Dump your porn-watching husband and fire your male supremacist sex therapist

One of the things we do on radical feminist blogs is discuss the horrible advice given to us by the professionals who are supposed to help us but don’t, and provide a more woman-centered approach. This validates women’s feelings after they’ve been dismissed, ridiculed and gas-lighted by men, it makes us feel less alone, and it gives us the strength to face what we have to do.

Here is an article by a male sex therapist who excuses men’s use of porn as no big deal and his private business, and dismisses women’s objections to it. Now, I’m not an authority on heterosexual relationships, but I am a fully certified Radical Feminist Killjoy with a black belt in taking down patriarchal bullshit, and I think you’ll be quite pleased with my advice.

Husbands Watch Porn, Wives Despair—But Why?, asks sex therapist and professional male supremacist Marty Klein.

Klein opens his article by responding to a standard set of questions that wives ask him when they catch their husbands watching porn, and then explains some things, from a male perspective, about why wives should just disregard their feelings and let their husbands continue their objectionable habit.

Klein believes that porn is an innocent pastime, just entertainment the way romance novels and pictures of cats are entertainment, and that there is nothing for wives to be concerned about. He doesn’t even dimly grasp that porn is violence against women. He isn’t aware that porn represents a male-centered view of sex that is all about men’s use of women as sex objects, that there is verbal and physical abuse of women by men in a large percentage of porn scenes, that porn specifically celebrates male dominance and female submission, that plenty of porn is non-consensual, that many porn scenes specifically celebrate the non-consensual nature of the act, that porn actresses are physically harmed in a lot of scenes because of the brutal treatment, and a large portion of it depicts literal torture and rape of women. For a more thorough analysis than I’ve included here of what is wrong with porn, please read Pornland by Gail Dines and Pornography: Men Possessing Women by Andrea Dworkin (available in PDF). For a quicker read, my anti-porn trio of blog posts can be found here, here and here.

Since Klein hasn’t bothered to notice the really obvious misogyny inherent in the porn industry, the advice he gives to his sample letter-writer is completely ignorant and unhelpful. (Well, it does help the porn-watching husband.)

Klein reports that the wives who write to him asking for advice usually ask the following questions:

  • Why do men watch porn?
  • Why do men promise to stop watching, and then keep watching?
  • Why don’t men understand how their porn-watching breaks women’s hearts?
  • How can I make love with a man who watches porn?
  • How can I trust a man who watches porn?
  • Aren’t there any men who don’t hate women?

Klein gives the following answers:

  • Men watch porn because it’s entertaining to watch naked women (&/or men) while they masturbate. It generally has nothing to do with how they feel about women (or men).
  • Men don’t watch porn because their partners are inadequate.
  • Some men are jerks. Some of them watch porn, others don’t. Most men aren’t jerks. Some of them watch porn, others don’t. Porn-watching doesn’t predict jerk-itude.
  • Men promise to not watch porn because they don’t want to deal with their partner’s pain or anger. It’s an inappropriate promise to ask for, and it’s a foolish promise to make.
  • Men shouldn’t break their promises.
  • Women shouldn’t go hunting for evidence of men’s private behavior.
  • Almost all conflict about porn is actually about something else. If your partner never watched porn, would you two have an ideal relationship? If so (which I doubt), let go of the porn issue and enjoy paradise. If not, talk about the stuff you really need to talk about. If he refuses, let him know that’s a deal-breaker for you.

I’ve got some way more realistic explanations for these important questions.

Why do men watch porn?

There are many factors that lead to men watching porn, and they’re all about equally important. The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that targets boys right from the time they are children. Even before the Internet, boys were familiar with porn in the form of their dad’s “dirty magazines” and videos only semi-hidden in the house, and late-night movies on cable TV, and advertising and magazines and calendars using women’s bodies as props and sex objects. Now that the average kid has a smart phone with Internet access, free high-resolution porn is only a click away.

Men are taught that they are entitled to women’s bodies. They are taught this through all the media they consume and through male-created culture, from locker room talk to social institions such as religion. Men are taught that they deserve beautiful women and that they have a right to expect women to cater to them sexually. Due to an almost complete lack of convictions for rape, and the popular promotion of rape culture, men are taught that they are allowed to “take” women whenever they want, no matter what—women’s willingness is irrelevant. This is something that men relish.

Rape in marriage has only been illegal, in some places, for a relatively short time in history, and is still legal in other places. It is legally and culturally acceptable for men to treat wives as sexual slaves, in many parts of the world, including in parts of North America. The prevalence of prostitution demonstrates that men will treat other woman as sexual merchandise, too—it’s not just wives that are abused.

Since men are taught that women are commodities and sexual playthings for them to use, and since they develop the habit of thinking of women this way right from childhood, it’s not surprising that they watch porn and think it’s normal. It’s heartbreaking, but not surprising. Men can’t understand why women object, because they don’t understand that it’s wrong to treat female people like things. Some of them don’t think we are people at all, and others know we’re people but get off on dehumanizing us.

Although men can certainly masturbate without looking at photos or videos of women being sexually used, they enjoy the exhilaration they get from viewing the sexual use of women and the reminder that women exist for their pleasure. It’s a high that comes from both sexual pleasure and the reinforcement of their dominant position in the sex hierarchy—an irresistible combination for them.

Why do men promise to stop watching, and then keep watching?

Men promise their wives they will stop watching porn, even though they have no intention to stop, because they don’t care about their wives’ feelings, they aren’t willing to examine the problems with their behavior, and their only interest is in getting their wives to stop complaining as soon as possible. They will say anything their wives want to hear so that they don’t have to talk about it anymore. They are interested in nothing but their own comfort.

Why don’t men understand how their porn-watching breaks women’s hearts?

Men are so conditioned to believe that women are things for them to use that they can’t even see that this is happening or that it’s not okay. They believe it’s natural for women to fulfill men’s sexual desires whenever and however men want, and they think that this is what women are for and that women agree with this treatment. They are taught this belief largely by porn itself, and the rest of the culture contributes too. Men are not willing to listen to women and understand how we actually feel. They cannot empathize with us and they’re not willing to try.

How can I make love with a man who watches porn?

It’s not enjoyable to make love to a man who watches porn. You can tell that he’s been watching porn by his attitude toward sex. I’ve heard several straight women now tell me that they can always tell if a man is a porn user by the way he treats her in bed, and I’m not surprised. Porn teaches men that what women really want is to be dominated and treated in a rough and callous manner. If a man thinks of women this way, he won’t be a good lover.

How can I trust a man who watches porn?

You most likely can’t trust him. He doesn’t respect women, and you’re a woman, so he doesn’t respect you. It’s difficult to face this, but it’s true.

Aren’t there any men who don’t hate women?

There are very few men who don’t hate women. In order to change this, please join radical feminism and help us create a culture where the sexes are equal and men are not allowed to abuse women. By fighting back against male supremacist institutions like the porn industry and prostitution, we tell men that they are not allowed to abuse us and they have to treat us like the human beings that we are. Men aren’t born hating women, this hatred is learned, and we need to teach a different lesson.

