Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Myth of the Boner Werewolf.

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I was having sex with Rowdy.  I was on my knees, and he was behind me, thrusting, slapping my ass, biting my back.  We were far into our headspace and our rhythm, powerfully slamming into each other.  And I just got overloaded.  I was bruised and couldn't take any more pain, thoroughly pounded and couldn't take any more pounding.

"Red," I squeaked out.

He stopped instantly.  He let go with his teeth, pulled out, and lay down next to me.  He still had an erection, of course.  I'm sure he still had the urge to keep fucking.  But he put his arms around me and asked if I was okay, and I was, and we cuddled and went to sleep.

There's a pernicious myth out there that the male sex drive is unstoppable and irresistible--that once a man is aroused, he literally cannot control his actions.  We tell jokes about "thinking with the other head" and "all the blood went out of his brain" that aren't entirely jokes.  We have a cultural narrative in which sexual arousal makes a man into a goddamn werewolf.

And we expect women to tiptoe around this uncontrollable male sexuality.  We tell them to watch how they dress, lest they wake the beast.  We tell them "some guys can't control themselves"--not won't, but can't.  We tell them to be careful what they start, because they'll be expected to finish it.  Hell, way too often we outright tell them that they have no right to withdraw consent once sex has started.

My response to myths like this, more and more, is "shit, if I believed that, I'd never have sex with a man again."  I wonder if the story would change if more guys realized that saying "if a woman gets me turned on, she'd better be ready to go all the way" is the same as saying "getting me turned on is dangerous, better not take the risk."

Then again, I wonder why more men aren't just insulted by the whole concept.  If someone started telling stories about how my gender was controlled by our genitalia and sexual arousal turns us into rapist automatons, I would be outraged.  I would explain in very small, very loud words that I am a person and I can goddamn control myself.  I wish more men would speak up to say "actually, even when I can't turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it somewhere it won't bother anyone."

I wish our culture prized self-control as much as it does virility, and even more, I wish our culture didn't act like they were opposites.  Even I can't 100% shake the worry that the story at the top makes Rowdy sound desexualized or submissive, (or super nice and extra feminist, rather than "bare minimum of human decency") even though all it describes is him not raping me.

Men aren't rollercoasters. They aren't werewolves.  They aren't walking penises.  They're people.  They make decisions.  Let's stop talking about "he couldn't stop himself" and start talking about "he decided not to stop."  Men deserve that dignity, and the responsibility that comes with it. 



[I've just started clinical rotations at school!  Which is exciting, but means that I need to get my shit together, writing-wise, because WOW did all my free time just evaporate.  And my updates were already slipping.  I'm thinking of making the Pervocracy officially a weekly blog, and committing to regular Tuesday-night updates, rather than stringing everyone along with the "I'll post when I have a post, dammit" irregularity.  How does everyone feel about this?]

269 comments:

  1. Cliff, you should totally do what you gotta do bloggewise to keep your professional shitte moving forward!

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    1. Seconded! Do what you need to do in your life - the blog isn't some obligation that the rest of your life should suffer for.

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    2. Hey, look at that, two people completely missing the point of the whole thing and not caring that men are being demonized.

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    3. I make an entire post about how men are NOT innate rapists, and this is the thanks I get...

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    4. Different anonymous male here. Pay no attention to the fuckwit behind the curtain.

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    5. "Men are being demonized." Men are being demonized. MEN ARE BEING DEMONIZED.

      What. Wut. Did you even read the fucking article?!

      "Men are not inherently rapists. They have self-control just like all human beings."

      "I'm so offended! Stop demonizing me! Take it back!!"

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    6. I'm all for demonizing ALL the people by default, regardless of gender, age or location there were born. Equality in misantrophy.

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    7. Did the original Anonymous mean that you, Cliff, were doing the demonizing, or was said Anonymous *agreeing* with you that SOCIETY is doing it by discussing men as if they cannot control themselves?

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  2. YAY TUESDAY! a weekly commitment sounds excellent, however it is a known fact that by updating erratically you force people who don't know how to use the feeds to just check your site all the time, thus increasing add revenue.

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    1. Tragically, my ads pay out commissions on sales, not per-view.

      Then again, maybe someone will come by and be so disappointed there's no new post that they buy a vibrator to console themselves? :)

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    2. You should consider localized ads so your HUGE EUROPEAN READERBASE can also buy something :P

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    3. Huh, good idea on the consoling vibrator. I'm going to do that!

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  3. First, I see you on Facebook, so as far as I'm concerned, post when you feel like it.

    Second, I approach it the same as Rowdy. But I have so many friends who tell me of guys complaining of blue balls. So I agree it's a myth, but it gets reinforcement because so many "men" treat it as a convenient myth.

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    1. [My first attempt seemed to have been eaten by a werewolf, sorry if this does appear twice]

      Tell the men complaining of blue balls with no one to have sex with to simply start masturbating. Before, I had some inhibitions about this too, but after reading/listening to people such as Cliff or Laci Green I tried it, and ohh god, it's awesome!

      If the hand alone won't do there are tools available that make ejaculating a very quick affair (if that's what you want). You don't need to go all the way to the Fleshlight, I found Tenga eggs *very* useful. (There's also one available in blue packaging, which makes a very à propos present to anyone complaining of blue balls.)

      Once you get the hang of it, it actually takes some willpower to not masturbate simply every day, lest you be empty the next time you do find someone to have sex with.

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    2. "Blue balls" is definately not a myth. Here is the wikipedia article on it (for explanation, not as proof): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_balls
      Blue balls does not simply mean "being horny", but it is a physical state that happens when you were aroused for a longer time (like, say 10 or 20 minutes) but did not ejaculate.

      Plus I think it's dangerous to call it a myth. If it would be one, than every man claiming to feel it would be obviously just try to pressure for sex. Which blocks a relaxed and easy way to the obvious solution (masturbation).

      "You didn't want to have sex with me, so I'll masturbate now" can be a difficult thing to say if you fear that you come over as sulky and pressuring. It'd be easier if there is an understanding that (at least for some) it is actually a necessary technique for pain-removal.


      P.S:
      No, blue balls don't make me loose control over my actions and I do feel insulted by jokes about men who got no brains.

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    3. I think the myth is that blue balls more or less entitle a guy to stick his penis in a vagina NOW NOW NOW.

      (Also, grammar tip of the day: it's spelled "definitely." Remember: there are a finite number of ways to spell definite.)

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    4. Yes, maybe I should have made more clear that I was referring to Ironman. Whom at least seemed to call blue balls pain a myth. And if he wasn't, at least I've been confronted with that belief a couple of times and felt the need to tell the world about it ;)

      I am not a native speaker, but the grammar rule is definitely helpful.

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    5. Re-reading my first post I realize how misleading that can be. Sorry, I didn't express myself very well:

      What is "definitely not a myth" is the uncomfortable/painful feeling that some men get after arousal without ejaculation. As said, this can be very easily cured by masturbation.

      What DEFINITELY IS A MYTH is that the "threat" of an temporary uncomfortable feeling to men makes rape any more understandable. Or that arousal turns men into biological robots that got no choice about wether they rape or not. Or any other twisted thought around those lines.

      Sorry, I just wanted to clear up with the misbelief of "blue balls pain doesn't exist" because it makes talking about it more difficult when it happens. But I totally didn't want to put that forward as a "rape is not nice, but..." style of argument to put in question what this blog article is about. I very much agree to everything that is said there.

      greets, klix

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    6. The few times I've had "blue balls", it was painful enough that I wouldn't have been able to stick anything anywhere anymore. At the time I desired nothing more than an ice-pack or a cold shower...

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    7. Blue balls actually exist. I've seen my boyfriend get them. But because he's a decent person, he didn't turn into a rape machine.

      In fact, *he* was the one who put a stop to the sexual activity! For various reasons, we took the sex aspect slowly, even as we got very into BDSM. GASP! Is he even a man!?

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  4. I worked as an electricians apprentice for a few years and a few times was told I wouldn't be hired because I was a woman. One company actually said outright "Having a woman onsite isn't safe because it distracts the guys too much." I couldn't believe it, I was stunned and I said point blank "If they're that easily distracted perhaps you shouldn't have hired them."

    The idea that a man can't control his actions if a woman walks by is perfectly ridiculous, demonstrated by the fact that we have far less car accidents than such a statement would otherwise suggest.

    It used to be said that a woman's leg was enough to turn a man into that uncontrollable monster and yet now we have not only women with short skirts and shorts but in some places allowed to go TOPLESS and there are plenty of men who seem perfectly capable of controlling those animalistic urges.

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    1. Topless? Oh, you mean those cultures found in equatorial regions that dressed basically dressed in strings, flaps and paint thousands and ten thousands of years until someone brought them Western civilisation and religions.
      I wonder how they ever successfully hunted with all the boobie distraction.

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    2. Actually I meant Ontario and New York, but those other places work too!

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    3. When I was a kid (in Sweden), everyone was topless at the beach. There were boobs everywhere. I guess we became more influenced by other countries later on, because in my early teens people started wearing bikini tops and has done ever since. But you know, back in the day, men were fully able to swim and sunbathe next to boobs while being fully in control of themselves.

      BTW: Me and my husband were talking about this tired phrase that feminists think women should be able to walk down the street naked without getting raped and how that's totally unrealistic. But seriously... If you saw a woman walking down the street naked, wouldn't your thoughts rather be something like "WTF she's naked? Is she a crazy person? But she seems calm enough... must be some kind of art project!??" rather than "ME SO HORNY GOTTA RAPE"?

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    4. "If they're that easily distracted perhaps you shouldn't have hired them."

      Hear, hear!

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    5. It's telling that when women are stereotyped as irrational hormone-driven beasts (such as with a lot of the ideas about PMS), it's treated as an argument for restricting women.

      But when men are stereotyped as irrational hormone-driven beasts (due to Uncontrollable Man-Lust), people think the appropriate response is to...restrict women.

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    6. I think the toplessness in NY thing is overstated. It's legal, sure, but I live in Brooklyn and I've never seen a topless woman. I mean, except where I expected to see a topless woman.

      It's also possible they're all over, but not only am I not distracted, I don't even notice.

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    7. Oh ! Another electrician! I'm starting tech school to become an electrician, and hearing that about the field is something I expect but still it's probably going to infuriate me. How do you handle things like that? Do you burn bridges or just try to play nice to get people for references and stuff. I already burned bridges with a past employer in regards to sexist stuff. :[

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    8. I live in NYC, too. Only place I've ever seen bare boobs in public is Coney Island, and even then it was only at the Mermaid Parade.

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    9. Yeah, I live in NYC, and while it's known that "technically", it's "legal" for a female to be topless, there are two good reasons to never do so - 1) a lot of the police don't know this law, and will arrest you, and FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY, 2) it's expected that if a female goes topless, nearby men will rape her - that's just "the way things are". Hence, it's one of those rules that no one ever tries to obey.

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  5. Wow, that article was just what I needed to read right now, and I don't even know why. But thanks.

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  6. Weekly blogging sounds like a marvellous thing, and deep revelations and/or sexiness sound like good ways to start my Wednesday mornings.

    Also the title of this post made me snrk.

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  7. 1. Tuesdays sound great.
    2. I agree. My husband finds it profoundly not sexy when I am not turned on. Even if he has a woody. He stops and even doesn't ask to finish. He just went over a week without getting laid because I was stuck in a PMS funk, and he didn't complain at all or, you know, assault me in the staircase because he NEEDED TO.

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    1. PMS for a week? oh god.

      It is not your husband I'm feeling the most sympathy for.

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    2. I get it for the week before my period and then spend the week of my period in the exact same funk.

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    3. I hope it's not condescending when I tell you that stuff like this is linked to endometriosis...There's no way to see it from outside and doctors are mostly clueless (it takes 3-11 years and 5 doctors on average between symptoms and examination!), "monstrous menstruations" are a hint though. I'm going to checkup and possible KILLING IT WITH FIRE in september because I don't want to have that forever.

