You Asked It

Just Wondering

Sex, drugs, and being nice.

Is it “unfeminist” to be into bondage, submission/domination, and other “kinky” things? —Anna, New York City

I hereby present my humble yet convenient go-to rule when it comes to defining what is or isn’t feminist:

If you’re telling women what they can and can’t to do with their lives and their bodies, it’s probably not feminism.

This self-made rule is particularly useful when it comes to private, personal, no-one’s-business-but-your-own decisions. Making your own reproductive choices? Ensuring you have adequate access to health information and care? Taking care of your body and personal safety? Being free to decide when, if, how, and with whom to have sex? It’s fair to say all of these are pretty basic feminist ideals we’d all be proud to uphold.

Following this logic, you would think it was far more “unfeminist” to tell someone they’re not allowed to have the specific kind of sex they like than it is to have some healthy, safe kinky fun with a consenting partner. Obviously not every person looks, feels, acts, and fucks the same way, so the room for sexual difference should be a huge part of feminism, right? This seems simple enough, but for some reason there can be a knee-jerk reaction, an obvious discomfort, when BDSM is brought up. What is it about BDSM between consenting parties that scares people—including feminists—so much?

BDSM stands for “bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism,” and it encompasses a whole range of sexual play that involves exchanges of power and/or control and/or pain, from blindfolding your partner during sex to full-on Secretary-level psychosexual games. BDSM is usually classified as a “kink,” which is just a word for sexual practices that aren’t mainstream (yet), or that aren’t talked about openly.

Feminist writers far more gifted than myself have been arguing over the rights and wrongs of BDSM for decades, with no real firm conclusion. On the extreme end, objections to it include the extreme accusations that it’s bad for our expectations of women (because, the thinking goes, female submission to a man in the bedroom encourages men to see women as generally subservient); or that it’s sanctioned abuse (one domestic-abuse charity recently organized a mass burning of copies of 50 Shades of Grey because the sexual relationship in the book includes a lot of BDSM play).

There are more-subtle anti-BDSM attitudes out there, too, like “that’s just weird,” which is understandable if you look how it’s usually portrayed in the media and in mainstream culture, which deal in caricatures: people who like that stuff are generally villains or victims on a crime procedural, or the punchline to a lazy joke. But the truth is, kinky people are just as diverse in their reasons and methods as non-kinky people. We’re your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members. Those who want to demonize and dismiss us see only violence and abuse, and not the empowering, sexy, affirming (and fun) experiences that so many people around you love. It would take the average internet user mere seconds of Googling to find that healthy BDSM is about pleasure, and the enthusiastic consent and safety of everyone involved (something that feminism loves).

Some feminists assert that BDSM has nothing to do with feminism, that it is always abusive and harmful, and/or that people who are into pain and control are damaged victims or disturbed sadists, or that we have “internalized the patriarchy.” At the root of all this condemnation is a simple failure to respect that everyone has a right to do what they choose with their bodies as long as they respect the right of others to do the same. Thankfully, though, that attitude seems to be dying out. The prevailing feminist messaging right now, or at least in my experience, is one of sex-positivity and personal sexual choice.

When I published an essay on feminism and submission in the anthology Yes Means Yes! a few years ago, some of the most poignant and heartbreaking emails I received in response were from young women who acknowledged their impulse for kink, yet couldn’t comfortably talk about their desires. I am by no means a sex educator, and don’t believe I have any authority to tell anyone how to explore their sexual identity, but I do think that we too often assume that you young people don’t know what you want; we strip you of your agency, assuming you’re hapless victims of media or circumstance.

I don’t necessarily think it’s the responsibility of a movement to defend my specific personal identity, and I don’t object to feminists who don’t have any investment in what I want to do in the bedroom. What I do ask for is safe space in which to have to have the kinds of conversations necessary for making people feel OK about what they want and need, without judgment or reprisal. I would hope that feminism would help create this space.

