Sunday, February 28, 2010

Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.

Driving was easier than I'd expected. I'm towing a big-ass cargo trailer with a non-big-ass engine, so I worried about getting over the pass, but nope, it did fine.

God I'm tired. The last three days have been some of the most exhausting of my life. And I don't even own a lot of crap! I think the organizing and cleaning were worse than the packing--I took more stuff to Goodwill or the dump than I put in the trailer--so hopefully moving into the new place won't be quite as painful. (Also the new place does not have roommates to stick me with their messes that I only discover at 9 AM on the day I'm supposed to leave. Argh.)

I drove through a lot of climates today The western part of Washington looks like Washington, the central part looks like Arizona, and out east it's Kansas. Trees, desert, plains.

The guinea pigs are all right. They're not happy getting stuffed in a little carrier and subjected to horrible noises and bumping around, but they're eating and drinking and acting like guinea pigs. I think they're mostly just annoyed at me.

I made about 320 miles today. Which really isn't that much, but I got a late start and I'm dog-tired because I did about three hours of heavy lifting this morning. With eight hours' sleep, an early morning, and less painful muscles I oughta start doing 600 or so if the roads are good. I'm getting about 22 MPG which isn't TOO terrible considering the trailer.

It's both freeing and frightening to be pulling around literally everything I own. I have a route planned, but shit, I could go anywhere! If I don't mind losing a little money on the apartment I could take a turn somewhere and go make my new life in Kentucky instead and nothing would stop me.

This hotel room is really nice. Like REALLY nice, like I'm almost embarrassed that little ol' me is shmancying it up in a place far too rich for her blood. It still costs less than a shithole flophouse in SeaTac. Gotta love the boonies in off-season. (I am shmancying it up, because I could've stayed in a shithole flophouse here for like nothing, but I'm tired dammit and I can spare an extra $20 to be comfortable. I'll flop tomorrow, I swear.)

Man, America is beautiful. Well, that's not fair, the world is beautiful. The vast majority of it at least. (SeaTac not so much.) I drove past snowy mountains and rolling hills and endless fields today and they were all gorgeous. It's a cliche, but the skies really are big out here--clouds look so different when you can see every part of them. It's almost frightening to a forest dweller because every kind of weather looks kinda like those photos you see of giant thunderstorms out on the plains.

I wonder why there are so many horses out in the country. It seemed like I saw nearly equal numbers of cows and horses, even though cows make milk and meat and leather and horses make... horse poop. Well, and rides of course, but I've always thought of horse riding as a relatively uncommon luxury, one that would account for a few stables per town, not giant herds of horses all over. Are there a lot more horse-riders than I thought, or are there not that many horses and I'm just crazy, or what?

This hotel room has a free teapot with good tea! Truly this is the land of milk, honey, hope, and glory. I'm gonna take a bath and drink tea in the bath.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Complinsult.

If I say "ugh, I'm so fat" to a guy, I certainly appreciate a "hey, I think you're hot" in return.

But if I don't say anything of the sort (and I try pretty hard not to), if I'm just going about my day tra la la like I'm a normal person... it really weirds me out when guys come out of nowhere with "you know, I actually like your body" or "I don't mind a curvy girl one bit." I mean, gosh, thanks.

Hint: statements like that translate into "I assume you think you're ugly, and I assume a lot of people agree, and I was just now thinking about how generally-considered-ugly you are, but hey, I'm willing to tolerate your flaws, aren't you lucky?"

If you want to compliment a fat girl, tell her that she's pretty. Don't tell her that she's pretty anyway.


First thing tomorrow morning, I turn in my Internet box. (Um... modem. "Internet box," Jesus.) First thing Sunday morning, I head for the hills.

I'll post from the road if I can and, well, I won't if I can't. Posting should be back to normal within two weeks at worst.

I'm so scared! I'm so excited! NARM!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So I guess the hot new word in the blogosphere is mansplaining. Mansplaining is "when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate 'facts' about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does."

My take: I find this sexist. I don't like the idea of a word that can be used against someone who disagrees with you while being male. I know it's only supposed to apply when he's being really unambiguously condescending, but including gender in the word seems unnecessary and inflammatory. Therefore, I propose a new word: "douchesplaining."

I've been 'splained to, there's no question. Just the other day I was changing an oxygen tank, quite happily and correctly cranking away at it, and a man walking by just had to drop in helpful advice like "you're gonna want an O-ring in there," oblivious to the fact that there was already an O-ring in there, and I had done this 5000 times, and it was only my goddamn job, and I'm not an idiot. But this wasn't a gender conflict incident; this was a douchery incident. I've had women 'splain to me too, plenty of times. I've caught myself 'splaining.

Do men and women 'splain with equal frequency? Do men sometimes 'splain for sexist reasons? I don't care. It's the act that's wrong, not the actor's gender. Being condescending is wrong; being a condescending man is incidental. And hey, there are some annoying behaviors that women are more frequently accused of, but I don't think anyone wants to hear them insultingly renamed after our gender. Like if "complaining" was called "bitching"... oh fuck. Anyway. We're better than that. It's fair to accuse a douche of being a douche; it's wrong to accuse a douche of being a man.

Now don't nobody douchesplain to me why I'm wrong.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Satoshi Kanazawa is a douchebag and Psychology Today pays him for it.

Satoshi Kanazawa writes a blog for Psychology Today called The Scientific Fundamentalist. This doesn't mean that he's a Christian Fundamentalist--frankly I think he'd have a brighter view of human nature if he were--but that he believes human behavior originates in the "fundamental" source of evolution.

I agree that human behavior is evolved, but I believe that we evolved into humans. If we still had the hierarchies and behaviors of apes on the savannah, we'd be apes on the savannah. (Also, even apes are often more complex than Kanazawa assumes.) It's like saying "dolphins are descended from land creatures with legs, therefore dolphins have legs." And the idea that men are harem-keeping sperm machines and women are antler-contest-judging baby machines is some serious dolphin legs. Morality, creativity, abstraction, empathy--these are our flippers.

But science schmience, it's all just a very loose framework for Kanazawa to be a garden-variety douchebag.

On successful women:
When we think of “successful women,” we don’t think of the Octomom, Nadya Suleman, even though, in purely reproductive terms, she is probably the most successful person in the United States today. We cannot think of any other woman – or man – who has produced 14 children. Nadya Suleman is 14 times as successful as Hillary Clinton is, but Suleman is not the one we have in mind when we think of “highly accomplished successful women.” [...] Nobody recognizes women who are successful in female terms.
Sure, and in purely number-of-toes terms, that girl in India with four legs was the most successful woman in the world. Redefining "success" to something that provides considerably less happiness and security and self-actualization than, you know, success, is just a word game. I'm not knocking babies, but if sheer number of babies is the way women succeed, I want a dick right now.

...Hey, what about guys who father umpty-zillion kids? Why aren't they the paragons of success in male terms? What more could a man aspire to?

