This piece was inspired by this article on Refinery29.
It seems that everyone has something to contribute to the conversation about female sexuality: women want sex; they don’t want sex; they only want certain kinds of sex. As the hookup culture becomes an increasingly hot topic, the focus on women’s sexuality only grows.
But who is really the most qualified to contribute to this discussion?
Women — and most importantly, the individual themselves. Along with women who speak from personal experiences, the most productive contributors to the discussion are those versed in legitimate research.
A study in 1989 found that if propositioned by a stranger, 70% percent of men and 0% of women would agree to sex, then attributing this to women’s natural lack of desire for sex. Finding these numbers suspect, professor of women’s studies and psychology at University of Michigan, Terri Conley, decided to investigate.
What Terri found instead, was that around 50% of women would actually agree to casual sex. The reservations of others were typically unrelated to “natural” lack of sexual drive. Of the other 50% of women who said they would not agree to casual sex, two themes emerged. One was that women doubted that they would enjoy themselves with a new partner, i.e. women have experience with men being selfish in the bedroom. The second major concern women had was fear that they would be “slut-shamed” for participating in casual sex.
Terri’s advice to men: “The reason women are turning you down for casual sex seems to be that, for one thing, a lot of you are calling them sluts afterward.” And “a lot of you aren’t bothering to try to be good in bed.”
Regardless of your views about sex, the double standard that treats men and women differently for the same behavior is unacceptable. Women are independent actors who should be free to make their own decisions about sex, free from the worry of being “slut-shamed”. And a little extra TLC in the sack never hurt anyone.
Beyond that, we need an open attitude about discussing sex. Sex shouldn’t be a taboo subject, and couples who talk about their sex lives have better sex lives. When we aren’t talking about what our partners want in the bedroom, we can only rely upon assumptions. So, we want to talk about sex.
We are really excited to dialogue about sex with Cindy Gallop in New York and Milan at SMW, February 17-21.In New York, she’s headlining a special three-hour track with Durex on the topic you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here.
Featured image courtesy of Mark Sebastian.