New Year’s Eve

After dessert – a decadent raspberry custard topped with chocolate ganache and served with port – Cal handed over a small, meticulously-wrapped box, which he seemed to pull out of thin air.  Maybe it was the intoxicating effects of the port, the strength of which still lingered on hir tongue.  Les accepted it with both hands, wondering where Cal had found the paper containing real leaves and the ribbon which felt like velvet.  Sie looked at it carefully, turning it over in hir small hands, marveling at the care that had gone into it.  Cal’s eyes twinkled.  “Open it,” he eagerly instructed.

Sie peeled the tape off, careful not to rip the paper, and took off the lid, lifting layers of multi-colored tissue paper away from the interior to reveal a handful of small, plain, white envelopes containing what felt like cards.  Each one of the twelve had a single word printed on the cover: the first said January.  “What are these?” sie asked, delighted at the attention to detail, the smooth surface and crisp corners of the envelopes.

“Each month, you get one card with an instruction on it.  You have one month to carry out the order; if you succeed, you receive a reward.  If not, a punishment.  That simple.”  Les’s eyes widened and the corners of hir mouth drew up slowly as sie started to think about all the possibilities.  Knowing Cal, there would be nothing simple about this – it would be challenging, but exhilarating.

“Put them away for now,” he said, standing up and walking around to help Les with hir coat.  Hir face formed a momentary frown, at which he laughed.  “My darling,” he said, “January first is but an hour away, and the clock is ticking.  I believe we have an engagement to be at.  You owe me a dance and a midnight kiss.”  Sie smiled and slipped hir arm into the sleeves before putting one through Cal’s arm.  They strolled out into the cold air, still glowing from each other’s company, and held tight to each other as they walked to a friend’s party.

They danced to song after song, alternating the lead to songs that would always remind hir of New York – Gershwin, Porter, Berlin.  At midnight, showered in vibrant confetti, they kissed each other, relishing the pressure and taste of each other’s lips.  Sie trailed hir lips to his ear, and whispered, “I can’t wait.  Can I open the first one now?”  “You’re so impatient!” he chided playfully.  “But yes, of course you can.”

Sie ran over to their coats in staccato steps, digging the box out of hir deep coat pocket, and gingerly took out the first envelope.  Sie slid a finger underneath the flap and pulled out a small white card containing the following sentences:

Put the Njoy plug in first thing when you wake up in the morning.  Keep it there all day and come to my office five minutes before I get off work.  I will leave my office each day at 4:53 exactly.  When I arrive back to my office at 4:55 one day in January, you will be there, hands on my desk, wearing nothing from the waist down except that plug, waiting for me.

Les’s heart stopped at the idea of being semi-nude in Cal’s office.  Sie knew his coworkers; they often had happy hour cocktails together.  What if someone else came in?  What if the timing was off?  What if…?  Cal looked closely at her expression, wondering momentarily if he’d made a mistake – but then he saw the fear in hir eyes replaced with lust, and an unmistakable blush spread across hir face.  What if he spanks me? Sie thought.  What if he replaces that plug with his fingers?  Sie quickly thought about the heft of the metal plug and how it would feel inside of hir for an entire day.  What if he demands I get under the desk and lick his cock from base to tip, over and over, until he’s shivering?  Sie closed her eyes dreamily and thought about the potential.  Cal leaned in and brushed his lips against hirs.  “This is just the beginning,” he said, almost inaudible against the chorus of Auld Lang Syne.  “I started with an easy one.”  He slid his hand around hir waist and up hir back in a reassuring way; they spent the next few minutes in silence, both contemplating their adventures ahead and feeling no need to make resolutions.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

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Can’t Always Get What You Want

