I, like many curious teenage girls, used to mischievously flip through the pages of Cosmo—exhilarated—as if it were a build up to the centerfold of Playboy (which, incidentally, I also flipped through). I followed the bold headlines to the articles lined with numbers on how to please your man, how to change your sex life, or how to [insert sexually inane phrase].
And it scintillated me, during that awkward gap before my sexual awakening, where I had all these desires, but no one’s hands to practice them but my own.
So I lapped it up. Pleasing my man? Gee, golly, one day – I hope!
And the nature of my first sexual encounters was symptomatic of these (mis)guidance columns—I spent my time worrying if I was doing it right, if he was enjoying it, if he liked what I was doing….
Ladies, a man can stick his dick in an apple pie and get off. Don’t believe me? Reference the eight-film franchise. That’s not to say some things and people aren’t better than others in the sex game, but skill and technique come with time and practice [S O M U C H P R A C T I C E]— but at the start of his sexual career, a man will rave to his friends for days about a dry handjob.
So—the point of the matter, is that I began my sexual exploration in the shadow of male pleasure, discussing my sexuality in the language of masculinity. Like the majority of people, I believed the act of intercourse began with penetration and concluded with male orgasm. It wasn’t until I realized I hated sex that I thought: what about me?
Then it was on like Donkey Kong.
When I divested myself of all the literature that told me to do it for someone else, when I devoted myself to my own pleasure primarily—when I had sex for myself—, it was a glorious, mind-numbing and orgasmic experience.
So I’ve got a problem with magazines telling me how to please someone else, when I really want to please myself.
I’ve read too many articles that tell me how to fuck in order to keep my man, or how to not fuck at all so that I might get a man—as if my sexual objective is to please a man (in order to entrap him), and not for the glory of my own orgasm. I don’t care if fucking on the first date might not be something he likes in the long run. I don’t care if he “won’t respect me” or he “won’t call me back.” If that’s the kind of man he is, what do I want with him?
Why am I fucking to please him when I should be fucking to please myself?
Now, this isn’t a man-hating article. I don’t hate men. They have penises. (I like penises.)
By focusing on my own pleasure, I am not excluding his. As any man who has ever truly pleased a woman knows: the more she’s enjoying it, the more he will, too.
So when I hear the tired cliché, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”, I say, "Why am I being bought in this metaphor? I don’t want to be bought, I’m not an object—and I’m not a fucking cow." I’m not selling my goods; and my every sexual intention or action isn’t working toward some overwhelming goal of a long-term relationship.
I have emotional needs, obviously, but that’s not what I’m thinking about when I wave your sexy ass over from across the bar and take you home.
Because I am the subject—not the object—of my sexual endeavors.
I can’t consistently sit down and take this wildly misogynist perspective through which society views sex. If a guy doesn’t respect me for doing the very same thing he’s doing, then he can go fuck himself. I wouldn’t want to be with someone like that anyway. A real man doesn’t revel in his hypocrisy.
And if you think I’m damaged goods, that’s all well and good for you, but I’ve met men who know the sordid details of my sexual history and still think I deserve to be respected. Why? Because my sexuality isn’t rooted in my insecurity. I’m not fucking for the sake of others. I’m fucking for myself.
Stop allowing yourself to be judged.
Stop feeling like a slut.
Stop having sex for someone else.
If you want to fuck, do so freely. Sexual intercourse should be a willing and conscious act performed by (at the very least) two individuals. You should approach the engagement as equals (no matter who likes to be dominated in the bedroom). Don’t offer yourself up to his moral assessment. Don’t let his opinion of you affect your opinion of yourself. Don’t ask: what does he think of me?
Do you think he’s wondering the same thing? Fuck no! He just got a nut off. He’s thinking about a sandwich.
This is about you, and how you feel about yourself. If you’re not comfortable fucking on the first date, don’t. There’s no shame in taking it slow. If you want to fuck, fine. It’s your motherfucking pussy, you can do what you want; you’re a big girl now.
Women, we have to stop subjecting ourselves to the scrutiny of the male gaze.
We have to offer an equal opportunity lens through which all of humankind is viewed. Where sluts, skanks, bitches, dykes, and whores stretch across the gender binaries. Where we realize that every man and woman (and everything in between, or outside) is not a holistic representation of his or her gender.
We’ve got to stop measuring female sexuality by male standards.
Men have varying sex drives: some bang in bulk, some fall in love, and some wait until marriage, and they’ve come to terms with that. So why can’t we? We’re not wildly separate entities, men and women. We’re not different species. We have to stop perpetuating the idea that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus”: we have to stop justifying different rules for different people. I’m not saying to go out and fuck the world, but if you want to....
Your sexuality isn’t a thing to be ashamed of.
Too many women are concerned with “slut shaming” because we think it makes us more viable and valuable objects to the men who pick, choose, and replace us. And that’s what we’re doing: we’re making ourselves into products, paring and shaping ourselves to what [we envision] men want.
Be safe, have your fun—but please, above all, don’t contribute to an archaic and chauvinist system that does not favor you. You’re not helping anyone.
We have to start being ourselves for ourselves.
Remember when your mom told you not to concern yourself with what others thought of you? Why should that apply to high school politics and not your own self-respect?
Because it all boils down to self respect: if you’re having sex for yourself, and you feel good about yourself, why should you be ashamed?
Kgazm is an advocate for the equal opportunity orgasm. She is the persona of a woman who knows what she wants. Her writing specializes in eviscerating the double standard, one article at a time.