Author: has written 5272 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

133 Responses

  1. Ilyka Damen
    Ilyka Damen January 28, 2007 at 8:50 pm |

    Oh, thank you for reading her so I didn’t have to. I’m passing this along to my friend who, because she enjoys the occasional traffic boost from a guy I’ll now be forced to think of as Mr. 25-Percent-Seems-Like-A-Fair-Share-To-Me, has actually argued with me that Dr. Helen isn’t, in fact, stupid; no, she “just writes badly.”

    Seriously.

    Anyway, I’m gonna tell her, look! If you can’t figure out that 50/50 is what everyone who passed third-grade arithmetic thinks of as “fair” or “equal” or “even,” you’re officially stupid. Wear the label with pride, Dr. H. We all know smart women are ruining America anyhow.

  2. A Pang
    A Pang January 28, 2007 at 8:52 pm |

    Personally, I have given up on women – for reasons based on aesthetic, economic, and karmic criteria…

    Dave Sim, is that you?

  3. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 28, 2007 at 8:52 pm | *

    I no longer pursue relationships with women because by-and-large, modern American females are no longer particularly desirable.

    Cue the mail order bride brigade!

  4. Kyra
    Kyra January 28, 2007 at 9:08 pm |

    These people suck.

    Anybody and everybody: you want a sexual act that’s all about you, your gratification, not having to do a thing to get another person off? Masturbate.

    Sex is for the enjoyment of everyone involved. If somebody’s not enjoying it, there’s no point in them including themselves in the act.

  5. ako
    ako January 28, 2007 at 9:10 pm |

    After reading;

    I no longer pursue relationships with women because by-and-large, modern American females are no longer particularly desirable. Feminism has largely extinguished femininity, replacing it with the modern, aggressive, masculinized Go-Grrrrlz careerist prototype.

    and,

    All 50 states have rape laws that provide up to 30 days after an alleged sexual act for the woman to decide (retroactively – maybe those Valentine’s Day flowers were an insufficient token of supplicancy?) that she was in fact raped. And, marriage is no sanctuary from this jeopardy, thanks to “marital rape” laws that codify the same female subjective standard of proof.

    and,

    Oh, and if this wasn’t enough legalistic terrorism, the law now says that if I buy a woman a drink and she later comes to my bed, I may have coerced her and deprived her of the act of consent, so on her allegations alone I would be subject to sexual assault charges

    I can only conclude that this,

    Personally, I have given up on women

    is a very good thing. Depriving women of the opportunity to get involved with a man who finds her career unattractive, doesn’t take rape seriously and is especially offended that he can be accused of raping his wife, considers it “legalistic terrorism” that he can be charged of rape based on some woman’s word (unlike all other violent crimes where you presumably have to prove the whole case before pressing charges), is probably for the best all around.

  6. zuzu
    zuzu January 28, 2007 at 9:12 pm | *

    sometimes the ladies “just want to cum” too.

    Not when they spell it like that, I don’t.

    Yeesh.

  7. Alex
    Alex January 28, 2007 at 9:25 pm |

    Economically – I avoid personal relationships with women because, quite simply, a basic cost:benefit analysis will prove that the obvious risks far outweigh the presumed benefits. Forget about having to pay for the dates, the flowers, the jewels and all the other tokens on her toll-road to sex.”

    Toll-road to sex?

    Well, there you go. He’d be happier if he moved to Moldovia and settled down with some sex slaves.

  8. car
    car January 28, 2007 at 9:26 pm |

    Yeah. Stupid women. We can’t even be trusted to vote properly, according to Linda Hirshman.
    “My own theory is that women don’t decide elections because they’re not rational political actors — they don’t make firm policy commitments and back the candidates who will move society in the direction they want it to go. Instead, they vote on impulse, and on elusive factors such as personality.”

    But really, why is it that when women don’t want to have sex, it’s always some sort of bizarre power play, and we’re being bitches, and it’s all about “witholding” sex (which is a stupid statement, because it implies that you’re keeping something that rightfully belongs to the other person), and so on? Maybe we’re just not interested. It could be because we’re worn out, or overworked, or a million other things. Why is it always the fault of the woman, instead of being a problem in the relationship as a whole? I hate that.

    And zuzu, I’m with you. I just want to cringe every time I see the slang “cum”. Don’t ask me why, but ewwww. At least spell it right.

  9. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 28, 2007 at 9:27 pm |

    Given how many times and in how many different ways Mr Personality stated that he didn’t feel various aggressive sexual actions could possibly be rape, I am extremely thankful for the single heterosexual women of North America that he has embraced celibacy. If he were still actively dating, I’d fear for the safety of his dates. Maybe he hasn’t raped anybody yet, but he’s extremely emotionally invested in classifying certain actions as not really being rape (when they actually are), and given the right set of circumstances I doubt innate human decency would stop him from committing sexual assault.

    He commits hyperbole only once, saying if he buys a woman “a drink” and then has sex with her, it could be considered rape. That’s untrue. If he gives her a drink with roofies in it, it’s rape. If he gives her drinks until she’s either too woozy to put up a fight or downright unconscious, it’s rape. One drink isn’t. But in all the other examples he cites, he doesn’t bother with hyperbole. He seems to think it’s self-evident that a married woman can never refuse her husband sex, a girlfriend can never call 911 when her boyfriend’s beating her up, and a date can’t decide she doesn’t want sex with the guy she just had dinner with. Or, you know, women CAN do all those things, but it’s not fair that they have actual legal remedies and the guy could get arrested for doing exactly what he wants, when he wants, with no regard to her wishes.

  10. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 28, 2007 at 9:29 pm |

    Whoops, Ako already said it, and far better than I did.

  11. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 28, 2007 at 9:46 pm | *

    Don’t hate, evil fizz.

    But I’m one of those man-hating American feminazis! If I’m not a hater, I’m nothing.

  12. wren
    wren January 28, 2007 at 10:14 pm |

    Seriously. For these guys? The celibacy may not be voluntary, per se, and any “action” these guys are going to get is most likely not going to be consensual.

    Unless “misogynist asshole fuckwit” is the new “sexy.”

  13. Tony
    Tony January 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm |

    I like aggressive (career wise and otherwise) women. They’re hot.

    You gave too much attention here to all the idiots. What fun is it to take all the dumbest of the dumbass shit that my fellow men write and bash it down? Heh.

    But still, don’t give these idiots a voice:

    This histrionic assumption is usually extrapolated from data mines that are rigged . . .

    The “historionic assumptions” that are “extrapolated?” Give me a break . . .

  14. wren
    wren January 28, 2007 at 10:27 pm |

    As for the “legitimacy” of marital rape… any guy who questions it, ask him if marriage gives his wife free reign to stick things up his ass anytime she wants, regardless of what he has to say about it.

    Either that or just tune out his words and listen to the sound of the wind whistling between his ears. It can be quite relaxing, you know. Like a lava lamp.

  15. Kim
    Kim January 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm |

    Men need to realize that although women are largely a mystery, most of this riddle may be solved in documenting her behavior in accordance to the particular day of her monthly cycle. Women have fluctuating hormones, and moods. Get over it. A woman does in fact require a certain amount of inculpability and forgiveness that just simply isn’t available to a man.

    For men who are scratching their heads, try to imagine a world where you go to sleep, and wake up every morning finding your job is now with a different employer. Women have fluctuating moods, and it is not their fault; get over it. Just as you have needs for sex, she has needs for many other things, stability being one of them; this is supposed to be provided by you, not the state.

    Finally! Someone who understands that I’m hysterical and fickle and need to be tolerated only for the sake of continued usage of my vagina! Aw, but I bet he’s already married: the good ones always are. *retch*

    And what is this “women don’t need sex” crap and when will it go away? (Do they think we’re massaging our BACKS with vibrators?)

  16. Katrina
    Katrina January 28, 2007 at 10:34 pm |

    Personally, I have given up on women – for reasons based on aesthetic, economic, and karmic criteria…

    Is this supposed to be a punishment of some sort?

  17. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 28, 2007 at 10:40 pm |

    Eh, I think it’s significantly more complicated than that. There are guys who can’t get dates who are good people, and guys who can’t get dates who are assholes. And vice versa, obviously. There are two types of assholes, as far as I can see. Type 1 includes those who can fake it long enough to get a potential partner good and reeled in before they start revealing their true personalities, and also includes those guys who target potential partners who have low self-esteem and are thus much more vulnerable than the average straight woman. Call Type 1 manipulative assholes.

    Type 2 assholes can’t fake being a nice human being even for a short while, and thus they tend to be romantically unsuccessful. But it’s not only because they’re assholes, it’s also because they’re bad at gauging other people’s reactions, and appropriate behaviour in public. But someone can have social difficulties and still not be an asshole.

    I knew a guy in university who had acute social anxiety except around people he already knew very well. You can imagine how much fun he found it to mingle with new people. He was very attracted to a mutual acquaintance, but much too shy to pursue her or even indicate that he was interested in her. If it hadn’t been for third parties who knew both of them telling her that yes, he really was interested in her, he was just cripplingly shy, she probably wouldn’t have pursued him nearly as assertively as she did, and they probably wouldn’t have ended up dating. The first time she asked him out, he turned her down (::headdesk::).

    They’re married now. I guess she likes the strong silent type. But if he hadn’t met the right girl under the right circumstances, he could very easily have spent the rest of his life as a social loser who couldn’t get a date, despite being an objectively good person, as opposed to a misogynist asshole whose response to romantic rejection is to hate women indiscriminately.

    I actually know several people who are socially awkward who met their (often equally awkward) significant others online. I guess the anxiety is much less intense when you’re chatting via IM as opposed to in person or on the phone. Easier to get to know someone without the social problems getting in the way, and be close enough that you can warn them in advance you’ll probably be tongue-tied when you first meet them in person.

  18. Karen
    Karen January 28, 2007 at 10:44 pm |

    Re: guys who spell the slang term for orgasm as though it were the Latin conjunctive preposition.

