05 October, 2012

Sex; Attitude and Greatness

Sex, virtually everyone does it. Though many don't do it right. It's often considered taboo for discussion or for the public arena. One doesn't simply talk about it in “polite company”. But, realistically much of our society's common attitudes are archaic and even detrimental. Puritanical attitudes are, in fact, very unhealthy. Indeed there are positive and negative attitudes. There are maladaptive and adaptive attitudes. There are are also good and bad attitudes. And as it turns out, sex is very much about attitude. Of course there is the small percent that is actually physical. But, the idea is captured in the old quip “sex is one-percent friction and ninety nine-percent mental”. The brain controls everything, literally. And the stimulation of nerve endings, by touch, is transmitted up the nerves to the brain, where the signals are interpreted. So, in a very real sense, it may be true that two bodies touch each other below the waist but the sex is happening in our heads. So it should come as no surprise that one's attitudes matter a great deal. If you want to have good sex, you need to have good attitudes about sex.

But, before I continue, I want to give a warning. If your delicate sensitivities can't handle frank discussions about sex then this is not for you. I'm not going to be deliberately vulgar or profane, but one can't honestly discuss this topic without being a bit blunt. Also, if you're not over 18 years of age, then you ought not to be reading this. Either way, you need to grow up first. Either way you're not mature enough to treat the subject like an adult. Or, for a few of you who are under the age of 18 years, you might be mature enough but the legal issue is your age. In any event, you're dismissed, that is all. On to another issue, which I feel should be made clear. I am discussing this topic from the perspective of a heterosexual person. It's true that much of the issues I will discuss can be applicable regardless of one's sexual orientation. My efforts have been to be as general as possible and to make sure that everyone is covered.

Playboy magazine has been often and long assaulted. Accused on one side of being too risque. On the other side accused of being a misogynistic force. Neither of which are true. While it's true that when Hugh Hefner started Playboy in 1953 it was a bit risque for the times, it was and continues to be classy. Other “gentleman's” magazines have come and gone and been far, far more graphic. It's been claimed to be all about sex. Again this is an ignorant claim because much of the magazine is actually full of humor, politics, culture, stories, interviews and film and book reviews and more. It's actually quite sophisticated. Then there are feminists. Or realistically, extremists pretending to be feminists. What they don't understand is that Playboy has been a champion of women's rights and equality. The extremists have been under the impression that women are somehow only thought of as sex objects by men. Certainly that was once true of large numbers of men, but over the past few decades that number has dwindled severely. And, while many of the more aggressive man-hating – misandrist – extremists are certainly unappealing, to say the least, they don't get it. Women can be powerful and professional and intelligent and productive and sexy as well. A woman's femininity is not impaired by her work. A woman's attractiveness is not destroyed by her self-confidence, in fact it's only enhanced. Nor, is a woman's value as a person diminished by her sexuality. To suggest that there is a dichotomy between sexual attractiveness and professional and personal value as people for women is not only a fallacy, it's demeaning to women and men.

It is sexist to suggest that men can't be respectful of a woman, while attracted to her also. It's unacceptable to treat women as if they're inherently victims because of their chromosomal composition. It's unacceptable to treat men as if they're abominable uncontrollable animals because of their chromosomal composition. It's sexist to presume that beauty and value are mutually exclusive. Both sexes are equal. It's an obvious fact, or at least it should be obvious. Moreover, just as men can appreciate a woman's beauty, sexual attractiveness and still respect her for her work and her intellect and as a fellow human, women can do so with men. Neither men or women should be ashamed to enjoy, to appreciate, to desire people they find attractive. If there is to be equality then women should openly and comfortably appreciate male beauty just as men do women's beauty. Or for gays, to openly and comfortably appreciate the beauty of the same sex. The appreciation of beauty, in whomever one finds it, is normal, healthy and not to be ashamed of. Indeed, there is no logical reason for one's appreciation of another's beauty to diminish one's ability to respect that person for his/her intellect, work, personality and so on. One ought not to feel ashamed of being found desirable by someone. It is shameful, though, that some people want to make others feel ashamed about beauty.

Sex is beautiful all by itself. Even if your partner and you are not in love, though being in love may add beauty to beauty. Love and sex are not the same thing. Love and sex are not mutually exclusive, but neither are they dependent on each other. Sex is natural and healthy and normal and most especially, it is very good. Nevermind our prudish and awkward culture, sex is not shameful. Rather, it is the repressive attitudes about sex which are shameful. When something is unhealthy or just not right, it is not sex that is what's wrong, it's the other thing being connected to it. So many people have hang-ups about it. Hang-ups need to be examined and dealt with. Desire is also wonderful. To lust for someone, to want that person. To ache for her, or him, whatever the case may be for you. To crave that fulfillment is, in and of itself, powerful and good. And you should not be ashamed, even if nothing will come of it. Sometimes one's only satisfaction may be masturbation. And, while sex would obviously be preferable, it is to be enjoyed. There is nothing shameful or bad in one's masturbation. So what makes sex so beautiful and wonderful and good? It is, ultimately, the mutual bringing of pleasure and happiness and intimacy to each other. It is that you considered another person so deserving of pleasure, and that that person did the same for you. Indeed, sex could not be enjoyable if it were not for the reciprocal nature of it. And, if you are approached by someone whom you do not wish to have sex with, then say so and do not feel obliged. Likewise, if the person whom you desire does not share your desire, respect it and move on. Someone else will desire you too. Because when you “get lucky” you really do get lucky. When you are with someone who wishes to pleasure you and you wish to pleasure her/him, that is lucky and wonderful and beautiful.

