On Coming Out

Two days on from the National Coming Out Day you might argue I have missed the boat on this subject but you know, it’s a relevant topic every day of the year and even so, the event is also regarded as Coming Out Week in some circles so the nature of these things are fluid… as is gender. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Now you might think I’m here to announce my previously unannounced secret sexual tastes but I’m afraid you’re mistaken, I’m comfortable where I stand. Straight, for those who are uncertain, I’m pretty certain I’ve mentioned it before but elucidating it in case, not out of a “Ugh don’t mistake me for being gay!” knee-jerk reaction but literally just so the topic of my sexual orientation is settled right from the start. I never had to come out in my life, I know in certain parts of the world you have to come out as an Atheist and though I was raised a Christian by my mother, once my Dad took charge in her passing he supported my brothers and I in supporting any belief system, seeing as he’d been biting his tongue on how he’s a Buddhist for her sake. For me though, on a serious note, I never had to have the courage to admit to being who I am, I never faced those pressures or inner conflicts outside of the usual straying of the imagination we all experience. So, you might now argue I am not the person to talk to about coming out and you’d be right really, I don’t have that history to recall but I know about so many different people who went through it and I want to say my piece. You don’t have to be directly affected by an issue to see how it affects others so with that said, here I am.

In a broad sense, we as a society have come a long way with regards to sexuality and gender identity, though obviously there is further to go with China still ‘treating’ homosexuality through shock therapy and trans violence being shrugged off as “The assailant panicked because they were confused, of course you’re going to beat some stone dead with your bare hands when you’re confused!”. Whilst once upon a time it was largely an underground society, the LGBTQIA community now holds pride marches and legal victories have been won left, right and centre against the bigoted traditions of old. The community isn’t perfect, things like asexuality and pansexuality get sidelined as weird or made-up, bisexuality is still largely seen as a phase more than the other two like it’s the part of the game of life where you’re still deciding between Charmander or Squirtle, terms like genderfluid are largely seen as wanting to be ‘special’ rather than someone finding a true identity, these are acts of ignorance and discrimination that occur within that same community of those once oppressed (or in some cases, still are). I’m not here to poo-poo the progress thus far by pointing out the road is still a long one, not at all, great job to us for all that, but I am merely providing context because whilst there are so many of us comfortable to proudly announce who we are, there are still so many who aren’t.

National Coming Out Day or Week then, is the chance for people to stand together and encourage their closeted colleagues to embrace who they truly are and let the world love them for it. A noble cause and if you’re taking this opportunity to share the truth, good for you, seriously, you deserve credit for that. On the other hand, the reverse side of this coin is an implied pressure to make the big announcement, to come out and shout from the rooftops that you are in fact not what assumptions make you out to be. At a time like this, we can perhaps be a little expectant of people to tell the naked truth, for better or for worse. Individual circumstance can make these things so much more complicated for so many reasons but I’ll try to explain as best I can.

A friend of mine said that you don’t come out once, it’s nonsense to think that there is one pivotal moment in your life where you gather every single person you know in one room and make the truth known to all. I can understand that, I know people who are out to some groups and not to other, my own youngest brother came out to the immediate family first and then slowly let it slip in school once he felt comfortable people wouldn’t react by beating the snot out of him. Coming out is something people go through time and time again – to the family, to friends, to schoolmates, to work colleagues and so on and so on, each experience is difficult and there’s no guarantee how people will react. We tend to see cisgender heterosexuals as the default sexuality setting, straight until proven otherwise as it were, so we don’t always look at our peers with a neutral judgment of them. Admit it, you’ve seen people in the street and sorted them into straight, gay and lesbian in your head right? You don’t usually look at someone and think “I bet they’re a genderfluid aromantic… they just look like they are” but we still seem to associate certain visual traits with being gay or hetero. As a result of this, most people who came out the closet even as young as say, fifteen, still find themselves ‘revealing’ they are a homosexual at thirty and that’s going to be a thing until society as a whole stops making assumptions that everyone is straight and cisgender before changing their mind somewhere along the line.

