I know it’s irrational, I know it sounds silly. I know there is no ultimate benchmark of behaviour whereby one could draw a line that divides people into conclusive ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories. I know that it’s needlessly patronising – infantilising, even – and that by accepting the label I put myself in a position that’s wildly at odds with the feminist principles that guide the rest of my life. But still: I want you to tell me I’m a very good girl.
Do me a favour, yeah? Next time a straight couple tells you they’re getting married, would you mind turning to the gentleman in the pairing and asking him: “So… are you planning to keep your surname?” Go on, I dare you. I double-dare you. Ask him, in a cheery tone, whether he plans to take his wife’s name. Watch his reaction, then pop back here and let me know in the comments how that went.
This might sound weird, but I’m actually pretty sick of talking about consent. As a fan of sex, what I really want to talk about is desire. Want. Lust. Need. Craving. But I can’t talk about all those cool things without also having to explain the basics of consent. Because some pricks still cannot drag themselves over this, the lowest possible bar. Consent! Fuck my life! It’s the most boring sexual basic! Consent is vital, of course, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also dull. Like that bit at the start of a cupcake recipe where they tell you what temperature you should set your oven to – it’s not the most interesting part of the recipe, but without it you can’t make cakes.
This week’s guest blogger is Violet Grey (@v_greyauthor), a submissive feminist. As a straight submissive feminist myself, I’ve often had to deal with people who believe that’s an oxymoron. How can I be feminist yet also enjoy getting spanked by a man? Over the years I’ve given different answers, refining and explaining as I learn more about my own sexual desires and the ways in which the world tries to police them. I’m delighted to welcome Violet Grey today to give her own answer, as well as kick back against some of the toxic ideas that we need to challenge when we’re thinking about submission within relationships.
Note: this post will discuss a few concepts that may be disturbing to some of you, including the ‘TradWife’ movement, religious policing of bodily autonomy and marital rape.
Sexual consent isn’t gendered – at least, it shouldn’t be. If you’re chatting someone up in the hope that you’ll get to have sexy fun with them later, you shouldn’t be putting pressure on them to do things they don’t want to do, no matter what your gender or theirs. So apologies to everyone who knows this already, but I just wanted to pick up my sledgehammer and really slam this point home. Men: your consent matters too.