August 27, 2006

When sex is just enough

I WAS amused to read a relationship-advice column published on the Web recently. In it, the writer claimed that women don’t have the ability to separate sex and love and will freely give themselves to a man, perhaps their boyfriend, because they love him. Unless, of course, they are “loose women” who sleep with one man after the other, or prostitutes who just do it for the money.

I can’t blame the columnist for thinking this way. First of all, he is a man and wouldn’t know how a woman actually feels about sex—or love—if it bit him in the ass. Also, he is cut from the old-world cloth and probably still thinks that women are not supposed to call men on the phone or ask them out on a date. And, after all, the only woman he has ever been with is his wife, whom he valiantly says will not go to bed with any man she doesn’t love. Now, that’s really sweet. But I wonder how she would feel if trapped in the same room as George Clooney.

Filipino women, however, have already come far from the traditional Maria Clara mold, if they ever fit that stereotype to begin with, and have long been emancipated from the traditional male-female roles in society. Which is not to say that this is right—or wrong, for that matter. But these days, sometimes the borderline between what behavior is considered masculine and feminine has become a bit blurry.

For sure, the Filipino woman’s views on sex have evolved. She is no longer meek and mild and just accepts whatever is “given” to her, so to speak. She just doesn’t “lay back and enjoy it” because she knows this really isn’t the way she will be gratified. She actively participates in the sex act with the man she’s with, initiates it even, and knows how to satisfy herself one way or the other.

So to say that a young woman would only give herself to a man or her boyfriend because she loves him is really naïve-thinking.

As I talk to more and more women these days, going about my little researches on relationships, I find that a lot of them have long cut the love-sex ties. Or dropped the illusion that the ties truly exist, that one is not possible without the other. Meaning that, yes, they can go to bed with a man, their boyfriend or not, without feeling anything for him except pure lust.

Women are not fools either for “giving themselves” to their boyfriends, as the columnist has pegged them out to be on account that, in his mind, women really don’t know whether their boyfriends really love them or are just after their body. They no longer fall for that old come-on “Honey if you love me, you’ll have sex with me” that men used to dangle to their girlfriends.

That’s because many women no longer think of sex as a “form of commitment” to their man but simply a pleasurable act between two people. Of course, women are human beings, too, and have a lot of biological needs, the same as any man. So it is really naïve to think that they would put their reputations and morality ahead of everything else before they, well, scratch that itch.

It may sound really jaded and cynical but this is really the world we live in.

As a woman matures and becomes more confident about herself and her place in the world, she becomes less timid and dares to take risks with her sexuality. Sometimes there is nothing as satisfying as going home with someone you just met, have mind-blowing sex—and not worry about whether or not you’re going to see that person again. It releases stress and tension, burns at least 100 calories (I’m not making this up, you can google it), relaxes you for a good night’s sleep, and refreshes your brain for the next tough day at work.

I even remember reading a piece in Metro magazine a few months ago, authored by Alya Honasan, about how she enjoyed using her vibrator. Here is a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. You go, girl! This alone shatters the myth that: 1) only a man can satisfy a woman, and 2) women can go on without sex forever, poor innocent, despondent, forever-waiting creatures that they are.

The women I’ve talked with who admit to having guiltless sex with men range from their mid-20s to their mid-40s. Of course, they’re not just going to go out and pick up some ordinary guy on the street. More often than not, it is someone they’ve met at a bar or a party. Or introduced by someone they know or trust. They have to like the guy first and find him interesting before they even consider a ride home. “If he’s intelligent, funny and doesn’t sound like a mass murderer, I’ll consider an invitation to his home,” says Martha. Of course, she can’t quite describe to me how a real mass murderer sounds like. “Basta you know!” she retorts, exasperated. But definitely, she has no illusions that there is a “love connection” with every single guy she finds interesting enough to sleep with.

Her friend Destiny admits to even having f__k buddies, those nice male friends you can call for a quick romp sans emotional attachments. “They understand very well where I’m coming from and that all I need for that night is ah…a booty call.” Such buddies are there when you need them at the right time and place. You don’t have to talk about what’s going on in your respective little lives, or what you want to be when you grow up. What ties Destiny and her buddy/ies is their complete lack of guilt about going to bed and not expecting coffee in the morning. If they even reach morning. Most often, she will have her buddy up and running before the clock chimes 2 am “so I can get a good night’s rest. Alone in my bed.” This is a no-nonsense woman who treasures her privacy and her right to get up and go to work the next morning, hassle-free.

These girls aren’t what some square-minded people or pseudo-moralists call “loose.” To me, they are just typical women of the millennium who are clear about what they want in life and where they are going. They are normal intelligent women who are rising fast on the corporate ladder. Also, they are good women. They believe in God, they go to Church, give to the poor and needy. Sure, they go out and have fun hanging out with their gang every so often, and admit to certain physical needs that, well, need to be satisfied. What is so wrong with that?

Is it moral? That’s something you should take up with your God or father confessor, of course. But is it fun? You betcha.

(My column, Something Like Life, is published every Friday in the Business Mirror. This piece came out on Aug. 25, 2006. Unsigned painting from

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