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Posts Tagged ‘bisexuality’

How can I convince my wife to see an escort with me?

The short, pithy, and not-entirely-accurate answer is, “You can’t.”  Now, hear me out; I’m not just being a killjoy.  That answer is based on some assumptions, hence the “not entirely accurate” descriptor; if any of these assumptions are incorrect, the short answer also might not be.  However, I’m willing to bet that even as it is, it’s hovering around the 75th percentile of applicability.

First of all, if your wife were the “game for anything” type, you probably wouldn’t have asked me this question; the two of you would’ve already discussed it, and even if she said “no” prior experience would almost certainly give you a hint as to how to proceed in convincing her.  I’m also going to assume that she has never expressed a strong interest in bringing another woman into bed with you; if she had, it would’ve been a simple matter for you to say, “That sounds like a great idea, but we should probably just hire a pro so as to avoid awkward situations with friends and the uncertainty & weirdness of trying to pick up a gal together at a bar or party.”  I’m even going to assume that she has not openly (or even coyly) expressed a desire to “spice up” your sex lives, because that would’ve given you an opening to suggest something.  No, I’m going to assume that you’ve had a pretty vanilla sex life so far, and that you have a fantasy of being in bed with two women that she doesn’t (to your knowledge) share.  And if that’s the case, please reread the first line of this column.

Now, there are a few caveats; you might try making a kind of vague suggestion about spicing up your sex lives, and see where that leads you.  But before you do that, I need to give you two warnings:

A) It’s not unusual for vanilla amateur women to react to such a suggestion by taking it personally and getting angry at you for insinuating that your sex life is boring; the mere suggestion may precipitate an argument in which work, children and the fact that you don’t pay much attention to her any more will almost certainly be mentioned.

B) Even if A doesn’t happen, most vanilla amateur women’s idea of “spicing things up” is a “romantic” (and much more expensive than hiring me for two hours) vacation to a quaint little bed and breakfast.  Or Hawaii.  During which you may or may not have the same kind of boring sex you’ve had for years, only in a different (and much more expensive) bed.

Do I sound a bit jaded?  You’ll have to forgive me; even before I was a professional I had a long history of being “the other woman” (for partners of both sexes) and the understanding friend who consoles people over their romantic difficulties.  And I’ve seen this script played out on a regular basis since 1983.  The sad fact of the matter is, the majority of modern American women have been thoroughly brainwashed into the belief that male sexuality is inherently pathological, and your desire for variety will be dismissed as a sign that something is wrong with you and/or that you don’t love her any more.  Please don’t take this as meaning I’m letting men off the hook; there are plenty of things men could do to improve their marriages, but that wasn’t the question which was asked.  And though men are usually more receptive to trying out their female partners’ fantasies than vice versa, that isn’t necessarily the case if said fantasy threatens his delicate ego in the same way that a man’s desire for variety can threaten a woman’s sense of security.  Furthermore, I can assure you from both personal experience and the experiences of female friends, vanilla men are every bit as likely to be squicked out by kinky fantasies they don’t share as vanilla women are.  My advice to any man who wants to be in bed with two women is, unless your wife has clearly expressed interest in such a thing, just ask an escort to arrange a duo for you; you’ll get what you want without drama, and it’ll be a lot cheaper in the long run.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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It’s a sad fact that more women than men support the violent policing of women’s sexualities.  Think about that:  despite all the “feminist” rhetoric supporting a woman’s supposed right to control her body and sexuality, polls consistently show that more women than men are in favor of criminalizing prostitution; that is, more women than men believe male cops should deceive, rape, rob, brutalize, humiliate, cage and ruin the lives of other women for having sex for reasons of which these women disapprove.  Presumably-sane women, many of whom would call themselves “feminists”, think it’s perfectly OK for a state mostly run by men to make laws giving other men the “right” to guess why a particular woman is having sex, raping her if the cop claims it’s to “gather evidence”, then taking her possessions, locking her in a cage and inviting news media to splash her picture all over papers, TV and the internet…because her motivation for having sex is “wrong”.  They tacitly approve of her reputation being destroyed, her children abducted from her and any hope of a straight job forever closed to her because they wouldn’t have sex for the reasons she chooses to have it.  Oh, some of them like to pretend that they don’t want this to happen, claiming that the “Swedish model” decriminalizes sex workers (an obvious absurdity given “accessory” laws, “avails” laws, “brothel-keeping” laws, etc); however, even if it really did what the propaganda says, that would still mean they supported the principle of starving other women into homelessness and financial ruin for the “crime” of wrongthink.

