Throwback Thursday: Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts

Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts was published here on SK on 08/27/2008; sadly, it is still relevant.

Snippet:

When bodies & their parts are controlled, we diminish not only autonomy in the physical and legal sense, but the constraints send the message to all that those beings those bodies & parts belong to are not free & equal beings.

Bree Olson’s Still Fighting

It’s been nearly a year since former porn star (and Charlie Sheen “Goddess”) Bree Olson sent her tweet warning girls and young women not to dream of going into porn:

Olson’s tweet was both viral and controversial at the time; but since then, people mostly forgot about it.

bree olson on webcamShe hadn’t been making news, just reacting to it. Like having to proclaim her HIV-free status (over and over again) in light of Sheen’s HIV announcement, and speaking out against sadist James Deen.

Those situations might be enough for anyone to advise against becoming a porn star. But those weren’t the specifics of Olson’s complaints. Remember, the reason why Olson doesn’t recommend women work in the adult industry has to do with the responses of others to her former sex work, to the stigma and whorephobia ~ and resulting discrimination. Such discrimination has crippled her mainstream employment options. The shamming and bullying have taken their toll as well, resulting in depression and anxiety that prevents her from leaving her house. Yet she continues to be an activist voice.

In March, Olson participated in the Real Women Real Stories film project and shared more details about the painful way she lives now due to how people treat her.

There’s nothing wrong with porn, but how people treat you for the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.

… I wish people would treat me like they would treat a married registered nurse with 2.5 kids in Indiana. That’s how I wish people would treat me.

In an article for the Daily Dot, Olson went into greater detail about the pragmatic realities of the sex work stigma.

Things don’t just work themselves out when you get into the industry or leave it. You become a segregated part of society that has no civil rights group behind it. Life is already hard enough, don’t do this to yourself. The money isn’t worth the pain of what society will put you through forever.

Porn didn’t hurt me. The way society treats me for having done it does.

As for her financial situation, how someone so “hot” so recently could be at such financial risk, Olson explains:

There are no royalties in porn. I see ads to this day, and my movies are everywhere on the Internet. These faceless people behind the industry still make millions and face no repercussions, and I am left to try and come up with ideas of how to have my own business because there’s not much else I can do. We are the only entertainment industry that doesn’t offer talent royalties after they are gone. So now I am shunned by society and broke.

…Porn is the one industry where the more successful a woman is, the more she will suffer for the rest of her life.

My biggest regret was leaving the industry. Leaving all of that money and trying to get the world to like me. They still don’t, and they never will. I should have just put in another five years at least so that in more my smart financial years as I was older, I could have saved enough to live comfortably for the rest of my life.

Olson’s continued trying to make a living as best she can. For now, that means making the most of her name & celebrity, if not profitting from her films, via some interesting merch at her official site: OfficialBreeOlson.com.

And, apparently, she’s been doing some work camming. But don’t expect to see too much of her on cam these days. At least not if she gets her wish granted. Bree Olson has a GoFundMe to help her get into treatment.

My name is Bree Olson, and my friends and family know me as Rachel Oberlin.

…Throughout my entire life, I have battled severe depression and anxiety which I have been able to hide through a variety of ways…until now. When I entered into the adult industry at age 18 as an escape from my childhood and to find myself, I never imagined how much worse things could become. I have spent the last decade masking my pain and losing myself even more so as doctors prescribed me mountains of benzodiazapines to make me feel better. I don’t feel better. I’ve never felt worse.

I have been in outpatient therpay since the age of 18 as I’ve tried to fight this dibilatating depression and anxiety. The benzodiazapines are highly addictive and even though I take them as prescribed, my mind and body are physically dependent on them.

As many of you know, drug dependecy is far more than getting off the drug itself. It is about getting out from under the weight of that drug and all the damage it does and finding out who you really are. It is about acquiring the tools to figure out how to cope and really just learning how to live again.

…I want my life back. I want to find out who Rachel Oberlin really is. Bree Olson has consumed my life and I’ve let her because I thought success is money but it’s not.

But money is necessary. Especially if you need rehab and such intensive mental health services.

bree olson Real Women Real StoriesPerhaps you’ve been a fan of Olson’s works. Today, instead of buying or streaming one of her films, send those dollars to Olson’s GoFundMe as a thank you for all the good wank times.

