Thursday, September 24, 2009

Father-Daughter Incest that extends into adulthood: Mackenzie Phillips bravely shares a terrible secret about "Papa John" Phillips

[photo of John Phillips with his daughter Mackenzie is from here]

[24 Sept 2009 update: see here for more about how her family has reacted to the news--as she notes, it's in a very typical way in families with incest. Her half sister and member of the all-female band Wilson Phillips with Beach Boy Brian Wilson's two daughters, will be the guest on Friday's Oprah Show, with Mackenzie via satellite. As someone who comes from a family loaded up and torn apart by incest, I'll be watching to see what kind of support Mackenzie gets.]

I welcome you to click here for an article about Mackenzie's story, which is where I found the image above.

I used to watch all the talk shows, or chat shows, in the 1980s that dealt with matters of sexual violence against women (and girls and boys): incest, rape, battery, prostitution, pornography. I kept looking for pieces of my own story, and to understand how people survive it all. I'm not sure I learned anything too useful, as too many of those shows refused to highlight a radical feminist analysis of these crimes against children and women. But at least in the 1980s feminism had something of a voice, a presence, in dominant media. That has been completely replaced by apolitical analysts, who refuse to see male and white supremacy's abuses as such even when they're staring the psychologists and relationship experts in the face.

http://www.oprah.com/media/20090826-tows-mackenzie-rape [there is more of her story there, and more videos from Oprah's talk show]

Oprah Winfrey's last show to air in the U.S., a portion of which is played in a video above, featured child actor, singer, and daughter of the creator of the famed musical group of the 1960s, The Mamas and The Papas. His name is John Phillips but because of the band, he was known just as much as "Papa John". He died in the spring of 2001 at the age of 65. Eight years later the oldest of his many children, daughter Mackenzie, co-star of the 1970s hit TV show "One Day at a Time", has a new book telling of her life's many serious struggles. She was a child in L.A. with a drug using father; she developed a decades long drug habit herself when she was an adolescent; and her father, the one and only Papa John, also raped her when she was nineteen and unconscious. He then continued to sexually violate her over the next ten years. There is a term Mackenzie uses to describe the sexual abuse that happened when she was, in her painfully honest words, old enough to know better. That term is "consensual incest". That term makes me very uncomfortable, but probably not exactly for all the reasons you might think.

From the perspective from which I analyse social reality, I'm not sure the term "consensual incest" has any merit or meaning. Once a man rapes his daughter, so many things happen to a person that what happens later by him cannot, in my mind, be said to be "consensual". For me, it is all abuse--his against her. And I realise that is a contentious position to take. But I take it based partly on my own childhood experience.

_______________________

[added on 24 Sept. 2009] For more discussion of this by Mackenzie Phillips, see this:


________________________

When I was a prepubescent boy, I was deeply attracted to a man who lived for several years in my family's home. He was at least ten years older than me. He engaged me in some incestuous behavior that confused me. (He was, from my point of view, a part of my family.) And, because he never frightened me in his approach, I longed for more contact, which never happened.

I grew up, and after a family member of mine that he knew well had died, I contacted him to let him know. He was not born in this country and had, years ago, returned to the country of his birth, where he had lived with a U.S.-born woman--his spouse, with whom he had two children. And he was divorced by the time I reconnected with him by phone. Of course he didn't recognise my voice. It had deepened considerably since I was eleven. But he knew my name and the name of my relative who recently died.

Learning of his divorce sent many thoughts through my head, such as: I wonder if he could possibly be gay? (The answer is no.) And, more bizarrely, "I wonder if he'd consider resuming our relationship." I thought about going to visit him, and us picking up where he left off. I was in therapy at the time, and my therapist reminded me it wasn't "a relationship" in any healthy understanding of that term. She reminded me of something I'd said about him in an earlier session: He exploited me, plain and simple. I hated to think that, though. I wanted to believe he was in love with me, because that way there'd be some way for me to stay in denial about being so utterly and callously used by him. (He wasn't in love with me, ever. And even if he were, that wouldn't make this story any less abusive.)

