Which Sex Has More Power, Sexually Speaking?

Which sex has more power, sexually speaking?

Which sex has more power, sexually speaking?

Who has more power when it comes to sex, men or women?

Many of us think “the other sex” has more. Probably because we get all hot and bothered when our own power is blocked.

But my students usually think that women have a stronger hold on sexual strings. Why? Because by social convention, women are expected to place limits.

What they might not realize is that women’s sexuality is also more repressed, leaving them less interested on average, and pickier.

But it’s complicated.

Women have power to limit, but they also “have to” limit

Women are expected to place limits, but they often feel like they HAVE TO. Especially before they graduate from high school because who wants to be labeled a “hoe”? Not much choice there, is there?

Women more easily attract, but that’s because they can’t directly initiate 

Women also have more power to attract because their bodies are more sexualized by our culture. And they have more ways to attract: make up, a variety of hairstyles, and an abundance of sexy clothing to choose from.

But young women gain the power to attract largely because they are denied the power to actively initiate. Women don’t feel free to ask men out for many reasons: It’s not their social role, they fear turning men off by seeming dominant or desperate or slutty… My students have talked about all of these barriers.

And so women can feel powerless, waiting for men to ask them out. Or waiting by the phone the next day.

Some women think they can’t say “no”

But some women face the opposite problem: They feel they must consent to sex they don’t want. How empowering is that?

The dominant sexual script on today’s college campuses encourage casual sex, which women still find less appealing than men.

Why? Some cite evolution: women bear greater costs of pregnancy and are more likely to want a steady mate to provide resources for her children.

Or, casual hookups may make women more queasy because our society punishes their sexuality more, repressing their desire.

Regardless, some women — often using alcohol to dull their distaste — “do it” even if they don’t want to.

Inside or outside of hook up culture, 1/3 to 1/2 of US women say they have consented to sex they didn’t want.

Researchers think it’s because today’s adult women often lack either traditional excuses or modern strategies for saying “no.”

Shantee Foster studied the phenomenon for her doctoral dissertation at the University of North Carolina. Women were much less likely to consent to sex they didn’t want when they felt confident and assertive sexuality, when they were less worried about gaining their partner’s approval, and when they were more concerned with their own well-being than with pleasing others.

So who has more power, sexually speaking?

Who has more power, sexually speaking? All in all, it’s hard to say. I only hope that everyone can learn from Ms. Foster’s study to gain the confidence and self-regard that enables sexual autonomy and empowerment.

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About BroadBlogs

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

Posted on October 10, 2016, in psychology, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.

  1. interesting! often times women give consent when they really don’t want to. they do it so as not to hurt a man’s feelings. if a woman wants to have sex or to be touched and they are going to give consent it’s no use just saying yes just to be nice it has to be jenuinly meant the whole who has more power sexually speaking is rather a complex topic. the topic of sex in general seems to pass over my head altogether but a question I’m going to ask probably doesn’t fit this post but it’s one that I just thought of. when it comes to a marriage proposal is it true that men are more likely to ask a woman for her hand in marriage than it is for a woman to ask for a man’s hand in marriage or would this vary from situation to situation?

    • Yes, that’s why enthusiastic consent is so important!

      Men usually usually propose marriage to women, more often than the other way around. I do know situations where it has been reversed. But the reason why the man usually asks is culture. In more strongly patriarchal times men had to ask. And now that pattern is unconsciously in people’s heads so that most people think it seems more “right.”

  2. Another interesting discussion here, Georgia. Perhaps one can take the cue from nature; what gives form to mighty rivers such as Amazon, Nile and Ganges are their banks defining the course and momentum. The rivers owe their form and power to the defining influence of the banks. Likewise women wield power by exercising their option to set limits.

    • Yes, that is one way of wielding power. Except when they feel like they don’t have the power to limit. Of course, women and men both in feel powerless for different reasons given their limiting gender roles. Thanks for making me think about this I’ll have to write more later.

  3. This is an nice insight into the issues of gender normality. I find it interesting how everyone subconsciously has a grasp on what they “think” is standard such as women having to limit themselves or be slut shamed. It works for males as well when men are supposed to initiate a date, a prom proposal, or even marriage. Coming from a male perspective, I do enjoy the planning and the creativity to ask someone out, but I think the stigma that girls should not initiate because it seems too dominant is wrong. In fact, I would find it more appealing if a girl showed some charisma and independence to ask a guy out. I also agree that there is so much pressure on the woman’s behalf in terms of saying yes or no to sex as if it is a make it or break it in their social status. If only there was a way to address this issue sooner rather than wait for our next generation to think of it for themselves.

