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Apr 07 2009

Protuberance Korner

<small><strong><em>Fig. 17.b.</em></strong> Behold not one but two genera of the world's most scintillating fungus orders: earthballs. <em>Pisolithus tinctorus</em> (left) and <em>scleroderma bovista</em>. Both fungal globs are the size of your fist. The field guide describes them in terms of tennis balls: half-buried, semi-deflated, and lost for some time. Don't eat'em! You'll puke and puke, just like when you read the BBC news feed.</small>

Fig. 17.b. Behold not one but two genera of the world's most scintillating fungus orders: earthballs. Pisolithus tinctorus (left) and scleroderma bovista. Both fungal globs are the size of your fist. The field guide describes them in terms of tennis balls: half-buried, semi-deflated, and lost for some time. Don't eat'em! You'll puke and puke, just like when you read the BBC news feed.


No doubt you are deeply embarrassed for me, my having developed the unseemly habit of reading the BBC news feed, selecting a grotesque headline from the “Health” section, and dropping it at your feet like some slavering dog with a half-dead rat. And no doubt what I am about to say will raise the concern hackles of dudely readers who are always warning me for my own good to stop wasting energy on playing the blame game and learn to accept personal responsibility for all the bullshit in the world, but dang it, I Blame Firefox. The stupid BBC came pre-embedded in the bookmarks bar of my latest Firefox install. It’s the very first one on the left! It might as well be a flashing neon sign with 17 blinking arrows reading “FISH IN A BARREL! SHOOT HERE!” It’s irresistible.

“Pull yourself together, Twisty!” you’re saying. “Is your delete-finger broken or something?”

Well, yes. As a matter of fact, it is.

Which explains why, when I got back from this morning’s Fungus Safari (see Fig. 17.b), this was the nausea-inducing headline that awaited me:

“Spray for ‘six times longer’ sex.”

As you know, sex is the most important fucking thing in the universe.

I wasted no time in deducing the gist of this article from the headline. Some knob, I surmised, has invented a spray-on boner, giving new meaning to the term “fucknozzle.” There was no point in imagining that the spray to which it alludes was, say, pepper spray, and that the scenario proposed incapacitating your would-be pronger long enough for you to get the job done yourself. No, in this day and age — which happily resembles, as far as horndog dudes are concerned, any day and age — sexy medical breakthroughs are universally phallocentric.

Six-times-longer sex spray is no exception. As I’d suspected, its target demographic is the dude plagued with emasculating flaccidity. Unlike our beloved Viagra, however, which fixes “erectile dysfunction,” the new spray — just aim the fucknozzle and shoot! — supposedly addresses “premature ejaculation.” This is another harrowing disorder which renders a dude incapable of demonstrating his masculine superpowers to the exacting standards of today’s strict Pornulational Code.

When is a particular ejaculation “premature”? Whenever dudeliness is compromised!

As mentioned above, sex enhancing drugs are pretty exclusively the purview of men. Nevertheless, the drugs’ benefits to women, though non-existent, are routinely exaggerated. This marketing feat is accomplished with the dominant culture’s definition of women’s sexuality in terms of men, supported by the dudely myth that fetishizes the female’s supposed burning desire for marathon doses of penetration. This BBC article on premature ejaculation, for instance, is illustrated with a photograph of a young, attractive heterosexual couple en dishabille. The woman stares at the camera with hurt, sad doe-eyes; her man, with his pathetic malfunctioning peen, cannot satisfy her desperate urge for 6 times more penetration. Soon they will break up, and he will commit suicide. Bring on the boner spray, with all speed!

PSD502 helped 90% of the men enjoy sex for up to four minutes, where they had previously only lasted for seconds.

PSD502 is an anesthetic that basically numbs out the willy, so it is unlikely that the “enjoyment” has much to do with actual physical sensation. Duration — that manliest of the manly talents — appears to be the only objective.

While men are enjoying “sex” six times longer, they are also “building confidence.” “Sex” is the dudely synonym for “penetration.” “Confidence” is the dudely synonym for “successful exercise of male privilege.”

97 comments

  1. Narya

    Okay, but I have to point out that the spray meant they maintained bonerdom for . . . 4 minutes. Which isn’t all that long.

    I suppose we could hope that the bonerholders in question recognize that peenertration isn’t the be-all and end-all of sexual behavior, and may not even be the behavior that the other participant likes best, but that’s probably too much to ask.

  2. Twisty

    Narya: “Okay, but I have to point out that the spray meant they maintained bonerdom for . . . 4 minutes. Which isn’t all that long.”

    How long should “sex” last?

    And doesn’t this assessment entirely depend on your point of view? What if you are a prostituted woman? Or you suffer from one of those conditions where penetration is painful? Or you’re one of those women in Afghanistan who is required by law to make herself available whenever Mr Dude wants it? Or a mama in a motorcycle gang? If such women were allowed to define sex, I imagine no ejaculation would ever be judged “premature.”

  3. PhysioProf

    What the fuck does PSD stands for in the name of the shit? Peen Strong D00d?

    Those fungi look kind of like balls of hash.

  4. ElizaN

    Patriarch’s Spray-on Domination?

  5. Narya

    Agreed completely, Twisty.

    I was merely commenting that for enthusiastic people who actually wanted the peenetration, four minutes wasn’t all that long.

    I’d also note that, among people who wanted to be engaging in sexual activity, peenetration is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for definition of said activity. I realize the patriarchy defines sex completely in terms of peenetration.

  6. j0lt

    “As you know, sex is the most important fucking thing in the universe.”

    But if sex isn’t the most important fucking thing, than what would the most important FUCKING thing be?

    >>Sorry, I found the play on words amusing.

  7. a. brown

    Um.. if it numbs the penis, might it also numb the vagina? That sounds slightly insidious.

  8. VibratingLiz

    Why don’t they just wear double thick rubbers?

    The other night I was watching a movie called I Like It Like That and at one point the lead dude, who is vigorously pronging his wife with a stopwatch in one hand, screams out, “Eight-nine minutes! I broke my own record!” loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. It was all I could do not open an artery from empathy. How did that poor woman not go mad with boredom?

    Oh lardy I do love me my spinsterdom.

  9. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    But will it work on his tongue?

    Sorry.

  10. Jonathan

    “PSD502 helped 90% of the men enjoy sex for up to four minutes, where they had previously only lasted for seconds.”

    “Up to four minutes”? I can get a 5-minute airport back massage for a fraction of PSD502′s cost. And I can get one without being novocained to hell.

    Can the P finally stop pretending that their hideous pornified version sex has anything to do with pleasure?

  11. slythwolf

    Okay, but I have to point out that the spray meant they maintained bonerdom for . . . 4 minutes. Which isn’t all that long.

    I seem to recall Sue Johansen, the host of that Sunday night sex advice show, claiming that two to two and a half minutes was normal and average. We have all been misled by porn, which insinuates that normal, healthy dudes can sustain boners for hours of penetration at a time.

    I also seem to recall that women were likely to report two and a half minutes of penetration as having taken five minutes, which to me says we’re mostly staring at the wall going, when is this going to be over?

