Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Catholic Ethics & Sex Between Humans and Non-Humans

byzantine_creation_of_eve.c1160Here is a question that you’ve probably never thought about (and probably don’t want to know the answer to): What would the Catholic Church say about sex between humans and sentient non-humans? Aliens, faeries, werewolves; in much of sci-fi/fantasy/horror, humans are getting busy with some non-human being. And while that is all well and good, I always kind of wonder: if this were real, what would my church have to say about it?

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Sexualized Saturdays: A Little Less Penetration, A Little More Action

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.”

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.”

So many of you may have realized by this point that I have been pretty heavily into Teen Wolf recently. No, don’t worry, this post isn’t about Teen Wolf too, but it was when reading some Teen Wolf fanfiction recently that I noticed something that I thought was pretty cool.

Many of the fanfics I read did not define a loss of virginity with penetration. There was more than one fanfic I read were mutual masturbation or oral sex were defined as enough of a sex act to be considered as “actually having sex.”

Now I’m not saying on the whole that every Teen Wolf fanfic is like this. I think it is more likely I just ended up reading a string of fics that define sexual intercourse more broadly than penetrative sex. That being said, I find it incredibly interesting that more fanfics are beginning to define sex and virginity more broadly. The reason I find this so interesting is because even now you have plenty of people who declare for sex to be “real sex” there must be some kind of penetration. No penetration, no sex.

As you can imagine this is frighteningly heterosexist and extremely problematic when we talk about virginity.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Rape Culture

Trigger warning for rape throughout.

If you’ve been following the news, odds are you probably know a good bit about the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. The case centers around two Steubenville High School football players charged with raping a drunk teenage girl.

The case is unique in that hacker group KnightSec first drew attention to the case by leaking a video showing students joking that the victim “is so raped her puss is about as dry as the sun right now.”

If you didn’t throw up a little bit, get the fuck out. Better yet, sit down and learn something.

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Virgin-Shaming and Slut-Shaming in Geek Culture

As a woman it is sometimes difficult to deal with all of the judgements you receive on a daily basis, especially when it comes to your sexuality. And geek culture isn’t always helpful when it comes to those issues. Woman must deal with being considered prudes if they aren’t sexually active, and if they are sexually active then they are considered “sluts.” Women are judged for their sexual activities or perceived sexual activities based on how they dress and act. These ideals that are forced on women are reinforced in attitudes that can be found in geek culture.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Underage Sex in Fanfiction

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.”

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.”

It’s time once again to talk about the kinks, fetishes, and various sexy tropes that are in fanfiction. And this week we are going to talk about something that makes me uncomfortable: underage sex in fanfiction.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Tops and Bottoms

"I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.

“I know fanfic authors, well, I know what they like.


One of the things that really bothers me in fanfiction is something as simple as arguing over who is the “top” and “bottom” in a pairing. If magically there are somehow no arguments about who’s on top, then I notice that one person in a pairing is constantly seen as the bottom because they are “weaker and more stereotypically feminine.”

I should stress that I feel this is mostly a slash fanfiction problem, but het pairings and femslash pairings are not exempt in any way. Het pairings simply delegate the women to the role of a “bottom,” but femslash tends to avoid top and bottom debates, though there are some exceptions, such as if a female character tends to be more “stereotypically masculine,” then she will more than likely be on “top.”

Have you seen the key factor here? Hint: it’s a penis.

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Tekken Tag 2: Fun, Sexy, and Deeply Confusing

I have enjoyed the Tekken series since I was a youngster playing Tekken 2 with my friends. It has always been fun for me, and after missing out on the series for some time, I finally picked up the newest title, Tekken Tag Tournament 2. As an adult, I am noticing some things about the game which I either failed to notice before or missed in their development.

The first thing that I noticed is how funny this game is. It makes fun of itself and the fighting genre, which works well with its powerful and serious characters. Its good humor makes it difficult to understand what exactly it is really saying sometimes. Tekken is, like many arcade games, highly sexualized. However, it is very aware of this and pokes fun at the clash between violence and sex. For example, the opening cut scene begins with Jinpachi, who is glowing with a powerful aura, riding in a cab presumably on his way to the fighting tournament. He tells the cab driver that it should be obvious where he is going, as he needs to unleash his awesome power. In a follow-up cut scene available in the gallery, we see that the driver mistook Jinpachi’s cryptic remark to mean that he wanted to go to sin-corner to pick up a prostitute. In other games, the character Ganryu fell in love with Michelle after kidnapping her mother and Michelle subsequently kicked his ass. After Michelle was written out of the series and replaced by her daughter, Julia, Ganryu arbitrarily forgot about Michelle and fell in love with Julia.  Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: Men and Women Can Never Be Friends—And Neither Can Anyone Else

What I’m saying is—and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form—is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

—Harry (When Harry Met Sally)

These iconic words from the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally seem to be something that both the media and the fandom have taken to heart—and not just with heterosexual relationships.

