Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sexual Compatability

I spent a lovely evening last week driving to and from a party in Airdrie listening to Savage Lovecasts all the way. Anyone who's read this blog knows that Dan Savage is my hero. I love the way he's able to draw out the hidden agendas in his listener's questions or their partner's actions. I love that he will unabashedly call some right-wing conservative hypocrite a 'lying piece of shit asshole'. But I found myself really questioning one of the main ideas he was espousing that became a theme in the string of podcasts I listened to. He said many times that he thinks it's very important for couples to have sex before they decide to get really serious, get married or have kids, so that they know if they are sexually compatible. I completely agree. I agree with him that our society belittles the importance of sex in a marriage and that lack of sexual compatability can, and often does, destroy a relationship. However, through the course of these podcasts it seems that he was saying that couple's just need to 'get that out of the way' - that they just need to have sex once or a few times to know if they work togehter. Then that question is answered and they can move on to other things. This is where I disagree.

When couples first start dating, sex is usually pretty good. Unless there's something wildly different about them (eg. I actually like men and you don't have a penis, I know I need to be beaten soundly to get off and that clearly scares the hell out of you, I'm afriad of semen and you expect regular blow jobs... or something of the like), and they like each other and attracted to each other, they're probably going to have really good sex for the first little bit. At the beginning of a relationships, we're in that lovey dovey, let's-make-out-in-the-movei-theatre phase. And we're also usually not particularly honest about what we want and how we really feel about our partners sexual abilities. It's not until we've been together for awhile that the bloom starts to come off the rose and differences in our wants and needs start to surface. Sometimes that can be many months or even more than a year down the road! That's why I believe that people need to spend a lot of time together and wait until they've really been through some things before making a serious committment. Either that, or they need to be the kind of person that can make a committment to work through things and stick to it no matter what, so that when those issues arise, and they usually do, they will be serious about working them out. People who can do that are truly rare.

So yes, I agree that sexual compatability is very important but it's not something you can ascertain after a couple of dates.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Oh So Cosmo!

Once again, a new channel showed up on our TV - Cosmo Television. Yeah! Now I can finally get all of the insightful and profound social analysis offered by Cosmo magazine on TV! As promised, Cosmo TV is very much like Cosmo magazine. Loaded with gender stereotypes and sexual misinformation. The worst has got to be 'Oh So Cosmo' which is supposed to be a dating and relationship advice show but basically seems to be about telling women what to do. About every 30 seconds, 'stats' flash up on the screen letting us know how 'guys' feel about various things that 'girls' do. These kinds of 'stats' make me crazy because of course, the implication is that if a large number or majority of people think or act a certain way, then it's normal. Who are they actually asking? If it's guys that read cosmo, you know that they didn't get a very large sample. And really, why do I need to know that 57% of men prefer blondes? Obviously the point of that stat is, if you're blonde, rejoice! And if you're not blond, get blonde.

The episode last night had their female host, Josie, dramatizing Cosmo's advice for making a good impression on a guy. What we learned here was that we should approach him first, we should show interest in what he's interested in, and we should buy his friends beer. Oh, and that we should have sex with him because '90% of guys believe that a hook-up can lead to a long-term relationship'. Oh, how I wish I had cosmo TV before when I was dating. It would have been so much easier!

After this advice, came the cosmo quiz in which we learned whether we are mysterious enough to capture the attention of a man. The results of the quiz revealed that I give away far too much and will easily get myself hurt because of it. You don't want to give away too much but you also don't want to be so much of an enigma that you're playing games. It's a fine line we gals have to walk in the dating world! The quiz made me nauseous because it's that same old 'play hard to get' advice that we've seen over and over. We should never tell a man exactly how much we like him, we should never appear to be clingy or needy, and we should make him come to us. Does this game really work for anyone? If might work at first but if your goal is to develop a real relationship, at some point, you're going to have to drop the game and be who you really are. If you've played the game long enough, that's going to come as a real shock to your partner. Isn't it better just to be real from the start? In fact, I got the result I did because on every question I took the most direct and real answer - I would just tell him what I'm feeling and do what I feel I'd like to do. But then again, I'm far too open.

To me, the message of 'Oh So Cosmo' is that women should never ever trust their own instincts in the dating world. If they do, they'll never get a man. Instead, they should seek out every opportunity to find out what other people think, and ask any dating expert they can find. That way they'll know how to behave and won't doubt themselves in these situations. Hmmmm.......there's something wrong with that logic but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe if I watch some more Cosmo TV, I'll figure it out.