The Vagenda

Breaking News: Women Actually Like to Fuck, Possibly Even More Than Men

Have you heard the news? Apparently we, and by we I mean that group known as ‘the ladies’, actually LIKE sex. As in, we enjoy it. Shagging. And furthermore, we actually like sex as much as men do. Perhaps even MORE. As Stylist magazine put it this week: ‘Some women like sex. Get over it.’ 
This crazy ‘revelation’ has come about because of a new book, entitled ‘What Women Want’, and written by a man (just sayin’) called Daniel Bergner. In an extract from his book in the Guardian, Daniel explains that some experiments were done, and in those experiments, women showed higher levels of arousal when looking at various combinations of humans and primates fucking (OK that came out wrong – it was mostly humans who fucked each other in various gender combos, and then there were some Bonobo monkeys fucking too, though I should add that at no point did a person fuck a monkey). While men were left nonplussed by the shagging apes, the women actually quite dug it (as a side note- imagine having to admit during a game of ‘Never have I ever’ that you took part in a psychosexual experiment that resulted in your getting wet by the sight of Bonobo sex. Awkward), which scientists have taken to mean that we have higher sex drives, yadda yadda…
While Stylist are treating this as a big revelation (though the article is good, I should add), excuse me for not being all that surprised. I have, after all, pretty much always liked sex, as have my friends, so while I see that this is a big hoo-ha for society at large, where a double standard definitely persists, I just don’t see what relevance this has as far as my own, self-obsessed, existence is concerned, not to mention that of my more adventurous mates, who do all kinds of stuff that I can’t reveal here, even anonymously. 
Perhaps the reason I am unsurprised by this sexual newsflash is because I am a slut who rolls around with a massive group of sluts. Guilt and sex are never something that have gone together for us. Judging by the number of flings and one night stands we have between us, my friends and I have been pretty much busting the stereotype that sex and emotion go hand in hand ever since we became sexually active. One of my friends makes a regular habit of doing one as soon as the guy is asleep, slipping out never to be seen again. Many of them find monogamy boring, especially in their twenties, and a few of them are even serial cheaters (I am not condoning this, btw). As far as kinky behaviour goes, it varies from having sex in an art gallery to group sex with two male models to doing a guy with a strap on, and not once have I ever heard any of my friends say: ‘I feel like a slag for doing that’. Not once.
The point is, that while society is still implementing a vicious sexual double standard as far as ‘promiscuity’ is concerned, many young women are simply getting on with it without giving a toss. As someone who very much owns her number (or owns it enough to tell you it isn’t as high as my age but is definitely edging towards it – a woman has to retain some mystery, non?) I would not take back any of those shags. Not even the one that lasted thirty seconds (number seven), or the one with the hair who turned out to be gay (number ten). Not even the one who was a Tory (number nine), or the one who was much, much older (number eighteen) and had a secret baby. I don’t regret number five, who kissed me in the snow, and was the most beautiful, even in his superman underpants, but then I don’t regret number one, either, though I kept him secret for years, not from shame, but from fear of hurting someone I loved. 
I don’t even the one who gave me HPV (no idea which of the fuckers that was). I don’t regret a single ‘walk of shame’ (which I always more regarded as a stride of pride anyway), or any of the six (ish?) morning after pills I have taken. 
I am the Edith Piaf of sex. I regret nothing. 
That’s not to say that you should immediately go out and have a zipless fuck, because you definitely, definitely won’t regret it. Perhaps I’m just sexually amoral, and you might. Every woman is different. But what I am saying is that the current coverage seems to imply that the sexual liberation of young women is destroying us by dragging us into some kind of slutty black hole of misery and self-loathing, when actually it er…isn’t. Take the book ‘The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.’ It was covered enthusiastically pretty much everywhere, probably because it essentially confirms our ingrained stereotypes, namely: women are in it for love, and one night stands and flings make us feel cheapened, and whorish, and sad. 
Excuse me while I piss on your chips, garden variety misogynists and trolls of the internet, but I haven’t once felt cheapened by sex. Sad, perhaps, but then that’s par for the course when you’re trying to mount a lapsed Catholic who masturbated for so much of his childhood that he can’t get hard anymore. Whorish? Oh yes, definitely, but only in a sexy way. With stockings. 
Furthermore, I haven’t once felt as though men ran the show. The young women of my acquaintance have sex when they want, with whom they want, and they don’t care what anyone thinks about it. In other words, they do what guys do, except, unlike certain guys who I could name and shame, they have not once farted while their partner has been going down on them. They’re considerate like that. 
Not only is sex fun, and healthy, and hilarious, but it also keeps you warm at night. It gets you through the winter, but it also gets you through some really, really boring parties. It allows you both to leave early, on a joint mission in search of fags and johnnies, before a frisson-filled wait on the night bus. It allows you to turn up late, flushed and apologetic and full of excuses about the Northern line, and still tingling. You carry it as a secret throughout the day, like the girl in that advert for lube, sitting at the bus stop with her small, saucy smile of remembrance
Sex can be disgusting and serendipitous and convenient (one of my besties once got in a taxi to find it was already occupied. By a man. ‘I’ll just come with you’, she said, decisively- if this were a Sex & the City script, I’d have added ‘and boy, did she come’) It can be gross and soul-destroying too, but those ones just make even better stories, and lots of us do it for the stories. Sex is sex is sex: it doesn’t matter how tall or short you are (everyone is the same height lying down) or how big your belly is, because you’re both in happy naked pose and neither of you give a shit. The sex being talked about in the media doesn’t just fail to reflect this, but it projects a whole load of emotions onto a generation which I imagine, for many, are completely confected. And yet, here we are, just getting on with it, doing our thing. 
Perhaps it’s time that one of us wrote a book. At the very least, guys, you could just ask. We’d tell it to you straight. 

