Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Club: The Smart Girl's

Favorite quotes from this chapter:

"Like Hollywood stars, porn stars are overblown caricatures of contemporary culture's ideals and inhabit a tiny end of the gene pool.  The actors are all very limber, and can withstand extended periods of sex in difficult positions under hot lights.  They shave their balls, wax their asses, and sometimes wear makeup on virtually every inch of their bodies...and still perform."

"...I think that precisely because it's so far away from reality, most of the industry's purported "ideal" that stars embody isn't what actually turns most of us on."  (Maybe this is why so many women have so much trouble finding porn we like; I think most women want to see real people having real sex in real places with real expectations.)

The point of this chapter?  The concern over viewer self-esteem as a result of watching porn.

I guess I can see how some people might have body issues while watching porn.  I don't.  I watch porn for a particular an arousal aide.  I like to look at attractive people.  I like to watch attractive people fuck.  I like to have sex while I watch them.  I'm not worrying about how I look while I'm doing this.  I'm completely aware that the people in porn are chosen for their bodily features.  Duh.  That's why the girls have big boobs and skinny waists and the guys have big cocks.  The only faces that matter are the womens', because they'll be the focus of the cum shots and the orgasm close-ups.  Most directors don't seem real concerned with what's going on with the guys (funny double-standard there).  It usually appears that the females are the ones being objectified, but I'd say it's just as apparent for the males.  All they seem good for in porn is having a big dick.  But wait...isn't that what porn is about...objectification of others?  So, I guess that makes me unconcerned about sexism in porn.  Hmm...

The second point of this chapter - the concern that a viewer might see something offensive.

Blue reports, "It's unsettling to feel aroused by images we find offensive on one level or another.  If you're ashamed of sex, you're likely to feel embarrassed by the explicit imagery in porn.  Sexual surprise, offense, and shock manifest in several guises: embarrassment, shame, anger, depression, self-hatred--and confusingly, arousal."  Sex is one of those things that, because we have so little control over it, can be scary.  Our genitals respond, sometimes without our permission, to all kinds of things.  For example, maybe you notice a twinge when a hot chick walks by, but you aren't gay and don't consider yourself bi-sexual.  Will this confuse you?  Embarrass you?  Interest you?  Our bodies and brains are not always "moral" or "ethical".  They run on auto-pilot and are controlled by our pleasure centers.  The body's goal is to feel good.  Adrenaline, dopamine, chemical electricity.  Our bodies, especially our sexual hot spots, are not at all concerned with our values.  They just want.  I think for people who have no clue what they want or fantasize about, oftentimes women, porn can be a gateway to understanding.  Even if you find it offensive, if your body reacts to it, there's a learning experience available.  What is it about the visual imagery that gets your motor running?

The third point of this chapter - the concern that porn degrades women.

I've heard this argument before.  And I think it's silly.  Porn is a job.  The people in these films, magazines, and photos choose to be there.  They are paid for it; sometimes quite well.  And just because they are put in situations that might be degrading in the opinion of the viewer does not mean that the actors feel the same way.  There are all kinds of people and all kinds of sex.  As long as the participants are consenting adults who aren't hurting anybody else with their activities, there's nothing wrong with it.  Women who take pride in their bodies, sexuality, and sexual abilities are not weak.  I'd venture to say they are strong.  They don't perpetuate sexism, either.  Besides, as I said are treated similarly in porn - as objects...or better yet, carriers for big penises.

The fourth point of this chapter - the concern that porn has certain features that are unpalatable to some.

The facial cum shot (one of my pet peeves), anal sex, girl/girl action, fake orgasms, genital close-ups, unsafe sex.  All I (or Blue) can say is...get your remote.  Fast forward through the stuff you don't like to get to the stuff you do.

In fact, I think I'll get my remote ready right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Mmmmm...such a nice, warm, soft, comfortable bed...just the right position...sigh.  Dead asleep.  Dreaming.  And suddenly, I feel a hand sliding between my legs, searching out the magic button.  I have two options:  smack it and tell it to go back to sleep, or roll over and let it happen.  Some nights, I succumb, willingly and happily.  Other nights, I want to beat the crap out of him with a pillow for waking me from my perfect slumber.