Some people like pain. Some people like humiliation. Some people like to be tied up and some people like to do the tying. Some people grapple with these desires for an excruciatingly long time, wrestle with them endlessly, in a world that seeks to shame them for having them. The reality is that some people are going to be BDSM-inclined whether feminism likes it or not. I would hope that, at its core, feminism is not about denying or hiding that inclination, but rather about fighting for bodily autonomy and the right to personal pleasure that doesn’t harm others, and helping all kinds of people have happier, healthier, fuller, and safer lives, whatever that may mean. If exploring BDSM and kink in a safe and consensual way is part of that, then I support it. Otherwise, it’s probably not feminism. —Stacey May Fowles

Send questions about any old thing to Please include your first name or nickname (or tell us you want to remain anonymous), your age, and your city/region.


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  • grandmajade February 5th, 2013 11:54 PM

    alright–a technicality here, but i have to say something because i’m a doctor!! the egg is technically not in the uterus. eggs are in the ovaries and travel the fallopian tube during ovulation. usually the sperm travels to the fallopian tube and penetrate the egg. otherwise, i agree with your explanation!

    • Anaheed February 6th, 2013 12:01 AM

      THANK YOU. I was just emailing with Lola about this very thing!

  • Abby February 5th, 2013 11:59 PM

    Guys… GUYS. The answer to the last question was soooo incredibly amazing ahhh. And I LOVED the Jezebel article (the “googling” link) on it too. I’ve always kind of dwelt on this. I’m a feminist, but I also love dom/sub play, and I love the idea of being a sub in a sexual way as well as a lifestyle way. I’ve come to believe that as long as it’s consensual on both sides, there’s no reason that feminism and bdsm can’t be friends. I’ve also always hated that people think that you can’t be a feminist and also be okay with being a housewife. If I was married to a guy that made enough at work for me to stay home and take care of our children and home, I would definitely do it. I’m not planning for that, obviously… I’m in college and I’m studying to be a psychologist. But if it were an option, I would take it. I think that as long as everything is consensual and what you really want, you should be able to do it. I hope my rant makes sense… what does everyone else think?

    • marineo February 6th, 2013 2:11 AM

      I’ve struggled with this as well!
      I was having a conversation with my friend about this and feminism in general, and I said that I was interested in bdsm, and would probably be a sub. This was all hypothetical, mind you… but my friend exploded and was all like “You can’t be a feminist and like bdsm, and especially not be a sub ahhh! abuse ahhh! oppression!!”

      I tried to explain my feelings to her but I think I’ll just show her this article, Stacey said it much better than I ever could.

      I also agree with you about the housewife thing. If someone wants to be a housewife, they should do it! I’m all for women having careers, I want to be a mechanical engineer. But I think if the woman has a back up, ie training in some career in case something should happen, and it is what she wants to do, then do it. Even though the back of my brain is screaming OPPRESSION I have to respect everyone’s life choices, even if I wouldn’t necessarily do the same.

    • farawayfaerie February 6th, 2013 8:55 AM

      Housewives: I’m not slating all housewives ever, but I do think that independence is so important. Money can be such a big deal to people, and I think it grounds you to earn your own money. It doesn’t have to be an equal amount to that of your partners, but earning some of your own money gives you quite a bit more freedom. I know how much my aunt hates it when she has to answer to her husband for anything she buys, and it’s not like this in all relationships, but I think it can easily go wrong. I also think that being a housewife makes it more complicated in a divorce situation, because you haven’t been able to earn money, or any job experience, and would have to start again. Personally I would hate to be a housewife because I don’t feel I would find it intellectually challenging/stimulating enough, but maybe not everyone feels this way.

      • Abby February 6th, 2013 3:20 PM

        I agree with you, too. I think that you should do what you want to do. I just mentioned the housewife thing because it’s something that I’ve heard a lot of people say you can’t do if you’re a feminist. I think a big part of feminism is not judging other women, so that’s always bothered me. Anyway, what I mean to say is that I think everyone should do what they want for themselves. I think it’s great that you want to be challenged… that’s how I am in school, too. :)

  • FlaG February 6th, 2013 12:01 AM

    My dad once had a guest over to stay at our house, and one evening after dinner I joined them outside on our patio for a chat. They both smoked a joint, which I didn’t realise until after my dad admitted it to me a few years later (I was a pretty sheltered and naive 16 year old. I didn’t even realise the ‘cigarette’ smelled different to normal tobacco ones).

