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Comments

Jo

What? Your fishnet stockings aren't radioactive? The fuck!

lori

No personhood, no agency, and no present -- only a past -- and, obviously, some hidden trauma, something that went wrong, to cause them to be (or even just want to look like) a whore.

But I digress.

Lisa Hirsch

OH GOD THE LESBIAN SEX WARS.

badgerbag

If only the phrase "lesbian sex wars" evoked the proper images of ass-kicking matriarchs in cybernetic battle armor.

Jo

What does that refer to?

badgerbag

late 70s - early 80s, continuing on right up to the 90s. Summary: whores vs. hippies. Okay that's not accurate but I wanted to say it to be funny. Just picture me all tarted up in radioactive fishnets with a lot of otherwise cool activist lesbian feminists telling me and my girlfriends in 3-hour-long meetings that S/M was not feminist, but that it was okay to bite or scratch your lover in the heat of passion. Just not if you had negotiated it beforehand. Or I can lend you the Lesbian S/M Safety Manual and you can read it along with "Against Sadomasochism". But the Sex Wars more than that and especially regarding sex work, porn, transgenderedness, and campy femminess, they continue. So try imagining me in the fishnets and combat boots trying to explain to an earnest hippie androgyny dyke that I'm not Camille Paglia. Oh wait. Here's a handy link: http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/lesbian_sex_wars.html.


badgerbag

Okay, the end of that article sucks and I think it's wrong and the Sex Wars are still alive and kicking.

and where it says "The radical feminist position holds that sex is a social construction... and that sex outside of patriarchy is impossible since sex itself is a by-product of unequal relations of power" I actually agree with that. I just come to different conclusions than MacKinnon or Rich or Wittig. my conclusion is more like "And therefore, since you know that, and you can't escape it really, you might as well play with it." But I don't mean that in a cynical way.


lori

"but that it was okay to bite or scratch your lover in the heat of passion."

They let you get away with that?!

I was actually told in all seriousness that any sex involving a toy was S/M. Which means biting, scratching, and hand spanking is OK, but tickling with a feather wasn't (much less dildos). Weird.

lori

Sorry to go on today, but this caught my eye:

"sex outside of patriarchy is impossible since sex itself is a by-product of unequal relations of power"

I agree, too. I think the lesbian feminist seperatists that I knew on the other side of the Sex Wars believe this *only in the context of sex with men*, though, and that's where you and me diverge. I think this is true of sex with anyone, anywhere, any time.

Lisa Hirsch

Oh, read "Coming to Power" with "Against Sado-Masochism." They make a very interesting pair. I wanted to do a joint review of them maybe 20 years ago when _I_ first read them. I didn't, and I bet my views would be a lot different now anyway, although I remember thinking there was some, ah, disingenuousness in both books.

badgerbag

Yes! that would be better than the Safety Manual.

I also agree with you, Lori, (you meant we diverge together, right, from the sex-with-men-is-different folks?) that it's true of all sex.

Re: biting and scratching, it was amazingly weird. That particular meeting devolved into us challenging all the vanilla girls to say exactly what they DID in bed, i.e. describe actual behaviors rather than picking an identity. And then it became clear that some of the staunchest anti-sm people liked to get a tiny bit rough. If in a kittenish hickey-giving way. The arguments over whether penetration was evil, oh man, I'm sure you heard it all. It was fascinating, and gave me a perverted wrong locker-room feeling, but also it was excruciatingly horrible since I was the target of it. Oh, and my other main lover at the time had super excellent radical lesbian street cred, but secretly moonlighted at the local massage parlor over on Guadalupe and 30th giving cheap hand jobs. I forget if she ever finally admitted this while I was being pecked to death for being a stripper. And the main bitcher and scratcher was a vile slum lord (I lived in one of her shacks) so she knew all aBOUT power. Some of those people, I wonder what the hell they're doing now. I hope they're being spanked by kd lang and licking vanilla sauce off her huge lavender dolphin-shaped dildo.

lori

Yes, I meant you and me, we diverge from the other folks who think that sex between women is somehow exempt from the patriarchal entanglement inherent in sex with men.

Jo

I had no idea kd lang did that. Dang!

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