«

»

May 11 2007

Ms Gag

mrpuke.jpg

As blog traffic increases, so doth the general clamor for sex advice. From dudes. Straight dudes.

I have not yet developed a hypothesis as to why this should be so. I sort of wish it would stop, though. When dudes write me about sex I find myself making the same face as that sticker they put on bottles of poison, Mr Puke or whoever.

Today, for example, I received a sex advice email that made my hair puke. Its author asked for “relationship advice,” but sure enough, it was sex he wished to discuss (I have developed a hypothesis explaining this phenomenon. I’m sure you have, too.) I reproduce the email here in its entirety, with a word of warning to those who care to forge ahead: do so on an empty stomach. It is a viscera-scrambling expression of the invisibility of rape culture and male entitlement that will not sit well with lunch, written by someone who probably considers himself a pretty decent guy. I’m guessing that, by commonly accepted liberal white dude patriarchal standards, he probably is. Which is the chilling part.

He writes to ask me if I think he is serially raping his girlfriend.

Dear Twisty,

As a 20something white male who doesn’t do quite as much patriarchy-blaming as I probably ought to, I figured that, having worries about equality in my sex life and a slight problem with run-on sentences, I would skip e-mailing Amanda Marcotte or somebody and get sandblasted by a real firebreathing feminist. Also, everything I say is, obviously, my best guess and not some kind of Objective Truth, so maybe the problem is just that I’m overlooking something important. Anyway.

My girlfriend has a peculiar array of patriarchal hang-ups inherited from her military father and stay-at-home (I think?) mom, the most relevant being the ideas that a) vaginas are dirty and b) sex is super dirty and should be done as infrequently as possible, and only in the dark. I have heard both these complaints, more or less, from her own mouth. We aren’t having penetrative sex for a variety of reasons, she has no desire to give oral sex, which also doesn’t bother me, and she gives pretty crappy handjobs, but none of these things make me worry about coercion, etc. What does is that she never, ever initiates sexual activity. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I have fingered her and she appears to have enjoyed it, but if I start undressing her (and she doesn’t get out of her clothes without some prodding), she usually asks “What are you doing?”, progressing to “Eek! Stop it!” and scowling at me. This pattern fits pretty much any other kind of heavy petting, etc. beyond kissing, as well. She’s told me that she generally has no desire to initiate sex, but once things get going, she enjoys herself pretty well (This sentence is somewhat ambiguous. I mean to say that she has told me both things, not that she has told me the former and I have observed the latter). Also, I am sure she would not stick around if she didn’t find me, in some way, attractive.

So, I guess my worry is, am I, if not raping her, engaging in some kind of serious coercion? The “What are you doing?”s, etc. seem to be of a sort of different character than when she’s telling me, e.g., that she does not want me to give her oral sex (which I would happily do, otherwise). Given that she does start enjoying herself once she relaxes, are her early protests actual protests, or the voice of psychological hang-ups? Am I doing something really wrong?

Confusedly,
Alex

Dear little Alex,

If your girlfriend had written me — and I rather wish she had — I would have advised her to dump you.

She dislikes having sex with you. If she did not, she would ask you for it. She endures it because she wants to feel loved, and letting men maul their vulvas is how many women are taught that men express love. Believe me, she is relieved when it is over.

What’s with this “she gives pretty crappy handjobs” bullshit? Perhaps she is unaware that you employ a handjob rating system. And what’s with this “she needs a bit of prodding” crap? Prodding! Do you comprehend the meaning of the word “prod”? I mean, there’s more or less a general concensus on that. Or are you stupid?

And what’s with this bullshit pop-psychology “hang-up” crap? What are you, Dr. Phil? And holy-smirking-mother-of-a-dead-Nazarene, what mysterious aspect of “eek stop it” is eluding your grasp? Do you imagine that there is some kind of nice-guy difference between ‘serious coercion’ and ‘rape’? Jesus! Use some common sense, boy! She said “stop it.” Do you seriously delude yourself that “stop it” is some “psychological hang-up” code for “please proceed to violate me”?

Leave the poor kid alone, for crissake. Just stop. You are certainly raping her. The question is, are you also a moron?

Thanks for writing.
Twisty

I’m sure yall will have plenty of insights to add. Let’em rip, girls.

202 comments

1 ping

  1. magickitty

    Ah. Poor Alex. Even in a consensual relationship, no still means no.

  2. LMYC

    “She has hangups.”

    Yeah. She prefers to get sexed by someone who isn’t you. Jeez, what a prude.

    Leave her goddamned vagina the hell alone. It doesn’t like you. That’s why it doesn’t want to come out and play.

    And frankly, with as much cunt-hating as goes on in this sad, tired old world, I don’t blame it. I vote for your annoyed, long-suffering, ain’t-into-your-sad-ugly-ass girlfriend’s vagina to sip tea and read a nice book by itself for as long as it damned well pleases.

    Loser.

  3. LMYC

    As to why they insist on writing to you, it’s probably a combination of thinking that a dyke would be able to sympathizae with their annoyance at not getting the pussy they feel they deserve (sort of the reverse of a fag hag only they’re too stupid to know that dykes don’t WANT fag hags), plus a sort of flasher mentality. They flashed the dyke! Whee! They’re, like, daring! Or something. Like a little kid ringing your doorbell and running off.

    Your typical overgrown infant, a giant 8 year old. Gosh, I can’t imagine why any woman wouldn’t want him pawing at her.

    Alex, you’re the reason why “hangups” exist, honey.

  4. J

    What really got my goat wasn’t just that he would proceed to sexually violate her after she made it clear that she wasn’t interested, but that he had the audacity to assume she enjoyed it; a kind of pat-on-the-back for what he *knows* he *did*, which is rape his girlfriend..

    It’s really a typical cover-up for the fact that guys like these, which is to say practically all men at one time or another, don’t question the fact that they did when she said do not. He obviously knew she said “STOP,” otherwise he wouldn’t have said so himself, but he acted as if she had not. It’s the supreme ideological gesture of patriarchy to act as if women aren’t human even when you know they are. So, I don’t think he’s a moron as much as he doesn’t give a shit about his girlfriend, and probably women in general.

  5. Tigs

    Interesting how even in acknowledging her “patriarchal hang-ups,” he seems to think that he can overcome them just through warming her up. He, the ‘real man,’ can conquer her ‘hang-ups’ through earnest digital manipulation (and as a girl with ‘Daddy issues,’ I can understand how these things can be relatively apparent; even those uninitiated in the nuances of psychology can often tell that these things have continuing effect on subsequent relationships with men. — Go ahead, ask me what I dreamt about my father last night).

    This reminds me of the prescription of bootcamps for delinquents who have a history of neglect and abuse. They function along the lines of, well trauma fucked their heads to begin with, let’s see if we can traumatize the fuck-up-ed-ness right out! And that’s why kids who go through these programs have over a 99% recidivism rate (according to some studies).

    As a note to Alex: Forcing this girl to continually relive what she clearly feels to be trauma ain’t going to ‘fix her.’ And no, you can’t ‘fix her’ with your wonderful masculinity either.

  6. Miranda

    Wow. If you have to wonder if you are raping your girlfriend you most likely are.

    Did he happen to write you back?

  7. Cunning Allusionment?

    I read in the Twisty FAQ that I should only post if I know what I’m talking about. I’m not sure how I’d know the difference between knowing what I’m talking about and being full of shit, but here goes.

    It seems to me that if you’re not 100% positive that the sex you’re having is consensual, it probably isn’t. Even if you’ve just got shitty communication with your partner and whatever you’re doing is *actually* consensual, proceeding when you are asking yourself a question as serious as, “is this rape?” is just as bad as if it really was.

    Another thought is that if you’re writing to someone like Twisty (“a real fire breathing feminist”), then I think you already *knew* the answer to your question. You wanted *Twisty* to tell you so you wouldn’t have to tell yourself. That way you can simultaneously tell yourself she’s wrong, and that you didn’t really know. She’s *not* wrong and you *did* know. Don’t make things worse by denying what you know is true. If it wasn’t true, it wouldn’t hurt you to hear it… though it might *not* hurt you to hear it because you’re an asshole-rapist as opposed to a nice guy-rapist, but if you were the former, you probably wouldn’t have written Twisty. You wouldn’t even have thought about your girlfriend enough to ask yourself a question you instinctively knew the answer to. You’re a nice guy you thought, so it’s not possible that you could be raping your girlfriend, but you knew that you were, and you knew that you if you weren’t the thought wouldn’t even have occurred to you, but you went ahead and did it anyway.

    As rightfully shitty your probably feeling right now… well, I’m not really an appropriate person to speculate about how your girlfriend might be feeling, and neither are you. I don’t know. I can’t know because I’ve got male privilege oozing out my finger tips even while I write this. It’s my male privilege that let’s me sympathize with you at all, that’s more than you can/should expect from any of the excellent women here. So don’t pity yourself too much, and don’t make excuses. Accept responsibility for your actions and be damn sure you never do anything like it again.

  8. H

    Speaking of ringing bells… I know so many honky liberal/leftist fellers who would do (have done) just this. Have sex with me while I’m crying and show up the next week at the Take Back the Night Rally with his new girlfriend, or a handful of unique but equally sad iterations of the same. Does this cultural phenomenon crush anyone else’s will to get involved in activism?

    I feel like, going out and standing in solidarity with men, any men, is standing with people who think nothing of committing terrible crimes against the human spirit — if nothing else, because they are conditioned just so. But feminism in action, like any other human rights effort, must not exclude men.

    How do we work around/with this in community organizing and suchlike? In the blogosphere, obviously, we should post their email addresses in public forums for spamming, or ignore them, or perhaps openly and honestly engage them as Twisty can. Outside of it? I can’t bring myself to engage much politically anymore. I’d rather have that book and tea.

  9. MedeaOnCrack

    Imagine the psychological trauma this girl must have lived through in her young life to distort her idea of sex so much that she’s not willing to be raped.

    I’m glad Alex didn’t write any other blog or the guy named Greg, because he would have been given a bunch of shit advice that encouraged his rapist tendencies, at least certainly would not have called him on it, and the thread would have been into the high hundreds as the regulars of those blogs had a fine old jerk off while micro-managing Alex’s burgeoning career.

  10. LMYC

    H, I think the only thing to do is hold extremely high standards and do not back down frmo them one inch. No pity, no sympathy, no “oh but he seems nice so we’ll ignore that nagging suspicion in the back of our minds.”

    Seriously. I don’t say this because I think I probably fall into this category (although note that my awareness of it isn’t stopping me), but what you want to do is get the one woman in the activist group who is the fucking hardass, the one who doesn’t give ANY slack to men, the one you’ve probably considered a bitch more than a few times, the one who is instantly suspicious of male privilege … and let her vet the men who want to get involved. In any TBTN-type rally, there will be a maximum of five males who have the slightest business being there. Five, MAX. No more. Men who clue in are just not that common, and you and ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE must internalize the bone-deep certainty that you are not required to be nice by giving them a chance. Exclude as a matter of course — and then titrate them into the group one by one (that makes two, which should be about the average) based on the fact that they hold to very high standards of comprehension.

    I can think, right now, of three men who I would accept into ANY activist effort, no matter how many women are present. Three. I’m 41, and I’ve accumulated a whopping three males out of three billion whose presence I would accept without question. Three out of three billion.

    Work out that fraction. That’s what you need to do — again, expose them to the hardest, bitchiest, most steel-toothed granite-hearted bitch in the entire organization. If she says no, then it’s no. And if “Oh, but that wouldn’t be nice of us, let’s give him a chance” ever passes the lips of any woman in the room, then it’s a double hell-no.

    Another Major Indicator: If, even in a jokey, jesting, little-boy tone of voice, he even vaguely hints at, “Gosh, I have to admit I was a little scared to come here *chuckle chuckle*” — shitcan him. He’ll follow it up with a face that will all but demand that you all drop everything and rush over to confort adn reassure him that you’re all REALLY REALLY NICE. Fuck him. He should be a little scared. Feminism should be threatening to the established order, and if it doesn’t make him confront icky things about himself that makeh im a bit queasy, it’s not doing its job. You’re all there to work your asses off for women, not kiss some Nice Guy’s backside to reassure him he’s not Like Those Other Guys, You Know, The Bad Ones We’re Protesting Against.

    I’m dead serious — if he even slightly jokes about being scared to show up, broom him.

    More importantly, and I can’t say this enough, hold to extremely high standards and do not compromise them one millimeter. And never allow yourself to back down because you want to “be nice” and “give him a chance.” You do not owe ANYONE that. You aren’t shooting these men dead or throwing them into a lava pit; you’re merely excluding them from a march. If they’re decent or have that capacity in them, they’ll understand. If not, the hell with them.

    I mean, what is this “be nice and giveh im a chance” but yet one more variation on the overarching theme of all women’s lives: Don’t Piss Off Mr. Sir Or Else He’ll Get Very Angry And Do Bad Things To Me. It should go without saying that that dynamic has no place in a feminist activist event, or feminism at all. Piss them off, and don’t dare be afraid to do so.

  11. norbizness

    Don’t worry, she can go to that Handjob Summer Camp that was mentioned a few posts back.

  12. yankee transplant

    Having been on the giving end of “no” and the receiving end of “you know if you just relax you’ll enjoy it, honey” let me say this to you with certainty:

    BACK THE FUCK OFF, AY-LEX. NO IS FRIGGIN’ NO. SHE WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SKANKY SELF.

    Twisty, how do you abide this shit?

  13. Vera Venom

    Alex, the short answer is – yes you’re a rapist.

    But you already knew that, didn’t you.

  14. LCforevah

    Alex, you want anyone to take you seriously that you didn’t know? Disengage yourself from her at once. Insist she get help–really insist. Hold her hand as a friend while she works things out and do no more than that!

    Grow up and take full responsibility for what you’ve been doing.

  15. J

    Word, LYMC.

    Something I’ve been telling myself, particularly since the heated exchanges we had back around when we were doing the Firestone-stuff, is that this is not my show; this is a woman’s movement. I read Chris Clarke’s explanation of why he’s not a feminist, why he doesn’t call himself one anyway, and it helped me re-coordinate my position in this blog and with women (and their liberation) generally.

    The “I was scared to come” bit sounds to me like someone who wants attention, who wants the show. I think, from my naive perspective, that if men are seriously interested in women’s liberation, they must take a backseat position– and don’t be a back-seat driver. That doesn’t mean not saying anything either, but being upfront with yourself that (1) you aren’t always, if ever making all the important and mind-blowing commentary/observations/analysis and (2) you don’t need to make all the important commentary/observations/analysis to be a part of women’s liberation– and (3) if you think (2) doesn’t apply to you, or you find yourself acting that way, you aren’t interested in women’s liberation as much as asserting your (male) dominance.

  16. Nia

    Dear Alex,

    I don’t know enough to say if I am sure that you have raped her or not. I agree with LCforevah that she needs help. You probably do, too.

  17. Claire C. Cake

    Hi. I’m a long-time lurker, first-time commenter.

    While I think this guy is well-intentioned albeit totally clueless, I cannot help but cringe incessantly while reading his description of their sexual “relationship.”

    This post reminds me of a nightmare version of my partner and I’s relationship. For us, the frustration lies in that we both want to be very sexual, but because of my disability, such activities become quite awkward and frustrating. My mouth doesn’t open to give blow jobs; I lack the strength to give a “quality” handjob; and vagina intercourse and fingering fucking hurts.

