As i wrote yesterday, i managed to break my two most enshrined rules of blogging recently. I posted the results of one, so here comes the other, by virtue of several key quotes.

BitchPhD responds to Puffin (in italics)

it’s also damn degrading work when you think about what cleaning toliets actually entails.

But the problem here is, what is *inherently* degrading about putting your mouth on someone’s genitals? It’s a loving act.

your own unexamined support of blow jobs

I’d be surprised if anyone here has failed to think about the feminist repercussions of oral sex.

what they’re enjoying is the act of pleasing their (male) partner,

Yeah. So? For those of us who are straight, pleasing our (male) partners is as much a part of sexuality as pleasing a (female) partner is for those of you who are lesbians. And yes, if you’re straight, this is a little more complicated inasmuch as one has to think about and work through the distinction between pleasing men as a class, and pleasing a particular man as a partner/lover. But I don’t think that the conclusion is that pleasing a man in any way is inherently anti-feminist.

Can you name a degrading and dangerous sex act men are asked to do to show “trust”?

Sure. Being fucked up the ass. Putting your dick in someone’s toothed mouth. Being tied down and beaten. Whatever. Hell, arguably giving a woman head is degrading, and potentially dangerous, since STDs do exist.

But for the record: I didn’t claim to be an “aficionado” of anal sex, though as I think I’m the only one here who said it can be enjoyable, I suspect you’re talking to me. Nor, by the way, do I think that most of the women here are talking about “how much they love sucking dick,” as Puffin insists on reading what are in fact pretty thoughtful explanations of why, despite our recognition that sucking dick is widely seen as degrading and our own dislike of some aspects of it, we nonetheless find other aspects pleasurable. I merely said that yes, I’ve had anal sex, and I’ve enjoyed it. That doesn’t mean, as you imply, that I’ve EVER conceded to a “demand” that I do it–nor that I’ve ever conceded to a demand that I do jack shit in the bedroom. I, personally, have a major hangup about sexual demands, in fact.

But that doesn’t mean that I, or anyone else who believes firmly that sex should be, as Puffin puts it, about my own “SEXUAL pleasure (i.e. what happens when you are SEXUALLY satisfied)” cannot, like any normally healthy human being, find sexual pleasure enhanced by the pleasure of my partner. I would not fuck a man who did not find my sexual pleasure important to him. I don’t think it’s super feminist to refuse to take pleasure in a (male) partner’s sexual pleasure–EVEN THOUGH I realize that there is a long and fucked-up history of convincing women that the MAJORITY of their sexual pleasure should be vicarious.

I think Dr. Bitch wins this thread so hard that it’s not even funny (apologies for the pun). There were many interesting contributions there, but she took the argument being presented and responded to it. As Piny pointed out, one of the real problematics of this discussion was that Twisty kept moving the goal posts.

The bathroom stuff really has me wondering, so i’m going to get back to that. Degrading? Again, it depends on context. Like some of the commentators there, i enjoy cleaning the bathroom. Maybe not the smell of windex. But I like my space clean and orderly, and as a participant in a household, i do my part in providing for that. Scrubbing isn’t terrible work in small doses, and i rather enjoy the time to think. The problem isn’t cleaning a bathroom. The problem is the narrowing range of socio-economic opportunities that designate entire classes of people as bathroom cleaners and nothing more, devaluing their work at the same time as we become more dependant on it. Maybe Puffin thinks it’s possible to live in a world without cleaning bathrooms. Maybe it is for her. But it’s not for me.

So for the love of the Holy Thing on Top of the High Place, can we please, oh, pretty please stop turning these discussions in to something that sounds like a Phelps family reunion, and stop waxing poetic on how damn nasty anal sex is? As i’ve said before, anyone who has intimate relationships with men, no matter their gender, has a stake in feminism. But I for one, can’t be involved in conversations that hinge on how disgusting(or impolitic) other people’s sex lives are, especially when it comes to “sodomy.” I know. It is not Twisty’s, nor any other feminist’s responsibility to create space that is safe for any man, regardless of orientation. But conversely, I’ve got no obligation to refrain from self-protection from any and all hate speech directed at me. So can we cease fire?

As BelleDame has reminded us, quoting Gayle Rubin: We should remember that porn is not legal; by this definition material that has no focus but to arouse is not legal. In other words, a sexual aim is not considered legitimate in this country.

This is why I get so wound up by these posts. The position of oral and anal sex in this society is of supreme importance to women working to enact their liberation from patriarchal systems. They are also a bellweather of the position and status of (male) queers. To slap on labels of Victorian prudery is a gross oversimplification. The critique of these sex practices is being made in terms of how the Patriarchy imagines women as degraded, subservient, secondary. But when we talk about these issues, the image of the effeminized gay man is never far behind.

There might be some feminist critics that can see their personal sexual expression being fufilled in a world that does not recognize these practices as normal, much less as normative. I cannot. Lawrence v. Texas is too recent a memory. So you’ll pardon my overreaction, as Puffin and Twisty said, against the imaging of male oriented sexuality as nasty. Because I exist between laws. Queers are not entirely legal persons in this nation. And if we’re going to be recognized, it has more to do with our ability to mimic a kind of straight culture. Nothing about the bedroom. Because in this country, a sexual aim is not considered legitimate.


PS: I’m trying this kind of post out, though i think I will try to keep them more infrequent in the future. My main issue here is that i forget where i posted comments, and will lose little pieces of writing off in to the ether. My apologies if these are repetitive for those already reading these other blogs.