I’m trying, at this moment, to imagine myself as a woman.
Not as a transgender, no, not as a female character in a story, no. I’m trying to imagine how life would be different if I were to wake up one morning and find that, without explanation, I had changed overnight into a natural woman. I enjoy being a man. I take a certain pride in my maleness, which I find over the years is in danger of souring into simple, fearful vanity. I’m curious these days as to the definition of manliness and what defines a man in his own eyes.
So I do thought experiments to take the thing in hand and run a light through it from different angles. Let’s ask -
How does my male body feel as I write this?
I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop, with a cold cup of coffee, sitting on a beach towel folded under my tiny ass, placed on a hard chair with my legs crossed. Even my wife laughs at my tiny ass. It is probably the least sexy male ass in the known universe. It cannot be saved. Sitting with crossed knees, if I flex my thighs a little I can feel the answering bulge of my balls down there, my friendly and familiar dick which would like to be scratched a little. My clothes are manly clothes, except for my tighty whities. There is my wristwatch, metal, big, self consciously masculine in its brusque design as though I might turn it into a weapon. My full beard, like a Civil War general, which I have to color a lot, itches; I reach up and scratch it a little, run my fingers through it, savoring its beastly hairiness, wondering how it might tickle the inside of a woman’s thighs. The side burns reaching from my ears to my mouth are of a different quality from the hair of my chin, a trait which varies from man to man. My sideburn hair is soft and of the same material as what hair survives on the top of my head. The mustache and beard is thick, rough and wiry, like the beard of a schnauzer dog, made of pubic hair. I wonder, if when women look at my face, do they see a ring of glossy salt and pepper pubic hair under my nose and what would they think of that? I have an unconscious habit of twining my fingers in my pubic hair beard and twisting it in a Gandalfesque manner when I am reading or sincerely lost in thought. Women grimace and slap my hand away when I do that. Always, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it looks like I’m playing with my pubic hair. It sheds on my keyboard.
I have a beard from male vanity because I have a weak chin like a frog and a beard gives me some jaw definition. I have discovered that male barbers cannot trim a man’s beard competently. Only lady barbers can. I will only trust my beard to a woman. With a male barber you can sit down in the chair looking like a philosopher and walk out looking like a mean drunk.
I am conscious of my belly, though for my age it isn’t too bad. When I stand naked in the shower I look down to make sure I can still see my dick. That’s the standard. I say if a man can’t see his dick, he needs to lose.
I’m not especially proud of my dick. I do love my dick and feel sentimental affection for it. No other thing has been such a constant source of pleasure to me for the past 50 years except the Beatles. It is a friendly, handsome, non-threatening, circumcised dick, with a brown freckle under the frenulum which I was once worried was cancer but was not; an unassuming penis which sex books assure me ladies don’t care that much about the size of, which, nevertheless, according to a survey in Playboy magazine during the 1980’s is of perfectly average size when erect for an American male and slightly on the thick side which I think is more serviceable for a woman than mere length. This same survey also noted that American men on average have far larger dicks than Japanese men. During a time when the Japanese were eating our lunch in the export market, it was nice to know we still had them beat at something.
I wonder how a woman experiences her orgasm. I’ve asked women about this. I do know how a man experiences orgasm. There is first the dicky, iffy-stiffy process of erection. As a young man it was unpredictable and sudden. As you get older it becomes unpredictable and treacherous. Once you’ve got the proud thing up and running, changing positions or an unkind word is enough to drop it. What women often don’t know about a man’s erection is that he has no more control over it than a sneeze. It is something the body does, almost magically, not on command but in response. When a woman is with her man and he is becoming erect, his body, not his intellect, is making a statement about how he feels about her in this moment. Emphatic as an exclamation point, urgent as a knife, he feels it bloom and grow large beneath him as if it were a separate thing with a life of its own. If I were to stop typing and bring my imagination into the right place, it might bloom for me down there below the table, but it would never be a willful decision like making a fist or throwing a ball.
What does an erection feel like?
As it rises and swells, there is a sense of pressure, followed by a profound sense of presence. It is THERE, right there demanding your attention, this thing you don’t think about much except when you have to pee. There is a feeling of pleasure when the pressure is touched or stroked, capable of being kindled into a kind of urgent flame that persuades. Persuades and seduces a man into feeling this hungry, needy pressure is more important than being on time for work, or cutting the grass, or going to sleep, or getting out of bed, or if he’s with the wrong woman, maybe worth throwing his life away for.
