Shakira Sison

Bulalo Sessions Podcast

I guested in Bulalo Sessions along with Nariese Giangan for their Pride Month special on Lesbian Visibility. It turned into a great discussion not only about the current lesbian culture in the Philippines but also about LGBTQ+ discrimination, internalized homophobia, the sexual oppression of women, and how men can be better sexual partners to women.

You can listen to it here:

Notable quotes from the pod:

Di ba sa inyo ang tanong, sinong top or bottom? Sa amin kasi ang tanong, are you one way or two way? (27:15)

Gender roles in our society are so strong. Kasi even within the gay community, same gender na nga relationship ninyo but even within it you’re even asked to pick a side. Ano ka ba? Are you feminine form or are you masculine form? Bakit ka kailangan pumili e pareho na nga kayo? Why do you have to explain, and why do you have to classify, and why are there strict rules between these gender roles within a same-sex relationship? Why are we so hung up? Masisira ba ang buhay natin kung top ka at nagpa-bottom ka or bottom ka tapos nag-top ka? Or kung one way ka tapos nagpahawak ka, masha-shatter yung image mo kasi babae ka na, because someone affirmed your femininity by touching you in a female way? Andami nating ginagawang problema na hindi naman problema. Why are we in same-sex relationships anyway? Aren’t we supposed to be escaping these roles? But within our same-sex relationships, we are replicating them! Or we are creating these rules for ourselves at pinapahirapan mo ang sarili mo at ang isa’t isa. Why do we do that? (28:54)

If you actually tell a straight man that a clitoris has the same or even more nerve endings than a penis in that very small surface area, then you’ll know that sexual stimulation is very strong and orgasms are very intense in a woman, but you don’t want to entertain that as a straight man because then you’d have to do the work, they’d have to pleasure you. This is why society has created the idea that as a woman you’re not supposed to look for pleasure. That you should only facilitate the man’s pleasure, and then you bear the children. It’s very taboo, it’s very looked down upon, when a woman says, actually I like sex, and I enjoy sexual pleasure. Hindi ka makakarinig ng babaeng Pilipina who will actually say that kasi diba pokpok ka na kaagad. You’re not supposed to want this. You’re supposed to fall in love, and you need to satisfy your husband. Wala sa equation yung, what about your pleasure? And it’s such a good way of controlling women, but at the same time you ignore this whole realm of possibility! Imagine if all straight men actually realized how they can make their wives happy? But they don’t want to entertain it. Then they wonder bakit masaya yung mga lesbiyana or bakit merong sumasama sa tibo, right? (44:40)

(Satisfying women’s sexual needs) is not hard to understand. It’s not rocket science but society has made it that way so that the straight man doesn’t have to do his job. (46:45)

How many times has a lesbian heard, “Papatikim lang kita ng hotdog ko masasarapan ka na at magiging babae ka na.” But that’s just one thing that doesn’t even last for five minutes. Andami pang times that you can’t even get it up so andaming equipment malfunction. *laughter* Where is the lie? (47:40)

The way that society treats the boy with the penis, you say, “Uy yung pitotoy mo o!” It’s very glorified, right. Pero sa batang babae, hindi mo puedeng hawakan ang sarili mo. Bawala yan. It’s very discouraged for a young girl to know anything about her body. As if may maa-unleash ka na kalandian. But it’s so dangerous and harmful for a young girl to not know how her body works. And because you’ve stigmatized masturbation, you are raising all these women to not know how to pleasure themselves. Then they’ll enter these relationships thinking that’s all it is. I’m very heartbroken for all these straight women who think na yan lang ang sex life, na OK, pag in the mood yung asawa mo, papasok niya for about 50 times, then makakatulog na siya, and akala mo yun na ba yung pinag-uusapan nila? Is this the sex that everyone’s talking about? And it’s so so sad, and I feel bad for all the unutilized vaginas and clitorises in the whole world. They deserve better, and the lost potential in the pleasure of all these women is just wasted. #FreeThePekpek (50:00)

If you make penetration the focus of the whole sexual act, you’re lucky if it even lasts 30 minutes. But then if you have 30 minutes of pre-show, like the front act entertaining your audience, and medyo solved na sila, and then the main event doesn’t even have to do so much work, the main band just has to play their greatest hits, right? The audience then says, “Wow this is such a fantastic concert!” but actually it was the front act who did all the work. (53:15)

Ang laki ng stigma sa isang babae na nagre-receive ng oral sex. As women we are raised with the idea na pangit yung vagina mo, yung vulva mo, may amoy or whatever, ni-raise ka na mandiri sa sarili mong katawan and then when faced with that moment that someone wants to go down on you or you want them to go down on you, meron kang nandidiri feeling na baka may maamoy sila, may hindi sila gusto or whatever. So it’s fallen to the wayside, the cunnilingus part, which is so important in sex. In the meantime, blowjobs are everywhere. The men have no problem whipping it out and putting it in front of your face like it’s a normal part of sex, but you don’t see the women na isusubsob yung ulo mo down there, but guys are raised to think na gagawin mo yan, that you are going to go down there, that’s how it is. That’s another thing that we’re trained to not do and enjoy, and it’s impacting women negatively and it’s wasting all the potential. (55:00)

May pandidiri sa sarili, and it’s very sad. Parang trauma siya because for example you’re really in a romantic relationship and you care about each other and you can’t let this person enter your life completely. You can’t give yourself completely to this person kasi feeling mo nakakadiri ka. (57:05)

There’s a big problem in the community of policing each other, being gatekeepers of the community na parang hindi ka kasali. Forgetting your own journey kasi lahat tayo may journey and we started from a point where we didn’t know the right things to say. There’s so much othering each other, and it’s also a reflection of how we feel in the community na kailangan makaangat ka. We are all oppressed but we want to oppress other people within our community so that we feel that we’re above them and we have a right to be there, like we’re the right kind of lesbian or the right kind of gay man, or if you’re not attractive, or hindi ka mayaman, or hindi ka nag-i-English, or hindi ka graduate from these schools hindi ka kasama. Can we just stop? It’s not helpful, and it’s very reflective of your own limitations. (75:13)

We’re so hungry for representation that we expect so much from each piece of art. For example there’s a lesbian film, and we say, “Oh why doesn’t it apply to me? Why isn’t it all-encompassing, or why doesn’t it speak for the entire population?” That’s impossible. That’s just one experience. No one is claiming that they speak for everyone. Stop demanding that all pieces of art speak for you. Make your own! (78:06)