Monday, July 18, 2005

Too Much Sex in the City?

I have a friend. A beautiful, intelligent, witty, fit, responsible, homeowner, health insured, full-time employee, creative, bilingual, talented friend. She and I lived parallel lives upon our meeting almost 8 years ago. We both grew up eating organic food, were raised by single moms, (even thought mine married several times) were political activists from age 9, have always championed the underdog, and lived in Puerto Rico in subsequent years. We met in a Spanish linguistics class in 1998, and have been recounting our parallels ever since. Upon graduation from college, we both worked in social work with women, children, and the Latino community. I have grown to care about and truly love this friend...we talk everyday, update each other on all the stupid little details like how much we slept last night, what we're eating for breakfast, how far we got in the book we're reading...etc. It is this closeness we share that has gotten me through a lot of trying times, and I am very grateful to her for that. She and her son's father split up last summer when he chose his love for illegal herbs and distilled potatoes over his family. Since then, there have been so many times when I've seen HUGE red flags pop up with the guys she has dated, but she just sweeps it under the rug. After last summer, she has become increasingly closed emotionally, (for obvious reasons) but it has not deterred her from dating to fulfill her physical needs. At first I was all for it. I thought, "maybe it's possible to have a physical relationship and be in total control of your sex life without getting burned. As long as everyone agrees on the terms, go for it!" I was wrong.

Here's the problem: There is no such thing as meaningless sex. Regardless if you want it for physical quenching, emotional fulfillment, another notch on your belt, bragging rights, or control over your own body, it means something. I think the downfall for women comes when we try to live outside our makeup and pretend not to care anymore. When we try to be "hard" and act like each new meaningless sexual experience with men we would never marry or even consider for a long term relationship isn't a waste of our time. IT IS. Our time is precious, limited, and so much more valuable than we treat it sometimes. My friend spent all day yesterday pissed off because she got dumped by a guy she was dating who she would never marry or even love. It wasn't about her being sad; her pride was hurt. She spent all day angry about a guy she wasn't even with. She wanted to be the one to call the shots but he beat her to the punch and now she's mad. All because she underestimated her vulnerability...How do I shake her into reality to explain these things without her feeling like I'm judging her? She is worth too much to be left for a bottle, another woman, or an immature game she will never win.


Aaron Hanscom said...

First off, it was nice to see more of you than just your eyes. You guys make a great couple!

I was going to begin by writing that you are wrong---that men can have meaningless sex! But, alas, you are right. Personal experience has shown me that guys can feel just as crumby after a night of purely sexual gratification. I do think that feminism(in spite of its many positives) has failed women when it comes to sex. Here's what I wrote on my blog a few months ago.
One Night in Paris

One can learn a great deal from the Paris Hilton sex video, which I recently watched for purely--wink, wink--educational purposes. In all seriousness, this widely circulated video is revealing in more ways than one. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the full-time party girl as she was treated like a "whore" by Rick Solomon. That's what she gets for acting like one, you might be saying out loud. True enough.

However, Hilton's only half-joking appeals for Solomon to talk to her with more respect(she takes umbrage with him for not treating her like a lady) were seen by me as an expression of her unhappiness with a way of life she was so sure would lead to fulfilment. All across the country, girls are increasingly acting out in ways that are contrary to their natures because they have been sold a lie by the radical feminists.

The Claremont Review of Books has an excellent review of Steven E. Rhode's Taking Sex Differences Seriously. Rhode's book will hopefully make more women see how the freeing of their sexuality has led to the freedom of men to treat them like sluts:

"This denial of difference also supports feminists' attempts to market the sexual revolution and its "freeing" of female sexuality as an unambiguous triumph for women. But the sexual double standard that has always allowed men greater promiscuity in sexual relations than women has not been eliminated; the sexual revolution only succeeded in making its effects more cruelly felt by even more women. Indeed, one of the greatest ironies of the sexual revolution was its naïve and ultimately unsuccessful revolt against biology. As Rhoads notes, "The old standard led to more happy young women than today's does," mainly because "the overwhelming majority of women come to dislike uncommitted sex." Instead of society punishing women who are too promiscuous, as in the days of old, women now punish themselves (by risking disease and rejection), or blame men, or both."

Paris might want to remember the following words the next time she is trying to get a guy like Solomon to love her:

Men's "sense of duty and capacity for sacrifice will be brought forth more readily if women will say 'no' to casual sex and give them time and motive to turn their lust into love."

Tremenda Trigueña said...

Not that I watched the Paris Hilton video, but how does one having sex with her boyfriend make her a whore? I don't like, respect, hope to become like Paris Hilton, but I think she was unfairly chastized for a video that (if I'm not mistaken) she had no knowledge was being created.

"The old standard led to more happy young women than today's does," mainly because "the overwhelming majority of women come to dislike uncommitted sex." Instead of society punishing women who are too promiscuous, as in the days of old, women now punish themselves (by risking disease and rejection), or blame men, or both."

I am not proporting that women are to blame for men's disrespect, and where the HELL does this guy get off making a blanket statement about the happiness of women under the "old standard"? Women were still getting STDs, they were just getting them from their husbands who were bringing them home after a romp with their mistress or a prostitute.

I agree that we women have not, as a whole, come to terms with our sexuality but I also think WE never will. Sexuality is such a complex personal issue that regardless of what feminists OR traditionalists say, we have to make a decision for ourselves. That decision however, must take into account our innate humanity and not be used to prove a point or exert our independence as liberated women.

Women like sex, men like sex. My thoughts are that men should be the ones talked to, as they are the trendsetters on the promiscuity circuit. Men should also be expected to say no and stop believing that the world and all it's cootchie is something to be conquered without restraint. Maybe the feministas would have a different standard to base their "sexual revolution" on which, quite frankly, is often a repetition of the disdainful behavior that has made so many women hate men.

Aaron Hanscom said...

Well said.

She was aware of the tape. I wasn't calling her a whore, but rather pointing out the fact that Rick Solomon was treating her like a whore. I feel just as bad for Paris as you do. That was the point of my post. The pathos of the video(I'm a film critic now) comes when Paris almost begs Rick to show her some respect and love. Rick says at one point (after Paris refuses to reciprocate his degrading talk) "aren't you supposed to be the wild party girl?" i.e. "aren't you a slut?" Paris says "I'm not like that." i.e. "I really crave a different lifestyle than what I am living."

Tremenda Trigueña said...

Aaron, I think you're right in that some women have gone too far trying to exert their image as a "anything goes" party girls...but I think what you saw there goes on much more often than we think in bedrooms across America. Of course Paris is going to be blown up because of her fame, but I think a lot of women have been pressured or degraded in their sexual experiences. It comes down to the two people and the decisions they make in that very instance. I think men who are looking for the slut to fulfill their every wish are sick mysoginist bastards who believe what the porn flicks/mags have showed them since they were 13 stealing their dad's Playboys...that women are hapless sex toys just waiting to be pillaged....we can play that game, but only if the two people involved have mutual respect for each other and an understanding of the word "NO".

Aaron Hanscom said...

You are 100 percent correct about pornography. Its effect on men is not given nearly the importance it is due.

NYgirl said...

What great comments. Feminism has failed women because, ironcally, it has asked women to become playthings. Not only to deny "female nature" but human nature in general.

However, you try to put it sex is an intimate act, & as good as it might feel at the moment, it's hard not to feel degraded afterwards. After giving so much of your-self to a person, it's painful to face the fact that they may not like you.