Why do we like it rough?
Yeah you can pretend all you want that soft, slow, leisurely love-making is all you’ve ever craved but let’s face it when people get horny they want a furious, feisty sometimes violent BANG. I mean most words used to describe it even sound violent.
Fuck. Frig. Shag. Roger. Ride. Grind. Thrust. I could go on.
50 Shades of Grey set a UK record for the fastest selling paperback of all time with 125 million copies sold in 52 languages proves not only that sex sells but rough is where it’s at. The intense popularity of E.L James’s erotic romance detailing bondage the dom/sub relationship, sadism, masochism criticised widely and openly for its’ poor literary level (initially created as a piece of fan fiction in response to the twilight series *dry heaves) shows that people were crying out for a definition and form of socially acceptable description of this type of sex. Was this purely curiosity or was it a revelation that the world likes it rough?
Television shows like MTV’s Ex on The Beach now in its sixth series who seem to have an obsession with surgically enhanced nearly new porn star types writhing around under duvets and on beaches in next to nothing show another story. The perfectly pruned and preened unrealistic shiny exterior that is so popular in the porn world is now making its’ way into our living rooms into the eyes of our teenagers, normalising a false depiction of not only physical form but physical love and also to my mind encourages all forms of relationship negativity.
AND IT’S POPULAR.
These blow up reality TV stars, reminiscent of sex dolls purchased in an A-road sex shop, scream and shout at one another in a villa on a beach that periodically one of their exes arrives out of the sea to join in with adding to this manufactured drama and ultimately attempting to fuck with everyone else there in both meanings of the word. I mean why else would you sign up?
The popularity of this implies that we want a lie. As most people will, or at least should know, real sex isn’t always pretty. It is un-sexy; bodily fluids, animal noises and brings up even worse things like contraception, sexually transmitted diseases that then need antibiotics, then there’s farts, blood even poo!
On the one hand we want to achieve the X-rated relationship depicted in Fifty Shades but on the other it needs to come with a filtered, surgically enhanced Ex on The Beach wrapper.
So do we like it rough on the inside but only if it’s packaged in a specific way? Similar to our coffee and clothing do we only want it perfectly prescribed as the media tells us because of how it looks? Are we a product of our readily available virtual environments in the eyes of our ever growing audience but then when the lights are off want to be restrained, slapped, sometimes scratched and/or screamed at? Do we in turn only want this because it what’s being rated as or currently deemed popular? Then again does the sheer opposition of these two things then make the other more attractive?
Is it more sexy to spank when you’re prim?
Is it more wild to cuddle if you look like a porn star?
Is this article quickly heading towards a paradox?
What is going on? Is it a new phase of human evolution that in this alternate reality of ever expanding technology even the most natural of things is only attractive if made somehow unnatural?
I mean there’s nothing new about bondage being popular. As far back as the fifties, sixties even earlier if a film or TV series were to depict a scene of a middle aged man with a prostitute they nearly always contain some fetish cliché, particularly if the man is a Conservative Christian bad guy implying the popular stereotype that E.L James endorses that there has to be something wrong with you to like ‘it’ like ‘that’. A feather duster, some spanking maybe some latex; it’s not unusual, it’s just that it’s deemed more ‘proper’ more ‘politically correct’ more ‘sanitary’ for us to swear love in a white dress and kiss gently yet passionately on the lips.
I am obviously not saying that I would prefer everyone’s sexual preferences to be broadcast loud and clear at the altar that’s just not my style however are we not a bit bored of the façade? Is that why the raunchy is seeping into our everyday? Or is it due to the massive amount of free porn available at the touch of a fingertip massively increasing men’s interest in anal specifically but moving on… Are we desensitised to the raunchier side of life now? I mean when I was a kid the only porn you might see was an older brothers stolen magazine, maybe a VHS if you were lucky now you can get it on your PHONE for fucks sake!!!
Even if we are is there anything wrong with that? Does it destroy the magic?
What about when the rough edges into violence? There are oodles of ‘rough sex’ vids available for our perusal. Is this a bit worrying? Does it encourage the ‘wrong’ kind of rough sex. How rough is too rough? Is that a knee jerk reaction from seeing something a little too dark on a website, in a film, on TV even? If the human mind can imagine it then it is possible but does that mean a psychiatrist and a cup of tea is in order? Or is it simply adrenaline, cocaine an overdose on pleasure or liking that it hurts a little? We’ve all had our fair share of carpet burns and love bites. Some men (and women) get off massively by slightly strangling each other just before they come and in my experience they don’t ask if it’s OK with you first. I’ve heard a few stories of young men going so hard that they’ve ripped their foreskins; actual blood everywhere.
Ultimately sex is a primal act made pleasurable by evolution to ensure the continuation of any species. To do it well one must surrender the mind and give in to the urges of the body, whatever that may be and focus on feeling, sensuality and stimulation. The animal naturally will like it rough but not so rough that it leaves a mark I mean how often does a dog ask for a good spanking? Has anyone ever gone into the garden and asked the foxes if they’re enjoying themselves because it sounds like hell.
I have lost out on many orgasms by merely engaging my brain at that last vital moment and don’t get me started on condoms for a mood killer. Generally speaking some of the best sex you can have does ultimately end up being with a partner you implicitly trust and are therefore more comfortable with and are able to mentally let go more with potentially then entering into the ‘rougher’ side of things. However everyone’s standards and definitions of this are surely different. I’ve definitely had different types of sex with every different sexual partner and would no way let them all do the same ‘stuff’ which again comes back to a trust level.
Surely if we didn’t like it rough there would be no whips or gimp masks to buy in the first place and I know that there are plenty on offer having played a Dominatrix in a show I have visited sex shops, Anne Summers, Pornhub; purely for research you understand. There is also the physical fact that in order to get to those places that make it feel good you do have to put in a bit of force. It can be somewhat of a physiological puzzle to find ones orgasm and that momentum can be very enjoyable.
Yes we like it rough.
Yes we like to pretend that we don’t.
No it’s not new.
But as the world evolves so do we and the more we are exposed to these things the more we will consume them and the more obvious it is that everyone else is doing it the more likely it is that other people will chose to join in.
To a certain extent we are all slaves to our environments; sexual and otherwise.
I mean, that’s all part of the fun.
By Janna Fox
Janna’s blog Sobriety in The City is published every other Wednesday on The New Establishment. Look out for The Hustle on 19th April.