On why women secretly want their husbands to cheat:
All women have a vested reproductive interest to marry a man who is as desirable and attractive (physically and otherwise) as possible, but the more desirable and attractive the husband is, the greater the chances that other women would want him as well and thus the greater the chances that he would be unfaithful. There is a surefire way to guarantee that their husband will never cheat on them, and that is to marry the biggest loser that they can find so that nobody else would want him. But obviously no woman would want to do that.
Yeah, and the whole concept of a guy who is desirable but also has ethics and self-restraint is a wishful-thinking myth, rather than, you know, the norm among humans. You know what I really don't get about all these just-so stories? Why, if humans are inevitably programmed to act a certain way, they don't act that way more. If men are born to cheat as the sparks fly upward, where did the idea of monogamy even come from? (Don't try and tell me with a straight face that women won't sleep with another woman's man.) If indiscriminate polygyny was natural for humans, we'd--naturally--be doing it.

This shit about "you should be grateful, bitch, it means I'm good enough for you!" makes me really wish he was a Christian Fundamentalist. At least they understand monogamy.

On why feminism is "illogical, unnecessary, and evil":
The fact that men and women are fundamentally different and want different things makes it difficult to compare their welfare directly, to assess which sex is better off; for example, the fact that women make less money than men cannot by itself be evidence that women are worse off than men, any more than the fact that men own fewer pairs of shoes than women cannot be evidence that men are worse off than women.
Well, I happen to be a woman who somehow learned to speak human languages, and I would like to assure you that I like money--and political power, and sexual freedom, and personal autonomy--a whole lot more than I like shoes. Even Manolos. Or babies. Or, OMG, baby Manolos. What women want isn't some mystery and it isn't different from men; we want what people want.

Another fallacy on which modern feminism is based is that men have more power than women. Among mammals, the female always has more power than the male, and humans are no exception.

Also, humans are the only animal capable of replacing an "is" with a "should" when it comes to our social structure. Lack of language and abstraction means no lioness is ever going to say to the others, "hey ladies, how about we don't bring him free food and let him kill our cubs today?" People can do a little better than that.

On how women's ability to refuse sex means they're, like, totally in charge of the world:
Imagine for a moment a society where sex and mating were entirely a male choice; individuals have sex whenever and with whomever men want, not whenever and with whomever women want. What would happen in such a society? Absolutely nothing, because people would never stop having sex! There would be no civilization in such a society, because people would not do anything besides have sex. This, incidentally, is the reason why gay men never stop having sex: there are no women in their relationships to say no. Sexually active straight men on average have had 16.5 sex partners since age 18; gay men have had 42.8.
So yeah, all those gay artists and writers and politicians and freakin' gay fry cooks for that matter? Clearly couldn't be contributing to society, because they're way too busy having sex.

I always wonder why "men don't say no to sex" bullshit is often found in the same arenas as "men are innately and irrevocably attracted to Megan Fox, sorry uggos" bullshit. If men will go for anything with a vagina, how can they also be such picky fucks?

“For a man to walk into a bar and have his choice of any woman he wants, he would have to be the ruler of the world. For a woman to have the same power over men, she’d have to do her hair.” In other words, any reasonably attractive young woman exercises as much power as does the (male) ruler of the world.

A) That's not power. If I have a choice of having armies at my command and millions of acres of land and billions of dollars, or being able to fuck a dude... I'm not going go rub my chin and go "hmm, seems about even."

B) That's not true. I'm a reasonably attractive young woman (perhaps not for a Megan Fox definition of "reasonably"?) and I can't freaking do that. My pull rate, when I'm really putting it out there, is maybe 65%? And that's for any acceptable guy, not for the one single top-choice guy (as if I knew who that was anyway). Bars have other women in them, you know. Other women, and guys who aren't looking for sex, and guys who don't go for my type, and guys who are turned off when I do something awkward, and all these other crazy variables that don't exist in UGH MONKEY SEE MONKEY FUCK Land.

It might be true that an attractive young woman who goes into a real nasty dive-bar and just announces she's going to fuck someone tonight would get her choice of the joint, but that's not power, that's not even safe.

C) There is a large set of "women" that do not belong to the subset "reasonably attractive young women." What're they, chopped liver? When guys like this say "women," I get the feeling that they mean her. But she's a woman and so is she and she is no less a woman. And I don't mean to insult these women when I say I don't think they can just choose from a cock smorgasboard every time they walk into a room. (Except that biker chick. She might.) Where do they get their "power"?

Sure he's just some crazy fuck on the Internet, but he's getting paid for this shit. By actual serious grownups. It blows my mind.

The best advice I ever got.

When I was getting into the film industry as a young'un, the two people who had served as my mentors through an independent film gave me some terse parting words: "Don't get desperate."

It took me a while to understand what that means. It means don't take a shitty gig because you think you can't get a good one. It means don't humiliate or prostitute yourself to get a gig. It means that no matter how hungry you are--and you will get hungry--don't work for five bucks an hour, don't work where it's not safe, don't work where they don't follow the law. It means any time your instinct says "this is a screwjob" but your brain says "hey, it's work," it's a screwjob. It means always be able to say no.

And this is why I ultimately left the film industry--because I realized that unless you're talented, well-connected, rich, or lucky, (and I was 0 for 4), it preys on the desperate. Hollywood is full of producers, some of them quite big-name, some of them doomed losers, who think that you should be willing to do anything just for the privilege of getting their coffee--and it's also full of eager, desperate young people who bend over and grab their ankles and say "regular or decaf?" You don't sacrifice until you start getting respect, you just sacrifice and sacrifice until you realize that no one respects a sucker. In most industries that's where you simply walk away if you aren't getting respect from the start, but unfortunately in film there's a glut in the sucker supply so I ended up leaving completely.

Do I have to spell out how this applies to sex and relationships? If you're willing to do anything to get or keep a partner, there'll be some scary people willing to take you up on that "anything." If you think you have to humiliate yourself until you earn someone's love, you'll find the humiliation just keeps coming. If you're not willing to walk away from someone if they cross the line, the line will be crossed. If you settle, then what you settle for is all you'll ever have.

Don't get desperate.

A Discussion About Sanding.

My friends and I were sanding a desk in preparation for painting. Specifically, we were working on the legs of the desk, wrapping sandpaper around each leg and vigorously stroking it up and down the wood.

"I think there's some things that men are just naturally better at because it's like masturbating for them. It's a familiar movement."

"So what would women be good at then... stuffing spaghetti into a tomato?"

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I'm queer.

Wait, what? I'm all about the dudes. I flirt with dudes, I date dudes, I get obsessed with dudes, I love Bruce Campbell and Kurt Russell and Nathan Fillion, I look at porn of dudes and I fucking love fucking dudes. Sure, I like the ladies too, but my lady-tastes are much narrower and pickier and much more rarely indulged. And frankly a lot of the time there's a dude involved too, or I go for particularly dudely ladies. On the ol' Kinsey scale of 0 is all straight and 6 is all gay, I'm, like, a 1.5.

I support LGBT activism, but my involvement has always been in the role of "straight ally." In a weird way, I feel like it would be presumptuous to identify myself as LGBT, since I'm just your garden-variety socially-acceptable "bicurious" chick and it's not right for me to take the same label as people who face real challenges because of their sexuality. It would be like crashing an NAACP meeting to tell them that I got a real dark tan once. When I hear about queer people being beaten up or harassed or denied jobs or military service or the right to marry--I think "that's terrible," but I don't think "that means me." And coming out to family and friends? That's not liberation, that's just TMI.

