Hold's post from 2009, sums up my life

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Hold's post from 2009, sums up my life
38
Mon, 02-20-2012 - 10:46pm

Hello Everyone,

I was reading the threads from the past years on this board, then I came across the most profound post I ever read, which sume up my sexual experience:

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Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 11:11am
Thanks for the indirect compliment. I try hard to understand both sides of the ML issue.

That said, this insight does not necessarily provide a solution for entrenched ML couples.

If the couple realizes this early (before marriage and kids and years spent building a life together), the path seems clear. Be open and honest. Share your reality with your partner. Allow them to decide whether that is the type of marriage they want. If they don't want that type of marriage, decide how badly you need marriage to be a safe haven from sex. In which case, if you very much do then breaking up is probably the best decision for both sides.

Years later, after marriage and kids and strings of connection turning into thick ropes (if not steel cables), I am not sure what to suggest. Tell the LL to get over their need for safety? Tell the HL to get over their need for sex? Tell the LL to just "lie there and think of England"? Tell the HL to masturbate or have a discrete affair? Tell the couple to consider opening their marriage? Divorce? I don't like any of these in the absolute. But in practice, I think muddling through as best they can may be the best solution.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Tue, 02-21-2012 - 11:41am

Its a different way of looking at things, I had not thought about it this way before, but I see Hold's point;. If I was still married to my ex, I would agree 100% with that statement. But I am one of those women who found sex greatly improved with a different partner, and from what I have experienced, I learned my SO's way of expressing love was through sex, more specifically by him giving me pleasure. It was eye opening for me, as I have not met anyone as open and candid as he is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 4:22am

As an HL guy, I was sitting on my hands not saying anything here, yet I was bothered about the drift of it, so here goes.

I feel unfairly framed as a guy for this, and I don't think the para does justice to the dynamics of the situation, possibly reflecting your & Hold's experiences.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 9:10am

Good point. As a woman, I don't feel "objectified" and I never have. I don;t think you can blame media for having personal sexual issues. Yu are right, moi, its too easy for both men and women to fall into the "poor me, I am a victim" trap and avoid taking responsibility and/or action for their own pursuit of happiness.

Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 11:01am

Oops, double post.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2011
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 1:03pm
mol42 wrote:

As an HL guy, I was sitting on my hands not saying anything here, yet I was bothered about the drift of it, so here goes.

I feel unfairly framed as a guy for this, and I don't think the para does justice to the dynamics of the situation, possibly reflecting your & Hold's experiences. It may be true that some women feel "constantly objectified", or only valued for their bodies etc. Blaming guys for that is somewhat rich, because much of it appears to come from the women themselves and a huge amount from media and cultural sources. I can tell you, it's not true for me, I revel in the different shapes and sizes of people and am baffled at some of the extreme lengths and unhappiness that stems from some of this stuff (my daughter is suffering from this for example). Or people doing vanity cosmetic surgery.

It is true that both men and women size each other up physically on first meeting (e.g. symmetry, waist/hip ratios etc) and that has a big impact on future social interactions (not only romantic ones). This is mainly unconscious and involuntary. Yet the big cultural impact is likely more about social position, signalling and dominance, and if you think women are immune from that, ha!

If I may advise in your situation, I don't think poring over the entrails of why we do things or what happened in the past or what human nature is about - is particularly productive. And I think there's the danger of slipping into a victim mode and avoiding responsibility for what you will do now, for yourself. Attending to behavior and feelings and awareness of them, here and now, with a real-life partner, is perhaps more effective. And I say that respectfully, in line with the many therapeutic approaches to the issues you have had.

