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Dario D.
04-28-2007, 01:06 PM
I run into lots of social issues when I write, and sometimes need to know what people think about them before putting them down on paper.

Today's issue is sex, and whether or not you've ever thought the act is overrated.

I have a female character who, when accused of being a whore, says in her defense, "But I hate sex!" When the accuser persists, she adds, "I hardly even like it!"

Of course, she's just blurting out words, but, at this point, the reader is uncertain of her honesty, and won't find out until later whether or not she really thinks that. And so comes the problem: What if the reader says, "What the heck? What kind of person is this?"

So, I need to know if what she says is plausible for a female sex veteran like her (she's not really a whore - she's really more after the guys themselves), and, more generally, if you people think sex is overrated (asking both guys and gals).

I'm a guy, so I can't speak for women like her, but I know from reading lots of Google News Health Section that women can have very up-or-down sex lives, and that their mileage can vary greatly. Thus, being a confusing topic, I'm having a hard time predicting reader response when a girl says she doesn't like sex. I don't want people to flip, but I'm really not sure if they will.

Thanks for the insight. :)

Elodie-Caroline
04-28-2007, 03:04 PM
I'm not so sure about younger generations, say since the 1960s, but yes, there are women who don't like sex, they only do it to please their husbands and have children. I know women in their 60s etc, who have never even seen their husbands without their clothes on, these women also don't like, or want, sex.
Whereas, there are also very many women who love sex just as much as men do, if not more lol :D


Elodie

Sohia Rose
04-28-2007, 06:31 PM
Some women use sex as a powerful tool against men. For me, I learned early on that women had the power, even with heads of state.

scarletpeaches
04-28-2007, 06:37 PM
There's a name for women who use sex as a bargaining chip. (Men too, although as Sohia Rose said, it's mainly women).

I know someone of nearly my age who gets freaked out at the thought of anything sexual. Deep-seated problems there, I think. It's not a low-sex drive, it's a phobia...Shame. She definitely thinks it's overrated and won't even entertain any talk of sex. In fact I'd go so far as to say it disgusts her, because she's said "Normal people do it in the dark and under the covers, anything else is just dirty. Who wants to look at someone you're doing that with?"

Me, I enjoy it. But these days I'd rather have no sex than bad sex, or sleep with someone I wasn't in love with or who felt nothing for me.

Is it overrated? I certainly don't think so. It can be fantastic. And because I know that, I'd rather not settle for anything less. Celibacy's preferable to selling myself short, but that doesn't mean I don't still feel the desire.

Maryn
04-28-2007, 07:20 PM
I've known a great many women who derive little or no pleasure from the sex act itself. They may do it (or refuse to) as a power grab, or to get deeper involvement with a guy they want, or to please a lover, or just to feel physical closeness, or for any other reason the convoluted human mind can come up with. So no, it's not wacky for your female character not to like sex.

In my experience--with frank talk with other women, I mean--many women who've had lots of partners have not had one with whom they have a good, strong relationship out of bed, nor have they had a lover who reliably brings them to orgasm. (For many, it takes the relationship for the other to happen.)

Orgasm is a learned skill for many, and the number of women, including the sexually adventurous or available, who haven't had a lesson is staggering. Sure, some are naturals and learn quickly, but many don't, too.

A friend of our daughter's has lived with her boyfriend for nearly two years and recently revealed she doesn't know what a female orgasm is like. She can't see what the big deal is about sex. Connection? Bingo. I imagine that for such women, the opinion that sex is overrated is pretty common.

Maryn, elicitor of frank conversations

pconsidine
04-28-2007, 08:07 PM
I think that's basically the crux of the matter, Maryn. Good sex isn't overrated at all. But it can be much harder to come by than some might think.

scarletpeaches
04-28-2007, 08:18 PM
Pun intended?

