Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Birds and the Bees (The Revised Female Version)

Women want sex.

People laugh at such a statement for one of two reasons, either because they know it's true ("Duh...") or because they actually do find it laughable ("Really?"). In a multi-generational setting of women, the ones who find this statement all too obvious tend to fall in the younger half of the room. Unfortunately, the ones doling out the sex advice (the birds and the bees spiel) tend to come from the other half. Hmmmm. How problematic for a generation that was taught to be sexually reserved (having been fed the "Just lie on your back and wait 'til it's over" advice) to be educating a new generation raised in a porn-saturated, highly-sexualized society. That old sex ed just doesn't cut it anymore.

And besides, most of it was lies anyway...

Based on the stories of many friends (not to mention the stereotypicial societal tradition), I think it's safe to say that the majority of "talks" given to young girls have traditionally (and mistakenly) begun with a discussion of male hormones. Phrases like "Guys just have a one-track mind" and "Don't let him pressure you!" imply that the guy is the only one with the desire. A girl's desire is rarely (if ever) mentioned, as it seems to pale in light of THE most "vital" piece of sex education for females (i.e. How to resist his advances and keep yourself from getting knocked up).

But if I, as a rather candid (yet conservative) Christian woman, had the chance to educate young girls en masse about the topic of sex and sexuality, I can guarantee you that my "talk" would begin with a completely opposite premise: "Girls want sex just as much as boys. Sometimes more..."

This is not merely personal experience, mind you (although it was my idea to write this post, so you can deduce my opinion...). I cannot even tell you how many stories I've heard from teenage and twentysomething Christian females embarassingly confessing that they, in fact, are the ones sexually pressuring their boyfriends/fiances, NOT the other way around. (I would like to pause here to point out something rather interesting. It's no secret that in this day and age, men are constantly being bashed for not "stepping up and taking the initiative." Yet, given the information I just offered, I would just like to give praise to all the young Christian men who have the balls to put on the brakes in the backseat (especially when the girl is asking for more). It seems crazy because it rarely gets mentioned that guys have often been the protectors of purity and the preventors of pregnancy. Let's hear it for those boys...).

I was recently talking to a friend about this whole phenomenon of women pushing guys for sex and I pointed out how no one ever talks about the girls being the ones who need to keep it in their pants. I guess it's embarrassing for good little Christian gals to admit that they are equally as sexually driven, if not more so, than their male counterparts. Instead, we just lie and stereotype the guy as the jerk doing all the pressuring (it seems easier to shift the blame to males in order to make the whole scenario a bit more predictable...maybe even more excusable). Yet I had to laugh when my friend, in that same conversation, blurted out the sudden realization of her own (pressuring) actions towards her boyfriend: "Ugh! I'M the jerk!" true! Girls can be the jerks and guys can be the ones exercising the self-control (What??? No one ever talks about this!). The truth of what goes on behind closed doors simply isn't as black and white as you thought it was. Yet, I think there are actually several factors that contribute to this interesting phenomenon of female sexual aggressiveness. Humor me for a moment as I give you a preview of one of my (forthcoming...someday) sex ed classes...

The first factor, as previously stated, can be chalked up to pure carnal desire on the part of an otherwise demure young woman (hahaha...there's definite truth to the whole "lady in the street, but a freak in the bed" line). Due to the nature of female sexuality (generally not aroused visually, needing foreplay, etc), it's easy to assume that women aren't as interested because they usually aren't physically "ready to go" as quickly as men are. Don't be fooled! The female libido is still strong and seeks to be satisfied. After all, female mammals are the only ones with an organ that has no practical function aside from sexual pleasure (yet another topic for discussion in my sex ed class). Women aren't supposed to enjoy sex? What the crap is THAT all about? Sounds like a lie straight from the pit to me...

