I’m giving someone head, and they start laughing. They ask why I don’t suck their dick more often, even though I always make them cum and sex ends when they are finished. They ask as if I don’t care about their pleasure. I swear this person doesn’t even know where my clitoris is, and sometimes I wonder if they even know I have one.
Someone at work recently told me I don’t do shit. They told me they couldn’t see what I was doing, what labor I was performing or that my labor was even producing anything. Bullshit, I thought to myself. I’ve worked multiple jobs since my first semester of college, so it’s not like I haven’t heard that one before.
When I was an ASUC senator, I had the privilege of working with so many amazing women of color, many of whom had successfully launched, executed and institutionalized programs that would transform the student experience. They raised tens of thousands of dollars for marginalized student groups, made unprecedented connections between our student government and academic departments and handled with grace and finesse internal conflicts that could have legally and financially destroyed the association. Though these women performed their roles phenomenally, I heard relentless criticism about them. “They don’t do anything.” “They just do this for the attention.” It was either that we didn’t do shit, or that when we did it was not enough, merely rooted in a selfish desire for praise and acclaim.
Don’t get it twisted — we took the criticism. It made us stronger and more steadfast about our activism. The criticism wasn’t the problem; it was that every critique reeked of the misogyny meant to destroy and erase strong Black and brown women. While we received criticism and took every word with thoughtful consideration, our male counterparts were showered with compliments. They were handed awards for merely attending events and championed for every small achievement, regardless of the fact that the work of their female counterparts eclipsed theirs in both quality and quantity.
I was having sex with someone who clearly didn’t give a flying fuck about my orgasm. They were blindly jackhammering away, and I could see in their eyes that they were waiting for me to fake some moans, eye-rolling and head tossing. As time passed, they grew increasingly frustrated at my silence. They asked if I was even having fun. I promptly hopped off the bed, put on my clothes and walked home. I’d much rather masturbate, get myself off and pass the fuck out; I didn’t consent to someone’s mediocre dick game, and I sure as hell didn’t ask to cradle someone’s ego.
If we called out our critiques, we were overly proud bitches with obscene egos, or we were sensitive, delicate, immature children. We were framed as embodying every claim that dehumanizes a woman, reduces her to nothing. We were gaslighted, made to think that our emotional burden was nothing more than a figment of our imaginations. And if the men called out their criticizers, demanded apologies and whined on the Senate floor like infants, though oftentimes their criticisms were rooted in truth, people protected their ability to do so. Because God forbid a man’s ego gets bruised.
I was sitting around with a dear friend of mine, and this woman is fucking iconic. She is a brilliant and beautiful woman who unapologetically takes no shit from nobody, and we talk often about the ways hypermasculinity and misogyny ruin our sex lives and professional ambitions. She is the kind of woman any person should be grateful to have sex with. Recently, she told me about this piece-of-shit man who decided to cut things off because she didn’t compliment him enough. It didn’t matter to him that he got to have sex with a goddess; all he could think about was how she didn’t actively embolden his overinflated sense of self. She said he didn’t feel that she gave as much emotional labor as he did, even though she just matched what he gave.
From birth, I was pushed to believe that being a woman meant being giving and laborious. While I love possessing these qualities, I also love receiving. I love being proud of myself. I love wallowing in my own pleasure and pride. I hate the misogyny, the white supremacy, the capitalist bullshit that requests that my body be a solely laboring one that refuses pleasure and pride and joy and demands that I do shit for everyone except for myself. Sometimes I do shit for the people I love, but sometimes I don’t want to do shit for anyone who isn’t me, and that should be enough.
I’m having sex with someone who regularly gives me head and makes sure that I cum. They joke that I should be so thankful that they care about my pleasure and that they deserve a shower of compliments. I consider complimenting them by spitting their cum in their face.
Rizza Estacio writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact her at [email protected] .