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Posts Tagged ‘yin and yang’

As in every election year for the past several decades, we are currently being subjected to the fantasy that the authoritarian US political system can somehow be made less awful by electing more women to high positions; similar argument are made for more female cops, spooks, bureaucrats, etc.  But this is nothing but a “feminist” fantasy embraced by the government to call attention away from the truth, as a magician’s showmanship draws attention away from what he’s actually doing.  If a system is sexist, it makes no difference whether the individual cog which subjects individuals to that system is male, female, non-binary or even hermaphroditic; what matters is that if that cog wishes to advance in a sexist system, it follows the sexist system’s procedures.  Therefore, the more power an individual establishment actor has, the more likely that individual is to be a sociopath or even a psychopath; the same exact thing is true of racist systems, sex-negative systems, etc.  This is exactly why the pretense or belief that giving women, minorities, queers, etc more power in authoritarian systems will somehow make those systems more humane is childish and counterproductive; as long as the system remains authoritarian, the gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or whatever of the individual cogs in that system is of absolutely no consequence.  If such an individual is to advance, they must divest themselves of any personal moral beliefs they might have and replace them with the rules, regulations, and laws of the system; anyone too moral to do so is either ground up by the system, cast out of it, or remains relatively powerless and therefore unable to enact meaningful change.  The only way to limit the power of a system (or any given cog in that system) is to remove that power entirely.  Power will by its very nature always lead to abuse, no matter what the personal characteristics of the functionaries of that system may be; systems can only become less abusive to individuals by limiting (or better, completely eliminating) their ability to abuse.

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In “Bad Advice”, a man was concerned about losing the image of his wife’s body as the years rolled by with no sexual contact with her.  Several readers noticed I didn’t say anything about that aspect of his question; the truth is, I didn’t feel I could answer it because men are much more visual creatures than women, and I honestly wasn’t sure what I could’ve said that wouldn’t have sounded either Pollyanna or dismissive, so I left it alone.  But one regular reader has had similar experiences himself, and last week he sent me this short answer and told me it was OK to share it.

Maggie gave me some excellent advice over 6 years ago in “On a Mountaintop”.  I took that advice, and am very glad that I did.  Seeing sex workers brings touch back into my life, affirms my sexuality, and makes me feel more whole.  My mind is more clear and focused, my mood brighter, my outlook better.  It’s been a wonderful set of experiences and I have no regrets.  But I can tell the man what will happen, or at least what happened to me.  This rejection of a man’s sexual being, coupled with his continued love and desire, creates a wound that never heals.  It’s been 10 years since I last had sex with my wife, but when we are watching a movie or TV show and a romantic scene is shown, it can penetrate my armor; when the scene suggests a happy and fulfilling sex life between an older married couple, it pierces my heart like a hot needle.  There’s nothing a sex worker can or should do about this; I am responsible for my decision to stay and endure this occasional injury.  Long term marriages are complex things, with economic and familial ties and obligations, vows and trusts and all manner of complications known only to the couple.  I have no advice for the man who wrote, just the knowledge that he will probably experience the same pain.

Here is a wound that never will heal, I know,
Being wrought not of a dearness and a death,
But of a love turned ashes and the breath
Gone out of beauty; never again will grow
The grass on that scarred acre, though I sow
Young seed there yearly and the sky bequeath
Its friendly weathers down, far Underneath
Shall be such bitterness of an old woe.
That April should be shattered by a gust,
That August should be levelled by a rain,
I can endure, and that the lifted dust
Of man should settle to the earth again;
But that a dream can die, will be a thrust
Between my ribs forever of hot pain.  –  Edna St. Vincent Millay

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I’ll kill your fucking dog.  –  Doug McLeod

Regular readers know that I’m a fan of instrumental pop and electronica, but you may not realize how long I’ve been a fan.  So here’s one song I loved as a child; note that this is the original Gershon Kingsley version from Music To Moog By (1969), not the shorter 1972 Hot Butter cover version which became a worldwide hit.  The links above the video were provided by Popehat (x2), Tushy Galore, Mike Siegel, Dave Krueger, and Jillian Keenan, in that order.

From the Archives

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Beyond the Pale

Last week I saw this question linked on Twitter, and I was rather dissatisfied with the answer the advice columnist gave.  So even though it wasn’t directed at me, I am going to answer it in case any of my readers is ever in a similar situation.

