Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hooray Naomi

Lovely Naomi Wolf gets the porn issue, finally, correct:

If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves, that is what it will take to turn you on. The ubiquity of sexual images does not free eros but dilutes it.

Other cultures know this. I am not advocating a return to the days of hiding female sexuality, but I am noting that the power and charge of sex are maintained when there is some sacredness to it, when it is not on tap all the time. In many more traditional cultures, it is not prudery that leads them to discourage men from looking at pornography. It is, rather, because these cultures understand male sexuality and what it takes to keep men and women turned on to one another over time—to help men, in particular, to, as the Old Testament puts it, “rejoice with the wife of thy youth; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times.” These cultures urge men not to look at porn because they know that a powerful erotic bond between parents is a key element of a strong family.

And feminists have misunderstood many of these prohibitions.

Pretty Lady thinks erotica is Just Splendid. She has a book by Anais Nin, and once every few years, she reads a story. Or two. Then she puts it back on the shelf. It is rather like a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label in that respect.

She has never been one to condemn gentlemen for looking at pornography, visiting the occasional strip club, or even the occasional lady of the evening. Gentlemen, as they say, will do that.

But doing this sort of thing more often than one buys a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, particularly if one is living on a conservative income, makes a man boring, flaccid, and ultimately useless. He degenerates into a zombie that goes 'click. click. click.' in the evenings, instead of practicing Tantric mysteries with his eager wife, under their tent of exotic hangings. Pretty Lady knows women who used to be married to men like this; one of them drove cross-country in her porn-zombie husband's prized Mercedes, left it in a ghetto with the doors unlocked, and took a photograph once an hour until he sent her the signed divorce papers. This Could Happen to You.

Boys, this is No Sort of Life. Not for us, not for you.


Anonymous said...

The missing scale in that coat of armor is the "eager wife" concept. Most of the married men who surf endless waves of pornography do not do so while their wife sits frustrated in the bedroom downstairs in her Victoria's Secret outfit awaiting her man to emerge from the study, waxing priapic.

More likely, she is numbedly watching CSI and worrying about groceries, her friend Sally's new baby, Nathan's flagging grades in social studies and the comment her boss made today that might possibly be construed as criticism. She then proceeds to remove all makeup, put on a t-shirt and sleeping shorts and fall asleep while thoughts of tantric sex is as far from her mind as Fermat's last theorem.

Vox once wrote something to the effect telling wives that if they are more concerned about what to make for dinner as opposed how to "rock their man's world" are missing the boat entirely. I happen to agree with this take. There are no men on earth that given the choice between a chicken casserole and a wild fuck would choose the casserole.

Those gentlemen furtively clicking their sperm counts away are compensating for the fact that to try and get her in the mood is only slightly less difficult than neurosurgery or requires a layout of cash on useless jewelry that could pay for the mortgage, handily. The sad part is that many of these men really do love their wives despite the fact that what they would do daily the wife only wants once a week, maybe. Men are wired to want it more often than they do a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, hence the explosion of all the alternative forms of gratification.

The man with an eager wife is blessed indeed, for the number of women like this are rapidly approaching extinction levels.


Pretty Lady said...

while their wife sits frustrated in the bedroom downstairs in her Victoria's Secret outfit awaiting her man to emerge from the study

P.S. I was.

The Aardvark said...

How terrible!
(I'm not being flippant.)
That breaks my heart.

Pretty Lady said...

Broke mine, too.

Anonymous said...

Aah, but Pretty Lady is unique in many ways. Crom's portrayal is much closer to reality for the vast majority.

Pretty Lady said...

Isn't that the truth. Anyway, porn addiction wasn't even the problem. As usual, with Pretty Lady's exes, the problem was much stranger, more convoluted and esoteric than that.

Anonymous said...

As someone who's seen some pubic hair recently (not a lot, but some), there was one part of that article that I wonder about. For whatever reason this whole shaved/waxed thing is disconcerting to me. Why would a woman want to appear as a prepubescent girl? And often times they seem so proud of it... OK, just being thoughtful (it happens), I expect no answer. I'm sure there's a good one, but it's beyond my simple tastes.

k said...

en. That's been scaring me too.

Actually, most of us want to satisfy our men. Also, the more vapid among us - men and women both - do things to be *cool* without necessarily giving them much thought first.

Women often remove pubic hair in order to wear thong underwear. I find it intolerably uncomfortable either to wear a thong, or to do the hair removal (by any method).

I've read lots of men on the net insisting on this hair removal, whether because they wanted their partners to look like those porn pix and wear that thong, or because they felt the hair was untidy (especially for oral sex), or...yes, because they want that prepubescent look.

So very much less threatening, if that scary female part is denuded. (see freud on spiders...)

That look is also created in Middle Eastern and North African areas by the horrible and ancient tradition of genital mutilation of women. This is called *female circumcision* but it's NOT. It ranges from *just* removing the clitoris, to scraping away all flesh from the labia and sewing everything up to create an opening that, for many millions, is idealized if it's the size of a matchhead. Frequently, on her wedding night, a woman must be opened by knife blade to consummate the marriage.

Nightmares? Yep. Believe me, I'm sparing you the gory details in a big way.

The number of women alive today with this done to them is estimated at 130 million.

That's a lot of people.

The men advocating continuing this practice often display pix to justify it, saying, --You see how pretty and streamlined this adult woman looks? No hair! So perfectly nice and smooth! Isn't that better than your nasty hairy Western women?

The other reason, of course - surely the prime reason - is because a woman incapable of experiencing orgasm is much less likely to stray.

