Category Archives: sexual frustration

Are all men potential rapists? No.

victim

Prostitution should be legal to stop men turning into hormone-fuelled rapists. That’s not my opinion, but Dr Catherine Hakim’s. Hakim is a “social scientist” — using the term loosely — who argues that the sex industry could reduce sex crimes because men want sex more often than women.

“The male demand for sexual activity is going to manifest itself in some way or another and decriminalising prostitution would make it easier for men to go to prostitutes,” she told Pat Kenny on Newstalk.

There are a couple of things we need to discuss here, but to begin let’s deal with Hakim’s outrageous assertion that the average man will turn to rape if he doesn’t get enough sex.

First off, and most importantly, it’s not true. Not even a little bit. But she is not the first one to suggest it. You may remember the SlutWalk movement from a few years ago. This was sparked by Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer, who argued that if women wanted to prevent themselves getting raped then they should “avoid dressing like sluts.” Hakim and Sanguinetti both see male sexuality as dangerous, uncontrollable and prone to violence. But if sexual frustration, or short skirts, turned generally decent men into sexual predators, then a whole lot more men would be rapists.

Here’s the important thing to remember: rape is common; rapists are not.

An 2002 American study found that only 6 percent of men in the US have committed rape. However most rapists have multiple victims and will continue raping until they are caught and jailed. Unfortunately very few are. In the US, 98 percent never spend any time in jail.The States has a population of over 320 million people. If roughly half of the country is male, then that 6 percent translates into approximately 9,600,000 rapists.

Unfortunately we don’t have figures for Ireland and so I am forced to extrapolate from international data, which is definitely less than ideal as the cultural context makes a huge difference. But bearing this in mind, in 2013 the UN published a study on sexual violence which surveyed over 10,000 men in Asia. Nearly half of the rapists they interviewed had multiple victims. Interestingly enough, these rapists would agree with Hakim — The UN study found that rapists justified their behaviour by claiming that men can’t help themselves and that because of that, they are entitled to women’s bodies.

The idea that men are slaves to their hormones and think with their dicks is not a new one — but it is not very old either. In the Middle Ages it was generally believed that women had insatiable sexual appetites, which made them akin to animals, while men were more cerebral and less prone to carnal thoughts. At some point this changed. Social historians have traced the flipping of this script to the influences of Victorian ‘idealism’ in England and evangelical Protestantism in the United States during the 19th century. By arguing that women were not that sexual after all, women could claim some sort of moral and intellectual equality with men.

Hakim argues that men are twice as interested in sex as women and that this is true across all ages and cultures. She sees this as biological, instead of cultural. However, it is impossible to divorce culture from our sexual attitudes. People in liberal cultures are more likely to have liberal attitudes to sex; people in conservative countries generally hold conservative attitudes to sex. The way we think about sex influences our sexual behaviour. It also influences what we are prepared to admit to researchers.

A 2013 study found that men and women routinely lie to researchers about their sexual behaviour, even in anonymous studies. When they are hooked up to a lie detector, men report fewer partners and women more. Since Western culture tells men they ought to be studs, and tells women we shouldn’t be “sluts” we tend to lie, to ourselves and others, that our sexual behaviour is in line with dominant cultural attitudes. If men are more interested in sex, well, that’s because Western culture “allows” them to be. This is true of much of the world, especially when you consider that the English speaking world, and Europe, are generally more sexually liberal than the Middle and Far East and much of Africa.

Let’s talk a bit about Hakim. Essentially she is Katie Hopkins with a vaguely academic twist — prone to making controversial claims, which she tries to justify with references to academic research. You could say her views on men are downright misandrist, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But Hakim has about as much respect for women too.

You might have heard of Hakim when her book Honey Money was released in 2011. In it Hakim claimed that women should use their “erotic capital” to snag a rich man while young, and because of that, women would be better off going to the gym than college. Hakim listed all kinds of studies to back up her assertion that this was in a woman’s best interest — and she argued that most women would prefer being a trophy wife to having a career. Hakim doesn’t do any original research herself and she was criticised for her sloppy understanding of statistics, for misinterpreting scholarly research, for a poorly argued and contradictory theory and for misrepresenting her affiliation with the London School of Economics. In other words, you’d want to take anything she says with a large dose of salt.

As I am sure you’re aware, Amnesty International has recently been debating the merits of decriminalising the global sex industry and has said that the right to sell sex is a human right. This has set off a firestorm of opinions. Many sex workers and advocates praised Amnesty for this stance; others, including former sex workers, academics, advocates and even Hollywood stars condemned the proposal as one which will empower pimps and exploiters instead of the men and women in the sex industry.

There are many arguments to support the legalisation of the sex industry; and many arguments against it, but that’s a topic for a different column. However you feel about legalising sex work, claiming that it will prevent rape is nonsense. For one thing, even in countries where prostitution is illegal, it is not hard to find sex workers. What’s more, except in the handful of countries where buying sex is illegal, it is the sex worker, not the client, who is at the mercy of the law. By and large across the world men have access to prostitutes if they want them.

Rape is rarely about sexual need, desire or pleasure. It’s about power, control and sexual entitlement. The UN study found that more than 70 percent of the rapists they interviewed claimed they raped because they were entitled to women’s bodies; 40 percent said they were angry or wanted to punish the woman; and around half of them said they did not feel guilty about their actions.

