No one ever admits that sex is biased in men’s favour. Accounts of female orgasm are heavily promoted and accounts of harassment, exploitation and rape are hushed up. A woman doesn’t need sex. So sex, and all its issues, is a male problem. Sex is foremost a biological male need that some men can satisfy with any woman. We talk of women of pleasure or sinful women. It’s not that women are inherently bad (or enjoying pleasure). Their bodies tempt men into illicit sexual liaisons, which lead to unwanted pregnancies and broken marriages. No man is ever going to accept responsibility for prostitution or rape. It’s always some other guy. But the result is that women are left to pick up the consequences of men’s sex drive. Women accept sex with all its disadvantages because of their desire to have children. They are willing to keep men happy because they need a man’s support for the family.
Men are lucky because their personal happiness is easily achieved. As long as they have regular sex, men rarely complain. Sexual pleasuring involves an exchange but not the mutual exchange men assume. Men tend to assume that women’s emotional happiness is achieved in the same way as theirs. A woman only has the reward of giving pleasure, which relies on her feeling appreciated by a lover. Men need to be prepared to understand how they can give back in other ways. A man needs to make a woman feel that he cares about her personally, which takes much longer than a few minutes.
Men are much less inclined to consider consequences than women in general. Men don’t necessarily feel that a woman’s pregnancy has anything to do with them. Semen is harmless while it’s inside a man’s body. It is only once semen enters a woman’s body that there is a problem. It’s a woman’s role to bear children so when she falls pregnant, it’s solely her problem.
Young women get themselves pregnant because they are inexperienced, ignorant or just stupid. The men they have sex with often know better and yet they take no precautions. Of course it’s a woman’s decision to have an abortion. It’s her body. But it takes a man and a woman to create a new life. Why are men not concerned about their own progeny? Why is abortion solely a woman’s issue? It is this apparent callousness on the part of men that brings so much negativity to the topic of sex in the eyes of women. Men need to respect a partner who provides them with sexual relief and pleasure.
Sexual scenarios often have negative aspects for women. Women encounter abuse, harassment and pain fairly routinely. Women find men’s erotic turn-ons and genital responses both crude and offensive, so men cover up their regular arousal, to avoid offending women. Sexual pleasure, which focuses on male gratification, has negative connotations for women. The sex industry is associated with the exploitation and degradation of women. Women fake orgasm and men take the credit. This is the deceit of sex. It’s just bravado on both sides. Only men can put an end to this fiasco. Men are at the root of the deception because of their need to reassure themselves that women want the sex they need. But equally, men know what an orgasm is. Women have little interest in their sexuality beyond using it to manipulate men. Women’s lack of responsiveness makes it difficult for them to define their sexuality.
Women complain about the way men express their sexual urges as being too sexually explicit, crude and even obscene. Women prefer to see intercourse portrayed as a lovemaking act. Women’s dislike of eroticism and their natural lack of responsiveness mean that women cause much of the negativity surrounding sexuality. But it is equally true to say that men’s refusal to accept the reality of women’s sexuality is responsible for the taboo. Men want to be convinced that women like sex so that they can feel good about insisting on it. Few people are willing to confront the moral conflict involved in the enjoyment of eroticism and achieving arousal. The issue is that the male penetrator enjoys sexual pleasure while a woman has something done to her that she does not want. This is one of the key reasons why sexual activity (intercourse in particular) and eroticism are likely to remain taboo.
Sex provides men with an emotional reward because of the pleasure they enjoy. If it came from their love for a partner, they would be more sensitive to women’s needs instead of focusing on their own. If a man was thinking logically, he would accept a woman’s passivity as a sign of her lack of arousal. It is obvious that women are not having orgasms from the stimulation men provide but a man enjoys extending his own arousal. Men continue, not for a woman’s pleasure, but to reassure themselves they are not being selfish.
Most women come to the realisation at some point in their lives that sex is primarily a male interest. In this sense, women have to be more worldly than men. Most women do not blame men for being male. They just want men to take responsibility for their own needs. Men need to come to sex with proactive suggestions for bringing some variety to a couple’s sex play. It’s not a woman’s job to provide men’s sexual pleasure. Women in long-term relationships know their male partners always want more sex than they are willing to offer. They also know that men are attracted to women throughout the day regardless of any relationship. So women don’t always feel that their efforts to please and satisfy their partner’s sexual needs are respected. Men need to negotiate for what they want instead of just sulking like a spoilt child. A woman wants a partner she can communicate with. She wants someone who is honest, sincere and a real grown-up who can talk about adult topics.
… 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)
Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)