5 Ways Society Trains Men To Expect Sex From Women

Are you familiar with the “Nice Guy” stereotype? It’s a humankind who invests hour with a woman, buys her things, and compliments her to the point where it’s suffocating, but more out of the hope of eventually getting into her pants than from genuine relationship. Then, when a sexual relationship never develops, he gets bitter and angry because he feels all the “nice” things he’s done have earned him sexuality. It’s a toxic relationship for both the man and his ostensible pal, and in a staggering coincidence, it’s the basis of my hilarious new fiction that you can buy right now. But this personality type wasn’t created in a vacuum. Here’s how it happens.


Pop Culture Teaches Men That Passiveness Is Rewarded

I’m going to start by talking about Frasier , because I’m a hip boy who knows what the kids are into these days. I watched a lot of Frasier in my formative years to soften my intimidatingly stunning athletic ability, and if there’s one lesson it teaches about relationships, it’s that being passive is more effective than being honest. The show’s longest-running plot, from the first episode until the end of the seventh season, is that Niles is attracted to Daphne, but is too cowardly to do anything about it. Instead of just saying, “Hey, I’m into you, want to have coffee, and also here’s a joke about opu? ” he surreptitiously reeks her hair, eyes her body, comes up with thin excuses to touch her and be alone with her, spies on her, sneaks into her chamber, buys her gifts, and does her favors. He does everything you can think of that, without a laugh way, would be off-putting. In the rare instances he holds being honest, calamity nearly ten-strikes and he’s portrayed as smart-alecky for continuing to repress his feelings.

Then, right before Daphne gets married, fate brings them together and he finally runs up the nerve to confess his love. And she loves him back, of course, because you don’t spend seven years building up a plot phase only to only throw it out. So Daphne ditches her bridegroom, and together she and Niles live happily ever after.

If you’re unfamiliar with that storyline because you’re young or, ugh, a Friends person, this really is a trope that’s in, oh, roughly half of all pop culture involving relationships. The message, over and over again, is that if you’re too shy to tell a woman that you’re attracted to them, “youre supposed to” hang around, and eventually a situation will arise that will let you sweep them off their feet. It may take times, but if you’re a good friend or a fun co-worker, romance will inevitably bloom. True enjoyed is a video game boss, and “youre supposed to” grind experience points until you’re ready to confront it.

Female characters never have any agency in this. They’re always allured when the dude says that he’s adoration her since he first recognized her gutting cod in that cannery eight years ago( spoilers for Fishing For Love ). Because what kind of lesson would these reveals be sending if patience and hard work weren’t rewarded? So much of pop culture equates seduction with a chore, like cleaning out the garage. You just have to softly throw the hours in, without fuss or objection, and eventually you’ll complete the project. Persistence is held more important than franknes. When the time comes to pursing a woman, there’s a fine line between persistence and harassment, but not in pop culture — if two characters are “meant” to be together, a “no” is just a most dramatic “yes” in the future.

This all strengthens a subtle delusion in Nice Guys. Despite the stereotype of men being willing to hit on any woman with a heartbeat, some humen would rather wrestle a lion than approach a woman. Everything about dating is exhausting and frightening to them, for reasons we’ll get into later. So all these tales about meek guys stumbling into perfect relationships reassures them that they were right to not ask out that lady they like like to dinner or a movie or the new Hollywood executive’s office-themed escape chamber today.

The idea that females will eventually find their lengthy secret crushes cute if they cling to them is an anxiety-reducing godsend. So they keep waiting and waiting for the “right” time. But that time never comes, because their life isn’t being written by a hack. So they get bitter and disappointed, since they are don’t merely seem rejected; they seem ripped off, like they were owed love, but it was somehow denied them. And they feel that behavior because …


We Still Treat Women As Sexual Gatekeepers

If you ask a Nice Guy whether they respect ladies, they’ll say yes without hesitation. And in many ways, they often do. They’ll decry harassment in its most commonly associated sorts, like unsolicited dick pics and not shutting up about David Foster Wallace. They’ll support feminist policies like abortion their entitlements and access to birth control. They mock bros who catcall women and lonely boys who scream death threats because Lara Croft is wearing the wrong-colored shirt in the new Tomb Raider . Society is starting to do a decent occupation of teaching Nice Guys to ensure females as people instead of conquests. But society likewise does a horrible job of teaching humankinds that sex is a fun cooperative activity , not a reward ladies dole out as they see fit.

