feminists have talked a lot about sex. Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism has a large chapter devoted to femisim in between the sheets. most of the things i have read have one basic point, and that is that it is the physical act of sex that we must be aware of and in control of. before donning that plaid skirt and tie you must fully dissect why you and your partner are interested in this sex act and if you are implicit in the violence blah blah blah etc. and this is valid, blah blah blah’s aside. it is important to understand why you have a fetish after realizing that you have one. but all analysis aside, the fact is at the end of the day what gets you off gets you off and that has nothing to do with being feminist in bed.
what i believe, what i realized very recently, is that the media and society have shaped my sexuality in a way i had never been prepared to deal with. domination and objectification i can understand, but the emotional weight that i put on sex has been almost entirely formed by input from the culture i live in. the fact of the matter is i get hung up on sex not because of the kinky things i may or may not do, but because i feel like every sex act has to end in an emotional orgasm along with a physical one. and on the other end of the spectrum, i know many women who feel as though they were told so much how bad it is to put emotional weight on sex that now they can’t get emotionaly attached to their partners. real feminists sex, i believe, goes beyond having control over your body but also means being in control of the emotional weight you put on sex. and again, like all sex, there is no right level of detachment or attachment, as long as you know why andhow you started feeling this way. for me, it means pulling some of the unfair emotional weight off of sex and taking control away from chick flicks in deciding how i feel about the sex i have, stripper heels or no.
just like in the style of sex we have there are always two extremes, so it goes with our emotional connection to sex partners. either you’re the out of control kinky/slutty/wild girl, or you’re the uber-vanilla/lights-off/slow-90’s-pan-to-the-curtains young lady. and as with the fight to fling off these dualities, we must also fight against the emotional/emotionless options. there are layers. there is flexibility. you can have both, or somewhere in between. it’s a tougher fight, in some ways, because the cultural training is a lot less obvious. one example that comes to mind is Zack and Miri Make a Porno, in which the scene that informs the main characters that they are in fact in love and meant to be together happens during sex. so often these pivitol moments happen during or around sex. and it’s always the “promiscuous” women in movies that end up feeling emotionally deprived because lord knows you can’t have that much sex and also have feelings about it.
what do you think? do you find yourself torn on the same spectrum? or is this connected to something else?