The Promise And Peril Of Sexual Hierarchy

28 Jun

So I was faced with an interesting topic recently.

A friend of mine has a new beau and the other night in bed after messing around in various ways they ended the night with him touching himself and her giving a gentle assist with her tongue nearby (The Joy of Euphemisms).

In the morning he asked her if she was upset by this.  That they didn’t “have sex.” (before I go off on this, points to the boy for asking questions!)

When she brought this up to me I was really confused because in my opinion that is sex.  It’s not intercourse but it’s sexual contact.  And if it was enjoyable and pleasurable and consensual for both parties then it could even be considered good sex.

In our society we have this notion that there is a hierarchy to sex.

Kissing, groping, naked groping, oral sex, and then at the top of the pyramid is intercourse which we refer to as ‘real sex.’

Well I don’t like that hierarchy.

We say that sex is one act and that everything else is just foreplay but is that really how it feels?  Is sex just when tab A goes into slot B?  Or is it when you get to feel vulnerable and beautiful with another person?

I know plenty of women who have activities they ‘enjoy’ more than intercourse and those activities are treated like condiments.  Optional.  Some places offer them and some just don’t.

While the activity most men favor is made literally the standard.

sex |seks| noun

1 (chiefly with reference to people) sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse : he enjoyed talking about sex | she didn’t want to have sex with him.

(Also, do I need to point out that freaking ‘use in a sentence’ sentence?  Patriarchy!)

Studies show that women are just as orgasmic as men, but while men orgasm from intercourse 78% of the time, women only orgasm 25% of the time.

So, again, why is intercourse of all things, made our proverbial yardstick?

Do what makes you happy.  Don’t pay attention to whether you’ve made it high enough up the list.  Are you happy?  Is your partner happy?

Good.  Go to sleep.

If you want to see the lecture that got me thinking about this Check Out Lisa Wade’s The Promise and Peril of “Hook Up Culture.”  You won’t regret it.

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