Friday, December 3, 2010

How to Date a Feminist:
Who's Running the Fuck?

Gulity as charged! I dig you, Colbert. I dig you hard.

After yesterday's post I got a lot of comments from guys about their frustrations trying to date feminist women, and one in particular I wanted to include here.
The biggest obstacle I've encountered is preparing for the bedroom switch. You spend the whole evening minding your Ps and Qs and then as soon as those clothes come off, you're expected to be a bitch-slapping, play-choking, rough-fucking manimal. Not that all feminists are into that sort of thing, but in my experience, it's more often than not.
I totally get the frustration at having to be all feminist and shit ("Of course I'm pro-choice. I voted for Hillary in the primaries. I volunteer at the rape crisis center.") only to be expected to put on your Manny Manny Man skin when you get back to her place.

I think the flip side to this is that many feminist women (myself included) encounter men who assume that we are totally dominant and that they can kind of kick back and relax in the bedroom. But a female friend expressed her frustration with this attitude thusly:
Sex isn't life, it's an escape from life. I spend my entire life making my own decisions, telling my employees what to do, carefully apportioning my time, etc. When I get in bed, it's a huge relief to let someone else take charge and handle that.
I refer to this as running the fuck. Perhaps therein lies the rub of dating a feminist: men attracted to women who have their shit together might be hoping that they are in for a sexual rollercoaster ride of which they don't have to be the navigator.

Our sexual scripts are based on the "exchange" of women's sex for men's "resources," which puts the man in a position of power and allows for more "natural" male dominance of sexual encounters. Of course, not everyone--male or female, feminist or not--is into this script, but men who date feminists might understandably assume that a woman who subverts gender roles in her everyday might also be interested in subverting gender roles in bed, which might not be the case.

This is not to argue that feminist women are a bunch of pillow princesses who just want to lay back and be serviced (which can itself be a form of domination) but they might not be interested in being in charge, either. The best way to find out is to ask. Or just wrestle and see who comes out on top.

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  1. I usually try to take advice collums like this as what they are: Advice that by the act of reading, I have requested, and therefore not something that I need to respond to or leave comments about. But I really cant let this pass me by. HOW THE FUCK IS IT FAIR TO SAY YOU SPEND THE WHOLE DAY MAKING DECISIONS AND WHEN YOU GET TO THE BEDROOM ITS TIME FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT?
    Thats what EVERYBODY does dagnabbit. We all make decisions every moment of every day, and frankly, if you feel this way, every single day, isnt it reasonable to assume that sometimes men do too?
    Im not trying to say that my partner should have to make all the choices either, but as with esentially any good relationship, the desisions which must be made, which have an effect on both parties should be SHARED. I have never felt as loved, supported, or sexy as when my partner demands that I lay back and let them explore me at their leisure. It is a very clear message of "You matter enough to me for me to try to make you feel good. And, I'm gonna take my sweet time too."
    I agree that the best way in the end is just to ask, but is it really that great a leap for men(or other partner of the conceptual feminist that I keep referencing) to think that a strong, independent, secure, erudite, sexy, confident woman is going to behave in a similar manner in the bedroom(or where ever)? If I like you for the above reasons, does it not stand to reason that I would like to see those qualities expressed in EVERY area of your life? I'm not asking for female feminists to be the sexual navigators 24/7, but I do totally advocate for the same level of equality in the sack as you demand I show you in the rest of life's encounters. Anything else comes quite close to sounding like deeply hypocritical BS to this persons ears.

    Ok, my rant is done. Angry people who think im wrong, shoot away.

  2. keith, i totally agree with you--i think people have the right to want what they want sexually, and to try to find it. but just as i think most feminist women would agree that things should be shared--like dishes, cleaning, etc.--so should the responsibility for running the fuck. but if men who are attracted to feminists assume that because feminist women are running everything else that they want to run the fuck too, well, they might have just assumed themselves out of a sex partner.