This blog isn't about sex. It's about great sex! I set it up because you only live twice, once in your dreams.

This blog is a portal to the wonderful world of web-based erotic writing. It also serves as a filter: finding stories for you to enjoy without worrying. Use both the reviews and the labels to help you identify stories which will suit your tastes. If the idea of ‘oral’ makes your stomach churn, click on ‘romance’ in the label cloud. Use the rating system: from 0 for nonsexual to XXX for eyebrow raising. (Just your eyebrows will do, thank you, sheesh!)

And use the biggest sexual organ in your body: that’s your brain, dumbo! Which bit of you do you think processes the little messages from your nerve endings in a kiss and releases the endorphins that make you go Whoopdidoo! As you read the reviews and choose stories, as you follow up other stories from those outside of this site: Think before you Click. Come Home quickly if you’re not sure about what you find. Some stories out there are far out on the wild side because humans are inventive beings –not always in nice ways.

Remember too that these are fantasy erotic stories and so the sex is always sizzling. In another life, just being close to someone you have always liked is usually enough. They won’t need a 10“ wonger or GG breasts to turn you on.

Take care of your sweet self and enjoy your dreams.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Consent

This post isn't exactly a review, rather it's to circulate a cool comic strip about 'consent'. The comic is aimed at guys, it explains that a woman's body is her own, and men have zero rights in it. It's helpful for women too. 

I run this blog partly to provide some fun that encourages safe sex, and shows young lads that it's possible to get a lot more in life if you ask for it politely than if you rudely try to blag women into giving you pictures of their boobs for your phone. (See my review of Peter Morgan's work.) I also run it to encourage young women to have confidence. If we as women confidently say No more often, men may realise that No does mean No and f*ck off when we don't want them bothering us. Yes, men must do more to respect women's consensual rights. As women we can take courage and be more assertive. 


From Everyday Feminism: link to rest of comic below.

Everyday Feminism have put together this cool comic that sets out things guys say about women who don't want to have sex with them as if they are other social scenarios, demonstrating vividly how absurd this reasoning is.

To illustrate, I'll tell a story from when I was young. Back in the day, when dinosaurs roamed the land (yeah, they were real old-fashioned sexists then), I was a very naive li'l kitten. I was poorly brought up to be polite at all times. In my mum's Japanese culture men were venerated. My dad would get the best cut of meat, then us kids got something nice, then my mum and grandmother got what was left. For these and other reasons, I was very bad at saying 'No' to men.(I said I was bad at it - I am a total expert at saying 'f*ck off' now, although if that's what turns you on you should click 'dirty talk' in the label cloud - wink.)

This time I'm telling you about, I was homeless in London. I had money but no idea how to find somewhere to live. After a short period at a friend's house, I was staying in a hotel having a final go at finding somewhere. I was very tired after a long fruitless day looking for places and I phoned room service for some food, but they said the kitchen was shut. I had to go out to eat. 

Remember that I was very young (not yet twenty), had been brought up in the countryside in far too sheltered a family, and was exceptionally pretty.

While I was despondently eating my meal, a bloke at the next table struck up a conversation with me. He was a businessman who lived and worked mainly in Hong Kong. Well, he was a total stranger so I moaned to him about my situation. 

"I own a flat," he said, "and am looking for a tenant." 

He invited me back to his hotel for a drink. We went up to his room. He began to grope me and I put up with it for the sake of the flat. But after a while (he had his hands up my shirt and on my boobs by this time), I couldn't bear it and I said: "No, this is wrong! I can't do it." 

That man stopped groping me. He walked me back to my hotel. He said I could come to meet him the next day and he would show me his flat. And he did show me the flat (although he said he was surprised I'd shown up the next morning, I was so naive I didn't really understand why - I mean, he had a f*cking flat! and I was desperate for a place to stay). He let me rent it from him for about eight months at what I now realise was a pretty low rate for a central London apartment.

