RANT: Labels Kill Sexuality

Four years ago I wrote a posting about cheating and in it I had a little rant about being called an “older woman” by the letter-writer when I was only 32. The posting is here, and today I deleted a comment that referred to the rant-within-the-posting with this comment that I’ve chosen to delete for its stupidity:
“The sound of a cougars claws slipping down the slope called age.”
That was the comment in its entirety, aside from quoting the entire paragraph under the blockquote-box’s question.
It pissed me off. Why?
I’m the anti-cougar. I wear Chuck’s All-Stars, not stilettos. I like concert t-shirts and trendy shirts with nice cuts, not revealing tight-skimpy things. I’ve never had a microskirt or a tube skirt. You know? I don’t flirt much, as I wrote about in this piece I called Flirting Fail.
I’m not saying I’m fail. I’m just not the stereotype, is what I’m saying. I like myself just fine, thanks. The world has plenty of busty chicks in tube tops.
But let’s leave that aside. You know what really pisses me off?
That it’s the mere fact I’m a woman over 30 who has more than a passing interest in sex that has left me judged a “cougar” by this stupid ass.
Every guy out there wants a woman who’s a feisty beast in the bedroom and Doris Day outside of it, if my 36 years of experience on this planet has any validity.
The trouble is, the moment a woman becomes overt in her sexuality at all, she’s judged as being a Different Kind Of Woman. She’s in some other class. She gets hurt less, is easier, can be acted around differently. The stereotypes are fucking ridiculous.
And the further trouble is, the women who ARE overtly sexual at a younger age, so many of them are using that sexuality to compensate for what they perceive to be shortcomings in other areas, because the REST of the younger girls are all freshly raised to believe that Women Who Like To Do It Are Whores.
This is changing a little, but not enough.
Women are still defined morally by what they like sexually. Men aren’t. Women are.
It’s a huge hurdle for women to get over. Every chick probably can tell you an experience when they felt absolutely disrespected or judged for some small little thing to do with sex or how they were dressed. And when that happens, it reaffirms all those moralistic preachings by our suburban parents about just what it is that Good Girls DON’T Do.
If men want more women to be comfortable with their sexuality, this hypocritical bullshit needs to stop.
They need to stop judging averagely sexual women, or sensual women, as if their morals are somehow different just because the enjoyment level for sex is more obvious than with others.
Authentic cougars — you know, women who are all about the sex or who value themselves only according to how well their sex life is going, like “Sam” in Sex In The City — are a stereotype and can be mocked a little. Anyone who allows themselves to fit squarely into a stereotype kind of deserves a bit of mockery, honestly, whether a horticulturalist or a hussy.
But making the mistake of thinking you know someone’s ethics or morality just based on their views on sex is about as fucking dumb as it gets.
Me, I have a sometimes-sex blog. Sure. I got skillz. You betcha. I’m able to write about sex in a way that has edumacated folks in the past.  (Like some of the oral sex how-to’s on this page.) But I barely date. I don’t sleep around. I like relationships. I’m never very public about my sexuality apart from things I talk or write about; I don’t flirt particularly well. I’m not a seductress. I’ve never cheated on a man. I bake muffins for boyfriends, giggle at their jokes, and get along with their mothers. I say please and thank you, I hold the door open for old ladies. I pay my taxes. I keep in touch with my dad, cared for my dying mother. Used to sing in the choir. Was a Girl Guide Leader and a Pathfinder Leader. I sing a wicked “Kumbaya.” I don’t have a criminal record, I’ve never been arrested. I’ve never tried a drug harsher than pot or drank gin.
But, yep, sex is a good thing. In many, many ways.
If you judge me on the fact that I’m a little dirty-minded versus EVERYTHING else I am, you’re a fucking moron. Flat-out. Hands down. And you’re missing out on probably one of the best friends you could have, the sort of person who’s a lock for a 3a.m. body-removal crew. Ethically, morally, I live to a higher standard than most people I know. I’m so old-fashioned it hurts. I demand better from people in my life, because I’ll deliver it, too.
Still, that sex thang, man. Always a good thing. And often.
Now, I haven’t been laid for at least one whole calendar, and it ain’t doing me no good at all, but that’s life and it hasn’t been something I’ve really tried to change because I was very disinterested for a long time. It sure as hell disqualifies me from “cougar” running, that’s one thing I know.
But go ahead. Call me a cougar.
Insult me for advocating that ALL women should be more in touch with their sexuality.
Deride me for asserting that no matter how “moral” we are, sexuality’s an awesome thing to enjoy in life and necessary for a full life.
Mock me for believing that society would be a greater and more productive place if everyone put as much focus on their sex life and communication as they did on making money.
You want to know why so many women keep their sexuality closeted, or why so many women won’t bring themselves to even masturbate, let alone get crazy with positions or initiating things? Because they still get shamed too much of the time. If women aren’t comfortable in their sexuality and don’t feel encouraged to grow sexually, they won’t masturbate. If they don’t masturbate, they’ll never learn what works for turning them on, or gain the physical comfort level needed for women to reach orgasm, and that’s why so many women never even orgasm until well after their 30s.
Because of the bullshit being spouted by hypocrites — whether it’s from asshole moralists in pulpits or men who don’t have the guts to own their own sexuality, THAT’S why.
Why women have SO MANY hang-ups is because of the mixed messages we’ve received for centuries. Bend over/BEHAVE. The church has done it, our parents have done it, our lovers have done it, and society as a whole still does it.
Let’s embrace real, healthy, vibrant sexuality. Let’s realize that’s a completely different thing from the bubblegum whorey girls who are using sex to get somewhere because they have nothing else to offer.
Sexuality comes in many different styles. If you’re gonna judge anyone for being that way, you might just be missing out on what could be a pretty wild journey of discovery. All of us, every one of us, unfolds differently when it comes to being physical. This ain’t no mass-produced experienced. It’s a unique thing with each person.
Don’t judge. Be open.
Life’s a hell of a lot more fun that way.
And I’m not a cougar, dummy.

