The digital era has given rise to a more intimate custom. It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts.
“People don’t necessarily know what they want. That’s okay. Sometimes you don’t know! Even about things as fundamental as sexual orientation, it’s okay to identify as questioning. I think a lot of people feel pressure to be like “I’m a pansexual monogamous dom with a foot fetish!” when the actual answer is “I dunno. I think I might like feet.” You always have a right to be uncertain, to try things, to do something once and decide you hate it and never do it again, to go through phases, to change your mind.”
When it comes to sex and sexuality, it is usually dangerous to generalize or make assumptions about people’s bodies and reactions. However, Dr. Steve and Vera Bodansky have found one universal truth about the clitoris:
“We’ve found, in every female student that we’ve taught, that the upper left…
The cast and crew have gathered in the front yard of a ranch-style house, a few blocks from where I went to high school in the San Fernando Valley. Women in six-inch heels sink into the lawn; men push around camera equipment, anxious about losing the light. They are preparing to film a scene in which four blond housewives in a convertible are pursued and overtaken by two men in an appliance-repair van. In the golden afternoon light the neighbors have come out to water their lawns and witness the scene.
It is common for adult-film companies to shoot in tract houses — the homes of dentists and attorneys and day traders whose family photographs can be seen in the background, and whose decorating tastes give the films their particular look. It’s as if one family went on vacation for a few days, leaving everything in the house intact, and another family, an odd assembly of unrelated adults, has temporarily taken up residence. While the film crew and talent are hard at work in the living room, I wander through the house peering into the lives of the people who live there. I feel like a forensic photographer searching out evidence.
In these films, lazy afternoons are interrupted not by noisy children but by the uncontrollable desires of delivery boys, baby sitters, coeds and cops. They crowd in the master bedrooms and spill out onto the patios and into the pools that look just like our neighbors’ pools, like our pool. And by photographing this I’m planted squarely in the terrain of my own ambivalence — that rich and fertile field that stretches out between fascination and repulsion, desire and loss. I’m home again.
“What I think is a lot more scary than talking about sex is talking about those deepest human fears which often arise in romantic and sexual relationships, among them: 1. The fear that other people don’t want what we want, won’t understand what we want, won’t be able to give us what we want, will think we’re weird for wanting it, won’t want us. 2. The fear that we won’t be made happy, that we can’t make other people happy, that we don’t understand happiness or pleasure, that it will forever elude us, or that we will lose it and never have it again. 3. The fear that we are alone, that we cannot really connect with another person, that we are unknown, misunderstood, or misinterpreted, that we do not have a place in the world.”
The series “Man of the House,” presents a subjective look at the continuum of gender within a framework of masculinity. Operating on the assumption that gender is constructed through performance, I conducted a series of portrait sessions that functioned as anthropological surveys.
Hymen: a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. Hymens can come in different shapes. The most common hymen in young girls is shaped like a half moon. This shape allows menstrual blood to flow out of a girl’s vagina.
Imperforate hymen: An imperforate hymen can be diagnosed at birth. Rarely, the diagnosis isn’t made until the teen years. An imperforate hymen is a thin membrane that completely covers the opening to the vagina. Menstrual blood cannot flow out of the vagina. This usually causes the blood to back up into the vagina which often develops into an abdominal mass and abdominal and/or back pain. Some teens may also have pain with bowel movements and difficulty passing urine.
The treatment for an imperforate hymen is minor surgery to remove the extra hymenal tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening so that menstrual blood can flow out of the vagina.
Microperforate hymen: A microperforate hymen is a thin membrane that almost completely covers the opening to a young women’s vagina. Menstrual blood is usually able to flow out of the vagina but the opening is very small. A teen with a microperforate hymen usually will not be able to get a tampon into her vagina and may not realize that she has a very tiny opening. If she is able to put a tampon into her vagina she may not be able to remove it when it becomes filled with blood. The treatment is minor surgery to remove the extra hymenal tissue making a normal sized opening for menstrual blood to flow out.
Septate hymen: A septate hymen is when the thin hymenal membrane has a band of extra tissue in the middle that causes two small vaginal openings instead of one. Teens with a septate hymen may have trouble getting a tampon in or trouble getting a tampon out. The treatment for a septate hymen is minor surgery to remove the extra band of tissue and create a normal sized vaginal opening.