Male bodied/Female bodied

Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
I've been noticing the terms male bodied and female bodied in a lot more reviews lately and it got me to thinking...

Do we really need to use these terms? Are they simply adding more confusion?

I can't find any reason why saying this toy is good for vaginal/clitoral use isn't as useful -- or more useful -- than saying a toy is good for a female bodied person. Same goes for anal use, which applies to anyone of any gender or orientation. It's going to get very confusing if we start feeling the need to say things can be used by anyone female or male bodied who has an anus rather than just good for anal use.

I dunno. Maybe I'm over thinking.

Thoughts?
03/22/2010
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Heartthrob Heartthrob
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I've been noticing the terms male bodied and female bodied in a lot more reviews lately and it got me to thinking...

Do we really need to use these terms? Are they simply adding more confusion?

I can't find any reason why ... More
Hmmmm, maybe these reviewers are trying to be politically correct?
03/22/2010
Victoria Victoria
I think when it comes to anal play and toys being good for anal - just say good for anal, maybe specify whether beginner, intermediate or advanced anal play - and it it is better for prostate play due to the toy's design, then say so.

Clitoral stimulators kinda go the same way: is it strong, is it buzzy, is it pin-point?

I say be specific in ways that matter to the user.
03/22/2010
Pleasureman Pleasureman
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I've been noticing the terms male bodied and female bodied in a lot more reviews lately and it got me to thinking...

Do we really need to use these terms? Are they simply adding more confusion?

I can't find any reason why ... More
I have a thought. Could it be that these reviewers may be referring to transsexual individuals who may be slightly different in anatomy due to differing surgical techniques? That thought is going way out on a limb but really that's the only reason I can think of to use terminology like that.
03/22/2010
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I've been noticing the terms male bodied and female bodied in a lot more reviews lately and it got me to thinking...

Do we really need to use these terms? Are they simply adding more confusion?

I can't find any reason why ... More
I have to agree, from a writer's perspective, it just seems like additional words to say male bodied, instead of simply male. If you are referring to a product that is specifically designed to work with the clit, then say so rather than using terminology whose purpose is not widely understood.

I understand that some people desire to be all-inclusive when writing, but when I see a review that says a product will work for female-bodied, MtF, FAAB (I'll be honest, I have no idea what FAAB even means. Google it and you get Free Agent Aquisition Budget amoung many other things that have nothing to do with gender or sexual identity) and additional descriptions, I just end up thinking it would be more clear and less confusing to the reader if you'd simply said the product would work vaginally.

It is possible and should be the goal of a review to be clear and concise, using language most, if not all, people are generally familiar with in a fashion consistent with the generally accepted definition.

The point, after all, is to clearly communicate your opinion to as many people as possible.
03/22/2010
Sammi Sammi
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I have to agree, from a writer's perspective, it just seems like additional words to say male bodied, instead of simply male. If you are referring to a product that is specifically designed to work with the clit, then say so rather than using ... More
I agree.


And now you really have me curious what FAAB is.
03/22/2010
Rockin' Rockin'
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I have to agree, from a writer's perspective, it just seems like additional words to say male bodied, instead of simply male. If you are referring to a product that is specifically designed to work with the clit, then say so rather than using ... More
I think FAAB means "female assigned at birth."
03/22/2010
Kynky Kytty Kynky Kytty
Quote:
Originally posted by Rockin'
I think FAAB means "female assigned at birth."
Wow... things get complicated for nothing.

And I agree with what's been said.

I do not believe it's necessary to make everything body or gender neutral in the fear that we might offend someone. Honestly, if I were a transgendered male to female, I would like to fit in the category of women and think of my genital organs as a vagina. So, no, I do not think I would be offended.

