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May 28, 2008

Men don't want virgins and women lie about sex...

Much has happened in terms of sexual liberation for women in the 21st century: Cleavage competed with koala bears and gave chick magazines more shelf-space than a Readers’ Digest or National Geographic, Aung Su Kyi was forgotten while Carrie Bradshaw’s stiletto-ed serial man-changing became the beacon for new womanhood and Coupling showed where the modern relationship was going with a boyfriend watching his girlfriend’s with-ex-sex video to see if she did things any differently ‘back then’…

For long feminists have screamed hoarse about men’s double standards when it comes to sex: How men have a different set of rules for themselves and another book for women, how a man who’s had many women is a ‘stud’ while a girl who gives up her hymen before she marries the Right One is a ‘slut’ and how a man will gladly sleep with a woman with prior sexual experience but will look at a virgin when it comes to marriage. If latest surveys are to be believed, it seems the feminists have still much longer to cry: Sexually experienced women might be seen as liberated and ‘sexier’ but they are also seen as scarier!

The latest Kinsey Institute study (published April issue of Archives of Sexual Behaviour) suggests that while younger men feel threatened by sexually experienced women the older men find them desirable and arousing. But that was the result when the men were asked about the kind of women/woman they like to have sex with, would the results be any different if the research was on the kind of wife a man looked for? Given pre-marital sex is still frowned upon in India and arranged marriages are the norm for the majority, one wondered about the results in an Indian context…

In a survey of 25 people – 13 women, 12 men, single, all working in industries that demand close man-woman interaction and all of whom have equal opportunities when it comes to meeting and mating with the opposite sex – the answers one received were startling. For one, most of the women polled DEMANDED their men have prior sexual experience…

The orgasm is my birthright
The first question was common to both men and women: Would you like your partner to be sexually experienced?

Of the women polled, 69 % want their men with prior sexual experience, 23 % didn’t mind someone without experience and only 8 % insisted on their man being a virgin. For all the newfound sexual forthrightness of women, men are still supposed to take the lead when it comes to bedroom antics. Women, irrespective of their having prior experience or not, would rather have a man who is not a virgin. Why? “I am looking for a boyfriend/ husband and not a child who needs to know stories about bees and birds,” says one 25-year-old feisty woman. For another it does not matter if he has any experience “as long as he is attentive”. Someone who knows the moves and someone who is attentive: From holding on to their ‘virtue’ for the Right One, the focus for the girls seems to have shifted to ‘what’ the Right One does for them. In other words, the pressure is on the man to keep the woman happy.

The pressure’s showing on the men as well and it’s perhaps no surprise that the younger lot is ‘scared’ of demanding, sexually experienced women. If on one hand there is performance anxiety about being compared to past lovers, there is now the added pressure of even inexperienced women having high magazine-propagated expectations of a man’s bedroom prowess. Despite men being considered sexually hypocritical when it comes to the marriage market – and wanting to marry virgins – the men polled were quite open-minded towards women with prior sexual experience. While 54 % men were happy with their partner whether a virgin or not, 46 % insisted on preferring women with prior experience: A case of the stereotype of what men consider ‘ideal wife material’ changing or simply a case of the men giving politically correct answers? Further probing revealed it could well be the latter, but with both men and women being equally hypocritical…

Heard about too much experience?
The second question, though fundamentally the same, was tweaked a bit for the guys and girls keeping in mind the assumption that men are considered more sexually active than women. The men were asked if they were okay with their partner having slept with three men (or more) while the women were asked the same but with their partners having slept with eight or more women.

Despite majority of the men and women saying they were okay with the idea of a sexually experienced partner, the limit to what each group considered ‘experienced’ differed. A whopping 76 % of the men polled said while they were okay with their partner’s prior experience though they’d rather not know details or numbers. Only 14 % said they would be bothered if their girlfriend/partner had had sex with more than three men.

Compared to the men, only 23 % of the women polled were comfortable with their husband/partner having had multiple sexual encounters while 73 % said they would be decidedly uncomfortable if their man had “slept with the whole world”. Even the women who said they were okay with their man having had multiple partners were comfortable “only if he was in relationships with those women and not just one night stands.” Some women however felt “More than six or eight intimate relationship in case of a man mostly suggests he treats women as play things, has no integrity and is absolutely unstable”. Can the same then be said about women who have had relationships with three or more men? Not so, declare the girls and insist women cannot be ‘judged’ on the same terms because women would have multiple partners only when “forced to” or when past relationships didn’t work out. Somehow that does not quite gel and sounds like women resorting to the same double standards they have hitherto accused the men of…

Let sleeping dogs ‘lie’…
Finally both men and women were asked if they would be forthcoming in talking about their past relationships with their partners. The answers were far from comfortable…

For long magazines and feminists alike have demanded that when it comes to sex, men and women should be judged equally. ‘If a man can sleep around so can a girl’ be the cry for equality. Women today seem to be doing exactly what the men were earlier accused of and getting away with it in the name of bridging the gender divide. For instance, in a scene from Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway’s character has a one-night stand with a colleague when she is on a break-up-to-think-things-over with her boyfriend. Had it been a man in a similar situation he would have been labeled a slime ball and an opportunist who didn’t waste time in sleeping with another woman. Since it was a girl though the situation was deemed as her “finding her own footing” and giving men a taste of their own medicine. Equality or reversed hypocrisy again?

When asked about discussing past relationships, 76 % of the men polled said they would be completely honest with their partner, though a majority said, “only when she asked for it”. Only 15 % said they would “downplay” the number of partners but mostly only if their partner was inexperienced. Again for the men, they did not have many hang ups about their partner’s past life as long as they were told about it and did not “find out after marriage” according to one and as long as “she did not keep bringing up her past”. For the women though, they were more curious about their partner’s past life and more forthcoming in volunteering information about their own… with a clandestine twist.

Of the women polled, 31 % said they will be happy to talk about their past relationships while 69 % said, “Only after editing bits here and there”. While most women seemed okay with discussing heartbreaks, almost all – barring those who have had no sexual experience – were hesitant about discussing numbers with their partners. If relationships are built on trust, does it not tantamount to lying? The girls don’t think so, as one 25-year-old put it, “Never about past experiences. I did it once and it was always brought up every time something went wrong. The number of men should not matter, everyone has a past and it’s not something you can change.” However, it’s not about the unchangeable past that has women “editing” details. As one woman put it, “In my experience guys don't usually want to hear about it.”

So while women seem to be marching towards more sexual freedom and demanding their men come with a “has done it” certificate, they would withhold information about their own experience. If earlier a man with multiple sexual partners was considered a ‘player’ and someone to be “scared of”, the Kinsey Institute study suggests that men are equally scared of “player” women. One wonders then, are we really breaking stereotypes and making ‘progress’ or is it a case of the entire sexual double standard and gender divide reversing, with women now becoming the new men?

PS: Would love to know your views on the above, do write in!

10 comments:

pugsieT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pugsieT said...

When i was 18 i found out that Feminism had many versions...one when women begin to ape the acts of men...i thought it decidedly silly, being equal does not imply same.

Secondly, in Chaucer's 'Wife of Bath', the wife lives up to the stereotypes propagated by men and simultaneously subverts them...she shows us the tools men use to manipulate women into being docile and uses them to her advantage...shes hypocritical, cunning, self-serving and extremely inspirational...it was the 13th century after all!

Point being-im not the above...but somehow i think that we are all, at some level, hypocrites...we accuse men of constructing us in a particular way and do it ourselves!!...we construct criticise and judge men and women BOTH!

basically, i dont think its 'wrong' to be a virgin and want someone experienced...or vice versa...at the end of the day...you have to both be happy..and if the experienced guy ends up wanting and getting the virgin...should we really comment?...i know my reflex would be to badmouth him..but given a chance to think about it...

id stick with...we all have freedom to make choices...and sometimes they're politically incorrect...make them but TRY and be honest about em'...

:D

that would be all!

Never Mind!! said...

I somehow never liked these surveys that come out periodically. More than a case of sexual liberation, I think it is liberation of speech. For ages, there have been both men and women who had multiple partners. But I believe talking openly about your pre-marital or extra marital affairs was a taboo. The only thing that has changed is that now people dont mind as much. (at least anonymously)

I mean that house wives still continue to have affairs while the husbands are away or husband sleep around while travelling on work but they now comeout in the open and acknowledge their affairs anonymously. If you had a similar poll right here on your blog, I wonder how many people would discuss would respond with their real names! I know I wouldnt.

Anonymous said...

I think having prefrences is okay. But insisting on them so much and rejecting people ONLY on that basis is a bit too much. i mean i just have this weird preference of not liking men with long hair but tomm if i somehow fall in love with a man who has long hair and non negotiably wants to keep them i won't break up only coz of the hair.
so maybe prefrences with an open mind would be cool.
i once knew a guy who said he wanted to be a virgin and wanted (hopefully, though i won't die if she isn't, he said) his girl also to be a virgin so that they could start explorations together...i thought it was cute-ish.
and an ex boyfriend made his model-actor girlfriend's life sooo sooo miserable because she's had three affairs before that she anyway scarred from the previous three relationships, chose to end her life! i am not saying the insistence of virginity resulted in her demise but some people are creepily obsessed with purity of a woman...er...whatever purity means.

as for me i'd have anyone who is willing to experiment, is comfortable with his body and mine, and is willing to spend doing stuff...virgin/non virgin who cares!

'N'

Social Rebel! said...
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Social Rebel! said...

