Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (queries can also be sent anonymously using this form). Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.
The other night I was having great sex with my boyfriend and suddenly Donald Trump’s raspy voice from the Access Hollywood video slipped into my thoughts. It happened so suddenly that I nearly equated my pleasure with the experience of being violated by someone who repulses and insults me. I managed to push it out of my thoughts and continue having pretty good sex — I even had an orgasm — but not without feeling genuinely creeped out. Could this represent some kind of repressed desire to be assaulted by a man who disgusts me? It was so gross and I don’t ever want it to happen again. I already know that I listen to the news too much, but what else could it say about me?
— Grossed the Fuck Out 2016
I wanted badly to avoid addressing the collective psychosexual damage we’re all experiencing as a result of the current state of the political spectacle. Most of us have learned to sort of get on with our lives despite misogyny spewing out in all directions. Recent weeks have seen a truly horrifying binge of triggering language from Donald Trump, via the media. There have been rape charges, child rape charges and a whole other mess of BS that have even vaguely-woke women’s blood boiling.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not actually fantasizing about sex with Trump, or anything like him. Your psyche demanded something unpredictable at that moment, but it does not mean that you are harboring secret Trump rape fantasies. His voice is the voice we, as a culture, have assigned to carry our ugliest, scariest messages. He is a mouthpiece for a massive current of disgusting slime that is running just beneath the surface of our culture. He says things out loud, on TV — things that our collective unconscious can barely bring itself to think. So while you’re having a lovely, pleasurable frolic with your sweet man-friend, another part of your brain that’s been bathing in media slime wants to remind you that men are scary, dangerous pigs that say oink in a Donald Trump voice as they hurt you.
If you’re a feeling person in the current hostile climate, having any kind of sex with any kind of man may be difficult, even consensual sex with groovy men. If you, like most women, have experienced sexual objectification, hostility or abuse of any variety, if your adrenaline has ever spiked as the result of being touched, grabbed, stared at, chased, hollered at, hit, pushed, coerced or otherwise abused by a man, then hearing this man speak of women, and the resonant echo of that speech within the culture that created it, makes engaging with men and sexuality in a normal way very challenging.
This election is truly nightmarish, but it has illuminated the level of hatred and violence in our culture. The world can see the rotting core of white supremacy, patriarchy, violence and misogyny that is under the surface. It has shown us how men in our society, and in our communities, regard women. Many of us are now wearing special traumatized woman glasses, so we can see how we are so consistently consumed, manipulated, abused, herded, dismissed and employed for the pleasure of men. “Grab them by the pussies” is the battle cry of centuries of violent and societal coercion and oppression of women by men. And since a very powerful political figure has uttered it, it cannot be unheard.
As a counter to all this, women are taking to social media, and pouring out actual millions of true accounts of casual sexual assault and rape. Celebrities are doing it. Your friends are doing it. Every woman I have ever encountered has at least one of these stories. Women are collectively taking a huge emotional dump on the social media world right now so the rest of the humans (male humans) can experience what it’s like to wade through life in a river of emotional shit caused by the trauma of being a woman.
The fact that any women are ever able to float beyond this shit-river long enough to have relationships, love, babies and orgasms with men is truly a miracle. Men must be something really special. GTFO, your conflation of the rasping, rape-y voice of our nation’s “conservative” male political leader and the experience of sex is very unfortunate, but there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s a whole lot wrong with the culture we’re living in, and that voice truly says it all.
The level of trauma and violence choking our airwaves is difficult to fight against. It is very difficult to perform business as usual right now. Our brains and bodies know this, and crossing wires, in your case, is probably some kind of coping mechanism. If any women out there are able to hear a leading national politician spew violent, misogynist, racist hate speech, see Trump supporters wearing “Repeal the 19th” T-shirts, sympathetically read rape and abuse accounts on Twitter all day long and then go home and make dinner and have a normal sexual experience with a man, please write email@example.com and tell me what kind of goddamned essential oils you’re putting in your bathwater. Mama is going to need to unwind after all this.
Finally, please listen to the news less. Turn Facebook off, turn the TV off, and go for a walk outside. Hold hands. Do whatever you need to do to get through this. It’ll all be over before your next box of tampons.
— xoxo, Kiki
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 209.