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  1. kactus
    kactus June 16, 2006 at 10:26 am |

    My two cents is that there is always, without fail, a humorless person who has got to make an analogy between sexual practices and good/bad feminism or morality. You don’t like blow jobs? Don’t fucking give ‘em then. But don’t try to tell women who do like blow jobs that they’re just not enlightened enough to leave the dick alone. I am first bemused by the conversation, but becoming increasingly pissed off. What the hell with the moralizing? Who are these people anyway?

  2. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke June 16, 2006 at 10:42 am |

    The way the non-fellatrices describe their impressions of the act, I can’t say as I blame them.

    Fortunately, the act they’re describing is nothing like any head I’ve ever wanted, or for that matter received.

  3. kactus
    kactus June 16, 2006 at 11:01 am |

    Thing is, Chris, that I know there are women who have been horribly hurt by men and by sex. And I know there are jerk guys out there who see blow jobs as their right and will resort to any amount of humiliation and coercion to get it. But that hasn’t been the experience for every single woman in the world, and to demand that all women repudiate an act of sexuality that they hitherto enjoyed is more than a little bit patriarchal in itself. At the very least it’s highly puritan and pretty freaking smug.

  4. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 11:15 am |

    I can’t leave this one alone.

    Damn you, zuzu! I had a post on this all ready to go!

  5. sly civilian
    sly civilian June 16, 2006 at 11:17 am |

    from her follow up:

    We all know that in a patriarchy, (and by ‘patriarchy’ I mean a social order in which all women are subject, by universal agreement, to all men), on accounta the power differential, all relationships with men are inherently inequitable.

    Except, it turns out, relationships wherein women suck cock! That’s when patriarchy miraculously recedes into the aether and male privilege becomes a distant memory! No woman was ever so free as the woman with a mouth full of throbbing gristle! How could I have been so blind? Less blaming and more cocksucking, that’s my new motto! Mystery solved! The struggle is over!

    The trick here for me is that i think this leaves precious little room for anyone to work out individual relationship. None of her commenters idealized the bj in such a fashion, and it’s troubling indeed that her dismissal of such folks as the Bitch PhD comes in casting them as craven cocksuckers. Irony called, but was unable to get a live operator, apparently.

    Are we all making compromises? Surely. But especially from a queer perspective, i’m not about to let an entire thread worth of dismissal of bjs and anal sex pass by without some sort of protest. Yes, oppression doesn’t magically lift mid coitus. But agency doesn’t dissapear just because a penis shows up. Is she obligated to shut up? Of course not. But i do think she owes her colleagues a fairer reading.

  6. Magis
    Magis June 16, 2006 at 11:18 am |

    Piny:

    The early bird gets the..urr..umm…worm.

  7. bmc90
    bmc90 June 16, 2006 at 11:22 am |

    I would not say I love giving blow jobs, but I can’t imagine my husband loves giving lick jobs, except that he says he does because I like it so much (and I don’t think he’s lying), which turns him on, especially when he makes me . . . . You get the picture. No one should do anything during sex that makes them uncomfortable, or indeed, it is coercive and anti-your partner. However, every sex act does not have to be YOUR favorite thing so long as there is major reciprocity. And I have to say, if it had to be tit for tat on everything, I owe my husband a blow job every day from now until Christmas. On the other hand, NO WAY would I have ever done that particular sex act with someone with whom I was not in a committed reciprical relationship (and who gave frequent and good lick jobs) – words to live by, yes?

  8. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 11:32 am |

    We all know that in a patriarchy, (and by ‘patriarchy’ I mean a social order in which all women are subject, by universal agreement, to all men), on accounta the power differential, all relationships with men are inherently inequitable.

    Except, it turns out, relationships wherein women suck cock! That’s when patriarchy miraculously recedes into the aether and male privilege becomes a distant memory! No woman was ever so free as the woman with a mouth full of throbbing gristle! How could I have been so blind? Less blaming and more cocksucking, that’s my new motto! Mystery solved! The struggle is over!

    Fuck that.

