Feminine Sexual Entitlement

I recently came across this essay by Naomi Wolf – apparently it’s a recycled essay that was originally written four years ago.  Nevertheless, this is the first time I’ve seen it.  I’m not actually going to engage her main point here, because there’s a paragraph that really caught my attention.  In the context of complaining about how “porn” has made it more difficult to keep a man’s sexual attention, she writes (emphasis mine):

When I came of age in the seventies, it was still pretty cool to be able to offer a young man the actual presence of a naked, willing young woman. There were more young men who wanted to be with naked women than there were naked women on the market. If there was nothing actively alarming about you, you could get a pretty enthusiastic response by just showing up.

I think it’s instructive the way that statement reeks of a sense of entitlement, and it dovetails with the attitudes of women I’ve known.  They think it’s perfectly normal to have one’s pick of several, if not many, potential lovers.  That simply wanting to be sexual should be sufficient to guarantee male attention (in this vein, it always amuses me when women who brag about the number of men in their lives complain about how difficult it is to find a female lover).

 

I remember mentioning to a female friend once that I was considering seeking out an escort.  Her reply was that she didn’t understand why I couldn’t just go out and get pussy for free.  This same friend was surprised to hear that my personals ad didn’t get any actual response, when hers gave her an avalanche of responses, with the only difficult task to find the ones worthy of her attention.  Women take their experience – an abundance of attention from the opposite sex – as normal, and fail to understand that the male experience is one of a fundamental lack of attention.  Hence, men who are intersted in casual sex must approach and actively engage women, reinforcing a situation where women are given attention simply for being female.  Granted, this does have a dark side; the constant attention by men, particularly when that attention is aggressive, is undoubtedly difficult.  But I’m focussing here soley on the question of access to sexual and romantic attention.  And when it comes to casual sex, women unquestionably have greater access to partners than men.

 

This article on the “myth” of women preferring Type A men (perfectly true in my experience) has some interesting points, as well:

If a woman sees that a man is a jerk but decides to go to bed with him anyway because he’s just so cute or she’s just that bored or whatever, this is a case of her deciding how she wants to spend her time, not of him tricking the delicate flower (who couldn’t possibly want casual sex, being female).

And later, the author says:

It assumes men are by nature sex seekers and women are by nature sex awarders, thereby stripping women of any power in the scenario… other than the power to award sex to the dull and/or obnoxious who are being framed as the “right” choice.

She apparently misses the fact that that assumption is proved by the way she frames the issue – it is the woman’s decision that matters, not the man’s.  Far from stripping women of power, the scenario strips power from the man.  Men can only present themselves as best they can to women and hope they are more appealing than their competition – and there will always be competition.  Men are not “by nature sex seekers”.  Instead, we are forced into that role by social expectations – the very expectations reinforced by women.  When it comes to casual sex, despite the prevailing cultural myth, women are in control.  By railing against the stereotype, the author doesn’t engage the deeper issue of how women benefit from the benevolent sexism of this construct. Instead, she snarkily reinforces women’s entitlement to have men fawn over them, and deciding who will be graced with their attention.  “Which toy will I play with tonight?”

 

But, like Male Privilege, women also have the privilege to not be aware that this situation places them at an advantage.  They assume, falsely, that men also have their pick of potential mates.  When, of course, the reality is that if one isn’t rich or naturally charming (and funny!  Can’t forget the all-important Sense of Humor!) one ends up settling for a woman who turns out to be an abuser.

 

I long for a world where the sexist (in both directions) paradigm of “men approach, women choose” is replaced by a world where naturally aggressive people of both sexes engage the people of their choice, while those of us who don’t fit that mold, both men and women, are not unduly punished for that fact.  But that would require women to examine their own attitudes towards dating and sex, and I’m not hopeful that will happen any time soon.

About these ads

~ by arkhilokhus on April 23, 2008.

