2015: Sex

 The world is your oyster

By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

Photo: “We are committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.” – Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Raise your hand if you’re excited and maybe also a little confused about the state of sex in society. Yes, okay, I see that’s a rough majority of you. That’s good! So you don’t know your transgender from your cisgender, your Title IX from your Title X, your self-objectification from your empowerment. That’s okay! We’re in the midst of celebrating a spectrum of sexual experience and identity that was hitherto poo-pooed by both social and legal forums, and with that kind of shift comes a whole lot of learning opportunities and the occasional showdown along the way. I’ve gathered some of 2015’s national gaze-grabbing headlines to illustrate the two-steps-forward-one-step-back journey we’re taking on our way to sexual enlightenment.

Transgender Firsts

February

In February, Zoey Tur joined Inside Edition as a special correspondent, becoming the first transgender TV reporter on national TV in America.

April

In April, Laverne Cox was the first transgender actress to be featured in Allure magazines Nudes edition, and in June was the first transgender person to have a wax figure of herself placed in Madame Tussauds. Is it any wonder she was named to People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful Women 2015?

May

Scott Turner Schofield became the first openly transgender actor to play a major role on daytime television when he joined the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful as the character Nick.

July

Caitlyn Jenner became the first transgender woman to adorn the cover of Vanity Fair in July. Jenner, a retired Olympic decathlon champion and reality television personality formerly known as Bruce, announced her transition in an April interview with Diane Sawyer and officially changed her name and gender Sept. 25.

August

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan became the first transgender person to be on the White House staff when she was appointed by President Barack Obama as Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel.

September

Jeffrey Tambor, who plays protagonist Maura on the popular Transparent, became the first actor to win an Emmy for portraying a transgender character.

November

The Venice International Film Festival award-winning film “The Danish Girl” opened in limited release Nov. 27 and will soon be playing at The Neon in downtown Dayton. The film is based on a true story and stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Ilse Elvenes, a transgender woman who was one of the first people in the world to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

Blue dress returns to top of dirty laundry pile

April

April 16, one of Donald Trump’s social media employees retweeted a sentiment from actress/horse-riding champion Sawyer Burmeister: “@mplefty67: If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” @realDonaldTrump #2016president”. The reference to 1998’s political sex scandal between President William Jefferson Clinton and White House employee Monica Lewinsky was later deleted by Trump, but how many of his 5 million followers saw it during the interim is unknown.

Uteruses and libidos and legislation, oh my!

July

Planned Parenthood, perpetually in the spotlight for its controversial stance on providing health care, came under intense scrutiny this summer after anti-abortion organization the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released heavily edited videos showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing donated fetal tissue. Nov. 17, the Ohio House approved House Bill 294 that would redirect funds from all Planned Parenthood centers to federally qualified health centers that do not provide abortions. Ohio’s 28 Planned Parenthood centers, three of which perform abortions, provide affordable birth control, pap smears, cancer screenings and tests for sexually transmitted infections. Planned Parenthood has stated that it will not close its doors in Ohio and will continue providing care, no matter what.

August

On August 18, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved flibanserin, also known as the “Female Viagra” or by its brand name Addyi, to treat acquired generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. This little pink pill took its time getting on the market, due in part to the controversy over whether or not sexual desire disorders are indeed treatable with medication. “The FDA strives to protect and advance the health of women, and we are committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction,” says Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Not worth the money

July

This July, Ashley Madison, the Canadian-based online network that touts being “the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters,” was hacked, and in August information was released about its more than 37 million users, among them reality fallen star Josh Duggar of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting. Perhaps private affairs are best kept analogue.

Collegiate agreements

October

June 1, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed S.B. 11 that will allow licensed holders to carry a concealed handgun on university campuses starting August 2016. Following the fatal Oct. 9 shooting at Texas Southern University, University of Texas at Austin student Jessica Jin decided one can only fight fire with dildos. In an effort to demonstrate what campus will look like with armed students, Jin has organized the Campus (DILDO) Carry, a protest scheduled for the first day of classes in Fall of 2016 that will violate Section 13-201 of UT’s rulebook in regards to prohibited expression and obscenity. #CocksNotGlocks

Shirts vs. skins

October

Playboy has announced they’re nixing the nudity. While pictorials will continue to feature Playmates in alluring positions, the magazine has ceded full-dishabille territory to the ubiquitous free pornography sites available to users across the internet at the tap of a finger. For more than 60 years the lifestyle magazine has brought provocative images and writing into homes around the globe. The first issue in December 1953 featured a nude Marilyn Monroe as the centerfold. Pamela Anderson, 48, will grace the January/February 2016 cover for the final nude edition, her 14th cover and 15th nude spread.

November

November 30, Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli broke tradition when it released its 2016 calendar. In lieu of naked pinups as have been the custom for half a century, the exclusive collector’s calendar features accomplished women of all ages, mostly clothed, captured by famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. “I still can’t believe the women who agreed to do it, did it,” says Leibovitz. “I felt a big responsibility to that.” Serena Williams, Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, Kathleen Kennedy, Fran Lebowitz and Amy Schumer are among the distinguished women celebrated in its pages.

Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com or through her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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About Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

View all posts by Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com or through her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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