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Talking Dirty to a Lover

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But, do you think everyone will be able to work out their own self-esteem issues all the time? What if their self-esteem issues have to do with the fact that all they get is rejection all the time?

In that case, try to remember the real problem is THEM, not you. If they're so stupid and shallow they can't get over something so petty, well, good riddance to bad rubbish. They'd only drag you down in the long run. Just try not to let it keep you from seeing the good in people who aren't like that...give everybody a chance and try to make sure you're not re-enacting past conflicts with new partners who totally don't deserve it. (Easier said than done I know, but it's worth remembering!)

I think real happiness comes from independence and the richness of your own inner resources. In my case, it would be nice to have a partner again, but what's the rush? When it happens, it happens, but I'm not about to compromise my values out of a misguided sense of desperation so many women fall prey to. In the mean time, I'm content to pleasure myself to orgasm every single day. Sometimes twice...I'm horny like that LOL

Here's a fantastic article about narcissism you should give to your friend to read...maybe this site will help her realize why she's better off with you instead of loserboy. :worry:

http://samvak.tripod.com/narcissistobjects.html

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That is, unless you have trouble understanding that there is a difference between playing a slut in bed with someone you love, and actually actually living your life as a brainless slut.

Of course there's a difference, but what would a woman who possesses the sense of life and ideals of, quote, "a heroine" possibly gain from play-acting she's a worthless, brainless slut? There's just no positive explanation for why you'd enjoy something so life-negating. On the other hand, if you're like most weak-minded, insecure, confused women who don't know what you want out of life, I can possibly see the attraction...but not if you're fully integrated and reasonably happy with yourself. Role playing is for people who don't want to own up to their emotions. I find being fully present to your partner in the moment far more exciting than any contrived power-game BS.

If you ever find a partner who enjoys pretending she's the victim of a concentration camp, she needs professional help. She might share some of your values, but others are monstrously dysfunctional.

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I can add an actual poll to this topic if you'd like.

As for myself: the *words* don't bother me. I like words, even *nasty* ones: they serve their purpose quite well. What gets me is *context*.

If I go out to the store and get a shirt that's lower-cut than usual, then show it off to my guy, I might cheerfully tease him about how he'd better watch out because I'm l'm lookin' like a hot mama today and his friends will be all over me. If he then says (jokingly) something like "you're such a slut" it will make me laugh.

If I'm wearing a suit and heading out to give a business presentation and he says the same thing, that's *completely different*.

I suspect that to some people it's all the same, but I never act that way: I take each aspect of my life somewhat separately and I devote almost an entire persona to it, which is one of the reasons I get along better with people that can also switch operational modes in the same way.

Yeah, what she said. :worry:

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Like Dan, I feel the need to make a "just for the record" comment. I heard this song on the radio on the way in to work this morning and it reminded me of this thread. I would much rather be talked to like this than talked dirty to, but I'm not opposed to dirty talk. I think different situations/moods call for different behavior, both in and out of the sack.

Robin Thicke wrote this song for his wife, who is also in the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3_gIi4ECok

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As for myself: the *words* don't bother me. I like words, even *nasty* ones: they serve their purpose quite well. What gets me is *context*.

Alright! A woman who knows what contextual means. This is one of the most important concepts in Objectivist epistemology and imo one of the most beautiful. Too bad it is not so well understood for others as it is for us, Jenni.

Context dropping is one of the most common epistemological crimes.

Any time I evaluate or judge, or find myself doing so without knowing properly the context, I stop and consider it. I am very good at it now. If I wouldn't have done that very recently in regards to a special someone's comment...I don't and won't even try to think of the woman I would have never have known because of it....it makes me too sad. Instead I'll think of the woman that I do know, because of it... :worry:

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Alright! A woman who knows what contextual means. This is one of the most important concepts in Objectivist epistemology and imo one of the most beautiful. Too bad it is not so well understood for others as it is for us, Jenni.

