Sexual Satisfaction Tied to Gender Equality

Gender equality = sexual equality

Gender equality = sexual equality

When I ask my students how many of them have heard of girls being slut-shamed in high school, they all have.

Meanwhile, as I’ve mentioned before, around half of American women have experienced sexual dysfunction: low desire, no desire, painful sex and difficulty climaxing.

Women enjoy sexuality much more in places where women and men have greater equality.

Makes sense.

When we value men’s sexuality over women’s, we’re more likely to focus on his sexual pleasure. Like this:

  • Women “servicing” men in a casual hookup, but expecting nothing in return.
  • Women obsessing over whether they look hot enough to spark a man’s desire — while ignoring their own desire.
  • Men insisting that women act like porn stars, even if their partners find it distressing.
  • Celebrating men’s sexuality while women’s desire is shamed and punished.
  • Failing to teach girls how to orgasm. And in sexually repressive societies, women often need to be taught.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Sexual satisfaction in more sex-equal societies

Among the Polynesian Marquesas, women have always enjoyed nearly equal status to men. And the first Europeans to arrive among them reported that female orgasm seemed to come easily, too.

sexual equality 2Among the ancient Hawaiians, women and men were of equal status. The Kinsey Institute reports:

Research on the status of women in traditional Polynesian societies supports the view that their position was regarded as high… Chiefly status could take precedence over gender, and consequently, women could also assume positions of power as chiefs.

Polynesian societies also valued the female orgasm. And the women seemed to have been easily orgasmic.

Or, a survey of nearly 30,000 people in 29 countries found higher levels of sexual satisfaction in more egalitarian places. The top 5:

Austria, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Italy.

Satisfaction was much lower in these countries:

Egypt, Algeria, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, China, Thailand

Of course, gender equality isn’t the only thing that matters. Japan isn’t the most sexist country in the world, yet it does seem to have the lowest levels of sexual satisfaction. (And it’s also on the low side among developed countries in terms of gender equality). And several countries score higher than Italy in terms of gender equality.

Still, there is a pattern. And there is a reason why equality matters.

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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 June 8, 2015, in feminism, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 85 Comments.

  1. Although Japan is not a sexist country, yet the female satisfaction levels are quite low over there, as mentioned in your article. It should not come as a surprise though.
    As per Hofstede’s framework, Japan scores extremely high on masculinity index, way higher than even Saudi Arabia. As per this framework, a masculine society is one which strongly prefers heroism, assertiveness, achievement and competitive.
    Keeping the management concepts aside, I find it quite strange that in many cases, women do seem to obsess over looks for catching attention. While trying to look better is not wrong, obsession is not good either. Maybe it’s subconscious. Maybe not.
    And I don’t know the logic behind frowning upon or demeaning female orgasm, when it is largely accepted that sex is a human need. I mean, why should a woman not be allowed the pleasure and why should only male pleasure matter?

    • Many nations score above the US, on gender equality, like the nordic nations. And even more score above Japan. But other factors do seem to come into play, too. I was watching a series by Christian Amanpour on sexuality and it seems that in Japan touching is discouraged. That’s not going to help, right?

      • You are right Madam, but I wasn’t talking about gender equality scores. I was talking about the “Masculinity vs femininity” scores under Hofstede’s framework.
        You are right, gender equality scores will definitely involve other factors as well, like equal pay. Japan seems to have about a significant gender pay disparity among OECD countries.
        I need to watch the series of Christian Amanpour I believe to understand more about sexuality.
        But hearing that touching is discouraged is quite surprising. I don’t think it will help.

  2. Maby is because of what things mean. Nipple sucking doesn’t have any inherent meaning, and Japan clearly thinks it means something different than Americans do.

    Not inherent meaning, but like sex with certain things socially structured in regards to men doing this sex act and women doing this sex act as masculine and feminine. So while it’s not inherent, there are social aspects and conditioning in the way cultures see certain things. And that’s why I pointed it out. It might not have an inherent meaning, but countries like america with some rigid views on men and women and sex. Well they seem to have the same view on sex or similar. So that’s why I showed that to be an example of countries like america and the correlation with something like nipple play, and how other countries with rigid male female roles, they seem to share the same view sexually and nipple play can be an example.

    I have a strong feeling countries like saudi arabia, with rigid male and female views see nipple play the same way and even more so and probably men having it done to them even though by women as a “gay” feminine act. Countries like Mexico with a sexist macho view I have a strong feeling the view is the same way. So you see, it really seems like a country thats more open minded is one who has the social and conditioned view of sex roles for men and women to not be as rigid and more open like japan, which is why I found it confusing for the contrast of japan politically closed minded but open minded sexually with male female roles, when they usually are connected. Many countries like America see female nipples and breasts as sexual and also erotic thus normal for men and lesbians to play with women’s nipples, but it “different” or not as common for it the other way around, wheras, japan and other like countries that don;’t have as defined views of men and women;s roles sexually are the ones who don’t see nipple play as something women or men do and that goes with sex positions too it seems and other acts though maybe not everything.

    Yeah as far as meaning goes, it seems common for countries to place meaning to sex acts and have gender roles place to them. The more rigid the more defined the sex act roels are like I said, even if they themselves don’t have an inherent meaning to them, but what is placed on them from a social view. Which is why the nipple thing can have a view of what is done to women, and not to men, whereas, other open minded culture atleast in that way don’t see it that way.

  3. If there is a lack of equality in the relationship (or in society) then there is no quid pro quo exchange happening. I would imagine that sex with someone who does not care about my pleasure would feel more like a transaction. It would be a numbing experience. I don’t see how that makes for a nice environment where I could really let my hair down and get my orgasm on. It would be even more awkward if I lived in a country where they had to teach me how to have a orgasm. I would like to have a more organic experience exploring my pleasure on my own. It makes me question if that really does help these women or if this just makes them more self-conscious and pressured. Europeans are open-minded and accept sex as a mutually beneficial experience, I guess that is why men have been stereo typed with “Italian stallion”, “French Lover”… It’s clear that european men have a different mindset and the whole world knows it!

