Entitlement: a powerful anaphrodisiac
You know what’s frustrating? Entitlement. Or, I guess I should say a misguided sense of entitlement. I don’t like it when I run into it on the freeway or at the grocery store, and I sure as goddamn don’t like it when it burrows into my sex life.
A sense of entitlement, in my experience, can be the biggest distinction between a date and a rapist. It often transforms a partner into a bully, a disappointment into a snit, and if it doesn’t let up your sense of entitlement will make me want to stop touching your naughty bits, without fail.
Not too terribly long ago I used to mess around with Clifton Overmangle. He proved a challenging playmate. If we interacted on a purely platonic level, we were fine. Mostly. Sure, he mocked my voice, my clothes, my mannerisms, and my lack of coordination ruthlessly, which wasn’t totally fun, but tolerable. When bathing suit areas come into the equation, though, mockery became one small element in a constellation of issues. His only two settings were “not touching me” and “hurting me”, omitting all the luscious possibilities that lie between. Sure, roughness has a place, but more importantly it has a time, and that time is not always. Additionally, his interest in my pussy was conspicuously outstripped by his involvement in my ass. I’m absolutely up for anal play, but I hate feeling like my genitals are either going to be neglected or considered a chore.
Also, he was a “virgin”, only interested in oral and possibly saddlebacking at some point. I’m not a fan of technical virginity in concept. Feel free to do whatever you like on your own timeline, but when you’re sexually active and claiming that you’re a virgin because of which orifices are involved, I have to ask, what are you protecting? A hymen you could’ve broken in a hundred comparatively boring ways? Some magical brand of virtue I’m unaware of that doesn’t tarnish when mouths and asses are substituted for vaginas? A pretend superiority over the rutting masses… you know, the ones who rut in a slightly different way from you? In addition to all the other ways that it’s silly, insisting that digital and oral sex aren’t real sex is tantamount to saying it’s impossible for me to fuck a girl because I have no penis. It’s an absurd construct, and I feel hypocritical enabling it.
Despite all this, we had some good times. On rare occasion, there’s some appeal to the prospect of having a few anal orgasms, getting bruised up all over, and ending up with a penis in my mouth. Eventually, though, the inarticulate rage that I sensed behind his roughness got to me: I became more and more convinced that it was coming from a hostile rather than a playful place. It felt like he was working out his internal choler on me just because I was there and physically weaker. When I tried to talk about it, he opined that I was a control freak and wanted to micromanage his behavior. When I explained that it was upsetting me, he argued that it shouldn’t. Yeah, well, it did. So I went on a Clifton sabbatical. This wasn’t an attempt to punish him by withdrawing sexual favors or acting out of pique; I just felt like our emotional tendencies were poorly matched. Anger distresses me, and he seemed consumed with it.
It wasn’t long before Clifton decided I could help him in another way. I should send him pictures: pictures of my ass, my tits, my feet, my pussy (even my pussy, of all things!). He reasoned that it shouldn’t be emotionally taxing for me, and he would be less bothered by the fact that we weren’t sexually interfacing anymore. It was, he asserted, the perfect solution.
“With the glut of good porn out there, I’m sure you’ll manage without me,” I responded, unimpressed. I didn’t understand, he protested. He needed my help; I was more of a fantasy object for him than I knew. My body, my expressions, my blowjobs… there were times when he wanted to get off to me, and his usual porn was no help. He needed dirty pictures from me, and he needed them immediately because he was turned on now and it was getting late. These are arguments perfectly situated to thud against a skeptic’s mind with the true ring of bullshit. How can a fully aroused male not have a plan B? Especially when plan A hasn’t even admitted to owning a camera. Even if he was incapable of finding satisfaction without an image of me to wank to for some occult reason, that didn’t make it my problem. Invoking the already stupid fallacy of “You gave me blue balls, therefore you owe me _______.” at a distance of several miles insults everyone’s intelligence.
He was upset that I refused. I was selfish, arbitrary, cruel, unfeeling, and more willing to indulge my insecurities than help out a friend. For months he repeated his request, and this was the new complexion of our “friendship”.
There are people out there who enjoy trading racy pics over the internet with friends, strangers, partners, whatever. I’m not one of them. I’m not any kind of exhibitionist. When it comes to photographs, I haven’t evolved much past the loathing I cultivated during my adolescent awkward phase. I’ve spent entire years of my life avoiding cameras: I literally cannot provide visual confirmation that I was on this planet in 2004, and I’m okay with that. For me, giving someone sexy pics is a big deal, and it requires perhaps more trust than bondage would.
Now, it didn’t irritate me that he asked for pictures. It irritated me that he did not stop asking. He became pushy, plaintive, and disrespectful about it. I never understood when getting a picture of my ass became his inalienable right. When did desire become entitlement?
After literally hundreds of denials from me, he recently suggested we start meeting up again as a way to alleviate his preoccupation with pics. Circular? Not to be believed! In addition to the old problems, I didn’t want to physically deal with someone whom I routinely had to remind over and over in text that my body is subject to my choices, and that no means no. Even for a “virgin”, you’d figure this stuff is pretty elementary. Thus we found ourselves at a total impasse, and at that point each of us had a moment of crystalline clarity:
1) I realized that as much as I like to give people multiple chances before I cut off contact completely, I actually already had in this case, and things were only getting worse.
2) Clifton realized that I wasn’t going to give him naked pictures or blowjobs in the foreseeable future.
My insight made it a great deal easier to take the insults that flowed from his; I was done, he knew I was done, and now it was just a matter of hearing why I had been really, horribly, inhumanly unfair about all of this. I sat through it because I find that when you deprive a guy of his parting shot, he never feels quite fulfilled enough to leave you alone after that. And Clifton and I were at last on the brink of the exciting and glorious prospect of leaving each other the hell alone for good and all.
I’ve had to deal with this type of thing too many times: just because you’ve had or think you could have fun with my body doesn’t make it yours. I’ll decide what I want to touch, where I want to be touched, whom I want to invite inside me, and whether I want to send images of any part of me. If that’s selfish, then… fuck that. It’s not selfish. It’s my birthright. It’s non-negotiable and as true for me as it is for everyone else. To these few but precious things, I am justly and unquestionably entitled.