Category Archives: LGBT Relationships

New Jersey Schools Still No Stranger to Gay Hate

Now, with social media, it is easier than ever to discover the views and routines of the people that we work with through websites like Facebook where one can “like” a post and have it show up in the newsfeeds of friends and even friends of friends. Of course the downside of this is that private opinion can quickly become public. Such was the case when Reverend Warren Hall, one of the directors at Seton Hall University in New Jersey “liked” a gay equality “No H8” photo on facebook.

Reverend Warren Hall claims that the facebook post cost him his job. Seton Hall University declines to comment on the incident, but the Reverend states that the incident is reason to address the issue of LGBT rights more frequently among religious organizations. The anti-gay Facebook comments that were allegedly made by a High School teacher earlier this year leads one to wonder if the New Jersey School system needs to address LGBT issues more frequently. New Jersey Human Rights laws do prohibit bullying and discrimination in schools, but the failure of the state to fire teachers such as Knox that make anti-gay remarks in the name of free speech smacks of an ineptitude for truly resolving LGBT rights issues.

New Jersey Schools Still No Stranger to Gay Hate

The real issue here is not just one of privacy and discrimination. The mood of a nation is being threatened by a stigma, and it’s this same stigma that prevents LGBT youths and young adults from seeking the health counseling that they need. The failure of the education system to address LGBT sexual health and relationships is perhaps the biggest obstacle in the fight against the spread of STDs, so it is important that people in communities where injustices like this occur raise their voices.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in your community’s awareness of LGBT issues the website http://www.lgbtcenters.org/ has local directories.

A Dating App for Lesbians Created by a Lesbian

The dating app called “Her” was created exclusively for lesbians.

The service used to be named “Dattch” (a combo of the words date and catch), but people were having trouble pronouncing it, remembering it or knowing what it meant. In addition, Dattch was made for romantic relationships and dating. Her, on the other hand, has the option for pursuing relationships that are strictly platonic. This occurred because a lot of people wanted to be in on the social side of Her–the events posted and what everyone’s up to, for example. Her is a place to find a community of lesbians.

A Dating App for Lesbians Created by a Lesbian

Even though people of any sexual orientation are able to use OkCupid, Match.com, and Tinder, Her was the first dating app created for lesbians. The other sites usually have a limited dating pool for lesbians, with men even pretending to be women sometimes. There is another popular app that was created for lesbians. It’s called Brenda and was created by a man. Some people would not consider that encouraging or appealing.

When users of Her visit the site they are shown one profile at a time. This gives them the option to “like” the profile. Both users can exchange private messages if they “like” each other. Users are encouraged to upload photos of themselves to be displayed. There’s a lot going on with Her as far as social events go, too. There are blog feeds on the app, for eight cities across the US that show what’s going on in entertainment.

There have been some obstacles along with the creation of Her. Exton said that she had issues trying to find investors, some even doubting her sexuality because she has long hair. She was also told there wasn’t any market, but thankfully this has proven to be false because the app has seen consistent, month-to-month growth.

‘Pansexual’ Is a More Accurate Label for Many

Most of the time, the LGBTQ community focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in conversation, etc. Often, though, pansexuals are completely misidentified as bisexual. Are you confused at all? Well, maybe you are if you’re unfamiliar with the term.

A pansexual is a person who may be attracted to females, males, transgender people and non-binary individuals. To them, biological sex (one’s physical gender at birth) and gender identity are not relevant as far as attraction goes. The prefix means “all” or “every” in Greek.

Just like bisexuality, pansexuality is often dismissed as being a greedy or indecisive. This is not true, though. A pansexual is open to loving the person, no matter their sexuality or gender identification. As bisexuals are attracted to two sexes based on gender, pansexuals are effectively blind to gender and are attracted to others for reasons beyond it, such as emotions, personality and ideals. This is not to say that everyone else doesn’t find different qualities important, but pansexuals have a wider range of people with whom they may become attracted.

'Pansexual' Is a More Accurate Label for Many

The term ‘pansexuality’ first came into use in the mid 90’s, but hasn’t been significantly searched for (on Google, for example) until about five years ago. This might be due to more recent generations being more in touch with themselves.

It can be difficult for pansexuals to know how to clearly define themselves. Some may choose ‘queer’ as a term that seems more inclusive, but it’s not exactly descriptive. It can be helpful if a celebrity decides to come out, but are they really practicing their assertion that they’re attracted to personality and not gender? It seems to be a more politically correct thing to say these days, but it’s damaging if it’s untrue. There are actually people (pansexuals) who feel this way. So, if a pansexual celebrity comes out as such, that’s great–if it’s true and not a publicity tactic.

