Sunday, April 27, 2008
In a world where the average non-porn female seems anal-phobic, inclined to squeal "But it hurts sooooo much!" and whine and generally act like it's the most perverted act that the whole of mankind ever invented . . . I like it.
I can't even quite describe why I like it. Anal penetration is definitely different than vaginal penetration; anal has never made me gasp in that particular way, and yet I find myself craving it from time to time (oh, listen to that, I sound like a character drawn up in a bad piece of erotica, "craving anal". Lol.). But honestly, I do. It's that sense of fullness, and, oddly enough, that sense of vaginal emptiness at the same time. The way I can slip into gayboy fantasies like I don't have a vagina at all, and that my clit is really a little cock. It's the way when the lube starts to dry up and the dildo/vibrator starts to stick just a little, pulling at my skin slightly, and that extra friction is just fantastic. Heck, it's just the change of pace.
And yet I hardly seem to ever do it, and I'll tell you why: it's a hassle.
When I get up the hankering to play around back, I feel like an old woman. I groan as I haul myself out of bed to go puttering around for some lube, because I don't keep any nearby; usually I get plenty wet enough vaginally to do whatever I want and not need extra lubrication. Then I've got to apply the darn stuff, and I haven't yet found a way to get it inside me without gloopy, gloppy fingers up to the knuckle, and greasy bedsheets from where I've wiped my hands off. Then I've got to lube the toy (more greasy finger smears) and work it in. Pity on me if I haven't put enough lube, or enough deep enough; then we go through the whole process again. And it literally kills me, because 1) it's so freaking messy, 2) it's time-consuming, and 3) if I want to penetrate myself vaginally, I usually don't have to be wet; I can work it in "dry" very quickly and then let myself get warmed up and wet as time progresses. Having to wait for insertion with anal makes me impatient. Then I finally get it in; we're feeling good. Now I run to go get my underwear, because the uncomfortable contortions required to grab a hold of the dildo/vibe just don't work for me. I like to masturbate on my back, legs spread. It's just me. And when I'm having a ball, the dildo's likely to slip out, which isn't a problem with vaginal- I just cram it back in- but with anal, means I have to stop, set down whatever masturbatory aid I'm using, twist to the side to grab it, work it back in. So the underwear come on, pulled up tight to provide a barrier to keep it in at least a little. Then it's back into bed to finally have my time alone. I do, and it's always good, particularly the moments when I've masturbated clitorally almost to the point of orgasm, then let off and literally hump the dildo, and that drives me over the edge. I always find it amazing. But then . . . I have to go do clean-up. With vaginal, the toy rarely needs much. I wipe off my cum easily and it dries away fast to nothing; with anal, the toy's lube is greasy and still there, requiring something to wipe it up. And my butt feels exactly the same way. Although after all sex I usually like to throw a tissue or two down there just to mop up some of the wetness, I can go about my day with a post-orgasm vagina. I cannot with a post-penetrated anus; it's too greasy and wet and drippy feeling to enjoy. So I necessarily must go to the bathroom to clean up shop, so to speak, which completely ruins one of my favorite acts: masturbating myself to sleep as a bedtime ritual. Even if I wanted to bear it out, anal play always makes me need to go to the bathroom anyways. And though it rarely happens to me- maybe 5% of the time- sometimes you've got a little bit of the anal sex-hazardous fecal matter there, meaning now you've got to go wash your hands, and the toy (note: I'm lazy and will probably suffer for it. You should always wash your toys after you use them, anal or not, fecal matter present or not). By the time I get back and am fully done with the experience, I'm happy, satisfied, but wondering "Really? Was it worth it?".
Who knows; maybe partnered anal sex will be better, when I can let my penetrator do all the prep work and just relax and wiggle my tush invitingly. As it is, anal sex exhausts me. So mostly this is a complaint to my butt. Why can't you be more like your sister, my vagina? Why can't you self-lubricate? Why do you have to be the odd one out, the black sheep of this thing we call my erotic body? You're making it really tough on me to give you any of the love we both know you deserve. Shape up, booty.
Anyways, props, gay boys, props. I apparently have neither the patience nor the initiative to do what's needed to freely take it up the tailpipe.
And yes, I know it's bad and I feel bad for it. But click below to read a little bit of my explanation.
Sometimes their desperation is outright, other times it lingers between the lines, invariably staining the entire message, however positive and sweet it happens to be. And I don't want to feel this way towards their messages, I really don't. But at the same time, I feel claustrophobic, mobbed . . . they're just so intense, I think. It's that intensity that frightens me, because when these individuals write, they are literally pouring out all of their hopes and fears to me. They bare their souls, make themselves vulnerable as they open up. They're looking for validation from me because so many other women have turned them down, called them freaks, and otherwise belittled their still-fragile, emerging feminine selves. It's a cloying neediness that suffocates me; they come on me too strong, too fast. It's a lot of pressure, and I'm disappointed in myself that I buckle under that pressure. I don't respond to their eager messages. I just can't.
I've never received similar responses from anyone other sexual minority; not gay men, not lesbians, not bisexuals, not FtM transguys, not MtF transgirls, not BDSM afficionados, no one. I don't rightly know what makes cross-dressing men react this way, and more importantly, I don't know what makes me react in my way. I do like crossdressing men, don't I? I find the juxtaposition of their masculinity and femininity arousing; I find their gender transgression taboo and erotic, and I find them to be on some level sacred and beautiful in their strength to do something that society so shuns and degrades. Finding power and satisfaction in femininity is empowering, be you male or female. So why do I feel like running in the other direction when these dream boys contact me?
These are just some of the messages I've gotten. As you'll see, the guys are kind, nice, polite, exuberant. I can't find fault with them, and yet my own mental blocks remain. I hope to one day get past them.
Subject: Now that's HOT!
Message: I just read your answer to my question about favorite fetishes that you have. WOW, like I was too embarrassed to mention that I have a growing fetish for role playing as a woman. I have a high feminine side and haven't found anyone at all that's interested in guys that have no inhabitions towards dressing and acting like a female. I really hope that we can chat and share ideas.Your friend,Chase
Subject: I read your reply to a fellow Tg looking for females that understand her.
Message: I have met other genetic fermales that saw me as the perfect sex mate. I have the mind of a woman. And the equip. of a man. She said I had the best of both worlds. I said to her that it's a living heck instead.She is married w/ three kids. My morals kept us apart.I don't know why but I felt that I should stop to say hey and tell you what I did. I didn't mean any harm. But somehow you put a smile on my face with your reply of accepting TG m to f's.I've had sex with both sexes and I still prefer women hands down. Men are just to rough for me. They get so rammy all of the time. I find women to be more sensual. The sex seems to flow so much more smoothly. I like it best when the sex last half of the night and sometimes into the morning. Plus women don't have a beard that scratches you and women don't snore either. That is so annoying. Please feel free to email me if you like. I so love to talk. Josie.
Subject: Re your response to my question
Message: Hi GwenI'd like to get to know a woman who really wants to understand a guy who loves his fem side. You will understand me being cautious in speaking to someone about my cross dressing.....please tell me a bit more about u.Regards paul(a)
Message: Hi Gwen,I hope it's ok that I email you. I have read some of your posts about dressing men as women, and I wanted to say hello. I'm a hetero guy who fantasizes ALL THE TIME about what it might be like to dress as a woman. If you're interested in chatting, I'd love to talk to you about it. I'm very "normal and conservative" in real life - this is definitely a secret of mine.I hope this email finds you well.David
Subject: Thanks for being so open minded about crossdressing guys!
Message: Hi,I just wanted to say I really like that you are so open minded about crossdressers. It gives guys like me hope that there are actually females out there who might be accepting that we like to dress a little feminine every now and then.Thanks again! I can see why you are a top contributor. :)Alan
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I'm addicted to cooking shows. Seriously. I adore it, from staying up late watching old-school Japanese "Iron Chef" (the new American remake sucks!), Bam!ing with Emeril, lusting after Italian beauty Giada De Laurentiis and charming Tyler Florence. Nothing is sexier than someone who can cook, and cook well and with confidence. So of course I already loved Bravo TV's reality cooking show "Top Chef". Then I realize there's a freaking hot butch lesbian on the show . . . and I melt and tune in all the more fervently. Jennifer Biesty (pictured left) was adorable in her fauxhawk, charming and kind, and with none of the typical virulent reality-show star obnoxiousness. And I wanted to eat her. I mean, eat her food. (Damn Freudian slips!).
