Submission and feminism are not mutually exclusive


I want you to spit in my mouth, call me a slut, come all over my face and then respect my opinions on gender politics. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so.

Someone recently emailed me explaining that although he likes my blog, he doesn’t like the post I wrote about buttsex (in which a dude gets all sexy and dominant and forces his dick into my ass) because:

“I’m quite a big feminist these days, and that article especially just seems demeaning to you in a way that undermines feminist aims in gender relations.”

If someone can explain this to me I’ll give you a medal. In what way does my being demeaned (assuming I’ve consented to it) ‘undermine feminist aims in gender relations’?

Saying that female submission is somehow anti-feminist smacks of such patronising misogyny that I’m surprised someone had the balls to say it directly to my face (or inbox).

What undermines feminist aims far more is refusing to participate in a sexual act that both partners find arousing purely because you don’t want to hurt the poor woman taking part in it.

“Sorry, love, I’m afraid I can’t fuck you in the arse. I know you want it, and I really want it too, but I think participating in such a symbolically misogynist act would undermine the equality your sisterhood has strived for. So put your pants back on, darling.”

I don’t want to tear too much into this one individual – others have said similar things. I’ve been told before that I should be careful with what I say about submission, lest it leads people to think that I believe women deserve to be bound, gagged, humiliated and defiled. I’ve been told I shouldn’t publicly discuss my opinions on consent-play in case it induces guys to rape.

What could be more anti-feminist than censoring honesty about female desire in case it induces idiots to grab the wrong end of the stick?

Men are stupid and only think with their dicks

Fuck feminism just for a second, and let’s have a look at misandry. Do we honestly, truly believe that men are so goddamn stupid as to believe that the way they treat women in the bedroom necessarily has to be the way they treat them outside it?

Some men no doubt do see women as sexual objects, but how dare we assume they’re all the same? I have never met a man who thinks that because I submit to him in the bedroom I’ll be anything other than my usual feisty cock-stamping self in the pub. No man I know has ever assumed that because he has literally pissed all over me, he gets to metaphorically do the same when we’re not fucking.

Guys can separate their sex life from their normal life – degrading a woman in the bedroom does not inevitably lead to degrading all women outside of it. Let’s not patronise men by assuming that they are one-dimensional creatures who cannot understand the difference.

I am a filthy, intelligent, dirty, confident little slut

How is it possible for a man to accord women the same respect as he’d accord men if he also wants to mess a girl up by jizzing in her face and seeing how many fingers he can force into her gaping, willing cunt?

Well, because sex isn’t a fucking university debate, that’s why. When you shag you’re not championing a particular cause, you’re not stating your opinion on the way the world should be – you’re doing things that make your dick hard.

You can come all over my face, rub it in and make me eat it while crooning that I’m a filthy fucking slut who totally deserves it. You can squeeze my tits so hard it hurts and tell me I’ll take it because it’s what you want to do. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to do any of this in the street, a business meeting, or a situation other than the bedroom.

Likewise just because I squeeze your balls until you wince and force butt-plugs hard into your lubed-up ass it doesn’t mean that I don’t also respect your views on the economy.

You can tell me to shut the fuck up and do what you say in bed without implying that I should also do the hoovering, bear your children, earn less money than you and be denied my right to vote.

If I enjoy it and you enjoy it, let’s do it. We can discuss the philosophical ramifications over a pint in the pub afterwards. When I’ve cleaned your fucking jizz off my face.


UPDATE: the guy who wrote the email has now joined in to reply in the comments. Please check out what he says, because it’s important that I don’t just get on my own ranty platform and try to make you all think what I think. But also check it out because he’s very thoughtful and interesting, and heartfelt disagreement is one of my favourite things. 


  • paul haine says:

    “just because I squeeze your balls until you wince and force butt-plugs hard into your lubed-up ass it doesn’t mean that I don’t also respect your views on the economy.”

    t-shirt slogan right there.

  • Totally anonymous username says:

    *loud assertion of agreement*

    Apparently when my boy’s first girlfriend wanted him to do bad things to her, he needed some persuasion away from a rather confused “but isn’t that a bit sexist?” While I find this adorable, I am extremely glad that said girlfriend was, by his account, pretty thorough in persuading him. And if he had *told* said girlfriend that she shouldn’t want to do such things because they demeaned her, he would have richly deserved the bitchslap I rather suspect she would have administered. For grown men to be coming out with that shit? Really not okay.

