Monday, 16 March 2015

Non-Pornographic Sexuality (Yes, it exists)

Last year I wrote a three part series (begining with this popular post), which discussed the relationships between feminism and issues related to race and economic class. This new series of posts will discuss the need for equality within sexual relationships. 

If you know of any decent (non-liberal) Latin American feminists, please let me know. I need to practice my Spanish and cleanse from my brain the fake, sadomasochistic “feminism” that one of my lecturers tried to shove down my throat today.

Any pornography defenders who came across this article, would scoff at its title and tell me that all sex is pornographic, since pornography is just “videos of people having sex”. Meanwhile, those outside the sex industry may argue that they cannot possibly be having pornographic sex. Both views are wrong. The pornography industry claims to represent human sexuality, but it only represents one kind, the worst kind. There are better ways to experience sex, ones that promote positive values, like freedom, equality and compassion.

However, many people still imitate the sexuality promoted by pornography.This post will put forward criteria for determining how pornographic a sexual behaviour is, which can be applied to visual and textual depictions of sex, as well as to real life acts. It is thus relevant to those both inside and outside the sex industry. 

Criterion 1: Equality vs. Power Dynamics 

Sex acts involving dominance and submission are less egalitarian and therefore more pornographic. Those who are into BDSM openly brag about being either a “dominant” or a “submissive” (some even call themselves “masters” and “slaves”), but one can take on hierarchical roles during sex, without using such titles. Physical aggression, verbal aggression and degradation are all methods of dominance that are common throughout pornography and add to the pornographic character of a sex act.

I label acts as “physically aggressive” or “violent” if they involve deliberately inflicting pain or bodily damage upon a human (or sufficiently human-like) being. Restricting a person’s ability to move their body is also a form of physical aggression. All other things being equal, a person who is injured, in pain or restricted from moving is less powerful than an otherwise identical person who is not experiencing such things. Thus violence almost always produces or maintains power inequalities.

Definitions are never perfect, but my definition of “violence” is more in line with the way the general public uses the term than the definition used by pornography defenders. Self-proclaimed “sex-positives” argue that “violence is subjective”. They believe that consent alone determines whether behaviours should be seen as “real violence” or “kinky sex”. Thus they make no moral distinction between touching someone gently on the shoulder and whipping someone until they are covered in cuts and bruises. In their view, both acts are equally “violent” (and ethically objectionable) if the people on the receiving end do not give their explicit verbal consent and equally acceptable if everyone involved does consent. 

I find this viewpoint absurd. Why label shoulder-touching as “violent” when it does not involve any of the things people associate with violence? I am not necessarily endorsing non-consensual shoulder-touching (such behaviour can create awkwardness), but I do not view it as violent. On the other hand, propelling a hard or shape object (such as a whip or knife) towards a sensitive body part at a rapid speed is always violent, because such actions do cause pain and injury. These are real physical phenomenon that can (at least in theory) be examined through empirical studies.

Defenders of pornography and pornographic sex also apply a relativistic approach to verbal aggression (another common feature of pornography.) While no set of syllables is inherently aggressive, words do have social meanings that cannot be changed by individuals. Just because a person has their own non-insulting definitions for words like “cunt”, “fag” or “nigger” does not mean they should use these words to refer to people they encounter. While the meanings of words can change, such changes require time and occur alongside larger cultural changes. 

Like physical aggression, verbal aggression creates power inequalities. It diminishes a person’s sense of self worth and discourages them from resisting their oppressor. Some people are more sensitive to verbal aggression than others, but one cannot simply chose to not be harmed by it. The way in which words are repeatedly used gives them emotional power, thus the liberal tactic of attempting to feel empowered by words like “slut” and “whore”, has done nothing to solve the self esteem issues often experienced by women.

As for the degrading sex acts within pornography, sex liberals defend them by (you guessed it) claiming that degradation is a matter of subjective opinion. They argue that there is nothing inherently degrading about exposing sensitive body parts (such as the face and mouth) to urine and faeces or making a person vomit, but in what other context would such arguments be considered acceptable? 

