Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Photos.

Augh! I slept through my alarm (actually, I deliberately and defiantly hit "snooze" 20 times) and now I have no time to write a post!

Here's two pictures from the Thanksgiving festivities, then.


My back, after fingernail and Magic Marker adventures.

Yep, that's Rowdy's arm.

As always, it makes me sad that the photos don't show how much laughter and cuddling there was and how very full of turkey and friendship we all were. I always worry that showing the gritty parts out of context makes everything seem sleazy and doesn't convey how happy the whole experience was. It was very happy.

Also, I'm vaguely aware that one day my real identity will probably be associated with this blog and that the pictures will probably make more trouble than any little ol' opinions I have on it. But screw you, hypothetical persecution of my hypothetical self, we're all naked under our clothes.

...and more of us that you'd ever expect are naked and covered with bloody scratches and "SLUT" under our clothes.

Unstoppable force, immovable object.

You know what the not-so-great part is about being a girl who can have repeated orgasms in rapid succession, having sex with a guy who has both the muscular and sexual stamina to fuck for literally hours without stopping?



Monday, November 29, 2010

The dreaded flipside.

I looked at PJ longingly. I could feel the lust behind my eyes, and the entirety of my body was subtly tightened, my breath catching just a little in my throat, my mind swimming with desire to feel him inside me.

"I want to fuck you," I said out loud.

"I don't want to," he said, gently. "I don't feel that way about you."

And it was okay. It hurt a bit at first, my ego and my libido both being large and sensitive areas, but it was okay because now I knew. I didn't have to watch him for secret signals and coded messages and "this is your big chance" moments, and I didn't have to send any of my own. Were we friends or was something else developing under the surface? We were friends. Over time this became not just okay but good, because it gave us the freedom to be friends. "Friend" may not be as much fun a role as "lover" when a sexy man is involved, but it beats the hell out of "lover-in-waiting."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The (completely imaginary) romance of silence.

I looked at Rowdy longingly. I could feel the lust behind my eyes, and the entirety of my body was subtly tightened, my breath catching just a little in my throat, my mind swimming with desire to feel him inside me.

He had no idea about any of this, because he's not psychic and I was pretty much just sitting there.

"I want to fuck you," I said out loud, and we fucked like there weren't no tomorrow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Relaxing the sexy.

I hate being "sexy." I'm bad at it--I don't have a "sexy" body, I'm awkward in "sexy" clothes, and I never learned exactly how makeup works. And it just feels wrong to me. When I dress up as conventionally "sexy" as I can, I feel like I'm in an elaborate costume; when I'm in ratty jeans I feel like I'm just myself wearing my clothes.

But I tend to put on at least a half-assed "sexy" costume when I'm trying to meet new guys--I won't go full monty as I can't do that without looking absurd, but I'll at least wear sort of a nice top and some eyeshadow. I tend to assume--stupidly, insecurely, but I keep doing it--that "guys like sexy" and thus I'll endure "sexiness" to snag me a man.

As soon as I get in a relationship, every time, I stop the "sexy" completely. The third date is pretty much the last time you'll see makeup on my face or product in my hair. I just can't keep up the charade.

But, despite appearances, it's not a matter of turning slovenly and complacent. Because while I drop the "sexy," I never drop the sexy. I've never been in a relationship where the sex--or the sexual experimentation and adventure and enthusiasm--dropped off at all. I love fucking, I love finding new ways to fuck, I love talking about sex and being sexual, I love pleasing my partner and oh do I love it when they please me. I may show up to your house with my hair in a hopeless tangle and mustard on my shirt, but I'm still coming there because I want to have insane screaming orgasms with you.

And hell, we both know I'm going to be naked and have my face and hair totally smeared up fifteen minutes after I walk in the door anyway.

I'm still unsure if the conclusion from this is to show up to first dates in my hospital sweatshirt and painting pants. On the one hand, that avoids anyone feeling like they've been bait-and-switched, and it screens for the (minority, but quite extant) awesome dudes who like me better that way. On the other hand, it seems like un-"sexy" clothes can convey the message that I'm not interested in sex, and that's not something I generally want a date to think. Hyperfeminine clothes and behavior may be utterly unappealing to me, but they do seem to send the "dick wanted, apply within" message much more clearly than looking boring and just being sexy inside.

Maybe I should show up in the hospital sweatshirt, but pin on a long explanatory note about how in my perception this is what I wear when I'm horny.

Troll / What About The Men.

Man, I got some nasty troll attacks last night. The weird thing is that they were mostly calling me fat. Like I don't have a mirror? At least if you say "you're fat and that's bad," it's a proper insult. This is just, like, an observation.

But it does annoy me, because I'm fairly sure they're responding to the rape/blame posts, and I wish they'd just go ahead and say that they're offended by something I said, instead of latching onto something irrelevant that they think I might be insecure about. If something I said made you mad, Trolly, say so, don't get all "and I bet your dog's ugly, too!"


Anyway. One of the things I've had difficulty communicating as I've transitioned from being a "feminism means I'm free to give blowjobs!" feminist to a "feminism means I'm free to demand social respect and campaign for equal rights and give blowjobs!" feminist is that absolutely nothing about feminism (as I practice it, etc.) is about playing Boys vs. Girls. We are not on opposite teams.

And I don't just mean that feminists don't hate men, although we don't. I mean that we actually want their lives to be better. For some it's a side effect of liberating women and for some it's a goal in itself, but feminism actually has a lot to offer men.

For starters, anywhere that women are forced into a stupid little box labeled "femininity," men are being forced into an equally stupid box labeled "masculinity." It's a slightly nicer box, to be sure; you get to be in charge of stuff, and your clothes are comfier, and you don't have to deal with baby poop. But though the restrictions are fewer, they're there, and they're absolutely brutally enforced. If femininity means being forced into weakness, masculinity means being forced to play hyper-tough and often violent. A guy who isn't at least a little cruel is a guy who's going to be accused of being a girlyman--and woe betide a guy who really is kind of girly. You'd be more popular if you ate puppies.

I feel like this is ingrained deeply enough that a lot of guys will (in loud, deep, growly voices) protest that they don't want to get in touch with their feminine side. Well, that's okay. I would never stop a guy from grunting and watching football or whatever. I would just like it to be--just like the high heels! funny how that works!--no longer compulsory.

(By the way, one of the few legitimate gripes that "men's rights advocates" have is that women tend to automatically get custody and men tend to get child support and alimony judgments in family court. They generally blame this on some evil feminist agenda [because they blame everything on that], but I'd say that they should actually be looking at sexism. Compulsory masculinity means you must be a provider but cannot be a caregiver, and so men are expected to provide money and denied the opportunity to care for children. So if you want a better deal in family court, support single dads and high-earning women.)

The other big thing men would get out of feminism is happier, freer women. Don't smirk, 'cause I'm serious. When you treat someone like a trophy, an enemy agent, a sex toy, a child, or a space alien, the response you get is going to be about as bizarre as those options suggest. When you treat them like a person, asking no more and expecting no less, they're going to respond like a person.

Powerful people don't nag--they can get things done themselves. Powerful people don't cling--they can survive on their own. Powerful people don't manipulate--they can get what they want honestly. Powerful people don't complain--they have less to complain about. Powerful people don't make guys pay for dinner--they can afford to pay their share. When women are happy with our lives, we don't subtract from the finite happiness pool held by men; we spread it around and make everyone happier.

