Metafilter: civil discourse August 6, 2007 1:06 PM   Subscribe

This sequence of comments (subject matter aside) embodies what I've always liked about Metafilter.
posted by pantsrobot to Etiquette/Policy at 1:06 PM (96 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

It embodies what I was first drawn to about metafilter, as well. I wonder sometimes if it's just because I've been around here too long that I feel like this kind of thing doesn't happen that often anymore, or if it's about the same as it always was.
posted by shmegegge at 1:19 PM on August 6, 2007


Since I posted that thread, I will take this MeTa thread as a personal compliment. All commenters hereinafter owe me a drink, a dollar, or a diamond tiara, take your pick.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:24 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


jonmc's comment in that thread is what I like about MeFi.
posted by smackfu at 1:54 PM on August 6, 2007


*places tiara atop ThePinkSuperhero's head*

The fact that we have a MetaTalk category for "etiquette" in the first place speaks volumes about our commitment to non-asshat-itude.
posted by mdonley at 2:18 PM on August 6, 2007


Since I posted that thread, I will take this MeTa thread as a personal compliment. All commenters hereinafter owe me a drink, a dollar, or a diamond tiara, take your pick.

I think you've got that backwards, TPS. You're supposed to buy everyone in this thread a drink. Think of it as your "hole-in-one" celebration. Btw -- I'll be having a 'Pink Pussy Cat.'
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on August 6, 2007


smackfu: the term 'second-homeless' came from an old Rolling Stone article by PJ O'Rourke (I think). It just seemed like an appropriate time to use it.
posted by jonmc at 2:20 PM on August 6, 2007


I've checked this site pretty much daily for the last 6 years and this is a huge part of what keeps me here. More than any other place that I've come across on the internet, it reminds me of the best bits of usenet.
posted by Kattullus at 2:23 PM on August 6, 2007


I am so ordering a Pink Pussy Cat the next time I go out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:26 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Since I posted that thread, I will take this MeTa thread as a personal compliment. All commenters hereinafter owe me a drink, a dollar, or a diamond tiara, take your pick.

How about a pearl necklace? One bird, two giant stones.

The frogurt is also cursed.

posted by loquacious at 2:44 PM on August 6, 2007


No, but nice try. If nice = creepy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:59 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, that was pretty creepy. So are diamond tiaras.
posted by loquacious at 3:22 PM on August 6, 2007


Errrr, I know that people usually say this about vague call-outs, but I think it applies to this call-in, too:

What, exactly, about the linked comments makes you feel the way you do?
posted by 23skidoo at 3:42 PM on August 6, 2007


They used the word "sir" a lot and never actually resorted to violence. It was a comedy of manners, really. Quite droll.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:56 PM on August 6, 2007


I feel like this kind of thing doesn't happen that often anymore, or if it's about the same as it always was.

I think it's about the same as always -- people do change their minds, listen to others, discuss things in a friendly way, show respect and stuff. Not as often as would be optimal, yes, but more often than many other places around the net, certainly. The total volume of words is more than it ever has been, though, so I think it feels a little less common, is all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:18 PM on August 6, 2007


Since I posted that thread, I will take this MeTa thread as a personal compliment.

It all evens out in the end, because some of the comments to your post today reminded me of some of what I've always hated about Metafilter.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:22 PM on August 6, 2007


Yeah, I think that's kind of why I reacted to your tiara request so badly, TPS. That Nick Starr post sucks, and I was frustrated. I'm scratching my head and wondering why you posted that.

A possible suicide? Some random (and disturbed) dork? A Twitter page? It's all so gossipy. Icky.

Up until now my only exposure to Twitter was the random blurbs on Popurls and other sites, and trying not to hear people talking about it.

It can't die fast enough. I thought blog posts once a day about the mundaneness in peoples lives was more than enough. This... this is an argument for the systemic planetary eradication of humanity.
posted by loquacious at 4:35 PM on August 6, 2007


*checks pantsrobot's user number*

STFU, n00b!
posted by Eideteker at 4:43 PM on August 6, 2007


Nooo, you beat me by 9 days.
posted by pantsrobot at 4:51 PM on August 6, 2007


loquacious: Whatever. Justify it all you want. The fact of the matter is, I'm a real person, and you're a real person, and you said, hey, how about I cum all over your neck? To say it was a joke is one thing, but to say, oh, I did it because *I didn't like your FPP*? You could have written me an e-mail, or IMed me, or called me out on Metatalk; I can take it. But to say the gross thing you said? You owe me an apology.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:56 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I feel like this kind of thing doesn't happen that often anymore, or if it's about the same as it always was.

