Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting off on power exchange is BadWrong, let me tell you it.

Yeah, it's That Time again, apparently. I'm sort of going off a general overview of the thread, any number of previous threads which sounded a -lot- like this one, and the understanding that I agree with RE's rant here, and have taken pretty much that tone in previous go-rounds. Because for whatever reason (the heat, maybe, or the sheer number of times I feel like all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again), I'm not even feeling Ze Rage this time. So, I thought I'd take advantage of my relative, well, it ain't Zen, but it's something, and say a little something. Again.

I'll just say that I am -very- suspicious whenever anyone starts to hold forth about how they -used- to like act X, but now, praise Jesus/Dworkin/Nicolosi/Cthulhu, I have SEEN the LIGHT! and my sexuality has -totally changed,- and -yours can and SHOULD, too- (is the implicit and/or even explicit addedendum).

First of all, I don't think sexuality works like that: yes, it can be malleable and change over the years, but ime and in everything I've come to understand, it is -not- particularly amenable to change because one -wills- it so, because one's newfound political/religious/otherwise ideological -belief- decrees that it -must- be so in order for one to be a whole and good person. You don't get rid of the shadow by stuffing it down.

Secondly, in my experience...people like this, often enough, especially when it comes to kink, are...rather selective, quite possibly not consciously, when it comes to deciding what does and doesn't now qualify as the Bad Bad Thing.

f'r instance: w/in feminism, to take one example I recall seeing a while back: the idea that BDSM is a Bad Bad Thing, meaning a) leather and whips b) particularly, maledom/femsub anything, including any sort of non-implement-including getting off on penetration; -but- c) donning a strap-on and doing one's male partner and getting enjoyment -specifically- out of "whoo, I'm penetrating -him-, what a rush!- is totally fine and not at all suggestive of power!sex; it's just, you know, this...thing I happen to like." O.K.

As it happens, personally, I am turned on by certain kinds of femtop!malebottom much more than I am the reverse; always have, since long before I read any theory or even knew what the terms meant. I don't doubt that my kinks, such as they are, were formed in the same long-ago not-really-consciously-articulate cauldron that all my other erotic general themes were formed, more or less; and that sure, these particular let's say bents at least may well have at least partly to do with stuff I was unconsciously picking up about social messages about what was or wasn't taboo. But that doesn't make me a better feminist, or mean that if for whatever reason I decided tomorrow that you know, I really shouldn't get off on this stuff, I should stop enjoying thus and so and learn to enjoy this other thing, it would be any more successful than when I was trying to be a good little heterosexual, because -that's- what I thought I was -supposed- to be -then.-

Because, see, if there's one thing sexuality doesn't generally do, it's lie down and act like it's "supposed to." Regardless of where the directive is coming from. It's deeper and quirkier and more complicated than that. It's not that one (o the overused term) "examine" what it all MEANS, dear, but ultimately: it will not lie down and fit into your Procrustean bed. It needs, like the rest of the squidgier bits of the unconscious, to be taken on its own terms. Fuck, that's what "examination" -is-, it seems to me. The theory is shaped by What Is Found There, not the other way around. And, well, One Size Does Not Fit All.

And at the end of the day, also, frankly, again, what she said.

x-posted at SM Feminists

62 comments:

jfpbookworm said...

I'm still trying to figure out how advocating analysis turned into another example of Kink On Trial.

The theory is shaped by What Is Found There, not the other way around.

This is the one bit I don't really agree with. Feminist theory and sexual desires are pretty much orthogonal to me, and while I do my best to reconcile them, that doesn't mean that one always trumps the other.

There's a lot of things I've been conditioned to find desirable that I find problematic (I'm thinking of things here that diminish the importance of enthusiastic and freely-given consent, and specifically *not* consensually negotiated forms of kink), and that I choose not to act on those desires doesn't make them go away. But on the other hand, having those desires doesn't mean that I should reform my sense of what's right to make excuses for acting on them.

Trinity said...

"This is the one bit I don't really agree with. Feminist theory and sexual desires are pretty much orthogonal to me"

Which is interesting to me because I came to feminism *because* I noticed that this patriarchy thingy kept saying I wasn't supposed to be sexually dominant and I didn't like it, and I wondered why power-hogging seemed so important to people.

Then feminists started telling me that the things that made me interested in feminism weren't feminist or maybe they were but I need to think more.

I haven't stopped rolling my eyes since.

I think they roll down Sisyphus' hill and then he brings them back up.

PhysioProf said...

Because for whatever reason (the heat, maybe, or the sheer number of times I feel like all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again), I'm not even feeling Ze Rage this time.

Just read what Schwyzer wrote in the Feministe comments. That ought to piss you off! Sometimes I think that dude spends all day thinking up ways to be as irritating as humanly possible.

belledame222 said...

PP: I am deliberately -not- reading most of the comments there, particularly his, for precisely that reason. That lad--honestly, at this point he could tell me the sky is blue and I'd still want to kick him in the 'nads. He takes the fun out of masochism, and that makes me all the more aggressive.

jfp: okay, when you say "conditioned to find desirable," that suggests that this was something that was done to you a la behaviorism; am I interpreting this correctly?

Because, personally, I think...we don't choose our sexuality as such, no, but...I also think that--actually, no, I'll come back to that. This is probably more important:

(I'm thinking of things here that diminish the importance of enthusiastic and freely-given consent, and specifically *not* consensually negotiated forms of kink), and that I choose not to act on those desires doesn't make them go away. But on the other hand, having those desires doesn't mean that I should reform my sense of what's right to make excuses for acting on them.

O.K. Well, I don't know specifically what you're referring to here, and I won't pry. I'll just say that by and large, part of adult responsibility in -general- is understanding the difference between fantasy and reality; or, rather, the continuum, and how acknowledging one's desires does not mean one must -literally- enact them in every particular.

For instance: just now I wrote that Hugo's online persona inspires in me a strong (nonerotic, simply malicious) desire to kick him in the 'nads. Do I mean this literally? Much less, would I actually go up to him irl and enact nonconsensual violence upon him? Well, no. Partly for fear of societal and legal repercussions; but mostly, in fact I don't mean this literally. The fantasy tends to dissolve when put up against the reality of another human being; the reality of actually 'nad-pummeling someone who's not actively done anything to me is not the same thing as my expressing hostility in this rather erm vivid way.

