Orgasm – or Not

Posted in Childhood, mental health, Myself, Ponderings, relationships, sex, Sexual Ethics on November 11, 2011 by arrogantworm

A Unified Theory of Orgasm written by Clarisse Thorn

I’m surprised someone else has written about it. In that vein, I suppose, so will I. While advice seems to be plentiful when asking how to go about giving or getting orgasms, discussion *about* orgasmic problems seems to be much rarer. It’s nice to see.

The authors’ problem here isn’t mine. I deal with situational anorgasmia, not faint-to-no orgasm. It’s taken a hell of a long time to figure out exactly why, as well. I’ve never had an orgasm through masturbation with a partner in the same room, let alone an orgasm with a partner. That isn’t information partners want to hear.

It didn’t seem to be the sex that was the problem – or rather, sex itself feels great to me. My body seems to be more like a long-haul semi, though. if 0 is not aroused at all, 8 is Orgasm, and 10 is Too Many Orgasms, then my body idles at anywhere from three to seven on a daily basis. Sure, occasionally it naps – every couple of months it totally dies for a week or two. But mostly it’s running. You’d be surprised at the everyday tasks you learn to do when you’re almost always in a state of arousal. I don’t even register a 3 as particularly irritating anymore, it’s just….there. Like blurry vision or my tendency to trip over things.

Unfortunately touch usually irritates the hell out of it, and it isn’t very discriminating. It reacts the same way to people I loath as it does to people I don’t know and to people I like. About, oh, 65 or 70% of the time casual touch makes arousal worse.

Doesn’t make me think about the people in a sexual way, mind – it seems to be a deep-rooted psychological reaction that’s more of a bodily programmed response to touch itself than anything. Which is why I generally tell people I don’t like to be touched. Not because it’s true, but because there’s consent issues involved. Also, it doesn’t always happen – there’s still a 30, 35% chance of someone leaning on me doing jack shit. Kids, however, don’t irritate it. I have read on some discussion groups that similar reasons (Well, not similar so much as, that is, the …Dammit, This Response Isn’t Usual With The Rest of Humanity) are why some women survivors refuse to have kids – and no, it wasn’t hearsay, it was self-stated by them. I generally wouldn’t specify but I don’t usually read those kinds of support groups and those kinds of support groups don’t usually include abused men, as on the whole the usa’s lovely ideology seems to think men can’t be raped, let alone as children.

And yeah, there’s a reason for the situational anorgasmia. Not a very nice one, either. Childhood sexual abuse, at a guess from around 4 1/2, 5 to 7 or 8. I’ve got three memory snapshots that include disturbing prequels and quite a bit of behavior as a child, looking back, that was sexualized. And I know at least two people noticed – unfortunately they asked the wrong questions, or didn’t question at all, just rigidly policed behavior (oddly enough, the one behavior policed with me was the one that wasn’t sexualized, but adults always seem to think hands-under-blankets = playing with yourself).

Anyway, situational anorgasmia – For the past couple of years most of my masturbation fantasies have issues of control in them – pony play would be a good example. So would gangbangs (although to be fair, that’s an old one). Or some interesting twists on Irish and Roman / Greek mythos. It took me a bit to realize the change in direction on my fantasies dealing with control, particularly since I remember being eleven or so and being aroused by rape descriptions in books which seems to resemble my own – which promptly made me shove that arousal possibility to the very back of my brain and refuse all comers.

There was an essay written by Mac McClelland titled “You’ll need to fight me on this: How violent sex helped ease my ptsd” that was pointed out to me.

So I pulled the possibility out again, that my brain tends to associate particular rotten behavior from others with arousal, et cetera and so forth. Mulled it over for a while. Then stood up from the comp, had an orgasm (which is awkward because my legs tend to snap together automatically the great majority of the time) and almost fell over. I’m very, very glad nobody else was in the kitchen. Though I suppose if you’ve been ignoring something for twenty or so years you don’t actually *have* to touch yourself for a realization. Though to be completely honest I confirmed it independently later.

I’m not sure if it’s because the CSA is largely unprocessed (as I don’t have most of those memories) or because it happened during formative years so my *personal* sexual association is a bit skewed. Probably both, since it plays out in this specific manner. I was also raped as an adult, however – and that’s been thoroughly processed and while both sets of experiences make me cringe and bring neausea, only the former also makes me horny. I doubt I’d be aroused by cnc otherwise (some people are – I don’t care either way), as only one particular kind of cnc is a turn on, and at that it’s based on my own history.

I’m also keeping an eye out for what might bring flashbacks, as I don’t generally have them. I’ve a pretty good idea what’ll trigger them though as I’ve deliberately avoided certain positions among other things – which is one third of the point of making a rough date to try out consensual non-consent. I doubt my libido’ll ever exclude particular acts of cnc as not arousing, but I’m hoping with broadening retrieved memories and processing them we might be able to also broaden what we can orgasm to with partners. Which would be quite a bit less embarrasing to talk about than this, frankly.

But about the article – while the reasoning behind the acts aren’t quite the same (the author seems to use violent sex to get over a fear that she witnessed some repurcussions of, not that happened *to* her) it still seems like a viable thought for situational anorgasmia. Once my brain stopped circling the idea in disgust and fear, mind. There’s still shame, oh yes, but not nearly so much disgust and fear. But about fetish communities – I find myself loathing the people that claim they want to be raped since the use of the word doesn’t mean what they seem to want it to mean and they’re fucking up the definition of the word. Well, unless they use quotation marks. It’s just, I’ve seen too many people think cnc is the same as actual rape to want to continue to use ‘rape play’ as a general description for consensual non-consent.

Although in my case I suppose it actually is rape play, with a very specific set of purposes, as opposed to just getting off. Although I’ve no room to sneeze at ‘just getting off’. And while I’m complaining I really loath, well, every ‘rape play’ group I’ve seen so far, although there’s some individuals there that are perfectly decent and moral human beings. Like a lot of fetish groups though, there’s also a lot of immature, immoral asses – and it shows up in the posts. Also a lot of misunderstanding about why someone who has been raped would want to try consensual non-consent, let alone mix aspects of age play into it.

VIII. Study Questions!

Here are some things that might be interesting to reflect on:

1) What questions do you have about your orgasm?

Why the hell doesn’t/isn’t it working properly. Which I think I’ve come to a sort of tentative conclusion on, though we’ll have to see if attempts to have an orgasm with a partner actually work. Pretty sure my subconscious goes “Okay, can’t help having an orgasm in those previous situations that we never asked for but I’ll be damned if we’ll let it continue.”
Which doesn’t really help me. So I figure, if we try cnc and play with memory bits and I actually get an orgasm, we can slowly incorperate things that didn’t happen to broaden the “can’t help to/it’s okay to have orgasms” box.

Other than that, not sure what this question entails, really. So in general, why are orgasms so persnickity? Why are there so many kinds? So far I’ve three different kinds, although upon reflection there’s probably five – I’ve yet to get a g-spot orgasm, but apparently depending on the kind of stimulation we can have one *hell* of a long, intense, if-I-could-I’d-scream *single* orgasm. Which was actually a bit of an “Oh, fuck” revelation because the position I was in, couldn’t figure out how to move the vibrator away.

1a) Where have you researched the answers to those questions?
Fetish sites and rape survivors’ groups, not in that order (and occasionally at the same time. Go multitasking – woo.)

1b) Have you ever discussed those questions with your partners?


2) What questions do you have about your partners’ orgasms?

How did you figure out what worked for you?

2a) Have you ever asked your partners about their orgasms?

Yes. The information, unfortunately, didn’t help. Well, mostly. I did just have an interesting thought on how to possibly get her to have two different kinds at once.

3) What’s one thing you wish you’d said in bed to a partner?

Uh. Hrm. Probably a lot of things. The most pertinent is that I like intense, hard stimulation. Preferably of the leaning on/holding you still kind. Otherwise I doubt I’ll be able to mentally relax enough to orgasm with a partner. At least, I’m pretty sure that’ll work. Won’t get to try it for a couple of months.

3a) What would have made it easier to say it?

It being dark. Most things are easier if I think they can’t see me being embarassed.

4) What are your favorite sexual acts? Are there other ways you could perform them?

Oral. And probably more oral. Oh, oh! Penetration *and* oral!
Seriously, tiny little fixation, really. I’m pretty much good with about anything so long as it’s time consuming (couple of hours) and involves multiple sensations, whatever those may be. Minus extreme pain.

Other ways I could perform them, well, I could buy a dildo and perform oral on that.
Though we’d need two or three because, well, multiple sensations. Been meaning to anyway, but, well, consitently and constantly broke. As for incredibly varied sensation play, I’m generally a fan of ‘fun with household objects’ contemplation and possible implementation. We’ve got some nice bamboo rods that we’re turning into spreader bars – pretty sure they’ll also be doubling as spanking utensils.

5) What’s the best sexual experience you remember? What made it great?

It’s a toss up of giving a 100 minute oral session (So close to breaking two hours, but she caved before then. Dammit. And yes, I had a watch) Or being continuously fucked for two hours in multiple positions by a couple of people. That was quite a bit of fun, too.

Best solo experience would probably be either the first time I squirted (which surprised the hell out of me, I actually levered myself up to try and figure out why the hell it looked like somebody stuck their thumb over a hose for a couple of seconds – was on my back at the time) or the neverending-orgasm from particular kinds of stimulation.

6) What’s the hottest thing you’ve seen or read? What made it great and are there ways you could participate?

I….don’t know. I’m an avid reader, porn included. I’ll read things and find them erotic even if I’ve no fantasies *about* them – it seems to be mainly how someone writes about something. I’m also a picky reader, though. Currently looking for dark ageplay that denotes why someone is into it and how it differs from ‘light’ ageplay worked in to the story itself. Considering I’ve damn near no familiarity with that particular kind of literature (or much of anything about it, hard to find online so far) it’ll take a lot of searching, I think. Participating would be me working in ideas gotten from said lit into my own scenes – which I’ll have to do to branch them out anyway if I ever want to climax with a partner w/out cnc and ageplay based memory bits. Really, *really* hope that works.

7) Does anything from this article resonate with you? What?

The whole not being able to orgasm and it ruining relationships. While mine didn’t ruin, per se, it’s ridiculously depressing since most of my partners wouldn’t and couldn’t of been able to handle hearing that they can’t get me to climax with what they’re doing. I wasn’t keen on delving into my back consciousness, either, to be fair.

Go….Labia? Or rather, Twisting My Anatomy

Posted in body modifications, Feminism on October 1, 2011 by arrogantworm

Oh, Feministe, you bring a tear to my eye, you really do. It’s unfortunate that the tear isn’t one of joy.

The post in question is titled “Don’t Do This”, author Jill

Post below,

“Surgically altering your labia: DO NOT DO, unless there is some actual medical reason. Also ohmygod forget anyone who tells you your labia are too large or that virginal vulvas look one way and whore’s vulvas look another. They all look really different, I think! But also kind of the same! Also if someone is face-to-face with your labia, everyone involved should be having fun, so focus on that. If someone says something bad about your labia, not only are they terrible, but they really need a new hobby because what? You’re evaluating and insulting labia now? I’m kind of mad, actually, that this is now making all of us think about the relative sizes of our labia, which is not something I had ever seriously considered before, but which I’ve just wasted five minutes of my life considering. (Conclusion: This is a fucking stupid thing to be thinking about).

Also isn’t “labia” such a gross word? We need a new one. I hate that word. I think we should call them “vips” (rhymes with “tips”). The outer ones can be “vipos” (rhymes with “tip-toes,” kind of) and the inner ones can be “vipis” (rhymes with Skippy’s). “

While I’d like to agree with the sentiment I believe was – supposed – to be expressed (your labia doesn’t need to be changed to please someone else), that’s not what was actually said. In point of fact, the first words were DO NOT DO. With the added addendum that ‘of course medical reasons are an exception. So much so that we need not discuss them, at all, and in fact may hypothesize at our leisure about people’s reasonings for surgery of every kind while denying they might be in the least bit medically necessary for mental and/or physical health, so long as we don’t think the reasons themselves are deserving enough.”

And labia isn’t a gross word. So there!

And here’s a reply that I snagged from the comments thread, because it says all that I wish I had, only better –

“IrishUp 9.30.2011 at 11:12 am

Watching this go forward, I actually think there were options that would have helped frame this discussion better. How about “WTF Is Wrong With A Culture that Sets Beauty Standards for Labia?” That way the interrogation is set up on the cultural Beauty Standard.

“Do Not Do” frames the interrogation on the person. AND it’s the damned lede of the piece, so other qualifiers tucked in come after the frame has been set. I can easily imagine how anybody who HAS had or has contemplated this procedure is not feeling any fucking better about being shamed by “Do Not Do”. Whereas “If the culture makes you feel this way, please know we think that’s fucked up and support you!” might be more empowering.