Finally, feminism is good for men because unlocking the potential of half the human race massively increases what the human race can accomplish. Letting women contribute to the world isn't some sort of generous favor we really ought to do for women. It is--once those contributions start rolling in--a favor to the world.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Rowdy, Sprite, and I have this word that gets a lot of use in our relationship. "Adorkable." It means pretty much exactly what you'd think.

For example, it was adorkable when Rowdy, after screwing me on the floor in front of all the Thanksgiving guests, pulled out and daintily crossed his legs for modesty.


Here's an issue I'm still undecided on: Rowdy has asked Sprite to safecall him (i.e., call and check in and confirm that she has not been axe-murdered) when she goes on dates with new guys.

Tonight, Rowdy has a date with a woman. He didn't even think to consider a safecall until Sprite pointed out the discrepancy.

The questions I haven't resolved is: is this sexist because it's a double standard, or practical because women are at greater risk of assault by men? (Particularly first-date assault; my knee-jerk no-research stereotype is that women may be physically abusive in relationships, but are less likely to act as predators looking for someone to assault.) Does it imply that Rowdy is somehow more "able to take care of himself" than Sprite is, or does it just reflect a sad reality in our society?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Spanksgiving!

I'm going to a kinky Thanksgiving this year. It's Rowdy, Sprite, and a few of our kinky friends. The idea makes me more genuinely thankful than I've been in a few years--this holiday will be a true celebration, not an obligation. Even the shopping trip, the stupid last-minute "oh god it's 9 PM on Wednesday and we don't have enough potatoes" shopping trip, was fun and happy and sexy.

I'm thankful for good people. They make all the difference in the world.

Hope your Thanksgiving is safe, happy, harmonious, and doesn't involve anything with the word "lite" on the label.

P.S.: Naamah is here also! Naamah is one of our Thanksgiving buddies and she wanted to be on the blog so hi Naamah! You are a very fun awesome person to have at Pervsgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Feminism and sexiness.

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How not to stick it to the Man.

Aaron sent me this link (NWS; Google cache due to the original site having technical problems) about a woman who decided to protest the TSA's sexually invasive search procedures... by wearing transparent underwear to the airport and taking off her clothing at security.

(I admit, I'm biased by the fact that her blog's premise is apparently "I'm not a feminist, because I'm sexy.")

Maybe it's my night-shift grouchiness, but this strikes me as a singularly ineffective form of protest. Sexy protesting is problematic to begin with, but a woman responding to pressure to expose herself by cheerfully exposing herself is sort of the exact opposite of a protest.

Put on your sexiest, filmsiest underthings, opt for a grope-down, have fun with it, treat it like a performance, and fake an orgasm in public next time you fly. You'll gain self-confidence, amuse and inspire other passengers, draw attention to the sexually-invasive nature of the modern airport security process, and make government employees look more predatory and inappropriate while feeling up strangers.

No. No, thank you. I'll be sexy on my own damn time. Fighting sexual harassment with sexiness isn't sticking it to the Man; at best it's making the Man's low-level employees vaguely uncomfortable, and at worst it's giving the Man just what he wants. It draws more attention to yourself than it does to the TSA screeners (they came off as the reasonable ones in the SeaTac scenario) and it seems to promote the idea that women can be happy sexy or angry sexy but by God you'd better be sexy.

I don't want to dress up sexy naked and fake a sexy orgasm and reclaim my sexiness next time I get groped. I want to NOT BE GROPED.

Anyway, from a purely practical standpoint, I think it would be a far more effective protest to burst into inconsolable tears during the screening. If you want to make the TSA look bad, sobbing "I'm so sorry, I'm not trying to be difficult, I just *sniffle* can't stand to be touched like this," does a hell of a lot more to highlight the real issues than sexypants shenanigans.

Monday, November 22, 2010

98% normal.

It's weird sometimes to think of my relationship with Rowdy and Sprite as weird. We're still alien enough to society to be worthy of detachedly anthropological, vaguely freakshowish human interest articles, to experience fear and difficulty explaining our relationship to our families and some friends, to be unable to marry even in Massachusetts, to be unable to list our relationship on Facebook, and to be generally so far removed from the public consciousness that most people who see us out in public don't even consider that we could all be together.

This weekend we went had hot three-way sex and slept three to a bed, yes, but we also went shopping for drapes and a carpet. We practiced our wild and crazy alternative lifestyle at the warehouse store, where our society expects that only one man and one woman should debate getting one large carpet versus tiling small ones. It was perverted.

And pleasant, because even when it's something mundane, I enjoy doing things with all three of us. I like the fact that we can all three get along and work together even when it's not hot sexy fun. We make each other laugh and we always have something to talk about. They're not just two people I fuck, they're two people who make me happy.

Then Sunday Sprite was busy, so Rowdy and I had to answer the question "what do two bi poly kinksters do when they have a whole day to themselves?" The answer is that they rearrange and clean the bedroom, cut and place the carpet, and install the drapes. I mean, we certainly fucked, boy did we fuck, but it's not the only way we spend our time and it's not the only thing we can do together. I feel a little ridiculous saying that--would someone in a monogamous vanilla relationship have to clarify such a thing?--but I've been asked in so many words and more than once if this stuff I do is really all about sex. It's exactly as much "about sex" as dating is. Because it is dating.

I don't mean to protest too much that I'm so super normal. I am kinda weird and I enjoy it. I don't keep a sex blog to talk about how boring and housewares-oriented I am. But I think it's important to always keep in mind that 24/7 live-in slaves still have old family recipes they treasure and latex-fetishizing ponyboys still have to go to the dentist. Even when you live a totally wacky alternative lifestyle, 98% of your life will still be... life.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pink Square.

Rowdy had already fucked me and near-fisted me. I started playing with his new toy, a Hitachi Magic Wand, and since I was in a completely insatiable mood, decided to try out the G-spot attachment.

I guess it's no surprise that I came like a banshee. But the surprising thing tme was that I had a strange vision. Usually I'm not visual at all during sex; my eyes are closed or looking off into space, and I'm not having visual fantasies either. In this case, my eyes were closed, but as I was coming I saw, in stunning and unexpected detail, a pink square shape, with a smaller square open in the middle, like a picture frame. It was very distinct and I kept seeing it and thinking about it as I rode out the powerful orgasm.

I don't know what that meant. It was such a specific and vivid image, and seeing it gave the sex an unworldly dreamlike quality. It was bizarre, yet... strangely heavenly.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cosmocking: December '10! Part Two!

Once more into the breach!

When blood flows into his shaft, the excess settles in the upper part of his thighs.
Oh God, there's more of this. Anatomy actually means something, Cosmo. It's not like sex and relationships where you can make up stuff that sorta sounds good and no one can technically call you wrong. Without even getting all smarty-pants know-it-all never-gets-laid on you, Cosmo, I'm just going to point out that men with erections are not known for their swollen red thighs.

Tickle his feet with your nipples: climb on top of him in reverse cowgirl position, then bend over until your nipples reach the tops of his feet.
Apparently when "your breasts called", this is what they wanted you to do. I would check the caller ID again.

Q: I enjoy watching porn online, but the content on a lot of sites is so hard-core, it turns me off. Do you have any female-friendly suggestions?
A: I have some softcore suggestions. I don't have any "female-friendly" suggestions, because there's three fucking billion of us and I think two or three of them might be individual humans who actually like different things.

