"That's the ho spirit!" - Molly, Insecure. Sex is one of those things that nearly everyone has an opinion about. Although people are generally hesitant to talk about their own sex lives, ask them what they think about what others are doing behind closed doors and you'll probably get an earful. People in our society frown upon being promiscuous, but every where we turn, we are being sold sex. In music, movies, television, and THE INTERNET (this site included) we are bombarded with sexually suggestive messages (and sometimes it’s blatant). It is no wonder why we want it all the time and it is no wonder why people have multiple partners throughout their lives.
Anti-promiscuity morality originated to maximize the likelihood that fathers would support their children. Another commonly-suggested alternative explanation was that anti-promiscuity morality serves primarily to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among the general population. I’m skeptical about this alternative hypothesis, but I’ll use it here to illustrate a larger point: evolutionary theory can illuminate the obscure and non-conscious sources of our moral beliefs, including our beliefs about the sex lives of others.
I like sex, no I love sex, but I haven't always been so open about it. Like many of you, I used to look down on those who enjoyed sex and a lot of it until someone turned me out (but thats another post.)When I was younger and less experienced – back in the bad old days – I liked sex but didn’t really know much about it. Less of a case of not understanding the mechanics or only routine in my repertoire being “writing letters with my tongue” but about human sexuality. I had absorbed a lot of misinformation about sex and sexuality from the culture I grew up in. As far as I knew, sex was something of a transaction: guys bargained, cajoled, argued, convinced, begged their partners into performing some sex act. Sometimes reluctantly, sometimes with enthusiasm but rarely without some form of negotiation. The fact that men wanted sex was something of an inconvenience at best, something actually shameful at worst. Being called a pervert – if, say, you were caught watching and enjoying porn, was among the worst things you could label a guy.
Dating was always a dance; while we both knew that sex was a possibility, I had to take care to not express any overt interest in it lest I look like a pervert who only wanted to fuck. I had to display enough value in order to make it worth someones time to give me the opportunity to try to persuade them into sleeping with me. It was exhausting and it meant that I wasn’t treating them as a person but as a vault whose combination I had to learn in order to get inside.
And from talking to my friends… I was decidedly not the only one who felt that way. We all felt the annoyance that we had to pretend that we didn’t want what we so obviously did and the frustration that you would immediately be called a hoe because gay men are already oversexualized and just wanting sex.
It took quite a bit of effort to break out of the antagonistic view of sex and realize that it was ok to want sex.
The way our culture defines male sexuality is problematic to say the least. We’re constantly beset with conflicting messages about just how a man is supposed to be, sexually. Male sexuality is equally something to be scoffed at, ashamed of and celebrated… as long as you don’t deviate from the accepted norm.
On the one hand, male sexuality is portrayed as one of constant horniness. Men are supposed to get rock-hard erections at the merest hint of stimulus (such as, say, a stiff breeze…)– we don’t need no silly “foreplay” or anything so silly as “setting the mood”.
For a man, according to the common message, sex is the alpha and omega of our lives. If you’re not interested in sex, you are not a man. We will do almost anything in the name of getting laid – travelling across the country on the hint that we might have sex, subject ourselves to any number of indignities, lie about who we are or what we do or make any number of promises we may or may not have intend to keep. Sex is a part of everything we do as men.
Men are expected to want to fuck as much as possible, restricting oneself to just a single person is jokingly referred to being “tied down”. Any number of people will happily provide any number of reasons and explanations – ranging from evolutionary psychology to the effects of testosterone – as to why men should not be expected to be monogamous and should instead be free to spread their seed as far and wide as possible.
At the same time, however, male sexuality is also seen as a joke or even something to be ashamed of.
Should we be mad at this? We all know that sex is good and we also know that it is healthy. How can we look down on someone for doing something that is enjoyable as often as possible? We should actually be happy for them because they are able to acquire such pleasure in their lives. I admire happy people and strive to be one myself and so should you.