    Also, a thought: ejaculation is premature when it’s too early to have a chance of impregnating anyone.

  12. bluey512

    I agree that the spray is completely tangled up in all sorts of patriarchal silliness, but I would like to make a point here about sexuality: some of us straight gals actually like penetration. Love it, even. I love your blog, Twisty, but I really wish you would not write as if all women hated penetrative sex.

  13. yttik

    Here honey, you take a couple valium and I’ll spray my tallywager with anesthetic. C’mon, it’ll be more fun then a root canal!

  14. Ron Sullivan

    Jeebus. I’m old and feeble and my lungs are trying to kill me and I can barely walk across the room without a rest and a fit of hideous coughing and half my senses are going straight to hell and now I’m having drug-induced fucking hot flashes (again) and I’m waiting for the tapering-off week (if I’m lucky) that will make me wish Ohnevermind but sometimes——like when I watch more than 15 minutes of TV or read something like the above——I realize I’ve been a very lucky woman.

    Cuz between one thing and another, over the last oh almost 40 years, I have never had to tolerate boredom during sex. (Or, y’know, come on, two and a half minutes? That’s only fun if it’s not fun.)

    I’m a serious sex fan, OK, yeah, assorted sorts. What amazes me most it that THESE ASSHATS MANAGE TO FUCK UP SEX! WTH talent does that take? They ANAESTHETIZE THEIR OWN DICKS! What the fuckin fuck?

    “Fuck you!”
    “Yeah? You and whose dick?”

    I mean, whose joke was that anyway?

    (Did it start there or did it come down to that? I mean using that as a hostility? Chicken, egg, rooster jizz? Next week’s undergrad seminar question: What do you mean you don’t like a compliment?)

    They not only fuck up sex for the people they have sex with (or at), they fuck it up for themselves! They take a great meal and run it through a blender and add cod liver oil! They they try to eat it through their assholes! While standing up! And keeping a straight face! With their pants on!

    There are six and a half billion human beings on the planet. Is it possible that so many of them are so boring?

    This message has been brought to you largely by noninflammatory steroids and albuterol sulfate, funded by a grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the mass planting of all-male cloned street trees. More brilliant ideas at out website, http://www.unintendedconsequences.org or send $24.95 to the address on your screen for a transcript.

  15. AnnaArcturus

    Oh, for the love of… Good sex is like good wine, it’s good if I say it’s good. No, wait, what I meant to say is “Good sex is like good wine, if you like it, it’s good.” That you is meant to be the universal you as in you, me, and everyone else. If it lasts thirty seconds and everyone gets off, you are amazingly efficient and deserve a medal. That leaves time for the most important fucking thing in the universe: back rubs. Followed by sleep.

  16. larkspur

    In the scleroderma bovista, I can see the face of a terrified Edvard Munch-like creature who has thrown its right arm up pugilistically, while the left side of its head is about to be, um, munched on by a de-shelled and probably extra-terrestrial tortoise creature. But I do not see Jesus or his mom. So probably no money will be forthcoming.

    And yes, I too would be interested to know what the spray does to one’s tongue.

  17. rubysecret

    At what point does the dude realize that even after four minutes he’s still done nothing to please his partner?

    Oh, I forgot. Never.

    I’d like to see a “Shut up about yer stupid weeny and bring me a sandwich” spray. Or a “Hon, would you please run to the store a pick up fresh batteries for my vibrator?” spray. That I’d buy.

  18. greenmorgaine

    Wouldn’t the spray numb get on the woman and numb her too? Icky.

  19. larkspur

    I actually know a woman who was married for nearly ten years to a man who wouldn’t let her bring her vibrator to bed with them. It is so hard sometimes not to set off a whole barrage of wide-angle blamin’. So yeah, I never pressed her as to what she thought he’d do if she just fired up the vibrator anyway – i.e., disobediently! – because I figured one person in her life being mean to her was enough.

  20. VibratingLiz

    At what point does the dude realize that even after four minutes he’s still done nothing to please his partner?

    The point at which the dude decides she wasn’t rabidly enough satisfied with what he deems to be a manly duration of repetitive weeny thrusting, is also the point at which he convinces himself that it’s only because she is pathologically frigid or otherwise clinically defective. Also the point at which he convinces himself that her defective lack of rabid satisfaction justifies his going out and seeking other partners who will be more easily impressed by his manly duration (i.e., more likely to fake dramatic orgasms with lots of writhing, gasping, and other noisy sound effects). Which may explain why many women are loathe to let dudes catch on to their boredom, and why so many dudes manage to remain oblivious.

  21. Dead Girl

    I wonder what would happen if we spray it on their TONGUE instead??? Now that being said, I think we may have a breakthrough after all!!!

  22. Comrade PhysioProf

    why so many dudes manage to remain oblivious

    Willing suspension of disbelief.

  23. Twisty

    “I love your blog, Twisty, but I really wish you would not write as if all women hated penetrative sex.”

    I speak for the women who do hate it, and there are plenty of’em; perhaps you can tolerate this breach of inclusiveness, since the entire rest of the internet is a carnival of penetration, and since the behavior has major political ramifications.

  24. birkwearingblamer

    Pronging isn’t the be all, end all. Just saying.

  25. yttik

    In theory feminists would hate penetrative sex, even if some enjoyed the sensations it sometimes produces, because just the term alone, “penetrative,” excludes them. “Penetrative” describes a one man act. What or who you are penetrating is irrelevant, it is all about the penetrator. Now if it was called “envelopment” or “enclosure” or something, it would sound more like an act involving mutual participation. In that case, some women could be said to actually enjoy the sensations involved with “envelopment.”

  26. rubysecret

    “I really wish you would not write as if all women hated penetrative sex”

    Seriously?! Every freakin representation of s-e-x in our culture is about penetration. That’s IT. In-out-in-out-DONE. Yet most (varied and hard to find) studies show that the majority of women, the real ones, in real life, who aren’t paid to please or to fake pleasure, DON’T orgasm that way, and some even find it just downright unappealing or even painful. The fact that the linked article doesn’t even mention women, or a partner at all really, is very telling. That this blog acknowledges the idea that there’s more to sex than penetration (and more to life than sex) is all kinds of refreshing.

  27. Lauren O

    The whole “lasting longer during sex” thing is a strange phenomenon. It’s often cast in the light of pleasing women and satisfying them in bed, but in general, lasting longer doesn’t please women. Even women who enjoy penetration generally don’t want it to last for TOO long; it’s repetitive, often at least slightly painful, and the majority of women can’t achieve orgasm from it.

    It seems actually to be about men demonstrating to women that they’re “masculine.” But with all the emphasis on manliness in our culture, why not just come out and say that? Why pretend that you’re doing it to make women happy? My best guess is that they probably genuinely expect women to be endlessly fascinated and delighted by their being so macho.

    (My first theory was that it was an organized attempt by MRAs so that they could point to it and say that sex is only focused on female pleasure and we have it so much easier than men, but then I realized that MRAs are too busy whining and worrying about their fragile sexuality to organize anything.)