  4. It’s almost hard to even believe that there are egalitarian societies that exist. I mean American culture tends to be fairly liberal overall, but I also have to consider that I live in the Bay Area and other places aren’t as liberal. But even though this area seems more liberal, there is still a lot of repression women are faced with. For example, when women go out to for a night on the town, they aren’t supposed to be a slut, they’re just supposed to look like one. But where is the pleasure for women in wearing few clothes and uncomfortable stilettos when its 35 degrees outside that night? I read that women are taught to be sexy, but not to be sexual and they are taught to please, but not to be pleased. That is a common denominator in a lot of non-egalitarian cultures. Women are considered secondary and are treated as such. What really sucks is that women are used to it so much so that young women, like myself, can barely even imagine it being any other way.

  5. Being form a European country I agree that sexual satisfaction is tied to gender equality. When I arrived here in the US a few years ago I was shocked how selfish guys could be. Probably also the fact I made poor choices, but I did that at home too. But the fact that they think I like to be spanked or do what they command, is not how I want to be treated. At least ask for permission or ask… so you can create gender equality. As long as men think they can do whatever and think only about themselves, nothing is going to change. At home I never experienced this kind of selfishness.

  6. It just seems natural to put the two together, Some separate aggressive and dominance, but to men aggressive and dominant go hand in hand and together. So if an act is aggressive, it’s probably dominating too. That’s why slamming, pounding, ramming, thrusting correlate to dominance as it’s the one “doing” and actions whereas, the one taking the blows and slams and rams is being dominated. It’s not necessarily penetration itself that means or penetration plus thrusting that means dominace, as I can see some instances where women can be dominant if in certain positions, where they are on top and pounding themselves onto the man, but in an aggressive, dominant in control way. But it depends more, though there are certain positions more dominant or where a woman can be, because its in a more aggressive position.

    • The two don’t have to go together. And I wouldn’t even interpreted as being aggressive. But being active. Yet how many kings were passively served by their servants? And when the king was sitting around while the servants did the work, the servants weren’t dominating the king. So if a woman is lying there when a man is sexually serving her, that doesn’t seem like dominance. And there’s a big difference between having sex and the words used to describe it. Which sounds awful. When women are on top I don’t think it is ever described as ramming. It could be before use that negative of a word?

  7. Sex positions too. Even in mainstream porn or movie scenes, female unstandard dominant like positions were more likely done in the kama sutra like sense. That can be practiced and done in america of course, but that’s usually not in mainstream american porn or most common mainstream american movie sex scenes either. Maybe it makes sense for it to be more common because the kama sutra originated in the east as in India, so more likely for more of that from the easter cultures? But another example of gender roles not being so rigid as far as sex goes like in america.Japanese men could have their nipples messed with and this mainstream and nobody raises an eyebrow and its seen as very normal and different, unique female dominant positons and a man being in such positons from japanese porn or sex scenes and it’s not seen in an emasculating fashion like it would in america. Obviously japanese porn and sex scenes had much male dominant stuff and positoons just like american porn and sex scenes, but that was the difference was the submissive side for men and the women not seeing their dominant or doing other stuff as weird or different for a woman.

    • Well, I don’t think that something like missionary position has to be experienced as male dominant. It doesn’t have any inherent meaning. One could think of the female as swallowing the male as female dominant — whatever position. Or you could think of the male entering as male dominant. Most of human experience is symbolic, And when people start talking about missionary like it is male dominant it can seem like it to some people. It’s never seemed like it to me. The nipple thing is also symbolic. It means something to some people not to others.

      • That’s my point though, there is less of a symbol or view of this is a thing men do, and this is a thing women do or have done to them. Though america is more equal than japan, america seems more hung up with, men have sex in a dominant way and less submissive and such positions and women can be on top but mainly in cowgirl fashion. It’s a woman thing to make sounds in bed or more sounds, men not so much. It’s normal for women to have their nipples played with by men and basically expected. Women playing with men’s nipples is “kinky” or different and men liking that or wanting it are “less masculine?” and women doing it “kinkier” or more aggressive?

        You see, for whatever reason there are more rigid gender views of what men and women are to do in bed that’s “normal”. That’s why I meant it in the mainstream sense, because as we’ve seen, there are many men who desire submission and many women who fantasize about dominating. Yet, it’s not seen as something to be admitted, because of gender roles. Which is why most porn and even tv, movies and mainstream sex and erotic stuff is often men dominating or standard sex acts of what men do to women and vice versa and why women say playing with men’s nipples in mainstream movie sex scenes is pretty rare, whereas, japan not being so tied into gender actions is more common to have women be dominant or playijng with men’s nipples. Because there is less symbolism of what men and women do differently sexually or supposed to do.

        I don’t think missionary is dominant in and itself. But variations of it like if a man has a flexible woman’s feet pinned back to her ears or close to and pounding away, then yes. I think, though it’s not often done, because of fatigue from lifting and positiong, but I think a man picking a woman up, pinning her against the wall and pounding her and having his way is very dominant too. I think there’s a reason for some positions to be seen as dominant, because of the domineering nature that goes with it and aggressiveness. I think it’;s natural and why many see certain male missionary or variations of the position, because how aggressive man can be or how its done. It seems natural for people as a result, which many do, to see the one in the compromised position, moaning and being pounded to being “dominated” and the one having the one in the compromised position and aggressively pounding to be the dominant one. I can’t help and many too seem to see it that way as the “doer” and “one pounding”, “banging” as the one in control and dominant.

