The Most Important Thing That Men Who Have Sex With Women Need to Know
The amazing Logan Levkoff has stirred up a hornet’s nest of angry guys. First, she wrote a post called 5 Ways to Get Your Wife to Have More Sex With You, which is full of useful tips for heterosexual men who want to improve their sex lives. Now, I have to say that there are a lot of generalizations in there, but having talked with Logan quite a few times, I can confidently say that she wrote that way because it’s a limit of the medium.
Blogs and websites (especially mainstream ones or Fox) don’t usually want you to write with qualifiers like “some people like this…” or “a lot of people experience that…” Sweeping statements make for easier soundbites, as well as more controversy and comments, and therefore, more traffic. But in real life, Logan uses the same language that every other top notch sex educator uses: some/many/most. So don’t blame her for using generalizations.
In any case, Logan got a flood of emails, many of which were hateful, angry, and insulting. She wrote about it on Huffington Post, in an article called Why Some Men Aren’t Getting Laid and it’s got me thinking.
First off, I’m not surprised to hear that she was called “called every name in the book, plus a few [she] had never heard before.” Insulting someone is one of the most common ways that people try to shame women who step out of line. It’s especially common for women who write, blog, or teach around sex. Many of the women sex bloggers I’ve spoken with have been on the receiving end of it, although I can write many of the same things and never hear a peep.
But more importantly, it’s amazing to me how many of these guys took the time to write long emails to her. I mean, if they took the same amount of time to do something sweet for their partners, I’m willing to bet that the payoff would be much more fun.
What all of this really highlights is that there’s a lot of anger and resentment among these guys. Resentment is one of the most common reasons that relationships fail. Therapists often say that couples come to them saying that they’re having sexual difficulties and when they start to actually talk about it, it turns out that there are all sorts of old resentments, hidden anger, and miscommunications. If you want sex to work, especially in a long-term relationship, you need to deal with whatever’s going on between you.
If you think that the fact that your partner has never said anything to you about what’s going on for her means that everything is ok, you’re due for a rude awakening. All relationships have stuff that needs to get worked out. All relationships need to be tended to or they fall apart. And rather than blaming your partner for not saying anything, maybe you could look at what you might do to invite that conversation to happen. “No news is good news” is a great way to end up miserable and/or divorced.
Logan also touched on a raw nerve when she wrote:
Snuggle, Don’t Grope. You’re in the mood, so you reach out and grab us\’our breasts, butt, or genitals, that is. Guys, believe me when I tell you that this is the biggest sin you can commit when trying to seduce a woman. It will not send us into an orgasmic swoon. (And, hey, if it does, you don’t need my advice, right?). Neither will groping us in the kitchen while we’re unloading the dishwasher.
Of course, for some folks, the occasional grope or grab can lead to a hot and fun quickie. But what most men don’t realize is that all women in our society are on the receiving end of unwanted sexual attention at some point in their lives, and most of them get it a lot. Women are catcalled on the street. They’re harassed in bars, groped in clubs, and whistled at in the grocery store. They’re told that they need to be sexy to be valued and then they’re attacked as sluts. Simply put, women put up with sexual intrusion for most of their lives, in big ways and small. It happens everywhere and most men have no idea how much of an impact it has.
I’ve heard quite a few men say that women should just take it as a compliment. Ironically, these are often the same guys who lose it if a man cruises them, winks at them, or simply appears to be sexually interested in them. Seems like a double standard to me. Until and unless men wrap their brains around what that’s like for the women in their lives, they’re not going to understand why their girlfriends, wives, and partners often get annoyed by being groped.
Now, I’m willing to give many guys the benefit of the doubt. I’m willing to bet that many of them have no intention of being intrusive when they come on too strong. I get that sometimes, you just “want to have sex like a guy.” But one of the consequences of the sexist world that we live in is that most women are on guard when it comes to male sexual energy. If you want to change that, then work to make things safer for women.
When you listen to your partner, when you pay attention to her feelings, you’re telling her that she’s in a safe space and that makes it much easier for her to open up. Most men move through the world without having concerns about their sexual safety. Most women aren’t that lucky.
Before you start freaking out at me like those other guys did at Logan, you need to know that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never done anything to make your partner unsafe. Simply by being a woman in this world, she has to put up with being less safe than you. And yes, I get that it’s not fair that you need to deal with the consequences of that. It’s not fair that she needs to deal with it and she doesn’t have a choice. So if you want to create passion, get over it and step up.
Besides, you may very well be surprised at the payoff. If the guys who took the time to write to Logan took as much time to figure out what they can do to create more safety for the women in their lives, I bet their relationships and their sex lives would be a whole lot better.