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Feministe has been posting recently about men who don’t like particular sex acts, namely, period sex and cunnilingus.

Everyone has the right to say no. This includes men. For what it was worth, I think Jill did make a gesture towards there being people with “legitimate” reasons (spine issues, disliking the sight of blood) not to like cunnilingus or period sex. The problem with that, though, is that there is no illegitimate reason to say no to any sex act.

“I hate the taste of pussy” is an okay reason not to eat pussy (although may I suggest dental dams?). “I can’t breathe when I eat people out” is an okay reason not to eat pussy. “I was forced to eat a woman out and now it triggers me” is an okay reason not to eat pussy. “Dunno, just don’t like it” is an okay reason not to eat pussy. Any reason is a good reason not to eat pussy. This is because it is your body, and therefore what you do with it is no one else’s business.

However, the right to say no applies both ways. If a cis woman’s partner says “I don’t want to have sex during your period,” she has the perfect right to say “well, I want sex during my period, so I will go seek a more compatible sex partner” and stop having sex with that partner. Ideally, that would quickly separate out the things each partner is not willing to compromise on from the things they are.

Of course, this isn’t the perfect solution. One partner may end up compromising on something that’s really a dealbreaker for them for the sake of the relationship, or because they love the person, or because they’re so desperate for a partner, any partner, that they want to, and this is non-optimal. However, given that all the other options are, at best, extremely rapey, it’s the best of a lot of shitty options.

And, yes, “pressure all men into eating pussy or having period sex because otherwise they’re misogynists” is really rapey.

I think, however, Jill did have two decent points that were lost in the miasma of “it is okay to say no to sex.” The first is that there are a certain number of people who are honestly disgusted by pussies. (My favorite is a female friend of mine in high school who wouldn’t masturbate because touching your vulva is disgusting.) Sometimes, this manifests as a dude who won’t eat pussy or have period sex because OMG GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSS.

Don’t fuck that guy! He is a douchebag and also probably not good in bed. Also, do not fuck anyone who thinks penises are OMG GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSS, because they are also douchebags and probably not good in bed. But the problem is not the lack of oral sex; the problem is the disgust for a person’s genitalia. Pussy-possessors of the world, even if Pussies Are Gross Dude has period sex, you still shouldn’t fuck him, because he thinks your genitalia (and thus your sexuality) is disgusting.

Her second decent point is that if your partner doesn’t care about your pleasure, that is a giant Red Flag. Everyone gets to have boundaries, of course. But people who are actually good in bed have accepted that no two people’s kinks match up 100% and in a sexual relationship sometimes you will have to do sex acts you’re not that fond of. If you refuse to do any sex act that doesn’t turn you on, no matter how much it turns your partner on, you’re kind of a douchebag. Compromise is what grown-up sexual relationships are all about.