That said, it's not -nothing-, either. It -is- based on a real feeling. And if I were to say, as Hugo himself tends to do (and is precisely what inspires me to sadistic malice with him; thinking of f'r instance when Jerry Falwell died and his less-than-tolerant response to other peoples' less-than-Christian reaction thereof)...and I mean, not just wrt Hugo himself, of course, but in general, having these let's call them -antisocial thoughts and feelings-, okay...

well, something along the lines of, this feeling of aggression is BadWrong, and if I really -work- on my BadWrongness I can make it go away;

well, no, actually, ime it doesn't work like that. Instead what tends to happen is I get all stroppy and irritated and passive aggressive, and I never get to the point of working -through- the aggression to see what else might be behind it. Instead, I smile and smile and turn all that aggression inward and intellectualize it to a fare-thee-well...

...and in fact it doesn't actually make either me or my communications with people in general any healthier, I think? because I'm not being real, and people can smell that, really, and the hostility leaks out anyway, around the edges, in a thousand little ways; and it's even harder for other people to deal with in many ways than if I were to just straightforwardly say,

"look, right now I'm pissed off at you, and/or I don't even -like- so and so, here's why:"

belledame222 said...

Which is interesting to me because I came to feminism *because* I noticed that this patriarchy thingy kept saying I wasn't supposed to be sexually dominant and I didn't like it, and I wondered why power-hogging seemed so important to people.

Then feminists started telling me that the things that made me interested in feminism weren't feminist or maybe they were but I need to think more.


Yeah, and that.

I mean, this is the irony here, okay: sure, one can analyze or "examine" -oneself-, as you seem to be doing here, jfp; it sounds like you know yourself pretty well and have been thinking about this shit a lot.

What a lot of us are kneejerking at is just one too many examples (including in that very feministe thread, not just Hugo) of people basically saying, or one presumes trying to say, on the one hand that -power-tripping is bad,- and on the other hand unconsciously engaging in exactly that. There is no The Theory, okay: part of the whole point is, the personal is the political. But what happens all too often is, someone goes, "okay! this is my personal! Therefore it's political! whereas YOUR personal is, well, you're just fucked up, aren't you? UR Doin It Rong."

and, No. whether it's about kink or anything else. No.

PhysioProf said...

He takes the fun out of masochism[.]

HAHAHAH! Good one! When I get the opportunity, I'm so going to use that insult (with h/t to you, belledame, of course)!

shiva said...

On an intellectual level, i agree with you.

On an emotional level, i don't think i'll ever get away from thinking/feeling that M/f is Bad and Wrong, and F/m is Good and Right.

I don't, know if, for me, it's as simple as "M/f kinkiness replicates Teh Patriarchy" (although that certainly comes into it). I don't think it's as simple as "women are awesome, men are icky, therefore women should be exalted and men should be humiliated" either... tho that's certainly there as well.

I dunno... i think it's, in part, that i've always, as far back as i can remember, had a deep feeling of uneasiness and "wrongness" about the male gender role that i was supposed to inhabit (characterised as "strong", "dominant", etc), plus an awareness from a very early age that men, in the milieu in which i grew up, were pretty much always authoritarian assholes towards women... but that's not *all* of it either...

I do tend to think that kink, just like everything else, does not exist in some politically-neutral vacuum (ie, the personal is political). In a world in which non-consensual M/f is basically the status quo world order, consensual M/f will, somewhat inevitably, end up reinforcing that status quo to some extent, whereas F/m will inevitably challenge it.

That doesn't mean (at least for me) that M/f is inherently conservative, while F/m is inherently progressive/subversive - in a vacuum, both would be perfectly ethically neutral for me (as long as they were fully consensual) - but even the briefest glance at the world around me tells me that, regrettably, we're not in a vacuum.

This doesn't mean that i would ever blanketly condemn consensual M/f, or argue that people shouldn't be allowed to do it - (socialist) libertarianism is my absolute basic political principle, on which my critiques of patriarchy and everything else are based, so i'm against the condemnation or suppression of anything consensual - but i do think that M/f is more ethically/politically problematic than F/m if opposing the oppression of women is important to you... which doesn't mean "I think you shouldn't do it", but it does mean "I think, if you're doing M/f stuff, you need to be extra extra careful to do it in ways that don't perpetuate patriarchy, or give others the impression that you support patriarchy".

(I hope that made some sense - it's my very tentative thoughts rather than a solid perspective. Ultimately, i'm trying to find a path that combines radical anti-patriarchal activism with an equally uncompromising support for the sexual freedom and autonomy of people of all genders... so, i'm here trying to establish and make coherent my own position, not to defend it against all others...)

Trinity said...

I think you've got to be extra extra careful when doing D/s no matter what. I think there are some women who use their relative social powerlessness as a way to assert that they could never abuse anyone, and that if they truly do treat their partners badly, it can't do REAL damage because women are oppressed.

It may be that a man is more likely to be abusive. But I'm rapidly coming to think that isn't it; it's just that M/f abuse gets normalized in certain ways -- which, paradoxically, both makes it harder AND easier to name for what it is.

jfpbookworm said...

When I say "conditioned to find desirable," I'm not talking about theories about where things like a preference for dominance or submission comes from (I keep putting my foot in my mouth due to ignorance here; I'm trying to find my way on my own through territory other folks have lived in for a long time) - I'm talking about things that aren't so innate, at least for me (e.g., that I should prefer a young, skinny white girl as a partner over all others, that I want someone who will let me "take charge" even when there's no explicit D/s context, etc.). Things that I've identified as "imposed" desires rather than "innate" desires, because as I've come to know myself better I've found that the imposed ones fade and the innate ones come out.

As for the "orthogonal" comment, trinity pretty much blew that out of the water, but I still don't think desire always trumps ideology, or vice versa.

belledame222 said...

I'm not saying "desire" -should- trump ideology, or rather (I think this is where the confusion is coming in), I am not saying that every single whim should be acted on, no matter how antisocial or -directly- harmful to someone.

I am saying that sexuality tends to be what it is regardless of what one consciously thinks it ought to be, ime, because that's just how it works.

As per imposed vs innate...I suppose. I mean, I am with you when you say that some aspects of (my, okay) sexuality tend to be more malleable than others, but the way I frame that is that these are the more -superficial- aspects, rather than "this is -innately- me" and "this is imposed by someone else." For me it's just not at all that clearcut where one ends and the other begins.

But generally, as I see it, if anything, "imposed" has more to do with "okay, I think I SHOULD be turned on (or not) by thus and so, and can maybe even work up a sort of lackluster response, or shut down what exists; but fact is, as soon as I let go of "supposed to," it's pretty obvious what really I do and don't really want.

Which is not the same thing as saying that what I do and don't really want is permanent or static, much less that I always can have it (whether for ethical or simply practical reasons)

belledame222 said...

But like what you're talking about--i.e. one's "type," say, or affinity for particular acts--I tend to look at those changing in sort of the way that one's musical or food preferences change, you know.

