ramblings of an expert anarcha-hedonist

Folks I Follow

Is your partner too controlling? Learn how to make positive changes in your relationship and recognize when your emotional dependency becomes unhealthy.

By Dr. Marion Goertz

Codependency occurs when a capable adult relinquishes control of their life and their happiness to another person, believing incorrectly that their passivity is somehow going to give them what they want.

Falling in love usually starts off with a wonderful cocktail of hormones and joy juices like adrenaline, oxytocin and pheromones coursing through our system. They leave us tingling, excited and distracted from anything but the object of our desire.

If, however, we don’t adjust that obsession over time to allow for reality to get a firm foothold, we can be plagued by feelings of lack of control, despair and longing. If the relationship continues, one person or the other can become lost, diminished and unable to make wise choices about asserting their rights and staying true to who they are. Codependency is an unnatural outcome.

Recognizing the signs of codependency
Your emotions aren’t your own:
• Most of the time you are feeling extremes of hurt, anger and powerlessness or euphoria and excitement…based mostly on another person’s action or inaction.

Your life is controlled by someone else:

• You find yourself thinking/saying, “If only they would…then I would….”
• Your centre of power is outside of you…you make decisions based on someone else’s wants and desires. 
• Someone else’s opinion carries more weight than your own.
• You become disempowered and immobilized, trying to anticipate what someone else wants or will do before you move.

Your best time and energy are spent reacting rather than being proactive: 
• You keep thinking that you can change someone else’s thoughts, feelings or behaviours.

Your self-esteem starts to diminish:
• You dupe yourself into thinking that if you were prettier, smarter, asked for more, asked for less, the other person would accept and love you. 
• Waiting for someone else to change is changing you…you are less engaged in normal healthy activities of life and your joy juice is sapped dry!

Your life is stuck on an emotional roller coaster:
• You keep hoping or fantasizing about how, one day, your life will be better.
• You are held hostage by your fear of the other person’s potential sadness or anger.

If any of this sounds like you…
• Recognize your addiction, talk to a healthy friend or adviser and begin today to take back the control of your life and your well-being.

• Realize that you are powerless over what the other person feels, thinks or does. You didn’t cause it and you can’t fix it. It is none of your business. You only have the right and the responsibility to take good care of you

• Soothe the self-doubting parts of you that are fuelling your chasing of dreams in such a self-defeating, nightmare way.

• Replace that hunger for someone else to complete you with maturity, self-respect and a self-awakening that comes through time spent with safe people. 

• Hang out with a new crowd. Safe people make wise choices to ensure their well-being and expect you to do the same.

• Fill your agenda with self-affirming and community-serving activities that are all about knowing yourself better through responsible social action.

• Stay away from people who want to control you or need you to control them. That’s just creepy, unless they’re under five and you’re their legal guardian. 

• Learn to recognize earlier the signs that you are giving up your power and aren’t making choices that are best for you. You are saying yes when you should be saying no.

• Clarify your perceptions when you begin to feel anxious or think the roller coaster of emotions has begun in a new relationship. Challenge the other person in a curious — not critical — manner, and move on if the answers aren’t ones that respect your right to have a different opinion.

Begin with your safest relationships to practice your blossoming autonomy. If you have become too dependent on needing the positive regard of others or seldom get what you want for fear of disappointing them, then you may need to renegotiate your position. As an adult, where there is no risk of abuse, a stance of mutuality is the goal to seek. You owe it to yourself to have healthy relationships. When the choice is yours — and it usually is — settle for nothing less.

Overcome guilt and start choosing what’s best for you.

By Jessica Padykula

Trying to overcome guilt can be as tricky as guilt itself. This devious emotion not only makes an appearance when we do something wrong (like borrowing your sister’s blouse without telling her, then spilling Shiraz on it), but it can also impact how you decide important issues and determine who influences your choices.

The decisions you make should reflect what’s best for you, but guilt has a sneaky way of making that easier said than done. “Guilt is a useless emotion which depletes our energy and keeps us standing still,” explains Dr. Tami Kulbatski, a Toronto-based psychologist, registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Getting to know guilt
Dr. Kulbatski explains that guilt can arise in a number of situations. 
• Not living up to the expectations of others 
• Not living up to our own expectations 
• Choosing to stay in a bad situation, such as a relationship or job that isn’t working, when the thought of change causes too much anxiety or psychological discomfort
• Placing the well-being of others above your own when you are clearly in an uncomfortable or negative position
• Making decisions that have no clear-cut “right” outcome, such as being a working mom or stay-at-home mom

Some consequences of making decisions based on guilt include:
• Low self-esteem 
• Anger (towards yourself or others)
• Depression
• Anxiety 
• Neglecting your dreams or goals
• Shame and self-loathing 

Overcoming guilt
Here are five ways to put guilt aside when making a decision:

1. Don’t let others push you into a decision
Making decisions can be hard enough. The process is even harder when you have outside pressures. Trying to make a tough choice? Ask yourself if you feel you are being coerced into the decision, says Dr. Kulbatski. She suggests looking for ‘should’ and ‘must’ statements from others. 

