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rameshkaimal

Gender Roles In Sex: A Fresh Perspective

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And who actually hold the male orgasm as a primary? Considering 99.9% of articles, books and conversations take the male orgasm as granted, and focuses on female orgasm, it's just a straw man without any basis in reality.

 

No, that's not male-centric pleasure. It's a metaphysical and psychological difference between men and women. Talking about pleasure is changing the context, even more so is talking about technicalities of sex.

However, sex does indeed revolve around penetration. Usually to the enjoyment of both men and women. But, that's not a recipe on how to have sex nor does it say anything about who's pleasure is central.

 

It's a ridiculous statement to begin with. However, it's only male-centric in regards to who does all the work. It does not imply what really makes it sex at all.

 

Again, it's a bad conclusion drawn from faulty premises. You and the OP are arguing straw-men loosely based on a view of sex that some objectivists hold.

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Is that your whole argument? It doesn't even address post number #10 where I am substantiating my claims. I'm basically asking how physical differences mean men ought to be initiators by their nature. 

 

The majority are not like that in any country. (Aside from the fact that no kind of feminism teaches that, but that's a different topic). So, no, it's not strange. Let's stay away from the norms part, though. Whether the norms are objective or not depends on whether your position on dominance is true.

That whole post is based on faulty claims and your arguments are bad. Orgasms are not the main focal point in submissive/dominant sex. Taking the view that men are or ought to be dominant and women submissive is not a prescription on how to have sex, nor the main focal point.

As I said in my previous post, it's a difference in metaphysics and psychology. Men ought to be initiators because in most cases both are happier for it.

 

Um, every major political party here has a feminist agenda and every major media outlet drives their propaganda. Just about anyone would call themselves feminist, and the feminist party has won a lot of ground (despite, or thanks to, ideas like special taxes for men). These ideas are deeply rooted in society. So yes, I daresay that the majority implicitly regards men as doormats and women as rulers. 

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That whole post is based on faulty claims and your arguments are bad. Orgasms are not the main focal point in submissive/dominant sex. Taking the view that men are or ought to be dominant and women submissive is not a prescription on how to have sex, nor the main focal point.

As I said in my previous post, it's a difference in metaphysics and psychology. Men ought to be initiators because in most cases both are happier for it.

You say it's not a prescription on how to have sex, and you're saying men ought to be initatitors/dominant in sex. That's a contradiction I was going to wait to post more, now I can't figure out what your point even is. An ought is a prescription, and dominance is a way to be and act in sex. Dominance is a how!

 

However, sex does indeed revolve around penetration. Usually to the enjoyment of both men and women. But, that's not a recipe on how to have sex nor does it say anything about who's pleasure is central.

This what we're discussing! It makes male pleasure central because sex then revolves around the best way for males to orgasm, and a really bad way for females to orgasm. In the thread so far, we already went over how that pleasure/orgasm factor matters. You seem to think that it's somehow the women's fault for not having an orgasm from penetration. You said it's not a matter of ability, but learning how. So it's their failure to learn. The implication is that if you think sex revolves around penetration, then men are in for a better time, except for women fortunate enough to be able to orgasm from penetration. 

Edited by Eiuol

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It's like telling your boss at work he should lead. That could mean anything from gentle directions to Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. It's not a prescription but a broad concept that can be applied in many different ways.

 

 

 

No, the fact that sex revovles around penetration does not make male pleasure central - not even if it is the best way for males to orgasm. The first is a statement of simple fact. Penis meets vagina is the fundamental form of sex, that's what the reproductive organs have evolved to do, and that's why we have different termonology for other forms of sex (like anal-, oral- or hanging upside down from the roof-sex). Who's pleasure is central is a question of attitude, not facts of fornication.

 

Speaking of facts, around 50% can orgasm through penetration alone, and 30% do it regularly (according to the Hite Report, 1976, and Journal of Sexual Medicine, 3, 56-68). 19% needed clit stimulation, and 29% reported never having orgasms.

Irregardless of orgasms I also daresay that heterosexual women in general like the D. That's sort of part of what being a heterosexual woman means. So, how about you stop talking about penetrative sex being really bad? It's not. It may or may not be enough, but it's certainly for mutual benefit.

 

I haven't tried to place blame anywhere. I'm objecting to the clit-centric view of female orgasms. That's just false, even though playing nice with the little man in the canoe is a good idea. I'm also saying there's a lack of understanding from both men and women. While we're at it, here's a brief anatomy lesson:

 

The clit has nerve endings that come from deeper inside the vagina. The same nerves connect to the g-spot. They also connect to the anterior fornix, which is the a-spot (some also say the posterior fornix, which i'm inclined to believe). When a woman gets aroused the vagina swells and the uterus tilts, making the anterior- and posterior fornix easier to stimulate. That swelling also causes pressure when a penis is inserted.