Show me a context in which role-playing a brainless, worthless slut is morally consistent with possessing the sense of life befitting a heroine. Explain to me how playing concentration camp is life-affirming and the perfect picture of mental health. Either I'm missing something or you're dodging the question.

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Show me a context in which role-playing a brainless, worthless slut is morally consistent with possessing the sense of life befitting a heroine. Explain to me how playing concentration camp is life-affirming and the perfect picture of mental health. Either I'm missing something or you're dodging the question.

I have no idea why you would even present such scenerio's to me, when I was replying to Jenni. When I mentioned "others" I wasn't implying you, if that's what made you post that.

If not, then I guess some may need to learn how not to take things out of context either... (another commonly commited epistemological crime)

Edited by intellectualammo
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I have no idea why you would even present such scenerio's to me, when I was replying to Jenni.

I guess some need to learn how not to take things out of context either...

Oh, no problem-- since I'm one of the people here who doesn't enjoy degrading language or role play, I was replying as if I were included in the comment "Too bad [context] is not so well understood for others as it is for us, Jenni."

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Subjectivism is the rejection of objective standards for deciding what behavior is good for you and what behavior is bad for you. Those who explicitly hold this belief have to be hypocrites and so this belief, per se, is no more harmful than any other incorrect utterance. Just like the reason for their holding that belief in the first place, most are intellectual dependents who pick up their standards from their surroundings.

Even in a social environment populated by intellectual dependents a sense of right and wrong develops: it is right to belong to the group and it is wrong not to. As protection against the ever changing particular standards by which this sense is expressed, most conclude that something is right because society says it is. Fortunately, and only fortunately, the majority of the sexual standards that society still abides by are life-enhancing, and the majority of people practice them - Hollywood notwithstanding.

But there are some who do not. Ayn Rand identified a phenomenon known as the "tribal lone wolf". This is someone who is rejected from the tribe because of an inability to live up to the tribe's standards of behavior. Instead this person conjures a new, yet equally as irrational, standard as the tribal-subjectivist. Instead of believing that "it's good because the tribe says it's good", the lone-wolf thinks merely that "it's good because it's me".

All are detrimental, but what makes subjectivism of this type the most dangerous type is that, like tribal-subjectivism, a sense of right and wrong is present, but unlike it, a fear of tribal rejection is no longer present. Without rational scrutiny, the lone-wolf is left exposed to his lowest emotions and patently irrational behaviors are given an intellectualized justification.

A run-of-the-mill subjectivist is wishy-washy and will never follow one direction too long or with too much dedication. Most of them have integrated positive cultural norms that they follow most of the time. Tribal-subjectivism has the benefit of centuries of trial and error built into it's sexual customs and the fear of ostracization to prevent it's followers complete psycho-sexual demise. The lone-wolf, however, is restricted by nothing and, if his ideas are bad enough and his emotions are strong enough, nothing will stop him from enthusiastically pursuing his own sexual degradation - treating it as his most vaulted personal expression.

Of course, no individual should be motivated by fear to pursue sexual pleasure. But this is precisely what all forms and all degrees of sexual subjectivism suggest. It certainly is not rational to pursue someone sexually merely because someone feels a physical urge in response to that person and disregards everything else he may know about that person's character. While it will be adamantly denied, what truly motivates such behavior is a hatred of one's sexuality and an overwhelming need to appease it as quickly as possible. Nor is it any more rational to accept or deny a set of sexual proclivities because one fears the disapproval of others that may come from being perceived as too rigid or too permissive. This fear emmanates from a deeply-held, unexamined attitude about sex that it is not a personal value, but a duty to one's partner or even to one's body.

