Whips, Dicks and Doctors

Fifty shades of fucking grey. Who knew a film about sex, whips, power imbalances and emotional instability could cause such a fiery debate and controversy in 2015? While some of us were underwhelmed, it seems others were deeply angered and disgusted by the apparent abusive nature of Christian and Anastasia’s ‘interactions’.

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I don’t really feel like adding another review to the exhausted list, but I do want to explore to reasons why my gal pal and I experienced a sense of appreciation for our viewing experience a few Tuesdays ago.

I can’t help but question why the construction of Mr Grey: A sexy man with the emotional intelligence of a gold-fish; a damaging/ abusive childhood and a resulting host of insecurities with women, sex and control, was so disturbing to many.

While the mans inability to court Miss Steele in the traditional way (as promised by Hollywood romcoms) was clearly lacking, he tried his best to be the guy he believed the girl he loved, deserved.

Yes it was fucked up. I could never see myself settling for a contract involving but plugs and separate bedrooms, but I wouldn’t say no to a helicopter chaperone or new computer. The wine also looked delicious.

My point however, is that being the complicated creatures that we are, with our perceptions and relationship styles so heavily imbedded in our experiences and interactions; a little bit of dysfunction, (sometimes a lot) is healthy and natural. Why? because it’s real– it means we are being ourselves.

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I liked the authenticity. I also appreciated the vulnerability shown by Anastasia, particularly as a virgin. The fact that the consenting intercourse was deemed as violent I thought was uncalled for, however regardless of our positions, the fact that FSOG sparked debate over the topic of sexual/domestic abuse is bloody grand.

In Australia, one women dies weekly at the hands of a past or present partner. From 2002 – 2012, more women were killed by DM in America that everyone killed in 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq. This shit is horrific and real and needs to be addressed for so many reasons on different levels, including the shame victims feel.

It’s the kind of shame and inferiority that should not, but definitely does exist (on a not so illegal level) in many different forums where dominant and submissive roles are defs present.

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Power is used and abused in politics (dah) the class room (why can’t we call teachers by their first names?) and by doctors and specialists allll of the time, as experienced by many friends, and myself.

From the time my age deemed me capable of making a baby I have been invasively quizzed; with a shit load of unnecessary judgement and intimidation.

Those who know me well are aware that I’m a rather confident person, and I am not easily affected by other people’s positions. [Peas do get degrees after all!]

However I dread visiting doctors and their surgery and here’s why;

[Problem: Anything shitty]

Doctor: “Isabelle?” (my name is IsabellA. A . AAAAAA)

“Come through.” (turn their back, march in front of me, then guides me to their clinical, smelly, fluorescent white room featuring awkward dusty family photos I don’t care about).

Doctor: (without making eye contact, directs me to take a seat while they search my private file).

“Lets have a look here. When was your last pap smear Isabelle? I see here that you’ve been prescribed __ form of contraception. Are you still using that?

Me: “Nope.”

Doctor: (swiftly swivels to stare at me as though I’ve told them I am half dog.) Have you had un- protected sex? If so are you in a loving relationship? (WHY AREN’T YOU MARRIED YOU SLUT?)

Me: “Umm…”

Doctor: (provides a seriously un comforting and disapproving raised eye brow glance and waits for me to guide myself to some idealistic solution to my unruly ways).

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Doctor: “So what can I help you with today?”

Me: “well I have been feeling……..”

Doctor: “Mmm, I think you’re probably stressed and it is viral. It will go away with a lot of paracetamol.

Me: “I am allergic to that.”

Doctor: “How do you know that? I can’t find the evidence.”

Me: “Mate, I’m 23, I think I know my body by now” (said in a submissive, naughty school kid manner).

Doctor: “You need to get tested for every type of sexually contracted disease and take better responsibility of your life. Bye.” (said in a professional manner).

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11015839_10155311594580182_1632157548_nREGARDLESS of the reasons for my visit I seem to have similar experiences, no matter what surgery, no matter the age, gender or ‘niceness’ of the GP.

And it seems I’m not alone. One my good friends is a very knowledgable nurse in a committed relationship with a man she lives with. She often leaves the docs feeling humiliated and belittled, she recent left her usual doc crying.

There seems to be a major power imbalance that I can’t help associate with my given genitalia.

While I am yet to hear of similar experiences from males, I’m sure there are some negatives ones had- my own father refuses to visit the GP after all.

However, considering it is International Women’s Day today, I would like to acknowledge the power imbalance and sexism we (ladies) experience all the time.

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As much as we try to avoid the uncomfy, gross environments or men who feel permitted to touch our bodies when it’s not wanted; provide unwanted comments about our bodies (including gross wolf whistles and tooting), and be bigger than sexism, it’s still alive and kicking.

The gender pay gap its an absolute insult and needs to CHANGE. Women everywhere on this planet, regardless of what we wear, say, do or do not do, deserve to be respected and not objectified. unless we ask OR FULLY CONSENT to sex, we are NOT PERMITTED TO ENGAGE IN IT.

So, hears to my irrational, hormonal, dramatic, moody, needy, dependent, demanding, slutty, whiny, frigid, crazy, smart, caring, loving, giving, independent bitches everywhere– lets fight this shit like the warriors we are. NO ONE knows better than we do- in relation to our bodies, our intuition and our value.

That’s enough preaching for one day. I’m over this power shit. If we want chains and whips, then SnM we will do! and if we don’t, then that’s A-OK too.

Happy Sunday!

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5 Sexy Talks Worth Watching

In the spirit of valentines day… a look at how and why the porn industry needs a makeover. watch the talks!

TED Blog

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You might not think TED has anything to do with Fifty Shades of Grey. We didn’t either. Until we woke up this morning to find ourselves called out in The New Yorker’s scathing review of the movie: “You get dirtier talk in most action movies, and more genitalia in a TED talk on Renaissance sculpture.”

So just for fun, we thought we’d see how racy our talks can get. And it turns out, VERY.

Here, our favorite TED and TEDx Talks with more frank talk than the watered-down movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. What we didn’t know about penis anatomy. A scientist explains how guys get it up — biologically speaking. It’s graphic enough to make you blush, and you’ll hear two words that should never go together: penis and cross-section.

2. The birds and the bees are just the beginning. A parade…

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SEX [Cut the Bullshit]

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First things first I’m a freakin’ realist (if you haven’t noticed already). Apart from the odd trips to the private island where my prince charming rides his horse along coconut laden beaches, I like to believe the media and other poisons haven’t totally saturated the way I think and act.

Floating amongst the smart, independent, liberated & tech savy, and apparently lazy, debt-ridden and self-obsessed [Y] generation, I often find I hold multiple views on singular topics. I’ve been told its because of my 20+ status, but I like to think it is because I ask a lot of [Y] questions.

The responses I received when announcing I was going to be writing a post about SEX involved a lot of WHAT?! NO! HAHA! YOLO! DO IT!. This in itself reiterated the difference levels of value and importance we place on the topic; and the differing meanings we associate with sex.

If you’re doing it out of a committed relationship, chances are you’re a dirty, desperate whore; or a wild, free spirited party gal/ ladies man. If you’re not, then you MUST be part of some weird religious cult, right? you frigid virgin! Oh and if you ARE in a relationship, I hope the sex is good and consistent so nobody strays, but not SO good that I have to hear about it during work. Over compensating for shitty sex is so fucking embarrassing.

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But Y is it so embaro? what determines what is and isn’t good sex other than porno’s and hollywood? Y do we have to pretend that it was ammazzzingggg when it was shit. Or that it’s happening 7 days a week. Or down play the frequency. Or justify sleeping with painfully average people because (gasp) we actually love them.

More importantly though, when did sex become the determining factor of LOVE, CHEMISTRY and INTERCOURSE?

Y don’t we admit it can be fucking awkward, painful, boring and grossly sweaty?

Y does dick and boob size have to come into the equation?

Y do teens feel pressured to just ‘get it out of the way’?

Y do we do it when we don’t want to, or refrain when we do?

Y does horny = whore?

Y do we find it acceptable to use friends and strangers as sex machines without commitment?

Y is sex used to exercise power, control and abuse?

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A few years ago my uni pals and I were confronted with an alternative view of sex, one that actually reflects some of the reality I alluded to above.

As some of you may know, the incredibly talented Lena Dunham wrote, directed and starred in GIRLS. Being the realistic, feminist arts students that we were, one could assume that we frothed over the sight of Lena’s gut hanging out while she ate cake on the toilet, her oily hair and stretch marks captured from unflattering angles during sex, and the constant whining of confusion, debt and frustrations about relationships and life that she expresses constantly. But instead we were conflicted.

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I distinctively remember my girlfriend walking into class and announcing in a huff ” I’m so confused at the moment, like, I love Hannah (Lena’s character) but she fucking annoys me and grosses me out”. I was shocked by the similarities in our thinking process but didn’t realise the cause of it.

Unfortunately we are not honest. Our parents awkwardly talk about precautions, their views on appropriate locations, and timing/ stages to engage in sex, our schools provide us with stunning images of genitalia and STD’s and, well, we all know what mass media does. Can you recall guts banging together during a steaming sex scene? didn’t think so.

But no one warns us about the first time. Premature ejaculation and erectile disfunction (note the language) are framed as MAJOR issues/ illness’ that are also hushed, and fake boobies, artificial himen and vagina tightening  are on the rise [WTF].

I am not for one second claiming that sex is over rated or unenjoyable. That would be ridiculous. It is a basic human need after all, and can play an important role in romantic relationships.  All I am saying is that it is time to start TALKING HONESTLY!

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 Talking honestly
with new flames/ sex partners/ catches etc BEFORE sex occurs. At least learn their name and age?  fav sport? too much? I think defining of our intentions and expectations from the get- go is vital in establishing a basic level of respect. 

Talking honestly about our past relationships, sexual experiences and related insecurities. we need to STOP bullshitting about how many people we’ve slept with. It’s pathetic and counter productive.

Talking honestly with our pals about sex. Frequency, quality, relevance to the latest Asian porn.

Talking honestly with our partner about our likes and dislikes, and most importantly not letting our EGO take over when it’s not a 10/10 home run. Good things take time. 

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People appreciate honestly. We bond over authenticity, in realising how similar our struggles and experiences are.

Lets cut the bloody bullshit and start being a bit more real.

Strip your clothes off, grab some cake and go sit on the toilet.

 

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