    PS, though, I would wager that there are a significant amount of women who would prefer 4 minutes of penetrative sex to only a few seconds (they’d probably also prefer 4 minutes to 15 minutes), so this product probably does have a beneficial side effect for many women, even though it obviously oirginates in a bizarre culture of phallus-worship.

  28. thebewilderness

    If you read truly crappy novels you would know that this misogynistic asshat (The Seven Minutes by Irving Wallace) popularized the idea that women require seven minutes of consistent stimulation to orgasm. Dudely competition requires that doodz make the woman orgasm by repeatedly smacking her with their penis, and since that takes seven minutes they watch the clock.

  29. bluey512

    I speak for the women who do hate it, and there are plenty of’em; perhaps you can tolerate this breach of inclusiveness, since the entire rest of the internet is a carnival of penetration, and since the behavior has major political ramifications.

    I do kind of feel excluded when my experiences and sexuality are completely ignored, strangely enough.

    Thing is, regardless of who you speak for, you write about women of all sexualities. A lot of the time (certainly in this case, unless you assume the potential consumers of this product are all dating queer women), you write about straight women, and you routinely assume that they don’t have a burning desire for marathon doses of penetration, for giving head, or really for getting in bed with men for any reason.

    I can understand why you might not personally see the appeal, and that’s completely fine. I’m just saying, some women do desire those things. Some of us do get disappointed when our male partner can’t get it up, for whatever reason. Never mind inclusiveness – to say otherwise is simply not true, and I know how you love Truth and Beauty.

    That’s not to say there’s nothing wrong with the spray. For reasons Lauren O articulated very well, the spray and the marketing thereof are ludicrous.

    Rubysecret, there’s more to sex than orgasms, too. Just because a woman may not orgasm from penetration doesn’t mean it’s not doing anything for her or that it’s not a valid part of sex. And I’m not saying life is all about sex or that sex is all about penetration. I’m just saying some people like penetration, which is something this blog doesn’t acknowledge.

    In theory feminists would hate penetrative sex, even if some enjoyed the sensations it sometimes produces, because just the term alone, “penetrative,” excludes them. “Penetrative” describes a one man act. What or who you are penetrating is irrelevant, it is all about the penetrator. Now if it was called “envelopment” or “enclosure” or something, it would sound more like an act involving mutual participation. In that case, some women could be said to actually enjoy the sensations involved with “envelopment.”

    So, if I call it “envelopment” and not “penetration,” can I fuck my boyfriend and still call myself a feminist?

  30. Jonathan

    @Lauren O:

    “The whole “lasting longer during sex” thing is a strange phenomenon. It’s often cast in the light of pleasing women and satisfying them in bed, but in general, lasting longer doesn’t please women.”

    This genital novocaine shit was never designed to make Dudebags good at sexual pleasuring. It was created so that Dudebags could ‘win’ at sex when they compare times with their fellow dudefriends. Because in a P, consensual sex between partners in a heteronormative relationship must be turned into a war for dominance somehow.

    The men who fall over in bed after 5 seconds are seen as losers by the other dudes. It doesn’t matter if their foreplay* stamina lasted orders of magnitude longer than their weener did. It doesn’t matter whether their partners were happy, bored, or asleep. Their dudefriends are who they are having sex for.

    So in comes genital novocaine to the rescue! Then if the Dudes can last longest, they can post their high score to the other dudes in the locker room! “Eight minutes! Wooohoo!”

    Personally, I wish the guys would return to ballslapping to establish their pecking order. It would save everyone involved a whole lot of hassle.

    * That “foreplay” lasts eons longer than stopwatch-measured vaginal intercourse, and yet is still brushed aside as an optional preamble, IBTP!!!

  31. JetGirl

    “Carnival of penetration.”
    That’s beautiful. You rock, Ms.Faster.

  32. rubysecret

    My point, even if I didn’t successfully make it, was that women’s pleasure just isn’t part of the equation. Sexual enhancement drugs, studies, and media attention, from viagra to this new spray-n-wank, are entirely focused on male performance with the glaring absence of any consideration for female pleasure or even comfort.

    We’re taught from the very beginning to please men, than sex is penetration, and that’s it’s over when he gets off. I don’t know if it’s been discussed in any studies, but I’ll bet that there are many women who say they enjoy penetration but are saying so because they know it pleases their partner – because it’s so ingrained that our sexual pleasure comes from pleasing someone else. The majority of my straight friends don’t orgasm from penetration, and don’t like to admit it or talk about it. Not a scientific study, I know. I didn’t have orgasms until I stopped sleeping with men.

    Jonathan’s point above that men are looking to brag about performance scores sounds spot-on. It’s the same reason they scream lewd comments from car windows. They don’t do that when they’re alone, it’s to demonstrate dominance to the pack. If men wanted to brag about how many orgasms their partner had they could do that without needing medical enhancements. But that’s not what’s really important.

  33. Sabayon

    Gee, I wonder if this wang-spray has been tested for safety on lady parts. Funny how the study never mentioned that. After all, it’s not like exposing sensitive tissue to some sort of anesthetic could possibly go wrong. Also, how is a woman supposed to feel pleasure, even one who loves a good pronging, when she is being pronged by something covered in anesthetic. Oh wait, none of that matters. IBTP.

  34. Lindsey

    Durex has been selling wang-numbing condoms for years. They are really not fun (even for enjoyers of peenetration). Is this new spray for doods who want the wang-numbing “goodness” of durex without the pain in the ass of protecting their partner from pregnancy and disease?

  35. madeleine

    Many of the women who don’t like sex are just stuck with the wrong sexual partner, in the patriarchal illusion that you have to have a (one) life partner, who has to be the same person as the person(s) you have sex with.
    They are pushed into the same behavioral mold as all the women for who sex will never be a pleasurable activity under any circumstances.
    In my view, encouraging the first group to discover good, satisfying sex, which is a true source of great happiness, is just as important as encouraging the second group to strive for a life without sex.

  36. speedbudget

    I had a Nigel once who had “premature” ejaculation. He also had a smaller-than-average peen. I must tell you: Best sex I have ever had.

    Foreplay lasted hours and hours until I begged him. Then it was not a pump-fest. It was a couple seconds, pleasurable, and over before it turned into a pump marathon. And because it was not this big peen, it never became painful.

    I am not into pumping, if you can’t tell. And whoever found the average to be two minutes, that is not true in my experience. In my experience, the average is much longer, and before I caught a clue and started kicking them out of my house when it turned into a pump fest, I would lay there and stare at the ceiling and think of what I had to do the next day.

    IBTP for making us think bigger is better and pumping is where it’s at.

  37. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I just wish everyone were a little less sweatily obsessed with the whole sex thang. Personally, I’d rather enjoy a nice homegrown tomato sammitch and a glass of good red wine.

  38. mir

    Wang-enhancement is where it’s at, don’t you read your spam? I made a little project of collecting and posting the subject lines of dickspam I received. I thought it could be an ongoing thing, maybe helping to take the zing out of the unsolicited woman-hating wang-worship that we endure day in and day out. I could only stomach a couple days of it: I received hundreds. Literally hundreds.

