SL Letter of the Day: The Missing Condom

Comments

102
As a single woman, I buy and keep on hand condoms. I'm in need of a resupply. So in light of this discussion, what brand(s) would people recommend the help maximize sensation for the wearer? I currently have Kimono.
103
@94 Glad I could help :-) It's much hotter that way.
104
@101 - you may be right; I was reacting to:

Reluctance towards condoms should be socially unacceptable.

...and I don't think I was reading challenged.

This part I actually whole-heartedly agree with:

If you can't be cheerful about protection, everyone in a ten-mile radius should know you're not a viable sex partner.

I conflated these to read "cheerful about condoms"...and I don't think that is a clearly wrong mis-reading. Anyway, yes, we were arguing past each other.
105
@102 - I am probably not the best person to give advice on this, based on my experiences.

I am - as far as I know - an average sized guy; I don't have any real experience with other erect penises. However, I tried Durex (they sucked) and regular Trojans (marginally better) and got some relief from magnums (which were not available in ultra-thin). I'm not a huge guy and I don't have an inflated view of my dick, so it wasn't obvious to me that I was struggling with something too snug. So, what I'd suggest is: have an assortment of sizes on hand.

I got the advice on using some lube in the tip (this helps the tip slip around on the guy's sensitive head and can vastly improve the stimulation).

I don't want to violate the TOS for the stranger, but I found an online "depot" which had much better options (variety) than I could easily find in my college town pharmacies.

Good luck and sorry to have been antagonistic.
106
My thanks to those who specified.

I often have difficulty with posts by posters of whom I've not yet formed a strong impression that mention How Women Are Socialized and then basically leave it at that. Except with such people as Ms Cute, with whom I've had enough conversations to know in general how she intends things, I'm at a loss to know which of multiple interpretations to apply. I've seen such a prelude used simply to explain why some things happen more often to women, to say that men have noone to blame but themselves if they are mistreated, or to give women only a pass for not preventing an encounter from going off in a bad direction.

In this case, clearly the mixed sexes were going to matter because pregnancy potential would be a factor. But there were various posts that could have been interpreted in multiple ways.
107
Dan,

FWIW I think your response was letter perfect.

The guy was clearly a douche bag and manipulating the situation and you made that clear. However, the letter writer facilitated what happened by choosing not to check, as she admits most likely due to her own desires and the heat of the moment.
108
@100
"I am not an 'entitled prick' playing a small dick violin."

Actually, I said: "*world's smallest cock-shaped violin plays wanly*" but, since everything is about you, I also said that "your posts tell me you're an entitled cock."

"I do object to the notion that it's not socially acceptable (and yes, this means "socially unfuckable") just because previous generations of the Evil Misogynist Patriarchy were assholes."

Ah, there it is, I called it: you don't like the thought that women can deem you unfuckable because of your personal opinions and preferences, especially when those preferences have a history of being manipulated and extorted, or in the case of this LW, TAKEN from women. And you don't like the fact that your gender's cultural history of oppressing women on the basis of sex negatively affects your ability to attract sex partners and the context in which those potential sex partners perceive you.

Wank me a fuckin' river.

Also, newsflash: "previous generations," do not have a monopoly on "the Evil Misogynist Patriarchy." We are not living in a post-patriarchal world, as evidenced by the LW's experience as well as your own unexamined male privilege on this thread.

"The assertion was that men should not even have the right to express a desire for certain activities and I think that's just wrong on it's face."

Speaking of straw cocks, no one is saying this! This is akin to those free speech discrimination complaints people make after saying ignorant or discriminatory remarks and they don't like that other people also have that right and use it to call the commenter on their bullshit. Again, wah-wah, sad penis.

"Of course women don't pressure men for oral sex the same way men pressure women for condomless sex - that is a thought exercise."

A completely false comparison made in bad faith--there is no point to this "thought exercise" as many of us have pointed out. And which you acknowledge in the same breath as you carry on:

"men are socialized to be more assertive and women are socialized (though clearly not on SLOG!) to be deferential - in fact, I suspect this is why women would prefer to make it unacceptable for men to ask for condomless sex rather than having to be the ones to insist on it."