Perhaps you are or have been a sex worker, or the friend of one, and you can understand how devastating the stigma can be for many. Just as sex work isn’t for everyone, leaving brings it’s own set of problems that are too much for some. Even if that’s not been your experience, just a one dollar donation has to be worth the karma, right?

Right.

More Signs Of The Death Of Whorephobia ~ & How You Can Help

Would you like more proof that the US may be changing it’s views on sex work and ending the whorephobia? Lately, more clients and consumers of sex workers are voicing their concerns about the treatment of those who provide the adult entertainment. Once again, Greg Battiste, a self-professed “porn supporter“, has tweeted about the disrespect, censorship, and general discrimination towards sex workers:

While Battiste is clearly describing those in the adult industry whose work is legal (such as porn stars, cam girls, phone sex operators, strippers, etc.), his, in my opinion, appropriate use of the term “sex workers” indicates the broader umbrella of escorts as well as dominatrices & other BDSM service providers, etc.

The truth is, even when the work is legal, there are great barriers in the adult industry. This does not mean just societal disapproval. Such a stigma is more than just a frowny-face, but a terrible reality which still, as Lynn of Phone Sex Secrets recently pointed out, affects such fundamental things as housing and child custody. I could tell you horror stories myself…

But there are other barriers in this work as well. In fact, simply the matter of doing business ~ including being paid ~ remains an issue. And it spills over into all sorts of things, like having your Amazon account removed because someone at the company thinks that book your brother sent you was payment for sex services. Stupid and annoying, yeah; but also discrimination. As petty as it may sound, it quality-of-life threatening for many. How well would your life work without your Prime Membership? Mine would suck! (For more on all the stigmas & barriers, please see here, here, & here.)

It is a start when consumers of adult services speak up for the injustices and voice respect for those who provide such services. And it helps when you share/retweet such things.

But consumers of sex worker services ~ and others in the adult industry, including webmasters, sex toys, and other adult products ~ must also exercise their consumer powers.

Paying for porn and other adult entertainment is a very good start. Apply your purchasing power correctly, by doing business with ethical companies. And remember also to vocally boycott those companies, including banks, social media, wishlist and gift services, etc. who would censor and otherwise deprive sex workers from making their money.

But don’t forget to use your powers as a citizen as well. Remember to vote for candidates and referendums which support sex workers (& sexual positivity in general, which includes women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.). And write letters to those currently in office to urge them to support sex work and sex positive legislation as well.

Again, Me With The Sex Work & Feminism Stuff

In I’m A Sex Worker, But I’m Not…, three sex workers, @SiouxsieQJames, @theMickeyMod & @VenusLux, point out how their lives ~ like many sex worker’s lives ~ are contrary to the mythology.

What’s most amazing about this short video is the fact that escorts and porn stars are both included. Like actually together! Normally, as I have noted before in The Great Porn Star ~ Sex Worker Divide, porn stars typically take great efforts to not be included in the sex worker category, instead hiding behind their status as actors and actresses. While this actor/actress distinction has historically protected them from legal prosecution, there are many who prefer the “loftier” terms simply because it elevates them from prostitutes. In other terms, they suffer from whorephobia.

But it’s important to note that in terms of human history, the distinctions between “actress” and “prostitutes” have been few. In fact, for many years, the two terms were interchangeable. (And you can find the history still in the traces of face powder on the vanity!) Today, the Hollywood/Whore meme continues.

Even after actresses managed to get a foothold on the stage, and later film (briefly women ruled at the box office in the 1920s-30s until actresses and women’s roles suffered the most from the The Motion Picture Production Code), they continue to suffer and bemoan their autonomy and inequality. There’s Hollywood’s gender pay disparity, of course. And the continued lack of good and/or leading roles for women, especially for those over a certain age or with visages and body types which are not considered “beautiful” (white). This is often attributed to the power structure in Hollywood, where the true power is held by directors, producers, distribution, etc. ~ which is, largely, made up of (white) men. No wonder so many women in the profession prefer the terms “actor” be applied to their work: so that no gender distinctions & dismissals occur. [Given how much porn stars try to identify as actors and actresses, it should not be such a surprise then that the porn industry is just as gender-screwed (and racist too) as Hollywood.]

Just as actresses struggle to achieve equality with their male counterparts, to maintain the autonomy of their work and their bodies, so do sex workers. In fact, actresses and sex workers are not all that different.

Yet, while many have profited from playing the role of sex worker, many actresses and celebrities have taken to loudly speaking out against decriminalization ~ even when the science doesn’t back up their claims. It is such a shame that our actress sisters do not remember their history, do not see the fact that sex worker rights are women’s rights. The lies about sex work hurt women! And women’s rights are human rights, humanist. Who doesn’t want equality for all?!

Maybe one day, people will see that sex work is just work. There are signs it is happening… Slowly, minds are changing. Ironically, sadly, it is slower to change among women. But there is still hope.

For more on sex work & sex workers, go here, here, and here.
Yes, I do the tweety machine! @GraciePassette

Of Boobs On My Twitter Timeline & Women’s Rights

I met an old friend for lunch today. As is the new polite norm for such lunches, he took a moment to deal with messages on his phone before putting turning it off & putting it back in his pocket. Since he’s been around long enough to know about me & my previous work as an escort, I used that time to check in on Twitter. It is, after all, International Sex Worker Rights Day (similar to International Whores’ Day, International Sex Worker Rights Day is held on March 3rd, the anniversary of the 2001 festival held by 25,000 Indian sex workers). Because this is such an important day, my friend finished his phone check before I ~ prompting him to take a peek at my phone.

Him, with a wink and a whine: I like it better when your timeline is full of boobs.

Me, with playful exasperation: You want more Trump? More sex worker “rescue”?

Him, terrified at my response, using small words & precise language so that I can comprehend: No! Real breasts. Implants are fine too.

He punctuates his thoughts with an eyebrow wiggle.

I arch an eyebrow as a warning.

Him, a bit alarmed: What?

amazing rack of kaylee pond camgirlMe, after a sigh: All those boobs you want to see, well, they are attached to women–

Him, interrupting: Yes, but they are choosing to bare them–

Me, interrupting: Yes, yes they are. But every woman who opts to flash some cleavage or completely bare herself has to fight for that right. Whether she’s a cam girl, a porn star or indie porn maker, an escort promoting herself, or “just” (I did use air quotes) a woman who wants to show them off for whatever reason of the moment ~ any woman who does so faces consequences.

This is not just about being ogled or objectified ~ not even about being denigrated or slut-shamed for it. Aside from the cultural reactions, social consequences, there are legal constraints as well. If a woman cannot even expose her breasts to feed a baby, what do you think happens when she flashes them on Twitter? Not to mention that Twitter is one of the few social media sites which even allow such things…

But if a woman cannot, under the law, freely choose to sell sex services, then how much does any woman control her own body? If sex workers cannot actually consent to how we opt to display or use our bodies, how can we expect any woman to be able to control her own genitals, her reproductive rights?

We see the erosion of all sorts of rights ~ every day there’s new legislation, another story of violence, more proof of how unsafe it is to be a sexually autonomous woman. This is why sex worker rights are women’s rights. It is all about feminism. It is about LGBTQ rights. It’s about sexual autonomy, the right to control our bodies, no matter our religion, color, race, whatever you think divides us. Sexual autonomy for all is about equality for all.

Him, silent and clearly sorry he brought it up. Perhaps wondering just why he wanted to lunch with his opinionated female friend…

I let it all sink in for a minute.

Me, calming down from my rant, trying to be more concise: All those breasts you want to see? They are attached to women who are fighting for so many rights. So, yeah, my timeline has lots of “angry” stuff too. To me, those stupid people and ideas are the real “boobs.” Because all of that bullshit affects women’s lives. Every. Day. And all of that affects whether or not pics of breasts are even taken to be shown on Twitter.

Him, nodding: I get it.

Me, arching my eyebrow again: So really, you should be thanking me for posting and sharing all that other stuff too. Because it supports the women who show off their breasts to you. And you should be supporting that stuff too.

He smiles, a bit sheepishly.

