A while back, Midlifebloggers linked to a piece on A Womans Page. The piece was about sex and the research into a female version of viagra. The opening paragraph set me off:
Men are really simple when it comes to sex. They see a woman, they get an erection, they want sex. It’s basic, pretty much guilt- and thought- free until, heavens forbid, it won’t get hard! Then it’s like a natural disaster.
And, it got worse:
Women are complex creatures when it comes to sexuality, and understanding what drives us is not a cut and dried answer. For many of us, the desire for sexual contact starts in the brain rather than in the genitals. We are more emotion driven and therefore more sensitive to all the factors that come into play when two people contemplate sex. We want connection, maybe commitment, we want to be stimulated before intercourse and cuddled afterwards. And, sometimes the person we’re in bed with just ain’t doing a good enough job. There’s no drug to fix that.
I can’t deny that there is a difference between the sexes in terms of the ol’ sex drive. However, the stereoptyes contained in this piece just provide the excuses for men and women to continue on with those differences without challenging themselves to do two things:
1. See the people in front of them as the individuals as they are.
2. Doing something to break the stereotype for themselves.
That’s the problem with stereotypes. If we accept them, we’re stuck with them. Hell, if that’s all men are capable of, I guess I should just go out and boink every woman I see. Oh, look boobs, let’s get it done. On the other hand, women are excused from trying a little harder to meet the sex drive of their mates. Sorry, but you haven’t cuddled with me — I’m not feeling the connection right now — and, as a woman, I need that before I can open my mind to the idea of getting it done.
The larger problem is that it completely discounts the simple reality that people are individuals. Men do not all view sex the same way. They do not view all women the same way. Same with women.
Yeah, there’s a piece of me that wouldn’t mind the opportunity to have meaningless, emotionless, commitment-free sex every now and then. OK, maybe more frequently than every now and then. But, you know what I want more than that? The opportunity to make love to a woman who I’ve connected with in a way that goes beyond anything you can possibly imagine. To make love to a woman who knows my soul and who has bared her soul to me. To make love to a woman who has shared her innermost fears and most fervent desires. To make love to a woman who know me and my history. To make love to a woman who has opened herself to me and accepted me warts and all. And, I just realized that was written all wrong. It’s not about me “making love to” a woman. It’s about having this phenomenal emotional, intimate, and physical relationship with a woman where making love is something that comes naturally and mutually. I’ll take that over stupid sex any day. And, I’m willing to bet there are a hell of a lot of men out there like that. But, you know, we’ve got these stereotypes. They make it far easier to put people into boxes. That way we can let our assumptions guide us rather than doing the hard work of getting to know the real person standing or sitting in front of us.
It’s a shame. Imagine the beauty that would exist in this world and in our relationships if we could get past the stereotypes.