Saturday, September 18, 2010

On Sex within Primary (Het) Relationships

Recently I've read a fair amount related to Het relationships related to Sexism, inequalities because of it and "PIV Sex" (penis-in-vagina).

Some radical feminists believe that PIV Sex is dangerous to women for various reasons. They may believe that truly egalitarian relationships should at least have the option for women to choose Not to have PIV Sex related to issues such as:
1.) Pregnancy,
2.) Sexually transmitted diseases and
3.) Meanings related to PIV Sex that may relate to - domination of women by men, "scoring" for men and/or other such issues.

I am a 59 year old man who for the past several years has been totally unable to have PIV sex due to erectile dysfunction (ED) issues and who has dealt with related issues for close to 15 years.

I think that "sex" within primary Het relationships can be a number of things (or combinations of them) including:

1.) PIV Sex by itself - whether a "Qwickie" or some other act that is focused Primarily upon such sexual intercourse,
2.) PIV Sex as part of a set of actions - whether a set of routines leading up to or moving "around" such sexual intercourse or a varied set of behaviors which includes such sexual intercourse,
3.) Other clearly defined "sexual behaviors" such as:
a. Oral sex - "for the man" or "for the woman"
b. Anal sex
c. Digital/Masturbation - whether by the partner or while with the partner
d. Using sex toys such as vibrators, dildo's, cock rings, etc.
e. Various - bondage and discipline related things
f. Phone or Cyber - sex
4.) Including others in one's sex - including three-somes, swinging, and/or various forms of open relationships,
5.) Sexual and Sensual Touch - whether intended to lead to orgasm or not

Other issues can exist related to pornography, ties to the other gender outside of the primary relationship, etc.

What does it mean to have sex? For some this means having PIV Sex which may imply specific behaviors related to Who initiates it, How it is initiated and What transpires leading up to and after the "sex act".

Is "the sex" - the orgasm that one or both partners may have or wish to have, the "sex act itself, the feelings endendered in the moments and/or something else?

When I was physically easily able to have PIV Sex for me "good sex" was what I would call "being sexual" over an extended period of time (hours) which nearly always included PIV Sex. How "good" it was had little or nothing to do with how many orgasms either one of us had.

When I was new to sex as a young man "sex" was me kissing and sexually stimulating my partner so that she was "wet" and having PIV sex and then it was over.

I find the whole issue of debating having or not having PIV sex as a seeming: "political issue" related to sexism troubling, though understandable. To the degree that a relationship is not fully consensual and egalitarian, it is potentially important. Where there is open communication and mutuality. PIV sex would seem generally to be likely to occur because both partners would want it. How frequent it was and how it fit into the spectrum of mutual sexual behaviors would seem a more likely issue for most couples.

Where a relationship will last or Not last related to having or not having PIV Sex seems to me to relate to a tiny minority of couples which commonly would relate to particulars of that relationship. Besides physical issues I could imagine some women who had been vaginally raped with PIV sex might have flashbacks to their rape with PIV sex. In such a situation the male partner would need to be able to accept his partner as she was, else the relationship wouldn't have a future.

Otherwise to me the "political nature" of PIV Sex is part of a bigger area of coping in our society which also includes issues related to gender roles in general and related to Het marriage issues such as what name the woman (or man) has after the marriage, rings, and similar.

More important to me in general are the issues of emotional and physical closeness as they pertain to "sex" and the relationship in general.

I would hope that most individuals in Het relationships can talk through their differences with their partners and work out what best works for them both. Acceptance isn't always getting what one wants of course. Having a decent, balanced, loving relationship seems most important to me.

I could only dream that I will live to see the day when Sexism is "extinct", though I hope that things will get better over time. In my lifetime I've seen things get much better in some ways and much worse in others. Thanks!

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

So many people make themselves utterly miserable because of some generally accepted idea of what sex "is supposed to be like" or what relationships "are supposed to be like." One of my friends keeps worriying that she had sex with a guy on the first date, which her family always taught her was wrong. She and the guy have been married for 3 years and have a beautiful son, but she still worries that things started "wrong." Another friend keeps worrying that she and her fiance decided to get married in a conversation and not as a result of a proposal by him (of the kind that is always shown on television).

All these prescriptive scenarios about emotional relationships and sexuality don't make anybody happy. They just make people worry constantly about whether their lives conform to the scenario that is being sold to them on television and in magazines.