[LMB] Medieval fertility OT:

Marna Nightingale marna at redmaplegrove.org
Fri, 01 Feb 2002 16:37:09 -0500

Eric Oppen wrote:
> I have always failed to understand this last expectation.  In my own case,
> I've never had much more emotion anent s_x than I would about any other
> appetite I may have. 

OOOH. Now THIS is a neat discussion...

Speaking only as one tiny little female data-point: 

There are men like that, there are women like that, there are men and women
totally NOT like that. And variations in the middle. In terms of NUMBERS, there
are probably more men like you and more women not like you. 

And women like you and men not like you tend, IME, to be more likely to be kind
of conflicted about it all. At least when they are young...

It's a matter of conflicting social realities around what sex is and what it
does. On the whole, though, acting as if social realities weren't "real"
realities and going against one's own all at once is a BAD idea.  

If you don't believe in it it can't hurt you, sure, but would you consider
taking the word of an old campaigner (from Christian, monogamous, straight and
vanilla to, well, HERE in 17 years) that the "not believing" step is MUCH harder
than it looks? 

And hey, and OB Bujold: Kareen, Mark, Cordelia, Aral, Miles, Elli, Ekaterin,
Ivan, Alys ....   I LOVE how Lois handles this stuff. All those sexual
cosmologies, in as it were the same family...

I HAVE had s*xual experiences like that (a person, another person, a bed...) 
and had no particular aftereffects. Well, except for a Reputation, but I already
had one of those and I HATE to be accused of fun I'm not having... and it was
pretty bland sex. 

What I can't say is that I can reasonably EXPECT it to work out that way.  I
have, at least once in my life, had s*x with someone on that sort of basis and
found that that level of shared openess created much more of a bond than either
of us was really prepared to deal with. 

S*x for me usually creates intimacy and deep knowledge of the other person and
therefore engenders serious emotional intensification for me: either I like them
a whole lot more, or I can't WAIT to get away. 

Now, that's when I relax and 'let the person actually get near me'. But if I
don't relax, I'm not having fun.  So honestly, I don't bother.  Why would I? I'm
not going to GET that emotionless release deal with another person around. I've
settled that to my satisfaction. 

I actually have no idea if this is physical, emotional, social, or all of the

But I try not to do things unless, in the words of CS Lewis, I have to, I ought
to, or I want to.  

Only very rarely these days do I want to do semi-anonymous sex, and then (TMI)
it's almost always going to be light BDSM with me as the top.  Because that
happens to be a sort of intimacy that I can create with a stranger and then walk
away from; in my personal mental mapping system, that's closer to walking into a
circle than it is to having intercourse. Yes, yes this *is* weird and

>  'I'm horny, you're horny, here's a bed,
> let's do it' you are a BAD PERSON"bit with considerable scorn. 

I don't regard people who do this as bad people, modulo the odder bits of the
well-worn path of where you and I disagree about the amount of kindess and care
one owes a partner in ANY activity with some risk. 

WHEN ASKED, I've been known to warn people that it can bite you in the butt. I
know guys who have tried it and gotten several kinds of burnt: either they found
themselves wanting an involvement that was not forthcoming, or they discovered
that they'd been acting according to an innacurate picture of who they were and
they liked themselves less. Or they just discovered that it left them feeling
vaguely icky and hadn't been any FUN. 

Reposted from another list, with permission of all three OPs: 

(I trimmed it as much as I could w/o losing the context utterly).  

All three are female, BTW. 

> >> I've only known two women (that I know of) who thought anonymous (or nearly
> >> anonymous) sex was just the ticket.  I think an awful lot of men think
> >> that anonymous sex is the best sex there is.

> >  The only difference between us is that men 
> > have permission to enjoy anonymous sex and women do not

> I think it's way deeper than that. Men don't have permission to enjoy 
> anonymous sex, they have *pressure* to enjoy anonymous sex. [Her partner has] never 
> been one for that, but you'd NEVER catch him admitting it to any of his 
> friends. 

Marna Nightingale
marna at redmaplegrove.org
"Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact,
be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men."
St. Augustine.