make love not porn was talk given at TED by Cindy Gallop which spawned a website: makelovenotporn.com. She created it in response to the somewhat incredulous reactions of men that no, she did not want them to cum (ejaculate) on her face. Watch the talk, you will not regret it.
Even if you don’t watch it, she proposes that po
rnography often makes women and men alike assume that those cinematic sex acts are not only typical for everyone but more dangerously, desired and enjoyed by everyone. This can and often does translate to violence against women as their negotiating power is stolen and lost. Negotiating power is stolen and/or lost when
- Partners assume instead of ask
- Partners make them seem immature, childish or prudish when they don’t want to do something for the first time, second, third or thirtieth time
- Partners don’t have these conversations
Even with partners we have known for a long time, whose rhythms with which we are well familiar initiating this conversation can be challenging. But as a reminder, we have a we right and should encourage ourselves to create and take the opportunity to negotiate the kind of sex we want and are comfortable with; and this should be a constant conversation as our wants and comforts will often change with time and experience.
My challenge to all of us:
- Recognise the violence you may be perpetuating by assuming your partners does/should/will like something
- Try to initiate these difficult conversations and not just with your partner but with other people that you know
Honest conversation about sex with others may help you realise that your likes and dislikes aren’t that strange. So when Jay Electronica asks at his not concert, “how many women like to be choked during sex?”* and your honest answer at that time in your life is:
- no- resist the group think/mob mentality to scream. There may be someone there trying /anxious about talking to his/her partner to say that’s not what s/he wants or likes and your dissent may just help her/him feel a little more comfortable doing that
- yes- scream your head off, b/c there might be someone there who feels too perverted/freaky to request that of their partner
Whatever your honest answer is though I urge you to not judge the answers of others b/c to be truly honest with yourself comes hand in hand with accepting that not everything is for everyone always.
*in most recent performances Jay Electronica (rapper who has been around for awhile and who has also recently signed to Roc Label) asks this apparently as part of a running bet between him, Nas and his dj (TJ). Read here for a wonderfully feminist perspective which problematises how and why he does this with which I agree or you can just watch the video and forget the article.