19 thoughts on “Breaking News: Women Actually Like to Fuck, Possibly Even More Than Men

  1. I really love this article mainly because I wish I was having more sex! But (and I’m hoping this wasn’t some really weird dream I had…) I’m sure these “findings” about women and sex were found in a TV programme a few years a go where women did experiments that included watching porn (I definitely remember the monkey sex), masturbating in a bath (this is when I start thinking this might have been a dream…) and talking about their attitudes to sex in general. Am I making this up?? I feel like I’m going mad…

    • No, you are not making it up. I remember people watching videos including ones of apes. I think the experimenters tracked eye movements and measured arousal. They found that women were aroused by more generalised sexual images than were men, who tended to focus in on specific bits of anatomy and the like and if they were heterosexual were unlikely to be aroused by images of homosexual encounters, whereas women were more likely to get off on most things. I can’t remember what the programme was (though it will probably come to me (no pun intended)) and I don’t remember the bit in the bath…

  2. I love sex too! And lots of it. But I recognize that I like sex and emotions together, I like getting intimate and vulnerable and all out. There are girls, at least some who I know, don’t feel cheapened, sad and whorish but wish that it was okay to have emotional sex. I want to be “promiscuous”, I want to be slutty- I don’t think there’s anything wrong in wanting and having lots of sex but I’m not going to do what lots of misogynist men have- I’m not interested in trivializing sex like many many “players” have. And all I hope is that the hook up culture today, however fun and hilarious, doesn’t lash out against girls like me for wanting emotional sex. Let’s not forget that there is pressure in the hook-up culture environment. I don’t make my decisions based on “guys are doing it too” for equality anyway. And lastly: Emotions are emotions are emotions- and they don’t suck either. Just putting that out there. :)

