Angry and Explicit – Women as Wank Fodder

Another little blog about casual misogyny – surely not? It’s all so boring – irate woman decries the state of the modern world, the over-sexualisation of women, the over-sexualisation of children (female ones, mainly), the grotesque and endless displays of female flesh on ad boards and magazine covers, the tedious frequency of images depicting a semi-naked woman with a fully clothed man, from X-Factor to hardcore porn.

But, sod it, I’m going to do it anyway. I’ll keep it brief.

I was told a sad marriage story the other day about a woman who had a resuscitating affair but went back to her husband out of crushing guilt. She told a friend that she had started having sex with her husband again, not because she enjoyed it but because she felt she ought to let him ‘mark his territory’ after confessing her affair. This was one of the bleakest things I had ever heard. To offer her body up (since her mind wasn’t willing to participate) as a masturbation tool in order to assuage her guilt – guilt about using her OWN body to bring her pleasure! Clearly they both believe that in the world of the moral and righteous her husband owns her body and must be allowed to do what he wants with it within reason. And reason involved not very consensual sex. Did he buy it? Was that in their wedding vows? The latter, depressingly, probably.

I have been telling this story around to guage the response of others. ‘Have you ever felt that the sexual intercourse had nothing to do with you as a whole person, but that you were just being used as something into which a man can, basically, masturbate?’ I asked any friend who could stand to hear the question without putting her fingers in her ears and humming loudly.

One woman told a story of a university sleepover – pissed and exhausted bodies lying side by side in sleeping bags on the floor. A man got into my friend’s sleeping bag, drunk, and tried it on. She fought him off. He got into the next girl’s sleeping bag and had sex with her instead. It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, that he was not looking for a whole person, just a means to an end. A more satisfactory wank.

A male friend with a cocaine problem said to me; ‘If a girl comes with you into the loos at the Groucho Club to do coke with you, she will basically let you fuck her.’ This is a gentle, educated man who has been a close friend for decades. ‘Let you fuck her’, he said. Not, ‘she wants to have sex with you’.

We are all used to women in pornography being described as ‘wank fodder’ but I think what is more shocking, sickening actually, is that it seems most women are occasionally wank fodder (some more often than others).  Not only that but we are wholly or semi-willing wank fodder.

The idea that somewhere in the back of our minds we think we are supposed to let them use our bodies for sex for whatever reasons we and they might come up with (guilt, duty etc.) whether we want to or not, is beyond devastating. Would any of the women who have been used in this way, mildly against their will but not enough to actually protest (so it’s not rape, not quite), tell their daughters that they do not own their own bodies but must let certain men (husbands, long-term boyfriends, people they may have ‘led on’ – ie. seemed to like (!!)) ejaculate into them whether or not they truly feel like it? Of course not. And yet…women must be getting the idea from somewhere.

We have campaigned for so long, and bravely continue to campaign, for the right to own our bodies, the right to decide whether or not to go ahead with a pregnancy and not let men make decisions concerning our own flesh. Women campaign against pornography (the ultimate objectification, of course) and some of us understand that to be the person in the conversation who is wearing fewer clothes puts us at a disadvantage in terms of confidence and conviction. In terms of respect.

But while all this is going on, so many otherwise liberated women do not, in fact, seem fully to own their bodies, fully and fundamentally to believe that they own them. The returned wife with the territory marking husband really does think that his man has certain rights over her body and that it can and must often be used for barely consensual sex. It is heartbreaking and revolution-inspiring. (The experience must, of course, be pretty unpleasant for the man as well, don’t get me wrong. But he is doing it anyway.)

We all know it is far rarer for women to treat men like this (degrading and grim though the oiled and writhing male stripper in a thong certainly is), and I’ve never heard of it that way round as part of a relationship on a long-term basis. The fact that we do see more male nudity than we used to is only a sign that women are being encouraged to strip men of their humanity in the same way as universal pornification of life has stripped us of ours. This can’t be a good thing.

While we let ourselves be wank fodder women will never be truly equal or truly able to desire a man, a whole man, without some degree of fear. Depressing, huh?

Advertisements

About Anna Blundy

Honorary psychotherapist with a Masters in Psychoanalytic Theory and another in Psychodynamic Clinical Psychotherapy. Novelist - Author of the Faith Zanetti quintet - The Bad News Bible, Faith Without Doubt, Neat Vodka (US - Vodka Neat), Breaking Faith, My Favourite Poison. Also a memoir of my father, Every Time We Say Goodbye and my most recent thriller - The Oligarch's Wife
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Angry and Explicit – Women as Wank Fodder

  1. micklively says:

    I like your frankness but I think there’s a flaw in your reasoning. Sexual intercourse offers physical stimulation to both parties. Why is one party “wanking” and the other not?

  2. Anna Blundy says:

    Because in the above scenarios one party doesn’t fancy a wank at that particular moment.

  3. micklively says:

    OK, is that always the female party? And when both parties are “up for it”, are they both just wankers?

  4. Anna Blundy says:

    pretty necessarily is the female party. if they’re both up for it without taking the whole person into account, then, yes, but happy ones! ideally, they are lovers.

  5. micklively says:

    I think you’re biased. Not all men are users. There are men who give pleasure but take none for themselves. Some women are abusive. Abuse is always bad. I realise abusive men outnumber abusive women, but a “man bad, women good” attitude helps no-one.

  6. Anna Blundy says:

    I agree. Of course not all men are users. MANY women are abusive – this is a particular phenomenon and the particular issue of women feeling that they don’t entirely own their bodies.

  7. First, let me say that I love your writing in the Faith series for many reasons, not the least of which are Faith’s feelings and actions regarding the multiple men in her life. That aside, a couple of additional points on this “wanker” business.
    1) The state of your friend’s marriage is indeed depressing. It is difficult to believe that there is any communication there. Isn’t a successful sexual relationship (and marriage) especially about communication? If this marriage is to work, shouldn’t both partners have a common idea about what is going on with their sex? This guy is probably clueless at this point, given her affair. If there is hope for a “together” in their marriage, it isn’t being helped by the sexual realm at the moment.
    2) I suppose that this situation is not uncommon in many marriages, given the anecdotal evidence of husbands caught “wanking” to porn and wives preferring their vibrator to intercourse. Physical/health reasons and/or incompatible sex drives may preclude both-partner sexual intercourse. Many marriages carry on regardless. Taking the pejorative aspects out of “wanking,” isn’t there a place for at least solitary masturbation within a marriage? Of course, this might require an even greater capacity for communication in the marriage than for the stated scenario.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s