And then she got eliminated. Grrr. Anger directed at Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio. But I guess that's the name of the game. I started thinking about all the other reality-show butches who have unfortunately been kicked off before their prime. I suppose there's something to be said for television that even gives butch gals a chance and some visibility (and is a sad indictment that we can't get some fictional butch representation on the airwaves). And yet they seem to fall so quickly in their prime, and while it may be perfectly legitimate (i.e. kicked off for bad performance and mediocre skills), it still means that I have one less piece of eye candy for me on prime time TV. :(
Just look at Josie Smith-Malave, the "Top Chef" Season 2 contestant. I wasn't much of a fan of her personality (something about her grated me), but she certainly spiced up the nights for me. (And there's something very cool about seeing some non-Caucasian butches). Turns out she was in fact the victim of a homophobic attack . . . . which is an even sadder and more demoralizing event than Jen packing up her knives and leaving.
I was actually out of the country and doing my own thang in Japan when one of the biggest butch visibility phenomena ever occurred. Which is probably better for me, because I would have wanted to kill Tila Tequila (#1 for just being her, and #2 for dropping the best thing she'd never have). But I came back and my online haunts are all abuzz with talk of Dani Campbell, and all I can do is gape to see such an amazing, sexy butch- sorry, apparently I must bow down and use her term 'futch'- making every 13-40 year old woman in America say "Damn! Maybe I'm not so straight after all . . .". You've got to give her props, though, for making it so far in the competition, and now, post-competition, keeping the momentum going: apparently she's starting a clothing line for butch/futch/whatever-you're-calling-her-hot-style girls. I hope it takes off . . . well-styled butches and tomboys are every lesbian/bisexual girl's dream. Look for "Futch" at shopfutch.com soon!
So that's all I have to say for today. Start the funeral dirge for sexy, butch lesbian women on TV, bid farewell to heartthrob Jennifer Biesty, and pray for more.
That's what I'm doing, at least.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Yes, Youtube sex ed is pretty cool.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
But it's no longer quite a metaphor, and hasn't been for a while. Underwater porn- however you define it, whether it's groping while waist-deep in a pool or cavorting in sexual escapades twenty leagues down in your scuba gear- is growing in popularity, and let me let you in on a secret: it's hot.
I still remember watching my first [semi] underwater porn scene. The anonymous clip in question was shot in somebody's plain and dingy backyard pool, the boys were only so-so in both looks and particularly passion, and the above-water shots were depressing. But under the water, the porn transformed: set to ridiculously fitting classical music, it took above-water choppy awkwardness and transformed it into slow and graceful movement. The water and lighting seemed much more generous to their bodies than harsh above-water daylight. And the cumshots . . . . I had never previously been a fan of them- gooey ropes or sticky dribblings were not my thing and I always skipped over that part. But I watched in mesmerized fascination as the penis in question jerked and out streamed three beautiful, wispy puffs that swirled and curled and finally disappated into the water like smoke. Beautiful.
I was reminded of my aqua love from seeing brief clips of beautiful underwater trysting in the preview for "Female Fantasies"; it had been forgotten and left behind, but now I'm back and just as interested. Water is one of the mediums that is ultimately completely forgiving. Hairstyles cease to matter or make a difference as it floats free in swirling masses around your head, and the makeup isn't there or isn't as horribly garish as it usually is. Breasts have newfound buyoancy and for people whose voluptuous curves have been wronged by the drooping pull of gravity, the weightless suspension of water turns them into soft pillowy water goddesses. The water makes creative and exotic sex positions that on land would be capable only by sexual athletes perfectly easy underneath. A tan doesn't matter and in fact, the water takes to pale skin beautifully. There is no sound underwater, so annoying dubbing, exaggerated and fake sex moaning, and ridiculously bad porno soundtracks fly out the window. (Bonus points if the director feels a twinge of erotic inspiration at the sight and for the first time, chooses a sensuously slow, ethereal, and truly erotic piece of music). Underwater, the most ungraceful people seem to gain flowing motion. The same padded/muffled eeriness of being underwater seems to translate perfectly to film. It literally feels deep and mysterious, hypnotic and mesmerizing, the way we (or at least I) seem to be able to stare for hours into an aquarium. Everybody turns into a mermaid or merman in the water.
