Thursday, April 26, 2012

Metaphorically Speaking

While at the library the other day I found this amazing book:

I was immediately struck with the 70’s fabulous cover art; illustration of waves on the ocean implying (I assume) that total orgasm is just like ocean waves washing over you again and again.  While a good metaphor, imagery like this sometimes makes me cranky because it seems like it stems from a desire to not talk about the realities of sex-bodies, fluids, people using hands and mouths and genitals on each other.  It can be embarrassing to talk about all those things.  Much better to just say hot sex should be just like “waves on the ocean.”

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a critique of the book Total Orgasm at all.  I wouldn’t dare to critique it since I haven’t read it.  I am purely referring to my reaction to the cover art.

This is also not a rant at people who like to describe their sex with metaphor.  If you like to think of your multiple orgasms as waves on the ocean, more power to you!  If you see a spiritual component to sex that can only be described in poetic language like “earth shaking,” “becoming one with everything” or “the volcanos of eros erupting in my pants”   then I am very happy you are having such enlightening experiences.

What I take issue with is when professionals who are attempting to teach people how to have better sex use these phrases without accompanying them with any concrete information.  Ok, so great sex should be like waves on the ocean.  Sounds fun to me.  How do I do that?  How do I put my body together with my partner’s body and get waves on the ocean to happen?  Where do I put my fingers?  What should I do with my mouth?  What if their tide goes out before my waves crest?  Should I adjust my moon phase to elevate my water levels?

Do you see my concern here?  Professionals shouldn’t forget that sex involves lots of things: anatomy and function, bodies, self esteem, fluids, technique, emotions, turn ons, safer sex concerns, and spirituality are all important aspects.  And those are just a few aspects that might come up for folks.  But if you are trying to teach people how to have more satisfying sex lives you can’t be afraid to give straightforward, concrete information.  Metaphors might give people good ideas of how sex feels to you or what your philosophy about sex includes but it won’t tell them how to make reactions happen in their own or other people’s bodies.

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