My husband wanted to try anal…I let myself be talked into trying.  I hated it.  We tried again.  I hated it.  We tried with toys of slowly increasing sizes. I hated it…We try it now every few months at most…and I inevitably cry during and after…I want to never ever do this again or even hear him ask about it, suggest it, or joke about it.  He keeps saying he doesn’t want it to hurt, but thinks it’s fair for him to keep wanting it and keep asking for it…thinking of my husband as the man who sometimes pesters me to go through this kind of pain on his behalf has done a lot of damage to my enjoyment of sex and intimacy in general.  He says he needs some variety.  An open arrangement is not on the table.  Is one of us being unfair?  Are both of us?…

First of all, I really hate the word “fair”, and this is a perfect example of why.  Reality is reality, and it doesn’t change just because one person (in this case your husband) is unhappy with the results.  It isn’t “fair” to my friends that I get to claim the front seat in every car ride where I’m not driving, but because of my severe vertigo it’s necessary unless somebody wants to clean up vomit and listen to me crying like a little girl.  It doesn’t matter whether your aversion to anal is physical, emotional or something else; the fact is that it exists, and that’s that.  You clearly want to make your husband happy, but you’ve made the effort many times with the same result, and he needs to accept that; now it’s his turn to make you happy by giving up this butt obsession before it utterly destroys your sex life and possibly your relationship.  You say you don’t want an open relationship, and given his inability to respect boundaries I think that’s wise; however, please recognize that if he’s as obsessed by this as it seems, he may go behind your back anyway, and if that happens you will need to decide if you’re willing to continue trusting him.  In any case, stop trying to do something that distresses you so; set a firm boundary and tell him you are done even talking about it.

For the husband:   Dude, WTF?  I understand you’ve got a fetish for anal, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  But there’s plenty wrong with your insistence on repeatedly violating your wife’s consent.  It was fine for you to ask her once, and even to wheedle her a bit if she was reluctant.  But to continue insisting, begging, haranguing or whatever else you’ve been doing to get her to try something she obviously hates over and over and over is sadistic, and I don’t mean that in a good way.  You are harming both her and your relationship, and for what?  If you absolutely must experience this, do what ethical men have done since time immemorial and go hire a sex worker who is open to this activity.  Do not try to pick up some amateur in a bar, or go on some dumb dating site, unless you actually want to destroy your marriage; find a discreet professional who offers this service and see her as needed.  Do not just pick an escort at random and assume Greek is on the menu, because not everyone offers it (and the ones who do may not offer it to everyone, or not on the first date, or some other stipulation) and it requires special preparation (which, judging by your wife’s letter, you seem not to comprehend).  And if you do go that route, please be discreet yourself; it’s OK to get your needs met, but it’s not OK to hurt your wife because you’re too damned selfish to think with the big head.

(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 never been with any kind of sex worker before, and I’m planning to book an escort in a couple weeks.  I asked for a three-hour date because I wanted there to be plenty of time; longer appointments seem to be what high-end escorts generally prefer anyway.  I imagine the first part of the date will be getting acquainted, having a drink, etc, but I’m a little concerned that when things turn physical I might climax very quickly; if that happens, is it OK thing to to go again, or is it better to try and prevent it from happening?  Or would you suggest I shorten the date to two hours?

It would be pretty rare for a “high-end” escort to do a la carte pricing; we charge only for time, though most of us do have separate rates for purely social dates (no intimate contact at all) and “full service” dates.  So it really doesn’t matter what y’all do with the time, and most experienced escorts aren’t going to be surprised if a guy wants to go twice in a three-hour date, especially if the first one is accomplished fairly quickly.  That having been said, don’t try to spring a second round on her with less than half an hour in the session, unless of course you want to piss her off.  With the exception of Tantra, “edging”, etc, the preoccupation with delaying orgasm is purely a male one; men seem to imagine that women like interminable pistoning, and nothing could be further from the truth (especially with a pro).  When a man expends effort in attempting to delay orgasm, all he usually accomplishes is annoying his escort and (if he succeeds too well, which I have seen happen innumerable times) frustrating himself.  I suggest you spend the first hour chatting and relaxing, then let nature take its course; if you climax quickly and want to do it again, try to start around the beginning of the third hour.  But if you are satisfied after the first (and most men are), just spend the rest of the time enjoying a beautiful lady’s company; most of us are quite good at entertaining gentlemen in ways other than having sex.

