Why Women Stop Being Porn Stars

How to make love like a porn star

How to make love like a porn star

At the beginning of relationships even the prudest women act like porn stars. We get BJs in the car (and many other places). But after a few months or years we can’t even get a BJ in bed. Or only after much begging and maybe even manipulation, which leaves us feeling like undesirable, pathetic fools. That’s just one example… Every married man that I have spoken to says women become more prudish over the course of a relationship…

A woman who is willing to explore her sexual boundaries and become more sexually adventurous throughout the course of the relationship will never be abandoned or cheated on by a man. TRY IT! YOU WILL SEE.

That’s what “Mark” says. Other guys have written in to agree.

The problem for these guys is that women can’t just decide to get all turned on. And many men don’t know how to spark a fading libido. And a few don’t even want to try. (Women should just do what men want, they think.)

So there are a couple of issues here. Why the lost interest? And what to do about it?

In this post I’ll discuss that first question: Why do so many women go from “YEEESSS!” to “Ick!”

From “YEEESSS!” to “Ick!”

A Dutch study looked at what leads women to enjoy sex acts that might seem “icky.” Turns out, when women are really turned on they can get into things that might ordinarily repulse them.

Arousal is easy early in relationships when we are all high on oxytocin and other sex hormones.

But while men’s interest drops a bit in long-term relationships, women’s enthusiasm typically falls faster and steeper, says Marta Meana, a UNLV psychology professor who studies sexuality. Women need a bigger jolt to “turn on,” she says.

And that’s probably because women’s sexuality is more repressed in our society.

More specifically, here’s what seems to be happening:

Why repression makes women lose interest in her partner

Because men are less repressed (and they even seem to be more immune to repressive forces, as I will discuss later) guys have a high and strong sex drive which keeps them interested in their partners over time. No need for some huge stimulus to get them going.

But women’s sexuality has been repressed — whether they realize it or not. (I talk about repressive forces here and here.) So their desire tends to be lower and they need a higher level of stimulus to get interested.

In the early stages of a relationship “she’s” very excited because it’s new, hormones are surging and she’s excited about having been chosen by “him.” And because his level of interest is so high early on, she senses his urgent desire — that’s very arousing!

But after they have been in a committed relationship for a while, the newness wears off. She’s no longer feeling his intense yearning. And she doesn’t feel all pumped up over having been chosen because it’s almost like he’s trapped into having sex with her — not that she consciously feels like he’s trapped. But they’re committed so it’s more like she knows that he doesn’t have choices other than her.

At this point she just doesn’t have a strong enough stimulus to spark desire.

A reader recently asked me this question:

Why do women lose their libidos after 2 years in a monogamous relationship? I have a feeling it might be because husbands start to let themselves go, and women are pickier about physical appearance when it comes to *casual* sex, so maybe that crosses into sex during marriage, too, after the honeymoon phase is over? I wonder if infidelity happens more often after the honeymoon phase…

Husbands and wives probably both let themselves go. And when you see each other every day you start to see more of each other’s flaws. So neither partner seems quite so perfect and extraordinary after a while. But it’s a bigger problem for women in terms of desire simply because women need more to get them going. And a repressed libido adds to women’s lower interest in casual sex, too.

So sexual repression seems to lie at the heart of the problem. Both the fact that our society more heavily punishes women’s sexuality, and the fact that women seem to be more affected by repressive forces. The perfect storm.

I’ll discuss what you might do in response in an upcoming post.

Related Posts

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on August 31, 2015, in feminism, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. Repression creates angry , unfulfilled , people…good point about the sale of mentally toxic publications…people actually get hooked on negativity…why are soap operas so popular…a negativity ” hit or fix ” for their craving. Angry people are far easier to keep divided

  2. Anglo ” culture ” especially is sexually repressive for EVERYONE , I will agree women are bashed more , but men are bashed hard too nowadays , with labels such as ” rapey , creepy , thirsty ” , a lot of women do view men as disgusting sex crazed detritus. There is more to this than the ” patriarchy ” , nearly everything is run by the same Cartel , the owners of the ” media ” want a divided , hate filled unhappy ” society ” , they make profit from the misery of the ordinary person , often by selling ” solutions ” to artificially created ” problems “. Divide & Rule at work !!

