There was a post on Jezebel last week about a book called Challenging Casanova. The premise is basically that society has crafted a narrative that paints young men as being solely focused on the act of boning as many women as possible, at the expense of cultivating substantial relationships. The book argues that while there are a few outliers who are that way, the vast majority of dudes do want long-term, monogamous relationships. While I agree that not every guy is solely focused on sex, I do think a lot of guys present themselves that way.
The very fact that friend-zoning is a thing that people buy into doesn’t exactly poke holes in the theory that guys only care about women as long as there’s the promise of a sexual relationship. Friend-zoning makes it sound like a platonic relationship is some sort of loser’s consolation prize, instead of something worth cherishing. Not to mention the fact that partaking in hookup culture is something that both men and women are under pressure to indulge, especially when you’re in your 20s. It seems like as of late, being in your 20s has become synonymous with “sleeping with as many people as you possibly can, whether you feel good doing so or not.” Guys could especially be susceptible to falling for that, especially since there’s no equivalent to “slut shaming” for them, and in fact, being promiscuous is a fairly acceptable way to assert one’s masculinity.
That being said, I would be remiss if I denied that a lot of times, we attach the “guys just want sex” rhetoric to men/situations where it’s probably not warranted. Like, it’s a lot easier to pretend that a guy doesn’t want to go out with you because you won’t give it up than to acknowledge that maybe a guy doesn’t want to go out with you because he’s just not that into you as a person. I mean, how many of us have been blown off by a dude only to see him resurfaces a few weeks/months later…with a girlfriend in tow. It’s a total ego bruiser when someone spends time with you and decides that they don’t really like you all that much, and it’s more comforting to write him off as a sex-craved jerk. It does do a disservice to guys to perpetuate the idea that they are just as varied in their wants as us ladies are, and it’s not fair to reduce them to a bunch of brain dead losers who can only think with their erections.
I think that men, much like women, go through phases, where they’re more interested in having sex than pursuing a relationship, and that’s totally fine. I also think that people’s preferences are nebulous and often are defined by who is in their life in that moment. If I were single, I’m sure that I would be like, “fuck dudes, get money” and not be interested in procuring a boyfriend…unless Ryan Gosling or someone equally as amazing suddenly made an appearance. What I do think is intolerable is when guys (or anyone, really) misrepresents their intentions instead of just admitting they want sex. It’s manipulative and unfair to pretend that you’re interested in pursuing a relationship when that’s not the case, and I think it’s so problematic that guys think we’re such delicate flowers that we’d prefer to be lied to over being told the truth.
Can someone please write a book about that?
[Lead image via Peter Kirillov/Shutterstock]