If someone else is involved in the process of helping you make a decision, watch out for phrases such as “You should” or “You should have,” Dr. Kulbatski explains. These phrases will signal to you when somebody is attempting to impose their values or expectations on you. Often times those phrases are used as forms of manipulation and control, she says.

2. Once you’ve made a choice, stick to it
When you are facing a difficult decision try to recognize that you have choice. Even if you are under pressure from a boss, friend or family member, the decision is ultimately yours. 

Once you’ve made your choice, accept responsibility for any potential consequences of that choice, Dr. Kulbatski says. “This can be very empowering. Ultimately, accepting responsibility for the outcome, good or bad, can prevent you from expending energy in a useless or unproductive manner.” It can be so easy to allow feelings of guilt to undermine a decision, but this will only make you feel worse.

Understand that holding on to guilt after a decision is made is also a choice, Dr. Kulbatski explains. “You can either choose to fix what is fixable or you can choose to move on. But when you choose to hold on to guilt, you perpetuate a form of psychological paralysis.”   

3. Avoid making decisions based on the expectations of others
Dr. Kulbatski suggests asking yourself if the decision you are about to make is based on expectations. If the answer is yes, identify whose expectations you’re trying to meet. Are your parents pressuring you to give them a grandchild? Does your boss want you to take on more work than you have time for?  

If these expectations aren’t inline with what you want or are able to do, recognize that by giving in to the expectations of others, you could be setting yourself up for failure, disappointment or even more guilt.

4. Don’t try to be a martyr
You need to put yourself first. This can often be hard for people who are giving or selfless by nature. But in the long run, making a choice that puts someone or something before your own needs may breed resentment and disappointment. 

When you are trying to make a decision, ask yourself if you are choosing to suffer or give something up for the benefit of someone else. If the answer is yes, take some time to rethink your priorities and what will be best for you.

5. Realize some decisions won’t be right and accept it
Unfortunately, no one is perfect and there will be times when decisions won’t pan out like we’d hoped. “Practice demonstrating the courage to be imperfect,” Dr. Kulbatski says.  “Allow yourself to be a human being who, like all the rest of us, makes mistakes.” 

If there is something you can do to improve on your decision, do something about it. If there’s nothing you can do, don’t dwell on it. Instead, create a learning opportunity from the experience and use what you’ve learned the next time you need to make a tough decision.













do you guys remember that one post about how men feel entitled to take up so much space and women have to deal with a lot less?

This is actually a documented thing. You always see men on the subway or tube or whatever using both armrests while women sit with their arms hunched together into their laps. That’s why I always make a point to take up at least one if not both armrests of the tube so men can be uncomfortable for once.

^ again, for all the people telling me posting this picture is complaining too much.

In my college classes (and high school too) guys were always stretching, sticking fists and elbows in my face, leaning their heads back over my desk, over my work, spreading their legs out, kicking my bag with their dirty shoes. And let’s not pretend they were in other guys’ space as much as they were in women’s.

It’s so true, this happens to me every day on the train. Same with the walking thing, women will weave out of the way whereas men just walk straight and plow down anything in their path. I always end up playing chicken with men on the sidewalk now, because I refuse to move out of their way.

I love playing chicken with dudes who hog the sidewalk. BODY CHECK! Fucking assholes.



Men always have the same defensive bullshit to spout every time they get called out on their shit. AND IT IS BORING. They remind me of those toys where you pull a string an they have like 5 phrases they can say. Over and over and over.

same here with playing chicken, its hilarious sometimes because they get this flash of realization in their eyes that says ‘holy shit, she’s NOT going to move/??? what do????’ because THEY ARE SO USED TO EVERYONE MOVING FOR THEM

when i was younger my grandpa drew this on a piece of paper,

and he asked me how i, as the red circle, would get around the two people (black circles) if i was walking down the street.

so of course i came back with

moving out of the way for them as i walked.

he asked me if i thought men would do the same and, at the time, i did because i thought it was just common courtesy. but he told me that men would barrel straight through without giving a shit and that i should do the exact same. because i was the one walking and they were the ones in the way. so that’s exactly what i do.

i find this really fascinating because this actually what defines so-called masculine and feminine traits and gestures. the whole limp-wrist thing? that’s someone decreasing the amount of space they take up by not extending their arm fully. same with crossing one’s legs, how it’s considered more masculine to swing your shoulders when you walk creating a wider gait instead of your hips, how someone who holds their elbows tightly into their torso instead of letting them fall more loosely at their sides is considered feminine.

taking up space is not just a frequent habit of males in our culture, its actually how society thinks masculinity is supposed to be expressed.

