Much like The Comedian, or Marlboro Man, or The Yeti, I’m starting to think that the dude I’m seeing right now needs a title, and The Boyfriend isn’t it. Let’s go with The Yankee. I like that. Let’s hope this situation sticks around long enough to warrant the knighthood. So, now that that’s out of the way.
I was reading This post of Emily’s the other day and had a lot of feelings about it.
My first thought was Yeah, why is it that women always have to be the condom police, insisting on our own safety? Why is it that men put their own pleasure above their partners safety? That’s so… un-partner-ly.
Plus, as Dan Savage says, if a guy tells you he doesn’t want to wear a condom because he can’t feel anything through it, tell him that we know there isn’t a big difference between condom on and condom off because condoms break and men (wait for it) don’t notice.
And then I realized that even though this is the cultural narrative, and this is the script I always hear, I’ve actually never personally had this experience. In my life the sentence “Condom?” or “You should grab a condom.” has always meant, “Yeah, I think I do want to have sex with you.” And then a condom was retrieved; end of story. No one has ever fought with me about wearing one, no one has ever tried any funny business without one. In fact the closest to ‘funny business’ I’ve ever gotten was when a guy grabbed one and I laughed in his face “What’s that for? I’m not having sex with you. Drop it cause we won’t be going anywhere near needing that.” Yeah, I said that to a naked man’s face. I’m very motivational. You may take notes.
In fact The Yankee is SuperCondom Man. He has on occasion said “We’re not going to have sex, but I’m going to [put our organs near each other] so I’m going to put on a condom now, ok? But we’re not going to have sex so put that out of your mind, ok?” He’s so darn nice to me. I can’t be the only person in the world turned on by that sentence can I?
I don’t know what it says about me that I’ve never been on the receiving end of such funny business. I wish I did so I could turn it into some advice.
What I do know, however, is that our society teaches
that sex is a contest, and that men win and women lose when sex or nudity happens. It’s an archaic, prudish, creepy concept that derives from twisted notions about female purity and women-as-property. [x]
If you don’t believe me just go watch Seth McAsshat’s opening number from the Oscars. And then read Seth D. Michaels wonderful article about it.
And when we teach that sex is a commodity for men to buy/win from women through trickery/bribery then it fits into the same model that men win bigger from women losing bigger. Sex without a condom being a higher score, or in the butt, or whatever else they consider more degrading.
People are fond of saying ‘men are jerks.’ but I hate that notion. I know too many good guys to believe that they’re just naturally predisposed to nastiness and I’ve magically stumbled on a treasure trove of good ones. Men aren’t the problem. The patriarchy, the kool aid, the polluted airwaves telling Seth McFarlane that ‘I win because I tricked you into letting me see your boobs’ is funnier than anything Amy Poehler has ever said, is the problem.
So if the guy you’re seeing is a jerk about using condoms teach him a lesson about what you expect and deserve. By dumping his ass.
So I guess the only advice I can give on how not to be the condom police is to say No early and often and when you mean it.
I tell my niece, “if a guy offers to buy you a drink and you say no, and he pesters you until you say okay, what he wants for his money is to find out if you can be talked out of no.” The rapist doesn’t listen to refusals, he probes for signs of resistance in the meta-message, the difference between a target who doesn’t want to but can be pushed, and a target who doesn’t want to and will stand by that even if she has to be blunt.
It follows that the purpose of setting clear boundaries is not to be understood — that’s not a problem — but to be understood to be too hard a target. [x]
Say what you mean and mean what you say. If a guy presses you in a common interaction he’s going to try to press you later. Make your boundaries clear and firm and you’ll naturally weed out the people who aren’t going to respect them.
And you’ll be changing the paradigm a little at a time. That should make you feel good.