It's almost like doing positive discrimination. So, whether or not you try to be nice, by giving them a special category, you are being discriminative in denying access to being a female or a male, depending on the direction of the surgery. Yes, we know they were not born like one, but what did they want? Be a female/male or something in between?
03/22/2010
Backseat Boohoo Backseat Boohoo
I think the issue is that "male" and "female" can also refer to gender, not just the sexed body. Somebody who is female-bodied may not identify as female.
03/22/2010
Kynky Kytty Kynky Kytty
Quote:
Originally posted by Backseat Boohoo
I think the issue is that "male" and "female" can also refer to gender, not just the sexed body. Somebody who is female-bodied may not identify as female.
Good point, but by making that distinction, you are somehow simplifying the MtF who does identify as female and may not want to be perceived as a male in the body of a female.

However, we are in a community related to sex toys, and like Laurel said, I think the person will not mind if we speak about the physical parts for which a sex toy is made.

Note: I am sorry if I seem a little rude about the topic, I'm not transgender-phobic or anything, it's just imagining all the fuss and the complications that we would have to go through that I find frustrating.
03/22/2010
Tuesday Tuesday
I find these odd terms disconcerting and confusing. I doubt anyone (no matter what gender they were born with, were "assigned" or identify with) has trouble figuring out if a product is appropriate for them without the use of these terms.
03/22/2010
Kayla Kayla
Agreed. Jor identifies more as a female on a regular basis, but for the most part, anyone (and him) that we know doesn't seem to care that much as long as you don't use derogatory terms. He knows what a penis is, and he knows what a clitoris is. Neither of us knew what a "FAAB" was. x.x
03/22/2010
Rockin' Rockin'
So, is saying what body parts things work for okay, then? And just leaving sex (male, female, -bodied or what have you) out of it in favor of saying what it works for?
03/23/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
The reason I use male-bodied and female-bodied is because using a term like penis or vagina (at least exclusively) is incredibly alienating and triggering for someone that is transsexual. Personally I'd rather have a couple of confused cis people than most trans people being badly triggered by my review.

If I say "this works for women" or "this works if you have a vagina" then I'm necessarily excluding trans men from my review. That's transphobic and bad business sense, in my opinion. The trans men that I know do NOT call their genitals "vaginas" and most of them don't even think of their bodies as "female". If it takes a little self-education on the part of cis readers then I'm okay with that. In fact, that's why there are resources like the forums and SexIs on this site; to help with education. But as far as taking the terms out of reviews to clear up "confusion" (seriously people, the internet is a wonderful thing, if you don't find it on the first page of Google then keep looking because it's there) at the expense of potential buyers that are every bit as valuable as cis buyers? To me that's pretty unacceptable.
03/23/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
I've also never seen anyone specifying male or female bodied when talking about the anus. The anus is pretty universal, no matter how you identify in terms of gender. I also always use slashes in my reviews so that people that don't feel the need to educate themselves on trans issues can pick out what applies to them and move on. I'll say vagina/front hole or female-bodied/FAAB. The slash indicates that they are interchangable insofar as you are talking about the same physical object, but by putting BOTH words I am not alienating anyone or triggering anyone. I don't think "concision" or "style" are good justifications for making someone feel like crap about their bodies and their sexuality.
03/23/2010
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
The reason I use male-bodied and female-bodied is because using a term like penis or vagina (at least exclusively) is incredibly alienating and triggering for someone that is transsexual. Personally I'd rather have a couple of confused cis people ... More
This is all well and good except the point of a review is to help sell a product, not educate the general public. It makes more business sense to write something which makes sense and applies to most readers than something which could potentially alienate a small group of customers. I'm not saying it's not important to be politically correct, understanding and compassionate individuals but that is not the point (nor should it be, IMO) of a review.

Furthermore, I am appalled at the suggestion that trans-men are somehow ignorant to the fact that the medical term for that orifice is "vagina." I understand that gender identity is complicated for some but it comes off like you're saying people are so emotionally vested that they cannot possibly understand that, which I find quite insulting.

