All is fair in love and war.
Or it it?
In the blistering heat of a conflict, SOMEONE brought up my sex life. Uh, I mean my EX sex life, because boy have I been celibate for years. Anyone, oh, anyone who has known me for the past decade will know that I have always lacked child care support, I have lugged my daughter around with me to interviews, to coverage, while putting newspapers to bed…So anything in my life frivolous, juicy, delicious or hot enough to be worthy of gossip, has to have happened a really long, long time ago.
But according to someone, I’m a “moral threat” to family and society. Wow. This is not the first time I’ve been punished for having a sexuality. Makes me wonder why God created that little piece of nerves down there … was it meant to become like my appendix?
ALL this hullabaloo over humping and similar matters brought to fore the hypocrisy of Philippine society when it comes to sexuality. All these uptight sexual mores — especially among the middle class — but in reality, heck, we’re 80+ million Pinoys and growing at a rate of 2+percent.
Somebody’s gotta be getting it every minute. You do the math. Pinoy’s concept of being a woman seems so outdated – almost like it stopped at 1898. It’s either you’re Ilaw ng Tahanan (The Light of the Home) — the ever-martyric mother who keeps the hearth, cries and suffers in silence, or Dragon Lady for women who get into power, or Tandang Sora, or Maria Clara … or a slut.
The ideal Pinay is powerless and sexless. And always puts herself last.
Makes me think that the Spanish friars who first came were actually shocked and threatened by our tropical sexuality so they proceeded to vigorously wipe it out and make Pinoys ashamed of it. After all, those bulitas (penile implants) were so common in prehispanic Philippines, read the historian William Henry Scott. His source couldn’t be any more objective – dictionaries of Tagalog terms collected by the first Spanish priests as they tried to communicate with those they sought to evangelize.
You can be a Viva Hot Babe, or a Margarita Lebumfacil Romualdez, or a Mareng Winnie Monsod, or a Cory Aquino. But no no no, not all of the above. If you have brains, you’re sexless. If you have any sort of sexual passion in you, you’re Viva Hot Babe.
And where men are concerned, the Pinoy husband goes home to his “clean” wife who does the dishes, keeps the home, takes care of the kids, and goes to the beerhouse if he wants something any racier than what he gets at home. As my friends, college-educated, A-student, young Filipinas in their 20s, say — Why can’t the hubby just do that same things to the wife?!
And even where writers are concerned, Fiipina writers (in English) are so damned sanitized. Where’s the Filipina Erica Jong? Or playful Pinay Rimbaud? Or the female Dante full of gusto for life and all its offerings? Or the Filipino version of Shanghai Baby? Even Forbidden Fruit, the erotic book by women in the 1990s was a collection of careful offerings.
TWAS this kind of society that has forced me into frigidity for the past years. At 26, I realized that I had something important to say; I had my own voice as a writer and an advocate, but at some point I realized I wouldn’t be listened to or taken seriously if I kept on as the free spirit that I was. So I just stopped being a sexual being. Cold turkey. Just like I quit smoking.
Now, 10 years later, I realize that this was tantamount to female circumcision.
I HAD this conversation of this sort once with my prettier and braver cousin, MMR, who has always been brave about being on the edge, doing in-your-face things that have made our clan frown or squirm. MRR, by the way, is also a mother and a Scrabble champion many times over.
“There is no tribal word for vixen,” she mused. Neither is there a word for salacious, wanton, bawdy, sensual.
Or, as my friend Christian notes, sex in the country was seen more as something that people HAD to do (propagate), rather than something that people would want to do.
I also found out once from my uncle that the punishment for the erring tribal woman — banishment from the tribe –which, in early days was almost the same as death.
Enough of this now. Just click on the links and make your own conclusions. And for my dear friend who dragged out the sexual skeletons from the closet, these images are dedicated to you. Here’s wishing you the best humping for the rest of your life!