WildScribe
04-28-2007, 08:36 PM
I pounce my husband at just about every opportunity. Even when I don't orgasm, I love the closeness and pleasing HIM, which brings me its own kind of pleasure. But there are lotsa women who are not as fortunate as I.

The_Grand_Duchess
04-28-2007, 08:42 PM
If you think se is over-rated you're just not doing it right :)

Serioulsy it all depends on the person and relationship. . . which isn't to say you can't have great sex outside of a relationship but I certiantly find that with my friends that don't think much of the act its becuase they are with people who aren't doing it right.

Elodie-Caroline
04-28-2007, 10:28 PM
I think, that for the women who haven't had an orgasm, they should try and work out what actually turns them on, then they should tell or show (sounds like a writer here lol) their partner what gets them going. Let's face it, not all men know how to please their woman, so it's up to her to let him know what she does like and how she likes it ;)


Elodie

Sohia Rose
04-28-2007, 10:31 PM
I think that's basically the crux of the matter, Maryn. Good sex isn't overrated at all. But it can be much harder to come by than some might think.

I had vowed to never marry a man who couldn't satisfy me sexually, in EVERY way. :) I needed to check out the goods first. And my husband was... well... ((((WOW!!!))))

I've had good sex, great sex and non-compatible sex (I don't think it's "bad" sex, just not meshing sex). But I've been able to achieve an orgasm since I was 18 years old. This is not to say that I've had one every time. Well, I don't want to get too explicit, but I've either had an orgasm through traditional sex or what Bill Clinton doesn't consider "sexual relations." *wink* With my husband, I achieved an orgasm both ways (okay, now it's time to call him home from work!). But he was the only man that's been able to do that. And he's still got the magic touch. He is just too sexy!

kdnxdr
04-28-2007, 10:40 PM
Marrying for sex without a real relationship is like a prison sentence.

Elodie-Caroline
04-28-2007, 10:43 PM
Why would anyone just marry for sex?

veinglory
04-28-2007, 10:45 PM
Sex is a behavior like any other, like eating or sleeping. A small proportion of men and women naturally gain no pleasure from sex (google: asexual) and others enjoy it to varying degrees.

Sassee
04-28-2007, 11:00 PM
I have a female character, who has been accused of being a whore, say in her defense, "But I hate sex!" When the accuser persists, she says, "I hardly even like it!"

Of course, she's just blurting out words, but, at this point, the reader is uncertain of her honesty, and won't find out until later whether or not she really thinks that. And so comes the problem: What if the reader says, "What the hell? What kind of person is this?"

And so, I need to know if what she says is plausible for a female sex veteran like her (she's not really a whore - she's really more after the guys themselves), and, more generally, if you people think sex is overrated (asking both guys and gals).

First question... if she's after the guys themselves, does she use sex as a lure? Or does she just happen to attract very horny men? Or does she think it's necessary to "give it up" to someone who might take her seriously? I'd need to know more to help you out with your character, because that affects my answer. There are so many possibilities here I don't even know where to start.

In my opinion sex is not overrated... although, women have varying levels of responses to sex itself which might make them think it's overrated. But there are many responses above mine that explain why.

Sohia Rose
04-28-2007, 11:11 PM
Why would anyone just marry for sex?

I was just thinking the same thing.

scarletpeaches
04-28-2007, 11:29 PM
Because they don't believe in sex before marriage and this is the only way they can experience it?

Rolling Thunder
04-28-2007, 11:31 PM
Scarlet is oversexed. Her opinion dosen't count. ;)

Sohia Rose
04-28-2007, 11:31 PM
Because they don't believe in sex before marriage and this is the only way they can experience it?

Oh. I see your point.

scarletpeaches
04-28-2007, 11:34 PM
Scarlet is oversexed. Her opinion dosen't count. ;)

A pox on you and all your kin!

Rolling Thunder
04-28-2007, 11:49 PM
A pox on you and all your kin!

