Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tavi Gevinson’s ROOKIE: Advice for Teens Attracted to Older Men


Illustration by Kelly via Rookie


We've referenced a number of books in The Allure of Nymphets about age-discrepant relationships such as Jennifer Gordon’s Jennifer Fever and Belisa Vranich and Laura Grashow’s Dating the Older Man. However, despite their helpfulness, those books weren't written for nymphets. Nonetheless, Tavi Gevinson’s teen magazine, Rookie, filled the void. 

In addition to the magazine containing several articles on masturbation, such as “Do It Yourself”, 22-year-old Amy Rose Spiegel wrote in the article “Older Men” that “One of the most frequent Just Wondering questions we get here at Rookie is some variation on the following: “I’m a teenager and I’m thinking about dating/am intensely attracted to a person who’s significantly older than me. THOUGHTS?”

Spiegel began by sharing that she “has always been interested in older dudes” and “has also dated quite a few of them” For example, Spiegel dated a 28-year-old college graduate when she was a “smart and self-aware” 15-year-old. She dissuaded the stereotype about dirty old men by writing “Finally, I don’t mean for this article to read as “A HORRIBLE OLD MAN TOOK MY YOUTHFUL INNOCENCE,” because that’s not what happened. I made my own decisions when I was 15, and I enjoyed the majority of the time I spent dating that 28-year-old as well as the older dudes who came after him.” And Spiegel wrote that at the time she “romanticized” about being Lolita and that she “... idealized the thought of someone being single-mindedly obsessed” with her the way Humbert was obsessed with Lolita.  (However, she misleadingly wrote that Lolita was a “...story about an adult man kidnapping, molesting, and raping an adolescent girl.)

Spiegel comforted the nymphet readers of Rookie by writing:


  • “First, being attracted to older guys is completely and totally normal.”
  • “It doesn’t mean you have “daddy issues””
  • “Being attracted to someone older just means you are a human person who sometimes thinks other human people are sexy!”
  • “YOU ARE VERY MATURE FOR YOUR AGE...So it’s totally fine to moon over people who are older than you!”
  • “It’s totally doable, as long as you keep some things (*cough* MY INSANELY WISE WORDS BELOW *cough*) in mind.”

Here are Spiegel’s “insanely wise words”:

1.   Spiegel warned that even if a nymphet tricks an ephebophile into believing that she is of legal age by, for example, flashing him a fake ID, the ephebophile could still go to jail (for a very long time) for even planning to have sex with an underage maiden.

2.   Spiegel advises that if a nymphet should feel secure about disagreeing with her older partner, her friends and family should be respected, and that she should be treated as a peer. However, if she has doubts about whether or not those aspects of the relationship are being fulfilled, she should not have a relationship with anyone “older than a quarter of the years” the nymphet has been alive. Thus, according to Spiegel, a sixteen-year-old should not have a relationship with anyone over 20. Clearly, Spiegel’s rule is arbitrary, has no basis and should be taken very lightly.

3.   Ironically, Spiegel encourages girls to wait to have relationships with older men, because girls “can never have a real high school romance (e.g., “passing love notes in class”) again after 12th grade is over.” I doubt that this advice will prevent a girl from having a relationship with an older man, because I have observed that girls who are in age-discrepant relationships often have young boyfriends as well.

4.   Initially, Spiegel advised nymphets not to get into illegal age-gap relationships because of the possibility of jail time for the ephebophiles, but in 4 she advises girls to avoid age-discrepant relationships because “Keeping things underground gets tiring and frustrating, not to mention a little overwhelming, really quickly...Having a significantly older partner severely limits the stuff you can do together, too. You can’t exactly bring a 30-year-old to prom!” Thus, it appears that Spiegel opines that it is more important that a nymphet avoid feeling tired, frustrated and overwhelmed than it is for the ephebophile to avoid jail time.

5.   Spiegel warned “[I]f a person who is of legal drinking age or above makes a habit of courting people who are in high school, there’s a good chance they might be a pedophile (or, if you want to be super technical, an ephebophile). However, as we know from The Allure of Nymphets, The Red Queen and Are All Men Pedophiles?(2013), all men in fact are ephebophiles; however, only some men act upon it (e.g., Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Woody Allen, etc.). And it’s worth pointing out that just like in Lolita, Cruel Intentions 2: Manchester Prep (2000), and Pretty Little Liars - the book and television series, teen girls are often the initiators of age-discrepant relationships - not the ephebophiles.

6.   Spiegel alerted nymphets against being manipulated by older men, but everything she warned against often occurs in age-consistent relationships as well. Teen girls are frequently manipulated, disrespected, undervalued and controlled by teen boys. Who other than teen boys gets angry when girls don’t return their text messages “fast enough”?

7.   Here is another example of Spiegel making a general statement about ephebophiles that relates just as well or even better to teen boys. She wrote that older men are “less likely to wait before moving past the tonsil-hockey stage.” Spiegel is inconceivably implying that teen boys are more patient and understanding of a girl’s desire to maintain her maidenhood than older men.

Spiegel’s “insanely wise words” are somewhat anti-age-gap relationships; however, she ends the article by writing  “And for all the dangers that come with dating older people, there are upsides...It’s nice to be around people who are assured of themselves and their interests, a quality that usually increases the longer you’ve been hanging out on planet Earth...Just be sure—and I say this to you no matter what age your love interest happens to be—that you and of course THEY are responsible and respectful in actions and behaviors; that you are equal partners; that you feel like you can get out of it at any time, for any reason, without fear; and that you are happy...OK? All right, get along. As always, be safe and enjoy…”









Friday, November 27, 2015

CRUEL INTENTIONS 2: MANCHESTER PREP (2000): A Teen Masturbates in Central Park


I wrote about Cruel Intentions (1999) in The Allure of Nymphets and how the film was the genesis for the book. However, Cruel Intentions 2: Manchester Prep (2000)  was even more revealing, which isn't surprising considering that both films were written and directed by Roger Kumble and were "suggested" by the French book  Les Liaisons dangereuses.

Cruel Intentions 2: Manchester Prep contains:

1. An age-discrepant relationship between sophomore Kathryn Merteuil and Assistant Headmaster Steve Muller. The surprisingly realistic dialogue between Kathryn and the Assistant Headmaster will sum up their relationship suitably. Kathryn threatened to expose their affair, that she initiated, if gym class wasn't removed from her schedule. Apparently, she didn't like to sweat.

Kathryn: "Isn't it against the rules for someone of your age to seduce a minor like you did to me this summer in The Hamptons?"

Assistant Headmaster: "It was you who seduced me!"

Kathryn: "You know. You're right. It was me who seduced you but then again, who will the school board believe. It's my word against yours. Think about it Steve. Something like this could ruin your career. Not to mention your marriage." 

2. Two lipstick lesbian kissing scenes are in the film, but the most salacious incestuous kiss took place between topless seniors played by real-life twins Alicia and Annie Sorell.


Manchester Prep Lipstick Lesbian Twins


3. And in a scene that may be inspiring to the nymphet readers of Rookie magazine, freshman Cherie Claymon masturbated upon a horse in Central Park which was all part of Kathryn's plot to turn Cherie into the "...premier slut of Manchester Prep."




Those scenes took place between raunchy quotes like, "As the school motto goes, if you don't snort it, suck it." "I'm tired of being the only virgin of the sophomore class." And "Yesterday was my first kiss. Now you're practically touching my breast. [At] this rate, your dick will be in my mouth by lunch." "Anyone for lunch?"






Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tavi Gevinson's ROOKIE Teaches Teens How to Masturbate



Illustration by Emma D. via Rookie


Here is what is written in the About section of Rookie magazine:

Rookie is an online magazine and book series for teenagers. Each month, a different editorial theme drives the writing, photography, and artwork that we publish.

Rookie is edited by nineteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson. I became acquainted with Gevinson in 2014 after reading her New York magazine profile which promoted her first Broadway performance in This Is Our Youth. (I picked up a used copy of the raunchy teen play from Strand since the Broadway performance was cost prohibitive as it would be for most New York City based writers.)

Last week, while I was making copies in the teen section of a Manhattan private library, I noticed Rookie Yearbook One edited by Tavi Gevinson standing between two other thick volumes. Among other solicitous content,  Rookie Yearbook One, which is the print edition of the online teen magazine, contained the article “Do It Yourself: What We Talk About When We Talk About Masturbation” by Jamie. 

Jamie wrote, fulfilling almost every man's fantasy about what takes place at nymphet sleepovers “Among my friends that are girls, secrets about masturbating make up the largest category of things that I am ill-advisedly made privy to. As soon as things get a little drunk-after-prom or giggly-at-a-sleepover, everyone gets all, “I totally masturbate … isn’t that CRAZY?!””

Jamie first learned about female masturbation when she was about fourteen: “I didn’t even know that female masturbation was a thing until my best friend came clean to me in the fall of freshman year. “What do you mean you’ve never masturbated?” she asked. “I thought everyone did.”

Here is a list of questions that Jamie wished that someone would have answered for her before she started masturbating as well as some vignettes on masturbation that she compiled:

1. Is masturbating wrong?

Jamie answered that some things are wrong like murder and bullying but that “Masturbation is a healthy, natural, NORMAL activity.”

2. Am I the first/last person in the world to try this?

Jamie answered this question by writing “Whatever age you decide to start masturbating, if you do, is “normal.”” And she related an anecdote from Danielle who shared that she started fingering herself in middle school: 

“I can’t even remember the first time I masturbated. I constantly humped just about everything when I was little … pillows, stuffed animals, etc. I never attached any sexual feelings or concepts to it until about middle school, which was the same time I first fingered myself. For me, I never considered humping or clitoral stimulation to be sexual until about that age.” –Danielle,* 19

3. Why should I masturbate?

Jamie answer by writing “…because you want to.”

4. So how do I actually do it?

In addition to using spit on the fingers as a lubricant, Jamie suggested the following:

“You can stick varying numbers of fingers inside of your actual vagina…”
“You can also try touching your clitoris.”
“In the same way that you can finger your vagina, you can also finger your anus (yes, that anus).”
And she recommended using the “shower sprayer”: “Spray it on top of your clit, not into your vagina. Start at a low setting.

Ellen shared that she started humping pillows in middle school, but she upgraded to a vibrator in high school:

“Back in the day, I mostly masturbated by lying in bed, face down, with a pillow between my legs, and humping the hell out of it. Eventually, in high school, some friends gave me a vibrator that was meant to be inserted, and I experimented with that quite a bit, including some anal play.”

5. Do I have to “come”? How do I know if I’ve had an orgasm?

Jamie answered by writing “You don’t have to do anything when you masturbate. The success or failure of masturbating has nothing to do with whether or not you orgasm, and everything to do with your enjoying yourself and feeling good.”  

Seventeen-year-old Sophie shared “Truthfully, I have never orgasmed when I masturbate. I’m still in pursuit.” However, eighteen-year-old Michelle revealed “I almost always orgasm, usually once, but sometimes twice. I guess I do consider it more of a ‘success’ when I do, but at the same time [unlike most males] I don’t think it’s a failure if I don’t orgasm.”


6. Should I watch porn? Is that gross? Am I gross if I like watching porn?

Jamie responded “There is nothing weird or gross about watching porn…”

In the Danish film  Anna (2009), Anna’s mother advised her to wait until she turned sixteen to watch porn. And in the French film Puppylove (2013) fourteen-year-old Diane took a break from her homework to watch some hardcore double penetration four-way pornography which she refused to turn off despite the plea of her father. Coincidentally, in the very next scene, Diane masturbated to orgasm in the bathtub.

Nineteen-year-old Erinn shared “I watch a lot of porn. Like, a lot. I used to think it was kind of a dirty thing that I couldn’t talk to a lot of people about. I felt a lot better about masturbating and watching porn, though, after I started talking to my friends and (now ex-) boyfriend about it.”


7. If I don’t like masturbating, is something wrong with me?

According to Jamie, “No”.


8. Is there a way I can refer to female masturbation without sounding like a health-class teacher?

Readers of Rookie suggested using the synonyms rubbing one out, wanking, frigging, jilling and getting off. 


Interestingly, especially when taken in the current context, Gevinson was named one of "The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014" by Time magazine. And she was recently a guest star on Scream Queens where she was having an affair with her mid-fifty-year-old college professor which was loosely based on Mia Farrow's affair with composer and orchestra conductor André Previn.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Teen Anal Sex in Prime Time


I wrote in The Allure of Nymphets that the first teen movie that I saw that made a reference to anal sex was Cruel Intentions (1999). In the film, Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) made a wager with her step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) that he couldn't seduce a nymphet (Selma Blair); however, if Sebastian could corrupt the young maiden, Kathryn agreed to, “[...] fuck his brains out,” and allow him to, “[...] put it anywhere.”







Awkward (2011)


Let's leap over a decade to MTV's Awkward. Here's MTV's brief description "about the show": 

This series takes an irreverent look at the conflict, chaos and humor that defines teenage life through the eyes of 15-year-old Jenna Hamilton[...]

In addition to other references to anal sex, on the third episode of season three, Lissa, a Palos Verdes, California high school student, offered her behymen (i.e., her anal virginity) to her boyfriend for respecting her wishes to maintain her vaginal virginity. 


In Pretty Persuasion (2005), fifteen-year-old Kimberly Joyce (Evan Rachel Wood) shared that when she was fourteen she had anal sex with Warren Prescott after he said shyly, "I was wondering if you might let me pack your fudge chute."


And we were recently floored when the teen in Vacation (2015) asked the nymphet he recently met during the family road trip if he could perform analingus.

 

Of course, this topic isn't limited to the United States. In the Argentinian film La Niña Santa (2004) [The Holy Girl]", there's not only teen anal sex, but a teen lipstick lesbian kiss, teen masturbation and an age-gap relationship. 

An ABC News article reported that the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center confirmed my suspicions that anal sex is on the rise among teens and young adults. The rise was attributed to the ease of social mores, which sexuality educator, Cory Silverberg, attributes to the proliferation of pornography.