Posts Tagged sex

Girls

If you want to attract men and you say you like girls, you’ll achieve your goal. But I’m not talking about those types of girls. I’m talking about Girls, the show. The one where they talk like Dawson’s Creek. Or worse, Grey’s Anatomy, which means that every other sentence begins with some needy woman telling a man or her superior what they don’t get to do. “You don’t get to tell me you love me.” “You don’t get to tell me how to do my job.” “You don’t get to tell me that this hospital is cursed and at least one of us will be killed come May.” Sorry. Where were we?

Oh yes, Girls.

Girls wins all sorts of acclaim; creator Lena Dunham sweeps some hardware at key awards shows and critics say it’s raw, refreshing, nuanced and funny. It celebrates female relationships. It’s emblematic of emerging adulthood in New York. And it is undoubtedly all of these things.

I bet you know what’s coming. You can sense that I have an issue with Girls, so I’ll save you the suspense and come out with it.

I’m not concerned that it’s about privileged people overdramatising their first-world problems. I’m not bothered that it’s self-consciously hipster, like the first excruciating moments of Juno. I’m concerned that when it comes to sex and sexuality, it’s actually just too… real.

What’s wrong with that, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you.

When you come right down to it, sex is fairly ridiculous. People who think sex tapes are hot haven’t given theirs a proper viewing — that or they have access to the editing suite at Vivid Entertainment. It’s animalistic. You make funny shapes with your body parts. Often, things get squished. There are… sounds, not always made intentionally.

Lena Dunham does her best to show us this kind of sex — and she succeeds. We spy cellulite; we see gangly lovers; we cock our heads and take in the relative gracelessness of the most popular positions; we witness the cruelty of being used. Can we identify? Sure we can.

But here’s the thing. To my mind, the best part about sex is that, if you’re with the right partner, it gives you the conceit that you are super hot and sexy and your body is beautiful and your partner thinks you’re really good. (Then you wake up, and the rosy glow gives ways to those nasty interruptions: the fears and niggles, those crises of confidence.)

Sometimes, isn’t it better to bask in the rosy glow? What’s wrong with seeing ourselves as airbrushed, edited and choreographed? After all, if life is a narrative, shouldn’t we aim for the fairy tale? Isn’t a documentary awfully uninventive?

Love and sex provide such a bounty of awkward moments that I actively choose to give more air time to the beautiful ones. Even if that air time is stylised and unrealistic.

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Cherries

It’s pretty seventh grade to hear the word cherry and snicker, but you cannot deny that these fruits fascinate men. They’ve got it all; they are at once sweet and tart, innocent and sexy, refreshingly clean and darkly ripe and they come in pairs.  Men like pairs of round things.  Oh yeah, and – this is science people – they like red.

Not just for men, cherries. This fruit is really having its moment.  Retro imagery gives us more than five a day of these beauties, and it looks like women who get sex appeal flash cherries like a red light in a window, whether worn as jewelry, tattoos or part of a pattern.  (Of course, cherries are also very healthy, help us sleep and we might just enjoy the taste, but stick with me here.)

Even Shelby in Steel Magnolias, God rest her, loved cherries.  I mean, she was buried in the suit with cherries on the lapel.  Hold on – got to soldier on.  Thankfully, I could ‘run to Texas and back,’ even though Shelby can’t.

Point is, the word ‘cherries’ is often paired with the word ‘ripe.’  They imply readiness… and reward.  If that’s not a style that attracts men, I don’t know what is.

Plus, men like to imagine how we eat cherries.  Tilting our heads back and dipping them into our mouths and all.  You get the point.  How many of us practised the knot trick after Sherilyn Fenn famously mastered it as Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks?

Wow.  I sound pretty objectifying for a feminist – but I’m okay with that. Being honest about what we mean and what we want is part of being a modern women.  But, let’s take a cue from cherries and maintain some of their dualities and intrigue. I.e., don’t overdo the tart. We don’t need to be so try hard (sorry, Sherilyn); cherries, after all are naturally appealing.  And they’ve got some taste to back up their promise.

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Eating

The way you eat may not be a style choice per se, but it says as much about you as the clothes you choose to wear – and like clothes, how you do it sends signals to the opposite sex.

