Category: Life

How To Have An Orgasm (Solo)

Odd as it may seem to some of us, there are many people in the world who haven’t had an orgasm, but who would like one. They just don’t quite know how to get one. I’ve talked to any number of women who have told me stories about frustrating early experiences trying fruitlessly to masturbate to orgasm as a teenager, as well as women who have had an active sex life for years without ever finding that level of satisfaction. One of these women was a professional sex worker, who’d had at least three digits worth of partners over her life, performing an astounding variety of sexual acts, and she’d never once had an orgasm.

When this woman asked me for advice on how she could take care of things (she was not asking for my assistance; we never had that kind of relationship), it was the most surprising thing I’d heard about anybody’s sex life in some time. I gave her the best advice that I could, which was a less-detailed, less thorough version of what follows.

Start By Being Sexually Aroused

I’m not going to make a blanket claim that orgasms can never happen without a person first being aroused, because that would be false. There are some people who can–and do–spontaneously orgasm from a balloon popping, or from sneezing, or other stimuli that hits that individual in a specific way. It can happen, but if it was the kind of thing that was likely to happen to you, you wouldn’t need to read this post.

For the rest of us, the more aroused we are, the easier it is to climax. If you’re unaroused, or actively turned off, then orgasm will be effectively impossible. If, on the other hand, you’re aroused enough, then anything slightly sexual will set you off. Don’t focus on “having an orgasm,” not to start. Focus on “becoming increasingly aroused.”

If you’re not particularly horny, either wait until you become horny, or try to find some kind of stimulation that will arouse you. Watch porn, think arousing thoughts, or buy and read any or all of my line of erotic stories available on Amazon.com. 😉


Physical sensation is important. As you consume your erotic entertainment, or entertain your own erotic thoughts and fantasies, you should feel yourself becoming more aroused. You should feel tingles in key places of your body. Feel free to touch those places, to remove clothing from them.

I feel that I should make it clear that if you’re reading this in a public place, do NOT actually do these things at this time!
Touch yourself lightly. One mistake that people sometimes make is trying too hard, using too much pressure, and rubbing themselves raw. You don’t want to do that–you want to caress yourself gently, to tease your skin lightly.

Think of what it’s like standing close to somebody who has just the right scent, the right perfume or the right cologne, or even the right natural fragrance. If the scent is too strong, you’ll back away from it. If it’s too faint, you won’t notice it. If it’s just right, then it will be in the middle, just strong enough to make you want to lean in, toward that person, to get more of it.

You want your own touch on your own flesh to be like that. You want it to entice you, to stimulate your senses but to leave them wanting more, not less. Vary your touch, try different locations on your body and see what feels good. Try to arouse, if possible, every inch of your skin.

As you’re working on your physical arousal, work on your mental arousal as well. It helps to be relaxed to start, to be comfortable. You want as few distractions as possible from any thoughts and sensations that would try to steal your attention away from the pleasure you feel. Try to still your thoughts, and to focus only on what you’re experiencing.

Soft music can help, by drowning out background noise.

Pot or alcohol can help, but only in light amounts. You want just enough to help you relax, to calm your mind, and to maybe to heighten things a slight bit. Too much of either, and you’ll sabotage your own orgasm. With pot, there are highs where everything will feel fabulous, but you just won’t be able to come. With alcohol, you want to numb only your inhibitions, not your sensations.

Mood lighting might help as well, enough to calm you and help you feel sexy, but not enough to make you sleepy.

Slowly Increase Your Pleasure

Don’t rush things. Take your time. Romance yourself. Tease yourself until your body is moving toward your own touch, pushing back, eager for more. Stroke the places where it feels best, rewarding your body for its hunger.

But don’t try to sate it yet. Keep giving it just enough that it’s eager for more.

Keep your mind in a state where it’s only excited sexually, not anxiously or impatiently. Increase pressure in slight increments. Do the same with tempo. If you have a sex toy, such as a vibrator or a masturbation sleeve, you should be using it.

Expand Your Sensations

This may not be necessary. If you feel at this point like you might be able to come, work in that direction, but be patient. If you’re turned on, but you don’t feel like things are going to come to a climax, consider options to increase the number and kinds of sensations that you’re feeling. Remember, orgasm is about being overwhelmed in just the right way.

