Why is There so Much Pressure on Young Women to Have Sex?
Sex or 300 Sandwiches from an Engagement ring?
There are several benefits to paying for a subscription to this Substack and one of them is that paid subscribers get to suggest topics they want me to write about.
I decided to try that beforehand with my Facebook friends and one of them wanted to know why there is…
“Tremendous pressure on teen girls and twenty-something young women to accept that sex is the foundation of any relationship. And if you disagree or want a more respectful courtship situation, you’re demeaned and humiliated.”
There is an answer to this, but the majority of people reading it will probably find it to be counterintuitive.
First of all, sex didn’t use to be the foundation of pre-marital relations, right? So, what changed? It isn’t men because men have always wanted sex, but as my Twitter friend Rian Stone likes to say:
Girls are exceptionally good at not sleeping with men they don't want to sleep with.
Ultimately, it’s women, not men that are the sexual selectors and after the Pill became publicly available in 1965, women started to feel more comfortable with the idea of racking up a bigger body count. You see, more than people like to admit, morals tend to be driven by practical consequences. Getting pregnant is a pretty big consequence. Take that away and suddenly, sex seems less scary, more attractive, and next thing you know, more women were having sex. The more common it became; the less willing other women were to shame another woman for it. Just take a look at these numbers:
In the seventies, 80% of women had 2 or fewer partners before marriage, only 10% had 4 or more partners, and 21% were virgins. Forty years later, only 39% had 2 or fewer partners before marriage, 50% had 4 or more partners, and only 5% of women were virgins when they were married.
In other words, there has been a huge sea change in WOMEN’S ATTITUDES towards sex.
At one point, women used to consider other women “sluts” for having sex outside of marriage. Now, women are still concerned about being tagged with that word, but it’s much harder for that label to stick than it used to be. Assuming you aren’t a cam girl, sugar baby, stripper, or prostitute, don’t sleep with anyone’s boyfriend, and your girlfriends don’t see you going home with a different guy from the club every night, you’re probably not going to be tagged as a “slut.” We’re literally at a point now where a woman can say something like, “We had some drinks, made out for a while, then we went to his house to look at his stamp collection and it just HAPPENED” and other women will nod along and go, “Oh yeah, nothing slutty about that. That could happen to anybody.”
All of this changed the dating equation because, as we noted earlier, “men have always wanted sex.” So, once women were able to give men what they wanted without having to fear being branded a slut, being willing to have sex became a competitive advantage for women in dating. Then, after a long enough period of time, it just became expected. There are plenty of guys out there who believe, many times with more than a little bit of justification in our modern world, that if a woman doesn’t have sex with him within three dates time, she’s really just not that into him.
So, men start with the expectation that if you’re in a dating relationship, you are going to have sex. This is an expectation that they have gotten from women and one that is now regularly enforced by… yes, that’s right, WOMEN.
Back when relationships were more typically considered to be a prelude to a potential marriage, women used to put a lot more effort into showing they were good wife material. They’d go out of their way to cook, clean, dress in a feminine way, and generally show that they cared about their man’s opinion. Some women still do that, and I can attest to the fact that it’s really nice when a woman you are dating cooks for you or even cleans your house. However, putting in that sort of effort is often now frowned upon. There are many examples of that I could list, but one in particular from a few years back springs to mind:
After Page Six senior reporter Stephanie Smith made her boyfriend, Eric Schulte, a turkey sandwich in June 2012, he joked, “Honey, you’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!” She gamely took on the challenge, anonymously launching 300sandwiches.com, a blog about her quest to woo him with bread-and-meat creations. But when Smith revealed herself to be the blog’s author in The Post last September, her act of love sparked a raging debate about gender relations. In the end, the sandwiches — and love — won. Last week, Schulte popped the question — while sandwich No. 257 was in progress.
It seems like a really cute story, right? But you would be surprised at the sheer number of women that were absolutely INFURIATED that a woman would do ANYTHING to please a man other than satisfy him in bed. Just to give you one example of many, here’s Emily Shire at The Week snarkily opining on this adorable story:
Does Smith even realize how messed up her relationship with her boyfriend sounds? "It's never exactly clear whether the mission Stephanie undertakes is a conscious attempt to satirize something (…women?), or just another testament of God's endless troll against the race of man," says Caity Weaver at Gawker.
Smith has responded to the great wave of disgust that greeted her original article, claiming that it was clearly a lighthearted sandwich romcom. She writes in the New York Post today that she is shocked that she "enraged feminists everywhere," and that "some people read into the article too seriously."
However, it's a little too late for her to backtrack after she wrote some pretty antiquated, sexist things like, "Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove I am wife material." Yes, nothing says you're a stable life-partner like your ability to slice bread!
Of course, it’s not just slicing bread. It’s a way of showing affection, showing that you’ll put in the effort, and showing that you have that feminine impulse to want to take care of someone you care about. It’s a way of showing that you are potential wife material that just putting out can never be. We could speculate as to why so many women get upset about other women fulfilling more traditional dating roles that take the emphasis off of sex and put it onto other things, but whatever the case may be, men pretty clearly aren’t the ones driving that particular wagon. I don’t have a single male friend who dislikes women who cook, clean, have long hair, and prefer traditional gender roles. In fact, most (but, not all) guys I know? They’d prefer to live in a world where women were virgins until they got married, especially if that marriage was lifelong. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in and since it’s not, most men are going to do the best they can to adapt to the world as it is, not as they wish it to be. If people want this to change, women, as the selectors, are going to have to be the ones to change it as a group. Unfortunately, at this point, sugar babies look closer to being the direction things are going on the dating front than a trip back in time to the world of Leave it to Beaver.