Ian Ironwood Is Here To Take Your Questions!

Need advice? Want to share some intriguing sexual information? Heard about something sexy and obscure and want to know more? Ask an expert Sex Nerd!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Ian, seen any good porn lately?"

I get asked this question hundreds of times over the holidays. And of course I have recommendations to make. Here's the ones I make and who I make them to...

Mr. Sci-Fi Action Adventure Nerd Fanboy:

Horizon (Wicked Pictures). Original sci-fi from America's classiest adult film studio. The effects are amateurish in places -- but hey, it's porn. Expectations are low. At least we're seeing some stab at original sci-fi in porn, instead of endless parodies of sci-fi. And the sex is very good, easily up to Wicked's high standards. Also recommended for horny nerd girls.

Horny goth chicks in their 30s:

The Addams Family XXX (Exquisite): Their creepy and their kooky, and their campy and their kinky . . . every goth girl's favorite Nick At Nite re-run in stunning pornovision! Great fun with an old favorite, and you can wax nostalgic as you wax your pole to yummy Wednesday Addams, all growed up.

Pornstar-obsessed compulsive masturbators:

Just Jenna 2 (Jules Jordan): If you like Jenna Haze -- and nearly everyone with a penis does -- then this Jenna-only flick is your best friend. The porn superstar knows how to screw like a sex goddess, and her slim body would give a dead man wood.

Also, give Bree & Tori (Adam & Eve) a try. Bree Olson and Tori Black? There's nothing wrong with that combination. Just ask Charlie Sheen . . .

The bitter, cynical horny divorcee in her 40s with the vibrator collection:

Bridesmaids XXX: Parody of the hit movie, this lusty look at marriage, weddings, and sex hits all the right spots.

The Big-Black-Dicks-Are-Better crowd, male and female:

Lex Steele XXX 14 (Mercenary): Lexington Steele is one of the classiest black studs in the business, and the man knows how to choose his co-stars. This interracial flick is packed with Lex packing his dick in hot white pussy with his customary aplomb. They don't call him The Black Viking for nothing. I'm sure a girl feels thoroughly plundered after Lex.

For the Young Hot Innocent Babes Are Better fellas:

Amateur Angels 23 (Adam & Eve): For years AEP had a great "casting couch" series called Amateur Angels. After a hiatus, it's back with a whole new crop of fresh-faced beauties who want to make it in the pornoverse. Directed by the capable Luc Wylder, of particular note are Adrianna and Stevie, although Cassandra certainly knows how to screw. I love the fact they brought the series back. Some people might think we have enough "fresh faced amateurs" series out there, but I beg to differ. And feel free to follow up with Digital Sin's A Young Girl's Desires 2, with adorable hottie Ashlyn Rae on the cover. You'll thank me.

Big Boob Obsessed Casual Wankers:

Another Jules Jordan title, Breast In Class: Naturally Gifted. Starring some of the biggest, bestest breastesess on the planet, including Jenna Haze, Asa Akira, Lisa Ann, Kagney Linn Karter, Kirsten Price, Katsuni, and Chanel Preston. PLUS, it's a 2-disc set. Big boobs -- gotta love 'em.

Black Booty Loving Self-Abusers:

Lexington Loves Jada, from Mercenary. Watch the Black Viking and the Queen of Black Porn mix it up every way you can. Nasty, hot, all-black action from two of the industry's most popular performers. It's a treat.

Butch lady-loving lesbians who can't stand standard girl-girl porn:

Girls Pleasing Girls (Abbey Winters): The Australian all-girl movie house puts out the best "authentic" lesbian porn outside of San Francisco -- and the girls are usually pretty choice, too. This one will please both the for-reals-lesbian crowd and the authenticity maven alike. Drooling fist-pumpers who prefer the less-intense version of girl-girl are invited to enjoy . . .

Girlfriends 3, from the gonzo wizards at 3rd Degree. Premium quality, Chatsworth-royalty pussy-eating porn princesses like Breanne Benson, Gracie Glam, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Julia Ann, April O’Neil, Alexis Texas, Brooklyn Lee, Chanel Preston, and more. They're hot, they're well-produced, and they're pros. And at least half of them are actually bi-sexual, too.

MILF-loving Pole Polishers:

Like the older ladies? While far from the "mature" category, the babes in The Cougar Club 3 are experienced, sexy, and utterly ready to hump any dick in sight. What more could you ask for? Stars Alexandra Silk, Raylene, Briana Banks, Inari Vachs, and Dyanna Lauren.

Fellatio Aficionados:

Down Your Throat 7 (Smash Pictures). 12 girls who sincerely love the dick.

And that's just a start. If you want specific recommendations, feel free to send me an email with your desires, and I'll find something to recommend to your tastes. That's what I'm here for.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Blog: The Red Pill Room

I love being a Sex Nerd, and will continue this blog in my accustomed manner. However, due to the vast interest in my comments on the Manosphere, further posts directly involving the Manosphere will now be made here, at The Red Pill Room. This will allow me to talk about more wholesome subjects here, like porn.

Check it out. You might like it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011: The Red Pill way to sleep with your wife.

Athol Kay’s expertise in sex is not in his formal education – he is a nurse (NOTE: I didn’t say MALE NURSE, because his gender has nothing to do with his vocation, and vice versa – any dude who looks down on what a nurse does as ‘women’s work’ is a self-professed idiot), which my experience working with nurses tells me that he has a whole lot of practical clinical experience backed up with a demanding and difficult medical and scientific education. Being a nurse is not easy, and what you have to go through to get there is hard. (UPDATED: Athol was kind enough to email me a correction: in addition to his nursing degree, he has a BA in Sociology. But he holds that his lack of formal education is one of his greater strengths, allowing him to bring a fresh perspective to the subject. I can see his point.) Athol runs the highly popular Married Man Sex Life blog, (kind of a gateway drug for the Manosphere) from which many chapters of the book have been culled, distilled, and refined. But Athol doesn’t hold any other degree to my knowledge concerning Human Sexuality, Psychology, Anthropology or a related field.

That being said, the man knows how to do research and relate it in a useful and entertaining manner. He begins by using the work of Biological Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, a Rutgers professor who is also the chief scientific officer at the dating site Chemistry.com. Athol's practical explanations of the intricate science behind human desire and mating that he expounds upon in The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 is one of the best, most complete and concise discussions of the subject I’ve ever read – and I’ve been a practicing Sex Nerd for years (and a promising amateur long before that).

Better yet, it’s presented in a blunt, no-nonsense, humorous but utterly masculine style that any dude with the mental capacity to change his own oil will be able to understand. He introduces science to the discussion but doesn’t let it stomp on your buzz. Really, Athol breaks down the complex dance of hormones and the all-important menstrual cycle and its affects on men and women in the course of courtship and mating with breathtaking clarity.

(Oh, and Athol? Total sci-fi nerd. I’m intrigued with how man former jocks are now turning to this hard-core nerd to save their sex lives. The irony is delicious!)

Unlike Dr. Levkoff’s book, How To Sleep With Your Wife, the Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 speaks directly to men in language men can understand. Far from condescending, it is one of the more empowering books on sexuality I’ve ever read. It begins with the premise that it is perfectly normal and natural for a man to want and pursue a profoundly sexual relationship with his wife, and proceeds with how to attain that golden goal through a comprehensive examination of the known science of sexual attraction, desire, and courtship. He covers testosterone and estrogen, vasopressin and of course the all-important dopamine and oxytocin, and their various affects on men and women as they go around pairbonding, falling in love, and otherwise trying to have sex with each other.

But he doesn’t stop there. Athol continuously refers to Evolutionary Biology and its role in the way our mating evolved, and makes quite a point of invoking prehistoric necessity (humorously called The Time Before Writing) to explain particulars of human sexual behavior. He brings a nurse's familiarity with anatomy to the discussion about a wife's menstrual cycle and what it means to your sex life. And while he doesn’t quote sources sufficient for an academic piece, he expounds on the sex lives of our paleo ancestors (and why it’s important to us) in a way that any dude can appreciate.

Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 makes a strong case for monogamy and against any kind of mate-sharing – but it’s not a standard-issue American quasi-monogamous marriage he’s proposing, here. (Partially because he’s a Kiwi from NZ). No, he proposes that the proper way to a man’s happiness is to get laid like tile within the bounds of his marriage. And then he gives his reasoning against infidelity as powerfully as he runs step-by-step through the stark decision-making process a man uses to consider a divorce.

But it’s not a mere “demand for service” he’s proposing, either. The centerpiece to the book is his Male Action Plan (MAP). It’s a comprehensive method for a man to re-invent himself in a way which will leave his wife little choice but to either fall in healthy lust with him again or admit to mental issues and seek professional help. Or it will at least force the issue in a bad marriage and allow a man to cut the bonds cleanly before pursuing a better match. Along the way key traditional elements of masculine identity combine with an enlightened approach to modern sensibilities.

In Athol’s MMSL world, Alpha and Beta aren’t opposite ends of the dial, they’re two separate, distinct, and important controls a man employs to attract and keep a mate. Simply put, you use Alpha to attract her and hold her sexual interest, and Beta to make her comfortable and assure her of your commitment. Alpha doesn’t mean be a dick all the time. Beta doesn’t mean be a pussy all the time. But you have to know how and when and in what proportions to be both nurturing (in that specific fatherly sort of way) and commanding (in that strong Captain Picard way) without being abusive.

Included within the MAP are suggestions for improving both Alpha and Beta qualities; the use of physical fitness in your regime; the importance of setting boundaries within your relationship; holding your wife accountable; the use (not abuse) of domination strategies to encourage your wife; the potential consequences of ignoring major problems in the relationship; and the importance of a good, healthy, and attractive physical appearance in your relationship.

Athol gives you some intriguing strategies for Game, as well as examples from his own life that illustrate how to apply Game to your marriage. He and his wife Jennifer are very much in love, love each other, and apparently have an enviable amount of lusty sex while maintaining a two-career life with two adolescent daughters to raise. That’s a perspective so many men can relate to in contemporary America, and the fact that both Athol and his wife freely use humor as an essential part of their marriage to disarm potential negatives and accentuate positives gives us an outstanding example of how to do likewise in our own relationships. Dude is funny, no joke.

There’s a lot of specific terminology to master: Sex Rank, Rationalization Hamster, Red Pill/Blue Pill, Sex Strategy, Body Agenda, Preselection, Fitness Test, Beta Orbiter, Nice Guy, Oneitis, L-Spot (women love that one!) and of course the all-important term, Game. He revisits some pop-culture answers to marital problems, addressing the importance of Date Night and what it entails from a male perspective, for instance. He is devout about his insistence of positive affirmations, saying “I love you” and meaning it, and other beta-oriented stuff. But he puts it in Red Pill context, which makes it less demeaning to your spirit and more approachable as a practical matter.

This is a profoundly important book for the Manosphere, as men search for a new and successful mating strategies. While Athol’s focus is clearly on post-marital life, he devotes a good amount of space to proper Wife Selection – something far too few men even consider while they’re searching for a decent date. He points out some telling red flags in a potential wife, things that we rarely think of as we’re ogling the boobs across the room that could spell our doom. He empowers husbands to take control of themselves, their wives, and celebrate their sexuality and masculinity without shame or remorse. He doesn’t ask that you kiss your wife’s ass – unless it’s an appropriate time and place to do so and leads to you actually getting laid more. His MAP is far more about tearing yourself down to the bare metal and rebuilding your manhood without fear of being judged. After all, who can argue with becoming a better man?

Athol also respects the power of porn, which is an important thing for me. He isn’t a crazy advocate or staunchly anti-porn, and he freely acknowledges the role that porn can play in a sexually healthy marriage, and for a sexually healthy man. But he also points out that constantly whacking off to porn is not real Alpha behavior, and is ultimately not going to get you laid. Unlike other books I’ve reviewed, he understands the dangers of porn in a relationship, but he addresses it without judgment, merely as a practical matter.

If there are any criticisms I have about this book, they’re constructive, as in: I wanna see more! The promise of further annual editions is encouraging, as long as fresh material is added to augment the already-bountiful content. I also see plenty of room for additional guides dealing with more specific issues: dating, aging, recovering from divorce, and social elements for men. There is plenty of additional material Athol could introduce, such as the role of pheromones, the importance of keeping control of your social life, and how to deal with economic disparities within a marriage.

But as it stands, I could easily see MMSL become the de facto Farmers Almanac of the Manosphere. It’s about as useful a tool as a married man could ask for in terms of understanding his wife and their sex life despite whatever pscyho-fad is in vogue amongst our wives at the moment. And for $3.99 it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than marriage counseling. In fact, it’s not exactly a marriage manual – it’s more of an anti-divorce manual. But it begins with the prospect that getting laid by your wife early and often is a worthy endeavor for any man, and proceeds from there with stunning logic and blunt style. I’m very intrigued, actually, in the possibility of distilling some of the basics of his guide into easy-to-understand lessons for my boys to prepare them for the problems they’ll inevitably face when it comes to women.

Wish the hell someone had done that for me.

But my advice? Buy a copy, read it, contemplate it, begin the plan . . . but don’t tell your wife. And don’t let her read it, at least not yet. Just man-up, begin your MAP, and let her experience the newly-evolving you in all of your masculine glory.

It’s more of a surprise that way.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Blue Pill Or The Red Pill? Two Approaches To A Happier Marital Sex Life. And One Sucks.

In the course of doing some research for a professional project, I came across a couple of books which both purport to solve the age-old problem: How to get your wife to keep having sex with you after the honeymoon.

This is mostly a male issue, but it’s one that’s increasingly important to a lot of middle-aged men. And almost all married men. So with that in mind, I picked up “How To Get Your Wife To Have Sex With You”, by Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., a sex researcher. I was recommended the book by the Good In Bed site, which includes a lot of sex experts, including one of my faves, the other Sex Nerd, Emily Nagoski.

So Dr. Levkoff is a sex expert. In fact, she’s “A recognized expert on sexuality and relationships”, according to the site (although it fails to mention who granted her that recognition) and “a thought leader in the field of human sexuality”, whatever that means. As far as academic credentials go, she’s an AASECT certified sex educator, she received her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Life Education from New York University and has an M.S. in Human Sexuality Education and a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

So she’s got some initials. She’s got some diplomas. On paper, she should have the answers. But does she have the goods?

I’m afraid to say, gentlemen, that no, she does not.

This book is essentially a long female manifesto of how you, too, can become the perfect Blue Pill Beta. That is, it encourages men to sacrifice their own sexual interests for the sake of their wives’, with little understanding or appreciation for male sexuality at all. Indeed, for a sex expert Dr. Levkoff seems profoundly ignorant of some basic issues of modern male sexuality, when applied to this particular situation.

A better title for the book would be “How To Capitulate To Your Wife’s Idea Of Sex To Minutely Increase Your Chances Of Having Any Kind Of Sex At All.”

Dr. Levkoff starts off in an utterly condescending manner in failed attempt to make it "easy to understand" for us poor, stupid males. She explains why wives don’t want to have sex with their husbands: “You guys act like such babies sometimes and we have those already.” She actually says that in the first few pages. It's a section dripping with barely-disguised contempt for masculinity.

If a male sex expert (such as myself, or even someone with initials after their name) began a self-described sexual manifesto with “You girls act like such controlling be-yatches sometimes and we’ve dealt with enough of those in our lives already”, you can imagine that there would be hell to pay. But Dr. Levkoff has no problem savaging men in general, and in particular on the subject of our sexuality. The subtext is clear: In a functional relationship, women naturally do not want to have sex with the men who have pledged their lives and fidelity to them. It’s our job, then, to make any sex that does happen occur. Because otherwise, wives would just rather not.

Great way to start off, Dr. Levkoff. I’m feeling more empowered already.

She completely ignores the potent role sexual rejection has on the male psyche, and the natural consequences of that rejection. Rejection is OUR PROBLEM, she tells men, not their wives. If your wife doesn’t want to have sex with you, according to Dr. Levkoff, it’s your fault, not hers. If she doesn’t want to have sex with you, then you’re supposed to ignore the deep, biting feeling of personal despair and loss of self-esteem that this entails, and “don’t take it personally”. Even though it’s the most personal possible subject.

There is virtually no discussion whatsoever about how a wife’s sexual rejection of her husband naturally transforms into emotional distance and sexual objectification in his mind – a handy hint to all of the wives out there. And there are no helpful hints about how to keep from spiraling into despair and depression over continuous rejection by the only person you’re legally allowed to have sex with. Just an admonition that you shouldn’t take her rejection personally because “it’s not about you”.

It’s about her.

That’s right, as Dr. Levkoff sees it, your sex life as a couple is about her, not about you. It’s her needs that matter, not yours. Your needs are a given, a constant, and therefore something she can comfortably ignorable. The fact that SHE is the one rejecting YOU, that doesn’t enter into the equation at all.

And that’s just the introduction.

In the first chapter of the “Out of Bed” section, Dr. Levkoff starts off her manifesto by insulting the erection. Not a good start. Ladies, Rule Number One For Dealing With Dudes: Never Diminish The Penis. Got it? Learn it by heart. Seriously.

Apparently the whole “men like their erections, and their penises in general, and generally don’t appreciate it when you diminish them” message didn’t get across to Dr. Levkoff during her professional education, because throughout the book she treats them with disrespect and thinly-disguised scorn and condescension. There is little respect for the organ, or the use to which it is put – at best, it’s amusing to her; at worst, it’s an annoyance that wives can do without. While she casually mentions how vibrators aren’t replacements for “a hot blooded man” in the extensive section of the book dealing with vibrators, she fails to enumerate her reasoning in any convincing fashion. In fact, she gives far, far more attention to sex toys than the penis in this book.

