way to be careless

Earlier I took a link walk (like a “wiki walk,” but with more forum+blog posts) and ended up finding more unsavory… “advice”… related to anomalous sexuality and sexual trauma.  I’m posting this mainly because I know two certain someones expressed an interest in talking about trauma and the stone identity a few months back.

So *jazz hands* get ready for another post about me being irritated at people.

CN: this isn’t really About partner violence, but if you’ve got triggers associated with the subject I’m gonna flag this one for you, since the advice-asker expresses frustration with another person’s sexual boundaries.  Also, on the part of the advice-giver, kinda crappy/subpar way to address histories of abuse in general, in a casual well-meaning doesn’t-appear-to-have-thought-it-through kind of way, plus… implied pathologization of selective sex aversion.

anonymous: Hi! Me and this girl want to date. She loves touching me but she freaks when I want to touch her, so I feel like she fits the label of placiosexual. I just don’t know how to deal with it. Of course I love her & still want to be with her, but I don’t know how. She says she doesn’t know why she doesn’t like to be touched, she gets most pleasure from pleasing me. It just sucks because I feel selfish if I’m getting all the love, you know? & I hate having to hold myself back from her ahh ADVICE PLZ?

Some data points I pick out from this:

  • anon has not indicated they identify as ace or empathize with aceness in any way
  • anon implies they experience sexual desire toward their Love Interest
  • Love Interest has indicated liking some sexual activities and disliking others
  • anon is unsure how to proceed at having identified a sexual boundary that is unfamiliar to them/not identical to their own boundaries
  • anon has insecurities about respecting her boundaries (“I feel selfish”) and indicates frustration with respecting her boundaries (“I hate having to hold myself back”)
  • The problems/conflict areas here warranting advice are anon’s uncertainty, anon’s insecurities, and anon’s frustration

mod response: Has she had any past negative experiences or any kinds of abuse? This can potentially lead to any kind of repulsion or phobia. If she feels like it’s interfering with what she wants to do, a therapist or sex therapist might be able to help :)

*rubs temples*

  • Why is the immediate response to these problems {anon’s uncertainty, anon’s insecurities, anon’s frustration} to ask if LI has been abused?  Why is the immediate response to “this girl has a sexual boundary” to look for a ~reason~ to explain it, instead of simply taking it as a given, and valid in its own right?
  • And even if she has been abused, does this look like a wise or tactful way to broach the subject?  Do you have any idea what kind of impact that has on a person who’s been abused, when someone looks at you expressing a behavior they don’t like and asks “Were you abused?”  Do you have any idea how that will influence the person asking for advice here, and how they’ll go on to address and conceptualize the situation?
  • Where is the reminder that all sexual boundaries are valid?  Where does the mod talk anon down from their insecurities?  Where is the affirmation that there’s nothing wrong with not liking to be touched sexually, and nothing selfish about respecting that?
  • “If she feels like it’s interfering with what she wants to do” — anon didn’t say anything about how LI feels aside from her wanting to date them, that “she loves touching” them, and that “she freaks” when they want to touch her.  Literally nowhere in the message does it say LI feels like “it” (the fact that “she freaks”?) is “interfering with what she wants to do.”  It’s interfering with what anon wants to do.
  • I find it incredibly suspect that the response to a sexual boundary/some form of act-specific aversion receives the response of “well, if you want to get rid of that…”
  • Do you have any idea what that kind of message does?
  • This is literally a case of “This girl I want to date has a sexual boundary that I don’t want to respect” met with “Send her to a therapist to change her.”
  • That. is. skin-crawling.
  • edit, to clarify: Notice how the mod gave no advice for if LI doesn’t want to change.  That possibility, and what anon should do in that case, is not even touched.  Literally none of the actual problems were addressed in this response.

Related reading: please give survivor-competent advice

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