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Now That You've Got Me Here, What Are We Going to Do?
by Ruth Dickson

Category: Family/Relationships
Description: Having made a success and a series of cogent points about the complexities of Mistress-hood in her first book, MARRIED MEN MAKE THE BEST LOVERS, Ruth Dickson gets down to basics and tells us a lot more than the obvious about the ins and outs of lovemaking. With her classic, breezy, entertaining style, she instructs the uninformed and enlightens the already educated with a bit of science and a lot of blunt truth about the hows, whys and special tricks of sex for fun, in or out of wedlock. The fact that she firmly believes that unwed sex-play is more fun than the married variety doesn't detract from her wisdom and her expertise. From "The Nitty Gritty" (both his and hers) to "The Other Side of the Bed" and from the beginning explanation of "Why Are We Doing This?" to the grand summation of "What Is Sex, Really?" Dickson gives an advanced course in the art of love and the pleasures of sex in all its permutations. One of the first of many sexual instruction guides that followed in its wake, NOW THAT YOU'VE GOT ME HERE, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? was the frontrunner of the genre, dispensing basic information and much more in this amusing, highly readable work. Readers of either sex will be the richer and the better informed for taking an opportunity to learn at the feet (and other areas) of a Master. Or, more accurately, Mistress. -- Ruth Dickson titles at E-Reads: MARRIED MEN MAKE THE BEST LOVERS; NOW THAT YOU'VE GOT ME HERE WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?; MARRIAGE IS A BAD HABIT
eBook Publisher: E-Reads/E-Reads, 1972
eBookwise Release Date: July 2012


Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [293 KB]
Words: 68755
Reading time: 196-275 min.


Why This Book Is Necessary
* * * *

If you read the title page of this book, you'll note that it is specifically called a non-marriage manual. Aside from the fact that there are already scores of books on the market designed for married couples, there are also whole platoons of marriage counselors, family planners and other moral busybodies dedicating their lives to the futile task of trying to salvage the wreckage of the connubial system. [See: Marriage Is a Bad Habit] In other words, the marrieds have all the help they can use in solving their sexual adjustment problems, as well as the dozens of other daily traumas with which they are faced.

But we single types have an entirely different set of puzzles to solve in regard to our sex lives. Although we've finally gone beyond the phase of having to pretend we don't have any, it's an unfortunate fact that education has lagged far behind liberation. The starting gun in the big race to bed went off several years ago**, but nobody seems to know the rules, or even where the finish line is. Single people are hopping in and out of bed with each other in an orgiastic frenzy, but the quantity of their sexual activity has outdistanced the quality to an appalling degree.

So this is, in effect, a self-defense manual. Personally, I've had it up to here with the deplorable bed manners I've encountered since my own liberation from marriage. Too much highly unsatisfactory experience has shown me that not one man in fifty has the slightest grasp of Good-Lovership; what's even worse, few of those inadequate lovers seem aware of their own ignorance.

Not that men are the only ones at fault, naturally. Both parties need to know what they're about, if sex is to be the happy experience it deserves to be, so I've included a section of helpful hints to the ladies, too. But I believe that sex education has to start with men, simply because they are still the ones who take the initiative most of the time. Besides, men need to know more than women, since the female is, sexually speaking, so much more complicated than the male.

Fifty years ago, despite the fact that there was widespread sexual repression and ignorance, a book like this was far less necessary than it is today. In those days, a woman usually had only one man in her life, and she was married to him. If she were very lucky, she would be able to make a satisfactory adjustment to his sexual habits and maybe even have a little sneaky fun herself--if she could be very, very quiet about her orgasms. But even if she never experienced one it was no great loss. Nobody talked about sexual pleasure for the female, except in horrified whispers, so she didn't know what she was missing arid therefore didn't miss it. At least not consciously. (Lord only knows what kind of dreams those Victorian ladies had!).