Sometimes you eat hamburgers all your life because that's all you know, and you're used to ordering it at the diner because that was always part of your routine, your big brother always had one, the ads on the TV are always about that particular diner's burgers, and so on.

And then one day you order the chef salad and realize, hey, actually, I like this a lot better.

Or: you think you hate pizza because whenever you tried it, it was really gross to you, and then one day you have one that really revolutionizes the way you think about pizza and is simply delicious to you.

Or: you always loved artichokes, and then one day got a case of food poisoning on a day you ate a lot of them, and ever since then you can't stomach them because the associations make you gag.

...and so on.

belledame222 said...

I do tend to think that kink, just like everything else, does not exist in some politically-neutral vacuum (ie, the personal is political). In a world in which non-consensual M/f is basically the status quo world order, consensual M/f will, somewhat inevitably, end up reinforcing that status quo to some extent, whereas F/m will inevitably challenge it.

Well, right, just like everything else. Thing is, in the public discourse, as you can see, it's always so charged that it's -never- "just like anything else;" and while it's true there are people in the sex pos/sex rad movement who can be annoyingly...kneejerk about this; ime it's at least 90% in reaction to, the constant hammering of butbutbutbutbut sex is DIFFERENT, it's SPECIAL, you must examine and dissect your desires to a fare-thee-well until you come up with the RIGHT ANSWER, because your desires are sick and dangerous and by the way, we're only saying this for your own good. oh, and Class Woman. and the Children. and Society, and Western Civ, and puppies, and so on. Yer so SELFISH with yer focus on your SELFISH ORGASMS.

...and thing of it is, is, wrt the relative transgressiveness of M/f kink vs F/m...well, a), people aren't always looking to be particularly transgressive in bed, politically speaking, any more than with anything else; and honestly I think the impulse to do and be that (everything is political! everything is worthy of rigorous self-interrogation in the goal of Purity! particularly if it's something I enjoy!) is more worthy of "examination" than most erotic kinks that one can and does perform with a consenting partner or on one's own, because, generally, ime, it doesn't lead anywhere particularly useful, ultimately.

Certainly not if the goal is -political-, i.e. a mass movement, a -social- movement; there is only so much energy one really can give to not only examining one's (not even to mention one's neighbor's) navel but meticulously removing every last speck of lint. How much energy does one have left for organized actions to, say, secure better wages or reproductive rights or even keep an abuse shelter going, if one is pouring as much energy as I constantly see in (for example) the feminist blogosphere -examining- whether or not one -really- is turned on by wearing those fuck-me-pumps to bed, or if Suzy Serious is correct and it's just another externally imposed, patriarchal dictate which really ought to melt away along with one's false consciousness. AND quite possibly without even the relief of the odd orgasm, now, because that has to be EXAMINED to an inch of its life, too, bless.

and b), o irony irony, and even with all that, at the end of the day, after all, even denying oneself (or at least feeling really bad about) one's supposedly Patriarchal kink for maledom/femsub -is still fucking Patriarchal, because it is ALSO a dictate of the Pat that sexual arousal is not a worthy goal in and of itself, particularly for women, but also for men.- Yes, even now, even with all the "pornification" going on. Old dog, still hunts. Still there.

belledame222 said...

but, Shiva, I also think that it's possible to ride the line of "this is uncomfortable -for me-, here's why," which is what I hear you saying, and the stuff being bugled by the likes of Robert Jensen and so on, to wit, this is The Way It Is For Everyone.

Pink Haired Cyborg said...

I read you a lot, but this is the second time I've commented (the first was a thanks for the guts to come out to my family).

But thank you so much for this post. Seriously. So much of the bullshit over there is just head-explodingly stupid, and if it weren't for you and Trin and Ren and a precious few others, I'd have imploded under the force of the dumb.

I love how their definition of "examined enough" is when you just realize how right they are, and that they just want the best for you, and the sisterhood.

Fuck that, and Hugo can fuck right off. And that margo/margaret/whatever person too.

belledame222 said...

Hey, welcome (again), pink haired cyborg, and thanks. dig the handle.

jfpbookworm said...

But generally, as I see it, if anything, "imposed" has more to do with "okay, I think I SHOULD be turned on (or not) by thus and so, and can maybe even work up a sort of lackluster response, or shut down what exists; but fact is, as soon as I let go of "supposed to," it's pretty obvious what really I do and don't really want.

That's a pretty good way of putting it, yeah.

Only early on for me, before I knew better, "maybe even work up a sort of lackluster response" was pretty much the only visible option for me.

Sometimes you eat hamburgers all your life because that's all you know, and you're used to ordering it at the diner because that was always part of your routine, your big brother always had one, the ads on the TV are always about that particular diner's burgers, and so on.

And then one day you order the chef salad and realize, hey, actually, I like this a lot better.


...and then I read the next comment, and you say pretty much the same thing, only with a more evocative metaphor.

So yeah, that.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Okay, clearly I need to link this instance of this post too (I saw it first at SM-F, so that's what I linked when I wrote), as it's got all kinds of talking-on.

and b), o irony irony, and even with all that, at the end of the day, after all, even denying oneself (or at least feeling really bad about) one's supposedly Patriarchal kink for maledom/femsub -is still fucking Patriarchal, because it is ALSO a dictate of the Pat that sexual arousal is not a worthy goal in and of itself, particularly for women, but also for men.-

I really really really really really don't see a meaningful difference between Teh Pat's "you shouldn't have the sort of sex you like because sex is bad and women shouldn't have it" and mainstream feminism's "you shouldn't have the sort of sex you like because submission is a horrible nasty thing that only encourages Them".

Either way, I'm not fucked.

(Though if someone calls me a "femsub" I may have to kneecap them.)

I mean, I don't give a flying fuck at a rolling donut whether or not the sex I have is ideologically appropriate, properly transgressive of the Bad Norms, No Really These Are The Bad Ones, or bignameblog-approved. I care whether the sex I have is satisfying to me and my partners and conducted in a risk-aware manner.

The world is full of people who want to tell me that I'm the wrong kind of woman and their ideology should govern my twat. It's tiresome, whether they're harping on how bad it is that I'm not monogamous, how horrifying a woman in the submissive role in a power exchange relationship is, or whining about how horrible penetrative sex is. My cunt. My rules. Damnit.

belledame222 said...

My cunt. My rules.

bumper sticker.

sorry wrt "femsub," p.s.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Y'know, I wonder what sort of drama actually putting that on a bumper might cause ....

Dw3t-Hthr said...

(Also, no problem on the thing, as you weren't addressing me there. But my rant about that is Last Season's Drama, y'know? Thingy.)

belledame222 said...

ah, gotcha.

yeah, sadly, I expect it probably violates mumblesomething or other obscenity laws in various places. or maybe that's just license plates, I can't remember.