    Is failing English grammar a prerequisite to becoming an asshole? Seriously, the grammar on right-wing and MRA sites is appalling. Would better reading and language instructions in the primary grades eliminate this problem, and is that why we can’t get better salaries for our teachers?

  19. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 28, 2007 at 11:03 pm |

    (I’m not sure what I like more about the MRAs — the racism or the sexism)

    Personally, I’m a big fan of the misandry. Only someone with a massive inferiority complex could come up with the crap the MRAers spew.

    Is failing English grammar a prerequisite to becoming an asshole? Seriously, the grammar on right-wing and MRA sites is appalling. Would better reading and language instructions in the primary grades eliminate this problem, and is that why we can’t get better salaries for our teachers?

    Everyone knows teaching is a chick job. And guys who read too much are probably gay.

  20. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 28, 2007 at 11:13 pm |

    In comment 18 I was referring to the comment below by Wren (comment 13)

    Seriously. For these guys? The celibacy may not be voluntary, per se, and any “action” these guys are going to get is most likely not going to be consensual.

    Unless “misogynist asshole fuckwit” is the new “sexy.”

  21. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte January 28, 2007 at 11:30 pm |

    Never forget: the single most revolting image, the nightmare that haunts women, is that of the happy, grinning, sexually satisfied male.

    That’s what you get for dating women that buy into the patriachy. There’s few things that make me happier than watching my lover pass out on my pillow from sexual satisfaction. If I’m also tired, then we can drift off together. If only he’s sleepy, I can read and blog with the pleasure of him snoring softly nearby.

    But I’m a feminist. I reject the idea that sex is a commodity I trade for money or status. My partner might get good sex, but he won’t get my submission. They need to realize what they’re trading off.

  22. wren
    wren January 28, 2007 at 11:36 pm |

    In comment 18 I was referring to the comment below by Wren (comment 13)

    Fair enough. I’m taking offense at the comments quoted here by these particular appear-to-be-not-exactly-a-catch guys, and perhaps unfairly dismissing men with legit problems navigating the dating scene.

    I mean, personally, I find out a guy I’m interested in shares any of the opinions quoted above, I’m not going anywhere near him again. But, as I’ve demonstrated often enough myself, foot in mouth disease lurks within us all.

  23. Penny
    Penny January 28, 2007 at 11:42 pm |

    I say, that when that day comes, and it will; every man should take the children and leave these women to be raped or killed while we save the children and let them populate a new and more equal society established upon a sublime rationality that was once called—self sacrificial and self effacing love.

    Cause nothing starts an Utopia off right like having your Mum raped and killed.

  24. Reb
    Reb January 28, 2007 at 11:45 pm |

    It’s a cliche, but crap like this makes me so grateful for my boyfriend, simply for the fact that he’s sane.

    You know, these guys never seem to address the fact that men also have the right to refuse sex any time they don’t want it. It’s not a special privilege claimed by women. But then again, I guess that if they can’t grasp the concept of 50-50, equal rights is probably pretty far beyond their grasp.

  25. bekabot
    bekabot January 28, 2007 at 11:58 pm |

    Type 2 assholes can’t fake being a nice human being even for a short while, and thus they tend to be romantically unsuccessful. But it’s not only because they’re assholes, it’s also because they’re bad at gauging other people’s reactions, and appropriate behaviour in public.

    Yah, I know. The guy whose comment begins “Personally, I have given up on women – for reasons based on aesthetic, economic, and karmic criteria” is a classic Type 2 Asshole. And, of course, according to him, the fact that he happens to be a highly disagreeable individual is all the fault of some woman of collection of women. It can’t simply be that this man can’t get a date because he acts like a creep. The truly grief-inducing part of his whole spiel was that, while reading it, one couldn’t escape the notion that this fellow’s life could have been significantly bettered, and his erotic experiences rendered less unsatisfactory, if only he’d learnt at some point to take himself a little less seriously or at least to seem to take himself a little less seriously, not to overwhelm women with lists of their faults even if they are in fact flawed, to understand that beetling brows and black looks are not the fast path to success with babes, etcetera.

    I have an idea about this: since self-presentation skills are something almost all of us women learn (well or badly) because we have to do so, while not all males are routinely exposed to such lore, it may be that if a socially inept male who has never been encouraged to learn how to overcome his social ineptitude tangles with an equally socially inept female who has had to learn to overcome hers, the woman may end up with an advantage, insofar as she has access to an entire base of knowledge of which her male counterpart fails (for whatever reason) to avail himself. In that case, it may appear to the man in question that the woman has dissed him or tricked him or otherwise done badly by him in some way. (Though all she’s actually done is know a few things he hasn’t learned yet…and may never, to be scrupulously fair, have had much of a chance to learn.)

    The Type 2 Asshole only reaps what he sows; that’s something that a person who stands outside his situation can make out perfectly well. But to the Type 2 Asshole himself life has gotta seem pretty darned unfair. This is a type of man I’ve never been able to deal with because he doesn’t respond well to the news that, to a significant extent, the tools with which he can dismantle his own prison-house are in his own hands. I think that some of these guys get to be fond of their own pain, but other than that, I don’t “get” the way they tend to approach their difficulties. Where their difficulties lie with women, their instinctual response seems to be to worsen their difficulties by harshing out on the women. How’s that gonna work (other than with chicks who are crazy in their own right)?

    It is a puzzlement…

  26. Clare
    Clare January 29, 2007 at 12:27 am |

    So convinced are the posters that women don’t want sex that it doesn’t occur to them that maybe they DO want sex, only not perhaps with them?

  27. Meri
    Meri January 29, 2007 at 12:29 am |

    I was only able to form a few cogent thoughts while reading this article before getting too pissed off to think of anything productive to discussion. Namely:

    1) The guy who thinks his girlfriend should do him sexual favors without expecting/wanting anything in return without offering to do the same for her at other times is reeking of male entitlement. (“I have a penis, so I should get more orgasms given to me.”) (I hope that “male entitlement” is the right phrase to use here.)

    And 2) “…she can’t find any pleasure in doing something that she isn’t hormonally motivated to do.”

    I guess that means that my hormones motivate me to play video games and study calculus and physics? Because I do find pleasure in those things.

    I know those are little things in the post, but everything else just plain pisses me off, and much of it has already been commented on.

  28. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus January 29, 2007 at 12:30 am |

    Oh, boy.

    I don’t want to come off like I’m defending these guys who blame feminism for their lacking sex lives, because I think they’re full of it.

    My most recent relationship was one, however, where the sexual component simply ceased for months. What bothered me was that she wouldn’t tell me why this was, and every time I tried to initiate sex, she said “thank you”, which was her way of telling me to stop (which I of course did). It was bewildering because she just stopped wanting to have sex, wouldn’t tell me why, and would get upset when I tried to discuss the matter (in as empathetic a manner as I could; I assured her that I didn’t blame her and I didn’t think anything was wrong with her, but just wanted to know if there was something wrong and if there was anything I could do to help remedy the situation). Finally, I just got fed up with the situation and realized that if she would not communicate with me, she had some things to address on her own and there was nothing I could do about that.

    I also love the idea that he does all the work in bed, and that she should “take up some of the workload” — by getting him off and not worrying about her pleasure at all. I don’t think I’m wrong in assuming that the “work” he does gets them both off.

    You’re probably right, but I’d offer my aforementioned relationship as an example of a situation in which sex was more often all about her. When we did have sex, everything we did was always the way she wanted it, in the sense that she summarily dismissed any suggestions I made (and even laughed at a couple of them). I’m surprised I stayed as long with her as I did.

    I know this doesn’t really prove anything, but I thought I’d offer my two cents.

  29. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 12:47 am |

    Linneaus, it’s quite true that there are women who are assholes and women who, in the patriarchy-approved fashion, see sex as a carrot-stick scheme; but Dr. Helen’s fans aren’t criticizing those women, they’re criticizing all women who do not put out whenever, however their male partners demand, without question or complaint.

    And some of the guys quoted above are just mental. “30 days”? I hope nobody tells Mr. Rape Law Expert that the statute of limitations on sexual assault is measured in years. Then there’s the guy who sees sexual pleasure as a zero-sum game, where you lose if your partner enjoyed it.

    For an actually helpful and intelligent discussion about women refusing sex and what men (or for that matter, women) can do to make things better, I highly recommend Why Your Wife Won’t Have Sex With You. It’s especially interesting to see the comments where some men skipped right over the author’s non-blaming, sympathetic tone and went straight into “how dare you suggest it’s not all that bitch’s fault for not giving it up”.

  30. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus January 29, 2007 at 1:02 am |

    That’s a very good link, mythago. Thanks.

  31. sophonisba
    sophonisba January 29, 2007 at 1:05 am |

    Linneaus, it’s quite true that there are women who are assholes and women who, in the patriarchy-approved fashion, see sex as a carrot-stick scheme

    Uh, that is true, yes, but it doesn’t have anything to do with Linnaeus’s anecdote, does it? He described a woman who didn’t want to have sex with him and didn’t like to talk about it. That’s a woman lots of people would decide to break up with, yes; a woman who, in Linnaeus’s own words, had “some things to address on her own.” It’s an example of a sexual relationship going bad through, apparently, no fault of the man’s.

    But it’s not an example of a woman who’s an asshole or a carrot-stick-er.

  32. coperad
    coperad January 29, 2007 at 1:27 am |

    Linnaeus:

    I, too, was in that type of relationship, except I was on the receiving end. I don’t think I ever talked to my ex about why I hated having sex with him, because at that point I’m not sure I could put it into words. Now of course, I can. It was because every time I was around him, I was just a sexualized piece of meat. I may as well have been a mattress with a hole in it. I can really empathize with the married woman who said that she felt like she was just being “poked and prodded” like a “cow”.

