This thing happened to girls and sex that changed it. I think. Maybe it is the slow but eventual workings of girl-boredom and advanced over-it-ness about the useless and terminally fraught “man-woman stuff” to quote my shitty ex-boyfriend (Another gleaming jewel: “Babe, I Googled ‘feminism’!”), that finally popped a socio-sexual balloon and put everything about having and liking sex into sharp relief. Because isn’t everything better now? Life is still decadently retarded, but sex seems to be less subject to the average American’s favorite all-or-nothing ethos of Madonnas and whores and Teen Moms and cheerleaders or something something something. Fourth graders continue to dress like prostitutes in boutique hotels, but I feel like an average girl having regular sex is less likely right now to feel shitty about it. At any rate, it at least warrants a state of the union on girls and sex. Oh, and when that sex balloon popped, gallons of cum poured out. Just, sloooooooooowwwsh.
NVR 4GET that sex is for making babies. You can shoot up as much Depo-Provera as you want, friend, but that’s what girl-bodies are for. And not “for” in a jagwagonesque, unlaid, provocateering dumb-boy way, or a straight-up sexist Allen West way, but “for” in an objectively material way. So, even though we think we’re all slick about doing it, sex remains a thing that happens, and happens in a certain way, so that when you die, which will be soon, there will be a version of you who might be marginally more equipped for Total Recall-style conditions. That means that girls, especially, relate to sex with baby-awareness built in even if we’re suppressing it so hard that we really believe it when we say “It’s just sex, no BFD” or whatever.
Even aside from the rush of oxytocin that drugs girls into forgiving the gnarliest behavior from the guys they sleep with, and conditions them to be like “I’ll take it!” the actual doing of sex is also about playing mommy. Even/especially when it’s the most foul, most sour, most hatefucky, you’re still being like “There, there” with your pussy. That is what sex is, on all sides! Let’s not front about it, please. Like, you know when a guy is going down on you and your perspective from up top is just a rummaging square of soft, tousley hair? Yeah, you can grab it and stuff if the Tongue Spirit so moves you, but you can also give it a few quick pets like it/he’s your little nice-nice. The juxtaposition of what is a pretty intimate sex thing–even more so if he gets into it with your bunghole–contrasted with the “Aww, sweet” element is just this: mommy stuff. When I dated a guy who wore big diamond studs (hahahahhaha) sometimes I forgot he wasn’t a pretty girl when he was rustling around in my lap. And I’m certain my psychodynamic therapist would suggest that all cuddling is an extension of parenting. Also, what do you think is happening when a dude is licking and sucking on your nipples? C’meeeeeeeeeen.
Yeah, so this still happens constantly, but here is the diff: In ye olde 1995–and, kind of, in 2005–we didn’t so much talk about it, not even the riot grrrl-adjacent. Saying you got raped was unpalatable for girls because of the semi-automatic Slore branding, and was especially unpalatable for the ones who were still mostly concerned about the cool way to roll up their corduroys and hiding stale packs of cigarettes in the luggage closet. I’m certain that in many (terrible) quarters, a little girl who gets raped at a party and pipes up about it is still evaluated for sluttery, which will continue to happen until every single thing in the world changes. But at least rape is a word people know now, and a thing that normals are starting to understand as a thing that happens, all the time. This is a triumph on the part of those girls being like “Pffffffft” and deciding that rape (and abortion, and all the other stuff) can be hilarious too, and not separating that experience from all their other bullshitty experience, thereby putting a solid rape joke on par with Aqua Teen impressions. Obviously rape continues to exist as a war maneuver and everything else but contending with that is totally outside my limited scope. Like, what do you want from me?
So, let’s make a deal: Bros can make however many rape jokes they want, as long as no more than 25 percent are about girls being skanky. No: 20 percent. In return, you have to be stern SHARP-types about rape, fighting it and all twisted power-plays from the inside. Yes? Yes. (Oh, and, rape-rap doesn’t count, ever. We get it, but, like, do you?)
