Let’s Talk (Seriously) About Sex

As you may know, I like to talk about sex.  I like to joke about it, and I certainly like to do it.  I blog about it; I make innuendos about it; in general, I’m pretty much out there with it.  My FB wall is known as the smut wall, and people feel safe to post pretty much anything about sex on it.  Once, I had written as my status that I had given into temptation.  I went out to buy chocolate, and when I returned, there were many comments, increasingly ribald in nature, discussing exactly what to what temptation I had given.  It was fucking hilarious.

I grew up in a Christian household with many secrets and lies.  As I was told that sex was an evil, sinful, dirty thing–until you got married when it became beautiful and holy and all that–I was also being sexually molested by my father.  As I have said before, I do not know for certain that it happened, but I am pretty sure it did.  At the very least, there was emotional incest going on.  At the very worst, actual physical penetration.  In addition, it was a poorly-kept family secret that my father had affairs with the women of our church.  I always knew which woman was his special lady and when she was replaced by someone else.   So, hypocrisy would be the word in my household when I was a child.  In addition, I remember stumbling over my father’s stash of porn mags (magazines, so quaint!) and realizing that he wasn’t as upstanding as he pretended to be.  Do as I say and not as I do, indeed.  Granted, he was married, so that meant that sex was OK, I guess, but still, the porn stash was at direct odds with what the church preached every Sunday.

As I got older, I became disillusioned with the church.  Granted, I never really believed, but I at least gave lip service to being a Christian.  Once I stopped calling myself a Christian, however, it made it difficult for me to talk to the relatives on my mother’s side.  They are all devout Christians.   One of my cousins said to me, seriously, that he decided not to kiss a woman before marriage because kissing led to sex.  And, he said that sex outside marriage was a sin.  I said, “So, if I never get married, then I can’t ever have sex?”  He said, “Yes.”  Of course, this is the same cousin who proposed to his wife a few months after starting to date her and who now has four kids (she’s a practicing Catholic).

I was turned off by the church’s position on sex.  It seemed about control and negation and shaming of something that, quite frankly, is one of the few real pleasures in life.

In addition, I hate the puritanical streak that runs through our country.  We are not supposed to talk about sex at all because impressionable young-uns are listening.  But, we can use boobs to sell beer.  That’s perfectly all right.  Sorry.  Tangent issue, but also a pet peeve of mine.  People are uncomfortable with women discreetly breastfeeding in public, but are perfectly fine with boobs being used to sell everything from cars to the aforementioned beer.

In college, I became aware of all the things that are not supposed to be mentioned.  A friend and I were walking across campus, and I said in a normal tone, “I have my period, so I’m extra-bitchy today.”  She quickly hushed me and looked around to see if anyone was nearby.  Apparently, I had made a faux pas by mentioning my period in public.  I said to her, “Almost every woman on earth has had, will have, is having her period as I speak.  It’s a natural thing.  Why do I have to act like it’s shameful?”

Now, I understand the need for discretion in certain places.  Like, I would not talk about having my period in a business meeting.  That’s not appropriate.  However, making a casual comment about it as I cross campus didn’t seem like a big deal to me.  It still doesn’t.

I think the reason I started talking about sex so much was in reaction to my upbringing as well as to how taboo it still seems to be at times–in this country, at least.   Like I said, we can use sex to titillate and sell things, but we can’t actually talk about sex itself.  That seemed like a shame to me, so I set about to change that.  Besides, it’s an interesting topic about which I can endlessly speculate, so why not, right?

So I have become known as the Sex Whisperer.  OK, not really, but you know what I mean.  I can make an innuendo even when I’m half asleep.  I can see the sexual angle even when it seems as if there is no angle to be found.  As I said, I know when to rein it in.  I don’t talk about sex, ever, in front of my brother’s family.  When I’m in the office, I’m friendly, but not flirty.  I can spice up a conversation pretty damn fast, I must say, and I’m happy to do it.

However, I am starting to wonder if my sexual badinage is slowly becoming another crutch for me.  I mean, I use it to shield and deflect and to entertain.  In other words, I am wondering if I’m letting it take over my personality to an unhealthy extent.  I have thought of this from time to time, but I have really honed in on it lately for a few reasons.  One, I put pressure on myself to come up with witty sexual banter on FB because that’s the persona I’ve created on there.  I don’t want to let people down, as it were, but I also know that I step over the line sometimes (sorry, Iratwo!).   I have no qualms about writing smut on my wall (because it’s my fucking wall, innit?), but I need to stop and think before posting things on other people’s walls.

