I have recently undertaken the task of trying to absorb Dworkin's work and read through some blogs that cover the issues she raises. In doing so, my own brain juices were triggered.
Sex is natural is the instantaneous and absurdly common response to any suggestion that sex may not be necessary. While this satisfied me for a time, the natural state of things rarely seems to be the best state of things. Moving away from a feminism for a moment to demonstrate this point, it is natural for people to eat animals. We are omnivores, we are more intelligent and more powerful then animals, so therefore it is natural for us to do so. I don't know if I ever thought like that really, but it was a good excuse at the time to continue eating meat. However it is wrong to torture and kill and wrong to excuse ourselves and justify our actions by claiming we are "just animals".
If in the case of vegetarianism a claim that it is natural to commit the kind of atrocity against animals that is the meat industry is to be rejected then in the case of sex it should also be rejected. We are not just mindless animals determined to engage in sex and procreate, we are, or should be, thoughtful human beings. Afterall what about our society now is in any way natural? We are constantly pumped full of medication when we probably should have died already, we have cities that are covering the world in smog, and slowly killing it. Nothing we do is natural, nothing we do is merely because we are mindless animals acting on instincts, so why do we continue to hide behind this excuse?
I was surprised by the fact I actually agreed with some of what a self proclaimed radical feminist stated. I have long been resentful of the expectation of sexual intercourse. There are many situations where it is expected, in normal situations, by well adjusted men. For instance if a woman allows a man to touch her, stimulate her, it is done with the absolute assumption that sex will follow, if sex does not follow well then rape does in extreme situations or frustration on the side of the man. I am aware that some women enjoy sex, orgasm from sex, but the studies show that most women do not climax from penetration. Why then is she expected to spread her legs? Why would she want something that isn't actually pleasurable?
In a relationship is another time sex is expected. If a woman isn't willing to have sex with her partner then she is not taking care of his needs properly, though very little is mentioned about him taking care of her needs. If sex doesn't occur this then isn't a healthy relationship, a real relationship or sometimes even a relationship at all. Even though one partner probably won't enjoy it.
The true issue with these situations is that they are hard to avoid. Humans are social creatures, they want to be with someone and they want to feel physical closeness. Not being in a relationship, not being able to experience physical pleasure without the eventual result of sex will never result in anything but misery. Women it seems to me often end up in situations where sex isn't the result they were hoping for but they submit to it to please their partner. This isn't the normal healthy compromise of a relationship (assuming it is in a relationship) that is sacrifice.
This results in a sense of helplessness I think. It creates an environment where the woman is not free to say no, if she wants to be close to someone if she wants to get the trade off of maybe engaging in sexual activity that pleases her as well she has to have sex. It is a currency, women give sex and men give emotions.
Why do men who are well aware that women rarely climax during sex still expect it? demand it? Get surprised when it isn't there? Are the radical feminists right, are men really conditioned to that extent to feel entitlement over women and their bodies.
Sometimes after I shower I look at my body and wonder how it could be that it will ever be mine, there is always someone who thinks that using it is his right as a man.
Yes I understand that men become aroused and enjoy sex, but I also understand that men aren't animals, sex is not a necessity to life (not anymore).
Why does the chant of "my body, my choice" ring so false?
Personally, I dislike sex, it isn't a pleasurable sensation for me. I gain no enjoyment from it, but people keep demanding that I have it anyway because its normal and healthy and natural. Until today I believed them, I convinced myself it was part of some mental illness, something to be fixed. Go to therapy and fix myself then I will enjoy sex. Seems to me with all the studies showing that sex doesn't often result in climax for the woman, I should have figured out sooner, my lack of desire for sex was probably not caused by mental illness. The tracks that play over and over in my head, frustrate me. Why do I have this determination to "cure" my displeasure when it comes to sex so that I can learn to satisfy my partner? It seems wrong to me, that I have to think this way.
My therapist incidently described a pressure to have sex as similar to the experience of rape. In both scenarios there is one person trying to force their (his) will upon the other for selfish reasons and the other person is trapped and distressed. I definitely see how this is true. Furthermore for me, pretty much anytime I have had sex has been in attempt to please my partner not really examining too thoroughly the fact that it wasn't something I wanted. It is degrading in a way to have these kind of thought patterns in my head.
In a conversation with a friend the other day, I told him he was common because he was a boy, there are lots of boys I said so therefore you are common. He responded that it isn't very nice to be put in a group based on your gender and told you are common. Sadly, my compassion and empathy deserts me just now. Maybe I am just too used to my gender defining me and too sick of it.
What is the verdict on these musings?