Men: Erotic Objects of Women’s Gaze

Sexy, but all covered up.

Sexy, but all covered up.

A nude woman frolics in silhouette as clothed men sleuth about, guns in hand and feet in chase. These images introduce The Spy Who Loved Me.

Flipping through TV stations the other day, this Bond rerun caught my eye and left me imagining the reverse: a nude man cavorting about as clothed women race in pursuit of criminals. Weird.

The female body is celebrated – or exploited – while the male body is ignored.

Check out People’s sexiest men. Until 2013s Channing Tatum you would be hard-pressed to see anything but face shots, loose T-shirts, and very few rippled muscles. Who could imagine a “sexiest woman” shoot sans bodies.

Searching for a calendar of sexy men at one bookstore, the closest I could find was Barack Obama.

Yeah, yeah, there is the occasional men’s underwear ad, but they are rare.

And when men walk around in the world they’re all covered up.

No wonder women don’t spend a lot of time checking out men’s bodies, ogling them or judging them.

man commented on one of my posts that (to paraphrase):

Not only are men not considered erotic, they are often used to get laughs. In Seinfeld, Elaine referred to the male body as “utilitarian,” implying that the female is much more erotic. George Costanza became a victim of “shrinkage.” Scenes of Johnny Knoxville running around in a thong get chuckles.

Why is the male body so de-eroticized?

One possibility: Men have historically controlled media, and they focus on what they find sexy (about 95% of them anyway). Homophobia further hinders eroticization. As women enter the industry we find more focus on men, but still not much compared with women. Meanwhile, showered with sexy-women images from the time they are small, even women come to find women the sexier of the species.

What if the world were to switch? Suddenly, a universe of men in Speedo’s?

What if women became subject, and men erotic object for women to gaze upon? What if women sought to consume men as objects? Judging them, grading their beauty? Would women feel empowered, experiencing themselves on the “person” side of the person/object divide?

Something to think about.

Popular Posts on BroadBlogs
Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men
Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze
Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too

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 January 21, 2013, in feminism, gender, men, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. For as long as I can remember, I have loved the male body. My mom tells a story of me as a small child, walking in on my parents getting dressed, and seeing my dad naked for the first time. “What’s that?”, I asked and pointed to his groin. My mother, who is a nurse, answered, “It is a penis.” “Oh”, I replied, “I like it.”
    I was fortunate to grow up in one of the nation’s Olympic swimming training towns. I imprinted on the male swimmer’s body and Speedo swimsuits. I would unabashedly gaze at their tan bodies, with their broad shoulders, strong arms and narrow hips during practice. It was a beautiful thing. Everyone was always walking around half-naked, so there was no shame in seeing or displaying the male body. I thought that was how everyone was in the world.
    It was then surprising for me to grow up on movies where the men were rarely unclothed, yet the women were always in various stages of undress. It was a double standard. From the movies, I learned that what I should find a man in a suit most attractive. The thing about a well-cut suit is that it mimics the same inverted triangle shape of a swimmer: broad shoulders and narrow hips. The difference is that a suit can hide a myriad of flaws. The women had to look flawless naked and the men had to be well dressed.
    As I grew older, there were two societal messages that were received. One, I, a female, had to be pretty with a perfect body to do anything in life and two, that gazing on a naked or semi-naked male body was shameful. The only semi-naked/ naked men in the media were found in Playgirl magazine and that was difficult to obtain. The magazine was something someone else always had to buy. There was a stigma attached to walking into a 7-11 and purchasing one from the male cashier. The cashier would have that look in his eyes, judging and questioning the woman buying the magazine. Whore! Nympho! She must really want it. I knew what their eyes were saying, but ultimately, I didn’t care.
    I am glad that the media and advertising are finally recognizing the female gaze. I will say that I can always tell if it is a male or female directing the shot. A female director will linger just a tad longer. (Thank you.) I also think it is good that men may finally understand what it is like to live with needing to feel physically perfect and exposed for gratuitous reasons. But, hey, they still look good in a suit.

