WASHINGTON — I’ve noticed a weird pattern, in fiction and life, about sexual encounters: Women decide they’re not attracted to a guy they’re nestling with. Limerence is not in the cards. But they go ahead and have sex anyhow.
华盛顿——在小说中和生活里,我注意到在两性交往中有一个奇怪的规律:女人们觉得自己不喜欢身边偎依的男人,完全没有产生迷恋的感觉。但她们还是会跟他们上床。
First, we have college student Margot in The New Yorker’s much-discussed short fictional story “Cat Person who recoils as she watches Robert undress. “But the thought of what it would take to stop what she had set in motion was overwhelming; it would require an amount of tact and gentleness that she felt was impossible to summon.” Margot doesn’t want to seem spoiled or capricious, so she takes a sip of whiskey to “bludgeon her resistance into submission.”
先是《纽约客》(The New Yorker)备受热议的短篇小说《爱猫人》(Cat Person)里的大学生玛戈特,她看着罗伯特脱衣服时感到退缩。“但是这件事她已经开了头,一想到要怎样才能停止,她就觉得难以应付;那需要一种她觉得无法具备的老练与温和。”玛戈特不想看起来显得很骄纵或是反复无常,于是她喝了一口威士忌,以便“强迫自己化抗拒为顺从”。
Then we have the 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer who hooked up with comedian Aziz Ansari at his TriBeCa apartment and talked about it anonymously to the website Babe. She was distressed by his arbitrary choice of white wine at dinner, his rush to sex, the way he jammed two fingers in a V-shape down her throat.
然后我们听到一位23岁的布鲁克林摄影师的故事,她跟喜剧演员阿齐兹·安萨里(Aziz Ansari)去了他位于翠贝卡的公寓,之后匿名在Babe网站上讲述了这件事。他在晚餐时专断地选择白葡萄酒,他急着开始性爱,他将两根手指呈V字形伸进她的喉咙,这一切都让她感觉不适。
But at his request, she gave him oral sex twice; he briefly performed it on her once.
但是应他的要求,她给他口交了两次;他还短暂地给她口交了一次。
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On “60 Minutes,” Stormy Daniels told Anderson Cooper that she was not at all attracted to Donald Trump but she had sex with him (without a condom). She said that she thought maybe “I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone’s room alone.”
在“60分钟”电视节目里,“风暴丹尼尔斯”(Stormy Daniels)告诉主持人安德森·库珀(Anderson Cooper),她完全没被唐纳德·特朗普吸引,但还是同他做爱了(没戴安全套)。她说,当时她想,也许“这都是因为我做了一个糟糕的决定,单独去了某人的房间。”
After “Cat Person” became a phenomenon on the perils of romance in the digital age, its 36-year-old author, Kristen Roupenian, told The New Yorker that Margot succumbing “speaks to the way that many women, especially young women, move through the world: not making people angry, taking responsibility for other people’s emotions, working extremely hard to keep everyone around them happy. It’s reflexive and self-protective, and it’s also exhausting.”
在《爱猫人》成为数字时代浪漫危机的一种现象之后,它的作者,36岁的克里斯滕·鲁潘尼亚(Kristen Roupenian)在接受《纽约客》采访时说,玛格特的屈从“体现了世上许多女人,特别是年轻女人待人接物的方式:不要让别人生气;要对别人的情绪承担责任;要竭力让身边所有人开心。它成了条件反射,是一种自我保护,同时也令人筋疲力尽。”
So you’d rather have bad sex with someone who doesn’t appeal to you than find a way to extricate yourself? You can Lean In but you can’t Walk Out?
所以你宁愿和不喜欢的人过糟糕的性生活,也不愿想办法办法解放自己?你能向前一步,却做不到放手离去?
I call Joanna Coles, the chief content officer of Hearst magazines and the former editrix of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. The 55-year-old Brit has a new book called “Love Rules,” a guide to avoiding the digital sand traps in relationships.
我打电话给赫斯特杂志的首席内容官,曾任《时尚》(Cosmopolitan)和《嘉人》(Marie Claire)编辑的乔安娜·科尔斯(Joanna Coles)。这位现年55岁的英国人刚出版了一本名为《爱情准则》(Love Rules)的新书。这是一份避免在亲密关系中掉入数字陷阱的指南。
“Getting naked and having sex with strangers is hard,” she tells me. “We portray it as fun and we pretend it’s fun. But people crave intimacy, which is not easy to create in a hookup. That’s why Britain just appointed a loneliness minister.”
“赤身裸体和陌生人做爱很难,”她对我说。“我们把它描绘成一种乐趣,假装它有趣。但人们渴望亲密,在勾搭关系中不容易产生亲密感。这就是英国刚刚任命一位孤独大臣的原因。”
The inspiration for Coles’s book was a conversation she had with Sally, the daughter of a friend. Sally described her weekends at a liberal arts college this way: “My friends and I all go out on Friday nights, get drunk and hook up. And on Saturday morning, we go down to the health center together to get Plan B.”
科尔斯这本书的灵感来自与朋友的女儿萨莉(Sally)的一次交谈。萨莉是这么描述她在一所博雅大学的周末的:“周五晚上,我和朋友都会出去,喝得酩酊大醉,然后勾搭厮混。周六上午,我们一起去医疗中心领紧急避孕药。”
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Coles was nonplused, and it’s hard to shock someone who edited Cosmo and can talk comfortably about Pokémon porn and vodka-soaked tampons.
科尔斯感到不知所措,要让一个编辑过《时尚》、可以坦然谈论宝可梦毛片和泡过伏特加的卫生棉的人感到震惊,可不是件易事。
“I know alcohol is confidence in a glass and it’s politically incorrect to say, but know your limits,” she says. “There’s nothing empowering about being black-out drunk. Who wants to wake up the next morning in bed unable to remember what you did?”