Our sex therapist explains:

“Some women seem to feel that there’s an implicit contract that their partner won’t watch porn, even though he never suggested such a thing. Therefore, they feel betrayed when he “breaks” the “contract.” That’s a mistake. You can dislike his porn-watching without deciding it’s a betrayal.”

Dear women, it’s not a mistake to assume your husband won’t watch porn, and to expect him not to. You have many legitimate reasons to expect that he won’t. For example, on your wedding day, he stood up in front of his and your family and friends and your religious leader and he promised to be faithful to you forever. Deliberately seeking out other women’s vaginas to get off on is not a part of being faithful, and he is breaking that promise. He also promised to love you. If his behavior indicates that he hates women, then that extends to you too. If he’s watching videos online of men shoving their penises down women’s throats until they gag, vomit and cry, or if he’s watching videos where “Dad” molests the babysitter, or videos where several men gang-rape a college student who was looking for her next class, then you are right to suspect that he hates women. It’s horrifying to realize that the man you thought was in love with you actually doesn’t think that women are fully human. Women who realize this will often use strategies to pretend it’s not true, such is convincing themselves that those women in the videos really “wanted” the abuse, or that the small amount of money they may have been given as compensation makes the abuse not hurt them, or that abuse is something sexy and fun, or any number of other excuses. Or they may not make excuses, they may repress their knowledge and just refuse altogether to think about it. But those repressed hurt feelings will eventually cause ulcers if they are not dealt with.

Men who watch videos of real sexual violence being enacted upon women and girls indeed are betraying their wives—and their daughters, and all women. Men who actually love women are sickened by violence against women.

Klein says:

“Some women seem to feel that because their partner watches porn they find disgusting or scary or confusing, they have a right to demand he stop watching it. A woman has no such right, any more than he has a right to patrol the TV, novels, or videos she watches. In an adult relationship, whatever objection she has to his porn shouldn’t carry more weight (or less weight) than his objection to her CSI or romance novels or cat videos.”

There is a reason why you would find abusive and misogynist porn disgusting or scary. It is disgusting and scary. Your husband would find it disgusting and scary too if he cared about women. Do not let anyone sell you the bullshit claim that videos of women being abused is the same thing as prime-time TV shows or pictures of cats. This is an obvious lie and anyone telling you this is deliberately dismissing your legitimate concerns in order to protect his abusive behavior. This is a tactic to allow him to continue hurting you.

“Some women seem to believe their partner has “left” them for porn. No sane person does that. People do withdraw from sexual relationships for many reasons, often passively or without adequate discussion. That’s a legitimate thing to complain about. Criticizing a man’s porn watching as the “cause” of a couple’s poor or missing sex life is as cowardly as a man withdrawing sexually without explaining his dissatisfaction.”

A porn user may very well withdraw from a sexual relationship. This may not mean he stops going through the motions of having sex with you. It might mean that he is having sex with the imaginary scenario he has in his head rather than paying attention to you, his real-life partner. Pay attention to how he treats his sex life with you.

Let me present two ways of viewing sex: the “menu of choices” or the “conversation.” In the “menu of choices” model, sex is a list of many possible activities that one can choose from as if choosing a sandwich off a lunch menu. The activity itself is the focus, rather than the relationship between the partners. The partner in fact is completely interchangeable because anyone could act out the activity, and the activity is what matters.

In the “conversation” model, sex consists of two partners relating to each other in a way that grows organically out of their feelings for each other and the time they spend together. Being together, doing things together, and talking with each other naturally produces sparks and feelings of excitement, and sexual activity is entered into as a part of their ongoing joy of their relationship. The method used to achieve orgasm isn’t what’s important. What is important here is the excitement of being together.

You wouldn’t enter into a conversation with your date with a list of things to talk about, or a pre-written script, and insist upon your date following those lines of dialogue whether she’s interested in them or not. You enter into conversations based on what the two of you want to talk about, because the two of you enjoy each other’s company, and because there is delight in finding out what your date might say. The conversation builds as the two of you interact, and the way you answer her depends on what she says. Same with sex. There should not be a script. There should be spontaneous response to your partner’s reactions and a mutual buildup of excitement as you interact.

If you feel that your husband has a preconceived idea in his head of what he wants to do, and expects you to act it out for him, regardless of whether that is one of your turn-ons or not, and regardless of whether you are feeling tired or anxious or insecure, and if you feel that he is not really making love to you the person, but just to the general concept of a woman, then your husband is viewing sex through the “menu of choices” model. He likely got this way from so many years of clicking on whatever sexual act he felt like watching at the time. Sexual acts are commodities that he as a consumer feels entitled to have. Sex with a man who thinks this way isn’t “making love.” It doesn’t create love between you, it just produces an orgasm for him.

Our male supremacist sex therapist asks the following questions of wives who have a problem with their husband’s porn use. These are designed to make women think they are being unreasonable. Let’s answer them from a feminist perspective.

Why do you feel you have a right to a porn-free house, and why is that right more important than your husband’s right to have porn in his house?

A woman has a right to a porn-free house because she has a right to a house free of abuse. Pornography is violence against women, and as such, is harmful to all women. Women have the right to expect love, respect, and support from their partners, and this obviously extends to not bringing material into the home that celebrates male supremacy and male violence against women.

Men should not have the right to abuse women, nor to consume depictions of the abuse of women, on the basis that women are human beings who do not deserve abuse.

It’s unbelievable that someone calling himself a “therapist” thinks that men’s desire to abuse women is just as important as women’s desire not to be abused.

Why do you give your husband’s porn-watching meaning that he doesn’t give it? And why do you believe that your interpretation—of HIS behavior—is more accurate than his?

This isn’t a simple matter of subjective opinion, like deciding which flavor of ice cream tastes the best. The violence and misogyny in porn is real, not imagined. Real men call real women bitches and whores in porn, real men choke real women in porn, and do things like double penetration, ass-to-mouth, rosebudding, simulated rape, real rape, and simulated molestation of underage girls. (As well as real molestation, in the case of child porn.) These abusive behaviors don’t hurt any less if the woman is compensated with money. These images aren’t any less harmful to women as a class because some of the women volunteered to step onto the porn set. Women don’t control what happens to them on the set—they are told what to do by male producers and male actors, and they are satisfying a demand from male viewers. None of it is driven by women’s desires. Even so-called “feminist porn” almost precisely resembles mainstream porn.

The reason you have a different “interpretation” of your husband’s porn use than your husband does is because you are naming the fact that porn is harmful, and he is denying this. You are allowed to trust your own perception. When you see violence, you are right that it’s violence. His denial is just that—denial. It’s not an equally valid opinion. The idea that male violence against women isn’t violence is not an opinion that should carry any weight. The apologies for male violence is another tactic of abuse.

Why is it OK for you to hack into your boyfriend’s private stuff?

Generally, I don’t recommend hacking into anyone’s private stuff. A person should only check into someone’s private things if they suspect a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. If your teenager was suicidal or running away from home you might read their diary. It would be a breach of privacy to do so, but you would do it because of the more important issue of keeping your child safe. If you have good reason to believe that your husband is accessing images of violence against women, you have a good reason to be concerned, because you are a woman, and you are allowed to protect yourself and your children from violence.

