An Editorial That Misses the Mark: More Women Have Joyless Sex Than You Think by Amy Wax
I saw this really long article on The American Conservative site – the link to it, “Women Having Joyless Sex” is towards the bottom.
Here is the comment I left on their page, though I don’t see it published (okay, I later broke up my response in chunks, and their site says this is in moderation):
What a long-winded article. I read quite a bit of it but grew bored and skimmed over the remaining.
Anyway – towards the end of it, the author seems to be suggesting that it’s okay, good, or acceptable that women in stable, committed relationships (such as marriage) have sex when they don’t really want to.
I somehow doubt we’d see the reverse sentiment if the genders were swapped out.
I cannot imagine any writer, male or female, lecturing husbands that they should go ahead and have sex with their wife, even if they, the husband, is not in the mood for it, or, to persist in having bad or unsatisfying sex with their wives.
Too bad that too many people keep sort of defending or promoting this idea that women cannot or should not decide for themselves what to do with their bodies or their own sexuality.
Lastly, please, please do not quote Mark Regnerus, as you did in this essay above.
Regnerus is a Christian sociologist who has (Link): actually made the perverted argument in some of his online essays (which were repudiated by other Christians) that he thinks because marriage rates are declining, that Christian single women should go ahead and marry Christian men who are known porn users or known porn addicts.
There are a lot of Christian single women for whom a man viewing porn is a deal breaker, as is their right.
Women get to choose what they will and will not accept in a man they date or marry – but Regnerus, like a lot of my fellow conservatives – is so obsessed with promoting marriage that he’s turned marriage into an idol and will say or do anything to pressure or guilt trip single adults into marrying anyone.
Regnerus and other Christians mistakenly act as though singleness is a disease that needs to be cured.
This is in spite of the fact that the Bible says God honors singleness (see 1 Corinthians chapter 7).
God does not command every one marry, or say that he, God, views singleness as being “less than” marriage.
Nor does God prescribe marriage as a “cure all” that will “fix” a society, contrary to Mark Regnerus, Al Mohler, and other Christians who have deified marriage and denigrated singleness.
// end my comment on their page
As I said, this is a very long editorial. I skimmed most of it.
There were a few parts I may have agreed with, but I did not agree with all points:
(Link): More Women Have Joyless Sex Than You Think by Amy L. Wax
….The problem might be sex without desire, or it might not. Even if the sex feels libidinous, the lack of emotional content can still make hooking up distressing.
If women are having sex that doesn’t bring much pleasure, or that is not the result of “ordinary motives” or “ordinary feelings” — whatever those might be— we shouldn’t be surprised that the rhetoric of sexual assault on campus is a confusing mash-up of labels and charges that are almost impossible to keep straight.
Some social conventions do better than others at protecting women from sex they don’t desire and really don’t enjoy.
One might take the position—as I do—that society and the campus culture currently do too little in this regard, especially for adolescents and young women, while at the same time recognizing that completely eliminating sex without desire from all women’s lives is not only impossible, but might sometimes come at too great a price.
Surely there are better and worse such encounters, and better and worse societies for minimizing the harms that can flow to women from this experience.
Some of the middle-aged women in The Bitch is Back tell us they don’t experience a sexual frisson from every intimate encounter in their lives.
The same seems to go for the overwhelmed young mothers who complain on the Internet.
Although these women may not feel sexual excitement at the moment, they sometimes do it anyway.
Unlike the girls who hook up, they do it for love, or out of gratitude, or as a gift, or to preserve something enduring, lasting, and valuable. In many cases it is a marriage that they seek to preserve, a mostly loving relationship that is central to their lives.
But when college women play the hook-up game, what are they trying to preserve or achieve?
They want male company and attention, and that’s the only way to get it. It really shouldn’t be that way.
/// end excerpts
Her editorial is extremely long, and I found it mind-numbingly boring.
You can click through using the link above to read the entire thing should you wish.
She seems to think women in marriages have to or should put up with lousy sex, and that’s okay, because it helps to preserve a marriage or some such nonsense, and she further feels that crappy, unrewarding sex for a married woman is somehow morally superior or something as compared to teen girls who have crappy, unrewarding sex with campus boys. I don’t agree. I think all of that is equally bad.
In trying to argue against casual sex (“hook up culture”) my fellow conservatives manage to deliver some sexist assumptions about women and dismal views about adult singleness, none of which I find acceptable.
Trying to argue your way against false rape charges or hook up culture should not be done in such a way you’re also arguing that it’s acceptable for women to have to feel they must put up with crappy marital sex, or that being married is a preferable state of life (to imply in the reverse that singleness is for losers, or worse for culture).
(Link): Male Christian Researcher Mark Regnerus Believes Single Christian Women Should Marry Male Christian Porn Addicts – another Christian betrayal of sexual ethics and more evidence of Christians who do make an idol out of marriage