Tuesday, 17 May 2011
I'm not approaching this as a stingy traditionalist or a feminist nymph. I'm not spewing religious rhetoric, nor reiterating Cosmo. I'm just a woman, and these are sex revelations that I feel like sharing for the sake of reflection and discussion.
It occurred to me while indulging in Pride & Prejudice that I don't have any unresolved romances. No "the one that got away"s. All of my previous love interests have been wrapped up in tidy parcels, and shipped into oblivion, never to be examined again. Men popped into my life and vanished just as quickly, following intense but doomed liasons. I chewed through them like jaw breakers, too impatient to savor the sweetness of courtship. I don't remember the last time that I really starved for someone - I haven't been deprived of anyone long enough to be consumed with the kind of lust that makes you clutch your pillow at night. That drips down your body like melted wax, tantalizing your senses with heat and pain, longing and pleasure.
I can't lie and say that sex isn't amazing. It is. I love being flipped on my back, shoved onto the carpet, or bent over a table. Despite my masculine tendencies, being dominated by someone stronger than me confirms that I am, indeed, a woman. If it weren't for sex, I'd forget all together that I have two X chromosomes.
The problem is that today's women embrace their libidos the same as men - rightfully so - but at the end of the day, we're not the same. We can brag about our sexual exploits to our friends, pay for meals on dates, and indulge in female-oriented pornography. I'm not proposing that we return to the rigid expectations of the '50s, back when female orgasms were taboo and women's needs irrelevant. But perhaps we should stop pretending that sex doesn't mean anything to us.
My favorite Sex and the City character is Samantha. I admire her recklessness, plunging necklines, and spontaneity. Yet she's not believable to me. I've never had any female friends who could have sex without lingering emotional attachments. Behind the big green eyes and flirty demeanor, I had a brutal tendency to discard men and move on quickly. But even I admit that I haven't been able to have sex without feeling some sort of intimacy and ownership, as shortlived as it is.
I used to pretend not to care when another girl would flirt with someone I had shared my bed with. Well, all we did was fuck, and it's not like we were together anyway. Besides, he wasn't really that good and there's always someone else. She's just getting my sloppy seconds, and her ass doesn't even come close to mine. The triumphant facade would dissolve into something more like reality after the feel-good effects of a makeover ebbed. Don't lie - you've done it too. Then the jealousy would burn like a hot iron, searing a less glamorous picture onto my ego. He smelled my hair, gripped my hips, and caressed my breasts. He stroked my back, laced his fingers with mine, complimented my eyes. But it wasn't enough, and now he wants to try something else, someone who doesn't even look as good as me. Fuck that bitch, stay away from him!
The complicated part is that I understand that wanting to try someone new doesn't equate to the previous partner being inadequate. Otherwise we wouldn't read about beautiful celebrities like Halle Berry and Elizabeth Hurley being cheated on with ordinary women. I myself struggled with monogamy, despite being sexually fulfilled. Yet I've never been able to pry apart my own double standard from sex. And that's what makes me a woman. I can't fuck. As much as I hate it, and deny it, and try to stuff it down with self-esteem boosters like new lingerie and heels, I bond. Not permanently, but long enough to feel betrayed, jealous, and abandoned when someone I had sex with ignored me or flirted with someone else. I can't share my body without feeling entitled to being special.
The worst part is that once you've allowed a man to conquer you, you're no longer special, as much as you crave it. You're reduced to a used vehicle, a collector doll taken out of the box and played with, a piece of soggy tissue paper. It's over. There will be no incentive to take you out, and the affection that lured you into bed will recede further than a hairline. Isn't it more fun to burn with desire than sweep up the ashes?
I wish that I didn't understand all of this, and had approached dating the same way as my classier friends. I'd rather have a stash of love letters than a bullet-point list of parks I christened. I'd trade my hickies for butterfly kisses, one-night stands for movie dates, come-hither gazes for shy glances across the room. Maybe the best compromise between lust and romance is investing in a good vibrator while allowing a man to really court you.
Give me props if I'm right, write a counter-post if you disagree. Otherwise I'll limit this post to my own twisted psyche.