There's no question that porn has had an influence on my sexual identity; in porn sex between men is gay, but sex between women is "girl-girl." And girl-girl is a very different thing than lesbian. (Weirdly, two straight women doing "girl-girl" is considered less hardcore than a woman with a man. I guess it's less challenging for a straight male viewer, or something, but jeez.) So I often don't see myself as bisexual but as a girl-girler.

(Tangent: I've heard people suggest that BDSM should be considered "queer," but I don't agree and think it can get a bit wanky when straight people try to pretend they have a full stake in the Oppression Olympics because they like to get spanked. BDSM absolutely doesn't get a fair shake from the mainstream, and there are some scary cases of people's lives getting screwed over when they were "outed," but I don't think it's nearly the same thing as being queer.)

But the fact remains: I've done some things with women, and want to do more, that are queer. And my gender expression is not 100% feminine standard. I may have landed on the "eh, that's just hot" side of homophobia and the "but I'm basically a straight girl" side of self-image, but I'm queer. That's important not because it makes me somehow special, but because it makes me vulnerable. That when people discriminate against queer people, I'm not offended because I'm a magnanimous benefactor of the downtrodden, but because that's my neck out there too. I don't expect to be entirely part of the queer community or even to totally understand the queer community, but... well, I kiss girls. I don't get a giant rainbow award for that but I don't get to ignore that and clothe myself in "don't worry, I'm normal" either.

Finally, something I think is important whether you're queer or not, that I've been trying to do: when someone tries to insult me by accusing me of being a dyke, I don't say "no I'm not" and I don't say "it's none of your business, but anyway I'm not." A plain old "it's none of your business" settles the matter just fine.

Women should.

I wish more guys understood the difference between "I'm attracted to women who X" and "women should X."

I also wish guys who were attracted to women without makeup or in practical clothes didn't act like they were doing the ladies a huge favor by having those preferences. It's less work for us, but it's still a preference of yours--a guy telling me "women look great in jeans!" is still imposing his tastes. And hey, nothing wrong with liking jeans, nothing wrong with telling a woman in jeans she looks good, but it's not some great pro-woman kindness.

A guy who likes a woman in jeans is exactly the same thing as a guy who likes a woman in high heels. It's morally neutral; they're each just a guy who likes a thing. Neither is an evil oppressor unless he gets into the "women should wear jeans!" thing, but neither is a Good Samaritan lifting the weight of fashion off our shoulders, either.


Okay, first of all, catch the Olympic fever!

Secondly: last night I had a dream that I was giving birth. I had been in denial about being pregnant until I went into labor, when I had to go to the hospital and shamefacedly tell them that I hadn't had any medical care and had no idea who the father was. So they stuck me in OB Triage, where I ran into my best friend--who had done everything "right" with the pregnancy and had her boyfriend there holding her hand the whole way.

That's not the weird part. The weird part is that various Pervocracy commenters kept dropping by to tell me what an idiot I was and how can you not know that you're pregnant and can you even guess about the father and what are you doing to this poor baby.

You guys are total jerks in Dreamland.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Gentleman's Guide to Ogling.

Between working at a job where I see a shit-ton of violent crime and reading umpty-billion Internet posts on rape, sometimes I feel a little overprotective. Like I have to be on my guard against men who show any sexual interest, because being attracted to a woman is basically a threat against her. A guy I don't know just up and looked at me? AAUUUGH MACE AND RUN.

But no. Sometimes a "hey there" really is just a "heeyyyyy there." Sometimes it's flattering, even empowering. There really is such a thing as a Friendly Ogle. These are the qualifiers for staring at a strange woman and being uncreepy, the Gentleman's Guide to Ogling:

1) Keep a neutral or happy expression on your face. Scowling and ogling is mega-creepy.

2) If she looks back and "catches" you, be friendly--make eye contact and smile, or even wave or say hi. Then leave it at that (and stop ogling) unless she decides to extend the contact.

3) No touchy. EVER. Even a little, even on somewhere totally neutral. Personally I don't think even tapping someone on the shoulder without their permission is ever okay, but if you are the sort of person who does that, at least don't do it to anyone you're thinking about sexually.

4) Only ogle from a reasonable distance; don't loom. Don't ogle in an elevator or narrow passageway or somewhere else where she's stuck with you.

5) Talk to her like she's people. Guys who say "I'm sorry, I just was noticing that you're very pretty" get laid sometimes that way, or at least get treated nicely; guys who go "whoooo hot mama!" I'm pretty sure do not ever. (I think these guys don't really want or expect the woman to react positively, so I don't really know what the fuck they are thinking, other than "I'd like to make it a little more difficult for her to walk down the fucking street.")

6) Even if she doesn't seem to have noticed you, restrain your ogling time to a reasonable once-over, not an unbreakable Death Stare.

7) If she scowls or curses at you, even if you were being totally nice and nonthreatening, just let it go. She didn't agree to this interaction, so she doesn't owe you politeness. Explaining how you were just paying her a compliment, geez is never helpful. (And I don't think I have to point out that the "you think I was looking at you? don't flatter yourself" denial is all kinds of fucked up.)

So yeah. It's okay to be attracted to women. It's okay to hit on them and even ogle them. If you're respectful and friendly and treat them like people, it's just fine by this Humorless Feminist if you stare at total strangers in the street. You have my permission.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have dreams about being naked in public a lot. (Some of this is probably just sensory bleed-through from sleeping naked.) I often feel stressed and try to cover myself up in those dreams. The interesting part to me is why I'm stressed, why I don't just stroll down the street with pride. I don't feel at all bothered myself by being naked, but I worry tremendously what other people will think. I don't cover the parts of myself that I want to hide, but the parts I think other people don't want to see. That is, I don't feel any shame; I'm just afraid of being shamed.

I'm not sure I can call this social pressure all wrong. Otherwise I'd totally talk about my poop in public. When I say I don't have an innate sense of shame, I'm not just talking about the fun parts. This blog has its own rules of shame, ones that I run into from time to time; I can take my clothes off here, but I can't say anything and get away with it. There's the poop issue again. If my innate shame is weak, the shame I feel from social disapproval is probably stronger than usual.

It colors my way of thinking, though. I'm simultaneously very comfortable with my body, and very uncomfortable with people disapproving of my body. Which leaves me basically just walking around my own bedroom naked, which is what I think most people do anyway.

It makes me wonder, though, about my assumptions of "most people." Do you cover up because you want to, or because you're expected to? If you were in a room full of people who were guaranteed not to bat an eyelash, not to even think bad thoughts if you stripped down--would you keep your clothes on?


I'm starting to believe that a surprisingly large proportion of men, maybe even most thin young men, are capable of autofellatio, but it's one of those things that nobody ever admits to so it attains the status of myth.

Considering that there's definitely not much stigma about self-administering a handjob, you'd think a blowjob wouldn't be so different. So it's not just an "ewww gay" thing. I think the distinction is that the auto-blowjob generally isn't very effective--it's uncomfortable and you can't get much rhythm going--so it's purely an experimental or embellishing form of self-stimulation. And somehow that's unmanly, or just degraded in general.

