Friday, January 1, 2010

Weird little internalized things

There is a line in Lady Chatterly's lover that is extremely contempteous of women who orgasm after their male partner, or more specifically, the arrangement that Lady Chatterly had with her Irish lover: He would come, but remain hard, and she would get herself off with him remaining passive.

In retrospect, Lawrence's disgust was probably aimed at the Irishman and meant as a critique of his masculinity. His mundane thrusting and subsequent manly spasms did not push her over the brink of passion! For shame! He must not be manly enough. And sure enough, when she meets her fated groundskeeper, he IS able to make her orgasm in the process of coming himself (and also explicitly forces her to be the passive participant, so it is his action that brings her to that point. She isn't allowed to have any autonomy in her own pleasure, he is in charge, etc. Very gendered sexuality. And the groundskeeper is totally an asshole, but I digress.)

Anyway, I ended up internalizing that as a "something shameful"*. Okay, taking tips from D.H. Lawrence, terrible idea, yes. But I think it was the utter repulsion that this guy obviously felt for women who happened to orgasm in this way. And I had fairly recently started having sex, and that was one of the ways in which I could orgasm, and it was damaging to discover that maybe my partners think it's weird and unnatural for me to do this and perhaps I am a flawed person and they are secretly disgusted oh god. Which didn't really make all that much sense on a number of levels: my partners were not disgusted by me, we had good sex, they liked it when I orgasmed in whatever way I needed to. I was able to understand and remain unaffected by the other questionable/archaic aspects of LCL. But that idea stuck around until pretty recently, and I have no idea why. Perhaps because it was so personal, and something that I did engage in, that it was a low blow (ha!) and so carried more weight.

Now I'm somewhat older and can unpack that with a more jaded, feminist outlook, it's...well, I don't know what it is. A testament to the fact that I had weird thoughts and clung to the strangest ideas. I still do, mind. Being able to contextualize on that front is helped by the knowledge that while I'm sure there are people out there who think it is unnatural and repulsive to orgasm that way, they are a) people I'm not interested in having sex with and b) probably outnumbered by people who have MUCH stranger habits, who have happy and healthy sex lives in defiance of what we are "supposed" to like and do. And that's okay, and power to them (and us!).

On a very broad level, I'd just like to say orgasming? Good. You aren't hurting anyone? Go for it. And fuck anyone who wants to shame you out of doing what is best or works for you. ^^

*And Lawrence apparently did think that any autonomy a woman had over her own participation in a sexual encounter was repugnant and unnatural so I don't think that it was entirely off base of me to latch on to that.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa, I latched on to exactly that in Lady Chatterly's lover, and I literally was concerned LAST NIGHT less than fourteen hours ago that I was gonna come after my partner but while he was inside me. I didn't analyze it though, just felt sorta bad about it. WAY TO POINT OUT THAT THAT'S DUMB