Archive | January, 2012

More on objectifying language

16 Jan

Funnily enough, my internet friend Discerning Dom posted a piece on almost exactly the same time last night on the same topic as I did, objectifying language (although he phrased it in terms of “insults). His post is a great take from the other side of the coin – you should go read it.

It reminded me of a few points I meant to make in yesterday’s post. First, I’ve realized that I really only like this talk when it refers to sexual things. “Dirty, perverted whore”? Yes please. “Ugly, worthless, stupid whore”? Hell no, and get out of my house. I understand that some people do like the latter, and I can intellectually understand the appeal: having someone call you things you’re afraid of being called, and seeing that the sky doesn’t fall, that they’re still there. Lifting the rock and seeing what lies under there.

But for me, it just doesn’t work. Worthless? In most areas of my life, but especially in sex, I like to please, I like to be put to good use. Stupid? Well, that just makes me roll my eyes – I’ve always been The Smart Girl. I’m insecure on a lot of fronts, but my intelligence is not one of them. Ugly? Well, like 99.99% of women, I’ve struggled with my body image over the years, so I can’t say I’m totally secure there – but I don’t want to feel, even in play, that my partner thinks I’m ugly and is there anyway. I want to feel sexy and beautiful and desired.

Second, I don’t actually receive words like “slut” as insults. I think this is partly to do with my upbringing. I really was raised to feel that there was nothing wrong with a woman having lots of partners, or enjoying sex. Yes, there was a gap there, because I thought the kind of sex I liked was “wrong.” But the word “slut” has never really had much of a hold on me. If anything, I felt not sexual enough for most of my life. I wanted to be a sexual person, but there was a disconnect – I didn’t seem to be “into” sex in the way that other sexually liberated people seemed to be.

So to be called a slut, now that I have embraced my submissive sexuality, is actually very liberating. It’s a sign that I do now own my sexuality, and that my partner is celebrating it.

Objectifying language

15 Jan

Slut.

Whore.

Cunt.

These are all “bad” words, doubly so for a feminist. Not only are they insults, but they are insults based on sexist ideas about what women should be, what gives a woman her value as a person.

And yet, I love hearing them used to describe me, by the right person, in the right context. I love it. I also love having my partner “remind” me that I’m just there for him to use, or that only his enjoyment matters. Nothing sends me into that submissive headspace (which is a very happy, very aroused space for me) quicker than some good, objectifying dirty talk.

I’ve been thinking about this lately for a few reasons. One, the sadistic gentleman I’ve been playing with has quite a way with the dirty words, and I’ve been marveling at how just a few minutes of that can get me so worked up.

And then a reader that I’ve been emailing back and forth with expressed surprise at how I could be so glib about my love of objectifying language. After all, isn’t that anathema to feminism?

I responded by pointing out that the difference, to my mind is context – and, specifically, consent and specificity. I used a vanilla example to explain: if my (hypothetical at the moment) boyfriend grabbed my ass, I’d probably grin and grab his back, because I would view it as a cute, flirty move. If some guy on the street grabbed my ass, it would be assault. What’s the difference? The guy on the street knows nothing about me and certainly does not have my consent. My boyfriend knows I like that sort of thing and obviously has my consent.

As for objectifying dirty talk, to me, it’s the difference between me being his sex object because I’m female and women are supposed to be sex objects for men – and being his sex object because it’s a shared fantasy that we both find really hot. Gender may inform the choice of words, but it’s not why we play like this – if our genders were reversed, or we were the same gender, we would still play that way.

So that’s why I don’t find this kind of play unfeminist. But why do I find it hot?

Now, when I ask why, I don’t mean, “what made me this way?” I think that’s an unanswerable and fairly useless question.

What I mean is “what does this do for me?” I think it comes down to being in the moment. In my day-to-day life, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and an over-thinker. I think that, in a strange way, being cast into this role is a wonderful way of releasing myself to be present in the moment – to at least come closer to being a totally sexual being for a little while.

It’s also exciting to feel like my partner is losing his everyday persona for a while as well. To have a normally respectful, intelligent nice guy let loose with a barrage of vulgar terms like that – well, it makes me feel perversely powerful and extremely sexy.

What about you? Do you like this kind of language – why or why not?