Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Desires?

Society pressures men to initiate sexual relationships, yet punishes them when they’re candid about their desires.

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This is an article about men, but I’m going to begin by talking about women’s experiences. Many of us women go through our daily lives fending off unwanted male attention; most of us have worried about being attacked by men.

If I stroll down a city street or take public transit alone, I can count on being approached by men I don’t want to talk to. If I walk home after dark, I can’t help fearing assault—so much so that if a man or group of men come near me on the street, I feel my heart lodge firmly in my throat until they pass.

So it’s completely understandable that we’re all on high alert for predatory expressions of male sexuality. While certain situations and certain people deserve the designation “creep”—like, say, the guy who once leered at me as I walked out of the public library and whispered, “I can smell your pussy”—most guys really don’t.

The pressure put on men to be initiators, but to avoid seeming creepy or aggressive, leads to an unpleasant double bind. After all, the same gross cultural pressures that make women into objects force men into instigators. (How many women do you know who proposed to their husbands?)

So how can a man express his sexual needs without being tarred as a creep? After all, the point of promoting sex-positive attitudes is for everyone to be able to be open about their needs and desires, right?

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When I was 23 years old, I was still coming to terms with my S&M orientation, and so I posted to an Internet message board about how “illicit” desire was messing up my life. Soon, I received an email from a guy in my area. He accurately guessed the cause of my anxieties (“either you want some BDSM play, or you maybe want to add other partners into a relationship”) and offered to fulfill all my wicked, dirty lusts. In fairness, the guy actually referred to himself as creepy during our text-only conversation—but I still feel guilty that when I told the story to my friends, we all referred to him as “the creep.”

I obviously had every right to turn down my Internet Lothario. Still, I shouldn’t have called him a creep; all he was doing was being overt and honest about his desires, and he did it in a polite—though straightforward—way. If he’d emailed me with “Hey bitch, you obviously want me to come over and dominate you,” then that would have been impolite and unpleasant.

But he emailed me a quick and amusing introduction, then asked what I wanted. After a few rounds of banter, I called a halt, and he respected that. I think the word “creep” is too vague and prejudiced to mean anything anymore. But if I were willing to use the word, I’d say my Internet suitor was the opposite of a creep.

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Although I’ve become more aware of it recently, I think I’ve always had the sense that men are particularly vulnerable to the judgment of “creep.” Over a year ago, I wrote a series of blog posts on the problems of masculinity, and in Part 3 I noted that—unlike men—”I can be explicit and overt about my sexuality without being viewed as a creep.”

Of course, I could be labeled a slut, which could damage me quite badly. There’s a reason I do all my most explicit writing under a pseudonym. Feminists often say that men’s promiscuity is lauded while women’s is stigmatized, and one point of this argument is purely linguistic: “stud” is a complimentary word for a promiscuous man, while “slut” is a hurtful word for a promiscuous woman.

Besides, our culture hates sex, no matter who’s doin’ it—even vanilla, consensual, heterosexual, private sex between cute, white, married adults is hard for some folks to acknowledge.

But in fact, men aren’t merely enabled to be promiscuous—they’re pressured to be getting laid all the time. This influences situations ranging from huge communities devoted entirely to teaching men how to pick up women, to the tragically callous dismissal of the experiences of men who have been raped.

And while there’s immense cultural repression of all sexuality, there’s also a fair and growing amount of modern TV, movies and feminist energy that seek to enable female sluttitude in all its harmless, glorious forms. The stud vs. slut dichotomy is worth discussing, but it has one flaw: it entirely ignores the word “creep,” whose function appears to be restricting male sexuality to a limited, contradictory set of behaviors.

Feminist blogger Thomas Millar writes, “The common understanding of male sexuality is a stereotype, an ultra-narrow group of desires and activities oriented around penis-in-vagina sex, anal intercourse and blowjobs; oriented around cissexual [i.e., non-trans] women partners having certain very narrow groups of physical characteristics.” Men are supposed to be insatiable only within those bounds. Men who step outside them—for example, heterosexual men who are attracted to curvier women, or who like being pegged with a dildo in the butt—are either mocked or viewed with anxious suspicion.

Worse, men who talk a lot about their sexuality, or who make any slightly unusual move (like sending a friendly proposition over the Internet), can run afoul of the pervasive tropes around male sexuality: that it’s inherently aggressive, toxic, and unwanted.

Under these circumstances, mere semi-explicit conversations become fraught territory. A male, S&M-oriented friend of mine told me about a girl he once spoke to while volunteering at a large feminist organization. She started a conversation about how she was coming to terms with her queer identity; she no longer wanted to have sex with men, but with women. He said he could relate, and described his feelings about coming into his S&M identity.

The next day, he got a call from the intern coordinator telling him to get back in the closet. “Turns out what I thought was discussing who I was, came across as hinting that she should participate,” says my friend. “The thought never crossed my mind—she was, after all, telling me that she didn’t want to have sex with men. But the cultural constructs around the conversation intervened between what I was saying and what she was hearing.”

As one masculinity thread commenter named Tim observes: “The only way for a guy to guarantee that he won’t be called ‘creepy’ is to suppress entirely his sexuality, just like a woman can escape being called a slut by suppressing hers.”

Another commenter, Sam, notes that it’s often difficult for men to “realize that being sexually confident and assertive is not tied to politics,” and that some men feel so much anxiety they hire experts to coach them through just asking a strange woman where to find Internet access.

These anti-male stereotypes have an incredibly broad effect, and not just among individuals. Calls to censor porn, for example, are influenced not only by extreme claims that porn access increases rape (it doesn’t) but by feelings that mainstream porn expresses an unacceptable form of male sexuality.

It’s certainly true that the kind of sex represented in mainstream porn isn’t for everybody, which is why there are lots of other kinds of porn out there (including feminist porn). However, I’m reluctant to condemn any kind of consensual sex in itself, including consensual sex as represented in mainstream porn. Plus, as commenter iamcuriousblue claims, many condemnations of mainstream porn incorporate a ”view of masculinity itself as inherently hostile and dangerous” and a tacit claim that male sexuality “needs to be kept on a short leash, where men’s viewing of violent or pornographic media is restricted, either through community pressure or state action, lest the dumb beast of a man get the wrong ideas.”

If we’re worried about people learning the wrong things from mainstream porn, then we should be giving everyone unflinchingly detailed sex education so that everyone understands just how limited mainstream porn is. Men aren’t dumb beasts—no more than women are wilting flowers—and stereotypes are easily defeated by a complete picture of the world.

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I’ve got three suggestions for how we can all start taking down awful conceptions of male sexuality—and the word “creep” with them.

1) Sam summed it up best: “Accept male desire, and accept men’s word when they talk about it.

Like most people, men want sex, and that’s not a bad thing. Like everyone, men deserve to feel as though their sexuality is hot, awesome, delicious, valuable, and can be pleasurable for all parties in a consensual situation. Just as women shouldn’t have to feel exploited when they have consensual sex, men shouldn’t have to feel like they’re exploiting someone when they have consensual sex. Just as more and more space is being made for forthright discussion of female sexuality, more and more space should be made for forthright discussion of male sexuality.

Of course there are inappropriate ways for men to express their desire, just as there are inappropriate ways for women to express their desire. For example, it’s not okay for people of any sex to continue hitting on someone after that person has clearly asked them to stop. It’s not okay for people in a position of power, like employers or clients, to use their position to harass or sexually intimidate people under their authority.

But these situations are a far cry from creating more dialogue in appropriate places—like gender-studies classes or blogs—about male sexuality. They’re also a far cry from giving men like my S&M friend the benefit of the doubt when they join conversations about desire.

2) “Male sexuality should be approached from the concept of pleasure rather than accomplishment,” writes machina, a blog commenter.

Linking sex to accomplishment rather than pleasure also leads to some men caring more about getting it done than their partners’ consent. Additionally, men are under so much pressure to get busy all the time that even when they’re having sex, their own pleasure may be less central than meeting the stereotype of how dudes are supposed to get laid. For some men, the stereotypes do represent their desires; for some, the stereotypes don’t work at all. A man who’s the top partner in anal sex with his girlfriend might be scoring big according to popular consensus—but if what he really craves is for her to peg him with a strap-on, then he’s not actually scoring at all. Even a guy who contentedly loves anal sex might have the chance at mind-blowing sexual paradise if he decided to risk something new, to think outside the box.

3) Which brings me to my last thought: Let’s work to discourage sexuality that’s actually predatory or non-consensual.

Obviously, most people aren’t rapists, and as HughRistik says: “I don’t think an individual man deserves to feel that his sexuality is toxic merely because he is a man and other men have displayed their sexuality in toxic ways.” But assault and harassment are real problems, causing real anxieties. (And not just for women.  I’ve heard stories about how men’s boundaries are routinely ignored; one example is women who, while exploring naked fun with some happy gentleman, will initiate condomless sex without even asking if he’s cool with that.)

It’s incumbent upon all of us to discourage that kind of thing when we see or hear about it, no matter who it comes from. It’s also incumbent upon us to honor one another’s boundaries. But this is not a question of limiting or repressing male sexuality, and it shouldn’t be framed that way. It should be framed entirely as a question of consent, communication, and respect.

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Thanks so much to all the commenters who have participated in my sprawling manliness threads: Part 1Part 2Part 3, and The Followup. Particular thanks to those who have stuck with The Followup, which has over 1,200 comments and is still evolving!

© 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved. This piece originally ran on Alternet.org.

About Clarisse Thorn

Clarisse Thorn is a feminist sex writer who has given workshops all over the USA. She wrote a book about masculinity, dating dynamics, and sex theory called Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser; she’s also got a best-of collection called The S&M Feminist. Recently, she released an anthology about sexual assault in virtual worlds called Violation: Rape In Gaming. Clarisse has also explored fiction with short stories like The End Of An Age: A Ramayana. To stay up-to-date with Clarisse’s work, visit her blog or follow her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Don’t forget the term for an man who sleeps around and is not trustworthy for serious relationships: The Womanizer. Another term usually left out when discussing how men are privileged and women oppressed.

  2. It’s only creapy when they are a player and telling other multiple of women their desires.

  3. Lidia Gasparian says:

    “So how can a man express his sexual needs without being tarred as a creep?”

    By not being a creep? Come on, if so many straight American men don’t know how to express sexuality and not make women feel disgusted, scared or insulted in the meanwhile count me out to visit you guys’ country in this lifetime.
    Women (or men) are not out there to label you a creep because of the rainy weather.

    Like, that is so simple:
    1. You see a woman you find gorgeous and wanted to have sex with. You can just tell your friend:
    – Wow, she is so gorgeous! I would totally go to bed with her.
    Instead of:
    – Dude what a drop dead gorgeous slut! I would so fuck her in the ass until it bleeds and then cum on her whorish face!

    2. You can approach a woman in a gentle way, say hello in a friendly tone, ask her name… then after a while ask for her number or, depending on the situation, even if she wants to go somewhere more private.
    Instead of just approaching her with a bully attitude, not even ask for her name and just asking her to suck your dick, “bitch”. No, not even asking to lick her pussy will work that way (or it may work with a drunk 1%-, but that does not mean it became less moronic).

    I mean. For real, guys. Is that so difficult? Did you just lose all your diplomacy, respect for women/people and good sense? Are you guys really from a 1st World Country? A civilized one?
    Many of you guys harass women of ALL NATIONALITIES online (and many gay guys as well). Many of you guys call us condescending names, are sexist/misogynist in so many ways and out of nowhere. If that is how you approach all of us online, we know that is how you approach North American women online… and many times in real life, too. Stop.
    Sex is something good, not something violent. Not something that has to be done while offending, degrading and humiliating women (BDSM apart, that is consensual and role-play). Not something you should do to feel superior to women. Not something that is only about your penis, your desires and your orgasm. You guys for the most part still act as if the penis is the most important object in the scene, the thing that deserves all praise and focus and the only thing that should be pleasured. You guys still believe that a man ejaculating is what marks the end of the sex session. Female pleasure (even less female orgasm) is something that helps men enjoy the time, because hey, if she is not wet how will you stick it in? but never something important at all. Her desires are always well received, but only as long as it matches your own and your ego. You guys want sex with many women but won’t respect them afterward – because hey, when a penis penetrates it gains power, and a vagina embraces it loses dignity, because your brain wants to believe that. many of you guys want to feel like you are using someone when having sex, and that is proven when you have revenge porn, condescending talks about how a “slutty bitch” did this or that to you, etc. You guys want your violent, women-are-cumbags porn but will disrespect women who work in porn. You guys want to see naked and sexy women but at the same time will shame and treat them as inferior, will say they are not “respecting themselves”… and that why it justifies you disrespecting them as well. Many of you guys even blame women for being raped… it was her clothes! Slut!
    I mean, stop with the victimization already. Many of the guys whining do many of these thing. You guys are reaping what you sow. It sucks that men who are not like that have to suffer the consequences with you… but women there have no many alternatives than to be alert and skeptical.

  4. So glad for this article! I hadn’t thought about sexuality from the male point of view, so I found this enlightening.

  5. You see everything is relative…….. e.g. person A respectfully broaches the idea to person B that they could have a mutually rewarding intimate experience. Sounds great right? It all depends on the relative experience level of A and B. If B is in a bonnet and crinolines and has never heard such a thing she will say “What a creep” to things that others would think are innocuous.

  6. There is an enemy of both men and women here that needs to be fought tooth and nail, but it’s kind of hard to because it spits on our cupcake and tells us it is feminism: Rape fear pandering

    I mean the idea that female sexuality is a long string of painful and horrible experience, from the time daddy “took our innocence” at four (according to many a tell-all book, all porn stars or even somewhat sexual women would be virtuous flowers, but an abuse “unhinged” them), to the moment our (fantasized) tamper seal, I mean, hymen is broken, bleeds and hurts (or so we’re told), to the moment we send a sext message to the wrong person, to the moment we give a blow job to the wrong person, to the moment someone slipped roofies in our drinks and, you guessed, it, raped us.

    While those horrible things do happen, there is a difference between prevention and the shameless exploitation of people’s fears that we see now. Some feminists tell us to see evil men, exploitation, domination everywhere and we see what we are scared into seeing. We are scared to death of being cat-called, seeing that as a bullet proof example that every penis in the World wants us not only barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but dead and burried in his backyard. While cat-calling is certainly stupid, even smart people have brain farts sometimes, especially when they are nervous. And even the genuine assholes are there are not all Robert Pickton, just assholes.

    While the effects this has on men are certainly bad, I like the irony of the effects it has on women. It is all done in the name of our protection (or revenge?) but what does it turn us into? You summed it up pretty well in the beginning of your article, just the way I felt for a long time : «  If I walk home after dark, I can’t help fearing assault—so much so that if a man or group of men come near me on the street, I feel my heart lodge firmly in my throat until they pass. »

    In a word, we live in fear of the boogeyman, all the time, everywhere. That’s no fun, that’s not healthy. In fact, I think it is even worse than assault itself.

    Maybe 10%, 20% or 150%, or whatever statistic they’re guessing right now are being raped, but that pathological, irrational fear is pushed on all women. It may be done in the name of our protection, but I consider it a form of violence in itself.

  7. This puts up very succinctly what most men go through. This is real dialogue that acknowledges the fact that no one particular part of society can have its problems solved without a dusting done of the entire society. Thank you for this article. This is what I have been expecting from the GMP for long and finally it is here. Thank you once again.

  8. why “white” …………..

    • It’s not clear what you’re referring to there, Jane.

      Do you mean this line: “even vanilla, consensual, heterosexual, private sex between cute, white, married adults is hard for some folks to acknowledge.”? If so the point is, even when it involves the most privileged group towards which there is the least discrimination, sex causes discomfort amongst some people. Hence “white” in that sentence. Or are you referring to something else?

  9. Will Best says:

    “The only way for a guy to guarantee that he won’t be called ‘creepy’ is to suppress entirely his sexuality, just like a woman can escape being called a slut by suppressing hers”

    Actually that isn’t true, because asexual men are also considered “creepy”, though typically when you show no sexual desire in a woman she calls you some form of homosexual.

  10. Steve Steveson says:

    Yes, there are creepy men, but this completely ignores the fact that there are creepy women. The Slut/Stud thing completely ignores much too.

    Take, for example, Sex and the City (and many romance novels and “chick flicks”). Women who are sexually aggressive in a way that would get men branded “creepy”.

    These words, when used in broad generalizations at least, are useless and nothing more than a way for people to beet there own drum. The Slut/Stud ignores creepy men and sexually aggressive women completely.

    To be honest, the use of the word slut is often miss quoted in this context. It is, in my experience, not used to describe women who have sex with lots of people, or who enjoy and are open about sex, but to describe people (both men and women) who are indiscriminating. For example people who will get drunk on a regular basis, sleep with someone, regret it the next day and move on. Not to describe people who have a strong idea of what they want and enjoy sex openly and freely.

    • If that was the way the word was universally applied, I don’t think people would have a problem with it. I agree though that I would wish that was the way the word was used, and would feel comfortable using it in that way; especially if it applied to men and women equally.

  11. The double bind here for us is of course if one appears to have no sexual desire one becomes less attractive. I certainly wouldn’t be attracted to a woman who appeared to have no sexual appetite, so I can hardly expect a woman to be attracted to me when I give the impression that I’m aesexual. And yet if we are open about sexual desire we do run the risk of being seen as creeps. I’m glad this is being talked about.

  12. Also, this site needs to be more clear about which branching of the feminist tree it is watering here. Or is it supposed to be both sides? Frankly, I find most of the sex-positive, pro-pornography junk to be misogynistic apologists. I read some good articles on this sight. Then I stumble across articles from the other side of the feminist fence and feel less safe here.

    • Who said this site had to cater to feminists? This is a site for men, feminists need to deal with it, they don’t get to tell the men what to do or say. There are plenty of places they can already control the conversation.

      • “I’m feeling unsafe” is the great license nowadays to say or do whatever the hell you want to without being held accountable and without having to be consistent or evidentiary. It’s ironic that some forms of feminism and the “stand your ground” gun lobby are sounding more and more like each other. The political spectrum does seem to curve around on itself as you get further to the left and right…..

  13. “Compassion without honesty is sentimentality, but honesty without compassion is brutality.”

    Not everything that is the truth has to be shared every way every time. Sexual talk is a sexual act in and of itself, and boundaries should be respected.

    There is a lot of talk these days about slut-shaming, but what about boundary-shaming, bonding-shaming. What if I don’t want to be a slut? What if I don’t want to wear tight clothes or low-cut blouses? What if I only want to have sex with someone with whom I have fallen in love after knowing him for years and years? What if I don’t want to hear about every dude’s sexual fetishes? What if I don’t want him speculating about mine?

    Boundaries! That’s when it becomes creepy—when they tread on my boundaries. There is nothing wrong with keeping some things to yourself. Like, for instance, if you see someone and think that he is really fat, you do not need to blurt out, hey, you are really fat. Similarly, if you don’t know that the person is consenting to that kind of conversation or interaction, then shut your trap and keep it to yourself.

    • “What if I don’t want him speculating about mine?”

      In that particular case, you don’t get to dictate what goes on in someone else’s mind. You should not be allowed to prevent someone from speculating about you, at least not if it’s merely internal speculating. Telling someone to stop thinking something about you is itself a boundary violation.

  14. I’m surprised no-one has mentioned this yet, but it isn’t as simple as “anyone has the right to express their sexual desire, and not offend the person they are propositioning.” When a guy I have never met approaches me in public to “let me know about his sexual desire for me” in whatever polite or impolite way he does so, he is effectively saying “I think your body is attractive and have very little interest in your mind or who you are.” Because he has decided that what he thinks about my appearance is more important than anything else. I’m now expected to decide based on only HIS physical appearance whether or not I find him attractive. (Not to mention, that this is often happening several times a day when maybe we have other things we want to be doing than spending long amounts of time making sure we didn’t hurt the feelings of the guy who thought he’d flatter us by telling us how great of a job we are doing at being an object he would like to oggle/have sexual desires about.) There’s a reason we are abrupt. I don’t think we have to go so far as to label these guys a creep, but I also don’t think we are obligated to be “flattered” by their judgment of our bodies.