I kept trying to come up with an absurd analogy for this one, like "can you recommend a food all women enjoy?" or "can you name a movie all women will like?", but every time I tried, I realized that a corresponding stereotype actually exists. Ugh.

Q: Using lube makes sex so much better for me, but my guy gets offended when I reach for it--it's like I'm saying he's not doing a good enough job on his own.
A: Jam his dick against your crotch--hard, his pain doesn't matter!--when he's completely flaccid. When he objects, throw a shitfit about how he's calling you inadequate by implying that he was soft.

Cosmo's answer is that you should claim you need lube because he's so darn big, or, if that's not plausible, to use lube during foreplay for fingering or handjobs so it'll still be there when you fuck. That's not sex advice, that's survival tactics.

[If your friend passes out drunk] Since her life may be in jeopardy, your only option is to call 911 for an ambulance pronto. While you wait for the EMTs to arrive, check her vital signs for two minutes. Use the first minute to see if she's taking between 12 and 18 breaths, then check to see if her pulse measures between 80 to 100 beats during the second minute. Should either be off or if she's gasping for air, she's in the danger zone. Know CPR? Start administering it now.
No. You don't start CPR because someone's vitals are "off." You start it because their vitals are nonexistent or close to it. If someone has a heart rate of 60, or is taking 24 breaths a minute, please do not break their goddamn ribs.

(I did CPR last night. A rib snapped right under my hand. It was nauseating.)

Also, calling an ambulance for drunkenness is massively overdone. 98% of the time it's a huge waste of everyone's time and money. I would check this: can your friend be woken up? Is she truly passed out, or just sleeping? If someone is so out-cold that you can't wake them up, they may need help protecting their airway. If they're just drunk and sleepy but arousable (by which I mean you can get them to talk and react in a way that suggests actual consciousness; groaning and twitching doesn't count), put them in the recovery position and let them sleep it off.

Nothing's worse than buying an inflated plane ticket--only to have the dude next to you invade his space with his big fat elbow. To fend him off, prop up a magazine against your side of the armrest. You'll create a wall that he can't infiltrate.
And for the price of only looking like a complete uptight asshole! I can sort of understand this as the last step in a passive-aggression war with someone who's stuffing their elbow in your gut and just doesn't care, but just sitting down and putting up your little Wall Of Prissiness is an uptight-asshole move.

[If a coworker asks you to take her shift] Say jokingly but firmly "Nice try, babe, but it's not happening! I requested the time off weeks ago."
That's not "joking." That's "asshole" again, babe. "Sorry, but I can't," or even just "no," convey the exact same message and don't make you sound like you're patting them on the head and laughing in their face.

Step 1: As soon as you spot Mr. Hottie across the room, look him directly in the eye and smile wide. Guys are more likely to approach women who seem open and easygoing--an enthusiastic smile conveys this perfectly.
Step 2: Once you make eye contact, divert your attention to someone or something across the room and let him watch you stroll toward it. As you do, keep your shoulders back and allow your arms to swing freely to project laid-back confidence and sexiness.
Step 3: The second you see him break away from the group, quickly position yourself in his immediate vicinity, and let him make the first move. He'll have no idea what you just did.

It seems like Step 3 could go on for a while. Like, maybe a long while. Like maybe forever because, indeed, he has no idea what you just did. "This woman existed in the same room with me! She existed herself right at me! I HAD TO HAVE HER."

But I guess this kind of thing is your only option at "all the women have duct tape over their mouths and don't know sign language" theme parties.

And that's pretty much that for this issue of Cosmo. The more I read in Cosmo, the more two things strike me. One is a form of gender determinism that's almost gender exclusionism: if women do a certain thing, not only do they all do it, but no men do it. If women like chocolate then men must not like chocolate. If men are good at fixing cars then women must be bad at fixing cars. Gender roles aren't just fixed; they're fixed as opposites.

The second thing is the romance of silence. There's this idea, which seems eerily prevalent in American culture in general, that love and sex should go without saying. You should lock eyes across the room and just know, and going up and introducing yourself isn't romantic. Then you get in bed and with one meaningful gaze and one kiss you just know which sex acts you've just agreed to. To do otherwise, to say what you want, is to acknowledge that you aren't magical telepaths, and that's soul-crushing. Love should make magical telepaths of us all, or you're doing it wrong. And as with lube dude above, the real failure only comes when you admit you're doing it wrong.

Of course, another part of the romance of silence is just the idea that women should be seen and not heard. Your job is to look pretty, honey, not to be having all these goshdarn opinions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The symbolic and real anus.

I have, after much soul-searching and butt-searching, come to the conclusion that I don't really like anal sex. I've had a couple positive experiences with it, but on the hole I think it's just not for me.

What complicated this realization is the fact that I'm dealing with two anuses here. The symbolic anus represents passionate, kinky, unconventional sex. Symbolic anal sex is an object of fantasy, associated as it is with humiliation and domination and intensity. And being unwilling to have symbolic anal sex makes me seem uptight, prudish, like I'm bound up by narrow-minded cultural preconceptions about the anus being "icky" or that anal sex is just too sexy for me. It's hard for me to give up on symbolic anal sex, because although I don't want to have buttsex, I want to be the sort of person who has buttsex.

However, in between my buttcheeks there is a real anus. And this one doesn't particularly like stuff in it. It's not painful but it's uncomfortable, and to be brutally honest, mostly just feels like being constipated. This isn't a case of "I can't handle the sheer intensity," it's a case of "it's just not much fun."

I love the idea of being a symbolic butt-slut, but my actual butt just isn't in on the deal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cosmocking: December '10! Part One!

Yellow cover! Julia Stiles! I kind of like the dress but I think it's too tight on her! For a December cover this is not very Christmassy! Biggest headline: "Your Breasts Called..."! That's very passive-aggressive; mine talk to my face when they have something to say! Also: "Secrets of Male Arousal"! Touch him on the penis!

No wonder sample sales are so popular. A study from the U.K.'s University of Westminster reveals that scoring a bargain can trigger the same amount of excitement you might experience when drooling over a sexy guy.
I believe it. I also believe the same amount of excitement might be triggered by: kayaking in heavy surf, most films by Robert Rodriguez, unexpectedly encountering a giant robot dinosaur, building your own hovercraft, bouldering off-trail, shooting a Colt Single Action Army, digging in an agate bed and finding an opal, or getting your car up to 115 out in the desert. Sure, boys and shopping can be fun, but so can life.

Oh, and while I couldn't track down the original study (actually, it looks like it's incomplete and hasn't been published, in which case what kind of jerk was writing press releases about it?), other news sources reveal that it specifically compared receiving discounts to watching porn, and that both men and women were tested. But of course men don't shop and women don't watch porn, so Cosmo needed to do some quick revisions to keep things in line with reality.

The New Trend That's Turning Women On
The combination of [Brokeback Mountain's] success and a slew of celebrities coming out as gay or bisexual--from Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris to Lady Gaga and Anna Paquin--has opened the door for more story lines involving gay characters and couples.

Oh Cosmo. This is like a couple months ago when you declared that female bisexuality had just now been invented. Gay people exist, Cosmo. They've been existing actually for a while now. They're not 2010's hottest new invention. And, believe it or not, queer cinema and gay porn neither. Actually, according to recent research, gay people have actually existed for the entirety of human civilization. Whoa.

