Do Women Objectify Men?

Men in thongs

Men in thongs

When I talk about objectification, every now and then someone — it may be either a man or a woman — protests that:

  • Women do it too!
  • Women check out men!
  • Playgirl exists!
  • Young girls love teeny-bopper Tiger Beat
  • Etc.

Do women objectify men? 

Before going any further let’s make a distinction between “sexy” and “sex object.”

When a person is seen entirely in terms of her sexuality and treated like a thing that exists for someone else’s gratification, that is sexual objectification.

On the other hand, if you see someone in all of her multi-dimensions, with sexy being one part, then you are looking at a sexy person and not a sex object.

So do little girls who buy Tiger Beat objectify their fave celebs? The magazine doesn’t exclusively focus on skin — the guys’ chests, gams and butts. Instead, the girls look at pretty pictures of these guys and learn everything they can about their likes and dislikes and everyday lives and adventures. These guys are people. Sexy people, to be sure.

Meanwhile, a plethora of girlie magazines, where women are treated as sexy object-things that exists for someone else’s pleasure – Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Barely Legal, Beaver… have made tons of money. Yet, Playgirl goes bankrupt.

It’s not that women are better than men. We just aren’t taught to objectify them.

We simply don’t live in a culture where the male body is fetishized. No part is selectively hidden and revealed and obsessed over. Cameras rarely focus on men’s butts or linger on their chests.

Just like men, women can be drawn to the beauty of the opposite sex and linger on it. But since the male body isn’t fetishized — doesn’t create the same level of titillation that so often grabs and compels men, making them feel they have no choice in the matter — there’s less push to see a man as a sex-thing that exists for our gratification. And it’s easier for us to make different choices.

Some women might manage to objectify men, anyway. But it’s rarer.

Again, this doesn’t mean that women are innately better. We just haven’t been taught to.

And because we are so unaccustomed to seeing highly sexualized images of men, we often feel uncomfortable looking them. At least if they are nude or semi-nude.

Mad Men's Don Draper

Mad Men’s Don Draper

Or, we are so used to sexualized images being meant for the male gaze that a sexy guy in a thong can look “gay” to us. Not a big turn-on.

So maybe it’s no surprise that women often find clothed men sexier. Think Don Draper.

Interestingly, some women have told me that they do their darndest to objectify men. They want to turn it around. So they go to strip joints and scream and shout. Or they sit around with girlfriends and check out guys.

But in the end it often feels more like “playing at” objectifying than actually doing it.

The big concern here is how it leads us to treat each other.

Some men — perhaps many or even most of them — may be able to separate porn fantasy from reality.

But too many end up seeing women as just a means to their gratification. A number of guys commenting on my blog insist that women should do what men want, sexually, even if it is emotionally or physically painful. Or that it’s okay for men to be rude to their partners and ogle other women. Others feel compelled to sexually harass. Some are involved in trafficking women, whether buying or selling.

In these instances women’s hearts and minds don’t matter. For they’ve become mere sexual objects that exist for men’s uses.

Yes, women do notice and appreciate hot guys. And men can check out and appreciate hot women, too — without objectifying. But in our culture, that’s just easier for women to do. But not because we are innately better.

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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 May 5, 2014, in feminism, men, objectification, psychology, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 140 Comments.

  1. I do like to look at sexy men…. and yes they can be sexy with clothes on. This is all relative though as I find a man sexy someone else wouldn’t. :-)

  2. I don’t think women do it vocally. Like, you’d rarely ever hear women catcalling men as they walk down the street, or see teenage girls wolf whistling at boys. That’s not how women do things…it’s not public, and it’s not overt.

    Instead, I hear from guys that it happens in the semi-privacy of bars/clubs. Women will drape themselves across a guy’s shoulders, run their hands up his arms or chest, or even grope his butt and crotch. In other words, they focus purely on his body parts…regardless if the man wants her to or not. Maybe he’s married and just out shooting pool with his friends, or already has a girlfriend, or simply isn’t attracted to her.

    If a guy gropes a woman’s butt, she can usually get away with slapping him. If she doesn’t want to do that, she can usually scream and various other men/women/bouncers will come to either speak to the guy or kick him out. However, when was the last time you saw a woman getting kicked out of a club for harassing a man? Not often, I’m guessing.

    Unfortunately the other side of this coin is that society presents a picture of men always being turned on…ready to go…attracted to every woman of every type. Just like with women, this is far from true. It also doesn’t help that men can get erections when they’re nervous or angry, which to some women is not evidence of increased bloodflow, but of actual sexual attraction.

    In short, I think that women do objectify men, just in more private/subtle ways, or do it in such a way that he would be seen as “gay” or “asexual” if he turned down her advances. So the guy being harassed pretends to like it. In modern society, we should teach both men/boys and women/girls to respect each other’s boundaries and to not touch complete strangers in sexual ways.

    • So you think women objectify men despite the fact that society doesn’t objectify them, doesn’t fetishize them, doesn’t teach women to objectify men, so that they don’t really learn to do it?

      Playgirl goes bankrupt.

      In another post I wrote about how if you put glasses on women that track eye movement, women watching porn look at men’s faces and women’s bodies. So women are more likely to objectify women. But not as likely as men are because most women aren’t naturally lesbian, so that will dampen down the sexual energy. Plus, homophobia is also likely to dampen down the energy. And an awful lot of women are going to just look at those lovely ladies and feel bad about their own bodies. Or just spend their time comparing their own bodies to the porn star’s, even if they think that they, themselves come out looking pretty good.

      It’s actually really hard for women to objectify men because our society doesn’t.

      I’ve also written on how men aren’t the sex-craved animals we think they are.

      http://broadblogs.com/2012/06/11/guys-are-getting-more-romantic

      And as I said, it’s not like this makes women better than men. They just aren’t taught to.

    • A woman hit on a guy. That guy wasn’t interested in her and turned her down.
      Her reply was “are you gay?”

      • Pretty much. It’s a common story in certain parts of the manosphere, but I personally know some guys it happened to. There’s a new type of woman out there today who feels entitled to male attention in the same way some “nice guys” feel entitled to sex.

        Perhaps it’s only these kinds of women who objectify men?

      • I’m still wondering what’s going on in her mind. Is she really focused on his body, or is she forced on herself? Getting attention on herself? Making herself feel powerful? If the latter, she may well be reducing him to his parts and objectifying, though I suspect that the emotional fetish that accompanies it when guys do it may still be missing.

      • As it’s a bunch of individual women, you’d probably get a variety of answers.

        Regardless of whether she is objectifying him as the body part she’s grabbing, or she’s objectifying him as a “item” she can use to bring attention to herself…it’s still a case of objectification. I don’t care if you’re a woman OR a man; If you feel like you have the right to touch someone else’s body without their permission and in spite of their protests, you are in the wrong and deserve whatever charges (if any) are pressed against you.

        Objectification by either sex is wrong.
        Sexual harassment by either sex is wrong.

      • Definitely wrong either way.

        Just because his body isn’t especially eroticized doesn’t make her touching him less wrong. I’m just talking about whether that wrongness is accompanied by experiencing those body parts in a fetishized way — the psychology of it. If it’s not erotic for her in the same way, that doesn’t make the behavior any better.

  3. “Instead, the girls look at pretty pictures of these guys and learn everything they can about their likes and dislikes and everyday lives and adventures.”

    Nobody can rationally defend the idea that someone should give a shit about what celebrities or models like or dislike. We ought to care about them because of what they bring to the table in their chosen profession. Their chosen profession is often their ability to look hot, end of story.

    Yes, teenage girls like to read this crap. That’s teenage girls for you. But this isn’t a higher plane of existence. The Mona Lisa isn’t made better if I knew that Mona likes to play badminton in her spare time.

    • Actually, it is better to see a whole person than to see other people as something that exists just to sexually satisfy you, and nothing else about them matters.

      That doesn’t mean women are inherently better than men. It means they haven’t been taught to objectify.

      • “Actually, it is better to see a whole person than to see other people as something that exists just to sexually satisfy you, and nothing else about them matters.”

        When it comes to people you don’t know… i.e. celebrities, actors, entertainers, how can you justify this claim? Even the celebrities THEMSELVES don’t want us poking into their private affairs. They supply us with the product that they want to supply, and generally want us to leave it at that. Teenage girls wanting tidbits of gossip are the bane of celebrities.

        Also, I highly doubt that the difference between men and women here is taught. I think it is ingrained.

      • Even actors don’t like being objectified. They want to be appreciated for their talent, acomplishments in life. I have a post coming up on this re Marilyn Monroe (near her birthday).

        Tribal men don’t objectify. Continental European men, especially in the early 80s, didn’t either. Plus, many men are capable of appreciating attractive women without objectifying.

        http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/04/men-aren’t-hard-wired-to-find-breasts-attractive/

      • “Even actors don’t like being objectified. They want to be appreciated for their talent, acomplishments in life.”

        This is a fact not in evidence. I’m sure some feel that way. Others love to be thought of as a “sex symbol”. What is a sex symbol if not a sex object? Actors love appearing on the latest list of “top sex symbols”. Or at least many do.

        Here’s some examples: Sharon Stone enjoys being a sex symbol and Matthew McConaughey loves being a sex symbol..

