Monday, March 05, 2007

Female Sexuality = Danger?

Considering the fact that today a lot of forms of sex - including most fetish varieties - are something people can discuss quite openly, there's one strange thing. There's one form of sex, though, that is rarely - if ever - discussed openly: female sexuality - or rather the female lust.

I started to think about this after reading a few articles on "The F-Word". I've rarely discussed my sexuality with anyone anyway ... it's not something I talk about often. But the way I see it, a woman should not be judged by how often or with how many different men (or women) she has sex. Or, of course, we judge men by how often and with how many different women (or men) they have sex ... the same way we judge women today. A man who has many sexual encounters with many different partners is a stud ... a hero ... someone others want to be like. A woman who has many sexual encounters with many different partners is loose ... a whore ... someone you shouldn't be like. Why is this still the case in modern society.

I think, the main reason for this is that having a lot of casual sex implies liking it ... and women still are not suppose to enjoy their sexuality.

In the past - especially since the rise of Christianity - women were supposed to bear children and thus ensure the future of mankind. But they were not supposed to like it. Take, for example, the sexual position the church has long held to be the only right one for married couples (and unmarried people are not supposed to have sex anyway...): the missionary position. It is, biologically speaking, one of those positions in which women are least likely to orgasm. The whole position makes sure the penetration and the whole act do not really arouse the woman much. The man can have his fun, father a child, get it off - to say it in modern terms -, but the woman is just supposed to lie there with her legs spread and take it, as if she were an inanimate object.

And Christians aren't the only people who are supposed not to enjoy sex ... especially if they are female. All three religions stemming from Judaism (Christianity and Islam are, in a way, just varieties with more things in common than most people think) basically see women as something lower than men. Think about the Original Sin: Eve is supposed to have committed it first and has then made Adam do it too (though I still think he's just as guilty, he wasn't forced to commit it at knife-point, was he?). Sex is part of having the Knowledge (after having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge). So they know right from wrong - and male from female. With seeing that difference, they are also able to use it to their pleasure (though why Adam and Eve were 'equipped' with genitals when they were not supposed to produce offspring is another thing I've never understood). Eve is, in the very beginning, cursed with having to bear the fruit of the sins of carnal pleasure and give birth to it in pain - so for women sex and the possible result (pregnancy) is actually a punishment. She really shouldn't get any joy out of it.

Maybe that's what's still behind the different views on male and female sexuality. Adam was - if you remember it - only cursed with having to work hard, he's allowed to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh after he has worked hard.

Masturbation was for a long time something the church frowned on as well - even for men -, but by now it's perfectly normal for men of a certain age (between about 15 and 30, the most fertile time of a man's life) to talk to their friends about how they got it off this morning in the shower - or wherever. Women don't do talk about it ... but that doesn't mean they're not doing it. There are - as I learned on another website today - various ways to masturbate for a women ... and some of them even work without hands, fingers or sex toys. (If you're a woman and from a Christian country, did you know that already?)

I can still recall the scandal Nena Hagen (a German singer) created when, in a talk show during the early 80s, demonstrating (with her pants still on, mind!) the right position of the hand for a woman to surely get it off during sex with a man (meaning stimulating her clitoris when a man is not able or willing to do it). And while "I am a woman and masturbating" would probably be a good topic for a talk show these days, "How can a woman best get it off" is not even a topic for a late show. Women are not supposed to know how to pleasure themselves ... let alone talk about it.

But how about the danger?

When I started writing a horror story, I decided to make a female werewolf my main character. I thought this would a) be quite a novel concept (there are some female werewolves in movies, but rarely some in books) and b) fit well with the whole idea I had in mind for the story - and it still does.

Strangely in horror movies only female monsters are allowed a sexuality. I watched "Ginger Snaps" a couple of weeks ago - a story in which the attack of a strange 'animal' changes a female outcast at high school slowly into a werewolf ... making her very sensual and sexually aggressive during the process. Ginger has to die in the end - naturally, sexually active women mostly have to. The only sexually active women in vampire movies usually are the vampire's brides, too - which, of course, get staked in the end.

Female sexuality, those movies tell us, is dangerous. Women who are sexually active are monsters ... and women who get sexually active get killed in the end. It's a warning both to men and to women.

What should be done? That's pretty much up to society. But one thing is for sure: women need to overcome the fear to talk about their own sexuality. Female sexuality is only dangerous for those who try to suppress it.

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