Not Your Fetish

It’s Bi Visibility Day, which means I’ve been shoving my sexuality in everyone’s face across various social media outlets all day long. I’m also doing sexual health research into disparities faced by bisexuals. More of the literature review than I’d expected has involved rejecting those papers that don’t actually address bisexuality at all (except in the title) or that are overtly biphobic.

I’ve been out as bisexual for almost fifteen years. Coming out as bi is a continual process, and all too often it means dealing with ignorance and biphobia. Most people I come out to on some level simply do not believe bisexuality is real. It’s either a show for the menfolk, or it means I’m a sex addict: I’ll do anything to get off, even sleep with the “wrong” gender. I’m asked if I prefer gay or straight relationships, told I’m being oversensitive when I answer that I’m neither gay nor straight, so the question makes no sense.

I have a problem with the fetishization of “forced” bisexuality (or homosexuality). Specifically, it raises red flags for me when a straight person wants to be “forced” to be bi. This is difficult for me to articulate. I consider myself sex-positive. YKINMKBYKIOK is an idea (if not an acronym) that I can almost always get behind. But with this kink, sometimes, I hesitate. “Forced” bisexuality is not my kink. And I’m really not sure, in many cases, whether it’s okay.

Fetishizing “forced”  bisexuality relies on a few unsettling preconceptions.

Bisexuality only exists in the context of threesomes.

m/f activity means you’re straight. m/m or f/f activity means you’re gay. m/m/f or f/f/m activity means you’re bi.

Sexuality is a significant part of a person’s identity. “Forced bisexuality” reduces a person’s sexual identity to their sexual activity in a given moment. It suggests that bisexuality can be adopted for the length of a scene or a drunken night and immediately discarded for one’s real sexuality. Bisexuality is already treated as a phase. I’ve been out since high school and still have to correct people who assume that I’m straight or lesbian based on which partner I’m with at the time. If a bisexual person has only one partner, has an exclusive relationship, or (god forbid) gets married, everyone–everyone–we know who isn’t also bi has a smug comment about how we’ve finally picked a side.

It’s homophobic.

If a guy wants to have sexual contact with another guy but can only do it if he’s “forced” by a woman, he’s homophobic.

“Forced” bisexuality is essentially fetishizing same-sex activity in a specific context because it’s taboo to want it. Meaning that consensual or enthusiastic bisexuality is taboo. It’s forbidden, icky, not okay to be bisexual for real. If a person fetishizes “forced” bisexuality, what must they think of people who identify as bisexual?

It carries over male-gaze assumptions about what bisexuality is.

Those assumptions are beyond offensive. It’s about sex, not relationships or attraction or desire. It reinforces the straight male idea that a man’s body can’t be an object of desire, so he has to be motivated by desire for a woman’s body to act.

There’s a grave risk of treating the third partner as an object or sex aid rather than as a person.

I’m trying to imagine a way to invite a third person to participate in the “forced” bisexuality fantasy without some variation of “my partner and I want to have a threesome with you but he’s actually straight and not interested in men at all.” I’m trying to imagine this going well. I can’t.

 

All that said, I’m still not willing to say “forced” bisexuality is not a valid kink. (aside my general objections to “forced” anything as a kink)

The things kinky people do in general are considered disturbing by much of the population. A kink is going to push boundaries. For your average vanilla person, being punched by or punching a partner is a sign of a seriously broken relationship. It lacks the consent, intent, and context that exist for those of us who engage in that sort of play. And I do still believe that we have the right to do things that others find disturbing.

We have the right to play with the uncomfortable, the disturbing. We also have the responsibility to be mindful of how we do it, to acknowledge potential harm, and to examine our own motives. We may not like them. We may change, or we may learn to live with that. Wanting to experience “forced” bisexuality doesn’t make someone a bad person. It may mean that a person is avoiding thinking about an aspect of sexuality (either personally or on a societal level)*. If nothing else, mindfulness and introspection about kinks can help prepare for possible emotional or psychological fallout after trying something new. Because it can happen. And hoo, boy does it ever suck to be Not Okay when neither you nor your partner knows how to articulate or fix the problem.

But if you’re straight, and your partner is straight, you’re going to have a hell of a time exploring this kink in a way that doesn’t contribute to some really harmful ideas about bisexuality, and I think I have a right to be bothered by that. Those ideas aren’t innocuous. They don’t exist in a vacuum. And when your fantasy is over, bi folk still have to deal with the very real effects of misconceptions about who and what we are every day. We’re assaulted more, more prone to suicide in youth, mischaracterized in research, and shoved under the rug by everyone else.

*No, I’m not saying “clearly this person is bi/gay and in the closet.” It’s never acceptable to tell someone else they are wrong about their sexuality. Period.

Damage

If you follow me on Twitter you may have realized that my nerves don’t always necessarily work the way they should. Peripheral neuropathy is not constant but normal. I can feel my feet but they rarely register pain.

Menstruation is a problem. Setting aside the shame and highly unpleasant associations (if only it were that easy), nerve issues sometimes kick in. I can feel but it doesn’t register. It’s like my cunt is made of plastic, or has been hit with novacaine. I can feel it, vaguely, but it hardly feels like mine.

What I can feel is visceral pain. Cramps severe enough that I can’t do anything but curl around them and try to breathe. Orgasm is the only reliable way to abate the cramping for a few hours.

Orgasm is either very difficult to achieve or just impossible on days when the pain is worst. There’s the mental blocks, doors I have to make sure are closed before I even try. Then the plastic feeling, the thoughts that come out of that, the shaking sense that whatever this thing is that I’m touching definitely can’t be part of me. The simple lack of sensitivity.

I’ve spent an hour with three of my favorite toys trying to get off, not even for the sexual relief but just to stop the pain enough to sleep. And failed. So now I’m pushing back disgust that I can’t get myself off when it’s normally so easy, grumpy, frustrated, exhausted. I’m feeling petty that this is the thing that I focus on, not the risk of falling or passing out on a bad day, not the blisters and cuts and broken toes that nerve issues usually let me miss. Feeling damaged and broken and unusable.

I’m not looking for advice or sympathy on this, just taking the space to vent.

e[lust] # 62

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Photo courtesy of Bawdy Bloke

Welcome to Elust #62

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #63? Start with the rules, come back October1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Sex Blogger Life: Real Talk

Selfies, Shame and Safety

‘Dress me like a slut and punish my cock’

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

I live in a sex-positive bubble.

Wicked Wednesday: Silent Memories

 

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*
Are you guilty of slut-shaming sex doll lovers?

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

 

Writing About Writing

Why can’t I write gay erotica?!
Cream doesn’t rise: the state of UK erotica
Coming clean about writing dirty…
The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales

Erotic Non-Fiction

I’ve Collared Myself a Human Pony
Strapped Back In
View From The Bridal Suite
It’s a date (2/2)
Your Tears Make Me Wet.
Photograph
Spanking – the ultimate mood changer

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Yes, I am a slut. So?
M feels that labeling myself “gay” erases him
“Appearance Not Important”
Traditional sexual consent vs bdsm consent
Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better!
All in One Person: Thoughts on Non-Monogamy
I Lust, Therefore I Am
Buddhism and Poly
The Great Outdoors
My Love Is Not About You #SameSexCouples
Thinking of You
Tantra Massage For Multiple Male Orgasm

Blogging

Blogging: My Layout Pet Peeves
An Unpleasant Outing

Erotic Fiction

The Flight Attendant’s Return Home…
Kinky Cocktail Story Time: The Jelly Bean
Spanked Silent
Hunted

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Quantification of Everything (Especially Sex)
Polyphobia – The New Homophobia

 

Thoughts and Advice on Kink and Fetish

For Submissives.
Protocols. I Want.
When You Can’t Trust Your Body
Masters Guilt
BDSM Is Not (the only) Kink
Fetal

 

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Full Sentences

We’ve been flirting most of the evening. It’s a distraction, one he’s far too busy for, but he lets it go on. He’s tentative, eager, overly polite. He flirts like a rabbit coming for treats, one soft paw at a time. Are you here to see me? are those what I think they are? am I being too presumptuous? I keep goading, amused that he’s stuck at work. It has to be frustrating. He stays cheerful: “at least I’ll be able to relieve some tension when I get home.”

I tell him not to. It seems too textbook Domme, makes me self conscious. Still, if I was going to wait, so could he. But then–“Can I call you when I get home and discuss this?” He has me smiling, and he rarely calls. I say yes. I wonder if I’ll let him convince me.

He calls before he gets home. It’s late enough to call it early, had either of us slept. He’s had a long day, sounds cheerful in spite of it. He makes me laugh more than once. I try to keep my voice low, mindful of Spouse sleeping in the next room. It doesn’t take him long to get home. There’s a moment of fumbling and “um”s before he says “So, let’s talk turkey.”

“Talk turkey.” I’m trying to keep the laughter out of my voice. He gets flustered so easily, I don’t want to scare him off of talking.

“Well, I was hoping–I really want to relieve some of this tension tonight.” I still don’t know how he can still be so bashful, after knowing me so many years.

“Why should I let you?”

“I–uh–really want to? I mean, if you say wait, I’ll wait.”

“Well, convince me. You said you could beg. Try it.”

“Um. If you let me, I won’t again fora few days if you want. Or–”

I cut him off. “You’re negotiating. I thought you were going to beg.”

He pauses, long enough that I worry that was the wrong thing to say. “I’m sorry. I’m still in work mode.” He clears his throat. I suspect it’s all bravado. He says he can beg but it’s a rare skill, takes a vulnerability he doesn’t typically show. “Please,” he says. It’s clipped. He starts to say something more, stops, tries again.

I’m the queen of uncomfortable silences. I can ride them straight to shore and I know they’ll break underneath me. They almost always do. But I’m impatient, don’t want to wait long enough for amusement to become annoyance. “I’ll make you a deal.”

“A deal! Okay.” Too relieved. Still in work mode, I suppose.

“You can come–”

“Thank you–”

“But stay on the phone, and don’t stop talking.”

“Okay, I can do that. Should–I mean–can I start now?”

I still find it hilarious that he’s this shy, as if naming anything sexual could possibly offend.

“What should I talk about?”

I swear I’m going to laugh and he’s going to die of embarrassment. “Surely something comes to mind.”

He says something about a video game. (It’s been two years; I don’t remember which one.) “No.” At least I don’t sound ready to laugh this time.

“Um. Okay. Different topic. Um.” He pauses. I count silently to three.

“If you stop talking I might change my mind.”

“Oh! Did you hear about this movie–”

“No.”

“That’s not a good topic either, huh?”

“Is that really what you’re thinking about right now?”

“You didn’t say I had to tell you what I’m thinking.”

“What are you thinking?”

“Well, like we talked about before. You holding me down, kissing me, hurting me, but this time you’d let me come–I can’t fantasize about not having an orgasm while I have one.” He falls silent. He’s breathing a little harder. I count to three again.

“Keep talking.” I try to put a warning in my voice, am not sure it carries through. I lean back, run my fingers over my own skin. “Be specific.”

“You–um. I’d want to kiss you hard, the way you like it. Then you’d climb on top of me.”

If it were just words, I’d be losing interest. But his ragged breathing and the hint of a whimper and knowing how far outside his comfort zone this is have me toying with the edge of my panties. “Keep talking.”

He makes a strangled sound. I smile, listening to him breathe too heavily. “You–you climb on top of me and start riding me. You pull my hair. And when I don’t move fast–er–hard enough for you, you lean down and lick and bite my ears and–” His breathing is too raw and ragged to speak for a moment “–when you do that I thrust harder. You don’t–” He moans. I’m beyond distracted, dying for his mouth on mine, since words are nowhere near enough. “You tell me you’re not done with me yet.”

Pause. Count. one, two, three. He’s making sounds, beginnings of words too shy to fully form.

“Full sentences.”

“Uh, it’s a little hard to–right. So you’re getting loud and trying to keep from screaming [aside: I’m rarely that considerate]. I still feel very submissive to you [is that part of his fantasy, or something he’s telling me now?]. And–can I–after you come a couple of times–I’d like to fantasize that I can make you if that’s okay–”

“Keep talking.”

“After that–” he’s gasping between words “–you decide I’m allowed to orgasm and–uh–say–” he whimpers.

“That’s my good boy,” I say, at the same time he says “call me a good boy?” in such a pleading tone. His breath catches, for a moment I think he’s dropped the phone. “You say that, and it’s like you flipped a switch and I could. Thank you for letting me–” So much shyness, still. I suppose he’s not sure what’s meant to happen next.

“Feel better?”

“Yes.”

“Good. You should get some sleep now.”

We say good-nights and hang up. I stay awake, frustrated but still smiling, wishing there were less distance, less inhibition between us.

 

Sent e-mail, September 2012

Came across this cleaning up old e-mails. I’m not an aural person. Words move me, but not so much voices, sounds. Reading this brought back the ensuing phone call more vividly than I’d have expected, every shy hesitation and the static and carpet too rough under my legs.

You may have a problem.

I can’t get the way you say please–all breathless and half out of control–out of my head. It’s the sexiest thing I’ve heard in a long time. I don’t care that you hate to wait, or that knowing you want something makes me want to be the one to give it to you. I want to deny you something, anything, everything, just so you have to call, to beg. And if you don’t sound earnest enough, or if it doesn’t make my breath skip the way I want it to, I’ll just have to say no again. And if just thinking about this gets me as hot as it does, I can only imagine how it would feel to do it.

Like I said, you may have a problem.