Thursday 12 September 2013

Sex: Are women lousy lovers?

Last week, I asked the question: Are men lousy lovers? Being an equal opportunity type of guy, I felt obliged to give the same airtime to asking the question of the ladies. Now, whether it's me or a goofball article in Cosmo written by some dubious authority on human relationships, we may be looking at anecdotal information without any hard evidence to back it up. Theories are a nice place to start but independent scientists doing independent research must independently arrive at the same conclusions in order to prove a theory to be categorically correct. So let me delve into these muddy waters and see what I come up with. Even if I do not fully clarify the situation, I suppose I can take comfort in ticking people off. (read: the ladies)

By the way, I want to make clear that I am talking about the big picture, the collective we. I am not talking specifically about you. Yes you, the woman in the third row from back, fourth seat from the right. You yourself may feel that whatever I say is not applicable to you. After all, you are a terrific woman and a sexually experienced lover. However, with the divorce rate between 40% and 50%, depending on the source of information, somebody, somewhere, has got to be doing something wrong. I don't know who it is or what that wrong thing is, but when I stand back and look at everybody taken together, the statistics are showing me that some of us are not having the best time we could be having. But I digress.

If a woman walked into a bar, I have no doubt that she could walk out with guy in no time flat. Is she a femme fatale? Does she have her PhD in seduction? If you attached a bobby pin to a string, baited it with a piece of hotdog, then dipped it in a tank of piranha, I would be shocked if you didn't hook something in under ten seconds. (piranha = no skill necessary)

Husband, boyfriend, oh heck a guy comes home after a long day. He's tired. He's hungry. He's angry at his boss and he's frustrated with his work. Sex? He's already been screwed over once today and that is the farthest thing from his mind. Can a woman get him into the sack? I give you a casting rod with a bunch of lures and plop you down in the middle of a mountain stream. Now how long do you need to fly cast to catch a fish if you can catch a fish at all? (fly casting = skill)

For as long as I can remember, as a man I have been the initiator of sex. Or dating. Whatever. George W. Bush was The Decider. I am The Initiator. If I wasn't The Initiator, I would be The 60-Year-Old Virgin. Move over Steve Carell. (2005 film The 40-Year-Old Virgin) He who hesitates is... well, not laid.

Why is it that way? Why is my role as a man assertive or dominant and the role of the woman receptive or passive? Why is there a double standard? Why is my sexual activity considered the mark of a man and the sexual activity of a woman considered something negative? I am appalled at the treatment of Slanegirl. (my blog: #Slanegirl: sex, (double) standards, and sluts) I am horrified at what happened in Steubenville. (my blog: Steubenville Rape Case: It could be your daughter.) I pick up the newspaper and browse the headlines and utter under my breath a few WTF's and Gee-sus H. K-rist's but I am writing today about the way things are, not necessarily how things should be. Yes, things have changed over the past fifty years but you have to admit we still have a long way to go. When radio host Rush Limbaugh calls Sandra Fluke a slut on air, I think that some people haven't changed at all. (my blog: Rush Limbaugh: That's spelled with one F and one U)

Am I Pretty Enough?
Jennifer Tress' first marriage ended after her husband cheated on her for not being "pretty enough." This inspired her to create the viral website It's popularity has proven that many women question their beauty every day.

On Aug 28/2013, HuffPost Live hosted this 16 minute discussion about body acceptance between moderator Nancy Reid, Jennifer Tress, creator of You're Not Pretty Enough, D.A. Wolf, writer and founder of Daily Plate of Crazy, and Amy Chan, Relationship & Lifestyle Columnist. The popularity of Ms. Tress' web site seemed to indicate that women are obsessing about their looks.