My husband is a sexsomiac.  We didn't even know what that was until a few months ago, but now that we do, he now has a convenient excuse for waking me up in the middle of the night for a little skin to skin friction.

So, what exactly is "sexsomnia"?

Sexsomnia, also referred to as "sleep sex", is a type of parasomnia. "Parasomnias are disorders characterized by partial arousal during sleep or during transitions between waking and sleeping" (Healthtree).

Sexsomniacs engage in sexual activity while sleeping; sometimes, they don't even remember what they have done, while others wake up during the activity to find themselves involved in a sex act.  The intensity of sleep sex can be different for each individual; some people might only feel or grope their partner, while others may have a rousing sex session or masturbate. "At the extreme end of the scale are those who become violent and dangerous during sleep sex" (Healthtree).

No one really knows what causes it.  Some say that it may be genetic and might be exacerbated by alcohol/drugs, fatigue, stress, or a lack of sexual activity.  The disorder is much more common in males.

For some, seeking medical help might be necessary if the activities the individual engages in while asleep are dangerous to either himself or his partner.  There have been cases where individuals (mainly men) have had to endure legal action due to violent sexual behavior they had no control over or awareness of.  Some sufferers experience shame or embarrassment, which can lead to fear, depression, or greater stress.  If this is the case, the person should definitely pursue medical attention.

The treatments include medication (for sleep, anxiety, or depression), therapy, drug/alcohol cessation.  If there is any concern of dangerous behavior, sleeping in a separate, locked room may be recommended.

Luckily, my husband doesn't behave violently.  And he does eventually wake up...oftentimes when we are already having sex.  I can say, that I have never noticed that he was asleep.  He behaves just as if he were awake (or at least half-awake).  But then, when he wakes me up and I roll over in positive response, I'm usually not fully awake, either.  I don't notice it when he wakes up...there is no difference between him fucking me asleep or awake.  So, why would I complain...other than when I want to sleep and I'm not interested?  Besides, if I smack him and tell him no...even asleep, he seems to get the point.

Down, boy.  The store is closed.  Go back to your side.

Unfortunately, on the nights when his symptoms are worse, he tends to be overly "snuggley", and I spend much of my night fighting him off for non-sexual behavior.  I'd say that is the only real down-side.

He concurs that stress, fatigue, alcohol, and a lull in our sex patterns do worsen his symptoms.  When he's less stressed, more rested, and our sex life is in full swing, he has fewer to no episodes.

So maybe it's a good gauge of how well our life is going or a notice that things need to improve in some way.

And even if I tend to tell him no most of the time, on the nights I do submit, we end up having some pretty torrid sex.  So maybe for some of us, a sexsomniac partner is a bittersweet gift. 

So, what say you?  Any of you readers have experience with this disorder?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Club: The Smart Girls Guide to Porn...

Chapter One:  "What a Smart Girl Wants"

Okay, a few days ago, I did a post inspired by the introduction of this book by Violet Blue (see my links for her site).  Then, I promptly read the 1st chapter and began to mull over the issues and ideas she presents.

I will first say that the book itself does not hold much "new" information for me yet.  Nor is it written with any particularly astounding style or craft, but I did appreciate a few points that have been made so far:

1)  Women watch, enjoy, and want more from their porn.
2)  Desire, for women, is NOT all in our heads:  meaning we CAN and ARE stimulated simply by the visual representation of a sexual act sans emotion or seduction of our senses - though we often prefer the two to come intertwined.

The section entitled "Why Does a Smart Girl Watch Porn?" was disappointing.  Not so much because it was weak or wrong...but because I'm sad that so many women are deprived enough that porn would be a viable stand-in for the lack of a stimulating sex life with their partner.  Porn can be a quick and easy aide for "getting off".  I'm not going to say I've never used it in that way, or that my husband and I haven't used it as a "starter" or "background noise".  But, I don't satisfy my sexual curiosity through porn (in fact, I find porn to be fairly formulaic and unimaginative).

