the sex-pos sex-neg combo of my feminism

I recently read a zine titled, “FUCKED: on being sexually dysfunctional in sex-positive queer scenes” about the ways various feminist writer’s engaged in sex-rejection, running on a scale of celibacy to revulsion to disinterest, primarily in response to the traumas of compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory sexuality, and misogyny. I myself am FUCKED, so seeing myself in this zine was not only cathartic, but also inspired me to further think critically about sex positive feminism.

Even though I am a supporter of this zine, I don’t want to equate sex negativity with being sex dysfunctional, because I don’t want the standard idea of sex to be seen as sexually functional. The current popular model of sex, in which power-exchange is enforced through sexual relationships, not love and intimacy, is already dysfunctional.

Instead, I will define sex negativity as the act of rejecting the inherent power-exchange prevalent in the sexual prototypes that are currently inherent in heterosexual sex by disengaging oneself from sex completely until a model of sexuality that emphasizes equality is clear and prevalent. I would even argue that these patriarchal sexual prototypes are prevalent in homosexual and queer sex whenever heterosex is the model for reference (thanks compulsory heterosexuality!!! 😐 ) Sex negativity is one of the core values of radical feminists.

I have issues with radical feminism, mostly regarding whorephobia and transphobia, however I value sex negativity. That said, I do not think sex positive is a malicious movement and I do not believe spending the majority of my energy tearing down different feminist philosophies is the path to winning the good path. I am, however, offering a critique of sex positive feminism and an endorsement of sex negativity in hopes to encourage more critical thinking in the sex positive community about the implications of their movement.

What’s wrong with sex positive tho?

Sex positive will be defined in this blog post as a feminist model that uses consent as the path towards sex that does not echo patriarchal models of intimacy. There is nothing inherently wrong with this model, on an individual basis, however, I will argue that it does not apply to all peoples and this exclusion is problematic when the sex positive is pushed as a societal revolution.

For instance:

  1. In sex positive circles, it is paramount that everyone is okay with their own nude body and the nude body of others. It is even more paramount for that nude body to experience a moment of sexual bliss. The grandness of this issue is always pressing and is always discussed at every gathering. I have no statistical data, however, I would wager much more so than other national and global issues, judging on how often clitorises are talked about at your average party. (Sideline: Possibly your next drinking game.) This is problematic because for so many oppressed people their sexual baggage is far from the most tragic issue in their worldview or their immediate lives. The sex-positive obsession blindsides us from those who are too preoccupied or too indifferent to talk and talk and talk about sex. There are many, many intersectional-feminist issues, and for many oppressed-peoples, sexual baggage is far from the top of their lists.
  2. Even though the sex positive circles I have been around value good consent so deeply, to the point where followers willingly go to workshops and classes and really put in the A+ effort, they have created an environment where saying no is challenging. There is a mob mentality at work. It is everyone else being so open and sexual and casual, and then there is you, the singular. The one exception. There is a lot of pressure to buckle up, not be like one of those “radical feminist prudes”, and just go with the flow. This is never a good recipe for good consent or healthy power-dynamics.
  3. Not only that, but there isn’t much room in sex positive feminism community for those who do not enjoy sex, nudity, and/or kink. There isn’t much room for those who want exclusively emotional, romantic sex. There isn’t much room for those who want to have monogamy or those who want to uphold their religious or cultural customs. There isn’t much room for trauma survivors who do not want to be around literal and theoretical sexual people. There isn’t much room for those who are not sexual and are comfortable with their disinterest to repulsion of sex. This lack of space for all these various disinterests in sex, nudity, and kink, creates rips and tares in sex positive feminism where the good-motivations come out. An erasure of my fellow-oppressed-people who do not want sex positive in their lives is not good feminist practices. It creates easily slip-’n-slides for classism, ableism, and racism.
  4. I also want to note that most of my in-person sexual objectifying experiences have come from casual intimacy with sex positive feminists. I have had sex/kink partners, formed what I thought was companionship, only to find myself exchanged and ignored, for a newer, younger sex toy at the next party. I have quit going to public events, with none of my former sex partners ever reaching out to continue seeing me in private. As soon as I slipped out, another body slipped in. It seems to be that the whole point of these events is to have sex, with little care on who you are fucking or how they feel about you during or after such sex. I’m not asking for romantic proposals from everyone I been intimate with, but I am asking to be respected. To be treated as something more than the body who is at the same party as they are. I don’t see what is so radical or feminist about objectifying your sex-partner.