Me, admonishing him gently while tossing him a kinder bone to chew on: Oh, and by the way, you’d better be paying for your porn too. Just as you will this lunch.

Of course he did.

Reading List:

Along with coverage of sex work & sex workers here, here, and here, please read the following:

#SexWorkerRightsDay on Twitter

Breasts Are Complicated

Pay For Your Porn

Image Credits: The spectacular rack of one of my fav cam girls, Ms Kaylee Pond. Via her Tumblr ~ and to pay for your porn, see her on cam here!

The Complex Realities of Sex Work

Olivia Grace is a sex worker based in Toronto who took issue ~ make that issues ~ with a recent Vice interview with a sex worker hobbiest. She felt her original response to the piece wasn’t enough, so she sent this piece in too…

The other day, Vice released a very lazy reporting job that wasn’t edited and talked to precisely the wrong person. I am talking, of course, about the article “We Interviewed a Sex Industry Hobbyist – the Worst Kind of John.” This article is written in opposition to that.

The person they interviewed is based in Montreal, sees agency girls (I’m willing to bet real money for a half hour at a time) and then has the nerve to tell them to get out after the act is done. The organization seems to have decided that this person is worth listening to, although one of my followers on Twitter just couldn’t get through the article because the guy was too much of a troll.

By a troll, I mean a person who actually has nothing good to say, who the SP (Service Provider) is unsure if he engages in the hobby because he loves sex or hates women, is a misogynist and is only a customer of agency girls who are young and, for the most part, naïve. This is not the preferred type of client, and would definitely not get through my pre-screening process. There’s a slang word for that on Twitter: a slobbyist. Let me explain.

When you first start out, you really have no idea which way is up, and so the agencies do have a great deal of power over you. You accept the 60/40 or 50/50 cut, you’re young, it’s quick money, whatever. For some girls, they find agencies that are a perfect fit. That was not my particular path – I went independent a couple of years ago and, although I have to pay for my own marketing and self-care, I have been happier for it. I speak from my lived experience, however – I cannot speak for anyone else.

we-spoke-a-sex-industry-hobbyist-the-worst-kind-of-john-body-image-1434032816That should not be used to silence me. I have met several guys at events thrown by review boards – remember, this is an interview of a “hobbyist” who is actually a troll, but on a review board – and that is typically where they congregate. SPs (Service Providers) don’t have to like the boards, but they are good, safe spaces to advertise, to be heard, to be seen, and to communicate with other service providers about bad experiences, etc. It’s all about safety and advertising for me, as much as the big debate currently on (Caramel or Nutella? Which would you rather lick off an SP? To be clear, I voted Nutella).

These events (those thrown by review boards) are also often opportunities to network with other independent SPs, so I spend an equal amount of time chatting to colleagues and clients. Plus, it’s just a good time to look pretty, which is rare in the isolating life of an independent.

Now onto the objections I have with the article. He says that once a girl has been in sexwork for around 10 weeks, she’s seen around 100 clients, so I’m going to assume he’s talking about agency girls. After 10 weeks, he says, she loses her “authenticity.” She becomes an “actress” (which is repurposed bovine waste, because all of us – no matter the flavour – are actors: just choose your own fantasy). He says that mature indies “try” to market themselves. We don’t try – we do. The language used in the article (“hooker; whore”) was and is problematic and should have been replaced with “sex work” or “sex worker.” Specific words mean specific things – there is a movement going on to try to reclaim those words. Unfortunately, you can’t use them unless you’re one of us. Surely this organization can replace foul, outdated language with words that are more respectful and fairer to hear.

Many of my friends and clients on the review boards are decent human beings – they wouldn’t get through my screening process if they weren’t. To be completely honest, I don’t get a lot of clients from the review boards, but those whom I know and I trust are also, reasonably, upset. They treat the ladies they see with respect, and would never dream of buying into this guy’s dogma (see, lecture, leave). To interview one man on one board in one city with one opinion is wrong and doesn’t for a moment make that opinion true for all. It suggests that everyone on review boards is the same. Well, that simply isn’t the case.

