Sex and Revolution, Why The Left Needs to Talk About Sex

Many like to think that we have overcome our prudish cultural fear of sex. It would seem like we have come a long way if one thinks about the constant use of sex in advertising, the existence of thirst trap instagram feeds, and the new public acceptance of kink culture. While we have come a long way in the sexual dialectic, we still have very far to go.

The left must make sex and sexuality integral to our rhetoric and platform. Forsaking sex when talking about our society leads to a continuation of our insecurities and perpetuates the erasure of large groups of people.

Sex Sells

Sexually repressive cultural constructs in our society are still rampant. Our fear of sexual nuance leads to a lack of dialogue on the subject of sexuality. This lack of a dialogue leads to numerous social problems and leads to people developing sexual insecurities. These insecurities are extorted by the capitalists who work in advertising and marketing in order to drive unnecessary consumption for the sake of generating profit.

The use of sex to sell is rampant most in online culture. On instagram we see body building men and women, or “fitstagram models,” selling us snake oil powders and teas that are supposed to make us stronger and sexier. More often than not these models and the commercials they perform in are not only extorting our insecurities, they are selling us the idea of what sex should look like.

The same can be said of the commercials on tv and videos that use sex to sell. Remember when you see an Axe body spray commercial or a Just For Men hair care ad and it ends with a man and a woman sensuously caressing each other, the advertisers aren’t just telling you “Buy this so you’ll have more sex,” they are also telling you “Remember, this is the only kind of sex!”

So long as the sexual dialogue is lacking then there will continue to be erasure of people outside of the heteronormative and gender binary spectrum. While we have made progress in the acceptance of gay people, we are seeing the erasure of trans people and those who identify as queer, as well as gender fluid people, non binary people, and asexuals thanks to the use of sex in advertising. The use of sex in advertising more often than not normalizes only one kind of sex, heterosexual sex.

The fact that we almost never even talk about asexual people leads to both erasure and perpetuation of further insecurities. (Am I not normal because I’m not sexual enough? Maybe if I buy this stuff I will be!). Erasure of sexuality hurts and holds people back on multiple levels.

We Can’t Talk About Sex Without Talking about Consent!

Our lack of a genuine and all-encompassing discussion of sex also holds back the growing #MeToo movement. One of the reasons we exist in rape culture is because we do not teach enough about consent. You cannot teach what consensual sex is if you can’t even talk about sex itself. This lack of understanding of consent is one of the reasons why victims of sexual violence are held back and afraid to speak up. It is a direct cause of the belittling and even life threatening attacks against victims who come forward. We have often heard these toxic, and infuriating arguments made when a victim of a sexual predator comes forward, “If she didn’t want it why did she dress like that?” Or “Are you sure you didn’t lead him on?” Etc. If we do not talk about sex, how can we properly talk about consent!?

Porn as a Public Service

Our lack of a sexual dialogue is evident in the thriving industry of pornography. Consider how the number of genres of pornography has gone up exponentially over the last decade, why has this happened? Because for literally millions of people internet pornography is the only avenue to explore their sexuality because capitalism isolates us from one another, keeping us from having the sexual dialogue we need.

The porn that a society consumes is reflection of that society, and the fact that porn genres seem to be increasing in numbers by the day demonstrates how people become isolated from talking about sexuality with each other and are desperate for outlets of expression. As a pro sex individual, I am glad that porn performers are giving people this place to explore. Porn performers and other consenting sex workers are the sexual vanguard because they are willing to express and explore their sexuality to the point it becomes their living. The services they provide allow the sexually repressed masses an avenue to explore their sexuality. Just a side note, the least we could all do is pay for our porn every once in awhile.

What Will Happen If We Don’t Talk About Sex

So long as we do not discuss sexuality in an open, public, and universal way there will be capitalist extortion of our sexual insecurities. We can fight this extortion by making a discussion of sexuality central to a leftist platform.

One of the best ways to do this is to support sex work decriminalization and to elevate the voices of sexwork organizers. We should particularly elevate the voices of organizers who identify as LGBTQA+ in order to fight back against their erasure. It also makes the most sense to elevate the people who make their living off sex as the vanguard for discussing the need for sexual liberation.

We can counter the capitalist isolation and its extortion of our sexualities. Talk about sex and talk about sexwork. Talk about consent and make sure that you do not shy away from the word sex.

Acknowledge that our social perceptions of sex are still heteronormative. Acknowledge that many still think of gender being a biological binary.

Let us fight the erasure of sexual preferences and of gender and sexual identities so that we may overcome the insecurities that the capitalists use to extort our consumption.

Let us elevate sex workers and fight for decriminalization and unionization of sexwork. Let sexworkers and LGBTQA organizers take the platform and follow their lead.

Let’s make the revolution sexy!

Advertisements

How Do We Make Bernie Better About Sexwork?

I am a strong Sanders supporter, and I am more than willing to concede that Bernie needs to do better regarding certain issues. Sex work is definitely one of them.

We in the pro-Sanders camp need to acknowledge that his votes in favor of FOFSTA and SESTA hurt sexworkers and we must acknowledge that Bernie needs to be pushed more on the issue of sex work.

Not only did Bernie vote for both of these harmful bills but when talking about media coverage of Stormy Daniels, Bernie has maintained a tone that writes off sexwork in a way that is damaging to his progressive image.

While at SXSW last year, he remarked that while the Stormy Daniels story is “legitimate news… the media is too obsessed with it,” which is actually a valid point. However, his reasoning was grossly flawed.

In this country, we have a lot of people who are in pain — single mothers, people who can’t afford college — they want to see something that reflects their reality.” And obviously, a president suing an adult film star isn’t that.

This reasoning ignores some very important realities, one being that porn performers and sex workers often are single mothers or parents. It also forsakes the reality that many turn to sex work because of the economic oppressions that he mentioned. In other words, it reflects the idea that porn stars and the issues effecting them are not to be taken seriously because porn stars themselves are not to be taken seriously as people.

This has been a difficult dance for me. I strongly support sex workers and want our culture to abandon the negative cultural constructs that we have attached to sex and sexuality. I also need the strong social welfare and environmental programs that Bernie Sanders is running on to come to fruition, we all do, or we are all going to die. So, as a Sanders supporter I think it is our job to hold him to scrutiny when he falls short.

Here is what I make of the whole Bernie Fofsta/Sesta/Sexwork situation: Bernie does not hate sexworkers, however because he is a product of his time and place he has preconceived notions about sex and sexuality that are the by products of our sex negative cultural constructs. Bernie and his sexwork policies are a good reflection of how even if you lean hard to the left, you will still have ingrained notions and prejudices if you are raised in an oppressive society, and inevitably some of that will lead to a perpetuation of the same oppressions we as leftists desire to overthrow.

All is not lost though, the key to overcoming ingrained prejudices and cultural constructs is to recognize them, and then take active steps to correct them. If Bernie has proven one thing about himself it is that when the public cries fowl on him, he listens and takes the steps to do better. The good news is that Bernie has already expressed a willingness to decriminalize sex work! However, more still needs to be done. We, his supporters, need to raise our voices and elevate sexworkers who are organizing. If enough of us do this, then Bernie, as well as all of the politicians in power, will have to take notice.

So, how do we get Bernie to be better about sexwork?

1. Elevate Sex Worker’s Voices, Support Sex Worker Unions

First and foremost, to stand in true solidarity with sexworkers we must avoid the savior complex.

As long as strippers, escorts, and porn performers are generating wealth with their labor then we must acknowledge that sex work is work.

We also must recognize that there are already those in the sex industry that are working to organize their own, such as Antonia Crane, Siousixie Q, Sex Worker Outreach Project, and the “soldiers of pole” stripper union. We don’t need to invade the spaces where sex workers are trying to organize, what we must do is elevate those who are already organizing and fighting and stand behind them in solidarity when they step up to lead. Sex workers do not need saving, they need solidarity.

It should also be remembered that these workers do not need our’s nor Bernie’s validation, they do not need to beg for Bernie’s approval or his audience, what they need from him and all of us is our solidarity. The more that we support the efforts of people like strippers to unionize, the more Bernie’s hand will be forced to recognize that sexwork is indeed a form of labor. For better or worse, Bernie listens when unions are involved.

2. Fight Our Sex Negative Cultural Constructs

It is okay to talk about sex. You would think that we’d have accepted that as a culture because sex is shoved into our faces in almost every form of advertisement or entertainment. Yet the fact that we are only now having this conversation about sexwork, the fact that our government’s response to the human trafficking problem has been to go after the sex work industry as a whole, and the fact that people still have not grasped the nuances of trans rights or gender fluidity, all demonstrate how far we have to go when it comes to sex as a culture. We can’t accept the idea that sex work is work if we can’t accept our own ideas about sex. If we want to make Bernie better about the issue of sex work, then we ourselves need make ourselves better and more enlightened on the topic of sexuality.

3. Make It Clear That Sex Workers Benefit From Social Welfare Programs

The benefits that sexworkers would receive from Bernie’s social welfare programs needs to be made more explicit and central to the left’s platform. We should make it clear that Medicare for all covers sexual wellness such as fertility and STD testing.

Not only that but both Medicare for all and college for all reduce the need for people to resort to sex work out of desperation. While many resort to sexwork willingly (even enthusiastically) some in the industry get into it because they cannot find other work. Also, more often than not you will find that several sex workers are trapped under crippling student loan debt or medical debt like the rest of us.

Bernie’s programs would also benefit those who engage in sexwork willingly because if we free our minds from sex negative thinking while we also free ourselves from these financial restraints, then those who have been sexually repressed will be free to explore the aspects of their sexuality like never before. They will be free perform and indulge without judgement, as they should have the freedom to do.

4. Decriminalize all sexwork

This is probably the most important thing to push for. Those who do sex work consensually should have the freedom to do so without fear. Because we live in a punitive system, the laws that police claim will protect trafficked sex workers usually leads to them being prosecuted more than rescued. Prostitutes are also statistically more likely to get arrested than pimps or traffickers. All socialists and leftists must explicitly support the decriminalization of sex work, period.

Now that Bernie has expressed a willingness to decriminalize sex work, it is on us as his supporters to assure that sex work decriminalization becomes a part of his platform.

If enough of a movement is started, especially among his core base of supporters, then Bernie will have to take notice of how he has misstepped on the issue of sex work in the past. While it is fantastic news that he has said he is willing to decriminalize sex work, we cannot ignore where he has fallen short on this issue. His FOFSTA and SESTA votes are a glaring black mark on his progressive resume. I assure you, I say this as someone who loves Bernie Sanders, I want to see him win.

Bernie needs to be better about sexwork, and it looks like he is on the right track. But we, the public, need to be attentive and see to it that sex workers receive the attention and solidarity they need.

Dear Fellow Self Proclaimed Male Feminists, or, How Not to Be James Deen

So anyone who has passed puberty & has an internet connection is aware of the current rape scandal & fall of porn star James Deen thanks to the bravery innitiated by Stoya.

What is especially troubling about these mounting accusations is that Deen was popular amongst men and women for being a self proclaimed sex positive male feminist.  The gruseome details with each accusation do not make such men appear as the legitimate progressives they claim to be.  Lane Moore of   Cosmopolitan   wrote an article which basically said a male feminist can just be a wolf in sheeps clothes, a cover for more nefarious purposes, which means women must be warry of men claiming to be their allies.  As if it weren’t hard enough for women to trust the people in the world around them, now they have to be even more careful trusting the people who are actually claiming to help.

I consider myself a sex positive male feminist, and the more men use cultural constructs to perpetuate unneccesary dominance the more divisive the issue of feminism will become and the more women will be unwilling to work with men to solve the issue.  No one is done any favors when a social movement is exploited for personal gain.  

Listeningto the different perspectives & frustrations on the issue, I think it is the job of male feminists to stop trying to dictate feminism as anything further than equality.  You can be a male and feminist, but it is the job as men in the movement to listen to women before we act and above all be genuine in what we say and how we act.  That is the most important thing.  Be genuine in what you say or do. mThe chances are you will not always be 100 on issues concerning women or objectification.  I may be a progressive but I am a male who is a product of the society we live in, and I am still undoing several moronic ideas about women I used to have.  But when I falter I assure you I do my best to shut up and listen.

I will say it again.  To use a movement for equality as a way to perpetuate any kind of dominance or manipulation is sickening.  I am doing my best to be genuine and listen, and hopefully I can learn what I can do to help foster change better and faster.  This will not undue the damage done by men like James Deen but it is something that we can in fact do here and now, and therefore have no reason not to.

Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 14

Chapter 14  The Happy Couple

 

Jack had finished the story by the time Kate was long out of the shower. Now that he had come to, he decided that although the author of these stories was very talented he was also greatly disturbed, or at least in a very dangerous state of mind when he wrote these.  Jack figured maybe it was a fine line between genius and crazy.

Her return broke him out of his feast of literature, and he directed his attention to her lovely, curvy, soft pale body.  He grew hard as instinct began to take over.  He wanted to be with her now, and not the books any more.

 

“I see you’ve got quite the collection here,” Jack commented on the room full of Poe and Shakespeare. As he got up and gently kissed her on the neck and snuck a soft hand down the back of her towel.

 

“Oh, well thank you,” Kate said in that tender, erotic whisper that was her bedroom voice.   He had such strong hands yet such a delicate touch.  Jack’s kisses slowly began to trail down her back.  “Yes, I really love reading.”

 

`“Me too,” Jack said as he moved her arm up, allowing the towel to fall so that Kate stood naked, wet, and helpless, Jack’s lips got closer to their target.

 

“I try to read everything, classics, contemporaries, obscure authors and works, essays, journals, but my personal favorite, are my art books.  I love art, Oh my god!”  She wasn’t going to be able to contain herself anymore.

 

Jack began to dig his tongue deep into her as she tried to carry on, but she just couldn’t.  For some unknown trail of time Jack buried his tongue and two fingers into her body as fast and gentle as he could until the inside of Kate’s legs were gushing and sopping wet, and her screams of pleasure echoed throughout the house.

 

The two needed a minute to catch their breath in between their loving and congratulatory kisses of climaxing.  “Would you like to read with me?”  Kate said in a sudden spur of smiles, love, and inspiration

 

“Sure,” said Jack as the two laid down on the bed to rest.  “I read that last book while you were in the shower.  The guy who wrote it is pretty twisted…”

 

“That’s nothing, you should read Naked Lunch,” Kate interrupted

 

“Anyway,” Jack carried on.  “I’m kinda tired of reading, so why don’t you read to me, while I just lie at your side and kiss you until my lips are sore?”

 

She kissed his chest in order to signal that this was a splendid idea.

 

Kate picked out a book and the two made themselves comfortable on the bed.  Kate made herself some tea and Jack poured himself a strong full glass of bourbon.  Kate showed Jack the book, it was a collection of essays and poems by the same looney who wrote the other stories.  Jack wondered why she was so fixated with the author,  but he didn’t care. He was just glad to be with her and to listen to her read.

 

She carried on  and she began in that amazing theatrical style she did so naturally while Jack cupped her left breast and kissed her neck, gently finding his way down her stomach to the bottom of her leg and back again.  He did it soft enough to make her smile and not distract her from the reading.  She selected her favorite poems and began.

 

wishes by crazy modernisms and former external instincts.  

By natural unnatural intoxication knowledge.

Depraved yet smiling on another winded day.

But so of another wandering light of love on milton forgotten days.

What so can be said of a forbidden lust and wandering capture.

What escape and what a love of such a word of that and what!

By lyric

By center and by try these all and forever will and will not,

ever by light of the modern, and the former, and the knowledge,

 

and the forgotten days.

 

“Beautiful,” exclaimed Jack.

“Yes, it is a good poem isn’t it?” replied his love.  “It reminds me a lot of e.e. cummings.:

“No,” exclaimed Jack.  “The way you read it.”

His love blushed and turned the page, carried on with another poem as he continued his kisses up and down her body.

The Story’s Answer Part 3

I did not mean it,

I did not mean to,

I did not wish to

burn my scripts

and lines

but I did, I did it

as a projection of

my own dreary 

ways.

Blue hearts to black,

that is the lyric,

that is what I did 

with my poetic paints,

So forevermore,

I must bare your witness,

I did not mean to be selfish.

That is Fear!

Fear is selfish,

Fear is the only cruelty.

All Evil stems from

Fear,

and all Fear is from Evil.

All are spawned

of deeds or an ignorant

and fortuitous self.

There is no pride in this past,

but there is a lesson,

there is knowledge.

Its truth not relative,

nor subject.

The opinion of the dregs 

means nothing,

but to a smart messiah

it means everything.

It was only to get by,

it was imagined,

it was a mistake but

those mistakes are lessons.

Strength can be weakness.

No apology will do what

needs to be done,

Apologies are only words,

not actions,

what actions?

It was an act

in retribution in

attack and attacks

are out of fears.

Shallow fault and

disposition.

Parchment fall of

the victim’s victim.

There is no more I.

Self of thy in equation,

in the so called

so called

of the cruel social standard.

What is a culture’s construction?

Why be ye cruel world!?

To give birth

to such an evil concept

known as fate,

known as greed,

known as isolation.

Who will hear these words?

Will history?

Will family?

Will narcotic rages?

Will the fate transcend?

What is one question too many?

What more?

What else?

So many narrated floats

and drifts,

Thoughts sworn trumpet 

and fluid.

No verb nor lineage

royal or not.

Never tell a child

to prepare for the worst.

Never tell a child

you can’t trust anyone.

Trust and love,

be prepared for the worst,

but don’t expect it.

Patience isn’t fun

but it’s worth it.

No new chapter,

No new story,

I need isolated conscious peace

Humble readings from patience

later misspelled

respelled 

and uncast

undue

unwanted

unexpected

unneeded.

Yes each work 

lacking flow

piece peace or

piece 

Peace’s repeated

understand.

What divides me from

such drawn and defeated men?

Once self delusion,

now truth,

Personal drawn conflict

in the presence of

or a thought.

Have hope,

victory assured,

conflict,

Oh, indeed a must

is not even 

a humble comedy

true comedy

the slaughter of

the gladiators.

Was not a story’s

suffering the reason for your escape.

No more out to

abridge certain lies,

personal delusion,

drink up, you are beyond safe.

I feel victory

is not assured,

it is a guarantee

why escape only

to return,

besides habit.

Do not think 

of exemption,

Think of effort,

think of the timeline,

think of escape,

think of every-time

who truth did

sting

but ring beautiful,

I will not end my trance

I will not escape,

prepare and drive,

drift self,

carry on the path.

Escape from these sights

I have every reason to ask

what escapes.

Nothing, witness it,

only witness.

These names slip,

but so do yours,

bare no judgement

this is pattern,

this is habit,

this is what

Thompson was talking about.

Three Thompsons in my life,

my past,

one wise, one crazy, one drunk.

Bare no wisdom,

no true wisdom,

bare no pride

no true achievement,

is old war propaganda true?

Do loose lips not sink ships?

Does not careless talk cost lives?

No true word, 

I despise the words

witch,

whore,

slut,

fag,

nigger,

these words burn my tongue.

I renounce nothing, 

but i hang my head,

but no guilt

I apologize,

but I have no guilt.

Simply responsibility.

The Story’s Answer. Part 2

There is no day,
There is no hour,
There is no time
which cannot be used
for the sake that
our sweet and public did.
To do right is to act,
To justify is inexcusable.
Truth is the only merit to truth
As it should be,

I have kept silence
in my place that
was no silence at all,
yet it bore no
production.
No sense is wasting
timeless effort.

Bah! Curse this
disposition!
All this trivial
nonsense of
waste and time.

Time IS Waste
and so is anger.
Yes, there is a time
for anger,
there is a time for
justice,
Yet who am I,
but one soul
and one mind
to determine semantics
of such a word.

What mortal is?
What mortal dares?
Is time, is space,
is life itself not
the determinate of a concept so alien
as quote-unquote
justice.

So now we must ask
the question, the
discomforting untrue
question,
what is justice?
and is justice relative.

A call to arms this is
to some,
A blind rally of people
shouting “NO!” time
and time again.

Yet why not?
Is truth not relative?
Is time not relative?
Is evil not relative?
If so why or how
can any system be
true to the word
and concept of
justice?

If not then tell
me,
What is justice?
What is just?
Is it Just that a
stack of paper
determines the worth
of a human life?
Is it Just that a girl
is judged and damned
if she Do or Don’t?
Bare the child,
You’re a whore.
Give up the child,
you’re a murderer.
You dare call this Just?
Billions to distract
torture and incest
and you dare call
this sport.

I abide to love,
peace and truth and
you dare call me
“blasphemous.”
And there behold,
another bind.

Truth, ha, even the word
is laughable and
the question real,
What is Truth?

Is Truth real or another
semantic error?
Ah, and loyalty,
another semantic
matter,
and to dare share
the semantic,
the blind know
nothing semantic.

Trivial, waste in time,
blind and yet blind
again.
To make no effort,
to only bring forth
a craft of humanity
and thought,
indulgent no?

NO!
I say not, I
say what is not
a product of self,
what is not a product
of the decision to act?
Yet what decision is not
made by knowledge of
the option.
Who is to give that knowledge
and who is in a place
of such ego that
they can say
it is a thing to give.

Bare fortune,
No, and true
Sad heart break
it cannot be true
again,
but it is,
It is,
It is true again,
Oh curse the vile
nave and naive
you patriots and do-gooders
lay.
Curse you and your
improper dispositions.
Your cruel word,
yet be gone
for to be lost in lust,
to be a drift in the sexual draft
and current
is true.
My supposed perversion,
is my natural gain,
The only perversion,
is fear,
Fear!
Any! Fear!
Your Fear!
It is Fear that perverts.
It is Fear that obscures.
Yet in a way Fear
can lead to security.
Well secure no more,
for security is the chain,
The chain’s,
our chains,
we are the workers
of the world,
we must unite,
we must show
pride
we must show
lust
we must show our
power
and we must show
our modesty.
Blurred is my rapid
thought
but strong is every
effort,
every bank on word
is both play and
employment.

but it is also
protest,
a viable way to live
and love
and fight,
we must draw upon
our unity to fight.
Strong words,
from not a strong man,
because no man is present,
no woman either,
only people,
yes only people are here,
Any other label is upon
you and your nature
and peaceful self.

Work and slave
drone on and on,
to what end?
To justify your insecurities,
to pain yourself with your own
cyclone of a lost
anachronism’s
label!

What label does one need
beyond knowledge?
Both of body and mind,
Be kind thoughts,
Why does balance
become an alien concept?
To hell with the coin flip,
throw away your coin
for it was used to buy
your chains.
I have no shame for
my craft.
For it is my work.

Do you question your blacksmiths?
Do you have fault
with your carpenters?
Yet you attack the work of poets and philosophers?
Because their work is
work of thought.
I am a citizen of
this world,
and of no other place.
I will not have my
acts obscured,
what is our self indulgence?
For are we not robbed?
How do we not fight?

All do yet they
have their fights by
symbols,
by a general lack of security.

To excuse these acts,
to hide behind the
proud progressive,
then use and obscure
the name.
The art of war is not the war to be flaunted.
but it is the only thing
to be chained.
Yet even good chains
break so often,
yet better than no chain
at all,
but chain no person
but the wicked,
and even when the
wicked are chained
only chain them.
No whips,
no death,
only chains,
For one chain alone
is a lost ironic,
lacking humanity.