But the picture has changed in our present era of so-called sexual freedom. There's hardly a virgin left over the age of sixteen. Youngsters are experimenting with each other at younger and younger ages every year, which I think is fine and healthy. The trouble is, none of them know what they're supposed to be doing once they lie down with each other, so they grow up just as ignorant of decent technique as their grandparents. The only fact most boys seem to have grasped is that a girl is supposed to experience a sexual climax, but how to get her there is still a matter of hit and miss. And it's the lucky miss indeed who hits with any frequency.

It seems to me that in the old days, when it was a big deal for a man to bed an unmarried woman, his follow through was a lot better. He mastered the entire art of seduction, from the first tentative touch to the final knockout, making it at least worthwhile for the woman to succumb. Nowadays, however, since it's become a simple matter of Oyour place or mine?O, the art of seduction as well as the basic skills of lovemaking itself have become non-existent. And that's a crying shame. I mean, what's the use of having all that potential fun available if the end result is nothing but a crashing bore?

It's not that I object to the casual approach to sex, or even that you might not know a man's last name before your clothes come off. What does bother me is what happens, or more accurately, what doesn't happen once you've been bedded. Men today seem to think that all they have to know about lovemaking is how to assume a reclining position. What's more, if they do have the sense to realize they might need a little technical instruction, whom do they ask? Each other. The one place a man never seems to go for information on how to please a woman is to a woman. They persist in fumbling around, behaving as though they know everything there is to know about sex, just as they think they know about everything else. I know that sounds a little bitter, but I just got through trying to put together a meal for a man in a kitchen designed by a man. The kitchen probably looked great on the drawing board, but who cooks on a drawing board? And that's exactly the way too many men approach sexual knowledge. They've tried to design woman to their own specifications, using their own subjective conjectures, then blame her when she doesn't get off the ground.

As the most blatant case in point, look at the irreparable damage Freud did with his maniacal vaginal orgasm theory. Because he was a man, and therefore owned a penis, he decided that since it felt good to him to surround said penis with a vagina, it must necessarily follow that it felt equally good to a female to have a penis stuck into her vagina. Furthermore, he made the unequivocal statement that if it didn't feel good to her, she was immature, neurotic, and sick sick sick. Have you any idea how many poor women spent years searching for an elusive ecstasy that never existed in the first place, when all the time they could have been having perfectly delightful clitoral climaxes?

The simple fact is that no man has ever lived inside a female body and, therefore, no matter how much theoretical knowledge he may possess, he can't possibly know what a woman really wants and needs. Especially today's single woman, who has an entirely different set of problems from the married. Although marriage in the main leaves much to be desired, it does have one sexual advantage: a husband and wife, after spending a long time with each other, can eventually figure out ways and means to satisfy each other. But the single woman, who frequently has to make do with short-term affairs, generally hasn't the time to break in a man to her personal satisfaction.

And that, in a nutshell, is the reason for this book. Now that you have us in bed, it's time you learned what to do next.

What are my qualifications for being so presumptuous as to tell you how to make love? Well, I am, after a human being, first and foremost a woman. I am also a single woman, and have been to bed with far more than enough men to know that most of them have trouble differentiating one end of a female from the other. I have also had long, intimate discussions and interviews with hundreds of other unmarried women and found that poor lovers are in such abundance as to constitute a veritable plague. In fact, good lovers are so rare that when a woman does latch onto one, she just smiles a lot and keeps her mouth shut. Since most of my friends are talking, and very few are smiling, there's obviously something wrong, and I'd like to help fix it. As for my other qualifications, I not only know how to make love, I enjoy it--at least as often as possible considering the dearth of knowledgeable partners. My academic background is unimportant, although solid and creditable. As for the rest of it--trust me.

Before I go any further, I must make it clear that I'm talking primarily about American men. Since this is being written in Europe, my personal research is continuing, and, hopefully, before it's finished I will be able to report in some depth the differences I've only just begun to explore.

