Episode 062: Sinclair Sexsmith

Episode the sixty-second; wherein the Pageist discusses consent, feminism and just why so much erotic writing is so bad with author Sinclair Sexsmith.

.43 Intro and Announcements:

  • I’ll be teaching a class on lucid dreaming for otherwise impossible sexual fantasies at Eroticon in March! My bio will eventually appear on this page.
  • From the endlessly wonderful Reid Mihalko, I won a ticket to next year’s Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, which I will hopefully get to attend (dependant upon finding a sponsor for airfare/lodging).

2.27 Interview:

photo by Bill Wadman

43.07 Closing Remarks:

Projecting Your Kink

There is a particular behaviour that I’ve witnessed—and experienced myself—in the kink scene online. It may happen out in the analogue world, too, but I don’t spend much time out there at play parties or dungeons so I can’t speak to that.

From what I’ve experienced, it primarily happens from male-socialised individuals (MSI) towards female-presenting humans (FPH).

Male-socialised individuals are people who were brought up to behave like men—no matter how they identify when they behave in this particular way. It’s difficult to unlearn those behaviours.

Female-presenting humans are people who appear to be female, no matter their specific sex or gender.

The best way I can describe the behaviour is projecting your kink.

Like this, but if the screen didn’t consent. (source)

For example:

A female-presenting human posts a photo or piece of writing because she’s proud of it or she felt good about herself or her art or because she’s free to do so as an autonomous human being.

Nowhere does she say: Tell me what you want to do to me. Or: Tell me how you’d change this to fit your fantasy.

Yet, some male-socialised individuals take it as an invitation to offer ‘improvements’, enact their own fantasy or project their own desires onto the other person without their consent.

It’s certainly not all male-socialised individuals. If every MSI behaved that way, female-presenting humans would have left the internet entirely. Except for the two percent of lady-people who enjoy that type of attention. (It’s totally cool if you do, but the vast majority of lady-people don’t.)

So, you post a photo of a neat item you’ve purchased and maybe you’re nervous about using it, ever. You’re just excited about getting up the nerve to buy it and have a place to show other people without those people shaming you. Then someone comes in and says, ‘Now we just need to get you attached to something with those.’ [This is based on one of the first things that I posted on Fet.]

Hokay! You don’t know my desires, kinks, hard limits, what words I never want to hear (hint, all of those, especially from strangers), or literally anything else about me. Except that I have that item in the photo in my possession.

Also, and this is key. I don’t know you.

That last bit is what changes a great deal. If I know you and we have a history of flirting and playing then okey doke then.

Then we’re as groovy as the Honeycombs and All systems are Go! (source)

There was a video on street harassment—I think it was on Facebook last year—they interviewed guys who catcalled women. The guys were blaming the women (of course they were)—for wearing the kind of clothes women wear when it’s hot.

One sparkling gem of humanity said something like, ‘When I see these women in shorts and t-shirts, looking good, what am I supposed to do?’

I thought, ‘How about nothing?’

He understood you weren’t supposed to touch people—thank god—but the idea that he could keep his thoughts inside his face holes was beyond him.

He actually asked, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ I remember that very clearly because the entitlement and sheer confusion on his face nearly burned my eyebrows off.

‘If I see someone who looks attractive I have to make that person uncomfortable.’

No, you really don’t.

Online, it’s even easier to not do anything, because it takes more steps between thinking the thing and putting it out there.

If you’re tempted to say gross things unplug your keyboard. Keep it somewhere safe. Like the dishwasher. (source)

Seeing this behaviour in the kink scene surprised me because you’d think kinky people would understand consent.

How would these front-runners for the Mr Presumptuous Pageant feel if guys started commenting on their photos and writings the same way?

‘You need another dude in this photo.’

‘That’s a hot tie—I’d wrap it around your dick until you cried then make choke on my cock.’

We don’t need vanilla kink shamers—we have plenty on the inside—who have this attitude of, ‘Well, she’s into all this hard stuff so she’ll love it if I talk to her that way.’

I don’t know exactly how much you want to die today, but submissives and masochists tend to be pretty hardcore, independent humans. The women are feminists who, radically, believe their bodies belong to them.

Hell, most of the men are feminists who believe the same thing. It’s just this one group that makes you want to take a Silkwood shower.

