Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Page 5 of 6 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by eselle28 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:15 pm

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:Hey Mel,

I'm not sure there is one. And I'm not blaming feminism for putting their agenda first in that respect. What I do blame it for is that the problems created by this approach - which you laid out elegantly - are not really part of the discourse. It seems to me there is an implicit assumption that the acceptance of the moral imperative to prioritize freedom *from* sexuality over freedom *to* sexuality entails an agreement to not talk about the problems that arise for the other aspect because of that priorization.

Is it possible that's the least bad result, at least at a point in time in which very few people do have freedom from others' unwanted expressions of sexuality? To me, at least, the problems aren't comparable in terms of weight. Perhaps one should be prioritized over the other.

Mel wrote:Maybe you need to just accept that there is no perfect way of talking about the matter that avoids all logical issues with any absolute, because human communication is not perfect, and that's just the way it is with every ethical issue out there, not only this one.

That is certainly possible. But, that said, I don't want to give up just yet.

Since you're not willing to give up on this point, do you have any proposed solutions to perfect human communication?
eselle28
eselle28
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 1994
Reputation : 999
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Mel on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:42 pm

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
Mel wrote:Maybe you need to just accept that there is no perfect way of talking about the matter that avoids all logical issues with any absolute, because human communication is not perfect, and that's just the way it is with every ethical issue out there, not only this one.

That is certainly possible. But, that said, I don't want to give up just yet.

Well then how about you start brainstorming some actual concrete examples of talking about consent that you think avoid these problems, instead of continuing to complain that other people aren't doing it for you?
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:51 pm

eselle28 wrote: Perhaps one should be prioritized over the other.

As I said, one *should be (and is rightly)* prioritized over the other. Doesn't mean the other problem is not worth looking at at all. Not being able to express oneself sexually/romantically is not on par with being sexually assaulted, doesn't mean that the other person's pain is irrelevant. My personal problems aside, I think a lot of the male resentment in the gender discourse comes from guys having the feeling of not being allowed to talk about this because male weakness is considered individually unsexy (full circle) and collectively at least distracting from the real issues, and thus potentially even immoral.

esselle28 wrote:Since you're not willing to give up on this point, do you have any proposed solutions to perfect human communication?

Sadly, no. I've tried putting all this on the table and see if presenting weakness and that awareness is considered as a strength, and I'd say it is, but not sexually. If I can manage to be aware of all this, and *still* move in for the kiss (the experience I told with my proto-relationship), then great. But for those women who would not initiate anything themselves, all this will not matter, awareness is not attractiveness. This works on a different level.

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:55 pm

Mel wrote:Well then how about you start brainstorming some actual concrete examples of talking about consent that you think avoid these problems, instead of continuing to complain that other people aren't doing it for you?

Oh, I'm thinking about it, believe me. Too much even, as I suppose you'd agree Wink

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by eselle28 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:36 pm

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
eselle28 wrote: Perhaps one should be prioritized over the other.

As I said, one *should be (and is rightly)* prioritized over the other. Doesn't mean the other problem is not worth looking at at all. Not being able to express oneself sexually/romantically is not on par with being sexually assaulted, doesn't mean that the other person's pain is irrelevant. My personal problems aside, I think a lot of the male resentment in the gender discourse comes from guys having the feeling of not being allowed to talk about this because male weakness is considered individually unsexy (full circle) and collectively at least distracting from the real issues, and thus potentially even immoral.

Just to be clear, I'm not just saying that rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are worse problems than worrying about victimizing others with one's advances. I'm saying that when it comes to gender discourse, I would consider the perspective of people concerned about the former (including men with those concerns) to be vastly more important than people concerned about the latter (including women with those concerns). Maybe it is distracting. Maybe it can be immoral.

I wouldn't actually go as far to say it should never be discussed. I think there are times and ways that can be accomplished. But if someone wishes to make the problem into an either/or, I'm fine with putting concerns people have about being falsely seen as being victimizers on the table until there are fewer actual victimizers and victims walking around.

esselle28 wrote:Since you're not willing to give up on this point, do you have any proposed solutions to perfect human communication?

