Talking about love/sex on forums

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Noa Rodman
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Nov 15 2017 08:05
Talking about love/sex on forums

It seems that an unwritten rule of fora is that one doesn't talk about love/sex, whereas on social media it can range from explicit tales of exploits (or their failures/lack thereof), and posting a picture(/drawing) of a beautiful person provided with a comment like: so hot (or "hawt" as they put it nowadays), to pictures of holding hands or a kiss with one's partner, and pictures showcasing one's half-naked body, and so on.

Perhaps that's even a reason why fora have become less populated than social media. I think it cannot be simply/entirely due to the posting options of the place; surely one can open a forum section about sex/relationships, direct message in private is possible on most fora, and even just have a sexy avatar. There's the perception that fora have become "up-tight", ruled by a stifling puritanism where any "fun" in general is forbidden.

Now I can see common sense reasons justifying this state of affairs, e.g. because mixing frivolous things like personal kinks with serious political stuff doesn't encourage the level of debate (I would say sex-posting even can be a used as a deliberate troll-weapon to stop serious debate), or just because fora are the public internet, where anything you say/post about sex can be later used by opponents against you in a debate, or because any libertarian tolerance for sex talk potentially risks opening the door to an environment of sexual harassment, and simply embarrassment (imagine a literal dick-measuring thread).

So to be clear is there an unwritten rule? Is it justified by common sense?

Fleur
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Nov 15 2017 15:10

I kind of assume there are other places to post about love and sex? I have waded in here at times when the puritans come marching through because fuck that shit, nobody should be telling grown adults how they consensually get off but generally I’m not really interested in talking about it on a political site.

If someone does post intimate stuff here it will be used against you, that’s for sure. I’ve had a tediously snobby previous poster use the information that I read comic books in a spiteful little way to make some point or another. Recently I’ve had someone intimate that I’m a church going porn fan (neither of which is true) to make a point. People have long memories for old threads out of context.

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Nov 15 2017 15:55
Fleur wrote:
People have long memories for old threads out of context.

This is the internet. People can and will actually go through your post history to find so-called dirt on you. I mean, people will screen shot social media posting and comments to use it as ammunition later on, just in case. Not sure if that happened in your particular case, though.

Personally, I find the sex lives of others really boring. But if people want to post about it, I wouldn't mind in the sense that I would not bother reading it or sharing any stories.

Mike Harman
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Nov 15 2017 15:59

Forums don't have the same granular visibility as say twitter or facebook - i.e. libcom forums (and most forum software) don't allow you to mute other posters, block them from seeing your posts, or have a private account where you can approve who can see your posts. I think this is why a lot of discussion in general has moved off forums onto social media.

Fleur
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Nov 15 2017 16:14

Also, this place is not as anonymous as you may think. Some people who post here know other posters IRL, from social media. There are grudges and beefs and gossip. Be careful of what you post up.

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Nov 15 2017 17:32
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This is the internet. People can and will actually go through your post history to find so-called dirt on you. I mean, people will screen shot social media posting and comments to use it as ammunition later on, just in case. Not sure if that happened in your particular case, though.

I don't know how well that holds up, on libcom at least. I was once searched for articles about the trans issue for my facebook page but I also came across some very bad forum threads.

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Nov 15 2017 17:55

Unfortunately it does, though less on libcom in my experience. And yeah, there are some really horrible threads on trans issues from the past. I don't think I took part in those threads that much, but I shudder to think about what I may have written.

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Nov 15 2017 19:02

Heinrich Heine used his opponents' sex life against them (as documented in this – less interesting than its title suggests– article: Heine's Sexual Assaults: Towards a Theory of the Total Polemic online here).

Shouldn't be relevant in political discussions, and just have thick-skin if someone brings up whatever you posted, I'd say. But the haters will of course bring up precisely anything deviating from the normal (in their petty conception). If they attack a person for an expression of transsexuality, they can be banned for bigotry, but they can use/ridicule less clear things (/insert list of sexual preferences), i.e. without being(/appearing as) bigots, but just petty jerks. Still, I think that thick-skinned attitude should apply not only to "normal" sexuality.

