Why Endure Excruciating Hookups?
Some women enjoy hooking up when it’s “friends with benefits.” Or if not friends, at least sex without malevolence.
Other times ya gotta wonder why they do it.
Women having bad sex
Like women who have sex with 13 men (at different times) but without pleasure. Because it’s about his pleasure and not hers. Or women who feel reduced to sex toys. Or women who “just want to get it over with.” Or women who say,
[The men] could care less about what I do with my life or if I ever see them again. Many times afterward the guy will not say hello or even acknowledge my presence.
Or women who know that men tell stories about them,
They’re not afraid to use names. I’m sure there’s been a story about me on a Listserv. It happens to everyone.
Several women told Kate Taylor, who explored sex on campus for a New York Times piece, that they couldn’t hook up without alcohol because being intimate with men they didn’t know was too uncomfortable sober.
Sounds crazy. Yet the phenomenon is widespread.
Why have bad sex?
Why agree to bad sex? The women probably do it because they believe that everyone else does. It’s human nature to conform to social norms. Especially when those norms are collegiate “cool.”
One girl described the initiation process, which takes place at big fraternity parties during New Student Orientation:
You go in, and they take you down to a dark basement. There’s girls dancing in the middle, and there’s guys lurking on the sides and then coming and basically pressing their genitals up against you and trying to dance.
When she began joining in the dancing, herself, she had to be drunk to enjoy it.
The initiation is the first verse, sung softly, that trains women to transform into sex toys for men’s pleasure but not their own.
Looking deeper, women are also taught to serve and to think of others.
Women are taught to be sexy, but not sexual.
They are also taught that men’s sexual needs are more important than their own. Some told Dr. Lisa Wade exactly that. Since women’s sexual needs are more repressed in our society, they may feel less urgent.
And women are taught that they and their needs are secondary in ways that go beyond the sexual. Who’s the head of home? Who’s the boss? Probably a guy. Women almost always come after men: men and women, boys and girls, brothers and sisters, guys and gals. The last time you got a holiday card the husband’s name probably came first, followed by the wife’s, and then the children in order of appearance. Women take their husbands last names. Men usually feel insulted at the thought of taking their wife’s name. And, “man” often encompasses “woman,” as in “man,” “mankind,” “brotherhood”…
And so men get used to being primary.
And women get used to being secondary. We hardly notice it.
When hookup culture elevates men’s pleasure and de-prioritizes women’s pleasure and pain, it’s all just as an exclamation point.
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