    • Yes, it is repressive for everyone, But especially women. And you can sell a lot of product by making people feel bad — especially if you claim to have something to make them feel better. Even if that thing is a magazine or a website that spews hatred, giving people an outlet for anger that may have to do a something entirely different from gender issues.

  3. interesting, if sexual desire is an instinct why is so easy to suppress?, maybe because is our culture that’s obsessed with sex, if you look around animals they have sex, yes, but only in certain moments, not all the time, every night, they just have sex to have child, maybe we are wrong.

    And why sex gets better with time, but relationships tend to die with time?, why women need more time to get excited but men can have erection when they want?, to me looks that after all, women and men are very different.

    • Well, it’s not necessarily easy to suppress it. There are just a huge number of forces affecting women. And for reasons I will discuss later, women’s sexuality seems to be more easily repressed than men’s. But Little girls grow up Learning that they will be shamed and ostracized if they’re labeled sluts. They are really traumatized from that. I had a student who was on suicide watch for a while afterwards, and homeschooled. Others see what happened and are very careful. Or you learned that sex is sinful and you might go to hell. I’ve written about this some in the past. And I will be writing about it more in future. But there are actually A LOT every press Of repressing forces out there — particularly for women.

      And it’s not natural. You don’t find the pattern in all cultures. You find it in patriarchal cultures for reasons that I will also discuss later but here are a couple I will throw out: it can make men feel more dominant when they control women’s sexuality. And they can feel more privileged. Men are free to have sex, but women are not.

      But it is extremely damaging to relationships when one person feel sex starved in the other feels like they’re being constantly harassed for sex.

      Probably the reason why humans are different from animals, in that Women can’t have sex year round — and can be interested in having it year-round when they are repressed — is because that nurtures human connection. It makes it more likely the parents will stay together and care for their children, if they grow bonded to each other. And for human sexuality tends to be bonding.

  4. In your post you write:

    >So sexual repression seems to lie at the heart of the problem.

    That maybe the case, or maybe not. Since you’re an academic, didn’t you think about going along the Scientific Method and design an experiment to try to falsify your hypothesis?

    • The only way you can do an experiment is a natural experiment, which is to compare sexually repressive societies with sex-positive societies. I wrote one post on this but I will be writing more later. This post touches the issue a little bit: Sexual Satisfaction Tied to Gender Equality https://broadblogs.com/2015/06/08/sexual-satisfaction-tied-to-gender-equality/

      • What I find dangerous about your blog is that you post a lot of speculation that “seems to be true”. However, those speculations (like this post) touch very difficult questions that have no trivial answer. And I find it quite irresponsible to translate them to a broad audience without scientifically verifying them first.

        For example, sexual desire is a very complex trait, that is influenced by zillions of factors. And saying that “sexual repression of women sexuality” somehow affects the desire in a specific situation (like long-term relationships) seems to be an extreme longshot.

      • It’s a lot less dangerous to keep punishing women’s sexuality, you think?

        There is a lot of evidence to back up what I wrote.

        Apparently you didn’t check the links. And I will be writing more, as well. But when you are writing in 500 word posts, you have to check the links to get the whole story. Everyone has the ability to read the theory and the evidence it is based on and make their own decisions. And interestingly, evolutionary psychology is all full of “seems to be true” theories which often contradict themselves, I might add. My evidence is actually much better than theirs.

        I’m wondering how you think it is possible that repression doesn’t create a situation where it takes a high level of stimulus to spark interest? Maybe you are a guy with no experience with this so you have a hard time relating. You think that you can punish women as much as you like and it will have no psychological effect on them?

        Having personally experienced this on both sides — first when I was younger and I’m repressed (around eight years old) and later when I was 28 years old and very repressed, I have personally experienced it.

        And what is dangerous about advocating for an end to the sexual repression of women?

        You also must have missed this response that I wrote to someone else, So I will repeat it here (This is some of the evidence that I will be putting on my blog overtime):

        When I was just beginning to enter sexual consciousness — and this was both before puberty and before I had an understanding from society that sex was bad, dirty, nasty (for unmarried women, in particular) and that it might just send me to hell — I thought about sexuality incessantly. (Not intercourse, I didn’t even know what that was. More like sexy thoughts.) It took next to nothing to spark interest. I guess you could say I was sort of like a guy in that way.

