Savage Love

Quickies

Comments

1
Took me way too long to get the joke in your final response.
2
@Dan the Man: LOL to your spot on response to the final LW. You nailed it again. Kudos!
@Liberal Grandma: You truly have my deepest sympathy. I was once unhappily married to an abusive, staunch GOP supporter who threatened to destroy my ballot if I had voted Democrat. Divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me. Why not do both: DTMFA--AND cancel out his sorry Trumpzillan / Pencezillan vote in 2018 and 2020.
3
re BB: Sex anywhere near my sibs?? Ewwwwwwwww!
4
"But can two brothers—with opposite sexual preferences—hook up with a girl and a guy from a bar? Would this be considered wrong? No touching between siblings would occur."

I don't get it, do you want a high-five or more?

A better question than "is it wrong" is what are you getting off on from displaying your sexual conquests to each other? Why does this scenario arouse you so much? Really though it sounds like someone wants the scenario in their head more than they're actually a "brother" who wants it to happen.

"I've been seeing a lot of articles in the media about men "dropping out of the dating-and-marriage game," and the conclusions always point to porn as the culprit. This seems like a simplistic explanation. Do you have an opinion on the effect of porn on men?"

Of course it is. You're talking about the InCel/MGTOW crowd, they're depressed and angry to the point of hate. They blame women primarily for their loneliness and depression, porn is symptomatic but ultimately not directly related to their problems.
5
I'm wondering whether the bisexual man who is seeing a "very beautiful lady" has told her that he goes to sex clubs. If you're here reading, Loving Life, note that people today talk about "safer sex" rather than safe sex, because condom use doesn't prevent STI transmission completely.

Consistent testing helps to avoid passing along STIs that make it past the condom, except that men can't be tested for HPV and condoms don't protect well against HPV. See https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.….

So encourage that "beautiful lady" to get regular Pap tests to check for the first signs of cervical cancer. And if you haven't told her you're having sex with men, do the right thing and let her know the situation.
6
HF: "If I wait too long to ask, it might make him think I've been faking the whole time."
Then stop faking?
If he's getting you off during oral, he's getting you off. There's no need to pretend you're also coming during PIV if you're not. He knows this is not something that's guaranteed to happen -- with his dick or with any other. Enjoy the sex you are having.

TL: OKCupid. You're welcome.
7
PLH, if you want sex in principle, change drugs, lower your dosage or come off them and have sex with your boyfriend. Then ask for his and everyone's help in improving your eating habits. Be kind to yourself if you fall off the wagon a few times. You can't look to the meds you're taking to take your bad habits in hand completely. It’s going to be your will, your commitment, your better habits and the support, love and routines of everyone round you, including your bf, that find a lasting solution for you. You are desirable and both you and your lover deserve great sex.

**

I've never wanted to be a member of a club of more than one (never could be, probably) and am a bi-identified male football fan. That's if it's soccer (and I've come to feel a sneaking fondness for the 49ers too).
8
@7, Ugh, no, asking for other people's help in improving eating habits is in no way a treatment for an eating disorder, which is a potentially fatal mental illness, not a set of bad habits. PLH, any changes you make to your treatment should be under a doctor's supervision.
9
@8: Seriously,

"Be kind to yourself if you fall off the wagon a few times."

If this was enough there would be zero disorders or addictions on the face of humanity.
10
I'm a lesbian who craves cock all the time - because my partner is a lesbian trans woman. We're not at all an oddity, either. Can we stop equating sexual attraction with genitals? It's just so lazy.
11
@PLH, If your husband is up for it, try having him use a (no longer Hitachi branded) Magic Wand on you. That allows sex to be divided neatly into time he spends getting you of with an 8,000rpm device, and time he spends fucking you in pursuit of his own orgasm. That might not only take some pressure off sex, but as many women need to be sexually stimulated for their arousal to rev up, it might also help restore a semblance of normalcy to your sex life
@TL, unfortunately online dating is full of creeps and a-holes who only want sex and are rape-culture aggressive about asking for it from women online (dick picks galore).
That said, if you can just tune them out, you have some options:
Bumble is like a combination of Tinder (swiping) and OK Cupid (free, everyone creates a profile) with the feature of women have to contact the men before the men can send messages
I've never used Match.com or eharmony, but supposedly they have fewer creepers by virtue of not being free
FetLife isn't for dating per-se, but if you want to prioritize a strong sexual connection that is a good place to start. Plus, FetLife can connect you with munches where you meet socially and creepers tend to be prohibited from returning once they act like a-holes to other munch attendees.
Beyond that, there are dating events through Meetup.
Good luck on your search
12
@10, if you are a magnum subscriber to the Savage Lovecast, listen to what Buck Angel has to say on the July 11th Episode (#559) about sexual attraction and transgender / transexual people (the latter is how Buck describes himself).
If you aren't a magnum subscriber, here's the rundown: genitals matter to a lot of people, legitimately. It's great that for you a transwoman with a dick is awesome. There are also plenty of lesbians and straight men that have no interest in cock attached to a woman, and plenty of gay men who love cock but want it attached to someone who identifies and presents as male.
13
Don't need to be a magnum subscriber to understand cissexism but thank you for attempting a thoughtful response.
14
@8.AuroraErratic. I agree that eating disorders are potentially fatal mental illnesses; but hissing 'potentially fatal' in the LW's ear may not be the best way to make her feel relaxed and happy about herself.

