talkin’ about sex

Author: angiem, 03 26th, 2010

I have a friend who’s a sexologist (a fancy word for a relationship therapist, if you ask me), and she told me recently that no matter how dire the economy, women will continue buying their lingerie, and men will continue going to strip clubs.  I find this fascinating.  It says so much about our roles.  Men are happy with who they are, so they spend their money on getting aroused.  Women, on the other hand, think they need improvement, and as such spend their money on ensuring that they arouse their men.

If that doesn’t objectify women, I don’t know what does.  Why am I writing about this?  I certainly like to look pretty and lounge around in my underwear.  I like make-up, big hair, and lace. I also believe in common courtesies between the sexes.  And I’m vain and enjoy getting attention.

I was at my mom’s and watched Oprah and the show had to do with the sex industry. I was watching the women in the audience.  Everything about them was self-conscious.  They were behaving like giggly teenagers. In fact, I still behave like a giggly teenager myself: just look at the way I spelled talking in the title!)

Sadly, sex still belongs to the man.  The sex crimes going on in the world against women and children.  Men’s doing.  Our children and the lessons they learn from the media.  Men again.  But women are not completely blameless. We need to fully own our sexuality. Take it away from the men.

Embrace it.  Speak openly about it, without fidgeting and turning every shade of red. Our boys and girls need to see that.

Does this sound crazy?


52 Responses to “talkin’ about sex”

  1. Beth Says:

    This does not sound crazy at all. Such an attitude & openness toward our sexuality is way past due.

  2. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    No. Not so crazy.
    I so want for my children to get the “Sex is beautiful, is good for you” message.
    Honestly, I think my biggest ‘problem’ with sex came - not from men - but from my mother. I grew up with years of the ONLY message I got about sex being, “Nice girls don’t do it.”
    Of course she meant to say that I ought not engage in sexual intercourse before I was married, but the repetitive ‘nice girls don’t do it’ phrase really colored my perspective.
    So now I’m trying to teach my children that sex is a beautiful gift from God, which was created for marriage.
    Thanks for your willingness to talk about it. *grin*

  3. Jeanne Says:

    No Angie, it does not sound crazy…but you go first :)
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Couture Cookie Says:

    I definitely think women should dress up, put on makeup and do their hair for themselves and not for men or to impress other women. No need to be self conscious about anything - it’s 2010, not 1960. Sadly, I think a lot of us have a long way to go.

  5. Mary Moon Says:

    No. It does not sound crazy. Sex is such a strange and complicated issue and it’s so completely different for men and women. I think.
    It’s such a part of our lives and yet, we’re so apt not to talk about it.
    You are good to bring it up.

  6. Cindy L. Says:

    Not crazy at all. Especially what you note in the last paragraph.

    Angie, I was just talking with my husband about this topic last night as we were walking. I came of age in the 1970s, when women were fighting hard for us to have the same opportunities in the working world as men. Until the 1960s, most of the women “reporters” on newspapers were writing recipe columns and not taken seriously. That is the sort of thing we worked to change — and that kind of assertiveness pushed us ahead. But today, women still objectify themselves, for the most part, when it comes to sex. The double standard still prevails in many ways.

  7. Sabine Says:

    No, Angie, that doesn’t sound crazy at all, I’m all for it! It’s one of the few things I miss in the UK - openness about sex and all things sexual. The Germans might be crude in many ways but generelly they have quite a healthy relationship to all things body (women, too) and I think openness about sex is one of the most important steps for sexual confidence (and against abuse!) in men AND women.

  8. Susan Says:

    Amen, sister.

    Always taken aback by the giggly stuff. I’m sorry to say it–it might just be my experience–but I have not personally seen as much of this in other places I’ve lived, or with friends here from elsewhere. Certainly there are huge problems between the sexes everywhere. (Suddenly, Silvio ‘The Crocodile’ Berlusconi & his gross-out TVstations pop into my mind–shriek). It’s an important topic when raised, but it’s more subtle, or lower-key. Or something. Hey, I’ve only had one cup of espresso.

    It’s with Americans (I am one) that the most giggly but also impulsively invasive questions directed towards me & my relationships that have shocked me. I thought perhaps I was a prude & was embarrassed by my embarrassment. But I knew I was not a prude. I think now, after reading your post, it might have been my attitude that impelled this approach…though their “delivery” was immature & rather graphic. It struck me as tacky. I think they just didn’t know how to talk about sex in a grown-up way. These are/were not unworldly naifs. (And they are otherwise, quite lovely people. But I avoid this topic with them now. It’s excruciating. I want to send them to your sexologist friend!)

    In a newish bio on Camus (I admire him), his ‘pudeur’ as central to his personality was offered as essential to understanding him. I was taken aback & thought: oh that’s what I know. It’s not prudery as it might look. We have no direct translation to English…but it’s more of a modesty, reserve, decency but not unworldly, unsophisticated, ‘uptight’.

    I wonder if in Romanian there is this concept/word?

    This is a jumble. Feel free to edit me. Seriously. I can’t believe I did it for a living.

    PS: I rarely watch Oprah anymore, for years. But I did catch a few minutes of that show & it made my teeth itch. Had to turn it off. But the second I read you saw part of it, I just thought: yes.

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    My first thought? If I find out that my husband is wasting our money at a strip club, I’ll strangle him with a pair of my pretty panties!

  10. Diane Says:

    I think for our kids’ sake we need to speak openly and teach them what sex is and what it could be.

    However, me in hot pants…. eeek!

  11. Jena Says:

    I had to laugh at Mama Zen’s comment. But yeah Iget what you mean. I am one of those women who get all red faced and giggly. So the answer to your question is no it doesn’t sound crazy.

  12. Anya Says:

    I had to smile all the way through while reading your post. Yes, you are so very right and I do agree on most of what you have to say on the subject. Funny, I grew up in Soviet Union where the topic of sex was closed. Everybody pretended it did not exist .The word “sex” itself was never pronounced out loud, always whispered and reffered to as a terrible, dirty act. It took me a while to libirate myslef from what I thought to be the only truth about sex. I am glad to say that I am able to speak about this subject without turning red or blue or even pink. :-)))
    Wishing you wonderful weekend. :-)

  13. angiem Says:

    Beth - Yes. Way past due.

    Karen - The impact of a few words. My mom seldom mentioned sex, itself, even as just another word for gender.

    Jeanne - Thank you.

    Couture Cookie - I agree!

    Ms. Moon - Exactly. I think we make it more complicated than it needs to be with our avoidance of speaking about it.

    Cindy L. - I often think of this too. I love swapping recipes and writing and reading about pretty things, but find that they are mainly a facade to cover the important things that really need to be discussed.

    Sabine - Becoming confident in anything comes with openness toward it, and a willingness to step over the boundaries of comfort.

    Susan - I have nothing to change or edit in your comment. I agree with you, completely. And I don’t think there’s a word for prude in Romanian. I felt that Oprah should have addressed the issue of sex and women more. She certainly had plenty of opportunities.

  14. Susan R. Mills Says:

    Nice thoughts. I agree, and no it isn’t crazy. Sex is a natural desire for men and women both. Being open about it makes it that much better.

  15. She Writes Says:

    Sex is for both men and women. I agree about women becoming more open, but this doesn’t come easily as women are often looked down on for being open about their own sexuality. Never-the-less, most of us love stores like Victoria’s Secret and think nothing of shopping there for our selves or our men. Maybe we are on the way to becoming more open. I also think men are feeling more pressure to remain fit and able to be aroused… Viagra ;).

  16. She Writes Says:

    PS Since my divorce, all of my single friends talk easily about sex. What does that mean?