That should tell you something.

Throughout the book Dr. Levkoff treats men like idiots who have never heard of foreplay. While a certain amount of that is understandable, given the erotic ignorance of some men, the fact is that most men actually seeking answers in Dr. Levkoff’s book have likely long ago studied all about foreplay. Indeed, most men in a sex-lite marriage would be thrilled to death to indulge in foreplay, instead of the “Oh, GOD, you want to do it again?” quickies they survive on. The complaint of men who are searching for these answers usually has little to do with their willingness to enjoy foreplay. It’s when their foreplay doesn’t come to fruition that they become frustrated – and Dr. Levkoff has little to offer during that instance except “get over it”.

She declares “Begin the day with a hug” . . . and apparently no expectations of sex from your wife. Her attitude seems to be that if you remove every last thing that is bothering her then she won’t have any reason to turn you down . . . unless she just doesn’t feel like it, in which case you just need to get used to it. Expecting sex after you’ve devoted your day to the kind of intense arse-kissing and ego-massaging of your wife, often to your own detriment, is just a bad idea, according to Dr. Levkoff. If she does have sex with you, it won’t be because of anything you do or don’t do, it will be purely because of her whim and her grace. “Begin the day with a hug” is indeed great advice for men who follow Dr. Levkoff’s book, therefore, but the rest of the sentence should read “. . . because that’s about as close to her vagina as you can reasonably expect to get.”

Other examples of great advice from the book? Don’t piss her off. Dr. Levkoff freely acknowledges that women use sex as a weapon to keep and maintain power in their marital relationships: “We will hold a grudge and the last thing we’ll want to do is give you sex.” In no way does she suggest that this application of power is unfair or exploitive, demeaning or harmful. As a matter of fact, she seems stubbornly proud of this willingness on the part of wives to cut off their husbands if they irritate them. So a vital part of her program involves utterly capitulating to your wife in an abasing attempt to lure her into sex. Because, as the good doctor points out, “We’d rather withhold than give you what you want”.

Of course, when a husband withholds non-sexual physical affection or verbal affirmation from his wife, that’s considered “emotional abuse” in some places and by a number of sex therapists, because that hurts your wife’s feelings. Your feelings – especially about sex – clearly just do not matter to Dr. Levkoff here. The important thing is to keep from pissing off your wife.

Dr. Levkoff goes on to recommend that you shower your wife with appreciation –and of course she doesn’t have to appreciate you in return – in the form of near-constant attention to her. You should buy her things, be emotionally vulnerable to her, be verbally expressive of your (only positive) feelings about her, and flatter her incessantly. You should be willing and eager to listen to what is going on in her life (although Dr. Levkoff has little to say about how involved and interested she should be in yours) without expectation that this will lead to sexual intimacy. But I do give her credit on this point: she graciously admits that, gosh, sometimes women use rote “I love you” responses too, and maybe they should put a little more effort into it.

In Dr. Levkoff’s plan, daily undying expressions of love and heartfelt devotion without any reciprocation are expected, if you want to get laid by your own wife. “It’s the stuff of cheesy romance novels and we don’t want to hear it all the time” she says, inadvertently putting her finger on a serious part of the problem.

Allow me to digress a moment to explain to the ignorant:

Romance novels fuel female romantic fantasy life. While this is usually a good thing, they also promote certain tropes which give highly unrealistic expectations to women about how real relationships work. In romance novels the hero is always tall, good-looking, rich, successful and in love with the heroine for no good specific reason except she’s beautiful. He always struggles with his desire for her and ends up passionately declaring his love for her, no matter how much of a miserable creature she is, his absolute need to be with her to the exclusion of any other person or thing being foremost in his mind. The romantic hero routinely reveals his deepest emotional vulnerabilities which she – and only she – can evoke. And he does this like six or seven times each novel, until any sane man who has experience in a relationship wants to throw up.

Here’s a hint, ladies: span style="font-style:italic;">real men don’t do this. You shouldn’t expect real men to do this. You can be a real good man and not do this. In fact, the number of men for whom this is possible are usually either gay or players. In other words, you should be immediately be wary of any man who actually can do this.

But the deep, eloquent, heartfelt declaration of love from your man is right up there with the moans and howls that porn stars use when they fake an orgasm. It builds up the same kinds of highly unrealistic expectations, the same inevitable disappointments, and the same dissatisfaction with your marriage that watching too much porn can for your husband. Romance novels are about FANTASY, after all. At least, that’s what women keep telling us. So the next time you want your dude to bust out with the expressions of undying love, perhaps you can find it in your soul to talk a little dirty to him during sex, and see how natural it feels when you do it. End of digression.

But the point is well-taken: wives are getting their cues for what constitutes “romance” from such things as romance novels and soap operas and supernatural thrillers written from the vampire’s point of view. Which means that the romantic expectations they have of their husbands are highly unrealistic to begin with. Does Dr. Levkoff address this glaring discrepancy in inter-gender relations? No, she invites men to start reading “erotic” romances instead of watching porn, essentially telling them to capitulate – once again – to their wives’ ideas and ideals about sex at the expense of their own.

She brings up that old marriage counselor standard for saving marriages, Date night (duh!), although she’s quite explicit about what this entails: YOU plan dates for US. YOU can BUY US things and ENTERTAIN US, without any expectations for reciprocation or even appreciation. Levkoff trots out the trite old “just make her a mix tape” suggestion as if it’s a novel idea. News flash: most of the guys reading this book tried that long ago. Hell, for some dudes the mix tape is the only game they ever had.

And then there’s this heartbreaking lie: If you clean the house, you get laid.

I’m going to call bullshit on that one.

The myth that women do all of the housework is long over, and within my generation the split is about 50/50 now. If your mileage varies from that, you’re an exception in this day and age. It may be even more tilted in favor of husbands, once you add in yard, house and lawn maintenance into the equation.

Here’s the fact: your wife might freak out over a messy house, but cleaning it won’t get you laid. It won’t get you a BJ. It won’t even get you bragged about to her girlfriends. It might get you verbally appreciated – the first time – but after that it’s expected and goes unrewarded. Sure, she might be able to unwind more in a clean house – I’m sure we all would – but the reality on the ground is that any house with kids is always going to need more cleaning. Using that as an excuse not to sleep with your husband is both gallingly disrespectful to him and a tacit admission of control and manipulation on your part.

And so on.

Mostly this book is tacitly about female entitlement, and what women “deserve”. Nowhere in the book does it mention a man deserves jack squat. It reads like a litany of female entitlement and male blame: if a couple isn’t having sex enough, then the answer is always about how HE isn’t doing it right. Obviously the way to cure this is for HIM to re-design his sexuality around HER needs and desires, according to the good doctor. If she’s stressed about housework, it’s because HE isn’t doing enough. If she’s stressed about her body image, it’s because HE isn’t paying her enough compliments. Even when she occasionally drops us a bone by admitting that women have some responsibility for their own sexuality in the relationship, she rationalizes it away as “that’s just the way things are”. Get used to it.

She’s condescending. She’s insulting. She treats men like the idiots she obviously takes them for. In the same book that she complains that men shouldn’t watch porn when they have a willing partner in the next room, she also explains how it ordinarily takes many long hours of foreplay for a woman to be ‘ready for sex’. (So much for a “willing” partner . . .). With the picture she paints in this book, including the focus on how much non-sexual intimacy a man should have to perform before he is granted access to sex by his wife, one would wonder why any husband would demean himself over that length of time for the pleasure of twenty minutes of erotic mediocrity, when he could have big busty co-eds at his fingertips on-line without expending more energy than locking the door.

In fact, for a sex researcher, she seems to have an abysmal understanding of male sexuality beyond the basic “men want to have sex all the time” thought. The underlying premise in this book is that if a husband doesn’t piss off his wife and kisses her arse all the time – essentially capitulating to the feminine ideal of romantic and erotic love at the expense of the male ideal of sexual romance and adventure – then the woman in your life will graciously bestow on you that which you seek.

Maybe. If you’re lucky. And she feels like it. And if she doesn’t, then don’t take it personally, it’s still your fault, and you probably screwed it up somewhere along the line anyway, so you don’t really deserve it.

Most galling, she compares marriage to a fairy tale, and expects the men who are her supposed audience to relate to that analogy. It stands to reason, as “marriage-as-fairy-tale” is clearly at the heart of the female marital fantasy. But let me spell something out for the good doctor, and all of the women who are reading this: Men do not, and have never, envisioned a successful marriage as a fairy-tale romance. And anyone who purports to know male sexuality enough to be able to sling around the term “sex expert” should recognize that.

