Desperately Seeking Sally
When the opportunity of writing an essay on sexuality and sexual pleasure came up, I thought it would be right up my alley, and it came at a good time too. The person I am now isn’t too far off from who I was 10 years ago, but a little experience does come about as the years pile on, and so too, are inhibitions peeled away. My initial excitement turned to dread, however. ‘A discourse on sexual pleasure cannot be summarised in a 500 word essay!’, I said to myself. There’s too much to discuss, too much to share, too much to reveal…
I hate that Germaine Greer (1999) summarised my angst when she wrote:
“.. most women still need or think they need actual contact with real men in order to feel any significant amount of pleasurable tension and subsequent release. As long as women need relationships with real men more than men need relationships with real women, women are at a disadvantage in sexual negotiations.”
I said the person I am now isn’t too far off from who I was 10 years ago. I am, however, a very different person to who I was 20 years ago. Then, I was steadfast and resolved on my attitudes to sex before marriage. Religion abetted my decision for abstinence before marriage, but really it was the sexual promiscuity around me that made me conclude at an early age that ‘my body was my temple and this temple was solely for my future husband.’ A very romantic gesture for a teen, I don't suppose. My resolution to abstain from sex before marriage also allowed me to fend off notions, discussions and any suggestions of sex before marriage.
Fast forward several years later: ‘going down’ on a sexual partner was also a ‘no-no’ as I mentally laid out terms of what I would and wouldn’t do in bed, ‘because it’s something I want to keep for my husband’, I said to myself. In effect what I was really saying was, ‘I can have sex with you but I won’t pleasure you in the most submissive way’. The notion in my head was that a blow job was of a great intimate pleasure for the male, and the ultimate submissive sexual act for a wife, and therefore I should savour it only for a life-partner, and not a well endowed casual sex partner you would rather your face not be impaled to!
All in all, I merely swapped a (unknown) man’s power over me from one hand to another. I aimed to please then, and aimed to please in the future. This was, I concluded, how I was to be desired. As I broke my own rules, I made new ones to keep me bounded.
So religion and a romantic notion was at the forefront for the many years I remained a virgin. Guilt and lust were the reasons for throwing religion and romanticism out of the window the first time I did have sex. I imagine the first time for many women isn’t always as you imagine; neither is the guilt I felt soon after.
For me (and I daresay other women too), striving for one’s own sexual pleasure is almost an after-thought in life. Entering into the veils of a sexual relationship, I realised that I was striving to be desired and to have the ability to serve in sexual pleasure to my male counterpart. This is where I held myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t get turned on or have my own sexual desires, but the desire to be wanted and to be lusted after surpassed my actual desires to enjoy having sex and to be in a sexual relationship. And again like most women I faked it, again and again. 'It’s my fault', “something is wrong with me”… all these thoughts in my head because it took so long for me to orgasm. Actually, it wasn’t that it took so long, it was because they didn’t know how to make me orgasm! fuck! What a waste of time!
My rebellion phase has just recently begun. No one stopped me from having sex, except myself. Once you cross the barrier and betray your own religious and moral beliefs, you find it’s not the end of the world after all, and there is much to be discovered. Not only about sexual pleasure but about oneself. My relationship with discovering what arouses me is also like an interpersonal discussion I have with myself.
A woman’s journey to climax (and it can be a arduous one for some) is not along a straight and narrow line. Her arousal is interspersed with emotions and a delicate balance of firm and/or soft touches from her partner. Mentally getting yourself to this state is to reach deep inside and explore yourself. And if the sex is good, the exploration of oneself continues and becomes finite. We are almost empowered as we liberate ourselves from sexual constraints...
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About the Author
Born and raised elsewhere. Managed to hit tertiary education by the skin of my teeth. Contemplating a do over. Wished I grew up with the internet.
Germain Greer (1999) The Whole Woman. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd.