So, in chapter fourteen, we get something really exciting: backstory from Oliver! He spills the beans on his former relationships and their effects on him. Oliver's difficulty has been finding a woman who wants and enjoys sex, and more specifically wants him as much as he wants her. He lists off types of women on page 223:
- most women want a man, but not the sex; "but they put up with it, as part of the bargain"
- "The more old-fashioned sort just lie there like nothing ... the actual [sex] itself is nothing to them"
- sly women who "pretend they're passionate and have thrills. But it's all cockaloopy."
- "the ones that love everything, every kind of feeling and cuddling and going off [...] except the natural one", who "make you go off when you're not in the only place you should be, when you go off"
- "the hard sort, that are the devil to bring off at all, and bring themselves off"
- "the sort that's just dead inside"
- "the sort that puts you out before you really 'come,' and go on writhing their loins till they bring themselves off against your thighs" (aka, lesbians.)
That last one there leads him to comment that "It's astonishing how Lesbian women are, consciously or unconsciously. Seems to me they're nearly all Lesbian." Hmmm. Save that one for the comments.
Oliver is of the firm opinion that real sexual satisfaction is impossible without two engaged and enthusiastic participants who come at the same time: "I wanted to have my pleasure and satisfaction of a woman, and I never got it: because I could never get my pleasure and satisfaction of her unless she got hers of me at the same time. And it never happened. It takes two" (226). Even with his wife, who wanted sex and wanted him, their marriage collapsed because of power dynamics. They couldn't work together, in sex or in life, to come off together in anything. They each used sex to have power over each other.
One morning after Connie and Oliver have slept together at his cottage, with the sunlight streaming in the window, Connie observes Oliver's penis, "So big! and so dark and cock-sure!" (230). And then, Oliver proceeds to have a little conversation with John Thomas.
"The man looked down in silence at the tense phallus, that did not change.--"Ay!" he said at last, in a little voice. "Ay ma lad! tha'rt theer right enough. Yi, tha mun rear thy head! Theer on thy own, eh? an' ta'es no count o' nob'dy! Tha ma'es nowt o' me, John Thomas. Art boss? of me? eh well, tha'rt more cocky than me, an' tha says less. John Thomas! Dost want her? Does want my Lady Jane? Tha's dipped me in again, tha hast. Ay, an' tha comes up smilin'.--Ax 'er then! Ax Lady Jane! Say: Lift up your heads o' ye gates, that the king of glory may come in. Ay, th' cheek on thee! Cunt, that's what tha'rt after. Tell Lady Jane tha wants cunt. John Thomas, an' th' cunt o' Lady Jane!--"
Firstly, see what I mean about reading the dialect? Second, Oliver has personified the genitals as "John Thomas" and "Lady Jane." It's an interesting reminder of the difference in their classes (common John Thomas/Oliver Mellors and aristocrat Lady Jane/Lady Chatterley) from a man who seeks sexual equality.
He also, unsurprisingly, gives his penis its own consciousness, which I've heard as part of many, many apologies in the past.