A better compendium of clueless people would be hard to find than this article from the New York Observer
. It's about fuck buddies. It goes to show that while it might be easy to shake off the belief that you have to be in love with someone to have sex, it's hard as hell to shake off sexist stereotypes of how men and women feel about love and sex.
First of all, the writer commits the number one sin of these pieces, which is to assume that since her life circumstances are changing, then the world is changing.
Indeed, a few months ago, when The Onion gave us the faux headline, "Fuck Buddy Becomes Fuck Fiancé," it raised a valid question: Where have all the fuckers gone?
Have they all gotten married?
I called Kyle Smith, author of Love Monkey, part of the fledgling "lad-lit" genre. "Fuck buddies are an urban legend," he said. "You never hear of them anymore."
But you did hear about them in the 90’s.
Since it's harder for her to get a fuck buddy than it was in the 90's, it must mean that casual sex is out. Of course, she might find that if she suddenly became the same age she was in the 90's, it might not be as hard to find a fuck buddy. To put it simply--the world isn't getting older and stuffier, my friends. But we are.
Of course it's harder to screw around at 30 than 20! Of course the men you date will start wanting more--dating, marriage, babies. People grow up, for god's sake. And thank god. Right out of adolescence, dating is a nightmare. Guys are firmly trained to loathe girls in high school and it's difficult for them to transistion from heaping hate to actually being nice to one. But now I'm older and the men I know like women. Of course, this does mean that men you date might come on a little hard with the relationship stuff, but no one ever promised sex and dating would be perfect.
The author then speaks to a woman who is exactly my age who has a hole in her thinking so large you could drive a truck through it.
"People have started calling me ‘Mansley,’" said a pretty 27-year-old blonde named Ansley, "because I’m more of a guy than the people I hook up with. Tell me, when did all the dudes freaking turn into chicks? For my last fuck buddy, I made sure I chose a total player—and yet, once he realized I was only in it for the sex, he lost it. He actually screamed at me, ‘Listen, I am not a piece of meat!’"
This young woman works at Coyote Ugly (ugh), and doesn't seem to grasp that the reason that the "total player" might not have liked being used like he was using her is that in his mind, he's a person and she's the piece of meat. It's emasculating to be used for sex like men often use women--she inadvertently confirms this by calling him (sigh) a "pussy" and a "chick".
The author also interviews Candida Royalle, who I would think would be a teeny bit smarter than this, but no.
Turning a guy into a fuck buddy isn’t as easy as one might think, as former porn star Candida Royalle discovered when she slept with an acquaintance. "I hadn’t made any bones about the fact that it was just sex, and we’d both had fun and thank you very much," she said. "Anyway, after I turned down his invitation to go out, he got so upset—he said he felt used and asked me how could I treat him like that and blah blah blah. I was shocked!"
Okay, it's annoying. But shocking? I mean, how much more can a guy spell it out--does he have to say, "In my world men use women, not the other way around?"
The stereotype, repeated by some clueless young men in this story, is that women have sex for love and men have sex for sex. This is a very, very, very self-serving myth for men. If you are a guy and you believe this, then it means every gasp of pleasure, every smoldering look is all because she is head over heels in love, even if you are clearly just using her. For whatever reason, one of the most flattering things in the world is to be adored without giving back. But if women can just have sex for its own sake "like a man", then men have to live with the fact that not everyone woman they've ever been with is necessarily breaking her heart over him.
Also, if women can have sex without being in love, then they have leverage to make demands. This is a huge issue for this young man:
"But when the female makes it abundantly clear that she too wants some romping good fun, then suddenly the possibility that we can’t provide is readily in our faces. An aggressive girl suggests two things: sexual experience and a demand to be pleased herself. These things are terribly frightening to a guy. Why do you think we all love 16-year-olds?"
When someone is "in love" with someone who can just walk away laughing, the "in love" person has no power. (Except to give up, which she should do.) It's just easier to sleep with someone who is afraid to make demands for fear you'll leave and she'll be tarnished a "slut", isn't it? This prince of a man keeps going:
"The last girl I had sex with told me ahead of time that she would only sleep over on the condition that I set the alarm clock for 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, because she had a ton of stuff to do the next day. I thought she was kidding—until we both woke up the next morning for a little morning sex, and, within two minutes of completion, she had her clothes on and was out the door. No breakfast, no cuddling, no nothing. Needless to say, that was the last time we slept together."
(Note to women in the New York area: This young man gives his name and age--Dan Madigan, 21. Do not sleep with him. He will whine if destroy the illusion that you are just a sex toy by mentioning that you have a job and a life and stuff. Jesus.)
The article closes with a quote from a couple of people who make sense--a young woman who points out that guys don't like girls who might be in it just for sex because it's an ego blow. (Once more with feeling--after all, who doesn't want adoration to be his due?) And the other is Erica Jong, who makes it a bit simplistic, but at least shows some common sense:
"It just goes to prove how utterly fucked up the male sex is," said 62-year-old Erica Jong, the author of Fear of Flying. "Men are trying to protect themselves from being hurt, and in a way, women are, too—protecting themselves from being hurt by taking on the male mannerisms."
Well, yes and no. I don't think women who enjoy casual sex are necessarily lying to themselves to protect their ego. But I do agree with her that the idea that men only want sex is the biggest lie of all, and it's one that was built specifically to protect the male ego.