Sunday, February 19, 2017
Which is weird, because I can barely even say the word "vagina." (I'm even a little iffy on "angina," though rest assured, if there were a medical emergency, I'd probably manage to choke it out.*) I'm not alone in this. Even Eve Ensler, Little Miss Vagina Monologues said: "Doesn't matter how many times you say it, it never sounds like a word you want to say."
True that. However, I think I am going through some sort of vaginal consciousness raising which, I know, sounds completely horrible, like it would involve attending meetings, holding hands with caftan-clad strangers, and answering dreadful questions like "What is your vaginal song?"
But you see, vaginas don't just exist as they are--well, I mean, they do--but they're also subject to the Prevailing Attitudes of the Day. In the 19th century, for example, girls who learned how to masturbate were considered to have a medical problem. Writes Ensler: "Often they were 'treated' or 'corrected' by amputation or cautery of the clitoris or 'miniature chastity belts,' sewing the vaginal lips together to put the clitoris out of reach.'" Which, I imagine, certainly did the trick.
It was only a few hundred years ago that the existence of the clitoris was still a matter of serious scientific debate. And even today, we're still sort of iffy on some pretty major issues such as the G-spot's validity, what the hell a woman's ejaculate is, and whether or not there are different types of orgasm. Science, it seems, doesn't quite know what to make of female sexuality, and by association, vaginas.
So, yes, vaginas are mysterious and hard to figure out. But guess what? That's what so good about them. What fun would it be if you solved it all at once?
I think that's why the Prevailing Attitudes of the Day re: vaginas and the stupid bleaching and plastic surgery are bothering me so much. Because all of those things are about making the vagina chaste-looking and less, well, womanly. Like a beginner vagina that doesn't know anything. The lips of a vagina that has birthed babies and been well fucked are lush and flushed and swollen. They are not tiny and pink and virginal. They are full and open and just...so ripe.
I started thinking of them as being ripe, like a rose in full bloom, after reading this passage from Michael Pollan's Into the Rose Garden on roses and female sexuality. (Yes, I said "like a rose in full bloom." And yes, I know I sound like I'm talking about singing your vaginal song and all that, but hear me out.) In the piece, Pollan writes about his Maiden's Blush rose, also known as Cuisse de Nymphe Emue which means "the thigh of an aroused nymph."
Maiden’s Blush...seems to press her sexuality on us. Her petals are more loosely arrayed than Madame Hardy’s; less done up, almost unbuttoned. They are larger, too, and they flush with the palest flesh pink toward the center, which itself is elusive, concealed in their innumerable folds. The blush of this maiden is not in the face only. Could I be imagining things?
No, Maiden’s Blush is certainly not the old lady I expected when I planted roses. And though Maiden’s Blush bears an especially provocative bloom, every one of the old roses I planted, and all I’ve since seen and smelled, have been deeply sensuous in a way I wasn’t prepared for. Compared with the chaste buds and modest scent of the modern roses, these old ones give freely of themselves. They flower all at once, in a single, climactic week. Their blooms look best fully opened, when their form is most intricate; explicit, yet still so deeply enfolded on themselves as to imply a certain inward mystery....More than most floral scents, the fragrance of these roses is impossible to get hold of or describe “it seems to short-circuit conscious thought, to travel in a straight line from nostril to brain stem." Inhale deeply the perfume of a Bourbon rose and then try to separate out what is scent, what is memory, what is emotion; you cannot pull apart the threads that form this . . . this what?...
If the allure of old roses is in the frank sensuality of their blooms, then what are we to make of the development and eventual triumph of the modern hybrid tea? Maybe the Victorian middle class simply couldn’t deal with the rose’s sexuality. Perhaps what really happened in 1867 was a monumental act of horticultural repression. By transforming the ideal of rose beauty from the fully opened bloom to the bud, the Victorians took a womanly flower and turned her into a virgin, "a celebrated beauty when poised on the verge of opening, but quickly fallen after that."
Deeply sensuous? Frank sensuality? Short-circuiting conscious thought? Oh, Michael Pollan, this is why I love you so! (Oh, also for your excellent points on monocultures, sustainable farming techniques, and whatnot.)
But I wonder, are we doing the same thing with our bodies? Will we keep trying to bio-engineer chaste-appearing closed-up girl vaginas, forever "poised on the verge of opening," while foolishly missing out on the best damn part--the extreme fuckability and lush sexuality of a woman in full bloom?
*This is a lie. Instead of "angina," I would say "chest pains."
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
According to a survey in the Telegraph, three-quarters of people over 45 think sex became less enjoyable after they turned 40. The average 45+ person has sex once a week and this Sex of the Week--which is generally done in the missionary position, in a bedroom, with the lights off--rarely lasts more than 22 minutes, including any sort of foreplay.
