Maybe this is what I get for only spending an hour banging out my last post, but it’s received some genuinely confused reactions on YouTube – and I don’t really know whose fault that is:
Jesus Christ, man. Your post used to be slightly insane, but now you’re just lost it.
What the fuck are you even talking about?
This is a very bizarre choice of topic and an even more intellectually constipated way of talking about sex. Don’t try to *sound* like you are intelligent. Just *be* intelligent. Otherwise you just look like a pseudo-intellectual making up crap. You don’t have to construct these over long sentences in order to talk about gay sex.
ZJemp uses sneaky NLP (Neuro linguistic programming).
While speaking and using this technique, he tries to manipulative his viewers and sound interesting, making his videos seem better than they are.
I’m afraid you’ve lost me on this one. We are what we are; just as you want me to accept you for who you are, you have to accept me for who I am. We are products of out culture, and the dominant culture points the majority to PIV sex. Now it doesn’t make me a bad guy because I don’t find other forms of sex appealing-it’s a line I won’t cross. As you ask for respect for your preferences, I ask the same for mine. That’s MY choice.
Boring, you just said the same thing over and over. :/
This seems like a strawman – What exactly are people doing or thinking now that you think they should change, and which people are doing or thinking those things?
I like the video however… I think it was arrogant to claim that hetros somehow looked down on homosexual sex because it wasn’t PiV sex. I think you’re just making stuff up now.
I enjoy most of your videos a lot. You have a excellent mind and put forth some very impressive arguments. This video however seems like a complete waste of time. I’m a straight guy, and I have no interest in the mechanics of your sex life. It’s not personal, I have no interest in the mechanics of any other persons sex life either unless it’s the person I’m fucking. Then I care. Otherwise, TMI.
Are you saying you don’t fuck your girlfriend? Why would you even say that? How is that anyone’s business? WHy would you even talk about that?? I’m confused.
man, this looks and feels like a justification video for something that happened with your woman and your penis and her vagina… really sad.
(Yeah, even when people insist on trying to read into what I said in spite of the “I’m not going to get into specifics here” and “that isn’t anyone’s business”, they still manage to get it completely wrong.)
It would be easy to blame all this miscommunication on the poor listening skills and other general shortcomings of some people on YouTube, but concluding that they’re just inept individuals only gets us so far if we actually want to explain things effectively. Put all blame and responsibility aside for the moment: The fact is, somewhere, something failed to connect. Why?
Not every response provides a clue as to what was misunderstood – accusing someone of being “insane” or a “pseudo-intellectual”, being “manipulative” with “neuro linguistic programming”, or making “a justification video” doesn’t really help to clarify anything. But some are informative, even if only minimally so. Did I use too many big words? Did I fail to provide enough concrete examples of the phenomena I discussed? Did I not give people a reason to keep watching beyond the first 30 seconds, leading them to conclude that this was a personal video and they would learn nothing useful? Was I not explicit enough about criticizing people’s ideas and not people themselves? Did I not explain things in enough detail? Or was I actually too verbose? Could it be that I was just wrong?
Maybe some people really did need an expansive overview of the various items that can be applied to someone’s body for sexual purposes. Maybe they required a deeper explanation of virginity’s history as a tool for marking women as valuable or worthless, and why it’s an incoherent concept because of ambiguous ideas about what constitutes “sex” and misconceptions about what the hymen is and how it works. Maybe they needed to hear some instances of conservatives characterizing gay sex as less fulfilling and less genuine than heterosexual sex. Maybe they wanted to see some examples of how penis-in-vagina sex is the most common representation of sex in the media. Maybe they actually wanted to know more about my personal life, or maybe they didn’t want to hear about it even in passing. (Maybe I should have learned what “NLP” is so I can avoid doing it by accident.)
Obviously, we can’t please everyone. For every explanation, we have to decide on a certain level of detail and how much background knowledge we expect people to bring to the table. There shouldn’t be a need for a comprehensive review of all lower-level topics from the ground up every time before we can get to our actual point, especially in a 5-10 minute video where only so much territory can be covered. Sometimes we just have to go from Point 1 to Point 2, without stopping to rest at Points 1(a), 1(b) and 1(c). Unless the subject really warrants such a thorough explanation, this is likely to be even less effective at conveying our core points – not everyone is interested in a book-length treatise on our argument.
Yet even for what seem like fairly obvious concepts to some of us, there are essential foundations that many people truly aren’t familiar with. Sometimes, our expectation that they’ll have a basic grasp of the subject turns out to be completely and utterly mistaken. The less accurate our appraisal of their current knowledge, the harder our attempts at communication fail.
There’s one topic that so exemplifies this phenomenon, someone once described it as “the Kobayashi Maru of Reddit” – and there’s certainly no end of opportunities to try your hand at it. That topic, roughly speaking, is the existence of transgender people and the validity of their identities. It can come up almost anywhere nowadays, and the gulf between those who understand the subject, and those who don’t, is vast and often unbridgeable.
Attempts at trying to educate someone from the fundamentals all the way to the conclusion are too exhausting for most, so people on either side tend to talk past each other: the less informed hold a variety of misconceptions at the most basic level, and the more informed make their arguments based on facts and theories which their opponents are not aware of or do not recognize as legitimate.
Almost no one has the time required to bring a single person up to speed on the difference between sex and gender, the fact that gender is not always congruent with sex, the sexual differentiation of the brain and how this process can go awry, the various studies about trans people and their findings, the effectiveness of transitioning, the ineffectiveness of attempts at a “cure”, the importance of evidence in forming our beliefs about the world, the painful realities of dysphoria and transphobia, the value of being decent toward others, and everything that’s necessary to bring trans people into their personal Sphere of Individuals Who Are Treated Like Human Beings and Have Their Suffering Taken Seriously and Their Knowledge, Experiences, Identity and Self-Determination Respected.
Even fewer are willing to bet that their conversational partner is actually interested in knowing these things. Instead of caring about the truth, they might instead value some personal model of reality which reinforces certain ideas and views that they consider too important to give up. This often seems to be the case, and so genuine cases of successful persuasion are especially rare. The occasional positive outcome gives us hope – but not very much. Few of us bother trying anymore. Success may at least be possible, but failure is far too likely to justify investing ourselves in this.
So we make the decision: We’re not targeting the 101 crowd anymore. Someone else can try, but at some point, we need to move past the basics and deal with more advanced topics within a shared background of knowledge. Those who wish to join that conversation are responsible for educating themselves to the level needed to understand what we’re discussing. The cost is inaccessibility to those who lack the requisite knowledge, which may not be such a great cost when so many of them apparently don’t care anyway. The benefit is actually getting stuff done without being eternally bogged down in molasses, arguing over fundamentals with people who care more about their preferred beliefs being seen as right than changing their beliefs to reflect what really is right.
With everything I write, I have to draw that line somewhere, and it’s a delicate balance. Not everything I say will be within everyone’s grasp, and neither will it always be something completely revolutionary that you’ve never thought of before. Sometimes, ideas are complicated. Other times, certain fundamental elements need to be established before we can move forward. I can only hope that I manage to strike a balance that’s useful to everyone on some level, rather than no one on any level.