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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

No Need?

Prohibitionists are fond of claiming that nobody “needs” sex; in order to sell their evil belief that the State should have the power to inflict violence on individuals for peaceful, consensual acts of which the State nonetheless disapproves, prohibitionists try to represent sex as a mere “extra”, like playing video games or going on vacations.  Those of us whose profession includes tending to the sexually wounded and touch-starved know better; we understand that while people don’t die for lack of sex, they also don’t immediately die for lack of other things that the prudes would still refer to as “needs”.  Life is not merely a synonym for “biological existence”, and there are many things which have nothing to do with maintaining biochemical processes, yet are necessary for a life that isn’t low-level torture.    The psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a “hierarchy of needs”, with the basic biological requirements such as food and oxygen at the bottom and pursuit of one’s own personal potential at the top; the needs at the bottom are most paramount, and it’s very difficult to consistently pursue the needs at the higher levels when there are holes lower in the pyramid.  Note that intimacy (including sexual intimacy) is in the middle, yet prohibitionists claim it’s unnecessary and even say people have no right to it; one wonders what kind of dreary, prison-like existence they believe humans “should” be leading?  Nor are sex prohibitionists the only ones whose minds are poisoned by this evil belief; drug prohibitionists have for many years now waged a campaign against people getting relief from chronic pain on the grounds that some of them might enjoy the drugs.  These are not the thought patterns of normal, morally-developed human beings, but rather the sick beliefs of busybodies whose own sexuality is only satisfied by denying happiness to others.

English is a language with a very large and nuanced vocabulary; for most concepts there is a broad selection of words to convey subtle differences in meaning.  But in this case the language is lacking; there are no adequate words to cover the gap between “want” and “need”.  The former implies mere preference or desire, while the latter indicates something that’s required for a healthy life, and the few words we have to bridge the gap, words like “yearning”, “longing” and “pining” come across as more poetic than specific.   I am not exaggerating in the least when I tell you that cannabis has kept me going the past two years; I don’t “need” it like I need food or water, and I often go a couple of days without it when my schedule doesn’t permit a long-enough downtime.  But neither is it a mere “want”; it enables me to relax, to control my anxiety, and to relieve the deep sorrow under which I otherwise labor for most of my waking hours, and it allows me a quality of sleep I had been denied for a decade.  Certainly, there are other drugs that might do the job…but not as well, and at the cost of deleterious side-effects, a level of medical surveillance with which I’m not comfortable, and more money than I can afford.  Similarly, my clients don’t “need” my services like they “need” oxygen, and yet it often isn’t a mere amusement either; recently the wife of one of my gentlemen publicly thanked me for relieving her husband’s stress and told me I was great for their marriage.

If most people were morally-developed enough to respect each others’ differences and preferences, it would hardly matter; whether another person’s desire for human contact is merely a fancy born of boredom or an aching emotional wound makes no difference if everyone respects his right to seek it for himself.  But sadly, that is not the case; we live in a world where evil lunatics claim the right to assess why others want what they want, and to use violence to deny it to them if they can’t “prove” that they “need” it badly enough…and often, not even then.

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You’re fucked.  –  gun inscription of “Officer” Philip Brailsford

I quite enjoyed this short animated film about the danger of falling in love.  The links above it were provided by Eddie J CunninghamMike SiegelPopehatRadley BalkoWalter OlsonTim Cushing, and Popehat again, in that order.