 

So, these parts can be stimulated either directly or indirectly through pressure. It doesn't take a genuis to figure that if it's done properly it will lead to an orgasm. The tricky part is that women have different preferences and you can't exactly see what you're doing - in that way men are certainly more obvious to figure out.

 

Since it's the same nerves being stimulated you can't say penetration is a bad way for women to orgasm, while the clit is the way to go. The clit is easier because it's very sensitive and on the outside of the body - makes it easier to reach and stimulate. Just because it's easier and more obvious doesn't make it better, especially not considering there are different qualities of orgasms.

Edited by Alfa

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A lot of women.

 

See, here's the problem. There are lots of different places to stimulate physically, while mental stimulation is also exceptionally important. Meanwhile, different women have different preferences. Sadly though, experimentation is not as common as one might think (seriously, I know several women who didn't discover how good sex can be until they were 45). So, unless Moses has already been there and shown here where to buy the beer, well... I understand why it's a common belief that vaginal orgasms has to do with ability. Especially when it's just accepted that this is the way it's supposed to be.

Anecdote and speculation then. You stated something as a fact, but you don't nearly have proof. It's fine to have a hypothesis with this kind of info you're working with, but only as long as you recognize and treat it as such.

 

"The clit has nerve endings that come from deeper inside the vagina."

Other way around.

"The same nerves connect to the g-spot."

The g-spot actually is still not settled upon. This may relate to the fact that the extent of clitoral tissue/nerves varies among people (dissections have shown some of this, http://books.google.com/books?id=kqcYyk7zlHYC&pg=PA32&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false ). Some people may have enough nerves in that section of the vagina to produce orgasm while others don't.

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Anecdote and speculation then. You stated something as a fact, but you don't nearly have proof. It's fine to have a hypothesis with this kind of info you're working with, but only as long as you recognize and treat it as such.

 

"The clit has nerve endings that come from deeper inside the vagina."

Other way around.

"The same nerves connect to the g-spot."

The g-spot actually is still not settled upon. This may relate to the fact that the extent of clitoral tissue/nerves varies among people (dissections have shown some of this, http://books.google.com/books?id=kqcYyk7zlHYC&pg=PA32&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false ). Some people may have enough nerves in that section of the vagina to produce orgasm while others don't.

Enough "anecdote" to be statistically significant. I'm also well aware of the anatomy. Individual differences make for differences in approach. Considering orgasms can be had without any physical stimulation makes it hard to argue inabilities because of low sensitivity. Many circumcised women can even have orgasms.

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No, the fact that sex revovles around penetration does not make male pleasure central - not even if it is the best way for males to orgasm. The first is a statement of simple fact. Penis meets vagina is the fundamental form of sex, that's what the reproductive organs have evolved to do, and that's why we have different termonology for other forms of sex (like anal-, oral- or hanging upside down from the roof-sex). Who's pleasure is central is a question of attitude, not facts of fornication.

None of this makes sense.

The first statement where? If you mean "sex revovles around penetration does not make male pleasure central", this is exactly what I'm asking you to show me. It's not so simple to me.

Penetrative sex is fundamental, so that's why there are names for other ways to have sex? Pointing out differences doesn't show which one is fundamental, if any.

 

 So, how about you stop talking about penetrative sex being really bad?

I didn't say it was bad. I'm just being critical about it in terms of philosophy of sex.

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None of this makes sense.

The first statement where? If you mean "sex revovles around penetration does not make male pleasure central", this is exactly what I'm asking you to show me. It's not so simple to me.

Penetrative sex is fundamental, so that's why there are names for other ways to have sex? Pointing out differences doesn't show which one is fundamental, if any.

 

I didn't say it was bad. I'm just being critical about it in terms of philosophy of sex.

The first statement as in "sex revolves around penetration". That's a simple statement of fact. It's how nature has made us, and what the term sex refers to. Again, pleasure is a question of attitude. As long as the man can get it up the "sex revolving around penetration" can be entierly for the womans pleasure (and, "sex revolving around penetration" does not mean "penetrative sex only").

 

Allright, you only said that it was a really bad way for females to orgasm. My argument still holds true for that statement. You could as well apply it to your philosophy, if you want to go all "working together for mutual pleasure". I don't share that view, but the same anatomy and mechanics hold true (for the record, my view is taking what I want for mutual pleasure, but I didn't respond to this thread to discuss it).

