Women are sexual beings, yes, this is a truth we already know. But another truth is the double standard in our society and the ease with which ‘man’ can essentially do as he pleases. Meanwhile, women are left to struggle beneath the magnifying glass as men are glorified for their sexual conquests.
The question is then, where do these double standards come from? And the answer lies within history. From the beginning of time women have been portrayed as the docile sex. We are demure, sensitive and highly emotional, often being accused of irrationality. Then we are described as being left to fight the uncontrollable sexual desires and advances of men. So, this is how we are categorized… and then put neatly in our place in the home or at the reception desk.
Thankfully though, over the years in a tough battlefield women have been able to rectify their spot in society and contribute to our constantly growing culture. We are almost seen as equal. There is one unfortunate aspect that is still forefront, and that’s the struggle to be recognized as highly sexual beings. A very important issue though is that most women are unsure of their own sexuality and feed into the societal norms of female sexuality. We let men dominate with their self-proclaimed sexual energy and insatiable desire to ‘bang her.’
Journalist Daniel Bergner has just released his second book on female sexuality and opens the discussion to hopefully paint a true picture of what female sexuality actually is: sordid, ravenous and animalistic. Bergner’s book, What Do Women Want is a collection of scientific findings, interviews and observations that really re-examine women as sexual beings. He unearths information through science, history and scrutiny to debunk the unnatural assumption that men are ‘hardwired’ to be more sexual than women. According to Bergner, women are NOT more docile and may actually be less committed to monogamy while also being harder to satisfy.
So why is it now that people are beginning to figure out this nonsense and why hasn’t anyone noticed that we are wildly diverse? It’s because men are scared of what women may achieve if our true Eros is ever unleashed. In many interviews, Bergner mentions a few male friends who had read his book and felt deeply ‘concerned’ while other male friends mentioned it ‘scared the bejesus out of them.’ A lot can be taken from these reactions, as well as from the normal Western Judeo/Christian views on female sexuality that have barely budged.
Men have been dictating on our behalf what our desires should be, how we should react to certain situations, how we should feel and what we should do with our sexuality. If they are concerned now, than it is we who should be feeling empowered. As teenagers and young 20-somethings, a lot of us have been told that women don’t like sex; we do it as sort of a trade off. If we want a loving monogamous husband and beautiful children then we must submit sexually. Our desires are not important and we really should not be acting upon them. It’s also been noted in history that men tried to dampen and constrain women’s sexual energy by discouraging fantasy that they rely on to keep the energy high.
Within the book, Bergner also discusses a lot of social constructs and uses them as an excuse for women’s lack of sexuality in their everyday life. He says social structures can blind us to reality, with monogamy being one of the major culture cages that distorts our understanding of female desire. Now, there is nothing wrong with monogamy and there are plenty of happy and successful relationships that are based on it, but to say that women only strive for a relationship with one man as their end-all-be-all is completely incorrect.
Monogamy can even be blamed for the flagging sex drive in women over 40. According to Bergner, even the hormonal decrease of menopause can be entirely overridden by the appearance of a new sexual partner. He mentions psychologist Kim Wallen’s discovery of the “thought that monogamy was, for women, a cultural cage — one of many cultural cages — [that] distorts libido.”
These findings are only the beginning to a long journey of sexual exploration. Pick up the book and encourage other women to read it too. This information is powerful and can help women reach complete equality. As for enhancing your libido now, why not try a few of these tips…
- Watch Porn. Just like men, we love anything visually appealing and what’s hotter than watching someone else get it on… or someone else enact the fantasies we most want ourselves. Watching porn can get our blood pumping and open our eyes to the variety of sex out there. Porn can help us discover what we didn’t already know and may even introduce us to a fantasy we never knew we had. Our sexuality is constantly changing and constantly progressing.
- Be a Flirt. Even if you’re attached, try flirting with the hot bartender on your girl’s night. It will be thrilling and can spark a passion within you that has been itching to ignite. If you aren’t attached, go as far as getting his number. You aren’t that shy and you aren’t that docile. Break out of the shell society has placed us in and explore your sexuality. You may find a sultry new side…
- Try Swinging. If you are with a partner suggest a swinger’s club. There are no expectations and everyone stays true to their comfort zone. It could be an eye-opening experience for you and your partner, and who knows, perhaps you will both learn something new. If you’re single, don’t feel bad about giving your number out to that guy, or exchanging a kiss with a stranger. Don’t be afraid of the labels of ‘whore’ or ‘slut.’ They are merely categories constructed by fearful people. You are a woman, you are strong and you are empowered.
- Act Out All Your Fantasies. Don’t be ashamed of something you want to try. There is nothing wrong with sexual fantasies, as they are the life energy force that keeps our sexuality going. Just remember that there is no fantasy that is deviant or gross. Exploring our sexual side is completely natural and actually quite necessary. So next time you want to be tied up, or you want to do the tying up, don’t hesitate to bring it up to your partner.
- Back Off From Oral Contraceptives. There is considerable new research that shows negative side effects from the contraceptive pill, and one of them happens to be a lower libido. Women who take the pill will have lower testosterone, which regulates our sex drive.