Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Management has the right to refuse service.

So I was talking to a guy at a kink event about the awkward little dance of kinky pick-ups, and I mentioned that it's extra awkward when you get approached by someone you just know you're not going to play with.

He recoiled like I'd said something horribly racist. "How can you possibly just know that?" And I was too afraid of looking like a bitch to say "well, some of the dudes here are really ugly and are exuding very loud 'hello I am a weirdo' vibes." Because that would be discriminating. (Incidentally, my standard of "ugly" is neither fat nor old--I like big dudes and some guys definitely hit their 50s still going strong. But some people are ugly to me and I know it when I see it.)

I don't think being ugly or even weird is cause to treat a person badly. But refusing to play with or fuck someone isn't an abuse. I'm not an equal opportunity employer, and I don't think I have any ethical obligation to be. I think there's also an implication that since play isn't sex, it shouldn't matter if you're attracted to someone--but c'mon now, this isn't doubles tennis, it's a fetish and even if I leave my panties on I'd still like them to get a bit wet. And tragically, physical appearance and presentation are important fuel for my panty-wetting mechanisms.

Kink communities that are so devoted to "acceptance" that no one stands up to creeps have been a pet peeve of mine for a while. But when you start telling me that I should be "accepting" with my body... fuck that.


  1. Amen. "Acceptance" means tolerance of the idea that people's tastes and preferences and personal boundaries vary but no obligation other than not to judge. You can accept someone else's kink/invitation (i.e., not denigrate it or shame them for it) but that doesn't mean that you have to share it or engage in it with them. The freedom to ask carries the complementary freedom to decline, in ANY community. Otherwise it's just back to the old saw that women are pussy vending machines who should give it up to anyone who has a quarter.

    And that visceral reaction to someone who creeps you out is the reptile brain telling you to watch's good to have a reliable creep detector. I don't override mine for any reason/anybody!

  2. Well, I think it is tragic that it works that way (and I really wish folks wouldn't keep implying that "ugly" and "creepy" go hand-in-hand), but demanding someone play with someone they don't find attractive certainly isn't the way to fix it, even if the aggregate of those individual decisions means that some people get left out entirely. (I'm not sure what the way to fix it actually *is*, but that ain't it.)

  3. JFP, ugly and creepy do go together. It matters who's acting as well as what the actions are. A stare from, say, Anderson Cooper is much less creepy than from, say, Dave Attell.

    Does it suck to be ugly? Sure. But somehow the ugly still manage to procreate. Almost nobody gets left out entirely every night.

  4. Wait, what? Have you ever seen Anderson Cooper? He looks like an alien tried to generate the perfect human face, which it is now wearing on its third tentacle in an attempt to simulate our Hu-mon news beings.

  5. I would totally do Anderson Cooper if I was a man.

    JFP - I don't think it's tragic that people have preferences. If I found everyone equally attractive, I wouldn't appreciate super sexy dudes. And my appearance preferences are pretty idiosycratic so it's not like I'm looking for supermodels.

    I don't think creepy and ugly go together, they're just both exclusion criteria for me. Hot and creepy certainly happens and it doesn't get a free pass.

  6. Bruno:

    I'm not saying that people aren't more accepting of bad behavior when it comes from someone they find attractive. I'm saying that it's not the unattractiveness that makes the behavior bad. It *is* possible for an ugly person to make an offer that's perfectly respectful, and they shouldn't be shamed for doing so. If you think *everyone* who's unattractive gives off "creep" vibes, then that's just prejudice and while you're not obligated to overcome it, I don't see why anyone should be obligated to excuse it.

    As for the "even the ugly get laid every once in a while" argument: except for the ones who don't. And even if we (continue to) exclude them, I think it's silly to look at it as a binary where the person who has any sort of sexual activity once every few years is no different those who think a month is long for a "dry spell."

  7. JFP - I don't shame ugly people, I just don't take off my pants for them. I know it sucks when everyone feels that way about you, but even if an ugly person is a great guy inside, I just don't have a duty to be sexual with someone I don't find attractive. And "giving a chance" to someone I really know I'm not going to get hot for seems like leading him on.

    If I hated ugly people I'd be prejudiced, but not fucking someone is not a hateful act.

  8. "I would totally do Anderson Cooper if I was a man."

    You would totally have creepy replicant babies. Didn't you ever watch V?

  9. >> If I hated ugly people I'd be prejudiced, but not fucking someone is not a hateful act. <<

    It is, to someone who believes that women's bodies are public property... which, yeah, definitely makes them creepy in my book.

    Excellent post!


  10. /head esplode.

    That will be all, for now.

  11. Yes...Just had this problem yesterday, with a guy whom I met (in broad daylight in a public place because I'm no dummy) to sell some BDSM equipment to and who automatically assumed that because I HAVE that stuff I must be interested in also negotiating a scene with him( makes me wonder if he even actually wanted what he bought at all). Now he's sent me a friend request and I have to be torn between feeling like I'm being rude and possibly like I'm a bad customer-service/networking person, or perhaps encouraging someone who really just doesn't interest me that way.

