July 27, 2011

Men and Sex

The lurid lead-in to Leslie Bennetts' Newsweek article: "The men who buy sex are your neighbors and colleagues. A new study reveals how the burgeoning demand for pr0n and prostitutes is warping personal relationships and endangering women and girls." Is it, in fact, the same argument in reverse for romance novels and pr0n? Actually, I'm not going to get into that, as I think my piece for H&H earlier this year said it all. (Although, Bennetts' piece echoes something I wrote in my article, that being men believe sex workers, be it hookers or strippers, enjoy what they're doing...and with whom they are doing it.) Instead, I'm going to excerpt what really caught my eye in her article, namely...

Buying sex is so pervasive that Farley’s team had a shockingly difficult time locating men who really don’t do it. The use of pornography, phone sex, lap dances, and other services has become so widespread that the researchers were forced to loosen their definition in order to assemble a 100-person control group.

“We had big, big trouble finding nonusers,” Farley says. “We finally had to settle on a definition of non-sex-buyers as men who have not been to a strip club more than two times in the past year, have not purchased a lap dance, have not used pornography more than one time in the last month, and have not purchased phone sex or the services of a sex worker, escort, erotic masseuse, or prostitute.”

Okay, so to recap:

Because they couldn't find enough men who actually don't buy sex, they used criterion including those who visited strip clubs in the last year...but no more than twice and haven't used pornography more than once in the last month. Which means that while these men didn't buy actual in-person sex, they watched it, either in person, online, or in print, just not as often as other men.

Oh, one other thing. Those men who do buy sex say "they would rape a woman if they could get away with it." This is not just the expression of a fantasy; it's what they would do if they could, and I just don't see the reverse from women who read romance novels.

Other quotes that caught my attention, from those men who do pay for sex:

  • “Prostitution can get you to think that things you may have done with a prostitute you should expect in a mutual loving relationship.”
  • “You’re the boss, the total boss. Even us normal guys want to say something and have it done no questions asked. No ‘I don’t feel like it.’ No ‘I’m tired.’ Unquestionable obedience. I mean that’s powerful. Power is like a drug.”

That's enough from me...go read the article yourself!


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