  39. tinfoil hattie

    Oh, god – dickspam. Nigel & I work at home, and now and then one of us will read aloud the subject line of one of our dickspams. It breaks up the day a bit.

    Our entire society is all about dicks. How hard they are, how long they are, how much they spew, how long they can pump. It’s sickening. AAAARRRGGGGHHHHH! I hate everything.

  40. rootlesscosmo

    Those fungi look remarkably like coprolites, i.e. fossil turds. Are you certain they aren’t? Because there are an awful lot of fossilized turds around one way and anther. Take Larry Summers for example.

  41. Jezebella

    Madeleine, the very notion that someone might “strive for a life without sex” is depressing. It’s not depressing because of the lack of sex, but rather because it shouldn’t have to be any kind of work at all to say “no thank you, none for me.” No striving should be necessary.

  42. Twisty

    Bluey: “I do kind of feel excluded when my experiences and sexuality are completely ignored, strangely enough.”

    Whoa, yer killin me, here! You feel excluded? Try looking at the world through the trifocals of a 50-year-old non-heterosexual spinster aunt with drug-induced hot flashes, scars where her amputated sex organs used to be, and a limp! My experiences and sexuality are not even on the fuckin map.

    Even so, I am firmly in the do-what-you-like camp, as long as you refrain from regaling me with your personal sexploits.

    Yes, I strongly urge blamers, straight or gay, to examine their practices for patriarchal origins, but you are in error when you suggest that I believe no woman on the planet enjoys being pronged by dudes. I will go so far as to posit that there might even exist radical feminists who like to take it up the vadge (I’d take a poll, except then I’d have to slog through 100 comments about everyone’s sex life –eeww). However, you appear to have misunderstood the point of this blog.

    My purpose here is not to provide a forum for women to discuss their sex lives, or to address all the possible permutations of women’s sexual preferences, or to validate the heteronormative experience. My purpose is to shine the cold hard spinster spotlight on the secret maneuvers of the occupying forces.

    One of these maneuvers, which I try to explain in this post, is that men own and define women’s sexuality in this dudely world. Surely — may I call you Shirley? — you can see that because our social order is a patriarchy, and because women in a patriarchy are a subjugated sex class, submitting to penetration is not a politically neutral act. Therefore it is fair game for radical feminist critique.

    The heteronormative experience, as it is considered the default human experience, is in particular need of critical deconstruction.

  43. Narya

    ” . . . submitting to penetration is not a politically neutral act.”

    And that pretty much sums up the whole issue here. Members of a subjugated sex class have no other option but to “submit” to penetration, just as members of the dominant class have no other option but to own and define the sexuality of the sex class.

    Contra that, in at least some ways, at least some people experience penis-in-vagina behavior as desirable, genuinely pleasurable, and possibly orgasm-inducing for everyone involved, and may not even regard PIVbehavior to be the be-all and end-all of sexual behavior, but merely as one enjoyable behavior. In other words, for this group, PIV behavior isn’t something to which one “submits.”

    It is also of course the case that many more people–possibly the majority of the people–experience pivbehavior as “submitting to penetration” or doing the penetrating and regard that activity as the only relevant definition of sex. And I completely agree about the need for critical deconstruction.

    the challenge, or one of the many challenges, is to perform that critical deconstruction, to engage in that radical feminist critique, without denying the experience of the people in either of the groups outlined above.

    Another challenge/question, it seems to me, is that if we are all members of the dominant class or the sex class, by definition, then we cannot work toward our own liberation, but must wait for the (sex) class structure to crumble in whatever way it is theorized to crumble. Can individual actors facilitate that process, or will all actions merely get one resubsumed into one’s original class? In other words, how does change happen?

    and I ask that not because i think you don’t have an answer, or because I think you have the Wrong Answer–I think it’s an open question, and one worth batting around, and there may well be multiple right answers.

  44. bluey512

    you are in error when you suggest that I believe no woman on the planet enjoys being pronged by dudes. I will go so far as to posit that there might even exist radical feminists who like to take it up the vadge

    Okay, cool.

    I didn’t mean I felt excluded by mainstream patriarchal culture – as an exceedingly cisgendered, cissexual, white, middle-class person, I don’t. I meant I felt excluded by you specifically, on your radical feminist blog which deals almost exclusively with issues faced by women, when you’re not photographing bugs or eating lunch.

    I feel no need to share my sexploits with you or argue that hetero sex is not subject to radfem critique, and I do understand the point of your blog (at least I hope I do, after having read every post I could find plus the FAQ and every still-active link). I was just concerned that your critiques were not informed by the diverse reality of women’s sexuality, but rather by the sexualities of only some women. But if they are, then fine.

  45. Twisty

    Thank you for reading the FAQ, Bluey512. If there were a blamer heaven, that act alone would get you in.

  46. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I agree with Rootlesscosmo. The earthballs resemble ossified doody.

  47. slythwolf

    Let me just say that when I have asserted that I don’t particularly enjoy penetration, other women–some of them feminists–have patiently explained to me that the reason I don’t orgasm from it is that Nigel just must not last long enough. This implication that if you do anything to a woman long enough, whether or not she particularly enjoys it in the first place, she will eventually orgasm from it is extremely troubling.

  48. Agasaya

    ” . . . submitting to penetration is not a politically neutral act.”

    This should bring us back to that lovely form of spam which tries to intimidate men into believing that the sole reason they should chemically prolong their erections is to ‘satisfy’ their partners. It completely removes women from being participants with male partners in the sex act. Men are urged to ‘please’ them through the unilateral chemical alteration of their genitalia (and with Viagra, their entire circulatory systems) for a purpose which is unnecessary – if the sole object is sexual gratification of women.

    Again, women are used as a selling point. We are not consumers here, but merely the consumed, while remaining completely outside of the substance of the argument. The funds used in that advertising is as good as a direct contribution to any political message machine which objectifies women. All of them.

    But of course, it IS all for OUR sakes.

  49. thebewilderness

    “I meant I felt excluded by you specifically, on your radical feminist blog which deals almost exclusively with issues faced by women, when you’re not photographing bugs or eating lunch.” Bluey

    Bluey,
    Over the years you will probably find that there are any number of things you do not have in common with other women, as well as all the things that you do. Even when women talk about things that you have not experienced they are not excluding you.
    If you rummage around in your empathy bag I suspect that you could come up with a few things that are expected of you that you do not like. As a result you could possibly relate to their experience while not sharing it.
    Just a thought.

  50. Twisty

    Bluey: “I meant I felt excluded by you specifically”

    Well, I suppose in this case, you are excluded by me specifically. So what?

  51. caitlinate

    “…the female’s supposed burning desire for marathon doses of penetration.”

    Of all the shit-hot-quotes in this post I think this is my favourite.

