One of the problems with living in a land where there is also porn is the incidental pornification of regular old normal-people-with-all-their-original-parts sex. This is regardless of your feminist/moral/ethical/fencing stance towards porn itself. It infiltrates your bedroom habits even if you don't watch (or read) porn, visit risque tumblrs, or squint through the fuzzy static lines at Skinemax at your aunt's house when you're 15, first discovering masturbation.
Let me start from the beginning.
I was a pretty sheltered kid - had only seen a handful of parental-selected R-rated moves when I turned 17. I didn't have a relationship serious enough to even THINK of having sex until I was about to graduate high school. Eventually my parts found my way to my then-boyfriend's parts; and sexy time sensations being what they, are I soon discovered that I was what the kids these days call "really freaking loud."
Part of that was natural: I have a big voice, I'm a singer and a swimmer, so I have big lungs, I have a big loud laugh...my sexy times sounds are not going to be dainty or confused with a cooing dove any time soon (and that's okay). That first relationship was all about two virgins figuring out where what goes, and what to do with it when it gets there, and I feel lucky that my first experiences were so accepting and mutual and good.
The Stuff That's Bullshit started happening when I started drinking (...doesn't it always?).
Once I was visiting him at his college, we had some booze, and the next day his roommates (who'd given us the room for the night) told us they'd been listening at the door with some friends, and all thought was that I sounded like I was faking it.
First, WHO LISTENS AT THE DOOR AND GIVES SEX PERFORMANCE REVIEWS?!
Secondly, I was drunk and not in a position to be controlling my audio output, if you know what I mean. Eventually I learned to, but at that moment I was in vino (okay, in Mike's Hard Lemonade) veritasing it all the way.
The outcome, aside from my laughing it off in the moment, mortified, and resolving to be Very Quiet in non-soundproof venues everywhere forevermore, was that I became self-conscious about my noises in bed. And my then-boyfriend got insecure because he wasn't getting the encouraging feedback he'd been getting.
Then I got consumed with making the right kinds of encouraging noises at the right sort of volume and suddenly I didn't feel like a sexual partner so much as a sound engineer for a really porny off-off-Broadway play.
And in the years since we broke up, I've had a one-night stand, a sexual assault, an ill-advised early sobriety relationship, a one-weekend-stand, a Twitter hook-up (repeat offender), and a two-minute encounter (that I've just remembered I decided doesn't count in my "number" because two minutes followed by a confession that "oh yeah, and I'm a sex addict"??! Bullshit!)
.... and what I noticed during every single one of those experiences, even the sexual assault, was that I was So Very Conscious of the sounds I was making, that eventually they had almost nothing to do with the actual sensations my sexy times areas were experiencing, and everything to do with what I felt the person in my nether regions wanted or needed to hear.
Because those persons happened to be guys, whose pornified sex education taught them that a female may experience orgasm within 2 minutes of your parts reaching her parts, no additional or preparatory stimulation needed..... let's say that they never noticed that my encouragement didn't actually reflect their efforts; since the grading curve was so inflated, they thought they made the honor roll.
Even the guy who combined the Jackrabbit Sex and the Premature Ejaculator episodes of Sex and the City thought he hit a 3-run homer. Even with the guy who was penetrating me without my conscious consent, whenever I was aware of what was happening, I felt like I needed to moan and pant and sigh and let him know "yeah, that's right" so he felt like he got his blacked-out-drunk-sex money's worth.
Since this is The Band, I will be frank. I set the bar so low that if they so much as accidentally knocked my clitoris with their knee while moving in or out of position, they got a moan out of it, and maybe some heated breathing.
WTF, Sexy times Brain?! Are you in league with the Crazybrain? Because it seems like you definitely are.
When it's solo sexy times, with me and my BFF Hitachi, there's nobody to perform for and so I make whatever sounds come naturally (. . .) at don't-wake-the-roommates volumes. And I notice they are lower in pitch, and longer in frequency, and have a whispered intensity. But replace the electronics with a flesh-and-blood person and I'm all whines and high-pitched moans and glottal-stop-gasps, and it starts sooner and continues longer and before I know it, I'm giving the performance of a nightlifetime.
What is this insecurity that makes me overrule my body's natural impulses and responses in favor of the crowd-pleasing ones?
I think a lot of it is because I haven't had a serious, loving relationship to get comfortable in since that first one. So the trust that lets you relax into quiet enjoyment because you know they know that you're digging the experience even if you aren't rehearsing for your future Porn-Grammy-nominated Moaned Word Album at the same time. I haven't had that. And I haven't had sexual experiences with women yet so I'm still stuck in the annoying, limited gender roles of my past encounters when I'm trying to start over with somebody new.
Maybe some of y'all can relate, and we can all agree that faking it is completely BULLSHIT so we can set aside our stunt orgasms and focus on the real deal.
The solution, for me at least, is to enjoy my solo time and to make sure the next person I wriggle out of my chastity belt for is someone I trust instead of an audience for shenanigans at Miri's House of the Writhing Sun. And I'm going to avoid re-sleeping with people who are bad in bed with no hope of parole.
And I'm telling all of youse about it because a) I NEVER write so candidly anywhere else and b) so I can report back from the wet spot with sweaty success stories and we can celebrate my return to my authentic sexytimes self.
Because what is more EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING TIGER than having genuine, awesome sex that sounds exactly as genuine and awesome as it is?!
Until they come up with gluten-free Hot Pockets, I'm going to say practically nothing.