Learning to Clear My Head

From Feminist Ninja: http://feministninja.tumblr.com/post/38888854700/how-to-have-sex-with-a-radfem

I bet you think you know some women who like the genders in bed. One that just ruuuuuuuuuves to be dominated or made to feel like “a woman.” Let’s break this down a little. What does “being a woman” mean when in bed? It’s a kind of submission to the will of the man, especially in domination. Unless you have ever had NO OTHER OPTION but to be the recipient of the advances of another because your very BEING is defined as being a recipient (based on your anatomy and how the dominant culture interprets your anatomy) then it’s hard to understand how this effects the woman you are thinking about getting closer to. Women learn to eroticize being helpless, weak, passive creatures, with their backs all arched up and their necks falling helplessly back into your strooooong embrace.

But that is NOT what a female is.

That is a distortion of her.

This is the sort of stuff that caught my attention and drew me toward a particular philosophy.  I’d been unhappy with the sex I was having, and unhappy with the fantasies.  Disturbed that of all the possible sex I could be having, I was most turned on by being on the bottom of missionary.  I was never really comfortable with the line that whatever I chose empowered me.  Certainly, it was what all the feminists [sic] were saying, but I had still more questions that were not being addressed.  Agency, yes, ok, but what about symbolism?  What about the gendered patterning of roles in BDSM?  How can choosing something that is already a worldwide system be a radical choice?  And how could I, really how could I, steadfastly reject male domination of women, all while craving to be dominated by a man in bed?  Why was this stuff in my head?  The feminist websites I read didn’t have answers to these questions, and I felt like I was the only one having a problem with this.

I was wrong, of course.  Radical feminists are talking about this, but they’re in the minority.  Their websites aren’t at the top of search results.  They’re hard to find, but they’re there.  And they have answers.  Yes, the symbolism matters.  Yes, “being fucked” metaphorically is related to “being fucked” in the bedroom.  Yes, BDSM is just an exaggeration of patterns of dominance in “vanilla” and patterns of abuse, found worldwide.  No, individualism will not dismantle patriarchy.  And the desire to be dominated is a tragic survival strategy in a violent world.

Porn grossed me out.  Now I know why.  Rape fantasies grossed me out.  Now I know why.  The things that happened in bed grossed me out.  Now I know why.

I’m still working on getting the bad stuff out of my head.  It hasn’t been easy.  Sometimes I’m able to keep the thoughts at bay when I’m with a partner, and sometimes I still think them.  It has been helpful to focus on affectionate emotion and relaxed, playful action rather than on passionate lust and ferocity.  It has also been helpful to focus on the boredom when I am actually bored.  I think this gets me closer to saying, “OK, I want to stop now,” and farther away from having submission fantasies just to cope.  Practicing assertiveness and initiation, despite not feeling turned on at first, has been fruitful.  I am developing positive associations with sexual ways of being that are not passive (though I am wary of taking that to enjoying dominance, which reproduces the same problem).  And I’ve had some really good non-hierarchical sex recently, so I think I’m making progress.

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