I was faking it…

one woman’s search for orgasm

Posts Tagged ‘naomi wolf

female desire: oceans and ironing boards

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A woman’s desire is like an electric iron, slow to heat up and slow to cool down.  A man’s desire, on the other hand, is like a light bulb, capable of being turned on and off in a matter of seconds.

This is what, amongst my twenty and thirty-something friends, is considered common wisdom on the nature of male and female sexuality.

I’ve never felt comfortable with those two images—partly I suppose because irons make me think of ‘stay-at-moms’ from the 1950s whose only interest in sex is to please their husbands and make babies. But I’ve also resented these comparisons because they seem so flat, so functional and practical—like most things in North American society.

i have a feeling she's not 'turned on'

i have a feeling she's not 'turned on'

In Promiscuities, Naomi Wolf describes the ancient Chinese view on the nature of male and female desire:

“The male may be ‘more volatile, more active and quicker’ than the female, like fire, but, while women are superficially calmer, the force of their desire is deeper and stronger, like water” (182).

Imagining my libido fueled by the expansive and overwhelming energy of water is lot more intriguing than imagining it as a household appliance. And perhaps, even, revealing.

When I was seventeen my girlfriend, Alison, and I went on a canoe trip up the local lake. We paddled to a remote spot, beyond the reaches of the usual assortment of screaming children and partying teenagers. We didn’t need beer or pot: it was intoxicating just being two young women out alone in the big bad woods.

Sometime after the hotdog and marshmallow dinner, we decided, to go skinny dipping.

There is nothing scarier—and yet more exciting, as a young woman, than, after all the years spent making sure your shirt isn’t too tight of your skirt too short, willingly taking off your clothes.

It was a beautiful clear night, and the sound of our giggles echoed across to the other side of the pitch black shore as we paddles in circles around each other—careful never to touch one another but high on the eroticism of our own boldness and the pleasure of the caressing waters.

Afterwards, we lay next to the fire, energized (in a way that now makes me think of the female orgasm’s post-climax state which I’ve been reading about so much recently).

This wasn’t the last time I wound up skinny dipping on all-female camping trips, and I wonder now if it there isn’t something particular about the connection between women and water, as articulated in Wolf’s example, that draws us women in, giggling and bare-bottomed each time.

I like to think that night on the lake with Alison was the first time that I, as a woman, made physical contact with my own innate, sexual desire, and that the current of that power still remains in me–just below the surface.


Written by jaquieonassis

January 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

John or Jane: who’s hornier?

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Do boys really want it more than girls?

Like, duh, of course they do.

At least that was what I would have said if anyone had asked me that question as a teenager and was first beginning to navigate the opposite sex–or should I say, navigate the enemy.

At that time, boys were things that me and my girlfriends had crushes on but never dared get too close, partly because we were too shy to get past the blushing-face phase of the conversation, and partly because of the fear that if we ever wound up alone with one of them, they would morph into an eight-armed-incredible hulk-monstrosity that would consume our fragile bodies whole.

Sure, we were curious about sex, but we weren’t boys.  Boys wanted it so bad they couldn’t be trusted—that was just a fact of life—like chin pimples and math homework.

Thus, it’s not surprising to read the findings of currant ‘scientific’ studies: women have lower libidos than their male partners  and suffer, en masse, from disorders such as FOD. Right?

Naomi Wolf doesn’t seem to think so. In Promiscuities she debunks this ‘fact’, stating that “women have been considered more carnal than men for most of the record of Judeo-Christian history [and] that the belief  women want sex less than men is only over two centuries old” (p.142).


the only way to tame a woman's libido, old school-style

Girls were the horny ones?  For someone who spent her entire adolescence trying to ward off boys, I found this as quite the shocker when I read this a couple days ago—but not in a bad way. 

“I want to see you wearing nothing but saran wrap,” whispered Steve as I passed by him in my high school corridor.  Steve was a popular but mean boy in my grade.

Though they were only words, it felt like he’d grabbed my butt or slipped his hand up my shirt.  My face turned bright red as I hurried off in the opposite direction.  Sex was something scary to me and he probably knew that.

Looking back on that time in my life, however, I also remember that the idea of sex excited me.

It was around that same time that I discovered The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer,  a fictional account of a young teenage girl’s illicit sexual activities. I spent many nights lying in my bed fantasizing about doing the things that she did, sneaking off to a bar and giving oral sex to a strange guy in the middle of the night. Of course, I never talked to anyone about those thoughts—not even my best friend—because girls weren’t supposed to think that way. That was what boys did.

I wonder what might have happened if I hadn’t been so embarrassed about my emerging sexual desires?  Sure, I’m glad I never ran off to the local Hells Angels bar but I would have liked to have replied back to Steve with a something more than tight lips and down cast eyes.

“Throw in some Cool-whip and I’m there, baby.”

I would have loved to see his reaction at hearing words like those come out of one of the quiet, ‘good’ girl’s mouth.

Bladder infections: am i being punished?

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It’s been two and a half years since I had once last—but sure enough the day I start writing about my desire to orgasm I get a bladder infection.

There are two parts of getting a bladder infection that I hate. The first is the pain—a dull burning that that makes me feel like I have a bloated pig corpse in the cavity where my bladder once was. Even though the pig is dead, it still gets pissed when I need to pee.

206-09-pig-roast-tupi-philippines1The second part about bladder infections that make me uncomfortable is having to utter the words ‘intercourse’ to health care professionals.

In fact, ever since I first lost my virginity in my early twenties (yes, I waited longer than most) I’ve disliked having to reveal any part of my sex life to adult strangers. Or, even worse, adult non-strangers—as happened following one of my first times having sex and the unfortunate incident of a condom breakage.

After the initial panic passed, I managed to haul my ass into a clinic to get a prescription for the morning-after-pill. I could have, of course, gone to see my family doctor, but specifically avoided his office. He was a nice guy, but he happened to have delivered my sister when she was born and went on regular hiking trips with my parents. The last thing that I, who would have gladly bought the little white pills out of a vending machine and thus avoided any human interaction at all, wanted to do was admit that I was having sex to someone who was virtually my uncle.

I was sitting on the white-paper sheet of the clinic daybed, when who arrived to see me but, of course, Dr. Uncle!

I was mortified.

Somehow I got through the visit without passing out from embarrassment, got my little pills, got sick from their effects on my body (I swear those things are made out of Drain-o) and am still happily childless to this day. However, even fifteen years later I feel the same stomach tightening nervousness I did back then when I have to sit down on those white-paper sheets and tell someone about my sex-related health issues (I still keep my eyes out for prescription vending machines but have yet to see one).

Why is that?

In Promiscuities, author Naomi Wolf describes how women’s sexual activity has been forbidden in western societies for centuries, citing such horrific forms of social pressure as those imposed by the Burgundians, where any female sexual activity outside of marriage was considered ‘adulterous’—even for single girls and widows—and thus marked the ‘perpetrators’ as untouchable for the rest of her life.

Though on the surface our society supposedly encourages sexual exploration and freedom amongst its female populace, the same sense of moral condemnation still persists below the surface—labeling girls and women sluts for expressions of sexuality which might be easily overlooked were they men.

My bladder infection is pretty much cleared after three-days of antibiotics, however my discomfort at having to admit to the male doctor at the walk-in-clinic that yes, I am still an unmarried women having sex, makes me realize that I’m still holding on to some of that Burgundian-style shame.

And to get rid of that, I’ll need a lot more than a few white pills.