      • Right. The missionary position is not dominant/submissive. Some people have looked at it that way, But cultural understanding lies in back of interpreting it that way. If you think of the woman just lying back and been served, then she is the dominant one.

        As another example think of the door ceremony. When a man opens the door for a woman some people look at that as male dominance. But that’s because we have cultural notions of male dominance in our heads. When someone opens the door for the president or a king, we don’t think of the door opener is being dominant over the president or the king. Instead it is the ruler who is dominant.

        On your last paragraph, you may see a lot more Male dominance like that in pornography here. At the same time, about evil numbers of men and women fantasize about being dominated in a culture that is very near to ours: Canada.

      • Yeah but doesn’t that show how, like the nipple thing. America is more rigid with it’s views symbollically of what is masculine and what is feminine action as far as sex? that’s why I see a contradiction. America is more equal than Japan so sexual views should be more open about male and female roles with sex, but it’s not. Like I said women licking/sucking men’s nipples can be seen as different, weird, kinky or atleast not the way in japan. In japan it seems to be viewed as normal and not what men do to women or a thing women like. Japan doesn’t have the perception of roles like america seems to with positions and like nipple play. America seems to seems to see men and masculine sex as having sex this way and doing this , and women having this done, whereas, it’s blurred and less rigid like I said with japan.

      • Maby is because of what things mean. Nipple sucking doesn’t have any inherent meaning, and Japan clearly thinks it means something different than Americans do.

  8. This is a really interesting topic to discuss. I think several excellent point are made here. My first thought in response was how people commonly say that women don’t start enjoying sex until they’re in their thirties or so; when they reach their “sexual peak”. I believe that why this may be for some is mainly due to self-perception. If a woman feels confident about herself and is with a partner that feels the same and the relationship is balanced and equal, sexual satisfaction results. I see how sexual satisfaction is tied to gender equality but I think the primary focus is on how we feel about ourselves and the dynamic of our relationships. If couples are internally secure and respect each other as equals, they care to satisfy each other and equally, themselves.

    “When we value men’s sexuality over women’s, we’re more likely to focus on his sexual pleasure. Like this:
    Women “servicing” men in a casual hookup, but expecting nothing in return.
    Women obsessing over whether they look hot enough to spark a man’s desire — while ignoring their own desire.
    Men insisting that women act like porn stars, even if their partners find it distressing.
    Celebrating men’s sexuality while women’s desire is shamed and punished.
    Failing to teach girls how to orgasm. And in sexually repressive societies, women often need to be taught.”
    This clearly illustrates a problem within our culture. Women’s sexuality is very much oppressed and the results listed above are too often a reality. Reflecting on my own experiences and the experiences of my girlfriends, when we were younger, fall in line completely with everything presented here. I have been with my boyfriend for about four years and my levels of sexual satisfaction correlate directly to how I perceive myself and how we treat each other. He is the only person I have ever been satisfied with and we see each other as equals.

    • It could be that you have manage to be free from sexual repression. But I suspect that Women today don’t realize how sexually repressed they are.

      Less than 30% of women are able to have orgasms with their partners. And a high number of women need a vibrator to orgasm. That is a sign of sexual repression. Not to mention the roughly half of women who’ve experienced sexual dysfunction: low desire, And No desire, Painful sex, difficulty climaxing, Inability to orgasm.

      No matter how confident woman is, they are surrounded by slut-shaming. And many women get distracted by how they look, Prioritizing their partners sexual enjoyment over their own. Women who think they look good are often focused on how great they look, And not how great they feel. Meanwhile, 80% of young women have poor body image. They are more likely to worry about how they look then how they feel in bed.

      And it all is related to sexism. Judging women’s bodies, Slut-shaming them, Etc.

      We really need to rid the culture of the repressive forces that harm women’s sexuality.

  9. The trend in female sexual satisfaction is absolutely in line with gender equality, and along with that I think more open communication about sex and sexual safety also leads to greater sexual satisfaction. If there is public knowledge and a casual approach to sex, it often leads to better sexual performance. Often sex is seen as too taboo a subject to really talk about and that leads to creating a lot of anxiety and pressure when sex is eventually performed or talked about. And in many countries such as the U.S, institutions often create unrealistic views of sex, such as the porn industry and even the general film industry itself. Boys who have grown up watching pornographic videos absolutely have unrealistic expectations about sex and women that could cause a number of problems. But by freeing the subject and making sure people know that sex isn’t some mysterious dangerous act, people can relax and when the time comes, enjoy themselves.

  10. So how do you explain japan being more unequal but less rigird as far as gender roles? Like you said and I’ve said, usually the two come together, with a more unequal society having more rigid gender roles. Like the middle east and even america to some extent. Even though america is more equal than japan, the gender roles are less rigid in japan. Wju is japan the exception you think with gender roles for society and how it relates to sex? In america the gender roles are more rigid and as a result it makes its way as far as relations between men and women with sex and how men and women view each other and sex acts that are masculine and feminine. Japan men and women are less hung up on that stuff.

    • I’m going to write some ideas on why Japan libido is so low. But I’m not clear on why you think that gender roles in Japan are less rigid than in the US. Maybe they are in some ways but I don’t know what those ways are.

      In many ways Japanese gender roles are more rigid than us: Women are still much more expected to do the housework, and my students have told me that a woman’s should only smile with a closed mouth smile — an open mouth smile is thought to assertive. They are often expected to cover their mouth with their hands less they risk being too expressive. If you watch a cooking show a male cook will say, “now stir this.” A female chef will say, “now if you will do me the favor of stirring this.” Just a few examples, but my Japanese students have brought up various examples.

