The Sexual Double Standard and You

Maria Pawlowska unpacks the problems with the sexual double standard.

Does the sexual-double standard really exist in the 21st century? Is it not just an element of academic feminist discourse? Personally, if you had asked me, I would probably (rudely) not even let you finish it before I responded with a resounding YES! The sexual double standard pervades our culture to such an extent that it’s almost unrecognizable. I mean, all you really need to do is watch the first 15 minutes of the Hollywood blockbuster He’s Just Not That Into You. I say 15 minutes because that’s a long as I lasted before I turned off this [insert invective of choice] movie about how all women want is to get hitched and have a serious relationships and all men want is to fool women into giving them sex (because, obviously, it’s just the men who enjoy one night stands and women indulge their partners hoping their sacrifice will result in a relationship). I’m not saying Hollywood has it all figured out. I’m just saying if they can get the likes of Ben Affleck and Scarlett Johansson to star in romantic comedies of this sort, it’s probably not a niche societal perception.

Another telling fact is that nymphomania only got stricken off the list of mental disease when doctors realized that its definition described women who basically liked sex and were willing to pursue it ‘like men do.’ You might say that the fact nymphomania is no longer a mental illness is progress. It definitely is, however the term is still used so commonly that there is obviously an issue here. Personally, I feel that if something is so deeply entrenched in our culture, it’s guaranteed to influence our lives. So, it’s useful to understand it.

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What exactly is the sexual double standard, you might ask? Quite simply, it means judgmentally applying different sexual standards—whether by others or the person themselves—to members of different sexes. For example—more often than not it will be the women worrying whether they can have sex on a first date and what their partners will think of them. Will he think she was ‘too easy’, isn’t ‘a respectful’ girl, not the ‘marry-able kind’? Similarly, you don’t normally see women bragging about the number of men they slept with and left before he even got up without leaving a phone number. It’s women who are usually left waiting for him to call. Otherwise they may appear too eager, no? What’s really nasty about the sexual double standard, however, is that it’s a double-edged sword and the men get their share of nastiness. Men are expected to be the ones initiating conversations, flings, relationships, and intercourse. They’re supposed to want sex 24/7 and spend most of the time they’re not doing it thinking about it. They should be able to support an on-demand erection, no matter the time, place, or circumstances. You never hear about men getting bedtime ‘headaches’ (and certainly don’t see silly newspaper cartoons about it).

The sexual double standard can commonly be seen masquerading as “natural tendencies” or “the product of evolution”. Who hasn’t heard at least one theory about how men are not designed for monogamy and women want to settle and have babies as soon as possible? Such biological determinism is particularly aggravating for me because I’m trained as an evolutionary biologist. I have a particular interest in the evolutionary biology, physiology, and sociology of sex. And let me assure that it’s the sociology part of things that has the greatest influence on what today’s Homo sapiens’ sex lives look like. The jury is still out on the details, but it is clear that sexual temperament is mostly down to individual variation. A wife might enjoy sex more than her husband and not be satisfied with the once a week he likes, not because she is an ‘oversexed nympho’ and he’s ‘a loser who can’t satisfy her’. It’s because—plain and simple—they have different sexual temperaments.

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We’re willing to put down almost every other preference to personal variation (women can even like playing rugby and football now and boys are increasingly seen in dancing classes) but not when it comes to sex. And it’s not really our fault—from a very early age we’re socialized to believe girls and women like ‘cuddling and talking about feelings’ while boys and men are really ‘interested in just one thing’. If I got a penny for every time a friend asked me if there was really nothing wrong with her if she wants sex once a day (which is more often than her partner does) or I got damming looks for speaking about sex openly and loudly (such un-lady-like behaviour!) I could make a sizable donation to Planned Parenthood.

The sexual standard is something that creeps into our relationships and deteriorates our sex lives every time we double-check ourselves, not because we’re thinking of our likes and the dislikes of our partner’s, but rather because we’ve internalized societal expectations. Mutual consent should form the basis of sexual relationships and not our preconceived expectations of gender roles. Sex should be negotiated between the people involved—and it’s about as easy to type these words, as it is difficult to deal with it in real life. Mostly because we come with baggage—personal and cultural. But the moment we become aware of it—and realize why we’re having all these doubts and worries and that maybe our partner is having them too—it becomes so much easier to try to leave that baggage behind the bedroom door.

—Photo Flickr/ChunkyBacon

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About Maria Pawlowska

Maria Pawlowska is a healthcare analyst with a passion for reproductive health. She spends her free time trying to stop herself from compulsively buying new books about women, sexuality, gender and sometimes the odd primate study. Maria currently lives in London with her husband and you can reach her at m.pawlowska [@] gatesscholar.org. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaPawlowska.

Comments

  1. Perfect! Thank you!

  2. I agree. Repressive gender roles and societal expectations are still commonplace, even in our “enlightened” times. Too many angry activists on both sides are still acting like it’s a zero-sum competition–if we pay attention to men’s problems, we’re taking support away from women’s, or vice-versa.

    But that attitude only perpetuates the problem, by adopting a NEW double standard. Shifting to new and different flavors of injustice and unreasonable expectations is not the same as solving the underlying problem.

  3. On the flip side, it’s really obnoxious when the man in a heterosexual relationship has the greater sex drive and the woman who doesn’t, and then everyone says “aha! it’s because of your genders!” Whichever partner wants it more or less, the double standard is terrific for getting in the way and accomplishing nothing.

  4. I’m with you on the whole evolutionary front. The biological determinist arguments tend to oversimplify the differences into “all men” and “all women” and “the one way that you’re programmed to be.” My guess is that human natural selection has actually led to a diversity of sexuality, not a single blueprint. That fact that we’re NOT all the same way and may have highly variable sex drives and preferences sounds like a pretty good survival mechanism to me. Our survival as a species may have been powered by our sexual adaptability, not by a single “ought to be.” Not all eggs in one basket, so to speak.

  5. Is there a sexual double standard?  My resounding answer is: who cares?  There are lots of double standards.  Some offer advantages to men.   Others offer advantages to women (of course feminism doesn’t like to acknowledge or mention those).   But, in the overall scheme of things, if there is any such double standard, it makes zero difference.  For multiple reasons.

