Monday, September 9, 2013

The Wisdom (?) of the Cunt

You pass
I think men have their relationships with their cocks all worked out. An understanding, of sorts. They know that their dicks react to certain people and they've pretty much decided how much credence they'll give to the input coming from their pants. Yes?

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.

xoxox
jill
 
p.s.  Just checked my panties. And you're good.


 * As measured by a sexy, sexy vaginal probe.

21 comments:

Caitlin Grace said...

Ahh I do love to read you posts. I have to say that cunt logic is definitely to be paid heed too!
In my own life I had an affair with a married guy and while my mind was hot and heavy for him the old wet panties were non existent. Needless to say after 6 months the relationship ended.
Funny story now 23 years later he's dating my sister! It's a small fucked up world!

Anonymous said...

Dangerous topic. But you knew that.

Personal. This is the logic that led one lady to have a four year affair with me. Not that it was easy for her, being married and all. She fought off this 'wisdom' for a few years before giving into it, to a mutual and immense gratification that lasted until we were both divorced.

Political. There is plenty of research suggesting that physical arousal and intention are in fact sometimes disconnected. Reflecting the example you cite, many rape victims report this and rapists -- often of the date variety -- will say the physical arousal exonerates them.

And many of us were around when 'nice' girls were not supposed to have arousal in the first place. In these occasions it was the protocol to initially claim reluctance, while the physical wisdom was saying 'Yes! Yes! Yes!'.

Yes, I'm uncomfortable admitting this in today's world. But in that world, high school in Middle America circa 1972, this was far more often the case than it was not.

Jim said...

Good to know that women are as confused by that thing as we are.

The secret is, stop using your brain! But then you'll become more like us.

Anonymous said...

Well now, wait just one minute. The study in question gauged how physically aroused someone was and their self-report of how aroused they were. Contrary to Daniel Bergner's interpretation, I'd say what the study showed was that women were generally less aware of their state of physical arousal. Perhaps it's just splitting hairs, but I think it was saying mostly that we don't know how to listen to our bodies when our cunts aren't loudly screaming, "mount him now and have all his babies!!!" and are instead whispering, "I could probably go for that." It doesn't help that we're pretty much taught from day one that our bodies are shameful wicked things that need to be hidden away from all carnal knowledge, whether by others or ourselves.

Guys have it so much easier, it seems. While turgidity is not a predictor of arousal, in guys who don't suffer from ED a lack of turgidity is a decent indicator of non-arousal. "I could go for that" might be represented by a flag at half-mast, whereas a need to throw her over your shoulder and fuck her senseless might be indicated by a rock hard erection that can punch holes in the wall if he's not careful.

What people should take away from these studies is that our brains, which we think of as a single thing, are actually a group of subsystems sometimes in conflict with each other. Conscious thought isn't self-directing, it's the result of a near-constant battle in which parts of our brains arbiter between competing stimuli and responses. So when we report that we're not aroused, we're not necessarily aware that our bodies are aroused because other systems are winning out over the feedback we receive from our genitals. So maybe my body kinda wants to fuck that d-bag asshole over there (who I affectionately call my husband) but I'm so mad at him right now it's the furthest thing from my mind. And maybe when I swoon over that crazy smart and charming guy in the Literature Dept, my intellectual mind is shouting, "just fuck him already, it will be sooo worth it" while my body is saying, "who, him?"

Anonymous said...

When I am aroused, I feel a sensation of wetness. I don't have to check. It's a very strong feeling of wetness being turned on, I can only compare it to a rush of adrenaline, but down in my cunt. I have a very specific set of visuals that do this to me, and it also happens when someone touches me in a specific way. My brain and my cunt work together 100% in this way. I have always wondered if my sexual response is more like a man. When I am aroused, intellectually, I am wet. I thought this was typical, but now I'm really curious. Someone study me!

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent topic. Kim Anami addresses it at http://kimanami.com/are-you-ready-for-sex/. Kim discourages the use of lubricants as they masks the signs of arousal and thus the guiding mechanism to passionate, erotic sex.
Allison Armstrong says that a woman's brain is multi-tasking all the time http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4MZgIiJNvPo#t=299.
I think the solution could be light, playful bondage. If my beloved is in a position where she has no choice but to surrender to me, and I am careful to gauge her wetness as my "excitement barometer", I think we could have a good time. I WILL make her focus. Now, it is going to get old after a few bondage encounters and that is when I'll need to think of another way to turn off her rambling brain. I'll be conducting experiments in the months ahead and give you a progress report later.

Anonymous said...

