Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

circumcision

AskTrish: Woman Asks If Uncomfortable Feeling When Boyfriend Touches Clit is Normal


Woman's Hand on YoniHi, trish,

I was wondering, what is it supposed to feel like when somebody touches your clit?  I have heard it’s supposed to bring a good feeling but not in my case.  When my boyfriend touches my clit, I get a really intense kinda uncomfortable feeling.   It doesn’t feel bad or hurt but it definitely doesn’t feel good either.  And it’s not something I look forward to.   My bf always wants to touch it but even if I let him, I stop him after a couple secs cuz it feels intense and uncomfortable.  Is this normal?

Anon

Hey, Anon!

So much to address here!

Let me assure you that pain or discomfort is never “normal” for any kind of sex ever.  No kind of sex (vaginal or anal) or touch or penetration should EVER be painful.  EVER.  (Okay, that wasn’t exactly your question, but I just want to reiterate that for the readers.)  What is “normal” touch sensation for you will be different for someone else, so my “normal” will be different from yours.  My “normal” now that I’m extremely in touch with my body will be very different from the “normal” that is “normal” for a female just starting to explore her body.  So without knowing your age (18+), your sexual experience, any previous trauma, how you touch yourself, and how he specifically touches you, there’s no way I can guess what would be “normal” for you.  But I can say that not-quite-pain, not-quite-pleasure feeling is common at first.  So let’s look at this bit by bit.

Vulva - Erect Clit ExposedThe external clitoris is literally the tip of the iceberg!  Most of the clitoris is inside the body, with several inches of innervated erectile tissue that expands and zings with sensation during arousal.  Those inches of erectile tissue that men have hanging outside their body, a.k.a. the penis, is synonymous with the inches of erectile tissue women have; ours is just inside us.

The tip of the clit, that little nub we can see, is technically called the glans, just like the tip of the penis is called the glans.  The tip of the clit is usually protected by the clitoral hood, which is synonymous with the penile foreskin.  With around 8,000 nerve endings, the clitoral glans is VERY sensitive to touch.  In fact, if you can see the tip, the clit is actually in the non-erect state; but that doesn’t mean she’s not enjoying herself — she probably is!  Nearing climax, the clit will seem to “disappear” into the fleshy folds of the vulva; but she’s not retreating from touch, she’s actually getting a full erection on!  This is usually when “vigorous” touch can be exquisite.

DailyOJ 01-20-12: The Clit Discussed Further

Female Anatomy: Clitoris Frontal ViewThe clitoral body can be stimulated externally by (gently) pressing on the mons pubis area or internally via various fingering and stroking techniques inside the vagina.  (Reminder:  the female prostate is on the anterior wall of the vagina and is a different anatomical structure.)  When a woman is nearing climax, there is often a “vice grip” clench at the opening of the vagina; these are the clitoris’ vestibular bulbs near the entrance.  The clit is actually quite extensive and complex, comprised of 18 distinct parts.  Your clit is MUCH MORE than just the nub on the outside!

But let’s remember, those are 8,000 plugged-in nerve endings.  Touching them before they are ready to receive pleasure input can feel awkward or even painful.  Since you sound like a young adult, I’m going to assume your boyfriend is the overly eager type who just wants to start pawing at your body (perhaps because that’s what he’s seen in porn, or he may be new to all this as well).  This is NEVER okay.  The man NEVER touches you anywhere unless YOU are ready to be touched.  You’ll know when your clit is begging to be touched, and if he doesn’t touch you properly or is clumsy, you have the right to tell him how to touch you.  It sounds like you are willing to stand up for yourself, and that is great!  You have complete autonomy over your body.

Here’s were I have to interject yet another consequence of circumcision.  If your man is circumcised, he may be accustomed to needing “rough” stimulation due to keratinization (callousing of skin) on his penis glans.  If your man is not circumcised, explain to him that touching your clit with little or no prior arousal is like someone yanking his foreskin back and going straight for the underside of his penis glans.  This can be very uncomfortable for the intact man!  No one likes too much sensation too soon, which is what it sounds like you’re experiencing from your boyfriend.

Nude Couple Embracing Passionately in PeachKeep in mind, there is a reason the female needs to be fully aroused before going for the clit or the vagina.  From a Tantra perspective, the woman and the man have positive and negative poles, like on a magnet.  For the woman, the positive pole is the heart chakra, home to her heart and her breasts, with the negative pole being the genitals.  For the man, the positive pole is his root/sex chakra, home to his penis and testicles, with the negative pole being his heart chakra.  Biologically, the woman needs 15 to 30 minutes of dedicated arousal, or as I like to call it — puja (worship :-) ) to prepare the vagina for sex.  The same way a singer has to warm up before performing, think of this time as necessary preparation — fun, delicious preparation for continued, evolving, expanding, rapturous ecstasy.   Therefore, this time allows the woman’s body, especially the genitals, to become ready to receive touch and penetration and pleasure.  It’s no coincidence that focus on the woman’s heart chakra would be key.  Not only does it stimulate the woman emotionally, but a woman’s nipples are wired directly to her clit.  Breast puja = a turned on, horny clit.  Any man who doesn’t want to commit 15 minutes of breast/sensual touch puja isn’t worth your time.

This 15 minute warm-up doesn’t have to be solely focused on the breasts.  Any sensual touch and massage will awaken the subtle body.  This includes kissing, nibbling, caressing, talking, laughing.  Once the woman is ready for more direct touch, the woman can allow the man to begin with touch and kisses on the insides of her thighs, the outer labia, the mons pubis — basically, loving all the way around the clit until you are ready for more.  As you become more experienced and more familiar with your body’s responses, you may not need this much time.  In fact, when you are able to stay in an aroused state — recognize that orgasm is an energy field you can slip into any time you want, you may not need much prep touching at all.  Just thinking of your man will send your spine arching back into orgasm and your clit throbbing for touch!  (In time, you’ll learn how to control this response when you’re in public, like shopping at the grocery story or the library. :-D )

Keep in mind, physical climax is different from energy orgasms.  Men often confuse ejaculation (climax) with orgasm.  These are two separate functions: ejaculation is a physical reflex of the sympathetic nervous system, while orgasm is a response via the parasympathetic nervous system.  Since men need less time to get aroused and ready for penetration, they tend to focus on the end, rather than enjoying the journey.  (Another horrible legacy of standard porn, too.)  Just like for the woman, this arousal time is also a time of breathing and relaxing for the man.  When your mind and/or body is stressed, pleasure can be elusive.  Take your time to get warmed up and totally invested in your body’s journey to pleasure.  There is plenty of time to get hot and heavy — once you’re BOTH aroused to the point of a crazed fuck-for-all.

Note:  This initial phase of arousal is usually called “foreplay”, a term I despise since it places the importance of the sexual experience on “sex” which is usually defined by the penetration, i.e., when the penis enters the vagina.  This devalues the woman and the woman’s biological needs of arousal in order to accept a penis (or toy) without pain.  So I do not use the term foreplay.  Puja is my personal preference.  Puja, the idea of honoring the person and their body, also puts respect back into the sensual, sexual experience, in my opinion.

You should know, Anon, that it takes time to get to know your clit and the rest of your sexual anatomy.  And you should spend a lot of time with her — just you and her.  This way you get to know how she likes to be touched, without the pressure of a panting, horny Lothario rushing you and making you feel uncomfortable or not “normal”.  Masturbation is a beautiful way to honor yourself (self-puja) and learn about yourself and your body.  Through masturbation, she won’t feel so foreign to you, and you will begin to integrate her into your body and your overall sexual being-ness.

After you are more familiar with your body, show your boyfriend how you like to be touched.  Masturbate in front of him, but he can’t help you — he needs to watch and learn.  (He can help later on.)  More often than not, a lighter, gentler touch is needed at first.  In fact, once your body is awakened, you might even have labia-gasms and sheet-gasms.  Hard touch is usually ONLY desired at the absolute height of passion and usually NEVER at the beginning of a love-making session.  When your clit is really ready, you’ll know because you’ll start looking for things to hump.  If you start eyeing the arm of the sofa with lust, that’s usually a good sign your clit needs some determined lovin’.

Recap of what we covered:

1 – Learn your clit’s likes and dislikes via masturbation; then when you’re ready, it’s show-and-tell time to teach your man.

2 – Female and male sexual anatomy are synonymous, for the most part.  Some things are similar to both the woman and the man, so teaching the man about the woman’s anatomy will help him understand how your body responds.

3 – Prior arousal is required for pleasure.  As you become more experienced, you may not need as much prep-time, but for now, insist on at least 15 minutes of sensual touch on other parts of your body to get your clit primed for touch.

4 – To learn various touch techniques for the clit, look through some of the videos and info here where the clit rules and men are glad to offer puja to a woman’s body (or willingly lie back and let the woman drive the orgasm train).

Feel free to leave a comment, especially if you want to offer more info so we can be more specific.

Thanks so much for trusting me with your clit. :-)

trish


Review: “Oral Sex for Her Pleasure” – A How-To Video for Women to Enjoy Giving Head


Oral Sex for Her Video Training FellatioI recently saw the initial release of a new how-to video series, “Oral Sex for Her Pleasure”.  I would have assumed that such a women-centric company like OneTaste would have created a cunnilingus how-to, but they have done the unexpected by creating a video that explains how a woman can receive pleasure from giving a man fellatio.  I can heartily recommend this video to any man or woman who wants to learn a little more about how women can truly enjoy giving oral sex.

Now, this is certainly not news to me — I orgasm just thinking about giving a man head.  Spontaneous orgasms just hit.  I love the feel of my mouth being full with a man’s penis.  The taste, the smell, the texture.  I absolutely love it.  And the truth is, when a woman gives great head, she owns the man.  Seriously.

Whenever I give a man oral sex, I always tell him emphatically, “Lay back.  This is for me.  If you enjoy it, that’s a side benefit.”  I have always loved giving fellatio, or as I call it lingam puja (penis worship).  Even in the midst of a miserable marriage, I still loved giving oral sex.  I figured out that giving him a blow job once per week meant he didn’t complain about bills.  And while I loathe the term “blow job”, that time of my life is the only time oral sex felt like a job — a chore, and yet I still loved the act of fellatio itself, even though I detested the man attached to the penis.

The concept behind the “Oral Sex for Her Pleasure” video and corresponding training materials hinges on the fact that women can indeed enjoy giving men oral sex.  If she doesn’t want to do oral sex or has a negative perspective due to bad experiences, then she might want to see how much pleasure she can have from it.  The first step in a woman receiving pleasure while giving head is realizing that the woman has to want to give head.

Now, before you cry, “That’s male bullshit!”, I understand if you haven’t always (or ever) enjoyed oral sex.  Cultural and religious demonization of sexuality, women, women’s bodies, and women’s sexual pleasure have brainwashed society for over 1,700 years, since the rise of imperial patriarchal religion crushed the remaining woman-centic goddess cultures.  Women have absorbed this anti-sex and anti-pleasure propaganda, compounded by bullying about how women smell “down there”, and the ludicrous farce of how women are portrayed in most porn.  Erotica is woman-centric and respectful of women.  And we are a new generation of women who love ourselves and love sexuality without shame or apology!

Some things you will LOVE about this how-to video:

  • It’s only $8.
  • The woman is not a size 2.
  • Her breasts are real.
  • The man is UNcircumcised!!!  Yes, a real, natural, intact penis!!!  Woo-hoo!!!

In fact, she almost apologizes that, at the beginning, his penis is soft.  So allow me to say for once and for-fucking-all — the SOFT penis is a marvelous thing!  In Tantra, we have several nifty positions and activities for the soft penis, including soft entry penetration (yes, the man enters the vagina with a soft penis) and lingam massage, which is best done with a soft penis to help direct energy flow up into the torso, arms, and legs, rather than out the tip of the penis (helps with ejac control, too).  So starting an oral session with a soft penis is fantastic because you get to experience how his body feels as the penis changes in size and hardness.  (You control him.)

Back to the video….  She talks about her experience in learning to love oral sex.  She also tells the good, bad, and ugly of what intense oral sex does for the woman, including the “furrowed brow” which is a tale-tell sign a woman is in orgasm, the deep-throating technique, as well as the steady stream of “snot” from her nose and the “spot” in the woman’s mouth that triggers orgasms throughout her body.  Yes, you will absolutely see the “snot” running out of her nose.  Yes, you see her crying several times from the intensity of the orgasms.  I’ve written plenty of times here about how the more gut-wrenching my crying is directly equates to the intensity of my orgasm(s).  Crying is an integral part of my orgasmic experience, so it’s great to hear other women talking about this topic as well.

