A recent article on CNN Health posed the 21st century, post-Sex-in-the-City question many American women are all too familiar with these days: “Should women have sex like men?”
The article was overflowing with generalities, short on science and overall disappointingly shallow when dealing with the complexities of female sexuality. As its crowning proof of the inability of women to have string-less sex “like men”, the article cited a 32-year-old woman battling “post-orgasm regret” a bout of depression that developed right after orgasming. One woman cries a little after sex and suddenly all women are unable have sex without those pesky sentiments of love?
The problem with the article and the general debate in society about how women “should” or “should not” have sex is all in the wording. Sex should never be an issue of what an individual “should” or “should not” do; it should be a discussion about what an individual WANTS to do.
The question should be do women want to have sex “like men” or sex without emotional attachment. That is a debate likely to be as multi-dimensional as “what is the government’s role in the recession recovery” or “what is your favorite sexual position?” Everyone has a different opinion, and one that is likely to change over time and experience.
We (this includes the men folk here) need to stop telling ourselves what we should or should not be doing and start really investigating what we want. There will be times in many women’s lives when they want string-less, emotion-less and hopefully orgasm-full sex. There will be times in many men’s lives when they are sick of the hook-up culture or are never into it to start. When we start listening to want we want and not what society tells us we want, we will all be a whole lot healthier, happier and hornier.
Debunking a few CNN misconceptions
From CNN: “Many years before Candace Bushnell put pen to paper, Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing wrote, on the subject of sexual freedom, “Men get erections when they’re with a woman they don’t give a damn about, but we don’t have an orgasm unless we love him. What’s free about that?”
From Reality: Women orgasm with or without love everyday. Some women can’t orgasm even with all that oxytocin and love. Some women can orgasm without even knowing someone’s name. However, for the record, if you can’t orgasm without love, accept that and stop having loveless sex. In this case, all the faking in the world won’t help you make it.
From CNN: “Oxytocin helps facilitate a sense of attachment. But if there’s nothing to attach to, if there’s no deeper emotional content or meaningfulness, orgasm could become a regretful reminder of the hollowness of the sex that preceded it.”
From Reality: Does this mean there are millions of women out there emotionally attached to their vibrators? Orgasms can create oxytocin which can facilitate attachment. Orgasms can also be an incredible muscle spasm leading to extreme relaxation and passing out 5 minutes after sex. The roll over and sleep maneuver isn’t reserved for men. Seriously, not all women love to cuddle.
From CNN: “A woman is less likely to have orgasms early in a relationship. Her body needs time to adapt to the new partner, to learn to trust him or her, and to relax into the knowledge that her partner accepts and appreciates her body.”
From Reality: This may be true for many women, and for others it is complete shit. Anyone ever seen 9 ½ weeks? The one-night stand exists for a reason and it is not just to please the man. Women like exciting adventurous sex too.
Conclusion: It is time to start really thinking about the who, what, when, where and why of sex on a personal level and let go of the should. We all know we can have sex like Samantha but do we want to? And just because we want to be Samantha one day doesn’t mean the next we can’t want to be a born-again virgin. The rule book never helped much any way. Throw it out and create your own sexual should’s. Number one: Sex should always feel good.