The single biggest technological advancement in sexual technology recently is shoes. Believe. Not in the upsettingly, seriously ugly/conspicuous consumption way of OMG SHOES. But in the way where the gestalt of sex started to include shoes again, because they got weird as shit and like “Oh, and how about this? And how about this! Can you handle what I am giving you with… this?” Once flat-ironed toy bitches appropriated formerly “hot” shoes too aggressively, it was done. Little Keds and Converse are done now that your hateful cousin has her hands on multi-pairs; legit hooker platforms are done now that the beautiful trannies are on TV; brogues and some breeds of sandals are still good, I guess, but what I’m feeling at the moment is a girl in a t-shirt and a cornucopia of questionable design elements all at once on her feet like it’s nothing at all. Thanks, Nicholas Kirkwood! Thanks, Brian Atwood!
TIP: it’s a good idea for girls to have some “inside shoes” that never experience the baked-piss of city sidewalks which you can wear in bed.
We want your d! No, really.
Consider it a correction to the rabidity of The Slut, the self-proclaimed DTFers who decided that since they liked getting laid, that was it for them, which was a correction to everything sexist and cruel that preceded it. Because, nope! Combine the after-shocks of Foxcore and the internets and Hillary Clinton (maybe? OK I made that up; she doesn’t count) and actually galvanizing public policy that hates your vagina and the retreat of the untouched child star and the simultaneous retreat of the idea that tattoos and sideboob means much of anything (my pre-war turtleneck-parents are just over being worked up about what anybody does with their body or who they marry as long as they have some kind of job) and you have half-built a culture that gets it, sort of. Like “Fine, fuck whoever. You win.” It’s not like Pink Dollaz have replaced anyone’s pop icon but the idea that being into sex is girl-destructive is finally being understood as totally BNORING!
A mitigating factor: Is anyone as thoroughly rattled by the herpes statistics lately? No? Yes? It’s, like, one in four or five people, and it happened just when everybody started to (incorrectly) cool out about AIDS. One of my friends did a zine called “HPV, What The Fuck?” and whenever I listen to anyone recounting the grungy stranger-sex they had hours before meeting me for eggs and toast, I’m all “OK, cool, cool” and I mean it but nerd-me is also there silently screaming “HPV! WHAT THE FUCK!?” Because WHAT THE FUCK? Who decided that the STD du jour would be this silent, sneaky thing that you can get even when you wear a condom and do everything right? I hate this! *throws table*
Vulvas these days are literal representations of the Kandahar Airfield, all the time. (USA!) Everybody knows about Brazilians but did you know that Sasha Grey is the only girl who’s allowed to not have one? It’s true; it’s in the newsletter. Even just that little bit of blonde-ish asshole hair that you’ll sometimes catch in a Euro-shot porn is really off-putting all of a sudden, like, “Ooooh, she missed a spot.” Howcome everybody is allowed to look hilarious naked now, with all the out-of-context tattoos and old piercing holes and tan lines and friendship bracelets and so forth, but there is this ongoing hair removal mandate? I’m all for it, but why? Once I called chest waxing “gay” (obviously?) and two of my straight dude friends were really upset and said they felt pressure to look like that. This needs a correction, too.
What we consider “attractive” mutates very often (I used to like skinny, pasty, British-y guys until I realized that they won’t hit you in the face when you ask them to) and currently the winners of Getting Sex are fucking filthy. Congratulations! Remember when this: “I don't want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don't get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we're expected to swoon? I don't think so” was the overarching sentiment of girls? Yeah, that’s not true anymore. Who is a man-babe now is whoever appears to care the least. Also, we all miss Kurt. It’s OK.
SEX IS FREE
Sex is almost uncommodifiable. I mean, the signifiers of SEXXX are the most commodified things in the world, more than anything other than 16-year-old bodies (related), but the signified remains distinctly apart from the efforts made to communicate about it realistically, and therefore to sell it properly. Earnest can’t be hot can’t be funny can’t be serious can’t be gross, you know? And sex is all that stuff. Which makes it GREAT!
Follow @KateCarraway on Twitter