Discussing kink and evidence of the rape culture

Lo, the rape culture. Verily, we are soaking in it. It would be very melodramatic and feminist of me to say that the reason I have been on hiatus from lady blogging is because the rape culture paralyzes my will to write, but the truth is that I’ve been studying for the LSATs for the past four months, and feel rather like someone installed a shunt into my cranium.

For all those with the fortune not to know the horrors of pre-law school standardized testing, I envy you. Truly.

But of course, nobody is really interested in such boring pursuits, however necessary. Let’s talk about BDSM again.

BDSM is like the no-man’s land between sexyfun feminism and seriousbusiness feminism. There needs to be some Anti-Landmine Convention for that shit, yo. For while I did not partake in lady blogging whilst I was studying, I did participate in my fair share of lady blog reading. Whenever sex is mentioned on a blog, it seems to open a floodgate of navel-gazing BDSM pontification. What is consent? Is it cool to stick my arms up to my elbows in someone’s anus? Why do both dominant and submissive women wear corsets, while only submissive men do the same?

Only the first question really interests me. See, I’ve had a lot of orgasms in my life. They are hardly the pinnacle of human achievement. Color me unimpressed that other people have figured out that they, too, can orgasm. I really have no wish to detail sexyfun time. Am I doing it right? Are you doing it right? The only thing in the world, I fear, more rigid and conformist than the middle-school pecking order is how much people seem to care how other people get their rocks off.

No, I do not excuse said sexyfun people from this critique. Encapsulated in the concept of BDSM is the thought that people outside the “scene” are really missing out. They’re hopelessly “vanilla” or sexually repressed or something. Perhaps they’re godbags and read the Bible every hour and haven’t been naked without shielding their eyes from their loathsome bodies since they were toddlers.

This is all very self-congratulatory. Very predictable too. Someone says, “dude, getting a boner from hurting women is not okay.” Which, by the way, shouldn’t be a controversial statement. But then everything derails into fail about 0.02 seconds later, when someone has to chime in out how fucking awesome BDSM is and how much it is all about consent and celebration of human sexuality and transgressing Puritanical ideas and blah blah blah.

See, that shit doesn’t fool me. It shouldn’t fool you either. Because in that there is inevitably the implicit premise that so-called “vanilla” people aren’t interested in consent, that they aren’t having sex on their own terms for their own self-aware reasons, or that we’re just not cool enough to drop tons of cash on props to have orgasms. Oh, and that BDSM people are totes better at boinking than you, and you really ought to be jealous.

Dude, no. Just no. This kind of shit isn’t just confined to the internets or feminist blogs either. It plays out whenever I go have some drinks with my chums. It becomes a contest of who is the most “liberated” in their sex life. By “liberated”, they mean has the most props, the most scripts, and the haughtiest, most obnoxious, urge to brag about it all the fucking time.

It’s a game of who can dominate everyone else at being more into domination. Patriarchy2. Then you muddle it up with equating orgasm with the absolute be-all and end-all of human achievement, and you have an entire culture centered on hurting women for some dude’s boner so you can brag about it all the fucking time.

And isn’t that just what it all comes down to? I’m not putting vanilla sex on a pedestal either. I’m just channeling Foucault by saying that there isn’t a hell of a lot of difference between one narrow idea of what sexuality ought to be being replaced by other very narrow idea of what sexuality ought to be, which is supposed to be completely different from what it was, but it actually isn’t. At all.

And what that it is, and what it has always been, is the rape culture, or hurting the exploited for boners. There’s nothing new about that.

Which, is very obvious by how people talk about BDSM in feminist spheres and else where. Before the waters get muddied and the shit hits the fan, a woman will chime in in how much she likes it when she fantasizes about being raped.

Did you catch that? When we talk about kinky funtime, I’d like to focus on the fact that there’s a big portion of the male population that thinks that fantasizing about hurting women for boners is awesome. Not just in BDSM “spheres”. Everywhere. That’s the entire premise of the pornography, prostitution, and that little trillion-dollar international thing called Human Trafficking.

But that seems immaterial to most who talk about sex. It always comes down to what woman is stepping on other woman’s toes. For shit’s sake, does anyone really think that I honestly feel that women fantasizing about what they think rape would be like (but it isn’t) is actually the problem?

Fuck no.

The problem is dudes. Dudes who hurt women. Dudes who don’t see BDSM as sexyfuntime, but as an outlet to be creepy fucks and sexual predators. Dudes that somehow always wind up being the dominant, the Master, and women who don’t seem to understand that when we talk about rape, and exploitation, and hurting women for boners, we’re not pointing the finger at them. We’re pointing it at the patriarchy, and the dudes who use it to hurt women.

Because at the end of the day, I have no desire to figure out if women who like to be hurt in the name of orgasms are better than me, worse than me, or just neutral. Men are not just inert sacks of flesh that simply respond to the desires of women. They’re the ones, as a general rule, who are doing the hurting, the defining of norms, and the ones that benefiting from said norms.

And to be honest, whether or not anyone gets their rocks off to being slapped around a bit is a little less dire than disavowing dudes of the sentiment that it’s totes cool to hurt or exploit someone in the  name of boners. But maybe that’s just because I’m a totally repressed prude.



Posted on September 28, 2009, in Feminism, Penis Brain, Porn Nation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Men are not just inert sacks of flesh that simply respond to the desires of women. They’re the ones, as a general rule, who are doing the hurting, the defining of norms, and the ones that benefiting from said norms.

    1,000 times this.

    I would like to add my own analysis but a) I should be working right now and b) you said it all brilliantly.

    In the case of BDSM and pornography, it IS about the men.

  2. Seriously brilliant. Thanks for this excellent post. This stuff frustrates me to no end!!

  3. ^ Agreed. Thank you.

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