September 20, 2010

The Naked Reader Presents: Snatch: The Delicate pH-Balance of Girl Power

by Cherry Trifle

White power. Black power. Power to the people. Exceptionally potent phrases, all.

It’s Got Claws

“I used it,” says Kitty, 73, of her vagina, “in a manner of speaking, anyway.” An audacious redhead, Kitty is always smiling, “Like I ate the canary,” she giggles. The chuckle is a practiced weapon that now, fully ripened, still winds men “as young as 60!” around her finger. At 25, paired with that fiery hair and a brick-house body packed into a five-foot-three-inch frame, it was an assault rifle. In her longtime job as a nightclub hostess, it served her brilliantly.

“I was a party girl!” she chirps. “The 50s were strange times. The war was over, the music woke things up inside you and yet everyone was telling you to be a good girl. I couldn’t bring myself to do it!”
Kitty lost her virginity at 16 to one of her older brother’s friends. “He wasn’t going to brag about it to anyone. Plus he didn’t want my brother or worse—my father—finding out!” The result: Kitty was able to “be a little bad and still keep my reputation.”

Later, she cared less. “I learned early, my looks were a commodity. They made men pay attention and with the right ones, yes, it gave me power. There were things I wanted and things they wanted and in most cases, everyone got what they wanted and went home happy.”

As for the people who disapproved? “Fuck ’em!” she shrugs. “I had fun. It wasn’t even the 60s and I felt as liberated as the bra-burners. [Sexual] power isn’t about the rights everyone else gives you as much the ones you give yourself. I had better sex than my girlfriends at a time when most girls just laid down and spread their legs. I didn’t care who thought I’d been around the block. I had! And I was a better lay for it, too!”

Advocates & Admirers

“Female sexual empowerment,” says Gwen, an Arizona therapist who began her career as a volunteer counselor for victims of sexual assault, “is merely an extension of traditional feminine empowerment—understanding that you have dominion over your sexuality. There’s no formula. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out there making the rounds like it’s Sex in the City, or flashing cleavage for cocktails. It just means you do what’s right for you and you don’t feel badly about it. And make sure you print this: This isn’t feminist bullshit.

It’s not an ideology meant to steal power away from men, she says, but to bring about gender equality. “The evolved male doesn’t merely accept the idea of a woman’s sexual power, he relishes it. Perhaps not all men ‘get it,’ but a lot of them do. Sexually adventurous women aren’t just playthings.”

Indeed. According to Max—53, divorced and looking for Ms. Right—they’re marriage material. “My ex and I were terribly incompatible in bed,” he says. “She was very closed-off.” Max hoped that in time, she’d come out of her shell, but she never did, despite a couple of years in counseling near the end. He’s still unsure whether she didn’t like sex, or if she just didn’t like it with him. “Either way, it wasn’t working.”

Max jokes that he’s looking for a serious, long-term relationship—“with a woman willing to sleep with me on the first date. It’s not that much of a joke. Yes, I want someone I’m compatible with on other levels, too. That’s really important. But I would very much like a partner who loves sex and has no hang-ups about it.”

Better Late Than Never

Kathy, 61, has been through two marriages, several relationships and is “much happier now, with the current me, than I have ever been.”

Having navigated a minefield of unfulfilling sex and adultery, her coming-of-age occurred at 50. “I realized I was a pretty neat person after all,” she says. She entered her “first truly sexual relationship.” It lasted eight years. “For a long time, I felt like I had no sexuality,” she says. “My sex life could have been so much better. I doubted myself. I didn’t seek out partners who could have added to the overall quality of my life.”
Kathy’s hindsight is 20/20. “What was most important to me was to pass along to my daughter a better self-image, a sense of independence, a freedom from feeling like she had to be married.”

Power Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

In 1987, I had a male friend who would drive me to my job after school. It wasn’t a big deal, he said. He had to pass the place on his way home. He was sweet, and I appreciated it, genuinely. At the close of senior year, we exchanged yearbooks and I was dumfounded to read a passive-aggressive note about how he “forgave me” for using him for his car, since I’d known he had a crush on me.

I was astonished.

Had I known, via some innate female intuition, that he liked me? And even if I had, did I really owe him something for thoughtfulness borne of a desire to get into my pants? Was I supposed to be sorry for being a wanton temptress who’d driven him to the crime of chivalry by virtue of the satanic lusciousness between my creamy adolescent thighs?

Okay, so pussy has power.

It’s only the font from which all life springs. What did you expect? As of this writing, in fact, members of the European Union were clamoring to save an Iranian woman from a stoning sentence she most certainly brought upon herself via the man-eating Kryponite in her panties. The witch. With shameful medieval twaddle like this still going on, is it any wonder, really, that a few of my sisters get a bit drunk on it from time to time?

The Naked Reader Book Club Selections for September 2010
Girls On Top, edited by Violet BlueThe Smart Girl's Guide to the G-spot, by Violet Blue
Real Live Nude Girl by Carol Queen The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn, by Violet Blue