Are You Gay or Something? Why It’s So Much Harder When She Wants It More

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About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website


    • Oliver, just stay away from that person’s videos. No good can come from it. She represents only herself, and not very well at that.

  1. THIS is part of the reason sex-positivity is SO important – to break down this societal norms about what it means to be male or female in a hetero relationship.

    *EVERYONE* has a different sex drive. If we were less freaked out/obsessed with sex, we might be able to understand and spread the word on this one. And it’s SO important to be clear and accepting of this very factual fact. For one, the drive is NOT along gender lines. Men can want it less than their female partners, and that should be ok. Women can want it more, and that doesn’t make her slutty or weird, it’s also ok. Neither should feel bad about this – and yet, our societally constructed gender identities make it not ok, and make it into a significant issue on a personal level. It affects our self-esteem, our identity, our happiness and contentment.

    In addition this SHOULD NOT be overlooked in relationships as well. We so often forget how important sex is, and how important matching sex drives are. We don’t discuss it as something that can break a relationship – even though it absolutely can, and in many cases, probably should – unless something equally non-trad can be worked out (read: non-monogamy).

    I know this, as some of the other commenters did, from experience. A good relationship with a good guy was broken in my past, because I wanted sex much more than he did. It sent me into cycles, where his low libido would send my self-esteem into a nose dive (especially when, in order to publicly live up to his gender expectations, he’d talk about women on TV with his buddies – which I don’t mind, I have no jealousy regarding other people – particularly unattainable ones, but when he’d talk, and then turn around and tell me “not tonight”… ). I’d deal with it until I couldn’t take it anymore, and then I’d flip out, we’d talk, and to his credit, he would listen patiently. He’d explain (again) that it wasn’t me, he was just tired/stressed… and the cycle would start over.

    I would probably be married to this man today. But I couldn’t handle it. And, when I broke up with him, he tried SO HARD to understand what went wrong, and he wanted to fix things SO badly… but, because of our culture and the fact that I didn’t want him to feel even worse and “attack his manhood” I couldn’t just say “we have different sex drives”. Maybe I should have. I don’t know.

  2. Hey, wait a minute, this was not a scientific survey and the author admitted that there was a low response rate from men. This is just empty speculation – not really of much use in understanding the issue.

  3. When I ended my last relationship (gay) a big chunk of the reason was that my ex girlfriend had completely lost interest in sex. Once the sex was gone, the intimacy wasn’t far behind. Having a moan to my mother, I told her I was ‘giving up on women’ as men must be more interested in maintaining that side of the relationship, surely! That’s when she pointed out that more than a few of her female friends had left their husbands during middle age, as the Husbands had lost interest in sex!

    It seems young women and older men share a lack of interest in sex.

  4. It’s sad that these ideas and roles we play are so thick, we can’t see through the fog. I like the point about checking in as to whether the partner wanting more sex is masturbating. Sex doesn’t have to be a full course meal with kissing and penetration. I had a partner who masturbated when I wasn’t in the mood for sex or there wasn’t time–I cuddled him while he jerked off and he did the same for me. It was simple.

  5. MsAttitude says:

    My long term,high school sweetheart, 6+ year relationship began to end when my ex was more interested in women in adult-themed, online videos. He had an insatiable appetite that only Mrs. Right and Ms. Left could cure. While I was left alone at night, he became less and less attracted to me. It was a major blow to what little self-esteem I did have.
    If you are with someone you are no longer attracted to, no longer feel you can be with for the rest of your life, feel like you’re just not a right fit anymore…let them go, you are doing the BOTH of you an injustice, as well as 2 future possible mates.

  6. My ex was into watching me jerk off when she wasn’t in the mood for sex. And sometimes the sight would make her decide that she wanted to join in, in one way or another. Either way, I didn’t feel rejected or unsexy. There was an element of performance to it, and also a real sense of acceptance. I.E. “Sure, we’re in bed, but perhaps I don’t feel like having sex. But it’s cool that you’re turned on by this situation.”


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