D. A. Wolf: "From the time we are little girls, we are judged on how we look. Think about how when you first meet a woman versus when you first meet a man. You go by that first impression, and that first impression as to her attractiveness, which is a combination of her face, her hair, how she carries herself, her body size, that first impression is all about her appearance. It's not about her competence. And we start with our little girls, and we say, 'Oh, you look so beautiful. Oh, you're so cute.' We don't do this when we're raising boys. From the time we are tiny, all the way through our process of being socialized, and educated, and even moving into our careers, we have this sense of value that comes from how we look. And we are judged by how we look. And we are also paid based on how we look. If you look into the statistics, quote unquote, pretty women are paid more. Blondes are paid more than their darker counterparts. Taller individuals are paid more. Thinner individuals are paid more. There are some fascinating statistics out there. And this is especially true for women. So, it's not only pretty enough for what and self-confidence, this flows through every aspect of our lives, all of our lives."

Looks are emphasised over competency. Beauty is more important than ability. I don't know why this is the case. I don't know how prevalent it is, but there are certainly enough sources on the Internet echoing this idea. And so, I must ask. How does this translate into the bedroom? I'm attractive enough to get the guy but do I have the competency to deal with him? Do I have the competency to keep him?

There's no such thing as a bad blowjob.
It's like pizza... even when it's bad, it's still good.

We all laugh at clichés because they're, well, clichés. But I am going to put forward the idea that a cliché represents a grain of truth from some personal or historical perspective.

The joke (or the truth) in the above cliché has two parts. First, women do not like to perform oral sex on men. If they do it, they do so reluctantly. Because they do it reluctantly, they have never bothered to educate themselves in the fine art of fellatio and do it without much knowledge or expertise. I am reminded of this comical line, supposedly said by a woman.

You want me to put what in my mouth?

The second part of the joke is that men love getting oral sex. In fact, men are so desperate to get it; they will take anything they get. So yes, even if it's bad, it's better than nothing.

You've caught your fish. You've reeled him in. But do you have the competency to keep him?

Another cliché
This is in the form of a joke, a dialogue between a man and a woman during sex.

Man: I'm sorry.

Woman: Sorry for what?

Man: I hurt you.

Woman: No, you didn't. Why do you say that?

Man: Because you moved.

Nasty? But what is this telling me? "Women are taught to repress their sexuality and men are taught to repress their sensuality." How participatory are women in the act of lovemaking? Are they holding back? Have they been taught to hold back? Are women more dependent on their looks, the visual, as opposed to the mental, the expertise in lovemaking?

To be fair about this, I want to stand back and look at this posting's question and the previous question I asked: Are men lousy lovers? It takes two to tango. There are faults on both sides of the sexual divide. But with a divorce rate at 40% or 50%, according to the source of information, I have to ask what's going wrong. I have read over and over again about the dissatisfaction both men and women have in their relationships and their sex lives. I have read a zillion articles penned by all sorts of so-called experts advising this, that, and the other thing as a means of improving both our emotional and our sexual connectivity. Surveys show what we are doing and what we would like to be doing and this seems to indicate that collectively we would like to improve our lives.

When I looked at divorce, I discovered that two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women. While there are many causes for divorce, the number one reason is neglect. Yes, neglect: being ignored by your spouse. I have to ask the question: why is a husband ignoring his wife? At one time, the husband popped the question; the husband wanted to marry the woman. Why would he end up neglecting his wife? Why would he ignore her?

From my posting "Why did that @#$%^&* bastard divorce me?"

I can't help thinking that there is more to this story than he's a @#$%^&* douchebag. I can't help thinking that divorce after divorce is taking place because of a @#$%^&* douchebag who is really spent a lifetime scared s**tless of being labelled a disgusting degenerate. I'm certain that there are some truly bad people out there. Adolf Hitler was a bad man. John Wayne Gacy, the American serial killer who raped and murdered 33 teenage boys, was a bad man. I just find it hard to believe that every single @#$%^&* bastard one day decides to leave his wife and children, ruin his reputation, besmirch his good name, alienate his kids and turn himself into a "bad man" just because he's a douchebag. He actually wants to be bad man as opposed to being loved and admired? Really?

