Bleats

In News That Surprises No One, T.I. Regrets Discussing His Daughter's Hymen

"I began to embellish and exaggerate."

Remember a few weeks ago when rapper T.I. just casually let slip that he’d been taking his daughter Deyjah to the gynecologist every year to “check her hymen”?

In the with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on the podcast Ladies Like Us, T.I. was asked if he’s had the “sex talk” with his daughters.

“Not only have we had the conversation,” T.I. said. “We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen…Yes, I go with her.”

Later, T.I. said the doctors informed him of the many ways a hymen can be broken other than through sexual penetration. “I say, ‘Look, Doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.”

As expected, T.I.’s comments did not go down well with his daughter, or the rest of the Internet and he quickly copped major backlash online.

As she often does in the midst of celebrity PR nightmare, Jada Pinkett Smith invited T.I. to her Red Table Talk to set the record straight – and teach him a thing or two about commenting on your daughter’s sexual health.

T.I. began admitting “I began to embellish and exaggerate,” and that “I think a lot of people took it extremely literal.”

When Pinkett-Smith asked T.I. if he understood the sensitivity of the situation, he said, “No, but I do now. However, my intentions have terribly misconstrued and misconceived.”

While T.I. said “there was never any objection” from Deyjah to have her father present at the gynecologist appointments, “she did have a problem with me talking about it, though, and I am incredibly apologetic – to her – for that.”

Then, Pinkett-Smith explains to T.I. why his daughter may have struggled to speak to him about her sexual health. “I don’t think anyone has a problem with you protecting your daughter,” she said. “It’s the hymen. Having been a young girl myself, having raised several young women, and realising a woman’s journey, in regards to her sexuality, has to be guided mostly by mothers. That’s just me personally.”

Defending himself, T.I. said, “I’m talking about the slimy, girmy, chubby-fingered little boys, who want to defile and destroy the sanctity…The thing that’s the most important in my life – I’m going to deal with that with extreme care.” 

T.I. said he’s “not there to protect ‘virginity,’ but “you have to be equipped…Awareness is my first line of defense.” 

Pinkett-Smith told T.I. “that’s education. You only have but so much control,” and then asked him what would happen if Deyjah got pregnant. 

T.I. said, “you ended your childhood. It’s time to begin adulthood…You need to have a plan,” which prompted Pinkett-Smith to explain how feminism comes into play.

“Here’s what you need to understand,” she said. “There’s a patriarchal structure – it’s structured by the views and outlook of men. It tends to be, at times, oppressive to the feminine journey.”

“There’s a lot that happens in the feminine journey. It’s often told and seen and led through the eyes of men, who know nothing of what we’re going through.”

Sounds like there’s plenty of lessons to be learned here. Here’s hoping Deyjah can eventually forgive her dad for his comments.

Holding Hands When You're Married Is Still Shady, Justin Timberlake

Just friends, or more?

If you’re married, is it okay to hold someone else’s hand? It’s a question the Internet is attempting to answer after Justin Timberlake was papped holding hands with his co-star Alisha Wainwright.

The pair, who play lovers in their upcoming film Palmer, were filmed and photographed on a night out in New Orleans holding hands, touching knees and getting cosy. To make matters worse, Timberlake had also ditched his wedding ring for the occasion.

According to The Sun, sources say, “they were smiling and laughing. At one point he grabbed her hand and rested it on his knee. She then gently started stroking his leg.”

“Then he clutched her hand with both of his and was playing with her hands.”

Since the photographs and footage surfaced, reps for Timberlake and Wainwright have denied rumours that there is anything romantic going on. In a statement to Page Six, a source close to Timberlake said “he was on an open balcony. They were among friends. It was nothing. There is 100% nothing going on.” 

Whether there’s something going on between JT and his co-star or not, it begs the question: what constitutes as cheating? 

In a 2018 interview with Women’s Health, a range of experts outlined the different kinds of cheating. According to relationship expert Esther Perel, cheating typically involves at least one of these three elements: secrecy, emotional involvement, and sexual alchemy. 

The feature states that examples of cheating include being physically intimate outside your relationship, harboring feelings for someone else, fantasizing about someone else, hiding your money habits and having secret social media habits. 

While there’s no way of telling whether Justin Timberlake and Alisha Wainwright’s hand-holding and knee-stroking was “emotionally involved” or intended to be kept a secret, you could argue it’s technically being “physically intimate” outside a relationship.

Romantic or not, holding hands with another woman feels like a pretty bold move if you’re happily married. No word from JT’s wife Jessica Biel on the cheating allegations, but I’m guessing there are some long conversations happening in the Timberlake household right now.

People Are Using Virtual Reality To Bang Their Exes, Minus The Consent

It's time for a (virtual) reality check.

There’s no doubt that unrequited love is all kinds of painful, but if it means you’re digitally replicating your ex-partner into a 3D avatar for sex – you might be creating more problems than solutions for yourself.

According to a new report from Vice, there’s a new “community of 3D graphics hobbyists” who are creating and selling avatars resembling real people for the purpose of fulfilling a sexual fantasy.

The avatars, that are sold via forums on Reddit, Patreon and other websites, can be “articulated into any position, animated, modified, interacted with in real time, and manipulated in ways that defy the constraints of physical reality.”

While they’re nowhere near as sophisticated as those scary deepfakes floating around the Internet, these 3D avatars are equally-as-frightening because “many hobbyists seemingly make avatars, of anyone, with or without their consent.”

Vice noted one Reddit user saying they use their 3D avatar to “fulfill my sexual fantasies or replicate sexual encounters with my ex-girlfriends.” Apparently, celebrities are also a common occurrence in the 3D avatar world, and Vice has found dozens of them online, including Emilia Clarke, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson and Nicki Minaj, most under the guise of a nickname. 

The obvious problem here is consent. Does the ex-girlfriend, celebrity, or stranger know they’re being made into an avatar for sex purposes? 

In 2017, Newcastle University researchers conducted a study on virtual reality porn and how it could cause a dangerous blurred line between real life and fantasy. 

Dr. Madelin Balaam, co-author of the research said, “our research highlighted not only a drive for perfection, but also a crossover between reality and fantasy. Some of our findings highlighted the potential for creating 3D models of real life people, raising questions over what consent means in VR experiences.”

“If a user created a virtual reality version on their real life girlfriend, for example, would they do things to her that they know she would refuse in the real world?”

This study was conducted two years ago, and it sounds like the researcher’s concerns were warranted. According to Vice’s report, we’ve already arrived at the point where real life people are being replicated in virtual reality form.

In light of harrowing rape cases like that of Chanel Miller, who was sexually assaulted by fellow student Brock Turner on Stanford University campus in 2015, consent and the rules around consent are more pertinent than ever before.

Will the same attention to real life consent by paid to virtual consent?

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