Alex said...

Dw3t -

I decided against replying to you on the Feministe thread with "humiliation IS my kink, and this thread is still pissing me off. Who knew?" but I decided I just wasn't going to get into it.

Your post and Belle's are both +5 Awesome.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Ha! Yeah, I'm pretty sure that thread wouldn't satisfy everyone's humiliation kink ... or even if it were to hit those buttons wouldn't also piss people the fuck off. :}

At this point, the "I'm going to conflate abuse and kink no matter how many people tell me that's offensive and inaccurate" has gotten me to the point that I may be able to remove myself from engagement and just have some more strawberries. Mm, strawberries.

Desipis said...

...but it does mean "I think, if you're doing M/f stuff, you need to be extra extra careful to do it in ways that don't perpetuate patriarchy, or give others the impression that you support patriarchy".

As belledame points out, this assumes that the social-political impact of a sexual encounter are of similar significance to all other outcomes; I don't see how one can argue that the impact is significant enough to be worthy of consideration.

It seems to me to be a common theme that some feminists see feminism as a "War on the Patriarchy", in that they are obsessed with winning the war by countering patriarchal harm (restricting sex one way) with anti-patriarchal harm (restricting sex in the reverse). They do this rather than pursuing a goal of liberation which, as I understand it, is one of the fundamental ideals of feminism.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

I'd go so far as to say the idea that my fucking should be submitted for approval is patriarchal in and of itself.

belledame222 said...

welcome, desipis.

Desipis said...

I'd go so far as to say the idea that my fucking should be submitted for approval is patriarchal in and of itself

I think totalitarian is a better word, which can certainly be used to describe aspects of the patriarchy but also certain schools of feminism.

And thank you belle.

Kristin said...

I'm a little late to the discussion about Hugo, but you know... Why must there be a Moral Lesson Learned about everything? And why must it extend to sex? And did we really want to know about how BAD he felt when he *liked* slapping that woman and how GLAD he is to be all Reformed Vanilla and how *great* the sex is? No. No, we did not. And when the sex is great, it's not usually something one feels the need to confirm in writing in a thread on one of the Big Blogs just so everyone else knows.

Look, I spent enough time feeling bad about desire when I was immersed in fundie Christianity as a kid. And, you know, I don't need it from the feminists too.

Just, really, fuck off, Hugo et al. That's all I've got.

Trinity said...

"
and b), o irony irony, and even with all that, at the end of the day, after all, even denying oneself (or at least feeling really bad about) one's supposedly Patriarchal kink for maledom/femsub -is still fucking Patriarchal, because it is ALSO a dictate of the Pat that sexual arousal is not a worthy goal in and of itself, particularly for women, but also for men.- Yes, even now, even with all the "pornification" going on. Old dog, still hunts. Still there."

YESyesyes oh gods yes, which is probably why it bothers me so much when it comes from feminist men. It's like "hey, wait, you haven't lived with quite the same pressures we have. I see that you understand there is 'pressure to pornify.' But do you realize what the other horn of the dilemma says? That it says that if we like and want this we are bad/are sluts? That there's really no reason to resurrect slut-shaming in the name of feminism?"

Kristin said...

Oh, also... Someone (I apologize, I can't remember who) mentioned earlier that this is a little reminiscent of the ex-gay movement. As in, Hugo's narrative in particular goes like this: "This practice once turned me on. But then, I looked deep inside and realized how much it was *damaging* me and my partner, and I stopped. And now I'm totally reformed, not even turned on by light BDSM anymore, totally Vanilla, it's awesome, y'all should try it too!" Which doesn't sound all that unlike the oft promoted ex-gay narrative. And which, in my opinion, often masks...a shitload of repression, to say the least. Not exactly the same sort of narrative I want attached to *my feminism,* goddamnit.

Kristin said...

Also: "My cunt. My rules." Best. Bumper Sticker. Slogan. Ever.

Seriously... Copyright it.

Trinity said...

"As in, Hugo's narrative in particular goes like this: "This practice once turned me on. But then, I looked deep inside and realized how much it was *damaging* me and my partner, and I stopped. And now I'm totally reformed, not even turned on by light BDSM anymore, totally Vanilla, it's awesome, y'all should try it too!" Which doesn't sound all that unlike the oft promoted ex-gay narrative."

fuck yeah

Trinity said...

yknow im a lot of things

many that a lot of people arent so keen on

id rather be those things

than a VACUOUS FUCKING HYPOCRITE

Dw3t-Hthr said...

... power of the Anglo-Saxon monosyllable, eh?

I'll work on the publicity campaign. ;)

belledame222 said...

Why must there be a Moral Lesson Learned about everything? And why must it extend to sex? And did we really want to know about how BAD he felt when he *liked* slapping that woman and how GLAD he is to be all Reformed Vanilla and how *great* the sex is? No. No, we did not.

Yeah, I do often get this sort of, it's like the guy who used to flash you on the subway now hands you tracts from out of his raincoat? but he still won't get out of your face, and he won't shut up about his cock even if he's not literally exposing himself anymore? so in my book, he's still probably getting off on it, and no, it ain't consensual -or- vanilla.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, I also keep flashing on,

"I've learned something today, Kyle!..."

...as Kenny's bloodied body gets carried off by wolverines or whatever it is this week.

Sara said...

"I don't, know if, for me, it's as simple as "M/f kinkiness replicates Teh Patriarchy" (although that certainly comes into it). I don't think it's as simple as "women are awesome, men are icky, therefore women should be exalted and men should be humiliated" either... tho that's certainly there as well."

I think women are/can-be awesome, and that men can be stupid at times, though I'd rather not generalize to all men or all women, cause there's bad apples everywhere, and many exceptions as well.

I'm a submissive female, though not quite legally female (I'll be so glad when that caveat is gone), and I don't think about patriarchy when I get aroused.

I over-analyze lots of stuff (thanks to Asperger Syndrome), but I don't want to write a mental thesis (meaning in my head) on sex, or my appreciation of said acts. I think my body's reactions and gut feelings about them are a good enough marker.

Not sure I'd go as far as TPE and M/s, but I'm definitely in the very defined D/s - although I look primarily for love/long-term-relationship rather than 'playing' once in a while with the same/different people, in a non-relationship setting.

I have rather precise likes and dislikes and I can be picky. Though I might be called a beggar posing as a chooser, I'm not going with the first guy or girl offering something.

Anyways, all that to be saying, wether I'm in a D/s relationship with a man or a woman, I'm not overly concerned about the political waves I might do. I think my life is fucked up enough as it is that I'm not going to complicate my life 20 times more just for the sake of appearances.

