Hermione Danger

Sex, kink, feminism, and media.

Six Weeks Later — December 2, 2018

Six Weeks Later

Six weeks ago, I endured a seismic shift in my life.

Six weeks ago, my long-distance partner of over 4 years told me that he had developed feelings for another woman, and that he was leaving me, in part so he could be with her. I had just arrived on a plane that morning, ready for a week of laziness and quintessential New England autumn activities, and instead I found myself in his new apartment (his job meant regular relocations), staring out the window at a city I’d never seen before that day while my world crashed around me. Everything I’d built up in my head, everything about what our lives were going to be like once that grand mythical day arrived and we’d finally live in the same place, crumbled.

But this isn’t about that. It’s not even about him, and it’s definitely not about her. This is about me, and what came after.

I didn’t handle the immediate aftermath the way I thought I would. I’d never been cheated on before – at least, not that I’m aware of –  so I expected raised voices and a lot more tears would accompany such a betrayal. But then, perhaps he’d just broken my heart so many times by that point that I was resigned to my fate. I put myself through one emotional gauntlet after another trying to make things work with him, trying to recapture the magic we’d first created. I felt – I still feel – like I failed, and I don’t handle failure well. But at least this failure can’t be attributed to my lack of effort.

I spent the next week of my vacation crashing on couches, thanks to the incredible generosity of friends in the area (Sarah and K, I’ll never be able to repay you). I drank wine, ate way too much food, had a lot of girl talk, and tried not to have a complete meltdown about what to do next. My vacation-turned-breakup retreat had to end sometime, and what would my life look like when I arrived home? I was less than 3 months into my journey of seeking therapy for my depression, and I was terrified that this would derail all my progress. I was already feeling lost, adrift, unsure of what I wanted to do or in which direction I wanted to go; I was only beginning to manage treading water, and surely a loss of this magnitude would drag me under completely.

I spent years living my life somewhat passively. I was partly here, in the city I live, with the few friends I’d made and the job I never imagined myself having, and partly there, wherever “there” happened to be at the time, with him. Now, without him, I’m free to live my life wholeheartedly in this place. It’s terrifying, because so much is unknown and uncertainty sends me into anxiety spirals, but it’s also exciting, in its way. And I have finally made my peace with the fact that, you know what? I live here, and it isn’t a bad place to live. This city is my home, and I should start acting like it.

You can’t make homes out of human beings, as Warsan Shire says.

This isn’t to say that I don’t have my bad days, that I don’t still miss him sometimes, that I don’t feel the urge to lie in bed and cry about all I’ve lost in these six weeks – because I do. Apartment hunting is daunting, and the prospect of dating is intimidating. I’m still lonely, scared, and adrift a lot of the time.

But I didn’t let the current drag me down. Because after all he put me through, he doesn’t get to keep hurting me. He lost his privileges to take up space in my heart, in my mind, in my life. My life is no longer entwined with his; I get to make my life mine.

I managed to go on a date two weeks ago. I was anxious about it for an entire day leading up to it – not because the guy was giving me butterflies, but because it had been so long and I had no idea what I was doing.

How does dating even work again? How are there so many apps now, some I’ve never even heard of? How do I navigate trying to find a person when I thought I’d already found mine?

But I went, and it was fine. Good, even, in the way that spending a few hours just chatting with a new person over a few drinks can be good. There wasn’t much of a connection, at least not on my end, so we didn’t have a second date. But I proved to myself that I could do it, that I could put myself out there again, that I wasn’t irreparably broken. The guy didn’t know he was my first date since the breakup, but I will always be grateful to him for that, even though it’s unlikely we’ll ever speak again.

Six weeks later. There have been steps forward, but not as many as I’d like. I’ve been able to go on a date, but I had to turn down a rigger friend who wanted to do some rope practice, because I was still too raw to do even platonic kink. I’ve watched some Frasier, but not Bojack Horseman. I got through a CHVRCHES album just fine, but Kesha was difficult, and I haven’t been able to even get near a Prince song.

I know I will, one day.

Maybe in another six weeks.

No, I Don’t Watch The Handmaid’s Tale: Consuming “Feel-Good” Television as Resistance — August 12, 2018

No, I Don’t Watch The Handmaid’s Tale: Consuming “Feel-Good” Television as Resistance

I don’t watch The Handmaid’s Tale.

I haven’t seen a single second of the show, actually.

I meant to watch it, back when I heard it was being made. I had every intention of adding it to the already too-long list of TV shows I devour – but then the election happened, and even though some of the shock of it had worn off by the time the show premiered six months later, a show about a totalitarian regime where women are literal property of the state just seemed…too real. It hit way too close to home, especially with Pence a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

So I put it off, mentally assigning it to the backburner of shows I would get to eventually, waiting for the day when I was in a better headspace to consume something so dark, so disturbing, and so horrifyingly plausible.

But that day never came – and with Roe vs. Wade hurtling toward a seemingly inevitable demise, I doubt I ever will. This is not a commentary on the show’s quality – I’m sure it’s exceedingly well-made and splendidly acted, worthy of this “Golden Era” of TV in which we are still living – or a hipsterish, contrarian backlash against what is popular.

I merely came to the conclusion that continually subjecting myself to women’s trauma, fictional or otherwise, as entertainment is not worth it for me, no matter the supposed deeper meaning behind it. Rape, domestic abuse, and graphic violence toward marginalized groups are not prerequisites for powerful or compelling storytelling, and I am tired of Prestige Television™ pretending otherwise.