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Enough "anecdote" to be statistically significant. I'm also well aware of the anatomy. Individual differences make for differences in approach. Considering orgasms can be had without any physical stimulation makes it hard to argue inabilities because of low sensitivity. Many circumcised women can even have orgasms.

I do know of cases of people who can have orgasms without physical stimulation. Do you believe that everybody has the capacity to do that?

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I do know of cases of people who can have orgasms without physical stimulation. Do you believe that everybody has the capacity to do that?

Yes, although I don't know for sure. It may requirie a certain level of intelligence and imagination, depending on the people involved. For example, a friend of mine claims she can have orgasms just thinking dirty thoughts. In such cases it's damn easy.

 

I first discovered it after hearing some outlandish claims. Later, when I started dating one of my ex girlfriends we texted a lot. I was travelling around for work and there was rarely a good time to meet or talk, so we texted. I started spinning fantasies for/with her. She enjoyed it very much. I've tried with others too, mostly with good results.

 

Here's what I mean with intelligence and imagination:

 

One girl enjoyed texting and talking a lot, but never got off on it - not without help. I noticed she didn't add much of her own, so out of curiosity I asked her what she usually fantasizes about. She answered: "Nothing". Apparently, when taking care of business herself she was just done with it quickly and that was it. I don't know if she possesed enough imagination to make it possible. Maybe if I had done it differently it would have worked, or maybe not.

 

If you're going to spin fantasies like that and make it work you also need some fundamental understanding of each other, and you need to be able to build this bubble of sexual tension. That takes some intelligence. When you're both in that bubble great things can happen, but if it bursts... You'll have to be able to read the other person while keeping things going.

 

It's possible not everyone has the capacity for it. One thing is for sure though, the mental aspect of sex is by far the most important. Unfortunately it's also the most overlooked.

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The first statement as in "sex revolves around penetration". That's a simple statement of fact. It's how nature has made us, and what the term sex refers to. Again, pleasure is a question of attitude.

Then it -doesn't- revolve around penetration. You literally said "mental aspect of sex is by far the most important". I'm not seeing how this works together as a coherent position you're describing. You talk about how sex is revolving around a psychological type of interaction (this part I agree with), then at the same time, say the opposite. I'm not even criticizing the content, it just isn't even a coherent argument. "It's how nature made us" is like saying "It's because A is A." The point here is to determine what about our nature makes it so, or if it really is our nature.

 

Personally, I suspect all people have a capacity to orgasm by thinking/imagination alone, though that's closer to supporting the idea that penetration is inessential, and that any specific style is inessential. Even if it's not true, the psychological part seems to be considerably more important part than anything. Right attitude and all that.

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1. The partners-in-sex view is based on a specific context, namely, the context of those couples where the woman is unable to have an orgasm from penetration alone. So this view makes sense in that context.

If the context is different, as for example, where the man stimulates the clitoris with the lower pelvic region above the base of his penis, then the man is, by penetration and such stimulation (which, as per Post # 3, is not something most men can do), making possible not only his own orgasm but the woman's too. So there's nothing wrong with a couple in such a (somewhat unique) context, preferring the dominant-submissive view. This does not mean their preference is arbitrary or subjective. On the contrary, it, also, makes sense, given their context.

In other words, it's disastrous to prescribe normative generalizations in sex (one size fits all) because such universals ignore the specific contexts of individual couples (please see Post # 30 about how the G-Spot differs among women). It's what leads to intrinsicism in sex. In this respect, sex is not like philosophy. In philosophy, a generalization such as reason is Man's basic means of survival can be induced from reality by first observing how actual men (and women) use reason to survive and then omitting the individual measurements (or contexts) altogether.

2. Masculinity and femininity, according to Ayn Rand, refer to psychological and sexual differences between men and women that are operative in a romantic-sexual context. In particular, she considered the man to be romantically and sexually superior to the woman. (For more information, please refer to Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A. Incidentally, it also contains a question where Miss Rand keeps the context when answering a question about the morality of an open relationship consisting of one man and two women).

But, in a context where the woman is unable to achieve orgasm through penetration alone and the man and woman are working together to achieve mutual sexual pleasure, it becomes rather difficult (in that specific context) to see the man as sexually superior to the woman.

In other words, the partners-in-sex view has radical implications for Miss Rand's view of masculinity and femininity. Hence the original post contained my initial thoughts on how to properly integrate these concepts with the partners-in-sex view where such a view is applicable.

For the record, I see masculinity and femininity as psycho-sexual aspects one chooses to integrate into one's personal identity. I don't see them as aspects which must be an integral part of one's I or self, regardless of one's context.

3. Regarding the contention in multiple posts on this topic that the word dominant in the dominant-submissive view means leading or initiating, it's unclear how the leading or initiating will cause the woman to achieve sexual pleasure in a context where she is unable to have an orgasm from penetration alone.