Partners should be able to trust each other and should have no reason to suspect wrongdoing. If you cannot trust your partner, then it’s probably best to break up. You can’t use snooping as a tactic to improve your relationship, because that won’t improve it. You want to be with someone who you don’t even feel tempted to snoop on, because you know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt you. If your partner is willing to do things that hurt you, then it’s over.

Why would you wreck a good relationship over his private behavior?

I wonder if a therapist would ask this question to a wife whose husband had been doing other harmful things “in private.” What if he was “privately” using illegal drugs in the home while she was out? Would this be “private behavior” that she shouldn’t interfere with, too?

This “private” excuse is bullshit. If you are doing something wrong, then it doesn’t matter whether you do it in public or private, it’s still wrong. When you contribute to an industry that sexually exploits women and girls, it doesn’t matter if you do it in the family home, on your smart phone, at the municipal library, at work, or wherever. The immorality of sexual exploitation is not location-dependent.

If your husband is engaging in immoral behavior that upsets you and if he won’t stop even when you tell him why it upsets you, then it’s not a good relationship. That’s an abusive relationship.

The field of sex therapy has always been a field dominated by men and male ideas about sex. Men have created the idea of the sexual “inhibition” which needs to be cured in women, which is a fancy way of saying that women shouldn’t be allowed to say no. Men have ignored the clitoris, have prioritized penis-in-vagina sex even when women don’t get any pleasure from it and they’ve named women “frigid” for not engaging in the kind of sex that men want them to have. Sex therapists will not help you to improve your sex life, they will just help your husband to keep his dominant position over you and continue engaging in harmful behaviours. A sex therapist who tells you to accept your husband’s porn use is nothing more than a male supremacist with a fancy title. Do not listen to him.

Here’s how to actually improve your sex life. First, make your husband read Pornland by Gail Dines and then explain to you, face-to-face, in his own words, what he learned from the book. I suggest proceeding one chapter at a time, to make sure he thoroughly understands all the issues. Discuss with him why he feels he needs to use porn, and correct any misconceptions he may have. For example, he might believe that you are forbidding him from masturbating. Men are so dumb that they have no idea that one can touch one’s genitals without looking at a computer screen. He may need this explained to him.

If he refuses to understand what’s wrong with porn, and if he begins dismissing your feelings or gas-lighting you, get a lawyer, and start planning to move out. If he never repents, finalize your divorce.

Next, overthrow the patriarchy. After the revolution, sex will get much better for women, along with everything else in life. Lots of your sisters are already fighting with you. We’ve got your back.

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Seriously, Autostraddle?

Autostraddle published another super-gross article that takes an element of women’s oppression and rebrands it as “empowering.” (Of course, there is no end of articles like this in the world—neoliberalism has been deliberately rebranding oppression as empowerment for at least three decades, for the purpose of destroying leftist movements and supporting capitalism.)

Anyway, this article is called “How My Dad’s Dirty Magazines Shaped My Queer Sexuality.”  Like most sex-pozzie articles on Autostraddle, this should have come with a damn trigger warning.

The author narrates how, as a young teen, she used to come home quickly after school to look through her dad’s magazines while she had an opportunity to be alone in the house. She started on motorcycle magazines with sexy women draped over the motorcycles like decorations, and then moved on to magazines with real nudity, then eventually moved on to Internet porn from there. She says she was about 13.

She thinks the whole experience was positive and empowering:

“More powerful than guilt, shame or feeling just plain ugly was the sense of empowerment I got from those magazines. I believe that sexual images of women are a positive thing. Porn and dirty magazines were a huge part of finding myself, taking ownership of my sexuality and seeing other women empowered by theirs. Looking through my dad’s dirty magazines was an integral part of my self-discovery as a queer woman.”

Does anyone else cringe when they hear the word empowerment, because of the ridiculous misuse of this word by third-wave sex-pozzies?

Being a passive object who is sexualized by other people is the exact opposite of empowerment. The people with the power are those who get to be seen as full human beings and who have the ability to reduce others to objects. One of the most important elements of third-wave sex-pozzie politics is the use of disingenuous claims that are so obviously untrue that one wonders how anyone can claim them with a straight face. The claim that black is white, up is down, freedom is slavery, submission is empowerment! Sorry, sex-pozzies, but this is a bald-faced lie, and you look totally silly saying it.

A lot of the things this writer describes happened to me, too. I used to also come home from school before anyone else in my family and relish the time I had alone to look at my own dad’s magazine stash. I also learned the joy of looking at naked women at the ripe age of 13. I also moved on to Internet porn eventually, having developed a taste for it. Like everyone else in the goddamn world, I learned to sexualize objectification, dominance and submission. How could I not—this stuff is everywhere. It’s in our own homes as we grow up.

The difference between this writer and me is that I became a radical feminist and she did not. She is continuing to sexualize objectification while I am writing against it. Here’s my take on why it’s not “empowering” to “discover your sexuality” while looking at your dad’s magazine stash.

First of all, your own sexuality is not what you see other people creating and publishing, your own sexuality is your own thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, and wants. You don’t learn about yourself by internalizing someone else’s idea of sexuality. The best way to learn about your own sexuality is to just interact with your peers in a normal way, and discover who strikes you as attractive and what you find yourself wanting to do with them. You also learn about your own sexuality by masturbating WITHOUT PORN and by thinking about things that naturally interest you.

Using porn is not discovering your sexuality, using porn is looking upon depictions of sexual abuse and learning to find it arousing. There are no depictions of healthy sexuality in commercial pornography. There is dominance and submission, and men are always dominant. Women are objects for consumption, we are painted with make-up, shaved, placed in submissive poses, and sold for entertainment. We are passive things being acted upon. Women’s sexuality is not being portrayed in porn. Men’s idea of what women should be is what’s portrayed in porn.

The girl who uses porn learns to think of herself and other girls as sexualized objects, and learns to identify with both the sexualized object and the oppressor at the same time. She learns to crave being sexualized and objectified because that’s what gives girls validation that they are worthy. She learns to identify with the male gaze and look upon other girls as objects for her use. When a “queer” girl discovers her sexuality through porn, she discovers a world of dominance and submission where she can play both parts, oppressor and oppressed, and where objectification is what makes sex sexy. This is all a process of grooming—it prepares her to be a sexual libertarian and to accept sexual abuse.

It took me several years to unlearn what I learned from porn, to see myself as a subject rather than an object, to understand that to objectify is to abuse, to really understand and feel that my worth as a person is not based on my ability to be a sex object, to separate my own real desires from what I learned to sexualize while viewing porn. The person who helped me the most with this was Gail Dines. Her Ted talk “Growing Up in a Pornified Culture” is incredibly valuable.

What the author of this article is remembering fondly and practically gushing about is something that is abusive and that she hasn’t been able to recognize as abuse. How strange it is to browse through Autostraddle, which is apparently a magazine for “queer women,” and find articles that sexualize the abuse of queer women. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt sick to my stomach after reading one of these articles because something negative in my life that I’ve worked to overcome is being presented as “empowering.”