There are a lot of theories, guesses and opinions as to why this might be, including mate-guarding (i.e., attacking other women their husbands might choose to fuck) and the idea that whores lower the price of sex by charging a flat fee rather than forcing men to accept a possible lifelong burden in order to get it.  And while these ideas might have some merit, they don’t explain why these same women aren’t equally upset by women who essentially give sex away, nor why lesbians are well-represented in the whore-hating crowd despite their sexual disinterest in men.  Now, it’s absolutely true that behaviors deriving from evolution aren’t logical; for example, a lot of human sexual behavior is clearly designed to increase the number of offspring that individual can produce, even if the individual has absolutely no conscious interest in producing children and even if he or she is sterile.  But given the human history of promiscuity and casual prostitution (read Sex at Dawn if you haven’t already), I’m not really convinced that whore-hating has a deep evolutionary motive, at least not directly; I think it’s more likely a byproduct of a general female behavior pattern which probably does have an evolutionary origin, but which isn’t specifically aimed at whores.

I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that in general, women tend to put more emphasis on social interactions than do men.  Baby girls stare at faces for longer than baby boys do, girls tend to travel in duos or small groups, women tend to have higher “social intelligence”, we work through difficulties by interacting with each other, we bond by sharing vulnerabilities, we emphasize consensus-building, etc, etc.  The reasons for this aren’t important to consider in this limited space; what does matter is that women have a much more pronounced tendency to think of ourselves as members of a group than men do, and a much stronger tendency to feel that the actions of other women reflect upon us.  In general, guys aren’t all that likely to be concerned that some individual dude’s behavior “makes all men look bad”, while it isn’t at all hard to find some collectivist “feminist” blathering about how the mere existence of Barbie, sex workers, sexy lingerie, kink, labioplasty or some other thing “demeans all women” or even “harms all women”.  Women trapped in this belief-system seem to imagine a deep and mystical interconnectedness of all women, as though we were all “merely the three-dimensional projections of a single hydra-like gestalt entity floating in hyperspace“; they therefore imagine that “any single woman’s sexual activities performed in private magically affect all women throughout the world as though we were one huge set of Corsican sisters, and therefore all women must submit to whatever limitations are imposed on our sexuality by our rightful leaders“.  Once one accepts the absurd premise, the anti-sex “feminist” demand for suppression of sex work actually makes a twisted kind of sense; to someone trapped in this horrifying belief-system, all the women in the world are stuck in one immense elevator together and the whores are smoking, farting and pissing on the floor.

The best evidence for my theory being the correct one is that, as I alluded to above, sex workers aren’t the only women policed in this fashion.  The women who demand the criminalization of commercial sex also tend to be anti-kink and bigoted toward transwomen; this cannot be explained by “mate guarding” or “sex price depression” theories, but it makes perfect sense in light of the notion that nonconforming women somehow “pollute” womanhood by our very existence.  The poison vomited out by Trans-Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (TERFs) is especially telling (the fact that these women are in no way “radical” is a subject for another day); their screeds tend to be larded with nonsense about some imaginary monolithic “shared female experience” (as though there were such a thing) which excludes transwomen, and how that makes them not “real women” (a slur that, not coincidentally, is often hurled at sex workers as well).  Add to that the fact that TERFs are nearly always Sex Work Exclusionary “Radical” Feminists (SWERFs) as well, and I think we have a smoking gun.  But wait, there’s more:  as many bisexual women can attest, there are still quite a few lesbians out there (though, thank Aphrodite, not as many as there used to be) who insist that bi-women can’t have “real” lesbian relationships, or that we aren’t “really” queer, or whatever; when I tweeted about this last week I received no fewer than four replies to this effect from would-be Dyke Cops within two hours.  Back in my formative years in the ’80s, it was even worse; I was actually told by many older lesbians (older than me, that is; some were as young as 30-something) that “real” lesbians didn’t use dildoes on each other, that fisting was abhorrent, and that kink was basically a mortal sin (“How could you possibly want to hurt another woman?!?  What’s wrong with you?!?”)  It’s absolutely true that the latter kind of sex-act-policing has largely vanished from lesbian communities, but the fact that it ever existed speaks volumes.  There is a large and very vocal subset of women who are deeply horrified by the fact that other women are unlike them sexually, and many if not most of them are perfectly willing to use coercion – up to and including the threat of sexual violence inflicted by armed men – to punish these other women for the sin of being different.

