It’s Okay to Want Sex

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About Harris O'Malley

Harris O'Malley provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove, as well as writing the occasional guest review for Spill.com and appearing on the podcast The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen. He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and Twitter (@DrNerdLove.)

Dr. NerdLove is not really a doctor.

Comments

  1. I do agree that the overall tone of the article tended towards negative and perhaps a tad patronizing (particularly to us girls reading it, rolling our eyes and saying ‘duh’). But there are definitely some home truths here about sex politics in modern society. I hate to admit it but there have been many times where I wished I was a guy purely to be judged or labelled as a ‘player’ not a ‘slut’ based my answer to the dreaded question for (a lot) of women (definitely not for men) ‘what’s your number?’…(of sexual partners)

    • I hate to admit it but there have been many times where I wished I was a guy purely to be judged or labelled as a ‘player’ not a ‘slut’ based my answer to the dreaded question for (a lot) of women (definitely not for men) ‘what’s your number?’…(of sexual partners).
      What makes you so sure you wouldn’t be considered a “dog”, “womanizer”, “creep”, or “perv” instead?

      (I don’t mean this directly at you Stacey but when it comes to gender I have noticed something. When women go into “if I were a guy” mode they tend to go straight to the top of what is considered acceptable for men and presume that that is not just the default status of guys but the only status of guys. Kinda like pretending that the grass on the other isn’t just greener but assuming that all the grass on the other side is green in the first place.)

      • You absolutely have a point Danny, but while a guy who gets around can have many labels like you mentioned “dog”, “womanizer”, “creep”, or “perv” or indeed ‘player’-this in particular proven to be used often as a positive description (perhaps more between guys but still)….a women generally gets one label which in lets face it- in all contexts is used as a negative. I’ve certainly never heard a woman be called a ‘slut’ in a positive context, not even when women use it on themselves-so ingrained is this notion our society that a sexually liberated women who’s had a significant number of partners and/or casual sex is in some way flawed/devalued/impure/lacksselfesteem the list goes on. Personally I think we need to cultivate a positive word that is equal to the connotation of ‘player’ for women…just to have one positive label out there like men do-I don’t know about anyone else but it bothers me that on this superficial but significant level of labels (while we’re going there) women go from ‘sluts’ to ‘spinsters/old maids’ while men go from ‘players’ to ‘bachelors/playboys’. I dunno it’s just…that grass looks pretty damn green.

        • just to have one positive label out there like men do-I don’t know about anyone else but it bothers me that on this superficial but significant level of labels (while we’re going there) women go from ‘sluts’ to ‘spinsters/old maids’ while men go from ‘players’ to ‘bachelors/playboys’. I dunno it’s just…that grass looks pretty damn green.
          It only looks green to you because you are only looking at one part of the boy yard. Sure if you somehow manage to be on that one exact portion of the yard under the right circumstances it’s probably pretty green. (Hell by that logic when one is not sexually active the grass in the girl yard looks really damn green let me tell you.)

          But as for the “player” bit for guys. Considering that we (as a society) are just getting into examining just how damaging that label is for guys I’m not sure why it’s still being held up as “this is what guys are called” and acting like its only got positive connotations.

          …bothers me that on this superficial but significant level of labels (while we’re going there) women go from ‘sluts’ to ‘spinsters/old maids’ while men go from ‘players’ to ‘bachelors/playboys’….
          Actually that does seem to be changing. Changing to the point that women with active sexual lives are considered empowered while men that have active sex lives are considered to be predatory.

  2. Autochron says:

    I really wish I had read this when it came out.

    As a mid-30s man with little sexual experience, I’m beginning to see how harmful these beliefs have been to me, especially the second one about believing that women will loathe me as a “pervert” if I accidentally reveal that I like sex, or erotica, or fantasizing. Add to that the fact that I’m not very attractive in a classical sense and that I grew up with a lot of domestic violence and it’s no wonder I wanted, even needed, to “protect” women from my sexuality the same way I wanted to protect them from abuse.

    Any tips on how I might learn to deal with this part of the equation? I’d love to share them with my therapist.

