Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Myth of the Boner Werewolf.

OpenCage photo library
I was having sex with Rowdy.  I was on my knees, and he was behind me, thrusting, slapping my ass, biting my back.  We were far into our headspace and our rhythm, powerfully slamming into each other.  And I just got overloaded.  I was bruised and couldn't take any more pain, thoroughly pounded and couldn't take any more pounding.

"Red," I squeaked out.

He stopped instantly.  He let go with his teeth, pulled out, and lay down next to me.  He still had an erection, of course.  I'm sure he still had the urge to keep fucking.  But he put his arms around me and asked if I was okay, and I was, and we cuddled and went to sleep.

There's a pernicious myth out there that the male sex drive is unstoppable and irresistible--that once a man is aroused, he literally cannot control his actions.  We tell jokes about "thinking with the other head" and "all the blood went out of his brain" that aren't entirely jokes.  We have a cultural narrative in which sexual arousal makes a man into a goddamn werewolf.

And we expect women to tiptoe around this uncontrollable male sexuality.  We tell them to watch how they dress, lest they wake the beast.  We tell them "some guys can't control themselves"--not won't, but can't.  We tell them to be careful what they start, because they'll be expected to finish it.  Hell, way too often we outright tell them that they have no right to withdraw consent once sex has started.

My response to myths like this, more and more, is "shit, if I believed that, I'd never have sex with a man again."  I wonder if the story would change if more guys realized that saying "if a woman gets me turned on, she'd better be ready to go all the way" is the same as saying "getting me turned on is dangerous, better not take the risk."

Then again, I wonder why more men aren't just insulted by the whole concept.  If someone started telling stories about how my gender was controlled by our genitalia and sexual arousal turns us into rapist automatons, I would be outraged.  I would explain in very small, very loud words that I am a person and I can goddamn control myself.  I wish more men would speak up to say "actually, even when I can't turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it somewhere it won't bother anyone."

I wish our culture prized self-control as much as it does virility, and even more, I wish our culture didn't act like they were opposites.  Even I can't 100% shake the worry that the story at the top makes Rowdy sound desexualized or submissive, (or super nice and extra feminist, rather than "bare minimum of human decency") even though all it describes is him not raping me.

Men aren't rollercoasters. They aren't werewolves.  They aren't walking penises.  They're people.  They make decisions.  Let's stop talking about "he couldn't stop himself" and start talking about "he decided not to stop."  Men deserve that dignity, and the responsibility that comes with it. 

[I've just started clinical rotations at school!  Which is exciting, but means that I need to get my shit together, writing-wise, because WOW did all my free time just evaporate.  And my updates were already slipping.  I'm thinking of making the Pervocracy officially a weekly blog, and committing to regular Tuesday-night updates, rather than stringing everyone along with the "I'll post when I have a post, dammit" irregularity.  How does everyone feel about this?]

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cosmocking! September '12!

[Helen Gurley Brown, the editor-in-chief who transformed Cosmopolitan the general interest magazine into Cosmo the blowjob advice repository, has died.  I don't want to say much more about that.  I won't tolerate any dancing on graves, but I also don't want to fall victim to "since she's dead we need to be nice," and ultimately none of this is my place.  I just read the magazine and make fun of the blowjob advice.]

Blue cover!  Lucy Hale!  With a distressingly featureless and strangely asymmetrical lower abdomen!  I love the idea that tummy pudge and stray hairs are too hideous for human eyes, but Alien Putty Bellies are A-okay!  25 sex moves "so specific, it's shocking!"  Oh good, I hate general sex moves like "touch him in a place with a thing!"
"I was on a first date with a girl and wasn't paying attention as I was crossing the street. A car went zooming down the road, and the girl actually had to pull me back and act like the hero. It was pretty emasculating."
"My date saved my life.  How terrible for me!  I mean, now how am I going to prove I'm superior to her?"
Q: Sometimes my guy gets so intent on making me climax that it starts to hurt. How can I let him know when it's just not going to happen?
A: If he's made it his mission to bring you to climax, there's no good way to let him know that he and his soldier have failed.  Luckily, there's one thing that will almost always distract guys from your potential orgasm, and that's their potential orgasm.  So if he's been giving you oral for longer than is comfortable, grab his hair, pull him up, and tell him you want him inside you.
I know I've said this before, but: this isn't sex tips.  This is survival techniques.  This is how you handle an abuser so he'll cause the least amount of damage to your body and the ordeal will be over with as soon as possible.  Sorry to get all serious in a Cosmocking, but if you can't tell your boyfriend to stop hurting you, and if you're offering him sex in order to avoid physical pain, that's... holy fuck, Cosmo should not be presenting this as normal and healthy.
If you ask him out on a second date, he'll likely feel emasculated... and that's pretty much the worst thing you can do to a guy.
It's gotta be inconvenient having your gender role defined by what someone else does.  You're going along, being all masculine, and then your date fucks it up and breaks your masculinity so you have to be feminine!  And you don't even own a decent pair of heels so then you have to go shopping!  Talk about a pain in the neck!
[Cosmo tells its readers how to blog:] Use the same keywords in all your posts. For example, if you blog about vegan cupcakes, you want the words "vegan cupcakes" in each entry.
Well, that doesn't sound BDSM annoying at BDSM all!  I should BDSM start doing that and BDSM actually I'm going to stop before this post gets spam-filtered off everyone's feed.
During doggie-style, playfully turn around and say something like "Is that as hard as you can go?"  Game on.
Ow.  I mean, hey, hard pounding's fun sometimes, but there's no "if you want it" in here.  It's about what's Sexiest, not about something as frivolous and unreliable as your own desires!  You should be willing to endure a little vaginal pain in the service of Sexiness, ladies!

Because if you're Sexy, then you get to have more sex, and that means that you get more vaginal pain... wait, shit.  We didn't think this through.

I think the fundamental problem in this issue is that Cosmo is all about living up to abstractions.  A man shouldn't be happy (or even safe), he should be Manly.  A woman shouldn't be pleasured (or even comfortable), she should be Sexy.  They're pure, platonic ends in themselves, completely divorced from any concept of human happiness or fulfillment.  You work your ass off on becoming and staying manly/sexy, and you reward is... being manly/sexy.  I guess if you're manly you're supposedly more likely to attract sexy mates, and vice versa, so maybe that's a perk if you're into that sort of thing.

I'm not into that sort of thing, myself.  It's a weight off my shoulders like you wouldn't believe.  I'm not manly, I'm not sexy, and yet somehow I manage to feel plenty masculine and have pretty good sex.  Seeking happiness directly, instead of through the proxy of perfect gender performance, is confusing and often unglamorous and completely worth it.

And you hurt your vagina a lot less, too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Playing light.

The Dreaded Bunny Flogger. It still counts.
Last night, Rowdy and I did BDSM play and had sex.  What mental image does that give you?  What activities do you think we did?

The truth is, he bit me a little bit and then fingered me while I rubbed his dick.  Then we went to sleep.

Even as I write this, I feel like self-justifying, like telling you about the times I've gotten my skin stapled or been locked in a dog cage or flogged on a St. Andrew's cross or triple-fisted by satyrs or whatever exactly happened at that barbecue.  I gotta keep my cred!  Can't be a prude, can't be a poser!  Gotta let you know I'm real, I have real sex and do serious BDSM!

What a load of horseshit that attitude is.  There's no objective definition of these things, no standard you need to measure up to.  Your own pleasure and your partner's should be the only things that matter.  If you don't get pleasure from being the sexiest and the naughtiest and the edgiest, that's okay.

Kinky snobbery isn't just irrational, it's dangerous.  When your guideline stops being "what will make me feel good?" and starts being "what will prove my sexuality is genuine?", you're liable to do things that don't make you feel good.  You're also vulnerable to manipulation from people who try to convince you that if you were really kinky you'd XYZ with them, or people who say you're not having "real sex" because they want to rush you into intercourse.  And there's the danger of skipping negotiation and safewords (or worse, not taking safewords seriously) because you don't think a certain type of light play is "real" enough to need them.

