Erotic Interlude: Androids and Contrapositives
By Hapax Legomenon

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Lisa messaged me at work. To my surprise, she had already read Supersex 3000 even though I hadn't yet forwarded her the URL.

"It's the ultimate male fantasy, isn't it, to conjure up a sexy android and then to lament that the sensual pleasures with her are somehow unsatisfying. Big surprise. Maybe if men stopped inventing plastic dolls and started paying more attention to people in their everyday world, life would stop being a source of sexual frustration."

"Do you think all my female characters are fake? Do you think I'm just trying to program their behaviors and desires?"

"It's a control thing. Men think that sex is about control, and they feel most comfortable when the female characters swoon under his control. That's what men dream about: a woman who can orgasm on cue."

"Let me understand what you're saying. Can men create good female characters?"

"Sure," she said. "Sometimes. But in the realm of sexuality it is easy for a male to exaggerate certain features of a woman. The erotic self is one part – and a very important part – of a woman, but only a part. "

"So are woman better at portraying the opposite sex?"

"Generalizations are dangerous, I know. But yes. Woman are used to accommodating the male point of view in everything they do. Men were never empathy experts and have different stakes (biologically speaking) in a sexual relationship."

"Lisa, I think you are confusing the literature of sex with sociology. If the problem boils down to gender, women would be unable to write stories arousing to men. For me, that is obviously not the case. I almost prefer erotic stories by women. The different perspective, the explicit expression of arousal and desire, the sense that nothing is fake."

I had made an interesting syllogism here. If Lisa's gender criticism were valid, that would imply that men couldn't (or wouldn't) react positively to a woman's erotic stories. The fact that women's erotica consistently turned me on seemed enough evidence to dispute that.

Lisa laughed. "I hardly think your literary reactions could be seen as typical. Also, I suppose if you willed it enough, you could find the Hansel and Gretel story or even Garfield cartoon to be a turnon."

"The only example that could prove your point," I said, " was if you wrote a story that you (and other women) found personally arousing, but I (and other men) did not."

Lisa paused on the phone a moment. "I could do it," she said.

"Well, go on, do it," I said.

"Maybe I will," she said aloud, still lost in thought.

"The trick is not to go out of your way to make it unerotic. Don't think too hard about it. Don't spend time calculating about what kinds of things appeal to women and not men. Just write something and I'll give you my reactions. "

"Let me think about it," she said. A few days later, a story from her arrived in my email.

Note: Links to these stories are here .

Written, February, 2005

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Are woman better at portraying the opposite sex in erotic fiction?
Artist and His Model, Picasso, 1964.
Artist and His Model, Picasso, 1964 .
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