Okay, so I'm not so much of a fan for the scuba sex (that gear just doesn't scream 'hot'), but at the same time, as someone who has to plug her nose when she goes underwater (don't laugh!), has about as much lung capacity as a flea, and takes fifteen minutes to comfortably open her eyes under chlorinated or salty water, I can understand it. Underwater sex is just really, really impressive. I'm in awe of pornstars who are juggling how to get the necessary shots, how to look sexy instead of like they're holding their breath and hoping not to drown, trying not to float upwards . . . a million things all at once and manage to make it look effortless. Props, water babies, props.
Watery porn and erotica is hot. I understand that it still stays in the realm of fetish porn, and that it is often too difficult and expensive to shoot (you need flexible stars and models who can do underwater work, underwater cameras, access to water where you won't be arrested for public nudity/obscenity, and good lighting, both below water and above water). But I wish it was more accessible, more prevalent. Oh yes, I have big ideas: gals getting fisted and writhing their way to the surface to ejaculate just above water (so you get a nice splash!), writhing underwater orgies, mermaid-esque solo's and, for the more hardcore fetishist in me, boundary-pushing water bondage (Kink.com has a nice handle on that with their Water Bondage Website, but their creative uses of water lack some of the eroticism I'm looking for).
So if, as summer creeps up on you and the heat has you thinking about good ol' H20, some nice websites I've certainly enjoyed are Sex Underwater, Aqua Petals, Water Nymphs, and Aqua Women. (Free previews here and here). Or if you simply like reading about water, I simply *adore* the fact that Mary Anne Mohanraj's books "Aqua Erotica: 18 Stories For a Steamy Bath" and "Wet: More Aqua Erotica" are waterproof Durabooks and they also deal with water in content, so you can read them by yourself or with a lover while enjoying the effects of water yourself, no fear of wetting paper pages. Clever!
So, at the risk of sounding corny, come on in, the water's fine! Aquaphiliacs, rejoice, because underwater porn is definitely making a splash! Get wet, ride the pounding surf, gush and squirt.
Okay, I swear, that's the last of the bad water metaphors, but only because I've run out.
Wet kisses, Gwen.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Okay, so this is mostly just for my own reference and to let all you curious readers in on my thought processes, but seriously, you can totally buy me porn. I'll make it worth your while . . . I'll bake you a cake, hey? Maybe I'll bake you a cake naked if it's really good ;)
1) All films from Strawberry Seduction Productions and their director, Petra Joy. I just found out about these from the Feminist Porn Awards, and by God, I want them sooo badly. Not only does it have all those requisites of mine about being woman-oriented and positive and with a indie aesthetic . . . but they're purty. Real purty. There's a trailer on the website for "Female Fantasies" and the cinematography is so artistic- the lighting! the colors! the costumery!- it makes my loins ache. I also want "Sexual Sushi" and "Feeling It".
2) "Five Hot Films For Her" a.k.a. "Cinco Historias Para Ella" from LUST Films and their director, Erika Lust. Okay, I can't decide between #1 and this one when it comes to great cinematography and porn that looks like some slick erotic movie but more realistic. And what a way to practice my espanol, no?
3) A subscription to Peggingporn.com. 95% of pegging sites seem to include some sort of Femdom and seem to really love the idea of anal sex as a punishment (Guysgetfucked.com, anyone?); this site proudly says "These guys know that bending over and spreading their cheeks is one hell of a hot way to get off and they can't wait for their beautiful lovers to strap on the cock!". And the pictures look hot and realistic- real couples, amateurs, enjoying themselves.
3) A subscription to Fuckingmachines.com. Okay, so maybe I have more of a fantasy of getting behind one of these machines than actually watching the [nice but sometimes too porny-looking for me] girls on the site, but still. It's hot.
4) A subscription to Transexual-man.com. Because Buck Angel rocks. 'Nuff said.
5) Lucas Films' "Lucas Encounters: The Heat Of The Moment". I once saw a hot scene on a video sharing site- Danny Bitho and Blu Kennedy's "Dorm Room Education" has filled me with dreams that can't be shaken away. Even now, the atmosphere, the acting, and the sexual tension haunt me. Who cares if the rest of the movie is good- that scene is amazing and I must have it.
