Author: has written 57 posts for this blog.

Clarisse Thorn is a Chicago-based, feminist, sex-positive activist and educator. Personal blog at; follow her on Twitter @clarissethorn; you can also buy her awesome book about pickup artists or her awesome best-of collection, The S&M Feminist.
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28 Responses

  1. Jill
    Jill September 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm | *

    Incredible post, Clarisse. Thank you.

  2. Chelsea
    Chelsea September 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

    I’m not a regular commenter on Feministe, but I wanted to say that this is amazing, and I’m going to be all over this book when it comes out. I don’t quite know how to process it right now, but it’s beautifully written and intensely honest.

  3. Marlene
    Marlene September 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

    Beautiful. Forwarding to my friends level beautiful. Thanks.

  4. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl September 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

    Awesome read. Thank you.

  5. Corissa McClay
    Corissa McClay September 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    This is amazing. As someone who’s navigating my own boundaries/S&M-curiousness it’s so helpful to hear such an honest accounting from someone who’s been there.

  6. Sara Anderson
    Sara Anderson September 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

    I love it. Not normally my kind of thing, but you won me over.

  7. Melissa Huang
    Melissa Huang September 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm |

    This is the most interesting thing I’ve read in a long time. Thank you.

  8. llama
    llama September 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

    Amazing read. But so alien to me.

  9. Sid
    Sid September 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm |

    I really liked this as well. Out of curiousity, what was the background of your roommate?

  10. Rachel
    Rachel September 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm |


  11. BHuesca
    BHuesca October 1, 2011 at 1:56 am |

    Amazing! Thank you.

    Psssst…..Clarisse should totally be invited to be a blogress here…

  12. Natasha
    Natasha October 1, 2011 at 2:32 am |

    Great story Clarisse, thanks for sharing it. :) Funny how the heart is both so fragile and so powerful. Handle With Care.

  13. Echo Zen
    Echo Zen October 1, 2011 at 2:40 am |

    I’m terrible at compliments because mine always sound so generic. But if it means anything to you, I wish I could adapt the experiences you described in your post into a short film. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us, Clarisse.

  14. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio October 1, 2011 at 7:46 am |

    Great piece, technically as well as substantively.

    “The thing about getting older is you don’t need everything to be possible anymore, you just need some things to be certain.”

    In my late 20s I would have also found this quote meaningful. I am now in my early 40s and I no longer believe in certainty. It’s been interesting, getting older, watching other people acquire beliefs like life preservers, watching myself shed them like dead skin cells. That’s a different sort of chemistry, though, I s’pose; related, but only tangentially.

    Best of luck with the book!

  15. Sina
    Sina October 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |

    I usually don’t like reading such long posts, but this one captured me.

  16. Foglet
    Foglet October 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    As someone who has recently experienced those awkward ambiguous relationship conversations, all stirred up with the confusing emotion of sexual navigations, I found this to be a fantastic read. Going to sit and think for a bit.

  17. Dane
    Dane October 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm |

    Wow, that was amazing.

  18. Jenna
    Jenna October 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm |

    That was wonderful. I’m still fairly new to navigating polyamory and kink, and I love seeing things like this that help me learn what is possible, hopefully before I have to navigate that situation myself.

  19. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. October 2, 2011 at 12:46 am |

    Hmm…Re: False Dichotomy

    I think so. I assumed that the passion/love would run out at some point. Actually, I was absolutely CONVINCED it would happen. But its been 12 years. TWELVE years. And he’s still as hot as he was when I first saw him. Actually the strands of grey in his hair are inexplicably making him more hot.

    I’m not saying its true for everyone, or that its something people should aim for, or that things won’t change…just that its possible.

  20. Gabrielle
    Gabrielle October 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

    Thank you SO MUCH. This was so personal and wonderful and intense. Just. Wow.

  21. Redina
    Redina October 3, 2011 at 1:55 am |

    A well-written piece that kept me interested to the end.When I first started reading this I connected it to what my daughter’s life must be like. By halfway through, even though I am more than twice your age, I was seeing my own relationships in many ways mirrored in your reflection.

  22. Pat Riarchie
    Pat Riarchie October 3, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    Ummm, what happened to A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a bicycle?

  23. Andie
    Andie October 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

    Pat Riarchie:
    Ummm, what happened to A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a bicycle?

    I think this philosophy is a way to reconcile the idea that “Hey, being alone is okay, and not having a boyfriend is not the end of the world.”

    That being said, it’s okay to be sad when a relationship doesn’t work out, and still know it was the right thing to do.

  24. Jessica
    Jessica October 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm |

    I read this site quite often but have never posted before. Just wanted to say that I loved this post and I’m eagerly awaiting the book now!

  25. Suzanne
    Suzanne October 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm |

    Ditto – I’m not a regular commentator, but I am a regular reader of Feministe, and this piece is just lovely. I’m rather sad I can’t volunteer to beta read, actually – I suppose it’s a lesson in how I should comment more!

  26. Lucy Dee
    Lucy Dee October 15, 2011 at 2:49 am |

    Beautifully written, brutally honest. Refreshing to read.
    Thank you!

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