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Women's sexuality - explained! (again) - Tactical Ninja

Jun. 13th, 2013

09:45 am - Women's sexuality - explained! (again)

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Last night I was in a plane heading for Canada, only it was flying very low over the Makara Hills instead, and eventually bellied gently into the water in Cook Strait - conveniently in jumping distance from Red Rocks. The pilot came into the cabin, announced "I am John Key's secret lover" and jumped out the window. O.o

This is the second flying-to-Canada-but-crashing-instead dream I've had lately. Hmm.

Anyway, turns out Happy grabbed the wrong bag before jumping to safety, and it was full of P, which made the rest of my dream really weird. And also made him very popular with the other passengers.

And then I woke up and it was all a dream. *cough*


No seriously, that's the title of this recently published book that claims to dispel a whole bunch of myths about female sexuality. I haven't read it, but I note that it's written by a man. Aren't they all? I mean really, all this stuff about what WomenTM want seems to be an endlessly fascinating topic - for men. Those who claim to be experts in it then go and tell other men all about what WomenTM want. It's a multi-million dollar industry.

News flash. WomenTM don't exist - at least not as a group that all want the same thing that you can neatly package into a couple of hundred pages and solve all the problems of the last .. well, since the dawn of civilisation really. Why is women's sexuality considered to be such a mystery? From what I can tell, this book is going back and having another look at that Dark Ages idea that women's sexuality is some kind of primal force that may even *gasp* be more influential in our minds than men's. And we are supposed to consider this a step forward. Because that kind of thinking by men did so much for women in the past, right? And I can't believe that they are describing the idea that loss of libido is not inevitable as 'revelatory'. What the fucking fuck?

I have no doubt that there's some interesting stuff in there. I've no doubt that the author thinks he is enlightening and empowering women with his work (although I have my doubts that statements like 'are we not yet ready for a world in which women can become aroused at the simple popping of a pill?' are all that empowering, eh?). It might even be good science - maybe some of his conclusions are right, at least for some women.

But I reckon I could write a better book about What WomenTM Want, and have it pretty bloody covered in terms of the vast majority of women. It would be a small book, maybe with a big pink question mark on the cover. Inside, there'd be a page. It'd say this:

"To be seen as a human being, not a puzzle to be solved. To be able to express their sexuality without it being taken as a representation of their whole gender or used as a weapon against them. And above all, for their chosen partner(s) to ask them as individual sexual beings what they want - and to actually listen to the answer. The End."

Seriously, this is not rocket science. We don't need tomes and tomes written by men to work this out. Women are people, people are sexual to a greater or lesser degree. Sexuality is an individual thing driven by a whole bunch of different factors - internal, external, physical, emotional, spiritual. Every person is a mish-mash of these factors that pops out in a vast spectrum of sexual expression, and even within an individual, that expression will vary from day to day, week to week, hour to hour depending on a whole bunch of other different factors. Understanding this for any individual isn't going to come from a book - it's going to come from paying attention to them as a human being with agency to decide for themselves what they want. Because that's what women are.

Gah. I've spent a large part of my life being told how my sexuality should be, by various people who consider themselves experts on female sexuality - a surprising number of whom have been men. They're all bloody wrong. My sexuality is mine, and if you're close enough to me and I trust you enough, you already know what that means. I'm not shy about the details, either. If you've read some book and already decided how my sexuality is, a) you're wrong and b) you're unlikely to ever find out the truth, because I find being 'splained one of the biggest turnoffs there is.

I can see some value in this book for those who have been indoctrinated into the standard view of female sexuality. You know, that one that assumes that WomenTM are naturally monogomous and nurturing because EVOLUTION!, that we give sex to get love, that we are not visually stimulated, that we just aren't as horny as men because of the seed-spreading drive or something, and that we're only turned on by so-called Alpha Males behaving like douchebags? Yeah, perhaps those people should read it. Reckon they will?


*cough* tl;dr: If you want to know what women want, ask one! And don't assume her answer speaks for every woman ever. Because that would be stupid.

lalala just be thankful I didn't write a long missive about what turns me on, mmk?

[edit] Oh yeah, and then there was this: Worst horse photos of 2013:

Comments:

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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
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I am now going to assume that all men find 1:4:9 sexy, and any man who gets off on any other ratio is clearly a deviant and should be treated accordingly. By which, since he's a man, I mean we'll make specialty porn for him.

Women who do not fit the 1:4:9 ratio will be stripped naked and paraded through the streets so that people can witness and deride their non-conformance. And some men will get off on that, and then there'll be porn for them too.

I am a cynic.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
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Some people get off on cynics.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
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Rule 34: Now in effect.
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From:decemberthirty
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
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Alternatively, that may actually be the best horse photo of 2013. Can you imagine a better one?

