Savage Love

Power Players

Comments

104

tim browne @ 101
Moving away from long long dead world leaders… I wonder which soccer player inspired you to describe yourself that way. As an assumed-older-than-you person Horst Hrubesch and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge come to mind.
One may also recall Berti Vogts systematically mowing and provoking the Netherlands’ star Johan Cruyff during the 1974 World Cup final.

105

savage love 30ish years ago... where deviants connect w/ other deviants.

savage love now... where the overly sensitive connect with the thought police.

106

@80, Mr H, thank you for pointing out the bleeding obvious. I didn’t like Jack getting in his bully boy jacket, over a bit of fun.

107

Oh dropout, and of course you’re one of the left over deviants, eh? Carry that flag fella.

108

@46. Traffic. Eh? What? Because when 'her dad raped her mum', her mum said something like, 'oh, that's so good' quite loud? No, she didn't. It's likely (but not sure) the rape victim said nothing. Likely (but not sure) that the rape was quiet. The housemate complaining would seem to be triggered by the sound of anyone having noisy sex. It is unfortunate that her trigger doesn't discriminate between happy, abandoned sex and coerced sex. It would also be unhappy were the housemate so traumatised that she couldn't have abandoned sex.

My mind really boggles at @47 Jina's comments as well.

109

@53. etoile-sombre. If we're talking about 'problematic', I think more 'problematic' than a gay woman imprinted on 'Nazis' (uniformed bad guys) is a straight man enjoying (consensual scenes of) men sexually demeaning women. Because roughly the same set of impulses and beliefs that led to the guy's e.g. getting promoted over his more able female colleague conduced to the production of his wank material of choice. 'Roughly' the same ideas or mindset...

I have a little, but not much, sympathy for the view that a word like 'problematic' is out of place apropos sexual fantasies, since these are separate from our political beliefs and commitments. I think, a bit more, that the worry 'what are we letting out into the world?' is due, when asked of our sexual fantasies. But I'm not sure the fact that we may be giving currency to some awful images and beliefs (when taken for real, when not a sexual fantasy) should license the censoring of those images. Or should lead to our censoring ourselves. How the images circulate is important. It's possible for Nazi-themed porn to appear in contexts that make clear that it is in no way an endorsement of a racial ideology or structuring of society (let alone the crimes the Nazis committed).

110

Pan Sapien, nobody lived thru Leopold or would ever look to Churchill for fantasy fodder.
We all still feel the Nazis, collective trauma, and they still exist and are having a resurgence. Power differentials are one thing, to include the most evil force known in living memory, that’s dark. Go dark, your mind. It still dark.

111

@65. elmsyrup. I think you could have legitimately said at the time--'but the sex I had was nothing like rape'. Could your housemate have said something like, 'but it sounded that way'. I don't think she could.

@66. Bi. The housemate was the asshole. She could have said 'you were a bit loud last night. I'm sorry to have to say this, but noisy sex triggers some really difficult memories for me--could you try to keep it down?' (Or more, on the subject of the rape, if she and elmsyrup were close). What she said was asshole-ish. The idea that traumatised people can't be assholes is clearly wrong.

112

@77. Lava. This also makes sense--the point about elmsyrup possibly having said something that warranted the housemate bringing up her traumatic memories of rape. We have no reason to believe e.g. that elmsyrup drunkenly playacted a rape scenario, but unless something like that happened, her housemate's words seem seriously out of line.

113

@81. philophile. jack chandelier is being an asshat in making fun of Griz's game. His own game in doing this is not more sophisticated than Griz's. Griz's is innocent--it's having fun, bringing fun to others--while jack's rationale is meanly critical. He independently can say valid things.

@92. Emma. I agree that the real Nazis, the sub-Richard Spencers, aren't interested in WWII Nazis on Fetlife.

114

I see some gobbledygook which moves me to elaborate upon my obvious observations that (since nothing can be 'wrong' which has has no effect upon the world) thoughts cannot be wrong.

And the only sense in which thought which have no effect upon the world can be PROBLEMATIC, is if the thoughts somehow psychologically harm the one thinking them.

But I think that needs to be left to the person blooming thinking the thoughts since no one else really has visibility of or jurisdiction over such matters. Be on notice that anyone who wishes us all to start policing /your/ thoughts is welcome to cast the first stone. I question the sanity of any dissenter (preemptively, since I doubt I'll be able to bear replying to any insane people).

115

Mizz Liz - If we had more separation and gay were clearly walled off while women could do what they liked with MM-for-F-tastes, the reverberations would be far less consequential.

Mr Curious - My contemporaries have been around for basically the entire life of gay publishing, which probably would have died anyway even if David Rees had survived. I remember I wasn't sure whether it would be a good or a bad thing when a gay author of some renown (it might have been David Leavitt) switched to a mainstream publisher, but it seems to have turned out that the top 1% of gay writers end up being the equivalent of Ms Warren (and I do not knock your holding her in such high esteem) succeeding in a hostile world while the rest of what's called "gay fiction" is mainly MM-for-and-by-women. Having seen a number of gay authors develop rather well, I grieve over the current wasteland, but am thankful I don't have to depend on non-existent new literature for my reading material.

If it were honestly labeled and understood to be what it is, I'll admit it would rankle, but I could let it go at FTWL. The lack of separation leads to such things as my PLB getting all sorts of bad ideas into his head about what gays were supposed to be like and thinking they were good ideas because they came from purportedly friendly media.

As for who's pathologizing gays, that's a favourite sport for many. It's even occasionally a profitable pastime for Mr Savage. The other day I listened to a long argument on one of the more serious gay YT channels going into all the 5,079 things (give or take some unspecifiable number) that are Wrong With Us for liking MM porn with "straight" men. And we don't even know to what extent the preference is a gay thing, a bi thing or a woman thing.

Given that everyone seems to accept the idea that porn instills bad ideas into the heads of DS men, I don't know why people would want so strongly to resist the suggestion that the popularity of "straight" men porn is bad for gays. I have a young friend to whom I give writing advice from time to time who is finding it terribly difficult to find anyone to date and acknowledges how most of that comes from his having had it drummed into his head for years that straight men are more attractive than gays and are what he's supposed to want. It's been difficult for him to accept that gay masculinity is as valid as straight masculinity.

While I am not expert, I believe most of the porn in question has a "servicing" aspect, and that there is little to nothing that would invite a gay watcher to feel attractive to straights. Your "challenging conquest" aspect is another of my friend's problems, reinforced by the comment section of the video I mentioned - an instilled devaluing of gays who actually like being pursued. And your "flattering reflection" is something one of the better-known FeMRAs from four or five years ago was touting as a universal characteristic of gays - that we all wanted to be the only against-type object of a straight's attraction, which was why she thought we were all furiously jealous of DS trans women. It is bad enough when DS or other people punish us for not jumping through their One Good Gay hoops. It is even worse when they insist that we all set up such hoops for ourselves. It's also rather much more a reflection of how irresistible some straight men think they are to gays but don't want to own as a point of pride.

Oh, dear; I fear I am just working myself into a stronger state of despair. I'm afraid I don't see any grounds for encouragement in your conclusion. The moral seems to be that DS people (or at least men) benefit from having DS partners with SS experience. All that does is reinforce the point I sometimes make to Ms Fan that B-S seems generally (with many exceptions) a more compatible pairing than B-L or B-G.

