Wednesday, July 16

Female Sex

Quite some days ago, I stored the link to this post on “Girl with a one-track mind” in my OneNote to write about it as soon as I got to it. Then I stumbled over a new article at “The F-Word” yesterday.

It seems as if forty years of women’s liberation (I’m counting the 1968 student revolution as the starting point) have not liberated women’s sexuality a lot. If it’s still thought a woman cannot write about sex (or rather: about liking sex), then something is seriously going wrong. And if women still think masturbation is something dirty, then there is something even more seriously going wrong.

Women, it seems, still are not supposed to like sex. Or rather: they are not supposed to like sex unless a man is getting off during it. Instead of liberating women’s sexuality, the liberation rather seems to have liberated men’s sexuality. What a surprise...

Seriously, a woman’s sexuality should start with herself, just as a man’s does. Teenage boys are not shy when it comes to masturbation, neither do they think it’s wrong or dirty (at least not any longer ... old horror stories about masturbation die hard). It’s natural to them. They feel needy, they get it done, they feel better.

After browsing through the article at “The F-Word”, I realized I’d had an early start at masturbation: I started at 11, although not really knowing what I did (I just knew it felt good when I touched myself in a certain way). And for years and years (I mean, I’m 33 by now), I mostly did it with my fingers alone ... although mostly because only recently (about a year ago) I gathered enough courage to enter a sex-shop for the first time.

And no, it’s not the way it’s usually pictured in movies. It’s probably not any more dignified than it is when men do it. But it’s just as funny and feels just as good (I guess, can’t compare, can I?).

And yes, a woman who knows her body well surely has more fun during sex with a man, too. If you don’t know what makes you feel ‘really good’, then how are you supposed to make sure a boyfriend does the things you like best? Men ‘train’ both their bodies and their ability to use them while wanking (sorry, masturbating of course). Women are just supposed to do whatever their boyfriends/husbands like. I guess men like it that way. After all, they get all the satisfaction they want and do not have to deal with wishes from their girlfriend/wife.

I really believe Abby Lee has gotten a good insight in her body when actively exploring herself, her needs, her wants and her lust. And I believe both she and her sex partners profit from this. She writes freely about her sexual experiences, because she’s completely okay with the fact she’s a sexual being. Most women (to a certain extent also including me) are not that free of old morals and expectations.

For a long time, women were basically denied the ability to enjoy sex by scientists or doctors (mostly men ... surprise?). Especially Christianity and its ‘sibling religions’ (Judaism and Islam) deny women the right and/or ability to enjoy sex. A woman is supposed to have sex so she can give birth to more believers. It’s not necessary for her to like it, because it’s her husband’s god-given right to take her whenever he wants to. Men, therefore, should probably enjoy sex, so they want it quite often and thus have more chances of actually fathering children.

Nature, on the other hand, didn’t design humans to live with one partner alone. Our physical design suggests it - mostly you can see immediately whether someone is male or female, a sure sign for species that live polygamous. (Or so biologists say.) But if, by nature, women are not designed to spent their lives with one partner, doing whatever this partner tells them, they, too, should enjoy sex so they will have it quite often. See the problem here?

The whole patriarchy only works as long as women allow it to go on. If women all decided to have sex whenever they want and with whomever they want, no man could still be sure whether a child is his or not. Women still could be, though. If they’ve given birth to it, a child is theirs (otherwise they will know, as they will have actively worked on getting impregnated by technical means).

That, I think, is the real reason for the different ways men and women (or rather boys and girls) are taught when it comes to sex. Today, the media and everyone else basically tells boys masturbation is okay. It’s good for you and you’re naturally inclined to do it anyway. Beyond the surface, the message to girls is differently. Officially, of course, they are told the same. But whenever nobody is officially listening, the message still says: “Masturbation is dirty and bad, don’t do it, just have sex with a boy, not with yourself.” Unnecessary to say, your chances for an orgasm are a lot higher when you’re having sex with yourself... Otherwise nobody will come out satisfied.

If girls could masturbate just like boys (and talk about it just as easily), then life would change. Because then, the girls could and would say ‘do it this way around’ or ‘I like it more like that’ instead of just saying ‘you were great’, although they’re wondering whether he’s started already. If they knew their body as well as a boy, they would know what to do with it and how to get satisfaction for themselves during sex.

I personally have not really discussed my sex life with my mother, but we did have short talks about masturbation when I was out of my teenage years (during that time I would have been far too ashamed to talk about it with anybody ... didn’t stop me from doing it, though). My mother at least admitted that masturbation does have its good points, for women as well as for men. But I could hardly discuss my vibrators with her, even today.