"When females see something that is sexually explicit but that they can't fully understand, it leaves room for their imagination to go wild," says James Colangelo, PysD [sic], a psychologist in New York City.
Oh no you di'n't, James. You did not just do the "females" and the "they love things they can't wrap their pretty little minds about" one-two punch. God damn. And you presumably said this to a female reporter? That takes balls, I guess.

If you find yourself getting turned on watching two guys, um, manhandle each other, it may mean you're wishing sex with your BF would sometimes feel more raw versus romantic. An easy way to turn a tame session more primal is to nip at his lips or neck during foreplay or push him away after kissing him passionately.
Didn't we do the "gay sex is really all about straight sex" and "don't actually say what you want" combo last month? Although last month didn't include the part where pushing a guy away is supposed to cue him--with no explicit communication! that's unthinkable!--to come back at you harder. That part's just a wee bit creepy.

Then there's an article urging women not to browse their boyfriends' call logs or read their email. While this is entirely good advice, the article is written with a "we've all done it, tee hee" tone, which... is frightening.

An important concept here, one that Cosmo doesn't seem to get: Rowdy is "my" boyfriend only in the sense that I work at "my" hospital. The word "my" here indicates "relates to me" not "belongs to me." Deciding to date me means that we'll date, not I've been granted some sort of privileges over you. We're still two people.

Hey! Page 40 is printed twice! But with different ads on the page 41s. I guess that's one way to maximize revenues.

[How to pick up a guy in the supermarket] Find some weirdly named product, like quinoa, on a nearby shelf, and ask him how to pronounce it. He'll love being able to help.
"Kee-NO-wah" and "KEEN-wah" are both correct. Now go start a conversation with someone based on the pretext that you're both competent adults.

Tummy Pooch, Full Balcony, Bunny Slopes, Badonkadonk
These are the four categories in an article on lingerie. You pick your adorably-euphemized bodily flaw and go from there to find your perfect lingerie. There is no category for "actually, my body's pretty good and I have nothing to hide." And definitely no category for "yeah, I have a big tummy, but whatever, I'm not all that broke up about it."

Maybe because if you believed either of those, you could just wear whatever you want, and we can't have that.

Pages 81-88 are also repeated! What the heck.

Here's a surprising move that will get him primed for sex: pop a pair of his socks in the microwave for 20 seconds
This is why I love Cosmo. After all these years it can still surprise me. Oh Cosmo. Never change.

The tip goes on to say that you should put these hot socks on his feet and squeeze them and this will give him a boner because "the area of his brain that registers feet sensation is right next to the region that controls his boners." Sure, and Hoboken is right next to New York, but don't go there looking for the Empire State Building.

Blood flow from his abs travels straight down to his package. And by warming up the area right underneath his belly button, you instantly increase the amount of blood heading south, which will feel good and give him a harder erection.
Cosmo, I want to introduce you to my friend William Harvey. Mr. Harvey discovered that blood actually circulates in the body, flowing from arteries to capillaries to veins. Mr. Harvey made his discovery in 1628 and it is now taught in roughly the third fucking grade.

While Mr. Harvey did not enumerate the blood vessels in quite this much detail, it is now common knowledge that blood flows from the aorta to the common iliac artery, then to the internal iliac artery and then the internal pudendal artery, which leads to the dorsal artery of the penis. All of these arteries except the last are deep within the abdominopelvic cavity, far beneath the muscle layers. (This is so you do not bleed to death from a minor cut on your belly. Your body is sensible that way.)

The short version, Cosmo, is that the body is not just a big bag of blood that gooshes around. Tomorrow we'll discuss the Four Humours theory and hysteria, and the appropriate use of leeches.

The spinal nerve connects directly to his penis, so when you warm it, the heat shoots to his package. Plus, the nervous system that runs down either side of the spine sends arousal messages to his brain when it's warmed up, telling it to propel blood to his package and make his pulse race.
I give up. I just put the anatomy textbook back on the shelf and... I just give up. But I will point out that the concept here is a bit like trying to make a call by squeezing the phone cord.

(Okay, fine. Sacral spinal nerves S2, S3, S4 lead to pudendal nerve which leads to dorsal nerve of penis which innervates penile skin. There isn't a "the" spinal nerve, any more than there's some sort of magical second spinal cord outside the spinal column, any more than nerve fibers are sensitive to touch anyway. You want nerve endings for that, honey, and the ones connected to his penis are... ON HIS PENIS, for Christ's sake, the body kinda makes sense like that!)

Q: When do guys view a relationship as serious?
A: The moment they realize they're not sleeping with anyone else... and that they're okay with it.

My friend's been with his wife for ten years and sleeps with other people. I'll need to inform him immediately that his marriage is not serious.

Moreover, I notice that the "seriousness" of your relationship is defined by the things you don't do. The actual connection between you is apparently a secondary concern.

Q: What screams high-maintenance to a guy when you first meet him?
A: When you put on makeup or check out your reflection in a window or mirror.

That's right, girls, it's not enough to look perfect; you have to look perfect without even trying. Or at least create the illusion. This is related to those tips that tell you guys like a girl who eats steak on dates, as long as she's still skinny.

Q: If a girl is too crazy in bed, does that make her not LTR material?
A: It can. To be safe, get to girlfriend status before completely going rogue.

Yeah, because if you have the wild, enthusiastic sex that you actually want, your guy is going to go "wow, I'd hate to have that all the time."

Q: What's a simple thing that I can say to nip his jealousy in the bud?
A: "Let's get out of here. I'm tired of being around other guys."

"You're right, I should be isolated. Your jealousy is a legitimate concern and keeping me away from all potential threats is a reasonable solution. I didn't want a life of my own anyway."

There's more. Oh so much more. Cosmo is the gift that keeps on giving. Like crabs! If crabs wandered around in your pubes yelling "YOU'RE NOT FEMININE ENOUGH NO NOW YOU'RE TOO FEMININE NO BE MORE SEXY NO BE LESS SEXY NO NO NO YOU DID IT ALL WRONG."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Healthcare, autonomy, and no easy answers.

When I went to the ER a couple weeks ago with a high fever and severe abdominal pain, they did a pelvic exam and a vaginal ultrasound. These were absolutely necessary to rule out life-threatening conditions--I could have had an ectopic pregnancy or an ovarian torsion, and no one wants me to die because they were too demure to check out my no-no places.

But I was sick to the edge of rationality and had been given a combination of medications that were extremely sedating and confusing. I was in and out of consciousness, and when I was conscious it was in a numbed, blunted, incoherent sort of way. It was not a condition in which I would customarily be able to consent to vaginal penetration. Not that I was really asked; the conversation was more like:
"This is going to go in your vagina now. Scoot down a little."
"Nurse, scoot her down a little."

In the world I normally live in, "mrrf" is not considered enthusiastic consent.

Medicine isn't subject to the same rules as sex, and for good reason. The doctor wasn't doing this for his personal enjoyment, and my life was potentially on the line. The medications weren't given to make me more malleable but because I was crying and puking. Messing with the vagina of a confused sick woman isn't an evil scheme but an unfortunate necessity in a bad situation.


