The View From My Brain

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Seriously fuck him.. 

Is anyone terribly surprised he quoted Dan Savage, who’s said to speak for the LGBT+ community while hatin’ on bisexuals, trans* people and lesbians? 

And now he wants to explain how a cis man needs women to affirm and accept his manly, manly sperm in order to love his body!

For a young man raised with the sense that his body – and especially his penis – is “disgusting”, a woman’s willingness to accept a facial is an intensely powerful source of affirmation.

WHAT THE FUCK.

Cis men, let me affirm something: The world is designed to appreciate your penis. The phallus is a symbol of power. 

The fastest growing cosmetic surgery isn’t for your penis, it is for vaginas. Cis men aren’t sold wipes that hurt their genitals, not the way people with vaginas are. 

Oh, sure, cis men get small dick jokes - and I’m not saying that’s acceptable. Whatever your size of penis, it is fine. It’s natural. But those jokes don’t go anywhere. Jokes about how gross and weird vaginas are? Those jokes turn in douching, into vaginal reconstruction, into people thinking their vaginas are gross.

I can’t count on two hands the amount of people I know who have never received oral sex because they think their vaginas are “weird”.

So FUCK YOU HUGO SCHWYER and telling people that if they love the men in their lives, they should accept facials. 

(There’s nothing wrong with liking facials, receiving or giving. There is something terribly wrong with guilting people into any sexual practice) 

First of all, today’s Hugo droppings are another one for the #jezebelselfparody and #feministblogsirrelevanttoactualfeminism evidence pile. Secondly, ew. Thirdly, when will this stupid woman-hating assclown stop pontificating about, of all terrible things for him to pontificate about, how women should feel about sex of whatever type? Finally, ew again.

and ftr,  this is the kind of sexism, heteronormativity and rape culture assumptions I was talking about.   Hugo’s pretty much the worst, but he’s not the only.

I am so mad right now

I really think that he is deliberately saying horrible, inflammatory things during a time when he’s well-aware that he’s under a certain degree of scrutiny, and Jezebel seems to be totally cool with it

I just posted this comment there but I doubt it’ll be published: 

“It’s very important for my own self-worth that I vomit on the faces of Hugo Schwyzer and anyone else who thought writing and publishing this was a good idea

It comes from a place of longing so it’s okay”

I hope he gets a facial from a swamp monster that jizzes acid

Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh

  • Okay, hold on, just because he quoted Dan Savage doesn’t make him a moron. Dan Savage has said fucked up shit, and I think his approach is pretty terrible sometimes (not a huge fan of the snarkiness and utter douchebaggery he displays), but it doesn’t mean EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth is crap. Furthermore, Hugo’s using it to make a point and contrast Dan’s point of view with the other comments he presents. It’s perfectly legitimate to use those statements.
  • Secondly, the quotation you’re using (For a young man raised with the sense that his body – and especially his penis – is “disgusting”, a woman’s willingness to accept a facial is an intensely powerful source of affirmation) is Hugo talking about the kid in his class and the hypothesis that, for a man who thinks his penis/semen is gross, someone accepting it in the form of a facial means acceptance. He’s not saying ALL men are looking at it like that, or that ALL men (or even MOST men) are taught that their penises are object of grodiness, but that for those who *are*, a facial can be a way for their partner to show they like their body and its fluids. Taken out of context it sounds like a huge generalization, but taken within the text, it makes more sense.
  • At the same time, I agree that vaginas get the short end of the stick here, and that bodily discomfort and self-esteem issues definitely end in a ton of douching/reconstruction/etc. There is not a huge movement/ideology that pushes men down, esp. not like there is towards women and their bodies. That is definitely an important thing to note and keep in mind the entire time.  The penis is NOT created as an object of disgust in the media and our culture, so while there are men that do feel this, it’s not something constantly reinforced through media (vs. women’s “weird genitals” that get blasted frequently).
  • I think one of the takeaways from here, though, is that we should reconsider what we assume facials mean to parties involved, and that Hugo states “ In any case, humiliation and affirmation aren’t incompatible reactions to the same act; a feeling of indignity when your partner ejaculates on your face isn’t contingent on his intending to demean you. No one should be obligated to endure humiliation for the sake of someone else’s longing for validation.” 
  • The ending of the article is kinda dumb, though, and it fucks up the rest of the piece, because it just…I don’t know. I don’t feel it provides appropriate contextualization or closure. It feels unfinished, basically, like there’s something more to say or add. I feel there should’ve definitely been a restating of the idea that, regardless of how it makes the man feel, it’s not all just about him, y’know?
  • The “he needs your love graphic” either is funny because it’s supposed to be kind of dumb and silly, or it’s just…actually dumb. I can’t decide. My initial reaction was “they’re being silly and making it super dramatic for effect,” but I’m seeing a lot of people taking it WAY differently, so I’m wondering what the original intent was?
  • Anyway: full disclosure—I work with Megan Andelloux, am friends with Charlie Glickman, and am an acquaintance of Hugo. This doesn’t make me uncritical of them, but I thought it’d be important to state. If they’re saying something stupid, I’m going to call them out on it, but I think posters are either not getting the point of this text or taking a piece of it and saying it’s the whole. Either way, no. Incorrect. STILL, he should’ve probably done a better job of contextualizing the “degrading” facial and how it can still be perpetuated *even when* someone is thinking of it as “an acceptance thing”; I think he assumes his audience is already familiar with the cultural idea of facials and already understands a lot of their baggage in a way that might not be true and might even be damaging.

Hmm I agree with you that there’s a bit too much taking bits and pieces out of context in this discussion. However, I think HS’s article is extremely poorly written, mainly because it posits the notion that a man can find this acceptance and stuff ONLY through facials. And that’s a load of bull.

There are a LOT of people out there who will not only willingly but with fervour and pleasure give their cis male sex partner a blowjob and swallow the results. How is it that this is somehow not enough to show the cis man that he is accepted for all the he and his body is? How is it that some of these cis men need to ALSO see their sperm covering their partner’s face?

I think it’d be a LOT more interesting to delve into the dynamics going on when cis men don’t feel accepted for who and what they are if they aren’t allowed to do facials. Why is it that this specific act is necessary for them to feel accepted for who and what they are? Could it be that the discussion we ought to be having shouldn’t be about whether cis men deserve to be accepted for who they are, but rather be about why some cis men are this way, and whether it is actually a bad thing for the rest of us to not accept them, when what they sometimes are is domineering assholes with tendencies to like denigrating their partners (without the explicit framework of a D/s relationship)?

I feel like HS is setting the issue up as if it’s two completely separate options. Some cis men like facials because they want to humiliate their partners and some cis men like facials because it makes the feel good and clean and better about themselves.

Yeah, well sounds like the same fucking thing to me. The only way to raise yourself up through an action done to someone else, is if that action pushes that other person down. Thus it’s no fucking wonder these guys feel better about themselves after their partner having accepted a facial, because in essence their partner has just accepted (and thus declared rightful) their dominance over said partner. OF COURSE that makes them feel better about themselves. It makes them feel justified.

Could we perhaps examine whether it’s a good thing to justify and even laud the acceptance and ego-stroking of cis men’s dominance, rather than just pretend that the only ramification either way is whether or not they’ll be sad about who they are? Maybe who they are isn’t a terribly fantastic thing to be, and it’s OKAY to discuss that. Could we possibly discuss WHY some cis men need to enact a humiliating act on a woman in order to feel better about themselves? Because THAT is a pretty huge deal the way I see it. Sure, it may genuinely make them feel better and feel accepted, but why is it the humiliating act of a facial rather than, say, any other mutually giving sex act that a person enthusiastically engages in with them? Isn’t it damned telling that these cis men he’s talking about and defending feel better and more accepted when their partner “will accept a facial”? Note, he’s not talking about their partners enjoying them. No, just accepting them. The partner actually taking enjoyment from these guys’ bodies does not help their insecurities - only this dubious act of degradation that their partner does not enjoy but merely accepts, this helps. And that tells me that these (hopefully few) cis men who work like HS portrays it, has something in them that’s way more fucked than just a low self-esteem and bodily insecurities.

Okay, I better stop now, because I think I’ll just be repeating myself if I go on any longer.