34 Responses to “Feminine Sexual Entitlement”

  1. This is a great post, and I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic that you might find interesting. I’ve done more research finding that yes, women are more selective than men, and that women’s stated preferences differ from their behavior more than men’s, but I haven’t written it up yet. I hope there comes a day when people can stop lying about female preferences and the fact that females are at an advantage in being able to find casual sex at least, and that they are typically attracted to men with masculine personality traits.

    One other minor comment is that I don’t think that non-rich/charming/funny men necessarily have to settle for women who turn out to be abusers (not sure whether you intended to imply that or not), though this may be one of many possible outcomes of men having to date down while women date up.

  2. She apparently misses the fact that that assumption is proved by the way she frames the issue – it is the woman’s decision that matters, not the man’s.

    Actually, you’re missing a point – a big one. Women are forced into the pursued role. I’m far more comfortable asking men out and risking rejection, but this doesn’t work because it’s so unusual that neither men nor observing bystanders know what to make of it. Some will brand me a whore and feel they can dismiss my opinions, ideas and professional contributions to the world; others will think I’m weird and also dismiss me; and heterosexual men, oddly, tend to feel emasculated by being put into the role of being ASKED to dispense sex.

    It’s not a matter of privilege, it’s a matter of each gender’s individuals being slotted into a role arbitrarily, with no respect for what the individual prefers, needs or can tolerate. It works against men who’d like to be pursued as much as it works against women who’d like to pursue.

  3. My experience as a woman echoes what BetaCandy is talking about in her comment. I’ve asked plenty of men out and many times I got rejected out of hand simply because it was preposterous that I been the one to ask.

    Of the men who actually did have sex with me several went on to develop relationships with me (casual or otherwise). However, in the end, each of these men eventually broke off the relationship (they did, not me). And their reasons, without exception, boiled down to being uncomfortable with:
    ~My intelligence (Translated: Everyone knows a woman shouldn’t appear to be smarter than her man – or even equally as smart!).
    ~My very healthy sexual appetite (Translated: whorish, sluttish behavior).
    ~My financial autonomy (Translated: an independent woman can’t be easily bought… or controlled).
    ~My ability to clearly and articulately state what I want and make confident choices (Translated: pushy, bitchy, and domineering).

    In other words, they rejected everything I am based on, as BetaCandy calls it, their placement of me in an arbitrary role rather than seeing me as a whole person. So, it works both ways, dear Arkhilokhus.

    And as for non-rich/charming/funny men having to settle for abusers??? I think this statement may be an example of personal “sour grapes” here, because it is definitely not a statement based on empirical evidence.

    Also, what is this bit about “settling?” We all, men and women, choose our partners. Are you truly saying that men do not have as much free will as women? Or that men shouldn’t be held accountable for their relationship choices in the same way that women are?

  4. Hugh,

    Thanks. I’m trying a new technique in my post writing – I believe it’s called editing. We’ll see how well it works. ;)

    I hope there comes a day when people can stop lying about female preferences and the fact that females are at an advantage in being able to find casual sex at least, and that they are typically attracted to men with masculine personality traits.

    I share your hope, although as I tried to suggest, I don’t think it’s lying so much as ignorance and assumptions based on male stereotypes.

    I do want to be clear, as I implied a little in my post, that any advantage women have is better understood as benevolent sexism than a privilege or anything similar. And I think the preference you note, for masculine traits, play into that. All of this is predicated on the notion that women are unable to act for themselves, at least in any effective way. Thus, they need a strong protector (and on this point, see, for instance, Joseph Campbell (among many, many others) in his understanding of the Hero as the agent of the Goddess), but cannot effectively seek out that protector. I do hope that as women become more self-sufficient, some of these attitudes will change. In the meantime, those of us who are frustrated with this situation can work for change by working with women for pay equity, rape prevention and similar goals.

    One other minor comment is that I don’t think that non-rich/charming/funny men necessarily have to settle for women who turn out to be abusers (not sure whether you intended to imply that or not), though this may be one of many possible outcomes of men having to date down while women date up.

    Yes, both you and Elizavetta (rightfully) point out where my Freudian Slip is showing. You’re right, of course; that needn’t be the only or even the most likely outcome.

