Why Some Guys Want to Screw You

real-men-dont-hurt-womenIt’s really confusing. Every week you have some dorm seminar on sexual assault, and a constant buzz about what’s appropriate. Then you go to a party on the weekend and it’s everything they said to avoid. Get girls drunk so they’ll have sex with you. Lying to them or telling them how interested you are in them and how much you like them, when it’s completely not true. All you really want to do is have sex with them and then get the hell out of there.

   -  One man’s take on male/female relations on college campuses

While there are a lot of really great guys out there, unfortunately for women today, some guys still want to screw you. 

Take hookup culture. Women and men play the same game. But by different rules. Too often intercourse means the man wins, or “scores,” and the woman loses. He gains status. His reputation is enhanced. But “sluts,” as they’re called, “give it up,” meaning both sex and reputation. Hence, the vague meaning of “hookup” – ranging from “we kissed” to intercourse, so that she’ll keep playing the game.

After sex she may insist, “Don’t tell.” But telling is the main goal. As one guy put it:

When I’ve just got laid, the first thing I think about – before I’ve even like “finished” – is that I can’t wait to tell my crew who I just did.

Why would a guy screw a girl just so he can brag? And why’s that more important than sexual pleasure?

All of the quotes above are from Guyland by sociologist, Michael Kimmel, one of the leading experts on men and masculinity. What’s his take on why some men treat women so poorly?

As Dr. Kimmel sees it, it boils down to personal identity. A preoccupation with proving “manhood.”

In America, as elsewhere, men are still thought superior. So they must constantly prove they deserve the high status.

Has anyone ever heard of “proving womanhood”? But then, why put effort into demonstrating you are lesser-than (as the culture sees it)?

Seeking to demonstrate manhood, men must make sure to do all of the following in “manly” ways:  drive, walk, talk, eat, stand, sit, clothe themselves… Some meet stupidly dangerous challenges.

Those who don’t may be called:

Sissy, wimp, faggot, dork, pussy, loser, wuss, nerd, queer, homo, girl, gay, skirt, mama’s boy, pussy-whipped.

When manhood is seen as powerful, dominant, aggressive, violent, and potent, screwing women can make men feel “they are all that” as they get women to sexually “submit” (as they see it). These guys aren’t vulnerable to women. They don’t have “girly” emotion-filled relationships, or experience emotional dependence. No. They are REAL men.

Even words these guys use for sex can sound violent. Here’s a list some young men in my classes made:

Screw, f-, bang, nail, ram, smash, smack that, beat those, cut, boning, git-in-em-guts.

Really, when guys try so hard to be tough, they are probably bellowing to hide insecurity. The drive for basic self-worth looms larger than sex, safety or shame in cruelty.

Dr. Kimmel says guys can feel torn between proving manhood and expressing their humanity, but he also says they don’t need to choose. Real manhood, he says, is marked by honor, respect, integrity, emotional resilience, and doing the right thing despite the costs.

I’m doing repeats over the holidays.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on January 3, 2014, in feminism, men, psychology, sexism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. I think part of the problem is that many women find such brash braggarts appealing, eschewing nice, quiet guys in favor of ones just seeking their next conquest. (If it didn’t work, guys wouldn’t act that way) Luckily not all women fall for that technique, or at least wise-up after falling victim to it, and nice guys still have a chance.

  2. I like to think we are slowly moving away from having to “prove” any kind of gender. That and, if a guys gets a girl drunk just to sleep with her, he is technically breaking the law. His “manliness” won’t protect him when she calls him out on rape.

  3. Well part of it is the masculinity thing and bragging rights which suggests insecurity to me. But I find this hook up thing or guys feeling the need to brag or prove themselves to be in highschool and college. Once a man is out of highschool, even if he’s only 22 now or 23, guy’s don’t usually hook up to brag about it or to prove themselves or because it’s a masculine thing to do. I think this especially happens for frat guys with them feeling they should get laid to assert themselves and prove themselves to their other frat buddies. So this brings up the discussion on immaturity as well, being the factor as well. But I don’t think a lot of guys hook up because of masculinity, I think it’s split. As you see, tons of guys are hooking up even after college when in their mid 20s still. And this is simply from them socialising and having fun and simply hormones, being horny and wanting to get laid by different attractive girls. So many guys simply want to screw a girl and just that because they want to have fun, but don’t want a relationship or get tied down or prevent the chance of that, so just being with the girl one night.

    • You could be right about the age. Thats the age Kimmel was studying, and it makes sense because those are the years males are just entering manhood and likely feel the least secure in their manhood.

      Also,

      1) having sex without relationship and 2) screwing a woman as I mean it here are two different things. And some guys do purposely screw women to create a sense of manhood in ways, and for reasons, I explained.

