Men usually make the first move in dating scenarios, which puts a woman in the position of turning down the men she is not attracted to. Men get used to the fact that they have to put in effort to date a woman. They also get used to the fact that women often give little positive encouragement, which they attribute to shyness or modesty. This is partly true but these qualities come from being unresponsive.
Men’s own responsiveness leads them to assume that women are equally responsive and that women therefore respond emotionally just as they do. Men assume that women obtain their emotional fulfilment through sex. Whereas the reality is that women obtain their emotional rewards from the more companionable and affectionate parts of the relationship. Women want to feel loved, appreciated and secure.
Modern movies may show men who appear to be happy to let a woman take the lead. But real life doesn’t work like this. Men are much more brutal and driven to get what they want than women are. Women’s lack of confidence and lack of assertiveness is biological and not cultural. For biological reasons, women’s natures must be such that they can be impressed by a man. A man’s assertiveness allows him to persuade a woman to cooperate with his desire for intercourse. This is one of the underlying principles of reproduction for humans and many other animals.
A man wants to believe that he is a better lover than other men. The idea that a woman orgasms every time lifts the pressure off men. It provides men with an open door, so to speak, so that they can always assume a woman wants intercourse whenever they do. So men steadfastly defend women’s right to claim orgasm by any possible means to protect their own interests. Men don’t think about female orgasm in logical terms. It’s an emotional defence mechanism. Female orgasm represents their chance of getting sex. So they are not going to give up on the concept easily.
Prostitutes must have more sexual experience than even the most promiscuous men. But a prostitute is never called a ‘great lover’. Men clearly attribute all the skill and the effort of lovemaking to themselves rather than to a woman. A man’s ego causes him to believe that his role is to pleasure a woman and to give her an orgasm. The woman does nothing. She just has to lie there. If only…! Men’s arousal and their sex drive makes them focus on their own performance. Men assume that women are transported to the heights of sexual pleasure from the activity men enjoy. Some men say they use ‘special techniques’ but intercourse is a very basic act. The simulation does not change significantly whatever the man does.
Attitudes in society that reflect the male view of sex mean that a woman feels ashamed of her role in a sexual relationship. Men imply that a woman has sex for her own pleasure as if she is part of something erotic that translates into ‘dirty’ in women’s language. Whereas the truth is that a woman invests in sex for her partner’s sake. Men reject the idea that women engage in sex to keep them happy. It’s as if it’s an insult. But surely that is what love is about? When we love someone we enjoy doing things to please them. Men’s fantasies prevent them from seeing this.
A woman can tell a man that she finds him attractive or that she loves him but none of that matters. A man’s sex drive compels him to believe that women want orgasm and need orgasm just as they do. The idea that they are dependent on women is insupportable because it threatens their ego. A man needs to believe that a partner is aroused if he is to achieve the arousal he needs to obtain his sense of psychological release. The concept of female orgasm has substituted for the turn-ons of the rape scenario. By inferring mutual pleasuring, female orgasm makes sex a more socially acceptable activity.
Men assume that women are driven by the same sexual urges as they are. Although men may admire a woman who presents herself attractively, they rarely acknowledge the conscious effort she has to make to play along with male fantasies and to respond lovingly and erotically to intercourse. The quality aspects of a sexual relationship depend on a woman’s willingness to overcome her dislike of genital activity and to invest for her partner’s benefit. Men might get more sex if they were willing to acknowledge their partner’s willingness to invest in providing their fantasy view of sex.
A man is acutely aware of his sexual needs (and his frustration when those needs are not met). But a woman also has needs and these are not generally appreciated by men because they are subtler than the male equivalent. The strength of male sex drive tends to make men selfish in obtaining what they want and often oblivious to women’s perspective.
Women’s love can endure. Men who go to war depend on this to get them through the darkest times. Women’s nurturing spirit is useful in many ways, not just to children and the older generation, but also to men.
Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men. (Joseph Conrad 1913)