Will Roe v. Wade Be Overturned?

The judiciary and legislative basics, explained.

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Several states have recently either drafted, passed, or signed Anti-Choice legislation into law. These are policies that restrict and/or outright ban a person with a uterus’ ability to access a safe and legal abortion.

If you’re thinking, “That sounds unconstitutional!” — you’re not wrong.

Roe v. Wade was a landmark case by the United States Supreme Court which held that the right to an abortion is protected by the constitutional right to privacy. That was in 1973. Prior to that ruling, abortion was illegal in the United States.

Later, other Supreme Court decisions, such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) reaffirmed Roe v. Wade and stated that any policies/laws that place “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion are likewise unconstitutional.

 

Are the state laws restricting abortions in Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, and Georgia unconstitutional?

The short answer is yes.  

As we write this, legal challenges are being filed in the U.S. district courts of these states, which will likely delay any implementation of these new laws. However, that is the goal of the Anti-Choice legislators who drafted them.

Even though it is likely that the lower courts will deem these laws unconstitutional, the losing side will appeal to the U.S. circuit court, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Confused?

United States law operates with federal legislators (Congress people and senators) and state legislators. Federal laws apply nationwide while state laws are only applicable in their state. Federal laws override state laws. However, states can attempt to pass laws that restrict or modify federal laws — to varying levels of effectiveness.

The Federal court system has three tiers: district courts, circuit courts, and finally, the US Supreme Court.

Laws are passed at either the state or federal level. If their content is challenged, they can travel up the courts — if a law reaches the US Supreme Court for review, their ruling is final.

The latest wave of Anti-Choice legislation doesn’t just criminalize abortion, but also proposes the most severe penalties against not only people who seek an abortion in these states, but for the physicians who would potentially carry out the procedure.  

 

How can they do that?

These laws were drafted to provoke legal challenges and make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court for review, with the hope of overturning access to safe and legal abortion.

The Supreme Court is made up of nine justices who serve for life. With the recent confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh, the court is now made up of a conservative-leaning majority (five to four). With the odds tipped, there’s a fear that long-standing federal protections of abortion could be reconsidered.

 

So how in danger is Roe v. Wade… actually?

It’s hard to tell for sure. The Supreme Court usually operates on precedent, and thankfully for us, tries to avoid rushing to overturn a long-standing ruling.

Efforts to limit and restrict safe access to abortion are not new. Pro- Choice advocates have been fighting for years against numerous state laws that sought to make it harder for people to obtain abortion procedures.

Nonetheless, there is legitimate concern that these recent (very) aggressive tactics combined with a more conservative Supreme Court may put Roe v. Wade in serious jeopardy.  

 

If Roe V. Wade gets overturned, will abortion become illegal everywhere?

It will depend upon the content of the opinion (which lays out the specifics for a ruling) from the Supreme Court, but if they overturn Roe v. Wade in its entirety, abortion could very well become illegal in the United States.

 

Is the recent legislation in Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, and Georgia currently being enforced?

No. In most cases, Pro-Choice groups will have mobilized quickly to file law suits to stop their implementation.

 

What can I do to fight this? 

While you may not be involved in government, there are ways you can help combat these recent infringements on human rights.

 

Donate to state-specific reproductive rights organizations: 

Missouri

  • Gateway Women’s Access Fund is based in Missouri and provides educational and financial support for low income people in the state seeking abortion.

 

Alabama

  • The Yellowhammer Fund provides funding for abortions and also assists with patient access to travel and lodging while seeking treatment.
  • Alabama Women’s Center, the only abortion provider in northern Alabama, provides healthcare services for people with uteruses and their families.

 

Mississippi

  • Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund is run entirely by volunteers in Mississippi. The organization helps people access abortion services while providing additional support and resources.

 

Ohio

  • Women Have Options is an organization that provides financial assistance and support to low-income patients.

 

Some nationwide organizations fighting for reproductive rights include the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Additionally, the National Network of Abortion Funds services over 38 states, with an emphasis on eliminating economic barriers to marginalized and low-income individuals in need of abortions. Cut them a check!

 

Cisgender women are not the only ones affected by these laws.

Consider donating and/or volunteering with Lady Parts Justice League, an abortion rights organization which caters to trans and gender non-conforming people.

For tips on how to make your conversations surrounding reproductive rights less cis-centric, click here.

 

If you can’t afford to donate funds, consider donating your time… 

  • Volunteer as a clinic escort. (Click here for more info.)
  • Attend local protests surrounding reproductive rights.
  • Missouri’s HB 126 is a bill that would ban abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy. It passed through the state senate and just needs the governor’s signature to become law. Call Gov. Mike Parson’s office at (573) 751-3222 and urge him not to sign the bill.
  • Engage with and intellectually challenge people in your life who are Anti-Choice.

 

Changing minds can change votes.