  17. French Fancy Says:

    Oh I’d love to be confident enough with my body to wander around dressed in my undies. I could - and in fact - do it from the waist up but the bottom in all its daylight glory is strictly out of view

  18. Francesca Says:

    Oh dear I don’t buy lingerie at all - you should see what’s available at my local market:)

  19. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita Says:

    I think you are right. We need to look at it differently than we do. I am hearing more and more from people with college age girls who say dating is a thing of the past, (at least within that university culture) for the most part, and hook-ups are the norm. And what is happening is, the boys get the “benefits” (and admittedly, some of the girls do, too) and the girls are upset that they don’t have a relationship. I hope in the course of teaching our daughters we teach them respect for themselves and their bodies. They deserve it all!

  20. Claudiu Says:

    Except the part where sex crimes are committed only by men…. They might be the dominant perpetrators of most of the crimes, but it’s not just a man crime. Watch Chris Hansen undercover in Thailand and Taiwan and you will see mothers selling their children to sex… MOTHERS.. womrn… Also when these women teachers are having sex with their underaged students, it’s almost a badge of honor for the kid…. But the crime is still committed….
    Other then that… YES… embrace the uniquness of the sexes and the differences that God designed us with..!! As a society, we try to find out too much way makes women/men ALIKE…. when we find out how we are beautiful being DIFFERENT, then we will embrace our roles (sexual or not) as a gift and not a burden…. For better illustrations read John Pipers “This Momentar Marriage” and John MacArthurs “Divine Design”… Both a 2 day read… For you Angie… 2 hours…

  21. Claudiu Says:

    Let me restate a line because after reading my post, it sounds lik I butchered it…
    Here it is.: Our society spends too much time in trying to figure out and explain how much men/women are alike. We need to search out how God made us different and embrace thes roles as gifts….. There…

  22. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    I’ll listen.

    Sex topics don’t make me giggle. Most of the way it’s sold to us is actually a turn off. Not funny. Sad.

    I think men and women are different, I can embrace that.

    Unless I have a headache :)

  23. Lena M. Says:

    I am a firm believer that openness and confidence come with education…

    The more women know about their bodies and needs… The more they will be confident… And this one doesn’t have to do with looks… :)


  24. Ava Says:

    I agree that women are objectified. I’m sick of it. I want to point out to Claudiu that yes there are anomalies but the vast majority of the perpetrators are men. In Thailand and Taiwan women are victims of being objectified themselves and are drug addicts who do all they can for their next fix. Their pimps are men. Rarely do they act of their own accord. I’ve seen the shows and studied it too. I am a victim of child sexual abuse and I know that men find any and every excuse to justify their behavior and blame women.

  25. Nancy C Says:

    This is why I’m happy that there are parties out there now for women to buy sex toys…for their pleasure. They are like Tupperware parties.

    I haven’t gone to one yet, but I like that it’s about the women getting their needs met, not just dressing up for men.

  26. Stephanie Faris Says:

    Sex is free…well, for most of us! But I know what you mean. I think Internet porn would be one thing that would thrive even during tough times. Maybe ESPECIALLY during tough times as men look for a way to divert their attention from their troubles.

  27. Claudiu Says:

    Ava, I am sorry to hear about your past… I pray that you have victory in your struggle… And please understand, I am NOT making excuses for these men… I have a daughter and son, and another daughter on the way, so my job as a dad will be protection of my two girls and educating my boy how to not be a pig and dog, even though this society teaches and embraces that philosophy full-heartedly.. ( just remember the “American Pie” series).. I just want to add to the comments that women are being objectified, and that’s true, because there is an audience… But the audience can’t exist without an act.. If EVERY women out there would truly feel this way, they would stop providing the services that these dirty old men want., I think it’s 60/40 blame… Maybe more like 51/49 for men being the major culprits… Just making the point that not ALL women being objectified, prostituted or used as sex symbols are being dragged into this unwantingly… It’s a huge $$$ for the women too…and they do it voluntarily..,

  28. Corinne Says:

    I don’t think it sounds crazy at all, what you’re describing would be a healthy relationship with sex! And that is an incredible point to get to with both your own body, and finding a mate who agrees with and is supportive of an empowered woman :)

  29. Ava Says:

    Claudiu, I am glad that you responded. I kept checking to see. In an ideal world the adult industry would not exist. I worked for a couple years as a stripper and I know that the girls I worked with had all been victims of sexual abuse as children and teenagers. Most of them did not see themselves as objects. They hated their past but saw no need to change it or even talk about it. Meanwhile I had nightmares every night believing I wasn’t worthy of anything better. That’s when I knew I had to get out and do what was in my power to change this.
    Thanks for your well wishes. All my best wishes to your family. Your daughter is lucky to have such a dad.