  4. I both agree and disagree with the author. On one hand, I agree that women do have more power sexually because they are the ones with the reproductive organs that are able to bear a child and therefore get to choose their sexual partners. However, on the other hand, I also believe that men have more power sexually because they are the more dominant sex which allows them to be more stronger, agressive, and powerful. If a man really wanted sex from a women regardless of her consent, most likely h would be able to over power her and get it. Whereas if the tables were turned and it was vice versa, 9 times out of 10 a women would probably not be able to over power a male. This is why I believe that both women and men have equal power sexually because though women are in control of who their sexual partners are and whether or not they want to bear children, men can ultimately take this power from them through rape or sexual assult.

    • Okay, But I am talking about consensual sex here, not rape. But I’m also wondering what you thought about things like how sexual repression, and women feeling like they don’t have traditional excuses factor in?

  5. “Women also have more power to attract because their bodies are more sexualized by our culture. And they have more ways to attract: make up, a variety of hairstyles, and an abundance of sexy clothing to choose from.

    But young women gain the power to attract largely because they are denied the power to actively initiate. Women don’t feel free to ask men out for many reasons: It’s not their social role, they fear turning men off by seeming dominant or desperate or slutty… My students have talked about all of these barriers.”

    Those are reason why they don’t initiate or much less than men. But can’t a lot of it be due and related to this sex power in general? As in women are less sexually motived or lustful or visual so they don’t have this strong enough urge just from seeing men to push through these social boundaries? For men, they pursure not just because it’s the only way and expected, but because men are almost in a constant state or arousal and, kind of lustful often and very attracted by women’s looks and bodies. If women aren’t influenced like that by men, they don’t have even close the same urge to take that chance and initiate. It’s easier to hold off and let men make a move when often a woman’s interest to ask a guy out is usually a combination of things and just as much about his humor, how nice he is, maybe financial assets, intelligence, chemistry that clicks with her, etc.

    So often it seems like for women it’s “I really like him I’d like to ask him out or him to ask me out and there can be sexual thoughts about him of course. Whereas for guys it’s “damn, she is hot and so sexy, I’d like to date her” but the forefront of his mind will be a ton in relation to her body and looks and sex and how he wants to feel her body so bad and the possibiity of a relationshiip and the other stuff after or go from there. I hope I didn’t make guys look like pigs, because it doesn’t mean her intelligence, etc isn’t there or doesn’t matter, but intially sex often is on the forefront but because of the physical assests of said woman. Sex could be on the forefrotn for interest in a man too, but it seems it’s more to do with many layers along with his looks and body and almost equal in causing her interest in sex with him. Where the forefront causing his lust or sexual interest is the physical, the romantic, possible relationship interest from there would be the personality and other non physical things. I think if women were effected by men like men are to women and like howI explained, I think they would probably have the urge to initiate more despite gender roles in dating.

    • Yes. Both gender roles and sexual repression (which is unconscious, but nearly half of US women have little to no sexual interest). Plus as you say women’s bodies are much more sexualized and fetishized than men’s. Thanks for adding that.

  6. Before I read this article, I did think that women had more power when it came to sex or other decisions. Why? Because my father taught me to respect women when they did not like something or did not want to do something, which made it seem to me like they had more power in terms of decisions. For example when I was little, if I asked a girl to go swing on the swings with me and she said no I would understand. I would not try to beg and plead for her to join me on the swings. Being raised like this taught me to act the same way towards women when it came to relationships/sexual relationships. Reading this article helped me understand that-that is not completely true when it comes to sex because there could be other reasons at work that caused the sudden boundary or “limit”. Now I know that if I am in a relationship and I get turned down sex, it could be because of many other reasons and not just because she wanted to set a “limit”.

  7. When I think about the times in my life I have felt the most and the least sexually powerful I need to look at my life as a whole. Unfortunately, there have been times when I have consented to sex when I knew deep down I was not really interested or aroused. Yet, when I step back and reflect on those times I realize in that time period of my life I was also the most depressed, lonely and desperate for attention and approval. I would usually wake up the next morning with a mixed feeling of hoping this would blossom into something more (almost never did when the guy got what he wanted so quickly and easily), feeling unsatisfied and actually even more lonely. On the flip side, I have felt the most sexually powerful when I am in a loving romantic intimate relationship and I know both of us are not using one another for selfish reasons. Sex can bring distance or it can bring togetherness. All depends on what each persons intentions and mindset is.

