Sorry the Carnival is late, I (Lissy) been battling sinus infection from hell, sinus infection appears to winning…
The theme for the Second Carnival of Kinky Feminists was Experience. We received a number of creative writing pieces but have decided not to run any fiction this Carnival. Please see this post for further information and help us discuss “Feminist Erotic Fiction: What does it look like?”.
With much ado (and sniffling) here’s the Carnival!
…reflecting on discrimination I have personally experienced, I now know that I cannot afford the luxury of being politically apathetic. Perhaps my peers who enjoy heterosexual privileges can afford to do so because they enjoy many financial, social, and legal benefits that I do not.
Sex is complicated enough to begin with, even more so if your body and sexuality do not match what mainstream culture says it should look like. Media tends to marginalize folks who aren’t at least white, TAB, cis and het, and media largely oversimplifies sex, defining it as “Intercourse” specifically. That’s a hard kind of sex to have when you’re living with vulvar pain though, or any other impairment that hinders sexual function! And to define sex as intercourse means that you’re taking sex away from people who do not need to insert a penis into a vagina in order to have sex. It erases queer sexuality.
The next two posts come with trigger warnings for discussions of rape, sexual assault. A reminder that trigger warnings are not meant to pass judgement about the content of a post but rather are used to help people to use their judgement when deciding to click through to a link.
Lucy Jane Weston gives us “Guilt and Awkward Confessions and Weirdness and Guilt” where she asks the question:
The problem is, how can I be upset by rape culture, by objectification of women, by images of brutalization, when I am sometimes aroused sexually by these images?
Sometimes the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. Sometimes I feel I get off on sick and twisted things, and sometimes I secretly wish twisted bad things would happen to me, like in the movies I watch.
But somewhere deep inside me I know that I deserve to be treated with respect. The degradation, pain, and sadism I allow others to inflict on me are a mature, conscious decision.
Kink does involve turning our fantasies into ‘reality’ to a degree. Not literally of course. But in role-play such as ‘rape play’ , ‘kidnapping’, ‘interrogation scenes’ etc sadists ‘harm’ masochists. A key point is that they do so with full consent of the person on the other end of the violence. But still, it is worth noting that it is this very ‘real’ violence that the masochist desires. Try hitting a masochist with an ‘imaginary’ cane/flogger/crop and s/he won’t be very happy!
On the right-hand column of this blog, there’s a box that lists a whole heap of terms that I use to identify myself – it says “my sexual identity is:” but some of the terms are not terms that I tend to use in that context, but that I do use to self-identify in general (and thus, they play some part in who I am sexually). Anyway, the point is – what part does my experience play in forming my identity? As good a way as any to start talking about this question is for me to look at that list and think about what part experience plays in each of them.
In terms of dominant and submissive sexualities, I have kvetched, bitched, moaned, externalized, and generally wept over these expectations, about how they are who I am and not what I want in a partner. But the expectations are there, fueled by a clusterfuck of cultural repression, unfulfilled need, desperation, and corporate profit.
Also check out Ranat’s page “If I Were Writing the 101 Course” which;
is a collection of posts, articles, and what-not that I would have liked to have come across when I first dared enter “dominance and submission” and “sadomasochism” into search boxes.
When we grow and become adults, hopefully one tool we develop is discernment in the power relations we enter into. Some of us, of course, will not do this — and sometimes the most fine-honed discernment in the world is useless in the face of a sufficiently charming con artist, deceiver, or abuser. But the mere fact that some of us don’t have discernment, or that we can be bamboozled by the cruel and unethical, does not mean those of us who do should be told not to use it.
In retrospect, it seems surreal that I reacted so badly to my BDSM orientation. The agonizing memories of my adjustment have lost their emotional flavor.
There are altogether too many people in the world who want to relieve me of my kinks, or explain them away, or obscure the marks they’ve left on me with the sticky ointment of patronizing concern.
Thanks as always to everyone involved in the Carnival of Kinky Feminists!