    He was a Nice Guy(tm) and he never understood why I stopped having sex with him. He tried to please me in bed, and nothing worked. Eventually it just got to the point where I would just lay back and wait till he was done, because I felt absolutely nothing. (And this was only after he had been begging and guilting me into it for most of the night.) Needless to say, it was pretty dehumanizing, and I am still surprised that I stayed with him as long as I did.

    I’m not saying that your relationship was anything like mine, but I’m just offering another perspective. (And I’m not trying to insult you by saying you’re like my ex–you’re most likely not. He was pretty much a deluded bonehead and his solution was not necessarily communication but just trying to give me more “good” sex. Ick.)

    – ————-

    I can imagine that if these guys, who complained that their women weren’t giving it up often enough to please them (10 times a week! Christ, I love having sex now and even I can’t do that.), had as much unsatisfying sex as a lot of women do, they probably wouldn’t want it as much either.

  33. Scott Lemieux
    Scott Lemieux January 29, 2007 at 1:41 am |

    I think there should be a clear moratorium on ever having sex with people who spell it “cum.”

  34. Caja
    Caja January 29, 2007 at 1:44 am |

    What is with this either/or mindset? It’s like either the men think the only way sex can happen is: it should be their way all the time, anytime, OR it’s only on the woman’s schedule and how she likes it. They’re not leaving any room for “Things we both like” or “sometimes we do it my way, and sometimes my partner’s way” or anything of the kind. I guess if they’d figured that out, they wouldn’t be ranting about how they don’t get their way 100% of the time, poor babies.

  35. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 1:52 am |

    You’re talking about a subgroup of men who see women as The Enemy. The idea of mutual pleasure and cooperation is simply not something they comprehend.

  36. arse poetica
    arse poetica January 29, 2007 at 1:55 am |

    Women chose to be ideological when they accepted feminism. And sorry girls, but your new dogma is just not sexy.

    Does my feminist dogma make my ass look fat, because, you know, that has everything to do with why I bother to live an informed and principled life. Oh wait, no, it doesn’t.

    P.S. I third zuzu and car in saying that there needs to be a moratorium on “cum” pronto.

  37. Djiril
    Djiril January 29, 2007 at 2:34 am |

    Men have exponentially more levels of Testosterone (T). It is produced by the woman in the conjugation of androgneous hormones from the adrenal glands, so it is present in women, but not to the levels of what a man has, and certainly, she can’t find any pleasure in doing something that she isn’t hormonally motivated to do.

    According to my “Human Sexuality” textbook, (Our Sexuality, by Robert Crooks and Karla Baur):

    The fact that women normally have much smaller amounts of testosterone than men does not mean that women have lower or weaker sex drives. Rather, it appears that women’s body cells are more sensitive to testosterone than men’s body cells are.

  38. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small January 29, 2007 at 2:43 am |

    I’m in college. I joined a group that does presentations/leads discussions for groups of men (i.e. frats, athletics, dorms) about sexual assault–why it’s wrong, legal definitions, issues around consent (i.e. you have to ASK). Today, for the first time, I did a presentation. (We usually work in groups of three). A handful of us had to do five in a row for the frats’ new pledges, who were divided into groups for their orientation or whatever. I sat out the first two to observe, and I heard the worst fucking thing from this guy in the second group:

    “But if you ask her, she might say no.”

    And I immediately see him doing something horrible in my mind’s eye.

    So thus far, it feels rewarding in the sense that some people are genuinely ignorant of how pervasive sexual assault can be, and that we’ve run across people who already get it. But it’s also really depressing because there are people who don’t want to get it, and maybe never will.

  39. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small January 29, 2007 at 2:46 am |

    Sorry…

    So thus far, it feels rewarding in the sense that some people are genuinely ignorant of how pervasive sexual assault can be, and that we’ve run across people who already get it. But it’s also really depressing because there are people who don’t want to get it, and maybe never will.

    Genuinely ignorant, AND are willing to take a hard look at their sexual beliefs and practices, and “see the light,” so to speak.

  40. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 2:47 am |

    S.A., first, thank you for doing this work.

    Suggestion – these idiots may never get it, but they do have a dim awareness of self-interest. “Would you rather she says ‘no’ now, or calls the police and accuses you of rape later?”

  41. Auguste
    Auguste January 29, 2007 at 3:58 am |

    Man, that word “help” in “around the house” and “with the chores” is just so fucking ingrained in some men. It’s like “I’ll babysit.”

    Still,

    for the slow among us, in a two-person co-habitating relationship, a “fair share” is 50 percent

    is oversimplistic. In a two-person, full-time working co-habitating relationship, I agree. If one person is working 20 hours outside the home and one person working 60 – whatever the reason, whichever direction the genders go – 50-50 is not a healthy expectation for housework.

    (Obviously this assumes that there are not children at home that the less-working partner spends their solo at-home time parenting, which makes the mathematics even more complicated. The point I’m making is that relying on pre-set templates for domestic arrangements can be pretty unfair, whether they’re patriarchally driven or otherwise.)

  42. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl January 29, 2007 at 4:46 am |

    Small, I second Mythago’s gratitude re: the work you’re doing. Some of these guys will be exposed to brand new ideas and start getting it. And I also second Mythago’s suggestion that even the guys who refuse to get it don’t want to go to jail. Of course, not wanting to go to jail can manifest itself in people imposing limits on their behaviour even if they don’t truly believe that behaviour is wrong, because they’re scared of external consequences. It can also, however, manifest itself in deep bitterness that they’re not allowed to do these things without risking jail, and that’s just not fair. And then we get guys like Mr Personality up there. Mind you, there’s probably a certain amount of overlap between those two categories.

    But on the bright side, even if these guys will not accept the principle that every human being has the right to sexual autonomy, they’ll accept it in practice and moderate their behaviour accordingly. Or at least some of them will. I guess it’s an improvement on the days when only a small minority of rapes were even considered criminal behaviour rather than boys being boys. I mean, those attitudes aren’t gone, but thanks to feminists and their allies refusing to shut up about sexual violence, things are improving.

    Allies are especially valuable because it’s a whole lot harder to ‘other’ someone who’s in your group. I wonder if that’s why some guys I know who are feminist allies are assumed by their critics to be gay. Maybe that’s the easiest way assholes have of trying to preserve their illusions that all men, or at any rate all ‘real’ men, think the same way they do. I’m not denigrating the importance of the work done gay men who are feminist allies, but it’s interesting that the guys with most to lose if the current unequal situation changes seem to just jump to the conclusion that all male feminist allies are gay until proven otherwise.

    Linnaeus, I don’t think anybody here thinks you did anything wrong in that relationship, unless there’s other stuff you’ve forgotten to mention. Sex was one deteriorating component of a deteriorating relationship. You tried to salvage said relationship, tried to convince her to communicate so that you could understand what the heck was going on with her sudden lack of interest in sex. If she wouldn’t or couldn’t explain, and couldn’t or wouldn’t make a good faith effort to change things for the better, it’s not your job to stick around until the last trump sounds waiting for her to change her mind.

    She wasn’t necessarily being manipulative. I mean, maybe she fell into a deep depression and lost her libido that way. But if she doesn’t tell you she’s depressed, and doesn’t seek therapy to try and make herself feel better, it’s probably better for you two to go your separate ways. I highly doubt the sudden lack of interest in sex was the only symptom of problems in the relationship. And given that it sounds like you made more than one attempt to salvage things after they got bad, you would’ve probably been more persistent in hanging on waiting for things to get better if you’d known what the problem was.

    Now, I could be wrong. One person self-reporting on the internet may leave out some details, consciously or subconsciously. But based on what you’ve said, it sounds like a lousy relationship that you only bailed on after you established that trying to get a dialogue going wasn’t going to work. As to whose fault that was, if anybody’s, I don’t know. But you did the best you could with the information you had, and someone refusing to or not feeling able to tell their significant other what’s going on with sudden and dramatic behavioural changes, well, that indicates a whole other set of problems which make the longterm viability of the relationship doubtful.

    Mutual sexual satisfaction is probably less important to a healthy relationship in the long run than mutual trust. I mean, there are any number of perfectly valid reasons why someone will temporarily lose interest in sex due to stress, illness, etc. If the relationship lasts long enough, it’s bound to happen at some point. If it’s a good relationship, the person who’s still horny accepts that they’ll be going through a dry spell for a while. And in a good relationship, the horny partner doesn’t usually have to play Twenty Questions trying to guess what’s causing said dry spell.

    Given that even a good relationship can go through a rough patch, it’s a damn good idea to spend a little time hoping their partner will confide in them. But only a martyr would keep doing so forever. And the assholes to whom Jill is helpfully giving plenty of rope (so they can hang themselves with their own words) are highly unlikely to make any such effort. There are some guys in this world who are sexually attracted to women but don’t seem to actually LIKE women. Someone like that won’t see a relationship as a mutually beneficial partnership, but as a status symbol. Relationships aren’t supposed to be a zero-sum game in which for one partner to win, the other has to lose.

  43. estraven
    estraven January 29, 2007 at 8:02 am |

    Great goddess, I am a fortunate woman.

    Been married 38 years and still have a great sex life with a loving partner who has never been anything but enthusiastic, generous, and fun in bed. Sure, there have been times when one of us hasn’t been interested when the other one was, but we just honor that and move on.

    When I read about some of these woman-hating men, it staggers me. Seriously. I have lots of male friends and, of course, not a one of them has ever come anywhere near expressing such misogyny.

    It’s really, really frightening to think that after all this time there are still such neanderthals out there (well, maybe I’m being unfair to neanderthals). And then they talk about how feminists hate men!

    If Freud was right about anything, he was right about projection.

  44. Chris
    Chris January 29, 2007 at 9:32 am |

    Some of you may benefit by taking up some of the workload and offering the occasional handjob/blowjob without expecting anything in return. When my girl does that it sparks up my sexual appetite immensely.

    I’ll say. I got a handjob from his girl in the back of her Jaguar. You think I got kicked out because of just the aquarium? Nah, it was the handjob. And you know what else? It was worth it.