        There have always been many men and women who enjoy being thought of this way. You are invalidating their feelings and their very personhood by saying they are wrong to feel this way. It’s very very prejudiced of you.

      • Yeah, that’s why neither of them cared about getting an Oscar/nomination. If they had to choose, I wonder which they’d opt for.

        Stay tuned for Marilyn Monroe in June.

      • ” If they had to choose, I wonder which they’d opt for.” That’s not logical. You don’t have to choose.

      • Actually it’s the only way it can be logical.

        You seem to have forgotten the definition of sex object.

        When a person is seen entirely in terms of their sexuality and treated like a thing that exists for someone else’s gratification, that is sexual objectification.

        If both of them would choose to only be known for their sexuality, in lieu of the Oscar, then they would both be happy sex objects. And of course they wouldn’t. And aren’t.

        On the other hand, if someone is known for being sexy, along with other traits, then they are not sex objects. They are sexy. Remember the distinction I made between sexy and sex object in the post?

        Both Sharon Stone and Matthew McConaughey fit the description of sexy, not sex object. They are both known for being actors, and very good actors (having been nominated for, or won, Oscars) along with being sexy.

        BTW: if you don’t want me to edit you, don’t be rude. If you continue to be rude I won’t take the time to answer you at all.

  4. I think some women think they objectify men… but they really don’t.They still want to know about the men. I, for one, have never understood why I should fuss over a hot guy. I knew plenty of hot guys who were terrible people. I just can’t look at them and like any part of them. They aren’t sexy to me anymore.

  5. Yes!

    I found that as my feelings about sex became better… I felt less guilty about desiring sex and I began to enjoy viewing the male body more than I had before.

    I remember feeling uncomfortable when I saw a guy undressed. Like you said I wasn’t used to it. I think it is unfortunate that some young boys start viewing porn before they are mature enough to understand what they are seeing. They learn to objectify women from the exposure. Most girls don’t see this kind of stuff until they lose their virginity.

    • Yes, and even as women become able to enjoy viewing the male body, they’re still less likely to objectify it because our society neither fetishizes nor objectifies it. We just aren’t taught to.

      And men in tribal societies don’t objectify women’s bodies because they aren’t taught to either.

  6. If a woman is doing such stuff I would probably feel that I’m being mocked, because I’ll feel they are being cock teases or just messing with me. I have to imagine, I’m sure male strippers have fun performing and putting on a show, idk. But I’m sure if it bothers strippers at times with possible sexual comments towards them or women getting a little rowdy. I’m sure it could be annoying sometime to with them feeling their desirability is mocked or these women are “acting” on their attraction. I rather a woman not say anything or do anything than act like she wants you or turned, that’s just being a cock tease.

  7. “We are so used to sexualized images being meant for the male gaze that a sexy guy in a thong can look “gay” to us. Not a big turn-on.ent here…”

    Perhaps men nude or in speedos is uncomfortable for people because people aren’t used to seeing a man show that much on the lower half of his body. However, the thong thing, I think that looks “gay” and I’m guilty as my assumption is a guy is gay or atleast bisexual or has bi tendencies if he wears thongs, excluding male strippers. Even though I’ve heard many male strippers are gay. But strippers it’s part of the job, but dudes wearing thongs that is gay to me, and that’s something a gay man or bi man would wear. I can’t imagine straight men wearing thongs, unless they had some bi tendencies or must have a “kink in their arrow” so to speek and they aren’t completely heterosexual.

    I work retail and I remember a few summers ago, I and the other co workers were laughing in the stock room when something rare happened and male thongs came in. They were fricking animal stripes and very flamboyant designs. The reason I see it as gay is because, why is a man accentuating his ass like that? Why does he have a string up his butt, why does he have something up his butt? He must like things up his butt apparently (gay sex). It’s very feminine to me. Women it makes sense seeing how women’s bodies are built right? Women are smaller, feminine and on top of that, women are penetrated when having sex with men right? doggy style, and anal sex too. Guy’s penetrators, women penetrated, I mean thats just how it goes anatomy wise. So why is the penetrator (man” having something up his butt? There’s where my assumption or me being skeptical of a man being completely straight if he’s not a stripper and wears thongs.

    • The reason you see them as gay is the same reason women do. They’re so used to sex objects being meant for men that they see them through male eyes.

      • He sounds really lucky lol…yes of course, they are indeed. I think we both have ‘male’ and ‘female’ energies, the old yin and yang, and I personally feel sometimes I’d like to be dominated or feel cared for, sometimes not always. I like how one can switch roles or emphasise that part of themselves, you know?…

        Yes the womb to me is symbolic of a sort of protective, nurturing shield.

    • While it’s true that men are often the “penetrators” there are many straight men who enjoy being digitally penetrated by their female partners…or even with prostate massaging toys designed specifically for this purpose. My own lover, who is most definitely a hetero male, has been known to like having my smallest vibrator used on him in such a way. There’s nothing “gay” about it. The anal region is an erotic zone in both sexes.

      I think one of the oddest things is society’s tendency to view the penetrator as “dominant” and the penetrated as “submissive”. This is weird, at least in my own sexual experience. When I’m having sex with my lover, the only time I feel “submissive” is when we are role-playing in that fashion…otherwise, we are equals. (I’ve asked him about this too, and he’s of the same mindset.) Besides, if it’s a matter of language, I can say I’m “taking in”, “enveloping”, or “encompassing” his penis with my body. See? Being penetrated and enveloping entail the same exact action, but one *sounds* more submissive than the other. If you are an equal sex partner, you’re not being acted on…you’re fully participating!

      • Yes, the penetrator is seen as dominant. In ancient Greek society, for instance, in a male homosexuality relationship what was more significant was who was ‘top’ and who was ‘bottom.’ The latter was the feminine ‘bitch’, because he assumed the ‘female’ position. This is seen in both prison and in some gay sub-cultures, ‘top’ and ‘bottom.’ Males who have the desire to be penetrated or dominated are seen as wanting to be females. There are no doubt men who want to be penetrated in that way.

        Interesting, Tarnished. Like I used to think a woman saying, I’m gonna f**k him’ sounded a bit odd, but really, in a sense like, the female can be seen as enveloping, it’s like a protective role, and her body protects his sperm and the baby. Actually, in some ways I feel the female is actually more of the protective, nurturing side of the sex. There is no protective instinct in nature stronger than a mother for her child, her body protects the developing baby, and many women seem very protective of their partners. It might not necessarily be physical, although some women are and obviously don’t want their SO to get physically hurt, but also emotionally. Not to say men don’t protect, but this idea that men are the main protectors is I actually think not totally accurate. Sure, men do protect the ones they love, or those that are weak (as do women), but some of the protection could also be seen as protecting ‘property’, or resources, in this case, females to spread his seed into.

      • @namelesscomposer

        Oh, I do realize the dominated/penetrated and dominater/penetrator analogy has been around for a long time. I’d never argue that. However, for the reasons both of us have eloquently outlined, I feel this reduces sexual activities to a single-sided issue when it’s really two-sided by necessity.

        I don’t think men who enjoy being penetrated are any less masculine than ones who don’t and this includes men who use toys, have gay partners, or have a female partner with a strap-on. One can certainly use role-playing to create a setting of dominance and submission, sure. But in my view there’s no way for it to be inherent.

        The female sex organs are just as mystifying, beautiful, and powerful as the male ones. No more, no less. I know I feel protective of my lover quite often, and greatly enjoy pleasing him and helping to ease his mind. Of course, he does the same for me on the rare occasions I ask for it, too.

        You make an excellent point about the relevance of the womb as a source of nurture and protection. This is how I feel during sex sometimes, and it’s always such a great surge of protectiveness and love.

  8. Nice to see you are getting further into the male side of sexual objectification. The next sentence I write is in truth, not in anger. Women finding men sexier with clothing on, is like men telling women to keep their clothes on all the time; even during sex.

    Me and few males in this world actually research to find a heterosexual woman’s desire. Most men really are oblivious to a majority of women not looking at abs, muscles, a built chest, and penis as a orgasm driving body parts. A lot of men think if they get these toned muscled bodies, women will watch them naked or find their bodies masturbation/ orgasm worthy.

    I know women find fit men sexy, and I believe that is the wrong word in a way. Calling something sexy to me means, by definition to want to have sex with or to be deserving of someones desire or orgasm. If a women can’t orgasm from the male body alone, then even if it may be sexy, it is not sexy to them; I think a better word would be socially attractive, but I’m just making this up as a go.

    Many ppl say money, children, power, fitting in to societies norms is what women desire from men, but never once have I heard pleasure. I would love to be a woman for a month I would solve all the mysteries, but only for a month I love being a man to much lol.

    • Ah, language. Gotta run, maybe I’ll write more later.

    • What was potentially offensive in your first line? And believe me, you wouldn’t want to be a woman for a day, but every man should for a year.

    • I have gender dysphoria, so I’m not sure if I would be a good candidate for your questions. However, though my gender is male my body is most assuredly female and maybe that’s enough?