From the Archives

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Last week, one of my online friends asked if it was ethical to buy a used car from someone who was an overt racist.  I told him certainly, if it was a good car at a fair price.  I then pointed out that every one of us does business with dozens of racists & people with even worse character traits every day; we just don’t know it.  One of the costs of living in a complex modern society is that you know zero about 99% of the people you need to interact with.  How does a merchant know anything about the character of most of the people who buy things from his store?  He doesn’t, and that’s OK.  Here’s a personal example:  There’s a very good chance that any given woman I interact with in public supports the sending of armed thugs to rape, rob and cage me and most of the people I love.  If I had to stop interacting with such people I would simply have to stay home and never buy anything (NB: I say “woman” because studies show far more women than men are in favor of the government dispatching armed thug rape squads to destroy the lives of other women).  If a person’s or company’s behavior offends you and you can get the same service or product from another who doesn’t, by all means go to the other.  But in most cases you either don’t know or else there’s no real alternative, and you’ll harm yourself more by obsessing over this than your one-person boycott could possibly ever do to induce the offender to change their ways.

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I’m a 24 year old man who grew up in a very conservative, sex negative atmosphere; the most I’ve ever done is kiss a woman, and that was several years ago.  I’ve had pretty extensive health issues that largely keep me homebound, and porn just makes me feel lonely.  I’ve engaged in cybersex with women I met online, but I always lose contact with them because the only time I want to talk is when my horniness overpowers my embarrassment; I’m very uncomfortable seeking this stuff out even online, and I’ve had a few women that I cut off because they wanted to move much too fast, and expected me to just ignore all my boundaries.  For the same reason I’m not comfortable with sex-related online communities.  On top of that, the women I talk with don’t get much from the situation; the most I’m comfortable with is voice chat and I need to be eased into that.  Paying is not a financial possibility for me right now, and TBH I don’t really have any desire to do sexual stuff with a woman who only is there because I pay her.

I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I have no advice to give you.  Surely you understand that nobody is going to give you something for nothing?  You simply can’t expect random strangers to give you free sexual interaction, completely on your terms, without expecting anything in return.  That simply isn’t the way human dynamics work.  What you are looking for, whether you like it or not, is a sex worker.  You want someone to fulfill your desires on demand while staying completely within the boundaries you set, but who won’t ask anything for herself or expect romance or whatever.  That is about as good a description of a sex worker/client relationship as one could wish for; a sex worker is only looking for her fee, nothing else, and as a professional she will proceed at your pace and leave you alone when you aren’t paying for her to do otherwise.  I’m perfectly willing to provide the service if you like, and there are phone sex services, cam girls, etc available on the internet.  But if you are willing to provide your phone partner with nothing, I’m afraid nothing is all you can expect in return.

(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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Here’s a recent article about a strategy for protecting children from sexual abuse:

…children have a natural ability to sense who is safe and who is not safe.  “You, the parents, need to trust this sense and foster its development rather than try to change a child’s mind.”  So, believe your children and cultivate a “No Secret” family…Susan Caruso…argues that it is vitally important to use the correct terms for a child’s private parts and talk about body safety.  Caruso encourages parents to use the terms “surprise” or “safe secrets” when it comes to temporarily withholding information for birthdays or holidays.  Outside of this, parents need to be clear that “we don’t keep secrets in our family”…

That’s all very commendable and well-intended, but it was clearly dreamed up by straight, vanilla people who either developed late or don’t remember their own childhood sexuality, and therefore think of sexual secrets as only something that a child would be asked to keep by a molester, when in actuality a child might have their own sexual secrets that have nothing to do with molestation.  While it’s true that some children, perhaps even the majority, have rather low-key sexualities that don’t go much beyond “it feels good when I touch myself like this,” many others fall into sexual or gender minorities that stand out in sharp contrast to what they see around them or on television.  As I’ve written before, I was attracted to women from a young age, and though I didn’t realize my fascination with bondage and power exchange (especially science fiction mind-control) was “sexual”, I did understand that other people were not similarly fascinated, and I felt intense feelings of shame around it.  Nor am I alone; many of my queer and/or kinky friends report feeling that way from a young age, and most of us recognized it as something we should keep to ourselves because our parents wouldn’t accept or understand.