My least favorite thing to do when I'm working in the ER is restraining children for catheterization. It's not so bad with babies, but with kids who are old enough to say "no, no," it makes me fucking hate myself. I don't think "sometimes you can't stop strangers from holding you down and doing painful things to your genitals, and your parents will just sit there and watch" is a message I ever want to send to a kid.

I can't even always play the "but it's necessary" card on this one, either. Most of our child catheterizations are not because the kid can't pee, but because the kid can't pee on command and we need a urine specimen. A lot of the time with some patience the kid probably could pee in a cup or stick-on external bag. Or, very often, we find the kid's problem by other means and it has nothing to do with their urinary tract, and if we'd waited thirty minutes we'd have known we didn't need to catheterize. So we're not doing this stuff because it's fun, sure, but we're doing it for convenience, not necessity.

I've considered refusing to participate in this sort of thing, but then someone else will just do it, and what the hell difference does that make? If I made a big enough stink I'd get fired while someone else went on and did it anyway.


Later in my hospital stay, I started feeling much better. Not great, sure, but no longer dependent on hospital services. My problem had been diagnosed, I could walk, and I could take adequate fluids by mouth. I asked to leave.

And I was told "well, we'll see about that." The nurse and the first doctor I asked told me it was simply out of their hands, so sorry, but they'd try and pass it along, the whole "competent non-criminal adult would like to leave" thing. I thought about removing my IV since it was very uncomfortable and I knew I didn't need it, but I was afraid that being a competent non-criminal troublemaker would lose me what little respect I had.

Of course, I could have walked out the door and nobody would have physically grabbed me, but there's this thing called "AMA." Against Medical Advice. If you leave AMA--without your doctor's permission and all the proper paperwork--your insurance doesn't pay. So sure, you can have your freedom, as long as you've got twenty thousand dollars handy.

Four hours after I asked to leave, the correct doctor came and talked to me. He told me he wanted to keep me another night just to be safe. I begged to go. I negotiated. I felt scared as fuck because he could have said no and that would have been it. My freedom was up to this stranger's personal opinion. In the end, though, I managed to plead my way out. Five hours after that, the correct paperwork was done and I was allowed to leave.


My second least favorite thing in the ER is dealing with psych patients. If you walk into an emergency room of your own free choice and tell us that you are having hallucinations or you feel suicidal, we will take you back, take away and lock up your clothing and possessions, and tell you that you cannot leave. If you ask to leave, we will first calmly explain that you cannot, then badger and condescend to you, then threaten to physically restrain and forcibly medicate you.

Policy states that if someone attempts to leave non-violently, if they simply walk toward the door, we should try to talk them into staying but not lay hands on, and call the police when they cross the property line. (The police, of course, will lay all the hands they need to, as will we when we take the patient from the police and throw them in restraints.)

This policy is not followed. If you are deemed a psych hold and you walk towards the door, several burly men will throw you to the ground and hold you down. A bed with straps will be brought. You will be taken to a private room ("private" from the public, not from the five or six strangers in there with you) and have psychoactive medications injected into your buttock. They will then secure you spread-eagle to the bed. With good behavior you might be released in as little as an hour. Acting upset or angry about being restrained, or being aggressive in your requests to be released, are not considered good behavior.

Of course, most of the people we do this to really are completely psychotic. They really wouldn't be safe out on the street and they might be a threat to others as well. Of course you can't let a guy who randomly attacks people at Satan's behest just walk out because Satan told him to. But far too often we restrain people who talk to Satan but don't hurt anyone. Once someone gets the label "crazy," all's fair. And if they don't like it that's just evidence of how damn crazy they must be.


Like the title said, there's no easy answers. Healthcare can't follow the same rules as casual social interactions. Procedures on the genitals aren't sex and keeping someone until their safety can be assured isn't kidnapping. A healthcare system that made it easy for patients to opt out of everything unpleasant would be up to its ass in corpses and lawsuits within a week.

But a healthcare system that makes it difficult or impossible for human beings to opt out of pain and confinement is... it's enough to get me reading the "Help Wanted"s again, I'll tell you that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I have this thing about backrubs. It's not so much a fetish as an all-consuming lifetime obsession. Part of it is that I've spent the last five years in jobs that involve lifting, pushing, and dragging people who often weigh more than I do, so my back muscles are big and frequently sore. And part of it is some deep-rooted psychological association of backrubs with affection.

Rowdy gives a mean backrub.

If you're picturing some gentle circular stroking, that's not it at all. Picture this instead: him grinding his fists and elbows into my back hard, tenderizing my muscles into submission, making me groan loudly with pain and pleasure. My hands, sometimes, stroking or just holding his cock as he rubs my back, feeling how it makes him hard. And him whispering in my ear "this part is going to hurt--it has to hurt, and I know you can take it..."

And me just helpless beneath him.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Happy Fun Post: Argument.

Man, I need to get back to writing about sex. Good sex and good relationships are some of life's greatest joys, and that's why I care so much about fighting the evil and sick things that try to take their place. But man, writing about evil and sick wears me down. Next post gonna be about happy wonderful mutual fun.

But I wanted to make one more point on the whole abuse thing, and that's that this is an argument:

"You didn't get any groceries? What the hell are we going to have for dinner?"
"It's not always my job to shop! Why don't you ever shop?"
"You get off at four and I get off at seven and you had three fucking hours to shop!"
"Oh, so now you're swearing at me? I'm not your domestic fucking servant, okay?"
"Well, I'd just like some goddamn dinner when I get home from work!"
"Well, get your own goddamn dinner!"

It's not a productive or healthy argument, but it's an argument.
This is not an argument:

"You didn't get any groceries? What the hell are we going to have for dinner?"
"I'm sorry. I can go shopping now."
"No! It's too goddamn late now! You had three fucking hours to shop!"
"I'm really sorry, honey. I'll fix it right now. Don't yell."
"Don't fucking yell? I'd just like some goddamn dinner when I get home from work!"
"Okay. I'll make you something. Just have a seat and I'll make you something."
"No, don't even try now, you don't give a shit about me and as far as you're concerned I should work all day and then starve."
"Of course not, honey."

The difference is pretty clear, right? Two people turning angry and insulting is a bad situation, but one person working themself up while the other does nothing but placate and apologize is... another thing.

And when I hear that "they were arguing and things got out of hand," I always wonder if it was really an argument at all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things you learn with an entire hand inside your vagina.

(Your mileage will vary. I realize some people can just throw a fist right in and some people could never do it in their lives, and some people are in the middle but the experience is in some way totally different for them. So these are really just things I learn.)

Trust. Someone with their entire hand inside your vagina could hurt you, deliberately or accidentally. You have to trust, not just that they aren't evil, but that they will read and respond to your signals and that they'll put your pleasure and safety above everything else. This is a trust that goes beyond being sure they won't go "now I've got you, mwa ha ha", and into being sure they won't go "but I've almost got it, just let me try a little longer pleeeeeaase."

Planning. You can't spontaneously decide to start fisting, and next thing you know, his hand just happened to be in there. You have to lube and relax and gradually add one finger after another. You have to talk about it. You have to work at it. This is an entirely intentional sex act.

Relaxation. You have to be way relaxed. Like nearly-asleep relaxed. If you're amped up, positively or negatively, your vagina will know. You can contract it at will like you can contract any muscle, but relaxing it has to come from somewhere deeper. Your fingers and toes have to be relaxed. Every worry and stray thought can be a twitch in your vaginal muscles. The right state of relaxation is very nearly a trance.

