Thursday, October 02, 2003

Feminism Responsible for Bad Sex?

It is according to a recent Salon article by Ann Marlowe (watch the ads, read the article, you know the drill). Marlow argues that feminism has triumphed, resulting in wimpy, feminized men who are incapable of sexually exciting women. She also claims that, because of feminism, couples no longer have intercourse, instead settling for oral sex in order to keep a strict balance of orgasms on their sexual tally sheets. And, in what is perhaps her most bizarre assertion, she suggests that oral sex is "sex lite" - somehow less fulfilling or intense than intercourse. She writes, "No one loses control, loses track of where they are, forgets that music is playing, screams, or weeps, when someone performs oral sex on them. But fucking stirs deep emotions that go to our core as animals and humans. And with the absence of tenderness and trust between men and women, we're more and more inclined to banish deep emotion from our post-patriarchal lives."

The number of questionable assumptions in this short essay are truly mind boggling. First, the idea that feminism has triumphed and that the balance of power in relationships has shifted to women is laughable. Egalitarianism may, possibly, be the norm for upper middle class, educated couples, but maybe Marlow should take a look outside the ivory tower. I doubt the woman I know who was emotionally and physically abused by both of her ex-husbands would agree that she had the upper hand in those relationships. Probably most American couples fall somewhere between these two extremes, but I sincerely doubt that most men are, as Marlow so elegantly puts it, "pussy whipped."

Second, who says women have to be dominated to enjoy sex? Even if that's your kink, surely you can roleplay in the bed without sacrificing your independence or autonomy in other aspects of your relationship.

Third, where are all these couples who have have given up on intercourse? Marlow offers no evidence so support this claim, which doesn't apply to anyone I know. And believe me, I know some over-educated, hippy dippy "womyn."

Fourth, not to put too fine a point on it, but if that's really what Marlow thinks of oral sex, she's been doing it wrong. Or, I suppose, her partners have.

Finally, I'm more than a little offended by the idea that the only real, legitimate sex is vaginal intercourse. So, what, it's impossibly for gays and lesbians to have sex that "stirs deep emotions"? What a crock of homophobic shit.

I'm not going to venture into TMI territory, but let me assure you that everything is A-ok in my bedroom. "I'm a feminist and I have great sex!" Maybe it could be NOW's next advertising campaign?

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