Of course, I could just ignore Autostraddle entirely, but I read this stuff and write this stuff to “pay it forward”—I learned feminism from anonymous bloggers, and I’m doing the same for anyone else out there who needs it. Women need to know that there’s something more helpful out there than the stupid abusive bullshit that passes for “feminism” in sex-pozzie publications. Women deserve to be able to learn that being positive toward sex means being negative toward abuse. We deserve to learn to identify abuse, since our culture is constantly trying to confuse us by selling abuse as “empowerment.”

There is a vague, eerie suggestion of incest in the idea that girls can “learn their sexuality” from something their dad does. The fact that there is a long tradition of dads leaving porn around the house for their kids to find is a sign of how little anyone cares about sexual abuse. It’s totally normal for dads to groom their kids into abusive sexuality by leaving porn around. It’s totally normal because abuse is totally normal. This writer really should start thinking about the negative effects of dads showing their kids porn instead of waxing lyrically about it.

I hope that, now that people only use porn on the Internet, and every idiot knows how to delete their browsing history, this tradition will stop. But that’s hardly comforting considering that 11-year-olds have their own smart phones, and what they will be exposed to there is much worse than the pin-ups we used to look at.

This is the concluding paragraph from the article:

“In a time where queerness wasn’t as accepted, I’m thankful that I had an outlet (however pervy it was) to explore my identity. Dirty magazines and porn were a large part of my self-discovery and have positively influenced my sexuality as it is today. Even though identifying myself as queer when I was young seemed terrifying, seeing women unabashedly owning their sexuality taught me to be unashamed of sexuality. I missed a lot of shame and guilt surrounding sex, because I introduced myself to it so young. Being in tune with my sexuality, or even being in tune with my confusion — just simply letting myself feel and experience has led to me being a sexually empowered adult. I thank and honor the perverted 11-year-old I was; she created the proud queer woman and writer I am today.”

Nah, porn didn’t “positively influence” your sexuality. This whole article is a demonstration of the grooming you experienced, that you still have not been able to escape from. One of the primary things that helped me recognize my own grooming was the Ted Talk by Gail Dines that I posted above. She mentions that she has gone to prisons to interview convicted sex offenders, and they have told her that they hardly had to groom their victims at all, because the victims were already ready and accepting of sexual abuse. Victims are coming “pre-groomed” now, thanks to porn itself and also porn culture in general. The sex-pozzitive movement is a movement that gets people to accept porn, prostitution, dominance and submission—it’s a process of grooming. Anyone who wants to put an end to sexual abuse needs to name this, analyze it, and then stop it.

It seems so incredibly obvious that I can’t understand how even Autostraddle doesn’t see it. Women who love women shouldn’t be learning their sexuality from abusive men.

‘Lesbian’ is still the most searched for term on Pornhub

Pornhub has released their 2016 Year in Review. I’m not going to link to it because I don’t want to send them pageviews but you can find it just by searching “Pornhub 2016 Year in Review” if you want to see the horror show for yourself.

They report the following statistics:

  • 91,980,225,000 videos viewed
  • 23 billion visits for the year
  • 64 million visits per day

Keep in mind this is JUST ONE PORN SITE.

  • For the second year in a row, ‘lesbian’ was the most popular search term
  • Among women who searched for porn, the most popular search terms were “lesbians scissoring”, “lesbian seduces straight girl”, “lesbian strap on” and “lesbian squirt”.
  • Women aged 18 to 24 are 31% more likely to search for lesbian porn. The popularity of lesbian searches drop considerably as women get older.

pornhub-stats-women-2016

“LESBIAN STEP-MOM AND DAUGHTER”!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Here are the most searched terms for everyone, worldwide:

pornhub-stats-all-2016

Although men are interested in ‘lesbian’ porn, it isn’t their number one interest. Apparently, men are most interested in moms and sisters.

pornhub-stats-by-gender-2016

Demographic data starts at age 18. There is no data for what under-18s are searching for, probably because it’s considered in poor taste to mention that under-18s are watching porn, but they are. Whatever is popular among adults is probably what teens are watching too, because that’s what’s out there.

I’m trying to think of what this all means for lesbians. With ‘lesbian’ porn at the top of the search terms, surely this means demand is high for more videos of what is most likely straight women performing acts that male directors have deemed to be ‘lesbian’ sex. I don’t even do ‘scissoring,’ as it doesn’t do anything for me other than make me feel silly, and I can’t even imaging what ‘hardcore scissoring’ might be. I’m definitely not interested in stepmom-and-daughter incest or ‘lesbian’ babysitters. What the fuck??? I wonder who is making these searches. Since Pornhub is getting their data from user account profiles, there could be men with profiles saying they are women. It really can’t be good for us when young people are watching silly, fake, and gross sex acts between straight women and learning that that is what ‘lesbian’ sex is.

And why on Earth are ‘step-moms’ so popular?

Please just catapult me to the moon and get me away from the absolute mess human beings have become.

Men hate us

In my last anti-porn article someone made a comment that I “openly hate men.” I was thinking of writing a response to that but I found I didn’t feel like explaining it. Women have been accused of hating men so many times, and it’s been explained so many times that expecting men to stop abusing us doesn’t amount to us “hating” them.

Then I saw this picture yesterday and it’s the perfect illustration of how men openly hate women.

This banner was hung by misogynist frat boys near the University of Cincinnati:

gag

This banner was created to warn (threaten?) women that if they come near they can expect to be given rough blow jobs (which means having a penis shoved down their throats until they gag.) The fact that the text is addressed to a parent of the woman instead of the woman herself makes it even more creepy. The words “your daughter” makes it sound like their target victim is a young woman, presumably a college freshman. The fact that they are addressing this to a parent of a college freshman makes it sound as though the message is addressed to parents (most likely fathers) who are dropping off their freshman daughters at college for the first time. They don’t seem to be the least bit ashamed of communicating to fathers what they will be doing to abuse their daughters. It seems as though they are expecting other men to find this funny.

This banner displays several things:

  • Men are quite proud of their misogyny and their desire to hurt women
  • Men think the abuse women endure in porn is a legitimate thing to do to women
  • Men assume that there will be no negative consequences when they abuse women (and they’re right—just a few days ago Global News reported that only 3% of sexual assault reports in Vancouver result in convictions—and the numbers are similar everywhere else. Men are effectively allowed to abuse women because there are rarely ever negative consequences for them when they do.)
  • Men don’t give a flying fuck about the way they make women feel with their disgusting behavior.

In Germany, where prostitution is legal, billboards like this show up around town:

german ad

(This image is taken from an excellent article by Manuela Schon which is an absolute must-read by the way.)

Can you imagine being a German woman and whenever you leave the house you see billboards advertising pussy for sale? How can you ever develop a sense of self or a healthy relationship with a man when your genitals are literally consumer products that men own and can buy and sell as they please?

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world—men consider women to be commodities that they own and can use however they want. In the so-called “developed” world we create ridiculous amounts of pornography, which is simply prostitution with a camera, and there are large problems with human trafficking (often of teenagers), child abuse, child porn, and intimate partner violence. In other countries, women are literal sex slaves and child brides and are open targets for rape. Men are never ashamed of the way they behave. They call it either “culture” or “religion” or “free speech” or “the woman’s choice” or any number of bullshit excuses without ever feeling an ounce of shame that they’re behaving like monsters from hell.

