Emily Foster and Emily Nagoski, Part One

Life turns out to be full of coincidences. I used to go to ComicCon San Diego regularly. I went there before going there was cool. And in the wonderful days before huge movie studios and comic book producers started hanging out there. My husband and I knew the winds of change were upon us when the price of a ticket for all weekend went up tremendously and one could not buy next year’s tickets at this year’s convention. The chances of getting tickets through a phone call on the day they go on sale are slim to Hahaha nice try.

We went mostly to see our favorite webcomics, especially super nice guy R. Stevens. He looked for us every year and the first year we had to say no, he sent us a Facebook message to check up on us.

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Forward a decade or so and my local chapter of Romance Writers of America’s February 2018 meeting. I am embarrassed to say I never made the connection until one of R. Stevens’ distinctive artwork showed up on a slide.

Emily Nagoski writes as Emily Foster for fiction. Her wonderful eye-opening non-fiction work, Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life should be on most feminists’ must read list. And people who were born with one set of sexual equipment and realized they needed to change it around. Emily worked as a Sex Therapist at the Kinsey Institute. She’s a graduate of, and for eight years, worked as a lecturer and Director of Wellness Education at Smith College.

Her title for the talk: The Science of High Impact Love Scenes. Oh, goodness and blush and all that. Sign me up. I am in the middle of trying to make my short porn story pleasing to romance readers, I needed this stuff.

People are all much more alike than different, both male and female. We are wonderful. Please take care of yourself. Not everyone is comfortable hearing about or speaking about sexual science or related areas. If you need to leave the talk, physically and or mentally, no one will point a finger at you.

Our sex drive works through a dual process, like the gas and brake. Having sex in a stairwell while bad guys chasing them makes some women laugh, they can’t even have sex if there are dirty dishes in the sink. Reviews at Smart Bitches Trashy Books are quick to point out these types of issues.

She continued to say that some people have a sensitive accelerator and some have a sensitive brake. Using sex as a negative affectivity (awesome word!) to arouse someone with a super sensitive brake is likely to push that person to be asexual. Sexual trauma, using a person’s own sexuality as a weapon against them, is becoming wide-spread. Following such an experience, a person must learn to be touched safely and work through the feelings, which will go away. The belief in science now is that your sexual gas and brake are stable across your lifetime, but they can’t get funding to do childhood sexuality studies.

Things that turn us on are learned close to birth. The things that turn us off are also learned at that time. But not immediately. When you are born, every part of you is perfect and worthy of love. Then life happens and you start to think that’s not true any longer. Surprise! Nothing has changed in all the years of life. Getting back to acceptance of your worth and perfection is important.

Writers of Romance, weave some of this into your fiction. All heroines should spend time thinking about how they look naked in full light. Anyone who doesn’t do this is not a fully formed character. Also, how they smell, how they feel, what their expectation is of this encounter. What history has taught him or her and what mistakes they don’t want to make again.

True Fact: Cocaine lights up the same parts of the brain as sex. Because there is only one part of the brain that responds to pleasure stimulation. One hedonic center to rule them all. (See, Emily is a nerd!)

A large and on-going study was done on both men and women of many sexual orientations. They used some interesting equipment called the RigiScan and Arousometer. The goal was to see if the brain could tell what the genitals were reacting to. The answer, mostly, is no.

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Brain and Genitals are best friends who go on vacation. Genitals can tell right away which places sell food. They are good at pointing out restaurants. “We could eat there. Or over there. Or over there.” Brain knows which are good restaurants, which are safe. (Male genitals only identify diners. Bisexuals identify too widely to give specific feedback.) So it takes a combination of both to get what they need.

Emily read 50 Shades as research. No, really. And that book saved small sex toy shops. By the way, if you have never shopped for sex toys online, what are you waiting for? This webcomic, Oh Joy Sex Toy does serious reviews of the items available.

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Back to the Shades of Gray book. The author got a lot wrong. But Christian Gray is her target audience. The lack of clear consent from Anna practically turns the sex into rape.

I think everyone should view Project Unbreakable on Tumblr — People, men and women, are photographed with posters or notes tell the things their rapists or molesters, family, friends, police, and often first responders, said to them. Have some tissue handy for this one. The photo Emily used as an example is a woman whose rapist told her, “But you were so wet.” Women can get wet with just a little stimulation, whether or not they are interested in having sex at that time. I am ashamed I used that frequently in my writing. In the same way, men can get erections despite not wanting to be involved with someone.

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Nonetheless, we all need more lube. If you are going to have intercourse for longer than 5 minutes, grab the lube or the oil. Even coconut oil works, because it’s good smelling. Just remember that oils will break down latex. If you are using a condom, get the appropriate lube. And no, even the lubricated ones need more.

I’m going to stop here because there is way more to this subject, including books we should all read with heroes who believe a woman is a person and should have her own life. Who’d a thunk it? Thanks for reading, go get all of Emily’s books, and I’ll be back on Thursday with a lighter subject, then the second half next Sunday.

One thought on “Emily Foster and Emily Nagoski, Part One

  1. I knew Comic-Con was in trouble when the TV show that tells how to marry a millionaire told women to go to Comic-Con to meet (& marry) rich tech nerds. Sheesh, really?

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