How To Suppress A Woman’s Desire

Man As Object, Karen Zack

Man As Object, Karen Zack

Women typically have lower sexual desire and drive than men in our society, according to both sex surveys and statistics on sexual dysfunction. Our culture may be largely to blame. Consider this:

We are bombarded by “sexy women” but not “sexy men”

Whether on billboards, TV ads, Dancing With The Stars, Olympic ice skating, or professional football, women are half-dressed and men are fully-clothed. The camera hones in on women’s breasts and butts and ignores men. Sure, we are seeing more hot men these days thanks to Taylor Lautner and Ryan Gosling. But People’s “Sexiest Men” typically portrays gorgeous faces, loose T-shirts and few bods. Even the clothing that women and men walk around in show off women’s bodies and, more often, hide men’s

As Amanda Marcotte at RH Reality Check points out,

Straight women don’t get nearly the provocation on a daily basis — is it any wonder that 60% of the men who answered the Consumer Reports survey (on sex) thought about sex once a day, but only 19% of women?

No part of the male is fetished

No part of the male body is fetishized, either. Men stare at breasts and butts, but what are we supposed to look at? No wonder Playgirl was perpetually bankrupt and finally met its demise. Fetishes may seem natural for men but they are actually a cultural construction. How are they created? In part, see the section above. It all creates a sense that women’s body parts are sexy. Men’s body parts are ignored. Or see my piece called, “Men Aren’t Hard Wired To Find Breasts Attractive.” Selectively hiding and revealing and obsessing does a great job of creating a fetish. (Ever wonder why tribal men don’t get all excited about tribal women’s breasts and butts?)

Porn may lead men to think we get aroused by penises, but when Anthony Weiner sexted a photo of his package, Tracy Clark-Flory over at Salon asked women if being sexed a man’s penis would “do it” for them. Most said “No.”

Sexy men can seem “gay”

Women are not taught to consume the male body with their eyes, as men consume theirs. To make matters worse, pics of sexy men can seem “gay.” Since sexiness is almost always meant for the male gaze, on an unconscious level women can come to see “sexy” men – perhaps posed in Speedos — through male eyes, too. Bummer!

Women don’t feel sexy

Meanwhile, we might not feel too sexy, ourselves. Surrounded by the “perfect” images our partners consume, we might not feel too hot by comparison to ladies who live on lettuce, surgery and photoshop. Do we really want to reveal our bodies and be negatively judged? The opposite of an aphrodisiac.

Women feel sexy but not sexual

Other women may feel sexy, and then become preoccupied with how great they look, and how much their partner enjoys their look, instead of focusing on how they, themselves, feel. These women may be enjoying themselves and how hot they are, but they aren’t enjoying sex.

Good girls don’t

The double standard is loosening up but sexual women may still be called: slut, whore, ho’, tramp, skank, nympho, hussy, tart, loose, trollop… the list goes on. Men possess cocky cocks while women’s privates are just “down there.” College men returning home Sunday morning may take the Walk of Fame while the women they’ve just had sex with take the Walk of Shame. And so women’s sexuality becomes more repressed.

The problem of housework

Sometimes the problem is more mundane. Women do about twice as much housework as men. After a full day at work women are more likely than men to cook dinner, clean up, and get kids ready for bed. Then they’re too tired for sex and resent their husbands. No way to get a woman in the mood.

Or, maybe mom works in the home where her “invisible” work gets noticed only when it’s undone. A lack of appreciation won’t get anyone in the mood for love making.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence also takes a toll. Rape is most prevalent when women are devalued. And women who are raped often lose interest in sex. One woman I know of went numb and emotionally left her body when she had sex because a past rape had made sex seem terrifying and repugnant to her. “Desperate Housewife,” Teri Hatcher, was molested by an uncle who told her that one day she would like sex. That only made her close up more because she didn’t want to prove her disgusting uncle right.

But all women also face the prospect of getting screwed, rammed, nailed, cut, boned, banged, smacked, beaten, and f’d — in street parlance — when they get intimate. Who wants that?