And yes, by now I own three vibrators, all made by Fun Factory (a German company specialised on sex-toys that are mainly interesting for women). I have ‘Little Paul’ and ‘Meany’ (two basically phallic, but not penis-like vibrators) and the ‘Layaspot’, designed for clitoral stimulation only. What I like about the products of this company is their design: nice, bright colours, soft materials and a perfect balance between looks (‘Little Paul’ looks like a caterpillar and ‘Meany’ reminds me of those strange weapons old science fiction movies had) and usability. You could almost just put them on display ... without making it too obvious you’re actually showing your vibrators. Still, most of the time I finish the job with my fingers ... more reliably and, after more than twenty years, I really know where to touch and how.

Whew, that was a pretty personal post, wasn’t it? But, on the other side, if we’re not starting to talk about this with other women, how are we ever going to change anything? And it wouldn’t hurt either, if men realized good sex for women is more than the man having an orgasm.

Tuesday, July 8

Not just Pixar

Last week, I read this post at the “F-Word” about Pixar and the company’s movies. I gave the content some time, harvested some thoughts and here they are.

First of all I’d like to point out “it’s not just Pixar”. The huge majority of movies from Hollywood (and elsewhere) still works by the old principles. A female lead can either be passive and good or active and evil. Either a princess or a witch, if you want to put it in the vocabulary of fairy tales. Therefore female heroes in movies are just as unlikely and rare as female superheroes. And women in lead of companies or countries are real minority, too.

Women still are not considered equal when it comes to heroism. There are a few female heroes, even in ancient myths. The amazons are often named, but in Greek myths, they are villains of a sort, not heroes. Heroes are the men who defeated them. Brunhilde from the Nibelungen was a strong woman ... until she lost her virginity. The same goes for most other stories. Strong women are rare. If you encounter a self-assured woman in an old legend, it’s quite probable she’s a baddie.

Female leads may be found (quite probably) in romances and love stories, maybe in melodramas, too. But most of those women are looking for Mr. Right (whoever he might be). They are not strong, they are merely interesting in their search for the one thing which - supposedly - brings luck and happiness and everything nice for women.

At least, in anime there’s the “magical girl” subgenre among the shoujo manga (comics for girls), where you will find one or more magically gifted girl fighting to save the world (or whatever) from the forces of evil (or whatever). Yes, they are magically gifted, no superheroes the way American comics define them, but in the end it comes down to the same: they are given special powers and use them to defend mankind (or whatever). There might be some man (usually rather some boy) involved, but on the whole, the girls have to rely on themselves and their friendship to work it all out (some of them like “Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne” are even alone). It’s not a minority of stories, there are quite some of them (“Sailor Moon” probably still being the best known). In ‘western’ series, the number of strong female leads is quite small ... and some of them, one feels, only exist because of the evil spirit of political correctness. (Yes, I’m against political correctness, especially when it comes to stories. I don’t want to see female leads just because ‘you ought to have them for political reasons’. There are better reasons to show strong women.)

You can hardly blame one company for something they all do. In addition, Pixar most often produces for Disney ... and Disney is hardly very ‘modern’ when it comes to stories. As the one who pays the musician also chooses the tune, it’s not surprising you find Pixar producing movies that fit with the usual Disney storylines. (I don’t count “Kim Possible” among the usual Disney stuff ... but it’s rather an aberration in the Disneyversum, just like the “Taran” movie or the “Gargoyles”.)

And yes, I think it’s especially important to show children more than one kind of ‘good’ girl. It’s important to show girls you can be strong and self-assured without becoming a baddie. (After all, no-one likes the bad guys - except me, of course). And it’s important to give them a choice. They don’t have to be strong women, but the need to know it’s okay if they want to.

When I was young (and don’t you feel twice your age whenever you say or write that?), the number of ‘strong’ female characters in novels or TV series was extremely small. Offhandedly, I can only name Pippi Longstocking and Emma Peel (and isn’t that a strange mixture?). So I looked to male characters (especially as I always wanted to be an investigator and the number of female investigators I stumbled over that weren’t extremely old was next to zero) for inspiration. No wonder, I sooner or later stumbled over Sherlock Holmes.

Women my age had to make up their female heroes on their own. Still we found Feminism, so it wasn’t that bad. But it would be easier for girls if they had someone to serve as a role model, sort of.

Women should still try to make a change in movies, TV series and novels (we’re not bad there), but it doesn’t do us any good to simply point at a company and basically say “it’s their fault children learn you have to be male to be a hero”.

A little addition: I zapped into a TV program which presented books for children and mentioned the “Dangerous Book for Boys” I read about on “The F-Word” before. From the little bit of it I saw, I can only say I would have loved it as a child. On the other hand, the variety for girls would not have been interesting for me at all. That’s a good example of why that “it’s for boys/it’s for girls” is so bad: People come in more different varieties than prejudices.