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Monday, June 26, 2006

Let's talk about sex

posted by bitchphd
In case y'all missed the Great Blow Job Debate last week, you're out of luck--I'm not linking to it because it all got tedious and bogged down in the "more feminist than thou" and "feminism is all about choices" and "real feminists don't pass judgment on other women" arguments. You can go google if you want to try to find it all.

Anyway, I wrote this at the time, thinking I might possibly post it, and then chickend out--why the hell would I post this? But now I find myself stuck for material, so what the fuck. I think that this post, as written, implies a follow-up post which I may or may not get around to, but at least it's something to talk about on a Monday morning.

Ok, now that all the guys are gone googling to read what the feminists had to say about blow jobs, let's continue. The thing is that the exchange, though frustrating, got me thinking. And while, in fact, blow jobs aren't completely heinous, let's admit it: there are a lot of heinous, or unpleasant, or just plain uninteresting things about them. And I think that part of why some of us over in that thread didn't choose to dwell on this isn't so much b/c we're fools who feel we must defend our sexbot status of serving men, or even because we were defending ourselves for being straight chicks, but because we were defending ourselves against the pernicious patriarchal myth that women hate blow jobs. You know the one I mean. The one that's behind jokes like "congrats on getting married, buddy, but you'll never get your dick sucked again."

At least, if the other women on there didn't have that shit in the back of their minds, I did. And I often do, when this subject comes up. Anyway, thinking about the argument, I realized that (duh) these kind of jokes, which are obviously offensive, are offensive in a different way than the stupidity of, say, Deep Throat or porn images of women moaning and groaning at the orgasmic pleasure of sucking cock. The "chicks hate cocksucking" thing is offensive because, while on the surface it seems to be an attack on other men, in reality it's just an unconscious piece of reverse psychology. If the powers that be talk about how much women hate blow jobs (which implicitly perpetuates the conventional wisdom that, of course, men love them), then straight women who love men are gonna feel kinda guilty about denying the men they love this fabulously hard-to-get pleasure. And in a twisted act of defending the sexual desireability of the men we sexually desire, we're gonna defend our enjoyment of this act that we're supposed to not enjoy, in order to show our men (and by extension, all the other men whose jokes about women hating blow jobs implicitly attack the masculinity and sexual desireability of our man) that, in fact, they are sexually desireable, we do like them not in spite of but because they have cocks, and no, no, dear, we're not like those women.

Which obviously is fucked. up.

Oh look, the guys are back now. Hi, guys. Listen, you really might not want to read the rest of this post or the ensuing thread, because I'm going to encourage the straight women (including myself) to be really honest about how we feel about fucking straight men. And sex being what it is in the here and now, Things May be Said that will not be flattering, and (since part of my own thesis about straight guy sexuality is that men are a lot more insecure about it than we think), you might have a few "ouch" moments. And in all honesty, not only might that be unpleasant for you, but it might create problems in your own sex life with your own personal straight woman--who may or may not be posting here, and who may or may not be thinking of you, personally, when she says how she feels about sex, generally--and, all in all, the risks of taking personally stuff that isn't are something that you might want to think really hard about before you read on, okay?

All right. From here on out, the management takes no responsibility for men's hurt feelings. Oh, and the management also wants the boys, if they *are* going to keep reading, to keep their comments to themselves this time. Again, I warn you: if you read the comment thread, there's a real possibility you might find it really, really difficult not to respond to something. And I'm going to be really, really pissed off at you if you do, and I'll just delete your comment. So don't. (However, on second thoughts, I'll do a second post so you boys can comment about man sex things there.)

Ok, so here we go. The thing that thread made me realize is that we were all saying "well, blow jobs can really suck, of course--pardon the pun--but they can also be good, because [insert various reasons here]. In other words, we all started by acknowledging the sucky parts (just deal with the puns, I'm sorry, but that's the way the language works and if you want we can parse it in comments, or not), but then we didn't dwell on them. Instead we instantly moved on to talk about the good parts. We made a brief gesture at an important truth--a big important truth--and then waved it away to elaborate, at length, about the smaller, minor, occasions when blow jobs aren't basically boring, offputting, or gross.

And, I mean, why did we do that? At feminist blogs, of all places? The "well, she asked!" excuse is a lame one, and we've all heard it, so let's not bullshit one another with it. I submit that we did it because we're touchy, we straight chicks who like sex, about being painted as heinous man-haters. Which is really fucking stupid of us.

So. I propose that we talk about what we do in fact really like about sex. And, along the way, what we really, in our heart of hearts, don't like. First, because it'll be good, in an encounter group kind of way, to get all that off our chests. And second, and more importantly and selfishly, because I suspect that the vast majority of us actually find it kinda difficult to talk about these things with the people we have sex with. Maybe it's just me and my fucked-up intimacy issues, but in my experience, those discussions can be really hard. Sometimes because we (I) do, in fact, have a certain false consciousness thing going on about wanting not to say things that might be counterproductive, that might create anxiety or hurt feelings for our partners (which is so totally not in our interests). And sometimes because we're struggling with thinking our way out of years and years of fucked up sexist conditioning about what we're *supposed* to like, or *supposed* to even consider liking (would anyone even think about anal sex if it weren't the new black?). That is, the very shape of the discussion, the list of boxes to check ("I like long walks on the beach, yes/no") is predetermined, and thinking outside of (or, fuck it, let's just embrace the puns) inside our own boxes is surprisingly hard to do.

Or, like I said, maybe it's just me and my fucked-up intimacy issues. In which case, those of you who are wiser are welcome to share your wisdom with the rest of us.

Anyway. So since the blow job thing started me off, I'll start with that. Frankly, no: sometimes I don't like them all that much. But oddly, I'm totally the kind of girl who tells boys that I *do* like them. Why do I do that?

Well, because in fact, I do like blow-job like things. At first. (Also because I want boys to whom I am telling these things to like me, but that's so obvious it's not worth dwelling on.) I like finding out what a man smells like between the legs. I like nuzzling him, and watching how he responds to that. I like finding out about his cock, which means looking at it, handling it, examining it closely, smelling, tasting. These things are important to me in the initial stages.

But of course the problem is that as soon as you start kissing a guy's belly, or nudging his balls with your face, he's thinking--or you (I) think he's thinking--"yes! I'm gonna get a blow job!" And you don't want to disappoint, and in fact, you do want to see how he tastes and feels inside, so you try it out a bit. The way babies stick everything new in their mouths. But that doesn't mean you want to get all fixated on that, but you also don't want to be disappointing, so sometimes, well, it just ends up being a blow job.

And in all honesty, sometimes--sometimes--that's cool. Because it makes the guy happy, and that's your goal. Or because you're actually really truly into it and he's one of the rare guys who smells really good, who isn't too big (more on that in a minute), who knows how to lie back and enjoy it without trying to take over and force the issue, who knows how to maybe give a li'l feedback or information about what really feels good without crossing over into bossiness. Bossiness pretty much means that I'm no longer being allowed to explore or play the way I want to, albeit with necessary feedback ("ouch!" "mmm!"). Which means it's no longer about what I enjoy, but about me serving him.

Which fine, if you're into that. But the goal here is to talk about what we (I) actually really truly enjoy. And while exploratory smelling and tasting is a big part of that, it's only a beginning.
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