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Does scenario reinforce patriarchal patterns of thought? 

Trigger Warning: The following content is potentially disturbing for rape survivors.

I'm a young, straight feminist male, and I've been dating my feminist girlfriend monogamously for almost two years. Recently, I've been coming to terms with the fact that I am turned on by rape fantasies. Of course, I find the idea of ACTUAL rape repugnant, and this is probably, of course, an important reason why fantasizing about it turns me on. I sent out some feelers with my girlfriend by initiating a conversation about kinks and asking about what types of kinks she would hypothetically be comfortable accommodating. I asked her to imagine that I fantasized about feeling up women on the subway and wanted her to simulate and help realize that fantasy scenario with me. Her response was that I needed to be "cured" of my desires, and that she would help me figure out and work through the psychological gender-power issues behind it, and to that end she would try to show me how enjoyable consensual sex could be. My first thought was, "Well, that's not GGG ..." but then I reconsidered: Would indulging that fantasy only reinforce patriarchal patterns of thought that I've worked to expunge from my brain? How much of a point does she have?

Feminist Rape Fantasist


I'm not telling you to dump your girlfriend because she won't let you feel her up on the subway, FRF. She isn't obligated to help you realize your consensual-rape-lite fantasies. If that shit squicks her out, that shit squicks her out. But you can't have a mutually fulfilling sexual or romantic relationship with a woman -- feminist or not, squicked out by simulated nonconsensuality or not -- whose first impulse when presented with a run-of-the-mill, completely consensual role-play scenario is to pathologize her partner, declare him sick, and accuse him of not being aroused by consensual sex when consensual sex was precisely what he proposed.

There's nothing wrong with you, FRF, nothing that needs curing. The only thing you need to expunge is a girlfriend who regards you as a sicko and a rapist. DTMFA.

I'm a single lesbian living in Chicago. I'd like to increase my chances of meeting someone at the concerts and improv shows I enjoy. These events aren't gay-specific, and I don't look stereotypically queer, so this scenario seems unlikely. I want to get a fitted, understated T-shirt that says something like "Single. Lesbian. Interested?" Will this increase the chances that the girl of my dreams will tap me on the shoulder? Will it make me an easier target for hateful assholes? Both? Neither?

Looking For Lesbifriends

Both, of course, and you may not like the kind of lesbians that a come-and-lick-me T-shirt attracts. But when you're single and feeling frustrated, and your pool of potential partners is drawn from roughly 2.5 percent of the population, it helps to move on all fronts, e.g., Web sites, bars, T-shirts. Your T-shirt might attract the attention of some jerks, lesbian or otherwise, but that's why God gave us Mace.

Regarding last week's reply to NORTH ("Full Disclosure Required," April 7): Sure, it's fucked-up that this woman is doing escort work without telling her boyfriend. But you let him off the hook entirely, even though he snooped through her e-mail! Because if snooping is OK, who knows what else he's doing behind her back?


I knew that not including a little standard-issue snooping-is-always-wrong boilerplate in my response would get me in trouble with some readers. But I didn't include it because I don't believe it.

I've looked through my boyfriend's e-mail; I assume he's looked through mine. I've scrolled through his text messages; I assume he's scrolled through mine. Expecting your partner not to snoop is like expecting your partner not to fart or fantasize about other people. It's a nice thought, JB, but knowing what we know about human nature -- and knowing that we ourselves snoop, fart, and fantasize about other people -- it's a little unrealistic.

And I'm sorry, but when someone goes snooping and discovers that their partner is doing sex work, then the snooping is retroactively justified.

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