 

 

Photos (in order of appearance) by Julie Bennett (via Getty), Sophie Kubinyi, and Alida Bea.

 

In 2019…

KAAST has first and foremost always been a platform for young people to share their experiences. In that spirit, we asked our readers to send us their sexual resolutions. We compiled some of our favorites below.

 

“To no longer have intoxicated casual sex that I later feel uncomfortable with.” – Kelsey, 22

 

“Only have sex with men who respect me.” – Annie, 25

 

“To embrace that my body is beautiful in a sexual context.” – Frankie. 18

 

“To think about myself during sex rather than always worrying about getting my partner off first.” – Brook, 20

 

“An all girl threesome.” – Margo, 23

 

“Not be shy ask for exactly what I want.” – Abby, 29

 

“To be more open with my OB/GYN when I have issues.” – Beth, 22

 

“Love and accept my body more.” – Cesar, 17

 

“Make my GF orgasm during sex more than once.” – Unknown

 

“Try reverse cowgirl — always been too self conscious.” – Kate, 19

 

“Learn more about tantra and stop having meaningless sex.” – Alana, 21

 

“Stop feeling slutty for getting with guys when I want.” – Louisa, 18

 

“To stop letting body dysmorphia keep me from enjoying my sexuality to the fullest extent.” Amanda, 23

 

“To use a strap-on!” – Kayla, 19

 

“To stop having sex with my ex.” – Emily, 20

 

“To reclaim [my] sex life and not have sex purely to please boys who make me feel like shit after.” – Lottie, 19

 

“I want to make sex more exciting role play, toys, dirty talk. The sex is good but I’m too easily bored.” – Ruby, age unknown

 

“To never fake another orgasm.” – D, 26

 

“Not sleep with guys on the first date.” – Mae, 20

 

“To explore my submissive side/fantasies more!” – Jacob, 19

 

“For both partners to put in the same amount of effort during sex so no one is stuck doing all the work.” – Je, age unknown

 

“To find my first love.” – Mandy, 17

 

“Gradually reduce porn induced masturbation and hit zero by year end.” – Anonymous

 

“Take better care of myself and my mental health!” -Brooke, 19

 

“Masturbate more.” – Leá, 27

 

“BE MORE EXPERIMENTAL!” – Katja, 20

 

“Try to help others realize sex shouldn’t be a hushed topic.” – Angelica, 18

 

“Learn how to orgasm from sex.” – April, 31

 

“Show/tell my boyfriend how he needs to eat me out!” – Maria, 18

 

“Let sex and love overlap again. And if they don’t — don’t force it. Let openness guide me more than desire.” – Jon, 30

 

“No! Fake! Orgasms!” – Abigail, 20

 

“Active celibacy for the next year.” – Mara, 20

 

“Orgasm everyday, at least once a day!” – Emily, 19

 

“Lose my virginity!” – Nadia, 18

 

“Telling my partner what I like/don’t like with no shame.” – Caitlin, 20

 

“Setting up my Tinder account and get a date per month… for scientific research only.” – Unknown

 

“More BDSM.” – Tilde, 18

 

“To master the art of a good and simple blowjob. Have loads more safe and consensual sex with both men and women.” – Chloé, 20

 

“To not accept less than what I deserve sexually or otherwise.” – Ryan, 17

 

“Use protection every time! No excuses.” – Anonymous, 19

 

“Have sex with less of a goal in mind. Trying to remember and enjoy every sensation in its own right.” – Jamie, 21

 

“Be pickier.” – Kristen, 19

 

“To stop being a fuckboy.” – Hayla, 20

 

“Stop comparing things to my ex!” – Cait, 30

 

“To have a discussion about getting tested with each new partner.” _ Lauren, 21

 

“To edge more, with myself and my partner!” – Shannon, 19

 

“To overcome sexual abuse and regain my sexual identity and to help others do so, too.” – Ria, 18

 

“To embrace and explore kinks more. Specifically DDLG [dom daddy / little girl] with my girl.” – A, 22

 

“Have sex for the first time and come out to my parents.” – Paulina -19

 

“Be naked more.” – Brenna, 18

 

“Establish a connection with partners for healthier sex, explore poly and open relationships.”  Maria, 21

 

“To be uninhibited.” – Esme, 23

*  *  *

Our team wishes you a happy new year, full of mind-blowing and fulfilling intimacy! We have a lot of exciting projects in store for you all in 2019.

 

Photos (in order of appearance) by Kate Dash, Damien Maloney, Andrew Lyman, and Harley Weir. 

 

 

Meet The Team: Bri Scripture

Every week our writers share a bit of themselves with you. Inspired by their vulnerability, we sat some of our core team members down for an intimate interview.