        But as I grew older I started to learn this: sex is bad, dirty, nasty and it might just send me to hell. Not to mention, as I got older I began to see the punishments that were attached to female sexuality, like slut-shaming. (These continue today. A young woman just a few miles away from me, in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area, killed herself as a result of slut-shaming. And I have a student who was monitored 24 hours a day for fear she would kill herself after slut-shaming. The first young woman had been raped. The second young woman had merely transformed herself to a glam “CosmoGirl” when the shaming began, but had never even had sex.)

        Getting back to me — as a result of all of these “sex is bad” messages I did everything I could to not have sexual thoughts. Every single sexy thought that tempted me, I pounded down until they eventually pretty much disappeared. It began to take A LOT to get me at all interested.

        And I read something not long ago which very much reflects my own experience (She, in turn, references another woman’s experience that reflects hers and mine):

        “I suppressed most of my sexual urges.” YES. Hell yes, I did. “I was more or less asexual.” YES. I didn’t have a sexual thought, didn’t have a sexual fantasy, didn’t have a sex drive. I’d suppressed these things out of existence. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2011/11/the-purity-culture-and-sexual-dysfunction.html

        And this is from one of my own students (a beautiful young woman) which I’ll use anonymously in a future post:

        “As I was growing up and came across something arousing I simply would ignore it and slowly it became a pattern because I felt extremely guilty and “dirty” about the feeling. I’ve learned to repress the sensation to the point where, even though i’m still very young, my sexual libido isn’t much there. I’m relieved to know it’s not just me, it’s socially constructed and something I’ve learned.”

        And then this Orthodox Jewish woman works with women whose sexuality has pretty much dissipated a result of sex-negative messages. If you would like to read more. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/magazine/the-orthodox-sex-guru.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150122&nlid=41602665&tntemail0=y&_r=0

        Not everyone’s experience is going to be as extreme as mine and the women quoted above. But some level of it permeates the culture and you can see it in Prof. Deborah Toleman’s research, which I will be talking about more later. But just quickly:

        Prof. Deborah Toleman interviewed high school girls expecting to reveal that young women have strong sexual desire which was being ignored by social science. What she found instead was a pronounced lack of sexual interest. Not in every instance but all the young women’s sexuality had been affected by the things I described above. In the vast majority of cases the young women had either no sexual interest or low sexual interest or at least dampened interest. Those who had managed to maintain a sense of their sexuality paid a price. They had emotionally numbed themselves to slut-shaming, or they got drunk (which isn’t healthy) so that they could have an excuse — “it wasn’t me, it was the beer.” Because apparently a drunk girl is better than a sexually desiring girl. She gives many other examples those are just a couple.

        Meanwhile, people who keep bolstering this sex-negative world (of which slut-shaming is one part), don’t seem to be too worried that women won’t enjoy sex, and don’t seem worried about the amount of stimulus it usually takes to get us interested as a result of the repression.

        I suppose that after watching sex-craved porn stars — who are mistaken for real women and real sexuality — and thinking that that accurately reflects women’s sexuality, perhaps men assume that women can’t help but come back for more. No matter what?

        And yet our culture is hugely harming to women’s sexuality. And will continue to be until we stop shaming sexuality and stop shaming women’s sexuality, in particular.

        So what happens is that large numbers of young women start to lose sexual desire, to varying degrees. As a result, it’s no wonder that nearly half of women in our society say they have low or no desire. A number of different studies have come up with this same finding.

        When you have low sexual desire, it takes a lot to get it going.

        So even if a woman doesn’t see herself as having been repressed (and it’s hard to see how she hasn’t been in the world we live in) — even if you have merely “run-of-the-mill” lowered sexual desire that you wouldn’t describe as low or nonexistent, the dampening still requires high stimulus.

        We are very different from sex-positive societies where women are easily, and easily multiply, orgasmic and they don’t need mechanical equipment. Whereas it’s extremely common even for Western women who CAN orgasm to need a vibrator.

        So something big is needed to stoke desire for most American women. And what happens in the early stages of a relationship is often big enough to stoke lust.

