La Petite Mort

The French have a unique term for orgasms. They call it, “La Petite Mort”. 

Flickr: credit to SalaBoli

I learned about sex through porn.

I didn’t get the sex talk when I was younger, which isn’t all that atypical, especially as many parents struggle with how to broach the topic with their teens. So, I suppose it was a mixed blessings of sorts that I graduated from high school, totally unawares that people my age had sex. (So college was a huge eye opener!)

Naturally, I became insatiably fascinated. With my steady consummation of porn since fourteen and evolving expertise with masturbation, I sought out all the sex stories I could find. So when my friends told me that they hadn’t experienced an orgasm, I wanted to dive in and help them understand the awesomeness of self-stimulation. And when another said that sex wasn’t that big of a deal and I wanted to discuss the possibility of tantric sex with her.

But in a world where experience is king, I often felt my lack of actual sexual experience [with another person] invalidated my opinions. Who am I to talk about sex when I’m not even getting laid? Anything I said, seemed to fall on deaf ears; I wasn’t considered an expert on sex. Which, I think, is a fundamental problem when trying to discuss sexuality. Sexuality isn’t just for men and women who are already having sex, but it’s also very much for people who are still virgins: either through chance or circumstance.

Unless you’re an asexual, your sexual preferences make up a huge part of who you are. This isn’t about labels or limiting beliefs about who we’re attracted to – but if each of us is a sexual being, then our relationship with our sexuality is paramount. Which is why I’ve been singing the praises of masturbation since forever. I always marvel at women who wait until marriage to have sex yet have never even touched themselves. If you’re afraid to get down there, how can you expect someone else to?

But it’s not just about having sex with yourself, it’s about personal empowerment when you can finally take your sexuality into your own hands. Not having to rely on another person to give you pleasure is the ultimate form of freedom. I believe strongly in establishing who you are so that you’ll never need [or want] another person to complete you.

Masturbation is key on the path to one’s sexual liberation and personal empowerment – but where does one find quality material? I believe in the power of porn, and once you find the good stuff, you can’t go back! Porn is an excellent and safe avenue for exploring your sexuality in the privacy of your own personal space. But finding quality porn can be difficult, if you don’t know where to look (or if you don’t know what you’re looking for). But I’ve saved you the trouble. Bear in mind though, I have unique preferences that other people might not have, and these links reflect that. 

Check it out:

1. I Feel Myself : Focuses primarily on women/women relationships (though there are some male/female ones) and masturbation. That’s a referral link: so if two of you sign up, I get a free month at the site! 

2. Beautiful Agony : A site where you just see the faces of both men and women while they’re orgasming.

3. Crash Pad Series : A site that’s been nominated as feminist porn! Here’s a quote from the front page:

Here you’ll find real dyke porn, lesbians, femme on femme, boi, stud, genderqueer and trans-masculine performers, transwomen, transmen, queer men and women engaging in authentic queer sexuality, whether it is with safer sex, strap-on sex, cocksucking, kink and bdsm,, gender play and fluidity, and always authentic orgasms.

They do provide free samples, although ultimately you’ll have to pay for complete access. 

Porn gets a bad rap, but once you find the quality stuff, you’ll realize how amazing and female-friendly a lot of it is.

What is your relationship like to your own sexuality? How old were you when you got “The Talk”? If you did, at all.

10 thoughts on “La Petite Mort

  1. *sneaky dirty laugh* oooh, parisian, I wasn’t expecting this from you….

    Seriously though, since you bring it up, I like this post because, like your other stuff, its very honest but what I really like the most is the topic. As for myself, I never got the talk. Sex/sexuality was just pervasive in the type of mature movies and television we watched as children–we put two-and-two together, at least I did; furthermore, kids at my middle school were already having sex where I’m from and you’d hear them talk about it. Sadly, that’s what they thought it meant to be grown up and/or have a boyfriend/girlfriend; they thought it made them mature.

    I’ve read romance and erotica since I was 10 (which was also the first time that I “gave” it to myself). Sex was something my mama had great fun pretending to hide from us, like the time we watched Jason’s Lyric (making us cover our eyes, cover our ears, or stand outside the room until the ‘nasty’ scene was over *rolls eyes*). As if we didn’t know what was going on. If you really wanna get personal, there was a pornographic film in the house–I don’t want to know where it came from–and we just sat and watched it. We took turns going to the bathroom because it made us want to go, but we otherwise didn’t vent our emotions over it.

