it. Maybe it'll take a lot of practise before I get it right if I'm not good at that sort of thing. But the fact that certain health problems may make me unable to knit, or that the falling on a knitting needle is likely to cause serious injury, and possible even death, does not mean that all knitting concerns fall under knitting health.
That's what my analogy is getting at... sex problems/issues is not the same as sexual health issues.

I'm sick of people classing things like embarrasment, lack or communication in a relationship, or lack of skill/knowledge as 'health' the second sex gets mentioned.
banazir
Oct. 12th, 2003 07:13 pm (UTC)
Umm.. it's also beneficial to health (both physical and mental) and social bonding, whatever you think it's 'purpose' or 'reward' is. But thats beside my point.
OK, fair enough.
(And this may be further off the point, but there often are Humor sections, beyond Comics or general Entertainment, in papers and magazines.)

The comparison was made with orgasms during sex, not sex itself. Thats a very significant difference.
Oh, certainly.

And perhaps this is news to you, but sex for (most) women is much less linked to the physical, and much more affected by the psychological.
S'not news to me (theoretically spinking).
That's why I mentioned mental health, but I should have said "psychological" to be precise. Perhaps this supports your point about "X health", actually.

If you do the right physical actions to a healthy man, he'll come. If you treat a woman in the same purely mechanical manner, she probably won't. (And you can't tell if she's faking).
All true, probabubbly.

I read an interesting article once about how men watch porn about complete strangers, while women read things like slash where they're familiar with the characters and can make an emotional connection, even when the story is plain smut. That's just a small example of a result of the difference I'm talking about.
Well, that could be a rather broad brush, too.
If this were generally the case, you'd probably have significantly greater readership of the alt.sex.* or erotica binaries newsgroups by men, percentagewise, than alt.sex.stories. (I don't know the statistics, but I'd be surprised.)

"knitting health"
Wlokay, I see your point, but you can take that too far in the opposite direction. Should we stop calling sports medicine and orthopedic surgery as such, or publishing articles on basketball athletes in the Health section of the appropriate publication, because it happened to talk about their training, the team, the season playoffs, etc.?

That's what my analogy is getting at... sex problems/issues is not the same as sexual health issues.
Oh, of course not, and I don't mean to say they are.

I'm sick of people classing things like embarrasment, lack or communication in a relationship, or lack of skill/knowledge as 'health' the second sex gets mentioned.
This is a tricky point. All of these are ostensibly social (and personal, possibly religious or even political) issues first and biological issues second. But just as psychology != neuroscience (even cog psych/cog NS), it can be a fine line. Some of this comes from Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, Westheimer, and Pinsky ("Dr. Drew", who had the Loveline show IIRC) all being MDs [1], whereas Suzy Bright and her colleagues are paid less heed. But I don't think Suzy Bright would object to the term "sexual health" or its rather large overlap with sexual awareness, knowledge, ethics, experience, etc.

[1] Dr. A. Comfort, Ph.D. is prolly a rare exception

--
Banazir
vretallin
Oct. 13th, 2003 06:43 am (UTC)
I read an interesting article once about how men watch porn about complete strangers, while women read things like slash where they're familiar with the characters and can make an emotional connection, even when the story is plain smut. That's just a small example of a result of the difference I'm talking about.

Well, that could be a rather broad brush, too.
If this were generally the case, you'd probably have significantly greater readership of the alt.sex.* or erotica binaries newsgroups by men, percentagewise, than alt.sex.stories. (I don't know the statistics, but I'd be surprised.)


I certainly think there are a great deal more women writing slash and buying slash zines than there are men. I think this is certainly a good example of how women connecting to things more than a man does.

Though there are *always* exceptions to anything like this.
banazir
Oct. 13th, 2003 11:44 pm (UTC)
I certainly think there are a great deal more women writing slash and buying slash zines than there are men. I think this is certainly a good example of how women connecting to things more than a man does.
This is true, but I think the stats turn around when we look at visual media (er, I mean, when we consider it). Funny, most of I've read about visual thinking and gender would seem to point in the other direction. Go fogure.

Though there are *always* exceptions to anything like this.
Of curse! There are exceptions to everythink!

--
Banazir
(Anonymous)
Oct. 13th, 2003 10:25 pm (UTC)
"I read an interesting article once about how men watch porn about complete strangers, while women read things like slash where they're familiar with the characters and can make an emotional connection, even when the story is plain smut."

Applies to me 50%. Sometimes I can't read it if I've no idea who those people are. There are many instances however when I can't bear thinking 'that way' about the characters I'm familiar with, so I look for 'plain', involvement-free slashy smut as my fix.

Cheers,
Hax
banazir
Oct. 13th, 2003 11:39 pm (UTC)
There are many instances however when I can't bear thinking 'that way' about the characters I'm familiar with, so I look for 'plain', involvement-free slashy smut as my fix.

Interesting.
I suppose if it was Tolkien slash (LoTR, Silm, or UT), I'd agreen.
Acksherly, SW too, but for different reasons (it's hard enough to appreciate SF-themed erotica as it is, but when you are bursting out in laughter...).

I suppose Rice could be considered slashy in its own right - Whedon too, in ways similar and different.

--
Banazir
(Anonymous)
Oct. 13th, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC)
>> Well I won't dare to quibble about definitions of art with you
> Ehhm... Hax is the resident expert, but welp, heck, I dare

Yeah! Or else I'd have to shut up about most things, too. :D

Besides, nobody knows what art is anyway. That's why it's still around.

Hugs,
Hax
banazir
Oct. 13th, 2003 11:46 pm (UTC)
Ehhm... Hax is the resident expert, but welp, heck, I dare
Yeah! Or else I'd have to shut up about most things, too. :D
TEUNC: we dare to agrue with nazbuddy!

Besides, nobody knows what art is anyway. That's why it's still around.
Meep! Deep. :-)

--
Banazir
(Anonymous)
Oct. 11th, 2003 07:19 pm (UTC)
"... But if you were to ask the same question to a woman, she most likely will say no and give you the 'I-can't-believe-you-asked-that-question' look."

Not in TEUNC of course, as all the men who ever fled the caht know full well... *g*

Hugs,
Mia

banazir
Oct. 11th, 2003 07:25 pm (UTC)
Not in TEUNC of course, as all the men who ever fled the caht know full well... *g*

Yeah, wlel, TEUNC women are... diffwent.
'swhy we wuv yew lal!
(Even though we are aslo scared of yew, kindasorta.)

--
Banazir
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