116

@115 venn
I like the idea of labelling intended audience and am sorry that even then you could only "let it go". I hear the pain of a lost audience, but what writer of MM for M wants women who want to read MM to have to read it for the lack of MM for women?

I (sorry) forget who asked if guys read erotica. I do, though not regularly (when I do it's not easy to find a lot to like). I'm not the only one who reads it; at literotica.com/top/most-read-erotic-stories I see a story with 10.9M "Reads". Unfortunately sorting that way is useless for me, since (as I've mentioned before) nearly all of the most-read stories feature incest which does not interest me.

"Given that everyone seems to accept the idea that porn instills bad ideas into the heads of DS men, I don't know why people would want so strongly to resist the suggestion that the popularity of "straight" men porn is bad for gays."

That's /such/ a well-made point! (Particularly given your other point about it perhaps being produced to suit women's tastes.)

I guess it was ignorance which led me to think it couldn't hurt since it served a male audience.

I have a feeling there was more I could have responded to if I knew more of the 5 abbreviations in your final paragraph. I think I've learned SS=Same Sex, and I think I know from porn coding that B-G = Boy/Girl? (Oh, you could tell me, but I'd probably forget it by the next time you used it in a year.)

I'm sorry that there are so many people with toxic attitudes towards gay people.

"my PLB getting all sorts of bad ideas into his head about what gays were supposed to be like and thinking they were good ideas because they came from purportedly friendly media"

I believe you; I've heard exactly the same thing from my most aware gay male friends(1). And not just about media, about culture: it's depressing that cultural messages, particularly sourced from the point of view of one's oppressors, end up getting absorbed and serving the oppressors while ill-serving the oppressed.

(1) Wait, where do I get off saying who are aware? It's true I have standing to judge their gay-awareness, but they're also people and I have a great deal of standing to judge whether people have awareness.

117

@116 p.s. oops by
"It's true I have standing"
I of course meant
" It's true I have NO standing"

118

@101 tim, The evil that men do lives after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Churchill.

I will note, more generally, that while the Bengal Famine may have been the largest of Winston's crimes against humanity, it is far from his only one - from his personal involvement in the burning of Sudanese villages in the 1880s to the use of poison gas on the Marsh Arabs in Mesopotamia in the 1920s, the man had form when it came to mass murder. And don't get me started on the less racist but still appalling blunders like Gallipoli or the fall of Singapore or the Irish Civil War. He was a monster, but he won, and so we forget.

119

I think you are onto something, EmmaLiz, in the the familiarity of the Nazis and our knowledge of their evil allows us to fantasise about them while rendering the details of their crimes as 'already read'. But I would go a step further - it is the fact the Nazis lost that makes them both good villains and the perfect subject for transgressive fantasies such as FASH's - we can boo the Nazis (and jerk off to them) safe in the knowledge that they were defeated, and so rest peacefully knowing that good will ultimately triumph, and that our fantasies, however dark, will not overtake us. To fantasise about British or Belgian colonialism would merely open a can of worms, where all the unresolved historical tensions and ambiguities rise like ghosts and force us to confront them (whose land am I living living on? Whose land are you living on?) would be a less sexy and reassuring experience.

120

@69 Sublime Afterglow: WA-HOOOO!!!!!! Major congrats on scoring this week's delicious Lucky @69 Award! Bask in the glory and savor the decadence. :)
@100: WA-HOOOOO!!!!! Big congrats to EmmaLIz for scoring this week's Big Hunsky Award!
May good fortune shower you like never before. :)

121

EmmaLiz @89: Zing! Gold star to you :)

Venn @84/Curious @98, I think one difference is whom the same-sex porn being consumed by the opposite sex was created for. Would MM porn continue to be produced if only men were purchasing it? Of course it would. Would FF porn exist if only lesbians were purchasing it? No. So the male porn performers are playing to an audience of men, which in your mind is OK. The MM porn existed before the women decided they liked it too. The men involved are only making slightly more money from this secondary audience. Whereas no female porn performer could possibly make a living out of selling to women only. There is MM porn made just for women, but this mainly entails slash fiction and erotica, and no real men were harmed in the making of written words. Regardless, Venn's outrage at women looking at MM porn is just as likely to dry them up as lesbians' outrage is to stop men watching girl-on-girl. So your best approach is to rationalise that these guys would be doing exactly what they're doing anyway, whether any women consume it or not, and there is no ethical issue. (If straight men are performing for the gay male audience, that has nothing to do with the female gaze, so FASH is off the hook.)

Phi @102: "I was more thinking that the mother had lied about being raped, or made a misinterpreted comment about the sex, if she had been yelling "yes more" during the assumed rape." Yes, I got that that's what you were thinking, and that thought horrified me, therefore I rejected it. I don't think she was yelling "yes, more" during the incident; I think Elmsyrup was using her own "yes, mores" as evidence that she was clearly not being raped and therefore the roommate should not be associating these two incidents in her mind. Unfortunately, trauma triggers can't be logicked away like that. I agree that the roommate should have spoken calmly to Elmsyrup, but people who have been traumatised get a pass on not being as calm as they "should." Elmsyrup should have forgiven the roommate's overreaction (which, I agree the roommate should have apologised for) and suggested she get some therapy and/or her own place, and perhaps tried to be more considerate about noise knowing the effect it had on her roommate. Or, indeed, moved out and got her own place so no one would complain.

Your posts are often insightful but you seem to have a pattern of assuming people who are experiencing very strong emotions can, and should be expected to, react rationally. This is not usually the case. We should anticipate that people with past trauma, like Elm's roommate, like the clearly damaged guy who was afraid to ask to borrow his boyfriend's car, cannot form the logical sequence of thoughts you or I might see clearly. This is why therapists exist. People who have experienced trauma cannot see things objectively or rationalise away their strong emotional reactions to triggers. That's where the much-maligned word "trigger" comes from -- an unrelated event is triggering a disproportionate reaction due to past trauma the person has not yet fully processed. You don't mock triggers like some people, but you don't seem to understand how they work. The roommate did not have the emotional skill to CALMLY talk to Elmsyrup. And Elmsyrup did not recognise that this was not because she's an arsehole, but because she's traumatised.

Harriet @108: "Likely (but not sure) that the rape was quiet." No, not at all likely; if quiet, how would Roommate have overheard it? It is likely that the rape involved a lot of screaming, and that the sex Elmsyrup was having also involved a lot of screaming, which is why it triggered Roommate's memories.
Jina's post @47 was also made before Elmsyrup clarified that she DID react by apologising, and in that context makes perfect sense to me.

Harriet @111, read my post @68 for a clarification of @66.

122

‘Thought cannot be wrong.. ‘curious@114. Thoughts interact with our feeling body, it’s not a matter of right or wrong. One has angry thoughts, what happens to the body?
Nazis embody gross inhumanity, racism. The idolisation of the blond, the blue eyed.

123

@90 BDF: "Jack, a newcomer..."