There are a number of reasons why American men are not more famous as lovers. That old bugaboo Puritan Ethic is at the bottom of it, of course, but there are other sociological reasons, as well. There's even a semantic indication of our state of mind. The English language is dreadfully lacking in words concerning sex. There are only two kinds--clinical and scatological--and neither variety is either warm or descriptive, which should tell us something about our standard of values. We have created a vast technical vocabulary, but I haven't heard a new sex word since I saw my first four-letter shockers scrawled on fences. Now the Arabs, on the other hand, have a tremendous number of words, totally untranslatable, which concern the physical relationship between men and women.

But back to the Americans. As any school child can tell you, our sexual hangups were handed down to us by the Puritans, who said they were running away from repression. Then, after they got through, along came Queen Victoria, and we were worse off than ever. Whatever the cause, and it was probably some kind of widespread socio-sexual maladjustment plague, somebody decided that everything that felt good was bad. And, since everyone knows that sex is the most fun you can have without laughing, it came first on the forbidden list. Not only was it bad E it was dirty. Furthermore, cleanliness being next to godliness (think that one over, as a perfect example of psychic perversion!), labeling sex dirty as well as fun made it a double sin. Now, I ask you--how can a man be really uninhibited in bed if he thinks what he's doing is dirty?

It's become part of our culture to equate sex and dirt. We describe a sexually-oriented joke, a pornographic film or book, our Anglo-Saxon four-letter vocabulary as dirty jokes, dirty books, dirty words. And, as any student of psycho-cybernetics can tell you, saying it is feeling it. With this one word, we've managed to create an entire civilization of guilt-ridden sex criminals (and believe me, some of the techniques I've been exposed to were nothing short of criminal!). It isn't that American men aren't nice. They make good husbands. They're usually considerate, and seldom think of women as property any more. But their approach to sex is generally less than joyful.

This basically negative attitude toward sex covers the whole range of men, from the faithful-to-the-end type husband to the belt-notching Don Juan. Each of them, in his own way, thinks sex is dirty: they just take different routes to get to the same place. The TV-family stereotype of the American husband thinks of his wife as a precious jewel, not to be sullied with anything as nasty as his secret erotic fantasies. To him, sex is a marital duty every bit as important as taking out the trash, and accomplished with the same regularity, efficiency and lack of imagination. He never forgets to wash his hands thoroughly after both jobs. He would be shocked by the notion of making love during the day or with the lights on at night. Sex is to be done in darkness, in silence, in secrecy--and never, under any circumstances, is it discussed in the polite company of his wife.The only time he ever talks about it is with the "boys," meaning the other good providers who live in his neighborhood. Wives are clean, you see, and any woman who arouses lustful thoughts is obviously not fit to be a mother.

On the other side of the American male coin, we find the so-called swinger. He's generally on a somewhat higher socioeconomic level than the aforementioned good husband variety. He also hits a higher level of hypocrisy when it comes to women. This is the He-Man who professes to love women, who spends a large percentage of his time and energy on the prowl for them, who beds them with as much frequency as his physical limitations will allow, and who speaks of them with the authority of a professional horse trainer. He is frequently a sexual hobbiest; that is, instead of collecting stamps or coins, he collects erotica. His library is full of pornography as well as the works of Kinsey, Krafft-Ebbing, and Johnson and Masters. He's also very big on mechanical devices like vibrators of various shapes and sizes and monstrous dildos, his medicine chest is loaded with oils and unguents, and quite often his bedside table has secreted therein a lifetime supply of Amyl Nitrate. He gets terribly turned on by talking about every last little detail of a woman's sexual encounters, and if she's ever done anything even slightly kinky, he thinks she's super sexy.

This one also goes in for group activities, although he'd throw up at the idea of the mildest sexual contact with another man. Because, you see, despite all his liberality, he has even worse sexual guilt than the stereotypical husband. His hangups are so bad that he has to lean over backward to combat them, which is the reason for all his games. For him, women have no individual identities at all: they are simply animated vaginas, to be used, experimented with, and discarded. His friends are men, exclusively. That's why he comes totally unglued at the thought of sex with another man. Men are clean. Women are not. He's a He-Man, honey, and his deep-seated contempt for women, probably based on fear, is expressed by his never-ending search for bigger and better sex thrills. He'll show that old subconscious it isn't going to push him around! No sir! He'll do every weird thing he can imagine but he can't wait to get finished so he can run and tell his friends about it--thus reinforcing his manliness one more time.