The constant objectification that the OP refers to is not the body size/shape criticism that you are referring to. She is talking about these kinds of objectifying behaviors from men (not all men, but a considerable number of men):

- staring at women's body parts during conversation

- trying to touch women's body parts during conversation or in passing

- trying to get sex from a woman (on a date, say) by any means necessary (some men will do anything, say anything)

- using a woman for sex and then dropping all interest in her afterward (after feigning interest in her as a person to get sex)

- grabbing a woman's body part and making a sound or a comment (honking a breast like a bicycle horn, for example)

- saying disgusting things to a passing woman about her body (catcalling on the street, for example)

- making disgusting comments to other men about women's body from a distance (in the office, for example, when they think nobody else can overhear)

- undressing a woman mentally in an inappropriate context (in the office, for example, or on the street)

- turning the head to track a woman's progress down the office hallway or the sidewalk

- sulking like a big baby because of not getting the sex he wants

- following a woman who is clearly not interested and trying to get her attention by any means necessary

- insisting on making sexual "jokes" despite being asked to desist

After a few years of this kind of objectification, many young girls/women develop a thick skin and become extremely cynical about what men (not all men, but some men) want and are trying to get from them. It's exhausting for a girl, getting bird-dogged every day as she tries to go about her ordinary business. This kind of treatment as a sexual "target" leaves its mark on the soul even after youth and beauty have faded and the attention from men dies down.

For a young woman who has been treated this way, having a man treat her with love and respect is much appreciated. If her beloved suddenly starts treating her like a collection of sexualized body parts, or pursuing her for unwanted sex, he may awaken all kinds of unpleasant memories and associations.

I don't think it's paranoia to think that men (not all, but plenty) chase women this way for sex and regard women in general between the ages of, say, 18 and 48, as targets for sexual appraisal and possible pursuit. Some women may enjoy the chase,, and some men may really enjoy "owning" a woman who is the target of other men's lust, but there are many women who wish to be engaged as individuals first, with personalities and thoughts, before sexual motivation is expressed. They may wish this just as much during marriage, if not more.

Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 1:57pm
Mol, my point was not aimed at whether it was helpful to the woman herself to feel this way. Or whose fault it is that she feels this way. Or whether and how society could do more to prevent it.

I wish more woman felt empowered rather than threatened by their own and their partner's sexuality. I wish more women owned their sexuality instead of holding it at arm's length.

But the current reality is that many women become turned off to male sexuality as a result of boorish male behavior. Many of such women are thinking to themselves that marriage should be a haven from such male behavior. When similar behavior is displayed by their husbands, it is, to say the least, very disappointing if not shocking and love-destroying.

Which is why it is so important to share with your partner what is going on inside your own head. So they know what you expect of them.

If my wife had told me before we got married "I have been raped. I react very poorly to pressure for sex. So I need to be with a man who will feel proud of himself for never pressuring me rather than with a man who will feel deprived when I refuse to cater to his every need". I would have very much respected her feelings and her desire to be with a man who could behave the way she desired. But I would have admitted I am not that man. And we would have avoided much heartache.

Not every woman is interested in training herself to change her feelings. We can argue whether most of them would be better off if they did. But in the meantime, we need to address the reality that they feel how they feel. And they want their partners to behave a certain way. And not all of their partners will. And so we need mechanisms to deal with the resulting conflict. Telling the woman "stop feeling threatened or annoyed or angry with common expressions of male sexuality" is, IMHO, unlikely to be universally successful at resolving that conflict.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 2:45pm
Thanks Crispina, you just posted everything I ever went through and still going through in everyday life.
Mol, I understand from your previous posts on this board that you don't like generalizations of how women perceive men, but unfortunately this is how some men behave towards us.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 2:45pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 3:01pm

<> [a list of behaviors followed this quote]

It's funny, I have experienced very few of these behaviors in my life, even though I was considered classically attractive in my youth and beyond. I'm not saying these things don't happen, just wondering aloud why they didn't happen to me. I'm noticing the same thing with my 15-yo DD. She is very attractive (though has small breasts) and even had a modelling/acting agent for a while, and yet she's not getting much attention from guys in high school. On the one hand she disdains most guys she knows (as potential dates), but on the other hand I think she would like more male attention, though she does have guy friends. She's definitely straight. My best guess is that she's somehow giving out no-permission vibes and that I used to do the same thing. Any other possibilities you guys can think of?

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