Saturday, April 12, 2014

Female vs Male Sexuality

As Feminists such as the celebrated Andrea Dworkin have noted, male and female sexuality are very different, and not entirely complementary.  One of Feminism's notable achievements has been to stifle male sexuality, and to subordinate male sexual preferences to female sexual preferences.

From Maggie McNeill's article Out of Control:
...As I’ve pointed out before, male sexuality tends to get out of control when untended. I’m sure every sexually experienced female reader knows exactly what I’m talking about; if for some reason you can’t give your man any tail for a while his sexual fantasies and sex talk usually start to get stranger and more extreme as the days go by, and your normal man’s sexuality may go from vanilla to kinky to perverted to weird to just plain sick. Most men don’t really want to do the more unusual stuff they’re talking about, but they sure as hell think about it, and one can only imagine how bad it gets for men who don’t have regular bed partners. Whores, of course, don’t have to imagine; we see all the time what happens when an untended male fire spreads beyond its proper boundaries and endangers others. If the untended male is in the right (or rather, wrong) position these can even become wildfires which threaten entire populations and can cause millions of dollars of damage.
The most common way in which the uncontrolled male sex drive can be dangerous is of course rape, though amazingly enough there are many people who deny this. Back in the early 1970s (before neofeminists took over the movement), leading feminists wanted to call attention to the problem of rape, yet didn’t want to scare women by also calling attention to the fact that male sexuality is inherently predatory. In other words, they did not want to risk reversing the gains of the “sexual revolution” by allowing the average woman to realize that sex has a powerful, profound and untamable dark side and that consequently, sexual freedom carries risks. Note the strong taint of Neomarxism already rearing its ugly head here; the feminist “elite” felt that most women were too immature or stupid to be allowed to take responsibility for themselves and so had to be lied to for the “greater good”. So the myth that “rape is a crime of violence, not of sex” was invented and aggressively promoted; once this slogan became ingrained in the public consciousness it even proved useful in deflecting the monstrous old rapist criminal defense that the victim actually wanted to be raped. If rape had nothing to do with sex, her actions or state of dress or whatever obviously had nothing to do with it.
A crime victim should not be blamed for attracting a criminal, but the notion that rape has nothing to do with lust is arrant nonsense. Most rapes are committed not by angry strangers with guns, but by horny acquaintances who are very much attracted to the victim (as revealed to the general public during the whole “date rape” brouhaha of the early 90s). 65% of rape victims are between 12 and 30 and 29% between 12-17; the rape rate for girls of 16-19 is four times that of women in general. Does that sound to you like something that has nothing to do with sexual attraction? The very idea is asinine. And then there’s the “elephant in the parlor” of penile erection; it’s necessary for penetration, yet as any heterosexual non-virgin could tell you it only occurs when a man is sexually excited. Feminists somehow managed the nigh-miraculous feat of getting nearly everyone in American society to drink the “rape has nothing to do with sex” kool-aid despite the fact that most of the people repeating this inane mantra are adults who know very well that rape cannot be accomplished unless the rapist is sexually aroused! Sometimes they’ll elaborate even further by saying “rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power and control” – despite the fact that BDSM exists precisely because power and control are inextricably bound up with sex!
But despite its absurdity, the “rape as asexual” dogma continues to be promulgated in the US by both government and neofeminists for the very good reason that if women realized that rape is largely caused by sexual frustration, they would collectively demand that prostitution be legalized and that would NOT satisfy the prohibitionist agenda. A number of cross-cultural studies such as this one have shown that in every culture where prostitution is legalized, the rape rate dramatically decreases; the author of the linked paper predicts a 25% decrease in rape in the US if prostitution were legalized. That’s right, the neofeminists and politicians know what’s best for women, so they allow an extra 25,000 of us to be raped every year rather than bury their opposition to a venerable institution which also provides income for many tens of thousands of other women. But I’m sure all the women who were raped by sex-mad men this year can rest assured in the knowledge that their torture was not in vain; after all, it was necessary to advance the holy neofeminist cause of preventing heterosexual males from having convenient access to sex....
 I should emphasize that most men probably do not have a predatory sexual nature, and are not rapists.  Men with reduced size/activity in both the ventral prefrontal cortex and the amygdala may be more inclined to have a predatory sexuality than other men.  Miss McNeill is a retired prostitute, and may have had more experience with one type of man than with others.  Particularly if she plied her trade in the United States, where prostitution's illegality engenders a whole other level of risk.