      • They might be socially, but not necessarily sexually, which doesn’t make sense. Usually the two go together or interrelated. It seems like women might be more submissive or maybe it’s submission thing, but usually when that happens men are more dominant or hung up on being dominant in bed. This is not the case atleast in regards to sex. For whatever reason, eastern culture, and japanese culture is not hung up on some of the sexual hang ups in relation to men and women with what they do in bed or seen as “normal”, What maybe be done in America, is more I guess discreet or seen as “kinky” wheras, things done sexually to men in Japanese culture is seen as pretty normal whereas in America it’s more “kinky” and maybe more likely to raise an eye brow so to speak.

      • And what do you mean by being submissive?

        I was thinking about a study I posted on recently which showed that men and women of Quebec were nearly equally likely to have fantasies about being dominated.

  11. In high school, we all knew of the girls that were considered easy, loose, and some were known as boring in bed. It was so disappointing to here from students, especially female students talk so badly about other girls. My comment would be, I wasn’t there while they were having sex, so I have no reason to comment, or I would completely ignore the conversations and walk off. I was also shocked that all the guys were praised, and their performance were never questioned. However, I highly doubt these 14-18 year old boys really knew much of what they were doing, but only the girls were judged. Mainly, due to our society,and how men are seen as superior, and women should be the ones pleasuring them. Once I started taking sociology, and sexuality classes in college, I realized so much and that there is definitely a inequality in the bedroom. I have heard from numerous females friends that they rarely reach their climax, and some have never had a orgasm. I remember one friend telling me she got herself checked because the man she was seeing truly believed something was wrong with her, because everything of his was perfect, and that she should have had orgasms with him. Equality in the bedroom is important as it is everywhere else. Knowing you and your needs are appreciated, can really lighten up the mood, and it more pleasurable for both individuals.

  12. Female sexuality is such a hard thing to navigate as a woman. It’s like a battle between physical desire and cultural correctness. Even looking at advertisement so much is centered around hetero male sexuality and very little has to do with female sexuality. Listening to people talk about the new libido medication being backed by the FDA the conversation is pretty centered on it being important so women are more apt to satisfy their male partners–not because female sexuality and sexual fulfillment is extremely beneficial for women for multiple reasons. Egalitarianism is so very vital. Male privilege and patriarchy promote the idea that woman exists for man–to have their children, to care for them, to please them, entertain them, to promote their interest in every way imaginable–and it is so ingrained in our society, culture, and even religions that it’s going to take a lot of continued hard work before we see that day.

    • A lot of women and men don’t get feminism and why we need it, so I’m trying to help them see various reasons ways that it helps both women and men. And better sex is a big one!

      • “And better sex is a big one!”

        Yes, better sex is great for women. How about just more sex period for men?

        We don’t have millions of prostitutes, escorts,….for better sex. They are providing sex, period. I think that is what the “better” would be for men.

        I really don’t get you on this one…I GIVE UP!!!

      • I’ll try one more time:

        If women’s sexuality were not repressed in our society, Then women would enjoy sex more, and then men would get more sex.

        And more enjoyable sex, because it’s a lot more fun to have sex with someone who is enjoying it.

        Take my experience for instance. If I were as sexually interested at age 20 as I was at age 10 I would’ve been way more interested in having sex. As it was, I had pretty much no interest in having sex when I was in my prime.

        Around half of American women experience strong sexual dysfunction. They are not going to be very interested in having sex with anyone. And even a woman who doesn’t have the strong form of dysfunction often needs a vibrator — unnecessary in sex-positive cultures. She’s more likely to get off with her vibrator than with the guy.

  13. This blog post just made me think about how it is incredibly hard to change a culture. The best thing that we can do really is help raise girls self esteem, because once women have a higher self esteem then they will have more confidence in themselves, and raise their expectations and standards to match their level. So girls will become more picky about the guys they choose to have sex with, and they will be able to focus on their personal happiness equally as men do now.

  14. I am myself from sweden and i can confirm that in sweden its more equal in sex then here in america, in my own experience here guys things its kinda done whenever they are done but in sweden its not done until both are satisfied. Also sex in general is more a negative here in america then in sweden, in sweden we talk about sex more openly with people we know, but here its more ashaming to talk about it and people who talk about it openly often are called perverted or sluts ect. I think one part is the religons role in each of the country since sweden is very agnostic compared to america, we dont think that we will be punished ect if we have sex. Sure people doesnt like people who sleep around a ton in sweden but that goes for both genders, not only the females.

    • Thanks for sharing more about Swedish culture and sexuality.

    • “Sure people doesnt like people who sleep around a ton in sweden but that goes for both genders, not only the females.”

      Good point!!!! Glad to hear it goes for BOTH genders.

      The problem here is women rarely if ever chastise the cads of the world here. In fact they often elevate these men to a higher status then other men. This is a major problem here.

      It is not my duty, as a man, to show dislike for cads and playboys. This is the responsibility of women!!! Yet, women consistently refuse to say or do anything about it. Quite the opposite. Many have an affinity for these men.

      Lastly, I can assure you that BOTH men and women have greater levels of sexual satisfaction in your country than here. Even the sex lives of most married men is shitty here. Maybe the women too….

      Question: Are Swedish women as picky over their men as American women? Do Swedish women view most men as unattractive (sexually or otherwise)? Do Swedish women view most men as “creepy” or “rapey?”

      • And the reason women don’t say anything about it is because they have internalized the culture. It seems natural and normal to them because everyone accepts it. Even if they don’t like it.

        Unfortunately oppressed groups often accept things that harm them because they have internalized — it seems so natural and normal that they don’t think to critique it.

