“But I love him,” Madelyn said.
“But he isn’t good to you anywhere but in bed,” I said. “And not even always then?”
“I know,” she said. “I know….” I waited for more. “But I love him. I just do.”
“I know. But, look, you’ve given me a long rational list of his flaws. Now can you give me three rational reasons why you love him?”
She stared at her lap and said, “Because I do. He’s in my heart. My heart wants him.”
I wanted to blurt, “That’s not your heart talking, Madelyn. It’s your pussy.”
But there are things you can’t say to a new client just starting her journey. It can take months, years, even decades for an adult woman to finally connect with the emotional reality that female lust can make losers look like winners, turn weasels into Romeos, make girls want to have babies before they know how to care for themselves, and prompt many a grown one make the same stupid choices over and over again.
There are many non-sexually-related reasons why a human may confuse an unhealthy attachment for true love. Let me put that right out there. The more complicated and traumatic a woman’s youth, the more complicated and damaged her adult relationships may be and the more likely she may be to form unhealthy attachments. People walk their own paths and lots of twists and turns can lead to dysfunctional relationships.
That said, most women are drenched in negativity about their sex and gender since childhood. It can fill them with self-hatred, emotional disconnection from their own bodies, sexual prudery, and feelings of helplessness. This cluster-fuck can make women their own worst enemies.
Notice I’m not blaming men here. This blog strictly about biological women’s role in their own sexual and relationship dysfunctions. I want to explain, in incomplete but maybe useful terms, why so many women find themselves trapped in doomed relationships, broken or sexless marriages, or hook up with incompatible, sometimes undeserving and exploitative partners. To put a very big and complex phenomenon into one succinct soundbite — it’s all about female disempowerment. Here are some reasons how and why it happens even to the smartest cis females.
WOMEN ARE TRAINED TO BE POWERLESS
BDSM women decide who we’ll have sex with and do not accept any configuration that is incompatible with our needs.
When feminists started blasting BDSM women in the long ago, they showed their ignorance of human sexuality and their simple-minded prejudices against BDSM. There is nothing new about blaming women for getting sex wrong, nothing original in putting all the blame on men, nothing fresh about protesting porn or trying to dictate, through theory, how sex should work, not how it DOES work in real life. Nifty Fact: some women enjoy being sex-workers and porn stars as much as other women enjoy beings wives and mothers.
BDSM, bisexual, and other sexually radical women were historically the first to collectively declare free sexual choice as their human right and to take a pro-sex stand on allowing each woman to choose for herself how and with whom she wanted to express her sexual desires. Historically, the scolding nannies of feminism first cast a jaundiced eye on kink in the mid to late 1980s, just as kinky women were seriously getting their shit together and embracing the concept that a free woman owns her own sexuality freely. This BDSM-driven concept of female sexuality unchained from social expectations and gender constructs prompted renowned philosopher Angela Carter to write Sadeian Women in the early 1990s to re-examine de Sade through a feminist lens. The book persuasively argues that he was the first to portray women as sexually alive people who sought out sexual pleasure on their own terms.
Now think about how most women still live. Think of all the women out there who give their men reluctant blow-jobs. How many get pushed into fucking someone they don’t even like. How often women have sex out of duty or just to shut their partners up? How many “traditional” wives call their husbands perverts and sex addicts if they have a fetish? How many women still closet and hide their bisexuality and lesbianism out of shame? And how many still live according to what other people say about their bodies instead of listening to their own bodies?
Any kind of feminism that makes women feel imperfect or sexually dirty for pursuing pleasure on their own terms is not feminism. Liberated women don’t accept relationship configurations that are incompatible with their individualized needs. Free women decide who they will sleep with and what kind of erotic interactions they want. They exercise free will, free choice, and informed consent.
The biggest difference between women who affiliate with queer or kinky or sex-positive or alt sex communities (i.e., a majority of today’s young women) is that they are over letting others tell them who they should be and how their sexuality should look.