I don't mean to imply that these two types are the only ones to be found. They are just the two extremes in contemporary American life, insofar as "normal" lovers are concerned. A woman who gets involved, either in marriage in the first case, or an affair in the second, will never have the kind of sex life every human being is entitled to. Because, despite the fact that the stereotypical good husband will keep his woman reasonably satisfied, if bored, and the stallion will keep his girls sexually exhausted (he counts female orgasms like other men count their money), neither has the mental attitude which is essential if a man is to be a sincerely good lover. Without it, all the technique in the world isn't going to satisfy any experienced woman. Oh sure, you can cause a physical climax in almost any female with the correct approach, but to bring her to an orgasm of the soul takes something far deeper than being able to locate her erogenous zones. Not that we aren't going to discuss, in depth, the E.Z.'s. But it's necessary to get into your head before we can progress with the technical aspects of lovemaking.

I know hundreds of men who swear they have a healthy attitude toward sex. "Nothing two people do together is bad," they piously intone, thinking that proves, once and for all, that they have a liberal attitude. But their thinking that there's nothing wrong in changing positions once in a while doesn't make them Casanovas. And there's still that basic doubt, deep in their subconscious, about what they're doing. Few men ever approach a woman with the two attitudes I consider essential for Good-Lovership. The first of these is joy. It's a rare American who encounters sex with a feeling of simple delight. More often, he either feels sneaky, a sensation from which he derives most of his kicks, or he works on his girl with serious skill, like a mechanic adjusting a carburetor. Maybe twice in my life have I been taken to bed by a man who displayed free, open, sheer exultation in the act of love.

I don't mean that I want a man to come to bed laughing and chuckling. What I do mean is that he ought to feel that what he's doing is a freely expressed celebration of something so natural that the idea of guilt is incomprehensible to him. To feel a clear elation in all his senses, to relish every part of the act, from the first kiss of anticipation to the last kiss of exhaustion. It's the difference between dining leisurely and well, with crystal, silver, candlelight, and exquisite food, and gulping a hamburger at the corner drive-in. Sadly enough, the majority of American men are let's-get-it-over-with guilty gulpers.

The other attitude which is equally--if not more--important, is that which a man has toward women is general. One of the most distressing facts of life is that very few men really like women. In fact, the only males I've ever known who do have a sincere respect and admiration for women are homosexuals. Their frame of reference is such that they are able to empathize with women, and recognize them for their non-sexual qualities, something which the average heterosexual seems incapable of doing.

Let me describe the two most common attitudes extant today. The first, although still prevalent in many parts of the world, has become rarer in the West. This is the idea that a woman is not quite human, that her place lies somewhere between the family dog and her husband. She is looked upon with tolerant amusement, is pampered because of her assumed lack of brains, is thought to have exotic emotions, so different from those of the male as to be totally incomprehensible. Her physical appeal is a cause celebre: the more beautiful she is, the more valuable she is. She either produces awe and is worshiped as a rare jewel, or she's accepted as a simple sex object and is tended and cared for as such. As a thinking, creative, productive human being, I naturally resent this attitude. But I must say it has its compensations. A man who feels a woman is rare and special, even if he doesn't give credence to the fact that she is as human as he is, can be utterly charming. I couldn't stand it as a steady diet, but the flattery implicit in this kind of appraisal isn't hard to take, once in a while.