Many pansexuals know how they differ from bisexuals; this can be a sore subject. It doesn’t seem appropriate for them to identify as bisexual when that means only including cisgender people. Rapper, Angel Haze (who has dated model Ireland Baldwin) says that for her: “love is boundary-less. If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh… then I can be with you. I don’t care if you’re a hermaphrodite or whatever.” She says, “I’m not gay, I’m not straight, I’m not bisexual – I don’t care,” she says. “At the end of the day, I just want someone to connect with.”

Common Anxieties New Intergenerational Gay Couples Experience

Intergenerational couples face anxieties related to their age differences and prejudices from the outside that can make it exceptionally difficult for their relationships to grow. By taking the obvious anxieties (sometimes they’re not apparent to either partner) and tackling them head on, differences can be deemed worthy of addressing or irreconcilable. Read on to learn of some of the top anxieties some gay intergenerational couples face.

Perception
When intergenerational couples are first beginning their relationship, they’re often concerned about the perception of others. A lot of anxieties for the couple dictate their approach to the relationship. Significant negative impacts may result from outside societal pressure.

Opportunism
Both partners in a relationship may suspect that they’re being taken advantage of in some way. For example, does the younger one in the relationship just use the older partner for their money? Or, is the older partner using the younger partner for sex, or as “arm candy”? It’s important to have this discussion with your partner before assuming opportunism is the case because it can be very hurtful if that assumption is incorrect. Of course, if it’s true, it’s a legitimate reason to call it quits.

Common Anxieties New Intergenerational Gay Couples Experience

Sexual performance
This is more often an anxiety experienced by the older partner.  As men age, their sexual function often decreases and they focus on those problems. They might have concerns with performance and how their younger partner will judge them. It’s also the case that the younger man might fear they’re not experienced enough for their older partner.

Autonomy
This is more of a problem for the younger partner in a relationship. The older partner is quite often more established financially and professionally. And, they have usually been out of the closet for a longer period of time; more secure with their sexuality. At the same time, the older partner may fear that they’re holding back their younger partner when it comes to to their development and sexual experiences.

Rejection
This happens in many relationships that are new– the fear of rejection. All of the anxieties we have feed into this fear. Is the younger man experienced or educated as much as the older man? On the other hand,  is the older man fit enough, with sufficient energy to keep up with his younger partner?  If there’s any concern, these are important questions to explore with your partner; they can be confronted and dealt with…and the relationship can flourish.

Questions that Insult Queer Women

There are some questions you’re better off knowing will likely be annoying to queer women.

Who’s the man in your relationship?
Who is the man in your relationship?  Lesbian relationships involve two women and this question assumes that one of the women is acting as a man.  Even if the relationship involves a more feminine woman and a butch woman, this doesn’t mean that one of them is roleplaying as a man. It’s rude to assume so.

How do you have sex?
Is this a question you would ask anybody?  Why would you think that it’s appropriate to ask a lesbian or bisexual woman?   And, there’s more than one way to go about having sex no matter your sexual orientation.  Are you really expecting anybody you choose to provide the details of their sexual activities?

If you’ve never had sex with a man how do you know you’re a lesbian?
Answer this question yourself by asking:  how do I know my sexuality if I haven’t engaged in sex with someone of the same sex?

Are you up for a threesome?
Many queer women are affected by this question– especially bisexual women.  Just as many, if not more, queer women choose to be in a monogamous relationship and have no interest whatsoever in inviting anybody else to join.

Questions That Can Be Insulting to Queer Women

You must not be bisexual anymore since you married a man
Just because a bisexual woman enters into a monogamous relationship with a man doesn’t mean that she has lost her sexuality.  Although she may not continue to have sex with women, it’s very possible she’s still going to be attracted to women. The fact that she doesn’t act on it doesn’t make it less so.

You just haven’t found the right man
This assumes that queer women exist just because they’ve had unpleasant experiences with men. While it may be the case that some of them have had bad relationships with men, the same would apply to heterosexual women. Does this mean that they are going to become lesbians suddenly? No.

Life would be so much easier if I were a lesbian
Really?  Probably not, especially due to the hate crimes, higher suicide rates, harassment, workplace discrimination, stigma,  possible isolation from your family,  and the list goes on. This is an insensitive comment to make to a queer woman. Do you really think life would be easier? Choose sensitivity; think before you speak.

Tips for Lesbians Seeking a Love Life Boost

Do you feel a little bored with your sex life? Or, maybe even feel like it’s a chore? That’s not what anyone wants when it comes to sex. It’s okay. It’s normal to go through periods of time when you’re somewhat stuck and need to put a little more effort into spicing things up.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Spend time together
It’s wise not to assume things will work out on their own.  You need to put some effort into creating a more satisfying love life.  Mark your calendar and set aside an entire day for the two of you to explore each other completely — mind and body.  Both of you may be pleasantly surprised about what you discover.

