Peace. I wrote this a while ago and I’m not sure why I haven’t put it up. The blog’s been inactive and coming across this draft, I decided to put it up for discussion. I hope a lot of you chime in on this one.
I’ve had been talking about desire some time ago with my good sister Jo Nubian and how it can be misinterpreted by both genders. Jo has openly spoken about her physical needs and how it meshes with the world (and also how misunderstood she is). As many heavy thinkers do, she lamented and dissected the machinations of desire with me and I offered what countering thoughts I could. We discussed the many angles and theories behind why some people are resistant to the idea of a fully realized woman desiring sex – and nothing else should that be their choice. I can admit that up until 6 or 7 years ago, I didn’t understand the concept of a woman who chose partners for sex only as I was socialized to think that the concept of “no strings attached sex” or sex without expectation or relationship bonds to be a thing exclusive to men only.
A woman I dated was perhaps the first “sex positive feminist” I’ve met, even if she didn’t articulate it as such when we dealt with each other. Our first encounter involved sex and it was clear that she was living her life as a single woman and I as a single man. It wasn’t until later I understood her to view sex as a form of connecting, energy exchange and communication. Exhilarating as this news could be to some, I never known a woman to be this brazen and open with her body. This woman wasn’t reckless, clear in who she was and how she presented herself and enjoyed the act of sex as much as anyone else who seeks and craves pleasure. Over time she was the first person to really teach me the concept of being sex-positive and even with my so-called elevated stances, I still found it odd that a woman could be this free with her body and not be caught up in the emotional ties that I was told sex created in women (and in some men). She even told me that a lot of her encounters were no big deal and void of any manner of love, just the need to satiate and be satiated. It literally blew me away.
I’ve met many women who claim this manner of liberated independence but I had rarely seen it in action. Only now have I begun to meet women who truly embody this concept of a woman who desires and acts upon said desires without the looming specter of a relationship title and the like. There are plenty of women who have decided it’s a safer place for them to navigate as romantic connections seem more elusive than physical ones. But when I ask the question to these women if this is pleasing to them or if it feels normal, I never seem to hear an answer that sounds certain. Again, some women I know are sure enough of themselves to know that a sexual relationship is not a safe place for them. But to contrast that with the women who are fine with physical unions free of binding roles, they are just as sure about their choice. How did they arrive at that place?
My male friends and I talk about making the first move all of the time. I can admit I am somewhat timid and I rarely start things – especially if I feel like the woman’s signals are hard to read. I appreciate the women in my life who took the initiative and either snatched my clothes off or put something in my face and told me what to do with it. Part of that is my own upbringing and fears of not offending a woman’s sensibilities because I’m simply excited and ready to go. So for me, a woman who is sexually aggressive or assertive was always a plus. I think I speak for a lot of men when I say I’m usually ready for action at all times and a slight nudge is all I need to jumpstart things. When a woman is fully aware of what she wants and is choosing me to exact her desires, who am I to deny that (if I too feel the same way)? Some of my male counterparts find the aggressive woman threatening and see their advances as some blow to their manhood. I’ve come to see it as the actions of a woman who “she know what she want outta life” to quote rapper/entertainer Andre Benjamin. I never seek to mute a woman’s desires or personality. I want the women in my life to feel safe in expressing their full selves without judgment and trepidation. This was a learned concept, so do not think I’m sitting here on some lofty perch and have always felt this way. That would be a falsehood.
We all grew up hearing about the “fast girl” on the block, the young brick house who made men AND women notice her curves even before she knew what she was blessed with. We’ve witnessed young women use their beauty and body to gain favor and material things. We see it and we judge it as wrong or unethical but would calling a woman full of desire “fast” or “out of control” or any corresponding word be fair? Why is it that so many of us are quick to undermine a woman’s right to crave and desire physical attention or satisfaction? Why do so many seek to limit this in women but “understand” it when men behave in the same fashion? This imbalance and misunderstanding of desire is yet another potentially divisive wedge between loving partners when it really should bond us. I think as we tackle this notion that desire is a choice deserved of us all, we can begin to uncover the many hidden reasons society seeks to throw a muzzle on desire in women.