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Opinions on sex - bear with me

(444 Posts)
Thurlow Sat 06-Feb-16 19:59:59

A couple of threads on MN over the past few weeks have got me thinking seriously about some (or maybe just some MNs) opinions relating to sex. This isn't meant to be a TAAT or an attack on their opinions. But something about some of the opinions aired, or perhaps more of a general belief, has got me quite confused.

One was the airing, by several posters/people, of the opinion that any woman who says she enjoys partaking in a particular sex act is merely a "cool girl". In essence, they can't actually really enjoy it - they only think they do because porn and/or men have convinced them that they do. It struck me as... some women believing that other women cannot, in some way, be trusted to explore their own sexuality. This is hardly a completely weird sex act we're talking about. But there seem to be women who believe any woman who enjoys certain sexual acts - anal, facials etc - cannot possibly be doing it because they genuinely enjoy it, for whatever reason (physical, emotional i.e. submission etc).

Another was a very heated debate - that I was tempted to post this on, but thought a new thread on this board might be better - as regards situations where women don't feel like having sex with their partner. Now I'm not in any way advocating that anyone should ever have to engage in any form of sexual activity if they don't want to. No way. No one ever should.

But what struck me was that for almost all people in relationships, sex is one of the main things that differentiates your romantic relationship from a very close platonic relationship. For most people in a monogamous relationship, sex is the one thing you do only with your partner - whereas many people may also be as emotionally close to a friend or family member. Sex is also seen by many people as the real Big One when it comes to infidelity. Your partner having sex with someone else is generally unforgivable. It's one of the worst things anyone can do to anyone else. Equally, everyone hopes that their partner finds them attractive and wishes to have sex with them. Someone being told that they are no longer attractive to their partner is an equally terrible thing within a relationship.

Yet on this thread about not having sex when you feel like, there was a very strong feeling from many posters that a husband (in this scenario) who asks his wife for sex, who attempts to initiate sex, is being unreasonably demanding. Completely unreasonably demanding. A sex pest, to some posters. That it is so out of order for a husband to fancy the idea of having sex with his wife. There was discussion of "pawing" in relation to a man making moves on a woman. (I will stress I completely agree with the general sentiment that if you're knackered after being with kids all day, you should completely be able to say "nope, too tired", and also that any respectful partner will just accept that). He would be totally out of order for making any kind of move towards physical intimacy. Hugging, touching, attempting to kiss, things that are surely what most people do to show affection and perhaps start to initiate sex, were just "pawing" and were demanding.

I know I'm waffling but I'm also trying to work out for myself what many of these opinions made me feel.

So - if we hope the person that we have chosen to build our life together with finds us sexually attractive, and wants to be intimate with us in a physical way, because physical and sexual intimacy is one of the main things that differentiates a partnership from a friendship... Why do many women see it as wrong that a man might hope to have sex with his wife? (Leaving aside for a brief moment men who don't take no for an answer). Why is it so wrong that a man might touch a woman, hug or kiss in an attempt to see whether their partner might like to have sex?

And why do some women seem to believe (again, just judging by comments) that any man who would like to have sex is, essentially a sex pest? As if women don't feel like that too? Which tied in, in my mind, with that whole "cool girl" concept in relation to women liking anal sex, for example.

I'm not sure I've explained this properly but I've come away from MN over the past few weeks feeling that a lot of women don't seem to agree with the simple idea that both men and women have libidos and sexual tastes: men just want to "have sex", rather than be intimate with their partner; and women just put up with it when they feel they ought too, and should have a liking for anything other than "making love".

Does that make sense to anyone? Has anyone else felt like this?

Spillette Sat 06-Feb-16 20:18:00

Makes total sense to me, and a zillion times more articulate than I would have been. Nothing more to add though I'm afraid (see above re: articulateness).

LogicalThinking Sat 06-Feb-16 21:25:36

I completely agree with you. I've puzzled over the same threads before.

I've seen posters say that women shouldn't do certain acts because it then pressures other women into doing it.
The whole 'cool wife' insult thrown at any woman who claims to enjoy something that they don't.
It's struck me that women are putting pressure on other women, it's not just men.

I wonder if men judge and criticise each other's choice of acts in bed in the same way that women do?

Toffeelatteplease Sat 06-Feb-16 21:33:40

Yes. I get it. I have challenged it on occasion. However if I have been called both a troll and a handmaiden for doing so.

I mostly don't bother and just think what a narrow view of women feminism often has

SurferJet Sat 06-Feb-16 21:39:54

Completely agree op.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 06-Feb-16 21:43:33

I have seen it and been on the receiving end of the "cool wife" insult. Far from being a feminist POV, I see it as yet another patriarchal viewpoint that "good" girls shouldn't do this or that.

It's nothing but slut shaming by women.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 06-Feb-16 21:46:53

"I see it as yet another patriarchal viewpoint that "good" girls shouldn't do this or that."

Yes spot on. It all still feels a little to much like the virgin/whore syndrome

museumum Sat 06-Feb-16 21:53:07

Initiating sex when it should be bloody obvious your partner isn't going to be up for it shows a complete lack of empathy and comes across as "pestering". In fact the initiation act highlights the lack of empathy and it is THAT that causes far more negative reaction than the simple act of asking for sex.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 06-Feb-16 22:56:58

Talking to your DP is what's important. Do not expect your partner to be a mind reader and then become resentful when that is not the case.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Sun 07-Feb-16 00:23:24

If the pawing is followed by a 'not tonight dear' then it should stop. It's when it doesn't that the man becomes a sex pest.

I couldn't care less what sex acts go on between consenting adults - I do object to women being ok with their partners going to strip clubs. I believe the amount of women that do it for non-demeaning reasons are low.