I have brought up "the past" and he has said he doesn't remember much from that time. How convenient for him. When he said that, when he dodged responsibility for his actions, I realised he was fully capable of being an asshole. Of course he wouldn't consider taking responsibility for what happened, he wouldn't apologise, he wouldn't explain what the fuck he was doing to an eleven year old boy who longed for affection and closeness and got what he wanted from me. Nothing terribly "overt" happened between us, on the spectrum of what can happen to children. But any violation is a serious one, and every form of abuse and betrayal does damage. And part of the damage to me was my insistence in thinking of him as someone who loved me.

What I'm relieved about is that this story told on Oprah's show and in Mackenzie Phillips' book, High on Arrival, makes it clear John Phillips actions were always wrong and always an abuse of power. The way Mackenzie speaks of her father is the way many of us speak of those who incested us, who we loved.

My heart goes out to her, and to all survivors of incest and rape, the forms which vary considerably from heinously sadistic and horrifying to the forms that are gentle in approach and appear to be caring, but aren't.

[25 Sept. 2009 addition:]
John Phillips shot up his daughter with heroin and had nonconsensual sex against her while she was unconscious. To those who do not know, can you imagine what either of those things does to a person's sense of self? To their sense of "what's right and what's wrong in the world"? Would you EVER volunteer to find out?

END OF POST.

22 comments:

google said...

Maybe my understanding of cognitive psychology is simplified, but i think statements about existence of consensual incest relie on beliefs, not on thoughts. Accusing someone else for your incest experience, like accusing yourself for your incest experience, requires that you believe incest to be wrong. So as therapy you substitute thought "i am guilty of incest", with thought "he/she is guilty of incest". There is nothing in human psychology per se, that makes impossible therapy through changing one's views towards incest to positive ones. Beliefs about incest can be changed so that incest seems positive or so that "incest" seems to be umbrella therm so conservatives can attack any kind of sexual relationship with relatives (what is sexual relationship with relatives? maybe blood relations have given less thin existence than they really have?) On note about non consensual incest, rape is rape and abuse is abuse, and it is insulting to those who are raped or abused by strangers, that abuse and rape by close people is deemed more horrible than similar experience by strangers.

Julian Real said...

Listen up, Google.

Maybe my understanding of cognitive psychology is simplified,

Your understanding is not simplified, it's inaccurate, as in WRONG. You obviously don't know what the fuck you are talking about, and I say that as someone who has studied psychology quite a bit.

"Cognitive psychology" or the approach of CBT is not designed to get people who have been harmed to come to the conclusion that they haven't been harmed. It's function is not to shift social mores. It is not being practiced so that we can just decide, willy nilly, what values we ought to have, how we ought to understand trauma, how to make the pain go away by believing something painful wasn't painful, and whether or not someone should have post-traumatic stress. It is an approach in psychology to address and adjust thoughts that are not tied to direct reality, and to modify behaviors that are dysfunctional to oneself or harmful to others.

You comment is so thoroughly insensitive to anyone harmed though the form of sexual violation and manipulation and horrific breach of trust called "incest". Incest, by definition, is a breach of trust. It is a betrayal. It is harm. It is sexual abuse. It is particular as a form of sexual violence in that when you go home, your perpetrator likely lives there with you, and you are dependent on that person for care. That makes it a specific form of abuse, but not better or worse than stranger rape.

Maybe forty plus years ago, when the phrase "incest is best" was popular, you might have gotten away with making these sorts of fucked up statements. Not today. Or at least not here.

"Incest" DOESN'T mean "fun, care-free sex among people who just happen to be relatives". It's careless, not care free. Even Andrea Dworkin recanted what she said about incest in her book Woman Hating, as she was influenced then by the lies of Freudian psychology.