  45. coperad
    coperad January 29, 2007 at 9:48 am |

    “But if you ask her, she might say no.”

    So I’m curious. What sort of exchange did you have with him after he said that?

  46. John Frum
    John Frum January 29, 2007 at 9:58 am |

    My father told me early on, “The key to life is being a good cunnilinguist. The second key: learn to listen with your hands and your tongue as well as your ears.” And I can honsetly say that the balance in my karmic-o account is definitely in the black at this point as I approach 30 (that does not count my own self-deposits either).

    I must admit that I am a bit happy that there are a**holes out there who still think like it is the 50′s. . . I am sorry for the women that find themselves with them, but I am happy to know of the piss-poor state of the competition. It is hard for me to beleive that there are that many men out there [from my generation at least] who still think like this.

    I know this sounds less than romantic and a bit selfish, but c’mon guys, if you really think like this then you deserve whatever happens when women realize that they deserve better.

  47. jfpbookworm
    jfpbookworm January 29, 2007 at 10:07 am |

    I think that this:

    Culturally, we are teaching young boys that their sexual interest is a very bad, in fact criminal, thing.

    is actually true, though it’s not because of feminism. Rather, it’s a combination of one very good idea – “rape, harassment and assault are bad things” – and one very bad idea – “sex is dirty and shameful” – that meld into something I call “Just Say No Means No.” The logic works something like this:

    1. Unwanted sexual behavior toward another is wrong.

    2. Women have no sexual agency (they’re “not visual,” women’s sexuality is “responsive,” they “exchange sex for romance,” etc.), and so never really want sex.

    3. Therefore, heterosexual male behavior is uniformly unwanted and wrong.

    The problem that the troglodytes have is that they complain about the first premise and take the second premise for granted. I don’t know if this is because the second premise is rarely made explicit, or if it’s because they see it as immutable, or because they’re engaging in wishful thinking as to why they’re not desired by someone.

  48. Frumious B
    Frumious B January 29, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    because there are other issues within the relationship that are leaking over into their sex lives.

    True dat. As the relationship goes, so the sex goes.

    As a man I am constantly bombarded by sexual imagery, yet let me say “hello” to a woman or (god forbid) indicate that I find her attractive and most women react as though I had just handed them a shoebox full of feces

    This is one of those “clue just out of reach” quotes. Men are bombarded with sexual imagary, and they are taught that they are entitled to sex. Now if only more of them could grasp the second half of the clue, see through those messages, and realize that women are not obliged to lay down and spread their legs just because a man finds them attractive.

  49. norbizness
    norbizness January 29, 2007 at 11:13 am |

    What have we learned over the past several years? Advice from mental health professionals who use their first names only is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Those who quote approvingly from Men’s News Daily are in the “psychologist, heal thyself” category.

  50. trillian
    trillian January 29, 2007 at 11:37 am |

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeek! It burns, it burns!

    ::Hands over eyes, runs screaming from computer::

    Seriously, I love this site, but it’s starting to make my brain hurt.

  51. Madeline
    Madeline January 29, 2007 at 11:41 am |

    The problem that the troglodytes have is that they complain about the first premise and take the second premise for granted. I don’t know if this is because the second premise is rarely made explicit, or if it’s because they see it as immutable, or because they’re engaging in wishful thinking as to why they’re not desired by someone.

    I’m pretty sure that it is because the second premise isn’t usually made explicit. I think that most men, in particular (because men are often given a free pass as the “naturally sexual” gender) would say that they believe sex to be natural and not dirty — in fact, I’ve had that conversation with people before. Those same people who say that they believe sex to be natural and not dirty, though, show a very different perspective from their actions. (I wonder if the women who are complaining about bad sex are experiencing this first hand: repression turns men into cold fish just as much as it does — oh the stereotype — women.)

    Women, at least, are able to articulate the fact that society wants them to not have sex because it is “dirty.” Men, who are culturally expected to be horndogs, aren’t, even though similar pressures are on them.

  52. jfpbookworm
    jfpbookworm January 29, 2007 at 12:03 pm |

    I’m pretty sure that it is because the second premise isn’t usually made explicit.

    I think it’s a combination of all of those things.

    It’s not explicit, because if it were I wouldn’t have to include the things that are actually said that imply that women aren’t sexual agents. But I think the idea is as popular as it is because it’s a convenient excuse for men as to why women don’t respond to their advances. And when the idea gets called out into the open, it’s usually defended as “just the way we are,” often with some evo-psych thrown in.

    Those same people who say that they believe sex to be natural and not dirty, though, show a very different perspective from their actions.

    I think there’s two camps here. One group says that in good faith, and may or may not be successful at personally overcoming the messages they’ve received in the past. The other group says that sex shouldn’t be “natural” because they want more women to act like porn stars (because nothing says “natural” like that) – they don’t want sex to not be shameful, they just want to not be denied.

  53. Hugo
    Hugo January 29, 2007 at 12:04 pm |

    Scott:

    I think there should be a clear moratorium on ever having sex with people who spell it “cum.”

    Thank you for saying it so I don’t have to. It always reminds me of bad written porn, the sort that appeared in Penthouse Forum circa 1978.

    Jill does a fine job of taking this idiot apart, but his remark about masturbation reminds me of how often men do use masturbation to avoid pouring all of their sexual energy into a partner. At the risk of getting flamed, the lad points out one of the reasons why I am very ambivalent about masturbation, particularly for folks in relationships.

  54. NancyP
    NancyP January 29, 2007 at 12:19 pm |

    To quote the Mother Abbess from Joanna Russ’ story “Souls” (spoken to an invading Viking captain and his men, after the nuns and the altar plate): What, lads, have you lost the use of your hands?”

  55. ACG
    ACG January 29, 2007 at 12:30 pm |

    Well, Hugo, there are times when a sexual partner isn’t interested in absorbing someone’s sexual energy. If masturbation is used as a way to distance himself from his partner, to avoid sexual intimacy, or to “withhold” (if I may – I agree that it’s not a great concept) from her as punishment for her perceived “withholding,” then yeah, it’s a bad thing. But if he’s masturbating because he’s really horny and, having had a long day at the office, I want nothing more than a bubble bath and a bowl of soup, I’d much rather he take matters into his own hands than, say, “give me a back rub to make me feel better” and use that skin-on-skin opportunity to try and coerce me into sex. And should I ever be feeling it when he isn’t, I’d much rather take care of things myself than try to force him to perform just because I need an orgasm.

    Oh, and I second the “cum” thing, not least because every time I read it, I read cum (“koom”) and am left trying to figure out “cum what?”

  56. Cecily
    Cecily January 29, 2007 at 12:40 pm |

    Yeah, I’m kind of with ACG here. My male partner simply doesn’t want to have sex as often as I do (Dr. Helen would be so confused.) He doesn’t see anything wrong with my releasing some tension by myself, and I think it’s probably good for the relationship on the whole that I’m not constantly full of sexual energy and grumbling over his lower sex drive.

  57. Thomas
    Thomas January 29, 2007 at 12:41 pm |

    Hugo, I second ACQ’s comment. I’ve been with the same partner for more than a decade; with small children in the house, we’re both tired all the time. She is not willing to make time for partnered sex at the cost of sleep and be miserable the next morning as often as I am. We take every opportunity we can be be intimate in small ways, and find time for quickies, and we certainly don’t withhold affection just because one of us has not the energy. But I’m an adult and I’m responsible for my own pleasure.

    This is one of those areas where I think a your perspective is way outside the feminist mainstream due to your other ideological and personal commitments.

  58. Hugo
    Hugo January 29, 2007 at 12:54 pm |

    This is one of those areas where I think a your perspective is way outside the feminist mainstream due to your other ideological and personal commitments.

    Fair enough, I won’t argue with that.

    And rest assured, I am not advocating anyone having compulsory sex. Masturbation is always a better alternative to that. I just see plenty of times when masturbation is used to withhold/avoid, and that troubles me enormously.

  59. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe January 29, 2007 at 1:00 pm |

    One of the last acceptable forms of bigotry is to claim that the group you hate has special privileges. This is easier to pull off with women than it is with, say, blacks (although I’ve seen it done with them, too). Thus we have commentary like:

    Marriage now is a system for expropriating a man’s wealth, and nothing more.

    And these guys wonder why they can’t get laid. Somebody should tell them that blubbering is not sexy.

  60. Older
    Older January 29, 2007 at 1:17 pm |

    “Come” is what you do; “cum” is what you have to wipe up afterward.

  61. Thomas
    Thomas January 29, 2007 at 1:32 pm |

    I just see plenty of times when masturbation is used to withhold/avoid, and that troubles me enormously.

    That far, I very much agree with you. It is my view that the problem is with the relationship dynamic, not the masturbation — substitute eating, exercising or working as an escape from relationship intimacy and they are just as harmful as masturbation. I’ve seen each of them used that way. None of us think that eating, exercising or working are problems when they are not compulsive, however — so too masturbation.

  62. car
    car January 29, 2007 at 1:59 pm |

    Still, I really object to the term “witholding”. It implies that the one partner has a right to as much sex as (usually he) wants, and that if the other partner isn’t putting out, it’s as a punishment or manipulation of some kind. It makes the not-sex all about the effects on the presumed aggrieved partner and completely eliminates the feelings/autonomy/agency of the other person. It’s similar to the mentality rightfully mocked earlier of telling teenage boys to keep their hands off of girls because the girls’ future husbands wouldn’t like it, with no regard to the woman in question.

  63. Carrie S.
    Carrie S. January 29, 2007 at 2:25 pm |

    Men, who are culturally expected to be horndogs, aren’t, even though similar pressures are on them.

    It must be tough to be a boy, and not have it explained to you that it’s OK for you to not want sex at some given point. Very, very glad I don’t have to deal with the baggage that probably would have left.