Sadly, no. I've tried putting all this on the table and see if presenting weakness and that awareness is considered as a strength, and I'd say it is, but not sexually. If I can manage to be aware of all this, and *still* move in for the kiss (the experience I told with my proto-relationship), then great. But for those women who would not initiate anything themselves, all this will not matter, awareness is not attractiveness. This works on a different level.

Then, perhaps, the problem may be solvable in the long term but isn't solvable in the short term, in which case I would advocate for people settling on the least imperfect system of communication they can achieve. What would your vote be for if we did have to settle on an imperfect set of social rules?
eselle28
eselle28
General Oversight Moderator

Posts : 1994
Reputation : 999
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by kath on Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:20 am

I think that the current line of discussion is great, so I don't want to distract from that, but I was curious about something.

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:I am basing this on the assumption that the majority of women expect guys to proceed without having *communicated* their enthusiastic consent in a way that would limit the risk fot the guy to have to feel like Schrödinger's sexual assaulter when trying to kiss her.

What are you basing that assumption on? Have the majority of women you know expressed things like the one woman you told you wouldn't want to touch if that was how she went about trying to be touched?
kath
kath

Posts : 352
Reputation : 159
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Mel on Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:56 am

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
Mel wrote:Well then how about you start brainstorming some actual concrete examples of talking about consent that you think avoid these problems, instead of continuing to complain that other people aren't doing it for you?

Oh, I'm thinking about it, believe me. Too much even, as I suppose you'd agree Wink

Are you trying to be funny? I meant brainstorming out loud, here, as an attempt to contribute to the discourse you say you want people to be having. If simply "thinking about it" is enough, how the heck do you know plenty of feminists aren't thinking about it themselves and simply aren't talking about it at length because they haven't found a definite better approach either (I actualy disagree that they don't talk about it at all--you yourself have pointed out instances of prominent feminists discussing issues they have with rigid models of consent)?

You've spent a lot of words here talking about what you think feminism is doing wrong. If you're unwilling to take the time to share thoughts on what doing it right could look like--concretely, in ways that might be useful to people who'd want to improve the discourse--then it comes across as if your main goal is not to improve the discourse but to vent about feminism.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:14 pm

Kath,

and perhaps also as a reply to Mel's last comment -

kath wrote:What are you basing that assumption on? Have the majority of women you know expressed things like the one woman you told you wouldn't want to touch if that was how she went about trying to be touched?

Yes, I think I would say a significant majority, particularly female friends. With women I was interested in and nothing happened there's often some kind of "debriefing" that includes that or something similar.

This is where my thinking was in 2010 (edited an old comment on figleaf's blog which is no longer online, in which I was commenting on his "shorter-no-sex-class-paradigm hypothesis" and still think that's capturing the essence of the problem). This was what he wrote that got me thinking:

It is simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable for a woman to have sexual desire.
It is simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable for a man to be sexually desired.

My comment -

[author] says : “It is simultaneously inconceivable and intolerable for a woman to have sexual desire.”

That’s because of all the value wrapped up social concepts of female sexuality, having desire of her own would be hard to deal with for the social structures built upon this notion (as a consequence of #2 below, I’d say). But something has changed “in the current West”.

It is simultaneously required, inconceivable and intolerable for a woman to have sexual desire”

I'm thinking of double binds for women today as – the expectation to be sexually liberated and assertive. The expectation to honor the “good girl vs slut” dichotomy partly due to a still slightly different biological risk/reward ratio due to position in human procreation, placed in an age-old and feminist reinforced discourse of male sexuality as latently sociopathic in which sexuality for a woman means being taken advantage of, at least on some level. All sexual pleasure with men is thus tainted as being at least potentially exploited, not liberated. She’s “losing value” everytime she has sex unless the sex is happening in a socially condoned way or by the way of love as a transcendent force with a built-in narrative of overcoming social forces since the dawn of ages – as David Foster-Wallace puts it in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men – “Meaning that what they’re really going to want is some way out of these responsibilities. … experience a passion so huge, overwhelming, powerful, and irresistible that it obliterates any guilt or tension or culpability they might feel about betraying their perceived responsibilities.”