So while many men from generations past thought that the female orgasm was a myth and that a clitoris was an African insect, most Nice Guys readily had recognized that a woman’s sex satisfaction is important. But in get that message across, we’ve inadvertently started telling men that while it’s wrong to try to seduce women in most situations, when sex does happen, you’d better be goddamn incredible at it.

Think about how we taunt all those people who break sex mores, have differing political positions, or just plain aren’t likable, possibly because they’re uncultured Friends fans. They likely have a small penis, they don’t last long, they can’t find the clitoris or make a woman orgasm. They aren’t good at sexually fulfilling ladies, and this implicitly builds them a bad person. How many jokes about Donald Trump have you ascertained where the punchline is that he has a tiny dick? Nice Guys, who are usually sexually inexperienced( and recollect, there’s an entire genre of pop culture that shames guys for being virgins) will giggle along where individuals joke about how a legislator who said something idiotic about women’s rights must have the sex dynamism of a lethargic banana slug. But internally, they’ll be thinking, “Oh my deity, is that me too? “

This is the male equivalent of the Madonna-Whore Complex, whereby some boys crave women who are the impossible combination of experienced sexual dynamos in couch and chaste virgins in public. Nice Guys are taught that they need to respect women, which they inaccurately interpret as endlessly deferring to them. But then, if sexuality ever occurs, they’ll be humbled if they do anything other than give a woman multiple Earth-shattering orgasms. We treat sex like DC treats their movie world, in that we severely exaggerate how incredible every single outing will be.

This is a subtle, nasty lane of reinforcing the out-of-date notion that ladies are sex gatekeepers who can bone whenever and whomever they want, but ration it for profit like a Mad Max porn lampoon rascal. A man’s worth is still wrapped up in how often he can gain access. Nice Guys just think that the key involves excess adulation and unwanted endowments instead of trapping a woman in a inn room.

If some guy started joking about how a weird, off-putting girl is necessary dreadful at making chief, they would rightfully be chastised for reducing her role in culture to a sex act. But we still think it’s appropriate and hilarious to reduce weird, off-putting humen to people who couldn’t sexually satisfy a woman if “peoples lives” depended on it( and Nice Guys belief “peoples lives” do depend on it, as we’ll realise ). Go search for “small penis” or “clitoris” on Twitter, and once you’ve filtered out a shocking sum of porn, it’s an endless parade of people slamming boys they’ve deemed insufficient members of society. We’re linking men’s self-worth to their sex abilities, then dishonor them for a lack of it. That’s not surprising — it’s been done to women somewhere between most and all of history — but it leaves Nice Guys thinking that they don’t have any value or power.

That’s how the animosity and the nervousnes builds for Nice Guys when the woman they think they’re wooing continues to treat them as the platonic friend she thinks he is. He thinks he’s done everything right, that he’s proven he’s interested in the woman as a person instead of inappropriately insisting on sex like whatever celebrity is currently in hassle for doing that as you read this. Then, when sex never happens, Nice Guys don’t just think that they’re being rejected; they think they’ve been judged to be inadequate as boys. And nothing makes you detest another person more than was of the view that they deem you inadequate. This is made worse by the fact that …


We Massively Overhype Romantic Failure

If there’s one pop culture archetype that attains more of any suggestions on Nice Guys than the milquetoast dude who stumbles into enjoy, it’s the sad old all those people who serve as a warned against what will happen if you don’t follow a girl around like a puppy until she fucks you( hopefully not like a puppy ). Remember The 40 -Year-Old Virgin ? An entire movie about how being sexless builds you a depressing loser doomed to an empty life? That’s the fate Nice Guys fear most. They’re told that mere relationship with a woman simply isn’t good enough — if they’re not getting laid, they have failed.

And again, how do we reject humankinds we don’t like? Why, they’re basement-dwelling virgins who are going to die alone, of course. That’s the go-to lane to instantly dismiss someone as a loser whose sentiments are irrelevant. I’m not saying you should be more sympathetic to death-threat-sending assholes, but should be considered the message. If a dreadful person is lonely and sexless, then implicitly the opposite is also applicable — being lonely and sexless induces you a horrible person. “But that’s not what people intend! ” Sure, but if you’re already feeling anxious, that’s how you interpret it. And it’s a message that civilization drives into boys( and women, and the protagonist of my very affordable volume) endlessly.

