Another treatise on objectification.

I work part time in an art gallery to supplement my model earnings. Recently a woman came in with a male companion and she tut-tutted about how there were a lot of naked drawings of women on the wall and none of men.

I agree – men’s bodies are just as interesting and worth looking at. I remarked to the woman that I am equal opportunity when it comes to objectification. She was immediately like “Whoa – no – I’m not saying the drawings are objectifying women. Except maybe that one – ” and she pointed to a figure study of a woman who happened to be wearing stockings and a bra.

I didn’t want to argue with a customer so I let the conversation peter out, but it was obvious this was yet another person thinking objectification has to be sexual.

Objectification is treating someone like an object, dammit. It doesn’t have to be an object you want to fuck. And I would argue that any drawing/painting/sculpture of some random person, where the only point of the piece is “hey look at this body/face”, is objectifying. You’re putting that person up there for the sole purpose of looking at their body, or looking at how the artist rendered it, just as you would with a still life of literal objects. It’s not a bad thing. Bodies and faces are interesting to look at! But if there’s no deeper meaning to the piece than “hey look, a body,” then yeah, it’s objectification. Whether the portrayal is sexy or not.

/rant

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Satisfying

My kitchen sink strainer was all full of disgusting food paste and a sponge couldn’t properly get in all the little holes so I cleaned it with The Pedant’s toothbrush that he left behind.

 

 

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Derp

So, as I talked about here, I’ve started making a list of evidence supporting the idea that I am not crazy/oversensitive/a drama queen. Midway through, I suddenly realized: when several different people minimized my feelings and experiences in similar ways, completely independent of each other, I assumed they must be right about me being oversensitive – but they were probably all just gaslighting me! For some reason that possibility hadn’t occurred to me; I was stuck on the idea of “well if multiple people agree on this then there’s probably a reason.” Turns out I was right but the reason is that I know a lot of shitty people.

Looking at my list, most of the incidents of people brushing off my concerns came from my mom and dentists. My mom suffered from depression that sapped a lot of her energy so of course she would always tell me “it’s not that bad, just go to school” when I told her I needed to stay home sick – she just didn’t want to cope with taking care of me when she could barely take care of herself. And she wouldn’t want to openly admit that my father was abusive toward us because that would seem to necessitate her doing something about it, which she wasn’t ready to do, so instead it was always “Oh it’s fine, your father’s just grumpy today, no big deal.” As for the dentists, no medical professional is ever gonna admit they fucked up because they might get sued or something. So they gloss over shit like it’s no big deal.

Everyone else on the list also stood to gain a big advantage by gaslighting me.

HUZZAH. My feelings are in fact valid.

 

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The mythical unstoppable juggernaut of male desire

Mine considers himself straight. He doesn’t want to date a man or kiss a man or touch a man. But he fetishizes fellating a man or getting an ass-pounding from one. He’s obsessed with making a guy come. Any man at all, really, but the bigger his dick, the better.*

I’ve known a number of guys with that fetish and I think it comes down to feeling desired. Straight men often don’t feel desired by women. That myth that women aren’t visual/aren’t carnal/aren’t into sex has fucked men up and made them feel as though they can’t possibly be sexy. And for whatever reason, instead of addressing that problem by adjusting their relationships with women, they seek out that feeling of desirability from other men. After all, the cultural narrative about men is that they’re all visual and carnal. Men (the stories go) never need to have feelings for someone in order to be physically intimate. Men want to stick their dicks in any pretty thing they see. They can’t even control it.

And so a small subsection of men starts kinking on the idea of being consumed by another man’s desire, of being used as a pretty, pretty object. They kink on the idea of unstoppable male desire even though they are men so they know men’s libidos aren’t really so indomitable.

The other day it occurred to me that often, once it’s clear to a man that I’m visual and carnal, he expects me to be the same type of always-on, ludicrous, frothing horndog that society purports men to be. Why men so often see physical desire in others as all-or-nothing like that I can’t fathom. But yeah. A few times, I’ve accidentally created a monster: tell a dude he’s hot a few times and suddenly he’s strutting into the room like “Okay, here’s my hot body. You may commence behaving like that wolf from the Tex Avery cartoon now.” But the thing is I’m just not that wolf all the time. If I’m in a sexual headspace, absolutely. Aroooooooo. If I’m distracted or something, though, I can’t always shift gears instantly, y’know? But I don’t wanna hurt the guy’s feelings so I end up faking it a little. It sucks because I genuinely do find my partners attractive, and I want them to know it, but then the weight of all their expectations and pent-up feelings ends up pushing me into performing desire that I’m not necessarily feeling.

I’ve only hooked up with The Dandy twice but already I can sense his self-concept of his body shifting from utilitarian over (tremulously, tentatively) to aesthetic. He’s always (he told me) been a nudist, and was comfortable being naked in front of me, but by the end of our recent time together his nudity had taken on a slightly different aspect, a sort of prickly awareness that I might be admiring him. His body was no longer this ignored shell, this means to an end; it was being seen.