When touched, it wants to be touched more, but whereas women prefer a gentle touch, a man’s phallus longs for pressure. Pressure wants pressure. It wants to be in motion, to be active, a hunting hound dog, a pressurized steam engine of thrust. This rapid ascent towards something through pressure and motion persuades a man that this is what he wants, the sweet, sweet, sweet pressure which demands release and relief and there is something else too, an experience which is closed off to women. The experience of penetrating the offered body of another human being, to cross the abyss of the lonely solitude of the flesh we experience the world in and piercing that abyss like a lance.
There is something about the act of sex which on the surface is so primitive, so undignified in its animal naturalness, so wonderful and so different from everything else that a man’s life is forever divided between life lived before that moment he experiences his first act of insertion and all of his life after. There is pride in taking up the manly posture and joining that elite half of humanity who can state with noble frankness – “I have fucked.”
There is also this other moment, if you are a man of some experience and not a boy. This moment just when you are about to insert yourself into another person, it is a feeling of the most exquisite anticipation; you wait and linger to keep that moment for yourself, hovering before the hairy gates of paradise. Then the beginning the act - the tip touches, maybe in the wrong place and if the woman is kind she will take that sweet high pressure pole in hand, give it a friendly squeeze, and guide it in like a ship to port. Then you acquire the offered place down there which you want so badly to see and admire your stiff dick disappearing as you hit the spot, there in the light of the nightstand lamp, or scented candle, or dashboard, or the moon, or the policeman’s flashlight, that spot which is the ravenous black hole at the center of your male universe, wet, snug, but it’s yours to love for a moment. Because men want to see. We want to see everything.
A little press and the sensitive tip goes in. You might hold it there, feeling it cradled in that wet hugging space, feeling the sense of openness and waiting and welcome. Holding yourself suspended while your heart thumps, trying to calm down to make it last, you don’t even want to come, you just want to feel yourself inside this woman forever, feeling the moment in the act of beginning. To see the woman’s breasts, you must see her breasts, if she’s turned around with her ass to you, you must absolutely reach over and take them in your hands and feel their heft and warmth, and all women’s breasts are gorgeous and succulent in that moment, to feel her belly or her ass touching yours, her eyes half closed, languidly if it’s that kind of a night. And as you press in, feeling the warm and easeful, endless deepness, slicking its way up the stiffened length of your shaft, not feeling the tip so much like the prow of a ship cutting the waves, as this snug embracing welcome taking you in and in and into that sweet mystery until your hairs meet and you come up pressing into the well of her flesh and can go no deeper, and that moment to me always seems like a miracle. If God almighty were to ask me what the greatest thing in all the world is, I would answer in a flash it is to experience union with woman. To be inside. It is that moment. To press yourself so deeply inside her, and she maybe puts her arms around you, presses her hands against your ass to get that last inch nice and snug, all the way in, wanting all of it, enjoying you, and if you’re both having a good night, and if you’ve been patient and fired her desire exactly right with a manly seduction posibly carried over days, then a lavish and patient and savoring amount of oral sex for her, she may come when she feels you there inside and bestow on you woman’s great gift – a vaginal hug. The lovely secret squeeze of her sex around your wanted penis. There is a pride and thrill in being enjoyed so by a woman.
The orgasm for a man, is of rising, building up, creating a scaffold of aggressive sensation, the monkey awareness of reaching that moment of no return when your head feels light and the explosion is rippling up the length of your shaft like a great wave rising fast to crash into the rocks of her pudendum and now this wave is pulsing forward and out, pulsing and holding you in the grip of that pulsing feeling of release slacking into relief. That explosion obliterates you for an instant, you can’t push it out hard enough, you can never explode violently enough, sometimes shouting helps but that’s all.
This thing, this one precious window in modern life in which a man can express instinctive behavior, to fully feel yourself as a man without shame, this permission, is the gift a good lover gives you. Then after the unbearable intimacy at the commencement of the act, after the final release of pleasure, then comes that Biblical fall that drops on your spirit like an alien weight, returning you to your state of interior solitude, and you’re forced to be a civilized man again.
And then you feel like doing something else.
If you’re smart you’ll cuddle first.