Women Competing With Porn?

Maureen Dowd blames the Internet for women having sex with men they find unattractive.

Maureen Dowd has an especially odd column today asking, “Why would a woman go home with a man, decide she’s not attracted to him but have sex with him anyway?” Why, indeed. Apparently, there are some popular books and short stories, written by women, in which women do just that. Oh, and Stormy Daniels.

Apparently, it’s the Internet’s fault.

In her book [Love Rules], [Joanna] Coles quotes cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken on the dangers of losing your inhibitions more easily when you are in the “immersive environment” of cyberspace — a space designed by men.

“Online dating is very crowded,” Aiken said. “There are four people in it: two real, normal selves, and two virtual selves.”

Echoing a theme from “Cat Person,” Coles tells me: “Things go from naught to 60 really fast. When you have a lot of communication online before you go out with someone, it builds up a false sense of who the person is. There’s a tendency to fill in the blanks with positive information.” (She points to a study showing a sixfold increase in sexual assault associated with online dating.)

“It’s very easy to imagine someone online in a positive way,” she says, “but it’s only when you sit down, with all five senses in play, that you can really tell, ‘Do I find this person attractive?'”

When I ask her why women would have sex with men whose looks or behavior is turning them off, she replies, “The fear is that dating apps make women interchangeable.”

Coles talks about porn and living in a culture where teenagers check their phones a minimum of 75 times a day, always “one click away from some of the most aggressive porn imaginable.”

[…]

In her book, Coles interviews women who explain why they hesitate to tell men that porn sex is not pleasurable to them.

“There’s a new sense in which young women feel that they are now in competition with porn, and if they don’t put out, it’s easy for the guy to go home, log in to Pornhub and get what he needs there,” Coles says. “They’re sublimating their own needs to try and please the guy. Then they realize their needs weren’t being met at all.

“Porn sex is designed to get men off in six to eight minutes. Many men don’t know how to interpret female behavior in bed unless it replicates a porno film.”

I’ve noted similar claims being made from time to time and been skeptical.

Naomi Wolf made the same assertion way back in 2003:

Far from having to fend off porn-crazed young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention.

Here is what young women tell me on college campuses when the subject comes up: They can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real woman-with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own (let alone with speech that goes beyond “More, more, you big stud!”-possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?

For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.

To which I responded,

Is there any evidence whatsoever that American men are abstaining from sex in record numbers? None of which I’ve heard.

Furthermore, she has it precisely backwards as to how most men are wired. Erotic imagery in the two-dimensional realm, much like drugs, is itself desensitizing. Watching beautiful movie stars with silicon-enhanced breasts romping around naked is interesting. For a while. And then it becomes, while not exactly boring, at least mundane. Seeing a good looking but famous woman nude in a movie or on a computer screen is, for those of us past adolescence, interesting in the way that the Blog Chicks Pix* is: it’s a curiousity. And, frankly, “More, more, you big stud!” isn’t exactly the height of stimulation.

Real women, unlike those on a screen, are, to use a techological term, interactive. They have personalities. Plus, they’re, well, corporeal. They’re warm. They smell good. They taste good. They laugh at your jokes. And that’s not to mention emotional attachment, the ability to share our lives, have babies, and all those other reasons why heterosexual men are drawn to women. Until fantasy gains those qualities, real women have no competition.

I recycled that response in reaction to a 2013 study finding young Japanese men less interested in sex than there forebears. At least that report only blamed online porn as one of the factors.

While I can “get off my lawn” with the best of them, I’m generally skeptical of radical changes in human behavior on a generational basis. Attitudes and preferences change over time, of course, but the sex drive is pretty hard wired.

It’s certainly true that access to porn has never been easier. There’s no need to leave the house and have an embarrassing encounter with a store clerk. And, as a “South Park” episode some years back noted, in almost absurdly wide variety.

Further, the rise of hook-up apps has both empowered women to freely explore their sexuality and yet turned them into something of a commodity, since another woman is just a swipe away. I can see how that would create some pressure towards compliance.