I guess that's better than a STD. :ROFL:

TrainofThought
04-28-2007, 11:59 PM
In my opinion, having sex for only the pleasure is a bit overrated. In a relationship with the right person, it hits emotional and physical heights that definitely arenít expressed enough. ;)

Your question wonít get a majority response. We come in all shapes and sizes exploring levels of sex with multiple partners, with one partner or avoiding the act all together based on our past, present and future.

kristie911
04-29-2007, 12:04 AM
Scarlet is oversexed. Her opinion dosen't count. ;)

In that case, I'll keep my opinion to myself because it wouldn't count either. :)

Okay, so actually I won't. I was married for 9 years...the sex sucked. I will never, ever, ever again stay in a relationship where the sex was bad. If we couldn't make it better, then I'm not into it. I don't care how wonderful he is, if the sex sucks, it isn't going to work for me.

But I do know a lot of women who don't feel that way...sex to them is just something they have to do to keep their men happy but they don't enjoy it in the least and can't see what the big deal is.

I see what the big deal is... ;)

MMcC
04-29-2007, 12:52 AM
Generally, when I hear women use the phrase or sentiment that "sex is overrated" it comes across as either bitter and uptight or somebody trying to be funny.

If they are trying to be funny I am usually more amused that anyone would admit to being frigid.

My stock response is "if you think it's overrated you're doing it wrong."

Elodie-Caroline
04-29-2007, 01:22 AM
It would be a bit of a bugger if he couldn't get it up then wouldn't it? LOL :D


Because they don't believe in sex before marriage and this is the only way they can experience it?

scarletpeaches
04-29-2007, 01:44 AM
It would be a bit of a bugger if he couldn't get it up then wouldn't it? LOL :D

Now that's a whole new thread on its own...;)

sunna
04-29-2007, 01:48 AM
I know several women in the "take it or leave it" category, for differing reasons or no reason that they know of. And until I was with someone who was as interested in my experience as his own (and I stopped trying to be a 'lady'), it mostly just stressed me out.
I agree with the Dutchess, though: if you've had good sex, especially with someone you're emotionally involved with, it's pretty damn hard to think of it as overrated after that. Often, it's pretty damn hard to think of anything else. :tongue

Sohia Rose
04-29-2007, 01:56 AM
It would be a bit of a bugger if he couldn't get it up then wouldn't it? LOL :D

Whoa! I'm sure that happens too.

I remember I was going out with this guy over 15 years ago. He was really nice, sweet, the whole spiel. He courted me, if you will, and so, after a few months, I decided that we were going to go to third base (look a' there, I decided. Ha!). Anyway, to make a short story short––why am I LMAO as I write this. But it's really not funny. Getting back on track, he suffered from premature thingamajig. We tried over the course of weeks. Nothing. He was embarrassed by it. And he even stated that that had been a problem for him.

I wasn't mean to him. I just told him that was something I couldn't live with (not with him, anyway). If that happened to my husband, I could live with it because we have history and our love goes further than that.

kdnxdr
04-29-2007, 02:59 AM
It could be rationalized that if you have the opinion that marriage should attempt to be for a lifetime, and you thought that might be the only sex partner you ever would have, then you might want to pick someone that you knew you had incredible sex with (or so you thought).

scarletpeaches
04-29-2007, 03:01 AM
I know someone who said, "You can teach each other."

Trouble is, I want to be my future husband's (whoever he may be) lover, not his teacher.

SpookyWriter
04-29-2007, 03:13 AM
Today's issue is sex, and whether or not you've ever thought the act is overrated.The act or completion? See sex isn't just an act, but also a coupling of two people. Whether one or the other receives a certain satisfaction is somewhat relative to how they perceive the event. Might not a woman or man who receives little or no sexual gratification still consider the event mutually beneficial?

Sex is sex. Animals have sex also. The purpose of this event within the context of human behavior is probably more for recreational purposes than procreation. Unless the mated couple have an expressed desire to breed a new generation.

