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|What men can learn from 50 Shades Of Grey|
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
When Avinash Mehta, a 26-year-old social media manager was browsing through books at a local bookstore to pick up new erotica, he found this passage and showed the excerpt to his friend Karan Seth: "When his hand brushed her nipple it tripped a switch and she came alight. He touched her belly and his hand seemed to burn through her. He lavished on her body indirect touches and bitter-sweet sensations flooded her brain. She became aware of places in her that could only have been concealed there by a God with a sense of humour. Adrift on warm currents, no longer of this world, she became aware of him gliding into her. He loved her with gentleness and strength, stroking her neck, till she was broken up and began a low rhythmic wail… The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her. Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off." Seth was dismissive. "Oh yeah, that's the aim-'the unfolding of the universe.' And don't you underestimate the power of the 'brush', and the 'glide.'" Mehta retorted, "It is almost as if the man has nothing to experience except being the cause of the 'awareness.'"
What turns on men
A nice cleavage and two girls kissing. Is that enough to turn men on? Popular perception may have you believe that a single sexual stimulus is enough to arouse men, but is that all there is to male sexuality? This assumption that the male brain responds to or is aroused by any single sexual stimulus should have made Mehta and Seth feel some twitching in their trousers while reading this passage. But both disagree. "It offers nothing authentic to a man's experience and more so, it portrays a very typical, thus, limited view of what women want from sex (eg, the universe unfolding) and the way a man behaves in bed-the gentleness has to break her open and the man is always on the recieveing end," Mehta says.
The 'neuroscience' behind desire
What turns you on, isn't easily answerable
Only when the subjects were provided with a wide vareity of porn clips to choose from, clear signs of arousal were obtained. "We know little about why something may turn on one person, but not another. We know little about how people develop preferences for specific kinds of sexual stimuli. Or why is it that the same fantasies or images can arouse some over and over again, while other people need something new every time," wrote Erick Janssen, PhD, associate scientist at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University.
Also, the stereotype that female sexuality is typified by the romance novel and male sexuality approximates pornography does not seem to do justice to the complexity of human sexuality, says Nigel Barber, PhD, Biopsychology in an article questioning the underestimation of women's interest in pornography by evolutionary psychologists. He says that research has proved that physiology of sexual arousal and sexual pleasure is quite similar in men and women. "Based purely on physiology, one would imagine that women are more sexual than men, which raises intriguing questions about why gender differences in sexual behaviour are in the opposite direction," he writes.
Men are not seed containers
More so, percieving men as porn addicts or the sole viewers of porn, seen as a social evil, takes away agency from men but also unjustly portrays them as sex freaks, says Ahmad Faraz, a coordinator for MenEngage Delhi, a network of men and boys for gender justice. And anyway, sex doesn't feel fantastic simply because we're furthering the species. Not only is this argument reductive, it also doesn't explain the why, says Alain de Botton author, How to Think More About Sex, in an interview. "What we find sexy and why we find it sexy can't be explained by the evolutionary perspective as it doesn't explain why it's really exciting to have sex with someone," he says.
Has women's interest in kink been underestimated?
How do you know if she wants S&M?
How do you start?
How do I know she's sure about doing it?
Who sets the limits?
Can you sign a contract?
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