Sep 2, 2015 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
@13 vennominon:

"fisting but no 'sex'" sounds obvious to me. She's describing what apparently used in the lesbian world to be called being 'stone': wanting sexual behaviour but very strongly not wanting to be the object of stimulation. Doesn't want to be touched on the erogenous zones or to have an orgasm. She may or may not be comfortable giving the man direct genital stimulation but it's fair to say from the description that that's not high-priority for her in her fantasy.

Since she's aware that 'mutual stimulation intended to end in giving both people an orgasm" is the most common sexual definition along with the more sexist definition of "penile vaginal penetration until male orgasm", she's wanting to make it clear that she wants to share the parts of sexual behaviour that she would enjoy, while disclosing her variance from the norm.
May 13, 2015 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
Dan's response to the lesbian is problematic. He fancies his bloke for reasons not-unconnected with his being muscular, attractive, gorgeous in tiny briefs, which makes calling a 'no fats, no fems' advert 'asshole' a possible double standard. He has several times (seriously or not) pointed out that women's bits are icky and he doesn't want to date a person with a vulva, ever. This sort-of implies that fancying particular types of people can sometimes be non-negotiable, which further implies that he would never go out with a trans man, regardless of personality etc. Which implies that it may be unfair for him to hold this lesbian to a different standard, especially since genitals are considered a Big Deal in society and this actually might be the point she's trying to make ('even if she's a gorgeous woman, the dick gets in the way of the attraction'). I think if it is something like this, it's only courtesy on both sides to clarify it first, because most romantic relationships do have an implication that the clothes will come off some time.

I can't help thinking the husband who feels funny about his wife rubbing her clit (eyes-closed is fairly common among women who need to concentrate to get off, I should think) has had a higher than usual proportion of fakers in his past. If he thinks women's masturbatory operating procedure is weird and a turn-off, he seems to show all the signs of thinking a woman's sexuality is there for the man's benefit, and the others had suspiciously convenient orgasms that didn't bother him by getting in the way or taking too long.

Women! Do not fake, for the comfort of your ex's next girlfriend. You don't want him to get the impression that the female orgasm takes no work, shows no undignified expressions, and requires no knowledge of the external clitoris. People generalise anyway (I remember how surprised I was the one time I encountered a man who preferred to be stimulated at the base of the shaft rather than the glans), but faking and porn can lead to ridiculous expectations of how the female orgasm works.
Feb 26, 2015 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
The "because boobs" interjection is influenced by some of the insulting-to-men assumptions in the culture in general. While women get the shitty end of the stick in more obvious ways, men are expected to be incredibly basic in their sexual reactions. Porn is expected to work for all men of the appropriate orientation (or why else is it so similar and without variation?); men are expected to be a threat (see Cliff Pervocracy's article (Google for it) on "The Myth of the Boner Werewolf" for a description of how insulting it is to men to have the assumption they Just Can't Stop); Cosmo-type articles are full of descriptions of how to get what you want from men by what I can only describe as a bizarre form of interpretative dance whose sole purpose appears to be not talking to them.

And, to the point in this case, comedy website Cracked! assumes (at least for the lulz) that straight men and boys can be instantly derailed from whatever they were thinking about by their stock photo of a pair of "sweater melons" in a beige cardie.

*That's* what "because boobs" is all about. She doesn't probably believe her boobs are magic so much as believing, at least for comedy purposes, that a good pair of tits are all she needs to get the guy interested.
Jan 23, 2015 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
@Chairman (giggle)

Imagination *can* become reality, but the answer should be working on it before it gets to that stage. Maybe the degree of shame and secrecy around sexual fantasy should be decreased by sex education that makes a point of saying, early on, fantasy is only fantasy.

Women who are tormented by fantasizing about rape or violent humiliation when they think it means they're sick? People with a thing about Nazis/race? The vore thing? Of *course* it would be plainly loony, or just wrong, to rush possibly-tendentious fantasies toward reality, but it's not wrong because people need training to "have the right" fantasies or "replace" fantasies.

People need telling, as this girl needs telling, you probably won't stop finding an idea hot, especially if you've had it for a while, but you'll probably start feeling more interest in other stuff over time (especially if you relax and let things get playful). And you can learn to fudge it with things like making it more vamp than vore, if that helps you play well with others. Colour me optimistic, but I think the safety-valves of turning a possibly-threatening fantasy idea into play, or narrative, or art, are worth keeping.
Jan 23, 2015 Woofb commented on Savage Love.

Fascinating details, and I can never understand why people like Hunter are so keen on mansplaining what counts as acceptable or sexual. I'm generally pleased by the variety of human imagination, and have never been keen on policing other people's sexual imaginings. Especially because, as people say, they can't generally change the way their heads are wired.

The answer is obvious. Don't police imagination, particularly not based on squick (yes, I'd take that as far as paedophilia, rape fantasy, incest, inanimate objects, or vore). Police actions that cause harm. Educate people that they cannot help what fantasies come into their heads, but they can help what conclusions they come to about what it *means*. Fred and Rose West were not evil because they were sexual sadists, but because they gradually got into a frame of mind where only each other seemed quite real to them, while other people were seen as toys they could destroy at will. That German cannibal (I've forgotten the name) was bad not because he had vore fantasies but because given the chance he pushed it to murder instead of the consensual stuff GiftHorse mentioned.

