(Authors note: For those interested, Chuck Ross did an excellent piece of writing on this, in The Sexual Peak Myth, He approaches the subject with a good bit more scientific diligence than I am willing to do here. I have already accepted that the subject is mythical and am much more interested in posing some questions about why this is the case.)
Some years ago I was at a night club with a group of men and women. Naturally the conversation turned to sex. One woman, in her late forties, said, in a good natured way, “It’s a shame that by the time men really learn what they are doing in bed, their equipment doesn’t work like it used to.”
“I understand how you feel,” I said, in an equally jovial tone, “By the time women start learning what they are doing in bed their looks start fading.”
Needless to say, my response, while as truthful as hers, more or less took her out of the conversation. It was not my intent at all, but you could tell by the look in her eyes that she felt like every line on her face was magnified a thousand times, reading like a giant “use by” date from the last millennium. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have all manner of ego and identity tied up in my penis, or I might have felt the same way.
There was a silver lining, though. It did spark a rather lively round of verbal sparring with the rest of the people at the table. And I am sure that it was a discussion that has been echoed millions of times at millions of night club gatherings.
Why is it that men and women hit their sexual peaks at such radically different ages?
And the answer is, of course, that they don’t. It is just another one of the myriad of lies we enable women to live for the sake of not disturbing their self image- and perhaps for the sake of getting in their pants in leaner times.
Where else but the current gender Zeitgeist can a woman with crows feet, sagging breasts, reduced sexual hormones, a vagina that does not lubricate as it once did, more difficulty conceiving and less ability to attract sexual partners of their preference, stand up and say “I am in my sexual prime,” and have everyone in their presence nod their head in agreement?
Only in a world where we tell women whatever they want to hear, no matter how ridiculous.
And it admittedly fits with part of women’s experience to maintain the lie. An observation I have, one that I cannot back up with any research, is that as women’s biological clocks tick down toward the final moments, there is a tendency, in the words of Dylan Thomas, to rage against the dying of the light.
It’s not sexual primacy, it’s desperate horniness. Their fantasy of being in their sexual prime when they are well past it is only the labored breathing of someone in their last moments, struggling to suck air just a little while longer.
I am not knocking it. When I was 21 I had a 45 year old woman show me what fer, good and proper, for three weeks in a cabin in Oklahoma. It was an educational rite of passage and a very fond memory in my life. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
But, let’s face it, the only one in that cabin in their sexual prime was me. I was a youngster with a gold mine of a horny older woman desperate for sexual relevance. And when the experience was over, I walked away smiling, and a little better equipped to take care of business with women who were, well, who actually were in their sexual prime.
And she had at least one more round of clinging to her sexual power; to her relevance in the world.
The point is that without sexual viability, the power of most women in this culture is reduced to whatever is afforded by rote chivalry. And while that chivalry affords them a great deal of latitude, it doesn’t provide them with the meaningful significance of a younger woman who still turns heads- and can have babies.
Being in your sexual prime is about being ready to make babies, not about how willing you are to be ridden hard and put up wet.
In the pure biological sense, infertile women, even those that just appear to be, are just so much excess baggage. And since women as a group either cannot or will not draw their self worth from anything but sexual power (NAWALT stipulated), we will forever have them demanding to live lies. And in modern times, they even have the option of paying surgeons to cut, suction and inject that lie until it looks damned near the truth.
Business is booming.
There is a solution to this, though it is doubtful we will ever get there.
Women, feminists in particular, have long lamented the male beauty standard. They claim it drives women to extremes like surgery and eating disorders, and results in damaged self esteem, all because men want women to look a certain way.
But of course, once you peel back the layers of victimized drivel and get to the core of the matter, you find that women drive themselves to do these things, biology leading them by the nose, because that is their quickest route to personal power, and because they don’t rise above it and find relevance in other ways.
Like the ways men do.
When women collectively quit worrying about sexual primacy and start focusing on their own innate human potential, when they learn to value their own accomplishments more than they value what they can sexually manipulate out of men, the plastic surgeons will be out of business and their bad self esteem, rather than their personal significance, will be facing expiration.
What’s that you say, women already are like that? They already do more on their own than they try to get men to do for them through sex and other forms of manipulation?
Well, I would like to address that here, too. But I only take on one lie at a time.
- The single most humiliating moment in Jessica Valenti’s public life - August 26, 2015
- I made the top 10 at Houston Press, barely. I have been cheated! - August 19, 2015
- Time for a National Whore’s Day or something - August 14, 2015
- Don’t mistake my nonviolence for pacifism - August 9, 2015
- AVfM Classics: the myth of women’s oppression - August 4, 2015