    For me, I was a little shocked by his admission, and thus his behaviour on that night. I made peace with the idea because I don’t think smoking pot is a big deal, and I also acknowledged my dad’s wish to feel like a ‘badass’/chill out with his friend. At the end of the day, I don’t think any less of him for that. If it were a regular habit, I would probably want to talk to him about it though. To at least get an understanding of his perspective, and to let him know how I feel.

  • diana94 February 6th, 2013 12:35 AM

    please please consider all the people you indirectly affect when you decide to buy or use marijuana and other drugs, a ton of people along the US border , Mexico and other latin american countries died everyday victims of these stupid brutal drug cartels. whenever you buy drugs from your local dealer you are giving these cartels YOUR money, allowing them to keep kidnapping ,raping and killing innocent people ! my best friend was kidnapped by a drug lord. The US is the biggest drug buyer in the whole world so think about that the next time you take a hit!

    • Anaheed February 6th, 2013 12:59 AM

      This is a great point, and one of the reasons I think marijuana should be legalized over here.

    • soretudaaa February 6th, 2013 7:30 AM

      thisssss so much!

  • Sorcha M February 6th, 2013 6:14 AM

    The domestic abuse charity probably didn’t burn 50 Shades because of the BDSM. It’s more likely because Christian Grey is emotionally abusive to her and isn’t ‘safe, sane and consensual’ (the motto of BDSM). (SORRY TO BE THIS ANNOYING PERSON WITH NOTHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO SAY.)

    • Abby February 6th, 2013 10:05 AM

      AHHHH THANK YOU OH MY GOD. Seriously. THIS. Their relationship is not safe sane and consensual at all… Christian Grey is pretty abusive towards her, in my opinion.

      • Sorcha M February 6th, 2013 5:39 PM

        E.L. James took an already abusive and controlling character and made him into a stalker and worse. And the media is treating 50 Shades like some big sexual awakening for women, like they haven’t been reading and watching and writing porn for years. I HAVE A LOT OF ISSUES WITH THIS BOOK OKAY GAAAAH.

  • poetess February 6th, 2013 6:22 AM

    Ok, so I have a (ignorant) question for any Rookies who have experience– how do you physically in real life combine BDSM desires (like humiliation, specifically) with mutual respect and power? Because (sometimes) isn’t the the POINT that there isn’t mutual respect and power? Obvs I don’t mean any disresepct or anything– I’m just looking to see what ya’ll think/know. :)

    • Anni February 6th, 2013 7:43 AM

      Ok ok, I have never been so freaking excited to see a Rookie question answered in my life because your last one is literally one I have struggled with since I was about thirteen and figured it out and over five or so years, I’m not a expert but I’ve figured a lot of crap out personally for myself.

      Here’s where the RESPECT part always needs to come in, when you’re playing with power imbalance or humiliation which are both things this Rookie happens to think are mad sexy, and very fun when done right there is a lot of TRUST involved before hand. In letting this happen, the submissive actually holds all the cards first – they think, and then say that ‘hey, i really like you a lot and i trust you to put me in a position where i am going to be a little unhinged and nervous and it may not feel safe but I am giving you the power right now to do so because I trust you enough to know that you will catch me if I fall.’ If it makes sense, the ability and safety to give up power or the idea of respect temporarily is a sign of respect and mutual power in a relationship on both ends.

      As someone who’s been on both sides of the spectrum and switches; domming takes a lot more work personally because you have to keep in full control of the situation in a sexy fun times way, but also in a way where you can’t shut off that voice of reason in the back of your head entirely the way your sub may be able to and just give in because you have to be aware that temporarily you are in charge of a whole other person and responsible for how they feel during, and more importantly after.

      • Anni February 6th, 2013 7:43 AM

        And oh my gosh this is a ridiculously long comment but…
        I have been thinking about submitting a piece for this for the longest time just because there’s been a lot of helpful, but fairly “vanilla” articles on sexuality but I wasn’t sure if it qualified for Rookie as the content does have to be age appropriate but I remember being 13 and trying to find advice/resources that I could relate to (even if I wasn’t ready to try anything, I still wanted to try and understand and struggle with the whole feminist/bdsm supposed paradox )and never getting it because I felt like the open community was a lot older. So hit me up if this will be a real option

      • Abby February 6th, 2013 3:40 PM

        ALSO YES!! TRUST. I forgot to talk about this in mine, but you said it so eloquently. Trust is sooo important too.

    • Abby February 6th, 2013 10:07 AM

      GUYS I DON’T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER THIS. But I def will later. Seriously I’m really excited lol.

    • Abby February 6th, 2013 3:28 PM

      OKAY. Now I have time lol. So. I want to put a disclaimer on this: I have not been in a BDSM or dom/sub relationship, ever, so I guess you’ll want to take this advice with a grain of salt. BUT, I have done just about a TON of reading and experimenting (talking with men, just not in person) about it, so while I am by no means an expert, I do know a bit about it. I think that BDSM and mutual respect and power can totally go hand in hand. If you are in a loving, understanding, and most of all COMMUNICATING relationship, BDSM and dom/sub lifestyles are easy. You mentioned humiliation. This (at least in my experience) is more of a sexual part of the lifestyle than a day-to-day thing. Some people find being humiliated and degraded sexually arousing. This can include being called names, physical punishment, etc. It’s not about the dom actually looking down upon the sub, it’s about them gratifying the sub’s desires. Keep in mind that in healthy d/s and BDSM relationships, the sub is somewhat in control. They ask for the treatment, and with things like a safe word, they can stop it whenever they want or need to. The dom has to respect that the sub is still a person and still has feelings, and if it is a communicating relationship, this will be talked about. As for the lifestyle, day-to-day part, in my experience, a lot of subs (including me) like it because they like being taken care of. I read a WONDERFUL ebook that detailed this fantastically. It described the relationship this way. The world is the sub’s playground, and the dom is the enforcer. (to be cont….)

      • Abby February 6th, 2013 3:39 PM

        The dom makes sure that the sub doesn’t hurt themselves, or others, and sets rules that the sub needs to follow, or they take the consequences. The sub understands that they must follow the rules for their own good, and most of them enjoy having rules. I, for one, really like structure, and that’s why I like being a sub. I am personally not that much into being publicly humiliated, but in a safe bedroom environment, I like light BDSM playing and a bit of humiliation. That’s another thing… safety is very very important. In a healthy relationship, the dom knows their sub’s limits, and still respects them as a person with thoughts and feelings. They know that the sub can make decisions, and sometimes lets them, but a lot of subs like someone to make some decisions for them. I think in conclusion, the key to a healthy BDSM or dom/sub relationship is respect and communication. The dom knows what the sub needs, and respects the sub’s limits. This isn’t for everyone, obviously… but with healthy partners, it can work easily.

        I feel like there’s so much more, but I can’t think of anything else right now… I hope I helped answer your question… if you have any more I’d love to help!

        • poetess February 6th, 2013 4:32 PM

          Thanks so much for the answers you guys– not to get weird/nerdy, but I think this is all really fascinating XD

  • Fortune_Goddess February 6th, 2013 6:44 AM

    For most people in my school (all 13-14 year olds, sadly) finding out that your dad smokes weed is a celebration-hey, free weed! Yeah! I don’t smoke but my boyfriend does occasionally and almost all of the boys at my school. I don’t really see much of a problem with it, except it’s annoying when they keep getting busted.

    • Domenic February 6th, 2013 8:49 AM

      Chronic stoners are so annoying though.. like the ones that do it all the time to look cool.

      • Isabelle97 February 6th, 2013 2:35 PM

        Oh My God yes. There’s this one guy in my class like this and it’s all he EVER talks about

  • Domenic February 6th, 2013 8:44 AM

    OH MY GOD. First of all I would like to say to mr. anonymous who’s dad smokes weed, I thought being surrounded by stoners for my whole high school experience was bad and that they were unpleasant people BUT it’s really not all bad and life is not what it seems.


