Know how when you were a kid at some point you were sitting somewhere totally engrossed in a book, or game, or movie, or especially just daydreaming... just 1,000 miles away in your own world anyway... and someone, probably a grownup, would come by and say something like "sit up straight, honey, that can't be good for your back/neck/posture/whatever?" Or maybe they just said "at least close your mouth so the flies don't get in?" And even just dropping out enough to assess what they said, let alone sit up, or fly right, or close your mouth was usually all it took to knock you out of the dreamy, timeless place you'd been? And do you remember how much work it usually was to get back? Or that by the time you were back you'd slid back into whatever posture you'd been upbraided for, or your face had gone completely slack again? Funny how trying to please someone else's idea of how you should look when you're having a good time pulls you... right out of that good time.
Gwen of Sociological Images says
Brianna S. mentioned to me that the December issue of Cosmo has an article about whether you're making an attractive face when you orgasm. I googled "Cosmo make face orgasm," and found an image of the cover (notice the big "Your Orgasm Face" tagline next to one of Jessica Simpson's boobs) and a discussion of the article at Jezebel:
The implication ("What he's thinking when he sees it"), of course, is that if you're not careful, you might make an unattractive face while you orgasm, and that your male partner (because who cares what women's female partners think?) will be put off by it. It's female orgasm as performance. Cosmo is reminding us, in case we forgot, that a woman's sexual pleasure isn't really about her. Even while having an orgasm, she needs to be sure she looks attractive.
I can't help but think that if you're anxiously trying to monitor your facial expression, it might get in the way of you getting to have an orgasm at all. I wonder which would be preferable, then: having a real orgasm but with an ugly orgasm face, or faking an orgasm but making sure your face is under control.
This seems like a pernicious influence of porn, but even more so (and going way further back) of conventional movies, where a) the people on camera are nothing but trying to look their best for the camera. And if, as sometimes happens in porn, they actually are in "the zone" as when male performers are trying to perform a "money shot" the directors and camera operators direct the attention away from the often-necessarily-slack "O-is-for-effort" face.
Which is sort of a tragedy when you think about it. Because teasing a partner about his or her "O-face" isn't just knocking them out of their, well, O space(!!!) it's also totally deprecating the skill and effort you've put into helping them have one! And because being too self-conscious about your own O-face" isn't just knocking you out of or keeping you out of your O-space, it's deprecating the skill and effort your partner puts into helping you build it.
And seriously, this isn't about being afraid to cook because the kitchen might get dirty -- for most people cleaning the kitchen, however delicious the meal, is still a chore! It's more like being afraid to put cinnamon rolls in the oven for fear they might become puffy, and brown on the top, and sticky/gooey/bubbly on the bottom, and smell heavenly melted-buttery, and incredible tasting.
In other words it's about learning to get that our O-faces, and our partners', means things are happening perfectly.
Hmm... there's obviously more to it than this but... I wonder how much of people's often very real enjoyment of rear-entry positions has something to do with not having to worry about revealing O-faces, with the result they're better able to just let go and enjoy themselves. I'm guessing probably not much but... well some people really do go home after sex rather than sleep with their partners for fear of being seen with "morning face."