Sex Is Not The Enemy

Chastity pledges, purity rings, abstinence-only education — those are things more common in the US, sure, but a watered-down version does exist here in Canada. And I see a number of very big problems with these things, and the attitudes they spring from, especially since I’m in close contact with the people most affected by them — youth.

Problem 1: It’s Impractical

The first problem with chastity pledges is that they are massively impractical. It’s easy to promise you’ll never do something when you have no concept of what it is you’re giving up. Also? Sex is a biological drive, and in evolutionary terms, we’ve been having sex in our teen years since forever. In the Victorian era, marriageable age was 12 for girls and 14 for boys. Societal standards have only changed in the last hundred years or so, which means that we’ve only recently become prudes. When you consider how hard it is to stay a virgin until you’re married at 15 versus getting married at 25 or 30, well. The problem there is that one societal standard shifted (age at which it is considered normal to marry), but the corresponding expectation (staying virginal until marriage) didn’t.

Problem 2: The Prohibition Principle

By making sex “forbidden”, you’re actually increasing it’s appeal, and thereby the temptation to say “screw it” and break your promise. And those kinds of decisions?  Tend to be made in the heat of the moment and result in unsafe sex.

Problem 3: It’s a Lose-Lose System

By setting up sex as something sacred within marriage and forbidden outside of it, those who break their promise get saddled with huge amounts of guilt and shame, which they then feel compelled to deal with on their own rather than risk further stigma by talking to someone who can guide them. This becomes a rather nasty catch-22 when the sex in question results in STIs or unwanted pregnancy. Of course, even on the opposite side of things — when the young person really does wait until marriage before engaging in sex — you still have to deal with internalized shame around sex, the head-spinney rules about what kind of sex is “acceptable” and what isn’t, and the fact that you’re no longer “pure” even if you played by the rules. No matter what happens, people end up feeling like shit for a biological imperative.

Problem 4: It’s Archaic and Patriarchal

See, most of the time, expectations and social condemnation about adolescent sex is directed at women and girls. The peeps who own a Y-chromosome basically get off with a slap on the wrist, if that, while young women who are discovered having premarital sex suffer a disproportionate array of consequences. These can include, but are not limited to: slut-shaming and bullying; social ostracism; being disowned; sexually transmitted infections, both relatively harmless if caught and treated (ex: syphilis, chlamydia) and those that are much, much more serious (hepatitis, HIV); unwanted pregnancy, which can result in further distress from the inability to access safe abortion, forced adoption of the baby, or raising the child alone.

See, women are the ones who are most likely to contract an infection from unprotected sex with a partner. It’s much harder for a woman to pass along an STI to her partners than it is for a man to pass along STIs to his. Women are also the ones who end up with unwanted pregnancies from unprotected (and even protected) sex. But women don’t have sex by themselves. It is impossible for a woman to get an infection or knocked up without help from a (usually male) partner — but we stick her with the burden of responsibility, and all of the judgement when one of those things happen to her. Society tells her that she is a slut, that she’s dirty, that she deserved it because she should have known better. Why don’t men get just as much blame, just as many fingers pointed at them? Why isn’t male sexuality policed as thoroughly as female sexuality is?

Oh, right. Because it’s not fair to tell people what they can and can’t do with their own bodies. Especially when we’re talking about something that is normal, natural, and healthy.

Sex is not the enemy. It is not evil, come to tempt you. It is not good and precious only when had between spouses. Sex is messy, fun, awkward, even beautiful, but it’s definitely not something anyone should be made to feel ashamed of having. Without sex, none of us would be here.

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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

 

Laying Blame

You don’t blame the nerdy kid for being bullied because he’s smart. You don’t tell him to dumb himself down and avoid attention—you tell him that what he has is valuable, and to believe in his own self-worth.

You don’t blame the family whose home was burgled for having things worth stealing. You don’t tell them to stop buying or owning things worth having—you give them sympathy and help them replace what they’ve lost.

You don’t blame the person who was stabbed when they didn’t have what their muggers wanted. You don’t tell them to carry around valuables to appease their future attackers, or weapons to protect themselves—you help them heal.

You don’t blame an abused child for being afraid of their abuser. You don’t tell them that they should have fought back, or gotten away sooner—you protect them, and help them learn to trust again.

You don’t blame the homicide victim for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You don’t dismiss the tragedy because they provoked their attacker, or caught their attacker’s attention—you mourn for the life that was ended too early, and comfort the survivors as best you can.