    For one – we have actual social, educational, and financial problems to deal with – including real double standards with men on the short end of the stick.  But, feminism doesn’t permit the mention of such things.

    Secondly, as I teach my kids: if you do what you know and are convinced is right, you don’t need to care about what other people think.  If they disagree, it’s because they are mis- or ill-informed, or weak crowd-followers.  Feel sorry for them, try to educate, admonish and encourage them, but don’t allow their ignorance, fear, and/or cowardice dictate how you feel about doing what you know to be right. 

    Lastly, unlike this one, there are double standards which do have real and lasting impacts on people’s lives.  For example, there was an article posted here for an hour or two (evidently inadvertently) here about the alimony double standards, where men (but not women) are forced by the courts to make outrageous alimony payments FOREVER, regardless of their loss of jobs, retirement, or their former wives earning power or common law marriage.

    http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/when-the-space-shuttle-dies-its-boys-against-girls/

    But, since men are on the short end of an indisputably horrific real double standard, it never gets cycled onto the front page.

    • wet_suit_one says:

      “…if you do what you know and are convinced is right, you don’t need to care about what other people think. If they disagree, it’s because they are mis- or ill-informed, or weak crowd-followers.”

      I bet Hitler thought that way about Jews. Perhaps I should reference a more modern example such as Ander Behring Breivik One should be wary of moral absolutism and certainty. Even one’s own. That same certainty can lead one very far down the path to the dark side.

      Just saying.

    • Men getting the short end of a double standard has a lot to do with a lot of feminists who think men have had it better for long enough that ‘reverse discrimination’ is justified.

      You make a lot of correct points.

      Unfortunately, men getting the short end of a double standard also has a lot to do with the way a lot of men such as yourself, bring the points up in a confrontational AND victimized tone.

      • The feminists have the market cornered on being victims.

        It’s not any tone of victimization. If you read that article, you will see a real, true double standard enforced by the courts, not just one based on perception.

      • Notice how zjsimon tries to blame men for the fact that a double standard AGAINST men exists?

        Intriguing how our society is totally ok with blaming victims of a system…when it’s men as victims.

        Oh, and I didn’t realize that our country was based on laws that prosecuted citizens for the crimes of their ancestors. Maybe zjsimon wants to rewrite the constitution.

    • Eee-yikes you soumd angry and buurrrrrned, Eric. :(

      The sexual double standard is life affecting, that’s the point.

      Oh and women pay alimony too.

      • Janet Dell says:

        According to the latest stats that I have read for every 1$ that is paid in alimony men pay 98.2 cents of it, when women make it to 10 cents on the dollar come back and talk about women paying alimony. My husband is currently paying alimony (thank god it is up next year) to his ex even though she works and make slighly more than he does, why ???, because when they divorced she convinced a judge that she didn’t make any money.

        • Black Iris says:

          Men make more money than women, so it’s not surprising that they’d end up paying more alimony.

          The gap in men’s and women’s earnings starts when women get married and have kids. Women, in general, put more hours into taking care of the children and home and less into their career. They may even take some time off. Often moms ends up behind their husbands in earnings. So long as more couples act like this instead of having the guys stay home, we’ll have more women needing alimony than men.

          We just need to make sure that at-home dads can collect alimony when they need it.

          • Iris says:
            “Men make more money than women, so it’s not surprising that they’d end up paying more alimony.

            The gap in men’s and women’s earnings starts when women get married and have kids.”

            the key word earnings, not PAY. This is not discriminatory as feminists would have us believe, but due to women’s choices.

            If women also chose to make the same decisions of putting career first, then they would EARN the same as men.

            • Black Iris says:

              But when a mother puts children before her career, the guy also benefits. They are his children. Parents are a team who divide up the work. It’s not fair if the one who does the work outside the labor force gets punished for that.

    • SweetSass says:

      Jesus, yeah only “real social problems” have men on the short end of the stick. Not those “unreal” problems women have…

  6. Black Iris says:

    I think in terms of sex drives that there may be a real difference with being more likely to be the hornier ones. Couples were women are hornier are a significant group and it’s harmful if they’re told they’re unnatural, but I think there may be a quantitative biological difference.

  7. Black Iris says:

    The other piece of the sexual double standard – despite what happens to powerful men who cheat, in the end they do better than the women who cheat with them.

    Clinton is an influential politician now. Lewinsky is the name of a scandal.

    Spitzer didn’t go to jail, he went to work for his dad and then had a TV talk show. He sent plenty of prostitutes and madams to jail, though.

    • What about that governor who was forced to step down? I don’t remember his name, but he spent $200k of taxpayers money on that stripper with the greek name.I heard she was writing a book.

      Also, I heard Lewinsky was writing a book and even hosting a talk show.
      It seems to me that you’re arguing apples and oranges. You’re comparing powerful men to basically middle-class women.

      I would argue that these women are actually doing better than they would otherwise have done. How high would you expect a stripper and intern to rise really?

      • Black Iris says:

        I think White House interns are usually kids from families with political connections. They’re educated and upper class. So yes, I expect Lewinski could have gone on and had a political career of her own, if she hadn’t been caught servicing the President.

        As for prostitutes, going to jail is definitely worse than what happened to Spitzer.

        I don’t see writing books and going on talk shows as having a good or successful life. Some quick money, but it’s the kind of fame that haunts you for careers or relationships. Nothing like being a big political leader or TV show analyst.

        • Iris:
          There are many THOUSANDS of interns, in congress and state legislatures. I doubt even 30% of them become movers and shakers. It’s like college football. While 99% of NFL players played college footbal, only 5% of college football players go to the NFL. You’re building a false association.

          The woman with the greek name did not go to jail. She was a stripper, not a prostitute. And their arrangement was not outright payments for sex acts. She did not go to jail.

          My understanding is he paid her rent & bought her expensive gifts. If a stripper got some $200,000 in gifts in 10 months and gets to write a book–I would say she had a DRASTICALLY different outcome than most strippers.

          My point stands: you’re comparing apples in oranges. I would argue that in most cases these guys lifted the status of these women higher than they otherwise would have been.

          • Black Iris says:

            Obviously, interns don’t all grow up to be President. It is, however, a good boost on your resume. I suspect that if you could follow them, you’d find a lot of highly successful people in law and politics.