This is why many people get kinky: they’re trying to expand their sensations in order for their mind to be overwhelmed. Different things work for different people, but anal play works for most. Having a finger or an object teasing or penetrating your backdoor adds another layer of sensation in addition to anything you’re doing to your genitals and nipples. Again, don’t rush things.

Temperature play can be good as well. Some people like hot wax, some people like ice. Some people like both, alternatingly or concurrently. Temperature is another level of sensation, and a potential tool to increase arousal. Ice chills the body, condenses the flesh a bit as everything tightens up. Ice demands attention, putting nerve endings on full alert. Heat is warm, simulating the warmth of another person’s body or bodily fluids. Heat is relaxing. Heat can cause pain, at certain levels, and that can heighten awareness the same way that ice can.

Other things might help as well. You’ll have to experiment. Put something in your mouth, perhaps a dildo, and fantasize about it being something else. Or just put something in your mouth and bite down, like a bit-gag. Play with nipple clamps or clothespins (read up on what you’re doing first!), maybe do some light self-bondage.

The idea is to have multiple pleasurable sensations and thoughts occurring at the same time, too many for your mind to absorb all at once, so that your awareness will have to move from one sensation to the next to the next, or back and forth. You want your thoughts to pinball around between the things you’re experiencing, until you can’t take it any more.

Then you explode.

You don’t necessarily have to seek out this explosion; just keep seeking pleasure. When you get enough of it, your brain and your body will let you know.

It might take repeated attempts. Don’t get discouraged, don’t get down on yourself. You don’t have to climax this session, or even next session, and if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you’re any kind of failure. You’ll get there. It just sometimes takes practice.

Is It Okay To Fantasize About Raping Somebody?

The short answer is “Yes,” but there are some important details to consider.

The only caveats I’d place on that answer is that it’s probably not a good idea to use masturbation fantasies to condition yourself toward certain actions, especially if you’re the kind of person who ever has trouble telling fantasy from reality, and I’d discourage anybody from indulging in rape fantasies that glorify the act of rape. Otherwise, go at it. Fantasize away.

Just keep a strong wall inside your mind dividing this part of your fantasy life from anything that you’d ever consider doing in real life.

The first place that I encountered the idea of rape fantasy, the naming of it, was when I was reading sex manuals along the lines of “The Joy of Sex,” or “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid To Ask).” One or more of these tomes had passages on rape fantasy, mostly explaining what it was, and that it was okay. I seem to remember them focusing more on women having fantasies about rape than about men (or women) having fantasies about committing the act of rape, but it’s been a long while since I read those books.

I don’t remember how old I was when I first encountered the idea, but I do know that I first read those books years before I hit puberty. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d already had at least one rape fantasy that I remember. I’d attended a circus at one point, Barnum & Bailey’s, and I was among a handful of children who were picked to go down to the show floor. There was some kind of undersea theme, and they gave us special hats to wear, telling us that we were colonels in the undersea navy or something like that.

The rank was important because I remember thinking that it would give me some kind of authority to order the undersea soldiers around. I remember thinking that I’d like to order my minions (I didn’t use that word, just the concept) to take some of the lovely ladies of the circus that I’d seen performing earlier, and to strip off their clothing. I wanted to see what they looked like naked, the ladies that is.

Not technically a rape, but certainly a violation that demonstrates one of many reasons why it would be bad to grant young children any level of military command. Fortunately for the ladies, the soldiers, and myself, my special rank only allowed me to be paraded around for a bit, then returned to my seat. Or something. It’s so long ago that I’ve forgotten much of the incident. I do remember the moment of the fantasy, and I probably returned to that scene when I grew old enough to start masturbating, changing the memory of the fantasy into a new fantasy.

I can’t say if that was my first rape fantasy, and I can’t say how many I’ve had since. I can tell you that a very, very large percentage of the jokes that bounced around the playground of the grade school I attended were, in hindsight, bizarre rape-fantasy instructionals for blackmailing girls into nudity or various sex acts.

The standard joke would be something along the lines of:
A boy catches a girl in the act of peeing, and he sees her privates. She’s embarrassed. The boy tells her that he won’t tell anybody that he saw her peeing, IF she promises to give him a closer look at her private parts. She agrees. He then tells her that he won’t tell anybody that she showed him her private parts, IF she takes off her clothes entirely…

And so on, and so forth. There was rarely if ever any kind of punchline to these “jokes,” but they weren’t exactly porn either. Although that basic plot IS used in plenty of porn and erotica today. Anyway, these jokes were extremely common. They weren’t about overt rape-by-direct-force, but rape-by-blackmail was extremely common, as was rape-by-deception, and various other forms of sexual coercion.