In Phaedra Starling's article Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced, she writes
...Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into war zones? Because, for women, it is. When I go on a date, I always leave the man’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or she begins to worry. If she doesn’t hear from me by three or so, she’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?
So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me?
Do you think I’m overreacting? One in every six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime....
...When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions....
Which suggests that every man must be regarded as a potential rapist.

In Buried but not Dead, Miss McNeall writes
...I think the main difference is that in general, women are better at totally repressing their sexuality than men are. Most women can sublimate their libidos into other things, which they may become incredibly fanatical about; examples include their children or pets, art, social activities and religious or political crusades. Men may also sublimate in this way, but the sex drive won’t stay buried; they’ll still seek out porn, sex workers or even unwilling partners (as the numerous cases of boy-molesting priests amply demonstrate). Sexual repression in either men or women may lead to an obsession with suppressing sexual expression in others, and (especially in men) the psychological defense mechanism called “reaction formation” will often reveal the person’s particular kink. For example, there are many cases of pedophiles who campaign against “child porn”, closeted homosexuals who lead anti-gay crusades, compulsive clients who loudly support criminalization of sex work, etc. Full-blown sexual reaction formation is less common among women; this isn’t to say that women’s anti-sex campaigning isn’t due to sexual repression (I suspect it usually is), merely that it’s a lot harder to tell exactly what urges are being repressed by looking at the subject of their obsession. In other words, it’s unlikely that a woman involved in an anti-porn jihad is reacting to a repressed fascination with it; in fact, the trauma which produced the hate may have nothing at all to do with porn, which is merely an external symbol of male sexuality or “privilege”, essentially an effigy she can burn....

One set of statistics that get cited quite a lot derive from a Psychology Today article by Joseph W. Critellia and Jenny M. Bivona, where they stated that "between 31% and 57% of women have fantasies in which they are forced into sex against their will, and for 9% to 17% of women these are a frequent or favorite fantasy experience." 