Behold! A Member of the The Stranger Community: jack chandelier
Member since 2012
257 Comments

https://www.thestranger.com/users/11793714/jackchandelier

124

Fred @123, he has only recently begun commenting regularly on this column.

125

@121. Bi. How could Roommate have heard a rape that was quiet? Because the rape was her father raping her mother. Her mother (according to this line of supposition) told Roommate about her afterwards--e.g. in the aftermath of Roommate's parents splitting up, when Roommate asks why or her mother presents her justifications. For the sex elm had to be triggering, there could possibly have been some circumstantial features about the rape (or habitually coerced sex between Roommate's parents) that were shared with what she heard this one time--e.g. Roommate's father made her mother scream 'yes' or 'that's so good' as part of an experience that was an ordeal for her.

The alternative explanation is that any noisy sex--happy sex; sex punctuated by noises caused by a man's show of strength--is triggering for Roommate. (I agree what you call 'likely' re the noise is likely). Roommate could well have been triggered hearing the sex, but rationally must have known the difference between happy uninhibited sex and rape. She gets a pass for any action she may have been moved to when triggered--e.g. banging on the wall and shouting 'shut up'--but not for her remark the next morning. The remark was asshole-ish.

126

Had the exchange been:

Roomie: 'Loud sex awakens bad memories in me; please could you keep it down next time?'

Elm: 'Humph' [Thinks: 'what an asshole. Can't I have uninhibited sex?']

'Elm' would conceivably have been an ass. Why didn't 'Elm' worry about why loud sex was triggering? However, that's not what Roomie began by saying. My impulse is to agree with elmsyrup that, in reddit's celebrated words, the roommate was the asshole here.

127

@122 LavaGirl
"curious@114. Thoughts interact with our feeling body, it’s not a matter of right or wrong."

In other words, as I wrote @114, "thoughts cannot be wrong".

"One has angry thoughts, what happens to the body?"

(I'm glad you brought up what I think is a very interesting question.)
I agree that generally, it is not healthy for people to be thinking negative thoughts. However, nearly everyone does think negative thoughts (nearly everyone is unhealthy in this way), and I don't see you making that quoted point on nearly every letter to Dan. It only seems to come up when you think someone's fantasies need criticism/thought-policing.

As I said @114: "I think that needs to be left to the person blooming thinking the thoughts since no one else really has visibility of or jurisdiction over such matters." For example:

How could you /possibly/ know that FASH's fantasy thoughts are "angry" thoughts? Maybe if you LavaGirl tried to fantasize about Nazis your thoughts would be angry, but perhaps in the play in her mind they are not, perhaps the thoughts /she/ is having are not negative or unhealthy. (It's impossible for you to know, in other words as I wrote @114 "no one else really has visibility" WRT someone else's thoughts.)

And what if they are angry thoughts, since as I just said, nearly everyone has them, and has them the majority of the time(1). Most people don't have another way they know how to be. If the only way someone could get off were to think angry thoughts, do you want to deny them sex too?.

And they could also be faux-angry thoughts: in other words in the play in the fantasizer's mind the fantasizer might simply be sophisticated enough at mind-acting to pretend to be angry. When Meryl Streep plays a scene in which her character gets angry, are you worried about the emotional/physical/psychological impact of her acting that scene? (Maybe so, but she chose the job, and do you want people to stop filming dramas?)

Fantasies are acting, LG.(2) Maybe not for you, but trust me, they are for others. And we can't know that their acting is hurting them unless they tell us, because we can't experience the mindspace the play of their fantasies exist upon.

When I read FASH's letter, I of course looked for signs that the fantasies were hurting her, but I saw none, and thus dropped my consideration of that. You OTOH assumed with /no/ basis that they were hurting her.

It would have been absolutely fine for you to ask her completely 1000% nonjudgmentally how she experienced the fantasies, that would be a reasonable approach to addressing your concern. But it was not reasonable to /assume/ (insert the joke about the word "assume" from the old TV show "The Odd Couple").

(1) I had a family member who watched cablenews every waking moment to revel in their pure hatred of the political party they weren't a member of. I was of course concerned, but they knew no other way to be, it was the best they could do at their level of psychological/spiritual development. And it wasn't that bad in their eyes, they felt like it made them happy (though sadly it wasn't a very healthy kind of happiness...but it was /their/ kind, the only kind they could have).

(2) I'm glad you asked this question, because I've long thought when you've criticised people's fantasies, that you haven't self-reflected on your own fantasies enough to see or know that it's possible to craft a fantasy in one's mind in which it's safe, in which it's 'firewalled', from the kind of concerns you routinely assume must be relevant for fantasizers. Fantasy is something one creates; one can intentionally mentally edit out the problematic factors and be as emotionally safe once those factors are gone as a fictional space ship on Star Trek would be with it's 'shields' up. (This works because a fantasy, like a dream, need not all make logical sense.) It's make-believe that's made-to-order by the fantasizer; when we design them, we can make they 1000% safe, so that your concerns are completely unwarranted.

129

BDF @124: He's been commenting regularly, albeit infrequently, since 11 September 2012. I didn't bother to check if it was all twatwafflery, and I agree with your comment @83 about second chances, but I have low tolerance for those who are rude to Griz.

Hachacha @128: The Portland Mercury is The Stranger's "sibling publication". It's the same web platform with a different URL and local content, and while it does have its own SL comments section, this week's is thus far empty. So if anyone wants a "Firdt", they can jump over there.

While I agree with your "imperialist" call, my inner imperialist wants to see numpties and twatwaffles banished to the Portland Mercury comments section.

130

Harriet, "jack chandelier is being an asshat in making fun of Griz's game. His own game in doing this is not more sophisticated than Griz's. Griz's is innocent--it's having fun, bringing fun to others--while jack's rationale is meanly critical. He independently can say valid things."
I thought Jack's rationale was that he was riffing on a comedy bit about cities. He's been told to zip it and unclench and such and exchanged snowflake jibes with EmmaLiz, I thought the worst he's done is gripe a bit and seem sad, I don't really get your vehemence. Maybe he's hurt Griz in some way I missed? I've heard her call people names and aggressively defend her beliefs, she seems like she can take care of herself. I slip up and call people names too sometimes, so I can't complain too much.

Venn, I think I may have a possible solution for your dilemma. If you want MM porn for women to be more niche like FF and POV porn for men, you could encourage women to film themselves seeking pleasure with men, and DS POV porn for women. This might help FM porn become mainstream for women instead of the easier-to-imagine-everyone-is-having-fun MM porn. If this idea sounds irrelevant, I'm sorry I misunderstood your concern.

BDF, I think we are agreed that Elm introduced the "yes more" bit to show how different her sex sounded from a rape, but I think it's relevant because I agree with Elm that this should have helped roommate separate her private trauma from her response to Elm's sex noises, and act with more sensitivity.
"Your posts are often insightful but you seem to have a pattern of assuming people who are experiencing very strong emotions can, and should be expected to, react rationally."
I do hold people responsible for their actions even when they feel very upset. I think that mistakes are more understandable when someone is upset, but that doesn't change the fact that they made a mistake. Upset feelings don't excuse mistakes, just make them easier to forgive, and I didn't see anything that Elm did that was a mistake despite the fact that she was disturbed to have her happy sex compared to a rape. It seems like Elm did what you thought she should do, unfortunately roommate made the mistake of hurting Elm by comparing her happy sex to a rape and never took any responsibility for causing Elm pain and eventually denied it even happened. Maybe you think that Elm and I are missing compassion for the roommate, that she deserves help to deal with her trauma so that she can be kinder to others, but I thought we were all agreed on that point.

131

Venn, I am saying that you can point out "hey women! you don't have to settle for MM porn! you can make your own good FM porn!" if you would like to encourage women to change their porn habits. Scolding women for watching MM porn doesn't seem to be as effective.

132

And BDF, if you had your face all slashed up with glass shards and over half a hundred stitches to try to fix it in your twenties, I'd feel it was fair to tell me that you can handle your trauma as well as I handle my own. But at present I don't like the way you assume I can't understand trauma. We all have our stories.

133

PS @ 119
The “sex appeal of Nazism” (a horrible term yet sums it up) started way before they got in power. The movement was always cultish and fetishized German history and art, parades and banners, projecting conviction beyond doubt despite any previous contradictions, an environment ripe for some hard-core personality cult.
The kink scene and relative gender and sexual fluidity in Germany between first and second world wars, especially in Berlin, was not ignored by the movement. Sex was everywhere in their every approach and design.

Homosexuality was rampant in the nazi party until Hitler attempted to get rid of them one way or the other, mostly the “other.” Regardless, there were still men in his very close circle who practiced secretly till the very end. Intentional or not, homo erotica was often bleeding from many of their posters and films.
German women fainted regularly during a hitler’s appearance (something like attending a Beatles or Elvis show some 30 years later.)
Uniform and insignia were brought up earlier, and the German use of the most powerful medium of the day, film, is apparent and far superior to anyone viewing WW2 footage, be it staged propaganda, battlefield coverage, or Olympic games tight close ups.
Kink and often abusive and manipulative relationships appeared regularly in silent 1920’s movies and the trend was still apparent in 1970’s West Germany. (Check out any Fassbinder movies and other like-minded directors.)

They also warned Arian women not to be tempted by Jewish men’s big dicks. (Insider report to venn: results may vary. The biggest one I can recall belongs to a high school classmate whose father was born in Germany, while a bit shorter both appeared very Karl-Heinzy.)

As for Churchill, the only thing I could come up with is Genesis’ ‘Willow Farm’ segment from ‘Supper’s Ready’:
There's Winston Churchill dressed in drag,
he used to be a British flag, plastic bag, what a drag.… “

Watch it all or at the very least go to 11:47. Young Peter Gabriel was a delight.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVyfj7-mHqs

As for Belgium I’d like to keep it associated with Ricardo, (how are you doing???) fine beer, fine chocolate, and most importantly fine silk lingerie.
https://carinegilson.com/en/categories/carine-gilson-essentials-in-silk-and-caudry-lace-made-in-belgium/

Not to mention beating Argentina at the 1982 world Cup opener. (Spoiler: Italian criminals beat the Nazi beasts in the final.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUYD4joNuvs

134

Just wanted to pop back in and answer a couple of queries. From what I can tell, that night may have been the first time my housemate ever overheard consensual sex. She didn't really enjoy sex herself, told me she never made noise, and found it very hard to have an orgasm. I had a lot of sex that summer, often in the afternoon. I'd tell her in advance and then she'd deliberately come home and clatter around in the flat. She told me it was so I'd know she was there, in case I was in danger. Which I just found really oppressive. She wasn't a great housemate. Later she moved in with a friend who had kids and threw out her vibrator even though it was the only way she could come, because she said she didn't think it was appropriate to have sex toys in a house where there were children. So yeah she was/ is pretty messed up. She wouldn't go to therapy.

136

Philo @130/1; sorry to hear you’ve suffered such trauma.
I wasn’t defending Grizelda, because you’re right she can stand up for herself. I enjoy the numbers game, and what harm does it do? And why would you defend someone’s right to play killjoy over something so innocuous.
I haven’t gone for either of our magic numbers since the Virus, because what’s the point? When the mountain man turned up, I’d have to turn him away. Unless he’s got one of the quick testing kits on him. I’ve got the thermometer.

137

Without insulting our dear Griz by suggesting she can't stand up for herself...

I recall some months back some folks jumping in here to attack her from elsewhere on The Stranger, and our dear Griz being very seriously traumatized by it. (No offense, Griz, most of us have PTSD or one kind or another including me, so I know it's at best close to impossible to get rid of, or to avoid when it's buttons are pushed.)

So personally, I'd very much prefer that people not pick on Griz. Even about the numbers game. She's sensitive; it's human to be sensitive; it also affects her not to get comments on her funny song parodies.

If I thought there was, or think there is, anything I can do, I'd be defending Griz. (I think I have before, actually. But I forget.)

Not that I try to win the numbers game (I find it more fun to only win it unintentionally). Though I have hit a bunch of numbers since I'm such a damn active commenter; it does not dissuade my hope from springing eternal just because in all the dozens and dozens of times I've hit the numbers I haven't had the slightest atom of good fortune. (But honestly, I don't blame the numbers because they'd have to be the most powerful force in the universe to find a way to inject good fortune into the desert of good fortune I've been walking in for what seems like forever. I kinda feel the same way about predictors of fortune like horoscopes, tarot, etc. It's too much to ask for them to dig me out of such an historically deep hole, I'm anything but meeting such portents halfway.)

138

Jesus LavaGirl, I give time and thought to answer (@127) your question (@114), and crickets?

As such, it feels like answering your 9-word question many have just been a big waste of my time, and if that's gonna be the case I would rather you not ask me questions. I really should have expected this, given that I've seen you repeatedly tell people that you're too old for anyone to expect you to be open to changing your mind about anything. (Which made me assume you must be a million years old; I was shocked when someone said recently you're only 7 years older than I am. When I'm too old to learn there will no longer be much point IMO.)

139

Lava, "sorry to hear you’ve suffered such trauma"
Thanks, it was long ago, but to me, pain is getting pieces of glass squeezed out of your face and eyelid, getting shots next to an eye, before they stitch it up. I know everyone has their own pain. I try not to bug others with the results of my traumas, I've gotten better about talking about it calmly but I'm still not perfect. Life goes on.

" And why would you defend someone’s right to play killjoy over something so innocuous."
I thought Jack was playing in an innocuous way... sometimes my humor doesn't come through either...

Happy magic 136! I like the numbers game, especially the 69.

140

Oh and Elm, I hope this isn't offensive, but I think that your old roommate's main problem is that she was unfortunately born to parents who could not teach her that sex was a healthy way to express love or affection, but it could also have serious consequences and she should try to protect herself from diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Her trauma seems to have been caused by her parents. I believe my parents' divorce was traumatic for me, it gave me bad examples of loving relationships, even though they hid a lot of stuff that they did to each other for years, and nothing they did to each other was nearly as bad as what your roommate had to process. And I'm not saying divorce is bad, having parents who can't help fighting seems worse than having parents who divorced..

