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October 31st, 2010


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09:12 am - Fry on women
There's been a bit of a fuss because Stephen Fry said:
If women liked sex as much as men, there would be straight cruising areas in the way there are gay cruising areas. Women would go and hang around in churchyards thinking: 'God, I've got to get my fucking rocks off', or they'd go to Hampstead Heath and meet strangers to shag behind a bush. It doesn't happen.

There have been a whole load of discussions about this today, but am I mistaken - there are straight outdoor cruising areas aren't there? They seem more common than gay cruising areas, or that is my impression. I'm friends with a guy who is in charge of recreational space for (a town near here) and they have had to take down the signs pointing to the country park for just this reason. It's close to the M6 junction, so it was a convenient outdoor meetup place. There's a small wood near my house that I used to go walking in, and that's now a dogging point.

And men and women have sex outdoors round the back of pubs? Or am I very old fashioned, perhaps this has all changed now?

Anyway, I think young women would be even more open to sex if the general hetero male culture were less hostile to them (less fear, less shame). For example that recent article in Gawker where a man publicly attacked Christine O'Donnel for spending the night with him. I don't like O'Donnel but I thought it was a horrible thing to write. Or all the countless articles in the papers shaming women for heterosexual activity or desire, and all the magazines telling women they aren't attractive enough to be desirable. That latter is such a big issue for women, I don't think men have any idea.

Anyway, of course many (most?) people both gay and straight prefer to express sexuality in a committed relationship, but that's another issue. I'm just saying, despite the dangers and the hostility, women do enter fairly enthusiastically into sexual relationships with men, is my impression of life.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:emmzzi
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:20 am (UTC)
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yes, and also with women. Fry does not, of course, know how (sweeping generalisation) women's minds and drives work any more thsn I can fathom his :-)

silly man. Am tempted to post tales of the lesbian crochet club just to be annoying.
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From:communicator
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
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Good point. I am even more out of touch with lesbian culture than I am with heterosexual culture. To be honest I never feel I understand women's or men's drives. I barely understand my own.
From:emmzzi
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
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my experience of "lesbian culture" is not that there is oodles of casual sex, altho it has its share and folk can be relexaed esp, cos no one is ending up pregnant at the end of it.... also, the entire relationship cycle is condensed into about a fortnight (mainly cos there is no bloke going "I am not sure we're reay to commit yet.."). Well, maybe 3 months from start to breakup via living together. This may of course have been the type of people I atract into my circle and not be representative.

So what I have seen suggests no direct comparison works! It's a whole other set of rules/ guidelines/ whatevers.
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From:del_c
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
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It sounds to me like Fry made a tactical mistake of rhetoric. If I was going to express that opinion (it's not my opinion), I'd have tried something like "If women liked sex as much as men, there would be *lesbian* cruising areas in the way there are gay male cruising areas..."

But maybe I've been blind to a lesbian casual sex culture the way it seems Fry has been blind to a heterosexual casual sex culture.
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From:communicator
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
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There used to be such a thing, but I am utterly ignorant so I won't say anything to reveal myself even more out of touch :-)
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From:del_c
Date:October 31st, 2010 09:46 am (UTC)
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Fair enough. By the way, I think you have to argue with Fry's remark on its own grounds. When you wrote: "women do enter fairly enthusiastically into sexual relationships with men", you missed the bit where Fry was in no way talking about entering into any relationships at all :-)
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From:azdak
Date:October 31st, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)
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He seems to me to be making the classic mistake of thinking that the way he likes having sex is the only "real" way to have sex, and since he likes having sex with random strangers, having sex with random strangers is the only "real" way to enjoy having sex. I don't see that only liking sex if you have a strong emotional connection to your partner means that you don't enjoy sex per se, it just means that this is the kind of sex you like. You might as well argue that if you don't like anal sex, then you don't like sex; or if you don't like blow jobs, then you don't like sex. It's exactly the same mistake that heterosexual people make when they argue that the only "real" kind erotic love is between a man and a woman.
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From:andrewducker
Date:October 31st, 2010 10:30 am (UTC)
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He's missing that _nearly every night club_ is a straight cruising area.

I know a fair number of lesbians, and a chunk of them were going out on a Saturday night, picking someone up, and sleeping with them.

However, in my chats to gay male friends who did do the pickup thing, they seemed to do it in an even more impersonal manner than the straight ones or lesbians, in that they could be having sex within three minutes of meeting someone, whereas straight/lesbian one-offs usually had a while longer than that as a warm-up.

And, of course, as usual there's no way of telling how much of that is social and how much is built in.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:October 31st, 2010 11:47 am (UTC)
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Some women don't like sex. Some men don't like sex. Yet another reason to be grateful to Sherlock; I'm suddenly seeing a lot more fannish awareness of the latter.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:October 31st, 2010 12:12 pm (UTC)
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Aren't so-called cruising areas, in fact isn't the kind of sex he's talking about, specifically for people who like sex with strangers? If he'd said women weren't as keen on having sex with people they don't know well, he might have a point, if only because that's a far more dangerous activity for a woman. But he's such a universal bloody expert anyway. "Knows everything and knows nowt", as they say in Yorkshire.
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From:executrix
Date:October 31st, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)

Hooray, Hooray, It's the First of May!

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Sometimes "courting couples" is a euphemism and sometimes it isn't--i.e., people who can't shag at home may be shagging an established partner in the park; or they may be shagging someone they'd met three minutes before.

Also, in male/female couples, it's rather more likely that women will do sexual things they're not that interested in because the man wants to do them, than the other way around.
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From:altariel
Date:October 31st, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
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Watching this unfold on Twitter been fascinating. Fry claimed he'd been misquoted and the original interview was 'humorous'. And now he's stormed off Twitter again, after several deleted tweets!
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From:communicator
Date:October 31st, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
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who would ever have guessed
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From:altariel
Date:November 1st, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
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It's almost like he has a book to promote... Oh, wait!
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From:archbishopm
Date:October 31st, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
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Anyway, I think young women would be even more open to sex if the general hetero male culture were less hostile to them

Once again you have fallen into the trap of imagining that women are people, when in fact they are just fillimasofical zombies with boobies (++) and bleediness (--) from which sex can only be obtained through the proper use of cheat codes.

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