So characters in stories should reflect society and their views on sex within the confines of moving the story forward. Should sex be so important to the story that the reader gets muddled in purpose and propositions? That's a role the narrator needs to figure out at some point.

Maryn
04-29-2007, 05:57 PM
I know someone who said, "You can teach each other."

Trouble is, I want to be my future husband's (whoever he may be) lover, not his teacher.Obviously you've never been the instructor to the right 17-year-old. (Relax, I was only 19. Although it was still probably illegal, come to think of it.)

Maryn, who wonders what ever became of Erik

scarletpeaches
04-29-2007, 06:01 PM
Obviously you've never been the instructor to the right 17-year-old.

!

scarletpeaches, dumbstruck

Soccer Mom
04-29-2007, 10:23 PM
Sex is good, but to me it's not the only good thing in the world. There are other things in life that I also get a great deal of pleasure from. But it does go in the top ten. Okay. Top five. All RIGHT! Top three. Happy now?

smallthunder
05-02-2007, 10:03 PM
I know several women in the "take it or leave it" category, for differing reasons or no reason that they know of. And until I was with someone who was as interested in my experience as his own (and I stopped trying to be a 'lady'), it mostly just stressed me out.
I agree with the Dutchess, though: if you've had good sex, especially with someone you're emotionally involved with, it's pretty damn hard to think of it as overrated after that. Often, it's pretty damn hard to think of anything else. :tongue

If the reason for the "take it or leave it" attitude is biochemical (e.g. caused by medication, such as an antidepressant) ... then it can pretty much cancel out the experience(s) you describe.

Once, I took a short "medication holiday" and had sex with my husband -- WOW! It was like a light bulb went off in my head: "So THIS is why sex is supposed to make the world go round!"

Suddenly, history made a lot more sense to me, too.

But, while on medication -- yes, we have sex regularly, and orgasms are possible for me -- but NOTHING like the above.

So, even though I know what is possible, my attitude is still "take it or leave it." Intellectually, I know ... but my mind on medication ...

Bottom line: A woman doesn't have to be from an "older generation" or orgasmically inexperienced or celibate to have a "take it or leave it" attitude toward sex. I could accept this in a book character.

rhymegirl
05-02-2007, 11:22 PM
IToday's issue is sex, and whether or not you've ever thought the act is overrated.

I have a female character who, when accused of being a whore, says in her defense, "But I hate sex!" When the accuser persists, she adds, "I hardly even like it!"

So, I need to know if what she says is plausible for a female sex veteran like her (she's not really a whore - she's really more after the guys themselves), and, more generally, if you people think sex is overrated (asking both guys and gals).


Thanks for the insight. :)


Okay this is what I think. If the woman truly is a whore, meaning that she has sex with men for money, then I can believe it if the character says, "I hate sex." Did you ever see the movie Monster with Charlize Theron? A good example of a woman who simply does what she knows how to do, doesn't seem to have any other skills, and has sex just to make money. We get the real impression that she doesn't really like what she's doing, but she does it anyway.

It is harder for me to believe that a woman who is not a whore, yet likes to sleep with different partners doesn't like sex. To me, this is just someone who likes a little variety. But I suppose if you make the situation such that she has some problems and is actually insecure and needs to know that she is desirable and therefore she goes from man to man, it might sound plausible if she says she doesn't even like sex that much. In this case she is sleeping around to try to prove something to herself.

As for whether or not sex is overrated--do you mean do readers enjoy reading about it? Because if so, that really depends on your audience. Some people like to read romances, erotica and sometimes mainstream novels have a little sex in them.

I think overall, the expression "sex sells" tells you something about our society. Not everybody likes to read about it, but a lot of people do.