  2. Cosimo Linstadt

    The topic of “Man as Object” asks us to envision a world where the male body would be treated the same way we and society treat the female body. In “Men: Erotic Objects of Women’s Gaze,” the author notes how little attention the male body receives and she postulates that the reason it receives so little attention is because of the lack of gender diversity specifically in media; 95% male 5% female. It will be interesting to see if the male body will become more objectified if more females are working in media or if the culture of objectification is so ingrained in everyone that even with more female input on ‘what is sexy’ aka ‘what is objectified’ female objectification is still the norm. At the end of the article the author asks “What if women became subject, and men erotic object for women to gaze upon? What if women sought to consume men as objects? Judging them, grading their beauty? Would women feel empowered, experiencing themselves on the “person” side of the person/object divide?” This made me think of online dating, in particular, bumble with which women can immerse themselves as the subject and do all of the above. However even if the app allows for individual women to object a man one by one, it does not allow for the systemic objectization that women face every day.

  3. Armando Brambila

    I find it very interesting how everyone has a difference in how they view men as “sexy”. As a male, I have never tried to look sexy or erotic for the simple fact that I did not care to look “chiseled”. That is not to say that I don’t try to keep a clean cut/well dressed appearance, but I just don’t try and look like male models. There are a couple reasons why, the main one however is because I just simply don’t care. I believe its mostly because my entire life I haven’t tried to look better than other guys but rather tried to be more stronger and “powerful”. I also believe that this is why maybe men aren’t portrayed like women. For as long as I can remember girls have always seemed to be in “competition” with each other. When it came to dressing, doing make-up, or when it came to things such as who was the prettiest of the group it seemed as if they always wanted to prove who was the best.
    On the other hand, boys were always in competition as well but in a different way. Instead of trying to look better than the other guy, they wanted to be better in sports, or school, or video games.
    The point I am trying to make is that, maybe this is why men aren’t often portrayed as erotic or “sexy”. While us males grow up not thinking about how we look, we don’t really care to have perfect male bodies or faces. Instead we focus on having more power than the guy next to us. Whereas women, grow up trying to look super pretty and fit. That translates over to them competing for beauty. In the end they become sexualized because maybe that’s how they show whose better looking and more “powerful”. One example is beauty pageants. They sexualize women there because that’s how they win. By proving to see who is the best in terms of intelligence, skills, but more than anything through beauty and sexiness.

  4. While there is an obvious inequality between the constant sexualization of women and the amount of sex appeal men are labeled with, I feel as though over time I have been conditioned to even prefer more covered men. I find men its full fitted suits in ads sexier almost than the bare shirtless men. While this could very well be a matter of my preference, I believe that this is truly the effect of controlled image of men in the media. Men who are more clothed give off a feeling of security, put-togetherness, and stability. When it comes to fitted suits and the likes, it can even symbolize wealth and stature. Why don’t I immediately jump to the shirtless models. It may be where I fall on the spectrum of sexuality. But I also believe that when it comes to physical attraction, I am still attracted to that sexualized body type. The effects of the society’s expectations still has its reaches there.

  5. Girls are brainwashed into seeing things through the male gaze. I objectify the hell out of gorgeous men….Thor, 300, Troy and Captain America are our dpfemale gaze getting something beautiful and sexy to,look at. Unfortunately, I’m a minority and most women have no interest in a female gaze because it makes them feel icky. I think men are sexy and beautiful and find myself looking at them in a way that pleases me. When I was a girl I worried about what men wanted, now as a woman, I only give a damn about what I want. I’ve been married for years and my husband knows I love him for him but he better make the same effort I do in staying healthy and attractive with a fit body.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience.

      We are all a mix of our biology + our culture + our personal experiences. So we get large patterns and individual differences within them. It’s interesting to hear about yours.