    I started working as a housemaid for this guy who is MEGA SUPER DUPER UBER BILL GATES LOADED because he owns this giant IT company- that’s right I was having lunch on his mega posh deck overlooking the val and his roomate who is also mega uber loaded but young and fun says “that giant building over there is owned by your boss, he can actually see us on the deck having lunch.”

    Okay so I have established that he is loaded, OH and he also makes pretty cool art sometimes.

    But here is where it’s like wtf is with the world.

    He has a whole draw full of needles and meth shiz to get himself off. And he also has more bondage gear than he does ACTUAL CLOTHING.

    So your dad is like not that bad, even though I know the feeling as it’s your parent and like weed stinks like crap all the time and it probably leads you to feeling that there is some chance you will become addicted to weed- but seriously don’t do it because it’s really hard to stop once your whole family and friendship circles do it with you.

  • alisatimi February 6th, 2013 8:58 AM

    My dad smokes weed openly in front of me. I don’t mind, really, it’s not like I haven’t seen my friends do it. It’s actually quite nice to be treated like an adult instead of being sheltered from “harmful” influences.

  • wallflower152 February 6th, 2013 10:14 AM

    To the first question, I think you’d be surprised how many adults smoke weed. My friend’s mom, who I have known for like a decade and works in a nursing home, smokes at home after work to wind down after a stressful day. I was super freaked when I found out cuz she is a sweet and churchgoing woman and I usually think of potsmokers as young people. I think as long as adults use it responsibly in their homes, not at work or in public there is nothing wrong with it. Most importantly adults shouldn’t smoke if their job drug tests because their family relies on them and all that stuff. But anyway, you should definitely ask your dad why he does it. As long as pot is all he’s doing and he is doing it responsibly I don’t see anything terribly wrong with it. : )

  • noquierodecir February 6th, 2013 12:38 PM

    Even though I get the concept behind not wanting to call BDSM or submission (in which the woman is being the submissive partner) or anything in that realm “anti-feminist,” I don’t think it is coincidence that seeing women be degraded, or being degraded, is a turn-on for many. Any of those turn-ons are (some conscious and some subconscious) products of the world we are living in.

    What I’m trying to say is that there’s an ENORMOUS amount of false-consciousness when it comes to women and their sexuality and sexual acts and their degradation and particularly their degradation in the bedroom. I guess I just find BDSM/women-being-submissive to be a troubling trend in some ways, even if the feminist default might be that women can do whatever they want. I wouldn’t want to take away a woman’s right to have sex how she pleases, but I WOULD want to challenge those women about why they find sexy what they find sexy. And I want women to really think about that. I mean our media, advertisements, and many aspects of our patriarchal society actively and passively degrade women. I don’t know, what do all of you think?

    • Abby February 6th, 2013 3:48 PM

      I agree with this a bit, but I also disagree. I, for one, want to tell you why I find being a sub sexy. I don’t like being very much degraded at all… but I do like being bossed around a bit, light bondage play, etc. I like being a sub because I like to be taken care of. I am capable of making decisions for myself and I do every day (I’m not in a d/s relationship), but sometimes I think it’s nice to have someone make more complicated decisions for me. I also like rules. I’ve always been a “good girl” and I follow the rules, because I like structure. Actually, I LOVE structure. I like to know what’s going to happen and when, and I like it when authority figures tell me exactly what needs to be done so I have no doubt. That is why I like being a sub. But I also know that for a d/s relationship to be healthy, there has to be respect, trust, and communication. Doms respect that their sub is still a person with feelings and opinions and thoughts. Subs trust that their dom will do what’s best for them, with the sub’s permission. And both communicate with each other regularly about what they want and don’t want.

