„Femme queer experiences are not less valid than masculine queer experiences“

Emotional Labor Queen is not your average advice-column.

28.10.16 > Sex & Beziehung

By Emotional Labor Queen

What would sex be like if it was not just for the sake of an orgasm? How can we negotiate different desires and realities in our communities without policing and excluding each other for who they have sex with? The Emotional Labor Queen is looking for answers to unsolved questions.

Selfies against whorephobia © Emotional Labor Queen
Selfies against whorephobia © Emotional Labor Queen

hi, i’m a 21 year old Sagittarius cis male (12/04/1994) and have been having lots of anxiety recently about „sexual performance.“ during the actual act of sex i’m generally calm and able to be in the moment, but during my idle time i often obsess about finishing too soon or not being satisfactory, etc. … it has become paralyzing to a certain extent (at least in terms of getting myself out and trying to meet new people/partners). how can i negotiate this sexually obsessive/self-critical thought?

 

Dear Sagittarius,

Gaining sexual confidence takes time, experience, and practice and is not always something that we can control, but rather something we can be open to. There are many different ways of having sex, even though hetero patriarchy claims differently.

One way of removing yourself from the type of pressure that hetero patriarchy brainwashes us with is to erase every assumption you’ve ever had about sex and about your sexual partners. For example, the fear of „finishing too soon“ does not have to be a fear, as there is no such thing as „too soon.“ What if you did finish off too soon? What does that mean to you? Sex does not have to be a sort of symbiosis between two (or more) people where the climax happens at the same time, and that also doesn’t equal „successful sex.“ For some people, reaching a climax, having an orgasm, cumming, call it what you will, is not even the point of having sex. If you enter a sexual situation without presumptions about what that person likes, what turns them on, what turns them off, it will also put you in a position where you are no longer presuming what’s „normal behavior“ for yourself.

I’ve said this many times before and I shall say it again: when we verbalize our desires, we take our desires seriously. If you worry about not satisfying your partner, talk about it, baby. Ask questions and be patient about getting an answer. This does not have to be done face-to-face over hot cocoa; it could be in the midst of a hug (to avoid eye contact if that makes you nervous). Also, this is what foreplay is for, to check in, say hello, feel out the vibe, what is going to happen, is anything going to happen, and so on.

I, like many others, know from experience that being bombarded by toxic hetero-masculinity is extremely anxiety inducing, and as you are a cis male I can understand that this affects you in a very suggestive way. Frankly, it is painful to search for other roads than the paths that are provided for us. I am so sorry that you’re having anxiety about your sexual performance, but in the long run, I think that starting a thought process about what sex is, what it isn’t, how it should be done, and how it shouldn’t, will only develop you as a human being and as a guy. Because honestly, every cis man on the planet should be doing the same type of emotional work when it comes to sex. Could you, perhaps, instead of reading your self-criticism as something negative, see it as something positive, as it is actually a way of checking your privilege as a cis male? Which is a good thing. This is rare. When you are paralyzed by negative feelings, remember that you’ve only just started to glimpse the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your sexual experiences. Self-discovery is life-long, and trust me on this: it only gets better.

Sweetie, you are so young. Your sexual journey has just started, and along the way you will collect many more experiences than the ones that you’ve already had. Worry not, verbalize your feelings, ask questions, and be respectful of your lover’s boundaries.

As a Sagittarius you’re gifted with fierceness, enthusiasm, and a great amount of inspirational energy. When you feel like things are heating up too fast for you, remember to take a step back, breathe, and let some air into your fire.

I highly advise you to try to do some queer sex research. Tumblr is a great resource, and perhaps could this also shed some light onto a world beyond traumatizing, mainstream sex.

Rose quartz blessings

X ELQ X


Do I have to hate men to call myself a femme?

Dear emotional labor queen,

I just recently moved to Berlin. In the town I used to live in, the queer community was small and homogeneous. Since it was a university town, most womyn loving womyn were in their twenties and very shallow. I identify as a pansexual woman. To my understanding this makes me a femme. When I tried getting to know the queer community here in Berlin, I realized that there are a lot of ppl actively hating men. Wearing „kill all men“ shirts and the like. At first they were very friendly, but once they found out that I live in a relationship with a cis man, they stopped talking to me and gave me the stink eye. So I’m a little worried whether I’ll find someone to connect with at all. Do I have to hate all men just so I can belong? Am I not a femme because I’m in a loving and happy relationship with a person who happens to be a cis man? Maybe you can give me some insider advice.

Thanks in advance

D

 

Dear D,

As a fellow femme I warmly welcome you to Berlin, hi! 
Femme trust in this city is super duper low, almost zero. Femmes are not seen as queers, femmes are constantly distrusted, excluded, trash talked, etc.
 Don’t worry, it’s not like this everywhere, and things have evolved in the past seven years that I’ve considered Berlin my home. Still, certain situations are in deep need of some crystal clear femme 101. I am so sorry that you’ve encountered people who are focusing on whom you’re having sex with, rather than who you are as a person. Who you choose to be in a relationship with is none of their business, and if they cannot let go of the thought that you are pansexual, aka have relationships with cis men sometimes, then they are people that need not be in your life.

Personally, my femme identity is my gender identity, my gender is femme, and has nothing to do with my sexuality. Two people with the same identity, for examples two femmes, can have totally separate experiences. Identities are complex and changeable and only you can decide which terminology (if any) works for you.

This thing about hating men. Let’s be honest, cis men are responsible for 99% of the bullshit  happening in the world, and almost everyone that I know deals with daily harassment from men, is a survivor, fears for their life because of male violence, deals with long-life traumas because of men. Heteronormative, patriarchal masculinity is fucked up. You know it, and I know it. People wearing „kill all men“ t-shirts are not talking about your boyfriend specifically, they are talking about the man that did not stop. That yelled. That hit. That raped. That killed.

Your personal romantic relationship is not the same thing as someone’s way of handling being a non-cis man in a world made for cis men. Your personal romantic relationship can be separated from a world that wants to kill all men. As queer femmes, it is a radical act to choose relationships that are nurturing for us, that are healing for us. Your happy relationship has very little to do with the words on that t-shirt.

I don’t think it’s acceptable to shame women or femmes because they are dating cis men. And I think that your possible straight passing or the idea of you as possibly straight passing comes across as provocative for these very narrow minded queers, and therefore the stink eye. I’m not agreeing with this, nor do i even know if this is the case. I am just guessing here. Your history of being pansexual or queer or both AND femme gives you very little reliability in this type of masculine adored „queer“ (yes I did it, I put quotation marks around the word queer) scene where there is zero femme trust. Because it is thought that all femmes are actually straight, and femme queer experiences are always less valid than masculine queer experiences. Which is bullshit. And I’m just gonna go ahead and: femme queer experiences are NOT LESS VALID than masculine queer experiences. Dang, did that feel good.

Profilfoto Cleo Kempe-Towers

Cleo Kempe-Towers
Cleo Kempe Towers, also known as Emotional Labor Queen, is a visual artist and a writer with roots in the South of Sweden and Bay Area, California. Their work is based on power dynamics within patriarchy, ritualistic obssession, emotional labor, emotional dependency and femme survival. Emotional Labor Queen is an advice column where all of your deepest, secret, hard to ask questions will be answered. Send your question/problem/thought/conundrum/ethical query and preferably date of birth to emotional.labor.queen@gmail.com or on their blog http://emotional-labor-queen.tumblr.com.

Darling, Berlin is a big city and the queer scene is more diverse than it seems. I am certain that you can find friends that don’t distrust queer femmes. Try other femmes. We’re here. It takes a while to make new friends and get used to a city. 
Your adventure has just begun. Chin up.

Rose quartz blessings

X ELQ X


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