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My Kink is Your Doom
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Written by Paul D. Batteiger   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 01:52

This is a subject that has bothered me for a long time, and with the last few weeks' posts on gender, race, and body size, it seemed a good time for me to address the politicizing of desire, or rather my opposition to same.  A lot of people have this problem, and I'm sure it causes untold inner turmoil, pain, and lack of fulfillment to many people whose lives and identities are intimately tied into the battle against racism, sexism, ableism, and whatever the term for 'hating fat people' would be if it were an "-ism".

See, it is one thing to hold beliefs on the equality of humankind, and another to argue with your own deepest lusts and desires.  What does one do, after all, if one's fetishes or kinks clash with one's own deeply-held political beliefs?  What if the unpersoning of another human being is not just abhorrent to you, but also really, really gets you hot?  What do we say to the feminist who wants to be spanked and humiliated?  The equality activist who cannot stop fapping over geisha-girl fantasies?  The safe and consensual B&D fetishist who wants to be unsafe?

Beyond this, what do we do when our innermost sexual wants are not just personally distasteful, but indefensible by any measure?  What do we say to the pedophile, the necrophiliac, the person excited by rape or other nonconsensual kinds of sex?  Do we really have nothing to offer these people at all?

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Writing the plus-sized character.
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 00:07
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fat girl, and knows that I am committed to the principles of size acceptance.  It's very important to me.  So, in my stories, I try to make an effort to include women who are definitively not thin.  There's trouble with this, though.

How do you write about a person's size so that the reader knows that they really are supposed to be capital-F Fat? A lot of sexy fiction (and unsexy fiction, but that's not our trade here) written from a woman's point of view has some version of this in the first fifty pages:

"Sexerella knew that she could stand to lose a few pounds, but nobody had ever complained about her voluptuous womanly body, and she knew that her new super-tight velveteen dress was going to look like leopard-print dynamite over her dangerous curves at the fuckerware party later that night."

Yeah.

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The White Writer's Burden
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Written by Paul   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 03:32
One of the first things a writer learns to grapple with is writing about characters who are of a different gender, and trying to put yourself into the mind of a man or woman when you are the other one is one of the first great challenges an author faces.  Let alone the issues that arise when you factor in gender as a continuum rather than a binary, which many people never even acknowledge exists, let alone attempt. Some get quite good at it, some not so much, but we all have to try.  Unless you are willing to forego characters who are not whatever you are, blanking out half the world (not to mention disappearing literally everyone who falls in between that binary.) then you are going to have to try it.  It is so common that we don't even really see it anymore.  Oftimes a writer reveals more about him/herself in the process, and this can be quite illuminating, but no one is likely to call the author a sexist for trying. Maybe for doing it badly, yes, but not just for the effort.  What I mean is: writing about women is not considered the exclusive province of women, or vice versa.

We do not have quite the same thoughts about race, at least not yet.  Feminism has made a lot of progress, but different races remain largely unimaginable to a depressing percentage of the white population.  There is a great deal of difference between how women were handled in, say, the Pulp Era as opposed to now.  Race has made some inroads in this regard, but writing about a race you do not belong to can be sticky and a white writer who writes about a different ethnicity - at least a living, real-world ethnicity (or imaginary ones standing in for same; see: Avatar fail) - is in for some trouble.  When said author is writing porn, then that can become a lot of trouble.  How to treat non-white characters when you are a white writer is a knotty problem, and when sex comes into the mix it can get downright thorny.

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