My own particular fantasy is odd enough that pre-Internet I thought it was very rare among women, which apparently it isn't, but isn't one of the ones I mentioned above. But, like those, it's a fantasy I cannot readily make real. I'm sure that that softened my degree of feminism in the '80s because I didn't demonise porn as much as a lot of women I knew (tended to be "not my kink, but as long as it's reasonably ethically-produced, I don't think it's evil.")

I would also mention that I read a fascinating memoir last year called _Confessions of a Sociopath_. She doesn't talk particularly about sexual fantasy, but about the strange way her mind works. It's relatively common for her to fantasise about murdering people (even from things like being jostled in a crowd). But at an early age she decided calmly that she wanted to be inside human society rather than out, and she happened to grow up in a religion that she took seriously enough to make rules. She has never acted on any of the sociopathic ideas that cross her mind, because she knows that acting on them would hurt others, and the hurt would eventually come back to her as well. I don't think she should be imprisoned for the way her head's wired--although I have to declare an interest here: since I am on the autism spectrum and relatively weak on natural empathy, I don't believe morality should be judged on neurotype.
Dec 17, 2014 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
...and following @26, "if I were the asker, I'd feel *really* shitty" is the other reason this sort of column puts me off. Presumably there were people out there struggling with difficulties in their personal lives, and having it treated as a) obvious and b) stupid probably hurts.
Dec 17, 2014 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
Short depressing column this week. This sort of thing, where all you get are smart-arse one-liners, always gives me the feeling he's phoning it in. Probably an artefact of answering a lot of questions fast, but it's always more interesting when Dan and the commenters get their teeth in.
Aug 22, 2014 Woofb commented on Savage Love.

Bless you! I've had a number of conversations on LJ with people entirely convinced that one could only enjoy a romance with an erotic component if one wanted to shag the object of it. I think I was the only one there that was quite prepared to read 'different' stuff as speculative fiction, whether I found the sex scenes erotic or not.

I would have been perfectly prepared to enjoy the hedgie romance if I hadn't realised from the review that it skewed so heavily Alpha-Male. It's probably easier to manage that trope if the hero isn't five inches tall some of the time.
Aug 22, 2014 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
Several of you (cf @89) seem to be having difficulty with the weird-pairings thing, which does come up in explicit fanfic and in quite a bit of self-published e-books on Amazon (I've seen the wolf-shifters advertised, which tend to tap into werewolf stories, but also hedgehogs and cuttlefish). And there have been robot-love and alien-sex SF books for a long time (Tanith Lee's _Silver Metal Lover_ is a good example).

Apart from being mildly amused at seeing an example of Rule 34 ("if it exists, there is porn of it"), I don't tend to read them because of erotic desire for the object, i.e. it's not straightforward bestiality or paraphilia. If I pick up one of these books it tends to hit the same reactions that make me read speculative fiction in the first place -- this isn't real, so how far can the author take me to visit something really different in my head? How might alien sex differ from Earth-human sex? How sapient or sentient might a robot be? How do animals see the world? (I remember reading Richard Adams' _Watership Down_ as a proto-feminist child, and being equally convinced and infuriated that all the characters were males, and the females were treated as resources). I was disappointed when I read a review of the hedgehog shifter novel, and the poor old urchin had the whole weight of Alpha Male Syndrome on his prickly shoulders, as both an Asshole Hero and a hedgehog. I don't like it in romance, and I don't like it in lycanthropic/other romance (the whole Alpha/Beta thing doesn't appear to be real anyway).

But believing the impossible, suspending the disbelief, and exercising the empathy muscles, by going somewhere really different and entering a really different mind -- that's what speculative fiction is all about! I'd probably rather see it policed by people saying whether or not it's badly done than people pointing and laughing every time they see something different done at all.
Aug 20, 2014 Woofb commented on Savage Love.
Slash fanfic (usually called m/m for male/male when it's pro-fic) is often a straight inversion (!) of the lesbian-porn-for-straight-men cliche.

I realised I was into that sort of thing when I was in my teens, following a dream, and have had those fantasies since. For many years it was a truism that Of Course Men Like Lesbians But Gay Men Embarrass Women (people kept doing studies that came up with that answer. Now they do studies that don't), so I was delighted when the rest of the world caught up with my perversity and there was a space for it (my introduction to slash, or K/S as it was at the time, was an essay by Joanna Russ). Not that it particularly bothered me to be the only person who was that sort of pervert, but it amused me to have company.

In my case, I was feminist (and didn't like the female submission that seemed to be the rule in the erotica/bodice-rippers I could find), and plain, and odd. The assumption that sex was about the woman being looked-at made me uncomfortable (I've always got along better with the tactile side anyway, and am not a very visual person).

To me, male-male erotica in a female-dominated subculture offered me a place to play out things I don't necessarily do, relax into being a fictional character (the lack of performance-anxiety is also a part of why straight men like looking at lesbians), and feel no pressure about What Women Should Do (because neither of the characters was a woman, but both of them were usually to some degree free from many of the stereotypes of being a man. Tying this in with the first letter-writer, I get some of the same feelings from the more genderfluid writings I've found from trans people.

Assumptions of normality among men and/or women are probably where I feel least at home...