‘Suck My Dick, Sigmund…’

Posted: March 26, 2011 in Feminism, Freud, Identity, Masculinities, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Mr Fuck Theory doesn’t like Mr Freud very much. And I don’t like Mr Fuck Theory. But I want to put our emotional responses aside to try and explain why I disagree with Fuck Theory’s ‘critique’ of Freud’s ‘conceptual violence’ in relation to femininity and homosexuality.

Here is Fuck Theory’s post:

http://fucktheory.tumblr.com/post/4070969035/the-blind-spot-of-an-old-dream-of-symmetry-the

‘The Blind Spot Of An Old Dream Of Symmetry

The implications of this conceptual violence proliferate in a great number of directions, all of which are best summed by Luce Irigaray’s typically dense and brilliant formula, “A man minus the possibility of (re)presenting oneself as a man = a normal woman.”

As is often the case in Freud’s reading of homosexuality, homos and women both lose out; homos because their object is a “false” object, a misdirection of energy “properly” directed to a vagina, and women because their anatomy is stripped of any specificity:  the only thing that matters is the penis doing the penetrating, whereas all holes are pretty much the same.’

———-

Basically FT is saying that Freud has decided that anal sex between men is simply (but also perversely) what men do in the absence of a vagina in which to put the penis. Because, as Paglia put it so succinctly years later, ‘Penis Fits Vagina’.  Freud is misguided, because the man whose anus is penetrated, according to critiques of  ‘Freudian’ theory, is presented as ‘the woman’. And this assumes only women can be penetrated. And that the act of sex is primarily penetration by a man of a ‘woman’.

Now, I need to go back to my Freud to demolish this argument effectively. And I don’t have his  Three Essays on The Theory of Sexuality to hand. The main thing I noticed from reading that book was that Freud’s use of the term ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ or ‘active and passive’ did not necessarily relate to ‘man’ and ‘woman’ and that this is important!

But, the real reason I reject FT’s which is the basic ‘feminist’ critique of Freud, is partly, actually, due to those ’emotional responses’ I mentioned before. As Freud has taught us, often our ‘gut’ reactions are the most significant.

Feminists’  ‘gut reaction’, their instinctive dislike of Freud, could be because he prioritises the role of the ‘phallus’ in sexuality and our psyches (which women, lest we forget, do not possess). Gay theorists such as FT may dislike him because they too prioritise the role of the ‘phallus’ and Freud’s analysis suggests that being gay means taking it ‘like a woman’ and losing the power of the…cock.

People think I am the one obsessed by cock. But whole analytical theories and political arguments and identity movements have been built up around this pink, squidgy (and sometimes not so squidgy) member. The thing I like about Freud is he doesn’t hide it. He says- look! Boys and Men have Cocks! They appear before them as babies and dangle infront of them and the women in their lives. They preoccupy their dreams, they wake with them hard, or leaking fluid. They see other men’s at the urinal and compare them. They build buildings in their image. They find that women (and other men)  can’t take their eyes off them. And women, they can only ever really, as  Julia Kristeva would admit if she were being honest, see themselves as ‘she who is without a cock’.

Philosophers such as Irigaray, and feminists, and Fuck Theory, are trying to supress the importance of the cock, by blaming Freud for noticing it. This seems so unfair to me. And if anyone is doing any conceptual ‘violence’ I think it is them.

I think Mr Fuck Theory can’t deal with the idea that if, (and it’s a big if) and when he bends over to take it, he may be somehow ’emasculating’ himself, even for the briefest time. So he makes out the anus is this special hole, where special ‘manly’ things happen that is so different from the vagina, which is what girls have.

FT acknowledges that women can have anal and vaginal sex, but he does so to make the point that the anus and the vagina are ‘qualitatively distinct’, and that by implication gay men and women are ‘qualitatively distinct’ I can’t help but feel.  Now,  I am a woman who has had anal and vaginal sex. My experience is only one person’s. But I think personal experience, and Sigmund should agree, is valuable in discussing sexuality. Mr Fuck Theory never discusses his personal experience, beyond telling us he ‘fucks’ (theory and MEN’s anuses).

There are differences between vaginal and anal sex. One of the differences is I worry more during vaginal sex that it may lead to pregnancy. Another is that the anus is tighter than the vagina. And the man tends to seem to find it more ‘naughty’ to do anal. Also, I find it easier to do anal without facing my partner, and harder to have vaginal sex, without facing my partner. Sometimes I don’t want to see his face, or mine reflected in his. Another difference is it feels to me, in my body, that the route to ‘me’, to my self and my emotions, that vulnerable place inside where everything can come crashing down at any minute, is via my vagina. It came as no surprise to me, that after I had ‘escaped’ a violent (including ‘conceptually violent’) relationship with a man, that it was vaginal intercourse that could leave me frightened, crying, shaking, vulnerable, every time I ‘had it’ (because, boys and girls, being penetrated is something that ‘happens to you’ not something that you ‘do’) for months, or maybe a year afterwards. I have not spoken to men about this, but I wonder if there is a route that leads to their inner self? Because if it is not via my anus, could it be via theirs? (Maybe it is via their mouths – and we all have one of them).