Medical vs. cosmetic is spurious to the issue of “Is it OK to set yet another misogynist goalpost?” which is the systemic critique. The line between “medical necessity” and “cosmetic” is not hard and fast. Medical necessity certainly should include mental health, but who can really tell when something isn’t body dysmorphia (medically legit right?) but vanity (personality disorder? asshole personality trait? do we really know?) for instance? Also, how about when our misogynist culture makes something cosmetic a virtual gottadoo for women? What if you’re an adult movie performer, and this becomes a Gottadoo for you to get work? Is it vanity then?

I’m having trouble seeing a conversation that is framed in a way that further shames already marginalized peoples as a particularly healthy feminist one. Why are we interrogating marginalized peoples’ choices? Who does that help? Why are we putting it on them? Aren’t they US? Isn’t the richer discussion critique of the CULTURE which pretty much ONLY allows women CHOICES AMONGST LACK OF OPTIONS? Maybe evn proposing changes that don’t shame the damned victims? Could I possibly have included moar ??????????s”

So, Mmhm, yet another post I disagree with (this one on a topic oddly late –
I remember it being discussed in Fetlife and other places quite
some time ago) about labia surgery.

Notice I dropped the ‘cosmetic’. Due to the cultural views on the
word as a whole, like, say, the overlying assumption that the definition
of cosmetic = unneeded et cetera and so forth, well, I figured we’d dispense with that defunct piece of reasoning. ‘Cosmetic’ the word will be used below, because frankly y’can’t get away from it in the comments and people are using it as a ruler in what’s a ‘possibly acceptable’ choice with regards to surgery and what’s a ‘culturally indoctrinated’ choice that you SHOULD NOT DO.

Now, some people are saying y’can have both, or many more than one reason for surgery – that things are complicated and not easily discernable at first glance, or discernable to people not making such choices for themselves at all.

Unfortunately, those people are few and far between. Now, the idea that someone wants to change their labia because they’re ashamed of it is abhorent to me – you can’t please everyone, so best just try to please yourself, particularly since it’s your body. Let’s make that clear.

But then, someone brought in GRS. And lo, trans people’re used as an example without really being included in the conversation. Again.

“Natasha 9.29.2011 at 11:40 pm

igglanova: The only thing in common between the kind of cosmetic labiaplasty we’ve been discussing and GRS is the fact that they’re both surgeries of the genital region. The motivations for seeking them are, by and large, totally different. People don’t become trans* because they are facing targeted shaming or experiencing the media saturation of ridiculous standards of beauty. Likewise, negative self-image re: the size of your labia [if you’re cis] is not directed by some inborn trait.I don’t understand why we’re being expected to treat them as part of the same phenomenon.”

So you think that motivation is the key difference, one being cultural, the other being biological? I don’t think it’s that neat and tidy, for either party, and the issue is divided even within the trans community (not all trans ppl think they’re born with the wrong body; I sure as hell don’t know all trans ppl in the world but the trans ppl I do know are very diverse in their trans-being). Oh those long, colorful, beautiful continuums! Which brings me back to my earlier culture critique about the whole either/or, dividing & packaging & *controlling* that this dis-eased colonist-culture is obsessed with & tries to inflict on our Being Human.”

Picking on neither of the two commenters there,
but why is it the only time cis people (in general) consider trans people (in general) is when surgery comes up? There’s more to us than the knife, thank you very much. Particularly when sociological and kyriarchal things are being discussed.

Bluntly, I agree with Natasha in that it certainly isn’t that neat and tidy for either party.

“karak 9.29.2011 at 11:58 pm


We’re clearly not discussing GRS, we’re discussing purely cosmetic surgery done on people who have vulvas and plan to continue having a vulva, a population that consists overwhelming of cis woman.”

No, you’re also discussing GRS. Really you are. This conceptual framework of cosmetic that people have (including most of the people on Feministe, no special snowflakes there, I’m sad to say) has a hell of a lot of holes, and you just fell in several. Cissexism demands a single narrative from trans people to get hormones and surgery, and now (general you, because I’ve seen this argument from trans people as well, mores’ the pity) want to hang on to that narrative by teeth and claws.

And, I’d like to add for the rest of you, shut the fuck up about ‘The Great Majority”, would you? It gets ancient fast. Just…..don’t. Particularly when the Great Majority that gets elective genital surgery aren’t *cis women*.

And here’s tmi, but considering the erroneous assumption in the last sentence we’ll try to clear it up anyway. GRS is not a flipped coin, there are not only two option, and I’d greatly appreciate it if people would quit acting like it was. Money and health willing, I’ll get my own version of GRS. I’ll also still have the vulva, as I don’t see that going anywhere. It’s not what I want, but it is what I have, and damned if I won’t make the best of it in whatever way I can. So why, I’m wondering, do you think cissexual people feel any different about surgery?

And you know what? My surgery options are still considered cosmetic because GRS itself is considered cosmetic. For comparison, a lot of dental procedures are also considered cosmetic. And yet – the dental procedures aren’t really cosmetic, either. People can, and do, die from bad teeth. In this life time cosmetic seems to mean “Anything done to you that isn’t currently saving your life from a traumatic accident where you lie bleeding on the pavement at the mercy of passing cars.” That definition in particular needs to change.

matlun 9.30.2011 at 1:15 am

“Natasha: Is there a difference / what’s the difference between a cis-gendered/sexed woman getting cosmetic surgery on her genitals (or breasts or face or whatever), say, to match those of the latest Playboy bunny centerfold cuz that’s how she feels she should have been born, and a transwoman or transguy getting genital or top surgery?”

“For the top surgery part, I at least do not see any difference. However, the genital surgery in GRS can be seen as a functional rather than a cosmetic change.

Regarding some of the comments in this thread, I must say I find the arguments about choice (ie we do not have free choice) very suspect and troubling. If you want to call out some behaviors and choices, do that honestly. Arguing that these are not free choices is denying agency and does not make the argument less oppressive.”

Top surgery changes the look of the thing, and as such, the function of it, simply by it not being identical to your previous construction. I consider it in the same realm as GRS and most other body mods.

Function in these kinds of discussions have several meanings. Let’s use ears as an example. Say someone needs/wants their outer ear reconstructed. So function would be = What a body part is for, (ears for hearing, although really it’s the eardrum and the shell ‘merely’ helps it along, but pretend with me!), what a part can do after surgery (ear reconstruction, the reconstructed outer shell can now carry the sound better), and anything surgery added that wasn’t the purpose of having said surgery. That is, things y’might not have been able to do before (carrtilage piercings now possible!). So, in my view, no matter the surgery, the function changes, even if it is a miniscule amount in others eyes’.

As for genital reconstruction, eh, depends on what type of GRS you’re aiming for. The function of mine will be basically the same, with a few alterations. Two of my hopes aren’t even considered genital reassignment by society, and yet they do have an effect and change the look of my genitals. The same can often be said for other genital surgery. Your meaning of function seems to be ‘Does it work radically different than how it used to’. I think this harks back to the cissexist idea that GRS is a coin flip, with only two options. That idea also seems to negatively color wants for surgery that aren’t considered GRS by cis people. “It’s all the same, why bother? You’re wasting energy/money/time/health/what-have you for something *I can’t tell the difference in*).

Totally agreed about the comments on this thread, though. Acknowleging that societal opinions might play a role in people’s decisions of what to do with their own bodies and also acknowledging that they might not isn’t the same as denying agency.
Unfortunately people seem more fond of the latter than the former.

karak 9.30.2011 at 1:46 am

“Sometimes, it has nothing to do with anybody else but the fact that they just felt like it, they just want to.

Why the strong push against it?”

I’d be deeply, deeply concerned if someone decided to alter their body for “the hell of it”, especially during something like elective genital surgery. People die on that table. They get infections, they lose feeling and sensation, and a whole host of scary other problems.

I mean, I wouldn’t body tackle them to the ground and have them committed or anything, but I’d certainly voice some concerns about a friend applying knives to her vulva for no goddamn reason.

And also, like I said above, I have some very serious body image issues I attribute largely to the greater culture, and yeah, those issues include my breasts and vulva, so this is a concern of mine that people like me are taking extreme steps to conform.”

This is something I’ve never quite understood. Not the serious body image issues, or that someone might attribute it to the greater culture (because frankly, there’s no surprise there – I’m damned certain everyone (or nearly everyone, there’s always a few outliers) struggle with the same thing, though everyone to different extents.

It’s the pervasive concept that people decide to alter their body for ‘the hell of it’ that gets me. “Just want to” does not equal “On a whim” or “For the hell of it”. I can honestly say I have never, ever heard of someone who was planning to get genital surgery (or another surgical body mod) do so as a passing fancy. And while I’m sure there are a few people like that (because I figure there’s a few people for – everything -), I’ll not that this idea that surgery is ‘the easy way out’ doesn’t seem to be lauded as that by people who actually get surgery. There’s this pervasice, ruinistic concept that we can’t think critically for ourselves that ties into thoughts like “Got it for the hell of it!”.

“igglanova 9.30.2011 at 2:01 am

“Well duh, GRS is also subject to cultural influence and shitty kyriarchical issues. I left that aside out of concern for brevity, since the reason it exists *at all* is separate from the patriarchy in a way that the kind of cosmetic labiaplasty discussed by the OP is not. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much detail; I’m not interested in obfuscating the main point of difference between the two practices. To put it another way: in the mystical magical future where rigid standards of beauty no longer exist, there will still be demand for GRS, but not for cosmetic labiaplasty. (Okay, fine, there will still be outliers like fucking Orlan out there, but they would be rare and you get the idea.)”

You fool, you fool. The concept of Genital Reassignment Surgery exists for cissexual people in its current incarnation *at all* is not and never has been seperate from the patriarchy in the remarkably similar way that cosmetic labiaplasty discussed by the OP is not (and I repeat the word ‘discussed’ very, very loosely). That is, those hard and dividing lines you wish to exist between one type of genital surgery and another aren’t actually there, not so’s you can tell the difference in another person without asking ’em, anyway. It’s just chalk, dust that you drew on the ground your very own self.

And it’s washing away.

Perhaps you’re not aware that previously, only people who fit gendered expectations were even allowed the possibility of getting GRS. Think of it as patriarchy and cissexism aiming for a gendered ideal. As a starting point. So tell me, what with these – other – genital cosmetic surgeries that, according to you and many others, exist only to perpetuate a rigid ideal of gendered beauty and added insecurity. And they don’t look similar to you at all. And your prescriptions and descriptions don’t look similar at all?

Far be it from me to say that, obviously, some people should probably not be reconfiguring their bodies for the reasons they are. Not arguing with that bit. Bad decisions happen every second for everything, from breakfast food to who you trust.

What I am mighty displeased with is the general assumption that genital (and other) surgery is fine (but only in certain circumstances!) and that someone not getting the surgery has the moral and ethical right to tell someone else what those circumstances are and what they are and are not allowed to do with their own body.

Because really, it’s none of your business. This “Your choice is my perview” that’s been floating around like jetsam is asinine at its very best.

“To put it another way: in the mystical magical future where rigid standards of beauty no longer exist, there will still be demand for GRS, but not for cosmetic labiaplasty. (Okay, fine, there will still be outliers like fucking Orlan out there, but they would be rare and you get the idea.”

I disagree. What is it with this idea that if in this mystical, magical future where standards of beauty no longer exist, there’ll be no demand for cosmetic labiaplasty (apart from GRS). Or any cosmetic procedure, come to that? Because I think, if anything, the practice will get – bigger -. Particularly the safer surgery becomes.
I can think of several things I’d get because I like the look of them but won’t currently do because they’re not permanent enough (for me) or not as physically firmly attached as I’d like, besides the probability of bodily-health-rejection. Think surface implants and piercings. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one with this view, either.

Hexy 9.30.2011 at 6:07 am


But some choices are anti-feminist, even when women make them.

I’m not denying that some choices are inherently anti-feminist. I just don’t think that choosing to have your own body modified to your own specifications for your own reasons is one of those anti-feminist choices.

That is a decision worthy of criticism, to say nothing of the criticism labiaplasty itself / society / greedy fucking surgeons deserve.

So the fact that those “greedy fucking surgeons” are helping people with medical conditions and providing a way out (admittedly one you don’t seem to approve of) for people with body hate issues doesn’t alleviate some of your disapproval? I do think their prices should be less astronomical…

Although, I don’t even think that Jill was criticizing women’s choices in the OP. The tone struck me as more sympathetic than anything; the ‘don’t do this’ reads not like an order but more of a recommendation.

I don’t think you can possibly say to someone “don’t do this” and then act surprised when they feel like you’ve been judgemental about their choices.

*It is common for people who opt for cosmetic surgery to have low self esteem or even full-blown BDD, so let’s be real here and not bother hand-wringing about the approximately 7 people in the world who have reasons for getting labiaplasty that are all about social commentary and personal empowerment.