What’s the thinking? That the FPH is just going to play along?

I’ve been pondering this and it must be confusing for both sides of the equation, so I thought I’d try to explain things to both sides as best I could:

This GenericWhiteGuy is standing in for male-socialised individuals. Per usual. Mea culpa. (source)

Why Do Female-Presenting Humans Post Evocative Photos If They Don’t Want My Thoughts?
  • Female-presenting humans feel good about themselves on occasion—despite media and our culture and society’s every effort to tell us we’re too fat/thin, tall/short, wearing too much/little make up, dressing too slutty/conservatively, are too dark complected/too pale, are too loud/quiet, too flirty/withdrawn, too sexually repressed/sexually available, etc. Every now and again, a female-presenting human being manages to find a scrap of self-esteem and wants to share it in a piece of writing or a photo. Crazy! This has nothing to do with you. It is not for your approval. It is perfect as it is. If you think she’s attractive or her work is great, say so. But there’s an enormous difference between, ‘You look like you’re enjoying life,’ and, ‘I want to come on your face.’
  • Sometimes, female-presenting human beings work really hard on something—a piece of writing or a photo or even make up. (If you don’t think make up is art you do a full face of make up and don’t end up looking like Bozo the Clown.) They want to share that with the world. When someone works on something they’re proud of sharing it is a natural inclination. Tearing it down or projecting your own desires on it or, worse, making it about the fact that it was created by a woman you’d like to fuck, makes that person never want to share anything ever again. And what purpose does that serve? Good humans raise people up and help them realise their potential, they don’t tear them down.
  • Sometimes female-presenting humans are sexual beings (gasp! I know!) and they’re tired of being told they’re not supposed to be by society. When they find a place they’re allowed to be more open—to own more of their own sexuality—they embrace it. They post photos of things they enjoy doing, clothes they feel sexy wearing (or not wearing), implements they enjoying using or having used on them. It’s a relief to be able to just be who they are. But then they find out it’s not really any different and people in this new place that is supposed to be more aware also treat them like objects. (If you want to keep seeing those amazing photos of the happily sexually free FPH, be polite. Or else you’re only going to be looking at dicks everywhere. I personally have some photos I’d like to post where I feel good about myself and my body, but I’m not interested in comments that will make me feel gross. So no one gets those.)

This *could* be my cute booty in adorable underpants I love. But nope, because I don’t need the comments. Other people have ruined it for you. (source)

Why Do Male-Socialised Individuals Say Gross Things When I Just Want to Share Something That Makes Me Feel Good?
  • Some men like making people feel uncomfortable—they think they’ll be rejected so they opt for blarfing their desires out there. I don’t think this is the majority, but it probably accounts for some.
  • They genuinely believe it’s a compliment. The MSI is expressing how he feels. Our culture tells us the ultimate compliment a male can pay a female is to say he finds her sexually desirable. Also, we don’t put a great deal of import on the woman’s pleasure so it’s understandable for less enlightened MSIs to respond to something they find arousing with ‘I want to do this thing I find pleasurable, you may not enjoy it, but I don’t have to take that into consideration’ rather than, ‘That is very attractive—it makes me want to make sure you’re satisfied sexually.’
  • Male-socialised individuals would like it if women (they found attractive, this is key) were to randomly say lewd things on their posts. So they don’t understand why FPH aren’t flattered. Meanwhile, female-socialised humans have been told not to share their sexual desires and certainly not to push them onto others so of course they’re not going to say what they think on someone else’s post.
  • They have a life-time subscription to Rape Culture Weekly and believe if a woman posts anything having to do with sex or her sexuality, whether it’s photography, art, erotica or anything else, then he’s allowed to say anything he’d like because, clearly, she doesn’t respect herself. The human equivalent of a garbage fire.