Julian Real said...

As you should know, Freud knew women, a lot of women, were being raped by their fathers when young. They were suffering from such rape. They were, as some in the field say, "symptomatic". Back then it was common to call such a state of distress "hysteria", a woman-hating term if ever there was one.

Freud also knew if he published that information he'd be thrown out of his field. So instead he made denied that fathers were, in fact, raping their daughters, and instead made up "the Electra Complex" to explain away women's stories of having been grossly violated and harmed by their fathers. For much more on this please read The Assault on Truth, by Jeffrey M. Masson.

I can also tell you this: I am a survivor of many forms of sexual abuse and a perpetrator of one. The one in which I was a perpetrator would be considered completely "consensual" by any legal definition of sexual abuse imaginable. And many people I have told this story to recommend I not think about it "as a bad thing".

I acted out sexually with a male cousin of mine when we were teenagers. He welcomed it, which means he was vulnerable to my approach. After convincing him, through sexual behavior that was not physically painful or intrusive to his body (I masturbated him), that it could bring him to orgasm, he asked me to come up to his room so I could give him sexual pleasure in that way. I was eager to do so in large part because I had choreographed the beginning of that contact in such "a caring way" that he'd find it desirable. But I wasn't being caring, google. I was being utterly coercive.

Julian Real said...

Many children and teens have needs for connection, for touch, for pleasure, and we are all easily coerced and can also be coercive (whether through force or pleading), to get our needs met at the expense of someone's humanity.

"Love" didn't drive me to manipulate him. "Love" didn't drive him to want the acts to continue. Not did basic respect and regard.

In a world such as the one you put forth in your comment, there is no harm in what happened above. It was just two teenagers fooling around, right? WRONG.

I abused him. And the dynamic, fully set in motion by me, shifted over a few months to the point that he was more interested in being sexual than I was. That's what I did to him: My interactions with him amped up his sexual desire for a form of sex that was not connected to care or concern for someone's human well-being. By me self-servingly instigating sexual contact with him, I was one of several males who showed him what he was worth.

Though my actions, he learned how to use others sexually. In front of him and his therapist, I took full responsibility for getting that manipulative choreographed period of my abusiveness and selfishness going, for instigating and continuing actions designed to get my needs met at his expense. I was not being considerate of him. I was not concerned to know about his history of other abuse (of which I had no knowledge at the time). Concern about how he'd already been harmed might have interfered with me getting my needs met. I was not particularly interested in knowing how my actions might later impact his life. I sexually abused him. And I used him also.

Julian Real said...

I was behaving in a selfish way, in a compulsive way, in a grossly entitled way, and this tends, in case you haven't noticed, to do harm to people who are on the receiving end of being so used and abused.

Fast forward twenty years.

He is now (meaning twenty years after our initial harmful sexual contact) a heterosexually identified man who has already "fathered" two children with two women. He enjoys alcohol too much and is a pothead as well as addicted to tobacco cigarettes. He has never been responsible to the women he was sexual with; he has sexual intercourse without wearing a condom. He is also not responsible, financially or emotionally, to the children he "fathered"). He is "between girlfriends".

He's a serial manipulator and master of lying, when it comes to being with women. He cheats on every woman he lives with and they are tremendously hurt by learning this.

He's got a very endearing, terribly charming side to him, and manipulates his way back into the lives of the women who really love him. And then he betrays them again.

Julian Real said...

But at this particular time in his life he is between girlfriends, and is living with his sister, who has her own family. He calls me up, from a motel room. He wants me to come meet him in order to perform a few sex acts on him. He doesn't ask for this outright. Instead, he just says "I'm taking a bath. My back is sore from work. Come over here and work on it. I'm at [this motel in this room]". Maybe he knows I'm lonely and he knows I'm isolated and despairing over attempts at romance with men that didn't work out. Or maybe he is clueless about me.

