Today I read an article in the local paper written by sexual health therapist Matty Silver. You can see it here.
It’s a good article focused on male sexual performance – or lack there of. It’s something that rarely if ever sees the light of day in the media. After all much of the time the media wants to paint men as either macho machines, or one dimension slaves to their penis, so talking about men feeling intimidated by, or unequipped for a healthy sex life rather breaks the stereotype du jour.
In reality men have their own issues around sex. Plenty of them. Personally I fought premature ejaculation for many, many years. I was lucky to come across a book by Canadian doctor Sy Silverberg. Along with some assistance from a kind partner, it changed my sex life forever, and allowed me to enjoy sex in a way that I had never been able to before.
All in all, I think that this article is a step in the right direction – it demonstrates that we are all complex, emotional, and more or less fragile beings. Something that should be respected.
What jarred for me though was the second last sentence:
Women don’t need to perform – they can just lie down and don’t need to do much – they can even fake an orgasm!
I understand what Matty Silver was trying to say with this, yes, there is a very obvious difference between men and women, women don’t need to get an erection to participate in sex, yes they can “just be there”.
But really? An otherwise sensitive article that accepts that stereotypes about male sexuality are damaging then goes and drops another unhealthy stereotype on women. It seems wrong.
Not all women can just “lie back and let it happen”. Nor should they. And it’s a bad message for anyone with a platform like a major newspaper to be sending.
What I would rather see is the acceptance that women and men both can have performance anxiety. It may not be so clearly evident in a woman as in a man, but for a caring lover it should still be obvious through body language, through lack of vaginal lubrication, and lack of relaxation. These are all things any partner who cares to look for them can see.
I often meet women who come to me because they need a chance to explore their sexuality and build their confidence in themselves and their body and their ability to enjoy sex in a non-stressful, non-judgmental situation. It is something that I can offer, being an escort that (to many people’s surprise) women often can’t get in a relationship.
This really is the problem though, for both men and women, often regardless of age. We are never given the opportunity by life to develop the skills and confidence with our bodies that we need to have a healthy sex life. I do what I can through the services that I offer, but really there needs to be a community wide change in attitude to sex, sexuality, and relationship.
Personally I think that it is time for these issues to be given as much attention and priority in our society as learning maths and (in Australia) English.
In my recent post about sex education I suggested that it was time for me to write something on the topic.
In the last few weeks I have started on this project and am delighted to say that it is progressing well. My intention is to publish parts of the book here as they are completed, or at least knocked into a reasonable shape. I expect that it will be an ongoing project that evolves over time as I get feedback and more experience with the process and subject.
So. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: the auction has now finished and it looks like a woman had the highest bid. Thankfully! (of $3000).
Thank you to everyone who volunteered to contribute, I really appreciate the compassion and generosity that you showed.
I came across an article today in the Fairfax Daily Life website:
Initially I thought “oh yes, just another virginity for sale story”. I thought it was going to be about a guy auctioning his virginity as we read about women doing occasionally. In principle I don’t have a problem with this sort of thing. We live in a world where everything is driven by money, so if a person is mature enough and self directed to auction their virginity then it’s a genuine way to get ahead, pay for your education, put down a deposit for a house etc. It makes sense and if you are an adult then no-one can stop you, even if I might advise against it personally.
What was described in this article though is utterly wrong.
I haven’t written anything about virginity for quite a while, so I thought that I would post a link to an article that I stumbled across today:
“Uninterested in a drunken encounter with some stranger from a pub, I decided to use an escort agency. I didn’t want to have to explain the situation. I was shy and embarrassed that I hadn’t had sex at 22. As silly as it sounds, I felt I needed to have sex to grow up, to let go of this unknown yearning inside me that I thought about day in, day out.”
From my years as an escort, I think that this woman’s experience is quite typical. The nervousness, the yearning, and most of all the desire for something mature and rational, not just driven by emotion, or getting drunk and grabbing the first available guy.
I think that this article is, on the whole a really good example of what the experience of a date with a male escort is like.
The Australian organisation People With Disabilities contacted me recently to ask if I would be interested in providing escort services for the people who they represent. I am told that sadly there are very few male escorts for women who provide services for the disabled.
I have to say that I feel quite honoured to have been invited by PWD to assist them. I am looking forward to working with their staff and clients and taking my services to a group of people who are so often overlooked in our society.
So thank you PWD for this opportunity, I look forward to making a difference for some deserving women.