  30. Maia Says:

    The kind of self-conscious, immature behavior toward the topic of sexuality is very American. As others have said, it’s not like that in Europe. It goes back to that old saw about our Puritan roots, I’m afraid. Isn’t it odd that that kind of thing can last for HUNDREDS OF YEARS and not go away?

    Here’s a confession: when I was still in journalism, I worked for a month as an exotic dancer in one of those expensive, high-end clubs… because I just HAD to know what it was like in that kind of “man’s world”. I needed to know what went on behind those doors. I was desperately curious. And also I thought I’d write about it…until I realized that that just wasn’t going to happen while my mom is alive. But I’ll tell you, it was fascinating. A real education.

  31. belle de ville Says:

    Actually, I feel that sex has been in my face since the 1970s and I’m getting a little ho-hum about it. Except for bringing to the light the horror of sex trafficing and abuse, I would prefer that we all talk about something else for a while.
    When every young starlit wanna be has a sex tape on youtube, the naughty excitement becomes blase.

  32. angiem Says:

    Mama Zen - and I believe you will, too.

    Diane - Yes, you in hot pants!

    Jena - I used to get red faced and giggly for a long time also.

    Anya - I know what you mean. Communists didn’t have sex. And they didn’t have poverty. *Sarcasm* They were above it all. I come from a communist country too.

    Susan R. Mills - Thank you. It’s true. I agree.

    Amy (She Writes) - Viagra… I’m inundated by spam about it. I don’t know what that means about your friends. Maybe you’re more yourself since the divorce?

    Oh Ms. French Fancy, you must! Trust me on this: only you see the flaws because you think of them.

    Francesca - I wouldn’t be surprised if you made your own, seeing as you’re so talented with a scrap of cloth, a needle, and some thread.

    Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita - Yes, they deserve it all. The more confident they are, the more they respect their bodies.

    Claudiu - I am not denying that you have a point. But usually when it comes to women selling their children into the sex trade, there is much more than meets the eye.

  33. christina Says:

    amen~ sister friend.

  34. kelleyn Says:

    I totally agree.

  35. jeannette stgermain Says:

    so many subjects mingling together -I’m seeing cross-eyed!:)

    sex without love is a crime!
    (love, meaning: love in a relationship)

    selling bodies is a crime too, in my eyes, whether it’s the body in an advertisement or magazine or movie, or selling your body for dollars.

    If we learn how to love, sex won’t be a problem. But it’s love we have problems with!!!

  36. Bunny Says:

    I love makeup, clothes, sex, lipstick. An educated, sexy, confident woman is a force.

    I just wish all the horrible sex trade issues throughout this world were a thing of the past so all women could grow up to feel loved and confident.

  37. Lyn Says:

    I think it’s just the way the game of sex has been played from the beginning. I entice, he hunts, maybe he’ll stay if I’m cute enough..ya never know..look at all the macho cheating going on(since forever!) and we’re still trying to be perfect?
    Too simplistic? Be beautiful for yourself and laugh a lot during sex! Do what you want to do, you’re a grown up, aren’t you?
    And watch out for the pervs and corrupters..boy, aren’t they having a mess of trouble down at the cathedral!
    Oh, and most girls who’ve been molested as children do not go into the sex trades..they marry a bully.
    As Tina said….

  38. audrey Says:

    Angie, i’ve thought the very same thing. i think women have immense power in general, and especially in this area. i was thinking i wish we could all get together and say no to the bad stuff and encourage that which is loving, lovely, fun and life giving! i really hope this happens some day… soon! sending love to you my dear!

  39. SJ Says:

    I still feel like it belongs to men, too. It’s so weird that we are wired to be together (most of us, anyway) and yet, men and women approach this SO SO differently. A mystery to me.

  40. daniela Says:

    Cindy L’s comment really hit home with my current status on fb (you may have seen Angie). I just read an article in Newsweek magazine on the prevailing struggle of women in the workplace. Women still get paid less. And for all the work and effort that has gone into equality the workplace is still complicated with complex issues specific to our gender. I’ve experienced them from getting paid less to harassment. But what’s especially annoying is the sex object card a man pulls when feeling intimidated. And I have to say that although I’ve never considered myself a feminist, I finally understand the struggleon their behalf to present respectable images. Women aren’t to blame, but I wish we would collectively act with tact and class to put and keep men in their place. But often times I find women unsupportive and spiteful of eachother. In the job where I was unable to negotiate the same pay as my male colleague, although I had a higher level of education, the hiring manager was a woman!

  41. Holly L Says:

    Very, very good point you bring up. Women do need to approach sex differently. Men do have a few things figured out…figures it would be sex.

    I knew I liked you anyway but “makeup, big hair, and lace” you are awesome.

  42. laura Says:

    I like sex and I”m not afraid to say it. Working in trying to help my kids have a healthy attitude about it. I loved what you said over at my place about the Birds and the Bees. We have to start with them, maybe. But maybe there’s hope for our generation too :) If we keep talking about it like this…

  43. Bethany Says:

    No, it sounds just right!
    you rock Angie.

  44. Jennifer Says:

    I think focusing on how we “package” ourselves is probably a good idea — some of that is for other women, some of it is for men. I know that when I was a girl I absorbed a lot of strange ideas of what it meant to be attractive to men. It becomes hard to figure out what is “mine” and what is what I perceive men will find attractive. (Though at this point, it’s what my husband finds attractive and that’s not difficult: it’s me!).

    Hope this makes sense/is relevant.

  45. ibb Says:

    No you don´t. I think women should speak about it more openly. Just not to feel so “lonely” about our feelings about sex. Not to feel so “strange” about it. Just to share and learn.
    I think, they should behave a bit more like women and we should do a bit more like them. Just to enjoy all a bit more.

  46. screamish Says:

    “Men are happy with who they are, so they spend their money on getting aroused. Women, on the other hand, think they need improvement,”

    jesus. never a truer word was spoken. how depressing!!!!

  47. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    I’d hate to believe that sex still fully belongs to the man. Hmmm… This is a very thought provoking topic. I’ll be thinking.

  48. julie Says:

    Hey Angie
    I think it is the same here in Australia.. or maybe.. a generational thing.. I know my generation [women] would probably be fidgeting and blushing also… Actually I may have to disagree with myself haha.. I am the youngest of four children and I think we all react differently when it comes to this sort of discussion.. interesting topic though.. it is true women feel the need to make themselves desirable and men just simply think they are..

  49. amy Says:

    Always an interesting topic, from a variety of viewpoints - my own thoughts, from an Orthodox Christian perspective:

  50. Bebe Says:

    I’m still amazed that women shy away from talking about it. There are people I bring it up with and they give me weird looks and blush to the roots of their hair.

  51. krista Says:

    if i could give my daughter the ability to have a healthy relationship with sex i will have succeeded far greater than i dream for myself. i worry if i even have the ability.

  52. gillian Says:

    Well, sex is for ALL people.
    Men can’t be faulted for what comes naturally. Women only deny what comes naturally and that is a shame in itself.
    Why is it that if women want, or talk about, or discuss sex…that we have certain terms applied to us?
    Notice I said…US? LOL

    Well human I am. Yes I worry about how to improve myself but I think more MEN should worry about how to improve themselves. LMAO!!!! xoxoxo

Leave a Reply