Women see marriage as a fairy tale – it’s there from the moment they watch their first Disney movie, if not before. The culmination of every successful romance novel is the heroine and the love interest heading down the aisle. It’s so commonplace that professional romance writers even use it as shorthand for the end of the book: “HEA”. To women, the wedding is the prize that they get at the end of the passionate courtship, the culmination of all of their romantic thoughts and feelings. There’s a reason why it’s usually the bride, not the groom, who’s freaking out over wedding preparations. It’s her “Princess Moment”, when her husband takes her away to live in a state of bliss like some Prince Charming.

Only, that’s not how men see marriage. It’s not a fairy tale. We know it’s a lot of hard work because we saw what our fathers went through with our mothers. We know all of the downsides from the start, including just what might happen if children become part of the equation. We saw the looks of despair and suffering on our fathers’ faces every time they sacrificed some shred of dignity or respect on the altar of their marriage. That’s no fairy tale.

When men decide to get married, and marry a particular woman, they aren’t seeing it as a fairy tale come to life, they’re envisioning it as a never-ending porn flick. Our “Happily Ever After” includes frequent, lusty, adventurous sex – the kind of sex we usually get in the months leading up to the marriage, if we’re lucky, as our intended brides try to keep us from bolting. Our HEA has spontaneous oral and lazy Saturday mornings and lunch-hour surprises and regular weekends away for mind-blowing hotel sex and far too much of the household budget spent on lingerie and sex toys. It involves explaining scratches on your back when you whip off your shirt at basketball practice. It involves telling an attractive stranger who asks for your number that you’re happily married, without having to explain just why you’re happy you got married.

To men, the idea of marriage revolves around the idea of access to sex with our wives, with just about everything else as a secondary issue. It has little to do with declarations of undying love or doing a load of laundry. As much as we value their companionship and friendship, sex with our wives is a central – if not the central – component to our conception of marriage. You take the sex away, or reduce it to occasions memorable for their rarity, not their inspiration, and you kick a supporting pillar out from under the marriage whether you recognize it as such or not.

Because one glaring issue that Dr. Levkoff ignores or takes for granted is that the men reading this book, who are obviously distressed about their marital sex lives and want to repair the problem, aren’t looking at it from a “how can we add spice in the bedroom”-Cosmo-article perspective, where the price of failure is an indulgence in some retail therapy and a grande mochacino. The men who are reading this book are doing so because they are, consciously or subconsciously, contemplating infidelity, and they are desperate for options.

That’s the part that she takes for granted: the competitive nature of the situation. Dr. Levkoff blithely assumes that the men who are reading her advice are going to remain faithful to their wives regardless of the sexual situation in the marriage. She pretends that they have no other options. She presupposes that they will have to either capitulate to the whims of their wives at the cost of their own sexuality and sexual interests, or they will live just have to learn how to live in a low-sex marriage. She ignores the very real possibility that a man who tries her betamizing approach and does not get the desired response will eventually end up with recourse to Craig’s List, an office affair, or the good old fashioned neighborhood massage parlor.

In an age when a man can get sex delivered discreetly to his door with an email and a credit card, and where the number of single women looking for husbands has hit epidemic proportions, men have far more practical options for infidelity than ever before. When he can go to a website that guarantees a no-strings-attached discreet affair with a like-minded dissatisfied wife of some other husband, or a lusty single woman seeking some other woman’s unappreciated husband, it's hard to think that he can get consistently rejected for sex by his wife and not seriously contemplate an affair..

Believe me, there are plenty of folks who think the grass is greener out there. The middle-aged husband who unsuccessfully begs his wife for sex is going to look like a rock star to some other woman out there who will be more than happy to appreciate him sexually while she’s appreciating the security he provides her. The alternatives are there, they’re easy to find, and the only thing holding most frustrated husbands back from plunging headlong into the sexual smorgasbord they see online every day is a heroic dedication to their marriages and their wives and their families.

The rise of internet porn has likewise provided a sexual outlet for the husband that Dr. Levkoff does not fully appreciate in her book. Yes, she mentions it – somewhat distastefully, even as she graciously agrees that masturbation and fantasy is good for both men and women – but she doesn’t appreciate the magnitude of what it can mean within a marriage, both positive and negative.

For good or ill, porn has raised the level of competition in marriage by exposing husbands to a nearly endless variety of erotic whackfodder, offering documentary proof that women other than his wife “do those things”, and some with breathtaking regularity and eagerness. It has contributed to liberalizing sexual mores in our culture in a way not seen since the early days of Cosmopolitan and Playboy.

No longer does the simple possession of a vagina make a wife irresistible to her husband – now she’s expected to know how to use it effectively. If women have high expectations of men, thanks to romance novels and softcore vampire smut, then you can blame porn for men having higher expectations of their wives than they did a generation ago.

The draw is almost irresistible to the frustrated male rejected once too often. Indeed, the one leads to the other: men naturally disconnect and distance themselves after a rejection, and go into hard core (excuse the pun) objectifying mode when they are sexually rejected . . . and porn lets them do that better than Half Off Wing Night at Hooters. The advantages are clear: Internet porn doesn’t need foreplay. It doesn’t need to be told you don’t think it looks fat in those jeans. It doesn’t have to be assured, or flattered, or appreciated, and you are always assured of the outcome before you go there. You know if you watch porn, you’re probably going to have an orgasm. It’s quick, easy, and comforting to the soul. To married men, internet porn is like a sexual safety net.

But it’s not “real sex”. We know that. You know that. We never thought it was, and we never wanted to replace “real sex” with porn. But especially where a disparity of desire – or serious relationship issues – conspires to make everyone’s life miserable, porn is a way to keep the pressure off and keep you from doing something stupid.

But I digress. The upshot is that this is the perfect book of advice for the Blue Pill dude who wants to learn how to kiss his wife’s butt more, and maybe get laid a little bit more, maybe. The tone of the author to the intended reader is condescending and at times insulting, and despite the author’s credentials as a Ph. D. there is a startling lack of science in this book. Hormones are only touched on briefly, and only in the context of women’s hormones. Pheromones are barely mentioned at all. Men’s sexual needs are treated as a trivial option, and there is nothing here to help a man in a low-sex relationship convince his wife to take it up a notch – on the contrary, relying on this book will, indeed make your wife happy . . . but your penis won’t be impressed.

Next time, I’ll take a look at the book on the same subject that’s taking the Manosphere by storm: Athol Kay’s Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011. If this is the Blue Pill book for men to try to get laid in their marriages, Athol’s book is the Red Pill book – and it doesn’t suck. In fact, it seems to actually work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

100,000 Nerds Under One Roof Means Serious Nerd Lust

I was fortunate enough to tag along on a "junket" to Manhattan last weekend, during which I attended what has got to be the largest collection of nerds on the East Coast. The 2011 NYC Comic Con may not sound like a seething cauldron of geeky sexuality, but . . . dude . . . it was.

Sexuality and comic books have a long history, of course. The buxom heroines on the covers of the Golden Age comics and science fiction magazines were blatantly pornographic in an era famous for its repressed sexuality. Once upon a time just possessing a comic book could get you on the couch with a die-hard Freudian, answering all sorts of uncomfortable questions about your mother's underwear.

But comics have moved from the lurid to the tolerated to the indulgent to the mainstream over the course of a lifetime, and the modern medium and its cousins have certainly matured, as art and in subject matter. The NY Comic Con had its share of nostalgic and family-friendly fare, of course, but beyond the graphic novels about brain-eating zombies and unlikely superheroes, vampires both dark and sparkly, and some truly lovely books about sword-swinging mice, there's plenty of raw sexuality seething, in the books and amongst the fans.

Consider: the Anime festival was held in conjunction with the Comic Book con. There were literally thousands of cute Asian girls in miniskirts running around looking like Sailor Moon. No less than three Princess Leias, in full faux-bronze bikinis, were in attendance, one with with an anorexic Jabba The Hutt as an escort. There were Ms. Marvel costumes that inspired a lot of male fantasies, and there were Wolverine costumes, too . . . if walking around without a shirt on, chomping a cigar, with plastic knives strapped to your forearms constitutes a costume. Male or female, ugly or hot, the name of the game was fantasy, and that included an awful lot of illicit fantasy.

There was also a lot of hooking up among the fandom. You just can't put that many horny nerds in one place, in costume, without a certain amount of fantasy-laden casual sex happening.

But what the con taught me most about Nerdom at large was that the typical "Big Bang Theory" stereotype of asthmatic geeks too wrapped up in their toys and fictions to interact on a sexual level is, for the most part, just a lot of crap. The extreme examples of the breed might be outside of mainstream sexuality on the surface, but their passion and enthusiasm lends them a confidence that is the essence of attraction.