Wait! There’s more. Besides giving out a misrepresentation of those involved on the boards, this article will have real-life impacts on the independent SPs and agency girls. This article plays straight into the rescue industry’s hands. It does all the workers who do sex work voluntarily a massive injustice, and the antis can say, “But we read Vice! That article with those poor girls! Remember when they interviewed a board member in Montreal?”

Listen, if we wanted the press (who, frankly, don’t understand the complexities of sex work) to paint a grim picture and lack of respect, then we would ask for it. What we are asking for is respect. I was on side with Vice until this article came out. I have worked with them. It puts their reporting back into the Dark Ages with regards to sex work. There is a lot of advocacy left to do, and I (and hopefully other SPs) will do it. But we will not do it in light of this article – it puts the whole concept of investigative reporting to shame. We do not need a further body count.

Hoping for more,

Olivia Grace

Follow me on Twitter: @OliviaGraceSP.

Ms. Grace would like you to know the following, sent from the Vice interviewer: “The language in the Vice Q & A (interview not a classic article format) is the hobbiest’s, and I unfortunately can’t alter quotes. I would never say ‘hooker’ or ‘whore’, for instance. Publishing this is in no means an endorsement of his views, I just want that to be clear.”

Image Credits: Photo by Cédric Puisney, via Vice.

Male Entitlement is Lonely

We’ve been set up.

Thing is, women have been setup too, we’ve all been setup, and the more people figure it out, the more the people who haven’t figured it out get angry because we’re not getting what we’re supposed to, because the world has changed and women faster than men are changing meaning we’re getting left behind, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

If you’re listening to this and connecting to any of the frustrations I laid out above then know there’s a better way. Many women don’t need or want us to lay down our lives for them, they don’t want to be put on a pedestal and worshiped, they don’t want to be provided for… they just want to be people, and move with people that understand no one owes anyone anything… and that means us. If we want to be with someone, be with women, and be listened to, friends with, cared for, and loved by women, it needs to be a meeting of equals and a mutual meeting of minds, meeting of hearts, and yes… a mutual meeting of bodies.

Source: GPSC 011: On Jealousy, and a rant on Male Entitlement – The Gentleperverts’ Social Club

Seldom do I find anyone who sees things as I do, when it comes to men and women. I get so angry, frustrated and then hopeless. My own family don’t get it and they make me feel I’m wrong and that’s why I’m still alone.

But, I know I’m not wrong.

I want someone to be with – not to be with someone, like an appendage or a caretaker. As much as I want someone in my life I can’t accept what the men I meet are willing to give. It’s not enough, it’s self-centred and they don’t even see it! I want a partner in my life, a male partner. Why is it so hard for me to find a man who says he wants a life together and actually MEANS it?

One real date and I can see everything he said online was just giving me the party line (telling me what he thinks will work to get what he wants). Most of them I don’t even meet in person because I see it in their conversation through email, chat or whatever medium I find them in. Men will seem like real people and then become sex robots, all they can talk about is sex. What they want, how they want it and I don’t even know who they are yet! But, I’ve likely been offered a photo of his penis. I don’t want it.

I want a person, not quite an equal because we aren’t clones. I don’t mind a man with baggage (depending on how much there is – not more than I have myself).

Instead every day I just get angry. I try to shove it off. I try not to feel anything when I see all the male entitlement around every day, just about every where. Of course, the more I try not to see it the more I do see it. As I get older I only see it more clearly. It’s sick and twisted but I don’t blame all of it on men. Don’t think I’m bashing men just because they have this feeling of being first, entitled to being first and more important.

Society gives them the attitude, strokes them with it and whispers in their ear about how much power they have, how important they are and how they deserve to be first. I don’t think most men see it. I know a lot of women don’t because they would soon be wearing more clothes, for one thing, if they did.

I don’t feel like writing/ ranting any more. I’d rather be doing something else. You’re welcome to leave indignant, misguided, abusive and ranting comments. People love to show how right they are – as if anyone is listening. I’ll be reading a book.

actsingleTumblr: The Rules of a Gentleman

Hetero Men Complain About Sexual Rejection From Women. Really?

