Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
Thanks Tree34Thanks

Thread: Do "Cat People" Have Bad Sex?

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    53,416
    Thanks
    30683

    From
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Do "Cat People" Have Bad Sex?



    SHORT stories are uniquely unpopular sources of entertainment. Book publishers avoid them, as fiction buyers prefer novels. Magazines have largely cut them from their pages (perhaps because truth lately has become stranger than fiction). So it is odd, to say the least, for a short story to suddenly trend on Twitter. Yet “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian, recently published in the New Yorker, has become one of the magazine’s most-read pieces of 2017. What makes this story so riveting?

    It helps that “Cat Person”, which is essentially about bad sex on a mediocre date, speaks to the larger conversation everyone is now having about men, women, sex, power, consent and misunderstanding. The story is also about what happens when our deepest intimacies are mediated by technology and punctuated with emoji (a theme few writers consider, despite the fact that most people spend much of their days glued to their phones). And because the story is a work of fiction, rather than a tub-thumping op-ed, it probes these issues with an appreciation of their complexity. People are talking about this story because it is thoughtful and oblique enough to evade clear talking points.

    The story follows the courtship and lone date between Margot, a 20-year-old university student, and Robert, a 34-year-old man she sells snacks to at the artsy cinema where she works. Although told in the third person, this is Margot’s story, and Ms Roupenian signals early on that this character is savvy and sympathetic. For example, Margot decides to flirt with Robert to pass the time and because he’s cute-ish: “Not so cute that she would have, say, gone up to him at a party, but cute enough that she could have drummed up an imaginary crush on him if he’d sat across from her during a dull class.” She and Robert ultimately exchange phone numbers and begin a multi-week volley of flirty texting. But because these missives are designed to tickle and impress, Margot still doesn’t know all that much about the man even after weeks of “nearly non-stop” contact. (Anyone who has engaged in such e-wooing is familiar not only with the thrill of an alert and the near-Talmudic parsing of a message’s content, but also with the lengths to which one goes to avoid appearing vulnerable or too revealing.) Margot’s excitement about the man she imagines Robert to be sets the titillating backdrop for their first official date together.

    The evening itself is a bit of a bummer. Robert is unaffectionate and disconcertingly quiet. The film they see is a depressing one about the Holocaust (his choice), and the kiss he foists upon her before they get drinks is especially unpleasant (he “practically poured his tongue down her throat”). But Margot’s attachment to the Robert she had imagined during their weeks of texting keeps her moving things forward. Indeed, she is so eager to please that she strains to be the encouraging, unintimidating woman she believes Robert wants her to be. She even feels some power in her ability to diagnose what she sees as Robert’s nervousness, his uneasiness, his ignorance about kissing. In her effort to put him at ease, “she felt as if she were petting a large, skittish animal, like a horse or a bear, skilfully coaxing it to eat from her hand.”

    Margot’s empathy and romantic imagination, along with perhaps a few too many beers, lead her to his place and into his bed. This is where the story takes a turn for the topical. At some point Margot realises that she does not, in fact, want to have sex with Robert; that perhaps the momentum of the evening, and her exhilaration at winning him over, has led her to a place where she does not want to be. But she worries that stopping what she had set in motion “would require an amount of tact and gentleness that she felt was impossible to summon”. So she submits to Robert and his inept slobbering (much of it seemingly inspired by pornography) mostly to avoid seeming “spoiled and capricious”.

    The sex here is not rape (it is worth reading Ella Dawson’s essay on the subject). Margot is not even a casualty of aggressive coercion; she could leave, and Robert is not pressuring her to stay. What is confusing here is that Margot’s inebriated resignation, her anxiety about seeming selfish or strange or foolishly impulsive, leads her to have the kind of casual, unpleasurable and often regrettable sex that seems, perhaps, increasingly common, whether on college campuses or Tinder dates.

    “Cat Person” has gone viral in part because it has become something of a gendered Rorschach test. Women mainly see this as a story about a woman whose youth, inexperience, compassion and tipsiness guide her into a sexually compromising situation with a much older man who should know better. Many identify with her nervous desire to manage Robert’s feelings, her instinctive need to not disappoint him or make him angry or do anything that might label her a “bitch”. As Ms Roupenian herself has said about the story, Margot’s behaviour 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, and if you do it long enough you stop consciously noticing all the individual moments when you’re making that choice.

    But men have largely read this story differently. Many have taken to Twitter to say they see Robert as a sad sack who is simply following Margot’s lead, only to be dumped by her over text later. Some see Margot as the one in control, and also as the one to blame for not being more open and clear about her mercurial desires. As one tweeted: “Something I found quite disturbing about the story, is just how much a woman expects a man to clairvoyantly ‘know’ about what she’s thinking and what she needs? I can't help but wonder how differently it would have played out, had she been more honest and open with him?”

    Plenty of men have accused Margot of being callow, selfish, narcissistic or naïve, but a few have added that sexually uncomfortable situations are hardly the preserve of women. In conversation, some male friends have admitted that they, too, have been in situations in which they felt pressured into sex, not least because men are expected to always be up for it. “It can be a little emasculating to say no,” explained one. Given this unspoken assumption that manly men are pleasure-seeking sex-machines, it is not hard to see in Robert’s feverish love-making an insecure chap who is nervous about what he is doing and anxious about being rejected for it. (That said, efforts to rewrite the story from Robert’s point of view, such as this one from the BBC, have fallen with a thud.)

