Saturday Morning Cartoons Special Guest Comic, Straight From “Oh Joy Sex Toy”

Now normally we’ve got a rotation of four fabulous Autostraddle artists that make up Saturday Morning Cartoons, but we’re getting a little bananas here today — please welcome special guest cartoonist, creator of Dar and Oh Joy Sex Toy, Erika Moen! She’s offered up a republish from OJST (a thing we chatted with her about when it first hit the interwebz, by the way) that’s very Relevant To Our Interests.

This comic is absolutely Not Safe For Work.


2014-03-25-pussy


 

If you’re into it, Erika’s got an Oh Joy Sex Toy book that you can totally back on Kickstarter! $35 will snag you a book, and the next goal will bump up the rates for guest artists — yay paying artists more!

 

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Erika has written 1 articles for us.

42 Comments

  1. Thumb up 7

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    bc of my own life experiences, I loved this comic, even shared it on my FB before having these second thoughts:

    this comic despite being awesome is also cis-centric and privileging of female-assigned-at-birth queer bodies over trans women. It features a trans man and another person who appears to be possibly a cis woman or at least FAAB, and the pussy shown is described simply as a vagina, with FAAB internal reproductive stuff.

    Trans women, with or without surgery, have pussy too. Eat it! And yes, much with the same techniques. We need to normalize that in majority-cis queer women’s spaces (like autostraddle).

    And, many trans masculine folks don’t want their parts called a pussy or vagina. Asking about gendered terminology is important! I would have liked to see that mentioned in this comic.

    yay to eating pussy! let’s keep celebrating female bodies shamelessly, including those of trans women along with cis women! <3

    • Thumb up 4

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      Yes! I saw this article on my phone and zipped over to my computer expecting to comment much of what you said above. When I saw this comic on FB a few weeks ago, I commented under the original posting that I found it disappointing in its cis-centrism/sexism. Mostly, my comment was coming from a personal space of “I’m FAAB AND my genderfabulous and I don’t like my junk referred to as a pussy/vagina/vulva because it is dysphoric to me.” So many folks responded with venom and misunderstanding. So glad to see folks on this thread volunteering what you did–thank you thank you!

      • Thumb up 2

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        yes Maggie you’re right and I wasn’t focusing just on the binary when I wrote my comment, just referring to cis women, trans men, and trans women. thanks for reminding me of that!

        and NO ONE should be responding with venom to anyone trying to expand a safe queer/feminist space – especially when expanding it to people who get hit with additional layers of oppression. I’m sorry that happened to you. Working on our privilege(s) is not contradictory to protecting ourselves from oppression and celebrating our survival! :)

        I did/do love this comic for what it does. But the blatant inclusion of a trans man’s body in the “pussy” convo makes it very obvious that trans people are being kept in mind – but only trans men’s. Regardless of intentions, the result is sexist and transmisogynist. I consider my parts pussy, and I want to celebrate as fearlessly as this comic does, I just want that extended to trans women’s too, especially as their bodies are targeted with the most violence.

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          *oops I WAS focusing on the binary (but not proof-reading for typos, sorry). was trying to acknowledge that I was excluding genderqueer people, sorry for the spelling fail

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          Amen! And a few other folks on that thread I mentioned echoed my sentiments personally. I felt some community in spite of folks generally responding negatively. But, I saw no folks in the thread speaking up for trans* women and trans*feminine people. Further evidence of a space in which trans*masculine folk and trans* men are more visible in their claim to queerness and critical spaces.

    • Thumb up 23

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      Post-op trans women have vulvas, so this is isn’t excluding trans women entirely. I’m honestly baffled why you would find fault in a fun how-to guide on how to go down on someone with a vulva. It’s not like there’s a lot of information out there on cunningulus. The internet is full of guides on how to give a blow job. So is Cosmo. But vulvas are seen as disgusting and cunningulus is seen as demeaning. So again, a fun how-to is refreshing to see. I can see how there’d be outcry if the title was “How to have lesbian/queer sex”. But it wasn’t. I just don’t see how focusing on a specific way to get someone with your average vulva for once is such a bad thing.