  3. Hmmm… I agree we still have to be loud about much stuff that should be obvious by now in order to make up for the millennia of disadvantage (namely, that (most) women enjoy sex as much as (most) man), but on the other hand, I am very sceptical about approaches that seem to mainly wish to turn the stereotype upside down, instead of accepting that a dichotomy of male/female do’s and do not’s is simply not a thing. When I read, for example: “One of my [girl] friends makes a regular habit of doing one as soon as the guy is asleep, slipping out never to be seen again”, it sounds to me that what is being said is: “hey, it’s not just men who can be hedonistic and cold, we can too! Anything you guys can do, so can we”. Well, that should go without saying… and I do understand that for many people it doesn’t yet, hence the article serving a point. But I do frown upon the “war of sexes” approach, as well as on a simplistic view of sex as necessarily enjoyable (as *should* be) and seemingly more ‘valid’ if practised in a somehow “reckless” way… Some people (women and men) simply don’t like sex; some prefer it emotionally detached; others enjoy it more with people they’re otherwise intimate with; what each of us likes to try in bed is immensely diverse, etc., etc.
    Also, I believe that as important as recognising and being critical about a still persisting castrating and uninspiring discourse about women’s sexuality (existing in many different ways – look at Cosmo, for instance), it is also important to do it regarding what general wisdom tells us about men (“[my girl friends] do what guys do”). Such abusive generalizations are as inadequate as any one size fits all discourse about ‘the feminine’. We’re all just people, and (fortunately!) much more complex, varied and colourful than any stereotype would allow us be.

  4. The thing is we might not feel like sluts for doing stuff, but others judge us, including the men involved. Plus, your close friends might be the rare few who are like you describe (which strangely, is just how men would want women to be- gagging for it, and available at all times.) However, for every you there’s 1000 women whose partners wait till they’re asleep to shag them, manipulate them into sex by telling them they’re fridgid, or whatever. Sexuality is compulsory in this culture and all you’ve done is fallen for that, including the element of exhausting attempts at a ‘porn star’ performance.

    • Surely it is all about choice? The freedom to decide for ourselves if we want sex for the sake of it, sex with emotional connections- or no sex at all? It is up to me to decide- I don’t want anyone making value judgements about me because of my sexual choices- it is, quite frankly, my business who I fuck, and when I fuck them. Perhaps if we all understood how little sex matters in the general scheme of things we could stop partners using it against us? One thing I have learned is that others can judge me all they like- but that judgement has zero effect on me unless I let it.

  5. Basically, I’m exactly like the author in many ways. I tend to agree with her point, but Female Chauvinist Pigs gave me a hell of a lot to think about. Everyone read it (I’m sure the author has). That is all.

  6. During WW2 there was a rumour that the military put bromine in the fighting mens food to put them off of sex. I have never seen this confirmed, but the idea of a pill that would put men off of sex is worth considering.
    When women think of sex (it seems) they consider the implications of it in various ways physically, socially, and spiritually. When men think of sex they wonder what it will cost. The cost isn’t just money – though that is always a consideration – it is the cost in time of game playing, and all the emotional baggage that goes with it.
    Though there seems to be a tendency by certain vocal ladies to think that women are treated badly in society, statistics indcate that men come off worse in just about every aspect of life. They die younger, they are more likely to be the victims of crime, they are unhealthier, they commit suicide in greater numbers, they are more expendable in war, they have fewer friends, they are generally lonelier. They are not allowed to cry or show their emotions, and are constantly judged by their social ranking, and as an after thought, more than half will never see their children grow up (in the UK according to stats).
    When woman of the type referred to in the above article discuss men, they are of course talking about men who have the resources to accomodate the ladies involved in affairs. Such men are a minority. The rest have to satisfy their needs without the benefits of a lady’s company. This in turn leads some men to become resentful (fearful) of women, and to show their resentment openly.

    Bring in the pill for men that stops them thinking of sex, so they can read mags on cars, computers, gadgets, and various ways of killing bad people in James Bondish sorts of ways. Let women satisfy their needs with endless magazines on dressing up and spending money that someone else has earnt. And of course, reading magazines about how badly women are treated, as that is always a good column filler.

