February 22, 2014

"Why Is It So Hard for Women to Write About Sex?"

A question that is the title of another article in that new issue of The Atlantic that I'm reading this morning. (See my 2 other posts, one about the supposed "Dark Power of Fraternities" and the other about a "scene" composed of men who like to wear masks to make them look like heavily made-up women.)

"Why Is It So Hard for Women to Write About Sex?" I have a better question: Why is it so not hard to write a blog post about an article titled "Why Is It So Hard for Women to Write About Sex?" Answer: Because it's funny to predict that the question will be answered with the usual claptrap about how complex and elaborately nuanced and just generally better women are than men and then to check to see whether it is.

Another answer would be: It's so hard for women to write about sex because it's hard for anyone to write about sex.


damikesc said...

Have they read women's magazines? If not for sex columns, they'd have no content.

MayBee said...

It seems to me to be way too easy.

Hagar said...

We wish.

Hagar said...

We wish.

David said...

Because they care so damn much.

rhhardin said...

There's so much relationship.

It's page 245 by the time the guy unfurls his manhood.

rhhardin said...

The only decent writing about sex is phenomenology, and it's very rare.

Also it's different for men and women.

One can't judge the other's stuff, except maybe Paglia, the point of view virtuoso of the age.

David said...

Trapped by ideology?

Marshal said...

The better question is: why is there such an audience for authors who can't distinguish between reality and the victim fantasy ocurring in their minds?

Anglelyne said...
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Anglelyne said...

Why is it so hard for any magazine not to join the race to the bottom?

Back in the day, even kids' cartoons were targeted at a higher IQ demographic than contemporary "serious" magazines.

SGT Ted said...

"Why is it So Hard for Women to Avoid Preening Narcissism?"

EDH said...

"Why Is It So Hard for Women to Write About Sex?"

Like they say to men, you just need to find something to "put lead in your pencil".

Fen said...

"Why is it So Hard for Women to Avoid Preening Narcissism?"

More true than you know. Men are taught all about how to pleasure the female, to make her comfortable and secure, to use romance as foreplay, to bring her to climax, etc.

In short, men are acutely aware that sex is more complex for women and so, we adjust accordingly.

But women (depsite whatever cute jokes they make) don't really understand what turns us on. Why? Because they've spent the last 3 decades focused on themselves.

And because sex really wasn't designed for women. Its was designed to entice males to reproduce.

betamax3000 said...

Women Writing About Sex is Like a Fish Trying to F**k a Bicycle.

Fen said...

Case in point - there was a funny comeback against a pro-choice male on a comedy show that gave me pause:

"Because men don't have reproductive systems" she said

Really? It was delivered as if it was some zinger. But I was left wondering if the writer actually believed that men don't have reproductive systems. She has no clue about men.

betamax3000 said...

He Stared at Me With Eyes of Burning Coal That Left My Skin Hot from His Gaze. He Drove a Volvo, But That No Longer Mattered, Nothing Mattered Except the Electricity That Tingled Between Us. My Lady Parts Felt the Electricity, Too, and I Felt a Blush of Embarrassment, As if That Special Part of Me Was Glowing Like a Search Light, Searching for Him and Him Only. At That Moment I Knew What Was Going to Happen: PIV.

madAsHell said...


I was a frat boy. It didn't make me CEO, but I did learn a lot about homosexuals, and a little about anarchy.

wildswan said...

Maybe sex is really about two people and it's hard to write about two people as if they were two bodies only. I mean writing about people without sex is the same as writing about sex with no people - only the opposite.

Another possibility is that there are two sexes as well as two people in some of these encounters and no sexes and many people in other encounters - which are, however, all called "sex."

Another possibility is that some people aren't very interesting and the same goes when they happen to be talking about sex. Postcards from Japan in 1900 are more interesting then most feminits.

mccullough said...

Women don't get hard, men don't get wet.

betamax3000 said...

I Could Sense His Hunger, His Hunger For Me: He Was a Lion in the African Wild, and I Was His Prey.

"May I Touch Your Breast?" He Asked, Passionately.

"Yes" I Answered, and His Hand Slid beneath My Blouse.

"May I Touch Your Other Breast?" He Asked, and I Nodded Deliriously

"By Nodding You are Affirming That it Is Permissible to Touch Your Other Breast?"

"Yes!" I Replied.

"Is it Acceptable to You if I Take Off My Pants?"

