The fact is that women are biologically more vulnerable. Our bits go in and men’s bits come out. Yes men have assholes and assholes can be raped too, but women have more holes than men. This means women are in control of human sexuality. Women decide when it happens, not only because we’re the more vulnerable ones, but because we’re the ones who bear the consequences: children.
However, unfortunately for the women of Western culture, we live in a patriarchal society, and when it comes down to sexuality patriarchy overrules the natural order. In a society that favors men, a society that tells men they should be in control, that they deserve the power, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the female genitalia goes unquestioned. The result of having a female controlled sexuality within a patriarchal society is rape culture.
Rape culture, rape culture. Don’t tell me this doesn’t exist. If you’re a man, you haven’t experienced it. I’ve tried to wrap my head around this since I was 16. For almost two years I have absorbed every book I could find about sex-positive feminism. I worked as a stripper. I work as a bartender. I’ve struggled with the fact that whatever job I had, I would be objectified. Working in a coffee shop, at 16 years old I already had customers making disgusting comments about my body. Working in a pet store, my male manager complimented my red belt and patted it while I shelved dog food. When I started to read about sex-positive feminism, I was looking for someone to tell me what to think. The problem was that I already knew what to think- it was just so uncomfortable. Rape culture starts with objectification of women. It’s not rape if she’s not human.
A few weeks ago, I came to a terrible realization in quite awkward circumstances. While being trained to volunteer for a sexual assault hotline, the role-play meant to train us on how to deal with phone calls, hit way too close to home. For days I tried to figure out why I had had such a visceral reaction to that role-play. I knew why, but it took a huge effort to sit myself down and face it.
A few years ago I was sexually assaulted many, many times by my then boyfriend. At the beginning we had a healthy sex life, but towards the end of our relationship, it changed. Sex would start consensual, but end in rape. When it would start to hurt, I told him to stop and he didn’t. He would keep going for what felt like ages. Multiple times I would leave with a bleeding or blistered vagina, and when I showed him he would say, “I miss the times when you enjoyed having sex for hours.”
My ex-boyfriend is not an evil person. He is unable to think for himself, and so would quite easily buy into rape culture. He is narcissistic, and sadistic. But not evil. Men are not naturally rapists. Rape culture makes men rapists. The pornification of sex makes men rapists.
My first sexual encounter after my ex-boyfriend was with an army boy. We didn’t talk about deep things. I just wanted to fuck him. He was hot. One day, he and I were getting hot ‘n’ heavy and he seemed anxious. “Don’t be nervous,” I told him, “I don’t get nervous about sex.” At this, he seemed confused. I started giving him oral sex and told him to tell me what he liked. He refused, and stayed silent. After a few minutes, he said, “So you really don’t get nervous about sex?” Coming up for air, I confirmed. “Wow. So you really are a slut.” I slapped his thighs and told him to get out. Cut and dry. No exceptions. The fact that I was comfortable with my sexuality made me a slut.
This belief is what perpetuates rape culture. Boys not wanting to use condoms, asking to cum on my face, my boobs, twisting my arm, slapping my ass, whacking my pussy with their cock as I orgasm, saying, “What the fuck’s wrong with you? Why won’t you cum?” as I masturbate is rape culture. There is for sure a small portion of the population into S&M, definitely, but the fact remains that most of the men I’ve slept with, coming from a wide range of ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities think that all women are okay with being treated this way, and even expect them to be turned on by it. Think about how many men I’ve slept with (less than 30) and how many girls each of them have slept with. That’s a lot of women. It’s seems abnormal that such a large percentage of the population is actually turned on by this.
For the first time in my life I’m sleeping with someone who is very, very respectful of me in bed, perhaps even a little unnecessarily so sometimes- but it’s not a turn off. And doesn’t this seem like the risk you’d want to take? Err on the side of too respectful? Rather than DIY-porn? It makes me so angry that I have to fight for my right to be respected, even in my own bed. I should not have to have my guard up when having sex. It should be common sense to expect that the people I sleep with, especially when I’ve only just met them, are going to assume they don’t know what I like and what I’m into, and therefore would err on the side of respect.
Perhaps I’m naïve because I’ve always been so very open about sex, thinking it was normal to talk about sex, and up until my sexual assault I had never needed to fight for my pleasure or for the respect I deserve. When I lost my virginity at 16 years old, I said to my partner (also losing his virginity), “Why can’t you get me off? I can get me off.” I was always going to be a sex-positive feminist. I was just so surprised when I realized the rest of the world isn’t.
