Penthouse Retrospective

by Lonnie Barbach and Linda Levine Originally Published: November, 1980

Female Sexuality | 40 Years Ago This Month

“We played it out by having him hold down my arms while I tried to fight against him as though I wanted to put my arms around him, but he wouldn’t let me. It was like being tied up. There was a lot of sexy talk about what he was going to do to me one day, like tying me up and doing all these things to me and driving me crazy. That was while he was inside me, and it just heightened things. He would also just tease me and drive me nuts by not letting me have it right away; so I had to beg for it. The begging was very exciting, because that is absolutely not the way I really am.”

Pain is sometimes an integral part of a masochistic fantasy.

Suzanne (bisexual, living alone):

“I have this leather fly swatter that I got as a gift and I use in lovemaking. I got into sexually enjoying being swatted on the ass, but it can’t be too hard, and it can’t be too soft. If just a certain amount of pressure is applied, like somebody slapping me on the ass, I’m able to have orgasms. I’m a little bit less into that now, but at times I still find it enjoyable.”

Tying someone up can be done with scarves, silk ties, hand-cuffs, ropes, stockings, or bed covers.

Phyllis (single):

“The man that I was living with at the time introduced me to a very gentle, fun type of S&M. I had a big brass bed, and sometimes we would take turns tying each other up to the bed. I would save my stockings that had runs in them, and we’d use them to tie each other up. We would have very clear ground rules. If the person who was being tied up wanted the other person to stop for any reason, all they had to say was ‘stop,’ and it would end. And we never hurt each other. The object was to tease each other, to stimulate each other until the other person was just begging to come. The ground rule was that you just had to beg for intercourse.

“One night it was his turn to be tied up. That night, for some reason, I decided to combine this activity with another thing he liked, which was for me to dress up as a whore. I had these outrageously high heels, silk stockings, and a black garter belt. I had one of these black bras that push your breasts to the middle, and for some reason I just got really outrageous.

“I’m feeling like I’m just this incredible whore, and I’ve got this guy tied up and spread-eagled on the bed, and I can do anything I want to him. So, for a while, I kind of just prance around, and every once in a while, I come over and touch him or I kiss him. Then I do this incredible oral-sex thing on him, and each time I bring him to the point of almost coming; I stop. And he knows the ground rules are that he can say ‘stop’ anytime and I’ll just untie him. But it was like he was hooked on it. It was like he couldn’t wait to see what was coming next; yet he really wanted to come and he couldn’t stand it.

“And, finally, I don’t know what possessed me, but I got so much into the person I was playing that I was no longer myself. I was just ‘fucking outrageous.’ So I got up on the bed and sat up on the pillow next to his head, arid started touching myself and playing with myself. I thought he would go crazy! Then for some reason, I decided, ‘This isn’t enough. I’m going to really drive him nuts.’ So I got up and sat on his chest and continued masturbating, and his face was close enough to see everything and smell everything, and he was almost able to reach out but wasn’t close enough. And I came. On his chest. And that’s when he yelled, ‘Stop!’”

Fantasy can be used as a substitute for reality, particularly when it is not possible to enact the desired activity in real life.

Samantha (divorced) describes how she and her lover use fantasies to make love when they are physically separated:

“Because we can’t live together right now and are often separated, we masturbate together on the telephone, which is just out of sight! We usually talk to each other late in the evening because both of us are very busy during the day, and so sometimes we’ll be on the phone almost all night, talking each other into coming. We talk about what we’ve done sexually with each other in the past and how good it felt; we talk about what we’ve done with other people that we’ve liked. He tells me about various things women have done to him, and it’s a real turn-on just to imagine it while I’m masturbating. That way I can have several orgasms in one conversation. He usually has one, and then we become more intimate.

“It’s not like masturbating alone — that’s a whole different thing — but it’s sort of like sharing something very intimate with someone that you care about. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it’s pretty damn good.”

All of the foregoing games, props, and techniques can create a break from the general routine and add fun and excitement to a sexual relationship. We hope they will reinforce and encourage you in some of your sexual interests.

Since we happen to be in the 40-years-ago world with female sexuality, you might enjoy a look at teenage sexuality from the same time period.

In comparison, Female Sexuality fills a much broader spectrum of the human condition than does the male equivalent. "Normal" means a variety.

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