It certainly is nicer than the All-American playboy syndrome. In this case, a girl (never a woman--this man is totally incapable of a romance with anyone of emotional maturity) is also treated as a sex object, but she doesn't even receive the flattery of being regarded as an individual. Men with this attitude generally don't even refer to their girls by name. When they talk among themselves (which they do, endlessly) they talk about the "long-legged blonde," or the "redhead with the great ass." To men like this, a female's function is solely physical. She might, of course, serve double duty as decoration, but the idea of holding a conversation with her about anything more weighty than where to have dinner is not to be thought of.

In neither case is the concept of friendship with a female possible. To me, that's the saddest and most frustrating part of the entire relationship problem between the sexes. Not just because it's stupid and unfair to women to exclude them from the friendly comradeship of men, but because men themselves miss so many rewarding experiences. Because of the rigorous emphasis placed on "manliness" in our society, few men are able to differentiate between stiff-upper-lip-ism and honest appraisal of their inner worlds. If they were able to express freely their emotions, especially their more tender emotions, to make use of a woman's understanding acceptance, there wouldn't be so many of them on ulcer diets and psychiatrists' couches.

When I was in my teens I used to hear a lot about something called a "platonic relationship," which we interpreted as romance sans sex--a phenomenon which seldom occurs today. The current crop of teenagers either put out or they're put down, and boys no longer have time for the girl who won't play. Not that I hold any breech for virginity as a way of life. Nor do I think that friendship excludes sex, by any means. I mean, what's friendlier than sharing a bed? What I'm complaining about is the fact that you can't be friends with the people you sleep with (there's a euphemism for you--sleep, indeed!). Why is It that men invariably seek the company of other men when they want to play or talk or have problems or are tired? Why does it never occur to them that they might spend the same time doing those same things with women?

Which brings us right back to where we started. The reason is simply that most men just don't like women. Their excuse, of course, is that they don't "understand" us. As though we were of a different breed, or from another planet or universe. If they ever took the time or had the inclination to make friends with us, they'd lose that excuse overnight. I wonder what men would do if they ever found out that women are people, just like them. What a surprise they'd have if they ever moved their attention from between our legs to between our ears! But as long as they allow their genitals to do their thinking for them, it can never happen.

The paradox of the situation, however, is that men are missing some awfully good sex by their anti-friendship attitude. Because unless you can be friends with a woman you can't possibly be a good lover to her. How can you make love to someone you admit you don't understand? If you can't get into her head satisfactorily, how can you get into her pants with any competence?

This concept is so simple that it's a constant source of astonishment to me that more men haven't snapped to it. On the other hand, it isn't too difficult to trace the sickness to its source. Philip Wylie was the first to give it a name: Momism. But what Mr. Wylie, in his bitterness, failed to acknowledge was that it was men who elevated Mom to her position of Virgin Goddess, thereby effectively removing from her all sullying traces of humanity. She didn't ask to be shut away from reality. She was put on that pedestal by the men in her life: father, husband, sons--all of whom decided, by some weird masculine logic, that the fact that she had the capacity to incubate a fetus made her Pure and Holy. Mother worship, brought to its very quintessence by the Mary myth, has been so pounded into our guts that it's no wonder men are incapable of friendship with us. How can you be friendly with a Golden Idol?

The illogical end result of this syndrome is that everybody goes around being sorry for the man who is trying to reconcile his mother-guilt with his sex urge. What nobody seems to realize is that his mother is the one who really has the basis for a Complaint*.

After all, the average woman is born with the same mentality, strength and courage as is the average man. But instead of allowing her to stretch her mental muscles and realize her human potential, she's told from the time she's in diapers that her future is predestined. She's to be a wife and mother, and that's that. So we end up with millions of highly capable people, with talent, energy, and ambition,, being constantly frustrated and deprived of the opportunity to use their faculties on anybody but their kids, to the everlasting detriment of all parties concerned. Just think of the fantastic things a woman like Sophie Portnoy could have accomplished if only that drive had been harnessed to something more constructive than bending her offspring out of shape.

Yet men don't think about that. They just go around bitching and wailing about how they don't understand women and it was all their mother's fault. Of course they instantly turn around and marry someone as much like Mom as possible, then start all over with their daughters, perpetuating the schism for another generation to cope with.

