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Jan. 21st, 2010

A Few Questions I Haven't Seen Asked or Answered

The m/m debate is really confusing for me. Partly because even when people are talking about something they are labeling as slash, they seem to be talking only about m/m.

While I must be the slowest person on the face of the planet it took me a few weeks to figure out if we were talking about bookstore works or fanfiction. If we were talking about professional writing or posted online communities. If we were talking about women who were openly honest about their gender, women who hid behind a male name or initials in their name to get published/read, or women whom had actually created a biography in which they are gay men.

Beyond that I couldn't figure out if we were talking about the actual going ons in the stories (stereotypes, hurtful tropes, lack of understanding regarding the mechanics, an obviously gendered tone of description) or if we were talking about real world repercussions of women telling men's stories.

All that stuff makes a difference to how I see what's going on. To me all those discrepancies and many more make a huge difference in how I see and respond to complaints and concerns.

So full disclosure: I'm a bi/genderqueer/cis female and I'm not going to explain further than that. I read and write fanfiction. I also occasionally read and write original erotica (though I don't sell any) of all varieties and flavors. I don't want to talk about fiction for sale in this post. I want to talk about fanfiction and/or original created not for profit/sale (i.e. adultfanfiction's original works section and other spaces like it).

I don't really want to talk about m/m or slash I want to talk about threesomes. Are threesomes considered slash and sometimes m/m or f/f? Does it matter is while the relationship is clearly between three people, there are sometimes scenes between just two of the three characters? Does a mixed gender threesome vs a single gender threesome make a difference? Are there things that are acceptable in a duo that make you cringed when worked into a trio?

Look I know that as a non-straight female I'm not really welcome in the m/m debate. As a bi person I'm not sure whether I count as gay or straight when it comes to culture, community, the voices I'm allowed to "represent" or identify in. I've caught myself a few times when I wanted to post correction about the benefits or commonness of idea x in straight culture or the problems y facing the gay comm. After all it's easy enough to say I picked up whatever on the other side of the attraction line. I catch myself wanting to explain the kind of discrimination I've experienced as a person perceived to be a lesbian, but I don't know if it was lesbian hatred or women hatred and I don't want other people to tell me which it is, that if I wasn't x I would or would not still see that kind of hate.

I was mostly tired of the whole thing. There's a lot of fail in how the debate has been formed that makes me feel like very little productive can come out of it. The topic is too massive (all the different factors and more I labeled above) and the exclusion of a large group of people (you know everyone who's not a gay male or straight female) has created the unbridgeable rift that doesn't exist or at least I don't think exists in the terms these debates are creating.

Then, it occurred to me that I haven't seen anything about threesomes. It all seems focused on m/m or f/f pairing and I wondered if it had a place that had been excluded here too. I'll admit that I'm more interested in threesomes than slash because I prefer reading and writing it to other varieties. That my fannish interest is that I see threesomes as more apparent, more natural and more interesting. And threesomes definitely result in dialogues regarding a non-conformist sexuality. The people involved face not just gender norms but general relationship norms and in few possibly no contexts have I seen anyone be able to have a threesome that's public and long lasting (emotional and not just a sexual fling) without the need to explain/justify/ deal with shit/ How realistic these stories are to the real world and the exact nature of explanations it entails are very different but except for an original work called The Nomads of Trilos (even then there was an explanation to how this kind of relationship was the norm in said culture and why) explanations were needed and threesomes were exceptions and not the rule.

I dunno I see some connections and I was just chasing how far those connections were and whether any of it is relevant at all.

Dec. 29th, 2009

So On to the Real World

Nov. 26th, 2007

I'm Back From My Holiday Hiatus and Now a List of Thoughts

I don't know really, I've got a few quotes and thoughts to throw out I guess before I move on with my life. Some of them are pre-Thanksgiving and some Post-Thanksgiving. I guess the order doesn't so much matter as just that I write them before my obsessive nature internalizes them too much.

1. My poetry teacher asked me if I "usually memorized my own poems" because I told him that I "can never read one of my own poems the same way it is on paper unless I have it memorized" I said that it "depended on how long I'd spent playing with the poem". which is true but not how he understands it. I tend to take a lot of time thinking about things in my head before I write them. I'll hold certain lines for months while I wait for the rest of it to come together,. The longer I hold it in my head, the more likely I am to have the exact phrasing memorized. Tweaking it once it's already written though isn't helpful to my memorization. I didn't want to discuss it with the whole class, but I do want the last word...even if he doesn't hear it. Plus, I hate how egocentric he made it sound that I should "memorize my own poems", because I never can directly quote anything else ::rolls eyes:: He didn't mean it that way, and the truth is that I'm probably just sore about it because he made me read what I consider to be one of my more juvenile poems out loud to the class and then praised me on how good it was. I mean sure the poem's construction is fine, but if he doesn't find the subject matter and presentation to be young and immature, then he probably has a lot of his own maturing to do.

2. One of my very good house mates and friends has been talking to me about my "pagan" religion and how, you know, I and her mother and few others know about the "real paganism". What she's really talking about here, and what I've tried to, however unsuccessfully explain to her is that most of what she is talking about happens to be a lot of New Age and Neo-pagan things. Even then she isn't speaking for all people who fall under those labels (it would be really hard to do so). If we really stretched she may even be talking about some British Traditional Witchcraft (often just called Traditional Witchcraft, though I tend to avoid calling it that because it doesn't help to specify what tradition).

I don't think her mother is fluffy, and I don't think my house mate is fluffy, I just don't think she knows the right vocabulary. I tried to explain that "pagan" classifies as anything of a non-Abrahamic faith and that some people today also classify pagan as something that is non-Abrahamic and non-Dharminc (as to exclude Hinduism and other major faiths that may or may not fit under the pagan label). I tried to explain that even if you wanted to be more specific than that that paganism incorporates any religion that is "earth centered" or that reclaims an older faith or that is centered around a lord and lady (god and goddess) figure, or that focuses solely on a mother figure.... None of these definitions actually mean that the practitioner will "harm none" and a lot of pagans don't follow that tenant. Even pagans who do follow the "harm none and do as yee will" don't take that as a don't harm anyone ever, but rather as a "you are free to do whatever is you aren't hurting anyone, if you will hurt someone or something then think about it first". She kind of ignored me, which happens, perhaps I wasn't forceful enough, or perhaps she found my corrections had no relation to the point she was making (which they do way more than she knows).

I think what was most disturbing about our conversation wasn't that she believed that all witches harm none but that she though voodoo was evil. There are a lot of different kinds of voodoo out there and though I am painfully ignorant on the practices of any of the voodoo sects, I'm fairly certain that the practice itself is not "evil" and doesn't encourage harm to others, which is how I believe she was using the term evil when she spoke. I was surprised how tolerant and defensive she was for "pagans" when she was so angry mob against voodoo, which I believe (ironically enough) falls under the pagan umbrella.

Also have to say that whatever "real pagan books" (tm) she was looking at that don't have any spells that could cause harm to others, probably weren't that "real" and she probably didn't consider the implications of all of the spells. I mean just because you aren't doing a spell to harm someone doesn't mean you aren't causing "harm". After all doing a "love spell" could be very harmful depending on exactly what you're doing, as a cliche over used example. The question of free will and interfering with it is always a question when doing spell work. I'm not saying this should stop using any spells or whatever, just that a lot of people who claim they aren't doing any harm could be depending on the wording and what not of a spell (and assuming for the sake of this argument that spells do work).

3. I really hate Western movies. They are racist and sexist. They lack any real plot or good fight scenes. As a grand total I find them highly offensive and displeasing. I just didn't know it until now (I've never watched a western before) but I am anti-that genre right now. Perhaps not all Westerns are that way, but the hero of whatever story I was watching was an ex-soldier for the confederate who hated the "Yankees" and who hated the "Indians". In fairness, the Indian people had killed his family, which does happen and I know there were a lot of confederate soldier and I'm sure a ton of them didn't just drop their grudges for their North neighbors, but I mean its hard to want to root for a guy who is so completely prejudice. He shoots first and questions later. He has no qualms putting family and loved ones in danger. He tried to kill his own niece, who was stolen by Indians and didn't want to come back when they they finally found her five years later. Not to mention the portrayal of Indians and Mexican was sooooo incredibly offensive. The "Si signore" and the accidental "Indian wife" and the whole money killing focus bent was gross. And the portrayal of women wasn't any better. It is a period piece Women are supposed to cook and clean and get married and all that stuff, I get it. But to be sooooo incredibly meek, to insist on this one man who treats you like crap. To scream and by hysterical instead of closing the door and being quiet while under attack, it was just amazing. If women really acted like this then I'm kind of surprised that anyone survived. I couldn't believe it. My shock is part of what kept me watching because my mind was just like "I must be missing something here, they couldn't really play something this overtly offensive on cable". Apparently they can and they will.

4. I'm really surprised by women who claim to be comfortable with their bodies and don't want to touch their vaginas. I don't know what to say to these women. What brings this up, one of my good friends who is very forward thinking and who I thought (and who claims to be) was "sexually liberated" went on to talk to be about how much touching her vagina freaks her out. I mean if you don't want to masturbate fine. But how can you be so comfortable with a partner touching you and not be comfortable touching yourself? I mean how can you really know what you like or don't like if you haven't spent the time to figure it out? How can you ask a man or woman to pleasure you when the idea of doing it yourself creeps you out? You're ok with all sorts of different sex positions, toys, and experimentation with a partner, but learning about your body and it's reactions on your own is too much for you? The whole mindset is odd to me. I mean, I went through a "I'm shy/ uncomfortable touching" phase, but during that phase I wasn't comfortable with ANYONE touching me. The fact that I was uncomfortable made me even more uncomfortable with other people being in that area.

Another thing, if you aren't comfortable enough with your body to put a Nuva Ring in then you shouldn't be having sex. This one is about my sister. She's sexually active and wants to get some form of birth control, which of course I entirely approve of. She wants to be on the pill, and I asked her why. She's never had to take any kind of medication regularly before and I figured that taking it within the hour would probably not be the easiest thing for her to manage, especially considering she can't remember to finish taking strep medication. Speaking of which, she gets sick often and oral contraception doesn't always work if you are taking antibiotics Yeah there are antibiotics that would work, but neither of us know enough about the subject to know which ones do and don't work. Combine this with her allergies to some meds, and you've really limited what she can take prescription wise. Her answer is that she's uncomfortable touching herself to put the ring it. She is so against using the Nuva Ring, which has very few negative side effects that she is considering getting the six month injections instead. Because there are totally less potential draw backs there, I mean you don't have to stick anything up you vagina.

Let me get this straight, you're fine with a guy sticking is penis in you, but a little flexible ring with hormones to keep you from getting pregnant is too uncomfortable/awkward for you? I just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of reason why women don't want to/ can't use the Nuva Ring. Maybe they are allergic. Maybe their insurance won't cover it or doesn't cover enough of the costs. Maybe they have some other surrounding circumstances I'm completely ignorant of, but the point is that none of those reasons are simply because a woman is uncomfortable with her body. I know that the discomfort probably isn't that woman's fault. I know a lot of people out there are uncomfortable. I just think this discomfort is wrong and I find it particularly confusing in women who allow any kind of penetration to occur in their sex life.

5. It's much quieter on campus then at home. I'm going to miss that when I stop coming here.

6. It is much warmer here than at home and I'm going to miss that too.

7. My bed is more comfortable here...one more sad panda insert.

8. I love my fluffy soft blanket, even if everyone else thinks it's kind of dumb and not as awesome as it really is. I just hope I don't get it dirty somehow.

9. Forced family gatherings make me really nervous. My mom is a ticking time bomb you have to be wary of. I don't really know my relatives I don't really have much in common with them and now I have to spend together time with them. I'd rather not really. It is very stressful for me.

10. I resent Holidays. I know some people see it as time set a side to do X, Y, or Z positive thing but for me it is a time where I am required to feel or fulfill obligations of X, Y, or Z. I don't have fond happy memories of amazing closeness during Thanksgiving ever. It's always meant to me a lot of forced bonding. Everyone is high strung in the effort of making it work and it really just doesn't. The best family bonding times I've had either haven't been planned or were planned by the family as something we all wanted to do and make time for. Having a set period of time by the nation creates pressure/expectation/obligation where there shouldn't be one. Family should be together because they want to be not because the calender says so. Likewise, I resent Valentine's day a lot too. Maybe I'm not in the mood, you know. The system just doesn't work so well for me, I guess. I'm glad it seems to work so well for others though, who knows, maybe it's just me.

11. Missed the bf and I'm very glad to see him again. He's having a hard time though. He's sad and I'm not sure why, he won't tell me, but I wish I could help him. I like him better when he's happy but if I can't have that I like him better when he's just honest with me about what's bothering him, even when it isn't me or anything I can help. I like when he shares. Of course if he doesn't want to share, I can't make him, and I guess it's not really my business. I'm probably a little too curious and concerned for my own good.

12. Explained to the sister once again that Mom and I don't hate her bf. For people who are new to this "drama", my sister has been dating this boy for about two years when she broke up with him in Sept (after starting college). She immediately started dating someone else, within the past few weeks she broke up with the new guy and got back together with the old bf. My mom and I aren't exactly pleased. There isn't anything wrong with the bf she's seeing, we just wanted her to look around a little more. I don't think the guy she is dating is a bad guy, I just don't think he's very special is all and certainly I think my sister could do better. We wanted her to be single for a bit and to look around. We just didn't want her tied down to any one person or thing. If she doesn't feel tied down or if she feels free enough or if she thinks this guy is worth those sacrifices (even though I definitely don't agree), it's her life and she should do what she wants. The important thing is that she's happy and that she feels she's doing the right thing with our life That our mom can't help prying and reinforcing how much she doesn't want my sis to be dating is a mom thing and one that doesn't mean she hates the bf, it just means she doesn't think that dating him is in my sis's best interest. Our parents are way more vocal and prohibitive when they don't like the guy you're dating.

13. Searched for a new winter jacket and found nothing. I'm very picky.

14. Worked under the table at Calvin Klein and made about $100 dollars...woot!

....that's it for now I guess.

Oct. 21st, 2007

Here we go from the top

I predict that JKR's announcement that Dumbledore is gay is about to create a sexuality wank. Sure we're talking canon vs non-canon right now, but we'll move past that. As many people have pointed out, the tracks for a gay Dumbledore were pretty well painted in DH. The implications are potentially fairly clear, though I admit this isn't what I presumed about the relationship while reading DH. But I do often miss innuendo if it doesn't really move the plot along. Since Dumbledore's love interest is long done when we learn about it (what with Dumbledore so throughly dead and all) it doesn't really change what happened or how it happened. Whether Dumbledore loved GG and was hesitant to fight him for that reason or whether Dumbledore was very good friends with him doesn't matter too much. The outcome is the same and I think equally devestating for Dumbledore.

Now what do I think about Dumbledore's apparent gayness? I'm not sure its positive mostly because it seems to me that Dumbledore as a sexual being is completely slipped over in the book. Like most teachers at Hogawarts, Dumbledore's sexuality is completely over looked (makes sense since we are reading from Harry's perspective, but at he same time makes this relevation about Dumbledore's sex life a little akward, I mean we don't know if other teachers are dating, in committed relationships, or married let alone the gender of their partners and then boom there's Dumbledore's sexuality just out there randomly). It implies to me that having a gay character in a children's novel is only ok if their sexuality is left as ambigous as possible. Not that JKR should have created "the gay professor", certainly I don't want that either. But I feel like having implication there without just saying it or showing it is a little cheap. I think if GG had been a girl that Dumbeldore and GG would have kissed or instead of being called "thick as thieves" they would have been "dating". This isn't the case. There is just a shadow of a relationship shown that may or may not have been something more.

Of course in fairness, no one's love life in HP is very racey or well documented. JKR often skips over the relationship development phase. It goes from barely hinted at sexual tension into presto the characters are married/engaged/dating!! I suppose by these standards, Dumbledore's "relationship" is more detailed than others but also by these standard JKR refuses to just spit out the nature of the relationship. What is her motivation for such? Was she afraid to call Dumbledore and GG lovers? I mean Rita Skeeter is the one who "outed" Dumbledore's connection to GG, one would have thought that she'd include such a racey little tid bit.

Also, I wonder about what sexuality means in the HP world. I would tend to think that being publicly acknowledged as gay in our world would make it hard to be Headmaster of a school where essentially EVERY wizard in England has to attend. I would think that the same bigots who hated "mugbloods" would fear gays and lesbians. Seems to me JKR wanted to have diversity without dealing with the issues it may have caused in the wizarding world. But hey these are just a couple of thoughts.

It is possible that no one knew of Dumbledore's sexuality, I mean there would be no need for anyone to know, but I wonder about such implications when a figure as scrutenized as Dumbledore was can keep that kind of a secret for so long and can feasibly believe it would have remained a secret until his natural death (which could have been a long long time down the road).

Aug. 25th, 2007

Dude Check it out Ted Haggard is straight and asking for cash"