I’m sure it’s not uncommon for people who get plastic surgery to have low self esteem, but it’s far from universal. I know a lot of people who’ve made that choice for personal reasons (or business reasons) who have perfectly healthy self esteem and positive body image. The idea that body modification is a sign of low self esteem is borderline offensive.

K__ :

Shouldn’t we be talking with people who have had these types of surgeries done, instead of talking about them? Like, shouldn’t we be seeking out their own reasons instead of attributing reasons for them?

Talking about rather than to is a common problem around here, even when the people being discussed are in the room.


Hexy, I personally feel very free to judge certain choices. I judge Mr. You Must Be a Virgin To Ride, and I judge people who feel that God wants them to cut off their baby’s foreskin, and I judge people who want to convince women that their labia are ugly and in need of painful surgical intervention at the age of 15.

Judge all you like. But call it what it is. Don’t be all “don’t do this, it’s a terrible idea” to someone’s choices and then insist you’re not judging their decisions.

I mean, FIFTEEN, Hexy. How on earth does a child of 15 get the idea that her labia are ugly and must be changed, and what parent of a 15-year-old supports that choice with medical intervention?

Possibly parents who have been hearing their child say since puberty changed the shape of her labia that she’s experiencing physical discomfort, and who are in the habit of believing said child instead of deciding that she’s lying and must instead be solely the victim of social programming. Is it really impossible that she’s actually telling the truth, and that female clothes (like, say, underwear) are causing her discomfort enough for surgery to be an option? Why are we presuming that she and her parents or guardians didn’t even think this through?

And I’ll just point out the heterosexism apparent in this thread. People seem to be leaping to the assumption that all people considering or having this surgery are getting it for the benefit of men. It is actually possible that people who are dissatisfied with their labia (or who aren’t dissatisfied but who would prefer a different kind of labia) might be attracted to women, or men and women, or all genders, or no one.”

And there’s Hexy. Love Hexy. Read Hexy. Hexy makes Valid Points. That is all.

“Florence 9.30.2011 at 7:56 am

What the hell, people. If the OP stance is specifically about cosmetic labiaplasty, and differentiates the opinion from medically necessary labiaplasty in the first sentence, why is medically necessary labiaplasty even getting dragged into the conversation? I swear every comment section at Feministe is derailed by this propensity to be all, “Hey, I experienced something only marginally similar to this once, and this blog is not representing my experience correctly! HOW DARE THEY.””

(not her whole comment, but this bit is pertinent.)

Before some ass threw me in the spam filter at Feministe and left me to linger (and linger I will) there was a post and thread on cosmetic and medically necessary surgery and the funding thereof. I remember being quite vocal in it, since I plan on having what’s commonly considered cosmetic surgery, and because I’ve previously had medically necessary surgery that was considered cosmetic by insurance companies. (for those curious, one of my aunts ended up paying for it, though it came a bit late due to price and hope. Though I suspect mainly price.)

At any rate, the post and comments ended up being a vicious, vociferously verbal diarreah with quite a bit of blaming and no little snark. Because no one could agree what was ‘medically necessary’ and what was ‘cosmetic’. What might be medically necessary for someone else could be cosmetic for me, and vice verse. But for some reason, people can’t get that through their heads, that there’s no hard dividing line in the realm of such surgery when discussing quality of life. And quality of life is what if comes down to.

Short version – shut the fuck up and listen to people who actually go through these things when they say that someone (in this case the OP and some of the commenters) are being judgemental and hiding behind the thinnest veneer of concerned morality in the name of, of all things, *my* bodily integrity and self esteem.

Katniss 9.30.2011 at 8:40 am

Anyway: Personally I would rather hear a direct “You are wrong/acted badly” than a patronizing “You are incapable of making an independent choice”. YMMV.”

“I would too, but the opposite of “your choices are constrained, to varying degrees, by the sexist society we live in” is miles away from saying “you are incapable of making an independent choice”. You can make independent choices! But at the same time you can also analyze how those choices are influenced by the world you live in.

This isn’t directed at you, matlun, but just the thread in general:

What frustrates me in this thread (and discussions about choosing your husbands last name, or choosing to shave your pubic hair, or any other controversial choice in feminism) is the people who REFUSE to accept that society has influence on their choices. That does not mean I want to tell them they did not make their choice validly and because it’s what they really did want. It just means that in the end I get sick of hearing, for example, “I shave my legs only because I want to and societal pressure had absolutely no influence on me ever”. To me that’s almost arrogant, it is acting as if you are above all those other people in the world who are in big and small ways influenced by the society they live in. It’s essentially claiming to live in a vacuum and that isn’t possible.

And let me point out that I apply my own logic to my choices. For example, I have done nude modeling many times for several different nudie sites. I made the choice to do so freely and it is something I wanted to do. That doesn’t mean that my choice was completely free from societal expectations about what is “sexy” in women or an ingrained desire to be praised for my looks or any number of other influences. But I did not make that choice in a vacuum, no matter how freely and happily I made it. That doesn’t mean I have no agency, it just means the agency I have still exists within this particular society.”

Yeah, there does seem to be an implied either/or that goes on with regards to choice, doesn’t there. I also notice the ‘societal implications’ on choice are always framed in the negative. (though not saying the poster above did this, I’m commenting in general on what I’ve noticed).

As in “You want —— from society, and you match the ideal (or want to match it) so you get this done to portray it or do this to make it happen, so your choice really isn’t a ‘choice’ so much as further confirmation of your indoctrination to societies current ideals of beauty and gendered expectation.”

And that isn’t true, either. sometimes you do things because you, yourself, think whatever it is deserves to be portrayed and admired, if only *by yourself*.

I have a screen saver full of pictures. Quite a few of them are of people done in artistic shots, ones I don’t seem to find in general. Quite a few of them are also of larger people. One in particular makes me exceedingly happy. It’s of a white (I’m assuming) guy, middle age, balding, heavy, a bit hairy and in a pair of pink underpants, standing almost on toes with arms upraised and beaming at a spot just beyond your field of vision.

The joy seen on that face? In the way the body is positioned? In the body itself? Absolutely priceless. I’ve no bloody clue why that picture was taken, but it’s as good an example as any of flouting social expectations, considering the person there doesn’t meet the current western media standards of attractive, what with being unapoligetically larger with visible hair. And one hell of a beautific expression, might I add. Point being, sometimes things are done to celebrate variety and difference, not with the aim be similar.

The same can goes for the expectations of surgery. I know, that wasn’t the ‘original topic’, but people seem to be deliberately forgetting that not everyone gets surgery to please others. The whole post is based on such an assumption to the exclusion of all others.

This comment is long, but well worth it, every word.

“Donna L 9.30.2011 at 12:28 pm

“Body hate”? What the hell is that? Unless you’re the elephant man, if you hate your body the problem is the hate, not the body.”

I don’t mean to pick on you, jose, but this is simply another example of the ciscentrism that’s so rampant here. I hated my body once upon a time, and I wasn’t the elephant man. Have you ever heard of gender dysphoria? Or are you one of those who tells trans people to fix their delusional minds before they start mutilating their allegedly healthy bodies?

And that applies to your earlier condemnation of breast implants, too. At what point, if any, are breast implants acceptable for trans women? Never? What if someone takes hormones for years and, basically, nothing happens? (As has been the case for some trans women I know, particularly when they begin transition later in life.) Should they just live as women without breasts and learn to accept their God-given lot? If not, and it’s sometimes OK for trans women, then why not for cis women too?

As far as I’m concerned, it’s not always so easy to draw the line between medical (including psychological) necessity, and culturally-influenced vanity. I know damn well that the only reason I’ve always wanted my nose “fixed” is that I’ve internalized cultural standards of beauty that exalt Northern European features and consider traditionally “Jewish” features — noses, in particular — to be ugly. But that doesn’t make my feelings any less real. (It’s a good thing, probably, that I’ve never had the money to spare to get my nose fixed, or I would have done it years ago. It also helped to realize that my nose didn’t in any way prevent me from being perceived as a woman when I transitioned. A Jewish woman, perhaps — NTTAWWT — but a woman nonetheless.)

By the way, to some of you who responded to my comments last night: I’m well aware that what the OP and others were addressing was not “medically necessary” labiaplasty or other genital surgery. (Not that the line is so easy to draw, whether for genital surgery or breast augmentation or anything else.) I’m neither stupid nor ignorant. I was, however, entitled to point out the fact that some people’s rhetoric was so broadly condemnatory that it far outstripped their intentions. And that when you talk about “women” and their decisions to “cut up” their bodies, and suggest that there’s no possible justification for it, you might want to keep in mind that trans women are women too. The predictability of the Sneering Defensiveness of some of the responses doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

“Natasha: Is there a difference / what’s the difference between a cis-gendered/sexed woman getting cosmetic surgery on her genitals (or breasts or face or whatever), say, to match those of the latest Playboy bunny centerfold cuz that’s how she feels she should have been born, and a transwoman or transguy getting genital or top surgery?

What do you think DonnaL?”

When you present the contrast like that, it’s easy to make the distinction. In real life, it’s not always so easy; things aren’t always at one end or the other of a spectrum running from medical necessity to complete vanity. Which is why, as much as the idea of purely cosmetic labiaplasty makes me queasy, it isn’t for me to decide that anyone’s decision to have any kind of surgery to alter her body is, in fact, “purely cosmetic.” Returning again to breast augmentation, would I be happier if 11 years of hormone therapy had had more of an effect on my body? Maybe, but I’m lucky enough to be only 5? 2? tall, so that what did happen is sufficiently proportionate to my size that it allows me to “blend in” as female, and it simply isn’t important enough to me to do anything further. Not to mention the risk of loss of sensation. So for me, a decision to have breast augmentation surgery would, in fact, be based entirely on vanity. But if another trans woman in the same position as I am made the decision to have breast augmentation surgery, I’d never in a million years presume to to say it was solely because of “vanity” for her. Culturally-influenced? So what? Is she supposed to wait for the utopia in which breast size would mean nothing to anyone? The same way those who oppose GRS would have trans women wait until the utopia in which, supposedly, nobody would want to alter their bodies because all bodies are equally valued? (Not that I buy for a moment that the need and desire for GRS would vanish in such a utopia.)

On the other hand, genital surgery was sufficiently important to my identity, and sufficiently necessary to help with my body dysphoria, that I went through with it a couple of years ago regardless of the risks — both general risks, and those personal to me given all my serious health issues including Crohn’s Disease and a long history of severe complications from every major surgery I’ve ever had. Without going into too much detail, most of those risks unfortunately happened for me, including very serious complications requiring emergency hospitalization in the nearest hospital in Montreal, where I spent six days in the ER while they decided what to do with me, followed by an exciting ambulance ride to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, where I was told “we’ve never had a patient like you before and don’t know how to take care of you” in terms of that aspect of my care — all of which ended up in less than perfect “cosmetic” results. Which I may or may not do something about someday. I’d still do it all over again, though; it was worth it.

So let’s not forget that there’s a “cosmetic” element to GRS, too, and that there are plenty of trans women who decide on a surgeon based, at least in part, on photographic examples of their surgical results. There’s one website in particular that has dozens of examples from different surgeons, and I’ve known trans women who can get pretty obsessive about which one looks “best,” or the most like the mythical ur-vulva and ur-vagina, the Platonic ideal of vulvaness and vaginaness that they have in mind. And, of course, every surgeon does try to achieve a particular standard look which clearly is based on cultural standards of what female genitals are supposed to look like.

I didn’t care so much about specific appearance, but I don’t condemn for a second those who do, given their underlying fear of someone looking at their genitals and being able to “tell,” and saying “those aren’t real.” Me, I’ve seen enough examples of female genitals in my life to know that they all look different, and maybe I’m overly cynical, but I’m convinced that most straight men wouldn’t be able to “tell” no matter what the results look like, as long as everything isn’t sideways. In the end, though, I do believe that people should be able to do what they feel is necessary. Cosmetic or not; culturally influenced are not. It’s not for me to draw lines.

And I never forget for one minute something that most people here seem entirely clueless about: that both historically and today, the loudest feminist voices opposing cosmetic surgery belong to the most rabid, virulent, and disgusting anti-trans bigots, the Germaine Greers and Janice Raymonds and Sheila Jeffreys and Julie Bindels of the world. In other words, people I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with, let alone be on the same side.”

I think I’m in love.

“Lucy Gillam 9.30.2011 at 3:45 pm

You know, I’ve got a lot of feelings on choices vs influences, on whether a post that starts with “DO NOT DO” can be called starting a discussion, etc. But as the mother of a daughter, I have to say that the idea of a bunch of strangers on a blog not only discussing my daughter’s medical decisions based on a second-hand line in an an article, but mocking those decisions, make me a little ill. The original author and a number of people here are speaking of her symptoms and the solution with a great deal of surety for a situation you haven’t even read a first-hand account of, to say nothing of actual medical facts.”