I’m not going to say that any of it was healthy for society, but I can say that the vast majority of the kids telling that kind of joke did not turn out to be rapists that I’m aware of. I certainly didn’t turn out to be one.

The harm from those jokes would come not from the plot, but from the execution of of the story. They didn’t normalize the sexual assaults, but they did make them seem clever. They perpetuated the ongoing social narrative that it’s a boy’s job (or at least natural and reasonable inclination) to try to trick or trap girls into nudity/sex, and that it’s a girl’s job to protect herself. If the boy succeeds, then the only problem (in this narrative) is that the girl was foolish.
The stories glorified the predatory acts.

While it’s arguable that none of these stories directly caused anybody to ever commit a rape, I would say that such stories did (and likely do, if they still exist on the playgrounds today) perpetuate and reinforce rape culture. That is a bad thing. That kind of story can be harmful.

Do not indulge in rape fantasies that in any way glorify the act of rape.

Other rape fantasies that I encountered growing up were in the form of Damsel In Distress form, and were quite common in television, movies, and books. A woman would often be vaguely threatened by a man, she’d be breathless, her clothing might get torn. In the more family-friendly mediums, things would stop there, with the unspoken threat of rape. Sometimes the act might occur, but happen off-scene.

These scenes were generally crafted for the Male Gaze, to titillate the audiences. They could be problematic in a number of ways, but they did make the point that the attacker or potential attacker was a Bad Guy, not somebody that anybody should emulate.

The same kind of thing happened a lot in horror films, only more graphically. Same with certain action movies, like “Death Wish.” The stories were crafted for the viewers to be turned on by the nudity and the forced sex, but to avoid condoning rape. This is why “Rape and Revenge” movies (and books, and everything) are a thing: they allow the audience to experience the thrills of a fantasy that they know is wrong, and they allow the audience to experience the satisfaction of seeing justice be eventually served to the perpetrator that they were earlier vicariously thrilled by.
Most people aren’t likely to go out and commit rape based on “Last House On The Left,” “I Saw The Devil,” or “I Spit On Your Grave,” where the rapists are shown as despicable beings not to be emulated, and the rape is morally condemned instead of glorified.

I don’t think that the vengeance/justice aspect need be a part of personal masturbatory fantasies, but I do think that the moral condemnation should be clear. It’s okay to fantasize about rape, just as it’s okay to fantasize about murder, robbery, zombie apocalypses, and all sorts of other things that would be horrible in real life.

It’s okay for a man or woman to fantasize about raping.
It’s just not okay for them to fantasize about rape being in any way good, noble, or justified.

Once in a while, it’s fun in our fantasies to play the role of the Bad Guy. The only danger is if we end up playing him/her in real life.

Hobbies, Skills, and Passions

I’ve talked in other posts, I believe, about one of the useful elements in becoming a good or great writer being a fluency in the language of writing. The faster and cleaner you can translate what’s in your mind into what’s on the page, the easier the entire process of writing will be. On a good day, at the right time or times, you’ll be able to write as fast as you can type. If you’re a good typist, you’ll be able to write almost as fast as you can think.

At this point, one of the big bottlenecks will be what your mental speed limit is: how fast you can make story-creating decisions that fit the characters you’re working with, and that advance the plot in the right direction. As with everything else in writing, this takes practice to get really good at.

Luckily for me, I’ve spent the vast majority of my life playing Dungeons & Dragons.

More specifically, I’ve spent a huge portion of my life as a D&D Dungeonmaster (as opposed to the BDSM kind of Dungeonmaster), running games for all kinds of different players. I credit this particular hobby with a lot of my ability to come up with plots on the fly, as well as my ability to create fictional characters quickly, and my ability to envision the decisions those characters might make. All of those things are skills that one needs to varying degrees when running a tabletop role-playing game.

As with writing fiction, a Dungeonmaster (DM) tries to create or direct a narrative, to tell (with the aid of his players) a kind of story. The Dungeonmaster lays out a general plot, with a beginning, middle, and (assuming not everybody dies along the way) an ending. As with writing, any or all of this outline is routinely threatened by the often unpredictable actions of the characters involved. While the DM has full control over where the story starts, he/she does not fully control how or where the story ends, nor what happens along the way.