6) A subscription to Gooddykeporn.com. Because I want to support Canadian dyke porn and some of the previews I've seen do have me all hot and bothered.
7) All movies by Tony Comstock. They've been on my Wishlist for a while, and I feel *really* bad about never getting them but talking about them so much and giving them glorious praise. I know they're good . . . why don't I own them?
8) "The San Francisco Lesbians" videos. I can't help it; I spy butches, I pop a girl-hard-on like nobody's business. Oh yes, I've seen them lurking on the covers. I don't even mind the 80's hairstyles and too many leather jackets.
9) Libido Films' two movies, "Trial Run" and "Urban Friction". Particularly the latter. They look real and well-filmed, and you know those are my two main passions!
10) A subscription to any good gay boy site. Corbin Fisher, Sean Cody . . . yeah, they're so fake and obviously gay, but there's something about frat boys that still gets me. Must be my inner sorority girl. Except I like them gay.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm a sex-positive, feminist porn enthusiast. I own a lot of porn, I watch it, I advocate it, I talk about it, I share it with others, I advertise it, I think about it, I make some of it, I research it, I read about it and poll others on what they think. Years into my foray into the world of erotica, I'm still deliciously porn-curious, still angered and inspired by the controversies, still seeking statistics on when, how, what, where, and why we watch porn, as well as deeper psychological analyses on how we process it and what drives us. Porn is my passion, and, if it weren't obvious (if it isn't obvious, please, go and get your hearing and vision checked, maybe a catscan, too), I'm also ridiculously pro-porn.
But I'm also open-minded. The definition of open-minded, just in case you were forgetting, is not 'tries all sorts of new things', 'does what others consider stupid/dangerous/unconventional', or anything of that sort- those are the kind of definitions that are often touted in response not to true close-mindedness, but rather an attitude or stance that is unpopular, conventional, old-fashioned. Being open-minded, instead, is about being open to various possibilities and about equally evaluating any and all information before making up one's mind.
And while I believe that Americans and a lot of the rest of the world have some serious issues about sex (of which I am, of course, not immune) that they unjustly let poison their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on all matters of a sexual sort, that does not mean that I can simply dismiss them as "sex-negative" or call them prudes and be done with it. That is not being open-minded in the least, though it may certainly be the easier route. Not facing tough- and oftentimes real and important- criticisms by dismissive name-calling may leave your theories and self-esteem intact, but often at the cost of not truly defending your position. Instead of opening up a positive discussion and exchange of ideas, it only fosters stereotyping and widens the chasms that first separated us in the first place.
So I want to talk about the bad parts of porn. They're certainly there, and anybody who comes forward to try and whitewash the industry, to make excuses for things that oughtn't be excused, and otherwise insist with a tight-lipped grin that porn is a universally positive experience for all involved is lying or in serious denial. On a whim before my flight to Japan, I picked up Pamela Paul's "Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families". I got it as a challenge- hah! I'll read this and rip this thing to shreds on my Amazon.com review! (this was pre-blog, people). It's good to get to know your enemy, I figured, and it certainly beats reading a trashy lesbian romance novel for 12 hours (okay, so I did that, too). And while the book infuriated me- I scribbled notes in the margins, I gasped and moaned and screeched at the book "You ridiculous woman, can't you see . . .", I came back to it later and re-read. And while none of my anger at her presentation and the conclusions she drew have disappated, I've looked back at some of the evidence and statistics she's presented and realized . . . she's right. So here goes:
Porn can be a wonderful thing. Porn can be educative, teaching watchers not only how to have sex in explicitly instructional videos, but also showing anatomy and how people generally have sex, as well as demonstrating different techniques and positions that can be used. Porn can give us a glimpse into worlds that we would otherwise have no way of experiencing: anybody who watches a type of porn that portrays sex they do not or cannot have is necessarily entering a foreign sexuality that would otherwise not be accessible, and I think that's something powerful- both educative and enlightening; it broadens our perceptions. Porn can be a powerful tool for rallying together a minority community and validating that identity as sexually attractive and worthy, as has been seen for bears (gay men, not the animals!), BBW and BHM communities, transpeople (just take a look at how FtM visibility has increased with Buck Angel getting some AVN limelight), and for so many others. Porn can allow us to safely explore desires without hurting ourselves or anyone else- while *certainly* not a guarantee of someone's sexuality, it can be an indicator and it's much better than "experimenting" with someone solely to see if you like that type of sex- why treat other human beings like sexual guinea pigs? Porn can help open up our sexual creativity and it can certainly help erase our inhibitions and shame and help us to grow as sexual beings. Porn can help us take out our sexual frustrations and is a nice companion with solo sex. It can spice up partnered sex. For the people who perform in porn, it can be equally positive: it can let them experience things they otherwise might not be able to (for example, using a fucking machine or having the best experts weilding electrostimulation tools on you so that you don't shock yourself to death), it can be a wonderful experience for exhibitionists, it can allow them to express their sexuality on film. And I'm probably forgetting a billion other ways in which porn can be positive and beautiful.
