“Woah, I never noticed how nice your ass is before.” I ran into a friend on the street while strutting around in strategically striped pants when I ran into a friend of mine.
“Haven’t I known you for, like, a year? And you’ve never looked at my ass before?” I retorted, mildly miffed that the lusciousness of my ass was heretofore unappreciated by a male acquaintance of mine.
“Yeah, well, y’know…Just trying to be respectful…” he replied sheepishly. His feminist convictions were starting to poke out around the edges, and I dismissed the comment without further rebuke because, oh, yeah, I get it. I forgot that men who align themselves with the forefront of feminist thought are caught in the cross hairs of an awkward desexualization. One of the tenets of feminism is moving away from the hypersexualization of the female body as an object for men to consume, and in that process it seems that the only response that men are comfortable with is removing sexuality from their interactions with women. Which is okay, and I understand that we’re experimenting with how genders interact with each other when the question of sexuality arises, but totally missing out on the opportunity for flirtation seems like a lose-lose situation to everyone but the sex negative feminists out there.
But maybe it’s just me. I realize that I have been living in a society where my feminine sexuality is vaunted as the most valuable thing that I bring to the table, and as someone whose intelligence far outpaces the value of her sexuality, I used that opportunity to make a force of my sexuality in an effort to expose the double standards that lie within. I’m a hypersexual woman, and I have been using my sexuality in the economy of socialization as a trading chip that I play swiftly and frequently. Perhaps I have become too accustomed to putting my sexuality on the table at any given opportunity, but I’ve only become used to it because it has worked so often. I am used to be sexualized. I am used to being ogled. I am used to the comments and the text messages and the fawning. And I have figured out a way to make that work in my favor, but perhaps I haven’t figured out a way to get ahead when the equation of social interaction excludes the presence of sexuality. It has become far to easy to wiggle my hips into getting what I want, so much so that I have forgotten how to interact with people with my mind alone.
I don’t know who’s at fault here, but maybe we both are. The arbitrary value placed on female sexuality is hyperinflated, yet when looking at the other option of voiding sexuality entirely, neither one seems to be working out. There is nothing inherently demeaning about sexual attraction, but if we let it become toxic, it will. Just because sexualized interactions can be traumatic or dangerous or disgusting doesn’t mean that we should let go of them entirely. I stand behind the belief that sex is fun, but, yeah, there are some people who ruin it for the rest of us. I’d like to reach a point where we can find a happy, safe middle ground for our collective sexuality, but, until then, just so you know: it’s okay to tell me that you like my ass.