But I can’t articulate these specific differences, or ask these questions, using the language of feminist and gay ‘anti-Freudian’ theorists. They are too busy both denying and thus reinforcing the ‘feminine v masculine’ ‘active v passive’ roles in sex that Freud identified.  Because if you deny something too heavily you end up just emphasising how important it is. Mr Fuck Theory is saying: Gay men are MEN, who don’t have VAGINAS who are DIFFERENT from WOMEN. They  are not women because they have a COCK! And really, who would want to fuck, let alone be a woman? I note with some amusement that though they share a critique of Freud, the feminists and the ‘gayists’ tend to use this critique to deny what they have in common: ‘we are not faggots’ say the feminists, ‘we are not women’ say the faggots. I suspect Freud might be amused by that too, if he were around to see it.

I think Mr Fuck Theory is proving Freud’s point. I think he is saying ‘suck my dick, Sigmund’, but the lady doth protest too much.

 

Comments
  1. QRG, I like your post, and your argument, but if Mr Fuck Theory protests too much, you in turn protest too little in your rather unconvincing downplaying of the differences as you experience them between anal and vaginal sex. As another woman who has and enjoys both anal and vaginal sex, I will assert that there is a qualitative difference between sex in each of these holes. It doesn’t only feel different, I experience them in different ways. For a man who has only an anus, the difference can surely only be of perception, rather than something he can physically experience. Couldn’t your argument try to accommodate that physical difference between men and women?

    • hi RH-I have tried to describe my experience of the difference- e.g. i said how I feel the vagina is the ‘route’ into ‘me’ and the anus isn’t.

      But I can’t speak for men. I think my description is quite implicit about how it suggests what it may be to ‘have a vagina’ which isn’t just about saying ‘the holes are different! Men and women are different!’

      If I had have had children for example, a baby would have come out of my vagina and I could describe that. But I haven’t so I can’t.

  2. elissa says:

    Very interesting Quiet Girl

    My take is that it’s less about poles and holes and much more about the appearance of moving versus stationary, active versus passive, dominant versus submissive. Whether it’s a singular moment, a full on act or a long term relationship, the pole is the actor and the hole the stage, unless it’s a flesh-light, of course, and it is so for the visual/physical/mental nature of the activity. That’s what Freud and feminism focus on, with their theoretical avatar being the cock.

    I remember some boys back in high school smartly saying that their butt hole was a one way street – things come out but nothing goes in – and wondering how anyone could have a hole, and not try to stick something into it, even if just to see…

    • Lovely summary elissa. I am not sure but I think Freud would agree with you. His interest in the importance of the ‘phallus’ was from observing how interested people seemed to be in it. Rather than his actual belief of its significance physically, I think! I wish I could ask him but I can’t.

      I agree- and Mark Simpson, who has written a lot about men’s interest in each other’s ‘poles and holes’ does too- that curiosity always abounds when it comes to our own and others bodies.

      I have put something in all the holes I can find in my body that is for sure.

  3. Sarah says:

    Arrgh I hate Freud. All that “penis envy” stuff–who the hell envies boys for their penises, it’s about POWER dumbass…the idea that homo guys would be fucking vaginas instead if they were “normal”, the idea that “normal” women only want a man and a baby…and that’s not even going into his denial of childhood sexual abuse!

    My own take on cocks vs pussies vs assholes is that I’m female and have been fucked in both the latter, and it feels different, yes, in terms of sensation, but not to the degree of one of them being the “opening to my soul”. I’m also bisexual, and I’m attracted to men and women for different reasons but they have to do with more subtle stuff like skin and hair texture and ways of moving, it’s not just “pole vs hole”. And being penetrated is sometimes a passive act, sometimes an active one–if I’m on top of a guy and guide him in and then rock back and forth on his cock hard and fast, I’m the active partner, no?

    • Hi Sarah. I am not sure if you are calling Sigmund a ‘dumbass’ or me. Either way it seems a bit disrespectful but that’s the modern way I guess.

      I realise I did not describe all the variations on the theme of ‘active v passive’ sex, as I was describing my experience which is individual.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Clem Alsop says:

    A rather childish piece.

  5. marco says:

    Quiet Riot Girl.
    My thoughts exactly. Freudiphobia is rampant in modern society and this is unfair and childish.
    Freud knew himself he didn’t have all the answers but what he did do is lay bare human sexuality without the influence and restrictions placed on people these days through political correctness.
    The fact he raises such high emotions in people even today suggests he hits a nerve.

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