So a few days ago Yana Tallon-Hicks, Sex Educator and Writer at yanatallonhicks.com, wrote an article called Can you be a feminist and like rough sex? And guess what? One of our staff is featured!
For the full piece:
Below, however, we’ve decided to give you Alex’s full answer. Enjoy!
“The main complaint people have about rough sex is that it is maybe too close to abuse. So, take a cis-gendered hetero couple where the man roughs up the woman, people have a lot of problems with this because the woman is seen as the object of the man’s outlet. While in a lesbian relationship it might be seen as permissible namely because lesbians don’t necessarily adhere to heterosexual gender binary i.e. you’re both chicks, that’s weird, do what you want. There are several different scenarios that distort women’s power in sexual situations, like the aforementioned gender non-conformity or how interracial dating in America and perceived power dynamics taint role play.
We are essentially talking about power dynamics and whether feminism can thrive in seemingly unequal power dynamics. The problem with power dynamics, is that to the naked eye, the more aggressive party has more of it. Two things make this false: consent and permission. If we take feminism’s main objective in this context to be promoting a woman’s equality to that of her partner, and we take that sex requires consent because non consensual sex is in essence, well, rape, then feminism must exist if there is to be rough sex or sex at all.
Rough sex inherently requires higher levels of consent because it’s so fucking risky. If my partner has asked me to degrade her until I hear a safe word, I risk seriously injuring her emotionally. In another example, if I’m asked to restrain my partner or torture her, then I risk physically injuring her and will likely leave marks even though it’s consensual. I am responsible for her body. My partner must check in and I must check in. Being the giver of roughness is equally scary to receiving it. With the heightened consent necessary, everyone has control. This equality is feminist in its purest sense.
Another thing is this: you are living out fantasies that you want to act out. A woman receiving roughness has given you permission to dominate her on whatever terms she’s laid out. That’s power. In fact, arguably more power that the giver. Throughout all roughness, the woman is in power, even if she has chosen to relinquish it.
I think rough sex is the ultimate feminist act because, as a woman, I am able to identify what I want and find someone to satisfy those needs on my terms.”
Here's a short video of some explicit images of different sexual positions as well as bestiality
Here's a closeup of the final image
India has a rich culture filled with spirituality, but it also has a history of sexual exploration. So, Khajuraho for your next vacation?
One thing we often forget about when we talk about consent is feelings. Good old-fashioned, raw and irrational feelings. Feelings — like doubt, insecurity, and jealousy— sneak into even the most committed trusting relationship and we have to account for the possibility that being open-minded doesn’t always work for everyone. Or more accurately, just because you’re open-minded, doesn’t mean you can open your relationship.
I often talk about consent in terms of trying new things with a partner or tools for uncommitted hook-ups, but what about third party consent? What I mean is, how do you navigate situations when your partner gives you a free pass to hook up with other people?
1. Rejecting the offer
You could just say no. Do not to do anything you don’t want to do. This is pretty straightforward, but sometimes you can’t help your curiosity. When will you have this chance again? That’s not to say you are seeking outside parties or that your partner isn’t enough. It’s simply that, now that you have permission, why not? If you can come up with even one reason why you shouldn’t go through with it, you may want to consider rejecting the free pass.
2. Rescinding the offer
From the other side, if you are the person giving the pass, it’s ok to change your mind. You should feel comfortable enough with your partner to say, "Hey sweetie, I don’t want you to do that anymore. I've changed my mind." Because minds do change. It doesn’t mean you are waffling or being unfair. It means you thought about it longer and realized that it was no longer cool for you.
As the recipient of the withdrawal, it sucks, but you’ve got to be understanding and patient. This is prime time for a conversation about what your partner felt when they gave the pass and when they took it away.
3. Renegotiating future guidelines
Now, let’s say things do go down. You then have to decide if you want to ever try it again and if so, how will you do things differently or the same. You must decide how you will navigate these things in a way that is suitable for both you and your partner.
4. Removing the option from the table
You may also want to consider removing the option completely from the table. Your relationship is the most important thing. Why do something just to do it if it’s gonna hurt your loved one?
The key is clear communication and constant checking in. Not hints and inferences, but clear articulate, “I no longer want you to do this” or “I am feeling weird about this, can you call me?” There should be no confusion about what is needed. So what if it doesn’t go like you planned? Conversations leave people on the same page and help them process what’s going on. With clear and effective communication, you may be able to add a new dimension to your relationship.
Photo Credit: Robin Corps
Hello hello. I know you've been waiting with bated breath for my next post. I promise, it is coming. But, the delay is for a good reason.
THE ALTER EGO PHOTO PROJECT IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH! I promised you a May opening and a May opening you shall have. Here's a little sneak preview.
All Rights Reserved. Contact me if you want more info about the photographers.
Still Need Your CR Fix?
While you're waiting for our next post and the gallery to open, check out our Facebook page! Lately we've been posting beautiful erotic photography links and other really funny consent videos.
Often we talk about sexual freedom and exploration, but we have a responsibility to our partners, both the one- night stands and the ones for life.