    • A few points of order on this –

      “he is effectively saying “I think your body is attractive and have very little interest in your mind or who you are.” ”

      Not really – he’s saying “Something about your physical form attracts me.” In some cases, that’s all he’s interested in, but in most cases, he’s looking to start the conversation where he can find out whether he finds your mind or who you really are attractive. Our first level of contact is the physical, our first attraction is to the physical, and there is *nothing wrong with that*. Some people only have that level. Some people only want that level. If you want more, turn them down and move on. With that in mind…

      “we have other things we want to be doing than spending long amounts of time making sure we didn’t hurt the feelings of the guy who thought he’d flatter us … There’s a reason we are abrupt”

      You can respond quickly without being abrupt. Replying to “You’re attractive” with “Thank you” isn’t abrupt, it’s polite. Replying to “Let’s copulate” with “No, thank you.” is, again, not abrupt, just polite. In both cases you’re acknowledging an apparently sincere compliment and moving on. At that point, if he’s hurt, you’re not the cause. If he pushes, he’s crossed a line and you have every right to be abrupt (or more than abrupt) as required.

      In case you’re wondering, I’ve used this to effect. I get (COMPLETELY inappropriate) comments on how pretty my eyes are, and I respond with “Thank you” and then move on, only allowing it to derail my day if the person pushes past the obvious deflection, at which point I will explain why it’s inappropriate, and I’m no longer trying to preserve their feelings, I’m trying to educate them to avoid future repetitions. I’m working with folks who are particularly immature, and I still only get maybe one in five pushing, and repeat offenses are nearly nonexistent. *shrug* It works, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

      “I also don’t think we are obligated to be “flattered” by their judgment of our bodies”

      The truth of your statement is (or should be) obvious; you’re NOT obligated to do anything, and I think it’s healthier to take a compliment as it’s intended than to become offended. This is a case where the impact of another’s actions can be substantially altered by your perception, and saying “twenty five guys thought I was attractive today” is, on balance, a healthier thought than “twenty five guys ignored my mind and accomplishments today”.

    • “When a guy I have never met approaches me in public to “let me know about his sexual desire for me” in whatever polite or impolite way he does so, he is effectively saying “I think your body is attractive and have very little interest in your mind or who you are.” Because he has decided that what he thinks about my appearance is more important than anything else.”

      See this is the problem some women have about dating, you are viewing it as he is only interested in your body, but you are wrong. He hasn’t shown you that he is ONLY interested in your body, he has just shown interest in you based on the little he knows from your looks. Just because he hasn’t had time to make a decision on your personality doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in you as a person. Why is this so hard for some women to understand? He’s sexually attracted to her based off looks, it doesn’t at all imply her worth is only in her looks…how could it? I see plenty of very attractive women whom I may jump straight into bed with given the chance (I am single, if I was dating I wouldn’t need to) but that doesn’t mean I am only interested in their body but it means I am sexually attracted to how they look whilst I am fully open to getting to know their personality. BIG Difference…it doesn’t have to be either or. The only thing he would imply is that so far he’s sexually attracted by your looks and if so many women choose to view his actions as as ONLY wanting her body then it’s the women who are at fault and causing their own objectification. Someone showing interest in you sexually based off your looks is not objectifying you unless he flat out refuses to see you as human and doesn’t care for your personality, if he’s just met you then there’s no chance to know if he cares about your body above your personality. Not everyone needs to know someones personality in depth to have sex, that doesn’t at all mean they value someones body above their personality but it simply means they can have sex based off looks alone.

      Just because someone desires something from another based on one attribute doesn’t mean they don’t value that person as a human nor does it mean they are putting your looks above your personality in how they judge you. I don’t see the check-out person at the supermarket as only valuable to me based on their service, I see them as humans doing a job which for the time being they provide a service I require and the future is completely unset. You can maybe say it’s shallow to have sex based on looks alone but it doesn’t mean that person ONLY values your looks, it can very well mean that you are a sexually attractive woman and at that time he wants to have consenting sex with you for both of your pleasure and the future is unset. Even if your looks are the main reason he wants to have sex with you, that doesn’t mean your looks at the most important to him ALWAYS. There are many possibilities, you may go on to date then get married or you may both go your separate ways, if you choose to view it so negatively though it’s always going to offend you. On first meeting you only get to see a person, so far the attraction can only be physical and for some that is enough to get the ball rolling.

      I can maybe jump into bed with someone I’ve just met and start learning their personality after a few seconds of meeting them, just after my physical attraction has been triggered or not. You can gauge a small part of their personality by their dress sense, are they at a place where there is a hobby? Do they appear to be happy? When you first speak to them then the way you speak, your body language, what you say all influence his judgement on your personality, the whole time from Hello to the bedroom he has to learn of your personality. It will be mostly/if not all a physical attraction for THAT time but the future is unset. Do you think he will only ever like you for your looks or are you annoyed that someone can be sexually attracted based off looks and desire sex from that? Because it’s pretty damn normal to be sexually attracted to the point of desiring sex within the first few seconds of meeting someone for many people, I get that feeling many times per day depending on who I meet. Never do I value a personality as less or more than physical looks, I value both but for casual sex you can get away with a mostly physical attraction. Viewing looks and personality on some scale where it’s “proper” to value personality more is a bit foolish I think. Some of us are perfectly fine getting to know someone whilst having casual sex beforehand.

      You may feel that is shallow and not for you but don’t assume your personality is meaningless, it’s not an either/or game. You are not MEAT automatically just because someone has physical attraction to you. If in the process of talking he treats you like meat, cares nothing of your personality and doesn’t respect you as human then yeah that is wrong, but for casual sex and physical attraction at the start of a potential relationship it is too early to really judge what he thinks of you and his ideas of your personality. If he grabs you against your will, sexually abuses you on meeting THEN he is not treating you like a human. If only being physically attracted to someone based on limited time with them means that person is meat then every human probably treats others like meat.

      • Brandon says:

        Archy, I wish I could express my thoughts even half as well as you have here. I wish every woman could read what you have said, since what you said was brilliant. If wanting to hump someone automatically meant that I -only- see them as a piece of meat, I would literally have zero friends today.

        • Thank-you. I hope I can continue helping to explain myself and other peoples feeling on the matter. If the genders saw each other in a less negative way, life would be soooo much better!

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        Women are not that dumb and just blind to everything you said. I guess you took her main point in the wrong way.

        Also:
        “The only thing he would imply is that so far he’s sexually attracted by your looks and if so many women choose to view his actions as as ONLY wanting her body then it’s the women who are at fault and causing their own objectification. Someone showing interest in you sexually based off your looks is not objectifying you unless he flat out refuses to see you as human and doesn’t care for your personality, if he’s just met you then there’s no chance to know if he cares about your body above your personality.”
        She NEVER talked about objectification.

    • First of all I would agree that there’s something animalistic about propositioning someone for sex based entirely on casual observation. I think it’s also an attitude men are trained by society to take; a young man who expresses disinterest in a beautiful stranger risks being labelled homosexual or inadequate by other men. Also, while some men may be doing this in an animalistic way, others will have been conditioned by movies and other media to believe in love at first sight.

      So while some men who ask you out may be beasts who care nothing for your mind, the hopeless romantic sees beauty as a kind of foreshadowing of romance. He doesn’t regard you in a shallow way; he thinks that you have hidden depths. This is, of course, assuming that they are basing their attraction on facial symmetry, breast size, and other objective criteria.

      What’s sad about your post is the extent to which you seem alienated from your own physicality. What people see when they look at your body is not just your body. They are not looking at a corpse. They see your body animated by your mind. They see a constant stream of body language, they hear your voice, see your smile. Your physicality is not an opaque wall hiding your mind and subjective experience; it provides a small window onto these things.

      Your clothes, too, say more about you than whether you are a well-dressed piece of meat. Your clothes convey further information about you, about your sense of aesthetics and style and how you choose to project yourself to the world. Some of those choices may be attractive for reasons that are not immediately apparent.

      I don’t proposition random women myself, but I can think back to the last two times I basically adored someone from the moment I saw them. The first was a friendly woman who was dressed in a way that made her look fierce, professional, organised. I wondered if she was a lawyer (she wasn’t.) The second was a tousle-haired tomboy dressed in such an androgynous way that I could only just barely tell that she wasn’t a boy. She quickly made it apparent that she was both courageous and highly competent.

      I’m not going to tell you how to deal with guys who compliment or proposition you. I’m sure some of them are complete jackasses. But I think you should give the male sex some credit for being capable of appreciating women’s subjectivity, and not being animals merely interested in their crass object-qualities.

      Another thing that troubles me about this issue is that I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who really need to hear that they’re beautiful, for whom it would make their day; as well as a lot of people who are heartily sick of hearing it, and still more people who would be fine with hearing it as long as it wasn’t the prelude to a shitty come-on.

  15. Thanks for this article. It confirmed a few things I’ve had bouncing in my head, enlightened me on others, and gave words to some I’d never really been able to express, even to myself.

    I’m in a situation where I’m the de facto role model for a fair number of young men. One thing I’ve had a hard time expressing to them is the difference between accepting their own sexuality and forcing it on someone else. All too many think it’s a both-or-neither situation, and that opinion is constantly reinforced by the media they’re exposed to.

    While talking with one of them, I hit upon the following way to explain the difference after he’d run out of the room to get a better look at a passing pair of young ladies. When he returned, muttering to himself about the glory of the vision he’d just beheld, I said to him “Okay, do you know that feeling you get when you look at them? That’s entirely inside your head, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. It simply means ‘you like girls’ and ‘you think those girls are attractive’. The problem comes with assuming that feeling inside your head implies *anything at all* about *the girls*, like ‘oh, they’re (insert epithet here).” I saw the light come on at that point; for at least a moment he realized his own desire was fine, but it was *his* desire, and implied nothing about the persons he desired. His reply, only half facetious, was ‘You mean me wanting them doesn’t mean they want me, nor does it mean they don’t want me, it just means I want them? Maybe I should go talk to them or something.’

    Of course, then we had to have a little discussion about tact, discretion, and how both of those improve the odds of young ladies *returning* his interest, because he *had* gone galloping off to his better vantage point like a bull moose in mating season. But… baby steps.

  16. great article – i also wrote 2 articles recently about the current state of the masculine and feminine.

    http://www.waykiwayki.com/2013/05/beltane-part1-suppressed-feminine.html
    http://www.waykiwayki.com/2013/05/beltane-part-2-suppressed-masculine.html

    .

  17. Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for writing this article. I never really could put words to these types of pressures, and it’s incredibly comforting knowing that there are people out there talking about this.

    Being called a creep IS really damaging, no doubt about it.

  18. maximus decimus meridius says:

    the real question is, why is it OK for attractive/hot guys to express their needs or desires towards someone but guys who are fat or unattractive are demonized as complete and total scum/creepers if they even so much as glance in a womans general direction, let alone try to initiate conversation. I can’t count how many times i have casually been in town and happened to glance one way or another and accidentally make eye contact with an attractive woman who instantly glares at me and heads the other direction as if i’m some kind of rapist or serial killer.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      “the real question is, why is it OK for attractive/hot guys to express their needs or desires towards someone but guys who are fat or unattractive are demonized as complete and total scum/creepers if they even so much as glance in a womans general direction, let alone try to initiate conversation.”
      For the same reason fat and unnatractive women are ridiculed and humiliated by many men all the time, and they do not even have to express any desire for anyone.

  19. I think there is a gaping chasm in how we teach sexual expression (or more accurately, LACK of said education) and what we teach sexual harassment to be.

    Sexual harassment is harassment. It’s haggling someone until they do what you want. It’s not respecting a “no”. Gender neutral.

    What we TEACH is that sexual harassment is a man saying anything sexual to a woman. It’s specific to straight, cis men.

    How do I know this? Ask a lesbian about women. Ask a gay man about men. Heck, ask a gay guy about women. They can say the raunchiest, BDSM imagery and people are like “you go girl”, and call it a healthy expression of sexuality.

    The moment a straight guy udders anything of the sort, it is labeled “systemic misogyny”, or the guy is a creeper, or perverted, etc. Did he actually do anything wrong? NO! But his options for expressing himself are far more limited than a woman or LGBT.

    We are condemning the WRONG THING.

    -The problem is not men with “wandering eyes”, the problem was ridiculing women with wandering eyes.

    -The problem is not men wanting to have sex with women, the problem was acting like women shouldn’t want to have sex with men.

    -The problem of sexual harassment is not sexuality, the problem is not respecting each other’s boundaries.

    It makes me wonder why we have so much trouble differentiating between these things. And it worries me that we have to convince people that this is a real problem.

  20. Excellent article, and a brave one. The threat of rape is a very real one, but one can not, or at least should not, twist one’s life around it. Crime can happen whether we are prepared or unprepared, so be prepared, but don’t go through life expecting it, or you end up sexually harassing yourself. And it’s very important to remember that Women are not only raped by men. I know as many women who have been raped by other women as I do those who have been raped by men.

    Putting aside criminals for a second, for a man to approach a woman in the way that makes her feel great about it it’s not astrology that makes it happen–it’s practice. There’s nothing inherently evil about a guy approaching ignorantly. In fact the least appealing approaches are usually from the most earnest, inexperienced men. So many women brush those guys off as creeps and then complain bitterly when the guy who meets their high standards is a player. But what are the options? And why are the women so unforgiving to a well-meaning clod, who might turn out to be the man of her dreams with a little more experience?

    And let’s not underestimate the scorn of women or the label of creep. While a woman bestowing “creep” on a guy simultaneously condemns him AND puts him in the position of dominance while she becomes the submissive, it has quite the opposite effect on the guy. If he’s well-meaning or inexperienced, it can be crushing–there are plenty of guys who have only approached one or two women in their lives. They were told off and became the women-haters that the women fear most (yup guys ARE that sensitive). Even worse, labeling a guy a creep can lead to social ostracism or even getting fired and black-listed, something that I’ve seen unscrupulous women use against business rivals. It can be very dangerous.

    Back to rapists– it’s a serious threat to anyone, anyplace. At the same time, there are some parts of the world where it’s a more immediate threat than others–places where the authorities or society will not defend a women and may even condemn her for being a victim. Ironically, women from those places are often much more expert at flirting and social interactions than American women and women where their rights are more respected. In those other places, flirting can be a better survival skill than karate–it puts women in control of the social interaction.

    When women put men in a double-bind, assertive men are creeps, non assertive men are wimps, it creates a situation where NO ONE is happy. I think most women want a guy to approach, but in the right way, and most guys want to approach, but they don’t want to risk being arrested just for asking for a phone number. As such women are in the position of total control, whether they accept it or not– treating every putz who says hello as a rapist is a comfortable safe position for a woman who’s given her life to celibacy, but if she wants to be asked out, it’s up to her to get out of her comfort zone and let the guys approach, even when they tip over their own weenies sometimes.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      “I know as many women who have been raped by other women as I do those who have been raped by men.”
      Too uncommon. Women are much, much more raped by men than other women. And women fear men more because they are usually stronger, that is why.

      Most women brush off men because they just do not feel attracted to them. I mean, women can also have choices. And no, the vast majority of women are not out there calling men creeps out of nowhere or without a very good reason (like, when he in fact IS a creep) or even labeling them creeps in their minds. In fact, most women are actually afraid of hurting men (we should not hurt men anyways and also because they could retaliate – do you know how many men will curse you only because you said a educated “not interested”?) to ever do anything stupid. And please, unless you are asking for her number while grabbing her by the hair and undressing her without her consent only a crazy woman will call the cops on you if you just ask for her number, ahahaha! You guys are way hysterical here.

      “They were told off and became the women-haters that the women fear most.”
      Nope. Women and men haters are like that because of deeper problems. Women are not responsible for misogynists. Stop blaming women for men’s hatred and violence. That poor man hates women because a woman treated him wrong, that other man hates women because a woman lied to him, this other is because two women cheated on him, men rape women because of their clothes, men hate women because so many women are rotten this days… NO, they hate women because they are ill individuals who are way too emotionally unbalanced. the same goes to men-haters.

      “In those other places, flirting can be a better survival skill than karate–it puts women in control of the social interaction.”
      Yes, in those places women HAVE to flirt with any men who wants too. If not she will suffer dangerous retaliating many times.

  21. The mixed messages that society gives must be very confusing if you dont understand that there is no such thing as society. Society isnt real, it therefore cannot tell men anything. At times large number of people say and believe and say the same things, which gives us the illusion that there is a collective mind. But larger the population the wider range of voices will be heard, hence it sounds like this “society” is giving men mixed messages.

    Men need to ask themselves and only themselves what is right for them to do.

    • Thank you for coming along and enlightening us, oh wise one. Of course we thought society was an actual hivemind, like the borg off of ‘Star Trek’, and we totally weren’t using it as a way of referring to the balance of messages received from media, peers, parents, educators, and other groups of actual people who have an influence on the lives of men.

      And of course you are correct that the solution to this (and to all problems) is for people to spontaneously know the right thing to do, through sheer ineffable gnosis, without any information changing hands.

  22. The only way a man can avoid being demonized about his sexuality is to 1) be hot and 2) not be afraid of being called the c-word. It’s just a catch-all term for women to describe men that they’re not immediately and overwhelmingly attracted to. Its overuse has rendered it completely ineffectual — on the same level as “epic.” Now that I think of it, any time a girl uses this in the presence of a man, his immediate response should be, “Dude! That was so EPIC!”

    • While I agree that it’s become a catch all term, I don’t believe it’s ineffectual. If I might illustrate with an example from my own experience:

      I once attempted to make a professional contact at a convention where I’d been invited as a guest. During one of the times I wasn’t speaking to an audience or talking to fans, I went to a presentation given to the person I was trying to meet. The schedule listed half of her time as meet-and-greet time, so I figured I’d listen to her talk, then go up and introduce myself.

      The talk was quite informative. Unfortunately quite a few folks had the same idea I did, and some of them chatted for quite a while. I took a seat and waited , as I’m a rather large male and most of them were itty bitty, and all of the others were female, and I didn’t want to give the impression of bulling in. I struck up a conversation with some of the young ladies waiting with me to pass the time. The end of the meet-and-greet time arrived, and we had to clear the room for the next event in the room. I don’t think I even managed to get in a ‘Hi, good to meet you, thanks for the informative talk!’ with the woman I was there to speak with. I shrugged, moved on, and went to meet with my next panel partners.

      The person I’d been trying to meet labelled me a creep. Note that I’d barely *spoken* with the woman beyond a question or two during the Q&A section of her presentation, nor had I any intent whatsoever in a personal direction. Folks who are friends of mine were asking me ‘what did you *do*?’ and others, who I’d never met, now thought of me as ‘the creepy guy’. Not a happy thing for me professionally, and on a personal level I’m still shaken by it. I can be labeled as ‘creepy’, with the implications of being pushy, demanding, and somehow predator-ish just by sitting waiting for someone to have a few moments to introduce myself as a new professional in the field.

      Now, I generally agree with Scalzi on this one – if I’m creeping someone out, I’m going to give them space. For all I know, they’ve been harassed by someone who bears some physical resemblance to me, and I don’t want to hurt anybody if I can reasonably avoid it.

      tl;dr version – the word still has power. If you’re refusing to accept unfair labels, good for you, but you may still suffer consequences. If you’re just ignoring the opinions of someone who uses it… I may ahve some bad news for you.