How to raise a woman’s desire

If you want women to desire sex then: help with housework, show appreciation, stop shaming women for being sexual, or for not fitting ridiculous “ideals,” desire her and let your lady know she’s beautiful.

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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 October 7, 2013, in body image, feminism, men, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. Woman are desire to sex but how to suppress a woman’s desire? I think it is not easy to suppress a woman’s desire because it’s a natural physical and mental reaction. Also. It shows your body’s desired reaction. unless you are afraid and you had a bad experience. Even though women have disease or bad experience, women still have desire when coupled in a different environment.
    In addition, man should suppress desire. Man has a lot of desire more than woman. Also, man easy to have an urge with sex and man easy to hurt woman body.
    In my opinion, sex is a natural physical and mental reaction. So, everyone should have to suppress by themselves. People should not depend on somebody or medication to constrain themselves desire. Also, people need to avoid violence and encroach on people’s bodies. If woman and man have time or take vacation, I think they are desire with sex .

    • I don’t know whether it’s easy to suppress desire but nearly half of women have sexual dysfunction problems like low interest, difficulty with orgasm, painful sex. My article tries to explain why this is the case.

      Because people think that everyone is like themselves they have a hard time imagining anything different. I have suffered from repression and I used to believe everyone was lying about liking sex.

  2. Britney Fratus-White

    This totally calls into play the whole “slut-shaming” movement; or should I say “anti-” “slut-shaming movement.” As a woman I always knew that my sexuality is repressed; examples I personally have experienced would be the “walk of shame,” name calling in public arenas, and the lack of fetishes cornering the male body. You mentioned that we could alter this repression of women by encouraging partners to help with housework, showing appreciation, and to stop shaming our sexual desires; but, how can this be done. Helping with housework is simple as is showing appreciation; however “stop shaming our sexual desires” might be a bigger demand than originally conceived. This is a centuries old societal stigma that has been established in multiple cultures and is only encouraged by media outlets. While in theory this action might seem simple I believe it is going to take a lot more than just telling people to “stop shaming our sexual desires.”

    • It would probably be easier to convince men and women since men already are more against slut-shaming then women are. After all, they get more sex if women aren’t punished for having sex. It’s a matter of making people aware of the problem and how they are harmed by it.

      It’s actually a little more difficult with women. Because women’s sexuality is repressed (leading to a loss of desire over time*) a lot of us aren’t all that excited about having a lot of sex. Nearly half of American women have little or no interest in sex. So slut-shaming can be used as a weapon against women we don’t like, Or see as a threat. “She’s beautiful, sexy and men like her? What a slut!” But again it’s a matter of making people aware of how they are personally harmed by this sort of thing. Women may do it to feel better about themselves. But they still end up being victims of it of it in one of two ways. They might be attacked, Themselves. And even if they aren’t attacked personally, when they live in a society that shame women’s sexuality they lose interest. That hurts women in a number of ways. They are less in touch with the possibility of gaining pleasure. And it hurts relationships. When women are less interested in sexuality they are less interested in sex with their partners, Which hurts relationships.

      I think that gradually we are changing, And will continue to change for the better.

      *Repression: Not What You Think It Is

  3. I see girls who are slut shamed and I know girls who have fooled around with other girls and people think it’s hot or girls don’t see her as a slut. Only the girl is seen as a slut if it’s becaue she did it infront of guys or to turn guys on. But if not, then they aren;t slut shamed. Gays guys are seen as worse than lesbians, yet they are more promiscuous than lesbians, so…I didn;t mean lesbians need penetration, but maybe men having sex is seen as more serious because of penetration. But then I was saying, that lesbian sex can have penetration as well via my examples and how it’;s weird straigh sex is taken more seriously than girl-girl sex.

    • Well, I have seen bisexual women be slut-shamed. They can even, along with their bisexual brothers, get flak from the gay lesbian community who can feel threatened by bisexuality and expect people to choose sides.