      I hope I expressed myself okay… I feel a bit like I’m rambling. Anyway… I’m glad we’re talking about this… I love to talk (as you can see lol). :)

    • Anni February 6th, 2013 11:36 PM

      Total agreement in that there are mass amounts of false-consciousness regarding fem sexuality, but also a little upset about the last line of questioning.
      To me, asking someone to think about the ‘why’ behind a sexual lifestyle preference is a lot like asking someone who is gay about ‘why’ they are gay and how they feel society has impacted on their sexuality which most people I know would never say regarding my bisexuality, yet would not blink a eye about getting in my face about BDSM. This is kind of what made even talking about my kinks for this more intimidating than coming out as bisexual for me and also makes me a lot ranty/angsty when discussing this topic with people who insist on re-educating me

      On another note, I get that misrepresentation of fem sexuality is more prominent than misrepresentation of male sexuality, but all the same men who participate in BDSM as a sexual sub are generally understood as people who are making safe, sane decisions which is great but also kind of terrible because when a woman does the same she has to deal with the feminist paradox and general feminist judgement which implies that we cannot make the same decisions without a great deal of patriarchal baggage controlling our inner subconscious. :( Also, the fem sexuality element could just as easily be applied to a number of factors like financial imbalance (higher earner acts a dominant)/sexual race stereotype (submissive asian fem comes to mind for me) so no one really escapes the background/sexuality mess if we insist on tying everything back to a direct cause/effect of society.

    • ICantThinkOfAUsername February 7th, 2013 12:11 AM

      There seems to be this heteronormative assumption in popular culture that in BDSM women are always subs and men are always doms. This is not true at all! Women can be doms or switches (wherein you alternate between dominating and submitting) with men or other women, in the same way that men can be subs or switches with women or other men. Gender doesn’t have anything to do with your sexual preferences when it comes to kink (or anything else!), and this assumption is harmful and discriminatory towards trans* or genderqueer individuals.

      I think you’re onto something when you say that we should inspect our wide-spread, culturally shared sexual predilections – however the problem you’ve identified lies with society, not BDSM.

  • Mary the freak February 6th, 2013 12:44 PM

    Boom. My dad doesn’t smoke pot or stuff, and neither does my mother, but I know this feeling when your parents aren’t heros anymore. I realized it when my parents divorced. I had a rough time, because, you know, I thought our family could never ever fail… Anyways, this was an amazing “you asked it”! Thank you. Also this last answer. Amazing.

    PS: again, don’t want to be to advertisement-ish here, but I made a zine about Rookie and you can find it here. Thank you so much, it’d be awesome if you could check it out!

  • cinnamonanemone February 6th, 2013 2:34 PM

    I wish Rookie was around back in seventh grade when I found out that my mom smoked pot. At the time, I was going to church with my grandmother and youth groups with former friends constantly, and finding out that OMG MY MOM DOES DRUGS I AM IN A BROKEN HOME felt like the end of the world. Now that I’m six years older and more experienced, I get that marijuana isn’t that big of deal. I’ve seen far more lives and families wrecked by alcohol than marijuana.

    Also, in re: BDSM… My boyfriend and I are a little rough (spanking, tying each other up, hair pulling and a fair bit of biting), but I wouldn’t say there’s a clear dom or sub. We kind of switch back and forth often, sometimes even within one night. I’m not sure whether or not what we do is BDSM, but thank you for the article. It gave me something to think about :)

    • Abby February 6th, 2013 3:50 PM

      I think BDSM is whatever you want it to be. It’s always fair game in the BDSM community to switch it up (I’m usually a sub but I love being a dom once in a while). Anyway… Just wanted to say that haha.

  • christinachristina February 6th, 2013 2:55 PM

    BEST QUESTION EVER: What’s the line between having a snarky, sarcastic sense of humor and being a dick?

    • sophiethewitch February 6th, 2013 8:28 PM

      That was my question! I was already so excited it had been answered, and now I feel doubly special. Yay. Thanks.

  • listen2killola February 6th, 2013 3:10 PM

    Parents smoking weed is so normal, seriously I wouldn’t be worried about it at all. My mom is bi-polar and she’s a single parent with a lot of stress so it doesn’t bother me at all when she comes in my room and hits one of my pipes or even smokes with me and my boyfriend. It relaxes her and it keeps her from going off to the deep end. Definitely not junkie status if your dad is hiding it from you, my mom hides it from my little brother and it’s only with the best intentions for him.

