A Note on Shame

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self interest

Why am I doing this?

Maybe it is the ache-y uncomfortable start of a New Year*, all the resolutions, all the reflecting and redirecting. Or maybe it is my frequently mentioned (and constantly felt) awkwardness surrounding my  weird reputation as a “blogger”, or even weirder, a “sex expert”. Whatever the reason, I have found myself feeling a nagging need for introspection. I wonder: why am I writing all of this, running my mouth ( and fingers) off all of the time? Who is it serving? What am I hoping for? Where is it going, and how will it get there?

Big questions, some unanswerable.  I suppose most of those Big Questions, when applied to our individual ambitions, often are. The purpose gets muddled or entirely lost as we propel ourselves through our worlds, grabbing & leaping & failing & winning at opportunities.  It is easy to just start doing rather than thinking, acting rather than feeling. Follow the pattern, perform the duty, complete the task.

But, in these rare moments when I do stop to think, I remember that there was once a clear and defined purpose that had led me to start writing.

I had wanted to write about the light and the heavy.
I had wanted to write candidly and openly about sex for a series of reasons, all of which stem back to the experience of shame that so many of us sexual animals are subject to.
When I began this blog, my own personal experiences had recently brought me face to face with said sexual shame. I was pressed up against a wall, feeling unacceptable and dirty and all I wanted to do was fight back, scream and shout, tell any one and everyone that I am proud and perfect and undefeatable and unashamed. And I didn’t want to do it alone. I wanted the whole world to yell back with me, to yell back with fierce, unflinching joy and self-celebration. To feel good in each of our bodies, to feel proud of our sexual selves and desires, no matter our inclinations and experiences.

Specifically, shortly before creating this blog I had an abortion. It was one of those pivotal, life-altering things that will forever mark me. Long before this experience, I had figured out that I was a pro-choice feminist, but applying this belief system so directly to my life reaffirmed it. Because even as a strong, powerful, pro-choice feminist, I was seriously subject to and affected by shame, and the shaming of women who are “sexually deviant”** in whatever way. I had to work through my own internalized sense of worthlessness that came from being knocked up and totally alone. I had to face the protestors outside the clinic. And I had to deal with the silence surrounding abortion, had to quietly hold this thing that I had been made to feel was inappropriate to be open about.

But, I’ve never been quiet. And I am often inappropriate. So, I started to write.

In writing about sex so publicly, I had hoped to not only yank out my own personal shame and unpack it, but also help you, dear reader, unpack yours. Because while for me having an abortion was a primary source of shame, we are all made to feel like shit about our sexuality for a myriad of reasons. That is the way hegemonic norms work, you see: they creep into our bellies undetected and swarm around down there like vile little worms, shaping our thoughts and telling us how we oughta be.

When it comes to sex, the “norm” that we are fed goes something like this:

Sex is something we should all be having or want to be having all of the time; and “sexy” is thin, white, straight, able-bodied, and cis-gendered. And unfortunately, this ubiquitous definition is pretty exclusive. Not a lot of bodies fit the bill. People that are queer, that are trans, that are not white, that are of size, that are (dis)abled are all left out. And this exclusion from a mass-produced and mass-consumed idea of human sexuality is a shaming experience. It makes the word “fat” an insult. It makes people of colour an exotic and objectified other. It makes bodies that are trans unsafe in our streets. It makes people who are queer subject to harassment. It makes men feel like they always have to be ready to fuck. It makes women feel like fucking too fast and too often  is slutty. It makes people that are (dis)abled misconstrued as asexual. It makes the act of having an abortion shameful.

All of these experiences are very different. Equating having had an abortion with being a person of colour, for example, would be inaccurate. At the end of each day, I can choose to disclose or not disclose my shaming sexual experience. To the outside world, I can pass as “normal”. I look like a straight, white, cis-gendered girl, with blonde hair and predictable desires. I can smile pretty and duck judgement, hiding behind my performed conformity.

But, while these experiences may not be equatable, they are all interconnected. They are all experiences of deviation from that total bullshit norm and, as such, they are all experiences that could lead to someone being made to feel ashamed. Systems of oppression work in concert like this, excluding, degrading, and putting in danger people who are different. And these normative ideas are rooted deep. They grow up from long-standing and seriously entrenched racist, patriarchal, homophobic belief systems that have been around for fucking ever. Demolishing these norms is a hell of a job. But I think talking (and writing) about sex, in all its beautiful and dirty deviations, is a good starting point. It is a great first rock to throw.

So, that is where I was at when I began this Fucking Facts project. I was stuck on shame and a personal need to annihilate it. I wanted to write about it, and about all kinds of heavy stuff. But, somewhere along the way it has become true that mostly, I just write the light. I like to laugh, and I like when all of you laugh with me. I want to make us all feel comfortable & good & safe in our skin and secure in our sex. And I do believe that approaching things lightly is a pretty affective way of going about it. But, it is not the only way.

And so, as we all wake up, stretch, regroup and push forward into this New Year, I want to try and remember that for all its lightness; for all the fun, the come, the hickies, the multiple orgasms; sex can sometimes be heavy and hard and full of fucked up feelings. These heavy parts have a place too.

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*I did in fact begin this essay when the year was still fresh and reflecting on new beginnings was still relevant.

** And by sexually deviant I mean not complying to those hegemonic & heteronormative ideas of acceptable expressions of womanhood, femininity, and sexuality.

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P in the V (The P Edition)

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peen

So I’ve got this pal, let’s call him John, who loves to criticize me generally  and my blog more specifically. He particularly gets irritated by my overuse of the oxford comma, obvious spelling mistakes, and a lack of male perspective. This last point, the missing male gaze, is a valid one (actually, they are maybe all valid) and it came to light in particular when I wrote the post titled “P in the V” a couple months ago. Ol’ Johnny argued that for an essay specifically about hetero-style doin’ it, I largely ignored issues of the peen. True point. We tried to amend this concern through a collaborative blog post, both of us writing about the minor mishaps that may affect a cock during penetrative, P in the V sex.

The result was a mostly offensive back and forth, full of jokes that probably only he and I find funny and that would seriously alienate anyone else reading. After weeks of arguing and editing, the results were ultimately unpublishable.

But, John’s criticism stands. As a proud and fierce cunt-owner, I tend to get a little overly pussy-focused sometimes.

And so, here I bring you P in the V, The P Edition, where I present to you my years of qualitative research concerning peens and some shit that can come up when one is trying to consensually put one in a vajay. I may not have a dick, but I have handled a few in my time.

You accidentally put the P in the A:

So, sometimes when shit is getting real hot n’ heavy and there is a lot of thrusting and fluids and hands everywhere, a person can slip up and accidentally stick their dick (or almost stick it) in the wrong hole. It makes sense. Everything is so wet and happening so fast, and the V and and A are actually fairly close together, y’know?  And while anal sex can be one sweet fucking time, a surprise and accidental insertion such as that can hurt like wild.

The proper and polite thing to do should you find yourself in this problematic (but understandable!) position is as follows: Remove the P from the A. Apologize profusely. Explain that it was a mistake, and that while you may be interested in anal banging sometime (if that is, in fact, an interest you have), you know that this is an issue that ya’ll should discuss before you just stick it in there. Should the Total Mega Babe in question still feel like doing it, change condoms (buttholes have bacteria in them that should not get in the vajay) and continue with P in the V, carefully.

The P is too big for the V ( & vice versa ):

The point that I am trying to make here is that V’s and P’s come in all shapes n‘ sizes.
For instance, you may find yourself with a babe who’s V is not wide enough for your girthy P. But rest assured, pussies have the potential to expand to remarkable sizes. I mean think about it, whole entire human beings can come out of that hole! What you need is time, lube, and patience. If someone is turned on, the vaginal muscles can more easily stretch, so in this situation, focus on the foreplay and that whole very important clit part. And adding lube is always a good idea, but here it’s a fucking brilliant one. If her vagina is just too small for ya’ll, lube will make any potential painful thrusting a whole lot smoother. And of course – thrust slow! Your aim is to make her feel good, not bad! Lastly, if you do have a V and your partner is much wider than you, you can always use a dilator (a set of cylinders graduating in size) to expand your vagina and get your vaginal muscles more accustomed to penetration on your own terms.

If you find yourself in the reverse situation of this one, and you are with someone whose V is wider than your P, the V owner in question can always do some kegel exercises so that the muscles inside the vagina can more effectively contract. The pubococcygeus muscles (or PC muscles) are the muscles of the pelvic floor which hold all your reproductive system in place. When a person orgasms, these muscles  contract. So, having stronger PC muscles is a good thing, because it makes your orgasms feel stronger, and  can make your vaginal muscles contract more tightly around a peen (thereby addressing the problem of a too-wide V). To exercise these muscles, you can use Ben Wa (or Kegel) Balls. Kegel Balls are meant to be inserted inside the vagina, giving your body something to contract around. Put ’em in for roughly 20 minutes a day and squeeze around ’em, to strengthen your biznezz. Or, if you can isolate the PC muscles on your own, without using a set of exercise balls to help you, you can do that too. Here’s a hint: to find your PC muscles, try stemming the flow of urine while you’re on the can. Can you do it? That is your PC muscles at work. Now that you know where they are, try contracting them in sets of ten, three times a day.

The P Won’t Come!:

In his helpful response, my buddy John attributed this conundrum to the crushing of cans. And the man has got a point: drinking vast quantities of alcohol, as we often do, can really slow that shit down. In this situation, when you are just too drunk to come, you really only have one of two options. Number one: you and your friend can engage in some seriously drunken and consensual revalery, going to unmatchable feats and finding never-been-done-before  positions in an attempt to help you get off. Or, number two: you can accept defeat, have some fun without coming, and then roll over and grab some shut eye in preparation for tomorrow’s inevitable hang over.

But, if you are having a hard time coming and it is not in fact related to how much gooning you’ve been doing, you could be experiencing delayed ejaculation. Some can come by their own hand like it ain’t no thang, but then they find themselves with a lover (or two, or four) and they get stage fright, like when you were a kid and couldn’t piss in public bathrooms. Delayed ejaculation has been linked to many potential causal factors, both emotional/psychological and physiological. Unfortunately, there is no one right answer or “cure” to make ya come, so you may need to talk to a doc if this is really cramping your style.

The P Won’t Get Hard!

Here again John brought up whisky dick and the consumption of too much chach as causal factors if you find yourself with a P that won’t get hard. And again, man’s got a point. The consumption of alcohol can really fuck with your sexy shit, and make your leaky house lazy, your schnitzel shy, or your flesh flute fallow. If this is the situation, what you gotta do is much like my advice offered above. You can either a) engage in some heavy cardio activity trying to get yer Little (or Big, whatever) Guy up and at it; or b) accept that your dick is just not in it and take this as a perfect opportunity to use your hands to get your buddy off.

However, there are a also a whole lot of other potential reasons for this particular predicament, such as spinal cord injury, aging, nerves, diabetes, anxiety, and medications, to name only a few. Sometimes, this issue will right itself with time. Other times, doctors can prescribe medications that alleviate the problem. And  of course, there are always toys that can be used to help a P get hard and stay hard, such as penis pumps (draw blood to the peen, making it erect), and cock rings (worn around the shaft of the penis to stem blood flow out, forcing the peen to stay erect).

There are really so many other junk-related jams I could have tried to de-bunk here. Just like V’s, P’s can have a whole bundle of hang ups and hold ups and straight up screw ups. But ultimately, at the end of most days, doin’ it is a pretty good time, and is quite often worth risking any and all embarrassing moments for.