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men watching women
men watching women
So there's that commonplace about men getting turned on by watching two (or more) women playing sexually with each other. Of course, it's often pointed out that real-life lesbians don't ususally look like Gina Gershon or Meg Tilly (I'm thinking of "Bound"), but that's beside the point. Yes, people generally don't look as good as movie stars do in films, but so what? We're talking fantasy here, where eveyone's beautiful, the smallest gesture brings women to the height of arousal, and men can get and maintain steely erections until pi has been calculated to the last digit.
But what's up with this commonplace? Why does it captivate men to such an extent? I suppose it means different things to different men, but the pervasiveness suggests some commonalities, some lumps in the general field of desire. Here's one, I think: men see sex between women as egalitarian and thus freer than hetero sex, less apt to go astray in evaluations and judgments. It's not just that both partners are women and thus share both knowledge of their bodies and the reactions themselves. That's part of it, but the same could be said for gay male sex. Of course, another part is that men like to watch women, period. The woman can be masturbating, showering, walking down the street, . . . it doesn't matter.
But I think there is another factor in play, the stereotype of women as passive, as yielding. I'm not saying that such a characterization is true or good or helpful; I'm saying merely that it exists--and has at least since the classical era (see Ovid's discussion of sexuality in "The Metamophoses"). There is thus no question of power in this scene. There is only pleasure. Two women together therefore respresent an idyllic egalitarian relationship, lust without the judgment of performance, the ultimate in zipless f*cks. And so, I think, men like to project themselves into the situation, casting themselves not as either woman but as both women, an apotheosis of polymorphous perversity where everything is pleasure and nothing else. I doubt that women ever see it this way, of course--but maybe that's because I just watched "Mean Girls."
Then again, maybe it's just math: if two breasts are good, four are better! Any other opinions?
Peace and love.