Those who wish to highlight the horrors of slavery often point out that African slaves were brought to the Americas in overcrowded, unsanitary boats. According to this article, the slaves "would basically be lying in their own and others' waste, blood and vomit". Modern reactionaries may argue that such descriptions are exaggerated, but would they dare suggest that such treatment may not be degrading and that some Africans naturally like it? Any person who invoked relativism in such a situation would be branded a racist and rightly so. Even if one sets aside feelings of disgust, frequent exposure to faeces, urine and vomit causes diseases to spread (this is probably why most humans are disgusted by such things). Whether such exposure is inherently degrading or not, it is bad for human health and that is enough of a reason to oppose it, within both sexual and non-sexual contexts.

I do not wish to suggest that the violence and degradation experienced by those who play a subordinate role within what I call “pornographic sex” is more or less severe than what happened to African slaves. My intention is to show that pornography defenders are inconsistent in their promotion of aggressive and degrading activities. It is not anti-pornography activists who are biased against sex. Rather pro-pornography activists are biased in favour of sex. They view sex as an excuse to endorse things they would not otherwise endorse.  I believe that sexual acts should be evaluated by the same standards as other behaviours. The bedroom, like all other areas of society, should be as free from power dynamics as possible, since power dynamics are the very opposite of love, equality and liberty. 

Criterion 2: Personality-based Love versus Shallow Attraction 

By featuring frequent shots of their butts, breasts, genitals and abdomens, both soft and hard-core pornography place a great deal of emphasis on how people (particularly women) look. Such images imply that these features are more important than any inner trait a woman has. The only personality traits that are celebrated in pornography are dominance and submissiveness, which are not traits that those who favour equality between males and females should admire (see criterion 1).

To love a person is to celebrate the aspects of them that make them human. Inanimate objects can be pretty and even sexy (meaning that they are capable of causing sexual arousal), but only humans (and some animals) have thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Thus, all other things being equal, sex acts that result from genuine feelings of love (developed in response to the participants’ human qualities) are less pornographic than sex acts inspired by either person’s prettiness or ability to cause arousal.

Real love develops when people interact (in a non-sexual manner) and thus get to know one another.  Since this usually takes time, most sex acts which occur on the day that the two people involved meet or interact extensively for the first time will fail this criterion (making them more pornographic.) Yes casual sex enthusiasts, I am talking about you. My opposition to casual sex will probably be controversial, even among “sex-negatives”. Note that I place far less emphasis on this criterion than I do on the first one. The pro-casual sex position is one I recognise as a legitimate radical feminist viewpoint. It just isn’t one I agree with. 

Bear in mind that this list relates to depictions of sex as well as actual sexual activities. Part of the reason I included this criterion is because I want to see more films that show people learning about one another’s human traits, before they fall in love and have sex. Far too many films feature romantic and sexual encounters that occur between people who have done nothing but acknowledge each other’s prettiness/sexiness. Such superficial relationships are hardly better than casual sex. I am concerned that our culture’s obsession with physical appearance harms women’s self esteem and makes it harder for both men and women to form long-lasting, egalitarian relationships. 

Criterion 3: Genuine Desire vs. Economics/Conformity 

For a sex act to be healthy and non-pornographic, participants must enter into it with the intention of enjoying the act itself. In case this is not already clear, this enjoyment does not need to be purely physical. Those who have sex with people they love can experience emotional and, in some cases, intellectual enjoyment from their sexual activities. If one does not have affection for their partner, they should at least have positive feelings towards the sexual act. To pursue sex as a means to some other aim (e.g. economic resources, popularity, approval, self-esteem), like women in the sex industry do, is to increase the pornographic character of one’s sex life.

