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XXFactored Mar2013: We want gender-neutrality but we also want sex!

I initiated a social media clean-up last year that continued over several weeks. Pages were unliked, dead blogs were unsubscribed from, uninteresting and spammy twitter accounts were unfollowed, Boards rather than people were looked at to follow on Pinterest. The result is that my timelines move slower and I’m getting a better chance to look at things that are really interesting and relevant. Also, it has considerably reduced my social media fatigue (yes, there is such a thing!) so I’m more inclined to look at newer content.

The Idea-smithy’s Facebook Page looks at pretty much everything that isn’t here so pop culture, fiction, poetry, general slice-of-life moments all fall under that purview. There is so much coming in there that I’m considering making Ideamarked (The Idea-smithy version of XXFactored posts) a weekly rather than monthly feature.

There have been posts coming up that I am not quite sure whether to put on XXFactor or The Idea-smithy. They often have to do with womanhood, sexulaity and relationships but are also about pop culture, fiction or other such things. In a few cases, I’ve posted to both places. But I’m starting to question whether it makes sense to keep these two blogs separate. I’m the same person writing for both and I’m not even anonymous anymore. On the other hand, each one has taken on a certain voice of its own. Also, these are two communities with some overlap but possibly differences, too. So I ask my community here at XX Factor: Should I merge the two or should they stay separate?

And while you’re thinking, here’s the March picks on XX Factor:

XXFactored Feb&Mar2011: Sex Charts, Mad Men & Causes Gone Wrong

I didn’t post an XXFactored update in February because the month was so busy that I barely had the time to scout for links. Other people however, did share links and I really wanted to showcase them. While on this, allow me a brief crib about the new Facebook page format. It shows the page admin’s links on the main page but other members links in a tiny box. Not cool, I say. It totally kills the spirit of community that link-sharing used to do.

Now on to the links.

  • Someone’s idea of what happens to people of either gender when they fail their exams. It sparked off a heated debate. (via Lakshmi Jagad)
  • HOWL-a-rious! ‘- 14 Realities of Romantic Relationships in chart form‘ (via Cracked)
  • In memory of a remarkable woman and a talented musician laid to waste – ‘I’m Every Woman
  • I’m sure a whole lot of us will be silently thanking the makers for this handy tool! – ‘5 Signs You’ve Been Stalking Your Ex Online Too Much‘ (via How About We)
  • Harsh, hard-hitting….dare I say…true? The undeniably justified cause of gay rights, seems to have become no more than a free ride of attention and entertainment for those so privileged.¬† ‘The Queer Movement is dead; Long Live the Queer Movement!‘ (via DNA Newspaper, link courtesy Dhamini Ratnam)
  • A hilarious set of charts – check out the ones mapping people who use Twitter daily versus others. – ‘10 Charts about Sex‘ (via OkCupid)
  • Why Indian Men are still boys‘ (via Tehelka, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
  • No, Catcalling is not a compliment and here’s why’ (via Hello Giggles, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)
  • If this 60s show has sparked off your fancy, here’s a look at some of the female stereotypes of the time by how Don Draper sees them. ‘4 Types Of Women Don Draper has Dated.‘ (via YourTango)

  • What Your Favorite Mad Men Lady Says About You‘ (via TheGloss)
  • This is totally off the edge – ‘Marketing Xenosexuality: Women & the Sex Robot taboo?‘ (via Future of Sex, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
  • “Lighten up” can be the most passive-aggressive chauvinistic phrase ever! ‘The Million Little Barbs of Lighten Up!‘ (via BuzzFeed)
  • Where Have All The Young Men Gone?‘ (via HR Blogs, links courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
  • This is true of any movement – rabidity only works against you in the long run. ‘How Pro-Lifers made me a Pro-Choice Activist.‘ (via TheGloss)
  • 5 Warnings to go with 5 Types of Men who make great husbands‘ (via From Outside The Mall, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)

You can catch the links as they come in and even post your own to The XX Factor Facebook Page.

