Love & Sex Magazine

They Don’t Want to Know

By Maggiemcneill @Maggie_McNeill

We live in oppressive times.  We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder “censorship,” we call it “concern for commercial viability”.  -  David Mamet

shocked young womanIt has been said that every man has sexual fantasies which would horrify the average woman.  And while I can’t deny that this is probably true, have you ever stopped to wonder how it could be true?  Back in the days before printing, and for the roughly 400 years after it that most women were illiterate, this ignorance was unsurprising; a typical woman would only know about such things if a man chose to tell her, and if he did she was probably a whore.  But after the sexual revolution, and especially since the invention of the internet, it seems as though Western women who were ignorant of the depth and breadth of men’s erotic thoughts should be a small and steadily-shrinking minority…and yet they’re not.  Many women don’t have a clue about the more extreme (by female standards) male fantasies; these are the chicks whose idea of “kinky” is having sex in the living room or, if they’re real party animals, putting whipped cream on their tits and letting a man (*gasp*) lick it off!  Others are fully aware of the variety of male fantasies, but convince themselves that only a small “pervert” minority think about them, and that most men’s interests are as non-threatening as theirs.  A smaller fraction are either relatively kinky themselves or at least sexually literate enough to be accepting, but still believe the majority of men are vanilla (those who believe only 15% of men have ever paid for sex fall into this category).  Just about the only ones who really get it are the whores and the few really adventurous and open-minded amateurs who have been around enough to learn.

But again, how could this possibly be true in the internet age?  I think it’s partly because women have their own dichotomy, similar to the Madonna/whore dichotomy but less talked about; we’ll call it the Adonis/pervert dichotomy.  Like its better-known sister, it is the fallacy that all members of the sex to whom it is applied are either sexually “pure” or “dirty”, and those who are “dirty” are social misfits to be shunned.  But while men afflicted with Madonna/whore thinking still consider whores to be suitable bed partners, women laboring under the Adonis/pervert delusion think of men with earthy sexual desires as “creeps” to be avoided; neofeminists could be considered victims of an extreme form of this paradigm in which most or even all men are perverts and therefore dangerous monsters.  As with all belief-systems, people mired in these fallacies about the opposite sex become emotionally invested in them and will generally reject information which threatens their mental status quo; furthermore, most of the popular media are bound and determined to perpetuate the ignorance of their readers.  Take, for example, the experience of writer Chad Kultgen:

…My books [are]…sexually frank to a degree that some people think borders on pornography…[so] I was surprised [when]…a popular women’s website…wanted me to write a thousand words on what a man really wants from a woman in the bedroom.  My first question for the editor was:  ”How honest do you want this to be?”  She told me to make the article 100 percent honest — no punches pulled, no holds barred.  I could be as vulgar as necessary in order to get down to the real dirty details.  With those marching orders, I sat down and cranked out an article that outlined what I think most people already know.  Guys are filthy.  We like really dirty things — far beyond anal sex, swallowing, and threesomes with our significant others’ best friends, although those were all certainly included in the laundry list of “what guys really want in the bedroom.”  The point of the article was, essentially, that guys want a sexual partner who is open to anything and enthusiastic about everything.  The language was vulgar…to reflect the way guys actually think about these things.

So I turned in the article, feeling confident that I delivered exactly what they asked for and excited to see the reaction — because, in tone and content, there was nothing like it on their site.  A week passed.  Then I got an email from the editor…[containing] an edited version of my article and a writer’s agreement that needed to be signed…I assumed the edit would be toned down a little, but not too much, based on the editor’s assurances that the site wanted a piece that was honest.  My assumption was incorrect.  Every instance of vulgar language was removed…any reference to a sexual act beyond missionary, doggy style, or girl-on-top was removed.  Any reference to anal sex…was changed to “the back door.”  Beyond the [removals]…there was another component…that astonished me.  Someone had…inserted new writing — including puns like “Arma-get-it-on”…throughout the text…Needless to say, I wrote the editor back thanking her for her time and respectfully declining to sign the writer’s agreement on the grounds that the article in its edited form was not only stylistically incongruent with anything I would ever write before suffering from a stroke or undergoing a lobotomy, but also because its content was so dishonest.  In fact, it had become the exact opposite of what was asked of me in the first place…Is it that people…don’t actually want the truth when it comes to sex?  I can’t imagine that’s it…I think it’s that the media outlets who circulate these things, by their very nature, can’t deliver the truth when it comes to sex…giant media companies are beholden to their sponsors, and…have to uphold whatever standards those sponsors dictate…

Censored content warningI think Kultgen is right on the money there.  It’s not that the owners of these companies are all a bunch of prudes; it’s that far too many of the people who buy their products are, and they can’t afford to take chances in a world where “offense” is as fetishized as it is today.  So even though both the information and the means of disseminating it exist, the most prominent sources are controlled by people whose legal and marketing departments have informed them that a very large and vocal minority (most especially in America) don’t want other people (especially not young ones) to know the truth about sex, and are willing to lie, cheat and buy politicians to censor most sources and drown out the rest in a flood of disinformation.

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