Recently, a man in Georgia was convicted and sent to prison for 10 years for doing this to his baby daughter with a pair of scissors. He was an Ethiopian immigrant. I've heard estimates of as many as tens of thousands of such cases in Georgia alone in the last few years.

Sometimes, when people accuse others of some *awful* behavior, they're doing it to deflect blame. The *doers* are actually themselves. J. Edgar Hoover (FBI), who lived with a longtime male partner, famously ranted against homosexuals.

Men sometimes say women emasculate them. Figuratively? Perhaps. Arguable, of course.

In real life? Men, in war and crime, often are the ones who physically, literally, emasculate other men.

Here we see a practice where females are...*efeminated?* - see, there isn't even a WORD for this for us! satisfy the wishes of men. To the tune of over a hundred million women.

Believe me, there aren't anywhere NEAR that number of men *emasculated* by anyone. Maybe not in the entire history of humanity.

Here are 3 articles about the Georgia case:

Pretty Lady said...

I was GOING to say, I've shaved at a lover's request, and it never stopped being itchy no matter how much I tried to get used to it, but given the latter content of your post, this seems like superfluous whining.

Anonymous said...

That's a lot more info then I wanted there K, but thank you anyway. I understand the circumcision thing a lot better then I do the the shaving/waxing thing. One's religious/cultural... but the other's elective.

It's quite amusing/bemusing to watch a woman trying all kinds of "cures" for the itching from the self-inflicted disease. One feels grateful that she would go to such trouble. On the other hand, the shape, or lack of it, isn't necessarily something we need to deal with early on in a relationship...

Doing it for the thong makes sense and I probably should have guessed at that. It seems like that's necessary dating attire. I suspect a lot of women don't wear thongs everyday, but think they have to during a date, and suffer for it, which strikes an uncomfortable note from the outset. I wonder how many women end up having sex a lot sooner then they otherwise might, just to get the damn thing off?

Thanks for your replies ladies. It's been educational and these are issues I never think about until they're standing before me... and then it seems mood breaking to ask.

Pretty Lady said...

It's quite amusing/bemusing to watch a woman trying all kinds of "cures" for the itching from the self-inflicted disease.

It's quite amusing/bemusing to watch men wondering why one and one make two. As in, expecting you to shave, pressuring you to shave, complaining bitterly when you don't shave, hauling out the razor and shaving you, explaining that all women shave, it's a cultural thing, and then asking you why you are inflicting this on yourself if it makes you so uncomfortable.

It never ceases to amaze Pretty Lady, in short, how men will simultaneously complain that girls will never go to even the smallest amount of personal trouble to make them happy, while completely dismissing the large amounts of personal trouble we go through to make them happy as being a 'self-inflicted disease.'

And Pretty Lady has worn a thong on exactly one occasion in her life. To a friend's birthday party. She pulled up her skirt and said 'look, I'm wearing a thong,' and that was the end of it.

k said...

en, I didn't want to harsh your mellow. But I think many men have trouble understanding the enormous and damaging social pressures on women. It may in part be precisely because those pressures are illogical; we think, --Surely that can't be as bad as it looks.

For example, most women have some fear of even appearing to enjoy sex precisely because of others' impulses to denigrate, rape, or even kill us in response. While the extreme is only a constant overseas, the milder form is a constant here, everywhere in America. Surely that's an illogical reaction by men. Yet it's true, and every woman I know has been affected by it to some extent.

Let's say that 10% of the world's cultures cut off the entire penis of 90% of their little boys because the Ruling Women found male sexual arousal hideously disgusting. The intact men in the *nicer* cultures may have some misgivings. They might want to do even foolish things in order to appear less threatening.

Innocently enough, you asked why women would want to look prepubescent, and I replied with a true horror story. Certainly I never thought you'd condone such practices. I just wanted to explain that we have valid reasons for some of the apparently illogical things we do, and for certain innate fears as well.

I dislike any group taking flack for actions that they are greatly pressured to take, by the self-same people pressuring them in the first place.

Now: I apologize to all of you who walked unsuspecting into my little diatribe. It really was more appropriate to the sort of blogs that discuss the darker aspects of human behavior as a general practice.

So I will never again address this topic here. You are safe at Pretty Lady's house once more! Safe from me at least. ;-)

And I'll end with the hope that instead of the bad stuff, you can remember a certain compassion for women behaving in apparently illogical or silly ways. There are things behind that behavior that, I think, call for some forbearance.

Pretty Lady said...

You are safe at Pretty Lady's house once more!

Darn. I shall have to resort to more nefarious stirring-up maneuvers. Secretly, I love it when people get controversial.

And while I agree with the baseline reasoning in your 'diatribe,' k, I do not think that clitoridectomies are foremost in women's minds when we shave our pubes, or perform other minor forms of sexual self-torture.

The pressures we are responding to are much more subtle, and have to do more with the non-verbal, fear-based disapproval we got from Mommy for being 'creatures,' coupled with egoistic pressure from boys when we got older, and were railroaded into having sex because they wanted it, then despised for 'being sluts.'

If we like it, we're sluts, if we don't, we're frigid bitches. Ack.

k said...

Oh, of course not! Perish the thought! It's only now that a few of us are even learning such horrors actually exist. Here, for non-immigrants at least, it's not a physical reality.

Instead, it's a powerful metaphor.

But I wonder if the feeling of being despised for *being sluts* is also one of those deeper things, buried in the more primordial parts of our brains. Awakened, when we first get exposed to those social pressures in *real life.*

I've pondered that for a while, because the prevalence of that extreme, overseas, is both so very broad in scope and so ancient. They say 5000 years or more. So I wonder if it could even be encoded, in some small way.

That's all.