    In the beginning, I gave in to the patriarchy and asked him to finger and fuck me. He never coersed me, and I always asked him to do it. If anything, the biggest pressure was from my girlfriends, who constantly assured me that “I’d get used to it” and “I’d eventually love it.” Well, I’m not a fan of suffering, even if I do love the guy, so vagina penetration of any kind was soon stopped.

    Oh, we are not lacking in our sex lives. We have our “things” — nice, pain-free things that get us both off — but if my partner ever started pressuring me, we’d soon be separated. He respects and acknowledges that I do not like or cannot perform most heteronormative sex acts, and thus our relationship is built on things of greater significance than him trying to “warm me up.”

    Alex needs to back off, actually talk to and listen to his partner, or move on.

  18. Theriomorph

    Okay, gigantic, articulate EEEEWWW that he sent this to Twisty, who has ALSO not initiated this kind of activity – WTF? Hurt me, Twisty, hurt me, it makes me so hot? Gross.

    Isn’t Dan Savage a bit more what you’re looking for – someone to tell you she’s so f*cked up you just have to f*ck it out of her, or DTMF? Hey Alex’s girlfriend: DTMF. Maybe it’s just my mood these days, but I am all outta love for this whine. See more coherent commenters.

  19. MedeaOnCrack

    No Alex, do NOT stay anywhere around her, do not ACCOMPANY her anywhere, and do not hold her hand or suggest she do anything. Get the fuck away from her. You are a criminal, you’ve just not been charged or detained yet.

    If she has any psychological issueS?????

    WTf?????? IT’S ALEX WHO IS WARPED!!!!!!!!!

    Speaking as someone who was serially raped beginning at age seven, I’m saying get yourself to some feminist counselling Alex before you meet someone like me who would as soon kill you as speak to you.

  20. Bird

    No does not mean “yes if you find the right spot and I relax.”

    Anyone else wish they had Alex’s girlfriend’s email address? Hon, if you’re reading this, kick him to the curb right now.

    I went through far too much “maybe I’ll learn to like it” in my own head to see another young woman suffer the same way. Love does not force you to do stuff you hate. That’s called rape, no matter what other four letter words he uses.

  21. Tigs

    I hope I wasn’t being offensive with the term ‘warming her up,” I meant it in the most sarcastic tone, I just though I was overusing punctuation, and thought that it was aesthetically better to let the absurdity of the words speak rather than let my propensity for quotation marks, parentheses, and other such crutches overwhelm my comment.

  22. LMYC

    Gawd, I’m cringing here reading about “warming her up.” You now what that translates to?

    Poking and prodding the hell out of her like a computer hacker who electronically throws the entire dictionary at the password prompt on the off chance that one of the words will get in. *poke* Nope, that doesn’t work. *poke* How about this? *poke* No. *poke* Not there, either. *poke* Jesus, what the fuck’s WRONG with this stupid thing?! *poke* *poke* *poke*

    Enough of that, and your poor damned girlfriend is going to have developed fucking calluses on that cunt from this asshole continualy trying to pester it into letting him in — but he’s SURE that if he could jsut ram it in hard enough, it’d loosen everything up! You know, like reaming a starter hole for a drill bit!

    *shakes head*

  23. Lisa

    Sigh.

    I am so reminded of my youth reading this. Not really wanting to have sex but thinking I was supposed to in the same way I’m supposed to floss my teeth. Thinking that the reasons why I did not want to were because I had psychological hang-ups.

    Briefly, my sexual history went something like this:

    As a small child, I witnessed my young cousin get molested by her father.

    Also as a small child, a little neighbor girl of mine’s father was arrested for kiddie porn. They found pics of my little friend and her sister hidden underneath the carpet in his house.

    As a teenager, I was a hospital volunteer and a janitor came up and groped me from behind.

    I also learned that my father had been unfaithful to my mother.

    As an 18 year old, I was raped by an acquintance. At the time, I had never heard of the term “date rape” and since I basically walked into this guys room with the audacity to think I could voluntarily leave any time I wanted, I figured it was my fault and I had hangups.

    So, golly gee, did I have “hangups?” What woman actually is raised with a totally healthy attitude about sex? Is that even possible? Growing up in the patriarchy as a girl, you are bombarded with this crap. Why is it that when we react normally to these adverse messages about sex, we are the ones with the hangups, and the perpetraters are supposed to be the normal ones?

    So, when it came to having sex with my first, coercive in that typical boys will be boys kind of way that is just so expected, I wasn’t really that into it. But I did it anyway, just because I thought I was supposed to and that is how you keep a boyfriend.

    Was I attracted to him? Sure, on some physical level. Were parts of sex enjoyable? In a way, like in the same way a good massage is enjoyable. But for the most part I just kind of “was there” until it was over. Did I consent? Legally, sure. But actually, no. I was coerced.

    It wasn’t until much later and a few boyfriends later that I learned what really wanting and consenting to sex was like. I had a boyfriend who did not pressure me, actually went out of his way to ensure that he didn’t pressure me. Sure, he was patriarchical in other ways, but he was aware of himself in the sex department.

    After a long time, I trusted him enough to want to have sex with him on my own accord. So, I totally initiated it with him. I went after him sexually. It was SO MUCH BETTER this way. My god, I can’t even explain the differences between actually being a participating and willing party in your own sexual experience vs. just putting up with your boyfriend’s advances because you are supposed to. Sex with him was about ten thousand times better than with anyone else. Why? Because he didn’t tell me I had hang-ups, he didn’t expect anything from me, he didn’t coerce me. It was as equal as it probably can be in this whole patriarchal world we are subjected to.

    Alex, dear. She does not have hang ups. She is responding normally to the crap she has to put up with. You are the one with hang-ups. She doesn’t want you. If she knew any better, she would know that you are a lousy sex partner. She’s just not that into you. She’s young and naive but hopefully soon, she’ll figure it out. If you want to help her, then you will stop coercing her. Stop trying to “get her to relax.” Stop trying to get her over her “hangups.” Stop rating her handjobs. Stop ignoring her pleas to “Stop.” Stop raping her.

    Sorry for the long post, but Alex just icked me out big time.

  24. LMYC

    Tigs, you weren’t being offensive — it’s an offensive subject, and that unfortunate term pretty much encapsulates it perfectly.

  25. Shakes

    “Token resistance” strikes again!

    Not to mention the real live fire-breathing feminists!

  26. Marcy

    OK, I’m gonna take another side to this b/c everyone is already doing the whole Alex is raping his girlfriend thing.

    The girlfriend claims not to like sex. The girlfriend also claims to kinda like it once she gets into it. She claims sex is dirty. So, it sounds to me like she is either seriously fucked up from family/religious upbringing and wants absolutely NO responsibility for sex. In other words, she wants Alex to initiate it and is just protesting to show she’s a good girl and doesn’t really want it. That’s possible, but since her ideas of sex are so fucked up, she might not even be aware of it. And who wants to be with someone who plays games that they aren’t even cognizant of?

    Or, she’s been molested or abused (my money is on the military father) and will likely never get to the point of liking sex without some serious therapy. This is really fucking sad just because it’s so common. I’ve known women who were molested, and I’ve known men who were dating/married to these women. It’s a sad state all around. Hetero sex is already hard enough with the whole patriarchy thing. When you add another disturbing element, it becomes a tragedy.

    So, my first thought when I read Alex’s letter was not He’s raping her, but Why the hell is he still dating her? For both their sakes, they need to be apart. Apparently, the girlfriend isn’t strong enough to break off the relationship (another clue that she was probably molested). So, Alex needs to dump her. He’s gonna be miserable trying to wheedle sex out of an unwilling participant.

  27. MedeaOnCrack

    “Love does not force you to do stuff you hate. That’s called rape, no matter what other four letter words he uses.”

    Bird could you cut this to seven words so we can get the T-shirt order out by 5 p.m.?

  28. dr_igloo

    LMYC said:
    Yeah. She prefers to get sexed by someone who isn’t you. Jeez, what a prude.

    Leave her goddamned vagina the hell alone. It doesn’t like you. That’s why it doesn’t want to come out and play.

    You’re assuming it’s personal, when in fact she may prefer not to get sexed by anyone at all. Now, from the perspective of what Alex should do, this is pretty much a moot point. But on the other hand, I think it’s simplistic to assume that her lack of interest in sex is Alex’s fault in the first place, as LMYC’s comment implies.

    I myself have never been much interested in having sex with other people, but living under the oppressive patriarchial regime, I was fully 30 years old before I realized I could really just “opt out.” During most of my 20s I didn’t want to have sex, but I wanted to want to have sex, so I often agreed to have sex even though I didn’t have any interest in doing so. I even went to doctors, counselors, psychologists, trying to understand what was wrong with me and how to fix it.

    Of course, now I realize that there is nothing wrong with me at all. The patriarchy defines an individual woman’s lack of interest in sex as a problem insofar as it makes her unavailable as a sperm receptacle. Ironically, I suspect that in many cases it is also the black patriarchal ooze infesting every crevice of our culture that causes this lack of interest in the first place. Although Alex clearly needs to stop violating this woman, I have to say that I blame the patriarchy more than I blame him.

  29. Inverarity

    As to why they insist on writing to you, it’s probably a combination of thinking that a dyke would be able to sympathizae with their annoyance at not getting the pussy they feel they deserve (sort of the reverse of a fag hag only they’re too stupid to know that dykes don’t WANT fag hags), plus a sort of flasher mentality. They flashed the dyke! Whee! They’re, like, daring! Or something. Like a little kid ringing your doorbell and running off.

    No, I think it’s because at some level they realize Twisty is going to rip them a new one, yet they really do think they are nice guys, so maybe, just maybe, she’ll actually tell them they’re not so bad, or at least offer them some sort of “It’s not entirely your fault” consolation prize as they get the arse-chewing they know they deserve.

    If you’ve ever read advice columnists or listened to/watched a “relationship” talk show (usually hosted by some flavor of “Dr.”), you see the same phenomenon. Otherwise intelligent people admit to doing the most outrageous things, and then haplessly ask the doc, “What should I do?” or worse, “Is this really wrong?”

    Like them, I am sure Alex already knew that Twisty was going to flay him. He was probably hoping she’d do it in a manner suggesting he’s redeemable, and that thus he could reassure himself that he is a flawed person, but hey, he went to Doctor Twisty for some Tough Love, so that proves he’s serious about improving himself, right?

  30. Bitey

    Dear Alex,

    Your girlfriend’s body does not exist for your purposes, but for hers. Why would you do something to her body that only you are enjoying?

    You say “once things get going, she enjoys herself pretty well.” So she is not enjoying herself until “things get going”? In order to get things going, you have to make her uncomfortable? Maybe even hurt her?

    Your girlfriend seems to have some serious issues, and she should probably get help. But Alex, know this: You are not helping. What you are doing to her is not helping her, but hurting her. Every time you make her uncomfortable in pursuit of sexual grafitication, you are hurting her. Every time.

    Bear these things in mind. Stop hurting her.

    Sincerely yours,
    Bitey

  31. Edith

    I’m so tired of how pop psychology — and even “real” psychology — has let everyone know that the REAL reason women don’t want to have sex with you is because they’re hung up about sex, so your job, as a good man, is to get them to get over their “hang-ups” and learn to enjoy sex. With you, of course. Because you’re not just their lover, but you’re their therapist.

  32. LMYC

    Igloo, I do indeed stand corrected and should have thought that one through far better, seeing as how I am also possessed of a cervix that’s a happy introvert. Mea definitely culpa.

  33. MedeaOnCrack

    All y’all making excuses for him JUST STOP. Most serial rapists and pedophiles have been excused and coddled and eumphemized all their lives.

    He isn’t hurting her, he’s raping her.

  34. Edith

    LMYC is my favorite blamer.

  35. LMYC

    Why is it that when we react normally to these adverse
    messages about sex, we are the ones with the hangups, and the
    perpetraters are supposed to be the normal ones?

    ZOMFG Lisa, WORD WORD WORD.

    I cannot stomach it when people say things like “But you can’t let that put you off sex!”

    Well, WHY THE FUCK NOT?! Getting my ass burnt would put me off sitting on a stove, too! What, is the world gonna crack in half if we DON’T wind up letting SOMEBODY into our cunts — a guy, of course, but if not a woman so at least the guys can whack off thinking about us?

    To mention Igloo’s post again — this is part of what I should have thought of before I posted that first response. She may not be into you, she may want something else, she may NEED something else … or she may just decide to wash her hands of the whole fucking thing because the price is too high and frankly, the payoff is negligible.

  36. Panic

    Or maybe she’s gay? I realise that’s possibly a bit glib, but it’s not uncommon for women to try and toe the ol’ hetero line for as long as they can (fool themselves), esp. if they come from a “traditional” family background. That really was the first thing I thought of.

    On another note, is there a women out there who doesn’t have Daddy issues? Mine’s about as good as it gets, a feminist ally and everything, so of course, no one’s ever going to measure up.

  37. Meredith

    I agree with Marcy 100%. That’s just a miserable situation all the way around. IBTP more than I blame Alex (ack, I’m dating an Alex, so reading this made me cringe a little!) who clearly wants to do the right thing and even wrote to Twisty knowing he’d get his ass handed to him. Now, that does NOT excuse Alex pushing the sex issue, which I think is inexcusable. I just don’t think pushing it’s going to get either of them what they want or need.

    P.S. Maybe it has nothing to do with Alex’s skillz or with her scary neocon parents or whatever–maybe she’s asexual and hasn’t figured it out yet.

  38. Claire C. Cake

    During most of my 20s I didn’t want to have sex, but I wanted to want to have sex, so I often agreed to have sex even though I didn’t have any interest in doing so.

    Yes.
    Alex, do you realize how emotionally draining not wanting to (or wanting to but cannot) have sex is even with an understanding partner? Do you understand the pressure women put upon themselves just to be loved and accepted, which of course they have been conditioned to believe can only happen when they’re happily fucking their dudes? Now think about how awful it is when the one person who claims to “love” you incessantly prods you into conforming to the sex acts you already despise or feel inadequate at. Imagine the stress.

  39. Twisty

    What’s with the “Little Alex should demand that girlfriend get help” crap? She doesn’t need any help that dumping his chump ass wouldn’t accomplish. It thoroughly chaps the Twisty hide when the completely understandable lack of interest in getting pronged by some delusional dude gets pathologized.

    There’s nothing wrong with women who don’t want to fuck their boyfriends. They just don’t want to fuck their boyfriends. So the fuck what? It’s just sex, for chrissake. It’s not like lives are at stake. There’s other shit people can do together. Go get some fucking sushi. Go fishing. Play a hand of gin. Jesus fucking christ.

    Now maybe some of you are responding to what has been postulated as girlfriend’s fucked-up childhood. You think maybe she needs help getting over that. Well, maybe a little chitchat with a rape counselor wouldn’t hurt her, what with the self-loathing and all, but if the object is to “fix” her sex drive, again I say P.U.

    Girlfriend should just read some feminist blogs. After she puts about 647 miles between herself and Little Alex.

  40. Kwillz

    There seems to be a lot of apologist for rapist who “didn’t really mean to rape” on the web. A lot of it starts with “maybe he thought she’d like” or “she only complained after” as if theres a difference between raping and making a woman have sex with you. Some come from the rape apologists that moderators and bloggers don’t want to kick out for some reason, others from actual women.

