SlutWalk Houston is right around the corner, and we've decided to celebrate, (Hair) Balls out. In case you're not familiar with the march, SlutWalk was born of a Toronto police officer's comment that women should avoid "dressing like sluts" in order not to be raped. It's a chance to stop the cycle of victim-blaming when it comes to rape, and possibly to strip a dirty word of its sting by owning it as only true sluts can.
Here's an homage to our five favorite Texans who took a stand through the name of sluttiness.
5. Joanne Webb Not long ago, the vibrating faux phallus hidden in your sock drawer was considered an enemy of the state. It was illegal in Texas to sell, give, or even lend a dildo or other sex toy to a vagina in need. All the way until 2008!
Joanne Webb didn't let a frigid little law get in her way of spreading the joy of self-loving to Texas housewives. The Burleson mother (and Baptist) was a rep for Passion Parties, the sex-toy version of Tupperware parties. In 2003, two undercover cops busted her whoredom wide open when they posed as a couple that wanted to recharge their sex life. Webb sold them a vibrator, told them how to use it and was arrested on the spot. Though later acquitted, her case helped unlock the Texas chastity belt that led to the law's repeal.
So every time you reach for your butt plug, say a silent thanks to Webb. Her gospel of sluttiness penetrated far, deep and wide into the dark and cavernous yawn of Texas decency.
4. Fort Worth Independent School District Everybody raised in Texas knows that sexuality is a switch that flips on at the altar, resulting in clean and controlled copulation later that night and at several other times in the course of a life. Before saying "I do," sex is sinful and shameful and causes you to die. If you believe in God, you will not get an STD. Don't even ask what happens to the homosexuals.
So found a 2009 study, more or less, conducted by two professors of health education at Texas State University. The study, called "Just Say Don't Know," surveyed almost 1,000 Texas school districts to figure out what our children are learning about sex.
The results aren't pretty. Only four percent of Texas school districts teach anything beyond abstinence-only, it found. The other 96 percent? Well, here's one e-mail response from Evant Independent School District:
[We are] a small school with 301 students in grades PK to 12. Most of these kids live on a farm or have animals they feed and care for. They get a pretty good sex education from their animals.
(And that was just one of several "our animals teach sex better than we can" replies.)
Though they can be counted on less than one hand, there are a few oases of slutty school districts. Fort Worth ISD, the study found, offers one of the only comprehensive sex education districts in the state. Yes, abstinence is still the prescribed way of boning. But the district's School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) also mandates that schools provide "relevant and necessary information regarding other means of contraception and disease prevention in a thoughtful and non-judgmental way," according to a document from the group. Fort Worth's SHAC meets often, the study found, and members are required to keep up-to-date on legal and health issues.
Sounds pretty slutty schoolgirl to us.
3. Governor Rick Perry Yup, our Rick Perry is a certified slut. Perry's slutworthy tendencies aren't always readily apparent -- especially these days, as he chokes Planned Parenthood to its knees, despite PP's use of the safe word to stop. But make no mistake: Perry was once an activist for all that is good and slutty. In 2007, he signed an executive order mandating the Gardasil vaccine for all sixth grade girls in Texas. Gardasil saves women's lives by protecting against cancer-causing strains of HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.
Perry knew it would never pass without an executive order, since Texas believes all of its children practice abstinence until marriage (just like they learned on the farm!). Clean Texas girls just don't get cervical cancer. Those who do are ravaging whores, opponents opined, remarking that the so-called "slut shot" would increase promiscuity. The state Legislature overrode the order.
Texas almost became the first state to mandate a vaccine that would save the lives of sexually active Texans. For his one-man championing of the slut shot, we wave our garters to Rick Perry.
2. Walgreens Have you ever used an FC2 Female Condom? It's a cylindrical sheath that lines the vagina (penis receptacle, for you non-sluts) and protects against STDs and pregnancies. Female condoms are the first female-initiated method of birth control, so even if a man refuses to wear a condom, the women can protect herself. They're also great for men and women who engage in anal sex. FC2s are all the rage among sluts who want greater power over their bodies.
Until recently, the condoms have been hard to find. But in March, Walgreens became the first pharmacy to stock FC2s. They're still only available in select stores nationwide, but luckily, Texas's Walgreens were some of the first to hop on the slut-wagon. Celebrate with a trip to one of the nearby female condom-dispensers.
1. Patrick Califia It doesn't get any sluttier than the author of the 1988 BDSM classic Macho Sluts.
The erotic author, pornographer and activist started out his life a girl, a Mormon and a Texan. Two of those things changed, but we'll always count Califia proudly as a Texan. Califia is counted among the most influential sex-positive radical feminists, those who believe sexual freedom is inextricable from women's freedom.
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Califia's work celebrates BDSM, lesbianism and about every other sexual subculture discovered. He helped countless readers through his sex-advice column in The Advocate, the nation's longest-running LGBT magazine. And he never, ever judged.
Why do I write? I write because I have to, because it is all I know, because it is my truth, because I am compelled, because I am driven to make the world acknowledge that women like me exist, and we possess a dangerous wisdom.
A sage, sage nugget of slutvice.