    As for my relationship with my sexuality, I have a very complicated one. I masturbate, I watch pornography, and I prefer and write romantica (sometimes erotica). I identify as queer, polysexual–a self-chosen term for its meaning, if nothing else (“poly” meaning ‘many’, as opposed to “pan” which means ‘all’ and ‘bi’ which usually only refers to male and female). Even though my search for body-positivity is ongoing, I’m fairly comfortable in sex with myself but just haven’t found anybody I want to get that close to or trust to engage with. So I kind of identify with you in that I don’t have expert experience with other people and consider myself a virgin in that way. Because of my unusual self-label (polysexual), I often feel left out of conversations happening in the queer community and neglected. My friends trust me to write good sex in my stories, and I did so in high school and was known for it, but I’m pretty sure that’s where their faith ends -_-

    Anyway, thanks for posting. I don’t feel comfortable talking about this on my own blog since my mother’s ex-husband is stalking me there. You might be interested in a documentary, SILENCE: In Search of Black Female Sexuality, which talks about Black women’s sexuality and one speaker even says that Black women need to at least learn how to masturbate for exactly the reason that you say masturbation is important.

    ~MsQ

    • Hah! :D I wasn’t sure how people would respond, although there are a lot of sexuality blogs around. Or so I’ve been discovering!

      Jason’s Lyric sounds familiar. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it before. I don’t remember really watching a lot of sex laden material growing up. But then again, I watched a lot of cartoons for a really long time while watching anime. People were having sex in middle school?! Wow. Where are you from? I definitely didn’t think anyone was having sex when I was that young. But when I look back at my cousin when she was that age, I think a lot of her classmates were sexually active. It’s so strange to think about because they don’t even really teach sex ed until high school in a lot of places. If they’re teaching it at all.

      I’ve never written romantica before, but I’ve tried my hand at erotica. It was interesting! I think I’ve heard of polysexual before, the term sounds familiar, but I’ve definitely heard of pansexual. i used to identify that way for awhile because I am really attracted to genderqueer. I’m sorry you feel neglected in the community. That really sucks. I would think they’d be open to it since it just means you have a broader focus. But the LGBT community has just as many hang-ups, if not more, than other groups. I hear a lot of bisexuals lament both the gay and straight communities, not feeling as if they belong.

      Getting someone to trust your opinion on sex when you’re not having any is difficult I think. Some of the sexuality blogs I’ve found are run by women who have been having sex for a really long time. So more people are going to believe in their expert status. Part of my hope – for as long as I’m not sexually active – to try and engage other virgins in a discussion about sex and sexuality. And if we ever do decide to have sex, it probably won’t be the crappy first time that a lot of teenagers experience. Which I think would be nice!

      Oh, you’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it. :D I think I’ve heard of that! I wanted to write this post earlier and tried to find some info on black female sexuality but there wasn’t a lot that I found that pertained to what I describe in this post. :/ But I’ll definitely need to check out the documentary if I can find it anywhere!

      • lol, lol. I grew up in Atlanta and lived there until I went to college and now I’m back in the area.

        I went to a university that propagated mantras of diversity and social justice and there was a ‘LGB’ presence and an oppressed ‘T’ presence. At first I identified myself as bi then I realized that I was really ‘all over the rainbow’ with my attractions. Yes, my existence stranded in the rainbow is a very sad, I do feel quite neglected, but I think its because of, as you say, the hang-ups that pervade the queer community. Everybody’s out for themselves and their group.

        On another note, some people believe that sex is love. I disagree and I believe that sex is a way to express love (and lust, which some people also mistake for love). In the same way, some people think that the only kind of sex you can have is with another person. Contrarily, you can have sex with yourself, its called masturbation, though some people mock it.

        When some women look down on those who haven’t had a lot of sex with others, its just yet another way of making themselves look like experts by comparison and disregard the sexual experiences of those they consider beneath their level. Its called one-up-manship, they’ve got the one up, like its a hierarchy. Experiencing your sexuality and sex for yourself with yourself is just different though part of having sex with others. Some people just have sex with others, think that’s how supposed to be, and have little experience with themselves; they see it as a stepping stone to having sex with other people instead of it being central to their own sexuality, wholeness, and wellbeing.

        I think we just have a different relationship to sex through our sexual experiences and sexuality. I agree that we are a very Other-focused group and I feel much the same way about engaging other members of this group. And I totally think that my first time won’t be crappy and I’m much better to myself for not having rushed into sex (although sometimes I get a little anxious, if you know what I mean).