  5. BetaCandy,

    Welcome!

    I believe you, although I find the reactions you describe surprising. My ex-wife pursued me, and several of the men I work with report similar stories. I just assumed that our willingness to be pursued was more general than it apparently is, and I shouldn’t have. Perhaps both women willing to pursue and men willing to be pursued are small minorities that don’t usually find one another?

    And slut shaming disgusts me.

    It’s not a matter of privilege, it’s a matter of each gender’s individuals being slotted into a role arbitrarily, with no respect for what the individual prefers, needs or can tolerate.

    Extremely well said. It’s frustrating because I think I can see what a world that doesn’t assign romantic roles by gender would look like, but I can’t see how to get there from where we are. I do hope to see that world someday, though.

  6. Elizavetta,

    Since the reasons you mention for certain men to end their relationship with you seem to fit the stereotype of male attitudes of entitlement and views of women as property, I wonder if you think there was a connection between those attitudes and those particular men? I hope that’s not too personal, but I’m curious because it sounds like you’re suggesting that men who are pursued are more likely to feel threatened by a strong woman.

    As an aside, my intelligence has been perceived as a threat by the last three women I was involved with. They were all unusually intelligent themselves, and I think they were used to being smarter than their partners. The fact that in these particular cases I was both more intelligent and better educated unsettled them. There’s a struggle for dominance there, I think.

    Also, what is this bit about “settling?”

    My comment on settling is based on my belief that the male role as pursuer is difficult for some men. As a consequence, those men have a greater temptation to stay with someone who isn’t really right for them. That’s true for everyone to some degree, of course, but not being well socialized to your expected role makes it harder, I think.

    Or that men shouldn’t be held accountable for their relationship choices in the same way that women are?

    No, we certainly are, for everything. In my better moments I even remember that.

  7. Perhaps both women willing to pursue and men willing to be pursued are small minorities that don’t usually find one another?

    Sure, either that or perhaps there’s a way to pursue men that’s fits in with perceived “feminine” behaviors, and I – being rather straightforward, candid and incapable of flattery – have never mastered. Then again, if I mastered those things I wouldn’t be myself, and the man who fell for me would be dating a mirage.

    As for abuse… I think our whole system of delineated gender roles encourages abuse on every side of the equation. By abuse in this context, I mean there are so many social scripts that call for lying to your partner – i.e., many “successful” marriages have involved men cheating and women feigning ignorance of it, and on the flipside women are encouraged to hide their intelligence and autonomy to appease male egos and that can breed passive aggressive behavior. Those are just two examples.

    I suspect that a lot of men would be fine with smart women and/or women who pursue them IF ONLY they had a social script to rely on for those situations. Which they don’t, because our society is in denial those situations can happen (or should happen).

  8. “Then again, if I mastered those things I wouldn’t be myself, and the man who fell for me would be dating a mirage.”

    Change the gender, and you’ve described my dilemma. I can pursue, but…it just feels so deceptive.

    And I’ll second your comment about social scripts. I suspect the answer, though, isn’t new scripts but an understanding of assertiveness or emotional intelligence or whatever as human traits, rather than masculine or feminine. That might even make enough room for two people who like to pursue, say, or who are both financially independent, to use one of Elizavetta’s examples, to have a relationship without either feeling pressured to change or lie.

  9. …it sounds like you’re suggesting that men who are pursued are more likely to feel threatened by a strong woman.

    Well, I do think this is somewhat true, but with this clarifier: it seems to me that heterosexual men who buy into social roles based on gender are the most likely to to feel threatened by a strong woman who chooses to pursue them. Or, actually, by any person at all who appears to act outside of those roles.

    And in the cases I talked about in my previous comment, yes, I do think this was true of the men who rejected me. They all shared an acceptance of of these stereotypical roles, although some of them didn’t present themselves that way at first – something that touches on what both you and BetaCandy say about trying to be something you’re not. Try to be something you’re not and you’ll attract something unsuitable.

