She’s the self-appointed voice of the most marginalised group in society, men. Yes, ignore the fact that they rule the world in their tailored grey suits raking in millions, we must all feel sorry for them. You know those poor disadvantaged, misunderstood souls, who need taking care of by Aunty Bett. Her latest effort, “What men want in bed” based on the startlingly representative sample of 150 men, suggests that pornography searching and extra-marital affairs are completely normal. So there you have it, Tiger, is just a virile young man seeking to fulfil his natural desires, because he has been spurned by his irrationally unwilling wife. WTF?
What Aunty Bett has taught me, is a profound understanding about why some people are moved to violence, especially against celebrities who get air space for their puerile claptrap dressed up as academic research.
As I sprayed the Sunday Mail with a mouthful of cappuccino, lovingly made by my amateur barrista husband, I might add, I felt the urge to grab the nearest biro and engrave a moustache and glasses into that supercilious grin reaching out to me from the from the black and white columns of poison she refers to as research. Why, oh why, did I bother when I know what total garbage she continues to sprout.
Even the title reeked of disrespect. ‘When women won’t put out’? What the hell is putting out? I have an image of a women with her legs splayed, back arched and vagina at the ready. She is of course in repose on her back ready, willing and waiting for her man??? Because of course physically we can’r ‘put out’ we ‘take in’. Not particularly “girl power” in its imagery, hey?
According to Bett, if women refuse to have sex, it’s no wonder men look elsewhere, it’s just natural. Next she’ll be advocating for rapists because they were just responding to their natural desires because the wife wouldn’t put out, hey lets prosecute the wife instead?
She derides the women who are feeling pissed off that their men are reaching for viagra at a time when they thought they could have a rest for the constant sexual requests. What she seems to be missing here is that by far the majority of women do not orgasm from intercourse and the constant ‘gun in the back, hands up’ requests at bedtime can be tiresome when what is required is some foreplay to get the interest happening on both sides of the sexual divide.
Nowhere does she mention female pleasure, or female desire. Among people I know, it is the women who desire to stray, not their devoted men. What do you have to say about that Aunty Bett? They are looking for excitement, difference and danger from a safe distance. The charge of adrenalin that comes from finding yourself in lust with someone new. Sometimes they act on this, with dire consequences. But all of them tell me it’s not about the sex, it’s about the chase, the romance, the playful pursuit of pleasure. And I didn’t need to interview 150 of them to discover this.
Where is the male responsibility in all of this? What about injecting romance into well-worn relationships, what about pursuing in subtle ways, resurrecting a sex life infiltrated by children, day-to-day drudgery, financial resentment, menopause, and plain old simple aging?
If her ridiculous opinions weren’t so dangerous I could laugh and turn the pages leaving her absurd stupidity to line the cat tray. Where it belongs. But it is dangerous. It suggesst that male sexual desire and it’s fulfilment is a dangerous energy that cannot be controlled and therefore it is the women’s responsibility to lie back and think of her countrymen? Hmmm where have we heard this before? Perhaps she’ll be telling us to hide our faces and body parts in burqas so that men will not need to be subjected to their natural desires. If her work gains purchase it could send the gains of the past hurtling, top gear, into the good old dark ages.
Her opinions sanction the pursuit of sex by men from unwilling partners, so I guess rape within marriage is just normal to her too.
Men and women’s desires and the pursuit of monogamous relationships are extremely complex and nuanced. Her rubbish is the typical middle class crap I’ve come to expect from women who support this ridiculous shift to portraying the man as victim, when his gender, alone, places him at the top of the food chain. It’s hard for him to accept when faced with unemployment, a dominant wife, a female boss, that by the very nature of being male he matches the norm, the dominant culture, the patriarchy that is portrayed as normal and therefore any disagreement with the status quo is seen as deviance, abnormal.
If you haven’t had sex for two years, get counselling, there is something wrong with your relationship and it has nothing to do with women’s sex drives being lower than men’s. I am not denying that there will always be tension between the sexes about ‘how often’ is reasonable. I am always astonished at the variety of expectations. I once worked with a colleague who said she liked to have sex at least three or four times a week and if she didn’t get it she got antsy. She wasn’t the one refusing to ‘put out’ in this instance. Then there was a friend whose husband had not wanted sex for eleven months? How does this fit with her “normal”. We are so consumed by what is normal, and what is not, we are failing to discuss it with the people who really count in the relationship. The “us” factor. We decide what is normal. We decide what we need. Sometimes we won’t feel like it, but if we exist in a relationship where respect is the norm, refusal won’t send one of us stumbling to the Internet porn sites or the arms of another. It will inspire a conversation, a seeking to understand. And if not get help from a third party, but don’t expect it in the pages of this infantile, simplistic, male oriented, female apologist that is Ms Arndt.
Do you remember that Michael Douglas film “Falling Down”, where he pitifully laments, after a psychotic spree of violence, “I’m the bad guy?” Yes. Deal with it. Until we are truly equal, and have respectful relationships between the sexes as the norm, you have to contain your sexual urges and find out what gives women pleasure and learn to provide it in an atmosphere of equality, tenderness and love. All of which are completely absent from the rubbish being espoused by Ms Arndt. Boycott the book. Save your money.
Instead, turn to your significant other and have a conversation about what you both want. It would be much more productive that anything this drivel could produce.