As for the “snot”, I would like to clarify that she is not referring to the thick, gross “snot” of a sinus infection, but rather the normal sinus muscosa you have draining down the back of your throat 24/7.  This mucosa is a necessary moisturizing lubricant for the back of the pharynx (very back of the mouth, top of the throat).  In fact, when you don’t have this normal nasal drip, you may experience a dry cough or have clogged sinuses.  So this mucosa is what she has dripping from her nose — but that’s okay!  Vaginal fluids are also a type of mucosa (derived from the plasma from the blood in the vaginal walls’ muscular tissue), and men LOVE lapping it up!  So let the snot run!  After all, when your mouth is full of penis, the only way the snot can go is out your nose (or your ear, but that would take a miracle of physics).

Another thing you’re likely to notice in her technique is that she is actually quite still — remember me talking about slow sex?  In Tantra, there is a technique of motionless sex — yes, motionless!  The oral technique as shown in the video will help any woman out there who’s gotten whiplash bobbing her head up and down while giving a blow job.  (Again, most porn is ridiculous).  If you want to learn some groovy info and techniques, watch this how-to.

I can definitely recommend this affordable $8 video that can introduce you to the amazing world of women’s pleasure as instructed in “Oral Sex for Her Pleasure”.  I give my full approval of the information in this video and all the products they have.  THEY LOVE WOMEN!  And when you’ve seen it, come back here, and leave a comment telling me what YOU think of the video!

trish


OpEd: Why Is Circumcision Still Considered a Humane Procedure?


© 2013 by Trish Causey.  All Rights Reserved.

Man in Turtleneck Sweater - End CircumcisionIn my current class on Methods of Inquiry, one topic that came up is the ethics of the social sciences and research.  My professor shared a power point presentation from a friend of hers, and in it, various points were made in regard to research on human subjects.  The Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials, the Tuskegee syphilis scam research project, and the Stanford prison study all contributed to the passing of the National Research Act of 1974.  This act allowed for the creation of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which helped establish certain guidelines for conducting tests and research on human beings:

  • Voluntary Participation
  • No Harm to Participants
  • Informed Consent
  • Protection of Vulnerable Populations
  • Honest Reporting of Results

Of course, I had to bring up the human rights violation that is routine infant circumcision.  Circumcision itself is not a research project, except that there is research surrounding circ that just happens to use live babies, and apparently, circ is not covered in ethics classes or the social sciences when discussing inhumane, unnecessary medical procedures.

Here, then, is my post in my class’ discussion of the humane treatment of consenting volunteers — I thought my avid activist readers would enjoy a good Irish rant.

On the subject of human experiments, my activist ire is burning brightly, so you can ignore the entire rest of this post…. But if you’re brave….

Saying research on humans must be completely voluntary is great, but the reality is that is not what happens in the United States on one particular kind of “research”.  Non-consensual human research does in fact still happen.  In the United States, routine infant circumcision (RIC) on baby boys occurs on a daily basis — female genital cutting has been outlawed in the United States, but it is still practiced in some parts of the world.  Both male and female genital mutilation are violations of a child’s basic human rights to body autonomy and self-determination.

While parents think they have the right to mutilate their sons, the boy himself actually has the only say in what happens to his body, especially when circumcision is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure.  Even if the parents’ religion “requires” circumcision, the boy himself is too young to voice if he has chosen to join his parents’ religion.  Thanks to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, every American citizen is guaranteed the Freedom of Religion; and in the case of circumcision, boys have the right to Freedom FROM Religion.  HIS body.  HIS choice.

So why do I bring this up?  (Besides the fact that I’m an intactivist — an activist for keeping boys’ and girls’ genitals intact.)  When a child is circumcised, he may not receive any anesthesia — even if given a local anesthetic, it does not do much.  The male foreskin has 20,000 – 30,000 nerves.  Yes, he DOES feel it.  If he isn’t screaming, he’s in shock.  So, is this humane?

Circumcision is now being shown to hinder a baby boy’s desire to latch on during breastfeeding — the baby probably feels betrayed by the mother.  New studies are showing that circ affects the way in which the neurological pathways grow and connect as well as the psychological development — it’s no coincidence that the most violent and misogynist countries in the world tend to practice routine infant circumcision — America is especially included!

I invite you to watch a video of circumcision on YouTube.  If you can’t sit through it without wincing, ask yourself how HE feels — and why does our culture still do this to infants who are only days old?  Is this humane?

Worse than all of this is that the foreskins aren’t just thrown away.  The hospitals sell the amputated foreskins to research labs since animal research is no longer an accepted practice (and rightfully so!).  The DNA and cells from the foreskins are used in research by bio-engineering and cosmetic companies.  Cosmetic companies are looking for the “fountain of youth”, and they’ve found it in the mutilated genitals of non-consenting newborn babies.  The next time you’re shopping for some anti-wrinkle cream, call the company — Mary Kay, SkinMedica, Cover Girl, etc. — and ask if they STILL use foreskin-derived cells in their products.