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I’m a successful professional woman who has been married for 20 years, but over the last few years I’ve been growing more bisexual.  So I hired an escort, and later we started dating (around the end of October).  I’m not her “sugar mama”, although I do try and help her out a little bit here and there.  I suppose when a relationship starts out as escort/client, there are hurdles to overcome on both sides; being that you previously married a client, I figure you might understand what I mean.  Obviously, by hiring escorts, I was not looking for a serious relationship, and it’s been kind of intense; any advice (or words of caution) you have on this situation would be appreciated!

You’re right about the hurdles; sometimes they can be overcome, and sometimes not.  In my case, the marriage eventually broke down for reasons only tangentially related to my work, but 14 years isn’t a bad run for any marriage nowadays.  From the information you’ve given me, I don’t think your girlfriend being an escort will really matter one way or another (though it usually does with men), unless you become jealous of her clients, but since this is (I assume) your first lesbian relationship there are a couple of things you may appreciate my mentioning.  In lesbian relationships, sexual interest tends to ramp up quickly (“What does a lesbian bring along on the second date? A U-haul”) as you discovered firsthand, but often dies within a year (the dreaded “lesbian bed death”), and you’re already past four months.  Of course, this isn’t always the case, and even when it is lesbian relationships can go on for years or decades after that due to shared intimacy & deep emotional bonding; for some lesbians that’s enough.  But if you were the kind of woman who can be satisfied with a relationship devoid of lesbian sex, I don’t think you’d have been intentionally seeking out an escort in the first place (regardless of what actually happened when you met one you “clicked” with).  So while it’s true that there are special difficulties in any relationship with a sex worker, what I’d be more mindful about in your specific case is how you’ll feel when the sex dries up.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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I’ve always been uncomfortable with pigeonholing, the notion that it’s possible to completely define people by whatever groups they might belong to.  It’s the basis of all bigotry and “us vs them” thinking, and those who forcibly include others in their groups are no better than those who exclude others because they belong to certain groups.  In other words, I’m just as offended by women who say, “you’re a woman and so you must act in this way and accept this political dogma” as I am by men who say, “you can’t do such-and-such because you’re a woman.”  Yeah, I’m a woman.  I’m also human, American, Caucasian, middle-aged, brown-haired & brown-eyed, and of fairly average height and weight.  My sexuality is responsive to both men and women, and I’m turned on by a lot of things lumped under the category “kink”; I also make a living providing sexual services, and I’m extremely good at what I do. I used to be a librarian, and I’m still a pretty good writer; I like a lot of different ethnic cuisines (especially Mexican, Italian, Indian and Thai) and dislike green, leafy vegetables and undercooked food.  I have reasonably broad tastes in music, but there are a number of genres I can’t really appreciate; in fiction (whether written or performed) I tend to prefer fantasy, horror and speculative fiction, and I also prefer shorter stories & shows to longer ones.  I enjoy animation and role-playing games (in-person, not computer-based), and I used to be considered a helluva DM.

So as you can see, there are lots of labels which could be applied to me, and lots of groups to which I might be considered to belong.  I could be called a human, American, Southerner, New Orleanian, lapsed Catholic, pagan, woman, brunette, whore, courtesan, ex-librarian, writer, speaker, anarchist, radical, queer, kinkster, polyamorist, nerd, witch, bitch, mentor, healer, activist, public intellectual and many other things; some people call me ugly terms like “pervert”, “pimp” or “criminal”, while others prefer flattering ones like “heroine”, “angel” or “goddess”.  But the one thing all these descriptors have in common, whether they’re objective or subjective, bland or emotive, insulting or adulatory, accepted by me or not, is that they do not define me.  There is not a single one of these terms which tells you all you need to know about me, not even the ones I proudly embrace (such as “whore”).  Even if you string them together (I’ve been known to refer to myself on Twitter as a “kinky bisexual whore”, and I’m generally introduced as a “sex worker, writer and activist”) it still doesn’t even come close to telling you what I’m actually like, or serving as more than an extremely general predictor of almost anything about me (other than the specific trait it denotes).  The fact that I’m from New Orleans might give you a few clues about me, but it couldn’t predict the kind of movies I like; the introduction I mentioned above lets you know I’m probably very confident, but says nothing about my dietary preferences; and the fact that I’m bisexual tells you absolutely nothing other than that I wouldn’t automatically reject cuddling up with any given person on the basis of their sex.