When I transitioned, I knew there would be some backlash - and heh, for the sake of appearances too. My extended family calls me the right name (most of the time), but still treats me like a guy. The government is being an ass, though I have fun with it sometimes (confusing them without saying a thing, looking at them fumble nervously with my file info). I've had enough of posing as something someone wants of me.

I'm hard working and I don't need to 'pose' as hard working, I don't need a suit and tie, or high heels to be hard working. And no way I'm wearing high heels of my own decision.

The only one person I would allow to make decisions on my behalf, would be the one I love and trust, which would probably be a dominant (man or woman). Not until they earn my total respect and trust, but then, they, and they only, will have the right to dictate stuff for appearances sake.

From others it's only suggestions and points to consider. And if I've considered it twice before, you can be certain I'll just shrug the suggestion off.

Trinity said...

Sara:

Informally, I've seen a LOT of people who are into heavier D/s who have Asperger's. I don't know how widespread this is, but that's one reason that I tend to think anti-BDSM sentiment can be ableist. I could be running into the grandmother of all coincidences here, but I don't think I am. It seems to me that that kind of clear structure can appeal to people with AS (and other things too -- I suspect the reason a lot of NT-but-geeky people like it is because geeks can be socially awkward and like relationships spelled out clearly, too.)

And the thing about that is it's got fuckall to do with a McKinnonite or Dworkinish understanding of women's learned desire to be dominated sexually. It's something else, something about interactions being easier because they've got something of a script to them.

Not that this is what makes D/s *sexy*, that's something else (at least to me), but I think for some people, that's part of the appeal of D/s outside of bed.

Sara said...

Yeah. I like the clear laid-out structure of a D/s relationship. It's definitely part of the appeal for me. Though like you say it's not 'all' of the appeal.

I function much better when I know what I have to do than when it's random. As it is I'm awful at drawing because it's so random to me. I don't know a single drawing technique, if I did I might do okay.

The script thing might also have to do with a lot of people who feel comfortable being gender-normative. There's dos and donts, and you can choose which you agree with and which you don't (like I don't agree with high heels). It's much easier than going randomly and having no anchor about it.

Reinventing the wheel, so to speak, and having to confront hundreds if not thousands of people everyday who think your gender expression is odd, out of place, etc. It's pretty draining.

An equal relationship feels like that for me. Like I have to reinvent the wheel for it to work. No defined role, no defined anything. It's doable, and probably good for some, just not for me.

As for why I'm submissive rather than switch or dominant. I have no clue how to dominate, and it strays so much from my personality and character that it's weird for me. Even when I was thought of as a boy, I was nowhere near dominant.

I can be outspoken, rebel, voice my feelings against things, but it's all reactionary thinking, and not actual initiative.

Trinity said...

"An equal relationship feels like that for me. Like I have to reinvent the wheel for it to work. No defined role, no defined anything. It's doable, and probably good for some, just not for me."

Yeah. I'm dominant, but I feel often when I interact with people outside of BDSM circles like I just plain have no idea how to interact with them. I mean I understand the "woman = vaguely submissive to man" script, and I guess I could try following it, but it's totally alien and uncomfortable. So I'm left with, well

??????

and ??? is supposedly egalitarian and better for feminists/feminism, but I don't know what that *gets* anyone. Who does my confusion liberate? How?

Sara said...

Something else on the thread that got to me. The notion that anything happening in the bedroom, as long as it's consensual can be unequal in power - but that the rest (non-sexual) has to be egalitarian.

I disagree, and I'm sure many Masters and slaves would also disagree with that concept. The 24/7, for some, IS part of the relationship, and is why the relationship functions so well for them.

I want a defined role in more than just the bedroom. However I won't submit to anyone else. I am but one's submissive, not many people's or everyone's. The one who's earned my trust and respect, and I don't throw it around to everyone.

I'm also someone who wouldn't want to be 'shared' with others, in any way (sexual favors or not), I would see that as treason of some kind.

Trinity said...

"The notion that anything happening in the bedroom, as long as it's consensual can be unequal in power - but that the rest (non-sexual) has to be egalitarian.

I disagree, and I'm sure many Masters and slaves would also disagree with that concept. The 24/7, for some, IS part of the relationship, and is why the relationship functions so well for them."

yeah. i do think that for a lot of people, the power relation is more intense or direct in bed. but for me, well, the whole idea that there is a way to NOT have power dynamics anywhere -- lovers, friends, you name it -- is so foreign to me I get all confused when I see it.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

One of the things that strikes me as major undercurrents in a lot of these discussions boils down to one group of people saying:

"Kink is okay because it's a game we play in the bedroom."

And another group of people saying:

"Kink is okay because it's Who We Are."

(These aren't the entirety of things people say; I tend towards "This is who I am, and if you don't like it you can go fuck yourself.")

One of the reasons I'm 24/7 is because the concept of "this is just a game we're playing in the bedroom" doesn't work for me for serious kink. (I can do a little scene-delineated stuff in a relationship that's mostly vanilla like the one I have with my husband, but that's not a kinky relationship.) It feels like ... boxing up bits of the relationship and repressing and denying them when they're somewhere someone else might see.

And the thing is, when we're in public spaces our d/s is subtle enough that I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't notice. The kink gets more overt and more sexual the more private the area, but it's never poof-gone.

But I want a complete relationship with my liege, not a relationship that's only feeling whole behind closed doors.

If that makes any damn sense.

Sara said...

I'm not so sure how I see power dynamics in society in general. I show great respect and politeness to people I meet in general, but I'm not a doormat.

If something is unjust and no one wants to say it out loud, I might be the one to do it. I'm the one who will interrupt my brother when he's in a rage and wants to seriously hurt his opponent - despite him being twice my size, twice my strength, and taller than me. I know he won't hurt me, and I'd rather stop him from getting arrested.

shiva said...

The thing is, rigorously analysing everything in my life (or at least attempting to) is something i can't not do, regardless of whether i "pour energy into" it. That's just who and what I am. To try not to would be as unnatural as trying to avoid breathing - so I might as well put enough energy in it to do it "properly", rather than trying to ignore the fact that the part of my mind that does that is doing it regardless.

And i really, really, really don't see self-analysis and outward-dorected activism as mutually exclusive things. In fact, i'd probably go so far as to say that the former is a necessary prerequisite to the latter. Sure, there are people who talk a lot and don't do much - but i don't think the answer is "a little less conversation, a little more action", but rather "put your conversation into action". Analysis and action is not a zero-sum game...