And if all this weren't enough, 31% of people had cut a session short because as the Telegraph so Britishly put it, "They were too exhausted to carry on." "Simon, I do say, I am exhausted and can no longer carry on. If you've not come, perhaps a nice wanking off for you, old fellow?" (In marginally-related wanking off news: I was looking up British slang terms for masturbation and discovered --to my horror--that "jill off" is a vulgar term for female masturbation. How is it that they know?) But anyway, these Brits are so out of shape they can't even manage a boring session of weekly dutiful sex. Brits, mind you! Not drive-thru window-using, cheeseburger-eating, WalMart cart-riding Americans. I can (all too easily) see being too tired to start sex, but too tired to finish sex? Man, how crappy would you feel if your partner just stopped mid-thrust and said, "Eh, I'm too fat and lazy to continue banging you"?
The good news in a study from iVillage was that nearly half of the women surveyed married the person with whom they'd had the best sex of their lives. But it gets more confusing from there. Two-thirds of the women said they'd rather do something else like read a book, go to a movie, etc... than have sex with Mr. Supposedly Best Sex of Their Lives. A huge majority, 81%, described their sex lives as "predictable," but then they go on to report than most of them are quite happy with their sex lives.
I was confused by the whole survey until I saw that only 62% of women "admitted" they had fantasized about having sex with someone other than their spouse. Oh, come on! Clearly this survey is bogus. Never fantasized about another person ever? What are these 37% of women fantasizing about?
Mmm, my husband comes into bed for sex because it's Saturday. He is wearing black socks and turns off the lights. We discuss who will take the kids to the Brownie meeting, then with little to no foreplay, we get into the missionary position. After far less than 22 minutes, we have to stop because we are too tired to carry on. Oh, God, is anyone else totally hot right now?As you might have guessed, this is all leading to some questions for you. Namely:
1. Did you marry the best sex of your life?
2. Have you ever fantasized about someone other than your partner? If so, who?
3. If not, go back and answer question #2, this time telling the truth, and tell us who.
4. Do you thinking jilling off is a really bad name for masturbating? Mark "yes" or "definitely yes."
(note: this is totally a rerun. Data may now be completely wrong so do not attempt any Major Life Changes based on information obtained herein.)
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
With women, it all seems a bit more nebulous. There is no female equivalent to the phrase "thinking with the little head." Women don't have such a strong, obvious sexual reaction--no big ol' boners--and besides, our emotional, intellectual and physical selves seem to have only rudimentary inter-communication skills.
In the Meredith Chivers experiment that I slightly incorrectly cited the other day, the sexual visuals that women reported being aroused by (i.e. naked man walking on the beach) were completely different than what their genitals reacted to* (homo and hetero sex, men or women masturbating, even a chick doing calisthenics). As my beloved Daniel Bergner, put it in the New York Times, "...with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person."
This is so intriguing to me because it seems that rather it being a case of the women being embarrassed, and just saying they were aroused by naked beach dude because thought that's what they should be aroused by, they truly had a disconnect between mind and body. Like they actually did not know what their bodies were aroused by.
But then reader Unknown (Unknown actually has a Blogger profile with that name) wrote this genius comment which threw my mind off-track (unfortunately, no genital reading was recorded to corroborate):
Whoa wait a second, though, let's not conflate "things a woman's vagina does in a laboratory" with "the final word on what turns women on." Sometimes women are turned on by things and don't exhibit a vaginal response. It's called non-concordance and it's a thing.
It's an important thing to keep in mind, because valuing a woman's physical response over what she actually says she's enjoying sexually paves the way for shit like "well she was wet, so she must have wanted it." Nobody's vagina has a better idea of what they want than their brain does.
So where does us leave us?
What is the biological point of our bodies and minds having such different agendas and poor inter-networking skills?
I think I've always ascribed a greater wisdom to the body--like "This guy seems wholly unsuitable and not even horribly attractive, but my body sure as hell wants him. Clearly it has access to some sort of magical/evolutionary Greater Wisdom. Let's do it!"
I mean, this is beyond TMI, but I have literally checked my panties to gauge how wet they were to determine my level of interest in someone. Was the panty-check smart thinking/working with nature or just worthless (and graphic) voodoo? Does the cunt provide Greater Wisdom or does it just shoot out random misfires to fuck with us? If it's the first case, should it take precedence over rational thought? And, should I maybe not have mentioned that whole bit about the panties?
Or how 'bout this: what if there's someone who is wildly good looking, smart, intriguing, sensual, way sexy to your brain--all of it--but doesn't actually moisten your panties? Is your body just...wrong? Or is this something to pay attention to?
