Park your formulaic sex at the door

Like a lot of people, I took note a couple of weeks ago when Cosmo, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the fun girl’s bible, ran a story with pictures laying out 28 Mind-blowing Lesbian Sex Positions.

Flicker/creative commons

Flicker/creative commons

The modern Cosmo was the brainchild of its brilliant editor and author Helen Gurly Brown in 1965, who started dialogs on topics unheard of in print at the time, skillfully merging sexuality with a commercially available mainstream magazine. Long considered a sexual freedom advocate, she told women they could “have it all.”

With this article on lesbian sex, and few others on gay, bisexual, and transgender subjects during the last year or so, Cosmo can be commended for branching out and acknowledging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, appearing to be more inclusive while trying to tap into that lucrative market they’ve ignored for decades. They are trying even while acknowledging that many or most feminists and lesbians have shunned Cosmo, put off by so much editorial about how the average woman, once objectified, can make herself sassy and attractive to their male partner/s.

While wondering if any lesbians were consulted in the making of that article I came across some criticism by real lesbians who posit that this entire concept seemed to have been the product of frat boys based on their porn fantasies (pretty much the style of most of the magazine’s stories). That may well be true but I think it was overreach — when making fun of the positions, these critics called them “stupid” saying they were either undoable or useless, dismissing them entirely.

It was impossible to hold up one’s own body weight, let alone the body weight of the other person in half of them. We had to balance on our tip toes and contort our bodies in the most insane ways. And, most importantly, there was nothing arousing about any of it.

What I think is being missed here by all parties is that touching bodies in unusual or unexpected ways can be rewarding, bringing you to heights you might at first have overlooked. It seems that, once liberated from the constraints of men, feminists and lesbians have gradually become more like men in how they approach satisfying their own desires.

We have sex. We fuck. We use our fingers and our bodies and our mouths and our toys and we get ourselves and each other off. Just like straight people do. There’s stimulation and penetration and vibration. There’s licking and sucking and smacking and grabbing. 

Instead of exploring erotic encounters that expose oneself to unexpected delights found all over the body, not rushing so much and staying curious to couple all parts of the body in surprising ways, men, and now it seems many straight women and lesbians, tend to recreate a slalom with specific goals to be met at every turn, usually in a certain order to get to their orgasm in as straight a line as possible.

But that is so, so boring.

Even the critics include a paragraph with two contradicting statements, aptly portraying the push and pull between anxiety about reaching the goal of orgasm and the desire for sex to be more than just that.

But there is not, I repeat, there is not anyone rubbing foreheads on each others’ belly buttons or rubbing bottoms against anyone’s sternum, not in the name of having an orgasm any way. By making sex all about an orgasm we miss the erotic excitation of our minds as well as our bodies.

Sex is an erotic encounter that stimulates physical, psychological, and, some agree, spiritual growth. If you focus less on scoring the goal you will play a more artful and nuanced game that is rewarded of surprises and new stimulation.

Slow down, set aside your usual formula for a week and see what happens.

 

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner is co-founder of VenusPlusX, and writes frequently on global sexual freedom, American fundamentalists exporting hate and homophobia, and grassroots activism.
Alison Gardner