      You mention that society claims women want children, power, money, etc from a man…but few ever mention sex/pleasure whereas men definitely look for sexual pleasure in a mate. BroadBlogs may have more to say about this from a societal point of view, and talk about repression of female sexuality (which I do think accounts for some of it). But in my personal experiences, men are *not* sexier with clothing on. The only potential exceptions are when the men in question are wearing tight, form fitting clothes…think of the Goblin King/David Bowie in Labyrinth, or Rumplestiltskin/Robert Carlyle in the series Once Upon A Time. Actually, Carlyle is a great example because I find him so much more attractive as Rumplestiltskin (tight leather pants, open silk shirts, chest bared) than as Mr. Gold (crisp business suits, only head and hands visible).

      So it goes for me. I’m willing to be more open and blunt privately though, so if you’d like I can be reached at tarnishedsophia@hotmail.com.

  9. Hayley Epstein

    I think what you said about girls trying to turn it around is very important in the context of this entire article. People can say whatever they want, that women can objectify men too, or argue that if women just started to objectify men, everything would be equal. However, there is a major flaw in this idea. The fact is, when women treat men in that way, men will likely find it funny or enjoyable. For women, this is a real thing, and it is not necessarily light. Some women might enjoy getting yelled at from a man in a car passing by, however, some women might feel afraid. The fact is, there are reasons for women to feel afraid when men are objectifying them on the street. There is a general sense that men are more powerful than women, particularly in a physical way. When a man objectifies a woman, she might feel at risk of being violated or sexually assaulted. This is a general feeling which goes along with being a woman in this society (for many women). Being aware of this has a huge impact; both on men and on women in this society. However, if women try to “flip it around”, and hit on men from their cars, I am positive that men would not be afraid. There is much less threat of being assaulted or raped for men, and the general idea would probably be that the man would simply want to have sex with the girl calling out to him. It is pretty hard to take power back when you are in the vulnerable position, and have been for as long as anyone can remember. I really don’t think that some women acting as though they are the ones with power and they are the ones objectifying men, is a good way to go about achieving equality.

  10. I feel like women do objectify men but more low-key. Instead of putting it out there, they would rather talk about it with girl-friends or sometimes even a best guy friend who is comfortable to talk about this topic with. Most women like to be sneaky and hid what they want to say from that specific person just so her image of him doesn’t change – basically like eye candy. Who doesn’t love eye candy, it will always be there but that doesn’t mean that you have to talk to that person. Objectifying men comes easy to most girls. It is like a hidden trait that no one wants to say they do.

    • I’m puzzled by your comment. Do you think that women fetishize men’s bodies? You can’t really objectify unless you do.

      The body part grabs you and creates intense pleasure. The man is experienced as existing to create that extreme pleasure for you. What part of the male body does this? Maybe I need to clairify in my post.

      • Ige seems to feel the way I do about it. Maybe the issue is that you, BroadBlogs, are attempting to find a single body part that women objectify. In reality, the conversations I’ve overheard and/or been a part of testify to the fact that women tend to objectify a man’s whole body. Rarely have I heard a woman talk about just a man’s abs, or thighs, or butt…and never his penis (for some reason many people don’t find genitals nice looking, which I can’t understand).

        So it would seem that men objectify a woman based on a single part, like her butt, her breasts, her legs…but women objectify the entire man as a package.

      • Men can also take the whole body in. The difference is intensity of pleasure of doing so. Men appear to get much more pleasure out of this: they often say they feel compelled to look and feel they have no control over their ability not to. They are way more likely to buy images of women, too. Remember, Playgirl went bankrupt. And that was the only offering women even had. Women are much less likely to watch porn. And when they do, eyeglasses that track eye-movement show that they are more likely to be looking at the woman’s body in the man’s.

        Based on comments I was receiving, I rewrote the post a touch to try to clarify some issues.

        And I did that because I expect to be sending this several times in the future when I get comments that,”Women do it to.”

        I also added this:

        “The big concern with objectification is how it leads us to treat each other.

        “Some men — perhaps many or even most of them — may be able to separate porn fantasy from reality.

        “But too many end up seeing women as just a means to their sexual gratification. A number of guys commenting on my blog insist that women should do what men want, sexually, even if it is emotionally or physically painful for their partners. Or that it’s okay for men to be rude to their partners and ogle other women, for instance. (I use the term partner here loosely — you wouldn’t treat a true partner that way.) Other men are involved in sex trafficking of women, whether buying or selling them.”

        When you feel compelled, and get so much more pleasure out of it, it’s no wonder that men would be more likely to sexually objectify women

  11. I think that it is much more difficult for women to objectify men, definitely because of how society has shaped us to see them. Because we rarely ever see a woman try and get at a guy, its hard to think that women are that focused on making the first move to let a man know they are sexy. I thought it was interesting in one of your responses to a post where you talked about where the women look while watching porn. When I think about my experience watching porn, I also agree that I look at the mans face and the woman’s body. Mostly because the mans body is not as attractive in my eyes as the woman, although I’m fully straight. I think the mans body is not as blown up as a woman’s, that makes it so people have a harder time finding something to objectify on a man.

      • Sorry, I don’t. That’s extremely strange to me. How would it sound me a heterosexual male saying I watch the man’s body and just the woman’s face. It’s kind of insulting to hear that lol, and will lead any sain minded man to think women are lesbians.

        Female sexuality is strange imo and not straight forward like males. Lesbian women enjoy male male porn but want women sexually, straight women enjoy girl girl porn but want men sexually. I’ve spent hours researching trying to figure it out.

        Listen to hip hop music, alot women recite lyrics that demean women as if they aren’t women themselves. If there was a song calling men demeaning names no man, I repeat no man would listen to it.

        I sometimes wonder what women want with us men, and if men didn’t have desire for women would our species even exsist, it feels to me like men do all the work to make sure subconsciously at least that doesn’t happen.

        Final note:Women, if your man was to tell you that he watched male male porn and it’s the only thing he could climax to and didn’t climax with you, would you question his sexuality? Would it hurt you to know your not enough or what he wants ; now reverse the genders. Just sparking conversation is all lol

      • Maybe some women only climax to lesbian porn but I’d be surprised if that was common. Sexual stimulation doesn’t have to be about visual, anyway.

        The reason why men have to do most of the work is because women’s sexuality has been repressed in our patriarchal culture. If men want better sex we need to move out of patriarchy.

        Similarly, the reason women will come along to songs that call them demeaning names is because they were raised in patriarchy and are so used to being insulted that it seems fairly normal. It’s unfortunate. Have you seen this post?

        Frats Invite Sluts, Bitches; Women Accept Degradation. Why?

        http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/08/frats-invite-sluts-bitches-women-accept-degradation-why/

      • @Eric U

        I don’t know if this will make you feel better, but here goes:

        I’m physically a woman, and I not only enjoy porn and written erotica, but I also find both the male and female body sexy/beautiful. I do sometimes watch gay porn but I prefer hetero porn. I don’t tend to look at the faces of the actors any more than I do the faces of the actresses…usually I am looking at their bodies/genitals. (One reason I will watch gay porn is because the male genitals are shown a lot more than in hetero porn.)

        I am turned on by the sight of the male body, whether naked or slightly clothed. The genitals can be erect…which immediately makes me think of sex, or quiescent…which can either make me simply appreciate his body or make me think of how I’d go about getting him erect. I am not turned on by guys in clothes, unless they are exceptionally form fitting (tight pants, open shirts). I also enjoy amateur porn more, since muscle men aren’t my cup of tea. I like men who are slightly heavy, not rippling with muscles.

        Does this help?

      • I know what you mean, Eric, must seem strange from a male POV, right? For us it’s straightforward, at least most of the time. But I agree, I’ve heard comments where women disparage the male body calling it ugly and all sorts of things yet call themselves strange. It goes beyond disinterest, it really seems they have to make a point about how superior the female form is. Of course, they ignore all the cosmetisation of the female form in comparison to the male. But I’d rather not be with a woman like that to begin with. If you heard a group of men saying, ‘the female body is so gross, men have way better bodies, but I prefer women’ how would that make you feel?

        But I think that’s what Broadblogs (sorry what is your name?) point is. Our perception of what is attractive and sexy can be shaped a lot by what we’re told is sexy but the status quo. Since the female sex drive is less connected with visual preference anyway, it’s not too surprising it could be made more malleable. Of course, even in this age of sexual liberality and acceptance, it still takes a female and a male to reproduce. Sexuality’s primary function is still reproduction, not pleasure/bonding/whatever else, whether hetero or homosexual.

      • Yes my point is about socialization and a critique of it.

        And I’m coming out of from a few different angles.

        1) the male body is beautiful but we aren’t socialized to see it. We are socialized to ignore it.

        2) men aren’t naturally visual. They learn to be. For instance, you don’t find a breast fetish in every culture. It’s learned. In some places meant even Learned to get aroused by A woman’s head of hair: Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Attractive http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/04/men-aren%e2%80%99t-hard-wired-to-find-breasts-attractive/

        2) Women can learn to be visual too. But because our culture only teaches us that women’s parts are arousing, their more likely to learn that: Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/29/women-learn-the-breast-fetish-too/

        3) having the body of your gender’s body the center of focus and eroticized isn’t necessarily a good thing for you. Most people end up feeling like they can’t meet the ideal and develop Poor body image and eating disorders. About 78% of young women have poor body image, and as men’s bodies increasingly become focused on sexualized, men are also getting greater eating disorders.