My initial advice was mostly misconceived in that I read hastily and supposed (without considering much) that the LW was working her way back from clinical obesity. Now I'd think she was or is anorexic or bulimic.

How do anorexics recover from anorexia? Is it by placing all their trust, in a twelve-step way, in the prescriptions of a doctor or in a formula; or is it by exercising a radical form of autonomy and making consistently healthier choices for themselves? I've known two survivors, both at a distance, who have roughly taken the two contrasting approaches. I don't think it's right for the LW to go on following a course of medication she believes suppresses her sex drive. (Neither is she under any obigation to have sex if she doesn't want to, say by internalising some norm that sex is healthy). I'd think some of the determining features of anorexia--but fewer than for clinical obesity--are contextual. How can it hinder to have those close to this young woman unconditionally supporting her and wanting to incline her towards better habits and eating choices? It's not enough in and of itself; and her focus should be on recovery, not sexually gratifying her boyfriend. But she wants to have sex, too; and she doesn't sound in any immediate mortal danger from the illness.

@9. UndeadAyn. True--but I think 'be kind to yourself' is valuable advice here.
15
#NotAllFarmers
16
@14: "hissing 'potentially fatal' in the LW's ear may not be the best way to make her feel relaxed and happy about herself."

They've got a diagnosed pathology of eating disorder, they don't feel happy about themselves and none of this is a surprise.

"I think 'be kind to yourself' is valuable advice here."

It's a good empathetic thing to say as you phrased it there, so far as "advice" goes telling someone with ED or any other form of compulsive disorder or addiction not to be unhealthy comes off as a bit... tonally off if you get what I'm saying?
17
"she doesn't sound in any immediate mortal danger from the illness."

A person can't responsibly grab current and immediate mortal danger from an abridged letter, really. ED should be treated more seriously and by professionals, not handwaved away.
18
Been talking marriage after a month?

Don't assume that the relationship is doomed. RUN.
19
PLH - I'm on antidepressants and going off 100% is not an option. It took some time but I was able to find one at a dosage that helped and still allowed me to orgasm.
Hang in there.
20
I'm confused by PLH's letter in a way that I've been confused before: do a lot of people have an active aversion to any sexual activity if they themselves are not sexually aroused? Even with partners they care about? I can understand how a lack of sexual arousal, desire, or orgasm might be frustrating, but I'm not sure why that means PLH can't have sex at all. I experienced periods of anorgasmia and lack of sex drive while taking duloxetine, and I still enjoyed getting my girlfriend at the time off because it was pleasurable for her, and I liked making her feel good. Why does PLH's boyfriend having sex with other people seem like a better solution to zir than him having sex with zir where ze doesn't get off but they still get to be intimate and ze can take pleasure in his pleasure? I always feel like there's some unstated assumption behind these letters to which I can't relate.
21
PLH: I had a similar problem years ago. We tried adding a low dose of wellbutrin to my regimen after some studies on off label use of wellbutrin came out. It worked wonders. I actually don't take the wellbutrin anymore, and still do well.
22
@21: Maybe the dosage is related but eesh the side-effects when friends have gone on and off Wellbutrin!
23
Wellbutrin is fairly well-known for not causing the typical suppression of libido and orgasm-ability. I think in my case, it actually makes me orgasm more easily.
But not everyone will have the same results. It is an anti-depressant, but not an anti-anxiety, which makes it unadvisable for a lot of people currently taking an SSRI.
24
@13: Honest question; are you saying that "...lesbians and straight men that have no interest in cock attached to a woman, and ... gay men who love cock but want it attached to someone who identifies and presents as male" are cissexist? Quotes from @12.
25
@13--you know what's lazy? Accusing people of discriminatory behavior based on having any sexual orientation other than yours.

Last LW--tattoos are near-universal among people younger than 50. If this is your personal brand on a dating site, ask a friend for your defining qualities, hopefully less generic and more interesting than tattoos.
26
@7, if only an eating disorder was just a bad habit! PUH, I've been where you are and know how frustrating it is. I had a great psychiatrist, and tried many different antidepressants. Every single one that worked for my depression had sexual side effects. There was the one where I had no desire, but could technically have an orgasm. There was the one that made me horny, but I couldn't come... Such hard times. Sometimes I can take a break for a few days and have fulfilling sex, but I'm usually so weepy that it isn't much fun. After being on my good meds for a few years (you have to take the long view) I am able to have an orgasm with intense stimuli and relaxation that really only comes with masturbation. Talk to your doctor. You might be able to use a faster acting antidepressant after a short sex vacation, to get you up to speed, then go back on the Prozac. A good psychiatrist will know about that. Sometimes testosterone helps with libido too. Also if you have anorexia, ask the Dr. to check your estrogen levels. Low estrogen can be kill desire. Oh, and cannabis is a huge help. I can't stress enough how great weed is for desire and orgasm. Try different kinds. Take care!
27
degenderette @ 10, 13
I like your witty name and am interested in your perspective.
While not sure this is what unknown @ 12 or LDC @ 24 meant, one can’t deny that genitalia matters to most of us, including who live outside the narrowly defined cisism.