    She did not argue “this practice I dislike is degrading to women in patriarchy, but women aren’t allowed to say that in patriarchy.” She argued that this practice is objectively unpleasant and inherently degrading, no /patriarchy involved. Then women responded either to the argument she did make or the argument she should have made (i.e. the one she’s pretending she made in this follow up). Then other women showed up to shred those women and pretend that they hadn’t acknowledged the fact of patriarchy or the fraught “choices” within it. They called the bj-defenders brainwashed defensive fembots, ignoring the fact that Twisty already called them brainwashed defensive fembots in the OP.

    I am sick of this. She does it all the time. She uses her refusal to make actual feminist arguments as an excuse to call people who respond to her anti-feminist!

  9. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    Hah! Now my post is more visible! Face!

  10. ilyka
    ilyka June 16, 2006 at 12:19 pm |

    She argued that this practice is objectively unpleasant and inherently degrading, no /patriarchy involved.

    Oh now, hey! I think you’re reading way too much into “because it’s fucking gross,” there.

    (I hope it’s obvious that I’m kidding.)

    The first one I gave was after the first time a guy performed the corresponding act on me. I thought it was only courteous to respond in kind and, funny thing: I didn’t find it any more “gross” than he found my body “gross.” So I’d be interested* to see how the hell I’m supposed to apply a patriarchal paradigm to that.

    *Not really.

  11. junk science
    junk science June 16, 2006 at 12:34 pm |

    I don’t think “funk-filled bratwurst” is any funnier than someone calling a vagina a dead fish.

    I don’t doubt that there are assholes who get off on thinking they’re degrading a woman by getting her to suck cock, or that there are women who think giving men orgasms is their solemn duty and that they have no right to ask for or expect anything in return, just as the patriarchy ordered. But that doesn’t mean I think I can tell people how to fuck, or that I know how fucking makes them feel. This is the same reason I don’t like Dworkinites, even though I see the point they’re trying to make. It’s hard to tell whether they’re talking about patriarchal messages or individual motivations, or whether they even care about the difference.

  12. Jennifer
    Jennifer June 16, 2006 at 12:38 pm |

    See, the thing that irritates me about these discussions isn’t whether or not it’s feminist, but that it’s no longer okay to NOT like giving BJ’s. It’s now considered a standard in the sexual repetoire that you HAVE to do and HAVE to like, and if you don’t, people think you’re horrible (plus, your boyfriend will nag you tons and tons). And therefore, you can’t say that you don’t like it, for whatever reason, without getting castigated by tons of girls who looooove to give head and have no gag reflex.

    “You don’t like blow jobs? Don’t fucking give ‘em then.”

    True, but you sure do get a lot of crap for NOT liking them and NOT giving them. That’s all over Twisty’s thread even when you disregard the “is that feminist” bit or not (and I am not even gonna go there).

  13. Renee
    Renee June 16, 2006 at 12:52 pm |

    it’s no longer okay to NOT like giving BJ’s.

    I respectfully disagree, Jennifer, at least as a woman. I didn’t get that vibe from the discussion.

    I do suspect, however, that you feel this way due to your own insecurity, and that your insecurity is probably the fault of the patriarchy. According to the patriarchy, every woman should bend over backwards to please her man at the expense of her own comfort and desires.

    I’m sorry you feel pressured to anything that is outside your personal comfort zone because that is never okay.

    Then again, it’s only fair to say that I wouldn’t date a man that wouldn’t perform oral sex on me, either.

    But it’s clear from the comments on that thread that not ALL men want, demand, or expect blowjobs. And if anyone is judging you for not wanting to perform them, then steer clear of them. To hell with what’s popular or the so-called standard – you just do your thing and that’s cool. Again, I’m sorry anyone has given you crap for your preference because that’s just wrong.

    And that’s precisely what’s wrong with Twisty’s post, too.

  14. Julie
    Julie June 16, 2006 at 12:58 pm |

    They are certainly not my favorite thing, but in a relationship with a guy who I am very much in love with (like now) there is a certain amount of enjoyment that comes from giving him pleasure in ways I can’t with other parts of my body. As long as the guy involved is not a selfish jerk, and can understand stuff like “I’m getting tired, I need to stop” and move on to other activities without batting an eye, I don’t see any problem with it. I will say I’m not one who will proclaim how much I love them, I simply don’t. They are, however, an important part of many sexual relationships. In much the same way, I don’t know that cunnilingus is my husband’s absolute favorite thing, but I know that he enjoys seeing me having fun, and therefore it’s also an important part of our sexual relationship.
    That being said, if you simply don’t enjoy it, you really shouldn’t get crap about it. There are certain sexual acts I really don’t enjoy, I’m willing to try almost anything once. After that, if I don’t like it, I expect him to understand that and vice versa. My husband is great about stuff like that, and as a result I am fairly open to what I will try, because I know he won’t whine/cry/beg or bitch at me if I say I don’t want to do it again.

