Sexuality is about talking, observing or interacting with others in return for payment or other non-relationship rewards. Depending on our personality we may employ a variety of behaviours and attitudes to attract, impress or arouse a potential lover. Sexual contacts are usually a private affair. We are either alone or with one other person. Most people are not comfortable with group sex. This is a question of how we view sexual intimacy. It also depends on whether we enjoy displaying our bodies or being observed by others.
How we express our sexuality depends on our personality. We find some situations and people much more attractive than others. Even the most promiscuous of men are not attracted to everyone. Sex is political. We have sex with someone who impresses us or who is above or below us socially. Sex is about the power to arouse, to seduce and to dominate someone.
Human sexuality is often presented in terms of a relationship. This allows male and female sexuality to be viewed purely through social liaisons and reproduction. Little importance is placed on the massive sex industry because of the taboo over men paying women for sex. Men have a need for sex that is quite independent of any relationship or emotional feelings. Eroticism is defined by male turn-ons and a woman’s sexual role is to arouse.
Sexual pleasure is often linked with immorality because of the associations with the sex industry, where women provide sexual services for male gratification. Men can be tempted away from their wives and families in search of sexual pleasure outside marital sex. Both casual sex and prostitution bring an increased chance of catching a sexual disease. The odds of being infected increase if we have penetrative sex with different partners.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are transferred via the body fluids involved in sexual activity. The more partners a person has (the more promiscuous they are) the more likely they are to catch a sexual disease. AIDS is usually fatal. Drug-users are also vulnerable to catching AIDS. Treatments may be available but some diseases are incurable as well as being inconvenient and even painful. Anyone who contracts these conditions (including prostitutes) must always ensure condoms are used to prevent the disease spreading further.
When a man has no emotional feelings for a woman, he can simply use her body as a sexual outlet. Women are exploited by being led into prostitution or pregnancy by men. Then men vanish without paying for the consequences of their actions. When a woman has no emotional connection with a man, she may offer sex just for money or other rewards (such as a meal). By using their bodies to consciously attract male attention, some women gain control.
All around the world and by every means possible, women have always sold sex to men. If women obtained the same pleasure as men, they wouldn’t need to be paid. Yet when it comes to providing sex information to young people no one is willing to be honest and admit any difference between the male and female experience. Men protect their sexual interests and women are embarrassed or ashamed of the trade that they are inevitably involved in.
Women naturally resent prostitutes because they represent a threat, both physical and psychological. Prostitution highlights the male need for a sexual outlet that means little to women. Women prefer to interpret male sex drive in terms of loving emotions and romantic passion rather than sexual lust. Most men are unwilling to admit to using a prostitute because of the social shame and the risk of a partner being offended by the male need for sexual release. Men pay for sex (unlike women) because they do not need an emotional connection to enjoy sex. Many men prefer to have it if they can.
Most people think it is inappropriate to talk about sex in front of children as well as teenage girls. Most women are embarrassed by the erotic fantasies that men weave around female sexuality. In the same way, sex educators typically provide medical and biological facts but carefully avoid talking about sexual pleasure. Most men refrain from making sexual comments to avoid offending women. Even so, few men accept that sex is a male pleasure.
Sex is hugely political. Discussions involve opinions (rather than facts) aimed at persuading people to behave in certain ways. Young women are targeted. Pornographic and exploitative images are readily available to everyone regardless of age at the click of a button. These images are often violent, humiliating and degrading to women. They send confusing messages to men on consent, personal boundaries and women’s ability to respond sexually. It is dangerous for anyone to immerse themselves constantly in fictional media. They inevitably lose the ability to differentiate between fiction and reality.
There is no problem in promoting sex to men. But when sex is promoted to women, it needs to be associated with a relationship. For example, ‘Love, sex and intimacy’ fairs are more acceptable to women because the word ‘sex’ is softened by the more acceptable words love and intimacy. Women are reassured that they will not be exposed to the explicitly erotic turn-ons that men enjoy. Men learn that women respond to love rather than sex. A man never says “I want to thrust into your vagina until I ejaculate”. Women want to hear about a man’s sexual passion in terms of platonic admiration and romantic love. So men talk of love and women rarely appreciate that many men assume that sex and love are the same thing. This is, of course, not so. Men love sex but they do not necessarily love a woman who provides it.
The truth is … this (lap-dancing) is a male form of entertainment … for men! (Peter Stringfellow)
Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)