    My comment on settling is based on my belief that the male role as pursuer is difficult for some men. As a consequence, those men have a greater temptation to stay with someone who isn’t really right for them. That’s true for everyone to some degree, of course, but not being well socialized to your expected role makes it harder, I think.

    Well said. And, I think, true. So, I stand down on my rather testy remark about “settling.” ;)

    Wonderful discussion, by the way.

  10. Oops… I didn’t close tags in my last comment so the italics indicating quotes are screwed up. Hopefully, you and your readers will be able to sort out the quotes from my own comment. Sorry about that.

  11. …it seems to me that heterosexual men who buy into social roles based on gender are the most likely to to feel threatened by a strong woman who chooses to pursue them. Or, actually, by any person at all who appears to act outside of those roles.

    Yes, we do hold on to our illusions with a death grip, don’t we?

    Try to be something you’re not and you’ll attract something unsuitable.

    And that’s (one of) the agonizing thing(s) about this whole situation, isn’t it? How do you avoid attracting something unsuitable when you’re straight jacketed into acting like someone else?

    No worries about the tag; I’ve taken the liberty of editing your post to fix that. I hope you don’t mind.

    And it is a lovely discussion. I’m fortunate to have attracted such thoughtful commentors. :)

  12. Thanks for the tag correction.

    Is anyone ever really straight jacketed into acting like someone else? Conditioned, expected, even trained… yes. But straight jacketed? That really implies that someone else is in charge of getting you out of your “predicament” of being forced to act like someone else. I guess I just don’t buy that way of thinking… not for men OR women… not in this era in modern western culture anyway.

  13. “That simply wanting to be sexual should be sufficient to guarantee male attention”

    Unless, of course, she is fat and/or ugly.

    (Just a friendly reminder that some of us girls have the luxury of “choosing” from a crowd of 0.)

  14. Elizavetta,

    You’re right – straight jacketed is too strong. And you’re right, too, that I’ve been giving in too much to the temptation, when I can’t see any way out of my difficulty, to retreat into victim hood. This is a relatively new thing with me, and it’s disappointing.

  15. Mervi,

    Welcome! Thanks for your comment.

    And you’re right to point out that the social roles also involve things like beauty standards (and for men, somewhat more nebulously, the ability to project power). However, my experience has been that men put less emphasis on those standards than most women think. Instead, I think there’s something difficult to articulate about some women; a sort of sexual presence that is an order of magnitude more important to attractiveness than appearance.

  16. Re: appearance. It’s interesting – if I go out dressed up and made up, men ignore me. If I go out feverish with greenish skin and un-done hair to get some medicine for my incredible flu, I get hit on right and left. The predominant theory among women who experience this – and yes, I’ve talked to others – is that men are put off by our aura of self-sufficiency, and when we go out ill and vulnerable, they think that means we’re more receptive.

    Which is a darn good illustration of why the whole skewed perception of masculine/feminine versus “human” is so sick: I have to actually NEED help (and probably shouldn’t be on my own) before men can see that I’m open to their company? Clearly, any social construct that creates a consistent misunderstanding like that in the lives of more than one woman is a really messed-up construct.

    That said, in my experience YOUNG men most certainly apply the “No Fat/Ugly Chicks” standard. They buy right into whatever they’re being told constitutes beauty (by a very warped beauty industry (see here) because otherwise they get “shamed” by their buddies for dating a less attractive girl than they could possibly entice into a drunken screw. It takes MASSIVE self-reliance for teens and young men to buck that trend, and… well, I didn’t meet any who bothered. Once you hit 30 and are interested in men of the same age or older, both you and the men are more secure and your exact size seems to matter less. But you still have that baggage from your formative years of knowing even if a guy could see how wonderful you were, he wasn’t about to date you publicly for fear his buddies would consider him a loser.

    And even after 30… well, go out to a mall sometime. Count the number of couples you see in which the man is trim and fit and the woman is fat, or the man is great-looking and the woman is ordinary to ugly. By and large, men don’t “settle” for women who are physically less attractive than they are, so while I agree men don’t care about beauty as much as modeling scouts, I’m not convinced they completely overcome that early programming, which teaches them: “Critique her looks! Don’t hold back: remember you deserve a hottie even if you’re a nottie, because You Da Man!” While we’re being told beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Perhaps one of my oddest dating experiences is that men who hit on me are almost always better-looking than me – sometimes even gorgeous. When my female friends witness this phenomenon, they can’t figure it out: they’re all right there, skinnier than me, and Gorgeous just went for the Fattie. And what REALLY weirds them out – I’ve even lost friends over this – is that I somehow reject the guy non-verbally without realizing or intending it because… oh, let’s see. I didn’t smile enough. Didn’t I know I was supposed to touch him on the shoulder for no more than one second after he spoke Sentence 14? Didn’t I know I was supposed to make eye contact by looking up through my lashes instead of right at him? Oh, I’ve got to practice a better laugh! A better handshake! What was I thinking, impressing him with a joke before he had a chance to impress me? Good heavens, I showed him how smart I was by answering a question that was intended to baffle me so he could answer it. I didn’t compliment his tattoo. Yes, apparently on Earth, if you’re a woman, failure to follow these rules constitutes telling a man to go jump in a lake. And if you cut to the chase and say, “Look, I’d really like to have a drink with you comtime” or “here’s my email/phone” or “Do me, do me now” he assumes you’re playing some kind of nasty game because you KNOW you just clearly rejected him with your eyelid usage a moment ago!

    When you’re in the position of pursuer, at least there’s no chance of the other person mistakenly thinking you’re not interested because your didn’t throw your head back when you laughed at her joke or whatever freakin’ nonsense.

  17. BetaCandy,

    You’re right about the persistence of male conditioning regarding female appearance – it’s something I’ve been working on in myself (see my posts about the Male Gaze if you’re interested). Suffice to say that I’m learning this conditioning goes very deep indeed. For the record, I’m in my mid-thirties.

    Also, about the dependency issue (and this feeds into how young men find it difficult to resist going after the more attractive girls), I think the real culprit is the women-as-property idea. I see this all the time – guy shows picture of his girlfriend, andf the picture is critiqued and assumptions of his worth follow. As you say, it’s hard to resist that sort of constant pressure.

  18. I think it’s also that we’re a male-centric society. To use my example of a guy who would pass up a woman he has feelings for to maintain the good opinion of his male buddies, that’s a guy who puts the men in his life ahead of the women. He needs men to survive – to get jobs, training, mortgages. Women are just for sex and babies, and like buses, if you miss one, the next one comes along in a few minutes.

    Which goes along with the women-as-property issue, too – because if we were consistently valued for all the things men are valued, not just the one thing we can do that men can’t, it would be very hard to see us as property.

    I’ll check out your male gaze posts.

  19. BetaCandy,

    Both very good points. Just one small digression, though.

    Women are just for sex and babies, and like buses, if you miss one, the next one comes along in a few minutes.

    I see what you’re saying here, that women are more than their bodies, but I’m a little leery of letting the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. Part of that is that one of my bad habits in relationships has been to feel like I’ll never meet someone who “fits with me” quite as well as the particular person I’m dating (yes, every time). I think that comes back to the whole idea in Western society about individuals being incomplete halves (“You complete me.”). So, yes, absolutely, one should be a little Kantian and not treat women instrumentally, but also, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that any person “completes us” or that we need to stay in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling.

  20. arkhilokus said:

    but I’m a little leery of letting the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. Part of that is that one of my bad habits in relationships has been to feel like I’ll never meet someone who “fits with me” quite as well as the particular person I’m dating (yes, every time).

    I’ve had the same thing myself, the tendency to idealized women as perfect frail porcelain statues. I call this “Respectification” (a contraction of “respect” and “objectification”).

  21. I agree with both of you about the “respectification.” I can’t date someone who idealizes women – whether as fragile porcelain or strong warriors – because, well, humans suck. We all suck. We are fearful, flawed creatures stumbling along. Women are capable of all the good and evil and selflessness and selfishness that men are, and just knowing a man sees me as ideal makes me want to do something horrid just to wake him up to reality, and that’s not a healthy situation for either of us.

