For day twenty two of the Blogging “Yes” project, I read a conversation entitled “Who’re You Calling a Whore?: A Conversation with Three Sex Workers on Sexuality, Empowerment, and the Industry.” The sex workers in question are Susan Lopez, Saundra, and Mariko Passion, and the conversation focuses on various issues of power, control, and empowerment in sex work. As I was reading, I found myself drawing a lot of parallels with BDSM, especially when it comes to female control and empowerment, and I thought I’d comment on those here.
For the eighth day of the Blogging “Yes” project, I read one of my favorite essays in the book. It’s called “A Love Letter from an Anti-Rape Activist to Her Feminist Sex-Toy Store” and it’s written by Lee Jacobs Riggs. The piece is fairly autobiographical, focusing on Riggs’ experiences working both with a rape crisis center and at Early to Bed, a feminist sex shop. What’s amazing about this piece is how Riggs articulates the importance of giving people the sex-positive language to enthusiastically consent to sex as an alternative to just teaching people about the bad stuff that happens and how to say no. In this post, I’m just going to highlight some of my favorite parts of the essay.
Why is it that some women who are sexually dominant assume that they have license to make everyone they meet do as they please, or that women who are sexually submissive are expected to defer and automatically be interested in them sexually? I’m not saying that all, or most, dominant women are like this, but I encountered one casually (not in a romantic/sexual context) and it really baffled me. My understanding is that kinky relationships are something to be negotiated, based on trust. So perhaps that sort of dynamic would evolve within a relationship, and I can respect that. What I don’t understand is someone who assumes that because they take on this role they should suddenly have everyone wait on them hand and foot. That’s called arrogance.