On The Rampage: What A Load Of Arse
And you thought we were over this nonsense about what we’re obliged to do to please our partners sexually.
Well, we’re not. No matter how sexually liberated this society is – and it’s doing alright – we’re still being told how to have sex, in what order to have sex, and what kind of sex we’re supposed to be having in accordance with our perceived gender.
Forgive the pun, but fuck that.
For example, have you noticed that anal is the absolute norm at the moment? Inspired by your common or garden, post-Millennium porn standard, men and women across the world are declaring that anal sex is the very end. Now you have a fifth base, hetero types. Kissy, touchy, sucky, fucky, shitter.
Women are learning that just because you can’t see your own bum doesn’t mean you get away with neglecting its aesthetic properties. You gotta bleach that extremity, ladies, because it’s a different colour to your buttocks and while your menfolk might be brave enough to probe that orifice, they’re certainly not vulgar enough to disregard clashing hues.
Men, for their part, are learning that vaginas are far too warm and welcoming for the sexual audacity expected of modern Lotharios, and so the only way to really be a manly pioneer is to ignore her Cave Of Wonders and go spelunking instead in the Cleft Of Odorous Suggestion. Real men don’t do vanilla sex! Rarr! Arse pirates!
It’s gotten so ubiquitous that last week, Vice UK published two articles from female writers, one of whom was adamant that women don’t ever enjoy anal, and the other who was adamant that all women enjoyed anal purely because it was so unenjoyable. Pretty much on the same side of the coin, no? The old bumdinger is bad news, which is why it’s such good news. The comments on both were, naturally, filled with men pshawing at the former and sending delighted ‘dirty bird!’ congratulations to the latter.
But hey, if you’re not already doing the Backdoor Rumba, perhaps you’ll have made amends by getting into some seriously fashionable BDSM. No, no, you don’t have to feel a genuine pull towards BSDM. It’s not self-expression or exploration of your sexuality with a respectful partner, it’s totes fucking hot and therefore everyone must get their gimp on, or get on their gimp, whichever applies.
Still lagging behind? Why not loosen up with an Ann Summers party, or a trip to a Gentleman’s Club (double liberation points if you’re a woman), or a visit to Amsterdam where you can giggle in the sex shops and make goo-goo eyes at women dancing in windows or watch exotic ladies shoot all manner of foreign objects out of their hoo-has. Isn’t sex hilarious? Sex is hilarious, you fucking prude.
In reality, sex isn’t hilarious. Sex is no one thing. You can take it as hilarious if you like, of course; you can take it any which way you like, because you’re a grown-up. And one important part of growing up, apart from the decision of whether you’d like some sex and in which way you’d like to proceed with it, is realising that in reality, there is no such thing as standard sex. There might be a standard in common-or-garden, post-Millennium porn, but there isn’t a standard in consensual sex between respectful adults.
You can pick and choose your orifices, employ any manner of toys, or do it upside down in a Queen Anne cabinet for all anyone else should care. Sex is different for everyone; haven’t we worked that out yet? So PornHub, commercial butt plugs or Anastasia Steele has led you to conclude that anal sex is a-okay. Well, it is. It’s fine and dandy. But it’s not standard, and therefore not okay to conclude that everyone else is doing it, wants to do it, or just needs to be shamed into joining you up there in the Chinese Year Of The Ass.
The shaming is the thing. For every direct, non-judgemental article about how to get the most out of your sexual preferences, there’s another, backed up with oddly sniffy comments, about how to get your partner into the same kinks and kicks as you are. How To Convince Her To Try Anal. How To Get Him To Go Spank You. How To Persuade Your Significant Other To Wear Tights On Their Head And Call You ‘Naughty Goat-thing’ Whilst Hanging Out Of A Window With Your Toe Up Their Bottom. The assumption – the tactic – is that everyone else is doing it, so why can’t your beloved fuckbuddy give it a whirl/lash/socks?
But look, here’s the crux of the matter. Having an open mind about sex is helpful, because it gives that bit more room to have one’s mind blown. But even with that supposed open mind, what a lot of us are missing is that sex is not some sort of rigid (fnar!) process and it doesn’t subscribe to anyone’s Hot or Not scale. There’s nothing wrong with liking a bit of kink. Equally, there’s nothing wrong with having no interest at all in a bit of kink. The sexual liberation of the masses has turned into quite the high school whisper campaign. Aren’t you doing it yet? No? Well, what’s wrong with you?
A healthy sexual relationship could include anal, or BDSM, or dressing up like characters from Japanese animé, or giving each other’s chakras a good thinking at, or gazing into one another’s eyes in the missionary position, or being all husky at each other down the phone, or having a friendly orgy, or having an unfriendly orgy, or whatever the living fuck you’re into. Maybe you’re not really into anything, which is grand, too.
An unhealthy sexual relationship is one that depends on pop cultural pointers.
Granted, Ireland’s not that long out of an abusive relationship with the Catholic Church, and as such, perhaps a significant number of consenting adults still need a gentle reminder that there are more ways to explore one’s sexual identity than one sees in Jennifer Aniston romcoms. Fair enough. But what’s irritating – and counterproductive – is this concept that sex is fashion, instead of an intrinsic, complex part of one’s identity. And if your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, friends or local tabloid agony aunt is insistent on your removing your inhibitions and jumping on their bandwagon, then perhaps it’s time to find yourself a brand new coterie. Or harem. Or whatever you’re having yourself.
In short, the Do The Buttman! crowd can take the Spanking’s Mandatory crowd and just go fuck themselves. It’d be better for all involved.