Still, none of that satisfactorily answers Dowd’s topline question. If a woman decides to hook up with a guy she met through Tinder, decides she’s not attracted to him IRL, porn culture doesn’t explain her having sex with him. Why would she care about disappointing someone to whom she’s not attracted and, presumably, never wants to see again? After all, what applies to men here still applies at least as much to women: they can easily find another guy to sleep with that night.

Two explanations occur to me.

First, maybe there’s a sense of obligation created by the fact of the hook-up? Women are wired, whether intrinsically or through socialization, to avoid disappointing others. Maybe they have a sense that swiping right is more-or-less a promise to have sex.

Second, and more disturbingly, they fear being raped. Having put themselves in a vulnerable position with a stranger, they figure that a few minutes of consensual sex is better than risking a much worse alternative.

Which is far more depressing than Dowd’s hypothesis.

______________

* The Blog Chicks Pix reference likely makes no sense now to people who weren’t reading blogs in the early 2000s. Suffice it to say that there was enormous interest in seeing pictures, few of them more than mildly racy, of female bloggers.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Society
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    I wonder how much of this is because of a “well, I can’t say no because I’ve already gone THIS far….”
    feeling. Especially when you’re dealing with a guy who makes it very obvious that he is laser-focused on just one thing–getting his rocks off.

    Or there could be the modern tech equivalent of the mismatch in social cues that supposedly caused a lot of confusion between Yank (male) soldiers and British women during WWII. The British women had an idea of how “quickly” a relationship was progressing, but their signposts were at different points than what was standard for US dating practices. Kissing happened much sooner on the US scale, for example. What this meant was that the British women thought upon being kissed “oh, he’s much more serious than I thought he was” and interpreted the guy’s actions according to their own scale (leading to much more intimate behaviour sooner.) Which supposedly led to British women getting a reputation for being “easy” among U.S. soldiers (and undoubtedly a lot of heartbreak when it was discovered that the so-called “seriously interested” soldier wasn’t so seriously interested after all and took the free sex as a side benefit.)

    Have to admit I’m glad I’m beyond all of that. Dating in the age of Tinder must be hellish.

    5
  2. michael reynolds says:

    I’ve written mostly young adult stuff so I haven’t felt much pressure to write sex scenes, but I could, and now that I’m writing adult books I may, but I generally don’t for the inside-baseball reason that it’s pretty much impossible to write a realistic sex scene that’s interesting, or original, and not merely squalid and depressing. I’m saving up my ‘squalid and depressing’ material for if I ever write a literary novel.

    Sex between people who don’t know each other or care about each other has always been squalid and depressing. Women have always felt pressure to put out and men have always felt pressure to ‘score’ and ever since the Joy of Sex both have felt performance pressure. We are primates and will screw pretty much anyone or anything, whether it’s joyful or not, because we have very long gestational periods and almost always have single births and uniquely helpless offspring, and if you’re a species thus burdened you need to do a lot of reproducing if you’re to stay ahead of the leopard/accident/disease kill rate for humans.

    So, I would agree, James, with your skepticism about wild shifts in human behavior. Human civilization is a blink of an eye, a veneer pasted onto a bunch of horny monkeys with poor impulse control. Men and women both seize any opportunity to carry out their core programming which is not to have sex, not to find love, not to care about your partner, but to reproduce and perpetuate the species. Alcohol reduces the friction (sorry) between the human as animal and human civilization. Alcohol loosens the bonds of civilization and makes monkeys of us.

    We’re living in what is just the latest of countless iterations of an underlying theme: humans make babies, civilization only wants you to make babies under certain circumstances. The primate will bang a hole in a tree, the civilized human has rules. Civilization requires humans to behave in ways that are not part of our DNA, and there’s the rub. (Heh.)

    There’s a bit of a move to dismiss the effects of DNA on human behavior, but that’s dumb. We should acknowledge what we are: randy apes. We should understand that in order for randy apes to have all the nice things civilization gives us – coffee, dental care, Netflix – we have to live by certain rules. The rules change, they don’t always make sense, but they are nevertheless necessary. And when the rules chafe uncomfortably: tequila!

    TL;DR: Pretty sure that apps or no apps, humans will manage to screw. It’s one of our core competencies.

    6
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ummmmm…. I ain’t buying it either. I’m an old guy who’s never even looked at internet porn, but I certainly remember looking at the Playboys and Hustlers before heading for the shower, none of which came even close to the real thing and certainly did not reduce my desire for it. Somehow or other I don’t think the internet does either.

    I think @grumpy realist: may have it about right.

    1
  4. JohnMcC says:

    I join the chorus agreeing with Dr Joyner but caution everyone that we’re basing the entire conversation on a MoDowd column. Which guarantees a short, unprofitable discussion.

    9
  5. Michael S Wylie says:

    I’m afraid it’s the other way around.

    “Real women, unlike those on a screen, are, to use a techological term, interactive. They have personalities. Plus, they’re, well, corporeal. They’re warm. They smell good. They taste good. They laugh at your jokes. And that’s not to mention emotional attachment, the ability to share our lives, have babies, and all those other reasons why heterosexual men are drawn to women. Until fantasy gains those qualities, real women have no competition.”

    – Nowadays, that’s not the case. Too many women today aren’t warm, with decent personalities. Excluding casual relationships: someone I only see once in a while; or

    Formal relationships: landlord, teachers, counselors, etc…;

    I can count on one hand, the number of women in my life who WEREN’T

    1) Controlling
    2) Manipulative
    3) or Abusive

    with fingers left over. Add the double standards that women can abuse and get away with it, and can accuse a man of the same, and if he doesn’t have visual proof, he can go to jail, makes relationships less attractive. And the vast disparities in family court if you do get that far and things don’t work out.

    At this point, porn is more attractive than women. That’s not men’s fault as this article suggests: “In her book [Love Rules], [Joanna] Coles quotes cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken on the dangers of losing your inhibitions more easily when you are in the “immersive environment” of cyberspace — a space designed by MEN.”

    We are where we are because of women. So if it’s to change, women have to change.

    To understand this topic better, I recommend the Books “Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters” & “Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Year Disguised as a Man” or watch the movie “The Red Pill”. The last two are by feminists.

    3
  6. wr says:

    @Michael S Wylie: Yes, you nailed it. The problem is definitely the bitchez, not men who are so weak, cowardly and pathetic that the notion of a woman who is anything more than an inflatable doll comes as a source of terror and anger. Preach, brother!

    14
  7. KM says:

    @Michael S Wylie:

    Incel Alert! A basement is missing it’s hater!

    “Too many women today aren’t warm, with decent personalities. ” What you meant to type was they weren’t sufficiently deferential to you because you have a penis and dared to be themselves. Since you don’t seem to have a problem with that in “casual relationships”, it’s obvious you only feel that behavior is wrong in your love life because you think you’re somehow naturally superior and are being cheated of your due. Can’t imagine why you’re having such trouble in your personal life…..

    12
  8. michael reynolds says:

    @Michael S Wylie:
    Well, hello, snowflake.

    I have never had trouble getting along with women. Not when I was a kid, not when I was a teen, not when I was a young adult, not through 28 years of marriage (so far.) That’s not to say I always got what I wanted out of a relationship. And it’s not to say that I always get along with a given woman, my wife and I can be quite operatic in our disagreements. But the difference between my experience and yours is that I’ve never asked women to be ‘women.’ I don’t see ‘them’ as a category, other than being a sub-set of humans to which I tend to be attracted.

    I’m not handsome, not usually fit, never had a dime until I was in my late thirties. But I have a secret approach that I find works very well: I don’t hate women. I work for women, I hang out with women insofar as I hang out with anyone, I’ve always preferred women to men for the excellent reason that they mature more quickly, talk less bullsh!t, don’t insist on moronic dominance games and have breasts. They are dual-use humans. Talk to ’em, joke with ’em, learn from ’em, (just as if they were human!) and you can also, in some cases, have sex with them. Yay! It’s a win win.