I'd say that telling her that her parents may have failed to provide a good example for her but that you want her to have healthy loving relationships may help, and that you want her to be able to see sex as a healthy loving activity and sometimes therapy can help.. it's touchy to suggest therapy, it can be taken as a rude gesture of calling someone crazy, but it helps if you can talk about therapy as a good thing.. and if you keep talking to her, to voice your values instead of accept her influence that sex is scary and suspect..

141

@133 Wannabe - nice account of the sexual ambiguities of the Weimar and how the Nazis used them. No wonder poor Rosa Luxemburg looks so haunted in my avatar photo - think of all the fun she missed out on.

142

wow cmd that's fascinating thanks.

143

@129 fubar, @130 & @131 Philophile,@136 LavaGirl, @137 curious2, BiDanFan and others: Thank you and bless you all for your kind words of support. Big cyber hugs, positrons, and VW beeps to all. :)
@132 Philophile: I am so sorry to hear about your past trauma---glass shards and a lot of stitches in your face in your twenties?!? Ouch! I can't imagine facial pain that severe. The closest I have ever come to any similar experience was during a severe wind storm on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2007. I went outside to check on my beloved VW and suddenly all the windows on the 5th floor facing our east side parking lot shattered, sending broken shards of glass raining down in my direction, and on the parked cars. I managed to avoid getting what would have been serious lacerations. My poor little car got a nasty gash on the driver's side door. Wow--that was indeed, a strange day. I hope you are well on your way to healthy healing. I am still dealing with service-connected PTSD issues and triggers. It's an ongoing process for me, and some days are better than others.

Speaking of Griz's numbers game, is anyone still game for the Double Whammy (@169) if we make it that far over Memorial Day Weekend? (@69 + @100 = @169, or Lucky @69 + @100 Big Hunsky = Double Whammy; two prizes in one).
Tick...tick...tick.....

Griz has written another song parody, sung to Paint it Black, c. 1966 by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, from the Rolling Stones' Aftermath album for those interested. I call it "Games of Chance".

144

Sorry curious. So many posts and I was busy and saw Philo’s and responded. Thanks for the lucky no Philo, and thank you for sharing. Hugs to you.
Curious, I wasn’t specifically asking you a question, it was a continuation of the discussion. I countered your statement that thoughts couldn’t be wrong, with it’s not about right or wrong.
Also, I mentioned anger as an example, I’ve no idea what thoughts fantasies re Nazis bring up.
The LW shared her fantasy subject and asked for responses. You calling others authentic responses
as “ thought police” is offensive. The only person’s thoughts I police are my own. I can have reactions, and I believe what we put in our minds is as important as what we put into the rest of our bodies. My object is to keep my mind peaceful and though that’s very very hard in these times, I do strive to return to that state. Ususally via another joint rather than meditation, then nobody’s perfect.

145

Grizelda traumatised by the couple who dropped by, curious? No way. Our Griz kicks arse and more on the political threads, she knew what they were talking about.

146

I’m not judging the LW, curious, I’m not bringing moral words to this. good and bad.
Sexual fantasy world is one where things happen which would never happen in the real world, images and scenarios which cross over and who knows why one thing gets us off and another doesn’t? This LW thinks it’s movies from her childhood. Those Nazis did wear sexy uniforms.
We all have fantasies, we don’t all write to a world read advice columnist about their contents, curious.
I find this content problematic, and I do get anxiety thinking of the Nazis, what happened and what is still happening as a result of such evil unleashed.

147

Phi @132, apologies for the guess gone wrong. In that case perhaps it is the opposite -- you're blessed with unnatural resilience, you grew up with your head screwed on so beautifully straight that you were able to deal with this trauma (reasonably) easily, you processed it while keeping your powers of reason and perspective intact. I applaud you. But perhaps that's given you unrealistic expectations of what other people are capable of. We do indeed all have our stories and I'm so sorry that happened to you.

Phi @130, I think we are agreed on most things except what Elm owed her roommate. One facet of all of this, as Carolyn Hax says frequently, is that people seeking advice can't control what someone else does or feels or reacts. They can only control what they do or feel or react. We may not be able to control how we feel, but we can control how we react to what we feel. So whether Roommate reacted appropriately or not is not relevant, because it's not Roommate who's asking "did I overreact here?" (Answer: yes.) It's Elm asking whether she did anything wrong or what she should do. And since the answer to what Elm should do is not "change Roommate's reaction," which is impossible, I offer "try to be more empathetic and forgiving" as an alternative. Yes, Roommate overreacted. No, Elm can't change that. She can only decide whether to rationalise the overreaction as understandable given her roommate's past, which she did not do, or take it personally and hold a grudge, which she did do.

Phi @131, I don't think women watch MM porn because suitable MF porn is not available. They watch it because they like it, and neither scolding nor proffering alternatives is going to change what gets them wet. Again, the only thing that can be changed (if Venn is willing to do so) is Venn's own attitude to women watching MM porn/reading MM erotica, and he can choose to let it go, or to be bitter about it. Those are his only options.

148

@130. Philo. I'm not being 'vehement'. My calling someone an 'asshat' is, for me, like calling them a 'tomfool' or a 'pipsqueak' or a 'wanker'. When has jack chandelier exchanged jibes with EmmaLiz? In this thread? I hope that, from now on, should he get in first with a comment, he might make some passing humorous reference, perhaps, to being first, but not make fun of the game.

Has it previously been clear that he's been reprising a comedian's joke in shouting out the name of the city they're playing in, or guying the Spinal Tap-style guitarist shouting out e.g. 'Pittsburgh!'? It's seemed to me he's just been getting in a pop. And what's so absurd about the guitarist acclaiming his fans in Pittsburgh anyways? It's saying, 'you are included in our fanbase. You are part of something bigger--not flyover country that we and the entertainment industry look down on'. Or it's thanking everyone from the city and its hinterland for coming in to see them--or saying the band has chosen to go out there. Or it's the guitarist's own joke by this stage.

Further, if one wanted to be serious, one could say the subtext of Griz's game, and of people's playing it, is that aces can be as interested in sex, can have as valid and rich an experience of sex, as sexual people. I agree with this position (without being asexual--just as I don't have the desires e.g. to be whipped or paddled or engage in ABDP that many commenters do). If jack chandelier has any issues with this subtext, he should come out and argue them, not poke fun from the sidelines.

149

@134. elmsyrup. Your housemate should go, or should have gone, to therapy. She's one of the people who needs therapy so badly she doesn't even realise she needs it. Who resists the idea. She sees sex as dirty and scary, as always on the point of turning into rape. It can be hard, as you must know, even to be a friend to someone like that.

@144. Lava. You were right in your basic point about thoughts and actions not being separate. Thoughts conduce to action.

150

LavaGirl @144@146
I do appreciate that you replied, but you still didn't actually respond to my attempt to explain @127 that people can design the parameters of their fantasies such that there are no negative thoughts (such as, quoting you @114 "angry thoughts") to negatively affect (as you wrote @114) "the body".

Talking about that stuff is not easy, and I really would like not to have do do it again, so I wonder if the effort I put into @127 had the intended effect of pointing out that one can wonder and ask another human whether, but one cannot assume that, their fantasies are played out with any problematic content to trouble them on any level.

Oh wait, I see @146 your final sentence bears response:
(Your previous sentences restate some things I said to you, which is odd; why say them to me after I said them to you?)

"I find this content problematic, and I do get anxiety thinking of the Nazis"

Wait, are you saying their fantasy is problematic, or your experience of reading about it is?

What I went to significant effort explaining @127 was that you can't assume that because you couldn't craft a fantasy about Nazis that's anxiety-free, someone else couldn't. What I went on describing the mechanics of @127 is that for that someone else, they characters in their fantasy-movie might be a Nazis without all the dimensions of real Nazi (might be one-dimensional caricature of Nazis with cartoonish qualities instead of problematic ones) specially designed not to give them anxiety, or might exist in a universe they're magically protected from (because one can use magic or anything else in the fantasy-movie one creates).

In other words, you probably don't choose to have fantasies you hate having, and others can probably choose to design them so they want to have them too.

So you can (as I wrote @127) "ask her completely 1000% nonjudgmentally how she experienced the fantasies", but you can and should not judge them since other people's fantasies do not occur in a universe you've ever been in.

Sorry to bang on about this, it's just that one way or another I'd love to close the book on this long-long-running conversation we're had in which my point is that one should not JUDGE other people's fantasies in any way. Er, unless they confirm your concerns that they are damaging to them; just don't assume you know that which is impossible to know.

LavaGirl @145
LG, apparently you do not remember the extreme and debilitating state of anxiety Griz shared with us that she was in at time (about a year ago I think). That's OK, people forget things (I never intended to say this, but I've noticed this year you might be a bit forgetful sometimes now). My 88-year old dad barely can remember anything. And yet he (like you just did) is forever telling me that things he forgot didn't happen. Maybe you (and he) could be a little less sure that what I said that you forgot didn't happen? Maybe ask me to explain why I was right instead of telling me I was wrong?

151

@131 Philo

As a straight woman who likes gay porn (some of which might be made with women in mind but mostly I watch amateur porn), I say that though there are all sorts of problems with some straight porn, that really has nothing to do (consciously anyway) with my enjoyment of gay porn. Like, my response would be, take that high quality straight porn, remove the lady, add another dude, voila! The reason is simple. I like naked guys. I don't like naked girls.

I agree with Venn that porn has consequences in wider culture and can affect the parties who view it and those that are featured. Some feminists have been saying this in one way or another for decades, it's not a novel conversation just because some gay men are saying it now too. And this conversation has existed in some form or another for centuries- art influencing culture or culture art, etc. So now we are in a world in which people spend more time in porn consumption than ever before for all their lives, of course it's going to variously affect various people depending on what's featured, what's trendy. I agree with Venn that it will reverberate out into the larger culture (and subcultures). I think the "it's all fine, just fantasy" liberal response is dismissive of the nuance, just like the "sex work is work" response simplifies that issue. All that said, this is an example to me of people feeling that if there is a problem, there must be an easy solution so they don't have to deal with the nuances and consequences- but sex will never be that way. It's messy, our desires are messy, porn is messy. I just think it's funny that we're all clear that fantasizing about nazis is fine, but hey let's see how we can get those straight ladies to stop wanting to watch hot dudes fuck.

152

(BTW I meant "liberal response" above in the broader meaning of the word- openminded about how new things change traditions in societies- not in the political party sense, I probably should have just said open-minded)

153

BDF, Thank you for your kind hypothesis, but I don't think I am especially well designed to overcome trauma, more the opposite. I've had to devote a lot of my life to learning to live with pain and unexpected changes, accepting that I was much more vain than I had thought, and I was also hit on the head hard and lost consciousness and head injury is its own problem.. I've been unable to care about myself well.. I don't think I understand trauma particularly well, I just know it intimately. I'd just like to share a few of the things that helped me sometimes.

So my response to Elm was more of one who had experienced trauma to one who was curious about the traumatic responses of her friend. Yes, they were a mistake, but that doesn't make her friend a bad person, in fact she can help her friend become a better person with some good direction. If she feels like it. Acts of compassion are not always easy. It seems Elm had an intuition that what had happened was a mistake based on a traumatic response, but was not sure how to proceed to help, although I'm glad she made some reasonable boundaries until she found another living situation, and didn't worsen her roommate's latent trauma. Pretending traumatic responses are healthy good responses can worsen latent traumatic effects imo, just as much as punishing someone for their traumatic responses.

Harriet, I think if we can't laugh at ourselves and our little absurdities and admit they are fundamentally silly even if they bring us joy, then it's hard to relax. And I love Griz' presence here. I just like Jack's too. I like this comment board as a splotchy mosaic of different opinions about sex, from all genders and orientations.

Griz, thank you for the kind words. I feel a lot of compassion towards you because I empathize with your PTSD. And I appreciate your focus on the positive, and your endless resilience.

Lava, Thank you for encouraging me to speak up about my experiences, it can be tough, it's hard to describe trauma calmly, and to change traumatic responses. As far as Curious goes, I think you were giving feedback about how many people would be disturbed by this fantasy and want to be reassured that FASH doesn't share Nazi values as well as an appreciation of the style, and Curious was saying that this fantasy could be a way of acknowledging Nazi actions as taboo, depending on how she frames her fantasy to others. I think both of those points are relevant.

But mostly, I wanted to chime in about body reactions to anger... We are responsible for our actions and it's legally crazy to claim that we were compelled to act badly by our emotions, it's the insanity defense... at the same time we act based on what we feel is right or want to do, based on emotions. I think most important is to be able to explain our actions calmly, and admit when our bad actions were caused by a temporary insanity rather than a deep belief that they were the correct course of action.

When I am angry and no immediate response is required, my body seems to like when I exercise while I figure out the best way to address the events that caused my anger.

154

Re porn, many women say they watch MM porn in order to watch sex that everyone seems to enjoy, and includes their preferred gender. I watched the most MM porn before I could find straight porn that appealed.. or maybe it was until I could numb myself toward the more distasteful commonalities of straight porn.. But of course some women just like watching their preferred gender only, just like some men like only watching FF and POV porn.. but only a small subset of men prefer that their porn be men-free... and when straight porn is just as appealing to both genders, I would bet that just as small a subset of women would demand that their porn be woman-free.

155

There was a letter a few years ago from a woman who was confused by why she liked FF porn, when she was only attracted to men in real life. She said that it was the only porn where women seemed to be enjoying themselves. IIrc she felt bad that she didn't like straight porn.

I will never hear of a man who started watching MM porn because he couldn't find straight porn where the man was enjoying himself.

156

@145 LavaGirl: Thank you for your kind words. I certainly try to keep up with world events. Some days are better than others. I think what curious2 meant by my having been traumatized was not in this week's Savage Love thread, but several months ago when a 404 targeted me in a Slog article, then stalked me online in a Savage Love column, taunting me about something I had commented on in a long previous SL thread. I understand that the 404s have mostly been banned from commenting since the episode. That was a scary experience for me.
@153 Phillophile: Like you, I have had a lot in my life to adjust to, thus the resilience. Meanwhile, both my sisters face challenges and difficulties now stemming from being so sheltered as children. Because they, along with my brother were born so close together, they had each other for support at home and in public school (three kids against two parents in the mid 50s and early 60s; guess which party usually won out playing "Are we there yet?"). I was born a decade later and with basically nobody at my back had to pretty much face a lot of things alone. It has for five decades been an uphill battle. What had happened to me in the U.S. Navy only added fuel to the fire. I am the only one of four grown siblings to have served the U.S. military like my father once did (during the Korean War). My sisters and brother were in high school in the early 70s during the Vietnam War when many young men burned their draft notices or fled to Canada, and those who enlisted were scorned by their peers. Consequently, my siblings viewed my one voluntary enlistment during the Gulf War with contempt and ridicule. This was also during my one disastrous, abusive marriage.
Now, 19 years after my fleeing for dear life from a violent, mentally unstable man, there seems to be a strange feeling of calmness in me during these stressful, frightening, and uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's like what was programmed into me years ago has become a form of survival mode in coping skills. Having music, my emotional support vehicle (sweet little '70s VW Beetle), cats, and the wonderful people in my life help keep me together.

157

Griz @156: Bless your lovely heart!

158

I've been down numerous rabbit holes with definitions and solutions since my last. It's the usual thing; I make everything far too complex in the quest for perfect solutions that don't exist. I might better have pointed out last time that Ms Erica has exemplified on occasion how to engage respectfully (or as close to that as possible) with something where one's participation would be unwelcome.

Mr Curious, the B was for bi rather than boy. As for the question of influences, I could speculate that one reason they're barely seen in this case is that there's no obvious harm, particularly to women. If straight men get the idea from porn that women love anal and unreciprocated oral, that creates huge problems. If gays get the idea from porn that they must be tops or bottoms or that the top gets to run everything about the relationship, not many people see that as harmful. In part, a lot of people wouldn't even be sure it might not be true. Some might even see it as a potential net plus.

In general, when the topic of Hot Gay [X] is raised and most of the voices with opinions are female, a shark has been jumped somewhere. Now, there are plenty of explanations for why these things happen, but I don't like seeing explanations presented and taken as excuses.

I think I've sensed difficulties ever since anti-porn women rescinded the gay exception to the dogmatic proclamation that All Porn Degrades Women - and on the grounds that gay porn made one of the men a "substitute woman" - a blatantly intrusive misinterpretation. Now, I could see a case for arguing that gay porn can convey ideas about consent that should not be applied to women - although not going beyond that and trying to require female consent standards in all MM porn (although again, if MM-for-women were obviously understood to be MM-for-women, then it could require female consent standards and no harm done).

Women invading gay spaces evince too many cries of "YGG!" even if those are mostly carried over from more appropriate breakthroughs. Congress needs more women; gay literature (when it still existed) did not. Nor, to bring up appropriation, did the Radical Faeries.

I could make this a good deal longer, but I'm still too depressed.

159

Yes curious, I didn’t respond to the rest of your post because I stopped reading after you accused me of thought policing. And how can one have fantasies about fascists/ Nazis and the thoughts not be negative?
Nazis by their nature are negative: destroyers, racists, extreme sadists, haters of Art etc etc. It’s like saying a flower is not always a flower, it’s sometimes a frog.
/Sorry to hear you’re depressed Mr Venn. Hugs to you.

160

@159 LavaGirl
Since you've repeatedly told me you don't read my responses to you, don't expect me to ever read anything you write to me again, since I don't accept being spoken to by people who only want to talk at me but not listen.

I should have stopped listening to you last Fall after you after you said I had below average intelligence, because that would have to be true of you for you to think that about me.

161

Venn, you seem to be troubled by the thought that others will try to manipulate you to believe that their relationship preferences are the One True Way. Dear Venn, what you want from a relationship is perfect for you and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise! And in turn, you've got to accept the odd ways that other men like their relationships, whether influenced by previous partner's, or their parents, or women, or other men.. Everyone has their own standards, and making fun of another's standards is just mean.. I try not to hang out with mean people who disturb me, rather than spend time fretting that they exist.. it takes all kinds..

Lava, sending you hugs.. I hope you are getting sunshine and exercise and are able to show love toward your family and hear their love for you.. (re fantasy, abuse is purely negative, but I think bdsm is ethical.. things are not always as they appear and it can be nice to let mystery exist and keep an open mind rather than judge it all immediately..)

162

@157 fubar: Sending you big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps! :)
@158 vennominon: I'm sorry to hear about your depression, venn. Sending hugs, positrons, and VW beeps.:)
LavaGirl, like Philophile @161, I'm sending you big hugs, as well, along with positrons, & VW beeps. Have a cup of hot chocolate for me. :)

We're getting close to the Double Whammy, folks! Who's gonna score it? Tick...tick...tick...

163

@158 venn
I'm so sorry you're depressed, venn. I hope you'll say more if you want to. Hugs from the SF Bay area!

Wonderful job on @158, reading it was a lyrical experience.

164

Elm @134, thanks for checking back in. In the context of everything else you've told us, can you not find it in your heart to feel sorry for this person, for the trauma she suffered? "She" "ruined" one instance of sex for you, which she didn't really because you had enjoyed it so much, but her father ruined a lifetime of sex for her. If you're looking for the arsehole, it's her father. That said, her refusal to seek therapy means you were under no obligation to put up with her and her baggage, that was spilling over into your life. She clearly didn't yell at you because she's an arsehole, but because she's a very damaged person. Whenever I'm able to see people that way, I can't hold grudges against them; I distance myself and wish them the help they need to get well. At the very least I hope she now lives alone and can't inflict her issues into anyone else's sex life.

Emma @151, yes. Venn (who is the only one that's offended by women watching MM porn/reading MM erotica), straight women are attracted to men, they're not attracted to women, so it's no surprise at all that many of them want to watch porn that only includes men. Same with men watching FF porn. Also, heteros and bisexuals may prefer porn that excludes their own gender because of body issues. I have a flat chest and one of the reasons I don't like porn is most of it seems to feature big boobs. I could seek out porn featuring women with small boobs only, but that might also include people or acts I would find repellent if they involved me, or I could look at porn that doesn't involve anyone even resembling me and never risk that my enjoyment will be interrupted by a sudden new person with a huge rack or a rough blowjob she's clearly not enjoying (or, at least, that I would definitely not enjoy). MM porn allows women to avoid anything that might be problematic from a personal or a feminist viewpoint. We're more certain that everyone involved is enjoying himself, which is a big thing for anyone who wants porn to be ethical. You're not going to stop women from enjoying it any more than you're going to stop adults from enjoying Disney films, and indeed Disney doesn't want you to because they're making more money this way.

If this depresses you, you may want to seek some help to come to terms with it. If you are just depressed generally, please accept my hugs as well.

Phi @153, I'm always happy when we reach the same page. I would only quibble with, "Pretending traumatic responses are healthy good responses can worsen latent traumatic effects imo." I am not arguing that traumatic overreactions and irrationalities are healthy and good! I am arguing that humans are flawed, humans who have suffered trauma are more deeply flawed, and their behaviour should be analysed from the perspective not of what would a healthy, well-adjusted person do, but what a trauma survivor might be expected to do. Someone who overheard a parental rape and hasn't processed it behaved in a predictable manner when she heard, for the first time as I'd guessed, loud sex with similar noises. Therefore, as you say, Elm's reaction to this should not have been to dismiss her roommate as an arsehole, but to try to sympathise and help the roommate. Which, of course, is not possible if the roommate will not accept help. But I think (here's me being an optimist, I suppose) most of us want to learn and grow in life; most of us want to get over our pasts and become better adjusted people. Roommate, unfortunately, appears to be an exception. But Elm can still choose forgiveness and sympathy, which may do nothing for the roommate but make -her- feel better.

