What gender expectations do to us is twist and turn us and make us feel guilty about the way we are. I felt such profound empathy, when I read Kiki’s account of her trials with her freakishly high libido on Thumper’s blog, that I had to bring the discussion here to be able to really dig into the gender stereotypes it lashes out on us.
The reason I think it [my libido] is “freakish” is that I am constantly being told that “men want it all the time” and “men always want sex more than women” etc etc ad nauseum. This is simply not the case in my relationship. Most of the time I am ok with this, but sometimes it really, really gets to me and I feel undesirable and sad.
Yeah. Men want sex and women give it up – for a price. The reasoning behind all of this is, that women are and have been gatekeepers of sex. It has been only women’s job to keep undesirable elements from reproducing, HIV and other STD plagues from spreading and humankind from collapsing into an utter moral chaos.
We, women, are told from our early childhood that we have to think about others first – and that means that we can’t want something, if someone else doesn’t want it. We can not go after fulfillment, desire freely, because we are under constant surveillance; we are, after all, responsible for the moral of the whole human kind.
The flip side of this is that the completely gender biased, stereotyped and misogynistic view of women as the gender which does not want, shouldn’t initiate or enjoy sex. We are brought up to be tidy little good girls, and then we’re accused of being frigid if we are.
Hugo Schwyzer has written a lot about how negatively this particular binaric gender stereotype affects the way we see ourselves and thus also the way we build our romantic and sexual lives. Straight men can’t feel valued and desired for just who they are, not what they can do, because women aren’t supposed to want. Men only have a use in this kind of context, while women are the treasured, desired unachievable prizes for the deeds men do. (Because, lord knows, it’s not worth getting or fighting for, if she herself desires it as much as they do.)
It took me years to understand that women want sex as much as men. (Or some women want sex more than some men. It isn’t that binded into the actual gender.) And I probably never would have realized it at all, but because I am one of those women with a pretty high libido, I sort of hit a brick wall of rejection that I had to deal with.
When society tells us over and over and over again, that men are out to get us, that every man would sleep with any woman, if women just caved in, and that we have to be very careful, us women, not to give any reason for sexual passes, because everything will be lost in the ferocious ROWR it will release in men. That rape is just a biological force of nature, because men can’t control their super high libidos or be accounted for not controling them. That’s what women are for. And then when my real life experience is that I need, want and desire and I’m being rebuffed over and over again, sure as fuck it will make me feel like shit. Like, if all the men will fuck anything, any time, why won’t they fuck me?
I’ve gone over the over analyzing every move, every motive, every hint of the true meaning behind it all, and I’ve realized that it’s just a difference like any other. A frequency difference. Doesn’t sound so bad put like that, does it?
It’s as bad for the guy, too, because they are taught, that real men can’t get enough. So what kind of emasculated mice they have to be, if their girlfriends are all sad and gloomy, because they aren’t getting enough.
It’s hard to fight your way past these gender streotypes. They are ingraved in our minds. But when I saw them, it was much easier for me to acknowledge, that it’s not my fault; that there really is no problem at all, if I don’t make it one. Because the problem is not the lack of sex: the problem is how the lack of sex has made me question myself, my self-worth, my desirability, even love. Not anymore.
What you said about “if he’s not into it then it’s no good for me” really resonated, Kiki added in the end.
I’m trying to find the happiness of free fantasies in masturbation. I see it as a good thing, as taking care of myself. It’s better than forcing sex on an unwilling Wonderboy, that’s for sure. No one comes out unhappy at the other end, if I play with myself, because he’s just too tired. And he might even lend me a hand.
Now what are we gonna do, that more sexually highly active women could have a good time also by themselves and not feel bad about it? Well, world – give us more nice things to play with!