Love and Sex Essay

Submitted By fishingguy
Words: 1697
Pages: 7

Wade Joseph Phil 365
Reciprocity - is it possible between men and women? Simon de Beauvior says it is possible but achieving it can be very difficult. This idea is shared by Sandra Lee Bartky, Susan Bordo and others. While I agree with the notion that it is difficult to achieve, the difficulty arises primarily when we fall in line with the established social norms. I believe it is possible, it is just difficult to overcome the social norms to achieve it. I will dare to address this idea from a man’s perspective. Reciprocity is not absolute equality. We can all be different, in fact we all are different, every man is different and every woman is different. We are all unique and amazing creatures. But what exactly is reciprocity? It is not being treated as an absolute equal; it is not being regarded as not a man or woman, but as simply a human. Reciprocity in my opinion is a situation where we can realize that men and women’s physical differences, their anatomy, their desire for intimacy, their instinct to protect or nurture are differences that we must embrace. These qualities we each possess should be recognized as elements that can enhance our relationships while also realizing that while we are all different, we are all unique regardless of gender. But reciprocity with a significant other goes deeper than everyday interaction with others. It requires discarding any double standards and promotes an environment where each can be subject. I believe that complete reciprocity, that is physically, intellectually, sexually is very hard to achieve because of numerous socially accepted norms. Those imposed on women as well as on men. While I personally have no issue with a woman who enjoys sex and seeks sexual satisfaction from numerous partners, many people see these women as cheap or “sluts.” Yet from a male standpoint, a man who is bedding numerous women is seen as virile and a “stud.” This is a social double standard. A double standard I was not only aware of, but as a young man, participated in perpetuating the male side. I was guilty of being that “stud” and I eagerly sought out those women who were “sluts.” I did not have any desire for reciprocity with them; I was merely looking for sexual gratification. As pathetic as it seems, and looking back I am ashamed of how I behaved back then, at a point in my life I did not care if the woman could carry on an intelligent conversation. I cared about two things - was she “hot” and was she willing to sleep with me. I never even considered an actual relationship. I was in it for the chase and the catch. Sandra Lee Bartky states in Femininity and Domination; “a woman’s behavior is less regulated now than it was in the past. She has more mobility and is less confined to domestic space. She enjoys what to previous generations would have been unimaginable sexual liberty.” (pg 79). I am not certain what she defines as “the past” but I would say it’s possible that at the time I was acting in this manner, in the 80’s and 90’s, most of the women I slept with may have been exercising this new found sexual liberty. There are not only societal norms but I would argue even “micro-societies” that we all must live within. Men and women are both influenced by our circle of friends, our peers. When I was in my twenties, I did not care if the women I slept with were doing it for their own physical satisfaction. I did not care if they were in search of a relationship or a little of both. It is probably safe to assume that a good many of them were women who simply enjoyed sex and were seeking their own satisfaction. This never crossed my mind then and even now, when thinking about it, does not make me feel used or cheap in any way. What I do wonder though is about the ones who were doing it because it was the “in” thing to do with their circle of friends. That is, the “micro-society” in which they existed promoted the idea that sleeping with lots of guys was the