And if you mean do women in general like sex, then that answer varies greatly. It depends who you ask. I know some women who wouldn't care if they never did it again. Some have been hurt (emotionally) and they go around saying "all men are jerks." Some women decide they like food more than sex. But a woman who likes herself and takes care of herself, who has a guy she is attracted to and/or loves, is a woman who probably likes sex very much.

Penguin Queen
05-03-2007, 12:45 AM
Havent really got much to add to Rhymegirl's excellent post above, except to suggest a couple of books:

Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues and the Hite Report.

On the former, some wise person has remarked thateverybody who has one (vagina), and/or lives with somebody who has one, should read it. I strongly endorse that. Bloody fabulous book. The show is great too.

pconsidine
05-03-2007, 12:55 AM
Y'know, I was talking to Sister Mary Margaret and she said yes, sex is definitely overrated.

Azure Skye
05-03-2007, 01:12 AM
I can't speak for other women, nor would I, so I'll just tell you what I think.

I love sex. Orgasm without any problem, no hangups that I'm aware of. The only time I've said sex was overrated was when I was with someone I was incompatible with. Then it sucks because it's too much work and not the good kind of work either. When there's a connection, both emotionally and physically preferrably, then fireworks. If not, it's like trying to light a fire in a downpour.

Monkey
05-03-2007, 02:09 AM
I'd put in a TMI warning, but this seems to be a TMI *thread*, so here goes:

At one time, I was rather adventurous when it came to sexual acts and number of partners. I was pretty, well, *active*. But during this time, I constantly wondered if there was something wrong with me. I thought that maybe I was frigid or something, because sex just didn't seem that great.

I mean, I got all hot and bothered just before the act, and always went in with high hopes. But *during*, I just found myself thinking oh, just come on and finish, will you?!! Afterwards, I very seldom wanted to even see the guy again. A girl like this could definitely say she didn't even like sex, despite having it with some frequency and even initiating it a good portion of the time.

Only when I slept with the man who is now my husband did I really *get* what sex was supposed to be all about. Even then, I was scared that I'd eventually go back to being bored with the sex, and that there was still something "wrong" with me. Happily, we've been together almost ten years now, and everything is still great!

So I guess the answer, for me, is no matter how skilled either of you are, sex with "just anyone" is terribly overated, but it's hard to say enough about sex with the right person.

Then again, maybe I've said enough...
:D

jmpdk3
05-04-2007, 09:17 PM
I don't believe sex is overrated at all, altho I can understand why some people would think so. I did when I was younger-when I didn't know how to 'do it' properly and weren't with men who knew how to 'do it' properly either. I do believe the reason why some people, men and/or women, find sex overrated is because they haven't had good/meaningful sex or were taught that sex is bad instead of good and/or can be good and enjoyable. For example, my husband's grandma hated sex-she thought it was terrible and hurtful and disgusting. She divorced her husband because of it and spent the rest of her life alone. I think two things, 1)had my husband's grandfather been good/knowledgeable at sex or took the time to learn what turned her on, and 2) had his grandmother been taught as a child that sex was a good thing instead of a 'duty', she may not have disliked sex as much as she did.
But then there are the opposite- women who love sex and want it as much as a man. Which is great. More power to them. I wish I were you.
Personally, while I find sex to be very gratifying and special (my hubby makes sure of this), truthfully, I am on the fence on this issue. I guess I like sex when I want it and think it's overrated when I don't...typical woman. I suspect more women feel like this than not because sex is invasive for us.

I strongly believe what is overrated is the issue of sex itself. It's forever in your face wherever you go. Movies, net, books, etc. Whether you're a beast inbetween the sheets or a flat line, the pressure of it is constantly out there, glorifying the act while demeaning the emotions, etc behind it.

