Filed under: Feminism, Sex | Tags: authenticity, female sexuality, Feminism, respect, sex and culture, sexuality, slut shaming, sluts, women
I just wanted to share a quote from an awesome article that you should totally read.
“Anytime we equate fewer sex partners or monogamy or any “vanilla” sexual practice with being more respectable, we reinforce the idea that the people whose sexual desires are outside those boundaries have to trade their sexual authenticity in order to be accepted. I would much rather choose who to respect based on how they treat themselves and other people, which certainly doesn’t have to correlate with the kinds of sex or how many partners they have.”
Filed under: Art, Feminism | Tags: comic, Feminism, feminist comic, self esteem, webcomic
Oh hey! So I did a new comic over at sighfive.com called “Self Esteem”. Click the image below to be taken to the entire comic (this is just one panel from a larger comic).
Filed under: Feminism, Porn, Sex | Tags: Feminism, Porn, Sex, sex positive feminism, sexiness
Most critics of sex-positive feminism have not bothered to figure out what sex-positivity is.
It’s not the giggling, hair-twirling exclamation of “it’s feminist to be sexayyy!” It’s really not. I’m not going to defend that strawman. (I also think it’s funny how often I get accused of being a Hooters-girl-bot, when I’m about the least Hooters-looking-person ever.)
Nor is it the demand that everyone be sexy or have sex. Nor is it the claim that everything that involves sex is beyond criticism. Nor is it the suggestion that sex will fix all the problems of feminism.
Instead, sex-positivity is the belief that sex and sexiness are… okay. It’s the belief that people shouldn’t be judged by the sex they have. It’s the belief that consent matters and social norms do not. It’s the belief that porn and erotica are valid media of expression (not that the current porn industry is hunky-dory, cause it’s not) and that sex work ought to be just work (not that it currently is). It’s the belief that neither “slut” nor “prude” should be an insult. It’s the belief that every sexual and gender identity is valid.
Sex-positivity is, in a nutshell, the belief in sexual freedom as a key component of women’s freedom and of having a better world in general.
If you want to argue with that belief, we can talk. But if you want to argue with “everyone should be a Hooters girl because showing men your boobies is like totally the most feministical choice!” you’re not really arguing with me. I just think that I’m in no position to judge Hooters girls or assume that they’re dimwits, sexists, or helpless victims because of what they do for a living.
Read the entire article here.
Because I’m still struggling with my RSI and cannot write much, I really like some of the stuff on The Pervocracy blog because her opinions are often reasonably similar to mine.
Filed under: Feminism, Sex | Tags: bdsm, d/s, Feminism, kinky sex, pro domme, sex positive, sex work
A friend of mine and woman who I admire very much, Mistress Avika, wrote an article recently that I really enjoyed and asked if I could repost here. She was generous enough to oblige and so you’re lucky enough to be able to hear her intelligent, informed and interesting point of view.
Sex worker Verses Pro Domme: “She’s just a hooker with a Whip”
By Mistress Avika.
Sex is a touchy subject around professional Dominas, Mistresses and ‘old school’ slaves. It is frequently said that Mistresses who have sex with their slaves, bottoms, subs or erotic adventurers are not real Dommes. That a woman who does that is “just a hooker with a whip” and can’t possibly also deeply understand other reasons for engaging in BDSM. I disagree.
This issue arises from a complex set of ideas and opinions that has its basis in some real and valid ideas as well as some outdated sexism and sex negative prejudice. I seek ways to honor the valid reasons at the same time recognise and address the limiting and unhelpful aspects of the anti-sex and anti sex worker attitude.
There are many different states of consciousness, states of embodied pleasure, release and sensation that are possible. Different techniques and intentions result in different results. One is not inherently more valuable than any other. It all depends on what you want to experience.
For folk right into our BDSM(Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) fetishes and D/s (Dominant/Submissive) explorations, the goal of our activities is often a particular state of consciousness called subspace and/or topspace. These forms of play can be about eroticism but it is not necessarily about overt eroticism and might not be about eroticism at all. The focus is in the state of consciousness that can be achieved through these activities and exploration of the pleasure, intensity, transformation, deep peace, trust, intimacy and plain old fun these states can evoke.
Traditional, penetrative sex could in fact hinder the person attempting to access these particular mind /body states of being because it releases different chemicals in the body, guides the mind down a different route to a different destination and if ejaculation is involved, can cut short the powerful journey created by all the other activities. For many people, cumming breaks the spell of subspace /top space.