“But you’re being a total hypocrite,” I can hear you saying. “I follow you on Twitter. I know you watch Westworld, Supernatural, and Stranger Things. And don’t even get me started on Game of Thrones!”

And you’re right, I do. My TV habits are not all light and fluffy, and I have endured countless instances of fictional women being fridged in order to further the character development of men – though I have nearly given up on shows before because of lazy, gratuitous rape plots (yes, Game of Thrones, I’m looking at you). But I have noticed that, in the last two years, I have made conscious efforts to consume more television that contains generally good people just trying to do their best – or at least kinda crappy people who are making an effort to be better.

Allowing oneself to watch and enjoy these sorts of shows isn’t just a method of media self-care; it’s an act of resistance.
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In Defense of Fleur Delacour — May 28, 2018

In Defense of Fleur Delacour

Though the title protagonist is first an adolescent and then a teenage boy, the Harry Potter series is filled with smart, accomplished, compassionate women and girls to admire. There’s Hermione Granger, of course – she is the entire inspiration for my sex blogging alter ego, after all – but also Ginny Weasley, Molly Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, and Luna Lovegood, to name a few. Many Tumblr posts, Buzzfeed listicles, and tweet threads have been dedicated to these beloved characters, but there is one woman in the Harry Potter universe who does not get enough love, both within the fandom and the series itself: Fleur Delacour.

Ms. Delacour is of course beautiful, but she is also intelligent, bilingual, magically skilled, and deeply devoted to and fiercely protective of her family and friends. Despite these admirable qualities, she is often seen by others as merely snobby, vain, shallow, and rude. Unfortunately, some of my otherwise very favorite characters – Hermione, Ginny, and Mrs. Weasley in particular – treat her horribly at certain points in the series, in a perfect illustration of femmephobia and internalized misogyny. By the end of the final book, Fleur is a key member of the anti-Voldemort resistance movement, harboring fugitives and fighting Death Eaters – all while performing the brunt of the unpaid domestic labor, as is so often expected of women in both the magical and Muggle worlds.

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Oh Hi, I’m Bi — March 17, 2018

Oh Hi, I’m Bi

So I’ve been thinking a lot about my sexuality lately – specifically, the bi part of it. (Personally, I blame Janelle Monáe, at least in part – I mean, have you seen the “Make Me Feel” video? Hnnngh. *heart eyes*)

See, I’m bisexual but heteroromantic. I’m in a monogamous relationship with a man. I’ve only ever dated men. I only want to date men. I don’t have romantic feelings for folks who are not men. That does not, however, hold true for my sexual feelings.*

*Note: I know there’s been a lot of discussion in LGBTQIA circles about whether or not the term “bisexual” enforces the gender binary/is transphobic/should be replaced with pansexual/etc, and I have feelings on that – but that’s not what this post is about. In short, bisexual is the label that I feel best reflects my sexuality, but trans and nonbinary folks are not excluded from my sexual attractions.

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Hermione Danger Recommends #2: Burn It All Down — February 17, 2018

Hermione Danger Recommends #2: Burn It All Down

Hermione Danger Recommends is a series where I recommend a piece of media – TV show, book, podcast, etc – that centers on sex, feminism, and/or social justice issues.

(Before I begin this post in earnest, a brief confession: I truly did not intend for three months to go by between posts in this series, nor did I mean to recommend two podcasts in a row. However, with the Super Bowl so recently behind us and the 2018 Winter Olympics in full swing, I decided that this was a good time to take a break from writing about sex to write about sports.)

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A Resolution I’ll Actually Keep: My 2018 Orgasm Spreadsheet — January 6, 2018

A Resolution I’ll Actually Keep: My 2018 Orgasm Spreadsheet

I’ll be honest, y’all: I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I do tend to get introspective at the end of the year, reflecting on the previous 12 months and the things I’ve accomplished, and I try to begin January 1st on a positive note, mindful of certain intentions I’ve settled on for the upcoming year. But when it comes to standard, straightforward, concrete resolutions? It’s never been my thing.

But this year, I have a resolution: I’m keeping an orgasm spreadsheet for 2018. Continue reading

Best of 2017 — December 21, 2017

Best of 2017

Let’s be honest: 2017 was something of a garbage fire. Between the shitshow that is the Trump regime and wave after wave of abusers being outed, not to mention mass shootings and devastating hurricanes…it’s been a rough year.

But even though it mostly feels like this year has been a constant stream of shit, there have been some great things to come out of 2017, so I thought I’d spend my obligatory year-end wrap-up post oozing some positivity.

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Hermione Danger Wrote Some Erotica — November 30, 2017
Hermione Danger Recommends #1: The Dildorks — November 11, 2017

Hermione Danger Recommends #1: The Dildorks

Hermione Danger Recommends is a new series where I recommend a piece of media – TV show, book, podcast, etc – that centers on sex, feminism, and/or social justice issues.

When I started planning this blog series, I began making a list of media I wanted to discuss. Soon, I had enough material for a year’s worth of monthly posts, and the ideas kept on coming. However, it was never a question which one would be my first-ever recommendation; it was always going to be The Dildorks.

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I Hope Your Soul is Changin’: An Open Letter to My Rapist — September 29, 2017