On the last night of my trip this past February, I went out for dinner and drinks with a man I’d met in Laos and then accidentally run into in Thailand.  He was tall, handsome, easygoing, and very open; our conversation flowed effortlessly, and he made me laugh.  After a couple of beers, we started walking around the Chiang Rai night market and got caught in a rainstorm.  I said something inappropriate; he pretended to leave, and I touched his arm and said, “Stay here and kiss me instead.”  He smiled a very warm smile and said, “You know, I’m actually enjoying our conversation.  I’d like to just stay in the moment and keep talking if that’s alright with you.”  And OF COURSE it was.  We ended up drinking until 3:00 AM – past bar closing time – and laughing our asses off.  It was a fantastic night.  The kind of night where you share really personal shit with a total stranger because they’re a total stranger.
All of this is to say, as Girl on the Net did in a fabulous recent post: Not all men want to have sex all the time.  I can’t count all the times a male friend or acquaintance has said to me, “Ugh, you’re SO lucky; women* can just sleep with anyone they want any time.”  But the thing is, guys, we can’t. Because not every man is up for sticking his dick in any person that comes along, and the narrative that they are is ridiculous at best and insidious at worst.
This narrative that men are sex-crazed, testosterone-fueled horn dogs who spend all their waking hours thinking about how to get laid is damaging for both men and women.  First, it contributes to the “boys will be boys” narrative that is used to justify sexual harassment, abuse, and rape.  The idea that society (including lots of television shows and movies that we all watch and love) propagates that men are obsessed with sex and that’s just the way it is encourages men to buy into it and all of us to look the other way when they do.  When they don’t, they’re often mocked by their peers as being weak or feminine, which is bollocks.  I can imagine another guy from my trip saying to the man who told me he just wanted to spend time talking to me as a person, “Are you kidding, man?  You didn’t hit that?”  That.   

Second, if men are perceived as hormone-driven perpetrators of sexual aggression and violence, how does that affect how other people interact with them out in the world?  There has been a huge outpouring of grief and anger recently over two Argentinian women who were murdered while traveling in Ecuador; the news of this was followed by hundreds of internet comments from women saying they “should have known better than to travel alone” (even though they weren’t alone…) and basically that women should, for some reason, expect to be harassed when they travel.  ‘Cause, you know, that’s just what men do. 
As a solo female traveler, this fills me with rage.  Rage that women are being killed not only when they travel, but domestically as well.  Rage that anyone has the audacity to say they somehow had it coming because they dared to be independent and explore the world around them.
It also makes me reflective, though – people are always telling me that it’s too dangerous to travel alone specifically because I’m a woman.  But if they’re regarding women as perpetual victims, it means that they’re also regarding men as perpetual predators.  When I travel alone, I actually feel pretty safe because for the most part, people are looking out for me because I’m a female solo traveler and they’re worried about my safety.  People see me as a potential victim; does that mean they see all men as a potential threat?       
I do not automatically get to fuck anyone I want because I’m a woman.  Just like I’m not automatically a victim because I’m a woman.  Just like men are not automatically aggressors – nor will they fuck anything that moves – because they’re men.  We live in a more complicated world than that.
When we say that straight women can just pick up any guy they want whenever they want, we’re saying so much more than that.  While I would have loved to take tall, handsome, charming man home and ridden him like the dirtiest cowgirl, I am more than okay with the fact that he wanted to spend time getting to know me instead of my body.  That was hot. 
I know this is Serious Stuff – promise to write a filthy one next week.

*Of course, when they say “women,” they mean cis hetero women, which is a whole other rant.

This student fucking needs to stop, you guys.

Lots of profanity coming your way!

I was watching last Thursday’s The Nightly Show a few nights ago, and a couple of things really upset me.  The topic of the evening was the recent slew of female teachers (sweet mother of god, why are there so many of them?!?!?) having sex with their male middle and high school students.

The first thing that bugged me was that the group mentioned the double standard regarding gender and sex with minors, but didn’t really address it in any way except to say that they had no problem with the female teachers in question getting a slap on the wrist for bangin’ their kids, but if it were a male teacher having sex with female students, we should “lock him up” for good.  I’m much more bothered by the fact that this double standard exists than by the fact that the guests were being flippant about it; it is, after all, a comedy show. 

So here’s the thing.  Teachers shouldn’t be fucking their students.  Period, full stop, the end.  Hey, teachers!  I don’t give a shit what gender you identify as.  I don’t give a shit if that student is technically of legal consent age.  I don’t give a shit if that student isn’t in your class.  I don’t give a shit how attractive the student is.  And I definitely don’t give a shit if the student came on to you first.  Being a teacher means being able to make big girl decisions.  You are a trusted authority figure and there is a discernible power discrepancy between you and that student.  If you can’t manage to harness the will power to keep it in your pants until the student graduates, then you shouldn’t be teaching.

I recognize teenagers as people with sexual desire and sexual agency, fully capable of making responsible decisions.  But I also recognize teenagers as people who are in hormonal flux and generally more susceptible to the power of suggestion than adults are.  Something that’s often taught in teacher training programs is that a teacher should never engage in a power struggle with a student when (s)he’s angry because the teacher is the one in charge — the adult.  The one with the power to reward, punish, give scores, and make a tangible impact on the student’s life.  I think that concept applies here. 

When I was a senior in high school, I was quite taken with a young PE teacher at my school, fresh out of college.  I was 18 and he must have been… 23?  I wore revealing clothing, flirted with him shamelessly, talked to all my friends about how badly I wanted that guy’s dick in me, and gave him the sex eyes every time I passed him.  I knew exactly what I was doing, and I’m very thankful that he never even looked at me inappropriately.     

Tying into this, the second thing that irritated me was when Mo’Nique said that she couldn’t fault the male students because boys were just natural horndogs; her exact quote was, “At sixteen, a boy is just looking to get laid; a girl is looking for love.” 

FUCK. THAT.

I was stupid horny when I was sixteen.  I had sex all over the place and as often as I could, and not only that — I craved it.  I masturbated frequently and fantasized during class.  I had a sexual bucket list (anyone remember that 500 question purity test that was floating around the internet in the mid-90s?).  This girl was looking for hot sex.

Mo’Nique was trying to say that it’s no big deal if a male student has sex with a teacher because he’s not emotionally invested, but it is a big deal if a female student has sex with a male teacher because she’ll end up hurt.  I find this highly problematic because it implies that men have no feelings.  And that’s some bullshit.  Boys and men want to be liked and wanted just as much as girls and women do.  They feel and express love, regret, hurt, and desire.  They are as vulnerable as their female counterparts. 

There’s a reason teachers call their students their kids.  They feel like our children because ideally, we want to protect and encourage them.  We want to help them learn, grow, and become amazing adults.  We want to foster their curiosity, take care of them when they need help, and be there for them. 

Teachers: if you wouldn’t fuck your children, then don’t fuck your kids. 

Also, I’d really like this blog to show up on a search engine one of these days, and if you keep fucking your students, then my dream will be merely made of pipes. 

An Introduction to Sex: Flowers in the Attic

“Christmas wears me out because of the incest.”
    -My mom circa 2001

What she’d actually meant was that her eyes get tired in church on Christmas Eve because of the incense, but it’s hilarious, no? 

It’s Christmas in the US right now, and as I so often do at this time of year, I’m thinking of a hot (and vaguely troubling) scene in a book series that I loved as an adolescent.  The first books I ever read that mentioned sex, sexuality, and sensuality were those in the Dollanganger series (Flowers in the Attic et. al.) by V.C. Andrews.  When I found them (in my attic, of course) at the age of twelve, they opened up a whole new world to me — and to several thousand other adolescent girls, I imagine.  A damaging, fucked-up world. 

If you’re not familiar with the series, it begins with the tragic and accidental death of a father of four children (a teenage boy and girl and young twins).  In a state of shock, their mother whisks them away to live with her parents in Virginia and promptly locks them in the attic for years while trying to score a rich husband.  Their super crazy fundamentalist grandmother tries to kill them all because she considers them the spawn of Satan (their father is their mother’s half-uncle), but in the end, three of them escape (one of the twins dies) after three and a half years of being imprisoned.  During this time, the eldest son, who is a boy genius studying medicine, falls in love with his sister, who practices ballet in the attic, and sorta kinda rapes her.  Aaaaand that’s just the first book. 

When I was a twelve year-old girl reading these books, I of course never stopped to analyze the nature of the relationships or the gender roles in the book… I just reacted to the fact that all the male-identified characters seem to be mesmerized by Catherine and her magical feminine powers.  They all desperately crave her and can never imagine loving another woman after meeting her.  As a middle school student, I was like, “Hell, yes — I want the power to captivate men!”  It was my first introduction (to be continued by several books, television shows, movies…) to the incredibly destructive and ridiculous narrative that if the person a woman gives her attention to doesn’t have this reaction to her, she’s failing as a woman.  Never mind the fact that the first romantic relationship this character has is with her brother, the second is with an abusive and manipulative husband, the third is with her adopted father, and the fourth is with her mother’s ex-husband.  Seriously.  V.C. Andrews’s characters and plots are the zenith of clusterfuckery.  Also, the writing.  Oh, god, the writing:

Where was that fragile, golden-fair Dresden doll I used to be?  Gone.  Gone like porcelain turned into steel.

So. Awful.  She also uses the phrase “rigid male sex part” at some point. 

This book series is a revenge fantasy, and much like male-centered revenge stories propagate harmful gender narratives by focusing on a heroic and hyper-masculine protagonist who lives by a code and uses his dark cunning, grit, and brutal strength to leave a trail of bodies behind him on his quest to extract a morally unambiguous revenge, Andrews does the same in this female-centered revenge story by creating a femme fatale character who uses her body and her sexuality to seduce men and emotionally destroy them on her quest to get a horrifying revenge on her mother (who was willing to kill her own children for inheritance) and her grandmother (who was willing to kill her own grandchildren to maintain the family reputation).  And you thought your family was dysfunctional. 

Anyway, back to the steamy Christmas scene.  Cathy and Chris are laying with their heads underneath a Christmas tree, looking up at the lights like they used to do when they were children, and then they have a super hot three page-long makeout session wherein they want to have sex, but they know they shouldn’t because they’re related, but they’re both so completely overwhelmed by their desire for each other that they just can’t help it.  I know it’s wrong on so many levels (the abominable writing being more disturbing than the incest: “We melded in a hot blend of unsatisfied desire — before I suddenly cried out, “No — it would be sinful!”  “Then let us sin!”), but twenty years later, reading this scene still turns me on.  Something about the taboo of wanting someone you’re not supposed to want or can’t have a physical relationship with, the sexual tension that builds from that desire over time, and the release of said tension is crazy hot.

This was supposed to be a funny one-paragraph post about this one scene. Oops!  I think that the second book in the series that contains this scene was just made into a TV movie, so if you’re up for a few laughs, I’d suggest watching it with friends and a bottle of bourbon.  Take a shot for every time something inappropriate happens.   

One of the Boys

The popular western-style bars in my city in Korea happen to be sports bars; I visit them at least once a week, so I know all the barflies.  I was sitting in one of these bars last week, talking with a sports-loving acquaintance, and Lorde came up in conversation.  He started talking about how he finds her unattractive (he said it in MUCH harsher words), and I went off on him about how talented she is and how he shouldn’t give a fuck how she looks because it’s not important — and besides, she’s super beautiful!  I then laughed at myself and said, “I’m feministing you.”  “I realize that,” he replied.  Then he continued: “But you objectify women at least as much as I do, Jo.”  “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said.  He laughed because he thought I was kidding, but in my head, I was thinking Fuck.  Fuckfuckfuck.  Is he right?  DO I objectify women as much as this guy?  He constantly talks about women’s appearances, and when he asks me questions about whether or not I’d have sex with any given woman in the bar, I actually answer him.  It was one of those instances where you realize you’ve done something wrong, feel horrified, feel ashamed, and then want to deny it but can’t.

I had complained to his girlfriend recently about how he talks about women and asked her how she could be with a guy who seems to respect the individual but not the gender.  I told her that he has said some really fucked up shit to me about women, and he has — but what I didn’t say is that when he was saying those fucked up things, I said nothing.  I did nothing.  And in my silence, I was complicit in his words and behavior.  She mentioned to him that maybe I don’t want to be treated as one of the guys, and he said to her, “What are you talking about?  Jo loves being one of the boys!  She takes it as a compliment!”  And the thing is — he’s right.  I’ve always taken it as a compliment when my male friends tell me that “I’m just one of the guys.”
But I’m starting to think that the price of being in the boy’s club is too high.  Thanks to conversations happening in the sex positive world (and on the internet in general) around consent, toxic masculinity, and entitlement, I’ve been reflecting a lot about how we propagate misogyny in some really subtle and insidious ways that we might not even recognize because we’re not talking about them.  I don’t want to be a part of reinforcing the negative ways that men talk about women’s bodies… but right now, I am.  Ideally, I’d like to be a part of changing gender narratives.  This means two things: One, I have a lot of uncomfortable conversations coming my way.  Two, I get away with saying a LOT of inappropriate things to women I don’t know (“Hey — you have fabulous cleavage!”) just because I’m a woman.  Probably a good idea to make a conscious effort to stop making those comments. 
I cherish my friendships with the men in my life, and I’m friends with some really great feminist men.  I’m also friends with some pretty misogynistic guys, and I don’t want to be one of them.  Before I can have a conversation with them about the way they see women, though, I think I have some internal work to do regarding how I think and talk about women.