BDSMers, fetishists and power exchange players (here on shortened to the umbrella term “kinksters”) have traditionally faced a lot of prejudice and misunderstanding throughout history. When outsiders come along, they frequently think we are sick and misunderstand what it is we are trying to achieve with these seemingly perverted and extreme activities. On the other extreme outsiders become fascinated and want to join in. Initially they assume it is all about traditional sex and “horniness” and have never in considered the other possible reasons for engaging in these activities. This can be a source of frustration to kinksters because these new comers are often pulling in a different direction to us and making all sorts of false assumptions about what is on offer.
As a pro Domme I am flooded with enquiries that misunderstand the intent of what I am offering and assume that it is all about “kinky sex”. It would be easy for me to become frustrated and put those people down for “not getting it” but really, what is actually wrong with enjoying, actively exploring and delighting in “kinky sex”? I sure like it! It’s just another option on the menu for me to explore, savour and revel in. Some folk that initially come to me for Kinky sex, end up exploring other states they didn’t know existed and therefore could never have asked for. Others remain delighted to explore all the kinds of forbidden sex they have never had an opportunity to experience with anyone else.
I believe that a lot of the tension between those into kinky sex and those into exploring subspace/topspace for its own sake, is based on constant misunderstanding of the intent of what one is trying to achieve. The reason people engage in kinky sex is different to the reason that kinksters engage in BDSM for its own sake. If you use certain tools or activities and have certain intents, you get one kind of mind/body result. If you use another set of tools, activities and intents, you get a different mind/body result. One is not inherently more valuable or “better” than the other. Both are different options and both are valid in their own right. Not just valid, but deeply pleasurable and rich sources of ecstatic living.
It is not useful when exploring a sex positive, femme-empowered place to assume that all sex workers are victims that don’t enjoy what they do and are inherently degraded because they have sex for money with clients. Sex work may not be something that you could or should do but that does not mean all of us are wired the same as you. No doubt there are as many opinions on this topic are there are people so I shall just stick to my perspective.
I do many different things. I am a pro Domme who guides people into a variety of different states of consciousness in body and mind. Some are overtly erotic and others ecstatic… still others are a deep quieting of the mind… others intense adrenalin pumping highs… or about transformation and self discovery… some about submission… some about “getting off”… because guess what! “Getting off” is FUN! This idea that getting off is not as noble a goal as the others is based in an assumption that pleasure and play for delights sake is somehow wrong, less valuable than “serious” intents and adds to the cycle of sex-shame our culture has nursed for millennia.
I’ve had enough shame about sex drilled into me from an uber religious upbringing, anti sex feminists, cultural fear of sexually powerful women and dominant ideas about how sex work is inherently degrading to women. Indeed how sex itself is inherently degrading to women and just the act of engaging in sex means the woman is being submissive. After all, only men want sex right? Women like it when they are in the “honeymoon” period of a romantic relationship but that wears off right? Then women use it to “get stuff” like a nice house, their way in an argument or a new perfume… The worst of these are sex workers who clearly only do it to get money… it is just assumed that men want sex more than women do and to “give it to him” is about his pleasure, not hers. Especially if it is particularly dirty sex. Oh and then there are the positions women naturally get in for sex… Unless she is on top, those positions are inherently submissive right?
I can’t speak for other women but when I close my eyes and search deep into my body and mind, strip back cultural expectations, assumptions and politics to search my authentic being for answers, I find that I feel very powerful when engaging in sex of all kinds. I love what I do. I love being a sex worker, a teacher of the erotic arts who guides people into deeper relationships with their shame-free ability to experience limitless erotic pleasure… I also love my work as a pro Domme who facilitates journeys into submission and other kinky altered states. I also really love having good old fashioned sexy fun with open minded, respectful clients. Fun for fun’s sake rocks my boat too. I do not value one path over the other.
The key is to be very clear about what it is that each client is trying to achieve and what I want to achieve with each client. I choose the tools, activities and intents together with the client in order to best achieve the desired outcome based on their particular wiring and our combined dynamic. I do not engage in activities I do not want to. If I feel inside myself and it feels wrong, I don’t do it. If a client is not respectful, I do not offer them a session. I do not accept every client that asks me for a session. I ensure that we are matched first. Otherwise I recommend another professional who they may be more suited to skills, goals and personality-wise.
Working this way has lead me to develop some intense and mutually beneficial professional relationships with clients that have opened and changed us both. I cannot tell you how incredibly delicious it is to be part of someone’s erotic and/or BDSM journey. That moment when someone slips into a new state of being that rises from deep within their authenticity through a session I have created for them… OH. MY. GODDESS! I cannot imagine a more rewarding way to spend my time on this planet. (Of course as part of my “work” I constantly explore my own ability for erotic and ecstatic pleasure… oh poor me! Such a victim!)
As a professional, I am not replacing the intimacy of a romantic relationship. That is not my role. My role is to explore, teach and facilitate certain experiences utalising my highly trained skillset. The result is different to that of the kinds of play I engage in with a romantic partner and for me, one is not a threat to the other. For me, engaging in sex outside of fluid bonded, romantic, intimacy does not take from the sex in my romantic relationships at all. In fact, it really adds to it because having a career and spiritual path dedicated to erotic exploration means I constantly feed the fires of my eroticism and do not suffer from “bed death” after the honeymoon period has finished. The way I engage in sex work is not damaging or degrading to me or my personal relationships.
To summerise: Whether our goal is to explore sub/top space or other states of consciousness for its own sake, to revel in the pleasure of kinky sex, to explore transformation, dirty horny deliciousness , intensity, submission or spiritual connection it’s all valid. We just need to be clear about our intent and use the right tools to achieve our goal. Not every professional wants to explore all these different modes. Many specialise in the none sexual sessions and that is fine. Each person has to do what is right for them and honor the way they are wired. This does not mean that someone who is a pro Domme and a kinky sex worker is not a “real” Domme. Putting one form of exploration on a pedastool over another is just another form of prejudice. Instead I invite us to value all the paths possible and consciously choose which person is right to explore our unique wiring with based on compatibility of intent, skill level and repoire. There is no such things as a “real” Domme. It is just a matter of whether or not the professional you seek understands and can cater to your particular aims for a session. Every kind of Domme is perfect for someone.
Great blog entry over here: Who Cares About Men’s Rights?
Filed under: Feminism, Sex | Tags: degradation, Feminism, pissing, Sex, sexuality
I found this thanks to Beautiful Agony’s blog.
“Written/Produced by Bette Bentley. Directed by Vincent Peone and Bette Bentley. Piss is a short film about a girl trying to convince her feminist boyfriend to pee on her. Official selection of the Miami Short Film Festival and Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and Cinekink Film Festival.”
I found this really adorable, funny, realisitic and I very much related to the scenario. As someone who gets sexual kicks out of the idea of being degraded, I have often wanted to explore this. However, it hasn’t always been easy for previous boyfriends who are taught that good, feminist men don’t degrade women.
And you know what? Good, feminist men don’t degrade women. However, if their partner asks them to “degrade” them in a playful, sexual, consensual context that is an entirely different ballgame. The reason I put that “degrade” in quotes this time is because when you’re consensually degrading someone… what you’re really doing is gifting them with something very special: sexual pleasure and self acceptance.
I believe that to acknowledge and accept a woman’s sexual desires instead of pathologizing them is a hugely feminist act. It allows her a much greater deal of comfort and understanding of her own sexuality and in a world that denies women the right to sexual autonomy, isn’t that ultimately a positive thing?
Once again, The Pervocracy, a much more prolific blogger than I, says what I’ve been thinking in a far more articulate manner.
“Here’s something I’m still conflicted about: finding a statement that is basically feminist, basically accepting, but has some flaws, and tearing it to fucking shreds.
If someone is 98% on your side, you know what? Cut them some slack. Otherwise you might have to actually deal with the people who aren’t on your side at all. They’re a whole lot meaner.”
I’m very much inclined to agree. I’m all for civilised debate, it’s really important, but it seems like the feminist world is full to the brim of people who will get absolutely hysterical at someone simply for using the wrong word or saying something in the wrong way. I’m forever stumbling across feminist bloggers, for instance, who love ripping right into Dan Savage and speaking about him as if he is pure evil. While I agree that he says some pretty damn stupid things sometimes… he also does and says some really great things. So why are we wasting so much time and energy on him and not, I don’t know, the Catholic fucking Church and people who want us dead?
I mean, yeah it’s good to call people out on the stupid things they say, that’s how people learn, that’s how dialogue gets more sophisticated. However, you don’t need to instantly relegate someone to enemy just because you aren’t in 100% agreement with them. The world is not so black and white and us verses them attitudes are dangerous, counter-productive and just plain childish.
It’s the in-fighting that bothers me so much. The bloggers who spend all their time picking apart the arguments made by other bloggers who are essentially on their side, the feminist, “I’m more right, moral and inclusive than you!” screaming matches. I’ve had friends tell me it puts them off the feminist world and frankly, sometimes it alienates me too.
I’ll probably always be feminist… but I wish there was just a little more respect and camaraderie because frankly, sometimes it feels like you have to walk a fucking gauntlet before being let into the club and even then, there are booby traps around every corner.
Yes you probably have a point with whatever argument you’re making and that is not the problem, it’s simply the respect and remembering that we can’t get it 100% right 100% of the time. We’re all on different paths, all looking at things from our own unique perspective with our own unique background. If someone’s doing their best to be a good, decent person then when they fuck up from time to time, give them a bloody break because at some point, you’re going to fuck up too.