Take, don’t ask?

In two books I read back to back recently, there was a female character in a “happy” marriage who sleeps with a rougher man because she feels like is that all there is? A husband who listens to her and gives her flowers now and again and with whom she has a routine of life and relations – regular sex, shared tv shows, discussions about the news over toast in the morning.

Each woman comes “alive” (actual word used by the authors) with these other men. The sex is rough, and they want to be mounted, to be f*cked, really. At odds with their good woman existence, they respond sexually to men who come at them, who harbour thoughts of hurting, or even killing, them.

It’s a nasty business discussing the ravish fantasy. Good, liberated women aren’t supposed to ever go there. But I know more than one who wants to be taken once in a while, to feel like the man in front of her wants her so badly that he might not let his ego get in the way of his id. Interesting enough, in both novels, the women give up their careers (or plan to) to be with the dirty men. The narrative evolution doesn’t seem to be to the point where she finds a bit on the side and continues with her own life. Surrender must be outside and inside the bedroom.

I wonder if this is becoming normalized? Is it a fantasy of a generation of women who can earn their own keep to submit? But since it’s not okay (in society) to admit to it, it’s expressed as sexual liberation?

This isn’t discussion one has in “polite” company, but it’s discussion that’s been done at girl’s nights and in ladies’ washrooms and in blog entries that don’t see the light of day. But it’s not a no-means-yes thing, more like a take-don’t-ask thing, provided that you are the man or woman that a particular woman wants to be ravished by.

I can understand how enlightened men end up so confused. Respect a woman, ask, think of her and be content to have a regular life, when really there’s a whole other narrative going on in which you are vilified for your hesitancy or your niceties.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, other than to say that I noticed it, and then to ponder if this is women being honest, being selfish or being screwed up.