walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Griping? Or Musing? Women and Should, Part 3

Oprah has done a show (probably more than one, but at least one) with Laura Berman, a sex therapist whose personal appearance gives me the heebies -- probably doesn't have that effect on anyone else since people commenting on Berman invariably talk about how attractive she herself is. I have been unable to watch more than about ten minutes of this show (or shows -- I'm not sure if I've seen two segments of one show or one segment each of two different shows).

The show has a couple panels of four women each at remote sites connected in via Skype and a big screen. Periodically, Oprah checks in with these groups of women to get their response to whatever Berman has been saying.

Back in the day, daytime talk shows on the subject of sex (and I'm a little frightened by the fact that I've now seen representative samples of this genre over a period of three decades) were mostly focused on figuring out how to get women to (a) have and orgasm (b) with the man of their choosing present. The books at the time were off in la-la land with g-spots and simultaneous orgasm; TV was marginally more grounded in life-as-experienced-by-middle-class-folk-with-family-responsibilities. Things have changed a little, but not much. The sex therapists are still trying to get women to look at themselves, touch themselves, maybe get a vibrator, and try to figure out how to actually talk their partner through giving them an orgasm once they've figured out how to do that themselves.

Berman brings something brand new to the table, however: Guilt. You Should Want To Have An Orgasm. You Should Want to Have Sex. Sex will Improve Your Health. Sex Will Make You Live Longer. Blah blah bleeping blah. Back In the Day, it was assumed that women wanted to have Good Sex and it was a straightforward problem of how.

This sort of mirrors what's been going on with the medical community at large, but Berman is lagging slightly (oh, such a surprise; she's on Oprah after all). In the post-Viagra world, there were a variety of efforts to Fix Lack of Libido in Women because It Was a Problem (TM). Well, it was a problem for someone, a problem a lot of women were extremely happy to fix with a Divorce. Prescribing Viagra (Cialis, etc.) hasn't done any good, nor has testosterone. Lately, some researchers had a really bright idea: let's ask women who don't enjoy sex and/or don't want to have sex are bothered by this. The answer was predictably mixed, but quite a lot of the respondents with low libido really didn't have any particular issue with it, other than the nagging. Which I think explains Berman.

You can imagine why I didn't care for the show.

It's one thing to bully people into putting down the Little Debbies and trying some whole grain for a change. It's one thing to nag about eating one's vegetables. It's one thing to tell people to get off the couch and turn off the TV and go for a walk once in a while.

It's entirely another thing to tell people They Should Have Sex. This just seems wrong to me.

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