Provided this is what triggered your initial post, I agree that Dan hasn’t mentioned too many variations in his reply to question #1, and could do better. It was still a specific response to a specific question.

28
@28 gatoverde; If my head had been screwed on straight in 1992 post Gulf War, I could have saved myself a shitload of undue dating woes, marital strife, and aftermath and would have indeed, RUN LIKE HELL.
It's usually a bad sign when someone is already talking marriage after one month.
29
@17. UndeadAyn. PL/H's letter is about wanting to have sex but lacking the libido for it, as she thinks, because of the Prozac she's on. It wasn't about her thinking herself quite worthless, too fat; or that life was too difficult, or that only self-annihilation could bring her calm.

There are roughly two lines of advice:

1) In a controlled, and probably medically supervised, way, alter your medication so that you can have sex (Dan's advice);

2) Whatever you do, in no way be tempted to alter the regime of medication prescribed by your physician. You risk relapsing into ED, anorexia, bulimia, if you do. Delegate your own agency, your own mind, will and sexuality, to the docs. Prioritise recovery as promised by the Prozac above your having sex with your boyfriend (or his having sex with you).

I prefer the first line of advice. But I do think eating disorders should be taken seriously by sufferers and their family members and treated by professionals.

'Healthier choices' is the LW's own expression (no?). 'Eat food, goddammit' is probably more browbeating. It is healthy to eat a beetroot and multigrain salad or falafel with a lick of tzaziki.
30
Unknown @11: He's her husband, not her boyfriend, and her problem isn't that she's not coming from sex, but that she doesn't want sex at all. Attempting to rev up a sleeping clit with military-grade vibrations will probably be more painful than anything else. Sorry, but your favourite toy is not the solution here.

Degenderette @13: Desire is not cissexism. No one should feel pressured to fuck anyone they don't want to fuck at the risk of losing their PC card -- or for any other reason. Why would you want to have sex with someone who was put off by your body, anyway? There are many other ways for allies to support trans people that don't involve their genitals. Mr Angel is right on.

John @20: "do a lot of people have an active aversion to any sexual activity if they themselves are not sexually aroused? Even with partners they care about?"

I'm kind of surprised this isn't self-evident by the mountain of "we have different sex drives" letters. If the majority of people were up for sex when not aroused just because they like/love their partner, these letters would not exist. Good on you for getting your partner off as a favour to her, but some people take an awful lot of effort to get off, and one may not be up for lockjaw or sore vagina or arse or biceps if one is not in the mood for pleasure oneself. So yes, is the answer to your question. I would suggest that you're an outlier.

Fresh @25: Agree 100% with your first paragraph, disagree 40% with your second. Thankfully, there are many under-50s who still have uninked skin. (If TL's ink is one of her top three self-descriptors, I'm assuming she has an awful lot of it.)
31
@29: "'Eat food, goddammit' is probably more browbeating."

The inability to manage this on ones own is endemic to any eating disorder.
32
@4: I had to look up what Incel and MGTOW was.

Here I thought all that chatter about "preserving your seed" and the magical powers it gives you were just silly memes. Those guys are what would happen if God spilled a person.

@13: Stop presenting yourself as an immature 12 year old, and people may stop presuming that you need simple things slowly explained to you. If you already understand why the vast majority of people have genital preferences, stop pretending not to in order to virtue signal harder.
33
@32: "Here I thought all that chatter about "preserving your seed" and the magical powers it gives you were just silly memes"

Oh god, there's also "NoFap". It's even weirder when someone spends their time not masturbating... but also spend just as much time watching porn.
34
@33: I don't want to go too far down this rabbit hole on a work computer, but they actually watch porn but refuse to jack off?

I guess I can understand from a perspective of mastering yourself through intense temptation, but it seems a very specific way to do so. Also, how do they feel about wet dreams? Wouldn't this spoil their whole "vital fluids" obsession when they jizz their shorts overnight once a week? Also, if part of the point is to rid yourself of the lust, why would you spend so much time thinking about porn and sex? Still controls your life if your life revolves around avoiding it.

I make fun, but here I sit struggling to apply logic to this nonsense...
35
Given that Dan allows that allows guys who sometimes crave cock to call themselves straight, I don't see why men who occasionally want to have sex with a woman can't call themselves "gay." I myself, would call both groups "bisexual."
36
LML @35: I would call them homoflexible and heteroflexible respectively. The "occasionally" is an important distinction. For starters, it tells you, as the partner of such a person, whether there's any chance whatsoever they'll ever want to be in a relationship (as opposed to just bed) with someone like you.
37
@31. UndeadAyn. Of course someone with an ED can't straightforwardly eat the right amount of nutritious food on their own. And it's nothing to be ashamed of--it afflicts lots of people, of many walks of life.

