Best of the Week
of Oct. 31, 1999

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of Oct. 31, 1999, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing our new database using our search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in our Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the new database as well). In the Original Archives and the new database, you will find questions that have received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. We encourage you to answer any questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insights of an individual from that group.

First-time users should first make a quick stop at our guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.


Question:
To exotic dancers, as well as to escorts working for an agency: What percentage of the money paid by a client (excluding tips) goes to the 'house,' and what percentage goes to the individual?
POSTED 2/19/1999
Chris S., Detroit, MI, United States, Mesg ID 2199960227

Responses:
Most clubs in the Windsor area (since you're from Detroit, you may have crossed the border) charge a $25 deejay fee, and the rest of the money I make off table dances and tips I get to keep (usually around $700 or more a shift).
POSTED 11/3/1999
Monika, Windsor, NA, Canada, 20, Female, Mesg ID 113199964613
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Question:
Can someone please tell me why the French have such reputations for being rude? I have not been to France, but the French people I've met here in the United States are anything but rude - though they are indeed very different from Americans. To me, rude is like the people at the shopping mall the week before Christmas!
POSTED 11/1/1999
Terri, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 33, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, High School Diploma , Middle class, Mesg ID 1029199910408
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Question:
Do men really prefer large artificial breasts to average or small natural ones, or is this just something the media misrepresents?
POSTED 11/1/1999
Terri, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 33, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, High School Diploma , Middle class, Mesg ID 10291999120240

Responses:
For a one-night stand, I'd like big bumps. Long term, I want the stuff beneath those bumps.
POSTED 11/3/1999
Married, Columbia, SC, United States, Male, Baptist, White/Caucasian, Straight, none, 4 Years of College , Middle class,Mesg ID 111199965606

I'd rather look at or fondle a real part of a real person, rather than a plastic bag of salt water.
POSTED 11/3/1999
Andrew, Huntington, NY, United States, <ziptron@start.com.au>, 35, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College,Mesg ID 111199980223

I hope my response will help dispel the myth that men prefer large fakw breasts to average or small natural ones. I will always prefer natural to fake, no matter what the size. I do feel it is the media and fashion world tjat have brainwashed us, in much the same way blonds are considered more desirable. If we who are in favor of natural anything keep our voice heard, I think we can at least keep things on a more even keel. Of course we can never completely eliminate those who desire fake breasts (the larger the better!), but that's what makes us diverse, right? Let's just try to dispel the myth that they are the majority. And we will continue to buck the so-called "trends" and not let advertising and media blitzes control our minds.
POSTED 11/3/1999
David P., seattle, WA, United States, 49, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, shipping clerk, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 112199942536
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Question:
I'm a college-aged bisexual female. I am newly dating a guy (the first straight relationship I've had in years) and have run into several problems. One is that it's been so long that I've pretty much forgotten what making out with a guy is like (guys are a lot different from chicks). The major problem, though, is that the guy I am seeing is uncomfortable with my sexuality. Even though I've tried to assure him that I have no plans on leaving him for anyone, he is petrified that he will lose me to another woman. What can I do to ease his doubts and make him comfortable with my sexuality? Please help!
POSTED 11/1/1999
Kory, Flint area, MI, United States, Female, Bisexual, Mesg ID 1029199945312

Responses:
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make your boyfriend trust you or become comfortable with your sexuality. Ultimately, he'll have to decide to trust you or leave the relationship. I had a very similar situation, only in reverse. I dated men exclusively until I was 28, when I fell in love with a woman. While I was completely faithful to her for almost two years, she was very insecure about my past and felt threatened by everyone. Ultimately her lack of trust soured the relationship and we went our separate ways. While I am in a wonderful relationship with a man now, I didn't even think about anyone else - male or female - while I was with her. My 'ex' understands that now, but she couldn't while we were together. All you can do is live your life honestly and with integrity. The rest is up to him. As for 'what to do' - ask him what he likes and explore.
POSTED 11/2/1999
Alicia, Seattle, WA, United States, 31, Female, Middle class, Mesg ID 1121999112843