  4. Yes, but the instance of priests is a scenario where a man should not have sex and it is suppressed yet, these priests are masturbating more than nuns. Even though sexual thoughts are taboo even for priests. Things have relaxed a lot for that, but many years ago, priests were to be abstinent. Even so, priests still were hornier to think about sex more. Like he said women are more dictated by culture too though, than men and can go either direction more so than men. But the reason is because men’s sexual cravings are stronger, and less swayed and which makes sense why women’s desires can be easily suppressed or altered compared to mens. Because of biology. To exemplify that, the gay lesbian comparisions shows that even further. There’s something I noticed, that while there is suppression or more so than toward men and slut shaming. It seems that its between the male-female dynamic.

    There are still people who look down on gays and lesbians, but nowadays more people are open and female relations is even thought as chic or more accepted with girls fooling around than guys doing gay stuff or gay men, And what I’ve noticed is women who are slut shamd are straight women or women sleeping with a bucnh of men. I brought this up before. It’s interesting but lesbians or bisexual girls who are promiscuous with other women or have sex with many women, aren’t slut shamed. Guys knowing this, think the girl is cool, probalby cuz its hot to guys and guys arent competing with girls but other guys. And many girls don’t think bad of other girls fooling around with other girls and girls are mor likely to think a girl is a slut if she sleeps with a bunch of men as opposed to a bunch of women. It’s like guys are the slut-makers, not women. I don’t know if it’s because women having sex with each other is taken less seriously,

    I don’t know if its due to penetration, though lesbians can penetrate each other via, finger(s),dildos, maybe even strap ons, so it doesnt make sense for it to be taken as seriously. So with all this said, lesbians sexuality is not repressed like it is for straigh women, and like we all know lesbians have the media and ads, and porn, etc showing women’s bodies and highly sexualized, etc. Yet, lesbians are much less promiscuous than gay men, even though they get all the female bodies to ogle media, etc, yet frequency of sex in relationships are less than gay men and a far as hook ups too. As the article showed, gay men hook up much more than lesbians. If it was simply culture, lesbians would be hooking up just as much as gay men, but they aren’t whcih leads me to believe a lot of it is biology.

    • This will take so long to answer that I’m just going to write a blog post on it, and I’ll link back in my comment here when it’s published.

      But, “It’s interesting but lesbians or bisexual girls who are promiscuous with other women or have sex with many women, aren’t slut shamed.”

      Sure they are, by both men and women. Maybe not in porn or among some men, but maybe you have just missed how often they are slut-shamed. Do you know any women like this in real life?

      All I will say right now is that whether you’re talking gays and lesbians or priests and nuns, the crucial socialization occurs when they’re little kids. When they’re old enough to have come out or chosen to be priests/nuns, the primary damage of repression is already done.

      Also, lesbians don’t actually need penetration. Neither do straight women. Most women don’t orgasm through vaginal penetration. The clitoris is the organ that acts most like a penis, that is how most women are aroused. A lot of guys think there’s something wrong when their partners don’t get aroused through intercourse, but most women don’t.

  5. I know you posted an article about some Bergner guy explaining how women’s sex drives are as high as men, but repressed due to society or something like that. But as always it’s a biology vs cultural, natura vs nurture argument that is kind of like what came first “the chicken or the egg” dilemma. But here’s an article I thought was interesting where a man talks about Bergners report and explains things and from my point of view how it’s biological.

    I thought the priest and nuns arguments were good and gay men vs lesbians.

    • Thanks. I look forward to reading this. I’ll get back to you after I do.

    • I agree that in our culture women’s sex drive is lower. But I don’t think it’s natural. The examples he gives don’t mean culture isn’t having the negative affect, as opposed to biology. There are plenty of things that repress women’s sex drive. So nuns have a lower sex drive than priests–but women are more repressed than men in our culture. They’re repression isn’t coming only from Church edicts, it comes from the entire culture. In cultures where women’s sex drive isn’t repressed they are very interested in sex and easily orgasmic.

      He also says that monogamy kills eros. What I’ve noticed in the research is that this is true when sexual arousal is based on things that are more fetishy. But when a couple is deeply connected, sex gets better with age with the same partner. As the love and connection get deeper the sex is increasingly amazing.