Kiss for awhile
Why don’t both of you spend a lot more time kissing, without worrying about doing anything else?  Often, lovers spend a lot of time thinking about the end result. You may find that if you spend time kissing, you’ll become much more intimate and sex will be phenomenal.

Don’t become too comfortable
You and your lover need not become victims of lesbian bed death.  Make sure to spend some time away from each other once in a while; make your own friends, and just socialize.  A little bit of time away from each other will make you both appreciate one another that much more.  Of course, this appreciation and excitement will extend to the bedroom.

Tips for Lesbians Seeking a Love Life Boost

Buy some sex toys
Even the thought alone and the decision to purchase a good toy is exciting.  If you’re both inexperienced, check out some websites that sell adult toys, and communicate about what turns you on.  Maybe start with a dildo, which is pretty versatile. If you decide you want to go all out and use a strap-on for sex, do that, too. It’s your choice, and that can be arousing on its own.

Pick out a good lube
This is important to use on your sex toys, but also in general.  It can be rubbed in all sorts of sexy places and is even more arousing if you choose one with stimulant properties.

Massage
Incorporate some massage into your love life.  Make sure to explore every inch of your lover’s body. Using lotions and oil makes it that much better. You may discover new places you both like to be touched.

Dress up/Role play
You might decide to go for some power playing if you’re in a respectful, trusting relationship.  This may strengthen your trust towards each other.  One person playing the dominating role can be incredibly arousing.  You may also choose to use costumes and uniforms.  Invite a light-hearted sense of humor to set the mood.  Laughing together can be sexy…and maybe you’ve always been turned on by a woman in uniform–here’s your chance to make that happen.

Popular Misconceptions about Bisexuals

There are many harmful misconceptions out there regarding bisexuality.

These common assumptions exist in and outside of the LGBT community.  Bisexuality is real and it’s here to stay.  Some of your friends might be bisexual (or you might be, of course) and won’t come out for fear of being judged harshly and incorrectly.  It’s time that everyone is able to put these myths to rest.  Here are some of the most popular fallacies about bisexuality:

Bisexuals are attracted to men and women equally

Everyone is different.  Some who identify as bisexual might be attracted to one gender in a different way than they are to another and possibly much more.  Others do not believe that gender matters at all when it comes to their attractions.  It’s best to refer to the Kinsey scale to understand this more thoroughly. The Kinsey scale has sexual orientation displayed on a scale from 0 to 6.  Zero means that a person is completely heterosexual and 6 means exclusively homosexual. We can each fit anywhere on that scale…and we won’t necessarily stay in the exact spot.

Popular Misconceptions about Bisexuals

Bisexuals are in a phase before coming out as homosexual

It is possible that some lesbian and gay people came out as bisexual first, but that’s not the rule.  It’s also true that some who identify as lesbian or gay end up coming out as bisexual.  Sexuality can be fluid for some, just like a lot of things in life.

We’re all bisexual or we’re all not bisexual

Bisexuality is real.  There are actually individuals who will be attracted to and have sex with both men and women for their entire lives.  This is not everyone, though.

Bisexuals can’t have a partner of just one gender

It’s a common misconception that bisexual people will need to be involved with both genders to be sexually and emotionally fulfilled.  There are many who are perfectly content having the partner they’re with at any given time and who want to be monogamous.

Bisexuals are just very promiscuous people…more than any other group

Just as with any other sexual orientation, there will be some people who are promiscuous and some who are extremely monogamous.  Sexual orientation is not the deciding factor here, the individual makes the decision.

Is Coming Out at Work the Right Choice?

Making a decision about coming out is a difficult one.  If you’re lucky, you already know you’ll have needed support from your family and friends. The decision about whether to come out at work can be especially risky for some. There’s no right or wrong answer for everyone in general, but it might be helpful to weigh the pros and cons.

Pros

You might become more relaxed
It takes up a lot of our mental energy to try to ‘pass’ in any way at work. We have to be vigilant about using gender neutral pronouns and possibly feel as if we need to behave in a more feminine or masculine way than we actually feel. Coming out could be just what’s needed to take the load off of our shoulders. Without all of that worry and pretense, other things can be focused on, such as building professional relationships.

You’ll know who’s not on your side
Those who knew of your capabilities before you came out will have no choice but to acknowledge it, even if not out loud. It can also stop any hate speech that might have occurred before because bigoted co-workers will know that it’s now personal.

You’ll find out who supports you
You never know, you might find out you have a fellow co-worker in the LGBT community in the next cubicle over! Plus, you might inspire someone to come out if they haven’t already.

Is Coming Out at Work the Right Choice?