  23. I do see this, it’s bizarre to me (I work in the sex industry, as a professional dominatrix, I’m a lifestyle submissive) and people do equate kinkiness in men with creepiness (in women it’s usually not acknowledged or treated as a sign that we’re either complicit when we get raped, when we’re submissive, or angry man hating harpies, when we’re dominant). I’m a fetishist (a trichophiliac, meaning I’m sexually attracted to human head hair… specifically for me, long haired men, and very into a variety of other things, including the idea of getting breast implants) my husband has a fetish for women with breast implants, and he was absolutely worried he’d scare me off when he mentioned it after we started messaging on okcupid, needless to say, I was overjoyed rather than creeped out, because most men are like “OH NO NATURAL IS ALWAYS BEST” (a view that totally ignores what I want to do with my own damned body) and so um yes.

  24. Thanks for posting this article, Clarisse. It has a lot of good things to say as well as a few dicey bits to discuss. The comments are good, too. (Archy you’re still my hero for noting that many women watch porn, too; and MrSuperTypo, you make an excellent point about young hetero males needing some “non-porn provided” information on how to please women.)

    I wanted to point out an unfortunate thing in the comments of that “Curvature” article on male rape being “callously dismissed” that you linked here, however. The writer Cara responded with vicious and cuss-out riddled anger to a male survivor (Toysoldier, whom I’ve admired as a commenter on similar issues before) for expressing his views and sharing his experiences. As a male survivor myself, I was horrified; she also banned him from her blog. Other commenters tried to point out how disturbing her angry, foul-language ridden and attacking response was, how they felt it “undermined her credibility” and made them lose respect for her, but her responses amount to a “tough, deal with it” attitude and she only gives excuses for her behavior. She explains her misperception of what Toysoldier said, which wasn’t what I got out of his comments, and being banned, he couldn’t defend himself further. This undermined her whole article for me. I’m left with the thought, “With feminist allies to male survivors like this, who needs enemies?”

    I just wanted to make you aware of this. I know you were linking the article and you’re not able to control the comments there, but I felt readers here deserved a warning. Stumbling over that was triggering to me to say the least. It’s a shame.

    I feel if one is going to claim the role of advocate, they should operate with a decent level of professionalism, and not attack a member of the very group their article was written in support of. Unfortunate. This, however, is the sort of doublespeak male survivors of adult rape and child sexual abuse often encounter when we dare to discuss rape issues with some (not all) feminists. Misandry, in my opinion, is just as damaging as misogyny to the efforts of all of us to understand each other better.

  25. Male sexuality is demonized because so many people fall into the trap of thinking men are the same. There are gross generalizations of porn for instance that are so far off the mark that I wonder if the commenters truly watch much porn, those generalizations add to this view of porn being bad n sexist towards women ALL the time (a generalization) and that shames n demonizes males who look at it (so many often fail to realize how many women watch porn.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      Most of the times. Like, really, MOST of the times it is about not taking female sexual pleasure into consideration in the same way the male sexual pleasure is exalted. That, and also that most porn is made by men for men, so of course we will see that is actually what most men want, enjoy and believe sex is about.
      And then, after having sex with over 5 men, you are then SURE that is what most men believe sex is about – their pleasure over yours.

      Most women watch amateur porn. Most women prefer porn that couples do, where both are more close to “real” people and enjoying it. But even then, someone of said group liking something that is denigrating of his own group doesn’t have the same power patterns that when someone of group “x” likes something that degrades someone of a different group.

  26. Unfortunetly, I think that a lot of women feel threatened and defensive against male sexuality because alot of male sexuality in our pop-culture environment is represented as predatory and violent. Pop culture doesn’t do a great job representing sexuality for men AND women. And real men in the everyday world suffer the backlash of that. If we can break away from those representations, perhaps we can come to a place where men expressing their sexuality is not something women need to be threatened by. But as it stands, how pop-culture showcases male sexuality, it is threatening and women have taken the stance that since no one else is going to protect them, they need to do it themselves. Of course, sometimes women miss out on great oppurtunities to be open to men and their sexuality. But sometimes the risk doesn’t out weight the reward.

    I think men need to pay attention to how the media protrays their sexuality. And I am not just talking about the stories about men raping other people or being violent. I am talking about the things that are used to lure us in. Look at how music videos portray male sexuality. Look at the kind of articles that are written about male sexuality. I remember one in my younger years when I wanted to learn about men, reading an article in Maxim. The article was calling something along the lines of, “How to Check out Other women while your with your girlfriend”. It went on to give tips on how men can fake affection to their girlfriends just so they could steal peeks at other women. These things do men no favors because it puts women automatically on the defensive. Look at how porn also portrays male sexuality. I have talked ad nauseum about this subject regarding women. But porn does alot to represent men poorly too. Men’s sexuality is showcased as violent and often over-whelming.

    I think if we are going to break these chains, men need to be more vocal and authentic about themselves, women and sex. They need to be honest about the kind of media the might even like and enjoy and the messages it might be sending about men. And we all need to fight fair. I think that the key is vulnerability, authenticity and honesty from men. And that’s not easy for any of us sometimes.

    • If I could give people advice about sexuality, it would be to throw away all the maxims, dolly, women’s n men’s magazines since I find they’re mostly full of shit. If you want to learn try some of the online health forums with decent moderation where people share tips or find out from proper sex therapists.

      Pop-culture and pro porn especially show terribly narrow views of male sexuality, I’m glad I had google when I was learning about sex as I found guides written by people who seemed to give good advice, no bullshit, just plain solid advice.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Even if you believed in what the mags tell you, you wouldn’t have to buy more than one. They pretty much say the same thing issue after issue, so if that one issue’s advice didn’t work, you don’t need to read any more issues.

  27. Sexagenarian says:

    I can only speak for myself, but in my opinion, after 60 years of age, men are judged as “creeps” no matter what, if they express their sexuality in any way. I am an educated and dignified man and I do not “hit” on women or behave inappropriately. I believe in having respect for everyone. However, It seems that once you get into your sixth decade, you are of no value to women, unless you are a celebrity or mega-rich, but then it’s only the fame or money. I am a reasonably attractive man (women used to tell me that) and for 64, stronger and more fit than most. I can bench 200 lbs, and I can do over 200 push-ups, but that means nothing in respect to sex appeal, because now I am “old” and women look right through me. It seems they only want younger men. Sex? What’s that? It does not exist in my world. One reader said all men want is sex,sex,sex. Well, all I get is nothing,nothing,nothing. “Old” men are not supposed to have sex! Our society de-values it’s older citizens, particularly men, who are tolerated, but no longer accepted. We become “non persons.” In our culture, we love to victim blame, so I am sure some of you are probably thinking that somehow, I have brought this on myself. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but you might cling to that opinion anyway because what I am saying might scare you. It might be uncomfortable for you to believe that this is real, but for me, it’s all too real. I have just stopped trying, it’s a waste of time. Besides, if I try to flirt, I will most likely be accused of being creepy (eeyew!) or even worse, end up on some sex offender registry. So I am going to concentrate on staying fit and healthy and go back to being a grad student so I can keep my mind sharp. I have to accept the fact that “old” means “alone” ….and creepy, too. Call me bitter if you wish, but I am just telling it like it is.

    • Sexegenarian, I don’t think you sound bitter. Do you pursue women your own age or younger women? I have been hit on by men 20, 30 and even 40 years my senior. I have turned these men down because I did feel that some of their ages where too old for me.

      I do think you make a fair point about how our society devalues older people. Although, I guess I see this more clearly with women than men. I’m not sure I agree with you that older men are more devalued BUT you obviously have experienced that and your experience is worthy to talk about.

      • Sexagenarian says:

        Erin
        Thanks. It does not matter what age the women are. Your point about older women being more devalued is a good one, and perhaps the more accurate thing to say is both genders are depreciated about the same way, but grandma is still the more valued from what I can see. Its rather like being an old car, except we never become “classic.” Anyway, I refuse to let it break my spirit, although it does hurt sometimes. Thank you for your response , nice to know someone actually cares!

    • Hi

      Welcome to Scandinavia.
      We need more men like you,and I promise you will not be invisible.
      Sincere Iben

      • Sexagenarian says:

        Dear Iben
        Thank you. Funny you should say that, because I always did get much more female attention outside of the USA! Nice to hear that I could be valued somewhere! Gives me renewed hope!

    • Don’t give up hope compadre. You simply need to find the right venue. There are a lot of women in their 50’s and early 60’s who are widowed or divorced and who are not into “little boys”. You simply have to go to where they are as they are unlikely to come looking for you, and they may be shy from having been burned as well. Going back to Grad School is probably not a bad idea and I don’t mean for meeting “cute little co-eds”. There are single older female professors who are interested in companionship as well. Dancing is a good activity – Ballroom or whatever is most popular in your area. There are “get togethers” in all sort of social settings. Libraries do frequent special activities from authors to music. Frequent a gym that has a lot of middle aged and above women who use it. It depends upon your intellectual and social interests. There are plenty of opportunities if you look in the right places. You just need to do a little research and exploration.

  28. You start by describing all men as potential predators and that women go through their days in a state of terror, with examples. Then you wonder why men are demonized.

    The idea that your comments are fantastically insulting to the vast majority of us, and that most of us love women and would never consider doing what you describe – ever – obviously doesn’t occur to you. You answered your own question.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      That all men are predators, not. That we do not know what man will be a predator, yes. But you will get it if you ever have a daughter someday.
      And most straight men feel sexually attracted to women, that is all; that most love women is going way too far.

  29. Clarisse, I understand your argument but I don’t think I quite agree. While it’s certainly true that all men should not be punished because some men are rapists, the fact remains that the rapes occur and some men truly are creeps. Until very recently, men have always been allowed more sexual expression than women. Women have been expected to satisfy all of men’s desires and keep their “needs” under control, and consequently the focus is always on MALE pleasure, ignoring the needs of women. This is, for the most part, still true. I have felt this way personally in my relationships with guys – that their sexual needs are greater and more important than mine. The “demonizing” that you speak of is the backlash against a culture that caters to men’s needs before women’s. I’m not saying that it’s right, but I think that’s where it’s coming from. And of course men are going to be upset by it, because their right to dominate sexually is being called into question. I realize that most guys are not creeps and may have good intentions, but that’s not really enough. They need to spread the word around to their buddies and let them know that equality in sexual relationships requires some give and take. And it’s about pleasure for both parties involved – not just one or the other.

    • I don’t think you’re describing a backlash as much as a consequence of the existing dynamic. Men are the initiators, they’re the ones with the agency, who decide what they want and are expected to take it. To the extent that women have agency they are expected to decide which male desires are acceptable to them, and consent to those. This both leaves women in a subordinate role, and makes the man the ‘offender’ if his desires cause offence.

      And how does the abuse of men who enjoy a sexually submissive role, or who are attracted to non-normative body types fit into your ‘backlash’ interpretation?

      The things you say men need to be educated about are things most men are perfectly aware of. Yes, narcissistic rapists and abusers exist, but their problem isn’t ignorance of what an equal relationship requires; its their lack of interest in an equal relationship and perception of women as less than human.

      And the suggestion that we as non-abusive men are “not doing enough” in failing to preach to abusive men smacks of right-wing accusations that Muslims do not “do enough” to condemn islamic fundamentalism. Personally, there’s nothing I enjoy more than lecturing ‘nice guys’ on how they are behaving like anything but. I don’t see behaving like me in that regard as a universal duty upon men, though, nor do I see it as something only men are capable of doing.

      • Preaching and lecturing is not quite what I meant. And I don’t expect you to preach to abusers. What I was trying to get at is that male sexual pleasure is still elevated above female pleasure, and I don’t think most men realize that. I’ll narrow it down to young men especially: many whom I have interacted with think only of their needs and ignore their partner’s. Not that they do so intentionally; they’re just used to getting what they want. I think that’s a problem that warrants further educating.

        • And you are absolutely right that both men and women can do the educating.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          could it be that young guys, dont know how to please a woman? Some of them genuinely believes that having a big penis is enough. IMO there should be more information around this subject. Society still threat female sexuality as a tabu. I know, today 2013 its much better and there are more info around now than ever, but still you have to look for them and still in to many circles female sexuality are still seen as something mysterious. If we break down the silence IMO we will overcome this, and the sexual universe will become more even.

        • You are again trying to shame men about sex. Instead of shaming them for wanting it, you shame them for not satisfying you. The shaming needs to stop. If don’t like sex with that man you can talk to him or find a new man. You are responsible for your pleasure and he his.

          • Lidia Gasparian says:

            Nah. Women do have to find new men all the time because the current one won’t give us nothing. That is not the focus.
            The focus is men really believe you should be there, hot and hairless, to give him blowjobs and let him masturbate inside of you until he cums. And that is when sex ends. Men in general are not just not being able to satisfy; they don’t CARE about trying to, they don’t even try to.
            What about focusing 50% on the other part’s pleasure? That is what sex is about. What a woman who is responsible for her pleasure could do when her man will never care (and most in America do not, not enough)?
            Statistically PROVEN that men give much less oral sex than they receive; statistically PROVEN most women do not reach orgasm by intercourse alone; statistically PROVEN men won’t try anything else after ejaculating; they believe sex ends there.
            Also, the visual stimulation. Women are much more pressured into being pretty, hairless, gorgeous face, etc. Men are not, most do NOT put as much effort into their looks as much as most women and will still expect women to be much hotter than them. Also more sensual.

        • What I was trying to get at is that male sexual pleasure is still elevated above female pleasure, and I don’t think most men realize that.

          I have recently hooked up with a girl on three occasions. I have eaten her pussy four times. I have brought her to orgasm with my fingers many times. She is a virgin who does not want to have sex, and I respect that. I will not push her to have vaginal sex. However, she has not pleasured me. I have initiated things which are pleasurable to her in the hopes that she would return the favor. She has not, and I will not hook up with her again. In my case, the female sexual pleasure was elevated over the male sexual pleasure.

          Please understand that what you see in your life is only representative of the people in your life. Incredibly broad, sweeping generalizations like yours are not accurate and show your ignorance.

          • Lidia Gasparian says:

            What happened to YOU. She is not a virgin anymore if she has had sexual activities with you, by the way.
            Now what happens in our CULTURE is the vice-versa. We can see it in both men and women: both focus on the penis, pleasuring the penis and on the ejaculation/male orgasm. Men focusing on when they will receive their beloved blowjobs and cum over her face; most men in America DO NOT give oral sex in return as much, and that is proven; women believing sex is about pleasuring his penis and not reaching her own orgasm most of the times (yes, most women do not orgasm when having sex with men). Unfortunately, most men do not care about pleasing women and most women do not learn being pleasured is something they should also expect.

    • I agree with you Becky.
      Clarisse ask :”how can a man express his sexual needs whiteout being tarred as a creep?

      What a strange question . It sounds like Clarisse fight for even more alienated sex than we already have.
      Why on earth shall a man express sexual needs to a woman he is not in a relationship with?

      What stops him from making friends first and get to know the woman before things get intimate?

      And why are Clarisse so ashamed of her interest in sexuality that she hides her identity?

      Is her description of American culture correct,then I as a European feel sorry for you all.

      • Making friends first almost always leads -away- from having an intimate relationships Iben. Also, she hit the description of American culture pretty head on. As someone who’s not great at talking to women, I often get told I’m creepy. In truth, I’m just terribly shy and have a bit of social anxiety.

        “Why on earth shall a man express sexual needs to a woman he is not in a relationship with?”
        Because if you’re in a bar, trying to hook up (as people tend to do), odds are that sex will probably come up at some point. If you go through the trouble of trying to get a lady for the night, and they’re not into anything you are and/or vice-versa, that’s a lot of wasted time and effort.

        • Lidia Gasparian says:

          “And why are Clarisse so ashamed of her interest in sexuality that she hides her identity?”
          Because many, many men love to denigrate and offend/harass women who are open about their sexuality over there. That happens all the time.

    • “And of course men are going to be upset by it, because their right to dominate sexually is being called into question.”

      I’m not upset over that, I’m upset over the demonization of porn and sexuality where some will suggest I degrade women by looking at porn (ANY porn), annoyed that wanting sex without a relationship is somehow degrading (I am open to casual sex, also open to a relationship).

      I care deeply about my partners pleasure and I suspect many men do care about their partners pleasure, why do you think so many want to know if she orgasmed? Even in a lot of porn there is quite a lot of emphasis on the actresses pleasure (albeit not all women would enjoy that type of pleasure).

      “I realize that most guys are not creeps and may have good intentions, but that’s not really enough. They need to spread the word around to their buddies and let them know that equality in sexual relationships requires some give and take. And it’s about pleasure for both parties involved – not just one or the other.”

      Do you tell your female friends to do the same? There are quite a lot of women who withhold sex or don’t keep the romance n sexuality alive and the relationship becomes a glorified sexless friendship if anything. From what I hear from my friends they are VERY interested in pleasuring their partners but I suspect the problem is communication between the genders and reluctance in some cases of women especially to speak up on what they like in the bedroom leaving the man having to guess what pleasures her. Of course there are also selfish men who need to be talked to, selfish women as well who need to be schooled on how to be a decent partner.

      Unless someone is being a real asshole or creep about it, is it really bad for men to express their sexual desire for someone? It’s hard enough as a man where we have to chase women and rarely they ask us out first, having to guess when it’s ok to ask someone out, having to guess where the lines are where we can express our desire to date someone then to add the guesswork on when it’s ok to express sexual desire where you may be seen as a creep and at times have her tell her friends you’re a creep sullying your name, or you may luck out and everything is ok. It’s a lot of pressure and some of us give up over the fear of rejection, the fear of being seen as a creep, the feeling like you’re a perv because you actually want to ask out a woman and want a sexual relationship with them. Of course this varies heavily on your local culture, some religious areas or groups put the shame in pretty heavy for instance.

      What saddens me though is how quick some are to use the creep label, Oh no someone has expressed they want sex! How dare they! And I don’t mean with guys overstepping boundaries bigtime, but times where he’s labelled a creep because he isn’t attractive enough, times where he “looks like a creep”, times where he has politely asked someone out. Not everyone uses the label decently, some women are pretty badly behaved with throwing the label around at non-threatening behaviour, or using it to describe someones looks.

      Of course the most severe demonzation comes from some radfems who claim all penis in vagina sex is rape, luckily they’re few in number.

    • I get what you’re saying, Becky. We shouldn’t act like there aren’t creeps around. And it’s true that, historically, women’s pleasure was swept under the rug.

      If you have felt this more recently, though, then I would call that a bad relationship, not systemic disregard for women.

      If we really wanted to solve the issue of harassment, objectification, etc. We would tackle those issues. Instead, we just broadened the definition of harassment to include almost any male expression of sexual interest. There are other countries where you could literally ask “you wanna have sex” and *surprise* they’ll respond with yes/no instead of pepper spray.

      Over here, if a guy asks “you want to go for coffee?” on an elevator, he gets ridiculed in a vlog for insulting women and sexualizing her.

      What I also hear of in several cases are girls talking about how a guy was hitting on them and they didn’t like it, but she just kept a smile on her face. How is he supposed to know? She isn’t telling HIM, but hides her discomfort then spreads rumors about the guy.

      Let me put it this way, if someone said “I like your boobs, you wanna have sex? I’m going to haggle you until you say yes.” The harassment part is “I’m going to haggle you until you say yes”, it is NOT “I like your boobs, you wanna have sex?”.

      Next: It would be of great benefit to feminism if they ditched the idea that men are actively conspiring to dominate women. This instantly turns into bitterness against men, fear of men, disregard for men’s side of the issue, and spreads complete falsehoods.

      Men simply aren’t trying to dominate women in the sense you are describing. We don’t fear this ridicule because we fear losing “tyrannical power over women”. We fear the ridicule because it represses OUR sexuality. Wasn’t one of the punchlines for women’s sexual liberation “make love, not war!”? Wasn’t the whole point encouraging people to not be afraid of sexuality?

      If we actively single out straight men and demonize their sexuality instead of demonizing men who cross lines, we’re taking a big step backward, and you can expect that it would hurt public perception of women.

      • Comment of the year! Bravo! ALL women need to read this, ALL men too.