This is my answer when people say eating disorders are personal problems and have nothing to do with sexism. Women literally socialized to take up as little space as possible all day every day.

Originally, I published this only as a private post in May 2012, submitting the links to friends for review before putting it all out there. Having received no feedback, I’m assuming it isn’t terrible … Or at least not within the realm of Outlandishly Offensive. Here it is unaltered for your perusal. Enjoy it or hate it, spread it around and discuss.

In the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Make/Shift Magazine, Courtney Desiree Morris published a piece entitled Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements. The article was posted online via Incite! Women of Color Against Violence. Unfortunately, I was stubborn and did not read the article right away. After leaving a partner whose behaviours are often described within Morris’s article, the significance of the piece became undeniable. Originally, while writing regularly for SACHA’s Take Back the Night blog in the Summer of 2011, I was going to write the following. Distracted by organizing other aspects of the event, I didn’t get the chance: Now that some time has elapsed and my notes have marinated on my desk for almost a year, it seems like a good opportunity to share the similarities, as an activist whose life and community have been permanently rearranged by both informants and abusers.

We’ve treated misogyny, homophobia, and heterosexism as lesser evils—secondary issues—that will eventually take care of themselves or fade into the background once the “real” issues—racism, the police, class inequality, U.S. wars of aggression—are resolved. There are serious consequences for choosing ignorance. Misogyny and homophobia are central to the reproduction of violence in radical activist communities. Scratch a misogynist and you’ll find a homophobe. Scratch a little deeper and you might find the makings of a future informant (or someone who just destabilizes movements like informants do).

Brandon Darby: courtesy Loteria Films, via

Brandon Darby, the informant who devastated Common Ground in New Orleans, is identified throughout Morris’s article with having exhibited several troubling characteristics. She describes his team organisational style as “domineering” and “aggressive”, “quick to suggest violent, ill-conceived direct-action schemes”. Darby was generally “dismissive of women working in the organization”, and it is noted that he “created conflict in all the organisations he worked with, yet people were hesitant to hold him accountable because of his history and reputation as an organizer and his ‘dedication’ to ‘the work.’”

If you’ve read this far without even one person you’ve interacted with coming to mind, I will be either very surprised, or very sad by the inevitability of their arrival in your life as an activist. It’s clear beyond a doubt the ways these traits mimic red flags of abusive relationships. Substitute any notion of “the organization” or “the movement” or “communal struggle” with “romantic relationships” or “partnership” and you’ve already got yourself a textbook abusive partner. Oddly enough, if you consider these behaviours and reflect on the ways we’ve known police to act over the years, you also have yourself a run-of-the-mill officer. Let’s break it down further:

Morris identifies another activist, someone with whom she’d become personally involved. She reports having learned that his penchant for lies and secrecy within an organisation finally came to a head, prompting women to leave the group and never return. 

Countless women locally have staged silent, subtle boycotts here in my home city, of a local co-operative after its executive owner (and prominent, celebrated activist) continually mislead them and evaded calls for accountability. In a very much similar way to how I “left” my abusive ex, countless women have “left” their power-abusing local “lead activists”. Doubts about whether this might ever happen in the policing world? See Cpl. Catherine Galliford’s recent claim. How many women leave the police force less vocally? How many have had stories under-represented in the media? How many stories have gone as viral as Galliford’s? It is not an uncommon occurrence. 

"The women he dated", Morris continues of her ex, "were amazing, beautiful, kick-ass, radical women that he used as shields to get himself into places he knew would never be open to such a misogynist." Others would assume, naturally, that if he was usually seen with strong, prominent, activist women, he was probably worthy of their trust and companionship. If not, he’d be at least worth working with — not someone they would want to "lose". Many of us could say the same about our activist ex-partners. This approach of becoming associated with popular women and trans* activists is common also among informants: Befriend the "right" people — those who apparently must, by virtue of their identity, have an ingrained analysis and be able to "show approval" by association —  get close, be frequently seen with them, and create a safety net of trust that no one would be willing to attempt to question or untangle. 