Even if you post about sex in a limited audience on social media, I think in fact it already shows quite a lot of self-confidence. For the other people following you on social media who aren't interested in your sex-posting though, they don't have the option to ignore specifically your sex-posts, mixed-in in otherwise serious political posts. I personally find that an annoyance (and even imagine it can be a deliberate troll-weapon). On forums you do have the ability to simply ignore such types of threads.

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Nov 16 2017 15:36

It shouldn't be relevant but someone will probably dredge it up, also it's the kind of thing that lazy journalists would love to see. There are plenty of forums where you could post about this stuff, but I don't think libcom is the right place, although there have been threads in the past. MATB had some and they referred quite frequently to the 'nobbing and sobbing' forum on Urban75, of which I remember that it existed smile

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Nov 17 2017 13:25

"Nobbing" sounds ok.

... in the French language the word sex (sexe) is rare before the sixteenth century; the etymology of the word, which is controversial, has been thought to be the Latin secare, “cut,” “divide.” Sexus is the fact of being male or female and is always accompanied by the adjectives virilis or muliebris. The French adjective sexuel/le is a rather late borrowing (1742) from the Low Latin sexualis, “of the female sex.”

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sexus

Unknown, of uncertain origin; compare secō (“cut”), via supine sectum

(If this theory is correct, then the word sectarianism is related to sex.)

btw, I also looked up the etymology for word "job" because I hate how it sounds. In full communism that word "job" should be abolished imo.

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Nov 18 2017 16:37
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There are plenty of forums where you could post about this stuff, but I don't think libcom is the right place, although there have been threads in the past.

Just for argument's sake, there are also other, more specific places to post about music songs (art, culture, really anything in general). But it is just for an occasional post, and in that case most of us (I assume) will not bother to sign up to a specific forum (like a subreddit).

As for the risk of dredging up of dirt by journalists, it depends on what you post. If it is just an expression of personal taste or illustrating image, than the newspapers themselves already have pictures of half-nude models on their front page. But I suppose, even if none of us strive to be careerists for respectable positions, still such "dirt" could be a means to bring into disrepute (or even dismissal) ordinary workers, like teachers, in case they have strike? If that risk is real, then it should be taken into account also for posting on social media.

Other possible common sense reasons; sex-posting would make (part of) the forum NSFW, the fact that there are non-adult members who either visit or post themselves, and lastly, that any expression of sexual preference or sexual image can be called sexist.

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Nov 18 2017 19:20

Eduard Fuchs, whom Benjamin called "the pioneer of a materialist consideration of art" (in his essay on Fuchs), published three big volumes on the history of erotic art (Geschichte der erotischen Kunst), of which only the first volume is online, e.g. on archive.org (and only the first edition, at that). It's not so easy to view. There is a pdf-file of a Russian 1995 edition that is based on a revised edition FWIW though.

Band 1: Das zeitgeschichtliche Problem: 385 Abb. u. 36 Farbtafeln; 7, XXII, 412
Band 2: Das individuelle Problem. Erster Teil: 350 Abb. u. 51 Farbt; 7, VII, 439
Band 3: Das individuelle Problem. Zweiter Teil: 416 Abb. u. 50 Ft; 7, VIII, 400

Each contained several hundreds of illustrations.

Among other works, he also composed 2 volumes on matriarchy in history (Die Weiberherrschaft), again with several hundreds of illustrations: here and here.

