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March 24, 2017

New First World Feminism Problem: Cosmo Worries That Men Are Deriving Too Much Pleasure from Giving an Orgasm to a Woman

The orgasm isn't the problem, you understand. The problem is that men are feeling pretty good about having delivered that orgasm, and, in a way, are therefore Controlling Women's Bodies or something.

Usually I'd avoid linking an article this hatefully stupid, but this is such an amazing display of feminist hysteria and Complaint Conjuration that I think this shitty writer deserves to collect her hate-link reward.

Why Guys Get Turned on When You Orgasm-- and Why That's a Bad Thing

Of course guys manage to make YOUR orgasm about themselves.

It's not enough that men are already having more orgasms than women. To make matters worse, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research found -- aside from deriving pleasure from their own orgasms, obviously -- men also derive a specific sort of masculine pleasure from making female partners orgasm. The researchers in the study, Sara Chadwick and Sari van Anders, refer to this incredibly predictable phenomenon as a "masculinity achievement."

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I imagine a "masculinity achievement" looks something like Super Mario punching a coin out of one of those floating boxes in the video game.

The study gathered 810 men to read a story where they had to imagine an "attractive woman" either did or did not orgasm during sex with them. Each man was then asked to rate their sexual esteem and the extent to which they'd feel "masculine" after experiencing the scenario. The results are what you'd expect: Men felt more masculine and felt high self esteem when they imagined a woman orgasmed during sex with them. "These results suggest that women's orgasms do function -- at least in part -- as a masculinity achievement for men," researchers wrote.

Where to start? First of all, look at the "study" itself. The study asks men to imagine having brought an "attractive" woman to orgasm (why does she need to be attractive? Lookist much? And why does she have to be a "she"?), and then asked if they felt an increase in "sexual self-esteem." I did not see them specify what question they actually asked. I doubt they asked if they felt "a boost in sexual self-esteem."

But maybe they did. I read as much as I could before throwing in the towel.

They probably asked if they would feel good or better about themselves, then they slapped on the "sexual self-esteem" and "masculine achievement' descriptors themselves.

Because they went into this study hypothesizing this. They say so right at the top.

They also say this feeling of "sexual self-esteem" was "exacerbated" -- which is a very negative way of saying "increased" -- in men with "high masculine gender stress roles," which is garbage phrase that could not possibly mean anything, and is in fact not really defined in the paper, though later they suggest it might refer to men with "fragile" masculine egos. It seems to be a term or art in the Gender Studies community, a term you're just supposed to know, because Of Course.

Let me quote liberally from this paper. I'm sure they want this out there. It's Science, after all.

This study aimed to empirically assess the link between women's orgasms and men's masculinity. To do this, we developed a novel design to assess how womenís orgasms influence menís masculinity, the Imagined Orgasm Exercise (IOE), and employed it in an online survey. In the IOE, men imagined scenarios about themselves with a female partner; orgasms were either present or absent, and the partner had either often or rarely experienced past orgasms with previous partners. We then asked men to rate how masculine they would feel (along with a variety of other affect and arousal words) if they experienced the given situation, and we compared menís self-reports of masculinity in response to the various IOE conditions.

Overall, we predicted that women's orgasms do function as a masculinity achievement for men and that this relationship is influenced by menís individual differences. We outlined seven hypotheses in our experiment to show this. First, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 1) men would report feeling more masculine when they imagined that a female partner orgasmed with them compared to men who imagined that a female partner did not orgasm. In addition, we expected that the woman's sexual history would create a basis for social comparison, and we hypothesized that (hypothesis 2) men would feel most masculine in a "major success" situation, that is, where a woman orgasmed with them and had not previously orgasmed with others in the past. We also hypothesized the converse: that (hypothesis 3) a "major failure" condition would elicit the lowest feelings of masculinity in men, where a woman did not orgasm with them but had often orgasmed in the past. Finally, because we hypothesized that feeling masculine functions as an achievement, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 4) the word masculine would be related to constructs tied to success.

I don't know how to respond to this, except "No duh."

Yes, one feels "masculine" when having performed a man's side of sexual-pleasure duties and delivered the big O. Yes, obviously, one feels better if a woman has rarely had an orgasm and one delivers one. And yes, very obviously, if a woman actually says "Gee, I always have an orgasm, but not this time," that is a negative commentary on one's skills, right?

By the way: Most of the girls I've been with have asked if my orgasm was good. That's just good manners. I think this is just something people of both sexes want to know. One would like to be good at something one enjoys which is also an important thing, right?

