Sunday, April 24, 2005

She Comes As And When She Damn Well Pleases

Sex on the brain today. Must be hormones. Or, wait a minute, could it be the burgeoning oversexification of our culture? In this case, bingo. The Guardian Family of Newsmedia Outlets simply will not stop yammering at me about sex.

Friday's G2 informed me of the inevitable: the UK is at last being infiltrated by last summer's Stateside media phenom, She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman, by Ian Kerner. This chirpy manifesto-cum-cunnilingus-manual (sorry) had Kerner all over daytime TV like a rash last year, touting his not-un-queasy-making catchphrase 'Viva la Vulva!' and evangelizing his creed. To wit, 'Men should go down on women, and make them come. First.'

Now, on the one hand, grand. If there are any men out there who still think they don't have to go down on their women and make them come, here's their memo, complete with pictures and step-by-step instructions.

On the other hand, this isn't exactly a radically new platform. Dr. Ruth was saying this when I was a wee pre-teen, I'm pretty sure Alex Comfort was saying it when my parents were younger than I am now, industrial hip hop collectives were singing it in 1992. Hell, 'The Sopranos' took this one on in Season One. The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm has been pretty well exploded for a fair old while now. And yes, of course there are men out there who still think they don't have to go down on their women and make them come, but they are not the men who will buy this book.

Which brings me to my real issue with this whole platform: the sexual indoctrination of the Sensitive Man. Honestly? The biggest problem I've had in this area is getting the big bunny-rabbits' faces out of my cunt so they could fuck me properly. Not because I have the world's most enticingly delectable bits, but because men of our generation have been ruthlessly indoctrinated with the notion that It Is Not Proper Sex unless you go down on her first and make her come.

This seems to me almost as restrictive and prescriptive a formulation as Freud's Mature Orgasm claptrap. Orgasm, pace Kerner's no-fail strategies for lingually delighting your lady, constitutes different things for different women, indeed for the same woman at different times. The linear erection-penetration-orgasm-cheers (or 'EPOC') pathway that makes sex so straightforward for (most) men is a lot twistier and more variable in women, at least the women I know.

Sometimes it's about getting hot and getting brought off. Sometimes it's about getting hot in a not-specifically-teleological way and just being fucked senseless. Sometimes it's about kinks and games. Sometimes it's about wanting closeness and sensation and not being up for the considerable performance pressure generated by the hopeful lappings of the Sensitive Man. Coming is damnably complicated for many women, which is why so many can't do it at all, and I don't think our interests are overwhelmingly well served by the substitution of yet another one-size-fits-all program of how and when and in what order we must come, if we are allowed to be having Good Sex.

Yes, it is my right to come, as much as it is my partner's. But it is also my right to determine how, when and if at all I want to come in any given session. Brainwashing the entire male population to face-dive my crotch at the first sign of sex frankly does me no favors at all.

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