Why I love Pegging- A Woman’s Perspective and Exploration of BDSM

By Wicked Wanda's
on October 18, 2017
Why I love Pegging- A Woman’s Perspective and Exploration of BDSM

Pegging is a sexual practice in which a person identifying as a woman performs anal sex on a person identifying as a man by penetrating the man's anus with a strap-on dildo. This practice may also involve stimulating the male genitalia.

Often pegging is wound-up in constructions of gender and sexuality as it specifically means a woman identified person penetrating a male identified person. Those who are men having sex with men are simply having sex and trans, gender-queer/fluid and two-spirit folks may experience this sexual act much differently or the same depending on their own identities and sexualities. 

Ultimately, the term pegging is largely considered to mean a straight man being penetrated by a woman. However, all terms and language is subject to change over time and in different places by different people. 

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Commercializing Sex Positivity

By Wicked Wanda's
on December 28, 2016
Commercializing Sex Positivity

By: Lilith

                The term sex positivity is thrown around a lot both online and among peer circles whether feminist or not because is seems rather self explanatory. Especially considering our neo-liberal system where the individual needs rule, of course we are sex positive, sex is good—if not necessary.

In fact, our culture is saturated with the idea that pleasure is not only good but necessary to one’s general well-being—we should expect it in relationships and the rise masturbation as a fulfilling pastime (within reason) only grows. Yet where does sex positivity come from as an idea?

Not surprisingly for many, sex positivity as an idea comes from the feminist second wave movement during the 1960 and 1970s in the United States. Largely it came to be understood through one of the main debates among feminists during this time, cutely nicknamed by academic feminists: the sex wars. This debate focused on pornography and BDSM and is mainly where our negative stereotypes of feminists is breed from. The debate melted down to sex-positive feminists vs. anti-pornography (and anti-BDSM) feminists, where one side argued that pornography and BDSM does not have to be oppressive for women and other minorities and the other arguing that pornography and BDSM is inherently by its nature—oppressive.

Popular stereotypes of feminists such as man-hating, lesbian, and bra-burning is born from the wide backlash to the anti-pornography feminists of this time. While this huge debate is so much more complicated then many women studies classes and casual feminists would have you believe, this debate made visible the discussion of pleasure in sex and where that pleasure does and should come from.

 

                During this time, lesbian middle-class white women began to open sex stores which embodied their sex positive politics through being female centered and often clitoral focused as well. One of the original store of this kind was called Good Vibrations and set the precedent for many more to open thereafter.

Many of these stores originally refused to carry any kind of pornography but slowly opened up to feminist made pornography. Likewise, some refused to carry dildos because of their phallic nature and the vaginal penetration obsession they viewed as ultimately hurting women’s exploration of their pleasure. These stores which are widely popular today function on a need to distinguish themselves strictly from the “regular” sex stores of yesterday—that being male-dominated stores, often specializing in pornography.

These stores were understood as uncomfortable and objectifying for many women, whereas the “Good Vibrations” model of sex store sought to be the exact opposite with bright, welcoming spaces, usually female identified staff and an education based model. Through an education model of sex stores, the sex positive revolution can be fully realized because these stores are about opening up dialogue and space for women wanting to explore their sexuality and pleasure.

The “Good Vibrations” model therefore, commercialized the sex positive politics of the second wave partly because its originators were very much those feminist fighting within the sex wars. Rather then buying a product in a “regular” sex store, you buy an idea of feminist sexual liberation and sex positivity when you purchase from a “Good Vibrations” model store. Yet these stores are not exempted from being problematic because their mission statement seems so great.

 

                At the core of the sex industry including sex stores whether the “regular” or feminist is consumer capitalism. It is easy to forget this when who or what you are buying from makes you feel good. For instance, fair-trade coffee and chocolates or buying a ribbon to support breast cancer research. This is not to say you should not support these causes but rather to be aware that you are buying into an idea with your money as an “ethical consumer” or “feel good” consumerism, which means that often as consumers we do not look deeper into the causes or companies we are buying into. This can be said for the “Good Vibrations” model stores as well because we often do not think of the classed aspects that go into taste politics.

