Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged Sexuality

make/shift: feminisms in motion (Issue 6)

Make/Shift aims to thrust the ignored populations into the greater recognition. Native Americans living in urban settings rather than rural reservations tend to be invisible in our nation’s consciousness. Society shies away from the combination of disability and sexuality, and when it comes to women’s prisons, many question the validity of empowerment through peer education health programs.

Side Dishes: Latina American Women, Sex, and Cultural Production

Side Dishes, at times more tasty, original, and irresistible than “the main dishes,” is a delightful, playful, and innovative work about Latina, Brazilian, and Spanish American women writers, filmmakers, cartoonists, and science fiction producers.

Hiding in Hip Hop: On The Down Low in the Entertainment Industry—From Music to Hollywood

Terrance Dean opens his book, Hiding in Hip Hop, with two quotes, one from Ellen Degeneres, in which she states, “If it weren’t for blacks, Jews, and gays, there would be no Oscars.” The other was from The Bhagavad Gita: “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with p

Sins Invalid (10/04/2009)

As a dancer, I feel most alive when I'm present in my body; when I breathe hard, feel the power of my feet on the ground, and sense the weight in my head and arms.

The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism

This new collection of essays, solicited from among the world’s most brilliant scholars of rabbinic literature, interpreters of the Torah, and professors of gender studies, is the first book I would recommend for those preparing to teach advanced courses in Jewish Studies. The essays range in tone from playfulness to fairly turgid exegesis, but the pieces are—without exception—bold, honest, and unabashed.

Laura Rider's Masterpiece

Jane Hamilton's latest novel has a delightful premise. Laura and Charlie Rider own a Midwestern landscape business, for which Laura writes a newsletter. Charlie is a fantastic lover, a man whose equal doses of femininity and masculinity make his understanding of women profound. Laura suffers from “sexual fatigue,” and after twelve years of marriage, she has decided to stop sleeping with Charlie. Jenna Faroli, the host of Milwaukee Public Radio's Jenna Faroli Show, has recently moved to Laura and Charlie's town of Hartley. Laura has always greatly admired Jenna.

Sex Expression and American Women Writers, 1860-1940

The intriguing title of this book, Sex Expression and American Women Writers, may lead many to wonder what exactly the author means by “sex expression”? Luckily, Dale Bauer makes this clear in the introductory chapter to her study, and I will enlighten those of you who might not be able to immediately get the book. Sex expression is a clever way of defining the act of writing (or not) about questions relating to sexuality, a term not coined by Bauer.

The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality, and Relationships

The advancement of gender equality and feminisms are arguably difficult to measure. One of the greatest successes, however, is the growing level of complexity with which we view previously black and white issues. In other words, we as a society are more capable to recognize the grey in controversial issues.

The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures

They say that life doesn’t come with a handbook, but the authors of The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures would disagree. Their new and improved text on how to manage your relationships is an excellent guide to running your sex life. The authors, Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy, released this updated text a decade after the first edition came out, and the reader is very aware of this passage of time.

Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire

A clever play on the seminal novel Kiss of the Spider Woman by Argentine writer and political exile Manuel Puig, Amber Dawn’s anthology Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire promises a transgressive alternative to traditional horror literature and its stereotypical, categorical portrayals of women and their

The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys Into The Far Realms Of Lust And Longing

Daniel Bergner’s new work on sexuality, The Other Side of Desire, garnered a considerable amount of press before it was released thanks to an adapted excerpt from the book published in the New York Times under the title, “What Do Women Want?” Many feminists were disgruntled by the piece, which included University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) professor Marta Meana’s insistence of narcissism in the r

Left Forum 2009 (4/17-4/19/2009)

Left Forum is an annual meeting of liberal intellectuals, academics, activists and students hosted by a New York City college or university. The conference is divided up into panels that take place in classrooms scattered across the campus. As I sat listening and astutely taking notes at the first panel I attended, a sudden feeling of nostalgia washed over me. I couldn’t help but feel transported back to my years as an undergraduate. Choosing panels was like choosing between courses.

Private Practices: The Story of a Sex Surrogate

Private Practices is the story of a sex surrogate, Maureen Sullivan Ward, who teaches men with sexual dysfunctions how to improve their sexual communication, physical expression, and experience pleasure. Maureen "Mo" Sullivan Ward approaches sex in a clinical fashion, seeking ways to make clients more comfortable and assisting them in exploring their personal fears and phobias.

Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema

Professor Negar Mottahedeh's critical study of post-revolutionary Iranian film industry, Displaced Allegories, is an intelligent, stimulating, and well-written analysis of "a woman's cinema" after 1979. The cinematic industry has been widely criticized by Iranian feminists for its problematic and stereotypical representation of women.

AsiaPacifiQueer: Rethinking Genders and Sexualities

Aside from a women’s studies class I took as an undergraduate, of which I remember very little, thoughts on gender and sexuality typically have not taken up much of my time. AsiaPacifiQueer: Rethinking Genders and Sexualities totally changed my perception on these subjects. As a self-proclaimed tomboy, who happens not to be a lesbian, society is much more accepting of my “ways” than they would be if I were an effeminate man.