Problem is – men have a hard time providing the passion for the way out because, well – their sexuality isn’t valued on par with a woman’s sexuality. I think it’s not so much that it is inconceivable that they be sexually desired, as you propose, but that their desire is socially devalued because it is considered at least latently sociopathic and in need of social control (previously by controlling access to female sexuality, now by directly policing male sexuality). Still, and because of that, men who initiate are studs. In the current – feminist/postfeminist West, there also is a third intervening factor with respect to men, in my opinion:

“It is simultaneously required, inconceivable and intolerable for a man to be sexually desired.”

as initiating without being desired will automaticall reinforce the problematic notions of male sexual sociopathy because of an assumed lack of mutuality and consent.

While women are socially considered to constantly lose value having sex men constantly act in the paradigm that we’re gaining value from her, but the price is dealing with our potentially poisenous touch and the feeling that we are taking more than we’re giving when we’re sexual.

And because of the still predominant mating sequence with a male initiator, this creates a circular problem: Men/initiators need to be able to see through all this and understand that she still expects us to initiate and create the passion needed for her to get through the double bind barrier allowing her the kind of passion and radical acceptance of our sexuality, which seems to be the only way it can be liberated from being considered exploitative by her and ourselves.

And that brings us back to what I've said: Seeing through all of this without the ability to *project and create the passion* for women to get out of their double binds will not allow *us* to get through ours. It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. And while I will repeat that I do not think it is morally permissible to solve this problem on the backs of people who are sexually assaulted - option #1 in Mel's restatement of the problem above - I do think that both male inability to project that kind of passion and female desire for that kind of projection are a widespread phenomenon making a lot of people unsatisfied with their sex lives.

It's a phenomenon behind a lot of social narratives, as most recently, an excellent little book by the Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz explains -

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo18232225.html

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by kleenestar on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:17 pm

I don't know, Sam, I'm pretty uncomfortable with the stories you tell as evidence for "women really want men to take them aggressively." It seems to me like there are many other possible explanations, which in turn makes me skeptical of your other evidentiary claims on this topic.

I think a lot of your problem comes from your attachment to the "women want to be taken" narrative, combined with your difficulty seeing women as individuals. Until and unless you're willing to seriously interrogate both those things, I doubt you are going to make much progress.
kleenestar
kleenestar

Posts : 289
Reputation : 204
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:29 pm

Hey Kleenestar,

kleenestar wrote:I don't know, Sam, I'm pretty uncomfortable with the stories you tell as evidence for "women really want men to take them aggressively." It seems to me like there are many other possible explanations, which in turn makes me skeptical of your other evidentiary claims on this topic.

I think a lot of your problem comes from your attachment to the "women want to be taken" narrative, combined with your difficulty seeing women as individuals. Until and unless you're willing to seriously interrogate both those things, I doubt you are going to make much progress.

I'm not sure which stories in particular you're reffering to here? Which other explanations are there, Kleenestar?

I am *very* willing to change my point of view if the evidence suggests that I'm wrong, but so far, particularly my personally experienced evidence suggests that my understanding is the most parsimonious explanation of what's going on around me. And, of course, I defend my perception.

Just to clarify: I do not have problems seeing women as individuals except when it comes to sexual initiation, and that's because of feminist/gender theory that looks at *gendered phenomena*. So if a woman told me (has happened) to *take her right there and then* I would still have problems doing so because of what I have internalized from this feminist/gender narrative. Does not mean that I do not see her as an individual or that I rationally question her free will to be taken there and then. It's just that it's hard to change things that have become - there's a psychological term for this thing I can't remember at the moment - part of one's fundamental self concept, even if one knows them to be rationally wrong. Same with desires, also on the "other side".

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Robjection on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:42 pm

What kind of evidence would you be willing to consider exactly?

_________________
The above post contains Robjectionable content.
Robjection
Robjection

Posts : 384
Reputation : 100
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:45 pm

Well, one useful bit of evidence would presumably be women themselves telling you what they like and want sexually. And since the vast majority of responses you've had in this thread have been from women, you've got a decent chunk of that right here.