Interestingly, the buying and selling of body parts is illegal in the United States.  I can’t sell a kidney or an ovary or even a length of my hair because it would be considered trading in body parts.  And yet the medical system does exactly that — buying and selling the human body parts of non-consenting children and profiting handsomely from it.  Must be nice to own the FDA like that.

Over the course of its use and being sold and re-sold and then put into over-priced facial creams, one baby foreskin can eventually be worth $100,000.  So everyone from the doctor to the hospital, to the labs, to the bio-medical and cosmetic companies gain big returns for stealing parts of a boy’s body, and yet the boy loses — so much more than just the foreskin.

Think circumcision prevents AIDS?  It doesn’t.  Prevents infections?  It doesn’t.  Looks “better”?  No, it doesn’t.   The studies done in Africa were skewed from the beginning, and a recent study showed higher HIV rates among circ’d men than intact.  In fact, the foreskin contains special cells — Langerhans cells — and according to Nature Medicine magazine, “Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells.”  The foreskin is not supposed to retract until it is ready to, usually around the onset of puberty; the foreskin actually protects the penis from infections.  The foreskin also keeps the head of the penis smooth and soft, unlike circ’d glans that tend to look dry and cracked and develop keratinization (thickening of skin similar to scar tissue) from rubbing up against the boy’s/man’s clothes.

It is also estimated that 60% of erectile dysfunction in adult men is due to routine circumcision that was done when they were newborns.  While the foreskin itself is small when it is amputated during RIC, once the boy grows into a man, the amount of skin removed equates to about 15 square inches of penile skin, including the frenulum (of the frenular delta) which is the most nerve-dense part of the foreskin.

Women who have been sexually active with intact men say there is a difference in the way intact men approach sex.  These men seem to be more sensitive to the woman and more aware of what is happening in her vagina than cut men are.  The foreskin mucosa also acts as natural lubricant.  I can attest that men who have been circ’d have problems expressing themselves emotionally and in bed.  Many cut men need “dry sex” to feel friction against the scar tissue (keratinization) on the underside of the penis in order to reach ejaculation.  Dry sex is painful for women, but I can also attest that women don’t want to hurt the man’s feelings; and so, we endure painful sex so as not to further damage the man’s self-esteem.  (Note:  Not all circ’d men need dry sex “to feel something”, but many do, and many circ’d men have fulfilling sex lives.)

At Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, a study is being done on 200 newborn boys who are being mutilated to determine which of two circumcision clamps is “better.”  This “better” clamp will be determined subjectively by seeing which clamp produces fewer blood-soaked bandages and by judging the amount of pain expressed on the babies’ faces.  Again, when did these boys give consent to participate in this study?  Is this a humane study?  Doesn’t this violate the National Research Act of 1974?

Circumcision can cause all sorts of problems from infections to damage to the meatus and urinary tract.  And there is even a consequence called “degloving”, in which the doctor accidentally removes ALL of the skin from the baby boy’s penis.  Yes, this happens often enough that there is a name for it.

If all of this were not bad enough, on average, 117 baby boys die each year in the United States from “routine” circumcision.  If a diet pill caused 117 deaths each year, the FDA would ban it.  And yet, circumcision is “routine”.

So why, then, is it not outlawed?  Because some people are afraid of offending people of Jewish culture — however, few Americans would be afraid to offend Muslims, who also practice circumcision.  A person can be proud to be of Jewish culture and NOT circumcise their son, who may or may not choose to join Judaism as his chosen religion, if any.  A baby cannot voice that he does or does not want to be Jewish (in religion), so whatever his parents’ religion might be is superfluous.  (Again, I point out the freedom FROM religion guaranteed to every American citizen.)  Added to that, the “ritual nick” that is supposed to be the “bris” is NOT what is “routinely” done by skinning the penile glans of its protective barrier, the foreskin.  Circumcision as it is practiced in America today is actually the modus operandi from the sexually repressed Victorian age, who touted circumcision — to the otherwise intact population — as a means of preventing boys from masturbating.  But if you’re interested in the Jewish perspective of RIC, check out JewsAgainstCircumcision.org.

