Men Over Women In Sex, In Everything, Always, All the Time
Thirteen years ago, I had sex with an old friend. We went out, as usual, chasing girls. We were each other’s wingmen. We went to a lesbian bar this time. He was a hit. He always found the one straight woman to talk to.
I’d dated boys in high school and men in college. I’d had plenty of sex with men. I liked it. But at 23, I fell in love with a woman and I thought that changed everything. I thought I was empowered. I would have even used that word — empowered — which I’d learned in college, in women’s studies classes. Today the word is woke. I thought it applied to me because I’d rejected convention. I was a lesbian.
Not all lesbians are woke, but stepping out of the sexual norm can open a person up to new perspectives. I was predisposed to liberal politics because my parents are liberal, but being a lesbian forced me to see that gender expectations are ingrained and oppressive. Girls are expected to be nice and then grow up, get married, and have kids. I rejected all that.
At 34, I sat down with my best friend Stephanie in a diner in Los Feliz and told her I was going to get pregnant on my own. She thought I should wait until I had a partner. She was straight. She said, “You’re doing this backwards.”
Maybe, but I was already backwards. I thought.
The night my old friend and I had sex, I was 37. We didn’t stay out late. I had to relieve my babysitter.
This time he came inside. We flirted. We always did. I led him to my bedroom. I hadn’t had sex with a man in ten years, maybe more. I wanted a real live boy toy. I trusted him. I wasn’t in love with him, but I loved him. I still do. He knew and I knew I was sold on women. We were single. We were adults. Why not?
I had never had unsafe sex with anyone who wasn’t a long-term partner, and only after a three-month waiting period and an HIV test. After college, in the early 90s, I learned about disease transmission and led safe-sex workshops. I was terrified of AIDS. And no way was I getting pregnant.
When I was seduced by a woman who told me she’d had more than 100 partners, I showed up with my safe-sex kit filled with condoms, lube, and Saran Wrap.
Ten years later, I was in bed with my old friend. He put on a condom and went inside me. It was pleasant, but nothing special. Then he stopped. He said, “I can’t stay hard with a condom on.”
I wasn’t ravenously turned on. I wasn’t desperate for his approval. I wasn’t afraid of rejection. But I let him go inside me again, this time without a condom. Why?
A few days ago, I read a Twitter thread written by Gabrielle Blair, about abortion, but really it was about how men exert control over women in sex, in everything, always, all the time. Blair’s Tweets have been re-Tweeted 79.6K times.
She said men are doing nothing to stop abortion. Men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancies and take 0% responsibility. She laid out why and how it has come to be that women are expected to go to a doctor, pay for a prescription, and poison themselves daily with birth control pills so they don’t get pregnant when the only way unwanted pregnancies happen, is when a man ejaculates irresponsibly.
Blair illuminated our culture’s sexual double standard. Men are encouraged to be sexual. Women are encouraged to be chaste. I’ve heard people say a million times that if a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant she shouldn’t have sex. I’ve said it. But according to Blair, “… a woman can be the sluttiest slut in the entire world who loves having orgasms all day long and all night long and she will never find herself with an unwanted pregnancy unless a man shows up and ejaculates irresponsibly.”
Blair said that if men really cared about preventing unwanted pregnancy, they’d use condoms. They’re cheap, no prescription necessary, and they guard against diseases. Also, according to Blair, women love them because, “they don’t lessen our pleasure during sex…” and “no waddling to the toilet as your jizz drips down our legs.”
But men don’t like condoms.
For 13 years, I’ve wondered why I ignored everything I believed and preached; why I let a man fuck me without a condom. After reading Blair’s Tweets, I got it.
We live in a world that prioritizes men and their pleasure over a woman’s everything. Her convenience. Her pocketbook. Her pleasure. Her health.
My old friend didn’t like the condom, and I felt sorry for him because most women care more about a man’s pleasure than she cares about herself. Even a woke lesbian. Even me.
This is #weeklyessay №17 of my #weeklyessaychallenge. Thanks for reading!