This is because the characters make their own decisions. Which often seems to happen when one is writing fiction, particularly fiction of any significant length.

A DM might start the story off in a tavern, intending the characters to roleplay a quiet meal getting acquainted with one another, planning the next day’s journey to the castle or dungeon where the object of their mutual quest lies. The players might choose to pick a fight, either with strangers at the tavern or with each other, and the evening might end with any number of dead bodies, and burning tavern.

The DM’s job is to adapt, to get the story back on track, but also to include the consequences of this event into the overall narrative. Surviving party members will likely be on the run now, to avoid angry mobs and law enforcement, which can be used to increase their incentive to achieve whatever their original goal was, as well as to provide additional possible obstacles that might add to the story.

It’s not so different when writing, sometimes. A writer might think they know where a scene is going, but by the time they’re done writing it, they have to re-adjust their entire outline to account for unpredicted outcomes. This is likely to happen more than once, in a longer story.

This can be frustrating as a Dungeonmaster, so most DMs try to predict ahead of time how and why scenes might go wrong, and to come up with ways of reducing the odds of disaster or major derailment. Instead of starting the scene in the main room of the tavern, for example, the DM might start the scene in a private room, where there are fewer distractions from the DM’s goal with the scene. It’s hard to start a fight with non-player characters (NPCs) when there aren’t any in the room/scene.

The party can fight amongst themselves, but this can be countered by making sure that each of the main characters, the Player Characters (PCs) have compatible backstories that can be used to avoid disastrous in-fighting. Four complete strangers are more likely to pick deadly fights with one another than a group of four people composed of two brothers, one brother’s love interest, and that love interest’s long-time friend who happens to have helped the other brother out of a serious jam on at least one occasion. It also helps if the characters have compatible personalities and overall motivations. That way, if things start to go off course, the DM can guide them back on course by reminding the PCs of their close ties and their mutual goals.

Storytelling is storytelling, and a lot of the skills that one can develop in table-top role-playing games can translate into other forms of storytelling, such as writing. It’s not the only way to develop useful skills, and it’s not even necessarily the best way to do so. It is one of the ways that’s worked for me, and I’ve heard other authors make similar claims.

Then again, writers tend to use their own experiences, and whatever a writers’ experiences are, I’ve heard them claim that those experiences have helped shape and guide their writing.

If you’ve never tried running or playing in a tabletop RPG, but you’re looking for fun hobbies that might help you with your writing, I recommend joining or starting a game sometime. If you have played or run tabletop RPGs, I recommend actively thinking about lessons that you can learn from your RPG experiences that will translate into writing skills, and vice-versa. It’s always nice when our hobbies can sharpen our skills for our passions.

Myself As Well

I suppose I should explain that when I was a kid, video arcades were a thing. They were a BIG thing, because there was no internet, personal computers were slow, clunky things with no hard drives, often with black and white screens, or green screens. The only game consoles were Atari 2600s, and we were so desperate for electronic entertainment that we thought those were completely awesome forms of entertainment. The 2600s were the cause of many fights and much envy among children.

They absolutely paled in comparison to the video arcade.

The arcade games were full color, and they had what seemed like crisp, clear graphics. When Pac-Man hit America, it was like a nuclear bomb went off as part of the opening fireworks of a Beatles concert, with the miracles of Jesus Christ as the opening act. Okay, maybe not that big, but it was fucking BIG!

It was bigger than Pokemon Go. It was bigger than whatever big game is more current than that, because it was all new back then—the world had seen nothing like what was happening in the world of coin-operated wonder that was the American arcade– and there was very little real competition. These days there are millions of games or more, all competing for your attention, affection, and currency, and you can get them in some form or other basically wherever you are on the planet.

Back in the day, in my day, there were only dozens of decent video games, and you could only find them in certain locations. There’d be like three video games and a pinball machine or two at the local pizza parlor. There was maybe a couple in the corner of the pizza place. There’d be some at the airport, the bowling alley, and other key areas that we’d all map in our heads and exchange via word of mouth the way druggies share information about their dealers.

The arcades–the good ones–were like a fucking all-you-can-play buffet, and there were dozens of machines, usually with masses of kids and adults not only lined up to play, but also smooshed around to watch because every time you took a bite of this buffet it cost you a quarter. A good player could play a long time on a quarter, but eventually whoever you were and however good you were, you’d run out of the money that mom and dad gave you.

And then you’d just watch.