We seem to have come full circle--to my saying initially that PL/H should seek the support of her (or his) boyfriend, friends and family in taking up the right calorific intake.

She (probably but not certainly ''she') seems a stand-up person, funny, smart and articulate, with a partner that has stood with her for four years (at most) of these difficulties--I want to express my support and hope s/he can overcome her difficulties.
38
There was quite a discussion one time about gay men who like to watch porno featuring straight men performing oral sex on women.
39
@13, cissexism, haven't heard that one before. This approach just puts people on the defensive and why do that to allies. People know what genitals they like to play with, and these convoluted ideas do trans people no service and probably put many of them in danger.
40
@20, You are a guy (you are a guy, right? Your comments read like a guy but correct me if I'm wrong.). If you are not actively aroused yourself, it is likely nothing more than an inconvenience to you to get your partner off, and not even that if you are doing it because you actively enjoy watching her get off. For a woman, even if there is no aversion to sex, if one is not aroused and sufficiently relaxed, sex can range from meh to uncomfortable to downright painful. So yeah, a complete lack of libido is an issue, because it makes even maintenance sex difficult, and I think that unless one is asexual, most people would agree that relationships without sex tend to go downhill. Also, if you are just doing your SO a favor by helping them with a selfie, or giving them oral when you really don't feel like it, they know. They aren't stupid, and I know my husband may get off but he doesn't enjoy it the way he does enthusiastic participation.
41
CMD @27 and BDF @30, you said exactly what I wanted to say to @10 and @11 respectively, and much more eloquently. Thank you.

Re PP (LW2 of 8), I think that the trend of men "dropping out of the dating-and-marriage game" has a lot more to do with crushing student debt, the relative lack of economic opportunity and predictable professional growth tracks for young adults, and rapidly changing societal norms (i.e., it's much more socially acceptable now to live together and/or raise children from pre-birth as single parents) than it does with porn-watching. Horny people, not all of them men, were consuming porn and erotica just as heavily during those nostalgic times back in the day when men were presumably all-in on the dating-and-marriage game.

Re BB (LW4 of 8), I have skinny-dipped and sweated nude in saunas with various relatives, partners, and friends of all ages over the years. My family's tradition and culture allows for a casual and tolerant attitude about partial to total nudity around the house as well. Nonetheless, like Dan, I can't even imagine having sex in the proximity of any of my siblings (or any other relatives, for that matter). If it works for you, that's great - but I think you need to ask yourself if the desire to have sex with another person in the proximity of your bro, isn't just a way to have symbolic sex with your bro - since the real deal is taboo. I'm not saying it's "WRONG" (your question) but you ought to be clear and honest with yourself about what you hope to gain from the experience.

42
LW4: It would be considered wrong if you and your brother go home with two people from a bar without telling them that you're siblings. That information will be important to a lot of people and some will opt out. All four of you have to be ok with it, not just you, your brother, and Dan Savage.
43
@39. LavaGirl. Let's define 'cissexism' as 'normalised prejudice against any kind of trans people'. It’s a thing, and it's so pervasive that it's hard to name. But I think it's worth naming.
44
' normalised prejudice against any kind of trans people'. Harriet@43. That's not what @13 was on about. She,is a cis woman, not a person who has to go out into the world as a trans woman, was reprimanding Dan and calling him lazy, because. Not she who will be fronting some cis guy, having been emboldened by all this talk, and finding the cis guy is pissed she has a penis and proceeds to beat her, or, as I read has been happening in the US a lot, kill her.
As I understand it, ' normalised prejudice against trans people' is called transphobia.
45
Harriet, cis people can choose to have sex with cis people and not have to justify it. At the same time, supporting and accepting trans people and wishing them happiness and that they stay safe.
46
Lava @44: Harriet's definition is correct. Cissexism and transphobia are equivalent words to sexism and misogyny.
Degenderette did not state their gender.

It is a tricky subject. Trans people should not face physical harm if, in a situation as you describe, their partner discovers that she has a penis. Perhaps the straight cis person in this situation should do what any reasonable person has done upon discovering something about their new partner's body is not to their liking: proceed with the sex anyway, to the best of their ability and politeness, and not seek to progress the relationship further. (Even the much missed Hunter followed this route, I believe.)