    As for masturbation in relationships, one also must take into account libidos that are of approximately similar intensity, but don’t synch well. (He was generally only horny before noon; I tend to be the Roman type who can’t fuck when the sun’s up.) There’s also a place for the occasional “Well I’m not really into it but you have fun” moment, which I have been on both, if you’ll pardon the expression, ends of.

  64. jm
    jm January 29, 2007 at 2:36 pm |

    I understand what Hugo’s saying, but I have a friend whose husband refuses to masturbate. He grew up in Central America and claims that real men don’t masturbate; I don’t know if it is a religious thing or cultural. However, it has made her responsible for his pleasure, at the expense of her own. It seems to me like machismo/male entitlement- why should the guy have to use his hand when he’s got a vagina (wife) right there? They’re married, so why shouldn’t she please him every time he needs it? I don’t think it’s that bad for my friend, but she has definitely felt coerced, and it was really hard on her after she gave birth. I guess I’d rather see someone masturbating too much than guilting his or her partner into sex. Of course, I’d rather see her with a different husband, too, but that’s another issue.

  65. auntiesocial
    auntiesocial January 29, 2007 at 2:42 pm |

    I haven’t read all the comments but this one by Kim #16
    “Finally! Someone who understands that I’m hysterical and fickle and need to be tolerated only for the sake of continued usage of my vagina! Aw, but I bet he’s already married: the good ones always are. *retch*”
    that had me ROTFL-I think female sarcasm is one of the GREAT freedoms a wonderful expression of personhood. Reading the woman hating dribbble can be so depressing and a good sarcastic comment from a fellow ;-) woman is like a shot in the arm. love it!

  66. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus January 29, 2007 at 2:48 pm |

    Still, I really object to the term “witholding”. It implies that the one partner has a right to as much sex as (usually he) wants, and that if the other partner isn’t putting out, it’s as a punishment or manipulation of some kind.

    I totally see you point, but for me, “withholding” has a specific connotation: when refusing to have sex is, in fact, employed as a strategy to manipulate or punish one’s partner. It’s that active choice to employ this technique that differentiates, at least in my opinion, “withholding” from simply not having sex because you don’t feel like it, you’re ill or stressed, or you just don’t like your partner anymore.

    “Withholding” in this sense is shitty behavior, but people have a right to do it because no one should have sex forced on her or him for any reason.

    In a situation like this, I subscribe to Amanda Marcotte’s Theory of Total Consent. A partner has the right to refuse sex for any reason (including being a manipulative asshole), but the other partner is not obligated to remain partnered with that person.

  67. bluestockingsrs
    bluestockingsrs January 29, 2007 at 2:57 pm |

    I read this and I think for the millionth time, “Thank goodness I am a lesbian.”

  68. TomCody
    TomCody January 29, 2007 at 3:05 pm |

    I say, that when that day comes, and it will; every man should take the children and leave these women to be raped or killed while we save the children and let them populate a new and more equal society established upon a sublime rationality that was once called—self sacrificial and self effacing love.

    I just love these male fantasies of creating an artificial womb (or in this case usurping the children) and starting society anew. As if every male is going to go along with this and as if the young girls won’t some day up and do the same damn thing their fore-mothers did when they realize they’re getting a raw deal. People seem to over look the fact that even while women were kept at home and out of most education they still got pissed and demanded their rights. History repeats itself, gentlemen (using that term sooo loosely)

    Let’s just entertain their feverish fantasy for a moment and they succeed in the raping and killing of all the mothers and now it’s a society of males with little kids (because girls over a certain age would know what was up and wouldn’t be desirable). Just who the hell do they think are going to raise those kids? Who’s going to breast feed or are all the kids on a formula now? Are men going to pair up? Because while it can be done single parenthood is hard. And even if you could be a single parent, you’re now doing the woman’s duties so aren’t you less of a man?

    AND, who are they going to have sex with? The kids? Or each other? Ewwwww

    Methinks they need to go back to the drawing board with this fantasy, although I’m sure the words “sex” and “slave” would come up often.

  69. TomCody
    TomCody January 29, 2007 at 3:06 pm |

    And to clarify, the “ewww” was supposed to be sarcastic on their behalf. I’ve nothing against homosexuality but everything against pedophilia.

  70. thegirlfrommarz
    thegirlfrommarz January 29, 2007 at 3:31 pm |

    Mythago – that was a really interesting site you linked to. I wasted a good deal of time at work reading through it – and being squicked out by some of the comments… The author was generally very patient with the ones who seemed to misunderstand the site completely.

    I am constantly amazed by that small sub-group of men who seem actively to hate women and yet are shocked, SHOCKED that women don’t want to sleep with them. I’ve known a few of the Nice GuysTM (usually quite young, not very good socially so find it hard to talk to women, but completely unable to see that the more bitter they get about women the more it contributes to the situation) but fortunately fewer of the bitter and twisted middle-aged men who seem to be writing this sort of comment. Some people don’t seem to get that feeling you’re “owed” sex generally means that any sex you do happen to get will be simply going through the motions from someone who can’t stand to hear you whine about it any more.

  71. Sara
    Sara January 29, 2007 at 3:39 pm |

    I still don’t think you can “withhold” sex, unless you’re buying the idea that sex is something women have that men either have to steal from women or convince women to give to them. If you don’t want to have sex with someone – even if it’s just because you’re sick of them always leaving the cap off of the toothpaste – you don’t want to have sex with them. No one is entitled to sex with anyone else. Wanting to have an orgasm and wanting to have sex are different things, and neither is necessarily related to your affection for your partner.

  72. Hugo
    Hugo January 29, 2007 at 3:44 pm |

    Linnaeus writes:

    “withholding” has a specific connotation: when refusing to have sex is, in fact, employed as a strategy to manipulate or punish one’s partner. It’s that active choice to employ this technique that differentiates, at least in my opinion, “withholding” from simply not having sex because you don’t feel like it, you’re ill or stressed, or you just don’t like your partner anymore

    Bingo, that’s it. It’s a nasty, passive-aggressive thing to do. Look, in any long-term relationship, people do some unpleasant things to each other, what David Schnarch famously called “normal marital sadism” (I love that telling phrase). One of the most painful places to be in a relationship is to be in the position of “one who wants it more” (it doesn’t have to be sex, it can be affection, conversation, etc.) Masturbating becomes a way of trying to regain a sense of personal power on the part of the person who wants sex more; the desire leaves them feeling “one down”. The alternative is not to pressure the other partner for sex; it is to own their desire, channel that desire, and work all the harder on becoming the sort of person their spouse would want to have sex with more often.

  73. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus January 29, 2007 at 4:11 pm |

    Sara:

    I still don’t think you can “withhold” sex, unless you’re buying the idea that sex is something women have that men either have to steal from women or convince women to give to them. If you don’t want to have sex with someone – even if it’s just because you’re sick of them always leaving the cap off of the toothpaste – you don’t want to have sex with them. No one is entitled to sex with anyone else. Wanting to have an orgasm and wanting to have sex are different things, and neither is necessarily related to your affection for your partner

    “Withholding” is a problematic term, I agree, and it simply may be the case that the complexity of a couple’s sexual dynamic can’t be encapsulated in one-word terms like “withholding”. That’s why, in my comment above, I tend to think of it in a very narrow sense (and I do think that this doesn’t preclude men engaging in the same kind of behavior).

  74. jiggavegas
    jiggavegas January 29, 2007 at 4:17 pm |

    Does my feminist dogma make my ass look fat

    Can I get that on a T-shirt? Please?

  75. lawbitch
    lawbitch January 29, 2007 at 4:44 pm |

    What disturbs me is the attitude that these men think that women exist to make them happy. This attitude is the very basis for abuse. If it is the woman’s job to make the man happy, the man can blame the women when he is unhappy. It’s her fault.

    I suspect that at least some of these men are/were in abusive relationships (verbal abuse and psychological abuse counts, too). The women with whom they are/were involved may have been abusive, too. In an abusive relationship, it is hard to identify the abuser and the victim, which may continuously change as the relationship continues.

    The bottom line is that relationships based on this attitude are unhealthy. Hugo is right about the key for improving these relationships–each person has to work on his or her own psychological issues. I don’t agree that “marital sadism” is normal, but these are unhealthy behaviors learned in childhood. Not all of us were blessed with a healthy family model.

  76. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 29, 2007 at 5:02 pm |

    Masturbating becomes a way of trying to regain a sense of personal power on the part of the person who wants sex more; the desire leaves them feeling “one down”. The alternative is not to pressure the other partner for sex; it is to own their desire, channel that desire, and work all the harder on becoming the sort of person their spouse would want to have sex with more often.

    I really don’t get this concept of masturbation as some sort of proxy, substitute, or power relationship with my partner. Perhaps it’s because I tend to think of masturbation as, “fun time with me” rather than “poor substitute for sex.” Perhaps its because I take the long view of relationships and realize that gawsh, I’m not the alpha and omega of my partner’s psychology and sexuality. Even though my family background tends to encourage my reflexive volunteering as the scapegoat for every problem, I can’t “fix” the myriad factors that influence sex drive. And to be honest, I don’t think that lower sex drives within relationships are necessarily problems to be fixed.

    And gee, it’s not as if masturbation can’t be done in ways that include physical and emotional intimacy.

  77. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 29, 2007 at 5:34 pm |

    Linnaeus: In a situation like this, I subscribe to Amanda Marcotte’s Theory of Total Consent. A partner has the right to refuse sex for any reason (including being a manipulative asshole), but the other partner is not obligated to remain partnered with that person.

    Well, while practically true, I don’t find it to be an especially sufficient guideline for sexual ethics. Most relationships have more dimensions than just sex. (And those dimensions may or may not be linked together.) But I’ve had bad experiences with people who talked the talk about mutual love, trust, emotional intimacy and consent, only to bitch and moan about their sexual desire when told, “sorry, not now.”

  78. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 29, 2007 at 6:00 pm |

    In fact, I find the Theory of Total Consent to be rather silly and short-sighted. I don’t want to be in a relationship in which “no, I don’t want to have sex” is more significant than, “no, I don’t want to go to a James Bond movie,” or “no, I’m sick of bagels.”