TAKEAWAY Powerful women give themselves permission to be themselves from groin to noggin without shame. They like being women. They love having orgasms. They demand equality in the bedroom as much as in the workplace.
FEMALE LUST CONFUSES WOMEN
Nobody talks much about female lust. If anything, we’re told to suppress it, hide it, not deal with it, pretend it doesn’t exist.
Maybe that’s why lust fucks women up even more than men. Men usually know when they lust for someone v. are in love with someone, while women often assume that lust and love are magically, even spiritually, intertwined. Like a woman can’t lust unless she’s in love. Nope. Most lust is just lust, regardless of sex or gender. A recent scientific analysis of brain scans showed that lust and love are separate processes in the human brain. Knowing that difference can be a game-changer in a woman’s life.
You’ve also probably heard voluminously how men “think” about sex more than women. Do they really? I’m hardly the first or only to know that female sex drive is MIGHTY FORCE WITHIN! Science research knows it too. But since researchers have traditionally framed questions in masculine terms (how many people do you want to sleep with, how much porn do you watch, etc.) the frame doesn’t even allow for female sexual behaviors. Those aren’t the typical ways women express sexual needs or identities.
Now, if researchers asked women how many times a day they thought about whether they were attractive, how much time they spent on dating apps, how many hours they spent trying to look sexy (yep, include everything from manicures to Brazilian waxing, shopping for clothes, shoes and makeup, and using social media to flirt and get attention — oh, and anal bleaching too, how could I forget anal bleaching?) you’d have an all new respect for how sexually obsessed women are, how much effort women really put into the mating game.
Sure, a man may jerk off a couple of times a day or spend a few hours watching porn at night, but compare that to how many weeks you searched for the perfect dress and high heels to blow your partner’s mind? What, you don’t think that’s about sex? Oh, honey, grow up. It is ALL about sex. Your brain, like every human brain regardless of sex or gender, wants to benefit from the self-healing, depression-busting powers of orgasm. When you dress sexy, it’s your brain already secretly working out how to get you that orgasm. And it’s all good. It’s natural.
Lust is dying to have someone even when you don’t know them that well. Lust makes you think you know them. It also makes you fuck the hot-looking “bad boy” who actually treats you like crap.
Female lust is as real, unpredictable and overwhelmingly intense as male lust. It plays a significant role in women’s lives until the epic production of estrogen drops dramatically in menopause. In women, it often manifests as an urgent need to screw, in others an urgent need to nest or get married. Hormones are not in a woman’s head and they don’t only appear once a month. Female hormones run in your blood, traveling to every part of you and potentially changing how you feel about your sex partners. They ebb and flow throughout your life, influencing a staggering range of moods and behaviors. The depressive lows hormones can cause (PMS, Post-Partum depression, are only 2 examples) is rivaled only by the super-high they give you when someone seriously turns you on.
Lust is dying to have someone even when you don’t know them that well. Lust makes you think you know them. It also makes you fuck the hot-looking “bad boy” who actually treats you like crap. Lust is what makes you marry someone and wake up a few years later (or even decades later) and realize you made a horrible mistake. For my client, Madelyn, the BDSM compatibility inspired such intense lust that she got lost in it at first and ignored all her partner’s flaws. But now that her hormones had died down, she realized that he didn’t feel her soul, feed her heart, or respect her mind. Now, to her shame, she realized it had never been love. It had been a sexual attachment. In other words, a lust that blinded her to his flaws.
A lot of different Madelyns have sat on my therapy couch, with a lot of different reasons for why they couldn’t break off with an emotionally cruel partner. For Lily, it was because he was hung exceptionally well. For Janis, it was because it made her feel good to be on his arm even though she felt nothing in his bed. For Karina, it was because the make up sex was fantastic. I could go on.
Women confuse lust with love because they don’t even realize women can have lust, or that lust can drive them to make terrible life choices.