  6. Is it really the media that causes this or the media from patriarchal society just pushing or extracting the natural visual tendencies of men even more so with scantily clad women’s bodies and sex being shown.You say the lack of the the media not fetishsizing men’s bodies is what partly supresses women. But if women are as visual as men, they would not need this and they would fetishsize themselves. Men in tribal communities don’t fetishsize women’s boobs and butts, because they routinely see these women naked constantly, it doesn’t mean those parts aren’t sexual to these men. It’s just like you visit a scenice place and are mesmerized by the beauty and every time you come around you are mesmerized. But then you go and live there, so you see the beautiful scenery everyday,so while it’s still beautiful, your eyes get adjusted so it’s not what it was before. This is just something natural, everybody will get adjusted no matter how beautiful to something if they routinely see it. It’s not because the scenery became less beautiful, but your eyes get used to it. But I truly believe men fetishsize womens bodies but the media only harnessed that visual nature to an even greater level. Like I said, as long as women have clothes on, so men’s eyes aren’t used to the view ( just like the scenery metaphor), guy’s will sexualize the body parts, especially one'[s that are curvy and advertise feminity and the women’s fertility (curves). Seriously when I hit puberty, before I really looked at magazines or anything scantily clad, I remember getting turned on and lusting after hot women I saw wearing tight jeans or just certain clothes they you could see a woman’s form in. And many guys do that.I’t not like guy’s don’t wear form fitted shirts. And I know dude’s or atleast I don’t wear tight pants, but I and i’m sure many guys wear regualr fitted jeans that, apparently women can see a man’s butt in such jeans or pants. So while some guys wear baggy pants, many wear fitted pants too for women to see or women can see a man’s butt in .Just for the fact men walking around clothed most times, should be enough for women to fetishsize men’s bodies even if men aren’t all scantily clad in magazines, etc. Afterall, like I said, men would still be lusting women’s bodies even if women’s body parts weren’t accentuated.

    • Women sometimes do fetishize themselves. They get turned on by imaging how turned on a man is by them. But, just as men get over a fetish with the same woman, women can’t sustain fetishizing themselves all the time.

      Men in some cultures don’t fetishize women at all. Never learn to. So it’s not inevitable.

  7. I think this article touches base with almost all women out there whether feminist in thinking or not. The media alone shows women what they are prized for and “appreciated” for by men. There are numerous women in the United States alone that have social disorders, body dysmorphia issues or just plain self esteem hurdles that are egged on and fueled by pop cultures idea of what makes a woman beautiful. It is possible to create a woman who is seemingly “perfect” when she is manufactured for the screen. There is too little emphasis on the true beauty of the woman body and ways to arouse her. Sex is a man’s thing; that is what this world has shown me personally. There is such a game played where the woman plays the role of what that particular man believes to be sexy, in turn the woman is aroused by his arousal. Very few men are able to push aside their ideas of what is sexy and take a real look at the woman in front of him.

  8. This article has me saying “hmmmm”. Very valid points. I’ll admit that as as a straight female, I’ve often wondered why I have little interest looking at photos of scantly clad men. I’m not phased by any one of the Mens Health covers. That said, when I see a ad with a girl in great shape, or a gorgeous portrait, I love it. I either find more beauty in females OR I’m looking at the women and getting ideas on how I myself would like to look. Because I know how much photo-shopping goes on, I know that what ads are showing are only half truths. Your comment on men not having a fetish part was also interesting. I never really thought about that. I hear a lot of girls who like guys with strong arms, and I think it’s because we feel like those arms offer protection. I work at a running store, and because of that my boyfriend thinks I have a foot fetish because I tell him how high his arches are 😉 ha…

    • Yeah, a fetish is actually sexually arousing, whereas nice toned muscles can be beautiful and protecting as you say, but I doubt too many women will masturbate to them.