  15. aonon
    aonon June 16, 2006 at 1:21 pm |

    misquote by zuzu “Blow jobs are gross, and no woman should perform them.” /misquote

    Twisty didn’t say actually say “shouldn’t.”

    The thesis (such as it was, being a total wind-up anyway) was more: it’s gross – stop kidding yourselves that you’re enjoying it. Similarly the comments that took this side of things were not saying DONT, but were saying: examine what it is you’re doing and why the huge defensiveness ? No-one is saying don’t .

    The commenters “pro” BJ decided that they were being told DONT and then argued their right to do whatever they wanted. The misinterpretation continued there, and is now across several other blogs as well.

    So, that’s interesting in and of itself, the way the whole discussion develops when people are challenged just to examine what they’re doing, they go into this big protest about how people shouldn’t tell them not to do stuff, when that’s not what’s been said at all.

  16. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 1:28 pm |

    The thesis (such as it was, being a total wind-up anyway) was more: it’s gross – stop kidding yourselves that you’re enjoying it. Similarly the comments that took this side of things were not saying DONT, but were saying: examine what it is you’re doing and why the huge defensiveness ? No-one is saying don’t .

    Oh, I dunno, maybe because of comments like this?

    Who wants that thing in her mouth, anyway? *shudder*

    I, also, cannot imagine any woman enjoying giving blowjobs. I personally find the whole idea repulsive (and I have a strong gag reflex).

    Or if not “Dump him” at least “Get that thing out of your mouth!”

    What part of gagging do women not understand?

    Be there a woman with soul so dead, she actually enjoys giving head? Apparently, yes. And how.

    That’s not about examining the dynamics under patriarchy.

    Plus, it’s a pretty straight short line from “fucking disgusting” to “stop doing it,” particularly since one of the commenters I quoted did say that women shouldn’t do it (“Get that thing out of your mouth!”). Like I said, there’s a world of difference between what Twisty could have said and what she did say.

  17. dharmadyke
    dharmadyke June 16, 2006 at 1:30 pm |

    It helps me to put Twisty’s posts in this context: Twisty Faster is a fictional construct who posts humorous and bitter polemical texts on a blog called I Blame the Patriarchy (which I read avidly). In the vast and sprawling internet–largely Patriarchy’s mouthpiece–I am glad these discussions take place. I get distressed at the slaps at other women, distressed at the heterosexuality is bad equation, and distressed at the rhetoric that intends to shame.

    In the blow job posts and comments, Sheila Jeffries and Germaine Greer were both referenced; as you, piny, know, they have both said hateful dehumanizing words about trans people. I wouldn’t reference them as feminist experts in any context anymore because of this.

    I’m glad Feministe is here, and Bitch|Lab–you’ve been helpful to my thinking. But I’m also glad IBTP is there and its commentors; they’ve clarified what and who I am not, as well as what I am.

  18. junk science
    junk science June 16, 2006 at 1:31 pm |

    The thesis (such as it was, being a total wind-up anyway) was more: it’s gross – stop kidding yourselves that you’re enjoying it.

    I don’t like being wound up. I don’t like it when asshole men try to wind me up because they know I have no choice but to argue or look like a chump, and if I argue they can accuse me of being hysterical. The game doesn’t suddenly become amusing when Twisty plays it.

  19. Lauren
    Lauren June 16, 2006 at 1:35 pm |

    I don’t think “funk-filled bratwurst” is any funnier than someone calling a vagina a dead fish.

    That was exactly my thought on the post.

  20. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 1:40 pm |

    Right. If a vegan tells me that the milk I’m pouring into my glass is pestilential RBGH-saturated liquid congestive heart failure produced via udder-rape, I’m not going to go, “Oh, so you think I should drink it at every meal, then?”

  21. Thomas
    Thomas June 16, 2006 at 1:42 pm |

    Twisty didn’t say actually say “shouldn’t.”