Masturbation that just gets the job done is relatively socially acceptable, but I think there's still a lot of weird guilt about enjoying masturbation. I've heard statements in defense of masturbation characterizing it as "a bodily function," which sounds all enlightened, but also suggests that it's like going to the bathroom, something you just do, not something you should take your time and have fun with.

Men sucking their own dicks is hot. Don't make them feel weird about it, people--then they'll do it less and show it off less and then we all lose.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caught up in everything.

I just can't post about sex right now. It's nothing horrible, no one's dead and no one's even unhappy, my life is just... changing big time.

Oy. That made it sound like I was pregnant or something. I'm really just overwhelmed by the move. Here are the milestones: my last day at my job is the 22nd. My last night in this apartment is the 27th. Everything I own goes in bags and boxes and the guinea pigs go in a little airline crate. First thing in the morning on the 28th, I type "Massachusetts" into the GPS and hope it doesn't send me via Mexico or something.

Somewhere around the 8th or 9th of March, I


I arrive, and unpack, and look for work, and contact people I know in the area, and explore the sights and people of a whole new city, but what I'm really there for, what I ultimately want to do with myself is

...I just don't know, man. I feel like this move is making me contemplate big old "but what do you want to do with your life?" questions, questions that cannot be answered by references to career or family or picket fences, big thudding "you've only got a few decades to work with, you've gotta do something!" questions. I'm planning to move for life, and I just don't know what that means.

Or maybe I'm just angsty because I just realized how much all this shit weighs, and I have no freaking idea how I'm getting it up the stairs over there.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A silly hangup, really.

Valentine's Day is one of those days, along with Christmas and 9/11, where it just doesn't feel right to be having uncommitted casual sex.


Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm not doing this for my health, honey.

A reader sent me this link to self-help "guru" Steve Pavlina's take on D/s and self-improvement.

And first of all, before I rip the guy to shreds, I want to say that I really like it when BDSM gets referenced in mainstream contexts. Every public representative of kinkiness who isn't a pornstar or serial killer cheers me tremendously. Although he does start the essay out by referring to "my consensual slave partner" in a tone that ooks me out with his "you know, not the other kind" implications. Would you refer to "my consensual girlfriend?"

Secondly, I browsed his site a little and I think Steve Pavlina is a crackpot in general. His top article is "10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job" and that's not a cute tagline for a reasonable essay, that's his ridiculously spoiled and naive and loser-enabling screed on why doing honest work for fair pay is for suckers. "But honey, I'm building new media income streams, signing up at the temp agency before we get evicted would make me the housepet of some evil cow-boss!"

Okay. Now shredding. My biggest problem with this essay is: where's the sex?

For example, what if you had a free-working slave at your disposal to help you start a new business, someone who will gladly do anything you ask for no pay? Would that make it easier to succeed at getting the new business up and running? Of course it would, assuming that your slave is reasonably competent. You could focus on making good decisions and command your slave do most of the implementation work. You could be a lot more productive than if you tried to do everything yourself. A free slave would take much of the burden off your shoulders.
On the other hand, what if instead of a slave, you recruited a free manager for your new business, someone competent, focused, and disciplined? Your manager makes all the high-level decisions and tells you exactly what to do step by step. You don’t have to think about strategy. You can simply trust your manager and focus on taking daily action. Your manager observes the effectiveness of your actions and continually adjusts course and coaches you to improve. Might that business also be more likely to succeed?

The whole essay is kind of like that. It's all very sterile and ignoring the elephant in the room that is kinky sex. Sure, being submissive in certain ways can be good for your personal growth and development, but I do it primarily because it causes me to experience tremendous personal development--in my pants. I wouldn't compare it to a manager-employee relationship because a manager doesn't clamp an employee's nipples and fuck them up the ass.

This BDSM shit is a fetish, man, and talking like it's all about the growth and nurturance of both parties is the refuge of the dishonest and repressed guy who can't admit that having a slavegirl gives him a boner. Anyway you'd better hope it's a fetish, because if it's not, it's either institutionalized codependence or emotional abuse. 24/7 D/s is something I'm never very comfortable with--maybe this is just my kink, but I think that allowing someone to be in control of a sex act, or even acting as their servant during certain nonsexual activities, is very different psychologically and ethically from letting someone be in control of your LIFE. If you tell me to suck your dick or get you a drink, hey, funtimes; if you tell me to make a major lifestyle change, I'm going to say "fuck you, who died and made you God?"

For the dominant person, you have the opportunity to wield total control over another person. This means you can create all sorts of new experiences “by your command.” Your free slave gives you more power and more creative options.[...]
But after you’ve done that, if you keep repeating those same experiences in the same way, it will probably become less and less interesting. So you keep adding new things to try. Eventually as you keep going, you hit the edge of your comfort zone. Now you have the opportunity to progress beyond it. Will you use your power to create an experience with your slave that you aren’t sure you’ll like? Will you use your power to explore a whole new world of possibilities? Your extra power gives you the opportunity to do that with much less risk.
With a free slave at your disposal, you can take more risks and try new things that you couldn’t justify trying without the free slave.

He uses the term "free slave" throughout his essay. Now, when I say "I'll do anything for you, master," it is to be understood that "anything" means I'll give you a sexy massage or I'll let you give me a sexy beating. If you respond to that offer with "go paint my house," or "go design me a new-media income stream," we're going to have to start talking hourly rates. I know I'm not a Twue Submissive so maybe I just don't understand, but I'm only turned on by being a slavegirl, not a goddamn personal assistant.

Also, when you have a slave dedicated enough to paint your house, it's crucial that you don't take risks! Because they have no control of the "experience you aren't sure you'll like," you need to take far fewer liberties than you would with an equal partner, or you're a dick.

He's really vague about "experiences," to the point where I'm really not sure if he's talking about sex or not at some points. This boundary-stretching could be piss-play or it could be new-media income streams (ha ha, streams), and that makes a difference, for a variety of incredibly obvious reasons.

[on being a submissive] This is similar to the choice an intern makes. Interns don’t control every detail of their growth experience in terms of what specific tasks will be assigned, but they do choose the overall experience by deciding where to intern. And they may be better off doing that anyway. When entering a new field, someone else may be better qualified to manage the intern’s professional growth for a while, like an experienced manager or mentor.

I've always mistrusted the model of 24/7 in which the dominant helps the submissive "grow" in nonsexual ways. It presupposes that some random nonprofessional with a fetish knows what's best for the submissive, and it seems completely ethically incompatible with the kinky-sex part of the deal. If someone is going to guide and command me through developing better social skills and getting over my self-esteem issues and maybe help me get into nursing school, it's kind of fucked up if that same person is also beating me with a cane and fucking me up the ass. It seems like a serious conflict of interests to be truly controlling someone's life, and having weird sex with them.

I suppose you could do just the low-budget-life-coach parts without the weird sex, and I think some people actually do that, but, you know, booooring. Also kind of emotionally abusive, because the only think I want less than a dominant making me stand in a corner because I embarrassed him at a party, is a vanilla boyfriend doing that.

And then he wraps it up with what I think amounts to "D/s is so cool and I have so little insight into my own sexuality, I think everyone should try it! As a growth experience!"
Perhaps an even more important point is to be careful not to dismiss a potential new growth experience out of hand. Be cautious about judging what you’ve never experienced or what you’ve experienced only in a limited way. If you’ve never experienced a particular dynamic firsthand, it’s safe to say you don’t have a clue what it’s really like. If you cast judgment from the outside looking in, all you’re doing is limiting yourself. I think it’s better to keep an open mind about that which you’ve never tried. Don’t buy into the social conditioning that encourages you to pre-condemn with prejudice. Our society cannot progress much until we drop such limiting thoughts.
Okay, but what if my limiting thought is "I don't have that fetish"? Even the loopiest BDSM advocates I know (and I know some loopers) know that we're a minority not because of evil preconceptions, but because most people just aren't into this shit.

Anyway I do have this fetish. I do love to be commanded around and taken advantage of. I love it for about two hours, maybe four on the weekends, and then I got shit to do, man. Gotta put my clothes on and go out and face the world, on my own terms and under my own power, and learning to do that is what I call personal growth.

Holly Pervocracy's Top Two Excuses For Not Posting.

1. Not getting laid, nothing to write about

2. Getting laid, no time to write

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Man, I love the feeling of a man on top of me. I don't mean in missionary sex, either (although god yeah do I love that and I don't think it should ever be disdained as boring or old-fashioned or "missionary", because it feels fucking awesome); I mean a man just lying on top of me cuddling, his weight and his warmth pressing down on me. It's tremendously comforting in a very primal, animal way. It makes me feel safe.

Okay, with your larger sized men there's a certain tightrope to walk between "I feel so safe" and "*gasp*... air...", but it's so worth it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cosmocking: March '10!

Sorta pinkish-reddish cover! It's a weird in-betweeny color, my best description is "tomato"! Carrie Underwood! Totally skeezy partially-undone-zipper dress! Best headline: "How to Touch a Naked Man!" Yep: on the penis! Worst headline: "Curb Your Cravings Without Feeding Your Face!" Because eating is for ugly pigs who don't deserve a man!

I wrote a while ago about how the words "men and woman" are confusing because they refer both to gender and to a whole set of arbitrary expectations. This dual-definition problem also applies to "fat." It describes the condition of having adipose tissue that significantly alters your appearance, and it's a synonym for "ugly." I can't count the number of times I've heard a woman who was quite low-adipose called "fat" by someone who just wanted to insult her. Which is suck city for women who happen to really have some adipose, but more interestingly, it tells thin women that they're on a knife edge, that they're forever just one cheeseburger away from becoming ugly and unloveable. So the message of "stop eating, fatty," already obnoxious, becomes "stop eating, everybody," because just the threat of becoming a fatty is terrifying.

I noticed this when I read the section inside titled Cosmo Life: Healthy Sexy Strong and realized that every single tip in the section was about cutting calories. No strength or cardio exercises, no health screenings, not even advice on eating a balanced diet--just eat less. And it occurred to me: what if you're not overweight? What if you're 5'6" and 130 pounds, your current diet keeps your weight stable, and you're reading all about how health and sexiness means cutting calories every chance you get? That seems like it could mess with your head.

(Then we can have articles about the secret shame of anorexia, what a messed up crazy disease, look at this crazy woman, shame shame shame.)

Turns out, your mojo powers are good for getting you more than just a free vodka tonic. When you flirt with everyone in your life, you boost their egos--thereby upping your chances of getting your way. [...]1. Frequently gush over your neighbor's gorgeous flower boxes or garden and she'll be more willing to water your plants while you're away on vacation. 2. Next time you need advice, tell your girls, "You guys will know exactly how I should deal with this.."
That's not flirting. That's sucking up. And going around the world sucking up to everyone puts you in a tremendously submissive place, where you're begging instead of asking and getting tossed cookies instead of making agreements. Plus it robs you of the chance to have honest relationships; what if you actually do like your neighbor's garden? How do you talk about gardening with her without getting the pervasive suck-up dynamic entangled in it? That kind of weirdness isn't worth just giving her a few bucks to water the tomatoes.

Why he's so turned on by twin sisters
There's no such thing as too much of a good thing. Plus, the though of them making out is totally twisted... and, therefore, smokin'.

It's not "totally twisted," it's incest. I know all you see is two hot bitches, but I see my goddamn sister.

They're supposed to be buttoned-up and uptight. So if he could turn one into a wild sex goddess, that would pretty much make him a sex god.

I'm just reposting this to make Breda's life even harder. Did you know she always wears hornrimmed glasses and white stockings and her hair in a bun? Trufax. :p

Also, the very best sex is had with a woman who wasn't horny at all, but you changed her mind. Women who come pre-horny are no fun at all, there's no game to win, dammit.

When a guy dates an intelligent woman, he thinks about all the things he has done wrong and whether or not he deserves her.
Okay, apparently the author does, at least.

Can we stop talking about "deserving" a woman, too? This is a relationship, it isn't a prize. You didn't win the Lady Award For High Status And General Goodedness. You interact with a person in a way she enjoys enough to interact with you in ways you enjoy.

Bad boys can be reformed. They act that way for a certain reason. If you get to the bottom of that, you can usually understand them.
Bad boys can reform themselves if and when they decide to. It's not something their girlfriends can--or should--do. The only thing worse than having a "fixer-upper" partner is having a partner who thinks you just need a few tweaks and repairs.

Okay. Page 120 is weird. It's like super weird. It's pictures of male celebrities who cheated on their wives, photoshopped onto pictures of otherwise-naked male models wearing diapers. With weird props like David Letterman is balancing a coffee mug on his arm (?) and John Edwards is holding a hairdryer backwards (???). And the caption is:

These cheating bastards are guilty of such infantile behavior, we devised a punishment worthy of the crime: dressing them like the man-babies they are.

It's baffling, vaguely fetishistic, and I can't help thinking, kinda slut-shaming. I know cheating on your partner really is the bad kind of sluttiness, but the way these men are being pseudo-humiliated (and nakedly) for their sexual actions just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's absolutely not right to cheat, but diapers? Really? WTF.

Toys for the Boys ...A Shoelace
Wrap it around the middle of his shaft once, so you have two long ends. Then while giving oral attention to his tip, pull on the strings, flossing it up and down. It provides a bit of friction that feels great.

AUGH OW OW OW OW AUGH. I don't even have a penis and oh my god ow. Like, maybe if you had the smoothest silkiest shoelace in the world and you absolutely soaked it in lube? But I think even then it would be horrible. No one's penis needs to be "flossed."

...A Fine-Tooth Comb
Apply a little bit of pressure and gently slide the comb's teeth along his shaft, pulling it toward his body so you're not pushing. The light scratching gets blood circulating throughout his member.

Oh, honey, that's just blood circulation, that's why it's turning red. Oh look, you're circulating so much blood that a little came out!

...A Cotton Ball
The slight tickle of this little fluff will make him yearn for a firmer touch. Take a few minutes to tease him by running it up the length of his penis and around his testicles before finally giving in to a more take-charge grasp.

Okay, this one's not terrifying, but the mental image of a woman delicately sort of powdering her partner's penis with a cotton ball is just fascinating.

For example, if he's so devoted to his job that you feel like you two barely talk some nights, resist the urge to gripe. Instead, think about how much you respect his passion and ambition.
For example, if your emotional needs aren't being met, resist the urge to seek a solution or even admit there's a problem. Instead, think about how awesome and special he is.

It may be that he really wants or needs to work those hours, and it may be that you're okay with this, but you don't have to be, and if it makes you unhappy the answer is not to think happier thoughts.

"The Sneaky Way I Solved Our Sex Issue."
There's a time and place for being direct, yet with some bedroom glitches, creativity can help you avoid a lot of awkwardness. These chicks show you how.

Yay, it's time for Cosmo's Reprehensible Article of the Month! *Balloons fall* This one is all about how expressing your sexual needs or saying "no" in bed are totally awkward and gauche! Is it anti-woman because it tells women not to say anything when sex makes them uncomfortable, or is it anti-man because it tells women to manipulate men into meeting their sexual desires? Trick question! It's both!

Oh, some of it is relatively innocuous stuff like "my husband didn't kiss me hard enough, so I started kissing him harder and he caught on." Nothing wrong with that, I'm not quite enough of a Humorless Feminist to take you to task for not sitting him down for a long serious Kissing Intensity Talk. But some of it is not so innocuous.

"I dated a guy who would rub my clitoris like he was scouring the bathroom sink. Rather than tell him that he was being way too rough, I told him that it would really turn me on if he watched me masturbate. He loved it, but more important, he was able to see what kind of touch got me off."
So he was hurting you, and your response to being hurt was to put on a sexy little show for him. I know, totally Humorless way to put it, I'm sure he was great in other ways, but damn. Men don't need to have everything wrapped in titties and niceness to understand it, and "you're hurting my genitals" is one of those messages that women shouldn't be obligated to deliver by Bikinigram.

Q: A few months ago, I caught my husband looking at porn on our computer. It bothered me, but I decided to deal with it by watching what he'd been watching and then mimicking it in bed. Last week, however, I discovered that he's still looking at that kind of porn! Why, when I'm doing (almost) everything that those women do, does he still need to do that?
A: Because he doesn't "need" it, he likes it. Getting it in bed doesn't make him like it less, if anything it absolutely cements the interest! Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that--it's hard to tell, when the writer is rather vague about the specifics of what (almost) everything the porn ladies did that she does, but having a specialty sexual interest isn't automatically a problem.

Shut up an annoying coworker
How to do it: Continue to look at what you're doing as she's talking, and do a gesture known as the handgun steeple (you interlace all your fingers, except for your pointers, which form the barrel of the "gun.") Rest the barrel against your lips, signaling that you don't want to speak. If she doesn't get it, aim it at her as you say something neutral, such as "I've got so much work to do."

Haha holy shit. The only thing funnier than someone responding to a coworker with the gestures for "here is the church, here is the steeple... ssshhh... kablam!" is the idea of someone doing that and thinking they're being subtle. Okay, the idea of the subsequent talk with HR is kind of amusing too.

Women and Shoes: A Love Story
I'm not reading this article. I know, I'm the Cosmocking chick, this is my self-imposed blog-job, reading Cosmo is my thing, but I'm just not reading this fucking article.

God. I sorta peeked at the article and it has all this shit about how shoes stimulate dopamine and shoes are erotic for the ladies. Christ almighty. They're clothing. I need ankle support and I don't want to step on broken glass or a syringe or something, and since I have to wear them they might as well look decent, I'm not overwhelmed by the erotic dopaminey femaleness of SHOES SHOES SHOOOOES.

There's an article on having sex with your boss, with three stories from women who fucked their bosses and in all three cases loved it and think it was a totally positive relationship. Which is certainly the case sometimes, but they make this whole sexual-harassment-laws thing sound like such a goshdarn inconvenience, like the world just can't accept the true beauty of sleeping with the same person who controls your livelihood.

Lean on the counter at the dry-cleaners so the cashier can see your statement necklace slip into your cleavage.
...What? ...WHY? ...Ew!

Ask the hot Best Buy salesman to help you pick the perfect birthday present for your guy friend since he's a "sexy tech genius, like you."
I'm just copying this one because I cannot picture it without a ridiculous Boris and Natasha accent. "You are ze seeexy tech geneeus, da?"

Take a sip of your mocha latte, stare into the eyes of the barista who made it, and moan "Oh, yeah... that is soooo good." Next time, watch your drink appear before everyone else's.
Or you could just tip, or even make some pleasant conversation with the barista if they're not rushed, and then you'd get good service and you wouldn't come off as a complete creep.

These last three are part of the rather large category of Cosmo advice that might work if you're an absolute bombshell sexpot, but if the object of your inappropriateness doesn't already think you're an eleven out of ten, this behavior is just going to be gross. Maybe if the barista's already staring at you he'll be turned on if start moaning at him (although, um, weird , still), but if you're just some random customer, congratulations, you just became Weird Moan Lady, and the the next time you come in the baristas will play rock-paper-scissors under the counter to determine who has to take one for the team and serve you.

Sexy by Saturday: Got big plans for the steamiest night of the week? If you wait until the last minute, you could end up with bikini-line bumps, uneven brows, and dull skin. Instead, do a task or two a day and you'll walk out the door looking gorge.
So there's a whole article about how making yourself presentable for the eyes of humans requires six days of preparation. Holy shit. And all to meet a guy who showered, shaved, and if you're really lucky even changed his shirt. This is the kind of shit that could turn me into Twisty Faster.

He asks how you like your coffee - He's hoping you'll stick around longer in the a.m.
"So, baby... How do you like your coffee in the morning?"

You're hanging with a friend and her man, and while she's in the bathroom, he gives you a kinda-friendly, kinda-touchy shove. You:
A) Pull your girl aside afterward to tell her that her boyfriend totally crossed the line.
B) Are sure he only did it because your friend told him he has to be nice to you.
C) Let it slide. It's a first-time offense.

I'm not 100% sure what a "friendly shove" consists of, but anyway, the correct answer is of course C. It's not like you just get to go around deciding who gets to touch you and how, geez.

If you choose A, the quiz informs you that you are stuck-up for assuming guys are always attracted to you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Unfriendly Ogle.

The creepiest look in the world, seriously the creepiest way one human being can make eye contact with another, is the Unfriendly Ogle.

There's a couple breeds of ogles, and I don't necessarily mind them all. There's the Ogle With A Permission Slip, where a guy you're partners or close friends with makes a show of looking you up and down just to tell you he likes what he sees. There's the Hey There Ogle, which turns into a smile and frequently a pickup line when he sees you looking back. There's the Shy Ogle, which instantly evaporates and turns into intense contemplation of a nearby blank wall when he sees you looking back.

Some ogles are a little more uncomfortable. Like the Titanium Ogle, which cannot be broken by disapproving looks or the passage of time; those eyes stay locked on until you either start a fight with him or hide behind something. And its close cousin the Drive-By Ogle, where the body is just passing by but the eyes don't move until his neck won't physically turn that far. And the super-awkward Over The Girlfriend's Shoulder Ogle.