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        “If you have felt this more recently, though, then I would call that a bad relationship, not systemic disregard for women.”
        So… you are a MAN telling a woman that is still not happening? That that is only bad luck…? That female pleasue is there, 50/50 with men’s pleasure in our times? Please.
        Women are still giving much more oral sex than receiving. Women are still giving much more handjobs than receiving. Mos women do not orgasm with intercourse alone. Women are still only orgasming 1/5 of the times, while 74% of men orgasm EVERY SINGLE SEXUAL ENCOUTER.
        http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/PollVault/story?id=156921&page=2

        “There are other countries where you could literally ask “you wanna have sex” and *surprise* they’ll respond with yes/no instead of pepper spray.”
        Yes, like America. Really, most women there will either say yes or no. Suprising, I know! There is even a video about a guy asking200 women for sex… see how they react. Are women there oh so horrible assaulting men for asking for sex, now?

        What you list, women calling men or their behavior “creepy” is just like men calling women crazy over anything. That happens, some people are indeed ignorant… but not most. In fact, most of the times women are too afraid to cause a man to feel disrespected (he may retaliate) so they would never make fun, offend, etc.

  30. – The pickup community actually improved my dealing with woman and people, then society has with “just be yourself” and “you’ll get her someday”.

    Ridiculed for not approaching woman
    Ridiculed for not approaching individual woman the “right way”.
    Ridiculed for assuming that there’s a one size fits all way of approaching individual woman.

    – The Player gets more flake for being open about his sexuality than the Slut does, there’s more acceptance and promoting of the Slut.

    – Nowadays men are mocked or viewed with anxious suspicion for being attracted to younger woman and skinny woman.
    If you’re attracted to curvy woman, you’re ok.
    If you’re attracted to younger/skinny woman, you’ve obviously been influenced by your peers and society to be attracted to that.

    – Automatic suspicion if a man isn’t in a relationship and/or doesn’t show any interest in being in one.
    You’re either considered bitter towards woman cause of past relationships or in the closet.
    There’s more promoting in our society of the independent woman than the independent man.

  31. Icelander says:

    “The only way for a guy to guarantee that he won’t be called ‘creepy’ is to suppress entirely his sexuality”

    Precisely. And that is also exactly what the women advocating for these insane standards of approaches want tehm to do. The whole attitude stems from a hatred of male sexuality.

  32. Icelander says:

    “A male, S&M-oriented friend of mine told me about a girl he once spoke to while volunteering at a large feminist organization. She started a conversation about how she was coming to terms with her queer identity; she no longer wanted to have sex with men, but with women. He said he could relate, and described his feelings about coming into his S&M identity.

    The next day, he got a call from the intern coordinator telling him to get back in the closet. “Turns out what I thought was discussing who I was, came across as hinting that she should participate,” says my friend. “The thought never crossed my mind—she was, after all, telling me that she didn’t want to have sex with men. But the cultural constructs around the conversation intervened between what I was saying and what she was hearing.”

    What this woman did was abusive to this man and the extreme paranoia towards male proposals, “street harasment”, kissing without asking first (I still can`t understand any sane person thinks that should be necessary), that is frequently displayed in articels and comments on this site leads to abuse of men because entirely subjective and paranoid reactions in one woman then leads to undeserved punsihments for men. A slight discomfort for a woman that HAS to be there sometimes for men to behave in ways that most women want in terms of being daring enough in approaches, advances or making advances/approaches at all, leads to ruining a mans life. Just because of absurd sexual “assault” paranoia. If you advocate a ridiculous standard for sexual assault YOU are more abusive towards men than the men you are acusing are of women because you are ruining the lives of men with the consequences af regulating normal behavior as assault.

  33. There’s something that really annoys me about the whole “creep is a word women use to police male sexuality” (I know that’s not really what you’re saying, but I’ve heard that said a lot). The fact is the words “creep” and “creepy” are really used for anything that makes someone uncomfortable. Sometimes it can be a good and justified thing, ie a warning that someone isn’t safe, but sometimes it can come from prejudice. Often disabled people or people with disfigurements are called “creepy”, and when Nick Griffin (leader of the BNP) was on Question time a few years back he said that seeing two men kissing was creepy.

    I just think it’s important in these conversations to remember that calling someone “creepy” comes from feeling uncomfortable, not a desire to belittle or whatever. We also need to remember that the problems with the word extend beyond men’s sexual advances.

    I think maybe one response to it would be to change “that person is creepy” to “that person makes me feel creeped out” – that way it’s then possible to anylise one’s creeped out feelings to see if they are actually a legitimet warning or if they come from prejudice.

    • Chris- I agree, but I think ‘creepy’ is often used as a direct pejorative, to belittle people even when there is no threat perceived, just like every other insult. Both uses occur.

      I also think that the problem with the “creep is a word women use to police male sexuality” sentence is the word “women”. I think men are just has happy to use it to police the sexuality of other men. Picture a stereotyped scene in an American high school where group of jocks see a pretty girl talking to a nerd, and then mock her for hanging out with “that creep”. In this situation the word is being used by men to police the access of lower-status men to women.

      I’ve seen this happen in actual practice. A messageboard where a woman was discussing frankly a certain science-fiction sexual fantasy she had, which was in theme with the topic of the board. She had attracted a group of men who were sharing similar fantasies and asking questions about hers.

      One of the men asked her outright if she’d like to play out this fantasy. Upon receiving a polite ‘no’ he continued to talk with her about their shared interests. The other men then turned on him and attempted to brand him “creepy”. Since they had all indicated their interest in her by following her around and asking questions about her sexuality, it was easy to infer from this that they were jealous that he had asked her out first. The men of this group apparently considered her their sexual territory and deployed the concept of “creep” in an attempt to drive off other males.

      This is an effective strategy because it uses the underlying, indoctrinated fear women have of men and of male sexual violence as leverage. The overt message is intended to sow doubt, “are you sure about this guy? He might be dangerous.” While the unspoken suggestion is “you would be safer with me.”

      So “creep” can with equal ease be used by women to express their anxiety about men, or by men to exploit that anxiety to control the sexuality of women.

  34. Also, two unmentioned things in regards to my last comment:

    1) The reason it works (porn industries creating addiction), is because when they can’t get this fantasy in the real world, they habitually return to the porn and help the company to achieve it’s financial goal.

    2) In the porn dialogue, it also depicts women as being “unrapeable”, because even if she says no, she secretly wants it and is only teasing.

  35. I was with you, up until the point that you said “Calls to censor porn, for example, are influenced not only by extreme claims that porn access increases rape (it doesn’t) but by feelings that mainstream porn expresses an unacceptable form of male sexuality.”

    I think this stems from a misunderstanding of and blatant bias against some of the feminist criticisms against pornography. I too am a member of the BDSM community (bondage and pain play), and I can understand the view that seemingly “violent” or BDSM related erotic material is misunderstood. I can also understand that simply hard f*cking and aggressive sex is misunderstood. However, I still maintain my criticism of pornography.

    Pornography legitimizes and encourages rape, not because it includes BDSM or simple aggression, but because a lot of it depicts women being raped or having things sexually happen to her that she doesn’t want. Often times things like “no”, “not that”, “not here”, or a very timid and scared “please don’t” are said by the woman, until the guy persists enough that she starts saying yes and screaming in orgasm. In the little dialogue there is, men are depicted not merely as aggressors, but as predators who can‘t control themselves. If anything, porn is a part of the problem you were outlining. It severely limits and restricts the scope of male sexual expression, and it pardons real abusive behavior.

    It contributes to rape culture because over 90% of porn star women are objectified by having to wear high heels in every video, tolerate or even pretend to enjoy unwanted behavior, and have their bodies surgically altered and bleached. Many of these women are also physically infantilized or made to look underage.

    Another feminist criticism of porn is that it ruins relationships, when one partner becomes distant because they are too tied up with their own addictions and avoid real intimacy. The reason is that pornography is commercially designed to be so addictive in the first place, rather than being designed to create mutual pleasure in a relationship. If porn were created by common people, it might reflect mutual desire and would not be commercially driven to maximize profit. But because it is not created by common people, the vast majority of it instead aims to isolate people (usually men) in an unrealistic fantasy world that reinforces sexist standards of intimacy and privilege, while also reinforcing heteronormative gender roles both in straight and gay partnerships. This ruins women’s relationships as well as gay relationships, and it also undermines the self-esteem of the “feminine” one (usually a woman) in the relationship.

    I would say that rape-y sexual depictions in pornography are a glorification of an unacceptable, unhealthy, and immature form of sexuality (particularly seducing to males, but also “butches” in gay partnerships) that is very damaging.

    While censorship might not be the answer, I do feel that porn contributes to our rape culture. And anything that contributes to our rape culture, contributes to increases in sexual assault… whether that can be statistically quantified or not. It is a qualifiable accuracy, and those truths are important too.

    • As I said in my earlier post, “pornography covers a broad range of subjects, and the vast majority of them do not deal with the dehumanisation of women.” What you’re describing is one specific form of pornography, not pornography itself.

      Your description also sounds less like Redtube and more like Mills & Boon. The fantasy of being forced at first and then starting to enjoy it, and even the fantasy of men being animalistic and unable to control themselves, seems to be more common among women than men; both revolve around the conflicted experience of the woman and the attitude of the men toward her. Most pornography aimed at men depicts enthusiastic consent and lacks this kind of emotional complexity.

      We don’t have to discuss this in a vacuum. Right now I’m looking for examples of the porn you describe on Redtube and other mainstream porn sites, and while I’m sure there is plenty of “fantasy rape porn” out there, I’m having trouble finding it. Virtually all of the videos here seem to depict enthusiastic consent. I even did a search for “forced” and got only a dozen variations on “[stage name] Likes It Rough”. The closest I’ve been able to find so far have been one or two fantasy BDSM scenarios, such as “cop and convict”.

      Which seems to suggest that the kind of rape-themed pornography you describe is more of a niche interest.

      >>>If anything, porn is a part of the problem you were outlining. It severely limits and restricts the scope of male sexual expression, and it pardons real abusive behavior.

      The idea that porn “severely limits and restricts the scope of male sexual expression” is clearly untrue. There’s a lot of very boring porn, but there’s also a lot of niche porn which provides men with a way to explore body types and sex acts that they would not necessarily be comfortable exploring in real life. For example a lot of young men are raised with a horror of large women, gay sex, transexuals and so on. Porn and internet porn specifically allows these men to explore things outside their normal range of sexual experience in a safe way.

      Does that mean porn is a comprehensive system of sexual education? No, but I think we should give its consumers some credit for understanding that these are staged performances and not, with the exception of some amateur works, documentary depictions of everyday sexual experience.

      >>>It contributes to rape culture because over 90% of porn star women are objectified by having to wear high heels

      The idea that wearing high heels makes one into an object is frankly surreal. Other than mannequins specifically designed to wear clothes in lieu of people, what kind of object wears high heels exactly?

      At least some porn actresses insist on wearing high heels at work so that they don’t have to touch the floor of the porn set with their bare feet.

      The contrast between “forced to wear heels for objectification purposes” and “wears heels because she doesn’t want to go barefoot” is emblematic of an anti-porn rhetoric which refuses to admit the possibility of any agency on the part of pornographic actresses.

      Take the “unwanted behaviour” line. If you’re saying that the women in question are being raped on set, then say so in so many words. Be clear about what you mean. If that’s ever the case then it’s a criminal matter – I don’t think there’s any grounds for disagreement there. But I don’t think that’s what you’re saying. I think what you’re actually trying to do there is to minimise and devalue the actress’s consent – implying that if she’s having sex for a film, she’s probably not enjoying it, and therefore her consent doesn’t matter.

      Regarding cosmetic surgery, fetish model Bianca Beauchamp argued it was silly to applaud people who work out in the gym to look good and then criticise people who get breast implants as well. You don’t have to share her opinion, but it would be polite to at least acknowledge that she has one.

      Conversely, I’ve heard that flat-chested porn actresses are unable to sell their work in Australia because their natural bodies are considered “physically infantilized” by the government.

      Porn actresses are not passive objects to which these things ‘just happen’. They seek out jobs, they sign contracts, they consent to sex, and they make choices about their bodies. They are human beings, and the people who complain the most loudly about them being ‘objectified’ too often seem to be the first to dehumanise them.

      >>>Another feminist criticism of porn is that it ruins relationships, when one partner becomes distant because they are too tied up with their own addictions and avoid real intimacy.

      If you’ve ever been in love, it will be immediately obvious to you how categorically absurd this claim is. Pornography is designed to satisfy narrow sexual needs. It’s never going to be a substitute for cooking a meal for my wife and eating together, talking for hours over coffee, or any form of genuine intimacy.

      If a man is withdrawing from his relationship and retreating into porn, that suggests porn is being scapegoated for genuine problems in the relationship. To blame the porn and pretend that pictures and masturbation can substitute for a healthy relationship perpetuates the myth that men only care about sex, and ignores the possibility that he might have other relationship problems which he perhaps finds it hard to talk about.

      >>>The reason is that pornography is commercially designed to be

      That’s a lot of buzzwords. Do you have any actual evidence that porn is designed this way or has these effects? Or that the makers of porn have the kind of criminal genius implied?

      You do make an interesting point about how porn can better reflect real desire by being made by real people, but the way you make that point suggests you are ignorant of how mainstream amateur porn is, and how often consumers express a strong preference for it over more commercial offerings.

      >>>I would say that rape-y sexual depictions in pornography are a glorification of an unacceptable, unhealthy, and immature form of sexuality (particularly seducing to males, but also “butches” in gay partnerships) that is very damaging.

      At least you qualified your objection to a particular type of porn here. In my experience the biggest fans of rape-fantasy pornography have been women, but that is of course strictly anecdotal. It is however consistent with the popularity of Twilight, 50 Shades and so on.

      Men, on the whole, don’t like rape or rapists. What’s seductive about the idea of having sex with a woman who isn’t enjoying it? In a culture which constructs male sexual prowess as ‘the ability to satisfy a woman’ isn’t rape a profound form of impotence?

      >>>While censorship might not be the answer, I do feel that porn contributes to our rape culture. And anything that contributes to our rape culture, contributes to increases in sexual assault…

      So you’ve drawn a logical chain between your feelings about porn and the actual real-world incidents of rape. The problem with that is that any breaks in the chain render the entire chain meaningless. If your feeling is wrong, and porn as a whole does more to undermine rape culture than it does to promote it (which may be the case even if we accept that a certain rapey genre of porn promotes it); if the effect is too small to produce an actual increase, and so on.

      A particular weak link is your belief in ‘rape culture’ as a single object within our culture. Judges who go easy on rapists because their victims were “dressed like sluts” are part of rape culture. Romance novels which normalize rape as a means of seduction are also part of rape culture. But they are two different things and they do different things.

      If the romance novels are read by women who know that they are just fantasies and would never want to be treated that way in real life, their existence might not lead to an increase in rapes. The judge, on the other hand, is explicitly and publicly sanctioning the rape of a certain type of woman, which seems more likely to produce an increase in sexual assault. We can call both of these things ‘rape culture’ but it’s important to understand that is just an umbrella term for different elements of culture with different effects, and different mechanisms by which those effects occur.

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        “The fantasy of being forced at first and then starting to enjoy it, and even the fantasy of men being animalistic and unable to control themselves, seems to be more common among women than men; both revolve around the conflicted experience of the woman and the attitude of the men toward her. Most pornography aimed at men depicts enthusiastic consent and lacks this kind of emotional complexity.”
        Wrong. This kind of porn is not any kind of feminist or female-oriented porn. The vast majority of it’s viewers are men; you can find the statistics easily. The vast majority of viewers of REAL rape scenes are men as well. The same goes to any other real crimes porn (or crimes being simulated). Some small minority of women could enjoy it, though. Many men also enjoy male-humiliation and pain and so on.
        Probably we have less female on male fantasy-rape porn only because we as a society still believe men cannot be raped by women.
        And oh my god, 50 shades of grey is about BDSM, not rape. Come on. Twilight is about… vampires.

        “The idea that porn “severely limits and restricts the scope of male sexual expression” is clearly untrue.”
        That is true and proven. More and more we can see young men believing all women love when they ejaculate on their faces and when they just forget about giving them oral sex in return… because porn. Work with sex education for teenagers and young adults for a while, you will see the pattern all too fast. You are another one of these skeptics who believe media (and porn is not even just a media, that is a media that feeds one of our deepest urges, the sexual one) do never interfere in our formation as humans, right? You couldn’t be any more wrong.

        “In a culture which constructs male sexual prowess as ‘the ability to satisfy a woman’ isn’t rape a profound form of impotence?”
        AHAHAHAHAH absurd. The culture says the male sexual prowess is about fucking women, and fuck it if she likes it or not. That is why only 20% of women reach orgasm most of the times when having sex with their male partners – and that is not because most are broken, but because most men do not care.

        But thanks for showing us your love and obsession with porn, that is so good to see people being focused on great causes like that!

  36. This is a really interesting article and great website, and although I attract my fair share of ‘creepy’ attention I definitely hear the plight of men who are stereotyped as much as women.

    However, one point which I really didn’t like in the article were your comments about pornography. Firstly your reference was limited and itself referenced only one study. This isn’t enough to declare that pornography doesn’t lead to rape, there are many arguments and studies on the opposite side which should have been explored. There are many factors contributing to the statistics quoted, and the USA isn’t the only place people can view porn.

    What porn does (and I’m talking about the majority marketed to straight males, yes there is a wide variety including feminist) is objectify women (that is, makes them comparable them to objects). When you view someone as object-like it is easier to justify violence against them.

    Furthermore, although porn as a concept sounds great, there are alarming statistics about the incidence of sexual assault and people who work in the sex industry, really alarming, some claim up to 95% of sex workers experiencing sexual assault. So really, while porn sounds nice, you have to ask yourself what went into the production.

    And lastly, pornography often depicts unrealistic sex, unrealistic body expectations for men and women (adults are SUPPOSED to have pubic hair) and contributes to a rather new phenomenon where young girls in particular disassociate their desire with their sexual pleasure and instead link it to how they look.

    I realise that wasn’t the focus of the article, and I genuinely think it is unfortunate that men can feel this negativity about their sexuality, but your comments about porn were generalised and inaccurate.

    • Paula complains that Clarisse only referenced one study, while herself referencing no studies at all, just a vague appeal to a large body of evidence on the other side. There’s no way to say conclusively that no such evidence exists – it might simply be evidence I’ve never heard of – but in my experience every single one of these studies has been deeply flawed, from hypothesis (“does pornography lead to sexual violence” with no adequate definition of ‘pornography’), to methodology (“we asked convicted rapists in jail whether they viewed porn, 80% of them said yes”) to conclusion. The fact that many people and groups are strongly motivated to demonise pornography does not mean that these studies should be dismissed out of hand, but it does mean these sort of results cannot be accepted uncritically.

      Her argument for the plausibility of the ‘porn leads to rape’ conclusion is that pornography ‘objectifies’ women and objectification makes violence more palatable. Dehumanisation does make it easier for people to contemplate violence toward the dehumanised. However, the use of the term ‘objectification’ to mean ‘dehumanisation’ is misleading; it allows people to conflate a focus on the object-qualities of a person with a rejection of their subjectivity.

      This is clearly not true. Pornography covers a broad range of subjects, and the vast majority of them do not deal with the dehumanisation of women. One might argue that the minority of subjects which do relate to dehumanisation are overrepresented in mainstream pornography; I would not comment on such an argument either way without some sort of statistical evidence to hand. Even pornography which deals in dehumanisation and degradation relies upon and often emphasises the idea of the women involved as thinking, feeling individuals; without that, there is nothing to degrade.

      The majority of other pornographic subjects depict women as enthusiastic participants, interested in and desiring of sex – albeit in a simplistic and unrealistic way. While there is porn which, if not viewed in the context of a fantasy, might encourage the viewer to regard women as less than human, it belongs to one or two very specific niches, and is neither comprehensive nor representative of pornography as a whole.

