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The S&M Feminist: Best Of Clarisse Thorn Paperback – May 27, 2012
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I was hoping for some feminist theory, or more gravitas, or something.
For the kind of person who is struggling to integrate everyday feminism with the practices of SM, and who has no one to talk to about it, this might illuminate some things. For almost anyone else, it doesn't offer much insight.
What I find personally most inspiring about Clarisse is her absolute belief in consent. If anyone is familiar with books such as "The Curse of the Good Girl," books that explain why adult women tend to feel the need to compromise in work and personal life, Clarisse's perspective will knock your socks off! Just by reading her, I feel that I'm more able to always say no, anywhere, any time, on any subject, and more able to speak up. Thanks for being a role model, Clarisse.
I think this book is incredibly important and relevant for everyone, whether you identify as feminist or not, whether you are interested in BDSM/S&M or not, polyamorous or not, etc. One of the main topics in the book is communication and consent, a topic that is relevant to all of us, and which I think is too often ignored in "normal" relationships, where we often go by assumption, rather than talking and discussing things openly.
I think we need to teach that sex can be incredibly difficult. It can be hard to communicate with your partner. It can be hard to learn and come to terms with your own sexual desires. It can be hard to understand or accept all your partner's sexual desires. And just because it's hard, doesn't mean that you're with the wrong partner -- or that you're missing some vital piece of information that everyone else has -- or that you're doing it wrong.
All my most extraordinary sexual connections have benefited from everyone involved taking ownership of their desire, and talking about it directly at least a little bit.
The fantasy of a sexual relationship that is totally instinctive and perfect without any effort is just that -- a fantasy.
Another important point she makes, is that we, maybe especially as women, need to learn to be okay with what we want - and with what we don't want. And accepting that we are okay, the way we are; "
sometimes you simply want or don't want things, and that you aren't required to justify your desires."
I think many people have sex they don't like because they don't feel like they can look for something different -- they think it's the best they can get. I think many people have sex they don't like because they think it's what their partner wants