This is our truth, tell us yours
The ever excellent Myles Jackman has described the censorship of pornography as the canary in the coalmine of free speech. It is a good indicator of whether you actually care about the freedom of others, or if its just a cause to hitch your bandwagon too, a la Tatchell.
In some ways BDSM serves the same position in view of women’s agency, and feminism’s troubled relationship with the idea that the class of women contains those who would chose to do things others might judge to be wrong, where wrong is actually a complex web of emotions around letting the side down, unwomanly, unfeminine, not approved by patriarchy and not what nice girls do.
Look onto those spaces which now are hotbeds of transphobia, look at those arguing that sex workers need to be criminalized for their own good, and their stance on BDSM has deep roots. Which is not to say that they were not always deeply transphobic and whorephobic, but that too many ignored what was being said about a womans, or someone seen to be a woman, right to be treated as a human being.
I am a sub, I am also a masochist, according to people like Stienham, and her new worshiper Emma Watson, I do not exist. I cannot exist, since no woman* actually wants dominance, pain, humiliation. The only sex which is acceptable to Watson is something based on warm fuzziness, where you stroke kittens for several hours before the screen fade of missionary position sex where no one every sweats, or swears, or cries or has anything as messy as an orgasm.
Emma Watson approved sex sounds like the genuine little death, and, frankly you will have to pay me to have something so dull and patriarchally approved.But of course we can not have sex for money, or to conceive, or because we are lonely, or bored, or horny, or anything but lovely romantic monogamous pair bonding.
Ignore that romance is more damaging to millions of women than filming someone having “the wrong kind of sex” Romance tells men that no actually means stalk me until I say yes. Romance tells women that anything is acceptable if you saw “I love you” Romance is the stage on which domestic abuse is rehearsed, romance is the chain which patriarchy uses to keep women tied to the idea that without a man you are nothing. Romance is patriarchy wearing a pinkwashed veil to hide the bruises.
Romance is acceptable, in the way erotica is acceptable, and porn is not. Porn does not tell the big lies. Oh it tells little ones, that there is never shit after anal, that no one has fanny farts, that people with dicks get hard in seconds, and that people with vaginas never need lube, but it does not tell the big lies, that sex means love, that having sex with someone means they will love you, that the kind of sex you have determines your moral worth.
Sex can be many things, and yes it can be a way of pair bonding, or mutual reassurance, or showing you care. This, and I know it will shock Ms Watson, can even be the case when you its painful, or degrading or humiliating, because how different people choose to have sex doesn’t always convey what it may mean to them to outside observers. To give an example so that those as devoid in imagination as Steinman and Watson can attempt to understand things outside their own experience; Recently Carter and I were making smiles, and on my knees, choking on his penis, with his hands in my hair I felt glorious, after a week where I had once again contemplated the dark depths of despair. It was the kind of sex that most certainly would not pass the Steinman/Watson test of acceptability, facefucking belongs in the category of things women should not be allowed to enjoy.
Which brings me to our title, and the worst sex ever. There are a whole host of ways to have consensual sex (which is all this post is discussing). Sex can be bad, and still consensual, it can leave you feeling hollow, or horny, or like you just wasted half an hour of your life you will never get back. Its generally bad when when one person tries to impose their idea of what good sex is on another person. Its such an obvious statement that you might imagine feminists would not need it explaining, but it seems they do. Basic agency, the right of a woman to determine for herself what is acceptable should be at the core of any feminism. Instead, as the attacks on BDSM have so long shown, the core seems to be telling women that bad sex (according to the definition of sex which doesn’t fit with your preferences) is better than sex you actually want. So slow hand clap Emma for celebrating what patriarchy has told us all along, that women don’t get a say in the kind of sex they can have.