            I’m not sure where the stripper you’re talking about comes from. Spitzer went to prostitutes. He didn’t go to jail, but he sent prostitutes to jail.

  8. I think you’re confused and in denial. You know you don’t really believe what you’re saying in this article and that something doesn’t feel right. Interesting that you’re an analyst. I wonder how old you are. You sound young. Maybe mid 20s.

    • You’ve got me confused Cringing. Please explain.

      • Kirsten (in MT) says:

        I think what Cringing is saying is that he or she disagrees with the article, has no facts or analysis to back up his or her opinion, and is looking for an irrelevant point on which to dismiss it. He or she would like the author’s assistance in this endeavor. If the author could please confirm an age in her mid-20s, that would help Cringing avoid a neural circuitry meltdown.

  9. I agree with much of what you wrote, especially with the annoyance towards ‘evolutionary’ arguments. As a scientist, and a neuroscientist at that, its hard for me not to roll my eyes whenever I hear it.

    I think another important negative consequence of the double standard is the flip side of what you wrote. Our society actively discourages men (especially young men) from wanting – or at least saying that they want – romantic relationships that are based on more than just casual sex. Heaven forbid that not all of your free time is spent trying to get another notch on your belt so that you can boast about it later. It is yet another way that we are told to hide and sexualize our emotions. Most of this pressure comes from the media and within gender relations, but are inexcusable nonetheless. Forcing men and women into these narrow boxes hurts everyone.

    • Well, I’m a doctor in the neuroscience field, and I can argue that lots of evolutionary theory DOES have merit. It’s only people with a political agenda that try to constantly delegitimize it.

      There’s also the double standard of men getting married and summarily getting divorced and legally losing most of their assets and their children to their wives in this, most egalitarian era. Heaven forbid that while ridding ourselves of the Casanova double standard that puts women on the short end of the stick, we also rid ourselves of the Legalized Gold-Digger double standard that puts men on the short end of the stick.

      • Black Iris says:

        The problem is that in pop culture we tend to focus on the aspects of evolutionary theories that fit our culture and how men and women act. If you look at evolutionary biology, what they’re talking about now is how females in many species have multiple partners, even when they seem to be paired up with a male. Sperm competition wouldn’t happen if female animals were monogamous. So why are people always trotting out biology to excuse human males who cheat?

        • Black Iris says:

          Actually, I should have said that pop culture focuses on the part of the theories that fit our IDEA of how men and women act.

          In real life, men are interested in long-term relationships. They don’t want to break up. For human males, that makes a lot of sense biologically, but we don’t see that because it doesn’t fit out idea of what masculinity and femininity should be.

        • Doesn’t the theory of sperm competition excuse female cheating?

          • Black Iris says:

            Pop culture doesn’t talk about sperm competition that much. That’s more something biologists talk about.

            My point is that pop culture picks up on the aspects of evolutionary biology that fit popular ideas about guys. Guys are supposed to be sperm spreaders, women are supposed to be desperately pushing for monogamy. In real life, men want and need long-term partners.

            • While women want and need to be taken by every high quality stud that passes by, amiright black iris?

  10. There is no sexual double standard in the strict sense, since a double standard is defined as an unjustified application of different sets of principles in the same or at least similar situations.

    Everyone knows, the sexual situation of men and women isn’t even remotely comparable. Any half way decent looking girl from the age of 13-14 can have sex anytime and anywhere she wants. Any half way decent looking woman can enter any bar or club at any given day and simply shout “Who wants to have sex with me tonight” and she’ll probably be surrounded by horny men in no time.
    The same is not true for men. Even a great looking guy usually has to “work” to get laid. Usually, he will have to be charming and funny, a great entertainer and a big spender to even get a phone number. There are loads of sexually frustrated teenage boys who couldn”t get laid if their life depended on it.

    Why is that the case? I don’t know. Maybe it’s predominantly nature, maybe it’s nurture, but men simply have a higher preference for sex than women. I’m not saying women like sex less, but for most women there has to be a “match”. For men, there has to be a vagina. Heck, most men would even have sex with women they despise or find ugly if no other option is around. They even pay for sex, sometimes thousands of dollars. How many brothels for women are there? How many Callboys who don’t have to suck cock as well to earn a living?

    A woman who is “easy” is simply not the same as a man who sleeps with many women. Most people may not be able to explain why since they didn’t think the whole dating game through from a game theoretic point of view, but it’s not a “double standard” that the “easy girl” is looked down upon and the man who sleeps with many women is considered to be succesful.

    Of course one could go further and explain everything from an evolutionary point of view. That men could never be sure if they are the father of a child and thus prefered virgins and women who didn’t sleep around.
    But that’s not even necessary. In Germany where I come from, there was a bestselling book a couple of months ago about an 80 year old woman who rediscovered her sexuality by placing ads for anonymous sex in a newspaper. She got hundreds and hundreds of responses form guys, the youngest being 17 years old. And she was neither beautiful for an 80 year old woman, nor rich. Could you imagine the same if we were talking about an 80 year old guy?

    That’s the point. If any ugly old woman can have sex with hundreds of men easier than a decent looking 18 year old guy, you simply aren’t talking about comparable situations.

    • @Elmar. I consider my self a fairly good looking woman. I disagree with your statement about the ease of sex for women. And just shouting “who wants to have sex with me” is a highly unlikely scenario, one that I have never witnessed, but I am fairy certain would not be successful. It would be funny, but no one would see it as a serious invitation.
      As a woman I do have to “work” for it. Simply because both men and women do not just go home with whatever is offered to them, but because I see someone I’d like to have sex with and then I usually have a brief conversation to test for chemistry and the other person’s interest. And I have been rejected multiple times, quite often because he is in love with someone already. I may have been unfortunate, but I have gone home with plenty of men who where not “big spenders”, but who just seemed like they’d be fun to have sex with.
      The problem to me is exactly the double standard described in this article, where sex “from” a woman is seen as a commodity, sex is something men do to women “and then I F**ked her”. I don’t just have sex happen magically to me by the snap of a finger (or a charming bar shout out), sex is always a two way thing.

      • Oh come on, just listen to yourself. If you are fairly good looking, I would have sex immediatly with you. Right now. You don’t HAVE to shout, that’s the point. Men are probably approaching you anyways.

        Yes, you might have been rejected by those decent guys that YOU are looking for. But why are you looking for a decent guy anyways when so many are available that would have sex with you right now (like me)? Because, just as I’ve said, you have a higher preference for a relationship with a decent guy than for sex. Or at least for sex WITH a good looking nice guy than just for sex. A lot of men simply don’t care. You are stupid? You are arrogant? You don’t really look so good? Doesn’t matter, come have sex with me anyways…

        Don’t believe me? Sign up to any adult dating site with two different accounts, as a man and a woman, with photos of two average persons and just count the reactions you get. I’m absolutely certain that your success rate with an average decent picture of a man is about 1-2% at the best, with the average decent photo of a woman it should be at least 50%.

        • Why would I want to have sex with a guy who is not attracted to me or thinks I’m ugly? I mean, really, what’s the point of that? Maybe that is the fundamental difference between men and women. Men din’t care what the woman thinks of him, if she’s willing. Also, If I walked I to a bar and shouted “come have sex with me,” wow, I shudder to think about the kid of creepy guys who would respond, not to mention that it would probably lead to a gang rape. Any guy who responded to an offer like that would undoubtedly treat me like a piece of sh$t. There was a big story in the news where I live a couple years ago about a 17 year old girl who got gang raped at a college party. According to people at the party, she showed up with several six packs of beer, got really drunk, started dancing around the living room grabbing guys’ crotches and asking if she could suck their cocks. She ended up getting dragged off to a bedroom and getting raped by like 15 guys, until a group of women at the party fought their way through the bedroom door (which guys were trying to block) and rescued her. No one got prosecuted because the DA couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the girl didn’t consent, based on her behavior and statements.

          What’s not that easy is finding a guy who you feel comfortable enough to have sex with.

          Also, so many guys who talk about this issue have this fantasy that every woman (even 80 year olds) has guys falling all over her, and that’s just not true. I’m 45, and not in the best shape, and I doubt that if I went out looking for sex, I’d have more than a 1-2% success rate, honestly.

          • wet_suit_one says:

            “Why would I want to have sex with a guy who is not attracted to me or thinks I’m ugly? I mean, really, what’s the point of that?” Ahh… The joys of being a woman (especially an attractive one). Many men (perhaps even most) don’t think such thoughts, not in a serious fashion anyways.

            Perhaps the walking into a bar thing is a bit too facile. The newspaper ad though, a more discrete approach, certainly hits the spot. Ever seen the mug shots of hookers? Not necessarily the best looking bunch (even accounting for the terrible pictures that mugshots result in). Men voluntarily pay them for sex. Now, imagine if the sex was free.

            That said, I’m totally against the double standard. Slut is word that has no real meaning in my view. I wish more women were as sexually assertive as the “jerks” being discussed on another thread. I may have met one (perhaps 2) in my life. Then again, I suppose I’m a fairly average dude (despite being told on a frequent basis by others that this is not so). And I have seen women hit on men, but only on the most successful good looking, funniest, most amazing guy I’ve ever met. He basically remade himself to fit the desires of a certain target market, though even he has told me that he gets rejected more often than not. Somehow, I don’t think that his female equivalents have it so hard.

            • Men are saddled with the responsibility of approaching. The simple fact is despite how many hard-core feminists here talk about there being no gender differences, there is one gender difference most of them will not touch: most women are petrified of initiating with a man.

              The secret is that a great proportion of men are also petrified of initiating. It takes a very thick skin. This is why a small subset of men (10-20%) have much more dates, sex, sex partners (and on average more beautiful female partners). When you have a thick skin and approach women 25 times a week. If you succeed in building a rapport with 2 women that week which leads to 3 or 4 sexual sessions you will feel successful. The trick is getting past the 95% shoot-down rate which is probably average for most men.

              If you’re failing at procuring dates, buy some dating books. If you have extra money take some courses on confidence building, public speaking. Learn PUA. Do something so that you become a good confident natural speaker. Don’t sit on your ass and complain.

              I did the same for most of my 20’s and it isn’t healthy. Do something about it. This is meant as general advice, not specifically at you wet one.

            • wet_suit_one says:

              Johnny D my friend, I did do something (sadly long after my 20’s but better late than never). I paid. I paid good money and got good sex. Money well spent. I also went on Plenty of Fish and went on every date I could get. End result, my wonderful sweet love and I met, and no more paying for it. I recommend it for all men similarly situation. Kill the sexual frustration and date like a maniac. It’s basically a numbers game, so eventually you’ll find satisfaction. I figure it took about 60 -70 first dates myself and about $15,000 in expenses. Time and money well spent.

              The Wet One

            • Hi again John, I realize I’m responding to this comment late, but…. While women, like men, certainly fear rejection, the main reason I didn’t like to make the first move in my younger dating days is that I had no way of knowing what a “yes” meant. As the other commenters above have indicated, men will take opportunities for sex even with women they don’t particularly like and aren’t terribly attracted to. Therefore, the fact that a guy is willing to have sex with me means absolutely nothing. In my 20’s, even though I was not particularly a hottie, I knew that I could get positive responses from men if I wanted, it just took wearing a low cut top and saying hello. But I wasn’t looking for random hookups, I was looking for potential boyfriends. If I waited for the man to make the first move, at least I knew he must be attracted enough to talk to me. Otherwise, I assumed he was not interested so there was no point in approaching him. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned that men may be attracted but too intimidated to approach. Believe it or not, I didn’t know that at 22 or 25. If a guy didn’t talk to me, I assumed he didn’t like me.

        • Black Iris says:

          One reason women are more hesitant to just go home with any guy is that there’s no guarantee the sex will be physically satisfying. Men can assume that it will because it’s easier for them to orgasm outside of masturbation.

          Another reason is that men are generally bigger and stronger than women. A woman could get hurt or be forced to do something she doesn’t want to.

          It’s still true that women have more to risk in terms of getting pregnant or catching an STD.

          And maybe, finally, we’re just more visual than guys. :-)

          • Lovely. Women believe that they’re generally physically satisfying to men.