Cons

You might get attention you don’t want
You might not want everyone to know. Some co-workers may think that your coming out is an invitation for them to ask personal questions about your sex life. They won’t care or even understand that it’s inappropriate. You might be working with some seriously hateful (even threatening) bigots. Of course you should be able to rely on HR to have your back, but that might not actually happen.

It could turn out to be dangerous
There’s a chance you might lose your job after coming out, even if it is against company policy. There are always cases of people making up false reasons for ‘letting you go’ or cutting down hours until there aren’t any left. Try to understand the atmosphere of your workplace first. There are states where you can be fired after coming out. Check out the laws first. It’s ultimately your decision to come out, or not.

Common Myths about Lesbians Debunked

Are you a lesbian tired of hearing myths about who you are and what you do?

Or, are you just curious and want to dig beneath the surface for some truth? Either way, it’s important to clear up some common misconceptions every once in awhile. Some of them can be quite damaging. Let’s look at some of the more frequent myths:

Lesbians are man-haters
This isn’t true at all. In fact, there are lesbians who love men.  They have long-term friendships with men and might have a man who’s a best friend to them. It’s confusing that this myth is popular at all because it doesn’t make logical sense.

Butch lesbians really want to be men
It’s true that we all express ourselves in different ways and sometimes it happens that women wear clothing or their hair in styles that are more traditionally masculine. It does not follow that women want to be another gender. Those looking to change their sex are transsexual. Sometimes clothing style has little to do with expression and more to do with comfort.

You must sleep with a woman before you know you’re a lesbian
If heterosexuals can know they’re attracted to someone else before sex, the same applies to lesbians, or anyone else for that matter.

If you’re a lesbian this means you’re attracted to all women
Bogus. This is a myth where anyone’s concerned. Apply it to yourself. Are you attracted to everyone of a specific group?

Being a lesbian is a choice
There have been numerous types of therapies attempting to get people to “become” straight that are not only ineffective, but downright damaging. Studies have shown that sexual orientation isn’t chosen and that it’s an inborn trait.

Lesbians relationships are about sex
Not true. Lesbian relationships are often multi-faceted, involving families and emotional connections as well as sex.

Lesbians just haven’t found ‘the right man’
If anything, many lesbians haven’t found the right woman yet.  Just as in any type of relationship, it takes some time to find the right partner. Lesbians aren’t interested in finding the right man because they’re attracted to women. It seems simple enough, but a lot of people find that difficult to swallow.

You know a lesbian when you see her
You might, in fact, have a decent intuition or “gaydar”, but this is not something that can be measured in any definite way just by looking at someone.

One partner plays “the man” in a lesbian relationship
Sometimes the dynamics of a same sex relationship make it seem easier to assume that male/female roles are being played, but it’s not the case.  There are a lot of different kinds of lesbian relationships, butch/femme being one, but that doesn’t mean that one person is pretending to be a man.

Lesbians can’t be religious or spiritual
There are some churches that are accepting of all humans, and spirituality is a subjective experience. Unfortunately, there are some denominations that would think lesbians are living in sin.

http://www.healthyplace.com/gender/lesbian/top-10-myths-about-lesbians/

http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/comingoutadvice/tp/LesbianMyths.htm

 

Saying Goodbye to Lesbian Bed Death

Sometimes when a couple has been together for a long time, sex isn’t the main priority for them, or one person in the relationship isn’t as into it.  Regarding lesbian relationships, this has been called “Lesbian Bed Death” (LBD).

Just like any other type of couple, a lesbian couple might find that they’re not as passionate as they were when they first met.  Even though this a common occurrence for those who’ve been together long-term, it is a hot topic in the LGBT community.  This issue can be worked on if both partners in the relationship are willing to give it a shot. Read on for some ideas you can use to spice up your sex life and put LBD behind you.

Reintroduce romance to the relationship
It’s easy enough to take your partner for granted when you’ve been together for awhile. You’re both most likely very busy, juggling work and family life. See what happens when you start to surprise your partner with tickets to a movie they want to see or some flowers. Whatever you know will make them smile.

Spend some time on your own
Have your own life and social circle. Maybe take up a new hobby or join a group with similar interests. A little time away from each other now and then will make you appreciate each other more.

Saying Goodbye to Lesbian Bed Death

Go ahead and have sex
There’s always an excuse to not have time for something that seems like a luxury. Sex is an important part of an intimate relationship. Make it a priority and set aside time for quick, but passionate lovemaking during a break at work, or go on a mini vacation to a hotel, even near home.

Show affection toward each other
When you’re not being loving and affectionate (touching, cuddling, kissing, etc.), you might as well be housemates.  Long-term relationships need love and attention. Remember why you were so excited about your partner in the first place and go from there.