It seems Sexy Typewriter‘s latest blog post has struck a chord with my Facebook crowd. I’ve seen her entry entitled “Dear Women: Please Have Some Goddamned Self Respect” on over a dozen walls, adorned with likes, comments and reposts galore.
In my opinion, the attention is warranted. Sexy Typewriter is a smart blogger who writes a mean post.
I am definitely pretty much on side with her assertion that a woman is the arbiter of her own self-respect. (Which, I just realized I accept as totally axiomatic. Oh dear. My class, cultural and economic privelidge is showing!)
I am onside with her assertion that women like her and like me are fortunate enough to be the arbiters of our own self-respect. But when one trades self-respect for booty, sadness and other ickiness often ensues.
But for all the Typewriter-y awesome of the post, this passage made my brain all itchy and scratchy.
Here is what I am learning: a man will show you what he thinks you are worth in his interactions with you. If he is taking you out to dinner and getting to know you and romancing you and giving you puppy face — game on! If he is buying you drinks and making you laugh and maybe it won’t be anything important, but holy hell, you are having fun and he is hot – great! But if all you are getting are texts and sex at weirdly irregular intervals, you are the carnal equivalent of a dude ordering pizza. If you are cool with that, fine. But I don’t think you should be.
Um, yes. But also…no. Yes, I concur that common courtesy is pretty much essential to all respectful interactions ,including sexual dalliances. Yes, you will only learn so much about a person from being in their vagina and if you’d like to know more, hanging out in a vertical context bodes well. And yes, if you’re flighty and your communication is unpredictably random, the object of your desire might be available when the mood strikes, but if they’re not that’s your too bad.
But if a woman is truly and sincerely satisfied with a dude who offers little more than occasional sex? I think that is okay. And I don’t think anyone has a right to tell her it’s not.
I have a few problems with the idea that respect necessitates romance, at least when it comes to heterosexual relationships. Some of them I’ve saved for a future post, but I’ll hit on a few here.
In her post, Sexy Typewriter also says
Here is the thing, ladies:…dudes wanted something for nothing. And sometimes, because we are drunk on hormones and probably also alcohol and the heady power of sexual freedom, we are all-too-willing to give it.
The “something for nothing” perspective is pretty common. I believed it myself, until someone pointed out to me that it’s sort of mean. There’s this assumption that when a guy receives sex from a woman it’s valuable, but the sex he’s giving in return is worthless. In fact, it’s worse than worthless…it’s actually detrimental to the point that it’s devalued the woman. Harsh.
There’s also an inference that undistilled sexual desire is by it’s very nature kind of douche-y, at least when lust-er in question is a heterosexual male. Again, harsh.
What concerns me the most, is that idea that respect/self-respect looks like something, rather than it being a feeling or an instinct. As a young woman, I was very careful to only have sex with men in situations that seemed respectful. I only had sex after months spent in committed relationships and only after the words “I love you,” had been exchanged. It looked like self-respect. I assumed it was self-respect. But love and committment didn’t stop me from consenting to sex that I didn’t really want to have.
I consented to sex that wasn’t satisfying but didn’t give my partner any direction or guidance.
I consented to sex because I was of a certain age and thought I should.
I consented to sex because I’d been dating someone for a certain length of time and thought I should.
I consented to sex because I loved my partner and I hoped it would make him stay with me forever.
I consented to sex to ensure that it wouldn’t happen without my consent.
None of the above are the actions of a woman exercising authentic self-respect. The sadness and the ickiness ensued and it took me a long time to realize no one needs to tell me what respect is. I know it when it’s there. I can feel it when it’s not.
If a woman needs to be wined, dined and dated to feel happy and healthy having sex, I agree she’d be wise to wait for the partner who offers those things, freely and because he wants them as well. If she gets off on intermittent sexting and surprise visits, good for her.
While our perspective on what consitutes respect may differ somewhere, ultimately I agree with the spirit of Sexy Typewriter’s message. Sex with people who don’t make you feel good, generally doesn’t make you feel good. And you deserve to feel good!
So in the words of Blonde Ambiotion-Era Madonna, respect yourself…however that works for you.