Friday, August 18, 2006

Sex seminars

I had a dream last night that I came up with the perfect topic for today’s post. In the dream I even knew exactly what I would write, and it was pithy and funny and insightful. I felt an enormous sense of relief that I had something so good to write about, and an eagerness to get to work and share it with you.

Of course I have no idea what it was, now. But how sad it is that I’m dreaming about coming up with posts?

This article makes me a little angry. It’s about the growing number of ‘sex seminars’ in North America, which teach sexual techniques to women; how to give amazing fellatio seems to be number one on the agenda. Coupled with the growing interest in pole dancing classes for non-strippers, which are available even in my small city (I’m at work so I’m not going to google a link for you), at-home ‘fitness’ videos by Carmen Electra and the growing norm of Brazilian waxes, it’s pretty clear that women who are not in the sex industry nonetheless want to improve their sexual performance and desirability.

I don’t have a problem with this, in and of itself. Frank talk about sexuality is a healthy thing, and I like to believe that it’s more and more acceptable for women to be openly interested in sex. Hopefully, amongst all of this talk about stripping techniques and role-play there’s room for discussion about sexual health and egalitarian relationships.

And yet, and yet.

Where are the classes for men on how to give skilled cunnilingus? What man goes to a sex toy party and discusses how to use various equipment for his and his partner’s pleasure? For that matter, why do these classes for women focus on providing skilled services for their man, and not on how to increase their own enjoyment of sex? Nowhere in these articles is there a suggestion that ‘sex seminars’ teach women what positions or what angles increase their own chances at an orgasm. The focus is on being as skilled as a professional sex worker in order to pleasure your man.

Being good at what you do, and knowing that you bring pleasure to the person you love (or at least lust for) can create a sense of pride which a lot of women tag as sexual empowerment. But I can’t escape the feeling that in the race to be everything a man wants in bed, women are losing sight of what they want. We define how sexy we are by the cultural norms around us, and they are increasingly mandated by the porn industry. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent shift in our expectations of men. Women are allowed to want sex now, as long as we want the right sort of sex; porn sex.

Being desired is a powerful aphrodisiac. But it doesn’t beat making love with a man who knows how to please his woman and enjoys using that knowledge. That's the kind of sex we want.

3 Comments:

Blogger abacus said...

moderation and word verification and logging in...... commenting has suddenly become a chore. though there is the tinge of excitement wondering whether my comment will pass muster. my driver's licence and passport number, by the way, are...... i'll get back to you with my mother's maiden name.

18 August, 2006  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Considering the subject, I thought you might find this new sitcom in the UK interesting... It's been slated from the article so far...

18 August, 2006  
Anonymous Sass said...

http://www.myspace.com/wo_magazine

They're after writers and I immediately thought of you.

26 August, 2006  

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