    • As a man who often hear women making comments like this, I have many question to ask. Is it just a picture? I mean if there is a real good looking guy with sexy body in front of you and there is another beautiful woman besides him do you still prefer to look at the woman of for the man? And when you admire the picture of woman, do you feel aroused or just admiring it aesthetically? Even if you are not aroused by picture, have you ever get aroused looking at your boyfriend body? If you never feel attracted to men just physically, what makes you believe you are straight? Is it because emotional attraction? And if you get attracted to women bodies too, dont you ever think you maybe bisexual? If you just attracted to women sexually but not emotionally or romantically, do you know there is a term bisexual but heteroromantic? And I ask if it just picture because sometimes I’m not really into seeing picture of beautiful women but when I met beautiful women in real life, just seeing them smiling or hearing their laughs can make melt my brain and I’m freeing and cant say anything lol. Is it also like that with women who said they are straight but not into men pictures?

      Sorry for long questions. I didnt mean to question your sexual orientation, because I believe 100% you are honest, if you said you are straight then you are straight. Its just I have many questions about women sexuality, because I feel its so different to mine, straight man. Its something I want to get deep into it, because I want to spend my life ( hopefully ) with a straight woman.

  9. I believe society has a lot do with how women are viewed today. Going back to the 18th century men would work hard but would have a sexual desire , therefore they made brothels for the hard working american male. When this was first brought out this definitely was demeaning towards all women. In what most cases women were called sluts or whores who worked in this business. It all falls back to those time , women in this era do not want to be viewed as a slut or whore. That is why the women holds back with their sexual desire, they want to wait for the perfect male and perfect time to do it , so it can be amazing, but little do they know in most cases they wont find there perfect prince charming.Therefore women should change the way they view men and be friendly to others. I agree with the part on men viewing women in a sexual way but in most cases the female has the fault . By wearing mini skirts and low cut shirts definitely ask for the attention from all men and then wonder why men look at them the way they do. I suggest, women should not wear provocative clothing if there desire is to not receive attention, especially sexual attention because like quoted in this article, men think about sex at least once a day. One day society will change the view on male sexual desires and view them how certain tribes view their women today.

  10. The social media has sufficiently orchestrated the objectification of women from years on end. When it wasn’t as blatant to objectify to a woman as it is today; there were many undertones and hidden messages is every ad or magazine since the beginning of advertising. I found it very interesting this post mentions how the women are nearly always naked in every ad and men are predominantly fully clothed. My grandmother who was born and raised in India in the 1930s said the exact same thing! After watching a documentary about the objectification on women I see the point to this entire blog posting; if you pay attention to how women are portrayed in every ad/magazine they are almost completely naked, a lollipop is over sexualized and she is casually placed in a very submissive physical position- most often lying down. I never made the connection though, that this might be the reason why men think about sex way more than women and are known to have stronger sexual desires than women. It now makes total sense that when something is constantly thrown in your face you are going to begin to subconsciously think about it regularly. . Truthfully speaking, a woman is then only associating her sexual desire to a man with how she feels about him or how she emotionally connects with him because his body parts aren’t objectified 30 times a day in her face. But, we are all to blame at the end of the day as major consumers of this huge corporation that is; the sexual media

  11. samantha morales

    I have just recently talked to a new friend and i thought it was interesting how he said that his girlfriend wasnt allowed to wear provocative clothes because people would assume she was a slut or single. like wearing short skirts automatically makes her a slut? I think that its sad that a girl cannot wear what ever she likes without her being labeled a slut. Do women really have to cover up because men jump when they see cleavage? Calling her a slut will not make her want to have sex with you. As far as women being sexier then men, i think that our culture in the U.S. definitely plays the role of molding that idea.

  12. I think that this article is interesting. I think society as well as many cultures make women out to be the focus of attention. Sadly, the only way women are truly considered sexy is if they have a nice tones body and wear very little to show it off. Many things are not considered when they are trying to figure out the sexiest women in America. Usually those women have had spreads in several “risqué” magazines, flaunting their body so that men and then judge. But what about the man, who has to show so little but gets a great response. Look at the males who sometimes, the older the better. We see men, wearing a nice suit and we think oh how sexy, but that is because we are conditioned to think that. One day things will be equal, but I do not know how soon that it will occur.
    The first thing that needs to change is the demands that people have on women. We have said that only a body makes you beautiful, not your age, your mind, or your abilities, but your body. To me, the decreases the drive for a woman to want to be anything other than physically appealing to men.