    The beauty of this story is that it has become a case study for men and women to talk about what makes heterosexual sex so confusing. The sex is clearly a mistake in “Cat Person”, but neither character is blameless. Given the rising stakes of sexual-assault allegations, which claim a new scalp daily, it makes sense that so many people are approaching this story like coroners conducting an autopsy, as if it were possible to clinically diagnose what went wrong. The fact that the story is fiction has enabled more men to enter the dialogue without worrying they will be maligned as sexually irresponsible misogynists. This is a good thing. In this #MeToo moment, women have understandably commandeered the microphone to decry decades of sexual misdeeds at the hands of men. The general expectation is that men take this time to shut up and listen. But for this moment to yield progress and not merely a backlash, the conversation about sex and power needs to broaden to include the voices of men, too.
    https://www.economist.com/blogs/pros...-sex-fiction-0

    Here's the actual story, if you want to read it:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2.../11/cat-person

    Hummmm...........I honestly don't think I have ever made a man feel he had to have sex, when he did not want to, but admittedly, I have been aggressive at times with lovers. I really hadn't even considered this possibility before. I certainly never spoke to my daughter about respecting the men she would sleep with one day, and be certain they were willing.

    Your thoughts?
    Thanks from The Man and Tedminator

  2. #2
    spɹɐʍʞɔɐq ʞɹɐp ǝɥʇ Puzzling Evidence's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    17,865
    Thanks
    7256

    From
    i'm not real===
    My girlfriend has two cats and she's about to put me in the hospital. I would definitely say that cat owners are good in bed, but that they need to go easy on old, cab driving, former punk rockers.
    Thanks from Friday13 and Madeline

  3. #3
    Member Robert Urbanek's Avatar
    Joined
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3,119
    Thanks
    1331

    From
    Vacaville, CA
    A rather big chunk of copyrighted material.

  4. #4
    spɹɐʍʞɔɐq ʞɹɐp ǝɥʇ Puzzling Evidence's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    17,865
    Thanks
    7256

    From
    i'm not real===
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Urbanek View Post
    A rather big chunk of copyrighted material.
    Call the internet cops....
    Thanks from Madeline

  5. #5
    El Psy Kongroo Lunchboxxy's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    12,474
    Thanks
    12201

    From
    Oregon
    Loved the story. Don’t think it’s supposed to be reflective of actual cat people though....
    Thanks from Madeline

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    53,416
    Thanks
    30683

    From
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Urbanek View Post
    A rather big chunk of copyrighted material.
    Huh? The short story itself is in a link, in the Op.

    The quoted material is a news article about the buzz it created since #metoo.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    53,416
    Thanks
    30683

    From
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Lunchboxxy View Post
    Loved the story. Don’t think it’s supposed to be reflective of actual cat people though....
    Lolol ok!

    Ever see "Cat Woman", circa 1942? FABULOUS movie, and directly on point.

    Gypsy girl immigrates to US, and falls in love but she is cursed. Sexual desire turns her into a panther. A man killing panther.

    Possibly the most gorgeous B & W movie ever made.

    Amirite, @<a href="http://politicalhotwire.com/member.php?u=17229" target="_blank">Thx1138</a>?

    Edited to add the trailer:

    Last edited by Madeline; 17th December 2017 at 02:23 PM.
    Thanks from The Man and Thx1138

  8. #8
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
    Joined
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    35,095
    Thanks
    20253

    From
    Toronto
    Russian pop singer Nyusha owns at least three cats



    She is still considered one of the sexiest women in that part of the world, the wet dream of countless men all over ex-USSR




    Her husband, Igor Sivov, is certainly not complaining

    Yes, he is an oligarch, and knows all the most powerful people. Normal average men can only dream of a gal like Nyusha lol

    Some of us men especially like cat ladies lol My mom is a cat lady. I guess that's in my blood haha
    Thanks from Madeline

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    53,416
    Thanks
    30683

    From
    Cleveland, Ohio
    She's lovely, but I bet Mrs. Man is lovelier.
    Thanks from The Man

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Micro Machines Champion, Race Against Time Champion Tedminator's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    23,218
    Thanks
    13133

    From
    South Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Do "Cat People" Have Bad Sex?

    Your thoughts?
    I have no idea. Good song tho! See these eyes so green, I can stare for a thousand years...



    Time for another remake/sequel of that movie
    Thanks from The Man and Madeline

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18th July 2017, 07:59 PM
  2. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 3rd May 2017, 04:01 AM
  3. Replies: 21
    Last Post: 17th December 2016, 10:30 AM
  4. Is America "a government of the people, for the people and by the people", OR?
    By lucyflyinginthesky in forum Political Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 9th February 2015, 05:19 AM
  5. Replies: 78
    Last Post: 3rd December 2014, 01:04 PM

Tags for this Thread


Facebook Twitter RSS Feed