Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Inspiration Week: Blackamazon on Sex

I don't have a lot of flowery introduction for this post because you don't gild a lily:

I guess where i want to start is where I always end up starting and half finishing and failing for the past two years.

Responsibility ,accountability , and mystery.

But the big one for this entry is mystery .

Glamour ( I just quoted Glamour on this blog help us all) has this survey and it shows up every three or four months in the other magazines as well , touting the " sexual standards /Shocking thing 78.6 percent of women/ what's totally normal"

And it bothers me because once again something very intimate and personal is being normalized
First of it presents sexuality as this great mystery that needs to be unraveled by public vote. Not to mention it concentrates on doing so in a manner that emphasizes you not being " out of the norm" No seriously it's called the do's and don'ts of sex.

On one hand it's trying to convince you that your sexual expression is normal by emphasizing the fact it's not unique?!

I guess why is every one trying to convince me ( I am still young enough to be in most youth target audiences ) that sex is no big deal , no mystery, that long as we cover condoms and consent it's AOK.


This is why I don't talk about sex on mainstream feminist blogs, or even on this one. What is mysterious is powerful.

And the attempts to demystify sex, to, as Blackamazon says, "cover condoms and consent," to reduce the whole thing to dos and don'ts--well. I understand the motivation 99% of the time. If you want to reduce the incidence of sexually-transmitted infection, good practical knowledge about the best ways to prevent infection is important to get out there. If you want to reduce the incidence of sexually-transmitted infection, destigmatizing the having of one is important to get people treated; we don't want people with STIs isolated by shame, keeping their conditions secret and perhaps furthering their spread.

If you want to reduce unwanted pregnancies, knowledge about contraception is vital to disseminate. If you want to reduce unwanted pregnancies, reproductive rights are vital to secure.

We want people to be happy and healthy and having lots and lots of Dr. Ruth-brand Good Sex(TM), right? So we've got to educate them!

Knowledge is power, and let me be clear: I am all in favor of knowledge, education, and the widespread availability of both.

Sex can be a problem, sex can cause problems, and we need solutions for those problems and people need to be able to use them effectively.

What I don't want are sloppy attempts to use one power--knowledge--to whittle down another power, mystery--the power of sex--and force it to manageable scale. I would rather we encouraged people to grow bigger rather than encouraging them to see sex as smaller, and no, I don't even know if that really makes sense.

I just know I grew up with all the knowledge, all the tools, all the access, all the education--and my early sexual experiences still knocked me flat on my ass, and I don't mean in bed or during. It was as if I'd been taught how to use a cap gun and then someone handed me a rocket launcher.

"So let's see I just kind of pull back on this bit and--"


I made mistakes, because everyone does. But Blackamazon has something to say about that, something that makes me wish I could fiddle with time and space so that I could have been reading her twenty years ago:

Petit explain this to me, what the heck is with everyone ratcheting DOWN the stakes. Self care sexual care big fucking deal

and you know what we'll make mistakes.

and they'll be serious one.

Isn't it bad and wrong to be convincing people that being healthy and RESPONSIBLE is no big damn deal.

As if self care isn't hard?

OF course it is


here's my shocking belief


She gets me every time with that.

Thank you, Blackamazon.


Sylvia/M said...

between the clown posse conversation, the tagline for your blog, and this post, you have officially stolen all my love and you're forcing me to buy those candy hearts with little phrases on them for everybody else.

Joan Kelly said...

holy christ I had not even noticed the new tagline and now I link arms with you, Sylvia, in head-over-heels-more-than-before-which-I-hadn't-thought-possible-for-Ilyka.

Blackamazon said...

I heart you!

ilyka said...

I miss you!

And I need help explaining to Sylvia that little candy hearts are inadequate. I'm tired of her candyhearted oppression.