But one thing he surely knows is that I'm gay, which means he assumes I'm available to be used sexually by the likes of him. Or perhaps this is his form of payback, maybe unconsciously, for me initiating a sexually abusive relationship twenty years prior. Difficult to know.

During one of these sexual acts in the motel room, he has hold of my head and bobs it up and down on his crotch. He doesn't care at all what the effect is on me. He's handling my head as if it were a fuck-melon, as if it were an inanimate object for him to masturbate into.

I learned all about sexual abuse dynamics, both how to be actively abusive and how to be passively abused, through being molested, through being incested, and through being sexually assaulted, many years before I started sexually abusing him when we were teens.

It was also what was generally taught to boys by men and other boys: we are entitled to get what we want. Girls exist for us. Sexual activity with others is a right, not a responsibility. I grew up in a misogynistic, heterosexist, racist society in which it was clear who was expected and assumed to be available to whom.

Turns out the man who molested me way back when, also molested him and other children in my cousin's neighborhood. The molester was known to us, but not well. But he was known well enough that he could get us in his apartment when his wife was at work. He used pornography as a lure in some cases but not in my case. (The young man who incested me did use pornography as a lure.) This not-so-friendly neighborhood child molester traumatised us, who then went on as we grew up to use (or abuse) lots of other people, or to be used and abused by lots of people. I have significant post traumatic stress from that single incident of sexual assault at the age of twelve.

I grew up understanding that childhood sexual abuse constructs adult sexuality; it is a major force in making adult sexuality what it is: the acting out, the compulsivity, the lack of concern for others, the will to use and be used, and the desire to do harm, to take from others what was taken from oneself, innocence maybe, or just the right to walk around as someone who one thinks has not been so similarly harmed.

All this is acted out and re-enacted in a social environment where adults and older people, disproportionately if not always male, take advantage of and use our power over others, use our abilities to control, and our socially bestowed privileges, to get what we believe is rightfully ours. To get what we feel we are entitled to especially when there is little to no external consequence.

I was never reprimanded or even spoken to about me having sexually abused my cousin. He and I each had reasons to keep this a secret, shame being high on the list. The neighborhood child molester, a heterosexually married man, was never charged with any crime, although he grossly and traumatically sexually abused many children.

i think statements about existence of consensual incest relie on beliefs, not on thoughts.

Dude, you are abstracting away reality in a way that is grossly self-serving to those who want to abuse others.

MacKenzie Phillips was harmed by her father. And she discusses that. You want maybe to find a way to call that "not harm"? Why? Whose interests are served in that quest? Her father's or hers? Or mine? Or yours?

Julian Real said...

Accusing someone else for your incest experience, like accusing yourself for your incest experience, requires that you believe incest to be wrong.

No, dude. It requires that you actually are aware and come to terms with the fact that something seriously fucked up happened, that is identifiable as harmful because of it's effects on the person so harmed. It's not a process of just flipping a coin and decided, "Oh, with this grown father and daughter let's call it not harmful."

Can you actually identify a scenario, from real life, not your harm-of-incest-denying mind, in which someone's life is made better by their father raping and fucking them? In what sense does that ever become "necessary" or "a good thing"?

Over the many years since I was very young, I've heard many people, including myself, toss out examples of the seemingly innocuous "kissing cousins" phenomenon. When we used to joke around that "incest is best", we were pretending that incest does no harm. And we were being immature idiots, albeit normal idiots.


But as I've attempted to make clear, don't be so sure such events don't do irreparable harm to one's abilities to know what responsible sexual behavior is, to know how to treat others (and oneself) with empathy, dignity, and respect during sex, to know what mutuality and shared power really is.

Early in my "relationship" with my cousin, I used my power and awareness of what I could do to obtain sexual contact to manipulate my cousin into sexual behavior.

Later in life he knew exactly what to do to manipulate me. He knew how to use my isolation and loneliness, how to use his own well-developed selfishness, his well-honed capacity to lie through his teeth, to get what he wanted, from me, month after month for years.

I finally realised I was inside a cycle of abuse that was normal to me since the age of seven. I realised, with great resistance and reluctance internally, that he was using me as an adult and that I had used him (and abused him) when we were teenagers.

Had he paid me month to month over the next three years or so, in motel room after motel room, I suppose I would have technically been his prostitute. But I did not grow up in specific systems of prostitution. I was never seasoned by a pimp, for example, nor raped by one for not doing what he wanted me to do.

Julian Real said...

I was willing to meet up with him for sex because that's what I thought I was for, or what I ought to be for. He had learned similar things--he had shitty self-esteem, he had been psychologically, emotionally, sexually damaged by at least two heterosexual men before he reached puberty. I came along after that wanting sex with and from him. I got what I wanted.

He had no idea what healthy sexual boundaries looked like. Neither of us ever stood that great a chance of finding healthy ways to be sexual, in a society that both denied and perpetrated [harmful] incest, child molestation, and sexual assault on a grand scale.

Add to that the realities of child prostitution and childhood sexual slavery.

Add to that a society that thinks three year old girls should be paraded around in front of adult men (and women) heavily made up in "cute" little sexualising outfits in competition with one another.

Add to that Halloween costumes that have become increasingly pornographic, for girls, not for boys. Costumes that turn every profession into a pornographic one, for women to portray, and for heterosexual men to enjoy.

Add to that a pornography industry that makes tens of billions of dollars annually, and that men accessing images of raped women is considered "completely normal and ethical".

Add to that the endemic problem of men raping and battering women.

Add to that white supremacy.

Add to that poverty.

Add to that the socialisation of children to be available to adults in many ways, and the socialisation of girls, teens, and adult women to be "sex" for many men, not just at Halloween time.

Inside this oppressive and dehumanising stew of violation and exploitation do you really believe "consensual sex between a father and his adult daughter" can be not just meaningful, but "harmless fun"?

If you think that, I would have to conclude you are fucking delusional about the real world that you are willing to entertain fantasies of non-harmful incest when nothing like that exists. Or you are using your arguments to justify the ways you have harmed or still are harming children or women, sexually.

Do you look at images of incested and raped girls and women online or offline as "being there for you"? Do you feel "entitled" to have such visual access?

Julian Real said...

So as therapy you substitute thought "i am guilty of incest", with thought "he/she is guilty of incest".

Fuck "guilt", google. Substitute "a perpetrator" for the word "guilt" in that sentence of yours above. Please deal with reality.

There is nothing in human psychology per se, that makes impossible therapy through changing one's views towards incest to positive ones.

Um, what schools have you gone to to arrive at such fucked-up bullshit? Please give me the names of the faculty members who taught you this CRAP and I'll report them to the appropriate child welfare authorities.

Geez, google, do you mean if I just believe depression is really a good thing, not a distressing thing, it'll become good?! You mean if a woman is raped by her father while unconscious from drugs, she can just decide--with the help of a good therapist, that is--that what happened to her wasn't a trauma?

Do you actually think the sexual abuse and exploitation and utter disregard for another's well-being that constitutes and follows such an act is not informed and tainted by that act of overt, undeniable rape?

You think maybe girls and boys raped nightly by daddy can just have a different attitude about being grossly exploited and traumatically harmed by grown men--the men from whom they are supposed to learn how to love, and come to the conclusion that "I had a happy childhood, really I did!"? What the fuck are you talking about, google? What world are you living in? Earth meet google. Google: Earth.

Julian Real said...

Beliefs about incest can be changed so that incest seems positive

And why should they be so changed, google? For whose pleasure and power? For whose dominance and right to dominate? And even your own language betrays you: "so that incest SEEMS positive"??? So you acknowledge that deep down, under your psycho-babble, it really isn't positive, is it?

or so that "incest" seems to be umbrella therm so conservatives can attack any kind of sexual relationship with relatives

In case you haven't noticed, it is conservative white heterosexual men, among others, who protect (not "attack") and perpetrate (not prevent) the harm called incest. It is white men on the Right who perpetrate rape, who exploit and abuse women in systems of prostitution, who travel across the globe to fuck-rape children and women-for-sale.

So your thinking is this?: Well, if we can take away the power of conservatives to name all this incestuous rape as "immoral" or "harmful", then..." Then what? Then there is less of it? Then there is more of it but survivors are even more confused by what the hell daddy is doing in my bed?

Or is this your strategy for how perpetrators of sexual abuse can do harm without thinking we're doing harm?

(what is sexual relationship with relatives?

It's called incest, google. And incest is a breach of trust, a violation of boundaries. It is a form of sexualised harm. It's ABSENCE is necessary for people to grow up with a healthy sense of themselves, including healthy self-esteem, as well as gut-level knowledge of how to have healthy sexual relationships with non-relatives.

maybe blood relations have given less thin existence than they really have?)

Huh? I'm sorry. I don't understand what that means.

On note about non consensual incest, rape is rape and abuse is abuse, and it is insulting to those who are raped or abused by strangers, that abuse and rape by close people is deemed more horrible than similar experience by strangers.

Well let's round up those who say so and burn 'em! Because, really, THAT'S the crime of the century, eh?

And who says that, exactly? Besides the voice in your head, I mean. Virtually all my female friends are survivors of incest, child molestation, date rape, marital rape, stranger rape, and other forms of gross sexual assault. And I really have never had significant ponderous discussions with any of them about "which is worse". They are all deeply harmful, profoundly damaging to psyche, body, and soul. All of it can also damage the survivor's will and hope for freedom from such atrocity.

And to this you would say what, exactly?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I remember reading long ago Jeffrey Masson's book on what Freud really knew, and how scientifically cowardly he actually was. Masson was kicked out of the Freudian club, and lost a lot of professional connections because of his courage in naming what Freud chose to overlook.

Anonymous said...

Just think if every woman told the truth about incest and child rape, we'd have 80% of the world's men's heads on the chopping block by now!

Anonymous said...

One of the things I've noticed over the years, is the sheer numbers of lesbians I've met who have been raped by men, or sexually abused as children by men and boys. Either lesbians talk more openly about their true selves with other lesbians, or this is epidemic among lesbians. And straight women are simply more protecting of men.

I think we are finally getting to the point where men will be caught doing this more and more.

Now what should we do with them?

One of my favorite shows is 'To Catch a Preditor" I like it because every time Chris Hanson has these guys dead to right. They crumble in humiliation when he nails them on national TV. I love the sheer shock and humiliation that these men finally reveal to the world. They often get on their knees and beg for forgiveness, and then out come the TV cameras. And their miserable excuses and lies are revealed for all to see. Even the guys who have actually seen the show, fall for this every time.

This show is excellent even though it is a male controlled reality program, because at least it exposes the sheer numbers of men who will go to any lengths to have sex with underage girls.

It would be even better with a women host, who got to bring these scum down!! But what next? Let them loose? Imprison them for life? It is really why we need a women's nation.

Julian Real said...

Agreed!

pereguru said...

Ok, i give my background so you can see how different can fate of people be and what makes me take some thoughts to extremes. I am male born in Soviet Union in its late years.Soviet Union was country that repressed every kind of sexuality. Books for teens about sexes never actually dealt with sex. Books for children about birth of child never told why children born. Everything was very similar to christian moral. Only because there were no belief in Christ, there were no forgiving. Society booed on non marital relationships, male gays were put in prison (i am not sure about lesbians). One of my life's biggest shocks were when my aunt told my cousin and my sister that they will have deformed babies when all they did was exploring each other body. Other biggest shock of my life was introduction to idea of hell when Soviet Union did fall and how much was going to hell relates to sex in Christianity. (Well, idea of Satan and hell made me obsessive compulsive but that really is another story). To me, most of our ideas about sex echo Christian war against what they call lust.

Julian Real said...

Welcome, pereguru,

I am male born in Soviet Union in its late years.Soviet Union was country that repressed every kind of sexuality. Books for teens about sexes never actually dealt with sex. Books for children about birth of child never told why children born. Everything was very similar to christian moral. Only because there were no belief in Christ, there were no forgiving. Society booed on non marital relationships, male gays were put in prison (i am not sure about lesbians). One of my life's biggest shocks were when my aunt told my cousin and my sister that they will have deformed babies when all they did was exploring each other body.

That's all horrible. I'm sad to hear all of it, but thank you for sharing it.

Other biggest shock of my life was introduction to idea of hell when Soviet Union did fall and how much was going to hell relates to sex in Christianity. (Well, idea of Satan and hell made me obsessive compulsive but that really is another story).

I've heard other people tell me how early exposure to a Satan-focused Christianity drove them to all kinds of decisions and conditions that, in time, were understood to be expressions of sexual abuse that can be "Christian upbringing", such as involvement in heterosexist practices, BDSM, and having OCD. Concerns about all-seeing gods and devils who watch your every move can drive anyone to obsessive-compulsive behaviors and pre-occupations that further distort, rather than correct the damage that any form of patriarchal sex education (or, as you note, LACK OF education), can do. I hope you've found some relief and healing from all the damage done to you and what it caused.

To me, most of our ideas about sex echo Christian war against what they call lust.

The Christian church is historically anti-sex, anti-sexual expression, and anti-woman. How can anyone have a healthy sexual life in a context in which so much about sex is condemned as Satanic or cause for someone's soul being sent to Hell?

All healthy sex--sex that embraces fun without humiliation, harm, or exploitation; passion without possession, degradation, or dominance; intimacy without dissociation, dispossession, or objectification; is politically, ethically, spiritually good and wonderful, in my view. If love is present too, great--but it's not a requirement for good sex to happen. Respect is essential, in my view. And mutuality. And being humane.

Julian Real said...
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Julian Real said...
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Julian Real said...

To me, most of our ideas about sex echo Christian war against what they call lust.

The Christian church is historically anti-sex, anti-sexual expression, and anti-woman. How can anyone have a healthy sexual life in a context in which so much about sex is condemned as Satanic or cause for someone's soul being sent to Hell?

All healthy sex--sex that embraces fun without humiliation, harm, or exploitation; passion without possession, degradation, or dominance; intimacy without dissociation, dispossession, or objectification; is politically, ethically, spiritually good and wonderful, in my view. If love is present too, great--but it's not a requirement for good sex to happen. Respect is essential, in my view. And mutuality. And being humane.

Patti said...

"I've heard other people tell me how early exposure to a condemning and judging male G-d, or Satan-focused Christianity drove them to all kinds of decisions and conditions that, in time, were understood to be expressions of sexual abuse that can be "Christian upbringing", such as involvement in heterosexist practices, BDSM, and having OCD."

And speaking of BDSM, there is a following specifically FOR Christians, known as 'Christian Domestic Discipline', complete with 'Maintenance Spankings' to maintain the wife's (yes, of course, it's only the wife who is in need of such disciplinary measures) proper attitude and behaviour. She regularly needs to be reminded of her need to repent of the grievous female sin of usurping her husband's God-given authority over her.

Julian Real said...

Oh may the Good Lorde protect us from these vile forms of patriarchal religious practice.

pereguru said...

Another thing, Soviet Union was not ideologically forty years in past. It was sixty years in past in more progressive parts. There was vague awareness of newer developments of thought and they were stigmatized as imperialist mis-developments. In 90's ex-soviet people pretty much thought things that were thought in west in sixties and seventies. And i was young in 90's, my core is from there.