The Martyrs of Eros

by | March 15, 2015 | General | 8 comments

I’m trying, at this moment, to imagine myself as a


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. What would my body feel like
compared to the way it feels at this moment?

 How does my male body feel as I write

 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. I look down, I see the
keyboard, there are no breasts in the way of my view. Sitting with crossed
knees, if I flex my thighs a little I can feel the bulge of my balls down
there, my friendly and familiar dick which would like to be scratched a little.
My clothes which are manly clothes, my wristwatch, metal, big, self consciously
masculine in its brusque design. My full beard, which I have to frequently
color, itches; I reach up and scratch it a little, run my fingers through its manly
hairiness. The side burns reaching from my ears to my lips 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 thicker, like the beard of a schnauzer dog,
made of pubic hair, which feels thick, wiry, curly and coarse, and conjures up
images of back seat fumbling trysts as a kid. I have an unconscious habit of
twining my fingers in my public hair beard and twisting it in a Gandalfesque
manner when I am reading or sincerely lost in thought. Women slap my hand away
when I do that. It sheds too. I am conscious of having a beard from male vanity
because I have a weak chin like a frog and a beard gives me some jaw definition.
I am conscious of my belly and 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 weight.

 What if I were a woman sitting here?

Typing this, would I have to see
over my breasts? I suppose although women don’t seem to have any problem
there.  Would I feel vain about my
breasts, would I wonder how they look to other men? Would I look around the
room to see if any men are gazing at my breasts?  If I had a husband and dressed in the morning
or came nude from the shower and yet never caught him sneaking a glance at them
anymore, would it hurt me? When was the last time he wanted to fuck me? Days?
Weeks? Did he spend some time on it or just quickies now?  Maybe I should get one of those little yappy
dogs who goes loony with affection whenever I come home, and I would be one of
those ladies?

If I flex my thighs as a woman, so,
what would I feel differently? Some women can cross their legs as I am now,
flex their thighs, flex their thighs, flex their thighs and stealthily make
themselves come, even in the midst of a crowd. Girls love horses; they love to
straddle their thighs across all that living muscle, to feel it pumping at
their groin, moving steadily in rhythm, up and down, galloping with the wind in
their hair, this beast, this throbbing mountain of strength and potency between
their legs carrying them along? Unicorns, perfect and longed for in the dreams
of women and girls, these creatures a girl opens her legs to straddle and be
carried by, with that single, enormous, phallic horn, that beast for which
virgins were used as bait to capture.


I know how vanity feels as a man.
How does vanity feel as a woman? How does the world treat you when you move
through it as a woman? How does it feel when a man looks at you?  Or doesn’t? 
In so many countries the world is closed and narrow to you when you’re a
woman.  Though you bring life into the
world, you’re barely considered human, or shallowly revered and kept prisoner
on a narrow pedestal of men’s fantasies. In so many places, women have only
other women to open their hearts to, as men can so often be such dull company
and who can share their deepest feelings with an oppressor? There are places
inside a woman only another woman can go.

 And what is Eros for a woman compared
to a man?

 It must be different, it cannot be
the same.  A man makes love and walks
away clean, swinging his dick, moving on with his life.  He doesn’t even have to see the woman again;
nothing in his life has to change.

A woman can die.

A woman can die a terrible
death.  A woman risks her life bringing
life into this world.  A man does
not.  Eros has to be different when the
stakes are so different.

I know how a man experiences orgasm.
There is first the process of erection. As you get older this process becomes
more unpredictable and fearful. As a young man it was merely unpredictable.
What women 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 to a thought or a sight, or a touch. 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 in this moment. Emphatic as an exclamation point,
urgent as a knife, he watches and 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, 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 that this feeling is more important than being on time for
work, or cutting the grass, or going to sleep, or getting out of bed, of if he’s
with the wrong woman, maybe worth throwing away his peace of mind 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 and action. This rapid ascent
towards something through pressure and motion persuades a man that this is what
he wants, the sweet, sweet, sweet pressure which wants release and relief and
there is something else, this experience which is closed off to women. The
experience of penetrating the offered body of another human being, to cross the
abyss of the senses, to satisfy and consummate the urge to penetration.

 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 also this other
moment, if you are a man of some experience and not a boy, when you are about
to insert yourself, it is a feeling of the most exquisite anticipation, you
wait and linger to keep that moment for yourself, hovering before the gates of
paradise.  Then 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 and guide it in like a ship to port. And
then you find the offered spot down there where you can’t see in the light of
the nightstand lamp or candle, or dashboard, or the moon, that spot which is
the black hole at the center of your male universe, wet, snug, but offered to


A little press and the sensitive tip goes in. You might hold it there,
feeling it in that wet snug space, feeling the sense of openness and waiting
and welcome. Examining yourself in the posture of the male with a woman, feeling
the moment in the act of beginning. To see the woman’s breasts, to feel her
belly 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 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 it is to experience union with woman.  It is that moment.  To press yourself so deeply inside another,
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 there is the greatest feeling of being tender and the thrill of being
enjoyed by a woman, the thrill of being, in that moment, a man.

 But how is it for a woman? I’ve
asked women, read articles, trying to get a feel for what a woman feels. How
must it be to have a man with a part of his body inserted in your own? How can
that possibly feel good? Is it vulnerable? Does it require a certain state of
mind first, a great trust of the man or is it a let down?

