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Apr 21 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Too Fast.
It seems a lot of people are missing the point.

On the one hand there is rape as a legal definition / crime, a relatively small and severe subset of sexual abuse which can easily be tried/evaluated in the context of a court. On the other hand there are the myriad complex and diffuse effects of rape culture or variations of sexual assault which we are still struggling to understand and potentially fit into a legal framework; not an easy task when "proof" often rests on only testimony of the victim and the perpetrator may not have intended harm or realized their actions would traumatize/violate somebody.

One of those effects of rape culture...women are socialized to "go along" with activity which makes them feel uncomfortable; this is also often safer than fighting back. Another complicating factor: power dynamics, intoxication, and other things can affect the validity of consent.

Not every problem needs to be (or can be, or should be) solved in the court of law; indeed, I don't believe that we will ever perfectly fine tune our legal system to "fix" rape culture. That doesn't mean that there are no solutions to these other problems - in fact, the concept of affirmative consent goes a long way in setting reasonable expectations and removing the illusion that sexual assault is simply a "miscommunication" or the equal fault of both parties etc.

In the end it's up for the LW herself to name her experience: rape, violation, or simply a poor choice. We often hold unreasonable expectations of people who are alleged to have been sexually assaulted, pressuring them to either accept the mantle of "rape victim" to advance a cause or conversely discouraging them from identifying as a victim if their experiences fall too far outside of an easy, well-trod narrative. We expect individual women (and other marginalized groups) to speak for their entire class, sadly.
Mar 24 shurenka commented on Alison Stevenson Won't Suck Your Dick.
If she's high maintenance and self-centered, so are most straight men - who as Ms. Steven points out rarely put forth any effort/interest in pleasing their partner beyond what they already want to do anyway (i.e. assuming that all women come from PIV sex...refusing to give oral or only giving it for a teensy time). Women are socialized to be deferential and please men...the reverse is not true, and one woman refusing BJ's does not tip the scales back.

I don't find "oral is standard" any more true than "PIV is standard" or "anal is standard". Everybody has their own hangups/issues, whether they be medical or emotional. She is upfront about what she wants and doesn't want - more power to her. I think it's reasonable to expect a partner to try things, even things they may not love fully. But if something is an actual turn-off, or physically unpleasant/abhorrent, that does not make that person "defective". It may mean that she has to look harder for someone she's compatible with, someone who doesn't like receiving oral or who is okay going without it, but I wish her all the best in finding it.
Jan 8 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Basic Bastards.
A lot of people are completely missing the point about "making" your mate. Of course if she were trying to convince someone to be kinky--that'd be different! Then it'd be totally legitimate to expect him to try that, I'm guessing. But those feminists, man. Crazy, manipulative, selfish, controlling, condescending amirite?

When you look at what Dan is actually proposing, we all do this. We all want our partner to share our values, passions, interests and if there isn't enough of a foundation of that, most relationships will fail. Some things we compromise on, some things we try to convince the other person on--or allow ourselves to be convinced on. Being able to have a reasonable discussion about your beliefs, to suss out the other person's beliefs (and maybe change their mind) is a fundamental part of every relationship...romantic or not. It's no more "condescending" to want your mate to be educated on feminism than it is to want them to be educated in politics, or WoW, or Christianity, or whatever passion you definitely want to share with your life partner. We aren't talking about brainwashing here, stop acting as if that was the suggestion.

To KFFG: I owe a lot of my knowledge of feminism and anti-racism to my first serious boyfriend. As Dan points out, most people become feminists not through self-enlightenment but through interactions and conversations with feminists. When my boyfriend and I would discuss issues like affirmative action or sexism, I didn't always agree right away. Sometimes it took time for it to sink in and for me to come around--sometimes I just didn't agree with his approach to an issue, but the conversation made me redevelop mine. So I agree with Dan and others that you should look for somebody who is kind (and more importantly, is not too stubborn to admit they are wrong), and have patience. Oh, and I am also kinky, so I feel you about the tension between finding a feminist dom. But there are a lot out there (I'm dating one). I also agree with other suggestions that it might be easier to make a feminist kinky (as I did with my first boyfriend) than the reverse.
Dec 25, 2014 shurenka commented on Savage Love.
JCIL: The vast majority of people have to struggle with at least one characteristic, physical or otherwise, which is a turn off to many potential dating partners. Whether that's being overweight or short, having a mental illness or a physical handicap, having no money or no sense of humor, having a small penis or small tits, having an STD or an uncommon fetish, etc. And on the flip side - there are some people who will be more attracted to you because of that trait. Or for whom it will not matter. Personally, I can say as a woman I prefer partners around my height - aka "short" guys. Though it doesn't make a huge difference either way.