But shouldn’t that motivate Nice Guys to simply suck it up and ask ladies out in a proper, respectful way? Right, just like how you’re motivated to not be nervous before a big exam or scheduled interview — a fact which does not actually stop many people from get butterflies and accidentally telling the interviewer that their greatest weakness is “the amulet.” To Nice Guys, they’re not just asking a woman out for coffee to see if they click; they’re rolling the dice on whether or not they’ll be miserable for the rest of “peoples lives”. Men are told over and over again that their value is wrapped up in having a woman in their life. That’s how we get men who, given the choice between asking a woman out and facing a firing squad, would think long and hard about whether they were ready to meet their maker.

That’s partially because we do a bad task of portraying good relationships as low-key. There’s an preoccupation with discovering “the one” via grand romantic gestures, because there’s little storytelling potential in pairs get groceries and then falling asleep in front of a baseball game because they’re both wearied from operate. You simply learn about those aspects of a relationship by being in one, but you can’t be in one if you’re too anxious about the prospect to even try.

Again, females have felt this pressure eternally. There are thousands of awful rom-coms about women who have great careers in either publishing or baking and sassy, loving friends, yet are supposedly missing something in their sad lives for not having a generically handsome humankind. But it shows for men in subtler behaviors. How often does pop culture portray a guy getting rejected because normal and mundane, and how often does it play it as hilarious and humbling? There’s no slapstick or drama in politely asking someone out, politely being told no, and both people moving on with their lives.

So Nice Guys consider countless stories wherein girls vent about creepy encounters they’ve had with all those people who interrupted the working day, and it freaks them out. That ventilating is understandable — I’d be angry too if I was constantly get harassed about my chiseled good looks while trying to run errands. But Nice Guys end up under the impression that every encounter ends in either a sweeping success or a reminder of why mace was fabricated. They think there’s no margin for error, because there’s a constant fear that failure will end in loneliness and dishonour. There’s a brutal contradiction. Nice Guys are told that they need to meet new people, but also that if they fuck up even a tiny bit, they will be mocked. And that stimulates it tough to just ask person if they want to see a movie and then chat about why Friends sucks for a couple hours. Especially since …


Women Have To Avoid Offending Men, Which Gives Men Weird Ideas

One of the classic Nice Guy objections is that ladies are simply interested in jerkings. This is usually said after their crush had the gall to date someone who actually asked her out instead of the guy who bought her so much unrequested coffee that she could have paid her phone bill by reselling it. “Jerk” stimulates us picture a stereotype who reeks of body spray and calls women sluts, but while that may be what Nice Guys are supposing, what they genuinely entail is any guy who isn’t as intimidated as them to make a move. Maybe he even, gasp , gently pokes fun at her sometimes instead of endlessly flattering her from below a giant pedestal!

This leads to guys complaining that they’re in the so-called Friend Zone, a limbo of unrequited desire where they and the Peanuts gang glean to gripe about how unappreciated they find themselves. “She said she likes stuffed animals, so I bought her 30 and took Friday off work to arrange them in her home, yet she’d rather date a guy who are bought her one and then spent Friday with his pals? This is such bullshit! ” Perhaps the Nice Guy has been told something like “I value you so much as a friend” or “You’re like two brothers to me” or “I have repressed all sexual desire as part of my monomaniacal quest for revenge against my parents’ killers.”

Life tip: Every single one of those statements is polite code for “I don’t want to fuck you.” There may be all sorts of different reasons for this, ranging from your sense of humor to your hideous yet prominently displayed collecting of Friends Blu-rays, but they’re all irrelevant. Why don’t they just come out and said here today? Well, if humen watch girls( in a non-creepy style) for long enough, they notice that wives have been encouraged to let men down gently. Perhaps it’s while constructing agency lunch programs, or maybe it’s when being hit on at the bar. If it’s the former, women have been received information that making conflict and upsetting someone is a sin that constructs them look mean, or at the least that Steve from Accounting will be mopey all goddamn day if you insist on Thai. If it’s the latter, wives have been taught that being harsh to a boy could lead to that human fucking killing them.

How often do you hear “I’m not interested in you, please stop talking to me” when a woman’s being hit on? It’s typically more like “You seem nice, but we’re having a girls’ nighttime tonight” or “I actually have to go over there, I have an early morning” or “Due to a rare medical condition, I is simply mate when the moon is full.” Then the guy goes back to his friends and complains that she was an ugly bitch. It’s a dynamic where boys have the power, even if they guess wives comprise the power because women sometimes have the audacity to say no.