        But after you have been married to the same guy for a while, you are used to him, Love is no longer blind and you can see his imperfections, and he no longer shows the same intense yearning, and you know longer feel chosen … it’s just hard to get super-interested.

        And again: What is dangerous about advocating for an end to the sexual repression of women?

        Or you want to be able to punish women for their sexuality and feel confident that no harm will come. Women will still totally want it, and easily want it!

      • I’m really sorry for provoking you for such a response. My message wasn’t meant to be trolling, but turned out to be. I looked at links, and they do not point at scientific studies that trying to find the link between sexual repression and sexual desire. Anecdotal evidence is a different thing.

        And I’m not saying that repressing women sexuality is a good thing. And, of course, it is a problem in human culture, and I find it nasty.

        All I want to point out is that making statements about links between such complex phenomena like human culture and human feelings like sexual desires requires either rigorously designed scientific studies backed-up by data. Or a disclaimer, that it is based on speculation and anecdotal evidence.

        >And interestingly, evolutionary psychology is all full of “seems to be true” theories which often contradict themselves, I might add.

        Do you mean a scientific discipline, or pseudoscience from pickup guides? If later, then it is not a good thing for comparison: it is just absolutely completely awful.

      • I guess you don’t understand how social science works. It’s about finding social patterns. And there are a number of social patterns that I talked about in my response to you. When nearly half of women are experiencing sexual dysfunction you know there is a problem. So what is the problem? Given the numbers of women to come out of sex-shaming cultures, and you see how they stop sexually responding as a result (the lose sexual interest), that is a social pattern. Strengthened when you compare our society to sex-positive societies where women are easily, and easily multiply orgasmic.

        You might also want to take a look at this article in the New York Times. There is a reference to Max Weber, Who is a sociologist. Here are a couple of excerpts and the link:

        What is in play here is the classical distinction made by Max Weber between explanation and clarification, between causal or causal-sounding hypotheses and interpretation. Weber’s idea is that natural phenomena require causal explanation, of the kind given by physics, say, whereas social phenomena require elucidation — richer, more expressive descriptions.

        This is the risk of what some call “scientism” — the belief that natural science can explain everything, right down to the detail of our subjective and social lives. All we need is a better form of science, a more complete theory, a theory of everything. Lord knows, there are even Oscar-winning Hollywood movies made about this topic. Frank’s point, which is still hugely important, is that there is no theory of everything, nor should there be. There is a gap between nature and society. The mistake, for which scientism is the name, is the belief that this gap can or should be filled.

        http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/12/there-is-no-theory-of-everything/?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

  5. Most of the times, men want to get in the things quickly without giving much time to women for the arousal. As you’ve said, an aroused female can do some sort of things which she finds repulsive in general. But, men don’t understand that most of the times and still want to get their desires fulfilled in every possible manner. There lies the problem…I think..

  6. Hi Georgia.
    In response to the Porn Star blog, the quote by Mark is very untrue. From experience, I was more adventurous, trying new things as time went by, always enjoyed sex, and my first husband still could not resist other women. He was after quantity (two or three times a week was not enough) rather than quality. And he was after the high of being in love, which is the reply to the person who states that the libido wanes after two years of married life. Much research shows that the being in love experience only lasts about two years. Then you have to try harder to make things work. Meanwhile, you are dealing with the repression that is rampant in our society, so there are many negative forces to contend with. And, believe it or not, men in our society are sometimes repressed as well. Not all men want the Porn Star experience, or even BJs.
    thanks for the blog,
    Pam

    • You’re welcome. And thanks for your comment.

      For sure men’s sexuality can get repressed too, because a lot of the repression covers all of us: dirty, mind in the gutter… But there’s just a lot more that hits women. And it hits a lot harder. Different people come from different cultures, subcultures, have different experiences with parents and friends or abuse, and bring different personalities to it all. So everyone will have a little different experience. But there are some social patterns that really target women and really have effects. But thanks for bringing up some of the other sides of the issue.

    • “And, believe it or not, men in our society are sometimes repressed as well. Not all men want the Porn Star experience, or even BJs.”

      EXACTLY!! I am one of those men for sure. I could care less about BJs..

      I love the fact that you tried to grow your sexual experiences over time…I think that is how it should be. When people come into relationships on these drug like lust driven highs, there is only one place for the relationship to go: DOWN.

