Love & Sex Magazine

Vile Insinuation

By Maggiemcneill @Maggie_McNeill

Vile InsinuationIn yesterday’s news column, I featured the latest in what has become a relentlessly moronic theme under the “Pygmalion Fallacy” heading:  the argument that due to the principles of sympathetic magic, an inanimate object which the human mind interprets as being shaped like a woman (or a child) has some kind of mystical connection to the thing it resembles, so that for a man to fuck a sex doll somehow affects a prudish, pearl-clutching woman who can’t even see or know that it’s happening, or magically harms an “innocent child” thousands of miles away.  This is the cognition of a savage; it deserves no more consideration in a rational society than the contention that the Earth is flat or that priests should make sacrifices to Zeus and Poseidon in order to turn away hurricanes.  But the most recent iteration of this nonsense contains something far uglier and anti-humanistic than mere superstition; it’s the loathsome application of the tabula rasa doctrine to human sexual desire.  Few reasonable people now doubt that most sexual desires and orientations are innate, that they form at a very early age by psychosexual mechanisms nobody yet understands, and that they simply can’t be trained out of existence; it simply isn’t possible to “pray the gay away”, to purge oneself of kinky urges, or to shame men into being attracted to kinds of women they simply aren’t attracted to.  But the other side of the coin is that it also isn’t possible to mold people’s sexualities into a kinkier direction; a man who isn’t turned on by rough sex can’t “learn” to like it by watching rough-sex porn, and one who’s attracted to adult women doesn’t become “jaded” and start wanting to fuck kids just because he visits sex workers frequently.  These myths are promoted by anti-sex zealots who understand that “it’s sinful!” doesn’t carry the weight it did 150 years ago; now they need to invent pseudoscientific explanations as to why sexual imagery, sex work and sex toys are bad and should be suppressed by violent state thuggery.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, yesterday’s example contained an even more insidiously vile insinuation:  the idea that fantasies of violent sex are deeply connected to, and are at risk of mutating into, true desires to inflict violent sex on non-consenting partners.  In plain English, the nasty pearl-clutcher who wrote the article is saying that all a man with rape fantasies needs to turn him into an actual rapist is the opportunity to act them out, even on an inanimate piece of plastic.  And while that might seem reasonable to naive vanillas without any D/s type urges, as a BDSM switch I find it deeply insulting and dangerously ignorant.  Yeah, I enjoy getting rough with pretty girls…and the part that turns me on is that they want it.  If I got as much as a hint that a bottom wasn’t really into what I was doing, the space between my legs would get as dry as the Gobi in a heartbeat.  And the same thing goes for nearly every top I’ve ever been with; in one case I unintentionally ruined a scene by reacting so realistically that I spooked him, and he couldn’t continue.  Kinky people understand consent in a way most vanilla folk never learn to, and the notion that it’s the opposite is nothing but bigoted projection.  The dogma that consent must be explicitly verbal, ongoing, and “enthusiastic” is the sexual equivalent of training wheels; it’s a prop for people who are so sexually illiterate and obtuse that they need a highly-artificial, externally imposed structure to ensure nobody gets even the tiniest bit hurt (physically or emotionally), and it destroys the basis of a lot of kink play.  Let me close with an example from my trip to Ireland last week.  At breakfast on Thursday morning, Lorelei and Ghost Rider were teasing me about what they were going to do to me that evening.  I looked Ghost Rider straight in the eyes and said, absolutely deadpan, “I do not consent.”  But he and Lorelei know me well, and they could clearly see both the sparkle in my eyes & the Mona Lisa smile on my lips.  There was no further discussion at the time, and when similar conversations came up during the day I repeated: “Remember, I absolutely do not consent to that.”  But we had already clearly established safewords on Sunday, and Lorelei & I have a very deep bond of trust; she knows that I enjoy having consent seduced from me (which is again total anathema to the “enthusiastic consent” crowd).  The result: some of the hottest sex of my entire life that night, I mean literally screaming enough to necessitate hand over mouth so as not to scare the hotel guests in the next room.  The “ongoing enthusiastic consent” crowd would be utterly horrified if they could see a video of it (especially the audio), and yet as Lorelei said when I mentioned this on Twitter, “You and I both know that if I caught even a hint that you were revoking consent, HALT.” The people who push the artificial, authoritarian “enthusiastic consent” crap are just sex-negative moralists playing at being sex-positive; they want to pathologize all sexuality that they don’t approve of.  And their arguments against sex robots, which many people are uncomfortable with due to the “uncanny valley” effect, are nothing more than the thin end of the wedge…just as their campaigns against sex work are nothing other than the first battles of a war against sexual behavior in general.


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