TAKEAWAY All women should learn that female libido is as potent and thrilling as male libido, and a woman’s sexual appetites are bigger than most men’s. Equally important, we have to teach our pubertal and teen daughters that the urge to merge is as normal for them as for boys and that those urges could blind them to a partner’s true character.
WOMEN DISCONNECT THEIR BODIES FROM THEIR MINDS
If the human clit stuck out from the body the way the human penis does women would be more in tune with the reality of their genitalia. They would know when they are aroused because they’d see and feel their clit swell. They would grow accustomed to handling it several times a day every day of their lives, and it would feel natural and routine to touch and play with their genitals. They would masturbate more. Who knows, they might be sending clit pics with the same enthusiasm men send dick pics because “Look! I have this thing! That swells up! How cool is that?!”
Instead, our mothers often train us to disconnect our minds from the bodies. And, because our bodies are streamlined to keep the clit hidden, we believe them. Women are not aware that, just like men, their clit swells and deflates all day. They don’t realize that their bodies are constantly cycling hormones and pumping blood through their genitals all day and night.
Yes, by God, our genitals are as alive as the rest of our body. They do not primly hibernate while we’re busily engaged in our lives. Sex is in our brains as long as we are sexually alive, usually right until the end of our lives. That’s why even seeing a cute sexy person on a crowded dance floor could trigger an instinctual biological response. Maybe you twirl your hair instead of leering, or bat your lashes instead of popping a woody, but your brain is awake to sexual opportunity 24/7 and where your brain goes, your genitals will follow.
Women are raised to be ignorant of their proper biology and have been forced to drink a lot of Kool-Aid to make them believe that their genitals are separate from their minds. They are urged to ignore the very things that make them women — the reality that they were built with amazingly great genitals. Female genitals are so strong they can withstand the trauma of childbirth yet so sensitive that clits have twice as many nerve endings as penises. They’re so tough they can sexually exhaust men and so yet so deeply connected to their minds that a negative emotion or minor anxiety can derail their orgasmic potential.
TAKEAWAY Mind and body don’t exist separately. You are your whole body. Stop drawing a line around your genitals and accept their joyful place in human life.
WOMEN ARE PRUDES ABOUT THEIR OWN BODIES
Virtually all the women I’ve worked with in my practice who couldn’t have orgasms with their partners were also women who never masturbated or knew how to give herself orgasms.
The cultural archetype is that women are supposed to save their genitals for that one special guy. And many women buy into it so hard they neither touch or look at their genitals. They wait for Mr. Husband-Material to come along and liberate their vaginas from years of lonely self-denial. Somehow, whether they heard it from their mother or their father, they grow up believing that men are entitled to touch them in places on their body they were forbidden to touch themselves.
No wonder so many women report being inorgasmic. If you don’t know what you like, how are you going to tell someone else how to do you? The failure to encourage girls and women to make friends with their own genitals accounts for more female performance issues than any one medical health issue.
Some women get angry at men for not knowing. They think it’s a man’s job to figure out how their sexual responses work. That’s not an equal relationship. That’s giving away responsibility for your own anatomy. It makes you see yourself as a powerless recipient of whatever sexual pleasure a partner will throw their way. It’s a child-like place to be in bed, not an adult one.
We don’t teach girls to live in the bodies they have and explore their proper potentials. If anything, we teach them to suppress their sexuality, to remain ignorant about their own reproductive health, and to pretend they don’t get horny. We tell them purity and chastity and modesty makes them nice girls. But we don’t tell them that sexually knowledgeable women are actually happier and healthier adults.
TAKEAWAY Girls and women believe the widespread cultural myth that being knowledgeable about your own sex organs is dirty or wrong. They treat their partners as mind-readers and sexual rescuers instead of as equals sharing pleasure. Owning your own body and taking responsibility for your own orgasms is a gorgeous expression of feminism.
Read more about female sexuality on this blog –