There is a difference between prejudice and preferences.
47
@18 gatoverde:: Oops--make that @18 gatoverde, not @28.
48
@46 BiDanFan: "There is a difference between prejudice and preferences". Agreed.
and I second Capricornius's thanks [to you, in her comment @41 to your @30, to Unknown Entity @11 and degenderette @13], for beautifully covering what I would have said, too.
49
You're right Fan, degenderette didn't state their gender, I assumed from the self descriptor lesbian. It could be two trans women together.
So this word has currency, cissexism? I've never heard it before. Im not sure what your point is, obviously not being beaten or murdered by someone who freaked out upon finding out their sexual partner, who they assume is a cis woman, is instead a trans woman.
Yes, there is a difference between prejudice and preference, and trans women especially need to be careful not to come up against the prejudice, it can be life threatening.
50
Too early, can't even finish a sentence.
' obviously.......they assume is a cis woman, is instead a trans woman, would be the desired outcome.'

51
And yes it is a tricky subject and degenderette commenting with guns blazing doesn't help.
52
It was obvious the LW was talking about a cis lesbian, and Dan responded accordingly. The point degenderette made was lost because of their attitude. Was the comment entity @12 cissexist then, because I read a pretty straight comment about preference not prejudice.
53
Lava @49 -- Oops, I only noticed degenderette's comment @13, not the previous one @10. You're correct that she appears to have identified herself as a cis female with a trans female partner. But she didn't coin the word cissexism; she just misused it, in my opinion.

As someone who is also involved with a trans woman, I can see why degenderette might be pre-emptively defensive re perceived transphobia. When my partner is misgendered, it seems to bother me more than it bothers her. I'm sure degenderette has come up against prejudice within the lesbian community. But you're right that the attitude does not help her case.

Unknown's comment @12 was not cissexist. Degenderette seems to think that, as a lesbian who is okay dating someone who possesses a penis, everyone else should be equally okay with this, otherwise they are some sort of bigot. I disagree. And so, as reported by Unknown Entity @12, does Buck Angel, who is himself trans.
54
@10 - Would you say that you crave generic cock all the time, or specifically your partner's cock? It may seem a bit arbitrary, but if you're only daydreaming about your partner and her bits, then I'd consider you 100% lesbian. But if you want cock that is attached to dudes who identify as dudes, then I'd say bi or pan. Ultimately, how you identify yourself is the only thing that matters, and to hell with the gatekeepers.
55
Generic Cock, sangu? I love it.
56
I haven't been questioning how degenderette self identifies. It can get confusing as well as tricky, hence no need to go mad at people, as they did @10 to Dan, calling his response to a specific question, which was obviously written by a cis person about other cis people, lazy.
The letter writer is a cis lesbian wanting to be with other cis lesbians, enquiring if cis gays ever venture into pussy territory, just like some cis lesbians venture into wanting cock territory.
Degenderette brought in an important consideration which contributes to the discussion, and if Dan reads thru the comments, he'll probably add that to his knowledge store, once he gets past being called lazy.
57
It is a good suggestion , degenderette's posts throw up. The answer to LW's question could include getting with a trans woman with a cock, who is also a lesbian.
58
I don't think Dan was lazy, degenderette, so much as just responding as a cis gay man to a cis gay woman. Navigating the cis/ trans worlds would go much better for all of us if defensiveness was left at the door. All allies here, or Dan would expel us.
It's taken me to now to see how you were offering a looser suggestion to the LWs question because you came in attacking. Then I got defensive, blah blah blah.
We love who we love, the labels aren't there to define us.
59
I think Degenderette missed the title of this week's column: "Quickies." The intention was not to write a multiple-page essay discussing every nuance of sexual desire, gender identity, sexual orientation, and whether genitals should matter and how much. The intention was to give brief answers to several questions, and I think Dan's answer -- anything is possible -- did not, in fact, exclude Degenderette's situation.

Sanguisuga makes a very good point @54. We have our preferences, but most of us are somewhat flexible on at least some of those preferences, when the human being involved is someone we have strong feelings for. That still does not obligate any lesbian to suck a cock if she doesn't want to. We also have the right to not make an exception, and keep that person as a friend only.
60
Are men dropping out of the dating and marriage game, or just the marriage game. Could porn be that powerful, men choose to keep away from romantic entanglements which can give so much pleasure and pain? What articles, please give references.
61
@60 LavaGirl: I know I'VE dropped out of the dating and marriage game, and it has nothing to do with porn.
I'm changing the subject slightly, but just had to unload this, because it is largely why I remain single. After the atrocities in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the shit occupying the White House, I witnessed a guy (20s, 30s) proudly waving an enormous U.S. banner size flag, complete with blood red Trumpzilla ball cap--and a tank top that read "Feminism is cancer".
I told the idiot that HE was the cancer. I got a shocked look from the guy. How unsettling is that that so many blindsided Trumpzilla followers don't even know what they're protesting or why they're so rabid?
62
Men who are dating use porn. Men who are married use porn. Ergo, porn does not cause men to "drop out of the dating and marriage game." Relationships aren't for everybody -- you, Griz and the dearly departed Venn are examples of those who've chosen to "go their own way" for reasons other than being brainwashed by porn. Personally, I'd much rather see men who are bitter and angry towards women decide not to pursue relationships than find partners to take their resentments out on. Particularly if the type of porn they're choosing to watch makes them hate women more.
63
Feminism confronts the Patriarchy, Grizelda.
To some young white males, it is cancer, because it's eaten away at what they were led to believe was how the world would be for them.
64
@44. LavaGirl. You're right--'transphobia' is a much more current term than 'cissexism' for 'normalised prejudice against any kind of trans people'. I've heard 'cissexism' used to mean the same thing. I had a brainfade in suggesting the less common term was necessary in our trying to get the measure of prejudicial social attitudes. But now, as I understand it, you're suggesting that cissexism is a particular subtype of transphobia: (mostly) straight cis men's violent disappointment that women they're dating have a penis? This is indeed a violent, repudiatory and aversive form of homophobia.

