What’s the difference between a slut and a bitch? If you are an American university student you probably know the punch line:
“A bitch has sex with everyone but me.”
How do men view women’s sexuality? And how does this affect their relationships with women?
Many men get their sex education from two primary sources: friends and porn. And their friends learn a lot from porn, too. These are the men who seem to see women as bitches or sluts.
So how are women portrayed on the pornography front?
Women meet strangers and become immediately aroused, sexual activity quickly ensues, and they come swiftly to orgasm. And by the way, women love threesomes and orgies. Really, the more the merrier!
In porn women’s sexuality looks more like men’s than women’s.
Pornography leads single men to believe that other men are getting an awful lot of sex. And they wonder why they aren’t. “Why do babes (aka sluts) have sex with everyone but me? Those bitches!”
In the U.S. women’s sexuality is far different from how it is portrayed in porn. Typically, women are much more interested in romance and relationship than in casual intercourse. And while some women love sex (sometimes more than their partners) surveys show that they typically enjoy sex less than men do, and want far fewer partners.
Biology does not seem to be the main reason for the difference. While the male brain does seem to be designed for greater interest in sex, women and men have matched up far more evenly in other times and places.
I will be posting an ongoing series (interspersed with other topics) to discuss these questions, among others:
- How do men and women experience sex differently?
- What affects sexual experience and why do American women typically enjoy sex less than men?
- How do differences and misunderstandings affect relationships between women and men?
- What are the benefits and costs of the so-called male and female ways of sexuality?
- What can women learn from men and what can men learn from women?
To understand all this, we’ll need to explore things you might not expect, like how objectification can dampen a woman’s sexual experience, even as it heightens a man’s. Or, we still rank men above women in our society, and this ends up diminishing women’s sexual interest in ways that are not immediately obvious – though they should be.
Meanwhile, men, if you’re not getting a lot of sex, don’t take it personally. And don’t take it out on women.
Michael Kimmel. Guyland. Harper. 2008
Pamela Paul. Pornified. Holt. 2005
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Filed under: Feminism, Misogyny/Sexism, Relationships, Sex | Tagged: birth control, culture, Feminism, gender, men, porn, power in relationships, relationships, reproductive rights, sex, sex education, Sexism, sexist jokes, traditional gender roles | 3 Comments »