Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Towards a Sex-Positive Utopia

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  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    thanks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Roger,

    It does take a certain personality type to put yourself out there to become a politician, and it is not to big a stretch to suspect that this ‘type’ might align to other proclivities? A basis for some research perhaps?

    I think this kind of research, if it were still considered interesting enough to be worth doing, would be a whole lot less problematic in a sex-positive utopia. In a world where some sexual tastes are seen as an indication that those who indulge in them are broken then any research, no matter how well meaning, runs the risk of being used to further discriminate against or attempt to "fix" people. If we get away from that stigma then we can look at why people like the stuff they do simply because it gives us insights into the human condition.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    If we get away from that stigma then we can look at why people like the stuff they do simply because it gives us insights into the human condition.

    I linked to this repost of a Clarisse Thorn column on Twitter the other day, about whether BDSM is an orientation or not. Which also puts a whole different light on 'cause' questions.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I was more interested in correlation than 'cause'. Disability policy has given plenty of reason to be wary of that chestnut.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I know a bunch of Doms. I know a bunch of subs. If I gave you a list of their occupations, I doubt you could work out which list was which.

    It doesn't seem to be anything other than anecdotal evidence plus a vague plausibility argument, but at least this speculation on domination and careers comes from people who should know:

    "The desire to help, to enhance or to make others happy is common among dominants. This may be why so many dominants are in the teaching and helping professions: medicine, social work, religion. Other-centred people make good dominants. Self-centred people often find that the strain of the responsibilities inherent in a BDSM relationship is overwhelming."

    - John Warren, "The Loving Dominant"

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I think the "CEOs are closet masochists" theme comes from the strong desire that most folks have to see their CEO whipped and humiliated. That might have led to some more frequent portrayal of that stereotype in the media.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3224 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I linked to this repost of a Clarisse Thorn column on Twitter the other day, about whether BDSM is an orientation or not. Which also puts a whole different light on ‘cause’ questions.

    I do like that column. It makes sense to me that what is an orientation for some can just be something enjoyable for others. And the argument that it's not OK to discriminate against someone even if they can change who they are is powerful and important.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    it's not OK to discriminate against someone even if they can change who they are is powerful and important

    Exactly! While the "born this way" idea has been a focus for some, who cares whether it's an inclination, an orientation, a predilection or just a whim? No-one should be telling anyone else who or how they can (consensually) shag.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I think the "CEOs are closet masochists" theme comes from the strong desire that most folks have to see their CEO whipped and humiliated. That might have led to some more frequent portrayal of that stereotype in the media.

    Or maybe they just want to restore some balance in their lives?

    Auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Max Rose,

    The desire to help, to enhance or to make others happy is common among dominants. This may be why so many dominants are in the teaching and helping professions: medicine, social work, religion.

    Which, of course, is the exact opposite of the CEO myth. This is: people take the same roles sexually as they do in the rest of their lives.

    Then I'm kind of led to say, okay, yes, there are times when my Dom is caring for me. Absolutely. But then there are times when I am giving service to him. So which one of us is The Carer? Does that designation make any more sense in a D/s relationship than it does in a vanilla one?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    times when I am giving service to him

    shaken, not stirred

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The media’s still getting their heads around women being interested in sex at all. The fact that they’ve noticed one terrible book doesn’t mean women’s behaviour has actually changed in any way..

    And as others have pointed out with some asperity, if "mommy porn" (i.e. "OMFG, mothers lady-wank too!") is such a new thing, who the hell has been buying around US$1.4 billion dollars worth of romance/erotica novels in the U.S. every year for the last decade, and why? Romance may be the most popular genre in American publishing, and arguably the only recession proof thing around, but I guess it's a genre overwhelmingly created for and consumed by WOMEN WITH SEX DRIVES so who cares.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    it’s a genre overwhelmingly created for and consumed by WOMEN WITH SEX DRIVES so who cares.

    A lot of people would say, but romance is what women want, they like relationships. It’s men who like sex.

    Yes, this attitude makes me cross, too.

    And in other news, look forward to the sex-bot utopia!!!!1

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lilith __,

    And in other news, look forward to the sex-bot utopia!!!!1

    All I'll say to that is it's all fun and games until the sex-bots get religion and nukes.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Max Rose,

    Exactly! While the "born this way" idea has been a focus for some, who cares whether it's an inclination, an orientation, a predilection or just a whim? No-one should be telling anyone else who or how they can (consensually) shag.

    Exactly. I want behaviours to be as legitimate as tendencies.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2122 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    it's all fun and games until the sex-bots get religion and nukes.

    :-)
    Slayage with a smile:

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And yet another thread manages to make its way, quite logically, to Buffy videos. So happy.

    I'm going to info-dump a bit now. This is the kink research aggregation site I was supposed to dig up for Roger yesterday. And this youtube clip is largely stuff I've kind of said, but well-presented and with someone else saying it. (I consider it to be SFW.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    My colleague Michelle shows how you get your academic work into the mainstream media. She is very a very talented woman.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2009 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Sorry, I see that Lilith has already posted it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2009 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Apropos of nothing, on my to-do list when in Berlin in a fortnight is a visit to this exhibition at the Helmut Newton Foundation. If you’d like to DM me your postal address, Emma, I’ll make sure you get a postcard. :)

    And that video just lays out something everyone I know who is involved in BDSM or D/S communities make crystal clear -- in a very meaningful sense, all parties have to be more explicit and honest about their needs, expectations and limitations (and absolutely respectful of them in others) than a lot of folks with "vanilla" sexual tastes ever are. Otherwise, it just doesn't work.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Lilith __,

    And in other news, look forward to the sex-bot utopia!!!!1

    There is only one possible response to that:

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Emma Hart,

    And yet another thread manages to make its way, quite logically, to Buffy videos. So happy.

    Though surprisingly, no-one's mentioned anal sex yet.

    Whoops.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And another takeaway from the video Emma linked to. I wouldn’t call myself a BDSM or D/S practitioner, but sometimes I found a bit of light spanking and dirty talk from a partner who was similarly inclined awesome.

    Not sure how anyone would extrapolate into a belief that I’d put up with anyone subjecting me (or anyone else) to verbal or physical partner abuse. Really. Please think that chain of reasoning through all the way.

    It's also really hard to rebut people who trot out the "I think your sexuality is icky, therefore you're suffering from sexual false consciousness as a result of either repressed abuse or internalized cultural factors." Seriously, I'd like to figure out how to smash that rhetorical teapot because it's actually pretty dangerous.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Not sure how anyone would extrapolate into a belief that I’d put up with anyone subjecting me (or anyone else) to verbal or physical partner abuse.

    The thing about D/s play, and Clarisse Thorn has written on this recently, is that it's trust-based. And every scene or session that goes well reinforces that trust. All players become more confident and comfortable in their roles, and the trust itself becomes highly eroticised. I've also been both physically and psychologically abused in relationships, and that's the opposite process: trust becomes completely destroyed. Each subsequent incident becomes more and more fraught and horrible. Psychologically, there is simply no resemblance at all.

    Though surprisingly, no-one's mentioned anal sex yet.

    Just... you... shush.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    how you get your academic work into the mainstream media

    by making it about sex

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

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