Every once in a while the following conversation happens in my Twitter feed:
Woman: “I’m fascinated at this trend of dudes admitting on social media how bad they are at sex.”
And don’t get me wrong, I do get the joke, I’ve made it myself, but today I thought that this was only part of the story. When feminist people talk about sex, we usually think of something that most people (but not everybody!) wants and enjoys, that often includes orgasms and lots of fun together in a mutually pleasing activity. Therefore, a cis guy who is not invested in his cis female partner’s pleasure as well as his own is really bad at this activity. This idea also lines up with the very patriarchal notice of men’s sexual prowess, where a man’s value is linked to his ability to “satisfy” women in bed, only that in that version sheer exhaustion is seen as success as well.
So already we’re talking about different ideas of what “good in bed” means, but for the moment the following definition must suffice: straight guy is good in bed when his female partner enjoys the sex. The guy in this tweet does not think about his partner’s enjoyment. He thinks of his own masculinity, which is very cis and very heteronormative. In his world her pleasure does not feature. Eating pussy is evaluated in terms of his social standing and self image. Giving her oral sex would be submissive, and I bet you a tenner that he absolutely feels entitled to getting oral sex because usually the Venn diagram of straight dudes not giving oral sex and dudes seeing it as her duty to perform oral sex is a circle.
Given that he is very much invested in his own pleasure and not at all in hers, we can pretty much say that he will enjoy sex much more than she will. And usually people crave things they enjoy a lot more and things they don’t really enjoy that much less. What do you think happens when a dominant man who enjoys sex a lot is together with a woman who enjoys it less? Personally I don’t think that he’d simply accept a “no”. At least he will repeat asking, nag, talk about how she’s neglecting him. In the end there will be consent, but there won’t be consent that’s freely given. There will be “duty” at best and violence at worst. A man who publicly declares that he is not invested in giving his partner pleasure is therefore a man you shouldn’t let near you.