Here's some things that can be real sex:
• Phone sex
• Mutual masturbation (I never know if this means "wanking each other" or "wanking in front of each other," but, eh, either way)
• Dry humping
• Wet humping
• Sharing fantasies
• BDSM play without genital contact
• Particularly intense kissing
• Literally anything you and your partner agree is real sex for you

And here's some things that can be real BDSM:
• Gentle spanking during sex
• Tying up just for the tying, without hitting or fucking
• Getting someone's drinks for the evening
• Teasing with a feather, a finger, or, yes, The Dreaded Bunny Flogger
• Playing the role of a servant, puppy, Girl Scout, etc., but doing nothing physically intimate while in role
• Sending pervy emails and IMs
• Getting hit just once or twice and not wanting/needing more than that
• ...sigh... toilet paper bondage.
• Literally anything you and your partner agree is real BDSM for you

There are some distinctions within BDSM that do matter. Socially-acceptable BDSM (i.e., playing with an ice cube) is not the same as you-could-get-arrested BDSM (i.e., bloodplay), and bedroom or online BDSM are not the same as being in the meatspace BDSM community.  It's important to remember that experience and expertise don't translate well across these divisions.  But none of the divisions of Kinkland are "better," and all of them are really kinky.

I want to take back all the times I yelled at Cosmo, "That's not kinky!"  What I should have been yelling is "That's kinky, but it's really irresponsible!"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Returning to Sexyland.

So this blog has been dark for a few weeks.  That's partly just because I'm a pathological procrastinator and I had a lot of schoolwork.  But it's also because my conflicted feelings about the sex and kink communities were coming to a critical point.

Over the last year (as some people may have noticed), I've been gradually withdrawing from public/communal sexiness.  Haven't been playing with new people, haven't been going to parties, haven't wanted to even write about my personal sex life as much.  I still have sex and play with Rowdy--my sexuality itself didn't go anywhere--but I've been less and less involved with Sexyland.

This is not something I planned or wanted.  I miss being able to have that kind of fun.  I miss the thrills and the camaraderie.  I miss the "I'm telling this one to the grandchildren" stories and the "I'm so turned on it feels like flying" highs.  I miss the M&Ms.

There's a few reasons I've been MIA.  The first is that there's been a lot of revelations of abusers and generally bad people in Sexyland, including people I've played with.  Knowing that I've played with people who've beaten their partners, who were using me to cheat, who've committed rape--it grosses me out and makes me question my ability to read people.  (It's also caused a lot of angst in the local scene that makes social events less fun.)

Coming out as genderqueer has been a factor too.  I was used to being in the role of "straight girl" in Sexyland, and I don't think I fully appreciated how much I would have to adapt to a new one.  Presenting masculine at events and having people not react the same way as when I looked femme shouldn't be a surprise, but it somehow was. (Maybe because, shit, I didn't feel any different.) For a long time, I didn't take that change in attitudes as a response to a change in my presentation, but as an " it my breath?" awkwardness.

But the biggest one has been the uncomfortable realization that I have done things for the wrong reasons.  I've let my boundaries be pushed so I could be "cool" and I've pushed my own boundaries so I could be "sexy."  Or I've done things that were entirely within my boundaries, but I've done them for validation instead of for pleasure.  Don't get me wrong--this is not my declaration that I was only kinky and poly for the attention and my true self was "normal" all along.  A lot of the validation I sought wasn't just "coolness," but validation of my kinks; I felt like I had to jump into the Sexyland deep end without a life vest to prove to myself that I really was a pervert.

At first this felt awesome--oh my god, I really am a pervert! I really can go to a party and get beaten and fucked by three guys! This is real life and it is amazing!  But then the ooky feelings started creeping up on me.  The regrets for times when I didn't say "no" and the resentment (mostly undeserved) at the people who kept going when I wish I'd said "no."  That's when I started fading out of the scene.

I've been feeling that regret and resentment for a while, but last night was the first time I worked it out in words.  (WORDS: THEY ARE FUCKING AMAZING.)  It was also the first time I started thinking about a solution.

I need to recognize that I am, in many ways, a newcomer to Sexyland.  I need to go to parties with the intent to dip my toe in the shallow end.  I need to tell partners "go slow with me, I'm still figuring out what I like."  I need to start learning what I want and what I need.  Because although I have been Officially Kinky since I was eighteen, although I have a goddamn kink blog, although I have read umpteen kink books and been to a gazillion and a half classes... in some ways, I'm kinda new here.

As a genderqueer person, as a cautious and risk-aware person, as a person still seeking her own desires and finding her own limits... I'm new here.

I'd like to start exploring.