Communication. This isn't something you can just consent to, go "okay, stick your hand in me" and lie back. This is something that will make you acutely aware that even the best partner isn't psychic. They can do their best to read your face and your muscles, but they can't feel your pleasure or pain or minor discomfort. For them to know, you have to give constant, active, clear verbal feedback. "I'm ready for one more finger." "That hurts a little, give me a second." "Go slow slow slow, but keep going."

Humility. Sometimes it just doesn't work. All your beautiful trust and communication is for naught, because your vagina just doesn't have that extra half centimeter in it today. You have to be able to say "that's okay, I had fun" instead of barging ahead into frustration or pain.

Anatomy. Having a hand in you makes you acutely aware of your pelvis. You can feel the structure of your own vagina with incredible detail and experience its strength and resilience like never before. Fisting outlines in stark detail how your vagina presses against your bladder in front and rectum in back, and exactly where your g-spot is, and your cervix. Even the bones of your pelvic girdle suddenly become a very real consideration. The things that you're vaguely familiar with from diagrams become physical sensations.

Open-mindedness. The experience is nothing like what you think. I wouldn't even necessarily class it as a BDSM activity--the top has to be extremely responsive and ultimately obedient to the bottom, and when all goes well there is no pain. Before I had experience with fisting--even though I'd had my fingers in vaginas--I always thought of it as working with the pain tolerance of a basically stretchy gooey organ. It's not. It's working with how far an organ of rock-hard, unforgiving muscle will let you go. It's not a domination of the vagina; it's a meditation on the vagina.

Awe. There's just nothing like that moment of "holy shit it's in holy shit." Nothing like it on Earth.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Slut, Deconstructed.

I'm 25, and I've have had sex with 26 (give or take? define "sex"?) people. Whoo doggie, right? But let's break that down.

-Most sluts are not as slutty as you think.
I'm 25. I lost my virginity at 15. So 26 partners is only two or three a year. It's hardly going home with a new guy every night. To break it down further, 6 of those partners were serious romantic relationships, and you can't call a girl slutty for sleeping with her own boyfriend, right? So now it's 20 casual partners over 10 years--a raging, wild, man-eating two per year. I'm so cock-crazy I need it every six months, baby.

I'm not trying to imply that 26 isn't so much but if your number is really high then that's a different situation, morally or socially. I'm only trying to demonstrate that a lot of numbers that seem stratospheric actually break down to very moderate indulgence.

Oh, and a woman in "my god, you can see her everything" clothing dancing on tables and flirting with every guy in the bar might be a virgin for all you know about her.

-Sluttiness doesn't damage anything.
Having sex isn't like smoking; it doesn't give you bad skin or a raspy voice or a propensity to call people "darlin'." Nor does having sex with multiple people have some magical deconstructive effect that having sex multiple times with one partner doesn't. Nor are STDs little angels of justice that start spontaneously generating and bypassing condoms once you reach some critical number.

It's not some slow destructive slide psychologically, either. I suppose if you're slutty for some really unhealthy reason and you hate it--or if you're constantly exposed to slut-hatred from the outside--it could bring you down, but then the sluttery itself isn't your real problem. I've had sex with 26 people and I think that love is real and sex is magical and there's nothing quite like that ineffable, unpredictable spark between two people. And fuck, I would know.

On the other hand, there's not some amazing positive effect either. I haven't become some kind of sex expert, nor met anyone who's fucked so many people that they've learned the secret moves. I'm just more convinced than most that everyone is really, really different in bed, and the only ways to learn are to ask and experiment.

By the way, my vagina's actually pretty tight. If it were loose--if vaginas were made of some kind of fragile inelastic material rather than tough and active muscle tissue--it would be permanently stuck at the diameter of Rowdy's hand, anyway. After that it doesn't matter how many cocks I've had; some were big and some were small, but none of them had knuckles.

-You can't tell a slut by looking.
Clothes are such a powerful symbol in media that you expect a slut to be dressed like a Bratz doll (and a pervert like either the Borg Queen or the biker from the Village People). I, and pretty much all the other high-number-holders that I know, don't have the fashion sense God gave a CS major. It's t-shirt and shorts or skirt in the summer, t-shirt and jeans and jacket in the winter. Whooooo baby.

I'm not super flirty either. I'm kind of shy and awkward, sometimes even prickly. It's just that when I open up to someone, well, I really open up to them.

-Being a slut doesn't mean you can't have relationships.
Rowdy and Sprite know about my past (and present). They like it. They're slutting it up pretty hard themselves. We're, like, Team Slut. We are also in an actual, serious, not-just-sex relationship(s) with cuddling and talking and shared experiences.

See, it turns out that when you take a slut out to dinner, she actually doesn't gnaw on the silverware or start humping the waiter's leg. Hell, she doesn't even hold up a sign saying "I AM A SLUT THIS GUY IS DATING A SLUT." Most sluts these days are thoroughly housebroken and may even have outside interests and personalities.

Are there guys who don't want to date sluts? Sure! And why the hell would I want to date them?

A conversation I had with Rowdy last night:
"You know, when I said I was bisexual on OkCupid it seemed to scare off guys, so I changed it to straight."
"I know you're bi. I'm not scared off."
"Yeah, but you're, like, open-minded."
"So it was important to you to keep a lot of closed-minded guys around?"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Unexpected Poly Challenges.

There are many complications to being in a relationship that involves two other people. And I don't mean the big ones like time management or societal acceptance or emotional issues. I mean the silly little stuff. Things like:

-Blanket wars become epic.

-Only the back seat on the bus can fit three across. (And it smells funny.)

-You have to cc all your emails.

-English has no second-person-plural pronoun. "Aw, I love spending time with... y'all. Youse. You guys."

-Anything less than a king-size bed and you're going to have someone's elbow up your nose all night.

-"I already told this story to you, but she hasn't heard it, so I'm gonna go from the beginning..."

-Three-way kisses seem like they would be adorable, but there's just too many noses.

-Hotels won't give you a room with one bed unless someone hides during check-in.

-Someone has to ride in the back seat of the car.

-Snoring... in stereo.

-"Psst... look, I don't really know you, but I feel like you should know, your boyfriend was here with another woman yesterday."

-My phone doesn't do conference calls.

-"Whose leg am I touching?"

-No one ever suggests that monogamy is only a valid lifestyle if every monogamous relationship is totally equitable and trouble-free.

These were just the first few that came to mind, and I'm relatively new to this particular kind of poly relationship. I'm sure there will be many more. And I'm sure the Unexpected Poly Joys will continue to far outweigh them.

P.S.: Today Rowdy and I were kinda tired and got in bed to "just cuddle and maybe see where it goes," and within fifteen minutes or so he had five fingers up to the knuckles in me. My life is awesome.

Also awesome, by the way: putting one finger in my vagina now, only a couple hours later, and feeling myself close tightly around it. Vaginas are so cool.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cosmocking: November '10!

Dark red cover! Biggest headline: "First, Take Off His Pants"! Classy! Also, "Sh*t My Boyfriend Says," because it's not vulgar if there's an asterisk! Katy Perry! I really want this woman to go away! In a romper! Because that's her thing! And no one else's! Because normal people don't like totally undressing to use the bathroom!

Pat Love, EdD, coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.
Cosmo finally found their perfect expert.