You’d all crowd around the guy playing the game, close but not too close because you don’t want to fuck up his game. The guy at the machine is right up against it, one hand on the joystick (or roller) and the other hand furiously hitting whatever buttons make something else happen in the game. All of the guy’s attention is on the game, because just like in the games today, it was both engrossing and dangerous—one mistake, and he’d die. Back then, you’d only get three respawns before you had to put in more cash.

There’s usually somebody hugging each of the front corners of the machine, too. They’ve got the best view, outside of the player himself. There’s space between them and the player, but not enough to squeeze in another person, so the next layer of watchers is a half-step back, staring at the screen through that gap between the first row. The third row watchers is bigger, and the view isn’t great because the gaps are smaller.

That’s where I am.

There’s a fourth row behind me, and maybe a fifth after that, although it all becomes muddled into one big crowd by that point. I don’t know, because they’re all behind me, and every single fucking ounce of my attention is on front of me, obsessed with whatever magic act of neon glory and human skill is happening. I’m like a cat who sees a mouse, like a dog who sees a squirrel.

I am rapt.

I don’t remember if there was a break in the action that caused me to break out of the hypnotic state of focus that I was in, or if it’s simply that my inner frog eventually realized that it was time to check the water temperature. What I do remember is that there was something warm and firm pressed against the seat of my Toughskins jeans, and the guy standing behind me was pressed way, way too close.

I was a child, but I wasn’t stupid, and I wasn’t ignorant. I knew what a dick was (I had one myself, after all), and I knew what a pervert was. I’d had the “No, go, tell” lectures at school, and I knew that strangers could be dangerous to children. I quite probably even knew the word “Frotteurist,” well-read little bastard that I was.

I was annoyed.

One of the corner-huggers had left, and I quickly moved to take his spot. I went a bit further down the side of the machine, sandwiching myself between the machine I was watching and the one next to it. A deliberate move, because now my butt was pressed up against the safety of a heavy arcade game instead of some pervert’s crotch. Then I went back to watching the game. The Frotteurist wandered to a different part of the arcade.

A little while later, one of my friends found me, and let me know that there was a pervert rubbing himself up against kids. I’m guessing that my friend found out the same way that I did. We decided to leave, because while we were confident that we could each protect ourselves from this guy, we were hanging out with a younger friend of ours, and we weren’t sure if he was worldly or wise enough to watch out for himself. We gathered him up, and we left the arcade.

I wanted to kick the guy’s ass. He was bigger than me, an adult or a highschooler (all the olds and talls looked the same to me), but for a while my brain furiously thought of ways that I could turn the odds in my favor. Maybe stand on a trashcan, and hit him in the head with a baseball bat when he turned a corner, for instance. But he was still in the arcade, I didn’t have a trashcan, didn’t have a bat, and didn’t know which way he’d go when he left. Besides, we had other places to be.

We totally ignored our “No, Go, Tell” training. It always just seemed stupid, screaming “NO!” at an adult, then running off as fast as you could. It didn’t seem to fit this situation either, because this wasn’t a guy in a van offering candy, or somebody in an alley at night or anything.

In hindsight, it would have actually been a decent way to bust this guy, raising the Hue and Cry to at least get him tossed out of the arcade. The training was stupid, though, and hinged on a kid who’d been taught that adults were authority figures, a kid who didn’t like attention, a kid whose anxiety made any unusual or intense interactions with adults all the more torturous… that kid? That group of three kids?

No. Go tell somebody else to pull that crap.

I didn’t want to have to deal with adults or cops asking me a shitload of questions over a minor incident that left me pissed off, but not in any way hurt, damaged, or traumatized. That shit would have been worse and more traumatizing for me.

Years rolled by, and I barely thought about it. Sometimes I’d remember, and I’d wish I could punch the fucker, or give him a hard kick in the nuts. Because while I’m not traumatized, and it wasn’t a huge part of my life, this guy took a moment where I was having a great time, and he spoiled it for me. He didn’t ruin arcades or video games or anything for me; he just ruined that moment, that hour, and any minutes since that I’ve thought of him.

Only not just for me, but probably for a lot of other kids as well.

One of the times that I thought about that guy was last year, when the #MeToo went viral, and women everywhere who had been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted, all let the world know that they’d been the victims of similar assholes and outright monsters. It was… nice? Heartwarming?

It was something to see all the virtual hands raised in empathy and accusation.