  41. MedeaOnCrack

    Actually “Marcy”, we don’t know what the “girlfriend” says. We’ve heard what Alex says she said, thinks, feels, wants. It’s the same old shit from one rapist after another.

    We have the rapist’s take. Go ahead and read Google news today. I guarantee you’ll find more than one version of Alex-speak as some rapist tells the judge he was helping her, she liked it when we got going. Etc. Puke.

  42. Bitey

    “She doesn’t need any help that dumping his chump ass wouldn’t accomplish.”

    I, for one, needed help before I could dump my chump.

  43. buggle

    Meredith-what does that mean that you are dating “an alex?” That scares the crap out of me. Are you ok?

    Any man who wants to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with them, is creepy. Any man who forces her to do things she doesn’t want to do is a rapist. Alex is a creepy rapist. Nuff said.

    I don’t think we can take anything Alex says about his girlfriend as reality. She may have some issues, she may not. Either way, he is a creepy rapist.

    I can relate to the whole “I wish I wanted to have sex more often because it seems like most people want to have sex a lot and I don’t so there must be something screwed up about me even though I’m not unhappy with the amount of sex I have.”

  44. Edith

    Twisty, I’ve been telling everyone “sushi, not sex” for as long as I can remember but nobody ever listens to me.

  45. Natalia

    Make dinner, not “love.”

  46. brklyngrl

    First off – I agree that Alex is raping his girlfriend.

    Personally I think his girlfriend probably needs some help because she’s continuing to date someone who rapes her on a semi-regular basis, not because she doesn’t want to have sex with him. Even if she broke up with him today its probably done some damage. Plus, there are plenty more guys out there who do this stuff so chances are she’ll run into another one.

    It’s interesting though that he doesn’t already know this. I’ve seen this phenomena on many occasions – seems to be a real problem. Its simultaneously surprising and not surprising at all. It seems to be really hard for men to grasp that women are people too, yet somehow it always surprises me.

  47. LMYC

    A lot of it starts with “maybe he
    thought she’d like” or “she only complained after” as if theres a …

    … mystery to realizing whether a woman is enthusiastically consenting or just nervously going along because she figures she has no other options.

    And if you’re response to reading that is, “Hey, man if she let me without screaming and clawing my face, that’ll count in court!” then you are a rapist. You should not have to WONDER if she wants it or not. If you doubt she wants it, I don’t care if the fine print lets you off with a wrist-slap.

    Jesus, how miserable an experience in general is sex with men (don’t answer that) that “she didn’t shoot me when I asked her” counts as “enthusiastic consent?” Is that literally as good as consent gets? Christ. Either men suck in bed, or being in bed with men sucks period. I mean, if only the 0.000000000062% percent of women who claim to be fulfilled by charging money for sex can claim that het sex is fun, then … well, I’ve really gotta wonder just how “natural” this drive is.

    Again, whacks self on head with Igloo’s squeaky hammer …

  48. Eurosabra

    I’d just like to chime in here with a heads-up to C.C. Cake, in that I’m a terra survivor with some long-term impairment issues (not disability) of my own. Wanting to do the heteronormative nasty and not being able to raises so many issues that it’s truly an incredible mind-flip, and in my (to be taken with a grain-of-salt, as it’s dudely, and my partner is a straight woman) experience, one of the worst, most insidious aspects of het-normative “sex” as we learn it is the conscious devaluation of erogenous, NON-genital touching. Sexualizing that, in this culture, is definitely not heteronormative, although it may be hetero. I realize that this is one of those ex-cathedra from-on-high dudely interventions so frowned upon here, but kudos to you for developing such a solid relationship that the very labeling of your variations as “work-arounds” would be derisory.

    IBTP: “Come for the blaming, stay for the sex advice.”

  49. LMYC

    It seems to be really hard for men to grasp that –

    – begrudgingly agreeing to something after getting pestered relentlessly is not the same as enthusiastic consent.

    Sorry, fuckwads. If you’re clinging to the fine print on this one, you’re a rapist.

  50. Panic

    LMYC,
    how miserable an experience in general is sex with men (don’t answer that)
    Eh, I’m gonna. I’m as hetero as they come, and I’m pretty underwhelmed by sex most of the time. I would blame the patriarchy, but I’m not even sure where to start with this one. Porn gives men funny (read: crazy) ideas, but that can’t be all of it. Bah.

  51. LMYC

    I just can’t STFU today, can I?

    There’s also the issue that, if you’ere waiting until you’re trying to get her clothes off before you’re thinknig about hwo to make sex good for her, you’re waiting too long and screwing it up. You want to make your girlfriend feel a bit sexier toward you? Vote Democrat, if you absolutely must participate in the farce that is modern American voting. Donate money to women’s shelters. Speak up when you see insulting things — and FUCKING MEAN IT. Don’t do it because you’re trying to get her approval so shell let you bone her.

    Whoops, there goes that Catch-22, huh? You mean we have to be SINCERE?! Oh, maaaaaaaan!

    Yes, you do. You do have to be sincere. Tough shit. You have to honestly give a crap about her as other than the annoying and inconvenient owner of the gash you’re trying to get into.

    And if you’re acting like an asshole, not doing shit around the house, ignoring her, belittling her ambitions, not listening to her when she’s talking, watching porn at all, talking shit about women, acting like a macho dickhead around your buddies … well then. She’s not gonna want to fuck you no matter how many sex manuals you read.

  52. villiers

    “Not to put too fine a point on it, but I have fingered her and she appears to have enjoyed it,”

    APPEARS. As in, he hasn’t asked her if she enjoys it. She hasn’t told him she enjoys it. He just assumes that her decision to stop struggling and lie there quietly means that his magical man hands are working their magical man magic once again. Boy, chalk one up for Nonconsensual Fucking As A Public Service.

    “Given that she does start enjoying herself once she relaxes, are her early protests actual protests, or the voice of psychological hang-ups?”

    Evidently in Alex’s world a protest without a Good Reason that passes the magical man reason-o-meter isn’t a real protest.

    So what if she’s protesting because of what are (questionably) called “psychological hang-ups?” SHE’S PROTESTING! End of story! He doesn’t get to analyze the cause of the protest, then judge it as real or not-real!

    I’m going to go throw up now–like so many others who’ve commented, I’ve dated this guy. I hope his girlfriend gets smart sooner than I did.

    I know I’m not covering any new ground here (which is why I usually refrain from commenting), but on this one I just had to pipe up.

  53. therealUK

    Alex … who clearly wants to do the right thing

    Well, to me his whole speel is not coming across as particularly sincere. Bit of an element of “ha ha let’s wind up the evil feminists” in there I think.

    And for more evidence (not that we need it) of the disgusting entitled attitude that men have towards to women’s bodies:

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/WireStory?id=3162120&page=1

    “A woman who had sex with her boyfriend’s brother in her darkened room late one night claimed she was raped, saying the man tricked her into the act by impersonating her boyfriend.

    But Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court disagreed Thursday, citing a half-century-old state law that says it is not rape when consent to sexual intercourse is obtained through fraud or deceit.”

    “Fraudulently obtaining consent to sexual intercourse does not constitute rape as defined in our statute,” the court said.”

    Plently of gag-worthy material in the comments as well.

  54. LMYC

    Here’s a question for the guys to ponder: if you didn’t think you had a chance of getting into her cunt, would you give a damn about her life at all?

    Would you even want to sit there and put up with her whining about her stupid fucknig problems listen to her telling you about her day?

    I mean, if sex were entirely off the radar … would you care whether she lived or died?

    If she only matters to you because you think you might get into her cunt, then you have no business getting in there anyhow.

  55. zofia

    She’s told me that she generally has no desire to initiate sex, but once things get going, she enjoys herself pretty well…

    Translates as, once I start fucking her she gets all quiet and stops her bitching. Hey, Alex, if she enjoyed it she’d initiate it, you fucking moron. If I really enjoy ice cream, I’m going to suggest a walk to Ben and Jerry’s. You won’t have to drag me there and shove the cone in my mouth. Fuckwit.

  56. LMYC

    You know, I’m reading all this and thinking of the typical sex-poz response to it, asked in ALL goddamned seriousness:

    “Do you know where your clitoris is?”

    Oh, for fuck’s SAKE. I strongly suspect we all did our time squatting over a compact mirror — you know what? The problem wasn’t up there.

  57. Claire C. Cake

    Wanting to do the heteronormative nasty and not being able to raises so many issues that it’s truly an incredible mind-flip… [K]udos to you for developing such a solid relationship that the very labeling of your variations as “work-arounds” would be derisory.

    Thank you, Eurosabra. And yes, the heteronormative, ablist sexpectations of the patriarchy do fuck with the mind. To do this day — even though I know better — I still will occasionally get horribly emotional after my partner and I have “our sex,” because I become extremely concerned that it wasn’t as good for him as it was for me or that he’s just putting up with it. There’s no part of our relationship that would cause me to believe this, but I’m tangled in society’s sexpectations and my own insecurities generated by the former.

  58. Feminist Avatar

    LMYC: totally bang on. Seems to me if Alex actually cared about her, he wouldn’t pester her for sex ever, let alone coerce her. If that meant never having sex, then that’s just one of those things.

  59. Theriomorph

    Getting my ass burnt would put me off sitting on a stove, too! …She may not be into you, she may want something else, she may NEED something else … or she may just decide to wash her hands of the whole fucking thing because the price is too high and frankly, the payoff is negligible.

    and

    You want to make your girlfriend feel a bit sexier toward you? Vote Democrat [etc.]

    HA! And the Common Sense Award goes to: LMYC. Love love love it, please do not STFU.

    While many have made good points about various things, I just can’t get past the fact that Alex sent this graphic bullshit about fingering his crappy-hand-job-giving f*cked up girlfriend to Twisty, who is NOT a sex columnist, HELLO.
    That tells me everything I need to know about Alex.
    And that’s not meant to sound patronizing of Twisty’s demonstrated ability to neatly handle him, or to loose an entire posse on his exhibitionist, invasive, creepy ass, it’s just to reiterate my earlier WTF? Smackdown to Alex for sending it in the first place to get rocks off via the Scary Feminist, except that I suspect that’s what gets his rocks off, so I go back to my earlier oh-so-articulate eeeww.

  60. Theriomorph

    I strongly suspect we all did our time squatting over a compact mirror — you know what? The problem wasn’t up there.

    I can’t even keep up with LMYC today to praise her awesomeness.

  61. Antelope

    When I was younger I had BFs who, like Alex, complained that I never initiated and it made me seem uninterested.

    Guess what? If I did try initiating with these same guys, they would always say no, and say it with a certain pleased expression to boot. And it’s not that I was picking inconvenient times or places or some mind-game like that.

    I’d say it’s more that I was accurately reading the cues which told me that they wanted sex to be on their terms, and that it would be a waste of time for me to act like it was possible that it could happen on my terms once in a while.

    Once, and only once, one of these guys said yes, but that lead to sex that was far more rape-like than any other time with him. After all, if I wanted it at all, than surely that meant what I wanted was insta-dick, like those do-me-now sexbots in the pornos, and none of the usual “rules” need apply.

    This is how you learn to play stupid games and take a really passive approach to the whole deal even if you didn’t start out that way. Could well be where Alex’s GF is at.

    Even if is, though, there’s too much water under the bridge to talk that one through now, so I agree w/ everybody else that they need to take a break. Ten years or so might be enough.

  62. Rachel

    Ah, Twisty, this one hits close to home. I’m not too far past Alex and his girlfriend’s age and jeebus… Alex is not a unique case. My high school and college boyfriends would consistently push just past the point where I started saying no. Thank god I developed a backbone early on.

    Alex’s actions are a direct result of the patriarchical expectations of hetero sex– (my fave explanation is Jill’s here) wherin the girl does not initiate, and is not supposed to even enjoy sex for most of it. The old saw about women needing more foreplay, etc, just makes guys try for longer when we’re not interested and yet they believe they’re doing the ‘right thing’ in taking their time. Boys are taught that they’re supposed to convince the girl to have sex, so this kind of ‘prodding’ is considered more of simply an annoying nag, rather than actual forceful rape.

    Alex’s girlfriend may have normal “I’m not ready yet” hangups or she may have more serious issues. Who knows. But whichever one it is, Alex should back the fuck off. When she ‘enjoys’ parts of it… that’s not enough to make the experience worthwhile for her, and it’s definitely not going to make her a sex-positive convert even if you happen to hit her clit the right way one or two times.

    Both of them need some counseling… Alex to figure out how to encourage a girl to want him without forcing her and his girlfriend to either a) figure out what her ‘hangups’ are or b) grow a stronger backbone so she can raise holy hell next time Alex or another dude tries this shit on her.

  63. Alex

    Hey, there. I just got back and read the e-mail, and I suppose this is something like the response I expected. I read about a third of the comments, but I see a couple of themes cropping up, so if this comment seems incomplete, sorry.

    I guess the first thing I wanted to say is that I was not e-mailing Twisty for some kind of prurient kick. I don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone I know in real life about this, so I figured as long as I was going to go for brutal honesty, I may as well aim for the most hostile response I can get.

    So it’s about ten minutes since I finished that last paragraph and what’s been running through my head has sounded more like hollow rationalizations. I guess an earlier commenter was right that I needed someone else to tell me that I’m a horrible bastard, so. Thanks for your time and input.

    PS hitting a button titled ‘blame’ seems singularly inappropriate right now. Ugh.

  64. Bird

    A thought for all the menz out there. Did you ever think of, I don’t know, stopping to ask what she wants first? I mean, if you’re concerned about your nice-guy image and don’t want to be called a rapist, how about ensuring you have clear consent first? When I say stop, I mean actually stop touching her, too, look her in the eyes, and ask her “Do you want to have sex?” (or an equally unequivocal variation).

    I almost fell over when my boyfriend asked me that the first time we had sex: what does he mean, do you really want to do this? OMG, he’s looking for actual, literal consent! (I can say without a doubt that this is one of the reasons he’s still around.)

    And don’t give me that mood-killer crap. I thought you guys wanted to know how much women wanted you—isn’t having her say “Yes, I’d like that” sort of along those lines? Or are you actually scared she’ll say “no” and show you up for the rapist you’re pretending not to be?

  65. delphyne

    You didn’t need someone to tell you you’re a horrible bastard, you needed to be told that your actions towards your girlfriend are wrong, Alex, and you should stop at once. Are you going to do that?

    You also need to get rid of the attitude that you should be able to have sex at all costs and that if your girlfriend isn’t interested there is something wrong with her and you should just be able to push past her objections. It’s not her that is the problem, it’s your attitude that’s the problem.

  66. Theriomorph

    I may as well aim for the most hostile response I can get.

    And herein lies the rub.

  67. ew_nc

    Twisty, I tried calling the 1-800-GROW-UP number for information. I couldn’t get through, though. It turns out the number had to be changed to 1-800-GROW-UP-FUCKWAD! I guess Alex must have called the first number.