However, what is worse, more frighteningly irrational, is the belief that one's choice of sexual style bears no relationship to his personal, conciously held - albeit automatized - preferences about what is arousing any more than how this act will affect the dynamics of the relationship overall. To this person, a sexual act is, and only can be, a blind explosion of mindless impulse with mindlessness and impulsiveness being it's own justification. This is the sexual nature of the lone-wolf, who, if given the chance and if stricken with the impulse, would mount the leg of a member of an entirely different species to satisfy itself. While his subjectivist bretheren, in their more intellectual moments might defend this as a sacred, personal ritual, the demands of the tribe - which accidentally is more in touch with the demands of man's mind - would win out and he would be denounced.

As against moaning or heavy breating, "dirty talk" is a verbalized form of one's sexual proclivities, not merely another proclivity itself. The term itself should be evidence enough. "Dirty" is meant to mean morally unclean - as if some particular sexual act between consensual lovers was inherently immoral. Given that religious attitudes towards sex have dominated much of human history, it is safe to assume that this term refers to historically taboo acts like oral or anal sex. This certainly does not make sense. Nothing that involves the human body experiencing pleasure can be properly considered dirty because the human body is morally clean. Redefined, "dirty talk" is a nebulous concept that has been stretched beyond it's original, legitimate referants to mean anything that one might wish to sexualize. The closest one can come to a definition today would be to describe it's effect: the introduction of one's psychoogical pain into sex or it's imposition on one's partner. If one wishes to sexualize, personally, the low self-esteen of an imaginary woman and bring that into his bedroom, what is to stop him?

Hopefully his partner will, but his philosophy certainly will not stop him. It encourage him to seek a moral justification of the issue, not because there is one, but because he needs one. If he happens to believe that sex is a profoundly personal experience that involves nearly incommunicable thoughts and gestures, the sexual-subjectivist lone-wolf will seek a justification for it in the same way that he justifies all of his other desires - they're his. Sex is special in this regard. The lone-wolf is correct, sex is what he thinks it is - the most profound expression of his personality possible. If he demands that his lover regard his utterances as good, they must be regarded as good for no reason other than the fact that he uttered them.

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Show me a context in which role-playing a brainless, worthless slut is morally consistent with possessing the sense of life befitting a heroine. Explain to me how playing concentration camp is life-affirming and the perfect picture of mental health. Either I'm missing something or you're dodging the question.

I think we should just leave out the whole concentration camp scenario unless you want to argue it with the individual that brought it up. I think the vast majority of people would not find that sexually stimulating; however, I still fail to see the harm in pretending (via role playing) to be a woman who is experienced in frequently pleasuring men (a slut.) Like I said before, there are many more things I would prefer to have said to me during sex, but as long as you have two willing, consenting adults role playing, I see no harm in it.

And how would that cause a woman to have no sense of life or be less of a heroine? And why is a slut necessarily brainless or worthless? Yes, a genuine slut definitely has some psychological issues, but I don't think that makes her brainless or worthless. There were several sluts at my high school and college that went on to be productive, non-slutty members of society. Everyone makes mistakes and has the potential to learn from them.

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Stephen,

Welcome to Objectivism Online!

Now that that's out of the way :worry: I think you are misapplying a principle here. There are no "Lone Wolves" participating in this discussion to my knowledge. The tone of your first post could be interpreted as accusatory.

"Dirty" is meant to mean morally unclean

Originally that's the way the term was used to describe "dirty" words or sexual practices, but nowadays "dirty" is used in a generally positive, ironic sense. I agree that the definition of the new concept "dirty talk" is somewhat nebulous, but where do you get this as a definition?: "the introduction of one's psychoogical [sic] pain into sex or it's imposition on one's partner." Your definition begs the question of the issue at hand.

I think an inductive approach is more appropriate here. Stephen, would you say that, in your experience, the use of coarse language during sex is unhealthy? Have you tried it? Have you talked to anyone else that has tried it? If you read through this thread, you will find several rational, psychologically healthy people who acknowledge that they enjoy "dirty talk" in bed.

Welcome Welcome!