But few ogles are straight-up frightening like the Unfriendly Ogle. This is where the guy ogles with a really stone-serious face like he's reading the obituaries, and when he realizes you noticed him, he scowls at you. What the fuck is that? I've gotten it a few times (and yeah, I'm pretty sure it was a bona-fide ogle and not just a glare for other reasons), and I don't even know how to interpret it. My best guess is "I know you'd turn me down like the other bitches so why bother trying." But there's also the charming alternate possibilities of "what a slut you are for turning me on like that" and "being horny for me is actually the same feeling as being mean."

Whatever it means, I don't like it. At least smile when you look at me like that, creepo.

It's funny, I used to feel like I never got ogled or catcalled, but in the last year or so I've been getting a lot more. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe I'm just more aware of it?

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Scariest Monsters in the World.

The False Rape Accuser

She stalks the streets at 2 AM, blackout drunk and clad only in pasties and a G-string, waiting for a respectable gentleman to come by and strike up innocent conversation. When she finds one, she seduces him, uses him for his body, and leaves. The next thing he knows, he's in handcuffs as she laughs evilly in his face. He has no chance at a fair trial, no one hears him when he speaks the truth, and no one cares for him when he is thrown in jail forever.

The Sexual Harassment Complainer

A close cousin to the False Rape Accuser, this slimy beast lurks in the offices and workshops of the world. She crouches behind cubicle walls and listens at doors for the slightest hint of men being men, and flies into a rage when they dare to express heterosexuality or a sense of humor. A word from her can end your career and cast you homeless and disgraced into the street, and like her cousin, she will laugh and laugh.

The Man Hunter

This creature doesn't merely want to destroy a man; she wants to own him. For this reason, she will fail to permanently disappear after a man's orgasm, even when he has no further use for her. Beware, for merely speaking to her will draw you further into her trap. Every time you let her think she means anything to you emotionally, another tentacle wraps around you. Something as simple as being seen with her in public makes the spell permanent. The next thing you know, you're fifty years old in the suburbs with a mortgage, a beer belly, and two delinquent teenagers.

The Divorcer

The Man Hunter evolves into this in time. When the time comes for her to release her captive, she greedily hoards the money that she earned or enabled him to earn and the children that she bore and raised. Her avaricious desire to own possessions and support and care for her children knows no bounds, and she may steal away as much as half of a bank account that was half hers.

The Menstrual Monster

Twenty-four days of the month, she is a human being. But then her vagina begins to bleed. She goes on a rampage, tearing to shreds any man she sees. She hungers for sex, but her vagina is repulsive to human eyes; she hungers for human flesh, and that she devours. She also hungers for chocolate. In her state of animal irrationality, she is physically and mentally unable to take on the work of a human being, and any responsibilities given to her will be ignored or abused. She can't help herself, her vagina is bleeding.

The Cocktease

This unspeakably horrible monster appears in the form of an attractive woman, deliberately forces men to be attracted to her by walking around all attractive-like or even speaking to them, and then she... ugh, it's too awful... doesn't have sex with everyone who wants to have sex with her. She's like Hitler.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

It goes without saying what I think of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, right? So instead I'll just tell you what LabRat thinks of it, since she phrased it rather well:

When I’ve seen people speaking out against repealing DADT- or advocating for a return flat-out to a total ban on gay soldiers- they are almost always men, and they very frequently cite some variant on a common theme. Apparently, it would be just horrible if they had to think about other men being attracted to them, and worry about being ogled, and maybe even worry about being raped, because there’s always the one creepy guy that’s willing to cross that line, and we just can’t do that to our soldiers. (Lesbians, as usual, are never mentioned, either because what the wimmens do is boring, or because that’s kind of hot and therefore okay.)

To these men, I have the following reply: welcome to what every single human female on the fucking planet deals with from puberty onward. You don’t like the idea that some man you’re not attracted to might be fantasizing about having sex with you, might be eyeing your fun bits, that there’s even a remote but existing chance he might rape you? Harden. The fuck. Up. Fifty percent of the population has to cope with this every day as a fact of life, and we’re called paranoid deranged feminazi man-haters if we even bring it up outside a feminist consciousness-raising session.

And I'll tell you a personal story: back when I worked 24-hour shifts, I shared a very small quarters with three people who were attracted to my gender. We slept together, shared a bathroom, and frequently changed clothes in front of each other. If I didn't want to sleep next to someone whose orientation made them potentially aroused by my gender, I'd have to sleep out in the truck.

But of course I didn't do that, and not just because I didn't want to freeze to death while being robbed and contracting MRSA. I was fine sharing a bunkroom with straight men, because they didn't give me any trouble. Maybe they were faithful to their wives and girlfriends; maybe they feared legal and career consequences; maybe they were attracted to some women but not to me specifically; and maybe they just had a smidge of maturity and human decency. I can't be sure no one ever looked at me in some unsavory way, but as no one ever spoke to or touched me in any inappropriate manner, I could care less about Schroedinger's Ogle.

Of course some female EMTs do face abuse. What if they had harassed me? Then the problem would be the harassment. "He was all heterosexual at me" isn't a complaint; it's "he was all disrespectful and abusive at me." It'd be nice to ban abusers from service but unfortunately we rarely ask and they never tell.

One of my political principles is that when you believe "X might lead to Y, and Y is bad," that gives you no justification to ban X. Just stringently enforce a ban on Y and deal with it at that level. Pot might lead to heroin? Ban heroin. Guns might lead to murder? Ban murder. Gays in the military might lead to harassment? Ban harassment!

(Or, following the logic often used to exclude women, ban heterosexuals. They're the ones with the problem, right? Some hetero gets his boxers in a twist and files a frivolous complaint and your whole career goes down the tubes, I tell ya.)

Anyway, none of this affects the actual presence of gays in the military, which has been going on for only about ten thousand years with no collapse of civilization so far. It's only whether people are allowed to admit they're gay. (And getting "caught" with a partner, even in an entirely appropriate and decorous relationship, is tantamount to an admission.) I'm having trouble picturing some sort of trouble that gay soldiers would cause that closeted gay soldiers wouldn't. I guess it might attract enemy attention if a Pride Parade breaks out in a combat zone.

(Side note: Have you ever noticed that the use of "homosexual" as a noun is almost entirely restricted to homophobes? It's gone from being a relatively objective term to a de facto slur. Then again, so is "don't ask, don't tell." I've heard a whole lot of Neanderthal types react to a guy's failure to conform to strict male roles with "I'm not asking, Rob, so don't you tell me, hurrr hurr hurrr.")

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I found this story from amazingly inspirational.

A young couple walked into a jeweler's shop and they noticed that the jeweler was working on pewter. He was purifying the metal to use it for utensils. The couple asked him, "How do you know when it's purified?" The jeweler responded, "When I can see my reflection in it." God's healing wipes away the stain of sin so your past will possess a glorified reflection, His reflection. Healing will turn you into the woman he longs for you to be.

Here's the cool thing: I've been polishing a lot of jewelry recently. Do you know what polishing really is? It's scratches. Millions of tiny scratches. The only way to remove big scratches is to scratch them away with sandpaper, then scratch away those scratches with smaller scratches, and so on until the scratches are so small and so many that they seem beautiful and we call them "polish."