    If you’ve had that much trouble with women, it ain’t the women, dude, it’s you.

    21
  9. KM says:

    @James:

    Second, and more disturbingly, they fear being raped. Having put themselves in a vulnerable position with a stranger, they figure that a few minutes of consensual sex is better than risking a much worse alternative.

    For an example of why this fear exists, look at @Wylie’s post then google some screenshots women post of what happens when you turn a guy like him down. Vicious insults and stalking are some of the better outcomes. Women who say no put themselves at risk when a guy suddenly decides he’s “owed” something.

    That being said, your first point flows into the second. We are conditioned to accept things as to not make a fuss. It just easier to smile and nod rather then cause a scene. By the time point two comes about, you have even less options then before. Even if you go and tell someone, they will inevitably ask “well, why did you go with him if you felt uncomfortable?” not realizing sometimes you can’t escape gracefully and making a scene can lead to terrible scenario on its own.

    10
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael S Wylie: Wow. Just wow.

    3
  11. Slugger says:

    Mr. Wylie:
    I am a guy who is a four on the physical scale who has dated 8s and married one. Watch a woman pick a puppy from a litter. They don’t pick only the biggest and strongest. Be positive, affirmative, keep that tail wagging. This will result in a smile and getting picked up. Nobody, male or female, likes the entitled.

    9
  12. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I have had my eyes opened in recent years to just what absurd, pitiful weaklings so many men are. Gamer Gate that was the opening trumpet in the Charge of the Whine Brigade. They’re so un-self aware they don’t realize what sad spectacles they’re making of themselves. My God, is there anything more pathetic than a Gen-X male? Does it never occur to them that they are victims not of women but of evolution? It’s survival of the fittest, not the whiniest. Why would any woman choose to perpetuate the species with a self-pitying wimp?

    4
  13. CSK says:

    @Michael S Wylie:

    A sex robot should meet your needs perfectly.

    7
  14. Modulo Myself says:

    Well it’s not porn or the apps, because gay men seem to be pretty good at balancing voracious amounts of porn and Grindr with actual human interaction. I think this is all about straight people, and the misogyny and solipsism of straight porn which is leaving straight women completely unsatisfied. None of that should be surprising. Women getting off during sex has not exactly bene the point of male sexuality. The porn I’d seen before I had sex gave me no indication about what women were actually like, sexually.

    Dowd comes at this from such a vanilla standpoint, so she also misses that straight sex centers around men as the top and women as the bottom, and straight porn is emphatically about that. But there’s no way that this a fixed relationship, and I suspect that both young men and women are probably not being open about what roles they desire.

    2
  15. Stormy Dragon says:

    I think this is actually about non-porn media. Both sexes have grown up with a steady stream of “Disney” portrayals of how romance works: “there’s one true soulmate for you out there”, “love at first sight”, “people will love you as you are”. All of these are lies that prevent people from doing the hard work of a real relationship. Successful relationships require both parties to give up some of themselves in the name of strengthening their collective relationship at the expense of their individuality.

    7
  16. Bill says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ve written mostly young adult stuff so I haven’t felt much pressure to write sex scenes, but I could, and now that I’m writing adult books I may, but I generally don’t for the inside-baseball reason that it’s pretty much impossible to write a realistic sex scene that’s interesting, or original, and not merely squalid and depressing. I’m saving up my ‘squalid and depressing’ material for if I ever write a literary novel.

    I have the opposite problem. The sub genre I write in is mostly erotic, or as a fellow author in sub genre once said,
    ‘crappy smut. I try to write serious stories (A woman converting to Judaism, A young girl Chess Prodigy, Japanese gangsters, A woman expecting triplets and on hospital pregnancy bedrest to name a few topics. My attempts at comedy have involved a cannibal, a talking mule, Mothra, a 140-year-old cow, and dung beetles) and I sometimes include a tiny bit of adult activity mainly to draw in those readers who look for such stuff. I don’t write good sex scenes.

    My ebooks have been moderately successful enough for me that starting a s corporation was a good idea.