--Dan Edge

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Hi Dan,

First of all, let me say that I deeply respect your intellect. I read your essays on Sexuality and Manogamy recently and thought they were brilliant and, from a cursory glance, quite correct.

I was hoping you specifically would reply because, having read through the thread, I expected you to present the best counter-arguments. Yes, my post was accusatory. It was meant to be. I realize that there are no "lone-wolves" on this forum. In fact, I would say that there aren't any lone wolves anywhere in the world except perhaps in prison or on the run from the police. But, as a principle, the idea that moral certainty is impossible is impossible to consistently follow. As I said, explicit subjectivists are hypocrites. But there is such a thing as an implicitly subjectivist argument - no matter who makes it. People can be completely impartial in many aspects of their lives and committed to protecting their own little quirks in another. Every issue a individual is confronted with has to be dealt with independently. Merely saying "I'm a committed Objectivist" does not make all of your opinions, let alone your emotions, objectively valid.

I was trying to demonstrate how a lone-wolf would approach the issue of "dirty talk" to provide more of a compelling thrust to my arguments against it (as it is being identified in this thread: words like "slut" and "whore") than to just defend my position positively.

As to my definition of the term: you ask where I got it. I made it up. Or do you mean that it's not logical? In one respect, this entire thread is an attempt to define what is and is not morally acceptable, clean or dirty, to say during sex. So I gave it my best shot. I don't think that "[a word] used in a generally positive, ironic sense" is an adequate definition.

Your next question is perfect because it allows me to add substance to my definition of "the introduction of one's psychological pain into sex or it's imposition on one's partner." But to be clear, what I mean by that is because nothing done physically between two consenting adults that can be objectively shown to contribute to (or perhaps, confirm), and not detract from, their self-esteem would be considered immoral except by a Christian.

I actually looked up the definition of the word "fuck" and as best I can tell, it's some variation of "poke" or "stick" from a half dozen or so Indo-European languages. So no, I wouldn't count curse words as "dirty talk" because they merely express the level of intensity one is experiencing. Saying "fuck me!" is just like saying "poke me" but it's also saying "You're poking me so well that I must use an equally as exceptional word to describe it. 'Poke' just won't do."

I couldn't find anything suggesting that "slut" or "whore" just meant "exceptionally good lover." I noticed that some on this forum take those words to mean just that. Perhaps between themselves and their lovers that's what it means. But why the unecessary confusion of having different definitions for different rooms in the house? How about just inventing a new word?

And not that it's relevant, but yes, I've tried dirty talk.

Oh, and thanks for the welcome. Glad to be here.

Edited by stephenmallory
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I couldn't find anything suggesting that "slut" or "whore" just meant "exceptionally good lover." I noticed that some on this forum take those words to mean just that. Perhaps between themselves and their lovers that's what it means. But why the unnecessary confusion of having different definitions for different rooms in the house? How about just inventing a new word?

I don't recall anyone saying that slut meant "exceptionally good lover" but I tend to think a slut would be an experienced lover simply due to the definition of the word. And I don't consider myself to be "confused by having different definitions for different rooms of the house." There's no confusion...bedroom talk is bedroom talk. It is not talk for my friends or my family or for strangers...it is for my spouse/lover. If you want to interrupt a passionate moment with your loved one to invent a new word, you are certainly allowed to do so, but I feel sorry for the bored partner in the bed next to you. I prefer NOT to role play Dr. Lillith and Frasier Crane in my bedroom. :lol:

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Lol, that's hilarious K-Mac.

I agree with Dan for the most part: people use "nasty" words because they have shock value. It kind of reminds me of Roxanne, actually (if you've seen the movie . . . a delightful romantic comedy based on Cyrano de Bergerac, anyway). When you live in a world where people in the street will say things like "I want your body!" etc. phrases like this lose their shock value and no longer reflect emotional intensity . . . so you get left with swear words. Using a term that has become a polite euphemism or technical word in the heat of the moment is not going to be as fun. Tell your lover that you're going to give them your love cucumber if you want, but if they fall off the bed laughing you might want to reconsider your strategy.