  15. Cultural differences in each country seem to strongly reflect the percentage of sexual equality that goes on- Japan is a strongly conservative and especially patriarchal culture. How can cultures that correspond with conservative misogyny begin to alter these beliefs and thus influence the change in sexual gratification for both partners? Slut shaming is a phrase that is common amongst this generation, and is absolutely disgusting. I don’t believe there is any way to justify the word slut; women’s sexuality belongs to each women individually regardless of their decisions. This goes for anybody, yet women need this sexual (and liberal) equality the most- especially women of color who are the most oppressed gender/race in the world. The context for slut shaming is an entirely wrong, close-minded,judgmental (almost vengeful) way to see women throughout sexual feats.

  16. When it comes to sex and woman I feel like there are more negative things then good things with this topic. This article talks about slut shamming and its right everyone has heard of slut shamming. Also I feel now a days more and more of my friends feel like it sex is just to please a man not a woman. I have a friend who has been with her man for almost 10 years and I asked her to read this article an tell me what she thought. She told me that the article is right and that some woman including herself, have trouble being satisfied in the bedroom but are able to satisfy their partner. Now a day’s most men think woman should act like porn stars and do whatever it takes for a man to be satisfied but in reality most woman don’t act like porn stars because they will get negative attention an be called a “slut” or a “hoe”.

    • Thanks for talking about what you have observed and the conversation with your friend.

    • “Now a day’s most men think woman should act like porn stars and do whatever it takes for a man to be satisfied but in reality most woman don’t act like porn stars because they will get negative attention an be called a “slut” or a “hoe”.

      Jeez, I wonder where are all these men? Or who are all these men? Most men have difficulty getting ANY sex let alone trying to demand the porn star experience!

      The men who are doing this sort of thing are the ones who are sleeping with a lot of different women. They can demand this sort of action. They have lots of options!

      I scoff at the notion that the average man in America, many who must frequesnt sex workers, are doing this sort of thing.

      This comment reflect how out of touch with reality so many women are when it comes to men and sex.

  17. Expanding on the points made in the article, I think a large part of the problem with women’s sexual satisfaction has been a lack of (accurate) information available about women’s sexuality, as well as a stigma surrounding the discussion of it. This of course ties back into patriarchy and gender inequality, which is why a lot of feminist groups and blogs emphasize sex positivity and education. Oftentimes, women just don’t know enough about their own bodies, because they have been taught that sex is shameful and pleasure is something reserved for the man. Even if family or religion does not explicitly teach them these things, they are implied throughout society and women cannot help but internalize them. I think that our sex education in secondary school needs to be much more comprehensive and inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations, and we need to de-stigmatize the discussion and study of women’s sexuality to start our society on a better path toward gender equality and sexual satisfaction for everyone.

  18. This is really interesting because as for the “slut shaming” in high school is very true and I witnessed a lot of that. It’s crazy to think how big it is to slut shame someone. Sex should be equal the man shouldn’t be getting all the pleasure. I believe that they don’t deserve it, they are the ones who bring us women down by calling us sluts and whores.

  19. This makes a lot of sense to me. If something isn’t stimulated or paid attention to, getting it to have a reaction is super difficult, if not impossible. For this reason, the way society ignores the female orgasm acts as a repressor that blocks anything from stimulating female sexual satisfaction. Another thing that also makes sense is the way porm creates faulty ideas about the female orgasm, for example, that it is easily achieved. Even when a guy cared about the sexual satisfaction of their (female) partner, they’d still probably not be able to please as they may have wrong ideas from porn.
    It’s also interesting to think about Japan’s levels of female sexual satisfaction, despite it not being a very unequal country. I’d believe that because of the way technology is constantly advancing, more men in Japan find sexual satisfaction using technology and not actually interacting with real life women.

    • Among develop societies Japan is at the low end of equality. I’ll be writing more soon on what might be happening there.

      • It’s weird though, because usually with countries that are very unequal between men and women, there’s a power dynamic and men seen or feel more powerful, macho and insecure or feel like they have to show and be more macho and women more feminine. So the masculine and feminine dynamic more rigid and defined. I mean in middle east countries that are very oppressive, men are very rigid with what they show or feel as being masculine and anything submissive or such, would be “gay” and probably punishable and women to be very feminine in such cultures. America is not like that, but still america has pretty defined gender roles, though it’s loosening up a bit as years go and people progress.

        Usually the more unequal the culture with men and women, the more rigird masculinity and feminity is, and this can and usually makes its way to sex and sexual relations too. Homophobia is very strong too as a result. So it doesn’t make sense, because japan is very unequal, but many of the men aren’t so concerned about showing a submissive side or what would be seen in america as that or the masculine ideal is not as rigid like other countries that are seen as unequal. For example, remember that girl that said girls or many women go crazy for that gay love cartoon I think? called yaoi. Guess where that resides? Yep japan. Japanese fictional erotic stuff and there’s other lesbian and homoerotic stuff thats pretty main stream there it seems, so japan actually seems less homophobic than america, which usually is the opposite for gender unequal cultures. Like I said, the more unequal the culture is between men and women is, the more rigid gender roles and more men feel they have to prove and uphold masculine ideals and as aresult comes insecurity and usually the country is very homophobic as a result. Usually egalatarian cultures are more likely to be open minded and therefore less likely to have homophobia or much less than more unequal cultures between men and women.

      • Well this isn’t true: Usually the more unequal the culture with men and women, the more rigird masculinity and feminity is, and this can and usually makes its way to sex and sexual relations too.

        Egypt has very rigid gender roles and they’re also low in sexual satisfaction. An Egyptian woman recently wrote a book, and in part of it she talks about how repressive the sexual mores she grew up with were and how hard she has fought to get her sexual feeling back.