We chatted with Bri Scripture, our in-house graphic designer who generates  visuals for the website, social media, and Killer And A Sweet Thang’s events. She is currently studying design in New York City, and in addition to her 2D work, she’s begun to explore animation and motion graphics.

 

Where are you from originally?

Bri: Richmond, Virginia.

 

Do you think your family dynamic growing up has influenced your work in any way?

I think it really informed my relationships now. How I view my future and myself with other people because of growing up with a single mom, and not really having any men around for my most formative years. It being my mom and I, that’s a lot of femme energy. I think definitely not having to answer to any men and not having a father figure, that has changed the way that I act and things that I care about. I think that I probably have daddy issues, which is a recent development.

 

I mean, it’s part of growing up where you’re just like, ‘I have baggage!’

You know how people always make fun of daddy issues? And I’m like, Oh wait though… 

 

How did you get involved in KAAST?

Through social media, which really speaks to how KAAST works. I’d been following both @birds.bees and Eileen and there was a post about needing help and I’d always been interested in this type of work so I thought, why not?

 

Can you tell the readers a little bit about what you do for Killer And A Sweet Thang?

I feel like it started out as just finding content, but as it turns out there was a space for me to be doing design, which is my biggest passion, and being able to use my design for the causes that I care about. This is such a small team so we all have to play a bigger role, but mainly I do graphic design.

 

What’s your favorite part about graphic design?

I think my favorite part is when I’m on the computer and—this is a blessing and a curse—you can do anything that you want. You have all these tools. 

 

Now some fun stuff. Do you prefer dating apps or IRL?

In real life.

 

Handjob or oral?

Oral.

 

Sub or dom?

Sub.

 

Sex on the first date?

It depends, but I’m in favor.

 

What turns you on?

Big dick energy, humor.

 

How would you define big dick energy?

I would say big dick energy is just like confidence in who you are. [BDE] can manifest itself in many different ways, and it’s ok if you don’t have it, I don’t have it. I don’t have big dick energy. It’s fine. I took a quiz and it told me I didn’t, so.

 

What! Where is the quiz?

I was a zero percent on Buzzfeed.

 

No, you did not get zero percent?

I got a whole zero. 

 

What turns you off?

Someone that’s super conservative. When we don’t vibe, if I don’t feel comfortable around you—that’s a turnoff for me. 

 

Have you ever been ghosted or ghosted someone?

Yes, it’s a bad habit.

 

Which way?

Me ghosting somebody.

 

Why did you ghost somebody?

Sometimes I’m just really bad at confrontation, for whatever reason, and then I feel so guilty that I just have to run away.

 

Have you ever been ghosted?

Yes, but then I always receive clarity at some point. I seek out clarification of the ghosting.

 

Do you like dirty talk?

Yeah. I think it’s necessary, for me.

 

Do you send nudes?

Circumstantially.

 

What a concise answer. Do you have any advice on taking them?

I think what’s most important is not forcing it. If you’re feeling sensual, if you’re feeling yourself, that’s the perfect time. But if you’re not feeling good about yourself that day—and that’s totally fine—then maybe it’s not the day for it. But I think feeling comfortable, feeling good, working your angles. Just get that shot, ya know?

 

What’s the worst thing a former partner has said to you?

The thing that probably hurt the most was being told that I was a different and changed person in a bad way.

 

And how did you respond to that?

I felt more like that was his problem. In retrospect, maybe I was kind of being someone that wasn’t true to myself, but that wasn’t necessarily his place to say that about me. I was like, whatever you’re thinking, that’s just what you’re deflecting onto me. I just think you don’t like the person I am now.

 

Do you find it hard to connect to people in the digital age?

Yeah. It feels like so often it’s the source of all our confusion. So much is based on if somebody texted you back and how they texted you back. This whole digital thing, it’s like we’ve got two versions of life. I think it complicates things, especially with relationships and dating.

 

 

How do you deal with rejection?

I do not take it well at all. I have this whole thing, and I’m trying to work on this, where I’m like, who would reject me? What’s wrong with me? So I have this new perspective that how people feel about you sometimes has nothing to do with you. It’s just their perspective that they’ve placed on you. So I try to let go.

 

Do you have any advice on letting go? 

Sometimes you just have to continue telling yourself to get over it until it happens. With social media—unfollowing, muting, whatever you need to do—because the little reminders can make it so much worse. Just accepting the rejection over and over. Like it’s fine, that’s what that person thinks, and there’s nothing I can do about that.

 

Have you ever lied to get out of a sexual situation?

Yes, countless.

 

Can you give us one of the lies you’ve used?

I feel like they’re all pretty regular, like sometimes I’m like, “Oh I started cooking before I left, so I need to go finish my noodles.” I’ve said that before.

 

Really? Like you’ve insinuated that you’ve left on the boiler?

I guess that’s what I was saying. I was like, “Oh, I started cooking,” and I was nearby so it maybe made sense.

