Practicing Sexism Leads To Bad Sex

In a post I wrote regarding black males that use sexism to supposedly uplift black women an anonymous commenter had this to say.

What you say above kinda hits home for me. I think most of the women you posted pictures of are extremely attractive. Does that make me a bad person.
If so, then what do I do once I’ve established my attraction to women is wrong?


I have been thinking about this comment from the moment that I read it.  what really triggered a response in me was the fact that calling out sexism was equated with denying our sexual nature.  Even though this commentary was benign, sexism is quite often justified as part of the natural discourse that occurs between heterosexual beings.

I am a heterosexual woman that is quite in touch with my sexuality.  Not only do I enjoy having sex as regularly as possible (quite the task with two kids), but I also am very physically attracted to men.  Just like everyone else I have my “type”.  For me it is the tall dark tortured artist look.  Yeah, that works for me and then some.  There is a difference between being sexually attracted to someone and objectifying them. 

image I may look at someone like Wentworth Miller, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Naveen Andrews or Antonio Banderas, and think to myself yeah, I’d hand him the crackers to eat in my bed.  What I will not do is reduce any of these men to fuckable body parts.  I will not envision them as beings without feeling that I can exploit for my sexual pleasure. 

The fault is not in being sexually attracted to another person, the fault lies in how we allow social discourse to effect our understandings of these sexual leanings.  If I as a woman take a sexually aggressive approach and think to myself yeah, I’d go there, I am envisioning myself as the active body.  This is a transgressive sexual thought as female sexuality much like the female body is constructed as passive and closed.  Women are expected to respond sexually in response to male action and not of our own volition.  When we orgasm it is because a man bestowed it upon us and not because we actively sought one.

When a man sees a woman that he finds sexually attractive, he has a choice.  He can look at her breasts, ass, legs or whatever his thing may be and see her as a being there to perform for his sexual pleasure.  He can picture all of the things he would do to her, often reflected in comments like, “I’d hit that” or he can envision are more equal kind of sexuality.  He can envision a sexuality that is based upon reciprocity and respect.  A sexuality where the man is not always the dominant or active body because he is male, a sexuality where the goal is the pleasure of both or all parties involved. A sexuality that is based in mutuality is a more progressive sexuality because it understands that as humans we have desires and needs but those sexual desires need not fall prey to sexism or gender essentialism. 

Just like every other aspect of our lives the ways in which we have sex is highly gendered.  We perform certain activities because that is what good women or sexually confident men do.  Each time we engage though we believe that we are wild with abandon, in actuality we are not free and continue to perform our gender.  Sex needs to be rescued from gender essentialism to truly be experienced as autonomous beings.  We are more than disembodied genitals, we are passionate yet intelligent beings capable of rethinking how we understand all of our drives.  In answer to the question, being sexual is not wrong, but understanding it as a jigsaw puzzle of genitals reduces sex to a performance rather than an act of intimacy.  So go on, get your groove, drop it like it’s hot and it will be if you open yourself to all of the possibilities. 

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