I can't help but picture the conversation, too; in my mind the couple's voices simply cut out when they try to say certain words, leaving nothing but that powerless breathy gasp you make in the nightmares where you can't scream.
"Honey, we need to talk about... haaahh."
"Oh? Is something... haaahh?"
"Well, I love you very much and I'm telling you this because I trust you, but lately I feel like... haaahh."

Sexy: Dudes on a roll [picture of guy standing indifferently on a skateboard]
Skanky: Nudes on a roll [picture of naked people on a roller coaster]

Once again Cosmo confuses "skanky" with "awesome." That's one of the happiest pictures I've ever seen. And it was a cancer fundraiser. (Mildly NWS picture.) If having fun, bending rules, and doing good is "skanky," then I'm glad I'm a skank.

A recent study found that when a guy is attracted to a woman, he'll concentrate so much brain power on wowing her that he'll temporarily lose his short-term memory for basic facts, like the name of the company you work for or your roommate. Aw, that's kinda cute.
Coincidentally, when a guy is not attracted to a woman, he won't care enough to memorize where she works or her roommate's name.

Q: Is sex on the first date a deal breaker?
A: No. I don't get why women think that. You're telling yourself that all you have to offer is your body and the physical act. There's so much more to you than that. If I like somebody, there's so many great things to look forward to, even if we do it on the first night. I want to go to different restaurants with you, hear you tell new stories, see where you work.

This is some musician named Drake, and while I've never heard of him, I had to quote him for getting a small scrap of awesomeness into Cosmo. You're cool, Drake, whoever you are.

Your fantasy: Watching two women get it on
Why it revs you up: You know what it's like to be a woman but have no idea what a man experiences. So with only females in the picture, every kiss, touch, and lick is something you can relate to. Plus, girl-girl action is usually portrayed as more sensual.

Remember, kids, there's no such thing as bisexuality! Hell, I'm not sure there's such a thing as female sexuality at all; are you, like, attracted to people? That's pretty gross.

How to use it: To get more sensual lovin' from your guy, set the scene for it: Put on slow tunes, light a candle, and slip into delicate lingerie. He'll get the message that you want to take things slow.
That's right, kids, when you feel attracted to women, the best way to explore that desire is with a man. That'll keep ya on the straight and narrow.

Also note Cosmo's continuing dedication to not saying anything, but conveying the message entirely through set design and costuming. Because, let's face it, most guys would be pretty turned off by their girlfriend whispering in their ear, "I had a fantasy about two women and tonight you're going to do me nice and slow while I tell you allllll about it."

Your fantasy: Treating your guy like a sex slave
Why it revs you up: If he has to follow your every sexual command, you're guaranteed to get exactly what you need. This fantasy hints that you feel uncomfortable being aggressive in real life and/or are reluctant to tell him that some of his moves don't work.
How to use it: There's a gentler way of letting him know what you want. Pull out a few issues of Cosmo, and circle some sex tips that will help him please you. Then leave the mags open on the coffee table (or in any spot you know he'll see them).

Yep, if you have fantasies of being dominant and taking control, the correct action to take is to be as passive as humanly possible. On the off-chance that he even sees the hints instead of moving them over so he can put down a coaster, on the further-off-chance that he gets that these are things you want him to do, on the only-visible-with-the-Hubble chance that you can find appealing suggestions in Cosmo--you're still not getting to carry out the incredibly obvious and straightforward fantasy you had in the first place.

Sometimes a cigar really is just a giant throbbing cock, Cosmo.

Hold his penis in one hand, and lightly slap it with the other. This increases blood flow to the area.
Oh, so Cosmo does know how to do femdom, they just don't know when they're doing it. I know that this would work for some guys, but because of Cosmo's strict no-talking-about-sex policy, you're supposed to not ask or warn but just start in with the whackity-whack-whack.

Cosmo's 2010 Bachelor Blowout
I will never understand this. It's just pages and pages of guys--one from every state--who don't happen to be married. And they have vapid little blurbs like "People tell me I have a great smile." And it just goes on and on. I guess most of them are above-average-looking, and some of them have their shirts off, but I don't get this. Is every Cosmo girl in Nebraska supposed to track down the Nebraska dude because "OMG he's available" or what? It's just a listing of men who exist. I'm baffled.

When you go get your Saturday morning caffeine fix, take a look around the coffee shop to see if there are any cute guys with their noses buried in a laptop. If you spot one, approach him and ask if you could borrow his computer to briefly Google something. When he hands it to you, quickly open a blank Word doc, and type in your name and number before handing it back to him.
And then...? I get the impression you're supposed to just sashay away in a puff of exotic perfume and ethereal beauty, but if you aren't an ethereal beauty then it's kind of weird. I guess this tip isn't terrible, but I don't think I have what it takes to make guys go "who was that mystery woman?" I have what it takes to make guys go "then we just started talking like we'd known each other forever," and I like that so much more.

Your man begs you to play hooky so you can enjoy a frisky day at home together... but you have a ton on your to-do list at work. You tell him...
A)"I have to turn in a report by noon, but I feel a cold coming on after that..."
B) "Screw it. My deadlines can wait a day."
C) "Keep your pants on, horndog. There's no way I'm ditching."

If you choose "C", the quiz informs you that you are "a bitch to yourself." Because if you cared about you, you'd put your job in jeopardy because your boyfriend asked you to. That's just good self-respect right there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Put your clicks where your mouth is.

Christ. I get more hits and followers than like ever, and meanwhile my body is slowly melting into a light slurry. I currently have a temperature of 103.2, tonsils like softballs, pain pain pain pain pain, thirteen pounds lost since this started, and my widdle nosie has the sniffoos, too.

So for the moment, I'm going to just use this blog as a platform to say: if you care about rape, here's a no-effort way to do something about it. The Classy Awards are an event that awards large cash prizes to charities, and you can vote for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center by clicking here. They're in the running in several categories: Charity Of The Year, Most Effective Awareness Campaign, and Most Innovative Use Of Social Media. Peace Over Violence, which is also in the running for Most Effective Awareness Campaign, is another charity combating sexual and domestic violence.

This is the ultimate slacktivism opportunity: just click! (Remember to click "submit my ballot," too. And then it wants to glom onto your Facebook or else you have to enter some stuff. So it's actually click, click, type, click, so I guess I'm asking for some serious commitment here after all.)

I personally know some of the people behind the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and I can vouch that they do good work that they really believe in. They run a 24-hour hotline and provide advocacy, legal assistance, counseling, and other services to victims of sexual violence.

If you care enough to get in a highfalutin theoretical argument about skirt lengths and proximate causes and cultural influences blah de blah, then you should care enough to offer your support to people on the front lines, people who aren't just supporting rape victims with Internet blustering, but by getting off their asses and driving to the ER at 3 AM. At a minimum you can give your clicks, but it makes even more of a difference when you directly donate or, if you're in the Boston area, volunteer.

Changing attitudes about rape is important. I never want to diminish that. But it's also important not to forget that there are people out there doing something about it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Seven Points On Rape, Prevention, and Blame.

Okay. That one post seemed to provoke a bit of a clusterfuck, and although one obnoxious dude was about 75% of it, he wasn't all of it. So here are some clarifications about why "I'm not blaming victims, but women should follow some common sense advice" is bullshit.