      The statistic about the porn industry cannot be taken in isolation. The stigma associated with pornography is more dehumanising than any pornographic script; many people regard porn workers as prostitutes, and regard the consent of prostitutes to be inherently less valuable than that of non sex workers – and thus, less necessary. When Sasha Grey is unable to read to elementary school children because she is considered ‘unclean’, it’s not hard to see that she and people like her are being dehumanised.

      Paula’s comments about the “unrealistic” bodies of porn stars seem indicative of a particular type of prejudice. Porn stars *are* real people. They are neither representative nor comprehensive of real people, but they are a particular subset of real people. Should other body types be represented in pornography? Yes, and they are, depending on where you look. Prevalence is a concern, but again a statistical matter. But concerns about the content and breadth of pornographic themes are moot if your stance is entirely anti-porn.

      Adults are not SUPPOSED to have pubic hair; that is not a statement of fact, but a moral assertion that would be at home in Leviticus. Adults grow pubic hair, and that is as far as the facts go. Whether people wish to shave it, keep it, trim it or dye it with rainbow stripes is entirely their affair. The same goes for whether people wish to consensually view those people naked.

      The phenomenon of young women being disassociated from their own pleasure in favour of their appearance does not strike me as a new one; it seems to me to be a fundamental problem of patriarchal societies which treat women as desirable chattels, who are expected to secure their economic future by being desirable. It would be easy to link it to traditions such as FGM in other cultures, and the general practice of subordinating female pleasure to male desire. It’s a problem, but to link it to porn specifically is to ignore the entire context in which it occurs.

      Paula accuses Clarisse of making inaccurate generalisations, but I find that Paula’s comment consists of nothing but generalisations, asserted without evidence, and promoting old prejudices which have caused visible and measurable harm to countless individuals.

  37. I honestly hate it when cougars come onto me seriously I’m into women my age and BDSM not granny and some wine and rose nonsense

  38. “The stud vs. slut dichotomy is worth discussing, but it has one flaw: it entirely ignores the word “creep,” whose function appears to be restricting male sexuality to a limited, contradictory set of behaviors.”

    Actually, I think the female equivalent of being called “creep” is closer to “crazy” than to “slut.” I usually hear women call men creeps when a woman feels a man has violated her boundaries in some way. Similarly, the term I have heard men use most often to describe a woman who has violated a man’s boundaries (e.g. by pursuing a man who does not want to be pursued by her, or by expressing a sexuality/ sexual preference that the man finds repulsive) is “crazy.”

    I do agree, though, that there are still significant differences in the connotations of these terms; calling women “crazy” when they violate men’s boundaries seems to express less of the feeling of violation than does calling men “creepy” when they violate women’s boundaries. However, the term “crazy” does women a huge disservice by implying they should not be taken seriously and taking away some of the agency in their expression of sexuality.

    (Side note: Women are very often called “crazy” for many other reasons as well, such as for expressing reasonable emotions in response to being treated poorly. Also, please excuse the hetero-normativity in this response – it was just for the sake of being concise.)

  39. I found this article through a friends link on FB-lol. Wow, a powder keg, a trend I see throughout many of this site’s posts, which is a good thing. The author’s views are interesting, the comments, some of which I would classify more as “reactions” then true commentary, even more interesting. The reality is and valid, credible statistics support this, the average American is not nearly as promiscuous and sex centric as the media and this article would have us believe. In fact, even the most liberal studies (liberal in terms of the controls used, not a political designation) puts the total amount of lovers a person has at median average of 25-30 partners over a lifetime. The more statistically accepted middle of the road samples have the number at half of that. So how is this relevant to this article? I just dont think people take this nearly as seriously as this article would have us believe. Or maybe a better way to put it is, unless a male or female is acting significantly outside the societal norm, I doubt the guys are as innocent or the women are as judgmental as this piece might suggest. And I dont think that makes American’s prude as implied, I think its just a cultural reality at this point in time.

    So one would assume by my tone, that Im very conservative and perhaps, sexually conservative. Not even remotely true. One of my favorite films is The Secretary, which I view as more of a love story then a story about demeaning women. And Ive never really had super strong reactions in real life, from that view. Im average looking, 49 and successful slightly above the median average. I have an average bod that occasionally I get in shape enough to be considered a decent bod. Ive had a fair amount of lovers, but really started to chill out in my 40’s. Ive dated gorgeous women to average women. Meaning, I lived a lot of life. As well, I have very conservative friends as well as very liberal friends. So have these friends dubbed me creepy? No. I briefly dated a woman significantly under my age, so did I get “creepy” then? A little but it felt creepy, thus why it didnt last long. She’s a doll and we’re great friends, but yeah- not again. For the most part, though, my friends all accepted that relationship when I was in it.

    My point is this, sure, guys “can” get a bad rap for no valid reason, as women can for any number of reasons, too. But by in large, if you conduct yourself in a respectful way, if you’re a decent person, I find society rather forgiving of one’s quirks, whatever they may be. Certainly the more fringe you get, the less you will be accepted. I dont agree with that reality, in fact, I think its very hurtful and wrong. But again, its a small percentage of people. One guy can chat with a particular girl, talk very candidly about sex and be fine. Same guy, another girl, not so much. Hopefully, the guy has enough common sense to pick up basuc cues as to what a Green Light looks like vs a Red Light, when talking about sex. Its not a big drama, its life, nothing more.

  40. Quadruple A says:

    I’ve researched the internet for several years. Yes, years. Looking for an article that stated simply and intelligently that men had the same sexual rights as women to be sexually active in the way that feel fits their own needs. I never found that article until I came across this.

    The problem is that we need more articles like this that come from more sources that are more credible. Clarisse Thorn once wrote in a post that the first time she was flogged she had no idea that it was coming or how painful it would be and she was speaking positively and approvingly of the experience. But that just creates the implicit message that only someone who is extremely accepting of male desire can assert that men have the same sexual rights as women.

    So I think it is absolutely necessary that many many articles on many sources expressing a similar range of opinions that are written her. I don’t know why this hasn’t happened yet but I recently submitted an article to the GMP about looking at breasts (it’s a good thing not a bad thing) which I hope gets published.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      That is really a great thing when men just shout at us “SHOW ME YOUR BOOBS OR GTFO BITCH!”. Sooooo good, man, you could never believe!

      …and that is exactly why women feel so vulnerable when strange men stare at us. You guys have scared, disrespected and humiliated us too much already. And many of you guys do that all the time. MANY. You guys are also generally physically stronger, so why not feel skeptical?

  41. Imaman Ihazneedz says:

    Men don’t have sexual needs. Nobody has sexual needs. We have sexual wants, strongly felt desires, drives…but not “needs”. If you say that men need to have sex, you are implying that people (women) need to have sex with men. Which is objectively pro-rape. Why a “feminist” is advocating implicitly pro-rape views is beyond me.

    • What IS it with radfems and this obsession with playing word games? It’s really disheartening that the people who best understand the pervasiveness of rape culture are completely clueless about how it works.

      Nobody reads “needs” this way except you. That you make the psychotic leap of logic from “a person has a need” to “need means uncontrollable compulsion” to “uncontrollable compulsion means other people are obligated to indulge that compulsion” says nothing about the author’s views and everything about you feeling that you have the right to silence someone by telling them what their own views are. You sound like an Ayn Rand follower.

      Yes, many people have sexual needs. Many do not. Many men need sex with women. Many do not. Of the men who do need sex with women, they also have a moral obligation to control that need (which can be done, but comes at a cost regardless of whether the need is being satisfied or not). Saying that the need exists does not lead to the conclusion that women are obligated to meet that need or that rape can be justified. Only you believe that.

      Notice that I kept using the word need, to remind you that you don’t have the right to tell other people what their views are or to proscribe the discussion by telling people what words they can or can’t use. Epithets are one thing. But telling people they can’t use a certain term to describe something so abstract as sexual needs simply isn’t your place. You haven’t solved any problems or done anything to help women by playing word games. Grow up. The patriarchy laughs its head off at your pathetic hand-wringing.

    • Quadruple A says:

      It would probably better and more precise to say that many men have in some limited sense of the term a need for “consensual sex” rather a need for “sex.” However to say that there is a direct correlation between saying that men need sex and an implicitly pro-rape stance is logically flawed. Men may in some sense of the term need sex but there are many kinds of sex and not all forms of sex can fulfill that need. For the overwhelming majority of men consensuality is an essential part of a sexually satisfying experience. For those who have some kind of distinct desire for a non-acceptable form of sexuality such as rape/pedophilia/bestiality I do not think it is relevant whether we say that those people are in need of those kinds of sex because they are unacceptable whether or not we call them “needs.”

      • “Consensual sex” is redundant. If there is no consent, it’s not sex, it is rape – that’s the definition.

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        “For the overwhelming majority of men consensuality is an essential part of a sexually satisfying experience.”
        … that til a war comes and law is not being forced upon them anymore.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I agree with the first part, but the second part lost me.

      That’s right, sex is not a “need” in the sense of being required for individual survival, like water, food, warmth, and air to breathe. Desire can feel so compelling and so overwhelming that it sure feels like a need, and it may be detrimental to one’s (mental ) health to go without sex completely, but that doesn’t mean it’s a need.

      Be that as it may, there should be nothing wrong with calling a man’s sexual desires “wants.” It shouldn’t reduce their legitimacy by one bit to say that they are desires or preferences or likes or turn-ons. Calling them needs seems to imply that if they were “just wants and not needs,” so therefore the man is not really entitled to express his likes, or if he does so he’s just being selfish.

      By the same token, it’s not necessarily “pro-rape” to say that a man has sexual needs. It could be used that way, but just because a man says he needs something doesn’t automatically mean he is entitled to it or that other people are obligated to give it to him. When I say I need food, that doesn’t mean I’m demanding that the rest of society give me food.

  42. Great article. if only we could all realize that respect and honesty are the best way. if only we could all agree to be honest about what we want, but in a respectful way. everybody could say what they want, the other party could either take them up on it, or respectfully decline, and we can all get on with our day without labelling each other.
    Unfortunately, there are disrespectful people (both male and female) who don’t take no for an answer, no matter how polite the “no” was, or who are rude to people making an honest, respectful effort to get to know them. But hopefully enough of us will be brave and take a stand for honesty and respect.

  43. Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs?

    This is a very easy question to answer.

    Society cares about women’s needs not men’s. This is true for both men and women at a macro level and reflects men’s second class status.

    Men are the protectors of women and children. Women are the protectors of animals.

  44. I see that men have lots of sex toys. They are people turned into sex toys. Strippers, prostitutes, pornography. Try finding ready access to those for a woman’s preferences. Women tend to need a sense of safety and trust to achieve orgasm. Perhaps women who don’t feel safe or able to relax with their partner have more need for extra aid.

    • So if a married couple owns a vibrator that they like to use when they’re getting intimate, then it’s because the husband puts the wife on edge somehow, or because he’s inadequate in bed?

      That’s a ridiculous assessment.

  45. Seems like none of the posts told the honest truth. Well listen up you people. I will turn the question around and ask you all to explain why you demonize a woman for having a normal woman’s sexual desires and that is we don’t think about sex all the time like you men do. You men want sex sex sex all the time. Respect us when we do not want it all the time. You all don’t want to be nagged about conversation, so stop nagging us about sex. And yes, men do nag too. I’m just the only woman who will tell you all the truth And there is nothing wrong with us. It’s the way men and women were made. The women who tell you they want it all the time, are just lying to you all. They want to appear like they do. We kinda like the foreplay, but all the other stuff you all like is a bother to us. We just do it to go with the flow. We would rather go to lunch with our friens, get a massage, get a hair do, take a bubble bath, or go out to a ball. Really!!!!!

    • Sophist-icate says:

      “we don’t think about sex all the time like you men do. You men want sex sex sex all the time” and “It’s the way men and women were made”

      What a dangerous load of tripe. Stupid comments like this, that rely on some perverse biological essentialist view of our species, are so pervasive. They do not represent facts (never mind the ‘truth’).

      Point of fact, some men and some women (and presumably some people who don’t neatly fit easily in that reductive dichotomy) like to think about/have sex and to be sexual most, if not all, of the time. Some women and some men (etc.) do not want to think about/have sex or to be sexual ever. The vast majority of people fall somewhere in between. That is the ancillary point to be drawn from this article. Sexuality includes not only what someone desires, but also how much, with whom, and where and why they want to fulfill those desires.

      The only way to deal with the massive complexity this fact represents is by being open, honest, and engaged, individually and as parts of communities and societies. A great deal of the demonization that surrounds people and their sexuality has to do with fear. The same fear that prevents and inhibits any open dialogue surrounding sexuality. Maybe when we choose bravery in the face of our cultural fear of sex and sexuality (our own and in others) we will move past denunciations and recriminations.

      • Let me put in my two cents about the “sex sex sex” remark.

        Let’s start with the status thing. This one isn’t an excuse, but a bit of background. How does media portray a virgin girl? Angelic. How does it portray a virgin guy? Pathetic, hopeless, weak, “should kill the character off because he is of no use to this world”. How is the girl who sleeps around portrayed? Slut. Dirty. The guy? Man’s man. Ladies’ man. I could go more into this, but not right now. But the idea is that women will be more likely to hide their sexual feelings, while guy will feel the need to flaunt it.

        But in terms of actual thinking about it, the numbers are fairly even between men and women. but a big thing for men is that they simply are not complimented, pursued, and emotionally cared for nearly like women are.

        Compliments? Even the average girls recieve, like, 2-3 per day. For many guys a compliment comes out one a week/month. Want to feel wanted in a relationship? Girls don’t tell. So basically, a girl sits and looks pretty, and gets offers all the time. If a guy doesn’t make a move, he’s basically single his whole life. Or at least has massively low self-esteem. In fact, the rates of approaches that guys deal with would probably drive most women into intense depression.

        And between us guys, there isn’t a lot of intimacy of any sort. Much less what a relationship entails. Girls have all kinds of emotional connection with each other, and will alienate guys as “outsiders”. So we have little emotional or physical connections whatsoever.

        http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/men-susceptible-women-relationship-woes-study-finds/story?id=10877651

        • Simply put, we think about girls all the time because we’re socially deprived in a ton of ways based on what “being a man” is expected to be. Relationships provide basically all of that.

          Not only that, guys are physical beings. What I mean is that if you tell a guy something, it doesn’t really mean all that much until it manifests in a physical interaction. Guys may yell, but won’t take it seriously until fists fly. To many men, sex is one of, if not the highest manifestation of physical, mental, and emotional intimacy.

          Also, guys have hormonal cycles, too. Girls get extremely horny at different times of month? It’s more mild for us, but it’s all the freaking time.

          And finally, girls have the option of “not being interested right now”, because when they decide they’re interested again, there is already some guys to choose from. In fact, if she wants sex, all she has to do is ask, and the guys come to her. If guys pass an opportunity of a decently attractive girl making a move on them, they have to take it or stay single for a long time.

          • Lidia Gasparian says:

            “And finally, girls have the option of “not being interested right now”, because when they decide they’re interested again, there is already some guys to choose from. In fact, if she wants sex, all she has to do is ask, and the guys come to her. If guys pass an opportunity of a decently attractive girl making a move on them, they have to take it or stay single for a long time.”

            Dude, many girls DO NOT have these options. Also, see how you mention the opportunity of a decently attractive girl for a guy, but just don’t even mention the same for the girl, as if women should go for any guy, even if she feel not attracted to him… do you believe most guys approaching many girls are decently attractive? Most men approaching us, even the hottest ones, are not attractive. Do you believe that below average girls can choose over many decently attractive guys? That these guys will actually care for her sexual pleasure (most women in hookup culture – or in relationships as well! – do not achieve orgasm)? Because man, that is not the reality. Stop keep telling that yourself, women in general (most of us are average or below) have it not that easy.

          • Lidia Gasparian says:

            “And finally, girls have the option of “not being interested right now”, because when they decide they’re interested again, there is already some guys to choose from. In fact, if she wants sex, all she has to do is ask, and the guys come to her. If guys pass an opportunity of a decently attractive girl making a move on them, they have to take it or stay single for a long time.”

            Dude, many girls DO NOT have these options. Also, see how you mention the opportunity of a decently attractive girl for a guy, but just don’t even mention the same for the girl, as if women should go for any guy, even if she feel not attracted to him… do you believe most guys approaching many girls are decently attractive? Most men approaching us, even the hottest ones, are not attractive. Do you believe that below average girls can choose over many decently attractive guys? That these guys will actually care for her sexual pleasure (most women in hookup culture – or in relationships as well! – do not achieve orgasm)? Because man, that is not the reality. Stop keep telling that yourself, women in general (most of us are average or below) have it not that easy. Search for it – women struggling with finding a sexual partner or romantic partner. MANY, but MANY are facing it.

        • I don’t know, man. I think women have been lying to you. I would consider myself an average looking woman and tell you what, I cannot just sit there, “look pretty”, and get asked out. In fact, no one has ever asked me for my number or even if I was single, or asked me out. Ever. True, I’m only 23, but this includes college, which is basically a humping free-for-all. I occasionally do get compliments, but it’s from women/old men, usually on my outfit (I like to dress up at times). So, uh, don’t know where all these women you’re talking about are. Life must be awesome for them!

          I’m not saying men have it easier than me. But can we please stop saying that every woman who isn’t obese/hideous get’s “OMG SO MUCH ATTENTION” because it’s not true. That is how you perceive it, but it hasn’t been my reality, nor the reality of the average-looking women I am friends with. Several people have insisted I am in denial about this, but I don’t know how I can be in denial about my own life.

          • Mike42night says:

            Wanda Do you go to a liberal arts college they usually have a lot more women then men, but Weber is right on so many levels. Maybe your putting out signals that you don’t want to be bothered. Try looking in the mirror and find a few tight body flattering outfits then go to your local bar which usually has 4 guys to 1 girl ratio then write back. Unless your BFU(butt F*&king Ugly ) If we go out togather I guantee guys will flurt with you before women will flurt with me, and I’m a decent looking guy. I’m 41 and have been to countless bars, nightclubs and Colleges so I am speaking from life experience… Guys my Advice go to any liberal arts college ratios usually 60 / 40 female / male. or try Ukraine.

            • Lord Boofhead says:

              “Wanda Do you go to a liberal arts college they usually have a lot more women then men”
              And us guys who are there have had all the stuff we have talked about here rammed down our throats to the extent that we are too scared to make a move…

            • Okay, so what you’re saying is that there have to be factors that contribute to getting asked out every day. You have to be a science/math major, you have to be approachable, you have to wear a tight dress and go to a bar. How is this not in support of what I’m saying? People act as if women just walk around and get asked out. If you are a computer science major with big boobs who likes Dungeon and Dragons then yeah, I’m sure you get a hell of a lot of attention. I’m not saying that in certain walks of life, average-looking women get no attention. But I exist beyond the art classroom ya know. I walk around. I don’t live in an all-female colony or something. My college was huge (state college) and co-ed. In a city. With a plethora of men from all walks of life. I honestly think it’s a matter of bias confirmation.

              Also, no, I’ll pass on the bar. There is nothing I’d rather do less than go to a bar, and get hit on by drunkards. Which may contribute to the “not getting asked out” part, but that still supports my point. You can just be an average woman existing and get asked out. There have to be other contributing factors, be it the place or company you keep. It does not depend solely on being female and “not ugly”.

              Also, as an English major, my major was about 50/50 male/female. In fact, there were more men in most of my writing classes. Go figure.

        • Lidia Gasparian says:

          “So basically, a girl sits and looks pretty, and gets offers all the time.”
          DUUUUDE. You guys just have to put more effort into your looks, uh? Women are not that complimented (many are not complimented at all) for being in their “natural state”. There are even women who notice how drastically their attractiveness changed when just getting a short hair cut. For real, it happens. So women work HARD for it – and that is all about fitting into the standard of female attractiveness on society, that is not even about attracting men. So when women are out to attract men they put even MORE effort into it.

