Is there a difference between the two? I’m just finishing up Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold and the conclusion briefly touches upon the differences in sexual culture between gay men and lesbians during the mid-twentieth century, specifically mentioning sexual subjectivity.
This topic is what really got me interested in pursuing sexuality studies but I’m never able to find a clear definition of sexual subjectivity - which is used more often than agency. I’ve been partial to sexual agency because I feel like it implies a sense of entitlement to sexuality. But the word agent has distinctly neoliberal connotations/histories which is something I definitely do not want to channel in my use of it. Especially because I want to explore problems of marginalization and access as they impact sexuality - specifically knowing, communicating, feeling entitled to, and being able to act safely upon desire.
This confusion may just be a result of my not knowing enough about the sociological and psychological meaning of subjectivity. But still. That sense of entitlement is really fucking important to me. Hmm.
How is talking about menstruating or periods more gross than talking about anything to do with oral sex, male masterbating, or other penis-related secretions, or the stupid slang used for them in many cases to degrade women?
Hey there, cissexism!
It doesn’t look like it, but it is. It’s not going to survive another generation. Equality is already helping people everywhere. I don’t want to sound like a two-bit politician during a photo opp, but opening dialogues like this and holding people accountable for their actions works.
I typed out like five sarcastic responses to this but none were good enough so I’ll just say this
Be a trans woman for one day.
Desire is inseparable from what we want, whom we seek out, and it often reveals who we are and where we have come from. When I look at pictures of my father and my mother and then of my lovers, I see myself, my partners, the ways I’ve combined and transformed the many different components of my reality into a unique sexual and erotic life. It is what I understood and then grew through so that I could travel beyond my parents’ erotic identities and failures. I am surely their daughter—a mixed-race, poor, white-trash, bio girl gone wrong—because even more than the transracial eros which marked them and me, I am their child: born of and to transgression, and containing within me a dangerous, life-altering, life-engaging set of choices about the possibilities and the price of desire. I live that history, their history, in my body, in what I want and what I do with my lovers, in whom I need to desire me and what I need them to do to me. I rest on their desires as they ride on mine, starting there but risking everything to go somewhere beyond. This is the framework; this is the resistance.
No political movement succeeds without desire: desire for justice, for democracy, for freedom, for the wild ideals of starting over again with a new set of values and possibilities. Our success will depend on how much of this vision we bring to the table this time. Let it be clear: it is essential that who we are as sexual people matters fundamentally to the world we seek to create anew in this vortex of transformation. Finally, let sex and desire be truly significant and alive in our politics, without compromise or condescension. Finally, this time, let us create a movement brave enough to let it matter. Perhaps this time, then, we can finally explode—with a vision and a power strong enough, bright enough, large enough, to change the world."
Amber Hollibaugh, “Defining Desires and Dangerous Decisions” from A New Queer Agenda
Not really sure what “bio girl” means here. So. That’s a problem. I’m now looking into whether or not Hollibaugh has done/written/said transphobic and transmisogynist bs. (I’ve finished her book of essays “My Dangerous Desires” and didn’t notice anything problematic around trans* issues. Besides, you know, their complete exclusion.)
Many of her essays are on the topic of desire - which I ADORE beyond belief - but I’m wondering where in her - or any - analysis there’s room for asexuality. Will have to integrate that into my research.