Yes, you’ve behaved like a big ol’ donkey. And not a chill donkey like this one. (source)

Oops, I’ve Behaved In This Way! How Can I Avoid It In Future?
  • Before commenting on a stranger’s photo (rules are different if it’s someone you’re in a relationship with) ask yourself this:
    ‘Would I be all right with a stranger of intimidating build shouting that at me across a darkened street when I was alone?’
  • If someone says: Hey, I took this today—tell me what you’d like to do/How would you improve this.
    Fucking go for it. Here’s your chance.
  • If they say, ‘Feeling cute today!’ ‘Bought this last week—looking forward to using it.’ ‘Finally got my eyeliner like I like it!’ ‘This is my first TK!’
    Appropriate responses include:
    ‘You have beautiful eyes/hair/hands!’ (If you’re female: Your boobs look cute in that top! My boobs would look like pancakes.)
    ‘Wow! That is a well-made crop/flogger/whip—where’d you get it? Have fun!’
    ‘You have such a steady hand—I’d poke my own eye out. Is that liquid?’
    ‘Hey, that’s great! Rope is so much fun. Keep at it!’
    Responses that get you blocked include:
    ‘Your face would look cuter on my dick.’
    ‘I’d teach you how to use that crop/whip/flogger. You wouldn’t be able to sit for a week.’
    ‘Girls wear too much make up.’
    ‘It’s not symmetrical. Meet up with me and I’ll tie you so you can see how it’s supposed to be done.’

I mentioned the almighty block just then. Yes, people can block someone who’s being offensive, but saying, ‘Just block those people,’ is the equivalent of teaching women how not to get raped rather than teaching men how not to rape. Learning to communicate in a way that doesn’t threaten FPHs is more productive for everyone involved than wasting time blocking the people who, most likely, just don’t know any better.

Being a Lioness with Rain DeGrey

This piece originally appeared on Fetlife, but when I asked permission to repost it, the author (Rain DeGrey) said the link to the writing on her regular blog would be more accessible to people not on Fet.

I love this piece. It’s about how women who own their sexuality–particularly the ones who get paid for it–aren’t supposed to have working brains or opinions.

It’s also introduced me to the phrase ‘bag of holes’, which I shall be using for the rest of my life.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rain DeGrey.

Hi there. You might have heard of me. You might not have. That part doesn’t really apply to my point here.

But if you HAVE heard of me, you probably have heard of me as some sort of Professional Naked Person, one of those girls on the internet with her tits and ass splayed out all over the place. You have probably heard of me as a bondage and fetish model. Maybe even one of those fetish models that likes to do the more “hardcore” stuff. If you have heard of me.

And there is a funny thing that happens when you become one of those people that plasters their naked body all over the internet…it surprises the shit out of people when you have opinions. It is as if folks think you sign a contract when you become a Professional Naked Person that says “I will keep my mouth shut and my holes open. With an exception clause for open mouths when it comes to blow jobs.”

Here is the thing: I never signed any such contract.

So I kept on being me. And the me that I am happens to be a lot more than a bag of holes. I had opinions. I pondered shit. I talked about things that were on my mind. I gave advice. I tried to help people, educate, inspire, motivate. I grant that it might not be typical behavior for most models. But I never felt defined as a person because I have done some modeling.

Being a bag of holes with lots of opinions didn’t sit well with everyone out there. Many people reached out to inform me of this fact. Especially since one of the topics I happen to talk about and cover a lot is bullying, harassment and sexism. Porn stars griping about misogyny tends to be a boner killer. Nobody wants to fap to that.

But like I said, I have never defined who I am as a person because I have done some modeling. I wasn’t going to be quiet because it might kill a stranger’s boner.

And then something amazing started happening. People started reaching out to me. People I did not know. People started telling me that my willingness to speak up inspired them to do the same. That talking about and discussing the “uncomfortable” things gave them the courage to do the same in their own lives. Women would tell me that because of my writing they stood up for themselves for the first time when they got hassled. That they realized that was ok to advocate for your rights. That speaking up for yourself doesn’t make you “fussy” but rather makes you strong.

These stories take my breath away. They humble me. They awe me. If I have helped just one person on this planet then my time while I was here was worthwhile. And you know what? I think I have succeeded in doing just that. And it feels amazing. It makes my heart melt.

Not bad for an opinionated bag of holes, huh?

I follow her on Twitter (@raindegrey) and recommend that you do too.

On Facebook she’s raindegrey and her website is Raindegrey.com

Women Can Violate Consent Too

This week’s mentor post comes from LunaLux and addresses the fact that yes, women can violate consent, too.

Having been on the receiving end of consent violations from women and having it disregarded by others as ‘no big deal’ because, as we all know, women aren’t real people and, therefore, aren’t anything to be afraid of, I appreciate this post.

