I get so frustrated with the policing of the sex any woman chooses to have, especially by other women. If you diminish my "YES," you diminish my "NO." The arguments that the sex I choose to have diminishes or harms other women is no different than the argument that gay marriage diminishes straight marriage. I have your back for sexual choices, both your "NO" & your "YES." If you don't have mine, fine. But at least have the decency to not attack my choices with other consenting adults. If my right to consent, to say "YES" is somehow questionable or less than or open to be undermined than you are harming me by risking my "NO." It makes you a collaborator with the "She was asking for it." crowd. If my "YES" is not an absolute unquestioned right, then what does that mean for my "NO?" Until my absolute autonomy is recognize and accepted as a given, without diminishing my "YES" with the it's not really a choice, but a reflection of patriarchy analysis, I am not safe. Saying "YES!" to the sex I choose to have is an inherent human right, not a privilege only for males in a patriarchy. I thoroughly resent my autonomy being questioned by anyone.

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You perfectly captured my feelings. As somebody who was was sexually abused, my "yes" to the sex I chose is one of my most valued and sacred things. I hold it in the same regard as being able to firmly say "no" to the sex I don't choose. I would almost say it's more important, because it took me so long to be able to step into my power as a sexual being, to be able to verbalize when I do want sex.

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Nov 27, 2022Liked by Moira Donegan

As a recent college grad who’s spent a long time trying to untangle why the hookup culture i so willingly participated in never felt right, you articulated something I’ve been looking for.

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There is no "yes" without an equally accepted "no". Figuring out how to get THAT happy state of affairs is legit difficult. That's probably why writers like Perry fall back on tried and tested tools like leveraging traditional marriage to their benefi. Which, I believe, did not get the whole consent thing right until very recently. And was only available for some. It's any woman's right to be thoroughly disgusted, disappointed and worried about the current un-charming porn landscape. I am. It seems ... not super healthy for most people, and it certainly doesn't seem FUN. It's genuinely not what I want for my 10-year old son to clap eyes on very soon. But how to create something better, much harder and I don't think me churning butter in a linen apron will do it.

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Apr 28, 2023Liked by Moira Donegan

Brilliant. Thanks.

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This idea of sex becoming more available, but less refusable. SO GOOD. I'm going to sit with this essay for quite a while, thanks so much for this.

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"It’s possible that no woman has ever had real access to sexual utopia."

No one has ever had access to utopia of any kind. And science fiction is fantasy, not observation.

The politics of narcissism is the politics of immaturity in adulthood. But now we have the childishness of "good girls and boys" as opposed to "bad". The fetishized nostalgia is unchanged. Read a bit more about the 70s. Gay male politics was almost never leftist, and mostly openly reactionary. Sex never escaped shame.



"The lowest of the low" "The queer art of failure" etc etc.

Fascist kitsch is no more overt now than it was then, but it's spread. And liberals have redefined self-hatred. Plastic surgery is now a new world of optimism and progress, unless it's plastic surgery for women who want breast implants and not mastectomies. Fantasies of males and maleness have priority.

Perry is a reactionary, writing on a website founded by a racist European nationalist homosexual. I once told a fascist gay Catholic he wanted people to hate themselves as much as he did. He said yes. The logic is obvious.

In a puritan country sex positivity became the mirror image of shame: the desperate indulgence in the forbidden. What other countries are having this sort of crisis? I'm talking specifically about sex, not economics and class. The UK is becoming Americanized.

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hi! I'm a producer for a daily newsmagazine on Phoenix's NPR station. (theshow.kjzz.org) I'm sorry to do this in a substack comment, but I don't think my other attempts at reaching you have worked. We would really like to have you on to talk about your piece in ELLE about VR sexual assault. If you're interested, shoot me an email: asinger@rioradio.org

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