misogyny and cervical mucus in Scientific American

I can’t reply fully to this infuriating Scientific American article about masturbation until Primate Sexuality gets delivered to my library, so that I’ve got a reference work from, but for the moment let me just address the worst anti-feminist bit, discussion of which requires little more than my own appalled horror.

Dr Bering writes:

Well, Baker and Bellis are clever empiricists. They also apparently have stomachs of steel. One way that they tested their hypotheses was to ask over 30 brave heterosexual couples to provide them with some rather concrete samples of their sex lives: the vaginal “flowbacks” from their post-coital couplings, in which some portion of the male’s ejaculate is spontaneously rejected by the woman’s body. [emphasis mine]

I’m going to ignore, for the moment, that Baker and Bellis are best known among sex researchers for producing Rudyard Kiplings, o best beloved, and for being proven wrong. I’m going to ignore, again for the moment, that the results of this study do not really support the hypothesis in question. I’m going to move straight to the plain old RUDENESS of that paragraph.

Apparently collecting ejaculate requires no particular digestive toughness, but ejaculate in cervical mucus requires industrial strength gastric abilities.

Should we conclude that Dr. Bering himself has felt nauseated by the fluids of any female sex partners he may have had? Indeed, the blatant, unapologetic, flinching gynophobia made me wonder if he’s gay, which it turns out he is, but that doesn’t make it okay for him to discuss female fluids as physically disgusting.

In Scientific American.

It’s just fuckin’ rude, man. Your personal disinterest in cervical mucus doesn’t make it okay to describe it as gross in a science magazine. You owe women an apology, and, if you plan to write about sex science in the future, you need to get over your bullshit.

(EDIT: My reply to Dr Bering’s reply to this post. Also, the ode to cervical mucus this conversation inspired.)