    You are flat wrong, unless you are standing on some hyperliteral point that she did not use the word “shouldn’t”. See:

    How dare I presume to impugn the sanctity of a woman’s right to the blow job? I do so mostly on accounta I will get a big bang out of the impassioned arguments defending it.

    By her own terms, to the extent she even purported to be engaged in anything serious rather than at Zuzu put it “troll[ing] her own blog”, she explicitly states that she was “impugn[ing the] right” to give blowjobs. She is saying that no woman ever has enjoyed giving a blowjob, and that each one ever given is but-for caused by patriarchal coercion.

  22. junk science
    junk science June 16, 2006 at 1:46 pm |

    I do so mostly on accounta I will get a big bang out of the impassioned arguments defending it.

    This is exactly what every troll that has ever existed says all the time. She’s not even satirizing trolls; she’s just being a troll because she’s bored. Whatever.

  23. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost June 16, 2006 at 1:50 pm |

    Then again, it’s only fair to say that I wouldn’t date a man that wouldn’t perform oral sex on me, either.

    And that’s fully your right. It’s important to make the point, though, that that’s a comment on the conditions that a man has to satisfy to date you, rather than an obligation that a man dating you has.

    Similarly, guys have the right ntot to date a women that won’t give them blow jobs. They have no right to demand it of them, and they have no right to expect it. But they have the right to make the choice not to date women who won’t.

    Remember, folks, we have complete control over our personal boundaries, and absolutely none over anyone else’s.

    And any time anyone claims expertise over other peoples’ desires, I stop listening.

  24. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus June 16, 2006 at 1:57 pm |

    it’s no longer okay to NOT like giving BJ’s. It’s now considered a standard in the sexual repetoire that you HAVE to do and HAVE to like, and if you don’t, people think you’re horrible (plus, your boyfriend will nag you tons and tons).

    I have to disagree with this, Jennifer.

    I have some experience with this. My most recent sexual partner didn’t like performing oral sex on me, and therefore almost never did it. On the other hand, I performed oral sex on her nearly every time (except for the instances in which she said she didn’t want it), because I liked to do it and I knew she liked it.

    I think it just comes down to negotiation. You are welcome to say, “I don’t like going down on you.” Likewise, your partner is then welcome to accept that and deal with it, or your partner can say, “I’m sorry, I don’t think we’re compatible.” You can then find another partner who is closer to your own preferences.

  25. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 1:59 pm |

    I have to disagree with this, Jennifer.

    I have some experience with this. My most recent sexual partner didn’t like performing oral sex on me, and therefore almost never did it. On the other hand, I performed oral sex on her nearly every time (except for the instances in which she said she didn’t want it), because I liked to do it and I knew she liked it.

    I think it just comes down to negotiation. You are welcome to say, “I don’t like going down on you.” Likewise, your partner is then welcome to accept that and deal with it, or your partner can say, “I’m sorry, I don’t think we’re compatible.” You can then find another partner who is closer to your own preferences.

    While I know that there are considerate men out there, I think Jennifer’s right to say that there’s a large contingent who expect blow jobs and do nag, as evidenced by Chris Rock and Dan Savage.

  26. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus June 16, 2006 at 2:18 pm |

    Oh, sure, piny. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t support nagging (as opposed to asking) and I think people who do so are at the very least inconsiderate.

    The tricky part, I suppose, is finding that balance between respecting your partner’s preferences and asserting your own. I think it’s just as unhealthy to ignore your own needs as it is to demand that a partner must cater to them.

  27. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost June 16, 2006 at 3:19 pm |

    Linnaeus: I think the solution is to remember that you have complete control over your own boundaries, and no control at all over anyone else’s. You have the ability to choose if dating the person you’re with is either worth forgoing blowjobs, or isn’t. If so, you give up the blowjobs and enjoy life. If not, you’re justified in ending it. Converse, the person dating you has the choice of providing blowjobs again their preference for the sake of maintaining the relationship, or denying blowjobs because they aren’t worth it. Of course, that only really works in practice when both parties are secure in their selves, and are comfortable in walking away from a relationship.

  28. Scott
    Scott June 16, 2006 at 6:26 pm |

    While I know that there are considerate men out there, I think Jennifer’s right to say that there’s a large contingent who expect blow jobs and do nag, as evidenced by Chris Rock and Dan Savage.