He was an important political figure too:

Quote:
Eduard Fuchs (1870-1940) was instructed by the headquarters of the Spartakusbund to get directly in touch with Lenin and other influential representatives of the RCP(B) and the Soviet state. He offered his services because during the war he had met Lenin several times in Switzerland, had his confidence and had been entrusted by the Soviet government with the function of Civil Commissioner for the Russian prisoners of war in Germany. Using this mission he travelled to Soviet Russia where he spoke with Lenin between the 26th & 28th December in Moscow. Edward Fuchs handed over the letter and draft programme written by Rosa Luxembourg entitled What does the Spartacusbund Want?
Lenin wrote:
We must urgently (to be endorsed in the C.C. before departure of the Spartacist{Fuchs}) prepare an international socialist conference for founding the Third International. (in Berlin (openly) or in Holland (secretly), say, for 1.11.1919)
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Nov 24 2017 17:40

I have some 20 cartoon collections of Georges Wolinski (murdered in the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris), whose main subject (it's fair to say) is about love and sex. They take a lot of space (333MB) so I want to delete them, but they were relatively difficult to find online. Let me know in case anyone wants me to upload them (not on libcom it's understood, though Wolinski was sort of leftwing). Titles include:
A bas l'amour copain
J'etait un sale phallocrate
Les droits de la femme (et de l'homme)
Sexuellement correct
etc.

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Nov 24 2017 17:51

I don't mind if people use this thread to post their questions/comments on sex, their sexual preferences, banal/"vulgar" observations to deep theoretical musings. I'd declare this a "safe space" if you want. Also, for example the transgender-subject does (I think obviously) involve a question of the person's sexual preferences.

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Nov 26 2017 16:30

According to wikipedia cissexual or cisgender was a term coined by Volkmar Sigusch in 1991.

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Cisgender has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix cis-, meaning "on this side of", which means the opposite of trans-, meaning "across from" or "on the other side of". This usage can be seen [e.g.] in Cisjordan, as distinguished from Transjordan.
wiki on Sigusch wrote:
He was from 1973 to 2006 director of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft [Institute for Sexual Science] at the clinic of the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main.

He studied medicine, psychology and philosophy (student of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno) in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin and Hamburg.

That Institute of Sexual Science was closed in 2006. In English there's a short interview with Sigusch in Der Spiegel. He is/was also editor of several scientific journals about sex.

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Nov 26 2017 16:49
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If they attack a person for an expression of transsexuality, they can be banned for bigotry, but they can use/ridicule less clear things (/insert list of sexual preferences), i.e. without being(/appearing as) bigots, but just petty jerks. Still, I think that thick-skinned attitude should apply not only to "normal" sexuality.

I'm not quite sure what is trying to be said here but I just want to point out that being trans is in no way connected to ones sexuality.

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Nov 26 2017 18:17

Not my point with that particular passage, but I do lean towards the view that "being trans" is connected to ones sexuality (although not exclusively). To enter a debate on this question, I think the possible fear is that if one were to justify "being trans" (even partly) on one's sexuality, it would seem just an individual/unimportant/hedonistic whim.

I think that tends to downplay sex as if it were something unimportant (or even something shameful), something that can be isolated from the rest of one's "normal life", and something where one doesn't freely control one's own desire/"will".

Just my own ramblings of course, so other views are welcome.

Fleur
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Nov 26 2017 19:11

It’s a matter of gender. Gender and sexuality are entirely separate things. My gender - cis woman - is in no way contingent on my sexuality or vice versa.

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Nov 26 2017 20:20
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Gender and sexuality are entirely separate things.

The distinction made is between gender ("nurture") and sex ("nature"). i'd say sexuality is part of gender (if I have to use that term).

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Nov 26 2017 20:28
Noa Rodman wrote:
I think that tends to downplay sex as if it were something unimportant (or even something shameful),

I meant to say here sexuality!

Fleur
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Nov 26 2017 20:46

Gender is someone’s innermost conception of how they identify themselves, male, female, non binary or elsewhere on the spectrum. It is a matter of personal identity. Sexuality is who you are attracted to. Gender encompasses far more things than sexuality. People are often conflating the two things, even though they are different. People often mistakenly conflate being trans with a sexual thing, where it is not.