And yet there are people who absolutely refuse to get this.  I’ve run into folks who presume that because I’m a white Southerner I must be racist; others who imagine my dislike of greens carries some deeper meaning than that they shouldn’t offer me spinach at dinner; still others who declare that my love of sci-fi shows & fantasy games allows them to make predictions about my sex life and living arrangements; and many thousands who fantasize that my profession means I must either be a “victim” or an “exploiter”, or even both.  Then just the other day in an exchange with Matisse, I wrote that my terms for letting women snuggle up to me are generally less strict than my terms for letting men do so because “I’m bisexual (leaning lesbian at this stage of my life) & most women don’t try to fuck me without paying“; a dude replied to this with “Oh, a lesbian”, as though that entirely summed up my personality and now he understood everything he needed to know about me.  Forget the fact that “bisexual leaning lesbian for the time being” isn’t the same as “lesbian”; even if I did identify as a lesbian that still wouldn’t give you more than a small fraction of a description of my sexuality, and it wouldn’t tell you squat about any other aspect of my personality.  The fact that I enjoy kissing and petting other women no more defines my “identity” than the fact that I like spicy food or the fact that I prefer fiction of the imaginative variety; it doesn’t even tell you what I don’t like because preferences aren’t necessarily exclusive (I also like kissing men, eating vanilla ice cream and some movies with absolutely no element of the fantastic).  It’s simply not possible to understand any human being by knowing one fact about her, no matter what cops, politicians and tribalists may want you to believe; pigeonholes are fine for pigeons, but unsuited for people.

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Almost none of [the “sex trafficking” narrative] is true—and the little that is technically true is so lacking in context that it’s utterly misleading.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Anatomy of a Boondoggle 

Just another example of “authorities” paying men to rape whores:

Police raided two flats used as brothels…in Nicosia [Cyprus], arresting a woman from China and detaining another female sex worker [pretended] to be a victim of human trafficking.  A civilian associate of the police visited the brothel and used marked bills to buy sexual services…After [raping the women] the man signalled the police by sending them an SMS message…Police located the two marked bills and [stole] 347 condoms, four of which had been used, along with four mobile phones, sex toys, a computer, and the amount of €345 in cash…

Something Rotten in Sweden

It’s good to see that even reporters who credulously parrot cop anti-whore propaganda now feel compelled to at least mention Amnesty’s findings:

…It can be difficult for police to build cases against traffickers when their primary witnesses — victims — are too afraid to talk [and] don’t trust police [who]…still conduct stings against sex workers…To create more trust among potential victims and curb the demand for commercial sex, sting operations should focus more on catching johns and pimps, [fetishist cop Mark Keller] said…He also suggested changing state law to the so-called Nordic model, which makes it legal for people to prostitute themselves but illegal to pimp, traffick or purchase sex…The model could help [cops] gain the trust of sex trafficking victims…Keller said.  However, it was recently scrutinized in a report by…Amnesty International…which found it subjected sex workers to increased police scrutiny, evictions and other penalties…

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

Given that there is no possibility of a child, what exactly is the rationale behind this prosecution, other than “The ‘authorities’ find this skeevy” or “The law is the law”?

A mother and daughter are facing incest charges in…Oklahoma after authorities learned they were legally married earlier this year.  It is unclear what motivated Patricia Ann Spann, 43, and her daughter, Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, 25, to wed…Investigators also found Patricia Spann married her son in 2008.  He filed for an annulment 15 months later, citing “incest”…Police discovered the marriages late last month during a child welfare check-up.  Patricia Spann told investigators she had lost custody of her biological children as a young mother and only came into contact with her daughter two years ago…the couple believed the union was legal, since she was not listed as the biological mother on her daughter’s birth certificate.  Each woman faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic weiners-weiner

Maybe if we keep repeating this enough, it will eventually sink into the thick public skull:

…Despite popular headlines and self-promoting TV doctors’ proclamations to the contrary, sex addiction isn’t real…There is no doubt that some people have trouble regulating their sexual thoughts, desires, and behaviors.  But addiction has a real meaning and a real clinical definition…When addicts…are shown pictures of their drug of choice there is a clear and uniform response in their P300 brain waves…However, when UCLA researchers studied the response to viewing sexually explicit images in people who self-defined as being unable to regulate their porn viewing, the results showed no similar response…In fact, they found the only thing correlated with brain wave activity was sexual desire such that the higher their self-reported sexual desire, the more brain wave activity they showed.  The authors concluded that there was no evidence to say that even problem sexual regulation fit the definition of addiction as defined by brain response and that these people simply had high sex drives…

Divided We Fall (#13)

Why does Gay, Inc never speak up for sex worker rights until it’s too late?

