gender dynamics in the sexblog community
Welcome to the community, Colleen and Jake. Even just a few months ago the dyke-run sexblogs were few and far between, but this little empire (car tires & chicken wires) of ours is growing. Have you seen my “Playin’ for My Team” sidebar list recently? Not all of those are exclusively sexblogs, but most of them are. But here’s a funny thing … almost all of these dyke-run sexblogs, though, are from self-defined femmes. Hey, all the better for me, really, but where are the butches?Similarly, I was at the Pervert’s Saloon Tea Party this past Sunday, and it was me, Jefferson, and six other women – Tess, Viviane, Calico, Selina, Rachel, and Lolita. (I missed Madeline, who has been there every other time I’ve been to a tea party, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.) We were interviewed by Craig Collinson of Nobles Gate for his documentary “A Sex Bloggesy” about, um, sexbloggers.
That’s us. Anonymized in the interviewer’s monitor. Photo borrowed from Viviane.There was a question at some point about the imbalance of genders in the room – At one point, Jefferson said (about me), “Well hey, you’re the only man in the room …” This imbalance is in the sexblog community in general, too. We did some speculation as to why this is. The interviewer even brought up the idea that women are not as sexual creatures as men. I think, honestly, he was playing TO the stereotypes intentionally, though he was also asking us to defend/discuss it. I spent much of the interview biting my fist to keep from jumping up on the table and start proselytizing.
And, what is that about, anyway? That it is primarily women who are running sexblogs? Oh, I have some ideas.
The mainstream audience for porn is, of course, men, so women are better able to get a handle or corner on the potential marketability of a sexblog.
Because of the way patriarchy works (gasp, the P word), men don’t have to examine or question or explore sex in order to figure out how to get pleasure, how to get validation, and how to reconcile their identity as a sexual person, because it’s socially acceptable and, in fact, encouraged, for a man to be sexually explorative. This is still not true for women.
Women, as a whole, do tend to be more verbal (whether it’s nature or nurture, we can have that argument another time), and also attach more emotion to sex, probably for biological purposes (and this has been proven by sociobiological scientists, not just stereotypes). Therefore the act of sex is potentially more complicated and problematic for women (?? … I’m brainstorming here, don’t mind my generalities).
There has been a lot of work done by women on the gender of femininity in the last forty years (holy smokes, second-wave feminism was forty years ago?) because of the sexual and gender revolutions of the 1960s and 70s. Therefore, many many many of the limitations and constrictions that were previously placed upon women and femininity have been deconstructed and revalued, and, generally, quite successfully I think. This is NOT to say that I think feminism is over, or that we are now in a post-feminist state – only that women and the feminist movement have done a lot of work on the feminine gender, which may actually be leading to how women are able to take control of and elaborate upon their various sexualities via writing on the Internet. However, that work has not been done in the same way by/for masculinity and men. I would argue, in fact, that that is where the next gender revolution needs to come: from and for men, revaluing and deconstructing masculinity and the mandatory tough guise. However, because we are STILL in a patriarchy, and STILL value maleness more than femaleness, men haven’t been forced to do this – yet. I don’t know how I can help fuel this revolution-to-come, but I sure would like to.
Hmmm … anything else? (I’m digging this list format. Feels like my ideas are more organized this way.) I’ll keep thinking about this question. So, riddle me this, folks: Why is the sexblog community dominated by women? And why are the queer women sexblogs primarily femme? Where are the gayboy sexblogs, anyway?
So, after the interviewers left, we went back to our regular fabulous Tea Party, catching up with each other, discussing and processing and catching up.Viviane, always the amazing host, made strawberry shortcake and mint juleps, along with watercress & goat cheese tea sandwiches. And delicious tea, of course, both iced and hot. Selina brought beautiful cups & saucers for our tea, Rachel ran out to get the proper milk, and looked gorgeous in her summery dress. Selina had some pretty fantastic heels on that she’d discovered in London, and Tess … well, Tess had heels on too. (Oh I’m such a sucker for stilettos.) Lolita had a beautiful new cutting by
Jefferson Sharrin Spector (who wasn’t there, but Lolita gave me her link so I figured I’d include it. I’m kinda jealous, I want a cutting). Calico I met for the first time, who is a newcomer to this scene but is already making quite the impression. And Jefferson, of course, infamous Jefferson, was showing off his rubber ducky boxers by the end of the night.
What else happened at this tea party, you ask?
Well … After the girls said they’d gotten pedicures just so they could wear their fancy shoes, I mentioned that I cut my fingernails just for the party … to which of course Jefferson retorted, “What, did you think you were going to get laid?” … which was the beginning of the shenanigans.
Jefferson told me “what gender is” while we were in the kitchen devilling eggs. To be fair, I thought he was saying “ginger,” because of his cute little southern accent, which prompted me to ask what the hell he was talking about. Although ginger wasn’t actually that out of context considering we’d been discussing ginger butt fucking (apparently called figging?) just shortly before.
It’s true what they’re saying, I did get a little lesson in flogging from Lolita, as did Tess and Selina. I felt out of practice and incredibly embarrassed, actually. Because I am good at flogging. Actually, quite good. And I hated being seen, in front of a roomful of experienced people, of whom I was one of the youngest, as not experienced in something I am good at. It was very frustrating. Really, it made me draw the conclusion that I need to flog more, to be sure to keep my skills fresh. … perhaps I should seek volunteers.
One last thing: I really have NO idea what I said on camera, what quotes of mine (if any) will be used. The one thing I did really want to press was how much I believe that our discussions of sex, relationships, and gender in these online communities is actually an act of social change and revolution. That it helps and encourages open communication about pleasure, identity, and of course sex, all of which are still taboo. We’re makin’ history here, we’re paving the way for a more sophisticated, more particular, safer, happier, much improved cultural dealings with sex. And I am oh so grateful to be a part of that, even in the smallest way.