    Yes, some of the things we do in bed demean me, and I bloody love it. When we’re not fucking, he is one of the most charming, respectful, treats-me-like-a-human-being-with-interesting-and-valid-opinions men I’ve known. He also knows better than to mansplain things to me, particularly things to do with feminism.

    • Totally anonymous username says:

      (Oh, and I love it when he holds me down and forces his dick up my arse.)

    • girlonthenet says:

      I like the word ‘mansplain’

      I also think the idea of saying that something someone has asked you to do in bed is ‘sexist’ is pretty jarring. Sexist why/how? And specifically – how can something that a woman has asked you to do in bed be *more* sexist than you telling her that her desires are inappropriate to the sisterhood.

      • Totally anonymous username says:

        Exactly. Like I say, in someone who was juuuuuust getting to grips with sexuality and gender issues, and who was genuinely confused and questioning, it’s rather sweet.

      • Mike says:

        No need to hand out a medal. His argument asserts without saying explicitly that you do not understand what you want, and he does you don’t get to decide, because clearly he cannot take the attitude
        He had in the bedroom and compartmentalize it to just the bedroom. He is clearly incapable of that very thing. If he dominates you in the bedroom to him that does change how he sees women. You don’t see it that way, because it is what you want, so to you the confusion is ridiculous. Ultimately, some men cannot respect women who they’ve had sex with. In fact, I’ve heard that in the workplace, lesbians get more respect than their straight female colleagues, simply because they don’t take dick on a regular basis.

  • . says:

    Sub/dom is only ever fun for me if the sub is someone I respect as a person, not a sex object.

    You can’t take power/control/dignity from someone who you don’t see as having power/control/dignity in the first place.

  • Totally anonymous username says:

    GAH, hit reply on half-formulated thought. Yeah, so anyway. Being a bit confused as a young un = quite sweet. What this guy did just sounds like slut-shaming (sub-shaming?) with a dose of concern trolling.

  • Theguythatwrotethatemail says:

    Hi. So basically I’m gonna write a really long essay-style reply here defending what I said. Although I should say straight away that, had I known you were gonna write a blog post about that email, I would have made myself a lot clearer in what I said about this, since there are some things in this post you’ve attributed to me that I don’t agree with.

    Firstly though, I’m gonna refute your assertion that I’m a ‘patronising misogynist’. Categorically. I made the comment I did not because I want to protect ‘damsels in distress’, treat them like delicate little flowers and look down on them as the ‘lesser sex’ that I as their guardian must protect from evil, but because firstly patriarchal oppression but more specifically (and of more relevance to my comments) rape is a fucking horrific crime for which the perpetrator has an almost 1 in 20 chance of being convicted (according to a 2004 study i’ve seen). I mean, we all know this, but to be labelled as misogynistic because I passionately ‘rape culture’ and try to look for and correct (as radical feminists do) aspects of societal norms and practices that encourage this culture seems to me a pretty nonsensical thing to have placed upon me. And I must say I was genuinely insulted when I read that sentence. But never mind, I’ve got thick skin I suppose. MOVING ON.

    So yeah as I said, rape is the topic of this post, and I wish in hindsight I’d initially made that clear. Your ‘on buttsex’ blog post doesn’t specifically say anything about rape, obviously, but what it does do is hold implicit beliefs about the nature of rape culture that I’m uncomfortable with.

    This is the bit that made me frown, and gave me a not very nice feeling in the pit of my stomach:
    “And he was pushing. And it hurt. And at that moment I really really really didn’t want to.

    So I said. “No, it hurts.”

    And he said “I’m going to count to three and then I’m going to go all the way in. I’m going to push it right into you. OK?”

    And I said “Please don’t.”

    “One… two…”

    “No. Please no.””

    I make that three “no’s” and a “please don’t”. Yet I’m sure you would champion the ‘no means no’ slogan intended to make men take responsibility for their behaviour in the bedroom, as any one of us reading this would. I’m sure you also know that more rapes are committed by men that women know than are committed by strangers. One thing I don’t know is how many of the men that women know have previously slept with those women, but I’m betting it’s not an insignificant proportion. So, in reality, what that quoted bit of text says to me is that, in your opinion, ‘no means no- except sometimes it means yes’. Which, obviously, undermines the whole thing entirely.