  13. I have to relate to the author when they stated that after looking at all those perfect women on tv and in magazines, i am ashamed for a man to see me naked or watch me undress. I know that they know that not all women are perfect or look like the ones in the magazines, but knowing that does not take away the anxiety or discomfort every time.

  14. “Well, Good Housekeeping quizzes tell you that women marry for love…what they think it’s love. But I think that women often confuse love with physical attraction which is sex.” This is one of the lines from the main character, Virginia, in a pretty interesting show called Masters Of Sex I’ve been watching lately.
    To some extent, women do enjoy sex more than men even though no part of the male is fetishized. As the participant of sexuality, women do find it joyful to be aroused as well.
    But i don’t agree to the point that women don’t feel sexy. Some women believe in their beauty and they don’t have to be in tight skirts and low-cut dresses to let others know of their sexiness. It’s something comes with the attitude, the way they handle things and the style she’s in. They feel sexy because they get the “signals” from men and the feedback from other ladies. They’re confident enough not to care if they’ll be judged. Being sexy has nothing to do with dressing, body shape, or diet. And, those women who know it the best actually got it.

    • Sounds like you are able to enjoy sex – maybe more than men – and I’m glad that you enjoy it so much. But study after study says that, typically, men enjoy sex more. See this important survey for instance:

      Surprises in Indiana University Sex Survey

      And there are a lot of reasons related to sexism that cause this. If we overcome sexism, women will enjoy sex a lot more. In other times and places women more consistently have enjoyed it, and do.

      So of course women find it joyful to be aroused. At least when they’re able to. In fact, more than 40% of women have experienced sexual dysfunction.

      The problem is that it’s a lot harder for women to be aroused because of sexism and, more specifically, the things I discuss in this post.

      And sure, a lot of women feel sexy. But too many don’t. (The sub-headline “Women don’t feel sexy” – is an exaggeration to get people’s attention. Just under that headline I wrote “Meanwhile, we might not feel too sexy.” Note the words “might not,” which are meant to indicate that I don’t actually mean all women. 80% of women don’t feel good about their bodies. And take a look at this post: Lose Virginity, Lose Self-Esteem?

      On the other hand, sometimes feeling sexy leaves women focused on how they look and not how they feel. Your comment reminded me to add that to the post and so I have edited it. For a post that discusses this more see this:

      Sex Objects Who Don’t Enjoy Sex

      I certainly agree with this: “Being sexy has nothing to do with dressing, body shape, or diet.”

      That’s an idea I’m trying to promote. Hoping to help women get over the notion that they need to look a particular way to be sexual.

      Being Sexual vs Looking Sexual
      Be Sexy, Not Sexual – Ya Think?
      Wanting “X” from Sex, but Doing “Y”

  15. I agree that there are way too many ads that portray images of sexy women. If half the population is composed of women, I often wonder why we don’t see the same amount of eye candy for women consumers if sex appeal obviously sells? My drama teacher in high school once brought up that he flipped through a women’s magazine I forgot which, probably Cosmogirl or Vogue or something and he asked the girls in our class why there was a perfume ad with a sexy girl in it. Like does that appeal to girls? He thought that it was strange since most of the magazine’s readers are women and he felt that that picture was more meant for the enjoyment of guys or lesbians. At that time, I didn’t really think much of it since I didn’t read such magazines but thinking back now, I feel that barely anyone can associate themselves with those models, so why put a sexy girl in a girl magazine if most girls would rather see a hot guy the same way a guy would prefer to see a sexy lady in his car ad?

    Anyways, I don’t know if you’ve already seen this, but Kraft made a salad commercial that was so amusing, It had this sexy male model in it, and did all these things you’d usually see in a commercial with sexy women for guys like zoomed in on his butt, and made him go shirtless in the end. It was over the top, and really funny; and I was like, wow! That was hilarious! Go feminism, why aren’t there more ads like this for women out there? I almost wanted to buy the product just to support equality, and not at all because the zesty guy told me too, haha!