Occupation of Hanlon Creek Business Park, summer of 2009

After the G20 police spy operation that razor-hacked the activist scene(s) here in South-Eastern Ontario, it would be pretty difficult for any one of us who’d had close encounters with Bindo Showan or Brenda Carey to deny the similarities in behaviour. Even those reading from afar could identify the common manipulations used to exploit people.

One specific occurrence Morris noted in her experiences working with her then-partner, organizationally speaking (i.e. on activist projects), was that “he always spoke the loudest and longest”. This is an important step to take if you plan to hoard power, even if you do so covertly and within otherwise presumably anti-authoritarian groups. Interrupting, speaking over others, neglecting to respect the speaker’s list, making oneself the facilitator of meetings so as to get one’s say  more frequently, and other approaches of being domineering at meetings subverts egalitarianism and allows the individuals doing these things to funnel power toward themselves. 

Foolish indeed would it be to suggest everyone who does this must be a cop. Effortless would it be for police to use these subtle approaches: Because these habitual behaviours are both so very common, and also so very rarely addressed or called out by members of collectives or organizations, it makes it easy-peasy for anyone who wants to take over to do so. All one has to do is observe how few consequences exist for these behaviours and they are in like, well, Flynn, unfortunately

Another thing we see a lot of is when folks make it clear that they are experts on a particular topic by using a lot of out-of-reach jargon (or any wording that is largely inaccessible to the demographic involved in the organisation). Let’s say that a group has formed in an effort to address food security issues in a city’s urban core: If one member of the group continually uses wording that they’ve gleaned through years of academic experiences (e.g. homogenization, phytopathogenic, biodiversity, etc.), it will likely isolate and confuse some members of the group who have never been able to pursue the topics in an academic sense. This is a great way of ensuring one’s privileged specialization on a topic makes them uniquely powerful, and their energy something of great value to members who may not know as much on the topic. When these dynamics have been established, that person can have more power and control within the collective because others will begin to “look up to” them. 

Again, because these habits are so ingrained within people, and so common among activists, criticisms are few and far between. Largely, we just assume “that’s the way it goes,” and that if you don’t have the social power to speak up about these issues, you should “suck it up” and “stop whining”. These attitudes toward the destructive and divisive behaviours we experience during meetings or collective processes reinforce the notion that domination is not something we’re ready to concern ourselves with on radical, personal levels. Informants, cops, and anyone with a divisive agenda will rely upon our inabilities to set up consequences for domineering behaviours, or call each other to task, to exploit our weaknesses in these areas and to dissemble our efforts for social change. 

Morris points out that her ex behaved in just those ways, while also talking loudly and for longer periods of time than anyone else. She described his behaviours during meetings as

"…using academic jargon that made any discussion excruciatingly more complex than necessary. The academic-speak intimidated people less educated than him because he seemed to know more about radical politcs than anyone else. He would talk down to other men in the group, especially those her perceived to be less intelligent than him, which was basically everybody."

Pointing out the way her ex would “compensate” for these behaviours is extremely important on this topic: “…he’d switch gears, apologize for dominating the space, and acknowledge his need to check his male privilege. Ironically, when people did attempt to call him out on his shit, he would feign ignorance — what could they mean saying that his behavior was masculinist and sexist? He’d complain of being infantalized, refusng to see how he infantalized people all the time.” Those of us who’ve gone though, and supported our friends through, situations of recovery from abusive or authoritarian relationships will know all about what that feels like.

"His radical race analysis allowed people (mostly men but occasionally women as well) to forgive him for being dominating and abusive in his relationships."

One of the aforementioned activists’ other partners, interviewed by Morris, gave this statement. Their experiences with this man were made even more complex by his powerful activist profile and racial identity: “How do you hold someone accountable when you believe he is target number one for the state?

There are many cases wherein activists will attempt to intervene in someone’s negative and dominating behaviours in a grassroots, community setting. There are very few instances in which they will be successful in their attempts to re-augment equality and power-sharing. Sound like something that might also happen when we confront the state and its pawns? Most of the time, people who do and say things that debase others will avoid being accountable for their harmful ways. 

"When (queer) organizers are humiliated and their political struggles sidelined, that is part of an ongoing state project of violence against radicals. When women(/people) are knowingly given STIs, physically abused, dismissed in meetings, pushed aside, and forced out of radical organizing spaces while our allies defend known misogynists, organizers collude in the state’s efforts to destroy us. … What’s more paralyzing to our work than when women and/or queer folks leave our movements because they have been repeatedly lied to, humiliated, physically/verbally/emotionally/sexually abused? Or when you have to postpone conversations about the work so that you can devote group meetings to addressing an individual member’s most recent offense? Or when that person spreads misinformation, creating confusion and friction among radical groups? Nothing slows down movement building like a misogynist. … To paraphrase bell hooks, where there is a will to dominate there can be no justice, because we will inevitably continue reproducing the same kinds of injustice we claim to be struggling against."

