What exactly is sex supposed to be? In general it's mainly about procreation but in humans even just biologically it has more meaning than that. Engaging in sex actually affects the mental and physical well-being of the participants. This is likely more true for men than women, but research is limited on that subject. (Relating to the sub-theme, isn't it still always the case that science knows more about men than women? Consider how long it took for science to officially acknowledge that women experienced orgasms! There simply isn't enough testing done on women and not just as it relates to sex. I guess we can blame the scientific community, which is still dominated by men, for blatantly and unethically undervaluing women. We can also blame governments as they are generally the ones that authorize/okay and fund studies through research grants. Government, too, is still heavily dominated by men. If women were a priority for either institution there would be far greater parity in knowledge of sex-based biological similarities and differences.)
Sex is more than just procreation or even biology. Sex is a part of socialization in humans more than any other animal. For humanity, sex is a form of recreation and entertainment at least as much as it is the means by which we reproduce. Also, sex is a part of our culture. Sex appears in nearly every art form, be it sculpture, painting, music, literature or more modern media such as television, movies and marketing. Sex is so important to humanity that it is even an industry -- it perhaps could be considered more than one industry! Sex is sold at many, many levels. We're all familiar with the street corner transactions in 'seedier' parts of town, but we're also aware of countless 'legitimate' businesses that are part of the sex trade. Call girls, escorts, masseuses and even strippers can be considered part of the same trade. Then there is the pornography industry, which is both a separate and the same industry. It is different in the sense that neither of the participants is paying the other -- here, the consumer is a third party -- but it is the same in nearly every other way. In fact, many (if not most) porn stars also work as strippers (feature dancers) or escorts, or both, though working as an escort does not guarantee that they are actually selling sex in this fashion -- some really are only selling their companionship!
But what is sex, really? If we believe what our parents and religious leaders tell us then sex is about love. They would contend that sex and love are inseparable. In this view, sex is an expression of love and is to be shared only with someone with whom you are emotionally (and otherwise) intimate. This view works for a lot of people, but I would say in today's day and age they are a minority.
In practice, for a great many people this couldn't be farther from the truth! Their truth. For some, deviation from the love theory is overt and obvious and for others it is less so.
The overt will come right out and tell you that sex and love are completely different. You can have sex with anyone who is a willing partner whether or not you have any feelings for them at all. Also, you can love someone and not want to have sex with them (though pretty much all of the men with this view will have sex with each and every willing partner they encounter). In this view, you don't even have to be attracted to a sex partner! All that is necessary is a mutual need for sexual release. For them, sex is so necessary that any partner will do. When you 'need' it, you need it and had better satisfy that need. In this position some would turn to solo sex, while others have convinced themselves that solo sex is completely pointless. They derive no pleasure from it. The obvious reason is that sex is a social activity and solo sex doesn't satisfy the need to socialize. Sadly, that isn't the common reason for people to abandon solo sex -- pleasure is. Their brains, whether by self-training, learning or natural development, won't let them appreciate pleasuring themselves as being in any way satisfactory. This may be influenced by religion's nearly universal condemnation of masturbation. If this message is drilled home often enough in our youth, it is bound to affect us.
For those who are not obvious in their separation of love and sex, things get more complicated. Instead of engaging in 'premarital' sex they will make at least a cursory attempt to conform to what they think society wants them to do. They will try to maintain monogamous relationships...but they can't maintain the illusion forever. Their true belief that sex is separate from love will see them seeking (aggressively or passively) clandestine sexual encounters outside of their monogamous relationship. Often, fear or guilt will make them form enduring secondary relationships with extra-marital partners, mimicking polygamy. Others will take sex where they find it and never want to see that partner again. Seeing them again increases the chances of getting caught, and even if the experience was the best of their lives they may force themselves to move on for 'safety' reasons. Their public persona of being a 'family' person is too important for them to risk...excessively. Interestingly, the risk itself isn't enough to stop them from engaging in the first place, just to stop them from 'returning to the scene of the crime'.
The reasons for looking outside of a monogamous relationship are many. For some, they have fetishes or proclivities that they dare not share with their 'permanent' partner. This can mean being 'in the closet' (bisexual, gay-in-denial or gay-in-disguise) or for seeking types of sex that may be considered taboo or might be considered embarrassing, like anal sex, BDSM, rape fantasy, interracial curiosity/preference or nearly anything that can be imagined, like infantilism, water sports or scat!
