This is our truth, tell us yours
Be aware this post has one brief mention of suicide and self harm in the context of legality of such actions. It also discusses age play, which is many things to many people, but always consensual adults taking on the “role” of Daddy/Mommy and littley.
How do you define sex? Not gender v sex but the messy, glorious process of making smiles at other human beings? Most second wave feminists are obsessed with what they label penetration, a penis entering a vagina,and their choice of word says a lot about their prejudices and preconceptions. Penetration is a forceful word, a word redolent of violence, of dominance, of wounds and blood. It reinforces patriarchal norms of what sex is and how it must be done.
Picture if you will a woman wearing a strap on, fucking a man, penetrating him. It is easy to assume she must be a top, and he a sub, that the position involves some form of humiliation since it is a reversal of those norms the second wave love so much. What though if instead of just a brief glimpse through an open window, which never provides more than a snap shot to confirm our prejudices, you have back story. What if he were the Dominant, bisexual, and loved anal sex, and had ordered his submissive to fuck him? This is not, dear reader, a description of an event that has happened or that I desire, but if Carter ordered it would He be less dominant for doing so? If you knew how difficult I would find it, a challenge to my obedience and submission would it still reinforce the idea of penetration as a dominant sex act?
Or another picture to play with. This time imagine a woman in a mans arms, she is certainly dressed for sex in a way most would recognise, heels, stockings, perfect make up, oh and cuffs on wrists and ankles. He gently kisses her neck, and as she responds a single finger explores between her legs. Lovers? Dominant and sub? Do you need sound to add to the picture so you can hear her murmur “Yes, Daddy” and do you need to know she was sobbing minutes earlier with the stress of a busy adult life?
What is sex? This matters not just because our ideas of what it is influence our ideas of what is acceptable, but because of that right to sex of which Carter wrote earlier this week. In the seventies organisations like PIE argued that their rights were being denied just as the rights of homosexuals had been earlier. Great theorists like Pat Califia agreed, and the right to sex with children was debated in places that now try to pretend these debates never happened. It is hard to say this but none of their arguments substantially differ from those I have read by disabled men on their right to have sex. Before anyone starts, no I am not equating men with disabilities to pedophiles, I am saying an argument based on the denial of ones own sexual pleasure as breaking a right can be used by anyone, unless you define what sex is.
Lets return to that second picture, after all it is a very attractive one. I have a little side, I do not often write about it, it’s private, and people tend to misconstrue age play, though there is nothing pretend or playing about it. I do not own a giant pushchair, or adult size toddler dresses, it is a state of mind and way of being. Now while the idea of me calling my Dominant Daddy may squick some people I hope no reader of this blog thinks my right to do so should be curtailed. Two adults playing with deep rooted gender roles and norms and in doing so finding sexual release and satisfaction. It is sex, even if there is no penetration, even if I snuggle after post orgasmic and happy while he has done little more than stroke and kiss.
Sex is not about who puts what where, but the state of minds of all of the participants. This is why sex with children is a misnomer. A child can, and does feel sexual pleasure, it is normal and natural. They cannot have the state of mind of an adult having sex though, and awareness of consequence, a fully informed consent. So therefore they cannot have sex. We recognize the importance of these things when we extend the protections normally reserved for children to those we term vulnerable adults. Which incidentally should also have meant we got rid of the ridiculous anachronism that is the age of consent. However placing consent at the heart of having sex is too radical for patriarchy.
If sex is a state of mind then the right to have it becomes ridiculous to claim. Do I have the right to be happy, or excited or depressed? Or do I have the right that the state do no things that cause me unhappiness, increase depression? The difference matters, a right to be happy would mean I could demand a dungeon and that Carter be given a substantial orivate income that left him free to beat and bugger me whenever he wished. I am aware that the American constitution does enshrine the right to happiness, an alien concept to a European, and the reason I think that debates on this topic rarely go well with Americans. The one right I do have, I demand to have, is to feel how I want to feel, without the state interfering, even if that feeling is one that leads to suicide or self harm. (Remember suicide did used to be illegal in the UK, we did not have that right to end our own lives, some feelings were illegal)
This has meandered perhaps a long way from trying to define what sex is, but the debate on the right to sex seems to be singularly silent on what the right looks like, and you cannot define that right without defining sex. If it is not penetration, certain acts, the physical smooshing of body parts, then sex must be of the mind. I will resist with my dying breath anyone who believes the state can control, should control, what is in my mind, or the places I can go to while making smiles with a willing partner.
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