The Misogyny of Sex

The Misogyny of Sex

Imagine a classroom, with red banners hanging over the windows and there are rows and rows of desks lined across the room. On one side sit the men and on the other sit the women, split 50/50 down the middle. At the front of the room, there is a desk and next to that a TV screen on a stand. An elder woman, with the straight posture of a military officer eyes the room and speaks about the lesson those students would learn. What happened next sent a chill down my spine.

She espoused my former opinion of sex to those students as a form of power over their adversaries. The scene is from the film: Red Sparrow and the woman’s description was so accurately my own that my boyfriend turns to me in the cinema and asked if I had written the script. Clearly, he was joking, but in some dark recesses of my mind, I could have written the entire film and that scene in particular.

two lovers having sex

By the end of those scenes, I had a powerful realisation about a belief that I had held until very recently. It was a misogynistic belief. Allow me to elaborate.

Sex is simply physical pleasure?

Until late last year, I believed that sex was entirely physical and that the romantic or emotional attachment we placed upon it was a mistake that caused much harm to us as individuals and society as a whole.

I have said that there are intellectual arguments to back that up, however, there is an issue. Being solely intellectual about such a topic as varied and as complex of sex is a simplification born out of fear. That fear, in my case, stems from the pain of loss and of being used when I was in my teenage years. To simplify that further, it is a fear of not being in control of myself and my emotions.

So, my belief that sex is entirely physical was about power. The power I had over others in a sexual context. Now, as a gay man, that means I used other gay folk’s bodies for my own sexual pleasure. It was all entire consensual, but by no means was it mutual. I did not care about them nor did I not care about their pleasure. I only cared about what I can from the physical act.

two guys kissing

The toxic masculinity

You may be wondering that if I am talking about myself and gay sex, how it can be misogynistic?

The very idea of sex as a solely physical pleasure, totally separate from romance or emotion or feelings has historically perpetuated the power of men over women. It has led to men viewing women as purely sexual objects needing to be dominated, conquered and tallied up to see who has had the highest number.

It has created a culture of toxic masculinity that we are all trapped in and we all suffer from. In many instances, it leads to men rejecting their feelings and emotions for women and others and treating them simply as meat to be used. I did it. I forgot that other people were just that – people with their own emotions, dreams, ambitions and more. Instead, they were simply items for me to use, for me to manipulate and throw away once I was done. There was a time when I kept a book with the names and descriptions of each person. That is how poisonous a person that views about sex can make you.

Despite my best friend constantly telling me that sex in a relationship with the power of love behind it is the greatest form. Instead, I, like so many others, simply chased the orgasm. But no longer. Watching that film made me realise just how wrong I was about sex.

It was the final lesson I had to learn. I burned the notebook, ashamed that I had ever written it. I watched the pages burned and swore to myself to never return to the dark place where I allowed myself to see people as meat to be used for my own sexual pleasure rather than genuine human beings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest