Service With a Smile

Sex, the Self Serve way

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, May 3, 2007

“No!”

We were searching for our KI, which, if LuAnn our instructor was correct, was nestled in the midpoint of the lower balls of our feet. We stood, knees bent slightly, pelvis tipped forward, eyes closed and, most importantly, feet hip-width apart, legs anchored to the wood floor.

“Every time you exhale, roots extend out of your KI and into the ground,” LuAnn encouraged. “Breathe. Feel your roots grow.”

“Now take a deep breath, and yell …”

“No!”

The collective voice was stronger now, arresting. I peeked quickly to see if anyone else looked startled, or if I was the only one still embarrassed to command our would-be attacker to “Stop!” with such gusto. I was apparently alone.

On the third try I got it. And I shouted with such enthusiasm, I felt certain no mugger/stalker/rapist would dare creep up on me in a dark alley.

We opened our eyes and shot each other congratulatory glances. But now it was time for the real lesson: figuring out how to kick the crap out of someone twice as big as you when he has his hands wrapped around your throat.

It almost made flogging seem easy.

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Sex and (Bad) Politics

Our overreaction to the HPV vaccine, and Richardson's mistake

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, April 12, 2007

It almost isn't surprising. Almost.

At this moment in the history of our country, we should no longer be shocked by puritanical ideals sneaking into our politics, by our culture's simultaneous loathing and worship of sex, by some of our leaders'—and some of our citizens'—heartbreaking disdain for science. Yet, somehow, the jaws of disbelief still manage to unhinge and swallow us whole. Or maybe it's just me.

This year's State Legislative Session ushered in a series of momentous accomplishments: Our representatives banned cockfighting, legalized medical marijuana, increased our minimum wage and put restrictions on payday lenders. All initiatives will work to increase the quality of life of those in New Mexico. But there was another bill passed by our House and Senate that would have likely saved lives. Sadly, last week Gov. Bill Richardson vetoed that bill, in one of the more myopic and cowardly gestures he's made in recent memory.

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Sex, Toys and Videotapes

Your Valentine's Day guide to a night—nay, a lifetime—of merriment

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, February 2, 2006

Sex. What? Don't look at me like that—you know you're thinking it, too. Valentine's Day is around the corner, and the last thing you want or need is tips on where to get chocolate and flowers. You know that part. Not to say that you don't know anything about sex, but it is a far more interesting affair after all, isn't it? We think so, too. So our gift to you this lovelorn holiday season (or lustlorn, as the case may be), won't be on the best spots to propose or the best deals on spas—you can invariably get that advice from a million other places—rather, we're going to deal with the down and dirty. Mainly, we're talking sex toys, along with a few other accoutrements. If you're shocked, disturbed, curious or comfortable, stick around. You just might learn a thing or two.

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The Mind's Temple

An interview with Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves

by Christie Chisholm, Weekly Alibi, September 8, 2005

Some people might say the women's health movement began with a book. It wasn't a particularly fancy document—no smooth pages filled with colored illustrations or shiny, plastic cover. But it was pivotal to the way that many women, over the last 35 years, would come to understand their bodies.

Our Bodies, Ourselves emerged from the forefront of the women's movement in 1970; the result of the combined effort of 12 women who met the year before at one of the first women's liberation conferences. As part of a workshop on "women and their bodies," they shared their medical and personal experiences, and came to realize that the one thing they knew for sure was that they didn't know much.

At a time when the medical industry was saturated with paternalism, sexism and ignorance, a woman's only choice when it came to her health was to take what the doctor ordered. Readable books on women's health didn't exist. The Internet was a thing of the future. In short, there were no options. And so these 12 women created them. Coming together from a variety of backgrounds, they did the research, talked to doctors, talked to other women and, after forming the Boston Women's Health Book Collective and co-authoring the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves (then named Women and Their Bodies), they stirred college campuses across the country.

Over the last three decades, a lot has changed. But the fight for accurate information in women's (and men's) health is far from over. Judy Norsigian, who has been with the group since 1971, is coming to the University of New Mexico Bookstore on Sept. 13 to give an author reading and talk about the newest edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, updated for the first time in a decade to celebrate its 35-year anniversary. The book now has a companion website (ourbodiesourselves.org) that is constantly updated, and provides a long list of links, resources and supplemental reading material, free of charge.

Here, Norsigian talks with the Alibi about what's changed in women's health since the book was first printed, the current political climate and what every person should do to protect what started it all: their bodies.

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