"By normalizing my piss fetish, you're making it dull for me." Credit: Hisu Lee/Unsplash

Q: A problem has cropped up for me ever since the reports of Donald Trump’s pissing Russian hookers made the news. Every time someone on social media tries to make a comment about how disgusting that is, someone else scolds that person for “kink shaming.” By normalizing my piss fetish, you’re making it dull for me. Piss was one of the few things that even the kink community found disgusting. My polyamorous boyfriend and I found each other without knowing we shared a love for piss. The one thing the piss porn I’ve been watching for half my life completely failed to capture is how goddamn amazing it is to embrace and make out with a person you love dearly while you’re both covered in each other’s piss. If you personally don’t want to kink shame, that’s fine. But everyone, please stop telling your friends not to kink shame so that my boyfriend and I can get back to pissing on each other and feeling disgusting about it and horny because of it. —Pissed Off Slut Wife

A: I have grappled with this same conundrum, POSW. If a kink is boner- or slicker-inducing to some precisely because it’s so transgressive and disgusting to most, efforts to normalize said kink could piss away that kink’s power. But I’m confident that the kink shamers will continue to have the upper hand for decades to come, despite the best efforts of the kink-shamer shamers. So your kink will continue to induce enough revulsion and disgust generally to keep you and your boyfriend feeling disgusting and horny in perpetuity.

Q: I am quite the follower on social media—Facebook and Twitter in particular. I make no trolling comments, no #MAGA hashtags; I just look with my male gaze. Like Laura Mulvey says, the male gaze is only natural. I’ve lost interest in pornography, so I use everyday pictures of women, typically selfies. It helps me to know the story behind the face and body. None of these pics are pornographic—just feel-good selfies by young women posted on social media. I don’t communicate with these people, because that would be creepy. I’m not worried about whether this is abnormal. I just wondered if people would be OK with this, if people were aware of behavior like mine when they post, and if I should ask these girls for their permission to wank to their selfies. —Not Anthony Weiner

A: So long as you’re wanking alone, wanking with a reasonable expectation of privacy, and not bothering anyone who isn’t a sex partner or a sex-advice professional with your wanking, NAW, you can wank to whatever you’d like—except for images of child rape, aka “child pornography.”

Let’s say a guy working in a shoe store has an intense attraction to feet. Is it inappropriate for him to get an obvious boner while helping women try on shoes? Of course it is. And it would be super inappropriate of him to ask the women he’s serving if he can jack off about their feet after his shift. But if he can go eight hours without giving off any signs of secret perving, that guy can sell shoes. And he’s free to upload mental images to his spank bank for later.

So in answer to your question, NAW, under no circumstances should you ask the girls whose selfies you’re wanking to for their permission. People who post revealing pictures to social media—men and women—know they run the risk of their pics being wanked to by random strangers. But there’s a difference between knowing some stranger might be wanking to your pics and hearing from one of those wanking strangers. If some stranger is going to make your day by posting a hot pic, why would you ruin theirs—or make them think twice about ever posting a revealing pic again—by telling them what you’re doing while you gaze at their pics?

If you saw a woman on the street that you thought was hot, you wouldn’t stop her to ask if you could wank about her later. You would no more ask a stranger that question than you would flash your penis at her because, NAW, it would constitute sexual harassment. You would instead walk on by, minding your own business while discreetly filing her mental image away in your spank bank. You should behave similarly on social media: Don’t harass, don’t send unsolicited dick pics, and don’t ask for permission to wank.

Finally, NAW, your question inspired me to read feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s 1975 essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” in which she coined the phrase “male gaze.” Mulvey describes the male gaze as phallocentric, patriarchal, pervasive, and socially constructed—she never describes it as natural.  v

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