  79. nik
    nik January 29, 2007 at 6:13 pm |

    The alternative is not to pressure the other partner for sex; it is to own their desire, channel that desire, and work all the harder on becoming the sort of person their spouse would want to have sex with more often.

    Isn’t that just a self-hating presumption the problem is with you? There are perfectly good reasons why your partner may not want to sleep with you (like illness) which you should be sympathetic to – but if they’re actually just no longer interested in you, or unlike you just interested in some sort of platonic relationship, then I agree with this ‘Total Consent’ idea and that you should feel free to leave them.

    I don’t sign on to the MRA stuff; but getting married to someone and then finding out after a few years that your wife doesn’t really like you and doesn’t want to sleep with you must be pretty tough to deal with.

  80. ako
    ako January 29, 2007 at 6:18 pm |

    I say, that when that day comes, and it will; every man should take the children and leave these women to be raped or killed while we save the children and let them populate a new and more equal society established upon a sublime rationality that was once called—self sacrificial and self effacing love.

    So if the men all run off with the children, who’s going to be raping all the women? There aren’t that many women who go around sexually assaulting other women.

  81. Regina
    Regina January 29, 2007 at 6:30 pm |

    In fact, I find the Theory of Total Consent to be rather silly and short-sighted. I don’t want to be in a relationship in which “no, I don’t want to have sex” is more significant than, “no, I don’t want to go to a James Bond movie,” or “no, I’m sick of bagels.”

    Oh, I don’t know. There’s a big difference between not wanting to have sex at a particular time/place/circumstance, and not wanting to have sex ever. I always thought the Theory of Total Consent was referring to the latter situation. Having a partner who never ever wanted to have sex with me would put my panties in a twist a hell of a lot faster than not wanting to watch Bond films or having a food preference would.

    Actually, when I see all these people upset about being in marriages that have been sexless for years, it makes me want to turn around and wonder what it says about the complainers.

  82. DAS
    DAS January 29, 2007 at 6:30 pm |

    And many of us can do it in two minutes, instead of waiting 45 minutes for you to get the job done.

    To be fair, though, sometimes some of us guys (and probably some girls too) do wonder why it takes 45+ minutes to get the job done, so to speak. Not that we don’t like to take our time too, but sometimes there’s only 30 minutes available, both partners want to have sex, but it’s frustrating when one partner can get off by mutually pleasurable activities (in which category I include cunnilingus) while the other cannot. Perhaps the other partner can get off in two minutes alone with his or her hand, but it’s frustrating when one cannot provide one’s partner with such pleasure so quickly as well.

    And I would imagine it would be even more frustrating if his partner acts as if he should be doing all the work while she just lies there. In fact, I thought that was where this guy was going … but when the guy made his final comment about wanting a hand-job without her expecting anything in return? Well … that just reeks of privalege and says all we need to know about that guy, nu?

  83. ako
    ako January 29, 2007 at 6:40 pm |

    I don’t want to be in a relationship in which “no, I don’t want to have sex” is more significant than, “no, I don’t want to go to a James Bond movie,” or “no, I’m sick of bagels.”

    So how comfortable would you be staying involved with someone who took the approach, “You didn’t want to see the new James Bond movie, so I went with some friends from work?” Because the normal way of resolving it when one party hardly ever wants bagels or just doesn’t like James Bond and the other one does is to let the bagel-eating James Bond fan arrange to enjoy this by themself or with friends of similar interests. Minor variations in interest level are usually settled by reasonable compromise (like a breakfast buffet, occasionally waiting for the other partner to be in the mood, or occasionally sitting through the video just to please them) but if one partner wants something that the other parter hardly ever enjoys, they usually get it elsewhere.

    Sex is usually different, which is where the problems come in. If two people have conflicting sex drives, there’s more hesitancy in allowing one to go out and have sex on the side than in going to a movie with friends instead. So persistently not wanting to do it with your partner and not wanting them to do it with anyone else can effectively mean not wanting them to have sex at all. And sex is harder to do without than bagels.

  84. Flamethorn
    Flamethorn January 29, 2007 at 7:13 pm |

    The Divorce Courts are where men are systematically harvested just like corn is de-tassled.

    I spent an entire summer detasselling corn and so I can state with confidence that the equivalent process in men is castration.

    Perhaps the word he’s looking for is shucked or simply harvested.

  85. anon
    anon January 29, 2007 at 8:06 pm |

    DAS- Have you tried a vibrating cock ring? They’re great and pleasing for both sexes.

  86. Sara no H.
    Sara no H. January 29, 2007 at 9:30 pm |

    I got to here:

    “Never forget: the single most revolting image, the nightmare that haunts women, is that of the happy, grinning, sexually satisfied male. They really hate that and the sooner we adjust our social expectation to that fact, the better.” Truer words were never spoken–I think that some women really do feel this way.

    And I had to stop and comment because, well damn. You know, I have felt that way before, when my “happy, grinning, sexually satisfied male” was grinning at me, in a “hah got one over on you” one-upmanship way, instead of with me, instead of a sharing pleasure and affection and gratitude way. If I ever see that face again it’ll be too fucking soon, and hell yes I’ll admit that it’s that kind of face that I won’t stand for — and I don’t think any other person should have to, either.

  87. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 29, 2007 at 9:41 pm |

    ako: So how comfortable would you be staying involved with someone who took the approach, “You didn’t want to see the new James Bond movie, so I went with some friends from work?” Because the normal way of resolving it when one party hardly ever wants bagels or just doesn’t like James Bond and the other one does is to let the bagel-eating James Bond fan arrange to enjoy this by themself or with friends of similar interests.

    Well, I have known some couples that have worked this way. Personally I’m strongly kinked towards monogamy, but that’s just my perspective and something that I negotiate with potential partners.

    Sex is usually different, which is where the problems come in. If two people have conflicting sex drives, there’s more hesitancy in allowing one to go out and have sex on the side than in going to a movie with friends instead. So persistently not wanting to do it with your partner and not wanting them to do it with anyone else can effectively mean not wanting them to have sex at all. And sex is harder to do without than bagels.

    Well, I’m not exactly seeing the difference here. At least one warning sign that the relationship is doomed for me is a desire to keep it in the closet. And the failure of relationships has almost always involved not only problems sexually, but problems making time just to hang out and be social together.

    I can do a nice relaxing quickie by myself in 5, and some incredible toe-curling limp-noodle multiple-orgasm sex by myself over the course of an hour. The thing I can’t do on my own is share emotional intimacy with another person. That’s not saying that it’s easy to do without sex in a relationship. However, people often negotiate and re-negotiate relationships around differences in sexual desire all the time. Emotional intimacy within a relationship is often much less flexible.

  88. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax January 29, 2007 at 10:31 pm |

    Actually, when I see all these people upset about being in marriages that have been sexless for years, it makes me want to turn around and wonder what it says about the complainers.

    Low sex drive married to no sex drive, so that the sexlessness is frustrating, but not the deal breaker it is for some other people? A sick spouse that one loves, and a strong attachment to “in sickness and in health”? I think there are valid reasons for staying in marriages that have been sexless for years.

    I do worry, though, about marriages that are sexless and each pointing the finger at the wrongness of the other for years; that’s a different kind of thing from agreeing together that you love each other enough to work through the problems illness throws your way.

  89. Inky
    Inky January 29, 2007 at 10:46 pm |

    Like somebody else said on this thread, this just makes me grateful for my boyfriend. I’ll have weeks on end where I just don’t care about sex, and he was the one who kept reminding me that a) there is no “fair” amount of sex for us to have, especially since we don’t have any agreement or verbal contract about how much there will be, and b) there’s always masturbation. There was one thing I thought was self-evident that I had to explain to him word for word, which was that my libido shifts usually have nothing to do with him as a person or how attractive I perceive him to be.

    I, for one, am a big fan of that Theory of Consent and have been using it myself long before I heard it from anyone else. The minimum amount of sex someone should have to be “fair” to you is zero, no matter what your relationship status. There’s nothing wrong with wanting it, requesting it, or asking for a general idea of how often it’ll probably happen. There’s also nothing wrong with breaking up if it’s something you need to be happy and it isn’t frequent enough. But, it certainly doesn’t make sense to request sex with the same sense of upholding “fairness” as requesting 50/50 housework or something.

  90. zuzu
    zuzu January 29, 2007 at 11:04 pm | *

    but sometimes there’s only 30 minutes available, both partners want to have sex, but it’s frustrating when one partner can get off by mutually pleasurable activities (in which category I include cunnilingus) while the other cannot.

    Um. Well. Wow.

    What exactly are you doing to get an orgasm that’s no fun for your partner?

  91. Madeline
    Madeline January 30, 2007 at 12:44 am |

    I think there’s two camps here. One group says that in good faith, and may or may not be successful at personally overcoming the messages they’ve received in the past. The other group says that sex shouldn’t be “natural” because they want more women to act like porn stars (because nothing says “natural” like that) – they don’t want sex to not be shameful, they just want to not be denied.

    jfpbookworm, you’re right, of course. I was making sweeping generalizations. Whoops.

  92. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small January 30, 2007 at 3:12 am |

    So I’m curious. What sort of exchange did you have with him after he said that?

    I didn’t have an exchange, thankfully, since I probably would have gotten reeeally angry. My reaction was silence, because (1) going in, I had resolved to let the other presenters “do their thing” when they were on; (2) I was pretty nervous about the whole thing to begin with, and this @!#@#% was my worst nightmare; and (3) it was pretty shocking thing that he said.

    The guys who were actually presenting that time strongly emphasized that his ass would most likely be arrested, and that she didn’t have to say “no” for him to avoid getting actual consent. So hopefully (as some of you have suggested*), he at least considers the consequences even if his morality is completely FUBAR.

    *mythago and Raincitygirl: thanks for the words of encouragement. It helps, honestly.

  93. S.A. Small
    S.A. Small January 30, 2007 at 3:13 am |

    Also, what does “MRA” mean? I seen it a couple times, but I can’t suss it out.

  94. slashy
    slashy January 30, 2007 at 3:53 am |

    Having had minimal sexual contact with men, I can’t say much for them, but for myself and my current lover, having sex with each other makes us more, not less, horny. More, not less, masturbation on both our parts is the result. It makes our partnersex more, not less, intense & fantastic.

    Perhaps this is one of the many upsides of female sexual function?

  95. sophonisba
    sophonisba January 30, 2007 at 4:25 am |

    but sometimes there’s only 30 minutes available, both partners want to have sex, but it’s frustrating when one partner can get off by mutually pleasurable activities (in which category I include cunnilingus) while the other cannot.

    Um. Well. Wow.

    What exactly are you doing to get an orgasm that’s no fun for your partner?

    I don’t think he meant no fun, just that (in the example) she didn’t come fast enough and he did. And I have to say, if they’re both horny and only one of them gets to come, a guy has to have some fucking nerve to be the one who gets the orgasm and the one who feels entitled to be frustrated. She gets to be frustrated. She’s the one who didn’t get to come on his damn timetable.

  96. ilyka
    ilyka January 30, 2007 at 6:17 am |

    Also, what does “MRA” mean?

    Men’s rights activist.

  97. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 30, 2007 at 8:01 am |

    I don’t think he meant no fun, just that (in the example) she didn’t come fast enough and he did. And I have to say, if they’re both horny and only one of them gets to come, a guy has to have some fucking nerve to be the one who gets the orgasm and the one who feels entitled to be frustrated. She gets to be frustrated. She’s the one who didn’t get to come on his damn timetable.

    Because after all, sex is all about the individual orgasm.

  98. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 30, 2007 at 8:38 am |

    But I’m just being mean and snarky today. I just find the whole over-emphasis on orgasm to be irritating at times, and the worst partners have been the ones who couldn’t empathize with my frustrations.

  99. Roy
    Roy January 30, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    I don’t think he meant no fun, just that (in the example) she didn’t come fast enough and he did. And I have to say, if they’re both horny and only one of them gets to come, a guy has to have some fucking nerve to be the one who gets the orgasm and the one who feels entitled to be frustrated. She gets to be frustrated. She’s the one who didn’t get to come on his damn timetable.

    Um. Can’t they both be frustrated by it?
    I’ve been on both ends of that particular equation- I’ve had times where I didn’t come but my partner did, and I’ve had times where I did, but she didn’t, and it can be kind of frustrating on either side.
    Personally, I like it when the woman I’m with is able to have an orgasm. It’s not the end-all be-all of sex, I like sex because sex is fun. Orgasm is icing on the cake. Orgasms are, you know… nice, but the whole process should really be enjoyable.
    That being said, just because I (the guy) get off, doesn’t mean that I suddenly stop caring about whether my partner gets off too, and if we’re not able to get her off in the time we have, I think it can be disappointing/frustrating for both of us.

    I don’t have a good analogy, but, like… if my partner didn’t get a job she really wanted, and I did, I’d still be disappointed that she didn’t get the job she wanted. I don’t think that it’s a matter of feeling entitled, even though I got the job I wanted or got off, and she didn’t. It’s a matter of caring about my partner’s feelings and desires, and being disappointed/frustrated that she didn’t get what she wanted.

  100. Frumious B
    Frumious B January 30, 2007 at 9:51 am |

    I just find the whole over-emphasis on orgasm to be irritating at times,

    whoa, CB, I was totally agreeing with everything you said until you pulled this out. I need a little clarification here – on whose orgasm is the over-emphasis so irritating? The answer better be yours.

  101. ACG
    ACG January 30, 2007 at 10:23 am |

    I think that the “emphasis on orgasm” thing is a very personal one. Orgasms are extra-super-duper fun, certainly, and I like having them, and I always feel good when my partner has one. But if he doesn’t, and at any point he decides he’s not interested in trying anymore, I’m certainly not going to push. There were times with my ex when it just plain wasn’t going to happen, but I was more than happy to enjoy the intimacy and the physical pleasure – but his insistence on my orgasm had him sawing away determinedly until I was just plain not having fun anymore, because his ego depended on my screaming, theatrical When-Harry-Met-Sally orgasm.

  102. Ethyl
    Ethyl January 30, 2007 at 10:34 am |

    whoa, CB, I was totally agreeing with everything you said until you pulled this out. I need a little clarification here – on whose orgasm is the over-emphasis so irritating? The answer better be yours.

    Er, yeah, I’m with you on that Fruminous… But, you know, CB is obviously really really enlightened and spiritual, and you know, wayyyy above silly little things like “orgasms.” I’m afraid I frankly do not see the point in having sex if I don’t have an orgasm, and find sex even more pointless if NOBODY has an orgasm.

    But again, I’m probably just unenlightened and non-spiritual and insufficiently concerned with togetherness and intimacy.

    Eh, f**k that noise.

  103. bmc90
    bmc90 January 30, 2007 at 10:46 am |

    Do not discount the fact that people with their own sexual issues (low libido, performance anxiety, overwhelmed by stress, realizing the whole relatinship has gone south but not admitting it) will often project project project on to their partner. Sometimes the victim can become convinced that it IS their problem, only to be suprised in their next relationship that, uh, the problem was not me.

  104. ako
    ako January 30, 2007 at 11:31 am |

    Personally I’m strongly kinked towards monogamy, but that’s just my perspective and something that I negotiate with potential partners.

    I’d say a pro-monogamy slant’s pretty common. And while I’m absolutely not endorsing the idea that anyone owes anyone sex, it seems reasonable and considerate to think about the position you might put your partner in, either by frequently requesting sex they’re not up for, or by simultaneously not wanting to have sex with them much and not wanting them to have sex with anyone else at all. If you’re talking about obligations, the right to not have sex definitively trumps the right to have sex (a right that hinges, among other things, on finding a willing partner). If you’re talking about establishing mutual satisfaction, both wanting sex and not wanting sex are reasonable and legitimate desires that merit some consideration.

    If someone were to put a partner with a higher sex drive in that position without being willing to find a mutually agreeable way to deal with that (one that left both parties reasonably content), that seems a serious problem, and one that’s reasonable to break up over. If both partners can’t find an adjustment on sex that works for them both, and it’s a continous source of incompatability (one partner feeling forever pestered, or one feeling forever frustrated), then a reasonable person could find this enough of an unhappiness-inducing incompatability to justify a split. And if one person feels entitled to a certain amount or kind of sex regardless of their partner’s needs or wants, then they’re a jerk, but them dumping people over not getting the sex they want may be the least damaging option. That’s more how I saw the Real Consent Manifesto; not as a blanket endorsement of dumping anyone over sexual dissatisfaction.

  105. Thomas
    Thomas January 30, 2007 at 11:37 am |

    I frankly do not see the point in having sex if I don’t have an orgasm, and find sex even more pointless if NOBODY has an orgasm.

    I have a different take on this. I like orgasms, and I have had a lot. But what I really need in partnered sex is something else. What I need from partnered sex is intimacy, really, though I mean that in probably a broader sense than some folks may understand the term. What I don’t need is orgasm, especially when I’m doing BDSM. I have a tough time orgasming when I’m topping because I’m too focused on giving my partner an experience that will move her; more frequently I’m the bottom, and I find the process of letting my partner have control of whether I come to be much more powerful than actually getting off.

    I’m not speaking for CB or interpreting someone else’s comment, but I do not think that saying that one focuses on something in sex other than orgasm is necessarily a pretentious claim to enlightenment.

  106. Ethyl
    Ethyl January 30, 2007 at 11:49 am |

    I do not think that saying that one focuses on something in sex other than orgasm is necessarily a pretentious claim to enlightenment.

    Well, BDSM is another thing entirely. For many people, BDSM is unrelated to orgasm — indeed for many people it can be totally unrelated to “sex” per se….though I might argue that for many people, it IS related to sex (darn confounding diversity of human experience). I do, however, read comments like CB’s (especially in light of some of his other comments) as a pretentious claim to enlightenment — which is a very nice turn of phrase by the way.

    Again, YMMV, and I, obviously, am exhaustively unenlightened. Oh, well.

  107. Annie G.
    Annie G. January 30, 2007 at 11:51 am |

    There were times with my ex when it just plain wasn’t going to happen, but I was more than happy to enjoy the intimacy and the physical pleasure – but his insistence on my orgasm had him sawing away determinedly until I was just plain not having fun anymore, because his ego depended on my screaming, theatrical When-Harry-Met-Sally orgasm.

    Delurking to say…God, yes. I have had the same thing happen with my husband. Sometimes his focus on my orgasm(s) creates so much extra pressure on me that I don’t enjoy sex. Although, I may be different than some of you because I can enjoy the physical/emotional intimacy of sex that, once in a while, doesn’t get me to an orgasm. I am lucky, though, that he is a (generally) considerate lover, and is usually very good about getting me to orgasm (and often, more than once!) before he does. He claims it’s more fun for him that way.

    And in general, the more I read stuff like the stuff Jill linked to, the happier I am I found him.

  108. DAS
    DAS January 30, 2007 at 11:53 am |

    What exactly are you doing to get an orgasm that’s no fun for your partner? – Zuzu

    Umm … to amplify sophonisba’s response to your comment, she seems to be having more fun than I’m having, FWIW. And thank you Roy for putting things better than I could have.

    And thank you also for the suggestion, anon.

  109. Lesley
    Lesley January 30, 2007 at 11:57 am |

    OK, I think I might know where CB’s coming from. There is an emphasis in this culture on how the orgasm is the end-all and be-all of sex. Now, no one’s saying it isn’t fun, but not all sex has to be about having an orgasm. [You personally may not want to participate in sex that doesn't result in an orgasm, and that's fine.]