Be glad your "potential turn off" is one that is easily recognizable. This means that you aren't going to waste time with any partner who adamantly will not date short(er) guys. Whereas, for example, someone with a strange fetish will probably have to invest significant time with a potential partner before they can know whether that person is a potential match or not.
Dec 7, 2014 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Two Graves, One Book.
I don't blame AAHWW. Unless you've been "the other person" in a situation like that (with all the high drama), you really can't imagine the amount of crazy-making gas-lighting and deception that goes on. It really can turn an otherwise normal, sane person into a mess.

But I think for her own sake, she should not submit the book. I've been in a similar situation. It takes a long time to realize that things will not improve or change and that you've been strung along and lied to for a good portion of your life. I did actually do the utterly batshit move of sending texts/messages to the spouse of my partner. More anonymously than the LW plans to. I'm very lucky it didn't come back to bite me in the ass--though I still worry about it. At the time it brought me some relief, and I can't say I regret it (they both had it coming). However, now I couldn't care less about either of them, but I still have to live with the worry that it will come back to haunt me.

Practical advice. The problem with revenge is usually you want the other person to know who is responsible for their misery. But if they know, then they will (probably) retaliate in kind any way they can. Don't undertake revenge if you know that there's any way they could hurt you in turn.
Jun 27, 2014 shurenka answered a bunch of weird questions about himself or herself.
May 6, 2014 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Donald Sterling—Racism-Frosted Cuckold Fetishist?.
@18 " I still wonder if we should be at all concerned that it is apparently "okay" that the content of a private conversation, covertly recorded, in your own home, now justifies the confiscation of your property and the loss of your profession?"

Freedom of speech doesn't protect you from the consequences. If you have truly abhorrent views, best keep them well hidden. FOS only protects against government action, like imprisonment, not non-gov't organizations or people deciding that they no longer want to pay you or associate with you or promote you. This isn't a new thing--the new idea is that people should expect their intolerant, abhorrent views to be tolerated as just another harmless instantiation of diversity and not, you know, called out as bigotry.

If it was illegally obtained he can take legal recourse. Doesn't mean the rest of us should try to "unhear" what he said because he still remains a racist douchebag.
Apr 29, 2014 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: Friendly Fire.
Even if the first couple were gay I think Dan's answer would have remained the same. The issue is not the fact that "straight people are more neurotic" but the fact that one partner feels threatened for a legitimate reason; hiding time spent with a "friend" and buying expensive gifts would make almost anybody raise an eyebrow, gay/straight/bi/etc. On the other hand, presumably in the case of LW2 the friends don't even live in the same city. They hooked up once, there was some sexual attraction at one point maybe, but now they are platonic. As a bi women I have exes like that and my partners have never really been threatened because I was always on the up and up and it was obvious there was nothing going on between me and my friends.

It's obviously different as others have said if there is a legitimate reason for them to be spending so much time together--co-parents, etc. But lying and "nice gifts" are still a red flag.
Apr 26, 2014 shurenka commented on SL Letter of the Day: The Wedding Party.
@16, I agree.

It sounds like the LW has serious, serious issues, but as someone who has issues with emotional regulation myself, I can say the family did actively try to sabotage her by doing everything to rub it in her face that they didn't like her and to make her feel as isolated as possible. It sounds like she is not in therapy or she would have mentioned it I assume. As of now, she is not treating her issues and her husband has no idea how to treat them either. If she doesn't get help, this marriage is doomed.

I am also tsk-tsking because it's unreasonable to expect to be able to throw fits in front of your SO. Especially, as I'm guessing she also expects him to be 100% attentive and supportive of her when she does this, and to go back to normal immediately when she calms down. If she has ERD or a similar disorder, that might be cathartic for her--but she should know that it is draining and cruel to others.
Jan 16, 2014 shurenka commented on Savage Love.
Surprised nobody thought that maybe MUM's "friend's" husband is asexual.

He wanted kids and was willing to engage in sex up until that point, then no more. Only the real wife would be able to know whether it is likely that her husband is a gay closet-case, someone who has a very severe madonna-whore complex, or is asexual. If sex was passionate up until the point of kid #2, I'd strongly suspect either an affair and/or he's no longer attracted to her (because of baby weight etc).

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