 

If the man is leading or initiating because he initially becomes aroused (his penis becomes and remains erect), his erection is necessary for him to achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration but it is not sufficient in a context where the woman can only achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation.

 

Clitoral stimulation can be provided either by the woman or by the man (if she's comfortable with it). So, in this context, they have to mutually decide the best course of action for ensuring her sexual pleasure.

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Thanks rameshkaimal, that's the sort of response I was hoping for. I disagree with a lot of it, but it's substantive.

1.
To be clear, I am not necessarily opposed to dominant/submissive ways to have sex. My opposition is really that it isn't a style that can be prescribed by the nature of being male or female. The details might (i.e. a man or woman need different movements) be, but whether you want to do it that way in the first place shouldn't be because of one's gender. But your mention of context doesn't seem to be saying anything other than there are different ways to have sex. There's nothing there indicating fundamentals of sex as a whole. And so far in this thread I only got Alfa contradicting himself.

Comprehending and understanding sex is like philosophy, because reason is important to all parts of life. Fundamentals lead us to principles that we then use to tell us what to do in our context. This is how it goes for ethics in Objectivism, how we ought to act. There is no one-size-fits-all contextless choice, but there are fundamentals and principles we should apply by virtue of being human that lead to unique choices. So what principles should there be for sex? To what extent do we use masculinity and femininity, if at all?

2.
This is where you're deriving some principles, or at least observations. But you don't say which psychological and sexual differences matter, and apparently take for granted that the differences are noticable or significant. It's not so easy to say observe, because psychology is notoriously complicated and it's hard to say what is a by-nature difference or a by-society difference. I am quite aware of Rand's views on this, but I don't think she did a good job disentangling observations of society from observations of man's nature. She did it well when discussing just about anything about ethics, yet I think she failed to do that regarding masculinity and femininity.

"In other words, the partners-in-sex view has radical implications for Miss Rand's view of masculinity and femininity. Hence the original post contained my initial thoughts on how to properly integrate these concepts with the partners-in-sex view where such a view is applicable."

The implication as that you can't maintain both. You won't be able to integrate them. You're essentially saying that men and women shouldn't be partners-in-sex unless the woman can't orgasm from penetration alone - it is preferable that the man be seen as sexually superior. You couldn't say that they were ever working together, because you were already are speaking in terms of sexual superiority. That isn't mutual! The only integration so far is a preference ranking that depends on what the man is able to provide. So you end up with the standard or related view about the fundamentals of sex: men are by nature dominant, woman are by nature submissive.

If you don't think masculinity and femininity must be integral, you already departed from Rand quite a bit. The two are supposed to derive from our nature then get applied to context. I don't see it as better either, since your reasoning about sex depends on the two being integral. What I see is that, actually, Rand's view falls apart. The proposed sexual nature of men and women by Rand doesn't bear itself out when we consider the psychology and physiology. Dominance is totally inessential to sex. Saying M/F isn't integral really dissolves Rand's whole position. More or less, I don't see if you're proposing a principle, or just saying that there are a lot of ways to have sex.

3.
I don't understand what you're getting at.

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1.

Comprehending and understanding sex is like philosophy, because reason is important to all parts of life. Fundamentals lead us to principles that we then use to tell us what to do in our context. This is how it goes for ethics in Objectivism, how we ought to act. There is no one-size-fits-all contextless choice, but there are fundamentals and principles we should apply by virtue of being human that lead to unique choices. So what principles should there be for sex? To what extent do we use masculinity and femininity, if at all?

I'm not sure I follow this. Can you provide an example in sex, of a principle, one can induce from a wide range of particulars in sex by omitting their contexts, and then apply to a given context?

The way I see it, one can apply reason (a rational philosophy like Objectivism) to a specific field such as sex. But that would be deduction not induction. For example, one could say that those who seek pleasure by inflicting pain during sex are equating or inverting pleasure and pain. Hence it is not based on reason (it contradicts the Law of Identity) since it evades reality.

 

Here we are (deductively) applying a principle of philosophy (the Law of Identity) to a narrow concrete in sex, namely, a sexual practice.

 

But I can't think of a principle of sex which is induced from particulars in sex (with specific contexts), which can then be (deductively) applied to a specific context in sex.

2.

"In other words, the partners-in-sex view has radical implications for Miss Rand's view of masculinity and femininity. Hence the original post contained my initial thoughts on how to properly integrate these concepts with the partners-in-sex view where such a view is applicable."