I did appreciate her idea of using porn to experience things you'd never try yourself - and the short discussion on "fantasy" being just that, and not necessarily something you WANT to play out in real life.  Porn can let you "experience" a gang bang...a forceful sex act...humiliation...power over another...even things less savory or socially unacceptable.  Things you might think about, things that might even turn you on, but things you wouldn't actually want to play out in real life (and I'm not making any statement here on what makes "acceptable" or "unacceptable"'s really whatever makes consenting adults happy).  And even if you wouldn't really want to do some of the things you enjoy watching on doesn't mean you can't learn something about yourself in the process.  Watching porn can help you develop a working list of what leads to arousal for you.  That can carry over to your own sex life.  It can inform the decisions you make about who and where and how you have sex...what toys you purchase...and where you need to have your "head" to make sex as satisfying as possible - for everyone involved.

(And just an FYI...this is a first of a series of "book club" entries for this book.  And I plan to do others in the future....just look for the "Book Club" label.  And if you have fiction or non-fiction suggestions, please fess up.  Also, if you want to join in the discussion...grab a copy yourself, read along, and comment at will.  I love a good book talk!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Smart Girls and Sex

So what do smart girls want?

Unfortunately, a lot of girls, smart ones included, have little clue.  But that isn't a surprise; not a lot of stock has been put into what women really want (sexually speaking) in mainstream media...or even porn.  Sure, there was the sexual revolution...but that just put the message out there that having sex was healthy and fun.  And yes, there's been The Joy of Sex and Dr. Ruth and romance novels out the wazoo (which is a whole weird culture that I didn't think I understood until now - but I'll get to that in a moment).  But there hasn't been a completely open sexual movement encouraging women to find out what makes them hot, what makes them sweat, what makes them come.  We have to diligently select from hundreds of outlets.  And sometimes, we don't even know where to start.

Let's create a profile for an average American girl - so I can evidence just how tough it can be for a woman to find herself as a sexual being.  We'll call her Mona...

Mona is born into a middle class family.  She doesn't have "daddy issues" and she isn't being sexually abused.  She's a normal kid.  Sometime in her early preteens (or maybe even before), she stumbles upon masturbation (I know this tends to happen earlier for boys - which makes sense...come on - it's right there...all the time).  In her teens she experiments with sexual activity, and finally, with the "right boy", she gives in.  It probably isn't good (seriously, they're teenagers...he's over-eager and she has no idea how to enjoy this).  It doesn't get better for quite some time, because she can't figure out how to transfer her ability to get off on her own to involving another person in the process.  She's young, self-conscious, and probably unwilling to explain to a horny teenage boy what it is she really needs to reach climax.  Let's face it, he probably doesn't care (even though he's told her he loves her to get in her pants).  She knows this.  So, she keeps it to herself, trying to figure out what she's doing wrong - after all, it seems to be working for him.  Some years later, in college, she gets a little more confident.  She starts asking for what she wants, reading up on it, watching porn.  She has meaningful relationships with men who really want to please her.  And yet, she still doesn't quite have the words for it.  Why?  Because, even though there IS a language for female sexuality, it is hard to find in mainstream media.  So it's no damn wonder, when Mona gets married and has 3 kids that her sex life starts to break down and she turns to romance novels to feed her disappointed and neglected sexual appetite.  And the problem with these novels is that they are poison.  They do as bad a disservice to sex as does most porn.  It's so unreal that the reader or viewer gets a warped sense of what sex should be or can be.  Mona doesn't have to throw in the towel, though.  There are great women doing great things to help all of us reach our sexual potential...and have fun getting there.

Mona's story is similar to mine.  With a few differences.  I figured out what worked for me fairly young.  And I started reading about it at a young age, too.  I think it started with Anne Rice.  I read the Vampire Chronicles and, in my voracious serial devouring of everything she ever published, came across Belinda.  Then came The Sleeping Beauty series.  My teenage eyes were opened wide.  I'm pretty sure I read all three books in a matter of a few days, with little sleep.  Nearly 800 pages of bondage and sex and an education I could not have garnered from the pages of My Body My Self.  This was followed by the diaries of Anais Nin (whom I ironically found about by reading The Bridges of Madison County).  Then came the early play with boys.  Almost always a disappointment.  All done for the amusement and satisfaction of the boy.  Of course, I suppose if I'd been a more aggressive girl, I could've gotten what I wanted.  Problem was, that while I recognized what turned me on when I saw it or read it, I couldn't name it.  I had no definition.  No classification system.  And I hadn't given myself permission to explore.  That also isn't surprising, given what society does to young girls who are starting to come to terms with their sexuality.  Times have NOT changed.  Boys who play with sex are "normal"...heroic even.  Girls who play with sex are "promiscuous little sluts".  So, we hide it.  We try to figure things out without anyone ever knowing.

