Monday, 10 December 2007

"Sex Pox"

x-POXted from my LJ:

On the term "sex pox", coined by some anti-porn radical feminists as a cutesy put-down version of "sex positive":

So - "sexpox".

I think the term originated a couple of months back, as a way to convey contempt for people who espouse a non-anti-porn, non-anti-sexwork, non-anti-BDSM, "sex-positive" point of view.

And then it was bandied about by people who espouse a "sex-positive" point of view, as a sort of snide self-identification, as a way to convey contempt for people who used the term to convey contempt for "sex-positive" people.

Now that I think about it, despite the fact that it's catchy and easy to remember and evocative and really, only five or six people use the term in its pejorative on a regular so maybe it's not such a big deal - I gotta say, I'm agin' it.

cuz, y'all, what about AIDS?

whatever side of the porn/sexwork/bdsm fence you sit on, what about AIDS, y'all?

I'm not HIV+, nor am I an AIDS activist. But I know people who work long and hard to purge the idea from the human consciousness that there is some consensual sexual behavior that deserves PUNISHMENT. Not just any punishment, but The Biggest, Baddest, Most Punishing Punishment - long, slow, conspicuously Capital Punishment in the form of a wasting disease, with clearly visible physical benchmarks of its progress as it slowly kills its victims.

so, when I see the word "sexpox", I don't think of cute hawtt titjobbed bisexee suckfuckers who giggle and simper on their spindly heels and tilt their empty heads and smile while cooing "ooh! I'm so empowerful! aren't I, Nigel?"

(and even if I did get that mental picture, it wouldn't match any of the individuals I know who identify as "sex-positive." the gulf of understanding here is unbridgeable, apparently, when it comes to that.)

when I see the word "sexpox", I think of a fatal disease that happens to people who fuck the wrong way, and need to be punished before they can die as a consequence for their behavior.
Totally bang-on, AP.

And pretty chilling.

Personally, I don't know if the person who coined this *was* thinking of HIV or not. I personally thought of syphilis. And while "syphilitic" isn't the greatest thing to call someone, it doesn't kill like it did back when *it* was the scourge. (At least until the "Bah, I scoff at your silly antibiotics!" version has its fun with the silly little humans....)

And I'm a bit leery of getting too Freudian, usually.

But I really do wonder: if you come up with a term like this, you have to know that you're calling people diseased. From sex. And any way you slice it, that's creepy.

That's not just calling people bad, wrong, misguided in a hellaciously frustrating way. That's saying people ought to be suffering for their views. That we're destined for illness, as AP says, as a punishment for our refusals to fit a particular mold of female sexuality.

I see a very strong loathing of bodies, in general, in the insult of choice being "sex pox.:" There's a strong body-disgust there. It's not just about the realm of the mind, when you call people poxy. It's like something out of the Old Testament: misstep and you get LOATHSOME BOILS as punishment for your sexual sin.

Or at least, that's the mild version. AIDS is our big sex pox, as AP points out -- and AIDS is worse than an angry deity giving you a few boils.

I'd know; as I've mentioned before, I'm watching someone waste away of it. And it's not pretty. He had a brain infection, people. He went blind. This isn't just "You get pneumonia one day and can't fight it off."

(ETA: I'm also grimly amused that "sex pox" is usually used by these people to indicate feminists who are pro-porn. Porn is generally used as a masturbation aid, and masturbation's guaranteed *not* to give you the sex pox, whatever disease it may be.)

12 comments:

Daisy Bond said...

I always think of small pox.

This is off-topic: what's the reference I'm missing for understanding this Nigel thing? I've grasped the meaning from context, but where does it come from? It's everywhere.

Trinity said...

I think it comes originally from Twisty's blog, wherein someone has a husband named "Nigel" and was claiming "My Nigel isn't like that, or at least I try with him..."

and it turned into a term of mockery. Which is pretty awful, really.

Daisy Bond said...

Ah, okay. Thanks.

And yeah. That is pretty awful.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"Nigel" is a mocking term for "men in one's personal life" – father, sons, husbands, boyfriends, etc. The point apparently being that Your Man is not an exception to whatever patriarchal-related behavior they're on about, but also with the rather creepy subtext of "a woman owes greater loyalty to Class Woman and The Movement than any man, no matter how close to one personally". (So if Heart is elected president, will it every woman's duty to inform on their Nigels to some sort of feminist Stasi?)

I wasn't sure about the origin of term "Nigel" – I hadn't heard the story about some IBTP commentator with a husband named Nigel. I was always wondering if it had some connection to the old XTC song "Making Plans for Nigel".

Trinity said...

I thought it was a real dude named Nigel. But maybe that poster was just saying "my Nigel" in the same way they do, as "my person who is a token of type Nigel" I dunno.

verte said...

Oh, hell yeah. That was yet another very fine antiprincess moment. I wish she'd blog here sometime.

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Jacobina said...

So, I don't really believe it may have success.

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