I was tempted to tweet a #MeToo myself. Maybe I even did, but I hope not. I remember thinking that it was a bad idea, because this thing was about women, and they didn’t necessarily need men talking over them or stepping into the spotlight in any way. They get too much of that as it is.

So life moved on, as it does, and I didn’t think of the incident again until today, when somehow that piece of shit again crossed my mind for some reason, and I decided that I’d tell my story. It might have been therapeutic, I guess. I teared up a couple times. Not because of this guy or the memories of him interrupting my day. Not that I’m aware of, at least, because brains can be tricky bastards. No, it’s the arcades of that era. They were something special, and as I grew older and the arcades grew fewer and fewer, there must have been some time where I went to a real arcade for the very last time, and I didn’t even know it happened. I didn’t even know how bad I missed it until I watched the Netflix series “Stranger Things” a few years back, and I sat there stunned and misty-eyed as I heard the sounds of a 1980’s video arcade for the first time in decades.

I don’t feel like there’s a good end to this post. There’s no particular moral, and no narrative closure. Like life, I suppose. Maybe that’s the moral.

Aaron Gold’s “Don’t Mind If I Don’t” Podcast

My Fucking Day Job keeps my hands and eyes busy most of the time, but my brain and ears are usually bored. I try to make use of this time by listening to audiobooks and podcasts, as well as a variety of music. With the audiobooks, I try to do stuff that will help my preferred field of writing erotica. I bounce back and forth between stuff on business/finance/promotion, erotica, sex/health education, and classic or popular books that can help me learn how the great writers did what they did.

With podcasts, my selection is mostly oriented the same way–all stuff that helps me sharpen my skills as a writer of erotica–but there’s other stuff in there too. I listen to Ted Talks of all sorts, because there are a lot of story ideas in those things, and because I just like learning new things and thinking new ideas. I’ve been listening to the Donkey Banana Show, because somebody I know on Twitter recommended it. There’s a bunch of stuff.

One of my favorite shows is the “Don’t Mind If I Don’t” podcast by comedian Aaron Gold.

The premise of this show is that Aaron picks something that he doesn’t like, then gets people to come on to the show to convince him to like it. He might be indifferent to the subject, simply not getting why it’s a deal to anybody. He might have a negative reaction to the subject, but see some kind of appeal. Or he might hate the subject with a burning passion.

At the beginning of each episode, Aaron gives a rating of 0 (indifference) to -10 (extreme hatred) for how he feels about the issue in question. Over the course of each episode, the guests try to explain to Aaron why he should like the subject, try to convince him to become a fan of it. Aaron explains and explores why he dislikes it. At the end of the show, Aaron gives his new rating to show how his feelings have changed.

Usually, the number moves closer to zero, because Aaron wants to enjoy more things; part of the point of the show is that he’d like to open his mind, and to find more pleasures in life. Sometimes, as I believe happened with the David Lynch episode, the number moves the other way, and Aaron finds that the more he knows about the subject–or the ways the guests/experts tried to convince him to like it–has pushed him even more toward the extreme hatred end of the spectrum.

Sometimes I agree with Aaron’s view, sometimes I agree with the guests’ views, and sometimes I agree with everybody, but I always empathize with Aaron because I have my own quirks and a long list of dislikes. I have my own hot-button issues, and plenty of popular topics that I hate. Most people do. At the same time, I also–like Aaron–want to enjoy life more, and I think that it’s good for people to have an open mind whenever possible.

Regardless of how it turns out, I enjoy listening to Aaron’s exploration of his own emotions.

A lot of the time, I feel like the guests aren’t doing a great job. They often forget that they’re not there to defend the topic’s general appeal; they’re there to specifically pitch the subject to Aaron in a way (or ways) that will make HIM specifically find more enjoyment in the issue. They don’t always pay attention to his objections, so sometimes they accidentally make pitches/arguments that only play up the factors that anger or annoy him. Other times, they fail to take notice when they hit on something that could seriously sway him, some point that he expresses interest in, but that the guests move on from all too swiftly.

Much of the time, the fans’ or experts’ arguments boil down to “But it’s SOOooo good!”, a blatant emotional appeal that’s not going to convince many people. Other times, the fans or experts come up with fascinating angles or information, things that catch Aaron (and/or myself) off-guard, and manage to change the way he looks at the issue in question. Either way, there are almost always jokes, ideas, and fun moments that make the show well worth my time and attention.

