Friday, December 12, 2008

Four conceited stories

Here are the attitudes of four middle-class, English women to casual sex:

Jo Day: "It's a myth that women can't enjoy a brief encounter as much as a man ... I have slept with 30 men. The vast majority of those were one-night stands ..." Well-educated and intelligent ... she insists that her approach is reasoned and rational. That's as may be, but any talk of the long-term legacy in emotional or even physical terms is pushed to one side, or dismissed as irrelevant.

Jessica McConnell: "It's all about sexual confidence ... I think that women actually call the shots more than men now. Most of my friends are quite happy to approach a man and be upfront about sleeping with them. There's no hanging around waiting for them to call the next day. You can just have sex, and then move on ... We are perhaps the first generation of women to absolutely have our own financial independence, because we have good careers - and we work hard and like to have fun."

Jackie Robson: "Our icons were women who are sexually confident and free, such as Madonna, and I think Sex and the City had a big impact on my generation. For the first time it was OK to talk to your girlfriends openly about sex ... Women are just more honest about their sexuality now. If they want just sex without a relationship, why not? No one gets hurt as along as you are honest about what you want.

"Our parents were very quick to get married, but we don't have that pressure ... I may be 40 before I think about getting married and having kids. Women now have as much right as men to make sexual decisions ..."

Georgia B: "I think that being in long-term relationships with men often holds you back in life - so I am much happier at the moment to have short-term relationships or the odd one-night stand. At the moment, my career is more important to me than anything else. I don't want to get married and have children until I am in my mid-30s. Most of my friends are like me - quite headstrong - and we feel no one - especially men - can tell us what to do."

It's clear what these women want us to believe. They want us to believe that they are pioneers of female sexual liberation; that they suffer no loss from engaging in casual sex; that casual sex marks their freedom and independence; that they are proving themselves superior to men in their sexual confidence; and that marriage and motherhood should be deferred until some vague time in their mid to late 30s.

It's a conceit. They are not pioneers. The same attitude was adopted by "progressive" women from the early 1900s onward. I observed it personally amongst the university educated women of the mid 1980s to early 1990s.

Nor is it credible that these women suffer no emotional loss. It's more reasonable to expect that they will become jaded and hardened to some degree.

So why would our four well-educated women speak the way they do about casual sex? One reason is that they are following the political orthodoxy of their times - rather than truly asserting an independent mind of their own.

The political orthodoxy states that personal autonomy is the key good. Men are thought to be the privileged class in society who have taken autonomy for themselves at the expense of women. Therefore, a liberated woman is supposed to prove that she can assert autonomy and independence equal to, or even greater than, a man.

If a woman is taught to seek autonomy and independence, in competition with men, then it's not surprising that she would value career and casual relationships, rather than serious commitments like marriage and motherhood.

But there are all kinds of problems associated with doing so. It's not wise to deliberately defer marriage and motherhood to the very last moment. We've just had a generation of middle-class women who have struggled to successfully partner and have children late in life. You would think that younger women would learn the lesson - but it seems that the force of political orthodoxy is too strong for some.

Here's another major problem. Men respond well to feminine women who are on their side. The orthodoxy, though, encourages something like the opposite: women who believe that they ought to behave more like men, and that men have withheld the key goods in life from them, and that they are in competition with men to outperform men at their own game - a game you win by remaining separate, invulnerable, self-assertive and unfeeling.

It's not a recipe for happy relationships. I can still remember the atmosphere on campus in the early 1990s. The casual attitude to sex did not lead to some kind of sexual utopia. It was more like a big chill, with very few signs of romantic affection between the sexes.

There are other distortions. If numbers of women begin to defer marriage and motherhood to some distant point in the future, then it becomes more difficult for men to justify launching into a career and other adult responsibilities. When women begin to aim for merely casual relationships, then it makes sense for them to choose unsuitable men - which further discourages men from developing stronger, adult qualities.

It is likely, too, that men will respond to a female individualism with an individualism of their own. They might, for instance, choose a permanent bachelorhood, or learn to play the field.

So what happens when our four English women hit their 30s and begin to take marriage and motherhood more seriously? They are likely to find it much more difficult than they imagined to meet the right kind of guy, having discouraged such men all too successfully over the previous decade.

