Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Of course, sex is a mutual decision and not something the woman makes the man "earn." Right?

I've worked 33 hours over the last three days. 33 goddamn hours of lifting and turning and pushing and pulling the hundred-plus-pound dead weights we call "our valued customers." (I kid! I love sick crazy people! They're my best friends! Actually many of them are very sweet. But it doesn't make them weigh less.)

Tonight, I'm finally off work, and I'm going to go spend the night with Alan.

If he wants sex, that boy is going to backrub like he never backrubbed before.


  1. Hi Holly - your entries are always food for thought.

    I've been thinking about the mutual decision thing, partly in light of your "expectations" entry, along with some other experiences. I wanted to ask you: To what extent do you think that, in any given couple, there is a "default" expectation that the man wants to have sex, and the woman does not? We have all these archetypes of the dating/courting man and woman, where the man is the active pursuer of sex, the woman is passive and guarded, and there are various hoops that a man has to jump through before anything sexual happens. I'd love to talk to an anthropologist who could tell me the history of these things.

    I assume that you are thinking of this on some level when you factetiously reference the woman making the man "earn." Along the same lines, the "bases" thing is about men being active and women giving (reluctant) permission. I assume that many guys still brag about "conquests." It seems to me that women are disempowered, to say the least, by all this, as there's little room for them to be actively sexual. It hearkens back to the era where sex was actually supposed to be unpleasant for women (i.e. "close your eyes and think of England.") One of the more obscure aspects of the novel 1984 is where the government takes the pleasure out of sex, for women in particular, by politicizing it and making it their patriotic "duty to the Party."

    Not sure where I'm going with all this. I guess I had never explicitly thought about these assumptions when I met someone. I'm now realizing how complicit I've been in all this, even while trying to have good communication in relationships. Of course, when you become aware of something, examples pop up everywhere.

    Another thing making me think of all this is just having watched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, two romantic anti-comedies that have really good dialogue in them, sort of like When Harry Met Sally meets My Dinner with Andre. They're delightful movies, in which the two main characters more or less instantly communicate better than I have in most of my relationships. I recommend both movies, watched in order, for pure entertainment value as well as a workout for the relationship part of your brain. I also have a total movie crush on Julie Delpy now, or at least her character in those movies - sexy, smart, articulate, compassionate, adventuresome, sexual, all while remaining endearingly yet realistically human, and did I mention sexy? I mean, damn.

    Come to think of it, there's nothing wrong with wanting a backrub before you have sex, but does it work both ways? Could he ask the same of you? Would there be different connotations?


  2. Hi SB! To answer the easy question first, what really happened was that I said "Gosh, my back is sore, could you give me a backrub," and he gave me a very nice one. And later we had sex, because we felt like it.

    If he asked me for a backrub, I'd give it; if he asked me for a backrub as a prerequisite to sex, I'd be very annoyed and probably not do it. I don't like the idea of trading sex for anything.

    The default expectation that men are desperately horny and women hate sex but endure it to control men? FUCKED if I know where that came from, but figleaf has written a metric buttload on the subject and more intelligently than I can.

  3. I used to work in a nursing home and had to haul around people bigger than me. I'm lucky that now I have a computer job and can do hospice volunteer work so I can just sit and chat and enjoy the old folks company. I love old people.

    And backrubs oh gosh, backrubs are classic get-in-yer-pants foreplay.