Well doesn’t this leave me torn - I totally agree young girls might easily get the wrong ideas from such scenes - especially if they have parents who won’t talk honestly about sex.
But maybe this could be worded better?
I get so weary of the idea that rough, even brutal, sex is automatically abusive.
Fuck here I am defending Twilight. Smmfh.
“she understands he couldn’t help it” is the bit that’s really problematic. Nothing wrong with rough/kinky/what have you sex, but the idea that a man is allowed to do it because he can’t help it, rather than because he’s discussed it with his partner and they’ve both agreed and consented, is fundamentally icky.
Here’s what I posted on facebook when this came up:
I think that the issue isn’t rough sex so much as it being the culmination of a relationship based a stalking, predatory and controlling behavior (which was non-consensual) and so forth. It poses the woman as necessarily fragile, as necessarily damageable, rather than consensually/potentially damageable. While the sex itself- and the bruises and scars- was consensual, it was preceded in the previous books by munipulative and “red flag” behavior. In the first book in the series, Edward watches her sleep *without her knowledge*. Throughout the series, he manipulates her away from her only other close friend. He Manipulates her away from her family as well, though intention is unclear.
To me, it is all these things before this point that makes the sex scene… well, unsettling. I’m all for people enjoying consensual rough sex, and kinky sex, and no sex if that’s their thing. But when the entire relationship is based on stalker and munipulative behavior from the start, I do have to ask questions- more so because this is in mainstream, non-kinky lit, aimed towards teen girls who perhaps ought to be more aware of the warning signs that earlier in the series are prolific.
That said, anyone trying to use Twilight as an example of how rough/kinky sex is “bad” or dangerous can go STFU. Seriously. If someone consensually likes being bruised or scarred in private it is no one else’s business. (Though that person should think when sharing with others so that they don’t trigger people for whom it was non-consensual.)
also, this is probably as good a time as any to start talking about:
[BAD IN BED]
So, my idea is for this zine thing called Bad in Bed that explores the similarities/connections between sexual needs and access needs. Or writes about sex as a series of access needs.
Basically I’ve always been really interested in writing/talking about what different people want or need sexually or what sex is to them. Being gay is probably the most acknowledged different sexual need, but there are various other things that isolate, constrict, and/or stigmatize people sexually, like being graysexual or asexual, being stone, being into power exchange, having fetishes…basically anything where sex means something different to you, or you need something different, or you don’t want to or can’t do something that is seen by other people as being part of sex.
(It probably seems weird that I am talking about asexual people as people who have different sexual needs instead of none, but it is really a failure of language in my part that I am using the word sex, because what I mean to talk about is a particular kind of connection that I can’t name or define. There are definitely situations where one person doesn’t want to “have sex” but their lack of interest in doing that leads to losing something that they actually do want which seems to be tied up in “having sex.”)
Anyway, even though I think that these differences between people and their needs are super interesting, I often feel like it’s not really seen that way because there is Real Sex and then there’s the rest of us and maybe what we need (or don’t need) is just a problem. I think it’s really similar to the reasons disability exists, because individual needs become invisible unless they are unusual—no one actually needs anything except one person, who has a “fetish,” is probably reacting to a traumatic experience (therefore isn’t real?), and so on.
Don’t know if this is a very good explanation, but Bad in Bed would be an interview zine which would obviously be anonymous, and would basically be about people talking about what they need sex/closeness to be, times when there has been a mismatch between what they needed and what someone else needed or wanted them to need, and/or how this relates to disability if they are disabled. Signal boost if you think this sounds interesting or if you are interested yourself, email me (awf.vivian at gmail).
So! I’m writing a big letter to the researcher behind that sexuality study.
And CCing the big long list of ethics officers.
I’ve had time to calm down enough to structure arguments and do research, but I’m still angry. Angry about the survey itself, angry that I unintentionally enabled my friends to be hurt by it, angry that the ethics committee that reviewed this didn’t catch how vastly problematic it was. Angry about the binarism and about how the gender identity questions were sterotypical and full of things where they asked if my identity as a woman or man was important to me in a way that negated the possibility of being gender variant, gender fluid, or agender.
I am including resources ranging from professional associations, to gender studies, to general information from trans and gender variant individuals. I am indeed looking for suggestions.
If you are intersex, then I’m mega curious as to any preferred resources discussing or representing being intersex, as well as opinions about this survey, particularly the conflation of penis and vulva with male and female. I have few contacts within the intersex community, and none that I feel comfortable approaching directly.
Additionally, if you have any stories about your experience with this survey, you can leave a disqus comment, reblog, email me at nicocoer(at)gmail.com, or send me an ask. This goes for anyone who took it.
While I do recognize that the non-consensual sexuality questions may have been an issue, those I doubt the ethics people will be interested in because the consent form explicitly states- even in the shorter version- that questions about non-consensual sexual contact will be asked. I just fear that the ethics people will look at that and throw out that argument.
The sexuality survey in question (along with a description and huge warnings). Note that while it is on the topic of Gender and Sexuality in Autistics, the survey is not restricted to Autistics so if you would like to and are able to look it over as someone who is knowledgeable in gender and sexuality, research methodologies, or simply in your own experience as someone who is trans, gender variant, or of a non-normative sexuality be it asexuality, kink, lgb, or other types of non-normative sexuality.
Please share this, be it reblogging or other means.