Why Are Women Judged For Pursuing Casual Sex?

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NY Magazing published an interesting and informative article yesterday

When Women Pursue Sex, Even Men Don’t Get It

 

Bergner explains that, in the past, “scientists fixated on what the rat female did in the act of sex, not what she did to get there.” And if you’re friends with any single women or are one yourself, you know that “what she did to get there” is often the most taxing part of the sexual act. It’s also where cultural factors really start to work against women’s newly documented desire. Bergner makes a pretty strong case that women are socially, not biologically, discouraged from initiating and enjoying sex. (You think those female rats are compelling? I had to take a walk around the block after reading about female rhesus monkeys. Game recognize game.) Men and women have been barraged with the message that women are not naughty by nature. They are thought of as hardwired to hunt for a partner and a mate, while men pursue sex as a pleasurable act in and of itself. It follows from there that women — at least good women — must be pursued and coaxed into sex, and men enjoy the thrill of the chase.

I’ve written before about my experiences with pursuing sex strictly for pleasure’s sake. What I’ve found is that I’ve had more success when I’ve pretended to be coaxed into it than if I were upfront about my intentions. It usually goes like this:

I go on a date, things are going well, the attraction and arousal is present, but I keep that to myself. We pay the check and leave and the guy either offers to walk me home or he suggests going back to his place for a drink. I agree to either, still keeping my motivations for agreeing to myself. At no time do I invite him back to my place until we get to my door. Then and only then, after we’ve kissed, do I suggest he come upstairs. Even then, I’m cautious. I prefer that he brings it up and do what I can to get him to do so. It’s a tiresome charade, but it’s the one one that goes off without a hitch that doesn’t leave me feeling dirty afterwards.

Why do I do this? Because, while I believe there are many men who do not judge a woman for being sexually assertive, there are just as many who do. I also ten to believe that even the most evolved of men, even those who identify as a feminist, still hold some antiquated views about gender roles when it comes to sex.

When I am outspoken about what I want and do not require the guy to woo me, I encounter resistance. Initially, the guy is all for it. Sex with no strings? I don’t have to buy you anything? Where do  sign? But then, somewhere between his trip uptown or when he’s at my door, the angel on his shoulder starts to poke at him.

“What woman just wants sex and nothing else?” the angel asks. “Have you ever met a woman like this? Remember the last time you had a one-night stand? That woman wouldn’t stop calling you and you had to hide all your social media and go underground. Abort. ABORT!”

Of course, the angel doesn’t remind the guy that he told a myriad of lies to this woman to get her to sleep with him and then discarded her like a used tissue.  That information is conveniently forgotten and all the blame is placed on the woman.

Think about it: Women want sex, and in particular, they want sex with people who really want them. But socially, many straight men still find it a turnoff when women are sexual aggressors. Which means that, for women, aggressively pursuing the thing they want actually leads to them not getting it. I suspect this is the source of much sexual dissatisfaction of the modern single lady, who’s so horny she’s running across the street to Walgreens to buy more batteries twice a week, but is unable to pick up men despite social conventions that men are “easy” to bed and women have to be coaxed into casual sex. The thing women are told they can access any time is, maddeningly, often just out of reach.

Maddeningly out of reach is an understatement. Even if a woman is just looking for something casual, there are hoops to jump and games to play. In my experience, selecting casual sex on a dating profile rarely leads to a satisfying sexual experience. First you have to weed through all the creeps and losers salivating at the thought of touching your boobies. Then you have to determine which of the men who do seem normal aren’t just out of options and telling you what you want to hear, just to act all weird post-climax. Nobody want to be on the receiving end of that kind of treatment.

Even in research about appropriate dating behavior among adults today, “men and women both agree that men should actively pursue female partners and that women should be passive recipients to their advances,” says Jessica Carbino, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UCLA who studies online dating and relationships. “For example, women and men overwhelmingly state that men are supposed to plan dates, ask out the woman, and pick her up. Moreover, when women do not adhere to these scripts they are viewed negatively. For example, women who initiate dates are viewed by men as more promiscuous and not interested in forming a serious relationship.” If the rats are any indication, maybe they aren’t! We’ve already established that females of all species are interested in sex for pleasure. But in the human realm, that simple, fundamental motivation is all too easily labeled as “sluttiness,” or some sort of deep desperation wrought by singledom.

As commenters from my other site have explained, women can supposedly get sex whenever they like. All those Red Pill/Manosphere repeat the mantra, “Women are the gatekeepers of sex.” Sure, as long as we play by rules devised by men. That means, play it coy. (I mean, have you met me? There isn’t a demure bone in my body.) Men say they enjoy when women make the first move, but do they really? Sure, they like it when we take the burden off of them and there’s no risk of rejection. But what happens when the thrill wears off an reality sets in?

“According to these women, their professional background is already intimidating to many men and they feel as though asking them out would make them less attractive and even more intimidating,” she says. “The men I interview also state that they prefer to be the individual who initiates the date and at times find women who ask them out to be more aggressive.”

Ah, yes. Aggressive. Not assertive. Not more confident. Aggressive. That’s very telling.

“More and more men are finding it difficult to be as direct, when it comes to dating and sex, as previous generations of men maybe once were,” says Chiara Atik, author of Modern Dating: A Field Guide. We all get that the rules of traditional courtship — in which men make every single advance and women demur or acquiesce — are dead, but we haven’t replaced them with a new standard operating procedure. “Everyone’s being kind of wishy-washy,” Atik says. “Women want sex, but they don’t want to be seen as forward (or worse, desperate). Men want sex but are intimidated, unconfident, or don’t want to be seen as domineering. We’re not sure who should be the sexual instigators, and then no one really steps up to the plate.”

So what’s the answer? Will we ever be able to evolve beyond “traditional” mating rituals? Are stuck playing the same roles? Part of the reason I’ve stepped back from dating completely (besides being much happier when I don’t focus on it) is that I no longer feel sure that men are as open minded as I once thought. My eyes were opened to many things after the recent election, one of which is that there’s a hell of a lot of hatred for women out there. And let’s be honest: even the self-identifying male feminists are usually wolves in sheep’s clothing. Trying to find a man who sees me as an equal and doesn’t hold dear to him the tried and true sexist tropes and stereotypes is not any easy feat.

So now what?

 

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4 comments

  1. We really have to stop this fair and unfair thing, about male female interraction. This is no different from guys complaing about paying for dates.

    We are in transition and many things may seem unfair at times. I am not here to justify anything. Just here to say, don’t invest too much energy into this. Focus on what you want and achieving that.

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  2. There are CLEAR differences in the way men & women are responded to in terms of sex and it’s NOT as simple as who pays. Slut shaming is alive & growing. It’s just a matter of how much a person let’s it eat at them. Not all men do it, women shame other women. However, do what you want, own it, and move on. It will always be a topic that one can go back and forth on.

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  3. I thought the article was interesting but missed a few things. The 2011 study found that gender differences inthe desire to oursue casual sex were minimized when women knew they wouldn’t be stigmatized for it AND (which the article didn’t disclose) when they knew it would be a pleasurable experience. All creatures like pleasure. Sex is not inherently pleasurable for some women – as in, it might sometimes not physically feel good. So if that is rhe case why would those women pursue casual sex? Men pretty much always find sex pleasurable. Add to the fact that sex equals orgasm for men while for women that is not necessarily the case.
    And the rat comparison – rats’ clitorises are automaticaly stimulated during sex. For most human females, that is not the case.

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