If they wanted to — and needless to say, they do — informants would only have to act offended, frustrated, or slightly angered about being called to task for their domineering behaviours, and it would be enough to discourage anyone from holding them accountable. Even if others were to persist on the matter of accountability, all any informant, cop, or egotistic power-hoarder would have to do is accuse them all of being racist, sexist, age-ist, or “crazy”: Solidarity among everyone would slacken as activists begin to question their own motives, and each other’s. Eventually, said agent-of-division will have effectively wreaked havoc and destabilized an already-precarious community.

This is a good example of how folks who act in misogynistic — or in raicst, classist, elitist, white-supremacist, ableist, privilege-denying ways can end up doing the work of the state. The difference is that the state rewards its informants and cops with money. Perhaps for activists who refuse to be accountable, the absence of consequence is payment enough.

Resources on how to approach these dynamics and complex issues:



or anxiety

or guilt.

(via careoftheself)



Right?! I mean, I can understand being a bit nervous or awkward, that’s cool, but at least pretend there’s another human present with equal entitlement to social space. Total crush killer right there.
… Gawd, now I wonder if i do this…  

Dudes. Imagine life here in the US - or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world - is a massive role playing game, like World of Warcraft except appallingly mundane, where most quests involve the acquisition of money, cell phones and donuts, although not always at the same time. Let’s call it The Real World. You have installed The Real World on your computer and are about to start playing, but first you go to the settings tab to bind your keys, fiddle with your defaults, and choose the difficulty setting for the game. Got it?
Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

For many reasons, I miss you. What sorts of things would you like to see more of? I’m guilty of not posting enough cool pics (cuz my “likes” show up on my page, and they’re mostly images). I wanna know what you wanna see more of based on the parts of my blog you already like! Got ideas?


Journalist: Do you feel, however, that we’re making progress in this country?

Malcolm X: No, no. I will never say that progress is being made. If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They won’t even admit that the knife is there!

(via lord-wolfsbane)

Not that it’s usually my habit of taking advantage of a surprise group gathering to air my grievances about anything with which members of that group might be involved, but today, I felt strongly and ear-reddeningly tempted.

An old friend was visiting. Since the birth of her child and departure from the city, it’s been hard to stay in touch. A course nearby has her in the city for the week with her partner and newborn.  She invited a handful of friends to chat over lunch. It was a bit last minute for me to find out that our reunion would be a group affair, but it seemed like a take-it-or-leave-it situation. Being that I love this friend, I went, regardless of my instinct to question my comfort levels around other invitees. 

After food arrangements were figured out and the baby was happily toddling up and down the hallways, dutifully disturbing meetings and the chaplaincy office, my friend, let’s here call her Galix, spoke up with what felt like a respectably bold question:

So, what’s new? How’s this city feeling lately? — you know, the community and stuff…

Having just days ago reflected on how a handful of survivors, myself included, appear to be at the fulcrum of apparent schism within “the community”, my choice to respond came swift and not unlike a strong and sudden southerly wind as I attempted to assert the notion that it was a topic of contention. I was pleased that, given the context — friends in whom I’d come to feel disappointed and hurt by, a short timeline and what was to otherwise be a friendly lunch — there was some vague back up to my reply. 

I really think that it depend on who you ask.

I said. And luckily came

and what kind of week they’re having.

from beside me. Another friend chimed in with a reply that echoed the sentiments of uncertainty and communally-felt disconnect. 

Perhaps it’s all projection on my behalf. Over a year ago, I dropped a pretty heavy A-bomb: “Abuser” — an apt description for my ex-partner and one that I made as public as possible given the various restrictions I was under (and still am). For those who’ve had similar experiences, I’m certain it would suffice to say that did not go over all too well. For the handful who have not been through this experience, or sought to resolve it, you may not have noticed the effects.

Here’s one: People Stop Talking To You. 


Q: Have you seen So-and-So lately? How’re they doing?
A: I don’t really know… they seem to be keeping to themselves.. I guess they’ve got a lot of shit to work through these days…

Q: Hey, what’s up with WhatsHerName? I haven’t heard much from her!
A: She doesn’t really come out to things anymore, I don’t really know what’s going on with that.

Q: So, how are things going in the community n stuff? Everyone doing okay these days?
A: That’s a good question — I haven’t done much to figure that out or participate in communal issues, so I really can’t answer that with much confidence whatsoever.