My four cents-
1) If your character really likes sex and only does it to 'get the guy', which I take to mean that she wants to get laid by a hunk, then she should embrace it. She shouldn't make excuses for or lie about liking sex. Now-a-days, a woman pretending not to like sex or lying about it to save her reputation is cliche. Unless your book is historical. If it's important to the storyline/plot, then give her a reason for lying about not liking it, especially if she is the heroine. You don't want your readers to lose faith in her. A reader needs a reason for everything your characters do-why they make the choices they make. If the writer does a good job with characterization and plot, then the reason doesn't have to be explained or stated. Through the character's prior actions, the reason would be implied.

If your character is searching for a guy who can satisfy, good job. I think men still have a lot to learn about sex and what pleases a woman-which may be our fault as women for not telling. I would totally buy your character searching for Mr. Right In The Sack and then lying about it to cover up the 'secret' reason.

But if your character really doesn't like sex but is doing it enough for someone to consider or call her a 'whore', then, as a reader, I would assume there is a deep seeded, serious issue within your character that is making her behave that way and then for lying. And as a reader and if that was the case, I wouldn't buy the excuse that she is only 'doing it' to 'get the guy'. If that really was the case with her, I would expect your character to be a villain and not a heroine and /or to have a damn good reason for lying about it-like to save her life or the life of someone she loves or whatever.

Whether or not your character likes sex or thinks its overrated or not, the fact that she IS lying about it, would make me think that perhaps your character was abused/molested/raped when she was younger and hasn't matured enough to know how she really feels about sex. A traumatic sexual event like rape usually makes a girl/woman more likely to be promiscous-even if she does not like or get pleasure from sex. Her self esteem goes done and she'll stop caring about herself when everyone else seems to. And/or the girl might be trying to find the love she didn't get from her father as a child-cliche but it's also very true. Also, how a woman views sex after a traumatic sexual event depends on how she viewed it before the event and how others handle her and the event afterward. If one had a healthy outlook, she'll be less likely to be promiscuous, especially if she planned to stay a virgin until marriage but was raped when a virgin. If that's the case, she may consider herself still a virgin.


And while on the subject... This may or may not have anything to do with the topic but, to be very blunt, sex for a woman is messy. It isn't clean like in the movies or in books. I hate when women get out of bed after having 'all night' sex in a movie and get dressed then go off to work like they don't have some goo coming out all over their panties or that they don't feel 'smelly'. That's the part that's very underrated to me. Perhaps the after effects is the reason why some women find sex overrated and a turn off.

Hope this helps.
Best wishes,
Jane

Writer2011
05-04-2007, 09:44 PM
I don't think sex is overrated at all.

Steve W
05-06-2007, 09:06 PM
Hi,

I dated a woman who admitted she didn't like sex. No matter what kind of lover she'd had, she got nothing out of it, no matter how she tried. She was open and honest. In the end it was more of a trial for her than a pleasure. So, it does happen.

Cheers,
Steve

Signfish
05-07-2007, 07:22 AM
Well, I think that anyone (character) that makes that type of blanket statement is going to get one of two reactions based on the sexual history of the reader interpreting it.

1) 'Amen, sister, sex is overrated! It's all men want, let 'em learn to run things by hand for a change!'

2) 'Lord, what has happened in her past that she's not dealt with? Someone needs to give this poor woman permission to take pleasure in her own hands, leave the lights on and demand he take a lesson. '

Life is short, no time for slow learners!

I do think it has a lot of great possibilities. You could really dive into her psyche and sexual dysfunction if you chose to take it in that direction. It could be very involved and complicated.

Signfish

Toxic_Waste
05-10-2007, 05:20 AM
I believe that sex can be overrated in some ways, such as in the movies, videos, magazines, etc. It begins to feel like society rates nothing else higher than getting the act done, come hell or high water. I really hate the trend toward "friends with benefits" which to me, is just an excuse for casual sleeping around and using people. (Some will argue that if both people are using each other, then no harm done, but I would at least like to hold onto my fantasy that people can be friends without slamming the sheets.)

So yeah...overrated in movies, etc. If it essential to the plot, fine....if it is just gratuitous titillation (no pun intended), kick it out.