Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Fucking like a Feminist


Stop the press, hold everything! Recent studies have found that feminists do it better: that, contrary to traditional stereotypes, feminism and romance are not incompatible, and that both women and men have healthier relationships with feminist partners. Thank you, Rudman and Phelan: we knew this already, but it's nice to have an official seal of U.S academic approval, nonetheless.

The study worked on the hypothesis that 'if feminist stereotypes are accurate, then feminist women should be more likely to report themselves as being single, lesbian, or sexually unattractive, compared with non-feminist women.'

Not only was this proved categorically untrue, but 'healthier relationships' and better sex lives were reported all round by feminists and those who loved them.

So: Feminism in Being Good For Everyone Shocker. The reasoning behind the Rudman/Phelan report's findings isn't too taxing to get our flexible little heads around: sex between two partners who see each other as human beings, and not as 'means to an end', is going to be better sex than any encounter in which one or both partners are made to feel guilty, ashamed, incomplete, or in which one person's pleasure is privileged over the other. Men who see women as the rounded, complete people we are - not as little-girls, as baby-makers, porn stars, fragile domestic goddesses, two-dimensional helpmeets, as property, as status symbols or as 'compliments' to male dominion - are going to be much more fun to be around, and are going to enjoy our company much more when we eventually demonstrate that we have hearts and brains as well as tits and cunts.

What's truly shocking is that an article on the study which came out this week on the Guardian's Comment is Free page - a netspace that hardly springs to mind as a hang-out for right-wing shit-stirrers - prompted hundreds of righteously indignant comments from men, and some women, who did not concur that fucking like a feminist is good for the nation's sexual and emotional wellbeing. This is just one more indictment of how far we have to go before we get our sexual attitudes sorted out in this messed-up consumer society. Even on this blog, I've had comments telling me that the idea of men giving to women in bed is ridiculous, that I should learn to give better head and plug my outsized feminist gob with something useful whilst I'm about it.

So, let me tell you a few things about feminism, sex and socialism.

Fucking like a Feminist

1) The concept is not all that different from Screwing Like a Socialist, the basic principle being that the other person is not there to be consumed, except possibly with whipped cream. The person or persons in your bed are not products, and you're there for their pleasure as well as for your own. Even in bondage/kink/role-play situations, the agreement is the same: respect my desires and I'll respect yours. Treat me like a human being and I'll treat you like a human being. Get me off and I'll get you off. Sex negotiated on terms other than these, sex which is abusive, destructive or lacking in mutual respect, isn't good sex, except for very sad people with serious self-esteem problems.

2)Sex is not a bodily transaction with orgasm for one or both partners as the desired end product. Sex is a physical and mental exploration of pleasure and its possibilities. The mainstream model of heteronormative, heterosexual sex -whereby penile penetration is the main event, with the man eventually achieving orgasm and, ideally, bringing the woman/girl to orgasm as well by thrusting into her with his penis - is limited and outdated. Challenging received gender roles in the bedroom means more experimentation, more emotional risk-taking, and more fun for everyone.

3) Choice, variety, equality, respect. Feminists - by which I mean male and female feminists - sleep with men, with, women, or with both. Feminists have sex both within and outside of long term relationships. Some feminists are kinky, or polyamorous, or have rare fetishes; some aren't, and don't, and that's alright too. Some feminists are dominant in bed; equally, some feminists like nothing more than to be bent over an armchair and spanked silly, and that's alright, too. Some feminists love cock to distraction; some feminists are rampant, unstoppable lesbians with a string of satisfied girlfriends; and some feminists really don't like to have sex at all. And that's alright, too; any sexual proclivity is feminist, in fact, if it is approached with equal respect for both partners' needs and desires and rights as human beings.

4) Feminists see their sexuality - however it may manifest - as an important facet of their personality, but only one facet nonetheless. Sex is important. Sex is delicious. Sex can't be ignored or evaded or made irrelevant, especially in a capitalist society which uses it to sell products on every billboard and street corner. Sex is also only one factor in the myriad concerns which make up women's complex lives, and men's, for that matter: reducing your partner, or yourself, to the level of a purely sexual animal, is degrading, sexist and ultimately demeaning to both partners.

5) Feminists have fun and respect each other. Feminists are sexually brave, which is not incompatible with sexual shyness. Feminists are not afraid to ask for what they want in bed - or to accomodate their partners' desires. Feminists are gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual, genderqueer, kinky, vanillla, radically romantic, in myriad changing combinations. Feminists are fun, in and out of bed : period.

6) What feminists don't do, however, is sleep with men (or women) with entitlement complexes; men who think of women as lesser creatures, accessories, there to provide sexual satisfaction for men and to be used and dominated without their consent. It's not that feminists think men are the enemy: it's that feminists have enough self-resepect, generally speaking, not to sleep with bigoted arseholes. Let me leap to conclusions here, but I think we may have found the basis for objection of many blog-trolls, bullies and boors with an inflated sense of their own Right to Rut: hot, self-aware feminists simply won't sleep with them.
And doesn't that just make them hopping mad?

What the volume of opposition to the findings of the Rudman/Phelan study (and to what enlightened women have known all along) demonstrates is simply the impotent, cross-patch flailing of bigots and bullies who realise that they might not be able carry on using treating their partners as sex-toys and expect to get laid anymore. It's the frustration of men, usually young men or the privileged, moneyed middle-aged, encountering the fallacy that women aren't sex-objects, whores, or pneumatic blank-slates, that good sex involves an encounter with a partner's heart, mind and soul as well as their tits, cunt and arse. It's the rage that heralds the stripping of unearned sexual privilege, and we must not give it space. Once they've shaped up enough to get a taste of feminist fucking, they'll never look back

7 comments:

  1. CIF article is still on and can be found here x

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2211202,00.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Or would be found if the whole url had copied!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2211202,00.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Goddamn, blogger.com is obviously the real censoring culprit not CIF

    Feminism and romantic love make very happy bedfellows

    http://tinyurl.com/2w9hzn

    ReplyDelete
  4. So... you see no methodological problems with a study that asked people to rate how attractive and how good in bed they were and then believed them? Especially given the well-known (and scientifically attested) tendency of experts to underestimate their abilities and non-experts to overestimate their abilities.

    Note that I'm not saying that feminists aren't better in bed/more attractive/whatever. But you have to be especially careful with studies that confirm your preconceptions.

    Also, that's a horrible colour scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks PB. I've made little tweaks now!
    x

    ReplyDelete
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  7. i LOVE feminist. whether it's out of "pride" or some point to prove, my crew has never met one that they couldn't get. we truly believe what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and don't care why she's there, as long as it's sober and consenting. problem is, as opposed to any other girl "type" feminist prove, by far, the hardest to get rid of/dump after the fact.

    ReplyDelete

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