When sex positive feminism fails you, where do you go?

Sex positive was the first feminist movement I found. I wouldn’t say it created me, as so much of my own ideals were echoed in the movement, when I joined six years ago at the humble age of nineteen, however as my ideals waned, the perfect-fit euphoria, I once was filled with, waned as well. I still cherish the values that built my sex positive.  I do, even still, believe that the kyriarchy finds strength in over-sexualizing / annihilating-the-sexuality of oppressed peoples. I enjoy rebelling against the norm by embracing the darker, perverse, and selfish parts of my sexuality that are, by far, not for my oppressors.

That all said, as I explored sex negativity, I found way more philosophies clicked then I expected. It wasn’t all radical feminists telling their wives to castrate their husbands, “become” lesbians, and then be as transphobic and whorephobic as fuck. These attitudes exist in the sex negative/radical-feminist movement, but there are other ideas in radical feminism I want to extract.

Sex negativity is more bluntly honestly about the dark truth sex positive, especially in the BDSM scene, completely ignores.

The same kyriarchy that has seeped into oppressed people’s sense of selves, career paths and hobbies, inner and outer conflicts, health and wealth and communal influence, and onward, also has influenced our sexual experiences.

And saying no, stepping out of the field, not wanting to have sex anymore, is a perfectly valid response to this. Because what is a clitoral orgasm worth when you are a lifetime into bad consent, sexual assaults, rape, and abusive relationships?

This is why I welcome sex negativity because sometimes I just say no. Sometimes I sincerely wish that non-reproductive sex didn’t exist. Sometimes the plethora of sexual-highs that sex-positive feminists are so eager to list out isn’t worth the risk of one such feminist assaulting me.

I’m not saying sex negativity is the answer and everyone should get down on my bitter level. I am saying that sex positive is worshiped as the grail, like it is what feminists have been working towards. Meanwhile, it can perpetuate the same bad consent, racism, and selfishness we all call the kyriarchy out on. There is definitely value in enjoying sex, but not everyone wants or cares about enjoying sex.

Additional Reading List:

FUCKED: on being sexually dysfunctional in sex-positive queer scenes

The Ethical Prude: Imagining An Authentic Sex Negative Feminism


Female Chauvinist Pigs: A Review and Deconstruction of Whorephobia and Transphobia

Female Chauvinist Pigs

Female Chauvinist Pigs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs was incorrectly recommended to me because the queer chapter was supposed to resonate with me. Um…. that chapter did nothing but fill me with abhorrent rage. When I spoke to the previous reader, they were surprised with the way I read it. So I re-read it again, and this time I felt like spitting in the book. So, no that queer chapter didn’t resonate with me. But okay, let me say something positive before I get too deep into that.

Despite the advert homophobia, transphobia, and whorephobia, there *is* something of merit to this book. It deconstructs enthusiastic sex-positivity feminism, pro-sex work feminism, AND commercialized feminism, all areas that need a hard eye. As a sex-positive pro-sex work feminist, it is really easy for me to be really open and enthusiastic about any element of a (wo)men expressing their sexuality, either personally or commercially. This book’s main idea is to be wary of this.

It reminds us that a man-centered, materialistic, commercial and very sexual feminism is very easy to sell and buying into it can lead to poor education, self-esteem issues, and issues with our consent and self-expression. Raunchiness is only one type of sexuality, but it is the one that is being packaged and bought in mass leaving minimal room for personal growth and individuality.

On the other hand, sex isn’t this monogamous pleasurable romantic experience all the time. For example, turning some tricks for money isn’t inherently oppressive because sex means more things that making love, basically. But I do agree with her point in saying that sex workers are *workers* and aren’t the sexual role models for our private life. At times the overbearing idealization of sex workers forces some women to replicate porn stars and strippers in their actual non-fantastical lives, leading to a male-centered idea of sex, the complete opposite of “sexual revolution”.

