6.4
October 18, 2012

7 + 1 Reasons Not to F*ck a Woman’s Mind. {NSFW}

Warning: naughty language ahead. 

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

~ Anais Nin

When I first read David Esotica’s article, I was annoyed. Then, I really started to get angry. Who the fuck are you to decide what all women feel and where do you get off listing how women should be—in your words—ravished?!

Because let’s be clear here, we aren’t talking lovemaking. We are using a word we connote with violence. We are using a word that means you are taking something that’s mine. We are using a word that I’m okay with using to describe a certain kind of sex, but fuck you if you think you ever get to do it to my mind.

I believe that gender stereotypes and generalizations are fundamentally unnecessary, but sometimes contain kernels of truth. I love the experience of being female. I love the soft, yielding parts of my body and my mind. I love my strength—physical, mental and spiritual. I love the contrast of male and female. We all contain yin and yang, and the interplay of the two between two lovers, regardless of gender, is beautiful—both mentally and physically.

The thing is, I’d be just as bothered by an equally reductive essay written about men. I’ve written before about how it pains me when women, under the guise of feminism, tear men down and condense the idea of masculinity to a tired joke that only continues to divide the sexes.

We are not just flowers, and men are not wild animals.

So to hear a man reduce this idea of what it is to be female this way does more than make me angry. It saddens me.

I could probably give you a hundred reasons why, but I’ll stick with seven, plus one.

1. “A woman’s sex is all mental.”

I don’t know who he’s talking to, but the moment of orgasm might be one of the few times in my life that I am completely without words. There is no cerebral framework for that sensation. It is body and spirit on fire.

2. “For all her thorns and daggers, every woman holds a fragile part. She hides it, for fear of finding herself vulnerable.”

I prize my vulnerability; it is a strength. I don’t know what to make of this idea of “thorns and daggers”? Sure, we all have our guarded moments. The strong among us (humans, not exclusively women) don’t hide our fragility. We know that where we are tender and raw—sexually or spiritually—is where we are our most genuine, our most essential.

3. “Care taken whilst taking what you want.”

{As a funny aside, part of my annoyance here is the use of the word “whilst.” Seriously? Whilst? Hmm.}

My sex isn’t something to be taken from me, it’s something to share. My mind, my body, my heart, my spirit? They aren’t to be taken. I’ll give them. I’ll share them. They are mine, and I don’t think I’d want to be with anyone who felt the need to try and take them.

4. Painfully. Cruel nails grinding down the sides of her ribs. Gripping onto the bone of her hips. Digging into the soft flesh of her waist.”

Many people enjoy pushing the boundaries of pleasure versus pain. If someone wants to do something “cruelly and painfully” to me, I’ll pass. Thanks anyway.

5. “Every woman.”

I have to say, every time I read “every woman” in this piece, I cringed. Not just for “every woman,” but for every man too. There are seven million plus one things about me and even then I’m still shifting and changing. I can’t imagine reducing the ways to love one man into a list of eight, let alone the entire gender.

6. “Every woman reaches a point when she comes, deeper and harder than she thought possible. Her body and her soul open unleashing a storm.”

Ah, again with the “every woman.” But the part that makes me sad here, and throughout, is the idea that making love is something you would choose to do to someone instead of with them. There is a disconnect here. This is the disconnect that making love should begin to erode. Anais Nin said, “only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.” This isn’t something you do to a woman and she “takes it.” This is something you share. This is the ocean between two continents. This is the waves crashing on both of our shores.

7. “This leads us to a beautiful truth about the feminine—every woman is in pain.”

Wrong. This leads us to a beautiful truth about human beings: we are all in pain.

To connect physically, lovingly, whether through the platonic touch of a friend or passionate lovemaking can have a profound affect on our pain. All of us have dark places that need healing. We give it to ourselves; we give it to each other. And I’d agree, our pain is part of the beautiful truth of being human, but stand beside me and hold me through my pain. It isn’t a way into my pants.

8. “Yes, this is how I can hold you, take you and claim you…but you are the one who must invite me.”

There is no invitation I would issue, could issue to be claimed, to have someone “fuck my mind.” Love is standing together, no one above or below, but in concert. I am not here in some tower waiting to be carried away and ravished. When I decide to make love, it is something I will give.

It is a gift we give to each other. It is how we surrender to each other.

 

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Shaun DeLoach May 31, 2015 11:29am

Thanks for the article. As a former woman idealizer, from the infinite problems that’s caused me with the opposite sex, always ending in rejection that forced within my lonliness introspection on the value of myself as a human being, made into a loathesome ceature, (ok, yeah, I’m getting a little dramatic here) I like articles clearing the irony of the term “the second sex.” The alien beings called women. What an unfotuante social construct for men confronted with sexual attraction towards another human to deal with this eloquent and ethereal wraith of the night that for some reason wants to act and think like a normal person. What’s her problem? But I did have one issue with your article: what’s wrong with using whilst? See the alliteration I was able to do just making that sentence! Whilst – c’mon, it’s not that histrionic. Oh, I wonder what the guy that wrote the article would think about your article.

Melissa G Dec 4, 2014 7:19pm

Thank you. I don't know what else to say…..thank you.

When I read the original piece I saw some truth, but it's a "one size fits all" mentality of women as a whole.

Teman Cooke Oct 13, 2014 11:12am

I’d like to thank David, for the original article; Kate, for this response article; and also Joyce, for adding yet a third dimension in her article (http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/10/more-than-7-1-ways-a-closer-look-nsfw-joice-joker/). I was pointed to the original article by a friend, and that lead me into reading the two accompanying pieces. I’ve tried to read (or at least skim) most (if not all) of the comments on the articles as well. To be honest, it took me quite some time to finally decide to comment. I realize that these articles are over two years old now, and I struggle with discerning when adding my voice will be productive vs. divisive (which is not my goal). However, it’s clear that these articles are still speaking to people — people are still making comments, and still sharing the articles, and still talking. Let me also take this opportunity to apologize as well; my thoughts are still very much evolving and organizing, so if I have not fully supported an assertion, please let me know.

David’s article bothers me for many of the reasons that Kate names in her article. In addition, many of the comments made about the article — both in support of David, like Joyce’s article, as well as those against it — also bothered me. It took me a while to figure out why. Ultimately, I think the reason the piece bothers me is because it is written from a position of unaware privilege.

Now, I realize that I said, not two paragraphs above, that it was not my goal to be divisive, and I’ve just used perhaps one of the most divisive words in the American language. So let me clarify what I specifically mean by privilege. Privilege is the ability to take the role of protagonist in the narrative templates provided by our culture and society. In other words, culture, society, and history provides us with meaningful story frameworks — archetypes, if you will — that allow us to both define and explore who we are and how we fit together as a people. One side-effect of this, however, is that certain roles have developed limitations on who is “allowed” to fill them. In many stories, the role of protagonist — the actor and influencer and controller — is only available to those with certain characteristics, such as being male, or being white, or being wealthy, etc etc. Those lacking these defining characteristics are then shunted into alternate roles — either as a supporting character, or as an antagonist. (I won’t go very deeply into why I believe this happens; in short, I suspect that it tends to serve as an organizing and stabilizing influence for human communities, and allows the community to respond more quickly to external threats. But I digress.)

The freedom to take on the role of protagonist — the role of power and control — within a given story template is what I am calling privilege.

So, when I read David’s piece, I am continually confronted with the language and understanding of someone who has never had to struggle with being forced into a role he did not want. And that, at its core, is what bothers me about his piece. I don’t disagree with any of the points he presents. I am not a woman, so I cannot say whether he is on target or not. But I have heard women talk about issues of weariness, and wanting to trust, and wanting to be able to just let go and be carried along and taken care of. And, to be honest, I can’t say that I haven’t experienced similar feelings. The ability to surrendering control — to be able to trust in your body, in your partner, and in the contact between the two — is quite alluring and quite healthy. The core message of his article seems, at least to me, to be a positive one.

However, the fact of the matter is that he has written himself (and other men) as the protagonist in this article, and in doing so falls back into a social context that has effectively suppressed and trivialized women’s autonomy for centuries. “We (men) Do, You (women) Receive.” This bothers me. In seeking to perhaps offer something new, David has (inadvertently, perhaps) fallen back into the same old stories, and in doing so reinforces the role stereotypes of those stories. Man == actor/choosing, Woman == passive/receiving.

In addition, although the intended audience at the start of the article seems to be other men, the language he uses changes halfway through — from “she” and “her” to “you”. It’s not enough to reinforce to other men that their role is to be the actor; the article then goes on to reinforce to his female audience that their role is to be the passive recipient of such action. I cannot express how much this drives me nuts. I don’t think women need to be reminded of the roles they’re “allowed”; I think women need to be reminded that they can take on the roles they’re “not allowed” — and, in addition, must be supported and nurtured when they do so.

Let me say again — I don’t have a problem with the explicit message of his post. Perhaps women do enjoy being taken — “ravished”, as he put it. However, the element of choice — choosing that surrender, choosing to be ravished — is absolutely *fundamental*. And I don’t think that David’s article really respects — or indeed, even notices — that underlying point: THE WOMAN IS THE PROTAGONIST OF HER OWN STORY. Period, end of sentence, full stop. Even in the situations that David describes, the woman MUST know, deep in her heart, that her partner, whoever it is — David, another man, or even another woman — will respect her choices. That she is the protagonist, and that her partner is the supporting character. Anything else veers dangerously close to narrative frameworks that not only support, but encourage, rape.

As a man, I think that we, as men, can do this. In fact, I’d love to see David write another version of this article — one in which he describes how to do everything he described, but as a supportive partner. Maybe he could call it “7+1 Ways to Help a Woman Choose You To F*ck Her Mind”, or maybe “7+1 Ways to F*ck a Woman Who Has Requested That You F*ck Her Mind”. Or perhaps even “7+1 Ways to Support a Woman Who Has Decided That She Wants To Be Mind F*cked.” (Ok, maybe not that last one.)

In any case, I hope I’ve added something new and interesting to the discussion; reading over what I’ve written I realize that I may have failed in my goal of being “non-divisive.” Thank you very much for your patience, however, and I look forward to feedback and thoughts about this.

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