Sex tips from women who don’t want to fuck you

cosmo

Listen up ladies! Cosmo has published a list of helpful tips that will help every woman fake it till she makes it! Since we all know there’s nothing more empowering than fucking men we would only fuck if we had no other choice and depended on it for rent money, the list is called, “Sex tips from sex workers.” Let’s take a look!

Tip number one: Lube. While lube, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, Cosmo’s reasoning behind this tip, which comes from “Andre Shakti, porn performer and producer,” is decidedly, um, disturbing…

“Because porn performers are usually having penetrative sex off-and-on for hours at a time, we’re encouraged to use lots of lube to avoid friction-related injuries and keep things feeling good the whole way through. These days I go through lube bottles in my bedroom like candy.”

Hey ladies, you know how having sex with multiple men for hours at a time isn’t actually enjoyable for women and, in fact, causes injury? A good “solution” to this problem might not be lube… It might be “not having to have sex with multiple men for hours at a time, something likely to cause injury.” I know, I know. It’s very sex-negative to expect sex to be something that women enjoy and that doesn’t cause pain and injury, but hey, try it out!

Tip number two, from “Ingrid Mouth, porn performer and illustrator,” explains that anything that turns you on is “normal.” Presumably, seeing as we’re talking about porn here, and Mouth herself works with companies like Kink.com, a BDSM and fetish site, we’re to understand that violence, humiliation, pain, and torture is a perfectly “normal” thing to be turned on by and that you shouldn’t give the sexualization of common themes in porn — described as “fetishes” — like racism, incest, rape, domination and subordination (Yes! Sex with people of colour counts as “fetish work” in porn) a second thought.

Tip number three I can’t argue with, in theory: “Sex is better when you set firm boundaries.” “Kitty Stryker, adult performer and producer

” explains:

“Sex work taught me that boundaries are not only OK to have but vital for a quality sexual experience. I learned to trust my gut feeling about people and situations, and to be firm about my boundaries. Learning how to say a clear and direct no (and a clear and direct yes) to clients helped me feel more confident doing it in my personal life, and my sex life has been worlds better since I’ve been upfront about my boundaries.”

I suppose what’s most interesting about this response is that it assumes women’s sexual partners to be predatory. Which is, in truth, a fair assumption when you’re dealing with men who don’t see women as human beings but rather on things to be used however a paying customer wishes. Wouldn’t it be swell (and like, totes sex-positive and stuff!) if men actually cared about their sexual partners enough not to try to push their boundaries and to maybe consider that women don’t enjoy being abused so, hey, just don’t try it in the first place? The missing (key) question here is, “Why do men try to pressure women into doing things they don’t want to do or don’t enjoy in the first place?” And why do women have to treat sex with men defensively?

Tip number four suggests “Female ejaculation can help prevent urinary tract infections.” So, orgasms are great if you want ’em/can have ’em/want to have ’em. I assume, though, that in this case what “Zahra Stardust, Feminist Porn Award Heartthrob of the Year 2014

” is talking about is not simply “orgasms” but what’s referred to in the porn industry as “squirting,” i.e. the visible kind of “ejaculation” that is more of a party trick than anything else… Cosmo itself admits, in an article by Anna Breslaw, that “squirting” fulfills a male fantasy — one that men have learned to seek out in women because of what they’ve seen in porn. It’s another way that porn teaches women to feel inadequate as sex performers because they are not, in fact, sex performers. They are women who should not be performing fantasies for their boyfriends but rather should be simply doing what they enjoy doing in bed (or doing not in bed).

Most women don’t “squirt” naturally, but rather have to learn how to do it in order to impress partners. Breslaw writes:

“Female ejaculation is not uncommon in the average woman, says Kerner. A small amount of whitish and milky fluid that’s produced during or just before orgasm, its contents are different than the natural lubrication produced when sexually stimulated. It has a tiny bit of momentum, but it doesn’t shoot out.

On the other hand, ‘squirting’ or ‘gushing’ — copious amounts of fluid that shoot out of the woman at the same time as her supposed orgasm — is actually caused by a deliberate manipulation by the woman of her own body, specifically an intense bearing down on the pelvis, according to Kerner. Basically, a forceful clench and release of the bladder.”

Women do not need to “squirt” in order to have an orgasm and it has little to do with a woman’s enjoyment of sex. In porn, specifically, most of those “female ejaculations” are not, in fact, ejaculations at all. Breslaw references porn actress, Tara Lynn Fox, who confirms “that gushing, in porn — the extreme version of squirting — is often smoke and mirrors. And douches.” Fox explains that, because she couldn’t “squirt” naturally, “the director filled up a bunch of douches with water and had me lay on my back and started filling me up! Then as soon as he thought there was enough he threw the bottle out of sight and hit record — and ferociously started rubbing my clit to make it look believable.”

Now, if women are “ejaculating” naturally and that’s helping them to avoid UTIs, good for them. Peeing right after penetrative sex also helps to avoid UTIs and so it makes sense that female “ejaculate” of the “squirting” variety might help prevent UTIs because that “ejaculate” comes from the urethra and is mostly pee. Also, considering that sex-related UTIs, for women, often come from having “frequent sex,” (UTIs in women are typically caused because the man’s thrusting irritates the back wall of the bladder and “massages” bacteria into the urethra) consider that tons of penetrative sex isn’t all that great for all women? There are, after all, other kinds of sex… There’s even no sex at all! (Gasp.) Though it’s unlikely the male-centered porn industry cares much about that, seeing as what they’re truly concerned with is not women’s health and pleasure, but men’s orgasms. If you want to hear a critique of penetrative sex with men from the sex industry, you’ll be waiting a lifetime.

Number five sounded innocuous and kind of refreshing upon first glance: “Sometimes intimacy can be sexier than sex.” “Kelly Lynn Prime, sensual healing practitioner

,” goes on to say:

“I perform sensual massage, and it’s taught me the power that simple forms of attention hold. Making direct eye contact, for example, or engaging in heartfelt embraces. I have had men cry like babies because I created a soft and receptive space for them to feel like they were heard and that their existence mattered. Sometimes just being acknowledged and creating that bridge of connection through physical contact is more powerful than any orgasm.”

I don’t know… How “intimate” is it to pay someone to pretend to care about you? Why can’t these men find people to hug them for free? Why must all human interactions be commoditized? Why don’t pushers of the so-called “sex-positive” sex industry ever question the commodification of love, sex, and intimacy? Call me old-fashioned (and oh I know you will!), but wouldn’t connecting with another human being who actually is connecting with you and who wants to connect with you, as opposed to faking connection, be far more satisfying?

Tip number six tells us thatrole-play can reignite your sex life completely.” “Cinnamon Maxine, adult entertainer,” explains that “performative” sex need not be limited to “work,” but that you can perform for your partner at home, too! How fun! Porn for everyone, all the time! I mean really, women should never stop performing for the male gaze. Being female is work!

Shakti tells us, under tip number seven that, “there’s nothing sexier than knowing your own body.” This is, undoubtedly, useful advice. Problem is that most porn directors are not “ethical” and do not give any shits about women’s bodies or boundaries. The way that the porn industry works is by pushing women’s boundaries. They push them to do more extreme acts and push them into fetish work when they can’t be sold as “fresh meat,” “innocent,” or “virginal” any longer — this is how women get used up and thrown out so quickly in porn. Cosmo does women a great injustice by pretending as though what women learn from porn is how to feel comfortable with their own bodies and to center their own pleasure. “By trade,” Shakti writes, “porn performers know their bodies as intimately as professional athletes, and that’s super sexy.” Um, ok. Like, in the way that they’re often being treated for “work-related” injuries and can’t work past 25? Sexy!

Women should know about their own bodies, but not so they can please men or be “sexy.”

The eighth and final tip, by “Selina Kyle, webcam model” states, “Dirty talk is good for you.” “People aren’t mind readers,” she says, “and even experienced sex workers can have trouble sussing out a client’s wants or kinks via trial and error.”

Look, communication is great and all, but are we really going to pretend that a man who is paying you to do what he wants and telling you what he wants because he’s paying you is the same thing as communicating openly and honestly with an intimate partner who is (hopefully) your friend and someone who cares about your happiness and well-being? I suppose, based on this entire list, the answer to that question is “yes.” Due to being inundated by neoliberal, everything-must-be-commodified, mainstream faux-feminist discourse, we can no longer separate the one-sided, male-centric sex industry from our actual, personal intimate relationships. The mere notion that women should be taking “sex tips” from women who are paid to have sex and to perform sexuality for men who they don’t desire should tell you how “sex-positive” and pro-woman these tips really are. If there’s anything women in porn and prostitution know, it’s how not to enjoy themselves. That’s not their job, after all. Their job is to get men off, to perform his fantasies, to boost his ego, and to pretend they are enjoying themselves all the while. Conflating the intimacy we share with our partners with the faked “intimacy” performed by women who are in the sex industry because they need to survive — not because they desire the men they service — is, quite simply, a dangerous, misogynist, lie.

Cosmo is a women’s magazine; they shouldn’t be teaching women how to fake it.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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