With all this talk about how sluttery is at an all-time high these days, a question has been popping up in my head lately about our pop-culture:
Is our culture sex positive or sex negative? That is, is sex (and especially casual sex) portrayed as something beautiful and mutual, or is it portrayed as vile and taboo?
I got started reflecting on this question when I re-read a post in the RM archives about what angers men about the ‘feminine imperative, or fem-perative’ that guys are sold:
The truth about men’s mid-life crises isn’t about recapturing youth, it’s about finally understanding the trappings they’ve been sold into through their 20′s and 30′s and coming to terms with that often horrible truth. Some men do in fact buy the sports car, get the new hottie wife or act in some fashion that appears reckless and irresponsible. This isn’t due to infantilism, but rather new understanding of their own position as men. They’ve “lived responsibly” for so long and for so little appreciation that when that true realization is made they feel the need to move. They’ve become respected, put in the hours, the sacrifice, the censoring of their own views. They realize now that they’ve sold off true passions in favor of maintaining what others have told him was his responsibility – whether it was his choice or not. And all for what? A fat wife? A shrew? Maybe even a fantastic marriage and a wonderful family life, but also a nagging doubt about not seeing enough of the world by 40 because of it.
I would like to add something that I believe is relevant here and actually subtly disagree with the first sentence in that paragraph. Not only are guys bitter about having bought the ‘trappings’ of the femperative without completely considering what they got themselves into, but I do think that recapturing youth plays a part. Many guys buy into a key falsehood about sex for many years—that women do not enjoy it. I am not sure precisely how this attitude enters guy’s psyche, but it is present in many guys.
Allow me to offer my evidence, although perhaps it is more anecdotal than logical.
Take the average, nice, supplicant male and how he reacts to the stimuli with which is is presented throughout his teenage and college years. After having it drilled into him that ‘one in x% of rapes is by acquaintances,’ many an average, well-meaning guy’s thought process continues along these lines:
1) I love and highly respect woman; maybe I have a sister, close female friends and I am extra empathic with females. Therefore:
2) I would never wish anything so traumatic on females as unwanted sex, therefore:
3) I would never think of even pursuing my girl “friends” (even girls I have crushes on) for sex, as if it was unwanted I would be damaging them, which I don’t want to do since I am a nice guy; so it follows:
4) I perceive most all sexual contact with women as being unwanted (by them)
5) While being a nice guy, I watch my (alpha or other) friends get with the girl(s) I like as I take a backseat
6) Things happen between my girl ‘friends’ and I while we are both hammered…we rationalize away what happened as ‘a silly mistake.’
7) The perception of sex as something negative holds.
This is a pattern of behavior that I noticed very often in undergrad. It is not obviously not an ideal way for female-male interactions to take place. I believe this is one of the fundamental shifts guys make when they discover game. The mindset shifts from “oh, there is no way this girl that I have a crush on actually is interested in just some casual sex with me—girls don’t like sex” to “Well of course girls like sex…why wouldn’t we want to have a good ol’ friendly bonking session?” Girls have moved on to feminism 3.0, but a lot of guys have not.
For me, personally, this was a major paradigm shift that when I finally figured out how to make my intentions clear. For a lot of guys, failing to hook up isn’t a matter necessarily of being Beta or Alpha or not having airtight game. Instead, it’s a matter of having an antiquated paradigm that assumes that most girls are looking for relationships and not hookups: “I like this girl and would be down with a little fling, but I’m sure she’s looking for a steady bf because she’s a girl and that’s what they look for…right?”
Once this mindset is shifted to ‘Oh wait…girls are down for casual sex just as much as anyone,’ the floodgates open. Guys who have this figured out can show interest sans desperation and will get just win/win (guy wants casual sex, so does girl) or no deal (girl doesn’t want it, so guy doesn’t pressure more for it) in his relationships with girls.
When you make a girl feel like having casual sex with you is slutty or out of the normal, she can feel you projecting that guilt or slutty vibe onto her and therefore she’ll feel uncomfortable putting out with you and probably won’t do it. But when you communicate through your words and actions that the casual sex you are pursuing isn’t that big of a deal for either of you, she is fine with it.
Speaking from personal experience, the first few times women took me home (I can definitely emphasize, that for at least the first two, it was them who were doing the taking, not me), I woke up the next morning to assume that they regretted what they had done with me, that they thought had made some kind of mistake. I would slink out and pretend that the event had never happened. Shit, was I ever wrong. Little did I know, they were always proud to have bedded me, the attractive, good-natured, boisterous bro.
To offer up a concrete and recent example, I just saw an old hookup of mine who was one of the hottest girls at my high school, a dancer with those incredible gravity-defying bouncy boobies (still looked good). Years ago we shared a lovely night of passion in my friend’s hot tub. The sex was so good and she so hot, I could only assume that she had made a mistake by hooking up with me, and I never called her again. But when I saw her a few nights ago and brought up the event, she giggled and talked about how fondly she looked back on our night, as one of those youthful dalliances we all have. She even alluded to wanting to do it again…
The belief set I have outlined is a common one for males of my generation. Many males have the idea that a hookup must always involve the male aggressively pursuing the female. We buy into the version of the predatory male, and thus reject our own masculine instincts by not going after women shamelessly like some guys do. We buy into the feminine imperative and become the white-knights of the world, while watching the aloof assholes seduce away. Then, when we finally have our ‘aha’ moment and realize that we are not, in fact being asshole by following our own masculine imperative of shameless pursuit, we think to ourselves “why wasn’t I doing that all along?”
I had it, I grew up with it, my friends had it, yet I could not tell you precisely from where this sex-negative belief set comes. Hollywood movies? MTV? Anti-sexual assault campaigns by women’s groups on campus that made me feel guilty for showing interest in a woman? Growing up Catholic? I am personally still on the journey of figuring out from where these belief sets come, but the image of the predatory male still persists and makes guys feel guilty for following their masculine imperative. I foresee that the need/market for dating coaches/and positive roll models for men to correct this mindset will only increase this decade as the feminine imperative continues to quietly have its way.
– I’m hoping to move this blog forward in the next months and offer up something of a fresh, young perspective on the de-masculinization of and demonization of men everywhere, as I sometimes feel that the manosphere gets hung up on the abstract and could use more anecdotal from those who are in their 20’s and actually witnessing the theories so often referenced (i.e. the cock carousal and it’s effects on marriage rates). At the same time, my evidence is more anecdotal and I welcome critiques about misconceptions in these posts. Feedback is appreciated. –