  68. A.Non

    Here’s a certified sex counselor who could tell her what *her* hangups are. Klein is a friend of Marc Randazza, so lately banned but putrifying in the Vile thread:

    http://tinyurl.com/2tlp29

    http://nopornnorthampton.org/2007/03/09/sex-therapist-
    marty-klein-wants-you-to-believe-porn-is-harmless.aspx

    “Many adult industry lawyers like Marc Randazza are not content to defend their clients on narrow constitutional grounds. They could say, for example, that yes this material is reprehensible but we must protect it so that more worthy speech will not be threatened. Instead, they apparently want you to believe that porn and the lifestyles promoted by porn (bondage, sadomasochism, swinging, casual sex) are actually liberating and good for you.”

  69. zofia

    And don’t you dare go tell her that it’s her responsibility to ‘fix’ you.

  70. buggle

    Ok Alex, so what are you going to do about it?

  71. Cecily

    Ai ai ai. It seems like there’s been some discussion recently, by feminist-ally men, of their natural role as ambassadors to the non-FA men of the world. What’s interesting to me is that the non-FA men of the world don’t seem to think that’s the natural role. I guess I don’t understand why Alex thought of writing to either Amanda or Twisty, and especially why he then chose the deeper end of the girl-cooty pool. Actually, wait, a glimmer of understanding is appearing — a feminist-ally man might be able to help him understand better, and might be more patient, but only a woman can magically absolve him of crimes towards womanhood. It all makes sense now.

    Anyway, what is interesting about this whole schmozzle is that if Alex is actually reading all this, regardless of whether he internalizes it, he will actually get someone telling him he’s an ass and/or bad in bed. I don’t think the ex-boyfriends of the world get that very reliably. As someone said above, het women often don’t know the sex they’re getting is crappy, or that they can live a sex-free life without God smiting them, or that something better exists. I really wish my ex-husband knew that I don’t actually have a tiny sex drive, that he actually wasn’t great in bed, that not all men check out emotionally during sex, and that I was rolling my eyes at the ceiling fairly regularly. Really, it would be great if he knew. But since I didn’t realize how shitty that sex was until I had had sex with someone else, it really wasn’t feasible to tell him.

  72. Hawise

    What the freaking hell?!? If one or both of a pairing isn’t into it, do something else. I like sex, it can be great when both partners are into it but it is definitely not an activity that can be done successfully without full participation. Otherwise it is just abusive to insist.
    What is with the dude belief that you can fix a “sexual hang-up” with repeated attempts at bad sex? Bad sex and sexual education (or none) is what causes “hang-ups” in the first place. Nothing screams that the sex isn’t working than not wanting to do it.
    My advice, if he has to stay in her life (and I don’t think that is wise) then he needs to give up on a sexual relationship. Find common interests, do activities that you both like and stay out of hormone land.

  73. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Dear Alex, buy yourself a bottle of Astroglide and a fur-lined mitten. I had too many experiences with asshats like you to have any patience with or sympathy for you. And look up “consensual” in the dictionary.

    Whoever said that sex with a guy is a whole lot of rubbing for not very much warmth was right. I would equate it with finding a dime in the parking lot. You can do so almost any day you choose, but is it really worth the time and the effort? Most days my answer is “probably not”.

  74. CannibalFemme

    LYMC: on your assessment of inclusion and activism – bloody *brilliant*. It wasn’t that long ago that a good friend of mine was raped by the co-chair of my local rape crisis action council. I keep trying to explain that yes, I *am* paranoid, and have very good reason to be, and am entirely ready to let go of my distrust once I am faced with solid and irrefutable evidence that my distrust is no longer necessary.

    On Alex: if you wrote that in all seriousness, my guess would be that you have a predetermined idea of what rape looks like, and what you do with your gf doesn’t fit your pictures, but it does make you uncomfortable. Which it should, so I suppose I can congratulate you on having a vestige of an instinct for something other than violation. Please leave your gf alone, and stop raping her.

    I sincerely agree that the woman described in Alex’s letter doesn’t need or deserve to be pathologized. And I certainly agree that choosing *not* to engage sexually with other humans is not a pathological choice.

  75. RadFemHedonist

    It seems to me that if you’re not 100% positive that the sex you’re having is consensual, it probably isn’t. Even if you’ve just got shitty communication with your partner and whatever you’re doing is *actually* consensual, proceeding when you are asking yourself a question as serious as, “is this rape?” is just as bad as if it really was.

    Exactly, how can anyone actually have sex while thinking “I wonder if they are really O.K. with this”. I know I couldn’t.

  76. LMYC

    For Christ’s sake, child. You admit to pestering your GF into having sex that you know damned well she doesn’t want (no matter how painfully you squint at the fine print), and you write to a self-described radical lesbian feminist who runs a blog full of `em, and then say “I expected that,” when you get your ass handed to you.

    Congratulations. You get to hand the dunce cap to someone else for a little while. Sheesh.

  77. ginmar

    This asshole needs to learn not to disrespect people he’s asking for advice, either. Calling Twisty a firebreathing feminist isn’t respectful; it’s mocking. Methinks dipshit here might want a hostile response so he can feel all victimized and sensitive and shit.

  78. smmo

    It’s just sex, for chrissake. It’s not like lives are at stake. There’s other shit people can do together.

    Yes yes yes. We pathologize women for not enthusiastically embracing every cock that comes their way because you-know-what wants the world to be arranged to convenicene the needs of penises. A male relative of mine and his partner recently had a baby. Some of my family are ever so sorry for this male relative because he didn’t want a baby. I say tough luck. He didn’t fall into her vagina trap he chose to fuck her. “But what was he supposed to do?” they whine incredulously. NOT FUCK HER.

  79. Panic

    Ginmar! Like, LJ Ginmar?

  80. ekf

    Attention men: When a woman says any variation on the word “stop,” you must cease any and all physical contact immediately, back away and say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was making you uncomfortable.” Go ahead and deal with the fact that sex is now out of the question, especially sex at your urging.

    If the woman responds in a pornified manner with a coquettish grin, pulls you close and says, “Oh, silly, I was just fooling around with you,” then you (a) have a responsibility to tell her how that’s a really fucked up thing to do without talking about that kind of kink play before anything gets started, and (b) get the fuck out of there. You’d be better off taking her initial message seriously than risking committing rape.

    If the woman responds in any way excusing your behavior, because she has “hang ups” or is otherwise “getting over issues,” you must (a) continue to avoid any physical contact until she initiates it and (b) tell her that you will be doing so in order to avoid doing anything that makes her uncomfortable. It is your responsibility to respect whatever boundaries she sets, and any actions stretching, cajoling or otherwise attempting to cross those boundaries is rape.

    The overwhelming cultural message to women is that we need to please others to be liked ourselves. It’s especially true that women are told that pleasing men sexually is the key to social success. So think for a moment how hard it must be for a woman to speak up to a man she otherwise likes and to say “stop it.” Think of the pressures on a woman to say “Yes,” to accede to the wishes of her partner, and think of how motherfucking uncomfortable she must be to overcome those pressures to come out and say “stop.” If a woman gets to “no” or “stop” or any similar expression, the only acceptable action, the only legal action, is to do exactly as she asks.

  81. A.Non

    I think we’re being trolled and the post showing why is hanging in moderation.

  82. Twisty

    A.Non, what do you mean? The only thing hanging in moderation is a charming communiqué from the irrepressible Brady Lord expressing his enthusiasm for my impending death from cancer.

  83. The Cat Lady

    Alex writes: I may as well aim for the most hostile response I can get.

    And: Ugh.

    I believe what you mean by “hangup” is that Girlfriend came of age in the known universe, which is patriarchal.

    Furthermore, I protest your distinction of (radical) feminists as “fire-breathing” and “hostile.” Have you read the FAQ?

    Finally, why do you labor under the assumption that someone who does not want to remove their clothing is sexually available to you (nevermind attractive)? And, I second buggle‘s comment. If you “expected” this all along, whatchagonnadoaboutit?

  84. weeza

    “I don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone I know in real life about this”

    Least of all your girlfriend, huh?

  85. ginmar

    Panic, yes, that’s me.

  86. stekatz

    Darn it! That’s what I get for doing my work instead of goofing off on the web. I miss all the fun blaming.

    Nothing to add to all that the fine blamers have already said.

    Blame on.

  87. LMYC

    weeza, can I buy you a drink?

  88. lawbitch

    Alex, she doesn’t want to have sex with you. What part of that don’t you understand? Here’s your tube sock.

  89. LMYC

    Gin, I think personally that’s why he wrote — he wanted to be an overt shithead, then get his ass jumped on, and then act like he TRIED to be a Nice Guy he really did! He even asked a feminist fro advice an’ stuff like dat adn they just YELED AT HIM!

    So he’s the same asshole he always was, only now it’s Feminism’s Fault.

  90. kay

    Alex,

    “Crappy handjobs?” Come on! Imagine what she has to say about you and your skillz. After all, she doesn’t even want you touching her! (Clue stick, Alex: Some of us fake enjoyment so you’ll leave us alone that much sooner. It really works!)

    Additionally, a body’s pleasure response is not always predicated on that person’s desire to engage in whatever activity.

    Either way, Alex, you need to respect her enough to take what she says about her own wishes at face value and not less. The fact that you’re side-stepping what she actually verbalizes to second-guess her reasoning points directly to your lack of respect for her. You don’t *deserve* to touch her or any woman, ever. You are never entitled to her body. When she lets you touch her (with fully articulated consent), that is a *priviledge*. Bodily autonomy is one of the most basic human rights, and if you don’t actively respect her desire to use her body exclusively how she wants, when she wants, you are actively denying those human rights!

  91. Erin

    Alex, if a woman approaches your button-fly saying “Have sex with me,” it means that she wants to have sex with you.

    If on the other hand she protests at your initiations to sex and gives crappy hand jobs after much cajoling, it means that she finds you sexually unappealing. It’s not a hang-up per se.

    If you wish to know if you are raping her, please do ask her that very question.

    Why not come back to this forum and let us know her answer?

    Or better yet, why not invite her into this forum to speak her own mind if she so desires?

  92. Sara

    I was going to say that you pretty much told him everything I could ever hope to, but then you said this:

    There’s nothing wrong with women who don’t want to fuck their boyfriends. They just don’t want to fuck their boyfriends. So the fuck what? It’s just sex, for chrissake. It’s not like lives are at stake. There’s other shit people can do together. Go get some fucking sushi. Go fishing. Play a hand of gin. Jesus fucking christ.

    And then I started screaming “YES! YES! YES!”

    On the inside. This is a very quiet suburb.

  93. lawbitch

    When did the word “prod” come into use in this context? That word should be exclusively reserved for livestock. Geez!

    One more thing you need to remember, Alex. Girls talk. We talk about everything–including boyfriends and sex. Whatever is going on will be known by the women in your social circle. If you hope to have any chance with the other women in your social circle, you should watch how you treat your girlfriend.

  94. acm

    Hey, Alex, if she enjoyed it she’d initiate it, you fucking moron.

    well, to be fair, this isn’t strictly true. for example, if you only end up in bed when you’re whipped, you might *never* initiate sex even if you really like it. or the person for whom it is energizing (generally men, in my experience) is more likely to initiate action than the person for whom it *takes* energy (generally but not always women). this is a bit of a wiring thing, beyond just enjoyment. even if you’re talking about “initiation” that starts when you’re standing up, there are all kinds of personality issues (or even learned behaviors) that go into who tends to initiate, not strictly the absolute levels of enthusiasm that each person has for the act(s) in the abstract.

    not to disagree with the rest of the tenor of the discussion, but I thought this point should be made.
    acm

  95. LMYC

    … for example, if you
    only end up in bed when you’re whipped, you might *never* initiate
    sex even if you really like it.

    Indeed. If it’s always turned into a fucking chore, something that you have to get nagged into acquiescing to, chances are you will NEVER want to initiate it, because (speaking from experience here), the slightest little bit of interest is interpreted as YOU SAID YOU WANTED IT NOW I’M GOIN TO SUBJET YOU TO A BLIZZARD OF GRABS AND POKES HEY I THOUGHT YOU WANTED IT WHAt’S WRONG JESUS I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU!

    *sigh*

    Then, it turns into, “Look, just GO THE HELL AWAY, would you?” Or else it’s like I imagine it is for this woman here: you just tolerate it and at least you won’t have to do it again for a while, like getting your teeth cleaned. It sucks, but at least when it’s over, you have the longest time to go before you need to do it again.

    I also don’t recommend that he ask her or make her post here and read over her shoulder while she does it. If she’s unwilling to just tell him to buzz off in person, she’ll be no more willing to say anything but, “His annoying, entitled fumblings and irksome nagging are the ultimate sexual experience surely, and I guess I’m just hung-up and frigid.”

    I don’t want her to post here while he’s on her ass about this. I just want her to get the hell away from him and just go off and read a nice book and shut the door and not think about or worry about sex for the next couple years.

  96. slownews

    I remember crying and having sex with my soon to be ex boyfriend at some point in my long ago early 20s. I should have been old enough to know better. What I couldn’t piece together then, as I was upset about the ending of our relationship, was that his trying to “comfort” me through sex did not mean that he actually cared about me. See, I thought, in my naiveity, that if he wanted to have sex with me, then he actually did care deeply about me and wanted to continue the relationship.

    What I didn’t realize was that MEN ARE HAPPY TO PRONG ANY CHICK WHO WILL TAKE IT; THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT HER HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH SEX. I couldn’t conceive of sex with ANYONE I didn’t care about. I STILL CAN’T comprehend actual sex with anyone I’m not deeply connected with. Practially all men CAN.

    Talk about the “needing to please” cultural tape in action. We’ve got to be able to give our daughters some serious shit detectors and backbones, and our sons the understanding that no is no and sex is not a parlor game. Lives and souls (for want of a better word) actually are at stake. (See: feelings; STDs; pregnancy; childbirth; parental responsibility, economic costs of children, etc.) “Hooking up” benefits guess who? A clue: it ain’t both parties.

    Ah, yes. It’s the men.

    ps. I think growing a backbone is where counseling could help Alex’s girlfriend; I don’t think any commenters are suggesting she needs help with her “hangups.”

  97. Shira

    Indeed. If it’s always turned into a fucking chore, something that you have to get nagged into acquiescing to, chances are you will NEVER want to initiate it, because (speaking from experience here), the slightest little bit of interest is interpreted as YOU SAID YOU WANTED IT NOW I’M GOIN TO SUBJET YOU TO A BLIZZARD OF GRABS AND POKES HEY I THOUGHT YOU WANTED IT WHAt’S WRONG JESUS I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU!

    My personal favorite was always:
    “But we haven’t had sex ALL DAY”
    *Pouty Temper Tantrum/Ignore You the Rest of the Evening/refuse to let you sleep.*

    After awhile the closest I’d ever get to initiating would be saying “If I promise to have sex in the morning will you leave me the fuck alone so I can sleep?” which of course gets turned into the 5 am unwanted BUT YOU TOLD ME I COULD WHY DO YOU HATE SEX SO MUCH??? surprise wakeup fuck.

    It’s always a big fucking mystery with these assholes.

  98. LMYC

    You know, it’s interesting — I read a webpage a while back written by a guy who has cerebral palsy, and he brought up some of his own touch issues. It was an interesting read in that I was impressed with his ability to connect it to women’s “touch issues.” Well, his ability and his willingness to realize that some part of his life enabled him to identify with WOMENOMFGgirlcooties without freaking out and panicking.