    One good thing to come out of this is the thumbs up for privileged women who do express a penchance for penetrative sex and are doing so with as a free a choice as you can muster in this patriarchal world. Seriously. Instead of fifteen seconds of ‘thank you for presenting your hole to me to make use of as I will’ the female attendee to this hetero debacle might actually enjoy some form of sexual pleasure, all while laughing at his numb and unfeeling boner.

    Sex is only good when there’s consent, mutual understanding and respect and big doses of communication – you know, the kind where the experiences of all involved are valued (it can be hard to imagine, i know). This and anything involving spray is not that kind of sex. This, is gross.

    Hey Bluey512, if you really do fit the categories you reel off then you’re accepted and included pretty much everywhere else in the world. If you weren’t a lady you’d be sitting on top of the heap. As far as I figure it, it isn’t Twisty’s job to make you – or anyone else – feel included. Also, the reality of your sexuality is not a signifier of ‘the diverse reality of women’s sexuality’. Your sexuality is a signifier of a ‘cisgendered, cissexual, white, middle-class persons’ – the sexuality that is time and time again pushed worldwide as being the most important.

  52. caitlinate

    It should be noted that my previous hypothesis was based on a situation in which the woman involved is able to say ‘please stop now’ and have that listened to and immediately acted on.

  53. goblinbee

    Bluey: “I love your blog, Twisty, but I really wish you would not write as if all women hated penetrative sex.”

    I know! I hate when she writes stuff she wants to write. Like it’s her own blog or something!

  54. lysistrata

    Get me outta here! Lock me up for life with my cat, a few blogs like this, bread and water, and I won’t complain.

    The beeb ain’t what it used to be, in a country with one of the highest rates of alcohol abuse –by the beeb´s ´young demographics´— poodle, warmonger governments and a few other things.

    While the patriarchal protuberances, PPs, torture themselves with chemistry, because they haven´t figured out what the protuberance above their shoulders is there for, I will continue to choose living with my stray cat.

    Today´s P-invasion, as part of idiot box news in a lefty channel!, gave me the usual night sweats in the middle of the day:
    1. How P surgeons can give a woman the ´perfect´ belly button to show off on the beach, for a mere €750.
    2. How this normal, but P-brained young woman was suffering….. because the bank had turned down her loan for a….. breast implant operation, which had to be cancelled. That´s the P crisis for them.

    To end on a better note, sometimes the P can create a piece of beauty, out of the worst consequences of its economic system. Damn! And they even give a secondary role to four real women:

    Playingforchange:
    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741

  55. bluey512

    Look, this is not a queer blog, it’s not a vaginismus blog, and it’s not a weiners-are-gross blog. It’s a patriarchy-blaming blog. I always assumed that blaming the patriarchy wasn’t mutually exclusive with being cis, and I was rather disturbed by the thought that anyone would imply that it was. If this were another sort of blog – for example, a lesbian blog – then the thought of not being included would not disturb me.

    Is anyone still confused?

    And would anyone here argue that being cis is mutually exclusive with being a patriarchy-blamer? Because that’d be an interesting discussion.

  56. ivyleaves

    bluey512 – You are way out of line telling anybody what kind of blog this is or is not.

  57. bluey512

    Well, if Twisty wants to correct me, fine. But it looks like a patriarchy-blaming blog to me.

  58. la sooz

    Uh, wow. How did the comments turn into a “here’s what I like in bed” liturgy. The only thing I want to add is this: How come in our culture, the longer he lasts, the manlier the man, but the QUICKER she orgasms, the ladier the lady? I hear (ok not hear, read on the web) women boast all the time, “I came so quick!” But no man would ever brag like that. That is the point I took from this post anyway.

  59. Cranky Old Coot

    I wonder when Attack of the Mushroom People will be on TV again? I love those schlocky old Japanese monster movies

  60. Hedgepig

    What does “cis” stand for? ‘Scuse ignorance, am slightly acronymically challenged.

  61. thebewilderness

    Not this:
    CIS – an alliance made up of states that had been Soviet Socialist Republics in the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in Dec 1991

    More likely this:
    cis-
    pref.
    1. On this side: cisatlantic.
    2. Having a pair of identical atoms or groups on the same side of a plane that passes through two carbon atoms linked by a double bond. Used of a geometric isomer: cis-2-butene.
    [Latin, from cis, on this side of; see ko- in Indo-European roots.]

    Some people have decided to change the terms we use to describe ourselves, and others.
    Basically, they say, if you are not trans you are cis.

    Clearly we don’t have enough words to divide us into groups and sub groups.

  62. mir

    @ bluey512- I can appreciate what (I assume, apologies) you’re feeling. As a het/straight/cis/dude-bonin woman I get that it can be painful, or irritating, or infuriating, or whatever other emotions come up, to see dude-bonin laid bare, ie, dude-bonin = patriarchal act. Hey, you may say, I bone dudes, and I hate that goddamned patriarchy!

    But honestly, much/most/all/some of what Captain Faster elucidates here is just the truth. It’s not about you personally, or me personally, or whether or not you or I or my best friend’s cousin personally appreciates a good P-in-V session. It’s about (in my opinion, etc) holding the spyglass (or magnifying glass, or mirrror, or pretty striped duvet cover or whatever) to the Patriachy, and blaming the shit out of it. Because it’s at fault. Patriarchy is the nettle and talking about it, thinking about it, blaming it, is the balm.

  63. muchell (mesaventure)

    Hedgepig: to my knowledge, “cis” is an abbreviation of “cisgendered” which (I think) means that one adheres to what are considered socially acceptable and traditional appearances and behaviors for their gender. In other words, that perceived gender matches biological sex. By “traditional” and “acceptable,” I don’t necessarily mean to imply beliefs as well, just those to whom the phrase “if it’s wearing a skirt and has long hair, it must be a woman” might actually apply. It’s a spectrum, to be sure, located in the bizarre need of society to take human characteristics and separate them into binary categories of “male” and “female.”

  64. Twisty

    “The earthballs resemble ossified doody.”

    I know! That’s what I thought at first. But when you kick one of the P. tinctori (which, being human, was my first response upon encountering this odd thing sprouting from the gravel where no thing had hitherto sprouted), it instantly pulverizes into toxic spore-powder, to be carried away on the wind and become more mushrooms.

    When you kick the other one, you hurt your foot. They’re that tough.

    This is my first spring living 24/7 at El Rancho Deluxe, and the bizarreness of the Hill Country flora gives uniform satisfaction on a daily basis.

  65. bluey512

    I haven’t yet objected to the characterization of het sex as a patriarchal act, just the idea that no woman/no real feminist woman actually enjoys penetration.

    Though I have to say, I do have my doubts on that one. It certainly doesn’t feel like a patriarchal act. I suppose that doesn’t mean it isn’t, particularly in the context of a culture that directly and indirectly coerces women into having sex with men. But I don’t quite see how it’s necessarily patriarchal. That is, if your male partner is trying to control you through sex, that’s pretty patriarchal. But if he’s not – if he wouldn’t dream of pressuring you, tries his best to make sure you’re not just consenting, but actually having a good time, and stops the instant he hears or sees anything that looks like a “stop” – and you enthusiastically want to have sex with him, well, that doesn’t strike me as a patriarchal dynamic. So on that topic, I don’t know.