Finally, I don't mean to suggest that all Western women have been influenced to the same degree by a liberal orthodoxy. There are still large numbers of women who are oriented to love, and who do wish to marry and have children in their 20s. I do encourage men to remain active in looking for someone; to be a bit thick-skinned when they encounter modernist distortions; and to work in the longer-term to overturn the modernist politics which makes relationships and family formation much more difficult than is necessary.


  1. First off, they are bluffing. Very few women can sleep around like men with no spiritual or emotional ramifications. It just doesn't happen except for fictional characters and a few outliers who probably have high testosterone levels.

    "When women begin to aim for merely casual relationships, then it makes sense for them to choose unsuitable men - which further discourages men from developing stronger, adult qualities."

    True. And it makes them unsuitable as long term partners as well.

    You are probably aware that release of Oxytocin in women after sex acts as a bonding agent. This effect is weakened when a women has "bonded" in this way with multiple men who turn out to not bond with her in return. She then steels herself against this bonding and emotionalism in the future. In other words, sex loses its ability to build strong emotional connections with partners for these women.

    I've thought before that the reason arranged marriages work so much better than "love" or infatuation marriages is this bonding effect.

    Further delaying marriage until the 30s and 40s means that their most attractive years are in their past. However superficial this is, looks to matter for many and youthfulness and thus beauty is directly related to fertility for women.

    Also, such women who have a long checkered past including possibly bouts of disease and abortion do not seem to most men as the ideal long term wife and mother. If there are other options (younger,more fertile, less experienced, less hardened, less likely to have aborted an inconvenient child), men wanting loyal and good partners will prefer those options.

  2. Liesel, well put. The word "bluffing" is just right.

  3. You're both wrong. They're not bluffing. They mean it. I see it every day. I saw it every day at university, so much so that I hardly ever dated 'Uni chicks'. They're not bluffing. They’re just too stupid to realise that their world-view can only work assuming that they will be attractive at 40 to men who are looking for stability. It's utter nonsense, and something that can only be taken as true to the irrational mind of a girl-child. That's what women are these days - so 'independent' and 'mature', but essentially children.

  4. Kilroy, it's not the promiscuity I doubt, but the claim that there is no fallout from what they do.

    As for the lack of wisdom in what these women expect, it would be interesting to pick their minds.

    Do they think that men will choose them when they are 40 because they are successful alpha women? (i.e. they really do want to fill the male role and believe that what works for some men will work for them.)

    Perhaps if you've been brought up to believe that it's your right to choose to do or be anything, you lose interest in questions of what is practicable. You just think that society should be arranged in a way to guarantee the outcomes you want.

    Therefore, if men are choosing 25-year-olds rather than 40-year-olds, they might prefer to think that men should be reformed, rather than that they should tailor their own life plans to fit reality.

    Perhaps they are a bit egotistical or narcissistic and believe that a man ought to choose them "because I'm me" rather than for anything they have to offer in the way of youthful beauty or children.

  5. Research shows that many young women are absolutely miserable in the hooking up culture. College girls in particular are suffering as they find the deck stacked against real relationships. Consider the following statistics:
    • 91% of students reported that hooking up was very common or fairly common on their campuses.
    • 87% of college students report having hooked up.
    • 73% of girls wish dating was more common.
    • 12% of hookups eventually lead to relationships.
    • 60% of sexually active teenagers will at some point have sex with someone they are not dating.
    • 49% of students who had intercourse during a hookup never saw the other person again.
    • 61% of women who say hooking up makes them feel desirable also say it makes them feel awkward.
    • During hookups, guys have orgasms 44% of the time. Girls have orgasms 19% of the time.
    • 12% of women say that it is sometimes easier to have sex with a guy they don’t know than to make conversation.

    Women need to return to the role of gatekeeper if they hope to secure a relationship.

  6. Two questions:

    1. What "study"? I hate having statistics quoted at me withought being told where they come from.

    2. How the flip does a dude "fake an orgasm"?!

  7. Ah, the sources for the stats I quoted are on the About page at

    Re question #2: who said anything about faking? Hooking up can mean anything from making out to intercourse. What's interesting about the statistic is that guys have more than twice the number of orgasms as women. That means a lot of selfish behavior on the part of guys!

  8. Leaving children until your 40??? Are they mad or just ignorant of the medical facts?
    It always amazes me how little knowledge these sorts of women have about their own biology.

