It’s been said that women are taught they have intrinsic value until/unless they fuck it up (like by being a slut, for instance) whereas men are taught that they have to earn their value through the things they do.
In a weird way it feels like my sex life is the other way around.
When Minx and I were dating, I was blatantly and carnally obsessed with how pretty she was. I objectified her all the time; I took sexy pics of her; I ogled her and told her she looked amazing. But she just didn’t seem as visually oriented as I am*. I mean I know she found me attractive but for the most part I think my biggest draw in the relationship – more than anything to do with my body or intellect – was that I made her feel pretty.
Same thing with The Bunny, pretty much. I mean he did have some skills that I really appreciated, of both the kitchen and bedroom variety, but mostly I was just completely stupefied by how hot he was. He did not usually gush about me the way I did about him. And in fact when he kept having erectile issues with me and I asked him for compliments so I’d feel desirable in spite of his flagging boner, his praise was all about how good I am in bed; nothing about me being attractive, which was actually what I needed to hear. Seems as though I was not desirable to him in and of myself, like, just standing there. I was desirable because of what I could do for him.
And now The Pedant. After our orgasm argument the other day, I asked him “Tell me more things you like about our sexual encounters.” The next day, when he still hadn’t answered yet, I amended “…Or rather, things you like about my pleasure and responses, as they are right now.” Because I had a feeling if left to his own devices he would talk all about what I do for him rather than how I am. And given the nature of our little fight, what I really wanted to hear was that my pleasure and orgasms appeal to him in some way. Not the orgasms he wants me to have but the ones I actually do.
I’m glad he told me that emotional-talk gums up his internal workings and makes him unable to make small talk; my request to hear about how appealing my orgasms are happened on June 6th and he was absolutely silent** – ignoring both the question and several attempts at conversation – until June 14th, when he said:
“To answer your previous question about our sexual encounters, I really enjoy your enthusiasm and the fact that you enjoy being the dominant partner. I really enjoy that you’re not merely willing to run your hands over me for hours at a time, but that you actually enjoy doing so and are quite frank about that.”
Yeah. I guess he missed where I revised my question. These are still nice things to hear, but…y’know.
So I prompted again, “Tell me what you like about my orgasms.”
“How uninhibited they are,” he said. Which I can’t quite reconcile with the fact that he usually asks me whether or not I’ve had one.
Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I like feeling active and skilled in bed; like a subject instead of an object. I don’t want to feel purely ornamental. But I might like to feel a little more “passively desirable” than I typically do. To feel, every now and then, that someone is getting off on touching me because I’m hot and my reactions are fun. I’d like to feel admired for how I give and receive pleasure.
I genuinely had no idea that The Pedant even cared about getting me off until fairly recently, when I hit him up for sex but he was too spent from before so I had him get me off…and afterward he was suddenly totally receptive to fucking. And I noticed this pattern several more times after that. So he does get turned on by my orgasms (as they exist right now, not just the imaginary ones he wants me to have with effortless abandon just from his magical penis). He just doesn’t tell me this in words.
*With anyone, not just me. I never saw her ogle hot people the way I do, and when the movie Black Swan came out I was all “We have to see it! Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis have some sort of love scene!!!!” and Minx went along with this easily enough but did not seem to share my enthusiasm no matter how many times I repeated “Natalie Portman! And Mila Kunis!!!!”
**Silent except for the phone call I requested and the handful of logistical texts surrounding it. Unsure if that sort of thing is typically exempt from his emotional brain-freezes or if he made an effort to rise to the occasion…