A Curious Thought
Miss G is 42 and divorced. She has had several run-ins with married men (including affairs) and explained her take on why they were cheating. Each one of them was missing something in their married life. Maybe their wife wasn't liberated. Maybe their wife wouldn't do a certain sex act. Maybe they felt they couldn't talk with their wives or maybe they had tried but were refused. Whatever the case, the men in question wanted something but couldn't get it. What they wanted was so important to them; they would cheat on their wife.

Miss G went on to explain that if she re-married, she would never let such a thing happen to her. How? She would find out what her man wanted and she would give it to him. (her words) I couldn't help thinking: why would anybody cheat? I'm not talking about previous discussions about open marriages and polyamory; I am talking about the traditional marriage which says you will love one person and one person only for the rest of your life. And here love also means sex. I read somewhere that people stay in relationships which satisfy their needs. If our needs are being met, why go anyplace else? If somebody does go somewhere else, are there needs which are not being met? Yes, yes, yes, the pessimists always say that men are only as faithful as their opportunities, but I will put forward to my dying breath that, apart from a few crazies, the majority of people, if satisfied in their current circumstances, will not cheat. Why cheat? You're satisfied! (Some people get around the entire idea of cheating by opening their relationship. And I would add that "opening" doesn't necessarily mean "cheating" as you would think. See my blog: Albert Einstein and the Theory of (Sexual) Relativity)

The following comes from my posting "Erectile dysfunction or just not sexually aroused."

Marty Klein: How to not get an erection
Dr. Marty Klein (b 1950) is an American sex therapist, educator and public policy analyst. He publishes a monthly magazine called Sexual Intelligence and in issue #137, July 2011 he tells the story of Sam who starts dating a year after his wife left him.

Sam arrives at a point in one relationship where he is going to have sex but Sam encounters a problem: he's not getting an erection when he wants one. Sam thinks he is suffering from erectile dysfunction but questioning by Dr. Klein leads to a few discoveries.

Sam describes how he and his girlfriend Yolanda were kissing and it seemed they were going to have sex. Sam was excited by this but didn't have an erection. When Klein asks Sam to describe what they were doing, Sam explains they were making out and rubbing against each other but nothing else. Klein goes on to talk about physical stimulation.

I told Sam that he needed to have direct stimulation on his penis in order to get an erection. He disagreed; shouldn't it be enough that he was "excited"? "It's important that you're emotionally aroused," I partially agreed. "But you need to be physically aroused as well."

The gist of it is that Sam expects to have an erection with little or no direct physical stimulation either by his girlfriend or by himself. Sam is also very, very reluctant to talk about this with his girlfriend.

This conveniently illustrates the three rules for not getting an erection when you want one:
* Don't get the physical stimulation you need
* Envision "sex" as something that requires an erection
* Don't discuss this dilemma with your partner

The story of Sam underlines a myth held by probably every man and woman: a guy is ready, willing and able twenty-four by seven. Associated with this is the idea that a guy must get a woman "in the mood" for sex. As the initiator of sex probably about 100% of time in our culture, the man comes to the table already "in the mood" so he has the job of warming up his partner. This amusing metaphor for men and women succinctly sums up the traditional view of the two sexes and their different relationship to sex. Men are like microwaves; you push a button and they're on. Women are like crock pots; they take time to warm up. (see Sex: Men are always ready, willing, and able)

But what if the man isn't in the mood? Is it erectile dysfunction or is it that he's just not "in the mood"? And if it's that he's just not "in the mood", what does anybody do about it? First of all, in Sam's story, he's embarrassed to talk with his partner. Why this reticence on the part of Sam? He points out that having sex is one thing but talking about it is much more difficult and then Dr. Klein makes the most telling of statements: Talking about sex is much more intimate than doing it. That strikes me as a powerful assertion. Is sex more than just sex? Is sex talking? Is sex the intimacy of communicating with your partner? Klein goes on: "Sex would be a lot easier on the nerves if you didn't feel pressured to get erect for it. If you just counted everything as sex, and you two decided to enjoy each others' bodies in whatever ways were available, getting an erection wouldn't matter."