  7. I wish everyone would stop talking about not just sex, but all relationship things, as “men do x” and “ladies do y”. Why do we find it so hard to grasp that people could be different from other people who share the same gender?? I don’t dispute that there are plenty of girls who are happy with a random hookup and a bit of fun with friend or stranger they fancy. Equally there are girls who are desperate for an emotional connection and see sex as a fast track there, and are disappointed if it turns out to have just been a “bit of fun”. Equally there are boys in both camps, and there are people all over the world who want different things at different times! Why is it preferable to be a girl who just has sex for fun and no commitment, than one who wants a relationship? Can’t the same person be both at different times in their lives? I’m certain that I have been, and I’m not lucky enough to say I have no regrets, but I reckon I’ve learned from it than things aren’t that simple.

  8. Whilst the above is an interesting discussion about modern female sexuality, I feel that the book that started the debate has been somewhat misrepresented here. As well as feamle sexual pleasure, the book is more about womens biological unsuitability to monogamy and need for sexual variety; iteresting as well as contrary to traditional thinking about women and sex.

    I think we’d be having a different discussion if Vagenda had written a respose to the book, rather than written in response to an artcile written about the book.

  9. I have been pointed in the direction of this article by a friend & had to comment. I am a very sexually-free person, I like variety and would say there is not alot I haven’t done/experienced in sexually to be more exact! It does shock me that the above attitudes of women to sex seems to be a “newsflash” though – I have been like this since I lost my virginity (age 14) where I planned (and followed through with) losing it to a complete stranger. 12 years later I’ve racked up the numbers. I am not saying they were all good but they happened and you cannot appreciate the good until you have had some bad!

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have friends who follow a similar care-free attitude towards sex (outside of a relationship) as I do and a massive part of our bonding and friendship I think is based on this. We are all accepting of eachother. I think exploring your sexual preferences is a massive part of growing up. I also have friends who aren’t as open and comfortable with having a one night stand as I would be, that’s fine, that’s their decision and I don’t judge them just as I don’t expect them to be to judge me.

    Yes I’ve been in situations where I think “maybe I shouldn’t have done that” BUT it was it was my decision and like the quote says “Don’t regret anything because at the time it was exactly what you wanted”. I always come back to “So what, I had sex forget about it and MOVE ON, it’s only sex, I didn’t KILL anybody.”

    I am proud to be a female who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it from a man (in and out of the bedroom). So why does that make me a slut? Just like why is a female in the business world who works and thinks like a man to get far in her career is seen as a bitch!? Surely most men would want to be with a woman who knows what she’s doing in bed and knows how to please, surely someone who just lies down and takes it isn’t a fun sexual experience and isn’t classed as a good “shag”. And how can you be good at something without some experience? Sex is supposed to be FUN isn’t it? I have never believed that sex and emotional feelings go hand in hand. Maybe they should, maybe they don’t have to. Everyone is different but personally I can have sex with a stranger or a boyfriend and I am having no emotional feelings towards/about either act whatsoever. I’m having sex because it feels physically good and fun & I want to.

    People should be a lot less judgemental on girls that have sex. If it’s your body, your consenting & it feels good then go for it. Don’t think about what might/might not come after – just do it. The more sexual encounters you have with the wrong people I bet by the time you have met the right person you will be better settled and not have the feelings so many people do where they think they’ve missed out on something. The sad thing is, in my experience, is that it isn’t men that are calling girls (like me) sluts and slags for having sex on a first date or on a one night stand, it’s girls that are doing the “slut-shaming”. So, aslong as it is alright for us girls to call other girls these names then it is ALWAYS going to be okay for blokes to judge us & get away with it aswell.

    The only thing I do regret is my flimsy and stupid attitude in the past about protecting myself during sex. Sometimes I blame it on alcohol, but I was very silly in not thinking about infections or unwanted pregnancies (until afterwards), then it would be a full blown panic to get myself to the nearest GUM clinic. So aslong as you are safe then have sex as and when you please because why should anyone ever tell you how to use your body or how to live your life?

    And YES my favourite song IS ‘promiscuous girl’ – I honestly wouldn’t want to be any other way. Happy, in control and living the life I choose!

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