As someone who’s become pretty obviously isolated by the lack of practical solidarity within “the community”, I am very confident in how I want to answer these questions:

The community feels disconnected and unreliable.

Disbandments and “Are-We-Still-Not-Over-This-Yet?s” put survivors in at least one very predictable situation — Isolation. We sense there are very few who believe us or validate our experiences, and even fewer who which to support us in coming to a healthy resolve. With this in mind — and if the situations are anything like my own wherein we’ve spent up to years dealing with the aftermath of abuse in our lives — what else are we to do? 

"Keep trying," some may say, "they will never change unless you show them how." Solid advice for those who have perhaps not being "showing them how" for several years.

There’s a point at which you begin to see it differently.

The amount of energy we put into encouraging people to Wise Tha Fuck Up has gotten some of us: 1) a solid inventory of individuals who need to wise the fuck up; 2) lost friends and a weakened social life; 3) endless hours to list on an activist resume under “feminism” and “support work”; and 4) some nasty backlash from critics of “vigilantism”. Perhaps it’s a contributing factor to being in what appears to my finally being in a relationship with a lover who isn’t abusive. That said I’m not about to neglect my losses and put all my eggs in one basket.

All these facts in mind, many of us in this boat find ourselves rowing faithfully toward a relatively uninhabited shoreline, embracing introversion (in spite of what sometimes feels like excommunication) and, of course, writing until our fingers bleed. We don’t have energy left to put into “the community” after we note the promises of reciprocity so often associated with community have been made with little foresight for reality when situations of magnitude arise. 

So, How is the Community? Sadly, it still depends what wrung on the ladder you’re viewing it from. 


Hollah! 5 years of pittie love, and going strong!

Love to you all, pittie lovers!

A truly badass and fierce friend of mine who’s been waiting “far too long” for a little HPC glory. 

(via Why Do We Romanticize Bareback Sex?)

After considering some criticisms of Schwyzer’s article above, I decided to rewrite it without any references or reputable sources:

Condom use, i.e. the use of male condoms, largely focuses around three major concerns: the financial cost and responsibility of maintaining the regular presence of condoms; the cost of bodily infection (including STIs as well as infection with any embryonic activity); and the cost of reduced pleasure. One of these costs — the cost of bodily infection with either STIs or embryos — is an intimidating cost that often causes many people anxiety and apprehensions, even fear.

STIs will negatively affect the life of any human afflicted with them. Pregnancy or conception will affect one kind of human, the kinds with wombs susceptible to pregnancy, more thoroughly and severely than other kinds of humans whose bodies can not incur pregnancy. If your body is of the latter variety, you will probably not bare the same stress, anxiety or apprehension that is presented by the threat of conception of embryos.

The burden of financial costs and responsibilities of regular condom use is one that can fairly easily be equally divided between individuals sharing sexual experiences together. The burden of reduced pleasure is more complicated. The burden of an STI or of conception/pregnancy can not be so equally shared because, similar to the burden of reduced physical pleasure, each individual will have different, highly personal experiences of their own. (The idea being that two people can not experience the exact same thing.)

Most of the prominent complaints and concerns with reduced pleasure have come from cisgendered men — that physical pleasure is severely reduced by condom use. Seldom has the emotional or mental impact of birth control and/or STI prevention methods for the woman appeared to be a prominent aspect in the equation. Perhaps the physical pleasure of sex is generally and approximately equally reduced for individuals of this demographic, or for individuals of all identities. Sadly, there has been virtually no accessible media to either prove or disprove this idea. Perhaps a lack of condom use results in a reduction of non-physical pleasure for any human body who does bare the stress, anxiety or apprehension of the threat of conception of embryos, or the threat of infection. Again, this concept is not one that has become a prominent factor in the greater  discussion. Certainly when I have felt anxious or guilty, I have not experienced as much pleasure during sex as I have experienced during sex when my mind is at ease.

It is important to know that the male condom is also the only accessible form of STI prevention, with the exception of abstinence.

For most people the world over — when it is considered that over half of the world population is composed of people who are not cisgendered men, and when it is considered that sex entails a range of different meanings and uses especially in countries whose people do not experience as many privileges as we do in North America — sex is not solely (or even typically) an act of physical pleasure, or any other kind of pleasure. On the contrary, as a matter of fact, sex is more often than not an act of discomfort and even violation for many people, even within North America. Sometimes sex is a neutral act in which someone is consensually offering it as a service for the pleasure of others (some cases in which, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, sex is mutually pleasurable). With these facts in mind, the prominent issue of the cisgendered man’s physical pleasure concerns loses a lot of its weight.