Well, that's enough feminist diatribe. I think the point is clear. If men would only realize that women are no more holy than they are, and could approach them with the same openness of mind and spirit with which they meet their own sex, we would have taken our first giant stride into the realm of Super Sex, which is, after all, what I'm talking about.

So, gentlemen, step one is to examine your attitude toward women, and, if you find it lacking in liking, change it. Here's a little experiment to try the next time you're on the town. Pick a woman who attracts you, as you always do. But this time instead of doing your regulation number on her, start talking with her in exactly the same way you would if she were a man. Obliterate her body from your mind and think of her only as a possibly interesting person, a potential friend. Forget the fact that her sexual equipment is different from yours. In fact, forget your sexual equipment entirely. (Oh, come on. Of course you can if you try!) Guess what will happen, nine times out of ten? She'll end up propositioning you. I promise. But you can't play it as a game or a new line. You really have to believe it, or her intuition (which is really just training, in the long run) will spot you for a phony.

The reason for her reaction, especially if she's attractive, is obvious. First of all, the very difference in approach will arouse her interest. Here's a man, she'll think, who doesn't seem the least bit interested in my body. What a fascinating novelty! Second, most pretty women get a bit bored with having people's attention always focused on their looks. It's a refreshing change to have someone notice that they're capable of saying more than yes or no. Third, of course, if you continue to ignore her physical side, she'll begin to wonder if there's something wrong with her. Or maybe with you. And you'll become a challenge, instead of a challenger. Once she sets her mind to finding out why you aren't coming on like everyone else, you'll find yourself between the sheets before you know what hit you. But please don't stop there. Just because she got you where you want her, don't become an instant sex maniac. Friendship in the bedroom is far more important than companionship in the pub. This is the arena in which the real exploration of each other begins and, all too frequently, ends.

Let me give you a graphically hideous example out of my recent past. I met what appeared to be a really delightful young man. Attractive, attentive, seemingly intelligent, and charming enough to give me goose bumps. We danced and had a few drinks, while he gazed longingly into my eyes, stroked my arm with tantalizing grace, nibbled my fingertips, and became disarmingly embarrassed by his noticeable erection while dancing. Wow, I thought. A real old-fashioned seducer. I could hardly wait to see the rest of his bag of tricks. Some bag! The instant the bedroom door closed behind us, he got undressed with dispatch, impatiently assisted me out of my garments, jumped on me, poked me three times, fell off and went to sleep. Not a word had been spoken, nor a seductive move made. All that build-up for something I could have done much better alone.

Of course, he didn't come on like a friend for openers. If he had, the bedroom scene might have been quite different. Certainly nobody would treat a friend with that kind of disdain. Friends are for making each other happy, for helping when they need something, for empathy, understanding, and liking. Surely, nowhere are these qualities more important than in bed. Sensitivity, consideration and the desire to please are the basic ingredients for good lovemaking. But how can you know what will please if you aren't interested enough to find out? No two women will respond in exactly the same way to the same stimulus. You must find out what kind of person she is before you're equipped to make love to her properly. That can only be accomplished through open, happy, friendly, uninhibited candor.

Which brings us smack up against the problem of inhibition in general. (We'll get down to particulars a little later.) You know, of course, that in its simplest terms, inhibition is the brake your subconscious throws on your conscious to stop you from doing something that crosses your mind. Obviously, not all inhibitions are bad. Most of them keep us from hurting ourselves or someone else and act as the foundation on which we build our moral codes. However, the basic evil inherent in inhibitions is the fact that we didn't think of them ourselves. Most of what we believe to be bad, wrong, or immoral was given to us when we were too young to defend ourselves, and because we seldom remember being taught these things we accept them thoughtlessly and without reason, never examining their veracity in the light of adult experience. As a result, most people go through life believing what was told them when they were two years old, and never make the slightest effort to come to an independent conclusion about some of the most basic facets of their existence.