            Newsflash — men rate women on the basis of sexual ability as well. Let’s get rid of THAT double standard as well, no?

            • Black Iris says:

              Men may rate women on their sexual ability, but they don’t seem concerned about it beforehand.

              My point is that men do orgasm more easily than women. They tend to move in ways that make them orgasm. They don’t even have to think about it. Women can’t assume that it will happen for them.

              So I think the calculation going on in the back of a woman’s mind is will I actually have a good time sexually? How will this guy treat me? He’s bigger than me, can I trust him? What if he doesn’t want to use a condom and I get pregnant/catch an STD?

            • Black Iris, I see where you are coming from on this but I have to respond.
              The position you are taking here is a very disempowered one. It avoids taking responsibility for one’s own sexuality and pleasure. I hear it over and over again from women and it frustrates the heck out of me.
              Again, if the woman isn’t willing to walk away from a man who will not respect her boundaries, then SHE has a serious problem. Don’t have sex with men who don’t want to wear condoms unless you’re in a long-term, serious relationship with him.
              Honestly, if a woman does not respect or love herself enough to insist on protecting herself how can she expect a man or anyone else to do so?
              If we don’t think we’re worth a condom then what makes us think we’re worth an orgasm?
              Women need to take responsibility for their orgasms. This means they need to know exactly what it takes to get themselves to orgasm. They need to be able to communicate this to the men they are sexual with. If the men do not listen, the women need to be willing to either take charge (it’s at this point I flip the guy on his back and ride him) or leave. There’s nothing wrong with this. You enter into a sexual situation with the understanding that it will be pleasurable for both of you. You state your needs and boundaries. If he chooses not to respect them, you leave.
              He can call you a “bitch” if he wants. He can be angry if he wants. Who cares? Why would the opinion of someone who refuses to respect your boundaries or attend to your sexual pleasure as much as his own be important to you?
              We’re thirty-plus years on into the feminist movement and yet women still believe that their “need” for a man (and a relationship) outweighs their inherent self-worth. This is frustrating as heck!
              Yes, some men are better lovers than others. Yes, having sex with someone new is always a bit of a gamble. However, if you go into it from an empowered perspective, you’re far more likely to be respected, treated well, and orgasm.

            • I think her point was that some sex is good and some is lousy, and having sex with an unknown person can turn out to be lousy no how sexually empowered you are — but for some reason men seem to worry about this a lot less than women do. Maybe it’s because men are excited to have a random hookup and they know they will probably orgasm even if the sex is bad, while women have no such guarantee. (Honestly, I would not be terribly aroused if a guy was so inept at pleasing me, even with instruction, that I had to “take over.” I’d probably feel like, why bother, I should just go home!)

            • Jill,

              I suppose you have a point. Since I always orgasm multiple times regardless of the quality of sex I guess that makes me like a man. Also, I prefer penetrative sex. I do have dildos I use for masturbation but, the truth is, they don’t replace a live cock and the body that accompanies it.

            • men worry less about if sex is going to be good or bad because men understand that bad sex is better than no sex . just because a man cums does not mean he was satisfied , or even enjoyed the sex . sex is only as good as the people having it make it . women typically take a passive role during sex and rely on the man to make it good for her . many men prefer sex with a one stranger or a one night stand because when women dont expect to ever see the guy again they are usually much more uninhibited and agressive and open sexually .

          • One reason women are more hesitant to just go home with any guy is that there’s no guarantee the sex will be physically satisfying. Men can assume that it will because it’s easier for them to orgasm outside of masturbation.
            And there’s also that who thing about men being assumed to never turn down sex making them more willing to just go home with any woman….

        • Not So Hot Momma says:

          Oh, Elmar, love, you are truly a scream! To quote:

          “Oh come on, just listen to yourself. If you are fairly good looking, I would have sex immediatly with you. Right now.”

          You have GOT to be one of this world’s total horn-dogs with a statement that broad and silly. Saying that with a straight face must have been difficult. Human sexuality is an intricate dance. Perhaps in the Stone Age a male could just grab any available female and have a hot romp in the grass, but it’s a far cry from that simplicity now. The sexual double standard does exist…but in far more subtle ways. I have seen it. I have lived it. I experience it every day. I deal with it in my own way.

          • Obviously, I was exaggerating to prove a point. Today, mainly for religious reasons, I llike to think of myself as a “true love can wait” kind of guy, even though I wouldn’t bet on my strenght to pull that attitude through. But just a couple of years ago? Say, in a night club? You bet, I would have humped almost every girl that showed a bit of interest in me, and I promise you that most College guys I knew back then were just like me.

  11. Oh and btw: my point is not that men don’t have a preference for hot women, my point is that men will basically settle for ANYTHING. Women don’t. Well, most don’t. You might be the exception to the rule, but sociology is a numbers game.

    On a campus with many women, women tend to have more sex and shorter relationships and are less satisfied in a relationship because they compete for fewer guys who therefore have a higher bargaining power. On a campus with few women, the exact opposite is true. Go figure.

    • Do you understand how gross that statement can seem to women? That for men all there has to be is a vagina? Why on earth would any woman be able to trust you in bed if she knows that her vagina is just, well, a hole for you (or men that you say believe like you) to masturbate in? As a woman, why on earth would I want to have sex like that?

      Maybe, just maybe if every woman got off easily on penetration, no work, no difficulty and no risk of pregnancy, then it would be an even trade off, masturbation-wise, but I just can’t wrap my mind around why anyone would just want to lie there and be pronged knowing it wasn’t anything but her vagina that was of interest. Or maybe that’s just how you do it.

      Depressing as all get out to me.

      • Yes Julie, I understand that this statement seems gross to women. Which proves my point: male and female sexuality is different. Therefore, there is no double standard.-

        • Black Iris says:

          Elmar, I think you’re missing part of her point about the differences in male and female sexuality. You can get off using her, she can’t get off using you. Why then should she want to let a man use her?

        • Well, of all the men I have had sex with (and my number is well above the median), there was only one who treated me like I was just a vagina. Sigh…unfortunately, he was my husband.
          Anyhow, I’ve had lots of casual sex with men. They’ve always been interested in seeing to my pleasure. I think most guys are more turned on by a woman who enjoys sex than one who doesn’t. I don’t see much incentive for them to use women as a masturbation tool and nothing else.
          Black Iris does have a point though. If a woman doesn’t orgasm during casual sex with men she doesn’t know, there’s really no reason for her to do so.

