Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Take Strictly, as Directed

154 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Seconded - it's deeply fascinating and deeply worrying at the same time, especially the problems the MPAA seems to have with women actually being seen to enjoy sex...

    Or as Jack Nicholson neatly put it: "Kiss a tit and you get an X rating. Cut a tit off, you're PG." Dick also takes a rather jaundiced view of the different treatment of studio and indie films, male and female nudity (especially of the full-frontal variety), and hetero and homo sex.

    OTOH, I read a fascinating interview with Ron Moore who said that he was constantly bracing himself for censorship fights with the network over Battlestar Galactica's edgier content (suicide bombers, relatively graphic sex and violence by TV standards, and an inexplicit but high impact rape scene in one episode) which... didn't happen. But the networks and the FCC's own chequered history as decency cops are a whole other can of crazy...

    And in the end, I love David Cronenberg's take down of censors:
    Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion, the depiction of an act with the act itself.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    Had to look up 3 acronyms just to understand this post. BDSM, LGBT, and NSFW (which I had always thought was New South Fucking Wales). But I still don't really understand it. It started off being about how Emma tells people off for not being funny because of PAS, and ends up being about sexual practices that no one is qualified to say a word about, even the practitioners. Is that why no one is funny?

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Is that why no one is funny?

    This parallel universe you inhabit must be a very strange place.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Anyway.........I'm finding this whole discussion vicariously fascinating. I have every idea what Emma is talking about, though have never practised it, and find it really very informative re subs/dom(me)s and the numerous stereotypes which prevail. I'm a happily nonpractising Vanilla Has Bean - not of my choice, one might add - meself. So speak of sex as much, and as often, as you can, please. Someone has to, and I'd much rather hear about it from people who are conscious of all the complexities.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kong,

    This parallel universe you inhabit must be a very strange place.

    Sounds like a stink place too.

    Since Jul 2009 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    You do not want to piss off female subs, as a generalisation. Those poor deluded degraded brain-washed chickies will hand you your arse and ask if you want fries with that.

    So true.

    As for the theory about sub/bottoms who had been physically punished as children, I always like to ask people who come up with that one if they were never smacked.

    I know subs who came from families who were vehemently against corporate punishment of any kind. It didn't stop them from being delightfully kinky. And for me, who came from a family where physical punishment was handed out routinely, I'm afraid my wiring is pretty unidirectional - and not in the "give it to me" way.

    As for the comment about "unicorns", I hadn't come across that usage before, but I'm pretty selective with my BDSM reading - I don't read kink stuff that doesn't have an underlying feminist perspective, as perverse as that may be to some (ho ho). I also haven't found the male bottom/female top paradigm being particularly disregarded, but perhaps Mistress Matisse, Midori and their cohorts give me a biased view. However, being polyamorous, I've heard it used when referring to the bisexual female lust-object who fancies both spouses in a heterosexual marriage. As in, those couples who are looking for their perfect little unicorn, who will also babysit the kids and help out with the housework...

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    It is very much a part of the culture that the sub's happiness is the Dom(me)'s responsibility. The reverse, not so much.

    Some more "yeah, but" here. That is very true. However, being an unresponsive sub/bottom is generally regarded as a negative as well - they should be giving something back to to the top.

    I relate to this in both the kink sense and the butch dyke sense. I very much feel responsible for pleasing my partner in terms of getting them off. While I don't require that as much myself (although, hello, I do like to get off at some point), they do need to demonstrate their appreciation for my efforts and appear to be concerned for my satisfaction as well.

    I suppose it boils down to the fact the top is actively doing something to ensure the bottom's satisfaction (and of course, is being trusted not to cock it up), while all a bottom needs to do, often, is be appropriately responsive. And honest about what s/he wants.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I suppose gratitude is a skill..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh Sacha. Bless.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    The same is true in at least some states of the US. I've seen BDSM subs talking about being scared to make too much noise in case their neighbours get the cops called to a 'domestic disturbance' - once the police are in, charges go forward no matter what the 'victim' wants.

    I know someone who had the police called on them when in early labor -- although it has a happy ending, as they got a squad car escort to the hospital.

    But is it too much to hope that the participants would keep the noise down so as to avoid disturbing their neighbors' peace and quiet (or find a location with few neighbors), even if they were not concerned about an over-zealous police force??

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I suppose gratitude is a skill..

    A pill of super-concentrated truthiness there, Sacha -- and its a little psychic muscle that atrophies all too quickly if you don't regularly (and consciously) exercise it. God damn and God bless this fucked-up, crazy beautiful once and only world. There's plenty of both to go around.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Thank-you for that thoughtful reverence there, Craig.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I shall be grateful to Tracy, too, because I didn't want to talk too much about Dom psychology, it not being mine. I can testify to never having being smacked as a child, but.

    But is it too much to hope that the participants would keep the noise down so as to avoid disturbing their neighbors' peace and quiet (or find a location with few neighbors), even if they were not concerned about an over-zealous police force??

    I'm quite a grateful person, y'know? And even engaged in the most vanilla pursuits (maybe with a little bit of sprinkles and a flake), we've had complaints/comments from flatmates and adjacent flats - like, through walls, not up the road. The thing is that nobody directly involved is really conscious of the volume of the gratitude.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    didn't want to talk too much about Dom psychology, it not being mine.

