Many a ballsy broad, Amanda Marcotte argues, is afraid to say ‘Please do this’ or ‘Don’t do that’ in bed. Here’s what some women are really thinking.
Our sexist culture unleashes many forms of toxic socialization on its inhabitants, but few lessons seem to take as well as teaching girls from the cradle to coddle the male ego, not just with flattery but with a deep unwillingness to speak truths that could cause men to feel uncomfortable or imperfect. And nowhere is this less true than in the sack. Many a woman who feels herself a ballsy broad in her daily life finds herself in bed, afraid to say “Please do this” or “Don’t do that” for fear of confronting a man looking shocked, upset, or disappointed—which can push a button installed in us as little girls labeled Failure As A Woman.
We know we should get over it already. We know we should speak up and take our lumps and men who can’t handle it are bad lovers we should be dumping anyway. It’s not like we’re not trying. The female half of the human race spends an ungodly amount of time and money trying to unlearn passivity and replace it with a dose of speaking up for themselves.
In the meantime, however, there’s a number of things women are thinking about sex that tend to go unsaid, but you men should probably know them anyway.
We can tell when you’re doing something because you saw it in a porno.
Most sex in porn is about what’s good for the camera, not what’s good for the participants in it, especially the women. In fact, many things that look good in porn can keep us from having fun in real-life sex. For instance, in porn the only parts of their bodies the actors often touch are their genitals, so that the camera can get a full view of the action. But in real life, sex is more of a whole-body experience, and the genital-only thing can feel cold and masturbatory.
Of course, we know that men know this, and most would deny that they’re doing stuff because it looked good in a porn and not because it felt good in the moment. So we’d rather not bring it up when you do stuff that looks better in porn than it feels in life. We don’t want to argue over whether or not that’s what you’re doing. But when you do something you picked up in a porn that doesn’t add to the real-life pleasure, we take notice and we’re often hoping you get it out of your system so we can move on to activities that are actually fun.
Endurance is overrated.
It’s not that cultural jokes about two-pump chumps are completely baseless. Women do like having sex, and most of us can point to at least one or two experiences where a man orgasmed as soon as he touched you, and then rolled over and fell asleep while you wondered if that was all you’re going to get. But just because women would prefer intercourse to last more than 60 seconds doesn’t mean that longer is always better. If you consider a point of pride that you can thrust away for an hour without coming, there’s a high chance your partner is lying under you wondering how on earth she can say she’d have liked to wrap it up 40 minutes ago, but is afraid to say anything because she doesn’t want to stomp all over your accomplishments. The vagina’s ability to continue lubricating itself is limited, which can make marathon sex feel more like a duty than a joy.
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