The intricacies of sex and clothing
My attempt to apologise, clarify and give some context to certain issues that have become very heightened....
Sex is weird. What turns you on is probably different to what turns me on. Some people might get a charge from wearing high heels and a short skirt, others might get a sexual charge out of wearing a sharp-looking suit. I don’t think anyone should be shamed for this. People should be free to wear whatever clothes they want so long as it is within the bounds of decency.
We need to protect the right to be sexual beings. Of course some women get aroused by wearing a strap-on. So what? Why shouldn’t they? Equally some women, straight and gay, get turned on by wearing lingerie. Again, so what? Why shouldn’t they? It’s perfectly fine for people to experience sexual arousal from whatever turns them on. Although sex can be damaging and hurtful it can also be fun and beautiful. Good sex is great.
Women’s sexuality is seldom a danger to others and so we can be pretty easy-going about their choice of attire. Male sexual expression, however, can be very dangerous and so we need to be a good deal more wary in this context. Nonetheless, a world where people’s clothing is policed is not a world I want to live in.
This is perhaps why I was so taken aback by the huge outcry over Phil Illy wearing a blue ballgown. Vulnerable, neurodiverse girls and boys are having medical interventions that they are likely to regret for the rest of their lives; kids are being groomed into sexualised identities; families are being ripped asunder. I didn’t believe that Phil wearing a ballgown, while identifying as a man, using the male toilets and attempting to promote honest conversation about autogynephilia (AGP) was a reason to let slip the dogs of war. I realise that I have underestimated the level of fear there is about AGP. However I still believe that the only way to resolve this issue is by shining some sunlight on it. We need to raise public awareness about AGP so that the public can recognise it and consequently be better equipped to make sure that others aren’t unknowingly being subjected to inappropriate sexual behaviour.
This seems to have led to a general suspicion of me as a person who is somehow trying to sanitise or normalise autogynephilia. I’m not. I’m trying to raise public awareness, so that autogynephilia is as recognisable as other common paraphilias. While the world doesn’t need to know about lesser known paraphilias; for example, amaurophilia (where the focus of the erotic interest is on being unable to see) or anthropophagy (when the focus is on ingesting human flesh), we do need to know about the common ones such as exhibitionism, frotteurism, voyeurism and autogynephilia as we need to protect people from inappropriate behaviour.
Another suspicion about me is that I could be homophobic. This is because of two posts I made on X/Twitter. The first was in a conversation with a linguist where I earnestly asked why gay men have similar voice patterns as women (https://x.com/stellaomalley3/status/1753369267469185298?s=20). I forgot to include the word ‘some’ in this offhand tweet and consequently I was piled-on for being homophobic. (For anyone who is interested, the linguist confirmed that it is true that some gay men reflect typically female speech patterns: https://x.com/wontsomeonethi2/status/1753359364491010319?s=20).
The second was an interview with Travis Brown where I pointed out that many lesbians get a sexual charge out of wearing certain clothes
I was saying this in a bid to promote people’s right to wear any clothes they want. So what if people are experiencing sexual arousal in certain contexts? We are sexual beings. However I should have probably said that many women get a sexual charge out of wearing certain clothes. I’m not sure; the phrase ‘can’t do right for doing wrong’ comes to mind.
When JK Rowling made her famous tweet I liked and shared it because I happily agreed with her. I had no idea that a large contingent of gender critical people didn’t actually agree with JK Rowling’s tweet. I did though. I thought it was a brilliant tweet because it was underpinned by the principles of liberal enlightenment, which i reckon are beneficial for society.
I deeply regret that people might think that I’m homophobic or that I want to promote autogynephilia. None of this is true. I evidently don’t communicate as clearly as I should. I’m genuinely very sorry for all the hurt I have caused and really saddened by the fact that I have caused this hurt.
I work very hard and my output is considerable. Therefore, I hope any mistakes I make are understood in the context of my body of work and general message, rather than each post or half-sentence being taken to represent all my views on any given issue. I would like to clarify and clear up any misunderstandings so if you have any questions that you would like me to answer please put them in the comments. However I have been the subject of a prolonged and extensive smear campaign that has gone on for over five years now and so I will call out any lies and I will not engage with any bad faith arguments.
The lines of the poet Rumi come to mind:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
There is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
Doesn't make any sense.
I guess I am pretty over-exposed and people are sick of me talking and that brings about its own problems, but it all stems from an earnest urge to try to stop a massive medical scandal that is unfolding as we speak. It would be great if we could try to overcome differences and try to pull together, even when we disagree.