If anyone were to ask me my definition of wisdom, I would say it's learning to differentiate between what we have been conditioned to believe and what we have concluded, after weighing all the facts, to be the truth. To me, the greatest cop-out in the world is, "I can't help it. That's the way I was raised." Meaning you can perpetrate any stupidity in the world as long as you blame your parents. Ask a Klan member why he runs around in a bed sheet burning crosses and he'll say, "Ah cain't he'p it. Thass the way Ah wuz raised." Ask the girl who insists on an engagement ring before she'll go to bed with a man and she'll say, "I can't help it. That's the way I was raised." She was raised on fairy tales and soap operas, but she never thought to examine the veracity of these romantic fantasies in the light of reason. It seems quite obvious to me that if everyone in the world said, "I can't help it. That's the way I was raised," we'd still be living in caves without a flush toilet in sight.

So, the first step in getting rid of sexual inhibitions is to figure out where they came from and if they're doing us any good. Think about them with your now grown-up mind, and compare the facts with what you've always "believed," then come to an independent conclusion. Make your own decisions. After you've found your truth, and perhaps discovered that something you have prevented yourself from doing or saying in bed is not an evil thing after all, go ahead and do it. The first time or two will be difficult, of course. Inhibitions die hard. But they can be flattened into the ground by the simple expedient of defying them. As a minor example, I was thirty years old before I could utter the other four letter word ending in "k" which means intercourse. (I've never had any trouble saying OtalkO!) It just wouldn't come out of my mouth, I had such a deeply ingrained inhibition against it. But I thought about it one day, wondering why I was afraid of a word. It couldn't hurt me, it had a perfectly clear meaning, and it was certainly easy to pronounce. Why couldn't I say it? So I tried. All alone in my room, I whispered it. Nothing happened--no thunderbolts, no earthquakes, nothing. So I said it again, louder. And again. Then I went out to find someone else to say it to. Pretty soon, the word had become a useful part of my vocabulary, and has remained so. Not that there's any great merit in being able to use a four-letter word. It's only an example of a silly inhibition which was overcome just by flouting it. The same technique works with any other emotional restraint your subconscious tries to put on you.

Which brings us back to frankness in the feathers. If you have no hangups about asking a woman what she'd like in a restaurant, how come you can't ask her what she'd like in bed? And exchange information about your own preferences with her? I don't mean that you should draw a long, clinical blueprint before you proceed with the action, but an occasional friendly inquiry as to how things are going is certainly a plus factor. On the other side of the bed, you women have to start loosening up, too. If you don't help a man know you and what you want, you have no right to complain when you don't get it.

I had a friend who once showed up at the beach with a terrible bruise on her stomach. I asked her where she got it and she said the guy she'd been to bed with the night before had been digging into her with his elbow. So naturally I asked her why she didn't tell him to stop and shift his position. And this damn little fool said she didn't want to hurt his feelings by intimating that he wasn't doing a perfect job!

This attitude is still another manifestation of our anti-natural culture. A woman is led to believe that criticizing a man's performance will invariably do irreparable damage to his ego. This, she has been told, is a phenomenon to be avoided at all costs, since it will either a) cause him to be impotent, or b) cause him to leave her forever. So, because most women would rather have an inept lover than none at all, they lie there suffering in silence.

The thing that few people of either sex seem able to grasp is that lovemaking is a team effort - two people, cooperating in the creation of joy and beauty, enjoyed equally by both, and for which both can take equal credit. This is such a simple concept that I wonder why it's so difficult to achieve. It's one of the saddest facts of life that most people make love alone; alone with their own sensations, their own emotions, their own thoughts and fantasies. How rare it is to create a mutual dream, both people feeling it and riding it side by side, simultaneously aware of themselves and each other; so aware that they could exchange minds and still be in the same place. I believe that with openness and freedom from emotional restraint, this kind of lovemaking could be going on in every bed in the world. Now, isn't that a goal worth pursuing?

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