Women to me are still an undiscovered country. (or at least un- understood) I had an affair with a women to whom my "little head" was attracted to, but the intellectual self was dubious about. She professed extreme arousal. After numerous amorous meetings it turns out that she is non orgasmic:....
Never had one doesn't know what they are. Apparently my intuition was off and hers was totally non - functioning. Terrible ending, but some lessons learned.
Love this blog and read it all the time. Am I closer to understanding the female????

Beatrice said...

I saw this study when it was published, and I wondered the same things that Anonymous 2 and 3 have voiced.

I think I know when I am aroused - this study seems to think that I am wrong. Maybe they were studying women who are not willing to admit that sexuality is a spectrum, not a dot. Maybe they were studying women who are still suffering from the effects of a repressed childhood. Maybe they were studying women who were given abstinence only education and have NO IDEA that there is any such thing as a healthy response to sexual stimuli, let alone what it feels like.

In any case, I think it is important to point out that being aroused does not mean that "going for it" is required. Obviously, if you are free, of the age of consent, and want to go for it every time you feel a tingle, then more power to you. But, it is not required.

I have been inappropriately turned on more times than I could even care to count. Being inappropriately turned on does not make me a bad person, it just means that I have to keep my brain engaged enough so that I don't go falling madly in bed with random strangers I see during the course of my day.

I think women are very lucky. We can walk around lusting after anybody we like, and unless we reveal something with our eyes or our voices, nobody is going to know. Poor men have to shift around and hide behind large objects every time.

Walther said...

I remember that study about the disconnect. My takeaway was indeed that women had difficulty reading/understanding how aroused their bodies felt. There's a book* (that I have yet to read) which goes about how getting more in-tune with your physical arousal is one of the keys to having more satisfying sex.

However, I'd be strongly against the "wisdom of the cunt." Remember that our physical bodies are basically animals, no different from the rest of the lot out there, and these sexual urges have the single goal of ensuring the continual existence of the species. Whatever mechanism which ends winning is not guaranteed to be optimal: if anything, the only thing you can ensure is that it is sufficient for survival.

Thus, listening to our bodies when they get aroused for somebody is basically listening to the body's "belief" that with them we could produce good offspring. Yet that says absolutely nothing about the quality of the sex, or of the subject as a romantic partner, or as a long-term partner (though, if the sex was good, I'd reckon that was in no small part because of the desire on your part, which makes up for most shortcomings in the performance of the other). These areas are better handled by the mind, IMHO.

Granted, physical intimacy isn't as enjoyable if the hormones aren't into it. So it seems to boil down to having an accordance between mind and body for a coupling to be successful. And having females become more aware of their level of physical arousal can only help in determining when you've found that sweet spot.

* the book is: "Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of Female Orgasm," by Nicole Daedone

B said...

I am going with the brain taking precedence. Although there are men that get my motor running and yes maybe a little moist merely by aesthetics alone however, once they open their mouths my brain screams NOOOO!!...I think it can be attributed to evolution, the brain has a way of shutting that whole thing down, it just doesn't want to take vapidness and ignorance into the next millennium...thems my two cents

Daniel Nelson said...

So, I don't comment much, but, I have a little experience here. I used to do sex work, (I'm a cis-guy) and I have most definitely gotten very hard for guys I had NO interest in, in any way. Of course, we maybe all have the ability, to a degree, to get into the mood for "the right" (notice quotes) reason. I've also not been able to get it up for guys and gals that my head is ga-ga for. Each scenario has individual factors that effect the outcome, like stress and kinks and mood lighting. I think that somewhere between our crotches and our heads there is a delicate play that decides what turns us on and what doesn't, and it seems that neither one is in complete control. It happens to me, it must happen to other men as well, even though we don't like to admit to complexity.

Just to be clear, I think that what you're writing about how women experience sex and being turned is right, it sounds right, and is different from men. In fact, I used your Amazon link to buy the vagina book by Wolf. Because I'm a guy. Because I mostly don't know what I'm talking about. Because I care about women. Thanks for the educational and awesome posts!

Daniel Nelson said...

So, I don't comment much, but, I have a little experience here. I used to do sex work, (I'm a cis-guy) and I have most definitely gotten very hard for guys I had NO interest in, in any way. Of course, we maybe all have the ability, to a degree, to get into the mood for "the right" (notice quotes) reason. I've also not been able to get it up for guys and gals that my head is ga-ga for. Each scenario has individual factors that effect the outcome, like stress and kinks and mood lighting. I think that somewhere between our crotches and our heads there is a delicate play that decides what turns us on and what doesn't, and it seems that neither one is in complete control. It happens to me, it must happen to other men as well, even though we don't like to admit to complexity.

