I have run into a number of myths about sex in the past, one of the most long-running is one which I encountered in college, during psychology A-levels.
Simply put, it states that women just don’t enjoy sex as much as men do. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around this, as in my mind, women have the clitoris: A body part designed purely for pleasure.
This has been the subject of many ‘comedy’ routines and overheard ‘laddish’ statements and subsequent heated
arguments debates, that I’m really surprised that there hasn’t been more of a backlash against the idea.
The rationality behind this concept has ranged from terrible psychology to the misogynistic, ‘women use sex as a weapon’ and is one of the larger driving forces behind ‘Pick-Up Artist’ communities.
The experiment which introduced the concept to me is the Clark – Hatfield (1989) study which concerned women’s low receptivity to male strangers’ offers of casual sex. this has been ‘replicated’ as social experiments ever since.
Obviously, the initial study was fatally flawed, as is every one of those youtube videos: Simply walking up and offering sex shows a lack of social skills (in the best case scenario!), and will obviously decrease your chances.
The study has been replicated a few times, but the study I would like to talk about today is the one by Andreas Baranowski and Heiko Hecht, Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg
University of Mainz, who decided to conduct a series of experiments to test the Clark-Hatfield studies with a few changes.
First, they replicated the study with the same results but then they changed the setting to a nightclub instead of a university campus, with the expectation that a setting which is more encouraging of casual hookups would affect the outcome quite significantly.
What they didn’t see coming was that the results were almost identical: zero women said yes to the offer of casual sex.
The two researchers decided to find out *why* women weren’t interested in casual sex, which uncovered the facts that women face greater risks when it comes to sex, from the potential for physical danger and pregnancy all the way through to slut- shaming.
Baranowski and Hecht went about crafting a new study to try and eliminate these perceived risks. They invited 60 men and women into a lab and showed them pictures of ten members of the opposite sex, telling them that these ten people had expressed interest in meeting for a date or just for casual sex.
100% of the men were interested in meeting at least one of those ten women (shocked, I am!) with an average interest in meeting just over three out of the ten, but what Baranowski and Hecht found was that 97% of the women were just as interested, averaging out at just *under* three out of ten.
Lesson of the day? As soon as the social and safety factors are eliminated, the difference in interest for casual sex is negligible.
Terri Conley’s pleasure principle: women are less likely to be receptive to offers of casual sex because most of the time the sex isn’t seen as being enjoyable enough to overcome the potential risks.
The lesson here: If a man seems like he is going to be good in bed, women are *more likely* to say yes to casual sex.
However, many pick up books and courses teach an intimidatingly aggressive approach to getting sex: physically impose themselves in front of a woman in order to make her stop to talk to them and do a little dance to keep her from walking away.
Others will consciously ignore soft no’s and refusals in the name of getting a woman’s number *cough* RAPEY *cough*. “I have a boyfriend”, for example. is taken as a challenge rather than as a no; PUAs are supposed to assume that this boyfriend is a fake and will mysteriously disappear when he’s demonstrated his ‘higher value’.
What actually happens is that these guys actually demonstrate poor social calibration and a level of aggression, giving the impression that they are not just going to be shit in bed but also *dangerous*.
So the bottom line is that Clark and Hatfield had one pretty major flaw in their study: They were signalling that the sex was going to suck.
One of the surest signs of men being a bad lover is the way that they treat women: a lack of respect for them upfront is likely going to mean shaming for her afterwards. The person delivering these signs doesn’t give a single fuck about a woman’s pleasure except in how it reflects on them. This betrays an intrinsic mindset of ‘She’s a casual hookup, I’m never going to see her again, why put in the effort?’
The sexist double standard that labels men as studs and women as sluts for the exact same act makes casual sex less respectable, and thus decreases sexual reciprocity. Someone who demonstrates respect (real respect, not ‘benevolent sexism‘) is more likely to be more involved in activities which bring both parties pleasure.
So the message is simple: Treat your potential sex partners with respect. Stop seeing them as sex objects, start seeing them as people.
Women who are open to sexual exploration still retain their self-esteem, regardless of what porn has taught you. Treating her like the only thing she has to offer is her pussy is a perfect way to ensure that you are never offered the pleasure.
Treating people with real respect and maintaining an interest in *their* pleasure for the sake of pleasure alone can make all the difference.
Be sexual and open without being too crude. you can be flirtatious and touchy, and even indicate an interest in sex without crossing the line into being a jerk. Just remember that it is about mutual pleasure
It would probably help to expand your definitions of sex as well, especially if your definition is just putting X into Y. Kink and BDSM can be mutually satisfying activities. Seeing oral as an activity in and of itself rather than as a precursor opens up a whole world of possibilities.
Ok everyone, you know the drill by now: If you want to get in contact to share your horror stories or to just say ‘He-ey’, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will try to read and respond to them all.
But for now, stay sexy and talk to you soon.