Monday, July 7, 2014

Let's Talk about _______ Shaming - A

Let's talk about shaming.

I'm going to ignore the fascinating etymological journey that the word "shame" has taken from it's origin as a noun to today's usage as a verb, even though I highly encourage anyone willing to take the time to go explore it's history.

There is an idea of absolute non-judgement that I've been seeing among the sex positive community, especially among people who act as educators, influencers, or leaders. I've seen calls for no more shame or judgment for anyone, regardless of what they look like or choose to do in life, no matter what. It is the idea that someone else's life choices are theirs to make, not yours.

I tried to achieve this ultimate non-judgmental attitude, since all the cool sex-positive people were doing it. Hey everyone, I'm cool too! Check out my totally non-judgemental JNCO jeans and my anti-shame frosted tips! I did my best to get a running start and jump on the bandwagon.

I took what I had learned spiritually and applied it to other areas of my life, that someone else's choices may seem right by their morals, so even if my morals say it's wrong I cannot judge them as myself unless they choose to live by my morals (I really tried to word that better, it just wasn't happening).

But I hit a wall. I wrestled with myself for a while, because I wasn't able to let go of some things. I felt like I was judging and shaming and failing at being a sex positive person. I felt like I was less than other sex educators, that I was just posing as one. But I found out some things that helped me see the truth.

For one, I found out through some interviews that sex professionals and sex positive people will sometimes adapt this total non-judgement mask for when they are educating or working. At home they have opinions just like me, but "on the clock" they are perfect, opinionless, neutered caricatures of the sex positive world that are needed to help people with their issues and welcome all people with open arms.

And the second was that it's okay for me to have opinions. I didn't have to be this perfect person. I could be human. I'm not okay with everything, and that's okay. I just have to understand that I need to not go out of my way to hurt anyone practicing a lifstyle I feel that I cannot personally support. I need to love that person anyways as a beautiful human being, and see them for more than what they do.

To help anyone in my same situation, I'm going to admit what I was having trouble accepting. I really didn't want to, and re-wrote this post a few times to try and get around it. But I'm going to be open. If you are into any of these activities or ideas, just know that I still respect you as a person, and would love to talk with you about any of these.

  • Fat Acceptance. I cannot support this movement. Hard science, weight loss successes, and a separation of emotional and physical/logical arguments debunks almost every ounce of support the Fat Acceptance movement touts. It is okay to have some fat on you, just know that you are entirely capable of changing your body with hard work and discipline. It is not healthy to be overweight, period. Even if you find yourself in decent health while overweight, it is almost indisputable that without excess fat you would not be in even better health. I am all for body acceptance, but not unhealthy lifestyle acceptance. 

  • Bug Chasers. For those who aren't aware, some people are deliberately trying to get infected with Sexually Transmitted Infections. Some do it for a thrill, some do it to gain access to the medications used to treat STI's, some do it to try and infect others with dangerous infections. I like people getting pleasure, but I cannot support Bug Chasing or any deliberate transmission of STI's. 

  • Non-Consent. I am absolutely supportive of role-playing or pretending to be in a non-consensual situation, with prior consent. But pedophillia, zoophilia, rape, molesting, public touching or groping, exposing others to your fetishes and kinks without asking, or any sexual activity that takes place without even implicit consent is not okay with me, no matter how tame or how crazy it is. 

  • Blood play, sexual wounding, sexual vampirism, and other activities that involve blood exposure. The risk is just too high for me to be supportive. I suppose that an exclusive couple or group, with the right medical tests and precautions, could lower their risk. But blood carries diseases of many kinds, being exposed to blood is incredibly dangerous, and blood loss is a huge risk. There is too much risk, no matter how much pleasure it gives you.

  • Asphyxiation. I know that there is some appeal to light choking during sex for many people. I am going to separate that into it's own category. I am specifically going to address the use of any device to choke someone, like a rope or scarf. Asphyxiation can go from pleasurable to deadly in under three minutes. While a hand or other body part can be removed at will to let the receiving partner breathe, any apparatus used to cut off air can become stuck or tangled and kill very quickly. The loss of a human life is not worth any amount of pleasure. Would you rather have a mind blowing orgasm and die, or have many orgasms that are almost as good over the course of a longer life?

  • Addictive substances as a part of sexuality. Anything that can become addictive is a risk to use as a regular part of your sexuality, the risk being that you may become reliant on that addiction for all of your sexual pleasure. You will be much more satisfied if you are not forced to feed your addiction any time you want sexual pleasure, trust me. I don't like to see anyone have obstacles they have to get through every time they want to have pleasure.

This isn't a complete list, just some off the top of my head. I hope this helps some sex positive people to feel better about not being the perfect, judgement free person they keep seeing and hearing about. 

I am a real person, and I'm not going to adopt a mask for my education. I admire people who are able to, but for me it causes some inner turmoil that I'd rather not deal with.