The second contributing factor to the sexual agressiveness of women (in my humble, virginal opinion) is not just our sexual lust, but our lust for control. Don't even think dominatrix here; this is true even on a much subtler scale. I'm talking about that sense of power that a woman gets when she realizes she can use her body to make her man powerless. Take away some clothing here or touch there...and boom...he's at your mercy. That's tough to admit so bluntly, but I'm just gonna say what so many girls are afraid to: That sense of control is compelling!

But why? Allow me to offer two thoughts--both straight from Scripture, shockingly enough...

1. Genesis 3:16 offers us incredible insight into the female struggle for power, as we learn of God's punishment for the original sin of Eve:

 "...And you will desire to control your husband,
      but he will rule over you"

Makes so much sense now, doesn't it? This punishment for sin has been passed down from generation to generation, and has sprung up in some way in every female ever since. (Okay, okay...I understand there are a lot of theological implications here which I don't intend to debate right now. Yes, we are no longer under the curse because of Christ. Yet, when we rebel and submit ourselves to sin, we can't deny that our sinful tendencies lead us straight to this...).

For some, that desire to control comes through incessant nagging of their husband ("Why can't you do things THIS way (aka MY way)?"). For others (like us unmarried chicas), we relish the opportunity (albeit often unconciously) to exercize sexual power over other men in our lives. It doesn't necessarily have to be a boyfriend--simply attracting attention from guys at the mall (you know, show a bit of cleavage, turn some heads...) will do the trick. We suddenly feel our confidence surge as we regain some sense of power in a world that otherwise feels chaotic and outside the realm of our control.

Hmmm. Consider that last part of the verse: Women seek to control what they can because they know that they ultimately aren't in control. I think that women use their sexuality (looks, seduction) to manipulate because they are all to aware that men are (generally) able to overpower them physically. Thus, we feel vulnerable in the world. We can't walk down the street alone at night (at least not without a gnawing in our stomach and a constant looking over our shoulder). Even for the strongest of us women, the world can be a scary place.

Yet we don't have to have this constant fear of rape in order to feel vulnerable to men. On a far less dramatic level, our more conscious fear is to be rejected by them. And a woman's traditional method of rejection prevention? Seduction. (Women "giving sex to get love"? Sounds about right). Women will often use their sexual power to keep a guy's attention, jealously seeking to secure his affections on them alone in order to avoid abandonment. This fear of rejection leads us to selfishly seek control, as we strive to awaken lust in our "weaker brothers."

Ladies, this is our sin...

(To be continued)


  1. Wow! Thank you for your honesty and frankness about this. This kind of candor is what is helping remove the misconceptions, disbeliefs and silence that are so prevalent. Understanding, communication, and respect are critical if we are to love and honor each other as Christ commanded us to.

  2. jenn, this is uhAMAZING!!!! especially when you wrote,

    "Women seek to control what they can because they know that they ultimately aren't in control."

    you've just helped me out and furthered what i've already been thinking or was subconsciously stuck on. lets skype soon, friend!

  3. Jennifer, may I make one more comment/compliment? Throughout your posts, you are clearly a very honest, down-to-earth, and introspective lady that values truth--not just that of reality, but more importantly, the truth of Scripture. I admire your candor and willingness to break through the myths and misconceptions that frankly, as men and women, keep us from understanding and appreciating each other, and ultimately, honoring God.

  4. So refreshing to here a female readily admit to this and to support the control aspect with scripture. You really need to blog more often. Your honesty is needed. I hope you are now teaching those sex ed classes. Things may have changed since this post, but I think there is some real value to having a virgin teach sex ed in a church setting. No one can say, "Well, that was a long time ago. Things have changed and you just don't understand how they are today."

    A 40 or 50 year-old married woman has something to offer too, but is not attuned to how sexuality affects the lives of young people. There has always been pressure to be sexual to some degree, but being sexually active has never been looked upon as an acceptable and desired rite of passage as it is now.

    Again, thanks for being so bold. I'm glad I found your blog.