One of the benefits of having my entire sexual history be with women is that there has been very little time wasted on the mysteries of What Women Want...
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
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I'm sure there's a man out there somewhere penning a tome about What Women Who Want Women Want* as we speak.

It's true, that is an awesome shot. It comes under the heading 'selfies'. ;-)

* I <3 alliteration.
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From:kehleyr
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
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"I am John Key's secret lover" and jumped out the window. hahaha... ok who is John Key?
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
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The NZ prime minister.

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From:kehleyr
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
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LMAO ok :-D
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From:t_c_da
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
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AKA The Smiling Assassin...

From his efforts at reducing costs somewhere in the murky world of currency trading, a characteristic he is using to great effect on the underprivileged in New Zealand...
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
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AKA the Smarmy Git.

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From:pombagira
Date:June 12th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)

random

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i like those ponies... *beams*


i also have a cold/lurgy/plague, but am at work so took drugs of the flu and cold variety.. hence random but happy yeah..

also this
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From:anna_en_route
Date:June 12th, 2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
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I remember one of the more famous internet feminists used to respond to those articles which claimed to know what all women secretly wanted by replacing thetheoretical "universal" female desire with a reference to the furry lifestyle (no offense to furries but it's one lifestyle that's definitely not universal)

So "we all know women secretly want to be dominated" became "we all know women secretly want to don a daisy the cow suit and yiff(sp?)".

Got the point accross quite nicely I thought.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
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What makes me facepalm about the whole Mysterious Female Sexuality myth is the idea that it's mysterious. I mean, yes, we all have different sexualities and there are variations in sexuality within an individual. So there is no one hard and fast rule that applies to all women.

But the idea that that makes female sexuality somehow More Mysterious than men's, is just.. well, it's based in the idea that we should all be the same. And that's just stupid.

And yeah - I googled it. That's the right spelling. Also, ow my eyes.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:June 13th, 2013 04:37 am (UTC)
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oh dear...google is sometimes not your friend...

but still good to know =)
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From:dianavilliers
Date:June 12th, 2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
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There's also the equal and opposite myth that men's sexualities are simple, straightforward and can be pretty much summed up with the statement "Sex now, please".
This can lead to feelings of rejection and confused hostility in the poor bloke's parner whose offer of "Sex, now" has just been turned down.

I have also been reliably informed that some men would sometimes really like to be cuddled and told that they are beautiful. Sounds reasonable to me.

Can I say something about Sexism Hurting Everyone now?

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From:tatjna
Date:June 12th, 2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I guess the difference is that you don't get screeds and screeds of women claiming they know everything there is to know about men's sexuality, and writing books about it to sell to other women, who then go on to try to browbeat men into conforming to this idea and tell them they're wrong when they attempt to assert their agency to decide for themselves.

And yeah, I think we can take it as a given that in this blog, everyone understands that sexism hurts everyone.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:June 12th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
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Women's magazines are pretty bad at it (men's magazines being equally as bad).

I've always thought of sex therapists, and the people the write any books worth reading, as women. I don't what it says about society that I make that assumption.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:June 13th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
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It's difficult to make too many pages out of sex now please. Maybe a poster. Like the ones that indicate that if you want to sell something to men, you can just stick an available-looking woman on it.

I do think that men do sometimes get browbeaten for not living up to their steriotype - turning down NSA sex, refusing to be consumers of the sex industry (You don't want to go to a strip club on Bruce's stag night? What kind of a pussy are ya?). Different situations, same stupid pressure to conform.

And yeah, I know I'm preaching to the converted...
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From:dianavilliers
Date:June 13th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
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Is this a marketing opportunity?
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From:bekitty
Date:June 13th, 2013 04:28 am (UTC)
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I think I'd turn down the NSA if they propositioned me for sex. I'd be all like WHY ARE YOU PHONING ME? :P
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From:dianavilliers
Date:June 13th, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
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Because your metadata suggests you'd be totally up for that sort of thing?
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From:rivet
Date:June 13th, 2013 11:24 am (UTC)
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::sporfle::
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From:anna_en_route
Date:June 13th, 2013 04:39 am (UTC)
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That horrendous "rules" book that was doing the rounds springs to mind.

While it was aimed at women I think it might have done some pretty obnoxious generalising about men as well.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:June 13th, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
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Do you believe it's wrong for a man to write a book for a man to better understand the opposite sex and have a more fulfilling sex life? I mean, I'm guessing it's aimed at men, and written from the perspective of man trying to understand (presumedly) hetero-sexuality. I'm guessing it's not aimed at women to tell them what they should want.

I have no idea if the book is any good. I haven't read it. It also doesn't discount your point, but I don't think sexuality is always simple. Rocket science is sometimes easier. It's just a bunch of chemistry and physics equations. Human beings are among the most complex things we know of!