    Dan Savage nags women for blowjobs? Just when you think your gaydar’s semi-functional BAM! you have the rug pulled out from under you. Like last year I saw this guy at the Boom Boom Room and I could’ve sworn he was gay, but he left with this woman. She was smokin’, Madonna-arms and all…

  29. piny
    piny June 16, 2006 at 6:37 pm |

    Dan Savage nags women for blowjobs?

    I didn’t mean he nagged them on his own behalf.

  30. sophonisba
    sophonisba June 16, 2006 at 6:51 pm |

    Anybody who continually pushes for a sexual act their partner doesn’t like is an asshole, no matter how many sex columnists back up their entitlement issues. And I really wish Dan Savage would quit it. Applying it to men and women equally doesn’t make it ok. There’s being too lazy to value your partner’s orgasm/thinking oral sex is women’s work, and then there’s just plain disliking oral sex, and anybody who just dislikes it fucking well doesn’t have to do it.

  31. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke June 16, 2006 at 7:22 pm |

    I stopped paying attention to Dan Savage’s opinions on fellatio about the time he started sucking George W. Bush’s dick.

  32. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 16, 2006 at 8:21 pm |

    Standard privilege disclaimer.

    At the risk of comparing oppressions, I, as a secularist Jew, don’t want to be told that I don’t, in fact, like celebrating the fact and the secular aspects of Christmas, I just think I do. It’s true that it lets me look at myself in the mirror to believe that the women around me enjoy the things they tell me they enjoy, and I’ll admit that they may feel they can’t let on how they really feel around me — I’m not so blind as to deny there is a patriarchy. But to tell women in a “safe space” (much as I hate that term) that they don’t really enjoy something they say they enjoy bothers me. It’s like saying “you’re not happy, you only think you’re happy.”

    KnifeGhost:

    Similarly, guys have the right ntot to date a women that won’t give them blow jobs. They have no right to demand it of them, and they have no right to expect it.

    Er … “expect” can mean two things. Do you mean the sense approximatable by “hope for” or the sense closer to “demand”? I agree that it’s the second. I think, in the absense and prior to a specific discussion, it’s not unreasonable or perverted or weird for a person embarking on a relationship to believe that oral sex will happen somewhere down the road.

    I don’t know what I’d do if I were in a relationship with someone who didn’t seem* to enjoy performing oral sex. I like to think I wouldn’t nag. But of course I’d say that, especially here.

    *I can’t read minds.

  33. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost June 16, 2006 at 9:14 pm |

    It’s like saying “you’re not happy, you only think you’re happy.”

    I had a friend in high school who made the case that everybody was miserable and if they thought they were happy, they were fooling themselves. I told him to fuck off.

    But I accept and confirm your distinction on the use of “expect”. I meant it like “woman, I expect dinner on the table when I get home”, rather than “I expect it’ll be nicer tomorrow than it was today.”

    And if I had a girlfriend who didn’t seem to enjoy blowjobs, I’d just tell her not to bother. I care not to think of anything more creepy than engaging in any kind of sex act with someone who was only half into it.

  34. Carpenter
    Carpenter June 16, 2006 at 10:15 pm |

    when did Savage ever suck Bushes dick? Hes running Impeach the Mother Fucker Already for chrissakes.

    Savage basically thinks that if you think oral sex is disgusting you think gentials are disgustnig and by extension the person attached to them is disgusting. He basically thinks everyone should get the fuck over it, though he does makes exceptions for traumatised people. He doesn’t advise. I used to agree with him entirelyl but I have since lightened up since not everyone likes everything, even icecream. But I still think he has a point about it not being objectivly more nasty than anything else.

  35. Carpenter
    Carpenter June 16, 2006 at 10:19 pm |

    Also Savage never advocates nagging. He advocated getting the fuck over it(either oral sex or lack thereof) or else breaking up. So while he has open contempt of people who dont have oral sex, making him an assole, at least he’s not a Nag.

    Also he had a great guest Dr. last week talk about how clitoris is much bigger everyone thinks.

  36. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke June 16, 2006 at 10:34 pm |

    when did Savage ever suck Bushes dick? Hes running Impeach the Mother Fucker Already for chrissakes.