When your body has an intense sexual reaction to someone--or lack thereof--how much do you listen to it? How wise have its decisions been? Please report back with your findings.
p.s. Just checked my panties. And you're good.
p.p.s. This is a rerun and upon rereading, I regret using the word "moisten" a little bit. Also when it ran, some people didn't like that photo, even though it's a mannequin, a seemingly sexual aroused mannequinm but still. Also some people didn't like that I said "cunt." This was in the days before certain public figures "bragged" about grabbing pussies. (Note: I think Justin Trudeau doesn't need to resort to grabbing them--not that it's ever right, of course--because pussies just float into his hand, like butterflies.)
* As measured by a sexy, sexy vaginal probe.
Posted by jill Hamilton at 2:56 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
|Jesus, that was good.|
What I've been thinking about lately, though, are the sounds of sex. The sighs, the wet smack of a woman's arousal, a rasped plea, a lover's moan (is there anything better than the sound of your lover's moan?*), a primitive growl of lust, a passionate whisper or shout of your name**--all these sounds convey sublime feelings and pleasures that are literally unspeakable.
I once had a lover leave me a phone message of his orgasm. (If you are as into sound as I am, do this. Do this at once. God, it would kill me to listen to it even today!) He started off talking me through it, explaining what he was looking at (picture of my boobs, you nosy motherfucker) and how close he was to coming. But the catch in his voice told me how aroused he was much more than what he was saying. He described riding the edge of almost coming, as his voice became raspier and his breathing more ragged. His words grew incoherent, as he went toward, then through his orgasm, completely conveying the experience through sound alone. I could hear (and almost feel) the tension, the inevitability, the blinding orgasm, then the strong aftershocks. It was pretty fucking amazing.
Sex sounds are a whole other language, made of groans and gasps and breath patterns and non-verbal...I don't know...emoting. We might "mmm" a bit over food, or grunt as we hit a tennis ball, but it's nothing like the extended, intricate, primal aural communication we have during sex.
So why do we make these sounds during sex?
The science on the sounds of sex is pretty scant. British primatologist Stuart Semple recorded 550 baboon female "copulation calls"--which is not at all a weird way to spend one's time--analyzed their acoustic structure and found that the calls contained information about what point the female was in her reproductive cycle and the status of her partner. Humans might be subconsciously exchanging similar information. A 2008 study found that women's voices--as judged by impartial listeners--changed during their cycle, becoming "more attractive" during ovulation and "less attractive" during menstruation. (Insert bitchy period joke here.)
A 2011 study found that women often made "copulatory vocalizations" (this is really what they called them) to accompany their partner's orgasm. Why? Politeness and/or trying to get it over with. Reports Salon's Lucy McKeon in A Nation of Moaners:
Sixty-six percent reported making noise to accelerate their partner’s ejaculation. Ninety-two percent believed these vocalizations upped their partner’s self-esteem (87 percent reported vocalizing for this purpose). Other reported reasons included speeding things up, “to relieve discomfort/pain, boredom, and fatigue in equal proportion, as well as because of time limitations.”
I don't particularly care for this study because 1). they only used 71 women, and just asked them questions instead of measuring them during real sex with sort of scientific Copulatory Vocalizationometer. 2). Those results are depressing.
I dislike the idea of calculated sounds, designed to spur someone to orgasm or worse "relieve boredom." I much prefer the unbidden moan, the deep rich moan that rises spontaneously from some primitive place of dark-red wanting.
I'll leave you today with these words from a lawyer-turned-dominitrix describing her love of "finding" this moan in her lovers. Or as she puts it in The Vagina Monologues "Discovering the key, unlocking this voice, this wild song."
"I made love to quiet women and I found this place inside them and they shocked themselves in their moaning. I made love to moaners and they found a deeper, more penetrating moan...It was a kind of surgery, a kind of delicate science, finding the tempo, the exact location or home or the moan."
*answer: no, there is not.
**Why is it so delightful to hear your name on your lover's lips during the throes of passion? Egotism, pretty much. From Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People: Principle #6 –Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
(Alfred Noyer, Paris 1920s)
Thursday, December 29, 2016
|Note: Sign not necessarily accurate|
But among the sexy, flattering, funny and/or smart things, there's always something like this, fresh from today's in-box: "I'm horny. lol."
Yes, obviously "I'm horny. lol" is stupid and pointless and spectacularly ineffectual, but I hated it extra because:
1. It's just plain selfish (they are horny but don't ask about my own situation).
2. Use of the word "horny" (ick)
3. They completely dissipate whatever "heat" they may have generated in the first two words with "lol."
Still. Reader, I married him. JK. Still too soon to tell.
Your Dick Is Fine--You Don't Need to Send Me A Picture Of It
Meanwhile over on Twitter, some dude wanted to send me his dick pic. Since this was a step above the usual unasked for surprise dick pic, I kindly directed him to Critique My Dick Pic. Yet he kept coming back, begging and begging me to look at it, claiming he was from a repressive society and was desperately worried if it looked okay or not. Finally, as no reasonable person would do, I told him to send me the damn dick pic and I'd tell him it was fine. He did, I did. But then, as you might have predicted, he kept writing, wanting me to rank it from one to ten. It was then I finally blocked him, about 15 messages later that you would have, and he will never know that I actually thought his dick was pretty hot, a solid 8 or so, even though I'd only give his personality a 2.
British Audio Porn
In happier news, reader Anonymous wrote me about 8 million years ago about British Filth. "It's a guy who records audio porn with an awesome British accent that is A-mazing. It's first-person--put on your headphones and he's talking to you," A writes. I test listened to "Jerk Off With Me" in which the Brit (who sounds like a pervier version of the Headspace meditation guy) instructs the male listerner to wank off along with him. It was indeed super hot and I was semi-wishing I had a dick too, then remembered, Oh yeah, I do.
Books by Readers
While I remain busy never writing my book, these friends of IBWMW have no such psychological barriers and are pounding them out.
The Goddess Guide to Sex, Love & Life by Caitlin Grace. I completely adore Caitlin Grace because she's a bawdy chick with a cool accent. Her book is about being your bad-ass sexual self and just owning the fuck out of it--even if, especially if, you're an older chick. In one section about "creating sacred sanctuary," she writes about ridding your bedroom of family photos, unread books and such. "None of that shit belongs in there," she writes, the unwarranted cussing making it that much better.
Inviting Desire by Walker J. Thornton is 30 day plan for midlife women to enhance their sex lives. Thornton offers earnest practical advice and literary inspiration via Diane Ackerman, Pablo Neruda and D.H. Lawrence.
Of Sound Mind and Someone Else's Body by William Quincy Belle. A man and woman switch bodies and figure out stuff like walking in heels and whether they're gonna kiss. (Extra credit question for future IBWMW Ministers of Overachievement: Would you fuck someone who was residing in your body?)
And finally, the most popular thing I've written lately was a Cosmo piece on sex positions with a dude with a micropenis. It's had about 38K shares so far, 99.9% of them guys tagging their friends on Facebook: "This might help you with that problem you were telling me about." Bam!
At the same time the article came out, an actual baby started following me on Twitter. However, I suspect it's unrelated.
Anyway, I'll try to write you something good to make up for it all because I miss your ass. A lot.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
|The sadness of unfavorable penis-to-bowtie size ratio.|
--Christina sent an email with the subject line--but of course--"Sooo...this made me think of you."
"I abhor parades," she wrote. "But this? Definitely a must see. Japan's Annual Penis Festival Is As Phallic As You'd Expect."
Yes, April 6 was Kanamara Matsuri, the "Festival of the Steel Phallus," which features phallic-centric activities such as the wearing of penis hats and the sucking of penis lollipops. (April 7, I think, marks the "The Day Penis Lollipops Are 50% Off.")
The celebration, the continuation of an ancient tradition, is a jolly street festival with penis seesaws, much crossdressing and giant penises being hoisted down the street. The woman hoisting that giant penis down there (below) doesn't look especially jolly about her role in the day, but in truth, I'm not certain what the appropriate expression is, really, for heavy penis hauling. I assume she is pondering the series of life choices that led to this exact moment in her life. But perhaps I am projecting.
|Woman questioning life choices.|
--Next, this from Trista, who through international efforts, solved the mystery of what the talking onahole is saying:
"Hi! My friend [ed: let's call him Anonymous] is partway through a JET career in Okinawa. Though raised in the US, his father and extended family hail from that southern archepelago of Japan. Anonymous-san is currently engaged teaching the wonders of English to middle school Japanese students, the bravest of whom might possess their very own 'onahole'.
Anyway, I sent him your posting, and this was his response. :) I was hoping he'd send it in, but apparently he's shy:
What the Onahole is saying is (roughly): "Read the attached warning!"
The other stuff is just notes on various features of the product. e.g., the grey bubble on the top right reads: "THIS IS ART, DUDE! The start of the sinewy shaft is a perfect reproduction!" (I'm taking license with the translation. Direct translation sounds weird as hell.)
He also notes that the "ona" is for onanism (see also: How Wanking It Created The Universe and Other Theories on Masturbation). Thank you, Trista and Anonymous-san! It's oddly pleasing to me to think of dear, shy Anonynous-san way over there in Japan poring over tiny Onahole kanji so we all may Learn.
--And finally James alerted us to the existence of the Furu Furi Ona Shaker, which is an Onahole cleaner, somewhat like a cocktail shaker but with really awesome graphics on the outside. Look!
|Shown here forcing Sue Sylvester to behold his freshly cleansed Onahole.|
|My series of life choices? A-OK!|
|"World's Greatest Lover"|
(source for photo of sad clown man)