    I do, of course, acknowledge the fact that you may well have a previously, explicitly stated, arrangement whereby in some circumstances he knows that you’re saying no but mean the opposite. Maybe you’d told him so earlier that night (although since this wasn’t stated in your blog post, I don’t think I was wrong to assume that this wasn’t the case). Anyway to some degree, I think that’s unimportant- I would argue that the act, within any context, perpetuates a view of gender relations within the bedroom that hinders the ‘war on rape’ or whatever you want to call it. As I said earlier, it’s rape culture that to a large extent perpetuates the prevalence of rape as well as the horrific conviction rate. Thus I’m opposed to absolutely anything that contributes to this culture, no matter in how small a degree.

    I could go on for bloody hours about rape culture and only approx. 35% of it would be in any way interesting, so I guess I’ll cut my losses there. BUT I did wanna talk about another aspect of your post- that is the seeming separation between different spheres of one’s life. It’s not quite the ‘public/private’ distinction that modern feminism often builds its critiques on, but it is sort of reminiscent:

    “Guys can separate their sex life from their normal life – degrading a woman in the bedroom does not inevitably lead to degrading all women outside of it.”

    Of course, in individual circumstances this is completely true. I wouldn’t dispute it. But culture and societal norms can’t be located within individuals; culture is about normative feedback loops of discourse, ideas permeating throughout society, all that stuff. To criticise the actions of a man performing consensual acts within the bedroom isn’t necessarily (emphasis on necessarily) to criticise him personally, but to criticise the culture of which he is a part of and contributing to. Same goes for women too; in ‘disapproving’ (sounds so sort of victorian that I had to put it in quotes) of your blog post, I’m not criticising your life choices; but simply the cultural norms you identify with.

    Here’s where the tricky part comes, though.

    Would I say then, that male domination in the bedroom leads to misogyny within society as a whole? I honestly don’t know. But neither do you. I was going to say that only a psychological study would be able to determine this, but on further reflection I don’t even think this is true; as I said, culture isn’t located within individuals, but permeates in some form amongst all members of a socio-cultural group. Thus a highly dominant male in the bedroom may well be intellectually and emotionally committed to gender equality, but his dominant persona could affect or inspire another man to pursue to a greater extent actions and views that go against the first man’s core beliefs. To ignore this line of thinking like you do is, in my opinion, to deny quite a large part of post-structural feminist discourse. BUT, and I have to stress this, I DON’T KNOW AND I COULD BE TALKING SHIT. Thus I don’t judge the vast majority of what turns you on. Maybe, with a long term partner into that stuff, I may well try some of the extreme stuff. Who knows.

    However just like I can’t disregard your lifestyle choice and opinions, in the same way I would argue that you can’t criticise mine. I suppose I have to agree (however grudgingly) that this applies to rape fantasies to the same extent as it does any other dominant-submissive scenario. BUT given what I consider the incredible delicacy of rape as a topic (not because I don’t want to make delicate, pretty little girls sad, but because rape is a fucking horrible crime that ruins lives and deserves the utmost scrutiny, which includes looking into the lives of normal people (that is to say, not-rapists) and trying to establish ways that their lifestyles might be improved to help those who have suffered from rape), I would strongly discourage rape fantasies, despite the fact that it might turn you on (think: feedback loop of socio-cultural norms), just because, y’know, I want to be on the safe side.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. No hard feelings etc.

    • Totally anonymous username says:

      I don’t really have the time to go into a full answer, but I just want to quickly say – my boy does all sorts of terrible things to me, including disregarding my cries of “stop!” and such, but he is only able to do these things BECAUSE I SAY SO. I actually feel safer in bed with him than with previous (vanilla) partners. I am not sure why I should be expected to revert to suppressing my desires because they somehow “might” cause some unspecified “other man” to think it’s ok to actually rape people.

      • Totally anonymous username says:

        Also, if my boy’s “dominant persona” is going to influence other men to commit rape, how is that anything to do with what we do in bed?

    • Misha says:

      For god’s sake why the fuck


      Gender equality has never and never will exist in bed. Dude have you even? ugh

  • Theguythatwrotethatemail says:

    Not all coherent, but I hope you get the general idea.

