Self-Love: Breaking Free of Gendered Limitations

Yesterday, my agent Saritza Hernandez sent me a wonderful article from The Body Is Not an Apology, a fabulous blog with the tagline of “Radical Self-Love for Everybody and Every Body.” Clearly, this is right up my alley.

The article was “3 Steps Toward Good Sex Beyond the Binary: Having Sex with a Nonbinary Person, Even When that Person is You,” and regardless of your personal gender identity or the identity of your partners, I recommend you read this article because its content is widely applicable.

In this article, Maya Gittelman reminds her readers that “Sex can and should be fun” as well as “empowering and affirming,” assertions I agree with wholeheartedly. Reading the article got me thinking about the ways in which my own sexual experiences have been gendered. In particular, I thought about how being a sub in the BDSM scene has made me aware of the associations between submission and not just femininity, but female-ness in general. From my conversations with other people in the community, I know that male subs sometimes meet with resistance to their sexual identity or feel a culturally-imposed dissonance between their maleness and their desire to submit.

Tied ScoreWhen I set out to write Tied Score, I knew I wanted to write a Femdom BDSM book. Although I’m mostly a sub, I’m learning that there’s a Dominant side to my sexuality as well, and this book allowed me to explore that switchy aspect of my identity. I also knew I wanted to try writing a FemDom book with an alpha male sub. I know that my personality is quite demanding outside of the bedroom, despite my submission, and so I resist the conflation of submission with weakness and helplessness. I wanted Owen to be into submission, but also composed and confident. He knows what he wants and helps Iris learn how to give it to him, and in the process, they both learn quite a few things about themselves and each other.

Many sexual acts are gendered: pegging, for example – the penetration of a man by a strap-on or dildo – is considered not only submissive, but feminine. Too many men are afraid that anal play will turn them “gay.” The act of being penetrated is considered inherently female, even though there are many women who do not engage in penetrative sexual acts. These beliefs not only prevent people from trying sex that they would possibly find pleasurable, but also create an atmosphere of shame around sexuality while perpetuating the gender binary.

Break free. Read Gittelman’s article. (There, I linked it again so you don’t even have to scroll up.) And as you celebrate National Masturbation Month, celebrate some radical self-love.

Twitter Poll

Yesterday, we learned that despite a few outliers, most respondents spend between 10-15 minutes masturbating, with a similar percentage spending 20-30 minutes. Based on these results, I recommend two challenges before the month is out: a “five minutes or less” speed session, and a “one hour or more” session. Report back with your findings!

Today’s Gif

Linda Belcher says "All right, sex time."
Make orgasms a priority. They’re good for all-over health and wellness.

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