Tag Archives: Trust

Believe Women

13 Feb

I just literally gasped and teared up during a YouTube video about female ejaculation.

The question isn’t if female ejaculation is real. It’s why you don’t trust women to tell you.

I don’t have a personal investment in female ejaculation. I can’t do it so what do I care? But I do have a personal investment in people trusting women to describe and report their experiences.

I’m tired of people not believing women who report rapes. I’m tired of doctors not believing women’s own accounts of their symptoms and timelines.

Believe women. Believe them in all things.

Yes, a tiny number of people lie about being raped, but almost all rapists lie about raping.

Believing Victims Is the First Step to Stopping Rape – NYTimes.com

 

First Kiss

31 Mar

I am loving this video right now. And it keeps reminding me of this post about watching someone put on a condom.

What makes a kiss such an intimate thing is that when it’s over you know something about them you didn’t before. You know how they taste, what their lips feel like, what makes them hungry, what makes them want to kiss you and what doesn’t.

This video just makes it a little clearer because you know there wasn’t a date part that helped along the knowing. We know everything they know about each other except for the little bit they found on each others lips.

And everything is different from the knowing.

Condom Police And The Introduction Of The Yankee

8 Mar

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.

WHY DO WOMEN ALWAYS HAVE TO BE THE CONDOM POLICE, ANYWAY?

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.

Sexy Is As Sexy Feels, Not As Sexy Does

26 Feb

I recently started seeing a guy who I can be really brutally honest with.  The other night we were at a bar and he kept trying to nuzzle me and I said “I’m going to say this and it’s going to sound mean but I don’t mean for it to be mean.  Stop touching me like you’re my boyfriend.”  He looked sort of taken aback for a moment and then said, “Only in public right?” and I nodded and he jovially said “Ok” and thanked me for being honest about my discomfort.

All this is to say that this morning when I said “When I’m in bed with someone I always get distracted from feeling sexy by trying to perform Sexiness properly,” he could trust that I was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But just saying that he trusts, doesn’t mean he understands.  Because he freely admits that he doesn’t really.  That to him I just AM sexy, no effort required.  And I have a really hard time accepting that.  That he can watch me lap up curry and still think I’m as as delicious looking as when I’m eyeing him in my underwear.

It takes practice for me to not perform sexy as it’s taught on every magazine cover.  But I’m starting to notice that when I stop trying to stick my butt out or part my lips the right way, that’s when I can actually focus on what feels good.  And thats much nicer to focus on.

Sometimes guys put stupid things in your head and sometimes you do it all on your own.  And you’re probably going to think I’m crazy but I’m going to tell you a secret.  A secret that you can appreciate now that you know how trustworthy I am. I imagine myself bigger.  I imagine I have Lena Dunham’s butt and thighs. And somehow that helps me value my own pleasure over my self-imposed need to pretend I’m Kate Moss.

You’ve Got A Girl At Home And That’s Not My Problem

5 Jan

TayTay’s position on this age old question seems to reside firmly on the I won’t do that to another lady side of the line but a few years ago a male friend of mine voiced a not-unreasonable alternative.

Your relationship is not my problem.

What a crazy notion.  Your relationship is not my problem, it’s your problem.  If you want to mess it up with me (or anybody else) then that’s your choice.  I’m not going to drag you away from some other lady but I’m also not going to police your penis.  You are a grown man with the ability to make choices and take responsibility for them.  You shouldn’t need me to help you stay in your relationship and if you do then it seems to me you’ve got other issues to deal with.

So while I’m on the bandwagon with sisterhood I’m also on the bandwagon with men taking responsibility for their own actions even when horny.  I don’t think that’s so unreasonable as I did back when I was in High School.

What I Want

25 May

I think it’s worth putting out here that this is what I want from life:

It’s not a lot but it’s what I want, yeah, that’s what I want.

I’d take a dash of this too.

Advice – Consent Is Hot

5 May

So I have this friend who’s a very sweet dude. We’ve lived together for two non-consecutive years, and over that time we’ve had a fair amount of back-and-forth about feminism in the modern age: he’s very much a novice at feminism, but his heart is in completely the right place. His is exactly the kind of “I don’t know this material, please teach me!” attitude towards learning about rape culture, institutional misogyny, and Treating Ladies Right that we need from dudes all over.

But I’ve been having a bunch of conversations with him lately where he tells me that he doesn’t like to, while mackin’ on a date, ask the lady if she wants to have sex with him.
It’s not what you think; he’s not forcing himself on a lady because he doesn’t want to “ruin the moment” by asking for consent. In fact, he does the exact opposite. He stays so far away from bringing it up that the ladies he goes out with are always the ones to initiate. His reasoning is that if he asks whether she wants to have sex, he joins the culture of men who pressure women into having sex: even asking if she wants to have sex is thrown into the category of manipulative and vile behavior. Women don’t want to be asked if they want to have sex, he says, because they are pure beings who are repulsed by the very thought until somehow convinced that sex is awesome, like, somewhere down the line, and can’t they have a nice time without some douchebag asking politely if they would like to take this into the bedroom?

How can I explain to him that a) putting women on that kind of pedestal is a different kind of sexism, and b) that being asked nicely for consent in the context of a date isn’t, in fact, a form of harassment?

I’m putting ‘consent’ on the list of things that I could talk about forever.

First of all I want to say that this is a great example of how when you teach your children that all sex is evil, they don’t have less sex, just less good sex.

First question first:

I don’t care what Cosmo or Disney or Michael Bay told you.  Women are just as likely or unlikely to want sex as a man.  Want to know the secret reason why men don’t know how much women like sex (and my definition of sex is not strictly PIV btw)?  Because men have made damn sure that if a lady expresses desire for sex then bad stuff is going to happen to her.  If you let anyone know you use contraceptives, Rush Limbaugh and half the country call you a slut.  If you get raped, it’s your fault.  If your boyfriend threatens to release a sex tape you made against your will, suck it up.  So us ladies need to be careful about who we share this information with.  And do you know the easiest way to become someone I want to share that information with?  You guessed it!  Show me you respect my desires and boundaries, ask for my permission, ask me what I want to do/done to me, USE YOUR WORDS!  (seriously, dudes, words.  They are magic.  I freaking love words).

The short answer is that you should explain to your friend that putting women on the ‘pure’ pedestal is sexist because women are people and people have sex drives that range from Asexual to Sasha Grey.  Putting all women on the ‘pure’ pedestal says that you think women are not people, you think they’re something else.  And that is wrong.

Your friend needs to read some blogs written by women.  AFeministSub is great.  Pervocracy is too.  Check out LitErotica.com and realize that most of it is written by women because-shocking news- women like sex.  33% of internet porn consumers are women now too.

To your second question:

Being asked nicely for consent in the context of a date is not, in fact, a form of harassment because harassment is when you use your body, your words, or whatever else you have at your disposal to tell me that you put your desire for sex over my desire for whatever the hell I’m desiring be that space, food, sleep, a peaceful work environment, a pleasant jog, or even intimacy.  Asking a gal who agreed to go on a date with you and who is presumably kissing you on the couch Pleasantville style whether she would like to have sex tells her that her desires do indeed matter to you.  That context makes a huge difference.

Plus, a man who asks for explicit consent is extremely sexy.  Have you read me?  And here is why: Knowing that a guy is going to respect my boundaries (and there are many ways to prove you’ll respect my boundaries) makes me trust you.  When I trust you I allow myself to be more vulnerable with you, tell you what I really want because I know that you won’t laugh at me, I’m more comfortable about my body which makes me feel more attractive and more interested in getting down, there are some major pluses in it for this dude.

Also, is that a thing?  Do men think that asking for consent ruins the moment?  Seriously?  I’d accept that as an excuse for sexual assault about as readily as I’d accept ‘I can’t feel anything through it’ as an excuse not to wear a condom.  As Dan Savage likes to say ‘The proof that you can feel through a condom is that they break and you don’t notice.’  Yeah.

Some advice on how to ask that question and how to feel comfortable about asking that question:

Ask permission for every little thing.  It’ll become like a game, and who doesn’t like games?  And it’ll build trust, a rapport, giggles, fun!  ‘May I take your shoes off?  May I take your shirt off?  May I pee?  May I kiss your hem?’  Why the hell not?  If you feel silly asking her if she’d like to go to your room then why not make the mood silly?  It can’t hurt, can it?

Another great thing you can do is tug at clothing but in the ‘on’ direction.  Tug her shirt towards you or down and put your hands on her waist rather than trying to pull her shirt up or moving your hands towards her boobs without permission.  This conveys the feeling of ‘why is this damn piece of clothing in the way of your awesome body but it’s not mine to remove’ instead of ‘I want to see you naked and whether you’re into that or not doesn’t really matter to me’ and will most likely result in her taking it off.

Also, there are very sexy ways to ask someone for permission.  Check that out (VERY NSFW).  Around minute 5 stuff starts heating up and if you watch closely you’ll see them whispering and around 7:20 she says ‘I dunno’ and a few seconds later an enthusiastic ‘ok.’  There are sexy ways to ask questions with your words while in bed and James Deen knows them all.

Always remember though that nothing a woman does (short of either grabbing your penis and putting it in her vagina or saying ‘I want to have sex tonight’) means she wants to have sex with you tonight or ever.  Personally there have been plenty of times when I have ‘moved forward’ with a guy knowing full well that I was not going to have intercourse with him that night or ever.  I’m a pretty brazen lady and I tend to act pretty brazenly.  I have thrown guys into my bed and gotten them naked while having no expectation of having PIV sex.