I've always puzzled about that one myself. Why would the threat of you leaving him for a woman be greater than you leaving him for a man? His being uncomfortable with your sexuality in general is interesting, also. That's quite a hurdle the two of you will have to work on together. Perhaps it is tied into his own insecurity as your mate/boyfriend/significant other, and your being bisexual just gives him an easy way to express it. How often have any of us wondered what we did to deserve our good mates? Even the most confident person has to have moments of self-doubt. He may also fear for your safety - a valid concern. It could also be a lack of understanding on his part. Not many straight people (being status quo) really delve into the minutiae of sexuality. It could be something he's never thought about - he may have just accepted the popular opinion of his upbringing. It's probably a combination of all of the above. Sexual orientation is a controversial issue. It is difficult to separate opinion from fact, and acceptance does not come from many sources.
POSTED 11/2/1999
Onewanda, New York, NY, United States, 28, Female, Mesg ID 1121999111251

It sounds to me like he's got more of a trust problem than a sexuality problem. All I can suggest is that you give him no reason to distrust you. And if he still acts that way, I'd consider that a warning sign of possible possessiveness, which can be a real problem.
POSTED 11/3/1999
Andrew, Huntington, NY, United States, <ziptron@start.com.au>, 35, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 111199980723
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Question:
Whenever I see a group of elderly women, at least in the United States, more often than not they're wearing a 'uniform' of sorts - polyester blouses with gaudy floral prints, and plain polyester pants that are usually purple, lime green or pink. I've seen this 'uniform' throughout the country, from blue-collar Buffalo to trendy Denver, in upscale suburbs and working-class urban neighborhoods, and in the slot machine areas of every Las Vegas casino. Where do they get their clothes? Why does this fashion appeal to them?
POSTED 11/1/1999
Dan, Denver, CO, United States, 33, Male, Unitarian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1029199962758

Responses:
I think they wear those clothes because they are comfortable. It is hard to find fashionable clothing that let's you 'breathe.' It's probably also affordable. Many elderly women are on a fixed budget, and that type of polyester clothing wears well.
POSTED 11/3/1999
Michelle, Minneapolis, MN, United States, <mo531@aol.com>, 34, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian, Straight, nurse, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 111199995959
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Question:
I volunteer as an assistant leader with Inner City Outings, an outreach of the Sierra Club. We take kids from urban settings on nature trips. I have noticed that some of the kids come from families not at all like mine. They are very large, many times with four or more kids. This seems peculiar to me considering their economic standing. Is there a correlation that links poverty and large families?
POSTED 11/1/1999
Marcus P., Orange Park, FL, United States, <gosurf74@hotmail.com>, 25, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, Student-Teacher, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 1031199910508

Responses:
I think it's the other way around. Large families were the norm just about everywhere until about 50 years ago. Then families started to shrink among the middle and upper classes because of birth control, women entering the work force, more time spent on education and careers leaving less time for kids, etc. Sometimes it's also related to religious beliefs against birth control. Be careful about blaming poverty on large families. It's rarely that simple and it's one step away from blaming the victims.
POSTED 11/3/1999
A.C.C., W. Lafayette, IN, United States, Mesg ID 111199984613

You answered your own question. Because of their financial situation (or lack thereof) of being poor, the grand majority of these people cannot afford birth control. You would think that common sense would dictate that if you have no money, you should try your best to prevent having more children. But then again, to me, these people are poor because they have no common sense.
POSTED 11/3/1999
Murray C, Halifax, Nova Scotia, NA, Canada, 31, Male, Unitarian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Draftsman, Technical School , Middle class, Mesg ID 1121999121506
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Question:
I realize that child pornography is a very sensitive subject for many people, especially for parents, but in spite of the numerous laws against it there still seems to be an underground where it proliferates. Why do some people like it and others don't? If enough people start to like it, does that mean that our perception of it should be re-evaluated? In some countries the age limit for erotic material differs, so how should that affect our perception of it? Are they always wrong and we always right? The real question is, where does the true majority of opinions on this subject lie? And will we ever question ourselves, or will the religious zealots always win?
POSTED 11/1/1999
Chrissy, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 25, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, Middle class, Mesg ID 1031199934150