    Well you confused this n00b by writing "Dom(me)". Still, I could have misread it worse..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    The thing is that nobody directly involved is really conscious of the volume of the gratitude.

    And if they are, it is fair to say, they are doing it wrong.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Well you confused this n00b by writing "Dom(me)". Still, I could have misread it worse..

    oh, it wasn't just you, according to my off-site communication. I should probably have used 'Dom/me', which would just have given me problems with IRC users.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Just thought you would all like to know that when I clicked to move to page 2 of this thread, while at work, good ol' Marshall Web decided there was something indecent about it and I have now lost all access to PAS from work which is very upsetting (although it may result in marginally more work being done).

    Spending the obligatory 8 hours of the working day in front of a PC I don't generally spend much time on it at home.

    I have asked that the site be flagged as safe, but no idea how that will go down. And I guess my internet usage will be monitored for a while, too.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I wonder what WebMarshall liked better about page 1..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Page 2 was where Craig and I started discussing anal sex...

    I'm terribly sorry, Stewart. Next time I promise to write about kittens or something.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Send your IT folk that unicorn rainbow pic - you'll get style points even if it doesn't pacify them.

    I tend to avoid UpFront from behind the corporate firewall.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    How was the erudite dinner, Emma?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Endorphins huh? I can relate to that. Only for me it is self abuse (as some see it) that is necessary since I get my hit from distance running. I have been on long runs where I'm aware on one level that I have say a blister on my arch but it doesn't affect me. Then when I get home and take shoes and socks off there is this huge raw wound which, after I've come down is like really, really sore. It's also how I can go for a run with a sore knee in full expectation that it will 'warm up'. So don't diss the power of my drug of choice Mr Policeman or Dr Psychologist, and the prime reason I do it is because I enjoy it. I need to run for about 40min then I get a 'third wind' when it all becomes much easier, groovy man.

    In my sober time however the scientist in me is unsatisfied by handwaving explanations with no statistical power behind them. For eg Emma without the stats (yes I know they are hard to collect) you simply cannot say that there are no discernable trends either way, our psychological tendencies to note some things more than others is why we have stats. Also science and the uses to which it can be put are two different things. Staying with (male) homosexuality since there is good science there the fact that most people seem to be born gay is a neutral fact. You can for eg be born deaf but be taught to speak and lipread. So while some facts can be useful in terms of for eg reassuring parents that it was not upbringing that was the cause, what if anything should or could be done is a separate question for wider society to decide just like we decided not to pursue human germline manipulation in the way we do to animals.

    What I'm saying is relax about the research. I know for eg that I am the 'wrong' body type to be a good distance runner, my legs are too well muscled. It explains how the real scrawny guys used to beat me as a teenager. It does not diminish my enjoyment of what I do one iota, just as my awful biomechanics don't so long as I wear orthotics. That you enjoy it and it involves informed consenting adults in private should be more than enough. It is then in the court of those objecting to demonstrate actual harm or inability to consent or some such. Getting tied up in details beyond those facts is utterly unnecessary.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Yes, you're right, perhaps I was unclear. I'm fine with biological enquiry, it's the sociological ones that bug me. I mean, the research that's being done about the biological causes of sexual orientation are about was causes orientation, not what 'causes gay'. The 'you must have been abused' argument is about what made you deviant - there's no corresponding interest in what 'causes vanilla'.

    But with both the 'causes' of homosexuality and kink, I do actually get kind of tired. I understand the importance of establishing the biological basis of sexuality, but should we actually HAVE to 'be born that way' to be accepted? Can't we just, y'know, get on? If it turned out that the 'cause' of homosexuality was actually social, would that make it something that needed to be cured?

    The 'cause' argument around BDSM gets really, really ugly. It is 'why are you broken?'. The search for sociological answers seems to carry that judgementalism much more than the search for biological answers.

    There’s a weird, in my view illogical, notion around sexual orientation (and human behavior in general) that says if it’s prescripted by nature (genetic) then you can’t help it and it is to be tolerated. However, if it’s caused by nurture (i.e. early childhood upbringing/development for the most part) then for some reason it resides in the area of “free will” or choice and is thusly more justifiably discriminated against.

    But even with genetics you get the Orson Scott Card line: "our scientific efforts in regard to homosexuality should be to identify genetic and uterine causes... so that the incidence of this dysfunction can be minimized".

    You’re right to point out that we should not be focused on a “why are you broken” view. Even Card’s reasoning involves a begging the question fallacy: implying that homosexuality is, as a given, a “dysfunction” that should be remedied if possible.

    A little apropos of this discussion is this (now quite old) Scientific American article about how our behavior is a combination of nature and nurture. There is no simple “society made me do it“ or “my genes made me do it“ answer. (With homosexuality specifically, I happen to think it’s more a nature (genetic) trait, with culture as a suppressing/enabling factor.)

    Anyway, why am I still awake?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Getting tied up in details beyond those facts is utterly unnecessary.

    I thought getting tied up could be entirely necessary?

    (Okay, that's it, sleep time.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    no sleep till Hammersmith

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.