I’ll be filing this one under the “blog titles I never expected to use” category. About every six months, I get linked to a Cosmo article by some means. In the interest of fairness and open-mindedness, I am perennially willing to take a look and see if their company is doing something other than peddling simplistic nonsense about human sexuality in order to make money.
I always make a heroic effort to get through the entire article without putting my face slowly in my palm and quietly sighing at the general lack of facts and reasoning. I made it all the way through this article today without a single facepalm. It wasn’t easy, of course.
The premise was that this article would help a woman determine whether or not a man has slept with lots of other women and learned how to be proficient at it, and that it would do this in the form of a list, because apparently you need to keep it simple for your intelligent, empowered readers who are seeking to have a sexual liaison with a guy who has them often.
To be fair, most of the items in the list made complete sense. It’s true, for example, that men who keep a variety of pads and tampons around probably have women over quite often. And it’s probably true that such a man knows a variety of positions, that he knows how to talk lasciviously to a woman in an appealing way during intercourse, that he has good body control, and that he knows to stimulate the clitoris. It’s fairly obvious that these things would likely be true of a guy who “gets around” as the author so vividly put it.
And I quite agree that an experienced, worthwhile lover will know to make sure that his lady for the evening (not of the evening, hopefully, though one never knows) will climax before he does. I even agree with this item about taking the proper time to do so:
“6. He doesn’t rush. He’s no wham-bam, thank you, ma’am. He takes his time to show you how much he cares about you. (You = your orgasm.)”
The last bit caught my attention. I realized that this is the heart of the contemporary understanding of sexual morality as it relates to anthropology, and by anthropology I mean our understanding of the meaning of human existence in the human person. The equation of the human person with the person’s orgasm in the context of someone correctly caring for them, or in the broader context of how we find fulfillment in relationships with one another, is quite telling.
If it is true that to love a person well means making sure that they have sexual pleasure of the highest order, and if it is true that human meaning is solely found in the orgasm, then it makes sense that the popular view in our society is that anyone who suggests that you should wait for or abstain from orgasms (whether self-caused or administered by an experienced lover) is not being loving.
Indeed, it makes sense, particularly if one is given to simplistic dichotomies as a mode of analysis, to claim that the person who asks you to give up orgasms is hateful because it is the opposite of love to ask someone to give up orgasms, and the popular view is that hate is the opposite of love.
This is wrong, of course. Indifference is the opposite of love. Hate is just love which is grieving for its unfair loss. Perhaps we could accuse people who disagree with our understanding of the meaning of human existence of being indifferent, but it’s just not quite as snappy.