    He remarked on how PT for him, from the time he was little, amounted to Your Body Is Wrong If We Just Shove And Prod It Enough It’ll Fall In Line You Want To Be Normal Don’t You. And how that basically meant that he barely ever wanted to be touched at all as an adult, and that he wished the mostly-women who did this sort of PT would just stop and listen when a disabled person talks about it, and connect it to their own experiences. As he did.

    Anyhow, I was impressed with his ability to not only connect his own touch issues to women’s experiences, but the fact that he didn’t freak the fuck out and act like HIS precious, noble male issues were TOTALLY DIFFERENT from mere girly crap. And that if he’s asking women PT to just stop and LISTEN to disabled people and try to identify with what they’re saying, then it’s the same thing for men listening to women. Instead of acting defensive, just STFU and LISTEN. Try to see if you can connect it to something in your own life.

    I’ll have to find the link. I think the root URL is something like http://www.normemma.com — the guy’s name is Norm Kunc.

  99. LMYC

    Here it is, that link I was talking about:

    http://www.normemma.com/arstairs.htm

  100. Meredith

    To buggle:

    No, no! I’m not dating an Alex in the sense that I’m dating a guy LIKE Alex. I’m dating a guy NAMED Alex. So, it’s highly disconcerting to read “Alex is a rapist” over and over, lol. No, my Alex is pretty fantastic and reads feminist blogs and stuff. (I believe he comments here too on occasion, actually. He has said that Twisty is one of his idols and freely admits to his privilege and is generally awesome and shit. And only 19! Ah, young male blamers. I never thought I’d meet a 19-year-old MALE radical feminist.

  101. Twisty

    Good luck, Meredith. May young Alex continue to live up to the hype.

  102. ginmar

    LMYC, I see it on my blog all the time. It’s the case of the guy who wants to be a victim, really bad, so he comes up with what he thinks is a clever plot to provoke the feminazis to unjustified anger. Never mind how fucking irritating it is to have dipshits fake it so badly all the time.

  103. kiki

    Shira’s post reminded me of that scene from Annie Hall where Annie is asked how often she and Woody’s character have sex, “oh, all the time, like three times a week”. Flash to Woody, same question, “oh, hardly ever, like three times a week.” Different planets.

  104. slythwolf

    While I’m sure there are people who have the hangups this dude is describing, that most certainly doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to, you know, not do the things they’re hung up about. If she does have these hangups, it’s her business, and if she wants to get rid of them, it’s her responsibility to get the necessary counseling etc., and most certainly doesn’t mean his raping her is “helping”.

    That said, at least he’s making an effort to learn. Which is much more than we can say for most of them. IBTP.

  105. slythwolf

    Also, I used to have “hangups” about initiating sex myself; I called it “being shy”. And in retrospect, the reason I had these hangups was that I wasn’t ready to be sexually active yet. You know, emotionally. So.

  106. LMYC

    slyth, ITA. It’s the whole “But You Can’t Let That Put You Off Sex!” gambit.

    Um, watch me. If something repeatedly stinks on ice, I think it’s rather, like, sane to develop a marked distaste for it.

  107. legallyblondeez

    Alex, in all seriousness and giving you more credit for trying than you probably deserve:

    There are myriad possibilities for why you and your girlfriend are not having the sex either of you wants: she doesn’t want sex with you; she doesn’t want what you think passes for sex; she doesn’t want sex at all; she wants sex but has past experiences and/or physical sensations that make it uncomfortable or painful or just not right; you are terrible at “warming up,” etc.

    The solution to your situation, no matter what the cause, is to stop raping her. Stop bullying her into sex, stop trying to figure her out, stop doing things that make her even a little bit squeamish. If you feel sex is necessary to your relationship, break it off. If she isn’t ever going to be comfortable talking about sex with you or having sex with you (HINT: she never will), break it off.

    In the future, remember that you take the woman in your life WITH all the hangups she brought in the door. You can work with that by letting HER work it out on HER timetable and in HER way, or you can leave. But you can’t rape her because it’s not ever going to make things better. EVER. And more importantly, because rape is wrong and disgusting and you know it.

  108. LMYC

    Holy SHIT. I never realized this before, but you want fun in all this? You want to add a whole new lacyer of fuckedupedness?

    Add first-time (and second-time and third-time) impotence to all this. which of course happene donly when I was initiating things and felt if not enthusiastic then at least willing to have a go and see what happened with a shits-n-grins attitude.

    Hey, thank dawg I “developed all those hangups” and “problems,” eh? Because otherwise all that miserable guilt and inadequacy he felt wouldn’t have magically transferred themselves to me! *wipes brow in relief*

    Jesus effing CHRIST. Jesus goddamned motherfucking CHRIST ON A FUCKING TRAMPOLINE.

    *headdesks*

  109. BubbasNightmare

    [bevismode]
    Heheheh. Heheheheheheheh.
    Twisty said “Nazarene”.
    Hehehehehehe.
    [/bevismode]

  110. Crablaw/Bruce

    Twisty, I might have considered mentioning that he has as much moral right to force sexual contact on the woman in this “relationship” after she says no as she does to pull a coffee pot filled with 210-Fahrenheit coffee off of the counter and smash the pot into his testicles. Actually, she has more right to do so because he is a known aggressor with depraved indifference to her welfare. This may not sound very nice, but I am not a nice person (guy?)

    This letter from him is so atrocious that I doubt the bona fides thereof, unless you have confirmed same. Sounds more like a delayed April Fools prank from an MRA.

  111. Twisty

    Crablaw/Bruce, enough of us have been in Girlfriend’s position to know that, even if Little Alex is a fake, his views represent an actual, real-life consensus among heterosexual boyfriends. He is, in other words, a True Scotsman.

  112. Lisa

    LMYC,

    I have met Norman Kunc on occassion. He is a bit of a bigwig in disability circles. One thing I also remember him saying is how PTs would talk to each other over him about how they were 10 pounds too heavy or how they looked terrible in that outfit or how so-and-so doctor was not so hunky, etc. Here he was as a guy with CP. He felt like if they were having such important yet minor issues with their own or others physical appearance, then they must be repulsed by him. I think he really identified with the whole physical perfection mythology that women face as well. He really had a way of transferring his experiences to parallel feminist issues. Interesting.

    Also, other commenters are right, you are on fire today.

  113. roamaround

    This is the first thread here at IBTP where I don’t see my own perspective reflected (almost) at all. I’ve had good friends who, like some here, were not into sex and I defended their choice when others tried to paint them as abnormal. I also have a friend who does not like ice cream, which I find harder to understand, but to me it’s a similar issue of personal preference. So?

    I have always loved sex, right up there with scuba diving and good food. At times I’ve done the “Don’t! Stop!…Don’t stop!” game and I am not proud of it, but I felt I had to in order to maintain social acceptability. The price you pay for being a “slut” is very high. The double standard and systematic denial of female desire is a kind of violence too.

    (I have also told men to stop and meant it and clawed my way out of their grasps. The nonverbal differences are loud and clear between the mild, formulaic protests required by the sexual double standard and real resistance. Anyone who cares can tell the difference.)

    Hypocritically saying no when I really wanted sex literally landed me a millionaire husband who later told me that he “respected me more” for resisting. Ick. What a sham that whole episode was. I divorced him after a couple years when I felt claustrophobic about being a trophy wife, got bored with the sex, and couldn’t stand to be monogamous.

    From vast experience, I can affirm that LYMC and Antelope are onto something by noting men’s anger and impotence when sex is not conducted on their terms. For me it’s about pleasure, but too often I’ve been reminded that for most men it’s really about dominance.

    As a feminist with a strong het appetite, to swear off sex as a political protest against the patriarchy would be a bitter sacrifice. Until the revolution, can’t we fuck them and hate them at the same time like they do to us?

  114. Yemaya

    Has anyone thought about the disconnect this girl is experiencing the guilt that must go along with her body possibly bertraying her mind?

    When I was date-raped-my body responded, but my mind didn’t. If that makes sense, i had a “physical orgasm, but not a mental one, and felt guilty for years thinking to my self-”no, I told him stop, I said no, but if my body acted like it liked it, is that still rape?”

    The answer, after several years of playing the mindfuck game with myself is Yes. Plus, I just don’t like sex. I don’t like it over here or there, I don’t like it with a fox, or in a box, I don’t like it with Sam I Am, or any type of human, male, female or fanciful cartoon drawing. Now, I am not a prude, suprisingly, I am the Dan Savage of my set-only with way better advice, with a feminist bent-I just would rather do anything else than have sex, by myself, with a man, or with a woman. While playing the self-mindfuck game with myself I even went to a sex therapist, who just couldnot understand why, even after dealing with Rape PTSD, stringent Catholic upbringing etc, why I still didn’t like sex. She recommended a Psycharitrist so I could get on meds for what must be depression..That’s when I decided that I wasn’t the one with the problem, instead it was everyone else and the men in my life for elevating sex to such a high status. It is after all only sex.

    And Twisty, with all due respect, I do think Alex’s girlfirend needs help. Or rather, she needs support until she can find the courage to leave this asshole masquerading as a “liberal understanding dude”…

  115. Spinning Liz

    LMYC and Lisa: thanks for the references to Norman Kunc. They provided me with an eye-opening flash of clarity and a reason to stay up all night reading.

  116. coathangrrr

    Crablaw/Bruce, enough of us have been in Girlfriend’s position to know that, even if Little Alex is a fake, his views represent an actual, real-life consensus among heterosexual boyfriends. He is, in other words, a True Scotsman.

    I, too, was the true scotsman. I am male and let me drop alex a little advice. Listen to the women here, they know what they’re talking about. I was in a relationship with a women who was terribly reluctant to engage in sexual contact and eventually I managed to recognize the signs of her disinterest and that I was the problem. The key is to realze that love means you don’t do something that you want to when you know that it makes your partner hurt. And you are hurting her, despite what she might tell you. What I have learned as a male is that while no never means yes, sometimes yes mean no.

    And I know you know the difference, so don’t pretend otherwise.

    I realize that you, the one true scotsman you, doidn’t feel like you were doing anything wrong, at least on the surface, but deep down you knew, otherwise you wouldn’t have written twisty.

    P.S. If this is the post you read and finanlly identify, as opposed to all the previous posts by women then you should recognize that you do not take the female perspective into account as much as you should.

    P.P.S. To the other posters, I know I just paraphrased what you said in a way that is more accaptable to a male(i.e. by a male), and I’m sorry that I thought it was necessary, but I’m a bit of a realist.

  117. LMYC

    Until the revolution, can’t we fuck them and hate them at the same time like they do to us?

    Sure, if I didn’t mind the tiny little bits of my soul that would die every time I did.

    Seriously — I just don’t like it enough. On the shit scale, “having sex I don’t want” ranks up there with “having a root canal where the guy starts drilling before the novocaine’s kicked in.” I cannot possible imagine having that experience on purpose.

    Actually … you know, I was thinking about this on the way home in the car, and I think I’m actually quite grateful about it for a reason I hadn’t realized until I read the other thread above this one.

    I never had kids. It was absolutely never a question.

    If I’d liked sex, I might well have let myself get talked into getting pregnant. At least, I’d have been engaging in an activity that might result in it, and I’d rather light myself on fire than be pregnant or raise a kid. When I think of the number of women who got effectively suckered into motherhood and have to wait until menopause to pursue their own loves and interests, I feel nauseous. But thanks to my own dislike for sex, I never had to find myself in that position. Which means I take night classes when I want, travel when I want, work and money permitting, have whatever hobbies I want, invest my money however I want (when rampant Rethuglican mismanagement and corruption doesn’t tank the economy and leave me out of work for two and a half fucking years, thanks for that BTW, Shrub).

    I just cannot imagine a positive side to having sex, and especially sex I don’t want. I think if sex is physically so wonderful to you that you’re willing to endure fucking detestable monsters to get it … I’m probably not the person to be responding.

    However, I’ve never let that stop me before. :-)

  118. LMYC

    Also, other commenters are right, you are on fire today.

    Maybe someday I’ll get a blog of my own and not monopolize Twisty’s all the fucking time.

    Seriously. I should, but I just do not have the time or the inclination to deal with the comments. I’d want a button that fries people with death lasers for leaving assholish comments. Without that (and the extra 47 hours a day it would involve), the allure just isn’t there. Much easier to let someone else do all the work. :-/

  119. Theriomorph

    roamaround, with all due respect, this is the revolution.

    I love sex, too, when it’s good. But really, so what? Frankly, it’s a balm for me to read a bunch of people saying things like ‘Alex’s girlfriend should just go get a nice book and not worry about sex for a few years’ – comments de-prioritizing SEX SEX SEX in the interest of being allowed to be a human being with (heaven forfend!) sovereignty over their own body, mind, expression, prickliness, disinclination to simper and appease, conformity or non-conformity to the constant expectation of high sex drive.

    Only biological essentialism believes men are let off the hook for their patriarchal socialization into rapists simply because they are men, or that all women hate sex, or whatever other globalization based on sex. Men are no more inherently monsters than women are inherently vessels/vassals/dingbats. Patriarchy is the issue.

    I’ve capitulated at times to pressures to be a sexbot at times (survival of abuse, exhaustion, early lack of information, socializing, etc.), yes – and my own genuine sexuality has also been radically misinterpreted (until I start talking, anyway, then the illusions fly out the window).

    But “can’t we fuck them and hate them at the same time like they do to us?”

    I say no.

    Not without consequences.

    The fact that I have a high sex drive does not mean that I don’t also have high expectations, empathy for others, and a forebrain.

  120. Trout

    Alex, the problem is not just the present, in which you are clearly a rapist. She said no. You didn’t stop. End of story.

    Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end there. The real problem is your future. I’ve known several guys like you (one of whom did my family a grave harm) and you’ve got a good forty years of being an insensitive asshole ahead of you, and you’ll doubtless leave a trail of misery and damage behind you. It’s not hard to imagine you doing similar damage to several women every year, all while deluding yourself with the idea that you’re a “nice guy.”

    Frankly, I don’t think you’re salvageable.

    **Several over-the-top remarks self-censored**

    May I suggest you enter a monastery?

    BTW, has anyone noticed that it looks like Alex has read my recent posts, particularly the ones about my ex-GF and consent and my first reply to Shakes? It’s a particularly creepy experience for me.

  121. Trout

    If you wish to know if you are raping her, please do ask her that very question.

    Erin, I understand the impulse to suggest that exact question, but if the girlfriend has the kinds of emotional problems some here have speculated about that particular question might not get an honest or useful answer. Instead, may I suggest Alex ask the following:

    “Honey, when I’m touching you and you say, “no,” what’s going through your head?”

    No matter how she answers Alex will still be a rapist, but he’ll at least have some idea of what’s going through the girlfriend’s head. (“The girlfriend,” is an awful phrase to use, but “his girlfriend” just seems so creepy.)

  122. LMYC

    Only biological essentialism believes men are let off the hook for their patriarchal socialization into rapists simply because they are men …

    … whereas I think they should all be kept in zoos because of it. :-)

    I think that’s the difference between me and the ev-psych essentialists. We both think men are inherent assholes, but while they believe this lets them off the hook, I believe it means they should dangle from it permanently.

  123. thebewilderness

    LMYC,
    I love you so much I am stamping my feet on the floor.

  124. LMYC

    I should start a cult. Involving the giving of money to my own self.