You say that you don't have a problem seeing women as individuals in areas except this one, and it shows - your anecdotes and personal experiences you've shared all carry the same pattern of you trusting your own extremist take on what is a relatively recent feminist goal, and the gendered assumptions you make related to that, over the actual words and actions and explicitly communicated desires of the women you encounter. That's not a problem with women, or feminism, or consent. That's a problem with your internalised issues on the matter.

_________________
Some of you will know me as Bunny from the old forums.
UristMcBunny
UristMcBunny
Moderator of "Romantic and Sexual Relationships"

Posts : 371
Reputation : 116
Join date : 2014-09-24

http://uristmcdorf.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by kleenestar on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:47 pm

#2 girl at another birthday party a week later. We danced for about half an hour, then had some deep conversation about life, death, and lust, and then go dancing again. Serious close dancing. At some point we get close to the wall and I ask her "would you like to kiss me?" and she says "no". I tell her that I will not try again if she says no. We dance a little more and then she says she'd like to dance alone now. Interpretation #1: she was never interested in anything but dancing and I misread the situation; #2 she really didn't want to have to admit to wanting to kiss me and wanted to be taken. As usual, I acted like she meant #1 while I'm pretty sure it was #2.

Honestly all three of your stories have perfectly reasonable alternate explanations, but in this one you even point out that it's perfectly possible that she just wanted to dance with you. Given that you seem to be having trouble seeing women as individuals who can have different ideas and beliefs, it makes me think that you are imposing your meta-narrative about women onto many situations like this one, which in turn reinforces your belief system and makes it harder for you to treat women as individuals with different preferences and opinions.

Even if you actually do keep running into women who "just want to be taken," the correct question to ask is not about "women" but about you. Are you particularly attracted to this sort of woman? If not, then why are you encountering so many of them? Do you spend a lot of time with women who adhere to conventional gender roles? Could you be driving away the women who have other types of attitudes?

Similarly, one way out of this "gendered phenomena" trap is to say, "Given the society I live in, how can I make myself someone who a woman is willing to say no to?" It is absolutely, 100% possible, but everything you seem to want to talk about in this conversation is wifty generalizations and high theory as opposed to ways you, specifically, can fight some very specific messages that women get.

Finally, I just have to say that I can't take your initiation theory terribly seriously, because male initiation is simultaneously incredibly overvalued (to the point where it's seen as a natural right, regardless of what the woman in question wants) and treated as being in need of control. There's no way to talk about the latter in the absence of the former, so your rhetoric about male sexuality being devalued makes it impossible for me to progress with you on this front. I'm happy to continue discussing the themes I've raised above.

Also, everything that Bunny said!!!!!!!!!
kleenestar
kleenestar

Posts : 289
Reputation : 204
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Mel on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:57 pm

I did a quick google search on "asking to kiss" and while I did find plenty of women saying they were turned off by it, I saw at least as many women saying they appreciated it and/or found it appealing under the right circumstances (e.g., if it was part of an ongoing flirtation rather than out of the blue from someone they'd had no romantic interactions with; if done in a relaxed rather than anxious way).  And these were in general forum discussions, not anywhere feminist-focused where you might claim they were merely bowing to pressure.  A couple of examples with plenty of OK-with-asking women:

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskWomen/comments/2ahwdh/would_you_like_it_if_a_guy_asks_to_kiss_you_or/

http://www.veggieboards.com/forum/25-relationships-family/107384-asking-first-kiss-cute-lame.html

I also agree with kleenestar that you seem to be assuming women are turning you down for this reason even with no clear evidence.  E.g., your example of the woman you were dancing with who said no to kissing you, you're assuming she didn't actually mean that "no" even though from your account she gave no obvious indication afterward that she had actually wanted you to kiss her.

Yes, if you behave ethically, you will have fewer chances to have sex than if you behave unethically.  That is true for all sorts of opportunities.  You will have fewer job opportunities if you're truthful on your resume rather than lying about your accomplishments--does that make it okay to lie, even if some companies reward lying by not bothering to check?  You will be able to buy fewer things if you buy them legally at full cost rather than off the back of a truck--does that mean it's okay to buy stolen goods, as long as people are fencing them?  Etc.  