  • MissusTufnel February 6th, 2013 3:11 PM

    I was super weirded out when I found out that my dad smokes pot, but now we have a RAD relationship that is one of the most joyful things in my life.

    Just ask him about it, like “Hey Dad, I’ve been thinking about trying pot. What are your thoughts on marijuana?” If he doesn’t cop to it, you can be like “Dad, I have a nose. Ha ha. Get real – what do you REALLY feel about weed?” My pops was more nervous to talk about it with me than I was – it’s hard for us to see our parents as human, but they don’t want to fall from grace either! It’ll go a long way to help make your dad feel like you really want to hear his thoughts.

    Do this, and enjoy an amazing relationship with your dad the rest of your life!

  • flowerbitch February 6th, 2013 3:15 PM

    smoking weed doesn’t make you a junkie or a bad person period, unless you shove it on people who don’t need or want it at all. hella offended when people call stoners “junkies” that’s for DRUGS not medicine ugh.

  • flowerbitch February 6th, 2013 3:21 PM

    and to many of the other commenters, i smoke daily and it’s never a big conversation topic with my non smoking friends, so i wouldn’t say “chronic stoners” are “annoying” either. you’re just being ignorant and offensive!

  • Bethany February 6th, 2013 3:33 PM

    I have a follow up question to Lola’s answer about oral sex if that is okay?

    How common is it to use dental dam/barriers for oral sex/general lesbian sex?

    STIs scare me and I want to practice safe sex but at the same time I don’t want people to think I’m a dork or a hypochondriac!

    Its just all my gay girl friends, and also guy friends who sleep with girls, who I have asked for advice have laughed at me and said dental dams/barriers are ridiculous and they would judge anyone who wanted to use them.

    So um yes lol I’m really confused and would love any advice on this :S

    Thank you so much


    • Pashupati February 7th, 2013 3:40 PM

      It’s unagreeable to use, but if you want to do it with someone and they want to and they respect you, they should at least give it a try and care about your feelings on STD.
      It’s more the design of the dental dam that makes it unagreeable, you have to keep it against you with your hand and can’t really move like you’d do usually, plus you don’t feel the person you’re making love with if they “wear” it, but I guess it depends on those especially if you make them from condoms and stuffs. Maybe there are mdental dams in the form of throw-away underwears?
      You’re not dorky, it’s normal to be concerned about it. Plus, once you get to know the person, you’re more confident in not getting STDs, so most of the time it’s only for a while that you’ll use dental dams, not forever!

      • Pashupati February 7th, 2013 3:42 PM

        Well, you feel the person, but not “normally”. A bit like licking a lollipop that’s not outside the thing they wrap around lollipops’ heads.

        • Pashupati February 7th, 2013 3:52 PM

          Okay, it’s a bit weird to answer myself so much, but I just did a research. Maybe my own experiences were bad, because you’re supposed to put these in your mouth/the other’s mouth rather than letting the other keep it against their bodies. Might be more agreeable like that, I guess…

  • ___ellarose February 6th, 2013 5:58 PM

    In sixth grade I found out that practically my entire family smoked weed and at first I was extremely upset. But my sister explained to me basically what Anaheed said and I felt so much better. I feel that how they teach about marijuana in school makes it sound A LOT worse.

  • sophiethewitch February 6th, 2013 6:55 PM

    Thoughts on rape fantasies and feminism, please?

    • Abby February 6th, 2013 8:58 PM

      OBVS, no one here is going to say that rape is okay, because it’s NOT. N-O-T NOT. I personally think rape is just as disgusting and terrible as any kind of torture or murder. However, I do think that just like BDSM, it’s a matter of personal choice whether it’s sexually arousing. I think you can be a feminist and have a rape fantasy. Rape is about power, and just like some people like to be dominated and have power held over them, some want to take it the one step further. I personally don’t have a rape fantasy, and I don’t know anyone who does either, but I could understand it if someone did. I just think that it needs to be carried out in an EXTREMELY caring, loving, careful way, because done wrong, it could damage someone physically and psychologically (just like actual rape). I don’t consider a rape fantasy to be actual rape (even thought I HATE using that term because it reminds me of jerky politicians saying “legitimate rape”), because the person with the fantasy is asking the other person to act it out on them. And obviously, there has to be a safe word/signal, just like in BDSM, because lots of things can go wrong if you’re not careful. And ALSO ALSO, I am in no way saying that people who are raped are “asking for it.” Without careful consideration and verbal assent in a caring relationship, this can’t be a “fantasy”… it’s just rape. I hope no one hates me for my views!!

      • Anni February 6th, 2013 11:42 PM

        This is kind of perfect. Agreed 100% regarding fantasy rape – not my cup of tea, but I definitely understand the power imbalance fantasy behind it. As a side note, I do know a couple of people who have rape fantasies (read: heterosexual women in this case), and from my experience I have yet to meet a dominant heterosexual man who has the fantasy in which they are actually the rapist which is interesting to me. All of the girls I have talked to/heard from def agree that it is all about the power balance and the thrill/adrenaline rush of being helpless (and that is very, very, very DIFFERENT FROM ACTUAL RAPE) and the “play” aspect of it means they can essentially bungy jump into the idea knowing there is a BACK lever at any time and if it gets too intense/or they discover it is something they want to keep in fantasy, it will stop.

        • Abby February 7th, 2013 4:06 PM

          YAY I’M SO GLAD YOU DON’T HATE ME lol.

    • hanbyul February 11th, 2013 2:32 AM


  • numoon_vintage February 6th, 2013 7:11 PM

    when my mom found my weed in my room when i was sixteen, she was pretty mad. But i felt so ashamed and guilty about what i had done, she had to comfort me and be like “geez, it’s not a big deal. everyone has smoked weed before.” Makes me laugh now. I think the biggest concern about being a teenager (or even an adult) and smoking weed is being safe and staying out of trouble. But seriously, they need to legalize it already.

  • Kaetlebugg February 6th, 2013 9:11 PM

    Another tip to the coffee-lover: I totally get you! If you like the atmosphere of the cafe, maybe go to a public space. If you live in NYC, I’m thinking of indoor public spaces like the one on 67th & broadway with the plants on the walls or the one on 53rd & Lex next to the E/6 train stop, and there are a ton more in midtown. Normally I hate midtown, but I quite like these plazas because I like being anonymous sometimes and do stuff like read while I eat which is usually considered kind of rude bur you’re anonymous in a public space, like a cafe, with a kind of similar atmosphere, and who the hell is going to judge? I hope that is helpful!

  • Acid-moon February 7th, 2013 6:28 PM

    The thing about BDSM that doesn’t sit well with me is that, more often than not, the woman in a heterosexual pair is the submissive. I just don’t like what that says about people.

    • Abby February 7th, 2013 9:38 PM

      I have to disagree… Being… aware… of the BDSM community, I know that the woman is most definitely not usually submissive. I’d say it’s pretty equal. I think it’s just how BDSM is portrayed to people not in the community.. through media, books, etc. It’s portrayed in a way that makes people think that the woman is usually submissive, when in reality it’s pretty equal both ways.

  • Acid-moon February 10th, 2013 4:41 PM

    Yes, That’s probably true(im not involved in BDSM, so you would know better than I would) but the fact remains that despite what the truth is, the media, like you said, usually portrays women as more submissive. And that’s what I don’t like. Every article I have ever read about BDSM has been written by a female submissive, or is about female submission, or just automatically assumes the sub will be female. It could be that I’ve just been reading the wrong things, but it seems to me that the general opinion is female submissive, and male or female dominant=hot, but male submissive, female dominant=gross and wierd. And it just irks me.

  • superkat March 11th, 2013 10:47 PM

    sooooo .. oral sex ..
    say both people receiving/giving have had no prior sexual experiences, does this still run the risk of STIs?