    I had a bf a couple of years ago who couldn’t orgasm. He could get erect, but he just couldn’t have an orgasm. It was a problem he’d had for several years before we met. Fortunately, he wasn’t bothered by it. He still derived pleasure from sex, both physical and otherwise. At first, I did have a problem with it, because I was so culturally influenced into thinking that if you don’t have an orgasm, there’s something wrong with the sex. It took a long time for me to get past the idea that I was doing something wrong. I think our sex life would have been initially better, though, if it hadn’t been so beaten into me that the orgasm was the only indicator of how good the sex was. I would have thought earlier to find other ways to give pleasure, rather than just focusing everything I was doing on giving him an orgasm.

    I think that’s what CB meant.

  110. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 30, 2007 at 11:59 am |

    Frumious B: whoa, CB, I was totally agreeing with everything you said until you pulled this out. I need a little clarification here – on whose orgasm is the over-emphasis so irritating? The answer better be yours.

    Well, both. Certainly it would be nice if mutual orgasms happened all the time. But sometimes, it just isn’t going to happen. When we are both tired and muscle-sore and can’t find the right combination to skip past, “almost but not quite” it’s better to just kick back, relax and save it for another time. Like ACG, I’ve been with people who were so ego-tripping on their ability to give orgasms that it just stopped being fun.

  111. bellatrys
    bellatrys January 30, 2007 at 12:01 pm |

    If you’re trying to “escape relationship intimacy” then the problem is not what you’re doing to escape it – nor even THAT you are – but WHY? If your partner is an asshole, why would you WANT to be “intimate” with them? Especially if you’re not in a position to DTMFA, whether it be a male or a female asshole. The idea that you have a moral obligation to be intimate with a controlling abuser is why I decided at age 12 that I was never, ever going to get married, or even allow a lover to have a central, controlling role in my life. Nobody owns me. Nobody ever will. Mind *or* body.

    Nor do I want to own anybody else, mind you. The idea of demanding anything of intimacy – be it listening, caresses, or PIV – from someone who doesn’t want to be around me whether it be just then, or period, is so incredibly creepy to me. What the HELL is wrong with people (mostly men, judging by the police reports as well as my friends’ and relatives’ talk) who don’t want – right to the point of taking a gun to them, as headlines show – to let an unwilling partner go?

  112. Thomas
    Thomas January 30, 2007 at 12:55 pm |

    For many people, BDSM is unrelated to orgasm — indeed for many people it can be totally unrelated to “sex” per se….though I might argue that for many people, it IS related to sex (darn confounding diversity of human experience).

    A debate that sometimes reaches the level of quasi-ecclesiastical debate, partly over terminology and partly over the diversity of experience.

  113. Morgan
    Morgan January 30, 2007 at 1:21 pm |

    this seems very counter-intuitive

    it certainly didn’t make me want to have sex

  114. Crooked Timber  »   » I Got a Spot That Gets Me Hot/But You Ain’t Been To It

    [...] tendant comments have been widely linked around, and the finest comments already excerpted here at Feministe. Having read them all it occurs t [...]

  115. ks
    ks January 30, 2007 at 10:32 pm |

    I’m afraid I frankly do not see the point in having sex if I don’t have an orgasm, and find sex even more pointless if NOBODY has an orgasm.

    I see the point, and I can enjoy the intimacy even if I do get an orgasm. But since I’ve had kids I’ve gotten quite a bit more selfish with regards to the orgasm. It’s a pretty good rule between the husband and myself that if I don’t, nobody does. Because the opportunity just doesn’t come up (no pun intended) very much with small children in the house. We can get intimacy and closeness in lots of ways besides sex, so when the sex happens, I want to have my fun too.

  116. AC Serrano
    AC Serrano January 31, 2007 at 1:38 am |

    And once again the MRAs prove just how much they themselves hate men…

    But to demonstrate, why don’t you try perpetually walking around, being 5-30 seconds from YOUR big O, and see how you like it.

    As much as people like to joke that we men are always “close,” we’re not normally that close.

  117. sophonisba
    sophonisba January 31, 2007 at 5:00 am |

    Like ACG, I’ve been with people who were so ego-tripping on their ability to give orgasms that it just stopped being fun.

    Well, yes, that’s exactly it. That’s the sort of person who is likely to be “frustrated” if you don’t come on his timetable. Whether said frustration is about your ‘performance’ or his own, it’s inhibiting, a libido-killer, and deeply selfish, because hey — not his orgasm that’s abandoned. Giant generalization, but: nothing makes it harder for a woman to relax and come than a guy who’s visibly frustrated that she’s taking so long. That’s the other reason it sucks.

  118. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 31, 2007 at 9:14 am |

    Giant generalization, but: nothing makes it harder for a woman to relax and come than a guy who’s visibly frustrated that she’s taking so long. That’s the other reason it sucks.

    I don’t think it’s just a woman thing.

  119. Grand Moff Texan
    Grand Moff Texan January 31, 2007 at 10:15 am |

    I also love the idea that he does all the work in bed, and that she should “take up some of the workload” — by getting him off and not worrying about her pleasure at all.

    Yeah, been there, done that. Selfish lovers are called “ex-girlfriends.”
    .

  120. DAS
    DAS January 31, 2007 at 10:27 am |

    There is an assumption that it’s “his timetable” that’s the limitting factor. It could be the timetable of “we only have about 30 minutes before the baby’s inevitably going to wake up from her nap”. Does it really help matters then if the partner who orgasms easier keeps himself from having an orgasm just to make things fair?

  121. Brent
    Brent January 31, 2007 at 11:32 am |

    I’m in university and I’ve somewhat given up trying to meet girls because, simply, there’s no real benefit. If I spend a night studying, at least I get something out of it.

  122. Bruce/Crablaw
    Bruce/Crablaw January 31, 2007 at 12:25 pm |

    I am glad these guys are not having sex. Frankly, celibacy is underrated, especially for people who seem to treat other people cruelly or with indifference.

  123. Matthew
    Matthew January 31, 2007 at 12:46 pm |

    I read through the comments above and the responses to them and what struck me most is that the person responding wasn’t really looking at what the commentors had to say. Easy to quickly dismiss them, but harder to really look at what they are saying.

    Yes, some of those comments were daft … but not all of them.

    It would help if people were able to truely listen to both sides.

  124. zuzu
    zuzu January 31, 2007 at 12:53 pm | *

    So, Matthew, what exactly were the commenters trying to say? What do you think we’re all missing here?

  125. Magis
    Magis January 31, 2007 at 1:42 pm |

    Wish I wasn’t so late to this. Some geezer observations. Women are not that hard to get off. Women’s sexuality is not that mysterious. Women love getting their guys off (yes there are the selfish of both sexs but not many). Women have as much (or more) performance anxiety than men.

    To the frustrated and angry men out there may I suggest you start with a little unfeigned affection (if you can muster it) and perhaps a nice back rub.

  126. Teunis
    Teunis January 31, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    The original speaker is a waste of skin. Good on him for not pursuing women – it’s berks like him that make life hades for those of us who think that talking is more than just “our way is the only way”. The dude’s a coward, doesn’t know how to listen and isn’t aware of other folks.

    Love the comments.

    I’d be a men’s right’s activist – but I honestly can’t think of any rights that I’d want that the feminist movement already hasn’t made for me. So I’ll just continue on pushing for women’s rights because honestly I can’t see how I’d lose doing that.

  127. MQ
    MQ January 31, 2007 at 2:55 pm |

    “But clearly, they’re just being selfish by not allowing their husbands unrestrained sexual access, even if the sex sucks…”

    Well, honestly, wives are being selfish if they don’t allow their husbands sexual access. Sex is part of marriage and relationships. If you don’t engage in it, you’re selfishly withholding something that is essential to the health of the relationship. It’s like any other form of communication or sharing — to refuse to give your partner emotional support and to engage in the “silent treatment” is a selfish act. At the extreme, it becomes a form of emotional abuse, which I’ll bet none of you would have a problem recognizing if a man was consistently withholding any kind of communication or emotional support from his wife. Of course, none of this means you’re going to be talking 24/7 or having sex every night, or even every week. A relationship that didn’t allow both partners occasional space for some needed personal selfishness at times wouldn’t be very healthy.

    Now, if the sex sucks, there’s a problem, and it’s your duty to eventually engage around the problem and try to improve it. Otherwise you’re checking out of the relationship. Once you reach that point, you have to either really leave and give the other person a chance to move on, or get the help you need to get engaged in the give and take of relationship again.

  128. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 31, 2007 at 4:11 pm | *

    MQ, have you been reading this thread? The issues of withholding have been well hashed.

  129. DAS
    DAS January 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm |

    To the frustrated and angry men out there may I suggest you start with a little unfeigned affection (if you can muster it) – Magis

    Unfeigned affection is a bit much to manage for someone who’s forsaken love for the Rhinegold ;) (look up the title of my blog in case you don’t get the joke).

    and perhaps a nice back rub.

    Back rubs — the gift that really is (almost) as nice to give as to receive. Is it just me or does giving a backrub have almost the same relaxing effect on one’s back as receiving one? Oy … I’d love to give and/or receive a backrub right about now ;)

  130. mythago
    mythago January 31, 2007 at 9:43 pm |

    which I’ll bet none of you would have a problem recognizing if a man was consistently withholding any kind of communication or emotional support from his wife

    MQ, it may shock you to know that some women do, in fact, like sex,and that men need communication and emotional support.

  131. Duckling
    Duckling February 1, 2007 at 8:49 am |

    I say, that when that day comes, and it will; every man should take the children and leave these women to be raped or killed while we save the children and let them populate a new and more equal society established upon a sublime rationality that was once called—self sacrificial and self effacing love.

    So if the men all run off with the children, who’s going to be raping all the women? There aren’t that many women who go around sexually assaulting other women.

    Don’t you know – rape is caused by women wearing provocative clothing, drinking and going outside. Usually it is men’s duty to use their rationality to protect women from themselves, but with all the men gone, imagine how the rape rates would escalate!

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.