Elf M. Sternberg (elfs) wrote,
Elf M. Sternberg

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A study finds many straight guys aren't good at sex. I'm not surprised.

This afternoon, a friend of mine mentioned: The link leads to an article which surveys the quality of sex being had by all sorts of people and concludes that straight men are simply the least skilled, least considerate, least attentive lovers compared to men who have sex with men (although not necessarily exclusively), and compared to women who have sex with woman (ditto). In studies and surveys across the board, women whose partners describe themselves as "straight" and "male" experience the least satisfaction of all sexually active people.

This is emphatically not what I have been saying. My argument is that there are a lot of people who actively dislike sex, and that this dislike manifests as vicious misogyny.

Just as possibly one-third of all people generally consider eating a bother and a chore merely to derive sustenance, I'm convinced that somewhere close to one-third of all men actively dislike sex. I'm also convinced that close to one-third of all men actively dislike women. Those two groups overlap but not completely, and the resulting mix of masculine mythology, cultural expectation, and the nature of sex itself create a toxic brew that makes a lot of straight men and their partners unhappy.

Angel and Alien Cosmetics By the time we're fully conscious human beings, we've mastered eating, eliminating, sleeping, waking up, and clothing ourselves against the elements; we don't remember much about dealing with our bodies' demands around those. Sex, on the other hand, doesn't hit us until puberty, and for a lot of men having this new and powerful yearning imposed on them seems to be a source of irreconcilable confusion that results in deep resentment. For straight men, that yearning points them toward women, who for most of them at that age are creatures society has told them all their short lives come in two flavors: angels who see and service their every want and need, and aliens whom they will never understand

Many men never grow out of this stage. That's why marketers pitch stuff like the photo above to them. Whole swaths of the fiction market, both read and watched, narrate to the man-children who don't want their partners complicated or independent.

There are a lot of stimuli to human sexuality, and a lot of ways one brain interpreting that stimuli can go sideways. We've now spent 150 years trying to figure out why homosexuals are homosexual, only to conclude that it's an ordinary and natural subtype of human sexuality. There's so much more: orientation is one spectrum, as is aesthetic appreciation, the intensity of libido, tolerance for the messy sticky liquidity of sexuality, tolerance for alternatives.

For men who've bought into the whole cultural masculinity story of our society, where the privileged emotions of men such as anger, reserve, honor, and pride (and yes, those are all emotions), trying to work through that all that complexity is just Too. Much. Work. Or maybe they just have a low libido, and feel intense frustration that they're not "normal," and the masquerade is as hard as anything gay men go through, but without a subculture to help them they express themeselves with misogyny and rage. (That said, there is a lot of gay men who hold similarly misogynistic attitudes.)

I'm genuinely not surprised by the finding that straight men are bad at sex compared to every other group. They're the only group that's been actively told they don't have to think about sex. They're the only group that's been given the expectation that "just do whatever you want and it'll be right." Everyone else recognizes the challenge for what it is. Everyone else has learned to use their words. Straight guys are told there is no challenge, there's no need to communicate, and many get mad when they're confronted with a request that they try.

Hence my "name five things" challenge: I bet you the average adult male can more quickly name five things found inside a car, computer, or gun, than they can inside a woman. Men study and learn about the things they enjoy. Many just don't enjoy women, or sex, or both.
Tags: sex

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