Just to be clear, I think that what you're writing about how women experience sex and being turned is right, it sounds right, and is different from men. In fact, I used your Amazon link to buy the vagina book by Wolf. Because I'm a guy. Because I mostly don't know what I'm talking about. Because I care about women. Thanks for the educational and awesome posts!

Unknown said...

Haha! I actually made a point of signing into my Google account to leave that comment, all "this is a good point I'm making, I'm going to attach my name to it, I'M SO SMART" and then it turns out that Google has no fucking idea what my name is. Oops.

The evolutionary basis of non-concordance in some situations seems fairly intuitive to me (although obviously "intuitive" doesn't equal "correct"...): it's a million or so years ago, and you're hanging out on the savannah with your proto-human buddies, and people are boning. Sex Is Happening. There are erect penises and engorged vulvas everywhere. Sex might start happening to you at any minute, but everyone is too exhausted from running from prehistoric lions and shit to really invest a solid block of time in lovingly murmuring in your ears and kissing the nape of your neck. In such a situation, you'd have a better biological outcome if just the sight of naked people rubbing against each other and displaying their genitals gets you soaked--your necessary procreative fucking would carry a much higher risk of injury and infection otherwise.

The reason why women might report being aroused by something while their vaginas are uncooperative doesn't seem as intuitive. Maybe it's socialization--it could be that women DO learn to repress their physical sides throughout an entire adolescence of people pretending that girls don't have sex drives. Or it could be a physical problem! When I've experienced non-concordance, it's been related to some shitty hormonal birth control, or being generally under the weather.

Or maybe when you stick a woman in a laboratory and ask her to shove a tool of measurement up her vag, those "mmm sexy man chest" impulses aren't strong enough to counter the inherent unsexiness of the situation, whereas those more ancient and innate "that is an erect cock, better make sure it doesn't tear my shit up" signals are?

I'm just making shit up, I don't know.

bettyfokker said...

The cunt is a winsome creature. I treat it as subordinate to my neural cortex ... the same way I boss around my other bodily impulses. Plus, it lubricates for non-sexual reasons and is an ineffective gauge. I've breast fed all of my babies, and now when I hear a newborn my boobs tingle and my body TRIES to make milk. That hormone also makes my HooHa squishy. I have zero sexual interest in newborns; QED the cunt is not a good sexual reporter.

Amy Harwood said...

Yet another's wonder food for thought item from Jill. I don't think that my reactions remain the same from person to person, or better yet over time. Things that turned me on in 1983 (brawn) and in 2013 (brain) have changed, so why shouldn't my physical response?

And Jill, if you can't share the degree of wetness in your panties with you dear readers, then who pray tell can you tell. Share on!

Irene said...

I agree with thedirtynormal.com -- arousal is not the same thing as desire. Failure to recognize that leads to lots and lots of victim-blaming in abuse/rape cases ("zie must have wanted it, because zie was hard/wet").

Irene

Whores & Hookers said...

I ask my little stripper friend this question constantly, while complaining at the unfairness of it all. That men can't hide their attraction, but women can not only hide it but fake it, often with money at stake. She replied that women need all the advantages they can get.

in bed with married women said...

Caitlin, is it wrong that i love when you swear?
Anonymous, yes, even when I was in college it was sort of unseemly to have too much knowledge about sex.
Jim, ha.
Anonymous, yes. and I do like the idea of our nether regions offering a tepid "I could probably go for that."
Anonymous 3, someone find this woman was vagometer of some sort, stat!
Anonymous 4, thanks for the links!
Anonymous 5, thanks for the story, and *maybe* you're closer. still trying to figure it out myself...
Walther, wisdom from you, as always. and I love nicole daedone. will be happy to hear what you think.
b--thank you for your work on the future of our species.
Daniel, will love to hear your take on the book. digging your curiosity.

in bed with married women said...

Unknown--You're freaking me out AGAIN. Like maybe we get extra wet for situations/people that are dangerous, not because we especially want them or think we'll have decent offspring, but we sense sex w/ danger and we don't want them to "tear our shit up," as you say. But I'm just making shit up too.
Betty, that you called your cunt a
"winsome creature" and an "ineffective gauge" is just one tiny bit of how damn awesome you are.
Amy, thanks you also say something at exactly the right time.
Irene, what do you think of the wet as response to danger idea? (see above under Unknown)

Can't Keep Anything to Myself said...

Reading this made me wet...
Guess I need to take my bits in for a tune up.

Adriana said...

I really don't get "wet" from arousal these days, but I'm certainly not going to say that my body's wrong. That's was lube is for!

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