More awesome links

Penthesilea Bellatrix (who I discovered through her interview with Dishevelled Domina, which you should go read right now if you haven’t already), has an especially well reasoned post about why the word dom is gender-fucking-neutral, goddammit. Here’s a snippet:

And it does bother me that male doms don’t feel the need to call themselves “dominus” or the like because they get to be perceived as having ownership of a word that doesn’t solely belong to them. This is an instance in kink where men are being portrayed as the “unmarked state” [relevant quote , source]

She links to references and everything, isn’t it great?

Emily Nagosaki also has a fantastic post about an extremely important concept that’s missing from most sex education – how to feel about what you’re doing. Mind = blown. If you’re not sure how that relates to kink, don’t worry, the always awesome Lily Lloyd already got there and commented all about it.

Here’s a little teaser from Emily’s post:

It’s how you feel that makes the difference, not so much what you do.

And that’s why so many sex books fall short.

They tell you what to do – how to have an orgasm, how to give oral sex… but not knowing WHAT TO DO often isn’t what prevents people from having satisfying, joyful sex lives; it’s not knowing HOW TO FEEL. How do I feel about orgasms? How do I feel about oral sex? How do I feel about my own body and my partner’s body and my partner’s feelings about my body and their body?

And a bit of Lily’s comment:

I once had a partner express a fantasy to me, where they were woken up from sleep, had a hand put over their mouth, and were brought to orgasm.

But I didn’t really know how to play this out until I knew how they wanted to feel. Was this a mock-scary scene where the fantasy partner was a stranger? Was the partner someone they knew doing something naughty in the summer camp bunkhouse where it was important that nobody wake up during this? Same activity, totally different psychologically.

In the unlikely event that you haven’t already read it, you should go read Noah Brand’s Why I Don’t Believe In The Domme Deficit, then comment either there or at the post Dishevelled Domina already started. A lot of the post is derivative of Bitchy Jones and Fizz, but the author has a really interesting point about how implicit power imbalances are a very common trope in fan fiction, which is almost exclusively written and read by women, and is often sexually explicit.

When one looks at the pornographic culture that gave us whumpwoobies, and hurt/comfort, one sees a kaleidoscope of erotic images of men writhing in torment, crying, begging, suffering beautifully right and left.

Call me crazy, but I feel like there’s juuuuust a little power dynamic there.

So what I’m seeing from where I’m standing is a huge demographic of women who are really turned on by male submission, but who, in Bitchy Jones’ phrase, “aren’t comfortable in femdom.” That’s a pretty serious disconnect.

Noah Brand is also worth reading for posts like the one this quote came from:

Naturally, an awful lot of what’s being made is weird porn. Yes, there are many fanfics that are silly jokes, or character studies, or casefic, or otherwise not porn. There’s also universes of D/s, mpreg, knotting, and (for one-stop shopping) porn-oriented AUs like the Alpha/Omegaverse, in which the way MRAs perceive masculinity becomes literally true and a lot gayer. This is why, when Gail Dines argues that the internet has made men addicted to porn, and influenced men’s sexual fetishes until they make perverse demands on women, who themselves never enjoy porn and thus are free of sexual fetishes, I laugh until I can’t breathe.

You’ve just got to love that last line, even if it is sad that women only feel safe talking about or indulging their kinks when there are (most likely) no men looking.

Sweet, a whole post and I hardly had to write anything of my own 🙂 I’ll get back into this blogging thing yet!

3 thoughts on “More awesome links

  1. I still wish I could just hit “like” on your posts. I’d already read several of these links, and I’m fast becoming a fan of Noah Brand.

    Emily Nagosaki’s post is interesting, however maybe it’s because I haven’t read a bunch of sex books, but I didn’t really relate to it. It seems like asking too much of a book to tell you how to feel, isn’t everybody going to feel differently?

    • I’d agree that I don’t so much want to be told how to feel as to be given examples of how it’s okay to feel, and tools to figure out how I do feel and how to explain that to play or romantic partners. That kind of discussion of emotion seems to be missing from most kink education.

      In particular, I think it’s missing from most advice to women whose partners want to be dominated. There’s so much ‘do x, y, and z, he’ll love it’, and so little ‘here’s what *you* might get out of dominating someone’. Granted, a lot of the people who ask their girlfriends to ‘dominate’ them really want them to act out the ‘submissive’s’ pre-scripted and pre-costumed fantasies, but I’d still like to see more advice about how normal it is not to feel perfectly confident the very first time you top someone, and how you get from there to feeling confident about running a scene.

      • That makes sense. I guess I just feel like when directed at me that sort of advice always feels patronizing, and I role my eyes and go *I know how I feel about whatever* or prescriptive because I feel differently about the situation than the author assumes I might.

        But I see the value of reassurances in guides for people being introduced to something by a more invested partner, that they don’t have to feel a certain way.

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