A father in Australia was put in jail for raping his own daughter from age 11 to 13 and selling her to other men to rape using ads on Craigslist. When he went to jail he said “it was fun while it lasted.”

The youngest convicted rapist is 11 years old. A boy in the U.K raped his sister, aged 9, two times. No doubt he learned this violent behavior from porn, which men around the world defend as “free speech.” The freedom for men to abuse women and to groom young boys into becoming abusers is protected above the freedom of women and girls to be safe from abuse. You can definitely make a case that exposure to pornography is child abuse against boys too. However, since it’s girls on the receiving end of that abuse I’m going to put my energy and compassion toward them.

When someone accuses me of “hating men,” my first reaction is “of course I do.” How can anyone not hate men? Their behavior is so terrible I’d be quite happy to never see another one of them again as long as I live. But you know what you will never see me do? You’ll never see me actually treating men as badly as they treat women. I have no desire to harm anyone—I just want to live in peace without being abused. When I’m accused of hating men, and this goes for all feminists, what we’re usually actually doing is pointing out their terrible behavior and expressing our rage. And when we fantasize about a world without men, most of the time we’re not fantasizing about literally killing them, we just want to get away from them and have some peace.

There are a tiny amount of feminists who advocate for reducing the male population by killing male babies. You’ll notice, however, that they haven’t actually carried out this plan, it’s been limited to just commentary on the Internet, and most feminists don’t agree with this idea. Male babies aren’t generally at risk of anything in the real world except for the grooming and abuse they’ll experience from adult men, and from things like racism, poverty, and violence which are largely perpetrated by men.

I mostly don’t want any men around me because I get so tired of dealing with sexism, mansplaining and macho behavior. But like everyone else in the world, I realize it’s #notallmen, and I do have a couple of male friends in real life who are really fun to drink beer and play cards with. There are about four or five men who read my blog who are pro-feminist and I don’t mind them commenting. Because it’s not about actually hating people on the basis of being male, it’s about hating macho male behavior, and so it follows that if you’re acting like a decent human being then I don’t have a problem with you.

It’s men who openly hate women. They proudly proclaim that hate all the time and act on it whenever they want to, because they like it and they can.

Sex-pozzies and their “feminist porn”

A piece of anti-feminist propaganda published in the Guardian recently preaches that yes, feminists can have rape fantasies! And it’s all subversive and revolutionary when we do, of course.

The title of the article is Spanking, caning and consent play: how feminist porn frees women from shame.

The main gist of this article is that women just intrinsically want to fantasize about rape, and create porn that depicts rape, and they are ashamed of this because of the shaming coming from repressed, anti-sex prudes.

This shit is not new. Sex-pozzie “feminism” has been around for decades as a backlash against radical feminism. The sex-pozzies don’t like when feminists talk about serious topics like rape, incest, pornography, prostitution, and sexual slavery, and they prefer to turn the conversation back to their fun sexytimes. Because they are really fun people who just want to have a good time and they’re not like those ugly, man-hating feminists.

The article begins thusly:

“Can a feminist have rape fantasies?

According to feminist pornography producer Pandora Blake, who runs the fetish porn site Dreams of Spanking and frequently portrays fantasies of “non-consent”, the answer is a no-brainer. “Absolutely.”

The general consensus in the feminist porn movement is that no fantasy, no matter how anti-feminist the subject matter appears to be, is off limits. To tell a woman what she is and is not allowed to be turned on by is just about as anti-feminist as it gets.

“Removing shame from hardcore BDSM desire and rape play and age play and all of the kinky taboos that women just have not been allowed to like ever, that’s the kind of stuff that really draws me into the feminist porn movement,” says Courtney Trouble, the producer behind Trouble Productions and a past Feminist Porn Conference keynote speaker.”

Where to even get started with this “feminist porn” business? The people quoted in this article are suggesting that “feminist porn” can have just as much abusive content as regular porn—they say that nothing is off-limits, including hardcore BDSM and rape. So what is the difference then, between what they’re creating and the rest of the misogynist porn industry?

The “feminist pornographers” explain that in their porn, performers are allowed to cut the scene if they are uncomfortable with something, they talk about consent first, fat people are allowed, and only people who are kinky in real life do kink scenes, so that no vanilla prudes will be made uncomfortable. So basically the only difference between “feminist porn” and regular porn is that no one is outright being raped, and there is more variety in body type. Everything else is the same though—the eroticization of dominance and submission and the portrayal of oppression as sexy is left intact. The same message is being sent to the viewer: the sexual abuse of women is sexy.

When it comes down to it, the main difference between “feminist porn” and regular porn is that in “feminist porn” it’s women volunteering for their own degradation, instead of men enforcing it on them. How revolutionary! But this is what third wave sex-pozzie “feminism” is. It’s when women take over doing the hard work of oppressing women so that men can relax and just enjoy the show. Women volunteer to be oppressed instead of being helpless victims of oppression. Because if we volunteer for our oppression, it isn’t oppressing us anymore. You can fight a revolution without changing the material conditions of women’s lives—you simply rebrand what’s happening to you as something else and voilà—oppression gone!

Liberal feminism

Back in 2008, Twisty Faster wrote about a “feminist” burlesque show that was a lot like this, in the sense that it was about how it’s a “feminist” act for women to volunteer to be objectified. She wrote one of the best blog titles I’ve ever seen:

“Pornulation empowerfulizes us, say humorous ironic hotties”

Fucking genius.This is a great piece of hers, however short, and it contains these gems, which are applicable to the current “feminist porn” article.

“How is fun-feminism different from regular feminism? Not at all, except that it’s antifeminist. It’s when you capitulate to, participate in, embrace, and openly promote rape culture in exchange for approval, claiming that it empowerfulizes you.”

And…

“The idea that women’s public sexuality can so precisely mirror traditional male fantasy while simultaneously existing in a kind of pro-woman, I-do-it-for-myself alternate universe is the cornerstone of funfeminist “thought.” The flaw in this reasoning is that all women must participate in patriarchy regardless of what they say motivates their participation; patriarchy is the dominant culture, and there is no opting out. Which means there is no opting in, either. Do it for me, do it for you, whatever; the primary beneficiaries of women’s participation — willing or unwilling, ironic or sincere — in patriarchy, are men.”

Even funfeminists should be able to realize, if they bothered to think about it, that when you promote the idea that rape is sexy, the people who benefit from that are rapists.

One of the interviewees, Blake, presents her desire for kink as a naturally-occurring trait that she discovered while growing up, and that she had to work through her shame around it in order to become her kinky self. I call bullshit on that. The idea that a woman’s inborn sexual desires perfectly resemble the oppression that men subject us to is actually a misogynist idea that men have been using against us for centuries. Men have always claimed that women naturally want to submit to men, and that we want to be controlled, used, and abused, because this justifies women’s oppression. MRAs are still saying this today. (Notice that sex-pozzies and MRAs agree on a lot of things?) Of course, if you bring this up to a kinkster, you’ll be dismissed, name-called, and booted out. That’s because they don’t want to think about the social context of their desires or the political implications of what they’re doing. That would totally kill their buzz, and their buzz is way more important to them than liberating the female sex class from oppression.