In addition, I just got called out on BJ by a guy who was mad at me for drooling over the president.  Other people had my back, and I think he was out of line for what he said (because, really, any blog that has men drooling over Palin, saying they’d like to bang her, should be able to handle women talking about wanting to do the prez), but there is a salient point that I need to address.  By talking about sex so much, am I doing myself a disservice?

I am more than just a sexual being.  I am more than what I have to offer sexually.  However, let’s face it, once I start talking about sex, all the other stuff just falls by the wayside.   Back to BJ.  For the most part, I was talking about how marvelous it was that Obama was smacking down the idiot Republicans, including the deeply-stupid Mike Pence (who just might be the highest ranking member in stupidity in all of Congress.  It would be irresponsible not to speculate) and how it was nice to have an adult in charge.  I went on to say while I may not agree with everything Obama has done so far (and I don’t), I couldn’t think of another politician who could have done as good a job as he has done in this reality.   This was spread over three threads, and I mentioned once in each thread that smart, geeky guys like Obama are hot.  OK, I did say that I would have his babies in another thread, but still.  Ninety percent of what I said had to do with substance.  But, this longtime commenter decided to call me out on the one statement about Obama being hot because he was smart and geeky.

There’s a part of me that says it’s how a man who is uncomfortable with a sexual woman smacks her down for being too lusty.  I mean, the guys on this blog will go on and on about doing Bachmann or Palin or Malkin, but let the ladies and I discuss whom on Obama’s team we would do, and they get all squeamish.   I mean, it’s a great way to shut someone up–telling them to stop with the sexual shit.  Most women, including me, feel some sort of complex insecurity about their sexuality (it’s like calling a woman fat.  Nothing will freak out most women more quickly than saying innocently, “Have you gained weight?”), so it stopped me in my tracks to read that comment.  Just as it did when someone said thatwasn’t really a woman (in a much earlier thread at BJ).

Still, I have to own up that there was some validity in his remark.  I do talk about sex a lot, and I do make innuendos or talk about how this or that person is hot.  It was one person on BJ telling me to STFU, but there are surely others who are uncomfortable with the way I talk.

I’m not explaining this right.  I’m not saying I should STFU because I will offend other people’s delicate sensibilities, but I am wondering if for my sake, I should tone down the sexual talk.  I don’t always have to make the sexual joke or the sexual innuendo.  I don’t always have to talk about finding so-and-so hot.   I can keep some of that to myself.

10 Responses to Let’s Talk (Seriously) About Sex

  1. if you EVER STFU I will punch the closest person to me in the face and let them have it with a rusty pitchfork.
    Remember, the face you save may be … oh, I don’t know, snees or someone else we lust after or love.

  2. (With apologies to Donald Rumsfeld:)

    Should you always be sexual? No.
    Are you always sexual when you write? No.
    Are you capable of writing serious things that are not sexual? Yes.
    Is being sexual an important part of your personality? Yes.
    Is innuendo appropriate? Sometimes.
    Can people be jerks on the internet? Yup.
    Should you let that get you down? Nope.

    Does it mean someone’s gay if he goes on a site called BJ and accuses a flirty woman of being a man? Don’t ask/don’t tell. 🙂

  3. whabs, not completely, just, mebbe, tone it done sometimes. Apparently, I started a gender war over at BJ, and I am mortified. And, quite frankly, I am just really not liking myself right now, so it’s easy to take everything personally.

    Alex, you are correct in everything you list. And, the last point made me smirk, so kudos to you on that. As I noted to whabs, it’s more about me being hyperconscious right now about how much I hate myself at this moment. Therefore, it is much easier to believe the negatives that people say about me than the positives. I had several people backing me up over at BJ (I went back and read the thread later), but somehow, the one deeply-negative person who was mad because I said that geeky, smart guys are hot (and other reasons, but that was the catalyst)really bothered me. Oh, and I am hypercritical about everything I say and do right now, so that didn’t help. The demons have a firm grip on me right now, perhaps because I’m sick, and they just will not let go.

    P.S. The mention of Rummy in conjunction with sex? Just. Not. Right.

  4. I read a few of your points, and was like, “YES. EXACTLY.”

    I’ve always been a bit confused over the public’s view on sex. Never mind that nearly every video game out there has guns, knives, and violence in general, and little Johnny can score extra points if he kills that hooker on Grand Theft Auto, but heaven forbid he catches of glimpse of some woman’s breasts.
    The male/female double-standard has been going on for a while, too. A guy can bang every girl at his school, and he’s viewed as king of the rock; if a girl has sex with, oh, two different guys in the year, she’s seen as a slut. It’s really not fair.

    I can’t preach too much, because my views on sex are so skewed and all over the place and contradict each other constantly, but I can touch on those two just fine.

    On another note, I thoroughly enjoy your sexual banter. Don’t quit it simply because a few prudes complain.

  5. The Artist, don’t get me started on the hypocrisy concerning violence vs. sex in American media. Just don’t because we’ll be here all day.

    One reason that I decided to be more vocal about sex was for exactly the reason you stated: The double standard that still exists concerning a man who sleeps around and a woman who does. It’s just difficult because even if I am trying to change society’s mores in my own small way, I am still operating within them.

    But, at the party tonight, I felt right at home with all the bantering that was happening. So, it really is about finding like-minded people with whom to hang. Mostly. Or something.

    P.S. The song is actually from where I took the title of this post. I love that song. And, I am too tired to find the typo right now, but if it really bugs you, let me know. I have mad powers/skills. I can fix it.

  6. After reading this post, I had to go and search through all the relevant threads on BJ to find what happened. I’m a little late to the party (what else is new?) but WTF?!! That dude’s (I’m assuming it’s a dude; I guess I don’t know for sure) response was utterly bizarre. You had said nothing remotely objectionable. I know that’s not the point of your post here, but now I’m all indignant, and since that thread is a million years ago in internet time, this seems the better place to express said indignation.

    Honestly, you know what it sounded like to me? It sounded like a NiceGuyTM who thinks that girls don’t dig him because they only care about looks or money or only want to date jerks or etc, and don’t care about how SMART and SENSITIVE he is. At best, it sounded like a man who is insecure about his own attractiveness. Which, you know, I get! Sometimes it makes me feel insecure when men talk about which women they consider hot. But his own insecurity didn’t mean you’d done anything wrong.

    Anyway. To your main point: I think that BECAUSE of our culture’s whiplash contradictions about sex, it can make it hard to know how to be your own comfortable sexual-but-not-only-sexual self. As women in particular, we walk a tightrope between A) denying our own sexuality and comfort with sex so as not to be “slutty” or “loud” or “vulgar,” and B) performing sexuality all the time, either as a reaction to that or as a reaction to the demands that we BE sexual/sexy all the time. I think it can be a real challenge to find that third way that feels right and safe and pleasurable to YOU.

    Does that make even a tiny bit of sense?

  7. Betsy, I was going to link to the thread, but, frankly, I was too embarrassed to do so. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a guy, and yeah, his other comments (as well as, sadly, the other guys’ comments) read to me as ‘Hey, I’m a smart, geeky guy and women don’t find me hot so this must be bullshit.’ In other words, as hostile. Which, to most women, is not attractive. I also would say that if these guys find the women they are friends with only care about shallow, superficial things, then maybe they need to find different female friends.

    Plus, I could get into the whole subconsciously finding people who reinforce your negative views of yourself bit, but I won’t. Oops. Guess I just did.

    Everything you said makes sense, especially the last paragraph. We are supposed to be super-sexy, but not for our own benefit. We are supposed to want sex, but not more than our partners.

    To be fair, there are also expectations placed upon men–such that they should want sex all the time, be he-men, be ready to take a bullet for their women, but also be sensitive enough to cry.

    I think all the stereotypes hurt everyone all around. But yeah, back to sexuality. I am pretty much upfront about who I am in that arena, but I’m still conscious that I am not in the norm, so it really hits me in the face when someone reacts the way this guy did over at BJ.

  8. Minna, my sweet friend… let me clarify something. The post in question, on my wall, was about me being upset about my mother’s situation and all that goes with it. It simply wasn’t the time or place for any comments about smut, or for any lighthearted banter.

    I think the problem with being too far stuck in an online persona or in ones personal traits is that it’s too hard to adjust quickly to a situation where certain behavior isn’t appropriate – or where it hurts people’s feelings or whatever. I used to have a HUGE problem with “witty” sarcasm in that regard, and also with what we’d call bad language here (after the move from my region in Germany where speech customs are different). It takes a lot of time and effort to be at least equally considerate of the feelings of others as of ones own desire to “deliver”. But I think it’s kind of necessary in a society.

  9. Iratwo, I know. And, I was mortified because I knew better. I really did. In addition, I know that you are not one to be as smutty in tone in general, so I should have respected that as well. That’s why I was upset with myself. You already had enough with which to deal concerning your mother. It was just a bad faux pas on my part, and I am sorry.