Women lust, and men lust. Joanna Schroeder wonders why we can’t just leave it at that.
It all started with Tom Matlack talking about his friend’s wife’s tits. Well, it wasn’t as bad as I just made it sound there. It was actually about how his friend regarded his own wife’s tits after pregnancy and motherhood had deflated them. Well, it wasn’t even actually about that, either, but that’s what everyone remembers. It actually asked us all to think about how the world would change if men could just be open about their lust.
Then Marcus Williams answered with a fantastic piece where he concluded that the world really doesn’t want men to be open about their lust. We want so bad to be an open and honest society, you men want to be able to communicate with your wives and partners the way us women tell you we want you to. But in fact, as Marcus concluded, society doesn’t really accept that; society thinks your lust is yucky. And us wives think your lust for the things we can no longer offer you is hurtful.
So what does a woman, a woman over the age of 22, a married woman who has given birth, whose body is healthy and strong but not the same as it was pre-babies, think of your lust? Well, I think your lust is the same as ours. And I, like Tom, wonder what would happen if we could be open with our lust.
Instead of the way you husbands, even you excellent husbands, dream of our pre-baby boobs that looked great under our t-shirts in the morning before we put on our bras; instead of the way you dream of our bellies, the way the skin was taut and smooth in our bikinis all those pre-baby days at the beach—instead of dreaming of those things, we dream of your earlobes.
Yes, your earlobes. Your earlobes before hair. We even dream of your earlobes before the hair on them turned grey. And we dream of your backs. Oh your backs! Strong, taut, muscular, and hairless. We dream of your belly before you called it your “gut.” We dream of your feet before we had to tell you to cut your damn toenails.
Society has given you guys porn, strip clubs, and The Girls Next Door to keep you company. Up until recently, us equally-disenchanted wives had to settle for the leftovers of your lust—porn, even female-centered porn like that made by women such as Erika Lust, is just not most women’s thing. Male strippers aren’t exactly targeting women as their core audience, and although there are “great” male bodies to look at on TV, no women I know wake up with heaving chests after dreaming about The Situation from Jersey Shore.
But recently our prayers have been answered. Two words: Mark and Ryan. Ruffalo and Gosling. Ladies, you know what I’m sayin’. Mark Ruffalo is sorta nerdy, super-smart, politically active, and has a killer, killer body. Not to mention he has a smart, pretty, talented wife with a cool haircut.
And Ryan Gosling! After Ryan Gosling was cheered by thinking women everywhere for scolding the MPAA for the NC-17 rating given to Blue Valentine, calling them misogynistic pawns of the patriarchal system, he became the darling of teenyboppers and feminists alike. He now even has a hysterical parody Tumblr page dedicated to him called Feminist Ryan Gosling, which I will admit to visiting daily. My fellow feminist friend created a mock-greeting card of Ryan Gosling, shirtless, saying, “Hey Joanna…” and then quoting his rant against the MPAA and posted it on my Facebook wall. It got 30 “likes” by all my girlfriends.
My husband doesn’t know about my thing for Ryan Gosling or Mark Ruffalo (until now—hi honey!), and I feel bad keeping it a secret, but what’s the point of rubbing it in? I don’t want to know if he’s calling up images of some young topless starlet on his MacBook, and he probably doesn’t want to know that I’m secretly dreaming of Noah from The Notebook.
Our lust doesn’t have to be shouted from the rooftops, but we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. You guys like round tits, and we like strong backs. But what most of us really like, when it comes down to it, are our spouses. I love my husband. He’s super sexy, he’s strong, he’s intelligent and funny. He’s a great father, and he sacrifices a lot for us. I know he feels the same about me. If he’s checking out Scarlett Johansen on Youtube, fine, he deserves it. As long as he doesn’t mind my repeated viewings of The Kids Are All Right.
—Photo AP/Joel Ryan