This is my abbreviated commentary on this article I read a few weeks ago: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/opinion/sunday/real-men-masculinity-rejected.html
A big reason why men become confused and misread “gray zones” in sexual interactions is that women don’t know even know what they want much less how to communicate that to men. Unlike what the author says, there is not a shortage of American men out there who do not care if a woman is enjoying the sex she is having with him. That’s an ego trip the author and a lot of men like to engage in so that they can believe they are one of the “good ones” who give a damn about the woman’s experience.
The woman’s enjoyment of sex, in and of itself, has become a part of the performance of masculinity during sexual interactions. For example, in this video from Cosmopolitan (https://youtu.be/LGJoElM9A7w) featuring American male Winter Olympic athletes, the most common “best” pick-up line is a variation on “I may win gold, but you’ll come first.” The concept of female pleasure has penetrated the collective American male consciousness. My research (and I have accumulated a decent sample size for my experiment) supports this. From a male standpoint, it is an excellent, if not entirely quantitative, way to measure manhood and his performance of it.
Hell, even Aziz Ansari went down on Grace before he asked her to go down on him.
It’s all part of the “man-box” now.
Beyond that, in the general mind-fuck that is human sexuality, the enjoyment of the female partner in a heterosexual sexual encounter is as legitimate a turn-on as feet or chest hair or anything else. It’s pretty benign and common. Most men I have been with love it when the woman is experiencing pleasure with them…or when they think the woman is experiencing pleasure. Most men are not entirely sure though because most women check out, fake their orgasm or tolerate their sexual experiences with men.
The sad truth is most men have no idea what it is like to have sex with a fully engaged, agentic, conscious, emotionally and sexually present woman. Last year, I was having a conversation with my brown-eyed lover about the DanceHer debacle when I said to him, “I just don’t understand how he could be turned on by having sex with drugged up, semi-conscious women.”
Mr. Brown Eyes replied, “Well, do you know how rare it is for a man to have sex with a woman who is actually conscious and in her body? What if that’s all he’s ever experienced? For that matter, who says he was conscious during these encounters?”
As usual, Mr. Brown Eyes had a good point.
Ladies, this is where the rubber meets the road regarding the whole #MeToomovement. THIS is where each of us can take responsibility and make an impact. Maybe there’d be less confusion for men if they knew what it was like to have sex with a woman who fully showed up and met them in the act.
What’s it going to take for us to be able to show up like that sexually? What do we need to do? How do we need to re-educate ourselves?