  • girlonthenet says:

    OK, so there’s loads in here to discuss. Let’s go with the on-topic stuff first. You say that your objection to that blog was mainly because of the potential to construe it as rape. The problem I have with this is that if you’d read the entire blog entry rather than just that one very short bit of prose, you’d have seen that I was extremely positive about it and found it very hot.

    So any assumptions you make about it beyond that are essentially projecting things onto me, and in doing so making the wild assumption that I don’t properly understand my sexual desires. And yes, that *is* patronising.

    You also say this:

    “I do, of course, acknowledge the fact that you may well have a previously, explicitly stated, arrangement whereby in some circumstances he knows that you’re saying no but mean the opposite. Maybe you’d told him so earlier that night (although since this wasn’t stated in your blog post, I don’t think I was wrong to assume that this wasn’t the case).”

    Well, I *do* think you were wrong to assume this wasn’t the case. Read the entry: it’s me talking about how hot that incident was, on a sex blog in which I mostly talk about seriously hot things that I like. It pisses me off that people look at that and, because I haven’t specifically added a disclaimer that says “oh by the way I am actually an intelligent woman who has complex relationships with the boys I fuck” people assume that I have been violated. And, yes, that *is* patronising too.

    OK, next point. You say:

    “I make that three “no’s” and a “please don’t”. Yet I’m sure you would champion the ‘no means no’ slogan intended to make men take responsibility for their behaviour in the bedroom, as any one of us reading this would.”

    This isn’t your fault, as I don’t expect you to read everything before you make a comment (that would make me bloody demanding), but as a matter of fact, I don’t *necessarily* champion that slogan:

    I think that the issue of consent is incredibly important, and that understanding your partners wants, desires, and boundaries of consent is one of the most important things in a relationship. But I also think that with boys I trust I should be able to play at being unwilling without in any way advocating actual rape.

    On submission/etc as a cultural issue rather than an individual one: you’re right, I am not an expert. But, and it’s a big ‘but’ – I’m not the one criticising or commenting on the individual sexual choices made by people in consensual relationships.

    If what we do in the bedroom leads to societal attitudes that we dislike, I’d argue fairly vociferously that perhaps we should educate society about the distinction between sexual play and real life gender relations. This is important – bloody important – because the only other option (and the option you seem to be advocating) is that we self-censor our desires in case the wider world is corrupted by them.

    If what I am doing in my bedroom is not harming individuals then there is no reason for me to stop doing it. If it gives society weird views about how men and women should interact, then the way to solve that is not to stop getting violently fucked in the ass, the way to solve it is to redouble efforts to show society that your sexual preferences do not necessarily dictate who you are as a person or how you are compelled to behave.

    • Theguythatwrotethatemail says:

      I don’t really have the time or effort to reply to this (I have an exam tomorrow morning I haven’t actually revised for yet. So good at life), but just to say that whilst there is stuff you’ve clarified here and I can get behind, there’s still stuff that I think either misses the point of what I was saying (just like I missed the point on some of what you were saying), or that I just flat-out disagree with.

      So, agree to disagree, I suppose. How bloody lame huh.

      • girlonthenet says:

        Agreeing to disagree is totally OK. Probably not in an exam context though, so good luck with the revision =p

        • Mike says:

          The problem is men. I have struggled with this as well, and thank god my girlfriend is not into that, but I have a checkered history…more on that later.

          if I’m worried that I’m construing that rape is okay, then what I’m really saying is that I don’t trust her, or myself, but more importantly, her. I’m really saying I don’t trust you when you tell me you want my dick to cause you pain, because this is a silly thing and I can’t trust you with your own sexual needs, stop being silly and I’ll tell you what you need because I don’t care about your needs and I want myself to feel good. Yes, rapists get convicted, but your stat is scewed. The vast majority of rapes are any of the following:

          Never reported
          Reported but not beleived
          Rape kits went no where
          Established that sex took place, but can’t prove the sex was forced.

          So in reality, you are hardly likely to go to prison at all,though you might be stigmatized, which is nothing to the way women are often stigmatized, so really your arguments lack all validity.

