Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Lush Sexuality of a Woman in Full Bloom

I've been writing about vaginas a lot lately.

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 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."

(photo source)

Friday, April 17, 2015

SEO and a Can of Beans.

If you do any social media work, you're supposed to care about SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization or something. I don't really understand it, frankly, but I think the general idea is that you're supposed to tag your posts with phrases that people commonly search for, so when people search for "weight loss" or "Kardashian ass" or whatever, there's your thing, top of the rankings.

You'd think I'd have an edge in this since:
1.  I write about sex (or at least in the near vicinity of sex).
2.  Sex is an insanely popular search term. (Probably the most popular by far, despite that Yahoo! "Trending now" list that claims that most people are searching for "Katie Couric" or "easy soup recipes.")

However, I was looking through the tags I put at the end of my posts and never once did I put plain ol' "sex," thus cleverly luring the Googling masses over here to In Bed With Married Women (see also: self-sabotage? examine later....)

No, instead I put the most cockamamie tags that no one in their right minds would ever search for. I mean, "a can of beans"? "Ball sack aroma"?  THESE are the terms I choose to lure readers/represent my "brand"?

Have a look at these, unfortunately, very real tags I've used and I think you'll see why I might spend a few moments perusing some "Improve your SEO" articles:



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Real Sex Lives, Severene: "I just had the most fucked up sexual experience."

(You have arrived at the end of a grand celebration in which we're running IBWMW's favorite Real Sex Lives, stories in which readers anonymously share the truth about their sex lives, or lack thereof. Please don appropriate viewing goggles.)

This new one is dark and raw, but with some beauty and Life Lessons--just the way I like it.

Here, then, today's entry from Severene: 

I just had the most fucked up sexual experience and I don't know what to do with it.

I'm just gonna write it down because I need to purge it or codify it or maybe just see if written down it makes better sense. Here goes:

I had a fight with my husband and I left. From the car, I called my old lover. The one who three months before had decided he would just never call me again. It would have been nice if he would have informed me of this, but he is not nice. That was part of his appeal.

Since he'd disappeared on me, I had been completely lost, weeping inconsolably every night. Yes. Every. Fucking. Night. For three months. I walked hollow-eyed through my life like a specter, tears welling up at any reminder of him. This happened a lot since my reminders included:  doctors, the city of Houston, pretty much any song on the radio, references to following your instincts/heart, hospitals, any mentions of fucking in general, the entire Jewish people... you get the idea.

Perhaps fleeing was just an excuse to see my lover again. I wanted him to hold me in his arms and tell me everything was gonna be all right--even though it wasn't gonna be all right. He has a big hairy bear-like body and I just so needed to be near him. Physically, close to that big body, like it would heal me.

I called him hysterically crying and asked if I could stay for two nights at his house in Houston. He told me things were going well for him but he could "always fit me in" or something like that that made me feel like shit. He sounded pleased though. He told me it "wasn't going to be free" and I was going to end up licking cum off my tits. It seemed like a good deal to me.

I drove like crazy, speeding for hours, weeping and/or feeling elated that I was going to be well-fucked by this man again. I was a mess. You don't have to tell me that.

I arrived at his house before him and waited out front for a few minutes. He pulled up and, for a moment, smiled and looked happy. I met him in his garage, hugged him and burst into tears.

We walked inside and he sat down at his table and started going through his mail. He looked up at me, as though surprised I was still there. "You look ragged out," he said, disapprovingly.  I had been crying intermittently for several hours--a few months, technically--but he wasn't giving me any slack. I instantly felt a million years old, haggard and foolish in my suddenly too-short skirt. He gave me a sort of dismissive gesture so I left to wander his house.

His house was a smallish McMansion, which is not an oxymoron. It's the kind of place that has a grand showy staircase entry that makes odd-shaped, uncomfortable spaces below to accommodate this bourgeois idea of grandeur. He still lived like he did in college, even though he is a grown man, with milk crates as storage and half-read papers scattered haphazardly on the floor. He was using a loose garbage bag leaning against his kitchen cabinets instead of making the commitment to a real trash can. He was just crashing there, not making a life there, as he probably had in every space he'd inhabited in his 48 years on the planet.

He was incredibly uncomfortable that I was in his space and clearly wanted me to be...not there. This was horrible and obvious and I should have just left immediately, but I desperately wanted to fuck him and win him over and just have him stop wanting me gone. How was this so awful to him? We'd gotten along famously the last time I'd seen him--albeit in the neutral territory of a hotel--how was having me there suddenly so fucking unbearable to him?

I don't know if it was my "ragged out" appearance, the invasion of his space, my general hysteria or that his heart was now elsewhere (jeez, writing it down now and seeing all those things together, the answer is clearly "e. all of the above"), but he was now clearly Not That Into Me. I was wretched and humiliated but somehow still there like an asshole. I just couldn't accept what was happening and that he didn't love me or want me anymore.

He came over to me, bent me over the couch and hit me on the ass, hard, a few times--something he'd never done before. Then he walked into his kitchen and started looking around in the fridge. He's kind of like that. He will stick his dick in your mouth for a few minutes, pull his hard-on back out, then go sit down and have a bowl of grains or something.

Despite my humiliation or perhaps due to it, I was super turned on and still trying to act like everything was normal. He put a Lou Reed record on the turntable and pulled his dick out of his scrubs, making the universal signal for 'suck this.' I did, willingly and greedily.

