We’re turned on by every contextless pornographic
scene imaginable: straight and gay sex, masturbation,
We get turned off by the too familiar
[stand-by-me-boyfriends]. We need
distance and novelty to enjoy sex.
Up to 60 percent of us fantasize about being raped by a stranger.
We can have clitoral, vaginal, even cervical orgasms.
We’re wilder and lustier than men, but we’ve been brainwashed
by society to believe we’re Dutiful Wives.
Let’s call ourselves Bonobos instead, after the
famously most sex-positive primate species.
Shocked to Learn
I was shocked to learn of the long-held belief
that women couldn’t conceive unless they climaxed.
This was a scientific ‘truth for 1,500 years
Meanwhile, fear of lustful women has been spun out
in cautionary tales from the myth of Pandora to whichever
corridors of power women manage to infiltrate today.
The Sexless Female
In the 1600s, scientists discovered that
orgasm wasn’t necessary for reproduction.
This only paved the way for a new myth,
that of the sexless female (less scary
because she can’t be disappointed).
In the nineteenth century, women thus became purified,
the gentle reins on men’s animal natures,
enduring the indignities of the marriage bed,
thinking of England!, to keep civilization going.
The Myth: Men Spread Their
Seed. Women Want Babies
We now laugh at the missionary position, yet women’s
supposed monogamous tendencies remain a core assumption
about feminine nature via the ruling secular doctrine
of evolutionary psychology: that men spread their seed,
but women seek a lifelong mate to provide for the offspring.
How typical! No wonder evolutionary psychology
is especially beloved by men.
Their fairly straightforward drives are mirrored
in the animal kingdom more than women’s are.
Unlike our mammalian sisters, women mate
regardless of whether or not we’re in estrus.
Our lust doesn’t aim at procreative sex.
We’re usually trying not to get pregnant.
Intercourse isn’t the primary means
by which most of us achieve orgasm.
The Old Double Standard
Evolutionary psychology also validates the old double standard.
If a guy cheats on his girlfriend or wife, it’s in his nature.
But if she strays, she’s an aberrant slut.
Does the fact that women are expected to be
the more demure gender prove anything about
Their erotic hard-wiring?
Maybe the shared value placed on female modesty
speaks less to absolutes of biology than to the
world’s span of male-dominated cultures and
historic suspicion and fear of female sexuality.
Pressures to Conform
A woman’s sexual self is patrolled by a bewildering
array of good and bad cops, including parents,
religion, femininity, the fear of being undesirable,
our training in pleasing and making others comfortable,
and a culture that’s not-so-subtly misogynistic.
Are we on-board with the idea that
we should let rip with our sexuality?
Would we be happier if we all embrace stranger-sex
and exult in the hunt and the conquest?
Or if we scavenge for a new hot
thing when the sex cools off?
Would buying sexual services enhance our
sexuality—. Does that way lie liberation?
from Mike ForemniakowskiWhen We Climax