    My latest ebook, involving espionage, has an important character- a 22 year-old IDF soldier who admits to being a virgin. Oi Vei. Don’t know yet if I’ll throw in a gratuitous sex scene in yet, but am leaning towards it.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    They aren’t always lies. I did fall in love at first sight, so did my wife, we are soulmates and God help the poor woman, she’s loved me when I was a complete fck-up, when I was poor, when I was desperate, and when I was well-off, successful and riding high. I loved her when she was dependent and aimless and neurotic, and I still do now that she bestrides this narrow world with prizes and movie deals. We are respectively 63 and 61 and – how to put this delicately – our favorite thing about our house is that we happen to have a really large shower.

    1
  18. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Forgive me, but the first thing that entered my mind when you mentioned your “really large shower” was Woody Allen’s orgasmatron.

    2
  19. Andy says:

    Dowd has it wrong – this is the natural result of our “hook-up” culture, not porn.

    Second, and more disturbingly, they fear being raped. Having put themselves in a vulnerable position with a stranger, they figure that a few minutes of consensual sex is better than risking a much worse alternative.

    That might explain the first encounter or two, but I have a hard time believing that women serially put themselves in this position. Online dating is, in many ways, much safer since women can more easily dictate the terms of the encounter.

    2
  20. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I didn’t say soulmates didn’t exist. You became soulmates through the process of decades of shared experience, not because the two of you were predestined to meet and fall in love. If there had been a minor change of events and you hadn’t met, you’d likely be married to a different person who would also be your soulmate because of the decades you spent with them.

    when I was a complete fck-up

    The key hear is “when”. You didn’t stay a fck-up and expect to be loved for your fcked-upness… you changed, and I suspect some of those changes were for the good of your relationship rather than purely because you wanted them as an individual.

    And as for the love at first sight, congrats, you won the romance lottery. Most people aren’t that lucky, and expecting to be that lucky often prevents people from pursuing what might have been wonderful opportunities.

    3
  21. lounsbury says:

    General rule of thumb: Anything written by Maureen Dowd can be immediately dismissed as superficial, poorly thought-through, reasoned and poorly researched, NYC snobberati masturbation.

    She’s a superficial git.

    6
  22. Charon says:

    @lounsbury:

    Also she is a fabulist,just makes stuff up. I can’t understand taking her seriously enough to discuss.

    6
  23. teve tory says:

    It baffles me that anyone reads Maureen Dowd.

    5
  24. Mikey says:

    @Michael S Wylie: As the saying goes, if everyone you meet is an asshole, it’s probably you who’s actually the asshole.

    3
  25. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael S Wylie:

    I can count on one hand, the number of women in my life who WEREN’T
    1) Controlling
    2) Manipulative
    3) or Abusive

    with fingers left over. Add the double standards that women can abuse and get away with it, and can accuse a man of the same, and if he doesn’t have visual proof, he can go to jail, makes relationships less attractive. And the vast disparities in family court if you do get that far and things don’t work out.

    Oh yeah, I understand the contemporary Aggrieved White Male Complaint, that America has become an anti-male society and culture, where all manner of advantage and privilege now accrue to women.

    Maybe some of my fellow men should ask themselves the questions: (1) When did men become such angry pathetic whining self-proclaimed victims of everything non-male and non-‘traditional value’? (2) What happened to the beloved ‘traditional value’ of taking responsibility for your life, your attitudes, your actions, and adapting to the changes that inevitably happen?

    A few years ago when my daughters graduated high school (5 years apart), the awards, honors, and scholarships were dominated by young women, and by a very wide margin. In each case of the top 20 students around 80% were girls. I think this is due to performance, hard work and commitment to achievement, not because the guys were done in by administrators, or caused to underachieve by controlling, manipulative and abusive girls.

    Maybe some of the guys these days need some ‘non-Viagra’ performance enhancement?

    2
  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael S Wylie:.. They’re warm. They smell good. They taste good. They laugh at your jokes.
    fake! fake! fake! fake!