        Hope you can get a hold of the documentary! (And I love anime actually, since you mentioned it although so much of it is problematic…) ~MsQ

  2. Oh and I’ve actually heard of Beautiful Agony and I love the name of this post (despite my criticisms of the romanticization of French/France) and I’ve come across the term many times in my readings. Its meaning is very poignant.

    I think it really is difficult to find quality pornographic work so thanks for providing the links. People do tend to frown on the industry for a lot of reasons, rightfully so, but not all of it is bad….Just most of it.

    I also very much agree that sex and sexuality isn’t just about your experience with others and that’s where a lot of people end up not knowing what to do with themselves without someone else.

    I, too, have my unique preferences, which I will not mention here, lol.

    ~MsQ
    last one, promise.

    • Oh, thanks! I almost always have a difficult time coming up with blog titles. So I end up going through maybe 2-3+ until I find one that fits. Actually, part of the reason why my blog is called parisian is because I traveled to Paris for my French degree. So I was happy to finally have a french post title. :D But I think I can understand your feelings on the over romanticization of France/French anything. I didn’t really hear about it until I saw the movie Bride of Chucky. And when I googled it, it was all over the internet!

      No problem! I’m glad you liked them. Quality porn is really difficult to find, online and off. There aren’t a lot of female friendly sex shops, so most stores have the trashy stuff. Ugh.

      We have a very Other focused culture, where a lot of our self-esteem and self-worth is often determined by other people. It’s a difficult habit to break, but I’m trying to work on sustaining myself versus relying on a potential sexual partner to give me meaning.

      I love your comments! No worries! :]

      • Its true, a lot of the industry isn’t very female-friendly nor is it inexpensive -_-.

        For me, its not that I’m uninterested or don’t want to be into relationships with people ‘on my level’ and ‘up to my standards’, but I am very focused, like you said and I personally agree, on sustaining myself rather than relying on a sexual partner, or otherwise, to give me meaning.

        (p.s. I thought your name might have have something to do with French/France. As much as I criticize, there is something be had what is dubbed ;’the language of love’)

  3. I’ve gotta check out those three site. I’ve yet to find porn that I find of interest or enjoyable–so much so that I’ve considered making it myself. LOL (seriously).

    I didn’t get the sex talk. I was sexually active until my teenage years. I wasn’t having intercourse, but I was sexually active. What I learned about sex came from elementary and middle school peers (yes middle school kids have sex, and babies too), movies, videos, music, and the freaky-deaky channel.

    Masturbation is all good, but I prefer to share the experience with someone else. I do feel it’s important to have a strong sexual identity with self before engaging with others. I agree that “not having to rely on another person to give you pleasure is the ultimate form of freedom…establishing who you are so that you’ll never need [or want] another person to complete you.” But honestly, if your looking for completion through sex, something is wrong. I don’t know if masturbation is a pre- or co-requisite for sexual liberation or empowerment, but black women do need to reclaim their sexuality first on an individual level.

    • Definitely. The sites are really awesome and they’re really fantastic quality! I love them. :]

      I think that masturbation is a pre-requisite for personal development because it’s your body. I don’t really believe in the notion that you have to love yourself before others can love you, but I do think it’s important to be familiar with your body because not everyone experiences interpersonal romantic love, but your body is kinda yours forever. So if you want to be empowered in a sense, then you need to start with yourself instead of trying to ignore that part of yourself.

  4. This post is hilarious. I respect that you wrote about it. I will have to say I disagree about masturbation though. I don’t get that feeling of being one with yourself and all that jazz. To me, it’s purely physical. I don’t think that it’s about fear of one’s body, but I crave the emotional connection that comes from another human that I’m connected with. I’m already connected with myself, therefore I don’t need to touch myself to take me to a higher level. I could, but it doesn’t feel organic – it feels artificial. I do agree that women should be able to go deep inside themselves to find that place of true pleasure without NEEDING someone else to get them there though.Must respect :-)

    • Haha, thanks! I’m glad you liked it. I definitely enjoyed writing about it for sure.

      I do understand why/how other people can feel more connected to another person. As a virgin, i haven’t really had that opportunity sexually, and has someone with no dating history, I haven’t really experienced that emotionally. So, for me, masturbation is pretty close to self-love as I can get, and it helps me get to know myself without the need of another person. I don’t know if it better “prepares” me for sex with another person, but I don’t see why I should wait just because sex is discussed as something that can only be done with someone else. :o

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