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Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs?

Society pressures men to initiate sexual relationships, yet punishes them when they express their sexual needs.

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If we're worried about people learning the wrong things from mainstream porn, then we should be giving everyone unflinchingly detailed sex education so that everyone understands just how limited mainstream porn is. Men aren't dumb beasts -- no more than women are wilting flowers -- and stereotypes are easily defeated by a complete picture of the world.


I've got three suggestions for how we can all start taking down awful conceptions of male sexuality -- and the word "creep" with them.

1) Sam summed it up best: " Accept male desire, and accept men's word when they talk about it."

Like most people, men want sex, and that's not a bad thing. Like everyone, men deserve to feel as though their sexuality is hot, awesome, delicious, valuable, and can be pleasurable for all parties in a consensual situation. Just as women shouldn't have to feel exploited when they have consensual sex, men shouldn't have to feel like they're exploiting someone when they have consensual sex. Just as more and more space is being made for forthright discussion of female sexuality, more and more space should be made for forthright discussion of male sexuality.

Of course there are inappropriate ways for men to express their desire, just as there are inappropriate ways for women to express their desire. For example, it's not okay for people of any sex to continue hitting on someone after that person has clearly asked them to stop. It's not okay for people in a position of power, like employers or clients, to use their position to harass or sexually intimidate people under their authority.

But these situations are a far cry from creating more dialogue in appropriate places -- like gender studies classes or blogs -- about male sexuality. They're also a far cry from giving men like my S&M friend the benefit of the doubt when they join conversations about desire.

2) " Male sexuality should be approached from the concept of pleasure rather than accomplishment," writes machina, a blog commenter.

Men are under so much pressure to get busy all the time that even when they're having sex, their own pleasure may be less central than meeting the stereotype of how dudes are supposed to get laid. For some men, the stereotypes do kinda represent their desires; for some, the stereotypes don't work at all. A man who's the top partner in anal sex with his girlfriend might be scoring big according to popular consensus ... but if what he really craves is for her to peg him with a strap-on, then he's not actually scoring at all. Even a guy who contentedly loves anal sex might have the chance at mind-blowing sexual paradise if he decided to risk something new, to think outside the box.

Linking sex to accomplishment rather than pleasure also leads to some men caring more about getting it done than their partners' consent. It's obvious that the "I can smell your pussy" guy, for example, was more concerned with making a show than having a mutually hot experience.

3) Which brings me to my last thought: Let's all discourage sexuality that's actually predatory or non-consensual.

Obviously, most people aren't rapists, and as HughRistik says: "I don’t think an individual man deserves to feel that his sexuality is toxic merely because he is a man and other men have displayed their sexuality in toxic ways." But assault and harassment are real problems, causing real anxieties. (And not just for women.  I've heard stories about how men's boundaries are routinely ignored; one example is women who, while exploring naked fun with some happy gentleman, will initiate condomless sex without even asking if he's cool with that.)

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