There is no escape the proliferation of handheld electronic devices as we live in the world now accustomed to words like “selfies” and “sexting”. Here are seven sex and relationship terms that I didn’t know of growing up and I thought you might also want to know about them!
1) Stealthing – Otherwise known as non-consensual condom removal, Stealthing is the practice of one sex partner covertly removing a condom, when consent has only been given by the other sex partner for condom-protected safer sex. Released in April, a new study by Alexandra Brodsky for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law explores this phenomenon and how those who fall victim to the practice can move forward. This entitlement to “bareback” sex is act of gender-based violence and is sexual assault. Do not do this to anyone!
2) Ghosting – This involves the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. It is done in hopes that the recipient will just "get the hint" and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested. While many attempt to justify ghosting as a way to not hurt their feelings of the ghostee, it creates confusion for the ghostee and is closely related to the subject's maturity and communication skills.
3) Phubbing – A mash-up of the words "phone" and "snubbing”, Phubbing refers to that annoying moment when you're trying to talk to somebody and they ignore you because they're entranced by social media. Unsurprisingly the Professors James Roberts and Meredith David, at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, released a study in Jan 2016 that showed: The more a partner was on the receiving end of phubbing, the more smartphone use was a source of conflict in their relationship. And higher levels of smartphone conflicts led to greater relationship dissatisfaction.
4) Breezing – The opposite of “playing hard to get”, Breezing is the ultimate easy-breezy where I-care-so-little-I’m-going-to-text-back-right-now. You are doing everything in your power to prove you don't care essentially. In short, not playing any games has become the new playing the game.
5) Gaslighting - A form of psychological abuse, Gaslighting happens when a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. This can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. This calculated tactic pays off when their victim becomes more dependent on them. Even if a gaslighter is not aware of their manipulative behavior, that does not make it acceptable — it is still pathological, and it is still their responsibility.
6) EUM – EUM is short for “emotional unavailable man” though it can apply to females as well. Such people may already be dating somebody else, married, recently separated or divorced, or in a long-distance relationship. The other party might wonder about the status and future of their relationship. To me, the difference between this and other types of relationships such as “fling”, “one night stand”, “fuck buddies” is that there is a sense of lack of emotional intimacy, and commitment to the relationship present or the future.
7) Designer Relationships – Coined by Kenneth Haslam, “Designer Relationships” refer to people who in partnership craft the type of love and life that works for them – allowing room for flexibility and change. They may encompass: people who bond emotionally but not sexually; people who agree to be non-exclusive; single people who have occasional lovers or friends with benefits; multiple partner configurations where long-term bonds exist among all or some; partnerships in which people are kinky and that make room to explore kink. The authors of Designer Relationships Patricia Johnson and Mark A. Michaels make it clear that they are not advocating that all of us ought to be in non-mongamous relationships, but rather are encouraging us to figure out what works for us as individuals.
There you go, seven sex and relationship terms. Are you aware of any new ones I should know about?
About Dr. Martha Tara Lee
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee decided to take it upon herself to right this societal injustice in 2007. She set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality, then launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and is currently pursuing her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.