  12. yell me all of for blow job openly,easy langvege>pappu

  13. Wow. These comments are kind of interesting. I think I’ll add my perspective here.
    In the larger scheme of things, the sexual double standard is not super important. Yes, double standards exist everywhere. In some places, child custody and alimony payments do not reflect current society. Yes, that often sucks for men, especially today’s men who are more involved in parenting than ever.
    How easy is it for a woman to get laid? Actually, it’s fairly easy. I am a fairly promiscuous woman and am rarely turned down when it comes to sex. I do think it is probably easier for me to get laid than it is for most men. Why? The sexual double standard. Women tend to play games and be selective about who they have sex with. As far as I can tell, this is because they are aware of societal standards for their behavior. I get laid easily because I have no interest in conforming to societal standards. I don’t have sex (or even relationships) with men based on their professions or appearance. Does this mean I go into a bar and proclaim that my pussy is open for business? No. I look for men who are respectful of me, my boundaries, and my choices. I prefer men who are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This cuts out most men. Do men have to “work” to get into my pants? Yes and no. It depends on the circumstances. If I am at a sex party, then you all you really have to do is be respectful of me and of the rules at the party. I don’t need to know your name, your age, or your profession. You don’t have to charm me. In fact, it’s better if you don’t try. If I meet you at a non-sexual social event, then yes, on top of being respectful you need to demonstrate some level of intelligence or charm. Why? I find I am rarely attracted on a physical level to men. Women turn me on much more from a physical perspective. This means men have to find a different way to attract me.
    Personally, I’d like the sexual double standard to go away. Mostly because the game sucks. Women get hung up on the game, fear seeking out their own pleasure, and have less sex than they would like. Men have to “work” to get sex and end up having less sex than they would like as well. I don’t know who wins in this game except maybe the fashion, beauty, advertising, and auto industries?

    • Jeni,
      I don’t know how old you are, but women going to sex parties are mostly statistical outliers.
      In my experience and from what I have read, most women when dating (even if only trying to “have fun”) have long term relationships on their hind brain. This applies less so for women in their 20’s especially if they are career building but, never disappears.

      Like men (who have thick skins to approach a lot of women, and skills at building rapport, heat, and charm) will date beautiful women first and hope that women has redeeming characteristics for possible LTR later, women do the same, but their primary motivation is charm, confidence and suaveness. But women’s hind-brains are always more primed for LTR’s than men.

      And I think that is what brings their fickleness to the front. The thing is that womens predisposition to seek firstly men who titillate, then build LTR potential is letting them down in a big way.

      The average dating “Having fun” women in her 20’s will unceremoniously shoot down an awkward but respectful and hard-working $150k/year chemical engineer and move forward with a fast-talking suave confident blue-collar guy simply because the guy shows an ability to pass a few sh*t-tests. The simple fact is that hard-working poindexter most likely would have made a much better life-mate, with lots of interesting perspectives and stories and a fulfilling life for the woman.

      The simple fact is that women’s drive to “let the cl1t do the choosing” is just as detrimental as men who think with their little head.

      We have had hundreds of thousands of pages and years and years of commentary of how stupid men are for choosing women based on beauty ALONE (while not caring about redeeming characteristics), but almost no mentioning about how women making immature decisions–blowing their youth on “fun guys” in which there is no future (fooling themselves into thinking they can change the guy, or make him “fall” for them and commit to a LTR).

      We have entire books of law meant to corral male libido (workplace harassment laws, etc..), but we have barely begun to even write a single page in how women are shooting themselves in the foot by making immature choices based on their libido.

      • My point is that I think, since women get to do the choosing it would make much more sense for there to be a goodwoman project, than a good man project.

        If women only had sex with hard-working respectful men, then there would cease being thugs, pickup artists, and players.

        • John D,

          I understand what you are saying. You’re right, a lot of women engage in casual relationships hoping to turn it into a LTR through the power of their “magic hoo-hoo”. It’s kinda like Cinderella and her glass slipper… What can I say? Girls tend to be sold a bill of goods very early on.

          I have seen women of all ages, but particularly, women in their 20s date young men who, given the kind of society we live in are not daddy-marriage material. Some are players and some are hippies. They end up being dissatisfied eventually because they do want someone to make babies with.

          I have the advantage of not being in my 20s, having my own financial resources (limited though they might be in this economy), and having fulfilled my reproductive requirement for the good of the species. All I require from men is respect when it comes to sex.

          • Jeni,

            I think one of John’s points is that your experience is not generalizable to most women, and that has less to do with “society” and more to do with the fact that you are basically an outlier, both by your previous experiences and, it seems, personality.

      • Not So Hot Momma says:

        Hey, John…I enjoyed your statement: “The average dating “Having fun” women in her 20′s will unceremoniously shoot down an awkward but respectful and hard-working $150k/year chemical engineer and move forward with a fast-talking suave confident blue-collar guy simply because the guy shows an ability to pass a few sh*t-tests. The simple fact is that hard-working poindexter most likely would have made a much better life-mate, with lots of interesting perspectives and stories and a fulfilling life for the woman.”

        I find it interesting that hard-working Poindexter took a shot at that 20-something “have fun” gal rather than some 30 or 40-something basically normal female who was obviously NOT out for just a good time. Sure, women shoot themselves in the foot from time to time, but didn’t Poindexter just do that by going after little miss hottie? Was Poindexter looking out for a possible life-mate with miss 20-something hottie? It is a sad thing that men often set their sites on hot-stuff and have to eventually “settle” for something “less”. Another sad reminder of the sexual double standard…because those who don’t qualify as “hotties” seem more willing to smile at and converse with (and yes, even sleep with) less than hot guys.

        • Where did I use the term “hottie”? I said average woman in her 20’s. You’re inferring something that I didn’t say.

          The simple truth is that even a woman who is simply a 5 in looks expects a FLAWLESS approach from men. To base who you mate with on suaveness and bs pillowtalk is pretty immature and shallow. Why should a woman who is a 5 expect a don juan?