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    4. I used to have monthly depression, then bad cramping and fatigue all during my period*. It's NOT normal, and you don't have to put up with it.

      You should talk to your OB/GYN about taking birth control pills for that--especially since the ACA means that they're covered by insurance now (if you're in the US--I don't think Canada or Europe have had a problem with contraception coverage).

      Bear in mind that side effects vary widely from pill to pill, so you may have to shop around before you find one that works nicely for you.


      * By "bad cramping and fatigue," I mean doubled-over-in-pain cramping and can't-stand-for-more-than-15-minutes fatigue/dizziness. When it's bad, it's bad.

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    5. Mynnia, I have endometriosis, but thanks for that, it really is one of the not talked about symptoms of the disease. Mostly I think because the pain and the tearing, and the bleeding to the point of transfusion* time that gets most of the attention of doctors

      *tmi, I've had to have four transfusions after ten years of periods because of endometriosis. It's not a fun disease.

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    6. Mynnia and briget - do you know of any effective ways to treat endometriosis aside from hormonal birth control (pills, Mirena, patch...)? My sweetie has what is very likely endometriosis (massive, anemia-causing bleeding, crippling pain before and during bleeding, severe PMS, occasional GI side effects, etc.). However, she is dead set on not taking birth control pills. Part of it is profound reluctance to be on any medication for life, part of it is genderqueer issues and not wanting to "put even more estrogen into my body", part of it is being in a job where weight gain can get her fired and weight gain is a high risk with hormonal BC.

      But something needs to be done... frequent crippling pain is just no way to live, and I am freaked out knowing her blood loss might get so bad that she'll need transfusions. (Right now it's just moderate anemia, and we're trying to take the edge off with iron supplements.) What are our options? She'd be okay with surgery (short of a full hysterectomy, if possible); she absolutely definitely does not ever want to be pregnant, so infertility would be, if anything, a bonus. Are there doctors willing to skip to surgical interventions without trying hormones first?

      Sorry for off-topic! I just worry, and since you were discussing it...

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    7. It's possible to get endometrial ablation which would essentially "burn out" the endometrial lining of her uterus with a laser or other cauterizing tool but doesn't actually remove the uterus, so there's no hormonal changes. However, if the endometrial tissue has spread beyond her uterus (which can happen in cases of endometriosis) then she'll need more extreme surgery and possibly hormone intervention afterwards. You should discuss it with an OB/Gyn who specializes in endometriosis if possible.

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    8. Thanks! Here's hoping we can find a doc willing to try that without trying just hormones first... or who can talk her into trying out hormones after all... once she's in a position to get better healthcare than she has now. Fingers crossed!

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    9. It's a very safe standard procedure, don't worry. Sounds worse than it is. Two holes in the belly, CO2, looking around with a cam and cauterize when they find stray uterine lining outside the uterus. (KILL IT WITH FIRE!)
      Gestagene helps too, I discovered that as a side effect of my three month shot. Good thing my doc doesn't really tell me anything or talk with me; that gives me plenty of time to do my own research. >:(

      It can come back but it's really better to have 2-3 days recov time from an OP every few years than the side effects.

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    10. Thank you so much, that is excellent info.

      (And and afterthought, because my last post sounded accidentally horrible: please replace "can talk her into trying out hormones after all" with "can work out a hormone treatment approach with her that satisfactorily addresses her concerns". I wouldn't want anyone to strongarm my sweetie into doing something she doesn't want to do - which is what that sounded like, yikes!)

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  8. I don't care because I get your posts through a feed reader, so you can update as erratically or as regularly as you like. Great post today.

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  9. "Then again, I wonder why more men aren't just insulted by the whole concept. "

    This. A hundred times this. As a guy, I cannot put into words how insulting this is to me.

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  10. "Even I can't 100% shake the worry that the story at the top makes Rowdy sound desexualized or submissive, (or super nice and extra feminist)."

    I find it incredibly interesting that I'm struggling with that same reaction, despite the evidence I have from all you've said about Rowdy. He shouldn't care about your feelings, he's a man! If he does care, he's not a man, which makes him a woman or something! And that's bad! Or so says that teeny-tiny voice deep inside me. And right there, it becomes clearer why many rapes are committed.

    As to updates, since I'm trying to get into nursing school myself (and just graduated from medical assistant school), I can appreciate how busy you're about to become. But regular Tuesday updates would be fine with me. Whatever you want to do to keep yourself sane :).

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  11. Dear GOD yes. I feel a little gross on behalf of my gender when it's appreciated as a "big deal" that I adhere to what should be the minimum standard of decency.

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    1. Or when it's treated like a bad thing that you adhere to those standards. "ugh, you listen to people who happen to have vaginas? Someone's pussy-whipped!"

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  12. Once a week sounds amazing. I like knowing when I'm going to get to see content, instead of checking in regularly and going, Cliff today (expectant puppy face)? No Cliff (sadface). Instead it's... It's Tuesday, that means Cliff today! Cliff today! Hooray!

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  13. I know what you mean, but really... Please, don't say "we."

    Say, "some of us."

    But Some Of Us recognized the myth and stepped back. Like Rusty in your scenario.

    It's OK to say, "whoa. I need something else."

    And WE, us guys, we can stop and switch gears. It's not all about us. Some of us (many?) get it.

    Oh, and as a blogger in a very different genre... for what it's worth... do what feels right. A weekly update is awesome. Your stuff is good, and worth the wait. The main thing is not to let it die altogether. Your readers will be here as long as they KNOW you will too.

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    1. And I meant Rowdy... not Rusty. Dammit.

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    2. "We," as a society, not "we," each and every man.

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  14. Dag, though i don't comment regularly i certainly read your blog regularly. Not that i'm arguing against weekly postings, more to note that your narrative style is extremely useful and the topics you cover always seem to hit a brain nerve.

    Such as the above. A while back i left the drug reform movement after a fiasco equating alcohol use to incidence of sexual assault. As though men were all closet rapists simply waiting for their inhibitions to be removed. It still blows my mind that such people that constantly constantly argue that we should prosecute crimes not blame drugs for crimes could do a complete 180 because omg boners they are black magic.

    I just don't get it. How is it that feminist and feminist minded people are the ones going "um hey men, they like have these nifty things, they are called brains"? Why do we have to be the ones to grant men this aspect of their humanity? I mean good god when i was 17 i actually got blamed for a 27 year old's suicide attempt because "blue balls". It's ridiculous to hold another person accountable for another's desire let alone a whole gender.

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    1. SERIOUSLY? Blue balls is unpleasant, sure, but attempted rape? Suicide attempts? What the hell?

      You know, it's funny you mention the "Why do feminists have to be the ones..."

      I've got some acquaintances that are the "Men's Rights" sort, complaining that feminists are terrible and hate men, yet they're the ones saying this sort of thing. If anyone's man-hating, I'm inclined to think its the people complaining that "men aren't capable...", like there's some biological block (rather than social excuse) preventing their brains from functioning.

      And as far as the feminists themselves? I really appreciate their attitudes. The Men's Rights people? They expect me to adhere to some manly code of conduct defined mostly on what isn't feminine. My "hippy" friends always worry I'm going to go postal because I was a Marine. My conservative friends are always confounded that I make more money than them but lean heavily left. My 'jock' friends try to get free computer help out of me. My non-musician friends think I play nothing but oompah music. I know and interact with a lot of people. Of these people, the ones who self-identify as feminist are almost always the ones who accept me for me. A while ago, I decided to start identifying as a (male) feminist because frankly, around feminists, I can be me, not just one of my labels.

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    2. when i was 17 i actually got blamed for a 27 year old's suicide attempt because "blue balls"

      That's horrible. Kudos to you for making it through that.

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  15. Once a week sounds great. By the way, my favorite quote from this post:
    "I wish more men would speak up to say 'actually, even when I can't turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it somewhere it won't bother anyone.'"

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    1. I really loved this article. I'm frequently bothered by statements like 'men just think with their penises' or 'men only care about sex' or 'men are assholes'. I find them derogatory and hypocritical. When people say use negative stereotypes like that about women it's considered sexist but this often is just agreed with. I think if we want to solve the problems of sexism we have to see each other as people, not embodiments of some aggregate gender that have no choice but to perpetuate the flaws of the stereotypes. I definitely think the story at the beginning describes basic human decency.

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  16. I think more men aren't outraged by the implication that they can't control themselves because it's super convenient. it means they don't have to take responsibility for their actions and can, in apparently good conscience, rape someone because 'how could she expect me to stop?' and if you aren't the sort of man who would stop in the middle of sex then to be honest i don't think you're going to care how you're absolved of rape, as long as you are.

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    1. Some of them probably just haven't thought it through (when I think about the idiocy I used to buy into when I was younger just because I heard it somewhere and didn't engage my brain...), and some probably don't want to get teased for being humorless feminists or whatever.

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  17. Regular reader and obsessive update-checker here! I'm sure we'd all like more updates, but I don't know if it's necessarily better for you to tie yourself to a schedule, unless you feel like it would help you to have that deadline. Maybe it would change your perspective from 'Craft flawless article' to 'Quick, post something interesting', which might be a good thing? But if it turns into a chore and you eventually quit blogging, I would be sad. I guess you've thought through that already, but since you're asking us, this is a vote for doing whatever you're happier with.

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  18. I like the idea of posts being on a set day - then I'll know when to check in. I don't want to miss any of your awesome writing.

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  19. Thanks for the post. Actually yes, being cis-male I _do_ feel annoyed and insulted. Speaking up is hard as it is always hard to speak up against sexist jokes: "They are jokes, you know. If you speak seriously up against it probably you just missed the point and lack humour..."

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  20. What I, as a social historian type person, find interesting about this particular myth is that it is so easily proved to be a myth by looking at it historiographical development. (Along with the fact that it is, y'know, wrong.) The idea that men were wild boner werewolves starts to appear around the time of the long eighteenth century. (So called on my uni course for probably English centric reasons.) But anyway, in a really generalised way, before that there was another (equally squiffy in terms of ideas about gender) myth that women were the uncontrollable werewolves because they were, in terms of the theory of humours, wet and cold and therefore needed sex with men, who were dry and hot, to keep them healthy. Under these ideas it was the man who was expected to exercise control both over his own urges and over all the women desperate to throw themselves at him. ( I did say that it was equally as problematic didn't I?) The emergence of the new and still current werewolf myth can be argued to be based on all sorts of things, debunking of the humours theory, desire for great control over the ladies (don't go out at night or the scary werewolf boner will get you), but whatever the reasons, it is still a myth, which we seem to, as a society, still believe in...

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    1. The weird thing is in medieval Britain, it's boner werewolves again. Reading anything from Ambrose on female saints (pure, white virgins) inspire lust in men who just have to ravish her, preferably in a brothel. It's a pendulum of one side is uncontrollably lusty.

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  21. Ugh, I once had a boyfriend who wouldn't stop when I told him it hurted me because "but I'm almost finished". Now that I'm older I can't believe I stayed with him for so long and he has kind of made me afraid of having sex because I always presume it is going to hurt me :(
    I haven't commented here before but I want to thank you for this blog. This is basically the only place where I find people talk about sex in a open and normal way, and it has really helped me realise that I'm allowed to have sexual preferences and doesn't have to do things I don't want to do!

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  22. Weekly updates work. Outside of that...

    There's a reason I present as a wetdryvac online: It avoids the presumptions of either gender to some degree, and pauses people's thinking process long enough to treat me as an individual. Can't keep one's self from doing something? I don't care if it's sexual or other, the concept is both insulting and self-control-removing for all involved. More than insulting, however, is that if believed - for convenience or other purpose - that area of presumed lack-of-control creates a hazard, potentially breaches free will, and generally renders those subject to those mythologies less self aware.