When these stores set themselves as completely opposite to “regular” stores they do so by using words like seedy, dirty, cheap and objectifying to describe these stores. These words very much set up a kind of taste politics where not only is the potential for feminist and ethical buying undermined within the “regular” store spaces but the idea that you should buy from the” right” place, for the “right” reason. “Good Vibrations” model sex stores have set themselves apart based on quality and education which sounds fantastic but also alienates people because quality within consumer capitalism is synonymous with expensive.

Sometimes these stores are too expensive for the average consumer and at other times the language used is often academic and inaccessible because of it. Feeling like you will say the wrong thing within these spaces is a real fear for some consumers. While education is arguably never a bad thing, when it is used to create hierarchies of who is supposed to be in a certain space or how you are supposed to exist within that space can be incredibly problematic and counter-productive.

This is not to say all “Good Vibrations” model stores are problematic but rather to talk about how when sex positivity becomes commercialized we must investigate how within a capitalist system—not all sex is positive and how sex positivity does not apply equally to everyone.

 

                We must be critical of how we create hierarchies even by using feminist concepts meant to break down other kinds of hierarchies. Even originators of the “Good Vibrations” model stores where conscious and justly critical of their capitalist needs to stay open and eventually came to an understanding that to continue spreading their message, money was necessary.

In fact, in our heavily saturated sexual marketplace, stores cannot ignore their financial needs and put the “message” first anymore. As consumers we must also find a way to support the businesses which both suit our financial and ethical needs because consumers have an incredibly amount of power.

What you want to see from a business, either through their selection of products, the space itself or the customer service, changes how a store functions because within consumer capitalism if the consumer isn’t buying—the business won’t stay open. Furthermore, while this brief piece has portrayed the “regular” sex store and the “Good Vibrations” model store as distinctly different, there are so many variations in between and increasingly it is becoming difficult to clearly distinguish the two.

These difficulties are especially true when considering the growing online shopping for sex toys. In the case of online sex stores, there is very little power given to the consumer as power is sacrificed for inexpensive products.

 

                The important part is to be critical, ask questions and to support those businesses you believe in. Furthermore, understand that ideas like sex positivity are great but we must go deeper—interrogate how they actually play out in our lives and in the case of sex stores, in our capitalist system.

My Feminism Plays Nice with BDSM

By Wicked Wanda's
on May 04, 2016
My Feminism Plays Nice with BDSM
By: Lilith

As a feminist I struggle with what i feel is objectifying and counter to my feminist philosophies daily, as I encounter various television shows, movies, books and hashtag activism online. I’ve even struggled with how I interact with pornography. As a staunch sex-positive person, I feel that embracing pleasure as a right and exploring one’s body in whatever way (consensual and legally speaking) pleases oneself is healthy and wonderfully fulfilling. Yet, one cannot deny the truth, some pornography (I will not generalize and say that all or even most) is demeaning and perpetuates the very sexist patriarchal institutions that we (as a people) must negotiate for our very safety and equity everyday. This brings me to what type of porn can I personally watch which is less offensive and gets me off still. There is in fact feminist pornography which uses many sex-positive tactics and consent-based platforms to show conversation, expression of desires and needs, and the mutual fulfillment of both (or all) parties involved. What about if you just want to jerk it, quick and dirty so you can go to sleep quickly? Maybe watching porn with no volume, no English subtitles, what about Henti? That way you don’t have to worry about those people being real. The jury is still out for me about porn, but I don’t judge others (nor myself at times) for watching it.

As I mentioned, feminists have it hard sometimes because it seems like wherever you turn, there is something wrong. To be clear, I am not suggesting that feminists should stop being so easily offended or that being politically correct is really being overly sensitive and wanting to be offended. When you open your eyes to the world around us, you start to see a lot of ridiculous and wrong things around you, and just because you happen to not let your friend get away with that HILARIOUS racist joke, does not mean that you are intolerant of intolerance (in a bad way).

So what does a feminist do when they are into kink or BDSM? Well, the first step is research. In some ways, kink is a wonderful expression of core feminist ideology because the proper exploration and enjoyment of kink is dependent on trust, conversation and consent. A popular saying within the BDSM community is Safe, Sane, and Consensual. In a Dominant and Submissive relationship or a Master and Slave relationship, the conversation on what each person is hoping to get from the interaction, what each desires and the hard lines they do not enjoy nor want to explore is key to a successful and fulfilling relationship. BDSM is honest and enjoys the power dynamics which exists between people in today’s society but instead of men dominating women (which some are into for kink), power dynamics are amazingly diverse within the community. Women dominate men, LGBTQ+ individuals dominant/submissive others, and everything else one can think of. Power in the BDSM community is not the privilege of a select few determined by the sex assigned at birth or the colour of one’s skin but rather it is earned, respected and given within a circle of trust and communication. Furthermore, power does not lie solely in the hands of the Dominant or Master but instead, much of the power is controlled by the Submissive or Slave. This is achieved by the use of a safe word, which if used properly, immediately stops whatever the individual is uncomfortable with or does not enjoy.

A true Dom or Master does not want to abuse (i use this word deliberately) their Sub or Slave, in fact, many of those kinds of relationships are ones of friendship, and love. Partially this is because BDSM and Kink are still viewed as deviant and undesirable sexualities within the larger mainstream culture and therefore, sharing part of one’s true sexual self and sexual culture can be intimate and wonderfully liberating. The image the mainstream society has of kink and BDSM as a Sub crying in the corner, beaten and bruised is not a true representation of the culture and community but is instead a horrible backlash to an alternative of the sexuality we are taught to have and the sex we are taught to participate in. The variety that one sees in the people around them can be seen in the kind of sex people have, kinky or otherwise. Furthermore, not all are into pain, and those who are, experiment in a safe and educated way.

It must be said that while I love kink and BDSM, there are those who abuse the culture and community and those who do not in essence, follow the rules. There are predators, just like anywhere you go (sadly), one must be careful when entering any new community with little knowledge and people to look out for you. There are abusers which say they are Dominants or Masters, just look at the Jian Ghomeshi. I won’t sugarcoat it and say that everyone respects the core ideology of BDSM but I will say that there are by far (by far far far) more wonderful, inclusive people in the community than there are predators (the male, female or otherwise kind). Because of the core ideology of BDSM the support within the community is overwhelming for newcomers or longtime practitioners. I love Kink and BDSM for that, it and its community members gives me a kind of power built on trust and communication and I give power back. The kind of feminism I believe in and practice everyday, feels great about kink because its what I enjoy and what many others do as well. You don’t have to be into kink to be a feminist, you don’t have to be into whips and chains (though they can be a lot of fun), but in my kind of feminism; you can’t hate or discriminate against someone who practices Safe, Sane, Consensual fun just because you don’t enjoy the same thing.

Lilith Out!

Shared with permission from www.femmefataleckcu.com blog. 

Wicked Wanda's would like to thank our Lilith for this fantastic blog piece and would encourage others to submit their blog posts on politics and sex to info@wickedwandas.ca to have it published on our website. The opinions in this blog piece do not represent the opinions of those at Wicked Wanda's Adult Emporium.

Cruz’s Crusade: The Unholy Union

By Wicked Wanda's
on May 04, 2016
Cruz’s Crusade: The Unholy Union

By: Little Red

 The coupling of sex and state is a tangled relationship. Keeping in line with the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the key political figures make the bulk of their moves behind closed doors. This works most of the time, except when the hinges start to rust and the public gains access to battering rams, and some milquetoast white-picket-fence politician has to try to quell the mob. With the prevalence of legislation such as Prop 8, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts in North Carolina (and Georgia, and Indiana, and Tennessee, and Texas), bigoted crackpots like Kim Davis, Donald Trump calling for punishment of women who’ve had abortions, discounting the identities of Trans people… It’s become quite the torrid affair; a BDSM orgy without respect or safe words, if you will. One mistress in the sheets? A current presidential candidate by the name of Ted Cruz.  Mentioning the Texas Senator brings many things to mind - predicting an evangelical apocalypse or claiming he "lost faith" in rock n roll music after 9/11, for example. Masturbation is not a popular association. But in 2008, an appeal was filed that catapulted him to the forefront of the diddling debate, so to speak.

    It was February in Texas when Cruz and his cronies put forth a motion to ban the sale of sexual devices. They argued that the sale of sex toys such as vibrators, dildos, and artificial vaginas was no different than the solicitation of sex. Amending the law would mean that buying and using a pocket pussy was akin to paying a woman $30 to fellate you behind a Burger King. Except it's not anything remotely close to the same. Because after using a dildo you can lock it in a drawer and that's the end of it. No risk of STIs, no mental trauma, no human rights violation, no abusive pimp. You cannot ensure the same for prostitutes.
    Cruz & co.'s road to the Supreme Court was ultimately derailed by the US Court of Appeals who scrapped the filing, deeming it unconstitutional. But while the legal action ends there, the ramifications of such rhetoric and subsequent actions don't. The taboo remains: you are a deviant if you use sex toys. They must be hidden, they are a source of shame. Why is it so awful to derive your own pleasure?
    The religious right has steadfastly held the belief that masturbation is a moral sin. The Catholic Church describes it as a gravely disordered and intrinsically selfish act. Touching yourself is breaking a promise to your spouse, to whom you are obligated to fulfill sexually. Detaching the orgasm from the union of marriage is condemned, reinforcing the myth that sex is never wholly personal. If you ask Larry Solomon, you owe it to your partner. Solomon’s blog, ‘Biblical Gender Roles’, raised eyebrows earlier this year with headlines such as “Christian Husbands: You need not buy the milk when you own the cow!”, and “How a Husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife.” Preaching that you must submit to advances from your spouse, he references the Bible to condemn withholding sex: “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband” - I Corinthians 7:3-5. He adds, “Your wife’s rebellion against your sexual authority over her body is by definition ‘unrighteousness’. You would in essence, be “unloving” to your wife, from God’s perspective, if you allowed her sinful attitude to go unchecked.” If this sounds like rape to you, it’s because it essentially is, just not according to the Bible. Evangelical groups such as Florida-based Mack Major's "Eden Decoded" have gone so far as to guarantee that female masturbation summons demons. They preach that a vagina is quite literally a direct portal to hell.  Besides being a scientifically unfounded and absurd claim, the labelling of self-invoked female pleasure as a diabolical evil is detrimental on so many levels. Especially in fundamentally religious third world countries, it grants varying degrees of validity to horrors such as female circumcision, acid attacks, legal rape, and honor killings. The Bible is not the law, and it direly needs to stop being used as such.
    It is not just women this affects, it's everyone.
    It propagates a singular definition of sex: vaginal penetration between a man and a woman. Period. This unwritten rule hurts people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Perhaps most damaging of all, this suggests that there is a right and thus a wrong way to have sex. That your body does not belong to you and only you. It perpetuates a stale myth and a culture of shame, when really we should be widening our perspectives and progressing towards a more tolerant society. Masturbation, with or without the use of toys, is a personal choice, and should remain as such. It’s called touching yourself for a reason.
    Who is Ted Cruz, or anyone for that matter, to dictate the specifics of our most personal behaviours? In the words of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, an infinitely more compassionate politician, "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation."

 

Wicked Wanda's would like to thank the fantastic Little Red for this intelligent and fascinating blog piece and would encourage others to submit their blog posts on politics and sex to info@wickedwandas.ca to have it published on our website. The opinions in this blog piece do not represent the opinions of those at Wicked Wanda's Adult Emporium.

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