"Permission Granted, My Wild Stallion..."

MadisonMan said...

Coming soon to the Atlantic: Why is it so hard for women to be better than men at everything?

glenn said...

When I was a lot younger my grandmother used to come spend her winters with us in California. Grams had been in her youth a great beauty and she still had a certain "womanly character" at 70+. After dinner one night my dad and I were teasing each other about my relationship with a certain young lady. Grams took it all in, and said "Young man, you aren't doing anything your grandfather and I didn't do. We just spent more time doing it, and less time talking about it" That's good advice.

rhhardin said...

I Could Sense His Hunger, His Hunger For Me: He Was a Lion in the African Wild, and I Was His Prey.

So : we don't nestle weightless
In each other's hearts! The soul,
Then, is a raptor -- eagle
Or falcon, and if the soul
Is a raptor some other
Soul must be prey. Is that it?

Betraying is letting loose.
The tame caged fox is betrayed
To the houhds. Or: I betray
My heart to you. Give it up,
That is, into your keeping.
Your treachery and rapture.

-- Vicki Hearne "The Language of Love"

William said...

I read Jane Eyre as an adult. Not an experience I particularly recommend. The prose is very sensual. You can feel the physical presence of the characters and their attraction to each other, but nothing overtly sexual ever happens. And poor Lord Rochester becomes increasingly mutilated as his passion for Jane grows.....Women are into castration, but that's seldom a fantasy of men.

Revenant said...

Women have a harder time writing about sex than men do because they spend a lot less time thinking about it. They lack the necessary experience and gravitas.

Naut Right said...

WTH! Sex is all they want to write about. You can't get away from women having forms of conversation about sex.
Now if meant to wrtie well? How do you write well about the oldest subject in the Dewey Decimal System? It's all been covered, in every language, every ....Look, women should just admit that when it comes to sex they're much prettier men. Their values are cultural accessories that dig in the skin a little. Us guys know.

cassandra lite said...

Erica Jong didn't seem to have much of a problem. She couldn't shut up about it.

n.n said...

Sex should be practiced and not recorded.

Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...

The whole article is about how she's having trouble writing her sex book.

What she does, instead of writing her sex book, is talk about other women and what they are saying about sex. And then she compares that girl talk with how she would talk about sex, if and when she starts to talk about sex.

Saint Croix said...

The only writer she quotes who I've read is Nin. And Nin writes really, really well. It's bad porn but it's good literature.

My power for ecstasy and his earthy fire produces this white heat all the poets and all the lovers dream of, this raging fire, heaven and hell.

I like that. It's over the top, but it's awesome.

Jong (who I have not read) seems to write both bad porn and bad literature.

He would slowly unzip (so as not to snag it?) and with one hand (the other was under my skirt and up my cunt) extract the huge purple thing from between the layers of his shorts, his blue Brooks-Brothers shirttails, and his cold, glittering, metal-zippered fly.

Ugh! I am not a fan of "up my cunt" and "large purple thing." I also hate "blue Brooks-Brothers shirttails" and "cold, glittering, metal-zippered fly."

She accuses Nin of writing to excite men. I'm not sure that's accurate at all. Nin seems to have an intensely romanticized view of sex, while Jong's view is simultaneously vulgar and non-tittilating.

I would dip one hand into the vase of roses my flower-loving mother always kept on the coffee table, and with a right hand moistened with water and the slime from their stems, I would proceed with my rhythmic jerking off of Steve.

Maybe it's supposed to be comic? Anyway, I like Nin and she likes Jong. But at least both of these women are writing about sex.

If you're writing a sex book, write a sex book! If not, shut up about it.

I can't believe she got paid for this.

The Godfather said...

When I was 16, I liked the sex scenes in For Whom The Bell Tolls. At about the same age I read the "dirty parts" only of From Here To Eternity, but found them lacking.

Since then, I don't think I've read any good literature about sex (I don't count the advice columns in Playboy as literature). I think this may be because the sex act is very important to the two people who are engaged in it, while they are engaged in it, but it really isn't that important to any story we might find interesting. If you go from "He took her in his arms" to "The morning sun brushed her cheek as it rested on his chest", we haven't missed anything.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

The Godfather:

Exactly. Pornography, even recorded romance, is the domain of voyeurs, vicarious living, and adolescent boys and girls. It should be mostly or completely absent after adolescence, with men and women who are in healthy relationships, and with people who are generally occupied with life's labors and pleasures.