I don't like porn because it really is all shit. I used to watch it, none of it is people that even like each other. I object to that.

On MN I've only seen this really on the Relationships board where I think that a lot of people are hugely affected by their own experiences which maybe makes them a little over zealous.

FellOutOfBedTwice Sun 07-Feb-16 00:33:17

Yes, I agree. Saw the thread about the pawing and obviously, no means no and we (hopefully) all agree on that. However as someone who's been pregnant or breastfeeding or both since 2013 now, my sex drive ain't what it was. If I didn't sometimes make myself have sex- which incidently, I very much enjoy when I start or make the decision to initiate- I wouldn't ever do it. The breastfeeding in particular seems to have switched that sexy bit of me off a bit and I don't really ever feel horny like I did prior to having DD (hoping that will come back once my breastfeeding days are behind me!) I do it because, as you say OP, sex and the intimacy surrounding sex is what makes my relationship with my DH different from other close relationships in my life. And because I love him and want to make him- as well as myself- happy.

If that makes me a handmaiden then so be it, but I don't think it does.

As for sex acts that I like which make me a "cool wife".... Well as PPs have said that's nothing but slur shaming by another name. Nice girls don't... Nice girls do, mate. I won't be told what I do and don't enjoy in the parameters of my own sexuality, thanks very much.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 07-Feb-16 01:26:52

Well yes but... Posters who start threads about specific sexual practices are not usually posting to say 'hey, I did x and it was ace'. They are usually posting because their partner wants them to do x, and they're unsure. Sometimes that uncertainty comes from patriarchal norms, right enough. More often though, they don't want to do x because their partner is a dick. And they need to hear that it's ok to say no. That they don't have to say yes just because the whole weight of society is telling them to.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 07-Feb-16 02:06:18

Posters seeking advice here are, IME, always told that they can say "No".

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Sun 07-Feb-16 02:16:04

I completely agree with you Thurlow and I wish that more of the very vocal Feminists could see a few shades of grey from time to time instead of things always needing to be so rigidly black and white. And the arrogant assumption that women who don't agree with them can't ever possibly just know their own mind because the poor things have been groomed by all those clever cunning men.

Gwenhwyfar Sun 07-Feb-16 02:22:47

"And why do some women seem to believe (again, just judging by comments) that any man who would like to have sex is, essentially a sex pest?"

I haven't read the thread you're talking about, but I bed nobody said that. If they did, quote them here. There's a difference between 'would like to' and pestering.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 07-Feb-16 06:28:25

I find this sort of thread fascinating. They pop up regularly on relationships too. They involve a bunch of posters referring to 'other threads' that are never linked to or quoted agreeing with each other that a certain group of people say this extreme thing and that extreme thing (with no context whatsoever) and isn't it awful. It's really odd - why start a thread to attack the non-specific opinions of non-specific posters who aren't quoted?

TheSparrowhawk Sun 07-Feb-16 06:30:41

Why not state your own opinions OP and discuss those?

WestleyAndButtockUp Sun 07-Feb-16 07:15:27

The OP did express her own opinions, didn't she, Sparrowhawk?

TheSparrowhawk Sun 07-Feb-16 07:28:33

No, she's stated the opinions of unnamed other posters, strange opinions that I've never seen expressed. She did ask questions such as why is it so wrong that a man might touch a woman...' but didn't actually express and opinions other than to disapprove of attitudes other people supposedly hold.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 07-Feb-16 07:32:03

If she came on and said 'I am of the belief that it is fine for a loving caring man to kiss his partner, then leave her alone if she requests it,' she would have had a rather puzzled response, given that it is a totally uncontroversial opinion.

OwlCurrency Sun 07-Feb-16 07:37:10

I know exactly the posts you are referring to, OP. I agree with everything you have said wholeheartedly.

DrSeussRevived Sun 07-Feb-16 07:41:16

"why start a thread to attack the non-specific opinions of non-specific posters who aren't quoted?"

Amen to this. But it's often the way.

Thurlow Sun 07-Feb-16 09:29:42

Sparrow, I considered linking or quoting but chose not to do so as it is unfair to specific posters. I do not want to attack one person's specific opinion on another thread. If I want to have a conversation with someone specific about something they've said on here, I'll do it to them.

This is about my opinion. This is about an opinion I've formed over a very long time reading MN, and which a few recent threads have crystalised for me. I can see other posters have had similar responses.

This was not meant as an attack, but as me looking to start a discussion. Not everything that disagrees with something is an attack, is it. I was wondering if other people have formed similar opinions - the virgin/whore problem, as Toffee puts it.

As for my opinion? I thought that was perfectly clear in the OP but I'm more than happy to talk about it in more detail if you don't think I've explained enough.

Thurlow Sun 07-Feb-16 09:35:51

Lonny, yes, I agree. Most posts you can normally read between the lines what the OP generally thinks.

And it does get so complicated with regards to sex and porn, and whether people actually like doing something or feel coerced into doing it. That's an enormous debate on its own. But I don't feel that just because anal sex is used in porn that that automatically means no woman doesn't actually enjoy it.

There was a really interesting thread a year or so ago (I've looked for it but can't find it at the moment) that was about facials, and it had very similar responses. A few posters said they enjoyed it for various reasons, some explaining why, and had it explained to them in very considerable detail why they'd been brainwashed to think that they liked it.

StarCat Sun 07-Feb-16 09:43:15

I am a person who would gladly have sex every day, and like any sex act, but I am not a pointless hugger. I hate it when dh or anyone else is constantly trying to hug me and dh doesn't do it anymore as he knows how much it pisses me off. I told him I will fuck any time but I don't like sitting and hugging a lot. Mine is just a sensory thing I think. I call it 'hug attack' cause I hate it so much. I suppose some people feel this way about certain sex acts, we are all different.

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