Iâ€™m a 30-something woman who just might live next door. By day Iâ€™m an over-scheduled business executive; by night Iâ€™m a an over-scheduled business executive executive and doting parent. My name isnâ€™t really Janie Jones, but because the subjects explored in this column may make people blush at times, itâ€™s best for all of us that we keep things on the down low. The views shared here are mine and mine alone, although you might be surprised how many of us are actually out there.
Over the years Iâ€™ve learned that most people â€“ women and men alike â€“ assume that women arenâ€™t supposed to act like they enjoy sex. They tell themselves that only "sluts" and "over-sexed cougars" love sex.
Why? Because it scares them to imagine that liking sex, wanting it, even begging for it on our hands and knees, has very real consequences to it. Those consequences are complicated and messy, yet fun to explore if we embrace it.
Itâ€™s hard to imagine what my college years could have been like if I had already come to the realization that faking an orgasm was simply a waste of everyoneâ€™s time. Maybe I was afraid of what it would mean to actually let someone take me to that place of complete ecstasy and loss of control. Or perhaps I was worried that showing my partner what I liked and how I liked it would mean that I have done it before, and that would make me seem easy or too experienced. (Yes, I realize the flaw in that argument, as we lay there, naked and rubbing all over each other.) The fact remains, I mostly faked it most of the time and I could have had a much better time with a similar amount of effort.
I know I wasnâ€™t alone. What baffles me is why so many of us women continued on that path well into adulthood.
Itâ€™s not hard to understand why the 50 Shades trilogy sold like an ice dildo in a heat wave: women really like sex. Kinky sex, naughty sex, even slightly scary sex. In fact most of us women LOVE sex, despite how society â€“ and we ourselves - have trained ourselves to act and respond to sexual advances and pleasure. That best-selling series made it mainstream and acceptable to talk about and explore the kinkier sides of our own fantasies, even if we didnâ€™t like the ones in the book, specifically.
A former lover once aptly quipped, "Most men want their women to be ladies in the boardroom and whores in the bedroom." And despite the unfairness of the double standard, heâ€™s right. I, for one, expect respect and non-sexual admiration in the work setting, based on my accomplishments and intelligence and work ethic. Yet I also want to be able to flip my dateâ€™s libido switch the moment Iâ€™ve transitioned from the office to the candlelit bistro for wine and small plates. We want to be complimented on our brilliance one minute and tied to the headboard another. And that is all fantastic. But therein lies the problem. We have to know what we want and either ask for it or take it.
I can just imagine the female protesters chanting in the streets:
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Now! And then again in a few minutes if you can stay awake!
Except when we donâ€™t.
Boys and girls, we canâ€™t assume anything about sex. Not about your partnerâ€™s knowledge of your preferences in bed. Not about your own preferences for being taken from behind or having your hair pulled once in a while. Donâ€™t assume you wonâ€™t like using a vibrator or that your partner wouldnâ€™t absolutely melt to see you use it on yourself. And do not assume â€“ under any circumstances â€“ that all porn is all bad.
Many of us women do all of those things and we love all of it. So letâ€™s talk about all of it and more. Next time we will plunge headfirst into the depths of the topic of sex toys, starting with which ones we like and why we didnâ€™t buy them for ourselves sooner.
Your mission for the week, should you choose to accept it:
- Try one new sexual position or technique, alone or with a partner. And then talk about it with him/her afterward.
- Find a new limit to your preferences. Try something that scares you a little, sexually. Back off if when it is too much.
Come back and tell us what you learned about yourself or your partner.
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