Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What's with the mixed messages on male sexuality?

I was sitting in the car about to go into the store yesterday evening when a woman that works in another department at my company was coming out. I'll come right out and say that I think this woman is sexually attractive and under the right circumstances I would indeed have sex with her. Two things crossed my mind. First this woman did not fit the image of what I, as a man, am told is sexy. She is black, doesn't have the so called correct proportions that make a woman sexy (in her case that would mean she doesn't have a big ass and tig ole bitties that "exotic" women of color are associated with), speaks her mind, and does not fall in the age range of the women men are told are attractive (in fact she is nearly twice my age, yes you are reading that right). Secondly while I think this woman is sexually attractive I did not have to fight off the lustful desire to have sex with her by any means necessary that men are stigmatized with. So I began to think about the mixed signals we get about our sexuality.

In one respect men are shown images of scantly clad women showing off almost every part of their body (while leaving the "good parts" to the imagination). These women are usually cut from a very exclusionary mold. Supposedly women are only sexy if they have a certain body shape, are a certain weight (check out Kate Harding on that), are a certain skin color (the exception being that WOC are sexy because they have a foreign and wait for it...."exotic" beauty to them. pay Renee a shout), have no disabilities (I've just recently been thinking about this one so I don't have a source to drop on you), fall in the age range so that she could pass for barely legal (I haven't seen a lot on ageism when it comes to sexual attraction but that doesn't mean its not out there), and only act "feminine" (there are plenty of feminists site to look this one up). Such women are what is presented to men as sexy and that in order to be considered "a real man" one must have such a woman (not just be with but have as in own, control, and treat like property). This is why most of the women you see on calendars, on the runway, and in porn come from this mold.

However at the same time media tells men that we are supposed to go for anything with a warm wet hole that can give us pleasure (but with enough homophobia and shame over sex toys to remind us that that warm wet hole must be female genitalia). It says that men are horndogs that will have sex with any woman that is willing and and her not willing is no reason to end the pursuit for the goal. I recall a line from the movie Hackers. Angelina Jolie's character said something to the effect of, "Men have more brains than dogs so they won't go around humping everything in sight." Career, education, friends and even family are not enough to stop us from doing whatever it takes to reach the promised land. And of course these leads to the blanket assertion that men are pigs, dogs, jerks, gigoloes, womanizers, horndogs, perverts, lechers, creeps, etc...

So apparently we are supposed to be extremely picky and selective about the people we find sexually attractive to the point that we exhibit all sorts if -ist behaviors but at the same time we're supposed to be so overcome with lust that we just can't stop ourselves from shoving our cocks in any and every pussy we come across even when our "partner" doesn't want to engage in sexual activity.

Even if my own male sexuality defies both of these signals I still have a problem with them. If for no other reason than once people know that I am male will assume that my sexuality embodies one of those two messages. And I think its worth noting that while these two signals happen at the same time and seem to contradict each other they are both part of why male sexuality is thought to be inherently filthy and vile.

Now despite there being several men who have sexual tastes like mine that don't abide by the established norms there is still a problem with them being established norms. First they undermine men and pigeon hole us into the worst image possible either as -ist hatemongers or rapists waiting to strike. Misandry plain and simple. Next it is extremely sexist towards women as well to imply that in the eyes of men they are expected to conform to a certain image in order to get our attention. These things must be eliminated.


N said...

"God gave men brains so they wouldn't hump women's legs at cocktail parties." Ruth Libbey, author and mother of Kate Libbry, who was played by Angelina Jolie in Hackers. Ha! I know that from memory. I digress...

The most frustrating thing that I have found in regards to what you are is describing is that many of the women I have been involved with, otherwise intelligent progressive human beings, expect this form of sexuality from me. It has caused at best confusion, and more realistically hurt feelings and bitterness.

Cest la vie, I suppose. This is why I am a bachelor.

Danny said...

I know right? Apparently its wrong for us to act that way but its A-O-F'n-K for women to expect us to act that way when it suits them.