    • Dear Ms Truth For Real
      It’s unfortunate that your personal experiences with men seem very negative. But you don’t represent what all men or all women want, you can only speak for yourself.
      Rather than condemnation of all of us men as only wanting sex, sex, sex!, consider how unfair and hostile your comments sound. You have a right to your opinion, but you do not have a right to condemn an entire gender. Exactly how do you believe such negative hostility serves to make things better ? If you really want to express the truth, at least do so by admitting that your experiences are limited to yourself and/ or your friends.

    • Ms Truth for Real,
      At least someone here is honest. Men and women are just different, and men generally have higher sex drives. Many women can take or leave it, but for men sex is like water. Much of the difference is due to biology.
      Men are also a lot less sexually discriminate. Men dont get this, hence the why-wont-she-fuck-me complaints. The only way to stop these complaints is for every woman of child bearing age to sleep with every man who comes along no matter how old, portly, unattractive, or generally unlikable he may be. Men want their sex drives to be seen as good but see female sex drives as a nuisance.

      Its not that that male sexuality is demonized, many men dont like women telling it like it is. For example, I have come here and said men mostly are looking for quick sex. Here come the complaints. A couple weeks later a man says the same thing albeit nicer. “Thats so true, bro!!!”

      Like if I say much of the time men want tovhave sex so he can look good in the eyes of others, that would be demonizing. Meanwhile men will come here and say they need to have sex bwcause society looks down on men who dont have sex, thats ok and jusy being honest. Hmmmm….

      Mens desires will be seen as bad and predatory as long as many men are sexually predatory. Despite the protetations otherwise, many men are what women would consider predatory. They will lie or say what they need to to get sex. If a woman does something similar to get in a mans wallet, I bet that would be considered predatory…

      Im not saying men only want sex, im saying men primarily want sex.

      • Stop pushing this sexist nonsense. Just because someone else agrees with your minority opinion does not mean they are honest; it may just mean you are both equally wrong.

        “Men care primarily about sex” is as moronic a thing to say as “women care primarily about money”, and it’s compounded from stupidity into bigotry when you claim that any man/woman who claims otherwise must be lying.

        The rest of your arguments are straw men. If people disagree with you but agree with other posters, it may be that those other posters are actually saying something different. Without specifics we can’t tell, so it’s just a whine. “Wah, why do you listen to other people but not to me?” Well, maybe because they aren’t wrong and bigots?

        I’m not aware that anyone has argued that predatory men do not exist, or even that they are not common; you’d have to be living under a rock to think that male predatory sexual behaviour is not a serious problem. That isn’t the same as arguing that it’s a problem if their behaviour leads to a generalized prejudice against male sexuality.

        • My opinion is only minority on this forum and maybe other similar male forums. My views are pretty common amongst women in the real world.

          But WHY is it fine for a man to say the same things? If I say it its bigotry. Man says same thing on this very site and men agree. Is it because im not in the boys club? You didnt address my post, youjust came with namecalling. The best I can gather from your response is that the problem is more about the messenger (me) than the message, which just proves my point.

          And I have been saying the same things as men here albeit more crass. The message is the same though mine often comes across as meaner, and ive admitted that before on this site. Like men have admitted a desire for quick transitory sexual experiences. Men agree. Than I say lot of the time men want to screw a girl real quick with no commitment, enter problem. Granted I was more crass than the male poster, the message is either true or its not.
          If many women have the same general issues with men, how could it not be seen as a general problem?

          • I meant to say my views may be a minority amongst women here, but its not amongst women in the real world.

          • I have not called you any names whatsoever. Saying that your opinions are wrong, stupid, or bigoted addresses the opinions, not the person. You claim that I haven’t addressed your point, but this is not true. You made two contentions: That men care primarily about sex, and that you are pilloried for saying so while men are not.

            I refuted the first contention by calling it nonsense and comparing it to similar ignorant statements one could make about women.

            I responded to your second contention by pointing out that, without a specific example – for instance, a case of the same people applauding a man for saying the same thing as you while condemning you for doing so – it was just a whine. If you want me to take your complaint seriously you need to demonstrate that the thing you are complaining about actually exists.

            I provided a retort to both of your points; you have ignored mine and instead claimed I am picking on you for being a girl.

            • Grant:
              “Well maybe because theyre arent wrong and bigots?”
              Hmmm looks like namecalling to me.

              Um, did you not read my second post? I did give examples of me giving the same message as a man. Its fine for them, but not for me. You still havent explained why its cool for men to say but not me. Or why its demonizing when a woman says it but the truth when a man does.

              No, my assertion was not moronic. Its biology. Its 2013. I think its safe for everyone to be honest. Men mostly want to know women in a physical way. That isnt saying men never want love.There is a good reason the Helen Fishers of the world say, “Men find love looking for sex.” Men and women are just different.

              • If saying that someone didn’t say bigoted things because they aren’t bigots is the closest you can find to me calling you names, then I think my point is made.

                You haven’t given any examples. You’ve just reiterated your bald claim that it happens and called that an example. You haven’t quoted a single message, linked a single post, or named a single name.

                • Grant;
                  Once again, did you read my posts? I gave examples. YOU are more than welcome ro look them up. I dont have time to go back and search all those posts. There are a lot of posts on this site, if you havent noticed.

                  Still havent answered my question, why is it demonizing when I say it, but fine for a man to say it? Hmmm???? In fact, ive raised this point before here.

                  I can read between the lines. You were calling me a bigot. I dont care though. I still want you to address my point, which you have not.

                  • No you did not. As I said, you simply repeated your claims and called them examples. Without names, quotes, or links they are not examples.

                    If you don’t have time to make your case, then you cannot expect anyone to accept it. It is not my job to go back and make your argument for you.

                    I think I’ve been quite clear that it’s sexist regardless of who does it, and I have challenged you to show where you have been treated unfairly so that I can condemn it. You refuse to do so.

                    If you don’t care about being called a bigot, why do you complain so vociferously about it?

              • I call out both men n women showing bigotry. Is calling out bad behaviour now considered “calling them names”?

                • Archy:
                  Hmmm…Maybe I should pull up some posts!
                  I dont care about being called a bigot. It is silly to call me a bigot for saying things men say with little controversy. That is what I have a problem.

                  Apparently, the problem isnt that its false. The problem comes in when the messenger is female. Then it is ‘demonizing.’

                  I dont see what the big deal about women talking about men and their sex drives. Its 2013 lets jyst be honest with ourselves.

                  • “I dont care about being called a bigot. It is silly to call me a bigot for saying things men say with little controversy. That is what I have a problem.”
                    SOME men say, and they would be bigots too.

                    “Apparently, the problem isnt that its false. The problem comes in when the messenger is female. Then it is ‘demonizing.’”
                    It IS false, not all men are the same so it’s false to talk about them as such. Men don’t care PRIMARILY about sex, it’s a primary concern though for many along with other concerns, Thing of it as a group of concerns in the primary category instead of 1 concern winning out. For me personally My primary concerns are Companionship, trust, love, SEX, etc. I want the whole package, not just sex.

        • Grant:
          I dont think men are lying. I think a lot of men have some very strange form of denial.

          They find it particularly offensive when a woman points it ouy. This is called demonizing their sexuality. Its more like denial.

          I thonk men want women to view them favorably not as beings who want women mostly for sex (even though most of the time men are looking mostly for sex partners).

          This isnt true jusy on the ney, either. Men spend exobitant amounts of time looking for sex, much more than for finding a ltr, but men find it very offensive when a female points it out. Mindboggling.

          Lets just be honest!

        • Lidia Gasparian says:

          Men do care primarly about sex; women care about relationships. Men are after women’s looks primarly, women are after men’s personalities primarly. That is how MOST men and women go on about their lives, but that does NOT mean all women and men are like that. And all of that because society and culture molds them like that.
          (Why would you even try to fit money into it? Money is a fucking social construction, could never even be biology. Damn.)

  46. humblesound says:

    What the hell are “sexual needs”?

    That’s like rape-apologist 101.

  47. I’m a woman and agree with what David Wise says:
    October 5, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    There’s something very ironic–and off-putting quite frankly–about a woman who’s so afraid of being attacked, yet enjoys BDSM. Women such as this scare me actually. I’m afraid of them accusing me of something that them would secretly enjoy. I’m worried of them projecting their fears and desires unto me.

    • For a person to consciously chose to hand over their power/sexual power is BDSM. To have someone take a person’s choice in their sex life/life is rape/assault/wrong. Only someone who is not self aware or possibly mentally ill, and not necessarily kinky, would accuse another of doing something negative to them that they say they did not want but really wanted secretly.

  48. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for voicing this out there, and for understanding and acknowledging a guy’s perspective!

    I had to deal with this just last year. I made a move on a friend of mine. “I know this girl, she’s in theatre, works two jobs, and is taking a lot of classes, but still finds time to keep that beautiful smile on her face”.

    I later received death threats from her friends, assaults in the cafeteria, and false reports saying I robbed, stalked, and who knows what else.

    I already had trouble making a move in the first place. Now I feel like I’m expected to make a move, but that women will hold me at gunpoint unless I meet every one of their unspoken prerequisites. And that the moment I slip up, POW!

    I don’t use the word “slut” to describe girls who make a move. Ever since the incident, the only girls I’ve dated have made moves on me. To me, the word “slut” more often refers to girls who sleep around a lot. It refers to a hypocrisy of sorts, because while they sleep around, the condemn us for thinking the same.

    So to me, a true “slut” is the kind of girl who disrespectfully blows guys off for being “a pathetic annoyance”, and takes advantage of the fact that men fall for women quickly. These girls look down on men attraction to them, using it as a tool of sorts. I will always consider that a slut.

    • Man. I am just so discouraged to hear about that – the death threats and ganging-up-on that you experienced. It astounds me that some women behave like that.

      The only man I have ever threatened was the boyfriend of one of my best friends who really was treating her like crap, stringing her along (she shared part of the blame for continuing to forgive him and go back to him), cheating on her, verbally and emotionally abusing her… I did really want to kick his ass.

      But flirting? Approaching? Complimenting? I just can’t understand how some women react – OVERREACT – to men this way! Not to be cruel but I hope they’re ready to spend much of their lives alone if they are so hyper-sensitive to male attention that it really comes down to death threats. I mean, really. Death threats. WTF.

    • Sound like her and her friends were ‘special’ sorts and you were rather unlucky.

      So what do you call a man who uses women in the same way? Is he still a stud?

      There are some horrible women who mistreat men, there are horrible men who mistreat women, horrible women who mistreat women etc – let’s just call them horrible people.

      How about you don’t use the word ‘slut’ at all, in any context. Reserving it for a particular group that you define is still just as chauvinist as using to describe a women who is (insert definition here).

      Just like racially vilifying words, ‘slut’ is an oppressive term in any context. Believing in the concept of a slut is chauvinist in itself — it says a woman behaving in a certain way (however you define it) is to be marked differently to a man acting the same way.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      Nah, tou are just another sexist idiot from America who believes oppressing women (slut-shaming is all about shaming women for being sexually free in the same way men can and are praised for) is a good thing – oh, but only the “right” (or wrong) kind of women! I… just give up on American men. you guys are worth nothing. Done.

  49. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I have dated “age-inappropriately.” If you give it a little time, you get a sense of whether or not it’s okay to ask a woman out.

  50. Simple equations…

    Sexual interest I reciprocate = flattering.
    Sexual interest I don’t reciprocate = unpleasant.

    Therefore…

    Hot guys = confident.
    Average guys = creepy.

    It’s a vicious, nasty approach to dealings with men. It’s also very common.

    • Anonymous Male says:

      You can see some examples of this approach in the comments section of the GMP piece on “Older Men Lusting After Younger Women.” Apparently it is really traumatizing to be asked out by someone you are not attracted to, and a man must have a realistic idea of his age and physique before ever attempting to speak to an attractive woman.

      • Women have the same problem. Nobody likes being hit on by someone they aren’t attracted to. Do you?

        Being hit on by a woman who you think is “hot” = awesome!!!
        Being hit on by a woman who you think is ugly = creepy! yuck! she must be sick/desperate/a whore!

        • Jun Kafiotties says:

          Being hit on by an ugly male/or female should simply be flattering. Being hit on by someone you’re attracted to or you find to be very hot should simply be even more flattering.

          We all have the fundamental ability, possibly right to ask out (in a decent/polite way) someone we find attractive and wish to date and they have the ability to reject or accept that. People need to simply let go of some of these silly “creepy” attitudes unless they’re actually acting creepy. It shouldn’t be creepy at all for anyone to hit on another person of a similar age range, it might be awkward but if they are ugly then simply give them a respectful rejection.

          I don’t care if a girl or a guy hits on me as it’s flattering in my view. What offends me is HOW they do it, if they act like a creep then yes I’ll find them creepy, if I am underage and they’re considerably older than yes I’ll probably find it creepy, if I’m an adult and they’re an adult then any polite mannered date request will simply be flattering. The hardest part is figuring out how to let them down gently, if only we could all understand that because one person rejected you doesn’t make you ugly but it simply means personally they don’t wish to date you at that time for whatever reason.

          People truly need to broaden their mind and control how they throw the creepy word around, if someone is being respectful and kind then they should be rewarded with a kind response and not made to feel like shit because you’re too caught up in yourself to realize that someone finds you attractive and doesn’t have to fit a very defined view of what is attractive. Is it really so hard to say yes or no?

          Of course if they aren’t acting polite and decent then a good stern response is required, and I would hope both men and women will be taught in future to ask people out politely AND also learn how to take rejection well so we can avoid the other issues some people face such as fear of how they will act when you reject them.

          tl;dr, Be nice and others will be nicer. The vicious and nasty approach simply creates men and women who are fearful, bitter, or angry at the sex they are attracted to and goes a long way in making people act like rude fools to each other. Everyone is at fault for allowing such negative behaviour to continue, stand up and stand against it so the dating game is actually fun for a lot more people.

          • Mike42night says:

            Pure BS, only reasons A women says No:
            1. Not attracted to you for some reason, looks, money, boring etc.
            2. In a relationship.
            3. Shy, lacking confidence.
            If a woman is attracted to you she will say yes to the date and then get to know you.

            • Lidia Gasparian says:

              Eh. So you are telling women how we act to? Dude, go back to your place.
              And yes, I would not say yes to most of the things you listed… but if he is attractive overall but is a creepy dude he doens’t respect my boundaries or will not ask me politely… he won’t be attractive anymore and I will say NO. I have said no and will keep saying no to bullshit.

          • Well said! My opinion is that many of us think with our emotions and shut off their brains. It’s easier to just react and much harder to think. When a news story is aired about someone accused of a crime, do you immediately conclude guilt? It seems more and more we rush into judgment and away from thinking. This has permeated our social scene. It has caused many to avoid contact with others lest they be judged in some negative way. Some have come to fear even having an opinion for fear of condemnation. Is it any wonder that many have hidden in cyberspace rather than risk direct social contact?

        • “Nobody likes being hit on by someone they aren’t attracted to. Do you?” I, for one, don’t mind it one bit. As Jun says, that as long as it is done in a polite respectful manner, you should view it as flattering. The person approaching you may have made a lot of effort to get up the nerve to even talk to you, let alone ask you out. Why not chat a bit, acknowledge that the person is searching for someone just like you are too, but that you don’t see them as a match. One thing that many women don’t realize is that the guy who is shy and nervous to talk to you is usually not a ‘creep’. The guy who often is a creep is the one who acts suave and debonaire, over-confident (yes a guy can have too much confidence – it is called arrogance), and if/when you reject him, moves on to the next woman without any human feelings whatsoever. I’m generalizing, of course, but sexual maturity means that you can deal with unwanted suiters respectfully, as long as they are respectful to you.

          • LIKE!

          • PastorofMuppets says:

            I generally agree, but the elephant in the room no one seems to be talking about it that it’s different for a woman to receive unwanted sexual attention than a man. It’s different because the man – in the great majority of cases – has no fear that rejecting a suitor, or being something less than completely clear that she has no interest, could lead to physical assault or some other negative consequence (later being accused of leading a guy on, etc.). I’m sure large majority of guys who work up the courage to approach do so without many ill intents and would respond with respect to being turned down respectfully. By a woman doesn’t know if you’re the guy who’s going to be an a–hole about it, right? So her guard’s more likely to be up when approached by a strange man.

            None of this is meant to justify something other than a polite, respectful rejection – and certainly not labels like “creep” – but it’s naive to have this discussion without recognizing women have reasons for being discomforted by unwanted attention.

            • Lord Boofhead says:

              You went there? you are throwing around ‘Rape culture’ when its not relevant? Because that real sensitive to rape victims.

              First up ‘Rape Culture (and I swear the term is losing value every time its chucked about willy nilly..) =/= ‘All men are rapists and even if it did it does not justify women stigmatising men.

              Secondly the vast majority of rapists are Good Looking, Rich, Powerful or Popular men. Not the sorts of men who women usually label as Creeps, but the ‘Studs’.

              We hear countless stories about football teams gang raping women but never the Chess club, why is that? Because disempowered men don’t rape. Empowered men that people look up to rape. That’s your Rape Culture right there.

              • PastorofMuppets says:

                Project much?
                No one uttered the phrase “rape culture” until you just did. But you’re naive if you think women don’t have reason to be more sensitive to unwanted sexual advances than men.

                Any support for your assertions that ” the vast majority of rapists are Good Looking, Rich, Powerful or Popular men” and “disempowered men don’t rape?”
                I’ve spent the large majority of my career working in and around the criminal justice system, and my experience says you’re 100 percent wrong on both counts.
                Football players rape. Chess club members rape. Rich guys rape. Poor guys rape. Handsome men rape, as do ugly guys.
                You hear about football players more often because that’s a more sensational story than the average Joe who does the same thing. It says nothing about prevalence.

                But maybe you’re aware of some data I’m not. Care to hook me up?

                • Lord Boofhead says:

                  You may not have used the words but you were hinting at it. You are using the Gender Feminists argument that because some men are horrible to women it’s ok to be douchey to all men in return.

                  And my point which you ignored is that the men are socially elevated in some way, you can be poor and ugly and still be in a position were others look up to you. Men with power are more likely to rape because they know they can get away with it. Most men arrested for rape are first time offenders and sadly many rapes aren’t reported, and most rapes are committed by a very small percent of men.

                  Sure women should be wary of any strange man but the fact is the guy she reacts “Erg Creep!” to is less likely to be a rapist than the ‘cool guy’ she lets buy her a drink.

                  • PastorofMuppets says:

                    Reading is a skill.
                    In the initial post to which you responded, I said “None of this is meant to justify something other than a polite, respectful rejection – and certainly not labels like creep.”

                    How do you get from that ” because some men are horrible to women it’s ok to be douchey to all men in return?” You cannot, because I said the exact opposite.

                    Still waiting for a citation for all your rape stats.

          • Revo Luzione says:

            “The guy who often is a creep is the one who acts suave and debonaire, over-confident (yes a guy can have too much confidence – it is called arrogance), and if/when you reject him, moves on to the next woman without any human feelings whatsoever.”

            Que? This one don’t make much sense, Padre. Why would a self-confident guy get butthurt when rejected in an given instance? Rejection is a part of life, there’s no reason to let it ding your self-worth or identity, both of which should develop from internal, not external validation.

        • “Nobody likes being hit on by someone they’re not attracted to.”

          Sure, but how do people respond to this? Of what I’ve seen, guys are usually like “ehh, not interested. but thanks, though!” at worst, they call them a slut behind their backs.

          Of what I’ve seen, girls are often pushed away or offended by the approach. And from what I’ve personally experienced, I received death threats and security reports after telling a girl she has a cute smile.

          Honestly, I would rather be called a slut or easy as a worst case, than be EXPECTED to make a move on the off chance she’s interested, and risk legal action if she isn’t.

          • And from what I’ve personally experienced, I received death threats and security reports after telling a girl she has a cute smile.

            Assuming you’re not exaggerating… WTF? What is wrong with these women? They give the rest of us a bad name! I’m so sorry that happened to you.