In other words, if you're enough of a geek to spend $300 on a set of stormtrooper armor, then you're probably passionate enough to put the moves on the cute pink Twi'lek chick you meet in line at the juice bar. Despite the fact that you're actually a computer analyst from Des Moines and she's a customer service rep at an insurance firm in Pennsylvania, for a few brief hours you have the chance to transcend the mundane considerations of your utterly average life, become a lonely stormtrooper on a godforsaken rimworld and an enthusiastic exotic dancer with a couple of extra tentacles sticking out of your head, and indulge in hot clone-on-alien sex at your hotel room while your roomies are standing in line for autographs.

From such illicit (and possibly mentally unhealthy) liaisons, relationships will form, couples will unite, and a whole new generation of nerdlings will be born. But don't think it's sad and pathetic -- it's not. It's as romantic as a dozen red roses or the big box of chocolates. It's not normal, it's not really mainstream, and it's borderline kinky, but horny nerds acting out their cosplay fantasies, no matter what the genre or medium, is as authentically sexual as you could ask for.

Sure, there are plenty of ugly nerds out there. But there are also some breathtakingly beautiful nerds who did not let their outward appearance seduce them to the dark side of popularity and mediocre teen dramas, opting instead to stretch their boundaries with fantasy and good old fashioned obsession. Not every Captain America costume concealed a pencil-necked geek, nor did every pair of tights sag in all the wrong places: there are plenty of hot nerds out there, both boys and girls. And both kinds are plenty horny. Best yet, the hot nerds usually don't realize that they're hot, which makes them more approachable, somehow, than the boring, pretty, popular people.

I have to wonder, at this point, exactly how the institution of the sci-fi/comic/gaming convention plays a role in the mating cycle of the American Nerd, but I do know a few things about it. Organized conventions have been going on since the early 1970s, if not before. Our forefathers cut loose wearing Spock ears and drinking heavily spiked Romulan Ale. I know for a fact that children have been conceived there, and plenty of nerds find their nerdy life-partners at such celebrations. For some, three generations or more of hard core sci-fi geeks have been haunting the same circles, bringing their brainy DNA to the table to mix with other brainy DNA.

That kind of intense concentration of nerdity over time is going to have an effect. Indeed, conventions in the future may become quasi-religious affairs designed to facilitate the strengthening of the sub-species, with plenty of cross-genre pollination to keep things fresh. Mom and Dad into Trek? Then find a nice Steampunk girl, and spend the rest of your life raising your mutant hybrid superchildren in your house full of valuable collectibles. Are you a die-hard Browncoat who can swear in Chinese and knit ugly hats? There's a super hot Asian nerdette out there with a passion for anime who wants to correct your pronunciation back in her room. Soon your hyper-intelligent offspring will be clobbering the competition in spelling bees every week and building fully-functional super-robots on the weekends. And your grandchildren will be ruling the world through custom game consoles and homemade artificial intelligences.

For we are a proud and valiant people, and we really don't mind the stares and the odd looks. We're having hot, kinky costumed nerdsex while the rest of you are still trying to figure out how to bring up the subject of anal to your long term partner.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Manosphere, in context

I was perusing the latest post over at The Private Man about the growing power of the Manosphere (that collection of chat rooms and blogs revolving around reclaiming masculine power and celebrating masculine sexuality in a positive, guy-centric way) when someone tried to blame Feminism for all of the sexual ills of modern man.

Of course I couldn't let that stand. The fact is, Feminism, on the whole, has been a positive force in society over all in the last 50 years, even if it has sucked for us menfolk repeatedly. But laying the blame of the current disarray in male-female sexual dynamics at the feet of Feminism is a mistake. The real culprit is evolving technology, and as I pointed out in my response (posted in edited form below) the technological advantage is starting to swing towards men in some very real and powerful ways.

I'm not discounting the power of the Manosphere. There are extremely insightful and telling observations amongst the scattered misogyny, bitterness, and frustration out there. Sites like Athol K's Married Man Sex Life and the Private Man take the Pick Up Artist game ("Game") and have adapted and refined to fit our modern world. For the aficionado or the student of male-female sexual dynamics, Game has become far, far more sophisticated than cheesy NLP-tainted pick-up lines and penny-draft night at the local college bar. Game has been extended into married life, into dating life, adapted for the on-line dating world, and proliferated by thousands of intelligent, curious, and ambitious practitioners.

But that's just part of the story. The other part is technology, its evolution, and the role it plays in affecting the infinitely complex realm of male-female sexual dynamics. And so this is what I wrote as a reply:

While it’s easy and fun to blame feminism for this, consider that the real culprit is simple technological change. The Sexual Revolution of the 60s and 70s wasn’t about feminism — feminism was a side-effect of the Revolution. The real revolution began in the 1940s when industrialization allowed women to make their own money. Then the second part happened in the 1960s when women got control of their reproductive systems (“the pill”). Taken together, reproductive control and financial independence encouraged the development of a more sophisticated feminism. So for a couple of decades afterwards, while men were scratching their balls and wondering whatheheck happened to the status quo they’d been trained to deal with, women were developing a new approach to their sexuality, mating and marrying patterns. They were able to have their cake (sexual and financial independence) and eat it too (control of the social availability of sex).

Sure, plenty of guys got laid back then, but the social end was a disaster. The WK and manginas capitulated because they thought begging for sex was the only game in town. The Alphas knew better, but they kept their mouths shut (mostly) and racked up pussy like it was on sale, rarely bothering to marry in fear of the exploding divorce statistics. For a few brief decades, women were on top: they had half the money and all the pussy, and they used both with gay abandon. The sense of entitlement, the feeling that just by virtue of possessing vaginas that they somehow “deserved” everything they got — sexually, socially and financially — started to become ingrained in mainstream female behavior, at least to the poor schmucks who were subjected to the fickle whims of femininity and liberalized divorce laws. By 1995, things were looking pretty grim for us menfolk.

But then the Internet happened, in a big way.

As much as I agree with the post about the Manosphere, that’s just the most recent counter-attack. Just as the pill and industrialization slanted things in favor of women, the internet levels the playing field, and not just with dating advice.

Consider: it is now far easier for a man to find sex at a lower cost than at any other time in history. And not just with the local village bicycle; with the power of global communications, he now theoretically has access to every sexually available female on the planet. Two decades ago the closest we came to that was the “mail order bride” catalogs, which only an insignificant fraction of men considered seriously. Now the dating sites and chat rooms can put you in touch with sexually available females from all over the world.

In addition to that, cheating has become far, far easier to accomplish with a dramatically diminished risk. As has prostitution. Craig’s List hookups and the thousands of other dating/hookup/escort sites have allowed men access to a far, far greater pool of sexually available women, women for whom there is no lasting commitment. And let us not forget internet porn (my own business): when a dude can have access to any sexual fantasy for his whacking needs, he becomes far less likely to jump through hoops for a crappy, reluctant handjob in the car after a $300 6th date.

So this has suddenly dramatically affected the competition cycle among women. After ruling the social/sexual scene for decades, suddenly the confused, limp-dicked men they were being so choosy about stopped calling them back. Beta husbands withdrew from their wives in favor of internet porn or clandestine affairs, and there was a decade long period where divorces due to “porn addiction” were rampant. Women who thought they were competing with only the other women in their town had to come to terms with the idea that Mr. Right was out diddling some horny cougar and saving his money for fancy electronic toys, not building a dream house and seeking out the mother of his children. After a lifetime of calling the shots, just as a whole generation of women started hearing their biological clocks go off as they hit their stride in their careers, when they rolled over in bed to see the dude that was supposed to be there to inseminate them, the bed was empty.

And so the outrage began among the 30-something and 40-something set who suddenly realized that they had a dozen eggs left and no sperm in sight. Men were pigs all over again. Internet porn was “destroying lives”. Prostitution and clandestine affairs and “sex addiction” were collectively held up as the culprit, along with the idea that men were half-human savage beasts who just didn’t know how things should be done. The cry “where have all the good men gone?” was so loud that the answer (“you chased them all away or broke their dicks off”) couldn’t be — wouldn’t be — heard. So the middle-aged, career-minded woman who had built a solitary life for herself, expecting her perfect Beta Prince Charming to ride in, sweep her off her feet, knock her up good, and also pay all of the bills . . . was screwing a triple-divorced MILF who just wanted to get her rocks off. It was all OUR fault, that they couldn’t have a baby on their self-wrought timetable.

And that’s where we are today. Men have begun to realize their own value as sperm donors/lifestyle providers in a highly competitive field, and — thanks to, you guessed it, feminism — they were beginning to look at the male-female sexual dynamic from the “what’s in it for me?” standpoint. Acknowledging that a woman’s primary drive was for security, and that our primary drive is for sex, even the dumb ones are starting to clue into the fact that if a girl doesn’t put out by the third date, it’s time to move on. Hell, I know plenty of dudes who won’t do a second date unless they get some on the first. The feminist-raised generation of women who felt entitled to a career first and a family later got beyatch-slapped with the specter of real competition.

