Sorry if I was over generalizing before, it's just really frustrating to me the way that real life can get lost in discussions of social theory.
On this thread at feministing, Jadelyn says: "It's funny, because I *tried* that navel-gazing back when I was realizing what some of my sexual desires were and, at the same time, growing into my feminism. Yeah, that was an ugly mind-fuck to work through."
Yeah, this is the real issue for me. I mean, I think that curiosity and social critiques are fine and all, but when you're at that stage - when you're young and unsure about your desires - if the message that you get is that your sexuality is incompatible with or harmful to feminism, well it's not a fun (or safe) place to be.
Maybe my experience is completely abnormal because I grew up in a very feminist town and area, but it was such a struggle for me to be okay with my sexuality. I tried for years to just act normal in the hopes that if I tried hard enough at it I just might change. I didn't. But I did end up in a really horrible abusive vanilla relationship and I think that part of the reason that happened, and a large part of the reason I had so much trouble leaving, was that I struggled so much with being submissive.
I think that to a certain extent I had internalized the idea that my desires justified the way that I was treated, I mean I wanted to be dominated, right? And everyone knows that's weird and dirty and certainly not feminist or self-respecting. If I had had a feminist community saying, "no, these two things can be compatible, you can have and act on those desires and still deserve to be respected as a human being" my life would have been much simpler.
So, I'm not saying don't critique, but just be careful of the ways in which you frame your questions and the messages that you send.