Opponents of the sex industry recognise that women who enter it often do so out of poverty and desperation, but economic concerns also influence sexual activities which occur outside the industry. Conservative men brag about how they provide money and other resources to their wives (who in turn provide them with sexual and domestic services), while mainstream culture promotes the gold-digger stereotype, as well as the belief that men who buy things for women are entitled to sex.Thus the view that women should trade sex for economic resources is not limited to the sex industry. 

Since liberals believe that society hates sex, they will object to the idea that social norms can motivate a sexual act. However, there are definitely sections of society, such as colleges/universities, the sex industry and the sex-positive movement itself, in which those who are willing to have sex receive more praise than the unwilling. Those involved in these subcultures may engage in sexual acts in order to prove that they are “sexually liberated”, rather than prudish or conventional. Not all sex-positives intentionally insult people who favour monogamous, egalitarian, “vanilla” sex, but being excluded from praise can feel almost as bad as being insulted. Relationship partners can also use praise (or the lack thereof) to obtain sexual favours.

Then there are people who seek self-esteem boosts from sex. Their motivations are largely internal, but have social origins.  Males in this category often wish to prove that they are “real men”, by “conquering” females, while women sometimes have sex in order to prove to themselves that they are sexually desirable. Women who do this often claim to be “doing it for [themselves]”. While they are indeed acting out of self interest (which is not necessarily a virtuous motive), they have blindly accepted the cultural notion that a women’s value is determined by her prettiness/sexiness. Thus their actions are in fact conformist. 

Of course, there are people who participate in sexual acts that I object too, without having such unhealthy motivations. Though genuine desire makes a sexual activity less pornographic, desire and consent are just one of the criteria that I use when evaluating behaviours. A genuinely desired sex act that involves physical violence, degradation or an obsession with physical appearance is still highly pornographic. However, engaging in such sexual activities with those who do not truly desire them is even worse. Thus consent matters, but not in the way liberals think it does. 


While I acknowledge that sexual behaviours cannot be easily divided into two boxes, they can nonetheless be evaluated according to the criteria I have presented. In summary, dominance, submission, aggression, degradation, superficiality, economic concerns and conformity increase the pornographic character of sexual activities. Those who want a less pornographic sex life should omit these elements and replace them with egalitarianism, respect, love, genuine romantic desire and an emphasis on personality over prettiness. Those who call me a totalitarian monster for making claims about how people should behave are free to have a pornographic sex life. It’s not like I can stop them or anything.
 While this post, which is the first in a series of three, is somewhat sex-centred, a later post will focus more on the relationship part of “sexual relationship”. So stay tuned.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

One Year Anniversary Review

Happy International Women’s Day! It is already the 8th of March in Australia and a year since I started this blog. This post will be a review of what has been accomplished by the blog in the past year.

While this blog is still pretty insignificant, it has addressed many important issues and angered some liberals. I have received many views and I am sure I have fans out there (hello, to all my fellow Feminist Current users), but my follower count is a measly three (I thank them anyway.) I believe that one must have a Blogger account in order to follow my blog. Perhaps, many of you do not have one or maybe you think it is pointless to follow a blog is only updated about once a month. I actually think the infrequent updates are an argument in favour of following my blog, since they spare one the need to constantly check if I have posted anything, but you are all free to do as you wish. 

This post will feature statistics, comparisons, the results of my feminism quizzes future plans and a lot of reflection. If that sort of thing bores you and you would rather just read my rants against liberal feminism, feel free to ignore this post. If you are curious about this blog and its audience, keep reading.

General Statistics and Information 

Total Views: 5380 (an average of 14.7 views per day) 
Total Posts: 13 (not including this one, it is a good thing I am not superstitious) 
Numbers of (Official) Followers: 3 
Total Comments: 51 (30 if you exclude my own comments) 
Number of People who have commented: 7 (not including myself) 
Countries from which the blog has been viewed: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Serbia, Belgium, France, Germany, Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece, Canada, the Philippines, Israel and many more (I can only view the countries which have generated views recently, but I have seen many other countries appear on the list in the past.) 
Country that Generated the most Views: the United States (Australia comes second) 
Viewers’ Favourite Web Browser: Firefox (at least that was the one used to find my blog most often, use of Firefox may be associated with liberalism/progressivism, as this article defines it at least) 
Viewers’ Favourite Operating System: Windows (this one clearly beat out the other options, e.g. Macintosh. I use it myself. I also use Firefox. Great minds think alike?) 
Most Common Traffic Sources: Google and Feminist Current (I also thank all the people who re-blogged my posts, but I no longer have any data on how many views you have generated)

Post Comparisons 

Most Viewed Post: “Why Cultural Relativism is Racist” with 550 views.

I did not expect this post to be so popular, since it was less focussed on gender and sexuality than any of the others. I guess women are interested in topics other than those stereotypically associated with women after all. The fact that this post was controversial (some liberals hated it so much, they wanted to track down my real life identity, because of it) and got re-blogged multiple times probably helped.

My second most popular article at the moment is “Why Mainstream Feminism is Corporate Feminism”, but “The Five Most Common Pro-BDSM Arguments” is catching up. Nevertheless, it seems as though articles which apply feminist thought to other political issues (e.g. class, race and international issues) are my most popular ones. Expect to see more of those next year. 

Least Viewed Post: “The Pink-Blue Switch – What Liberals Do Not Tell You” with 64 views

I probably overestimated the amount of interest surrounding what I call the pink-blue switch (the fact that blue went from being a “girl colour” to being a “boy colour” in the middle of the twentieth century, while the opposite occurred with the colour pink) or maybe people just did not know what the title meant.

I think the post is undervalued. It provides a useful summary of my views on gender and responses to common liberal arguments about gender. It is one of my earlier posts and some of its arguments are repeated in other posts, however it is still the only one that clearly puts forward my version of gender abolitionism. This topic will probably be discussed again (in spite of the risks associated with discussing it in the “wrong” way), but in the meantime, please check out “The Pink-Blue Switch”. It is not as boring as it must sound. 

Most Commented on Post: “The Trouble with Safe Spaces – Part 1” with 15 comments

While seven of the comments on this post are mine, the number of comments not posted by me (eight) is still higher for that post than for any other. “What Type of Feminist Are You? – Part 2” comes second with 12 comments overall and seven if you exclude my comments. I recommend that readers view these posts in order to read the interesting and insightful comments left on them, though perhaps I should not have included comments related to technical issues in my count.

If you are wondering why there is no “least commented on” category it is because there are four posts on my blog with no comments, including “Why Cultural Relativism is Racist”. Yes, as of now, my most popular post has no comments, weird. Maybe that will change now that I have drawn attention to this fact. 

My Personal Favourite: “What Type of Feminist Are You? – Part 1”

While this post is not among my most popular or most discussed, it does a good job of addressing the key points on which liberal and non-liberal feminists differ, including sexuality, beauty practices and political activism. It also integrated discussions about race and international issues into my broader discussion of gender. I feel that integrating different topics together is a better way of approaching them than discussing such issues as though they were completely separate from other topics.

The quiz associated with the post has existed in automated form for over three months now, as has its sequel (the quiz featured in “What Type of Feminist Are You? – Part 2”), this enables me to report on the results of these quizzes, which brings me to the next section of this post.

Quiz Results 

According to the ProProfs website, which I used to create the quizzes, the first quiz (part 1) was taken eleven times, will the second quiz (part 2) was taken ten times. Only attempts made after my latest edits to the quizzes were included on the statistics page. Thus my quizzes were probably taken more than ten or eleven times. If you took the quizzes shortly after they were released, your results may not be included. I took the quizzes myself soon are releasing them to see if they worked, so hopefully those attempts are not included either.

