February 13, 2016 / 4th of Adar, 5776
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Mimi Arbeit

  • I’m really doing it—I’m moving to New York City next week. When I made the announcement, I asked for advice about getting back into dating after I move. Since then, I’ve had some great conversations with friends about what to do and how to do it. Here’s some of the wisdom I’ve received. Thanks, friends!

    1. Move quickly. There are a lot of people, and none of us have a lot of time. Once you start chatting with someone (on OKCupid or Tin...
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  • One of my favorite parts of my dissertation defense was when my committee asked me for recommendations—they directed me to get more and more specific and talk about what the institution could actually do and what actions they could actually take, based on the findings of my research, to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. My recommendations for that specific institution can be found in my final dissertation draft, but here I’m sharing my general thoughts...

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  • I never got stumped about what to write until this week, overwhelmed by the specificity of having only a few weeks left writing The Debrief. As a sort of house-cleaning ritual, I present to you almost a year’s worth of additional Debrief ideas, about sex, dating, relationships and sexual culture. Pick them up and write these posts yourselves, or tell me if there’s something here you’d really like to see me write about in the future. There will be more words!...

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  • Rowan, 29, lives in a cooperative house in Roxbury. She’s grateful to live with so many people she can ask for advice!

    After getting out of a pretty serious relationship, I decided to finally join the world of online dating last summer. Though I had dated people before, there was something particularly intimidating to me about the idea of online dating. I decided to crowd-source advice, which I refined as I went along. Over the course of the summer, I was also surp...

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  • I spent the month before I went to college deciding whether to break up with my high school boyfriend. We still liked each other, but he was going to Miami and I was going to New York City. My biggest concern? I was worried that having a boyfriend would make it harder for me to make friends. I was literally worried that people wouldn’t like me as much if I wasn’t “available.” (File under: internalized misogyny.) We didn’t break up in August, but by November I was in ...

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  • Evan Chartier

    Evan Chartier, 26, is an experiential educator who brings an intersectional lens to his work on leadership, social justice and sexuality. He recently graduated from Colgate University with majors in sociology/anthropology and women’s studies. To continue the conversation, please reach out by email or on Twitter.

    I am an anti-oppression activist and feminist who recently entered (and then quickly exited) the dating scene in Boston. I am also a veter...

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  • Trigger warning for depictions of emotional abuse.

    So, who’s going to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” on Valentine’s Day? If you’ve read the books, or if you do go see the movie, let’s talk about it. Really talk. If you want to talk about kink and consent, I wrote this post when I first read the book—unconventional sex-ed lessons from “Fifty Shades of Grey”—on consent, safe words, desire, pleasure and other aspects of the se...

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  • February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month. Find more information here.

    Jessica Penwell Barnett is a professor of sociology at Wayne State University in Detroit. She grew up with several family members on the spectrum and recently completed a qualitative study examining sexuality and community membership in the lives of adults on the spectrum. She met Mimi while presenting a small snippet of the findings from that project at a meeting of the Society for the Scientific...

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  • Phil Eiseman is a third-year clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, studying under Dr. Zoë Peterson. His research interests include the ways in which people express their gender identities, how beliefs about gender influence cross-gender relationships, and boundary setting in monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. His non-research interests include running, puzzles, games and learning new things from people with all kinds of different backgrounds....

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  • In 2010, I started crying every time I heard Taylor Swift’s song “Mine.” They were tears of relief, tears of deep need that would well up at this climactic scene:

    And I remember that fight, two-thirty a.m.
    You said everything was slipping right out of our hands
    I ran out, crying, and you followed me out into the street
    Braced myself for the goodbye, ‘cause that’s all I’ve ever known
    Then, you took me by surprise
    You said, “I’ll never leave y...

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Mimi is a Ph.D. candidate in child study and human development at Tufts University, focusing on adolescent sexuality and sexual health. She is a freelance sexuality educator and also works locally to promote and strengthen sexuality education in public schools. Before starting The Debrief, she wrote her own blog, sexedtransforms.blogspot.com. She loves dancing, taking walks around the city, and listening to people share their stories. Email mimia@jewishboston.com or tweet @mimiarbeit.

Latest Comments

Great list, Rowan! Thanks for the shout :)
The Debrief: Accumulated Wisdom from Online Dating
Great questions. I especially like "What do I wear?"
The Debrief: On Dating in a New City
Welcome back!!! Ok, I've moved about 5 times in 5 years, and the best way to meet people for me has always been to join a sports team... These people tended to be more health conscious, young, and active. Other greats have been speed dating events at libraries (icebreakers were geared towards favourite books)...
The Debrief: On Dating in a New City
Evan, I think you are spot on with your analysis. I have been asked all of the questions above, not just on dates but in many other situations as well. I do think in the Jewish world (particularly in Boston) there is a difference in treatment of Jews from the American Military vs. the IDF. Jews seem to have more understanding as to why another Jew would join the IDF. I know this because as an American veteran, my number one question I have been asked more than anything else is, "What is a nice Jewish girl doing in the Army?" Todah Rabah for your service and a B'Hatzlacha in your dating.
The Debrief: Four Tips for Dating a Veteran
Wow! I never had an idea that the young guy who's been with me on my special birthday.. last 2013 was a veteran! After reading this blog im really surprise! You are not just a cool guy.a very sweet veteran to everyone. Two thumbs up for you Evan..
The Debrief: Four Tips for Dating a Veteran
Evan, you continue to amaze and inspire me. This is perfect!
The Debrief: Four Tips for Dating a Veteran
Evan, you continue to amaze. I don't go on facebook that often and was so happy to see this post. You are one incredible dude.
The Debrief: Four Tips for Dating a Veteran
(My comments yesterday did not post.) Wonderfully written, piece, Mimi. It reads like literary criticism (good literary criticism), effectively torpedoing the book with the writer's own words. Well done.
The Debrief: My New Take on “Fifty Shades of Grey”