You might think that after our own Jaclyn Friedman stood up to Naomi Wolf on Democracy Now, she might hold a grudge. Not so! In fact, she’s graciously agreed to host her new (irregular and intermittent) advice column here. In light of her recent stance, I expect this to be as triggering as everything else she has had to say, so TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE APOLOGISM. So, without further ado, here’s the first edition of Ask Naomi:
I’m a progressive guy, and I like sex without a condom. My girlfriend keeps telling me she won’t do it. I understand her concerns and all, and I want to respect her boundaries, but it just doesn’t feel as good to me with a condom on, so I really want to do it without one. We’ve talked it to death, and she has all sorts of ideas about what to do, but all of them amount to some sort of “compromise”, and she won’t do it with me unless I’m wearing a condom, which is what I don’t want to do. How do I get her to do what I want?
Dear Progressive Dude:
If you’ve made your needs known to your girlfriend, you can’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do. Fortunately, you shouldn’t have to! Have you tried beginning your lovemaking while she’s asleep? When she wakes up, she will be so thrilled with your intimate acts that she will likely forget whatever boundaries she previously set, and they are therefore presumptively void.
If she wakes up and asks if you have a condom on, however, you must be honest, because honesty is the foundation of communication in any relationship. Try telling her you are “wearing her.” At that point, if she really objects, she will punch, kick and scream “rape.” If she doesn’t do this, she consents. She may do other things, such as become still and silent, whine that you should please stop, or even cry. In my more than twenty years of working with rape survivors, I have heard women say that they did each of these things while being raped. However, I don’t believe them. Real rape survivors kick and scream and yell, and any woman who claims otherwise is trivializing rape. So, if she doesn’t try to tear your eyes out, you can safely interpret any reaction she may have as the throes of passion!
After you’re finished, it’s important to have some couple-time. Get her to cook you a meal, or throw you a party, or at least spend some quality time together. If she seems distant or difficult, you should be upfront about that, because this sort of reaction may be damaging to you, and by extension, her. Tell her she needs to be supportive, for the sake of the relationship.
She may want to have a conversation about her boundaries. You’ll want to put this off until you’re ready. When you can’t put it off any longer, it’s important that you listen. When she starts talking about her boundaries, you should calmly explain that she has to meet you half-way in the relationship by compromising whatever standards of safety and personal autonomy she has that are a problem for you. It is important that you both remain calm when discussing such important matters. If she becomes upset and emotional, you can declare that her position is irrational and ignore whatever she is saying or terminate the conversation.
My view reflects the feminist position, and in fact, the only reasonable position, and is based on my experience, which is more important than anyone else’s, and the fact that I’m much smarter than everyone else. I hope this has been helpful to progressive dudes everywhere!
[Editorial note: while this is intended as satire, Wolf’s actual statements in defense of Assange on Democracy Now (transcript in two parts, here and here) are so outrageous that the above didn’t really apply all that much torque to them. The real satire here is context: placing her views in the format of an insipid college paper sex advice column, where these sophomoric views seem … right at home, don’t you think?]