#MeToo Madness Strikes Again. Also, Apologies If This Is TMI.

Mockarena, Co-Founder

There’s an interesting piece in the NYT by a chick named Lucy Jones.

It’s yet another look at how the #MeToo movement has had unintended consequences. Specifically, dudes are no longer comfortable making the first move on women, and women now have to deal with dudes asking for consent like every 42 seconds during physical encounters.

Lucy says she has, like many other women, been taking “rigorous inventory of her sexual history” – trying to determine if any of her encounters in the past were in fact countable as #metoo experiences.

And what she realized, as she took her trip down memory lane, is that there were some encounters she had where she was “brusquely, and without permission, pushed up against a wall.”

And she loved it.

She says, in fact, that “those were the steamiest moments she could recall.”  And now she’s finding herself wondering if that makes her some sort of traitor to the #metoo movement.  She’s also wondering whether or not she’ll ever have that kind of encounter again, given how gun-shy men are now.

It’s no secret that many women like a little rough-housing in the bedroom.  A little spank, a little hair-pulling – it’s all spice, and with a trusted partner, it’s all kinds of fun.  Many women LIKE the feeling of knowing their men want them so desperately that maybe their clothes get torn off, or maybe they’re pinned down on the bed.  I’m not saying I’m one of those women, but I’m not NOT saying it either.

Who am I kidding.  I am totally one of those women.  Sorry if that’s TMI.

There’s a reason that Fifty Shades of Grey enjoyed and continues to enjoy the success it has.  It’s freaking HOT.

And according to the sourcelink, in which a “sex and intimacy therapist and psychologist,” Michaela Boehm is quoted, “Not in their lifestyle, not in their career, but in the bedroom, many women like to surrender.” (Emphasis mine.) Interestingly, there was a 2009 study from the University of Kansas that found that “the more socially dominant a woman was, the more likely she was to enjoy fantasies of sexual submission.”

Now, don’t get excited, Bernie Sanders.  That doesn’t mean we’re all secretly fantasizing about being raped, you freaking weirdo.

Lucy is discovering that in the midst of the #metoo movement, it’s difficult for men and women alike to navigate the new culture.

“After being exposed to so many accounts of different women’s sexual abuse or harassment, I was hyper-aware and hyper-sensitive about it,” said Jessica Tallarico, 30, of Toronto, a newly engaged friend of mine. “So on one occasion, playing around affectionately in bed, my fiancé got the tiniest bit rough and I had such an adverse reaction to what would normally be playful. Adverse as in, I became defensive, flooded with a bit of fear.

“This felt so strange to me because it happened with my partner who I love and trust immensely, and he did nothing wrong or really that out of the ordinary.”

That is so completely f*cked up.  When you allow a narrative like the #metoo movement to infect your personal sex life and cloud the feelings you have towards your completely innocent and non-complicit partner, then you should probably stop feministing, because holy crap.

And then there’s the other end of the spectrum.

This has put young feminists like Ms. Tallarico and Virginia Rand, a 24-year-old writer and actress in Los Angeles, in a tricky situation. Ms. Rand recalled one recent sexual encounter in which her partner asked for verbal consent “every step of the way.”

A rape survivor, Ms. Rand is well versed in feminist theory; she understands just how important and vital a shift such behavior from a young man is when it comes to casual sex. Yet, in practice, she had mixed feelings. “It’s difficult because on the one hand you’re like, ‘Dude, if I didn’t want it, I would stop you,’” she said. “On the other hand, that can be used against you if it was assault.”

Ms. Rand is not the only one conflicted by the new standard of consent; men are, too. Miles Mobley, a 24-year-old college student in Fresno, Calif., remembered an experience with a close female friend last year. They were both naked and fooling around, he said, but when he went to initiate sex, she told him to stop.

He did so immediately but was confused because “it seemed we were going one way, and then all of a sudden we were not.” He asked her if she was sure she didn’t want to. “And then she said, ‘No, it’s O.K.,’” he said. They had sex. Now Mr. Mobley is plagued with a sense of uncertainty and guilt over the incident: “Was it wrong of me, to ask a clarifying question? Was that coercion? That wasn’t what I meant at all. I was just legitimately confused.”

Mr. Mobley said that post-#MeToo he and many of his male friends have sworn off making the first move. “Now, I just sit back and wait for the girl to do it,” he said. “I know there’s been a lot of sexual situations that have not come to fruition because of it, and I’ve even had girls be like, ‘Why didn’t you kiss me?’ But I just really don’t want to overstep my boundaries.”

In addition to the #metoo movement, our culture is also facing another trend – where the line between genders is constantly being blurred by social justice lunatics.  We’ve got all kinds of people insisting that they are “non-binary” and “genderqueer” and sometimes no gender at all, but as Dr. Boehm points out, “The sooner we acknowledge that our (men’s and women’s) sexuality is distinct and different, the more we can express ourselves in an empowered way.  Women’s pleasure and arousal unfolds differently than men’s and by being educated and aware of this we claim our birthright, which is full-bodied pleasure.”

Well, would you look at that.  Women and men are different.  SOMEONE CALL THE FEMINIST POLICE because they’re not gonna like that at all.

(I don’t know about the whole “full-bodied pleasure being a birthright” thing, but it sounds awesome, so I’ll look past how ridiculous it sounds.)

Lucy recognizes (and believe it or not, we do too) that the attention that the #metoo movement has brought to the problem of sexual harassment is important.  No question about it.  The problem is that the pendulum swung waaaaay too far in the opposite direction, and now everyone is freaking out even when they shouldn’t be.

Lucy concludes:

“…the concept of prescriptive, universal guidelines is anathema to truly mind-bending sex. So is codifying it into a moral or political act. Doing so turns the bedroom into a court of public opinion — one in which, as our inscrutable desires inevitably lure us into untested territory, both parties will leave feeling shamed. We don’t need different rules; we need two empowered individuals liberated and secure enough to explore each other’s impulses, to listen to each other, and ask for what they want — even if that includes permission to not ask for what comes next.”

Yes please.  Let’s not introduce written contracts into the bedroom.  Let’s not have dudes feeling like they have to request consent every time their hands move to a new body part during a sexual encounter. Let’s not have men terrified to put the moves on a woman even when every signal from the woman is literally BEGGING them to do so.  Let’s not have women pretending that they don’t like a little dominance in the bedroom, when they really do.

Let’s just not. 🙂