British actor, Stephen Fry, has created controversy with a claim that women don’t like sex as much as men, in a recent interview with Attitude Magazine. He feels sorry for straight men because women only have sex with them as the “price they are willing to pay for a relationship.” More proof of women’s sexual disinterest: they don’t go off having random sex in churchyards and restrooms, like he apparently does, to “get my f’ing rocks off.”
One woman questioned equating sexual enjoyment with random restroom meetings, “Most of us prefer intimacy with men who understand trust and respect, and give time to the art of seduction. And the men who want us are not dupes or dogs on heat. Trust me — more erotic pleasure and excitement is experienced with a true love on clean sheets than a quick one with some sad, unwashed, unnamed bloke on a gravestone.”
Meanwhile, British feminists like Germaine Greer have publicly denounced him.
At the same time, anyone who looks at social research will know that there is a kernel of truth to what Fry says. On average, women do report liking sex less.
Cross-cultural research and survey data suggest that while women have the capacity to be extremely sexual and sexually interested – probably more so than men with their capability for multiple orgasms – our culture does dampen women’s sexuality.
Fry feels sorry for men, but it’s a patriarchal culture that has created this situation.
Sex isn’t so appealing when society and religion send signals that women’s sexuality is sinful, or when women are slut-shamed and seen as devaluing themselves when they “give it up,” and blamed for not controlling men’s sexuality. On some college campuses men take the walk of fame Sunday morning, while women take the walk of shame.
And who gets screwed, f’d, banged, nailed (the list goes on)?
Meanwhile, a cock is proud. But “down there” is shameful.
Rape and incest also dampen women’s sexuality. As one of my students related, “I was molested by a family member for seven years of my life before I could tell anyone, and it repressed me to the core. I didn’t want to be touched by anyone, and I wanted to look ugly. I still fight some of these battles today.” Rape and incest are higher in patriarchal societies. In cultures where men value women, there is little violence against them.
Surveys show that women who don’t feel sexy can also have a harder time enjoying sex. With narrow notions of what sexy is, a lot of women find the bedroom something less than fun. Women’s objectification adds even more problems, but I’ll discuss that later.
With all of these negative forces in play, it’s no wonder women are so often repressed.
For women to fully engage and enjoy their sexuality, we as a culture must start loving women.
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