 In a New York Times article, Daniel Bergner points out
Meredith Chivers....showed the short movie [bonobo sex] to men and women, straight and gay. To the same subjects, she also showed clips of heterosexual sex, male and female homosexual sex, a man masturbating, a woman masturbating, a chiseled man walking naked on a beach and a well-toned woman doing calisthenics in the nude.
While the subjects watched on a computer screen, Chivers...measured their arousal in two ways, objectively and subjectively....The genitals of the volunteers were connected to plethysmographs — for the men, an apparatus that fits over the penis and gauges its swelling; for the women, a little plastic probe that sits in the vagina and, by bouncing light off the vaginal walls, measures genital blood flow. An engorgement of blood spurs a lubricating process called vaginal transudation: the seeping of moisture through the walls. The participants were also given a keypad so that they could rate how aroused they felt.
The men, on average, responded genitally in what Chivers terms “category specific” ways. Males who identified themselves as straight swelled while gazing at heterosexual or lesbian sex and while watching the masturbating and exercising women. They were mostly unmoved when the screen displayed only men. Gay males were aroused in the opposite categorical pattern. Any expectation that the animal sex would speak to something primitive within the men seemed to be mistaken; neither straights nor gays were stirred by the bonobos. And for the male participants, the subjective ratings on the keypad matched the readings of the plethysmograph. The men’s minds and genitals were in agreement.
All was different with the women. No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, they showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. They responded objectively much more to the exercising woman than to the strolling man, and their blood flow rose quickly — and markedly, though to a lesser degree than during all the human scenes except the footage of the ambling, strapping man — as they watched the apes. And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person. The readings from the plethysmograph and the keypad weren’t in much accord. During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more. Among the lesbian volunteers, the two readings converged when women appeared on the screen. But when the films featured only men, the lesbians reported less engagement than the plethysmograph recorded. Whether straight or gay, the women claimed almost no arousal whatsoever while staring at the bonobos....
....She has confronted clinical research reporting not only genital arousal but also the occasional occurrence of orgasm during sexual assault. And she has recalled her own experience as a therapist with victims who recounted these physical responses. She is familiar, as well, with the preliminary results of a laboratory study showing surges of vaginal blood flow as subjects listen to descriptions of rape scenes. So, in an attempt to understand arousal in the context of unwanted sex, Chivers, like a handful of other sexologists, has arrived at an evolutionary hypothesis that stresses the difference between reflexive sexual readiness and desire. Genital lubrication, she writes in her upcoming paper in Archives of Sexual Behavior, is necessary “to reduce discomfort, and the possibility of injury, during vaginal penetration. . . . Ancestral women who did not show an automatic vaginal response to sexual cues may have been more likely to experience injuries during unwanted vaginal penetration that resulted in illness, infertility or even death, and thus would be less likely to have passed on this trait to their offspring.”
Evolution’s legacy, according to this theory, is that women are prone to lubricate, if only protectively, to hints of sex in their surroundings. Thinking of her own data, Chivers speculated that bonobo coupling, or perhaps simply the sight of a male ape’s erection, stimulated this reaction because apes bear a resemblance to humans...And she wondered if the theory explained why heterosexual women responded genitally more to the exercising woman than to the ambling man. Possibly, she said, the exposure and tilt of the woman’s vulva during her calisthenics was proc­essed as a sexual signal while the man’s unerect penis registered in the opposite way....
 ...Chivers...considers the possibility that along with what she called a “rudderless” system of reflexive physiological arousal, women’s system of desire, the cognitive domain of lust, is more receptive than aggressive. “One of the things I think about,” she said, “is the dyad formed by men and women. Certainly women are very sexual and have the capacity to be even more sexual than men, but one possibility is that instead of it being a go-out-there-and-get-it kind of sexuality, it’s more of a reactive process. If you have this dyad, and one part is pumped full of testosterone, is more interested in risk taking, is probably more aggressive, you’ve got a very strong motivational force. It wouldn’t make sense to have another similar force. You need something complementary. And I’ve often thought that there is something really powerful for women’s sexuality about being desired. That receptivity element. At some point I’d love to do a study that would look at that.”
The study Chivers is working on now tries to re-examine the results of her earlier research, to investigate, with audiotaped stories rather than filmed scenes, the apparent rudderlessness of female arousal. But it will offer too a glimpse into the role of relationships in female eros. Some of the scripts she wrote involve sex with a longtime lover, some with a friend, some with a stranger: “You meet the real estate agent outside the building. . . .” From early glances at her data, Chivers said, she guesses she will find that women are most turned on, subjectively if not objectively, by scenarios of sex with strangers.
Chivers is perpetually devising experiments to perform in the future, and one would test how tightly linked the system of arousal is to the mechanisms of desire. She would like to follow the sexual behavior of women in the days after they are exposed to stimuli in her lab. If stimuli that cause physiological response — but that do not elicit a positive rating on the keypad — lead to increased erotic fantasies, masturbation or sexual activity with a partner, then she could deduce a tight link. Though women may not want, in reality, what such stimuli present, Chivers could begin to infer that what is judged unappealing does, nevertheless, turn women on....
...The generally accepted therapeutic notion that, for women, incubating intimacy leads to better sex is, Meana told me, often misguided. “Really,” she said, “women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic” — it is dominated by the yearnings of “self-love,” by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need. Still on the subject of narcissism, she talked about research indicating that, in comparison with men, women’s erotic fantasies center less on giving pleasure and more on getting it. “When it comes to desire,” she added, “women may be far less relational than men.”