  8. Marie-Claire Mendonca

    I would say men have more power, especially in regard to your last point. There’s lots of pressures that make women think they can’t say no because sometimes men don’t take “no” for an answer! Often, men can become aggressive and can humiliate the woman for not wanting to sleep with him. I’ve heard stories of women talking back to catcallers, and the men become upset, often calling the women rude names and escalating the situation even more. I’ve also heard that men won’t take the “I have a boyfriend” excuse as an answer either. They’ll still try to reason with the girl to get her to sleep with them. I’ve even seen a viral video of a girl pretending to do sign language in order to get a guy to leave her alone at a club.

    I definitely feel that men are encouraged to be persistent, and women are encouraged to eventually give in, even if they don’t want to.

    (This is a bit of tangent.) I’ve noticed that, in both books and movies, there’s often a lead boy that’s in love with a pretty girl, but she doesn’t like him back. He’ll follow her around, even turning up at her house, until she finally gives in and falls in love with him. And we root for him because he’s the “underdog”! My guess is that men see themselves as this underdog, and they believe that with enough effort, they can get any woman to sleep with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if any woman, after being bothered by the same guy for sex all night, would eventually give up and have sex with the guy. And that doesn’t seem like someone who has much power over their sex life.

  9. Nice analysis. I’ve always thought women had more power. Because after all all we need to do is show a little ankle and have a man wrapped around our finger (;. No kidding, but I do believe that we have more power because it’s easy for us ladies to use our lady ways to get what we want. Not in an evil way. Like you were saying our bodies have been over sexualized so anything we wear, do, or say could make a man weak just because it was HOT or SEXY on TV, movie, billboard, everything within the publics eyes. But even with this I agree it’s complicated because if i were to really do this i’d be a hoe. I just think we women do not know how to use our power properly because men and women bring us down every time we feel empowered. I really think we should have programs/classes/workshops for both men and women on empowerment. That show us exactly how society effects our way of thinking so that we’d have wise young men and women, It would be a better world.

  10. The sexual power that women have are limited in a public eye. Women have more responsibilities when it comes to their sexual patterns as with it can come with a life time commitment. Men hold power however I feel that it’s more of a false power. Men set standards in our society ex: men need to be tough,sexually dominant, they are to be masculine and this is shown in media as men taking control. So this is pushing down many women’s powers sexually. The power is in the hands of those who are confident in themselves and know what they stand for. With this way of thinking either men or women can hold the power when it comes to been sexual with others

  11. Hands down it is women.

    The sex with the most options has the most power. Women clearly have the most options. Hence they have the most power. I cannot see how anyone can argue that women do not enjoy privilege when it comes to sex and dating.

    In fact, if men had so much power, then why are there so many prostitutes and men having to pay for sex.

    This is a clear no brainier.

    • Except that women feel they can’t ask men out, And feel and hemmed in that way.

      And up to half of US women have given consent to sex they didn’t want, Which doesn’t sound very empowering.

      How do you see those things as fitting in to the notion that women clearly have more power? This seems more complex than that.

  12. What about transgender, gender nonbinary, and intersex people? I would be interested to see more information about that.

    • Interesting question. This is a look at how conventional gendered notions put us in boxes and affect how we have sex. Are you concerned with how those conventional gendered notions affect how trans/ non-binary/ intersex have sex? Or something else? Do conventional gender notions affect how this group has sex? I haven’t seen any research on the issue.

  13. Of course women have more power. Just take a look at instagram, facebook and every other social network, women posing as sexy showing off how attractive they can and getting thousands of comments, whereas guys would never try to pose half naked because they know that they don’t have that kind of power.
    It’s supply and demand. In every given situation, the person who has the power is the one who offers what is most soughted.
    It’s always men who have to spend a lot of money on gifts and dinners whereas women are on a free ride because that’s how it is.

