Am I the odd one out?
We were a group of friends at a bachelorette party cruise on the harbor. There were lots of other groups, some bigger, some smaller. All with their own bachelorette on the last party before holy matrimony.
The bachelorettes were all recognizable by their mock wedding dress costumes. There was lots of giggling and laughter.
The cocktails were served accompanied by penis-shaped straws.
Then, the male strippers came onboard.
There was lots of excitement. Loud, shrill screaming all around us.
But I couldn’t watch.
I was a bit disgusted.
Not because I’m some sort of a goody-two-shoes virgin.
I enjoy having sex and I see nothing wrong with having fun with the boys.
But guess what?
When I look at a stranger’s body — and especially at those body parts that our society deems “sexy” and “masculine” — I never feel arousal. I feel disgust.
There’s a distinction between attraction and a feeling of arousal.
We often think attraction equals arousal, but that’s not necessarily the case.
I can feel attracted to someone without being aroused.
For example, I love looking at women’s bodies. I can often be caught staring at women’s curves. But it’s not the type of attraction that would make me feel aroused. If I had to define it, I would describe it as a platonic attraction.
I also feel attracted to men, but it’s rarely muscles or a certain body build that do it for me. It’s typically a smile that makes my knees tremble. A wholehearted smile holds the potential to make me quiver all over, time and time again.
And when it comes to arousal, well… The odd, most unexpected things can trigger it.
What I noticed is, that when I have satisfying sex on a regular basis, then I’m not so easily aroused. Spontaneous arousal hardly ever happens. Not with my partner and not anywhere else. Perhaps when I have an active, fulfilling sex life, arousal simply stays dormant. It usually only wakes when my partner is touching me with his special irresistible moves. If you think that’s odd, think again. It’s actually very common for people, especially in long-term relationships. It’s called responsive desire and you can read about it here.
When my boyfriend and I broke up some 5 months ago, I thought my libido has vanished. Nothing aroused me for a good 3-months period. I couldn’t be bothered with it, not even for solo-sex. Nada. I guess my cup was truly full.
After about 3 months, though, I noticed I am starting to feel aroused by the silliest things.
And this is what I want to explain in this article.
It wasn’t a male stripper’s body that got me aroused.
It was the subtlest things you can ever possibly imagine. Like, looking at someone walking down the street from the distance. Just a regular guy. I couldn’t even see if he was skinny or fat, so far away he was.
Or looking at some random guy’s elbow. An elbow, for crying out loud! Arousal would slowly creep in, lingering and waiting for me to find an opportunity to welcome it fully and release it all by myself. Which is a poetic way of saying that I indulged in self-pleasuring.
No siree, don’t try to sell bare-breasted firefighters calendars to me.
Perhaps I’m the odd one out. Perhaps most women are actually aroused by looking at male strippers. I’m not going to pretend to know.
But there’s one more thing I wanted to say.
Please leave the objectifying images of men and women for those who are searching arousal.
Strippers at the strippers club, I get it. People pay money to be aroused, to be teased, to explore the malleability of sexual borders.
What I don’t like is how our society accepts as the norm the use of arousal as a tool for manipulation.
It’s when we use arousal in order to get something other-than-sex that I am irked.
We are so used to seeing it everywhere that we think it’s totally normal. Well, it probably is normal. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK.
Can we please bring some awareness into sex and arousal?
Can we please appreciate sex and arousal for the beauty they bring into our lives, so that we stop using them as a manipulation tool?
Let arousal be a tool for enjoyable sex, not a vehicle for promoting a sports car.