Also, I want to point out that sometimes if I don’t want to have sex with a guy then in my head I’ll be like ‘I guess I shouldn’t get us all naked and make him think that’s going to happen.’ However- If said guy asks the magic question ‘Do you want to have sex?’ and I’m like ‘no’ and he responds maturely with an ‘ok’ and keeps up with the awesome kissing then I can be like ‘well I didn’t say I didn’t want to have any fun’ and then I can engage in other kinds of  clothingless fun that isn’t all PIV and stuff.

Bottom line- using your words leads to more nakedness than there would have been before.  Using your words means that you’ll get closer to the heart of what each of you is looking to get out of this encounter so you’ll be more likely to get those things.

Can One Hang A Hat On A Vagina?

17 Mar

Today I read a Dan Savage column which (as always) touched me.  I can’t even cut it up it was just so good.

I had a threesome with my husband and another woman because I am GGG and that’s always been a fantasy of his. I laid out my ground rules, and they were violated. (I said I was uncomfortable with his P in her V, and I ended up watching them fuck.) I didn’t stop it at the time because I didn’t want to ruin it for him. It’s been some time, and my heart is still broken. I was completely down with every other aspect of the threesome, but I feel like a line was crossed. Am I wrong to feel hurt?

Heartbroken

Please hand this column to your husband. My response is for him.

You are one stupid motherfucker.

Here’s how you’re a motherfucker: Your wife agreed to have a threesome on one condition—no penis-in-vagina intercourse with the other woman. That’s a fairly common ground rule for first-time threesomes, and you agreed to honor that ground rule. But you went ahead and stuck your penis in the other woman’s vagina anyway.

Maybe you felt your wife’s no-penis-in-our-third’s-vagina ground rule was arbitrary. Maybe it seemed like a distinction without a difference—you were already sucking and fondling and kissing and rolling around, why should fucking be against the rules?—but it mattered to your GGG wife. And your wife consented to that threesome only after you agreed not to stick your penis in the other woman’s vagina. And when you went ahead and stuck your penis in the other woman’s vagina anyway, you stupid motherfucker, that threesome suddenly became a nonconsensual sexual experience for your wife. And now she feels violated.

Because you violated her.

Adding to her feelings of violation, she felt obligated to play along and pretend she was fine with your penis in the other woman’s vagina because she didn’t want to ruin the experience for you, for starters, and she probably didn’t want to make your third feel uncomfortable—a third who either didn’t know about the no-penis-in-her-vagina ground rule or knew about it and didn’t give a shit (which makes her a malicious motherfucker)—and as a result, your wife may feel complicit in her own violation. Talk about mind-fucks!

That’s how you’re a motherfucker. Here’s how you’re stupid: If you had demonstrated to your wife during your very first threesome that you could be trusted, if you had cheerfully observed the ground rules, this threesome would very likely have been the first in a whole series of sexual adventures. If you had kept your penis out of the other woman’s vagina, you stupid motherfucker, your wife might have trusted you with more and allowed you to do more during a future threesome. You might have gotten to penis-in-vagina intercourse with another woman with your wife’s enthusiastic consent!

To others out there with partners who have agreed to have a threesome: Sometimes, a nervous wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend sets ground rules for an inaugural threesome that seem arbitrary, because they are arbitrary. (Don’t use tongue when you kiss the other person, don’t use my favorite tit clamps on the other person, you can put your penis in the hole in the other person’s face but not in the hole[s] in the other person’s swimsuit area.) When your partner declares a particular kiss/toy/orifice out of bounds, he or she isn’t just holding something back because it’s special. They are also measuring your ability to respect their boundaries. Respecting your partner’s boundaries—honoring those ground rules—sends a message: “I may be messing around with someone else with your okay, but I love you, and your emotional and sexual needs still come first.”

And once a nervous wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend sees with their own eyes that their ground rules are going to be respected—once they see that their partners can mess around with someone else without forgetting who matters to them most—those ground rules tend to become less restrictive.

But that’s not gonna happen for you now, you stupid motherfucker, because you couldn’t honor your wife’s ground rules during your first—and most likely last—threesome. You violated her, you violated her trust, and you screwed yourself out of future sexual adventures. If you ever hope to have another threesome, or to realize some other sexual fantasy, or if your wife has a sexual fantasy that she would like to realize (one that you might enjoy helping her realize), you’re going to need to offer her a plausible explanation and an abject apology. (emphasis mine) [x]

I talk a lot about consent because it’s important.  Listening to/reading as many advice columns/shows as I do there are two themes that seem to run rampant.  The first is a trust issue – My SigFig did this and now I can’t trust them.  And the second is one partner wanting a more adventurous sex life – How can I convince my SigFig to do that.  