In some cases, people confer with their mates before straying, hoping to satisfy their needs 'at home' but are turned down, or even berated. In others, people don't even bother finding out if their mate might be interested in the same fetish out of fear of negative outcomes. For them, it is better to not rock the boat and look elsewhere. If they thought about it first, they might realize that looking elsewhere is just another form of rocking the boat.
For some, additional sexual relationships are sought because their primary relationship is failing. Their other options include putting extra effort into repairing their relationship or ending the relationship outright. Sadly, too many people think that these options are unacceptable, either because they involve too much work or because there may be a loss of self-esteem or worse, a hit to their public image. Like most people in most situations, a quick-fix or band-aid solution is sought.
Humanity's duplicity is nearly boundless and people always manage to convince themselves that they can keep their transgressions a secret. The endless parade of famous people being 'outed' doesn't seem to phase them in the slightest. Their ego is so powerful that it convinces them that those people were outed because they were 'careless idiots' while they themselves are 'world class covert operatives'. Eventually, everyone gets caught, even the ones that think they are getting away with it have probably been discovered (or at the very least suspected) -- their significant other has simply chosen to ignore the transgression(s) for one of hundreds of possible reasons.
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against promiscuity. Anything consensual and legal should be be fine. Engage in rapid fire serial monogamy if you want. Or go the whole nine yards and (p)lay the entire field at once. If any of your partners aren't aware of all your other partners, then you are cheating them and cheating on them. However, if you are going to enter a monogamous relationship it has to be more than nominally monogamous or monogamous until no longer convenient. If you have no intention of being monogamous, suck it up and be who you are. Don't go out of your way to hurt another human being just to satisfy some selfish and meaningless need to maintain a public image or deal with an identity issue. You don't deserve to be able to masquerade as someone you are not -- not when it involves someone else's life. In the unlikely event that you find someone else who is just as uncommitted to monogamy as you are and also wants a ruse of a relationship then fine! You're the lucky winner! But you had better be damned sure that you are both going into this with eyes open and complete honesty. If you want to be polyamorous, make sure all the people in your relationship want to be polyamorous and are not simply pretending to be poly because that's the only way they can be with the person with whom they really want to be monogamous. Anything less is pure indulgence of ego.
Then there is the other prevailing theory about sex, namely, that it is about power. I think that this is closer to the truth in modern society. Sex being about power doesn't necessarily mean about exerting power/control over someone else. It can also mean giving up power/control to someone else. So, strictly speaking, sex is about differential power dynamics. This is true in so many ways!
Wanting sexual power over someone else can be about boosting poor self-esteem or combating a general sense of powerlessness in our lives. Giving up sexual power to someone else can be about poor self-esteem, or more accurately poor self-image, or can be about guilt or a desire to be punished. In some cases, giving up sexual power is attractive simply because their everyday life affords them continuous opportunities to exercise power over other people's lives and they need a change. Powerful politicians. Extremely successful corporate executives. Law enforcement / corrections personnel. Even a professional dominatrix might seek a complete role-reversal in her private sexual life. Wielding such power tends to make them respect little other than power, so it makes total sense that they would only find a sexual partner attractive if they get sexually dominated by them.
FWIW, I should come clean and state openly that I get absolutely nothing out of differential power in sex. I have no desire to force my partner into a submissive stance. I have absolutely no interest in being forced into a submissive stance. For me, there is a certain partnership and responsibility to sex. In my world, there is no room for power or powerlessness, demeaning acts or acts of disrespect. If I hold you in such contempt that I want to hurt or embarrass you, I will do so completely independent of sex. (However, in my case this is incredibly unlikely, too. I'm just not that kind of person.) If I had such contempt or disrespect for myself, or a desire for pain, I would hurt myself without the use of a proxy/partner. (Actually, if I ever had such a low opinion of myself I'd probably end it. You know what I mean.)
Frankly, most sex acts have at least the potential to be about power. Check it out.
- Oral sex
Oral sex, in and of itself, is a very giving act. This could be considered differential powerlessness. Personally, I don't think it is generally about power. However, like most things in life, when taken to excess its nature completely changes.