So coming out, as we all know it with the family in the living room and teen angst kid Johnny having to reveal his secret desire to sleep with men to startled parents is perhaps untrue. However, just because it isn’t a big “all will be revealed” affair like we imagine it, it doesn’t make it less daunting for those involved, nor does it guarantee it will be safe. Sexuality and gender identity are topics that can polarise people to one camp or the other and even within the same family, it can be hard to deal with. A friend who shall remain nameless is out to their close family and pretty much everyone they know but still has a grandparent in the dark, said grandparent not having social media to see the truth. Why? Well, they’re of the belief it’s unnatural to feel same sex attraction or to want to be a different gender to the one you were assigned at birth and this friend of mine doesn’t want to compromise their relationship with their grandparent by saying “Guess what? I’m one of those unholy abominations you mouth off about!”, so they endure the flak and pretend to be ‘normal’. Sounds unfair but this isn’t even the worst, that’s someone doing something by choice, not to protect themselves, some people keep their sexuality or gender identity under wraps for fear of their life. Who can blame them? Many US states still stand by the panic defense that attacking someone who is trans or homosexual is forgivable if you claim you were scared they were going to make a pass at you. Like, homophobia being an actual fear of homosexuals in such an instance, which is ludicrous and credit to California for calling that legal defence bullcrap. In a world where people are disowned, beaten, electrocuted, sexually assaulted and just plain humiliated for being outside of the expected norm, can we really shame them for hiding in safety? Let me tell you, if being straight got me forced into having sex with men against my will or locked away in a correctional camp to brainwash me into suppressing who I am, I’d need some serious chutzpah to say I am straight.

In summary, if you can come out and you feel safe to do so, go for it, I hope we will one day live in a world where everyone can feel okay to be who they are and ‘coming out’ becomes a thing of the past. However, if you’re choosing not to open that door, be it for self-preservation, uncertainty or just not feeling up to it, I say go for that too, what matters most is your well-being, if that’s better preserved by not saying anything, so be it, though obviously I wish that wasn’t the case. Don’t pressure people to come out if you know they’re still in their closet, it’s not encouraging or inspiring, it’s terrifying, it’s telling them to strip off and jump in the shark pool because hey, if they survive it, won’t it be cool to say they did that? Most importantly, DO NOT OUT SOMEONE ELSE! I can’t stress that enough, only thing worse than trying to make someone step out, is to shove them out. You aren’t risking anything yourself in doing that, that is pushing someone else in the pool and saying “Aren’t I brave? Am I not a great friend? Isn’t this so much better than just watching the sharks?”. So to everyone, take your time, come to terms with who you are and let the world know when you feel ready, there is absolutely no rush.

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The Fragile Man (Part One – Masculinity and Women)

Let me level with you reader – basically, last night I put together a blog post called “The Fragile Man”, meant to address the subject of Masculinity So Fragile, a campaign to show the frailty of masculinity in how men feel the need to showboat to prove their worth, justify the purchase of ‘feminine’ products by buying male-focused alternatives and mock those who do not fit into the predefined standard, be they genderqueer or effeminate. However, the culture of masculinity, the standards it imposes and the effects on men, women and all identities beyond and between is so profound that it won’t fit into one post. I did try but I missed out heaps, I had it proofread to find I knew very little of the female viewpoint so after talking about it with a variable collective of female friends, I’ve split this post in two. Tonight, I want to discuss the effects of masculinity on women, using my own reading and the real-life experiences of women I know, as well as the experiences of a genderqueer friend of mine. Just a heads up, it gets dark later on, if you’re the sort who reads sensitive subjects and gets triggered, steer clear of my blog for the next few days – it’s about men and women and power and sexism and gender identity, I’m sure you can guess which tough topics will be brushed upon, namely abuse for starters.

So if we think of the opposing standards of masculine and feminine, going on purely polar ideals, notice the difference in the traits? Masculinity is strength, resourcefulness, wisdom, stoicism, charisma whilst femininity is chastity, elegance, beauty, obedience and gentleness? A tough woman isn’t feminine, a quiet man isn’t masculine. The masculine traits are aspirational though – strength and ambition are goals to strive for, how does one strive for chastity or beauty? You might say you can do many things to beautify yourself but then you’re accused of faking it, you could refuse sexual advances but then you’re called frigid and prude, masculinity expects feminine traits of women but challenges them if they adhere too closely to the rules. Women are expected to be virgin saints, yet sluts in the bedroom, be cutesy and adorable yet also mature and alluring, it’s an impossible demand that the perfect woman be an angel and devil rolled seamlessly into one bundle.