I think it also depends on the subject material at hand and who's arguing. Certain (controversial) posts tend to be a lot more heated than others. Poo gets flung around a lot more in such threads and instead of flushing (as happened in the noted comments), someone else throws the poo back.

Note that I don't think it's a case of "MeFi can't do 'x' threads!!!" Rather, as the same regurgitated shit gets thrown around in certain kinds of threads, the chances are increased that much more of the shit hitting the roof. It's purely a statistical thing.
posted by jmd82 at 4:58 PM on August 6, 2007


I'm a real person, and you're a real person, and you said, hey, how about I cum all over your neck?

Yeah um, loquacious? Not so much with the "let me ejaculate on you" because you don't like someone's post in the future, okay? Seriously.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:02 PM on August 6, 2007


This thread is like a ride on the subway.
posted by four panels at 5:06 PM on August 6, 2007 [3 favorites]


You vulgar people with your Jackson Pollock semen comments and faux-self-topping twits FPPS are ruining the commendatory callout for my classy conduct!

And IRFH nails it, nothing adds class like a couple of "Sir"s.
I got class coming out my ass, I do.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:08 PM on August 6, 2007


I apologize, ThePinkSuperhero. It was uncalled for and juvenile. And gross.

The offensive comment may stand as record that I can be a real asshat, not just a pretend one. It's no excuse, but I have something else on my mind stressing me out.
posted by loquacious at 5:10 PM on August 6, 2007


It's no excuse, but I have something else on my mind stressing me out.

No, seriously. I've had the wind knocked the fuck out of me a few times in the past few months, to the point I was having pretty serious suicidal ideations about two weeks ago.

While I'm climbing out of said hole, this gossipy trivialization of suicide struck a deep nerve.

posted by loquacious at 5:14 PM on August 6, 2007


*hugs loquacious*
posted by ztdavis at 5:35 PM on August 6, 2007


Yeah. *hugs loquacious*
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:39 PM on August 6, 2007


loq: know that there is and always has been more wonder in this universe than we will ever know. Someone wiser than me said that.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:40 PM on August 6, 2007


I've been where you are, loquacious, quite recently. Know that it passes.
posted by Kattullus at 5:49 PM on August 6, 2007


Pretty bad day today.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:51 PM on August 6, 2007


I have a problem with that thread simply because it would have taken only a little more digging to come up with that forum thread that says, no, he's not dead after all. And the first comment on that digg article that says pretty much the same thing. I don't really like the "this guy's a fuckstick" type comments either but I don't think people really think about that shit before they post it.
posted by puke & cry at 6:01 PM on August 6, 2007


I thought you gave a pearl necklace to someone when you liked what they'd done.

I'd give you all pearl necklaces, except I'm so OCD, I'd have to make sure the pearls were all evenly spaced and of ascending size as you got closer to the front-center. Which is hard to do when you're manically gushing jism all over the ones you love because you're overcome with how they make you feel.

But rest assured, I feel that way about each and every one of you.
posted by Eideteker at 6:02 PM on August 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


sheesh, I am so oblivious, I would be all, "cool, I like pearls..."
I never heard that phrase before. Better to be educated here, I guess...
posted by madamjujujive at 6:22 PM on August 6, 2007


How about a pearl necklace? One bird, two giant stones.

The frogurt is also cursed.
posted by loquacious at 2:44 PM on August 6 [+] [!]


Are you guys serious? This is clearly a fun jibe. Kinda like when I call my wife the "C" word when she knows I'm pulling her leg.

Big kudos to loquacious for being a stand-up guy and apologizing. (Whether it was really necessary or not.)

Those links heading this post are just a few examples of how MeFites can really be cool. I get some shit from people sometimes, and usually I clearly deserve it. Over all, you guys are a great group of people. It took a few/couple years of lurking, but I'm proud to be a real-life $5 member!

Cheers! (No, I'm not drunk, just a little meloncholy-I loves you guys.) And hang in there LOQ.
posted by snsranch at 6:27 PM on August 6, 2007


wow, the wikipedia article even has a photo (nsfw, sort of).
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 PM on August 6, 2007


I'm mad at loquacious 'cause now I can't get that goddamned ZZ Top song out of my head.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2007


The title of this thread is Civil Discourse, and then somebody has to go and ruin it. I guess it's safe to say there are good things and bad things on this site every day, and they run smack dab into one another with great consistency.
posted by Roger Dodger at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2007


Thanks for calling my attention to that thread. It gave me an opportunity to talk about a weird period of my life I don't even attempt to talk about anymore. Maybe in the context of that thread, what I have to say will make sense. I feel about money the way that I feel about the weather. You can change the weather, so to speak, by moving to a place with a different climate. But most of us have more important things that matter to us than the weather, so we accept the weather as something that happens to us. Money happened to me, I didn't try to keep it, it was weird and profoundly different in one way and entirely undifferent in another. In the end, it really didn't matter at all, though I suspect that observers might think differently. And that chasm between me and what other people think and what I though before it happened has always been the motivation for me to try to talk about it. But that chasm always has meant that I couldn't effectively discuss it with anyone, because our experiences are so different.

Well, anyway. Per loq's mention of his recent situation, when I was the most flush with wealth was also, unrelated, the last time that I was suicidal. Badly enough that I voluntarily went into the hospital, twice, for one-week stays. I recall being awake in my bed, feeling profoundly awful and thinking about suicide and realizing that in the sense of money buying happiness right then that I could pretty much pay to do anything at that moment I might want to do: buy a fancy sports car, travel around the world, anything within the range of a few hundred thousand dollars in cash, and that it didn't help anything at all. Money can't buy happiness, not even on an emergency basis. Of course, it can buy things that might help lead to happiness, but then that requires the same sorts of decisions that don't themselves require money.

Money and possessions aren't important. I'd say that the people in your life and your relationship with them are what's important. Except that it was my failed relationship which formed the basis of that past depression, so it must be said that you can't have the good without the bad. But it's worth it for the good, I think.

Loq, and anyone else in similar situations, I'd say that the funny thing about living this life is that while you're not as important as you might think you are in the context of being the star of your own big-budget movie and you save the world and everyone loves you (or, conversely, you're the tragic figure that everyone is fascinated with), it's also the case that you're not the flip side of that, either. That is, you're not the most important, but you do matter, even so. Everyone matters and we each spread our influence in this world like ripples from a pebble dropped into a pond. There's people here on MetaFilter that I don't doubt I will have absolutely no memory of in ten years...but that doesn't mean they will not have mattered to me, or that they won't matter to me, unknown, then. The things that people say here matter, they influence how I think and how I feel and I greatly value them for it, even if it's a single comment from someone who comes and goes, never to be heard here again.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2007 [6 favorites]


pantsrobot:

Sorry about the recent unpleasantness here, old bean, but I'd just like to tell you that I do appreciate this positive callout.

You actually made my day.

Thankyew!
posted by jason's_planet at 6:30 PM on August 6, 2007


wow, the wikipedia article even has a photo (nsfw, sort of).

"Honestly baby, it's for the good of the Commons!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:36 PM on August 6, 2007


jessamyn, THAT was gross. (I really hope I can meet you someday, you're a friggin' firecracker!)

Ethereal Bligh, I'm speechless. (They actually turned off my water today for failure to pay. But the fact that I'm working/living toward something makes it OK.)

I guess all things are relative.
posted by snsranch at 6:41 PM on August 6, 2007


I'm just glad they don't have a photo of a Hot Carl.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 6:42 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I could have sworn I knew the backstory about that picture but apparently not. A while back there was a girl that contributed to wikipedia articles but no one there believed she was real because she was really hot. I thought that was one of the pictures she added using fake semen but apparently that picture is real and from someone else.
posted by puke & cry at 6:43 PM on August 6, 2007


wow, the wikipedia article even has a photo (nsfw, sort of).

That's amusing. The photo certainly is a nice illustration of it. But is it really necessary? I suppose that the same question could be asked of many wikipedia photos. On the other hand, "is it necessary" is perhaps a good, practical question to ask with regard to pornographic material if one is concerned about the accessibility of WikiPedia.