Who should initiate? Opinion on this point varies among different people. But, there is only one position that fits with – and is a genuine manifestation of – equality. Both women and men should initiate. Initiate sex, initiate discussions, initiate introduction and initiate dating. Whoever is attracted to someone should be able to let the person he or she is interested in know. Of course, one should be respectful about it. One should not play 'grab-ass' unless permission is given by the person whose ass one wishes to grab. Our culture has long had a sexist opinion. It's always been traditional that women should play coy, pretend to not be interested or attracted to a person. But, we're supposed to be adults, are we not? We're supposed to be equal now. So, let's treat each other as equals for a change. If you don't speak up about your desires the person who you want may never know. If you wait for the other person to make the moves, you may be waiting until the day you die. Rejection can hurt, but no one is a mind-reader. Equality cannot exist if there is even one double-standard. Without risking rejection you cannot expect to gain the pleasure of connecting with the person with whom you want. You can always say “no” if someone approaches you about his or her desires, and you should accept “no” as an answer. One needs to be willing to move on, but if one doesn't give it a chance one won't know what could have been. Don't be too shy. But, also be respectful. And do not be ashamed, as some who are still backward would want you to be, to pursue your desires.

Oral sex is not “dirty” or “gross”. Quite frankly, I think that people who have this attitude should just grow up already. Some people may think, wrongly by the way, that to preform oral sex is to be dominated or to be submissive. Some people may be turned off by the notion of his or her partner's sexual fluids. Some might even think the sexual organ of his/her partner is “gross”. These people ought not to be having sex. The truth is that performing orally on one's partner is not being submissive. Quite the opposite actually. When one performs oral sex one is in control. The performer is the one exciting the nerve endings and thus in control of his or her partner's pleasure. And, when one is performing, one is able to enjoy and play with and explore and delight in the beauty of his/her partner's body. Indeed those who are sexually powerful are passionate and intense about his or her performance. A great lover takes delight in being the action. Such a person has the power position, and enjoys giving pleasure. It is also enjoyable to let one's partner perform orally on one's self. It is an intimate and good and delightful experience to be brought to orgasm by one's partner. To say “I trust you with my body” and to be delighted is as wonderful as to be trusted and to provide the delight. Indeed, with the correct attitude one finds pleasure in providing delight. There is nothing wrong, or ugly or bad about sexual organs. It is – if one has the correct attitude – the path, the key, to making the sexual encounter a great experience. When you take control of your partner's body and his/her sexual organ you are taking control of that which gives you pleasure. So you should enjoy it. And when you have exercised your control over your partner's body and he or she delivers gratification, do not be indifferent or even repulsed. Instead, revel and enjoy and appreciate that fruit of your stimulating efforts. Take it and make it yours. Your partner's orgasm is yours to be delighted in and to savor. This is the proper attitude. This is what it means to be a good lover. Whether you're a man or a woman – gay or straight – this is what it is to be delighted and to bring delight.

It is part of your nature, this sex. Every person who has ever lived, even you, was produced by the sexual activity of two other people. Why should we allow ourselves to have bad attitudes? Sex is as natural to us as is breathing, eating, sleeping and talking. And if you're going to do it, you should do it right. Be passionate, because otherwise you're boring and uninterested – and that is a shame. Be sensual, because that's what it is all about after-all – if you don't thoroughly enjoy it what's the point? Be considerate, because it's worthless if sex is not enjoyed by both your partner and you – the greatest pleasure is in being your partner's pleasure. Be appreciative, because your partner was kind enough to share such delight with you – enjoyment of another's body and pleasure is glorious. With the right attitude one could have sex everyday without it becoming plain or tiresome. With the right attitude anyone can enjoy sex. With the right attitude anyone can be a great lover. Because sex is attitude more than contact.

Copyright © 2012, Joshua Michail


  1. I found the essay likeable. I read it aloud to Monkey Man. We agreed and disagreed on some points that were made. Sex is a dirty word to some of the citizens of our country. It is often laughable that the countries that are the least repressed about sex are the ones that hardly involved themselves in war. Hmm...

    1. True, sadly. But, the kind of mentality that goes with sexual repression tends to also go with aggression and violence. Unfortunately, in the US since our nation's founders -- the pilgrims anyway -- were puritans there is a stain left with our culture from that. But, we've also come a long way. Hopefully, attitudes will change for the better among the culture as a whole and will do so soon. Thank you, and I'm glad you enjoyed my essay.

  2. Very logical and well written..nothing to argue about at all!