Also, i've never been able even to see the distinction between the "personal" and the "political" - in fact, when i first read the phrase "the personal is political" in discussions of feminism, i thought it was a statement on the order of "grass is green" or "mice are mammals" - something self-evident to anyone who knew what the word "political" meant. It took me a long, long time, and freaked me out a lot, to realise that to many, maybe even the majority, of people, that statement wasn't self-evident.

I very, very often get this feeling that people are talking in dichotomies that just aren't there to me...

"because it is ALSO a dictate of the Pat that sexual arousal is not a worthy goal in and of itself, particularly for women, but also for men."

I think that's only partially true - i think that there are some sections of the patriarchy (eg Christian conservatives) where sexual arousal is not a worthy goal in itself for men, but also sections of it (eg college fraternities, blue-collar "macho" workplace culture) where it is. I think there's very probably an economic/class thing there.

"As belledame points out, this assumes that the social-political impact of a sexual encounter are of similar significance to all other outcomes; I don't see how one can argue that the impact is significant enough to be worthy of consideration."

I don't see how one can argue that it isn't significant enough to be worthy of consideration - but then, as far as i'm concerned all the outcomes of a sexual encounter (or of any other encounter between humans) are to at least some extent social and political (yay, Skunk Anansie ;) ).

Another thing i meant to say - i'm not at all squicked by the idea of a woman wanting to be dominated sexually by a man (or, indeed, anyone else) - but what does utterly squick me is thinking about a man who wants to sexually dominate a woman, especially if he has no desire to switch. All kinds of privilege- and entitlement-related nastiness there.

I dunno. I strongly suspect that i'll never be accepted in either radical feminist or "sex-positive" intellectual circles, because i seem to agree with the aspects of both camps that are most thoroughly despised by the other...

shiva said...

Hi to Sara - I also have AS, and my closest friend of the last 5 years is a transwoman with probable PAIS whose life story is *incredibly* similar to yours, as posted in your blog (so much so that i'd ask if i could put you in touch with each other, if you didn't live on opposite sides of the planet).

I think there's a strong correlation between AS and submissive orientation, and i very definitely think that BDSM culture is very much more accessible than "vanilla" sexual culture to people with AS (or impairments with similar effects), because of the emphasis on explicit verbal communication, consent and negotiation.

I also think *my* submissiveness may well, at least in part, come from my need to *know*, absolutely and incontrovertibly, that i'm not raping someone, and the fact that the only way i *can* really know that is if i'm only doing to them what they have explicitly told me to.

(I also want to say that i really, really, really hope that nothing i've written has been interpreted as trying to shame anyone. I think shaming anyone for anything that does not directly harm non-consenting others is utterly wrong, and i absolutely don't want to do it. I'd like to reiterate again that me saying "X is problematic" does not mean "I think people shouldn't be allowed to do X"...)

Desipis said...

I don't see how one can argue that it isn't significant enough to be worthy of consideration - but then, as far as i'm concerned all the outcomes of a sexual encounter (or of any other encounter between humans) are to at least some extent social and political (yay, Skunk Anansie ;) ).

Isn't one of the key end goals of feminism to increase the freedom and happiness of women? I don't see how women giving up freedom and happiness in the interests of 'feminism' makes much sense at all.

Trinity said...

"Another thing i meant to say - i'm not at all squicked by the idea of a woman wanting to be dominated sexually by a man (or, indeed, anyone else) - but what does utterly squick me is thinking about a man who wants to sexually dominate a woman, especially if he has no desire to switch. All kinds of privilege- and entitlement-related nastiness there."

Why do you assume his desires necessarily relate to entitlement? That's an enormous leap.

"He has desires" and "he has social standing" can exist at the same time completely independently. The assumption on the part of certain types of feminist that there is an inherent link between them...

...well, it violently squicks me these days. VIOLENTLY.

Any time someone wants to prove that what's going on is a correlation rather than a coincidence there... evidence. Lots of it. Here. NOW.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

"As belledame points out, this assumes that the social-political impact of a sexual encounter are of similar significance to all other outcomes; I don't see how one can argue that the impact is significant enough to be worthy of consideration."

I don't see how one can argue that it isn't significant enough to be worthy of consideration


The overwhelming majority of people getting their political in my personal strike me as creepily voyeuristic.

I mean, someone can be all Concerned about whether my d/s relationship is recapitulating patriarchy at me and such, but mostly what they will leave me with is the impression that they are some creepy fucker who wants to peek in my windows. If not literally, certainly in a metaphorical sense.

Thus, the bit of my personal that gets political around here is mostly: "Dear concerned citizen: I would like to kindly suggest that it would be in the interests of social cohesion, order, and civility if you were to fuck off."

If I were doing my personal life as, y'know, performance art, critique would be useful. Given that I'm not, ... I can't be arsed caring about making people who find it "problematic" happy.

I find the notion that I need to be extra-special-super-careful to not look like a Bad Woman because I'm a heterosexual female submissive ... cumbersome. Dare I say, oppressive. And as a political point, I will dig in my heels and fight that notion with every fibre of my poor weak demure womanly being.

Sara said...

"Hi to Sara - I also have AS, and my closest friend of the last 5 years is a transwoman with probable PAIS whose life story is *incredibly* similar to yours, as posted in your blog (so much so that i'd ask if i could put you in touch with each other, if you didn't live on opposite sides of the planet)."

Hi Shiva. I don't mind getting to know someone only through online, were they at the other end of the world. I've had a few Australian acquaintances over the years.

Few people seem to read my blog, though I can't blame them with my posting rate, and that I'm not so popular using my blogger account (I typically don't link it on other blog platforms, out of lazyness mostly).

"I think there's a strong correlation between AS and submissive orientation, and i very definitely think that BDSM culture is very much more accessible than "vanilla" sexual culture to people with AS (or impairments with similar effects), because of the emphasis on explicit verbal communication, consent and negotiation."

I agree as far as I'm concerned. I'm also pretty open and defined about my interests, and considering all the time I repressed my personality pre-transition, I don't want to repress my likes and dislikes either. They don't hurt anyone and that's the principal thing to me.

I like the scripted format of it, if only in the introduction and communication (not necessarily the play itself, save for a safeword, if there's one).

I'm one of those who would live my relationship D/s, as a submissive, on a 24/7 basis. I also don't find it problematic to have a dominant man who actually enjoys it. It would make me feel guilty if I was the only one to enjoy it, forcing him to acquiesce to my desires.

I like to have a clearly defined role, even if that role may change from relationship to relationship (even as I stay submissive), depending on mutual agreements, temperaments, and the likes.

I don't do well in a place where everyone is equal, though I don't mind the equality in itself for others, I mind it for me.

Of course, that doesn't mean I want my rights to be written off, or anyone else's. I choose to consensually submit, and I certainly hope this won't change (like be forced to submit).

In an everyone-is-equal setting, I find it awkward, like I missed the tutorial on social interaction. I can still be friendly, but people might find me hard to approach.

SnowdropExplodes said...

Another thing i meant to say - i'm not at all squicked by the idea of a woman wanting to be dominated sexually by a man (or, indeed, anyone else) - but what does utterly squick me is thinking about a man who wants to sexually dominate a woman, especially if he has no desire to switch. All kinds of privilege- and entitlement-related nastiness there.

This is an equation I have never understood. Surely, privilege and entitlement are about how desires are processed into action, and not about the desires themselves? For example, far too many Submissive men process their desires in an incredibly privileged and entitled way, expecting a Dominant woman to fall into line with their fantasies and effectively "topping from the bottom".

But the way desires are processed into action for a Dominant man, is quite different. It is understood from the word go that action is only acceptable within the parameters set out by the negotiated relationship, that any "entitlement" is only at the say-so of the Submissive partner and agreed beforehand, and is within set boundaries (although those boundaries might be arbitrarily broad, e.g. 24/7 D/s).

The reason why it is often said in D/s circles that "the Submissive has the true power", is because s/he can withdraw the Dominant's entitlement within that relationship whenever s/he wishes.

Sara's comments about "not doing well in 'equal' spaces" rings true for me, as well (and Trinity's response about "I feel often when I interact with people outside of BDSM circles like I just plain have no idea how to interact with them.") D/s helps me be more confident around people.

From Sara:

It would make me feel guilty if I was the only one to enjoy it, forcing him to acquiesce to my desires.

Reverse the pronouns, and you have how most Dom men feel about having a Submissive partner.

Finally, on the personal is political aspect - I've found that practising D/s has helped me to be a lot more aware of power relationships outside of D/s in general society. Because the power relationship in D/s is explicit and negotiated, instead of implicit and assumed in supposedly "equal" relationships (in which male privilege and entitlement play a part), it can train you to recognise the existence and qualities of power relationships elsewhere (e.g. workspaces, party/electoral politics, etc.) And that strikes me as a good thing for people to have from a feminist point of view.

shiva said...

Depisis - I'm not saying that anyone should "give up freedom and happiness in the name of feminism". I'm a libertarian. I think it's possible to see things as problematic without saying that people shouldn't do them - just pointing out that there are problematic power dynamics there that, even if they're unavoidable (in which case i would say that they don't need guilting over), should still, for purposes of self-awareness if nothing else, need recognising. In the same way that white, straight, cisgendered, neurotypical, etc privileges need recognising...

Trin - OK, maybe i wasn't too clear in that last sentence where i mentioned entitlement. What i meant was not that i think such desires come from entitlement, but that the inevitable presence of male entitlement, if unexamined, in combination with those desires makes a lot of very very nasty things impossible not to think about (for me, anyway). I don't think there's an inherent link, just a very very likely one.

Dw3t-Hthr - I don't really know how to respond to that, except that, again, i really don't think that's what i meant...

I'm not advocating that people should spy on each other, or report each other's "deviances" to some kind of Feminist Authority, or any kind of ridiculous shit like that. (And yes, i know that there are some radfems who really do advocate ridiculous shit like that - and i'd wholeheartedly join you in telling them to fuck off.)

(I would also say that, again, i really don't think it's you that needs to be "extra-special-super-careful to not look like a Bad Woman", but your partner who needs to be extra-special-super-careful to not look like - or be - a Bad Man...)

Oh, fuck it, i think i might just bow out of this discussion. I feel like i'm being bracketed with the Heart/Twisty style anti-libertarian radfems, no matter how much i try to distance myself from them...

Sara - I'm in the UK. I got the impression from your blog profile that you were in Australia...

"In an everyone-is-equal setting, I find it awkward, like I missed the tutorial on social interaction. I can still be friendly, but people might find me hard to approach."

That's true of me in ALL social situations, regardless of equality or inequality.

I definitely couldn't do 24/7 D/s - for me to be anywhere near comfortable in a relationship (of any kind, not just a sexual one), i need 100% equality. However, i don't think that preferring to be "submissive" in the sense of preferring to be told what to do in sexual contexts rather than telling the other person, or being responsive rather than initiatory, is in any way incompatible with equality...

(My actual kink, as opposed to my communication preferences, is, i think, more about pain, movement restriction, and other physical-sensation stuff than about relational stuff, tho - the "BDSM" communication/negotiation stuff is something that i think should be in all relationships, whether kink or vanilla and, indeed, whether sexual or not...)

Trinity said...

"The overwhelming majority of people getting their political in my personal strike me as creepily voyeuristic.

I mean, someone can be all Concerned about whether my d/s relationship is recapitulating patriarchy at me and such, but mostly what they will leave me with is the impression that they are some creepy fucker who wants to peek in my windows. If not literally, certainly in a metaphorical sense."

Yes. That. It's like "okay, we have this Politics thing, and we're going to dissect you."

But, well, they counter, "we only mean you should do that to YOURSELF and make sure your actions pass YOUR inner censors."

And the thing about that is that, well, usually the reason the person is being puzzled about being told to examine is because these things have *already passed* their inner censors, and they are now forced to consider whether new ones, labeled "feminist" and pointed to by these other people, apply.

Which means to me that any way you slice it, it's not really about internal work. It's about "I think X is Y; you should too."

I do think that people, in and of themselves, review and think about their sex lives and desires sometimes. That doesn't bother me. Nor does somebody reading something in, say, a feminist book, going "hm, I never thought about it that way -- wait, might my fantasy about X have to do with this?"

What bothers me is this idea that "the personal is political" where that means that the personal has to conform to some kind of politics.

Or where that means that it is NEVER acceptable to just want something. I'm a really thoughtful person and I tend to look for meaning in everything, so I'll probably think about most desires I have. But I don't think it should in principle be something required. I don't think it's healthy, or even possible, to examine every desire we have. Do you wonder about the politics of feeling like eating some *actual* ice cream?

Trinity said...

Snowdrop:

"Surely, privilege and entitlement are about how desires are processed into action, and not about the desires themselves? For example, far too many Submissive men process their desires in an incredibly privileged and entitled way, expecting a Dominant woman to fall into line with their fantasies and effectively "topping from the bottom"."

Yes. Brilliant. Exactly.

(And way too many dominant women get trapped in service topping, in part I think *because* women are socially trained to defer to men.)

Dw3t-Hthr said...

I would also say that, again, i really don't think it's you that needs to be "extra-special-super-careful to not look like a Bad Woman", but your partner who needs to be extra-special-super-careful to not look like - or be - a Bad Man...