But anyway, let’s get back to the queer chapter. The author discredits genderqueer and transmen experiences by making massive generalizations about lesbians and transpeople. Basically, the author writes that the motivation between mastectomies, masculine pro-nouns, and transitioning away from one’s assigned gender (female) is internalized misogyny. This blanket statement is extraordinarily problematic and dangerous for readers who are not familiar with transpeople, and especially genderqueer people— the author straight up says that the only way to be a real boy is to go “all the way” with the transition. She also interviews transphobic lesbians and asks them about their opinion on trans* people as supporting evidence— let’s repeat that. This straight cis-feminist, a group that has historically eliminated trans* people from their community, interviews lesbians, another group that has historically eliminated trans* people from their community, about whether trans* people are ~real~ or not.

*head desk*

I mean, okay, her point is that misogyny is pervasive and is in queer communities, and I would agree with that. I would agree that queerness isn’t a safety net to be oppressive and queer people have been given too much slack in the civil rights world. But like, the couple of interviews with random NY/SF misogynistic lesbians she met and one queer magazine editor / “community leader” isn’t exactly fact-finding. If she didn’t have time to do this chapter right she should have just cut it.

Also, what’s up with her insulting queer people for being non-monogamous. Since queer people have been exiled from traditionalism, they have created their own relationship structures that go beyond the monogamous fairy tale idea of sex and love that the author is trying to push so badly.

Yeah, this book has some interesting points but honestly I would just read the Conclusion and Afterword in the library and then pick up something else.




Grand Canyon Writing

grand canyon reaching handI am on the edge of the burnt umber succubus. My eyes are outlining her curves,speckled with evergreen life, and I feel waves of wonder ripple through my body, like pebbles in a pond. I want a Moment. So I reach. (My shirt sleeves crumble up, exposing the pale-olive flesh that I’m stitched with.)

And grab her by her undefined natural phenomena and bring her down to my smirking face. And… INHALE! DIGEST! CONSUME! WONDER! TWITCH AND SQUIRM! CONQUER AND FLINCH!


My stomach, the enlightened nervous system, now owns her!

Mine. My snapshots. My narrative. My connection. My extension. My panorama consciousness.

Me. I CREATED IT. This entire world belongs to me. I created everything I trip and fall on; I created everything I worship and choke on.

God is a:

grand canyon

  • 5′ 8″
  • 115 lbs
  • 22 year old
  • olive toned
  • messy dark-brown hair
  • daydreaming
  • stuttering
  • emotional
  • passionate, passionate
  • GIRL

I become your God when you introduce yourself to me. It is that point where your worth and identity loosens into a vibrating line between my brown eyes and your own. And instantly, before our soft-spoken greetings are complete, I start the process of re-coloring you with my own biases and hyperbole; re-inventing you into my own creation. Re-inventing our setting into my own playground. Re-innovating our human dilemma into a platform for my own insecurities.

grand canyon godTo survive my damnation all you need to do is avoid me by all costs. I’m a great big disease, if you come to close,  you’ll catch my damnation. If you come to close then I’ll bring you to the fiery pit with me.

Listen, God is a mortal. Listen, God is a sinner. Listen, God will burn, but with sticky fingers reaching out, gripping tightly on every rough-tongued sucker who was cruel to Her.

Slut Walk NYC: I is real feminist now?

Trigger Warning: Rape, Rape Culture 

Well, Indelibility has been featured in The Communicated Stereotype, which is a blog which tries to deconstruct and study the nature of stereotypes, a subject that I think might be of interest to my readers and potential-readers, so check it out.

Also, in the post that was featured in  The Communicated Stereotype I suggest that I will engage in some feminism activism that goes beyond writing about it. Well, on October 1st I started working on that activism with my first femimist protest/Slut Walk NYC.

What’s a Slut Walk?

Chicks don't dig sexual harassment.Slut Walk  is a protest that began after a representative of the  Toronto police spoke to York University last January. His advice to women was that they shouldn’t dress like a slut if they want to protect themselves from assault. This comment hit a nerve and created Slut Walk Toronto, the first Slut Walk.  It obviously resonates to people outside of Canada because since then there have been Slut Walks globally— stretching from the United States, to Chile, to France, to Morocco, to Romainia, to Singapore, to Australia .

First, I’ll clarify what was offensive about the police officer’s comment. What he basically communicated is that rape-prevention is the responsibility of the victims being raped. He also used the term ‘slut’ which is a word that has historically used to contain (and control) women’s actions often without any sort of credentials. For example, girls are called a slut for how they dress however attire is not a necessary portrayal of an individual’s sexuality– girls are called sluts when they wear a dress that is deemed too short however the girls wearing such may not be interested in having sex at all.

But, a girls sexual history isn’t a good reason to rape someone anyway– thereMy Dress Is Not Saying Yes is NO good reason to rape someone. Rape is a horrendous act, quite possibly the evilest of evils, an act of violence that no one deserves especially over one of the petty reasons we victim-blame.

The word is part of a binary deeply ingrained in our society: the Madonna/the whore. But in the 21st century the Madonna is no longer idealized like it once was. To be a (/appear as a) virgin means there is something wrong with you. Even if you don’t “dress like a slut” your behavior is still called into question by prude-shaming you. At the end of the day, don’t matter what you do as long as you are a women you are wrong and will use aggressive terminology to make you realize it.

What the slut walk is about is bringing attention to this binary, bringing attention to how this binary is used to demean and disfranchise women, control women, bring attention that rape is not a passing issue for women (of all types), and to redirect rape-prevention out of the hands of women and into the hands of the rapists because otherwise you can create a dialect that leaves plenty of room for victim blaming.


“This is difficult for me to say but I was raped last night”

“Oh my God–
What were you wearing? {Wrong.}
Where were you? {Wrong.}
What time was it? {Wrong.}
What were you doing? {Wrong.}
Who were you with? {Wrong.}
I can’t believe someone did that to you, are you going to press charges? {Better} ”

October 1st 2011, Slut Walk: NYC
A couple of posters.The Slut Walk posted posters, messages, and conversations around the web: noon, Union Sq.

I started my day with a celebratory stuffing-myself-with-pancakes-and-maple-syrup, with a first date with an individual who probably didn’t get how having a date and having vegan pancakes weren’t a common occurrence for me and triggered my whimsical hope that today would be magic.  That sounds a bit cliche but I never done this before. Advocation. Awareness. I never tried to bring attention towards the issues that are integral in my life before. But this is so much larger then my shyness. As my teeth grinded the mushy partially-digested pancakes my tongue twirled into the bitter taste of reflection; I tasted the way sexual assault has changed my life, all of us that pass as women, and our loved ones.

Patriarchy is for dicks.My parents are completely horrified that I would be sexual assaulted. This is an issue they have taken up with policing my actions, relationships, and presentation however they never once taught me to not assault others or my brothers to not assault girls. They have told my brothers to respect girls, but in that ambiguous way which leaves room for interpretation. (Which is probably why guys feel like chivalry is the best way to be a “nice guy”, but this is another blog post)

My parents attempts to forbade me from spending alone-time with my guy friends have been consistent, loud, and obsessive. This has led to me having a very unhealthy relationship with men, a lot of general anxiety and paranoia, and has completely ruined a very prized relationship I was in about a year ago.

I was previously involved in a polyamorous relationship with a married couple; also important to note that the couple is 13 and 14 years older then me, didn’t live in the same state (but we’re driving distance away), and I met them online. My parents did not know about  the relationship which made seeing the couple while I was home during the summer-months impossible. About two years into the relationship I started becoming more involved in public clubs and organizations in New York City (Not talking about kink, actually). The ex-boyfriend suggested that I could use these organizations as a way to fabricate an explanation on how I met the couple.

Nobody Asks to be Raped

So I did that. I didn’t talk about the relationship but I introduced them as friends and asked if I could go visit them one weekend.
The reaction was explosive and to just spoil the outcome up-front no, I didn’t get to see him that weekend, or any summer and the months apart added a lot of tension to an already long-distance relationship and killed it.

My parents did not believe that someone older then me had anything positiveto contribute in my life. They could not be my friends; they would have no interest in hanging out with someone in their 20s. They went on about how my judgement is flawed, how teachers and priests can’t be trusted so therefore no one can be trusted. I must  have very strong standards on who I spend my time with and I must put everyone through a rigorous test before I can be their friends because otherwise I will be raped. They continued to tell me that must be consistently conscious of my choices because they come with consequences.