For some people (generally men, but women with strap-ons apply too) receiving oral sex isn't the least bit passive. They do it aggressively. In their minds, if they aren't pulling hair painfully, or causing their partner to choke and gag, they aren't doing it right and get no/little pleasure from it. This is ALL about an exertion of power. It is demeaning and often painful for the person giving oral sex. As I stated earlier, they may actually want it this way if they want to be dominated or wish to give up their power but that want is of no concern to the aggressive partner. If their partner hates it, they may enjoy it even more.
- Facials and swallowing
To most people, facials are demeaning. Also, a lot of people are aroused by the visual display of external orgasms. It's a bit like fireworks. In general, the greater the flow and the more intense the contractions, the more pleasure the man feels. Seeing the evidence of the orgasm may increase that pleasure (feedback). For the recipient of the facial (female or male, it really isn't relevant) they may be quite aware of the implications of the 'fireworks'. They may derive pleasure from the knowledge that they are the cause of the pleasure their mate is experiencing. The greater the visual display, the greater the sense of accomplishment in pleasing their partner. That covers the positives about external orgasms.
But not all external orgasms have to be facials, in fact, none have to be. The visual display can be appreciated without the end result landing on someone's face. Facials are all about power. The man experiencing orgasm is the dominant partner and the recipient is the submissive. This may be completely consensual, or may be done out of a sense of duty and secretly hated. That is pretty much true about any dom/sub act. Intentionally aiming your fluids towards a person's eyes is in my opinion an incredibly aggressive and disrespectful act. Given the near complete lack of accuracy in their 'aim', especially given that muscle control breaks down at orgasm, aiming in the general direction of person's eyes (i.e. their face) is just as aggressive and disrespectful.
Something I will never completely understand is how some women actually want you to completely drench her face but if even the tiniest amount of fluid lands in her hair there will be hell to pay! Sorry, one inherently risks the other. Given the general lack of aiming ability, if you ask for one you have to accept your responsibility for the other result.
I'll also never completely understand the appeal of swallowing. I could care less. I suppose some men figure that if a woman is willing to consume your spunk it somehow means she's more into you than if she didn't. Here's a secret for you. If she's willing to consume your spunk it means she's into your spunk, not you. Either a woman will or she won't. It has very little to do with the intensity of feelings/emotions. I can understand the opposing view -- I get that women may think that men may figure that she's somehow more into him if she eats his seed. For most men, this is probably true! As I just stated, I think this belief is misguided and I believe a woman either has or has not learned to resign/accept/relish swallowing. There is no deeper meaning.
In general, I don't understand why for most people spunk is somehow different than other bodily fluids/excretions. For most people, blood, bile, mucous, vomit, urine and feces are deemed disgusting, but somehow spunk is okay. Frankly, I think the opposite view is more accurate, meaning that if you're squeamish about any of those things them you should be squeamish about all of them, and even spit, too! At least that is logical and consistent! Here's a newsflash you may not have heard. What do you think spunk is made of, anyway? Spunk is mostly a form of mucous (along with sperm and a few other minor fluid components)! If spunk is okay, why not suck the snot out of someone's nose, or let them hock up a loogie down your throat? (If I had been a woman, or gay, I'd be a total dodger! You probably figured that one out on your own.)
- Snowballing / swapping
Reasonably closely related to facials, snowballing already implies other sexual preferences. (Snowballing is the swapping of cum from one person's mouth to another.) It is really hard to separate snowballing from group sex. It is also hard to separate snowballing from spunk fetish. Both elements are pretty much required in order to be into snowballing. Snowballing's appeal is pretty much the same as for facials and swallowing. Therefore, the relationship to power is also pretty much the same.
What is good for the gander is also good for the goose. Some people are aroused by female orgasms that produce enough 'girl goo' to rapidly flow, or even be ejaculated, from a woman's vagina. Fundamentally, there is no difference in how this is interpreted compared to what was discussed above about facials. Squirting is visual evidence of the experience of pleasure and may therefore provide intellectual or emotional arousal for the partner.