The implication as that you can't maintain both. You won't be able to integrate them. You're essentially saying that men and women shouldn't be partners-in-sex unless the woman can't orgasm from penetration alone - it is preferable that the man be seen as sexually superior. You couldn't say that they were ever working together, because you were already are speaking in terms of sexual superiority. That isn't mutual! The only integration so far is a preference ranking that depends on what the man is able to provide. So you end up with the standard or related view about the fundamentals of sex: men are by nature dominant, woman are by nature submissive.

In the quoted sentence, the word "implications" was a bad choice of word. The word I should have used is "ramifications" (unwelcome consequences).

I agree that the partners-in-sex view cannot be reconciled with the view that the man is sexually superior to the woman, which is part of Miss Rand's view of masculinity and femininity.

So once you remove the sexual superiority part from masculinity and femininity, any attempt to salvage it (which is what I was trying to do in Post # 16) would lead to equating masculine/feminine visibility with heterosexual visibility.

As examples:

If a man says I feel more like a man because I'm doing things to a woman only a man can do qua man, what is becoming visible to him is his own heterosexuality (not his masculinity). He's able to do things to a woman only a man can do qua man simply because he's with a woman who will only want a man to do those things.

If a woman says I feel more like a woman because I'm doing things to a man only a woman can do qua woman, what is becoming visible to her is her own heterosexuality (not her femininity). She's able to do things to a man only a woman can do qua woman simply because she's with a man who will only want a woman to do those things.

So besides the sexual part, there's the psychological part, which is that the man is psychologically stronger than the woman. I would see this as an optional value when it comes to making romantic choices.

As examples:

A woman could say: I'm drawn to Man A because I prefer a man who's psychologically stronger than me, i.e., I want him to be strong enough for both of us.

Or a man could say: I'm drawn to Woman B because I prefer a woman who values my psychological strength over hers, i.e., wants me to be strong enough for both of us.

To sum up, I agree that it's not possible to induce masculinity and femininity from essential psycho-sexual differences between men and women.

3.

I don't understand what you're getting at.

My point was that in a context where the woman can only achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation, the man and the woman have to decide together who's going to provide that stimulation.

So if the man's dominant in such a context, i.e., he's leading or initiating, it will not contribute to her sexual pleasure. Instead of leading or initiating, what he should be doing is working with her.

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Easy on the italics.

A principle to induce would range anywhere from the purpose of sex, to who one ought to have sex with, or maybe what sort of things are improper to do in sex. I don't see why I need to point out possible principles, especially since you're trying to integrate Rand's ideas - unless you want to say there are no principles whatsoever for sex. In which case only some deductions can be done at best. What is omitted is measurement, not context, as part of Objectivist epistemology as that concepts are made in contexts, so it follows that concepts are applied to contexts. There is no reason I see to say sexual practice is too narrow to go beyond only an individual's moment. Instead, you seem to be skeptical that we really can do induction well, suggesting that reasoning only applies to deduction, and that there are too many variations to account for. So we're left with "if you want to do [specific sex practice], then do [x], but there's nothing to say whether [specific sex act] is good or bad".

That last part is supported by this line of yours: "To sum up, I agree that it's not possible to induce masculinity and femininity from essential psycho-sexual differences between men and women."

I'm saying no valid induction can be made because there are no essential psycho-sexual differences by nature of being male or female in the first place. If you want to say there are, where's the evidence? That's my reasoning. There are optional values in the sense that some values aren't inherently required by all people so lacking them isn't always bad, but I'm suggesting that a standard view is bad for any person's life. Going back to the OP, I'm saying it makes sex worse, compared to the alternative view presented. Of course, if you seek a standard view, it would entail certain requirements, but the whole point as related to the OP is that it -will- lead to dissatisfaction. The standard view necessarily privileges a male's orgasm, even if some females orgasm fine with it. That's where partnership comes in - the essential part about sexual pleasure is the mental aspect of mutually working together. That attitude.

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Easy on the italics.

A principle to induce would range anywhere from the purpose of sex, to who one ought to have sex with, or maybe what sort of things are improper to do in sex. I don't see why I need to point out possible principles, especially since you're trying to integrate Rand's ideas - unless you want to say there are no principles whatsoever for sex. In which case only some deductions can be done at best. What is omitted is measurement, not context, as part of Objectivist epistemology as that concepts are made in contexts, so it follows that concepts are applied to contexts. There is no reason I see to say sexual practice is too narrow to go beyond only an individual's moment. Instead, you seem to be skeptical that we really can do induction well, suggesting that reasoning only applies to deduction, and that there are too many variations to account for. So we're left with "if you want to do [specific sex practice], then do [x], but there's nothing to say whether [specific sex act] is good or bad".

That last part is supported by this line of yours: "To sum up, I agree that it's not possible to induce masculinity and femininity from essential psycho-sexual differences between men and women."

I'm saying no valid induction can be made because there are no essential psycho-sexual differences by nature of being male or female in the first place. If you want to say there are, where's the evidence? That's my reasoning. There are optional values in the sense that some values aren't inherently required by all people so lacking them isn't always bad, but I'm suggesting that a standard view is bad for any person's life. Going back to the OP, I'm saying it makes sex worse, compared to the alternative view presented. Of course, if you seek a standard view, it would entail certain requirements, but the whole point as related to the OP is that it -will- lead to dissatisfaction. The standard view necessarily privileges a male's orgasm, even if some females orgasm fine with it. That's where partnership comes in - the essential part about sexual pleasure is the mental aspect of mutually working together. That attitude.

OK, I get what you are saying. So for example, regarding the purpose of sex, if one says sex makes possible psycho-sexual visibility, that would be a valid inductive principle in sex (which one can relate to the wider principle of psychological visibility).

 

Regarding the sentence it's not possible to induce masculinity and femininity from essential psycho-sexual differences between men and women, I should have added "if any" after the word differences. That's what I meant.

Edited by rameshkaimal

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OK, I get what you are saying. So for example, regarding the purpose of sex, if one says sex makes possible psycho-sexual visibility, that would be a valid inductive principle in sex (which one can relate to the wider principle of psychological visibility).

Yes, as long as you have the reasoning to back it up. But it's a the principle Rand uses for sex, which I agree with. Reasoning is not only deduction.

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1. The partners-in-sex view is based on a specific context, namely, the context of those couples where the woman is unable to have an orgasm from penetration alone. So this view makes sense in that context.

If the context is different, as for example, where the man stimulates the clitoris with the lower pelvic region above the base of his penis, then the man is, by penetration and such stimulation (which, as per Post # 3, is not something most men can do), making possible not only his own orgasm but the woman's too. So there's nothing wrong with a couple in such a (somewhat unique) context, preferring the dominant-submissive view. This does not mean their preference is arbitrary or subjective. On the contrary, it, also, makes sense, given their context.

In other words, it's disastrous to prescribe normative generalizations in sex (one size fits all) because such universals ignore the specific contexts of individual couples (please see Post # 30 about how the G-Spot differs among women). It's what leads to intrinsicism in sex. In this respect, sex is not like philosophy. In philosophy, a generalization such as reason is Man's basic means of survival can be induced from reality by first observing how actual men (and women) use reason to survive and then omitting the individual measurements (or contexts) altogether.

2. Masculinity and femininity, according to Ayn Rand, refer to psychological and sexual differences between men and women that are operative in a romantic-sexual context. In particular, she considered the man to be romantically and sexually superior to the woman. (For more information, please refer to Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A. Incidentally, it also contains a question where Miss Rand keeps the context when answering a question about the morality of an open relationship consisting of one man and two women).

But, in a context where the woman is unable to achieve orgasm through penetration alone and the man and woman are working together to achieve mutual sexual pleasure, it becomes rather difficult (in that specific context) to see the man as sexually superior to the woman.

In other words, the partners-in-sex view has radical implications for Miss Rand's view of masculinity and femininity. Hence the original post contained my initial thoughts on how to properly integrate these concepts with the partners-in-sex view where such a view is applicable.

For the record, I see masculinity and femininity as psycho-sexual aspects one chooses to integrate into one's personal identity. I don't see them as aspects which must be an integral part of one's I or self, regardless of one's context.

3. Regarding the contention in multiple posts on this topic that the word dominant in the dominant-submissive view means leading or initiating, it's unclear how the leading or initiating will cause the woman to achieve sexual pleasure in a context where she is unable to have an orgasm from penetration alone.

 

If the man is leading or initiating because he initially becomes aroused (his penis becomes and remains erect), his erection is necessary for him to achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration but it is not sufficient in a context where the woman can only achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation.

 

Clitoral stimulation can be provided either by the woman or by the man (if she's comfortable with it). So, in this context, they have to mutually decide the best course of action for ensuring her sexual pleasure.

 

1. No, it does not make sense in that context and it certainly does not make sense as an opposing view to the dominant/submissive one.

If there's a problem it would be prudent to find a suitable way to communicate and solve it. You don't need to introduce some new concept to do that.

 

The dominant/submissive view is derived from observing men and women, and generalizing from that. It's indeed a very valid generalization. There's nothing disastruous about that, and it's not a "one size fits all". It's an abstraction and there are many ways to concretisize it. Also, there's nothing in there that says penetration alone is the way to sexual bliss.

 

2. The "partners in sex" view has no implications whatsoever to Miss Rand's view. At least not that you have presented yet.