So men punish women for the purpose of being honest, then can’t or won’t read between the lines and thus is argued that a woman’s polite resist can be solved. To Nice Guys, this entails doubling down and resenting the “jerks” who aren’t being as “nice” as them. “I value you too much as a friend” becomes “Wow, she must think our friendship is incredible! I better make it even more awesome so she believes a intrigue is worth the risk! I know she wishes she could have a feline, but her boyfriend is allergic, so I’m going to go adopt 12 of them and then give her a key to my house so she can visit them at any hour! ” It rarely becomes “Wait, if she values me so much, why am I the only one who initiates conversations and makes gifts? ” because self-reflection is hard and denial is comforting in the short term.

Insisting that girls always manage men’s egoes like precious Faberge eggs throws the blame on women for not reciprocating sexual concern, because their safe reaction is seen as a coy pester. A straightforward “I’m not interested in you because X, ” whether X is a strongly comprised political ruling, different standards of domestic cleanliness, or just some weird intangible factor, is dangerous for women to say and pain for men to hear. And Nice Guys are going to continue existing until we don’t punish women for the purpose of saying it, and teach men that it’s not the end of the world to hear it. But for now …


This All Makes A Punishing Loop

So what do you get when you add this all up, aside from a much younger and dumber version of myself who invested an embarrassing quantity of period Googling what “normal” romantic milestones were and freaking out at the results? You get guys who feel like they’re basically violated, and therefore believe they’re being denied what they’re constantly told are normal life experiences.

Have you ever seen that joke about how has become a straight white man is like getting to live life on easy mode? No, I’m not going to launch into a screed about how straight humen are actually the most oppressed people if you genuinely think about it . But the message to Nice Guys is that they’re failing at the one thing that should be easy for them. No one likes to fail, but it’s especially pain when you’re being told both that it’s important and that only total losers would fuck it up.

At the risk of ruining the timelines of the countless erotic fanfiction that’s been written about me, I was a bit of a slow starter in the romance department. I’ve since figured it out as much as anybody has, and have built enjoy at enough girl to realize that the whole thing is kind of overhyped( although the fanfiction is correct about how excellent I am at it ). Relationships and sex is also possible fun and rewarding, but they shouldn’t define you, and there are far worse things in life than being single.

But until you learn that, you really do feel like a failing. And with every day that passes, you believe that you’re falling further and further behind the curve. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You absence the relationship experience that everyone else has, but you swear you need some experience to start a relationship. You feel like you’re trapped in the bottom of a deep, dark cavity without any tools to begin the long clambered out. And part of you doesn’t even want to start clambering, because it’s scary. So it eats away at you, stimulating you a less healthy person with every little bite.

This can be a difficult subject because, to some extent, it’s understandable that romantic inexperience is penalise. That inexperience can make a woman feel awkward, uncomfortable, or even threatened, and no guy’s sob story can or should take priority over that. No one is entitled to sex and adoration, even if you’re a nice person and even if the absence of them in your life is pain. Nice Guys have to accept that doing the right thing and becoming a better person is a process who are able to mean that they’ll have to keep dealing with that soreness for an indefinite sum of hour. But it’s better than continues to cling and hope for the impossible.

A major turning point in my dumb life was when I finally worked up the nerve to express romantic those who are interested in a friend, she said no, and then instead of spotlights emerging as people met round to mock me, we continued to be friends and life gone on. And once “were starting to” get some dating experience, you are familiar with rejection because you start committing it instead of receiving it. You’ll date women and like them, but not enjoy them or want to sleep with them, for all sorts of different reasons. And that doesn’t construct either one of you a bad person. Unless you’re spurning them because they’re, like, super racist.

We’re in the middle of a sea change, as powerful humen are being taken to task for sexual abuses that were once swept under the carpet. This is an opportunity not only to clean house, but likewise for men to reexamine the fundamental routes in which they view ladies. For Nice Guys, that signifies recognizing also that women owe you nothing, that there is nothing wrong or disgraceful with simply being friends, and that you should be honest about your emotions and accepting of the fact that, while abandonment sucks, your life will go on. Because in the end, men and women are all simply human being who should buy my book.

Mark on Twitter and wrote a funny book that The New York Times < i> called “We do not accept unsolicited substance for review.”

Mark Hill forgot to actually name his book in this article, it’s “Confessions of an Average Boy” and available here .

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