Because not only are they competing with all of the other desperate-to-reproduce women out there, they’re also competing with older women and younger women, both of whom have far more liberal ideas about sex and their own sexual availability. Older women are jaded and over the playing-house stage and just want some dick. Younger women were brought up in a world where internet porn and over-the-top sexuality made stuff that only whores would do in their grandmother’s age part of the basic list of freshman-year sexual objectives. When you’re a 38 year old woman with an expiration date on your uterus and your sitting at the same bar (or dating site) as a horny cougar who doesn’t want commitment at one end and a horny twenty-something who views fellatio on the same par as a handshake at the other, just what the hell do you have to offer? Companionship? Dude can get a dog. Domestic skills? Let's be serious. A potentially disastrous relationship with a woman with immature and unrealistic ideas about romance and sex that will lead to an inevitably messy and expensive divorce, child support, and a lifetime of therapy? That's closer to the mark.

Male sexual attraction breaks down between physical desirability and sexual availability. Traditionally what one didn’t have in one area one made up for in another. Professional middle-aged women have been making themselves up for the workplace, not the dating arena, for over 30 years, and most have only the barest ideas about how to go about it, usually gleaned from an article they read in Cosmo while they were on the john. And now that even working-class women can afford boob jobs, tummy-tucks and other cosmetic enhancements, what does that leave them?

So yes, the Manosphere is a great and powerful force in the developing social-sexual interplay. But it’s only the latest in a long series of technological events, and should be viewed within that context to be properly appreciated.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dueling Sex Nerds: Yes, Emily Doods really ARE this . . .

I’ve been having a fascinating discussion over at the other Sex Nerd, Dr. Emily Nagoski’s site, and while I was actually going to post this as a response, I figgered, y’know? I haven’t done a non-Charlie Sheen related post in a while, so here goes:

The basic question began with Dr. Emily’s curiosity about whether or not a woman taking sex off the table right up front was a good idea, as the big sexual question mark that hangs over every male-female relationship is so incredibly distracting that it gets in the way of actually developing a relationship. A fair point. However, I pointed out that while I did feel it was a good idea, for completely different reasons, I mentioned that in doing so a woman fundamentally changes the nature of her relationship with the man in question, whether she means to or not.

Let's bear in mind that Ian is happily married and this is all hypothetical or, at best, post hoc, so let's not holler at him please.

Thanks for that, Emily. I am, indeed, happily married, but I am not only a student of human nature, the author of a book on how to pick up women, but I’m a Sex Nerd. I do a lot of observation on this subject and talk to a lot of people. I’m not out to score myself -- Mrs. Ironwood has that well in hand. My issue here is not personal, I assure you, it is professional. But if you must yell . . . well, at least make it interesting. Back to Emily:

But. This... would mean... a woman who wants a straight man to get to know her as a person has to create an environment where sex is perceived to be at least a theoretical possibility.

Well said.

I’m not saying that every dude a woman meets is potential boyfriend material, or even a potential bedmate. What I’m saying is that the existence of this theoretical possibility has very little to do with any likelihood sex will occur. It has far more to do with how men deal with rejection, individually and collectively.

This is going to be hard to explain to my XX audience, but if you ladies will bear with me a moment, this might be a valuable clue to masculine behavior you can take home with you. In my opinion, bouyed by my observations, adult straight men, no matter how strong of mind, noble of spirit, etc. etc., tend to put all women into three categories, and subtly alter their behavior accordingly. There’s the Class Of Women Who I’ve Slept With/Continue To Sleep With (feel free to substitute “be intimate with”, if you like), there’s the Class Of Women Who Might Potentially Sleep With Me, Theoretically, and finally there’s the Class Of Women Who Will Not/Can Not Sleep With Me. Pretty simple, huh? Well, we’re dudes. We like things simple.

Now, membership in one class or another has nothing to do with the level of respect that a man pays to the woman in question. Your niece, your grandmother, your maiden aunt, the church ladies, the girl scout troop, all of these women are safely in the class of Women Who Will Not/Can Not, or they had better be unless you want some unpleasant jail time and national notoriety. For all practical purposes, for the adult male these females are Off Limits, and that’s OK. That doesn’t mean they aren’t people, that doesn’t mean they aren’t women, it means they’re in Category 3.

Category One tends to be a wife or girlfriend, or perhaps several girlfriends and maybe a wife or two. Women that you have/can be intimate with. They are in a special place in your heart and mind, even if that place is a little seedy, but they are women who, psychologically, have provided the male in question with affirmation and personal security, not to mention some happy fun time, potentially children, and possibly an STD. Regardless of whether you love them or hate them, these are the women to whom most men treat specially. It’s a subtle difference, from any other category, but it’s there.

Category Two? Everyone else. Theoretical “Fair Game”. In other words, Women Who Have Not Rejected You Yet.

And that’s the heart of the matter. Even if sex is nevery spoken of, and the relationship between said man and said woman is entirely professional on both sides, to the male the “big question mark” is what establishes the mental status of the woman. It’s not even, “could I get into her pants, theoretically?” it’s “am I impressing her enough so that, say we were both stranded on a desert island, she would find me acceptable enough as a human being to want to be with me sexually?”

It sounds silly, I know, but no more silly than the woman I knew who broke up with her fiancee because she didn’t like the way his last name sounded with her first name. And it’s important to point out that this all occurs at a subconscious level for most men -- we are so used to sublimating our sexual drives that we are often unaware of when and how they impel us. But when a man meets a woman in a social situation and the woman is exempt from categories One or Three, well, that means sex is on the table . . . theoretically. Or, at least the innate desire of men to display their sexual assets (not their big dicks, BTW) in terms of demonstrating competency, success, efficiency, control, strength, wisdom, humor, intelligence . . . you get the idea. When we meet a woman for the first time, that desire appears like a magical suit of armor. We’re polite, attentive, respectful, witty, and all those other things that we think will get girls.

BUT . . . the moment that a woman moves categories, that perspective goes away.

Here’s an example: I used to work in an all-female office, surrounded by women all day long (I was a secretary). I got along with everyone, about six women in all, ages ranging from my mother’s age to just-out-of-college. One of my co-workers, let’s call her Jill, was particularly funny and intelligent, and I flirted as outrageously as 1990s era sexual harassment in the South would let you get away with. I was already engaged to my wife, so there was no serious issue -- just me being my usual charming self, and Jill being her charming self.

Then came the day that one of my other co-workers let slip that Jill was, in fact, completely gay. That wasn’t a problem for me, understand, as I had not only been raised in the Lesbian Capital Of The South, my spiritual leader was a dyke and I had plenty of lesbian friends. I’m completely comfortable around lesbians, so Jill being gay didn’t bother me at all. But the fact that her status had changed in my mind wasn’t completely apparent until a few weeks later, when Jill tracked me down and demanded to know why I was mad at her.

I was surprised -- I wasn’t mad at her at all. But she pointed out several little things that I used to do that I didn’t do anymore -- flirting, jokes, some of the camaraderie -- Jill thought I was mad at her, and even wondered if being gay was part of it (although that was the first time she, personally, had mentioned it to me). And she was right. My behavior had changed, and being gay was part of it, but not because I’m homophobic. My behavior changed because Jill’s status had changed, from “A Woman Who Hasn’t Rejected Me Yet” to “A Woman Firmly In Category 3 (non-sex protocols ONLY)”. I gave it some serious consideration -- I don’t take such things lightly -- and I finally had to go back to her with this:

“Jill, I like you a lot, and you’re a good friend and a wonderful person. But the fact is, men in general have a hard time with rejection, and when I’m faced with your lesbianism, it’s not that I begrudge you anything at all -- it’s just that you’ve essentially rejected my entire gender, and due to that my behavior toward you changed, because my feelings toward you have changed.”

She thought that was joking, at first, and then when she realized I was serious, she got upset. How dare I use her sexual identification to single her out, was I so petty and stupid as to let her relative fuckability determine the course of our friendship, how could I be that mean, etc. etc. It took about two weeks to get her calmed down to discuss the issue rationally again. But I was persistent -- I liked Jill. I considered her a friend and a valuable co-worker. But I couldn’t flirt with her anymore, or give her anymore personal intimacy than I would extend to a male friend. While my level of courtesy never lapsed, my willingness to pay attention to the details of her life and share my own with her diminished. It was as if my White Knight, Impress The Girls armor was invisible to her.

Did I cheat myself out of a good friendship by doing this? Perhaps. I certainly didn’t help me get laid one way or another. But the more I thought about it, the more I recognized the truth of my feelings. When a woman rejects you, or (more rarely) is rejected by you, her status changes. When Jill’s status changed, on the one hand I no longer felt the subtle pressure to impress her with who I was, for one thing. On the other hand, lunch was always a little more tense after that. Eventually Jill got used to this change in my status, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t get me to flirt anymore. There was just . . . no point.

