If he was in his dress whites while doing the aforementioned sidling, and then murmured, low and sexy, "I'm a fully vetted, licensed and endorsed fabulous childcare provider...let me care for your children while you recline on your bed and alternate between reading and napping. I cook, clean, and tidy up behind myself and the kids, too. Plus I'll solve that pesky little potty training regression you've been dealing with, and if you like, I can fix the hitting and tantrums in the two year old." Now we're talking!
Apparently, that this is what women---young and old, rich and poor---want is no surprise whatsoever.
The Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative (did you know there was one?) recently published Porn for Women.
98 pages of photos of hot men doing all the things that make women go oooohhhh ahhhh and oh yesssssss, such as
* listening (and, I assume, paying attention and replying after internalizing your gem-filled words)
The Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative (CWPC) was formed in 2005, "to redefine the way we look at pornography. Our mission is to recover the term ‘pornography’ from the gold-chained, hairy-chested, leisure-suit-wearing, mouth-breathing knuckleheads, and reclaim it for the rest of us. CWPC members have opted to keep their membership roster unpublished, out of concern that our colleagues in academia, medicine, and the media may still have underdeveloped senses of humor. We hope this book will change that.”
They created this humorous book after allegedly interviewing women---all across the age, socioeconomic and marital status scale---to discover what really turns women on.
In two years, they have accomplished what Cosmopolitan has been striving for since 1886: demystifying for women (and men) what it is that women really want.
Fortunately for everyone, women are a collective who all want the same thing all the time. It does take 98 pages to explain what women want, which is probably longer and more complex than some out there had hoped---but at least it's very visual.
There is, of course, no question about what men want. There is, of course, the well-accepted assumption that we all already know what all men want. In case I need to spell that out for you, it's supposed to be sex. Men are supposed to be driven in all aspects of life to seek sex, aka The Thing Men Want.
I do not recall spending any point in my life, single or married, feeling confident and foot-sure about men because I already knew exactly what they all wanted. Sex. My friends and I found (and find) men confusing creatures. They seemed to be more complex than a bundle of hormones looking for quick release.
Take my husband (just for a sec, hon, I promise). He appears to have other drives, goals, and motivations above and beyond a sex drive. He has other interests, too. He is falling outside the Known Zone.
Now what am I supposed to do with that?
See, if you understand a person's motivation---what he wants---it simplifies all interactions.
You'd think this CWPC initiative and published findings (the porn book) would be the Rosetta stone for male-female communication and relationships.
However, about twenty years ago I finally gave up on anything being the Rosetta stone for that and began accepting that we are each far more than simply our sex (no pun intended). I grew to understand that every person was very unique, and traits, likes, dislikes, abilities, interests and so forth tended to fall more on the personality spectrum than the gender spectrum.
But we so frequently get hemmed in by these pre-set identities. And once in them, or even once out of them, the results aren't often what we expect.
I'm unemployed -- sorry, I mean, freelancing -- these days. I have plenty of time to clean house and do the laundry. And my wife Sara is grateful. But our lives have not zoomed into sweaty dreamland. That's partly because Sara started teaching elementary school full-time six months ago. I'm lucky if I can see her when she's not falling asleep exhausted over a pile of student papers.
BookDaddy goes on to say:
A man who'll vaccuum the house, who'll lend an appreciative ear: Women certainly like these things, they'd appreciate them. But they're not -- as the Cooperative puts it with such scientific precision -- what "gets women hot." Trust me. If men like that truly did turn women on, George Clooney and Daniel Craig wouldn't have careers. Does anyone believe women look at those two and fantasize about sharing a cup of chamomile tea?
These things will keep you on the list, but are not a surefire way to get anything beyond a happy and healthy relationship with your wife or girlfriend.
Vanessa at Feministing says it better than I ever could:
While a part of me feels like I need to get my hands on this book, it’s sad that we would need pictures and descriptions of “considerate men” to jerk off to rather than expect it or have it from the men in our actual lives. Porn generally consists of sexual fantasy; making me dinner should be a standard, not something I fantasize about.
Jokes about men in dress-whites offering to clean, military clean, my house and watch my children aside, I don't actually fantasize about domestic chores. Participation in domestic chores is an expectation of mine, not a fantasy.
BookDaddy is right: I don't think women look at Clooney or Colbert and fantasize about dusting and washing dishes.
See, those are needs, things that must be done.
Fantasies are about wants.
And in that, Vanessa is right: consideration with regard to needs should be a given.
That means, I'm afraid, that the answer of what "turns on" women (and men) is still Out There, and varies by person.
With that in mind---my own perfectly well-developed sense of humor aside---I have to wonder what good does it accomplish to continue feeding into the gender roles and gender divide, even if done in jest?
I might need to lighten up, but it does trouble me some.
I can't help but remember the lovely Shane of my youth who once said, speaking over John Mellencamp, "I wish holding hands still meant something..." Until that very open, honest, and vulnerable moment it had never occured to me that sex felt like a big, unwelcome pressure to some guys, too.
I had been so brainwashed---and possibly the boys had, too---into believing all guys only want One Thing. The modern age told us more than that though: girls were supposed to want it too. We were all supposed to be sexually driven creatures. It was supposed to be No Big Deal.
But for some of us, it was a big deal.
I suspect if people set humor aside, men and women would have pretty much the same answer: I want someone to look deep into my eyes, see me for real, and think I am the best thing ever.
Now that's sexy.
copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Tags: Cambridge Women's Pornography Cooperative, porn for women, what turns women on, benefits and dangers of assigned gender roles