Are we not supposed to use anatomical terms now? Then what do we say? And if we don't specify that some toys are intended or only safe for vaginal use, it could very well imply that anal use is safe when it is not.
03/23/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
This is all well and good except the point of a review is to help sell a product, not educate the general public. It makes more business sense to write something which makes sense and applies to most readers than something which could potentially ... More
Actually, the point of a review is NOT to sell a product but give an honest and thorough run-down of what it is, how it works and did it work.

You also are assuming that you know the assigned genders of the people shopping on this site, and whether or not their present genders line up with that. You can't possibly know those things and therefore you cannot possible say what kind of business Edenfantasys would be losing by instructing people like myself not to use those terms.

I also never suggested that trans men (no hyphen, "trans" is an adjective that qualifies a noun, trans men are not a mystical third sex) don't know what a vagina is. Ever. I'm not even sure how you possibly could have read that in what I wrote. Considering the bullshit trans men have to go through to present their bodies the way they want to and name them the way they want to, especially when met with this very kind of resistance, I'm pretty sure by now most English speaking trans men have heard the word "vagina" a few times. I said using that term exclusively and not making any allowance for trans men is alienating and triggering. Seriously, scroll up and read my comment. That's exactly what it says. Triggering and alienating. Not "confusing because they won't know what it means". Triggering. And alienating. Which it is for many (but not all) trans men.

I'm not telling anyone what words they can and can't use, and I'd really appreciate it if people didn't chastise me for using the words that I want to use. If this is a problem, then quite frankly, this is not a community that I want to be a part of. I write pretty damn good reviews. They are consistently highly rated as either useful or extremely useful. People seem to be coming out of my reviews with an understanding of the product, and a pretty good one. I work hard choosing my words very carefully with my reviews, I take reviewing pretty seriously because sex and sexuality are really important to me. If my word choices were a problem, you'd think I wouldn't be getting such positive feedback.

If selling products to cis people is more important than serving and selling to trans people then I'm not interested. If after all of the work I put into my reviews all people can say is they don't like that I'm trying not to make someone feel like shit about their body, I'm not sure if this is the right place for me. I'm not going to knowingly make anyone feel bad about themselves just to get a few free dildos. It's not worth it to me.
03/23/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Just a reminder, Edenfantasys does claim to value diversity of genders and respect for them.
03/23/2010
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Backseat Boohoo
I think the issue is that "male" and "female" can also refer to gender, not just the sexed body. Somebody who is female-bodied may not identify as female.
Greatly seconded.
03/23/2010
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
Actually, the point of a review is NOT to sell a product but give an honest and thorough run-down of what it is, how it works and did it work.

You also are assuming that you know the assigned genders of the people shopping on this site, and ... More
I completely agree with you.
03/23/2010
Juliettia Juliettia
I think that trying to make everything PC because you don't want to run the risk of offending someone is just more trouble and confusion than it's worth. You're always going to offend someone. Not to mention it's a bit over the top.

To be honest this whole debate/drama reminds me of hardcore feminists. A guy opens the door for her and she immediately becomes offended because she takes it as implying incompetence and weakness. That she is below him. When in reality he was just trying to be a nice guy. Over the top and unneeded.

I doubt that anyone here is trying to single out any specific gender identification. Those reading should be able to apply the reviews to fit however it is they identify and their anatomy without the added confusion and tangles of words.
03/23/2010
Kynky Kytty Kynky Kytty
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
Just a reminder, Edenfantasys does claim to value diversity of genders and respect for them.
We are discussing the aspect of using specific terms to fit everyone. I think you are exagerating the point here. I do not see anyone making a personal attack against anyone's gender. And from my experience, it had brought up interesting conversations in a review's comments, nothing discrimatory or hateful.

I agree that the goal of making a review is not to sell it, but a review is made according to YOUR experience as well. What have you used the product with? If in your case, the female-bodied is what you actually relate to and it works for you, it's perfect. You said yourself that your reviews were always found particularly useful.

