Why Some Guys Want to Screw You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seeking to demonstrate manhood, men must be aware of what they wear or drive, or how they walk, talk, eat, stand, sit… Some meet stupidly dangerous challenges. A few may act cruelly, showing no fear or vulnerability.

Those who don’t conform may be named:

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

Yet women aren’t afraid of being called tomboy or daddy’s girl. And when women are told, “You the man!” that’s good!

But then, when men act like women they are seen as lowering themselves. Women are not seen as putting themselves down by taking on masculine traits.

Unfortunately, some men think that f’ing women is a means of displaying “manhood” – or certain notions of what that means.

When manhood is seen as powerful, dominant, aggressive, violent, and potent, screwing women – whether they want it or not – can make men feel “they are all that” as they conquer women, getting them to submit sexually, as in competition, or war. These men aren’t vulnerable to women. They don’t have “girly” emotion-filled relationships, or experience emotional dependence. No. They are REAL men.

Even words that some men use for sex can sound violent. Here’s a list some young men in my classes made: Screw, f-, bang, nail, ram, smash, smack that, beat those, cut, boning, git-in-em-guts.

Really, when guys try so hard to be tough, they are probably bellowing to hide insecurity. So busy figuring out who they are and wanting to believe they are men, the drive for basic self-worth looms larger than sex, safety or shame in cruelty.

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

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social 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. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on August 8, 2011, in feminism, gender, men, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I agree that these terms are hurtful and probably will offend those having sex. It really comes down to the action a person takes. When a girl and guy have rough sex and enjoy it, it’s grammatically correct to say “i beat that p***y up.” A women would dominate men in sex and she would go to her friends and brag how “she rode us to death” or “owned him.” context is everything… when it comes to consensual sex and its terms it really goes both ways!

    This doesn’t mean its ok to say those things. It’s a rude way of speaking and should be avoided.

    • Might be grammatically correct, but I agree with your last sentence.

      Not sure women are as inclined to use the manner of speaking you describe, given the mindset most women take toward sex (love, connection). And women are less into dominating men, than men women (as I said, I’ve never even heard of a woman feeling she needed to prove her womanhood or her dominance). Women, if you have different experiences, I’d be interested to hear from you.

      btw, by my post I don’t mean to imply that men are by nature more hurtful. First, most men don’t behave that way. Second, if women had the same sorts of pressures as men, I suspect they’d likely behave similarly.

      • Well, if you’re interested to hear from us… Personally, I find a certain allure in the idea of role-reversal in bed for the sake of variety, to the point of me donning a strapon. The idea of helping a man explore and feel comfortable with his more “submissive” side excites me. I’m not sure if you could call that a odmination fantasy.

        On the other hand, I’ve never bragged of riding a man hard or something like this to anyone, and I really cannot imagine any woman doing it either. In discussing my sexual experiences with girlfirends, I would only expound on what was weird/disrespectful i.e. a warning sign, and if it was good, I would just say it was good, and that’s that.

      • Thanks for sharing.

        Probably because you’re not trying to prove anything when you’re having sex. You’re just enjoying sex. But many men are proving manhood through sex in someway. Of course, many are getting pleasure also – or (hopefully!) instead.

  2. Jaylene Caampued

    I can definately relate to this article and I’m sure anybody else can. The things that are said are things that are said in real life. The things that are done in this article are experiences that go on in real life. I really enjoyed this article because I can definately compare to real live situations and to the article. It says how a man needs to feel like he has to prove his manhood. In my opinion I feel by a “man” needing to prove his manhood by telling people who he’s had sex with makes him a “boy”, that is a childish move. It shows me that he is weak and insecure. There’s no reason to prove your man hood by bragging who you slept with.

  3. The study made by michael kimmel is relevant and more or less accurate. Reading the actions made by men relating to the ‘smashing’ or ‘ramimng’ of females. The fact that men spill the beans on the women they have intercourse with is just a means of competition, but not against the girl who they just won over but their peers as well. If it is true that men like to score and thats all they think about doing, then it would have to be true that all men are players. That being said, if a player is on a different team than another player, that forces competition; and in the game of females men dont play on teams. When men brag about the females they have snagged it is all in competion against the person they are telling and for their own reputation.

  4. It seems like a lot of this need to brag also comes from how prudish our society is about sex. It reminds me of how middle-schoolers and high-schoolers spend so much energy bragging about what drugs they’ve done and drinking and smoking because everyone wants to seem daring and able. If sex was viewed as more of a natural thing instead of a dirty taboo that bad people get pleasure from, I don’t think there would be nearly as much hostility associated with male-female relations because there would be less ego involved in the whole thing.

  5. I agree with victoria. Sex is very over rated. people be tripping over the fact that some individuals like sex,and dont mind it with different peolpe. I say just do your thing! If your always worried about what the next person thinks, you’ll never get any pleasure.

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