Like Chivers, Meana thinks of female sexuality as divided into two systems. But Meana conceives of those systems in a different way than her colleague. On the one hand, as Meana constructs things, there is the drive of sheer lust, and on the other the impetus of value. For evolutionary and cultural reasons, she said, women might set a high value on the closeness and longevity of relationships: “But it’s wrong to think that because relationships are what women choose they’re the primary source of women’s desire.”
Meana spoke about two elements that contribute to her thinking: first, a great deal of data showing that, as measured by the frequency of fantasy, masturbation and sexual activity, women have a lower sex drive than men, and second, research suggesting that within long-term relationships, women are more likely than men to lose interest in sex. Meana posits that it takes a greater jolt, a more significant stimulus, to switch on a woman’s libido than a man’s. “If I don’t love cake as much as you,” she told me, “my cake better be kick-butt to get me excited to eat it.” And within a committed relationship, the crucial stimulus of being desired decreases considerably, not only because the woman’s partner loses a degree of interest but also, more important, because the woman feels that her partner is trapped, that a choice — the choosing of her — is no longer being carried out. 

A symbolic scene ran through Meana’s talk of female lust: a woman pinned against an alley wall, being ravished. Here, in Meana’s vision, was an emblem of female heat. The ravisher is so overcome by a craving focused on this particular woman that he cannot contain himself; he transgresses societal codes in order to seize her, and she, feeling herself to be the unique object of his desire, is electrified by her own reactive charge and surrenders. Meana apologized for the regressive, anti-feminist sound of the scene.
Yet while Meana minimized the role of relationships in stoking desire, she didn’t dispense with the sexual relevance, for women, of being cared for and protected. “What women want is a real dilemma,” she said. Earlier, she showed me, as a joke, a photograph of two control panels, one representing the workings of male desire, the second, female, the first with only a simple on-off switch, the second with countless knobs. “Women want to be thrown up against a wall but not truly endangered. Women want a caveman and caring. If I had to pick an actor who embodies all the qualities, all the contradictions, it would be Denzel Washington. He communicates that kind of power and that he is a good man.”
After our discussion of the alley encounter, we talked about erotic — as opposed to aversive — fantasies of rape. According to an analysis of relevant studies published last year in The Journal of Sex Research, an analysis that defines rape as involving “the use of physical force, threat of force, or incapacitation through, for example, sleep or intoxication, to coerce a woman into sexual activity against her will,” between one-third and more than one-half of women have entertained such fantasies, often during intercourse, with at least 1 in 10 women fantasizing about sexual assault at least once per month in a pleasurable way.
The appeal is, above all, paradoxical, Meana pointed out: rape means having no control, while fantasy is a domain manipulated by the self. She stressed the vast difference between the pleasures of the imagined and the terrors of the real. “I hate the term ‘rape fantasies,’ ” she went on. “They’re really fantasies of submission.” She spoke about the thrill of being wanted so much that the aggressor is willing to overpower, to take. “But ‘aggression,’ ‘dominance,’ I have to find better words. ‘Submission’ isn’t even a good word” — it didn’t reflect the woman’s imagining of an ultimately willing surrender....
...I had been thinking about three ideas from our many talks: the power, for women, in being desired; the keen excitement stoked by descriptions of sex with strangers; and her positing of distinct systems of arousal and desire. This last concept seemed to confound a simpler truth, that women associate lubrication with being turned on. The idea of dual systems appeared, possibly, to be the product of an unscientific impulse, a wish to make comforting sense of the unsettling evidence of women’s arousal during rape and during depictions of sexual assault in the lab....
...“So many cultures have quite strict codes governing female sexuality,” she said. “If that sexuality is relatively passive, then why so many rules to control it? Why is it so frightening?” There was the implication, in her words, that she might never illuminate her subject because she could not even see it, that the data she and her colleagues collect might be deceptive, might represent only the creations of culture, and that her interpretations might be leading away from underlying truth. There was the intimation that, at its core, women’s sexuality might not be passive at all. There was the chance that the long history of fear might have buried the nature of women’s lust too deeply to unearth, to view....
That was all very fascinating and thought provoking.

According to Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam,.
...Twice as many women as men report trouble getting turned on. Health professionals report that low desire is the most common sexual complaint they hear from women. Though several factors specific to the design of the female brain contribute to this problem, there is one important psychological factor that may be unique to modern democracies. This factor is one of the unmentionables of sexual science, but since our book is filled with unmentionables, we'll whisper it here:
The majority of women have submission fantasies. From classic romance The Flame and The Flower to classic erotica The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty to Twilight BDSM fan fiction, submission themes are immensely popular in cross-cultural female erotica. The fact of the matter is that most heterosexual women are wired to find sexual submission arousing--and so are most female mammals.
Though a woman's preference for physical sexual submission appears to be controlled by the unconscious, inaccessible subcortical part of her brain, this unconscious physical preference is complemented by an independent psychological preference for dominant men.
Almost every quality of dominant males triggers arousal in the female brain: dominant scents, dominant gaits, deep voices, height, displays of wealth. Romance heroes are almost always high status alpha males—billionaires, barons, surgeons, sheriffs. Avon Books and Ellora's Cave feature no heroes who are kindergarten teachers, accountants, or plumbers. Even though there's been a trend away from the conspicuously rapey bodice-rippers of the seventies and eighties, women still want strong, dominant men.
"I think this is one of the problems we're having in romance in general right now: our heroes have gotten a little too PC. We're portraying men the way feminist ideals say they should be—respectful and consensus-building," muses erotic romance (EroRom) author Angela Knight. "Yet women like bad boys. I suspect that's because our inner cavewoman knows Doormat Man would become Sabertooth Tiger Lunch in short order. In fact, this may be one reason why EroRom is gaining popularity so fast--writers feel free to write dominant heroes with more of an edge."
In her article One Rape Please, To Go, Tracie Egan admits that she paid a male whore to rape her because she wanted to. "I blame my recurring rape fantasy on the fact that I’m a feminist", she says.

Another article on the theme of women's submissive fantasies was Katie Roiphe's Working Women's Fantasies.
If every era gets the sadist it deserves, it may not be surprising that we have ended up with Christian Grey, the hero of the runaway bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey....He is also extremely solicitous and apologetic for a sadist, always asking the book’s young heroine, Anastasia Steele, about every minute gradation of her feelings, and bringing her all kinds of creams and lotions to soothe her after spanking her. He is, in other words, the easiest difficult man of all time.
 Why does this particular, watered-down, skinny-vanilla-latte version of sadomasochism have such cachet right now? Why have masses of women brought the book to the top of the New York Times bestseller list before it even hit the stores? Most likely it’s the happy convergence of the superficial transgression with comfortable archetypes, the blushing virgin and the whips. To a certain, I guess, rather large, population, it has a semipornographic glamour, a dangerous frisson of boundary crossing, but at the same time is delivering reassuringly safe, old-fashioned romantic roles..... 
 ...The current vogue for domination is not confined to surreptitious iPad reading: in Lena Dunham’s acclaimed new series, Girls, about 20-somethings adrift in New York City, a similar desire for sexual submission has already emerged as a theme....
...Her close friend and roommate, meanwhile, has a sweet, sensitive, respectful boyfriend in the new mold who asks her what she wants in bed, and she is bored out of her mind and irritated by him; she fantasizes instead about an arrogant artist she meets at the gallery where she works, who tells her that he will scare her in bed. So nice postfeminist boys are not what these ambitious, liberal-arts-educated girls are looking for either: they are also, in their exquisitely ironic, confused way, in the market for a little creative submission.
 Further signals of the current cultural interest in sexual domination include the recent movie A Dangerous Method, which safely embedded spanking in a period piece exploring the history of psychoanalysis....
 ..it is intriguing that huge numbers of women are eagerly consuming myriad and disparate fantasies of submission at a moment when women are ascendant in the workplace, when they make up almost 60 percent of college students, when they are close to surpassing men as breadwinners, with four in 10 working women now outearning their husbands, when the majority of women under 30 are having and supporting children on their own, a moment when—in hard economic terms—women are less dependent or subjugated than before.
 It is probably no coincidence that, as more books like The Richer Sex by Liza Mundy and Hanna Rosin’s forthcoming The End of Men appear, there is a renewed popular interest in the stylized theater of female powerlessness. This is not to mention a spate of articles on choosing not to be married or the steep rise in young women choosing single motherhood. We may then be especially drawn to this particular romanticized, erotically charged, semipornographic idea of female submission at a moment in history when male dominance is shakier than it has ever been.
 In the realm of private fantasy, the allure of sexual submission, even in its extremes, is remarkably widespread. An analysis of 20 studies published in Psychology Today estimates that between 31 percent and 57 percent of women entertain fantasies where they are forced to have sex....
Joseph W. Critellia and Jenny M. Bivona's Psychology Today article gets cited once again. The National Organization for Women didn't care much for Miss Roiphe's point of view: "..Sure sounds like a writer with an agenda that’s hostile to women’s empowerment and safety. Not to mention the fact that Roiphe never asks why men might want to dominate and hurt women, and what that might say about them..." Not much in the way a rebuttal: more of a "you're not supposed to think things like that" shaming tactic. Miss Roiphe is actually the daughter of noted feminist Ann Roiphe, and has led a Feministic life. So what if she likes to be spanked?

video


Finally, a writer for the Daily Mail makes a good point.
...I'm a content person, a happy man who spends a lot of time with his children, who has many friends and a creative, satisfying job. Yet the hair-trigger of my libido sees all that suddenly roll back to reveal a different me when it comes to the Moment. The oiled wheels turn, and there I am, a shark-figure swimming avidly, armed with jokes and the attentive service of the restaurant I have chosen.
 Think of the moment when the shark bites: something within me will be rolling back its eyes when I nibble that scented neck.
 The uncomfortable truth is that there's a secret complicity between men and women that makes this kind of honesty taboo. We all know lots of women like sex as a commodity, too. All those glossy magazine editors can't be wrong, can they? Many women like to be sex objects. But bringing that situation about isn't easy. It's much simpler to make men culpable, if only from force of habit.
 The labelling of the sex-seeking male as predatory is the term we all use to allow the thing into the open.
 So this predatory male has two dates lined up in the next fortnight: a PR lady and a medical researcher. I can't wait...
This has been a rather long post, with a lot of material quoted. I will just sum it up by pointing out that, with all of our Feminists complaining about male sexuality, and with our prudish Puritan background, the United States is one of the least sexually satisfied nations on Earth. The most sexually satisfied country turns out to be Switzerland.
 Whether it’s the progressive views on legal prostitution, the popularity of licensed brothels, liberal stance on pornography, or controversial sex education programs which begin as early as kindergarten, one thing is certain: Switzerland is consistently rated as one of the most sexually satisfied nations around the globe. A 2013 study revealed that 21 percent of Swiss nationals rate their sexual performance and their sex lives as “excellent." Thirty-two percent have even had sex in public places. Yet, somehow, amidst all that fornicating, the Swiss still manage to have one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world. In 2012, a United Nations survey revealed that the teen birth rate in the United States was almost 10 times higher than in Switzerland.

And, there may be something to say for sexual satisfaction.


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