I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
Read more here.
This article explains where I went wrong. I wasn’t supposed to marry my best sex ever. It’s passionate but volatile. I realize the error of my ways with the ex, but the findings in this poll make me a little sad. I would hope the sex in my next marriage, if there ever is another one, would be better than mediocre. (Sigh)
I know this is a cop out of a post. I’ll be back soon with a recap of my date with Man #38. This blog is about dating after all. I should probably go on some dates. There is some excitement coming up. If you don’t believe me, check out The Men in Review page. I’ve already given Man #39 his name.
Copyright 2011-12. My Dating Prescription blog. All Rights Reserved.
As promised, I wanted to take a moment to respond to some of the thoughts expressed in emails I received after my booty call with The Mystery Date. The majority of the emails congratulated me on my long-awaited, and hard-fought orgasm, and most of the women who responded thanked me for my candor, saying everything from, “OMG, I have totally been there,” to “You’re right. My husband won’t go down, and it makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me.”
Other comments included, but were not limited to:
“I admire your endurance. After two hours, I would have faked it.”
and, “It’s always the guys who won’t go down who want a blow job. Selfish pricks!”
Then there were a few emails that fell into what I will call the “shaming” category. These were the ones where the sender was “disgusted” by what I wrote, and included a very angry email from a man, who I assume does not go down, who called me a “selfish cunt.”
Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
It has always been my goal in writing My Dating Prescription to be as authentic and frank as possible. Whether I’m writing about how much I hate dating, how afraid and lonely I get sometimes, or how distracted I become by poor grooming, I try to make it real. When I’m being reflective, I try to write from a place of raw emotion, and when it’s an uncomfortable, awkward situation like my sex with the Mystery Date or my date with Man #33, Mr. Finger Up the Butt Guy, I use humor to try to ease both my readers’ and my discomfort. Humor is one of my defense mechanisms. I’m like a dog that suddenly “gets well” when you take it to the vet. The more uncomfortable I get in a situation, the more likely I am to start cracking jokes. The fact that my post about sex elicited such varied responses tells me my writing style must be working. Y’all are getting emotional.
Ok, so let’s get back to my post being shameful, disgusting, and, let’s not forget, selfish.
Biologically, sex is supposed to be a pleasurable, natural thing, but humans literally fuck it up. Especially in the United States, we put shame around it and lump it together with vices like alcohol and drugs, things that are supposedly BAD for us. When you compare this to countries like The Netherlands, where sex is talked about and viewed much more naturally and openly, you start to see how U.S. parents are failing to raise children to have healthy attitudes about sex. The Netherlands has the lowest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world while the United States has the highest. When you also compare the rates of sexual assault in the two countries, the U.S. fails again.
I mention the statistics above, because I want to talk about this construct of shame. Shame and silence take away our power. It’s through shame and silence that sex offenders are able to repeatedly commit their crimes. Thirty years ago the Catholic church didn’t have a problem with rape and sexual assault only because it wasn’t talked about. Rape and incest in Muslim families go largely unreported because of the social consequences and shame leveled upon the victims.
When women don’t speak up and ask for what we deserve in the bedroom and elsewhere, we get what is given to us, and we are at the mercy of the misinformation that permeates our culture. If we don’t tell men what we want, and we leave their sex education up to their buddies, pornography, and sex as it’s portrayed in TV dramas and movies, we can’t be surprised when they think the best way to bring a woman to orgasm is to jack hammer her from behind. When we fake orgasm, in the long run, we are only hurting ourselves. (Believe me, I understand why we do it, but do you really want to reinforce bad behavior?) Speak up!
With the right partner sex is awesome. It’s not disgusting, and talking about it isn’t disgusting either. I have always been a person who wants more information not less, and when it comes to sex, abstinence-only education is a prime example of a program, which excluded information and failed miserably. Abstinence and “virginity pledges” were promoted and information about contraceptives was eliminated. Teenagers who took virginity pledges, however, continued to have sex at the same rates as teens who had not taken the pledge, except abstinence-only teens had been taught to think of contraception as “disgusting” and were more likely to have unprotected sex. As a woman and a parent, I only ask why we would not want to send our children out into the world with as much information as possible. Talking about sex does not make you disgusting, a “sinner”, or a bad person, and I completely reject that notion.
Several months ago, I was asked to start giving dating advice, and I agreed. The problem was most people who contacted me for ”dating” advice were really needing a level of counseling I was not qualified to provide. One of my callers was a young man whose girlfriend was extremely religious. The caller liked to watch gay porn and his girlfriend constantly berated and shamed him for it. She had even told his mother about his “disgusting” habit. His mother and girlfriend were constantly telling him what a disgusting sinner he was, and I could tell the level of shame he felt was extremely painful. He was in crisis. Through the course of our conversation, I asked him if he might be gay and he stated he was, not although with his religious background, I could tell this would have caused him tremendous anxiety as well. Digging deeper I discovered he had been raped by an older man within the past year. Both his girlfriend and mother knew about the rape. He was struggling with his rape every time he watched his movies. I quickly asked him if he had access to some form of non-religious, sexual trauma counselling. I suggested he enter counselling and limit what he shared with his girlfriend until she could be trusted to provide him with the support he needed. I bring up this story because it illustrates how damaging and dangerous shaming can be. This young man, barely in his twenties, was close to suicide, and was not getting the help he needed because of shame.
When it comes to shame and disgust, women have to learn to love themselves, and by that I don’t simply mean accepting the cellulite on your thighs. A huge percentage of women have trouble achieving orgasm, and the reasons for it can be as varied as the women involved. I was battling thoughts of my ex during sex with The Mystery Date and look how that held me back. For some women, it can be shame. There’s a war going on in their heads. They can’t feel pleasure, because they’re too caught up in feeling guilty. For others, maybe they have fears about how they look or whether the man they are with will judge them. There are also women who don’t even know what their vagina looks like, too ashamed to look at it in a mirror or touch it because that’s “dirty”.
(Sigh) You have to love yourself and know you deserve pleasure. If you can’t find your orgasm, how can you expect a man to find it? That’s like hosting a dinner party, and then telling your guests the main course isn’t fit to eat.
Finally, I’ll address the man who called me a “selfish cunt.” I’m not as offended by his name-calling as I perhaps should be, because I believe it says much more about him than it does about me. He’s angry, not just angry at me, but angry at women in general. Since he sees my quest for an orgasm as selfish, we can also assume he doesn’t feel women have a right to enjoy sex or be treated as equals. However, I would wager he always makes certain to get his orgasm. He doesn’t like the idea that a woman would be empowered enough to write about sex in the way it was really experienced, instead of portraying man as God’s gift to women, and since my post angered him enough to prompt an actual email, I’m also going to assume he is potentially dangerous.
No, I will not be ashamed to talk about sex, and if that makes me a “selfish cunt” then so be it.
Copyright 2011-12. My Dating Prescription blog. All Rights Reserved.