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