      • Thumb up 7

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        I’m honestly [ a little] baffled as to why you are being somewhat dismissive and rounding down my/other comments to equal “because this guide made me feel a little uneasy/because this guide could have done a better job of including trans*feminine bodies it is %100 a bad thing.” I did not express outcry, and I would be grateful if my words were not compared to such a loud/angry/argumentative word.

        I think it is great that so many folks will benefit from this comic! I do love Moen’s work generally, and I believe she has some pretty powerful stuff to say. You are right to say that it is refreshing in that it is uncommon [because of misogyny and sexism]. It is supremely exciting that this comic exists and that she is drawing guides to mouth-to-vulva sex!

        Overall, this is not a BAD thing. Any go at comprehensive, feminist, sex-positive education is welcome to me. I am a sex educator, and I try every day to make my presentations as comprehensive, sex-positive, body-positive, and inclusive as possible. My work is never done! I am constantly being challenged [mostly by youth who call me out] to make my content better. If I create a lesson that I know is doing amazing/refreshing work (talking about anal sex with young people! Talking about sex toys with queer youth! Talking about dating violence in all kinds of relationships!) even faintly smells of trans* exclusion my youth will let me know. That doesn’t mean I think that makes my work “such a bad thing,” but it does mean I can do better next time.

        • Thumb up 3

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          yes, Maggie I think both you and I made it really clear that we do love this comic for what it *does* do. It’s exciting and refreshing to see FAAB bodies depicted in such an unashamed, explicit, sexy way! (Also I like that not everyone shown is thin.) It is a fun, cute, sexy, and powerful comic. I don’t think you need to defend your “outcry” about how it could do better. And from your comments, you sound like a great sex educator!

          And the more I think about it, yes – the artist made a clear choice to repeatedly draw a naked (seemingly) trans man in numerous panels, genitalia and all. His junk is much like mine, and I felt gratitude and excitement at seeing myself represented! But I know how easy it is for me as a transmasculine person (and thin, non-disabled, white) to be valued as desirable in feminist queer women’s communities, even by women who identify as queer or lesbian. And often that inclusion of my body as desirable coincides with the exclusion of trans women as *not* desirable. To me, this comic, especially in the context of autostraddle, brings up those issues, and that made me imagine how trans women’s bodies and experiences could be included more (and not just as a subsection of a separate “sucking cock” comic!!).

          A dialogue about normalcy and exclusion is always valuable, especially when the folks being excluded are at high rates of marginalization and violence in general. Thanks for engaging in a positive way!

      • Thumb up 5

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        It bums me out deeply to see Woya’s somewhat trans*phobic, or at least cis-sexist, comment get support/approval from anonymous folks out there in the internet.

        “So what if a guide leaves out some trans* women and other trans* folks? It doesn’t leave out post-op trans* women so at least they got some acknowledgement! It will help so many more people than it will leave out! I like it, therefore your slight and personal discomfort with the title/images is an outcry and is derailing to the rest of our progress.”

        I just don’t know, d00ds. It’s the small things like this that happen all the time that make me feel unsure about the AS community.

        • Thumb up 8

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          Maggie, I appreciated your response to my comment a little further down. Maybe you’ll be willing to engage me here as well? I want to start by saying I’m sorry comments like Woya’s make you feel unsure about the AS community. I interpreted Woya’s comment as saying “this comic is inclusive of trans women with vulvas and other peeps with vulvas , resources for going down on such people are limited and so this is a good thing. Info on how to orally please people with penises is readily available, this is not a comic about that, why can’t that be okay?” I don’t think she’s saying it’s okay to be exclusionary of some trans women and other trans* folks as much as she’s saying different people have different junk and it’s okay to write comics about how to please specific junk especially since that particular configuration is often demeaned.

          I’m curious, honestly, about how you’d like to see non vulva having trans women and trans* folk represented in this comic? I saw Cole mention that all trans women regardless of surgery have pussy that can be eaten and maybe I could use some education there but I wasn’t sure about what they meant.

        • Thumb up 2

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          *I forgot to say I would love to see more articles on AS about romancing and sexing trans women with various genital configurations too.

        • Thumb up 13

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          I’m just having a hard time figuring out what you (non-trans women, b/c they have yet to comment on this criticism) guys would like to have seen? An addendum on how to get off a penis? Does every guide, no matter how specific, have to include every type of genitalia every time? What about atypical, intersex genitalia? I don’t see how it’s sexist to do a comic with non-gendered wording (for the most part) on how to perform a very specific sort of getting someone off. Again, this isn’t an in-depth, how to have lesbian sex guide. It isn’t meant to be comprehensive. If it was, of course it should talk I’m not trying to offend. I’m just incredibly confused as to your point.

        • Thumb up 5

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          @Asher-Jak, yes! That’s exactly what I was trying to convey. Also, sorry for all the mispellings, etc. Typing to stealthily type on my phone at a volunteer training session ahha

        • Thumb up 9

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          Asher_Jak I actually missed this comment, sorry! I really like the way you’re giving a positive nuanced interpretation to comments, it’s something I can learn from.

          I find it very easy to make broad statements, but hard to say anything as explicit about sex with trans people, bc there’s so much stigma for trans bodies. (That’s why I both appreciate Moen’s inclusion of visibly trans men, and wish it was extended to visibly trans women.) I get scared of making any trans reader feel over-exposed or misrepresented. Also my insight comes solely from personal sexual interactions, not from anything I’ve ever seen on TV or read or heard people talking about. So, I don’t want to sound like I’m revealing personal details about past partners. But, I’m going to give it a try, because this info needs to be out there, and the comic (while doing a LOT that I really appreciated!) doesn’t go there. Thank you for asking, here’s my best shot. It may be triggering or feel misrepresentative for many trans people & I would take any criticism willingly.

          Yes I did comment earlier about going down on trans women, including those without bottom surgery. I know that *some* trans women who haven’t had surgery do want oral sex (whereas many others do not, bc of disphoria!) and while some might really enjoy the type of oral that’s typically considered a “blowjob,” many others might prefer their parts to be physically touched/licked in the way of typical cunnilingus. (And despite what some of the comments imply, many non-op trans women’s genitalia is NOT cis-typical penis, bc of hormone therapy.) Some non-op trans women like having their parts licked and touched in the same way I often treat a typical vulva – that means letting the “penis” lie flat (up on belly) and kissing/licking/touching the underside and what’s lower down below it. I always felt like I was eating pussy, bc I was eating pussy. Same moves, same experience! Just in this case, not cis pussy (and not cis-passing trans feminine pussy either).

          Does that take a radical change to the cis-normative way of defining bodies? yes.

          In the same way, the oral sex I’ve given some non-op trans men has been very much like a stereotypical blowjob to a stereotypical penis – a lot of repetitive sucking, a lot of up and down, NOTHING like what’s included in the “how to eat pussy” instructions. It was just giving head. Very basic. It was smaller than typical penis, but very much a traditional blowjob. (Okay sometimes I added a finger or two, but technically you can do that to cis men too during a blowjob if they want it :) Just with cis men there is only 1 hole option while with trans men there can be 2. If that trans man is open to both vaginal and anal penetration. Of course he might only be open to one, or to neither, which is also okay.)

          Again, this is just some trans people. There are non-op trans women who want to be sucked in a “typical” way, and they should be seen as still real women, regardless of their bodies and sexual behavior. Likewise, there are many trans men who like their parts treated in a stereotypical cunnilingus fashion, and this in no way reduces their masculinity or male identity.

          Of course the comic can’t include every possibility of every type of sex/body. But I have a strong reaction against comments that flat-out complain about my wish to include more bodies, bc it’s the invisibility and misunderstanding of trans women’s bodies that perpetuate such exclusion of trans women as viable dating partners. And, it’s the fetishization/invisibility of trans women’s bodies that is behind so much violence and general discrimination against trans women. This comic makes a big point of including trans men in it’s celebration of eating pussy, which is why I thought it should also make a point of including trans women – by indicating that some of the women with vulvas are trans, and by including visuals of non-op trans women’s bodies (alongside that close-up of what looks like a testosterone-enlarged trans-guy clit…) in the illustrated tutorial. Yes, in theory it’s okay to just focus on typical FAAB bodies bc of how FAAB people are so sexually oppressed in society. But so are trans women, that’s why I think a trans-aware comic on eating pussy should explicitly include them.

          I hope my comment doesn’t feel wrong or overly exposing for any trans people. I don’t know if this is the safest environment to talk about trans women’s bodies. But Asher_Jak you seem incredibly respectful so I wanted to answer your question about what I meant regarding eating pussy for all trans women regardless of surgery. I hope this helped!

      • Thumb up 4

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        From the Oh Joy Sex Toy website.. “With the aid of guest reviewers, this comic will cover products for ALL the different anatomies people posses, from vulvas to penises and beyond. OJST strives to be relevant to all different genders, body types, and sexualities.”

        I think it IS a comic that, as it says, strives to be as comprehensive and relevant to as many folks as possible. That means that even if a comic will most likely be enjoyed, consumed and used by cis-gendered or vulva-having folks, it should also make mention of its relevance and impact on others! For example–when I present to classrooms about birth control methods, I always mention that while this topic can feel like it is only for a certain kind of person [cis-gendered, heterosexual women] it isn’t at all! And that for people for whom the topic of birth control can bring up feelings of “sex education isn’t for me because I am not XYZ,” I always make sure to have a discussion with the whole class and reclaim that space out loud for some of those folks.

        It would be no good if I said “I know this discussion is not relevant for some of you, so please, just sit tight and listen and don’t complain that it is tiring to feel excluded by mainstream sex education topics. So often young cisgendered women are marginalized because of their sexuality and sexual behavior and decision making. For once, young cisgendered women get to talk about their health needs and boundaries and sexual decision making without shame. This is all doing so much good that you [other folks in the room] just have to be patient and wait until I come teach a class specifically for you. ”

        It is funny, because I think Moen would be totally open to hearing/reading some of the criticism/discussion that has happened here.

        • Thumb up 7

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          That doesn’t mean this particular part of the comic, the one above. I think it’s like a serial comic or something. So the one particular comic strip above is not saying it’s going to show you how to orally pleasure a penis. It also doesn’t show you how to get off something with a vagina in other ways. Does that make sense?
          Again, I’m still not understanding what you (and the other non-trans women commenting) are wanting from this very particular piece.
          But yes, not everything is relevant to everyone. Earlier AS had a piece about healthy menstrual products. That wasn’t relevant to everyone (trans women, cis women who don’t menstruate, etc), but necessary to talk about.
          This conversation is going nowhere, so I’m going to peace out.

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          Thanks for responding Cole, that did help a lot. Thank you. :) I’m glad to hear I wasn’t coming across poorly with my questions. Your answer has given me a lot to think about. Thanks again for being so open.

    • Thumb up 14

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      I can kinda see what you mean about transmasculine folks not wanting those parts referred to as pussy or vagina but I also feel like that type of discussion is covered under the Good Communication panel. I figure she uses those words in the comic because they are some of the most commonly used ones. Even though there’s a diagram of faab genitals I assumed it was more for general education purposes for the technical terminology rather than implying that all the characters in the comic have those exact parts. I thought that the person with body hair was a trans man or a trans masculine person but I thought the person receiving oral in the bottom panels could’ve either been a cis woman or a trans women who had bottom surgery (could have been trans feminine too but my mind didn’t immediately go there). I didn’t assume anything about the gender or parts of the various people performing oral.

      She could have included some non-op or pre-op trans women in this comic but I think she primarily wanted this one to be about going down on a vulva/vagina. There is a counterpart comic How to Suck Cock that does have a trans woman or trans feminine person without lower surgery in it. Maybe there should be a more blatant statement that not everyone with these parts uses these words for them?

      If anything I said is totally off base or ciscentric let me know, I’m not trans and I’m still learning.

      • Thumb up 6

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        You are not off base [to me personally] and I appreciate your open mind and humble comment voice! I agree–Moen did a lot of good good stuff here. How incredible it is that her art exists in that I know it is going good work and will help a lot of people feel less alone and more at home in their sexuality.

        I’m learning everyday, too, and am aware that my personal experiences (esp. those not so fun ones) totally shape my worldview and lens when viewing comics like this one.

        I would have been delighted to see a note that not all folks dig the word pussy because they feel it isn’t so reflective of their genitals and/or their gender identity. Always important to ask what a person would like their genitals referred to if one plans on gettin’ down together. In the note could be something that acknowledges that the word ‘pussy’ can be amazing and sexy and reclaimed for folks who dig it!

  2. Thumb up 4

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    Idk, I pretty much feel Maggie’s main point about the word pussy maybe not being the best choice for the title (full disclosure, Maggie is my most wonderful partner for life). Say, if I were an inexperienced baby queer who needed tips to begin adventuring with vaginas and businesses belonging to all kinds of FAAB queers, and I saw this guide, the words “eating pussy” would most likely squick me out a ton. I realize that this is just personal preference, and perhaps the author is looking to be provocative with the title, I just feel like there are other, more inclusive terms that I would associate less with a very specific type of person who would want their junk referred to as a “pussy”(or a “cunt”!). I’m not saying I necessarily know what the better alternative would be. I am just saying that I agree with Maggie that perhaps different words and phrasing would be more inclusive of different tastes.

  3. Thumb up 7

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    Just a hunch, but once you know you are really into to your partner you will simply want to DO THOSE BITS as they haven’t been done before, and correct taxonomy of said bits isn’t the key to overwhelming pleasure achieved from optimally DOING said bits. Doing grasshopper, not Thinking, Doing.
    Nomenclature, Schnomenclature, nom nom nom

  4. Thumb up 10

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    I am getting so fucking exhausted of this website. The audience here is primarily female bodied people. This is the one website on the whole internet that we have. FAAB people are raised from birth to be ashamed and disgusted at their genitalia, entirely separately from any dysphoria they may also experience, and you are all here being like “god this comic only talked about FAAB genitalia, what a tragedy”. Do you want a blowjob tutorial? That is not hard to find.

    It is ok just to talk about ourselves. Another comic on trans women, great! But it doesn’t need to be here. I just feel like I can’t move without someone being like wait! MAAB people aren’t being talked about! Sound the alarm!

    • Thumb up 9

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      Who is ” you all?” I count a whole 2 of us expressing something near to what you are “so exhausted” by. There are many, many others who do not agree and likely feel much like you do.

      You know what’s exhausting? Being consistently marginalized by mainstream, feminist “comphrenesive” sex education and then made to feel like a bitchy, hard-to-please whistleblower when I share my [completely balanced and open to disagreement] feelings.

      • Thumb up 9

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        I’ve been reading this site for quite a number of years, in the last 2 I’ve seen a massive shift to centring an awful lot of the discussion around MAAB individuals, not only in autostraddle but seemingly in many other queer feminist media forms.

        Information, support and education for transwomen is incredibly important. It is also valid to say that sex education for MAAB people is far, far superior than that for FAAB. Hence,is it really helpful for people to go into something designed for FAAB people and start asking for it to cater to others? I really don’t think so.

        • Thumb up 5

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          Sex education for MAAB trans* people is NOT superior by any stretch of the imagination. Most mainstream, comprehensive sex-positive sex education doesn’t do near enough for trans* people.

          Idk. My original comment was stated that, as a FAAB person, the word “pussy” is really dysphoric to me and that I know other FAAB folks hear and share my experience. This comic does a lot of good and I am so glad it exists! I just wish there could have been a sentence or phrase in the “good communication” panel that was as simple as “Ask them what they like! Ask them what you should call their genitals when you are gettin’ down to business so you can make them feel good inside and out!”

    • Thumb up 9

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      Are you KIDDING me? After an eternity of life in general and feminist media in particular shitting on transfeminine folks, you’re upset that one website is actually taking them into consideration and that their community supports this?

      Get off my internets.

  5. Thumb up 5

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    Hey Woya–

    Never once did I say that I wanted this comic to feature content about to “orally please a penis!” In fact, I said I dug the content and that the visual advice for mouth-to-business pleasure was great.

    I have a dick. I don’t have a pussy. My dick looks like the “pussy” drawings above. My wish is that there was clear recognition that some pussies are dicks! I don’t know how much clearer I can get now that I’ve shared that publically.

    • Thumb up 7

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      Maggie your comments have been consistently well-balanced and positive. I hope you didn’t share more than you want, or spend energy you need for something more productive in engaging anyone who is just coming from a place of defensiveness. I don’t mean that to be patronizing, bc you’re probably making a very intentional choice to advocate for yourself, and educate, in this space. Just wanted to say that your intentions and meanings were as clear as could be from comment 1, and if someone’s not getting it, that might be a matter of their willingness.

      The way many of these comments are conflating women’s bodies that are MAAB with penises and male privilege is trans-misogynistic, in my view. The focus on MAAB pleasure in our society is bc of male privilege held by cis men – not a privilege held by FAAB non-binary folks, and CERTAINLY not a privilege held by trans women!
      Trans women *don’t* have male privilege, and that INCLUDES the male privilege of having their bodies and sexual pleasure be culturally prioritized. Just bc most people know how to give an average blowjob to something deemed a penis does NOT mean that people respect or love or understand (the vast variety of) trans women’s bodies! Just like all FAAB people, trans women’s bodies are kept invisible, or dangerously hyper-visible thru fetishizing and violent hateful representation in the media – but the levels of fetishization and deadly (and sexualized) violence are markedly high for trans women, especially trans women of color, and that’s why it IS worthwhile to always make women’s spaces specifically inclusive of trans women. Thank you for being a voice for this!

      The comic yes is beautiful and empowering for FAAB bodies, and we definitely need and deserve that. You and I have both made clear that we appreciate this. And also Moen could have made the decision to include some non-op trans women’s anatomy, and to explain in the “inner anatomy” section that some bodies with a typical vulva and vagina (like post-op trans women) don’t have FAAB internal reproductive systems . And, like you said, to include the importance of asking about terminology in order to not mis-gender FAAB people who are trans and/or genderqueer. The comments here that don’t understand that your FAAB anatomy is a dick, and that equate oral for trans women automatically with regular blowjobs for cis men’s penises, are misgendering to genderqueer FAAB people and to trans women. So, if the comic had included that, it would have done a big service for the queer FAAB people, and the queer trans women, that AS hopes to be inclusive of.

      Being critical and loving helps us dream of a less violent world! Keep it up :)

      • Thumb up 4

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        You are a gem, Cole. Thank you for reaching out and reconnecting and inviting this important dialogue into your weekend.

        “The comments here that don’t understand that your FAAB anatomy is a dick, and that equate oral for trans women automatically with regular blowjobs for cis men’s penises, are misgendering to genderqueer FAAB people and to trans women.”

        Thank you for saying this! I was trying my best to get those words out of my mouth, but I think I was a little stopped up in frustration. You said it so well–equating “how-to’s on a cis-person’s penis” to all people with penises is absolutely trans*misogynistic and erases too many identities and experiences to be a reasonable, non-violent sound byte in a queer community.

        So so glad you exist in this community. <3

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          thank you Maggie, I’m glad that what I said felt validating and respectful to your gender! (I also hope my comments would be experienced as respectful to trans women – like Woya kept pointing out, no one has commented and identified themselves as a trans woman, but I don’t see this convo as particularly safe for trans women so I felt like it was important for others to try to fill the gap.) I’m glad your students have you as a sex educator, you seem great :)

        • Thumb up 4

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          After reading all the comments, I wanted to thank you both for teaching me new things. Cole, your explanation of the variety of ways in which different people might want to be orally pleasured is something I will keep in mind in the future, and Maggie, I am so glad your students have you as a sex educator! I agree that contraception is often presented in a not very inclusive way and that upsets me, so thank you!!

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