A whore in the bedroom…

(Edit: A lot of people seem to be coming to this post through Google and judging by the search terms they look like they’re more interested in actual advice on encouraging dominance and/or submission in their partner. If that’s you, then by all means read this post [because it’s interesting!] but also try the following links:

Is My Girlfriend Submissive – gives advice on bringing out your girlfriend’s sub side

He Won’t Dominate Me – gives advice on bringing out your boyfriend’s dom side

Enjoy!)

Last night a female friend told me her attitude towards sex, and I quote (well, actually I was a bit drunk, but it was definitely along these lines):

“When I was about 13 I read how men want a whore in the bedroom and a mother the rest of the time. I realised I’m not really the mothering sort, but whore? I could manage that. So that’s really informed my attitude towards sex even to this day.”

Oral sex is one of the most common fantasies a...

Oral sex is one of the most common fantasies among men and women according to Wikipedia. WTF? Seriously? Where? In a monastery? We’ve got a long way to go, my faithful few…

She went on to tell me how she’s always enjoyed giving oral sex, being fucked hard, making lots of noise and generally depraving it up like a good’un. But I found myself getting angry. And ranty. And it took a little while to really put my finger on why.

Now, dear reader, I think I’ve got it and so will graciously pass it on to you.

You might expect a long rant about satisfaction being key and all this abnegation being unhealthy and self-defeating. I couldn’t believe this less. Fuck knows we’ve all got issues galore, and frankly that would just be sexism with a different name. If you had a guy who was all like ‘Oh – I only see myself as a mechanism by which women have the most amazing orgasms. I only exist to excite their mind with eroticism and then blow away their body with my epic fanny-fu’ the world would congratulate him on being such a modern man and give him a medal. Which would be exactly what he would want, since he’s expressing just the same insecurity in wanting to be a pleaser as my friend, except we’re using different langauge. That’s the terminology available to her to say that she’s a cockatrice of the first order.

Whore of Babylon

Call that a whore? That’s not a whore. THIS is a whore…

No. It’s the fact that this is the sort of useless advice that well-meaning aunts give their nieces when they’ve had a bit too much to drink at Christmas (although in this particular instance it’s been made particularly famous in a quote by Jerry Hall.) They usually haven’t had any kids themselves and so they feel they have a duty to pass some of their long life advice onto someone at some point. And why not. Just not this one, please, auntie. This attitude makes men out to be the most mind-numbingly simple creatures and it’s not out of charity that I defend their complexity here, it’s the fact that it’s the flip-side of the old ‘women are things to be won mainly using deceit’ attitude that men are often taught by well-meaning uncles. No. Men and women are both extremely complicated beings and if you think you can sum them up in a sentence (especially concerning their responses to a subject as complex as sex) you’re really going to come undone pretty early on in the proceedings.

And this is the problem. Sexual truisms. One line life mantras in general. I hate them for everything: religion being another obviously guilty party in this case. But when it comes to sex there are so many of them. They’re not necessarily famous (although I’d be surprised if you’d not heard the whore in the bedroom one) but uncles, aunts and the rest of society are all gagging to churn them out. In fact there are some twitter accounts that basically seem to have a library of them out of which I can only imagine they post one randomly on the hour every hour. If there’s anything better paid than a computer doing that job, someone’s wasting money.

So let’s break this particular one down just to make my point. The desire to please is normal and healthy, but the terminology of ‘whore’ does come with certain connotations. And one of these is submission. It is implicit to the real-life arrangement of whore and john that the john is paying for a service. Even when this service is to subjugate and beat them, the power still lies with the client. (And yes, we will of course discuss where the power actually lies in a non-transactional sub/dom relationship at a later stage.)

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...

BAM! Right in her eye.

However this is not actually what the average man is comfortable with. Yes, he’d like his lover to deep throat him, yes he’d like her to moan and come like a train whenever his cock touches her pussy, but he doesn’t actually want to take responsibility for this stuff. For the most part he doesn’t know. Can he really just fuck her mouth? Surely she doesn’t really want that? Can he really call her a slut? Spit on her? Treat her like the girls in all the porn he’s watched? He’s a modern man – he realises the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows, as I’m sure the well-meaning world has drummed into him at every available opportunity, that you just don’t treat a woman like that! Not in real life!

Our girl on the other hand has watched all this porn and since it fits so nicely with her understanding of what it means to be a sexual being she then expects most of this herself. But he just doesn’t do it, and she’s unsure of just coming out and saying ‘Fuck me like a whore.’ In fact, he seems nervous. Less manly. Maybe he doesn’t enjoy it? Maybe he just wants to make sweet love? Maybe he’s gay…

Bully

Meet Jemima. She doesn’t know where it went wrong. Now they have sex once a week and she fantasises about things she could never tell him. Never. You’re not alone, Jemima. You’re not alone.