    And of course, because this was a sexy ad for women, it made the news for being to ‘controversial’ and ‘too sexy’. (rolls eyes) I can’t wait to live in a future where discrimination, sexism, and inequality for anyone who’s not a white man are just things you’d read in a textbook like how slavery was.

    • Really interesting. Thanks for the link.

    • “he asked the girls in our class why there was a perfume ad with a sexy girl in it. Like does that appeal to girls?”

      Ιt could be because they are trying to target women’s “self value” ?
      it’s like the ad is saying to women “buy this product and you will be as sexy as her”
      If you think about it, men want more to “desire” and women want more to “be desired”

  16. Sex is nearly everywhere in society and I never noticed before! How sad is it that human sexuality, one of the greatest wonders we know, is used as a drug almost in modern-day society. Sex addicts and fetishes are scandals that are being de-scandalized because it is so common to hear about these days. Sex is not as treasured and we are becoming more and more obtuse to the basic meaning of sex: connection to others. By using crude terms to describe a deeply personal act shows how our society is not mature enough to handle the true meaning of sex. Over time sexual orientations of dominant groups have shaped and molded what people deem sexy for both men and women. How unfair! Taking control of one’s sexuality is taboo in most social circles but it is time for women to step up and show some power!

  17. I think there may be a Darwinian imperative to what you suggest. From a Darwinian perspective, it makes sense for a male to have sex with as many females as possible, to spread his genes as widely as possible. Males are therefore fertile all the time. From the female perspective, it makes sense to choose the fittest mate and invest in him, which maximises the chance of good genes passing to the offspring. Females are intermittently fertile, and in some species only intermittently receptive to males (oestrus).

    While society veils these Darwinian imperatives behind layers of social and moral rules and expectations, I think they are still fairly prevalent.


    PS: Are we OK?

  18. Very true! A nice summary of all those annoying things that together becomes a crushing monster. Another thing I could add is something I hear a lot; some form of “women become attracted by a person, not a body” as an explanation for our lower physical sex drive. That might be true for some, but not for everyone. And that might just be another cultural idea that has become internalized, since female desire is not culturally accepted if there is no emotional bond to the other person. That also suggests that men are only attracted to the body and not the person, which is equally diminishing.

    And for all that feminism questions what is considered “natural”, I’ve noted that the idea that men just naturally have a higher sex drive than women can be quite persistent even among feminists. I know several women who are feminist but still think there is a kernel of truth (or more) in that idea. However, I have never ever seen any proof of that being the case that could completely erase cultural factors. And so, I chose to believe women have the same sex drive as men biologically, because I generally like to think the sexes are much more similar than we tend to make our genders. Granted, there may be biological reasons as to why sexual behavior is different, such as women being more selective since pregnancy consumes more energy and so on, but for sex drive? I don’t think so.

  19. Paola Hernandez

    It’s sad that something that is suppose to come to our bodies naturally is being repressed unintentionally. You would think men would want women to feel as much sexual desire as they do; yet with body image issues and “slut shaming” they (also women) do the complete opposite. When women finally get enough sexual desire to participate in intercourse they’re attacked with a double bind that makes them feel shameful for what they have done, suppressing them even more than when they began.

  20. The fact is, it’s not like men’s bottom half is covered, that’s inappropriate to show. going by the mystery not seeing thing, women should be fetishsizing men’s butts, but they don’t. You say it’s because it’s not sexualized by the media and such. But even though women’s bodies being sexualized but covered in certain ways causes excitement and interest. I would be $1,000 dollars its the fact of women’s bodies not being naked that men have such visual interest, not simply because women’s bodies are advertised. Even if women’s bodies were not shown on tv or magazines or ads, etc, I guarentee men would still be aroused by women’s bodies and wanting to see and have sexual thoughts if women simply had some clothing on, even if no ads or sexualizing or say any visual media was there, because men are just so drawn to women’s curves. Women shouldn;’t need men;’s bodies to be sexualized to be turned on by them. Men in tribal cultures aren’t turned on because they see it everyday so desensitized, just like how it is for nudist colonies. EVen though nice looking, isn’t as intruiging once you see it all the time, doesn’t mean it’s isn’;t sexual, just a person is used to it.