      Hell, I would have killed for sex two to three times a week when I was married. I could not even get sex once a month. Pathetic.

      I am not sold on the repression thing one bit. It is a factor but not even the a major factor.

      My best friend from Korea summed it up best over 20 years ago while we were in grad school, ” You American start your marriage with the glass full and it empties out over time. We Asians start our marriage with the glass empty and it fills up over time.”

      • Just because the Asians fill up the marriage doesn’t mean that they’re enjoying sex. In societies where you have arranged marriages people have low expectations for marriage and tremendous pressure to stay married. So they do. I have three neighbors in arranged marriages. Only one of those marriages seems to be happy.

        I’m wondering why you are so resistant to the idea of that repression is a problem. I have personally experienced it so I know that it is. And you don’t get numbers like half of women in America having low or no interest in sex without that. Things are very different in sex-positive societies, which I will discuss later.

        Did you read the article I linked to on Orthodox Jewish women?

  7. Good points! I also think that women and men’s libido shut down when there is disconnection and resentment that grows in a relationship .In the beginning everything is in that pink cloud of bliss but then it gets real and less exciting and then it’s how can people stay open not just to themselves but to each other. Often women blame themselves thinking there is something wrong with their body or their sexuality – but like u said, repression, etc. comes up. I wish society was such that couples had easy access to tools etc to keep the spark alive. No one goes into a committed long term relationship wanting the aliveness to die off.

  8. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out a way to reply to your very thoughtful (and through!) response to my off-the-cuff comments from this morning, so I’m going to post here in a new comment, but I just want to clarify one point: I absolutely agree that our culture encourages the repression of the natural sexual desire of women.

    I’m just not sure if that’s all there is to blame for the loss of desire that seems to inevitably occur in relationships, and I think it ignores the fact that men experience diminished attraction, as well, though perhaps not as drastic as the fall off that’s experienced by women.

    • I wouldn’t say that it’s the only thing to blame. But it is a huge thing. And I did mention that both men and women experience diminished attraction. But because of the repression women’s loss of interest is much quicker and steeper.

      But if you have any further thoughts on what else you think is to blame, I would like to hear them.

  9. All said is well said.
    Amen!
    Shiva

  10. The TED spokesperson has explained the issue pretty well. The beginnings of a committed relationship is guided strongly by both love and desire. In later years, the desire wanes, and when that happens, the guy wire of love must be strong enough to make up for waning desire in both parties, by adding additional dimensions to the relationship. It is a magical process, if it is on, nothing can cause a relationship to flounder…best wishes.

  11. So sexual repression seems to lie at the heart of the problem.”

    I respectfully disagree. Give her a new man to have sex with and her libido will skyrocket. Married women simply do not find their husbands sexually desirable, in general. The men women want to have sex with they find undateable and not marriage material. The men they want to marry they find undesirable for sex. Just the reality of the situation. Raw deal for most married men. But, such is life…

    We need to stop beating around the bush here. How about just flatly being honest about it for a change. Men cannot be expected to treat women like toddlers with never ending demands for this ot that or whatever. Women CAN and SHOULD take personal responsibility for their sexuality and sexual behavior(s).

    You cannot blame it all on patriarchy and repression. Rarely is one factor the cause of a particular problem. Just a racism is not the cause of all the problems afflicting Blacks in America. There has to be some blame put of those individuals who have simply made poor choices.

    My argument remains: Women are making poor choices for husbands when it comes to sex. The utter sadness is the effects this has on the men. The men are made to feel emasculated, resentful, angry, and never good enough. My ex wife had more sex with her previous boyfriends and lovers than with me the entire 17 years of hour marriage. Pathetic and sad…So, I was treated like a second class citizen or third class.

    Why can’t women have some empathy for men? Is it because we are perceived as less? Because we are disposable? We are simply undeserving? Or we just need to man up and suffer in silence. The old “suck it up” mantra.

    If a man in America want s to enjoy a “normal” and healthy sex life, they should eschew marriage and long term relationships. Period. Reluctantly, I have come to agree with Katherine Hepburn when she said, “Men and women should simply take to visiting one another from time to time.”

    .