Most people, whether consciously or not, associate food with enjoyment of life.  It’s sensuous, it marks occasion, and like sex, it literally keeps us going.  The more you seem to like it, the more you seem to like life.

Most men love food, and this is one of the things I love most about men.  They eat because they are hungry; they eat because they want to and they usually don’t count calories and beat themselves up about it unless they need to, like some genders I know.

Cough.

Before I serve up my opinions on food, allow me a caveat.  This blog is all about healthy women, healthy body image, healthy confidence and healthy sexuality.  Eating is part of this.  Do I judge habitual overeating? Yes, but not nearly as much as a pervasive culture of under-eating, food guilt, fictional allergies and intolerances, calorie counting and diet-of-the-moment mentionitis.

It’s. Just. Boring.

When it comes to food, get involved.  Order what you like and enjoy it.  And don’t be afraid to use your hands where appropriate.  Sure there are probably some rigid public school boys, anal retentives and Teutonic types who are so removed from their food and the pleasures of life that to see you digging in with relish will only freak them out.  There are also flaming chauvinistic fattists out there who think that any level of enjoyment of food means that you will explode in one year’s time.  We don’t like them anyway.

But do you know what men don’t like?  When we order daintily only to stare at and eventually start eating off their plates. If you want chips, order your own freaking chips. Don’t pretend you’re going in for one only to eat half.

I joke that men should dump women with food hang-ups.  Because if I were a man, I would.  And that’s because I know that if a women isn’t comfortable eating in front of a man, that’s just the start of a long list of things she’s not comfortable doing in front of him.

In these ‘post feminist’ times, we women spend a lot of time wondering why it is that we don’t yet share the complete set of privileges that our male counterparts do, whether it’s examining how we treat each other, how much money we spend on cosmetics and clothes or how our very genetic make-up, from brain and hormonal balances to our built-in ability to bear children, affects how we relate with the world.

While these inequalities are certainly unacceptable and likely down to a blend of all sorts of things, what I can say is this: devoting an inordinate amount of mental energy questioning a BASIC need for nourishment is not helping.  We’ve got enough on our plates.

Food is fun, comforting and sexy – just like a partner should be.  Let’s just dig in.

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Shoulders

This blog is officially one month old, so that makes it an official month that I’ve been talking a lot of sh*t about shoulders.  You’ll note that my Oscars post about the magic of shoulders and the results of my extremely scientific and statistically significant poll (with a sample size of, ahem, 21) prove it – shoulders attract men!

Say what you want about boobs, bums and legs (and men like all of those things, obviously, but that wouldn’t make this blog terribly insightful, would it?); shoulders don’t take up the editorial real estate of their aforementioned cousins, but their power is by no means underappreciated.  Men get a glimpse of a shoulder, especially just the one, and your work may well be done.

Style-wise, you can highlight your shoulder in several ways.  A Jennifer Beals casual, ‘oh look my sweatshirt just fell off’ situation, an asymmetrical dress that bears one shoulder (this makes men go rogue) or anything strapless. You can’t really go wrong, so long as you’re remotely toned. Tanned all the better.

And the best part? I really believe that this is attention is positive.  While men may initially see exposed shoulders as a gateway to a state of undress, shoulders have always signified strength.  Symbolically, think Atlas; shoulders are the platform on which we carry the weight, be that physical or metaphorical. While I have previously speculated that men like a calm and easy partner, men like women who can handle stuff.  They don’t want to walk through life with a weakling.

So it’s shoulders that in some way give them a glimpse of what’s to come… whether that’s for a night or the longer term.

That long view is a funny old thing. We women are notorious for our ability to fast forward the tapes.  For example, we meet a guy, we have some banter about travel in Morocco, we like him.  What he may not know is that we’ve already got him sunbathing naked on the enclosed roof of a riad in Marrakech, after our imaginary courtship of six blissful months. He may propose on this trip, for the record.

Well I like to think shoulders make men act, by whatever increment, the same.  Maybe when they see them, they too, are fast forwarding.  They might imagine kissing a shoulder and where that leads; they may consider what they could do to the breasts so nearby and what they look like naked.

On a rooftop… of a riad… in Morocco.

Maybe.

