Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male [Excerpt]

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About Andrew Smiler

Andrew Smiler, PhD is a therapist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA) and the author of “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of promiscuous young male sexuality”. He is a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity and has taught at Wake Forest University and SUNY Oswego. Dr. Smiler's research focuses on definitions of masculinity. He also studies normative aspects of sexual development, such as age and perception of first kiss, first “serious” relationship, and first intercourse among 15-25 year olds. Follow him @AndrewSmiler.


  1. “Further, when we teach girls and women that all guys are Casanovas and only interested in sex, we encourage girls to develop what researcher Deborah Tolman calls a “defensive sexuality.”41 This means we teach girls that sex is about saying yes or no instead of teaching them that sexuality should be about their own desires and pleasure. In other words, we teach girls to ignore their own desires in order to keep boys’ sexual desires in check.

    By teaching girls that all guys are Casanovas, we mislead girls into thinking that there are few “good” guys who will be monogamous. There’s little doubt that young men are more likely to cheat on their partners than are young women,42 and guys who adhere to the Casanova Complex are the ones who are most likely to cheat.43 But when we behave as though all boys and young men are Casanovas, we’re teaching the girls the wrong odds.”

    Andrew, you hit the nail on the head about “defensive sexuality” and how we are taught that it’s our job to keep guys in line. I also think that girls are taught that male sexual pleasure is more important then their own. That it’s better to please then to figure out what pleases you.

    Thanks for this article. I think you’ve made a good point about how young men might only be doing what they are told they are already from society.

    • “young men might only be doing what they are told they are already from society”

      They are only doing what they can pull off. The majority of men dont have the good looks and charm that is required to attract the common woman for casual sex.

  2. “Casanovas are less likely to use condoms” – This is because women let very attractive men have their way and if they want condom-less sex, they dont stop them. Casanovas are also more likely to have anal sex with women.

    There is another hidden cost. Women can obtain sex very easily. Many of the women who have sex with the good looking charming Casanova’s will have their expectations regarding men go thru the roof. Young gullible women think if they can have casual sex with attractive Casanova’s they deserve the same quality of men for dating and marriage. Many of these girls are average looking girls. These women get bitter and dissapointed later.

    Another hidden cost is borne by men. Average looking men (who do not get to have their fun) often end up settling down with women who have plenty of flings with high quality attractive alpha males and Casanovas. These women will never love and desire their husbands as much as they did the men they had flings with and will secretly compare them. One can only feel sorry for such men.

  3. Another negative effect of the Casanova stereotype, that the author has ignored, is that it creates a feeling among people that promiscuity and casual sex are very common in society. This in turn puts more pressure on young men to be promiscuous and engage in casual sex. Unfortunately most men dont have the good looks and charm that is required to attract women for casual sex, creating a large population of disgruntled, bitter and sexually frustrated young men.

    In reality, casual sex is only supposed to be for all women and a select group of very attractive men.


  1. […] all men desire many partners and those who do are still in the minority. And young women are nearly as likely to engage in […]

  2. […] Read “Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Man” — an excerpt from Challenging… […]

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