“我知道酒精就是装在杯子里的信心,并且——虽说有些政治不正确——你要知道自己的长处和短处,”她说。“喝断片和女性赋权一点关系都没有。谁想第二天早上在床上醒来时想不起来自己做过什么?”
Citing a study calculating that half of all sexual assaults involve alcohol, Coles asks: If hooking up is so much fun for young women, why do they need to be insensate to do it?
一项研究统计发现,一半的性侵犯涉及酒。科尔斯据此提出疑问:如果勾搭对年轻女性来说这么有趣,她们为什么要等到失去意识才能这么做?
Leah Fessler wrote a popular piece in Quartz in 2016 about her disillusionment with the hookup culture at Middlebury College. No one wants to go back to sock hops and going steady, she said, but “to attempt to separate emotions from sex is not only illogical, given that emotion intensely augments pleasure, but also impossible for almost all women.”
2016年,利娅·费斯勒(Leah Fessler)在Quartz上写了一篇备受欢迎的文章,讲述自己对明德大学(Middlebury College)勾搭文化的幻灭。她说她不是要回到老古板的时代,寻求稳定关系,而是觉得“既然感情对快感有着强烈的助推作用,那么试图把感情和性分开就是不合逻辑的,而且几乎所有女人根本就做不到”。
In her book, Coles quotes cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken on the dangers of losing your inhibitions more easily when you are in the “immersive environment” of cyberspace — a space designed by men.
科尔斯在书中引用了网络心理学家玛丽·艾肯(Mary Aiken)的话,讲述在男性设计的网络空间的““沉浸式环境”中更容易放松警惕。
“Online dating is very crowded,” Aiken said. “There are four people in it: two real, normal selves, and two virtual selves.”
“网上约会非常拥挤,”艾肯说。“涉及四个人:两个真实、正常的自己,还有两个虚拟的自己。”
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Echoing a theme from “Cat Person,” Coles tells me: “Things go from naught to 60 really fast. When you have a lot of communication online before you go out with someone, it builds up a false sense of who the person is. There’s a tendency to fill in the blanks with positive information.” (She points to a study showing a sixfold increase in sexual assault associated with online dating.)
科尔斯告诉我的话和《爱猫人》的一个主题遥相呼应:“事情从零发展到60是很快的。你和某人约会前在网上进行了很多的交流,就会对这个人产生一种错觉。人们倾向于用积极的信息填补空白。”(她提到,有一项研究表明,与在线约会相关的性侵增加了六倍)。
“It’s very easy to imagine someone online in a positive way,” she says, “but it’s only when you sit down, with all five senses in play, that you can really tell, ‘Do I find this person attractive?’”
“在网上,人们很容易以积极的方式去想象一个人,”她说,“但只有当你坐下来,用五官感觉去体验时,你才能真正知道,‘这个人吸引我吗?’”
When I ask her why women would have sex with men whose looks or behavior is turning them off, she replies, “The fear is that dating apps make women interchangeable.”
我问她,为什么女人会和外貌或举止都让她们败兴的男人发生性关系,她回答说,“人们担心约会应用程序让女人变成了可以替代的。”
Coles talks about porn and living in a culture where teenagers check their phones a minimum of 75 times a day, always “one click away from some of the most aggressive porn imaginable.”
科尔斯谈到了色情制品以及我们所处的文化——青少年每天至少要看75次手机,总是“距离你能想到的最色情的内容只有一次点击之遥”。
In “Cat Person,” Margot thinks it is absurd when Robert flips her around as though she is “a prop” for the porno “playing in his head.”
在《爱猫人》中,罗伯特把玛戈特翻过来时,她感觉很荒谬,觉得自己像是“他头脑中播放着”的色情片中的“道具”。
In her book, Coles interviews women who explain why they hesitate to tell men that porn sex is not pleasurable to them.
科尔斯在她的书中采访了一些女性,她们解释自己为什么不愿意告诉男人们,色情片中的那种性爱并不令她们愉快。
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“There’s a new sense in which young women feel that they are now in competition with porn, and if they don’t put out, it’s easy for the guy to go home, log in to Pornhub and get what he needs there,” Coles says. “They’re sublimating their own needs to try and please the guy. Then they realize their needs weren’t being met at all.
“有一种新的感觉,年轻女性觉得自己正在和色情制品竞争,如果她们不豁出去,男人们就很可能会回家登录Pornhub,在那里得到他们需要的东西,”科尔斯说,“她们在升华自己的需求,努力取悦男性。然后她们意识到,自己的需求根本没有得到满足。”
“Porn sex is designed to get men off in six to eight minutes. Many men don’t know how to interpret female behavior in bed unless it replicates a porno film.”
“色情片性爱的目的是让男性在六到八分钟内达到高潮。很多男性不知道该如何理解女性在床上的行为,除非它跟色情片中的一样。”
She says something has gone badly wrong when 20 percent of young women are on antidepressants, when there have to be ad campaigns about consent before sex, when everything is about connecting but you don’t really know who you’re connecting to.
她表示,有些情况变得非常糟糕,现在,有20%的年轻女性在服用抗抑郁药;现在,我们不得不发起广告运动,来宣传发生性关系前先征得对方同意;现在,一切都联网了,但你却不知道和你联网的究竟是谁。
“Good sex is a wonderful high,” Coles says. “It’s what great novels and great music are about. And it’s free! But we’ve lost track of what a brilliant thing it is. It’s so transactional now, it’s bleak.”
“美好的性爱非常令人兴奋,”科尔斯说,“经典的小说和音乐都是这么说的。而且它是免费的!但我们已经忘了它是多么迷人的一件事。现在,它更像交易,太惨了。”