Curious @160, as an observer to that exchange I think many people would react with an instinctual knocking-down to a claim that "I'm smarter than most people." (Even if that is statistically the case, it's rarely good form to announce it.) I don't think this means Lava thinks you're unintelligent, just that you came across as up your own arse and needing to be knocked down a few pegs. I would put that exchange down to your foot in your mouth and let it go. We all know that Lava delivers the smackdown to whoever needs one, and that remark merited one.

165

@BDF 164, yes I did feel sorry for her for a long while because I understood the root of her trauma. But we were friends for 10 years and I just recently cut off contact. Our period of time living together was one reason, but basically she kept being a high drama, high chaos, angry person. She kept refusing to get therapy, and instead got into more bad situations she needed rescuing from. The people she was closest to (eg me) were the ones most likely to be the brunt of her anger. There was good in our friendship- she's very exciting and fun, and we were involved in some great artistic and political projects together- but also bad, which I kept pushing down and excusing.

One of the reasons we connected in the first place is we had pretty similar abusive childhoods. I lived on my own from the age of 14. But I turned out like "I don't want to be a bother to anyone else" and I struggle sometimes to understand that I have the right to want things or to be angry about how I've been treated. I tend to be too much of a caretaker for others. Hence our unhealthy dynamic. One thing I've only recently realised was pretty bad was that she thought of me as a sex expert and wanted me to help her enjoy sex, so she asked me to have sex with her to show her how things worked. I'm straight and I didn't want to. But she asked a few times and there was a part of me that felt like I owed it to her, since I found so much joy in sex and she deserved to as well. I'm really glad I never went through with that. It would have been such a breach of my boundaries.

The difference between the two of us is that I've gone to therapy, and I've had some healthy romantic relationships. Not sure if that's luck or skill or what. Anyway I'm working through my anger at the moment and bits and pieces keep coming back to me, like the incident I brought up in my original post. I do realise that was a pretty unpleasant experience for her.

166

Lava@159: "Nazis by their nature are negative: destroyers, racists, extreme sadists, haters of Art etc etc."

Exactly the kind of thing that gets fetishized. Maybe not your fetish, but if practised without harming anyone, which FASH was crystal clear about wanting to avoid, then live and let live.

167

Elm @165, thanks for continuing to share your experience. I know where you're coming from; I too have had friends I've put up with for too long because I sympathised with their mental health issues or history of trauma, but if they weren't doing anything to help themselves, that sympathy can only go so far. We do also need to take care of ourselves by keeping such toxic people at arm's length. I'm glad you've ended this friendship and I hope you can work through your resentment and get some closure on it. Take care.

168

Thanks, BDF. I appreciate your kindness.

169

@164 BiDanFan
First, I applaud you for having "up your own ass" in your working vocabulary (as do I now that I've looked it up).

Second (as I was pretty sure would be the case), I think that was rude.(1)

I also applaud your memory. You probably also remember that last Fall I repeatedly and abjectly apologized for the rudeness of the statement you quoted. Even though (as you probably also remember, we've discussed--and I've documented--at length that) 'most' just means 'more than half', so all I was stating was that I'm not of below-average intelligence. Which, while (I'll say again for the millionth time) rude, is also an extremely modest claim for any of us to make, I can't imagine anyone with more than half a wit thinking that was any bolder of a claim than "I breathe air".

While it ticked me off(2), I put it out of my mind, and went on to make the effort to respond to LavaGirl whenever she engaged me. For example upthread quite a major effort to articulate things that aren't easy to.

Only to find, yet again as she had repeatedly said both recently and for perhaps a year, that in our interactions my efforts were wasted because she doesn't read what I say to her, so what I thought were interactions are just a game she plays where she talks at me without listening. One would think it would be easier for me to tell that, but she's not just the most closed-minded and judgemental person here, but also in the top three in irrationality and the top two in terrible writing, plus I think the only truly dumb person here, so who could know she wasn't reading what I wrote in our 'interactions'?

(1) OTOH, I have more recently been "up my own ass" to you BDF, so it was absolutely fair for you to direct that phrase at me (though not I think for what I said last Fall, which I think was rude not ass-upped), and I sincerely apologize to you.

(2) To be honest, and I know this is childish, it mostly bothered me that the one who said I had below-average intelligence was someone so dumb. But I would have never brought it up again if I didn't finally lose patience with someone who relishes telling me--after I spend a lot of time and effort interacting with them--that they didn't read what I wrote. And then have the gall to repeat the same simple-minded questions I've answered in multiple Comments they just admitted they didn't read. But even so I had the manners to let her know in /advance/ @160

"don't expect me to ever read anything you write to me again, since I don't accept being spoken to by people who only want to talk at me but not listen."

rather that letting her waste /her/ time talking at me thinking /I/ was listening.

170

Curious @lucky+hunsky, Lava is not the one who referenced that previous conversation by bringing up her opinion of your intelligence. You are the one who, firstly, poked Lava by pouting that she hadn't responded to your thoughts (post @138), as if people don't have other things to do with their time, then claimed she thought you were unintelligent, which she never said -- she merely chided you for making that poorly worded claim months ago. Yes, you admitted you misspoke there. And that should have laid it to rest, so why are you now bringing it up? As well as calling me rude and throwing in an "I know you are but what am I" over the "how much is 'most'" debate that should have died with Sportlandia's exile? Yes, you are being childish. I may well join her in skipping your posts, if you're going to call my diplomacy attempts rude.

171

@170 BiDanFan
I apologize. I'm afraid that I must have mistakenly taken offence due to my unfamiliarity with the phrase "up your own arse".

172

@169 curious2: WA-HOOOO!!!!!! Congrats to curious2 for scoring this week's SL Double Whammy (Lucky @69 and Big Hunsky @100 = @169)!! Savor the riches and bask in the envied glow of double prizes. :)

173

@172 auntie griz
Thanks but I don't feel like I deserve it. Is there some mechanism for you to re-assign it so someone deserving can get it?

174

I’ll take it, curious. A double whammy, and we are easing lockdowns here. I came back here to claim it, there sitting idle for ages.
I wasn’t insulting your intelligence, curious, I was blocking you from trying to hoodwink mine, and I’m not keen on being insulted. Your notion of thought police and mine are different, it seems. I answer questions people pose to Dan, and not for your approval. Watch your patriarchal privilege there.
Thanks for giving it a try Fan.

175

@173 curious2: Okay, Consider your wish granted. As long as you are passing on the Double Whammy honors on to another commenter....
@174:WA-HOOOOO!!!!!! Major congratulations to LavaGirl on scoring this week's Double Whammy Award @169--two prizes in one (Lucky @69 + Big Hunsky @100 = @169)! Savor the ample riches and envied decadence found only in Savage Love, and enjoy your sexy mountain man. :)