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Nov. 06 Sexual Desire and Gender Identity.pdf

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1920
Elizabeth Brule

Sexual Desire and Gender Identity Readings: Melanie Beres, “It Just Happens’: Negotiating Casual Heterosexual Sex,” pp. 121-131 [Reader] ▯ [121] • Negotiation of causal sex is dominated by discourses that privilege male sexual desire • Casual sex viewed as something that just happens, beyond control of the partners • Women find spaces of power and agency within this discourse by disrupting the ‘coital imperative’and taking the typically ‘male’position within the discourse and actively seeking casual sex The (Male) Models of Heterosexual Casual Sex in Jasper • All women and some men perceive causal sex as just happening [122] • The discourse of it just happens’reflects a sense that there is a force greater than and external to the two people involved in casual sex that is ultimately responsible for instigating the sex • More acceptable for women (and men?) to engage in casual sex • Good girl image ---casual sex as accidental • Most participants, especially women, expressed a sense that one thing led to another, rather than expressing an intent or interest in engaging in casual sex [123] • If sex can just happen, he has no control over any potential consequences of the interaction and this results in a failure for men to take responsibility for their actions and potential for these actions to create harm • Alcohol plays an important part in their casual sex experiences • The alcohol can then be used as an excuse for how or why sex just happened • Discourse of it just happens create a version of casual sex where the illusion is that neither partner is responsible • By positioning themselves within discourse, women can then feel like good girls who do not actively seek sex; theyre not slutty. Men arent viewed as controlling or orchestrating the sex • The sex just happened; the men were not in control over what took place any more than the women Male Sexual Drive Discourse • Some men go to parties or bars with intention of hooking up---casual sex does not just happen; it is something that they have to work for and practice [124] • Male sexual drive discourse - mens sex drive is insatiable and that womens role in sexual activity is to be passive and go along with mens desires • Men are sexual subjects acting in ways to fulfill their desires for sex • Through this discourse men also secure their masculinity, by reinforcing their ever present sex drive Conversely, women are positioned as sexual objects necessary for men to satiate their desire • for sex without any desires of their own • Women must feel as though the situation is not threatening and to feel comfortable and cared for Actions led to goal---concerned about womens comfort level leads women to go to bed with • him • His dive of sex is natural and thus inevitable he will have casual sex, but by becoming skilled at courting he increased the likelihood and frequency of satisfying his desires [125] • The chase becomes a natural part of casual sex and courtship and seduction becomes the property of men • Key component to the male sexual drive discourse is that men maintain control of the sexual experience--overly aggressive women threaten this control & intimidate men, label girls sluts [126] • The male sexual drive discourse is different the its just happen discourse, in that both men and women who take u this discourse recognize that men actively pursue casual sex ---normal and natural way to engage in casual sex Hold/ Have Discourse • The belief that sex comes with a committed and ongoing relationship • Women are positioned to establish a committed relationship with a man Men are the objects of this discourse • • Men are attempting to satiate their sexual desires and women participate in sex to build and maintain a committed relationship (goes along with male sexual drive discourse) [127] Try to not have sex the first date inorder that the men will view you as more than a one night • stand and want an extended relationship/friendship with you • Expects to atleast maintain a friendship (womens perspective) [128] For men, the have/hold discourse comes onto play only when they want to develop a • relationship with a women, whereas for women they often take it up whenever they are engaging in casual sex • Men engage in casual sex because of their natural and insatiable drive for sexual gratification Women participate in casual sex with the hope of developing a lasting and committed • relationship Sexual Permissiveness Discourse • Casual sexual activity is considered normal and expected Without the discourse, and the feeling that it is acceptable for women to have casual sex, it • would be much more difficult for men to find willing partners • Discourse appears to support womens sexual desires, is necessary for men to engage in a lot of casual sex Its okay for men and women to participate in casual sex, aslong as its masculine version of • casual sex and if women are adhering to normative constructions of felinity created though the male sexual drive discourse Womens Sexual Agency Women create different degrees of agency during their casual sex experiences • • Women take advantage of the perception that more men are interested in casual sex than women, and therefore women have more choice about with ohm they have sex Women exercise agency by interrupting sexual activity before they engage in casual sex • • They actively seek out and orchestrate casual sex to satisfy their own sexual desires [129] • Women have power of choice If theyre looking for casual sex it is such easier for them to find someone with whom to go • home • Taking advantage of the male sexual drive discourse and using tit to their advantage to have casual sex when they desire it Women can get what they want out of it, and stop when theyre satisfied • • Casual sex operates on the presumption of a male model of sexuality, women and men perceive that women act as the gatekeepers and determine whether or not casual sex will happen • Women are able to negotiate the coital imperative of heterosexual sex by placing boundaries and limits around the sexual activity ---satisfying women desire
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