Secondly, since Sam's story makes no mention of the woman's participation, the question begs to be asked: does the woman know how to sexually arouse a man? Can she get Sam "in the mood"? Is Sam truly suffering from the physical ailment of erectile dysfunction or is he just not sexually aroused or not aroused enough? (see my blog: Erectile dysfunction or just not sexually aroused)

The Statistics
According to a 2002 study from the Centers for Disease Control 90 percent of men and 88 percent of women have had oral sex with an opposite-sex partner. But that is in their lifetime. The Kinsey Institute qualifies that by quoting a 1994 study: 27% of men and 19% of women have had oral sex in the past year.

Obviously, the state of affairs isn't as good as we would think. Or as we would like. Are both sexes not paying attention to anything other than intercourse? In my posting "Sex: Are men lousy lovers?", I talk about men who are suffering from ED, whether permanently or temporarily. Just think about this turnabout: a guy has a problem getting or maintaining an erection and the woman interprets this as a reflection on her own desirability. His problem is now her problem and now he's got two problems to deal with. No pressure.

Final Word
I ask a lot of questions but don't necessarily have the answers. I observe; I conjecture; I research. It strikes me that there is dissatisfaction in the world. Why? I don't know. But I do know it's there.

"We cannot properly address an issue if misinformation prevents us from properly assessing the issue."

My mentioning oral sex is not really about oral sex; it's about an attitude towards one's partner. Sexual energy begets sexual energy. If you're disinterested in your partner, how long are they going to remain interested in you? If your partner is disinterested in you, how long are you going to remain interested in them? No, I am not talking about you, the woman in the third row from back, fourth seat from the right. I am talking about the husbands who neglect their wives. I am talking about the women who initiate divorce citing neglect. I am talking about the loveless and/or sexless marriages and relationships where people feel trapped.

my blog: Sex: What men want. Okay, what I want.
Touch me as a man. Give me the sense that we are connected. Give me the sense not only that you are available, but that you want me. I'm not asking for sex twenty-four by seven, I am asking for the possibility. I'm not stupid. I am mature and yes, I can delay gratification. I am cognizant of children, family events, financial matters, job problems, health issues, headaches, and yes, the latest episode of Desperate Housewives airing in 10 minutes. ... In the same way a woman wants to be wanted by her man, a man wants to be wanted by his woman. I don't mean love or friendship, both important ideas, I mean sexually. Sex is primordial. Sex is a fundamental building block of a relationship.

Are men lousy lovers? Are women lousy lovers? I have run across some pretty remarkable relationships. (see my posting "Sex: What are the neighbours doing?") Some people are experiencing a level of satisfaction both emotional and sexual which can only be qualified as enviable. Everybody should be so lucky. Then again, is it luck? Is there a confluence of experience, maturity, expertise, openness and honesty coupled with a set of circumstances that all come together as the direct opposite of The Perfect Storm, the perfect weather? Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

Good is out there. We have to be a good person to find that other good person to be good together.


Huffington - Aug 12/2013
Jennifer Tress Turns An Insult, 'You're Not Pretty Enough,' Into A Body Acceptance Movement By Julie Zeilinger
Jennifer Tress' first marriage ended after her husband cheated on her because, as he told her, she "wasn't pretty enough." Instead of letting a horrible insult destroy her, Tress -- a consultant for the federal government by day -- was inspired to start a body acceptance movement.