I'm not sure I understand the purport of degenderette's comment (beyond the actual words) even now. For instance, what is the (superficially reasonable) view she or they is arguing against?
65
44. LavaGirl. You're right--'transphobia' is a much more current term than 'cissexism' for 'normalised prejudice against any kind of trans people'. I've heard 'cissexism' used to mean the same thing. I had a brainfade in suggesting the less common term was necessary in our trying to get the measure of prejudicial social attitudes. But now, as I understand it, you're suggesting that cissexism is a particular subtype of transphobia: (mostly) straight cis men's violent disappointment that women they're dating have a penis? This is indeed a violent, repudiatory and aversive form of homophobia.

I'm not sure I understand the purport of degenderette's comment (beyond the actual words) even now. (I understand the earlier point that a lesbian isn't someone attracted to vaginas, not penises; but not the invocation of cissexism). For instance, what is the (superficially reasonable) view she or they is arguing against?
66
Harriet, I'd hope to be finished my part in this discussion and now you've confused me further. I'm not suggesting anything is cissexist because I hadn't heard it before. And where in degenderette's post did she say a lesbian isn't someone attracted to vaginas.
I think degenderette's comments come from the seemingly ongoing confusion and conflict about trans and cis women, not so much noise about cis and trans men. And this confusion comes from some trans activists wanting there to be no distinctions between cis and trans women. All the same, genitals shouldn't matter. Yet for many of us, genitals do matter and I get my back up because it feels like yet another attack on cis females. We exist, our biology exists, from our vaginas to our breasts to our monthly bleeding to our babies and stretch marks.
67
The other point I was making Harriet, re some cis men finding out in the bedroom about the presence of a penis on the woman he is with, is that I believe these pushes by trans activists that distinction be eradicated, are heard by many trans women and they start to believe genitals don't matter, and end up finding out that for some cis men, they do.
Given the anger with which degenderette came on the thread, I'd say some of her attitude comes her own inability to be comfortable with calling herself a lesbian. Lesbians in the general understanding, is one woman with a pussy only wanting to be with another woman with a pussy. Maybe degenderette came out fighting because she's felt judged by the purist lesbians. There has and I guess still is a lot of animosity between some cis women and some trans women.
It's an evolving discussion, I assume, at least with some of us. The wider population is totally perplexed, and that shouldn't be ignored. Instead of worrying re distinctions under the catergory of Women, and trying to force something which is not true, cis and trans women are not cut from the same cloth, the activists need to keep safe and teach safety.
Hence my convoluted reference above. Like, cut the crap. And be strong in each of our self identities, in our own bodies, without demanding some parellel universe was true.
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Before I get misread, I mean trans women and cis women and trans men and cis men, for all of us to be strong in our bodies.
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@66. LavaGirl. I don't mean to rope you back into a discussion where you've had your say--especially where we've probably been at cross-purposes, though not damagingly or irretrievably, and have each misunderstood or partially understood things degenderette has said.

My parsing of degenderette's headline idea would be that 'it is not the definition of a lesbian that she is someone interested in certain types of genitalia. She is rather interested in people of a certain gender--that is, women--most commonly, cis women, sometimes, trans women'. I would thoroughly endorse this view.

'Genitals' could be taken to 'matter' in two ways to me; but the political extensions of these ways would run in opposite directions. First, some people (me, for instance) would have an apparently immutable object-choice for the genitals associated with one biological sex--'penises' and their paraphernalia, or 'vaginas' and theirs (I like male genitalia, on a man or woman). I would think this preference should just be accepted; because 'I' here am predominantly gay and like men, it should not be held against me that I'm not attracted to penises of a non-standard form or the men who sport them; and because I also have a bi identification and am attracted to breasts, it shouldn't be held against me (or used as a stick to beat me with) that I have no attraction, almost always, to vaginas, nor desire to explore traditional PIV sex. These things and tastes just are; in one sense, they are beyond politics, and 'queer' as an umbrella term makes sense as the shelter or 'home' for people of different sexual persuasions.

