Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex
Here's the thing. At some point it occurred to me that knowing my gender really tells you jack shit about who I am. I mean, come on, roughly half the human population share that same gender. As far as enlightening personal identifiers go that's about as piss-poor as it gets.I'm not the sort of person that says gender is a cultural invention, I just think it's the absolute least important part of who I am and pretty much irrelevant when it comes to getting to know others. We're all humans, all individuals. Rather than piling cultural biases on ourselves and others just let everyone be themselves, whoever they are.That's where I'm coming from. And from this point of view Morgentaler's book vacillates from weak sauce gender politics to timid tolerance with a side of not-quite-pearl-clutching sex talk. Frankly it's embarrassing. I'm certainly no expert in any of these things but Morgentaler has a tendency to sound like a college freshman that just escaped from his small town conservative Christian upbringing and, coming home for Christmas, is gently and apologetically trying to explain to several elderly maiden aunts that men aren't actually DTF any woman any time and also this one guy in my writing class is gay and he seems really nice. Weak Sauce.What Morgentaler does know a lot about is penises. You could almost, almost say this book was only about men by virtue of the fact that they're attached to the penises Morgentaler wants to tell us about. You see Morgentaler has made a career of helping men with penis troubles. And that's a noble profession. Sadly, once he dives into his most familiar topic the tone shifts from blushing naivete and the occasional accidentally horrifying gender politics to self-aggrandizing patient-patronizing penis savior. Seriously. Morgentaler's dramatizations of his doctor/patient interactions are absurd:1. At one point an engineer supposedly asks Morgentaler if he'll be able to father children now that he's allowed his last nut to go necrotic. 2. Morgentaler coins the term "Low T" for low testosterone. He says he did this because apparently everyone, even his most educated patients, has trouble pronouncing "testosterone". He seems very proud of this and eagerly reports some other people have started using the term too!3. In recounting a story of a married transman and transwoman that want to get pregnant some how neither realizes they would need to go off hormones. I'm pretty sure there isn't a single adult transitioned transperson that doesn't know that.And then there are the truly horrifying moments. Early in the book Morgentaler recalls a man who couldn't have a sexual relationship with his wife. She just wasn't interested, instead she gave him permission to have other sexual partners. But oh no. Monogamy is the end all beat all so Morgentaler counsels the man to continue pressing sexual intercourse with his disinterested wife. Hey, that's coercive at best and marital rape at worst but goddam it's monogamous so mission accomplished. I mean, everyone knows the thing to do with a woman that doesn't want sex is to put a penis in her, that always fixes everything. And then there's this gem which so perfectly demeans and diminishes men. It's actually a perfect parallel to the sub-human status women occupied for so long when being a wife was about serving a husband and making babies."It is difficult these days for a man to figure out what he brings to the party for the modern woman who appears to have everything: career, money, independence, friends. The one obvious thing he can provide is a hard penis. The good part is that it's true that women cannot supply this on their own. The scary part is that the hard penis can be a unreliable resource. Sometimes it's shy and doesn't want to come out and play. Sometimes it starts out all right and then disappears midact. And eventually with age and/or illness, in nearly all men the ability to 'provide' the hard penis fades away entirely."Men! Women! Assorted persons with non-binary genders! Do you know want to know what you bring to the table? Yourself. A whole human being. So a woman can stand on her own, so what? You're not her dad. Be adults together. There's nothing wrong with bringing a hard dick to the table, but don't let anyone tell you that's the only thing you've got to offer, or even the most important thing. I don't care how many books they've written.