You might think, so how does this relate to masculinity and its effect on women? Well, the Masculinity So Fragile dawned the No Hymen, No Diamond, essentially saying that women who don’t adhere to the most sacred of sexist rules imposed on women, chastity until commitment, don’t deserve marriage. Men attacked because they felt they were attacked, even though the masculine culture damages them too, but more on that another time. The stunted emotional growth of my gender, and myself for a good period of my life, led to generations of bitter angry men understanding any emotional response as anger, the unknown or the confusing is a challenge and challenges are qualms about capability. Challenges are accepted with aggression, machismo, violence – the word ‘fragile’ was an affront to their strength so they sought to prove it, as men often do. Women, does this sound familiar – a man treating you differently in the presence of his male peers to how he does when he’s alone? The difference being, with people to observe him he seems to show off? Has the boyfriend/husband ever referred to you as the ball and chain? A term suggestive that he is a caged or trapped beast, hindered in his quest for freedom and power. Masculinity, in the sense we know it, demeans women as the weaker sex in so many ways, some of which I want to discuss here and now.

The idea of women as sexual objects, as owing men sex for their patience or commitment, as sandwich makers, as posers and whores for having confidence, as the ‘ball and chain’ restraining a man, all are indicative of how women suffer because of masculinity. If a woman is a threat to a man’s testosterone, either by taming his beast through commitment or by having traits associated with men like confidence or wit, she is demeaned, abused, called out as being less of a woman or by being a nuisance to a man. She’ll be called a dyke, her gender identity challenged because they feel challenged in their own, seeing those outside their peer group display the personae they spent lives building. I have a genderqueer friend, they’ll remain nameless because I didn’t ask to use their name so I won’t risk it, but when they present as a man, they’re told they’re not so by other men, even though this person has the male identity down to a t – dress sense, interests, even their living space looks like a true bachelor pad. The rules of masculinity are unyielding indeed.

Here’s where it gets darker though, beyond the ‘friend zone’ fedora brigade and sexist jokes is the really horrid side – men who won’t date women more successful than them, the use of rape jokes and rape as a power play dynamic (To rape is to assert dominance, to be raped is to be dominated and thus, pathetic. Notice how men talk about ‘raping’ or ‘getting raped’ in contexts that aren’t even sexual just as indicators of performance). I fear for women in situations where there is the need for the ‘man’ of the house to keep people in line, so he will say, using physical or verbal abuse to show he is in charge. Men who fail and lash out at those that are physically weaker than them, at those who won’t hit back – wives, girlfriends, children. Men that were taught don’t cry and don’t fail and in turn become heartless savages, unable to talk through their grievances and finding release only in rough-housing others. The impossible standard of never bending and breaking can make men snap and some take it out on themselves but some shift the blame, be it selfishly or for sanity’s sake but very rarely do they unload their frustration on those who can endure it without consequence, they want to inflict hurt because they are hurt. For women in such a place, it’s not easy and it is certainly not right.

However, of the masculine image, the women I spoke to said that they liked a man who wasn’t so much masculine as secure. A confidence backed by substance and a self-acceptance, self-acceptance being the most attractive trait we seek in others, perhaps because we seek it so badly in ourselves. A remember a friend once told me “If you need to prove you have power, you have none at all”. Likewise, when I was a rough and tumble violent headcase, that wasn’t what got me noticed, it wasn’t fighting my way up to alpha male that got people to respect me, those who did respected traits I showed that were those of aspirational standards we can all seek – being self-assured, breaking the mold, expression of inner self. Masculinity and femininity are not inherently bad things, adhering to one like the law is, a truly good individual can feel comfortable in who they are whatever the label might be.

So you want a true man? A true man isn’t always the strong one, the smart one, the funniest or sharpest wit or possibly not all that practical but a true man has a strength all their own to use for good. A true man, as the standard should have it, is one who will stick up for those that can’t stick up for themselves, will go without because others need it more, will endure trial and hardship to win the day. However, a true man has tears, a true man has a heart that can love and lose, a penchant for pink he needn’t turn his nose up at and he needn’t see the world as stage to this contest that isn’t happening. In that, there can be a true man in us all and women are not less womanly because they strive for ambition and competition, nor are men less manly for wanting to wear mascara and bake cakes and above all, a man is no greater a man if he must achieve his greatness through the exploitation or abuse of others. We are equals, we are mankind.

Glory Be To The Fallen – Remembrance Day Special

Trigger Warnings – Talk of war/death

I wanted to do a post to honour this day of Remembrance Sunday in which we commemorate the First and Second World Wars and all the lives that were lost in the name of freedom and the end of tyranny, the brave men and women that sacrificed themselves to make the world a better place and how we wear the poppy as it was the flower that grew upon the battlefields after the First World War, a poetic contribution from nature in how beauty can return to a world ravaged by war if we only look for it. I have conflicting views on the idea of wearing a poppy, some say it is a symbol that has come to encompass the wars in the Middle East that aren’t so cut and dry as “These guys are evil, we have to stop them being evil” and as such, politicians justify their wars by making pretty speeches about honour and patriotism, whilst others say the poppy doesn’t stand for the innocent lives, only the soldiers and generals, as if romanticising and idolising a history of bloodlust into heroics when it was more a feud between individuals that cost the masses their lives. I don’t know what to feel for whilst I’m left-winged and very anti-war, I’m very much in support of the efforts of armed forces, past and present, and I am a patriot deep down.

War is often seen as romantic and poetic and as an artist myself, I can see, heck I grew up with war stories colouring my impressions of humanity and in these tales of ancient heroes and warriors I saw the noblest of traits – sacrifice, duty, honour, principle – traits we may not say in our day to day lives. The soldiers tell the tragic tale of the pointlessness of their fight, how they must kill men with whom they bear no quarrel for the sake of fat old men they’ve never met and that no matter how bloody the war, it is the poor men who had no desire for this conflict that must die, never the generals or the leaders, only ever the men out in the field. Religion, land, freedom, war has come to mean many things for many people and is as true of humanity as breathing and eating, it is what separates us from beasts is our brilliance at killing each other.

So what does this poppy mean? Is it really a touching memoriam to the fallen heroes or is it glorifying death and sacrifice when really we should think of the war as a great shame brought upon us by corruption and greed? Are the soldiers brave or stupid for dying for such men? What of the innocent, do they not deserve remembrance? I will never approve of war, though I read the stories and admire the men, it saddens me to my very core that such great men had to die for the world to progress and even now, many good people die and the world still insists on this cycle of hatred and ignorance. I think of the British people saying how their grandfather didn’t die to make Britain a home for Polish people, no, your grandfather died to fight against people who didn’t believe in freedom and equality for all, your grandfather died shooting racism in the face because it had no place in the world and his sacrifice was to keep Britain free of tyranny, not immigrants. I have no right to say this but I honestly think if my grandfather were here today, it would not be the growing racial diversity that troubled him, it would be the unbelievable class divide and the fact that we haven’t seemed to have learned much since then when it comes to the whole let’s-not-kill-each-other-en-masse deal.

The poppy, therefore, to me, means what the wearer interprets it as meaning and this is where I must stand against my left-wing allies and actually exercise some national pride. Patriotism is no bad thing, it’s nice to support your country but what led so many to oppose Hitler was when he started thinking his country deserved more than others did, when a man was willing to kill in the name of racial prejudice and hatred to create a white super race. I wear a poppy, and I’ve decided on that, as it is not a glorification of war and sacrifice, it is a way to say you remember the lessons that history tried to teach us and that in our heart, you wish for a world in which we no longer bear arms against one another. I wear the poppy as a way of saying a silent thank you to the men and women who died for us and no those soldiers didn’t die for glory, for the war, for medals, they died because they believed in something so strongly they would rather give up their life than give up what that belief meant to them and in anyone, British, German or whatever, that is admirable, so many of us talk big but when confronted with death, we would buckle, we would cry and beg and sell our souls but these people – they flipped the bird to the reaper because they did their part and that was what mattered

