Lately, I’ve finished watching My-Otome and its related by-products. There were a few things I found satisfying in My-Hime’s spin off besides battles and the OST, but the Akane x Kazuya pairing wasn’t one of them. Although I loved them in My-Hime, things changed drastically for the worse. I was particularly annoyed by how their relationship was treated.
Although I don’t expect much from a mainstream shounen show, phallocracy and misconceptions about relationships and sex don’t claim a specific ethnicity. My-Otome is just the trigger to attempt answering the question “Does sex equals penetration, and is sex the only way to get intimate?”
For those who aren’t acquainted with the My-Otome universe, Otome are girls who can become warriors by the injection of a certain nano-machine technology. And guess what? They must remain virgins. Because this technology stops functioning once it comes in contact with the Y chromosome – a quite ridiculous scientific explanation, if you ask me.
Akane chose love over this bizarre and overly demanding career, rejected the king who asked for her as his Otome and tried to run away with Kazuya. Unfortunately, they are caught and their punishment is for Akane to serve as Kazuya’s Otome, which is interpreted as ‘no sex’ in this universe. Maya, another Otome of higher position, is put as their supervisor and is a literal cockblocker (just notice the chastity belt on poor Kazuya)…
Even if we ignore the blatant fact that condoms seem something alien and non-existant (in spite of the fact that the use of condoms could also be traced back in ancient, pre-industrialized societies like the ancient Egyptians), we can’t turn a blind eye to the general prohibition of sex between the opposite sexes despite the pseudo-scientific reasoning.
Let’s take first Maya’s reprimand and question, if Kazuya was only after Akane’s body. Sex isn’t the only thing in a relationship, yes, but with the exception of very few people who can live without it/ don’t like it, namely asexuals, sex is quite important. The emotional bond between two individuals is not only crafted through intellect but also through physical contact; because we consist of both mind and body. Intercourse is a unique way for two bodies to connect, since they fit tightly with one another. During sex, pleasure is derived and special hormones are produced that makes partners feel closer (oxytocin, which increases a lot with an orgasm) and refreshes romantic love (adrenaline).
Sex shouldn’t be viewed as something dirty or something that is abnormal and can influence your life forever. I can’t deny that some sexual experiences can having lasting impact, like your first time or abusive situations, though. The problem is that
- these situations won’t keep coming up constantly,
- sex is an integral part of a healthy relationship but it isn’t treated like that. Abstinence isn’t but a punishment, if set as a rule from (people) above or a masochistic and utterly romanticized act, if done willingly.
- and sex and the loss of virginity are synonymous with penetration while the phallus is put in the center either like a god or as a demon.
Notice how Kazuya’s usefulness is in a large part judged by his ‘inability’ to use his manhood (not sure, if the above line referred to any political aspects of his life as a king). It’s not only unfair, but humiliating, too, since a man, who is a human being, isn’t only his sexual organs. And yet, his penis and his sex drive are part of him- just not the only one.
That said, intercourse is not the only way to have physical contact and experience the bliss of intimacy. Sex isn’t just vaginal penetration either. There is anal sex, which is equally sex as vaginal sex. Then, there is oral sex, be it fellatio or cunnilingus (or even anilingus, if you’re into it), and of course fingering, dry humping, tribaddism and mutual masturbation. Heavy kissing, groping and fondling, as well as pecks, cuddling and hand holding play a big role in rising the temperature, awakening passion, and most importantly make two people feel fuzzy and happy as a couple.
It’s really sad when all of this is forgotten and skipped. Moreover it hurts a lot of people who don’t fall into the widely ‘accepted standards’. What about lesbians? When it comes to how we define virginity, what about people who have been raped? I think we should rethink and redefine sex and our ideals about it… As far as something is logically possible and practical, efforts for more inclusivity should be carried out.