        I can relate. I grew up in a very fundamentalist Christian religion which has a very strict gender divide. (In fact, I probably wouldn’t be such a strongly focused feminist except for being so pissed off by growing up in that religion.) One study found that my religion had the highest rate of repression of all US religions studied. Fundamentalist Christians, With their stricter gender divide, tended to be more repressed in the survey. The least repressed were atheists. But all of these fundamentalist traditions have this view that sexuality– Especially for women– Is bad (atheism doesn’t have that view). And so women in these sex-negative societies constantly lose their ability to experience sexual pleasure. One of my friends who grew up in the same religion as me said to me after I got married, “Can you believe how boring sex is?” I was like “Yeah, totally!” I thought people were just lying about thinking sex was great.

  20. I believe that equality in gender is important in not only sexual satisfaction but general satisfaction in women’s quality of life. When placed equally as their male counterparts, I think women are able to express more freely of their assertiveness and confidence. For me, I know that being confidence and regarded is essential in my relationship therefore I am much happier.
    (I am an Indonesian.) My mom have recently confide in me that she’s in an unhappy relationship with my father because for 20 more years, she has not found her place in her society. She has been a housewife and worked diligently to raise my siblings and I, but in return, she has sacrificed her time. Money is an issue to equality problems in Indonesia. The father brings home money and food therefore he has a bigger say in things and decision. My mom often tells me to find work outside instead of marrying young like she did. She said this is why married couples often find compromising so hard after years of building a family together. She does not feel the satisfaction of love-making when days in and out, all she does is fight with my dad over issues.
    I feel that in asian country, women are told to stay home and look after the family, we are not given the privilege or rights to do as we wish. As a result, this has created toll on marriages and equality of husband and wife obviously differs.

  21. It’s interesting that japan is so low. I understand china because of how the government sees girls as secondary to boys and we all know how boys are kept and girls are either aborted or sent off and the population trending towards boys. In america where puritan views and worked up to american culture makes sense. But while japan I’m sure has some non egalitarian ways like America. There are somethings, with japan as far sexuality where japan is suprisingly more open minded with sex and things less taboo in japan as well as gender roles don’t seem as rigid as in america. I never really looked to see japanese porn but have come across it and movie sex scenes and my conclusion in comparison to america stuff is that, there is more balance and open mindedness with sex between men and women than in american porn. And not just porn, but what men might think or want in america is more taboo or “hidden” where as in japan the same stuff is mainstream and not seen as a big deal and common. Whereas such stuff is seen as more :”kinky” in america.

    So it’s weird that japan can be more open minded with men and women with such things, japanese men or culture isn’t open minded to women’s satisfaction. You’d think it should come together. Or such a culture open minded in one way wouldn’t also be more caring and open to women’s satisfaction.

  22. I have always thought that protestant and… secondly highly catholic countries might be prude as to sex and so on…
    Judging for the top five countries it seems it is not the case…
    [What happened with USA, though!?]…
    Very interesting Georgia, Best wishes, Aquileana ⭐

    • Well, a lot of those countries are not actually very religious. But the US is — at least compared to them (we have a pretty devout Bible belt.) And conservative religions tend to be correlated with both sex inequality and sexual refreshing-especially the women.

  23. As I witness my nieces and nephew growing up, and notice the differences in their sex education vs what sexuality really is, I became very aware of the narrow-minded material they are taught about sex and sexuality. I want them to realize that the sex they are taught culturally, as well as institutionally isn’t everything there is to know about what sex and what sexuality really is. The presentation we had in class surrounding sexuality is the sex class I have always wanted to experience and hope that my nieces and nephews can witness. Awareness and education about sex and sexuality I think will aid female sexual desire as well as recognizing that sex isn’t just about male ejaculation and sexuality isn’t just binary between two “opposite” sexes. The fact that it took me till college to witness it though is very disheartening, yet I am incredibly fortunate to live in an area that values that kind of sexual education. But this area isn’t like others because I know that if I drive a couple miles, quality of education can all change which is incredibly terrifying. People here need to show respect/empathy to this type of education and use this privileged education as a way to bring awareness to others since other parts of our nation are still being harmed by narrow-minded views about sex, sexuality and LGBT. The only way to combat it is to educate others about LGBT awareness/respect and debunk the cultural meaning of sex/sexuality.

  24. shelby mancini

    It’s interesting to see how different cultures value women’s sexuality. It seems that the more eastern countries tend to value men’s sexuality over women’s sexuality. This might be due to a long standing tradition of men being the dominant sex and women being repressed sexually as it was always seen as a sin for them to express their sexuality. We can still see this idea in our culture as well. When I was in high school, I saw plenty of girls being slut shamed because of the rumor that they slept with so and so. I never really questioned it very much until I took a class with you. I’ve learned that women who are just as sexually active as men are considered to be sluts or whores, even though their male counter parts are given a pat on the back for expressing their sexuality. This double standard has proven to be hurtful to women around the world, as we can see through these statistics. The fact that we have made such great strides in women’s rights, yet we are not in the top places for sexual satisfaction amongst the population astounds me. Sexual repression truly does make people unhappy and we, as a nation, need to come together to make this personal right a reality.

  25. This is really interesting. I’ve always thought it weird when people ‘slut-shame’. Sex is just a normal part of life. Some guys always talk about wanting more sex, then turn around and call women ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’, I never understood that. If you want more sex why are you contributing to the idea that women that have sex should be slut shamed?

    • Crazy. I guess a lot guys care more about keeping their status within patriarchy than sex. But I’m sure that a lot of it is done without any thinking at all. Just repeating what you have internalized.

      • Yeah exactly. Do people really, really think women having and enjoying sex is a bad thing or do they just repeat what they hear?

      • My guess is a little of both. On some level they are just repeating what they hear. On another level they really do see sexually interested women as slutty and bad. Regardless, it sinks into women’s subconscious.

      • “But you also exaggerate the extent to which women are having sex with a bunch of attractive men. You seem to have this idea that there are a bunch of women who are having all this sex with just a few men and there is no evidence for that.’

        As you yourself have agreed, most women find most men sexually unattractive. Right? Which also means that most women find only a FEW men sexually attractive. Simple deductive reasoning. If that is the case, why or rather how can I NOT be right?

        Just look at the online dating sphere….The most attractive men get the majority of dates! Most men are ignored or NEVER replied back to even if they shotgun replies to women…This is from various internal data from online dating site.

      • That doesn’t mean they’re having sex with these men. A lot of women get on dating sites and just flirt. I reposted a piece by a guy who was under the impression that a lot of women wanted to have sex with him based on their response to him on these dating sites. And he talked his girlfriend — who was reluctant — into having an open relationship. Tons of men wanted to have sex with her in real life. But none of the women who had been flirting with the guy wanted to have sex with him in real life.

    • “Some guys always talk about wanting more sex, then turn around and call women ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’, I never understood that. If you want more sex why are you contributing to the idea that women that have sex should be slut shamed?”

      Let me help you out with this one. It is not so simple as you seem to think. Most men know that women are having sex with a limited number of men. Sex is largely UNAVAILABLE for most men. Why do you think there are so many prostitutes?

      So, we men know that the sexually active women are ONLY having sex with the few men whom they find attractive. So, slut shaming or not slut shaming is NOT going to have any real impact on the sexual opportunities for most men.

      So, I think this idea of “slut shaming” is more related to resentment and jealousy. Also, men are increasingly resentful of the sexual privilege women enjoy when it comes to sex and dating. A privilege that most women flatly deny..

      Personally, we all have tastes and preferences. I have little desire for a woman with a lot of past sexual partners and history. I am not going to slut shame such women. However, I do avoid them. I see this as perfectly OK. It is no different than discriminating in mate selection based on height, weight, race, religion, appearance etc. Women do this all the time with men.

      • It’s not as simple as you make it, Huggy.

        The reason why slut-shaming has a big effect is because it represses women’s sexuality, leaving women less interested in sex than they would otherwise be.

        I’ve talked about this many times but you don’t seem to ever get it. When women are constantly under threat of being punished for their sexual desire, at first they consciously suppress it. After while they don’t feel it or they feel it at a much lower level — the conscious suppression morphs into an inability to feel. And then it takes a lot more to get them sexually interested.

        But you also exaggerate the extent to which women are having sex with a bunch of attractive men. You seem to have this idea that there are a bunch of women who are having all this sex with just a few men and there is no evidence for that.

    • Sadly it’s very difficult to erase all that brainwashing as it is burned into the subconscious mind , as our Hostess rightly points out , this will manifest in the physical plane. I agree with yourself & Hostess , it’s repressive , hypocritical BS. Guys are also bashed nearly as much too nowadays…labelled as ” rapey , creepy ” etc .

    • I am not saying women having sex is a bad thing….But, for the love of God, does it have to be with 50 different men?!!!!

      • Why would it affect you either way. People have different sexual tastes. Whether someone wants to sleep with one person, fifty or no one at all, as long as it’s between consenting adults why would anyone else care. I think worrying about other peoples ‘number’ is a tad odd.

      • It is not a ‘tad odd’ when you end up one day married to one of these people. Them you will experience the negative consequences. These people rarely marry similar high number people. It is as if they intentionally prey on other people..I know from experience..

      • When who ends up married to one of what people? I’m not sure I am following? Are you saying you married someone who had slept with a lot of people and it turned out badly? Who are you saying preys on who?

  26. A lot of men in countries such as China , India & Vietnam will never even experience any relationship with a woman , the male – female birth ratio is already male heavy worldwide , but the horrific & disgusting practice of female infanticide results in approx a 30% excess of men in these countries , imbalanced attitudes resulting in an imbalanced population. I’m the very proud father of an 8 year old daughter.

  27. If only those continuing to support inequality could really get that equality could lead to better sex. I feel like sexuality has gotten so distorted by society-especially that of women’s sexuality. When are people going to realize that the power inherent in sexuality is so much more potent in a freer and equal world and whatever it is people are hungering to find in the distortions can be easily fed in the more holistic, liberated, alternative?

    • We would all be so much better off, and so many ways, with greater equality.

      On a related note men’s rightst activists sometimes write to me about how men are hurt by our Society, and then go on to blame women and feminism. But if you look at it, you can see that patriarchy is actually the problem. In fact, I haven’t gotten one complaint from an MRA where the real problem wasn’t patriarchy. I’ll be writing more on that later.

      • “Like you are reluctant to support anything that would lead to greater equality.

        WOW!!!! How did you reach that conclusion? Most men today, even conservative men, support gender equality (broadly defined). Does that mean most men support this notion of rape culture? Of course not. So, I am not sure why you would think most men do not support ANYTHING that would lead to greater gender equality?

        I fully support gender equality. I also put my $$$$$ in some causes that champion women’s equality…..anti sex trafficking, etc. As I see it, there is nothing to be gained by men by trying to turn back the clock on women’s equality. It is sheer and utter waste of time. You cannot stop progress!!!!

        “Even if it might benefit you sexually. Why is that? Men act like sex is such an important thing and yet some care more about their egos.”

        Well, “might” is the operative word here. But, support for gender equality should not be based on sexual outcomes……It is the morally correct thing to support. What I am arguing is: I am simply unconvinced that it would lead to more and better sex for men. I can certainly see how it would lead to much better sex for women. It’s like saying if we had perfect gender equality in America there would be no prostitutes or fewer prostitutes.

        Yes, sex IS an important thing. It (sex) is a part of our human makeup. So, why would it not be important? As for your ego remark, I do not get it….it’s above my head I suppose.

      • I appreciate your support. Thanks for the clarification.

    • “If only those continuing to support inequality could really get that equality could lead to better sex.”

      I think the disconnect is men feel all sex is good… least most men feel this way. While women always speak of “good sex.” For most men more sex IS better! While for women this is not the case.

      With that being said, I am not sure if less inequality would really improve anything. Remember, we men will do damn near anything for sex. We pay for sex. We risk our families for sex. We risk our jobs for sex……on and on…

      So, if getting rid of inequality would result in more sex for most men, then inequality would have been eliminated ages ago.

      So, it begs the questions: better sex for whom? more sex for whom?

      Lastly, I am curious why women are not out here urging other women to take greater responsibility for their own sexuality (and orgasms)? If you meet a guy and he is not open to trying to please you or ask you what you want then tell him so…

      I get this feeling that too many women think men should just know how to please a woman. Only the privileged players and cads are experienced enough to know. Practice does make perfect!!!

      • I don’t think that most men realize that inequality leads to bad sex.

        When you have a disconnect between the two, of course you’re not going to try to have greater gender equality.

        And consider how sexism lies behind this phenomenon:
        “Men feel all sex is good… least most men feel this way. While women always speak of “good sex.” For most men more sex IS better! While for women this is not the case.”

        . If women have more sex, They are more slut-shamed, i.e., punished for having sex
        That leads them to repress their sexual desire which leads them to lose desire — as I’ve mentioned before, I was much more interested in sexuality at age 10 and at age 20. Biologically speaking it should go to the opposite way. But I grew up in a culture of inequality and sexual repression — the two of which go together, as you can see from the countries I talk about in the post– as well as the reasons behind the pattern.

        And “Better sex for whom?” For both men and women. Women will be less sexually repressed. And men will be with women who aren’t constantly complaining that they don’t want to have sex. (Women who are repressed don’t enjoy sex, and don’t want to have it) And then men will be able to be with women who actually enjoy it and want it. And most men want to be with women who enjoy it and want it.

        “I am curious why women are not out here urging other women to take greater responsibility for their own sexuality (and orgasms)”
        This only goes so far. I have personally struggled with taking responsibility for been able to enjoy sexuality and it has been a huge struggle. I compare how I felt about sexuality at age 10 and how I felt about it 10 years + later, and I’m aware of the fact that it is really difficult for me to get into the place of enjoyment that I had when I was younger. You simply don’t understand how our society represses women’s sexuality so that they lose access to it. I have been with men who wanted to socially please me but I haven’t known how to direct him, And when I learned more about how to do it I still couldn’t respond as much as I would’ve liked. After you consciously repress your sexual desire for a long time, it simply goes away. And it’s more difficult to re-access than you seem to be able to imagine.

        Otherwise, I’m wondering why some people make comments like yours: “I am not sure if less inequality would really improve anything.” Like you are reluctant to support anything that would lead to greater equality. Even if it might benefit you sexually. Why is that? Men act like sex is such an important thing and yet some care more about their egos.

  28. It is really interesting to know that the sexual pleasure of women is actually related to the equal roles of men and women in the society. And I feel sad that China is among the countries where women have the lowest satisfaction. Well, I have to say, when I was in China, I didn’t realize how the sexual pleasure and women status are related, also I didn’t realize how little satisfaction women have with their partner. I had a friend complaining to me that her partner was unsatisfied about her reaction in bed, and she was nervous and wanted to find ways to satisfy him more. While, when I asked how she felt, she said it was hurt. It’s really sad that women are educated to repress their feeling and regard the men’s pleasure as their highest goals in China.

  29. This topic is a taboo for us and people dont even talk about it. I personally have never heard any of my married friends or family members complaining. But however, when a man wants to have a second or a third wife, he would easily give an excuse that his first wife is not enough for him and she is not giving her best. TV shows and media sometimes highlight on this topic in some scenes but people will consider it an 18+ so it will be cut from the movie.

    • Now I’m curious about why women don’t talk about it. Is it because you learn that sexuality is taboo and something not to talk about? Is it because you don’t want to admit there are problems to help yourself look good?

      I was just reading a book review by a journalist who is Egyptian. She talked about how her sexuality have been so repressed by her culture that it was very difficult for her to enjoy sex. I may have to read her book and write on it.

  30. Tze Ping Chan

    In my country, men’s sexuality is also placed a lot higher than a woman’s. I had this thought in head all the time few years ago: sex is finished when a man ejaculates. No one has ever mentioned anything about women’s need. However, experiencing sex for the first time, I started to realize how important it is to satisfy a woman as well. I can’t imagine how many women have never experienced an organism even after having sex for thousands of time. I feel so sad for them because they don’t realize what they deserve.
    Some of my friends say sex with their boyfriends only last for 15 minutes the most. There is almost no foreplay, as their boyfriends don’t really care. As a lesbian myself I am really shocked and feel bad for them. Since I think foreplay is the most important thing when having sex. without it sex can be meaningless. So maybe that’s why girls in Hong Kong always say the “skills” of foreigners are way better than people from Hong Kong because most of them do care about how a woman feel when having sex.

    • And the thing is, even when men DO care about their partner’s enjoyment – and many do (and many men are gender-equal) – We still live in a society that represses women’s sexuality. So the fact that her partner cares helps, but not enough. That’s why the levels of sexual dysfunction are so high.

  31. There’s a new international study that found that sex is more fulfilling for people in countries where women and men are considered equal. Austria tops the list of 29 nations studied, with 71% saying they have a satisfuing sex life. Only 26% of Japanese adults resported sexual satisfaction.

    “Male ventered cultures where sexual behavior is more oriented toward procreation tend to discount the importance of sexual pleasure for women”, says lead study author Edward Laumann.

    The study was funded by Pfizer. % of sexually satisfied citizens:

    Austria 71%
    Spain 69%
    Canada 66%
    Belgium 65%
    US 64%
    Thailand 36%
    China 35%
    Indonesia 34%
    Taiwan 29%
    Japan 26%

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