If you meet a woman who seems to expect you to treat consent unethically--to push or pressure for sexual activity after she refuses consent--then the ethical thing is not to give in.  There are, clearly, women out there who are okay with giving clear consent.  Maybe you need to refine how you ask for consent (I suspect stating, "I'd like to kiss you now" or similar in a flirty way, and giving her a chance to react positively or negatively, is going to come across as a lot more appealing than asking a woman if she would like to kiss you, which kind of puts the spotlight and pressure on her while downplaying your own involvement, for example) and see if that helps. Definitely you still need to work on your anxieties about trusting women's "yes"es and initiating even in the context of an ongoing relationship where your partner will reasonably expect you to trust and feel comfortable with her. But this is not some impossible situation.

You can also decide that you'd rather have more sex even if that means behaving unethically, and that's up to you. But again, other people behaving unethically does not magically make the behavior okay.

And to add, seeing more recent responses:

So if a woman told me (has happened) to *take her right there and then* I would still have problems doing so because of what I have internalized from this feminist/gender narrative.

How does that conflict with the feminist narrative?  This woman is not asking you to take her without consent. Telling you to "take her" is giving you consent. Where in the mainstream feminist narrative are people saying that it's not okay to have any particular kind of consensual sex with another adult?

That is exactly how a woman can ethically ask for an experience like "being taken"--by expressly telling her partner that is what she wants and that she's enthusiastic about it happening. If you can't even accept that, then again, the problem is not with what "feminism" says--because the majority of feminists say, "If she says 'Do this to me', that's consent, go for it!"--it's a problem with your personal anxiety/interpretations.
Mel
Mel
Roving Moderator

Posts : 317
Reputation : 182
Join date : 2014-09-24

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:19 pm

Kleenestar,

kleenestar wrote:Honestly all three of your stories have perfectly reasonable alternate explanations, but in this one you even point out that it's perfectly possible that she just wanted to dance with you. Given that you seem to be having trouble seeing women as individuals who can have different ideas and beliefs, it makes me think that you are imposing your meta-narrative about women onto many situations like this one, which in turn reinforces your belief system and makes it harder for you to treat women as individuals with different preferences and opinions.

I don't think so. I can't really communicate the body language and subcommunication that makes me believe she actually wanted more than that, but sure, it's a possibility. I consider possibilities. In this case, I'd say I gave it a 25% probability I misread her, and 75% confidence is nowhere near my threshold for even considering anything without asking before.

kleenestar wrote:Even if you actually do keep running into women who "just want to be taken," the correct question to ask is not about "women" but about you. Are you particularly attracted to this sort of woman? If not, then why are you encountering so many of them? Do you spend a lot of time with women who adhere to conventional gender roles? Could you be driving away the women who have other types of attitudes?

No, actually, I spend a lot of time with people who are very conscious of the role gender plays in their lives. Articulate people of both genders who are, by and large, aware of the problem and do not have a way to get over it (sounds familiar?). Why am I encountering so many of them? Even in the gender-aware subgroup of highly educated people that I spend most of my time in? I think it's because a) gender expectations are pervasive and b) that's because there are so many women still desiring that male performance.

You know, you're asking me to question my perception. And I do. But I'm not sure I'm getting the same kind of openness in return. Is it conceivable for you I may have a point?

kleenestar wrote:Similarly, one way out of this "gendered phenomena" trap is to say, "Given the society I live in, how can I make myself someone who a woman is willing to say no to?" It is absolutely, 100% possible, but everything you seem to want to talk about in this conversation is wifty generalizations and high theory as opposed to ways you, specifically, can fight some very specific messages that women get.

Yeah, the problem, and I think I've said that isn't that I don't think women would say no to me. The problem - my problem - is that I would feel as Schrödinger's sexual assaulter *if that happened*. I realize you may not have that impression, but I'm *very good* at communication (in person).

kleenestar wrote:Finally, I just have to say that I can't take your initiation theory terribly seriously, because male initiation is simultaneously incredibly overvalued (to the point where it's seen as a natural right, regardless of what the woman in question wants) and treated as being in need of control. There's no way to talk about the latter in the absence of the former, so your rhetoric about male sexuality being devalued makes it impossible for me to progress with you on this front. I'm happy to continue discussing the themes I've raised above.