          These poindexters aren’t just “settling” they are doing without female companionship (due to the ass-backwards desires of women) for most of their 20’s. These guys typically don’t marry until their late 30’s.

          But by then the average women in the same age group who spurned them, are out of the running because these poindexters have quietly built up substantial portfolios, don’t owe child support or alimony and are dating 22year old hotties (at 39) for which they are scolded by the old high-mileage women who wouldn’t talk to these guys 15 years ago. Now that these women are done with charming guys (i.e. they don’t have the mating value to command charming guys attention) they’re shocked boring guy didn’t wait for them.

          Yet, all we hear about is how stupid men are to marry beautiful women who are actually bitches or gold-diggers.

          The flipside is the woman who wastes 5, 7, 10 years with an abusive cheating (but charming) ahole because he makes her gina tingle, and she is delusionally set upon turning him into LTR material.

          There is almost no dialogue on women making immature decisions–even though these women are shooting themselves (and their kids) in the foot in at least as large a way as men who marry beautiful women who turn out to be bitches or gold-diggers.

          • Wait, John, you are being totally inconsistent. Either the 22-year-old hotties are rejecting Poindexter or they’re not. You are accusing women in their 20’s of only wanting “fun guys” then realizing when they are washed up, 35-year-old hags that they really want Poindexter, only Poindexter (who they rejected 15 years ago because he wasn’t fun) is now out wowing the 22-year-olds with his sensible fixed rate mortgage and his 401k?

            Actually, my observation is that the proverbial Poindexter who gets in a relationship in his 30’s or 40’s usually finds a woman his own age or at most a few years younger. Maybe he is dreaming of becoming a player and scoring young hotties but it doesn’t often happen that way. And I live in Silicon Valley so I know a lot of those guys. I know it is pleasant for you to think about all the “high mileage” aging party gals crying themselves to sleep, but I actually know a lot of women who got married for the first time in their 30’s.

            • GirlGlad4theGMP says:

              Jill I’m picking up what you’re putting down. A guy cannot complain he’s being overlooked by the hotty who is off dating a jerk…only to not go after the 6/7 who probably has more in common with him.

              I will never understand this…it’s like we’re selecting ourselves down to a lonely life.

  14. LOLing Woman says:

    Where do Black Women & men fit into all of this? Black women are said to be “unrape-able” because they are always “ready & willing.” And Black men are said to be hypersexual.

    • wet_suit_one says:

      Hmmm. That’s an intriguing bit of racsim there. Care to flesh it out some more for us?

      The Wet One

      And no, I’m not joking. Please, do go on… Dig that hole deeper. You wouldn’t happen to have some endorsement deals to flush down the toilet would you? We’d love to know!

  15. wet_suit_one says:

    As an interesting aside to this topic, there is evidence of a double standard, but not the one we are discussing. It’s really funny in fact.

    Some of you may have heard of that study where a stranger approaches a member of the opposite sex on campus (why is it always on campus? Gads!) and asks them if they would sleep with them. Unsurprisingly, most women say no and most men say yes.

    While I was looking for articles referencing that study I came upon this discussion of that study. http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/gender-differences-and-casual-sex-the-new-research/

    It’s better than most discussions as the author seems to have actually read the original study and done some analysis. Significant excerpts of the original study are included.

    What is really interesting about the study is that the methodology in the test was such that it was “uniquely repulsive” to women. After much analysis, the author concludes that the study was not poorly constructed and did have legit findings (her view, not mine). However, if I’m reading her correctly, the double standard really is this:

    Women, in general, believe men to be creepy dangerous creatures who probably aren’t good in bed and thus avoid casual sex offers. Men, in general, believe women to be average in bed and not terribly threatening and therefolre will take all the casual sex they can.

    Women think men are creeps. Men think women are viable sex partners.

    Alternatively, women are afraid, men are fearless.

    I think it’s obvious that men have to make themselves appear to be non threatening to have a reasonable possibility of casual sex. You MUST NOT seem like a psychopathic serial killer. And no, that’s not the real world psychopathic serial killers who prey on vulnerable women (like street hookers), but the psychopathic serial killer construct that exists in women’s minds (which is in part, oddly enough, a guy that comes up to them out of the blue asking for casual sex). I’m pretty sure that Willy Pickton (a bona fide psychopathic serial killer) didn’t just go to campus and hit up women out of the blue (though he did pick on down and outter street women), but it’s the construct of psychopathic serial killers that exists in women’s minds that you men must overcome not the characteristics of actual serial killers (though I bet being a pig farmer WILL work against you. At least in Vancouver B.C. anyways).

    Another take-away from this study is this, stop socializing women to be afraid of random all the time. We men will get laid more and women will feel safer! It’s good for everyone all around and we all get more sex! YAY!

    This reminds of an ex who told me that she basically views every single man she sees as a rapist before anything else and was irrationally fearful for her physical safety. She might have been the extreme end of the fear scale, but she may well have been representative of the underlying female mindset.

    Think on that one there laddies and modify your behaviour accordingly. You may also want to change your approach to socializing your daughters. It means some other man’s son will get luckier in future and your daughters will feel safer and have more sex. Yeah I’m sure that will go over well with dads but you may be the ones perpetrating the problem (or double standard as it were) for other guys’ sons as well as your own sons.

    What an interesting world we live in!

    The Wet One

    • wet_suit_one says:

      And just to be clear, what I’m saying is that the real double standard is this:

      “Women think men are creeps. Men think women are viable sex partners.”

      I know that this is not what women THINK they think about men, but the evidence in this study shows that these beliefs strongly influence how women actually behave. I note that this generalization about women only applies to COLLEGE WOMEN. I sincerely hope that older, more experienced women don’t live in the same men = creeps mindset that apparently exists in college aged women. However, given the significant influence that these views have, and given my suspicion that men mostly complain about how hard it is to pick up college aged women, there is some ongoing, though lessening validity to the study. After all, even older women are probably more concerned for their safety than men of the same age. That said, men of their same age should realize by then that they’re the ones who end up dead in WAAAAY higher numbers than women and should be more afraid than they were than when they were young. But I digress…

      The Wet One

      • TWO,

        You make an excellent point! Yes, there is fear involved for women. I’m pretty slutty but I do take precautions to ensure my safety. If I’m in the mood to pick up guys I usually do so at an establishment where I know the owner and many of the workers. Really, though, my best bet is to attend sex parties. Most sex parties have rules to make the women feel safe. It is a contained environment that is far different from picking up a guy in a bar.

      • Oh, and I want to say that I don’t view all men as creeps but I am very aware of the size differential between myself and most men (I am on the short side) and the potential danger of some of the situations I put myself in. Since I know I cannot match a man on a physical level, I use my social network to help me stay safe. It also helps that I don’t use alcohol or other substances.

      • Black Iris says:

        That doesn’t sound like a double standard so much as a difference in how men and women look at strangers.

        Women don’t think men are creeps. They think some men are creeps. They also know that men are stronger than them. So they’re justifiably cautious about going home with a strange man.

        Most women have also had some experiences with strangers who approach them looking for sex who act more than a little odd. That shouldn’t be so surprising. People who are disturbed are more likely to lose their inhibitions. So when a strange guy on campus comes up and suggests having sex, the woman is remembering the last time someone did that and then he acted crazy or threatening.

      • Adding to my earlier comment, I think the more interesting question is why so many men said “yes” to the strange woman who wanted sex. They should have seen her behavior as outrageous based on social/cultural norms, suggesting that she was unbalanced or crazy, or had an ulterior motive like robbery, yet they were still willing to go off with her somewhere. NOT SMART.

    • Good points, Wet One, and I might add that if a strange man walked up to me and asked for sex, I would assume he was crazy. Because no one in their right mind does something like that. Only a crazy man would do that. I would think, “here is a guy who is a certifiable nutcase, clearly unbalanced and possibly dangerous. How can I get away from him as quickly as possible before he stabs me?” I’m really not exaggerating. That’s what would go through my head. It’s not an irrational fear of meeting the next Ted Bundy (who did get some of his victims by approaching them on the street and charming them into getting in his car, by the way.) It is because only men who have ever walked up to me and told me they would like to have sex with me are homeless men and crazy people. I can’t imagine a sane man doing that because it is so completely unacceptable according to our social norms.

  16. I laugh at the idea that women are afraid to approach men. In the 90’s, therapists like Nina Atwood wrote books like “Be Your Own Dating Service.” Back then, Atwood encouraged women to ask men out.

    However, she did a complete about-face in the 21st century and wrote a book called “The Seven Temptations of the Single Girl.” In that book, she told women to wait for the man to ask them out. Why? Because so many women who took the initiative had such bad experiences. Atwood said that when she was courting her ex-husband, Jack Atwood, she always took the initiative and it led to a lot of resentment. She said that if a man didn’t take the initiative, he wouldn’t do the hard work needed to make a relationship succeed and that the woman would be left holding the bag. Also, most men reject women who take the initiative because they think it takes away their “male perogative” to “chase and conquer” women.

    I think that when more men start making career compromises in their relationships, when men’s magazines teach men how to be good equal partners (instead of showing men how to get women into the sack), and when men fight alongside women for equal pay, rigid dating “rules” may start relaxing and dating may start becoming egalitarian.

    The problem with dating is that it is viewed as a “man conquers woman” ritual.

    • Janet Dell says:

      Equal Pay????

      Men and Women in the US and Canada do receive equal pay or equal work when factors such as education, seniority, weekly work hours and a few other factors are taken into account.

      • Black Iris says:

        Only lasts until women have children. Then women usually put more time into the family, men put it into work – anyhow that’s what the statistics show.

        • Iris:
          What’s wrong with that? Your logical statement differs greatly from NOW and other feminist institutions that claim the hourly rate paid to women and men for full time work differs by as much as 28%.

          If putting more time in w/family is what women find fulfilling, then where is the discrimination feminists holler about?

          Men are 95% of on-the-job deaths. I don’t hear anything from feminists on that. $$$$$$ are not the only way to show victimization as far as work/life balance goes.

    • Another way to view the dating world, is not conquering, but approaching. Even very charming men get shot down more often than it leads to something.

      By being passive, women reserve the right to choose among the seekers. To couch this in terms of “conquering” is like saying that the woman who turns down offers from nice stable guys to bed only men who make over $150k is anything but the men “conquering”.

      The way you state it makes it sound like it’s all about predatory men, when in fact it is all about predations on both sides. Moreover, it seems to be the exact model women like, as being sought after gives them much-needed validation and self-esteem. Many women seem to take a cruel delight in shooting down men with insulting remarks. How this is supposed to be all about the predations of men, only makes sense if you’re fixated on a world view as seen through pink-tinted women’s studies lenses.

      It has no bearing on reality.

  17. Brandon Ferdig says:

    Of course there’s a double standard. Double standards, apart from being about discrimination, are also about plain differences between groups.

    There are double standards (that go both ways) between races, genders, and every group breakdown, simply because we’re not all the same.

    So, yeah, there’s a sex double standard between men and women. The only way to get rid of it is to get rid of gender differences. But obviously, by looking at other mammal species and by examining our own, there are significant sexual differences between men and women, and thus, behaviors that aren’t “okay” for men and vice versa.

    Don’t try to dismiss our differences in the name of equality at the expense of missing out on the strengths each gender offers.

    • Black Iris says:

      But what behaviors do you think are okay for men and not women? If they are sexual ones, how can that work?

  18. the real reason that there is still a sexual double standard is because of women . women call other women sluts and whores based on the sex they have , but do not call men whores and sluts for their sexual activity . even if they do women do not think a man is undesirable for it . women do think that other women and therefor themselves are undesirable for their sexual experience .

    women will all say that men call women sluts and whores too . there are 2 differences . the men who call women sluts and whores are the men the woman will not or will no longer have sex with , and women do not care what those men think . the women who call women sluts and whores are their friends , and relatives , and they definitely care what those women think .

    men are not sluts and whores because men think having sex with alot of women is a good thing . women are sluts and whores because women think having sex with a alot of men is a bad thing .

  19. You are NOT allowed to even suggest that there is a double standard here because then they say that you are whining and complaining … so it is better to not even bring it up.They will NOT even discuss it with you.

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