Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Letter to the Editors of the New York Times

That I did not send and therefore will not be published:

In response to What Do Women Want? I am very impressed that scientists have gone to such great lengths to study female desire, and somewhat pity the women who watched bonobos gone wild with electrodes strapped to their ladyjunk.

However, I regret to inform all of your dedicated researchers that they are somewhat late to the party. Every single one of their startling, groundbreaking bits of sexuality insight have been known for decades to the single largest industry of women's pornography. I am referring, of course to the romance novel.

Apparently, scientists can prove that women get turned on paying attention to other women's bodies as a locus for desire: EVERY romance novel contains a lengthy, breathy description of how attractive the heroine is, how her flimsy clothes strain to hold in her bounteous body, and how mad with lust this drives our hero.

Women are, according to the article, also turned on by complete strangers and also intense emotional connection. Two things that, in real life, are going to be difficult to find in one person. However, in EVERY romance novel, the dude is both brand-new to the woman but yet can penetrate (with his insight) to the depths of her very soul.

Finally, and most controversially, women seem to test highly for fantasies of submission and domination - except, of course, in the fantasies and not real life, they actually are asking for it. Again, without judgment or a nature/nurture debate -- I dare you to find a single romance novel where the woman is the sexual aggressor. I'm not saying they all have rape -- it could be a stolen kiss, followed by a masterly display of masculine self-control, but the guys are the ones doing the pursuing.

In conclusion, New York Times, I applaud your discussion of this research (although I must admit that the photographs made it somewhat difficult to read on the subway), but I must tell you that The Defiant Debutante and her kinswomen knew it all long ago.

1 comment:

Nitpicker said...

I'm amazed to hear that you have actually read a romance novel!
Generally speaking, you are right. But give me enough time, and I bet I can think of maybe ONE where the woman is the aggressor.