And yeah. that. That’s rampant, paticularly when discussing (dis)ability and ability of any kind regarding surgery or medical issues. Fucking disturbing is what it is. (and if someone thinks discussing surgery and ability with regards to genitals that such conversations don’t often involve some level of disablism, I’ve got the deed to this terrific bridge….) There’s a large, startling difference between discussing a medical procedure and why people might get it done and discussing someone’s personal medical symptoms and decisions about them.

Donna L 9.30.2011 at 4:42 pm

I think some of you keep missing my point. Maybe I’m not being sufficiently clear, but if people are intending to limit their comments to cis women, why not say so when they make those comments? How is “your rhetoric is outstripping your intentions” not clear? Especially given the history of *exactly* the same rhetoric being used against trans women — pretty much word for word — how exactly is it that anyone is supposed to know that people like Jose don’t actually mean what they say about “women” to apply to all women (including trans women) if they don’t say so? Regardless of the context, it’s hardly safe to assume that everyone here shares the OP’s viewpoint. I know that using inclusive rhetoric might require a tiny bit of additional effort sometimes, but I think it’s worth it, no matter how many times people repeat that 99% of women are cis so it supposedly should be obvious that that’s what everyone means.”

Yeah, really. That that that that that. Gets damned frustrating. I’m also frustrated (and, frankly, rather darkly bemused) that whole sections of peoples’ genital wants / needs are getting ignored in the making of these wonderful theories about the differences in the right ‘choice = medically applicable’ vs ‘cultural indoctrination = cosmetic’, the wrong kind of choice. I’m not surprised, but eh.

–A Note. The post isn’t done, because the comments aren’t done, and I’m hopeful that someone else will bring up pertinent info.

…..And Lo!

karak 10.1.2011 at 2:38 am

@Donna L

I feel that trans women who desire GRS are desiring it because of something that springs mainly from inside them. It is a body modification meant to allow the person to become a more real and whole version of themselves. On a much, much, much smaller scale, I feel more minor types of modification (such as scarification, piercings, gauges, and tattoos) are also part of this idea–making your body YOURS, unique and individualistic.

On the other hand, I feel that cis cosmetic surgery is about making the body public property, standardizing it as something for society to consume.

I hate my body. But I don’t hate my body because it doesn’t do what I want it to do, I hate it because it doesn’t look like other people want it to look and it makes me feel inadequate. I’ve seriously looked into plastic surgery to “fix” the dark circles under my eyes, not because they interfere with my eyesight or self-image, but because I think other people look at me and think I’m ugly. If everyone else in the world could never see my face again, I’d have no reason to want surgery. On the other hand, I’m guessing that even if no one in the world would ever see you again, you’d still want GRS.

Again, let me break this down–I’ve considered paying someone to stick a sharp knife around my eyes and put synthetic material in my skin because I think my body is an offense to other people. And I’m still considering it, even though I’m risking my sight and my life, not to mention irreversibly pissing away a lot of money I could have used on thing I internally value, like charities or designer clothes (I love designer clothes and wear them in my room when no one’s around. If I was a hermit for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t give up my Jessica Simpson heels.)

I’ve a long and involved post to say absolute oodles about the whole concept-idea-thought process that general body mods are for uniqueness, GRS ‘as currently envisioned’ is from True Inner Feelings and never influenced by – anything – else, and that all other cosmetic surgery, particularly on genitals (barring that oh so nebulous ‘medical’ stamp o’approval) is only done to conform to what you believe others want Down There. Not picking on the author here, either. It’s a set of views I’ve been seeing a lot of, and I disagree with damn near every tenant of those views.

Hexy 10.1.2011 at 3:36 am

” Katniss:
Hexy, I’m not sure if you count me amount “people who insist that social influence is the only determining factor”, but I can assure you I’m not.”

No, I’m not, because you didn’t say that.

“Really all I’m wanting to see in this thread is a general understanding that societal influence IS a determining factor. It’s impossible to live in society and make decisions without being influenced by it.”

Of course. But it can still be not the primary determining influence in a decision.


However, we do have several people who are trying to claim that societal influence is never a factor as long as you choose your choice.”

Can you quote? I seem to have missed that, but it’s a long thread. What I see is a lot of people saying that maybe the specific girl being discussed hasn’t made the decision primarily based on social influence considering that she’s been referred to as mentioning discomfort, and a lot of other people saying that that body mod choices are valid, not that they’re necessarily free of social influence.


Once again we have a thread full of people talking past each other. Nowhere has anyone said, or even implied, that social influences are the sole determining factors in people’s decisions.”

The article linked completely dismisses even the possibility that the girl discussed is experiencing discomfort and attributes her motivations solely to social conditioning.

“I, for one, do not trust people to make the best decisions for themselves, or even good decisions. People make stupid, self-defeating choices all the time.”

Of course people make stupid choices. But they’re still in the best position to analyse why they made those choices, which is what I said I trusted them to do better than a stranger on the internet.

“I also notice that nobody is attempting to factually refute the idea that people overwhelmingly seek cosmetic surgeries* due to insecurity that is engineered and manipulated by cynical industries, not for personal funsies.”

You didn’t back up your claim with anything worth a damn, so why should the people who disagree with you feel obligated to do so? I pointed out that I know plenty of people with healthy self esteem who have sought out plastic surgery but, hey, personal anecdata.

You know, I’d actually written a couple of paragraphs and then realized Igglanova didn’t merit a response to said trumped up claims. I’ll also point out that you can’t prove a negative, so demanding proof that you’re wrong instead of someone else being right is also rather asinine. Lot’s of things are asinine today, aren’t they.

Kaz 10.1.2011 at 8:30 am

Have been following this comment thread debating whether to comment, but hell with it, I’ll go for it.

I share DonnaL’s concerns about this ignoring and marginalising trans* people. It’s… everybody here is saying that it is easy to tell the difference between socially-induced and trans*-induced body issues and that the line between them is clear, but… I’m not entirely sure whether either of those things are true for all trans* people. Or, for that matter, whether socially-induced body issues can’t play a part in trans*-induced ones – for example, I remember a post by someone about how they think their dysphoria was much amplified by society telling them “having those bits make you a woman and you can’t be any other gender with them”. And I think especially for trans* people who don’t know very much about trans* issues yet and are only starting to sort out their genderstuff it can be very confusing. I know I’m very glad that a lot of my body issues go contrary to female beauty ideals, because it means that when I go “these breasts, they are not meant to be here” and discover that I am ridiculously happy when binding I don’t have to tangle with “but what if I’m buying into societal messages about female beauty ideals?” nearly as much. Others don’t and I think some are some dreadful mixture of societal messages and gender and societal messages about gender.

And… I guess the thing is that I like to embed surgery for trans* folk into a larger narrative of “your body, your choice as to what you do with it, if there are bits of it that make you seriously unhappy that surgery can change then you ought to be able to access that.” If we frame bodily modification for trans* people as exceptions to the general rule of “you’re born with it, you ought to stick with it” that can have the effect of making it harder for trans* people (forex, the “you have to prove you’re trans* before you can access this” requirements for some of this stuff can be pretty damn stringent) as well as encouraging cis people to start policing trans* identities as to what “counts” and what “doesn’t”. (Something similar can happen re: medical conditions, too.) For instance, I note that in this discussion most people seem to have been thinking of binary trans* people. Nonbinary people can want to have an entirely different genital configuration, which could include surgeries which are being dismissed as always cis people buying into social stuff… not sure about labiaplasty but I can imagine it for e.g. a neutrois person with that genital setup who’d like to get rid of their genitalia entirely and is going for minimisation, or the same person might want to get rid of their clitoris. Nonbinary people can also find it difficult or impossible to access the sort of surgery they’d need because it doesn’t exist or if it does exist it comes as a parcel deal with other “transition to the opposite binary gender” stuff they don’t want and/or they have to prove that they’re the opposite binary gender in order to be allowed it (which can be hard enough for trans* people who actually *are*.)

Disclaimer: I’d really, really, really like to hear what other trans* folk have to say about this, because I am kind of uncomfortable generalising from my experiences as a nonbinary person whose dysphoria isn’t that strong and who doesn’t think ze needs surgery for it right now. I’m really glad DonnaL has spoken up about her experiences.

Disclaimer^2: obviously it is really damn shitty that there are sufficiently strong social messages about labia size that some people who would have otherwise been fine with their labia feel the need for surgical intervention. I just prefer to attack this from the “stop sending those social messages” angle rather than the “surgical intervention is bad except in X, Y and Z cases” angle.

And, repeated for emphasis because it’s the main reason I posted,

” I just prefer to attack this from the “stop sending those social messages” angle rather than the “surgical intervention is bad except in X, Y and Z cases” angle.”

Also, what’s that I see? Someone else pointing out that, well, why -can’t- socially-induced body issues also play a part in trans ones? And that all the lines probably aren’t as clear cut as -some people – want. And that there’s more types of GRS for trans people than the cissexist The-Only-GRS-is-what-I-say-it-is (aka the flip-a-coin option), and that logical fallacy in particular is one that a lot of people are hell bent on continueing since they’re insisting on using trans people as objective lessons in ‘right’ vs ‘wrong’ surgery decisions. – – While – other trans people are pointing out that no, this preoccupation with using exactly – one – kind of cis-approved (in the very loosest sense) of GRS as a Shining Example of an “It’s okay, we feel your pain, there’s the table’ kind of way isn’t how how this should be played out.

I can type in all honesty, though, that this is the first time I’ve ever heard cis people go “Your kind of surgery is acceptable” (because you want what I have). Usually pitchforks are involved because they think we’re faking what they have, stealing what they think their genitals give them, or both.

DonnaL 10.1.2011 at 11:41 am

“Natasha: non-physical-pain, non-life/death genital surgery.”

Obviously you don’t know very much about how some trans people view the genitals they were born with, if you are willing to characterize trans genital surgery that way. And why the distinction between physical and psychological pain? I’ve had plenty of both in my life, and sometimes the latter is harder to bear.

Lack of Sexual Ethics, Now Brought To You by Feminism

Posted in Not My Feminism, sex, Sexual Ethics on September 16, 2011 by arrogantworm

Another post. Woo. The article Jill’s post is based on is the link below, Jill’s is directly under it.

Link He Won’t Go Down on Me

Link to Dealbreaker Indeed by Jill

Dealbreaker indeed.

This article about a lady whose dude wouldn’t go down on her is very good, and you should read it. But here’s the part that interests me most:
While Robert had abandoned cunnilingus after one sour taste, I had no such hang-ups. But when it came to going to bed with a straight guy who wouldn’t perform oral sex, there was no roadmap to articulate my experience. As Robert worked through his issues, I consulted the experts. Over drinks and late-night phone calls, friends told me that healthy relationships are give-and-take, not a one-way street. But online, sex columnists advised me never to coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he wasn’t comfortable with.

I’m mostly in the Jaclyn Friedman camp of sexual ethics: Everyone is fully entitled to boundaries, and sex acts should be consented to enthusiastically, not agreed to grudgingly. But I’m also a Dan Savage sympathizer, insofar as he argues we’re also entitled to sexual pleasure and when in relationships we should try to sexually please our partner — we should (safely) try new things, and be giving and generous in bed (and expect the same in return).
So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she isn’t comfortable with. But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage. There are important cultural and historical reasons why “I won’t go down on women” is slightly different from “I won’t let a dude come on my face.” Does a dude have a 100% right to be like, “I don’t like giving oral sex, and that is a boundary for me and I won’t do it”? Yes. Without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”), do women who enjoy receiving oral sex (who I realize are not all women, but for the purpose of this post I am talking about those women who do enjoy it, which are a lot of women) have a 100% right to be like, “That is some misogynist bullshit right there, and if you are not only unwilling to give me what I need to be sexually satisfied but you also pathologize my body then you are officially kicked to the curb”? YES.
I mean, look: If you have a spine issue that makes the head angle excruciatingly painful, ok, I get that. I do not doubt that straight men exist who don’t eat pussy for some reason other than being misogynist assholes. But I don’t think, for the most part, neck injuries are why dudes refuse to give oral sex (although — and this may be related to the fact that dudes are somewhat hesitant to say woman-hating things around feminist bloggers — I have never actually met a dude who said he didn’t like giving oral sex. I have heard they exist, though, and they sound terrible). It seems to be that dudes refuse to go down on a lady because they think it’s gross, or because they find it emasculating (how a close encounter of the vaginal kind amounts to some sort of “no homo” moment is beyond me, but ok), or because they just don’t have to since vaginal sex is ostensibly for both of your pleasure and if your girl doesn’t come then, well, whatever. Girls don’t like orgasms as much as boys anyway, right? Either way, it comes down to the idea that female bodies are icky, or that female pleasure just doesn’t matter that much. And if that’s your dude’s view, ok — he’s entitled to think that. He’s also entitled to go to Puppy-Kickers R Us meetings. But he’s not entitled to access to your body any more than he’s entitled to kick the neighbor’s dog. He’s not entitled to a pat on the head and approval of his sexist views, just because they overlap with your sex life (He’s definitely not entitled to blowjobs either). Sure, you have to respect his boundaries — but that doesn’t mean you have to keep on having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you, or that you have to keep your mouth shut as to why it’s offensive that he makes a gross-out face in response to your vagina.

