The Debrief: So Much Left Unsaid

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!

Possible posts about sex:

  • I got some push-back in response to one of my very early Debriefs about holy hookups, and I was also pointed to this blessing for unexpected intimacy. Have you ever said a blessing for a hookup?
  • I’m still thinking about how to hold up the concept of consent and also to complicate it.
  • Someone wrote to me that she felt squeamish about sex with her partner, and she was not sure how to enjoy sex. What advice do you have for her?
  • I found this worksheet for talking with sexual partners about different activities and boundaries. Try it and report back!
  • I get a lot of questions about pornography. For example, people ask me if using pornography will make them behave differently during sex. Ask Megan Maas.
  • What about sex while menstruating? Safety, stigma, squeamishness, messiness, so much to say, and lots of potential pleasures to emphasize as well.
  • When I saw the news that semen-stopping birth control pills are on their way, I wanted to do a crowd-source poll. Would you use that method?
  • Several people have come to me with stories of pelvic pain, to talk about the experience and the ways they have found to address it physically and emotionally. I hear you, I believe you, and there are resources for help and healing.
  • Books about sex for children and teens…I haven’t been particularly helpful on this front, other than promoting Scarleteen.
  • I started writing a piece about having standards for sexual partners, but I set it aside to write this post instead.

Possible posts about dating:

  • How to date a sex columnist. But ironically, by the time I do start dating again, I will no longer be writing The Debrief.
  • An ode to the set-up. I’ll totally let you set me up with someone in New York City, if you’re being smart about it.
  • I received a question early on about how someone with extreme social anxiety might start dating. I wrote out a long and complicated set of suggestions, but I wasn’t actually sure if it would be helpful at all.
  • How to be good at the awkward parts of dating. How to embrace the awkward instead of using “awkward” as a way to invalidate raw emotions and direct communication.
  • Lots of new dating apps: Thurst, The Grade, Bumble and JSwipe. Some are really important, and some a bit ridiculous. I’ll let you guess which is which.
  • People have strong feelings about Tinder.
  • I’ve got some internal rants about the idea of finding a “nice Jewish boy” or “nice Jewish girl” and how that shapes the dating scene.
  • I had someone pitch me a piece on pickup artists (and how terribly misogynistic this industry is). I’ll just take this opportunity to tell you to read “Outdated.”
  • How to leave a date when you know you don’t want to see the person again, and you want to get out as soon as possible even if the date isn’t technically over.
  • That sweet, sweet moment of victory when my older brother called me and said, “Mimi, you’re right. This communication thing really works.” Of course, that’s his story to tell, not mine. But still. Victory.

Possible posts about relationships:

  • 10 perks of being a guy dating a guy. Perks of gender fluid partnership, too. (Already posted the girl-dating-girl version.) All-around queer enthusiasm!
  • More responses to the question, “Will you only date Jews?” I also got some push-back for even asking this question in the first place.
  • Tips on prepping to meet your partner’s parents for the first time.
  • Someone asked me, “When little things pile up in a relationship for years, and they bother me but I haven’t said anything yet, can I still say anything?”
  • When partners have differences in sexual desire.
  • How to disclose a trauma history to a dating partner, and how to respond when you’re hearing about that from someone you love.
  • Chores and other bores of living together.
  • Raising children alone or partnered—a debate that arose in response to advice from my grandma.
  • So many more people wanted to talk about the decision to get married or not, in response to Chanel.
  • And I got great examples of ways in which people took care of themselves and set boundaries when they were going through a breakup.

Possible posts about sexual culture:

  • Do, date or marry. Do you remember that game? I loved that game when I was a teenager.
  • I wanted to interview some of the people who host awesome safe space dance parties in Boston and ask them about their ground rules.
  • Standing up for myself—reflections on responding to sexual harassment.
  • After some controversy about a hyperlink (since removed) from Samantha’s piece on Tango, I wanted to write about self-care and sexual justice.
  • So many secular sex-ed professionals I know are also Jewish women. Why do/should Jews care about sex ed?
  • I was asked about when and how I use trigger warnings when sharing stories with sexual content. What are your guidelines?
  • I have a note to myself to write about sexual competition among feminine women. Sigh. Yes.
  • Someone asked me to write about professionalism and looking sexy. (As I sit here in yoga pants and a pink hoodie, neither professional nor particularly sexy.)
  • I got a request to write about beauty pageants and body image. What I should have done is interview the person who made the request.
  • I have more to say about framing sexual justice as racial justice, and what that means for our lives and our work. I was going to tell you all about Astraea and supporting queer anti-racist organizing. Check out their event in May honoring Daunasia Yancey.

“You do not have to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.”
Pirkei Avot

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