Friday, June 17, 2005

That old double standard...

I was at a small party a year ago, when the boyfriend of a friend of mine (both of whom are fellow grad students) announced that he "would never consent to a long-term relationship with a girl who 'allowed' him to sleep with her on the first date." I thought this was one of the more exceptionally disgusting things I'd ever heard anyone say, particularly the emphasis he put on the word allowed. It was as if he was duty-bound to try to have sex with a woman on the first date, indeed to go through with it if she consented....but would nevertheless spend the whole sexual encounter in silent judgement of her, smirking inwardly about how she had "failed" his little test.

Later I told this story to a man I was dating, thinking he'd think it was funny. Instead, he said that "that was probably right" and while it didn't bother him that I was "sexually forward," most guys would be more likely to date a woman long-term if she waited awhile. "What's awhile?" I asked him. "Oh..," he answered "maybe three months?" Three Months??? I'm sorry, did we just travel back in time? Am I in high school again? Should we spend our first 20 dates dry-humping to M.C. Hammer? "Oh no...I can't have sex with you yet, might suddenly decide I'm a slut and besides, I don't want to mess up my claw bangs. "

Today's MSN Dating and Relationships Section featured a similarly annoying article on Reasons Men Suddenly End Relationships which noted that men are often tempted to dump you if you have sex with them either "too soon" or wait "too long." Also, they are apparently upset by women who "play too hard to get" or "get attached too quickly." What defines too soon/too long, remains unanswered of course. Clearly, if you were really "the one," you'd be able to read his fucking mind.

Why are women still expected to forgo sexual expression as a means of pleasing ourselves, and instead to view it only as a crude tool to gratify and, by extension entrap, men? Why is it still only about what he wants/feels comfortable with/respects/is repelled or scared by? And if the timing is so goddamn delicate for him, why can't he simply be expected to say what he wants? "Sorry, I don't want to have sex yet." There, is that so hard?


Blogger jeremy said...

Ugh, I agree with all this, but especially with your disgust with the statement in the first paragraph.

4:09 PM  

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