How should we deal with the problem of incels? Well, we don’t fuck them, that’s for fucking sure. You don’t ‘solve’ the problem of violent misogyny by giving violent misogynists what they want. You don’t get men to stop hating women by ensuring they have intimate access to women. You do not solve the problem of incels by fucking them, because you can’t solve the problem of men’s anger by throwing them a sacrificial woman.
I’m not very chatty on Twitter any more, and it wasn’t until last night when I spoke to a friend on the phone that I realised… I don’t even call my friends that much these days. The last few weeks have been weird and frightening, and they’re only going to get weirder and more frightening until sometime in June when the fear will come to a head and I’ll either sink, swim, or cling desperately to any of the friends I haven’t so far pissed off by ignoring. This is how it works, when my mental health is bad: I hide.
CN: Coronavirus, lockdown, anxiety. I know not everyone wants to read stuff that talks about this, so please don’t feel like you have to. I wrote it a week ago and didn’t publish it then, despite the fact that Stuart drew this gorgeous image for it and I felt genuinely ready to put it live. It basically amounts to tediously mad dispatches from the inside of my lockdown bubble, and it’s not great, but maybe publishing it will make it easier to write the next thing, and then hopefully the next one after that.
When people Skype or Zoom or WhatsApp or email you to ask how you’re doing, what do you say? Do you say ‘Oh, I’m fine…’ ellipsis to show the deep breath you took as you processed what your brain was actually telling you before continuing ‘…you know, given the circumstances’? Do you say ‘well the kids are driving me up the wall but at least I’ve got gin and Netflix lol’? Or do you tell the full and unvarnished truth?
As someone who’s struggled a lot with anxiety in the past, I really appreciate hearing other people’s perspectives on it: how it affects them, how they manage it, and any other insights into it that make me (and hopefully others who struggle with it) feel a little bit less alone. So I’m delighted to welcome Kim to the blog today, who’s here to talk about sex with anxiety: the ways in which it can creep into your head when you’re trying to enjoy yourself, and how it doesn’t necessarily always have to win.
A few years ago I went to a PR launch for a sex thing. Alongside the free champagne (woo!) there was a discussion about ‘obligation sex’ – whether you should make yourself shag sometimes even when you’re not in the mood, to keep the spark alive in your relationship. A sex blogger who I respected a lot was there (she, along with the free champagne, was what tempted me out of the house), and during the discussion she argued that you should have obligation sex. That making yourself shag could be the glue that held your relationship together even when other things were falling apart. I remember being shocked by her answer, because my gut instinct was to disagree. But I really liked her, and there’d been a lot of free champagne, so all I left with was a fuzzy head and a vague feeling that ‘obligation sex’ didn’t sound like much fun at all.