Reframing Insecurities: On the misplaced burden of a dull sex life.
Since my first time, it was abundantly clear to me that enjoyable, refreshing, and the most desirable sexual encounters are much less physical and more emotional, mental, and spiritual. However, there is a common narrative connecting men as merely in it for the physical connection and women for the emotional - no where to be seen are folks outside of the binary.
Another problem with emotionless masculine performance.
If we follow this simple logic by ignoring the spiritual/mental/emotional aspects of sex and focusing on the physical - because we operate in a male-centric social system - it should be no surprise that we have bad sex, right? Well capitalism ran with this and had us build an entire industry, maybe a few industries, on trying to improve our sex lives, rather than stepping back and figuring out what some of the root causes may be.
It is the role of women to please men & men cannot be wrong.
Kill me now. An archaic system we live in, indeed. It seems to me that there is something paradoxical about this because of our culture of courting in the public sphere but we all know in the private sphere, the tables turn, or do they? It is a complex interaction and probably cannot be generalized but I think it is fair to say that patriarchy has us thinking that women are here to please men. Kasey Rose-Hodge captures this much more eloquently than I can in her piece: Dear Creepy Heterosexual Men Guarding Our Bathrooms.
Another thing that comes with male dominance is that men cannot be wrong when it comes to sex. They are in charge, they call the shots. Women are pleasers. There is no real focus on men pleasing women in the traditionally masculine sense as it is not their role. And if they ever do present themselves as willing to please, it better be through aggression and dominance, or they are met with emasculating stigmas. This is evidenced concretely by the rare self-questioning of by men with regard to their sexual performance and the overthought that is exhibited by women regarding their performance.
Women's magazines must be managed by men or something. They just must be.
With all of the content devoted to women improving their sex lives as to keep the men in their lives happy rather than to be more pleased themselves, I have to wonder who the hell is creating all of this content and why. It isn't even on any specific sex-centered titles, it is everywhere! What kind of crap goes on in our advice columns and where is the advice for men to improve their sexual performance in GQ and Sports Illustrated (outside of drugs)?
The internet just did more damage in this area. We have apps, blogs, vlogs, twerk tutorials, pole dancing classes, make up teachers, and guides on fellatio, etc. I often hear people say that a lot of this is sexual empowerment work so I wouldn't want to blanket this all into male pleasing but my gut says it has something to do with male-centeredness and maybe it is masculine-centeredness. Either way, there needs to be more exploration there, for sure.
Men needs to ask themselves to 'spice things up.'
We have nerve to ask for things to be spiced up. Seriously. I'm not sure I've ever heard of a woman asking her boyfriend or husband to spice things up in bed. It is nearly laughable. It is clear to me that this is the case in a lot of situations where men are simply disengaged, focused on the climax and not engaging in various aspects of sex that would make it most desirable.
The headline to this section was, "only men can ask for things..." and I deleted 'can' because that's not the case, although it may seem that way. It is important to reinforce the reality that even though we are socialized to think we are the only ones able to ask and we cannot fathom ever being the problem in sexual encounters (at least in public because in private we are all insecure as hell), we can be asked to step our game up. I'm thinking we should be asking ourselves in more open and honest ways, rather than the shameful approach I think we take, as a culture, to poor sexual performance.
We should reimagine sex by reframing our insecurities to expand our understanding of sex.
We project our insecurities on our partners by saying they need to figure out what is in their head blocking them from reaching climax. What about reframing our thinking and imagining that this is an opportunity for us to be more thoroughly engaged in all aspects of sex, in ways that our partners are? How wonderful would it be to become as emotionally connected to sex as our partners are rather than placing stigmas on them for it? I think most wonderful.
Though the motivation and intention for my thinking on this is to better serve women in our lives, adjusting for this misplaced burden is not solely in that spirit (dare I do that!). By reframing our insecurities, we can become more available for our partners to engage with us on our sexual practices. We can receive feedback that will allow us to improve and it will positively affect everyone else involved in our lives, even those who operate outside of our relationships and are affected by the status of them.