    • 1) see what I wrote to Karen and see if that makes sense to you

      2) what do you mean by women taking responsibility? You can’t just decide to have desire. And it’s not like women marry the wrong men. Almost 100% of men get married.

      What we must do is cleanse ourselves of our sex-negative society.

      • “You can’t just decide to have desire.”

        Just who else is going to decide if not YOU? Are you trying to argue that a woman has no control over her sexual desire(s). That’s insane!!!!

        As for the nearly 100% thingy….we have had that discussion before. It is a meaningless number. So, what? It does not mean that those nearly 100% of married men are deemed sexually desirable…..

        At one point in our history, nearly 100% of Blacks in America were slaves. Did that mean they were happy and it was all blissful?

      • Okay try this. Just decide to have sexual desire for men. See how that works.

        So who do you think these women should marry then, if they aren’t marrying the right men? Your point doesn’t make sense to me. Are all women are supposed to marry George Clooney? A friend of mine wrote a book on Mormon polygamy based on women’s diaries. He entitled it “Sacred loneliness” so that’s not so great

      • “Okay try this. Just decide to have sexual desire for men. See how that works.”

        I assume you are being sarcastic….I am neither gay nor bisexual. My desire(s) is strictly for women….Is this how you respond when you’re losing the argument?

        Much of your even ad hoc data and musings do not support your suppression theory. You posted a link a while back on college hookup culture. It stated that the average college coed had about 7 sexual partners during college. According to my math that works out to be about 1 per semester…Hardly sounds like low or no libido to me. Now does it.

        As for George Clooney and men like him…why is it so easy for women (including married ones too!) to get aroused for these men if they have low libido or are suffering from sexual repression? Is this not a clear example of women being in control of their sexual desire? But, they loathe the idea of having sex with the very man they have professed their love for…Just what does sexual repression have to do with this? Nothing! Absolutely nothing.

        Women can marry whom they damn well please. All I think is fair is to at least have sex with your damn husband. Is that asking too much of a woman? It is not like married men are demanding sex on a daily basis. Hell, if a woman can spend several hours a month at a shopping mall, what is so horrible about having sex with her damn husband for for 30 mins or so once a week.

        You make it seem like we men are lower than animals just for desiring sex. Don’t married men and women have sexual obligations to one another? Are we not all sexual beings? Why should a husband be held hostage to his wife’s sexuality?

        Meanwhile, due to attitudes like yours and so many other women like you the sex industry is booming. Why? Because so many men today are so put off by this kind of thinking by so many women. Yet, these same women who treat their husbands with total sexual indifference have no problem having sex with other men (past or present). Then all you bark is this sexual repression mantra which has little basis, especially with younger women. I am willing to buy into it with many older women.

      • I wasn’t being sarcastic at all. I’m trying to get across the point that you can’t just decide to desire. Or try finding a woman who you don’t find desirable and try to desire her. See how that works for you.

        Otherwise I’m not going to bother addressing your other comments because while there is so much evidence pointing in the direction of sexual repression making it difficult for women to desire without a great deal of stimulus, you will never see it because you don’t want to.

        Some men want to continue the sexual repression of women without taking any responsibility for its consequences.

  12. Interesting, as usual! I was just watching this the other day.

  13. I dunno. I don’t think the fall off in desire can be attributed to sexual repression. You’re suggesting that societal controls on female sexuality that have been internalized by women would be strongest against couples in long-term committed relationships (the wife who won’t give the BJ) and weakest against women while they’re dating (the girlfriend gives the BJ in a moving car). That doesn’t seem to make sense. If this were the case, sexual repression (good girls don’t) should impact new, tenuous relationships much more than established ones (be fruitful and multiply!)

    I think there are probably multiple factors involved and I think a lot of the decline in desire is due to familiarity and (as I’ve gotten older) fluctuations in sexual hormones, which are much more dramatic in women than in men as we age.

    But this really hit home with me: “And she doesn’t feel all pumped up over having been chosen because it’s almost like he’s trapped into having sex with her — not that she consciously feels like he’s trapped. But they’re committed so it’s more like she knows that he doesn’t have choices other than her.” Those thoughts, in almost those exact words, have gone through my mind on many occasions during my 10+ year relationship. I think women (and probably men, too, but I can’t speak to the male experience) really get off on being desired, and it’s hard to maintain that level of interest as you move forward in a relationship and the novelty wears off.