  66. Jonathan

    Some of my female acquaintances have said that prolonged vaginal intercourse gives them yeast infections. A quick Google search led me to several medical-looking sites that imply that there was no such connection, citing handwaving as the source of their conjectures.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Considering how the P silences any negative opinions of piv sex, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was common.

  67. emmatx

    Jonathan – yes. My previous Nigel had what most dudes would consider an enviably-sized wang, and because of the chafing factor, especially if the intercourse went on long enough, I would get a yeast infection. I had them roughly every three to four months for years. It was pretty hellish. (Not to mention the uncomfortableness of a giant wang repeatedly slamming into your cervix in certain positions.) I know that was the cause because my current Nigel is much more reasonably proportioned, and I haven’t had an infection since we’ve been together.

  68. Agasaya

    Bluey512,

    A ‘good’ sex partner doesn’t mean that partner isn’t affected by the patriarchal implications of penetration. That would naturally occur by virtue of having the ‘privilege’ of penetrating versus the vulnerability of being penetrated. Add to that the mandatory education provided by society in how to be ‘master’ of the universe and, well, the results aren’t pretty.

    His is the power to inflict pain or possibly pleasure; to use his strength to harm or not to harm. Even the thought that his strength is there to offer security – all these options confer upon men a certain mind set of superiority. It is the mind set and not the specific act of PIV sex which should lead any woman to be leery of trusting males, even if ‘hard wired’ to be ‘straight’. The ‘whys’ of male choices in the sex act are as important as the choices themselves.

    That kind of ‘privileged’ mindset is why we see the FAQ for men who wish to comment.

  69. Ron Sullivan

    Bluey, for the love of pete—-there are people talking as if they want to fuck you with a numb dick, and you think it’s Twisty who’s harshing your buzz?

  70. caitlinate

    Jonathan are you for real? Can we please not have conversations on yeast infections!? Please!?

  71. slythwolf

    Yes god(s) forbid we talk about any potential illnesses we may experience. Diseases of the vadge are just so icky.

  72. Spiders

    This neo-liberal individualistic shite really is dangerous. It pretty much boils down to “an issue is not a real issue unless I’ve experienced it personally”.
    Liking het PIV sex doesn’t negate the fact that PIV sex is used against women on a global scale.
    What’s so difficult about leaving your personal perspective out of it?

  73. niki

    Even if you’re on top with a whip and he’s gagged, if he’s penetrating you you’re still the sub, ultimately. We all know by now that straight men often have a very difficult time fathoming (and fearing) what it would be like to be the penetratee in a penetration situation. However, some straight couples try real hard to meet in the middle so as to provide an enjoyable experience for both involved parties. I’ve even met dudes that were skeeved out by the whole PenetratOr role/expectation.

    I made a crack at my current and largely benign Nigel about submitting to his penetration and he almost snorted juice out of his nose. Romance, what?

  74. MariaS

    Feeling excluded because you personally enjoy something that is being criticised is exactly like the classic “what about the men?” intrusion, except here it’s “what about the straight/heteronormative people?”. What seems to happen is that people grasp only that feminism is about criticising the exclusion of and discrimination against women (or substitute any other anti-oppression movement and marginalised group), and so then they get het up when they perceive members of the dominant class being excluded or done down in the discourse and spaces of the marginalised group. The thinking is that since feminists are against women being excluded, they are hypocrites if they exclude men from their discourse and spaces – missing the point that switching focus and priority to women is an essential part of rectifying the historical imbalance. They mistake reclaiming power for exercising power over the dominant class. The mistake is not seeing that the problem is not the marginalisation of the dominant class within a marginalised group’s space but that it is the continued power of the dominant class within almost all other spaces. Same with heteronormative, patriarchal sexuality.

    Bluey512 – “I always assumed that blaming the patriarchy wasn’t mutually exclusive with being cis, and I was rather disturbed by the thought that anyone would imply that it was.”

    Cis is a term commonly used to indicate that someone is NOT trans- sex/gender. It serves to avoid othering trans people – i.e. it’s a neutral word to indicate that someone’s physical sex is one they have always had, whereas trans people have or are in the process changing their physical sex (hence “trans” indicates a crossing over or journeying, and “cis” indicates staying in the same place). It opens up and levels out language so that we can avoid talking as if there are “normal” people who don’t change sex and “not normal” people who do. We give a name to the attribute of NOT having changed sex so that it’s harder for us to universalise this and harder to avoid making space for trans people.

    Of course there is also the problem that “transgender” is also used more widely than just to mean what we understand as changing sex (and indeed what we mean by changing sex is not a simple concept), and we bump up against differing and muddled conceptions of what “sex” and “gender” mean, and the muddledness is because historically we have made a great deal of importance out of whether a human “is” “male” or “female” and creating and conforming to social markers that are menat to clearly denote the type of genitalia we have, so that we can more easily subjugate the female humans. To me, as a feminist, this whole system of differentiation IS gender – gender IS the hierarchy between male and female. But “gender” is also used as a term without those power connotations to help describe and speak about the experience of not identifying with one’s physical sex and of dealing with and solving that, and “gender identity” and “gender presentation” are meaningful ways of helping describe that experience, simply because of the sex/gender conflation we’ve been stuck with. This is why I like to use “cis*” and “trans*”, because they acknowledge the multiplicity and contested around the meanings of sex/gender. I also like to use “cis sex” or “cis sexed” as opposed to cis gender because that helps me acknowledge that as a feminist “gender” is a problematic term for me, I am not happy using without the power implications..

    So, based on the usage of cis that I’m familiar with, the literal meaning of what Bluey512 was saying here is “Can only trans* people blame the patriarchy?” Cool! However I think that perhaps what you actually meant is “Can only non-gender-normative people can blame the patriarchy?” which still is an unusual and interesting way to put it, because I can read it as collecting together a whole bunch of non-gender-normative people, INCLUDING feminists, who want to bring down patriarchy. That leads me on to guess that more specifically you mean, can gender-conforming (heterosexual and perhaps also conventionally feminine) female people be patriarchy-blamers too, while still continuing to practice heterosexuality/femininity?

    The answer is, that’s up to you to decide – forge your own patriarchy-blaming way and decide for yourself if you are happy to continue those parts of your life that you worry are incompatible with your desire to blame. Bluey512, it seems as if you feel that since PIV sex is coming in for blaming then on some level you are feeling that you are also the target of blaming because you enjoy PIV sex. I would suggest that you don’t beat yoursefl up about it. While it’s satisfying to feel that other people are telling you what to do and to feel a bit hard done by about that, the reality is it’s up to you to decide whether or not the criticism of PIV sex in this blog is going to make PIV sex feel problematic for you. For myself I see no contradiction in enjoying PIV sex when it’s personally enjoyable AND being able to critique it – this construction of feminism as some kind of xtian-like guilt trip about the “proper” way to be is wrong-headed and utter crap. Your personal enjoyment doesn’t cancel out other women’s problems with it or the need to analyse why it is problematical and think about what to do about it. With anything blame-worthy we can point both to individual women who like it and to other individual women who dislike it, which suggests that “I like it” is a not a useful argument. The blame-worthiness is not about individual choices but about the larger patriarchal system that we all participate in.

