*pinches bridge of its nose*
Assorted blanket trigger warnings for talk of porn, rape, abuse, patriarchy, and the associated snarl of controversy. I don’t know how to preview this post besides to say “this post is a ball of stress and if you don’t need that rn or ever, don’t bother with this one.” I just want to spew some reactions for a minute without having to gear up for a Debate, which is why I’ll probably keep comments closed, and if you really want to talk to me about this, you’ll have to use the Askbox.
Additional note: Yeah, this is gonna be critical of the porn industry.
As an addendum to this post on/response to the “how was it experienced”/”should it have happened” distinction, I wanted to share this excerpt from Lundy Bancroft’s book on abuse, from a passage describing the reasons why an abusive man might create positive sexual experiences for his partner in an abusive relationship.
[O]n some level he hopes that his ability to transport you sexually will tie you to him, so that he can have power over you in other, nonsexual ways. And, in some relationships, the abuser’s belief in the power of his sexuality is self-fulfilling: if much of the rest of the time he acts cold or mean, the episodes of lovemaking [sic] can become the only experience you have of loving attention from him, and their addictive pull thus becomes greater. In this way he can draw you into being as dependent on sex as he is, although for a very different reason.
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?, p.174
It’s not the kind of consideration that often features in ace-based discussions, but as long as we’re going to be raising challenges to mainstream sex-positivity, this seemed relevant.
So we kick around all these phrases like “sex is not a universal need” and “sex can’t be something you owe someone” and “nobody’s entitled to sex with you” and all that, and although I agree wholeheartedly, I think I’ve noticed a blindspot — or at least, an angle that could use more emphasis. Regardless, it’s good to practice saying it more, and I think more people need to hear this.
The Shame Clause (noun): the product of the mandate that any positive comment about sex repulsion must be followed with an addendum about not shaming sexual pleasure or expression.
The other day, I came across this part of this essay by Marlene Dixon, and you can guess what it prompted some thoughts about.
If we conceptualize human reproduction as “production” in the capitalistic sense (that is, production of future labor), and if we conceptualize bodies that are capable of conceiving as the “means of production”, and if we conceptualize bodily autonomy, consequently, as a threat to oligarchical control over the means of production, then some of the classic objections to asexuality — while still irrational — begin to make a little more sense.