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Hi Stephen,

Merely saying "I'm a committed Objectivist" does not make all of your opinions, let alone your emotions, objectively valid.

I'm realize I'm picking nits here, but it's inaccurate to say that emotions can be objectively valid or invalid. Emotions are automatic responses to automatized value judgments, and therefore cannot be valid or invalid, good or evil. I stress this point because, while it is true that one shouldn't rely on emotional reactions as the foundation of his philosophy, the rational man can use his emotional reactions as a guide when dealing with abstract psychological issues.

That's why I think it is relevant whether or not you've tried dirty talk, and whether or not you've talked to other rational people about it. It is relevant, significant evidence that there are many long-time Objectivists who have enjoyed using dirty talk in the bedroom for years and have detected no adverse psychological side-effects. I'm not saying that this is conclusive evidence, only that it's relevant and significant. Again, where are the folks who experimented with this until they realized that it was an expression of self-hatred (or whatever)? It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to deduce an exact range of acceptable sexual activities from philosophical principles. Sometimes it takes experience and sexual exploration to figure out where to draw the line.

Regarding the terminology: According to dictionary.com, "fuck" is a slang term meaning "to have sexual intercourse with." The etymology of the term is not necessarily significant. There are many words which have evolved over time to refer to entirely different concepts. The word "cool" has a different meaning in different contexts these days. There are many examples of this. The term "slut" is defined as "a promiscuous woman," and it's not a huge stretch for couples to use this term to mean "a freak-nasty, submissive, open, and willing sexual partner," or some variant thereof.

For the same reason, I don't in principle object to the phrase "dirty talk" referring to a new set of concretes which are not "dirty" in the traditional sense of the word. Wikipedia defines dirty talk as "a dysphemism for a lover's practice of using graphic word imagery to heighten sexual pleasure before and during the sex act. Dirty talk can include sexual humor, vivid erotic descriptions, giving a partner sexual commands and whispering rude words into their ear. It is a common form of foreplay and can involve the negotiation of how the couple will have sex." I would say this definition is pretty accurate. None of this implies a negative connotation.

First of all, let me say that I deeply respect your intellect. I read your essays on Sexuality and Manogamy recently and thought they were brilliant and, from a cursory glance, quite correct.

You're making me blush! But I can't argue with you. Brilliant and cute to boot -- that's me. :wub:

Part VI of The Psycho-Epistemology of Sexuality should be finished by next week, and I'll publish a more fully edited version about two weeks later. I'd be interested in you comments/feedback.

Thanks,

--Dan Edge

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Kelly Writes:

I prefer NOT to role play Dr. Lillith and Frasier Crane in my bedroom.

Don't be so closed-minded, Kelly! Give this script a go:

---------

KELLY: Jolly good, old man! I wouldn't mind if you elevated the intensity a bit.

KELLY'S NEW BEAU: Indubitably, my dear Kelly! I am in just the psycho-epistemological frame of mind to value you vociferously.

KELLY: Excellent. Though, it may be desirable to introspect first, in order to determine if there are any adverse psychological elements at play. But don't cease doing what you're currently doing. I am enjoying it thoroughly.

KELLY'S NEW BEAU: Very well.

[bOTH INTROSPECT]

KELLY: I have concluded that my desire to elevate the intensity of our love-making is due to the inordinate amount of psychological visibility I derive from our relationship.

KELLY'S NEW BEAU: I have arrived at the same conclusion. Shall I proceed?

KELLY: Indeed!

----------------

Give that a go, and check back with me.

--Dan Edge, Love Doctor MD

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Part VI of The Psycho-Epistemology of Sexuality should be finished by next week, and I'll publish a more fully edited version about two weeks later. I'd be interested in you comments/feedback.