  9. Kilroy, Patick - sorry, but I removed your last comments, as they veered into ad hominem.

    Kilroy, I agree that the orgasm statistic isn't such a useful one, but Susan's larger point is a significant one to make, namely that there's a negative side to the hook-up culture for young women on campus.

    That 73% of young women wish that dating was more common is something that we can use against the current state of affairs.

  10. "He seems obsessed with explaing womens attitudes to casual s*x but fails to provide any anyalysis of his own gender's reaction."

    Since it was the feminist movement which worked so hard (and succeeded so brilliantly) at destigmatising casual s*x, it strikes me as perfectly natural to focus attention on how this move away from the traditional view of sexual morality has affected the group it was designed to empower, i.e women.
    It also strikes me as perfectly normal to question whether society has been made better or worse as a result of the changed attitudes that women, in general, have subsequently formed in relation to men, work and family.

    And, by the way, I think Mark has addressed men's reaction towards casual sex, but you're obviously so blinkered by your own agenda that you can't see it.

    To paraphrase,the normalisation of casual sex means that men:

    * are discouraged from developing stronger, adult qualities
    * find it more difficult to justify establishing a stable career
    * respond with an individualism of their own (eternal bachelorhood, playing the field)
    *exhibit less romantic affection in relationships

    Given that men are more polygamous by nature than women, I don't think we need to analyse in as much depth why men engage so readily in casual sex.

  11. Simone, a well-argued comment, thanks (Simone was replying to a commenter "Patick" who complained that I hadn't focused on men's reaction to the situation.)

  12. Ah, the sources for the stats I quoted are on the About page at

    A well-respected academic source indeed.

    (Simone was replying to a commenter "Patick" who complained that I hadn't focused on men's reaction to the situation.)

    ...In the context of an antifeminist post with 100% antifeminist comment thread? This guy has to win the Whinger of the Year award 2008, or possibly the century so far.

  13. By Guillermo Bustamante

    Casual sex = more abortions: After the election and the utterly contemptible ‘lawyerly’ position from the USCCB not to excommunicate the intellectual-formal “Catholic” lawmakers of abortion (scandalously, because the surgical minions automatically are), we lay orthodox Catholics MUST FIGHT PUBLICLY, BLAMING THE HYPOCRITICAL USCCB!!!!! for what they are: servants of mammon.

    St. Luke: 11: 52 "Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.

    53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say.

    16: 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."


  14. By Guillermo Bustamante

    In addition to my yesterday’s text, to further clarify the clear liability of the USCCB, for confusing ignorant Catholics into supporting heretic-evil policies of “politically correct pro-gay-sick-degenerate-put-dick-in-excrement & pro-abortion Catholic politicians”:

    History will INCREASINGLY SHOW A DAWNING OF THIS BLAME-SHAME from the USCCB, when they did not show deep repentance for the pedophile scandal TO THE ROCK SUCCESSOR OF PETER BENEDICT XVI, and KNOWINGLY-PUBLICLY TO TV-WORLD-VIEW, DISTRIBUTED THE EUCHARIST in his April DC Mass, TO THOSE POLITICIANS-formal-intellectual authors of the BUTCHERING-greatest genocide known to mankind.

    THIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT HORRENDOUS SCANDAL IS AUGMENTED WHEN THE ENTIRE GLOBE WATCHES yet!!! the VP, Speaker and other sacrilegious lawmakers of the most powerful country on earth, boasting that they are CATHOLIC: name usage STILL approved by the USCCB to scandalize the one billion Catholic in the planet!

    Prophet Malachi:
    “1.6 …says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. You say, `How have we despised thy name?'

    7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. And you say, `How have we polluted it?' By thinking that the LORD's table may be despised. (...)

    2 1 "And now, O priests, this command is for you.

    2 If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.

    3 Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung upon your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence.”


  15. I found the reference to "Sex and the City" ironic. I don't know how anyone could see that show as an exemplar of the upside of sexual freedom. The show's characters, at least by the third season, were regularly wallowing in their inability to find happiness and romantic fulfillment.

  16. Susan said: "That means a lot of selfish behavior on the part of guys!"

    Why would men hooking up with women care (as much) about whether they orgasm or not? Is it not an 'independent woman's' responsibility to have her own orgasm? Or are we going to go down the tired worn out path of women having their cake and eating it too?