Reading Rachel Kramer Bussel's piece contemplating how many partner makes you promiscuous
I finally started work on something I've wanted to post for members for a long time: a numbered list of all the people I've fucked or had some sort of sex with.
There are so many layers I'd like to explore that I haven't finished it yet: why I feel compelled to maintain such lists, how I feel about the numbers (and the possibilities of adding to them), the different ways such a list may be fetishized, whether less data presented in very simple form is more erotic than more data presented in detail with complete sentences in story form or even captured on video or in pictures, how making indie porn and being with Delia
since 2002 has effected the numbers, how my list may or may not be different from a man's, etc.
I also wanted to dig through some of my old photos to find images of some of the people on the list which led me into the frustrating chore of trying to recover corrupted data off of a cd I burned ages ago (most of our photos are backed up in numerous places with different kinds of storage, but not these images which have sentimental value to me now). None of the photos are pornographic and I own the rights to them since I took them, but of course I'm struggling with the ethical dilemma of whether or not to share some of these images (and if so, which ones and whether or not to blur parts of them) and all of the different ways I'm justifying doing it while still feeling like it's wrong. But wanting to anyway. For the record. Which is a huge compulsion for me, wanting everything to be recorded and saved for posterity. Which I feel is very RIGHT which is part of why I follow trains of thought and say offensive things, many times at my own expense and/or the expense of others, because it represents something interesting or is an example of something that fascinates me and is thought-provoking. I am one of those assholes who acts like ideas are more important than people and that gets nasty and squats on boundaries when the ideas I like are ABOUT people.
Anyway, for those of you who are members and have been looking forward to reading the list, I apologize for underestimating how long it would take for me to get it done. I could post it now, but not without some of the context and thought I want to put in it.
My random thoughts on/responses to Rachel's piece about promiscuity:
This is SO TRUE: "Your number of partners and how "special" the sex is are not necessarily related."
Not that I think sex has to be "special" for someone to deserve to have it and be exempt from moral judgment, but it IS a way of connecting with other people, yourself and even the divine and sacred (if you're into that). It's a basic human need. A core drive. Anyway, is every meal you have "special"? No, but you still need to eat and are programmed to do it at regular intervals.
It cracks me up when many of the people who are judgmental about sex are the same people who put really bad food in their bodies every day. Food that is unhealthy, that they aren't mindful or thankful of when they eat, that they waste, that was unethically and/or immorally produced. That's WAY worse than choosing to enjoy putting a stranger's cock in your mouth. Anyone who scarfs down corn syrup, meat, chemical-laden and genetically modified food is in NO position to judge a woman for what she puts in her vagina.
*What does promiscuous mean, anyway? To me, it just means having many partners in a short time span and that's a meaningless definition since "many partners" and "short time span" are so subjective. I think promiscuity can be very healthy and don't think there should be a value judgment attached to it though I recognize THERE IS.
*15 partners is not a lot, in my book. If you're not in a long-term monogamous relationship your entire adult life (and I don't think that is more morally right than NOT being in a monogamous relationship, I'm just acknowledging that most people consider them ideal, rightly or wrongly, and you have more opportunities to fuck) and you're only averaging one new sex partner a year then . . . that pretty much sucks ass for the average human and you're definitely NOT a "slut". Its healthy to have sex at least 1-3 times a week, and if you aren't in a relationship of course you will probably have multiple partners. The UNhealthy/wrong thing to do is get into or stay in a relationship just so you can have access to socially acceptable sex. Even if you're only hooking up with a new person to have sex once a month (which is pretty fucking DRY) you'd still have twelve new partners a year.
*I agree that the double standard does still exist and the pressure for women to not be openly promiscuous (and the response to those who are or are perceived to be) is FUCKED UP and has really scary repercussions. Namely that your worth decreases and ownership of yourself disappears the more people you fuck, making you a target for all sorts of abuse. I think its a representation of our (society's) feeling that women do not own themselves, or are only permitted to temporarily own themselves if certain conditions are met. People think that every time a woman's body is accessed by someone else that she's transferring some ownership of it, having part of her soul and dignity sucked out of her, and losing her ability to have "meaningful" relationships with other people (like her all-important future husband, the final titleholder!). Like she's becoming less human and more animal, "degrading" herself from personhood to a piece of meat, and we're told that once she "does that to herself" (fails to/refuses to meet the requirements to be human which are different for women than men and designed to make her fail because doing so would make her NOT human) it is OPEN SEASON ON HER ASS -- she asked for it. If she doesn't care about herself (and "caring for herself" actually means denying herself what she wants), why should anyone else?
It's uhhhh . . . pretty fucking crazy and yeah, I do totally believe that extreme misogyny is the foundation for all of the anti-slut sentiment (and the way most people use the word "slut").
*I don't think most people who are intimate with more than three people in their lives can actually remember who and exactly how many people they've screwed around with. Having kept track of it myself, I am positive that if I hadn't logged the information I would not remember most of the people on my list (especially since I can't easily recall a lot of the people that are on it, even with their names right there). I interact with far fewer people than most do, so if *I* can't remember people I've fucked, I'm sure people who are actually normal social creatures drop a lot of interaction, even if its sexual, from their quickly-recalled memories.
You have to be a bit of a freak of nature to know exactly how many people you've had sex with. On top of that, so many people don't qualify a lot of sexual behavior as "sex" (the whole "blowjobs don't count" thing, or "he only went down on me but we didn't actually have sex"). I just don't think you can trust most people's numbers, not only because they will lie about them on purpose but because they honestly don't remember everything or don't think of all kinds of sexual intimacy as "SEX".
Labels: feminism, gender issues, human nature, links, media, memories, SEX, spiritual issues, values