 

Why do you think you felt the need to lie?

Sometimes it’s a pure defense thing. You feel [as though] this person is not going to let off unless you have a real reason. Sometimes it’s hard to be assertive, or you want to turn them down now but you want them to know you’re still open to it in the future. I think often it’s just me having a hard time articulating how I feel.

 

Would you say you’re a good kisser?

Honestly, I don’t even know. Sometimes I feel like I’m killing it and sometimes I’m like, Oh, no. 

 

What’s the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done in bed? And you can plead the fifth if you want to.

I’m pleading the fifth.

 

Have you ever been in love?

I think so.

 

Have you ever been heartbroken?

Yes.

 

How did you get over it?

Honestly, I feel like, do we ever get over heartbreak? I don’t know if we ever do.

 

So there’s some people out there you’re still thinking about?

Yeah. I never have a linear healing process. It’s always all over the place. Some days I feel like I’m good, and then some days I’m like, Oh no, this is totally repressed and I need to handle it.

 

Do you have any advice for young people navigating dating and sex in 2018?

My biggest thing is to follow your gut instinct, be as transparent as possible, and to always put yourself first. And don’t ever question your value and your worth at the hands of someone else.  

 

Meet The Team: Sara Radin

Every week our writers share a bit of themselves with you. Inspired by their vulnerability, we sat some of our core team members down for an intimate interview.

We talked with Sara Radin, who spearheads all of Killer And A Sweet Thang’s events. Sara is a Brooklyn-based creative, who in addition to orchestrating community gatherings, has written for outlets such as DAZED, i-D, Man Repeller, and Broadly.

 

Where are you from?

I’m from Millburn, New Jersey which is 35 minutes outside of Manhattan.

 

Did anything about your upbringing in Jersey influence your work today?

I was always super creative when I was younger and I tried my hand at all different kinds of creative mediums. When I was 3 [year-old], I said I wanted to be an artist and then when I was 11, I said I wanted to be a writer. Today, I think I exist somewhere in between the two, but I also think a writer is a form of being an artist. My parents just really encouraged my creativity and being creative, and doing artful things was always a big form of catharsis for me as I was wrestling with puberty and my parents getting divorced and just different circumstances around my childhood.

 

How would you describe your sexual education growing up in school?

I know that we had sex-ed but I have no recollection of what went down *laughs* or what was talked about. I never spoke with my parents about sex… I think I was in fourth grade and I was at sleepaway camp and I didn’t know what the bases were. I still think that I’m lacking a lot of knowledge when it comes to sexual health and education as a 29 year-old.

 

Dating apps or IRL?

IRL.

 

How old were you when you had your first kiss?

14.

 

How old were you when you lost your virginity?

17.

 

Do you prefer to text or call?

I’m a caller, for sure. But nobody else is, except Eileen.

 

Do you like dirty talk?

Yes.

 

Do you believe in sex on the first date?

Depends on the circumstance.

 

What do you mean?

If I’m going into it with no expectations, then sure. But I think if it’s someone I’m interested in getting to know I would probably not have sex with them on the first date.

 

What turns you on in a partner?

I’m famously known for liking men that wear plaid. I actually had a plaid party for my twenty second birthday. That’s how much I love men that wear plaid. What was the question? What’s a turn on? I would say someone who’s respectful of women and treats them equally, someone who checks their privilege and has a desire to learn and grow so they can be an ally [for] other marginalized voices.

 

Is there anything that turns you off in someone?

My biggest turn off is misogyny.

 

Have you ever ghosted someone?

I haven’t dated in a year, so I don’t recall me ghosting anyone that I was legitimately seeing, but perhaps there were people that I went out with once and then maybe didn’t talk to again.

 

Have you ever been ghosted?

Yes, horrifically.

 

What do you mean by horrifically?

When I first moved to the city I started dating my boss’s best friend and that was a disaster because our lives became very intertwined in a way that your life shouldn’t be intertwined with your boss. We were dating for maybe 3 months, and he [said] he wanted me to be his girlfriend when we were having sex on his birthday and then a few weeks after that he just disappeared out of thin air. I did try to ask him for an explanation, and he just brushed it off like nothing was wrong. I felt incredibly vulnerable because I didn’t understand what had happened and I felt like my boss probably did, and that kinda made me feel very upset and insecure.

 

Can you talk a little bit about your decision not to date for a year?

I had a lot of personal stuff happen last summer and I just realized that I [would] self-sabotage and I decided that it was time to put a pause on putting emotional and physical energy into dating, and just really like turn that inwards and focus on understanding myself and my needs and spending time getting to know myself.

 

Are you open to the idea of dating right now?

I’m slowing starting to open myself up to the idea of dating again. It’s not really a priority for me right now. I feel really fulfilled on my own and I don’t really feel like I need a partner. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything in my life from not having one. So, according to my therapist, that means that this is the time to date.

 

If that’s the criteria for dating I feel like half of us shouldn’t be dating.

That’s exactly it. A lot of us use dating as a way to kind of give us value and purpose and it’s kind of good exercise to maybe take time and establish autonomy and fulfillment on your own.

 

Do you think it’s harder to date now in the current digital age?

Digital connectivity has impacted our lives in a lot of amazing ways and a lot of challenging ways. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have [social media] so things would go back to the old daysbut that’s not to say that things were better then. I find that it’s really easy to get in the habit of projecting onto people, making assumptions about them, getting wrapped up in the idea of someone, as opposed to really taking the quality time to get to know someone for who they really are.

 

Have you ever dated anyone or gone out with anyone who’s DMed you?

Yes.

 

Have you ever DMed anyone asking them out?

No.

 

Do you send nudes?

No, not recently, but in the past. If I did, but my face was never in it.

 

Gotcha, so no one can blackmail you.

Nope.

 

Have you ever felt heartbroken?

Yes.

 

How did you get over it?

I wrote ten pages of poems about all the men I dated.

 

Oh, wow! Can you talk about that? That’s cool.

I think it was January 2016. I went out with this guy. We dated for two weeks and it got really hot and heavy quite quickly. We initially met at a coffee shop, and then he ended up breaking up with me at the same coffee shop two weeks later. It was so surreal to be broken up with in person after such a short time of dating and I felt really uncomfortable and really awkward. It was very awkward. When I got home I was kind of overcome with emotion, I was crying and I knew I’d be fine. It wasn’t about him, really, it was just more the experience of someone literally telling me to my face that I was being rejected.

That was just hard to stomach, and after that conversation I got in the showerwhen I’m upset I like to take showersand I just was letting the hot water beat down on my back and taking in the steam. You know, meditating in some way. I started to think about our relationship and the trajectory of it and I came to this place of gratitude, and I had this inclination to write a poem about it. The poem ended up being called Thank You, and it was a thank you note for our very short-lived romance.

After that I sent it to a friend and she started writing a poem about a guy she had dated, so then we just ended up writing all these poems about all these men we had dated and by the end of the night I had literally ten pages of poems about all these different guys. It was so cathartic and so much fucking fun. Those poems ended up becoming a project called It’s Not Personal, which is an art and writing anthology I ran with my friend Vanessa.

 

That’s awesome.

Yeah!

 

So an international collective of like, healing.

Healing from heartbreak, yeah.

 

Wow, that’s beautiful. So in that way you’re probably glad he dumped you then.

Oh, totally.

 

Have you ever lacked sexual chemistry with someone, but then fixed it?

Yes.

 

What did that conversation or process look like?

There was someone I dated last year who I initially was not attracted to. But they seemed interesting and we had a lot in common so I decided to just keep seeing them but not be intimate yet. Over time, I started to feel more attracted to them.

 

How important do you think sex is in a relationship?

It’s important to me, but I think I’m the type of person who feels more sexually aroused by someone that I know quite well, and it’s taken me a lot of time to realize that. I think I feel this need for a level of safety, security, vulnerability before sex really becomes something worth having. I like it when sex is with someone that’s special to me, basically.

 

Do you have any advice for anybody who is struggling with insecurity in relationships?

Seek out professional help. There’s nothing shameful about seeing any kind of therapist whether it’s a relationship or a sex therapist or a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist. A therapist can help you know yourself better which will help you bring healthier, more comfortable relationships into your life [through] the process of working on yourself.

 

Meet The Team: Jacob Seferian

Every week our writers share a bit of themselves with you. Inspired by their vulnerability, we sat some of our core team members down for an intimate interview.

We talked to our head of editorial, who, with a small army of seven copy editors, curates and oversees all of Killer And A Sweet Thang’s written content. Jacob Seferian is a 22 year-old journalist, whose work has appeared in over ten publications, including V Magazine, Polyester Zine, and Alt Citizen. He’s been working with KAAST since 2016.

 

Where are you from?

Jacob: I’m originally from Houston, Texas.

 

What kind of influence would you say that’s had on you, especially with the work you do?

I grew up in a more conservative state, and a big reason I got involved with KAAST was [because] growing up I had no access to any sort of queer sexual Ed. There were questions about assplay that weren’t answered for me, so I chose to go to Yahoo Answers and porn. When I lost my virginity, I got a hemorrhoid. I saw this bump on the outside of my asshole and I was like, I have anal herpes. But it turns out, I didn’t. That was a big turning point for me because I [realized] I don’t know anything, and if I don’t know anything, I’m sure there’s other little queer babies out there who don’t know anything either.

 

How did you get involved in KAAST?

