At a recent Hip Hop performance, Jay Electronica asked his audiences “Do women like to be choked during sex?” Apparently, he asks this question at every show, and is conducting an informal survey so that him, his DJ, and Nas, can decide a $20,000 bet on the issue on December 25th.
Nas says all women like to be choked.
TJ the DJ says only some do.
And Jay says, we all do, but in varying degrees.
I say, “they are all a bunch of assholes.”
They aren’t assholes because they like erotic asphyxiation. A whole lot of folks are into that, and I’m not hating. If this was a conversation about the range of practices that are pleasurable for women, then as a feminist, I would be down for that conversation.
But there’s a bet on it, so I wouldn’t bet on it.
Jay, Nas, and the DJ are not at all interested in female pleasure. This is a battle over whose dick is bigger. Plain and simple.
Anytime money exchanges male hands in a contest over what women like in the bedroom, the potential for sex positivity and female empowerment becomes nil.
Yes, we should be able to talk freely about lots of different kinds of sexual expression, BDSM (bondage/sado-masochism) included. But Jay Electronica’s quip at a different performance that Redman says that some women like to be punched in the ribs, is troubling.
Recently, there have been a few feminist-identified Black men who are publishing work which claims that feminists of color, particularly Black women, are parochial on sexual issues, and that we see all forms of risque sexual practices as problematic. Undoubtedly, many of these brothers will watch this clip and conclude this same thing.
But this isn’t about sex positivity. Look at the terms of the bet. How can any three men ever determine what “all women” like? At the moment that this becomes about generalizing female sexual practices under one banner, it no longer becomes about women, but about men’s idea and projection of who they would like us to be. Moreover, clearly Jay, Nas, and TJ the DJ are having a Lil Wayne moment, RE: they just “wanna fuck every girl in the world.” Because that’s the only way they could reasonably determine the truth of their statements.
Jay also engages in a troubling fetishization of foreign women. “Women in the states” don’t like choking. But women “overseas” love it. Really?
Back in Seattle, Jay polls the crowd. Only a few women admit to liking the practice. But almost all the men in the crowd do, a disparity to which Jay responds, “it’s a whole lot of women getting choked against their will.” And then…raucous laughter.
A courageous sister yells back, “that’s not funny.” (3:25) Jay and the crowd immediately silence her. He says, “it’s not supposed to be funny,” as he’s catching his breath from having a good laugh on stage. Then he quickly organizes a crowd chant, “we know it’s not funny. Relax.”
How many women have been gently coerced into sex they didn’t want to have under an insistent chorus of “just relax”?
The dismissive, mocking reaction to that sister’s disruption of the space, tells us all we need to know about what our reaction should be. She proved the point. Some sisters don’t like it…and Jay’s inability or lack of desire to hear her point of view after he had just invited audience feedback, suggests that he and his boys are interested in a very particular narrative of female sexuality.
Jay also admitted that there were underaged folks in the crowd, and then he recklessly proceeded to promote irresponsible sexual messages like
a.) women don’t really know what they want in the bedroom
b.) it’s up to men to help us “figure it out” [and a little financial incentive wouldn't hurt]
c.) and many of us are lying anyway, given the disparity in crowd response
Sounds like a recipe for rape.
Or at least some misguided, tragic, unfulfilling teenaged sex. If the sexual plot line in the Black male coming of age tale, The Wood is any indication, betting is a critical part of male sexual socialization. And it seems harmless.
But there are a whole lot of young women and grown women, who are the literal conquered booty in these conquests, who beg to differ. I am one of them.
The bottom line is that Jay needs to do better. He should apologize. And since it is the season of giving, he and his two stooges should put their money where their mouths are, and donate that twenty thou to some initiative that empowers women and girls who are sexual violence survivors. Bet.
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