Original URL: http://39years.blog.com/2014/09/08/tiresias-was-wrong/
Sep 8: Tiresias Was Wrong!
I mean, I always knew he was, but now there’s statistical proof to vindicate Hera’s rage. Eventually, this is going to come back to that same Time Magazine article I was talking about yesterday, but let me just fill you in, in case you aren’t as much of a Greek mythology geek as I am. Hypothetical “you” since no one’s actually reading this blog.
Anyway, point is, Tiresias was a very unusual and apparently quite cruel man, because one day he was walking along and saw two snakes having sex, and decided to kill one of them. He killed the female snake, and in punishment, was turned into a woman himself. He spent seven years as a woman, then encountered another pair of snakes having sex. This time he killed the male one, and was turned back into a man. (How one can tell a male snake from a female snake is beyond me, of course. In fact, snake sex is just plain not something I want to think about.)
Some time after that, Zeus and Hera were having one of their usual arguments, this time about which one of them was getting the short end of the stick, sexually. (Given that they’re brother and sister, I’d say they both were, but they didn’t ask me.) So they go to see Tiresias, since he’s experienced sex as both a man and a woman, and Zeus asks him who derives more pleasure from the act, a man or a woman.
Tiresias tells him that a woman gets many times as much pleasure as a man. I used to see it written that what he said was that a woman can get pleasure many times, and a man only once, but lately whenever anyone talks about the story they say that he specifically said that a woman gets more pleasure, because apparently someone did a test and discovered that a woman’s orgasm is more powerful than a man’s. (I have no idea how they could measure something like that, and more importantly, I can’t imagine why they would waste their time doing so.)
I always got annoyed whenever I saw that story, because I was positive that was never what Hera meant. It was her point that a man is guaranteed to enjoy sex, and a woman isn’t. That’s why she was so enraged with Tiresias’ answer that she blinded him.
And now I — and Hera — have been vindicated by that same study that depressed me so much yesterday. Because according to that study, only 28% of women enjoy sex on a regular basis, as opposed to 75% of men. (Well, 28% of normal women. For female porn stars, the figure was a ludicrously suggestive 69%.)
So, suck on that, Tiresias, you snake-killing bastard! You’re wrong, and Hera was right! You should give those prophetic powers back, because you don’t deserve them.
Okay, so I get a little over-involved in the myths sometimes. So what?