Hah! Another between the lines revelation: "women are socialized (though clearly not on SLOG!) to be deferential"--and you don't like this! That women, like those of us on SLOG, are no longer reliably "deferential" and are changing and leveling the playing field in the public and private spheres.
YES PLEASE
Let's change the culture so that men know not to expect condomless sex OR consent so that women no longer have "to be the [only] ones to insist on" safe, respectful, enthusiastically-consented to sex.

Otherwise, we will continue to see this entitled, douche-bro, miogynist school of thought re: consent as kindly provided by @95:

"You're trying way too hard to rationalize her as a victim of rape. She said she didn't want to fuck without a condom, then sat on his dick, knowing full well he didn't have a condom (she says so herself)."

Not only does @95 misconstrue the incident: saying "[she] sat on his dick," when the LW states: "Which I take to mean that he has put on another [condom]. We have sex for a few minutes and then he pulls out and cums on my stomach. Fuck;" he also has no fucking clue what "rape" or "consent" mean. "You're trying way too hard to rationalize her as a victim of rape." Really? I think you're projecting your, what did Dan call them? Oh, right. Your hurt "fee-fees" that rapists are overwhelmingly men; you are a man, so this LW's sex partner's transgression of her consent and thus, yes, that means he raped her, hits, perhaps, a little too close to home.

Most rapists don't think of themselves as rapists because they are otherwise good people and rapists aren't good people willfully ignorant about consent, they are bogeymen with "rapist" tattooed on their forehead who jump out of bushes and kidnap women and violently gang-rape them on buses in India. But not here, not men like you! And everyone in our patriarchal society knows that a rape victim isn't a rape victim unless she's a completely innocent virgin and nearly or actually beaten to death--pssha, this LW is SO NOT a victim, amirite, fellas?

@35 "I'm kinda dispirited buy the devaluation of the word Rape on here."
Who's really devaluing the word "rape" on this thread? Certainly not me or anyone who takes it and consent seriously, that's for fuckin sure. "Kinda dispirited" are you? Aw! How sweet and concern troll-y of you! Just imagine how "dispirited" our rape culture makes women. Talk out about an understatement. Not to mention oh so helpful and constructive!

Time to examine your own behavior in past sexual interactions. Now THAT is a worthy "thought exercise" based in reality.

Back to @100:
"yes, that's right, you'll have to listen to some assholes whine - when they do, you can deem them socially unfuckable and dump them"

All of your posts on this thread stem from one particular "whine" and you contradict yourself all over the place. Congratulations! By your own standard as stated above, you have hereby been deemed an asshole and unfuckable!

Take heed, sisters.
109
@108:
I really think you should start to consider men being humans.
110
@109
Oh, I do! I think of men as human beings capable of sophisticated thought and communication. I also think of them as humans accountable for their actions and attitudes. (Shocker alert: I think of women the same way! *gasp* no! really? Really!)

I do NOT think men are giant walking boners incapable of self control or self reflexion, spurting cum-tears at the slightest hit to their testicular egos. And I don't think we feminists are alone in having grown tired of those old tropes.

It's ok, though, I understand that when women are not deferential enough to men, like the dames in the good ole oppressive days, it can be frightening for them. Poor sweet man-lambs.
111
@108 Thanks for answering my post at 35. I had a small amount of discussion on the thread, but I assume they were hard to notice among all the back and forth on whether it is acceptable and/or male privilege to admit you don't like condoms. My point turned out to be a minor tangent in this thread.

But I will ask you. Would you tell a woman who was violently gang-raped on a bus in India, drugged at a college party, or wasn't able to stop a date who refused to accept that no means no, that her experience was the equivalent of a guy she chose to have sex with taking off the condom half way through without her noticing?
112
"Would you tell a woman who was violently gang-raped on a bus in India, drugged at a college party, or wasn't able to stop a date who refused to accept that no means no, that her experience was the equivalent of a guy she chose to have sex with taking off the condom half way through without her noticing?"

First of all, the experience at the heart of this thread, the LW's, is not that the "guy she chose to have sex with [took] off the condom half way through without her noticing." She explicitly made clear her consent was to condomed penetration only. He clearly violated that consent. Sex that is not consented to is rape. No, he didn't beat her--it doesn't matter: he calculatedly ignored her bodily autonomy. Period.

You are asking the wrong question. I'll answer it, but it's problematic as hell, which I'll explain in a second.

Yes, I would. As a woman who was drugged at a university party, though mercifully was taken care of by friends and NOT raped, thank fuck--the statistics don't lie, you gotta realize this shit is not purely theoretical and chances are, the women you interact have been directly affected by our rape culture.

I would say that the moment consent is transgressed, rape has been perpetrated. After that, the degrees of brutality of the transgression further classify the rape. And you know what? I would expect the rape victim that meets your specific "legitimate rape" qualifications to be horrified and disgusted that you know so little about rape, consent, bodily autonomy or the experience of existing as a woman in our society that you would be so naive and arrogant as to think that you know better what it means to have your consent and your body violated than does a rape victim. I would say anyone who thinks what that man did to the LW is NOT categorically rape needs to examine their knowledge and attitudes about consent and respecting others' bodily autonomy.

Your question is problematic because it assumes that a woman must be violently raped. Not to mention, you fail to realize that you included the LW's experience IN YOUR QUESTION twice! Though, to be fair, you misconstrue that incident immediately after correctly identifying it as a rape:

"Would you tell a woman who...wasn't able to stop a date who refused to accept that no means no," THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LETTER WRITER! "that her experience was the equivalent of a guy she chose to have sex with taking off the condom half way through without her noticing?"

She "wasn't able to stop a date who refused to accept that no [condom] means no [sex]."

Which is equivalent to:

"The guy she chose to have sex with [deceived her about putting on a condom] half way through [when she knew they needed a new condom so she told him, YET AGAIN, that she did not want to fuck without a condom and to put one on and instead was he purposefully vague and dismissive and he penetrated her anyway]."

My question to you is: how could you in good conscience tell a woman that her rape doesn't matter and isn't really rape because she wasn't violently gang-raped on a bus in India or drugged at a college party? That less brutal transgressions of consent aren't real because they don't meet your definition of a thing you are far more likely to perpetrate than to be a victim of?
113
@112 Thank you for your in depth responce, it's given me a lot to think about.

I agree the guy described in the letter did clearly violate the conditions of her concent. She consented to sex with the unambigious condition that he were a condom. His decision to ignore what he had agreed to was unconscionable, evil, indefensible and possibly criminal.

My question--indeed problematic as hell, that's why it's exactly the right question-- is if every sexual act is indeed rape.

Don't assume this is all hypothetical to me, it's not. Ironically, I've gone through my posts before putting them up and changed gender-neutral language to the feminine. I think it's more useful in this particular conversation to stay grounded in in women's experiences.

I actually intended both the examples of being drugged at a party or a date rape as specific examples of rapes that did not involve physical violence. Since that wasn't"t clear, let me say plainly that the use of physical violence has zero correlation to weather a rape has occurred. And while I'm stating what should be obvious, not clothing choices nor prior behavior nor consent to other physical acts nor ANYTHING ELSE a victim may have said or done mitigates rape. Sex with someone who doesn't want to have sex with you is rape. There are no excuses.

I would never in any conscious tell a woman (anyone) that her rape does't matter and isn't really rape for any reason, nor would I ever be so naive and arrogant as to think I know better what it means to have my consent and my body violated than does any rape victim. If the letter writer had said rape I never would have posted at #35, it would have grossly offensive to dispute her own understanding of her own experience.

But she didn't say rape. She also didn't say assault or violate. I disputed how other posters cooped her narrative to put their own labels onto her experience. I never wrote in all caps "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LETTER WRITER!" You did.
114
I hit send before I was done (believe it or not). I feel your anger, Femwanderlust. And your anger is righteous. Rape culture is real and it is corrosive to men and deadly to women. Everyone should be angry about it. Anger is important and powerful. Hell, gay men would still be dying in the streets if ACT UP hadn't harnessed anger to force real change 25 years ago. We're still reaping the rewards of the change they forced.

But anger isn't effective if it's just a howl of rage at the unfair world.

You've gotten visibly pissed at both AFinch and I for (if you words are any indication) not sufficiently deferring to your views on sexuality. Both he and I have repeatedly expressed respect for woman and for their absolute autonomy over their own bodies and their own sexuality. We're not your enemies. (I'll stop speaking for AFinch, now, as I don't actually know the guy.)

Focus your anger were it will do good, not at those of us who are 85% with you already. Please.
115
Ok. Thank you for your good faith reply.

I actually wanted to amend my response exactly because this: "your question is problematic because it assumes that a woman must be violently raped," didn't sit right with me precisely because you mention the possibilities of someone drugging a woman or not accepting no for an answer, which, as we both acknowledge, are not necessarily violent incidents.

Then I realized I was focusing on the wrong phrase. "Would you tell a woman who was [legitimately raped] that her experience was the equivalent of a guy she chose to have sex with taking off the condom half way through without her noticing?"

A GUY SHE CHOSE

That is the phrase that is problematic--it's victim-blamey. Gang raped? Not your fault. Drugged? Not your fault. Say no, mean no, but date doesn't care? Not your fault. Desire a man, engage in sexual activity, he deceives and manipulates you, an otherwise willing partner, into unconsented-to condomless sex? You chose to have sex with him: your fault.

The funniest thing about all this bs?

"My question--indeed problematic as hell, that's why it's exactly the right question-- is if every sexual act is indeed rape."

I never understood your question to be: "is every sexual act (indeed) rape?" Nor does that make it exactly the right question because no. Where there is mutual consent there is no rape. Key word: CONSENT. Honorable mention: MUTUAL.

I would say, no, of course not.

If you want to make sure you are not raping someone, simply ask! Ideally, before you start whatever it is you wanna do. If you are still not sure, ask for an explicit answer: am I raping you? is this ok? Do you want me to stop? Let me know if anything I do hurts you. Do you like this? Do you want to take over? Just say stop and I will stop. Really, any variation on the former are good ideas.

116
@113

You dummy. You were supposed to say "if every awful sexual act is indeed rape."

Talk about undermining your own argument...

:-(
117
@115 we crossed posts. I have to go to bed here on the east coast. But I'll pick this up tomorrow, I promise.
118
@114

What a change of tune! As far as I can tell, from years of SLOGGING, I am hardly the RAR HULKiest of commenters.

I don't think men are my enemy.

I just call it like I see it. If that makes you uncomfortable, that's on you, guy, not me. It's not my responsibility to change for you, to make you comfortable. I don't owe you that.

Also, again, not everything is about you or AFinch specifically, but the ideas and attitudes you hold are common among even "enlightened" men. If you don't rape, don't take things said about rapists personally.

"Anger isn't effective if it's just a howl of rage at the unfair world." Says the guy who's 180d in the span of one blog post thread.

I'll up the ante because shit like this doesn't make me feel angry, it inspires RAGE.

Feminist RAGE is righteous. Feminist RAGE is important. Feminist RAGE is effective.

I am feminist, hear me howl, Unfair World aka East Coast Douglas! Does a woman's anger "visibly" scare you this much or is it just me? Also, "an unfair world" doesn't just happen, it's made that way by the people who shape it.
119
following up @115, another thing that works is to ask the "bottom" to get on top. It's amazing how much clearer it is that you do or don't want to participate, when you're the one on top, the one who is in control of the rhythm, the one who can easily check for a condom, the one who can easily stop everything just by getting up.
120
An experience does not have to be identical for the violation to be equivalent.

Acknowledging that an experience isn't identical is not assigning fault.

I'm not sure that being encouraged or told outright to feel raped would have helped me, but it may be different for others.
121
Dan, I for one think you got this one right. 'Degrees of assault for a reason' indeed. And yet, it does not make his motives any less about power, control, lack of respect for her words/stated limits, and his total entitlement that he would get what he wanted by some means.

Which is the same way a rapist thinks, right? So, rape is a fair thing to call it. Rape is someone - almost always a guy - deciding that he can do what he wants no matter what she says/does/doesn't do/thinks/expresses/suggests/implies. That is the definition.

Who knows what would have happened if she stopped the action and checked? Would he have decided more force was necessary, and disregarded her stated wishes more boldly? Because that does happen too. So maybe her lack of desire to follow through on checking his 'ambiguous statement' had to do with her gut feeling that what she wanted didn't matter because he was a controlling asshole who was determined to have unprotected sex with her.

Alllll these possibilities, they do not exist in a void. They exist because we hesitate to call rape what it is: an act of power and control that has fuck-all in common with what sexual partners on equal footing do for/with each other. If you're not equals, it's because someone's abusing their power. Gosh, who could that be? If you said 'a rapist', you win!
122
Feminist RAGE is righteous. Feminist RAGE is important. Feminist RAGE is effective.

Effective only in making the feminist RAGER feel good about herself.
123
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