Similarly, getting splashed can be a submissive act, but doesn't have to be. Since squirting can occur from manual stimulation, oral stimulation, or penile and toy insertion. Since it can be brought about by so many means, squirting isn't necessarily a submissive act. Given the variance in causation, squirting is not even always caught in the kisser. Squirting pretty much always involves even less ability to control or aim ejaculate than does male orgasm so getting splashed is always a risk any time you happen to be focused there. Here, it is pretty much only a submissive act if the recipient wants it to be a submissive act.
It is worth noting that many people (generally men) refuse to acknowledge the existence of female ejaculation. Many, many years ago, pornography actually helped society come to terms with the possibility, probability or fact (depending on your point of view) of squirting actually existing. In this era, most squirting ranged from slight sprinkles to ejaculations that just beat out the men in terms of distance and volume. It even became its own fetish/genre in pornography. However, like all good things, if there is a market for something and there isn't enough supply, you simulate the supply. In other words, marketing exploited it and turned it into something bad. Now, most depictions of squirting are fake. They depict one of two things: urination, or the forceful ejection of water that has been poured/sucked/pumped into a woman's vagina. It is not uncommon for squirting as depicted in pornography to involve enough fluid to completely dehydrate a woman and ejaculated distances in excess of 20 feet! Ceilings and wall beware! If you are into squirting in your porn, good luck finding the real thing as there is no distinction made by the industry between real and fake depictions of orgasms.
- Gang bangs
Gang bangs can be about power, but don't have to be. In fact, the power implications of gang banging is ambiguous. In general, a gang bang refers to a woman having sex with multiple male (generally a minimum of 3) partners with all sexual attention being focused on her. The sex roles are not hard or fast so gang bangs can be any group sex act with one focal participant, but for ease of language I'll assume multiple men with one woman.
In one sense, the woman can be considered submissive. She is allowing herself to be used in the most haphazard and disrespectful/demeaning/humiliating fashion to pleasure others. (Pleasuring her may or may not be a concern in a gang bang.) By suppressing personal need in favour of pleasing others this would be a submissive act.
However, when pleasing her is a concern, this could actually be considered empowering for her. She is in the dominant position because all other parties are focused on her. In rare cases, it can be that her sexual appetite is simply so vast that it takes multiple partners to satisfy her. Human biology influences this -- men typically do not have multiple orgasms and have a refractory period between each orgasm and their next ability to sexually perform again while women can go on indefinitely. Technically, dehydration and exhaustion may be the only limiting factors for women. In order to continually stimulate her over a long period of time, multiple men would become a requirement.
Since the relationship with power here is so ambiguous and varied, it might be best to say that the act is independent of power dynamics. It really is a matter of opinion.
Bukkake is a Japanese word that basically means "to dash", "splash" or "heavy splash". It refers to gang bang situations where the sole purpose is to ejaculate on the focal participant, again generally a woman. The woman's pleasure is almost never even a remote consideration. Men use the woman for stimulation and as a receptacle or depository for their loads. In some cases, making her gag or choke is also a goal. The woman may be naked or partially clothed but is often completely clothed. For pornographic depictions of bukkake, to make the experience more graphic and to maximize the humiliation factor the men hired generally produce far more than the human average amount of semen and are even encouraged to ejaculate more than once during the duration of the scene.
In pornography, the phenomenon originated in Japan but there is little evidence to suggest that it did not occur privately in other cultures. Certainly, the rest of the pornography world was quick to jump on board and produce their own bukkake domestically.
It is quite difficult to argue that this isn't 100% about male dominance over women. It takes the most disrespectful and humiliating aspects of facials and gang bangs and intensifies them. The fact that the pleasure or experience of the focal participant isn't even a remote concern for the other participants makes it even worse. The tendency for the woman to be clothed adds to the humiliation -- it is that much harder to clean up and leave the encounter with any dignity. Because this exploits the pervasive societal power dynamic (the dominance of men over women) it is more likely to be harmful than other forms of pornography.
It is worth nothing that there is something called 'reverse bukkake'. In this case the focal participant is generally a man and the other participants are women who can masturbate themselves to squirting orgasms. Given how female orgasms tend to involve much more fluid than male orgasms it could be argued that this is an even more demeaning form of sex. However, since the power dynamic runs counter to the pervasive power dynamic of society it is probably not harmful. (As mentioned earlier, it is worth noting that in pornography the depiction of squirting is often faked so reverse bukkake is quite often fake as well. Since it is difficult to tell or know for certain what you are actually seeing it helps if fans of reverse bukkake are also fans of water sports (see below). God help you if you aren't.)