      But because our culture constantly focuses on women and their body parts, which are fetishized by selectively hiding in revealing and of sussing over, women are much more likely to be objectified — and to even objectify themselves. Been there done that.

      But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with noticing and appreciating attractive people of either sex by either sex. The problem with objectification comes when we do harm because we don’t think about their thoughts and feelings. So it could be that you are more of an appreciator than an objectifier.

  6. The fact that a man can look sexy while being fully clothed and covered is overlooked by society. Women are associated with being sexy while naked but it is so common that it is considered normal. The social norms are so far apart but women get most of the attention through media and advertisements. If the situation were flipped, and men wore the bikinis and makeup I think swimsuit contests and men’s beach volleyball would become the new superbowl. Men’s sports would be watched by both genders not for athletic ability but for their athletic bodies.
    Its hard to fathom what the reverse culture would be like since we know no other way, but to consider that gender and gender roles have such distinct consequences isn’t rocket science. When a male takes on female characteristics its negative, but when a female takes on male characteristics its whatever. To reverse the situation of what sexy is for both genders is not only to reverse gender roles but also the consequences of those roles. Its one thing to say if how men are currently viewed as beer drinking, sport-loving, bearded, flannel-wearing, muscular… dudes gained the majority of media attention in this perspective as sexy would be obnoxious. but to give them female characteristics would be basically unfathomable. Why? idk.

    • When you are accustomed to certain way of seeing it seems natural normal. I guess we are so used to Women being one way and men being another. And men being demeaned if they behave too much like women (due to gender ranking men over women), that the gender switch becomes very jarring.

  7. It made sense to me that historically, men have over all gained more control in media than women, and homophobia was hidden among them. However, since the current generation is more open minded and educated that homosexual is becoming more acceptable than the early ages that a lot of famous brands are using men or nude men as their gimmick. For example, Abercrombie and Fitch often use men as their label to advertise their clothes and fashion. However, A&F doesn’t only specifically has their target customer as men or women, but their clothes can be find for both gender or unisex.

    • Things are changing. But about 99% of the time you were still going to see sexy women instead of sexy men. Maybe that’s partly because even women internalize the culture, Leaving them thinking of sexy in terms of women, too?

  8. I really enjoy the idea of changing the roles around and making women the dominant one and seeing men advertised in speedos. I think it would be interesting to see roles reversed. In the second wave of feminism, there was an event created by the radical feminist group to walk around office buildings after work time and they whistled at men and talked to them as they do towards women. The event was publicised on the news and caught a lot of attention on how women are objectified so intensely by men. I’m not saying the roles need to be reversed and women need to start objectifying but I do believe that we need to see more respect between the two sexes.

    • It is interesting to see how different things look when we do a little gender flipping. And to see how it affects your psychology — the way you see yourself and the “Opposite sex”.

  9. My friend turned me on to your blog recently and was reading your posts. Would love to see more men objectified! I’ve really been enjoying the TV series Outlander for an example of the female gaze on the male body. Do you think since you have written this post things are starting to change?

  10. Hmmmm.I’m regarded cover boy handsome-AT 61!!!!!but though VERY muscular,somewhat beefy-I’m five-nine,205-210 lb.,boasting 181/2″ biceps,but about 25 lb. overweight.Were I asked to be a senior stud” sort of magazine cover boy,my face and ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT my body would be depicted.Would that be because of my colour, age, and physique as well as my sex? (Although I’M FAR LESS GIRTHY,DUE TO MY BRAWN,THAN ABOUT 95% OF MEN MY BUILD AND AGE!!!!!!!!!!)

    And I’m frequently objectified by MUCH-younger,often bosomy gals!!!!

  11. Do (some) women ogle men?
    Or (some of them) do ogle men but don’t want to admit it?

    Her reply at 1:38 “Don’t rush we’re enjoying ourselves.”

