"A fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act. There is no such thing as a culpable or shameful fantasy". --Spider Robinson
This blog is deeply personal. It's teeming with sexual content. If you don't want to read about sexual fantasies, you best bug out now.
We're headed into firmly adult territory today, folks. You have been warned.
So much of what passes for "sex education" today mirrors what passes for education in other areas. What information you do get is clinical, impersonal, and hard to relate to life as you actually live it. In the hands of all but the best teachers, history is a a dry and dusty recitation of dates; English is an endless search for subtext (talk about missing the forest for the trees!); math (beyond kitchen-table arithmetic) is pointless torture that couldn't be more irrelevant to anyone aspiring to be other than an engineer or an algebra teacher. And sex ed? Is nearly always presented timidly, awkwardly, as if sex itself is some kind of bomb that might go off at any moment, showering the classroom in sticky secretions.
(You winced, didn't you? Sure you did. Now ask yourself if you winced only because "secretions" and "classroom" don't belong in the same sentence.)
Let me be clear. I am NOT arguing that sex ed needs a lab component in which you start with masturbation and work your way up to orgies. For one thing, how would you grade it?
No, in all seriousness, I'm NOT suggestion any sex act be performed in a classroom setting. But I do think our children are spectacularly ill served by a curriculum which, even now, fails to put sex into any kind of context.
I do believe there is merit in viewing porn in class. Parents will recoil in terror, but trust me, your kids have seen porn by the time they get to high school. Quite possibly a whole hell of a lot of it. And they take that knowledge of porn into their first sexual relationships, and wonder why, for instance, the pizza delivery guy doesn't actually show up ten seconds after he's called. Kidding, kidding...they wonder why they can't bring a girl to orgasm as easily as they've been led to believe; they wonder why foreplay is necessary (Groucho Marx, leering: "and the AFTplay was pretty good, too!"); they don't realize the extent to which both women and men are degraded in porn. Contrary to what pornography portrays, many to most women don't enjoy facials...they often find them humiliating. And not every woman is a HotBiBabe (TM) eager to engage in MFF threesomes.
(And you don't believe men are degraded? Watch a steady diet of porn and count the number of male faces you see.)
To say nothing of what gay people must wonder, because their sexuality is all but ignored entirely. Or non-binary people, struggling with reconciling what they're hearing what what's going on in their heads. For anyone belonging to any sexual or gender minority, sex ed is even more of minefield than it is for the rest of us.
"What's going on in their heads" is what is utterly ignored in class. And it's critical. Just to give one example: fantasies.
They start early--often before you're even aware of what sex is. For me, I got a completely inexplicable (and to this day unexplainable) thrill every time I watched Cookie Monster on Sesame Street eat something that clearly wasn't edible. You tell me why that should provoke stirrings in a part of my body I thought, at the time, was just a spigot to pee out of.
Nobody ever made sense of that one for me, but I've had to make sense of all the myriad of fantasies I have had since. And Spider Robinson's quote, above, was an epiphany and a liberation in that regard.
You run down the list of common male fantasies and I don't share many of them. I have no interest in dominating a woman. It's just not part of who I am, to "dominate" anyone or anything. This little quirk of mine has caused me no end of insecurity and grief, because as it turns out many bordering on most women of my acquaintance want to be dominated. It's a hard-on block for me, double entendre intentional. You can't write about this stuff without the in-you-end-oh's getting thick on the ground, can you?
But domination seems to tip so easily into humiliation and degradation, and even if that appeals to some women, it most certainly doesn't to me.
The flip side, submission? I'm not really that either. I mean, I prefer to let my partner take charge...if she's initiating, then it's a pretty safe bet she wants to do what we're doing. But I'm no more into being degraded, humiliated or in pain than I am into inflicting any of that.
I look at the rationale given for the extremely common male fantasy of threesomes and orgies:
Men fantasize about having threesomes, foursomes and more because they want the purely sexual experience that is more animal than it is relational. There’s implied monogamy in most relationships, but threesomes and orgies open up that monogamous relationship to allow sex with others and at the same time, close out the personal feelings you have about a long-term partner. Feelings about the future and commitment aren’t usually present in these sexual fantasies, or the real life culminations of them. It’s really all about the sex with multiple partners, simultaneously. In real life, sometimes men feel that they want a threesome rather than foursome or more, because they can control the relationships outside of the bedroom after the sex act is completed. I hear from my readers who go beyond their threesome fantasies into real life threesomes that the relationships that derive from threesomes often lead to breakups of the original couple. This is one fantasy that doesn’t usually work in real life, long term; it's a great fantasy, but a not-so-great experience if you’re married or in a committed relationship.
...I'm going to come back to this one. Because if I'm honest this one does crop up. But not in a way I'm at all comfortable with.
Sex for me DOES mean commitment. And yes, I am capable of multiple commitments, but ABOVE ALL I keep them separate. The potential for drama and heartache is just too great, otherwise.
That talk about "purely sexual experience"? I wouldn't begin to know what that is. I don't get it. How can someone want me without knowing who I am? I'm finally coming around to the rather intoxicating thought that "who I am" can be somebody desired--but I will never, and I mean NEVER, be able to convince myself a random hottie could take one look at me and want to try me out. It can't be me she wants; it must be my "equipment". There are few more equipment-killing thoughts than to realize you're no longer a human, but just....a dick. And yeah, two women at once? That both want to be in the same room as each other, AND me, doing sexual things? There's a little circuit breaker that cuts in and goes BZZZT NOT POSSIBLE NOT POSSIBLE ABORT THOUGHT BZZZT.