By the time I got to college and watched real porn for the first time (I had a great boyfriend who braved the adult section at the video store because I was too chicken, and came home with - I will never forget this title as long as I live - Revenge of the Pussysuckers from Mars).  There is so much wrong with this that I don't even know where to start.  It was laughable.  We couldn't even finish it.  The guys were greasy and overweight, the girls were quite obviously brainless and desperate.  But what would have changed if I'd had the guts to go in and pick the porn for myself?  I'd never seen it before, so I had know idea what I was shopping for.  Didn't know my own tastes in the genre.  I know I wouldn't have picked anything involved "pussysuckers" in the title.  But, what would I have chosen?

Even now, I struggle to find decent porn.  The outside always seems to look so much more enticing than the inside.  While I am far from an expert, I know at least a little about what I do and don't like.  I'm drawn in by a cover.  If the cover of the box involves giant dicks coming all over eager young female faces, I'm out.  If it boasts a bevy of big butts spread wide and fake smiles, I'm not interested.  If the cover is sexy, artistic, looks like a little money went into the production, I might read the back.  Then it comes down to the story line.  If it's cheesy, forget it.  If the girls are too skinny, don't bother me.  The best ones (and I'm not saying they're great by any means) I've found so far have been produced by Wicked Pictures and Playgirl.  Although, I'll say the people usually look better on the box that they do in the films...and for the most part, porn actors are not theater majors...they are there to fuck - which, while I like to watch sex as much as the next horny MILF, I'd  prefer the people I watch to be a few notches above dim-witted.  And the more real the people look, the better.  The more fun they appear to be having, the more I'm likely to have fun watching it.  I want to see people really enjoying themselves, not faking it.  And I can tell.  Bi, couples, doesn't matter.  Sex can be beautiful and arousing no matter who is involved.  Porn should be able to capture that, not desecrate it or cheapen it.  Even "dirty" sex can be artful.  The constant close-ups on a girl's gaping vagina does not make me hot.  Watching a girl give a 12 hour blow job, also does not turn me on.

So, at least, at this point in my life I have some growing clue about what I like and don't like about pornographic material (print or film).  I'm a smart girl.  College educated with a professional career.  So, I can say with some authority that one thing is certain: smart girls want sex.  Which means we want smart porn.

So where does one find the entrance to the rabbit hole?  Here's a starting point:  Violet Blue.

In the introduction of her book, The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn, she says, "Porn, like Hollywood's reality TV, is often sexual disinformation: many sex acts are hot to watch but likely the sexual equivalent of Jackass and you shouldn't try them at home."

This gal has done a lot of research for the rest of us smart girls who are too busy with jobs and families to spend hours a day searching for porn we can really sink our teeth into.

Her website is a plethora of great information - including links and books from other authors.

Hey, it's a starting point.  Even smart girls need a little guidance sometimes.

The Lustful Literate's behind ;-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Experience: Friends with Benefits?

Mmmm...they're my favorite kind.  Most of the time.  As long as the benefits come drama-free.  For example, we have some friends that we love to hang out with...our kids know each other, we enjoy drinks and dancing  together, and on occasion - a little bump and grind...naked, between the sheets.

But then, there are the friends who can't seem to leave their drama at home.  For example...

There's this couple with whom I've been friends for years.  In fact, I knew them before I even knew my husband.  We'd go out dancing and drinking and dining every Friday night.  Mr. Couple insinuated early on that he found me attractive.  Mrs. Couple teased that if Mr. C didn't have her, he'd definitely try to squirm his way into my good graces...and certainly between my thighs.  It was all in good flirtatious fun and everyone was on board.

Then, a few years back, Mr. LL and I went to a gathering at their waterfront cabin.  There were a few other couples there all enjoying the fresh mountain air and a few too many libations.  Somehow, at the end of the night, Mrs. Couple, one of the other gals, and I all ended up in a bed "snuggling", fondling and generally being suggestive in a PG-13+ sort of manner.