Indonesian police are taking aim at Grindr and other gay social networking apps following the arrest of three men accused of running a “gay prostitution ring” [advertising] underaged boys for sex.  The arrests come amid an unprecedented uproar about homosexuality in the country, where it has never been a major political issue before this year.  Members of the legislature announced…they would…ban “gay propaganda” online.  The country’s Constitutional Court is likewise currently in the middle of hearings on a petition to [criminalize]…all sex outside of marriage…Police have told local media they have identified 148 victims of the network, though only 27 of them are [supposedly younger than 18]…“More than a few gay communities have been growing and targeting kids as victims,” said Asruron Ni’am Sholeh, chair of the Child Protection Commission…

“Targeting kids”…hmm, where have we heard that accusation before?  But back when the moral retards were just warring on female sex workers, the big GLBT organizations couldn’t be bothered to notice.

Finding What Isn’t There

Note how dysphemisms and weasel-words are used to conjure a story out of nothing but rumors, exaggerations and hysteria:

More than 1,000 women and girls have been apparent victims of sex trafficking in illicit cantinas in the United States that largely operate beyond the reach of law enforcement, the anti-[sex work] group Polaris [fantasized]…Half of the…cases…arose in Houston, Texas, a city near the Mexican border with a large Latino population…Cantinas…may disguise the cost of commercial sex in very high drink prices, and women are forced to flirt and drink with patrons…hotlines run by Polaris got reports of 201 cases of sex and labor trafficking, involving 1,300 potential victims at cantinas and bars in 20 U.S. states from 2007 to 2016.  More than half the victims were underage…At one illicit cantina in Houston, some victims were forced to have sex as often as 50 times a day, it said.  The cantina owner, convicted of sex trafficking, conspiracy and other charges, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year…Cases can be hard to investigate and prosecute because traffickers and owners may hide their ownership of cantinas or liquor licenses, and because victims are too scared to testify in court, afraid that traffickers will retaliate by hurting their families…

“Apparent” victims, meaning reports from busybodies that added up to nothing.  Reports of “force” that don’t hold up because there isn’t any, which Polaris then insists are real except that the “victims” won’t admit it.  Impossibly-high claims of clients per day such as we haven’t seen in a couple of years now, using a high-profile racism-based railroading case as “evidence”, and moving the entire city of Houston hundreds of miles south to bolster their fantasy.  This is absurd even by Polaris’ standards.

Too Close To Home

Serious question: How do we nominate Liz Brown for a Pulitzer?

…On January 7, Washington officials [claimed]…women [had been] lured from South Korea under false pretenses and “held against their will” at local brothels.  [They crowed about seizing] a website where deviant men promoted and reviewed these enslaved women…King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg [said]…”The systematic importation of vulnerable young women for sexual abuse, exploitation, and criminal profiteering has been going on for years and it came to a stop this week…This is what human trafficking looks like.”  But as more information about the case has become available, Satterberg’s narrative starts to break down.  The reality—as evidenced by police reports, court documents, online records, and statements from those involved—is…a story of immigration, economics, the pull of companionship and connection, the structures and dynamism that drive black markets, and a criminal-justice system all too eager to declare women victims of the choices they make…

The piece is long, thorough and damning. I strongly urge you to read the whole thing, even if you need to do so in three sittings (it’s broken into three parts).  The “sex trafficking” narrative has been slowly crumbling, and in this important article Liz has handily taken a sledgehammer to a very prominent outcropping of it.

The Mote and the Beam (#613) 

Another victory against a political witch hunt:

The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a congressional subpoena that seeks information on how Backpage.com screens for possible sex trafficking in classifieds advertising.  The order…came hours after Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer asked the high court to intervene, saying the case threatens the First Amendment rights of online publishers…the…stay means that Backpage need not comply…until further action from the Supreme Court…The Senate panel has tried for nearly a year to make Backpage produce certain documents as part of its [persecution of sex work advertisements] over the internet.  After the website refused to comply, the Senate voted 96-0 in March to hold the website in contempt…

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-james-robinson

Go on, keep giving male cops power over women; what could possibly go wrong?