Now for the negative. I often think that porn is blamed for a lot of terrible, sad things that happened . . . but weren't actually the porn's fault. But I'm not going to go into that right now; this will be about the actual porn problems. Porn consumption can definitely negatively affect the viewer. Porn addiction is certainly a problem for many men and women, and its consequences can and have lead to failed marriages and have been the breaking point in relationships. People who watch porn too often may start to over-sexualize those around them, and not in a good way- becoming too focused on sexual aspects and evaluating people only on those terms. Likewise, someone who watches porn without understanding that it is a fantasy and [usually] not true to real-life sex practices can definitely get the wrong impression of what safe sex entails, how men and women and transpeople and whoever else get together (note: handymen and pizza delivery boys do not get it as often as you might think), how to treat a person, in particular a woman, the idea that women just cum in buckets when you give them absolutely no foreplay and then shove it in and out for half an hour, the idea that all men have 10" penises that can shoot a half a cup of semen 12' across the room after an hour of pounding sex. Porn can be somewhat desensitizing, and some people may want more and more so-called 'hardcore' porn to get the same reaction out of them. And for the people who work in porn, well, it can often be a bad environment, full of drugs, potentially dangerous situations, possible STD risks, and, depending on the studio in question, psychologically and emotionally damaging. There's a reason why there are so many pornstar autobiographies that don't have wonderful things to say about their line of work- because it often isn't a glamorous dream job, and there are horrible aspects to it. Porn has caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, and though I vehemently disagree, I can't say I don't sympathize with the wife who can't get her husband to have sex with her because he'd rather be online, or the young pornstar who was abused and mistreated in her scene- and not as something she had agreed to. This is the sort of thing that is evil, and instead of realizing that it's addiction and abuse that are bad things the world over, we see them in porn and scream "Porn is bad!".
Monday, April 7, 2008
Okay, so fine, you caught me. I didn't actually do my taxes; my dad and Turbo Tax took care of it. And if all things turn out well, I'll be getting back a nice $300 or so (gosh, I hope so. I really want to pay off my credit card). But it got me thinking about where all my money's been going to lately. Aside from gas to cart me to and fro and the occasional (okay, fine, more than occasional) midnight snack of nachos, it's all been ... porn.
Porn, erotica, and the odd sex toy throw in. Of course, they weren't all bought at once, but when I take a look at my collection from a financial standpoint, well, um, it's a lot.
Let's factor it all in:
* I haven't recently counted every pornographic/sex-related DVD I own lately, but a quick tally in my head gives me a conservative estimate of around 25. And unfortunately, indie porn just isn't cheap. I understand why, of course, but that doesn't make my wallet cry any less. Averaging at about $40 a pop (to take in the delightfully cheap few I got with the abnormally high prices I paid for a couple of others), that means I've spent $1,000.00 on porn. Add in a recurring website subscription at $35 a month (going on for 7 months), and things just start to look really bad.
* Picture it: I do tremendous G-spot toy research. I am like a maverick, weighing the good of each toy against the bad. I am making An Investment For My Future Sexual Pleasure. I finally decide on Fun Factory's "G-Swirl" vibrator from Good Vibrations. It's beautiful. It works quite nice. Its engine quits on me in a month's time, and I weep . . . that's $64.00 down the drain. I guess the thing could still be worth it for someone, but as a dildo, I'm just not digging it.