 

There's no problem being dominant just because the woman might not climax from penetration alone. You have as many options as your imagination allows.

 

3. Psychologically the pleasure derived from it comes from the man being his most masculine and the woman her most feminine. It's not about achievieng pleasure from penetration. The example with penetration is to highlight the metaphysical differences between men and women - it's not an how-to for sex.

 

Let me be very blunt. Slap her in the face and tell her to come. Does that sound submissive or teamworkish, or whatever? Yet, you don't even need an erection to do that. Get the point? There's nothing with being dominant/submissive that implies that one has to climax from penetration alone. If you don't want to play rough you could always be a gentleman and go down on her, but I really don't want to explain how to eat her out and still be in charge.

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Then it -doesn't- revolve around penetration. You literally said "mental aspect of sex is by far the most important". I'm not seeing how this works together as a coherent position you're describing. You talk about how sex is revolving around a psychological type of interaction (this part I agree with), then at the same time, say the opposite. I'm not even criticizing the content, it just isn't even a coherent argument. "It's how nature made us" is like saying "It's because A is A." The point here is to determine what about our nature makes it so, or if it really is our nature.

 

Personally, I suspect all people have a capacity to orgasm by thinking/imagination alone, though that's closer to supporting the idea that penetration is inessential, and that any specific style is inessential. Even if it's not true, the psychological part seems to be considerably more important part than anything. Right attitude and all that.

Just because it revolves around it doesn't make it the most important aspect for pleasure.

Men are bigger, stronger and sex won't happen if the man doesn't get aroused. He has the capacity to take what he wants. The man invades the womans body. I'd say this makes up for considerable differences in psychology regarding sex.

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There's no problem being dominant just because the woman might not climax from penetration alone. You have as many options as your imagination allows.

No one said that anyway. Please try to understand an argument first, I tried to explain it in different ways. But it seems that you're still stuck on one point as though the concern is only that some women can't orgasm from penetration alone. The concern is over a specific attitude, namely your sort of statement "penetration is fundamental". One consequence of it is making sex less good for women as a whole. Now, of the women who do, well, that doesn't change anything other than what we consider is fundamental. Does it make sense to say anymore that penetration is fundamental to anything? Not unless we want to make sex into something only a minority of women are able to attain! That doesn't make sense either.

 

"The example with penetration is to highlight the metaphysical differences between men and women - it's not an how-to for sex."

Not a detailed how-to, no, but a metaphysical difference is a sort of difference that informs what you ought to do or how you behave. But we're talking about those differences, we can't assume them as true when we're analyzing them as ideas!

 

I may disagree with Rand, but I understand her well. Presumably you're arguing for her position. It's about a specific psychological-sexual difference between men and women that prescribes certain ways to act in sex. Pleasure is a key aspect of sex, while the pleasure we're able to attain is due to the difference of women being submissive by nature and men being dominant by nature. Dominance of the sort where penetration is a fundamental part of sex makes it so whatever principle you come up with goes back to penetration, and the value of sex is in penetration. Rand doesn't mention penetration really, it's primarily a psychological dynamic of hero-worship and being a hero, but she still is putting sex in terms of a man being superior sexually and where the male is in charge of pleasuring both partners.

 

The issue I think is we get very few ideas on what makes for pleasure in women, too. And if we looked at what is fundamental to pleasure, we'd probably end up with pretty minor differences. Orgasm is part of it, and I acknowledge some of a difference being there. But psychologically? Doesn't seem to be a lot. Not by nature of being male or female at least. Your own examples don't show a difference that matters, or that any particular view is right. I'm not talking about particular acts, I'm talking about an attitude, which is your terminology.

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Just because it revolves around it doesn't make it the most important aspect for pleasure.

Men are bigger, stronger and sex won't happen if the man doesn't get aroused. He has the capacity to take what he wants. The man invades the womans body. I'd say this makes up for considerable differences in psychology regarding sex.

Sex can only happen if a man is erect? Okay: all lesbians are virgins then. Or: a man gives a woman oral sex, and doesn't get erect, therefore sex didn't happen. If you only mean aroused, well, BOTH partners need to be.

Edited by Eiuol

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The quote given below is the original thesis of the dominant-submissive view by Nathaniel Branden first published in 1968 in The Objectivist in the article Self-Esteem & Romantic Love (Part 2) when he was still associated with Ayn Rand.

 

When I first created this topic (and wrote its first post) I could not include the quote given below simply because I could not find it in the Objectivism Research CD-ROM which I own (the article was removed from The Objectivist after Ayn Rand terminated her association with Nathaniel Branden).