Later, in the course of the evening, Mr. Couple hi-jacked me on the way back from the outhouse, trying to convince me that Mrs. C was totally into it and that we could definitely "get it on."  Now, even drunk I have my limits when it comes to other couples' boundaries.  It's very important to me that couples be honest with each other; it's why and how it works for Mr. LL and myself.  We are brutally and completely honest with each other.  We make rules, set boundaries, and do not sway from the path we create.  Even though our path morphs and changes from time to time, it is always before we are in a situation that might entail the need to stick to the rules.  Obviously, Mr. and Mrs. C have not had the kinds of conversations Mr. LL and I have had.  Nor have they had the experiences and opportunities to learn their limits.  Even though we have encouraged them to do so, they continue to ignore the discussion, but don't seem to be able to keep from stirring things up when we all get together. 

So, not being a complete idiot, I told Mr. C that nothing could happen between anyone unless Mrs. C was well aware and willing.

The problem:  Mr. C is always willing, and Mrs. C always seems willing when it's just her and I.  We've made out before - away from the boys (with their knowledge, of course - I have no reason to hide anything).  But, anytime it involves anyone else, she completely turns off.  Unless she's been drinking and forgets that she's already freaked out on us once...then she finds it completely acceptable to make suggestive comments to both myself and Mr. LL.

There have been a few other instances...even quite recently - just the other night, at my regular Friday evening girls' get-together, Mrs. C suggested we go pick up some take-out on the way home and grab another glass of wine.  This took us away from the crowd, alone, where wine was involved and we were close to her house (which, conveniently, was devoid of all other inhabitants).  She told me about her new camera and that she was just learning how it worked and would like some willing subjects to practice on.  Right about that time, a few of our other friends happened upon us and put the conversation to a close.

When I came home, I vented to Mr. LL - "There she goes again, trying to start something she doesn't really have the wherewithal to finish."

For, I truly am frustrated with this woman.  After all of the opportunities that she has been given to "play", she has always chickened out at the last minute.  I have been a patient and willing teacher.  I have offered her time and processing.  But, like many men - once I have been teased into a frenzy and left wanting enough times, I'm no longer interested.


So, not only is she my "sort of" friend...she's a cock tease AND a twat tease.  Fuck.  Double damn.

Obviously, I'm not about to go there.  It's too dangerous.  Too emotional.  Too everything.

Better to look elsewhere, toward people who know what they want and can commit to it.

I do...and I can.

But, since we all run in the same circles, it is likely that we will meet up with the C's again in the future.  The upside?  It gets easier and easier to walk away before the conversation ever gets started.

"The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience." Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

Monday, November 1, 2010

Poetry: "Vasoline"

Every year...our town is home to a trans-gender conference.  It's great fun!  The "girls" take over and shop and dance and just hang out being "fabulous".  This poem is in honor -  something fascinates me about them, not quite sure what it is, but I'm thinking about it right now...


In the pink phosphorescence
of my combustible world,
I sink into opium transcendence,
spread across the lush hotel bed,
silver-sequined spandex skirt
pushed high up on my hips,
legs open to receive my daily bread.
Martini in hand,
cigar between candy-colored lips
bruised by kisses,
swollen with need,
bitten by my own teeth
in anticipation of heaven.
Feathers, glossy yellow, sashay
across the tiny hairs
standing like soldiers
on my flesh—
so awake, so aware, so resolved
to what will touch my muscled thigh,
glory in the smoothness there
and there.
I drift and slip and slide
with an air of indifference.
But I am not.
I would choose no other room,
no other view.
Shades of complacency, blue with comfort,
mingle with wild indecency.
And it is.
This is why I stay,
why I’m here.
I want to drown
in the scent of sex
in this cotton candy room
where I choose my vice
and sell my wares
to some middle-aged businessman
in a bad suit and thick cologne
trying to pretend his slick
like vasoline.
What would his wife say if she saw us
together up against the wall,
my face pressed into the cheap paint,
and heard the growl of satisfaction
in my throat
because he finds escaped
in this
and not between her moist lips.
It’s not enough.
He must have more,
something hidden between my thighs,
pulsing there with the dignity of a sword.
He buries his face between my shoulder blades
and sighs the sigh that says
Here I can be myself.
I feel like God,
like his savior.
And I open more and more
as the twelfth olive slides sedately down my throat.