I enjoyed this piece on the myths of sexual technique by Exhibit A when I read it last night. I grew up in pre internet days in a society that suggested sex was something men did to women and they just put up with rather than enjoyed. I had absolutely no sex education at school so our currency was women’s magazines instead.
A girl at my school with a copy of More! magazine with its infamous ‘position of the fortnight‘ was automatically elevated to Queen Bee status. We started with the more emotion focused problem pages of Nick Fisher in Just Seventeen or a well read copy of Judy Blume’s Forever with its emphasis on ‘popping your cherry.’
The older and more adventurous we got we worked up to More! and Cosmopolitan with their actual practical advice that promised a world of ‘reverse cowgirl’ or ‘driving any man wild with these top ten blow job tips‘ because we all wanted to know what the hell to do and very few places to get non biology based information on it.
Those magazines were better than nothing. I knew plenty of girls who had no idea oral sex existed until then and they gave us something that wasn’t entirely made up of rumour and urban myth unlike the whispers in the school changing rooms and the back seat of the bus.
But they were also false friends, like an older sister who told you how to suck cock and then told you were a slut for doing so. They still tapped into this idea that sex was currency for women and girls, something you used to bargain or impress or earn something from men or boys with. You did it to get him to buy you a drink or an engagement ring or because he’d finally ask you out if he thought you’d let him do X.
There was absolutely no approach that some women really really liked sex and wanted to have sex because it was fun and they were horny and they liked cock (obviously bi or lesbian women did not even exist in those days) and couldn’t wait to give a blow job as soon as possible.
Nor was there anything much about women’s sexual pleasure. It was all about pleasing your man and nothing about how he could turn you into a quivering orgasmic wreck with his fingers or tongue. The closest they got was suggesting you look at your cunt in a hand mirror to get to know it better.
And that was all you were allowed to do. Look but don’t touch. Girls didn’t masturbate in those days when all you had was yourself. Cosmopolitan just about allowed for such risque behaviour when the infamous Rabbit came along since you didn’t have to get your hands dirty (literally.)
No matter whether it was wanking or giving head it was all about the technique of achieving an orgasm in an efficient manner that could be quantified by ticking off milestones or specific acts. It was like drawing up a revision timetable with each subject allocated equal time and different colour of highlighter pen versus reading under the covers for fun.
I hated it. I knew from a really early age that my interest in sex was about the journey not the destination. I wanted to fuck because it turned me on not because of what was expected of me. But it was extremely difficult to shake off the sense that there was a correct technique for sex after growing up reading those magazines and that to do anything else was wrong.
It took me years to shake off that idea and learn how to embrace the fact that the only ‘correct’ technique for sex is the one that suits you and your partner(s) at that specific time. Anything else within the bounds of consent and respect is irrelevant because people are simply too individual for anything else
After all, as my Master taught me early on what’s the point of cake, not matter how perfect it looks if you can’t eat it…?