5 thoughts on “RANT: Labels Kill Sexuality

  1. Eyebee

    I agree with what you write. That’s a sweeping and short response I know.
    I hate hypocrisy, and double standards for anything. Why shouldn’t a woman like good sex, and plenty of it? Why does it seem to make a guy a ‘stud’ and a girl a ‘slut’?
    I haven’t never thought that is fair, and have never thought or a girl that knows what she wants and how to get it, in that way.
    As for sexuality, that’s no-one’s business but your own, if you’re on your own, and if you have a partner, hopefully you’re both understanding towards each others needs.
    As for masturbation what is the big deal with that? It’s perfectly natural. I’ve masturbated since I was teenager and will continue to do so. Why shouldn’t a girl too?
    Like I said I hate double standards. We’ve been given the intelligence to enjoy sex, so why does society put so many obstacles in the way?

  2. Rob J

    When I first heard the word ‘cougar’, it was applied to the type of woman who is clearly trying to recapture their youths, fighting against the march of time, and are (most importantly) uncomfortable with themselves. But, when you think of any person in this frame of mind, giving them a nickname and lumping them into a stereotype seems to be just another reason for a woman like that to be insecure in the first place. There is a whole avenue of discussion there, which I think you’ve covered well here.
    Also, I think that word is most widely used by men in their mid-20s. I don’t have hard data to prove this, but I think that’s a safe bet, since the stereotypical ‘cougar’ supposedly preys on this age group. But, how much about sex did I know when I was in my mid-20s beyond wanting to have it as often as possible? How much did I really understand about how sexuality operates on a mental and emotional level for a woman in her mid 30s to mid 40s? Almost zero, friends. Because that’s where you’re at when you’re in your mid-20s; you don’t know shit about how all that works, because for the most part you don’t have to.
    It’s when you get older that you begin to see past all that stuff. You begin to find things in women like self-expressiveness, confidence, creativity, self-worth, and compassion for others to be as sexy as any low-cut dress or high-heeled shoe. That’s the great part about life as a sexual being – it grows with you, if you don’t get in the way. And when you do, names for it don’t mean jack.
    Thanks for the post!

  3. harrietglynn

    Hear hear! The flip-side is be a cougar and love it. Just wait ten years, get a fake tan, a boob job and start wearing sparkly tanks and stilettos.
    Go Steff!

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