Interview: @cunningminx (PolyAmory Weekly) talking about sex, costumes & Pop Culture characters
Originally recorded April 19, 2011: I discovered this intelligent woman of the web, CUNNING MINX, through a friend’s recommendation for the Poly Weekly Podcast. I was going through a major transition (one might say upheaval) in my personal and social lives; I wanted to learn more about open communication and poly relationships. I was instantly a fan of her show.
Minx’s expertise made her the among the first people I thought about when I was asked to create a Geeks & Sexuality Series for another site. The publisher felt this interview was too similar to one they already had so I’m publishing it here for those that are interested in hearing Minx and I discuss sexuality of comic book characters, bondage imagery of favorite characters like Wonder Woman and Princess Leia and talking to your partners about using costumes and fantasy role playing in the bedroom.
“If you dress up as Wonder Woman and you like it and it doesn’t cause any problems, then does it really matter if you’re kinky or not? You just like Wonder Woman.” ~ Cunning Minx
I’m not personally familiar with the lifestyle of “kink” so I had plenty of newbie
questions. I got thorough answers from my guest: To bring costumes into the bedroom, “[But] I would say start with asking your partner what he or she fantasizes about. And I actually ask this whenever I’m dating someone new.” Ask, “What is it you fantasize about when you masturbate.” You can open the discussion to find out what that person’s “standard” fantasy has been but then continue exploring to see if there are others that he/she has not addressed before. By talking about it you might find yourself saying: “Ok, well I have something that could pass for Princess Leia in the gold bikini. How important is it that the costume be authentic or is it just the suggestion enough?”
“I’d start off by asking my partner what his/her fantasies are. And just listening for a good long time. Spend a lot of time listening. If may not involve any costuming but you’ll learn a lot. And then you’ll be given the opportunity to say there are a couple things I want to share with you that really get me off.”
I’m also a geek girl that is torn by certain imagery, specifically, the Slave Leia of STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI and also Harley Quinn. The imagery of Princess Leia in the gold bikini can be seen from the surface level as a sexy woman in bondage which for some people is the stimulus.
“And I would add too, it’s perfectly okay if you are turned on by the fact that it’s not an empowering image for women,” Minx explains.
There is a feminist way to safely twist the imagery to a more empowering facade once you know the story that she kills Jabba the Hut with the chains binding her and eventually escapes along with the other heroes to save the day. Take the time to reflect on Slave Leia. Which version of the image is the one that turns you on?
Take a character like Harley Quinn. She is most notably the girlfriend to Batman’s most feared nemesis, the Joker. One of Harley’s comic book tales and also a 1999 episode of BATMAN (THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN) is called MAD LOVE*. It’s a perfect moniker for their relationship. The Joker and Harley raise the bar on dysfunction. He can abuse her repeatedly – and in cartoon/comic style that tends to be exaggerated leaving her with one hit point left – but she keeps going back for more. It’s easy to see that any of the Batverse characters are good candidates for a doctoral thesis on psychology but what does that mean about geeks that dress as these characters or fantasize about them?
On a personal level, I have a hard time wearing my Harley Quinn costume because not only is it uncomfortable, I find that she’s not a character with which I want to be identified. The repeat behavior of the Joker’s abuse is not something which appeals to me or turns me on. I love the playful Harley that bounces around stealing from shops while accompanied by her hyenas Bud and Lou; but I don’t like the horrifically weakened Harley seen in the MAD LOVE episode. It seems in fact, that every episode with Harley Quinn showed the Joker’s continuing dominance and physical abuse of the woman he “loved.” I happen to prefer Ace from the Joker’s Royal Flush Gang.
Yet, Harley Quinn is one of the most cosplayed characters of all time as seen as any comic convention. “I know how to make some smiles, Puddin’,” spoken by Arleen Sorkin and imitated from coast to coast by fans decked out in the black and red spandex. She’s not quite at the magnitude of Slave Leia but she’s been gaining ground. One may wonder if the popularity of DC’s GOTHAM CITY SIRENS which features Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley away from the Joker has anything to do with her image as a newly empowered woman. Back in the much-maligned AMAZONS ATTACK, Harley had sought refuge at a women’s shelter named in honor of Wonder Woman, when she finally accepted that the abuse from the Joker was not consensual.
CONSENT. Therein lies a very important factor. Cunning Minx discusses the bondage and S&M fetish as a turn on for her personally. Each time she talks about the subject, she clearly states that all parties are consenting adults.
“It’s something we need to accept that we as human beings and as sexual beings we do grow and evolve and change over time.”~ Cunning Minx