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Sex in America

There's a conversation about "being an alpha male," started by someone named Halley (I have no idea who these people are) and being followed by many a blogger, it would seem, including Dave Winer and Robert Scoble. Robert, in a recent post, made some remark about women masturbating, and then later followed up with a link to a site declaring his comments "offensive."

His post, found here, set off a teeny thought train in my head, which I first posted as a comment on his site, but wanted to blog here for my own record-keeping. It is below. Beforehand, however, check out the link to "catch up" a little.


I'm not necessarily an alpha male - I tend to want a serious, longer term relationship over some kind of fling - but I agreed with your comments about a woman knowing how to please herself before she can ever expect to communicate what she likes to the guy in her life. I like to ask some women what woman they'd sleep with if they _had_ to. The ones that say "ewww, gross! Nobody" are typically uninteresting in other ways as well.

I spent some time in Europe in 1996 (France particularly) and one of the things that struck me most was their openness to sex. Posters for gay get-togethers lined the streets, naked women appeared on TV at 2 in the afternoon. While AIDS may have had a faster run through Europe than in the US, Europe has lower rates of teen pregnancy and all sorts of other things than the US.

In "Catch Me If You Can" Abagnale talks about stripping in Sweden, I think. He makes it a point of noting that in Sweden, nudity is only sexual when there's sex involved. Stripping for a health exam, for example, is not embarrassing or "raunchy" in any way.

Americans are so uptight about all sorts of things. It's apparently "dirty" for women to get themselves off, and "gay" if a guy can admit that another guy is attractive (the difference being whether or not the guy himself is attracted).

I've been friends with a wide variety of people, but the women I'm drawn to - as friends and otherwise - are open about their sex lives. They know what turns them on. They know what drives them. Sex is like a window to the rest of the individual - if you're shy about sex, you're probably shy about other things in life. If you know what you want in bed, and can tell your partner how to get you off, then you probably do the same in business, with your family situations, with your friends, and so on (in non-sexual ways, I mean - just so there's no misunderstanding here!).

America needs to lighten up. We'd all be a bit happier if the word "sex" wasn't such a dirty word.

2 Responses to "Sex in America"

  1. There is a bizarreness to the sexuality of America. Men are taught that having lots of sex-partners is being a "stud," where-as women are conditioned to see that as being a "slut," which is "obviously very bad." The truth is that honesty with each is more important than the serial number assigned to them. If we were more honest about sex and sexuality, I think we'd see fewer problems, especially rape, in this country.

    As for the comment about "What [man|woman] would you sleep with if you had a chance?" I played a bizarre game at a party where everyone had to tell one of each they would pick, regardless of their "normal desires." It was amazing that myself and my friends had no problems coming up with one of each (and sometimes had a hard time picking just one), but some others who were not inside this group had the standard "oh my god, I'd never have sex with a ..." reaction. Which of course is BS, since we all have thought about it.

    Oh well, too much personal information, methinks.

  2. The thing about our (US) culture is that we like to behave publicly and maybe think about ourselves in a much more conservative way than the average joe/jane actually lives. For example, a recent survey of evangelical christian youth (kids raised in and active in the evangelical churches) is causing quite a stir in the very conservative evangelical movement.

    They found that the youth answered with the party line (no sex, no to abortion, etc) when surveyed about beliefs but very different when asked about their personal behavior. Otherwise, they 'bought in' to the teachings but did not conduct their personal life any different than the kids of the society at large. They said one behavior set was correct, but admitted privately to very different behavior. I think that that is the US in a nutshell these days.


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