* I am far too much of a sucker for written erotica, and because my adamant e-mail requests that the library buy everything on my wish list go mostly unanswered, I turn to Amazon. Ever since I got my credit card and a shippable address, I've ordered some 30-odd books either about sex, gender, or full of sexy stories. While prices range, giving them a rough average of $15 each, that's $450.00 bucks for printed paper. I swear, when I become rich beyond my wildest dreams (because of course that's what will happen), I shall make sure that libraries across the country, with the help of my grants, have lots of queer and trans erotica available for the poor and horny college students.
* I love music. I love getting off. Ergo I was way too intrigued by the OhMiBod vibrator, which hooks into your mp3 player (well, your Ipod, if you're not as poor as me) and is supposed to vibrate in sync to the beats of whatever you're listening to. Except that I can't get the darned thing to work half the time, and when it does, it doesn't take kindly to my list of sexy songs, preferring instead to vibrate only to loud and relatively unsexy artists like Bowling For Soup. I've given up on the stupid thing . . . and there's another $69.00 that I'll never get back.
Altogether, that means that I've spent roughly $1,600.00 on sexy stuff. I think it's amazing, and a little scary. Happy to support indie porn. Happy to be the kind of person who knows what turns her on and can get off. But still, thank goodness nobody has thought to ask me where all my money goes.
From now on, I'm off to the land of freebies: Xtube, Literotica, taking website tours and furiously jerking off to preview videos, Google Image Search (safe search off!), and the best softcore sex and nudity that cable TV can offer (dismally less now that Nip/Tuck is over).
Final thought: I hate being broke and knowing exactly where my money went :(
Friday, April 4, 2008
There's a pregnant transman all over the news (Google 'pregnant man') and I should be jumping for joy. Yay for trans visibility! More yay for pregnant transman visibility! Mega yay for the ever-magical process known as childbirth, and the knowledge that a child will grow up in such a tolerant and loving home.
And then I go anywhere on the Internet and my smile droops, my energy drops, and I almost want to cry.
From simple statements of "freak", referrals to daddy-to-be Thomas Beatie as 'it' or, perhaps even worse, as 'she', all the way to arguments about what constitutes a man (general consensus seems to be: penis), anywhere where anyone can make a statement, they're making it. I know that these are growing pangs of a transphobic society getting exposed to novel concepts, and that there's not going to be instant acceptance, and yet I wasn't ready for the hate. I was reading some comments on some post or another and someone had written about forgetting that we queers (gender queers, sexual queers, hell, even just cultural queers) have become accustomed to living in a warm, loving, and most importantly, insulated GLBT communities where acceptance and tolerance reign supreme and our collected numbers allow us to laugh off the bashers and homo- or trans-phobes who come calling with their bigotry and Bible-thumpin'. So it's a terrible shock when something is offered to mainstream society at large- because suddenly everyone comes out of the woodwork to offer their opinion . . . and the most vehement and prevalent seem to be the hate-mongers.
And it hurts. I try to pretend that it doesn't, but God, it does. I'm not even trans, and yet I cringe, I look at what people have to say, and I know that I could never even begin to answer every negative comment, to give them thumbs down (Youtube), report them (Yahoo! Answers) or simply respond. I feel myself drowning in a sea of animosity and misunderstanding, and I am thrown into a fury at the number of people who preface each of their comments with "I totally support gays and lesbians and all that, but this . . .". People seem so anxious to scream out "That's not a man!", and I wonder why they're so scared, what plucking-the-wings-off-flies sort of person they must be when they assert over and over again "WOMAN" and use female pronouns with a mean sort of glee. The anger fades and it's simply replaced with exhaustion. I don't want to fight it, I feel like I can't, and I'm depressed because of it. The only tiny thing that manages to bring life to my spirits is watching the Youtube clip of Thomas seeing the ultrasound of his daughter- that mixture of amazement and love on his face brings me back to the real issue here, which is the beauty of giving birth to a child, and of gorgeous, miraculous transman pregnancy.
* "Wow, the first pregnant man!". Sorry, everyone. I don't know who's spreading this information, but Thomas Beatie is definitely not the first pregnant transman. Transguys have been having babies for quite a while now, and I hope that in light of the media's attention on this that maybe they can drum up some families willing to step forward and show their normal lives. But even if they don't, we really need to cut with the "first pregnant man" bit. Matt Rice, partner of my fave author and sex activist Pat Califia, gave birth quite a while ago. Not too long ago, transman photographer Kael T. Block posted a gorgeous photograph of a pregnant James (who is now the proud father of a healthy, bouncing baby girl):
* "Isn't the baby going to be messed up because of the hormones?". Nope. In order to actually menstruate so they can even get pregnant, transmen must necessarily stop their male hormones. Beatie had been off of hormones for two years before getting pregnant- that baby will be just fine.