You may still want to consider that there's a different point of view that may more reasonably describe the position of the people you talk about, and that I may have potentially outlined some of that. As you may imagine, I don't think your point about male initiation is anywhere close to what I consider to be the default male experience. I see this as a compensatory narrative.

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:21 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:Well, one useful bit of evidence would presumably be women themselves telling you what they like and want sexually.  And since the vast majority of responses you've had in this thread have been from women, you've got a decent chunk of that right here.

Yes, I agree, but a lot more women have told me otherwise. So I'm balancing both of that to get to a better understanding.

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:28 pm

No.  You aren't balancing both.  You are dismissing one group of women's opinions and only listening to another's.  Why?  Because the group of women here telling you it's okay is encouraging you to be vulnerable and take a risk.  The other group is telling you don't do anything ever, and that's a lot easier to follow.  

You are also basically saying women don't know their own minds, they are manipulative and that it is a very real risk that women after having consensual sex will then accuse you of rape.  That's pretty insulting to women and quite frankly not at all true (the number of false rape reports is so low, equal to the number of false robbery reports - but do you freak out going over to someone's house for fear they will accuse you of stealing something?)

I have to say I agree with everyone else: you are using "logic" and analysis to make sure you don't take any risks. You're scared. And instead of admitting to that and focusing on the emotions and the reasons behind your fear, you would rather coldly analyse a tiny portion of feminist theory that isn't even saying what you think it is. I understand the fear, but there's not much we can do to help you because you aren't actually addressing the real issues.

OneTrueGuest

Posts : 152
Reputation : 111
Join date : 2014-11-21

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by kleenestar on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:42 pm

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
kleenestar wrote:Even if you actually do keep running into women who "just want to be taken," the correct question to ask is not about "women" but about you. Are you particularly attracted to this sort of woman? If not, then why are you encountering so many of them? Do you spend a lot of time with women who adhere to conventional gender roles? Could you be driving away the women who have other types of attitudes?

No, actually, I spend a lot of time with people who are very conscious of the role gender plays in their lives. Articulate people of both genders who are, by and large, aware of the problem and do not have a way to get over it (sounds familiar?). Why am I encountering so many of them? Even in the gender-aware subgroup of highly educated people that I spend most of my time in? I think it's because a) gender expectations are pervasive and b) that's because there are so many women still desiring that male performance.

You know, you're asking me to question my perception. And I do. But I'm not sure I'm getting the same kind of openness in return. Is it conceivable for you I may have a point?

Oh, yes, I believe you may have a point - but given that I am a part of not just one, but multiple communities of gender-aware highly educated people who don't seem to have the same problems, I suspect there is something more going on than simply "so many women still desire that male performance." What I am trying to figure it is why this is happening to you specifically, because I encounter so very many people, men and women, for whom this is not a problem. It suggests to me that despite pervasive gender expectations, your specific problem is not universal, and therefore trying to delineate it better could be a way out.

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
Yeah, the problem, and I think I've said that isn't that I don't think women would say no to me. The problem - my problem - is that I would feel as Schrödinger's sexual assaulter *if that happened*. I realize you may not have that impression, but I'm *very good* at communication (in person).

I think you may have just said something very important, so can you please clarify? You say you would feel like a sexual assaulter if "that" happened - if what happened? If you made a move and a woman said no?
kleenestar
kleenestar

Posts : 289
Reputation : 204
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Enail on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:45 pm

Alright, I feel like this isn't going anywhere. Sam, it seems like you have a concern which rests on some basic assumptions and interpretations that the other people participating in this discussion don't share, and while you say you're open to considering evidence and listening to other perspectives, I'm not really getting the impression you're really considering and listening to the kinds of evidence and perspectives others are giving you in this discussion. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm finding that a little frustrating.