    Is he doing it for my sake? Nice of him. I should send a note.

    But he’s an impeachy-come-lately, having jumped on the “Invade Iraq” haywagon back before it became fashionable not to do so.

    I do realize, however, that 2002 is just SOOO 2002.

  37. Carpenter
    Carpenter June 16, 2006 at 10:46 pm |

    But he’s an impeachy-come-lately, having jumped on the “Invade Iraq” haywagon back before it became fashionable not to do so.

    Did he? Know where I can took it up? not that I doubt but Id like to read it. I know he was all for commiting as many sexual acts of debauchery aspossible shortly after 9/11 becuase otherwise the religious wingnut terrorists win…but he usually has that same policy all the time lest the fundie christians win.

    I put up with Savage’s assholery because if it wan’t for him I wouldnt know the work ‘pegging’, or about he freak show practice of ‘decanting’.

  38. Carpenter
    Carpenter June 16, 2006 at 10:48 pm |

    Rats… gonna learn to type one day I swear. I hope Feministers aren’t spelling nazis or I’d be in trouble.

  39. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke June 16, 2006 at 11:45 pm |
  40. Scott Eric Kaufman
    Scott Eric Kaufman June 16, 2006 at 11:56 pm |

    Egads! Sorry about that piny. I thought everyone would get the Savage-heterosexual/Boom Boom Room-drag joint josh. (I think everyone did, actually, but there’s never any harm in making sure, no?)

  41. Carpenter
    Carpenter June 17, 2006 at 12:06 am |

    Chris
    Merci! I went back and tried to pin point he place at Twisty’s the blow job war exploded and I must agree all was going well till the Rice Cake, roots of all evil rice cakes.

  42. piny
    piny June 17, 2006 at 12:08 am |

    Egads! Sorry about that piny. I thought everyone would get the Savage-heterosexual/Boom Boom Room-drag joint josh. (I think everyone did, actually, but there’s never any harm in making sure, no?)

    No, I did. I just wanted to distinguish between Dan Savage the private citizen, who doesn’t extort blow jobs from any woman, and Dan Savage the advice columnist; my opinion of the latter is somewhat less charitable than Carpenter’s.

  43. Carpenter
    Carpenter June 17, 2006 at 12:20 am |

    From Savage
    **But wait! Taking out Saddam means dropping bombs, and dropping bombs only creates more terrorists!

    That’s the lefty argument du jour, and a lot of squish-brains are falling for it, but it’s not an argument that the historical record supports. **

    Amazing. Thanks for pointing me to this Clarke, I hadn’t seen it before. I can’t believe he thought BushCo had the presence of brain to nation build Iraq ala rebuilding Japan after WWII. Maybe hes all wrong about oral sex afgterall…but the pegging…Im so confused.

  44. Edith
    Edith June 17, 2006 at 11:35 am |

    Yeah, woe be to Twisty, or anyone else for that matter, if they dare to make a critical argument against a sex practice. Sex is harmless fun! It’s just about pleasure! To each her own!

    How super mean of Twisty.

  45. truthteller
    truthteller June 17, 2006 at 2:11 pm |

    Blowjob? NOT this girl! But I do likes some dick…When she feels like strapping it on :-)

  46. Loosely Twisted
    Loosely Twisted June 17, 2006 at 4:49 pm |

    I don’t know.. I just figured Twisty wanted to stir the pot because of her recent bad news.. Sort of a “Look over there” while she hides in a hole and tries to evaluate what’s happened in her life.

    I took it as a distraction and a laugh, nothing more.

  47. belledame222
    belledame222 June 18, 2006 at 10:56 pm |

    >I’m glad Feministe is here, and Bitch|Lab–you’ve been helpful to my thinking. But I’m also glad IBTP is there and its commentors; they’ve clarified what and who I am not, as well as what I am.

    Word.

    >I took it as a distraction and a laugh, nothing more

    LT, I replied to the part specifically about why Twisty was doing this right now at more length wherever else you commented on this, Pandagon, I think. Short version: I can totally understand that, I can totally even understand her lashing out (which is how I saw it, frankly).

    but in general, which is more or less along the same lines as what I said over there: there’s laughing *with,* and then there’s laughing *at;* and it’s a bit rum to use your audience for “laughing at” when they care about you and are more than prepared to laugh (or cry, or whatever you need to do) with you.

  48. belledame222
    belledame222 June 18, 2006 at 11:06 pm |

    >I stopped paying attention to Dan Savage’s opinions on fellatio about the time he started sucking George W. Bush’s dick.

    oh EW. i never liked the fucker, haven’t read him in years; but had no idea he’d become a Bushbot…

    wait, am I irony-impaired? seriously?

    well, in any case: Savage. Ew. if nothing else for having made more than his share of “dead fish” comments himself…actually, a lot of parallels. “oh, haha, he’s just being funny, it’s okay because he’s critiquing hetnorms, not just being anohter misogynistic dickhead…”

    not.

  49. belledame222
    belledame222 June 18, 2006 at 11:08 pm |

    …and of course I jumped ahead of all the subsequent comments on DS, never mind. well. just ew. that is all.

  50. piny
    piny June 19, 2006 at 1:26 am |

    well, in any case: Savage. Ew. if nothing else for having made more than his share of “dead fish” comments himself…actually, a lot of parallels. “oh, haha, he’s just being funny, it’s okay because he’s critiquing hetnorms, not just being anohter misogynistic dickhead…”

    Ohhhh, I am so sick and fucking tired of those. Like, WE GET IT, Dan. You’re like a vampire, except with female genitalia instead of garlic.

  51. belledame222
    belledame222 June 19, 2006 at 1:37 am |

    >Twisty didn’t say actually say “shouldn’t.”

    >The thesis (such as it was, being a total wind-up anyway) was more: it’s gross – stop kidding yourselves that you’re enjoying it. Similarly the comments that took this side of things were not saying DONT, but were saying: examine what it is you’re doing and why the huge defensiveness ? No-one is saying don’t .>

    As others have said: it effectively amounts to “shouldn’t.”

    But even if that weren’t so, I think this

    >it’s gross – stop kidding yourselves that you’re enjoying it.

    is actually *worse* than out-and-out saying “you shouldn’t do this.”

    If someone says, “You shouldn’t do thus and so,” well, that’s annoying, but at least it’s fairly straightforward. You can then ask,

    “Why?”

    “Because it’s gross.”

    “Says who?”

    “Says me.”

    “Well I’m not you, so stuff it.”

    “Says…Feminism.”

    “How so? Why?”

    …and so on.

    But to tell someone who’s just told you, “yes, me, that is, me, I really really do like this,”

    “stop kidding yourself,”

    even without the extra little dollop of “it’s gross,” just to make you feel shamed and put down (shamed and put down for liking something sexual? why no, there’s nothing reminiscent of patriarchy about that experience!),

    “no, you don’t like it; you only think you do, ’cause no woman does. Oh, c’mon now. You know it’s true”

    …that is a headfuck. How are you supposed to argue with that one?

    “Yes I DO TOO”

    “No, you don’t. You’re brainwashed. Let me show you The Truth”

    “I know my own truth already!”

    “Then why are you getting so defensive?”

    “I’M NOT DEFENSIVE, YOU’RE FUCKING WITH ME!”

    “I’m only trying to help, really.”

    …that way madness lies. That’s what the *real* brainwashers do. Works, too.

    And no, “I’m just yanking your chain” doesn’t make it okay. Examine this, if you want to examine something: *why* do you feel the need to yank our chain? And why about this shit in particular, over and over and over again? And why are you so disgusted with this, and why is it you can’t stop talking about it, and why are you apparently more interested in talking about other peoples’ shit that you’re so disgusted with rather than what *you* like, or even what *you* (just you) *don’t* like, and *why* you don’t like it? Hm?

    So, yeah. I’ve examined my shit already, thankyouverymuch; I just happen to have come to different conclusions than you. How about that. Now go examine yourself.

  52. Edith
    Edith June 19, 2006 at 3:53 am |

    That’s what I thought too, Loosely Twisted. Can’t a girl make an outrageous, inflammatory post on her own blog without having every feminist online lose it? Put some things in context. Remember humanity, and how we are members of it, and all. Sheesh.

  53. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax June 19, 2006 at 9:32 am |

    I don’t feel I have a huge dog in the blowjob fight (my position is that they’re fine as long as there’s quid pro quo, and as long as the giver, not the receiver, has full contol over the, um, depth of the act, and that there are, yes, some cultural messages about blowjobs that are creepy, but that’s a separate issue from who enjoys them). But I have to agree with belledamme222 that, in general, “it’s gross – stop kidding yourselves that you’re enjoying it.” is a worse thing to say than “don’t do this.” I mean, if I flip this around, and instead of a Twisty post about blowjobs, I imagine a religiously inspired post about not having premarital sex, I’d think better of “I think people in general shouldn’t have premarital sex, and here’s why” than “hey, all of you women who are having premarital sex, stop pretending you’re enjoying it.”

    Dan Savage’s main redeeming feature, in my eyes, is that when he gets a letter where the obvious answer is DTMFA (DS acronym for “dump the motherfucker already”), he goes ahead and says right out to DTMFA, rather than doing the Cary Tennis thing of giving a really roundabout answer which eventually gets around to hinting that, just maybe, you don’t need to be at the motherfucker’s beck and call. Problem is, he’s just as blunt when he’s dead wrong, as he is, in fact, in his stupid “blowjobs come standard” rule. No single act comes standard in the sense that someone who doesn’t want to do it should just give in and deal. Rather, what should come standard is reciprocity, honesty, and willingness to look for ways to satisfy both people.

  54. Freeman
    Freeman June 19, 2006 at 9:35 am |

    I can understand that there are girls who simply don’t like giving oral, even though I do myself. Everyone is different, and I can respect that. Would I be sad if my partner didn’t like to give? Certainly. But in a decent relationship, I think we’d find other, more mutually enjoyable practices.

    At any rate, I’m sure as well that for many girls and guys, there have been partners for whom giving blowjobs may seem more or less appealing (i.e. for the considerate lover free of expectation, versus the fetishist porn junkie who insists on gagging or otherwise causing discomfort to the donating partner). In my experience, sex is different for everyone, so applying a universal standard of judgement to sex practices as a whole seems kind of foolish.

    I think that while sex as an economic and political force should be politicized and addressed, I’m not sure that the sex act as a function of consenting contact between two (or more) individuals CAN be, really.

  55. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 19, 2006 at 3:49 pm |

    belledamme222 said exactly what I was going for.

    Lynn Gazis-Sax:

    my position is that they’re fine as long as there’s quid pro quo

    I don’t know about that. Men of a certain type have a dim enough view of cunnilingus as it is, I don’t know about encouraging the view that it’s a chore that must be performed to placate a woman.

    there are, yes, some cultural messages about blowjobs that are creepy, but that’s a separate issue from who enjoys them

    That may be the argument that was being got at, although that’s not a particularly inflammatory way of putting it. And someone who replied to that by saying “well, I like sucking cock”* would sound rather defensive about the whole thing.

    No single act comes standard in the sense that someone who doesn’t want to do it should just give in and deal.

    In fact, Savage has made an exception to this rule (admittedly, for an abuse survivor). I look at it — and I think it was in this thread that I hinted at my perspective — as being true from the point of view of the would-be giver (or non-giver): you’re welcome not to do it if you have a partner who’ll accept** that, but your partner is not weird or perverted or abusive or indeed gross for wanting it. Pressing, yes, but not merely wanting.

    *I never use “cocksucker” as an insult because I don’t want those people willing to give me head to have the opportunity to ponder the implications of that.
    ** I’m using the least loaded term I can think of; I almost wrote “tolerate”

  56. belledame222
    belledame222 June 20, 2006 at 7:00 am |

    >That’s what I thought too, Loosely Twisted. Can’t a girl make an outrageous, inflammatory post on her own blog without having every feminist online lose it? Put some things in context. Remember humanity, and how we are members of it, and all. Sheesh.>

    Yeah, and all. We *all* are. Thing is, I wish Twisty well, I mean, god know I’m sorry about her health.

    But at this point I’m feeling a little disinclined to bend any farther over backwards to empathize with someone who, in the six months or so I’ve seen her interactions, and particularly now, with this, gives me no indication that she’s able or willing to reciprocate.

    If you keep treating people like a bunch of sock puppets for your amusement, well, that’s well and good if you *like* being a sock puppet (hey, lookie-loo, there’s that wacky notion of “consent!”) But maybe don’t be too surprised when some other people get tired of it. (Speaking of objectification). That’s all, really.

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