    1
  27. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael S Wylie: With that incredible extended whine it’s no wonder no one of the female persuasion wants to be around you. In fact, I’m surprised anyone, male or female, wants to deal with you at all.

    So go ahead, hang out with your internet “friends” and complain incessantly to each other about How Everything Is Someone Else’s Fault. Moan moan whine whine. Everyone is picking on you, and It’s Not Fair that we don’t immediately bow to your obvious greatness and put you at the top of the heap.

    Have you ever thought that maybe the reason you didn’t get picked over a female/black/Hispanic applicant isn’t because of discrimination? That it’s because you’re just not very good?

    And no one wants to deal with a constant whiner. No. One.

    3
  28. Gustopher says:

    I think that sex means less to women these days, than it traditionally did. They aren’t stained for all time and worth less as a person if they have sex.

    Why sleep with someone that you don’t really want to sleep with? Because it’s easier than leaving, and it’s not so bad. And sometimes it might even turn out better than expected. There’s a difference between not wanting to do something, and wanting to not do it. Women are fully functioning people and can navigate that.

    I am hesitant to go with an analogy of picking a movie with your friends, and going along to “Transformers 5” even though you wouldn’t have picked it, but I do think that’s a part of it. At least as much as a fear that if they don’t just go along with it they will get raped.

    4
  29. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds:

    My God, is there anything more pathetic than a Gen-X male? Does it never occur to them that they are victims not of women but of evolution?

    Hey, don’t blame this on Gen-X. There are losers who can’t get laid and blame the women in every generation. The only thing Gen-X did different was be alive when “The Matrix” came out and the internet got started.

    7
  30. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    My God, is there anything more pathetic than a Gen-X male? Does it never occur to them that they are victims not of women but of evolution? It’s survival of the fittest, not the whiniest. Why would any woman choose to perpetuate the species with a self-pitying wimp?

    The irony is that we Gen-Xer’s often say the exact same thing regarding millennials.

    2
  31. Grewgills says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    This is why my wife and I’s favorite love song (really a song about math) is “If I didn’t have you”
    For those who don’t want to follow the link to a brilliant song…

    Look, I’m not undervaluing what we’ve got when I say
    That, given the role chaos inevitably plays
    In the inherently flawed notion of fate
    It’s abstruse to deduce that I found my soulmate
    At the age of 17
    It’s just mathematically unlikely that at a university in Perth
    I happened to stumble on the one girl on Earth
    Specifically designed for me

    And if I may conjecture a further objection
    Love is nothing to do with destined perfection
    The connection is strengthened
    The affection simply grows over time

    Like a flower
    Or a mushroom
    Or a guinea pig
    Or a vine
    Or a sponge
    Or bigotry
    …or a banana

    And love is made more powerful
    By the ongoing drama of shared experience
    And synergy, and symbiotic empathy, or something…

    There is no love at first sight. There is definitely a lot of lust at first sight and for a lucky few that blossoms into love. Looking back on that initial lust after time in love it is easy to look back on that first lust as destined love.

    1
  32. Grewgills says:

    Peoples core drives and desires don’t change from generation to generation. Sexual mores are changing though. Porn, technology, and hook up culture are interactive parts of that. Women have always had the same drives as men and have always enjoyed sex when it was good and wanted more of it when it was good, same as men. The primary differences are that the sex is less often good for the woman and there is still a lot of slut shaming (though considerably less now).
    Women watch porn (generally different porn than men) and women are on tinder for the same reason as men. Sex continues to be, on the whole, less satisfying for women, however women are more likely now to communicate how to make the sex better for them and men are more likely to listen. There is still a very long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction. Real and comprehensive sex ed helps some. Parents who aren’t afraid to speak honestly and openly with their kids about sex and romance help more. Hopefully in a generation people like our visiting MRA douche nozzle will be a vanishingly small minority and healthy open communication about what people want in relationships will be the norm. It is the only way for everyone in a relationship to be happy and fulfilled. Or, perhaps I am more of a hopeless romantic on that front that the believers in love at first sight.