About two years ago, my friend tagged me in a post that said Killer And A Sweet Thang is looking for writers. I wrote, still to date, one of the most personal pieces I’ve ever written about my body image in relation to having sex and sent it over. Eileen and her team really liked it and contacted me. From there, I started working with you guys on a submission basis, and then moved up to editor, and now we’re at the configuring we’re at now.

 

You were recently in school. What advice would you give for people trying to get to a similar place in their career?  

Work hard! Cultivate a talent and a skill and become really good at it. I feel I did the opposite of what my university told me to do. They said you have to become really good at all these different moving parts of the digital age: you have to be a designer, a graphics person, you have to code… you won’t ever get work as just a writer. And I said, “That’s cute. I’m gonna try.” Throughout school I was working constantly and I’d just send things out. More important than getting published, it gave me the chance to practice. So I guess my advice to anyone is hone a skill, find what you love and work really hard at it.

 

Do you have any big inspirations?

Grace Jones. I think she’s just absolutely incredible, and I think the progressiveness she brought to the dialogue surrounding sexual identity was so before its time. Even cooler than the fact that it was so before it’s time is [that] when you watch interviews with her, she has no idea she’s being radical! And my friends. Is that corny? I’m inspired by the people around me, constantly.

 

Let’s go to some rapid fire questions. Dating apps or IRL?

In real life, but I think, unfortunately, a lot of the men I meet are via dating apps.

 

Handjob or oral?

Oral.

 

Sub or dom?

Sub.

 

Do you have a favorite position?

I like missionary. I like to look at people’s faces, that way you know they’re not thinking about anyone else.

 

Do you have a least favorite position?

Any position I’m uncomfortable in.

 

Sex on the first date?

Absolutely.

 

What turns you on?

Kindness, sense of humor… oh, I want to scratch those! Those are important but the biggest turn on to me, hands down, is when you’re talking to somebody and they’re really listening to you, and it doesn’t seem like they’re thinking about what they’re going to say next, they’re just fully in the moment. That makes me so wet.

 

What turns you off? 

Not being able to admit that you’re wrong, stubbornness. Refusing to apologize really bugs me, and taking yourself too seriously. *groans*

 

Have you ever been ghosted or ghosted someone?

Yes and yes.

 

How do you let someone know that you’re into them?

I usually tell them. I have Scorpio sex eyes, so you kind of know when I’m into you.

 

How do you practice safer sex in your more casual hook-ups, do you have a way of bringing up you want to use protection?

There have been times where I haven’t used condoms, and I’m not proud of it, but those moments are rare. I tell people flat out, “You can’t enter me if you don’t have protection.” I think there’s a lasting stigma with HIV and AIDS within the queer community that really makes people respect [using condoms]. It’s kind of built into our cultural dialogue, more so maybe than hetero couples.

 

How would you describe Grindr to your Grandma?

A place for young men to meet. *laughs* That’s all grandma gets!

 

Any other thoughts on Grindr?

I think it is a meat market, in every sense of the term. My friend always says, “If you spend two hours on Grindr… it delivers.” It’s really interesting that Grindr operates in sexual absolutism that way. Like you’re probably going to get laid on Grindr if you spend enough time on there. Which can’t be said for any other area of your life.

 

How do you think that relates to casual sex and the queer community as a whole?

There’s this huge thing about queer promiscuity in relation to perceived heterosexual promiscuity. People just think queer people are fucking each other way more than straight people are. But I think there’s a cultural context for that. When the act of sex is demonized and outlawed, the act becomes so radical. People love to throw the false phrase around, “Men are hornier than women, so when there’s two men involved…” I think that negates the cultural significance of being able to have sex with whoever you want. That’s a very powerful, political tool, and a right that is not allotted to everyone.

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Do you think social media and these apps makes intimacy harder to come by? 

Yes and no. I do think there are more obstacles in our way to connection than there were, but I don’t think humans want it any less.

 

How does Jacob Seferian deal with rejection?

I’d say OK. I’d say physical rejection I deal with fairly well. [But] recently, I dealt with a more emotional rejection. I was seeing this guy and we technically broke things off mutually, but over time I realized he had pulled away beforehand. I felt like I had autonomy in that situation, but then in the months that followed I had to come terms with [the fact that] I was ready to take this relationship to the next level and he wasn’t. And I felt really emotionally rejected because of that, and that was much deeper for me. And I didn’t take that well… a lot of drinking and partying, sorry mom!

 

Can you describe the best sex of your life?

Yes. He lived in a peach-colored room.

 

Have you ever felt empty after sex?

Oh yeah, all time the time! *laughs* But I usually think it’s more personal than anything else. I’ve had sexual experiences where I’ve hooked up with a guy, and it was all fun and dandy, but I realized afterwards that I didn’t really want to be with someone else, I just wanted someone to want me in that moment. And that makes me feel a little empty… but I think I’m pretty kind to myself. Like I’m 22. I’m allowed to make mistakes, as long as I do so safely and I don’t violate myself or anyone else.

