In an early episode of Sex and the City, Miranda was dating this Catholic guy with a very unusual habit. After they both came, he would immediately hop in the shower. No cuddling, no post-coital nap, just a quick lather before climbing back into bed.
When Miranda finally confronted him about this sex-to-soap ritual, he admitted it had become a force of habit to rid himself of “Catholic guilt:” years of Bible studies convinced him that fucking would lead to forever-in-Hell, and so he showered to absolve himself from any culpability. As an atheist, the wry Miranda could only scorn, “There’s nothing sinful about sex,” before getting kicked out of his apartment.
Nearly 20 years later, this episode still shows the divide between two very different groups of people: those who believe in the pursuit of pleasure; and those who fear religious persecution because of it.
Sex and the City set a precedent for sexually-active women (and countless gay men) across the world. No longer hemmed in by the rules of society and sprinkles of holy water, single ladies everywhere got their tits out, and mounted men for the sake of a good time. Vibrator sales peaked. Sunday Mass was replaced by boozy brunches where women spoke openly about their one-night stands over eggs and hash browns. It was a gender-defining era that had feminists around the world to rejoicing in the evolution of this “new woman” – confidant that by Y2K, sexual expression would be the new wave of the future.
The Great Divide
As a mid-20s woman from the NYC metropolitan area, I’ve had my fair share of sexcapades: some good, some bad, and some downright ugly (but in my defense, I blame $1 draft nights during those lapses of judgment.) Happy hour with the ladies is not complete without some cock talk during cocktail time, and we speak as openly about our latest conquests as if we were discussing last night’s Yankee game: “There was no home run, but at least this one had a huge bat.”
Sex is as essential to the dating game as flowers and chocolates. We’re an aggressive bunch in the tri-state area, and waiting to be wooed just doesn’t work when you live in a city that never sleeps.
I’m well aware of the disparities between myself and many others who don’t share such a liberal stance. I’ve met my fair share of women who purse their lips in disapproval anytime sex pops up in the conversation. Their shoulders tighten and their hands go still. And silence comes crashing down between us.
As if whispering the word orgasm is enough to make the devil himself come join us for drinks.
It’s always fascinated me how people of the same age, social status (hell, even the same zip code) can have such contrasting views about sexuality and the premarital bump ‘n’ grind.
But strip away that kid’s mohawk and that woman’s rosary beads, and we’re all governed by pure, primal instinct. Some of us embrace that instinct to touch and taste, to grope and stroke, chasing that elusive and powerful orgasm before collapsing in a sweaty, pleasured heap. Others fight it, tucking it away in fear of the wrath of some all-seeing sky daddy who doesn’t want us to play with the fun toys he gave us.
Stop Sex Shaming
This divide, when coupled with our male-centric society, has created an unusual and uncomfortable reality for today’s women: twerking on command is acceptable, but women like Miranda being the sexual aggressor and dismissing religion because it gets in the way of her sexy fun times are dismissed.
Society spends a lot of time passing judgement on the sexual expression of women. On one hand, I should wear short skirts and low-cut tops so men can ogle my goodies, and wear makeup so that I appear constantly on the verge of arousal, all to attract sexual partners of the male variety. But I’m then slut-shamed for admitting that I do enjoy having a man balls-deep.
Personally, I heed the “whatever floats your boat” rule. You’re saving yourself for marriage? I applaud your fortitude. You have sex on the first date, in case the guy or girl sucks in the sack? Nifty. You don’t believe in masturbation? I could never, but you have your reasons, and that’s cool. You have a collection of sex toys to rival any major sex store? Have fun. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and I firmly respect that.
Forcing my personal beliefs onto someone else is a wasted effort. I can’t change who they are, and I don’t want to. And yet, Bible-thumping hypocrites expend so much energy regurgitating 2000-year-old passages (written by men, not God) that condemn sex and women, as if their opinion is the only correct one.
They’ve apparently amended the “judge not, lest ye be judged” bit to mean they can hop up on a soapbox (something else Jesus doesn’t recommend his true followers do) and condemn anyone who dares think outside the limited, aged scope of the Scripture. But should any one turn around and cite Scripture right back, the Bible-Thumpers cry “Only God can judge me!”
I’m not saying that every person needs to give up on monogamy and marriage and have wild, unprotected sex with every person of either gender that they pass on the street. But everyone else can get their noses out of my life. If I want to follow my instincts and pursue an orgasm or six, that’s my business.
As Miranda said in her final arguments about religion and sex: “Catholics. Episcopalians. Buddhists. Shakers. Quakers. All the same. All designed to fuck up our sex lives.” Amen.
Food for Thought
Here’s a question for the Bible-Thumpers: if God designed us, and He decided that sex was a sin, why do women orgasm at all? Let alone potentially achieve orgasm from several different densely-packed clusters of nerve endings located in and around our genitalia?
We don’t need to orgasm to conceive. Orgasm is overall beneficial, reducing stress and increasing relaxation on top of the obvious momentary pleasure involved.
And women who masturbate regularly report higher body confidence than women who are afraid to touch themselves even to wash. And why are men able to orgasm solely from prostate stimulation? It doesn’t aide fertility to have a sensitive gland that can provide that much pleasure.
If God gave us clits and G-spots and prostates, loaded up with all these feel-good nerve endings, gave us “free will,” and then condemned us for exploring our own bodies, then God’s an asshole.
But if God is watching, I’m going to give him a good show.
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