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Creator: David Jakle | Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

I love your approach of using etymology and dissecting the origins of words to neutralize their derogatory associations.

I’ll add some thoughts about the taboo or disdain towards the act of dry humping.

First, the disdain is sexist and reserved for women who do it, whether queer or not, when boys (or dogs) do it, and they do, “boys will be boys”. Even men do it: in The World According to Garp Yossarian dry humps the leg of an Italian female prostitute who he is in love with but whose full services he can’t afford. I was first introduced to the idea during a discussion by classmates — when I was new in boarding school in India — comparing the relative merits of masturbating while standing up or lying supine or by humping a pillow (which was deemed a more “realistic” imitation of what we imagined was “normal heterosexual” sex). Humping a pillow? This was entirely new to me! Later one older classmate shared with us his technique of joining two mattresses together and humping the seam between them. My cousin, who attended a different boarding school, told me about kids doing it with hot samosas, and of course we have the famous scene of a Coke bottle in The Summer of 42.

Second, the disdain towards the act (not just the associations of the word) hurts heterosexual women as well. It starts with Freud the Fraud’s classification of clitoral orgasms as immature and only for girls. My first lover, a sexually experienced German woman, was heavily influenced by Freudian sexism. We would always transition to vaginal intercourse very quickly, and at the beginning, I would last not even a minute! As you can imagine, this led to great frustration for her, and also for me because I “wanted to give her pleasure” (Yes, I know, but I was really young then and this is the language I thought in.). I’d read enough erotica/porn to want to stimulate her clitoris either with my fingers or tongue, but she wouldn’t let me, even though it clearly excited her! She must have been in love with me because I honestly don’t know why she stuck around. Eventually I read D. H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover in which there is a scene in which, when the gardner finishes too soon in missionary position and rolls off, Lady Chatterley rolls onto him and dry humps his thigh. I don’t recall if we discussed this or whether my lover independently discovered it for herself, but she figured out how to get herself off by wet humping my thigh — there was a specific quadricep muscle she particularly enjoyed. But imagine the years of sexual frustration in generations of women in European-derivative societies because of the misogynistic Freudian taboo against clitoral orgasms and the taboo against dry humping!

I stop to miau to cats.

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