Navigating Dating, Sex, and Relationships as a Heterosexual Radical Feminist
A common question raised among feminists is if it's possible to date or have romantic relationships with men as they are today, in any culture. As women, there's a lot of societal programming and toxic beliefs to be confronted regarding every interaction we have, but intimate entanglements with males are a major way individual males (at every level of the socioeconomic pecking order) can have access to their sex-based privileges. Men expect to be catered to, sexually serviced, and have their every interest and desire take priority over that of their wives/girlfriends. And that's not even to speak of the inequities regarding child rearing.
The standards discussed on this page may sound impossibly high, but if we live in a society where women have won the right to work and support ourselves financially, we have the duty to demand respect and decent treatment or let men know we don't need them.
Dating and Relationships
In order to achieve a functional heterosexual relationship, both parties must confront their unique biases and preconceptions. This is a tall order. So if you want to take the risk of dating, first you must know yourself and your priorities as a feminist and a person, and be willing to stand by them unflinchingly. You're not ready for a relationship if you're not ready to leave him over nothing more than your dissatisfaction. Not being happy or supported enough in a relationship is more than sufficient reason to end it. You have to be your own top priority.
Be unapologetically feminist from date one. Don't hide it. You don't want the men it will scare off. We must come to regard respect for feminism as equivalent to respect for ourselves, personally, coming from the men in our lives. And an important thing to remember about relationships is there's no such thing as an unreasonable standard or request. Anyone can ask or expect whatever they want of a partner, the difference is whether or not they'll find someone to meet it.
Most straight sex is horrifically inequitable, as most heterosexual women know. Pleasing a woman sexually takes far more effort than a man. Men need to come to understand that they're expected to put in the necessary work to satisfy their partners if they want a sexual relationship.
Virtually all men learn about sex from porn, and are regular porn consumers if not addicts. They must abstain entirely if they are to be considered relationship-material. If a man is not willing to live by radical feminist standards, he's not date-worthy.
BDSM and violence cannot be part of a healthy sex life. No part of a sexual experience for a woman (or man either) need be physically uncomfortable or painful, ever. With proper sexual and anatomical education and technique, the experience should be nothing but pleasurable for all participants beginning to end. The "need" for violence in order to achieve sexual satisfaction is a dysfunction and needs to be addressed, sometimes with therapy or counseling.
Pregnancy and child-rearing
When women are pregnant, they are using the resources of their body to create a new life. If a man wants to be involved in that child's life, he has a duty to match all labor and monetary input of the mother. Domestic labor should be considered to have equal value to that of the working partner. Bodily labor such as breastfeeding must be taken into account. The conditioned assumption that women are more suited for domestic tasks must be openly acknowledged and actively worked to avoid so balance can be achieved.
-Be clear, open, and direct about your wants and expectations
-Stand your ground
-Call out a thing that need addressing the moment it happens, don't wait
-Tolerate anything that makes you uncomfortable
-Be afraid to be intrusive - they shouldn't have/need more privacy than you do
-Be afraid to be picky
-Wait to be asked about or communicate something
-Tolerate porn usage
Advice on caring for onesself physically and mentally outside of the gaze of patriarchy
How to cope with the bleak feelings that come with opening your eyes to the pervasiveness of misogyny
Dating, Sex, & Relationships
Basics on how to navigate intimacy, sex, and love with the male sex as a Radical Feminist (without necessarily going full Separatist Feminist)
Male RadFem Allies
How males can resist patriarchy and be allies to women. Radical Feminist theory is the antidote to incel and MRA ideology.
Quotes in support of Radical Feminism and Gender Critical thought
Myths & FAQ
Misconceptions and frequently asked questions about Gender Critical & Radical Feminism
Links & Resources
Radical Feminist websites, news, and other helpful links