1. Knowing When To Say No
Sure, we desire sex and myriad experiences with all sorts of beautiful people, but when your partner is too debilitated to consent, you should turn down sex. Not only when they are drunk or under the influence, but also when your potential partner is emotionally or physically broken and using the sex to fill a void. This is because you become this person’s crutch and you risk hurting them more than helping. It is no longer good clean fun. It is taking advantage. The same could be true if your partner is a virgin. If you’re not prepared to care for the person should they want/need your continued presence, this is probably not the right encounter for you.
Ok, so there is this concept of pre-consent, aka you and your partner have decided sometime immediately before the act that it was alright to have a drunken tryst. Perhaps the being taken advantage of is part of the fun itself. But quite frankly, that is a slippery slope, and you might want to get it in writing just to cover all of the asses.
Being allowed to touch someone is insane. Really. Think about it. There aren’t many people you are allowed to touch period, let alone intimately. So should you choose to have sex with someone, no matter how demeaning or dehumanizing the sex act, you must always show respect to that person before, during, and afterward. Making someone feel shame for an act you both enjoyed and consented to is a very shitty thing to do. Plus, if you want to do that freaky shit again, you might want to show your gratitude. Don’t go trash talking to all of your buddies about that blah blah blah you did last night. Don’t post anything on social media. Just be a thoughtful human being.
Kind of building on the respect aspect, understand that every time you’re allowed to touch someone’s body you have a responsibility to care for them. Understand that you could set the tone for how they view sexuality, other women, other men, and themselves for the rest of their lives. A good experience goes a long way, but a bad experience could traumatize. So if his penis is tiny, don’t shame him. Coach him on eating and fingering. If she doesn’t have enough confidence to have sex with the lights on, start off with candles and build up her body confidence.
Now, I know, it isn’t your job to build someone’s self-esteem or be responsible for their hang-ups. Self-love comes from within the person themselves. However if you’re not willing to take responsibility for your actions and acknowledge the reality of your role, you might want to stick with number one: say no.
Photo Credit: Liz Lawley
My original post for this week was going to be about the psychological motivators and challenges of spanking, but something happened that made me shift focus. For the past two months I’ve been trying to get my project, the Alter Ego Photo Project, off the ground. When I talk to people about it, I get a few nods and smiles, even the occasional, “Yea! That’s what we need.” But overall, the response has been silence. The Alter Ego Photo Project aims to inspire people to embrace their sexuality. I want people to celebrate sexual diversity because of the pleasures it creates, not just react to the pain that sexual misuse, that is to say sexual violation and abuse, brings.
Where there is talk about rape, domestic violence, sex trafficking, or anything to do with negative sexual expressions, people listen and want to be involved. Rightfully so. Consensual Roughness, my organization, also wants to fight these injustices. We believe that by promoting healthy sexuality and demonstrating the way things should be done and discussed, we can reduce these sexual misuses. Admittedly, there is now a lot of buzz about sex in media that doesn’t deal exclusively with sexual harm. You can find any how-to sex tips you want on sites like Cosmo. You can find beautifully explicit infographics on Bitch Media. However, when a photo project aims to celebrate the most visceral part of our personalities in a way that reflects the normalcy of varied sexual preference, we get afraid. We don’t want our bosses to know we have sex with the same gender. We don’t want our friends to know we enjoy facial penetration. We don’t want to shout from the rooftops or merely whisper in the corners of the interwebs that we have a sexual personality that is different, vibrant, and unique.
Is this love of privacy or is this shame? I’d argue it is a little of both. We love sex. We love giggling about the latest fling we had, our latest conquests. Our society discusses what kind of sex is OK and what’s perverse. We thirst for the delicious adventure that pure fucking gives us, however when we speak it aloud we usually use terms like love and commitment instead of respect and consent. The distinction equates sex with love and monogamy, but not necessarily respect between consenting individuals. This limits us because sex is sex and love is love. Sometimes they overlap. However, by not prioritizing consent and respect, this narrative disregards human decency in favor of obligation and duty. Because what about non-love non commitment sex? What then? In those encounters respect should be given and received, as should consent. Even within the pair bonds, where we can supposedly do whatever we want, we are ashamed to talk about our needs and wants despite being locked to this person by fidelity. America is a place for sexual liberty. That is to say, the freedom to view sex in a virgin-slut paradigm when it’s not so black and white. Despite purporting sexual freedom, our culture focuses primarily on crude aspects of sexuality. The word “dick” falls off the American tongue more easily than the word “penis”; the latter evoking clinical disgust in many young minds. Unfortunately, our culture is steeped in sexual insecurity and sexual violence, starting with the first negative response to masturbation or the non-conversation about avian creatures and insects.
The Alter Ego Photo Project looks to highlight our differences in order to elevate the vulgarity to vulgarity minus the shame. We want to show that we’re all a little kinky and that our sexual health is an important part of our mental, emotional, physical, and relationship health. We all like what we like. As long as it’s consensual, why not explore?
Photo by Marc-Andre Lariviere
I'm gonna tell you how I fared (hint: poorly). But in the mean time, try this one on for size! Again no rights to this video.
Ok so if you guys want to follow along with me, this is the video I'll be teaching myself from. Again no rights to this video, but this couple seems adorable and their teaching style is accessible.
Quest is a switch in training