    Let’s try this. Imagine women have to buy gifts and dinners and drinks whereas men didn’t spend any money.
    Wouldn’t then be men who have more power?
    It’s supply and demand

  14. I will explain with paradigms how women have more sexual power.

    In a dancing class, at the first lesson there were 40 females and only few males. Word got out that this class is full of women and at the second class there were over 80 males.
    Some friends, we went out for a coffee, but a girl didn’t like that cafe because “it was full of men”!!!! No men would have ever leave a place because it was full of women.
    Men go out for the sole purpose of seeing and possibly meet women. Women don’t really care that much.
    That’s why bars and clubs have female waitresses and door hostess to attract men. If men had sexual power over women then the night clubs would have sexy men waiters trying to attract female customers but they don’t. That’s why there are “ladies night” but no “lads night”.
    Name a place that is full of women and I guarantee you that it will attract a lot of men. I can name you many places that are full of men and women would never go there.
    When guys go out they want to go only where there are women. Women aren’t that keen on meeting any random guys. Men have to prove that they are good enough for them.

    There was a study. Some reaserchers gave to heterosexual men to read the posts and texts of gay men from forums and social network. These were strangers gay men setting dates no question asked. The straight men were in awe of how forward the gay men were talking. There were no females in the equation trying to take things slowly

    • That’s true but all of the limitations we put on women create this situation. Like sexual repression and objectification of women.

      • I also wonder if some of it has to do with how, a woman at a place with many men she doesn’t know could be more threatening or her not as sure in such company. Compared to a man or few men amongst many women. Thought many guys are decent, when it comes to sexual assaualt and rape, men are the one’s doing it 99% of the time to women compared to women doing it to men. Plus you add in the size and strength factor. So therefore, rape and sexual assault is a reality for women and something they may have in the back of their mind and to be more careful, whereas, men have thie freedom or privlege. If I’m amonst tons of women at a bar I’m not hesitant or having any threat from them of raping me or something like that or sexual assault.

      • That sounds like it could be an added factor. More gender-equal societies have much lower levels of rape, and some have virtually no rape. Everyone would be happier!

  15. As with any power, it’s not intrinsically gender related, but is more to do with how powerful you feel inside. My guess is that men generally feel more powerful than women, especially young women, who are not taught about being powerful at all, other than it’s something that men are, and to be wary of it. It should be noted that by the time women get to 40, things are very different, or at least, in my experience they are!

    • Ideally, you are right. It shouldn’t be about gendered social expectations but your own personal environment.

      Still, many of us are at least unconsciously influenced by social expectations. I know that I have been. So I’m hoping to help people think about things that might simply being unconscious at this point — things that have been unconscious for me in the past.

      I always appreciate your insightful comments 🙂

    • I think you have a fair point about the “sexual power” not related to gender. I think that attractive people, whether they are men or women have sexual power. They have options and the ability “to make sex happen”. While unattractive ones have less (or no at all) options and no power.

      I’m not sure about “feeling inside” though. I think that attractiveness is more complex than that.

  16. The sex that has more power sexually speaking in my opinion, the women are simply because they are the ones who need to give the consent. Without consent then it becomes rape, therefore man don’t have the power but simply force it. It’s very saddening to know how much women from decades ago have maintained oppressed by being sexuality active and man always having to be the ones who do the initiation, I believe both sexes can have the same power over sexuality if they would just accept the fact that we’re both humans and are sexually human beings. Women, in fact repress their sexuality and wait on men because society has always made them view it that way but in reality, women love sex and would love to have the freedom of society judging them for having sex or pursuing a man they’re interested without the negative connotations it comes with by doing so.

  17. I really don’t understand how could there be a question about this
    Men would go a long way for a woman and do anything to show their interest.
    You have already made a post about how women get over a break up faster than men do and how men fall in love faster than women do.
    Men spend more energy and time trying to get women than women do trying to get men.
    Even Brad Pitt said that when he wasn’t famous in Hollywood no woman ever bothered about him.

    Asking who has more sexual power, men over women or women over men, is like asking who has more power, the moth over the light or the light over the moth

  18. I believe women have more power when it comes to sex. Men are programmed to want sex because those urges I have myself. Straight men would like to receive sex from women but it’s up to women to allow that to happen. Some men won’t take “no” for an answer and could result in rape, which ends up being a traumatic event for women. Some men will get away with it and others pay the price but the women end up loosing the most because the women are forced to deal with PTSD and a change in lifestyle.
    Sex is a big issue when it comes to women if they allow or don’t allow sex with a partner. Women who give sex freely are called names and the same thing happens if women who don’t allow sex to happen. Men and women need to be more mature when it comes to sex to avoid future problems. In the current world we live in, that is not possible because our society is trigger happy with damaging words.

    • Well, women are programmed to want sex too. But the punishments they receive so often depresses their sexual desire, and away taking away choice. But I appreciate your thoughts on this.

  19. What you are describing in this post is actually social freedom.
    If we are talking about social freedom then perhaps men have more power than women.
    But if we are talking about sexual power then women have more power than men.
    Come on, women may see the hottest guy but that could have no sexual effect on them.
    Men have no sexual power over women that’s why men have to take initiative and approach women.
    Whereas women have strong sexual power over men. There was a study that when men saw an attractive woman they could hardly operate at a given task.
    Women’s sexual value is higher than men’s

  20. I took a Human Sexuality course a few years ago. One day, we were asked whether it was harder to be a man or a woman in modern America. One guy cited a “social experiment” he saw online where a man and a woman each approached random strangers at the park in broad daylight and asked them to have sex with them. He said that the man was rejected by every woman he asked while the woman had no trouble finding men that wanted to have casual sex with her. He insisted that because of this, women have it easier in life.
    I pointed out that men are more likely be chosen for positions of power and to receive higher pay and recognition for things than women in the U.S. and another boy in the class interrupted and told me I was being “unfair” because sometimes women do attain power. In the end we took a vote (note: the class was 2/3 male and they did most of the talking.) and the (also male) professor concluded that:
    Yes, women have to deal with misogyny, but that’s just how the world works and it’s not really anybody’s fault. (because “not all men are sexist”) However, it was equally hard to be a man, because sometimes women reject them.
    Personally, I don’t think I was being unfair. what I do think is “unfair” is the number of women that have been killed simply because they rejected a man’s advances. Even after, she is seen as the one who should have known better. People say “She shouldn’t have led him on” or “She should have just given him her number” completely ignoring the fact that she has been murdered simply for not putting a man’s wants before her own. It’s true that rejection can be hurtful, but if men are permitted to react so violently to it without repercussions, then who really holds more power in our society?

    • That’s a good point regarding social power.

      Of course part of the reason women are less inclined to have sex with random men is because they are more likely to see fear men in a society that is more violent, like ours – which tends to be more common in patriarchies.

  21. Yeah Its hard to say which gender has more power sexually speaking. With the social norm being that men are the initiators can leave women feeling powerless because they have to wait around for the men to come talk to them or call them back. It is frowned upon women to make the move so to speak. I think this norm needs to be changed or erased. Women should not be looked down upon for initiating a conversation with someone they are attracted to or want to get to know. Women are expected to set limits when it comes to sex, and this because of the double standard where women are suppose to suppress their sexuality. And because of this some women are afraid to make the first move because they might be viewed as aggressive or as a hoe because they are expressing their sexuality. As Ms. Fosters study shows hat women that have confidence are not afraid of the norms and double standard and hopefully women gain gain the confidence they need to break this norm and double standard.

  22. Society could be kind of threatening, in my opinion, because as the article points out, women have the advantage of demanding anything, because they are seen as the ones, being able to set boundaries for themselves, having that good looking appeal therefore having a voice, and what happens when women make a wrong move? Women automatically are labeled as a,”slut, or hoe etc.” But really some of us don’t consider that it goes both ways, sometimes society sees it as the girl being more demanding, and having the power, but they need to see the guy doing that as well, so that many women don’t fear of expressing themselves in any circumstances they’re under in. Society is run by the most popular people, such as if an artist is doing something, and another artist, not really well known, trying the same thing but differently, society automatically is going to say the artist is weird! and why? because society only goes with who’s more popular and who’s not. In many ways, society lacks on supporting people’s rights, without even knowing it!

    • I wonder if part of the reason why most people think women have more power is because they are so I’m used to women having veto power?

      The ways in which women are powerless are rendered invisible: things like punishment for either having sex too easily or being too “prudish”. Plus sexual repression — which is more invisible.

  23. This article is very interesting to me because, with each side presented, it seems as though neither side has more power. That is to say, each thinks the other has more power. In some cases the power depends on who is trying to win over who. If a woman wants the approval of the man, she feels more compelled to consent to his whims, giving her less power. But if a man is really working for the woman, she might have more control, enough to say no. Even in this case, however, the woman is expected to set the limits, because if she gives in quickly, she can be taken as “easy”. So does this give her less power? A man is expected to not set limits, he is expected to “go all the way” whenever he can, especially because of how sexualized a woman’s body is in our culture. The man seems to have less power due to the woman’s ability to seduce him. But why is the woman expected to do the seducing? This seems to be a cycle with no clear winner. Each sex is governed by the set “norms” and therefore both concede power when they abide by these rules because it’s what is expected of them.

  24. I was initially confused by this post because I was not sure how the word “power” was being used to describe a sexual encounter. When it refers to consent, I understand where the research supports that women may feel like they have less power than men to consent/dictate terms/ask for things during sex. I have personally experienced this to be true. I also agree that our current society also presents a double negative in terms of sexual power. I have been met with the idea multiple times that women are more responsible than men for a sexual encounter. At a young age we are presented with the idea stated in this article that if a girl behaves too sexually (having more than 3 boyfriends whom she’s slept with, or too high of a “number”) before they graduate from high school they will risk being “labeled a “hoe””. We also punish girls who are too “picky”, “prudish”, or “goody goody” if they have not had any sexual encounters before graduating high school. Ironically, chastity is also most often because of external patriarchal forces.
    All in all, great read!

  25. I feel like this blog is interesting because I can see both sides of the argument. If someone were to ask me who held more power when it came to sex, automatically I would say women because they need to agree (most of the time) to do it. After reading this article, I can see how it may be both sexes. The reason for this is because yes, in general the women need to consent but there are lots of things men do that can sway a women’s decision. There are also many other external things that can sway a decision like society standards, alcohol and drugs, forceful encounters and peer pressure.I think it is hard these days because I do believe that more women are sticking up for themselves especially when it comes to sex. I feel like more women now feel like they have more power and there are a lot of advocates for women too. I really believe it just varies situation to situation

  26. I am not surprised that your students perceive that it is women who wield the power in sexual relationships. Even some of the comments to your piece itself really reinforce how accepted the convention is that it is upon women’s whims that sex hinges. The hyper-sexualization of women’s bodies leads to that assumption. It’s a line of thinking that mistakes a simple ankle flash, crook of a finger, or toss of the hair as being the equivalent to empowerment and total agency. But how can we ignore the fact that women exist within societal structures that, from the very start of their existence, value them as objects for consumption by men—where their worth is only measured in relation to what they provide for men, in particular how their bodies provide for men? I’m thinking how sex-education typifies this. Everything I was ever taught in school was so penis-centric. The very definition of sex in these classes was penetration of the vagina by the penis. I never learned about the anatomy of the clitoris. Queer sex was entirely erased from the conversation. We weren’t even given language that allowed for forms of sex which NEVER involve penises. It was implicit: women’s sexual agency is only framed by their relationships to men. The pressure upon women to affirm these roles, and affirm their value in relation to men, is tremendous, and I think far more closely linked to survival and self-preservation than empowerment.

  27. I think that it can go both ways. Women sometimes feel like they have to have sex to get affection or approval. They can feel like their partner will become disinterested or upset if not. I remember when I got married, someone told me the things spouses fight about most: Money, Sex and Kids. I could never figure out why someone would fight about sex unless someone cheats. Then after I had kids, it dawned on me. Sometimes we have disagreements become partner’s needs change and one might not feel like they are having their needs met. I think that women, on one hand, do hold more power because we have the ability to seduce or attract. We also do have the power to say no- but so do men. Men have the same ability to seduce but how they do so can be vastly different than women. They have the power to say no but as a society, we don’t hear that too often. It needs to become more of the norm for men to consent or respect a women’s wishes and not treat her any differently as a result, and then, maybe, the power will be a little bit more equal.

  28. http://psr.sagepub.com/content/8/4/339.abstract

    “If sex is a female resource, then it will ultimately be up to the woman to decide when and whether sexual relations commence. This view of women as sexual gatekeepers was supported by Cohen and Shotland (1996), who computed correlations between when people thought sex should start in a given relationship and when they actually began having sex. For the hapless men, the correlation was not even significant (r = .19), indicating that their wishes and preferences were essentially irrelevant, whereas for women the correlation was very high (r = .88), indicating that sex occurred when they preferred. This study also found that men wanted sex to commence earlier than the women. Thus, women decide when sex commences, and the man’s role is to invest time, money, attention, commitment, and other resources until the woman is sufficiently satisfied.”

    • True. But being the gate keeper isn’t necessarily a position of power. Particularly when 1) Women feel like they have no other choice but to gatekeep 2) Women are in a double-blind: If they say yes they are seen as sluts and if they don’t they are seen as prude 3) Women feel like they don’t have traditional excuses that can spare the guys ego. 4) all three of the above conflicting problems exist simultaneously

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