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'tis the Bearded One

Sexual Prowess: Personal and Social Status

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This was an issue raised by @Naturally in another thread and I thought I'd create another thread than derail that one further. 

This article makes the point that "a man's sexual prowess and the need to perform sexually is a fundamental emotional need. While some men become obsessed with proving their masculinity through sexual conquests, others avoid sexual interactions because they fear failure".

 

To the guys: to what extend do you consider this true for men and the equivalent for women?

To the ladies: do you feel sexual prowess to hold the same position in your identity/femininity?

 

Personally, I'm not currently in any social circles where the practical manifestation of this is evident e.g. husbands encouraging each other to satisfy their wives sexually or reflecting on doing so as important or reprimanding someone who is failing to do so. Due to the barriers to heterosexual interpersonal male bonding in western society, it may not be expressed as intimately or explicitly either in most circles. I can however imagine it amongst close friends or a church small-group perhaps. 

Women are know to be far more chatty and "in each other's business" in their friend circles so I'm quite curious about any "insider" insight!

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I'm so happy you made a question out of this because coincidentally, this is the exact question I've been ruminating on since it was brought up in the other thread. This is what I've come up with so far... 

11 hours ago, 'tis the Bearded One said:

To the ladies: do you feel sexual prowess to hold the same position in your identity/femininity?

What it means to be female and what can be identified as femininity today has become much less defined (and if you try you risk stepping into some conflict with political correctness). At a certain time sitting crossed-legged on the floor, wearing denim overalls instead of dresses, climbing trees instead of playing hopscotch, and asking a boy to dance at a sock hop were considered very un-feminine things. They're not now, and nor are they identified as masculine things. The move towards gender neutrality blurred the lines between behaviours and interests deemed exclusively male and exclusively female.

That said, there are still certain things that exist today that cause the emotional, psychological, and behavioural differences between the genders and serve to form our respective identities. This includes things like double standards, biological differences, exposure to different activities, parenting styles, social expectations etc. It's these things which define what we believe to be the male identity or female identity.

To answer your question bluntly: No, I don't feel sexual prowess is fundamental to the female identity, in fact I think it continues to be viewed as the anathema to femininity. The proof of this is how women are viewed when they assert themselves sexually compared to men. Women are seen as sluts and whores whilst men are studs and stallions. Due to the endemic negativity that surrounds women and sex we are conditioned to be shy and private about it; to not desire it, pursue it, enjoy it, or share it abundantly. For this reason, sexual prowess is not a fundamental aspect of how women are seen to be, or see themselves to be, a "successful" woman. Conversely, I suspect for a man it's the opposite as they're conditioned by society to be sexual conquerors in order to be "successful" males.

Although despite sexual prowess not being a fundamental indicator of the feminine identity, there are many negative things that unfortunately are. Never are the differences so stark than when I travel between Brazil and Australia and I'm subjected to the feminine standards of the respective countries. How women in places like the US, and Western Europe define their feminine identity I consider much alike how Australian women would define theirs. Lagging behind in the evolution of gender identity is the country of Brazil. Young girls and women in Brazil are pathologically sexualised from every outlet and influence of society. It is so normalized that it strongly influences what is considered to be the ideal feminine identity. Feminine identity in Brazil is defined by a girl's ability to be attractive, marry (preferably as young as possible), and produce children. They are not only judged but valued for their beauty, their ability to attract men, ability to get one to marry them, ability to keep a man at whatever sacrifice (intelligence, dignity, dreams etc) and desire to become mothers. For this reason you see heinous competition and duplicitous behaviour among Brazilian women, each attempting to assert themselves as the most attractive or the most desired by men. Insults such as "your husband cheated on you with me because I'm prettier" or "You're 25 and unmarried because you're not pretty enough for your boyfriend to marry you" are common and acceptable arguments worthy of a brawl between women on the streets because their very feminine identity was just threatened.

Feminine identity can be influenced by many things and differ between societies and cultures, but I think it'll still be a very long time before sexual prowess is an indicator of femininity in any of them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Naturally said:

To answer your question bluntly: No, I don't feel sexual prowess is fundamental to the female identity, in fact I think it continues to be viewed as the anathema to femininity. The proof of this is how women are viewed when they assert themselves sexually compared to men. Women are seen as sluts and whores whilst men are studs and stallions.

Certainly, that double standard exists in society though I see that in regard to premarital/extra-marital sex. Maybe the "unfettered" female sexuality outside of the "chains of monogamy" poses some kind of threat [it does as much as the male's but that is another issue]. Do you see this as applying to strictly monogamous women enjoying a rich sex life with their husband? Would a circle of married women shame each other [or single women to married women] for asserting they love/greatly desire to have sex with their husbands, and only their husbands?

Would you say a certain feminine value exists of "taking care of" your husband in non-sexual ways such as cooking? If so, why wouldn't this extend to his sexual needs?

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On 2/26/2017 at 7:29 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Do you see this as applying to strictly monogamous women enjoying a rich sex life with their husband? Would a circle of married women shame each other [or single women to married women] for asserting they love/greatly desire to have sex with their husbands, and only their husbands?

I've never witnessed an example of women shaming a married woman for their sexual prowess with their husbands. Interestingly, it's not much talked about. I have many friends who are having sex with their boyfriends outside of marriage or engaging in casual sex and these girls talk frequently about sex, but my married friends don't talk about it at all. I'm not sure if it's because they want to keep it private out of respect to their husband (although never stopped them before when their husband was their bf) or perhaps their sex life is now lack-luster and they feel it's not worth talking about.

On 2/26/2017 at 7:29 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Would you say a certain feminine value exists of "taking care of" your husband in non-sexual ways such as cooking? If so, why wouldn't this extend to his sexual needs?