  4. Hi G :D I am sure that many women have the same feelings towards men :D xox

    • No doubt. But I do doubt that masses of women screw masses of men in attempts to prove their womanhood. (It wouldn’t work because womanhood can’t be proven that way, and why seek to prove your inferiority — as society gender-ranks males over females? So as I said, I’ve never heard of anyone trying to prove their womanhood).

      Maybe a man screws a woman to prove his manhood, which angers her, so she screws him back. Patriarchy in action encouraging more people to screw each other over.

  5. I wonder if women could begin to counter this by refusing to treat their own hookups as ‘giving it away’: if women who want some casual sex are equally upfront about it, and don’t play coy games of withholding but just get on with it, then they are no more a conquest than the guy is. Fun times for all!

  6. Why do women allow men to treat them so poorly? Maybe if we (women) all set high standards and stuck to them, this would stop? I don’t know.

    • To some extent since women are taught that they’re secondary, they internalize it and too often and accept things they shouldn’t. Becoming aware of accepting negative treatment is the first step to choosing differently. Of course, hopefully men can become increasingly aware and evolved, too, as many have.

  7. I know this isn’t related to this, but it is regarding women and feminism. What are your thoughts on the controversial Lingerie Football league? It’s been around for a few years now, from what I can see. There are two sides from me, I don’t think the scantily clad outfit with the spots is the problem as that’s the gimmick of the sport. I think the sexist part of it is the no pay. I’ve read the jerk owner doesn’t pay his female players and they can’t play for another league or sponsorships. And the other thing is the padding. There’s less padding to show the women;s bodies off, but they should have bit more padding. The helmets are hockey helmets and not much else than shoulder pads and knee pads I think, maybe elbow pads. But I think of the poor girls just being so prone to getting hurt. I know football is a physical sport, but seriously, they have no rib pads, yet they have shoulder pads. So that makes the women so vulnerable if they get spear tackled. But then from what I’ve read is there’s a contract and this knowledge is known before the girls sign up yet they still play. So, nobody is forcing these girls, yet they still play and sign up. The owner would not have the league or change his ways with pay if the women stopped joining but they still do. So if it’s sexism, it’s sexism women enable.

    • I agree with you.

      I’ll have to say that when people are desperate for a job, or fame, they will often sign horrible contracts. They don’t tend to see themselves in these situations as having equal power to the person they are signing with. So it seems exploitative to me, given how much the people want the job.

      I’m also not thrilled with how women are sexualized and men aren’t. I’d be less annoyed if both were or neither were.

  8. I think this whole thing about bragging is due to the structure of the human society; patriarchy. I used to have this friend (she is a girl) who told me how a girl should always be chaste and pure because once she starts going all the way with lots of guys, she would not be able to recover social status and credibility she has lost. She will just be labeled as a slut and thats it. On the other hand, for a boy, no matter how much he womanized, once he starts working hard and make some little money, that will somehow satisfy the social expectation. The legendary history of having sex with lots of girls would not be something that is going to be a gossip news unless if you are the representative of your country or something. After listening to this story from my friend, I found this contradiction about men because they are thinking themselves as the center of patriarchy but lowering the value of themselves as a biological being at the same time.

  9. I found this post on feministe and posted a comment there, I was redirected to comment here.

    The bragging and “bro culure” are, in my eyes, used to cover up approach anxiety. The most insecure people I knew were the ones who bragged the most about their sexual experience and prowess. Girls like “bro” types not because of their “bro-ness” but because they imitate confidence when hitting on chicks, and confidence is sexy. I think the “bro” character is a way for guys to hide their insecurities about having to approach such that they don’t appear to have “girly” emotions like insecurity and lack of confidence.

    Furthermore, I think girls like that guys are expected to approach. Approaching is nerve wracking for both genders, but girls get to hide behind social expectation and the idea that guys “love the chase” and prefer doing the chasing, and get to blame romantic failures on the inadequacy of the guys who have approached them. Girls who wait and are not proactive only see the guys who, one way or another, have enough confidence or faux confidence to do the approaching. All of the other guys would rather play their game consoles or browse the internet instead of dealing with the expectation of having to approach women.

    In short, if women want to do something about “bro” culture and the negative externalities of “bro” culture, then they have to gut up and start asking guys out. It is true that there are a lot of negative stereotypes about women who are too sexually forward, but it is necessary to fight these stereotypes along with the nervousness that comes from being forward. If women fail to do this, then they are unintentionally supporting the “bro” culture that serves as a mask for male insecurity.

    • I agree that confidence is appealing to women. But you don’t have to be hurtful to be confident.

