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Archive for the Fuckbucket

FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “Is polyamory a sexual orientation or more like a lifestyle choice?”

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: strap in, we’re going for a ride.

For the sake of accuracy, I should point out that this question posits sexual orientation as being intrinsic ("nature"), by contrasting it with “lifestyle choice” (a conscious decision or choice, something that can be changed, "nurture" in the classic debate). This stance is still occasionally under discussion, both in queer culture and in society at large, though it's less fiercely debated than it used to be. I’ll tell you in a little bit why I don’t think it matters.

This question pops up a fair bit at parties or at polyamory munches or online discussion forums. I personally think that any sexual behavior has both an orientation component (“nature”) and a social/cultural component (“nurture”). You’re born with a capacity for the thing, but your upbringing and other personal/social/cultural circumstances will determine how you decide to act on it or manifest it, and even whether or not you even notice it as a possibility for yourself.

I hold my answer to be true not only for this question, but also for any other question about whether any given non-mainstream sexual behavior or activity or identity is an orientation or a lifestyle choice.

These things are complicated, and also vary from person to person. One person may believe strongly that they have always been polyamorous and never had a moment’s doubt about it, while another person may have never really thought about it until they met a potential partner who was, and then they read up about it and went to munches and talked to people about it and tried on polyamoury and found that it was a fine way to conduct relationships, if they wanted to, but it was just one thing in their relationship toolkit, not essential, just handy if they happened to fall in love with a polyamorous person.

But.

I confess I do sometimes wonder about why this question gets asked, because I have seen what happens in socio-political movements sometimes. It’s a short little process that goes something like this:

  1. People in the group try to find proof or arguments that the thing they are talking about is intrinsic and “born with.” They are helped by the fact that scientific research into these identities often picks up when the identities in question are starting to make waves in the larger culture. We saw this a lot with gay and lesbian movements in the last thirty years; the trans movement has also been subjected to this. Being "born that way” is a crucial component to the next step…
  2. Armed with the proof that they were “born that way,” people’s pleas for tolerance can then be justified. Who would be so cruel as to deny folks their rights to just be? (Turns out lots of people.)

In other words, this question so often seems to be a prelude to “don’t deny me my rights, I was born like this.”

Do you see what a bullshit construct this is. We know that things that absolutely, incontrovertibly are intrinsic parts of a person—skin color, where someone was born, etc—are easily used against individuals. And we also know that in some places, there are lifestyle choices—religion, having children, even (in the US) owning guns—that are fiercely protected as inviolable. What aspects of a person’s identity are important enough to be defended in court are simply subject to the winds of politics and public opinion.

So I hold to the radical option of IT DOESN’T MATTER how you got to be you, as long as you’re not hurting anyone nor trying to use your views to change anyone else’s behavior. Doesn’t matter if you were sneaking kisses with multiple other kids in kindergarten, or you took the workshop last week and are giving it a go because you like the conferences.

Whether it’s intrinsic or a lifestyle choice, IT’S ALL FINE, and should not be the basis for stigma, prejudice, or discrimination.

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: how do I get my wife to embrace her amazing ability to squirt?

How do I get my wife to embrace her innate, wonderful, amazing ability to squirt? (Every time. it's amazing. but she's embarrassed.)

There are some things that I do during sex. I don’t even deliberately do them, they are just part of my array of physical reactions, like sweating or my pussy lubing up or my chest flushing like a polluted-sky sunset when I orgasm. I have no control over them, they just happen.

If my partner went on about any of these, I would get really annoyed, really quickly.

The way that you write about this feels just a touch fetishizing, is my point. Your wife didn’t learn to squirt; it’s just the way her bits are set up. She’s probably tired of soaking through towels or having to buy puppy pads or whatever she has figured out to do to accommodate this aspect of her sex response. Do you praise her for squirting every time? Stop. Take a break from that while you figure out other strategies, because if she’s embarrassed and having other emotions, your lavish enjoyment is pretty likely to kick up some push-back.

The whole situation is complicated by, well, how complicated societal response is to manifestations of women’s sexuality. On the one hand, women are told in mainstream sex media (Cosmo and other “advice” purveyors) that they should be able to squirt, and there are ways of learning to do this, and what kind of uptight prude are you if you can’t? On the other (sticky) hand, and in the broader media, women are shamed for natural bodily traits or functions like discharge spots on knickers or floppy labia or gushy orgasms. (This is very much slut-shaming, by the way, in which neutral physical traits have become symbols for "loose woman.")

Your wife may have internalized that dichotomy—sexually liberated woman vs soaked-sheets whore, all for a quality that she doesn’t actually control—and so this whole topic is going to be a fucking mess. But you can’t “get” your wife to do anything with her own attitudes about her own body; you can only be supportive. What does that look like?

I would definitely focus for the foreseeable future on mixing up your praise repertoire: make sure you are TALKING ABOUT THINGS OTHER THAN HER SQUIRTING FUNCTIONALITY. What other things about her body do you like? What are things she actually does sexually that you like? Is she a champion deep-throater? Are her nipples unbearably nommable? Make sure you tell her about those things!

Check your own behavior around her squirting: don’t sniff the towels, don’t gleefully dance off to the washing machine with the soaked sheets. And don’t try to hide your love of her squirt in euphemisms like, “I love how juicy you are.” She knows what you’re talking about, and she’s heard it before. I know this may feel like you are repressing your own sexual enjoyment, but if you know she doesn't like to hear it and you keep talking about it, you're kinda being an asshole. If you sincerely want to be present for your wife around this, you have to turn off the spotlight of your attention and leave room for her complicated feelings.

After you’ve dialed back on the squirty love for a little while, maybe consider asking your wife what’s going on when she gets embarrassed. Don’t have this convo right after she gushes; maybe leave it for the post-coital cool-down period, when everyone’s got their favorite hot beverage and you’re basking but you've got your verbal skills back. Ask her something like, “I’ve been wondering, sweetie, you often seem to have strong emotions about your squirt, and I don’t understand. Can you tell me a little more about that? What is going on in your head during that time?”

(I should mention that in general I would prefer to have this sort of conversation about sexual issues outside the bedroom and not immediately following sex, but I’m not recommending that here because if you aren’t regularly checking in with your wife in this way, this will not be the best time to start.)

Just keep your questions gentle and open-ended. If you want to be supportive, you need to get a better idea of what is actually happening for her emotionally. At the same time, be prepared to drop it, if she’s not down with talking about it yet. Just let her know that you’re ready to listen, and then go back to gushing about things other than her squirt.

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “how do I get this glitter out of my cervix?”

The quandaries of festival sex: HOW DO I GET THIS GLITTER OUT OF MY CERVIX???!!!

If you’re having painful penetrative sex post-festival, and you feel pretty sure that extreme intra-vadge glitter is the culprit, I would get thee to a doctor and ask for their opinion. My general understanding is that vaginal douching is a terrible thing—it would just push glitter further up, for starters, and irritate the membranes—but I imagine that it might be medically necessary in some specific instances, and the doctor would be able to advise on best practices, if not actually do the procedure for you.

If you’re NOT in pain, and you’re just worried that every time you wipe after peeing you’re getting glitter on the TP, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Burlesquers and strippers have been living with glittery bits for ages. A well-functioning vagina has mucous that will keep the glitter moving along.

This question made me think of all of the other challenges of festival sex, and what are some preventative measures that festival-goers should take:

  • MUD IN ORIFICES (or playa dust, for Burners). This is kinda unavoidable, when you’re doing the deed out in nature. However, you can minimize the impact by reducing the exposure of your fucking area to the elements (e.g. a tent) and keeping a wash cloth or sponge and a bit of clean water aside to wash up before and after, whatever your bits are. If you have a good way to keep your garbage together, there are wipes for before/after that work. I will say that the idea of having certain kinds of sex, like butt sex, out in festival conditions makes me feel a little queasy—like there is no way to be as clean as I need to be—but you do you, darling. Just remember that you’re not going to have running water anywhere near you.
  • Drink enough water for a number of reasons, not the least of which is keeping your pussy in proper working order (natural lube!). And normal pounding sex can be exhausting under normal conditions, never mind when you’re tired and hungover and layering more booze or drugs on top of that.
  • 99 percent of festival goers the world over agree: clothes are a pain in the ass when it comes to fest-sex. They get in the way, and if they don’t get lost or left in a stranger’s tent, they get juicy spots on them that are not going to smell or look nice after 72 hours of not washing. Consider going commando, and definitely pack in skirts, whatever your gender, if you know you want to be fooling around. Skirts or kilts are the ultimate easy-access sex attire.

Y’all, these are clearly a very specific set of circumstances that I will, god willing, never be in again (I went to Burning Man in 1999 and 2001). I am not a neat freak, but I do like a shower nearby for freshening up as and when needed, and that is not something one can really expect at a festival. So all I can say, when I look at the issues of glitter vadge and spoogy fest clothes is: good luck, and isn’t that the sort of thing you like to tell stories about anyway?

*****

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “Do threesomes live up to the fantasy?”

Do threesomes live up to the fantasy?