For more information on the erroneous myths and so-called science behind the pro-circ propaganda, visit IntactAmerica.org, Circumstitions.com, and similar — and for those in the SanFran area: BayAreaIntactivists.org.

As a tribute to the natural penis, I asked intact men to submit photos of their penis in various states to help women (and other men) get accustomed to what a natural penis looks like, and I wrote this article on my blog (warning: it’s NSFW :-) ).  If you’re on Twitter, you can ask a question about circumcision, and be sure to use the hashtag #i2 to reach out to the #nocirc intactivists.  To learn more about the history of circumcision, how it’s done, and consequences, watch “Circumcision: The Whole Story” (also NSFW).

Activist rant is complete… for now…. :-)

trish


RADIO: Trish Causey Discusses Dangers of Circumcision With Intact America’s Georganne Chapin


Intact America - Georganne Chapin - circumcision boardTonight on ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey, Intact America’s leading voice, Georganne Chapin, stops by to discuss the medical and ethical reasons against routine infant circumcision (RIC).

Non-consensual circumcision is a violation of a child’s basic human right to body autonomy.  However, religion and culture have made circumcision so common in some countries, the right of the child is not even considered or respected.  Female genital mutilation is illegal in most countries because it is barbaric, yet male circumcision is still allowed and even touted as a prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

Circumcision of boys removes the foreskin, the natural protective layer of skin on the penis glans, of the naturally intact penis, severing 15,000 to 20,000 nerves. For the adult male, this translates to losing about 15 square inches of skin and losing sensation in the penis tip due to keratinization.

Dangers of circumcision include the following:

  • Death of the child
  • Painful and/or prolonged healing
  • Subsequent surgeries to repair initial botched circumcision
  • Damage to child neurologically, emotionally, as well as psychologically
  • Erectile dysfunction as an adult

We will also cover the financial aspect of circumcision and why some doctors, hospitals, and labs profit from RIC as well as the cosmetic companies that use cells from severed foreskins in their cosmetic products.

If you are a man who has suffered from the effects of circumcision or a parent who regrets circumcising your child, PLEASE call in and have your voice heard!

Tune in at 9:00 p.m. ET and call in with questions or comments!  For U.S. residents, call (347) 884-8792.  International listeners can call in via Skype, just click the Skype icon by the phone number on the tonight’s LIVE show page.  All listeners can post in the online chat room on the LIVE show page.

trish

Further Reading:


OpEd: The Activist’s Guide to Putting Aside Our Differences to Fight for Our Differences


Tree of Life - As Above, So BelowA while back, a friend made the comment that she had seen my Facebook status, and it made her think about that particular issue I’d brought up, saying, “You have so many causes, I can’t keep up.”

Wrong.  I have ONE cause — Human Rights.  All other rights issues stem from this central trunk of the rights and issues’ family tree.  Women’s rights, LGBT, genital integrity, workers’ rights, children’s rights, and more — ALL are branches of the primary concept that roots us in our basic right to self-determination, autonomy, and our humanity.

Today provided a perfect example of how different experiences color our activism.  Usually, this is a good thing, but occasionally, our pain from our own experiences clouds our words, resulting in our message devolving into a war of emotion.  It becomes a contest of “my pain is greater than your pain”  — a competition no one wins.

My morning started with me checking my Facebook and Twitter while I made breakfast as I hurried my daughter to get up, get ready for school, and catch the bus.

I try not to spend all day on Twitter, but tomorrow’s Full Moon seems to have kicked up people’s crazy cycles a day early.

First, on Facebook, I responded to a friend’s comment about his neighbors’ loud sex last night.  As the conversation progressed to sex positions (okay, I brought it up), I mentioned that the reason the original missionary position is the only position ever condoned by the Catholic church was because it provides the least pleasure for the woman.  It puts the man in the superior, stronger, aggressive position while the woman is inferior, at the mercy of the man, and passive and submissive.  Another chick chimed in saying some women “love to be ‘conquered.'”  As a woman who has spent most of my life fighting NOT to be conquered by men, I disagreed, but I did not linger since I had to get some real work done.

I spent a couple hours working my day-job (Thursdays are a day-off for me), and what followed was an entire day on social media in one activist role or another.  And I have preserved some of those exchanges in the photo gallery below. (To view them at full size, click the box on the lower right of your screen.)