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Whisky

It’s no secret that a drinking woman is an easier target for men, who, despite whatever progress we’ve made through the years, still bear the onus of having to make the first move. But when they are scanning the bar, who attracts men most? A woman with a fruity drink, wine, a classic cocktail or a glass of hard liquor served neat? (I asked this question to one of my more depraved friends, who answered with ‘Which one is showing the most cleavage?’. Point taken, but this post would be therefore be over, so I’ll continue.)

I suspect men are impressed by women who can hold their liquor, especially when it is distinctly masculine. It telegraphs ‘I can compete’, which may lead men to believe they have found a genuine sexual sparring partner. Remember when Deadwood was at the height of its popularity a few years back? Seemed just a mention of that show and an order of whisky could give men, pardon the pun, wood. #shootingfishinabarrel

Here’s the thing about whisky – and about men and women.  Men like it when women know stuff, especially man stuff. In fiction and film, we have been conditioned to recognise a heroine, if, for example, she can fix a car. Knowing how and what to drink seems to be a hallmark of these types of women. If you know your single malts from your blends and why you sometimes add an ‘e’ to the spelling, you might just impress some people. Men people.

Also, different drinks beget different types of drunkenness. Tequila gives mad energy; gin can lead to some emotional swings; wine makes you warm, sometimes slurry, and wonderful. But what is it about whisky that opens the door to banter? Somehow, it seems to fire the synapses and the one-liners and snappy comebacks flow like…drink.

Ah banter. It’s the way the clever peacock; the sarcasm, the subtle one-upmanship, the laughter… the connection. It’s also a bit of a danger zone. Ask yourself: are those sparky jabs actually mean or disrespectful? And conversational tricks, while impressive, could be avoidance. Carefully divine what’s facade and what’s authentic, and watch your own delivery, too.

Yes, a man likes a woman who knows stuff. But remember my post on yellow, because they like ease and respect – a lot. They want you to know stuff so you can acknowledge and appreciate the stuff they know.

I am not betraying my feminist roots by warning you not to play too heavy of a hand – men don’t like overly competitive men, either. Instead, learn from my mistakes. I’ve been so carried with my own banter that I’ve watched that the subject of my wit walk, carrying away his whisky (and my refill). Keep your powder on the dry side and don’t banter men away before you get the attention and respect you deserve.

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Rihanna

That black dress

Today marks the birthday of the woman who currently features the highest on the ‘I would’ charts of my male British friends: Rihanna.  And why not?  This woman serves up her sexuality on a plate.  Did you see that black ‘Ode to Scarface’ number at the Grammy’s? That dress proves it. When it comes to dressing for men, Rihanna ‘gets it’. (And as a result, likely gets plenty of ‘it’, too.)

But is she getting it right or wrong?

At the risk of sounding old or possibly maternal, I worry about our RiRi. Here we have a woman who has been the victim of incredible violence within her relationship espousing in ‘S&M’ that ‘pain is her pleasure’ (and nothing else can measure, apparently). Her ‘We Found Love’ video features an addicted, damaged and abused woman – though I wonder if the lowest common denominator can divine if it’s a cautionary tale or an ambition. And even that dress – the one I loved – is based on Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Scarface, Elvira Hancock, who despite being very desirable and snorting cocaine rather elegantly, is also drug addled and essentially owned by powerful men who mistreat her.

Believe me, my aim is not to attack Rihanna, especially on her birthday.  She is talented and beautiful and if I had a body like that, I’d probably walk around naked or nearly nude most of the time (hey wait, she does!).  What interests me about Rihanna is what sits at the heart of this blog – when it comes to attracting male attention, can we do it in a way that empowers us or is the very thought objectifying?

Women, Rihanna, MEN – hear me: there is nothing sexy about damage, and we can own our sexuality without emulating the most vulgar parts of it: promiscuity, domination or a loss of control. As this blog gets up and running and I talk about how to attract male attention, it’s because I am a feminist and I believe in anything – anything – that makes women feel good about being women.  That includes male attention (when it’s sought). And if chains and whips DO excite you, then I join Rihanna in saying ‘na, na, na, na, na c’mon’ to that, too.

All I’m asking is that we’re honest about why we make the choices that we do, whether those choices relate to our style or our lifestyle. Attracting men is easy; they are primal and visual and they are the first to admit it.  The trick is in attracting the right kind of attention in a way that feels guided by and true to no one else but you.

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