Which is why no jeweler would refer to polished metal as "purified." It's beautiful, but that beauty comes from the long hard road it's been down, not from being new or natural or perfect. To think that the best jewelry would be uncut stones and unrefined ore is to ignore the universe of possibilities that emerge when those materials are worked and designed and when both thought and physical effort has gone into their improvement.

(Also, you should really be examining it under magnification and angular light, not looking for your reflection. Can I just rename this Holly Pervocracy's Amazing Jewelry Blog? I've been doing a very intensive weekend workshop these last few weeks, it's going great, I'm doing some amazing work in silver, it's kind of on my mind lately.)

I could go further with this metaphor, but you know what? You're not like a piece of jewelry anyway. You're like the jeweler, because he's a goddamn human being.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Secondary Virginity.

My name is Holly, and I'm a secondary virgin. I've been a virgin for... two weeks now. Or three days depending what you count. I was a secondary virgin before that too, but I lost my virginity for a couple hours, and now, like Aphrodite, I have bathed in the sea and become a virgin again.

Secondary virginity is really the best kind, because it comes without the whole inexperience and physical unreadiness thing. When I give my secondary virginity to my future husband, it'll be bundled with an impressive skillset.

But the really special thing about secondary virginity is how alone I get to be. Until my future husband comes along, I get to end every night all by myself in a twin-size bed, staring up at the ceiling blankly until sleep comes. I get to not date any guys who might have, you know, expectations, and that means so much less dating in general. I get to live without the feel and smell of warm skin. I've never had more time for my jewelry projects. I'm making a citrine pendant.

All the cool ladies are virgins. Danielle Staub, whoever that is, is a secondary virgin! Even though she has two kids! That's so totally meaningful! She's not having sex until she gets married, but don't think she's some husband-hunter, because get this: she believes the right one will just come to her! I wish I could be that strong, but unfortunately, I'm attracted to men!

Secondary virginity is not like just deciding not to have sex for a while. Because that would be a personal decision, and you wouldn't get to judge people who made other personal decisions. People who don't have sex are just people, but secondary virgins are better people. They don't make mistakes. I know it's very important not to make mistakes, so I don't do anything with risks. That's why I don't leave my house. But then I heard that most accidents occur in the home, so now I live in the carport.

Did you know that a woman is like a candy bar? Not just because it's an inanimate object you can buy, but because a candy bar can only be unwrapped once! After that it's filthy and no one wants it. But with secondary virginity, you can rewrap the candy bar! A rewrapped candy bar is still kinda gross but at least someone tried.

Sex is like any other activity--the less you do it, the better it is. Like jewelry-making. The first time I made a pair of earrings, I was super great at it and the earrings were even better because I'd never made another pair. But now that I've made tons of jewelry, I guess it is less likely to be lopsided or scratched, and I guess I have had tremendous fun making all this jewelry over the years, but dammit, it's not special. (Plus, no one would let me work with good metal, because I've made too much cheap nickel-silver junk, and you know what that means.)

In conclusion, secondary virginity is way better than adventure and exploration and multiple screaming sweaty delicious orgasms because [remember to figure out a reason before hitting "publish"]

Monday, February 1, 2010

How did you learn to fuck?

There isn't really a good way to learn sex. Sex ed in school covers the "Tab A, Slot B" basics and hopefully some of the safety measures, but you're lucky if they admit oral sex exists, let alone get into the intricacies of foreplay and kinks and social nuances. Parents, unless you grew up in of those weird "we're just very open" families, probably were even less help. So where do you learn these things?

Peers? Maybe it's because I hung out with a seriously nerdy crowd, but in middle and even high school my peers didn't know much more than I did and they spread ridiculous misinformation about sex. This is why "can you get pregnant from giving a blowjob" is always in my Google search terms.

Porn? Porn doesn't depict sex. Mainstream porn tells you nothing about foreplay, nothing about how to get someone in bed if just showing up wasn't sufficient, nothing about how sex is positioned or how it will go, and absolutely nothing about what women or men actually enjoy.

Reading? Eh, some. I read a bunch of sex advice books and websites before I had sex, and I guess I learned some things, but it was hard to sort out the misinformation there as well, and a lot of it was about the controversial and difficult aspects of sex, not the basics that they assumed everyone already knew. I could read "how to give an excellent blowjob," but I couldn't read what exactly a blowjob was supposed to be like in the first place. It took me some time to understand that you don't just stick it in your mouth and suck.

In the end, it's 99% on-the-job education. Which, as on the job, is a euphemism for "learning by screwing up." Everything I know about sex, I learned by making some poor guy go "ow!" or "what the heck?" or "uh, honey, that's not doing it for me." And the guys in turn didn't really know what they were doing. I bumbled around for about five years before becoming remotely competent at sex. And I'm not talking fancy moves here, I'm talking stuff like how to move my hips and how to tell if a guy is close to orgasm.

The weirdest part is, because sex "education" is so private and haphazard, it never really gets standardized. I've run into a lot of people who thought they were bizarre because of something that was very common, or who had bizarre practices they thought were standard. If your education is all from women's magazines and personal experience, it's easy to come to believe you're the only woman on earth who comes in less than twenty minutes. Or, conversely, that every guy comes in thirty seconds and that's totally normal when you're young.

Some of this is the joy of discovery, and most of it gets sorted out by age thirty at the latest, but I do wish there was a "Sex for Virgins" book that went through all the basics of "after he gets all panty and his dick gets sorta extra hard and purpley, about a tablespoon of white stuff will come out in several diminishing squirts" and so on. It would have been fantastically useful.

Teflon Vagina.

I've had sex with some kinda terrible people. I lost my virginity to a guy who, in retrospect, was a socially useless creep. I fucked a girl who later turned out to be batshit insane and tried to seduce a 17-year-old by telling her "I'm the only one who truly loves and understands you." I fucked Benny.

And I've moved on. I guess I sorta regret being with those people, but, you know, it all made sense at the time and the sex itself wasn't half bad. The scumbags of my history have left me with some lessons, some memories, but they haven't damaged me. At the end of it all, I'm still the owner of my vagina.

A lot of people talk about sex in terms of giving "yourself" rather than just your sex. Sometimes it seems like this is more than just a euphemism. Like "giving myself" to a loser was a major life mistake rather than just a few crappy nights. Sure, I can't take it back--but it's not happening anymore, so it's really not that big a deal.

The virginity thing especially. Yeah, you only get to lose it once, so I guess I blew that, my first sex was with a weirdo, but really I'm much more concerned with who I have my next sex with. The choice to lose it to Kevin "stays with me forever" only in the strictly academic sense that my choice of breakfast on March 8th, 1999 stays with me forever. (Probably Golden Grahams. I was eating a lot of Golden Grahams at that point in my life.)

So becoming neurotic with fear of having sex with the "wrong" person is, to me, way overblown. Obviously it's good to try to sleep only with good people, but if you screw up, just dump them and you'll live. Their antics don't taint you. Use a condom and this isn't a high-stakes game. Fucking someone doesn't need to be a Major Life Decision.

No matter who you "give yourself" to, at the end of it all you're still going to own yourself.