    It’s almost as bad to have a man see you as ABOVE him as it is to have him see you as BENEATH him. Why can’t we just all be humans together?

  22. I think we may be talking about two different things.

    Hugh’s “respectification” (wonderful neologism!) strikes me as being the result of seeing a person as a Woman, rather than a particular individual with strengths and failings. It reminds me of how I eventually realized an ex-lover of mine saw me as the Potential Father of the children she desperately wanted, not as the individual person that I was.

    But I think that’s a little different than what I was speaking of. In my situation, I tend to feel such a high level of compatibility, that things become so easy with a particular person, the sex is so good as we learn each other’s tastes and bodies, that I start to fear ever being able to feel that close to anyone else. The result is that I’ll sometimes stay in situations where I’ve become unhappy longer than I should. That’s not so much “respectification”, I think, as an inability to stand on one’s own and attend to one’s own emotional and sexual needs without feeling one needs a partner to be “complete” or happy. Part of the solution for me has been to remind myself that there are, indeed, other women in the world, and that many of them are, in fact, wonderful and loving people. And that’s why BetaCandy’s “bus” comment inspired this particular digression. ;)

  23. That Naomi Wolf essay would be funny if it weren’t meant to be serious. Twenty years of “porn is the theory and rape is the practice” and now the results are in: porn doesn’t increase rape, it decreases it. And rather than being pleased by this news (as one would expect if the goal is to decrease rape…) we get “Well porn is still evil!!! Because… (decreases it, you say? Hmmm, that’s the ticket…) it’s evil because it makes men not want to have sex!!!” Oh brother.

    Personally I’ve had a fair amount of success by taking the lead instead of waiting to get hit on. That’s not to negate BetaCandy’s experience, just to present another. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’ve always liked guys who are a little shy (and hence happy to have the pressure off from having to lead themselves). In my blog and novel I’ve been trying to promote the idea that self-confidence and sexual assertiveness are highly desirable qualities in a woman. I hope I’m having some success…

  24. I didn’t mean those to be winks…

  25. Chanson,

    Thanks for stopping by. I think your point about Wolf’s essay hits the mark. The objections to porn don’t actually seem to be about rape, do they? Rather, it seems that first rape, and now, “listless lads”, are just rationalizations for opposing porn. One wonders what the real argument is. Perhaps something involving porn as offensive in and of itself? But I’m under no obligation to go and seek her argument if she is so insistent on not presenting it.

    And is it just me, or was it a bit dizzying how she moved from advocating the “free love” of the Seventies to conservative Jewish modesty ideals? Yet another example of how at least some anti-porn Feminists find themselves making common cause with religious conservatives.

    I’m glad to hear about your positive experiences with approaching men. I knew I couldn’t be the only one! Although, like the men you mention, I tend to be a bit shy (at first, at least), so perhaps that’s a big part of it. If BetaCandy and Elizavetta are still reading, I’d be interested in learning whether or not the men you both mentioned had problems with being pursued were unusually shy.

    I’ve only had a chance to glace at your blog and novel, but both seem quite interesting, and I hope you are successful at influencing both men and women to understand that assertive women are desirable, and not a threat to anyone’s masculinity.

  26. Don’t even get me started on that Naomi Wolf essay. Since when is is feminism to whine that some other woman’s sexual expression is screwing up your own feminine mystique? If she wants to berate the women for giving the milk away for free because it messes things up for the women who want men to be forced to buy the cow, fine, but don’t expect to be called a feminist for it. Go back to church.

    I hope you’ll come back and read some more of my novel — I’d be curious to have your impressions! :D

  27. p.s. that reminds me, I have kind of a related post here.

  28. If she wants to berate the women for giving the milk away for free because it messes things up for the women who want men to be forced to buy the cow…

    Ha! I like how you put that.

    And actually, that clarifies for me part of why I find this whole argument so annoying. It allows absolutely no agency to men. Apparently, we’re just lusty beasts with no self-control, who have to be controlled by noble, virtuous women.

    Which makes her complaint that men today aren’t that way all the more risable.

  29. arkhilokus said:

    I’m glad to hear about your positive experiences with approaching men. I knew I couldn’t be the only one! Although, like the men you mention, I tend to be a bit shy (at first, at least), so perhaps that’s a big part of it. If BetaCandy and Elizavetta are still reading, I’d be interested in learning whether or not the men you both mentioned had problems with being pursued were unusually shy.

    Same reaction here. I do know that there are guys out there who prefer that women remain passive, but I’m not one of them and neither are any of my male friends (so far as they have told me). I’ve only ever talked to one guy who said that he doesn’t like it when women pursue him, and he was in a fraternity, so very different psychology from mine. I am flattered when women make advances on me, because it shows that they are being authentic about their desire, and willing to take some of the work off my shoulders.

    That being said, not all ways of a woman initiating have worked with me. In one case, I met a woman in a club who was very direct with me in a way that was very charming and sincere, and I ended up saying yes to taking her back to her apartment, even though I had some doubts about the chemistry (this is a testament to how well her advances worked despite my lack of attraction). I have a history with somewhat androgynous and/or bisexual women, and some submissive tendencies, yet in her case, her presentation was just a bit too much towards the masculine end. From her appearance, such as her buzz cut, I was surprised that she was interested in men at all.

    I took her back to her place and accepted her invitation to go in, but I still wasn’t feeling the chemistry. For example, when we first kissed, she immediately rammed her tongue down my throat, which is just not my style. She also clasped my body in a really strong grip, which felt more like a wrestling hold than a form of passion. I politely found a way to leave before things went too far, even though she wanted them to. I knew that if they had, then I would have had to make it only a one night stand, and I felt guilty enough even without doing that.

    Now, what’s a way that a woman has initiated with me that has worked? In one case, she told me “I’m going to jump on you,” after which she jumped on me and wrapped her legs around me (luckily she was small). I told her that I would have kissed her when we were dancing earlier, except that I wasn’t sure if she was with this other guy, and then she interrupted by kissing me. This method of initiating came of as spontaneous and charming.

    I guess what I’m getting at is that a woman initiating with a man can definitely work, BUT:
    a) it depends on the type of guy she is dealing with, and
    b) it depends on how the woman initiates
    c) it depends on her other qualities and level of masculinity/femininity

    Another point that Elizavetta and BetaCandy have brought up is the potential difficulties that women not displaying appropriately feminine behaviors may face in relationships with men, regardless of whether making a move on a guy works initially. This seems like a manifestation of the general problem of gender-atypical people in general. There seem to be two obvious solutions: (a) become more gender-typical, (b) appear more gender typical, (b) find people who are interested in you despite (or perhaps because of) your gender-atypicality. I have used a combination of both these strategies successfully. Furthermore, a lot of supposedly gendered qualities are actually perfectly good human qualities, such as self-confidence (masculine), and empathy (feminine), and sometimes it can be a good idea to develop them regardless of their side-effect of making you more attractive to the opposite sex.

  30. Hugh,

    Yes, being all individuals, reactions to different ways of approaching are going to vary, even among men who are open to being the pursued. That’s just part of compatibility, I think. A world where males and females approach their interests in equal numbers, to paraphrase an old saying about bisexuality, would be a world where both sexes have an equal chance of getting turned down for a date on Friday night. ;)

    Furthermore, a lot of supposedly gendered qualities are actually perfectly good human qualities, such as self-confidence (masculine), and empathy (feminine), and sometimes it can be a good idea to develop them regardless of their side-effect of making you more attractive to the opposite sex.

    I’d go a little further and say that it’s vital to develop many traits currently assigned to one gender or the other. As Peter Carroll has said, a demon is just a god denied. A lot of my more personal posts have described my growing awareness of how true that is.

  31. Re: the whole porn thing. It seems to me there’s a huge problem with saying “porn” without a lot more specifics. Porn is a very broad term. I’ve seen rated G movies that I thought were doing more harm to equality than most porn films, but I’ve also seen porn that should not IMHO exist at all. I find it very strange when anyone talks as if they’re all for or all against porn.

    Re: asking guys out. The guys I’ve asked out were not shy. As a kid, I assumed their fairly angry reaction meant, “I can’t believe you thought I’d go out with someone like YOU” but later – after I managed to attract a few very cute guys many women would consider great “catches” – I realized they were just put off that I wasn’t playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.

    Beyond that, I’m realizing more and more that I’m a very unique person, and one of the things people sometimes have trouble processing about me is that no matter how much I enjoy someone, I’m resigned to the fact that relationships go as they go, and end when they end. Therefore, I don’t attempt to do relationship maintenance when things go awry. Now, maintaining a relationship is very much a female duty (more on this here). So when a woman opts out of it, that is interpreted to mean she doesn’t care. (Whereas when a man opts out, that just means he’s male and they can’t talk about their feelings, poor dears.) What I’m realizing lately is that a lot of the people who’ve suddenly decided to break off friendships or other relationships with me out of (to me) the blue actually thought *I* made the first hostile move.

  32. Women take their experience – an abundance of attention from the opposite sex – as normal

    BWAHAHAHA.

    Dude, plenty of women don’t get “an abundance of attention from the opposite sex.” Because we’re fat, or plain, or old, or maybe disabled, or otherwise don’t live up to the pornified standards that you NiceGuys™ have for women.

    Or we’re shy and don’t meet people easily. (Yeah, I know, women who don’t always know the right thing to say. That’s supposed to be the province of awkward male geeks. Sorry to encroach on their territory like that.)

    But, of course, we’re invisible to you. The only women you ever notice are those you want to fuck.

    And the women who are attractive have to put up with creeps galore. Because the default male assumption is, “How dare she only flirt with men she fancies? If she’s sexually available to the attractive men, then she should be so to the rest of us. Otherwise she’s a shallow whore.” Of course, I never see men apply this standard to themselves.

    Has it ever occurred to you or men like you that your inability to get laid is not because women are selfishly hoarding teh poosay, but because your social skills need some work?

    And when it comes to casual sex, women unquestionably have greater access to partners than men.

    Heterosexual men don’t (usually) have to worry about partners who will beat them up or rape them. They don’t have to worry half as much about contraception, because they’re not the ones whose bodies are affected (and please, spare me the whine about baby-hungry women out there looking for a walking wallet to snag….as if men never sabotage birth control). And they can get off, if they choose, merely by thrusting a dozen times and then rolling over and snoring.

  33. Oops, forgot to add this:

    Believe it or not, when you remove the men who do these things from your list of potential partners — along with the otherwise unpleasant, the hygiene-challenged, the ones with STDs, etc. — our choices aren’t that much broader than yours. I’m sorry your standards are so low, however.

  34. @Nobody: OMG! I’m laughing so hard I can’t stand it!

    But, you know, it’s even worse than you said. Even if you’re not obese, old or whatever… you still might not be “good enough” IF:

    A. You’re short
    B. You have small breasts
    C. You’re not blonde
    D. You shop at Wal-Mart (I think this is some form of classism)
    E. Your clothing doesn’t show enough skin, or it shows too much
    F. You don’t smile ALL_THE_TIME
    G. You’re not a Size 0 (The new “fat” is Size 6, even though the label clearly states that said size is considered Small)
    H. Your hobbies and/or interests have been dubbed as “for guys only” by mainstream society
    I. You think flowers & candy are really corny Valentine’s Day gifts
    J. You hate chick flicks, and would rather watch Rocky or Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    K. If you meet a guy, and have an instant attraction to him, you’re more than willing to fuck on the first date
    L. Your idea of a “ideal date” is an all day sex-a-thon, followed by pizza (delivered, of course ;) ) And then, more sex
    M. You despise the color pink
    N. You don’t wear high heels
    O. You don’t wear a ton of makeup or false eyelashes
    P. You don’t wear thongs (AKA buttfloss)
    Q. You act human
    R. You actually *are* human

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: