|The Mating Call|
In the United States, comments Mama Sutra in a recent post at Good Vibrations Magazine, it is "not acceptable for women to be overtly sexual." -- In fact, she writes; "women of any age are not permitted to appear interested in sex."
Because of this cultural view of female sexuality, American women have adapted to get what they want and preserve their persona. There is a phenomenon that I have observed in multiple heterosexual settings. I call it The Drunk American Girl Mating Call – it is a behavior exhibited by women who seek the attention, most often sexual attention, of the opposite gender. Everyone, especially men, seems to recognize this behavior without even realizing what is happening.
Picture this: you are in a bar. It’s getting late. There’s a group of women, maybe a ladies’ night out or bachelorette party. Most times there’s alcohol involved. Inevitably, one of the women in the group is getting a little tipsy… she puts her arm(s) in the air, tips her head back, eyes closed and lets out a “WOOOOOO!!!” That’s the Drunk American Girl Mating Call.
Men zero in on that woman as if she is the weak one in the herd.
It’s a deliberate announcement that one is ready to party, but it can be interpreted in many ways. Most clearly, it sends out a message that this woman is a little drunk and more receptive to being hit on as opposed to another woman who is sitting in the corner sipping a sparkling water. [...]
This happens in my opinion because it’s not acceptable for women to be sexual beings. If a woman does engage in sexual behavior while drunk she has a built in excuse for it: “OMG, I was so drunk last night.” This insulates her image and most importantly her reputation. She’s still a “good girl.”
I agree with Mama Sutra that "it should be acceptable for women to be sexual beings; to feel sexual, to want sexual satisfaction, to speak up for what they want." It should be, as she writes, equally ok both for a woman and for a man to initiate conversation, ask another person out or ask for his/her contact information, plan a date, initiate sexual contact. -- "I’d like to see more consent and respect on behalf of both parties," concludes Mama Sutra.
I appreciate Mama Sutra's points about consent and equal rights. But as I said in my keynote talk, I think another obstacle for today's women when it comes to sexual desire can be control -- control issues. Because one of today's biggest taboos appears in my opinion to be to slide or even worse to want to slide, to want not to be in control.
|Scene from Pink Prison|
Pink Prison features both women and men getting a kick from both being in control and surrendering control. As modern beings in a competitive society where it seems imperative that we constantly remain on top of things, sexual abandon may appear an appealing pause from the daily pressure to always measure up in a culture that gauges success according to accomplishments. Perhaps in light of the conflicting demands modern women in particular face; to be able to do both what a man does, as well as a woman, women feel this pressure even more so than men.