I was clinically depressed at the time. I needed a safe place to stay so I could sort out some therapy, get my life together and go back to finish my degree. That guy gave me a total break and I thank him. 

I shan't thank him for having the resolution to take his hands off my boobs and beautiful young body, when after going up to his room with him and consuming drinks he had bought me, I suddenly said: No, because, chaps and chapesses, that is normal. 

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out this exceptional comic! It does a tremendous job of illustrating how some very typical coercive thinking regarding sex would be completely rejected in other situations. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

If that 'comic' illustrates real situations or events, all I can say is that the parents of said young folk need their arses kicking; as well.

Aussiescribbler said...

The problem I have with this comic is the title "What If We Treated All Consent Like Society Treats Sexual Consent?" By using the term "society" the implication is that most people don't recognise the need to respect people's right to consent or not consent.

Certainly there are people who don't, and finding ways to encourage them to behave differently is important. (Whether this comic will have that effect is questionable as sexists don't generally read feminist comics, and if they do they are liable to be so aggravated at being preached at that they will want to do the opposite just out of spite.)

As you say, "it's possible to get a lot more in life if you ask for it politely than if you rudely try to blag women", so one aspect of dealing with the problem of misogynistic sexual behaviour by men towards women is learning to understand the psychology which lies behind destructive (and thus ultimately self-destructive) forms of compulsive behaviour. As William Burroughs pointed out "the face of evil is always the face of absolute need". He was talking about heroin addiction specifically. Addiction gives someone an absolute need such that they will be willing to do terrible things to others or themselves to meet that need.

We can tell how much something is a need of this kind by how little remorse someone shows if and when they become aware of the suffering that their behaviour has caused to another person. Mostly when people harm others they do so not because they have not been made aware that it is wrong, but because their need overrides their conscience (their learned system of what is right and wrong behaviour).

Continued below...

Aussiescribbler said...

Now, if you or I feel horny we don't try to satisfy ourselves at the expense of another person. It may be that what we want is not the same thing as what someone wants who does take pleasure at another's expense. We may want a loving connection, and that requires mutuality. Another person may need something which doesn't require mutuality, or they may need to make another person suffer.

Sex is not necessarily principally about basic physical pleasure. In the psychologically healthy individual it is. But in the individual who has destructive/self-destructive needs, neurotically determined fixations provide the motivating force behind sexual behaviour. And fixations generally arise through a lack of acceptance of some aspect of the psyche or a fear that some aspect of the psyche will not be accepted by others. A sexual fixation is like a sore tooth which we can't keep our tongue from going back to.

The extreme case would the individual in whom a negative feedback loop of feeling that his sexual feelings are not accepted increases the fixation on them until such a point that he becomes so embattled that he feels compelled to attack in a sexual way those whose lack of acceptance he fears.

So the education which will help to reduce the sexual harassment of women is one which teaches us how to deal with our fixations. There is nothing wrong with a man feeling a desire to rape women as long as he doesn't do it. He can indulge in those fantasies. He can masturbate over them. But it is in his own best interest to respect women and treat them well. When we say that it is all right to have such a fantasy we cut off the further development of the fixation. The fixation grows through the perception of lack of acceptance. Once the desire, as pure desire, is viewed as acceptable, it is bound to die down. And even if it didn't it wouldn't be a problem because no woman is being harmed by the fantasy.

For all of us, men and women, we are so often surrounded by messages that we should behave this way or we should behave that way. Advice can be very helpful, but it can be problematic if that advice does not occur in an environment in which we feel we are fully accepted in our essence. If we experience the advice as condemnation (which is very easy when we lack self-acceptance) then the net effect can be negative, since offensive behaviour (if we manifest it) is, from a psychological standpoint, defensive behaviour - i.e. rebellious behaviour driven by the need to hit back at that condemnation, even where it may be imagined. (For example people who deliberately harm a child are clearly not motivated by condemnation coming from the child but rather by the fact that they feel condemned by something of which they see the child as a symbol, i.e. the concept of innocence.

Naoko Smith said...

Anonymous - sadly many parents, and also unfortunately teachers who are responsible for sex education in schools, are themselves so anxious about sexuality that they find it hard to give positive messages to our kids.

Naoko Smith said...

Aussie - as usual you have compassionate insight into these matters. My one proviso would be, that as this comic strip is in a college magazine, we can assume it's aimed at young men who are still having their opinions formed. They may still need some guidance about what's wrong or right. Not listening to your sexual partner say 'No' is definitely wrong! You confirm this by explaining that it may be motivated not by sexual desire but by other destructive/self-destructive needs which need to be addressed in a more constructive and deeper psycho-therapeutic way.
Having said that, you make me feel I was right to think this comic strip may be more helpful to women than men. I know many women are still unclear that they have the right to say 'No' in any context. They may feel that if, for example, they behaved flirtatiously then changed their mind, they should still put out.
As you can see from the example from my real life, you should be able to say 'No' in any context at all and be listened to. The man I met so many years ago was not particularly sensitive or kind. This was in the days when men were not allowed to be feminists, LOL. He was just a regular joe who had no destructive/self-destructive streak in his make-up. When I said I didn't want to go any further, he didn't take it as a comment on him, he just listened and stopped trying to interest me in sex.

Aussiescribbler said...

Yes, that is something which occurred to me later, that there is a strong value in articulating these things as a way of giving confidence to young women to not feel they have to submit to something they don't want.

It seems to me that consciousness raising and confidence boosting amongst women is what feminism is best at. And that provides political pressure for change.

The reason I don't call myself a feminist (even though I may agree with many of the same principles) is because I believe that a world in which men and women can live in true harmony and equality requires a masculine as well as a feminine input. I think it is probably harder for a woman to sympathise with the patriarchal mindset and see that it requires healing, otherwise we would end up with a world characterised by confident women and broken men. There is such a difference between liberation and defeat.

To the extent that I have insight into this situation it is because I am aware of these things in myself. Apart from this site, I usually avoid feminist writing because it makes me feel misogynistic. "Fucking women! Nag! Nag! Nag!" goes a voice inside of me. So the problem is a personal one for me. My heart links me sympathetically to the patriarchs but my mind recognises the need for equality and a much better lot for women. From this I extrapolate a dynamic for a gender double-bind which needs resolving. The dark heart of the patriarchy says : "As long as you keep criticising me, I'll have to keep oppressing you, because in my self-loathing state such criticism is unbearable to me." The fighting heart of the woman says : "If you didn't oppress me, I wouldn't have any reason to criticise you, and you wouldn't have any reason to loathe yourself. Your oppression is unbearable to me, I can't be silent." "Even if you remained silent, your very nature is a condemnation of me," he replies. It's a negative feedback loop. What is needed is a healing sense of acceptance which neither criticises nor tries to dominate, but that can't be expected to come from the one who experiences self-loathing nor from the one who is being oppressed. But I think that such a sense of acceptance has great power to heal where it can occur.

Naoko Smith said...

I'm very flattered that this is a feminist site which doesn't feel like it's nagging :)
LOL@ the world which would be characterised by confident women and broken men. I sometimes think that IS the world we live in. We are still surrounded by discourse which tells us men are superior to women. It must be hard to be a man, believing at some subliminal level that you are superior to women, yet seeing all the time that you're not. I've observed how women and men both have to work at shoring up this fantasy in relationships. It's hard to strive to be superior while all the time knowing you are just equal, much easier to be a woman: complicit in pretending someone-else is superior while laughing behind your hand because you know you are equals.
Men believe they are being criticised, when women are just saying they too could join in and do something with their male parter - as equals, because then the man's superior position is threatened. Women roll their eyes: "FFS, let's just get it done." The man feels genuinely criticised. He has to be left to build the flat pack furniture badly on his own, cursing and swearing - and carefully praised for the splintered result by a woman who can say: "these things are so difficult, the instructions are rubbish," with sincerity.
I was in my hardware (ho ho) store the other day and the guys said: "You need to be a university professor to be able to understand flatpack leaflets." I said: "Luckily I am one!" and we laughed heartily. But they don't have to live with me and see me competently put a flatpack sofabed together while they haven't even been brought up well enough to make a decent cup of tea.

Aussiescribbler said...

The thing is that the external aspect of a person very often is a compensation for the internal. So someone who declares and needs others to believe that he is superior is driven by the fear deeper down that he is inferior. Such is bravado.

Does this sense of inferiority arise from the pressure of social conditioning telling the individual that they are supposed to be superior? In same cases it could, but I think a stronger element is being told that they need to exercise control over their emotions.

I see it as tracing back original to the tribal situation in which the imperative to hunt involved the development of aggressiveness which had to be restrained so as not to interfere with the nurturing process. So during the time when there was a defined division of labour along gender lines the beginnings of the uneasy relationship between men and women arose with men having to be hard and disciplined and women having to be affectionate but critical where there was a danger of the male role encroaching on the fulfilment of the female role. The male culture became one of combativeness and emotional repression. Men became embattled. This isn't principally a biological thing but cultural, arising from the way society organises itself. To function in a healthy way a man had to avoid becoming too embattled, because a fearful response to his own repressed emotions would translate to the need to control others, particularly women who represent the feelings which are being repressed. But in a neurotic society the brutal control freaks tend to rise to the top. For a woman to remain effective she needed to avoid becoming too bitter or submissive as a result of mistreatment.

To be continued...

Aussiescribbler said...

The example of the flat pack furniture is a good one. The problem is that the state of embattlement is a state of paranoia (not in this case of the extreme psychotic variety). To the embattled individual the world is filtered into a kind of binary code in which the two options are - "You're O.K." or "You're not O.K." "I trust that you can assemble the furniture without my help" translates as "You're O.K." "I think we can do it more easily if we work together" translates as "You're not O.K." Of course this is irrational. That is the nature of the paranoid state. This doesn't mean that you should never offer to help put together the furniture. What it does mean is that finding a way to communicate a deeper sense of acceptance can be helpful. Dishonesty won't do it. It isn't a case of pretending that only he can do it or pretending he does it better. On some level he probably knows that is a sham and so it does nothing to make him feel more accepted. It is his relationship with his own emotions - anger, sorrow, anything else he feels it would be "unmanly" to let flow freely - which is the problem.

We become embattled - adopt character armour - as a way of dealing with fear of threats (real or imagined) from within or without. The embattled individual is afraid of the well of emotions stored inside and also afraid of being attacked, mocked or criticised by others. Thus attacking, mocking or criticising the embattled individual because of their embattled behaviour or view of the world tends to be counterproductive. Only a very foolish knight would doff his armour when someone is jabbing a sword at him.

Making true contact with the embattled individual means establishing an environment in which they feel safe. To do this we may need to deal with our own more limited form of embattlement. Do we feel the need to put them down or mock them in order to feel better about ourselves? Or can we find a way to identify with their predicament? Who hasn't been in a position where someone they didn't particularly like tried to give them good advice? Pride makes us want to reject the advice because of its source. That pride is just a small example of the embattled state, but if we have experienced it I think we can extrapolate from that and have sympathy for the difficulty which the embattled individual has.

One of my central beliefs is that we are all doing the best that we can. If that is the case, when we look around at the poor job most of us are making of our lives, we can see just how great are the obstacles we are battling against. But often the impasses which stop us from being able to really help each other are not so great. The fact that we are very lost doesn't mean that the map home may not be a very simple one.

Naoko Smith said...

We must agree to disagree about innate aggression going back to tribal ways of life. However, I will offer a further take on aggression.

In our working worlds, competition is highly valued even when it's obvious that collaboration is going to be more productive. Men often view the working world as about them against another colleague, or at best them and their colleagues against another team or rival company. Women tend to focus on the job in hand. (This is not of course the only reason women don't get promoted as quickly.)

Someone who is always on the lookout to be undermined may get on better in career terms, while those who look to collaborate in a team often get shafted.

In the home environment, men can't let their guard down in case this softness also appears at work. At the same time, as you note, women get identified as a 'pool of emotions' - useless in the working environment, to be repudiated by the 'real' man. In pushing women away, men often push away the emotions they are afraid of. Possibly - I put this forward very tentatively - they sometimes seek to violently seize and own sex in which emotion and intimacy can be so tenderly experienced, in order to possess and control the emotions of a situation where they don't like to feel out of control.

More soon, when I have had some breakfast!

Naoko Smith said...

On the conundrum of superior flatpack furniture building, you are absolutely right that in a fit of paranoia it gets translated into 'I'm OK,' or 'I'm not OK'. 'I am a competent male who can do DIY,' or 'You are making me feel incompetent, you are a b!tch, go and make tea.' Worse still, flatpack furniture is carefully designed to be easy to put together so men need to ramp up its difficulties as a task to make it worth doing as an act to show off their masculine abilities. All the while conscious that the whole thing is an unmanly act and performance.

We are all doing the best we can. The wisest person remembers that and tries to see a situation in which someone-else is behaving irrationally - expressing all their innermost fragilities through a simple practical task like building a bookcase - from their point of view. However it is deeply frustrating when ALL small domestic tasks become a major exercise in the deconstruction of the fragile male ego, which he refuses to admit is his problem. The feminine person (this could easily be another man who is more in touch with his emotions) can't help the fragile male to overcome the great emotional obstacles which have been thrown up in his path. When you are in that close intimate relationship, any attempt to discuss, indicate or (God forbid) help with emotional difficulties becomes a very loud shout of "you're not OK".

We are not the same. Some of us are superior to others in some areas of work, life or DIY. Some of us are superior to others full stop. I think the task in hand is to learn to accept and love each other as different - better at this or that, but not superior as a human being; not so good, not so efficient, but loveable and fun. We can never be equals because in some ways one of us will always be better than the other but why does that mean we can't love each other?

Aussiescribbler said...

Just one correction. I never said anything about "innate aggression". I don't believe that a predisposition towards aggression is inborn. That is why I emphasised that I was talking about something cultural rather than biological. I can't see any way to deny that hunting is an aggressive activity or that it is principally the role of men in tribal societies - at least those which have survived into our time. Societies tend to foster qualities in individuals to meet needs. A society which is threatened militarily will develop or enhance forms of socialisation which lead to the production of capable fighters. But there tends to be a lag, I think. Forms of socialisation can persist beyond the point at which they are beneficial to the current need.

There can be times when there seems no way to help someone, because attempts to help are read as a message of "you're not O.K." Perhaps this calls for what R. D. Laing called "co-presence" - the act of being with someone with full attention while making no demands of them. He often found that, when he took this approach in therapy, the patient would come up with a solution to their problem themselves.

If I talk about equality between people I don't think of it in terms of skills. Of course we all vary in how good we are one thing or another. If I say that everyone is equal, I mean that everyone is equally deserving of kindness, respect and, ultimately, happiness. No-one deserves to suffer. Very often it can't be avoided, but I don't believe it is a case of just deserts. And the code that leads me to (which is not always easy to practice) is to look up to no-one and to look down on no-one - to appreciate a person's skills and be guided by a person's wisdom - but not with the idea that they are superior, merely that they are lucky enough to have more to give. And, of course, the same applies to oneself.

Naoko Smith said...

My use of the word innate did imply this is biologically rather than culturally ingrained, that's a useful correction.

My hesitation about the idea that the aggression survives from a tribal way of living is because feminists have been arguing against this thesis for several decades. I think I remember that a chap called Lionel Tiger had put the idea forward in a book. (What a suitable name to write a thesis about aggression!) There is a kind of inevitability about the aggression if we suppose it came from a necessary way of life. I believe in hunter gatherer societies both men and women spend a lot of time gathering, and figuring out collective survival on few resources so I'm not convinced the aggression is a necessary part of that way of living.

However I do see it as a key - and unnecessary - component in modern day work life. Unpicking that seems like a good place to start, as well as an acceptance that people are not equal/same but can all contribute successfully to the end goal. How much more fun it is to do something with someone-else, if you are not worried about them being better/worse than you.

Another interesting area in which the struggle is taking place is over housework. A recent survey by Mumsnet found that while the majority of women do the vast bulk of housework, they don't mind this. What they really object to is that the important organisational work they do of figuring out several meals a day, and how to get kids to activities, make them do homework, keep the house constantly at a certain level of cleanliness and tidiness - all this is not acknowledged. Taking part in this discussion has suggested to me that this is another way in which the patriarchy (for want of a better word) shores up its fake superiority - by denying women do an important job in the home.

Aussiescribbler said...

I don't think tribal cultures were necessarily more aggressive or that aggression is inevitable. I probably haven't explained myself well.

If there is a historic rift between men and women from which a patriarchal social structure eventually rose, it has either always been there - arising from competing genetic imperatives - or it arose from some kind of cultural tension. The most likely cultural tension it seems to me would be that between the nurturing role and the hunting role. This would not mean that tribal males were brutes. It would be something subtle. The guys come back from the hunt whooping about their prize. The women say, "Hey, guys, keep it down, you'll wake the babies!" "Whoops, sorry," say the guys. It's no big thing. But we are talking many thousand years of fulfilling roles which require opposite qualities. Originally the men probably played quite a role in the nurturing as well. But, as I say, over many thousands of years tension would gradually mount. Sex probably provided the social glue. A way to make up and heal the rift. But if this was a negative feedback loop in which the men came to resent being criticised and that resentment drove them to behaviours which gave further reason for criticism, then its growth, very slow at first, would be exponential. Hence the level of embattlement which found expression in patriarchy.

So this is not at all inevitable. It was inevitable that it would occur, because everything which happens happens because it was inevitable. But it is not inevitable that it continue, because it is easily solvable. Aggression is not a part of our basic nature. It arises essentially from fear, and, in this case, fear arises from misunderstanding and miscommunication. At the heart of the problem is the concept of idealism - i.e. that it is meaningful to split behaviour into "good" and "evil" and to use discipline (self-discipline or discipline of others) to pursue the former and avoid the latter. The original strict division of labour no longer applies - men can be nurturers if they want and women can be fighters (if such are necessary). The issue, having arisen in those simpler times, is now far more diffuse. The problem is that, very often, what we do to fight a problem is exactly what makes it more severe. The lesson from the hunters and the mothers is that the wrong approach can turn a very tiny problem like some rowdy guys waking the babies on night into something which eventually leads to the Holocaust.

Wholeness, for the individual or the society, is what matters, and that means abandoning idealism - trying to make things exactly the way we think they should be. We need, in a way, to go backwards. The problem I describe for tribal people would have taken thousands of years to even become a blip on their radar, because they were so easy-going and accepting and problematic behaviour would have been so minor. Eventually our ability to insist on ideals and our ability to commit atrocities reached extremes. In the phenomenon of religion they often were all tangled up together - the saints and the inquisitors.

To be continued...

Aussiescribbler said...

At the heart of it all is self-acceptance. For many thousands of years it no doubt held strong - the Garden of Eden period. But gradually we came to know the difference between Good and Evil - the thought virus of idealism grew out of that minor cultural disharmony. Idealism eats up self-acceptance because it is a standard we adopt which is eternally beyond our reach and if we ask it of others then we eat up their self-acceptance.

The challenge of course is that there is a lot of unacceptable behaviour going on in the world. But wholeness takes root where it can and grows out from there. In time people will be attracted to islands of community. Instead of doing battle with people who don't want to change we need to create an example of what they could have if they were to accept that change.

What you say about housework is interesting. I leave most of it to my housemate and he does, at times, accuse me of not appreciating his efforts. But there are things I do to serve others, either in my occupation or my spare time, which may not always attract verbal appreciation or which may be taken for granted. That doesn't always bother me because I know what I contribute. There is a strength in not needing the validation of another's recognition. Having said that, I'm not a mother and I don't do much housework.

We see things differently. What you see as "shoring up fake superiority" I see as staving off a collapse into inoperable depression. Again it comes down the binary messages. "What you do is important" would translate as "I'm worthless". I think men can be divided into three categories -

1. The confident easy-going and appreciative ones who are in a fairly healthy state psychologically.

2. The broken men, e.g. those who defer totally to one or more women - i.e. the hen-pecked husband.

3. The embattled men who are desperately trying to stave off collapse and don't have room to be appreciative.

I know that women have problems to deal with beyond the psychological, but they might be empowered in that area by recognising that the assessment of the importance of their contribution by psychologically disturbed individuals is far less valid than their own.

I never read The Feminine Mystique, but there is a Masculine Mystique and that is that the bigger the show the less there is behind it. It's all smoke and mirrors. There are healthy guys and their relationship to women is a mutually beneficial one, but the patriarchs are what T. S. Elliott called The Hollow Men.

There is wisdom in the advice : "Let the dead bury the dead". These dead may be up and walking around and thus need to be negotiated but there is no point in looking to them for support or approval. If there is a better world to be built, work with the living. Resurrection may occur, but if we have no talent for arranging that, then we needn't waste our time thinking too much about it.

Naoko Smith said...

My answer to this would need a new blogpost! I did start writing about these issues on a different blog, which I sometimes think about going back, tidying up and resurrecting (in between doing the real life tidying up in my flat, and 'encouraging' my daughter to learn how to do her share).

In brief, I see us as operating within a matrix of power which is (hetero)sexuality. (I draw this idea from Foucault.) This matrix of power depends for its driving force, its energy on what Gayle Rubin called a sexual economy. The exchanges between men and women, including negative exchanges of repression and degradation, are what keeps social intercourse (as well as sexual intercourse) going.

Not least of the problems is that what both women and men find 'sexy' gets produced through cultural notions which include the superior man and 'his' woman. Check the many versions of Willie Dixon's song 'I Just Want to Make Love to You' - women as well as men find this song enjoyable and sexy. I did actually LIKE supporting my family by keeping the household going, cooking delicious meals, always having beer in the fridge for the Fella and his mates. I didn't like it being taken for granted. And of course, I did want to do a few more intellectual things as well, LOL - as well as join in if there was flatpack furniture to be built.

However you are very astute in identifying 'inoperable depression' as being the main problem in these situations. The illness of depression continues to be misunderstood as someone just not being very happy. I might describe it as: when I was depressed, no matter what happened I couldn't feel good about it, whereas when I had got through depression, I could react to events appropriately. I feel sad if something bad happens, I don't deny those feelings, and if something good happens, I feel good about it. Now I'm able to build on both things which make me sad and angry and things which make me happy. Whereas when I was depressed, I would almost welcome, and sometimes fabricate, bad things because they gave me a good reason to be sad and angry: an excuse.

Naoko Smith said...

Well stap me vittles! I DID write a blogpost about it, but I forgot. It was my 100th blogpost so I let myself go and wrote all about why I am so fascinated with stories about sex(uality).
http://feministerotica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/100th-post-apologia-pro-opus-meum.html

Aussiescribbler said...

My view of the matrix of power and the sexual economy is fairly eccentric. I’ve always felt like an outsider. This might confer an advantage in terms of a lack of investment bias, but on the other hand my views could be read as a tendency to devalue a game I’m simply not very good at.

When trying to understand sexuality I think it is necessary to begin with love. Obviously we can only ever experience the feeling of love in our body. It might be argued that it can be spiritual, but we can only perceive a spiritual experience as an experience of the body. And, though it might lead to less pleasant experiences, love itself we feel as a warm pleasurable feeling. It is something we can share, but also something we can feel for our self. We can feel and share sensual pleasure through gentle touching, embracing or kissing, but these pleasurable feelings can be communicated verbally or in other ways which don’t involve touching. When touching does occur, the genitals are a particularly powerful medium for pleasurable sensations, so one way for people to express love is through genital contact. So this is what we are at base - bodies which relish the warm pleasure of being in harmony with each other, whether that be expressed and experienced through working together cooperatively to solve a problem or through fucking.

But there is another crucial part of us and that is our ego - our conscious thinking self, which inhabits that socially loving and pleasure-loving body/soul. Clearly we need an ego to function in the world, but their are egos and egos. The ego should be composed of accurate information and flexible thought patterns so that it operates as an effective helpmate to the body/soul. It’s like a computer. If a computer has a properly functioning operating system it serves you well in performing any task you want or need to perform.

But our ego tends to become contaminated by unhelpful ideas which lead to inner conflict. Sort out those ideas and it can return to serving the interests of the body/soul.

We can identify an unhealthy, i.e. neurotic, ego by its relative inflexibility and its needfulness. The needs of the body/soul are not great - food, shelter, etc. It desires pleasure but can survive easily without it. The neurotic ego can bring with it a variety of addictions. The matrix of power grows out of this neurosis, because the non-neurotic individual has no desire for power over another.

The matrix of power restrains and dilutes love, and I’m an apocalypticist in that I believe that a time will come when the matrix of power will fall and love will be set free to unite the human race.

It is not that I think people will become the same. The example in my mind is of the human body. The cells of the body are all different. They need to be for us to function. But this group of cells experiences itself as a single entity. I think the human race will one day discover that it is such an entity. When we feel love I think that is what we are feeling - those intimations of oneness, that our neighbour real is ourself. If we end up as a single being, every body on the same wavelength, then we won’t have worries about consent, but all sex will essentially be an act of masturbation. We’ll be like those animals which reproduce by mating with themselves. :)

Sex as we experience it now has two elements - the raw pleasure which feeds the body/soul - and the power play that feeds our wounded ego. A guy who goes around “banging chicks” without connecting with them on any kind of friendly affectionate level is mainly feeding his ego, as is a woman who is more interested in how many men turned their heads to see her walk by in her mini-skirt than she is in actually having any social interaction with them.

Aussiescribbler said...

I look on depression as a state of emotional constipation. When I was depressed, I wasn’t sad. I was emotionally deadened but with an overlay of anxiety. I couldn’t feel joy or sorrow or anger. I’ve been reading Wilhelm Reich. He points out the appropriateness of the word “emotion” because an emotion is a motion or flow of energy through the body. But we are able to block our emotions, and such blocks are what cause psychological suffering. Anxiety is supposed to lead to a fight or flight response. When it does we experience a buzz - a burst of adrenaline. This isn’t necessarily an entirely unpleasant experience. But if our anxiety is blocked so that we cower with it instead of allowing it to drive some response, it can be torture. Bursts of anger when expressed are also not unpleasant. (The unpleasantness may come later if what we do in anger has serious consequences.) And I don’t know about you, but I love the catharsis that comes with weeping, so the expression of sorrow can be pleasant. It is when we won’t allow our emotions to flow freely that we fall in such a hole. I think the essence of it is self-directed anger or self-contempt. It is the denial of self-acceptance. To let ourselves flow - to let go - is an act of acceptance, but in depression we are liable to see ourselves as a problem to be solved. All that conditioning to be strong can help us when all we are confronted with are external challenges, but faced with depression it becomes a liability because we need to surrender to our emotions rather than continuing to “fight the good fight”.