Though my mother assiduously avoided sexual topics with me, and dismissed me or gave me non-answers when I cautiously asked sexual questions, I do think she would’ve believed me had I been molested and told her about it.  I suspect that’s not so unusual; I can imagine that many people, especially in the present climate of child sex abuse hysteria, would be ready to believe that their child was molested, but would freak the fuck out if the child admitted to homosexual or kinky feelings themselves, or declared that they were of other than their biological gender.  In fact, I can easily imagine parents blaming a nonexistent molester for “putting those ideas” in the child’s head (the anti-sex mob calls this “prematurely sexualizing” them) rather than admit that their “precious, pure little angel” was a queer or a pervert or trans or all of the above.  The result could be even more traumatic than a molestation, and instill lifelong shame and trust issues.

The fact of the matter is, children are people separate from their parents; they are not part of their parents, and they aren’t owned by them, nor are they blank slates to be written neatly upon in whatever style and language their parents desire.  They are individuals with their own personalities from the very beginning, and a certain fraction of them are born with (or develop at an early age via mysterious channels) sexual or gender patterns that have nothing to do with what their parents might prefer or choose to “teach” them.  And individuals of any age past toddlerhood deserve a certain degree of privacy, especially in the realm of their own thoughts.  So by all means, tell your children that it’s wrong for anyone to ask or order them to keep secrets from you, but before you unilaterally declare that “we don’t keep secrets in our family,” you had better give some thought to how you’re going to react if your little darling trustingly confides in you about “weird” sexual feelings you’d really rather they didn’t have.

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No one should be comfortable with state-funded employees determining what is or isn’t acceptable for adults to read.  –  Eric Paul Leue

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Are there still people who believe the French are sexually liberal?

“We are not a puritan society,” French President Emmanuel Macron claimed…He then called for the criminalization of wolf-whistling and gender-based insults, and for requiring France’s TV and radio regulators to police video games and web content…[especially] online pornography, which Macron sees (sans evidence) as a prominent cause of violence against girls and women.  Porn is infiltrating French schools, Macron warned, and “we cannot ignore the kind that makes women an object of humiliation”…

What Would Orrin Hatch Do?

I guess six and a half years without a library internet censorship attempt isn’t too bad a run:

[Using the excuse] of out-in-the-open porn viewing, public sex, drug use and theft at [Los Angeles] city libraries, a pair of [politicians] is proposing [censorship software]…David Ryu…[and] Nury Martinez [vomited out several variations of “For the children!”, pretending this constituted an actual argument]…the Free Speech Coalition (FSC)…[correctly] argues that doing so could violate taxpayers’ First Amendment right…FSC executive director Eric Paul Leue said… “Filtering software sounds like an easy solution, but we know that such software often casts an egregiously wide net, blocking not only sexually explicit content but also sexual health information, LGBTQ sites and sites…which…discuss…issues relevant to the adult industry…In the past year alone, we’ve seen magazines like Cosmopolitan  attacked as pornography in conservative districts, just as we’ve seen crackdowns on LGBTQ content and imagery, and mere nudity elsewhere”…

Setting Women’s Rights Back a Century

It’s a little reassuring to see somebody else recognize this:

…while we think we are moving forward, we may be willingly transporting ourselves back to a more sexually restrictive era, one that denied agency to women…sexual laws and regulations have most often been strengthened in the name of protecting children…Sometimes the children are symbolic: anti-gay crusades are almost invariably framed in terms of “saving the children”— not specific children, but just the children who have to share a country with queers.  In the current American conversation, women are increasingly treated as children:  defenseless, incapable of consent, always on the verge of being victimized.  This should give us pause.  Being infantilized has never worked out well for women.

Acting and Activism (#565) 

Good riddance to bad anti-whore rubbish:

Lena Dunham may be the first person to fabricate details of her alleged rape, then proclaim all women’s claims need to be believed, and then publicly accuse a young woman of lying about having been raped.  Finally, the star and creator of Girls has been exposed as the empty vessel she is…Dunham…speaks, usually unbidden, with complete moral and philosophical authority — until she’s called out online, at which point she furiously and pathetically backpedals…She’s a total hypocrite…and…narcissist who possesses no intellectual rigor, no belief system, no relationship with the truth…

The Puritan Recrudescence

The “progressives” have given religious fanatics a powerful censorship tool:  declare anything a “public health crisis” and it can be harassed at will:

Each new revelation since the first reports of the Harvey Weinstein scandal adds to the discussion about how to deal with sexual harassment and sexual violence in American society. And yet nobody is talking about what could be one of the most effective ways to attack the problem: Recognizing that pornography consumption is a public health crisis…the heavy use of pornography skews the users’ perception of what is normal…We have a sexual violence problem because we have a porn problem…the evidence is mounting that porn is addictive…

All of this is pure, undistilled bullshit; as this article explains, the “porn as public health crisis” propaganda is a dodge dreamed up by prohibitionist Gail Dines and used by politicians in socially-conservative states as an excuse for censorship.  In reality (as opposed to prohibitionists’ anti-sex fantasyland) all the evidence points to porn viewing decreasing sexual violence, and regular readers know that the “sex addiction” myth, the big sister of “porn as health crisis”, is not only unsupported by evidence but dying a quick death due to the antics of the same abusive douchebag this prohibitionist tries to hang his pro-censorship screed on.

Against Their Will (#707)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A…sex worker fell to her death in Queens [New York because of] a police raid [last]…Saturday night…[grown men pretending to be big heroes] stormed a massage parlor [as though they were in a war or something]…Police say they were trying to [capture and arrest] the 38-year-old woman when they saw her fall to the sidewalk from a third floor window.  She suffered serious injuries, and died Sunday at the hospital.  The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.

Because “falling to her death while fleeing in terror from rapists who want to torture her & lock her in a cage” isn’t exact enough?

Rooted in Racism (#732) 

No, this wasn’t a “mistake”; it was a deliberate action proceeding directly from government-approved profiling guidelines:

A vacation to Cancun…ended in anguish when an Atlanta-area woman…and her friend were mistaken on the flight home for human trafficking victims.  The incident…has put a spotlight on the [harms inflicted on minority women by “sex trafficking” hysteria]…Stephanie Ung…was [interrogated] by U.S. Customs and Border Protection…for more than an hour upon arriving at the airport…”I just kept telling them that I wanted to go home for my family Thanksgiving dinner, and that they were making me late, but they just didn’t care,” Ung said through tears.  “They just laughed”…Ung, who is Asian American, said that she believes her race was a factor in the situation…A Delta spokesperson said that another passenger on the flight [fantasized] someone else was in possession of the women’s passports…and [snitched]…to the crew…

Is anyone so gullible as to believe that their being young Asian women had nothing to do with this?

Against Their Will (#766) 

It’s good to see this getting more attention lately:

In Hyderabad in particular there are some very powerful and very well-funded anti-trafficking organisations that…[pretend] any form of sex work [is] a form of trafficking…NGOs…[are] working in combination with the police…processing women and locking them up in “shelters”….[that] operate as jails…Their phones are taken away.  They’re not allowed to contact their families, they’re not allowed to contact their friends that could help them.  Their money is taken away, sometimes even their jewellery is taken away…They are kept against their will…completely cut off from…their life…there is an actual monetary gain to be had by trafficking these women off the streets and into shelters.  So…it actually meets all of the qualifications set out by the Palermo Protocol.  Women themselves are calling this a form of trafficking and…attempt to…escape…Some women attempt suicide…

Safe Targets (#766) 

Not for ANY reason WHATSOEVER.  No, your reason is not an exception:

A woman who reported being kidnapped and raped over a six month period to the police was arrested as she sought care…The woman, who was five months pregnant…was…taken into custody at an east London police station. She was then interrogated over her immigration status…

The Notorious Badge (#772)

OK, so maybe she was listening after all:

Maggie Gyllenhaal thinks prostitution should be decriminalised.  The…actress plays a sex worker in her new TV show The Deuce and she thinks it would be safer and healthier for everyone involved…if it was no longer a criminal act…

Wise Investment (#779)

Even though we’re going to lose many of these, lawsuits are for the present our best weapon against prohibitionists:

…it looked like City Attorney Pete Holmes’ tactic for leveraging harsh punishments against sex buyers was in trouble.  A filing from a public defender working on behalf of one of the men caught up in the city’s massage parlor stings revealed that the prosecutor had directed his attorneys not to offer pre-trial diversion to men accused of buying sex.  The strategy…contradict[s] the city’s lauded criminal justice reform efforts allowing people accused of other misdemeanor crimes to avoid criminal convictions.  Public defenders also expressed concern that a sting operation that trapped defendants into guilty pleas could have far more serious consequences for undocumented residents…A law firm hired by the city (to the tune of $60,000) argued in King County Superior Court that…the sex buyer in question didn’t have a due process right to pre-trial diversion…attorney Bob Goldsmith…asked King County Superior Court Judge Sean O’Donnell to recuse himself from the case…[because] O’Donnell had participated in the King County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Task Force, which supported the “end demand” strategy enshrined in the city attorney’s prosecutorial decisions…Judge O’Donnell [naturally] rejected the motion to recuse himself, as well as Goldsmith’s other arguments…


To Molest and Rape (#782)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their kids in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?  “A San Leandro [cop] resigned…[after admitting] sexual misconduct with a teenage Police Explorer…Marco Becerra…[molested] a 17-year-old girl…”  I mean, just LOOK at this creepy fuck; would you trust him around your daughter?

Buried Truth (#790) 

Given their propensity for badge-licking, I reckon it’s no surprise social conservatives like sleazy entrapment schemes so much:

A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore…impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets…During the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public…When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.  But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups.  The organization sets up undercover “stings” that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias…

You may recognize the resemblance to the failed attempt at framing Planned Parenthood in 2011.

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I often feel as though I’m one of the few adults in a nation full of children.  I watch Americans playing their ridiculous red hat/blue hat games, pretending that their arbitrarily-chosen schoolyard teams are really different from each other in some important way that justifies defending creepy molesters on their team while viciously attacking the same kind of creepy molesters on the other team.  I see jackasses braying about how different things would be if only their team were in charge, despite the fact that both have had long periods in which they held strong majorities in individual states and in all branches of the federal government, yet failed miserably to create the Utopias they keep insisting they can create if only given one more chance; in fact, both have cooperated to build the fascist police state in which we are now trapped.  I see politicians contradicting themselves egregiously while their fawning worshipers are too busy licking their boots to even look up and see both sides of their masters’ mouths projectile-vomiting different kinds of filth.  I see adults so horrified at the basic awfulness of human nature that they try to pretend it’s some evil system imposed from outside (presumably by gods or aliens) like “capitalism” or “patriarchy” that creates the awfulness, when actually it’s just humanity.  The next time someone prefaces a criticism of human behavior with “under capitalism” or “under patriarchy”, keep that in mind while reading it; you’ll see that they’re just whistling past the graveyard.  Very few people can handle the realization that they’re nothing but highfalutin’ monkeys running million-year-old neurological programs that have never been debugged, and that Man’s garbage will have a much more lasting effect on this planet than he will.  They yammer and bleat that this pathetic animal is “killing the Earth”, when in actuality he is at most making the surface environment more hostile for himself and a few closely-related species.  But even beyond that, the Earth is going to die in a few billion years anyway; when the sun goes she’s going to take her children with her.  Nor is this a unique situation; all stars die, some more quickly and spectacularly than most, but all of them go in the end, as will the galaxies they inhabit.  Indeed, the entire universe, and every iota of it, is mortal; it is nothing more than a complex symphony echoing in the abyss.  And when it’s over it will fade away, leaving nothing behind except the fact that it existed, and that it was savagely beautiful.

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