    • I don’t think those women were ogling him. To the extent that women do ogle, they would be much more likely to do that in terms of a man’s chest. See this for instance:

      Sexy Weiner?

      And you’ve probably seen this one before:

      Men, Women React to Male/Female Nudity

      And when a neuroscientist studied what women and men google, he found that men– Both gay and straight–-were much more likely to search for pictures of penises than women were. (Are also more likely to search for penis than vagina.) Playgirl didn’t show the penis either. If women wanted to see it so much you think they would show that.

      I’m not sure whether she was actually enjoying herself or just saying that. If she liked it so much why was she asking him to cover up. You’d think she wouldn’t want him to cover up so she could keep looking. She probably just said that to avoid sounding uncool.

  12. Last night there was a beauty contest on TV. Of course the contestants were women.
    That made me wonder, why there are so many beauty contests for women but there is absolutely no beauty contest for men. None at all.
    Could that ever work?
    Would women be interested in watching something like that?

    • I take that back. In some societies the roles are reversed.
      Men compete in beauty contests, they wear make up, dress up and the judges are women.
      In these societies what we think that it’s the norm, it’s reversed.

      • “Make-up, flirting, bling outfits. But this beauty contest has a twist – the men dress up, the women pick the winners.
        And the prize? Each judge chooses her champion and may take him as her lover – even if both already have partners – and the winners are celebrated for years to come. Nor is the potential for match-making limited to judges and winners.”

        This is what we “know” and take for granted, 100% reversed.
        Men with cosmetics, and flamboyant clothes trying to impress women and women get to choose men by valuing the way they look.

        “…she, too, is on the look-out. “I’ve spotted three men here that I like.”

        this is almost hilarious, it’s like hearing the typical western male going out and saying “I’ve spotted three women here that I like”

  13. I wonder which is the cause and which is the result.

    Women aren’t visual about men because men aren’t portrayed as sexy in the media or
    men aren’t portrayed as sexy because women aren’t visual about men?

    If women could be visual about men, wouldn’t the media already have tried to take advantage of this and create a new market by portraying sexy men for the female gaze?

    • But women have internalized the idea that women are sexier, too. Women have come to see the world through men’s eyes.

      • Natural and/or social constructed the male gaze does exist and it’s so powerful that even women see the world through it.

        Is it possible that the female gaze doesn’t exist because it can’t possibly exist since women aren’t visual about the male body anyways?
        So far there has be no paradigm in any society that could prove that the female gaze could possibly exist too.
        Perhaps females aren’t “capable” of attaining a female gaze about the male body the same way that people (men and even women) can attain a male gaze about the female body.

      • Women can be visual. Many learn the breast fetish, which is contrary to most of their natural heterosexuality. But they’re absolutely bombarded by it. Just trace elements of cultural appreciation of male body, and nothing fetishized.

        Do tribal men not do the male gaze because they aren’t capable of it? No. It’s just not taught in their cultures.

      • You have mentioned paradigms of
        men learning the male gaze (modern society)
        women learning the male gaze (modern society)
        men not learning the male gaze (tribal societies)

        but there is not a single case of women actually having a female gaze about the male body. Ever.

      • We’ve never designed clothing to selectively hide and reveal the male body, that I know of, to create the tension that creates intrigue. May be due to anatomical differences? Start wearing clothes, main dif between women and men/children is breasts. Now that they’re covered they become mysterious?

      • but the obsession with the female body isn’t only about breasts but it’s also about bottoms, legs, hips, bellies, even shoulders, in matter of fact every part of the female body is portrayed as sexy and all these are body parts of the male body too.

      • Maybe because men have been the poets, novelists, painters, constantly celebrating the female form? And having more power to procure females just for sex and nothing else — so more sex objecty (wealthy, powerful men)?

      • Could that also be the reason why only a woman could be portrayed as “temptation” but never a man was considered to be “temptation”?

        I wonder if women are capable of seeing men as “temptation” ?

      • For sure if she’s in love with him. I’m sure Brad Pitt et al could be a temptation, too. The temptation could come from lust, even if not a fetish.

      • I don’t think that we see women as sexy and not men as sexy simply because it’s socially constructed. It could be the other way round. Men are “capable” of seeing women as sexy so we have images of sexy women in the media.

        “A 2009 study demonstrated that after a short interaction with an attractive woman, men experienced a decline in mental performance.”

        The fact that women see Brad Pitt or used to see Elvis as sexy could be because they were attracted to their fame and status

      • Yes, their mental performance goes down because they are so distracted trying to figure out how to get sex. I wrote about this, myself (see link below). But that difference could be because women’s sexuality is repressed much more than men’s. So when aren’t preoccupied with trying to figure out how to have sex with men.

        Women Make Men Dumber?

        And given my taste in men, the only reason I would want to have sex with Elvis is because of his fame. But Brad? Incredibly sexy. Even though I experience no fetish with regard to him.

  14. I do eroticise the male body. I am obsessed with k pop. I see the most gorgeous young men dancing. They usually do a topless routine. I watch asian movies cos the guys usually get naked. I love their hairless bodies and shape. They are very pretty which is a turn on. As a young girl I used to fantasise about men getting it on. Men love to be sexualised too.

  15. I don’t know, I eroticise men and images of men all the time. To the point that it sometimes makes me feel bad, as I tend to get irritated when someone does that to women. But living in New Zealand, where we have a great many of handsome men who look after themselves, I would often catch myself looking over one, and be conscious of the pleasure, both erotic and aesthetic, that I derive from it. And I may have no interest in him as a person, may have no interest in getting to know him better – I just like the physical side of him, like looking at it and playing with it in my thought. Same goes for stuff I see on TV/in print. I’m very aware of the eroticism inherent in the male body, and I deeply enjoy it. Does that make me… a minority?

    • A couple of things: There is a bell curve with some women being more “ogling” than others. Also, you live in New Zealand where men may be more scantily clad, and maybe more sexualized than here. When I go to Europe I noticed that men are more likely to wear Speedo’s – revealing swimsuits – compared to hear. Here, men would likely feel “gay” and women would probably see them as “gay” probably because women are so used to seeing sexy bodies through the eyes of men. Because in America it is almost always the case that sexy bodies are meant to catch the male gaze.

  16. People tend to point to the media as responsible for its content, which they are, but viewers and consumers drive the demand for content.

    Let’s take People magazine. Women are in large part the biggest subscribers to People, yet sexualized pictures of women don’t make the cover (they do have Sexiest Man Alive!). If men were the dominant reader, then I’m sure women in swimsuits would be on the cover often. It is my belief that corporations are run to maximize profit, so it doesn’t really matter if men run the company or women: whatever sells, that’s what they are going to focus on content-wise.

    The question is: why don’t women like to look at sexy images of men?

    It is my belief that women like those types of pictures but really need to first establish some sort of mental connection with the individual; for men, that is not a pre-requisite. Today’s women I think are getting used to sexy images of famous men, like Channing Tatum and especially Hugh Jackman and Ryan Gosling, and the tabloid magazines and websites help build that necessary connection to the women.

    In short, women need to “Like” the guys they see, while men don’t need that connection.

    I think women sometimes perpetuate this reality. Look at the way women dress nowadays compared to the attractive women of yesteryear–those women used to wear skirts to below their knees and didn’t show much cleavage. They were stunning; nowadays, women who “dress up” are half-naked. Is this because they know men like these looks (and it makes other women jealous), or do they dress because they feel self-confident. Who knows.

    • re: “People tend to point to the media as responsible for its content, which they are, but viewers and consumers drive the demand for content.”

      Well, it goes both ways. The reason viewers demand the content is because they’ve been taught to like it. For instance, they demand to see slim, buxom women but that’s what they been taught to like. In the past other body types were more valued. And in other cultures too.