Many alternatives (to male condom use as a form of birth control) come with costs that have similar if not equal affects on the lives of their users. With the exception of vasectomies, all other available forms of birth control affect the bodies of the woman. When human bodies are affected, it can be assumed that their emotions and experiences of pleasure are also affected, indirectly, by these measures (e.g. a side effect of some birth control pills is depression, bodily changes, and decreased sex drive). Because all current methods of preventative birth control  affect the human body, as well as the human mind and soul/heart/emotions, etc.,  and because many experiences of sex involve all of these things, preventative measures will also have indirect affects on sex.

Retroactive forms of birth control, if they involve termination of the growing cells or of the pregnancy, will not affect the cisgendered male body. This form of birth control will not only negatively affect women’s bodies (e.g. pain, hormonal disturbances, etc.), but will also have other negative effects mentally and emotionally (e.g. stigmatisations, hormonal disturbances, etc.). It can be assumed that options of retroactive birth control that do not terminate before birth (e.g. adoption) will affect several humans in many different ways. This is another method of birth control that, for various reasons, gets little coverage or credit.

Male condom use is the only current and widely-accessible method of STI and pregnancy prevention that can be used fairly reliably “in the moment”. Male condoms present no long term negative affects (except for humans with latex allergies). Male condoms do present one short term negative affect on the enjoyment aspect of sex, particularly the physical pleasure aspect, namely largely for cisgendered men.

Compared to the long list of complexities and multitude of risks and negative effects associated with all other forms of birth control, all of which would be incurred by women (again, except for vasectomy), male condom use is the most accessible and most reliable method for of preventing pregnancy, avoiding STIs, avoiding long-term negative side effects, and, if used well, sharing pleasurable sex.

Perhaps this one variable of reduced physical pleasure while using condoms could be experimented with in ways that might eventually bring the pleasure threshold around to where it is when no condom is used during sex. One suggestion is to experiment with the size of the condom.

Another suggestion is for us to all to stop being closed minded and self-centered about it. To honour all of the other countless negative experiences of birth control (and STI prevention) is apparently to negate or minimise the experience of pleasure of cisgendered men. However, by putting the physical sexual pleasure of male-condom wearers (e.g. cisgendered men) above both the pleasure and the pain of everyone else, we limit ourselves to a view that honours one kind of minority bodily experience while negating the rest. Those of us with the privilege to debate such topics are generally within the demographic of humans who have the means to act on our complaints and frustrations. Perhaps a good first step is to try all variations of male-condom use before ruling the option out entirely. I personally doubt that the next-most accessible option, abstinence, will be considered seriously.

aaawww. shit. RIP Cota Limburger and Hazel Mae McGillicuddy. They were only that cute together for about a month while still kittens, but they were fantastic friends and I miss them both dearly.

(via sevenofcups)

Ah, the Freindzone. Well known semi-permanent stomping grounds to Nice Guys™ across North America, and throughout the UK (case in point Fresh Meat’s Kingsley, a prime example).

This article, as posted from some folks at the Feminist Alliance McMaster, shines a bit more light on the Nice Guys™ profile. As indicted therein, the picture to the right is what the Friendzone looks like IRL. (Please note the satire — we all know the Friendzone looks more like a living room or local cafe.)

Shakesville also offers an absolutely amazing piece composed by their very own Jeff Fecke. What’s great about this one is that it’s written by a dude and written with Nice Guy™ readers (or their many, many loyal defenders) in mind.

Below is (should be — please drop a line in my ask box to the tune of “wtf — where’s the essay?”, if not) a excerpt from Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape

My business with this essay is the section dubbed Nice Guys™: Applying for Access to the Pussy Oversoul (pg. 33 - 35).

Toward a Performance Model of Sex, by Thomas Macaulay Millar

The term Nice Guys™ is dropped casually throughout the book, though not particularly frequently. Following my first reading of Julia Serraro’s Why Nice Guys Finish Last, I stewed on the concepts and reflected upon the ways the common definitions baffled me. All my experiences (in the previous 5 years) with nice guys involved dudes who looked like this:

Perhaps not exactly “hipsters” (by their own definitions or otherwise) but definitely close. “Alternative” guys who wanted to seem friendly and kind toward women, and “open” toward “different” experiences toward men. Some of them also looked an awful lot like this:

Classic. He’s leaning on the wall of the building that the latest Anarchist Bookfair took place in, quietly reading from a book; or having a nonchalant and highly stylized smoke outside of a venue; or sharing a bit about the price of his earth-friendly vegan footwear to charmed and curious Others. Often seen companionless… but who are we to judge?

After having been beyond wooed (you here have my permission to read that as “persistently fawned over and pestered”) by one of these architypes of Nice Guy™, I considered the options and decided (under the pressure of the aforesaid persistence) to reciprocate a bit. Bad idea.

Are there any other anarchists or radicals out there who already know where I’m going with this? Perhaps after having several similar experiences?

…Macho “anarchists” who talk too much at meetings, adhere to the cult of the great thinkers (drop Kropotkin, Bakunin, Proudhon, Chomsky, etc… all the time), negate others’ experiences, take up space, exert their privileges to their fullest, and generally perpetuate heteropatriarchal bullshit

Urban Dictionary offered that as a definition for “Manarchist”.

The NiceGuy™ brand of Manarchist avoids these more-glaring flaws by employing some very covert strategies:

  • Instead of talking too much at meetings, NiceGuy™ Manarchists may barely say a word. What few words they contribute may include cliche buzzwords of “class privilege” or “accountability” or “community”. They won’t speak at length about these topics, however, because then it would become apparent they have no idea what they’re talking about. Perhaps they’ll here segue into a derailing anecdote about their own experiences. 
  • Although they may “adhere to the cult of great thinkers”, dropping names here and there, they’ll make sure to get enough Goldman in there so they don’t become completely discredited by potential feminist or she-anarchist mates (they don’t make the distinction).
  • Instead of openly dismissing or denying other’s experiences, they will take every opportunity in which others’ experiences are shared, to cut in with their own experiences. Usually, this is done in an attempt to absolve themselves from guilt or responsibilities in supporting other community members. Sometimes it sounds like one-upping, but they usually change the subject before you can notice.
  • Taking up space is something you won’t see them doing. It is not because they aren’t taking up space, but rather because they have developed a method of doing so that others do not notice.
          One way the anarchist-identified Nice Guy™ might take up space is to capitalise on social relationships — they will be friendly to everyone and his brother, regardless of how much of a fucker he deep down thinks they are (his comments about which he’ll reserve until he’s alone with someone who he doesn’t think will react). Note that his vengeful expressions of disdain will not be limited solely to other men — the Manarchist Nice Guy™ will “secretly” despise any person, of any gender, who has said or done anything to jeopardize his spotless Nice Guy™ reputation.
  • Perhaps he doesn’t talk non-stop at parties or gatherings. Instead of utilizing that more standard space-hoarding method, the Nice Guys™ of anarchist, “alternative” or liberatory socialist persuasions may have a regular cycle of (usually female) partners. No one seems to be able to understand why they’ve had so many, or keep track of who he’s seeing and when. No one seems to have heard any of these partners complain (or validated their experiences in any way, at least), so we can all continue to assume the Manarchist in question is still a Nice Guy™.
  • Nice Guy™ has Got Stylez. Whether “working within the system” to create the change he wants to see (and most certainly wants the lovely ladies to see), or working on a consistent semi-crusty coverage, he wants to dCadet cap -- rebellious, yet soft ;)o it fashionably! (Note the Cadet Cap — for truly revolutionary Nice Guys™. Women of the resistance won’t be able to resist that devil-may-care scruff.)
  • Generous with time and resources, the politicized Nice Guys™ know it is their responsibility — as people who’ve got a privilege or two — to share. From each according to his fabulous ability, to each according to their pitiable need. He’ll almost never say no to a request, and he’ll even volunteer and do far more than his share of the work. All the hard work could wrangle in some Thank You Sex from that special, fair, appreciative woman in the movement who’d love to lay in bed and hear all about the EZLN. Some might call eager efforts micromanagement, but anarchist-oriented Nice Guys™ won’t let that stop them — they are doing what is right for The Movement, for the benefit of all! How… nice of them :) Thanks, Nice Guys™! Without you, we would have been totally stuck doing things for ourselves like a pack of crazy “hippy/punk” autonomists!

Maybe they’re charming and witty, or fantastic fun, or a great ear when you’re down — heck, maybe they would be swell in bed — but don’t expect these characteristics to continue when they discover they still haven’t made their way down your pants (or noticed you’ve resisted being cornered you into a position of subtle subservience).

The most potent and definitely destructive characteristic of the Nice Guy™ brand Manarchist, Mactivist or generally Brogressive folks is that pesky habit of reacting maliciously to those who stand in the way of their pursuits for status. They can turn in an instant from accommodating, listening, supportive, “nice” friends to divisive, threatening, vengeful dicks. And they will. 

This gave me a pretty good laughing fit. #manarchistryangosling?

This gave me a pretty good laughing fit.