 

But yesterday, I came across the below quote in the essay The Female Hero: A Randian-Feminist Synthesis. So since what I have presented in paragraph 7 of Post # 1 was based on what little I could remember from Branden's article which I had read 25 years ago, this quote now replaces that paragraph in my post as it's an accurate elaboration of the dominant-submissive view.

 

"The difference in the male and female sexual roles proceeds from differences in man's and woman's respective anatomy and physiology. Physically, man is the bigger and stronger of the two sexes; his system produces and uses more energy; and he tends (for physiological reasons) to be physically more active. Sexually, his is the more active and dominant role; he has the greater measure of control over his own pleasure and that of his partner; it is he who penetrates and the woman who is penetrated (with everything this entails, physically and psychologically). ...  [M]an experiences the essence of his masculinity in the act of romantic dominance; woman experiences the essence of her femininity in the act of romantic surrender."

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Eioul:

"Does it make sense to say anymore that penetration is fundamental to anything?"
"Sex can only happen if a man is erect? Okay: all lesbians are virgins then. Or: a man gives a woman oral sex, and doesn't get erect, therefore sex didn't happen."

Correct. Lesbians do not have actual sex, oral sex is not sex it only simulates sex, etc. under the traditional understanding of the word “sex”. I think people who hold that view wouldn't see anything wrong with those implications.

I have been meaning to ask you more about this modern one. You have said that sex = “sexual contact”. Does "sexual contact" just mean "genital contact"? If oral sex is sex, I assume only one person's equipment need be involved.. but you seem to be adding the requirement now that both partners have to at least be aroused (physically? psychologically? both?) for an interaction to be considered “sex” as well, is that right? Are there any other restrictions on what can be considered sex that have not been covered here so far? And is orgasm (for one or both party) necessary, or not at all?

Edited by splitprimary

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If we want to talk about what is traditionally sex, most of that refers to Western sexual practices in the 1800s. Yes, it really is that narrow and leaves out a lot out in the whole wide world of sexuality. We leave out the ancient Romans and Greeks, we miss out on how women were thought of as more sexual than men for a long time, and we miss out on any broader understanding of sex since then. That isn't to say they are merely "old" ideas to be waved away easily, only that I'm not proposing some sudden divergence from all of human history.

So, yes, sure, my tongue-in-cheek comment is logical based on the traditional premises we're talking about, but it's rather strange to think lesbians don't have "actual" sex. They don't just "rub together", it doesn't lack the psychological aspects of sex, orgasm can still happen, and plenty of sexual contact (i.e. at least someone is making genital contact). Aren't those the sort of things that sex consists of? Penetration is rather insignificant; any -particular- act is rather insignificant. I need a better explanation as to how it is a better way to think about sex as a whole. What does it add?  


"but you seem to be adding the requirement now that both partners have to at least be aroused (physically? psychologically? both?) for an interaction to be considered “sex” as well, is that right?"

Sorta. Thinking about it more now, I mean that the best kind of sex would really need both people to be aroused. It shouldn't be anyone's job to bring arousal to another person. So, it can still be sex, but it'd be bad (or less good than it could be) sex. "Arousal" is a bit vague, but it should be enough to say all the anatomical things that go with being turned on.

Clearly, a woman can be aroused by seeing a man she loves, but that is no different than how it goes for men. Arousal should be there from the start for both, and I don't see how a woman isn't in charge of her arousal any less than man is in charge of his. By Alfa's own example, the problem one of his exes had was not taking charge of her own arousal and her own mindset. That a man needs to be aroused is as true for a man as it is for a women. A man could "take" what he wants, but if we're talking about what sex ought to be, it doesn't matter. It's not as though we say a rapist is doing a good job because he takes what he wants no matter what, even to sacrifice others to self.

 

Are there any other restrictions on what can be considered sex that have not been covered here so far?

I don't think so.

 

And is orgasm (for one or both party) necessary, or not at all?

The potential for it. For the best kind of sex, anyway.

Edited by Eiuol

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so at minimum sex is:
-at least someone making genital contact
-anatomical arousal of at least one partner

ideally:
+a potential for orgasm for at least one partner
+some kind of emotional/psychological connection involved *

and what's not necessary that's noteworthy is:
-actual achievement of orgasm
-any kind of penetration being involved
-dominant/submissive psychology (which is actually universally undesirable, not a neutral option: “bad for any person's life”, “makes sex worse”, “-will- lead to dissatisfaction” -even in contexts where “females orgasm fine” from traditional intercourse).

Right?

———

* What all are "the psychological aspects of sex" you're referring to if we're talking about the partnership/synergistic view of sex where there is no dominance? Would this just be, generally, like any close physical contact between people being an intimate experience?

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