            • Enoch Smith says:

              This stuff happens sometimes << I was at a church dance one time in my teens, and a girl in my extended group of friends mentioned she was from Canada, and I was like "Oh, that's cool. I like Canadians," and that's literally all I said to her the entire night.

              I didn't realize she'd publicly accused me of threatening to rape her because of that comment until her older brother approached me to ask why I'd threatened to rape his sister.

        • Unimportantt says:

          There is definitely not the same cultural treatment of that at all, the foremost reason being the stratified ratio of male to female initiators, others abound. Your comment is very dismissive of others’.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          I have been hit by both gay’s and women. No matter what I always smile back, thanking them and reciprocate interest if im interested or sending them away (in a respectfull manner). No hard feelings from my side, unless they start kissing and touching me, in that case I call the doormen (im a DJ), and they take care of them.

    • Mike42night says:

      Agree with Morgen, If the Guy is cute it’s flurting. If the Guy is average it is sexual harrasment
      Also This is my take on the STUD vs SLUT debate: Men usually have to work at getting laid so when a men has sex alot he is viewed as a winner,stud,etc. The dude is a Player man, Don’t hate the player hate the game…
      Most women unless thier screwing Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise, do not have to work that hard to get laid period. When hanging out at bars I’m Blue with envy when I see how easy it is for women to get sex but Remember ladies You are nothing special if a lot guys went you, CHEAP items have many buyers.

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        Disgusting sexist idiot.
        And no, women do not put a lof of hours of effort into their looks everyday if they want to date, nuh. Also, women who do the approaching are also called sluts by you misogynist idiots.
        YOU guys are fucking cheap for being that easy for whatever average women who wants to fuck you then, in your own logic. Good to see a dudebro admitiing you guys just envy women, pussy-envy. Pathetic.

  51. So some men secretly yearn to be “pegged in the butt” with dildos? And the poor widdle dears can’t ask for it because their friends are all mean homophobic bullies who might hurt his feelings?

    What a load of crap.

    Ladies, let’s flip this around. How would you react if I whined about my lady not giving up anal sex because her bitchy prude friends might object? Further, how would you respond if I suggested that society needs to stop teaching women to be bitchy prudes?

    If you can’t communicate what you want in bed, it’s your own damn fault.

    If you pick a sexual partner who refuses to communicate what they want, it’s your own damn fault.

    If you can’t trust your sexual partner to use some discretion when talking about your sex life, it’s your own damn fault.

    • Lidia Gasparian says:

      So everything is about their own damn fault and people not doing the right thing is also their own damn fault.

      Eh. I would be upset that whenever a woman says something she is a bitch, or bitchy. You Americans have to drop the gendered animal names to women already.

  52. As someone who’s familiar with BDSM, I have to wonder about the population of women who silently act out a preference to be ‘forced’ into sex/subservience, but are in denial of their desires and behavior.

    Do these women exist? If so, what percentage of women are like this? And what are the consequences of their actions?

    I can see possible ramifications like: women who disparage any attempt at flirting with them until a man gets fed up and rapes her, or just leaves; Women who go through flirting and the initial relationship, but lose interest and blame it on an unrelated reason, confusing men and creating anger, insecurity, and misunderstanding; etc., etc. But the fact is, I don’t know what the situation really is there. There’s just not a good solid scientific way to study something like that, afaik. If somebody has reliable information on the subject that I could look into, I’d be interested in that.

  53. I’m not so sure that everyone should express and act on their desires. Isn’t that a bit narcissistic? Some days I want to punch the rude jerk behind the counter at my local coffee shop. That is my desire, but I don’t express it or act on it.

    I think a lot of people are confused about their sexual desires (and mainstream porn does nothing to help). I know a lot of guys who choose their partners based on WHAT THEIR FRIENDS think. Guys who will not pick the person whose company they really enjoy, but will instead pursue the youngest or the “hottest” (by Maxim’s scale) over their own desire. The real getting-off is the bragging after the fact.

    So is this “creepy”, or an honest expression of “desire” [for status amongst other men]?

  54. “…we should be giving everyone unflinchingly detailed sex education so that everyone understands just how limited mainstream porn is. Men aren’t dumb beasts—no more than women are wilting flowers—and stereotypes are easily defeated by a complete picture of the world.

    -Thumbs up.

  55. doubleedged says:

    to respond to this, quoted from above:

    1) Sam summed it up best: “Accept male desire, and accept men’s word when they talk about it.”

    *Men lie about their sexuality to begin with. They are not honest. They talk up their libido. They come onto women aggressively and often have very little to back it up with in bed. Few men actually sexually satisfy women to the point of orgasm. Few men have libido to have sex more than once. Few men enjoy oral or manual sex even though their fragile little peni hardly sexually stimulate a woman.
    I think the problem is not that men are overwhelming, but that they underwhelm and really don’t have much desire to begin with.
    There are a FEW men who have tremendous sexual appetites, and I have yet to hear any complaints about them. In fact men with high libidos don’t have sexual ‘issues’.
    One of the reasons I find men aggravating when talking about sex, is that they are so weak. I have much more sexual stamina and higher sex libido as a woman. I SHOULD be the one talking, while the man should not even bring the conversation forth. Because it’s a total deception. Why would a man talk about something he cannot even DO? Totally aggravating and a big downer.
    THAT is the REAL ISSUE.

    • Was this rant in earnest? Or bait?

      It really does not matter. The entire issue of sex is irrelevant.

    • Diabolic says:

      *sigh* I hate baits, but I’ll bite…

      Ever thought maybe it’s you, and not them? Just wondering…

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        No, most women do not orgasm with men. Less than 25% orgasm every single time when having sex with men. Men with women? Over 74% orgasm every single time with women, that is more than gay men! And yes, most lesbian women orgasm every single time with women – over 78%. So yes, it is not women who are broken, that is straight men who could care less.

  56. That was a great piece. I like the idea of promoting a way for men to express their sexuality in a way that doesn’t have to be predatory or fearfull for men or women.

  57. I realize I’m late on this (so glad I discovered this amazing site!), but I just wanted to comment…

    I’m glad this article was written. I wish it had expanded on street harassment. Whether some men sincerely believe they are offering a compliment by commenting on the appearance unfamiliar (read: not his prior acquaintance, his classmate, his neighbor, or his regular barista) or nice men and men who do this are mutually exclusive, this behavior never ceases to distress me. There is no un-creepy way to do this.

    On an interpersonal level, central problem is that women have good reason to fear men’s sexuality. It’s been used as a weapon by A SMALL PERCENTAGE of men against a large percentage of women. I simply can’t know whether a man is a sexual predator or not until I get to know him. Even then, I am taking the chance that he has carefully hidden his predatory tendencies (obviously, if he was scaring the crap out of me, it would be difficult for him to get close enough to drug my drink). These are split second, largely unconscious thought processes.

    Kate Harding has written extensively on this. Charrise’s friend, while well-intentioned, simply forgot he was suddenly voicing his personal interest in violent, though consensual, sex to a person who has good reason to fear violence from men. Simply acknowledging that (“Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from- I’m into S&M. I’m bringing that up because I empathize, I know it can sound kinda creepy when a man is talking about sex and violence in the same sentence”) could have made a world of difference. Women aren’t out to censor men, we’re out to protect ourselves.

    One final note is that 100% of men who approach me in a bar saying “Hey baby, you look sexy in that dress” get firmly turned down, even if I’m looking to meet a man. 100% of men who say “Hi, my name is X. What’s your name?” have a shot with me. Sorry for such a long comment!

  58. We’re all Horny and know we’d be more satisfied with better communication.

    Better communication. Better communication.

    Go help the writers, even the communications majors, get over the slump of chair ass and rewrite mouth.

    Then we’ll talk.

    (In all seriousness, Christine is on my hero list now. I’d her a drink and more if I weren’t married and she were willing.)

  59. I was struck by the article’s opening lines about how most women go through their daily lives fending off unwanted male attention and being worried about being attacked by men.

    Perhaps I’m just naive, but I had no idea that the average woman deals with repeated advanced each day. Likewise, I had no idea that most women constantly worry about being attacked. If the author truly does speak for the majority, I’m just stunned.

    A small part of me wonders why women don’t take a more aggressive stance against some of the pop culture junk that constantly works against them. Why aren’t women picketing recording studios, artists, etc. to shut down the barrage of sexually-derogatory junk that the Rap and Hip-Hop music genre are so steeped in? Why aren’t Moms refusing to give their children disposable income to line the pockets of scum like 50 Cent or Lil Wayne? When these dirtbags are no longer swimming in cash, perhaps they’ll recognize that their brand of filth will no longer be tolerated.

    (And female urban artists aren’t much better. Just listen to the lyrics of any given Beyonce song!)

    I can guarantee that my son won’t be blaring Emimem, Snoop Dogg, Young Jeezy, or any of the other “artists” as long as he has to rely upon my dollars to make that happen. And if I ever hear of him say, “I’d hit that” when referring to a girl, he’ll be trying to get the taste of soap out of his mouth for days.

    • Interesting point Rob. I can tell you that fear of attack is ingrained in every woman’s day to day life: walking home on your urban street after dark, hearing footsteps behind you and thinking “Oh boy. I am about to become another headline/statistic”. We all know this feeling (the percentage of us who have got through our live thus far without actually being assaulted in some way, and I believe we are in the minority) , and when you think about it, this is homegrown, garden variety terrorism. We as women, live in a state of fear.

      I too wonder why there is not more resistance to the extreme sexism in pop culture. I think that part of the problem is the punishment that women receive when they do speak out. They are shamed and ostracized; called “ugly”, “jealous”, “prudish” and “anti-sex”. If you have problems with Brittany or any of the floor/pole humping gang, it’s easy to feel very very alone. Being locked out in the cold, even if the “in-club” is really dumb and one dimensional, still sucks.

      An example of someone fighting back is Nineteen Percent’s Youtube response to Beyonce’s new video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p72UqyVPj54

      for which she (19%) was called out for being “ugly” and “aggressive” in an article on Alternet. For young women, sadly, it is often easier to comply to the pop culture standard (and I use the singular deliberately – as when it comes to women, we have one model we are all supposed to live up to) and get “rewards” of male approval.

      • Lizwin says:
        Interesting point Rob. I can tell you that fear of attack is ingrained in every woman’s day to day life: walking home on your urban street after dark, hearing footsteps behind you and thinking “Oh boy. I am about to become another headline/statistic”. We all know this feeling (the percentage of us who have got through our live thus far without actually being assaulted in some way, and I believe we are in the minority) , and when you think about it, this is homegrown, garden variety terrorism. We as women, live in a state of fear.
        ======
        Liz, I would question whether you’re the rule or the exception. Based on the way I have seen women living their lives (especially at college areas and bars where young women hang out). I see lots of women dressing very provocatively, AND taking men home for sex after only having known him for an hour or less.
        I would say the vast majority of women are very NOT worried about assault.
        In fact, I would say that this was a large reason why the terrible tragedy happened to Natalee Holloway. She exercised the same behavior she was used to exercising in her home town and was totally unappreciative of any risk to herself.

        She’s in an area she knows nothing about and leaves with four men she just met?
        These things wouldn’t happen if all women were preternaturally concerned about assault. All women would be on guard. I see women living very very carefree and promiscuous lives.

        You’re view just doesn’t jibe with the objectively quantifiable aspects of real life. Assaults on women are rare, the news just likes reporting them because they grab head-lines. According to stats there is less than one half rape per year at large colleges. Considering all the teen hormones and alcohol floating around that’s very little.

        The assaults that do happen, are able to happen specifically because they are so rare and women are NOT on guard which I would think they would be if the world was as you paint it.

        • Lidia Gasparian says:

          Even women who fear will let loose sometimes. But yes, most women are not promiscuous… maybe these are the only ones who get your attention, though. And no, over 60% of women will face sexual assault (rape attempt) in their lives.

    • This is really how women live their everyday lives. When I was younger I liked to do things by myself and my mother would insist that I go ‘with someone’. When I got older and moved to a big city I started getting approached constantly (keep in mind I’m average-looking at best). It didn’t matter if I was with co-workers, MY FATHER, family, friends or really anything else.
      When I was traveling I kept a razor on me at all times (I even kept it under my pillow) after some teenagers grabbed me in broad daylight in the middle of Beirut. You can’t take chances like that.
      In general, they do it more when I’m alone; they feel free to say whatever they want to me and some get as close as possible, as if they have no respect for my personal boundaries. Just two days ago, I was walking to the subway at 10 am and this guy pops out of a building from nowhere, starts rambling on and on and walks quickly towards me…I have no idea if this guy is sane, if he has a gun/knife or what his intentions are, but his actions are telling me that I can’t trust him. So I ignored him and got away as fast as possible. Of course all men aren’t rapists, but really how do you know for sure that you aren’t dealing with the five percent of men that are? If the worst should happen, and you get raped, hardly anyone (the legal system) will take you seriously anyways. So you have to be super-careful. That’s the problem in a nutshell.

  60. I think part of the problem is biology. I think men naturally seek women’s approval. I think part of the answer is to realize this, notice the double standards between the lines described in this article, don’t wait for a woman to say “its okay” and stop being apologetic about masculine desires or masculinity.

  61. . A male, S&M-oriented friend of mine told me about a girl he once spoke to while volunteering at a large feminist organization. She started a conversation about how she was coming to terms with her queer identity; she no longer wanted to have sex with men, but with women. He said he could relate, and described his feelings about coming into his S&M identity.

    The next day, he got a call from the intern coordinator telling him to get back in the closet.

    His first mistake was volunteering in a large feminist organization. Many kinds of women are feminists and they are not all the same, but there are trends among the women who put time into attending such groups. One of them is vilifying men, not matter what BS bumper slogan denials they give about feminism “being for everybody”.

  62. Fantastic article! Agree! AGREE!

  63. First thing – they’re not ‘needs’, they’re desires. We need oxygen, we need water, we need various vitamins. We merely want to get exactly the kind of sex we want, and given that the vast majority of people don’t get it and live contented enough lives anyways, it doesn’t seem to deserve the term ‘need’.

    Vandenburgh – right on!

    When someone talks of ‘consensually’ giving up consent, it reminds me of Microsoft EULAs. For me it utterly kills any sexual desire, but that’s just MY sexuality. It seems fairly obvious that these people are going to have a hard time finding others whose sense of which consent to violate and which not to, exactly match up with theirs. And it seems equally obvious that making mistakes is going to be more costly than among those who just want pleasurable sex.

    And as someone who was rather socially awkward when I was younger, it baffled me why people like me were considered so ‘creepy’ yet genuinely abusive, manipulative users were considered ‘sexy’. Or to reverse Elvis Costello’s statement, “I used to try to be amused. Now I’m just disgusted.”

    Because the physical reality is so often that men have power and women don’t (when there are more potential and attempted rapists shot by women than there are rapes, I’ll take this back), it’s often not enough for a man to offer to be sensitive in private – they need to stand up against the abuse of power in public, where others can see it, for the same reason that many women want to meet potential partners in public and see how others relate to them, and how they relate to others.

    I basically agree with David Wise – I don’t know how to trust someone who wants dominance mixed with their sex to be at all reasonable about it, so would just as soon not be involved at all.

  64. Interestingly enough, I’ve thought a lot about “creepiness” and developed the outlines of what I think is a good formal definition. It begins with the fact that humans are animals, and like all animals we have mating rituals. We are also social beings who are raised in a variety of cultures which add courtship rituals to these mating habits. In the contemporary West in particular, a lot of this is ambiguous, and it has to be learned by most of us. Also, in any animal population there will be those members who are bad at the rituals–these are the bower birds with shitty nests. There are humans like this too, naturally, and this inability to effectively take part in human mating and courtship rituals–a kind of illiteracy or socio-emotional dyslexia–is the first part of creepiness.

    But to be truly creepy, this isn’t enough. There are plenty of cases where a man is fumbling or awkward about making a move where it is actually endearing on some level, or where it is evidence of a kind of innocence that hardly evokes the kind of threat a true creep does. The factor which turns a man who sucks at mating rituals into a creep is woman hating. This guy can’t get laid because of his own ignorance and instead of taking responsibility for this and either finding a less stressful avenue for meeting women or consulting with friends or others on how to improve this, he blames women. They are just a bunch of stuck-up c**ts who just want money, if he had money they’d fuck him, but because he is a working stiff (or whatever) they treat him like dirt. It’s all their fault.

    The way this combination comes out is in the classic idea of a creep. He makes shambling, inappropriate advances, he breaks the rules of the rituals, and like any breach of ideological/social conventions this provokes anxiety. The misogyny right beneath the surface of this makes this anxious situation threatening, and because he has no fundamental respect for his quarry he will neither recognize nor care about boundaries. There are plenty of guys unfairly labeled as creeps when they are more accurately socially ignorant, they have none of the overriding misogyny that distinguishes the true creep. There are also plenty of women haters (of course) that are very good at playing the game, doing the mating ritual dance. These become batterers, lotharios, etc. When they come together, we are talking about a creep.

    We now see why women can’t usually be creeps. I suppose a self-hating lesbian might be able to pull this off (lesbians out there–does it happen?), and there are plenty of awkward women who hate men. But one cannot accurately describe or adequately understand a social situation without taking power disparities into account. The persistence of patriarchy makes man-hating and woman-hating different in quality, and men’s greater capacity for rape and physical assault make woman-hating by men much more threatening (in general) than man-hating by women. Creepiness is a byproduct of misogyny, a function of patriarchy’s changing shape in a world where feminism has rolled back traditional prerogatives of male power. So feminists, next time you see a creep, realize it is just a sign that you are winning.

    BTW–if you found this intriguing, helpful or interesting to read, check out the blog I post on, The Deliverators.

    • Evil Pundit says:

      That is a creepy, man-hating comment.

      • Never trust straight men who call themselves feminists ( men who genuinely respect women is a different matter ), especially the ones who spew the same rhetoric as young women studies majors. They tend to be horribly insecure people who project their self criticism out onto other people. They get into to win positive attention from women, because they don’t have the balls to approach women. They are doctrinaire and self hating.

        • Steve, I don’t trust male feminists (or feminists at all, really – what does the word “feminism” really mean but ” implied humanism with an explicit axe to grind”?) any more than you do, but I most certainly do not think Mr. Dobbs’ comment is all that. If there were some way to empirically measure “creepdom”, I suspect he would honestly be pretty close to the mark – incompetence can be cute, but incompetence+rage is always scary.

        • I have to say I agree with mmhmm; Andrew Dobbs comes across as quite insightful to me. Also, I have no clue where you get the idea that Andrew is being creepy or man hating. After all, what’s wrong with trying to come up with an objective and specific hypothesis relating to a social phenomenon? For the record, I am a straight male who considers himself a feminist (meaning I believe women should have all the same rights, responsibilities, opportunities, etc. as men have) and how is that not a natural extension of genuinely respecting women?

          • Steve-O not Steve says:

            Andrew’s distinction between anxiety based on “social-illiteracy” and “misogyny” is totally phony.

            A man’s social-illiteracy might be rooted in his relationship to an abusive mother. Such abuse may cause an irrational, generalized fear of authority figures instead of misogyny. But is an irrational, generalized fear of authority figures any “better” than misogyny?

            Of course not.

            In fact, a man jilted by a potential mate may perceive the woman as yet another unfair authority figure & seek revenge. So he attacks her. At this point, the cause of his anxiety is really irrelevant.

            The fact is that Andrew is sowing the seeds of paranoia & hostility.

        • Eirene says:

          Funny. The straight males I’ve met who have called themselves feminists have been, with two exceptions, funny, self-aware, thoughtful, and self-possessed human beings of strong caliber. And before you ask, barring the one I’m dating, the relationships were platonic.

    • Eirene says:

      To answer your question, there ARE self-hating lesbians out there, and in particular a class of butch lesbian that indulges in some very stereotypically awful male posturing and misogyny. I tend to personally find heterosexual women who approach relationships with lots of patriarchal expectations of gendered behavior creepy, but that may well be a personal thing and not a cultural one.