Not to overshare, but I am a hard nut to crack, so to speak, when it comes to a specific kind of sex (which Bill Clinton says is not sex at all). I almost never, and I mean never, get to climax via this awesome form of sex which is not sex.

It's a weird thing I have. No idea why. I really want this sex-which-is-not-sex to work, but it never does.

Well, once every ten years it does. And guess what? I can't help noticing the girl who actually managed this nigh-impossible feat is rather pleased with herself for having done so.

I am too, obviously. But I've noticed a certain amount of "feminine achievement" trophy hunting on this score. Almost like she feels good about being good at something.

Which is now officially a Hate Crime in a Special Snowflake Participation Trophy world.

This idea that men alone are somehow guilty of Sex Esteem Oppression for wanting to be thought of as good sex partners is bizarre to me. It does not comport with my own experience -- at all.

Maybe I've just been lucky to be with people who actually kinda care if it was good for you too.

But I don't think so. I think this is pretty normal.

At least I hope it's pretty normal.

And are men more invested in this than women? Probably -- most women assume that a man's orgasm is pretty much automatic. And it usually is, I guess. (Except for my curse.)

Women are a bit trickier; they only bat .650 in the orgasm hitting department whereas men bat .999. So yeah, guys may consider it more of an "achievement" than women, but again, I find that women are interested in the quality of the orgasm their partner has had. Maybe less about whether it happened or not (because 1, it's usually a gimme, and 2, whether it happened or not is pretty obvious), but they do seem interested in how big of an orgasm it was.

Update: A commenter points out that it's a pretty bold move for Cosmo, of all blogs, to say that it's evil sexist oppression to feel self-esteem for delivering an orgasm when their bread-and-butter is pushing articles like "Five Tricks That Will BLOW YOUR MAN'S MIND In the Sack!" and has taken to publishing how-to guides on r*mj*bs every few months.

If there's no Female Ego on the line when it comes to sex, how does Cosmo make payroll every month?

That Update out of the way, let's get back to the Hags Who Will Die Alone Without Ever Knowing a Man's Loving Touch.

The ways that women's orgasm might function as a masculinity achievement for men might depend on a number of individual differences. For example, beliefs, personality traits, identities, and sexual experience may affect men's perceptions of women's sexual pleasure and men's feelings about their masculine identity. Thus, we also had a number of subhypotheses about the ways that trait variables would impact men's experiences of the IOE, including the presence of traditional versus egalitarian values, men's level of investment in a sexual partner's sexual satisfaction, and the degree of masculine gender role stress.

Specifically, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 5) traditional versus egalitarian values would influence the degree to which men would feel masculine in response to women's orgasm presence; but we did not have specific predictions about the direction of effect because there were compelling reasons to believe that traditional or egalitarian values could impact menís masculinity in response to womenís orgasms.

We also hypothesized that (hypothesis 6) menís level of investment in their partner's sexual satisfaction might function similarly because investment in women's pleasure could align with traditional or egalitarian approaches to sexuality. For instance, traditional views of sexuality strongly align with sexual scripts that position men as sexual agents and women as passive sexual recipients [dumb citations omitted], suggesting that traditional men might be more motivated to demonstrate masculine sexual behavior and thus experience womenís orgasms as more of a masculinity achievement than egalitarian men, whose feelings of masculinity are perhaps less dependent on such demonstrations.

And also, they're gay, so they really don't care if a woman orgasms or not.

But it could also be the case that men with traditional attitudes do not expect women to orgasm and are therefore not invested in whether a woman's orgasm occurs. In contrast, men with egalitarian values might resist traditional conceptualizations of masculine sexuality that require demonstrations of masculine sexual behaviors, such as "giving" women orgasms, thus disconnecting women's orgasm occurrence from their own sense of masculinity.

If you notice, we've moved very far now from the actual data set (of an online survey!!!) to now simply assigning tendentious readings to the data. We're now just into the Yay-Boo part of the "science," where we make up reasons why sad sloop-shouldered Brooklyn semi-gay hipsters are actually better lovers for not caring so much if their female partner had an orgasm.

In addition, it may also be the case that men with egalitarian attitudes expect women to want orgasms, positioning women]s orgasms an important to men's perception of what constitutes a positive sexual encounter. In support, some men believe that their investment in women's orgasms makes them "enlightened" men, feeling it is their duty to give women as much pleasure as they themselves experience [dumb citations omitted again -- you're welcome]. This indicates that egalitarian men's may be more concerned with womenís orgasms as a demonstration of masculinity, as womenís orgasms signal success as a liberal, egalitarian-minded man.