Whatever benefits or disadvantages there are to legalising prostitution, it is not going to have any effect on rape. In fact sex workers are at a greater risk of rape than other women. It is estimated that they have a 45 to 75 percent chance of being a victim of sexual violence at some point.

Hakim, like Katie Hopkins, has become rich and famous by making contentious statements. They both love the glare of media attention and will do, or say, anything to make sure we give it to them. I wish I didn’t have to give her any. But unlike Hopkins, Hakim claims to be an authority and expert. Her latest assertions are false, dangerous, and hugely insulting to men. Ignoring her is not really an option.

Smaller Balls, Better Dad

VOICE ACTIVATED SEX TOYS
Sex toy company Nalone has released a range of nine sex toys that respond to the user’s moans – the louder and faster you are, the faster the toy vibrates keeping time with your responses. Whisper and the toy responds slightly, while loud noises or music will produce strong vibrations. The toys use touch technology and electro magnetic pulses to allow users to customise their vibrating patterns. Clever!

 

SMALL BALLS, BETTER DAD

I’m not sure how anyone is going to feel about this, but Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia has released a study that found that men with small testicles make better fathers and are more involved in their children’s upbringing. The research team used MRI scans to measure the volume of the testicles of fifty-five fathers and the men – and the mothers of their children answered questions to determine how hands-on they are as dads. The blokes with smaller testicles got the best parenting scores and were seen as the most nurturing. Fifty-five men is not exactly a huge sample group, and other academics have described the result as “very surprising.” The Emory University researchers did note that being involved with your children is largely a matter of choice, however.

 

SEX LESSONS FOR CHINESE WOMEN

Be glad you have access to hundreds of sex advice books if you need them: women in China are apparently so starved for sexual information that they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to learn how to have sex. A number of sex coaches are said to be tapping the Chinese market and reports say that the demand for information is high. Many young people leave school without even cursory sexual education, and conservative social mores means people are reluctant to talk about sex publicly. Studies seem to confirm this: in 2010, a report from Peking University claimed that half of sexually active unmarried people in China have unprotected sex; another study found that only 9 percent of Chinese know how to put a condom on properly. Yikes!

 

SEXTON’S MISCELLANY – PORN FOR WOMEN

Dusk TV, an adult cable station, held its first “Porna Awards” this Saturday – porna being their word for porn aimed at female viewers. A panel of than more 1,700 women watched and rated porn films and these seven were nominated:

Your Orgasm Inside Me – Dane Jones

Cabaret Desire – Erika Lust

The Kiss – Kendo

Aphrodite Superstar – Candida Royalle

A Taste Of Joy – Petra Joy

Don Juan’s Therapist – Nica Noelle

Skin. Like. Sun. – Jennifer Lyon Bell

Petra Joy’s A Taste Of Joy won the overall award. Joy uses non-professionals, often couples, in her work and makes women’s pleasure central to the storyline.

5 reasons you’re not having sex

There are five major reasons a couple stops having sex. That’s according to the sex therapist Marty Klein. Here they are:

It’s not fun
If sex is not enjoyable, not wanting it isn’t dysfunctional – it’s sense. Sex can become boring if a couple doesn’t bother with foreplay, gets stuck in a rut or focuses too much on orgasm. Long-term couples also tend to kiss less, which leads to less arousal and less enjoyable sex.

You feel bad
When you’re angry, sad, or hurt, or when you feel guilty, ashamed, or anxious, pleasure can be impossible, and frequent arguments make sex less likely.

Ouch
If sex is painful it becomes less appealing. Sex can hurt when a woman isn’t aroused enough, because you have an unresolved medical issue or because you are not as young and limber as you used to be.

Your partner’s not keen
If your partner seems bored. Even if he or she is technically proficient, you don’t feel special or desired. A partner’s enthusiasm is arousing, while apathy has the opposite effect. 

Lack of routine
Even though you don’t want to be repeating the same moves over and over, if you’ve been together for a while, you should know each other’s sexual likes and dislikes. If you don’t, sex can become a battleground and a power struggle.

This is all very depressing, but says Klein, there is an easy answer – communication. Ask questions of your partner and talk less about what you don’t want and more about what you do.

Quarter of British women don’t have sex!

Yikes! According to a poll done by Sky Real Lives, 25% of UK women over 35 years old never have sex. The figure rises to 38% in Scotland. The same poll also found that almost all women suffer from violent mood swings during their period. I wonder how exactly these two findings are related…

You can read the full story here.

According to Toby Young (author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People) this is because men have become so feminized that they are not really men any more. Interesting, but I ain’t buying it. Read his take here.

Frustrated? You bet ya!

Bad news, folks. We are Europe’s most sexually frustrated nation – only 47% of us are satisfied with our sex lives. A quarter of us have sex four to six times a week, which is pretty good going, and presumably the rest are jealous!Irish ladies need to up their game though – 80% of men feel sex isn’t spontaneous enough. Put down that glass of wine, switch off the Sex and the City box set and do something about it, girls. That’s a very poor showing…Personally I am in the unhappy 53% at the moment, but that’s just because my lovely boyfriend isn’t here right now to sort me out. But that’s par for the course… Does anybody else get incredibly sexually frustrated when they are working? Or is that just me? Ho hum… Probably doesn’t help that I am working at home right now and have been looking at porn sites though…Talking of which, check out YouPorn. It’s basically a completely adult version of YouTube – mostly videos of real people having sex, and some hentai and 3D stuff as well. Vaguely addictive…