The Exotification of Sex

Found this on my computer. Wrote it about a year ago, but I think it’s timely given that I just started JDating.

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After suffering through many a petty conversation about the politics of the workplace and high-maintenance dating rituals, it finally hit me that I had nothing in common with the girls from Birthright when we got into a discussion about blowjobs. This was after the transplants—who were using New York as a post-collegiate terminal because they couldn’t make it big in their small cities—explained how even though they lived with their boyfriends and fucked whenever they wanted, on the occasion that they visited their parents together, they had to sleep separately because they were not married. Such illogical technicalities shined light on their adherence to dating rituals that lacked utilitarian value or even moral merit.

But it wasn’t until they brought up blowjobs that I realized I was an alien in my own city. One girl shared that she hated giving blowjobs so much that she had to psych herself up all day to put her live-in boyfriend’s penis in her mouth. She prepared herself mentally at work, as if she were going to give a presentation or meet someone’s parents later that day. Only it was her boyfriend’s penis that she had to prepare for. Clearly we have nothing in common. If ever I were to prepare myself for a boyfriend’s penis, it would be by watching porn and thinking, “Oh god, I can hardly wait for the minute when I get to feel a penis twitch in my mouth.” Just thinking about preparing for a penis makes my pussy flutter.

Insightfully, another girl offered her two cents: “There are two reasons why girls give blowjobs: because they want a guy to like them, or because they really like a guy.”

Holy Sweet Jesus! Has she missed the most obvious reason?

Because they like penis.

I could hardly remember meeting a penis that I did not like. And this seems like reason enough to want one in my mouth. I mean, I like kitties and I do not want them in my mouth, but there is something about penises that lends them to oral insertion.

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The other night I went out with a girl and guy from Birthright and I felt as if I were in The Old South trying to explain abortions to Dirty Old Republicans. Jen didn’t follow The Rules, but she had standards she applied early on in the courting process. She would not call guys she was interested in, because if they were interested, they would call her. She would not consider a guy who did not pay on the first three dates. After that it didn’t matter, because, after all, once you are together, you split the finances. Her logic was sort of sound; she explained that she didn’t want to be with someone who was going to have financial troubles, and if they couldn’t pay for the first few dates, it meant they didn’t have enough money. Fair enough, I wouldn’t be interested in someone who was counting pennies, because it makes going out with them and doing the things you want to do difficult. But, first of all, there is a difference between not being able to pay for yourself and not being able to keep a girl. And, second, I would not assume that someone not paying meant they were unable to pay. Reluctance to pay for two people could mean any number of things, among them: egalitarianism, taste, and practice.

I explained that I don’t turn down money if guys insist—I mean, who doesn’t like money—but I wouldn’t expect the guy to pay, because there are some perfectly nice guys who don’t make a lot of money, which I can sympathize with as a grad student, and I wouldn’t want to eliminate them or make them uncomfortable by paying for something they really couldn’t afford. She was like, “Oh, no, I wouldn’t do that. After all, I work in public service. I always offer to pay.” The guy we were with incisively noted, “Only it’s a loaded offer.” She replied, “No, it’s not loaded; I would pay if they didn’t want to.” But it was loaded, because if they let her pay after she offered, she wouldn’t consider dating them again provided that this was during the first-three-date courting period. I offered that I found her offer “insulting,” and the guy agreed with me. If I were a guy, subject to the first-three-date courting period, I would desire to immediately eliminate someone who said what they didn’t mean—who wanted to establish the rapport where girls beat guys up for doing what they suggest but do not actually want. Who wants to feel like the first few dates are a test? How could you grow to trust the person? To Jen, was the courting period a test of judgment, obedience, or ability to see through shit?

Some girls would be insulted if a guy insisted, implying that the girl was not self-sufficient or capable. There are so many assorted practices and reactions when it comes to handling money and the logistics of dating. The beginning of relationships is all about smoothing out semantics, developing a common language so it becomes clear whether simple habits or values are divergent. I care more about sentiment and sincerity than ability to follow a particular vein of social protocol. If someone were unable to be polite and civil at a dinner party or with my parents, I would not think he was mature enough for me. But I care about how someone is going to ultimately treat me and act around me, not whether he is able to crack my code or impress my company. It seems like these dating formalities have little to do with how things are going to end up down the line. All formalities teach you is whether someone else was schooled successfully in the same institution of narrow-minded, rigid thoughts about human interactions. It is the world where cultural differences—meaning, which edition of The Rules you read—can make or break a relationship.