I do feel that holding people’s past against them as if they neither have changed nor can and will change is deeply unfair. And so I am mostly unwilling to drag HS’s past into discussion as is frequently done. HOWEVER, when this is the kind of shit he spews in the present, we don’t exactly need dubious actions of the past to figure out that this dude has not examined patriarchy’s effect on men quite as thoroughly as he thinks and claims, and that alone is enough to not listen to him. And take his analysis with several grains (make that bags) of salt.

- Wait, where does it present the notion that it’s the only way to find that sort of acceptance? (or not a specific “where,” but what things point to that)? I didn’t read it like that at all; I saw facials as being an option, not the end-all, be-all, but maybe I missed something? Thoughts?

What points to it? The fact that the entire article is about “women accepting facials” rather than “women interacting with cis men’s sperm in multiple ways”. This in itself tells me that the facial, while not the be-all and end-all of insecurity-repellants, is definitely posited as the strongest and most significant of all interactions a woman might have with her cis male partner’s ejaculate.

The quote: “For a young man raised with the sense that his body – and especially his penis – is “disgusting”, a woman’s willingness to accept a facial is an intensely powerful source of affirmation.”

It is specifically the facial we’re talking about. Some of the things I mentioned might also work, but is is specifically the facial, which is elevated to have these self-esteem boosting effects. Hence my interpretation.

- Anyway—your commentary was really interesting! I’d love to see someone go into those questions. Any cis-men wanna jump in and talk about it? I think the facial vs. swallowing vs. spitting vs. other semen-related acts could be a fascinating exploration—-how do people receiving and how do people ejaculating feel about the actions, themselves, and their partners? What do they think they’re doing? Why are they doing it? This sort of thing requires a degree of self-awareness that may or may not be there, though, sooooo it’s not easy to get this kind of information and “rest assured” that it’s “objective.”

Objective is not gonna happen. Ever. It’s about sex and feelings and emotions. It will always be subjective and that’s the way it should be. Real people in the real world having real physical interactions with their partner(s), can’t use objectivity for anything :-) So let’s not fall into the trap of thinking objectivity is worth striving for. Life is subjective.

Anyway, there are two views presented by the cis men consulted in the article. The one where the woman accepts the facial and the one where she enjoys it. The latter I have no qualms with whatsoever, because if it is an act that is mutually enjoyable it becomes unproblematic. The former is what I take issue with, because seriously… if I have a sex partner who would not just be thankful for being allowed to do something to me that I was not enthusiastic about but merely accepted, but they would literally feel better after having done this thing to me, specifically because I accept it. That would make me leery as hell of how they view me as a person. I mean, if the act itself feels good, then I can understand the enthusiasm for being allowed it, but here it is explicitly stated that the act makes them feel better about themselves, these cis guys in question (I’ve no idea how large a percentage it is anyway - no idea at all). I’m seeing a tone in the article prioritizing cis men’s egos above the emotional connections between two partners in a relationship.

I’m finding it extremely hard to wrap my mind around how it can make anyone feel better about themselves to do something sexual to a partner who’s not really into it, but is just accepting it for their sake. If I had a sexual wish and my partner didn’t like it but consented to make me happy, I’d feel awesome about their love for me, but I’d say no thanks, because I don’t want to do anything that they’re not into. And if I did take them up on the offer I’d feel extremely weird about myself, even if it was fully consensual and everything I definitely wouldn’t feel any cleaner or more confident.

And when somebody does this, then I’m seriously wondering (and I think one of the other commenters in the thread pointed it out, too) whether they’re placing any value at all in the rest of the relationship.

It’s as if being in a relationship, being loved and having sex isn’t enough for some of these guys, they must have that little thing, even if their partners only accept it without liking it in order to feel loved. I think there are some serious issues they need to work through.

- It’s true, HS is setting it up as 2 different options, but it’s because he’s playing the two extremes. I personally think it’s a Venn Diagram where Circle A is “facials for acceptance and love” and Circle B is “facials for degradation.” They are not entirely overlapping, but there is a middle-ground where they meet (and I can see places where they’d meet in D/s, too!). I disagree with you that the “only way to raise yourself up through an action done to someone else, is if that action pushes that other person down.” Especially how HS presents it, in the context of post-AIDS society, “accepting” semen can be an act of trust and faith, an act that shows the receptive partner loves the body/fluids/etc. of their ejaculator. Why does receiving semen or liking it *have* to put someone lower on the ladder than their partner? I’m not saying it CAN’T, but that it doesn’t HAVE to.