      But to some extent viewers don’t necessarily demand content. Advertisers do. When you create ideals that are impossible to achieve it sells a lot of product because people can never buy enough product to fulfill the ideal.

      Women aren’t taught to see the male body is sexy, either. We are starting to see sexy men, but nothing compared to women. Last year when David Beckham was sexually shown in a Super Bowl ad it made headlines. That would never happen with a similarly portrayed woman. Tons of magazines whose audiences are female put sexy women on the cover, Cosmo being the most obvious. The men on People Magazine aren’t that sexualized, either. Channing Tatum is an exception. And Playgirl is constantly going bankrupt.

      As to your last question I actually surveyed my female students about it. I’ll be posting it in the not-too-distant future. But women have different reasons for dressing sexy. Both of your ideas are among those that women cite. So motivation varies and depends on the woman.

      See these posts:

      Men, Women React to Male/Female Nudity
      David Beckham’s Sex Sells
      Women Gazing At Men

      The Plump Beauty Ideal: Exotic Dancers in 1890

  17. I do find it bothersome how in this world it is (more) acceptable for a woman to gaze at another woman, even if they are to be judged on a completely physical level. Whereas if a man were to judge another male based on physicality it would be deemed as homosexual and he would most likely receive a negative response. I do agree that because men have had the upper hand or more control over media, which is main component of how society is shaped, that they are de-eroticized to their patriarchal standards. If the roles were reversed the men would feel this constant fear and pressure to present themselves in the gaze of a female’s eyes. Granted there might be times where they do feel strain to look a certain way or to live up to a particular standard but not in a sexualized way due to a women’s gaze. Would they be comfortable with it and accept it? If only they could truly experience it through a woman’s world.

  18. In my country, it often seems that the body of a man is celebrated and objectified as much as the body of a woman nowadays. Physically fit male celebrities are often persuaded by the talk show hosts to show the audience their muscular abdominal muscles as much as physically fit female celebrities are often persuaded by the talk show hosts to dance for the audience. In films and television shows, main male characters are often not wearing anything on their upper bodies as main female characters are not. In magazines, photographs of popular actors and male models of whom the upper bodies are bare are easy to find as much as photographs of actresses and female models who are sexually dressed. Physically fit men and women are praised by the public, and male celebrities are therefore motivated to show their bodies through the media. Here is an interesting YouTube video that I just found that deals with this phenomenon in South Korea.

  19. As soon as i started reading this i looked up “people’s” and realized i had never thought about objectifying men in ads. I guess that makes sense because i am a man. Although i would think it fair for men to be objectified for the sake of equality. I find it ridiculous and yet terrible to know that so many people in America are extremely homophobic and it shows through the whole film and tv industry. This effects all the people who watch it and how they react towards it. Which then makes it okay to be homophobic. A universe where men are objectified and women are the subject sounds really funny to us because it is such opposite of life now. But i definitely think that women would feel empowerment and create everything in the world differently than from Mens’ designs.Everything from agriculture to technology. I think that would happen because artistic vision is different for everyone.

    • Thanks. I’m not really interested in objectifying men so much as considering what this particular exploration tells us about how we objectify women. Though, I wouldn’t mind more appreciation of the male form.

  20. A clothed man in a suit and tie is more attractive because they symbolize wealth, profession, security, and strength. As independent as one is, what kind of women won’t like that? I’ve have never thought about the male’s naked body attractive, always thought of it as just being there. Yeah, when they’re shirtless and look like Channing Tatum, it’s hot but it just takes moments for me to lose interest. Whenever the guys in my group of friends want to go to a strip club and they ask us girls if we would like to go, we usually agree. We agree to go with them because we would much rather prefer a girl to shake their boobs in our faces then a guy shaking his junk in our faces. This guy I was dating at one point asked me if I was bi-sexual because whenever an attractive girl passed by I would look, even stare at her. I told him that I wasn’t attracted to girls sexually, but that I admire their beauty, because women are beautiful. He found it weird because according to him, girls usually just hate on other girl’s looks, which is slightly true. If the roles in our society actually changed and women became subject and males objects, I honestly think it would be pretty cool, but also awkward at the same time.