So what the hell is wrong with you that you’d blame victims of sexual assault for what happened to them? Why do you assume that they “should have known better”—than to be out at night, to have said yes before, to draw attention to themselves, to wear “that” out of the house? Why is doubting what happened to them even a thought in your head? Why would you give the benefit of the doubt to the person who sexually assaulted someone else?

The only person responsible for sexual assault is the person who didn’t respect their partner’s consent. Period.
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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

Random Tangent: Darwin

So, I’m sitting in class while we discuss Darwinism, and I’m struck by an odd thought:

Throughout the animal kingdom, the general rule is that males jump through hoops — building homes, fighting rivals, risking being eaten to stand out with the prettiest colours — to earn the right to mate. Among Western humans, males tend to presuppose that they automatically have the right to mate — and then get upset, even violent, when they are refused.

Methinks something went wrong, somewhere.

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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

 

Words of Wisdom (I Think), Pt. XV

We are brought forth from the womb as sexual beings; with genitalia and sex organs and sex-specific hormones. There is no magical moment in which we become sexual beings, because we are never without sexual organs and preferences and desires, though the rates at which those mature vary widely. But there is no switch that, when thrown, makes one a sexual being—nor there is one that, like a light switch, can be just as easily turned off. We are sexual beings as curious children, as awkward adolescents, as adults clothed in office-appropriate attire. We are always sexual beings because sexuality and sexual expression are not limited—they exist at the level of thought, of text and communication, of body. And even if one’s thoughts and modes of communication are not sexual, even if the body is not actively engaged in an act of sexual expression, it always has the possibly to do exactly that. That potential always exists. The only thing that changes is whether or not the context deems it “appropriate”.
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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

It’s Not A Fleshlight, You Can’t Fuck It

I was thinking while washing dishes—because menial chores are really good for that—and I came to a depressing realization. And then, once I was done with the woe, I got mad. So, I’m ranting. Some more. And I swear, I didn’t start this blog with the intent to rant madly about all things sex, but, well. There is an entire fucking swamp—and don’t even get me started on the sinkholes—of Not Okay in Sexyland. And since I keep on getting chucked headfirst into said swamp . . . you see where this is going.

Now, let state right out front: I like who I am. I wouldn’t change me for the world. But being a woman fucking sucks sometimes, and no, I’m not talking about the fact that I bleed every month. Being gay can also be a really rough fucking deal. Being a gay woman, well. There’s a whole quadrant of Not Okay Swamp reserved just for people like me.

Because, see, here’s the thing: people keep treating my sexual agency like it’s a fucking Fleshlight*. And then get indignant when I don’t respond well.

But here’s the part that these assholes seem to miss: my sexual orientation is not a joke, a choice, or a challenge. Furthermore, my choice in bed partners is decided by me and me alone—there is no democracy, no group decision-making, and I am under zero obligation to take anyone else’s opinion under consideration. So if I tell you “no”, especially if I tell you no because you’re male and I’m a lesbian, then that is the time to either change the topic or make a tactical retreat.

You know what options don’t exist there? Trying to get in my pants using guerrilla tactics. Making jokes at my expense. Downplaying the importance of my sexual orientation.

Exhibit A:
Right after Motherunit expired, I came out to my extended family. I wanted relationships with them after being estranged so long, but if they couldn’t accept having a gay family member, well . . . I’d survived years of estrangement, so I knew that I could handle not having relationships with those who couldn’t deal. After coming out to my Aunt Penny, who was only 10 years or so older than Motherunit, I was told “to keep an open mind”, because I never knew—“there might be a man someday”! Um, excuse you? There “might be a man someday”? And, what? His beautiful face and sparkly magic dick will change who I am? Like, do you even know what logic is?

Future Response to this Idiocy: Sure, I’ll keep my mind open—but only if you do. Because you never know, you might meet a man/woman someday!

Exhibit B:
Someone I knew in high school—we were close friends once—was complaining to me about being horny. I tried to commiserate, and was told that my abstinence was a choice, where hers was not—she had a long-distance boyfriend, where I could walk into a bar any time I wanted and pick someone up to get laid. After blinking a few times to clear the confusion from my eyelashes, I texted back “Not really. I’m a lesbian and the dating pool is kinda small.” She proceeded to tell me that I could have sex with men, I just don’t want to—so I was choosing to go without sex. Which, no. Just no. Who and what people find sexually attractive is not something we have conscious control over. Why would I ever want to go to bed with someone I feel literally nothing for? It’s not like that’s going to end in good times or pleasant feelings for either of us.

Future Response: Wow, you’ve found a way to alter people’s sexual preferences? You should patent that, you’d make a fucking fortune.

Exhibit C:
Okay, now, this has happened to me in various permutations multiple times, and I still never quite get over the audacity. Or the fucking ignorance these guys display (because it’s always guys asking this, always). You know that terrible stereotype where, as soon as a guy hears that a woman’s a lesbian, he asks about a threesome? Yeah. That’s happened to me multiple times. It never gets less disgusting. Nor does it get more understandable. Like . . . have you really thought this through? You want a woman to join you and your female partner in bed when she has no desire to get anywhere near a dick, never mind what the hell to do with one?

And, just. I have gotten some real winners trying to argue, here. I had one guy ask if I’d fool around with his girlfriend while he fucked her. Which, no. Because penis. Although that does lead me to . . .

Exhibit D:
I knew this one guy (called him a friend until he revealed himself to be intolerable) who started hitting on me the moment he met me. I not-so-innocently let it drop that I’m a lesbian. Shameless flirting and innuendo continues. Finally it gets to the point that I have to ask him about it, so I do. To which he responds “Well, I’ve known women who said they were lesbians but fucked men.”

Which, wow. Okay. That requires some dissection, because a) sometimes it takes a while for the non-hetero among us to figure out what we like, and experimentation can be part of that; b) yes, sometimes women who identify as lesbian occasionally have sex with men—but it is their right to choose what label they apply to their sexual orientation, and their sexual choices are nobody else’s business; and c) lesbians, much like any other group of humans, come in a wide variety of colours, flavours, speeds, settings, and packages. Assuming that I am like some other lesbian you know just because it continues to afford you the hope of getting in my pants is Not Okay. Especially after I’ve already nicely told you “no”.

Exhibit E (if I include any more exhibits, I’ll be able to open a Museum of Gross):
I can’t even tell you how many guys (because with one exception, it’s always guys) have
• asked me about the lesbians-and-sex-toys thing;
• put forth the opinion that lesbians who use sex toys aren’t really lesbians;
• asked “why not just fuck a guy, then?”

Oh my God, people. Seriously. Lesbians—just like every other adult demographic—use sex toys because that is what the individual(s) in question enjoy. The fact that a woman has nerve-endings and pleasure-centres inside her vagina has literally nothing to do with whether or not she sleeps with men. Cis-men have prostates and cis-women have G-spots. That is a biological fact that has no bearing whatsoever on what they like sexually or who they take to bed.

I would also like to point out that using a sex toy is in no way equivalent to having sex with a man. A man is an autonomous human being with preferences and agency and sexual experiences. A sex toy is a piece of glass/plastic/silicone that the user gets to have complete control over with regards to size, construction, and technique, and use or not use as they desire. Additionally, who you’re with makes a huge difference in whether or not you enjoy a particular sex act—just because a lesbian enjoys penetration doesn’t mean she will enjoy having sex with a man. Trying to claim that someone isn’t a “real” lesbian because they use sex toys is disgusting and entitled. Because who made you the Sex Police?

Future Response (aimed at heterosexual men): You like blowjobs? Unh-hunh, I thought so. Now, are you trying to tell me that getting a blowjob from a guy is the same as getting one from your girlfriend/wife?
Future Response (aimed at everyone else): Do the men in your life know that you reduce them to their dicks?
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*For those of you who don’t know, this is a Fleshlight. That link is NSFW, so if you don’t want to/can’t click it right now, that’s fine. The Fleshlight-in-140-characters-or-less: it’s a plastic tube filled with IDEK that has an opening resembling a bodily orifice. Lonely dudes fuck it.
Also: this link is safe-ish, although I look at that and have to ask WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THINGS HOLY anyone would want to put their dick in it? Like, who looked at this thing and went “You know what? I wanna fuck its FACE!”???

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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

 

Words of (Queer) Wisdom, Pt. XII

Every single sex act — from frottage to fingering, oral to intercrural, from fully clothed to partially clothed to buck-ass nude, from queer to het, vanilla to kinky and beyond — is as bizarre and messy and valid as the next. Sexual taxonomies are bullshit.
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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.

Words of (Definitely Not Warped) Wisdom Pt. VIII

Sex. Definition:
any consensual activity between two or more individuals who are of age that results in one or more experiencing sexual pleasure and/or orgasm.
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I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.