First: a post-AIDS society? This term rubs me the wrong way on so many levels I can’t even begin to list them. Could we please not pretend that AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases/infections aren’t a problem anymore? I made the mistake of trusting a dude once - guess what I ended up with? Yep. An STI. Yes, it can be a sign of trust, but the context is most definitely not post-AIDS. Did you know that many countries in Europe are experiencing HUGE outbreaks of chlamydia amongst people aged 15-30 due to having unsafe sex?

And your other point: Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my previous post, and I tried to spell it out in my above paragraph, but I am making a HUGE distinction between women who like it and women who don’t, but accept it nonetheless. I do not count women who like facials in the group being degraded. At all. Ever. Let me just state that so there’s no mistake. Any sex-act that you like engaging in (with a fully consenting partner) does not degrade you. End of story. Therefore they are not the problem. And heck, the issue isn’t on the women’s side anyway. The issue is not whether or not the women feel degraded, the issue is what the cis men feel they are doing.

There’s that subjectivity again ;-) even if the woman doesn’t feel degraded by the actions, the man’s emotional reactions to the act can still be fully or partially caused by deeply problematic internalised patriarchal dominance-shit - even if he’s unaware of it. As you pointed out yourself (though I’m paraphrasing a bit): it requires an unusual level of self-awareness to figure out where all your immediate emotional reactions to things come from.

Seriously, though, many others have written on the subject before, and though I haven’t read a lot of it, I’m fairly certain my thoughts aren’t terribly original. That said, I’m seeing so many things in this that correspond to wanting to leave one’s mark on something. The “Killroy was here”, if you will. And where’s the most visible place you can leave a mark? It’s on the part of the body used for visual identification; ie. the face. It may come off in the shower, sure, but for just a little while your mark is on another person.

Most cis women can’t do this. Leave a little something with their partner, I mean. And interestingly enough there isn’t much to suggest that there has ever been such a widely spread tendency among women to want this as there seems to be among cis men to want to deliver facials. The only (and very remote) parallel I can find to this is the classic stereotypical thing where the mistress leaves her lipstick on the man’s collar to show the wife that “I had him too”.

Anyway I don’t doubt for a moment that the men HS are talking about really do feel better about themselves if their partner accepts receiving a facial. I don’t doubt it at all. But I’m finding it very hard to believe that they have moved so far into that bogus “post-AIDS society” that they see it as an expression of their partner’s love and acceptance of their bodies. Especially considering that many cis men (if not most?) who’d be overjoyed to be allowed giving a facial would at the same time scoff at receiving one from their partner. I didn’t need to listen to that many of my cis male acquaintances to figure that out, and that pretty much tells me everything. They themselves are cool with giving facials but not with receiving. And that does not at all support the argument that it’s all for the alleviation of bodily insecurities. And even if it is, they apparently only care about their own and not those of their partners’. It is a very small minority who’d be cool with it going both ways without even having to stop and think.

- Think of piss-play, too. For some people, it’s about the degradation and the ickiness or whatever. For some people, they really like the smell/color/taste and like sharing that/their fluids with a partner, and for some people it’s both. In the case of the “non-D/s” situation, pissing on someone or getting pissed on is not about the power-dynamic, it’s about the intimacy and the piss itself. In the case of semen, if a guy feels “clean” (which is a strange way of putting it, but makes sense in the context of disease and the “clean/unclean” metaphors around STIs) after giving someone a facial, it doesn’t have to be because the other person is now dirty, or because the other person is degraded, but it can be because the other person has—BY VIRTUE OF ACCEPTING THE SEMEN—assured them that they are not threatened, that they are “clean.” That’s what HS was getting at. Then again, if facials were a risk reduction and saw them as an alternative to having someone cum INSIDE them, I’d propose some men could actually feel DIRTIER ‘cause their partner isn’t willing to “fully” take them in, and seems to assume their semen might be dangerous. Hm. Something to think about.

(ARGH my x-key is dying on me… during a post about sex, in which the x is needed more often than anywhere else. How fucking typical is that? Who did I piss off? Anyway, if x’es are missing here and there, now you know why >_<)

You make excellent points regarding piss play and intimacy, and if HS and the men who were mentioned in the article were actually talking about intimacy, then I’m pretty sure they would have talked about intimacy. But they specifically talk about the facial as a way for the man to achieve validation; to feel desired and desirable.

And the desire to feel ‘clean’ skeeves me off to no end. Especially when put in the contet of STIs, because disease = unclean has so many connotations concenring sexual morality, slut-shaming etc. that ughhh. I’m having serious trouble even using the word clean in this context outside of showers and baths being involved as well. It is women who have historically been portrayed as unclean if they have sex - any kind of sex. Yes, I can absolutely understand that some cis men have internalised the sense of uncleanliness of their penis being the “unclean-making” tool here, but I’m having a really hard time understanding why this effect is better countered with facials than with any other sexual act involving the woman being in touch with the penis and the ejaculate, which is what that argument implies. And this specifically makes no sense and tells me that it has to be something about the face specifically, rather than about the internalised sense of uncleanliness that HS and his anecdotal conversation partners posit.

- Anyway. I think my problem with your later argument is that it presents facials as something that *always* has power as a big component. No doubt people should be aware that their actions DO have connotations and ramifications that may mirror or “support” grand-scheme societal power dynamics, but it doesn’t mean they are acting on THOSE reasons. Humiliation and degradation depends, in a large part, on the position of the people, and if they feel humiliated/degraded (as well as what the intentions are from the person doing the action). Again, the piss-play example—if someone peed on me, I wouldn’t feel instantly humiliated. If it were in a D/s context and I were being otherwise degraded and downtrodden, the peeing could feel humiliating, but the point is that peeing on me wouldn’t ALWAYS carry the same connotation.

Yes to all of this last paragraph (except for the personal preferences - mine are different, but you get the idea ^_^). Context between the persons involved is paramount, and I really hope that I have made it much clearer than before that I am not concerned with anything that people engage in enthusiastically. But I reserve the right to be very leery and cautious of people literally feeling better about themselves after doing something to their partner that they know said partner is only just tolerating and not liking. Feeling better about the relationship I could understand, when having a partner who’s willing to do things with you they’re not super-excite about themselves, but feeling better about oneself? Hmm… and HS’s article does mostly centre the men’s feelings towards themselves, not the men’s feelings regarding the ‘ship and their partner, and that’s also a focus that makes me uncomfortable considering the context of who’s giving what.

Anyway, I feel like I should probably add that I come from a context of my father having a kink, and my mum being harrassed by him into complying with it, and him not giving a flying fuck that complying with his wishes triggered her phobia something awful and generally was awful for her. He felt better because of having his kink sated, despite the fact that the woman he supposedly loved felt worse. This is a somewhat extreme situation, of course, what with my mum’s objections being based on a disability (phobia) rather than just preferences and whether or not she felt like it.

But nonetheless I am SUPER wary of people, who can look past the fact that their partner is not into it and feel better about themselves for it. It’s… dodgy to me in every way.

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    Acceptance can definitely be achieved elsewhere, when needed (I think MOST people growing up struggle with body image),...
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  22. subtlecluster reblogged this from jemimaaslana and added:
    **AH, dangit, I am packing and can’t reply at length, but I really need to state ASAP that what I meant by “post-AIDS”...
  23. ikepartdeux reblogged this from albusmumblecore and added:
    I can’t say I understand why men find it attractive. I find it degrading to both partners. I don’t understand why a man...
  24. albusmumblecore reblogged this from twilightmaze and added:
    I tried it once, because I knew he’d found it hot with other girls, and I was curious. Neither of us liked it. My prior...
  25. kfs2 reblogged this from queerbuckthrace and added:
    Hugo Schwyzer is a misogynist dick
  26. jemimaaslana reblogged this from beautysnaked and added:
    Bolded for such a concise and succinct way of putting it. The article sounds much too one-way. Making each other feel...
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  28. beautysnaked reblogged this from fluffyfemme and added:
    I love facials but like fuck would I be accepting them purely because some guy feels bad about his wang & needs some...
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