Another point is that, sometimes people also like to know that an author relates to them or have the same background. Would you read a book on the sexuality of men by a Chinese man whose lived in China his whole life? (to take from being not a question of gender, but now a question of the similarity of the culture).

Of course, you may have been paying more attention to the difference in gender in sexual literature than I have, and my privilege meant I didn't observe it.

Edited at 2013-06-13 12:06 am (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:June 13th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
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1. No, I don't. But perhaps such a book should not be titled "What Women Want" - instead it should be titled "Better Sex Through Understanding Your Partner." "What you believe now may not be true" could be a part of that, but it needs to go beyond that into how to facilitate the kind of communication that allows that man to get realtime, precise information from their partners about what they want.

And while this book probably isn't aimed at telling women what they should want, it's remarkable how often that's exactly what ends up happening. Because there's this tacit assumption that men are Those Who Know and women are Those Who Are Told.

2. Yep, sexuality is complex. For all genders. Complex enough so that 100 books of equations won't cover it all. Seeing your partner as a human being and not a mysterious alien species is, IMO, not that complex.

3. I wouldn't read a book on men's sexuality, full stop. Because my view of sexuality is that it's about the individual, so what could a book tell me about what works for you, for example, that you couldn't tell me? I'd rather get the skinny on a particular horse, from the horse's mouth, so to speak. And not assume that that horse is representative of all horses. That's kind of my point about these books.

(sorry didn't mean to call you a horse. it's a compliment? um)
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:June 13th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
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I think a lot of these books are for people who don't have relationships. Possibly even for those people who have never been in one... or not been in one for very long.

People who are alone, and are not happy with that being where they are, may be trying all sorts of things to change it. Including "educating" themselves.

I think we're lucky to be together, but also realise that not everyone has that. When I was younger and watched mainstream media it was depressing how much society would pressure people into feeling worthless if they weren't with someone else. If you're a man, with no partner, and very little interaction with women due to a gender bias in your industry, you might wonder "what women want".

I guess I think of it a bit like The Game. The superficial coating for pickup artistry is cringe worthy, but the deeper message is that of self improvement and being somebody that people want to know.

Spending my teen years in a boys only school, with 3 brothers, certainly meant that I had a steep learning curve when interacting with women when moving to University.

...including not running away from them when they show interest ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:June 13th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
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Heh, true all of that. Except, my steep learning curve was not about 'interacting with men' but about 'interacting with people that I fancied'.

Because I've never had problems interacting with people based on gender - only on how much I want to sleep with them. So for me, books about sexuality should be called "How not to make a dick of yourself when you fancy someone."
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From:tieke
Date:June 13th, 2013 05:34 am (UTC)
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That book would have been so handy in my 20s. I think you should write it.
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From:tatjna
Date:June 13th, 2013 05:35 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure I'm entirely qualified tbh. Not sure I ever really got the hang of that part.
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From:tieke
Date:June 13th, 2013 05:41 am (UTC)
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Picture them naked!
Oh, wait ...
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From:tatjna
Date:June 13th, 2013 05:42 am (UTC)
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See, you should be writing it. It'd be a hit!
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From:tieke
Date:June 13th, 2013 05:47 am (UTC)
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Step 2. Try really hard not to picture them naked.

Step 3. Try really hard not to look guilty while trying really hard not to picture them naked.

Step 4. Laugh slightly too loud and then look really embarrassed for a moment before you remember that you're trying to look cool.

Step 5. Hope that nobody noticed.

The End
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From:tatjna
Date:June 13th, 2013 07:39 am (UTC)
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I am totally going to try that.
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From:rivet
Date:June 13th, 2013 11:26 am (UTC)
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If it makes either/both of you feel better, when the cute guy at the taco truck asked for my name to go with my order, I *actually replied* 'would you like my number as well?' and then had resist a very strong urge to clap my hand over my mouth. Where do these things come from?
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From:tatjna
Date:June 13th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
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Well, in your case I reckon they come from that room in your head with the title on the door "Filth and Debauchery Dept."

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From:rivet
Date:June 13th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
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That seems likely.
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From:tieke
Date:June 13th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
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I love this
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From:rivet
Date:June 13th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad someone does, because I found it a bit scandalous!
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From:anna_en_route
Date:June 13th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
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Dan Savage is probably a much better resource for this kind of thing (he's problematic in some respects, and he's a little more gender essentialist than I would like but overall his code of sexual ethics is at least consistent and logical and very definitely humane).

Spend half a day reading the kind of questions that he gets asked and you wind up realising that there's no one true normal and that under the surface almost everyone is really weird.



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From:labelleizzy
Date:June 14th, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)
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*applause*

damn straight, sister!
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From:fushia_darkness
Date:June 16th, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Well put!
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From:pundigrion
Date:June 21st, 2013 04:03 pm (UTC)
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My gut responses to all of those "What do women want" sort of things is: Not you!
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