 What a woman risks to have that
little moment. A man passes a disease so much easier than a woman can give
disease to him. A male of any species walks away freely, can move on with his
life with having to change anything. A woman risks her life, her freedom, her
health, her independence, her definition of who she is. Sex and death are bound
in a way for a woman that does not exist for a man at all. A man walks away,
swinging his dick. A woman can get pregnant. If it’s a healthy pregnancy, in
nine months her life, her emotions, her understanding of herself, will be profoundly
changed in ways she will never get back. The person she is at the beginning
will change over time. If all goes well, she’ll give birth, experience pain,
blood, messiness, occasionally terror and then there will be this life which
came from her, this entity which has experienced life only through her for
almost a year, every moment of every hour, through every activity, kicking,
turning over in its sleep, frighteningly still, annoyingly active, and now
revealed as a separate thing. Introduced forever. And if it goes badly, death.
This was a very common way for women to die, a bad birth, your loins exploding
inside of you like a bomb. Risking not only your life for love, but even a
grisly death. There is no experience like this in nature for a man except war.

 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 rushing to
crash into the rocks and now this wave is pulsing forward and out, pulsing and
pulsing and holding you for the moment in the grip of that pulsing feeling of
release. That explosion obliterates you for an instant, you can’t push it out
hard enough, you can never explode violently enough, there is always a huge
feeling of relief and an insatiable greed to make it more and more intense. For
a male the orgasm is assertion, insertion, exertion and finally that cannon
shot of release and relief. And then you feel like doing something else.

For a woman the urge to orgasm most
often doesn’t begin in bed. That’s my understanding, your mileage may
vary.  It begins long before then, before
the notion of sex is even explored, during the day, or even the day before,
with considerations of courtliness and respect. There are goddesses and
feminists among us, yes, but a man loves a woman who makes him aware he’s a
man, and a woman loves a man who makes her aware she’s a woman. An intimate
conversation. A light touch. The little offerings building towards a single,
explicit gesture. Woman is after all, a being that risks her very life for Eros.



  1. Lisabet Sarai

    I want to print this out and keep it as a reference, for the next time I'm trying to write a male character. You do such a wonderful job of description, so many details, but not just the physical ones but the emotional correlates as well.

    I will tell you though, that for my generation, death or pregnancy was never a concern. I lived in the golden time after the Pill but before AIDS. And honestly, I suspect that most women don't think about these issues when they're aroused. Perhaps the life-and-death possibilities should influence our sexuality, but generally they don't. In that sense, women are just like men.

    Great post, Garce!

    • Garceus

      Hi Lisabet!

      Ah – but we are the children of privelege, born in the right time and place. We live in the time when The Pill was invented and pushed through by strong women against the stupidity of powerful men who resisted giving women control of their bodies. The religious taboos are still there and in many countries, maybe yours too, women still take their life in their hands to bring life into this world. Not to mention the horrors of rape and other things women go through.

      This is the best time in human history to be a woman, you;re right about that. But women have always been and still are the martyrs of eros.


    • Lisabet Sarai

      You're certainly right about my experience having been one of privilege. Every day I read horror stories about the way women are treated in India, in Afghanistan, and yes, even in the US.

      And childbirth is still dangerous. (Did you know that the US infant mortality rate is higher than many developing countries? Appalling.)

      I still question whether the dangers of sex are ever foremost in one's mind when one is in the throes of arousal, though.

    • Garceus

      Clearly for a man it isn't, and you would be the one to know as far as what women are thinking or not when they're turned on. But you have to admit – it takes a lot of guts to be a woman. I think the world would have been a kinder place over all if human beings had stuck to their original worship of a female god rather than a male god.


  2. Donna

    I'm going to print this post out for reference, too! I haven't found all that many male-authored descriptions of male sexual pleasure that show such self-awareness and joy in the experience.

    I second Lisabet's point that the Baby Boomers did not experience the same fear of pregnancy and total disgrace. Unfortunately reproductive rights have been rolled back and HIV, herpes and other STI's have brought caution back to a degree.

    I hesitate to speak for all woman. My breasts have never gotten in the way of my view of anything but perhaps they do for more voluptuous women? One thing I'd hazard is that for me and many women I know, the man's desire is a real turn-on. His attention, his willingness to do things we suspect he wouldn't otherwise do (watch the cunnilingus scene in Outlander?), his delight in touching us, and yes, that erection which gives it all away. I mention this because for me it would be a total turn-off to force myself on a partner who didn't desire me. Not that my desire isn't a critical part of this, just that we're socialized to feel important when men want us. Or maybe it's instinctive and physical, too. That's just one of many ways to answer!

  3. Garceus

    Hi Donna!

    The baby boomers came along at a good time. But I also have a sense of things being rolled back to cater to a conservative minority. At the same time gay rights are being pushed forward. This is such a powerful time to be alive, i think that is why people become afraid and become reactionary. Things change so fast and power becomes concentrated so easily in the hands of a few, and the few are always men.

    I've taken note of what you've said here about omen being turned on by the man's desire. I also think that's interesting to sense or look for or be excited by his willingness to explore things or do things he wouldn't do, to take those emotional risks. That has to be the soul of romancce writing in a nutshell. The risk of taking a chance o something new. I don;t think its social though, I think it probably is at least part instinctive and physical. Evolutionary to want to be desired and the man wanting to assert his desire but only if its welcomed. Men fear rejection. Expressing desire is itself a risk.


    • Donna

      Excellent point about the risk of expressing desire–that is so true, and certainly falls more upon the man. It occurs to me now that the romance genre is about exploring a man's emotional risks and willingness to commit emotionally (the emotional virgin gaining experience). Again, not sure what is cultural or "evolutionary biology" but it is so not a turn-on when a man says, "I just love ALL women and you're looking pretty today."

  4. Garceus

    gosh is that why line hasn't been working for me. . .

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