  125. Cunning Allusionment?

    LMYC: RE: Norman Kunc: Wow, thank you for that link. If I knew how to italicize, I would’ve used it right then (on the “for”).

  126. subgrrl8

    Alex- Stop raping your girlfriend. Stop making her your girlfriend. Back away and never call her again.

    You are a rapist, plain and simple.

    Girlfriend- go get yourself a nice one-bedroom apartment and start doing whatever you want for a long time. Don’t date. Don’t meet men. Don’t go to bars unless you are in the middle of a group of friends who will rebuff each and every asshole who approaches you. Learn what you want. Learn what you need. Learn who you are. Find your voice. Find the love that’s inside you. Then, start thinking about relationships and if you want to think about having one again.

    Get over the rapes and get on to your life- whatever that happens to be.

    I’ve been there too, just like the rest of the grrrls on this blog. I’ve had those asshole boyfriends, and it made me single for a very long time. I’m fat and not really that pretty, so I pretty much took whomever would have me for a long time because I figured I was just that ugly.

    No more. I’m done. I had done after the last bout of coerced sex. I had done after the last “love” before that raped me. I was single for a year. I didn’t have sex with anyone. I watched lots of PBS, I hung out with good friends, I met new people, I figured out what I loved about life, I made boundaries and started enforcing them. I got through the trauma as best I could without a therapist, told myself never to have bad sex again, and decided it was ok to start thinking about relationships again. AFTER I got my own shit together, AFTER i read lots about what had happened to me (feminist blogs were awesome for that), AFTER I decided I didn’t *need* anyone to complete me but I might want someone to compliment me.

    I met my current partner through friends. We spent about 3 months getting to know each other. We went slowly through the sex, he NEVER pushed me on my boundary but always respected it. I fell in love with his personality, his politics, his humor and his ability to really challenge me at Cribbage. We now live together, and he’s the best roommate and life mate I could ever hope for.
    Some people don’t want that, and that’s great. I like coming home to him, and our cat, and I love that we do lots of things together (tennis, Cribbage, cooking, walking, movies, reading, computer crap, gaming, protests), and that our relationship does not revolve around sex.
    I like sex, but I like sex with him more. Fabulous lovers LISTEN and ASK QUESTIONS, like he does.

    Again, NOT for everyone. But I like it. In no way do I hate HIM, my partner. We both hate the Patriarchy though. We blame it together, all the time. That’s much better than “hating and fucking men at the same time”.

    Hate the system, hate individual “dudes” who buy into it- love my feminist ally male friends.

  127. msxochitl

    J: “It’s really a typical cover-up for the fact that guys like these, which is to say practically all men at one time or another, don’t question the fact that they did when she said do not.”

    They did when she said do not. Is it just a coincidence that this statement describes both rape and the plots of most romantic stories?

    Rape as just one end of a spectrum. On the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the stuff of romantic comedies and stories passed down from grandmothers: The guy pursues the girl, she tells him she’s not interested, he persists until she gives in, then, lo and behold, she falls in love with him. They did when she said do not, and it all turned out okay.

    From rape to normal hetero romance, it’s all about men conquering women and proving that even when we say no we’ll capitulate with some prodding (flowers, compliments, gifts) or by force, if necessary.

  128. Rain

    Not to derail the thread or anything (I just don’t think
    I can add anything more constructive/useful to Alex-is-a-
    rapist comments than everyone here has already mentioned),
    but I’m sort of stuck on the “have sushi, not sex” comment
    someone made up-thread. Is there a famous story that goes
    with it that I’m not aware of, because I’m quite positive
    I’ve heard it said before on a number of occasions. I’m
    wondering if there’s any connection to a recent study
    showing Japanese het-people having less sex than almost
    anyone else in the world(can’t find the relevant article).

  129. H

    To continue the derailment:

    a recent study showing Japanese het-people having less sex than almost anyone else in the world

    This doesn’t surprise me given the brutal hours most Japanese men are expected to work by their employers and the expectation that after work, they will socialise ie. go out drinking with the boss. It’s not unusual for Japanese husbands and wives to lead more or less seperate lives and upon retirement, for the wife to freak out at having this strange man (who has no real interests/hobbies after having spent 35-40 years as a slave to the workplace) underfoot 24/7. Most Japanese wives tend to develop their own interests and supportive social groups outside the institution of their marriage after a while. It’s no surprise to me that partners who barely see each other their entire working lives, are exhausted when they do don’t want to or have time to have sex with each other.

  130. pisaquari

    Bravos to this thread! I wish I hadn’t freggin’ missed it.

    And I think Alex could have avoided paging Captain Obvious by simply telling his GF about this website.

    So my advice to Alex: Print this entire thread, read it to your GF loud and clear.
    And let yourself out the door.

  131. roamaround

    “it’s all about men conquering women”

    That’s the unexamined assumption here that I’m finding really disturbing. What is all this about finding patient, sensitive men who won’t push us too fast? Those kind of comments make me queasy.

    I don’t see myself granting sex as a reward. I want sex as much as any man does! I see it as physically pleasurable activity that may or may not have anything to do with companionship and politics.

    My best lover was a soldier (not my politics at all) who never said an interesting thing to me, but our bodies and some primitive parts of our brains were so in sync that sex was bliss. Until it ended and I had to figure out how to make him leave. Then it got messy.

    That’s the real reason fucking and hating men (and as a class, yes I do hate them, but I love their bodies) doesn’t work. They won’t let us get away with it. Sex is supposed to be about them, on their terms. We aren’t supposed to want it or seek it out for its own sake, and we get punished if we break those rules.

    There has been no revolution of the double standard. If there were, we would be able to claim sex on our own terms. We wouldn’t have to justify what we do with our bodies and our partners, whether we want them to shut up and fuck us like I do or go away altogether and let us read. And there would be no creepy suggestions that men like Alex are supposed to be gentle and patient while trying to get sex out of us.

  132. Silence

    Well, it’s your choice and your life, roamaround, but for me, the thought of fucking someone I can’t wait to sweep out the door afterwards makes me want to curl up in the corner with my hands over my ears and scream. Especially when I figure that I could probably get as good a sexual experience using my imagination and my right hand.

    Stop the sex. I mean it, really. I can’t walk into a bookstore, turn on the television, or even the damn internet without being faced by thousands of images telling me how important sex is to a healthy life. Healthy? It makes me feel ill. Ooh, I suppose I must be a prude, right?

    Wrong. I do not care what consenting adults — please note the adjective — do to one another in the privacy of their own rooms. I don’t care what gender thet are, I do not care what position they use, and I do not care if one is dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and the other as The Big Bad Wolf. Just don’t tell me I have to join in the fun and games to be deemed normal by this very disturbed society.

    Seriously, what is it with all these narratives we are given that tell us that people can not be interesting until they are in love, i.e. enthusiastically fucking some member of the oppsite sex? It. Is. Such. Fucking. Nonsense. Personally, I’d gladly read a book about Twisty’s lunches before I’d pick up 99.98% of the crap I see on the shelves these days.

  133. Rain

    H, it’s not even that. Apparently, something like
    over 60% of married Japanese couples in their twenties
    and thrities are sexless. Whether or not they have
    children doesn’t seem to make a difference, either.
    (I wish I had the stats, but even if I did, it wouldn’t
    be of much help here because it’ll be in Japanese.)

    The entire country is up in arms about the aging
    population and trying all sorts of things to get young
    people to have more children, but the younger generation
    seem to have just given up on the whole idea. It’s like
    the entire generation is in a state of apathy. (I guess
    this last bit is more appropriate for another thread.)

  134. Margarita

    I really don’t have anything to say here that hasn’t already been said amazingly in the discussions above, but this thread has been fantastic reading. It has really, really helped me. All the blamers here are awesome!

    Margarita xx

  135. delphyne

    “That’s the unexamined assumption here that I’m finding really disturbing. What is all this about finding patient, sensitive men who won’t push us too fast?”

    Actually it’s about getting men to leave women the fuck alone when, like Alex’s girlfriend, they tell them to stop and they don’t like what they are doing. A man doesn’t have to be patient and sensitive to understand the word “no” and act on it, he just has to have a pair of ears that work.

    I guess the test of Alex’s sincerity will be whether he comes back to tell us that he’s not going to rape his girlfriend anymore or whether he’s just going to leave it at his last post and pretend that all that happened here was that he was called an asshole, so he can convienently ignore the idea of changing his behaviour and treating his girlfriend like a human being who knows best about what should happen to her body.

  136. Twisty

    I am finding slightly problematic the uncited pronouncements re: the doin’s in Japanese bedrooms. I know I can be pretty sloppy with the citations myself, but I’m thinking that tightening up the journalism around here wouldn’t exactly kill the discourse, and might actually improve it. Maybe, in the future, at least something from Wikipedia to back up the assertions? Or, if it’s first hand observation (i.e. you are Japanese, living in Japan, and have witnessed Japanese sexlessness personally) let us know, eh?

    Not to pick on H and Rain. It’s not something I’ve harped on before, but slowly it dawns on me that the blog is more or less a published work of sorts, and I’d like it to be a tad more responsible.

    Carry on.

  137. roamaround

    Yeah, I know Silence. I’m supposed to like the men I have sex with. That’s what most of my friends say too. They can’t understand my thing for athletes and other purely physical attractions. Maybe I objectify them the same way they do us and maybe that’s bad. I just enjoy their bodies more than their personalities 99% of the time.

    I guess I’ve never seen myself as submitting to their domination by having sex with them. I see myself as getting what I want. I do hate when they want to control me, expect me to cook, clean or iron, or try to correct me all the time which is what they seem to do when they think they’ve got me, even the nice ones. Yawn. Then I’m out the door.

    If they let me go. They can really get dangerous when the tables are turned. That’s why I liked what LMYC and Antelope said about how they get mean and/or *impotent* when women actually do assert our sexuality. All that hype about how men want sexy, uninhibited women is another big lie. It’s really about control. I’ve found that out the hard way.

    Call me a prude too, but I agree with you completely about all the sex everywhere. It’s so prepackaged and pornified. Nothing to do with real sensuality and pleasure. We’re all supposed to fit the same mold. IBTP.

  138. roamaround

    Sorry if my pronouns confuse anyone. For the record, “they” are men and “we” are women. If any man feels excluded, good. Now you know how we feel.

  139. Trout

    I found a couple articles on Japanese population trends here and here. There isn’t anything to imply that they have less sex over there (as opposed to more birth control, for instance) but population growth is definitely declining.

  140. Feminist Avatar

    In the interest of journalistic integrity:

    The stuff about Japanese retired husband syndrome is found here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/this_world/6143010.stm

    Stuff about Japanese women choosing not to marry and/or have kids here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3694230.stm

    Don’t know anything about having a lack of sex, but Japanese having bad sex is here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4922220.stm

  141. Shannon

    Twisty,
    The Japan Times did an entire series of stories on the “sexless” marriages in Japan. The lead article is here, and it links to all the others.

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/print/features/life2004/fl20041212x1.htm

    p.s. love the site!

  142. Shira

    Or, if it’s first hand observation (i.e. you are Japanese, living in Japan, and have witnessed Japanese sexlessness personally) let us know, eh?
    Oooh! I have anecdote!

    I lived with a Japanese family in Nagoya for a summer in high school. The dad worked 6 days a week and had Mondays off (I only ever saw him on Mondays, and once or twice when I stayed up past midnight, and never in the morning despite leaving for Meito high school at around 7 am). Their five year old slept in their room, with the mother on a futon on the floor, while the dad slept on a Tatami mat on a raised bedframe. I think usually they slept in separate Tatami-mat-bed-frame-beds, since I slept on an identical set-up in a different room.

    I can’t imagine how they could have been anything but sexless with his schedule!

  143. Shannon

    sorry. that link doesn’t work.
    if you go to the Japan Times Online, and search “sexless marriages” you should get the same results i did. sorry about the above link.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp

  144. Eurosabra

    Well, LMYC’s aggravating nemesis, “Pussy or Death?” (What is this, some absurd variation on Monty Python’s critique of the CofE, “Cake or Death?”) kicks in…and raises my hackles, though not on Alex’s behalf…one of the things I’ve understood with the poke poke prod prod brigade is why they’re so PERSISTENT, which is the constant swimming in hormonal soup, but seriously, I don’t get the idea of trying to jill-her-off into submission unless it’s the submission that’s the goal. It’s the fact that he’s unwilling to explore touching her in other ways, ways that might be more pleasurable, that situates him firmly in the PoD Brigade. I am CONVINCED the whole thing was written simply to get a rise out of you, NO ONE could be this deliberately dense, rather, it seems to be a sort of self-righteous persistence in dubious, harassing touching writ large. It’s kind of a “Duh” moment to reveal that they need better communication, better ways of touching each other, or other partners, which makes me suspect the whole thing is a put-on.

  145. Twisty

    Once again, to the dudes in the audience who persist in viewing Little Alex as an anomaly: THE GUY EXISTS. WE’VE ALL DATED HIM. QUIT TRYING TO MINIMIZE IT, ALREADY.

    Whether he wrote his sad little missive to provoke me or not is entirely irrelevant; he describes a universal experience that I think a lot of women don’t understand for what it really is, and it’s a great excuse to bring it out into the open.

    Trust me. There is not a straight girl alive who has not been “prodded” into sex at one time or another. Straight up.

  146. Lina Kirkwood

    I remember those psychological hangups.
    I remember that sex didn’t fix them.

    Certainly, it could be said I consented. But it was only to please him; and it certainly never pleased me.

    In a way, I’m glad that Alex had the self-awareness to write; not that anything about what he’s doing is excusable or forgivable, but perhaps this avalanche will cause him to do the right thing and stop.

    I’d like to hope.

  147. Margarita

    Eurosabra – Twisty is right in what she replied to you. Men like this are everywhere and yes, they really ARE that fucking dumb. It’s just that women are conditioned to accept this kind of poke poke prod prod “warming up” attitude to sex as expected/normal, and most women simply think it’s the only option as far as sex is concerned because they’ve never been given the opportunity to explore any other possibility. My ex would persistently grope and grab me and push for the kind of physical contact i simply wasn’t in the mood for almost constantly throughout our relationship. He genuinely didn’t think he was doing anything wrong and he probably thought he was doing me a favour and “making things enjoyable” for me, and i probably thought he was too. I thought there was something wrong with me because my desire did not match his. Reading this post has been an enormous relief for me as i have found other women writing my thoughts out and clarifying them perfectly. My ex has since read this post and aplogised profusely for the way he treated me. So yes, men really are that dumb. My ex hadn’t a clue that he was doing anything wrong and, more scarily, neither did i. He’s a decent man and this discussion scared him, so i’m pretty hopeful that his future girlfriends will receive a bit more respect.

    I also just wanted to ask – has anyone received this kind of treatment in a relationship with another woman? This post also reminded me of a female ex of mine. (If anyone is going to swoop in and judge me on having relationships with both men and women or ask me if i’m just incapable of making up my mind, please don’t bother. I get enough of that as it is and that’s not what i came here for.)

  148. msxochitl

    Silence said: “[B]ut for me, the thought of fucking someone I can’t wait to sweep out the door afterwards makes me want to curl up in the corner with my hands over my ears and scream.”

    Yeah, it’s kind of creepy that some women would rather fuck a man they hate than a woman. (I think this is what Amy’s Brain was getting at a while back when women on this board were talking about going without men.) Why reject women as lovers in favor of men who you hate and who hate you? I blame compulsory heterosexuality. And the patriarchy, of course.

