I was faking it…

one woman’s search for orgasm

Posts Tagged ‘shame

Why don’t girls masturbate?

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There is a woman that I see in the lobby of my workplace every morning, waiting for the elevator. She wears special stretchy pants and carries a cane in her right hand to help support her weight.

She is fat.

I don’t know anything about this woman, other than that she works somewhere in the same building as me, and yet I can’t help but make instant judgments about her.

She should take the stairs. She should cut refined sugars out of her diet. She should take aqua fit classes. She should do something about her body because it’s unhealthy and gross and totally out of control.

do you find this as jarring as I do?

sex, lies and diet yogurt?

There is nothing as unifying to the female gender (at least in Western societies) as our obsession with weight.

Even the most micro-thin women I know complain about their figures every once in a while. And then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are the thousands of women like me, who have spent years being literally obsessed with food and exercise.

We women spend a lot of time and energy focused on controlling our bodies–and I wonder why I’ve never experiment with masturbation till now?

According to sex educators Solot and Miller, the most frequently asked question that women pose to them in discussions around the use of vibrators as self-pleasuring tools, is “Can I get addicted?”(source, 174).

I almost laughed the first time I read that, imagining a business woman with blond highlights and a power suit huddled next to a dumpster in a downtown alley with a vibrator between her legs.

It’s not crack cocaine, for god’s sake, it’s just a vibrator—what are those women so afraid of?

How about you, Jaquie, what are you afraid of?

The grin dropped off my face pretty fast when I realized that I’m no different than the rest of the vibrator-phobes: for the past three years my boyfriend has been suggesting that I get a vibrator, and for the past three years I’ve been resisting doing so. I always told myself that it was because I was interested in the electronic stimulation, I wanted to do things naturally, but now I think it was fear that was stopping me.

When I was in grade ten, a friend, Michelle, and I spotted a man sitting on the hood of a blue Honda in our school parking lot. One hand was hidden beneath a blanket and his body was vibrating.

“Oh my god! He’s jacking off!” said Michelle—we instantly broke out screams and ran for the gym entrance door. Later on that afternoon, hanging out next Michelle’s locker, we curled up our lips in disgust and named him the ‘car perv’.

That was my first impression of masturbation. And as Head and Shoulder’s likes to remind us, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Though female masturbation has since my adolescent days finally made its way into popular culture, through shows like Sex and the City, back then, the practice was framed as something that only boys and dirty old men did, and as a result there has always been a part of me afraid that if I started masturbating I would lose control over my body and turn into the ‘Car Perv’. I resisted urges to explore and touch myself when I was in my teen-years and so I suppose it’s not surprising that at the age of thirty I’ve never orgasmed.

Though I eventually get past my eating disorder, I still today find myself analyzing and judging how I look and how other women look, and I still feel a tinge of embarrassment telling my boyfriend that I ‘tried out’ the vibrator while he was out.

I wonder, if I might have a different, more compassionate and confident view of the female body if, back during those early years, I focused on enjoying and exploring my body instead of trying to control it.

A fat body is, after all, just one expression of the female form, just as whacking off on top of a car is just one expression of sexuality.

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Virgin or Slut: choose your poison

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The crappy thing about being a young, adolescent girl (which I no longer am, thank god) is that either way, whether we’re doing ‘it’ or not, we feel ashamed.

Not only did feel guilty (see previous post) acknowledging my status as a sexually active young woman when I finally started having sex, but there was also the guilt that accompanied being a sexually inactive young woman.

Careful to avoid the label of slut or skank, I was one of the ‘good girls’ that vowed to wait for true love before giving up what seemed so precious and valuable that it was almost a real, tangible thing in my mind—like a golden bracelet with words virgin engraved on the surface.

And then of course, came the day when a boy I’d had a crush on since I was 13, the one with the most beautiful face I’d ever seen on a boy, asked me out at the local supermarket (much to my delight and shock because ohmygod I was wearing sweatpants and a ponytail and was not dressed for such a life-altering encounter!).

if only i'd had a pair of these...

if only i'd had a pair of these...

We went out for dessert, which consisted of him eating a slice of apple pie and me stirring my cup of black coffee nervously (those were still in my eating disorder days when I thought girls were more desirable to the opposite sex if they professed to have no appetite, but that’s for another post).

Afterwards, we went to his mom’s (empty) townhouse and watched TV on the couch in total awkward silence.  All I really wanted was to taste his perfectly formed mouth: he invited me up to his bedroom instead.

There were definitely warning bells as I mounted the carpeted steps to his room, but in the face of his god-like presence how could I say no? He was the guy every girl in my school had fantasized over and he had asked me out.

Maybe he just wanted out make-out, I thought.

Maybe not.

I’ve since learned that boys who resemble the men in Gucci ads are not to be trusted. It didn’t take more than a few minutes before we were lying in his bed and I felt him tugging my panties down to my ankles.

Was this how I wanted it to happen? With this guy, who gorgeous as he was, had only ever had one conversation with me the entire four years since we’d first been going to school together?

Thankfully, as paralyzed as I was, I managed to squeak out a tiny “stop” before we went ‘all the way’. And in about the same amount of time it took him to get me undressed, he had dropped me off by the side of the road in front of my parent’s house.

Of course, he never called me again.

According to feminist theory, I should have felt empowered for standing up for myself—but I didn’t. I felt horrible. I felt ashamed for  not being ‘mature’ or ‘cool’ enough to keep my mouth shut and let him take what he wanted from my body.  I wasn’t a slut, I was worse: I was frigid, or better yet, a cock-tease.

Granted, I had managed to hold on to something I thought was important to me, but the sense of shame I felt for doing so was just as strong as it would have been if I’d hadn’t told him to stop.

Damned if you, damned if you don’t.

Now the real question is, where did all that sexual identity guilt go? I have a bad feeling that it’s still living inside me somewhere.

Written by jaquieonassis

January 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

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.