Sunday, October 01, 2006

Masturbation is a Gateway to Feminism; Or, What Pro-Porn Feminists Got Right

Over at Twisty's there is, as always, some discussion about some stuff. She took some silly potshots at girly-femme-inist mag BUST, and some discussion ensued about, among other things, vibrators.

First of all, Vicky and I have this to say about making fun of BUST: it's too easy. That's why here at Mean Feminism, I am working on an overdue post making fun of Bitch, and another one making fun of off our backs -- because yes, here at Mean Feminism, we go for the jugular.

This is not to say that we are more hardcore than Twisty. (That would be impossible.) I'm just pointing out that, obviously, this BUST post was fluffy filler fun (F^3) and really, all ready too many people have taken it as super serious (S^2).

But I do take a little bit of an issue with the whole hating on vibrators. Understand, I am not a fan of the sex industry. Understand, that I am not immune to the creepy, unfeminist, or even misogynistic factor to many a "sex toy" and I am fully able to critique the so-called "feminism" of many large feminist sex toy emporiums and stores that have vibrators sitting right next to corsets sitting right next to porn DVDs.

But hating on the Hitachi Magic Wand is pretty much hating on everything that I'm about, and that's this: being able to orgasm quicky, efficiently, whenever you want by yourself and NOT having to rely on another human being to "give you" your orgasm is a vastly preferable situation.

Also, understand this, Hitachi-haters: not all of us are gifted with the powers of being able to masturbate efficiently enough with our own hands. I know a woman who can orgasm by thinking her way through it alone, and while I applaud her fully, I'm going to make a random guess and say that 99.9999% of women can't do that.

In fact, there's this Buddhist principle that talks about masturbation in the kind of terms I like: if you can make yourself orgasm manually or with a vibrator and you DON'T do any kind of fantasizing or "use" any kind of materials to "help" you, but are able to simply orgasm on the strength of your body alone, then you're pretty awesome. Or that's the basic gist of it, anyway.

I mean, seriously, what is better: having sex with another human, a human you are using in part for sexual purposes, a human you may very well be exploiting or may be exploiting you, or having sex with yourself? What is the problem? Do you think if you're a lesbian, like me, that we're immune to this problem of sexual exploitation? Have you considered your last few dozen masturbatory sex experiences compared to your last few dozen "partnersex" (to use the Betty Dodson term -- I know, I know) experiences? Well, please, do.

I think that for feminists to condemn masturbation, or say that it's okay but only in moderation, or say that it's okay but as long as we don't use vibrators, or say that it's okay but it shouldn't be our ultimate "expression" in sexuality and it's really way better to have sex with another person and choosing masturbation as, like, a LIFESTYLE option is just WEIRD ... well, I think I die a little inside every time I hear that kind of talk.

We talk a lot, us anti-porn folk, about a day in which sexuality can be brought back into the discourse and discussed happily in the post-porn utopia we will all likely never live to see. I think that this is way too apocalyptic, because first of all, our sexuality is still there REGARDLESS of how corrupted and abused its been by the pornographica nation, and second of all, if we condemn sexuality ITSELF as a form of pornography then quite frankly, pornography has won.

If we want to critique vibrators for anything, let's critique them for being so expensive, for being made overseas, for being phallic, etc. But let's not throw up our hands and call fucking with a vibrator "fucking the patriarchy." Fucking WITH the patriarchy, I say. Dildos over dicks, any day.

14 Comments:

Blogger Phemisaurus Terribilis said...

When is someone going to tell me what women actually do with dildos and why?

Phemi cannot find this out for herself, what with short arms and not being able to reach and stuff.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read it, it was more the marketing of vibrators that was mocked, but whatever. My larger concern is why you seem to think vibrators are "pro-porn?"

11:05 AM  
Blogger Edith said...

Anonymous, see, I don't think vibrators are pro-porn. I just think they tend to get lumped in with the pro-porn kind. See if you can't figure out why that might be.

And Phemi, I have renewed appreciation for your plight. What you need is an extra-long vibrator, perhaps one with an extendable arm.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Amananta said...

(Twisty clarified further down in the comments that she doesn't think vibrators are bad at all, just that a magazine devoted to talking about awesome vibrators and makeup isn't really taking on feminism as a political issue.)
Anyways.
I'm totally with you on the magic wand. Not only do they provide a quick an deasy tension relief, but when I have really clogged sinuses I run it over my face until it makes me sneeze repeatedly and then my sinuses drain! Strange but true, and probably way too much information :))

12:44 PM  
Blogger Phemisaurus Terribilis said...

Nah, I don't need a longer vibrator. By the sounds of it, I just need to work it on my muzzle for multiple sneezing (plus some sort of ejaculation, it seems).

2:27 PM  
Blogger Vicky Vengeance said...

The tag line for my future Saturday morning superhero cartoon show featuring the Hitachi Magic Wand?

Answer: From multiple orgasms to multiple sneezes . . . and BEYOND!!!!

3:59 PM  
Blogger FallingStar said...

Lol :) Just to say that I agree, masturbation should not be lumped with the pro-porn crowd and the marketing of vibrators should be critiqued instead.

Vibrators, despite their often phallic appearance, can be the only way that makes it quick and efficient to orgasm.

I loathe the fact that many vibes are moulded like a penis, it makes me feel intimidated and as though my sexuality is never going to be separate from a male presence.

I am heterosexual, and therefore cannot know what it is like to be lesbian, but I prefer my me time to be about me and my body, as opposed to a constant awareness that in society, my sexuality is defined by which sex I am with.

I think vibrators need to be separated from the idea that all women want their vibrators to be a penis.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Pony said...

The vagina is a muscle which can atrophy if it isn't exercised, stimulated, and lubricated as we age and our hormone levels decrease. That decrease begins around 35-40 in most women. Vaginal atrophy (google it) is very painful, difficult to treat without using worrisome hormones, and can lead to bladder, uterine and rectal prolapse. These then can lead to gynecologists wanting to do eviseration type surgery on you. To avoid this latter, put something lubricated in your vagina once in a while and move it around, even if you are a lesbian.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Pony said...

Ahhh and yes, I forgot something: there are some preliminary studies which show that the hormones women secrete during orgasm are palliative to arthritis, depression and other things that drag one down. Of course, that's an orgasm achieved any which way. Whatever... .

Ooooooh my lumbago.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Phemisaurus Terribilis said...

Pony?

12:18 PM  
Anonymous coolaunt said...

Yay! I'm in the .ooo1%! Don't have to budget for batteries. LOL!

1:39 AM  
Blogger LibraryTavern Liz said...

It really doesn't make sense that vibrators are shaped like penises. I know for me personally, they really don't usually need to be.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous alex said...

Feminists like to convince themselves they are holy and prude, but except from cases of psychological abuse, ALL women like sex, and need it as much as men, no matter how much they will tell you they don’t. Those feminists in denial should realize that there are more sex crime offenders who are men only because of mechanical reasons. If men were constantly in erection by default, i guarantee it would be another thing. Feminists will NEVER convince me of their “righteousness”. Saying they do men a favor by having sex, they don’t need it as much. Lying hypocrites. And one other thing that is never said is that women have NO EXPERIENCE on how to handle a rebuttal, i lost a job interview because i refused the advances of the interviewer, and i did politely. We men are supposed to show a good figure, while they get the right to throw me off a chance for a job. That is called sexism and it was a good kick to her pride which is based on the fact that men are all stupid animals with a one mind track. If more of us did that, they would cut the bullshit at one point and be tough feminine women with strong personnality, not women harboring the traits of men to prove she is a woman.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous wireless sex toys said...

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8:12 PM  

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