His dick is tremendous. My eyes well up just thinking about it, it's really that good. So thick and fat and fucking huge. His dick is like if you took another man's dick, and inflated it with 2--maybe 3--big good puffs of air. I can feel it in my mouth still. I fucking love that thing.

"OK, I will fuck you then," he said after a bit, like I just earned something. He grabbed me and took me up his staircase to his bedroom, shoving my panties into my mouth along the way.

As he took off his clothes, I looked at his wide calves dispassionately. His legs are short, very stocky and nearly hairless. I don't really like them at all. I marveled for the billionth time why I was so fucking attracted to this man who, objectively, was not attractive to me. Unlike him, however, I did not say out loud the leg equivalent to "you look ragged out."

In bed, he asked if I wanted him to hit me again. I said no, and he said, "Beg me." "Please don't hit me," I whispered, not entirely sure that that was actually what I wanted. "Beg me to fuck you," he demanded. That wasn't going to be a problem for me. I really was hysterical, in both the modern and early 20th century interpretations of the word. I completely lost it, crying even more, begging and begging him, over and over. I completely lost my shit. In truth, it was strangely liberating. All that needy open-wound stuff that you try to hide from the world is what I was presenting to him. I was a fucking endless chasm of need and lust and desperate wanting and I let him see all of it. After bearing

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Lover's Moan and Other Sounds of Sex

Jesus, that was good.
Really amazing sex gets you from every direction. Besides the whole crazy love/spiritual intoxicating chemical dump that's happening in your brain, truly great fuckery involves all your senses as well. I think that's why it's all so damn heady. I mean, all these completely intense inputs are hammering you at once. The particular delicious smell of your lover's neck, the sight of a body part swelling with desire for you, the taste of their upper thigh...oh god.  Plus the wild array of touches-- the slow sliding, out-of-control violent thrusting, fierce whole body throbbing ride that marks a really good fuck.

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)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Real Sex Lives, Reader Question Version: "What's the sexiest thing someone has done to get you into bed?"

One wooing technique.
(You have arrived in the midst of a grand celebration in which we're re-running IBWMW's all-time greatest Real Sex Lives stories.)

Hey you, a reader needs our help! Let's hop into the IBWMW Rescue Van!

Today's problem: Getting in the mood, with a emphasis on proper boner presentation. Here, let's let this improperly-wooed reader explain her predicament.

Dear Jill,

I need some advice from you and the thoughtful IBWMW readers if you would be so kind.

My husband is terrible at proposing that we have sex. The sex itself is good but I usually need a little time to warm up to the idea-- a little convincing-- and he can bring it up in a way that is a total turn-off (seriously, he recently walked up to me while I was doing the taxes and tapped me on the shoulder with his boner with a defeated expression before wandering off to the kitchen to consume a can of beans).

But here's the important part: he's a good listener, a sweet guy, and perfectly willing to try to change his approach. It's just that I can't come up with any really specific requests for him. We must be the two most unimaginative people around (before we jump in bed together, anyway). So I was hoping for some help from the IBWMW community: what is the sexiest thing someone has done to get you into bed? How do you get in the mood and initiate sex? I'm all ears for ladies initiating sex, too.

-Anonymous lady whose husband would be super embarrassed if he figured out this was about him.

Ok, I'm gonna be no help here because I actually like the whole primal Presentation of Arousal thing, though maybe without the can of beans aspect.

So my smart and lovely friends, you're in charge. Can you help this wordily-monikered Gentle Reader?


(photo source) 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Real Sex Lives: "In Praise of the Hand Job" by An Anonymous Husband

(You have arrived in the midst of a grand celebration in which we're re-running IBWMW's all-time greatest Real Sex Stories. Feel free to hang out awhile and look around.)

In Greek mythology, Hera and Zeus were arguing over which gender got the most pleasure from sex. Zeus said it was the women and Hera claimed it was the man. Tiresias, who had spent time as both a man and women, sided with Zeus. (For this, Hera struck him blind, adding further complications to already becoming overly eventful life.)

What I take from this is that the Gods are kind of jerky but have interesting conversations. There's also the takeaway idea of experiencing sex from the perception of the other gender.  Wouldn't it be interesting to have the body of the opposite sex for an hour or so? You could sort of ravish yourself and see what everything felt like.

That's why I like the following piece.  It puts me into the mind and body of a man, without the muss and fuss of expensive surgery or intervention by angry gods. But I'll stop yammering and get to An Anonymous Husband's take on the hand job:

The hand job doesn’t get much press, especially when compared to its more popular and storied cousin, the blowjob. Oh, I imagine the subject is still big in high school, where a quick gf/bf handy in the backseat of the car or on the family room couch is as close to sex as a lot of kids get. But married folks who have long since moved on to the main event tend not to think too much about the humble wife-wank, and I think that’s a shame. Because hand jobs, when done right, are awesome.

My wife enjoys sex more than any other woman I’ve slept with, but her overall libido, at least as far as quantity goes, is far lower than mine.  I’m in the same boat with millions of married men: I’m an every-night guy who happens to be madly in love with a once-a-week girl.

Unfortunately, I don’t do particularly well with “not getting any.” Without sex, I get cranky, irritable, and mildly depressed. The change is subtle- I don’t turn into a raging asshole overnight- but it’s there. It’s as if there’s a reservoir of happiness and contentment that, for better or for worse, can only be refilled with orgasms. Since one orgasm a week isn’t going to come close to meeting my wants and needs, I’m more than happy to go it solo when time and circumstances allow. But finding such