Short answer: they can, but often don’t.

Long answer: Ooh boy.

Without any context or background knowledge—the anonymity of the Fuckbucket being mostly, but not entirely, a blessing—I do not know exactly what threesome fantasy we’re talking about here. Threesome fantasies vary, depending on the orientation and fucking style of the person doing the fantasizing. There's no one threesome fantasy, and some of them are probably more achievable than others.

Like, I personally have fantasized for at least a decade about being spit-roasted (two dicks, at least one belonging to a cis guy), with other combinations of genitals being at most half as interesting to me. In my experience and current network, though, it's not that easy to find cisgender dudes who both like pussy and are actually okay (as in, keeping-hard levels of okay) with more than one dick in the room. Conversely, I’m not sure if as many straight men fantasize about it as our collective sex consciousness would indicate, you know, two hot bi cis ladies converging hungrily on that magnificent cock , but… yeah, I’ve heard enough guys talk about it to know that the number is statistically significant. AND AT THE SAME TIME, we bi women are all over the place, but we're not automatically down with that particular configuration. No, not even for you.

Setting logistics aside—which you actually can't—I suspect threesomes succeed or go south for the same reasons that two-person couplings do: communication, or lack thereof. However difficult or scary it is for two people to "use their words," trying to get three or more people on the same page is exponentially more so.

The problem is that people really deconstruct the fantasy all the way to the base. It’s not just getting two babes of your preferred gender mackin’ on your hot body and on each other. We develop a lot of our fantasies from pop culture, and Hollywood would have us believe that sex happens organically, maybe with some extra drinking**, but definitely with a minimum of talking. According to that manufactured fantasy, negotiating sexual encounters is awkward and makes for boring scripts. Sexy times are supposed to just EMERGE, ruffling the white gauzy curtains and turning on some lovely rose-coloured lighting on their way in.

And also, sexy times are supposed to just drift away afterward. I suspect that a lot of people, in any constellation of coitus, don’t deal with post-coital feelings very well. With established couples inviting a third in, there’s the strong potential of jealousy, plus that third person feeling maybe a little left out. With solo or otherwise non-hierarchical folks setting up the scene, perhaps that reduces the possibility of feeling threatened in one’s existing relationship, but…

I am not the person to answer this question. I’ve tried threesomes exactly four times. Only once did the mechanics actually work out, but even in that case I felt a little manipulated, like I was doing it to please my partner at the time more than for my own pleasure. The rest of the cases were either insufficiently communicated, or poorly planned. I do not have what I would consider a truly successful threesome under my belt.

I suspect that threesomes can live up to the fantasy, but you have to be hella good communicators, all three of you, before, during, and after.

** (In actual fact, I would suggest that booze complicates threesomes. It might feel easier, while you’re flirting and chatting and pushing annoyed party-goers off the couch, but you might be muddying the waters of real consent and not be making the best decisions at that moment.)

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “Watching/being watched?”

Watching/being watched?

Such a seemingly simple, seemingly binary question to pull out of the Fuckbucket a couple of weeks ago. In the heat of the moment, with fifty people laughing, I went straight for the answer that made the most immediate sense. Watched, of course. I want to be doing, I said. I want to be throwing the goddamn party, or at least be an integral part of it.

But it’s not that simple, this question and sex, the sex that I like to have, at least. Yes, I want to be watched, but whoever is doing the sex with me, their watching me is the most important. And yes, I want to be watched, but you best believe I have my eyes open at least part of the time, and that a good part of my pleasure is gained from watching my lover watching me, an echoing eyeful of erotic bliss, an “I-know-you-know-I-know-you-know exactly how much I love this” moment.

Watching, you see, is not a passive thing. Those of us in live performance know this, that the quality of observation can be quite different between two people sitting right there in the same row. One person is seeing you only. You may be shimmying or orating or slamming down a prop right there and they are seeing that happen, but it’s a surface sense, a passive view. They won’t remember 30 minutes after they leave the room what you were doing. And then the other person. They’re seeing you, too, but they’re watching as well, actively engaged. They may be leaning forward, even, craning to hear every word, and you can see in their reactions, their facial expressions, that they are right there with you.

Before I understood the different kinds of viewing energy in theatre, I knew about them in sex. Or maybe it was sex performance. Here, let me explain:

When I used to go around to the Power Exchange in San Francisco—when I lived two and a half blocks away and it was an easy walk over, even in high heels—I would occasionally climb up into a sex sling in the basement areas and masturbate, separated by a chain-link fence from a stream of mostly naked humanity. I was new to kink and fetish, and newly discovering cock, and this just seemed like a good, safe way of getting to explore a bit of both.

Even in the dim basement lighting, I could mostly see the men who stopped to jerk off in front of my “station,” and mostly they were just staring right into my cunt, seeing that display, watching my fingers move. I liked this okay, but I was always looking for someone who could manage to set up a visual connection, eye-to-eye, without words AND while tracking all the activity happening in that sex sling at once.

These people could watch my face, gaze into my eyes, and then tear away from the eye contact to look back at what my fingers. And I in turn could see their cocks get harder as they jerked it, seemingly transfixed, for the moment, by my pussy pounding activity. But they always managed to tear themselves away, look back into my eyes, see me get excited and then that in turn, back and forth, watching and watched… only a handful of people of the hundreds who passed me during the eight months i hung out at the Power Exchange ever stepped into that connection, but it was beautiful when it happened, so I didn’t mind the rarity.

Watching/being watched?

Actually, now that I think about it, I want both.

*****

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “My husband thinks it’s a great idea” (I bet)

I couldn't post this last Friday, because the UK went slightly sideways after the genital erection, er, general election. It's still sideways, to be honest, but life and sex go on. Let's dig into the Fuckbucket!

“Is it okay to invite my friend and her boyfriend to our party mainly because I really want to shag her boyfriend?! (My husband thinks it’s a great idea!)”

Hello, lovely Fuckbucketeer! Thank you for helping me illustrate that a lot can be read into Fuckbucket submissions, even if they’re hella short and written in not very legible pencil.

For example, the way you punctuated the bit in parentheses makes me think your husband is not an unbiased observer in this situation. I mean, I’m glad that the two of you are on the same page about your open relationship, and that he’s excited about the prospect of you getting some, but… he seems to be really excited about it, so I think maybe don’t listen to your husband on this one.

Let me note also the specific way that you asked what I thought about this. You did not ask “is it bad” or “is it wrong.” You asked “is it okay,” which means that, at least subconsciously, you are expecting/hoping/wanting me to answer yes, it’s okay.

I hate to pop your bubble, but the answer is no: it is not okay to invite your friend and her boyfriend to a party so that you can pounce on her boyfriend.

Fuckbucket questions are of necessity brief and lacking in context—like, there is nothing in your question that concerns their feelings or availability—but here’s a true thing: if you don’t know whether or not they have an open relationship, or you know definitively that they don’t have an open relationship and you just want to make a cheating move, well, you’re a shithead.

Sadly, the strategy you would like to implement is not any more acceptable if your friend and her shaggable sweetheart do have an open relationship. If you don’t know and like them enough to want to invite them to your party for their own sakes, regardless of outcome, then that’s a little weird. Or it could become weird.

Because honestly, I have to wonder about your ability to implement your strategy in an emotionally intelligent way. If you invite them mostly to get into his pants, I don’t think you’d be able to hide where your focus is. Some people could do that—flirt with the guy without making the girlfriend jealous and/or suspicious—but I don’t think you are one of those people. I suspect your friend would figure it out within 30 minutes, between you making unrepentant cow eyes at her lover and your guy standing around watching the scene unfold like his own personal porno.

You can avoid any potential ethical dilemmas here in just one easy step: Ask your friend and her lover about this shit before the party. Stepping into unknown sex and/or relationship territory after everyone’s had a few drinks is a bad idea. Have this conversation sober. If you don’t know your friend well enough to have this conversation sober? You don’t really know her well enough for this to be an ethical option.

*****

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “How many dates before you bring out the strap-on?”

“How many dates before you bring out the strap-on?”

Lovely Fuckbucketeer, let me put one thing out there first: surprise strap-ons are never the way to go. Anything penetrative and/or dick-shaped is usually going to be a strongly individual preference or anti-preference, shall we call it. I’m sure you were speaking metaphorically, and not advocating slipping your detachable penis into the action without checking first. I just want to make sure that my readers understand this too.

Anyway, once we take stealth dick out of the equation, when you introduce your willy depends on two things:

  • How do you define “dates”?
  • How important is the strap-on to your sex life?

If by “dates,” you mean more traditional courtship, like coffee dates and dinner-and-a-movie dates, maybe a snog on the couch or whatever, then you would wait until you’re having one of those important conversations, about wanting to have sex with each other and oh, shit, that’s on the table now, we need to sort out a little about what we want to do to each other.

Whether you have sex on the first date or wait six months, you should still eventually have a conversation, either online or in person, about what kind of sex you want, ideally before you actually get down to fucking. This is the time to bring up your sweet, sweet harness of hotness. If strap-on sex is more of a sometimes treat for you—the frequency depending on how much your partner digs it, if at all—it’s okay to wait until you’re a little further along, but again, talk first, don’t just strut out of the bathroom wearing it.

Alternately, try the ol’ sex-toy tour approach, and include the harness and dildo(s) as part of that tour. Pour a couple of glasses of wine, or make up some lovely hot chocolate, get comfortable on the sofa, and take turns cracking open your toy boxes! (Obviously, you’ll have wanted to double-check that everything is clean and well-stored before you display it like that). Even if your partner doesn’t go straight for the strap-on, you’ll find that a little bit of show-and-tell with your toys makes it easier to talk about the options. Take turns telling anecdotes, maybe dry-demonstrating anything that the other person hasn’t seen. This is possibly the best way to share your strap-on proclivities, or really any proclivities that involve particular object: showing off the object itself, and not in action.

If the strap-on is extremely important to you, as in, you never have sex without it, your best bet for dating would be environments where it is acceptable and appropriate to mention your strap-on right up front: sex- or kink-focused dating apps or web sites, queer orgies, after-hours room parties at sex-ed conferences. Put it in your bio for those environments, hell, take some strap-on selfies so that you’re not even going to have to worry about counting dates before letting people know; people will just know. This way you can be sure that you are attracting only people who like to receive strap-on action, and you can avoid at least one potentially awkward conversation about your silicone shlong.

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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “Can you love someone else when you’re not able to love yourself”

Welcome to "From the Fuckbucket," my newest experiment in blog subseries, in which I respond more fully to anonymous questions deposited in the Fuckbucket at Smut Slams.

If anyone thinks that Smut Slams are pure, unadulterated filth, just non-stop sexual sewage filling up the room, let me disabuse you of that notion. Sometimes we get tender questions in the Fuckbucket, like this one:

“Is it possible to love someone else when you’re not able to love yourself?”

Short answer: yes, and it’s necessary.

Long answer:

There are many ideas out there in self-help land that are actually not very helpful, ideas like “you attract the things that you think about,” or “if you focus really hard, you can feel money actually vibrating,” or “if you eat nothing but cabbage soup for the next three weeks you will finally be over your childhood trauma and coincidentally lose some weight, which is only a symbol of your baggage, of course you don’t care about losing weight, that’s so shallow, but HOORAY, you’ll be able to fit into your high school prom dress again, YOU WILL FINALLY BE FREE.”

The notion that you have to healed from a world of self-doubt before you can love anyone else falls in this category of bullshit things.

First of all, “loving yourself” is not a final destination. It is not a perfect ending place. No one gets there and they’re done. The world would never allow that. There are always things to fight against, to keep from internalizing. Our society is built on us continually teeter-tottering, finding new things to hate about ourselves and then seeking other things to make ourselves feel better.

There will be points in that journey, perhaps whole vast stretches, where we don’t love ourselves, not even half-way, where we are struggling to see any good in ourselves at all. At those times, I believe, not only is it possible to love someone else, but it’s essential.

Loving someone else is practice in being merciful. I personally am so much easier on friends for things that I would metaphorically flay myself for. I can fucking stew in my own juices for weeks or months about trifling mistakes, rehashing the situation over and over again and actually losing sleep over it. But when a loved one fucks up, I will go to extra trouble to persuade them that it’s not such a big deal (and really it isn’t). Something about that extra distance gives me perspective and space.

This is why you can love someone when you can’t love yourself. There is more room in your heart for other people. More importantly, in answer to this Fuckbucket question, it gives you practice in making more room in your heart. When you love other people, give them the support and encouragement and forgiveness, you are practicing that skill, of loving in spite of “imperfection.” You are practicing holding multiple and possibly contradictory ideas in your head at once about the other person: they are fucked up in some ways, but they are still worthy of my love. And someday, hopefully soon and often, hopefully when you need it, you will see that you are just like them, in that way.

Here’s the thing: I believe practicing that generous, forgiving love with people eventually helps us make room for loving ourselves in that same way. Doesn’t have to—lots of people don’t make that psychological leap—but it certainly can.

So please: if you are holding back from new or ongoing relationships because you are feeling bad about yourself: don’t. I mean, do get your counseling or your meds on and talk with someone. Loving other people should not be your escape hatch from dealing with your own stuff. But don’t automatically cut yourself off from the beautiful flow of humanity because you have something “flawed” to offer.

You are totally good enough for love.

(For people who are totally looking for steaming-hot ridiculous filth, don’t worry. The same Fuckbucket that gave us that question, also yielded up a detailed question about differences in the cum of my different lovers, as well as a confession about falling asleep with a butt plug in.)

 

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