 

*Photo of Jacob by Kayla Roolaart. 

Meet The Team: Eileen Kelly

Killer And A Sweet Thang originated as Eileen Kelly’s high school Tumblr account. Growing up in a conservative Catholic community in Seattle with a single dad, she didn’t have many people to talk to about puberty or sexual health. Forced to figure out the answers to important questions on her own, she would often turn to her peers or the internet. But everything she found online seemed to be written from a solely clinical point of view. 

Tired of watching herself and peers struggle with sexual situations, in the spring of 2016 she set out to create the platform she felt her community lacked. In only two years her little website has grown into a full-fledged movement, racking up over 3 million page views and counting!

Inspired by our writers’ vulnerability, we figured it was only fair we let you get to know a little more about the team behind KAAST. So we sat our very own founder and CEO down for a little chat!

 

Where are you from?

Eileen: I’m from Seattle, Washington.

 

And what influence did growing up there have on you today?

People in Seattle are a very unique breed… the outdoors are very important.  I would say everyone [in Seattle] is pretty down to earth, which was nice to grow up around and be surrounded by that energy. But at the same time I think it’s a much slower pace,  so I was always itching to get out of there.

 

How old were you when you moved to New York?

I moved to New York when I was 17.

 

What was that like?

Crazy! I moved right after I graduated high school. I lived alone, actually, and barely knew anyone. I think spending as much time as I did alone and in my head had a lot of influence on where [the idea for Killer And A Sweet Thang] stemmed from.

 

Can you talk a little bit about your family dynamic growing up?

I have three siblings, they’re all older—so I’m the baby of the family. My mom passed away when I was young, so I grew up with a single dad. [Since] my siblings were all out of the house by the time I entered high school, and my dad traveled a lot for work, so once again… a shit ton of alone time during [those] really young and formative years. At the time, maybe [that] bothered me a lot more and maybe I felt neglected in some ways, but as I’ve gotten older I really appreciate [growing up as I did], because I think it really shaped my personality and ability to start my own motor.

 

How do you think your experiences growing up have influenced your work today?

Oh, I mean I think it has everything to do with the work I do—especially the part of growing up without an adult female figure in my life. I really had no one close to me to talk about sexual things or puberty, so I felt extra alone in those topics. I think it just pushed me to be like, Okay, for other people who felt that immense kind of murkiness, why isn’t there a resource for them to figure out the answer to these questions that aren’t from a medical point of view? So [KAAST] is as if you’re talking to someone, like the older sister or mom you wished you had.

 

Dating apps or meeting people IRL?

Meeting people in real life.

 

Sub or dom?

I think it depends on the situation.

 

How do you sexually identify?

I guess I technically identify as bisexual. But I don’t really love the label. My sexuality is so firmly unique to me, as is everyone’s, that I feel like I’m succumbing to someone [else’s] view of it by having to label my own sexuality. For some people it can be incredibly empowering to label themselves, but personally, I don’t feel that way.

 

Sex on the first date—yes or no?

Personally, no.

 

What turns you on in a partner?

I like people who are outgoing, funny. I like people’s energy. I also like motivated people more than any physical quality.

 

What turns you off in a partner?

Not having confidence. I think it’s really sexy when someone’s confident in what they’re doing, and has the ability to ask you, “does this feel good?” But I also think that’s the Leo in me speaking! *laughs*

 

Have you ever ghosted someone? 

I think I’m too nice to fully ghost someone.

 

Have you ever been ghosted?

Yes, I have.

 

How did that make you feel?

Shitty. But also at the same time, I feel like at the end of the day I’m like, this is your issue and not mine. If you don’t have the emotional maturity to just tell me, “This isn’t working.” Then, that’s not really my problem.

 

That’s a very well adjusted viewpoint. Good for you!

I mean at the time it definitely hurt, and you’re like I want to smash a window! But I think afterwards you’re like why am I wasting my time? There’s so many people out there to experience that I don’t need to mope on one person. It’s part of being human, it’s okay for not everyone to be attracted to you and vice versa. And that’s just something we need to accept.

 

How do you show someone you like them?

I’m very straightforward. Even how I met my current boyfriend, I approached him at the bar. I thought he was attractive, and I walked right up to him.

 

What did you say? 

I think I waved at him? And kind of like waved [a] come-over-here-you-can-talk-to-me-I’m-down type of thing. And then we started making out.

 

Can you talk a little bit about some of the DMs you get?

I would say I get crazier DMs if I post a more sensual photograph. So, I feel like on some level I’m prepared for what I’m going to receive because I know what I just posted. The other day I got a dick pic… I hadn’t gotten one of those in a long time. That was a little startling. If I asked for it? Sure. But I didn’t.