So, I'd like to second Robjection's question and add to it. As well as what evidence would you be willing to consider, what kind of discussion are you hoping to have here? What kinds of responses are you looking to hear?  Assuming you are going to continue to have some pretty major and fundamental points of disagreement with many of the other people interested in participating in this thread, what do you think would be a productive direction for this conversation to go in?
Enail
Enail
Admin

Posts : 4038
Reputation : 2276
Join date : 2014-09-22

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by azazel on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:45 pm

OneTrueGuest wrote:You are also basically saying women don't know their own minds, they are manipulative and that it is a very real risk that women after having consensual sex will then accuse you of rape.  That's pretty insulting to women and quite frankly not at all true (the number of false rape reports is so low, equal to the number of false robbery reports - but do you freak out going over to someone's house for fear they will accuse you of stealing something?)

[reference needed]

azazel

Posts : 136
Reputation : 37
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:47 pm

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:Yeah, the problem, and I think I've said that isn't that I don't think women would say no to me. The problem - my problem - is that I would feel as Schrödinger's sexual assaulter *if that happened*. I realize you may not have that impression, but I'm *very good* at communication (in person).

This, right here, is your problem, Sam. What you describe is the system Working As Intended. The whole point is that women get to stop things when they don't want to do them. When things go out of their comfort zones, they get to abort. And what you're essentially saying right here is, "I don't want to try interaction with a woman if there is a point we'll hit that's too far." That is impossible.

Let me give you an analogy. I have done BDSM scening with people. In BDSM, you have safe words, which is your code for "stop immediately" or "slow down, because this is going too far." One of the reasons I passionately hate the 50 shades of grey books is because of a scene where the protagonist uses her safe word, and the male "hero" responds by sulking and being horribly obnoxious, as if he were a better lover, she wouldn't have needed to. But that's crazy. I have safe worded. It's not because I don't like the person, it's because playing on the edge is fun, and you take risks.

Cars have both a gas pedal and a brake pedal because you need both. If a woman expressing an opinion that she's not enjoying something is going to make you feel like a rapist, that is YOUR issue, and I can't help feeling like what you really want is a woman-shaped doll exactly molded to your tastes. That ideal doesn't exist. Accept that. Move on. Live in the real world.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:50 pm

Hey Mel,

Mel wrote:I also agree with kleenestar that you seem to be assuming women are turning you down for this reason even with no clear evidence.  E.g., your example of the woman you were dancing with who said no to kissing you, you're assuming she didn't actually mean that "no" even though from your account she gave no obvious indication afterward that she had actually wanted you to kiss her.

As I said in my reply to kleenestar, it's hard to explain non-verbal and "uncommunicated" parts of the communication. She's in her late 30s, she knows what she wants, and she shouldn't be too constrained by social expectations. We had a discussion about life goals, aging, and desire when we were outside after the first part of dancing. There was some vulnerability. It was in a social setting where *everyone knew her and me*. So, also given the entire gender dynamic, and even in an artsy and very progressive circle, this was different than making out in a dark corner in some club where no one's watching. I don't care too much about that, because, well, gender dynamics, again. But she apparently does, and it's entirely reasonable for her to do so. So I'm not sure what obvious indication you're looking for, but for me, it was pretty obvious that she would have enjoyed making out that night, but that logistics weren't conducive. Am I 100% sure? No, as I said. While I was pretty sure she'd have enjoyed making out with me, I was only 75% sure she'd want me to project masculinity to help her get over the double binds of the social setting, which, again, is nowhere near my threshold for even considering this. So that's how that played out. Just got an invitation from her, not sure if that's evidence for anything with respect to that evening, but she clearly wants to continue the conversation.

So, to use the classification now very publicly introduced into the gender discourse: I think there was a preponderance of evidence that she wanted to make out, but not beyond reasonable doubt, there was also not a preponderance of evidence that she wanted to make out *in that social situation*.

Mel wrote:If you meet a woman who seems to expect you to treat consent unethically--to push or pressure for sexual activity after she refuses consent--then the ethical thing is not to give in.  There are, clearly, women out there who are okay with giving clear consent.

Most of you seem to be under the impression that there's an even distribution and this is merely a matter of looking in the right places. I do not get that impression *at all*, anywhere. That's why I'm saying that even outspoken feminists privately say how they are missing *real men*.

Mel wrote:Maybe you need to refine how you ask for consent (I suspect stating, "I'd like to kiss you now" or similar in a flirty way, and giving her a chance to react positively or negatively, is going to come across as a lot more appealing than asking a woman if she would like to kiss you, which kind of puts the spotlight and pressure on her while downplaying your own involvement, for example) and see if that helps.