Flip it, make it two men and a woman. Okay, this is possible. In fact it almost happened to me back in university, and was kiboshed after the clothes came off. This one by turns excites me (because I love to give pleasure) and terrifies me (because I can sustain self-confidence in my limited prowess alone, but another man is surely more accomplished and I feel like I'd be redundant very quickly). And sexual triads are NEVER stable unless at least one member is bisexual. That doesn't describe anyone I know well enough to tumble into bed with. (There you go again: stability. Commitment. Apparently I'm bizarre. Like you didn't know that already.)
What I have imagined on occasion is two couples, in a loving atmosphere, having fun together. But that's winning a sexual lottery.
Moving on. "Experienced women". Not so much a fantasy as a...well, not a requirement, but a preferred choice. I've done the 'teaching' role....twice. The first woman left me for the partner she should have been with in the first place and the second never quite got over her Christian guilt at enjoying sex. I'd rather be with a partner who knows what she's doing, relishes what she's doing, and can teach me some things.
"Unattainable" women -- are unattainable for a reason. Leave them alone. The description here doesn't actually scream rape, but the insinuation does. And that doesn't just turn me off but completely disgusts me.
Voyeurism. "Men like to watch", it says here, and ... I don't. Part of it is that my eyes are shite; with some exceptions, I am much more turned on by literally every other sense than I am by anything those eyes pick out. Hearing and, well, taste, especially.
Sex in public, the last of these common male fantasies...again, not high on my list of turn-ons. I think, again, this is related to that 'desire' thing. It's hard for me to imagine somebody wanting me so badly in that way that she'd risk being caught in public with me.
Years and years ago, I read My Secret Garden to try to get a handle on what women fantasized about. This tome, written by Nancy Friday in 1973, is supposedly still relevant today. It was deeply, deeply shocking, because the fantasies recounted therein made my wildest ones look tame indeed. Animals. Golden showers. Not just domination, but outright rape. I had to read a lot to even begin to understand the merest trifle of the complexities in that last one, and for damn sure I'm not touching it here. Let's just say it's more common that I'd thought; the strangest, strongest female fantasies are all a lot more common that I'd thought. I would simply reiterate the quote above, that a fantasy is not even a wish, much less an act.
And that brings me to my classes of fantasies. I do have a few things I occasionally look at that I have NO LEAST INTEREST in making real, but which reliably turn me on. Nothing illegal, so don't go that route, okay? Just things that are...out there. And if somebody offered to make them real, I'd as like run away.
There's a set of fantasies I am deeply, deeply ambivalent about that center around casual sex. I really struggle with what I'm about to relate here.
Most porn is not watchable for me. There are many reasons for this, but most of them boil down to female enjoyment, or lack of same. In about 80% of porn I've seen, the woman is clearly acting. There's a significant overlap where the woman is degraded and that leaves maybe three percent of porn that genuinely works on me. And in that porn, the more uninhibited the woman is (or women are), the more she's loving everything, and I do mean everything...the more I'm into it. The completely insatiable fantasy, with the caveat that this can not be acted.
Oh, man. Yeah. Gimme some of that.
('In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.')
Two possible scenarios, equally disturbing. One, a woman I don't know, surrounded by myself and men I don't know, and she can't get enough of us, and maybe she really does love it, but I'm COMPLETELY interchangeable with LITERALLY ANY OTHER PENIS in that scenario, and further, I have no basis for attraction here. Not in reality. I'm just a pole, she's just a hole, and I refuse to look at another human being that way.
The second scenario is a woman I do know and love enjoying the almighty hell out of herself with us...and again I'm reduced to a dick. At my most insecure I'm apt to think I was just a dick all along. And not even a particularly TALENTED dick.
Oh, a shrink would have a field day with this, I suspect.
This is why if I'm ever going to actually indulge in one of those group fantasies that (sigh) I do have on occasion, it absolutely has to be the right people. In a loving atmosphere, not a fuckfest.
It bothers me immensely that I'm turned on so much by something that I feel things from fear through actual revulsion for in real life. I mean, I can tell myself over and over again that a fantasy is not a wish, much less an act...but is it a wish? Is it? Maybe? And what does it even say about me, when I've railed against objectifying people all my life and my favourite porn is TOTALLY about objectification (with the ironclad understanding that the people WANT to be objectified and are loving it...)
Ugh. I'm no closer to unravelling this than I was when I started. But now that I've, ahem, bared it all, I do feel like there's at least an answer to this that makes sense to SOMEONE.
The final set of fantasies are the ones I unabashedly want to make real. Those tend to be things that, for one reason or another, I've yet to experience. or have experienced only once or twice in my life, and yet, as fantasies go, they're tame, tame, tame. No shame or guilt attaches to these, only a lustful longing. And once one is fulfilled, can you still say you have it? Because it seems like I do.
Here I am, 46 years old, and still pretty ignorant of how this stuff works. I'm learning. And I'm trying. But sometimes I still feel like I'm adrift on an ocean of orange soda.
A Fanta sea, if you will.