My parents did not trust me, my judgement, my lifestyle, or the people who IHow to prevent rape: Men should not rape. share my life with. Their mind automatically went “older man RAPE”  and then went on to explaining me that it was my job to ALWAYS make sure that I’m not doing something where I can get raped– completely ignoring that people get raped by their own husbands, uncles, cousins, when they are with groups and in public places, even though they were holding and watching their drink all night, even though they wore sweat pants and a hoodie, even though they were a quiet wallflower and didn’t direct attention to themselves, even though they never went out late, never used public transportation, and spent their free time with their virgin-friends of the same age– rape happens anyway.

I can guarentee that if I did get raped by my ex-boyfriend (which by the way would of NEVER happened, he respected me more then anyone ever respected me ever and would of never done something nonconsensual to me) my parent’s first reaction would of been, “But why did you go there in the first place? I told you…”

And THAT’s the problem.

Group ShotSo on October 1st my comrades stormed Union Square and the Lower East Side, with loud vibrant posters, chanting Yes means yes! No means no! / However I dress! Wherever I go!, and celebrating, actually, the optimistic hope that by educating the world about rape culture, we can form more comrades, and make a nation that isn’t vastly  comprised by rapist, rapist-sympathizers, and victims.

Feminism and Kink: Black, Blue, and Feminist

In the post-WWII gay scene there were two roles: top and bottom. These terms are coined from sexual positioning: top is defined by the penetrator (/giving) and bottom is defined by the penatratee (/receiving). As the gay leather scene became part of pop culture and an influence on all-kinksters the terms top and bottom  have been redefined to focus on specific activies such as sadomasochism, power-roles, bondage and restraints, and other fetishies.

I identify as a bottom with kinks that focus on submission and masochism.

I started exploring these interests five years ago in the digital scene and one of the first things I noticed was that there are a lot of ciswomen who are submissive. These observations were later renewed a year ago when I joined New York’s local/public scene. From a feminist perspective it is a bit distressing– has one of the things I hate the most (patriarchal oppression) infected one of the things I love the most (sex)?

The answer: very likely. Gender roles have taught me how I should dress, how I should speak, and also how I should behave in relationships. I know this because when someone in this society is raised as a female they are also raised to be calm, passive, obedient, maternal, and submissive. It seems pretty natural for that to internalize and for me to get off to being submissive.

The natural confusion that I keep on finding myself muddled in is how I can call myself a strong feminist when I’m a willing bottom. I’m still deconstructing these two identities however, so far, I gather that I can be a strong feminist and bottom because I do such in a consensual manner and because I feel empowered when I bottom.

First, I know that I choose to bottom. Consenting to bottoming isn’t anti-feminist because it is flexing the ability that the feminist prior to me fought for me to have. I have a platform to express and actualize sexual interests and this is evidence of feminism’s progress.

Second, I enjoy bottoming for many reasons but what is relative to this discussion is that bottoming and especially masochism makes me feel empowered. My masochistic experiences have led me to being belittled, degraded, raped, beaten, etc– in general by the end of the scene my power is taken away from me. And yet having these experiences make me feel powerful. When my weak points are hit(both literally and not) and I survive I know what my potential is. I know that there is a lot of internalized strength inside of me and I know that I can handle what life dishes out to me.

We are not just art for Michelangelo to carve.

Alright, here is a bit of my music history for you. When I was in middle school I was trying really hard to rebel and did a really horrible time doing it by listening to really horrific ‘punk’ music. This was 2001, so Green Day, AFI, Mest, etc.* The kind of music which I would now call pop music I would listen to and get REALLY ANGRY if anyone called it pop. Because I hate pop. I am a ‘rebel’.

Alright, so then high school came around and my rebellion went to classic rock. In hindsight, this was an even worst rebellion because well, doesn’t everyone  listen to classic rock in high school? Also, you could say that the classic rock I listened to was pretty mainstream pop music of the time period: David Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, etc.*

Nowadays I do whatever I want. I listen to neo-folk, grime rap, psychedelia, garage rock, classic rock, grunge, post-rock, electroclash, soul, blues, twee, punk, and POP MUSIC.

My life is a lot better now that I don’t scowl everytime I hear a song from top 40. I like rhythm, I like relatable lyrics, I like up-beat music, and I like pop.