1. Preaching rape prevention at or about a rape victim is like telling a 9/11 widow "you know, he shouldn't have been on a plane that day." Thanks a ton, Reverse Nostradamus. Everyone is stunned by your brilliant ability to predict the past consequences of actions in the past. For an encore will you tell me the lottery numbers I should have picked last Wednesday?

2. Rape prevention tips are almost never effective against partners and friends. You can be as twitchy as you like on the sidewalk or in the parking lot, but there's a 65% chance (of reported rapes, so you can kinda imagine) that it's the person you come home and sleep next to that you have to worry about.

Anecdotally, all the victims of sexual violence that I know personally were victimized by someone they already knew, in their home or their attacker's. (And none of them have formally reported it, because of the perceived--probably real--impossibility of going to the police with a story about "I've had sex with this guy lots of times and I was in his house and he didn't leave any marks and I didn't call 911 but it was rape." All this Stranger Danger bullshit about avoiding parked vans and keeping your keys in your hand wouldn't have done shit for a single rape victim that I know.

3. Rape prevention tips tend to overlap suspiciously well with "be a proper little lady" tips. Gosh, dressing conservatively and not getting drunk and not being out on my own and not getting too close to strangers will protect me from rape! I'll buy my prairie dress and arrange a suitable male escort home from my 7PM prayer meeting at once!

Having freedom of movement and expression isn't worth getting raped, but frankly, it is worth a 0.0001% chance of getting raped. This tends to be discounted by people who drive on highways and take plane flights without a second thought.

4. These tips disproportionately come from guys who don't see any such restrictions applying to themselves. Sucks to be you, ladies, but I don't make the rules! ...I just enjoy declaring what they are.

5. The implication sometimes arises--in rape as with no other crime--that if the victim can be blamed, then it's no longer rape at all. A robbery victim who acted incredibly reckless and gullible may be called stupid, but they won't be accused of giving their money as a gift. But rape seems to be somehow diminished if the victim was taking an extraordinary risk of rape, as if "I'll take a shortcut through the park, even if I am still dressed for clubbing" was an equivalent thought to "I'd like to have sex with just anyone who comes along."

6. The resulting discussions invariably make rapists out to be some kind of inevitable force of nature. Rapers gonna rape, what can you do. The idea that anyone can be educated about or deterred from committing sexual violence is dismissed out of hand. The discussion of rape becomes all about the victim and her choices, and despite some "rape is bad, yo" lip service, the rapist's choices go unremarked upon until they disappear and some chick apparently raped herself.

To the response, "well, do you think rape is just totally random and can never ever be predicted, huh", I refer you up to my friend Reverse Nostradamus in point 1, since you two seem to share a talent for predicting rapes that already happened.

Yes, one could technically construct an actuarial table correlating certain behaviors with an increased risk of rape, but:
-No one's actually done this, to my knowledge, so Internet know-it-alls are just going with the "common sense" approach involving prairie dresses.
-Most of the differences would likely be tiny, and arguably not worth the cost to the potential victim's freedom and quality of life. (I.e., if you decide avoiding rape is worth a million dollars, but something only decreases your rape chances by 0.0001%, then if that something costs more than $1, it's not worth it. Yes, you voluntarily increased your rape chances, but infinitesimally, and rape is not the only variable in your life.)
-All those pesky rapes by friends and partners would skew the data so hard you'd think the riskiest behavior of all was sleeping in your own home.

7. "But" is the ultimate bullshit word in these discussions. You know how someone who's not "I'm not racist but" is about to spout some Klan talking points? Someone who's "I'm not blaming the victim, and the rapist is a horrible person, and in her case maybe there was nothing she could do, but" is hiding a whole lot of misogyny and rape-apologism and blame in their but.

Goofus and Gallant get into kink.

Goofus hears that kink has to do with sex, sees a bunch of pictures of sexy ladies in tight black things, and decides this is for him.
Gallant explores his own sexual desires and fantasies and finds that they involve BDSM or other fetishes, and decides this is for him.

Goofus joins FetLife and is frustrated that there's no search function for 18-22-year-old submissive females in his area. He has to seek them out and send wordless friend requests manually!
Gallant joins FetLife to read the event listings and discussion groups for his area, and to give kinky people a way to contact him. He friends people he meets in real life and people he's had interesting discussions with, whether they're sexual prospects or not.

Goofus doesn't want to go to a munch, because he'll be seen out in public with a bunch of freaks who are into whips and chains. Besides, if you can't play there, what's the point?
Gallant makes a point of attending his local munch, because it's a great way to meet people and make connections, and it's fun and sociable.

Goofus approaches potential partners with heavy-breathing nervousness, presumptive role-playing, or overwrought Game.
Gallant approaches potential partners as friends.

Goofus doesn't like having a bunch of weirdo freaks around.
Gallant may not be attracted to every gender, age, body type, and fetish of his co-kinksters, but he appreciates the diversity.

Goofus thinks negotiation takes all the spontaneity out of play, and anyway, isn't the Dom supposed to be making the rules here? Besides, he's not quite sure what he wants. You know, kinky shit.
Gallant insists on clear and levelheaded negotiation of both partner's boundaries before play, inquiring as to his partner's physical and emotional limits as well as their desires, and sharing his own.

Goofus decides on his first day that he wants to be a 24/7 live-in slave with no safeword, and everything else is just leading up to that.
Gallant starts slow and is sensitive to the possibility that his desires will change with time and experience.

Goofus touches people and their possessions as he wishes--after all, he's only being friendly and curious, he's not hurting anything.
Gallant says "may I hug you?" and "can I see that flogger?" every time it's even slightly questionable.

Goofus takes pictures at events, posts the location of the local dungeon on Facebook, and says "hey, I saw Joe at the munch" to Joe's friends.
Gallant makes sure what happens in Kinkland stays in Kinkland.

Goofus thinks munches are meat markets where people talk about kinky sex until they find someone to have kinky sex with.
Gallant thinks munches are social events where people talk about anything and everything and occasionally meet future partners, but doesn't expect anything beyond socialization.

Goofus has toys that look cool.
Gallant has toys he knows how to use.

Goofus has a lot of ideas about what "real" Doms and subs do, and if a Dom likes to suck cock or a sub doesn't like pain, he's baffled or even offended.
Gallant knows people like what they like, call themselves what they call themselves, and if everyone's having fun more power to them.

Goofus thinks subs really are lesser than Doms and genuinely doesn't respect them.
Gallant thinks at the end of the day we're all people, and people who choose to serve people, well, ditto.

Goofus gets a lot of ideas from porn.
Gallant gets a lot of ideas from talking to and watching more experienced kinksters.

Goofus doesn't want to be seen in public with his kink partners, and takes pride in dating a "normal" outside partner.
Gallant treats his kink partners the same as any others, be they one-night-stands or serious commitments, and takes pride in dating someone he has a great connection with.

Goofus thinks of kink as separate from his life, something he can stuff into a shameful little box that he only opens when he has a boner. He'd never dream of doing anything but kink with his kink friends, and he doesn't think of kink as a part of him--he's not some pervert, he just does this stuff for fun sometimes.
Gallant thinks of kink as a part of his life, sometimes a private part, but nonetheless one of the things that make him who he is. He is kinky, and doesn't define himself by it, but he accepts it.

(The "format" posts will stop when my fever goes under 102. I just don't have a lot of essays in me, man.)