Is not the most erotic portion of a body where the garment gapes? …It is this flash itself which seduces.

Roland Barthes

For the record, I support Miley Cyrus’ style evolution and her penchant for shade, but she requires an education on “sexiness” as it relates to performance and her onstage persona. There are so many examples of recording artists executing effortless “sexy.” There’s this. And this. And this. And this.

Those artists understand both the capabilities and the limitations of their natural movement and they dance accordingly. And more importantly, as Cher stated rather plainly, Miley’s performance just wasn’t good. She could have slapped a newborn while smoking a crack pipe and if the performance was stellar, no one would have cared. In fact, we would have all lined up to slap a child in the name of Miley awesome.

But it wasn’t.

So we cringed.

"The greatest performers, like Madonna in a canonical video such as “Vogue,” know how to use suggestion and mystery to project the magic of sexual allure. Miley, go back to school!" - TIME

Unless, of course, her 2013 VMA performance was meant to be playfully ironic; tauntingly kitsch. Or if she truly loves trap music, but just can’t seem to dance to the rhythm of the beat… then, well, carry on Miley. Carry on.

The Transformation of Tiresias

Unassuming English students, at least in Philadelphia public high schools, are charged with the study of Greek Mythology. 

The boys romanticize Odysseus’ sirens. I, the parable of Tiresias.

This one time at band camp, Tiresias frolicked in the meadow kicking rocks at snakes. Hera, the original Bellatrix Lestrange, loved dearly her serpentine playthings. Tiresias’ actions angered her. As the Regina George of Olympus, she punished Tiresias by transforming him into a woman for a long while. 

Okay so here’s the part I enjoyed. I was twelve. 

In some other tale of antiquity, maybe Oedipus, Zeus and Hera argue who derives more pleasure from sex - men or women. The usual debates. The Goddesses of Mt. Olympus placatingly profess men the ultimate beneficiaries, not wanting them to know their truth. Zeus humors little patience for subjectivity and conjures Tiresias, now in his umpteenth year as a diva priestess. Tiresas explains, having engaged intimately as both a man and woman, women enjoy sex three times more than men. 

Ninth grade me envisioned my wedding night and smiled. 

Fast-forward some millenia. 

research team led by Gert Holstege at the University of Groningen scientifically confirm the notion. Though during heterosexual sex the male orgasm is assured and the female orgasm elusive, when the “g-spot” and/or clitoris are aroused, females experience overwhelming ecstasy. This is science. 

The neurologists scanned the brain activity of both male and female participants before, during, and after orgasm. The results demonstrate that in anticipation, dopamine is released in large quantities. This is the case for both sexes. In men,  parts of the brain shut down during orgasm, but not all. 

In women… in women

In women, the brain nearly planks on comatose. Utter deactivation. Even the parts of the brain controlling motor skills. Thus, any movement experienced during orgasm is physiologically performed in an unconscious state. One of the Groningen scientists mused on History Channel’s The Brain, “Women just… let go.” 

The ancient Greeks knew be knowing

post Whitney.

Sparse | mordant | honest,


Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul fancies his acuity as such. 

And I suppose it is. Hemingway. 

Leaving the Whitney today, a friend of a friend of a friend happened to be reading a Naipaul novel outside of the museum and the conversation quickly diverted to the censuring comments the author made of women writers last May. 

Naipaul on how his writing transcends… the universe, and the “banality” of his female peers

The friend of the friend of the friend huffed “Ugh. Naipaul is a misogynist,” and without context I shunned the self-aggrandizing novelist to that deep dark bad in my spirit. 

But, doubling back for contexture.

The author, who was born in Trinidad [of Indian descent], said this was because of women’s “sentimentality, the narrow view of the world”. “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too,” he said. (The Guardian)

And like that, no longer offended, as it is apparent Naipaul’s perspective is as picayune as they come. The irony. Reminiscent of Pausanias’ speech in The Symposium:  Love honoring ‘Heavenly Aphrodite’ springs entirely of the male and is free of wantonness; is intellectual, soulful, and longstanding. ‘Common Aphrodite’ is of the female and is provincial, prurient, and coquettish. Right… Ryan Murphy’s bible.

Blame the patriarchy. Basically.

Naipaul’s view of women is almost exclusively jaded by his inability to eclipse culturalisms. The lens of a female NYC writer is dissimilar to that of female writer from Lancaster, PA than a female writer from a remote village in the Sikkim state of India, than an Egyptian female writer, than a female writer from Wales, than an oracle, than a Brian Griffin.  

Conditioning and access, not the dyadic composition of chromosomes, is most emblematic of a person’s ascribed writing style, of their depth perception. 

Alex Clark, a literary journalist, said, “It’s absurd. I suspect VS Naipaul thinks that there isn’t anyone who is his equal. Is he really saying that writers such as Hilary Mantel, A S Byatt, Iris Murdoch are sentimental or write feminine tosh?” (IBN Live)

His Eruditeness, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipul, this, this eludes him. 

Stories surrounding the transgendered should not always illicit a spatial pathos reminiscent of 1992’s “The Crying Game,” as is most often the practice in media portrayals - A dissemination tool that only acts to further alienate those whose identities evade cisgendered “normativity.”

So it’s refreshing that inspiring stories like Janet Mock’s “It Happened To Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was A Boy" are spotlighted in mainstream press

"Though many guys I’ve dated do not and may never know the gender history of the girl they randomly made out with on the street, I have relayed my story to a select few."

"I have something to tell you," I remember saying. 

Aaron stood at the foot of his bed, readying himself for disappointment, it seemed to me. Or at least that’s what I internalized. 

How do I say this? I ask myself.

"OK, let me just say it: I was born a boy."

I don’t look at his face while spouting off the details of my journey through genders as a kid: “I knew I was a girl from my very first thoughts.” “I began presenting as female from age 12”;  ”I took hormones in high school”; “I flew to Thailand to have surgery at 18.”

When I finally stopped talking, I exhaled. I’d finally told someone I was falling for my whole story. And I was afraid that my biggest fear would come true: Aaron would look at me differently.

And it did come true.

I could no longer just be Aaron’s fantasy, a mixed girl with curly hair from Hawaii with a master’s degree and a job that “a million girls would kill for.” Our fantasies had ended and now we were just two people bare in front of one another. 

"Can I hug you?" Aaron asked. 

Halcyon progress, oh the delight!

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published findings that Science Daily reported. 

Researchers followed about 8,000 Brits from ages 5 to 30. They tested their IQ twice during childhood — and at 16 and 30, they asked them if they’d used a variety of drugs in the last year. Men who had high IQs at 5 were 50% more likely than other men to use ecstasy or speed at 30. The effect was even bigger among women — high-IQ ladies were twice as likely to smoke weed and do coke as other women (Jezebel).”

A friend who studied Human Development told me her professor stated that research showed women with advanced degrees were less confined by social constructs, likely due to a wintery mix of intellectual stimulation and exposure, and thus more sexually fluid than other women. Apparently entitlement and a heightened notion of indestructibility is the accompaniment.

And also, they get in to some shih