That was incredible, the post and the comments especially ones written by pugsiet & anon.

i really believe we are a country of hypocrites or having dual standards, sheep walking(bhed chal in hindi) people. Be it Men or Women, we all use different scales when we are doing it, and when someone else is doing it...
Be it any issue.

i am emphasizing on our country as i find, we are not honest to ourselves, in our social structure.(also because i don't know much about people in other countries)

Man/woman things, reservation, marriage business, or whatever, we always have different scales to measure same stuff.

The example of 'devil wears prada' is so fair & beautiful, i was amazed JBo, that you can even think in this way, probably i had a different image of you...by reading your posts.

As i also wrote in my blog, virgin or no virgin, how does it matter, hymen is a fucking layer of skin,virginity lies in your mind & heart.

Even if you had n number of intimate encounters, whatever may be the reason, when you stick to a guy/gal for your union, what really matters in how much you care for him, your love ,dedication & honesty matters.
And trust me if your partner has it for you and you have for him, you will really enjoy intimacy with him/her,to the most you can,it will be a real beautiful feeling, despite any one of you having any number of partners before.

Bloody hell, do we stay with someone/ or marry someone for her/his sex organ?? i guess no...
A person can be physically virgin, does that make him any better human. Hey its just a skin, and does not make person any better/worse.
Look for the person and his feelings.
Look for their present and future, and shred the past, because there past was not yours, but future can be..

as someone says " it lies between your ears and not your legs", same is true about virginity, it lies in your mind...
- Ankit

Zorba said...

ah! jBo!


you have just written a miniature Masters and Johnson! kudos. loved to read this one. it really turned my mind - if notttthing else. gracia.

maxine said...

Partners having slept with eight or more.Hmm....If all eight or more had emotional bonding too,and all of it was a hard break up,I'll be worried about my turn too.Again,depends on the person and how both are involved in the relationship and whether you think its not silly to tell your partner you had veggie burger for lunch etc.

Discussing past relationships are a good way to know more about them closely,how they dealt with it etc.Editing doesnt necessarily mean lying.Details that never helps in building another relationship even if it may not break it,is okay to avoid.

What happened in Devil wears prada is fiction.A woman whos pissed off with her man or hurt etc would only want to hit/squeeze on his balls than let another have his way.Well..there could be rare examples but women would fail miserably in it if polled.

There is no gender divide reversing.There is only this threat to men that women can also be just like them and find another shag right next door.yuck.But the thought does make him behave I suppose.

Eve* aka JB said...

Pugsie ---> "being equal does not imply same", well said and I completely agree with that. However, without being too harsh on our kind, somewhere it feels as if we are stuck. Ages have been spent trying to get "balls"...somehow saying I have the "ovaries" to do something is not the same as "having the balls". In the women-dictator post, Crimson wrote how a woman's "tools" were her beauty and though we got into a debate there....unfortunately that ends up being the case, true or not. The point being: Men and women are different and the way they behave in situations is different too. What irks me about the whole virginity thing is NOT whether it's good or bad or not needed; it's the whole IDEA attached to having or not having a hymen. Similarly the whole idea behind taking "equality" as doing things "like men do" bothers me.

Nevermind ---> Where is the freedom then? Freedom is NOT in being clandestine when one partner's actions can hurt or undermine the other. Freedom is knowing that perhaps you (as in a man or woman) is say, NOT made for matrimony or monogamy and having the balls/ ovaries to stick with that decision and staying single and NOT giving in to societal norms by getting married or conferring to the "right image" and then fucking around and THEN saying "yes I do it because now the world accepts it more." That's plain screwed up.

'N' ---> Hmm, coming to terms with the past is often not easy particularly if people are mismatched. Choice is fine and by all means people should exercise it -- would make a democracy futile otherwise no? -- but AGAIN, one person's choice cannot be at the cost of the other.

Ankit ---> Thanks and well put.

Maxine -- > Completely agree that details about the past that don't add to the current relationship should be left out. However, if the partner considers such "omissions" as being mislead about the person s/he is with, then we need to re-think.

Zorba --> Thanks for your time reading this and making the effort to share your views.

Dee said...

Its a difficult topic to deal with and you have dealt with it very nicely..
Most men of our time want a financially-stable, strong, smart, VIRGIN woman.. Sometimes its a very tall order to fill, considering the men expecting this are not exactly amazing either... As for us women, we want a stud, money-machine, loyal man. which, lets face it is IMPOSSIBLE to find..
My husband and I before getting married broke up for some time and during that time, i was seeing this guy for sometime.. He was obsessed with knowing how i was in bed (to the point where he wanted to know, if we had made a sex tape!!).. This guy was nt even gr8 and i was just in a rebound relationship, he was nt even at my level professionally... Needless to say i dumped him and realized what an amazing guy i have in my husband.. I can tell my hubby most of the things and expect him to understand and even understand if he is being judgemental...
I guess men will men... and we women will be evil!! muahhhhahahha... :P