You're right, framing is very important, too, in asking for a kiss. "May I kiss you?" (personal experience about 2/3) is about twice as effective as "Do you want to kiss me?" (personal experience about 1/3). Which, I would say, is kind of a consequence of gender based expressions of desire, and the male-female initiator/recipient dynamic is even present in those questions, and it shows. It's also a good way of testing *her* actual level of investment/interest in you. Thanks for the links!

Mel wrote:Definitely you still need to work on your anxieties about trusting women's "yes"es and initiating even in the context of an ongoing relationship where your partner will reasonably expect you to trust and feel comfortable with her. But this is not some impossible situation.

I hope not.

Mel wrote:You can also decide that you'd rather have more sex even if that means behaving unethically, and that's up to you. But again, other people behaving unethically does not magically make the behavior okay.

Well, I haven't in the last two decades, so I don't see that happening.

Mel wrote:How does that conflict with the feminist narrative?  This woman is not asking you to take her without consent. Telling you to "take her" is giving you consent. Where in the mainstream feminist narrative are people saying that it's not okay to have any particular kind of consensual sex with another adult?

There's no problem with that, of course. I used the example to explain how *I* have been affected by the feminist discourse, contributing exactly to the kind of anxiety and inability to see through that in moments like the one described.

SomeSamSeaborn

Posts : 103
Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-11-12

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:58 pm

azazel wrote:
OneTrueGuest wrote:You are also basically saying women don't know their own minds, they are manipulative and that it is a very real risk that women after having consensual sex will then accuse you of rape.  That's pretty insulting to women and quite frankly not at all true (the number of false rape reports is so low, equal to the number of false robbery reports - but do you freak out going over to someone's house for fear they will accuse you of stealing something?)

[reference needed]

For me when he says this:  "So if a woman told me (has happened) to *take her right there and then* I would still have problems doing so because of what I have internalized from this feminist/gender narrative."

This suggests to me that he cannot trust a woman even when she says precisely what he wants to hear (words of consent).  Why can't he trust her?  If it isn't because he's scared of her suddenly changing her mind about consent and thus making him a rapist, what else is he afraid of?  I thought the general crux of his concern was it is impossible to know if a woman truly is consenting ever.  Which means even if she says it, she could be wrong.  So basically, women cannot be trusted to know what they want and can at any point accuse someone of doing something non-consensual, and this is all feminism's fault somehow.  This is, I find personally, offensive towards women on so many levels: women don't know their own minds, we are stupid or callous to the point where if a considerate guy we are attracted to does something we don't like we will instantly accuse them of rape instead of being reasonable people and understanding that it's okay to test boundaries so long as one stops right away, that the movement created to help women is actually an evil movement meant to harm men.  In general, it's just saying women suck.

If there's another interpretation to Sam's posts, I'd like to hear it, absolutely.


ETA: I mean, gah! How many times have I been fooling around and a guy does something that isn't bad but I'm not into and I say, "Not interested" and then we continue doing other fun sexy times that are wonderful and hot and . . . he's basically saying that the second a woman is "meh" about something that means she thinks she's being raped. It goes back to the "Women be overly sensitive yo". Come on. We're smart people. We are nice people. We are HUMAN BEINGS. We aren't going around trying to trap men. We just want to be respected. And so should you.


Last edited by OneTrueGuest on Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:05 pm; edited 2 times in total

OneTrueGuest

Posts : 152
Reputation : 111
Join date : 2014-11-21

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:00 pm

I don't know how you're getting all this information about what outspoken feminists think in private. Most of the outspoken feminists I know are even more outspokenly feminist in private.
nearly_takuan
nearly_takuan

Posts : 1069
Reputation : 456
Join date : 2014-10-01

Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:01 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:I don't know how you're getting all this information about what outspoken feminists think in private. Most of the outspoken feminists I know are even more outspokenly feminist in private.

Grin SO MUCH TRUTH.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof) - Page 5 Empty Re: Male sexual assertiveness and female desire (or lack thereof)

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 5 of 6 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum