A Smug Post About Sex

NSFW. Discusses sex experiences.

Since blogger-that-makes-me-uncomfortable-quite-often Glosswitch coined the term “smugsexual” and things erupted on twitter, since which the hole has continued to be dug, it seems like it’s time for terrible feminists like me to be smug about sex.

I don’t have any good commentary to add to it all right now. If you want some good discussion that gets into personal experiences of biphobia, do read what Stavvers posted on the matter. But I was thinking about sex and my life, and I do feel the need to take a moment to be smug about sex experiences right now.

It took me fucking long enough to get there. It took me 23 years of life to get to a point at which I date and sleep with other women in a way that’s understood by both parties as homosexual; a way that means dating someone because you’re like each other, not because you’re each other’s complementary opposite or some shit like that. For that reason, it took me 23 years of life; it took me attempts to date either women or men from the (fundamentally wrong) position of being a man, to actually really enjoy and be comfortable with dating and sleeping with other people.

And it took me 24 years of life and the assistance of more estrogen than I ought to be taking to have orgasms like I have now.

Actually, I’m not sure I ever really had orgasms before that. Either that, or they were just crappy; some heightened sensation in my genitals for a few seconds and… basically just that. And not even that though PIV sex. I would sometimes express pleasure that I wasn’t really feeling so that partners didn’t think they were failing (very much more so with male partners; make of that what you will).

It took me 24 years of life before I felt orgasms that spread right through my body; that cause me to make sounds of pleasure involuntarily; that make me lose all ability to produce conscious thoughts; that make me screw my eyes closed and devote all my attention to other senses. Orgasms that last more than a few seconds, and afterwards give me feelings of closeness to the person I’m in bed with that I’d not felt in the course of sex before. Orgasms that come close to explaining the fuss other people make about orgasms.

It’s really difficult to get there, and it requires that me and a partner are both really into what’s going on and want to put time and work into each other’s enjoyment of it. I can’t get there at all by myself (indeed, my sexuality requires others and the idea of pleasing others far more than it used to; a result certain feminists may prefer were buried). And sex that does not conclude with a magnificent orgasm or any orgasm at all can still be enjoyable and worthwhile.

It took me fucking long enough, but I got there and it’s awesome. I think I get to be smug about this one, right? I have not, after all, “shagged away [my] privilege and ended up on the margins of society“. Rather, I ended up being marginalised when I realised that I was a woman, and at least shagging can be a good experience as a result.

Indeed, that marginalisation comes back to me because I have sexuality and talk about it. I’m told I can’t be a real lesbian. That I’m an autogynephile – that I’m just fetishising the idea of myself as a woman. That by enjoying sex and talking about it, I’m contributing to the objectification of women, pandering to the male gaze and/or reinforcing gender stereotypes. That by not being hetero- and mono-sexual I make other trans women look bad. This all comes from those that should be my sisters as well as my oppressors.

I’m pretty sure the women being sneered at are much the same as me. We find ourselves marginalised on the basis of gender and/or sexuality. We find ourselves shamed by other women under the guise of feminism. Fuck all that; we’re entitled to our sexuality. And it’s not always easy for us, but the least we should be able to expect is that we enjoy the sex we have.

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One thought on “A Smug Post About Sex

  1. ‘Patriarchy’ is generally used to describe the attitudes and behaviour of men and the resulting society which is – if it is a patriarchy – defined by those attitudes and behaviours. But you seem to be using it to describe a general hatred of women, which can come from men or women.

    Isn’t that in itself an example of an inadequate/ misleading use of gender in language?

    When feminists talk about the ‘patriarchy’ they generally mean ‘oppression from men’, which implies the ‘patriarchy’ hates (or at least undervalues) women and is a social system designed to oppress them.

    But if (for the sake of argument) we define the last few centuries as a ‘patriarchal’ system, it’s clear that patriarchy is as much about valuing, protecting, and providing for women (and children and the community as a whole) as it is about ‘oppressing’ them. In fact most of the ‘oppression’ of a patriarchy is the result of that drive to protect and provide for women and keep them safe – because women, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth/ child raising are the most crucial and vulnerable link in the continued survival of our species.

    This is why ‘patriarchy’ defined women’ roles as being ‘imprisoned’ in the home, and men’s role as being ‘privileged’ to work down the coal mine digging out resources with a pick axe…….. rather than having the men stuck indoors and the women down the coal mine.

    ‘Patriarchy’ and patriarchal attitudes (traditional gender identity and gender roles) can even be thought of as a woman’s strategy for survival, protection, comfort and resource acquisition. It’s a biological fact the women are unable to provide resources for themselves during pregnancy and child rearing – this was especially true before we had invented loads of cool technology, when we still lived without electricity, gas, supermarkets and most jobs involved manual labour (rather than the handling of information).

    Boys a have always been trained (not least by their mothers) to define their manhood in terms of their utility to women, and to society as a whole. Women are raised to define their womanhood in terms of their femaleness (their biology). A man who has no role serving the social hierarchy, and who does not provide value and utility to society often losses his identity… and he is viewed as essentially worthless by women and society. A woman in the same position can still be valued by society and by men, by virtue of her femaleness (her biology).

    And so by raising boys to define their manhood by their utility to women and society mothers ensure men are always compelled to provide resources and protection to women in order to maintain their male identity and feel a self of worth.

    This training inevitably creates the attitude in men that it is their job to ‘run society’ and this is what modern feminists now call ‘patriarchal oppression’. Either feminists are unaware of what the ‘patriarchy’ really is, who it serves, who invented it and why (and it’s far more complex and nuanced than I have described here)…. or they know they are lying but don’t care because they are only interested in making women look like helpless victims in order to get special treatment and free stuff from the state – in other words YET ANOTHER strategy of resource acquisition! (this time from the ultimate ‘alpha male’ – the state!)

    So my point is that ‘patriarchy’ is not synonymous with a hatred of women or the oppression of women. Therefore I think it’s inaccurate and unfair to use the word ‘patriarchy’ to mean a hatred of women. That’s a bit like using the word ‘parent’ to mean a hatred of children.

    The fact that a lot of children view their parents as ‘oppressors’ does not change the fact that much of that ‘oppression’ is actually for the benefit of the child, even if they don’t like it.

    Having amazing technology *cough* invented mostly by men *cough* and loads of job opportunities in safe, comfortable, indoor office environments has liberated women from the patriarchy… and it is sad to see so many women now spreading hateful propaganda about the patriarchy oppressing them throughout history. (Did women 200 years ago crave employment in mines, or open fishing boats? ….. I don’t think so!)

    This is like growing up and getting your own car and job and moving out of the family home… and then claiming your parents ‘oppressed’ you for the last 18 years of your life.

    Like living with your parents (which was also a HUGE inconvenience for them!), the patriarchy was simply a necessary stage in society when we didn’t have decent technology and life was harsh and resources were scarce. If a comet struck the earth tomorrow and sent civilisation back into the middle ages, we’d adopt a patriarchal system again out of a need to survive.

    It has nothing to do with hating women 🙂

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