June 26, 2009

Confessions of an Ex-Catholic: Sex and Guilt

Posted in 1, Gender Politics, sex, Sex Education tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Femme Mystique

Religion and mainstream media have ingrained in us very disturbing attitudes about women and sexual pleasure.  If we as women like sex too much, we’re slutty and whorish.  If we don’t want to have sex or don’t enjoy the sex we’re having, we’re uptight, frigid bitches.

It has also been taught to us that we are not the focus of sex.  For many of us, receiving pleasure is a source of guilt–what if the other person isn’t enjoying this?  Do I look OK?  Do I smell OK?  Does my partner like the sounds I make?  And, of course, am I taking too long?

A quick internet search produced a ton of results of women who were afraid they were taking too long.  One even said her partner rarely tried, and she didn’t blame him.  This attitude is pervasive even in women who have sex with other women.  Our roles as pleasers of others too often come before our roles as recipients of pleasure.

Many women are not just not having orgasms though, they are going a step further by faking it.  An article in Slate reports that 72% of women have faked it in their current or most recent relationship.  Still more have likely faked it at least once in their sexual histories.  What causes faked orgasms though?  I speculate that it is a combination of guilt about the time we’re taking and an unwillingness to hurt our partners’ egoes.  Faking it allows us to avoid confrontation, but hinders us from getting what we want.

I wish we could free ourselves from the cycle of sexual guilt and dissatifaction.  It’s obvious that attitudes need to change, but how do we go about making those changes?