        4) all of that can put a damper on sex:

        Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?

        http://broadblogs.com/2011/07/27/does-sexual-objectification-lead-to-bad-sex/

        Being Sexual vs Looking Sexual

        http://broadblogs.com/2013/09/04/looking-sexual-vs-being-sexual/

        So it may seem like women have it better, but be careful what you wish for. I’m planning to write a post on this sometime, In response to a comment Eric made months ago. I just haven’t gotten around to it. So maybe in the next little while.

        BTW, My name is Georgia (see my “about” page)

      • Oh yeah sorry Georgia, I remember now.

        Actually no, I don’t think women have it better, or being objectified is such a great thing, especially to that degree. I’d still rather be male largely for this reason: just being hassled by males/unwanted male attention and also society in general being so judgemental about women, and less actual freedom. For instance, I enjoy travelling and doing things alone, which would be more of a hassle if I were female. Even as a male I’ve been propositioned by men a few times (I just politely declined, don’t understand making a scene over it unless he doesn’t molest you or anything)… For instance say if I wanted to travel to India or something. I do wish things were more equal, less objectification of women but also more appreciation of men. I think it would be better for both.

      • Lol, just reading that turned me on ;). It’s great you can just find the male body in it’s raw form a turn-on, I don’t think most women are incapable of it, I mean it doesn’t make sense. If we are designed to be attracted to each other and all that. Why would women look at men’s faces during porn so much anyway? One doesn’t tend to notice faces that much during porn, male or female. It’s funny, sometimes it seems bi women or women with high sex drives actually appreciate the male form more than straight women with normal drives.

    • Maybe because of all the cosmetic differences of male vs female porn stars? For instance, body hair is seen as gross or unsexy these days, yet most male porn stars don’t shave all over. Also they don’t have nice tans, fake or well-shaped breasts, and society has conditioned both males AND females to see the male body was either boring or gross. If a toned, fit, epilated guy had sex with a fat, white, woman who didn’t shave her legs how would that look? Yet for some reason many women are against men shaving all over…If smooth hairless skin is sexy on women why not men? All conventions and conditions. Only one who can look beyond can realise this.

  12. “The reason you see them as gay is the same reason women do. They’re so used to sex objects being meant for men that they see them through male eyes.”

    You don’t think it’s due to a string being up a man’s butt though? I don’t think speedo’s are gay. They can look funny on many guys, but while skimpy they don’t seem gay to me. Things can be pretty skimpy, but to me the line is crossed once the material is up his ass or thong like and the reason because why I already stated. I think women see that too, and why more women nowadays don’t see speedos as gay, but more likely do see men in thongs as gay. Because they are probably questioning why a man is wearing something that is up his ass too, and the comfort he has with it, so he must like things in his ass (gay sex, bi tendencies)

    • No.thats the social construction of sexy. When women do it it’s seen as sexy. Why not when men do it? Only reason I can think of is that’s the sort of thing that sexy is typically meant for the male gaze. To seem otherwise, you need other factors. See this: http://broadblogs.com/2013/07/16/do-women-see-sexy-men-as-sexy/

    • Bob, that’s kinda silly, don’t you think? A good number of women wear thongs, but few report enjoying or wanting anal sex. I see no reason that seeing either a man or a woman in a thong would make someone automatically expect said person to be into anal sex. Besides, there’s a huge difference between wearing a thong with a tiny string in one’s anal region (which I hate, and think is incredibly uncomfortable) to actually having a penis or sex toy in one’s anal cavity (which can be quite nice and pleasurable).

  13. “But in the end it often feels more like “playing at” objectifying than actually doing it.”

    I think there is a lot of truth to this. My friends got me a stripper for my 30 th (at a party my Dad was at, how embarrassing!) and while he was just gorgeous it all seemed like a bit of fun more than anything really sexual.

    • I’ve seen both male and female strippers in media, never in person, and I’m constantly struck by how one feels erotic and the other feels like fun, in terms of the atmosphere that surrounds them. (Nothing wrong with either eroticism or fun, I’d say.)

      • I’ve been to strip clubs a few times, both because friends (well old school friends I hadn’t seen in awhile really) wanted to go and didn’t really enjoy the experience. A lot of the women just looked miserable, and just the objectification that was going on of course, I just felt it was really stupid. I mean paying to see women naked just seems lame. Even when some of the girls were grinding up against me to get money, I didn’t enjoy it, it felt so contrived and I felt like a loser. I have no interest in going to one ever again. I mean, I’m sure some of the girls enjoy it, but for many it’s just to make money. I actually overheard some guy saying he knew one of the strippers and that she was a drug addict. I actually felt it was sort of exploitative demeaning to both the women AND the men, even if both did it out of their free will. Women exploiting the male sex drive and males exploiting the female body…

  14. So true. Although my younger self did enjoy it when the cute boy in school or whoever fit that mold when I was a littleolder asked me out. Was I objectifying, per the word’s definition? Not really-but definitely there have been times when it was just about “looks.” so not really seeing the person either.

    • Yes. I see your point. I think the difference is that men tend to feel compelled to objectify because it’s so pleasurable, so it’s harder to move out of it and see the person, or not be rude to your date as you enjoy objectifying other women.

      In some ways I envy the amount of pleasure they get out of it. But am simultaneously relieved that it’s not so hard for me to see the person, not be rude, have my mind free to think of other things, etc.

      Like I said, I don’t think it makes women any better. It’s just easier for us.

  15. Do Women Objectify Men?

    I think we can and we do. I wrote a similar article recently on my blog about that picture from the Grammy’s of the woman ripping that guy’s shirt off. It made me uncomfortable. Possibly because there was no form of consent apparent. I’m a biggie on consent.

    But sure, I objectify men. I know a lot of women that do it. But granted we don’t sit there and cat call, whistle and make crude remarks. We appreciate them, generally let them know they look amazing and move on. To me objectification doesn’t equate to sexualisation.

    I realise that for many men and women it does, but I think I prefer to keep the sexualisation out of it… at least for the guy walking down the street that’s hot as.

    In other news though, I subscribe to many a gay feed on tumblr and facebook that shows muscled men, with their tops off, or in towels taking selfies in the mirror. Or making out with a another man. And this, this is my sexualisation and objectification of men. I love watching men together. They behave like different animals to when they are with women. It entices me and intrigues me. So any glimpse I get into their world is like a shot of male pheromones where I might just start humping furniture.

    For the most part though I generally try not to objectify people. What’s under their facade is usually much more interesting than what’s on the outside.

    • Well, the definition of sexual objectification is what I wrote:

      When a person is seen entirely in terms of their sexuality and treated like a thing that exists for someone else’s gratification, that is sexual objectification.

      So the sexual part is intrinsic.

      I mentioned in the article that a few women may manage to truly objectify men, and you may be one of them. But since we live in a culture that for the most part ignores the male body, women-at-large rarely do it.

      • I think women doesn’t do it as often because we aren’t usually visually stimulated sexually.

        Men are.

        They enjoy porn because they get to see what’s going on mainly that they can’t see when they do it themselves.

        Women, from personal experience, go on emotion and feelings. Sure the outer coat has some draw but we don’t fuel our sexual attraction on just a body. Well. Most of us don’t at least.

        And that’s just going on what my friends and I have discussed. I haven’t really talked to a larger population.

      • Agreed. But maybe the reason women aren’t visual is because they aren’t presented with anything visual to look at. Men’s bodies are ignored. And yet women often find my blog because they’ve Googled something indicating that they can’t figure out how they can be straight and yet have learned to fetishize female breasts.

      • What an interesting concept.

        And yet it makes me sad to read that straight women end up here because of their confusion in regards to boobs.

        Sexual repression has a lot to answer for.

      • But is there the possibility that it could be the other way round?
        If women could objectify visually the male body then the media would have used that and exploited it in a way just like they have objectified the female body.
        But perhaps they realized that women don’t really care that much about the male body so focusing on the male body would be a waste of time and money.

        There are only few images of male bodies on the media so women don’t bother that much to ogle at male bodies but at the same time the gay men do search for male bodies and ogle at them. They may be gay but they are still males, so they are visual creatures just like the heterosexual males.
        So it could be that women do not really care that much about ogling men.
        If it was because of the lack of objectification of the male body in the media then gay men would not objectify the male body as well but they certainly do

      • Doubtful for a couple reasons.

        1) Men in tribal societies don’t objectify women’s bodies
        2) Women in our culture often do objectify women’s bodies. A lot of women end up on my blog because they can’t figure out how they can be straight and yet find breasts alluring. It’s not that women aren’t visual, it’s that our society doesn’t sexualize things that 1) Match women’s social orientation 2) Women find acceptable

        Also when I said that the sexy images of men can look gay to women it’s not necessarily because they’re thinking about gay men looking at them, But any man looking at them. I’m not sure if that point was clear.

    • I think to an extent we all objectify people. Like when we see a crowd of people and attractive people, we don’t know the people they are, all we see are their bodies, the facade they present to the outside world. I mean if we don’t engage in them or pay attention to what they’re feeling. But yes, it’s more a technicality. While there is some objectification of men it’s not to the degree of women.

