Sunday, July 24, 2011

Girlfriend Material

Are you aware, dear readers, that not only is there research aplenty showing that we women are measurably more attractive when we are ovulating (see this fascinating article) -- breasts firm and lift, waists narrow and faces glow -- but we also engage in behaviors that range from dressing more provocatively to being careless about safe sex? At this very moment, I'm contemplating a careful scientific study to measure the likelihood a woman ends up in a nightclub the two or three days she's ovulating as opposed to spending her period eating ice cream and watching Desperate Housewives reruns.

Last year a lover of mine told me women could be divided into girlfriend material or something that I understood to be the opposite (shall we say, ahem, boffing material?) . . . ! I asked him exactly how he could tell and he said, "just look at how she's dressed." To a woman (or at least this woman), that sounds so patently absurd that I can almost feel a rant coming on.

But I'm going to suppress the urge and finally introduce a book, Sex at Dawn, that I first gobbled up when back in the Bay Area last October. It may very well be one of the most important books of the century, although it's dangerous to say so only 11 years into a new one. It's important to emphasis that I'm basing this judgment on the authors' ideas alone, as it's sadly written in a hyped American vernacular style that makes me shudder to think about what form translation into any other language/culture would take.

If you take my recommendation, then, please do your best to filter out all the unfortunate references to American pop culture and think about the real meat of the message. It's important, so important that I finally feel like there's a book out there that does what The Ethical Slut and Open Marriage just didn't do for me. It emphasizes that we humans actually don't really have a choice; that it's not just some of us choosing to be bounders or cads, loose or slutty. On the contrary, we as humans are designed to be unapologetically non-monogamous, promiscuously sharing everything we have, including our bodies.

When I despair of how far off-track we have gotten (girlfriend material, indeed!), I now have an intellectual space to which I can repair. I can remind myself that it's not only a good thing to want sex, but it's an important way for me to build bonds of mutual support with the people who matter to me, who represent my community. And when These Men don't understand that I am happy to give freely but that in return I expect them to behave as responsible members of this community, it helps to remind myself that I'm part of an exclusive group of intellectuals who realize that this species has apocalyptically, irredeemably lost its way. We've evolved ourselves straight into our own private hell.

Well I, for one, intend to spend the rest of my time in this hell of ours fighting to be the minx, harridan, Jezebel, temptress and vixen, as well as the paragon, madonna and goddess that millions of years of human evolution intended me to be. The paperback version of Sex at Dawn is hot off the presses with newly added material, my ex informs me. As both of my hardback copies seem to be perpetually loaned out, I'm putting in my order for the paperback, and it's staying on my bedside table, to be consulted and quoted whenever one of These Men tries to make me feel bad about my (and Mother) Nature.


Christopher Ryan said...

Hi. As a small gesture toward atoning for the hyped American vernacular, I'd love to send you a signed copy of the paperback for your bedside table. Do you have a mailing address in Madrid? (I'm in Barcelona.) You can send me your mailing address via the contact form on our web site:

Love your blog, by the way.


Katchita said...

It's been nearly four years of blogging in relative obscurity. It hasn't mattered who or how many read this blog, only that it serve as something of an antidote to the feelings of alienation and out-of-place-ness I (and I suspect other women like me) feel in this world.

To have a New York Times best-selling author not only comment but offer me a signed copy of his new paperback is, I won't deny it, the pinnacle of my blogging existence. I am simply thrilled.