So, how do we fight rape culture? We talk about it. I realize that even just by using a pseudonym to write about this I’m not standing up against rape culture myself. I’m afraid of the judgment, but it’s ridiculous that I felt like it was my fault that I was sexually assaulted. Ladies, stand up for yourselves, and be honest with yourselves. Take control of your pleasure and demand respect in bed. It’s counterintuitive to have to fight, but if we do, eventually respectful sex will become normalized. Gentlemen, realize that porn isn’t real life. Watch some documentaries about porn (9 to 5: Days in Porn and Sexy Baby are good). They’re just actors. Porn is not in and of itself bad. But porn is porn and sex is sex.
People, sex is good. Sex is healthy. Sex is natural. Sex is consensual. Sex is fun. Sex is intimate. And sex should be all of these things for everyone involved. This is a problem of my generation. Rape and sexual assault have been around since the beginning of time. However, the consequence of the pornification of sex is a blurring of the line between sexual assault and consensual sex, and it is my generation’s responsibility to navigate it. It’s time to talk about sex.
Sexuality, then, is fundamental to the Masculinity Conspiracy. By giving disproportionate weight to biological determinism and setting up false binaries in terms of gender values and sexual orientation, sexuality offers a theme through which the conspiracy continually defines and regulates masculinity on its own terms. However, it is surprisingly easy to reject the assumptions behind the conspiracy’s mobilization of sexuality and to open ourselves to multiple and fluid ways of being men and women, masculine and feminine. Once we have started to suitably manifest these diverse identities, we can put them to work in the relationships we have with those around us, the next contentious site of activity in the conspiracy.
From The Masculinity Conspiracy by Joseph Gelfer.
In my last entry, I wrote about how my sex drive is not manly because libido has no basis in biology. I’ll need my male friends to help me out with this one, but I’d like to talk about masculinity & sexuality.
I’ve never been a man, nor do I ever want to be, but I have many relationships with men and perhaps because I am a woman, often see the effects of contemporary, Western ideals of masculinity.
Joseph Gelfer says that our biggest problem with masculinity is its polarity. You’re a stud or you’re a fag. As a woman I can relate to this because I feel the effects of the virgin/whore complex.
Gelfer talks about sexual orientation and masculinity. Homosexuality is something women have an entirely different relationship with than men. For a man, being called gay is one of the biggest attacks on his masculinity. For a woman, being called a lesbian seems closer to a challenge, “how far will you go?”.
Gelfer suggests the Kinsey Scale is a solution to this:
The Kinsey Scale put people into seven categories:
0 Exclusively heterosexual
1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual; bisexual
4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 Exclusively homosexual
Gelfer talks about casualness, and the pressure men feel to accept casual sex. In Micheal Kimmel’s Guyland he quotes a statistic saying that more men than women have engaged in unwanted intercourse. Women would classify this as sexual assault, but it’s as if men are being assaulted by society’s pressures for them to be the alpha male. When I’ve brought this up with male friends, none of them are surprised. If you’re a woman you can’t say yes because you’d be a slut. If you’re a man you can’t say no because you’d be a fag.
Ladies, let’s talk to our boys about this problem, because men who are comfortable in their own skins, won’t be intimidated by women who are comfortable in theirs.
Gentlemen, please please please let me know what you think about this.
I am tired of people telling me that my sex drive isn’t real. That my sex drive isn’t right. That my sex drive isn’t normal. That my sex drive is the result of an emotional disturbance. That my sex drive is manly.
It’s none of those things, and these attacks on my sex drive are sexist.
I have a high sex drive. Assuming that sex drives follow the normal distribution, I would be on the extreme right. That’s just the way I’m wired.
After 2.5 weeks off from sex I’m running up the walls. I feel more stressed, tired, and less motivated. I am frustrated. I catch myself staring a guys on the bus, and turning everything my yoga teacher says into something dirty. I am horny. Doing exercise does not replace sex. Masturbation cannot entirely replace sex. After having sex, I have more energy, I am more positive, I sleep better, and I am way less stressed. This is the cycle.
To the ladies: I am not self-destructive, sleeping with every man I see to feed my ever-fleeting self-esteem. The two are Un. Re. La. Ted. Don’t tell me to “take a break from sex so that I can explore who I really am”.
To the men: I am not a man-hater, seducing, using, and disposing of men to get back at them for whatever fictional daddy issues I have. I love men. I get along well with men. I have lots of male friends. That’s why I like having sex with men.
To everyone: I am not a man. Men do not naturally have a higher sex drive than women. (Attachment and commitment is different. There is reason to believe that men will have an easier time with emotion-less sex.) There is no reason to believe that the average frequency that a man wants sex is any higher than that of the average woman. In fact, I don’t see why women aren’t more likely to want sex since they have the more awesome genitalia; we can be multi-orgasmic, we have multiple types of orgasms, we can turn ourselves on to the point of orgasm just from thinking about it! Who doesn’t want to explore all these possibilities… all the time??
Sex to me is like a fast-track on getting to know people. One of the best parts of sex is the conversation. Talking about their sexual history, preferences, fantasies, etc. It’s fascinating!
Sex to me is a large part of my stress management. You can’t think about your to-do list when you’re fucking.
Sex to me is natural. So get over it. Stop getting down on me for being who I am & expressing myself.
There’s nothing wrong with how often I have sex, because there’s nothing wrong with sex in and of itself.
So I’ve been on a few dates with this one guy recently, and the other day we went on our second beer date, after which I anticipated having lots of sex. However, this was not what he had planned.
Eventually I told him to come over, and when he did I asked him why he has not initiated any sex even though we had been flirting all night. His response was not a new one.
“You’re just so nice. How I could fill my mind with any lecherous thoughts about you?”
Oh, right. I have that “virginal look”(?). Which obviously means I don’t like sex. Well have I got news for you. I have a vagina. And I know how to use it.
When I told him a funny story about how I had been late for my appointments that day because I was masturbating he said, “Oh you’re so bad!”
From “nice” to “bad”. Ah yes, the old virgin/whore dichotomy.
Honestly, how many of you have experienced this before? There’s no middle ground. At all. You’re a virgin who needs a man to show her how to like sex, or a whore for whom sex is a way to deal with her daddy-issues.
Now for a moment let’s look at what initiated this “bad” or whore label.
Masturbation. Masturbation is BAD.
I know far too many women who do not masturbate or are afraid of “what goes on down there”. We all know that episode of Sex In The City where the character Charlotte, the good girl, says, “It’s ugly”.
HONEY. IT’S YOUR BODY. You’d better get used to it because those are YOUR sex organs, and 50% of the population has the same ugly sex organs as you.
Touch yourself. Get to know and love your body. It’s not a man’s job to know what to do with it. It’s your responsibility.
Owning pleasure is something I feel very strongly about. If we are to become strong, self-aware women, we have to take responsibility for our own pleasure. That means demanding pleasure, demanding respect, and being honest with our partner(s) and ourselves.
Which leads my into my hook-up rules.
Hook-up rule #1:
“You make me cum before you put your penis inside me.” This way you guarantee you will have an orgasm before him, and therefore that you will have one at all. We all know the “Oh wow, I’m so tired after I cum.” *snore*
Hook-up rule #2:
“Would you like it if I did that to you?” One of my best friends and idols on this subject once said to her boyfriend, “If you put it in my ass, I get to put it in yours.” Same thing goes for cumming on the face. If you’re not cool with it, it’s not cool. And he probably wouldn’t be either. End of discussion.
Hook-up rule #3:
“No- this way.” Don’t just tell them what you don’t like, tell them what you like. It takes a little more brain power, but everyone benefits in the end! A good way to find this out is to….
Last night on my way to a friend’s house an old man walked up to me and growled something along the lines of “UH QUE T’ES BELLE TOÉ.” (“Uhh you’re sexy.”) To which I responded with:
Then today I on my run, I witnessed one young, male pedestrian give a stranger directions. The stranger happened to be a fundamental Jewish man. “How nice.” I thought to myself. The Hasidic Jews get quite a bit of rap in my neighborhood considering there are a lot of them. And here was this young man giving him some detailed directions.
Eventually I caught up with him and passed him on the sidewalk. After a few seconds I heard a distinct groan come from the young man. I interpreted it as something gross about my being a woman running and chose to ignore it.
However, he was not happy with my ignoring him and cat called me a second time; he whistled at me. Normally, I am pretty good at shaking this kind of stuff off as it’s not worth my energy to retaliate. But exercise usually makes me way angrier than usual as I’m in pain.
So I turned around and gave him the finger.
To which he responded, “You’d better run faster!”
This is sort of an interesting moment. So many things to talk about! Over-sexualisation of women, retaliation, followed by violence towards women.
What do you think about cat calling? Does it usually merit giving the finger? Or was my behavior extreme?
Personally, I HATE cat calling and I think that working as a stripper has made me realize why.