    It's the self-awareness in people I find valuable - I can trade with that. Something non-aware, which might violate me: I've got grounds to defend myself from that, as I've no wish to be breached.

    The poisonous concept paired with can't-self-control which really creates the social hazard however, is that because one supposedly can't self-control, one's actions become acceptable in some manner.

    I'm a vac: My gender and other physical characteristics are irrelevant. I choose not to breach free will, and my choice is iron. I demand that capability in those I trade with, will for will, that neither they nor I be breached.

    There's a lot of room for good trade in, "We agree to the following, with outs at need." There's none for, "This violation is unavoidable." The setting - from business to sex to household arrangements - makes no difference.

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    1. You're a vac, but it made me think that some men out there might be choosing not to mention they are men, which blows my mind - after so many women being reluctant or afraid to say they are women on-line because of all the hassles that brings, to think that some men might not want to identify themselves either... far out.

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    2. The Internet is not, in many parts, a very positive place. Anything you stand out for can be treated as a negative point - you're male? Then you can't participate in this debate because male privilege. You're female? Well, there's femaleprivilege too, and someone will happily bring it up and tell you to get lost.

      By choosing not to reveal personal information, you limit responses to things that are actually relevant to the conversation. Even if they're still negative they're at least on-topic.

      The parts of the Internet where this doesn't hold are, of course, more pleasant to be in - the main way I've seen to accomplish it is invite-only areas.

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  23. Seconding every sentence of that article so hard. The penis is not an on-off switch for Human Decency. It's something you pee and have sex with (hopefully not at the same time, unless you're into that).

    And a weekly schedule sounds great, actually. I've been trying to work out a nice, non-obsessive blog-checking schedule for myself, and having Tuesdays as Pervocracy Day would help me out just a tad. :)

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    1. "The penis is not an on-off switch for Human Decency."

      Repeated for truth and hilarity.


      And yeah, Cliff, I'm with the faction saying "Post whenever you can." If a weekly schedule works for you, I'll be happy with that, and if not, I'm still happy. Thanks for this post - I always appreciate your excellent writing and that your posts give me language for addressing topics that I may not have thought out yet.

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  24. I'm with you on the outcome, Cliff, but I think you're too glib here.

    You've correctly gone after the Myth of the Boner Werewolf, which is a bullshit patriarchal narrative. But I think you've run to the Myth of the Cartesian Homunculus in compensation.

    Let's talk about food for a sec. Naturally skinny people are eternally giving advice like, "Well just eat less," or "Oh, you just need a little self-control." But as anybody who has actually tried to lose weight knows it's much more complicated than that. We're made of meat, animal brains with a little bit of thinking goop on top. There is no tiny homunculus who pulls levers in a Cartesian theater, flipping a switch from "will eat" to "won't eat". So actually being able to not eat when hungry and sitting next to food requires breaking down old habits, carefully understanding the ebb and flow of one's drives, being aware of what your triggers are and how powerful they are, and creating replacement habits.

    Basically, being in complete, serene control of one's eating may come naturally for some people, but for most of us it's a learned skill. For some, it is much harder than others. And I think the Myth of the Cartesian Homunculus undermines learning that skill. Our culture loves that myth, because it lets us dump on fat people, treating them as lesser, other, mentally and morally inferior. It's only when you see through that myth that you can start to honor the time and attention it takes to become a healthy eater.

    So back to fucking. When I read your story above, I can read it as Rowdy also being about done or as Rowdy being incredibly skilled or Rowdy being incredibly submissive and unhealthily nice. Not because he stopped; you're right that stopping is required. But because he's overcome the habit of going until ejaculation, set aside the brain-clouding fog of sexual desire, and any concern about the sometimes dumbfounding pain of subsequent blue balls.

    From your narrative, we can't know what interpretation is correct. The way you've written this, Rowdy's actual experience is ignored. Not just his experience in the moment, but anything he's experienced along the way, including any of his learning how to handle things this way. In this story, he's just a penis that does exactly what you want and then quietly goes to sleep. Had he been hoping you'd finish 10 minutes ago? Did he consciously and patiently calm himself down, banking the flames of lust, using skills he learned over the years? Did he wait until you were asleep and sneak off to blow a load in the bathroom so he wasn't tossing and turning and then walking around with sore balls the next day? All unknown.

    If you want to get rid of the Myth of the Boner Werewolf, you need to replace it with something better. And I think it has to be something that is more subtle than flipping from uncontrollable male desire to trivially controllable male desire.

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    1. Hm, no. You can do these things inside of your head quietly. Just thinking "Do I want to hurt a person? No? Then my urge not to hurt is stronger than my urge to fuck." should help a halfway sane person.
      Our culture's problem is the assessment of how much it hurts people to get raped. There was a study in which (cis) people had to indicate how much on a scale from 1 (Harmless) to 7 (like murder) they rated diverse crimes and the average outcome for rape per gender was 6,5 for women and 3,5 for men.
      Of course, that doesn't tell you anything about what to reasonably expect from individuals, but what to expect from your own culture re: rape. It tells you why the bonerwolf myth is even existant - because somewhere people are told that rape isn't really that bad, so your urge may in some cases overrule it.
      So people immersed in this culture cannot do without any contrary input the "mind game" properly and cannot come to the outcome of "my sexual urges will hurt the person if I do not respect the wish to stop"- And then they go and reassure themselves and their victims of how proper that behaviour is. And people who are unsure about it and overhear it get sure of a little rape being OK and not that bad.

      That my dark statement is not an apology, goes without saying.

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    2. And I should not say "them", but "we", because passively I sure as heck participated by playing along and not demanding more self-control.

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    3. I've looked at the food argument and I think comparing hunger to sexual urges does not hold.

      If you do not follow the urges of hunger, you eventually die and lose your ability to do *anything*.
      No such thing if you do not follow sexual urges. Not even if you never follow them. or don't have them. People without any feeling of hunger and no social pressure die. Asexuals are very much alive.

      You might miss a chance to procreate this very instant but actually, from a biological viewpoint, sex is not a "fuck everything" game, there are social rules.
      And that human sex is SO MUCH NOT just about making children anyway even the ads on this site may tell you :D (And if they don't, think about clits.)

      Long story short, although sexual urges are of course existant and can be very strong it is in their very nature that we can control and withold them for long, because we don't actually disintegrate if we wait too long. There is no point in any "overrule" behaviour like grabbing any food when hungry enough.
      And because we can we should encourage it. (Come on, we encourage saving up money. For fucks sake, how hard can it be compared to this to encourage not to hurt people?)


      We are NOT animals that engage in mad fucking all the time. Not even animals do that...well, maybe domesticated weirdos like some dogs, but most animals know when to get in goin' and when not. (I'm kinda jealous of oestruses.) We can expect the same from ourselves.

      I've not yet seen the weaker of two stags explode from unfulfilled lust in wintry mating season!

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    4. Also, refusing to stop when your partner says "stop" isn't like eating when you're hungry. It's like chewing *on another person* when you're hungry.

      "But hunger is a powerful natural urge!" doesn't excuse (or even really explain) using a non-consenting person to satisfy that urge.

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    5. 300baud, did you mean to imply here that naturally skinny people have serene control over their eating and fat people are out of control? Because, uh, no, it does NOT by any means always work that way. Also, food has no rights. If I eat a bag of potato chips it might be bad for me (all depending on context), but the potato chips don't give a damn. Disordered eating is way more like compulsive masturbation than like sexual assault.

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    6. I deleted some earlier comments that were maybe a little too harsh, but I just want to say:

      I totally understand that controlling sex drive will take practice and work for some people. (Some--Rowdy swears to me that he doesn't get blue balls and enjoys sex without orgasm, no monklike sexual mastery required. So let's not assume all men, or all people, feel one way about this.)

      However, I reject even the faintest implication that it is okay for this practice and work to take place inside another person's body.

      I don't care what you do to attain self-control, but you can't make it your partner's vagina's* problem.

      *or any other part, including their mind/emotions

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    7. I have sex without orgasm on a relatively regular basis, so yeah, Rowdy's not the only one and you're right on about "no monklike sexual mastery required".

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    8. Yeah, the language used here is very telling. dumbfounding pain, brain-fogging clouds of desire, banking the flames of lust...the bonerwolf myth is prevalent because guys find it flattering and somewhat poetic. we like being thought of as virile and powerful beasts of fucking. and why not? it's hot.

      but it doesn't really hold up when used this way. when i'm hungry, it may take an inhuman amount of willpower not to go eat some bacon. but if it's not MY bacon, it's not really a question at all, no matter how primally hungry or whatever i am. if women are not being seen as 'not yours' at least as much as your roommate's bacon would be, that...is a huge problem and really frightening. eating is habitual, but a conscious act. sex to orgasm, likewise. some people might have problems in these areas, but it's not the norm and shouldn't be treated as such.

      it's not a mystical act of serene willpower not to steal food, or not rape someone. we don't need a replacement myth, we need people to face reality.

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    9. If you're not capable of removing your dick from someone's body when they ask you to, then you're not capable of having the kind of sex that involves another person. Jesus fucking Christ. Taking your analogy to the logical conclusion, if I go grocery shopping when I haven't had anything to eat all day, nobody should complain about me plopping down in the snack aisle and tearing my way through three bags of potato chips.

      You talk like women don't have sex drives and therefor couldn't POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND how much heroic effort it takes to not rape someone when you're horny. We get horny. We just don't generally get the cultural training that tells us other peoples' bodies are ours for the taking.

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    10. I think the food example (or drugs, from a comment below) is a bad analogy because it is a habit and action over time, while stopping sex is a one-shot, momentary event.

      "I", the voice in my head that, at least to me, appears to guide my rational decisions, can make any muscle group under voluntary control do whatever "my" deliberations have determined to be the best cause of action, *at least for a short amount of time*. "I" am the homunculus, for most intents that last no longer than seconds to minutes. "I" can make my eyes stop blinking. "I" can stop breathing. "I" can override self-preservation and command my hand to lower into boiling water. And yes, "I" can not eat this delicious, moist, ohh-so-good-smelling piece of chocolate cake right in front of me, even though I am terminally hungry, or not take this drug, at least for this moment.

      For this to happen there needs to be a cognitive decision making process that may weigh the different pros and cons on an abstract level. "I" may include my bodys urges and other states into this process, at relatively high weight even, but am not bound by them.

      It all falls down when either reflexes kick in, the decision leaves the working memory and habits or a non-"I"-controlled autopilot takes over, or "I" decide on a re-evaluation, with real or phony reasons, that it's just not worth it. For all these things except reflexes, time-scale plays a major role.

      As for the eating example: Yes, a person in autopilot mode will likely eat the cake. Another example that might be familiar to many other people is idly browsing the fridge because you're bored, or that's just what you do when your TV show is on commercial break. But if someone stands in front of the cake/fridge and says "don't", it triggers the cognitive process, "I" *can* take over for a short period of time and retract the hand/put the ass back in the T.V. chair. At least until "I" am distracted again. Note that I say "can" because in these examples it's likely as not that on the pro-eating side will be phony arguments along the lines of "I'll work it off later", etc.

      It's the same with sex: A verbal utterance from your partner is not processed somewhere in the back of the brain where it is shouted down by an ancient drive to proliferate. After parsing the request, "I" make a conscious decision regarding what to do, and well, if "I" made a previous decision along the lines of "'stop' means loss of consent, going on without consent is rape, rape is *never* allowed" then the outcome of that deliberation is quite clear and "I" can use all muscles under voluntary[1] control to act upon it. Cliff formulated that wonderfully with the "[…] put it somewhere it won't bother anyone" phrasing.

      I think the point of my lengthy diatribe is, "I" can take over any voluntarily controllable muscle, regardless of the circumstances, for short amounts of time, more than enough to extract a penis and reposition the body somewhere where the penis won't 'accidentally' slip in again.