Pay attention, ladies, and I use the term loosely.

Ladies, we need to talk…

Last night, I went to a themed kinky event. My shiny Switch and I decided to go with rubber leggings on and not much else up the top. My entire back was bare, my nipples covered with the obligatory BDSM black cross and not much else stood between my skin and the air.
I was really nervous about going dressed like that. My concern was not around body image, but around the fact that I was going to be inviting a bunch of sleazy men my way, touching me without my consent and acting in all the ways women warn each other about and berate men about. I was part dreading the night because I have had men act in that way to me before in a very vanilla and fully clothed setting, never mind one where I was dressed in a very revealing way. This is what happened:

Not one man touched me inappropriately or approached me with sexy suggestive language. Yes, a few perved at my boobs from a distance, but we all go to these things to perv.
In fact, even all of my male friends were a little wary of even hugging me hello. A few didn’t know where to put their hands and I ended up having a few floaty hand hug moments, with hands hovering a little away from me. Well done boys, you understand consent.

But I was touched up, grabbed, slapped and groped all night.

Not by men, but by women.

Here’s the count.

All of my close lady friends that I have had in my home to both play and share meals with me- they all touched me or my boobs or my arse in some way last night. All of them have previously requested my consent. But each one still checked in with me last night. One slapped me on the butt in a cheeky way when I offered it to her to touch it, but she had my permission to touch me and has had my consent before. She still looked at me afterwards in a way that suggested “Are you still ok with this?” Well done ladies, you understand consent.

One of my lady acquaintances (whom I have only met once) ran her hand down my back which made squirm. She quickly said “I’m sorry, am I allowed?”. I said “Sure”. She did it again, which made me squirm more. She again said “Am I still allowed”. I wasn’t enjoying the sensation but it wasn’t bothering me, so my yes sounded uncertain. She stopped. Well done lady, you understand consent.

Then came all the ladies whom I have met before but have never asked for my consent in any conversation with them:

  • 1 grabbed my arse
  • 1 slapped my arse
  • 1 scratched me

Then, there were the countless women I have never met before who never asked for my consent to touch me even though they have never met me before:

  • 2 ran their hands up my leg in the bathroom to touch my rubber. One suggestively right up to my crotch. Neither asked first.
  • 1 grabbed my boobs. She did not ask.
  • 4 ran their hands down my back
  • 1 rubbed my arse

On top of that- one woman repeatedly came over to touch my shiny switch on the arse and back. Every time she walked past she grabbed him. He did not give his consent.

That’s ELEVEN consent violations for my personal body last night and more on the switch. All from women. Let’s roll in the arguments in defence of women I know I am going to get as comments:

  • Women aren’t rapey- you can’t feel threatened by women because you aren’t afraid they will rape you. Actually, no. I don’t care that women don’t have cocks. When you enter my personal space with sexual innuendo or kinky intent- you are violating consent. End of story. Also, last year, a young male friend of mine met with a woman for play. He told her he didn’t want to have sex. She had sex with him anyway. Ladies- NO. That IS rape. Women can be rapey.
  • Women think it’s ok because they aren’t attracted to you in a sexual way so touching your body is ok because they don’t think of you in that way. Actually, no. I think of women in that way, so when they touch me, it is the same for me as if it were a man touching me.
  • Women have their own boobs so it’s ok for them to touch your boobs. Actually no, personal space is still personal space. I don’t see men walking around touching each other’s cocks for fun.
  • The women you know were just being playful. Lighten up. Actually, no. Not one of my male friends would think it was just being playful if they touched me, groped me or tried to hurt me without my permission. Not one. And if any did, I am sure all of us would tell him off for it.

Imagine that all of the above incidents happened with men against me last night. Imagine. Just for a second. Yeah, are you imaging the lynch mob yet?

Ladies, I am a feminist. I fight for equality and fairness. Every day. And I am fighting now. For ALL women to obey the rules of consent as equally as we fight for men to obey them. THAT is equality. Same rules, same expectations. How can we create a culture of consent with men if we do not model it for them?

If a man cannot touch me in any of those ways without my permission, then neither should women. THAT is fairness.

Sorry for any typos. I am rushing off to uni with a slight hangover and on 4 hours sleep. Joy to the world. All the boys and girls.