- Water sports, scat, etc.
Since I just mentioned them above, I should tackle them next. I will never, ever, understand how anyone could find these things even remotely erotic. This is PURE POWER. I don't see how anyone could even try to argue that this isn't incredibly demeaning! Of course, for the people that enjoy it, that's the freaking point! I worry about people that could think so little of themselves as to want others to launch their waste by-products at them. Even worse are the people that actually consume it!
Don't get me wrong, I don't judge everybody. If you're a slave or refugee taking weeks to cross an ocean and you have nothing else, I can understand why you might become desperate enough to consume human biological waste. Short of that dire situation, I basically think you have to be insane to choose to do it. Perhaps I have a higher standard than the law does on what constitutes sanity.
Equally concerning is the person that wants to force others to wear or consume their waste. What kind of defect in character causes that desire? In my mind, it is a really short step from here to brutal physical assault, emotional abuse or murder. There is an inherent lack of respect for other human beings involved. This gets awfully close to sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder/dissocial personality disorder. I mean, if this is how you treat the people close to you, what exactly do you want to do to people you don't know? What happens when, god forbid, someone actually inconveniences you or ticks you off?
- Finger sucking
I suppose that finger sucking is a visual allusion to sucking...other things. Other than it's somewhat vague suggestive nature, I don't see the appeal. Here's something that I'll bet no one in the history of sex has ever considered. The hands are the dirtiest part of the body! The hands get into everything and are more exposed than any other body part and therefore tend to carry more germs and pathogens. If you don't wash your hands before sex (and who does? Sure, people may bathe or shower bu wash their hands?) then sticking your finger in someone's mouth is a stronger statement as "I want to make you sick" than "I like the way you look and get turned on when you suck my finger."
Given this little factoid, I find it hard not to consider sticking fingers in your partner's mouth a power trip. Further, some people aren't satisfied by extending a finger and letting their partner take it from there. They literally paw at their partner's face, sometimes using multiple fingers at once -- or even their entire hand -- and may even hook their fingers and force their partner's mouth open, perhaps even painfully so. This makes what might be considered a marginal power trip into a full blown disrespectful exertion of power.
- Anal sex
Is 99% or more of the appeal of anal sex the fact that it is taboo? Is the brain so overwhelmingly the dominant sex organ that our perception of pleasure is almost completely dependent upon doing something we think is naughty, or relatively naughtier? Some people will tell you that anal sex is better than vaginal sex because it is a tighter fit increasing friction and thus pleasure. This might be true in some instances but is hardly a universal truth. No, the real appeal is that we think we have robbed the cookie jar and are getting away with a 'sin'.
Personally, I don't know that anal sex is a sin. I'm really not a religious person. But is absolutely true that anal sex is a far, far greater risk than other forms of sex. The anus just wasn't designed for that kind of abuse. Even when bleeding isn't obvious, there are almost always micro-abrasions caused by the friction. Micro-abrasions are enough for the intermingling of bodily fluids and the transmission of disease. Were it not for anal sex, AIDS might never have entered the public consciousness or at the very least taken years or decades longer to become an epidemic. Yes, it can be passed through vaginal sex (though in this case disease transmission is almost exclusively from man-to-woman) but the chances are actually small unless the sex is relatively violent. In parts of the world where women have virtually no rights, and worse, receive virtually no respect (such as significant portions of Africa) sex can be brutal, so it is no wonder that disease is spread so commonly. (See the next item for more on this.) How do the men in Africa get AIDS to begin with? Drug use is pretty common in more urbanized areas. More significantly, it is fairly compelling evidence of how prevalent homosexuality and bisexuality are across all societies.
Don't get me wrong! Just because I'm not down with anal sex doesn't mean I'm anti-gay. As far as I'm concerned, homosexuality and anal sex are completely separate issues. It is not as though anal sex is the only sexual option for gay people! If people paid more than lip service to their religions and anal sex was actually avoided, even in homosexual relationships, AIDS would have been known primarily as a disease of drug abusers.
