Learn About Sexuality

Men assume women attract attention to get sex

We can differentiate between turn-ons and come-ons. A turn-on is a sight, sound or behaviour that may cause arousal in some individuals. Turn-ons may exist without an associated intention to arouse. Men often misinterpret these stimuli as come-ons.

Women enhance their looks, dress provocatively and behave in a sexually amenable (or provocative) way to make themselves attractive to men in general. But they are not typically looking for an opportunity to engage in intercourse. They are also not necessarily fully conscious of the effect that their behaviour has on a man because women are not aroused in the urgent (pressing desire for intercourse) kind of way that men are. Equally men do not use the same provocative or teasing behaviours that women may. Men take the initiative when they are confident of having an erection.

On the other hand, a come-on is intended to cause arousal. A come-on is essentially a sexual invitation. Specifically, a come-on is a behaviour that a woman uses to arouse a man so that he wants intercourse with her. She is very explicit about what she says or does so that there is no room for doubt that she is making a sexual invitation. This behaviour is very common in pornography. Not many women in relationships are willing or able to provide what is essentially a false view of their sexuality.

Western society accepts young women displaying their bodies provocatively without incurring any consequences. But this ignores the effect that such displays have on men. It is difficult to define a human right in terms of specific individuals. Many men and also older or less attractive women are not admired for partial nudity. A dress code that treats everyone equally, would be more equitable and respectful of men’s responsiveness.

Societies where women are expected to cover themselves more appropriately for public display may be considered to be repressed. In all societies (including the West) men have had legally recognised property rights over the women he is supporting financially. Many men do not like the idea that other men can look at their female relatives (wives, sisters and daughters) and enjoy the sexual thoughts that arouse them. Women may also be humiliated by the same realisation when they are aware of the issue.

Because men are aroused by nudity, they automatically assume that women must be too. Men are motivated to display themselves when their penis is erect. So they assume that a woman displays her body as a means of making a sexual invitation because she is aroused. The difference is that women display themselves to arouse someone else or just to gain admiration and approval. Attractive women are often admired by others (both sexes). But women are not aroused by male or female genitals.

Men are often aroused by women e.g. on advertising billboards, actresses, work colleagues etc. In reality few of these women are offering sex. Men return home to their wives and girlfriends for the sexual outlet they need as a result of unsatisfied arousal. So there is resentment among women because the way in which women dress impacts the lives of other women. The women who are causing men to want sex are often not the ones that are expected to provide it. It is difficult for men to accept that women are not aroused during the course of a day by similar erotic stimuli.

Men are attracted initially by looks. The physical presence of a woman indicates at least a potential opportunity for intercourse. But they quickly move on from looks. Men’s sex drive means they seek out women who are amenable to intercourse.

A woman can attract a man, simply by projecting an image of docility and vulnerability. A man will interpret her passive nature as an indication that he will be able to persuade her to accept intercourse. This assumed passivity is the natural match for men’s sexual pro-activeness. Many of the techniques women use to make themselves attractive involve accentuating their features (big baby eyes for example) and their vulnerability (impractical shoes and long flowing hair).

Some men assume that a woman’s sexual amenability is automatic. If a woman dresses or behaves in a sexually provocative way, it may be concluded that she is ‘asking for it’. She is deliberately attempting to arouse a man sexually and in knowingly engaging in this behaviour that she accepts the consequences of her actions.

So the idea of consent is not a natural concept for many men. They only see their side of sexual attraction. As long as they are aroused by a woman, they can guarantee their ability to stimulate her through intercourse and thus (in their eyes) provide women with sensational pleasure. Just as a man doesn’t want to miss the opportunity a hard-on provides so he assumes a woman would not want to miss the opportunity his erection provides. That opportunity is intercourse. He is oblivious to any reproductive issues.

… she’s a person and you should treat her with respect. But seriously, do you want someone to one day bang your daughter if they don’t respect her? (Alice Carter 2014)

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