      [1] Even though I don't have a lot of experience, I realize that at or shortly after ejaculation voluntary muscle control may be limited. One of the first times I ejaculated while inside my partner I temporarily lost control of my lower torso. I wanted to pull out, but trying to do so only led to a stronger forward thrust, at least for the first three or so attempts. However, had my partner shouted a sufficiently urgent 'stop', I think I would still have been able to use my arms or legs to extract. (She was more concerned about me and why I suddenly started laughing so intensely. For some reason I found part of my body disobeying me and a command to extract only leading to even deeper insertion extremely funny at the time.)

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    11. Ugh. You know what? Fuck that. This is not an academic exercise: there are plenty of men posting here who actually have experience with Massive Male Horniness. I have been incredibly horny, I've drooled over people I wanted, nay, needed to fuck, I've had (consensual) sex that was a terrible idea because I was so horny for the person, but amazingly enough, *I contrive not to stick my dick or any other body parts in or on anyone who doesn't want them there.* Why? Not because I have no desire or because it's "trivially controllable," but because -- and I really, really doubt I'm alone in this -- I'm capable of managing my primal urges in such a way as not to injure anyone. In exactly the same way that I can be ravenously hungry but still not eat people -- and as someone pointed out, if I don't have food, I will die, which is not true of sex.

      Men's overwhelming sexual urges do not cause rape. I have the same overwhelming sexual urges and I don't rape people. **Men thinking it's not important if they deal with their overwhelming sexual urges by raping people** causes rape.

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    12. Look. I've struggled to lose weight on and off for years. I've eaten junk food against my better judgement, after swearing to myself I wouldn't. I've made pledges to myself to save that slice of pizza for the next day and then eaten it anyway. I've gone back time and time again for just one more forkful of food or handful of chips.

      You know what I've never done? I've never brutally violated another person's body for a piece of cake, a container of french fries or a chocolate bar.

      There is a HUGE difference between giving in to an urge that doesn't hurt anybody but yourself (and, furthermore, only hurts yourself in a nebulous, uncertain, not-entirely-causal, far-off-in-the-future-if-ever way) and giving in to an urge that hurts another person, immediately, in a way that is completely causal, obvious and observable.

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    13. So actually being able to not eat when hungry and sitting next to food requires breaking down old habits, carefully understanding the ebb and flow of one's drives, being aware of what your triggers are and how powerful they are, and creating replacement habits.

      I'm not great at the willpower front when it comes to food. For instance, I don't have the willpower to eat exactly one spoonful of ice cream, put the carton back in the freezer, and not touch it again for two or three days. But I totally have enough willpower to see ice cream that doesn't belong to me, and not even steal it, let alone assault or violate anyone for it. And it's honestly not that hard, even when I'm hungry. Because "Don't take food that's not yours" is fairly basic, and not that difficult.

      You know what's even more basic? DON'T RAPE PEOPLE!

      Did he wait until you were asleep and sneak off to blow a load in the bathroom so he wasn't tossing and turning and then walking around with sore balls the next day?

      Why is it, when considering the possibility of Rowdy getting himself off, you immediately envision it as something he'd have to sneak off to do?

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    14. Further ways in which the analogy is dreadful:

      I have issue controlling my eating, especially late in the evening. However, that just means that over the course of that evening, I will probably eventually eat something unhealthy/too much. Meaning that I cannot control my impulse over the course of hours, not that I am powerless to control it in any given second. Maintaining self-control over a long time can be very hard. Maintaining self-control for a few seconds, not so much. This is why, as stated before, I will not steal someone else's food even if it tempts me while I am craving food. It might impel me to dig for different food, or - if need be - run out to the corner gas station and grab a candy bar, but can hold off long enough not to just grab someone else's stuff.

      To take this back to the "blue balls" situation - yes, someone not having an orgasm at all for days/weeks might require self-control beyond some people's ability. This still does not mean they get to rape anyone - it just means they might end up jacking off. Even in a shorter timeframe, like in the "interruptus" situation described in the post - yeah, it may be beyond someone's sexual control to not have an orgasm within the next few minutes, but that still means "they may have to masturbate" (and nothing wrong with that! why would you have to sneak off?) and not "they have to continue intercourse even though that means raping their partner".

      Food cravings mean I may have to eat something. They do not mean I have to steal your cake.

      Sex "brain fog" may mean I have to jack off. It does not mean I have to rape you.

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    15. If eating is the appropriate analogy here, then we really should be talking about survival cannibalism. Being so hungry you will literally die if you do not get nutrition, and (potentially) causing actual physical harm to another human being to satisfy that hunger.

      And you know what? I've read a lot about this particular topic, and every incidence I can think of, the people who resort to cannibalism ALWAYS make a conscious choice to do so, generally after some discussion. Rather than hurt another person, people can choose to let themselves starve to death. If our species can exert that level of self control over a basic biological urge, I'm not sure how anyone can claim with a straight face that a boner can force someone do anything.

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    16. Actually, comparing it to survival cannibalism proves how full of crap 300baud's original comment was.

      If someone goes long enough without eating, they will literally die, but even starving people don't go into a frenzy and start gnawing uncontrollably on the nearest passing person.

      People can live indefinitely without orgasms, and yet we're supposed to believe "I'm horny and frustrated and my balls are uncomfortable now" creates an uncontrollable rape frenzy?

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    17. OK, better analogy - it's like that old challenge of trying to eat a sugared doughnut without licking your lips. You can do it, but it takes willpower and some practice getting used to the sensations.

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    18. I bet you got so many boners writing that.

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    19. Er... Cliff didn't ask Rowdy to eat the doughnut without licking his lips, but to STOP EATING THE DOUGHNUT ALTOGETHER.

      Eating a doughnut without licking your lips would be more analogous to the, by now famous, toilet paper bondage. Like trying to fuck without breaking the toilet paper by moving your arms. I'm not seeing anybody arguing that any man (or woman for that matter) have the self control to do THAT.

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    20. I'm a fat woman. Yeah I have food issues... like finding it difficult not to clear my plate, or go back for seconds, or to snack between meals...

      But I am quite capable of sharing a meal without taking more than my share of food, even if I'd like more. And I've *never* attacked anyone or stolen food from their plate or otherwise done more than look wistfully at something I'd've liked to eat but won't get to.

      So, basically, that analogy... kinda sucks.

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  25. I think it might be helpful to acknowledge that it takes a fair amount of self-control to stop doing anything that feels intensely rewarding, even when stopping is clearly the only sane choice.

    F'rinstance, look at the praise and support heaped on kickers of drugs, booze, cigarettes or whatever - and these things primarily affect the person doing them!

    You said stop, he stopped, all good and decent. But to put it as simply as that misdirects the guys that are maybe just starting out with sex, and struggling to come to terms with the ways their bodies are working: Guys, it is tough to overrule your bodies, but that's just. What. You. Do.

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  26. . . . or I could just second THIS ^^^^^^ more eloquent version of my argument.

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  27. I'm translating this one, Cliff. It's impervious to any cultural bias and applies just as well in Latin America, terminology and all, not to mention it's super tight. I'll post the link when it's finished.

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  28. Just to say, post when you can, when you feel like it, that's fine. If you like the idea of a regular post day, fine, but if it makes you fell stressed and resentful and uninspired there's no point. Blog for you, not your readers :)

    This was a beautifully succinct post.

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  29. This text is amazing! I have nothing else to add than "thank you for writing and publishing this!!!"

    P.S.There is this video on the youtube about big bad wolf which is now forever stuck in my mind after this post and I am not even sure why. Possibly because of the werewolf reference. The video is def not safe for work, just so you know. :)
    And... this looks like such a spam post, apologies.

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  30. This bs is pathic !!

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    1. Did you mean phatic?

      It is! I mean I actually bonded with people over this blog.

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  31. (Warning: Not very good at articulating thought processes)
    I think the scariest part of this, personally speaking, is that there is a perceived fetish for this. Not a real fetish, where people sit down and say "I like this" "Wow, ok, let's try it" "I'm not really comfortable with this" etc. But a perceived "I bet s/he likes this" "I wonder if I just did this" "S/he totally wants this, s/he's just faking" or something.
    Many people I've interacted with have professed to have rape fantasies, and I'm not bashing on that. But the idea that "I bet they have a rape fantasy, won't it be great when I make it come true!" is a terrifying prospect.
    'We' are taught that it is sexy for a man to be powerful and a woman to be submissive. Some people (of both genders) then come to the conclusion that rape must be 'teh sexiessst omg!' This is frightening to me, more even than the idea of "I can't control it", the idea of "You're so sexy I can't control myself, isn't that what you wanted? Isn't that hott?! You should be really into this!"

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    1. The assumptions some people make about rape fantasies are super-creepy, and the whole "They probably have a rape fantasy, so I'll surprise them by acting it out without any warning" thing is definitely a variation on the theme of Stuff Rapists Tell Themselves So They Don't Have To Admit They're Rapists.

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    2. The only assumption I make about rape fantasies is that the women who have them will be no fun to have sex with.

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    3. c'me on, can't one get lazy for once, in their private litte fantasy? :P

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    4. Not if it means you're training yourself to eroticise being abused, no. Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.

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    5. Dude. People don't really choose their fetishes and fantasies, and they definitely don't have them to "train" themselves for anything. And plenty of us who have rape fantasies can deal with them in ethical ways, and distinguish between erotic fantasy and reality.

      Trust me, even as someone who has rape fantasies (from a very young age on, with plenty of shame attached for the longest time - definitely not because I thought this was something I "should" do in order to "train" myself for anything), I am still A) fully aware that my fantasies have nothing to do with the reality of sexual assault and abuse, and B) condemn rape, and any kind of sexual assault and abuse, utterly. And having my fantasies, and finally losing my shame about them and indulging them with safe, ethical partners, did nothing to change my mind about the utter wrongness and evil of actual sexual assault and rape. ("Actual" rape here meaning "non-fantasy", not some bullshit Todd-Akin-like "legitimate rape" apologism.)

      It also didn't train me to "eroticize being abused". When someone actually did sexually assault me, no part of me found it in any way sexy or erotic. It was disgusting, infuriating, and hurtful. And the fact that it occurred had nothing at all to do with my fantasies. They are entirely separate things.

      I also enjoyed watching the Batman movies. And I am aware that in real life, explosions and violent fights are horrifying and tragic, not exciting and fun. Because, y'know, I can tell fantasy from reality.

      (Now, I'm not gonna describe my fantasies to, say, a rape victim who would be triggered by them. Much like I wouldn't take someone with, say, PTSD from being in a war zone into a movie with lots of explosions. I realize that even fantasies can be hurtful in certain contexts. But to imply that I somehow am desensitized to real-life rape, or even glorify it, because of my sexual fantasy wiring...ugh.)

      Furthermore, my fantasies aren't all there is about me sexually. I enjoy (and fantasize about) plenty of other things, and I am up for a wide range of activities as long as they are safe, sane, and AND THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL consensual.

      But I guess Anonymous still knows for a fact that I "will be no fun to have sex with".

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    6. I'm sorry you had the misfortune to be sexually assaulted. It surprises me that you've continued to fantasise about rape since - unless by rape fantasy you mean "fantasising about being assaulted, turning the tables and feeding your mutilated attacker his own severed genitals at knifepoint", but that's a little more empowering than the usual use of the phrase.

      The appeal of Batman (other than the ridiculously exaggerated athleticism, the theatrics, the boundless wealth and being seduced by leather-clad jewel thieves) is that the violence is *justified*: it's about the bad guys getting their comeuppance and the revenge of the underdog. The night the Dark Knight goes out beating up random people just for something to do, it stops being exciting and fun and just becomes a character study of a psychopath. Which is not to say that Clockwork Orange, for instance, isn't also a brilliant movie - but it's a much tougher watch.