          One that isn’t lacking validity is communication of desires. Men are not one dimensional. Maybe I just don’t want to shove my dick down your throat, maybe that doesn’t turn me on. The original blogger is also being mysandric, because she is assuming I want to do whatever she will let me get away with. Like for instance I have no desire to stick a finger or my dick in anyone’s asshole. I think it’s disgusting, and not for any moral reasons. Assholes smell bad and shit and gas come from it, no thank you. So the next guy may not want his Dick down your throat for his own reasons.

          Basically, you can’t ever really say something is “a little rapey,” which is 3 words that some up exactly what you took an essay to write. Because that is an anathema to what rape is. It detracts from rape and rape victims, because rape is not murky, rape is clear. Rape is the lack of consent, period.

          Which brings me to myself. When I was younger, I did in fact hurt someone who was too young to give consent, and wouldn’t have done so even if she wasn’t too young. Technically I was too young too, and I legitimately didn’t know what I was doing was wrong. When you are a child there are some concepts you just don’t have words for, and even if you did, you don’t know they are verboten until someone tells you. Not more than one year later did I learn that what I did was something called rape, and I was utterly disgusted with myself for the next 10 years. I dated all the wrong people, did all the wrong things, because I was a monster, so I didn’t matter anymore. So when something like this comes up, and luckily it doesn’t often, I get uncomfortable because I do in fact know that I am capable of committing horrible acts on someone…I’ve done it before.

          Anyway, I can talk more about myself another time. The point is your complaints are still clear and present misogyny, the blogger is a tad bit mysandric, and you need to have a basis of communication so that each person knows what is and is not okay. That way, no one is raped, no one’s sexuality is repressed ironically, and everyone has crazy awesome sex! Woo Hoo!

          • Mike says:

            I remember a story I heard on NPR of a little girl who had been told to do things buy older boys, she didn’t know what they were, and she did them. It wasn’t until she went through 7th grade sex Ed did she realize they had forced themselves inside her, dozens of times, a before her 12th birthday. Some people just don’t know what rape is and rape is not. You do, I do, this blogger does as well, so don’t act like for one damn second women do not know what they are talking about and question what they want. Everyone here is adult
            Enough to know the difference between rape and not rape, so get over it and keep enjoying her incredibly hot and totally honest blog posts for the crazy awesome Tid bits of sex lit that they are. Happy jerking, because if you aren’t doing that, that’s like saying you read playboy for the articles. Zzzzz

  • bambiinboxes says:

    There is a big difference between submitting to a guy who cares for you & respects you out of bed and just submitting in general – I love to be dominated & every guy I’ve played with very much knows the dofference between in bed & out of it and I refuse to change my behaviour because some people are idiots.

  • Owen says:

    Such well-argued points that I can’t make my mind up which of you I agree with. I will say this though: an ex of mine used to get very turned on by the idea of rape and was always pushing me to indulge her fantasy of being forcibly fucked against her will. (I’m afraid I find the idea of girls saying ‘no’ very UNsexy so her fantasy didn’t really work for us.) Anyway, one night she was raped in her bed by a taxi driver. She doesn’t think rape is hot any more.

    • tangendentalism says:

      ‘an ex of mine used to get very turned on by the idea of rape and was always pushing me to indulge her fantasy of being forcibly fucked against her will…. Anyway, one night she was raped in her bed by a taxi driver. She doesn’t think rape is hot any more.’

      Seriously?? This has *such* a ‘so she learnt her lesson!’ tone about it. I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but your tone strongly implies that her fantasy was responsible for her rape. Two points of response: 1, in no way whatsoever is any woman (or man for that matter) ever responsible for being raped; 2, fantasy rape and actual rape have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

      • Mike says:

        It sounds like nothing of the kind, it is merely a statement of fact. You can’t implicate time to text, that isn’t fair. And yes, rape fantasy and rape are different things, but if you have been raped, it is logical to guess you might no longer want to explore a rape fantasy, if only because it might bring flashbacks.

  • Shreena says:

    “Fuck feminism just for a second, and let’s have a look at misandry”


  • James L says:

    Surely any half decent feminist would say that it’s a truly great thing for a woman to be able to openly (to a degree) talk about her, rather interesting, sex life.

    Your buttsex article isn’t degrading to women- its about you enjoying a man fucking you up the arse. The very fact you can blog about this, shows you do not feel degraded.