I love creating and witnessing that shift. And I think men deserve to feel desired and am happy to do my part. But shit, some of them have so much pent-up neediness around the whole “being desired” thing and it all comes up at once and suddenly I feel like there’s a spotlight on me and I have to act stupefied by lust every single minute or their hearts will shatter. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen here.

 

*Pretty sure it’s because an erection is a symbol of his desire and to Mine (and many others), a bigger erection equates to more desire (hey maybe this is why some people fetishize trans women, too). Or, alternately, men are supposedly the carnal ones and having a penis is supposedly the defining physical trait of a man, so “more penis” equals “more man” equals “more sex drive”. (I’m not saying I believe penis equals man; I don’t. But for most of us, our first basic sex talk started with “boys have a weewee and girls have a hooha” or whatever, so the idea that gender is determined by genitals gets ingrained in us pretty young and needs to be unlearned.)

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Things that hit my “no”-button

In my previous post I said I’ve become super bitter and angry and will dismiss a guy I was potentially interested in at the slightest offense. Just for fun, here’s what it’s like to be inside my head as I browse Fetlife profiles of guys who initially seemed okay (and who I might have given a chance at one time).

One or more of his profile pics depicts the stereotype of a dominant woman (thin, white, long hair, high heels and a whip, blah blah blah): NOPE. NEXT!

His fetish list has anything about wanting to see a woman in lingerie or heels: NO. FUCK OFF.

His fetish list is mostly (or all) sex acts: UGH NO.

“I want to serve a dominant woman” without specifying how (spoilers: these are always the guys whose fetish lists are mostly sex acts): GTFO.

“I want to serve a dominant woman…by letting her ‘use’ me sexually”: PLZ LEARN WHAT “SERVICE” IS AND THEN JUMP UP YOUR OWN ASS AND DIE.

“I’m looking for a beautiful dominant woman to -” NO FUCK OFF.

Calling women “females”: DIE IN A FIRE YOU FUCKING FERENGI.

Saying anything about women being superior: NOPE NOPE NOPE.

Saying that he needs a dominant woman or needs someone to fulfill his fetishes: ALL ABOARD THE EXPRESS TRAIN TO FUCKOFFVILLE.

Beseeching women to “teach” him or “help” him: RANDOM WOMEN ARE NOT YOUR MOMMY. OFFER SOMETHING IN RETURN OR STFU.

Using the word “subby”: NO.

Using the word “mistress”: UGH NO.

Using the word “dominatrix”: UGGGGH JUST SHUT UP AND GO BACK TO WATCHING YOUR PORN ALREADY.

Being titillated by how dirty and naughty his kinks are: NOOOOOOOPE.

Foot fetishist: MEH.

Obsessed with giving oral: HARD PASS.

“I won’t go to kink events/the fact that I’m kinky has to be sooooper sekrit” – NOOOOPE.

“I’m actually submissive but I list myself as a switch because women seem to only want dominant men”: WHY WOULD I WANT TO BE WITH SOMEONE WHO CLEARLY PRIORITIZES GETTING HIS DICK WET AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE OVER HAVING A FULFILLING INTERACTION WITH SOMEONE?

Like I said, I might have tried to look past these things at one point. “Oh, he’s probably well-meaning but just doesn’t realize the connotations of that word.” “He’s clearly a bit conflicted about submission but maybe positive re-enforcement will get rid of that” “Okay, most guys with a fetish for feet or oral refuse to follow instructions and just wanna touch me whatever way turns them on, but maybe this guy will be different!” “Okay, most guys who say they wanna ‘serve’ a woman actually just mean ‘I want to lie there passively while you do things to my dick'” but maybe this guy will be different!” But right now I do not have the patience. I just don’t. Fuck it.

 

 

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A new attitude. Maybe.

A fellow dominant woman on Fetlife described, a while back, how she went through a phase of just being a no-holds-barred, demanding, unapologetic shithead with men she dated. This was I think before she knew she was dominant; maybe before she knew about BDSM at all. Anyway she said it was actually quite amazing how far she could push these men without them complaining at all.

And then I look back on my own relationship history and the overwhelming pattern of me trying way harder to please my partner than vice-versa and still they were usually the ones to break it off. Like awwww, was it getting tiring having me tie myself in knots to make myself more suitable to you while you did jack shit for me? Poor baby.

I do of course realize that I get myself into this shit by being too attached (both because of my perpetual and voracious skin-hunger, and because I don’t click with guys that often so when I do, I’m reluctant to let it go). So I suppose my partners can sense that I’m a bit more invested than they are, and they decide that they don’t have to bother trying to impress me anymore or whatever.