Thanks,

--Dan Edge

I think it needs more dirty talk. :wub:

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I agree with Dan for the most part: people use "nasty" words because they have shock value. It kind of reminds me of Roxanne, actually (if you've seen the movie . . . a delightful romantic comedy based on Cyrano de Bergerac, anyway). When you live in a world where people in the street will say things like "I want your body!" etc. phrases like this lose their shock value and no longer reflect emotional intensity . . . so you get left with swear words. Using a term that has become a polite euphemism or technical word in the heat of the moment is not going to be as fun. Tell your lover that you're going to give them your love cucumber if you want, but if they fall off the bed laughing you might want to reconsider your strategy.

Hi Jenni, First of all, great taste in movies. Which scene in Roxanne are you refrring to? (cuz someone's already brought up Cyrano. :P)

Your statement re: dirty talk as reflecting emotional intensity has made me consider some things. I agreed with Dan earlier that is that is what is being done, then I'm ok with it. But let me ask some open questions regarding what you and others have said.

a. everyone has been constantly telling us how context is so important, how in this particular context, a normally vulgar and derogatory word such as slut, loses that connotation and is a positive thing (because of "shock value" etc.), so I'll ask the question in reverse. Why is it that if a particular phrase has lost it's "shock value" in common usage, that this means that it must be so in our particular context? That is if we are so quick to not care about the external context when imparting our own meaning to a word, why are we so quick to care about external context when we look to a word's meaning?

b. "shock value" seems to be something that is lost with repeated usage. At least that seems to be one of the reasons that we claim to need to use those words. This whole "words lose their intensity with repetition" sort of thread just doesn't really make sense to me. This means of course that after "whore" and "slut" have been used 100's of time (and we know they have in Dan's house ;)) that he's gonna have to find some other word to use. Is it going to have to be an even more vulgar term to keep it's shock value? Does "I love you" lose it's meaning after 15 years of a passionate marriage? The answer is, it depends on the context of it's utterance right, but the answer could very well be that IT HOLDS ITS MEANING. But that's because words mean something.

So the false alternative seems to me to be here that either one uses shock value, or risk using a trite or silly cliche. At least that's how its been presented so far. When the reality is that shock value and cliche's BOTH risk losing or having already lost their meaning, but words spoken with the right actual emotional intensity never do. Look a woman in the eyes when you're dancing with her, and tell her you adore her and mean it, and have her know when you mean it, and I'm going to be that even after 30 years of marriage, she isn't gonna tire of it.

Shock value exists because words have an external meaning that is at odds with the actual meaning intended. Dan called it "positive irony" which is a baffling term to me. To me that simply means that the shock value is created because the word is a vulgarity. To me this is almost a way of arguing that one has to use vulgarities in order to achieve emotional intensity. As I've said, I don't have an issue with them, unless the vulgarity is specifically demeaning, and a couple hasn't already understood it to not be so. Now if one claims that they never get tired of hearing their man call them a "whore" then the whole shock value argument is out the window isn't it?

So, yes, shock value is a way of creating emotion intensity, but it inherently then uses itself up, meaning if you use it as a regular technique, you're going to end up having to become more and more "ironic" [read vulgar] to maintain it's intensity. It's a fairly weak way it seems to me, and there are other great ways to do it, such as actually meaning what you say!This whole sort of its either tell her you're going to fuck her, or tell her you're going to slip her your love cucumber sort of line of reasoning is just really false alternative to me.

Oh, yeah, baby! :wub:

Kelly, you must not have meant that, else you would have called him a pimp! ;)

Edited by KendallJ
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Kelly, you must not have meant that, else you would have called him a pimp! :P

Actually, I've already made clear my personal preference on this issue... :wub:

Like I said before, there are many more things I would prefer to have said to me during sex, but as long as you have two willing, consenting adults role playing, I see no harm in it.

She is the individual that brought it up.

Oh, I missed that. My apologies! ;)

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Of course there's a difference, but what would a woman who possesses the sense of life and ideals of, quote, "a heroine" possibly gain from play-acting she's a worthless, brainless slut? There's just no positive explanation for why you'd enjoy something so life-negating.

A slut isn't necessarily brainless nor worthless. And I am not exactly sure what you mean by "heroine". Can I be so bold as to assume that a "heroine" can potentially come out of a HUGE range of personality types and hence have a great variety of sexual appetite?

Or is it, "this is the way a heroine ought to have sex, and that's that"?

If your answer is the later, please do enlighten me as to what is an acceptable way for a heroine to have sex. If your answer is former, then the question we really ought to explore is why one would want to role play ANYTHING? Nurse and patient? Teacher and student? French maid? Police woman? Slave and master? Or hell, even your seemingly favorite example, between a Nazi officer and a concentration camp inmate? I am not a psychologist, but it seems obvious to me that these are all relationships of power, acts performed between a dominant and a subservient role. To me, it simply seem like a elaborate, highly ritualized version of a woman (or man) saying to her partner, "I submit to you. You can do whatever you want with me".

Does the fact that Dominique quite obviously enjoyed being raped by Roarke made her any less of a heroine? I mean, yes, she definitely has psychological issues. But even the most rational person have psychological issues. Being rational and emotional are not mutually exclusive, nor is it always perfectly integrated for most people (and by most people, I mean like everyone I have ever known). Heroism to me is someone who lives his life according to rational principles and will go to any lengths to defend his values. Nowhere in there does it say he cannot have emotional or psychological impulses that are irrational. He can -- and most people do. It just doesn't have anything to do with the way he lives his life. And it certainly does not mean he cannot explore it with his sexual partner (heroine or otherwise) in the bedroom. You are rationally exploring an otherwise buried portion of your psyche -even if it is expressed as an irrational desire- because you KNOW it is irrational, and you want to find out what it is like and how you respond to it emotionally (be it some sort of release or emotional catharsis). That, to me, is ultimately what role playing is about.

As for sex being the highest expression of your being -- it certainly is an expression (perhaps you can give me a logical explanation why it is the highest). But I don't think you can interpret it literally -- as in, this person must have a low self-esteem because she likes to play a slave in the bedroom. Oftentimes it is the very opposite, where someone who needs to always maintain a high level of control let's it loose in the bedroom as a way to seek emotional catharsis. The reasons for enjoying things like these can be extremely varied, and you can not possibly lump them all into the same category without first understanding the context (yes, even in the case of a concentration camp fetish). In your previous post you were being awfully presumptuous in saying (and I paraphrase) "someone who likes such and such must be completely depraved, sick, needs psychological help, etc" and "obviously a heroine would never be into this".

Here is a psychologist's take on S & M Most people that enjoy it are generally upper-middle class, educated, intelligent people (and hence probably have a high probability of being rational people). Enjoying S&M most certainly say something about them as a person -- but to interpret what it says is complicated and context dependent, and not a case of "if he likes A then he must be personality type B".

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You brought up some good points, Kendall.

Why is it that if a particular phrase has lost it's "shock value" in common usage, that this means that it must be so in our particular context? That is if we are so quick to not care about the external context when imparting our own meaning to a word, why are we so quick to care about external context when we look to a word's meaning?

I think I understand your question, but I'm not sure. Could you provide a few examples, please?

Is it going to have to be an even more vulgar term to keep it's shock value? Does "I love you" lose it's meaning after 15 years of a passionate marriage?

You're right: using the same kind of language over and over, or doing the some kind of role-playing over and over, will get old after a while. I don't think that one needs to keep coming up with more vulgar terminology in order to keep things fresh, but we do need variety. A couple could use a "slut" fantasy for a while, then try handcuffs, other things, then revisit old fantasies, and so on. You're also right that "I love you" never gets old because of the significance of the words. However, even "I love you" could get old if you said it every time you make love. It can be nice to throw in something like "Beg me to pound you" in place of "I love you" every now and then.

Dan called it "positive irony" which is a baffling term to me. To me that simply means that the shock value is created because the word is a vulgarity.

Some sex acts that traditionally were considered "vulgar" are in fact beautiful and pleasurable. It is ironic that we invert the terminology which was traditionally used to refer to these "vulgar" acts, and use the terms in a positive way. For instance, consider the modern definition of the phrase "dirty talk" from Wikipedia that I referenced earlier. That's what I meant by "positive irony."

So, yes, shock value is a way of creating emotion intensity, but it inherently then uses itself up, meaning if you use it as a regular technique, you're going to end up having to become more and more "ironic" [read vulgar] to maintain it's intensity.

Again, I don't think one has to get more and more vulgar, just continue to inject variety in the sexual relationship, and keep finding new ways to express intensity.

Thanks,

--Dan Edge

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You brought up some good points, Kendall.

I think I understand your question, but I'm not sure. Could you provide a few examples, please?

Sure Dan, here's my basic problem. We seem quite happy to drop the external negative context of a vulgarity in sexual usage. But we claim that part of the reason for the need to use them is that they have "shock value". That is that other words have lost their meaning because of overusage. Well, hell if we were so quick to be able to drop the context of the vulgarity's meaning, then how come we can't drop the context of the other word's overusage? In other words, if we can redefine a words meaningin context, and call it "positive irony", why can't we redefine it's intensity and call it "shocking irony" or something. The need for this seems to contradict the actual mechanism of it.

I don't think that one needs to keep coming up with more vulgar terminology in order to keep things fresh, but we do need variety.... You're also right that "I love you" never gets old because of the significance of the words. However, even "I love you" could get old if you said it every time you make love. It can be nice to throw in something like "Beg me to pound you" in place of "I love you" every now and then.

OK, I buy the variety argument. But here's the deal. If there actually are words that don't lose their meaning, why make the argument for shock value intensity in the variety mix in the first place? That is, why not cull a huge variety of different words from the pool of those that don't lose their meaning, and that don't require you to risk demeaning your sig other? Can't I develop variety from the larger pool of those things that don't lose their meaning? The argument for shock value intensity is a really weak one for me. Maybe it's an age thing, but I see it the same way as I see vulgarity in general. I can swear with the best of them, and do sometimes, but after a while using vulgarity to get any sort of shock value or intensity from it really seems well, hollow. Don't get me wrong I'm not arguing against it, per se, just maybe that it's well something that will wear out sooner than one thinks. And I think part of it is that these arguments for it don't reall carry a lot of weight with me.

And remember I'm primarily interested in "shock value" as demeaning. Don't care about "fuck me now" but the "whore" and "slut" variety.

Some sex acts that traditionally were considered "vulgar" are in fact beautiful and pleasurable. It is ironic that we invert the terminology which was traditionally used to refer to these "vulgar" acts, and use the terms in a positive way. For instance, consider the modern definition of the phrase "dirty talk" from Wikipedia that I referenced earlier. That's what I meant by "positive irony."

OK, I can see this as an Objectivist interpretation. Do you really think that the usage in popular culture is as a sophisticated form of irony because they really believe the act is beautiful? Just another context to have to drop to use it in the way you suggest above.

Edited by KendallJ
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Kendall, I meant the scene in Roxane where CD is outside the window with Chris and he says something like "It's so hard to talk to you because I can't find the words" (with some hilarity because Chris mis-hears him). People say they love butter and they love cat food or whatever . . . it kind of diminishes saying "I love you" to someone.

I think that while it's relatively easy to mentally dismiss the meaning of a word (we're all used to it because in a lot of situations meaning is contextual . . . I mean think of the difference between your father saying 'hey kid!' and some yahoo at a ball game shouting 'hey kid!' at you), it is far more difficult to add in a "shock" intensity to a word: it has to be one that you already consider shocking. You can add meaning, too, but I don't think you can add shock value no matter how hard you try.

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