    I speak as a heterosexual woman who thinks that four minutes is too long – intercourse is nice at first but the pumping (i.e. inefficient masturbation using a vagina) gets boring to me in under a minute tops.

  75. Twisty

    Yeast infections! What is this, Our Bodies, Our Selves?

    One begins to doubt the authenticity of a comment that commences with “Some of my female acquaintances have said that prolonged vaginal intercourse gives them yeast infections.”

    What possible circumstances could have put these yeast-infected female acquaintances in so chatty a mood? Intermission at the college production of “The Vagina Monologues”? A plate of pasta primavera at Le Cirque? Or was it just a chance meeting on the street?

    “Sorry Jonathan, we can’t talk right now; we must dash to CVS for some Monistat 7! Prolonged vaginal intercourse, don’t you know! Ciao!”

  76. tinfoil hattie

    But if he’s not – if he wouldn’t dream of pressuring you, tries his best to make sure you’re not just consenting, but actually having a good time, and stops the instant he hears or sees anything that looks like a “stop” – and you enthusiastically want to have sex with him, well, that doesn’t strike me as a patriarchal dynamic.

    From this description, the MAN is doing all the work: the not- pressuring, the making sure you’re not just consenting, the stopping — so it’s still something a man is “doing” to a woman. How is that not patriarchal?

  77. larkspur

    MariaS, your second-to-last paragraph contains lots of think-worthy stuff in it. Now I will go off to think about it. Seriously. Sometimes the contradictions can’t be untangled, and yet we still have to chop wood and carry water.

  78. Tina H

    Those earthballs totally look like what we plowed up in my garden these last three weeks – but then – I am trying to grow vegetables in clay.

  79. B. Dagger Lee

    Cheering on MariaS!

    Or, in my words: If you feel like you’re getting shot at by the critique, maybe it’s because you’ve been raised up to believe you are standing on the bulls-eye at the Designated Center of the Known Universe.

    It’s a conceptual thingie.

  80. Laura

    This is me jumping in to defend Bluey512.

    Yes, the rest of the world casts those who don’t enjoy PIV sex as the strange, excluded ones.

    But just because the worse side does it, does that make a lesser exclusion acceptable? I would say “not always” or even “not usually.”

    And an answer of “if you don’t like it, go elsewhere” is not a useful answer in this, or most, discussions.

    So, is Twisty’s exclusion acceptable here? Bluey doesn’t seem to be a troll (although I am not following the cis comments very well) or even crying foul. She mostly seems to be stating that she felt excluded, and I assume, that this was unpleasant.

    I think there is a way to express regret that she feels this way, however unintentional.

    I do worry that this might end up in the “what about the mens” “what about those represented elsewhere” path, but I don’t think it does so automatically. I am thinking of Twisty’s excellent post on her reflection about teachers and comments made a while back.

    Maybe I am wrong?

  81. Hedgepig

    Thankyou thebewilderness and Muchell and MariaS for explaining cis for me. It wasn’t an acronym at all! And there I was trying to think of all the relevent words starting with c, i and s.

    MariaS’s paraphrasing of bluey512′s question is one of the most important issues for hetero feminists to come to terms with.
    “Can gender-conforming (heterosexual and perhaps also conventionally feminine) female people be patriarchy-blamers too, while still continuing to practice heterosexuality/femininity?”

    I think there is a right answer, and it’s yes and no: yes, you can be a blamer, no you can’t be part of the revolution. As long as we hets (cises?) continue to take part in hetero activities we are preventing the revolution from taking place.
    The fact that I can’t be part of the revolution and am actually contributing to its failure is one of the biggest disappointments I have about myself.
    By the way, did Twisty have a birthday just the other day?

  82. Agasaya

    Hedgepig,

    Any ‘theory’ of feminism which defines the permissible forms of sexual pleasure open to women IF they wish to be effective in fighting the patriarchy, has already failed the test of rationality. Shouldn’t we avoid the same errors as have been made by the patriarchy in imposing a definition of what sex ‘ought to be’, i.e. PIV.

    Regardless of my sexual preferences, which remains no ones business but mine, my worth in fighting the patriarchal death machine is shown in actions outside of the bedroom. You don’t get to inquire as to what takes place inside of it. If the activity in a woman’s bedroom messes up her head (straight or lesbian), then that woman will likely be unsuccessful in most facets of her life.
    Contradictions cannot exist so an unsatisfactory life in the bedroom (by choice) means similar errors will be made outside of it.

    Sexual equality in the bedroom is required but not ruled out in PIV sex. Of course, best of luck to anyone trying to find a partner among the legions of unacceptable candidates. It is possible to be celibate if one doesn’t find a partner capable of participating in a healthy relationship – straight or lesbian. Persevering in a bad relationship of any form is akin to slow suicide and that is the state of most couples today.

    By extension, we have to look at yet another consequence of deciding that het sex is unacceptable. It says that a woman can’t hope to raise a male to become a civilized, rational contributing member of society, worthy to be loved by a feminist. That doesn’t say much for feminism and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with sex.

    Any revolution will have to include the raising of males into more acceptable patterns of behavior. The long view demands it. No one said it was going to happen tomorrow but no one has ruled that only in vitro fertilization will permit it either.

  83. dynamic

    In discussing here how PIV intercourse is synonymous with sex in our society and the problems with that, it wasn’t much discussed why this act is so esteemed by the patriarchy. PIV intercourse is what makes babies, and that is the sole reason for sex, so says the patriarchy (it doesn’t say out loud the part about using sex for oppression, of course). There are two complementary problems this causes, the first being men who can’t get it up and see themselves as a failure despite the myriad of other ways to have sex without a penis. The other side is high school kids being taught abstinence and that all there is to know is that sex=baby, which means they think only PIV intercourse counts, and end up doing everything else and finding out there are other consequences of sex.
    Of course, birth control messes up the whole sex=babies equation, and how will the other dudes know how much pronging I’m doing if I don’t have the litter of kids to prove it? I better time myself so at least I can brag about that.
    Been reading the blog for about 3 years now, hope my first comment passes the high bar set here. I appreciate Twisty’s excellent writing even more when I think about how if I were writing about such maddening topics on a regular basis, it would devolve into expletives, exclamation points, and hitting my head on the keyboard.

  84. CassieC

    Yo blamers. My 2c are that I’ve had to explain to every single one of my new boyfriends (new since I became a blamer) that
    1. big =/= better, quite the contrary, thank you very much, and
    2. lotsa foreplay and short and sweet is how I like it – they can stop thinking about Manchester United or whatever it is they do to drag things out. As mentioned above, this leaves more time for hot chocolate, cuddles, playing with the cat, telling bedtime stories, tickling, running out to play on the swings, beer and sleep.

  85. Twisty

    this leaves more time for hot chocolate, cuddles, playing with the cat, telling bedtime stories, tickling, running out to play on the swings, beer and sleep.

