Sit down, you won’t believe this. I’ve been talking to young girls — girls like your daughters and granddaughters — about two new sexual events: One is called “rainbowing,” and the other involves bracelets.
Rainbowing, on the chance that you don’t know, is when each girl at a party puts on a different color lipstick. And then, each teenage girl performs fellatio on one teenage boy.
Now, brace yourself for bracelets. Bracelets in different colors and widths are worn by teenage girls to alert boys as to what they will and will not do, sexually.
The mystery here is not what girls and boys are dreaming up. The mystery is why, now that these dazzling young girls are permitted to have sex, they are still in the role of pleasing. I mean, rainbowing! Wow! Girls get to service a boy and see their artwork, their smudges of blue and green, on his organ! What fun! This, then, is the upshot of sexual freedom?
Granted, “rainbowing” is a way of avoiding penetration, so some people will breathe a sigh of relief. But that’s not my point here today. This cool, new, “sexy” world where teens (and tweens, too, I’m afraid) are learning, in effect, how to be prostitutes, is as pleasureless and one-sided for girls as was the old, repressed one. (And please, for the moment, don’t talk to me about sexual abstinence. I’m talking about reality here, not wishful thinking.) These girls are telling me that, with their blue lipstick and group sex and pink bracelets, they’re doing the same old, same old — thinking about pleasing boys. And that the “rainbow” is satisfying for no one but the rainbowee.
So when I read in The New York Times style section the other day about One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco, where women’s pleasure is the focus, I thought, Yes. Here, in a carefully supervised environment, residents experience a meditation in which the men, who remain clothed and are not touched, learn about women’s bodies as do the women themselves. We can pick this idea apart in two seconds if we’re inclined to do so — Does this encourage true intimacy? Is this just more California craziness? — but I’m not. What strikes me as genius, and as deeply serious, is owner and founder Nicole Daedone’s absolute focus on women’s pleasure. Here, the point of view changes. Women don’t learn how to please. The male residents do. Both learn about women’s bodies and the feelings in those bodies and, clinical though the terms of the discovery may be, they begin to understand what women and men have so long been mystified by. As Daedone puts it: “In our culture women have been conditioned to have closed sexuality and open feelings, and men to have open sexuality and closed feelings. There’s this whole area of resistance and shame.”
Bravo, Ms. Daedone. By changing the point of view — encouraging women to understand the pleasure that lies within them, not just in their ability to give pleasure — and by offering them a safe place in which to experience, you are doing an important and brave thing.
Like all savvy goddesses, the Love Goddess has her own blog, which you can visit by clicking here.