      Whether or not bragging can be used to cover up anxiety, it can also be used for the reasons Dr. Kimmel talks about.

      I don’t think it ever occurs to women to ask men out, so I don’t think they are hiding behind anything. I know a lot of women who would like to ask men out but think it would be a turnoff. Like you, I would like to see that change. But girls are unlikely to change unless guys let them know that they won’t see them as desperate losers. So both men and women need to make an effort.

      • Why does it “never occur” to women to ask men out? What is stopping you? If you like a guy, you should at least try. If the guy likes “the chase”, then he might see it as a turnoff. If the guy (like me) thinks “the chase” is stupid, then it would be a refreshing change. Guys who don’t ask women out are seen as “pathetic” and “emasculated” because they are scared. Women who want to ask guys out might be seen as “desperate” or “pathetic” because they aren’t operating within the stupid gender roles that were assigned without our consent and before we showed up to have a say in how things work.

        I guess what I’m saying is that the girls who want to be asked out and the guys doing the asking are in great shape under our current system. We need girls to ask guys out to serve the segments of the population (nervous and/or shy men and women who want to take the initiative) that are being left out by the way we do things. Unfortunately, the onus for changing this lies with women, as they are the ones who would have to act. More unfortunately, there are negative consequences emotionally and socially from trying and getting rejected, regardless of gender.

        This is turning into a ramble, but I think one of the reasons asking someone out “doesn’t occur to you” is because it’s hard, and it’s scary, and because there are consequences for failure. Because of this, many guys stay away from the asking out game, leaving the field for conquest by the douche-bros who can ask out whoever they want because they are emotionally muted, or because they don’t care about the women they are hitting on, so there is no consequence for rejection, because that chick is a bitch anyway, just like the rest of them.

        (Stupid analogy incoming) The dating game is a boxing ring, and to win you have to be willing to take punches. Assholes take punches better than nice, emotionally whole people, so they are the ones who stay in the ring. To change things, girls have to get in the ring and take punches themselves. You are going to get rejected, and it is going to hurt, but if you keep trying you will eventually find the guy who is terrified to ask anyone out, and thinks you’re cool but was too scared to approach. That guy will think you are a hero for asking him out, and success (may) follow.

      • I think the main reason it doesn’t occur to most women to ask men out is the same reason that women often act against their own interests (not thinking to ask men out is only one of those things that works against their interests). We all live in a world that we take for granted. The explanation is kind of long and complex so I will refer you to these posts to help explain:

        Why Do Women Fight Against Their Own Interests?
        http://broadblogs.com/2011/10/21/why-do-women-fight-against-their-own-interests/

        Frats Invite Sluts, Bitches; Women Accept Degradation. Why?
        http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/08/frats-invite-sluts-bitches-women-accept-degradation-why/

      • Good articles, I wish I could make this a comment tree, but I’m prevented from doing so.

        In short, your answer seems to boil down to “that would require independent thought, which is beyond 99% of our population”. I would agree with that sentiment. Most people I know don’t really think. It might be because they’re engineers and physicists, but most of the people I know are really good at thinking about a very specific, narrow field of interest. These people generally fail to apply their thinking processes to the outside world, and are happy to accept societal generalizations about men and women so they don’t have to think too hard. It’s even easier for girls because the instruction is “sit and be pretty, and wait”. I’m not sure that waiting is really that easy or fun if you aren’t attractive enough to have guys hit on you, but “do nothing” is an easy instruction to follow, and a hard one to overturn when society holds action against you.

        Women are instructed to be inactive, or reactive, in romantic matters, and being proactive is the “masculine” thing to do, according to society. It’s bad enough when your stomach naturally goes into knots when you’re thinking about someone who you’re interested in. That, plus societal instruction to sit still and the guy will come to you (see: every romantic movie ever) would make it nigh on impossible for the average, non-thinking female person to make the move. I guess I need to lower expectations for independent thought in pretty much everyone. I’ll probably be happier that way.

      • And it’s kind beyond independent thought. It’s the way human beings are wired. Very few people think to question social norms, because they are so unconscious and so taken for granted as “normal.” It’s just how it is. When you look at those who do question, they tend to have lives that are different from most people in some way.

  10. On a side note, I think the LFL is awesome because, massive exploitation, objectification, and injury issues aside, it allows girls a real platform for playing tackle football. A lot of LFL members are daughters of NFL players and coaches. They are used to being pushed away from football because of their gender, and the LFL allows them to put their (insufficient) pads on and get going.

    I would be more concerned about them not getting paid if I knew more about the LFL revenues. Given that the LFL likely does not generate major television revenue, it makes sense that they aren’t paid well, although I would say that 0 is ridiculous. I mean, $50 or $100/game would make sense to me, but 0 is unfair.

  11. Yeah they aren’t getting paid at all though. It sucks for the women, because they can’t do anything as far as compensation for their injuries which some have had serious injuries, because of the lack of padding and they don’t regulate or penalize tackling in lfl like that do in college or nfl for men. I’ve seen some clips and some women are clothesline each other or elbows to the head or late tackles when the player is already on the ground and late cheap shot hits. The refs are really tough on the men for such hits and big penatlies are used and fines. I don’t think the women should be fined, because they don’t have any money, but tackling is more lenient, which is bad because the women have crappy protection so it only adds the chances of them getting hurt or seriously hurt. Look at this clip, ver informative. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcdSCVkeKAY

    If the padding was better and women were paid, especially fairly decent, then it would be better. But they aren’t, but yet I heard the male coaches were getting paid I think, which is not good.

  12. You also see how they I are hitting each other like that and so high to the head and neck? There should be protocol for that. Everyone is aware of concussions now because of the nfl studies and that’s why there’s protocol in little leagues and highschool, as well. You don’t see guys tackling each other like that anymore, because how much it’s enforced, and clothelines have been banned for many years in men’s football. Yet the women are doing this in the game when they are less protected and it’s because the league doesn;t care, becuse they aren’t enforcing such tackling. The hard ground and tackling like that has added the injuries I guarentee. If it was enforced and told by the league to not tackle that way it wouldn’t happen.But they probably encourage it, just like the fights like that one woman said. If an nfl player clothelined a player like some of the women have, he would be on the bench or fined or suspended. I’m not blaming the women though, cuz like I said I’m pretty sure the coaches and leagure is lenient wich tackling that should be illegal.

  13. Alexandra Apfelzweig

    Interesting…

    I am a bartender in a busy district of San Francisco and many of my patrons are young, college graduates who are career-driven and facing a new world of independence. I overhear guys bragging to their friends about their last big “score” all the time and what you’ve written really strikes home for me because I see these interactions first hand. For these guys, it’s all about proving their superiority or skills in getting women to sleep with them, but I have also encountered a new-wave of reputation-enhancing activity and this time, it’s coming from the women! I see girls get dolled up to go out and hunt for men just the same way these guys typically do. Women don’t have to try as hard to get “laid” than guys do, but these women are after something else….money. I find it interesting that while men are trying to “screw” as many women as they can, women are trying to see how many expensive dinners and gifts they can get from these same guys, while NOT sleeping with them. It’s an entertaining push-and-pull game to watch if you work in my industry.

  14. If guys are bragging about their superiority and skills with women, then they are insecure, I think those women you talk about have always been around. I think they are known as “maneaters”, they seduce a man and get what they want. An 80s band Hall And Oates actually wrote a song called maneater, pretty catchy ha.

  15. There is a huge double standard between men and women in regards to sex. I was watching “Couples Therapy” on Vh1 yesterday, and was repulsed by the relationship of a particular couple that radiated patriarchy and male assertiveness. Initially, the issues between the couple was generally about communication. The man admitted to being
    promiscuous, and seemed to be proud of it, during this exclusive relationship. The woman seemed to dismiss his promiscuity, and focused on rebuilding communication skills and growth for the couple. As they were in a therapy session, she admitted to resorting to stripping during times of hardship, years before she met him. Her boyfriend was astonished- showing signs of disgust, disassociation, and resentfulness towards her. He repeatedly would mention, “how can I walk down the street with other men if my woman was touched by god knows who? I don’t mess with strippers. My guys won’t take me seriously.” Not only that, she was defending herself, unconsciously subordinating herself to the male dominance enforced in her face. I WAS IN UTTER SHOCK. She was completely loyal to him during their relationship; he was cheating on her. Despite the social implications of stripping, if the issue was promiscuity and “being touched by god knows who”, HE is the first and foremost person to deal with the consequences of the relationship. HE was the one who wronged for the duration of their relationship, and HE enforcing the male privilege that his girlfriend is passively accepting. What kind of “manhood” is this? Nothing about it is appealing. It is egotistic, demeaning, and ultimately sexist.

  16. Some guys want to screw women due to their pride or sometimes it is just to hurt them. For instance, if you have sex with a man other than your boyfriend, and the information is propagated all around the town. In revenge, your boyfriend can do something to screw you or to hurt you because this will make him feel strong and superior to you as you are going to be the one crying all day long and texting him every second. Men can do anything such as lying to women about their feelings or getting them drunk, as the article mentions it, in order to get them to do what they want them to do. Finally, it is definitely important for men to feel superior, and it is only their interest, satisfaction and pride that matter to them most of the time.

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