Boundaries: OTL

[TW: discussion of sexual acts, kinks, biting, oral, kink-shaming, coercion] This is isn’t really about asexuality at all.
This post at Feministe got me thinking. Specifically,

““I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts“


and

“Does a dude have a 100% right to be like, “I don’t like giving oral sex, and that is a boundary for me and I won’t do it”? Yes. Without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”), do women who enjoy receiving oral sex (who I realize are not all women, but for the purpose of this post I am talking about those women who do enjoy it, which are a lot of women) have a 100% right to be like, “That is some misogynist bullshit right there, and if you are not only unwilling to give me what I need to be sexually satisfied but you also pathologize my body then you are officially kicked to the curb”?

This concept has just been bugging me. It seems to be saying “Sure, you can set boundaries. But you have to come up with a good reason for those boundaries, or there’s something wrong with you, bye.”

Not liking something is not good enough of a reason for some people, apparently. Why should you ever have to defend not wanting a certain action done to you? Or not liking to do a certain action to someone else?

Once upon a time I had a friend who didn’t like to be bitten. In fact, she hated it. She didn’t want it to be part of her sex life at all. But unluckily for her, her boyfriend insisted on this act.

You know why she didn’t like being bitten? Because it hurt her, and it scared her. There wasn’t some deep meaning behind it. It wasn’t because of trust issues or misandry or being repulsed by mouths. But going by the logic quoted above (that being repulsed by a certain sex act is pathologizing the body) we could easily come to the conclusion that saying biting is scary is kink-shaming at the very least, the statements of a judgemental prude. She was told this.

Misogynist, homophobe, prude. Those are all labels most of us would not willingly embrace.

The thing is, you can break it off with anyone for any reason you like. But let’s not pretend that there is no power behind it when we act like someone is being discriminatory for not doing a certain sex act. When you tell someone they are a prude because they don’t want to be bitten during sex, or you tell someone they are a misogynist because they don’t like to give oral sex and have no reason other than that, or you tell someone that by not liking anal sex they are a homophobe…

What do you think? No one wants to be those things. No one wants to seem like a stuck-up prude, or a sexist woman-hater.

“Do this or you’re being a prude.”

Are we really going to act as though there is no power in statements like that, coming from someone we love or are attracted to?

And as for the “I’m going to break up with you if don’t give me blowjobs/let me bite you/pee on me” thing…

Many people make the point that you have the right to be sexually satisfied in a relationship, and that if your partner won’t do a sex act that you need to be satisfied, you’re within your rights to end the relationship over it. Cool. Agreed. But then we’re back to the “give me a good reason” thing. If you can go without that sex act for the right reason, well, what is that right reason? It just seems like if you can give it up for any reason it’s not a dealbreaker. So why make ‘good’ and ‘bad’ reasons in the first place? If your partner doesn’t like it and you can take it or leave it for any reason, isn’t them not enjoying it a good reason?

Like back to the biting thing. My friend’s ex-boyfriend needed the biting in a relationship. It was too important to give up. It didn’t matter that it left his lover crying and scared and unable to enjoy the sex at all; he made it clear: if you don’t want to put up with being bitten, we can break up. She stayed with him for years.

And yeah, she was an adult and could have left at any time. But can we please not act like making ultimatums like “Do such sex act or I’ll break up with you” doesn’t have the power to get someone to do a sex act they don’t want to do?

“ He’s definitely not entitled to blowjobs either”
Funny, but I can’t come up with any reason I don’t like giving blowjobs other than, I don’t like giving blowjobs. So I guess I am obligated to give blowjobs, or I’m being a misandrist prude who pathologizes the bodies of people with penisis (penii?) and who should be broken up with for my penis-phobia. (Because not wanting a dick in my mouth is the same as hating and fearing penises (penii?) right?. Yes.

Thanks for telling me I need justification for setting boundaries.

Disclaimer: I am one silly ignorant asexual person and my stupid rambling musings should be not taken as a reflection on all asexuals. Disclaimer because many people are currently going “Oh look! This asexual said something stupid/problematic! Asexuals are inherently slutshaming/homophobic/ignorant!”

About Lasciel

Out, out, brief candle!
This entry was posted in Asexuality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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