The sexy blogosphere is dogpiling on this NYT article so I figure I'll join the party.
This article is about scientists. (Well, psychologists...) Being less scientific, or possibly just poor and lazy, I only use study groups of one. So I can tell you that what women want is to drive an ambulance at top speed on an off-roading track with lights and siren going and "Livin' On A Prayer" blasting. OHHH, WE'RE HALFWAY THERE! WAAAA-OHHHHH, LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!
Oh, what do women want sexually? I want to do that naked.
But according to the researcher Marta Meana in this article, what women want is to be desired. She believes that our sexual desire is triggered by being desired.
“Really,” she said, “women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic” — it is dominated by the yearnings of “self-love,” by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need.
I feel that this is utter stinkin' bullshit. I propose an alternate hypothesis: that women get horny the same way human beings do.
Most of the evidence Meana uses to support this theory seems to consist of generalizations with a heapin' helping of forced interpretation.
Porn and other "sexy" art displays more women than men? This must mean that women are turned on by thinking of themselves as the sexy naked woman!
Alternate possibility: Porn is made by straight men for straight men.
Women fantasize about receiving pleasure more than giving pleasure? This must mean that women are sexually narcissistic!
Alternate possibility: Receiving pleasure kicks ass. (Also, we do? I fantasize about giving pleasure lots!)
Women fantasize about rape? This must mean that we imagine the rapist is overcome with lust for us!
Alternate possibility: We want it to be rough and painful and wrong because we are dirty, dirty girls. (Also, this sort of goes completely against the previous point there.)
Women don't get as aroused after a long time in a relationship? This must mean that they don't feel their partner is actively choosing them each time!
Alternate possibility: He makes the same weird snuffly noise every damn time.
But what really offends me is this portion, and the suspicion I have that deep down she really believes this:
“What women want is a real dilemma,” she said. Earlier, she showed me, as a joke, a photograph of two control panels, one representing the workings of male desire, the second, female, the first with only a simple on-off switch, the second with countless knobs.
Goddamnit, this "Woman is a mystery" bullshit has got to cut the fuck out. Woman is human. Oh, and male desire isn't "hurr show 'im half a tit and 'es off to the races" either; ask any woman who's been married twenty years, not to mention countless younger people going through all sorts of sexual ups and downs and hangups. The idea that men are literally up for sex at any opportunity is a hoary joke, not something a sexual researcher should take literally. We're all complicated and neurotic and contradictory, man and woman alike. Fuck "what women want"; the real unanswered question is what the hell anybody wants.
Anyway, I can tell you what I want, other than the ambulance thing:
I want nerdy boys, I want pretty boys, I want boys with muscles and I want boys with spiky hair. I want gawky teenagers (eighteen! eighteen!) and I want Silver Foxes. I want boys with tattoos and I want boys with glasses. I want kinky boys and I want shy boys and I want romantic boys and more than anything I want horny boys.
And yes, I do want them to want me, but only so I can fuck the shit out of them.