    • Men’s butts aren’t selectively covered and revealed. And the camera doesn’t focus on it either. How many men’s butts have you seen on billboards or other advertisements? Compared with women? There’s very little commentary about men’s butts, either.

      Men often wear pretty baggy pants too.

      You might want to guarantee that women’s butts would be eroticized even if people saw them all the time, and yet they are not in tribal cultures, as you next admit.

  21. What do women have to look at? pecs, shoulders, biceps…you know muscles and parts that are usually top 5 as far as a turn on or listed on men’s health etc for top body part turn ons. Of course, it’s men’s bodies not doing it for women and it’s because of society. I know your posts are supposed to be about things that can help for women and men, and even though you don’t mean it that way, it sounds insulting or like a backhanded compliment for guys. I’d rather women not being aroused by men, which I still believe, because women generally or more so are more mentally and emotionally tuned or need more of the package as well as visual to be turned on initially, which is why seeing a man’s body they don’t know doesn;’t turn them on. Not because it’s not attractive enough, or its not attractive but because women being less visual than guys and needing stimulation, not because of guy’s bodies but women. Of course though to you it’s women being visual, but men’s bodies just not doing it for women to be aroused. That article about women finding men sexy, felt like a backhanded compliment. Don’t worry women find men sexy, well thank god (sarcasm), I mean that’s what women are programmed to do. I’m so glad women find men;s bodies sexy, you know the bare minnimum of what a straight women should feel. I know you won’t want to write back, because obviously anyone who has valid points that counter yours are wrong. You wrote before, how it’s because men’s bodies aren’t fetishsized, well I’m glad knowing men’s bodies aren’t attractive enough to be arousing for women who supposedly are as visual as men, and have to be all over the media and sexualized and all of men’s bodies covered for women to be turned on, because, you know man;s body itself is not sexually appealing enough to do so itself.

    • You might find my comment insulting but the problem is patriarchy.

      Historically men have had control over our images and have projected what they find sexy. Then we are all bombarded by what men find sexy and men end up being ignored. And that ends up not being good for men.

      Don’t shoot the messenger. Do something about patriarchy.

      So yes, women can find men’s bodies sexy but they aren’t fetishized because our culture doesn’t fetishize them, or even sexualize them very much. And men’s clothing is not made to reveal the male body, either. Again, blame patriarchy. I would like to see things change as much as you would.

  22. Our culture really has driven women’s sexual desires down a pretty steep hill. I do find it quite interesting that since women are so exposed in advertisement these days that even other women find billboards or commercials sexy when it hosts multiple women models in bikinis or so.. I feel also for us men to give off a sexy image to women these days is for us to be up to date with today’s fashion & bodies of their “Dream guy”. For example, I would receive more sexual compliments for when I’m dressed up in a matching 3 piece suit vs. A casual day of school outfit of sneakers/tank top. It for sure is today’s culture and who knows if it will ever change any time soon.

  23. I grow up in a country where men are taught not to show appreciation to the women; just let let them know what their “duties” are. That what the commander chief has to do as proof of his masculinity.

    As consequence of not doing their daily routine (house work or being ready for sex); Women are physically and verbally abused.

    so sad, things have to change

  24. If a woman does the female equivalent of the “male gaze” thing, at least some men will interpret that as consent. How often do women assault men who give them the onceover?

  25. Male sexuality often seems like the great plague of our species (you see this a lot traveling abroad too, it’s not just the US, and in many cases we’re better; if better-than-atrocious counts for much). It gets depressing until I hear inspiring and refreshing stories to counter the perception. I’d love to read some more positive stuff on here too…maybe interview some sex-positive women with happy situations, thriving libidos, and tangibly present strength in life? I could introduce you to a few. (For which I am eternally grateful.)

  26. You’re right. As complex as the problem is, the answer (at least on an individual level) is pretty simple.

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