“What’s hot about spanking is the fear of it, the anxiety and anticipation of what’s coming,” Blake says.

Well I must be a vanilla shitlord, because I don’t believe that anxiety and fear are a part of a healthy sex life. I think that what people should feel during sex are love, joy, arousal, fun, excitement, climax, and release, not fear or pain.

“Feminists routinely fight for sexual agency – a woman’s right to make decisions about her own sexuality, including when and with whom to have sex, and when, if ever, to get pregnant. Feminists traditionally rebel against the forces that would hem in these rights: the puritanical voices that say that a woman who enjoys sex is a slut, that would restrict access to contraceptives, that claim that dressing provocatively is inviting rape.”

Real feminists, not the fun kind, realize that fighting for women’s sexual agency means making material changes in the world that allow women to say no, because when you don’t have the option of saying ‘no,’ your ‘yes’ is meaningless. For example, when feminists fought for the right to divorce, the right to work for our own wages, and the right to access birth control and abortion, those changes all made it easier for women to control when and how and with whom we have sex or get pregnant. By controlling our own lives and not being dependent on a husband we are free to make our own sexual and reproductive decisions. But when funfeminists talk about “fighting for women’s sexual agency” they actually mean celebrating middle-class women’s choices to participate in the exact patriarchal institutions that deny agency to countless women who are less fortunate than they are. Creating your own pornography is only fun for middle-class women. Women who have no real choices and are desperate for money and find that their only option is the sex industry find it a lot less fun.

Funfeminists vaguely understand that there is something wrong with mainstream porn, but because their understanding is very limited, they don’t have any useful solutions.

“Certainly there are things in mainstream porn that I think are stereotypical, or repetitive, boring, or even offensive,” Taormino told me, “but the answer is not to shut down porn. The answer is to make more porn.”

I’m going to use an analogy here that comes from Gail Dines. People call her “anti-sex” because she opposes the porn industry. As she explains, that would be like calling someone “anti-food” because they criticized the fast food industry. The problem with the porn industry is not that a few movies are bad, it’s that the industry as a whole harms women as a group. It’s an industry that profits from male power and sexualizes women’s submission, it teaches that rape is sexy, it grooms entire generations into accepting abusive behavior, it reduces women to a collection of holes to fuck instead of whole human beings. The answer to this industry is not to set up one porn studio that makes so-called “ethical porn.” That would be like trying to counteract the negative effects of capitalism by opening one ethically-run business. That one ethically-run business does absolutely nothing to negate the fact that unethical business practices are institutionalized worldwide and harming most of the world’s people. And by the way, when your porn studio produces rape scenes, “age play,” and hardcore BDSM, then it’s already unethical, even if your actors talk about consent before they shoot the scene.

Let’s talk about what “age play” is. This is a euphemism for acting out the sexual abuse of an underage person. We are even given an example of it in the article:

“like a schoolgirl who knows she’s going to get a caning after school and can’t think about anything else and she’s asking her friends how bad it’s going to be, if it’s going to hurt.”

It should be obvious to anyone that this is the sexualization of child abuse.

“Removing shame from hardcore BDSM desire and rape play and age play and all of the kinky taboos that women just have not been allowed to like ever, that’s the kind of stuff that really draws me into the feminist porn movement,” says Courtney Trouble.

So this “feminist” thinks that removing shame from the eroticization of things like rape and child sexual abuse is a part of the “feminist porn movement.” I disagree. If you are fantasizing about hurting a woman or a child you SHOULD be ashamed. And as for women who fantasize about being on the receiving end of abuse, they have a responsibility to realize that this is not some sort of innate “kink” to celebrate having, it’s a response to being treated in an abusive way and being taught to sexualize that abuse. It’s not necessary to be ashamed if you have internalized harmful messages from your culture, but it’s necessary to realize they are harmful and to avoid defending and promoting them.

“In a world where porn is the de facto sex education for any teenager with an internet connection, socially responsible producers have to think not only about what will get people off, but what people will learn.”

This sentence coming from someone who thinks that “rape play,” “age play” and “hardcore BDSM” are okay? Are these the things that they want teenagers to learn? That’s absolutely frightening.

I will never call these people sex-positive, because they are actually positive toward abuse, not sex. They are as far from being feminists as the average MRA, and they are not fighting a social justice movement. Women already have the right to be abused. What we need is the right to be free from abuse. Only the radical feminists are fighting for that.

P.S.—The mainstream media loves publishing these sorts of articles. That’s because part of the backlash against feminism is a sort of fake version of feminism that gets promoted by people who have an interest in the continuation of capitalism and patriarchy. They promote a neo-liberal version of feminism that is all about women being “empowered” by making consumer choices, and women participating in patriarchy while rebranding it as their “agency” in a deliberate strategy to kill the feminist movement. There is no better explanation of this phenomenon than Gail Dines’ lecture Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism. Neo-liberalism has also killed the Left, because it has turned us away from class analysis and toward pointless wanking over “identities.” Anyone wanting to learn about feminism should avoid the mainstream media altogether and just read either Feminst Current, print books by feminists, or anonymous blogs by feminists. Not the fun kind.

 

The new “public health crisis” strategy for opposing porn

The “public health crisis” (PHC) strategy is a new strategy the anti-porn movement is using to try and get more people on board. This strategy involves framing pornography as a public health issue since it causes addiction and low self-esteem, ruins relationships, and increases the incidence of sexual assault. This is a strategy that can appeal to a wide variety of people with varied politics, and, most importantly, it appeals more to men than did previous anti-porn strategies. Men have always adamantly opposed anti-pornography initiatives on the basis that banning images of women being raped violates men’s right to free speech and self-expression. The PHC strategy is much less threatening to men than the unabridged radical feminist position, because it presents pornography as simply an addiction that one shouldn’t fall into due to potential negative personal health and relationship issues, rather than presenting it as male violence against women and a cornerstone of women’s oppression. It also presents men as victims of the porn industry, which works as a strategy because men only care about victims of an exploitative industry if those victims are male. Although the PHC approach will surely get more people on board with criticizing porn, which has its merits, it’s a watered down strategy. It helps a few more people to realize that porn is harmful but without challenging men’s institutional power to objectify women, which means that the industry won’t take much of a hit.

One of the men who is publicly opposing porn from a personal health and addiction perspective (but not a feminist perspective) is Alexander Rhodes. He is a former porn addict who founded the No Fap support group, which is an online resource with its own website and a Reddit forum, and it provides judgment-free support for men trying to get over their addiction. I have written about the No Fap subreddit before here, because they link occasionally to anti-porn posts on my blog and so I see the link in my stats. The issue I had when I wrote that post, and still have now, is that No Fap doesn’t take any moral position against porn. It merely provides support to men who are struggling with addiction and erectile dysfunction while completely ignoring the fact that porn primarily harms women. (For more information on that, please read Pornography: Men Possessing Women by Andrea Dworkin.) Every once in a while I get a few more blog hits from the No Fap subreddit, and I always check to see what was posted. Invariably some guy has read one of my anti-porn posts and is surprised to find out that porn is actually a lot more harmful than he realized, and he posts the link to help inspire his No Fap buddies to keep staying away from porn. The other users react the same way every time. They dismiss me as an anti-sex prude who hates sex workers and insist that there is no moral problem with pornography, it’s just not something they should keep doing several times a day.

Alexander Rhodes spoke to a reporter for the New York Times for an article called Internet Porn Nearly Ruined His Life. Now He Wants to Help. (FYI by “help,” he means “help men.”) Even though pornography is a global epidemic of violence perpetrated by men against primarily women and girls, this guy is all about how it affected him and men like him.

According to the article, Mr. Rhodes first encountered pornography by accident at age 11, when he clicked on an ad that led to an image that he says depicted rape. That rape must have been very titillating for him, because he became addicted to porn and was masturbating to it up to 14 times a day. The reason he stopped wasn’t because he finally developed a conscience and realized that it’s wrong to masturbate to images of rape, but because he was unable to have relationships with women. He had erectile dysfunction and could only maintain an erection by thinking about porn. As usual, men only care about their own dicks. Porn wasn’t a problem for him until his boner was negatively affected. Although he still does not give any fucks about the epidemic of violence against women and girls, he believes that he is “uniquely qualified to help humanity” due to the business he is starting to help men recover from excessive masturbation.

To be fair, he does briefly mention women in his article.

“I knew it was bad for me,” he said. “But I also realized it was bad for women I was involved with, and that was the moment that I said: ‘I need to leave this thing behind. It is completely distorting my sexuality to the point where it could actually be harmful or at least not enjoyable for other people who I am involved with.'”

It’s like he is dimly aware that when you masturbate to rape multiple times a day for many years, you start to act like a rapist in bed. (Or turn into an actual rapist.) What else would he mean by “it’s distorting my sexuality to the point where it could be harmful to people I’m involved with”? I wonder what his first two girlfriends would say if they were interviewed.

Even though Rhodes has not taken any moral position against porn, his efforts to protect the health of his erection by not watching it have angered lots of porn enthusiasts.

“People have tried — and failed — to hack the site’s servers, and its forums have been bombarded with pornographic images, he said. His father received pornography in the mail, Mr. Rhodes said, and he himself has gotten death threats.”

Despite decades of anti-porn activism by feminists, men still completely lose their shit when anyone threatens their right to access images and videos of men raping women. As of now, nothing women have said or done has ever gotten men to care about the harm they inflict on us.

Ten years ago now, I too was a porn user who quit. My anti-porn resource was not No Fap, but radical feminist blogs. Feminists actually point out that women are groomed and coerced into the porn industry, that they are not fully aware of what they’re getting into when they enter the industry, and that they are not in control over what happens while they’re on the set. We also point out how men are posting “revenge porn” all the time, so it’s impossible to tell if amateur porn was uploaded by willing exhibitionists or by ex-boyfriends whose girlfriends did not consent to the uploading. The bottom line being that when you look at porn you are very likely looking at either a rape, or a sex act that may have been consensual at the time but that the woman did not intend for strangers on the Internet to see. You have no way of knowing if what you are watching is consensual, and we know that in many cases it’s not. This explanation and reasoning should be enough to make anyone quit porn, but unfortunately many people, particularly men, simply don’t care.

This guy Rhodes acknowledged in his New York Times article that the first porn he saw was a rape. How was that not a deal-breaker, and how does that not motivate him to take a moral stand against porn now? To acknowledge that porn depicts rape and then claim not to have a moral issue with it is to put your misogyny in full display.

So now we have an anti-porn movement that’s based on an “addiction” and “public health” approach, because it doesn’t risk alienating guys like this who are giving up porn, however selfish their reasons may be. As per usual, if we were to go full radical feminist and state publicly that pornography is male violence against women and that pornographers are violating women’s human rights, we would get the full onslaught of male violence and backlash against us—death threats, rape threats, temper tantrums with lots of shouting about “feminazis” and “censorship” and “anti-sex prudes,” and ultimately, a failed movement because men would shut it down.

Gail Dines is one of the world’s leading anti-porn campaigners. Although she has a solid radical feminist and anti-capitalist analysis of porn, which she brilliantly explains in her book and her lectures, she uses the “public health crisis” strategy when doing large-scale public advocacy. There’s a good reason for this—she wouldn’t have a movement otherwise. A recent article written by her and Robert Jensen praises the Republican Party for naming porn as a public health crisis in their platform. They appeal to Liberals to take the same stance, focusing on the fact that porn ruins relationships and sex and it causes sexual aggression.

Their article concludes:

“Defining porn as a public health crisis is long overdue, and the next step is for politicians of all parties to find the courage to take on the billion-dollar industries—not only the pornography producers but the cable companies, hotels, and web sites involved in distribution. To advance a truly progressive policy, we need a movement of parents, educators, youth, child advocates, health professionals, and activists that reclaims the next generation’s rights to a sexuality that is free of violence and degradation. Anything short of this represents an abdication by adults of our obligations to our kids.”

Technically, I agree with the statements in the article. For example, we do need comprehensive sex education that talks about healthy sexuality and enthusiastic consent, and we do need to challenge the businesses that profit from porn. The thing is though, we need more than that. It’s not enough just to teach people that porn presents an unhealthy version of sexuality. We need to completely eliminate men’s ability to abuse women. That certainly means that they should not be allowed to film sexual abuse and then sell it as public entertainment. No matter how much education people get, if men still have the power to use the bodies of women and girls as they see fit, then porn will still exist. Men should understand that it’s wrong to lure young, impressionable women and teens into an exploitative industry with false promises of easy money and glamour and fame. They should understand that it’s wrong to abuse women, and that abuse is still abuse even if the victim is financially compensated for the harm. They should understand that the proper response to seeing graphic evidence of sexual abuse is to report it to police and to push for convictions for abusers, not to masturbate to it. It should be completely unthinkable to either produce, sell or consume pornography, on the basis that women and girls are fully human persons and violence against us is unacceptable.

Demisexuality and You

According to the Demisexuality Resource Center, demisexuality is:

“a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond. Most demisexuals feel sexual attraction rarely compared to the general population, and some have little to no interest in sexual activity.”

So, like most people, demisexuals need to get to know a person before feeling sexual attraction to them, rather than just dropping their pants the second they’ve been introduced.

“Emotional intimacy is a main component, usually, so some demisexuals find themselves attracted to close friends or romantic partners. Other components may include familiarity with the person and knowledge about them (ex: learning about aspects of their personality).”

How unusual! Feeling attracted to one’s romantic partner, and needing to know aspects of someone’s personality before feeling attracted!

“Most people on the non-asexual side of the spectrum feel sexual attraction regardless of whether or not they have a close emotional bond with someone. They may have sexual feelings for attractive people on the street, classmates or coworkers they’ve barely spoken to, or celebrities. However, they may choose to wait to have sex for a variety of reasons: it might not be feasible or appropriate, they want to make sure the person is respectful and kind, it’s against their religious beliefs, they only want to have sex in a romantic relationship, etc.”