It is a sad fact that in the media men and women are rarely just friends. There is usually some sort of attraction, sexual tension, or sexual relationship. This happens all the time: when two characters in a TV show meet for the first time, and one’s male and one’s female, it doesn’t take much to figure out that they will most likely end up in a relationship at some point in the show.

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Manga Mondays: Why Junjou Romantica makes this fujoushi uncomfortable.

Warning: This post will discuss rape and is also probably be NSFW due to a discussion of the sexual content in the manga at hand.

So last summer I watched all of the adorable BL anime Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi (The Best First Love in the World). It wasn’t anything new or special when it comes to boys’ love titles, but it got a second season this last fall, and in between waiting for episodes to come out I discovered that SekaHatsu‘s manga-ka Shunjiku Nakamura had also written Junjou Romantica (Pure-Hearted Romance). Now, I had never read it, but from what I can tell (based on availability of merchandise at cons) Junjou Romantica is a relatively popular title within the BL genre. So to pass the time I figured I’d check it out.

Now I certainly don’t expect every gay romance story to deal with gay issues, or for its characters to be paragons fighting for queer rights and whatnot. Sometimes a problematic romance story is just a problematic romance story, regardless of the orientations of the two involved. But, after reading all the chapters I could access on my questionably-legal manga-reading iPhone app, I was left with only two feels: that Junjou Romantica was boring, and that it was rapey. I’d explain the plot of the series, but… it’s mostly relationship drama—there’s not much of one.

Let’s deal with the latter first. A continuing story trend I’ve noticed in boys’ love titles is this: There is an older guy who is the seme (he tops), and a younger guy who is the uke (he bottoms). This can be as close as a freshman-senior in high school gap to a full generational gap. The younger guy is crushing on the older guy, but is super tsundere and won’t admit it. So the older guy just pushes and pushes and smooches and gropes and the younger guy (from whose perspective we view the series) doth protest too much and if there’s not an eventual happy ending, it’s only because the series is ongoing and they can’t yet. In each of these series it’s portrayed as obvious that the younger kid wants it, he just refuses to say so. So each of these sexual encounters is begun despite the vocal refusal of the uke character, which is generally just rapey to me. BL has a really unfortunate tendency to create rape apologists out of its fans.

But Junjou Romantica takes it a step further for me. For whatever reason, whether because Japan still has a somewhat repressive culture when it comes to homosexuality and so Japanese people can’t just realize they’re gay, or for some other stupid reason, the manga-ka couldn’t just have had Misaki, the main character, meet his love interest Akihiko and realize he might be interested in him and have the relationship progress from there. No, Akihiko pushes himself on Misaki on basically their first meeting and rapes him. Misaki then has a sexual crisis, deciding he must be gay because he sure enjoyed that older man forcing him. Not a omg-I-was-just-raped crisis—a wow-good-thing-that-guy-showed-me-I-like-being-fucked-up-the-ass-I-better-stick-with-him-forever crisis. And that’s the basis for their whole relationship. From that scene onward it’s just pretty bog-standard Shunjiku Nakamura hijinks, but I could never move past the fact that their relationship was jump-started by a rape scene.

Moving past that, the rest of it is just boring. I’m not invested in their relationship whatsoever, because their characters don’t have any depth. Even the sex is boring—there is no mixing up of the seme/uke dynamic, like, ever, and each time they get it on Akihiko gives Misaki a blowjob and then fucks him. That’s it.

So, besides the gratuitous-but-boring sexing, I still can’t for the life of me figure out why people read this series. There are two other relationship subplots that are far less rapey and gross, but they’re not exactly compelling either. If you’re looking for some hardcore BL, pick up a doujinshi or something; if you’re looking for adorable gay romance, go… somewhere else. This series isn’t worth your time.