For the first quiz, 18% of takers (two out of eleven) were deemed to be liberal feminists. This means 82% of the quiz’s takers were non-liberals (moderate or radical feminists.) For the second quiz, 80% of takers (eights out of ten) were labelled as radical or pro-radical feminists. It’s good to know I am reaching my target demographic (sorry to the two liberals who may be reading this, but not everything is about you.) Here are some statistics related to particular questions from both quizzes.

Most Agreed with Statements: Questions 5 and 17 on the second quiz

Both of these statements received ten “agree” responses and no “disagree” responses. They came from a quiz that was only meant to be taken by readers who had already been deemed non-liberal, so it probably is not true that all my readers agree with these statements. I guess ten may be too small a sample size to represent my readers anyway, but unfortunately that is all the data I have. 

The fifth question addressed the need to challenge the notion that there was something good about being “masculine” (i.e. aggressive and violent) or feminine (i.e. appearance focussed and obsessed with pleasing others), instead of just liberalising such roles (allowing anyone to take them on regardless of their biological sex.) I expected it to be more controversial. Perhaps the way I phrased it was too biased or people did not read all the way through.

The seventeenth statement was very similar. It dealt with the need to abolish “gender roles”. I might have received a more split response if I referenced the abolition of “gender” instead, but this change would not really have altered the meaning of the question. In any case, it is good to know that my readers do not wish to impose gender norms onto children through toys or other means. 

Most Disagreed with Statement: Question 11 on the second quiz

This statement argued for the abolition of Western medicine, an extreme position that I myself do not agree with (remember I did not score 100 on the second quiz and thus am not 100% radical by my own definition.) I wanted to include both extreme and moderate statements on both my quizzes. Some radical feminist writers are strongly opposed to Western medicine and Deep Green Resistance favours the abolition of civilisation (which includes Western medicine), so I think it is fair to state that this is a position an extreme radical feminist might hold, even though many do not. Bear in mind that “radical” and “extreme” do not mean the same thing (which is not to imply that being extreme is always a bad thing.)

The eleventh and nineteenth questions from the first quiz also received universal disagreement, but they did not receive the full number of responses (a few people who took the first quiz must have stopped part way through). Those questions dealt with sexualised female celebrities and life-threatening sadomasochistic practices, respectively. Sadly, one person thought young girls should be praised for wanting to work in the sex industry (question seven). I was also disappointed to see that three people failed to recognise that a form of BDSM involving white “masters” dominating black “slaves” was racist. How much more blatant can you get? 

Most Controversial Statement: Question 5 on the first quiz

This statement challenged the belief that sex was a human right for males, something that they could not function without. Responds to this question were perfectly split with five people agreeing five people disagreeing. I guess even some non-liberals bought into the idea that men were entitled to sex. Maybe this is a testament to the power of the aggressive, sex-crazed males who dominate the anti-feminist (MRA) movement or perhaps it is a result of our society general obsession with sex and the ability of the sex industry to convince the population that its product is the most important thing in the world.

For a while, I thought the question dealing with religion (the fifteenth question on the second quiz) would be the most controversial one, but in the end six of the quiz-takers took a stand against tradition religion, while four did not. A question dealing with mild beauty practices (the eighth question on the second quiz) received a similar response. For the first quiz, questions dealing with BDSM and general activism philosophy provoked the most amount of controversy. 


My experiences this year have led me to the conclusion that I should expand the range of topics covered by this blog, by using the principles of radical feminism to address other issues that my readers are interested in (including economics, race and international issues.) I may even change the name of my blog after I get over my bitterness towards liberal feminists (which probably will not happen until I leave university.)

I also think it is important for the feminist movement to challenge the belief that sex is a human right for males, given how much controversy that topic provoked. Expect to see a post on my blog discussing the differences between needs and wants (which will give me a chance to express my socialist views as well as my feminist ones.) In short, expect to see more interesting and controversial content on this blog in the coming year.

In the near future, I will be addressing the question of what it means to have an egalitarian sexual relationship. Expect to see the first part of a three part series dealing with that issued posted later this month.