Okay, this website is definitely describing everybody. Of course you don’t have sex with every single person you like the looks of! People only have sex when it’s “feasible and appropriate,” as noted above by the Demisexuals.

The reason why perfectly normal people are having to label their perfectly normal feelings as “demisexual” is because the way they are expected to behave otherwise is fucked up, and they need an excuse to opt out of it. The way they are expected to behave is like they are in a porn movie. Due to both porn itself and a porn-soaked culture that turns every last bit of popular culture into a promotional ad for porn, people are going around thinking that they need to dress like a porn star, take off their clothes at random, have sex as an ice-breaker activity, and say yes to any sexual act all the time no matter what. Take for example, this situation witnessed at the University of California-Berkeley campus:

“Groups of girls were clacking along the street in their party uniforms: short skirts, bare midriffs, five-inch heels. One of them stopped and lifted her skirt above her waist, revealing a tiny thong, a flat belly, and some righteously toned glutes. She looked happy and strong, laughing, surrounded by friends, having fun. Then she turned toward a building where two bros, appraising the relative “hotness” of those trying to gain entrée to their party, were posted by the door.”

As Gail Dines always says, you can either be fuckable or invisible. If you’re a woman who doesn’t want to lift up your mini-skirt and show off your thong in order for frat boys to rate your “hotness,” then you’re a boring, old-fashioned, anti-sex prude. Hence women having to label themselves “demisexual” in order to convey to people that they actually want to have a conversation with a guy and determine that he has at least two brain cells and isn’t an asshole before her skirt comes off.

The culture young people are growing up in is a porn culture. Not only are youth watching actual porn starting at age 11, they are also witnessing a consumerist, individualist pro-capitalist culture that sells women and girls as consumer products at every turn. Even before the Internet, young people tended to believe that everyone was having sex but them; now the problem is certainly worse. After spending hours online watching videos in which every woman says “yes” and sex occurs anytime, anywhere, between anybody, at the drop of a hat, anyone who attempts to assert boundaries and pursue a healthy and rewarding sexual and romantic life will feel like a deviant.

Let’s take at look at 17 Confessions From People Who Identify as Demisexual, posted on hellogiggles.com.

  1. It is so hard to explain to people that I don’t feel arousal unless there is a very close bond (I’m demisexual) but am still a very sexual person.
  2. I’m demisexual, but I’m scared people will judge me because I don’t want to have sex with them straight away or have a one night stand.
  3. I’m demisexual and it’s a little frustrating. When I’m with my friends they’ll say “omg he’s so hot” meanwhile I’m thinking “I wonder if he has a good personality.”
  4. I hate being demisexual. Crushes are either extremely rare or they last for way too long. I wish I was normal.
  5. I question every part of who I am. When men find out I’m demisexual, they usually stop talking to me.
  6. I am demisexual and I feel like no one understands that I can’t just give you a try and love you, I really can’t.
  7. As a demisexual, if you ask for sex on the first date, you have no chance with me.
  8. I’m demisexual and an introvert, so casual dating isn’t an option for me…I wish I could be like everyone else.
  9. Dating woes: Being demisexual. Maybe one day I’ll find a guy who understands and respects what I cannot change.
  10. I’m demisexual. All the people I’ve slept with I wasn’t attracted to, they just got me aroused and I’m too shy to say no so I went with it.
  11. Just because I’m demisexual doesn’t mean I don’t want a serious, loving relationship.
  12. I’m demisexual. When I admitted that to someone I thought was my friend, they laughed in my face. I just want to be accepted for being me.
  13. I’m demisexual. Always have been, but when I was younger I felt bad for the guys so I would pretend I wasn’t.
  14. Being a demisexual female in a world where all guys seem to want is sex is really discouraging.
  15. The problem with being demisexual is that I can’t relate when people talk about stuff like dates with random people. I feel like I’m the odd one out and sometimes it feels like I’m the only one.
  16. I’m Demisexual and I love sex with my boyfriend but I don’t NEED it. He just doesn’t seem to understand.
  17. I’m finally being honest about myself. I’m demisexual. I’m done pretending to have sexual desire before I’m ready. If guys can’t handle that, they don’t deserve me.

This article doesn’t name the sex of the writers, but judging by what they’re writing I’d say they’re all female. I say that because they’re writing about the standard experience of being female in a porn-soaked patriarchy. These women think that everyone around them finds fulfillment in jumping into bed with random people they don’t even know. Nope. Even the people doing that aren’t finding fulfillment from it, or at least, the women aren’t. I did the whole casual sex thing when I was younger, and at the time I would have told you that it was fun, but I’m older and more mature now. I know that good sex isn’t based on the “hotness” of the participants, or how “extreme” the performance is. (Speaking of “hotness,” I’m going to quote this article again where the author quotes Ariel Levy:

“As journalist Ariel Levy pointed out in her book, Female Chauvinist Pigs, “hot” is not the same as “beautiful” or “attractive”: It is a narrow, commercialized vision of sexiness that, when applied to women, can be reduced to two words: “fuckable” and “sellable.”

Like I was saying, good sex is not based on being “hot,” it’s based on connection and chemistry. It’s good when you really want each other, because you know each other and you have developed feelings for each other, and when you’re feeling sexual tension because of your mutual attraction, and when you are excited to know that your partner wants you as much as you want them. This sort of connection cannot happen instantly—that’s impossible. (It can’t be bought or sold, either.) Chemistry and attraction are things people develop gradually through interaction with each other.

What these “demisexual” women don’t realize is that, despite feeling like they’re abnormal, they have actually figured out the secret to good sex ahead of their peers. They are on the path to have satisfying sex, while their porn-addicted peers are going to have to unlearn a whole bunch of harmful beliefs and habits before they can actually enjoy themselves in bed. Getting validation that you are “fuckable” only feels good in a superficial, fleeting way. After putting up with a bunch of disrespectful and ineffective lovers, even the “fuckable” women will get tired of the whole charade and want to find the same sort of relationship the demisexuals are looking for.

Demisexuals aren’t missing out on anything if misogynist sleazebags stop talking to them upon finding out they are demisexual. They should actually breathe a sigh of relief because they have dodged a bullet.

It’s interesting to note that “demi” means half. Does demisexual mean half sexual? It’s like these people believe that they’re missing something or they aren’t sexual enough. This belief is not just limited to the Tumblr Speshul Snowflake community, it’s everywhere else too. There is a thing called “Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder,” which is a medical euphemism for “bitches not putting out enough,” and apparently around one third of women have this “condition.” But if that many people have “low desire,” can that even be called “low”? Perhaps the bar is being set too high. Low desire in comparison to what, exactly?

What women need to learn is that whatever their sexual interest level is, that is the normal level. There is no such thing as being “half sexual” or “hyposexual” because there is no universal measuring stick that everyone has to meet. Women are not responsible for providing their bodies to men to use. Men have their hands and they have tube socks—they are going to be just fine. Women are allowed to decide when and how and with whom to have sex, and we’re also allowed to not want it at all, and this doesn’t require an excuse, a label, or an explanation.