  149. justicewalks

    I can completely understand why it is considered counterrevolutionary amongst radical feminists for women, any women, to fuck men, whether they hate them or not. What I don’t understand is why the voluntary celibacy of otherwise heterosexual women is vilified in these same circles. What is so awful about just going without sex altogether that makes radical feminist lesbians so uneasy?

    I get that compulsory heterosexuality is a patriarchal construct, not natural, bad, but is compulsory lesbianism any better? Is an asexual or otherwise abstinent radical feminist also counterrevolutionary, even if not as egregiously so as an actively heterosexual one (inasmuch as actively heterosexual people can be considered radical at all)?

  150. Twisty

    “. What is so awful about just going without sex altogether that makes radical feminist lesbians so uneasy?”

    If you’re talking about me here, I’m afraid I may have given the wrong impression. My views on sex are these: all the radical political shit aside, sex is boring and vulgar and inconvenient and does not live up to the hype, no matter who you do it with. If everybody on earth stopped having sex tomorrow it would be my dream come true.

    Of course someone will read that and the echo will ring through the blogosphere “Twisty wants to force the world to give up sex to further her hairy agenda!”

    Of course I do not. I am aware that people really dig sex. My only problem with it is that I would just rather their obsession with their sweaty little hobby did not intrude on my sphere about every .7 seconds.

  151. CannibalFemme

    Justicewalks (and I must say, I adore your name so much), I wanted to chip in here to say that I’ve never personally taken any flak from my feminist friends, straight or gay, for choosing celibacy, and if I did it would seriously bum me out. I don’t personally know any heterosexual women who choose celibacy due to political or feminist reasons, but if I were ever to meet any I can’t imagine I’d be inspired to try to score a toaster by advocating the hot girly love action, or ever chide them for not going there.

    This construct you describe, well, that sucks. I’ll watch out for it.

  152. LMYC

    No doubt, the whole sex thing involves a lot of emotions for people, but … eh. I’m starting to see a few trends:

    1) No, you can’t just change your orientation by magic. It doesn’t make sense to say that a woman should just be able to have sex with a gender she’s not oriented toward just like that. I tend to think of sexuality like I think of handedness. I’m a leftie. If I broke my left arm, I’m sure I could pick up a pen in my right and manage a few barely legible scrawls, but it’s not going to feel right, it’s not going to look very good, and I’m still going to count the days until the damned cast came off and I could do it the correct and proper way that my brain wants me to use.

    2) It’s not attacking straight women to uncompromisingly examine the difficulties involved in fucking men. On the “patriarchal carbon load” scale, fucking men is a bit like driving a very old car without a catalytic converter that’s also burning oil. That’s not pleasant, it’s not nice, and it sucks to say it given that much of sexuality is innate (although not all). But it’s also true, and acknowledging this out in the open — “Hey, it’s hard to fuck men and be a radical feminist” — is not the same as saying you aren’t a feminist if you fuck men. If you think so, then your reading comprehension is off. If anyone else thinks so and thinks that it gives their queer ass the right to pin a straight woman down and demand that she explain herself, then your reading comprehension is also fucked. Like I said, we all put carbon into the atmosphere. Pay your offsets, stay awake and aware, and don’t lower your standards for one split-second. This goes for queer women too — queer sexuality isn’t any less of a carbon load when the guys get wind of it, it can just be a bit easier in other ways.

    3) No, your precious straight hormones are no harder to ignore than anyone else’s. It’s no easier for a shitload of celibate-by-choice straight women who aren’t you to look at something like this and then read the post about how Massachussetts sez sex-by-fraud isn’t rape, so get the hell over your damned self. Legions of queer chicks have been looking at women like her and nearly drowning in drool while hearing that God hates them for it. When I say “join the club,” I’m not saying it snotty, I’m saying you have something in common with us queeries, and goddamn it we’re gonna bond over this if I have to knock some fucking heads together.

  153. roamaround

    msxochitl said: “Why reject women as lovers in favor of men who you hate and who hate you?”

    Good question. I guess I don’t equate fucking with love. Maybe I’m a man trapped in a woman’s body! I do love women and prefer women for companionship and everything important. I just don’t ever feel the urge to have sex with women, whereas I do feel physically attracted to men. Is my desire conditioned by heterosexism? Probably, but there it is.

    I think taking on the title wife or girlfriend is more serious counterrevoltionary submission to the patriarchy than sport fucking men.

  154. Stillwater

    MedeaOnCrack….I’m placing my order now for a dozen of those T-shirts. I only wish there was a way to get the entire quote on there. A coffee mug, perhaps?

  155. justicewalks

    Twisty,

    I most certainly did not have you in mind when I posted that last comment. It sounds as if you and I feel similarly about sexual relations.

    I can’t remember exact threads, but whenever the issue of “going without” comes up, invariably, someone pipes up to say, accusatorily, “What’s all this talk of “going without” when you can have sex with women instead?” While I agree that having sex with women is a politically better option than having sex with men, I don’t think celibacy should be seen as an affront to lesbians of any stripe.

    Thanks for the compliment, CannibalFemme!

  156. MedeaOnCrack

    Stillwater we’re waiting for Bird to break it down to seven words. This has been discussed here before. The only thing settled is we won’t use Cafe Press and it won’t be a profit making venture. Get yours made and post it.

  157. CannibalFemme

    On t-shirts: I’ve used zazzle.com with good results, if that helps.

    On LYMC: you posted Kate. I’m gonna sit here and not go all drooly and not use ellipses, but oh, it hurts. It hurts a lot. Ow. Thud.

  158. RadFemHedonist

    If you’re talking about me here, I’m afraid I may have given the wrong impression. My views on sex are these: all the radical political shit aside, sex is boring and vulgar and inconvenient and does not live up to the hype, no matter who you do it with. If everybody on earth stopped having sex tomorrow it would be my dream come true.

    Frankly the first word that comes to mind on reading that is ridiculous. It is seriously leaning towards appalling to call sex vulgar, that’s the sort of crap religious fundamentalists say. You are wrong. Sex is not vulgar, orgasms are not vulgar, masturbation is not vulgar, indeed the whole concept of vulgarity is bullshit. I am not for a second telling you you should be having sex (that would make me a jackass bully troll), but for crap’s sake stop going on as if we are somehow inferior for liking orgasms. I do like them, I have no intention of going without them so long as I can have one without involving an non agreeing individual. If people want to not have sex then fine (the default position must be that people are not interested), but actually calling it vulgar is pretty rubbish. I don’t have sex, because no-one I’ve met actually thinks the way I do, and because seeing as how it’s my body I’m free to do as I want with it, but it is total bullshit to tell me that I’m vulgar because I don’t find the very though offputting, I’m not phrasing myself very well, I’m not trying to say that you can’t find the very thought offputting, but I don’t, and am generally annoyed by being told that I ought, or that it is an essential characteristic of a utopia that no-one have orgasms, frankly that sounds completely dystopian to me, as it happens either because: everyone is very repressed, or everyone has no hands, either sound quite horrific.

  159. CannibalFemme

    Also, LYMC: you do so rock on! Do you ever go to any of the fan or fic cons? If so, I’d love to stand you a round or two of your libation of choice.

    And bonus babble: did you see that Jamie Bamber wound up on that goofy list of ‘hot guys who look like hot girls if ya squint’? Indeed. Genderfuckery for fun and no profit.

  160. W.B. Reeves

    Well I’m very glad that I finally dove into the comments on this blog rather than just perusing Twisty’s missives. I’ve always found women more interesting than men, so it’s fascinating to hear such no holds barred exchanges.

    It’s easy to understand why women post here. What’s mysterious is the attraction for some men. In particular, sad bastards like Alex. Imagine, being so isolated from meaningful human contact that he has to write Twisty for an assessment of his sexual abuse towards the woman he fetshizes as his “girlfriend” (girlfriend, boyfriend, nice how the terms put the most salient aspect of the relationship up front).

    The mystery deepens when you consider that Alex is obviously intelligent enough to suss out what Twisty’s response would likely be. Hard not to conclude that he was looking for a spanking. How does that square with his apparent urge to be the key that “unlocks” the libido of his nameless “girlfriend?” This attempt at “mastery” would seem at odds with the “please maam, may I have another” pose. His nameless girlfriend is the one with hangups? Commonsense would tell you that if some one says no but you’re not sure they mean it, the quickest way to find out is to stop. Alex is engaged in some intricate theater piece with himself, in which everyone else is a prop. That’s likely why he can’t discuss this with anyone who actually knows him. He wouldn’t be able to predict/control the outcome. Poof goes the illusion of mastery and the centrality of himself that it entails.

    I’m sure that none of this is unfamiliar to most blamers who post here. It is, as Twisty indicates, pretty much standard male behavior, in essence if not in detail. I suppose that’s a large part of “blaming the patriarchy”.

    I don’t have any great insights to offer, despite having the requisite biological equipment to be on a par with Alex. All I have is my own experience. I became aware at a very early age that being a three leg was meant to rule my life. I was expected to conform to a rigid set of behaviors and expectations that define me as a “man.” The trouble was that I also knew that most of these “manly” traits and behaviors struck me as both stupid and repugnant. By the age of seven I’d concluded that the women in my family had more sense than the men, most of whom seemed dangerously irrational.

    Naturally, I didn’t think of it as irrational at the time. I just saw that their behavior was hurtful to others and made no sense. As time went on I began to perceive that the essence of the masculinity I was being prepped for was the infliction of pain, both on others and the self. Master others, master yourself. I resisted in my childish way. I was fortunate though, in that I was growing up in period of social resistance on a number of fronts. Civil rights, anti-war, counter-culture, Women’s Liberation, Gay Liberation all provided counter narratives for me to draw upon.

    So I’m really not in a position to explain individuals like Alex or the large collectivity of men who don’t challenge or even question their enculturation into “masculinity” prior to adulthood. I can only observe that it seems to me such men exist in a constant state of lowgrade hysteria, brought on by the conviction that their own identity precludes any meaningful human contact. They exist in near complete psychological and emotional isolation in which others are simply instrumentalities servicing the blackhole that is labeled as their ego. Their only approved outlets being the highly stratified rituals of “male bonding” wherein they play out the endless round of sadism, masochism, dominance and submission. To be a “man” on such terms is to be less than human.

    None of this is the responsibility of women of course. But to the degree that their lives intersect with those of such “men” it does pose a problem.

    Well I’ve rambled enough. To any purpose? I don’t know. Fortunately Twisty can be the judge of that.

    .

  161. mearl

    Oh I am so late, so late to the party. But I must chime in since I can’t keep my large maw shut. One comment that stood out for me was Antelope’s, who said (about initiating sex with a guy) that “I was accurately reading the cues which told me that they wanted sex to be on their terms, and that it would be a waste of time for me to act like it was possible that it could happen on my terms once in a while.”

    Too true. Maybe old Alex should try to wrap his rapist head around the thought that “sex” does not mean “sex on Alex’s terms.” In the meantime, he should apologise to his “girlfriend” for being a rapist and not let the door hit his ass on the way out. Then he could spend some time mulling over the idea that relationships with women should not have “sex” as the core component of the agenda and the ultimate goal of all his actions. He could try cultivating close relationships with his guy friends, and platonic relationships with female friends, and try to appreciate people as human beings, not enlarged tube socks full of vaseline. He might develop some perspective. I’m crossing my fingers for that one, but I’m thinkin’ that futility looms large.

    Another comment I noticed and have to agree with is roamaround’s. roamaround says, “That’s the real reason fucking and hating men (and as a class, yes I do hate them, but I love their bodies) doesn’t work. They won’t let us get away with it. Sex is supposed to be about them, on their terms. We aren’t supposed to want it or seek it out for its own sake, and we get punished if we break those rules.”

    In my experience, this is so very, very true. I love sex, and I am (unfortunately) attracted to men. They are scared as hell of me, even though one would infer from the way men talk and act that a woman who loves sex (and is good at it) would be their wildest dream come true. Not so. It’s the power thing – the control thing – that matters. Men will write entire epic novels about women who “don’t like sex” or “coyly elude” them. What they find sexy is a woman who isn’t going to actually demand a stellar performance from them. Even better is a woman who is too naive or unsure of her own needs to be able to tell the difference between a stellar performance and anything else. That’s why men are so hot on the idea of virgins and good girls, and why they hate “sluts.” Men can love porn stars because, although they are “sluts,” they do everything for men. Men don’t have to deal with the women in porn as PEOPLE. In real life, guys can’t reconcile the notion that women can be nice, thoughtful, cool, smart, kickass, moral, hell, HUMAN, and still ENJOY sex. Even scarier than that is a woman who wants things a guy doesn’t know how to do or isn’t willing to learn. A thinking woman might just criticise their lousy performance. A thinking woman might just want sexual things done with her that have nothing to do with porn, like being CONSIDERATE, taking your time, knowing your mind, knowing the intricacies of your body, putting aside your own needs. Imagine if women expected that sex was all about us, all the time, and refused to let men get away with having any sex AT ALL on their terms. Imagine if we had the social and legal apparatus to back us up.

    For all those who think that being anti-porn is being anti-sex, I thumb my nose at you. Sex is not a problem, it’s the sociopathic notions of patriarchy. It’s the power thing, the dominance/sumbmission thing. That’s why I hate BDSM. It furthers the patriarchy, because the patriarchy works when it’s enacted by men on women OR by women on men. Women are so much more crippled by it, but everyone loses.

    Aside from all that, I think the idea of Twisty writing a sex advice column for straight male guys is the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard of.

  162. LMYC

    Cannibal, that boy looks like a rugby dyke. You have no idea how many dyke fans he’s got. Gay guys have their Cher and Madonna, we got our lesbo pinup boys.

  163. LMYC

    CF, Kate Dillon makes straight women gay. She’s just lovely.

  164. Twisty

    WB Reeves: “I’ve always found women more interesting than men, so it’s fascinating to hear such no holds barred exchanges.”

    It’s always so gratifying when our weird girl-issues fascinate dudes.

  165. roamaround

    “one would infer from the way men talk and act that a woman who loves sex (and is good at it) would be their wildest dream come true. Not so. It’s the power thing – the control thing – that matters”

    mearl, exactly!

    “In real life, guys can’t reconcile the notion that women can be nice, thoughtful, cool, smart, kickass, moral, hell, HUMAN, and still ENJOY sex.”

    YES! The sexual double standard hasn’t moved an inch really. The good girl/slut dichotomy has long been a source of very real oppression for me (even in progressive circles) and continues to be so for the teenage girls I teach. Where is that revolution?

    I do agree with Twisty and others that sex is over-emphasized. I happen to like it, but it doesn’t define me. It’s the patriarchy that defines women as the sex class. For me, it’s just one of my (vulgar? like chicken-fried steak?) appetites.

  166. LMYC

    The good girl/slut dichotomy –

    – is just another way to describe the human/fuckhole dichotomy. One is either a human being, or one has penises inserted into one. No in-between. At all.

  167. Niki

    Testify!

    I am a straight girl who has never been prodded into sex.

    No, really.

    That isn’t to say none have tried. However, typically I enjoy being the aggressor and choosing my own partners, and anyone who approaches me first is on automatic suspicion.