If you can't follow that, what they're saying is that when men with "traditional" values are happy when a woman has an orgasm, that's bad, because they're seeing women as passive sex objects to be manipulated the way that I skillfully manipulate my drill when putting up awesome shelves, but when "egalitarian" men similarly care about a woman's orgasm, that's because they view women as equal partners in the exchange and so they're "enlightened" that's good.

In other words: The data is not telling us this, but we're adding these interpretations of the same reaction in two different sets of men -- both egalitarian pussies and traditional men can be invested in a woman having an orgasm -- so we're just going to go outside the data entirely and postulate that our hypothesis is still right. When a traditional man is happy his partner had an orgasm, that's a due to him seeing the woman as a sexual object; when an "egalitarian" Starbucks Jockey is happy his partner had an orgasm, that's due to the ironically-mustached Fregan being "enlightened."

The actual science ended with the data (via online survey!!!). Now we're just assigning motives to people we like and don't like using nothing but bias and hatred.

As they say early in the Durants' History of Civilization: "90% of history is pure guesswork; the rest is just bigotry."

We also anticipated that men who feel that their masculinity is more fragile may be more motivated to prove themselves and gain masculinity achievements, whereas men who feel stable about their masculine identity may be less concerned [dumb citations omitted, but I will note they include "Harassment based on sex: Protecting social status in the context of gender hierarchy. Academy of Management Review," and "Sexual harassment under social identity threat: The computer harassment paradigm," and ."Heterosexual masculinity and homophobia: A reaction to the self? Journal of Homosexuality," -- kind of gives their agendas and biases away, no?]

Thus, we hypothesized that (hypothesis 7) men who had high masculine gender role stress would feel most masculine in response to situations where the woman orgasmed and least masculine in situations where she did not.

So they're saying a guy who usually can't deliver an orgasm has performance anxiety and is super-happy if the woman comes, and the guy who routinely delivers orgasms doesn't care so much on his occasional miss.

Ummm... I can't really argue with this. But I would only think I could get this observation published in the American Journal of "No Shit Really?" Studies.

By the way, you know when I said that the "egalitarian men" they found were actually gay?

Turns out I wasn't joking:

Analyses included 810 men (M age = 25.44, SD = 8.31) recruited through an introductory psychology participant pool and the community. To be eligible for this study, participants had to identify as a man, be 18 years of age or older, and be currently sexually attracted to women (participants did not have to be heterosexual to participate). We recruited specifically to increase sexual minority representation through similar advertisements targeted toward non-heterosexual-identified men who were sexually attracted to women. All nonheterosexual participants included in analyses indicated that they were sexually attracted to women, confirming that they met inclusionary criteria (via Kinsey scale responses, reported genders of sexual partners, and/or through qualitative responses). Participants were excluded from analyses if they did not fit the eligibility criteria (n = 10), if they indicated that they had taken the survey more than once (n = 35), or if they indicated that their responses were intended as jokes (n = 7).

So they specifically targeted gay men (and men who might actually be women), so long as they said they had some attraction to women (and, PS, many gay men will have sex with women on occasion).

They came the shocking conclusion that gay dudes don't really care that much if the woman they're indifferently banging while thinking about Channing Tatum have orgasms or not.

Oh -- and they only excluded answers if the participants answered "Yes" to the question "Are you doing this as a goof?"

To confirm that the study questions were answered seriously, participants were asked to indicate if they were joking when they responded to any of the survey items... Data from participants who indicated that they were joking or that they took the survey more than once were removed before beginning any assessment.

Now that's what I call scientific rigor.

By the way: I mentioned workin' my drill to put up awesome shelves earlier.

As you know, when I found out I had been mis-performing a basic task that most men can perform (to be specific, running the drill the wrong way), I did in fact feel less masculine, and then, when I put up my Rock-Hard Throbbing Shelves of Masculine Power, I did in fact feel like I had accomplished something manly.

Weird huh? It's almost as if men define "skill" and "success" as being intrinsically good things that make you more manly for having them then you would be without having them.

What a terrible character flaw of men!

(And women, of course. Or at least women who actually enjoy competition and challenge -- you know, actual women, not these superannuated little girls who work in Gender Studies labs, asking dirty questions on the internet.)

Anyway, I've yabbled on enough. Robert Traczinsky at the Federalist has more.


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posted by Ace at 02:55 PM

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