This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Why do so many women feel a need to pretend, explicitly or implicitly, that they don’t enjoy sex?

Many times I’ve wanted an answer to this question.

I’m not saying that all women fall into this category. I’m sure that just as there are millions of men and women who don’t enjoy reading or physical exercise or shopping (like me) there must be millions of women who really don’t much like sex. However, it stands to reason that if each woman had to be coerced into having intercourse, if it was something genuinely distasteful for half of humanity, then there would not be very many people around any more – if the race wasn’t extinct, that is.

Actually, this ties in with another question: why does “society” look down on women with unconventional sexual tastes? I’m not talking about lesbianism; unless you’re living in some country like Saudi Arabia, lesbianism – whatever your government would like to pretend – is by and large a non-issue. I’m talking about women who are, say, sadomasochistic, or have other so-called kinks, or who are comfortable with promiscuity. They are all liable to be called whores or worse. Why?

One possible answer in my mind is the ultimate biological purpose of sex, which when you get down to it is just one single thing: reproduction. Unless the particular society is a completely communist one in the truest sense of the word, like the ancient Celts or some of the Polynesian peoples, where everything was shared including the upbringing of children and separate family units didn’t exist, any man hooks up with a woman because of one thing, ultimately: swapping genes. The invention of the condom and the Pill makes no difference to that basic biological fact. And a man is a primate. Like most primate species, he will invest the time and energy in a relationship only if he is convinced that it’s worth it – in other words, if the children he will have with a particular woman are his children and not someone else’s. (This is the same impulse behind the phenomenon of child marriage and burqas; get your woman young and keep her under control, constantly pregnant and shielded from other men, or she will stray, and you’ll have a cuckoo in the nest.)

And as it is, women are often multiorgasmic – they take slower to get started but can keep going for much longer than their men. This might be very nice – sexually speaking – but to the average male chauvinist, this means only that a woman can, firstly, serve his own sexual needs without attaining an orgasm, so you should get right to it without foreplay, which reinforces the notion that she does not and can't enjoy sex), and, secondly, that if he allows her freedom to have as many orgasms as she wishes, she could go and get it from another man – if not a succession of men.

Therefore, if a woman displays an enjoyment of sex, if she  shows that she has an equal or greater sexual appetite than her man, she immediately attracts his suspicion, expressed or otherwise, subconscious or otherwise. It’s social conditioning with a genetic flavour.

Of course there are women who are, and it takes time and effort, liberating themselves from this sexual straitjacket, and they deserve support and encouragement, not censure.

There are also women who flaunt their sexuality in one’s face, who make it a point of showcasing their so-called sexual liberation. Do these women blow a hole in my theory? Not at all. They merely reinforce it. To misquote Shakespeare, they prove my point byprotesting too much.


There’s an old story about Jill, who, on the eve of her marriage to Jack, goes crying to her mom, saying “Jack just told me that if he finds I’m not a virgin on the wedding night, he’ll divorce me without a penny.”

Her mom, worried and unable to afford expensive hymen reconstruction surgery, takes her to the local doctor. The old man listens and says, “Why don’t you come to me on the morning of the marriage, and I’ll arrange things so you won’t have trouble.”

And the wedding happened, and that night Jill was most satisfactorily – screaming with the pain of it - deflowered by Jack, who was convinced that he had indeed landed a virgin.

The next morning Jill’s grateful mom went to the doctor, and asked him what he had done.

“Oh,” said the doctor, “I just knotted the pubic hairs together.”

All right now, joke over.

I have said earlier on this blog on more than one occasion that I find the whole concept of valuing virginity ridiculous. Personally, I wouldn’t be a virgin again for anything in the world – assuming, of course, that the de facto state of virginity could ever be restored. All those problems of self-doubt, worry about one’s self-worth, jealousy of people who were having sex, and all. I remember all that, and I don’t want it again, thank you very much.

But then I’m a male.

I know a lot of males who want to “bust cherries”, as the oh-so-elegant phrase has it, for reasons unclear to me except the bragging rights. A virgin isn’t likely to be a very satisfactory bed mate, after all. And any of you ladies would probably agree that the first time you had sex was not the best time you had sex.

I must say that in India, at least, the concept of hanging on to virginity at all costs is slowly retreating. In the towns it’s already gone, so long as you “don’t ask/don’t tell”. Indian society is hypocritical to its roots; as long as a woman pretends to be a virgin, that’s all she needs to do.

My dear cousin, for instance, claimed, even to me, her closest confidant in those days, to be a virgin – right up to the time she got pregnant. An immaculate conception? Hardly! (She later admitted that she got pregnant to her fourth lover.)

And as for deifying the celibate? We have genitals, don’t we? Is it normal not to use them? I strongly doubt there were any virgins among primitive humans, because their genes would get weeded out on the spot. Suppose you have a person who deliberately chooses not to use his left arm. Would you call such a person normal? So how is someone who refuses to use his or her sexual apparatus doing something normal? it may be a personal choice, but it is not "normal" by any acceptable definition.

The stimulus for this blog post is – to stop digressing – an article I read about hymen reconstruction clinics in Pakistan. I had known of this bizarre piece of surgery, of course. Apparently it’s considered sort of twee for certain women in Europe or the US who want to “restore their virginity” as a “gift” to their partners. I don’t know what sort of “gift” that would be, because virginity isn’t a gift – it’s a burden. And that isn’t even a real virginity, just a total faux one rendered even more ridiculous by the fact that the hymen doesn’t have anything to do with whether one has had sexual intercourse anyway. Even a sexually active woman can have a hymen, and a virgin can lose hers in a variety of ways.

