I recently read “Vagina” by Naomi Wolfe and also recently decided never to fake another orgasm. Here are my thoughts on the historical context.
Fear is the root of it all. Men, fearing sexual rejection, craving acceptance but maybe unable to express that, sought to control the female variable. The female variable is historically easily controlled, through shame, through disenfranchisement, through outright violence. Gradually, insidiously, they negated our pleasure by drawing all of the edges, all of the soft, fragrant spaces inward until we are but a hole. Holes can’t think or feel. Holes are negative space. Holes only exist in opposition and must be filled. A gaping maw, a void.
And once that process caught on it sure spiraled. The tide of history, once turned, came crashing down on us. Until women were only children, to be disciplined, to be cared for, to love and be proud of but not quite human equals. Little boys grow up to be humans, little girls grow up to be still children, but children you can fuck.
Of course women, told all along that their bodies are wrong, that they’re incapable, reject sex. It’s impossible to enjoy sex as a woman in that matrix. Insofar as women have different processes of arousal, have needs more than being penetrated in order to climax or even feel pleasure, women are disordered. We must need a female Viagra. No, we must not look deeply at our cultural stance on sex and the anxiety of what it means to be a woman. We must not strive for self-love and the same kind of sexual hedonism that men take for granted. We must need a pill to correct our libidos and we need to come faster.
“Frigid” women who don’t enjoy penetration in a vacuum are blamed for their husbands’ problems, for their children’s problems. Freud and his cohort surely loved to extrapolate upon us.
The world is changing, however slowly. Fear, men’s fear, is still there, still causing violence against us. It’s still the patriarchy that tells them the only acceptable way for a man to express fear is through violence. And of course in response, women don’t want to fuck the men who terrorize them and perpetuate this awful view of female sexuality as “wrong” or at the very least “too complicated.” So we fake it. We act how porn actresses act, we perpetuate a culture of casual sex, we don’t expect to come but we know that they expect to make us come.
We must counter this fear with compassion, we must take a gentler approach to both men’s and women’s sexuality. We must acknowledge the performative role we’ve yoked ourselves with and break our chains. We must touch ourselves. We must be honest, we must not fake it. We must reject bad sex in solidarity with one another. We must reframe sex holistically and tenderly. Trust me, life will be so much better.