    I was raised by an intellingent, yet hyperparanoid & old fashioned mother (who likes to tell me I ‘emasculate’ men by taking charge, yet still warned me of their many dangers). Bless her heart.

  168. W.B. Reeves

    It’s always so gratifying when our weird girl-issues fascinate dudes.

    I don’t consider them “weird” Twisty. Wherever did you get such a peculiar notion? Likewise, I didn’t make the statement to gratify anyone. Just a factual discription of my reaction.

    I’ve been exposed to a great deal of weirdness in my life. Nothing I’ve read on this thread, not even the stuff I disagree with, strikes me as falling into that category. All the comments, considered in context, seem entirely comprehensible to me.

  169. LMYC

    Hm, am reading mearl’s post. I think I’ve hit on a definition thing here when men say they want a woman who “likes sex.”

    They want a woman who likes to be degraded and turned into filth, a “hot chick” who gets turned on at the idea of being debased. What they can’t process is a woman who likes sex. Likes the act — and doesn’t think it makes her debased, and especialyl doesn’t want a partner who thinks it makes her debased.

    A woman says “I like sex” and what they hear is “I like being turned into degraded filth.”

    When they find out that a translation error has occurred between her lips and their ears, they generally bluescreen. They didn’t want a woman who liked sex honestly and thought it was fun and pleasant, they wanted a hot slut who got off on being their used fuckhole! Oh, MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

  170. Bird

    MedeaOnCrack, I got it down to nine words.

    Love =/= rape, even if they both have four letters.

    Think we can get that on there?

  171. Twisty

    Hey WB Reeves. Wherever did I get such a peculiar notion? Heck, I guess I must’ve just peculiarly pulled it out of my peculiar ass.

    It couldn’t be that when men come around and comment on how fascinating the feminists are in their natural habitat, there is implicit in the fascination an element of voyeurism. It couldn’t be that such a remark casts the commenter as a sort of anthropologist studying the indigenous native culture. “Oh, I learned so much about life from the delightful, feisty feminists.”

    If you wanna view us as fascinating bonobos in a zoo, I can’t stop you, but you can damn well put a sock in it while you’re doin’ it.

  172. Twisty

    Easy there, RadFemHedonist. Of course sex is vulgar. Do you know what vulgar means? It means “ordinary,” or “not rare.” I can think of nothing more ordinary or less rare than copulation, and I doubt if you can, either.

    And if you love orgasms, bully for you. I would stop short of imagining’em as the pinnacle of human achievement, though.

  173. MedeaOnCrack

    It’s catchy, can be picked up on the fly (runners)and has an AHAH! delayed punch.

    (I assume that middle part means does-not-equal, but I had to think about it for a minute.)

    I loved your original. Where is it? Can you post it again?

  174. ginmar

    Well, don’t you just love it when a guy comes around to study the natives and their fascinating—-but, you know, backward—–culture. It’s obviously not as superior as guy culture.

  175. Bird

    MedeaOnCrack, I posted it way upthread somewhere, but I was rather happy with it myself and wrote it down (it clarified a whole lot of my own thinking about my own experiences). And yes, the =/= means “does not equal.” It actually should be ≠ (Yay! I found the keystroke combo!).

    So here it is again (the bit you really liked):

    Love does not force you to do stuff you hate. That’s called rape, no matter what other four letter words he uses.

    Speaking of good quotes, I’m trying to remember which one of us said “Not only is there life outside the box but there is legroom.” I wrote it on a sticky and put it on the wall beside my desk, but I didn’t put a name on it. It might have been Mearl. Anyone recall?

  176. RadFemHedonist

    “Easy there, RadFemHedonist. Of course sex is vulgar. Do you know what vulgar means? It means “ordinary,” or “not rare.” I can think of nothing more ordinary or less rare than copulation, and I doubt if you can, either.

    And if you love orgasms, bully for you. I would stop short of imagining’em as the pinnacle of human achievement, though.”

    Firstly, yes I know what it means, however it’s a word that has negative connotations attached to it, people use how vulgar as an insult constantly, or at least that’s how I’ve heard it used. You meant it dismissively anyway, you were using it in a derogatory fashion, that something is popular/unpopular is irrelevant, so it’s meaningless to mention it.

    I don’t think orgasms are the pinnacle of human achievement, if for no other reason than I cannot actually answer that question…

    Actually I can, science and logic, which wave away theistic delusions with their truthfulness.

    I do think orgasms are one of the best things ever though, alongside the music of Yoko Kanno and shortbread with nutella (which I discovered yesterday) for sheer hedonistic enjoyment and pleasure.

    My general happiness levels have improved immensely since I started masturbating, never done me anything but good.

    Plus, I do do other stuff, reading, drawing, watching TV, films, sleeping, eating, writing, I even go outside occasionally. Nah, I’m kidding, I really ought to be getting more exercise though, keeps the body healthy and there seem to be lots of insects and other crawly/wriggly things to pay attention to. Though I always tend to stop and feel depressed when I step on something living. Snails in particular *crunch*

    cue five minutes of me mourning as I walk down the sloping path to college.

    More on topic for the thread, this Alex person is raping this poor person, he must leave her alone forever and she should probably be snuggling up on the sofa with a good book and some good food and basically be moving on with her life and staying far away from any circumstance where she feels the slightest distrust for someone.

  177. MedeaOnCrack

    This slogganing makes me wonder: Where are the fun runs (snerk) against rape and porn? Now that would be transgressive. And so very threatening which probably answers my question.

  178. MedeaOnCrack

    Bird was it Ron?

  179. MedeaOnCrack

    At least when a woman masturbates she gets something out of it. Oxytocin is very helpful with joint and muscular aches and pains. Y’all in the suffering thread?

  180. W.B. Reeves

    It couldn’t be that when men come around and comment on how fascinating the feminists are in their natural habitat, there is implicit in the fascination an element of voyeurism. It couldn’t be that such a remark casts the commenter as a sort of anthropologist studying the indigenous native culture. “Oh, I learned so much about life from the delightful, feisty feminists.”

    I don’t know about voyeurism. Certainly not in the clinical sense. No more voyeuristic, in any case, than reading any feminist writer. Actually, no more so than reading anything written from a woman’s perspective. Or a man’s, for that matter.

    “Fascinating”, as in terms of being exposed to ideas and opinions one wouldn’t be exposed to in the ordinary course of events. It’s a word that I’ve used in the same context on numerous occasions in many discussions on many topics. I think it’s important to be familiar with the ideas and perspectives of others, even when you disagree. Sorry if it sounded a false note with you.

    As for sounding a bit anthropological, it’s probably because I take an anthropological approach to analyzing most social/cultural/political questions. I find it helps to balance my subjectivity.

  181. W.B. Reeves

    Well, don’t you just love it when a guy comes around to study the natives and their fascinating—-but, you know, backward—–culture. It’s obviously not as superior as guy culture.

    You must not have read my post.

  182. Margarita

    Does anyone else find Reeves creepy and patronising?

  183. Bird

    As a runner, I’d gladly enter an anti-rape run. Although I’d feel a bit like we were all training for what to do when he comes after you. And the sight of all those girls running might just excite the rapists—you know, predator responses to flight in prey and all that. Dammit, I can’t even contemplate a feminist run without going through the threat calculations.

    My running group from work is talking about doing the “Run for the Cure” this fall. I’m really not sure what to say to them. I mean, opting out of the breast cancer run will make me look like an asshole, but it really, really bugs me to be a part of it.

    Why does all this stuff have to be so bloody complicated?

  184. Natalia

    I’m with you, Margarita. I would add “verbose” and “smug.”

  185. Bitey

    Reeves: In a thread about rape and rapey behavior like not listenting when people tell you to stop, it is decidedly creepy of you not to put a sock in it when you are invited to do so. Demonstrate to us your keen understanding of what I’ve just said by eschewing to respond at all.

  186. W.B. Reeves

    Reeves: In a thread about rape and rapey behavior like not listenting when people tell you to stop, it is decidedly creepy of you not to put a sock in it when you are invited to do so. Demonstrate to us your keen understanding of what I’ve just said by eschewing to respond at all.

    If you wanna view us as fascinating bonobos in a zoo, I can’t stop you, but you can damn well put a sock in it while you’re doin’ it.

    I took Twisty’s directive as being predicated on my viewing women as bonobos, something I’d no intention of doing. However, if it really was meant as “stop commenting”, consider it done.

  187. Bitey

    Oh, man, that’s rich. I knew he couldn’t do it. That’s awesome. I needed a laugh at someone’s expense.

  188. LMYC

    Bird, maybe we can have the women wear slimbing spikes while they run, and conclude the thing with a barbecue, lit by the gas-powered flamethrowers carried by the runners.

    Of course, if the meat were pre-shaped into a gyro-like rotisserie-thingamabob that looked like Bob Guccione, so much the better.

  189. LMYC

    CLIMBING, damn it. I don’t know what slimbing spikes are, but maybe we can wear them, too.

  190. LMYC

    CF: `hot guys who look like hot girls if ya squint’

    Is there any other kind?

    That reminds me of a woman I knew who said that once she was surfing around and her wife came up behind her while she had a pic of Bamber up, and her wife’s comment was: “She’s pretty butch, kinda cute though … oh.” *chuckles*

    No fic or fan cons on this end, though. Actor-fans creep me out. He’s done a lot of good costume drama, and beyond that, I don’t know him from Adam and don’t care to.

    Kate Dillon, though? I’ll buy her a coffee and chat any day of the week. :-) I think when push comes to shove, the actors are still just guys, and hence off my radar as “creatures I wish to know anything about or interact with in any way.” Dillon is a woman, so she exists as someone to be learned about. *shrug* Female chauvinist pig, thy name is LMYC.

  191. MedeaOnCrack

    I won’t support those breast cancer groups. I tell them I’ll send a donation here. This is a feminist breast cancer advocacy group.

    Breast Cancer Action
    http://www.bcaction.org/

    One of the Canadian chapters was started by feminist activist Sharon Batt, who wrote the book Patient No More about the fraud behind the development and marketing of Tamoxifen and the collusion between the pharmaceutical company and the University of Toronto medical school.

    P.S. Have you read Barbara Ehrenreich’s article in Twisty’s “Extra Credit” titled Welcome to Cancerland?

  192. MedeaOnCrack

    LMYC, they sound purrfect for pole-dancing.

  193. msxochitl

    LMYC said:

    “I tend to think of sexuality like I think of handedness. I’m a leftie. If I broke my left arm, I’m sure I could pick up a pen in my right and manage a few barely legible scrawls, but it’s not going to feel right, it’s not going to look very good, and I’m still going to count the days until the damned cast came off and I could do it the correct and proper way that my brain wants me to use.”

    Not a good analogy. Unless, for some reason, really hate your left hand and your left hand hates you. Nah, the analogy doesn’t work if you try to apply it to the case of women who fuck men they hate.

    As far as “straight hormones,” and the near-impossibility for a straight woman who hates men to stop fucking men and develop romantic relationships with women instead? Well, of course, that’s what the patriarchy wants us to believe. But there are some who disagree:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20040105072257/staffweb.lib.uiowa.edu/ktonella/oob/features/Biology.htm

    http://www.queerbychoice.com/gaygenelinks.html

  194. msxochitl

    Justicewalks: “I get that compulsory heterosexuality is a patriarchal construct, not natural, bad, but is compulsory lesbianism any better?”

    Compulsory lesbianism? Never heard of it. Is it something like “reverse racism”?

    “I can’t remember exact threads, but whenever the issue of “going without” comes up, invariably, someone pipes up to say, accusatorily, “What’s all this talk of “going without” when you can have sex with women instead?”

    You are misrepresenting that discussion. As I recall, no one said “I’m celibate and happy.” (This is actually the first time I have ever read anyone claim to be celibate and happy on this board.) What was said was something like “I don’t want to go without but I have to because I can’t stand men.” It was in that context in which a woman suggested that if you don’t want to go without sex, you don’t have to.

    I’m sorry you mistook my comments as a critique of celibacy. That was not my intent at all.

  195. Cunning Allusionment?

    W.B. Reeves: I just want to remind you that being a pedantic asshole is against the rules. If you must continue arguing that you’re not a creepy voyeur playing out some kind of digital anthropology fantasy please refrain from the pedantism.

  196. mearl

    Bird, the comment warn’t mine. I would give credit if I knew who said it, but I do recall that it was a fine, fine blamer. Probably B. Dagger.

    Slimbing spikes – if they are spikes which spout slime at men with rapist notions dancing like sugar plums in their heads – would be AWESOME.

  197. mearl

    And LMYC – “A woman says ‘I like sex’ and what they hear is ‘I like being turned into degraded filth.’” Exactly. They can’t imagine sex with a woman outside the confines of their struggle for control over her.

  198. CannibalFemme

    LYMC: I wholeheartedly agree on actor cons. Creepy as hell. However, I have had some fabulous times at the slash cons. Since it’s just fan writers and vidders, the creep factor is much reduced.

    I also must join the chorus in favor of slimbing spikes. Wish I had some that shot out of my face when needed.

  199. Trasi

    I don’t have the time to read the entire message stream, and with 198 comments, I’m sure SOMEONE out there probably already noted what seems completely obvious to me.
    WHY is this girl with Alex? There are plenty of you who can tell me why Alex is a girlfriend-raping asshole, or at least THAT he’s an asshole. But what about this girlfriend? What self-respecting woman in her right mind stays with a guy in a “dating” relationship when her response to his sexual advances isn’t just “stop it!” but mixed with a hefty dose of disgust? If she’s just wanting to save herself for marriage, I can FULLY respect that, and yet I do not hear any of that in Alex’s email. Alex may even really, genuinely like this girl, hence his myriad of fumbling, clueless guy efforts to try and make this work out with her. (not saying they’re GOOD efforts, just that he’s clearly concerned about it, which is more than a lot of guys would be, as noted by an early commenter). But it’s pretty dang obvious to me she doesn’t much care for him. Why doesn’t she just BREAK UP with him, if she’s so turned off by him in the first place? Clearly he could break this off with her, cut her loose, when it’s plain it ain’t workin’ out. I just have to lay blame where it is due, and there’s a heapload of it goin’ the direction of the girl here, too. She needs to take responsibility for herself and her own happiness, and ditch this guy, and figure out what’s wrong with her broken self esteem, and fix it.

  200. Twisty

    “digital anthropology fantasy” is my next band name.

  201. Louise

    Alex, a lot of women don’t like to initiate sex. I never initiate, but I like it when my husband does. You could try asking your girlfriend if there is anything you can do that she would like better than the things you are already doing, maybe she has some desires she hasn’t revealed to you? But her unethusiastic response suggests that she just isn’t that into you. Perhaps you would be better off with a girl who was keener on you? A good sex life is a vital ingredient of a good relationship. A woman who is really interested in you would respond with more enthusiasm to your advances. You can try talking it over with her and seeing how she feels, but my impression is that she just doesn’t fancy you all that much.

    Louise

  202. Twisty

    “A good sex life is a vital ingredient of a good relationship”

    Well, it’s a vital ingredient of a relationship based on sex, anyway.

  1. The K-log

    [...] ok, so some dude wrote in to ask whether he was raping his girlfriend because she didn’t ever initiate sex, and the ripping of the proverbial new one ensued in the comments. summary of consensus: yes. and the fact that you wrote in to ask about it gives us the womanly willies. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>