* "What about breastfeeding?". What about it? Not every mother chooses to breastfeed her baby, and *many* do so through bottled formula. People who are getting in a hussy over this at least ought to get in a hussy over other women not breastfeeding. There are simply many options for someone who chooses not to- including using formula or having another woman breastfeed the child.
* "It takes hormones and cuts its hair but still keeps the female reproductive organs? Talk about selfish!". This is the weirdest comment that I keep on seeing . . . it's as though people think that Thomas is being some kind of odd transman for still having his uterus and reproductive organs. I think this boils down to ignorance and a lack of understanding about female-to-male transsexuality and surgical options today . . . there are many transmen who have all their inner workings still intact, whether because they want it (possibly for future pregnancy, or other reasons), because it's prohibitively expensive or dangerous, or heck, simply because IT DOESN'T MATTER TO THEM. These people seem to think that if you're going to be a man, you have to give up all options relegated to females. My response: 1) "Why?", and 2) sounds like someone's jealous!
* "That's not a man.". Huh. Debatable, I suppose. I could write hundreds of thousands of words on this topic and never be finished. What makes an individual a certain gender is a highly complex question, and for almost every person's claim, I can make a powerful counterargument (if a man must have a penis, does that mean that men who have lost theirs in combat or accidents are now women? or if claim that only XY chromosomal individuals are men, you better damn well be ready to prove to me that you get a guarantee on a dude's genetic makeup before you make any gender decision about him). I only wish that instead of people simply screaming "Man!" and "Not a man!" back and forth that we could open the dialogue and start asking deep-seated questions about gender and our own prejudices. Until then, respect the law (Thomas is legally recognized as a man), and more importantly, respect his feelings. As my mother always said, if you can't say anything nice (and calling someone something that will insult and hurt them definitely ain't nice), don't say anything at all.
* "That's a woman.". All I have to say to this is: okay . . . so you'd sleep with her? I'd like to see what kind of ladies these people are hanging around, because where I come from, women do not have beards, deep voices, male names, and they do not identify as men. Beatie is a man, or, if we must get really precise, a transman. For anyone who simply refuses to call him a man because he is pregnant or for whatever reason, I challenge them to deny that he is a transman.
* "Yeah, how are they going to explain that to the kid? Actually I'm your daddy but I gave birth to you . . .". Oh, I know. And God, can you imagine those crazy single-parent families where the parent has to try to explain where the kid came from? And those divorced freaks? Oh, and man, adopted kids! (Heavy, dripping sarcasm). Families come in so many different ways, and just because it's different doesn't mean kids will have a hard time understanding it. I think it's brilliant.
* "She thinks she's a man because she grew up without a mom.". Yeah, I heard him talk about that on Oprah, too. If only people could hear from a broad spectrum of transmen- the ones who had strong feminine presences in life and still happened to be trans. Drop the discussions of "she's a confused woman" and freaking listen to what he's saying; what he's feeling. The common way to take power away from anyone is to question their mental faculties- it's happened time and time before.
* "You don't mess with what God gave you.". Hah. Which is why we never do things like repair cleft lips or other disfigurements, or administer medicine when people are sick- because that's God's will that they have such things, or die from their disease. Right? I'm not all that religious, but I can tell you that we certainly intervene all the time in what was naturally given to us. You don't get to use that argument until you're living an all-natural life.
And there's probably tons more, but I'm tired (and getting more depressed yet again browsing online for stuff to respond to). The fact of the matter is that Thomas Beatie has done something amazing- and the least of it is being a pregnant man. It is about stepping up and making his story known, and regardless of what his motives are, it's definitely shaking the world up (a great thing) and letting people know of the possibilities that are out there- of transsexuality, of living openly and bravely. Amen to that.
Congratulations, Thomas and Nancy. Let's hope the forces of love and tolerance and at least the seeking of understanding prevail, so I can be happy again.
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