In the weeks following “Grace’s” babe.com tell-all about her bad date with actor-comedian Aziz Ansari, the internet has exploded with articles instructing women on how to date. Women should tell their partners “exactly what we want sexually, and how we want it,” suggested Roxanne Jones on CNN.com. HuffingtonPost quoted sex therapist Sarah Watson, who says that sexual pleasure is a woman’s “birthright.”
Sexual pleasure is a woman’s birthright it says. Perhaps in fairness, it should be a man’s birthright also. After all, we are all the same, except that women have babies. I would dare say that women need to work harder on making sure that this birthright for men is fulfilled. Anyway…
Newsweek counseled, “Consent must be enthusiastic, it must be verbal, and it must be specific.” But hardly anywhere in these myriad articles did anyone suggest that a woman’s sexual experience would be improved if she got to know her partner first.
Perhaps this is too much trouble. It takes time. It is less empowering. It is less validating. You might find out who he really is, not what you are projecting onto him. There are a myriad of reasons for not doing so.
Call me old-fashioned, but I thought dating and sex were two different things. On a date, a woman can learn important things about her partner — things that may inform her decision about whether or not to have sex with him in the future. Is he polite, kind, and conscientious? Does she find him interesting? Does he make her laugh? Is he the kind of man she could imagine herself in a relationship with? And then — when she’s got a sense of who he is, if she likes him, and where the relationship is going — she can decide whether or not she wants to take things to the next level. But this, apparently, isn’t a feminist-approved dating technique.
It is not approved. And for a good reason. Feminists want women to be miserable so that they have power over them: “See the world is terrible, and we Feminists are your only friend”.
Our current culture’s obsession with consent highlights this disconnect. Of course any sexual encounter should be consensual. But the idea of needing written consent as “a cautionary way for one person to ask permission to have sex with another” (as sexologist Dr. Ava Cadell suggests in Men’s Fitness) seems like a step too far, assuming the couple is in an established relationship. People who know and trust each other are capable of sending clear messages about whether they want to have sex, and communicating with each other if something isn’t going well. A woman having sex with a man she doesn’t know, on the other hand, probably should have written consent — along with a portable panic button, a can of Mace, and a carload of male family members waiting outside.
Sex can be a risky thing. Trust should be important. But then again, if there is trust, then the excitement from the possible risk just isn’t the same. Of course, women want the excitement of risk, without it being risky.
Psychology Today reports that women in relationships where there is mutual trust experience higher levels of sexual satisfaction than single women, according to a 2013 University of Waterloo summary of the research on sexual satisfaction in heterosexual women. A woman’s sexual satisfaction comes not from telling her parter which specific Kama Sutra position turns her on, but from feeling bonded with, and connected to, her partner. That’s why so many women leave their random hook-ups feeling dirty and violated. And that’s why random, meaningless sex is a bad idea for women.
Ah, now we are getting somewhere. Perhaps during the act itself women really live it up; but afterward, the regret thoughts kick in, rendering the overall score a possible negative value. Feminists encourage women to utilize their sexual power as they see fit, to live in the here and now, to assign thoughts of regret that might occur to men individually and the the Evil Patriarchy as a whole. This does not seem to be a good long term plan for individual women; perhaps there are those that can testify as to its virtue.
Which brings us to this question: Does Feminism have anything to say about the long term other than “sexual empowerment and career”?