Best article I've seen online that claims to answer "what women want"

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Best article I've seen online that claims to answer "what women want" Empty Best article I've seen online that claims to answer "what women want"

Post by Caffeinated on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:48 pm

It's "The 5 Things Women Really Want (In the Bedroom & Beyond) and it was written by Emily Nagoski. Here's the link: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17686/the-5-things-women-really-want-in-the-bedroom-beyond.html

And here's an excerpt:
We're actually not that complicated. We're not even that different from men.

Men's and women's sexual arousal, desire and pleasure work in essentially the same way. The sexual response mechanism in your brain — everyone's brain — has two basic parts: a sexual "accelerator" (the Sexual Excitation System, or "SES"), which notices all the sexy things in the world and sends a signal that says, "turn on," and sexual "brakes" (the Sexual Inhibition System, or "SIS"), which notices all the potential threats and sends a signal that says "turn off."

The process of becoming aroused is the dual process of activating the accelerator and deactivating the brakes.

Where men and women differ a little is in what activates the accelerator and what hits the brakes. Fortunately for all of us, science has been investigating what those factors are, and how you can create them in your life.

...

2. A Master. Or a servant. Or both … at the same time!

In the research, it's called "Love/Emotional Bonding Cues." In romance novels, it's more heteronormatively called The Hero. A lot of romance novels are about a "masterful" hero "dominating" the heroine … but if you read closely you'll find that the romance novel version of "masterful" is an awful lot like the real life version of "personal assistant." He protects her, feeds her, prioritizes her pleasure above his. He takes care of the little details of life so that she doesn't have to worry about them — orders her drink, chooses her clothes, buys her a car … then ties her to the bed and gives her four orgasms.

Who wouldn't want that? Somebody to just remove all those stressors that hit the brakes, remove all the responsibility you carry around with you all day, every day? Who wouldn't want someone you can trust with your body, who wants nothing more in life than to make you melt with pleasure?

A context where a woman can trust her partner so profoundly that she can let go of control is a context where she feels safe inside her own body, and all the brakes are off.
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Post by Enail on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:05 pm

Oh, interesting. I've read some of her stuff before and found it pretty good - except for what seems like an earlier version of this article, which (unlike most of her work I've seen) made sweeping assertions that she didn't back up at all and that I disagreed with profoundly.

In particular, the earlier version of point #2 had me just about physically recoiling from her description of the kind of experience a woman wants; where this one is talking about giving up control, it seems more oriented towards letting go and relaxing into pleasure, while the earlier version was pretty close to claiming that all women are submissives who need a masterful man to give up control to. I'm glad to see she's revised it (assuming this is a revision), this is a big improvement.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:06 pm

So.

We want to feel good; we want to feel safe and protected; we want to be the object of intense, specific desire; and we want to understand ourselves and to embrace ourselves as we are. These are just universal human desires.

This, I think, describes me fairly well. It is also something that, in my less self-hating moments, I faintly believe I can offer. In other words, I agree that these are basic human desires...

But I kind of get the feeling there's a lot of sexual subtext in this. And I point this out not only because it makes me think I actually don't offer (or experience desire for) anything like what she is describing, but also because in trying to cover these desires under nonsexual descriptions, the article also seems to highlight how sex-negative our culture still is, and how hard it is to get away from that.

Maybe it's nothing. Maybe I'm poking at the wrong thing. Something about the way the article is presented continues to bother me, though, like it's expressing some fairly profound truths yet doing so indirectly. Like the literal text isn't the important part, except that it communicates something else entirely.
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