      Because, you know, there's also a difference between fantasy and fiction. I'd have no qualms whatever about playing a rapist in a drama production where the act occurs in some sort of context; but I don't see any "safe, ethical" way to enjoy stepping into that role for sexual gratification, I wouldn't trust anyone who did, and I couldn't respect a woman who wanted me to.

      You can abhor rape culture or perpetuate it. Choose one.

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    7. You can abhor rape culture or perpetuate it. Choose one.

      Uh, yeah. And rape fantasies have not one single goddamn thing to do with that. They're fantasies. There's a lot of psychological argument about the appeal of rape fantasies, especially to people who have been assaulted themselves--and yeah, that IS actually pretty common--but the simple fact is that fantasies aren't hurting anyone.

      To use perhaps a better movie analogy, lots of people watch slasher films entirely for the violence, and with plenty of them, you can't really argue that there's a revenge fantasy involved. Violence and sexuality are both innate human traits, and sometimes that comes out in fantasy. What's important is not what you fantasize about; it's what you do.

      Also, seriously, fuck you. Rape survivors are 'eroticizing being abused,' for real? Please, tell me a little more about how it's all my fucking fault. I've never heard that one before.

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    8. Re: Anonymous 4:14

      You can abhor rape culture or perpetuate it. Choose one.

      Wow, BE more condescending, why don't you.

      You do not get to lecture a rape survivor about their fantasies. You don't get to sneer at them. Fuck you and the high horse you rode in on.

      --Rogan

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    9. Oh STFU, anonymous.

      First of all, being-raped fantasies don't cause rape. The whole "but women have rape fantasies so they must want it" thing is a cheap rapist excuse. Lots of women have foot-fetish fantasies, but I haven't noticed a lot of men forcing random women to accept footrubs. Why are you reinforcing the rapists' alibi?

      And secondly, don't tell rape survivors that because of their experiences they're not supposed to have particular forms of sexual expression. They've already had someone attack their sexual autonomy; do you really want to continue that for them?

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    10. Well, I guess I'd also be no fun. Not that you'd ever find out. I *haven't* been assaulted, though given that I'm queer and kinky, I've been told may times that I must have something wrong in my past to have my sexuality 'messed up' that way, and it's taken me a long time to come to terms with yes, many of the things that turn me on aren't 'socially acceptable', no, having rape fantasies does *not* mean I think rape is ok or secretly want to be raped; I can tell fantasy from reality! People who like to watch horror movies don't all want to be victims or monsters, either! Just that some folk really enjoy an adrenaline rush, because being scared is *fun*. At least, it is when we're actually really safe, and in control if/when we need to be. So No. This isn't about rape culture *at all*, because consent makes All The Difference.

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    11. Trigger warning, but I really have to say this because I think Anon is confused about what a fantasy and a real life event is.



      A "rape" fantasy is kinda like a dream. It's all about the one with the fantasy. Since it stems from a person, it's about this person's needs (sometimes with needception; the need to fulfill someone else's needs).
      Your fantasy perpetrator finds your sweet spots and handles you exactly like you want it, when you want it.
      There is no difference between a "rape" fantasy and any other sexual fantasy. You don't have to talk because the other person is a part of you in your mind's theatre.

      This should make the difference apparent to both
      a) enthusiastic consensual activities, which of course cannot take the exact same amount of communication and work like a fantasy, vanilla or not
      b) rape, something a person that is not you and not a fantasy person does to you.


      Also, your deceptive wording, Anon. "The misfortune" of being raped? I'm sorry? It's not something that happens per chance like a random number. It is something someone did. It doesn't inevitably _happen_ to people to get raped; bad people DO it.

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    12. "Your fantasy perpetrator finds your sweet spots and handles you exactly like you want it, when you want it."

      That's not rape, it's telepathy.

      Rape is when the perpetrator doesn't give a shit what you want. Where did I EVER say that was okay?

      No-one is responsible for their own rape. And no-one is responsible for the random ideas that flit across their minds. But we all choose which ideas we *indulge repeatedly at leisure*, and whether we transmit them into the wider culture. Neurite talked about indulging her rape fantasies with a partner, and that's where it stops being a private thought.

      Ideas have influence, and being a rape survivor doesn't give someone a free pass to corrupt others. Would you all be lashing out at me if I'd criticised someone who fantasised about COMMITTING rape? I fucking hope not.

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    13. The difference is that rapes are committed by rapists, not by rape victims. Saying "Make sure you know the difference between fantasy and reality and don't actually rape someone" maybe makes some sense, but "Make sure you know the difference between fantasy and reality and don't accidentally get raped" is total gibberish. You cannot get raped on purpose.

      Howeverrr, I haven't thought about this a lot and I may be missing something, but I don't see that there's anything wrong with fantasising about committing rape, either. You can have consensual fun with someone with compatible fantasies, and everything will be lovely. Are you condemning BDSM wholesale here?

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    14. Oh, and if you are: Uh, interesting choice of venue?

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    15. Last word from me on this. No, I'm not condemning BDSM wholesale. I have my own sexual quirks, and I don't care what people do to each other physically to get off, as long as everybody's okay with it. I can even get turned on by somebody else's arousal at something that doesn't particularly appeal to me.

      I just think the whole Boner Werewolf vs. Screaming Virgin rapist/victim paradigm is horrific rather than sexy, and I'm consistent about it. So sue me.

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    16. You aren't required to find it sexy, but it's also not ok to shame other people for their fantasies, whether it's something they just think about while getting off, or something they negotiate with a willing partner to act out. Your kink doesn't have to be my kink, or vise-versa, for it to be ok.

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    17. Re: Anonymous

      You've been consistently more outraged by the fantasies than the actual rapist. So yeah, by all means, do as you say and fuck off.

      --Rogan

      Delete
  32. ^^^^ TL;DR: Perceived 'rape fantasies' kinda scare me, more than 'uncontrollable' rape myths.

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  33. I love your blog - informational, entertaining, titilating.....but I have to be honest that a weekly regular day for posting, i.e. Tuesday nights, would be awesome.... that way I don't get disappointed each day when I come to your page with my fingers crossed hoping to read a new entry and there's nothing new posted. If I knew you were only poting on Tuesday nights, I would know exactly how long it is till I get my next Holli fix.

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  34. thank you for this post. i was taught the myth, and i didn't know it really is easy to pull yourself out. it makes me more comfortable to know i have the right to say 'no' even in the middle of coitus.
    it means a lot, and is powerful, that you're spreading the truth.
    thank you.

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  35. If you need to do weekly updates then do weekly updates. If you need to make it biweekly or even just once a month then do it that way sweetheart. It is completely understandable.

    ReplyDelete
  36. thank you for this.

    a former partner ignored my request to stop, once. i was overwhelmed and couldn't even quite comprehend what had happened, but it's bugged me since.

    back then, when i googled blue balls, i got the impression that withdrawing consent made one a tease, manipulative, no fun. i wish i'd found writing like this. i knew what had really happened to me, knew there wasn't respect of my boundaries. but it helps to read someone else's words about this sort of situation.

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    1. withdrawing consent made one a tease, manipulative, no fun

      Yeah, I find it really hard to shake that cultural narrative, even though intellectually I know it's not true. I've been gradually working on getting it out of my head. I'm more likely to have sex now because, if I'm feeling maybe a little horny, I'll just go ahead and engage in foreplay without being *absolutely certain* I want to do everything that the other person *might* want to do. Of course, it helps a lot when the other person makes it clear that they'll stop if I'm not into something.

      Note to werewolf boners: Making it clear to your partner that you'll respect their boundaries may make them MORE likely to have sex with you! And even if they change their mind partway through, think about it, what's worse: Some kissing and then jacking off, or just jacking off?

      Delete
  37. Perhaps this is just so obvious that it doesn't need to be mentioned, but as a female bodied person, some sexual stimulation and then a sudden ceasing of it (lady equivalent of blue balls) can also be quite uncomfortable at times. But that doesn't mean that we can force men with sore dicks/tongues/fingers to keep fucking us. Sexual frustration is universal, and people cannot possibly be sexually on the same page 24/7. Part of relationing (Whether relationships, one night stands, fwb etc.) is the acknowledgement of a very basic concept: The only body you own is your own. So do what the rest of us do and use your imagination and your hand to make up the difference.

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    1. This! Look, I'm a dude, I've been unstoppably horny over people who didn't want to have sex with me. Amazingly, I came up with a system for dealing with this, a system that seems to have escaped the people who spread the cultural narrative that Cliff describes: I MASTURBATED.

      Delete
  38. When you wrote "shit, if I believed that, I'd never have sex with a man again." I realized that is exactly where I am at right now in my sexuality. I have not had a lot of sexual experience with other people, but in the two people I have had sex with I was completely ignored when I said "please stop, you're hurting me." With the second guy I was in tears and the response I got was "Just hold still, I'm almost finished." In some ways I still feel like I did something wrong, even though intellectually I know that I was totally okay to ask him to stop even though he didn't.

    Basically, I'm just at the point whereI don't trust anyone to get that close to me physically because I don't trust anyone enough to believe that they would stop if I asked them to do so. Which is frustrating, because I do believe that there are men out there who would stop, I just don't know how to know they are.

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    1. I am so sorry this happened to you. You shouldn't ever have to put up with it.

      Delete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. Wow, this post hit me in the feels! My ex used to hold me responsible for every single boner he ever got, and he'd make me feel guilty of some kind of horrible torture if I didn't want sex at every waking moment he did. It got to the point where I'd wake up to him trying to penetrate me, and HE'D get sulky when I protested! What a jerk! I didn't even realize how fucked up it was until my new partner, upon discovering that I wasn't in the mood for sex, responded with with, "fair enough! You don't mind if I go masturbate, then, do you?" Nice guy? Definitely. But mostly just a decent human being who respects basic boundaries. Like "please don't rape me." Ugh, and after years of my ex's pressure, I felt so bad for not wanting sex!
    I dunno. Maybe another part of this whole "men can't control their boners" myth is how much women can internalize it. I know I did. It took a long time and a lot of cognitive therapy before I stopped feeling guilty.
    It's a dangerous and demeaning way to think, for sure!
    Thanks for another wonderful post!

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  41. Only commenting on the last paragraph, because all I can say of the, um, body of the post is that I agree:
    1) Real life comes first. I'm not quite old enough to conceive of that as separate. Let's say, don't deprioritize your professional and personal lives for the sake of readers.
    2) I'd rather see a steady trickle than have you burn out and shut it down entirely. When I don't have the emotional spoons for even Internet-mediated human interaction, I still manage to read Pervocracy. No pressure.

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    1. I second this. Weekly sounds great, but put yourself first.

      I love the post, totally agree. My partner behaves the same way as Rowdy, sometimes with masturbation if he feels the need. Sometimes we do it together, sometimes him on his own.

      I think chilling out about masturbation in relationships helps relieve the pressure here. My sex drive has taken a real dip recently because I've been extremely busy with my degree. My dearest loving partner just "takes matters into his own hands" (sorry, couldn't resist). Sex is not an entitlement, we both know that. And both of us are capable of dealing with our own urges and desire for sexual pleasure. Doing things together is more fun but sometimes it's not an option.

      Delete
  42. Everything written in this blog post is right.

    One minor thing, though. Men DO state they are not rapists, they possess self-control etc.

    But radical feminists (or extremist feminists, just not regular feminists) tell men how they don't know nothing about anything, especially rape and should just shut up in general. And these kinds of thoughts get repeated and are spread by otherwise decent persons (male and female), which work towards dehumanizing males in the name of equality (who doesn't know and love "women should abort boys", "men are genetically inferior" and "the world would be a better place without men").

    Wrong way. We don't have to destroy men to make the genders equal. We have to empower women and give them the choices and responsibilites they were denied for so long.

    And since with power comes responsibility, women are required to give men the same right to speak and actually hear how men agree with women and have the same ideals.
    Equality means supporting those who discriminated and abolishing the facots of the environment which supports the discrimination.
    But it also means acknowledging around 50% of the world population are not plundering, raping, killing warriors from a bad action movie.

    tl;dr Men possess the self-control to restrict their sexual urges, men possess empathy and pity, men have human values and they loudly and clearly state these things. They are just often overheard.

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    1. "And since with power comes responsibility, women are required to give men the same right to speak and actually hear how men agree with women and have the same ideals."
      Power? Right to speak? Are extremist RadFems running around gagging men, deleting their blogs or firing them from media outlets? Men have as many potential outlets as women (at least) so no, I'm not buying the excuses. In my experience most men don't speak out enough- at least not against the sexist men in their peer groups (which is when it'd actually do the most good). I'm not trying to demonise these men. I do understand that men standing up for themselves in this way is likely to generate backlash and mockery from many of their patriarchal peers but well... welcome to social activism. It's hard for everyone involved sometimes.

      I don't doubt that there are individuals who identify as feminist and who have written disgusting things about men (particularly about hetero cis men) but I'm not convinced that a minority of much ridiculed and openly rejected extremists are a driving force behind the 'men as sex beasts' meme or are preventing men from speaking out and pushing back against this trope. In mainstream Anglo-Western society IMO these attitudes have come far more often from anti-feminist men and women than from anyone who calls themselves a feminist. Patriarchy is what dehumanises men and especially encourages men to dehumanise each other whether it be for laughs or to excuse their own or another's sexist behaviour. This should be the priority target- not fringe radical feminists.

      I honestly wish I had a penny for every time I've read an internet thread or watched a televised debate discussing street harrassment that has been derailed by a man saying a variation of 'Deal with it. Women can't expect to dress like sluts and not have men react!!1!eleventy'. When a male poster comes along who says 'no' to this sort of thing I, as a feminist, do notice and I do care (not in a 'have a cookie' sort of way but in a 'thanks for your input, much appreciated' way) because it helps drive home the point that it's not unreasonable for me and other women to expect fair treatment from men. Show me a feminist who doesn't want to hear that.

      Delete
    2. I don't doubt that there are individuals who identify as feminist and who have written disgusting things about men (particularly about hetero cis men) but I'm not convinced that a minority of much ridiculed and openly rejected extremists are a driving force behind the 'men as sex beasts' meme or are preventing men from speaking out and pushing back against this trope.

      I totally agree. I've seen a few corners of the internet where bloggers present themselves as radical feminists and get vicious about men in general. This is actually bad for feminism. ("Men are beasts" and "Women are superior", however it's intended, feeds into the preexisting "Men are uncontrollable animals and can't be expected to make moral choices or held responsible for their moral failures, so women need to show all the restraint" narrative.) It's also vicious asshole behavior and needs to stop.

      What it isn't is a major cultural influence. A lot of the "Men are monsters" stuff is coming from the subset of men who find it convenient to excuse monstrous behavior. If we really want a significant improvement, the vast majority of the effort needs to be focused on men who prevent variations on the "Men are uncontrollable animals who will all rape if presented with sufficient temptation!" sentiment*, because they're the vast majority of the problem.

      (*"Women dressing in sexy outfits in front of men is like leaving uncovered meat in front of a cat", "What did she expect going up to his apartment?", "What, like he's supposed to pull out during sex? Don't be ridiculous!", "Eleven-year-olds in sexy outfits are inviting trouble!", "The only sensible way to teach rape prevention is to teach women to avoid dangerous situations!" and many others I'm sure everyone has heard of.)

      Delete
    3. To original anonymous (Aug 31 5:33AM): Sorry, I'm not going to be as polite as the other commenters above. As a fellow man, let me say simply: STFU.

      Who are these 'radical feminists' you refer to, who say "women should abort boys" and "men are genetically inferior"? I bet you can't name one of them, because they do not exist. Or, if they do, I for one have certainly never come across one of them. I've read a lot of stuff by self-declared radical feminists, and none of them thinks 'We have to destroy men to make the genders equal'. Your post is attacking a phantom, countering an argument which no one had made.

      There are a lot of problematic ideas about men in our society, as the original post discussed; but to suggest that feminists are responsible for perpetuating these myths about male sexuality is ass-backwards and insulting.

      Delete
  43. Another thing about the ''boner werewolf'' ideology is that it eliminates the possibility of woman as sexual attacker. Despite the fact that it happens; that just doesn't fit into the narrative. It's like hearing about a person attacking a wild animal or King Canute; the rape apologist story prevents us from being able to get our heads around it.

    This seems to be another example of sexism against men being a corollary of sexism against women. Men are just libido-driven animals without any real control over their actions; therefore a woman is to blame if she steps out of line and sparks male urges.

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    1. a close friend of mine and former lover was viciously raped by his mother for several years. he doesn't tell people about it because he thinks no one will believe him, because it's "common knowledge" that a man/boy can only have an erection if they are "turned on and want it." and people never consider what else a woman might do to a man, such as forced oral sex, or touching or doing things to him that he doesn't want. which seems to often lead to the erection he doesn't want.

      some people believe women are incapable of orgasming during rape. that is also an extremely damaging lie, but we're hearing more about setting the record straight re: that, and about how sexual organs function according to stimulation, and orgasms come from stimulation, and rape is still stimulation, even when it's very painful and horrible.

      but i mainly hear crickets regarding female rape of men. except people laughing about how stupid it is and how any real man would love it if some woman wanted to jump his bones randomly. yeah, okay, whatever. how about when it's your mom? i'm pretty sure even "real men" have people they really never want to have sex with. even in a desert island/last two people on earth scenario.

      Delete
  44. i was in a few relationships with werewolves. who explained to me many times that it was my job to do this thing, that i owed them for something, if i wanted to go buy groceries then i had to let them do this first, that i would do it if i loved them, or they would pester me and prevent me from doing anything else until i had no other choice.

    my current partners have told me that they do not believe i ever consented to anything that happened because "forced consent" is not consent. and sometimes there wasn't even "forced consent." there was flat out no consent of any kind.

    things never stopped when i said i was in pain. one of them wouldn't even let me put more lube on. even though he'd end up making me bleed. and so much of the time, when i said i was suffering, or when i said i needed lube, or when i had my face mashed into pillows so hard i couldn't turn my neck enough to breathe, the only response was, "i'll be done soon." k, i'll just asphyxiate while you're busy. it's a good thing you know cpr!

    i was 29 when i finally met someone who respected my issues, triggers, various shit like my hip cramping (my body is a mess), and everything else. i started having sex when i was 15. nobody should endure 14 years of abuse before they finally find someone who won't hurt them.

    as for myself, i'm on meds that make it difficult (next to impossible) to orgasm. having an orgasm is not my goal when i have sex. my goal is to be close to someone, to share pleasure with them, and fantasies, and other things, and be very emotionally intimate as well as physically. my "reward" at the end of it is the cuddling and the closeness and falling asleep in all kinds of awkward uncomfortable positions because you can't let go of someone enough to stop doing that stupid thing with your arm or shoulder, so you wake up at 3am with at least one limb dead asleep.

    i don't give a shit if i have an orgasm or not. it's not the point.

    my dick has no opinions about the situation. and i don't wallow around whining about blue balls, because i'd sure as fuck waste a LOT of time, considering how many years i've been on this cocktail of drugs that i can't live without.

    if my partner so much as says "ow" i completely stop until i find out what's not feeling right and fix it or stop doing it. if they tell me to stop, i stop. if they tell me to do something else, i do something else. if they feel triggery and need to be cuddled and reassured, i cuddle and reassure them.

    i refuse to believe i am a remarkable man for it with massive amounts of self-control and a black belt in dick mastery.

    i'm just not a piece of shit masquerading as a man.

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    1. Just popping in for "black belt in dick mastery," because that is awesome.

      Delete
  45. Actually, I do have some things to say about the main post:

    * If you turn someone on and don't want to get them off (i.e., participate in them getting off), all you owe them is not objecting without their consent to them masturbating, provided they're not hostile about it.
    * I had an outline for a post about the ridiculous concept of being "whipped". It's ridiculous, and it's toxic to suggest that a man doing something a woman likes is by default bad in some way.

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    1. Arguably I could object to them masturbating in front of me/in bed with me, although it would be polite to do so by saying "I'm gonna go hang out in the living room for a few minutes" or "I'm going for a quick walk" rather than telling them simply not to.

      Delete
    2. You have some say in where and how (i.e., you can say "not with me in the room" or "don't get cum on my handwritten thesis notes").

      Delete
    3. Trigger warning, maybe?

      I had an experience I look back on with a lot of anger, now, when I slept in the same bed as a person I'd had sex with a few times. We weren't sleeping together anymore - that boundary was clear. He got horny and asked if I'd jerk him off. I said no, so he asked if I minded if he masturbated. I said "I guess not" and he proceeded to grope me while he did.

      tl;dr here is that "I'm just going to masturbate" can, without good boundaries, be another excuse to force the other person into unwanted sexual activity.

      Delete
    4. To be a bit clearer, it's not even the groping that I'm talking about - it's the "I'm just going to masturbate by you because you made me horny" part that can be really sketchy.

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    5. @Katie, yes I have dealt with that too, as well as the I am angry with you (we had been fighting) so I am going to watch porn next to you.

      Delete
    6. I remember years ago when I was new at the university. I was talking to a bunch of girls, one of whom was an American exchange student. She had been over to some guy's place, and they started making out. He wanted to have sex with her, and she said no. He said "okay, I'll just jerk off then" and proceeded to jerk off right beside her. She was like "Okay, this is kind of weird to me, but I'm in a foreign country, maybe this is completely normal behaviour by Swedish standards". When she told us Swedes we were like "NO that's NOT normal!".

      I think it's one thing if you already have a sexual relationship with somebody. But if you're a guy who just met some girl who declared she doesn't want to sleep with you, the odds are pretty low that she doesn't want to be the audience to your masturbation either. Sure, there's no harm in asking (which this guy didn't, he just declared that he was gonna jerk off and proceeded to do so), but one should really be prepared for a negative answer and a pretty awkward moment.

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    7. That's where and how. I don't think you get to tell someone "do not masturbate" without their consent.

      Again, that doesn't preclude saying "do not masturbate in my bed" or "... in my presence" or "... with any part of my body" or "... while touching me" (as well as my more frivolous examples).

      But it's the poor boundaries that are the problem, and the violation, and frankly someone who does that is clearly not overly concerned with your consent in general

      Delete
    8. Exactly. Sitting next to someone on a bed and jerking off is like having a kind of sex with that person, even if you're not actively grouping zir. You can't just do that unless you either ask, or you already have a relationship and established that this is okay.

      What you do on your own is a whole different matter, and none of anybody else's concern.

      Delete
  46. We dnt take offesnse to your delusions about our ever controlling sexuality just like you all have to listen to us males say that your genetalia turns you into ever-nagging, illogical, bitchy harpIes once a month

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    1. Don't let reading me exactly backwards get in the way of your misogyny!

      Seriously, these days I usually just spamfilter comments like this, but now and then I figure people should see the class of troll I get.

      Delete
    2. *holds up 1.0/10.0 scorecard*

      Delete
  47. Thank you for writing this post. This attitude about men not being responsible for their own actions has pissed me off forever it seems. I also hate all those women's magazines that publish articles in the theme where women have to chase after men and do everything we can to keep our man. As if we have nothing at all to offer and should be desperate.

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  48. I was raped because the guy said that I had given him blue balls. He coerced me into sexual things, would not accept no for an answer, would not let me leave the room, and then, because he claimed that I'd given him blue balls, hurt me until I allowed him to stick his dick in me.

    Thank you for this post.

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  49. It took me a while, but here it is: El mito del arrecho-lobo http://ow.ly/dobuq

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  50. Excellent point, Cliff! "Blue balls" just helps reinforce the dominant paradigm of men as the obligatory, reflex-driven, and therefore high-risk "sex class." In exchange for what? A marginally higher chance of receiving grudging pity sex of some sort? Whee!

    Nice post!

    figleaf

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  51. I think the reason you are having trouble shaking the "desexualized or submissive" sense you get from your partner after writing what you're doing is that if he's willing to just stop mid-enjoyable sex without the slightest hint of resentment or unhappiness - even if those emotions are rightfully trumped by concern for a partner - does make him look a bit desexualized or submissive.

    My usual practice with my partner is that if one of us gets sore and has to tap out we'll help the other one get off. I think the lack of any reference negotiation to make sure both partners' needs were met - or at least going to bed w/o feeling underappreciated - is what gives the post the tone you identify. That is one of the points 300baud was trying to make - there's no agency given to your male partner, he just gets turned off when you can't keep going. Providing more context would probably have dispelled that impression but also would have given TMI that wasn't really relevant to your OP.

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    1. He doesn't just get turned off--but his access to my body does. He was free to masturbate if he wanted; he just didn't happen to. (Or maybe he did? I don't honestly remember, and he could've after I fell asleep.)

      It works the other way too--if he's getting tired or sore or just not into it, I don't give him any "so I don't have any AGENCY?" guff. No, I don't have agency, not over his body.

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  52. Hee! Boner werewolves! I just love that phrase. When you put it like that, it's absolutely dumbfounding that everyone doesn't realize how incredibly insulting it is to men to assume that they can't control themselves.

    Also, I vote whatever posting schedule makes you happy. If posting every week allows you to not worry that you're letting people down, go for it. If posting whenever you have time works better, go for that. For people who check in over and over hoping for a new post, RSS readers are awesome. Google will tell you all about them.

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  53. Apologies if what I'm saying has already been said in the comments above. I skimmed through them, but it's rather late and I wanted to say this before forgetting.

    As a guy, thank you so much for this post. I've followed your blog on and off for a while (I can't actually remember where I cam across it), and you are consistently spot on in your posts and ideas. You constantly find and expose all sorts of things that need discussing, and do so in a candid and highly intelligent way.

    This whole myth, as you say, is very offensive to guys. It's bothered me for years. Every time I see that sort of awful idea perpetrated, I feel sickened.

    You are completely right about the whole werewolf syndrome being a total myth. Guys have self control. I've been in situations a lot like the one you described at the start of your post, and, like you said, stopping when told is nothing more than basic human decency. Anything else is unconscionable.

    As I said, guys have self control. A lot of them simply CHOOSE not to exercise it. In situations like this, that choice is horrifying, disgusting, and immoral. The sooner society stops making excuses for that sort of thing, the sooner the world will be a bit of a better place for both men and women.

    As to worrying about being viewed as desexualized or submissive or whatever, at the end of the day I (and, I seriously hope, most people) would a thousand times over rather be inaccurately considered desexualized or submissive than actually be a rapist.

    As to posting, I'd say go with whatever works best for you. I enjoy reading your wisdom whenever you choose to offer it.

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  54. Cliff, would you maybe sometime like to look into the "blue ball" myth? Because I read that here in the comments far too frequently.
    As if there really was a severe medical condition if a man gets too many erections and doesn't blow his load.
    As if that would be something a person has to consider if they arouse someone.

    I think it's the achy feeling you get after blood engorgement which is usually covered by the orgasm-feeling and which I actually know from my own *lady parts*. Yet there is no word for "blue pussy" syndrome.

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    1. According to Wikipedia you described it right. During arousal blood flows and sex-organs grow, through orgasm the blood disappears again. If there is no orgasm sometimes the blood stays. The true reasons for the pain seems not to be the blood itself, but cramps of the muscles around the balls. For female bodies it says that there indeed can be the same thing happening. It's not dangerous as long as it disappears by itself in reasonable time.

      Again: The physical condition of "blue balls" is not the myth to target. It's real, does exist for many and the perception of pain can vary for every individual. I think it's neither fair nor helpful to discredit that.

      BUT it is clearly not something that the other person needs to think about or take any responsability for. This is the myth! It's honest and ok to state that you got a pain and agree how/where you could masturbate to cure it. But it's completely screwed to use it to put pressure on someone.


      Delete
  55. Despite having a headache every day, a person can still do his or her job and fit well in society. This doesn't change the fact that he has a terrible headache every day.

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    1. Um... Is the "headache" the pain of not getting laid?

      Delete
    2. Men can exercise great self-control precisely because they are confronted with great sexual frustration. Feminism prefers to read this sentence backwards: Man, confronted with great sexual frustration can exercise great self-control.
      Yes, this is also true. But it won't change the fact that disturbed and frustrated individuals with no sexual outlets cause trouble. The fact that increase in pornography led to decrease of rape is very telling.

      Delete
    3. Oh shit, women are cruelly declining to fuck all the men, and that's why rape happens! HOW DARE THOSE WOMEN.

      This is actually worse than I thought. Jesus fuck. It's one of those comments that I'm leaving up just to let people know that there are people like you out there.

      (Also, increase in electric cars is correlated with decrease in rape. Just sayin'.)

      Delete
    4. I'm not implying that women owe something to anyone. Of course they don't. Neither have I suggested that innocent citizens should voluntarily collect blood to feed the vampires. This is your interpretation entirely.

      Accepting the reality a man has to live with every day does not absolve him of crimes he can do.
      This is not a situation that has a solution as long as sex is involved. Sex is not made for humans. So, it will always cause problems and suffering.

      Delete
    5. Who the hell IS sex made for, then? (I'm sure I shouldn't ask, but ...)

      Delete
    6. So your considered opinion is that ALL men and NO women suffer from CONSTANT sexual frustration, and that this is equivalent to having a terrible headache all the time?

      Delete
    7. Actually, I think I'd rather take the headache. Going around horny for a day or more is extremely distracting and annoying; at least with a headache you can explain why you are grumpy.

      And I'm not a guy.

      Delete
    8. Can I call bullshit on the "no sexual outlets" part? Because, except in a very narrow set of circumstances, there's always masturbation. Or if you simply must have another person, you can pay for it.

      Delete
    9. You're mixing the "responsibility" part with the "condition" part. The fact that you can be *responsible* for your own actions does not change the *condition* that you're in.

      For example, if you're suffering from a sleeping illness, you may try to stay awake. This is your "responsibility", your conscious will. The fact that you are sleepy, though, remains your "condition" nevertheless.

      And, since my words can be misinterpreted again, I'm not claiming that man feel like they want to rape. I claim that their level of sexual frustration, their sexual pressure if you will, is much higher than that of a woman. And they do have less outlets. Paid sex is illegal, dangerous and doesn't make you feel desired by the other person. A young, average looking woman can go in a club for a one night stand and even start picking who she likes best among multiple candidates. A young man can achieve the same level of desireability only if he's very fit or famous or socially successful.

      Delete
    10. Do you have any evidence for your claim that men experience a higher level of sexual frustration than women? Because from my own experience, it doesn't seem that way to me.

      Also, I am a "young, average looking woman". I spent several months of last year single and sexually frustrated. I was actively seeking sex throughout that period. In that time I had a total of two one-night-stands, neither of which were exactly satisfying. Even if women could have sex with any guy they wanted (which they can't), the hook-up culture doesn't tend to put a high value on women's satisfaction. Women have no easier a time getting enjoyable partnered sex than men do.

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    11. Yeah, exactly. When I was in that demographic, I pretty much never even considered casual hook-ups, not because I thought they were morally wrong, but because of the incredibly low chance of (a) finding anyone I'd feel safe with, let alone compatible, and (b) ending up having sex that was better than (or even as good as) masturbation. Also, I can't be the only one around for whom the whole nightclub thing has always been completely alien territory. It would just add another layer of stress and expense to the whole business.

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    12. I am so tired of hearing the "women can get sex anytime they want" crock of shit. This narrative is so gravely oversimplified. If by sex, you mean a stereotypical heteronormative brand of sex where guy humps girl until orgasm then goes to sleep, then count me out. I'd rather have no sex. There's very little to be gained by gambling with a random stranger, who may or may not respect my boundaries, who may or may not be comfortable with the types of acts I call sex, and who doesn't care whether I get off or not. And on top of that, I apparently need to worry about whether the guy I'm about to hookup with believes that women can experience sexual frustration or not! Oh good, I can't wait to go back out into that world. And besides, what of us people who are physically unable to have piv sex? Do we not get horny? If I had a one night stand, I would be denying my partner sex, which he DESERVED, because he's HORNY. God, why can't us stupid women just understand the pains of the horny men?!

      I must be missing something here, because I just fucking hate that stupid myth. This isn't the Sexual Frustration Olympics.

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    13. Seconding the rest here. Okay, since there's less of a slut stigma for men than for women, and there are more women than men who are simply afraid of going home with a stranger due to everything we're told about rape all the time, I'll grant that if you take a man and a woman of roughly equal hotness (yeah, I know this is subjective, but say, in the eyes of most people) and social skills, it's easier for the woman to get a one-night-stand than for the man. But the BIG difference isn't between men and women, but between people who have looks+social skills vs those who don't. Men who deny this are those who simply filter out and don't percieve ugly and/or completely awkward women.

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    14. In addition to the things people have brought up, the "women can get sex anytime" thing ignores that women can be both conventionally-unattractive and shy or awkward.

      Women who don't fit beauty standards might be able to get male partners by being super friendly with lots of men--but what about women who aren't psychologically capable of being super friendly with lots of men? Just like women who are shy might get picked up by a guy who takes all the initiative, but that's a lot less likely if they aren't conventionally attractive.

      Obviously I'm not saying it's impossible for a shy unconventional-looking woman to have sex--hell, I manage--but it's sure as hell not as easy as just existing.

      --

      Anyway this discussion ought to be moot because a shit-ton of rapists and other sexually-violent men actually have consenting partners. This whole narrative of a rapist as a man who just couldn't contain his sexual frustration ignores the huge number of men who've gone out committing serial rapes and then come home to their girlfriends.

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  56. Imagine a man and a woman having sex. Passionate, active, happy, awesome sex. He's getting close... he's getting sooo close...

    Then his mum walks in the room. What happens next?

    Oh, come on. We all know. He's 3 feet away from the bed with a blanket around his waist and a horrified look on his face within a second and a half. Because the idea of having sex in front of his mum is sincerely appalling to him.

    So, it's under his control, clearly - if we're talking about a contraindication to the sexehtimes that's important to him.

    So the real question is, is fucking someone who doesn't want it sincerely appalling to him?

    I read somewhere once - I know, I don't have a reference, it's not peer-reviewed, it's just something I read somewhere once - that men who believed that alcohol made you violent prior to drinking were more violent when drunk. He's told that lack of control is understandable and excusable and he gives himself a let.

    Which is why we really gotta educate teenagers (boys and girls) that *they* are in control of their own behaviour, including sexually. And that men are capable of stopping themselves at any point prior to starting intercourse *or during*.

    Oh, and Cliff? I don't think Rowdy sounds submissive or desexualised or ultra-mega-nice for not raping you. But he didn't *just* not-rape you; he also validated you and looked after you and was ready with the aftercare and the snuggles and stuff, and I think that's nice :-)

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    1. I guess noone will argue that :)
      Thumbs up!

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    2. That is such a good point! Just to add to that, one time my boyfriend and I were having sex and I was getting pretty close to beautiful nerve ending implosions when his mum knocked on the bedroom door and was like 'The cat's having a seizure please come help me!' three seconds later I'm lying there going fucking goddamnit and he is clothed and out the door and not even hard anymore! Ridiculous.