But I think Carrie Ann wanted to know if it would have been everyone's expectation to start using particular terms as a norm. I did not particularly notice, but I think that for instance people perfectly women-minded with perfectly good vaginas may have started that. Her question was, is it necessary for people who fit in stereotypical standards to do so? Most of us agree that no, it's not. She never intended to make you feel like you should stop, and I am pretty sure it was not the goal of anyone else here.
03/23/2010
Rayne Millaray Rayne Millaray
Quote:
Originally posted by Juliettia
I think that trying to make everything PC because you don't want to run the risk of offending someone is just more trouble and confusion than it's worth. You're always going to offend someone. Not to mention it's a bit over the ... More
Here, here.

As much as I hate to say it, the PC-ness is getting a little out of control. I mean, are you telling me it's "offensive" to call someone who was born female but psychologically feels more like a male a woman? It's offensive to be a woman?

Somehow, I don't think that's the message we're trying to put out there.
03/23/2010
DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO DONOTSHOPHERETHEOWNERISPSYCHO
I think perhaps everyone is getting a bit too wound up about this discussion. There are plenty of people in this community writing reviews on products and someone is bound to be offended or confused by something at some point in time. The solution to that is to shoot the reviewer a message or leave a comment letting them know you're bothered by something they said or that you have a question about something they said. If the things they say continue to offend you, stop reading their reviews. If all of the terminology they use is confusing and hard to follow, find a simpler review to read.

It's my opinion that reviews are written from the point of view of the person who used the product. You simply can not expect a person who isn't or doesn't have experience as something else to understand or know how a product will work for a person who is or does have those experiences.

We're writing sex toy reviews here, people. No one is going to receive national recognition over the terminology they include in a piece they wrote about how great a vibrator worked for them.
03/23/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
What confuses me most is it's not our trans reviewers who do it.
03/23/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
Actually, the point of a review is NOT to sell a product but give an honest and thorough run-down of what it is, how it works and did it work.

You also are assuming that you know the assigned genders of the people shopping on this site, and ... More
I'm not entirely sure why this has turned so dramatic.

I made an observation. No one is saying you can't word your reviews as you like. No one is saying we don't support trans folks. No one is chastising anyone.

Personally, for me, I don't get it. Which is why I asked. It seems to point out the differences more than anything. Our trans reviewers - Gabe, Sinclair Sexsmith, Misha - all use anatomical terms in their own reviews.

I don't understand how a trans person, shopping on a general, non specific sex site, would feel triggered by reading a review I wrote where I used the words "this vibrator is ideal for vaginal use."

This is why I asked. So we could all discuss it, see how folks felt. No one is telling you what you can or can't do, no one is saying your reviews are bad, no one is saying cis people are more important than trans. And certainly no one is saying to make folks feel like shit about their bodies.

I do, however, think that sometimes we go too far in the other direction and wonder if it's necessary.

I'm sorry you felt picked on by this discussion. That was not my intent.

I simply wanted to see how others felt and perhaps have some good discussion about things to help ALL of us learn. That's part of respecting and supporting all sexualities, right? Talking, learning, putting our thoughts and opinions out there, understanding each other?
03/23/2010
Jenn (aka kissmykitty) Jenn (aka kissmykitty)
Quote:
Originally posted by Tuesday
I find these odd terms disconcerting and confusing. I doubt anyone (no matter what gender they were born with, were "assigned" or identify with) has trouble figuring out if a product is appropriate for them without the use of these terms.
I'm in agreement with what you said. Regardless of my gender or the sexual organs I was born with, at the end of the day I know what's good for me and what isn't!
03/23/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I'm not entirely sure why this has turned so dramatic.