      This was a very insightful post.

    • Andrew,
      I would disagree that women can’t be creeps. The huge amount of female teachers seducing their minor students tells me that their are also many women who have huge sexual hangups.
      If anything, I would say why creep-dom among women seems to be low, is due to the simple aspect that despite 40 years of gender-bending and “women can do anything” men are still saddled with initiation.

      I would say that your post simply underscores the value of the Pickup Artists community.
      Feminist aspects are a long list of DON’TS with very little do’s (except things like “be confident” which is of very little value as a help tool).

      It seems somehow contradictory to me to complain of men with poor initiation skills (or thin skins against rejection who (like almost ALL woman are too terrified to initiate) are too scared to initiate), THEN RAIL against the ONLY system which teaches men good initiation skills.

      It’s totally hypocritical. If feminists don’t like PUA community, then they need to come up with their own comprehensive program that teaches men to initiate or STFU.
      Poor at initiating, or initiate too well either way you’re a bad guy. You can’t effing win with feminists. Every man is a bad man in their book.

  65. I read an article that stated that men now must not only satisfy (60’s, 70’s sexuality) the woman’s needs sexually but he must prime her for the sexual experience by understanding and responding to her complex psychology. Geez. What will the conditions be next week, next month, in ten years…

    • Cooper Fleishman says:

      Interesting—but if you ignore the jargon, all it’s saying is “Men should please their partners—and listen to them, too.” That isn’t different from what we expect of women, is it?

      • I agree with mutually supportive relationships invigorated by a healthy sexual relationship. It was the prevalence of “Me” oriented psychology that is often substituted for complex feminine psychology that was confusing and putting me off.

        • I think the road goes both ways; if a woman does not communicate what her needs are in terms of foreplay and achieving an orgasm, she should not expect to have her needs fulfilled. Men have their own individual needs, of course, and they can enjoy foreplay too, but nearly all straight guys have pretty simple instructions for achieving an orgasm – dick in vag. This is why I hate the double standard for being “good” at sex. For women, all it takes to be good at sex is basically to look sexy and to look like they’re enjoying it.

          For men, we essentially have to guess what a woman wants and what turns her on, and we have to having a near perfect guessing record from the moment the date starts to the climax. And if we mess up too much during the date, we don’t even get the option of having sex and the woman will most likely assume the man is bad at sex because he’s “got no game”. If we somehow manage to get things back to the bedroom, the standards get even more unreasonable. We have to guess what the woman likes, which we usually base on past encounters. Something somehow works and we store it in our brain forever as a special trick to get her going. The more promiscuous a man is, the more sex tricks he picks up, the better his reputation with the ladies gets, the more promiscuous he is allowed to become. The reverse is also true; men who have less sex will be less good at sex, leading to less sex, despite the fact that these men are usually the “nice guys” that have treated women like angels. Women will still pick the confident, cocky, promiscuous “stud” 9 times out of 10.

          What women need to realize is that if they just communicated their sexual needs honestly, they could stop perpetuating this cycle of sexism and stop sending mixed signals towards guys (“Be confident, but don’t be a dick. Be assertive, but don’t be aggressive. Be comfortable with yourself, but don’t have an inflated ego. Be dominant during sex, but take care of my needs too, but don’t ask me what my needs are during sex because then you’re being hesitant, not confident, which completely turns me off”.)

          People always talk about guys having too high of standards for women in terms of their physical appearance, which is usually true, however I would say women are have much much higher standards when it comes to personality, such that they will never really find a man that meets all of their contradictory requirements. These confident-but-not-cocky guys don’t really exist, so women have two options. They can 1. Go out with the confident asshole and try to turn him into a good person, or they can 2. Go out with the nice guy and try to turn him into a sexual stud by telling him what you like. Pick one. I’ll give you a hint, one of these options is much much harder to pull off than the other.

          • Eirene says:

            “Be confident, but don’t be a dick. Be assertive, but don’t be aggressive. Be comfortable with yourself, but don’t have an inflated ego. Be dominant during sex, but take care of my needs too, but don’t ask me what my needs are during sex because then you’re being hesitant, not confident, which completely turns me off”.

            I agree with the spirit of your post — women need to be very good sexual communicators– but this is stereotypical “Nice Guy” thinking, and it’s honestly pretty ridiculous. Men tend to say women are contradictory when women are just very different from each other. There is no magic formula of confidence that will please most women; you have to accept that each one has different tastes. I personally prefer men who are sensitive to men who are confident, but your milage WILL vary.

            • The problem with the ‘women are individuals’ argument is that women, like men, are herd animals to an extent.

              If one of the women thinks that a guy acted ‘creepy’ and manages to display her discomfort, whispers to her friend, etc., it’s usually game over – regardless of how the women would see it on their own, suddenly everyone agrees that the man is a creep and to be avoided. And it’s REALLY EASY to trigger the ‘creep’ tag, as the poster you responded to pointed out quite well. Further, if you don’t get ‘creep’, then you get ‘weak’. Or worst of all, ‘boring’.

              To hell with your ‘Nice Guy thinking’ comment. Sometimes a victim is just victimizing themselves; but sometimes, they’re really a victim. This can be as true of men who feel like they’re forced to deal with a ridiculous set of women’s expectations as it is of women who get date raped because they sent confusing signals and didn’t have the self-confidence to distinguish a ‘no, convince me to have sex’ from a ‘no, I REALLY DON’T want sex.’ It can be as traumatic, even – same problem, a f*cked up sexual identity and regarding the opposite sex as the enemy is the SYMPTOM of the crime, not the cause.

            • Eirene re-quoted Steelsky:

              “Be confident, but don’t be a dick. Be assertive, but don’t be aggressive. Be comfortable with yourself, but don’t have an inflated ego. Be dominant during sex, but take care of my needs too, but don’t ask me what my needs are during sex because then you’re being hesitant, not confident, which completely turns me off”.

              I don’t know where this paragraph originally comes from as Steelsky also put the paragraph in quotes.

              I have two main points about this paragraph.

              First off: whoever the original author is, is correct on one thing: a male lover shouldn’t have to ask what her needs are during sex. Why? Because she should TELL HIM.
              But, that’s not the gist I get from this paragraph. Re-read that paragraph over a couple of times. The author expects the man to be an incredibly well-balanced (dare I say perfect) human being between humble and narcissistic, smack dab on the 1-100 dial at 49 or 50. I rarely see this in any person. Next, the author expects him to be the ultimate consummate lover (and I bet w/out wanting him to have been w/lots and lots of women) that can she will make guess what she wants and she expects him to GUESS CORRECTLY.

              A person who is the perfect balance between humble and narcissistic is 1 in 5000 or rarer. And one who can accurately guess what you want in bed based on non-word verbalizations and eye contact is virtually non-existent. I think it’s interesting that in these modern times women can be anything they want (even changing on the fly as ensconced in lots of popular culture i.e. as in Morrisettes song “Bitch”), but this culture has put even TIGHTER chains on the roles of men. In addition to the macho crap from the 50’s women now want sensitive men (but not TOO sensitive–not sensitive enough to have his own emotional baggage, but just enough to empathise w/her emotional issues). Now, we have to get just the right flavor of caring and daring.

              Second point:
              Let’s look at that paragraph again:
              “Be confident, but don’t be a dick. Be assertive, but don’t be aggressive. Be comfortable with yourself, but don’t have an inflated ego. Be dominant during sex, but take care of my needs too, but don’t ask me what my needs are during sex because then you’re being hesitant, not confident, which completely turns me off”.

              The thing is in their 20’s and even 30’s are also immature.
              I will slice and dice the paragraph to make my point. Using the terms from the paragraph, let’s say a woman has three choices of mates:
              A) A man who is humble, unassertive, not comfortable in his own skin, submissive.
              B) Assertive, comfortable w/himself, dominant/but attentive (i.e. the perfect mix as laid out in the paragraph)
              C) A dick, aggressive, has an inflated ego, dominant and UNattentive

              Now, judging by the paragraph B is the best choice. However, if B is unavailable, in my experience most women in their 20’s or 30’s will go with C) over A). A woman would rather be with a Dicky, aggressive man who has an inflated ego & is dominant and unattentive she has no future with over a boring hardworking respectful poindexter. Like men who “screen” based on looks, women screen based on personality characteristics.
              Both go for things that titillate them, and hope that the mate they’ve chosen will have other redeemable characteristics LATER.

              There really is a solid foundation for the perspective that “women prefer jerks.” A quick citation I found:
              ht tps://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:wdRK66Fztt8J:www.bradley.edu/academics/las/psy/facstaff/schmitt/documents/Jonason-Schmitt-2009-DarkTriad-STM.pdf+dark+triad+traits&hl=nl&gl=nl&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESheV-07ImpU5B6rK6txSZaKoAjr4c98U-sBA34EzjsumvTX6FeWoGnTfHHFuvF7etTE47A86luwST03GMWAvCjlwWwY2m4ORdyPfiEDHXoqR1cNjPruoXFbfKIsyS40wD5ptcmu&sig=AHIEtbRR1UjHzk4-3jxnmpXpl6IV7wz3Qg

              Especially beautiful women will more often be seen with jerks (or uneducated, moochers, poor work ethic, addicts etc..). Why? Because beautiful women have been stuffed full of approaches from men who put her on a pedestal and it quickly becomes boring. The 1 person who stands out is the man who acts like her beauty is nothing special. In fact, typically the worst he treats her, the more she needs to validate herself to him.
              To A) state that all women deserve a perfect man and telepathic lover while B) women have their own HUGE hangups and nuerosi is just hypocritical.
              Women’s ridiculously high ideals in mates is causing women a lot of harm. These women often live lives in which by the time they find their ideal mate their too old for kids. Often these women mature and realize they can’t have a man who BOTH titillates them and have strong future prospects (or they’ve aged away their beauty to no longer be able to compete for these upper tier men w/both confidence and good future prospects).

              It seems to me some of the happiest women I’ve seen are the ones who marry in their youth so they can have children and accept their men for who they are FLAWS AND ALL.

  66. Sandra Parrotto says:

    Great piece! I’m all for anything that gives men, and ultimately women, more freedom to express all of who they are. I recently had my first massage by a man. He was so scared about crossing the gender line, that I became scared and asked him if I did something that was inappropriate like taking off my jewelry too soon. I felt like a creep who was unconsciously crossing some line. For all of the freedom that we have today, we still can’t talk about sex or our sexuality without making someone uncomfortable and the minute someone’s uncomfortable, a lawsuit lurks waiting to be substantiated. I was at a meeting once when a woman was wearing a plunging neckline – the men wouldn’t allow their eye contact to drop one inch while the rest of the room, comprised of women, couldn’t keep their eyes from being distracted. There is so much fear for men, in business, that they will be labeled a creep. Let’s face it, they’re not all Michael Douglas being deceitful (in that movie that I can’t remember). The person who is the creep that really means us harm is really the minority. I do think this is like the cliche about, “something like, one bad apple spoiling the apple pie” – I can never remember those sayings so maybe someone can help. From any vantage point, we all have to work at being responsible with our sexuality but not repressed.

  67. The cis-sexuality stuff is BS. No-one criticizes couples who are differently shaped, at least not around here. Sex was decent in 1968-75. Now it’s overwrought with 1950s type agendas again. It unfortunately shows that sociobiology is true. Women cripple men’s sexuality to an extent because it improves their choices. This will probably never change. I admit that men can also use sexuality to “demote” women professionally or socially. That’s another reason. As a man, I don’t like sex-negative feminism, remembering sex-positive feminists with pleasure, but I see why sex-negativity came back.

  68. I’m a 24-year-old professional writer and photographer. I do a lot of street photography, and I’m a generally observational person. It’s shocking how many women shoot me looks that say “CREEP!” if I merely turn my head in their general direction–even while my camera is just hanging at my side.

  69. Well said, Clarisse.

    I have known men who were rape victims. They are alone in their pain. They feel their own bodies have betrayed them. They need healing and they need advocates!

    I’m in favor of anything that leads towards more honesty. Please continue with your work. 🙂

    • Leading towards honesty means stopping the porn mainstream for start.
      Our society needs healing from the spreaded fournications.
      Have fun

      • Barry MaCaukiner says:

        What is “fournications”?
        Does that refer to 4 people “nicating”?

        Seriously, does anyone spell- and grammar-check anymore??

  70. David Wise says:

    There’s something very ironic–and off-putting quite frankly–about a woman who’s so afraid of being attacked, yet enjoys BDSM. Women such as this scare me actually. I’m afraid of them accusing me of something that them would secretly enjoy. I’m worried of them projecting their fears and desires unto me.

    • David: What is ironic? Consensual sexual activity (of any sort) vs. non-consensual assault. There is a big difference between something that is wanted and engaged in with boundaries and trust vs. something that is non-consensual and assaultive. Duh.

    • Fan of the really Wise David Wise says:

      @DavidWise who said:
      There’s something very ironic–and off-putting quite frankly–about a woman who’s so afraid of being attacked, yet enjoys BDSM. Women such as this scare me actually. I’m afraid of them accusing me of something that them would secretly enjoy. I’m worried of them projecting their fears and desires unto me.
      —————————————————————————————————————————————-

      Y’know, I completely agree with you. I don’t understand why anyone who likes having their ear lobe bit or their nipple twisted would act like it’s such a big scary deal when I pull out my Smith &Wesson & point it at their spine! They’ve already proven that they like to get hurt – how do I know that they don’t secretly want to get shot? I’m worried that some guy is going to talk about liking pain but then call the cops on me when I shoot off a testicle. I mean, what would be more painful? And how do I know that they wouldn’t really, really **LIKE** it, but go and get me all in trouble & arrested & sh*t just because they’re projecting their fears & desires all over me in a big jumble.
      It’s just so terrible to be forced into a situation of terror when you’re just trying to have sex. That terror that throughout history men have had to endure at the hands of women because of their reckless refusal to disavow confusing, contradictory positions like being pro-sex but anti-rape! The pain and horror to which the poor, poor men of this world have been subjected, never sure if they should or shouldn’t rape women who appear to like intercourse but somehow insist on the right of consent, even when they might really like it if they were raped! How confusing. What evil these women perpetrate through their deliberate obfuscation!

      If only someone who write an article that would tell people how important it is for men who want consensual sex to be able to talk about what they want without being stigmatized so that honest conversations could be had and these kinds of misunderstandings could be prevented. Where oh where could we find someone willing to stand up for the kind of communication that would prevent misunderstandings, that would encourage the providing with real information without stigmatizing people as sluts or creeps? Yes, DW, that’s the woman that we really should be celebrating, if only there were such a woman. If only we could find her…

      Thank you for writing about this important issue my Wise, Wise friend.

      • Oh, how very well said.Bravo!

      • Oh my God, I think this is my favorite comment that this article has spawned. Thank you so much.

      • “contradictory positions like being pro-sex but anti-rape”, are you insane? Unbeknown to yourself, two consenting adults can enjoy sex whilst i’m sure neither would ENJOY being forced into sexual intercourse. Neither of these statements are contradictory in any way or form.
        i.e. enjoy sex when it is consented dislike sex when it is forced upon your person.

        and as for your ‘rape or shouldn’t rape’ dilema, you are demonizing women who enjoy sex. consensual sex between partners means both parties are consenting and willing. rape means that it is not consented, is forced and demeaning. if you do not understand the difference between enjoying sex and disliking rape you truly need help.

        i am truly ashamed that you can call yourself a man, how can you sleep at night with these kind of “views”.

        • Chaz I think you’ve missed the point somewhat, the poster is clearly poking fun at the original David Wise post. The whole thing is just one huge sarcastic piss take, I wouldn’t go losing any sleep over it.

          • Because the Original post is hidden. For some reason, hidden posts are appearing light and hard to read. And every post connected to it are too. Very annoying!

    • Hey, you’ve naturally been flamed a lot for being very insensitive in the comments section of an article about sensitivity, but I think I really do see what you’re talking about, Mr. Wise. I did finish the article after the first two paragraphs, but only after pausing for a moment to think of whether or not I really wanted to learn about gender equality from someone who thinks that any man/all men/all groups of men on city streets become Dangerous Attackers once the sun goes down, like some kind of sexual werewolf.

      • So the thought never occurred to you that the fear mongers have done their job very well and cemented it into the brains of women that at any second as they walk down the street they could be assaulted?

    • It’s actually FEMINIST society that demonizes the sexuality of men that’s to blame. Men today are simply too emasculated by single mothers to know how to state their sexual needs to a woman without trying to justify themselves into a black hole of self-loathing. They’re taught to feel ashamed of their sexual desires in order to accommodate the hypocritical sexual attitudes of delusional feminists who believe gender to be a social construct: http://manhood101.com/ebook.html

      • Actually, in the more conservative, pre-feminist societies of the last century, male sexuality was still demonized. (That was also used as an excuse to keep women as cloistered as possible, so it was pretty bad for both genders.) Please become acquainted with the idea of “complexity.”

      • Lidia Gasparian says:

        Eh. Male sexuality is demonized even in the places women wear burkas. So stop.

    • Hello,
      What concerns me in that article are the words like predatory and creeps. I would have expected from the author to be more realistic and to explain that founication is prohibited. Get married and exrcise sexual desire within the context of marriage is different.
      The author is unfortunatily commiting yet many errors in inciting men and women to do what is prohibited in a so-called overt manner. This behviour is very bad for families, and societies values.
      This is the most creepy article I’ve ever read.
      Have fun.

    • Barry MaCaukiner says:

      David:

      The fact is, there is no irony here at all. Any women degenerate enough to be into BDSM are not seriously worried about being attacked. It’s an act, a facade, and it’s obnoxious that anyone is fooled into believing it. Period.

Trackbacks

  1. […] century, but as with anything good there has been bad that hitched right along.  In our case, male sexuality has taken a backseat(here) academic dishonesty has run rampant(such as the idea that males overwhelmingly commit domestic […]

  2. […] Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs by Clarisse Thorne […]

  3. […] Thorn argues that we demonize men who are honest about their sexual […]

  4. […] 2011 2 Jan Tweet The article below was originally published on October 1, 2010 by AlterNet; the AlterNet editors titled it “Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs?” I have no idea how many people linked to it, but it caused enough of a stir that I got hate mail from a man on the very same day it appeared, and also some of my sister feminist bloggers became upset. Maybe drawing fire from both sides of the divide indicates that I did something right? The article was also cross-posted at Jezebel and at the Good Men Project. […]

  5. […] Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs? […]

  6. […] Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs? […]

  7. Quora says:

    Why are their so many sex toys for women, but none for men?…

    My guess is that its because men are less likely to buy sex toys. And there are a few reasons that I’d say men are less likely to buy sex toys. First, it’s relatively easy for men to get off. Most guys that I know are perfectly satisfied with their h…

  8. […] Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs? […]

  9. […] men experience as initiators. I’ve already written about some of the romantic and sexual double binds men deal with as part of a previous AlterNet article. One of the points I made is that usually, when men […]

  10. […] unique insights into men, especially around the issue of sexuality: “Inside a Strip Club” or “Why do We Demonize Men who are Honest about their Sexual Needs?” beautifully crafted writing: “Ouch” and “The Night is Full of Bicycles” or articles that […]

  11. […] not have mastered the nuances of social interactions, his “healthy” attitude toward sexuality may get him into trouble.  Andrew’s sex-negative attitudes, on the other hand, may serve to protect him from being viewed […]

  12. […] Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs? On the double bind that men are put in when society pressures them to initiate sexual relationships, yet punishes them when they are candid about their desires. […]

  13. […] What’s fascinating to us is how sexuality is changing in the Facebook age—social mores, gender roles, issues of responsibility—and how beneficial it is to take these issues to an open forum and open […]

  14. […] sexuality and creepiness (which kicked up quite a stir, and has been cross-posted to both the Good Men Project and […]

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