    On the issue of consent- a woman might say ‘no’ several times during sex. Does she mean it? I think you’d know of she did; tone, volume,body language are all equally as strong indicators. The word ‘stop’ is much more unequivocal than the word ‘no’

  • Layla says:

    Really really love this comeback post. Obviously what is done between consenting adults is entirely up to them and, in an ideal world, shouldn’t have to be concerned with the impact on wider society.

    But the amazing irony is in the fact that this is on a blogpost. You write about the sexual stuff you do, other people film it,it gets put on the Internet, impressionable teenage boys spend hours looking at porn on the Internet, they see this stuff and think its the norm. Some of the good boys might not think twice about it, other ones might be making out with a drunk girl and when she says no, not take it very seriously and some horrible boys might just let this kind of rape fantasy porn leak into their mentality and contribute to their overall impression that rape is just a part of human life and not really such a big deal.

    It doesn’t take a lot of thinking to realise that maybe rape fantasies come from an odd place and could very well lead to – in the bigger picture – a much odder and not very nice place.

    • girlonthenet says:

      I see your point, and it’s an interesting one. But ultimately I cannot possibly agree. It assumes a kind of ‘monkey see, monkey do’ attitude towards human beings (particularly straight men) that I utterly reject.

      Let’s assume that you’re right – that writing about consent issues on a public blog *does* encourage boys to rape. In order to hold this opinion you have to assume

      a) that teenaged boys are so easily influenced that thought for what their partner wants would never come into play. Essentially: all you need to do to turn a teenaged boy into a rapist is to tell him that one woman likes being dominated. I’m sorry, I just cannot agree. Moreover you seem to be implying that people, as a rule, are so prone to generalise that they assume everyone wants the same sexually. “Well, GOTN likes X therefore everyone must like X.” And I don’t think that gives humans credit.

      b) that anyone having these sexual desires should never communicate them publicly. Which is, you know, repressive and odd. Imagine if someone *had* these thoughts but wasn’t willing to communicate them to a partner. While you might worry that my oversharing causes people to act badly, I worry that not sharing leads people who have these feelings (which, by the way, they haven’t made a conscious choice to have) feel fucked up and freaky and unwilling to communicate with their partners. And a lack of communication makes for bad and sometimes dangerous sex.

      Finally, the accusation that I might be encouraging more people to have fantasies that involve playing with the issue of consent: maybe. I’ll totally own that one. But if my writing is that goddamn influential to impressionable young minds, you’ve also, surely, got to accept that I’m teaching them not only that it’s a sensitive and important issue, but one that they *should totally discuss with their partners.* And if you are into this sort of thing, and you discuss it with your partner then you can establish mutual boundaries, safewords if necessary, and make sure that what’s happening is something that you both consent to and enjoy.

  • Maria says:

    Layla – respect. That is everything I have a problem with in this and the ‘buttsex’ post.

  • lee says:

    wow and i thought me and my right hand had a bad sex life!!!!!

  • Lee says:

    Maybe I’m wrong here, but it feels to me that GOTN wants to be *dominated* so she can submit.

    And the *submissive* controls that actual exchange.

    The dominant and submissive mutually need the other. It’s an exchange. It’s bidirectional. Consent is present, and required. The dominant values the submissive and vice versa. Even if they playact cruel and scared respectively.

    With the buttsex blog, boy knows in advance that girl wants. See above. ;)

    Rape isn’t dominance : it’s callous unfeeling destruction. It’s one sided. The victim is a thing. Not a person, but an object.

  • Angel says:

    After reading numerous comments and testimonies from men. I’ve come to the conclusion that sex doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Your sexual nature is a reflection of who you are and it would be impossible for how we act in the bedroom to not spill over into our real life and vice versa. Men equate dominating sexual degrading acts with sluts they would never marry or seriously be with. So yes, if you think that you can have respect outside of the bedroom while being disrespected in the bedroom. You’re wrong.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Well, I can’t possibly argue with something you’ve provided so much evidence for, so I guess I’ll just have to ignore all the things I know and have experienced in favour of your assertion. *ends blog* *abandons sex* *goes to live in cave*


    • D. says:

      “Men equate dominating sexual degrading acts with sluts they would never marry or seriously be with.”