Responses:
Child pornography is wrong, no matter what the circumstances. Children are not mature enough to consent to sex; therefore, any type of sex with children is done against their will and is abusive. People who get off on child pornography need to seek professional help immediately because they have some serious issues to deal with. Anybody who derives pleasure from the abuse of others has serious problems. Many things in our society need to be re-examined from time to time to keep up with the changing world around us, but child pornography is not one of them. Any way you look at it, child pornography is just plain wrong. As a society, we have the responsibility to look out for and protect those who may not be able to do so for themselves.
POSTED 11/1/1999
Jacqueline C., San Jose, CA, United States, 25, Female, Pagan, White/Caucasian, Straight, Engineer, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 111199923139

As a parent, you're right, I'm appalled by and object to child pornography. I would hardly call myself a religious zealot, but I certainly don't mind that some folks have morals and that they attempt to live by them. When did having morals become a bad thing? Religion aside, psychologically, it is not only abusive and destructive to have a child participate in sexual acts, but it is exploitative. A child is not emotionally mature enought to make an informed decision about participating in this kind of behavior. And those adults who support this activity by producing the material or viewing it are exploitive and contributors to the abuse of other human beings. Sex alone is not a bad thing. Sex between consenting adults who choose to record and sell sex is a personal choice; morally, it is debatable for some. Children are to be nurtured, protected and loved. I cannot make that kind of connection with children having sex. And lastly, having been sexually abused, I can tell you that the scars of sexual activity early in a child's/adolescent's life is damaging. There are no redeeming qualities for a child participating in an activity that should be handled by mature, healthy adults. Sex is more than an act. The sooner we approach sex with a sense of respect, love, commitment and spirituality, the better off our society will be. Pardon me if I'm being preachy, but this subject lends itself to a personal moral/belief discussion.
POSTED 11/3/1999
Zawadi, Farmington Hills, MI, United States, <aquarius@hotmail.com>, 34, Female, Black/African American, publishing, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 111199924156

Many cultures around the world accept the fact that young people have become of a sexually mature age in the early teens, and it's very common for marriages to take place at that age. The union of a male and female is an accepted thing. In our Western culture, I think it is the religious zealots who have us so stand-offish on this subject. And it doesn't help matters that their are some unscrupulous adults who do take advantage of our young people. But the fact that an adult of either gender might find a younger person attractive is only normal and natural. It's unfortunate that our society doesn't allow intimate contact between two consenting persons. When I go pick up my child at high school, I notice the young females - they are already fully developed. So I don't know why our society looks down on it, except to maybe protect them from predators.
POSTED 11/3/1999
David, Seattle, WA, United States, 49, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, shipping clerk, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 112199941104
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Question:
I'm doing a report on North Carolina for my travel class. Can anyone give me an honest view of this state? What are the cultural/social patterns down there? What are people like? What's the population breakdown? What do people do for fun? I believe most of the people are Southern, but are there people from other countries? Please answer here and email me at debby32@gis.net
POSTED 11/1/1999
Debby Z., Auburndale, MA, United States, <debby32@gis.net>, 18, Female, Catholic, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, High School Diploma , Middle class, Mesg ID 1031199965432

Responses:
Here's the address of a web page I made for a demography project on North Carolina last year: http://www.georgetown.edu/users/stackhoh/demography/test.htm. It includes some basic information and a number of good links to demographic and other information on the state. North Carolina is a beautiful state and, needless to say, much more diverse in almost all ways than relatively homogeneous New England. The site includes some information on the nativity, race, regional culture, and ethnicity of North Carolina's residents.
POSTED 11/3/1999
H., Washington, DC, United States, 24, Male, Methodist, white Southerner, Gay, student, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 1121999110502
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