      I wonder though if this is sort of relationship specific. Not that I mean to say that men should have the right to fuck if their partner is feeling sore or that they can't control it, but what I mean is that Cliff and Rowdy have very well laid out sex rules and also stop words. She can say the code word and it is obeyed because that iss whats established. But maybe if in a relationship when these things aren't so well defined then being like 'can we stop I'm getting sore' might not get such an immediate reaction from an about-to-orgasm partner. Sometimes sex is sore and orgasm comes despite that, sometimes its sore and unbearable to continue, but if you haven't established some kinda of parameters around this then its not gonna get anywhere. Maybe then its not so much about 'busting the myth' generally so much as educating each partner to actually communicate and discuss these things. It wasn't til I started reading Cliff that I realised how much I subscribed to the societal view of relationships which subtly undermines the equality of each person when it comes to the relationships, especially in sex.

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  57. Cliff, I recently started reading your blog which I found through some random comment link. And then kept reading through the archives, long past the point where I thought "wow, this stuff really should be getting boring now." But it didn't. And even though I'm not really into kink (yet? A lot of these things sound pretty interesting...) a lot of your posts have hit me really hard, to the point where I've completely rethought even the day to day ways in which I interact with women (I'm a cis man [I think that's the proper terminology these days]) and how the ideas of consent factor into just about everything.

    Not to say I was ever an MRA or a misogynist or whatever (or that I would ever think of engaging in any sort of sexual activity without some sort of consent), but I guess the importance of consent in BDSM as you describe spilled over into "Hey, this shit's important ALL THE TIME!" for me, and I'm going to try my hardest in the future to keep that in mind all the time- not because I think it's some artificial "make her comfortable" thing, but because I realize the more I read that it's the only way things should go.

    Too many times I have engaged in variations on the first script you laid out in "Rescripting Sex," and looking back, not a single one of those times was I nearly as comfortable as when I've been more proactive and straight up asked if X was what person Y wanted, even if it did feel a little strange to ask at first. But I guess reading more has made me think about it and say to myself "yeah, you know what, if she really does want me, she's probably not going to say no just because I asked." It's stupid that it would require someone who I've never met, and had never heard of before this past Thursday, to tell me this, but that's the way it works in our weirdly sexually repressed society.

    So, in short, thanks for explaining what should be obvious but might not be, and please keep writing, because your posts are alternately hilarious and enlightening (or both sometimes). I really feel like a lot of the things I was originally too shy/scared/whatever to talk to my significant other about are now going to be discussed a lot more, simply because I realize that talking about them does not summon some evil Cock Warlord or Genie of Unbearable Awkwardness or whatever. Looking forward to your next post.

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  58. It makes me sad for my gender how many men seem to think this myth is something to be proud of. As in, "My dick is so powerful, when it gets hard it turns me into The Incredible Hulk! I become an Unstoppable Fuck Machine!"

    I can see that it ties into our ideas about male virility; and to be fair, having a strong sex drive and being able to perform well sexually is something you can legitimately be happy about. But goddamnit, being unable to control yourself should not be manly, heroic, or praiseworthy in any sense. So yeah, thanks for writing this.

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  59. If I had a mental illness such that everyday situations and interactions made me go into a rage and assault other people, the appropriate reaction for me would be to check into a psychiatric hospital for treatment. After all, otherwise I would hurt someone!

    Luckily I'm not like that, and luckily my male partner isn't either. Both of us are intensely sexually frustrated from time to time. Both of us cope.

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  60. I think I had a minor brain implosion when my now-husband and I were having sex in the early days of our relationship, and I was getting sore- told him so, and told him to hurry up and finish.
    He gave me this horrified look, pulled out, and said "What kind of asshole do you think I am??!" It had never even occurred to me, through all the partners I had been with up that point, that "I hurt, ergo you stop" was how the narrative was supposed to go. I though my previous boyfriends have been considerate for hurrying up rather than dragging it out.

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  61. My brain kind of exploded the first time my boyfriend said it was OK to touch him sexually even if I didn't want to "follow through." I'd been so bought into the all or nothing model. I wonder if men know how much pleasant, if incomplete, stimulation they are foregoing because of the "any sexual touch at all = must have intercourse" trope.

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  62. Yes, men have self control.

    Yes, when a man is aroused, it will cloud his decision making and cause him to think more aggressively.

    Yes, a man will have more trouble paying attention when there is a beautiful female around.

    Yes, he is still responsible for his actions.

    The "Boner Wolf" is not a myth.

    There is the Human Animal, and the Human Spirit. We have to accept and respect both. When you get aroused, part of the human animal is going to come out.

    Do you know you're with a man who has a strong enough spirit to control his animal? Do you act in ways that nurture his spirit while respecting his animal? That is what you are describing with your husband. You're describing a loving relationship with a strong man.

    But there are weak men out there as well. And there are ways of acting that arouse the animal in these weak men.

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    1. That last line seems to put the onus on women once again. The pressure should not be on women to not arouse "weak men", it should be on the men not to give in to those desires. Because they can, and are no less capable of doing so than women who experience similar desires (not saying that women do no wrong, just that our culture doesn't excuse them in the same way).

      I have a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend. What makes it great is not me tiptoeing around his "Human Animal", what makes it great is that we both respect each other as _people_ and trust that we each care more about the happiness of the other person than fulfilling our pantsfeelings with the their body.

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    2. When you get aroused, part of the human animal is going to come out.

      Did this remind anyone else of Judy Blume's Forever? "I'd like you to meet Ralph."

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    3. Since we're getting all alpha-wolf pseudo-science (not actually a thing, btw: http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/man-who-cried-alpha), there are also ways that other men in the social group can act that encourage greater self-control and strongly punish rape.

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    4. If a guy thiinks he's too 'weak' to stop once sex has started if his partner stops consenting, then he's morally obligated to never have sex, so he doesn't risk becoming a rapist. I mean if I couldn't light a candle without a risk that I'd give into temptation and set someone else's hair on fire, I'd get rid of all candles, avoid churches, give up birthday parties, whatever it took. And if I couldn't do that, I'd have myself institutionalized so as not to harm others.

      So any man who really believes that they're oh-so-weak and incapable of not raping people should avoid getting sexual with anyone ever, and seriously consider going to the nearest psych ward and saying "Help me, I fear I'm going to lose control and rape someone."

      (Of course, the whole weakness thing is a lie, made up by selfish rapists to obscure the fact that they're raping people out of selfishness, so they aren't going to do the logical thing, just give women the same "Beware the animal in man! And by that, I mean that if he rapes you, I'll make excuses for him and blame you for arousing him!" shit.)

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  63. Weak men who try with all their manly force but get overwhelmed by this were-wolf inside them?

    This picture is... aehm... misleading, to be polite. They don't get overwhelmed but they take the decision not to care.

    As I read you it might not be your intention to excuse rape, but to warn women to be careful. Stil, this warning fosters the idea of a shared responsability, which is wrong.

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    1. And the whole "Women, be careful" is a sign that the writer is either massively ignorant of the social messages sent about rape, or willfully ignoring it. Because women get told to be careful all of the time, from multiple directions, often with a heavy dose of victim-blaming, and a lot of women will read a "Do you act in ways that nurture his spirit while respecting his animal, or do you arouse the animal?" warning as more "If you don't do the exact right things, you will make men rape you, and then it'll be your fault for being raped!" messages.

      And at least a few of the men reading this will be rapists, who will be nodding along all "It's her fault! She aroused my animal instead of nurturing my spirit! She clouded my thinking by getting me aroused! No wonder I lost control!" And they will feel more secure about the rapes they committed, and more supported when it comes to plotting their future rapes.

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  64. So only men have this inner animal? It's a bit disturbing how Halffull talk about the Human Animal and yet everything he says seem to only apply to men. What is it with people assuming that human=male?

    Also, why is it that even alleged male weaknesses are used primarily to police women? I rarely see men being expected to serve women hand and foot at the time of their PMS (and the men who do are regarded as either saints of pussy-whipped), because no mere male can possibly understand the burden of being pre-menstrual, and it should instantly afford women extra respect when they can handle it. Instead, women's supposed hysteria and greater emotional activity is time and again used to justify respecting them less and keeping them outside influence.

    I guess that's the secret of why more men don't object strongly. If more people started arguing that the Male Animal caused men to become so irresponsible, unreliable, corrupted, and such a danger to their surroundings that it would be prudent to bar them from most higher offices, since they obviously weren't responsible enough, I'm sure the myth would be eradicated pretty quickly. But as long as this Male Animal is only conveniently brought up to warn women to walk on eggshells around men and hold men who don't rape them in awe, it's just too appealing to get rid of.

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  65. "Yes, a man will have more trouble paying attention when there is a beautiful female around."

    A beautiful female... what? Skunk? Meercat?

    "But there are weak men out there as well. And there are ways of acting that arouse the animal in these weak men."

    Oh no!!!! Those poor, weak men. We women must hope that we are not acting in ways that will arouse the animal in them. Because if we act in "those" ways, even though we don't know what they are, it will be our fault.

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  66. No one cuts me any slack even though some of my students are so attractive it's hard not to stare at them during exams. No one thinks that this would justify my assaulting them; no one even thinks it would justify my skipping a slide during lecture or misgrading an exam. Why should someone else get a pass on this behavior?

    Most people feel sexual arousal. The intensity varies from person to person. It's much like anger in this regard. But if your arousal or your anger lead you to commit assault, you are in the wrong. If you believe this is likely to happen, you need to get treatment. It's not society's job to tiptoe around you lest you get horny or mad and hurt someone. All of us are responsible for not hurting those around us.

    In stories, what does a decent person do if he finds out he's a werewolf? Locks himself up, that's what! (As I recall Oz did this on _Buffy_, or found someone to do it for him.) He (or she) doesn't say "Woe is me, I'm a werewolf, you'd better not be out at night or I'll kill you and it will be Your Fault." People who say that are villains, and for good reason.

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  68. Also I think you overestimate how much of the belief that you owe it to your partner to keep going until they get off stems from beliefs about the penis. If that was everything then the lack of "stamina" (read: the ability to prolong sex past what you really want to please a partner) wouldn't be the second most common way of sexually shaming men.

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  69. As a 16 (17 this month :D) year old boy I find even reading these comments upset me. It seems (<--- oh god pleaaase notice i said "seems") as if every girl and woman believes that all or even just the majority of men are assholes who will take advantage or be inconsiderate. The idea of growing up in a society where women are afraid to walk down an empty street towards me just because I'm a man (the first time I read a story where a woman described how she hunches her shoulders and looks at the ground when she walks by a man I was completely astounded) disgusts me, not so much for women's rights but because I couldn't stand it if that was the majority (maybe not majority, it's not like i've done any research) of girls'/women's first assumption of me or even that they would feel the need to be cautious about it.

    On another related topic... Blue balls does exist, it sucks. Not enough to be used as an excuse for unconsensual sexual actions but it really does suuuuck. For me at least it was so bad the few times that I have experienced that it hurt to walk and it took at least 10-30minutes after... relieving myself, for the pain to go away.

    And my final note... I am completely for equal rights but it seems (again, notice the "seems") as if the majority of feminists that I meet or hear about or hear at all are over-the-top, man-bashing jerks... Now of course I recognize that it would be ridiculous to assume that is true of feminists as a group in general, so my theory is that it's just that those ones are the most vocal and make the most outrageous assertions so they get the most attention.

    Alllssoooo, I forgot to mention that from the little I've seen about men or women arguing about "toxic" members of the opposite gender, it seems as if the definition for toxic women boils down to: the kind of woman who believes in toxic men, and the same for the definition of toxic men. It's ridiculous, why can't we all just get the fuck along? It's not like we're all that different...

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    1. Some Boy, we can't just decide to stop being afraid of you so that you'll feel better.

      Also, look at the shit going on here.

      You're afraid women will prejudge you.
      Women are afraid men will rape them.

      This is why I'm a feminist. Not because I think men are evil--I think you're not, read the post!--but because I know that we can't "all just get the fuck along" until women (and everyone) feels safe from the threat of sexual violence.

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