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Sex Is Confusing, What Nona Willis Aronowitz Book Bad Sex Says

Nona Willis Aronowitz Book Bad Sex
The other Day, I was having a conversation with my friend about sex and the paradoxes it includes. Sex is the human body’s need, but at the same time, it is violent also. For a feminist person denying violence and dominance, does sex make sense?

Few debates marked more feminist, less the sex is pleasurable, more the aggression and domination, great is the pleasure. Another irony we touched on was- sex is a human need but becomes abnormal when women want it. I mean, our cultural forces influence our desires, fantasies, relationships, and sexual behaviour. This in a broader perspective, seems paradoxical. Sex and pleasure in the book of Nona Willis Aronowitz titled Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution shows the same zigzag pursuit of sexual liberation and draws similar inferences. How it is chaotic, grueling, confusing, and yet essential. 

Nona Willis Aronowitz Book Bad Sex

The book is an account of her intimate records and family history. Besides, she gives anecdotes of lovers, radical lesbians, feminist men, women who risk everything for sex, who buy sex, and who experience good and bad sex. While telling them brings irony in the form of peril, safety, freedom and violence.

In the chapter is named – The Vulnerability Paradox Aronowitz touches on hook-ups she had with three different men on three consecutive days. She thinks about all the hook-ups and analyses the meaning of those hook-ups. The chapter – as usual starts with her personal account and then comes down to the feminist accounts from waves of feminism and their understanding of sex and pleasure. 

Bad Sex

Nona Willis Aronowitz titled Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution

How we women see sex is the biggest question

Enjoying sex for sex could be a myth, it may be all about the diversion of one thing to another. The author also doesn’t see sex as a tool of pleasure, she finds it as medication to avoid the breakup-induced pain. Sex’s role could be to provide pleasure, but used to escape from problems. For example, a couple of hours with a nice guy eased the author’s burden of her dad’s medical needs. For her, it is the route of escapism and a shot of ego boost. Thinking of her hook-ups, she has a lot of cross-questioning for herself. We all usually have. How can satisfying sex be safe and at the same time not be boring, cared for but not smothered? There is so much burden while having sex when meant to be a stress buster. 

What does vulnerability mean – A dilemma

That sex puts you in a vulnerable position could be true. The author says mental and physical vulnerability makes sex risky, especially when a woman is up for no-strings-attached sex. As the feminine trait of emotional openness reveals you to the confusion of romantic feelings. The whole casual and fun thing becomes part of the pain, whereas physical vulnerability can be dangerous, as it includes pressure, boundary crossing, sexual assault and unwanted pregnancy. The tension between pleasure and vulnerability has hung over the heads of anybody negotiating sex without obligation. Vulnerability can be positive (love, tenderness, humanity, honesty) and negative (naivete, insecurity, safety concern, sentimentality, and emotional problems). For women, there is the fear of rape and unwanted domination. There is fear of becoming co-dependency, unleashing your worst, socially unacceptable instincts and cravings.


Suggested Reading:

Sexual Assaults On Dalit Women Increasing, When Law Will Open It’s Eyes?


So it brings me to the same question, for a feminist person denying violence, and dominance does sex and pleasure make sense? Maybe yes, because we try to overthink and put everything in principle too quickly. Instead, why don’t we enjoy it while it last and refrain from complications? 

The views expressed are the author’s own.