Agent of Desire
Transforming perceptions of female sexuality
The Female Sex Agent
The objectification of women is so pervasive and entrenched it almost appears to be a natural phenomenon. Historically, chauvanistic biologists have assumed without thinking, that there is a quirk of the human species unlike pretty much every bird of the air, beast on the land or in the sea: This quirk is that human females, in order to mate, must use/change their appearance to draw sexual attention from males.
I urge women to try this following exercise for claiming back your sexual agency: it will feel a bit strange, but is very empowering:
Instead of putting on make-up, styling your hair, wearing 'feminine' shoes or clothes that emphasise your figure, leave the house with none of the paraphernalia of objectification. Instead, don't put in contact lenses if you wear them, go for glasses instead, wear a loose coat that is not tailored to the waist, wear no make up or distracting jewelery, wear straight-cut trousers, tie your hair up or put it under a hat, and don't clutch a dainty handbag - put your keys, phone and money in your pockets. If you have manicured and polished long nails, wear gloves. This may be very difficult to do, because you are constantly told by the media that being sexually desireable is the most important thing about you, and that your sexual desireability depends on this paraphernalia, which is not true. You may doubt this because you probably do get certain privilages as a result of being complicit in your own objectification. Yet you are about to experience a completely different power and it will be worth it. Even if it is just for a few hours.
The purpose of this exercise, is for you to be able to experience the world as a 'sex-agent'. You will travel about almost incognito, without drawing attention to yourself, in order for you to experience the world voyeuristically. It's better not to go anywhere where people may recognise you and comment on you appearance, which would make you turn your focus inward and defeat the exercise.
So, now ready, leave the house and go somewhere - perhaps to get something mended you've been putting off. As you walk around, really feel how your shoes were designed for walking and enjoy the sense of ownership of the streets this gives you. Stand tall, stretch out and take up space. Because you have nothing on show, you have nothing to hide. Take the air fully into your lungs and breathe in a sense of entitlement and possibility. See the world as your oyster. Because you will be required to objectify others, this exercise works best if you use public transport, especially train carriages. This will give you an opportunity to really look around you and objectify at your leisure.
Consciously look the men on the carriage and analyse how attracted you feel to them. This will feel quite predatory, almost as though you are looking through the sight of a gun. You may well have a lot of resistance to this as you don't want to treat others in a way you don't want to be treated, but don't worry for now - this is your theraputic exercise. Ask yourself: "who would I most like to sleep with here at ther moment?". Glance at their bodies, hands, mannerisms, etc, to get a complete picture. Perhaps there are two or three you'd find it difficult to chose between. They may even be at opposite ends of a spectrum. Observe this and enjoy nature's bounty in its variety of appeal. Wonder what they would look like naked. Really picture them looking sexy and available to you, passionately engaging with you. What do you think sex with them would be like? How would it feel if they touched you? What sexual style do you think they have? Visualise and take your time in this, knowing that you are incognito and no-one is likely to notice, unless you spot another sex-agent doing the same thing and have a brief moment of recognition.
Really indulge in your own sexually preditory nature and enjoy feeling the power of choice this gives you. This is a power men enjoy the feeling of daily, even if it is delusional. As a woman, it is not a delusion because you are female and men aren't naturally as selective as women when it comes to sex, because nature gave you the power of choice over them because you are the one with the womb. "If you've got it flaunt it" is a lie, as on a biological level men don't actually require that much encouragement to find a woman attractive. Also flaunting yourself in a sense, takes away more power than it gives. If you were 'dolled-up', it would not be possible for you as a woman to enjoy this private indulgence, because you would be giving of signals of 'availability' and men would objectify you. If they noticed you admiring them, there is a strong chance they would proposition you. This would probably break the fantasy as they would have a different voice or character to the one you'd projected over them, so you would probably then lose all interest and have the inconvenience of extracating yourself from the situation, which could potentially be threatening or dangerous. When men operate as the sex agent, fantasising over strangers, they don't have to worry about this inconvenience or danger, and that is why they often find it hard to understand why being treated as a sex object is a bad thing, and express jealousy about it. Because they are so familiar with the power of their own agency that they don't even recognise it as a power, they have no idea what it feels like to have that power taken away.
In this voyeuristic state, you may notice a side effect of a sharpened awareness of how the female paraphernalia of objectification comes across to the sex-agent. You will start to see those fetishised high-heels, long blonde hair being flicked about, fitted skirts and dainty handbags as being symbols of sexual availability - whereas up till now, you may have always seen them as symbols of female power. When you return to your make-up and fitted clothes again, you will notice yourself getting grateful looks from men as though they're thinking "Thank you for presenting yourself as available. Glad you're not a ball-breaking feminist. Nice to see a lady offering herself to us like that" and you might feel slightly offended that the clothes, make-up, etc you choose to wear is seen by them as an appeasement to their sexism, also that they take it as a personal compliment even though you couldn't give two hoots about them as an individual. You may also notice how this has a negative impact on your feeling of entitlement to be a sex agent. Remember this when all the magazines that present objectification as your only option as a woman. Looking available is no power at all. Knowing you can choose to get what you want is.
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