I follow both the podcast (@dontmindpodcast) and Aaron Gold himself (@HeyItsAaronGold) on Twitter, and I recommend that you do the same, as well as giving the podcast a try if you’ve got any free listening time. He’s affable and amusing, but can also be endearingly cranky in ways that I identify with. If you like things, or if you don’t like things, this just might be the show for you!

Do any of my readers have podcasts or audiobooks that they’d like to recommend to me? If so, let me know in the Comments section here. Pitch it to me in a way that’ll make me like it. 😉

Stop Kinkshaming Ammosexuals

Every time there’s a shooting–which I assume we can all agree is far, far, far too often–the big argument about guns and gun rights rages across the nation (and to some degree, across the world). We all have our views on what should be done when it comes to changing gun laws, and I’m not going to talk about that here. What I’m going to talk about is something that I see happen regularly in the comments section of articles, and in various arguments/discussions in social media, when the anti-gun crowd or the “sensible regulation” crowd face off with the pro-gun crowd.

Almost invariably and inevitably, one of the anti-gun crowd calls one or all of the pro-gun crowd an “ammosexual.”

There’s a lot of general name-calling back and forth, and a hell of a lot of stereotyping, when it comes to this kind of heated political debate. Ad hominem attacks are never productive in any kind of debate, but this particular attack rubs me the wrong way for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with guns, and everything to do with how our culture sees sex and human sexuality.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ammosexual
   
Wiktionary defines the term as follows:
    (US, Slang, Derogatory) A person obsessed with owning guns; a zealous supporter of the right to bear arms.


    So why is the word “sexual” in there?

It’s because our culture–especially when trying to make things seem unseemly–loves to project a sexual element where it doesn’t necessarily exist, because we have a generally negative view of sex and sexuality.

The implication of the term “ammosexual” is not only that the person in question sexually fetishizes guns, but also that they are morally and even factually wrong for doing so. I’m going to unpack a lot of the things that are wrong with that.

First, it’s a conflation of two entirely different (if sometimes overlapping) things: a political stance supporting the right of people to own firearms, and a sexual fetish for firearms. I know many gun owners and pro-gun advocates, and I’ve never known one yet who seems to see their firearms in a sexual way. At the same time, I’m aware that there are people out there who are into gun kink, who use firearms to spice up their sex life the way that other people use whips, knives, or ropes. Believe it or not, the people in the latter category aren’t necessarily NRA members or gun rights advocates. They’re just people who have a certain kind of kink.

Having that kink does not mean that there’s anything wrong with them, nor that they are wrong about whatever side of the argument they’re on.

Moreover, the people throwing the term about do not–as far as I can tell–seriously believe that the people they’re hurling the word at actually do have any kind of kink when it comes to guns. They’re using the word as a hyperbolic insult, trying to shame people by insinuating that they’re into something kinky.

Because our society thinks that kink is shameful.

Because our society thinks that sex and sexuality is shameful.

But it’s not shameful, and it shouldn’t be shameful (unless your particular kink is being shamed, and you’re engaging in consensual play).

In a conversation about guns and violent crime, people are using sexuality as an insult to try to shame the other side into submission. It’s not simply an attack on the people targeted by the word; it’s also an attack on sex in general, kink more specifically, and gun kink directly.

Worse, this kind of thing usually comes from leftists/liberals/progressives, the kind of people who are supposed to be more enlightened when it comes to sexuality.

 

A similar situation is the idea that men who own guns must have small penises. I haven’t done a survey to see if there’s any truth to this, and nobody else has either, because the claim/insinuation doesn’t hinge on truth–it hinges on shame. It’s an attempt to shame and insult gun owners, not to do anything else. So it’s probably not true, but let’s pretend that it was true for just a moment. Let’s pretend for a moment that if a man owns a gun, for some reason that’s because he has a small penis.
    So what?
    Should men with small penises be non-consensually and publicly shamed for their bodies? Is that what we want to accomplish in our online political arguments? Is that any better than when a man dismisses what a woman has to say on a political subject by calling her “fat,” “ugly,” or “mannish?”

Body shaming is body shaming, and body shaming is bad.

Especially when the body shaming in question directly feeds the kind of toxic masculinity that is at the heart of much of the gun violence that we’ve been seeing, the tropes we have about manhood, and what it takes to be a Real Man. Accusing a gun owner of having a small penis relies on the assumption that any man with a small penis can’t be a Real Man. Considering the fact that the key traits of a spree shooter is that they are almost always males who are concerned with or caught up in societal notions of what masculinity is, I don’t think that attacking their penis size is a productive way to defuse or discuss anything.