XXFactored Jun11: Living In, Female Sanitary Products, Appropriate Parenthood, Male Orgasms & A Playboy Bunny

June feels like a good month. It’s the first time I have ever welcomed a monsoon in Mumbai.

I’ve been doing some writing, outside of these two blogs. My commentary on relationships has been getting an interesting (read masaledaar…look at the comments) response at Yahoo! Real Beauty. But the site’s new Recommendations section also featured a style post, a book¬† review and 2 app stories, all by me. FriendsOfBooks carried my list on 10 Great Vacation Reads For Children. I did some advisory content work on the topics of Romance, Relationships, Love & Sex (sorry, I can’t explain more due to the terms of the contract).

And in between all that, here’s what I was reading:

  • Notes On Living With My Ex-Boyfriend For Eight Months: Egad! When living in goes wrong. It was strangely comforting, though….to know that you don’t stop feeling or living. (via ThoughtCatalog)
  • ‘Should I Be Embarassed To Buy Tampons?‘ : Funny, I always thought it was very thoughtful of local chemists to newspaper-wrap sanitary napkins on sale. Was I being unknowingly regressive? Or do we just not *have* to shout out every little detail about our bodies? (via TheFrisky)
  • Dads, Hug Your Daughters!‘ : Pertinent but preachy? (via TheFrisky)’
  • ‘Man Takes Revenge At Girlfriend With Abortion Billboard‘ : Does this make you go “Aww, how sweet!” or “Ooh, touchy, touchy!”? (via YourTango)
  • Just in case you ever wondered…’What A Male Orgasm Feels Like‘ (via YourTango)
  • Indian parents seem to be caught in that unfortunate tug-of-war between the conservative ‘ladki se paisa nahin lenge’ attitude and pro-feminist/independence world for their daughters. (via Twitter)
  • The 5 Stages Of Most Relationships ‘ : Rather depressing how many of these are true! (via Maxim)
  • A rather funny (and annoyingly familiar) flow-chart on ‘How Men and Women Argue’ (via Maxim)
  • The story of an ex-Playboy bunny‘: Actually a rather good read. (via The Good Men Project)

XXFactored Mar2011: Sex, Self-Image And Complicated Committment

Time for another XXFactored post already! So much has been happening this woman’s own life that I’m afraid I’ve been lagging behind in the spectator stakes. Maybe what I’m reading mirrors what I’ve been thinking. Here’s what was up with March 2011:

  • A basket of goodies from the queen of confessions who lists the different kinds of sex (via TheCompulsiveConfessor)
  • Daughterly guilt and who’s fighting it – Google, Infosys! (via EconomicTimes)
  • A personal account of bust enhancement surgery and its aftermath. Forget sniggering, this really makes me want to say “No judgement” (via DailyMail)
  • Is this the truth behind all those annoying ‘happily ever after’ couples? Meet a woman who wants Facebook to know that she’s married and ‘It’s complicated’! (via YourTango)
  • Do some of the phrases that gain popularity, make you cringe? Dating terminology that we need to ditch (via YourTango)
  • Couples fight more than 300 times a year! I don’t know about you but that certainly makes me feel better! (via Glamour)
  • How ironic that we talk about the emotional/moral/social aspects of virginity and totally neglect the physical? 7 things you didn’t know about the hymen (via YourTango)
  • Lalita Iyer of HT Cafe’s Chickwit column presents her take on a chauvinistic comedian’s act (via Chickwit)
  • And finally a bit of a self-plug (I think I’ve earned it!): Do check out some of my top-of-the-line posts at Yahoo! Real Beauty. A few of them are sparking off a storm in the teacup there!

