Writer’s Wednesday: The S&M Feminist by Clarisse Thorn

the S&M feministThe S&M Feminist: Best Of Clarisse Thorn is an excellent introduction into pro-sex feminism, as well as S&M, polyamory, gender issues and relationships from a feminist point of view. If you’re a regular reader of her wonderful blog you will probably recognize a lot of the articles, but this book ties them all together in a new way.

I think this book is incredibly important and relevant for everyone, whether you identify as feminist or not, whether you are interested in BDSM/S&M or not, polyamorous or not, etc. One of the main topics in the book is communication and consent, a topic that is relevant to all of us, and which I think is too often ignored in “normal” relationships, where we often go by assumption, rather than talking and discussing things openly.

I think we need to teach that sex can be incredibly difficult. It can be hard to communicate with your partner. It can be hard to learn and come to terms with your own sexual desires. It can be hard to understand or accept all your partner’s sexual desires. And just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean that you’re with the wrong partner — or that you’re missing some vital piece of information that everyone else has — or that you’re doing it wrong.

All my most extraordinary sexual connections have benefited from everyone involved taking ownership of their desire, and talking about it directly at least a little bit.

The fantasy of a sexual relationship that is totally instinctive and perfect without any effort is just that — a fantasy.

Another important point she makes, is that we, maybe especially as women, need to learn to be okay with what we want – and with what we don’t want. And accepting that we are okay, the way we are; ”

sometimes you simply want or don’t want things, and that you aren’t required to justify your desires.”

I think many people have sex they don’t like because they don’t feel like they can look for something different — they think it’s the best they can get. I think many people have sex they don’t like because they think it’s what their partner wants

Any thoughts on the topics of consent, communication, gender roles, feminism, S&M, polyamory that you want to share?


  1. I haven’t heard of her, and haven’t read about BDSM yet, but my husband has because he has had some patients who again and again submit themselves to such practices and he wanted to understand them better. We recently had a long conversation about that – why people might do it (even if they regret it later) and what they might get from it. It’s not at all attractive to me though.


    • Well, another part of the question in terms of regret, and guilt, is how much of that is made up from societal pressures? Homosexuals who grew up in very religious family have often felt huge amounts of guilt for being gay, but I would believe that most of that guilt stems from their upbringing.



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