When Sex Negativity Is Kinda Hot

Annabelle River's picture

I recently finished reading The Edge of the Bed: How Dirty Pictures Changed My Life by Lisa Palac, which I highly recommend, because I agree with almost everything she writes.  The part especially sticking with me has been Chapter 6, in which she analyzes her kinky desires that don't just deny, but appropriate her anti-sex Catholic upbringing:

At its core, my Daddy fantasy isn't about my father but about Our Father Who Art in Heaven.  I'd taken the dynamic of love and punishment, which terrorized me as a child and made me feel helpless -- kneeling down and sticking out my tongue to receive his body, whispering my most sinful transgressions in a dark confessional, doing penance to show my love -- and turned it into a powerful source of erotic pleasure.  It wasn't a conscious decision, but then, sexual fantasies rarely are.

...Despite my fear that all of my intellectual processing would ruin by best sexual fantasy, it didn't.  It's still a turn-on because I'm still struggling with the after-effects of Catholicism and I always will be.

Personally, unlike Palac, I was never raised with the idea of God as an old man who would send me to hell for sexual adventurousness.  Instead, the messages that my sexual desires were wrong came from pop-psychology and a specific strain of feminism.  Without God or hell, wanting men to dominate me sexually was a sin against Women's Liberation and a transgression against my Mental Health.  My sex-negative clergy got most of its ideas from Andrea Dworkin.  And I consciously rejected it years ago.

(Possible trigger warning.)  Then, yesterday, for the first time, I lived out one of my earliest sexual fantasies: being locked in the trunk of a car.  It was my own car, and I got in the trunk most willingly, and then my husband drove around while I pretended to be kidnapped.  And it made me incredibly wet.  Which triggered a voice in my head that I thought I'd finally vanquished in college: The feminist pop-psychologist asking, "What is wrong with me?!  Seriously!  Playing along with this misogynist, violent scenario can not be mentally healthy."

And then I actually thought of Lisa Palac, and the eroticism of appropriating the source of our shame.  And then the same voice in my head twisted to conclude, as I suspect Andrea Dworkin would agree: "I'm really just a male-fantasy-brainwashed whore."  Which is, in spite of myself, pretty hot, and made me hotter.  (It's also irrational, since the game was my pubescent fantasy and not the idea of the man driving.)

I've worked hard to get over the idea that my sexual kinks signal a psychiatric problem (as the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders still suspects), and to get over the idea that they negate my Feminist Liberation.  But in the meantime, before I get out of the car and go back to my everyday life with a living-wage salary and an equal say in household decisions, that feeling of deliberate transgression against political correctness and sanity leads to some awesomely empowering orgasms.

(Posted at Annaelle's Manifesto)

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