A beautiful woman enters a gay discotheque where she encounters a curious man who will follow her and spend three evenings exploring sexual brutality. Sounds like the plot of an erotic thriller guaranteed to tease and please, but was instead the story behind French filmmaker Catherine Breillat’s novel, Pornocracy.

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour, which began in February 2008, is still scheduled to visit a number of lucky locations throughout the United States. As usual, Cho’s brand of feminist, LGBTQ, activist, and politicized humor was hilarious, raunchy, and thought-provoking. Unlike so much of the comedy gracing television screens lately, Cho continues to infuse her comedy with cutting edge analysis of race, gender, body image, and sexuality.

Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power

Men Speak Out is an important book for feminism.

Queer Queens of Qomedy (08/01/2008)

Lesbians, like feminists, have no sense of humor. Or so we’ve been told… repeatedly. Poppy Champlin and her troupe of hilarious women-loving-women are busting that stereotype wide open. In various venues across the United States, the Queer Queens of Qomedy are met with crowds of queer fans and a hail of riotous laughter. I joined in on the gayety this past Friday night at the historic Birchmere music hall in Alexandria, Virginia, and I must say I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.

Sex in Crisis: The New Sexual Revolution and the Future of American Politics

Sexual historian Dagmar Herzog's book, Sex in Crisis, takes a look at the construction of sexuality after the sexual revolution in the mid-late 1900s. She analogizes the struggle to claim and determine legitimized, acceptable sexual practices (or absence thereof) to a war, which she believes the Christian Right is winning.

Sex and the City: The Movie

Far as I can tell, there’s never been a consensus on Sex and the City’s feminist appeal. It shows intimate female relationships, but it’s heteronormative, white, and the characters often talk past each other. The women live (mostly) sexually liberated lives, but they’re nevertheless forever in search of the perfect man to fulfill their emotional needs.


“If the garbage man doesn’t come for a couple weeks, we all die of cholera.” If you are unfamiliar with Jack Pendarvis, there is really nothing I can say that would adequately prepare you for a foray into his debut novel, Awesome, except perhaps that the “best” modern humor seems to come at you in throngs of grotesque hyperbole.

My Brain Hurts: Volume One

Liz Baillie’s character Kate Callahan is everything that I wish I had been in school, as well as everything that I’m glad I wasn’t: a punk dyke; Mohawk-wearing, patches held on with safety pins-styling, multiple girlfriends-loving activist; and all-around New York City street-roamer. Think Diane DiMassa’s _Hothead Paisan _before she turned homicidal and got a cat.

Kiss Refreshing Body Splash

Kiss is a pheromone-based body splash, used to enhance a woman’s natural sexual scent. Pheromones are specific compounds within our body that can potentially affect the physiology and behavior of others. Infused with an erotic blend of green and white tea extracts these sprays are pure bliss in a bottle! Kiss from Pure Romance may have just become this woman’s favorite scent of all time. Sent the Plumeria for review, it is delicious and has turned more than one head!

Lighten Up Sensual Candle

This candle brings thoughts of all things sensual. The flicker of flame and the widening pool of melted wax offer the quiet motion of calm. Slipping into that dreamy world where beauty is a friend and logic says its time to take a day. It’s the music you’ve wanted to hear, and the whoosh of cars passing by outside becomes that of ocean waves washing over you. Somehow it all flows better under water, and you are in deep now with only this flickering beacon to light your path away from the humdrum and into a world of the senses.

Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy

Why is contemporary African American literature — particularly that produced by black women — continually concerned with issues of respectability and propriety? Her first book, Private Lives, Proper Relations, Candace M. Jenkins looks at how African American writers express the political consequences of intimacy for the susceptible black subject.

I Had an Abortion

This documentary cuts to the core of reproductive freedom—to the stories of women's lives as told by ten women themselves. Distributed by Women Make Movies, the film features detailed accounts from a number of women, ages twenty-one to eighty-five, from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds who had abortions under different circumstances and at different points in their lives. Their stories are complicated and grounding - from a woman who had an abortion as a Mormon high school student in Utah, to a woman who had one at forty-four, married and with children.

Working the Skies: The Fast-Paced, Disorienting World of the Flight Attendant

In Working the Skies, Drew Whitelegg takes the interviews and study of a multitude of flight attendants and creates a readable, enjoyable tale of the perils and possibilities flight attendants face. The book is part psychology, part history and part cultural study with plenty of personal tales from retired and active flight attendants.

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Full disclosure: I’m a longtime fan of and contributor to Miranda July’s collaborative website, Learning To Love You More. Last year’s Me and You and Everyone We Know is a film I regularly dream of making. So despite my anticipation of July’s premiere short story collection and real fascination and appreciation for her work as a writer, filmmaker and performer; I give this anthology a centrist’s recommendation.

Sexy Thrills: Undressing the Erotic Thriller

Growing up, I loved Hitchcock films and film noir, an odd choice for a child who came of age with color television, Rambo and Reagan. Fast forward to post-college years later when I took a job at a video rental store to support a poorly stipend internship, where ninety percent of the store’s revenue was from the sale and rental of adult films. Did Barbara Stanwyck and Tipi Hendren lead to this? According to Nina K.