When working, it’s natural to get cat called, because walking around is a way of advertising your product, i.e. your sexy body. Having a guy call out to let you know he thinks you’re hot is warranted. However, when I’m on a run, or walking down the street I’m not asking for attention. I’m not asking to be regarded in a sexual way- I’m actually just exercising and feeling hot and angry. So suddenly I feel objectified in an environment where I should just be able to feel neutral.
What do you think? How do you feel about being cat called? What do you do when someone cat calls you?
While online shopping for vibrators, I found this. A Fleshlight in the shape of a specific pornstar’s vagina.
Can we just take this moment to acknowledge how much the porn industry is taking over men’s fantasies? No WONDER so many young men have porn-addiction related erectile dysfunction. Porn is no longer something to put you over the edge when you’re having trouble climaxing- it’s become the central part of masturbation!
How are we supposed to ever get out of this sexual rut if now we’ve got pornstar action figures!? Imagination and fantasy in masturbation has become redundant!
Can’t get off? You’re not watching enough porn! Don’t know what to do with your long-term girlfriend or wife in bed anymore? Porn has all the answers!
Also, can we just talk about what this says about women’s body image? Vaginoplasty (plastic surgery on your vagina) is one of the fastest growing trends in plastic surgery. Because men only know how to get off to vagina’s that look like Teagan Presley.
“Hang on- your vagina does not look at all like my silicone Teagan Presley’s vagina’s action figure. What’s wrong with you?” It’s like saying:
“Hang on- you don’t look like my Barbie doll. What’s wrong with you?”
WE DON’T ALL LOOK THE SAME. But that’s a whole different issue, right? Our vagina’s’ have to look like the ones in porn, and our bodies have to look like the ones in magazines.
Your product is hurting both men and women. Take it away and stuff it up your bottom.
From “binders full of women” to “the rape thing” we haven’t stopped hearing about women’s rights this election. Probably because the views from each presidential candidate are so opposing. And as much as I am passionate about this subject, I’m sick to death of reading about it. Not that I’ve stopped caring- I just cannot take another article about another Republican man against abortion.
This topic has been talked about so much that it seems like Republicans finally can no longer deny its existence. However, it also seems like because they have no legit answers to the problems surrounding abortion, their only out is to trivialize them.
First of all, don’t even talk about trivialising rape and incest. It is a real and horrible thing that comes in many different disguises. Oh yeah- and it very frequently happens to men too. They just can’t get pregnant from it.
It seems like one of the most popular excuses for Republicans to oppose abortion is that it has “become another form of contraception”. Like it’s no big deal. Like women who get abortions don’t think even about it. It’s not traumatizing to go through that procedure. It’s not traumatizing to think “How could this happen to me?”. It’s not traumatizing to think about whether to include your partner in the decision. It’s not traumatizing to then have to walk past protesting anti-choice groups before you even get to the doors of the abortion clinic.
Republicans also feel like giving a child up for adoption is no big deal. Pregnancy in itself is a huge emotional and physical trauma, one that if you’re not ready to go through it for whatever reason, you cannot be made ready to go through it. Even if a pregnancy is a “life” at 8 weeks, it’s easier to get rid of a blob of goo inside you after only a few weeks of being pregnant, rather than a full-grown baby after having fed it and nurtured it and talked to it for 9 months. Again, Republicans think this is no big deal.
Finally, can we just consider that when a pregnancy is aborted it is as much as child or a life as Jell-O, but that once a pregnancy is left to grow it becomes a life that deserves the best parents and the best treatment the world can give? If Republican men don’t care about the rights of any woman after puberty, they should at least care about the lives of those children who will be born and go through the trauma of foster homes, adoption, poverty, having a grandfather and father in one, etc.
I know what I’m saying is incredibly controversial- if a child is going to go through that horrible of a time, it might as well not be born- but it’s logical. And yes, the logical reason is cold and doesn’t take into account feelings, rights, humanity. But I don’t see any of these anti-choice people treating this issue any differently.
When a Republican says something like they’re against abortion because of their religion that sounds like a cop-out to me. “It’s not my fault- I’ll get in trouble if I say I’m pro-choice!” They’re treating this issue with as little care and humanity as they do when they choose their breakfast cereal. “This is what I always had when I was growing up- so it’s the best choice.” If they cared about the “life” of that little bit of Jell-O as much as they say they do, they would have a better reason than to blame it on their religion.
Oh, right- that’s because there’s isn’t one!
AAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH. Now I have to go before I get too worked-up.
Also, check this out:
Republican men need to shut up about rape forever by Zerlina at feministing.com