XXFactored Feb2011: Defying V-Day Month With Sugar Mamas, Smart Girls & DIY

February, month of Valentine’s day and mush-mania from the media. I’m determined not to add to that deluge of pink teddy bears, silk hearts, roses and chocolates. Here’s presenting my picks for the short n’ spicy month of the year:

  • The Rise Of The Sugar Mama (via YourTango).
  • I’m actually flattered as I think a smart woman would be if she read on to page 2: Thought Catalog on why you should date an illiterate girl (link courtesy Alfred Lee).
  • A good piece on innovative alternate uses for everyday products in beauty/fashion. (via¬†Vintage Obsession)
  • This is so not good news for us. Ladies, what’s this strange fascination we have with mystery (the more dangerous, the better)?: “Want to pique a date’s interest: Play hard to get” (via¬†LiveScience)
  • Sexual success dampens criminal behaviour. It’s not so much ‘calming influence of marriage’ as it is ‘ambition fulfiled’. (via¬†The Economist)
  • “Admirer Calls out Girl’s Facebook Status ‘Im so sick of boys being such dicks”…and¬†‚Äé….and the comment-war that follows touching on everything from boy-girl relationships, online venting and Digg vs Redditt. (via¬†Digg)
  • An erotic writer writing as a man experiencing a woman. Gender lines crossing all over. (via RamyaRanee)
  • We’re not a stockinged country but everyone loves legs (yes, we women do too!) and I love graphs in pop culture. So here’s presenting a matrix of stocking styles. “What your hosiery says about you” (via¬†The Frisky)

XXFactored Jan2011: Dutch Dates, Blind Dates, Lipstick, Wingmen, Dumping, Sex & Style

The first month of 2011 opens bright and clear for me. I think I’ve gotten a grip on this Bookmarked feature but I’m still waiting for your inputs. Talk to me! Tell me if this works for you and why. Do you prefer getting the links as-and-when on the XX Factor Facebook Page? Or do you like seeing a ‘best of’ list at the end of the month? What else would you like to see? What would you like to dump?

Here are my picks for the first month of the year. We’re heading into the (not going to say it, not going to say it) pink, heart-shaped month of February and¬† that could mean a number of interesting things for XX Factor. Keep reading!

  • As a bonafide geek-girl, I guess these are the women, it would be a compliment to be compared to: Ten Classic Nerd Queens Over 40 (via Gunaxin)
  • To go dutch or not, that is the big question. Here’s some reasonably sound advice from a man: The New Take On Going Dutch (via ManOfTheHouse)
  • Pop psychology has its uses, especially in dating!: Judging A Guy’s Dating Potential By His Job (via YourTango)
  • There’s nothing quite like red lipstick. It really is the superhero cape for a girl! How To Do Red Lips For Indian Skin (via Republic of Chic)
  • If this were in a movie or a book, I’d deem it cheesy. But here, I’m all “Awww…”: “The customer is only enrolling so she can see you more often. The customer is in love with you.” (via PostSecret)
  • A Girl Who Set Up 15 Dates In The Same Bar…And Stood Them All Up! (via Nerve)
  • Find The Perfect Wingman! (via Foster’s)
  • Harsh but true: “You always post those ‚Äú85% of people don‚Äôt have the courage to post this as their status‚ÄĚ FB status updates.” (via ThatsWhyIDumpedYou)
  • On bad-boy-loving women and how to behave around them (via AskMen)
  • 12 Types Of Friends You Should Break Up With (via YourTango)
  • A matrilinear society in modern day India? (via TheGuardian, tipped off by Sveccha Kumar)
  • 10 Fun Facts About Kissing: See no.4 on this list! I’m tempted to say it’s worth living a short life if you live it rightly and kissfully! (via TheFrisky)
  • Tricky Tacky Trousers (via WTForever21)
  • Health is a privilege for Indian women: 70% can’t afford sanitary napkins, reveals study (via TimesOfIndia)
  • I’ll stick with ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’.:Passion Fades & The Phenomenon Has A LOLsy Name (via NakedCity)
  • What women really think of sex (via Twitter)
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