    It is stupid that we have to feel *guilt* for not being attracted to certain people, just as stupid as having to feel guilt for being gay, straight or whatever.

  12. My friend would state at the beginning of her e-mail profile that she couldn't handle black men at all. -Yes that was racist, two black men raped her at age 14,- The result was she was deluged by black guys, I can't call them men. Demanding a relationship to prove to society she wasn't racist.

    One of her other pet peeves were Bi or Lesbian girls/women who had the idea that, I'm totally drunk! I could really use someone like you right now.

  13. cont'd
    was a romantic overture. I mean come on honey, it's boorish, bumptious behavior like that from the opposite sex that made her bi-curious to begin with.

    Myself, no means no. It means that after you find out I'm actually nicer and hotter that apparent at first glance, you don't get to enjoy the womens perogative of changing your mind.

    I'm sorry Kaija, You are full of the end product of Bush-era prejudice. Where stem-cell research is icky-creepy, therefore it shall be prohibited by law. The visceral reaction to someone who creeps you out is personal preference, plus personal experience, plus the ideas passed along to you from birth through college.

    You probably think that the Jefferson Airplane song "If only you believe as I believe" Is nice. A hippy dip statement of what a wonderful world it would be if we all "Believed" it. That song isn't so attractive sung by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler.

    I much prefer "Though I disagree with every word you just said, I will fight to the death for your right to say it." Voltaire

  14. ......What. What the very fuck was the point of those two posts, John B, besides proving what most people suppose from your userpic; namely, that you might very well go off the deep end and skin any of us to wear as a human trenchcoat.

  15. Thanks Drew for confirming our mutual preconceptions of each other. Basically that you are someone I have no interest in knowing better and vice versa. A human trenchcoat... You wouldn't fit. Human skin is unsuitable as a coat. Think! if it were good to weather the elements, one wouldn't NEED a coat.

    I quite like my appearance. It helps weed out the shallow and clueless.

    Also Drew....
    Where's your userpic?
    Kinda cowardly calling me out for something you don't have the courage to present.

    Holly! Happy Birthday, and I apologize for my end of this bad scene, and I hope we may someday meet for coffee

  16. I don't know the last time I turned a woman down. I think this is a gender-based problem, coterminous with the fact that most men don't get approached, even within various communities. I think bookworm is onto something with the "once in several years" distinction, because it implies that there are people out there who have successfully de-creeped their vibe, without becoming attractive.

  17. Come on, John, you have to admit that some people just give off the creepy feeling. You may not be able to verbalize what worries you about them, but it worries you. And when they look at you, you have the feeling that nothing good can come of this.
    Like Anderson Cooper, for instance.

    I recently read a piece by one of the big firearms trainers, maybe Ayoob? Can't recall, but he was talking about interviewing a woman who had been raped and beaten in an elevator in his city. She told the investigators that her attacker was standing in the elevator alone when it came to her floor. She looked at him, he looked at her, and in her words, "I knew he was going to hurt me." Then she got onto the elevator anyway.

    Why did she do that? She told them that she had been afraid that she would embarass him or shame him by implying that she was afraid of him, so she ignored her instincts and got into a moving metal cage with him.
    And he attacked her, and he raped her.

    I don't bring this up to blame her for his actions, I'm just saying that those alarm bells in your head are like fire alarms; there will be false alarms from time to time, but you ignore the alarms at your peril.

    And on the original topic of discussion (remember that?) It is impossible to establish a right to a good or service provided by someone else. This is the fallacy behind the "Health care is a human right!" crowd. If you have a right to heart surgery, then a heart surgeon has an obligation to provide it--and you have a right to resort to force to get it from him, if that's what it takes. If you have a right to sex with a particular person, then by definition that person has an obligation to provide it. If we establish that I have a right to have sex with Holly, then she is obligated to provide sex to me--and if she won't, then either I or the state have the right to use force to make her do it.
    It takes shockingly few steps before our zeal for a right to sexual pleasure has legalized rape. It also means that not everyone can have rights, because if Holly amounts to a sex toy that has to perform on command, we can't reconcile that with her right to own her body. One of those "rights" will have to go.

  18. Don:

    As for the second half of your post, I have three words: What... the... hell...? That's not what most people would think of as a "right", but more like a "special privilege"! If that's how rights worked, then any 21-year-old (or whatever the legal drinking age is in one's area) could just steal beer, because hey, they have a right to drink it! Just because you have the right to acquire goods and/or services doesn't mean anybody is obligated to provide it to you, or that they have to provide it for free - only that they can't discriminate against you without a very good cause if they do provide it.

    As for the universal health care thing, perhaps calling it a "right" isn't technically accurate, but I'm not sure if English even has a good word to describe what it is - perhaps something like "a necessity which the means to achieve should be provided for all who need it if possible" but long descriptions like that don't exactly roll off the tongue.

  19. like I said earlier with me no means no.
    It's kinda difficult to get hard for a woman who just looked at me like I was dogshit on her shoe. Besides getting worked up unnecessarily over that just means I'll have wasted time moving on to the next fair flower.

    As for healthcare, i'm not touching that with a stick.