Sunday, 8 July 2012

Naked lust

Hello Vaginistas,

As I type this Andy Murray and Roger Federer are head-to-head in the men's final at wimbledon. It's an exciting game so far (I say, with as much confidence in my own knowledge on the subject  as my Mum musing if it's possible to check her email and be on "the internets" at the same time). Two men, in the peak of physical condition wearing delightfully well-cut tennis whites, running around all sweaty and flexing their arm muscles.


Now, I know what you're thinking, and if it sounds like this blog post is just going to be a big perve fest, where I drool over pretty men for my own gratification, let me reassure you now - it most definitely is.

You see, I've noticed something lately, that I only haven't noticed before because it seems to be quite ingrained in my pysche and that of people around me - I've realised that we're meant to find men physically repulsive. 

"There is nothing more disgusting than a naked man" Russell Kane said recently on a stand up show which I forget the name of.

This is Russell Kane: 

Oh dear, that perfectly toned torso is quite repellent, do put it away
Yes, quite hideous. 
This isn't the first time I've heard this, but it's the first time I really noticed it and paid attention to what it meant. I had a conversation with a friend recently where we both admitted, a little embarrassed at our own audacity, that actually we both very much like seeing the men that we are attracted to naked. It's actually pretty darn good. But apparently we aren't meant to think this.

Now, you might be thinking "I have no idea where you have got this idea from Keeks, are you a crazy?" but think about it - have you really never had a conversation with your girlfriends where someone has said "I love men, but honestly women's bodies are so much more aesthetically pleasing"? Or seen a film where a totally beautiful "out of his league" type babe ends up with some geeky nerd, whose body she couldn't possibly be after? Because she couldn't just, you know, have a thing for skinny indie boys....

Insert "sonic screwdriver" joke here

Whilst women's bodies are constantly under scrutiny in the press, it's a running joke that men's bodies are really something quite hideous. What sane woman would possibly find a naked man in any way attractive? Their bits are just there, all flapping about and bulbous and that, how absolutely dreadful. Why would we find a penis attractive? And of course, there's that constant fail-safe that is always bloody well dragged out and flogged for all it's worth - that women's brains aren't visual and we need music, and compliments, and convincing, and dinner, and diamonds, and dim lighting to be possibly interested in doing the nasty. A quick google search turned up this which summarises lots of the points I've often heard.

Well, I just want to say, right now, that I think men's naked bodies are brilliant.

I know, this is just getting gratuitous now, I'd like to say I'm sorry but you know...

Hooray for naked men, and hooray for penises! I'm really very fond of them. 

A male friend mused to me recently "it must be so difficult, being a woman, as every part of your body is sexualised in a way that men's aren't." Perhaps this is true to a point, but it is not completely the case. A pair of broad, muscular shoulders reduce me to a wibbling wreck. Those two little lines, from the stomach down to the groin, that the chap above is sporting? I think most women will agree that they are a thing of beauty. Why do we think that men's bodies are not sexualised?

Fighting the inherent sexualisation and objectification of women within society is vital. But when we say things like this, when we reinforce this ridiculous notion that men's bodies are actually pretty unattractive we are not only insulting men, we are still objectifying women. When we pooh-pooh the notion that sexual desire can be inspired in a woman by the sight of a sexy man in naught but his birthday suit, but reinforce the utter sexualisation of a womans body without reciprocity we are reducing her to an object - the female naked form is desirable, the male is not; the female form inspires lust in man, the male doesn't inspire lust in women.

Now, I am not saying that we should even the odds by sexualising men, and obviously I'm not saying that this is the case across the board. It is just an undercurrent, something that bubbles away underneath, but undercurrents can be dangerous.

I am not in any way arguing for naked page 3 men, or that we all just happily agree to objectify each other. I know I have put up a couple of pretty topless pictures of men up here, but they are there for purely scientific reasons to prove my point, OK? IT'S SCIENCE, OK YOU GUYS? Sheesh.

I absolutely think that objectification is a bad thing, and reducing men to their bodies in the way that society does to women is not at all the way forward. But I do think we should stop saying that men are not attractive and women can't possibly find them so. It is disempowering to women as it denies their position as full, sexual human beings with their own compulsions and desires, and it is insulting to men. 

In conclusion - PENIS! 

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