If you have a facility with sport, if you're talented artistically or prodigiously intellectual, if you can perform some impressive feat few others can, then your contribution to the human community is to be celebrated. If you’re a woman who is sexually gifted however, whose capacity for eroticism is pronounced, you will be less well thought of. Should you decide to trade on these proclivities you will be treated with suspicion. Worst of all should you offer them for money in an ordinary transaction you will be condemned, at best patronised by those who insist you are being exploited against your will.
I think this is an injustice, one with a long history, resulting in women having to inhibit their desires more than they otherwise might. To conform to notions of purity and sexual fidelity they’ve had to keep their impulses contained. This is a travesty with many ramifications not least in women’s relationships with men. It also affects their attachments to society and prospects in the world. In such a world female sexuality outside the narrow confines of conformity gets reduced to something immoral. A whole lexicon of language evolves for enforcement. Sluts and whores are branded with negative connotation to degrade women who are overtly carnal.
In my experience sexually accomplished women are relatively rare. It’s hardly surprising given the shaming that goes with it. But when they have such a gift they have it in the manner of a talented artist. I think to possess erotic attributes which manifest in this way is indeed, like artistry, one of humanity’s treasures. Yet society for its own ends, both puritanical and controlling, has succeeded in taking something that might be exalted and rendered it transgressive. It’s a sad case and one that’s a long way from being addressed.
the degrading of female sexuality
THE GIFT OF EROS
commentary • 02.06.13