    • I want to add that I think the forces of competition are probably driving behavior in new relationships, and once that factor is removed, both parties revert back to behavioral norms. When we pair up monogamously, we’re making the decision (perhaps unconsciously) to trade those “perks,” I guess I’ll call them, for other stuff we perceive as beneficial. Ok, now I’ll shut up 🙂

      • Well, what you say, quoted below, isn’t what I meant at all. But thanks for commenting because it helps me to see where I haven’t been clear. I’ll be doing a followup post.

        Re:
        “You’re suggesting that societal controls on female sexuality that have been internalized by women would be strongest against couples in long-term committed relationships (the wife who won’t give the BJ) and weakest against women while they’re dating (the girlfriend gives the BJ in a moving car). That doesn’t seem to make sense. If this were the case, sexual repression (good girls don’t) should impact new, tenuous relationships much more than established ones (be fruitful and multiply!)”

        That’s so far off from what I mean to communicate that I can’t even critique it. Instead, I’ll just start over. Let me know if this still doesn’t make sense:

        I could start with my own personal experience.

        When I was just beginning to enter sexual consciousness — and this was both before puberty and before I had an understanding from society that sex was bad, dirty, nasty (for unmarried women, in particular) and that it might just send me to hell — I thought about sexuality incessantly. (Not intercourse, I didn’t even know what that was. More like sexy thoughts.) It took next to nothing to spark interest. I guess you could say I was sort of like a guy in that way.

        But as I grew older I started to learn this: sex is bad, dirty, nasty and it might just send me to hell. Not to mention, as I got older I began to see the punishments that were attached to female sexuality, like slut-shaming. (These continue today. A young woman just a few miles away from me, in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area, killed herself as a result of slut-shaming. And I have a student who was monitored 24 hours a day for fear she would kill herself after slut-shaming. The first young woman had been raped. The second young woman had merely transformed herself to a glam “CosmoGirl” when the shaming began, but had never even had sex.)

        Getting back to me — as a result of all of these “sex is bad” messages I did everything I could to not have sexual thoughts. Every single sexy thought that tempted me, I pounded down until they eventually pretty much disappeared. It began to take A LOT to get me at all interested.

        And I read something not long ago which very much reflects my own experience (She, in turn, references another woman’s experience that reflects hers and mine):

        “I suppressed most of my sexual urges.” YES. Hell yes, I did. “I was more or less asexual.” YES. I didn’t have a sexual thought, didn’t have a sexual fantasy, didn’t have a sex drive. I’d suppressed these things out of existence. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2011/11/the-purity-culture-and-sexual-dysfunction.html

        And this is from one of my own students (a beautiful young woman) which I’ll use anonymously in a future post:

        “As I was growing up and came across something arousing I simply would ignore it and slowly it became a pattern because I felt extremely guilty and “dirty” about the feeling. I’ve learned to repress the sensation to the point where, even though i’m still very young, my sexual libido isn’t much there. I’m relieved to know it’s not just me, it’s socially constructed and something I’ve learned.”

        And then this Orthodox Jewish woman works with women whose sexuality has pretty much dissipated a result of sex-negative messages. If you would like to read more. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/25/magazine/the-orthodox-sex-guru.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150122&nlid=41602665&tntemail0=y&_r=0

        Not everyone’s experience is going to be as extreme as mine and the women quoted above. But some level of it permeates the culture and you can see it in Prof. Deborah Toleman’s research, which I will be talking about more later. But just quickly:

        Prof. Deborah Toleman interviewed high school girls expecting to reveal that young women have strong sexual desire which was being ignored by social science. What she found instead was a pronounced lack of sexual interest. Not in every instance but all the young women’s sexuality had been affected by the things I described above. In the vast majority of cases the young women had either no sexual interest or low sexual interest or at least dampened interest. Those who had managed to maintain a sense of their sexuality paid a price. They had emotionally numbed themselves to slut-shaming, or they got drunk (which isn’t healthy) so that they could have an excuse — “it wasn’t me, it was the beer.” Because apparently a drunk girl is better than a sexually desiring girl. She gives many other examples those are just a couple.