I made an observation. No one is saying you can't word your reviews as you like. No one is saying we don't support trans folks. No one is chastising ... More
Just because three trans people use a certain set of terms doesn't mean all trans people are comfortable with them. One person saying they prefer a term doesn't give anyone permission to apply it universally. Some people of color are comfortable re-appropriating racial slurs like the "n" word. That doesn't mean that every person of color like that word; many don't and are triggered by it. It's ultimately not important if cis people don't 100% get why some words can be triggering; it's just important that they respect that these words can do that. Furthermore, the reviewers you named are three trans reviewers that 1.) identify with their trans history and 2.) are open about it. There are many people on this site that are trans that don't broadcast it. This is just as valid as people that are open with their transition histories, and we need to respect both groups.

People make a lot of assumptions about what's in someone's pants and how they identify with what's there, and it's wrong. If one critically reads Gabe's articles and reviews, you can see that he's very clearly advocating for respecting all gender identities and bodies --including genderqueer people who also can be triggered or alienated by medical terms. Although other trans members of the Edenfantasys community have taken issue with some aspects of his writing, which just goes to show you how diverse the trans community (like any community) is.

I showed this thread to a couple of my trans dude friends and one of my genderqueer friends and they were all totally upset and turned off. One of them actually does reviews on this site. There are going to be other trans men that don't see what the fuss is over. But the point is that I'd rather have some people shrugging and going "Why is she being so wordy?" instead of have others not wanting to shop on this site or participate in discussions because they feel unwelcome. And that's how these kinds of discussions make many people, myself included, feel.

There is always resistance when marginalized groups want to assert ownership over their bodies and lives. Other people not within those groups are always going to feel weird when the words they are used to using to name and define other people's bodies and lives are decentralized. But that's progress. It's no different than people of color drawing lines in the sand about how they want to be identified. Or women declaring that they find some terms derogatory. It's disabled people speaking out against slurs used against them. While the term "vagina" is not a slur, it's just not an accurate or comfortable way of naming some bodies. When a trans man begins taking testosterone, trust me, his genitals don't look anything like a cis woman's. It's the right of every person to name their bodies the way they are comfortable with, and if this community is truly accepting of ALL gender identities, it needs to support this. It doesn't mean you have to use the words, but it also doesn't mean opening a thread calling into question whether or not these words are "necessary". To answer your question, yes, these words are absolutely necessary for many people. If they don't apply to ya, pick the one that does (like I said, I use slashes for that reason) and move on.
03/23/2010
Red Red
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I've been noticing the terms male bodied and female bodied in a lot more reviews lately and it got me to thinking...

Do we really need to use these terms? Are they simply adding more confusion?

I can't find any reason why ... More
I do not notice those terms if they are appropriate and flow in nicely with the text. If they stick out awkwardly, they seem like more of a political statement than something that adds to the review. Like most language, just use it correctly and beautifully, and everyone's happy, right?
03/23/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
" It doesn't mean you have to use the words, but it also doesn't mean opening a thread calling into question whether or not these words are "necessary". To answer your question, yes, these words are absolutely necessary for many people. If they don't apply to ya, pick the one that does (like I said, I use slashes for that reason) and move on."

I disagree.

Calling into question if the words are necessary has likely enlightened and explained them to many people.

We all pick and choose how we say things in our own reviews. People have called into question using words like cunt and cock and pussy rather than medical terms like vagina and penis.

This is no different.

Without questions there is no learning and no answers.

Personally? When doing a review of a toy and how it works for me I'll use terms that are appropriate for my body. It's the only body I can speak for. Especially in light of the huge differences between my body and a trans body that you're pointing out. I'm not sure using female bodied is any better in this regard than using vagina. And as I'm not a trans person, I can't know. So I'll use what's appropriate for my body, since it's my body that's used the toy.

Hopefully, everyone can be understanding of each other and tolerance can go both ways. I would hate to see people expected to use terms they don't understand.

Like you said...

Pick the term that works for you and move on.
03/23/2010
Total posts: 63
Unique posters: 25