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations arrested Riverdale [cop] James Robinson Jr…[for] raping a woman he was transporting to jail…Robinson stopped the car next to an empty building near a Custom tire shop…as soon as the woman was released from jail she…asked the shop for footage from its security cameras…

One Born Every Minute (#644)

Interesting that this article doesn’t mention the anti-Backpage mob:

In a 2014 opinion in a case involving a woman who was drugged, raped, and filmed by men she met through the website ModelMayhem.com…the Ninth Circuit wrote that the CDA was not “an all purpose get-out-of-jail-free card for businesses that publish user content on the internet.”  The court found that Model Mayhem…could be sued for failure to warn as the site was aware of the model’s rapists because they were the subject of a criminal investigation for doing the same thing to other Model Mayhem users…the court found that Section 230 did not protect the website when it failed to do anything about the rapists it knew were prowling its site…a…Match.com case is very similar.  [Wade] Ridley, the suit claimed, had attacked other women using Match.com and the company had done nothing to warn love-seeking online daters about the possibility of attack.  The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of some claims, but it found that the logic supporting the court’s Model Mayhem ruling applied here, too…

Of Course It Is

A step in the right direction, at least:

…Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley [announced] criminal charges against seven [cops]…O’Malley [also] said she found evidence of [rapist cops]…in Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Joaquin counties, all outside her jurisdiction.  She said she has  contacted her counterparts there to pursue criminal action…The most serious Alameda County charges — felony oral copulation with a minor — will be filed against Oakland [cop] Giovanni LoVerde and Contra Costa Sheriff’s deputy Ricardo Perez…Oakland [cop] Brian Bunton also faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of engaging in prostitution.  Three other Oakland [cops] will be charged with crimes…Terryl Smith…LeRoy Johnson…and…Warit Uttapa…Dan C. Black of the Livermore Police Department…faces [four] misdemeanor charges…O’Malley said it’s likely that formal charges against the officers will not be filed until Guap, the case’s primary witness, returns to California…“If the [City of Richmond] does not pay for her to come back, we will pay for her airfare,” O’Malley said…

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What do you think makes for a healthy sexuality?  I’m a 26 year old professional and have a much higher libido than most other people I know.  I’ve had many partners who have been satisfying to me in many different ways, but I have often felt baffled by my intense level of sexual pleasure and excitement.  I’m not afraid of my sexuality, but how does one go about understanding something so powerful?  Does it require study?  A good partner?  Much of the time I feel that my sexuality is offensive to some people, particularly other women.  How do you deal with jealousy from other women?  Do you feel that it is important for a young woman to control her sexuality in some way?

First of all, I want you to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you; in fact, many women are troubled by having the opposite issue from you, a low sex drive  (and pharmaceutical companies are trying to capitalize on that).  I hope you never feel that you need to suppress your sexuality, especially not to make other people comfortable; it’s a large part of who you are, and if other people are bothered by it that’s their problem, not yours.  Now, obviously I’m not telling you to run wild and do whatever you feel like regardless of consequences; as ethical people we need to be aware of how our actions might harm others, and we need to respect others’ boundaries and to be up-front about our motives and intentions so they have the information they need to make valid decisions about consent.  But as long as you are honest and open with potential partners about your intentions, desires and needs, and refrain from pushing clearly-expressed boundaries, you have absolutely no cause to feel ashamed.

Now, it’s true that some other women may react to you with jealousy or competitiveness, but in my experience that usually happens when an attractive woman only pays attention to the men in the room.  I’ve found such reactions can usually be minimized by friendliness, openness and paying just as much attention to the women around you as to the men, thus counteracting the perception that one is trying to be a “queen bee” and monopolize all of the male attention.  Now, I have the advantage of being bisexual, and therefore at least as interested in female sexual attention as male (and maybe just a little bit more).  You didn’t mention whether your sexual interest is confined to men, but even if it is being friendly and platonically affectionate with the women in your social environment will go a long way toward defusing jealousy.  Some people are going to be judgmental of you no matter what you do, but I’m afraid there isn’t much you can do about that, and it would be the same even if you were as prim as a nun; as the expression goes, “Haters gonna hate”.

I wish I could tell you how to go about understanding your sexuality; I’ve been wrestling with trying to understand mine since more than a decade before you were born, and I still haven’t made a lot of headway.  I think sexuality is less something to be understood, and more something to be experienced, explored and accepted.  We still don’t really understand why people’s sexualities manifest in the myriad ways they do; for example, I’ve been attracted to both sexes and fascinated by bondage, dominance and submission since I was a wee lass, long before I had any actual idea of what “sex” meant.  Why?  I never experienced any kind of childhood trauma that might have “perverted” my development, and I can’t recall a time I was any other way.  In high school, I knew a pair of identical twin brothers: one was straight and the other gay.  How in the world could that happen, when they were genetically identical and raised in the same home?  Yet it did.  My advice to you is to accept your sexuality as an intrinsic part of yourself, just as you accept your preferences in food, clothes, entertainment and everything else.  Don’t let anyone tell you that a high libido, a large number of partners and/or enjoyment of kinky activities are signs that something is wrong with you, and whatever you do don’t succumb to pressure to conform.  The intense level of pleasure you can experience is a precious gift, and when one is given such a gift the only gracious and proper reaction is to accept and enjoy it.queenkatherinesdream

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Since a three-dimensional object casts a two-dimensional shadow, we should be able to imagine the unknown four-dimensional object whose shadow we are. – Marcel Duchamp

Most of y’all are probably familiar with the Kinsey scale of sexual orientation; it’s the 0-6 in the chart below.  Earlier this week, my attention was called to an article in Mic which promoted this new classification system, which expands Kinsey’s one dimension to two.  But while on the one hand it gives a slightly better picture of vanilla sexual response, it completely ignores both the kink dimension and the existence of responsive sexuality (the norm in about a third of women), and gives a place of precedence to ongoing sexual “relationships” despite the fact that many individuals aren’t interested in them:

purple-red scale

Given only this system to work with, I’d probably best be classified as a C4; I don’t ever develop what most people would define as “lustful feelings”, no matter how long I’m in a relationship or how attractive I find my partner.  Yet at the same time, that “C” description makes it sound as though sex is always a calculated and rather sterile decision for people like me, and that we can’t experience passion.  And that is 99 44/100% pure bullshit; anyone who’s ever seen me actually aroused can tell you that I’m very passionate indeed.  The people who designed this chart seem to believe that responding to sexual stimuli requires “lustful feelings”, which is roughly equivalent to saying that a car is non-functional because it requires a driver to start and operate it.

And then there’s this weird and narrow focus on vanilla notions of sexuality; obviously that isn’t spelled out in the chart legend, but the language strongly implies that when the designers say “sex” they mean intercourse, oral sex and other genital diddling designed to produce orgasm.  But many people’s sexualities aren’t like that at all; some people might be described as A, B or C where fucking is concerned, yet they’re D, E or even F with some sort of kink.  Furthermore, that kink might not even be something the majority would recognize as sexual, yet it gets the individual hard or wet and results in the same kind of gratification vanillas get from the old in-out (or some equally satisfying physiological/emotional state).  Expanding one dimension to two is not a big improvement, especially if one is going to use descriptors like “true orientation” while ignoring a lot of the human race.  As I wrote in “East is East and West is West“,

Human sexuality is not like a standard light switch, which has two and only two positions; it’s not even like a dimmer switch, with an infinite number of subtle gradations along one linear path.  It’s much more like a faucet, in which two kinds of water can be mixed to produce many temperature gradations while the intensity of the flow can also have many levels.  In fact, if you can imagine a shower where the water can be directed to come out of either the lower faucet or the shower head or a movable nozzle or jacuzzi jets, that might be a model a bit closer to the truth.  Though modern Westerners  like to pretend that everyone falls into rigidly-defined boxes of “straight” or “queer” which they occupy from birth until death and never leave, the truth is that this does not adequately describe many, perhaps most, people’s sexuality…

One final note: I find the phrase “bonds stronger than friendship” (in the “B” description) extremely offensive.  For most people deep friendship can be a stronger bond than romance, which is why friendships so often outlast marriages.  The people (almost certainly men) who designed this chart are the same sort who come up with ugly phrases like “friend zone” and “friends with benefits”, who imagine relationships as fitting into some sort of linear scale where those containing sex and romance are objectively “better” or “higher” than those which don’t.  The reality of human sexuality is a whole world; describing it requires at least four dimensions plus time.  So though two dimensions of description is certainly an improvement over one, it’s hardly revolutionary; if anything, it’s kind of a slow start.

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