As a mother of a son who endured several years of bullying in the school system, I kind of scoff at things like this. Often they really just serve to magnify the issue – especially when the bullies generally aren’t the ones wearing pink, and the ones being bullied are now an even more visible target. Plus, having survived the experience with my child, I can tell you that it’s also not just the kids who are the bullies. Teachers and administrators quite easily step into the role.
But that wasn’t really where we were going. Jon’s commentary focused more on the sexual element of bullying at the adult level.
I think there is more depth to the idea of sexual bullying than just agreeing to be involved in a scenario, role-play or kink to satisfy the request/demand of a lover. While there are people in committed relationships “going along” with various requests to maintain harmony in the relationship, society also works against their ability to speak out.
Sexual bullying, quite frankly, exists within the confines of “normal” society.
It’s not only the sexual harassment of others or the violence of rape and assault – although those are the most graphic examples of sexual bullying. But even in the subtleties of like what I was saying about yesterday over how some women with sincere bisexual curiosities are afraid to come out, the pressures in our culture conspire to alienate us for our sexual desires, lest we be "weird."
My friend Jon wrote about how "Talk shows trot fetishists out to get desired gasps and nervous tittering all the time. Even documentary or reality shows about sexual communities usually present a "look at the freaks" portrayal. It is no wonder that most people do not want to come out with their sexual identities—they are bullied by the world at large not to."
I also see it when popular magazines continue to perpetuate the idea of sexual bullying with the advice spewed out in columns by Carrie Bradshaw wannabes – “How to Please Your Man” and “Why You Don’t Have An Orgasm” – force us into believing we have serious character flaws and are less than adequate when it comes to the bedroom. The offer up advice that tells us how we should behave if we want to keep that guy happy, what we are expected to do any time he asks; and if we don’t, heaven help our miserable soul.
It’s the same message as to why our closet should only house Laboutin stilettos and Lacroix LBDs in Size 0 ... because if you don’t have that perfect little outfit you can whip out on any given Friday, you’re just not “sexy.”
Too often these ridiculous pontifications suggest that it is our responsibility to give in, forget our own needs and get down on our knees and just swallow, damn it. And if you suck at sucking, you better make sure you can distract your man with your collection of hot and seductive lingerie.
Sexual exploration is meant to be a path to discovering what it is that gets us off; not what we should be doing to get them off. It’s one thing to offer up a “surprise” every now and then by slipping into some risqué lingerie that takes you way out of your comfort zone – but it’s another to endure continual “expectations” without any consideration for your willingness and emotional needs.
When you find a partner willing to meet you on the same path, accept compromise and offer encouragement you realize the “advice” has been all wrong. Frankly, sex isn’t supposed to be about the other person; it’s best when it’s about an incredible union.