pleasure and pain

So I’ve been thinking about some things for a while and I’m not sure where I want to go with this post, but I have some thoughts and questions that need to get out.

A few weeks (or months) ago a man I was corresponding with asked about my feelings about domination and submission. Quite honestly, my feelings are all over the map. On one hand, I grew up in a pretty feminist family (direct descendents of second-wave feminists; Betty Friedan, Kate Millet, Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem lined our bookshelves). Yet, the family is also pretty puritanical – sex a taboo topic for the most part, though I’m pretty sure my mother has a distaste for oral sex (and I’m appalled to use that pun in reference to my mother, but I’m gonna use it anyway and hope she never sees this). Dad keeps all of those thoughts completely private. Like a vault within a vault private.

Unlike religion and politics, which we talk to death at family dinners – sex is something we don’t bring up. Lots of reasons – but I think in many ways I’m still a product of that environment. So I’m flummoxed when someone brings up something so direct – thank goodness it was in email and not in a face to face conversation. That would have been one of those “God, strike me with lightning now. Ground, open up and swallow me …” you get the drift, kind of moments. Anyway,  I got this email asking me in an offhand way about BDSM and I’m thinking … how the heck do I address this. I think I made a lame joke about not wanting to spank him … lame, I know. That very same week I saw the trailer for Shame. (Fassbender … sigh.) And it made me think about some of the many messages we’re fed today – about sex, gender, and what is healthy or not.

So its okay that our teen idols today must be sexy (before they really understand what that means) but we can’t tell a story about adults who have issues without it being controversial? Why can we play at sexiness but not talk about it? Why do we have this hugely popular and long running television series about sexual crimes, but can’t show healthy sexual relationships on television? Aren’t we teaching our children that sex is bad but sexy is good? And I won’t even get started on politics right now.

How can we, society, outgrow that teenage discomfort and begin acting like an adult when it comes to sexual matters?

and not make lame jokes when it’s brought up. Anyway, Shame looks pretty good. Will it ever stream on Netflix? (that’s the most important question of all!)