    • Blessed Son of man

      Jacobo :If the roles in our society actually changed and women became subject and males objects, I honestly think it would be pretty cool, but also awkward at the same time.

      I think that would be great but we wouldn’t be in the same situation. Men already know they are only as good as theirs use to society. (Sad but true.) There is a reason why we do what we do. So we would have little problem being just another object, Both in media and society we are treated as if we don’t really matter while we are suppose to cater to women as our superiors. So being objectified as a sex object wouldn’t be nothing more than another role.

      • To both of you.

        I think it’d be best if we appreciated the male body more, but that neither men nor women were objectified. Get that whole, multidimensional experience (sexual desire being one part) instead.

  21. Blessed Son of man

    A Man has never needed to be sexy just, physically able and moderately wealthy and he can have almost any woman he wants.

    Lets look at it from a another angle gay men more or less want to be attractive because men are visually oriented. So you’ll notice far more gay men putting more stock in there looks appearance and muscle tone.

    • It’s not that women are incapable of being visually oriented. But women learn not to be visually oriented toward men, even as they become visually oriented toward women. It kind of sucks.

      Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too
      Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men
      Women, Objects of Desire (Even for Women?)

      • Blessed Son of Man

        Why does that suck? To me that is great, its a small bit of equality. Both men and women can enjoy a similar beauty.

      • It sucks that women don’t learn to enjoy the male body in the way that men learn to enjoy the female body. So that cuts out a lot of enjoyment and pleasure for both sexes.

    • Yes, we know how much you men like us women to like women. Wouldn’t it be great if we both liked men?
      What is great about women not being attracted to men? Would it be great if all women were gay, so that you men couldn’t go anywhere with your “attraction” beyond masturbation watching your porn movies. You don’t think about that because for you women are not serious and they will play till you men say “no”. This is what objectification is.

      • Blessed Son of man

        Yes, we know how much you men like us women to like women. Wouldn’t it be great if we both liked men?


        What is great about women not being attracted to men? Would it be great if all women were gay, so that you men couldn’t go anywhere with your “attraction” beyond masturbation watching your porn movies.

        I find it quite liberating to not let our organs blind us, don’t you feel good about having the power to say no and not have your own body curse you for it? I think so, I’m not felt more focused in my life to I gain control over my own desires and realize as a man I am in constant danger of someone using my emotions, my societal obligations and my body against me.

        You don’t think about that because for you women are not serious and they will play till you men say “no”. This is what objectification is.

        Women are DEATHLY serious. Men know this that is why we fear things about women and dealing with women. A single woman’s bad day can ruins a man entire life.

    • Also what does equality mean? If we were attracted to the people we say we prefer wouldn’t that be equality? How are we equal when women have to sleep with men, to whom they aren’t attracted or when you force women to be gay for the night? Why don’t you go fuck with a guy, so that we would be equal? Your “logic” is so fucked up and anyone could totally see where it comes from-porn.
      Equality…. I get so angy when I see this ultimate objectification, if I write all the words about you I want to use right now, my comment wouldn’t be approved.

      • Blessed Son of man

        Anon: Also what does equality mean?

        To be equal.

        Anon: If we were attracted to the people we say we prefer wouldn’t that be equality?

        Absolutely but as its been shown women aren’t attracted to us on a physical level unless were rolling around looking like Magic Mike. (Which not alot of us look like.)

        Anon: How are we equal when women have to sleep with men, to whom they aren’t attracted or when you force women to be gay for the night?

        Um When did they have to sleep with these men and who is forcing them. I find girl on girl boring because most of its fake.

        Anon: Why don’t you go fuck with a guy, so that we would be equal?

        I have multiple times and it was pretty good to be honest. I like to see things from both sides of the coin and since I have done this are we equal?

        Anon: Your “logic” is so fucked up and anyone could totally see where it comes from-porn.

        Honestly porn is pretty boring I would rather read a book or go out and have sex myself. Also why make this a personal attack I’m sure your a decent human being just like I am.

  22. Forgot to mention this. You are not alone in thinking that women in action films (for example) are depicted in ludicrous costumes and sexualised poses. As a witty, humorous backlash, readers of comics have attempted to recreate some comic-art poses with the positions of male and female protagonists reversed. The character Hawkeye (an archer) is used as the female lead, and the whole project is called the Hawkeye Initiative.

    According to the Hawkeye test, if the picture of Hawkeye in the pose of a female character doesn’t look ridiculous or funny, then the original image probably wasn’t sexist or objectifying to women. The contributions vary from the very amateur to the very professional. After a couple of pages, you get the gist; see one, you seen ’em all. But still: a powerful message, cleverly put across with humour.


  23. Round here calendars are sold for charity featuring well-muscled, scantily-clad (real) firemen looking sweaty and grimy, surrounded by hoses and boots and ladders and whatnot. They seem very popular, certainly among the female members of my organisation!

    I would be interested to know what you think of the Calendar Girls phenomenon (where matronly middle-aged ladies of the UK’s Women’s Institute created and sold a calendar of themselves pictured naked, with their bits tastefully concealed with rolling pins, flower arrangements, jam jars, and other wholesome paraphernalia). Personally I think it was clever, ironic, empowering, and beautiful, but when push comes to shove, what they did was to publish naked pictures of themselves to get money and publicity for their very stuffy, very British organisation. It worked! The original (true) story was even turned into a movie.


  24. Sabrina Paynter

    This post gave me some insight that I had not thought of before. As a teenager, I found it confusing that I was attracted to boys, yet found women to be sexy as well. I wonder if the same is true for many other people, gay or straight, man or woman; it can be difficult to tell what desires are exclusively yours when they’re competing with the desires instilled upon you by society.

    On another note, I’ve found that between most of my friends, we feel that men are sexiest while wearing a suit and tie, but we also find the image of a shirtless man appealing. When “sexy” men are presented in the media, they’re usually at least fully covered from the waist down. It makes sense, then, that when a man on film or in print goes from shirtless to completely naked, the appeal diminishes and phrases such as “Ugh, put that away” are expressed.

  25. I do find it odd how it seems difficult to find men erotic. When i put the two together I only think about the erotic things they want to do to women. I have tried fantasizing about a man nude and being sexy but find it very difficult without putting a naked woman next to him. The social media controlled by men has made as all accept women’s body as erotic and men just sexy in their suit and tie or the occasional underwear model that doesn’t really do much for me. There isn’t much we can change since it has been so implanted in our minds. I mean when I watched a reality show where there is a make stripper completely naked the women either scream of excitement or shield their faces when a woman stripper would be much more accepted.

  26. I enjoy your continued exploration of eroticized femininity. Since I unplugged from broadcast media in 2002, I have lost the tough hide to protect my psyche from hyper-sexualized media images (And glorified graphic violence.) When I accidentally catch TV (Hard to avoid. TVs blast in airports, dentist offices, gyms, restaurants) or a glimpse of a magazine cover in a grocery store, I feel assaulted, insulted and intruded upon.

    At the same time, I enjoy hanging out at the beach where real people, men and women of all ages and shapes, expose more skin than usual. They walk barefoot. Catch sun. The human form in real life situations is a delight to my eye. Lovely and alive.

    Then again: I feel totally empowered when I watch the guy surfers dress and undress from their neoprine wetsuits with towels wrapped around their waists. I find myself wishing for a sudden gust of wind. But only from a purely artistic perspective, of course. ;-))

    Thanks for thinking and writing.

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