(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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Sex work prohibitionism is entirely based in negative emotions such as envy, resentment, and bigotry, plus the most common and destructive of all sexual perversions: the need to inflict one’s own will on non-consenting individuals.  As I and others have explained, this is why sex workers can’t help “incels”:  it isn’t sex that they want, it’s ownership.  If they just wanted sex they could pay for it like any other man, but that isn’t enough for them; they want to own women like slaves because they believe themselves to be entitled to unlimited sexual access like the successful men they call “alphas” (whom they imagine get sex without paying).  The reason I’m mentioning this is because these are the emotions and twisted cognitive processes behind last week’s “thot audit”, a trollfest in which deeply-pathetic manbabies tried to make themselves feel powerful and frighten ill-informed sex workers by threatening to report them to the IRS for tax evasion.

There’s just so much to unpack here, starting with the highly popular but largely-erroneous notion that sex workers don’t pay taxes (most visible in the ignorant proclamation of wannabe allies that “we should legalize and tax it”); sorry, y’all, but most of us know who Al Capone was and we aren’t stupid.  Failing to placate a gang of thieves who have been granted the power to move without let or hindrance to collect their pound of flesh from anyone currently or formerly alive, and who have absolutely no compunction against ruining any given person’s life on a whim, is just plain stupid.  Yes, a lot of our income is cash, and yes, most of us put something other than “prostitute” on our tax returns (I used to put “escort service owner”, now I put “writer”).  But full-time sex workers do pay taxes, not only because it’s foolish to attempt to cheat the devil of his due, but also because we don’t want to be locked out of the financial system; owning a house, property and credit cards is definitely worth giving the government its blood money.  Do some part-timers and dilettantes only declare the income from their “straight” jobs and keep the sex work cash quiet?  Undoubtedly, but the same goes for anyone with a side gig.  Singling out sex workers has nothing to do with whether we pay some lawhead idea of a “fair share” or not, and everything to do with trying to hurt women out of a frustrated sense of male entitlement; though men control just about everything else, women have a solid lock on the sphere of hetero sexuality…the thing most men care about more than anything else.

But since lots of writers had stuff to say about this, I feel no need to duplicate their efforts.  Let’s start with Elizabeth Nolan Brown in Reason:

…Where to begin with the grossness and pointlessness of these pursuits?…What kind of bootlicking busybodies spend their spare time worrying about whether individual strangers are paying enough in taxes, much less take the time to report them?  Then there’s the ignorance.  Plenty of solo sex workers, adult entertainers, and models do pay taxes, just like other independent contractors…Sex workers have the same incentives as everyone else to stay on the good side of Uncle Sam…Lastly, there’s the futility of the whole business.  Blogger Roosh V, who was one of the men leading the #thotaudit charge, pointed his followers to a page of the IRS website for reporting tax evaders, even suggesting that the feds might reward them for rounding up hoes.  But…reporting someone requires you to know a lot about the person you’re turning in, including her full name and address—information random dudes online aren’t likely to have for the ladies they’re tattling on…even if they did have all the correct information, there’s little likelihood that the IRS would care.  The page specifically notes that it’s interested in situations involving “a significant Federal tax issue”—i.e., not someone making a few hundred unreported dollars per year selling used underwear and butt selfies.  As…Mistress Matisse put it: “Dudes, they want Donald Trump, they don’t want camgirls”…

Tracy Clark-Flory quotes me in Jezebel:

…How these trolls would know anything about the inner workings of any individual sex worker’s tax dealings is a mystery.  But the boy geniuses behind this ploy are mighty impressed with themselves.  The…dude who started it all recently posted to his Facebook page an image depicting himself as a warrior holding up the heads of three women’s faces overlaid with Snapchat filters…While many #ThotAudit-ers allege that they are, indeed, making formal reports to the IRS, there is no evidence to back up their claims.  The IRS did not respond to Jezebel’s request for comment…Maggie McNeill…told Jezebel, “Several of us were as amused by this as we were disgusted.” Amused, she explained, because of “its impotence,” and disgusted “by its ugliness.”  McNeill continued, “It’s just a new retread of the ‘criminal sluts’ male fantasy of sex work: that we’re all ‘loose women’ who are too lazy to do ‘real work’ and make a killing without paying taxes”…

Vice, in one of its periodic swings toward supporting sex workers, gave far too much credence to these nasty little boys, but had a few good points:

…To report someone through the whistleblower program, you need a lot of their personal information:  Physical address, full legal name, date of birth (or approximate age), and taxpayer identification number…You also have to have to have specific information about the type of fraud being alleged as well as how much money the person being reported has earned; it’s clear from the forms…that this is generally intended for people within companies to whistleblow about tax evasion that they have…document…[to] prove…You also have to physically mail all of this information to the IRS, because it does not accept any of this information by phone or email; one of the whistleblower programs specifically states that anyone submitting information does so under the threat of perjury…Christopher Kirk, attorney and master preparer at Safeword Tax Service…said….“Most sex workers tend not to earn enough to catch the notice of the IRS.  With their limited staff resources, the IRS tends to go after larger operators”…

Anyhow, this whole 50-clown-car pile-up of buffoonery was to me summed up by last Monday’s revelation that David Wu, the dude who started it, has a history of trying to extort nude pictures from underage girls using threats of doxxing; the whole “thot audit” nonsense is exactly that sleazy practice, writ large, albeit less competently.

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Coincidentally, this article about “financial abortion” came to my attention just the day before yesterday’s reader question did, but they both touch on the same subject:  the oppressive “family court” and mandated-child support system.  The article points out that while a pregnant woman has the right to “opt out” of the burden of unwanted motherhood by choosing abortion, the man who got her pregnant has no similar right; if she chooses to have the baby he’s on the hook financially for over two decades, even if she told him she was using contraception and he strenuously objects to fatherhood.  Some MRAs, anti-abortion nuts and politicians have proposed that a man should have veto power over a woman he has impregnated, but this is obviously an abomination; every person owns their own body, and absolutely nobody else (and certainly not the state) has the right to control what that person does with their body.  At the same time, it seems reasonable for a man to have some recourse against consent violation, so some have proposed that a man could legally sever all ties during the pregnancy, dodging his financial responsibilities by voluntarily surrendering his parental rights.

I’m not going to waste my time or energy in a fruitless Mars/Venus emotional discussion about men’s inability to keep their dicks in their pants, the responsibility for contraception, the “unfairness” of Nature, “But the children!” or any other insoluble malarkey.  Nor do I believe for one second that a government which claims every citizen as property of the state and uses violent threats in an insane attempt to micromanage every aspect of its citizens’ lives, to the point where it is willing to lock people in cages to keep them from experiencing pleasure in a way it doesn’t approve of, or literally force unwilling women to endure the dangers and burdens of pregnancy and childbirth against their wills, would ever agree to let men out of a convenient noose and women out of a trap where they’re forced to rely on Big Brother and be tied to a useless man for two decades.  Puritanical US “authorities” want sex to be as dangerous and consequence-laden as they can make it, which is why prostitution is criminalized, abortions & birth control are the subjects of so many ban attempts, and “family court” is a nightmare for everyone but the lawyers and bean-counters.  The only thing I want to do here is to propose (not debate, sorry) a framework which a hypothetical free society (in which the rights to contraception and abortion were unquestioned) might use to resolve this dilemma.

The principle of self-ownership demands that the government stay completely out of the lives of individuals who have not committed violence against others, and that includes their reproductive lives.  Therefore, the only just and ethical way of dealing with the situation is to simply recognize reality: the child is the chattel, sole responsibility and sole right of the mother.  Up until the advent of DNA testing just a few years ago, there was no sure way to determine the male parent of a child anyway, so the whole concept of “legitimate fatherhood” hasn’t any more tangible connection to reality than angels dancing on pinheads (as any loving adoptive father or stepfather will tell you).  Fatherhood in the social sense has absolutely nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with emotional and economic investment in the child, and the idea that someone can be compelled to love by court order is as vile as it is absurd.  If the biological parents of a child want DNA tests, in other words if biological parentage matters to them, well and fine and may Hera bless them.  But the outcome of such a test should have absolutely no legal weight; it should confer neither paternal rights nor paternal obligations.  If a man wants the former, he can offer the mother the latter; if a mother wants the latter, she can offer any man (not necessarily the biological father) the former.  If they both agree on the terms, a lawyer makes a contract and they’re done; disputes are settled in ordinary civil courts under ordinary contract law, with no special “family” mumbo-jumbo involved.  No more custody battles; no more bureaucrats making intimate decisions for mothers.  Just the recognition of biological reality and the removal of one of government’s most effective means of controlling the individual.

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