I struggled with this a long time, and the issue re-occurred a few years later when my wife’s best friend came out as definitely-not-straight. She was more irate than Jill over my sudden disinterest, and I felt even worse about that. But once again, it came down to a matter of rejection. Personal or wholesale, rejection strikes to the heart of men’s souls, and we will do just about anything to avoid it -- even avoid women in favor of porn, sometimes. As Warren Farrel points out, when faced with rejection, men turn to objectification to lessen the sting. Enough sting, and you get a dude who seriously ready to objectify. And that means removing your vulnerable self from the area of potential injury, among other things. When your girlfriend breaks up with you, you don’t move in next door (unless you have bigger issues). When the nice girl in the office turns you down for a date, you can relax a little because you know where you stand with her, and you don’t have to worry about impressing her any more.

And when the intelligent, witty, highly-educated and charming woman you just met at a book signing lets you know that while she finds you interesting, intriguing, funny and charming . . . that there is absolutely no possibility of sex on the table . . . you have her make it out to “Charlie, all the best” and you move on.

It’s not a character flaw in men, nor is it, I believe, entirely a cultural artifact. If it was, then we would see its absence in some human cultures. Indeed, I’m entirely open to the idea that there exists somewhere a naturally occurring culture where men and women can leave sex off the table and still proceed with friendship and even intimacy apace . . . but I haven’t found it yet. You can blame it on men if you have to, but I contend that that’s who we are, part of the character of masculinity, and not a character flaw.

Emily continues:

(1) Nearly all of my closest friends have been men, and it never occurred to me that this might be true.

Ask ‘em. You might be surprised by their opinions. If they’re truthful.

(2) This is exactly the sort of thing I tell my students is a cultural myth but isn't actually true - men, I want to tell my students, are not actually dick-driven simpletons incapable of recognizing a woman's personhood in the absence of sexual access to that woman.

Have to stop you there, Emily. I find your characterisation of men in this context to be unfairly biased. How about “constantly sexually aware and socially astute mature adults who are informed and guided by their ability to distinguish between viable and non-viable partners and tailor their behavior and decisions accordingly”. I mean, no one would try to deny your personhood if you took sex off the table right up front. On the other hand, I will testify that most men, in that situation, are unlikely to extend any further interest towards you not dictated by manners or an ulterior motive. Once sex is off the table, your status changes, and once your status changes in a man’s mind, unless he REALLY enjoys a challenge and is seriously grooving on you despite your protests, he’s going to find someone with whom he can not only enjoy a pleasant evening with, but also engage in sweaty monkey sex. That’s not denying personhood, that’s moving on to greener pastures.


(3) Well, if this is true, it goes some distance in explaining why I've been single since 2005. When I used to the "let's have sex to get the question out of the way" strategy, I had relationships - relationships that ENDED, let's be clear, but relationships. Since adopting the "we're not going to be having sex anytime soon because I really do need to get to know you first, no matter how attractive you are" strategy, I have not had one relationship.

My professional sex-nerd opinion? You hit the nail on the head. “We aren’t going to ever have sex” is great news for both parties, but it essentially closes off huge swaths of possibilities, pre-limiting the nature and intensity of the relationship. When you say that, you are essentially “pre-rejecting” a man. He might still respect you as a human being, a professional, and a woman . . . but what incentive does he have to spend time with you and cultivate an intimate relationship when you’ve already put the most important aspect of intimacy out of reach? No matter how engaging the prospect of a platonic relationship, it’s never going to have the draw of a potentially sexual relationship to a man.

Now, I have no trouble creating an environment where sex is viewed as a possibility - all I have to do is NOT say "sex is not going to happen in the foreseeable future," and my job takes care of the rest. So perhaps my best potential strategy is to say, "We're not going to have sex in the foreseeable future UNLESS you successfully seduce me, and I am a challenge to seduce because I know so much about the game that I am the fucking Magister Ludi of seduction; in order to play with me you have to play a META-game, you have to improvise a new game with me, in the moment. Go."

Personally? I think that’s your best bet. A man will respond to a challenge better than being given a dead-end. If he thinks he’s up to the task, me might surprise you. More than likely, he’ll reveal himself to be an unimaginative and unlearned lover. But if he does surprise you by meeting your very high bar, then consider the potential magic in that union. And you probably do come across as a little intimidating to dudes, Emily, thanks to your job. Not many men would have the confidence or self-reliance to even attempt that level of seduction, much less the talent and the intelligence.

[quote]will a straight man be less likely to want to get to know her? If not, why is this a cultural narrative? If so, does the same hold for gay men getting to know men? And if it is true, what's a girl to do?

All fair questions, Emily, which is why I wrote the post. Whether or not it’s a cultural narrative would demand examining disparate human sexual cultures and comparing and contrasting -- no easy task. But from my crude observations and conversations with men in other cultures, my gut feeling is that this is not a Western Culture thing. I’m more than willing to alter my opinion if there are some convincing arguments, but at this point I’m sticking to the “That’s how men are . . . sorry, better get used to it” line. Because I do think that men possess a more active set of sexual impulses than women, as a rule, and I think that it’s what makes us get up in the morning, talk to pretty girls, beat up saber-toothed tigers, make lunch for the kids, and be kind to old ladies. Without that impulse then we turn inwards, climb into the inner recesses of our mother’s basement, and stay there until they turn the internet off.

Is it different for gay guys? I’m not the one to ask, but it’s a very intriguing question.

And what’s a girl to do? Smile and have good posture. And hope the next dude who chats you up in a bar is more interested in what you have to say than what his penis has to say. I mean, there’s always a chance . . .

Thanks for letting me play, Emily! I truly do love your blog and respect your professional opinion. But on this one, I’m going to hold my position.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bree Olson and Charlie Sheen: Tigerblood And The Making Of A Love Goddess

When you work in the porn industry, it’s always a little vicarious thrill to see one of our own intrude into the mainstream world, something that’s happening with a lot of frequency now that we’re all aTwitter and porn itself is becoming mainstream. Lately, pornstars have been in the mainstream news in all sorts of ways, from Stormy Daniels’ consideration of a possible gubernatorial run, to Lisa Ann's devastating parody of Sarah Palin, to Tiger Woods’ multiple trysts with pornstars . . . and now we have official Hollywood Bad Boy (and star of the tepid Two And A Half Men sitcom on CBS, where he presumably plays one of the complete men -- sorry, haven't watched it. Porn beckons . . . ) Charlie Sheen stealing away someplace tropical with a hot blonde graphic designer and former Adam & Eve Contract Star Bree Olson.

I’ve interviewed Bree, and she’s a sweet girl. Not only is she a great performer with an incredible body and a lot of enthusiasm for the work, but she has a girl-next-door smile that just beams. Like many in the industry, she wasn’t at the top of her graduating class – and she’s had her share of personal trauma – but she was also an outstanding performer and represented one of the world’s premier Adult brands for three years (incidentally, Adam & Eve turns 40 this year . . . no, really!).

After she left the big label, she moved on to do some work for other houses, including one I’m eagerly anticipating. It’s rumored that she starred in the New Sensations’ yet-to-be-released adult parody of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. And according to reports, she is, at this point, “retired” from the industry so that she can spend more time with her new “family”: actor Charlie Sheen and graphic designer Natalie Kenly.

It’s one of those whacky Hollywood style polyandrous relationships that are doomed to be temporary, but I can’t fault Sheen: Bree is a hottie, and you just have to appreciate a girl who has wanted to be a porn star since she was a child. No. Really. Bree really does love sex that much, especially anal sex, and her aspirations have been for porn stardom since before it was wholesome for a young lady to consider that as a proper career. She loves what she does on camera. She really is a sex goddess, and as “special” as Charlie Sheen is, I’m sure they’re both benefiting from the unconventional relationship. Bree gets international attention and a fabulous island vacation with a notorious Hollywood star (and a smokin’ hot graphic designer – Bree doesn’t mind munchin’ muff) and Charlie . . . gets a piece of Bree.

Next month the relationship will have exploded because of the media pressure, and Bree will be in even higher demand – expect her to come out of retirement shortly after the chaos of the celebrity break-up recedes – but more importantly, she will have escaped the porn ghetto and entered the much glitzier world of paparazzi and A-list name recognition. Because after this week, everyone in Hollywood will know who Bree Olson is. At least by name.

But if you’re really interested, here’s a selection of Bree’s work. This is the ass that Sheen’s a-tappin’ in some of her greatest hits:

Big Tit Bangers 2: One of Bree’s earlier scenes. Real Girl Next Door look.

Bree & Kayden: Bree enjoying some sapphic girl time with A&E's other contract star at the time, Kayden Kross. Great girl-on-girl, and I'm sure it's a taste of some of what Charlie is enjoying. Unlike some performers, Bree's perfectly comfortable getting intimate with another chick . . .

. . . which brings us to Bree & Sasha, with Euro brunette superstar Sasha Grey. If Charlie's getting some blonde-on-blonde, check out some of this deliciously sensual blonde-on-brunette -- the contrasts of body types is intriguing, and the two performers are very, very good at what they do.

Bree Exposed: Just good ol' fashioned porn, featuring a really choice anal spooning scene with veteran cocksman Tommy Gunn. Nice work.

Bree Olson: The Five: A powerhouse porn-diva collection! Bree headlines and welcomes Alexis Texas, Sasha Grey, Shyla Stylez, and Jenna Haze in a showcase performance! Is it any good? At the time that this was shot in 2009, the ladies had 15 AVN Awards between them. They have more now.

Bree's Anal Invasion: Don't expect a lot of plot, but if you're into ass, this won't disappoint! Bree has always been a passionate up-the-butt girl, and she puts her ass to the test in this one. Charlie's a lucky dude. And from what Bree told me, the back door is always open.
Bree's College Daze: One of the first of Bree's hits. Hot college sorority girl sex. Tell me she wasn't typecast. Every sorority has a girl like Bree in it.

Bree's College Daze 2: Because just one semester of college isn't enough! Bree's back on campus, and back on her back, and on her knees, and . . .

Bree's Slumber Party: Perhaps Charlie Sheen's doing a sequel? Also stars superhotties Penny Flame and Kayden Kross.

Carolina Jones and the Broken Covenant: Back before the parody craze really took off, this oft-overlooked and underrated flick stars Ava Rose as Carolina Jones (Adam & Eve is in North Carolina) was one of Bree's first "big time porn" productions. Bree Olson stars as the spunky blonde sidekick, and yes, you may interpret that any way that you would like. It's hot. It's violent (not the sex, the plot -- sex is great!). Good date night fare, and one of Bree's earlier works.

Down & Dirty With Bree Olson: Bree gets down. Bree gets dirty. Bree takes an awful lot of dick up her ass. Four hours of one Bree scene after another, including some interracial. Girl is nasty, in a good way.

Eden: This was an important film, one of the first Bree did with Adam & Eve Pictures as a contract girl, and the last one that Adam & Eve Pictures' outgoing contract girl, Carmen Luvana, starred in. Bree does a great anal 3-way, and the lush tropical settings, intense sexual performances and a staggering 10 full-length scenes make this a good addition to your collection in its own right.

Everybody Loves Bree: Well, pretty much. Charlie Sheen's a fan, of Bree, of course, and even if Natalie Kenly is a little reluctant to do a girl, you have to admit, even if you were averse to lesbian pursuits, Bree's a pretty hot chick to eat out. This flick will show you why.

Hot Cherry Pies 4: Bree's an open bisexual, and this quick and dirty little lesbo flick shows her "dining at the Y" with gusto! And with 30 girls, I'm sure you can find a couple you like.

Long Dong Black Kong: Bree Olson takes Justin Long's really, really, really big dick in an intense interracial tryst. She's got a soft spot for the brothas, Charlie, watch her around Chris Rock.

Roller Dollz: Bree Olson and a pack of super-hot sex kittens on roller skates at roller derby bouts. A joint production between Adam & Eve Pictures and Zero Tolerance (which usually sticks to straight-up gonzo fare), this adorable flick blew me away. Highly recommended.

Solostravaganza 4: This 2-disc set put Bree on the cover and sales took off. Want to see Bree take a honeymoon in her hand? This is the place.

Sunshine Highway: One of the first pictures Bree did for Adam & Eve, and a worthy effort. She's got wholesome dripping off of her like beads of sweat, even when she's getting screwed in the ass. That's a rare talent.

The 8th Day: Post holocaust sex. Bree has one scene in this movie. It was shot right around the time her grandmother died, so it's not her best work.

The Girls Of Adam & Eve: All of AEP's contract girls from over the years in their best scenes, including one of Bree's best. Great way to put her work in perspective against the larger evolution of porn at the nation's most prestigious adult movie institutions. Plus, if Charlie Sheen had any theoretical higher ground to his fantasy life, this would be it. Imagine being on a tropical island with all of these babes?

The Naughty Co-ed Caper: Bree's in school but she has a tuition problem (gee, maybe in one of these movies the girls could just fill out a financial aid form . . . nahhhh!) so she turns to crime, robbing banks naked. No, really. Hey, it's porn. It's what we do.

The Surrender Of O: It's a big step when a new contract girl takes over a successful franchise. It's twice as big when the franchise is based on a porn classic. The sequel to the hit O: The Power Of Submission, starring veteran contract star Carmen Luvana, Bree handled this important flick with a lot of style. It's BDSM, although aficianaods might find it a little on the light side. Still, Bree does a great job in a difficult medium with the help of Ava Rose and Kayden Kross.

Watch Your Back 2: Straight-up wholesome gonzo anal porn like grandpa used to watch.

Whale Tale: With ass-centric footage shot before she signed with AEP, Bree's cover shot here announced her presence with authority and got her a whole lot of attention. I mean, she's got one of the best asses in the biz, and she loves to use it.

The A Team: A XXX Parody: Bree is the female lead in this surprisingly good parody (see full review here) in which she plays Amy, the only chick in the original series. While her role in the plot is small, her scene doing "Cannibal" (Randy Spears) is delicious!

Bree's Big Screw Review: Bree reviews some porn movies, and gets to screw Tommy Gunn.

NotThe Bionic Woman And The Six Million Dollar Man : Bree plays Lindsy Summers, the Bionic Woman. I'm sure you can guess which parts of her are bionic . . .

That's a good start to Bree Olson 101. Here's the extra credit.

Bree's a fun girl, as Charlie is finding out -- but did you know how many marshmallows she can stuff in her mouth at one time?

(Vs. Kayden Kross)

Bree Olson's Bio:

Name: Bree Olson
Birthdate: 10/11/1987
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
Height: 5' 3"
Bust Size: 34D
Studio: Independent

Bree Olson erupted on the adult movie scene in 2006, and was an Adam & Eve contract star from 2007 to 2010. Beautiful big boobs, a round and sexy ass, and a smile that lights up a room like fireworks combine to make Bree Olson one of the hottest performers and a true fan favorite! Known for her exuberant performances, there’s no denying one thing about the gorgeous blonde bombshell: she’s always HORNY! With no fake excitement in her scenes in the slightest – Bree is just happy having sex, the raunchier the better!
Bree is openly bisexual, and is equally excited about girl-girl and boy-girl shoots. She also loves anal – loves it! – and enjoys working with a variety of performers. Everybody loves working with Bree – she has a reputation on set for having a warm heart and a sunny disposition. She’s a cat person – Dr. Sniffles – and loves animals, being very involved with animal charities.

A Libra born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, she’s of Ukrainian descent, and credits her late Ukrainian grandmother as one of her biggest influences.

Bree made the decision early on to work in the adult industry, starting with dancing and photo shoots before moving on into gonzo and feature work. She was Penthouse Pet Of The Month in March, 2008. Her attitude and early performances garnered plenty of attention, and in 2007 she stepped into the role of a full-fledged contract star for one of the biggest adult film production houses, Adam & Eve Pictures. She has starred in almost 150 adult flicks, thus far. She was named Best New Web Starlet by AVN in 2009, Best New Starlet in 2008, and Best Anal Sex Scene in 2008.

And that's the thing: Bree's a fun girl, and she's having a good time with a big celebrity. She's worked hard at her career, and if this is where she's happiest, I'm sincerely happy. I hope she enjoys her mainstream fame, and is able to leverage it into something worthwhile.

But in the meantime, she's given us an impressive body of work.

Of her impressive body at work.

UPDATE: Tigerblood!

I've talked a lot about Bree (who now prefers "Rach" off-screen), but what about Charlie? I've been a hypernerdy fan of his since Red Dawn ("WOLVERINES!") the lurid 80s tale about a post apocalyptic resistance group to a Communist invasion, not to mention Platoon and Wall Street, and while I haven't quite forgiven him for Men At Work, even compared to Bree he's a pretty decent performer in his own right. But that's not what I like about him . . . it's the


That's the innate Sheenesque quality of pure manly bravado and masculine chutzpah that decides, hey, I'm a passionate guy and here are not one but two really, really hot blondes who love me and want to sleep with me, so . . . WHY THE HELL NOT? Tigerblood is what makes a man a man. Need to get a couple of six-packs on the way home.

But it's also the reason that Charlie gave for his sexually aggressive lifestyle and occasionally outrageous (or misunderstood) behavior -- and who can blame him? He's the highest paid actor on TV, he's dating a porn star AND a graphic designer, he has two beautiful boys by another beautiful woman . . . I mean, why does Charlie suddenly have to be the role model for America's Youth . . . when he can allow America's Middle Aged the chance to live vicariously through him?

Keep it up, Tigerblood. You're Still Winning!