Female Sexuality: How to Say No, Have Good Sex, and Get Married, Not Necessarily in That Order (Part I)


             Let us begin at the beginning.  You are an animal, and—like all God’s creatures—a pretty fine one.  Compared to a wildebeest or an anteater, you look pretty good.  You are, however, the most complicated animal on earth, and therefore hard to understand.  Stick with me while we try to puzzle out a few things, like what you want out of sex and what you want out of life, how the two fit together, and how to get what you want.

God created you with the capacity to reproduce sexually.  You don’t get more of your kind by planting seeds in the soil and pouring water on them—you do it by getting it on with your man.  You know the basics about your sexual reproduction process:  ovaries, estrogen and progesterone, menstruation, uterus, labia, vagina (insert penis here to begin).  If you are lucky, and better educated than I was, you also know you have a clitoris that is the source of your major thrills.

            At conception, all human beings are female.  We all start with a clitoris and labia.  During womb-time, some females’ clitorises (clitori?) grow into penises, their labia turn into scrotum, and the whole body becomes male.  Big whoop.  More babies stay female than turn into male, and more females survive the womb and the first five years of life than do men.  For better or worse, we outnumber the guys.

            According to Freud, the most sexually aware times of life are the ages of five, puberty and menopause.  Most of us have little recollection of our kindergarten sexuality—unless some bad people came in and screwed it all up (hey, it happens)—but we all know that puberty is when it gets interesting.  Hormone activity changes us completely, and we are now ready to roll, i.e., we are now physically ready to reproduce our species.

In 1965 something happened that changed everything about the way men and woman reproduce, so stick with me while I tell you how it was before 1965—we will call this The Olden Days.  In The Olden Days, physically ready boys and girls met in the back seats of cars to engage in the mating ritual, and it was so clearly an animal custom that it could be put on the Discovery channel with a voiceover:  “The male puts his arm around the female.  She pretends not to notice, but turns her face up to his and leans toward him.  Their mouths come in contact and they begin to rub their lips together.  This is called kissing.  Studies show that most first kisses are initiated by the female of the human species.

            “The female permits this kissing to continue for a while.  When the male is sufficiently excited to take the next step toward mating, the female pulls away.  This is the pattern that she will continue for the rest of her life or until she is married, whichever comes first.  At every stage of the mating ritual, when the male is excited enough to proceed to the next stage, the female will draw back.  The reasons for this are complicated, deeply embedded, and mainly have to do with a single reality:  the female is designed to carry the main physical responsibility for the continuation of her species.”

            The first order of all living creatures is to reproduce.  God designed your DNA to be obsessively committed to continuing itself.  Your DNA programs your body to keep you sexually active so that your DNA will be reproduced.  One man, who has had three life-threatening illnesses, reports that he is never so horny as when he is deathly ill.  He believes it is a biological response to the need of his DNA to plant his sperm in a woman before he dies.  He needs to continue his genetic line.

            The genetic configuration that results in people who have frequent sexual intercourse is the genetic configuration that gets reproduced.  People who are designed with a low sex drive have sex less often, get pregnant less often, and reproduce their genetic pattern less often.  The natural process of breeding is, generation after generation, making us more sexually demanding.  One of the reasons (but only one of the reasons) why clothes are getting tighter and smaller, and movies and music are getting more sexually explicit, is that we are, as a species, reproducing people with increasingly heightened sexuality.  Exponentially, more sexy people are producing more sexy people.

            Now, let’s return to the backseat of the 1963 Chevy Impala and catch up on the mating ritual:  “The male of the species, rebuffed by the female, tries to regain access.  He may proceed on the basis of trial and error, the advice of other males, or imitation of his male parent.  A sampling of things that please the female would include being given flowers, hearing the words “I love you,” and having her back rubbed.  When the female again feels safe and secure, she will let the male approach her with more kisses—this time mutual tongue-in-mouth kisses.  These initial overtures in the mating process continually will be interrupted and repeated.”  The fact is that the female does not know why she is rebuffing the male; she only knows it is what she has been taught to do.

            Here is the reason for it:  if she lets him proceed to mate, odds are she will get pregnant but she is not ready to carry and deliver a pregnancy.  (The design purpose of sex is to get pregnant—try to keep that in mind.)  Nine months of pregnancy would be followed by about two years of nursing the newborn infant.  She is not designed to provide food and protection for herself and her infant in the natural environment during these years.  Keep in mind that we are talking about very Olden Times here; we are talking about the oldest, simplest social structure of hunters and gathers.  Think about a woman who is seven months pregnant and has swollen ankles trying to slip through the woods to bring down a deer, gut it and hump it back to the cave.  Think about her felling trees and rolling boulders for shelter with a suckling babe at her breast.  Ain’t gonna happen—and these are our antecedents.  (To be continued)

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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