HuffPost Live: "Am I Pretty Enough" - Aug 28/2013
Hosted by Nancy Redd @nancyredd
* Jennifer Tress @jdtress (Washington, DC) Creator, You're Not Pretty Enough
* D.A. Wolf @BigLittleWolf (Atlanta, GA) Writer & Founder of Daily Plate of Crazy
* Amy Chan @JustMyTypeMag (Vancouver, Canada) Relationship & Lifestyle Columnist: Just / My Type
Jennifer Tress' first marriage ended after her husband cheated on her for not being "pretty enough." This inspired her to create the viral website It's popularity has proven that many women question their beauty every day.

In Bed With Married Women - Dec 11/2012
The Blow Job as the Path to the Devine by Jill Hamilton
In an article in the January 2011 issue of Playboy, Samantha Gillison wrote a wonderful essay "The Platonic Ideal" on this idea of sex as route to the Divine.
In Gillison's piece, she describes the moment she became illuminated on the joys of giving head.
Previously, Gillison had thought of blow jobs as something you gave, like a gift, or something you did as a favor. Plus there was some fear and uncertainty.
This time, however, she had a revelation.

"But starting that night in the parking lot, I began to understand the profound, dirty pleasure of giving blow jobs. It isn’t just that I discovered how much I like being in control, how much I like giving the kind of pleasure that makes someone helpless, and how intoxicating it is to be on the receiving end of hurricane-levels of desire. But, that night, it was also the revelation of the particular male smell you get up close with a cock and balls that turned me on in ways that are almost beyond description. It was like being inside sex."

Centers for Disease Control: United States, 2002
Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15–44 Years of Age
Among adults 25–44 years of age, 97 percent of men and 98 percent of women have had vaginal intercourse; 90 percent of men and 88 percent of women have had oral sex with an opposite-sex partner; and 40 percent of men and 35 percent of women have had anal sex with an opposite-sex partner. About 6.5 percent of men 25–44 years of age have had oral or anal sex with another man. Based on a differently worded question, 11 percent of women 25–44 years of age reported having had a sexual experience with another woman.

The Kinsey Institute
Frequently Asked Questions
27% of men and 19% of women have had oral sex in the past year
(Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994)

PsychWorld - Apr 22/2011
Why Some Women Get More Oral Sex Than Others
Women regard cunnilingus “as among the most pleasurable heterosexual behaviors,” and some women are receiving and enjoying it more than others, research suggests. Studies of cunnilingus have provided great insight into what is different about these women and why they get more out of sex.

Journal of Adolescence - 2012
Young women’s adolescent experiences of oral sex: Relation of age of initiation to sexual motivation, sexual coercion, and psychological functioning
by Nicole M. Fava*, Laina Y. Bay-Cheng
Research examining oral sex during adolescence tends to investigate only potential negative consequences without considering its place in sexual development or distinctions between cunnilingus and fellatio. Using retrospective reports from 418 undergraduate women, we examined the relations among young women’s ages of initiation of both cunnilingus and fellatio and sexual motives, experiences of sexual coercion, and indicators of psychological functioning.

Sex on the Sly: 5 Reasons Your Husband Trolls Craigslist by Off Go The Panties
When your husband trolls Craigslist, chances are that he’s ready to explore a kink that he believes (or knows) you are not going to accept. Whether it’s a lack of communication before you marry, or his tastes have changed as he’s matured, your man wants to try things sexually that he’s not getting at home.

Before you “secretly” start scrolling through his text messages while he’s in the shower. . . . Before you root around on his laptop looking for cookies connected to porn. . . . And, please, before you shoot off an email to ME about your Not-Troy going behind your back on Craigslist, think about what you are doing in your marriage that contributes to these behaviors.

Either accept that it’s going to happen or do something about it. Craigslist is not going away. And neither am I.


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1 comment:

D. A. Wolf said...

Well, Mr. Belle, I'm honored to be referenced in your commentary. (My, what a run-on sentence you quoted. I dare say writing one's thoughts is easier than speaking them "live.")

More on point, people are lousy lovers or good lovers, and what makes them lousy, good, or everything in between is a matter of desire, skill, experience, and who they're engaging with, n'est-ce pas?

Damn. That pizza looks good.