Over at Eros Blog, Bacchus has an interesting discussion about a point raised in Adrienne West’s post at Thought Catalog. In West’s “true sex story”, she writes about her discovery that men like porn because it’s “a world free of rejection” ~ specifically, a world free of sexual rejection. (And not the sort some men enjoy.) West also claimed to discover that she herself was part of her boyfriend’s problem, if not entirely to blame for it:

With me, (and he loved me very much, he clarified), he had to woo me, constantly. Sex was never a given, and this is a biological difference between men and women. He was trying, all the time, to make me think of him sexually and to initiate sex and even my higher-than-average female libido couldn’t keep up with him. As loving and as open and assuring as I was towards him, he was still getting rejected by me in this way, often (and even more often if he would be honest about how frequently he wanted sex).

West, a self-described “maximizer” who likes to make to-do lists to accomplish her goals, then sets about to tackle this as a self-help or relationship repair task ~ a la 50 Shades style. Her task is to live the life of a sexual submissive who is always ready, willing, and available for sex with her Master, err, boyfriend.

Honestly, from there on the whole thing rather bored me; the lessons were over and the “Dear Penthouse” style erotica was on. Her relationship was saved by being sexually submissive ~ her gift in return, the orgasms he gave her. Whatever. I’m so over the “We won’t let little things like jobs, bills, or life get in the way of our sex lives!” fantasy. Anyway, like Bacchus at Eros Blog, I think there is some more interesting stuff to discuss here.

West’s earlier surprise discovery of porn being the rejection-free choice for men has Bacchus making a discovery of his own. After tipping his cap respectfully to the very necessity of women having to (often carefully) reject male sexual advances, Bacchus writes:

[I]t had never occurred to me that this project of ongoing rejection could become so automatic, as with breathing, that a woman might cease to be aware of doing it. And yet this author was, she says, surprised to learn how often she was rejecting her boyfriend.

That surprise? It surprises me.

What surprises me? That anyone would be surprised that such rejection could ~ and can ~ become as automatic as breathing.

But apparently lots of folks, male & female, are surprised, hurt, or confused by how often women reject male sexual advances & invitations. So let’s talk about it as a general issue.

Yeah, I know; rejection hurts. But you want to talk about rejection? We women face harassment, stalking, rape culture, and rampant misogyny (like right at West’s post; look at this gem of a comment from Bob and his cohort too) ~ and that’s just on the Internet alone. (FYI, the Internet is real.) Our wardrobes are discussed, controlled, and stigmatized because men can’t control themselves. We can’t walk down the street without being harassed. (But that is probably safer than being at home in many cases; because one in three women will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime AND the majority of such gender-based violence is committed by someone the woman knows.)

women like men only cheaperOh, and at work? We are harassed there too. Plus, we are paid less, have glass ceilings, and otherwise are forced to wear pink collars and/or live in the pink ghetto. And the media contributes to and reflects such things as well. (On the other hand, if & when we do manage to bring home more bacon, y’all suffer from erectile dysfunction? Isn’t that a rejection of us?)

This isn’t even a complete list & I’m exhausted.

Now imagine living it.

And think about that the next time you want to complain that you have to “woo your woman constantly”.

Just what do you think it feels like to be rejected as “not equal” every single minute of every single day? Shouldn’t it come as no surprise that a woman would be on automatic pilot for delivering rejection? Instead, you should be amazed at how subtly & inoffensively she delivers it .

Because if we thought about it at all, we’d say, “Oh, I’m sorry I won’t automatically agree to let you thrust & ejaculate inside the very thing that keeps me from claiming that 30 cents on a dollar to be equal with you in the workplace ~ the very thing that you want to regulate and control with your laws & social commentary ~ and have you complain about your lot yet!”

f-u

[If you find this all unnecessarily angry, the foam-flecked rantings of a “man-hating feminist“, well, then you just haven’t put any thought into the facts. Otherwise you’d be angry over the same things too. I mean, how can you not be? Sure, maybe you’re angry, you deny & deflect, become outraged that you’re not one of those guys; but you aren’t dealing with the facts. Frankly, you can’t handle the truth.]

You-cant-handle-the-truth

But let’s just pretend for a minute that all things were equal, that women were paid the same as men & had the same job opportunities, that we had the same economic rights and autonomy over our bodies that men enjoy simply for having a penis, and that women were not continually harassed sexually, so that at the end of the day we weren’t covered in some sort of cultural residue that left us let’s say petulant at the idea of letting someone ~ even those we love and lust after ~ enter our bodies. (Yes, even if that should lead to orgasms; we can do that ourselves, and in less time, thankyouverymuch. That, and male privilege, are reasons why we might fake orgasm; another rejection if you find out, I know.) Let’s put all those real things (and the rant) aside and look at another issue: Biology.

slut-shaming-rape-culture-455x255Let’s not pretend there aren’t biological differences. Not just some sort of leftover biological imperative in terms of species survival (one that Dr. Whiplash mentions but eschews in favor of the “extraordinary lives” women will leave if they buck the system and fuck their men; a whole other slut-shaming issue related to the above cultural issues), but let’s talk about the very real matter of differences in hormones.

Dudes, your hormones (primarily, anyway) cycle every 24 hours; that, and not your love for us, is why you get a woody every morning. On the other hand, our cycle of hormones is a bit more complicated and lengthy than that; the result is that we are on far less of a “daily horny schedule” than men. And that’s before we get into realities like the processes of pregnancy and menopause. We don’t just age and change to disrupt your fantasies and desires; we ride the wild wave of our biology because that’s fucking life. Literally.

In a civilized culture, where humanity & good citizenry is defined largely by our ability to override our animal nature, hormones still have their way with us. Even amidst our culture wars and culture lag, they play their role. But, romance aside, if culture is to override such base things as biology, then something desperately needs to be done in terms of equality and the messages being sent to and about women.

And that includes complaints and surprise that we reject sexual advances as automatically as we do. They come across as bullying*, really.

Yup, you can go enjoy your rejection-free porn now. (Hell, the good stuff works for women too!) And then you can take a serious look at the big picture, try to handle the truth, and work for change.

UPDATE Clarification: Use of the term “bullying” has been objected to in terms of one’s surprise at our automatic rejection, including by Bacchus himself. To clarify, I mean that vocalizing surprise and complaints to your female partner in response to her rejection comes across as bullying & whining about the situation in order to get her to capitulate & give into your sexual desires. My use of the term bullying does not apply to conversation about the subject as we were all doing here. Nor does it apply to general discussion with your partner that are not based in the heat of the rejection moment. Discussions are not bullying. I think they are needed, and I applaud us for having them. Even if the facts do require some heat as we’re discussing the hot truth. I do hope that makes things clearer.

your-rejection-of-my-sexual-advances-over-the-years-has-left-me-lamely-attempting-it-through-e-cards-

How Do You See Disability? Is It Arousing?

When it comes to sex and disabilities, perhaps no one has stated it as beautifully & succinctly as Erika Lust:

[W]e victimize people with disabilities, but we especially do it when it comes to sex. We already deny women to be sexually self-determined and try to attach stereotypes of special needs for protection from others when it comes to topics like porn or prostitution. Imagine how much we do it with someone with a disability in the context of sex – not to mention the dimension of it when it comes to a woman with a disability. We do it to an extent where we construct negative asexualizing stereotypes. But we are not talking about asexual people. We are talking about an adult, a grown up person. Disability does not equal sexual disability – that’s a stereotype.

But, for the seeing anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words. So I give you the works of photographer Ashley Savage.

Bodies Of Difference Helen nude bound

nude Angel Bodies Of Difference savageskin

Bodies Of Difference Riikka & Tutu ashley savage

mat fraser Bodies Of Difference savageskin

Bodies Of Difference is an ongoing series of provocative photographs which, in the artist’s own words, documents “disability, sexuality and physical ‘otherness’.” Intimate, moving, and, yes, erotic works. It’s worth visiting his site to see them all.

Savage also has another series on body image & sexuality entitled Cancer Sucks; there’s an interview about that series here.

Taco Or Beer Challenge

tacos beers abortion By now, you’ve likely heard about the Taco Or Beer Challenge. (If not, it was started by Andrea Grimes, rather as a joke, and has taken root. Via.) It’s pretty simple: eat a taco &/or drink a beer, take a video of yourself (much like the ice bucket ALS challenge), and then donate to an abortion fund.

Here Martha Plimpton challenges a few of her friends: the delectable Sarah Paulson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Eric Gilliland.