“Feminists talk a lot about the privileging of penile-vaginal intercourse. We talk a lot about how the word foreplay is misleading at best and sexist at worst. We talk a lot about how most women can’t come from penetration alone, and how treating non-intercourse forms of sex as simply a preamble — not even sex at all, really — trivializes female pleasure. What we don’t talk about as much is how this assumption trivializes male pleasure. We don’t talk about the pressure it puts on men to “perform” — pressure that, ironically, can make said “performance” more problematic. And we don’t talk as much about the ridiculous limitations it puts on male sexuality. We don’t talk as much about how enjoying full-body sensuality, nipples and ears and toes and hair and the huge range of sexual pleasures available to all human beings, is typically seen as girly. We don’t talk as much about how men who like receiving anal sex are widely assumed to be gay… even if the people they like receiving anal sex from are consistently women. And we don’t talk as much about how this assumption reduces men’s pleasure, their possibilities, their entire sexual beings, to a few inches of erectile tissue between their legs.”
5 Things Society Unfairly Expects of Men | Reproductive Justice | AlterNet (via sexisnottheenemy) (via mikroblogolas) (via xicanagrrrl) (via ancestryinprogress)
I didn’t realise how serious it was until the last time I had sex with a casual partner. I hadn’t paid attention before, but he always apologised when he “lost it!” Why apologise? It happens and, moreover, I suddenly realised that his “losing it” was almost entirely out of performance anxiety. Everything was fine once I assured him that no, it’s really not all about your penis and its ability to stay up and satisfy me on that alone - not in the slightest.
Patriarchy doesn’t hurt men as badly as it does women, but I’m starting to realise how it hurts them.
Abso-fucking-lutely, this this this.
I recently had some similar experiences. In which dude was REALLY REALLY self-conscious about his not getting an erection, super apologetic and actually said that he was really sorry that he was ‘so weird’ about sex. To which I was really surprised because he was actually really fucking awesome and I wouldn’t have thought twice about it had he not been so clearly upset.
I guess he had an experience with another woman who had basically shamed the SHIT out of him for his performance anxiety— which is fuuuuucked up. I’ve slept with numerous fellows in my day and it is really really common and totally okay to have performance anxiety, especially in casual and/or first encounters with a new partner.
But it’s true, men’s sexuality is framed as this thing that is (or, at least “should be”) always available and always centred on his penis. The way I look at it is the typical feminist lens of fucked up mainstream sexuality: men are supposedly these sexually charged beings who always always always want [penile-vaginal intercourse] sex, and women are the gatekeepers, controlling when it actually goes down (and we, of course, don’t ACTUALLY want to participate, we just give the green light when he is nice enough in non-sexual realms, blah blah blah). When in reality there are tons of dudes and OF COURSE women out there for whom penile-vaginal intercourse is not only not the main event but doesn’t even necessarily enter the picture at ALL. Hello, erasure of queers and trans people, as well.
This is why when I bring dudes home, I always always always let them know that penile vaginal intercourse doesn’t need to happen for me to be stoked. I put that right on the table from the get go (even if some of them think that’s a strange thing to say! not that I usually word it exactly like that, haha) and I think it’s a good way to ensure that the dude in question doesn’t feel pressured to perform on demand regardless of whether he or his body actually wants to. We need to stop putting fucked up expectations on our lovers and partners for sure for sure— be they men or women or neither or both. Men aren’t their boners any more than women are their vaginas.