I was faking it…

one woman’s search for orgasm

Posts Tagged ‘teenager

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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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).

witch_burn1

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.

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