 

Would you say men tend to DM you more than women?

Women probably DM me more. It’s going to be only men who DM me sexually—actually, that’s not true. Some girls have said they have girl crushes on me or they wanna hook up.

 

Who do the aggressive messages normally come from?

Men. Hands down. I would say [with the] women, they want advice on very specific situations—which is really awesome, but at the same time, it’s a lot of pressure. Because I don’t know you, and I don’t know the whole situation. Sometimes I just don’t really know how to answer [them]. I can’t tell you how to live your life.

 

Have you ever hooked up with someone who DMed you first?

I’ve DMed someone and hooked up with them, does that count? I said, “I heard you have a big dick, can I get a pic?”

 

And he was receptive?

He was receptive. We did end up hooking up. [But] I would say that was more of a situation where we had mutual friends. It wasn’t someone who was completely random. I was newly single and was playing around and sent it.

 

Do you send nudes?

Maybe in a long-term relationship? But not super explicit nudes. I’m kind of paranoid about my iCloud getting hacked one day.

 

That’s fair. Do you have phone sex ever?

I like sexting. Honestly I could go into a side career of writing literotica.

 

What’s the worst thing a former partner has ever said to you?

Oh my god, I probably blocked it out! [However] I found these old texts with an ex-boyfriend the other day, because I was cleaning out my computer. And he called me heartless bitch. But I guess that’s not even that bad.

I had one person, way after the fact, say that [he] never loved [me]. But I knew that wasn’t true.

 

What’s something really dope that a former partner said to you? 

I always find it nice when they compliment what I do. For someone who’s been so active on the internet, I feel jaded in some sense if they tell me I’m attractive or certain things. I’m like, I hear this from a lot of strangers on the internet… so it doesn’t feel as special.

 

Do you find it harder to connect to people in this digital age?
Yes, because I think it’s one thing to be intimate over the internet, and it’s an entirely different phenomenon to be intimate in person.

 

Text or call?

Call. I’m actually a caller.

 

Have you ever been with someone who wasn’t that great in bed—if so, how did you handle the situation?

I wouldn’t say someone who’s been bad in bed, necessarily, but more so inexperienced. Something that’s really great about my job is I have a lot of practice communicating and talking about sex. So that’s something I have no problem doing in the bedroom, as well. No matter how comfortable or not comfortable I am with someone. *winks*

 

Do you think social media makes it harder to be monogamous and focus on one person?
Yes. It’s this idea that there’s so many more options out there. I think [social media has made] monogamy a lot more muddled, like [when] they’re liking or DMing other people on the internet… is that emotional cheating? Like what is cheating anymore? I feel we don’t have these distinct lines of what cheating really means, so we can’t have them about monogamy.

 

Have you ever felt empty after having sex?

When I was younger I used to really heavily connect love and sex, and I think that was [from] waiting to only have sex with my first boyfriend. And from that point on, for multiple partners, I only had sex with people I seriously dated. And that’s something I’ve been trying to outgrow. That put me in the position to revisit and have sex with exes—because I felt like that was more comfortable or more safe than going out and finding a new partner.

Which now, looking back at it, I don’t know if it was the best thing for me emotionally.

I would say that sometimes revisiting ex-boyfriends and having sex with them made me feel kind of empty. We’re here because we’re comfortable, and we’re here because we’re having sex… but it’s not the same as it was, and I don’t know if I [was] ready for that.

 

Have you ever been heartbroken?

Yeah. I’ve never been broken up with, though, I’ve always broken up with people. I would say a few of my breakups felt very devastating at the time. It was the situation where it was like, I’m leaving but at the same time I’m breaking my own heart.

 

And how did you get over that?

I think time.

 

Can you name a sexual fantasy you have?

I would love to have a threesome with a long-term partner. I’ve only ever had them where I was the random—or not even random, but I was the one who wasn’t in the relationship.

 

I hope your boyfriend reads this.

We’ve talked about it…

 

Do you have any advice for dating?

Just remembering there’s a lot of people out there. I think as young people we tend to get hung up on one person if they’re not into us, and just remember it’s okay that you’re not into everyone—so why aren’t others allowed the same? And just being safe and confident in your needs.

 

Has it ever been difficult to date with your public persona?

I get asked this on panels, and I always say I wouldn’t be attracted to someone who isn’t into what I do. But it has been an issue when I was younger… It is so funny, because there’s a specific type of guy I know [who] would be the type of guy who likes all my photos, comments, DMs me a dick pic, and would maybe wanna sleep with me but would never want to date with. Ya know, it’s the mother [versus] the whore type vibe?

I would say it has brought out some of people that I’ve dated insecurities, from watching other guys be into me or just people online, and that [can] make them feel some type of way… but I just try to set this overview and a reminder of like, Listen, I wouldn’t be with you if I didn’t want to be with you.