To me it is unbelievable how society -- that is men -- have almost completely rejected condom use. Given how little people pay attention to religion when it suits them (see anal sex) the excuse of condoms being against the tenets of religion is just that -- an excuse. The real issues are respect and pleasure. Given the choice between a 1% increase in potential for personal pleasure or demonstrating the slightest bit of respect for their partner almost all men will choose the 1% increase in personal pleasure. Frankly, I find it disgusting. I wish women had more self-respect and more power so they could tell these men to go fuck themselves, literally and figuratively. Heck, personal pleasure and respect for your partner isn't even the whole equation! There is the small matter of unwanted and perhaps financially/socially ruinous pregnancies! In fact, you could stack as many consequences as you wanted on that side of the equation and most men would still pick the purely selfish 1%. It is behavioural decisions like this that makes me believe that the sooner the human Y-chromosome becomes obsolete, the better! I hope we last long enough as a species to see this happen. (If men have their way we'll soon be extinct.)
If I thought it would help in the slightest, I would beg men to reconsider. Actually, for most men it wouldn't be a 'reconsider' situation as they never for a moment considered it in the first place! If they can't think of their partner with any semblance of respect, then let them think of how their mothers would have wanted to have been treated in this situation. (Most men have at least some vestigial respect for their mothers.) Again, if I thought it would help, I would implore women to not give in to men's whines, complaints and brutal selfishness. I think the bias against condom use is too ingrained in male culture for anything to change. If the threat of AIDS at the height of its scare didn't do the trick, nothing ever will.
- ATM (ass-to-mouth)
Men are pigs. This is almost a universal truth. Men think it is a turn on to fuck you in the ass and then stick their dick in your mouth. Everybody knows this is completely unsanitary (even when using enemas) so everybody knows this is an exertion of power. If on the other hand, the woman was wearing a strap-on and fucking her man up the ass and then tried to stick it in his mouth he'd freak! He might literally kill her for trying it. Of course, many men will beat the shit out of their female mate for even suggesting reversing roles! It is an affront to their 'masculinity'.
Men will **never** understand the difference between the perception of sex between the two sexes. Men just assume that, psychologically speaking, sex is exactly the same for women as it is for men. NOT EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE!!!!
For men, sex is an external act. For them, the integrity of their bodies isn't even a consideration! If anything, there is a psychological comfort of 'taking shelter' in another person's body. When the act is over, you withdraw, a quick wipe (or not), and it is over.
For women, sex is an internal act. The sanctity of their body is always violated. They have to come to terms with that at the onset of their sexual activity. Allowing someone into your body is a much, much more intimate experience than putting a portion of your body into someone else. (Frankly, the only thing remotely comparable is for a man to receive oral sex from a woman. There at least he has teeth to worry about.) It requires more trust. Further, when he vacates, he's left behind biological debris -- his seed -- a portion of himself. A woman has to work hard at cleansing herself after sex to become completely free of the act. Is it any wonder that men are generally far quicker to want to add sex to a relationship than women? Is it any wonder that by and large boys want sex before girls even though girls enter pubety before boys? If it weren't for the archaic and misogynistic social imposition of an inferior role upon women then all girls would come to sex later in life than boys!
Do I really need to explain how this fetish is 100% about power?
- Rape fantasy
Purely about power. Rape itself is more about power than sex so reducing it to fantasy is no different. Personally, I think that anyone that is into rape fantasy is a stone's throw away from committing rape or date rape or otherwise forcing themselves on an unwilling partner. In fact, they may have already done so in their lives, or worse, may be doing it on an ongoing basis. Why do I say this? If your brain is wired to be turned on by the scenario then it is turned on by the scenario. Whether it is real or simulated is not very relevant. The opposite isn't necessarily true. A true rapist might not enjoy rape fantasy as it is missing elements essential to his pleasure, such as legitimate fear.
Again, this one is pretty obvious. If you want to wear diapers and pretend to be your mates child instead of partner there is a clear power differential in the relationship.