And this is creepy and voyeuristic.

Really creepy and voyeuristic, not least because there is no way to do it.

Seriously. No matter what we do, there will be someone out there who will insist that it's looking like upholding patriarchy. There is no way of preventing that, because there are wingnuts who figure that anything with a penis involved upholds patriarchy; there are people who are deeply uncertain about power dynamics and consider them patriarchal; there are people who might be reasonable (aside from this creepy fascination with the conduct of other people's relationships) but who simply aren't entitled to be given enough information to judge, and will thus, if my experience is anything to go by, judge that Patriarchy Is Happening Because This Is Insufficiently Examined.

Even if I believed that they had any legitimate interest in making that judgement. But given that I believe that Creepy Political Voyeurs Are Creepy, I don't think they have any legitimate interest; the legitimate interest is mine and my liege's, and to a lesser extent our other partners', and the political portion thereof is mostly "Bugger off, creepy fuckers!"

There is no way to make "You have to be careful about conducting your relationship so it doesn't look like $BADTHING" either possible or not really fucking creepy. It will look like $BADTHING to someone no matter what, and other people's standards are unknowable; caring about other people's superficial similarities to $BADTHING is treating their ordinary life as being on a slippery slope to abusiveness, and inflicting the standard minority-oppressing "You have to do everything better than everyone else if you don't want to be harassed. You'll still be harassed, of course, but dance on command and maybe it'll be minimal."

The person my liege is responsible for satisfying with his conduct as my master? Me. Nobody else is invited into our relationship, not even my husband. You can either trust me that my 24/7 partnership is perfectly equal in its treatment of each of us or not, and if you don't, you can be Very Concerned if it makes you happy, but neither I nor my liege has any obligation to address that concern, from you or anyone else.

Trinity said...

"Seriously. No matter what we do, there will be someone out there who will insist that it's looking like upholding patriarchy. There is no way of preventing that, because there are wingnuts who figure that anything with a penis involved upholds patriarchy; there are people who are deeply uncertain about power dynamics and consider them patriarchal; there are people who might be reasonable (aside from this creepy fascination with the conduct of other people's relationships) but who simply aren't entitled to be given enough information to judge, and will thus, if my experience is anything to go by, judge that Patriarchy Is Happening Because This Is Insufficiently Examined."

YES. THIS. YES.

And really, I get so tired of what I do being "okay" because I'm female. Really. If dominating people is creepy and threatening, why deem me powerless and fuzzy? To me, that right there is patriarchal: she's ineffectual, so we don't need to be afraid of her.

And well, yeah, squicks are squicks, and they're not always rational. So there's not really a reason to be *mad* about them. And "questioning" them is just being creepy right back. But that's how I experience hearing that, when it goes from "I'm squicked by M/f but into F/m" to "male tops look bad no matter what..."

"
The person my liege is responsible for satisfying with his conduct as my master? Me. Nobody else is invited into our relationship, not even my husband. You can either trust me that my 24/7 partnership is perfectly equal in its treatment of each of us or not, and if you don't, you can be Very Concerned if it makes you happy, but neither I nor my liege has any obligation to address that concern, from you or anyone else."

Yes. This.

Sara said...

"Sara - I'm in the UK. I got the impression from your blog profile that you were in Australia..."

No, I'm in Canada, Quebec province actually. I'm pretty sure I didn't put myself as being in Australia though.

I thought you said your friend who was extremely similar to me in history, was from Australia.

belledame222 said...

And really, I get so tired of what I do being "okay" because I'm female. Really. If dominating people is creepy and threatening, why deem me powerless and fuzzy? To me, that right there is patriarchal: she's ineffectual, so we don't need to be afraid of her.

ding ding ding ding ding!!!

Mostly, if there were any reason to "favor" femdom in the public sphere, besides personally liking it, it would be in the name of diversity, as in, hay, not seeing much of this, oversaturated with the other thing.

I mean strictly at the kink level, okay: and no, in and of itself it does not a revolution make, either way. I do think claiming one's own desires -is- powerful on a "personal is political" level, but that does not necessarily translate to, "yes, Bend Over Boyfriend will Save The World! all by itself!"

And, and this is the point: -it shouldn't have to.- I'm just sick of justifying and explaining everything, you know, the implication being that one needs -permission- or validation from people one doesn't know and doesn't -want- to know to have a gorram orgasm. Am I -directly- exploiting someone with my "selfish" orgasm, as in, I assaulted or nonconsensually took advantage of someone, and/or purchased or otherwise supported (clicked on, what have you) porn made under conditions of dodgy or nonexistent consent (and NO, this is -not all porn-, already)? Okay, you've got an argument. No? Fuck off. No, I mean really: fuck right off. It's really quite simple.

And this is not in fact because sexuality is sacrosanct or off-limits; it is precisely because I refuse to view sexuality as something in a separate category from everything else, where, guess what! I don't want input from random strangers who think they know my mind better than I do -either.- I don't -care- if you think my sofa would look better on the other wall; I don't -care- if you think I shouldn't wear capris in public (thanks for the input as always, Twisty); I get that all of this and more apparently agitates you somehow, and you feel compelled to share this agitation with me? but, I am not required to take your shit on. Really.

"Nobody asked you, sir/ma'am, she said..."

belledame222 said...

and I mean, really: since when is one required to take "I'm Only Saying This For Your Own Good, You Know" at face value, particularly when it's from someone who's not only a stranger but apparently ignorant about the subject at hand and an ill-mannered boor to boot? About -anything?-

shiva said...

OK... i can't hang in this fight any more. And i didn't want it to be a fight in the first place.

I don't think i can come up with a meaningful response to any of this, because i really don't think i said what everyone seems to think i said, but i don't have the words to explain why not (and trying to summon up the words has left me stressed and exhausted).

I'm a libertarian. I'm about as extreme a libertarian as it's possible to get. But it seems like the more i try to make that clear, and the more i try to distance myself from the likes of Twisty, the more i seem to conflate myself in everyone's eyes with them... and this really hurts, because i'm being accused of the exact same attitude that practically *all* of my life is devoted to fighting against - so it feels useless for me to try to continue posting here.

I'm sorry to all the people who i seem to have hurt and offended. I guess i'm just not up to this.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

It's worth keeping in mind that if you were the likes of Twisty, I wouldn't bother trying to explain where your logic is going wrong by my standards -- I'd be ignoring you like I ignore Twisty.

belledame222 said...

yeah, I didn't bring up Twisty to imply that anyone else here was like here, let me clarify. just dropping in for a kibitz, I wasn't able to do justice to the entire back and forth here; it doesn't mean anything more than that.