Apparently You Have Feminism To Thank for Your Bad Sex Life

Apparently You Have Feminism To Thank for Your Bad Sex Life
Source: Getty
Source: Getty

Watch out ladies, your empowering principles may be making you bad lovers.

At least that's the opinion of the "sexperts" quoted in a recent Australian Men's Health article dissecting female failings in the bedroom. The male-centric magazine seems to have gone the way of Cosmopolitan for the piece, which diagnoses and then attempts to subvert a so-called "princess-and-the-pea-syndrome" that has apparently been plaguing heterosexual beds since the dawn of feminism.

According to "renowned sexpert" and self-help book author Dr. Pam Spurr, feminism has turned women into pillow queens, newly empowered to fight for their rights. According to Spurr, this may be detrimental to a male partner's satisfaction.

"In the past few decades, women have learnt that orgasms, like voting and equal pay, are their right," Spurr told the magazine. Now, the woman's "pea" is prioritized. "The pea’s demands will eclipse those of your penis."

Besides Spurr's absurd use of a children's fairy tale as a euphamism for women and their sexual organs — when was the last time you heard a clitoris referred to as a pea? — her whole point adds to a frustrating set of double standards when it comes to women and sexual expectations.

These days, feminism is much more likely to be more often blamed for turning all women into birth-control-popping sluts. Jill Filipovic describes this irony in a piece over at the Guardian:

"When it comes to sex, feminists get a bad (and confusing) rep. We're both man-haters and whores, unmarryable spinsters and family-destroyers. We purportedly want to outlaw pornography while encouraging adolescent girls to get on the pill. We're hideous hairy-legged lesbians, and we're using undergraduate Women's Studies programs to turn your daughter bisexual. We're promiscuous oversexed sluts, and we're angry femi-Nazis because we're not getting laid.

Critics can't decide if feminists hate sex or are having too much of it."

This divide is particularly apparent when women lose control of their narrative. Case in point, Rush Limbaugh's long-standing, self-appointed defender of Americans against such feminist sirens as Sandra Fluke.

For its take, Men's Health solicited the help of five "sexperts" to aid men in getting what they want in bed, if need be, as the title reads, "without her noticing." Because one way to get the sexy back into the sack is to remove consent altogether.

Unlike Cosmo's plethora of sex advice pieces, however, Men's Health believes that the feminist fight for equality has found its way into the bedroom, effectively denuding sex of its sexiness. Spurr, author of Sensational Sex, blames the central feminist tenet of equality explicitly. And it doesn't take too much of a hypothetical leap to see how this type of rhetoric might inform the opinions of people like this gentleman:

Sex is sexy and passionate because of a variety of reasons; for many, these include the way power dynamics play out in the bedroom — or wherever else sexy-time happens. Some egalitarian feminists may take a more conservative line about sex, but sexual relations can certainly be influenced by the inclusion, or lack thereof, of politics in a consensual sexual relationship.  

This is not a nuance recognized by the Men's Health article, however. Rather, its sexperts dismiss women's ability to differentiate between fighting for equality under the law and what goes on in the bedroom outright.

Equally problematic, their rhetoric implies that sexual satisfaction for men is a narcissistic and one-sided enterprise. And as Kasey Edwards noted for Daily Life, this is "not the first time in recent memory that Men's Heath has used its slick machismo to reinforce male dominance," criticizing the magazine for encouraging it's readers to "view women as objects that exist for their benefit."

Perhaps these sexperts should turn their attention to helping men figure out how to resolve their own sexual inadequacies pumping into their partner's "tunnel of love" before blaming women for them.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marcie Bianco

Dr. Marcie Bianco is a Staff Writer at Mic, a Contributing Editor at Curve Magazine, and an adjunct associate professor at Hunter College. She has contributed to AfterEllen, Feministing, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Lambda Literary, XO Jane, and The Women’s Review of Books. She writes and lectures about ethics, from feminism to race relations. Her current writing projects include a manuscript about lesbian academic affairs and a collection of feminist essays.

MORE FROM

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Black women warned us about R Kelly's behavior for years. Was nobody listening?

Black women and girls have been telling people for years about the singer's behavior. And yet too few people have deigned to listen.

Tabloids tried to shame newly crowned Dr. Who with professional nudes

A number of UK tabloids ran nude stills of Jodie Whittaker after she was announced as the first-ever woman to play Dr. Who.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Black women warned us about R Kelly's behavior for years. Was nobody listening?

Black women and girls have been telling people for years about the singer's behavior. And yet too few people have deigned to listen.

Tabloids tried to shame newly crowned Dr. Who with professional nudes

A number of UK tabloids ran nude stills of Jodie Whittaker after she was announced as the first-ever woman to play Dr. Who.