I'll just repeat my (not mentioned in many an age, hereabouts) position that this sort of activity is not—not, I say—inherently a degrading act and any sort of assumption that it is, even when throwing insults around, is bothersome.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:46 PM on August 6, 2007


I'll just repeat my (not mentioned in many an age, hereabouts) position that this sort of activity is not—not, I say—inherently a degrading act and any sort of assumption that it is, even when throwing insults around, is bothersome.

To me the fact that threatening someone with it is used as an insult points to the fact that at least some people consider it degrading. It's all well and good to want to Reclaim the White and not have patriarchal and sexist overtones to spooging all over someone's neck and face, but it's going to be a serious uphill battle before that catches on in any sort of mainstream way.

When I see it in porn, most of the time it's at best neutral and often used in somewhat degrading situations and scenarios. I'd argue that there's not really any such thing as "inherently degrading" perhaps but as an act which has its meaning determined largely through context, I don't see how you can say that the act is in some way not degrading except in the purely "all sex between consenting adults is okay sex" way.

re: wikipedia. The general tenor there is that it's more important to not censor than to be "accesible" in that way. I'm not sure how good they're doing at either, but as an experiment, it's interesting.

And yes, I am a firecracker.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:58 PM on August 6, 2007


In reference to my earlier comment, I don't blame ThePinkSuperhero for the coarse and callous messages posted in today's thread that she started. And, wow. this thread took an unexpected turn. Ironic for it to pop up in a thread about civil discourse. Just the sort of thing that makes me love/hate Metafilter.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:04 PM on August 6, 2007


jessamyn, I totally agree that it's "inherently degrading", which is one part of why I thought it was just a jokey comment. For it to have not been jokey would be far beyond...

Whatever, I'm taking my clothes off now!

(Thank God for intelligent, reasonable and adult discourse!)
posted by snsranch at 7:12 PM on August 6, 2007


Metafilter: Reclaim the White!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:13 PM on August 6, 2007


Actually, I wasn't intending to use the comment in a degrading fashion. I can't prove that feeling or what I was thinking, but I can try to explicate a little. The thought formula went a little something like this:

Drink+diamond tiara(wanting to take the piss(feeling snarky/no cofffee)) = Rude comment that was much less funny than it was in my head and much more offensive and misogynistic than I realized until well after I hit "Post Comment".

How I went from "Drink+Tiara" to "Pearl Necklace" = "funny" is something that only my perverted and often juvenile subconscious will really ever be able to figure out, if ever.

Thanks for the kind words of support and, well, the expressions of being simpatico. regarding my funk. I don't talk about these things often or willingly - but I've had a hell of a life. Most of it dead broke. Yet, I know full well money can't buy happiness. I don't mind dead broke. However, I mind not being able to pay even my really meager portion of rent, and letting my friends and housemates down and putting them in an unenviable position. And worse, thereby eliminating my support of their projects and arts, which makes me so happy to do. This, more than anything, has been eating at me and leaving me paralyzed.
posted by loquacious at 7:15 PM on August 6, 2007


So, why the neck? Why a name for that? Just because it's a cute analogy? I just seems pretty niche and kind of innocuous—at least a Hot Carl has some pizazz to back it up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:29 PM on August 6, 2007


"Take Back the White" is better, even if it does conjure up unpleasant thoughts of tiny funnels.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:30 PM on August 6, 2007


It was nice of you to apologize to TPS.

I think that you owe us, the people recognized in the comments quoted above, an apology too.

We were being recognized for making a positive contribution to the site. And you derailed the positive call-out and turned this into an item about your emotional problems.

Not a very suave or considerate thing to do.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:31 PM on August 6, 2007


Not a very suave or considerate thing to do.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:31 PM PST on August 6


What are you doing? The guy is bearing his soul (kinda) and you take this as an opportunity to to continue a bashing? That totally negates whatever "nice" thing you contributed previously. Thanks fa nuthin'. (unless you're kidding-doesn't sound like it though)
posted by snsranch at 7:44 PM on August 6, 2007


Uh, I don't need an apology; IIRC, I've been called out on MeTa for dickishness at least once before, so any good done today was more of a balancing of the scales/resetting my karma score to zero kinda thing than a positive net contribution to the site...

... this is kinda awkward. Let's just call each other sir and compliment one another on our spats and tall hats.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:46 PM on August 6, 2007


Wow. I admit I stole the joke, and y'all keep favoriting it. you people are weird.
posted by jonmc at 7:53 PM on August 6, 2007


Don't push your luck, planet-boy. I've been informed that unless I remain argumentative and frequently wrong about something I'll lose my charter. I can't live without my utility belt.

Just pretend I'm jonmc and it'll all feel normal.

ooof, kidding jon!
posted by loquacious at 7:56 PM on August 6, 2007


I thought it was funny.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:57 PM on August 6, 2007


Nice timing, dude.
posted by loquacious at 7:57 PM on August 6, 2007


That's what comedy is all about!
posted by ludwig_van at 7:58 PM on August 6, 2007


Damn it, I'm late again, aren't I?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:59 PM on August 6, 2007


OK, I just feel a little strange about it. It's the most favorites I've ever gotten and I'd feel better if it was for my own wit.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 PM on August 6, 2007


I agree with jessamyn on what I consider degrading, so much that I don't do it to anybody else either.

As a teenager in the good ol' days I'd sometime pulled out and came on somebody's butt or belly, but then I'd wipe it off; the object was to avoid getting cum in them, not to get it on them. And as far as blowjobs go, if somebody doesn't want in the mouth I keep a tissue handy. Where I cum matters much less than that I do. (But I'm not seriously proposing myself as the standard for emulation in matters ejaculatory, really.)

There are some things that are just yucky and degrading, and yes there is something wrong with those who do them (even if only a lack of taste).
posted by davy at 9:57 PM on August 6, 2007


*scrubs eyeballs with bleach*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:05 PM on August 6, 2007


Uh....thanks, davy.
posted by graventy at 10:15 PM on August 6, 2007


Oh, everybody comes. Wilting violets, all y'all.

But, truly: why the neck?
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:19 PM on August 6, 2007


But, truly: why the neck?

Because it's not the face.
posted by justgary at 10:27 PM on August 6, 2007


Oh, everybody comes.

Coming soon, the next volume in the children's book series that began with Everybody Poops!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:34 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cortex, it's the natural result of titty-fucking. That's all there is to it.
posted by team lowkey at 10:35 PM on August 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow.

Here's where I could relate a detailed story about a particularly unfortunate eyeball after a rather vigorous and unusual method of fellatio, but I won't.

Your own sordid imagination will likely shock you more than anything I would dare to describe.
posted by loquacious at 10:38 PM on August 6, 2007


See also:
Mammary intercouse
posted by team lowkey at 10:39 PM on August 6, 2007


For the love of God, Davy. Too much information.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:50 PM on August 6, 2007


...but as an act which has its meaning determined largely through context, I don't see how you can say that the act is in some way not degrading except in the purely 'all sex between consenting adults is okay sex' way.

That's a long way of saying that if people think it's degrading, then it's degrading. Which could be said in general about, say, gay sex.

I don't disagree with you that a bunch of people think it's a degrading act, both that don't like it and, more importantly, those that do. You're absolutely correct about how it's portrayed in porn and that that indicates something. But almost all sex in porn is depicted in such a way that it's degrading to women. Not incidentally, but as part of the appeal. So does this mean that because we live in a misogynist culture we have to go along with this?

A lot of people feel the same way, still, about fellatio. Hell, a certain subsection of men believe that cunninlingus is degrading to them.

While I will fo further than you and say that there probably are some sex acts that are inherently degrading—certain kinds of bdsm stuff, obviously, and probably a few other things—I just don't see what it inherently or even suggestively degrading about gettting semen on you unless you accept the idea that semen is an icky, bad substance.

And a lot of people do believe this. But I think they're wrong in a typical "things associated with the details of sex are icky and bad" sort of way.

So this matters to me a lot because it's the combination of four different things that matter to me.

First, because of the sexism in it. As a feminist, I don't like sex acts which degrade women and as a person who thinks sex is a good thing, I especially don't like sexual things that our misogynist culture twists around into something misogynist. Which I think was true about fellatio itself for a long time but thankfully isn't as much these days.

Second, because I'm sex-positive I find the general idea of turning the sweaty business of sex itself into fodder for claims of "icky nastiness". That's part of our sex-averse, puritanical heritage and it bothers me.

Third, as a man, I find the idea that something that is naturally a part of sex and a product of my body to be "icky and nasty" to be offensive. Just as many women feel with regard to sexist ideas that various things related to women's anatomy, not to mention women's anatomy itself, to be "nasty and icky". Maybe menstrual fluid is a marginal example, but vaginal lubrication is probably a better one. Like semen, it's wet and sticky. That doesn't mean we should think of it as icky stuff that we don't want to touch us.

Fourth, it matters to me personally because I find the activity erotic in a way completely opposite to degradation. I don't feel it's degrading at all and the attraction for me isn't about degradation, it's about an acceptance of the wet and sticky nature of sex itself coupled with the extreme and masculine aspect of it. In trying to understand the genesis of this in my own psychology, I think I've discovered something that's true for many or most men. I mean, look, semen is not something unfamiliar to men. For teenage men who frequently masturbate, it's an inescapable component of it. And it is wet and sticky. In a way, for me, for a woman to be cool with that is a sort of acceptance of my sexuality at a fundamental level. That's the attraction for me, it's not much different than a woman saying, "I think your penis is really cool!"

Of course, my theory about the importance of semen in male psychology also accounts for how this particular behavior has been co-opted into misogyny. Because there's no doubt that—especially in our culture—young men feel very guilty about masturbating and thus, for them, the product of their masturbation takes on an aspect of their guilt. In ejaculating on a woman, they're transferring that guilt in a way. Davy's statement is the flipside of this: he's extremely careful not to get his icky nastiness on anyone.

But that just goes back to the pathology of our culture and its fear of actual sex.

Maybe it's an uphill battle to fight against these things, but then again a lot of things are uphill battles. Most of the things I care about, not the least feminism, are still uphill battles in today's world. Saying that this is so isn't a deterrence to me because, if it were, then I'd not be politically/socially active in hardly anything.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:57 PM on August 6, 2007


That's EB's second comment today that I've had to click through to the thread from Recent Activity in order to finish reading, because they were truncated in that view. Go EB!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:59 PM on August 6, 2007


For everybody asking "Why the neck?" I feel it worth noting that, as far as I'm aware, the neck actually has nothing to do with it. The name is mroe the result of how it appears, sometimes, to do that thing on someone's chest. Bear in mind that pearl necklaces (while they may, in fact, be chokers and therefore hang around the neck exclusively) may hang down over the chest. In some circustances this may create the illusion of a necklace, depending on the pattern.

I sincerely hope that this discussion doesn't continue much farther, ok? I'm of the type that's rather open as these things go, but part of that is being open to the idea that some people will find discussion of this kind of stuff disturbing, and I'd really really really rather not bother those particular people, out of consideration. Goodnight all.
posted by shmegegge at 11:03 PM on August 6, 2007


This sequence of comments embodies what I've always liked about Metatalk.

No, wait. The other thing.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:09 PM on August 6, 2007


also, before I go to sleep. Please understand that I'm not trying to actually curtail discussion or censor in any way. It just occurs to me that if, as is the case here, one party is offended and another party apologizes, then I can't help but feel like leaving things be for the sake of both parties. But that might just be me being conciliatory. Now, for real, I'm going to sleep and I hope everyone else goes to bed less creeped out than they might be right now, if bed is where their time zone is leading them.
posted by shmegegge at 11:10 PM on August 6, 2007


Like semen, it's wet and sticky. That doesn't mean we should think of it as icky stuff that we don't want to touch us.

Well, me, I don't like wet and sticky in general. Not limited (or even necessily including) wet-and-sexy-sticky. A cool, dry desert night is my idea of sensorium heaven. Hot sticky sex out in under the stars of that desert night, though: OK, that's just dandy.

But I'm basically a low-libido kind of person, and I don't think it's wrong or odd or somehow psycho-sexually strangulated to say that bodily juices and goops and excretions just aren't that pleasant, once the heart-thumping and hugging and kissin' and recovering part has reached an end. For my part, and for the LOVE OF GOD I DON'T WANT TO ARGUE WITH ANYONE ABOUT IT THIS IS JUST ME TALKING HERE I don't think it's particularly 'sex-positive' to take baths in the stuff, metaphorically speaking.

Because there's no doubt that—especially in our culture—young men feel very guilty about masturbating

Well, I'd say there's a lot of doubt about that. Even growing up in the 70's in Canada, there was little to no guilt about it amongst most of the guys I knew. It was just a fact of life, and the fodder for jokes, of course. I can only assume that things have gotten even more open since then.

Of course, it's always dangerous to try to generalize too much from one's own personal experience.

(On preview, apologies to schmegegge or anyone else -- I'd forgotten that this thread had actually had had anyone offended or apologized to. Artifact of starting all my reading on the 'Recent Activity' page. I just had to respond a bit to EB, there....)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:14 PM on August 6, 2007


As a feminist, I don't like sex acts which degrade women and as a person who thinks sex is a good thing, I especially don't like sexual things that our misogynist culture twists around into something misogynist.

In case anyone doesn't understand my reasoning about this—it occurs to me that some might think it exactly opposite to what makes sense—the reasoning is similar to those feminists that who stand-up for the acceptability of women to be homemakers. That is to say, raising children and running a household are not trivial, unimportant things and it's the sexist patriarchy that has devalued this and thus used it to make sexist claims about women.

So, as a feminist, I fight for the rights of women to be homemakers—not just because it's important to let individual women make decisions about how to live their lives, but more importantly because it's wrongheaded to devalue this activity and thus claim that doing it is degrading to women.

To me, with regard to sex, there's a number of perfectly acceptable activities that misogynists have appropriated for the purposes of their misogyny. And a lot of everyone else goes along with this. Using the extreme example, If Catharine MacKinnon was right and heterosexual sex itself is misogynist, then the correct response is for feminists to reclaim heterosexual sex, not to accept our culture's misogyny. And, frankly, there's truth to what she said if we look at it from jessamyn's "cultural context" perspective. Almost everything surrounding heterosexual sex in our culture has been coopted into misogyny. But, in my opinion, only crazy heterosexuals respond to that by avoiding heterosexual sex.

Obviously, I think the sex-positive wave of feminism is an extremely good development in the history of feminism. I acknowledge that is had allowed a certain amount of regression in certain areas—specifically, the young women who don't understand the difference between reclaiming their own sexuality and pandering to men. Even so, I think that the feminist version of sexual repression was doing the movement a lot of harm. I think that overall the sex-positive feminism is two steps forward, one back. As opposed to two steps forward and one and a half back, which I think the sexually repressed version was managing. Not the least do I believe this because I think that puritanical sexual repression is inherently related to patriarchal misogyny. There's an argument that claims that women are frighteningly sexual to the average misogynist.

On Preview: I agree with you, mostly, stav about wet and sticky. But the key to your statement was “once the heart-thumping and hugging and kissin' and recovering part has reached an end”, which is outside the context within which I'm arguing. Isn't it? During sex, I don't think these things are unpleasant, or that people should think they're unpleasant.

You also write:

Well, I'd say there's a lot of doubt about that. Even growing up in the 70's in Canada, there was little to no guilt about it amongst most of the guys I knew. It was just a fact of life, and the fodder for jokes, of course. I can only assume that things have gotten even more open since then.

...which is certainly true. But I don't think that really indicates a lack of guilt as much as it indicates just what you say: it's a fact of life. Guys will, sorta, joke about it amongst themselves and people in general will obliquely joke about it with regard to young men. But I think that if you look more closely, the joking conceals a great deal of discomfort. You probably had the misfortune of reading Portnoy's Complaint which, aside from its flaws, well represents the fact-of-life and compulsive, yet also shameful aspect of teenage male masturbation.

As it happens, I didn't find it shameful myself. My parents weren't aggressively sex-positive, but they weren't very sex-negative, either. More importantly, though, is that as a pre-adolescent (actually starting at the age of nine when I ordered by mail some books on sexuality oriented for teens) I took it upon myself to educate myself about sex and thus I took on at a very early and impressionable the whole "it's a natural part of life", though highly intellectualized attitude on it that I still have. Anyway, I didn't find it shameful—but, interestingly, I talked about it less than did most other guys. It didn't seem like something one needed to talk about, really. So you see that I might think your argument serves my purpose, rather than against it. I think people talk and joke about things they find makes them uncomfortable. Especially this is true of teenage boys.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:25 PM on August 6, 2007


Maybe so, maybe so.

I don't tend to talk much about sex in general, never have, because I tend to think that, like politics or relationships, it's one of those things that once people start talking about it, they find they can't stop, and the important and ineffable gets drowned in a welter of words. Which is not a dig at all (heh), just sayin'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:35 PM on August 6, 2007


This thread sure has taken a turn for the nurse.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:18 AM on August 7, 2007


Whoa, I left this thread with 30 comments and came back to 80? An argument about pearl necklaces? Metafilter is AWESOME.

Also, two call-ins (?) on the same day. Yay!
posted by pantsrobot at 2:49 AM on August 7, 2007


jessamyn: as an act which has its meaning determined largely through context, I don't see how you can say that the act is in some way not degrading except in the purely "all sex between consenting adults is okay sex" way.

Allow me to make my point bluntly: you say "degrading" like it's a bad thing.

Honest question to make sure I'm not missing the point: is it not perfectly possible to engage in acts considered degrading - or at least acts with symbolic overtones to this effect - for the sake of play without having this affect one's enlightened esteem of gender roles and equality outside of the sexy sex sex realm?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:37 AM on August 7, 2007


The seminal Metatalk experience.
posted by Abiezer at 3:41 AM on August 7, 2007


I'd just to thank team lowkey for introducing me to the term branlette espagnole. Much classier than tit wank.
posted by jack_mo at 5:00 AM on August 7, 2007


But less improved by the adjective "soapy."
posted by Abiezer at 5:15 AM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


goodnews: Yes. Also: word.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:45 AM on August 7, 2007


Cortex, it's the natural result of titty-fucking. That's all there is to it.

See, that'll teach me to base too much speculative analysis off a terse wiki writeup and photo. It seemed, at a glance, to be putting that forth as an essentially standalone activity and goal, which seems a lot weirder than just "gotta aim somewhere" in the greater context of SEXY SEX etc.

And now, breakfast.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:53 AM on August 7, 2007


MetaTalk: Let me ejaculate on you.

My ejaculate. Let me deposit it.
posted by LordSludge at 7:38 AM on August 7, 2007


you say "degrading" like it's a bad thing.... is it not perfectly possible to engage in acts considered degrading - or at least acts with symbolic overtones to this effect - for the sake of play

I say degrading like most people think of being degraded as a bad thing, excet for those people who don't. Lots of things we might not like in our out-of-bed lives can be spicy in our in-bed lives but that doesn't mean that unilaterally deciding such a thing would make for great sexplay wihtout consulting your partner is a bright idea.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 AM on August 7, 2007


* splooges tartan sperm on jackmo *
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:30 AM on August 7, 2007


*labels act The Jenleigh*
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 AM on August 7, 2007


Excuse me folks, but since this is the "civil discourse" thread, shouldn't we be talking about cultured pearl necklaces?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:48 AM on August 7, 2007


Hang in there, loq. I too find that when things are going badly in my "real" life, I tend to be less pleasant on MetaFilter. You'd think I'd have the sense to avoid MeFi at such times, but it's such a useful distraction...
posted by languagehat at 8:55 AM on August 7, 2007


I dunno what's degrading about man-spooge, nor why it should be, nor why some people think it's universally accepted that it should be considered to be. Seems to me that man-spooge is part of, you know, making your man spooge.

Should I feel shamed & degraded by having a face full of girl cum after, um, "eating out"? (Only if it's a fancy restaurant!)

Hell, lots of people think doggie-style sex is degrading. (Really!) Oral sex is downright out of the question. But, then again, lots of people have poor self-esteem. Or maybe they're just really boring.

I'm teaching my girl how to female-ejaculate, so I may have a follow-up post on this...

Also: Best. Derail. Ever.
posted by LordSludge at 9:24 AM on August 7, 2007


Things are getting (if you can believe this) a teency bit gross. I think maybe that's a -30-.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:16 AM on August 7, 2007


I'm still reeling from the "Hot Carl" thing. Who knew?!?
posted by triggerfinger at 11:17 AM on August 7, 2007


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