Whatever we as a nation or a planet ultimately do with guns, we need to make our ideas of masculinity more inclusive, and our ideas of how men deal with shame more productive. What we do NOT need to do is to shame more people, and to reinforce existing prejudices about sex, sexuality, and sex organs.

 

[As a final note, I’ll point out that there are people who self-identify as an “ammosexual,” typically for the same sort of “fuck you” reclaiming reasons why Americans like the song Yankee Doodle, why some women (or men) self-identify as a “bitch,” and so forth. That doesn’t affect the nature of this post, which is not about people self-identifying, but is specifically about people applying the term to others without their consent, as a pejorative.]

Why He Thinks You’re Pretty

You know you’ve wondered.

You’ve probably also worried about it. You might might not think that you’re an utter beast, and you might think that you’re fairly good looking in certain light from the right angles, with the right clothes and the right makeup. You might be confident in your looks sometimes, but at other times you get those doubts, and you don’t understand how he can think that you’re pretty when you’re… just you.

Doesn’t he see your flaws?

Doesn’t he know what you look like when you’re not at your best?

You sometimes feel like an imposter, like maybe when he looks at you he’s seeing somebody else.

And he is.

I mean, he’s still seeing you, but it’s not the same you that lives in your mirror. He’s seeing a you that you’ve never seen before, because he’s looking at you entirely from the outside, without your familiarity, preconceptions, or your doubts. Beauty is a matter of perspective, and his perspective is different from yours.

You’ve had your entire life to look at your own body, and your perspective has been shaped by what you’ve seen. You know that perhaps you used to be thinner. You know that maybe things didn’t develop the way you expected. You look at yourself, and you see everything that you think you should be, and everything that you think you have been, and there’s this whole long history attached to how you view yourself. A history that he doesn’t have.

He has his own history, his own attachments, and his own standards of beauty.

Yes, sure, the beauty standards of the majority of people fall by definition within the mainstream. He probably likes those stunning models and pornstars, probably lusts after them and fantasizes. There are various features that are fairly universally attractive. Yet everybody within the mainstream still has their own personal tastes, their own ideas of what beauty is. Mainstream beauty is Vanilla ice cream. It’s Bud Light. It’s the generic middle of a much, much larger zone of tastes, and it’s the most universally popular in many ways because it’s generic.

The only way to have universal appeal is to be middle-of-the-road in all categories. The more that any physical feature stands out from the crowd, the more divisive it becomes, because tastes vary. Some guys like big breasts, but some don’t. Some like big butts, but some don’t. Some like thin waists, but some don’t. Some like big noses, but some don’t.

And the reverse is also true: for most every feature that many people don’t like, there are people out there who do like it.

There are many reasons for this, but the biggest reason is simply because our individual ideas of beauty are heavily based in lifelong Pavlovian responses to what we experience. When people are good to us as children, we often imprint on their physical features as representing that goodness.

We are often attracted to people who remind us in some way of our parents, simply because our parents are our models for what people “should” look like. Perhaps your eyes remind him of his mother’s eyes, for example.

We are often also attracted to people who remind us of other people we’ve been attracted to. Perhaps your smile reminds you on some level of his first crush.
But mostly–and increasingly over time–your features remind him of you, of all the things that he likes best about you.

The longer you’re with him, the more he associates your appearance with those good and unique things that you provide for him. Your smile reminds him of all the times he’s made you laugh, and of the way your face lights up when you see him. Your hair reminds him of all the times he’s run his fingers through it during intimate moments. Your eyes remind him of the way you look at him, the way they flash when you’re angry, and so on.

When you look at yourself, what stands out are your imperfections, because anything that makes you stand out as different can (and will be, and has been) used against you by somebody or by the world in general. You see these differences, and they appear ugly to you.

When he looks at you, he’s seeing the best features, the things that he likes about you. Any features that he actually doesn’t like are going to be ignored in favor of the features that he finds pleasing.

More importantly, those same traits that you dislike about yourself because they make you different from other women? He’s likely to like them, because they make you different from other women. It’s the traits that are most uniquely yours that make you stand out, and those are the ones that he’ll most strongly associate with you.

And because he loves you, he’ll tend to love the things that he associates with you, including physical features.