        Meanwhile, people who keep bolstering this sex-negative world (of which slut-shaming is one part), don’t seem to be too worried that women won’t enjoy sex, and don’t seem worried about the amount of stimulus it usually takes to get us interested as a result of the repression.

        I suppose that after watching sex-craved porn stars — who are mistaken for real women and real sexuality — and thinking that that accurately reflects women’s sexuality, perhaps men assume that women can’t help but come back for more. No matter what?

        And yet our culture is hugely harming to women’s sexuality. And will continue to be until we stop shaming sexuality and stop shaming women’s sexuality, in particular.

        So what happens is that large numbers of young women start to lose sexual desire, to varying degrees. As a result, it’s no wonder that nearly half of women in our society say they have low or no desire. A number of different studies have come up with this same finding.

        When you have low sexual desire, it takes a lot to get it going.

        So even if a woman doesn’t see herself as having been repressed (and it’s hard to see how she hasn’t been in the world we live in) — even if you have merely “run-of-the-mill” lowered sexual desire that you wouldn’t describe as low or nonexistent, the dampening still requires high stimulus.

        We are very different from sex-positive societies where women are easily, and easily multiply, orgasmic and they don’t need mechanical equipment. Whereas it’s extremely common even for Western women who CAN orgasm to need a vibrator.

        So something big is needed to stoke desire for most American women. And what happens in the early stages of a relationship is often big enough to stoke lust.

        But after you have been married to the same guy for a while, you are used to him, Love is no longer blind and you can see his imperfections, and he no longer shows the same intense yearning, and you know longer feel chosen … it’s just hard to get super-interested.

        And I’m talking about relationship sex here, which is not condemned in our society. I’m not talking casual sex — which is condemned. In fact, much of what I’m talking about doesn’t even fit with casual sex because of our stereotype that guys will have sex with pretty much anyone. But being chosen for a relationship is very different.

        (That said, a number of women have written papers in my class talking about using casual sex as a way to feel attractive (He chose me, so I must be attractive) so they must not have internalized the stereotype that guys will have sex with anyone — I have posted some of their accounts on my blog, with their permission.)

      • Yep, that was good Georgia, thank you for explaining. I think you’re right, most women would have some sort of sexual repression, although it isn’t the whole story. Hormonal cycles, relationship health, level of intimacy, energy levels, timing and mood make female sexuality a very complicated issue!

      • Sure. The women’s sexuality is much more repressed in our culture than in others — I mean, when nearly half of women have a low to no desire!

    • “I think women (and probably men, too, but I can’t speak to the male experience) really get off on being desired, and it’s hard to maintain that level of interest as you move forward in a relationship and the novelty wears off.”

      This is the core of the problem…Why view your partner as novelty Karen? If you take the view that a human being is novelty, then you have reduced them to a commodity that has utility value only…In essence, you need a new flavor of the day?

      This is exactly what I meant by my toddler comment below. No one human being (man) can possibly meet all these needs and requirement of a woman. If this is what she needs to get and keep her sexual desire humming, then forget it. Not possible. That is why women themselves need to start taking responsibility for their own sexuality.

      Why view human relationships like that to begin with? In my 17 years of marriage I never ceased to desire my ex wife. Never. Only until I felt I had no choice but to leave the marriage. It was she who shunned me.

      This is why I am so adamant about the number of previous sex partners being a huge negative for a sustained relationship. It is as if we have come to view sex and our sexuality with our partner(s) as pure novelty. If that is the case. then lets simply scrap relationships all together and just find consenting fuck buddies. It would take a lot of anguish, grief, and mental torment out of the picture. I know novelty…..is an important part of good and healthy sex. But, is that all that matters?

      • Well, if women’s sexuality wasn’t so repressed they wouldn’t have such a strong need for novelty.

      • No, I don’t think that’s all that matters in a relationship, but I believe that’s the primary obstacle we face in long-term sexual relationships.

        And there are other benefits humans derive from pairing up beyond regular orgasms. Those benefits might make them preferable to a fuck-buddy system.

  1. Pingback: All the Reasons Why You’re Not Giving (or Getting) a BJ Tonight | Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please

  2. Pingback: All the Reasons Why You’re Not Giving (or Getting) a BJ Tonight | Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: