23 April 2009

Kate Bornstein

From Madness Radio:
"Transsexual writer and activist Kate Bornstein on her book "Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws." Kate overturns the orthodox either-or labels of male / female and straight/gay/bi with her postmodern sexuality of self-definition and fluid identity. Kate is the author of the highly successful books "My Gender Workbook" and "Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and The Rest of Us," and her new book takes a transgressive and honest approach to what it takes to stay alive in a crazy world. www.katebornstein.com"

Now I have to admit that I haven't read this book yet, nor am I all that familiar with Kate Bornstein (though I feel like I'm going to be very soon), but I read this excerpt from Hello Cruel World and I wanted to post it here:

• Sex doesn’t have to mean marriage, children, or even I love you.
• Sex can be right this minute or next year some time. You get to decide. And you get to change your mind about that whenever you want to.
• Sex can be a passionless quickie.
• Sex can be any way you imagine it can be. Sex doesn’t have to be any way you don’t want it to be.
• Sex doesn’t have to be with one person all the time or even with one person at a time. Sex doesn’t have to be with anyone but yourself. You get to control the guest list.
• Sex doesn’t have to happen with anyone of the same race, religion, gender, age, class, education level or body type as you.
• And sex doesn’t have to be for free. You can buy, sell, or trade sex for things if you need and want to do that.
• Sex doesn’t mean you’re a slut or a whore, unless of course that’s what you’d like to be.
• Sex doesn’t have to be genital and you don’t have to do it in private.
• Sex doesn’t have to end with an orgasm for everyone.
• During sex, you can be any gender, age, race, class, animal, object or alien life-form that you’d like to be as long as you both or all agree that’s what you’re safely being together.
• Sex doesn’t have to be in the missionary position.
• Sex doesn’t have to happen on the bed in a bedroom in the dark.
• Sex can be really yummy, sick-o, gross, painful, scary, bloody and/or degrading when you all or both agree to do it that way safely and respectfully together.
• Sex can be hilariously funny.
• Sex can be a lovely gift you give someone or someone gives you.
• Sex can be a blessing, a prayer, and a generous act of healing.
• Sex can involve costumes, props and a script.

I can't totally explain why, but this just kind of blew my mind. It's all these things that I already know about sex, and love about sex, that very few people in contemporary media and even Gen Sex academic literature acknowledge. I just wanted to celebrate some balls to the wall sex positivity and encourage everyone to check out the interview at Madness.


  1. http://www.fubiz.net/2009/05/12/make-the-girl-dance/

  2. Mostly good points but regarding "Sex doesn’t have to be in the missionary position" that makes the mistake of equating "Sex" with "Intercourse" as the mainstream does. Maybe they meant "intercourse doesn't have to be in the missionary position" or maybe,perhaps they meant "sex doesn't have to be intercourse in the missionary position"..that would be a clearer way of avoiding giving some readers the false impression that sex=intercourse

    Also I agree you don't have to be in love but you should be loving and/or empathetic towards the partner(s), so in that sense love should have been, imo, emphasized more than on this list.

    But generally other than quibbles like this, I like the tone of the quotes, too.

    How the heck did I find your blog? From archive of old shows from Lynn Gerry's unwelcomeguests.org to youtube's "let them talk" channel to google searching for feminist fight club...very glad to see that despite the title you're not of the "let's adopt force/violence, the same means as the patriachal/capitalist/etc mainstream" school of feminism but use it with humor afaict