The second sense in which 'genitals matter' is that the experience of having certain genitals and a certain biology will be constitutive of 'living their gender' for the centrally normatively defined people of that gender. A man--or a very common type of man--will be someone who masturbated a fair bit as a teen. A woman, or culturally typical woman, will be someone who went through puberty and began to menstruate, continuing to do so up to the menopause. Where the trans activists are right, for me, is in saying these specific bodily experiences, which people have by virtue of birth-assigned secondary sexual characteristics, are not necessary for a person to be a man or woman (most often, 'woman', in our political debates). Some trans activists may go farther and imply that the experience of e.g. menstruation should be understood to be definitive of, or just to inform, cis women's sense of their femininity (or their gender politics) at all. But I'd think these attributed views are mostly caricatures. To me, intersectionality should mean the typically bodied cis woman and the differently female-embodied trans woman being able to make common cause in their feminism.
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Lava @67: "Maybe degenderette came out fighting because she's felt judged by the purist lesbians. There has and I guess still is a lot of animosity between some cis women and some trans women."

There is, and I think that is most probably the case with Degenderette. She is a lesbian; she happened to fall in love with a trans woman who has a penis, and I'm certain there are those in her community who wanted to take away her lesbian card. It would make anyone defensive. Lesbians in particular are women who like to live without the company of men, and those who do not feel trans women are women because they grew up in the warm embrace of male privilege -- and straight privilege, if they are lesbian-identified -- can feel their safe space is being invaded when a trans woman enters the community. They don't see that trans women are even more marginalised than cis lesbians. They focus on the genitals, which is what Degenderette is understandably angry about.

Harriet @69: Congrats on the magic number. I agree with your post, and I don't believe that you and Lava are at cross purposes. To say that trans women aren't women because they didn't start menstruating around age 12 is silly, because no one has identical life experiences. It would be like denying someone's adulthood because they went through puberty with clear skin.

It's okay if your partner's genitals matter to you. And it's okay if they don't. We are all different; it's about finding people who are compatible, not forcing others to want what you have.
71
@Liberal Grandma - you don't HAVE to wake up next to the Trump supporter. You can get another bed or a comfortable arm chair, make meals for one person (you), do laundry for one person (you), etc. etc., until he gets the picture that he can have his shitty views but if he also wants a not-shitty home life, he'll keep them to himself.
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@69 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes: Congrats on scoring this week's lucky number!
@71 Jade Margery: Although I recommended the often chanted "DTMFA" as well as continue to vote big D, I think you offer a great suggestion for Liberal Grandma. Kudos. Mr. Staunch (more like stench, in my opinion) Trump Supporter can learn to cook, pick up after himself, and do his own dirty laundry. The same goes for all equally clueless Trumpist pigs and their bimbos.
No matter what the outcome of November's election, Seattle's next mayor will be female--either Cary Moon or Jenny Durkan. Voters obviously are demanding change--and hopefully a permanent extinguishing of the surge in raging blood red testosterone that has spread like cancer throughout this country under Trumpzilla and those of its RepubliKKKan ilk promoting it, all for their own selfish pigheaded corporate gain at the expense of the Earth and the rest of us.
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Griz @72: Let's hope your next female leader is better than ours!
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Harriet, one would hope all women, cis and trans, can make common cause in their feminism. This is very different to being told a cis woman and a trans woman are interchangable because they are both women, which I think is the line degenderette was pushing.
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@73 BiDanFan: I'll keep drinking to that, and have been since November 8, 2016's historically abysmal outcome. I'm sorry to read that the political situation where you are isn't any better.
I read in yesterday's Sunday, August 20, 2017 Seattle Times "(Oh, boy) in an article about Grays Harbor County (home to the communities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores, et al), that distressed voters have developed doubts about Trumpzilla (i.e.: Where are our new jobs? WTF about losing our healthcare?!? [Trump] broke his promises! When does America become great again? etc., etc), that there is now a surge in drug addiction, gambling, hopelessness, and homelessness (many living in cars) there in a newfound formerly Democratic blue-turned desolate blood-red Trumpzillaland. I truly wish these and other voters across the Divided States who are now feeling the severest butt-hurt of Trumpzilla's egotistical wrath, upon buying its lies and hatred propaganda could have realized the extension of their consequences BEFORE casting their votes nine and a half months ago and counting.
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Harriet, I'm fine for people to feel sexual attraction and love for any combination of primary and secondary sexual characteristics in a person . And label themselves as they want, not my business.
It's only my business when someone demands I find those combinations sexually attractive. And try to convince me that genitals don't matter. this is not the battle to fight as it can never be won. Trans women and cis women need to work alongside each other, respectfully, accepting their realities in some ways are different and in some ways similar.

Say for eg one of the questions above. I think it's above, it's recent anyway. She loves this boy but his cock has limitations, too small, I think. She's happy to find a solution so Dan helped her. Me, I'd be out the door, doesn't matter how sweet the boy was. And if someone told me that no, I must stay and adapt to the situation, I'd be cross. My sex is my sex, and I'll decide how it plays.
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Congrats on the lucky no, Harriet.
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@70, 72 @ 76. Thank you!

@LavaGirl. I have of course run into these activists in community rallying, support groups and consciousness-raising. They see me as a middle-of-the-road, bland, bourgeois, milquetoast-Republican-type (or Euro social democrat) gay man uncomfortable with my masculinity. I see myself as genderqueer, and am tempted to see something wishful in their projecting themselves so headlong, and even so parodically, into their femininity. But generally my sense would be that their views have been traduced. They are not saying 'the bodily experience of menstruation and childbirth has nothing to do with being a woman'. They're saying that one doesn't need to go through it, cis or trans, to be a woman.

I guess, as both you and BiDanFan have suggested, degenderette was defending her title to be a lesbian even though her lover has a dick. But we don't know exactly what her position is, and I don't want to rake over the coals for it, given that she's likely embattled and I'm likely 100% on her side.
80
I'm 100% with degenderette as well, Harriet. Her presentation let her down.
One doesn't need to go thru these experiences to be a woman, cis or trans? my brain won't compute that sentence, it feels like a mind fuck.
We've been down this rd before, Harriet, before you started commenting. And it does strike me as peculiar that it's only the trans women who are making such a big noise about all this. Not so much the trans men. Why do you think this is?
81
Harriet, there are cis women and there are trans women, and trying any variations of word salad, isn't going to change that. Yes, all under the umbrella of women. We still different and I just close down and start to lose my empathy when I'm told the difference doesn't exist. Best I don't post about this anymore at the moment, regain my inner ally.
82
But it's invidious to say one kind of woman is 'more woman'. If you can say both cis women and trans women are women (and the differences among women--American and European; jock and nerd; marrying type and solo adventurer etc. etc.--are legion) why do you need to observe any further distinction along the demarcation of cis / trans? Both these broad categories of women, one much more populated than the other, are the objects of different kinds of sexism--which may be especially grievous, and indelibly harmful, for individuals, both cis and trans. Supposing that practical politics isn't (ideally) going to be about getting into some kind of grievance competition, I don't see why people from either group would want to contest primacy to the mantle of definitional femininity.

My own sense is that whatever I've done, whatever I've worn, whatever cultural habits I've had that are associated with femininity, for some people those were always going to be just effects, just habits, just practices--aspects I could take on and take off, that didn't touch or engage with the central matter of being a woman. I would say--'but I read Jane Austen and Barbara Pym!' And they would say, 'that just means you read Jane Austen and Barbara Pym'. And I would say, 'but I've extensively researched and have a collection of 40s and 50s gingham dresses'. And they would say 'a woman wouldn't need to research them. And you just wear those dresses on a few Sundays in summer, when you're not going to be beaten to a pulp by a homophobe'. And the last part would be true. I'm not for the moment suggesting that I'm a woman and have given off being a man (or was never a man). But surely gender is more complicated and interesting than just being the body. How about being readily able to conceive of people being 'mostly' male or 'mostly' female? For me, at a certain level, gender has to be as gender does. The people I've found it easiest to get on with have always been those who could shrug or laugh and say, 'OK, in that respect you're female'.
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@41: Re PP: It's also possible that more people are realizing that one doesn't have to "do the dating game" to hook up with partners. And the goal of the eventual hookup doesn't have to be marriage. Once people are over the traditional stereotypes, the alternatives can be quite economical for those saddled with debt and lacking economic opportunities.

Perhaps LW2 is still hanging around the cocktail lounges, running up a bar tab and wondering whatever happened to Leisure Suit Larry.

84
I suggest to you Heather, that as a cis man, you have no idea what you are talking about here. Like always, cis men telling cis women, how it should be.
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Is this last post, 84, addressed to me? I wouldn't see myself as a cis man.
86
There are some who seem to think that 'blood magic' lends a greater air of credibility to certain women. As someone who was born with ladybits but is coming to realise that I'm some form of nonbinary, I don't understand that sort of black and white thinking at all. It's just a flesh suit - why does it matter if the damn thing sheds a uterine lining every four weeks? How does that make me any more authentic than the person who was born in the wrong body and has taken steps to rectify that? What does 'being a woman' even mean? Fuck if I know, even if I present as one most of the time.
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Blood magic sanguista? It's magic because it proves a woman is not pregnant.
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Nope. Just biology. And quite redundant in some cases, as mine was never intended for use. Thank goodness for medical interventions!
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Yes, it is just biology sangu. And your point is.
When you bleed, that's what it feels like to be a woman. When you rub your clit or someone else does, and all those nice feelings of sexual pleasure arise, that's what it feels like to be a woman. We are biology, our identity begins with our biology.
Trans people are not born in the wrong body, they feel like they are born in the wrong body. As I understand it, per Dr Michael Mosley, for trans people, the body gets one sex hormone and the mind another, in utero. There is where the disconnect occurs. In utero.
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Uh, no. That IS my whole point. I don't do a moon dance when I've got effluvia pouring from my insides. I don't celebrate having a clit and think to myself, oh what joy to be a woman. Generally I just roll my eyes when someone tries that nonsense, and I shove them away. I get my jollies by fucking - as the penetrating partner. You're so hung up on the idea that fleshy bits and pieces define who a person is. My being, my consciousness, does not reside in my vagina.