I'm surprised at how much trouble I'm having at pinning down what the feminine values are for western women. In Brazil, there's certainly an expectation that women need to do what it takes to keep their husband happy in order to keep him around - this includes both sexual and non-sexual things. Although if her husband were to leave her she would be judged for her shortcomings at performing the non-sexual things while any sexual shortcomings wouldn't be spoken of (or known).

I could be completely wrong in my assessment as it is completely anecdotal and subjective to my experiences but unless I'm missing something I can't think of one way that sex with a husband (or in any other form) contributes to the feminine identity (unless negatively). I think this is quite revealing. I feel like I'm now understanding the motive of a wife in the following scenario where a husband and wife are in a deadbedroom where the husband feels the relationship is falling apart because his wife isn't having sex with him and all the while despite his wife knowing of the problems is posting on facebook about what a great marriage they have and how happy they are. You can deduce from this that sexually pleasing your husband is not socially valuable to a woman's identity but the perception of a successful relationship is. On a cynical day I might even argue that some married women satisfy their husbands sexual needs in order to maintain the image of a successful marriage; suggesting that being perceived as a good wife is a feminine value but whatever you have to do to communicate that perception, isn't.

On 2/26/2017 at 7:29 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Maybe the "unfettered" female sexuality outside of the "chains of monogamy" poses some kind of threat [it does as much as the male's but that is another issue].

To whom would female promiscuity pose a threat? - married women? Similarly, would male promiscuity pose a threat to married men? Can you expand on these thoughts, please, appears to be interesting. 

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On 2/28/2017 at 0:20 AM, Naturally said:

Interestingly, it's not much talked about. I have many friends who are having sex with their boyfriends outside of marriage or engaging in casual sex and these girls talk frequently about sex, but my married friends don't talk about it at all. I'm not sure if it's because they want to keep it private out of respect to their husband (although never stopped them before when their husband was their bf) or perhaps their sex life is now lack-luster and they feel it's not worth talking about.

Interesting. In a sad way :( 

On 2/28/2017 at 0:20 AM, Naturally said:

I'm surprised at how much trouble I'm having at pinning down what the feminine values are for western women.

Ha....*light bulb* hehehehe: new topic

On 2/28/2017 at 0:20 AM, Naturally said:

I can't think of one way that sex with a husband (or in any other form) contributes to the feminine identity (unless negatively). I think this is quite revealing.

Revealing? Yes. Depressing? Yes...

On 2/28/2017 at 0:20 AM, Naturally said:

You can deduce from this that sexually pleasing your husband is not socially valuable to a woman's identity but the perception of a successful relationship is.

Well, who really would want to be open to the world that their marriage is "dead"? That might be denial talking there. If external perception is taking precedence to internal reality then that sucks!

On 2/28/2017 at 0:20 AM, Naturally said:

On a cynical day I might even argue that some married women satisfy their husbands sexual needs in order to maintain the image of a successful marriage; suggesting that being perceived as a good wife is a feminine value but whatever you have to do to communicate that perception, isn't.

I would take out "communicate that perception" from above and replace it with "be a good wife". Does that fit with your intention? That is unhealthily contradictory, isn't it....It's like saying being a great student is good but studying is bad. 

I'll get back to your last questions and I have some material I want to bring in regarding sex and femininity but don't have the time right now. Someone should have been in bed 2 hours ago... smh

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1 hour ago, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I would take out "communicate that perception" from above and replace it with "be a good wife". Does that fit with your intention? That is unhealthily contradictory, isn't it....It's like saying being a great student is good but studying is bad. 

Sorry, yes, that'd be correct - I think my brain checked out in the middle of writing that sentence.

1 hour ago, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I'll get back to your last questions and I have some material I want to bring in regarding sex and femininity but don't have the time right now. Someone should have been in bed 2 hours ago... smh

No worries. Sweet dreams.

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On 2/28/2017 at 0:20 AM, Naturally said:

To whom would female promiscuity pose a threat? - married women? Similarly, would male promiscuity pose a threat to married men? Can you expand on these thoughts, please, appears to be interesting. 

I suppose it could in that way, though I've never thought of that really. I looked at it more the other way: if a person is promiscuous in singlehood, how conducive are such attitudes to creating stable marriages? I was actually thinking more macro-economics/public health. The importance of the nuclear family, the effects on intergenerational poverty of single motherhood, spread of disease, healthy population maintenance, how values of promiscuity may undermine other socially beneficial values and behaviours etc 

 

Have you read the Song of Solomon and the role of the woman Shulamith within it and her expressed sexuality towards her lover? Do you feel it makes her seem less feminine?

Do you think that the frequently instilled notion that "good girls" aren't sexual gets in the way of healthy feminine sexuality?

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On 3/6/2017 at 4:14 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I suppose it could in that way, though I've never thought of that really. I looked at it more the other way: if a person is promiscuous in singlehood, how conducive are such attitudes to creating stable marriages? I was actually thinking more macro-economics/public health. The importance of the nuclear family, the effects on intergenerational poverty of single motherhood, spread of disease, healthy population maintenance, how values of promiscuity may undermine other socially beneficial values and behaviours etc 

Ah okay, thanks for clarifying.

On 3/6/2017 at 4:14 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Have you read the Song of Solomon and the role of the woman Shulamith within it and her expressed sexuality towards her lover? Do you feel it makes her seem less feminine?

I've tried but it makes as much sense to me as reading Shakespeare in Latin.

On 3/6/2017 at 4:14 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Do you think that the frequently instilled notion that "good girls" aren't sexual gets in the way of healthy feminine sexuality?

Yes, but I believe religion to be the culprit of this canard.

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