Your Sexual Kinks Don’t Make You A Bad Feminist. Right?

I always thought I was a feminist because I believe women should have equal opportunities in the workplace. I also believe they should be paid the same amount as men if they’re doing that same job. And, yeah, that’s about it. Pass me one of those “this is what a feminist looks like,” t-shirts, I’ll wear it! I didn’t know that I was signing up for an Orwellian Big-Sister group that had any say over what I liked to do in bed.

Jessica Wakeman and Jezebel beg to differ. Jessica likes to be spanked in bed. She’s written about this multiple times. And that’s cool. We all have our things. Personally, I’m going to be fantasizing about that last scene between Nucky Thompson and Margaret Schroeder in Boardwalk Empire for, like, a week. As far as I knew, neither one of these things have anything to do with whether or not we’re feminists, any more than say, enjoying peanut butter and bacon sandwiches has to do with being a feminist.

However, Jessica states:

When it comes to women and sexuality, there’s a lot of nuances you can’t ignore and I think some feminists do so at their detriment. I wrote the spanking essay for The Frisky partially to figure it out for myself, partially to let other women who felt the same way know they were not alone, and partially to tell those other feminists, ‘Stop telling me what I’m supposed to like, damn it.

Around 2005, when I had my first dabblings in a dominant/submissive relationship, I found myself always wondering, “Is it OK for me to like this? How can I be a good feminist and still like a man taking charge outside the bedroom? “

Feminists go around telling people what to like in bed? Really? She thought it wasn’t okay to like that? Wait, it is okay to like that, right?

I imagine it’s okay because it’s sex, and things people do because of some deeply rooted animalistic desires don’t really transcend into how we behave all the time. Because we’re civilized. I mean, personally, I like [insert bizarre fetish of your choice here]. Hey, who doesn’t? But I don’t go around talking about that in real life. Often.

Here is basically all I think anyone should aim for, sex-wise: everyone has fun.

That means that you have fun, your partner has fun, and no one goes home and cries or is in any way psycholigcally damaged afterward. It sounds like being spanked is part of the fun for Jessica, and her partner is down with it, and yay, them. Yay. You break out that riding crop, Jessica.

Remind me why we’re still writing and debating whether or not this is a feminist desire? Because I am going to not wear the “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like T-Shirt” I don’t have if it means that I have to adhere to specific behavior in bed. But maybe I’m overreacting and we should be thinking more about what our desires in bed say about our desires in life. Or not. What do you think?

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    • Elle

      I honestly think you don’t know what feminism is. Feminism is so much more than just equal pay and I can’t help but face palm every time I read this site’s attempt at pseudo-feminism. You did make a point about how feminism should (and it does) support whatever kind of consensual sex a woman is into, but then you had to go and refuse to be called a feminist just because another woman gave you a wrong impression of it.

    • Eileen

      Feminism is kind of hard to define. Different people define it differently, honestly, and I don’t think that anyone’s definition is necessarily more legitimate than anyone else’s. Some people define feminism in such ways that I am not one. According to the way I understand feminism, I’m proudly one. Whatever. But no, I don’t think there’s anything antifeminist about having sex the way you want to, as long as both partners consent comfortably and engage in mutual respect and trust.

    • drea

      As far as I’m concerned, as long as all parties involved are consenting adults and everyones enjoying themselves, what’s the problem?