Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Fear Factor.

One reason women sometimes appear to have lower sex drives than men--or at least less interest in casual sex: fear. Oh, not that we're scampering around terrified of men, but for both cultural and real-world reasons, a woman agreeing to casual sex does have to consider some creepy factors. You're going to be alone with this person with your clothes off, and likely you'll even fall asleep in their presence. If they turn out to be a bad person, there's a lot of things they could do to ruin your day.

Of course men could say the same thing, but this is where the cultural part comes in. A man sexually desiring a woman often has overtones of threat in our culture. From street harassment to horror films to PUAs, women learn that someone desiring you doesn't mean they're going to be nice to you. Whereas female desire for men is almost universally seen as flattering. You can even see this in extreme cases--read the comments on any news story about a woman sexually abusing a man or boy, and a good portion of them will be calling the victim a lucky bastard.

As a result, women tend to go on the defensive. It's not our sex drive that's weaker but our trust. We learn to reject men, not because we don't want them, but because we aren't sure that their advances are the friendly kind. Even when I'm horny as hell, I can't turn off the creep-dar, and when a guy is physically attractive to me but sets off the creep-dar in any way, I can't sleep with him. I know this is unfair to guys who aren't creeps, but don't blame women--blame creepy men. They're the ones poisoning the lady-well.

When I decide whether to go home with a new guy, we're both thinking about whether we want to fuck each other, but only I'm thinking about whether or not he'll stop when I say "no."


  1. I think that may be true, Holly: only you are thinking of that. I can't speak for all men, of course, but I'd think most already know that they'll stop when she says "no", or they already know they won't unless dissuaded.
    Always trust your instincts: they're right more often than they're wrong.

  2. This reminds me of a casual encounter I had a few weeks ago. I hooked up with a girl at a bar, we went to her place and started getting it on. Clothes were off and our bodies were like snakes when she suddenly just fell asleep (now I have to say that it WAS ~5am in the morning after a night of heavy drinking for the both of us). I got up from the bed, pulled on my boxers and went to sleep on the couch, mainly out of respect for her privacy.
    She was so thankful in the morning for how I had acted, probably because she had some not-so-gentlemen-like one night stands too. We had coffee and are now good friends.
    What I can't get out of my head, is thinking about how many of my friends would have acted the same way, because as we all know, if we are taken over be by the heat of the moment, it really is hard to stop.

  3. Tennessee Budd - I think my poor grammar obscured the question "is he worried whether she'll stop if he says no?", but I think the answer to that is also no.

    Joonas - Good on you for that.

    It's funny (well, not really), but a lot of the time I'm not as worried about rape as I am that the guy'll steal my stuff. If I fall asleep and he's in my house, I always think I'll wake up with my wallet and laptop gone. Because that's the kind of trusting person I am.

  4. Completely understandable. I've had the same fears when bringing in random girls...but like Budd said, instincts are absolutely amazingly valuable most of the times.

  5. Ach, I was beaten to the "stealing stuff" angle. But exactly this: men are just as vulnerable to being robbed as women, and indeed it's something I worry about myself with women who I don't really know. In fact, I think this stereotype is growing in popular culture, because in all movies it is the woman who tempts the man with sex then empties his wallet while he's asleep.

  6. Thank you for this, Holly. Thank you thank you thank you. Especially the last line, which perfectly sums up thoughts I've spent hours attempting to explain to people.

  7. @Arsen: Sure, but one can weigh the odds/risks and decide it's worth chancing a robbery; that's a very different risk level than ending up a torso in a trunk.

    Also, if someone robs you, there's a good chance the police will take the crime seriously and look at the evidence, whereas rape, not always. It's not easily dismissable as "he said/she said" if she has your wallet.

    (Plus, your wallet is something that can be returned to you intact.)


  8. This actually sums up a big reasons I've never had casual sex, even though I fantasise about it. You've very much hit the nail on the head in this entry.