And the slow but inevitable upshot is that she is left feeling a little bit guilty and a lot bit unfulfilled. Maybe it’s something wrong with her. Maybe she’s not attractive enough. Maybe she’s not actually that good. Maybe she shouldn’t feel this way. Maybe she’s the weirdo and actually everyone else is normal and just having nice vanilla sex with the occasional bit of oral on birthdays and religious holidays.

Sorry to paint a bleak picture, so I want to point out that in our case the story has a for-the-moment happy ending. Our heroine has found a nice dominant man who is happy to treat her the way she likes to be treated, hopefully without descending into bullying (ANOTHER topic for another time) while also fulfilling most of her other relationship needs. (Nobody’s perfect, I suppose…) And I would also like to point out to any would be serial dominant guys out there that I am not suggesting that all women are closet submissives who want you to use them any which way you please.

What I am saying, however, is that on the basis of extremely innocuous statements, read or heard only once, entire sexual psychologies are based. And every psychology is a neurosis waiting to happen.

So please, auntie, next time you want to be helpful, please avoid giving your advice in a single pithy sentence. That’s what twitter’s for.

About usefulsexadvice

The days of half-arsed sex advice are gone. Help me usher in a new world where sex is recognised as the important part of relationships that it is!
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5 Responses to A whore in the bedroom…

  1. The Hill Mouse says:

    “What I am saying, however, is that on the basis of extremely innocuous statements, read or heard only once, entire sexual psychologies are based.”

    Although there’s also a question to be asked about why out of all the thousands of innocuous statements your friend heard it should have been that one that stuck. It could be, for example, that she heard it lots of time, so it was reinforced through repetition, or it could also be that it was congruent with other attitudes that she had and just made verbal sometime that she might have ended up thinking anyway, or it might be neither of those.

    • Thanks for your comment!
      In re-reading what I had written while taking into account any potentially implied criticism that I was over-simplifying (and perhaps being judgemental about) my friend’s sexuality, I do see that it could be read that I’m suggesting that her life would be better if she didn’t have this sexuality. That was really not my intention and I apologise if that’s how it came across!
      But yours is a very interesting point – as you suggest, my friend may well have been more predisposed to that expression of her sexuality already so I should clarify it’s not her sexuality and its cause that I see as a problem.
      My objection is solely to do with people (as a whole) attempting to make sexuality completely one dimensional: “All men just want to fuck as many women as possible”; “All women only have sex to ‘capture’ men.” So when I complain about ‘auntie’ or the magazine that fed my friend this tripe, I’m really railing against the attitude of society in general!
      Because then we have words like whore. It’s not really a particularly socially respectful word (although I think I see signs of its being reclaimed) and yet if you want to be/are a sexually empowered woman who enjoys pleasuring or even just being pleasured, then this is the word that is used to describe you.
      Therefore while you’re right that it may require repetition to reinforce it, my concern is that the very existence of these ‘truisms’ can make a perfectly natural desire – to fuck and be fucked and enjoy it – into something about which you should feel guilty or ashamed. Perhaps more importantly, this implies that your sexuality is only defined in terms of being a result of what your male partner wants – it is essentially a whore’s job to pleasure her client, after all. (And again – no problem if that IS what you want – you just shouldn’t have this attitude foisted upon you because you fall into the catch-all social category of ‘whore’.)
      So it’s not her desires that worry me – as you point out she could well have a submissive nature or a general desire to please anyway – it is only that through statements like these she is encouraged to see herself in a socially negative light and potentially only view her sexuality as secondary to that of any male partner.

  2. The Hill Mouse says:

    I realised after I wrote my comment that it could be interpreted that I was suggesting you were being judgemental (phew, so many layers of interpretation) but that wasn’t what I meant so apologies for any confusion there.
    I was more interested in the chicken and egg aspect of the “whore in the bedroom” comment. My suspicion is that the comment had very little effect in itself but that there were other dispositions or social conditioning of which this comment was only a small part. However, this is only my suspicion: I don’t know your friend and anyway trying to unravel our various preferences and neuroses is not something I want to embark upon although I agree wholeheartedly with your objection to the one-dimensionality of much of the language around sexuality.

    • Haha – no problem. I’m made of fairly stern stuff. And anyway the point of this blog is to be a little controversial – to answer the questions that other advice columns dare not address!
      No – you’re surely right that a sexuality is built on more than just one comment, but nonetheless it is interesting that that is the phrase that she remembers and uses to describe herself…

      • The Hill Mouse says:

        Yes, it is interesting and if I was an psychoanalyst I would be interested in teasing out why that comment resonated so strongly for her. But, thankfully for the world in general, I’m not a psychoanalyst and never will be!

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