If someone had such expectations for protocol I were to follow, I would think they weren’t smart enough to analyze my worthiness on a deeper level that would more closely approximate the portion of me they would be dealing with if we were ever to get serious. Don’t get me wrong: day-to-day logistics matter, but they can be adjusted easily to satisfy your partner at a later date, provided that you find initial commonalities that go beyond similar practices and protocols.

I want to enjoy the time I spend with a guy, not argue over pennies, putting a value on our interaction. Once my upscale, conservative cousin explained a bad date to me: She was immediately annoyed when the guy asked her where she wanted to eat because she thought it showed lack of initiative or that he didn’t care enough to put a plan together. She was also annoyed because he was going to pay, so she didn’t know how expensive of a place was appropriate to suggest. To me his openness shows thoughtfulness and consideration: He wanted to please her and make sure they went someplace she liked, rather than imposing his taste on her before getting a chance to learn her preferences. After all, she is a vegetarian, so this doesn’t seem like an absurd proposition.

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When we got to the subject of sex, Jen explained that she didn’t “give it up” until she was sure the guy actually liked her. The indication of whether a guy liked her: whether he spent money on her and properly courted her. So, apparently, if a guy does not make enough money to satisfy her desire for him to pay for the first three dates, and if he does not have the wherewithal to understand that she expects him to pay even though she offers, then it is impossible that he could really like her. This is not crazy considering that if you do not have money and are not into games of coquettish frivolity, this girl is probably not for you. So, good test: it suits her purpose of weeding out guys who are not on her level or do not subscribe to the same idiom of dating idiocy.

Give it up? What exactly do you have to relinquish in this town to get fucked, anyway? Your dignity? I’m pretty sure when I go on dates I don’t think, “At what point do I need to give it up?” I think, “Will he touch my vagina? How do I get him to touch my vagina? Is it too early to get him to touch my vagina? How do I make it obvious that we both want the same thing? DOES HE KNOW THAT I WANT THIS EVENING TO END WITH HIM TOUCHING MY VAGINA? Fuck, should I have gotten off before we went out?” It is like that Bacon Bits ad, only with people and pussy.

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I like guys and they like me because I like having their penises in my mouth and they like having their penises in my mouth. What a serendipitous situation. Isn’t life grand?

What a miserable life, waiting for guys to call you and giving blowjobs to please men. Is this female empowerment? Would I feel more in control if I couldn’t express what I wanted and gave what I didn’t want in exchange for a placeholder, a symbol of affection?

Jen makes it seem like since she has self-respect, she will not be duped into sex, she will make sure that guys earn it. Um, I like sex. If I had to prove myself to someone before I could have sex with him, I would like the process of sex but I would like them less. It would not earn him respect in my eyes if he denied something he wanted to manipulate me. Let’s lay down the rules: We fuck and I respect you the same afterwards. All that will change is I’ll assume you like to fuck. Easy. Done.

Privileging sex: I want sex to be like everything else we do together, just more fun and unequivocally mutual.

Exotification of sex–> boutiquiness (boutique item)–> commodification vs. sex as a mundane commonality.

I suppose if someone wanted me to go through ten empty gestures before I fucked them, I would do it. There is a lot I would do to get laid. But I would think less of them. Assume they were manipulative and frivolous for making me run around to prove my interest in them.

I guess this is why I don’t get along with girls. Because I just think of how I would feel as the guy. I would think, “ You want me to prove myself to you/prove my interest in you? I’ll prove myself: I’ll fuck you because you are hot even though you are a heinous, petty bitch who attributes artificial value to things.”

I don’t get along with girls because I’m not into sexual symbolism and I’m not into saying what I don’t mean and not saying what I mean. What I mean is, I like sex and I like when people pay for my food because I’m poor—not because I don’t like sex. That’s it.

So let’s say what I mean: I like people and I like penises. And hopefully these are not mutually exclusive categories, because, let’s face it, people have penises. Often I like them in my face (penises, not people).

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One Response to The Exotification of Sex

  1. simon says:

    dear k,
    i’m a fan of your blog, and I’m writing here because i miss your postings. it has been 2 months since your last entry, and i’m tormented with the idea that you might have lost interest.
    i’d also like to add that I would love to be a character of your stories. i’m male, 32, skinny, dark hair, live in boston but travel often to ny. i really hope to hear from you.
    best wishes,
    s

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