Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Confronting Biases

I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing episode 4 of Sharp Pointy Objects: Sex Work, A Converation, turned out to be. Acr0nym finished the final edits and posted it late Sunday night and, listening to its final version gave me such a thrill of pride.

Just in case you are new here, Sharp Pointy Objects is the podcast I created with Acr0nym. We've only, clearly, released 4 episodes but, based on the 4 we've released, it should be obvious that the premise of the podcast is to tell stories. Stories of humanity, bravery, the human condition, adversity, sexuality, relevant political/social/religious issues, and any other number of fascinating things.

I am especially proud of the three women who joined me to talk about particularly taboo topics, who were candid, blunt, and hysterically funny as they shared what life in The Life is like. To say I love each one of them is an understatement.


Listening to the final cut, I began to ask myself questions about what other listeners might think and feel - listeners who hadn't had their minds opened to all the possibilities of sex and sexual pleasure and sexual deviance. What boundaries did we push up against? What questions did we raise? Were there things that were unclear? Did we talk about subjects that were uncomfortable? Abhorrent? Scary? 

I have very little bias when it comes to the freedom of sexual expression. 

Make no mistake. I do have biases. I wouldn't be human if I didn't. I just...I don't think about sex as something to get uptight about.

And yet, I also acknowledge there are many who do get uptight when confronted by acts that are confusing, uncomfortable, scary. I understand that there are people who have bias toward sexual deviance because it most decidedly does not float their boat and it's weird to think of the people whose boats are afloat by certain proclivities, like, say, electricity, being your neighbors, friends, and co-workers.

The people who are turned on by the same stuff you might find terrifying though aren't bad people. They aren't scary people. They aren't likely to rape and pillage your daughters. They're just people who like Rocky Road ice cream over vanilla. And that has nothing to do with you or your spouse or your children. It shouldn't concern you or threaten you or threaten your existence.

It just is.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this if you listened. Did we cross any lines for you? Were you uncomfortable? Did you have questions you were afraid to ask (if so, you know how to find me and I can promise I'll answer any question you might have as honestly and as respectfully as possible)? Did you pass judgment? On me or anyone on our panel? If so, why? Comment respectfully. I'll answer in kind.

Photo taken from the Global Illumination Council Facebook page


Celeste Neumann said...

Everyone has limits, and it's always been a social acceptance thing, based on the morality du jour.
Like most people, I assume you could never find anything provocative or exciting about an adult male having sex with 5 year old child. Like most people, I assume you draw the line and deem that revulsive.
However that wasn't always the social norm. The Romans found such behaviour, for the most part revulsive, but tolerated it. They deemed it revulsive for the majority, but not abusive and criminal. Rape was regarded in the same way. Revulsive? Yes. Criminal? No. And that was for a civilization that has last much longer than our own, and one upon which ours is based.
The judgment, the acceptance will always fall within the bounds of what the majority of society is willing to accept as non-criminal. Thus the only reason homosexuality is "tolerated" in our society is because of the intensive communication work from one part of society in convincing the other that such behaviour is not a threat to the fabric of society. The same applies for divorce, or for heterosexual relations outside of marriage (still a crime in your neighbouring state of Idaho!).
You cannot completely remove the judgment. You might be able to convince many people that two under-aged teenagers have sex with mutual consent does not constitute a crime (statutory rape), but I doubt you convice the majority of society that sexual relations with mutual consent between a 12 year old girl and a 40 year old man does not constitute abuse.

Gaelyn said...

What's to judge. This was a straight forward and honest discussion. If folks can't take it, they don't have to listen. Although they are the ones who should be. I found this Very interesting.

Masked Mom said...

I commented on this particular cast on the Sharp Pointy Objects page, but I will say again that despite living in a rather conservative town in that allegedly most conservative of arrangements (25-year-long marriage), I've always been pretty open-minded about this sort of thing.

Regarding electricity specifically, I will say that that made me wince. Just the idea of electricity itself, though, not the people who indulge in it. It's their boat--long may it float. ;)

Anonymous said...

I need to check in on the podcasts while catching up is still pretty easy to do.

Without having listened in and heard the specifics of the conversation, I can only say that I'm very open-minded about sexuality. People can like what they like and do what they do--makes no difference to me. I'm always amazed at how some folks feel threatened by the choices others make.

People apply that same sort of bias to all sorts of things. I've heard more than one person say they are against same sex marriage because allowing homosexuals to marry would diminish the value of marriage and would take something away from them and all who are in what they deem proper, holy marriages. WTF?! Really??? My marriage is either good or it sucks. If my neighbors get married (no matter their genders or their gender combination), my marriage would remain what it is: good or sucky.

Same goes for my sex life.

cdnkaro said...

Well said, Word Nerd! Certain aspects of this episode surprised me, but most simply educated me. I don't judge what works for others, as I wouldn't want them judging me. I particularly appreciated the perspective of "Where else could he go to dress up and feel pretty without being ridiculed, if that's what he needs?" Where indeed. I wish everyone could listen to this podcast- I know I'll be recommending it to several people I know. Hearing about this stuff from people in the industry was an eye-opener from me, and made me realize that yes, maybe deep down, I did have some bias. Due to a lack of education. Thank you!

Lucy said...

I found the podcast interesting but somewhat confusing? I understand the idea of two consenting adults and so on. I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, ever, I think the man is a moron, so to be honest I am taking your word on his comment and yes, calling a woman a slut because she wants to take 'the pill' is stupid but and here is my 'big but' AND my conservative view pops out, I have issues with healthcare in general. I am not sure why women or men for that matter, feel they are entitled to free birth control. And, how is it free? In the end someone pays, the taxpayer, which is all of us! AND, I don't want to pay for pills, condoms,vasectomies,tube tying or abortions anymore than I want to pay for a nose job or boob job? I think Americans need to pay for their own shit! All of Those things are not life saving procedures, they are wants and if you want it then pay for it, like getting your nails done or a haircut. And, yes, that is the conservative side of me. Oh, and yes, I used 'the pill' and paid for it and yes, we paid out of pocket for a vasectomy. I don't think others should pay for our choices!
But, I do believe in the choice!!!

Frances D said...

Last night I caught with your podcasts via my trusted Android phone. Pure awesomeness. You should have your own radio show lady. Can not wait for next episode.
Waving at your from NYC