You know, I read this post right after I’d read the ridiculous-reasoning-period-sex post, and I’ve got to say, this one isn’t any better. I’ll admit for a moment there I thought something might have gone right, and then – I remembered the topic at hand.

Which, alas, is sex. Again.

Not that I don’t enjoy sex, mind, but the way these people leach all the joy out of it is downright, dare I write it, dishearteningly libido-killing. The knowledge would make me grudgingly celibate except I know there’s better views out there.

“I’m also a Dan Savage sympathizer, insofar as he argues we’re also entitled to sexual pleasure”

And right there, first half of the first sentence – it’s complete, utter, unadulterated Shite. Here’s why.

First, a Dan Savage sympathizer. Savage’s popularity relies on three things, I think. Sarcasm, the ability to turn a phrase (they’re not the same thing) and to say what everyone wants to hear, deep in their dark-hearted little soul of wants. Sarcasm and wit only go so far and while they can be perfectly grand in the bedroom, where they don’t belong is in the moral navigation of sexual ethics.

Now, as to wants. Most people, I imagine, want to hear that they’re entitled to sexual pleasure.

We’re not. People who think they’re entitled to things feel free to take what isn’t theirs.

When you’re by yourself, yes, you’re entitled. Because it’s you, and you can do whatever you damn well please with yourself.

A relationship, however, is not just you.
So, you still feel entitled? Too bad.

Now, you’re entitled to look (and possibly even find!) a partner who pleases you sexually.

You’re not entitled to expect a partner to ceade to your wishes, wants and secret dreams sexually.

There’s a difference there. Make note of it.

“we should (safely) try new things, and be giving and generous in bed (and expect the same in return).”

I agree with safely. Safely is good. I dislike should, however. ‘Should invokes obligation. There’s a difference between sharing a blanket in bed and feeling obligated to try things you’d really rather not. You can always go get a new blanket from the hall closet, you can’t go get a new you. ‘Should’ has no business being there. If you want to try new things, go ahead and ask your partner! But don’t expect them not to agree.

And there’s another thing in that sentence that makes me neasious. Expecting the same thing in return.

Really? Must be shittin’ me. What an absolutely atrocious concept. And I keep seeing it lauded!

If you’re having sex, the only thing you’re expecting is the sensations your body is giving you. Not future sensations you want to have.

You want to give oral? Great! You want oral? Also great!

But if someone doesn’t want to give you oral?

Tough shit.

You want it that bad from someone who is unwilling, find a new partner. Or pay for it with something that you aren’t giving out for free. Oral isn’t cash. (otherwise I’d be one rich mother fucker. Literally on both counts).
If you definitely want something, you’d better be prepared to pay for it. Again, with something other than what you’ve been freely giving.

I mean, I know sex is the oldest business, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Unless you’re exchanging goods and/or services for other goods and/or services via verbal or written agreement, you’ve got no right to complain that you’re not getting eaten by a partner.

And you know what a relationship is?

It’s not a business contract, I’ll tell you that much.

“So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she *THEY’RE NOT isn’t comfortable with. “

Now there’s some spiffy sleight-of-hand. Writing it doesn’t make it true when there’s previous agreement that it’s perfectly fine, what with your ‘entitleds’ and your ‘shoulds’ and your ‘expecteded’s’.

“But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage.”


Always a but, see. Always. Pisses me right the fuck off, this does. Particularly the word ‘interrogate’. Because you just know it’s not talking about self interrogation. And it just assumes the reasons a “No.” were given are automatically based on –ist baggage.

-insert whiny “Buuuuut whyyyy won’t you let me….!”- here

“There are important cultural and historical reasons why “I won’t go down on women” is slightly different from “I won’t let a dude come on my face.”

I’m kind of curious. What are these important cultural and historical reasons? Please don’t tell me it’s thirty years of porn, because that’s not particularly historical and culture shifts.

“Does a dude have a 100% right to be like, “I don’t like giving oral sex, and that is a boundary for me and I won’t do it”? Yes.

Oh Really. This goes against everything I’ve seen typed so far, and everything from the previous post I’d seen typed so far. Typing it does not change the actual content of your posts.

“Without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex”

Ah, there it is. The almighty ‘But!’. Apparently not only do I need a reason for not fucking every cissexual man, I need a reason for not fucking every cissexual woman as well. You know what this looks like? Every time a straight person realizes I’m not, in fact, straight (Every. Damn. Time.) they immediately go …You’re not my type”.

This also plays into the meme that men (and people being read as men) are expected to be hyper sexual, always ready and – always willing.

Allow me to take the time to inform that not every person wants to fuck you. And even with the ones that do, no one needs to give you a reason to not want to do any specific sexual act with you. Or anyone else.

“(other than “it’s gross”),”

No other reason than “No” is needed. Nor, again, do you get to choose what reasonings for No Sexual Contact With You are valid.

Now, if I’m feeling particularly generous, I might explain why I won’t do an act. But I don’t – have – to. Because you’re not, in fact, entitled to the use of any part of my body without my consent, and interrogating me is not going to change my mind about that fact. It will, however, make me consider you an asshole and renege any offer of sex. And if you keep pushing the matter, I will make you cry. And then I will leave.

“do women who enjoy receiving oral sex (who I realize are not all women, but for the purpose of this post I am talking about those women who do enjoy it, which are a lot of women) have a 100% right to be like, “That is some misogynist bullshit right there,”

Alright, vagina doesn’t equal woman. Keep having to repeat this for posts from cis people, feels like it’s redundant at this point.

Bloody ridiculous. Still waiting on how not giving a vagina oral is misogynist. Still waiting…still waiting….

But lo! What is this I spot!

It’s blatant disregard! Oh, and shaming.

“Your no is bullshit! Oh, and you hate women! Misogynist!

“and if you are not only unwilling to give me what I need to be sexually satisfied but you also pathologize my body then you are officially kicked to the curb”? YES.”

Now see, at least she acknowledges the unwilling bit. Now if only we could drop the bullshit.

You might need sex (and I know people who do. Hello there! *waves*) but no one is required to give it to you. Which, mind, – also – relates to one of the oldest professions. Also waiting to see how someone not eating you is ‘pathologizing your body’ by not giving you oral sex.

The only thing correct here is the right of someone to leave a sexual relationship if they’re not getting what they’d like out of it.

“I mean, look: If you have a spine issue that makes the head angle excruciatingly painful, ok, I get that. I do not doubt that straight men exist who don’t eat pussy for some reason other than being misogynist assholes.”

The Disability Card That Doesn’t Exist!
Oh, brings a tear to my eye!

Let me tell you something – people with spinal issues who want sex (and other pwd’s) try their damnest to work around physical issues of sexual compatibility. When we want sex we don’t automatically go “Oops, my back is going again, no oral tonight!”

So glad you’re willing to write us off the sexual map though. Real white of you.
Hold that thought though, I need to go get more bingo chips.

“But I don’t think, for the most part, neck injuries are why dudes refuse to give oral sex (although — and this may be related to the fact that dudes are somewhat hesitant to say woman-hating things around feminist bloggers — I have never actually met a dude who said he didn’t like giving oral sex. I have heard they exist, though, and they sound terrible).”

Okay, so let me get this straight; you’re comparing guys who’re hesitant to say things sexist around feminist bloggers = to guys saying they like giving oral sex.

Because they’re both, I dunno, I suppose, they’re…hesitant to piss off The Wimminz?

I really, really hope one of these things is not like the other. Because that means a bunch of people are having sex they don’t actually want. And I notice the author doesn’t seem to give much of a damn at her meandering conclusion, either.

“It seems to be that dudes refuse to go down on a lady because they think it’s gross, or because they find it emasculating”

Okay, so – you’ve admitted you’ve never actually met a guy who said they don’t like giving oral. So where, exactly, are you getting the repitition of “It’s gross!” and “I find it emasculating!” responses from?

Now, I’m sure some people from all the sexes give that particular response for oral. Far be it from me to claim otherwise.

But if you haven’t met any, and I certainly haven’t met any, and I’ve yet to hear from my acquaintances, friends, roommates and old-school chums (many of whom also fuck men) that they’ve heard such responses, so…where’s this epidemic at, exactly?

“(how a close encounter of the vaginal kind amounts to some sort of “no homo” moment is beyond me, but ok)”

Hey, I’m transitioning. What do you think I’ll look like when I’m done, Jill? Not that I agree with the whole concept of “no homo”, but, if they wanted straight sex, gotta say, they wouldn’t be coming to me just because of my crotch. Again, Vagina doesn’t equal Woman doesn’t equal Straight Sex. The repetition, the repitition. Also, ‘no homo’ is a straight, biggoted reassurance that you’re not a gay guy and have no interest in any romantic leanings with your fellow men no matter how much of an asshole you’re – not – being.

“or because they just don’t have to since vaginal sex is ostensibly for both of your pleasure and if your girl doesn’t come then, well, whatever. Girls don’t like orgasms as much as boys anyway, right? ”

“If you don’t give me oral, you don’t care!”

The guilting is ridiculous.

So, again, no. There’s a hell of a lot more ways than oral to get your vagina-having partner to orgasm. Nice twist there, though.

“Either way, it comes down to the idea that female bodies are icky, or that female pleasure just doesn’t matter that much.”

I’m still waiting on your proof of both.

“And if that’s your dude’s view, ok — he’s entitled to think that. He’s also entitled to go to Puppy-Kickers R Us meetings.”

Kicking puppies is not the same as not wanting to do a sexual act.

“But he’s not entitled to access to your body any more than he’s entitled to kick the neighbor’s dog.”

Very good! At last, something besides safer sex that we agree on! Thing is, You’re also not entitled to the use of his body. Particularly the use of his mouth on your crotch. Sexual autonomy, he has it.

“He’s not entitled to a pat on the head and approval of his sexist views, just because they overlap with your sex life (He’s definitely not entitled to blowjobs either).”

Since when is acknowledging someone’s right to have control over their own body without shaming and insults a pat on the head?

And you’re the only one who seems to be saying this mythical man is entitled to blowjobs – but only if he gives you oral, natch.

“Sure, you have to respect his boundaries —”

You’re not respecting bounderies here – you’re pissing all over them and trying to inch across as the chalk smears.

“but that doesn’t mean you have to keep on having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you,”

Okay, respect doesn’t equal unmitigated access to anothers’ body.

“or that you have to keep your mouth shut as to why it’s offensive that he makes a gross-out face in response to your vagina.”

If anyone makes a gross out face at your crotch, by all means, lay into ’em. But not giving someone oral doesn’t = No Respect, No Love, No Consideration, No Lust.

“While you’re obligated not to pressure him,”

Ha! The hell you think you’ve been doing, respecting his bounderies?

“I think you are entitled to be like, “Well, we appear to be done here.””

If oral is a dealbreaker, yes, feel free to say that. In fact, if it’s a dealbreaker for you, I encourage you to make that known, right up front. Loudly and clearly. Preferably before you fuck.

Have a conversation or three first, it’ll help in the long run. Do everyone a favor, though, and quit promoting the guilt and the shaming of people of all genders into sexual acts they don’t, in fact, want to do. And quite with the hypersexualization of men meme while you’re at it.

“And I think you’re entitled to tell him that his vagina-phobia is why.”

Only if he says that’s why. Or, you know, if he makes rude remarks about your bits. But a simple “No, no thanks” to oral, and you want to reply with that?
That’s guilting and shaming and pressure, right there.

“Also, has there ever been a straight man in the history of straight men who refused to give oral sex but was also anywhere approaching decent in the sack? (Definitive, 100% correct answer: NO).”

Started with guilt and shame, ended with guilt and shame. Can’t say I’m surprised.

(and this post is coming from someone with a vagina and a serious oral fixation. My genitals shouldn’t seem to matter in this context, but apparently they do).

*There, fixed your continuing-to-erase-me error.

Poker Face

Posted in disabilities, homophobia, Not My Feminism, sex, Sexual Ethics, Trans on September 13, 2011 by arrogantworm

In Defense of Period Sex by Jill

Yes to everything in this column:

In defense of period sex from thought catelog

I think it’s weird when guys don’t want to have period sex (just to clarify, ‘period sex’ is when you have sex while a girl is ‘menstruating’ or ‘bleeding out of her vagina,’ in case you were wondering). Listen: I don’t think you should have to eat pussy when it’s leaking the red stuff, I don’t even think it’s necessary that you touch it with your hand (if you’re the queasy type it’s probably better if you don’t) but there are reasons why period sex is much less disgusting than you think.

See, I imagine the taste of blood isn’t so nice when it’s coming out of someone else’s genitals (even if you were the sort of kid that would graze themselves and then suck on the wound), hence why I can forgive a man for not wanting to go down on me while Aunty Flo’s in town. And I’m guessing any sort of digital action would probably lead to dirty sheets as his hands crept elsewhere in moments of passion, so I can sort of (only just) forgive him for not wanting to finger me when I’m on the rag. But sex? When your penis is covered in latex and you don’t have to taste it, look at it or touch it, no apologies, I don’t understand what the problem is.

The good news is, I’m pretty sure we’re all having period sex anyway.

I have met a grand total of one dude in my entire life who was like “no” on the period sex (for the record, he wasn’t saying no in the moment; it was a general conversation, not a negotiation). His reasoning was “it’s gross.” And when I stopped seeing him approximately 24 hours after that conversation, my reasoning was, “I don’t want to be with someone who thinks that a natural, healthy uterus-having body is gross.” Do you have a right to refuse to have period sex because you think bleeding vaginas be nasty? Of course. And do I have a right to leave your ass and think less of you because of that? You betcha. Because it does come down to misogyny, basically — most pre-menopausal people with uteruses and vaginas who are old enough to consent to sex bleed once a month. Vaginas do not exist as sterile, liquid-free penis receptacles (although I hear there’s a toy for that). Lots of healthy vaginas expel blood. And if you think that’s gross, well, maybe spend your naked extracurricular time with someone who is vagina-free (exception to the “you’re kind of a dick if you think periods are disgusting” rule: People who are universally freaked out by any kind of blood and just can’t handle the sight of it).

Basically, dudes who have sex with women and think period sex is disgusting are the brothers-in-badnews-sexytime with people who think oral sex is gross. Don’t like normally-functioning vaginas? Then you should be disallowed from fucking them.

Geeze, where to start. The post Jill lauds as “I agree with everything!” is, er. Rather Shite.

But don’t take my word for it, oh no. Go read it yourself. Now onto Jill’s post.

And when I stopped seeing him approximately 24 hours after that conversation, my reasoning was, “I don’t want to be with someone who thinks that a natural, healthy uterus-having body is gross.”

Yes, you’re perfectly within your right to dump anyone you like for any reason you like. Everyone else is in their right to do the same. They’re also within their ‘right’ (now that word has some major bagagge, wouldn’t you agree?) to consider you a douche (which actually – is – unhealthy for a body, so far as I know) for whatever reason, up to and including why you dumped them. It’s the old “You can do whatever you like with your actions (not speaking illegally here, like say, murder) but don’t expect me to agree with your reasoning.”

Which is what I think the heart of that ‘conversation’ on Feministe was really about, whether Jill meant to go there or not.

And when I stopped seeing him approximately 24 hours after that conversation, my reasoning was, “I don’t want to be with someone who thinks that a natural, healthy uterus-having body is gross.” Do you have a right to refuse to have period sex because you think bleeding vaginas be nasty? Of course. And do I have a right to leave your ass and think less of you because of that? You betcha.

Natural and healthy – thems fighting’ words. Jill (and everyone else in the feminist blogsphere (and everyone outside of it as well) already knows that. If not explicitely (in the feminist blogsphere) then definitely implicitely outside of it. How do people know this? Because they’re used to prop shit up and squash others. The words are ablist and cissexist/transphobic (because, yes, both). Do not argue the point – go read some 101 blogs if you’re unclear on the matter for any (repeat, any) reason at all.

The next bit in the sentence would be ‘uterus having body is gross’.

A reason (and not the only reason) that natural and healthy are Bad Words in general (if not in particular, depending on context) – Jill is now assuming uteruses that are Natural and Healthy bleed.

No, sorry. At my very best I bled for two days every other month. And not heavily, either. And then I’d go months without having a period and I’d forget I was ‘supposed’ to have one every month. That is me being ‘healthy’ and ‘natural’. It’s as healthy as I get. Unhealthy and unnatural for me would be bleeding, like, say – you do. Then I’d know something was wrong with how my body usually works and that something is most likely up to no good. Or at least, more No Good than it usually was.

I was also told I most likely have pcos (don’t worry, they’ll burst! when questioning the doctor about what to do about the pain of cysts). I brought this up because pcos is also a ‘natural system reaction’. It often happens without assistance from others, yes? Ergo, NATURAL!

Disabled people don’t exist unless you want to assume all our bodies and their functions are automatically horrible, horrible things if they’re not like yours – in which case you use ‘healthy’ and ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ to exclude us specifically so we can’t take part in a conversation that, by all other meanings, includes us. Defending such vocabulary with “It’s science!” is something I hear way to much of.
Do you understand yet?

When you have to live with something, particularly things that cause you physical or emotional pain on an extended and severe basis that you can do little to nothing about it’s often best not to think of yourself as unhealthy and unnatural. So kindly don’t use those words to describe anyone but yourself if you should so choose.

Have some fucking empathy.

N’so far, I see no definitive statements by Jill that says Cis Het Women and only cis het women bleed from uterus having, ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ vaginas. I’d just like to point that out, hey?

Anyway, the opposite of healthy and natural would be …unhealthy and unnatural. Not something you want to be describing people’s bodily functions as if you’re not describing your own. This point bears repeating.

Next bit

Do you have a right to refuse to have period sex because you think bleeding vaginas be nasty? Of course. And do I have a right to leave your ass and think less of you because of that? You betcha.

Yes, yes, and I have the right to think you’re being foolish in your blanket descriptions of why people wouldn’t want period sex. Not wanting to do something doesn’t automatically equal “Get the fuck away, your crotch be Nasty.” or any other body part.

The thing is, other people are also allowed to not be attracted to everything about your body, even if they’re your partners. Not being attracted also doesn’t equal disgusted. I’d like to point that out, as there seems to be a lot of misinformation about such things.

You forgot the part where they’re also allowed to ‘think less of you’ for such kicks to the curb.

(it might just be me, but does that sound like sexual pressuring to anyone else? Yes? Rape apologism? “Do this or I’ll leave you?”. As opposed to having a discussion about not wanting to do a sexual act? Because, and I’ll be blunt here, I consider every single “I’ll think less of you and leave if you don’t do what I want in bed” sexual coercion. There’s a ifference between ultimatums and discussions.) ;

“I’m not doing that and I’m not comfortable doing that.”

“Do you want to talk about it? Is there anything I can do?”

“No, nothing you can do, I don’t think. Rather not talk about it, really.”

Now comes another time for a discussion on Relationships between partners and what each needs and wants (and how they’re not always the same thing) out of the other. Compromises will be made – otherwise, no relationship. And no, no one claimed it’s easy to have these conversations. And yes, they often hurt. But it’s a damn sight better than being a deliberately coercive jackass.

But see, that second one? Much better than, say, Jills’ ….ideas. If I do say so myself. And I do.

You betcha. Because it does come down to misogyny, basically — most pre-menopausal people with uteruses and vaginas who are old enough to consent to sex bleed once a month. Vaginas do not exist as sterile, liquid-free penis receptacles (although I hear there’s a toy for that). Lots of healthy vaginas expel blood. And if you think that’s gross, well, maybe spend your naked extracurricular time with someone who is vagina-free (exception to the “you’re kind of a dick if you think periods are disgusting” rule: People who are universally freaked out by any kind of blood and just can’t handle the sight of it).

Mmmmm…….no. I’m still waiting on how not wanting to fuck someone on their period comes down to misogyny always. Which is what you meant by ‘basically’.

Oooooo, and then there’s the most pre-menopausal people with uteruses and vaginas who are old enough to consent to sex bleed once a month.

Most is not ‘all, and it’s incredibly unfair to exclude people who’re going through essentially the same thing to sit out a discussion that is also about them. Let’s see, people who don’t consider themselves either men or women and have a ‘regular’ period, people who don’t consider themselves either men or women and don’t have a ‘regular’ period but do have one, people who don’t consider themselves either men or woman and take hormones or birth control, so may occasionally have one but might not depending on the birth control, trans men on hormones, trans men not on hormones, trans men on birth control ….I’d also like to point out most trans people don’t get surgery or take hormones, be nice if you’d quit pretending they don’t exist. People may also not have regular ‘once a month’ periods due to disability, or may have them much more often than ‘once a month’. Women who do not (or don’t only) have sex with men (cis or trans). Pregnant people also exist – cissexual and transsexual. Your ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ not withstanding. That equals, what, at a minimum many, many thousands of people who suddenly match your criteria but yet aren’t apparently included on something that effects them.

I have to say, Danse Macabre, Danse!

And you move jerkily to the tune, too.


most pre-menopausal people with uteruses and vaginas who are old enough to consent to sex bleed once a month.

is not shorthand for ‘cissexual straight het women.”

No matter how much you wish it was.

Vaginas do not exist as sterile, liquid-free penis receptacles (although I hear there’s a toy for that).

I’ve yet to meet anyone that fucks women (cis or trans) that expects a steril, liquid free vagina. I’ve also yet to meet anyone that fucks anyone with a vagina to have it be steril and liquid free. Who the hell are you screwing, I wonder?


Now, a caveat – that doesn’t mean there’s automatically no shame involved with your own body (in this case genitalia) when someone doesn’t want to do something with you sexually that you would like. This goes for everyone. Intellectual acknowledgements hold not a candle to emotions. Unforunate but true. I’m well aware that people don’t consider my crotch steril and liquid free, particularly during sex. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had reactions to some snubs where I thought they were put off by the sheer amount of liquid that can be involved. Or, you know, other things, since differences between bodies are often large and varied. And you know, I don’t actually know what put them off. Was too embarrased to ask at the time, though I did have some conversations with them later about it. Still worried about it, actually.

That doesn’t, however, give me the authority to proclaim all the people who aren’t doing X with, in this case, my crotch is because they must be harboring deep seated feelings of misogyny against me.

I mean, come on.

Lots of healthy vaginas expel blood.

There’s that word ‘healthy’ again. Moving right past the Fail –

And if you think that’s gross, well, maybe spend your naked extracurricular time with someone who is vagina-free

You sound really, really homophobic. It sounds like your saying “Go fuck a (cis) Dude if you think pussys’ are gross. Y’faggot”.

It’s also cissexist/transphobic (because cissexism leads directly to transphobia) to assume anyone without a vagina shouldn’t be having sex with someone with one if they don’t want to have sex on someone’s period. It ignores lesbians, pansexuals and bisexuals** who also don’t want to have sex with someone else on their period.

(exception to the “you’re kind of a dick if you think periods are disgusting” rule: People who are universally freaked out by any kind of blood and just can’t handle the sight of it).

You don’t get to decide for people contrary to their own words on why they do or do not want to fuck you in a particular way. Disgust with something does not equal disgust for something, either. It might, but then, it might not. Your possible partners decide that. And while you can decide they’re being assholes you don’t get to make sweeping judgements about what their reasons really mean. You also don’t get to tell anyone (and be respected) what reasons they’re allowed to have for not fucking you.

Thanks for playing.

And now, to some of the comments!

Most of the commenters (and Jill) insisted the post was meant only to include and be for cissexual het women fucking cissexual het men. I suspect mandatory monogamy was included as well, considering all the objections were brushed under the rug via spam filter.

Like Trans people who have / have had sex with people who may bleed and women who fuck women. When it was pointed out that they were being ablist, cissexist/transphobic, homophobic, et cetera and so forth, people were roundly mocked, informed that the word ‘privilige’ was now null and void because “You use it too much!” and banned.


Can you maybe let us into the clubhouse long enough to discuss the topic?

How can you continue to insist that this is only a cis het couple problem?”

Nobody has insisted that. What people, including myself, have said, is that this article is about this particular dynamic as it occurs between men and women in hetero relationships. I really don’t see how discussing a problem that straight cis women often encounter problems with misogyny in their relationships with men “silences” anybody.

No. It wasn’t listed between men and women. Jills post excluded the words men and women (specifically, as she reiterated at least twice in the upthread comments – though she did it really badly) except at the bitter end. If you’re under the impression that people with vaginas who bleed (past, present or future), and have partners who’re men will under no exception ever experience mysogyny (yes, misogyny – not only a thing directed at cis women!) about periods and sex, think again. Which is, incidentally, the whole point of the post. Mysogyny, periods and sex. <i>There is no problem that only effects cisexual heterosexual women. Or if there is, I’m not seeing it. So if anyone knows what one is, Do Tell.

To reframe this, if men went through menses instead of women, ie. they bled from their penis’ as we women do from our vaginas, I would not want to have intercourse with them during their menses. I would find it gross. Would that make me a “man hater”?”

“Damn. If men went through menses, there would be a goddamn celebration every fucking time some dude got his period; it would be a prerequisite for the priesthood (after all, if you don’t bleed, how can you hope to understand the suffering of Jesus?) (and I tip my hat to Gloria Steinem, here). We wouldn’t even be talking about whether or not it was gross to have sex with men during their periods, because the cultural discourse would valorize menstruation.

Last I checked, people’re still willfully ignoring men with periods who date anyone, least of all other men, and the mysogyny that can come along with it. You’re also ignoring trans people in general with periods (past, present and future) who also date men. Again. Or anyone who dates someone with a period, for that matter. Perpetuating mysogyny is hardly the niche of cis men. Not, mind, that I consider people automatically mysogynist if they don’t want to do any particular act with me (or anyone else).


So who the fuck is keeping you out? Have your comments been deleted?

Funny you should ask that. Why did you ask that? It’s not like I could, say, answer you there when I’ve gotten sent to the Abyss. But now that you mention it. Yes, they have been deleted. Two of them. They were in moderation for a couple of hours (I’m a big fan of F5) and suddenly “Poof!”

Away they went. They didn’t come back, as you can plainly not-see. I can even point out where they were supposed to be located. What I can’t do is retrieve them.

MadGastronomer 9.4.2011 at 10:49 pm

This whole thing is just disgraceful. People are actually insisting that there is no erasure of anybody because they were erased in the first post. People are trying to silence any mention of the silencing. This is some shitty damn feminism, erasing women, and trying to define what women are, while insisting that that’s not what’s going on at all. This is why Feministe’s reputation has gone so far downhill.

Ain’t it just. While I agree with that paragraph of yours, it’s going rather badly with the bit about women, because the women and misogyny in your paragraph excerpt isn’t including a good chunk of the people who’re getting ignored. Trans men, trans people who aren’t men, and mysogyny (specifically with regards to periods.)* You might want to seperate them, looks like they’re running together with your subsequent paragraphs. Also, while I identify as female I do not identify as a woman. Not even remotely. Not everyone who deals with the issue (vaginas bleeding + sex + misogyny) will agree to camping in the ‘woman’ box just because they’re not men. I am glad y’didn’t leave out women who have sex with women, though. That’s just a bit of an awkward paragraph.

* Because trans women also experience mysogyny (obviously), including misogyny for not having periods. Biological essentialism is shitty. Make a note.

………And now, on to a post that Feministe would do well to emulate. Including the comments section, where people disagree without resorting to willful erasure and everyone is allowed to speak!

Fancy That!

From No Seriously, What About the Menz,

With my own excerpts comments added, they’re not in the original comments thread – I’m afraid I found it a bit late.

BlackHumor says:
September 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm
I think the problem with Jill’s post is that she did not sufficiently disconnect those two, and so she was talking about disgust for period sex when she really should have been talking about disgust for periods.

Yes! Thank you! The action is not the object! And boy, does there need to be discussion on bodily functions for everyone’s bits.

Schala says:
September 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm
“And, further, I think a guy would have every right to be upset if such a women was about to have sex with him until she got his pants off, and then reacted disgusted and left. ”

Ahem. When it comes to trans people, people seem to think that your surgical status should almost be public knowledge. Because OMG if a guy saw me as a girl and then saw I had a (pretty small) penis instead of a vulva, he might go berserk. Well, it’s not supposed to be my problem you know – but even feminists will say that I should have disclosed, and basically victim-blame trans people on that basis.

That. Very Much That. There’s a difference between not wanting to have sex with someone for whatever reason and reacting as a rude ass. If anyone’s ever in that situation where they change their mind about sex because their partners’ pants came off, try apologizing. “I’m sorry, it’s me. I had preconceptions about you that I shouldn’t’ve had, and I didn’t think to ask first.” Yes, it’ll still most likely hurt like hell, but at least you’ll be a decent human being. And an honest one.

Xakudo says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm
The thing that most bothers me about the DTMFA meme isn’t that it’s saying to dump the guy, it’s that it is doing so in a highly pejorative way. So it’s not that these women feel entitled to break up with these men (which, of course, they are), they also feel entitled to insult and shame them (which they aren’t).

Xakudo says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm
Apparently I suck at commenting today. That was to Thomas, not Tamen.

(And incidentally, I find it terribly amusing that a feminist site like Feministe is using “mother fucker” as a derogatory. Because, you know, having sex with a woman who has children is such a horrible, horrible thing…)

Is insult and shame the basis of coercion? Why Yes, I do believe it is! And yeah, motherfucker does seem to be terribly, er. Derogatory.

Schala says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to conclude that the bad reaction has got something to do with Tamen (or possibly zuzu), not something to do with Feministe.”

Not with Tamen being assumed to be male?

I’m reminded of the meme “You must be one of those nasty ——- if you don’t agree with the monolithic Us!”

Valerie Keefe says:
September 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm
@Zakudo And, further, I think a guy would have every right to be upset if such a women was about to have sex with him until she got his pants off and discovered he had a foreskin, and then reacted disgusted and left.

I agree wholeheartedly. Where were you a couple weeks ago when people were saying that was a legitimate ‘sexual orientation’?

Oh wait, right, that only applies to trans people.

I’m posting about that complete and utter mess of a thread next.

Hugh Ristik says:
September 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm
“Being disgusted by an ordinary, functioning male body is misandrist, yes.”

Dear Females of the Species,

My ordinary, functioning male Body is a divine thing. But, contrary to popular belief, you are not required to like everything that cometh forth from my Body. You are not required to like the taste of my Semen and Sperm, and you are entitled to be disgusted by my Semen and Sperm crusting on your face. You my respect my Penis in ways that do not require you to take my Ejaculate into your mouth and stomach. You may respect my Smegma from a distance, if Its power if too great for your tongue.

Now, go forth and suck, or do not suck, on the Penes of Men free of feelings of Misandry.

Oh come on, it was amusing.

dungone says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm
@BlackHumor, if that’s the case then I stand by Tamen. Nowhere did Jill clarify anything to my satisfaction and I did not see anywhere on that thread where people who were offended by her coercive remarks felt that she had addressed them. Where in the thread did Jill say, “oh, sorry for implying that you’re gay unless you fuck my bleeding pussy?” Nowhere. Shaming someone for not doing what you want them to do is coercive. She tried to limit what she meant down to, you know, those guys who we all know who they are, the ones who won’t eat her pussy because they hate women, not the rest of the guys who won’t eat her vagina because, you know… something. That didn’t help her cause, IMO.

dungone says:
September 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm
The way Jill backpedaled in the comment thread reminds me of politicians who, after making a racist comment, defend themselves by saying, “I didn’t mean all black people, just the bad ones that cause these problems. I have black friends…”

Jill botched the entire post and the appropriate response would have been to retract it in its entirety and actually accept some of the criticism that she received, instead of continuing to defend it and claiming that all the people who were offended by it were making a mistake.

Seconded for truth. Me, bitter?


Well, maybe a little.

Glaivester says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm
I think as Sagredo pointed out up above, the problem with Jill’s post was not her assertion that you have a right to break up with someone who does not want to perform sex acts that are important to you.

The problem is that the way she stated it was very insulting toward people who do not want to perform those sex acts. She automatically sets it up as “if he won’t do X he’s in the wrong, you are in the right, dump his rear end!” rather than “if he won’t do X and X is really important to you, maybe you two are just not compatible and you need to realize this; if it’s a dealbreaker, you need to break up.” I think she introduces hostility and combativeness into a situation that can be resolved without it.

Yes! It’s called discussion! More people need to practice it.

Brett K says:
September 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm
Glaivester, I agree with most of your points. The way Jill phrased her posts was far from tactful, and, as far as I can tell, not particularly well thought-out. I tend to assume good faith and I honestly believe that she felt she was just making an offhand, snarky comment without realizing the impact that it would have, and that your second quoted statement is closer to what she intended than your first. On the other hand, that doesn’t change the fact that what she said hurt a lot of people, and she does deserve to be criticized for that, even if I think she is awesome 99% of the time.

On the other hand, I am getting kind of sick of people comparing menstruation with urination or defecation. Menstruation is not something that occurs in private for a few minutes each day. It is an extended process that occupies a good portion of most ciswomen’s lives. We menstruate while going to school or work, socializing, playing sports, arguing with people on the internet, and yes, even having sex. That’s why I brought up the pregnancy analogy – it’s a bodily process that may freak you out, but it’s something that many of us live with at certain times. We can’t ignore it, and we have to live our lives anyway. Treating us like we are gross at those times is unfair and misogynistic (given that it is mostly female-assigned people who experience menstruation and pregnancy).

Scratch out cis woman and insert ‘about half the population, ’round 52 percent, give or take.’ and you’d be more accurate about people and their bodily functions. Most afab trans people don’t take testosterone or have surgery. What, you think they’re all celibate, don’t menstruate and childless? And you’re also ignoring trans people who do. It’s not that hard to include us in a conversation. Really it isn’t. I also think you might be confusing the general, incredibly childish loathing adults have for bodily functions (the ‘Ew, cooties!” kind) verse having sex with someone whose having their period. It’s definitely sexist.

Xakudo says:
September 8, 2011 at 12:36 am
@Brett K:
I just want it to be respected, and part of that respect is, to me, not saying that I am disgusting and unfuckable 1/4 of the time. I do, in fact, think that everyone is entitled to that.

Not sure I would say entitled, but I absolutely agree with the sentiment.

I had a girlfriend that almost seemed afraid to put my dick anywhere near her mouth. I never pushed, and I was always respectful. She hardly ever gave me oral. In retrospect, feeling like my dick was this scary thing to her was really harmful to my sense of self, and reinforced already prominent messages in my mind that my (male) sexuality was toxic and damaging to others.

So I totally get where Jill is coming from.

She just comes across as an entitled asshole, is all, thanks to her rampant and prominent shaming tactics. Her post reeks of the toxic “You should count yourself lucky to be down there at all!” attitude I have seen from some women. I would feel a lot better about her if she amended her position in a way that acknowledges that people being squicked by menstrual blood or being uncomfortable with oral sex doesn’t make them misogynists or otherwise bad people, for example.

I do agree with the sentiment. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a possible sentiment for individuals with regards to everyone as a possible sexual partner, as opposed to humanity thinking it about humanity as a whole. Not everyone will want to do everything with everybody – it’s a moot point. However, I do think everyone can agree that just because they don’t find something attractive that it doesn’t mean any single individual (or a group as a whole) is unfuckable because of a specific action their bodies take. Just because one person doesn’t want to do something doesn’t mean someone else won’t want to, and I’m pretty sure everyone can agree on that. Can’t possibly be unfuckable if some people don’t care. And I’m pretty sure it’s a kink for somebody. That doesn’t mean that the people who do care about sex on periods think you, yourself are disgusting just because they don’t want to have sex with you on your period. You are not your menses.

Toysoldier says:
September 8, 2011 at 1:23 am
Brett K, I do not see how finding a particular sex act or bodily function disgusting means that a person does not respect your body. More so, no one is entitled to have their body liked or accepted. Same goes for sex acts that a person may like. That is what I meant by worshiping. It sounds like some people want everyone to think their bodies, everything that comes out of them , and everything they do with them is teh awesome, but no one has to think that. People are allowed to find things gross even if other people disagree.

…………….A.W. cut for length———–

As for comparing menstruation to urinate and defecation, the comparison is accurate as menstruation is essentially the removal of bodily waste. That it happens for an extended period of time really does not change anything. Humans have a natural disgust for human waste regardless of what hole it comes out of. It is pure coincidence that only women expel this particular waste.

Forgetting trans people again….

f. says:
September 8, 2011 at 7:48 am
@ titfortat, I agree with you on this. People should be straightforward about their desires and what they enjoy doing. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s no nuance in between totally loving a sex act and completely rejecting it… in fact, the come swallowing analogy is one I’m actually kinda on board with. There’s a difference between “YES PLEASE COME IN MY MOUTH” and “eh, if it turns you on I’ll swallow it, just make sure there’s a glass of water by the bed as a chaser” but both of those attitudes are a totally OK approach. As is “look, I don’t swallow”.

I think what people have a hard time with, is that it’s alright for someone to love period sex, it’s alright for someone to tolerate period sex / do it for their partner’s sake, and it’s alright for someone to not like it at all (If you faint at the sight of blood… please don’t try to soldier through…) And yet on the other side, it’s completely ok for someone to reject a person who is not enthusiastic about the same stuff they’re enthusiastic about.
Titfortat says:
September 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

But lets be honest here, do we actually think reasonable people reject someone they supposedly love for not doing just one sex act? I think not, and Jill is disingenuous at best for implying that.

Actually, I don’t have a hard time with that. That also, however, depends on your definition of ‘enthusiasm’. There’s quite a few problems with the “Yes means yes!” discourse, and that’s one of them. Here’s a reason why, one you probably haven’t heard before. Which is fine, as I myself heard it only a couple of weeks ago, tops.