In general, I don't think fetishism is necessarily about power, though it can be. In general, fetishism is an irrational association between a specific act or body part and masculinity/femininity/sexual attractiveness. Take foot fetishism for example. Being aroused by seeing a shapely foot, or even receiving a foot-job isn't, of itself, power based. On the other hand, wanting your partner to wear stilettos and walk on you is pretty clearly about submissiveness. Leg, stomach and ass fetishes don't really seem tied to power. Neither do pussy or clitoral fetishes. I suppose an argument can be made that men who like a woman with an exceptionally sized clitoris are somehow closet-gay. It's a pretty weak argument that I think is based on ignorance and discrimination. An argument can be made that breast fetishism is somehow related to mother-fantasy or infantilism but this too is a weak argument. It certainly isn't true for all breast fetishists. For some men, breasts (and breast size) are just a mark (or measure) of femininity, no different than wasp-waists or flaring hips. Other female-part fetishes are less common and there don't appear to be any obvious connections to power there either.
For women, I doubt that any of the various male-part fetishes have anything to do with power. An argument can be made that 'size queens' are into seriously hung guys because they want to be dominated, but this argument is not very persuasive. It is at least as likely that they simply derive more pleasure from the increase in friction due to the tighter fit. The fact that women who offer narrower, shallower canals are almost never size queens tends to support this view.
- Pregnancy and lactation
Pregnancy and lactation fetishes differ slightly from the others in that they are transitional states. They are fetishes that you are either into, or find disgusting and difficult to understand. They are also completely natural states of sexual being. Women frequently have an increased appetite for sex while pregnant. Similarly, women often report a sexual satisfaction in the act of nursing.
Perhaps more importantly, pregnancy and lactation are necessary facts of life for a vast majority of women. Even more significantly, women often tie pregnancy and lactation very closely to self-worth, self-esteem, body-image and other issues of identity. Also, pregnancy and lactation are supreme biological expressions of femininity. Unlike other bodily fluids, the purpose of milk is to be consumed, albeit by babies/toddlers.
As I stated, you are either into this or you tend to find it disgusting. There is a scientific basis for both reactions. Biologically, a man seeks sex to spread his seed as widely as possible. Greedy DNA and survival of fittest stuff. A woman who is already pregnant is a lousy choice for insemination as her current condition almost completely precludes her conceiving another child. So, given the biological roots of our sexual behaviour it makes sense for men to be turned off by pregnant women.
On the other hand, we are also social creatures. From the origins of our species and beyond we have always been so. Even before the rise of monogamy we generally mated and stayed together to raise our completely helpless young. If you find your own mate undesirable during pregnancy then you are placing a great amount of strain on the relationship! This is even more true when you consider the fact that many women experience an increase in libido during pregnancy! So, it makes complete sense to find your own mate desirable (perhaps even more desirable since she is carrying your progeny and you are therefore biologically strongly invested in her).
That's where things get murky. Monogamy is not a biological imperative, it is a social imperative. Since our biology doesn't automatically adhere to social imperatives we are free to think whatever we want about the desirability of women, regardless of whether or not they happen to be our mate. This means that: 1) some men will find strange pregnant women repulsive but their own pregnant woman attractive (quite rare); 2) some men will find all pregnant women to be generally repulsive (sadly for spouses, all too common); 3) some men will find all pregnant women to be generally attractive (perhaps not as common as it should be).
What is right and what is wrong? An examination of language would indicate that society has a preference for cases #1 & #3 over case #2. For example, pregnant women are often labeled 'beautiful', 'glowing' or 'vibrant', and may be described as being in the prime of their sexual powers. People tend to be absolutists rather than relativists, so case #1 is rare. Case #2 is the traditional, historical view for our society, but it is very slowly giving way to case #3 as women make gains toward social equality. For the health of families and relationships case #1 is ideal, but again is so rare it is silly to pin too many hopes for this to become the prevailing male attitude. Case #2 puts internal strain on relationships which is quite bad. It is what it is. Case #3 can put external strain on a relationship, however, for this to actually become a problem, pregnant women have to be fairly open to extracurricular relationships and relatively speaking, at this time of life they just aren't that interested -- in spite of elevated hormones! Accepting new sexual partners at this time is a very big risk for the health of the unborn child, both directly and indirectly, so the threat of case #3 being terrible for society is limited. There is a biological basis for this fear. Males of most species treat offspring that aren't their own differently than their own. It behooves the success of their DNA to destroy other male's children, born or unborn, and replace them with children of their own seed. In humans it seldom comes to the outright destruction of children but many men treat step-children and bastard children very differently than the would their own blood. Sadly, the occurrence of both sexual and physical abuse rise significantly for non-consanguineous children. For some men, the 'any child of yours is a child of mine' attitude is a completely foreign concept.