  16. I enjoy sitting with my girlfriends and people watch. The one thing that always catches our eyes are good looking men, and our conversation always lingers around what great haircut he has, what great blazer he’s matching with polished shoes, and “if he treats his shoes with such care, imagine how organized his life must be.” So what do most girls see in guys? Their clothes and cute face! They look sexy in them, not because their butts look great in jeans, but because we find in them qualities we value in men. Now if I am sitting with my male friends, their eyes sweep over chests and tight fitted dresses, often times without a glimpse at the girl’s eyes. So, if asked if I objectify men, I’d say no. I’d pick a guy I can connect with over one that looks like a model but has no connection. I think my friend’s zooming eyes into breasts speak for themselves, men enjoy sexual sightings.

    • So you care more about the clothes he’s wearing than the person he is? Well I suppose clothes do say something about a person, but still, is judging based on things like that any less ‘shallow’?

    • You don’t seem to objectify men, but you do materialize them, which is something not uncommon to women. You said his blazer and his shoes, and how organized his life is based upon those material things.

      I think alot of women do materialize men, by his resources. Men objectify women and women materialize men. Strippers, pornstars, women on dates, wives. All women want a man that dresses nice, and has life organized with material things. Men don’t care if the woman they are with half the time are organized, alot of them just want her naked at home in the kitchen, (sorry it’s a fantasy of mines) lol.

      • I like this line “You don’t seem to objectify men, but you do materialize them” I don’t know if its true for the person it’s directed at, but I think it’s insightful. The most common female equivalent of objectification is materialization: when a male person is evaluated solely by the symbols of their access to resources. And nice look at the reciprocal equivalent of the fantasies.

  17. Well my recollection of Playboy is that they have a list of the centrefold’s favorite food, favorite movie,etc.

    • Not all pornography makes any effort to round out who a woman is. And certainly not what’s most popular these days — the two minute clips on the Internet. And Playboy was different among “Men’s magazines” in that regard.

      For the playmates for whom more dimensions are added, and depending on what those dimensions are, that may create a path away from pure objectification. The question then is how a man who uses the magazine for masturbation uses that information. He may ignore it all, or he may not.

      The big concern with objectification is how it leads men to treat real women. If adding more dimensions to the playmate can help men to see women as people whose feelings and concerns matter, then that’s a good thing. If men continue to see women as just a means to their sexual gratification, then it’s not helpful.

      And some men — perhaps many of them — may be able to separate porn from fantasy, As one of my male students wrote about: http://broadblogs.com/2012/10/22/porn-fantasy-mistaken-for-reality/

      But you can see how many men take the view that women are just a means to their sexual gratification by the number of guys who comment on my blog insisting a couple of things. 1) that women should do what men want, sexually, even if it is emotionally or physically painful for their partners. Or that it’s okay for men to be rude to their partners and ogle other women, for instance. And I use the term partner here loosely — you wouldn’t treat a true partner that way.

      By the way, based on some feedback from you and A couple other people, I revised the post for clarity.

      • While I don’t claim to have never watched porn, I find myself being turned off by mainstream porn. I do find it definitely can be, especially if you’re addicted to it, detrimental to relationships in general. It makes you more animalistic, I suppose, and you sort an attractive woman and imagine doing her doggy style. I dislike crude terms like ‘bang’, or ‘tap’ in a way, they seem sort of a bit mechanical and devoid of emotion, as well as vaguely violent. Also on a lot of porn sites a lot of the ads and well titles in general are pretty misogynistic, not to mention lame ads for say enlarging your penis. I mean seriously, who even believes that junk?

        I don’t know if you’ve discussed this, but I am sure the rise of women watching porn simply furthers what you are talking about.

      • Unfortunately, porn has become poor sex ed for both men and women. But more so for men because they’re still much more likely to watch it.

    • So why is the Target catalog not of concern to you since it portrays men and women as objects merely to model clothes without showing us their concerns, even though they may have been not emotionally in a good place that day?

      Why is Burger King not of concern to you, since the people there are trained to supply you with burgers without telling us their concerns, even though emotionally they may not be wanting to serve you a burger that day?

      Why are all the shows and movies on TV ok, since they often portray people being mean and rude to each other?

      Actually, half the porn out there on the internet starts by interviewing the girl for a couple of minutes. I doubt you are in a position to know what is popular. And if even only half of it is doing it, that’s infinitely more information than the Target catalog, and infinitely more information than supplied in Tiger Beat. That means anyone watching a lot of porn will be confronted with a lot of interviews, unless they specifically go out of their way to avoid it.

      • As I said:

        The big concern with objectification is how it leads us to treat each other. Too often, men end up seeing women as just a means to their sexual gratification. A number of guys commenting on my blog insist that women should do what men want, sexually, even if it is emotionally or physically painful for their partners. Or that it’s okay for men to be rude to their partners and ogle other women, for instance. (I use the term partner here loosely — you wouldn’t treat a true partner that way.) Other men are involved in sex trafficking of women, whether buying or selling them.

        Seeing a model as just a model, and not seen the whole person, shouldn’t have that effect.

        You may see a waitress as a server and fail to see all the multi-dimensions of her. That can affect how you relate to her. The more you see her as a human being the more humanely you will treat her. If she is just a serving-object, you may treat her poorly. And if she is a sex object she may become the target of harassment.

        I don’t like movies and TV shows that treat people as being mean to each other. But that’s not the focus of this blog, Unless it involves gender. In which case I have blogged on that sort of thing quite a bit.

        While I haven’t seen very much pornography I have seen plenty of studies that talk about it. For instance, in one piece the actress was asked what was going to happen. She said she was going to get beaten.

        Of course, it’s easier to beat someone, and enjoy watching it, if you only see them as a sex object that exists for your gratification.

  18. a few things:

    1- You say that objectify of women is bad, you list a lot of bad things that happen to women. and at some point we learn how bad is that, But the next to do is “we need to objectify men because es good”, sorry, but still don’t understand, objectify is good or bad?.

    2- You always tell the good things of tribal society, but, we don’t live in that society, to me looks like you don’t want to lose anything. Yes, objectify is bad for women, but we need objectify men. And you know about that tribal society that don’t objectify men/women?, yes, we need to be like them, but, i dont want to live in a world where men are not objectify.

    to me looks like you say a lot of good things from tribal society, but you never could live in a place like that.

    • I didn’t say we should objectify men. Of course we shouldn’t.

      I only bring up tribal societies because some men think that it’s men’s nature to objectify women, and tribal society shows that that isn’t true. Most of the human experience has been lived tribally, by the way

  19. I do agree with you that “objectification” is a learned behavior. I think media is a big culprit in this. Perhaps even in the more patriarchal societies of the past, objectification of women wasn’t as much common as it is now. You do mention at several places in the article that this is not because women are better. I think it agrees with my theory that women themselves have also learnt to objectify other women upto some degree (maybe not the same amount). Perhaps, this explains why so many women admit to finding women’s bodies sexier than men’s while still insisting that they are heterosexual and cannot be involved with women emotionally or sexually. In fact, I even remember reading an article posted by you in the past that talked about how women themselves have learnt to fetishize breasts. While fetishizing and objectifying aren’t necessarily the same thing, I do believe that most heterosexual women who fetishize other women’s bodies are also influenced by the media’s objectification of women’s bodies…. I’d love to know what you think about this.

    • Yes, fetishes and sexual objectification are different things, yet interrelated in that it’s hard to have objectification without the fetish. The fetish is what motivates the sexual objectification — seeing something as existing to satisfy your sexual needs. If the thing you are looking at is just pretty, it’s not the same effect at all.

  20. “Their clothes and cute face! They look sexy in them, not because their butts look great in jeans, but because we find in them qualities we value in men. Now if I am sitting with my male friends”

    Which is sad how weak women’s libido’s are. This sounds like it should be great that you and other women care more about the man, etc, but guy’s like to know women perve on them or might have thoughts about their bodies and check them out, etc. This stuff is boring and a let down when seeing women say this.

  21. “I mentioned in the article that a few women may manage to truly objectify men, and you may be one of them. But since we live in a culture that for the most part ignores the male body, women-at-large rarely do it.”

    So why do gay men lust and objectify men’s bodies then? You say it’s because men’s bodies aren’t sexualized and selectively hidden and shown. I can’t be simply that, the only difference for straigh women and gay men is that women can have the “slut” fact for being sexualm and thus repression that way. But as far as bodies shown, there isn’t a difference. Afterall, most tv and channel are heteronormative right?: They have women’s bodies sexualized all over the place and while it might cause gay men to be more appreciative of women’s bodies or some maybe fascinated with boobs too sometimes. It still doesn’t stop gay men from sexualizing men’s bodies and objectifying men’s bodies even without the images on regular tv and magazines.

    Gay men search out nude images on the web and maybe magazines and porn of men’s bodies shirtless or naked even though the media and society doesn’t sexualize men’s bodies. It doesn’t matter, as gay men inherently sexualize themselves. It’s the same and I would bet money. If things were in reversed and men’s bodies were all over the media sexualized and women not so much. I’d probably be more appreciative of a fit male physique and maybe more self conscious, however, you won’t find me finding a male body part “alluring” and my mind still very interested in women’s bodies and looking at them and looking them up on the web too. Like I said, it doesn’t slow down men’s visual fixation on men;s bodies even though sexualization is primarily of women’s bodies.

    here’s an article

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201206/gay-or-straight-male-is-male-is-male

    There;s no camera panning over a man’s chest, because gay men being watches of regualr tv see what straight women see and the abundance of women’s bodies sexualized yet, here’s a snippet from the article. I’ll show the snippet in the next post to not make this one too long

    • It’s confusing because we know that women can be visual. Plenty of them learn the breasts fetish even though they are straight. A lot of those women end up on my blog because they have googled something, trying to find out what’s going on. And they learned this from the media. On the other hand, tribal men don’t learn the breasts fetish. And European men of the 1980s didn’t get too aroused by breasts either. So it’s clearly something that is learned — or not learned.

      In gay culture there is plenty of pornography that is shared so that gay men could learn it that way. They’ve got a culture of porn.

      But gay men have an additional thing. Men are much more consistent at having orgasms. Especially when they are young they tend to have one every time. So it’s easy for them to associate sexuality with orgasm. And that can create a visual fetish for a penis (one cause of the orgasm) — even for straight men who watch “facials.” Women’s orgasms are harder to come by, so maybe it’s harder to get the associational conditioning.

      • What do you mean by “women’s orgasms are harder to come by”? Do you just mean in porn, because there’s no female “money shot” and hers is shown more through moaning/writhing around?

        Also, you wrote that when men are young they tend to have an orgasm every time. Was this in reference to sex or masturbation? Because I can fully understand how a woman may not orgasm every time she has sex since she could have a selfish partner, but I’d be hard pressed to believe that a woman wouldn’t orgasm each time she masturbates (unless she’s from a very strict religion).

      • From an earlier post:

        First, nearly half of U.S. women have experienced significant sexual dysfunction: no or low interest, painful sex, and difficulty achieving orgasm, for instance. Only 29% of women reported having an orgasm with her partner in one study of 1,600. And unfortunately, even women who reliably reach orgasm typically need a vibrator.

        http://broadblogs.com/2014/04/14/are-women-sexually-ravenous/

        And it commonly takes women a lot of time to climax.

      • Thanks, I didn’t know it was this bad. 29% is even lower than I expected…I thought it’d be closer to 75%.

        I like using sex toys, including vibrators, but I’ve never experienced a time when they were the sole way I could orgasm. In fact, I make it a point to only use them when I’m pressed for time, since I read that repeated unnecessary use could make it difficult to orgasm without one.

        I also didn’t know that it typically takes women a lot of time to orgasm. This might be tmi, so please edit if you need to, but I can go from “0” to “finish” in less than 2 minutes…sometimes less if I’ve been thinking about sex for a while prior.

        This makes a lot of sense now though. Previously, I was incredibly confused about why more women didn’t want to have sex or acted like it was a chore. I mean…it’s sex. It’s fun and feels awesome on a physical/mental level. But if this many women have pain or arousal difficulties, then that’s different.

        I feel very lucky now, when it comes to sex.

      • I suppose…but now I feel poorly because of it. It’s like when my sisters need to take birth control just to get through their periods without staying curled up in bed from the pain, and I’ve no painful or uncomfortable symptoms myself. I can’t change how my body reacts or doesn’t react, but I feel bad for those who have a rougher time than I.

      • Yes. One of the reasons I have a blog is to try to deal with issues surrounding sexual repression. Something I’ve struggled with.

    • Gay culture sexualises men much more than straight culture. I mean look at a lot of the pride parades…how often do you see a man posing or rubbing his ass suggestively outside the gay sub-culture? This is no surprise, because men have stronger or more obvious object-oriented libidos. I sometimes wonder if some gay men repress their appreciation for women, actually. There’s this stereotype that gay men find breasts disgusting, but for the most part gay men do not. Some also have the breast fetish, even if they say are turned off by the vagina (I’ve heard a lot of women say that btw,well more other women’s vaginas at least). I think it’s silly, while I’m straight I don’t find the average male body or penis disgusting, I mean I have a penis, I’m familiar with it, why would it gross me out? I mean the penis as is, of course I don’t want to see strange men flipping me their johnsons. But yeah, not being gay I can’t really speak for them, and not all gay men are the same…

      • @namelesscomposer

        That’s because penises, much like vulvas, are often quite lovely to behold. There’s a few really cool tumblrs that have pics of vaginas, clits, testicles, and penises. I will readily admit that viewing these male organs is a huge turn on. I guess for the vast majority of women, this isn’t true, but I’m hardly complaining

      • Yes, the reproductive organs have been seen as really vulgar, so many are turned off by them or think they’re rude/gross.

  22. But if women could objectify the male body, wouldn’t the media have already exploited that in the same way they objectify the female body?
    Companies and media are all about profit, if they could use the objectification of the male body that would open an entire new market for profit.
    But they don’t really bother in exploiting the male body. That could indicate that the media have realized that women can not objectify the male body in a sexual way so investing in images of male bodies would be a waste of time and money.

    In the western society the female body has been fetishized
    In the western society the male body has not been fetishized
    In the tribal societies the female body has not been fetishized

    Is there a society that has actually fetishized the male body so that would indicate that women can indeed fetishize and objectify the male body?

    • I suspect the reason they haven’t done this is that historically men have run media. So they get the idea to do something sexy to get peoples attention. What’s sexy to them? For most men, women.

      Fast forward a few years and we now have women making these kinds of decisions. We are seeing men more often. But women have also internalized the culture. So that women often seem sexier to women, too.

    • The thing is, it’s impossible to separate biology from culture. Some try, but I believe it’s impossible to. Any ‘scientific experiment’ will simply not be able to discount it. Human beings are a species where teaching is very important, unlike say crocodiles which work mostly on inbuilt instinct. That’s why that standards of beauty vary widely among different cultures. I agree, women probably do not ‘naturally’ objectify men to the same degree as women, but they still do to an extent.

      I actually think the widespread bisexuality of some societies, including say ancient Greece, could have something to do with the sexualisation or fetishisation of the male. Of course, we don’t really know how things were like then, but I would say at the very least things were probably not so lopsided. I also think male homosexual behaviour, and indeed female, might be an adaptation to population control. Like to sort of relieve the drive – which is still principally about procreation and reproduction (which some seem to forget) when it gets a bit too much.

      There have been studies about bonobo society. Now we’re different from bonobos, and I’m not saying we should do anything animals do, but at least from what I’ve read in bonobo society sex is a free for all. Basically, literally everyone having sex (which often just consists of literally a few seconds of genital rubbing many times a day) with everyone. We’re even talking incest and pedophilia so yeah maybe not as idealistic as some would think :p

  23. Maybe objectification is a very specific thing if you define it as the body… but change it to ‘focus on one aspect without considering the whole of the person’ and you’ll find a female equivalent. Perhaps women are taught to ‘successify’ men. There’s a strong ideal of what constitutes a winner among men, and perhaps women respond to that.

    That’s not really about what the rest of a person is either. Having said that, being successful / confident, even just outwardly, has a lot more to do with personality than body, so I do get the fact that physical objectification is a greater concern.

  24. “And they learned this from the media. On the other hand, tribal men don’t learn the breasts fetish. And European men of the 1980s didn’t get too aroused by breasts either.”

    Doesn’t seem that gay men learn it or not anywhere near to how women learn the breast fetish. Tribal don’t have breast fetish because the primitive culture, women and people are naked and it’s a culture that is completely desexualized. European men didn’t have the shock value or got used to breasts at the beach because topless beaches were acceptable and men got used to it and such setting. Though I’m sure those same european men would get distracted if these women were topless, say at the mall or park or just took their tops off in other settings.

    “Especially when they are young they tend to have one every time. So it’s easy for them to associate sexuality with orgasm. And that can create a visual fetish for a penis (one cause of the orgasm) — even for straight men who watch “facials.” Women’s orgasms are harder to come by, so maybe it’s harder to get the associational conditioning.”

    Ok maybe for a visual fetish towards a penis, but how do you explain the fixation towards other body parts? Gay men though not on the level with men towards women’s boobs, gay men have a pretty strong fixation to men’s pecs, definitely more so than women toward men’s chests it seems. I typed something on google before regarding pecs seeing if there’d be something with women talking or about men’s body parts.

    But what I’ve gained is, I’m pretty sure writing something about men’s chests or whatever,there will be tons of links shown of gay men obessing over said body part, like the same for boobs and straight men showing pics or talking about tits. It seems like even though women’s bodies are sexualized mroe and hidden, gay men seem more fixated on men’s bodies than bisexual or lesbian women toward women’s bodies. You type in breasts, ass and stuff, like 95% of that stuff is from men, not lesbian or bisexual women perving on women. Just like the same with men’s bodies, probably 90% would be gay men looking it up or creating links and not straigh women.

    Why it wasn’t because of a higher libido, why would gay men fixate on men’s chest when its not hidden and they get to see is casually like straight women do? Why don’t lesbian women fixate on boobs to the extent gay men do for men’s bodies? Plus many gay men don’t like in gay communities and amongst straight people so they aren’t celebrating it with other gays. To share and look up porn, a person has to be horny and stimulated first to look up porn. If media and sexualizing from ads, etc does it for straight men to want to look up naked women. What provokes or would make a gay man want to look up and be horny to look up men’s bodies when they don’t get the sexualization of men’s bodies on tv that straigh men get of women’s bodies to provoke such interest? Seems to be hardwired in gay men.

  25. “And they learned this from the media. On the other hand, tribal men don’t learn the breasts fetish. And European men of the 1980s didn’t get too aroused by breasts either.”

    Doesn’t seem that gay men learn it or not anywhere near to how women learn the breast fetish. Tribal don’t have breast fetish because the primitive culture, women and people are naked and it’s a culture that is completely desexualized. European men didn’t have the shock value or got used to breasts at the beach because topless beaches were acceptable and men got used to it and such setting. Though I’m sure those same european men would get distracted if these women were topless, say at the mall or park or just took their tops off in other settings.

    Ok I’ll leave this part, but to the other points that I’ll get to the gist with.

    You said because men can orgasm easier they might relate to penises as a source of orgams or something like that for gay men. But gay men are pretty fixated on men’s pecs, not like straigh tmen to boobs, but seems to definitely be more so than straight women towards men’s chests. I’d say gay men even seem more fixated by men’s chests than even many lesbians and bisexual. I don’t really care to do so, but if you type something about pecs, you’ll see probably a ton of links with gay men and their turn on of men’s chests and probably other stuff. Type in boobs, you’ll see links on google of straight men talking about, showing pictures of topless women, not lesbian women talking about or looking at them.

    Plus men are shirtless all the time yet gay men are still quite interested in seeing shirtless men more so than it seems even lesbians toward women’s breasts. You’re more likely to see gay stuff with gay men looking at it than lesbians looking at women’s bodies and more often it’s striaght men doing so. Plus one has to be provoked sexually to want to look at porn so porn culture means nothing as one has to be visual to want to look it up. Gay men don’t have men’s bodies sexualized on tv to provoke that, yet they still want to see men’s nude bodies online.

    • I don’t know the answer to your question. I can only speculate. Men and women alike come to expect that sexualized images are meant for men. If a woman sees a sexy man it can appear “gay” to her and the gayness is kind of a turnoff. Maybe that’s because the image is experienced as being meant for someone else — the image isn’t seen as a guy who would be drawn to her. But if a gay man sees a sexy man and it appears gay to him, that would be a turn-on. So it’s no wonder that gay culture would create sexy images like these for themselves.

  26. yeah well pics of a gay posing in a thong or speedo, obviously that could look gay to straight women but not gay men. But what about completely nude, or full frontal? that doesn’t look gay. As well as what abot a man simply being shirtless? that’s not gay and women see the same shirtless pix and don’t think gay yet, gay men can sexualize a shirtltss man or definitely more so than women do or would

    • Just looking at the penis isn’t necessarily real attractive to most women, and they can seem threatening unless it’s a man you love. But because men associate orgasms with them (and women usually don’t) gay men are probably pretty turned on at seeing one. That’s what I was talking about in one of my recent comments to you.

      • Sorry if this is a naive question, but how can a mere picture of a penis be threatening? Does that mean vaginas can be threatening too?

        I suppose if a woman or man was raped then the sight of the offending organ might cause them to be uncomfortable, but even I never had any problems looking at male bodies or watching porn despite my CAS. It just doesn’t mesh to me…

      • A lot of pictures can seem threatening.

      • Even if it’s just a picture with no violence or other factors involved? I can definitely see being made uncomfortable or perhaps threatened by a picture of bdsm/kink (especially if the viewer isn’t into that) or atypical/nonsexual violence that would just be upsetting by itself. But I’m having a lot of trouble grasping the idea of being threatened by someone’s body, and even moreso if the “threat” is contained in a picture that can’t actually harm the viewer, or they could look away from easily.

        Not trying to be a difficult commenter, but it’s an odd hypothetical situation. For example, I’m deathly afraid of roller coasters and can be made quite uncomfortable if a friend jokes about me going on one…doubly so if we are physically at an amusement park. But I’d never be afraid or threatened of a picture of a roller coaster, and can even take a coaster “ride” at an IMAX theater without any discomfort because I know it’s not real.

      • I don’t know if I can explain it to you. Have you seen this post on the difference in how men and women react to nudity? http://broadblogs.com/2011/10/12/gendered-reactions-to-male-and-female-nudity/

        I can take a guess as to why you get these different reactions, or specifically, why women are so uncomfortable. Sexualized images are almost always meant for men and on some level, women just aren’t used to it. Maybe men seem kind of feminized when they are put in that same role of sexy object. Nudity has a sense of vulnerability and maybe some women are uncomfortable with that sort of feminine role, as well. Maybe we are just so unused to it that just seems wrong, like we are really invading someone’s privacy. A few weeks ago there was a picture of Kate Middleton and A nearly new man from the Pacific islands. I felt really uncomfortable looking at him, like I was invading his privacy and sexualizing him, something that I am very I’m accustomed to. And I realized that I see images of women like that all the time and don’t think twice — I’m just so used to it.

      • Hmm, ok. Before I make a more thoughtful comment, let me ask this;

        Do you think that people from countries where nudity is more common/accepted also feel a sense of vulnerability from it? Or is this an aspect of the weird love/hate relationship the US has with sex and the human body?

        I’m just remembering some parts of my childhood where I was raised in a more European style, and how it might have affected my views on this subject.

  27. and another thing I found peculiar too. Apparently gay men are just as likely as straight men to have a foot fetish. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100129084031AAGjta5

    I just googled the question and saw that. However when googling, women straight or lesbian don’t seem to have a foot fetish, or if so, much much less than or very rare. Why would men have a fetish towards feet when they are seen so casually, they aren’t hidden or selectively shown. You can say because women’s bodies are sexualized in tv and media, etc. But men’s bodies aren’t yet apparently a decent amount of gay men have or can have foot fetish towards men’s feet. If its because of sexualization, then shouldn’t lesbians have such foot fetish towards women’s feet? But they don’t seem to. Men seem to have more fetishes and I guess easier to do so than women even if such gender or bodies aren’t sexualized and women not so much even if such gender IS sexualizied (lesbian-women’s bodies).

    • I don’t know a lot about this. From the little I’ve heard perhaps these things are true:

      The breast fetish, hair fetish, and ankle fetish all have social patterns — they are distributed unevenly throughout the world population, and you find them in societies where women cover those body parts. By contrast, the foot fetish doesn’t seem to have a social pattern. So who knows, maybe in this case something strange happened with some biological wiring. I don’t know how to explain it.

      Men who have breast fetishes tend to be less aroused by seeing the same woman’s breasts over and over again. Does that happen with the foot fetish as well?

      But I suspect that Afghanistan, under the Taliban, may well have a stronger foot fetish than other places in the world, since it’s one of the few places where women’s feet — and every other part of her body — are culturally eroticized.

    • The reason gay men sexualize the male body more than women is simply because men aren’t made to feel ashamed for being a sexual person. From my experience when I was a teen girl, even when girls talked about the male body it would have to be something we whisper to each other about and then giggle because we were doing something naughty. The fact that many girls feel that them liking a man’s butt or his abs, arms or shoulders is something they feel naughty about and “un ladylike” shows that our culture doesn’t find it appropriate for girls to have their own sexuality. It’s what boys do and when they do it it’s considered boys being boys. In middle school one of my teacher actually spoke to our parents after hearing us talk about boys and their bodies from swim class. From that I learned it’s okay for us to find boys cute but we must not fixate on their body parts yet boys talked about girls and our boobs and butts all day long and no one saw it as a problem.
      Girls also feel shame for masturbating and many don’t even discover it until they’re in college. Many girls who might have tried touching themselves when they are really young stop after learning about how they’re not supposed to do that and instead they learn to be grossed out by their own lady parts. In this kind of society girls learn sex isn’t for them and its something done to them. Even if you fight all those teachings embedded in our society many girls still have hangups about things relating with sex. So it’s no wonder girls find it harder to sexualize male body parts because they feel it’s not meant for them or even if they’re turned out by it they still feel uncomfortable because of years of conditioning. We start to see the world through the male gaze, and sometimes may find breasts erotic but feel uncomfortable when a man is being sexy because through the male gaze that would be gay.

      • @Hina

        You state that many women don’t start masturbation till college, and also that many young girls are taught that their genitals are dirty. Do you have any stats or studies to back this up? (Not saying I don’t believe you, but you make it sound as though it’s pretty common knowledge so was just wondering if there were actual statistics behind this.)

      • @ Tarnished –

        I’m on the road at the moment but you can type something like, women feel their vaginas are dirty or girls are taught their vaginas are dirty into google and you will find pages of results on this topic.

  28. so the answer to the question is:
    No, women don’t objectify men

  29. “Bob, that’s kinda silly, don’t you think? A good number of women wear thongs, but few report enjoying or wanting anal sex. I see no reason that seeing either a man or a woman in a thong would make someone automatically expect said person to be into anal sex. Besides, there’s a huge difference between wearing a thong with a tiny string in one’s anal region (which I hate, and think is incredibly uncomfortable) to actually having a penis or sex toy in one’s anal cavity (which can be quite nice and pleasurable).”

    But women are penetrated right? I didn’t mean necessarily anal sex. but doggy style sex is a pretty common position right? A man behind a woman pounding her pussy, not anus, but still banging her ass right. It just makes sense for women to atleast wear such stuff, wereas, the comfortableness I don’t get for a man. Yes, I’d have strong view that a man has to be bisexual atleast if he likes his woman to bang him with as strap on, him wanting to be “fucked” and such thing basically a male, phallic object attached to the woman. If a man likes that, I can’t help thinking he’d be open for the real thing too.

  30. Do women ogle men?

    • I can’t tell from this video whether what’s happening is what the guy says is happening, or if some guy is just making it up. And if the women are in on it as actresses or if he’s just making up something about them. And if it is happening the way he says it is, is it arousing or is she “playing at” objectifying guys — turning it around because she wants to feel powerful in an objectifying way for a change. If this is actually a true portrayal of what this guy says it is, it is unusual. I said in the post that some women may actually manage to objectify guys, in which case, this could be one of those examples.

  31. why would she be watching guy’s crotches other than for messing around? I know some women judge a man’s “size” and might analyze that, but I find it hard to believe women ogle men’s dicks. Because while dicks can be fun for women,aesthetically, they’re kind of funny looking. I find a nice, tight pussy attractive if neatly trimmed and can be turned on, but I don’t go looking up vagina pics on the internet. And I don’t go checking out women’s crotches either. Boobs and butts, legs, pretty faces, hair, etc yes, but not their crotch, so I doubt women ogle men’s dicks.

  32. “I think one of the oddest things is society’s tendency to view the penetrator as “dominant” and the penetrated as “submissive”. This is weird, at least in my own sexual experience. When I’m having sex with my lover, the only time I feel “submissive” is when we are role-playing in that fashion…otherwise, we are equals. (I’ve asked him about this too, and he’s of the same mindset.)”

    Yeah I don’t think its simply penetration that’s dominant, but how men have sex or can have sex or the positions and acts. I think I had a debate wth a woman about dominance and I guess I realize it’s subjective upon the person and people have different views of what is dominant and what isn’t. Some it’s commands and instruction, other’s its acts and action and everything else. But this woman said how her guy was dominant or whatever, though she would bang him with a strap on. Her view was the one taking charge and deciding was the dominant one.

    Even though I can’t wrap my head around a man being fucked in the ass, being dominant, it seems like he’s consenting to be dominated. But what I mean too is, to me a woman can do the act and be in charge and command, but if a man has his woman in what I call the “folded lawn chair position” fee just about to her head and just banging the shit out of her and beating her pussy up. Well yeah, it feels very dominant, and looks very dominant, as it’s a very aggressive sex position, act and he is basically ravaging her. So role play or not, he is kind of “dominating” her body in such positions like that. I guess that’s why some see it that way, because women don’t have sex or women don’t ravage men in the equivalance like me do sexually.

  33. like men do sexually i meant. typo

  34. Yes! I blogged about objectification a while back, sparked by a comment about a man saying he wished somebody would objectify him, and in speaking to my male friends (AFTER they’d read the post) they were still like, but yeah, it’d be nice to have that kind of attention. Facepalm.

    • Yes, A few guys have said the same thing in comments on this blog. Of course, they haven’t had any experience with the downside. And they likely confuse “Sexy” with “objectification” — no matter how much I try to make the distinction clear.

  35. “Yes, A few guys have said the same thing in comments on this blog. Of course, they haven’t had any experience with the downside. And they likely confuse “Sexy” with “objectification” — no matter how much I try to make the distinction clear.”

    You see this? Ok it makes the guy’s look bad, and guy’s aren;t like that, but I thought it was funny showing the differences with men and women.

  36. I find this idea very interesting because it’s true, women rarely ever objectify men. As you mentioned there is Playgirl for women to objectify men but there are at least 5 male magazines you mentioned in which women are objectified. This imbalance definitely has to do with our culture because it tends to focus on females as sex objects and their bodies have become a socially constructed fetish. As you mentioned, women and men are taught at a young age that women’s bodies are something to be fantasized about and objectified. This culturally taught fetish completely stems from our patriarchal society because women have been constantly repressed and slut-shamed. Our patriarchal society then creates this internalization (objectifying women) and social patterns are created and followed by everyone because it is seen as the “norm”. The social patterns created thus indicate how sexuality is viewed in our patriarchal society-it is ok for men to ogle women but not ok for women to seek their own sexual pleasures.

  37. Michael Bernal

    I can definitely understand how men by a majority objectify women a majority of the time. I do think it is more rare for the opposite to be admitted to or to be seen that way, but I think it is happening more often and isn’t as rare as we might think. Of course surveys could be taken etc., but I do believe more women are objectifying men. I don’t agree with men thinking women should do whatever they want to please their needs because I don’t think it’s ever like that unless a women wants to go against what she believes in and the desires she wants just to disrespect herself. Now I believe that our society has introduced us to and possibly given us an idea about what we think when asked if women objectify men and some might say yes and some might say no but in general I feel it is a learned helplessness.

  38. I think that women can objectify men but do they? no, I believe for the most part they don’t. Through my personal experience when ever one of my friends talks about a guy they find attractive, they might mention that he’s cute but for the most part describe something from his personality. For example he’s sweet, or he’s funny, or very smart ect. But when ever I hear some of my guy friends describe a girl they are interested in they will quickly mention her body or body parts like “she has a great butt/rack/legs”. So right from the start the girl is sex object not a whole human being. Women I think focus on the whole picture, we value all qualities possessed by men. That’s why in magazines like tiger beat they add articles on the guys likes/dislikes and their lives because most women are not just interested in a pretty face but the whole package.

  39. “Thanks. And yeah it’s hard for me to figure out how guys can watch that and go, “Yeah, I’d totally love that.”

    Well look at those girls, they are Hot. That one asian girl and her body, wow. Guy’s love to be lusted after be pretty girls even if the girl is not that cute, guys usually still find it flattering

  40. “But when ever I hear some of my guy friends describe a girl they are interested in they will quickly mention her body or body parts like “she has a great butt/rack/legs”. So right from the start the girl is sex object not a whole human being. ”

    I think you’d be surprised. I’ve heard some say women or girls can be pretty raunchy or talk more about sex when together or lockerroom or private girl talk. With girls actually saying how one guy is hot and what a nice ass he has, and guy’s bodies. I think girls are more private about it though and discreet because they don’t want to be seen as sluts, whereas guys are more open about it.

    • Sure, girls can sometimes do this. But there’s also a question about what they are doing. Because men’s bodies aren’t fetishized, they probably aren’t doing the same thing that men are doing. But sometimes men are doing it more to create a sense of superiority, Which women can do too. Which isn’t to say that they don’t also find the body part attractive. But since it isn’t fetishized and eroticized by our culture, she is still doing something different from what the guys doing.

  41. I was just thinking about this topic when I was watching The Bachelorette the other night. I think that women objectify men, but in a different way. Yes, majority don’t like to look at porno mags like Playgirl, but that doesn’t they don’t objectify men in different ways. For example, on The Bachelorette, that week’s group date was that the men were brought to a strip club and surprised with the fact that they would be performing in front of a live audience. So, they practiced and they all stripped. However, it got me thinking about how demeaning and rude that was to the guys. What if they didn’t want to do it but felt like they had to in order to stay in the competition? If they did this on The Bachelor and made the women strip, it would be considered disgusting and disrespectful. So, from that, I see that women objectify men (maybe not on a daily basis), but for some reason, it is more easily acceptable and maybe even “funny” if a girl does it to a guy, but wrong if a guy does it to a girl.

    • The reason is seemed funny is that they weren’t actually sexually objectifying the guys. Lust isn’t funny. Of course, what they did was still wrong.

      To sexually objectify someone you must be seeing them as an object that exists only for your sexual gratification. That’s not what was happening there. Instead, the women were unsuccessfully “playing at” objectifying them. But what the did was wrong, anyway, as they are treating them disrespectfully by making them appear ridiculous and vulnerable.

  42. I beg to differ, it’s bit of a stretch to think all women are the same. All I’ve heard before is “He’s hot,” and then they go about their business. I’m sorry, but women DO objectify men, and until you’ve been on our end, you’ll never understand.

    I’ve also had my butt recorded by a female classmate, so this whole article is off.

    • First, I never said that all women are the same. I said that some women quite likely do objectify men. I just said that women are less likely to do so because we live in a culture that does not objectify men — or hardly at all. So women don’t generally learn to do this — and often learn to do the opposite: be embarrassed by male sexuality and the male body, or see it as “gay.” I get the sense that you didn’t actually read the whole post.

      Now, whether this girl was objectifying you or not depends. There are at least 4 possibilities:

      1) she got sexual gratification from focusing her camera on your butt. That would be an example of objectifying you.

      2) she was playing at getting sexual gratification from focusing her camera on your butt. That would be an example of playing at objectifying you, in order to turn the tables and make things more equal. A number of women have told me that they sometimes try to objectify men in order to make things more fair, but that they don’t actually get any sexual satisfaction from it, And they find it discouraging.

      3) she was trying to humiliate you, which is completely different from gaining sexual gratification from focusing on your butt

      4) but sometimes humiliation can cause sexual gratification. So she could be getting sexual gratification, but it’s coming from humiliation and not objectification.

      Talking about being on the guys end, all I can say is that guys constantly complain about women not objectifying them.

      By the way, see my comment policy.

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