Soldiers are heroes but not because they fought in the war and fought the good fight that the posters told them was glorious or because they killed their enemies in bloody conquest and became decorated veterans, soldiers are heroes to me because for the most part they are good people. Sure, there are exceptions, there are bad examples of any kind of person and some people, when given a gun, are not as responsible as they should be, but these people saw something that mattered more than their own well-being and were ready to do anything to make it a reality. Fathers, brothers, sons – they didn’t fight because they wanted to kill people, they fought because they wanted to ensure a safe future for their mothers, sisters and daughters, for their grandchildren and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, they fought for peace and freedom. However, all sacrifices made are worthy of note and so not only are the soldiers heroes, the innocent must be remembered and mourned, the fathers who outlived their sons, the children who never played in the streets, the people who died simply for their religion or sexuality, all must be remembered and mourned

The reason we remember them is not just out of grief and mourning, or out of duty and honour to those who died that we might live, we remember them because we must be inspired by them to create a world in which we need never again cry for those who died for us, we must constantly strive to make a better world, a without war, the very world warriors die in an effort to create. Remember them, mourn them, be inspired by them and let no more names be added to their ranks

Enter the Dominatrix

Trigger Warnings – Sexual content

Sorry for yesterday, I needed to vent and have a little bitch fit but with that done, here is the post I actually wanted to write yesterday. I decided to get my gamer shades on again and write about another new release that I wish I could get but alas, once again, my lack of a Wii U is biting me in the backside. The more astute Nintendo fans can put two and two together as they figure out which recent release on the Wii U is about a sexualised character – yup, I want Bayonetta 2. The game has been a long awaited release for fans of the original like myself and if you don’t know about this game, I urge you to find out about it. The lovechild of a forbidden romance between a sage and a witch sells her soul to darkness for the powers to kill the angels that destroyed her kind and is led on a wild goose chase across the city of Vigrid as she tries to remember her past, suss out who her true enemy is and generally try to have fun. Bayonetta evokes a marmite reaction as a game though because the protagonist is a woman with legs up to her eyes in a tight catsuit that takes off this catsuit to use it as a living weapon and her motions are generally erotic so whilst some love the game, some call it a shameless attempt to pander to the male gaze and a degrading interpretation of women in video games. I am here to argue on behalf of Bayonetta, seeing as she wouldn’t argue her case, she’d just whip til you apologise and then “How do the Americans put it? Pop a cap in yo ass”

Before I begin, obviously this is the view of a white male, a liberal-minded feminist white male but still ultimately male. I am not a woman, I do not represent women and this article is purely my opinion so don’t give me flak if this seems like a lopsided argument, it is purely what I think of the character and you are free to your own interpretations. Ok, I should also add that I do not like Bayonetta as a game solely on the basis that the lead character is a sexy witch with a posh accent, whilst that sounds attractive I actually like the game for the fluid combat system, interesting plot (which granted is not dissimilar to that of Devil May Cry 4 but the same producer so hey) and the pleasing aesthetics and controls of the game making it one of the most well constructed and replayable games of the genre so again, no flak, I’m not defending Bayonetta out of some sort of raging horniness over the protagonist

Bayonetta, to me, represents a great character and a great female character. Bayonetta is strong, but not in the moody bitch with guns kinda way, by contrast she is actually quite cheerful, stern but she has fun doing what she does. Bayonetta is not the reluctant grump like most ‘strong’ female characters who just sorta get dragged into it and make snide comments whilst pointing guns at things half-heartedly, but she’s also not the other type of strong female character who is just sounds constantly horny but denies anyone a touch except that one guy. Sure, there’s Luka but Luka isn’t to Bayonetta what the Doctor is to River, they aren’t equals engaged in playful banter, Luka is Bayonetta’s little ball of fluff, something to amuse her, she evens calls him “Cheshire”, the name she gave her stuffed toy. To be honest, I think Bayonetta only tolerated Luka’s hatred and didn’t just snap his neck was because he’s funny when he’s being self-righteous and angry because Bayonetta knows it’s a load of shit and that if she stood there naked before him, he’d forget his grudge in an instant and beg for her touch. Bayonetta sees through the men of the game, shown as shallow and greedy incompetents, and she just strings them all along for her own amusement with no consequences on her part because she knows she’s what they want, she is a weapon in more ways than one

You see, I feel the problem most writers face, including myself, is that a strong female character in their mind is a woman who is just grumpy and packs a weapon of some description. Sexualised in appearance but not attitude and she resorts to either making smart-ass comments or showing no personality at all to assure the men around her that she will not be sleeping with them. I have yet to meet a woman like that because that’s not a woman, not really. Female characters are like male characters, they need to have strengths, weaknesses, hopes, dreams, fears and things to be proud of. A good female character has to incorporate something that is true of women-kind – perhaps your female character has insecurities about their appearance and shrugs it off by acting all arrogant (Lana Kane), perhaps your female character despises children because she is a fun loving young free spirit scared of commitment because of a history of loss and being surrounded by shallow self-serving idiots has her doubting the honesty of everyone around her (Bayonetta). You see where I’m going with this? By trying too hard to make her strong, you deny her female identity and then you’ve either got the fetishistic guns-and-tits combo character or the miserable companion character stuck following after your impulsive male lead. Good female characters have things that make us remember they have issues that matter to them and that remind us that these characters can add something to a formula that enhances it much more than the absence of that character. Doctor Who didn’t take a downward spiral after River Song left because she was the confusing sexy-counterpart to the Doctor but Amy Pond was more, she was a mother, she was stuck in a love triangle and she had dreams that were crushed and had to deal with that – that’s why more people miss Amy than miss River, from what I’ve seen at least

Leading back to Bayonetta, Bayonetta embraces her female identity and uses it as a weapon to distract her opponents, overwhelm their senses and all the while have a good giggle. Bayonetta is sexualised and erotic yes, but not for the sake of it, she is a dominatrix, so very clearly. The themes of BDSM in her choice of weapons, the ‘Climax’ attack, the tongue-in-cheek humour of sex that, never directly refers to the act or even the parts involved but she talks about “playing games” and “pillow talk”. Bayonetta is teasing her enemies and bringing the saints to sinners as a power play simply because she can and she enjoys it, note the constant smug grin on her lips. Bayonetta is very intelligent and manipulative, she doesn’t waste her talents on Rodin or Enzo because they’re on her side, she knows she has them under her thumb but the angels? Enemies, enemies that she taunts with her sexuality. A sexualised woman is not a bad thing, I think I covered that before, this is a woman who is proud of her body and flaunting it on the battlefield to bring her enemies to their knees so she can execute them with ease. Personally, I love it, I think she’s funny and witty and charming and it’s good to see a character who is sexualised for a reason. Women in games are generally sexy for no apparent reason, like Ivy in Soulcalibur, why does she don such a skimpy outfit that is very out of character for one so uptight? The answer there is male gaze but Bayonetta does it on purpose, she wants the world to stare, she wants people to gawp or call her names because she takes life with a spring in her step out of a sense of superiority

The game is universally well received and the sequel is already beloved but one review knocked it down for being too sexualised to enjoy. I’m sorry, what? Ok, firstly, I thought gaming guys, as a stereotype, loved this stuff but the fact that your lead character is someone who knows they’re hot stuff, embraces it and uses it as a weapon is a bad thing. Oh right, silly me, women shouldn’t be openly proud of being attractive, how disgusting. I forgot that confidence is a terrible personality trait. Would the game be enhanced for Bayonetta being your standard female character for this genre? Come on, what’ll it be – skimpy clothes and acting as if they’re normal attire or dirty hair and a tank top? Bayonetta is a statement, it wants to stand out, it pokes fun at needlessly sexy characters by making one who is sexy for a reason, she’s fabulously flaunting what her momma gave her because she wants to. I think it’s a bold move and a welcome refreshment from samey-characters and games, I dare you to find me five games quite like Bayonetta. Struggling? Ok, five games like… well let’s say Dead Space. Oh that was easy, there’s fucking tons. Space age shooter with cool outfits and tech? Halo, Alien:Isolation, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Doom. Sure, the camera is gratuitous with body shots but I can’t help feeling the camera acts as if the witch herself directed it – she’s hot, whatever the style, and she wants us all to know that

I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe you don’t, but I think Platinum Games created something fun and unique and made a character I’d personally enjoy the company of… if it weren’t for the fact she’d probably just chain me to a wall until she got bored of slapping me in the face

Sexy and Unashamed

No, the title isn’t a confession to being a secret male stripper – I lack both body oil, and a stripper worthy body. I’m here to get up on a high horse again so that I can point at some of you and say “Shame on you!” but first I must make two warnings so that certain readers know whether or not to read on (Pahaha, if you’ve read this far, that’s something, some people can’t even be bothered to click the link)

– This post is about sex. The immature and young teen reader base should go do something more suited to them, like colouring.

– This post is a “equality for women” rant… Yes I know I’m a man… No, I’m not hiding anything… So what if I look great in heels? Erhem… So yeah, if you’re a pig-headed male, you’re gonna want to turn around too

That said, let’s move on to the matter at hand shall we?

Sex, ladies and gentleman, is something a lot of us partake in and a lot of us do for reasons other than procreation. Science has discovered that pretty much any animal can enjoy sexual intercourse and some animals, namely the dolphin and breeds of primate, have sex simply for recreational purposes when not in season. Apart from the need to survive, we have evolved to enjoy sex so that we keep doing it, in the same way that politicians have evolved to be ignorant of the world around them so they don’t die of guilt. In ancient religions it was believed the pleasure of sex was the gateway to ecstasy and then along came organised religions like Christianity who said that sort of behaviour was shameful, that sex should be between married partners and shouldn’t be a fun experience but a way of making babies and that’s it. Now, judging by the fact I’ve never bedded a woman and seen her whispering to herself “Think of England…”, I feel safe in saying my generation is a bit more open sexually. No more marriage first, no more picturing cliffs and fields during the act and people aren’t afraid to admit to their kinks to partners. Obviously, I’m generalising here, this applies mostly to the Western world and even then I’ve met girls who won’t put out without a ring on the finger. Curses. On the whole though, I think we can agree in the Western world at least more people are having sex for pleasure, to either bond with their loved one, to enjoy a physical element to a friendship or simply because they like the buzz. However, this still leaves a few loose ends.

The society we live in is one that is sort of struggling in a feud between old fashioned values and liberal thinking. I take the side with the liberals, I think the system is much more fair.
“No abortions?”
“Why?”
“You’re killing an unborn baby, it’s wrong, you have to keep that little ball of cells until it becomes a baby and then raise it as punishment for your boyfriend not wearing a condom!”
“Well it’s not your body, your baby and who said he was my boyfriend?”
Some of these standards act as laws in some places and they limit the rights of certain demographics (Though, shocker, never the rights of a heterosexual white male) but some of these standards are just implied, the values of the ordinary human being programmed into them by being raised on Christian values and so even the not particularly religious amongst us can maintain these ideals and that brings me onto my topic for discussion today – sluts.

The word “slut” is thrown around quite casually these days and seems to be an umbrella term for “A woman who is unashamed of having sexual feelings and acts on them like she would any other emotion but for some reason we have to hate her for doing that”. Firstly, there is this double standard – a lot of sex for a woman is bad, a lot of sex for a man is proof he deserves to be called a man. I mean I know there is the whole thing with the “loosening” that I won’t go into and a man doesn’t exactly experience something like that the more often he has sex but really it doesn’t make sense any more. Some men value chastity in a partner, sure, but in a modern society chastity isn’t the number one thing any more. Men often just feel inadequate when they meet a woman who has had others before her because she has a yardstick to measure him by, whereas virgins don’t, and there’s the Christian values we have coded into us that tell us for some reason an untouched vagina is a sacred artifact but a vagina that has had a penis in it before has suddenly gone from cathedral to caff, as if men think of vaginas like used cars. Three previous owners? Heck no, it’ll be full of pubic hair and Doritos and nasty stuff. I don’t understand why we still feel we have to make people feel ashamed of being openly sexual, I like to think someone is shouting “You whore!” out their bedroom window and then turns around to look at their partner who is chained and gagged then grins to themselves oblivious to their double standard. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business who sleeps with who (provided it’s consensual, I shouldn’t have to say that bit but I know some thick cunt will chime in saying I’m condoning paedophilia) so I want to take a moment to tear up some misconceptions about sluts and the term itself.

1. Sluts don’t care – I’ve met a few women in my time who admit to being promiscuous and having the odd night where the bloke in their bed is “That guy from last night”, as opposed to “Jeff, my boyfriend of six months!” and I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell they did what they did if they didn’t tell me, because they’re such lovely and considerate people. I mean, they’re just sexually active women, not vampires. Plus, they can commit and when they do, they’re loyal… their partner may feel a bit like a juiced grape however. I kid I kid.

2. Sluts dress provocatively to entice men into it – Why do people assume people dress for others? I don’t wake up in a morning and say “I’ll wear my red jumper because my Dad likes it”, I dress in clothes because I don’t want my tackle getting chilly. The same applies to women, they don’t dress to invite men into their bed without bothering with a conversation, they dress in what they like to wear. If you see a woman dressed provocatively, it’s not her saying “I want every single penis in a ten foot radius erect and ready for inspection”, she is just enjoying her own body and the clothes empower her. I’m sure every person has one outfit they put on, look at in the mirror and then think “This is fucking sexy! I love wearing it!”. Yeah, same for everyone, be it a suit or a corset.

3. Slut means a woman who takes pictures of herself naked for other people – Well that’s Chatroulette officially declared the home of the man slut then, and Snapchat for that matter. Gah, enough penis in those places to make a gay man’s eyes water. That aside, who else would you take naked pictures for, assuming you did? I’d struggle to get excited over seeing myself naked. The pictures aren’t handed out like coupons though anyway, they are for those they trust and even if they do give them out a lot, so what? Why is it so shameful to tell someone “Hey, don’t forget – I have a body under these clothes and I quite like how it looks, want to see?”. I mean, assuming they do want to see, so what? And if not, delete the picture. Provided it’s all above water, we’re only ashamed of being naked because we either worry about being judged or because we were told our naked body is something to be ashamed of. It isn’t, it just isn’t – though for the record, do keep your clothes on around people who aren’t asking to see them off…

4. Slut means a woman with too many partners – I’m sorry, there’s a set quota? What’s the magic number for a woman? Three dicks and boo, you whore? Does it apply to men too? Am I past my quota, am I a man slut now? Well what about relationships, how many of those are you allowed, call it five strikes and if not married by then die alone? I bet that last bit sounded stupid but so does too many partners. Sleep with as many people as you like, might as well. Why is sex something we feel the need to limit how often we’re allowed it in a lifetime yet nothing else? People who say this sort of thing are usually just jealous – jealous they can’t have sex so frequently or jealous of the previous partners for getting in there first. Get over it, people have sex. Big whoop.

5. Slut means a woman who cheats on her partner – No, that’s a cheat. If you have a partner and you betray their trust by sleeping around behind their back, that’s not being promiscuous, that’s being deceptive. The hurtful bit is the betrayal, not the sex. You don’t hear the man cry “I’m the only penis that should be inserted into you”, what hurts him is that he was betrayed by someone he loved, they did something that he considered exclusive to the relationship with someone else. A slut doesn’t mean a cheat, a cheat is a cheat

6. Sluts are easy – Well perhaps some are more interested in the sex than the chatter and the flirting but that’s vested interest, however the point stands that the sex is on their terms. Much in the same way you don’t suddenly find yourself playing football just because you’re stood in the garden, or painting walls because you’re stood in an empty room, women don’t just suddenly find they’ve sprung onto a dick and started bouncing on it without noticing. A slut is capable of turning down a guy and when she goes for someone, it’s on her terms.

Well, this rant was a long one (snigger), quite a heavy load for you (smirk) but it was a long time coming (giggle). I wanted to get this out there and have my say on the matter because I think it’s a silly thing to berate people for. Oh you have sex too often! Oh I’m sorry what, I enjoy vigorous physical exercise with attractive people to release a natural pleasure drug TOO OFTEN? That’s a thing? Well damn, excuse me for having fun. If you’ve read this far, you’re terrific and I hope this clears things up for some of you. Don’t shame the sluts, they’re just people not ashamed to be what they are – sexy