So, why does pop music get all the hate? Is it because it is popular in nature and we all want to show off how much of a unique snowflake we are? I’m sure for some, I’m sure that was part of my youth, but that wasn’t my verbal-attack on pop music. What I usually would say when talk about pop music is that pop artists are STUPID or DITZY.  And guess what gender  pop artists tend to be.

Pop music is a feminist issue because pop music is considered to be feminine.  Where rock and rap have always been masculine genres. I think this is because rap and rock are both aggressive genres. And aggression is something men are supposed to own up to. Expressing aggression actually is one of the more defining attributes of what being masculine is about.

Why can’t women be aggressive? Independent? Why is it that women who scream their opinions out are dimissed as bitches? It seems that their opinions are worthless but the opinions of rebellious men are what creates them to be rock gods and legends.

And also why is pop music considered low brow? Pop musicians are considered to be brainless mouthpieces for a corporation behind them. And that corporation behind them is usually a prominently-male corporation. So, basically the message we are saying is that the female needs a group of men to create well received-art.
By accepting female artists as musicians we are allowing women to have more credit in the music industry. We are rejecting the term ‘feminine’ to be used as an insult. And we are facilitating a space where female artists can have the creative and social freedom to express whatever art that would like, wether it be pop music or not.

*Incidentally the examples given are male pop artists. However  I would still say that most pop artists are female. This is shown by the popular social/music network website On 14 out of first 20 artists that are in  the top tag of ‘pop’ are female.  (Some of the artists in this tag are: Lady Gaga, Madonna, Britney Spears, Adele, Shakira, Lily Allen, Kelly Clarkson, etc)

Real Women Campaigns

Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders, Transphobia

There has been a new marketing trend* of ‘real women’. Many corporations have decided to market using ‘real women’ models or to a ‘real women’ audience in order to create a body-positive image that appreciates women. This is a way for these corporations to step away from the standard of using  thin models to a more ‘healthy’ and ‘realistic’ cast of models.  So, they use ‘real women’ who are women with a larger and fleshier body then the women that are usually used in marketing campaigns.

Let me first say that I do agree that eating disorders are socially created and are a huge problem for women (and men) in this society. It is teaching girls that self-destruction is the most effective way to get ahead in life and that thinness is the purest form of beauty. I am extremely against these attitudes. So, I am not saying that I  fully hate this campaign tactic. But yet, I still have a problem with the campaign.  I think the marketing technique is still using body shaming and body policing to get ahead, I think that these ads are still sexist,  I think that the women who are showed in these ads are still normative looking so I think that the campaigns are  more of a  hype then an actual effort in  radical change in beauty and also I think that these advertisements are very transphobic.

“This is how real women look like” is kind of a twisted up way to think. A women can look any way that she wants to look and it won’t make her any less of a women. There should be no standard at all.   It is that simple. These campaigns suggest that anyone who does not fit into the body types shown are fake and unreal. This message is a similar message that the normal marketing campaigns who use thin women are sending.  The message is that what defines what a  women is and what a women’s body should look like is up to someone who doesn’t own that body to decide.

Also, as always the way a women looks is what is being  focused on when these campaigns are  describing real women. These advertisements are sexist because they say that gender is something aesthetic. That gender comes with child-bearing hips! That the aesthetics of a women is the best way to classify her instead of her opinions, questions, thoughts.

Also, the girls in these advertisements are not beautiful in a radical way. They are still stereotypical beautiful. Yes, they weigh more but they still have slender arms, bigger tits then stomach, smooth skin, femme appearance, and all and all are not defying typical beauty standards in a radical way.

Second of all, these advertisements are extremely transphobic because no transwomen are ever used as an example of what ‘real women’ look like. Apparently you are only a women if you are born one, which isn’t correct. Once again transpeople are alienated from our culture and not considered when companies make decisions.

I mean, okay, I’m not saying this isn’t optimistic but it isn’t optimistic enough. The phrase ‘real women’ hurts. In a communication and language based society where ideas are actualized by the way they are expressed and delivered simple word choices say a lot. Just by saying ‘real women’ on these campaigns the message that is sent is that women can’t define for themselves what a women is, a women’s definition is based on beauty, and transwomen aren’t real women.

*Some examples of these campaigns: a Utlimo’s ( lingerie), New Look’s  (retail), Nike‘s (sneakers), and Dove (soap).