When I wrote my epic-length post about my crush on James Deen, I talked about the one thing that makes me a bit uncomfortable about showering him with adulation, his participation in Brazzer’s Porn Star Punishment series. Well, it turns out he’s officially stopped working with them, which is great. As I said in my post, I find “punishment” scenarios hot (I am kinky, after all!) but I felt that series really crossed the line into slut-shaming, rapeyness, and non-consensual objectification.
So I was prepared to be open-minded when I came across this post criticizing “punishment porn” that someone posted in the Submissive Women group on fetlife. Then I read this:
Sure, some of us like a little smack on the bum sometimes. But find me a woman who enjoys having a man’s *meat* forcibly shoved into her mouth to the point of gagging and I’ll show you one who is nothing but a figment of a disturbed man’s twisted imagination.
Here all this time I thought I was a sentient being, even a complex person with thoughts and desires all my own, but it turns out that all this time I’ve only been “a figment of a disturbed man’s twisted imagination.” Well, I guess it’s better to know now. All that time spent getting degrees, paying bills, working at my career – all that time, I could have been servicing the man who dreamt me up! What a waste!
And then there was this, from “sex educator” Jamye Waxman:
Of course if two people generally love being punished, beaten, whatever, who am I to stop it? But I ask this: If you love it, why? That’s what I want to know.
Well, first, I’m a bit baffled that someone who works as a sex educator and whose bio lists her as having worked for Babeland (the famously woman-friendly, sex-positive sex shop), being president of a group called Feminists for Free Expression, and having produced porn herself has no idea why someone might enjoy being “punished, beaten, whatever.” It frankly seems disingenuous and a thinly-disguised way of saying “ew, gross, how could someone want that?”
But Jamye, if you actually want to know the answer to that question, there are lots of places to learn that answer. The blogroll on the right side of this page is a good place to start. You could read one of the many, many books about BDSM sexuality. You could, I don’t know, actually talk to some of the people you’re mocking, and ask them, and then actually listen to their answers. I’m guessing from your bio that you actually know many such people.
I’m even happy to talk anytime and tell you why I like it, if you are actually interested in listening. But I will tell you right now that it’s not because there’s something wrong with me or how I was raised.
It’s one thing to be all “OMG, gross” when you’re talking with your friends, but when you’re being interviewed and you’re calling yourself a sex educator, that kind of shaming language is unprofessional, to say the least.
She goes on to say this:
“I can’t say what is sexy and arousing for every individual, but I do see sex as something pleasure based with a limited infusion of pain, and even that pain should be pleasurable,” says Waxman. “As someone who was spanked loads as a child, I don’t get off on being smacked around and honestly find it degrading. I’m curious if there’s a lot of this porn where she’s doing the slapping, but even when I have seen women emasculating men, it doesn’t work for me. Sex is a balance, and there’s no balance when someone takes away your power by such a jarring jolt of force. I prefer loving and sensual to this type of brute force. I got into the industry to make more of the types of erotica that I’d watch and learn from.”
Again, I’m baffled that this is coming from a “sex educator.” Jamye, you are absolutely right that you can’t say what’s sexy for other people. It’s great that you know what you’re into – ” sex as something pleasure based with a limited infusion of pain, and even that pain should be pleasurable” – but do you honestly not understand that others might actually find things pleasurable that you do not?
Some of us actually enjoy having our “power taken away by a jarring jolt of force” (in the context of a consensual, mutually satisfying sexual relationship built on trust). Some of us dream about it. And of course it’s ok that you don’t get off on being slapped or seeing other people get slapped – that’s your right. As a sex educator, you of all people should understand that sexuality is incredibly diverse and that the healthy, satisfying ways people can express their sexuality are endless.
It’s one thing to have a problem with a certain kind of porn. I agree with a lot of the feminist critiques of mainstream porn. But when you start mocking, belittling and even erasing women with different sexual interests than yours – well, that’s just not right. And when you do so while calling yourself an educator? Completely inexcusable.