    Ah, they’re so cute when they’re young.

    Twisty, just turned 50

  86. goblinbee

    Happy birthday, Twisty!

    The big five-o!

  87. CassieC

    Woot Twisty! But, if I dare say so, isn’t senescence followed by a second childhood? And isn’t the wine fridge like a fount of youth?

    Anyway, the P blamin’ ads that lured me in promised a soft, rosy, wrinkle-free complexion fueled by the constant seething rage that comes from realizing that women are promised something less than a full life at birth. Or something.

  88. Ron Sullivan

    Happy birthday, kid, and keep havin’ em at least till you catch up with me.

  89. Hedgepig

    I logged on today thinking I’d argue with Agasaya about the political ramifications of heterosexual relations, and then I thought, nah, I’ll just sing a silly song in honour of Twisty’s birthday.

    *cough cough*

    Looking out on the morning rain
    I used to feel so uninspired
    And when I knew I had to face another day
    Lard, it made me feel so tired.

    I didn’t know just what was wrong with society
    Till you came along to name it.
    You put your rubber boot squarely up the P,
    And you helped me blame it.
    Now I’m no longer doubtful of what I’m living for,
    Cos if I can screw the Patriarchy I don’t need no more.

    Cos you make me feel
    You make me feel etc
    Like a natural Blamer

    Happy 50th Twisty, and thanks!

  90. Agasaya

    Hedgepig,

    1. Loved the poem!

    2. We have shed blood in the effort to remove government from our bedrooms. Let’s not denigrate the value of that effort (still in process) by deciding certain citizens are more or less worthy of shaping their society based upon sexual preference.

    3. If you feel you are ineffectual as a woman in participating in the habilitation of society because you are heterosexual, why bother blaming or complaining at all? Give it up. Send Nigel back to his mother if she’ll have him. Mothers ought to give up their sons if they, through some awful prank of nature, happen to be heterosexual. Anyone they would choose to partner would automatically be harmful to every woman females on the planet.

    Women don’t think with their vaginas. We are, in fact, capable of rational thought after engaging in sexual congress with the enlightened males of Planet Earth.

    Both of them.

  91. Hedgepig

    Agasaya, I find it very heartening to hear your opinion that heterosexuality is compatible with feminist activism. I sincerely hope you’re right.
    It’s not that I think hetero women are unworthy of shaping our society, it’s just that I fear we are incapable of effecting real revolutionary change if we continue to build and re-build the very foundations of patriarchy, which are het sex and the patriarchal family. What you may be describing is reform, rather than revolution, and for a long time I was a reformist. But now I wonder if total destruction of the patriarchal system is the only way to really beat it. Reforms seem to be co-opted and corrucpted by the system, eg. the idea of sexual freedom for women has been repackaged as women must be willing and attractive orifices at all times.

  92. Agasaya

    Oy, my grammar (above). Sorry, but there is no edit button.

    Heterosexuality is not an abnormal state. Finding a decent partner in order to practice heterosexuality is abnormally difficult. That’s also true in gay and lesbian relationships.
    The system churns out a lot of jerks through cognitive and behavioral programming which offers tangible and/or intangible rewards for identifying with, if not belonging to, the patriarchy.
    Money and sainthood, for instance.

    When you have the physical and fiscal power to get away with being egregiously wrong, it is tempting to get rid of all the associated characteristics of the wrong-doers. But heterosexuality is pretty much here to stay, even if it is fashionable to deny it and most practitioners will lead very lonely lives. Women will never enjoy that state until more men are raised, against the odds, to realize that a key isn’t superior to a lock just because it’s pointy.

    The P advertises feminism as the sole province of lesbians, to keep het women from jumping into the fray. It’s called, ‘Divide and Conquer’ and it works really well for them.

  93. madeleine

    Sex is not the foundation of patriarchy. Sex is one of the morally neutral phenomena that the patriarchy abuses. Sex is the foundation of humanity, of most forms of life, it is the song of the aeons of evolution that we carry in our flesh.

  94. speedbudget

    It is possible to be celibate if one doesn’t find a partner capable of participating in a healthy relationship – straight or lesbian. Persevering in a bad relationship of any form is akin to slow suicide and that is the state of most couples today.

    This.

    I’m about to buy my first house, and I’m dead terrified of something weird happening with my job and not being able to make the mortgage payments. If anyone wants to come live in a celibate commune with a neurotic Brussels Griffon and a clawfoot tub, I’m accepting applications.

  95. Hedgepig

    Reproductive sex under patriarchy IS the foundation of patriarchy. After the revolution, maybe not. But while patriarchy is the dominant ideology, sex is one of the fundamental problems. I’m just not sure we can end patriarchy’s dominance while still engaging in activities that are the lynchpin of the system.

  96. Twisty

    I’m just not sure we can end patriarchy’s dominance while still engaging in activities that are the lynchpin of the system.

    This is why I advocate the Femininity Work Stoppage. I’m not 100% sure it would work, but hell, it couldn’t make it any WORSE.

  97. Clare

    Hedgepig, I think reform is problematic for those reasons too.

    Conscious femininity is women placing their value along the male gaze; fighting for the patriarchy while saying ‘I’m still pretty and fuckable.’ When this is seen, men have the power to ask ‘how?’ and women don’t. Men then get to create standards and patriarchy happily provides that information for us. Being feminine, basing your life appearance and character around what makes men want you as an orifice is doomed failure. First men allocate a shelf- life to your ‘usefulness’, no matter how feminine; and second, it’s giving oppressers the bar to still set standards for us. Raging for feminist victory while looking over your shoulder back at what men want you to be is handing any desired control over immediately.

    True hetero feminist victory is dependent on finding what a female truly is – a human that doesn’t conform to trying to be like the oppressers or the oppressed. Creates a character that isn’t limited to her being young and beautiful – so that she feels she has the same worth at 20 as she does at 70. She’s the one who picks a man, who chooses her because she’s a person over a ‘female’. Het feminist victory is females being valued and setting standards, male opinion being trivial to them. When male opinion on how we should be is unimportant, that’s when we have success, regardless of what we stop for a brief moment to let men do to us.

    Bottom line: being female shouldn’t be the important thing, for het or homosexual women. Being a woman over a man should be the very last thing you consider about yourself, as should whether you desire PIV sex or not. I’m not gay (FYI) but I let my behaviour flow more than most het/ hom women, like an autistic/ schizophrenic woman who loses all sense of things of how she should be in society. Maybe those are the freest.

    Bluey, maybe there’s no problem with wanting PIV sex, as long as you try hard to not let that sex define you. Arguing about feeling excluded liking PIV sex suggests you make it a greater part of your life and character than it should be. I too like PIV sex but I don’t let it define me and thus anger me.

    A lot of animals seem to reproduce without a patriarchy. Sex isn’t culture inscripted, it’s a part of life they don’t even think about. While animal cartoonists give animal females pink bows and painted nails, gender is no issue because reproductive sex is no issue. (Sorry to bring evopsych into it!).

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