    • @autochron
      From your comment I get the idea that your mind is in the way. Words like ‘pervert’ and ‘not very attractive’ are negative ideas about yourself and it’s those beliefs that make us feel ashamed for who we are. Shame moves us away from our bodies and blocks our (sexual) energy. At the same time it puts us in our minds and may stir up fantasies. Thus the blockage of this powerful energy could turn what is the most creative force in the universe into a massively destructive one.
      From my experience my advice to you would be
      (1) learn to embrace yourself as the valuable individual that you are,
      (2) accept what happens inside your body and
      (3) FEEL FEEL, FEEL IT.
      Remember: Your body including your sexuality is OK. Without it, the human species would not have survived all those thousands of centuries, so what can be wrong with it?

      • @Michael

        Good advice, and well worth taking. I guess I’m hung up by something slightly different.

        I consider myself a male feminist, and proud of it — it’s provided a great deal of good for both men and women — but I still feel that some aspects of feminist culture so far have been somewhat misguided. In particular, the tendency for male sexuality to be demonized is something that resonates deeply in my psyche, and something that I’m only now coming to grips with in a way.

        My first reaction when I read your article was “Well, yeah, I could do that, but if I’m just going to express my sexuality to women and thereby expose them to something that bothers them, then wouldn’t it cause harm to women in general if I went there?” Which, of course, speaks deeply of my inability to trust that women will ever, EVER see my sexuality the way you’re encouraging me to see it.

        GendErratic has an excellent article on the kind of thing I’ve internalized here: http://www.genderratic.com/p/2146/ladies-auxiliary-of-the-patriarchy-demonizing-male-sexuality/

        Please understand that I don’t mean to say I see women accurately, I’m probably quite misguided, but witnessing my father’s abuse combined with embracing feminism before I was mature enough to understand it has kind of emblazoned this type of mistrust in my brain.

  3. Intricate or not it boils down to a debatable thesis. Almost pointless to go there with no substantial explanations. Encouragement that isn’t foggy is hard to come by. Great article.

  4. The author eventually figured out that big change from the Victorian era, when there were two kinds of women——lustful versus wifely.

    Men and women now realize those two kinds of women are the same woman at different times and with different men.

    For a period of time, a woman can and will fall in lust, as intensely, and insatiably as any man, but typically that woman will cool off, in her lust for that particular guy, after a few years or a few children.

    Married men often have a harder time seducing their wives, than single men have finding a woman who likes sex and likes them.

    Staying attracted to that same guy, is more of a challenge any woman, than ignoring and resisting attraction for other women is for any man.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] do like sex. A recent article here on GMP does a great job of explaining the nuance of desire, libido and more. I am also a huge fan of [...]

  2. [...] Those of you familiar with Dr. Nerdlove know that he is obsessed with accusing nerds (who are men) of having massive amounts of “male privilege” (even though there is no such thing) and accusing men who have trouble getting dates/getting laid/getting girlfriends of thinking that they are “entitled to women”.  In that post about entitlement, Dr. Manginalove tries to say that there is a difference between thinking you deserve dates/sex/relationships and thinking that you are “entitled” to dates/sex/relationships.  (He even wrote a post at the Dickless Man Project about how it is okay to “want” sex.) [...]

  3. [...] The Good Men Project hits us all with some knowledge. Harris O’Malley‘s piece, “It’s Okay to Want Sex” addresses a touchy issue in the best [...]

  4. [...] posts. Thanks for writing so lucidly. If you're interested in shallow dating… I think you might find this a good read. Reply With Quote [...]

  5. [...] and worthy of suspicion. Suspicion that in places like Texas needs to be codified into law. http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/its-okay-to-want-sex/ My good British friend posted this on Facebook yesterday. I thought it was germane to the OP. [...]

  6. [...] It’s Okay to Want Sex - Harris O’Malley explains how admitting that he was interested in sex—and realizing that women were too—made his relationships more honest and sex more collaborative. [...]

  7. [...] danger that the transactional view of sex presents to young men is discussed at great length here, in Harris O’Malley’s “It’s Okay to Want Sex”, and I won’t go into [...]

  8. […] “It’s Okay to Want Sex” – The Good Men Project […]

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