Gender and sexuality are both essential parts to how someone identifies but they are not the same and not connected with each other. Some people sexualize being trans, which I imagine must be really bloody annoying. Being trans or cis is a gender identity not a sexual orientation.

The nature-nurture thing is way too simplistic anyway.

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Nov 26 2017 21:16

Agreed that gender and sexuality aren't the same thing, but gender does encompass sexuality. For example a (post-operation) transwoman could be sexually attracted to men or women (or both), but I think sexuality did play a role in the decision to become a transwoman. To put it simply, they didn't find that the use of their penis gave them enjoyment in sexual activity.

Fleur
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Nov 26 2017 21:32

Seriously? How do you know what people’s opinions about their penises are? Not everyone (anyone?) makes vitally life changing based upon their dicks. Not to meet he fact that all conversations relating being trans ends up vey boiled down to genitalia.

Also, worth bearing in mind any sex which is reduced to what someone does with their penis is pretty much crap sex, irrespective of what your gender or sexuality is.

And someone does not become a trans woman post operatively , they are already a woman, it is gender affirming surgery and having a penis does not make her any less of a woman either.

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Nov 26 2017 22:35
Fleur wrote:
How do you know what people’s opinions about their penises are? Not everyone (anyone?) makes vitally life changing based upon their dicks. Not to mention the fact that all conversations relating to being trans ends up being boiled down to genitalia.

Also, worth bearing in mind any sex which is reduced to what someone does with their penis is pretty much crap sex, irrespective of what your gender or sexuality is.

And someone does not become a trans woman post operatively, they are already a woman, it is gender affirming surgery and having a penis does not make her any less of a woman either.

My basic hypothesis was that sexuality plays a role in gender transition. That man's sexuality can't be reduced to the use of his penis or sexual organs is true in the trivial sense that a Beethoven symphony can't be reduced to a mere collection of the musical instruments. A man's sexuality involves the usage (in whatever physical way, including cuckolding, or in fantasy) of his penis. If he comes to identify as a transwoman while keeping their penis, they will sexually use(/fantasize about) their penis in a different way than when they were a man.

Fleur
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Nov 26 2017 23:18

I don’t think I want to be bothered with this conversation anymore, it’s very basic gender 101, that gender and sexuality are separate constructs. You may want to bundle yours up into a phallocentric entity but that’s not how it is for not people and you can’t make assumptions that other people feel the same way, especially when they say they do not. It’s a common complaint among trans people that many cis people just don’t get being trans and/or transitioning and conflate it with being an interesting sex thing. Also that cis people are weirdly interested in their genitals. It might be useful to do some research on gender as explained by trans people. I am making an assumption that you are cis, mainly because I have never come across a trans person who cited what they get up to in bed as a reason for their transition. I have, otoh, known trans people who went into the process knowing that it would have a serious detrimental effect on their sex life, as it would on many other social relationships.

Being trans is not an interesting expansion pack to add onto your sex game.

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Nov 27 2017 09:06

Agreed that gender and sexuality are separate constructs, but they can overlap, as you implicitly acknowledged before:

Quote:
Gender encompasses far more things than sexuality.

And my point wasn't to reduce man's sexuality to a phallocentric entity. So again, agreed that sexuality involves not only (but nevertheless involves) the use(/fantasy about) sexual organs.

My thesis was that sexuality plays a role in gender transition. It indeed "might be useful to do some research on gender as explained by trans people", but surely this applies to both of us, so that we can cite from scientific journals dealing with transgenderism and transsexuality to back up our positions. Given that such research would involve asking about sexual desires, it is understandable why transgender people, as anyone else, would feel reluctant to openly talk about such desires (but if anyone wants to do that on this thread, feel free).

Quote:
I have never come across a trans person who cited what they get up to in bed as a reason for their transition.

Now I'll be the one to warn you against reductionism, since sexuality involves not only what you do in bed, but encompasses seduction, being desired, shows of affection, etc..

Quote:
I have, otoh, known trans people who went into the process knowing that it would have a serious detrimental effect on their sex life, as it would on many other social relationships.

If you refer to detrimental social effect from society's judgement (and not physical operation, as you pointed out, one can be trans without operaiton), I don't think this would negate my claim that they strive (as one of the reasons) to increase enjoyment of their sexuality as a transgender (compared to as a cisgender).

Quote:
It’s a common complaint among trans people that many cis people just don’t get being trans and/or transitioning and conflate it with being an interesting sex thing.

There are several paths/reasons to transition. I merely think sexuality deserves to be mentioned as one of them.

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Nov 27 2017 09:56

Sex and gender are not the same thing. In Britain they pressured gay men into having sex changes and these men then had psychological problems and many killed themselves. Because their identity was as a man and their sexuality meant they wanted sex with men. It's pretty simple. Transwomen are not necessarily straight.

Incidentally they still does gender operations for gay men in Iran, I don't know how succesful it is, although I remember reading something saying that trans women would try to get on these programs whereas actual gay men would avoid them like the plague. And you can still be executed for being gay there as well.

Noa, did you ever consider that perhaps your way of discussing things puts people off? It seems like you just want to throw complex sentences at people until they agree with you.

ten seconds googling
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29832690

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Nov 27 2017 13:16

Yes, as I wrote:

Quote:
transwoman could be sexually attracted to men or women (or both),

.

Quote:
your way of discussing things puts people off? It seems like you just want to throw complex sentences at people until they agree with you.

The question under discussion is whether sexuality is a factor in gender transition. I answer yes, that is perfectly possible (and for me even obvious). Others like Fleur (I don't know about you jef) seem to take the position that sexuality has no or little role in gender transition, almost by definition, equally as a common sense assumption. I don't seek agreement. I try to understand the other position. I speculated about reasons why the role of sexuality is minimized or denied. Is it that sexuality is considered a less legitimate/'authentic" reason to transition?

Fleur
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Nov 27 2017 13:43

Postulate. Thesis. Hypothesis. Citing academic studies.

I have no interest in discussing other people’s lived experience as an interesting intellectual exercise and as a slightly spicy sex topic. TBH, I’m not in the slightest bit interested in what other people do in bed anyway. Trans people get enough of this prurient poking about in their sex lives, their genitalia and second guessing their motivations from TERFs and the right wing press. I prefer to listen to trans people rather than rummaging about in scientific journals trying to prove a point contrary to the ones they themselves make.

Jef:

Absolutely, gay people in Iran are pressurized into gender reassignment surgery, in some cases the alternative being executed for being gay. Maybe things have improved medically but from what little knowledge I have on the subject (a few years old) the surgery is pretty brutal & perfunctory, giving an outward appearance of gender reassignment but no effort gone to to allow for any kind of sexual function, pleasure. I guess you could say that Iran is the ultimate extreme of what happens when gender and sexuality are confused for each other.

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Nov 27 2017 14:19
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I prefer to listen to trans people rather than rummaging about in scientific journals trying to prove a point contrary to the ones they themselves make.

But about such a delicate topic as sexual desires transgenders, like anyone, would be more comfortable to talk anonymously to scientific researchers, than to you or me (even if they trust us as close friends). I see no reason why scientific journals on transgenderism are less reliable than your anecdotal hearsay. Btw, I'm not asking you do this intellectual exercise, I myself am too lazy to back up my own position with peer-reviewed literature.

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Nov 28 2017 14:58

(for your information: International Journal of Transgenderism: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wijt)

Regarding my original post – can we discuss sexuality on forums etc. – clearly if you don't think that is advisable in general (for reasons of security against right-wing smears and so on), then you will also think that (and perhaps even more so) for discussion about transgender's sexuality on forums. I think such discussion does happen more on social media, than on forums. I just hope that if anyone (whether cis or trans) does bring up their sexuality, the posters here (including me) who find it boring will refrain from expressing comments like: "zzzzzzzzzzzzzz" or "yawn".