The second round of today’s activism started out simple enough — me talking about orgasms, specifically, mine, and how I cry when I orgasm.  I followed that with a comment that men crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  Twitter being a public forum, a random guy jumped in the convo with a rude comment ridiculing how it would look with a “he man blowing his load and crying.”  This began a series of tweets back and forth as I tried to explain that a man crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  After all, men are human beings, and human beings have feelings.

Apparently, men are still not allowed to be full human beings in our society.

The third and most exasperating exchange occurred with a man who, it turns out, is also an activist — an intactivist, to be precise.  An intactivist is someone who fights for ending all circumcision — on males and females — because genital mutilation is a human rights violation of a child’s bodily autonomy and is sexual assault on the child.  This guy had tweeted the following comment:

“The sexual urges of women in our society are more important than the pain of a baby boy.”

After a morning of hearing that some women want to be conquered, men who cry are not masculine, and a few other ridiculous notions that are proof positive our society is still sexually repressed and almost entirely mentally unbalanced, I could not sit by and let this tweet go without standing up for women’s right to be sexual and not be shamed for it.  Did I do it the right way?  Could I have handled myself better?  Should I have called him a moron so many times?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The thought I had toward the end of this Twitter war (that lasted over a couple hours) is that this guy is reacting and projecting because of his own pain with his circumcision.  Just as I possibly was too harsh in earlier altercations today. 

Hearing a woman wants to be conquered made me think back to when I was molested as a kid, my rape when I was 21, and my Steubenville-esque experience.  Talking about the horribly unsatisfactory missionary position brought to mind my own status as one of the 70% of women who has never orgasmed during sex — a statistic for which I still feel shame for myself and anger at my partners for not caring enough about me to ensure I had pleasure, too.  It reignited my distaste for the porn industry that created a caricature of women as hyper-orgasmic nymphomaniac slut-bunnies — as opposed to erotica that presents sex and sexuality in a beautiful, honorable way.

I was reminded yet again of the hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women who have been raped, tortured, killed outright, and burned at the stake by the Christian church who has feared women’s sexual power since Peter stole the church’s high seat from Mary Magdalene.  As a pagan witch doing research for my stage writings, I spent years reading witch trial transcripts, scouring historical documents of witch hunters, Inquisitors, and missionaries in Europe and in colonial America who were obsessed with exorcising the natural sexuality of women.  This does not include the women who were beaten, raped, and killed for wanting the right to vote, or the right to fight alongside men in the modern military.  Too many thoughts and memories swarmed in my mind.

Hearing that a man can’t cry when he experiences pleasure infuriated me because so much of our patriarchal, imperial, testosterone-driven culture still carries the gender-role prejudices of religion and hierarchical misogyny and misandry that does a disservice to women and men.

Today’s activism was about shame.  And pain.  And how, even when we mean well, speaking up for one issue cannot happen at the expense of demeaning other people who are probably also in pain.  After all, the oppressive culture that says mutilating a child’s genitals is okay is the same repressive culture that says a woman is to blame for her rape because of how she was dressed, or two people cannot love each other because they’re the same gender.

I’ve been a grassroots activist for 27 years, and I’ve seen in-fighting in every single rights group I’ve ever worked with — religious rights, American Indian rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights.  Who’s a real witch?  Who’s a real Indian?  Bisexuals aren’t really discriminated against.  Women don’t need full body autonomy or equal pay.  Conservative Democrats aren’t real Democrats. And it’s all bullshit.

My motto has always been, “Human Rights are non-negotiable.”

I love that there are so many of us, each working in a niche that is important to us.  Yet, that does not mean one corner of activism outweighs another.  We can’t all work for all causes at all times.  We have to split up into different groups to cover all the bases.  Remember that equality does not mean we are the same, but rather, though we may be different, we are of the same value as human beings.  Our human rights family tree is rooted in and celebrates our differences, with roots deep in the soil of our humanity, echoing the ancient axiom, “As above, so below.”

However, if you only care about one group who is hurt or exploited and not another, then you’re not working for rights issues, you’re a special interest asshat who is no better than the elitist oppressors who mock human rights activism while making fortunes off the masses’ suffering.

So I may not know the full extent of pain that another person has experienced, just as they won’t know the full extent of mine.  But we can try to listen better.  We can forgo the pain-game and stick to the work at hand.  Don’t allow the oppressors’ need to stuff us into boxes and categories or divide us into opposing sides hinder our work of coming together and doing the work.

We are better than that. Do the work.  Be the Change.

We Are All Connected.

trish

 

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