      Uh, no. I’m a man, and I wouldn’t consider marrying or seriously dating a woman who /wasn’t/ excited by being dominated and sexually degraded. Because, y’know, that’s my thing, and I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone who didn’t enjoy it as much as I do – that would be an awful way to live, I’d be miserable and no doubt so would my partner.

      So, isn’t it wonderful that women who actively enjoy that sort of stuff exist to match up with men like me, and that there are other sorts of women (and men) to match up with others sorts of men (and women) who don’t enjoy that stuff?

      In short; people are complicated, and extremely varied. So try not to make absolute statements about them, because it tends to make you sound like a complete knob.

    • Sarah says:

      And yet here I am over 11 years into a relationship with a kind, intelligent and funny man who has no problem dominating and degrading me in the bedroom when I want him to. He respects me both in the bedroom (by giving me the sexual experiences I want) and outside the bedroom (by treating me like the equal and intelligent human being that I am). We got married 3 years ago. You’re wrong.

  • Stephanie says:

    “What could be more anti-feminist than censoring honesty about female desire in case it induces idiots to grab the wrong end of the stick?”


  • Elphaba says:

    “I want you to spit in my mouth, call me a whore, come all over my face and then respect my opinions on gender politics”

    I just can’t find the words to express how much I absolutely LOVE this line.

  • LEon says:

    I’ve noticed the diminutive ‘little’ is almost always the word that precedes ‘slut’ or ‘whore’.

  • Misha says:

    Great article. Really just great. I would want my daughter to read this so she can know how things really are with men and women, although tbh she can just take a look at my life and she’ll work it out ;)

  • Sudonim007 says:

    I’m late to the party here, GOTN, but if you ever fancy a slightly paunchy guy with a receding hairline in his fifties, I assure you that I would gladly — joyfully, even — spit in your mouth, call you a whore, come all over your face, and (continue) to respect your opinions on gender politics. Love the blog.

  • Chris says:

    GOTN, I love your writing but; ‘sex isn’t a fucking university debate’ is pretty much just a big cop-out in the context of this. That sentence could be used for any subject that, you know… isn’t a university debate.

    Anyway, I admit am a bit of a robot regarding this. I find it difficult to reconcile the position of condemning misogyny then indulging in recreating it in one of the most intimate aspects of your life. It’s like being a civil rights campaigner who deplores the n-word but then getting your partner to call you it during Monopoly because you REALLY like when they do that. It being your choice doesn’t really magically change the function of those words seeing as sex does not take place in a societal vacuum, as much as a lot of people would like to pretend it does in order to not feel guilty about certain things. Do you see what I’m trying to say?

    Btw, I’m not suggesting that these things shouldn’t be done in order to preserve some abstract sense of feminism (consenting adults should do whatever the fuck they want and not feel judged) I’m just struggling to dismiss my feelings that certain things described here are inherently misogynistic and in fact that’s probably the appeal of them in the first place.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Fair enough. Although “consenting adults should do whatever the fuck they want and not feel judged” is, I think, more than just ‘some abstract sense of feminism.’

      I probably have a longer reply on this, but I’m just about to pop out so for the meantime I’d ask you this: when a guy gets hot for a woman stamping on his balls, or spanking him, or calling him a ‘fucking worm’ or any of that stuff, is he inherently turned on by misandry? It’s certainly not a narrative that is as regularly cited as the idea that I am kowtowing to patriarchy by enjoying a good throatfuck. Why do you think that is? I agree that our sex lives don’t happen in a vacuum, and there are certainly some things that are problemmatic and worth exploring. However, I think if we are going to explore them, we need to do it without overwriting female agency. To my mind, nothing makes any given sex act *inherently* degrading/humiliating/feminist/not-feminist etc – they all happen within a bunch of contexts. And one of the most important of those contexts is choice. If you think some of the things I enjoy doing are ‘inherently misogynistic’, then would you deny my right to do and enjoy them out of… what? A sense that you should protect me from misandry? I don’t get how to close off this loop of logic without implying, to a certain degree, that I as an individual need to be protected from my own choices.

      Just re-read that and it sounds a bit touchy – I promise it’s not, it’s just that I have to go do a thing and I’m too busy to edit, but I wanted to reply oherwise I’ll forget later and your comment will languish. Which it shouldn’t, because it’s interesting =)

      • Chris says:

        I would certainly never deny anyone’s right to enjoy any sexual practice; I would hope I made that clear in my first post. I’m just talking about definitions I suppose. You can fully enjoy something and admit that it is ‘un-feminist’ I think. People just don’t want to so they turn into into a question of agency or choice.

        Let me try and clarify with an example of something I consider clearly un-feminist/misogynistic on an immanent level – the language used. Want degrading sexual terms for a woman? You have a veritable platter of them at your disposal, of which there are no male equivalents. ‘Slut’, ‘whore’, ‘bitch’, ‘cunt’ etc etc. And as we all know, these words cause a great deal of harm and suffering in our society. Obviously it goes without saying that they don’t cause harm when using them (consensually) in bed, but nevertheless, their function remains true. It’s gendered degradation for which there is a very strong, very present and active social paradigm outside of the bedroom. This is what cultivates a taboo and this is where the thrill of indulging in breaking it comes from. I think this is where I turn into a robot who doesn’t quite understand how sexuality of taboo work, as ‘don’t call women sluts, it’s wrong, but PLEASE call me one at our most intimate primal moments because it’s amazing’ is a contradiction I can’t quite seem to get my head around.

        • Girl on the net says:

          OK, here goes. Probably my poor choice of wording re ‘denying’ right to practice things. What I’m getting at, really, is that the original email that sparked this post seemed to give a level of scrutiny to my own choices to submit which implied, perhaps, that I shouldn’t do them. Or, perhaps more disturbingly, that a guy who wanted to do them should refrain from it because I couldn’t fully choose to, because of feminism. I naturally have to reject that as it implies that when it comes to sexual consent, my genuine preferences are ones which I should be protected from. Ergo, the sex I have should be a version that I have only consented to out of compromise.

          I think I struggle with the fact that you understand the taboo but can’t get your head round why it’s hot. That’s fine, though, within your own life and your own preferences – it may well be that breaking a taboo like this just isn’t hot for you. But it *is* hot for me. And what’s more, it’s far hotter for me to engage in sex that is ‘degrading’ – scare quotes there because, for me, it would be far more degrading for me to have to edit my individual experiences so that they fit into what other people (who aren’t participating in the sex) believe is right for me. Re: the language thing, Nimue Allen has written a fair bit about this before – I can’t find her most in-depth blog post about it, but this one touches on why she enjoys language in the bedroom that she’d find dehumanising if it were uttered by someone other than the person she was playing with (NSFW link)

          I guess there are a couple of things here, really: yes, I’m with you that nothing we do is totally devoid of politics – it’d be ridiculous for me to claim otherwise, because naturally the fact that some of this stuff has generally been considered degrading feeds into the taboo. However, choice and consent is key, and realistically I can consent more fully to sex acts I enjoy: and these are sex acts I enjoy. Ergo, while I wouldn’t have this kind of sex with someone who genuinely believed that I was inferior, that I was a slut who deserved punishment blah blah blah, with a guy who I know obviously *doesn’t* think that, then the acts themselves are play, and are far more fun for me than another kind of sex. While it might become political when I write about it here, when the two of us are playing in a room, away from other people, then no – it’s not a university debate. We can discuss implications afterwards, but it’s not for anyone else to decide what we can and can’t consent to. That’s what frustrated me about the original email – the idea that because of *his* perception of my sex, I shouldn’t be doing it.

          What’s more, you haven’t answered my question re: male submission =) Would you ask (have you ever asked?) the same question of a guy? In my experience it’s very very rare for men to have their sexual choices scrutinised in the same way as women do. Any suggestion that a guy might be participating in something that was inherently misandrist would easily be shrugged off with something akin to ‘my dick likes what my dick likes.’

  • MaleFeministKinkster says:

    You make so much sense, and I am somewhat relieved to have found this blog. I am a guy who likes to degrade women in the bedroom, but would be more than willing to cook dinner afterwards. I consider myself a feminist, and am allergic to power imbalances outside the bedroom. I’d happily throatfuck you, and then share a bottle of wine while bemoaning the patriarchy.

    There was a time when my love of kinky sex and distinctly left-wing and egalitarian politics made me feel uncomfortable, but now I figure that good sex is what feels good to both participants, and so long as nobody is harmed we should not politicise it.

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