Thursday, 31 May 2007

Buzz off!

I wonder if Sex and the City has done more for the humble vibrator than any advertising campaign. Who remembers Charlotte pulling a sickie on a girls' night out to spend some quality time with her Rampant Rabbit, and Carrie having to march down to her apartment and snatch it from her? Was I the only one who wanted to yell, "Don't you know where that's been?" And then there was the episode in which Samantha's favourite "back massager" breaks from overuse and she brazenly demands an exchange, refusing to adopt the pretence that women buy them for their backs.

Apparently, a woman can only achieve an orgasm with the help of a vibrating phallic neon piece of jelly-like plastic with prongs. Quite apart from the fact that many of these devices look quite frankly terrifying or just plain baffling, I take issue with the implication that I need mechanical assistance getting myself off.

Vibrators are seen as symbols of modern emancipation. Women are being told what they should enjoy physically by much the same sort of pop-feminists who told them they were not supposed to enjoy penetrative sex in the 70s. They are being encouraged to be utterly obsessed with their own orgasms, told to collect more and more bits of phallic silicone in order to achieve extreme ecstasy the likes of which one could never experience with a mere man. We are being sold these devices on the back of a post-feminist bandwagon which states that we must assert our independence from men. Simply masturbating is not enough. We must own a vibrator in order to make a statement that we masturbate. Yes, I am a woman, I have sexual urges, I'm going to buy this piece of mass-produced latex crap and as God is my witness, I will go home and have a wank!

Masturbation is not proof that you don't need a man. Try becoming financially independent, emotionally stable, genuinely happy to be single - that's proof that you don't need a man.

I'd much rather it was like this than a hundred years ago, when women weren't even expected to enjoy sex and the thought of a woman masturbating was completely abhorrent. I just can't help feeling that we're all taking it a bit too seriously. You're not having a romantic evening for one. You're having a wank. Get over it.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Nice tits, love!

I am thoroughly sick of unwanted attention and people - male and female - assuming that I am both thick and sexually promiscuous because of the size of my breasts.

When I was fourteen years old, a boy once asked me, "Hasn't anybody ever told you a handful is enough?" People just assume that women choose the size of their breasts. If they did (surgery notwithstanding) then life would be much easier because the signals that our breasts radiated would actually be accurate.

Part of the problem is that there are no respectable, intelligent, attractive big-bosomed women in the media - just porn stars and page 3 girls. Consequently our society lacks respect for women with large breasts. Virtually no prominent media figures with large breasts are renowned for anything other than their bust - essentially, they are walking pairs of tits. In some cases they have deliberately built careers around their bosoms and in some cases the one-sided media attention has been thrust upon them, but either way, a woman with large breasts is not allowed to be anything more substantial than a page 3 girl.

Another incident from when my breasts first grew to mammoth proportions is still burned into my memory, although at 24 I am now mature enough to be angry and amused about it rather than ashamed as I was then. My mother had dragged me to John Lewis for a long-overdue fitting. The assistant, a middle-aged woman named Sheila who was very perfectly polite and pleasant to my face, had measured me and had left the cubicle in order to find me some suitable attire to try on. As soon as she left however, and bear in mind that there was only a fabric curtain between me and the outside world, I overheard the following, "'Ere Tracey, we've got a 28E in here! You never seen nuffink like it!" If I hadn't been only fourteen, and if at that time John Lewis hadn't been the only shop that stocked bras in my size, I would have got dressed and walked out, possibly complaining to the manager on the way. It's like having a terrible skin condition or disfigurement, except that because it's largely considered attractive it's okay for people to stare and to comment.

The larger a woman's breasts are, the less they belong to her. The more people feel that they have the right to comment. Breasts are considered male property - if I had a pound for every time I'd been told (by both men and women) that I should be happy with my large breasts because men find them attractive I'd have enough for a deposit on a flat in London - which would make me considerably happier than my enormous knockers ever have.