In both Pakistan and some Arab nations, they reconstruct virgins – er, hymens – for the marriage bed, of course. And the thing costs, naturally. I think the surgery was invented in the first place as a money-making measure.

Oh, and the most ridiculous part of it? The Prophet Muhammad said that “No woman shall grow old in Islam a virgin.” And here they are making virgins.



I remember hearing about one of my father’s uncles, back in the days before independence, who would apparently (he was a feudal landlord in what is now Bangladesh) have one of his servants stand at the door while he fucked (I use the word advisedly – I don’t think the word “love” existed in his dictionary) his child bride, so he could have anything delivered that he asked for. It sounds disgusting, yes. But why does it sound disgusting? Do we have an answer for that?
Whales do it in groups. Baboons and other primates do it not just as a mating 
act but as a social ritual, establishing hierarchies. Bonobos do it as a social bonding and conflict avoidance mechanism. Undoubtedly, therefore proto-humans, and afterwards the first true humans, must have had no taboo about sexual relations in public. Today, however, sex in public is not usual – unless one is a porn star, and then it’s arguablyacting, not genuine sex at all, even if the penis does enter the vagina, etc.

We (well, most of us; I am not talking about the rare exceptions here) don’t seem to have problems being seen eating in public, or talking, or reading; so just at what point did having sexual intercourse suddenly become taboo, and for what reason? Does it have something to do with the fact that we have genitals rather prominently on display (well, the males among us do) and that sexual displays tend to reinforce hierarchical position? Is overt sexuality an aggressive act? Just as rape can be a weapon of war? Are humans socially conditioned to think of sex in public as taboo because otherwise having sex becomes an act of showing everyone who occupies the top rung of the ladder? After the dominant alpha male has sex with all the females, then only will the beta males, and then the gamma, and so on, be allowed to breed? Is that the root of the taboo?

All admittedly speculation on my part. And I wouldn’t like to be seen by a third  party while making love, either.  

I’m often amused by the argument that the conflict between “values” and “civilisations” is ultimately reducible to the question of a woman’s sexual freedom or the lack of it.
Well, of course, in most of the West and South Asian world, as in parts of Africa, the limits on a woman’s sexuality are obvious and rather crude. It’s not possible to deny that there are limits because the limits are so obvious that no one even bothers to hide them. In fact they try to impose even more limits and those, too, crudely. India sees such attempts just about every day.
Now there is also little doubt that in large parts of the rest of the world the limits of a woman’s sexual freedom, though they may not be that crudely expressed, are in place and just as restrictive.
For example, the restrictions on abortion and the attempts to block all access to abortion, in the allegedly sexually liberated USA – if that isn’t a restriction on sexual freedom, what is?
The Catholic Church, which still imposes celibacy on its nuns, is violating their sexual freedom, isn’t it? What about the other churches that promote abstinence-until-marriage pledges?
Isn’t much of the “liberal West” rather restrictive about sexual freedoms, at least in theory?
Then there is the other part of the world, where sexual liberalism is undoubted. Women can – in theory – sleep around with whom they choose to, when they choose to. Of course, such women also run the risk of being called “loose”, “whores” and so on. Oh yes – there is something else about them. Some time back I read a question by a woman from one of these parts of the world: “I’m thirty two years old and still a virgin. Everyone tells me virginity is unacceptable. Is there something wrong with me?”
When a woman can’t even decide to remain virgin out of her own free will, what is the value of her sexual freedom?


In Asian cultures, the children used to be married off the moment they reached puberty. Mostly they can’t do that now, but they try and discourage all contact with the other sex. And they also try and delay all manifestations of the child’s transition to adolescence.
I’m no fan of Stephen King. I no longer read his books. But in the first novel he wrote,Carrie, he described the upbringing of the eponymous heroine whose mother, a religious nut who thought childhood was "innocent" and "sacred", tried to delay her daughter’s menarche as long as possible by such measures as breast binding and brainwashing. That’s extreme, but in Asian societies the young woman’s sexual maturity is going to be submerged in muffling clothes.
At the same time the young woman in Western societies may often be seen in clothes that consciously ape those of childhood – baby doll outfits and so on.

When a woman has a daughter who is sexually mature, the daughter becomes asubconscious rival for the woman’s spouse’s attention. Incest has only relatively recently become taboo – it is not genetically so (we still use incest routinely in selective breeding of racehorses, lab mice, pedigree dogs, cattle, pigs, and so on – in fact we could not have created these breeds without incest). Human incest was common not so very long ago - Egyptian Pharaohs had compulsorily to marry their sisters, for instance. Our primate ancestors would likely have had their female offspring move out of the family unit the moment they were sexually mature; we haven’t come really very far from that genetic heritage, even though socially we have our daughters hanging around for many years afterwards (and now with improving nutrition girls reach menarche by nine or ten). The woman’s psychological reaction: "My daughter is now sexually mature. She is young and a better breeder than I am. Therefore, she is a rival for my spouse’s attention and also a rival against my own genes, since if she has offspring by him they will compete against mine." The unconscious thought is there in every case. It leads to repression of the girl’s sexuality as long as possible.
And what of the "clean shaven commando look"?
Why the waif like appearance of the walking stick supermodels?
Just imagine if the natural human male tendency is to breed with the youngest available female, because the younger woman will have better genes which have accumulated fewer mutations and because the younger woman will be better able to cope with new offspring. Yeah, I guess I’m saying that a sort of paedophilia is normal in the human subconscious, along with the Electra Complex. So what these women are doing is pandering to that urge. (Indian women routinely remove pubic hair for the same reason.)

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