Or maybe I just have such low expectations of men that I create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But both of those issues could be solved by me going into things with a guy expecting that he’ll bend over backward for me (and also forward, ba-dum-tssssh!) and tossing him aside if he won’t. Or at the very least asserting myself a lot harder than I typically have.

I’m not looking for anyone new lately at all because the breakup with The Pedant has felt like kind of a culmination of a bunch of shit in my life and I feel like I need to take time out to regroup. But for a brief time I was still trying to meet new people and I found myself super bitter and irritable and the minute a guy said or did anything that annoyed me the slightest bit I was like “it’s not working out. NEXT!!!” Maybe I dismissed a guy or two too quickly, but I dunno – as far as I can recall, about 90% of the time that I ever gave a guy a chance despite a slight red flag, it bit me in the ass in exactly the way I’d predicted. So maybe I’m not jumping the gun when I cut things short; maybe I’m just being smart and efficient.

It would be nice if this new sense of ruthlessness would hold out even after I get my head in order and am ready to pursue people again. It was really nice not agonizing over whether or not to keep someone around and wondering if it would be premature to let them go and worrying about hurting their feelings and blah blah blah. It was so beautifully simple to just get pissed off and drop the hammer at the very first offense.

I think part of my problem has also been a perceived sense of scarcity – like if I ditch one guy, who knows when I’ll find another? But I live in a big city with a huge number of kinksters and I seem to be able to get attention when I want it so there is really no logical reason for me to put up with any bullshit.

The other day, Mine and I were texting and he said he’s been missing me a lot lately and I told him I still had another week or so off if he wanted to come over sometime. He said he’s off for the next few days so maybe he could see me sometime soon, and could he let me know tomorrow? I was like “Nope! Concrete plans or GTFO.” And he was like “that’s fair. I’ll let you know when I can schedule something for sure.” A few days later, he did reserve a specific day with me. And I realized then that I’d expected him to be peeved by my tetchy response to him, or to never get around to actually setting a time with me. I’d been thinking that I had to accept vagueness because that’s seemingly been his only mode of operation for as long as I can remember. But when I told him to step up, he stepped up. Which makes me wonder how many other things I could make happen just by being super blunt about what I want.

 

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Oh btw…

When The Pedant was here on Christmas day he had a bunch of times where he couldn’t grasp something I was saying to him and jumped straight to assuming that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

This is the defining feature of my relationship with my dad – I say a thing and he misinterprets it based on (apparently) believing that I’m incredibly stupid. (Or just proactively assumes I’m stupid before I’ve said or done anything*, but The Pedant doesn’t do that part.)

For instance, he helped me move my two small, low dressers side-by-side under the loft bed that Mine made for me. I wanted to have access to an outlet under there (just in case I ever used the remaining underbed space to lay out a sewing project or something) and the only outlet was on the wall where the dressers would be, so I plugged a power bar into it so that it would stick out in-between the dressers. Unfortunately the cord on the power bar was a wee bit too short; I had hoped to push the dressers almost all the way together with just the cord between them, but instead part of the bar was stuck between, making a gap of 2 inches or so. I said to The Pedant that I wished I could scootch the dressers closer together but since the power bar was in the way, this would have to do. He apparently thought I meant that I wanted the dressers closer to the wall, and started prattling on and on about how some power bars have a low-profile plug on them so I just needed to get one of those. I repeatedly said “No, I’m not talking about that, yes, I know about low-profile plugs, that’s not the issue, I’m talking about the dressers being closer to each other and that would require a longer cord, not a different plug, dude just look where I’m pointing.” He wouldn’t shut up about his thing and finally I said “You’re not listening to me and I’m running out of patience so I need to leave the room for a minute” and just walked out to stand in my hallway and take some deep breaths for a while.

Not long after that I indicated with hand gestures where I intended on moving the remaining, tall dresser, and said that of course I’d have to take the mirror off that wall first. The Pedant kept insisting that the dresser wouldn’t block the mirror, because (again) he was assuming that I’d meant something different than what I’d actually indicated.

He’s done shit like that on occasion in the past. Now I’m wondering if he’s always been this bad but I just overlooked it because I had feelings for him. How totally creepy to think that I’d been dating someone so similar to my father in such a major way. Ew ew ew ew fucking ew.

 

*I can’t remember if I’ve told this story here before but one time my dad and I were on a road trip and we got some McDonald’s drive-thru. I accidentally dropped a fry and as I bent down to retrieve it from the floor of the car, dad said “Don’t put it back in the box.” YEAH THANKS DAD I WAS TOTALLY GONNA PUT THIS FLOOR-GRIT-COATED FRY BACK IN WITH THE ONES WE’RE EATING. TRULY, YOUR PRESCIENCE HAS SAVED THE DAY. I was like fifteen at the time, btw. That’s what my dad is like with me. All. The. Time.

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