A note about The Deviated Norm

This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Recent Searches and What they Mean to Me

I've been looking at the search terms that get people here to this fine blog (still a WHOLE LOT of hits on my post about why I don't like gender bender fiction. Frankly, I'm pretty sure that years from now I'll be known as "that guy that wrote about gender bender fiction").

While I think that the person searching for gender bending rock fucking pornos is by far my most confusing of searchs, I want to talk a little about 2 general types of searches that I've been getting recently that really strike home for me.

The first is a couple with searches about like so:
"what is it called when u dont like any gender"
So, since I think this is important information to get out into the world: the word you are looking for is asexual. It's a growing movement, of which I am not really a part ('cause I sure do like sex and I haven't really put in the hours/energy to count myself an ally), which isn't exactly a situation where you don't like any gender (I know that some people who identify as asexual nevertheless have romantic relationships and inclinations towards certain genders of non-sexual partner, etc.). I don't know a whole lot more, because, as I said, I am not asexual or really an ally*. I suggest looking for some of their blogs. Here, I'll get you started (I do not vouch for these, I just googled and found them): Love from the Asexual Underground, and AVEN: the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network.
If you are typing words to the effect of "someone who doesn't like people of any gender" into a search engine because you feel like they describe yourself: awesome! Naming what you feel is a great first step to recognizing and loving yourself.
If you are typing those words because a loved one has told you they aren't attracted to people of any gender, also great (that you're taking the time to learn about this), though again, I would suggest not looking to me for answers.

The next major search result that I want to talk about is less happy fun times and more crankyness. That is "ffm." I get a lot of these (ffm marriage, ffm poly, ffm triad, etc). I guess they all go to Jadelyn's guest post Drama Does Not Define Us. The thing is, FFM relationships are the stereotypical poly triad that people (read: straight cis men) talk about.
All the jokes about "oooh, threesomes" are based on the idea of male pleasure/sexuality and about how "hot" it would be to have TWO WOMEN who were having sex with you at once (if you were a straight cis man). There's an assumption that women in these relationships are "able" to have queer relationships at the whim of a man but that men should never be expected to put up with another GUY in their relationship, OH NOES (and certainly not that a guy could be attracted to a man)! It's a frustrating meme, that is frustratingly common.
I really enjoyed the book Opening Up except at those times where Taormino seems to very uncritically take at face value those relationships that fall into the "one penis policy" ("OPP"). I hate that fucking policy. It's a terrible, sexist thing that apparently happens with some frequency.

The "OPP," as I've heard it described is basically as such: a straight (cis) couple is going to open up their relationship. The woman is bi/bi-curious and the man is not. Therefore, he states that it is fair that they both get to have sex outside of the relationship with women. But no men. Afterall, he can't enjoy having sex with men, so how is it fair for her to have sex with men? Not to mention that it'll make him jealous (of course SHE won't be jealous of him having sex with other women because... ummmm.... because women are magical non-jealous people! and because, like, duh, she'll be getting to have sex with women too, so it's totally fair!), and that she might leave him for another penis. It's often offered as a "stepping stone" to a more fair situation where she isn't artificially limited by her partner's genitalia, but that "just for the moment" he isn't comfortable with it. Only, very rarely does it seem that the "moment" ever ends. I mean, why would it? He gets to sleep around with whoever he'd want to sleep with, while he controls his partner/girlfriend/wife! What's not to love hate?

I don't know why people are searching for "FFM poly" and "FFM marriage" on my pretty lil' blog. It might be that they are all happily in such an arrangement. It might be that they are a woman and are actively seeking out such an arrangement. It could be a multitude of things. But you should know, if you don't fall into those aforementioned categories, if you are, say, a straight single (or currently coupled) cis guy fantasizing about how poly chicks are all about the FFMs, or how awesome a threesome would be? Stuff it. I'm sick of poly being envisioned as this field of pussy for the penises to frolick amongst. Poly relationships take work. Queer relationships are as meaningful/"real" as straight relationships (frankly, I feel like sometimes they are more meaningful/real, but I suppose I'm just biased what with being queer). FFM triads and threesomes and V relationships should not be about making the man happy, but about making EVERYONE happy.

Also, in case you're wondering? Any triad I'll be in will probably be QQQ (or possibly QQF, or QQM). Where are the searches for those types of relationships?

*Besides acknowledging that it is a: real, b: not bad, and c: not inherently a "phase." I do consider myself to have gone through a year long phase of asexuality where I didn't have crushes on people, I didn't fantasize about sex, and I was just plain asexual. However me saying that it was a phase for me is no more implying that asexuality is "just a phase" for others, than me saying that since I happened to go through a 10 year phase of assumed heterosexuality, that heterosexuality is "just a phase" for the rest of the world (that is heterosexual). Just because something was/is a "phase" for some people doesn't mean that the identity was/is any less valid. Though I do note that the phrase is almost entirely used by our society when referring to identities that we want to discredit or mark as "bad," so see point "b" for how I feel about that.


  1. I hate the "in terms of sex my female partner can be having, women don't count as a threat, but are hot" meme that I've seen from straight cis men so much. (I've mostly encountered it in the form of supposedly monogamous opposite sex relationships where the female partner can sleep with women, because it doesn't count/is hot, or straight guys fantasising about a threesome (which again, "doesn't count"). And as you said, the tarnishing of poly relationships and experiences because they too aren't real.

  2. The sexism and devaluing inherent in it are exactly what pisses me off. My concern while writing the post was to make sure that I didn't write something that made people who are IN FFM triads feel like I'm attacking anyone in one. I think that any relationship style that works for you and your partner(s) is the right relationship style for you (and your partner(s)). Howver at the same time I think that some anti-poly sentiment comes from people who see those douches who are all "wooohoooo, threesome!" and then assume that a) those specific douches are actually in a poly relationship and b) the misogyny and devaluation inherent in that mindset is how the majority of folks in FFMs are. Which I very much doubt.


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