Stay with me here.

Apparently asexual means ‘does not experience sexual attraction.” Not “Does not like sex” or “Does not love people.” or “Doesn’t find pleasure in any of the five senses with a partner”.

Apparently I had the wrong definition of asexual previously, because I’m it. I’ve had a total of 4 definitely erotic dreams in my thirty years – and three of them contained absolutely no sex. They all contained physical feeling, and the one that did contain sex I had because I just started wellbutrin and ‘weird dreams’ were a side effect. I’ve also never orgasmed with a partner (although I can come by myself, oddly enough, although the orgasming thing is a personal hangup we’re working through). And it isn’t because the sex isn’t any good. I enjoy giving pleasure and I enjoy receiving pleasure. None of that is dependant on whether I find someone sexually attractive. ‘Enthusiasm’, or part of it, apparently revolves around finding your partners’ body sexually attractive. As opposed to giving and receiving pleasure and enjoying your senses. So I’ve more than a bit of a problem with the definition of ‘enthusiasm’ most people are using.

Brett K says:
September 8, 2011 at 9:40 am


no one is entitled to have their body liked or accepted

Sure, not by your average person on the street. I think we are all entitled to have our bodies liked and accepted by our sexual partners. That’s kind of the point of having a sexual partner, isn’t it? People are allowed to find things gross, sure, but people are also allowed to want, and to seek out, a partner who actually likes their body, and to leave someone who doesn’t.

If you only engage in one sex act, then I suppose it is fair to dump the person who will not do it. If you engage in lots of sex acts and a person refuses to do your favorite, it is rather shallow to dump them because it is not as if you cannot do other things.

What if someone can only orgasm from oral sex? That’s the case for a lot of women. Or, hell, what if oral sex is just really really important to someone? Do you honestly think that’s not legitimate? Because this is really starting to sound like one of those “shaming tactics” you dudes are always going on about.

speaking of which…


But lets be honest here, do we actually think reasonable people reject someone they supposedly love for not doing just one sex act? I think not, and Jill is disingenuous at best for implying that.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable. Would you think it was unreasonable for a guy to break up with his girlfriend if she refused to have intercourse? That’s just one sex act, after all.

I wouldn’t think it unreasonable. But intercourse isn’t one sex act, nor is het sex the only definition of intercourse.


lol, I have totally gotten a nosebleed while making out. It was horrible.

Obviously there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to stick your penis in a bloody vagina. But not all sex is PIV, and often the blood can be kept more or less out of sight (hooray DivaCup!). Not that you have to have period sex one way or another, but a menstruating vagina is really not nearly as gross as some people here seem to think it is (and my uterine lining is not poo, seriously, can we stop that).

elementary_watson says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm
@ozy: While I don’t think that a woman wanting/needing (for some definition of “needing”, IIRC some feminists are rather sceptical about men talking about their sexual needs) oral sex do so because they feel insecure about their genitalia, I *did* get a vibe from Jill’s comments that her thought process went like “culture tells women to have issues with perfectly normal, healthy vaginas; a man refusing to perform oral sex on his partner reinforces these toxic messages, which is why those men should be considered unfuckable by all women,” taking women’s insecurities about their vaginas as a given.

typhonblue says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm
@ Brett

“You know women urinate too, right?”

Then it’s misogynist too!

You know if people want to think guys who are okay with period sex are awesome, I’m fine with that. (Hell, it means I get another reason to consider my husband the most awesome man ever.) But saying there’s something wrong with guys(and they deserve to be labeled social outcasts) who don’t is like saying there’s something wrong with girls who don’t swallow or who dislike having a guy’s cum on them or don’t like to give blow jobs or whatever.

Maybe they just don’t like it. It’s possible not to like something for no other reason then you don’t like it.

As for the orgasm issue, there is a not-insignificant number of men who can’t orgasm through PiV intercourse too. Does that mean the women who are partnered with them are obligated to provide them whatever sexual act does cause them to orgasm?

Orgasm is not the be all and end all of sex, people.

machina says:
September 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm
I don’t agree with the last paragraph of the OP. I don’t expect anyone to do things they’re not interested in and I don’t want to be expected to do things I’m not interested in either.

doubletrack says:
September 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm
@typhonblue “As for the orgasm issue, there is a not-insignificant number of men who can’t orgasm through PiV intercourse too. Does that mean the women who are partnered with them are obligated to provide them whatever sexual act does cause them to orgasm?”

No, it means that they can end relationships in which women won’t do any of the acts which can make them orgasm and not be “unreasonable”, which was the point being argued.

f. says:
September 9, 2011 at 3:42 am
Hah, dungone, I think maybe I should’ve been clearer about the time horizon involved. In the past I’ve given it about 3 – 4 months for communication about sex to get clearer. Plus, this is such a two-way street. I’ve tried some interesting stuff in the name of helping guys realize their fantasies, so I feel it’s only right for my partner to do the same for me. That kind of openness in general has been a good filter for guys who have a different philosophy on sex, so I have actually never had to deliver the “I am dumping you because of no oral” speech.

I’d say this philosophy only works if both partners are familiar with what works for them, too, and the ins and outs of their bodies in re: what can cause the delicate and precious pH balance in one’s most intimate Georgia O’Keefe painting to take a nose dive, and such. Or are willing to figure it out together. One of my saddest breakups was with a hot Russian mathematics student who got me Nabokov books as a birthday present, but had trouble orgasming a lot of the time and refused, absolutely refused, to change anything about the sex we were having together, go see a urologist, countenance the idea he might be using a death grip while masturbating, you get the picture. He was super dissatisfied with sex but didn’t believe it could change at all. THAT is the attitude I can’t live with, in a nutshell.

As for the Italian lace dilemma, well, that is why the phrase “let me slip into something more comfortable” was invented

Xakudo says:
September 10, 2011 at 5:14 am
Amen to your list.


There’s some women who I would have never gone down on, sometimes I don’t even know why I feel that way, it just is how it is.

I had an experience like that, but it was more a gradual thing that came up with one partner due to ways that she was treating me. I felt totally broken, because normally I love giving oral (even on periods), and yet it got to the point with her where it felt like a chore. A chore I felt icky about.

It was amazing when I found my next sexual partner, and I realized I was back to myself again. I love giving oral. Fucking love it.

Perhaps one of the reason’s Jill’s oral post bugs me is because it reminds me of some of those attitudes of that ex of mine. Maybe other people are different, but for me it’s like… if you’ve gotten to the point with a partner where you’re thinking in those terms, then it’s kind of a lost cause anyway, because at that point you’re part of the problem too. Sex isn’t a competitive sport (…unless you’re into that kind of thing).

Tamen says:
September 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Because even if the reason for a person’s aversion for period sex is misogynistic it is still a big no-no to pressure him into having it. Two wrongs do not make a right.

All this other discussions around menstruation blood’s consistency and smell, whether it is comparable with semen or not or if people are shallow or not for breaking up over an issue and so on are just red herrings.

Tamen says:
September 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm
An ultimatium is always coercion by intention. Although a low level coercion. One use ultimatiums because that is the only way or the fastest way to persuade someone. It is often used when a pro-argumentation does not succeed. It is persasion by might in the form of a threat which will be put in effect by the one putting forth the ultimatium in case of non-compliance. An ultimatium without a plausible and effective threat is laughable.

The question is rather; when is low-level coercion acceptable?

A hard question for which I have no clear answers, but I would be really careful to put it into any sexual settings or settings which may cause harm to the other person. No person is harmed by doing the laundry even if they don’t really want to, but a person may be harmed by doing a sex act they don’t really want to do.

What kind of person Jill is beside the fact that she broke rule 3 I don’t have neither much knowledge or opinion about. Rule 3 address an integral part of rape culture – people’s right to say no to sex have long been undermined by calling them names when they exercise that right.

Brett K says:
September 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm
I think that all of these situations could potentially be dealbreakers for some people. I don’t get to decide for someone whether or not they should stay in a relationship; I only get to decide for me. If someone hates nose-pickers, they should probably break up with me, because anyone who gets involved with me is going to see me pick my nose at some point. If someone called me (or a dude version of me, let’s say) a pervert or pedo, I would definitely break up with them. If someone refused to have period sex? Eh, that depends, and I’ve never been in that situation so I couldn’t say. In any case, I don’t think anyone is shallow for choosing not to remain in a relationship with someone, even if I personally don’t particularly like that reason. They’re just a different person with different priorities, and everyone involved would probably be worse off if they stayed.

(I just got dumped, by the way, for what I consider to be a pretty dumb reason, and I STILL respect everyone’s right to choose to end a relationship for any reason.)

I guess the other thing is, when does something become coercive, when sex is involved? Asking isn’t coercive, obviously. Saying “please” isn’t. Nagging is, most of the time. Saying “Hey, this is really important to me and I don’t know if I can be in a relationship without it, so we probably need to figure out some kind of compromise” – I don’t know, but is it worse than “Hey, this is really important to me and I know you’re not up for it, so we’re over”

Tamen says:
September 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm
“Hey, this is really important to me and I don’t know if I can be in a relationship without it, so we probably need to figure out some kind of compromise”

is not an ultimatum, it’s a call for negotiations about a compromise. Not a bad thing at all – unless you actually don’t intend to compromise. If that’s the case then the negotiations for a compromise will quickly devolve into an ultimatum.

Ultimatums preclude compromises.

typhonblue says:
September 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm
@ Brett

“There’s also the fact that women’s sexual desires are often ignored or written off.”

I think men’s sexual desires outside of PiV intercourse (or the idea that a lot of men don’t get off from PiV intercourse) are often ignored or actively stigmatized.

Wanting oral sex seems to be seen as being a disgusting sexual imposition on a woman and/or a way of dominating her. Wanting anal sex is the same as wanting oral sex except ten times worse. Wanting a hand job instead of PiV sex is rarely addressed because in the stereotypical sex acts hierarchy, men prefer PiV to hand jobs, blow jobs to PiV and anal to everything else.

And that’s not even getting into the stigma attached to nipple play, foreskin play(if he has one) or anal play(on the guy).

Looking from the outside in the Man Sex Script is: Get Hard, no matter what, PiV for as long as possible(hopefully till she orgasms), Get Off, no matter what. If she doesn’t orgasm, it’s your fault; if you don’t orgasm it’s your fault. If she doesn’t get wet, it’s your fault; if you don’t get hard, it’s your fault.

In this sense the Standard Sex Script, while defined by a male orgasm, is really more defined by the idea that men don’t have the right not to orgasm.

f. says:
September 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm
Well, Brett, if you ask me there are really narratives for each gender that suggest we should all be downplaying sexual desire. For women there’s the whole “ladies only have sex to keep a man, they don’t actually like it” thing, and for men there’s the “too driven by sexual desire, prone to exploiting partners” thing. Like, yes, people do need to be careful that they aren’t pressuring a partner to perform sex acts that partner isn’t into… but at the same time, there is simply nothing wrong with wanting a satisfying sex life, articulating one’s desires, and taking steps to find compatible partners. Plus it’s not like you can just un-expand your horizons.

Part of what might help square this circle is the fact that people don’t universally like or dislike the same stuff. I would definitely not stay with a guy who is unwilling to give oral, because it’s a big part of sex for me. But, I’ve heard from enough women who can’t get off from oral at all, and are completely indifferent to it. Men who have a difficult time with giving oral sex are probably well advised to find a woman who isn’t particularly into it.

This is where I thought the Feministe posts went off the rails… So all men should be willing to give head, and have period sex, but women have the option of being passionate about, indifferent to, or completely uninterested in, receiving oral and having sex during our periods? Umm, pretty sure people naturally have diverse preferences, and we’re best off looking for someone whose preferences overlap with ours to a large extent.

Well hello there

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2011 by arrogantworm

It’s Spring Fall cleaning this year. I’d like you all to give a round of applause to Lucy, who made it possible for me to actually sign in to anything with a password again. Lucy’s blog’ll be over there somewheres once I update. Soonish. Promise.

“Rigorous Applause”

There’s a post tomorrow. I also seem to have been banned from Feministe. I’m (admittedly) slightly irritated, but not particularly surprised at this point. The sites’ been on its way to hell in a handbasket for quite a while now.  Some of the guest posters’ pieces are Quite Good – which is why I’m surprised they’ve agreed to write there, and the only reason I still drop by every once in a while.

I …dislike being dropped in the spam folder. So I wrote a post with both my deleted comments. (I actually had three deleted, but as I’ve never been shoved in spam before, nor had anyone there ever, including in the post in question, accused me of being disingenious / a troll, for some godforsaken reason I didn’t think to copy my comment beforehand. So now it’s lost to the ether. Worked hard on it, too. Piss, moan and whine.

But yes, Fall cleaning. Blogs and such will be updated within the next week.