    2
  33. Gustopher says:

    Have you looked at most men? A lot of them are not attractive.

    If women didn’t have sex with men they weren’t attracted to, the species would have wasted away to nothing long ago…

    2
  34. Daryl’s other brother Darryl says:

    Discussing a Maureen Dowd column? Really?
    Women sleep with men they aren’t attracted to for the same reason men sleep with women they aren’t attracted to……WE ALL WANT TO GET LAID!!!
    With online dating the menu is overflowing with potential options. The US Association of Psychological Science found that reviewing multiple candidates causes people to be more judgmental, and inclined to dismiss a not-quite-perfect candidate than they otherwise would be in a face-to-face meeting. This guys not as attractive as the other available options. But what the heck…
    Having said all that…I’ll say this; online dating will be the downfall of the human race.

    2
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I think this is actually about non-porn media. Both sexes have grown up with a steady stream of “Disney” portrayals of how romance works:

    Disney predates porn by a century or 2.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds: You are a lucky man. And I know you appreciate that fact.

    1
  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: This.

  38. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m finding it kind of disturbing how often I’m agreeing with you lately. 🙂 But this is one of my own pet subjects: that human beings are animals with a thin veneer of civilization. And the closer we get to our most basic needs – food, survival, sex — the more we resemble our primate ancestors.

    I too wrote a response to Klein. Her article ten years ago and the steady drumbeat of articles since cross me a bit solipsistic. People have been having disappointing or even unpleasant sexual experiences forever. It’s only now that we’ve decided this must be a product of some recent invention.

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  39. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Porn is just part of the problem. A large number of people, of both genders, does not have the necessary expertise about relationships(Whether romantic, sexual or of friendship). People have no clue about relationships. In the past if you had issues and need to make confidences with someone you needed friends, and you knew that NEEDED to treat your friends well if you wanted to have someone listening about you talking about your problems.

    Now, people know that if they have issues they simply can go to Facebook or Reddit, and have completely strangers listening to their problems. If you don’t know how to keep friends then you don’t know how to keep a girlfriend or a boyfriend.

    People, specially in the United States, think that teenagers are children, that should be kept pure and have no sexual activity at all. No wonder that so many adults have no idea about sex, romantic relationships and things like that, we keep telling teenagers that sex is bad, that sex is dangerous, in the end they learn about sex from porn.

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  40. grumpy realist says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: And whereas your friends would probably tell you when you were acting like a jerk, now people can immerse themselves in self-selected bubbles of people who will stroke their egos and tell them no, they’re doing everything right, it’s the fault of those lousy women/men/non-gamers who don’t appreciate you/your lifestyle.

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  41. rachel says:

    @Slugger:
    Me: Oh, my God! That was how I picked my husband! “I think I’ll take this cute thing home with me…”
    DH: Oh, Gee. Thanks.

    @Mister Bluster: Darn, it’s a Seinfelt thing. I was hoping for Deep Space 9.

  42. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @grumpy realist: Yes. Social media gives people so many friends that in the people have no friends at all. That lack of experience both with real friends and with sex makes people completely clueless about sexual and romantic relationships.

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  43. michael reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    The only time in my life since age 16 (when I became an atheist) that I suspected anything ‘supernatural,’ was on the night I met Katherine. I was screwed six different ways. I was down and heading lower. And as I’ve said before it was as if the hand of God reached down, grabbed my head, twisted sideways and up a little and said, “Hey, dumbass. If you want to live, go meet that girl in the window.” And for once in my life I actually did the smart thing. Lucky doesn’t begin to cover it. I deserved so much worse a life.

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  44. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m right there with you. The night I met my wife, I was at the lowest point I’ve ever been, pretty much living in the bottle and doing stupid shit that put both my military career and my life at risk. The chain of events that led to us getting together was improbable indeed, but thank goodness it happened. I am not exaggerating when I say she saved my sanity, and probably also my life.

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  45. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds: @Mikey:

    It’s really nice to read that things worked out so beautifully for both of you.

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