Which brings us to that other life stage, nursing. Sexual milk play could be a sign of female dominance and male submission, or it might simply be a form of intimacy, providing pleasure and/or bonding. I think that whatever power dynamics/differentials that exist in this sexual act is more in the intent of the participants than in the act itself.
- Face sitting and other smothering
Pure power dynamics, obviously.
Offhand, I can't think of any other forms of sex that have a power connection. I'm pretty sure feedback will suggest a few.
So, you can see that while I know a lot about sex I don't particularly understand it, at least not how it is practiced today. It seems to me that most power dynamic motivated sex is driven by men in their constant quest for power. In general, I don't get it, and I hope it never touches my life in any way.
The fact that sex is used as a weapon of power, especially by men, contributes heavily toward my opinion of them. It has gotten pretty negative over time. I just don't see how one can live in this world, witness all the differences in behaviour patterns between men and women and still have a positive opinion of men. Maybe it is because men have nearly all the power that men seem to be behind all the ills of society, from the minor to the monumental.
violence: mostly men
serial killers: almost exclusively men
demagogues: virtually all men
tyrants: virtually all men
zealots: mostly men
ideologues: mostly men
law breakers: mostly men
use of profanity: slight majority men
obscene wealth: vast majority men
public drunkenness: mostly men
drug use: slight majority men
public spitting: almost all men
public urination (not counting the homeless): mostly men
jaywalking/walking against traffic lights: significant majority men
warlords: almost all men
political corruption: mostly men
absolute egotism: mostly men
sociopathy: mostly men
hatred: slight majority men
protecting ignorance or pride in ignorance: mostly men
holding opinions without any supporting evidence: mostly men
violation of personal space: almost entirely men
organized crime: almost exclusively men
If you can think of an undesirable behaviour/act or unhealthy attitude it is probably dominated by or mainly perpetrated by men. There's an expression 'men behaving badly.' I contend that, with few exceptions, there really isn't any other kind of man! Is it any wonder that there are feminists that think that men are good for only two things? (Procreation and opening jars.) Why are men still in charge? If I were a woman I would die having never voted for a single male candidate for any position of authority even if I lived a thousand years. We've had the entirety of human history for men to get it right and not only aren't they getting it right yet, they're getting it wrong more often, faster and more absolutely than ever before! What women we've had in leadership positions have by and large been women who emulate male behaviour including and perhaps especially all its negative connotations. That appears to be the only way to get a man to treat a woman seeking authority with even a modicum of respect. Without his respect, you don't get his vote.
We need something different. We need a new kind of leadership. We need women who think like women running things for a while. How could anything be worse than it is today? (Some of the misogynistic excuses men have for not giving women power are pregnancy and PMS. I'll take a woman who has 24 great days and 4 PMS-influenced days out of 28 over a man who misbehaves 28 days out of 28. Increasingly, society is coming to grips with the idea that being a mother doesn't prevent a woman from doing anything, but there is still a long way to go in defeating the old perceptions.) If the worst comes to pass and they somehow find a way to screw things up worse than men have -- I find it more likely that dinosaurs will overrun the planet by 5pm tomorrow -- we can always toss them out and go back to the mess we have now. Or, we might find ourselves on the path to salvation -- wouldn't that be a pleasant change! Gender politics will probably prevent this from ever occurring until/unless mens' lives/welfare become completely contingent on the good nature of women. (e.g. the Y-chromosome fails entirely and men need to undergo gene therapy using women's donor cells just to live.) This, too, is less likely than dinosaurs overrunning the planet tomorrow.
All I can do is hope that the world comes to its senses. This assumes that the world has senses, and I'm coming to understand that it doesn't. Humanity is too foolish, too ignorant, too manipulated to come to its own defense. This applies to all forms of human leadership, economic policy, environmental policy and dozens of other key issues. It is probably the most in vain hope ever, but that is all I'm left with. In the end, that is all anyone is left with. I am one, you are many. Go do something about it.