It seems to me like the two problems are more closely linked than most people give them credit.  Not that monogamish/non-exclusive relationships breed trust issues, in fact I think that when executed correctly they foster more trust than strict monogamous relationships in which both people know they’re harboring thoughts of others they’re afraid to voice to their partner.

Savage’s response made me think of another quote I read and loved lately.

…I’ve started to love the feeling of “coming home” to Rowdy after fooling around with someone else; it’s a wonderful warm thing to be able to say “I like going off and having adventures, but your dick is where I hang my hat.” (emphasis mine)[x]

To have sexual adventures with your non-primary partner obviously requires a high level of trust and the easiest way to build that trust is to show your partner at every step of the way “Yes, insert sexual adventure may be happening but you are where I hang my hat and that’s why I’m not going to go be a stupid mother*ucker and give you a reason not to trust me.”

Side note: It’s very interesting to write this knowing full well that my mother will be reading it proudly.  What a strange world we live in.

Now I Need A Place To Hide Away

15 Jun

Today I found something that inspired me to write for the first time in a while.

Here goes:

 

Sometimes there are people in your life who stop being positive forces and start being negative forces.  There is someone in my life who once brought me a lot of joy and who I considered a very close friend.  This person made me feel special and smart and like I was a really important friend.  And recently I’ve found that all those good feelings are gone.

And so I’ve decided to give myself permission to put some distance between us.  It doesn’t make me a selfish person or a bad friend.  It’s just necessary because what we have right now isn’t functioning.  It’s broken.

Dan Savage says that when you end a relationship you need to “cut it off and cauterize” before you can be friends with your ex.  This goes hand in hand with the ‘you break up because it’s broken’ theory which I thoroughly believe.

This person (or gangrene hand) is causing you problems, messing up the rest of your life.  If you keep it you’ll die.  But if you really want to have a relationship with it you need to cut it off, go to therapy for a while, and then once you’ve come to terms with your armlessness steal it back from the biohazard lab and put it in a jar on your fireplace.

Isn’t that what you read in your Anatomy Coloring Book?

Advice – Secrets Secrets Are No Fun

19 May

I recently took a brief vacation, and I stayed at the home of my (live-in) girlfriend’s mother. My girlfriend was not there; we are both educators, and her spring vacation is at a different time.

During my visit, the mother told me that she had recently developed a romantic relationship with a man.

Her husband of more than 40 years passed away about a year prior to our conversation.

She asked me not to tell my girlfriend, since she’d be seeing her in person on a weeklong vacation the following month and didn’t want her to hear it secondhand. I obliged.

I honestly believed my girlfriend would feel happy that her mother had found some companionship.

When my girlfriend returned from her vacation, she was furious at me for not divulging her mom’s secret to her and for forcing her to be surprised by this news that she doesn’t like.

She accused me of not being on “her team.”

Though I appreciate what she might think about her mom jumping back into the dating pool so soon, I was stunned at her reaction to me.

Does she have a point?

— Keeping Secrets

Did you really think Girlfriend would enjoy this surprise?  Really?  Really?

If you honestly did then you’re mostly in the clear and you should just calmly explain to Girlfriend that you truly had her best interest at heart.

With some exceptions of course.  I can’t just tell you that you were right and she was wrong.  That would be too darn easy.

First of all, if you hurt her feelings and put her in an uncomfortable situation (no, your good intentions don’t matter at all) then you need to apologize for making a bad situation worse and (albeit accidentally) causing her pain.

Also, a month?  I have trouble keeping a secret from my housemate for a whole night.  I can’t imagine keeping a secret from my live-in lover for a whole month.  Though I guess lots of people (cheaters, guys planning a surprise proposal) do it all the time.

Apologize for the pain you caused and concede that in the future you’ll try to learn from this experience and not make the same mistake again.

However, if your heart was pure make sure she knows your reasons for your actions.  It’ll help your case a lot if she really can trust that you did what you did out of love.

And if all else fails, just remember that the kind of girl who would break up with you over this crud, the kind of girl who wouldn’t believe that you really wanted her to just be happy for her mother, is not the kind of girl you need in your life.

Good luck!

Update:  Alright, I just read what Amy the Asked had to say in response to KS.  Her advice was mostly about what KS should have said to Girlfriend’s Mom.  This advice is, among other things, unhelpful.  Especially considering, as they say, that the moment has passed.  So I’ll add that in future similar situations, should Girlfriend’s Mom make this mistake again, KS should say something like “Last time I tried to keep a secret from Girlfriend it backfired pretty hard and I love your daughter too much to hurt her again.  Could you please tell her ASAP and put me out of my sure and impending misery?”