Liberal Women Wish for More Sex. Why?

OK, I’ve been at it again, meaning that I’ve been exploring associations between various measures in the New Family Structures Study (the NFSS). I realize I’ve treated readers to blog entries like this before, including here, here, and here, but I can’t help myself. Such are social science data nerds. I’ve come across another puzzle worth sharing with you.

At the risk of sounding blunt, crass, and insensitive, the NFSS data clearly reveal that—for whatever reason—more politically liberal 18-39-year-old women report wanting more sex than they’ve been having. (No such association appears among men. In keeping with nearly all research on sexuality and gender, men display less variance on most matters sexual.)

Here’s how we know. The NFSS posed this question to respondents:

Are you content with the amount of sex you are having?

Respondents could answer in one of three ways: (1) Yes; (2) No, I’d prefer more; or (3) No, I’d prefer less. Now, before you throw around claims of misogyny, take some comfort in knowing that I don’t think answer #3 is somehow inherently more correct than #2. Good grief. My job here is interpretation.

Here are the simple numbers: 16% of “very conservative” women say they’d prefer more, compared with 29% of conservative women, 31% of moderates, 47% of liberals, and 50% of “very liberal” women.

It’s generally linear, with the most notable bump between moderates and liberals. More politically-liberal women are quite clearly apt to say they’d prefer more.

Huh.

And, remarkably, it isn’t much affected by how much sex they’ve actually had recently. That is, while greater recent frequency of sex predicts less desire for more sex, it does nothing to diminish the link between political liberalism and wanting more sex. And women of all political stripes report statistically-comparable frequency of sex.

In regression models, the measure of political liberalism remains significantly associated with the odds of wanting more sex even after controlling for the frequency of actual intercourse over the past two weeks, their age, marital status, education level, whether they’ve masturbated recently, their anxiety level, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, depressive symptoms, and porn use. Many of these are significant predictors of wanting more sex. And still the political thing matters.

I realize I’m a geek for statistics in this domain, but that is interesting, and begs for interpretation. I’ve said elsewhere—in Chapter 6 of my second book and blogged about here, here, and here—that measures of political conservatism or liberalism are clearly reflecting more than just Republican or Democratic Party affiliation or voting habits. No, they’re about people’s embedded-ness in distinctive worldviews and sets of meanings.

With regard to sex and sexuality, being more liberal means being more likely to value sexual expression as a good-in-itself, not only a means to an end or contingent on the context (such as being in a relationship, or being married). Talk of “sexual health” is also more common among them and typically assumes acts of sexual expression. In this perspective, persons have almost a moral obligation to express their sexuality in actions of their own choosing; pleasure is reached for, and should be. Sexual expression among them is perceived in personal terms at least as much as it is in relational ones (I’m thinking of how people talk about their sex life.) Note, for example, how the Lena Dunham political ad mightily aggravated conservative sentiments about sexuality. Obama twentysomethings generally thought it was clever and cute.

All that may be true, but I’m still not sure it explains why liberal women want more sex, regardless of how much they’re already having.

I floated this to a female friend, an economist, who offered this four-part theory:

1. More liberal women are less likely to be religious. (In the NFSS and other datasets, she’s correct in this).

2. Given that, more liberal women are therefore more likely to have a difficult time attributing transcendent value to aspects of life such as their work, relationships, children, and daily tasks. Some scholars speak of this as “sanctifying daily life.” In other words, liberal women are less apt to conceive of mundane, material life as imbued with or reflecting the sacred.

3. Nevertheless, most people experience sexual expression as–in some significant way–transcendent, or higher-than-other-experiences.

4. More liberal women therefore want to have more sex because they feel the lack of sufficient transcendence in life. If sex is one of the few pathways to it, then it’s sensible to desire more of it.

Basically, liberal women substitute sex for religion. (A data-less argument of sorts toward that end was serendipitously made on CNN.com yesterday.)

So I added religious service attendance to the regression model described earlier, predicting wanting more sex, and—wouldn’t you know it—political liberalism finally went silent as a predictor. Barely.

Other theories are welcome…

 

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  • Mark Regnerus

    One could, of course, simply assert that liberal women are “less inhibited” than conservative women. That may or may not be true. (With paired sexual activity it appears untrue). This post, however, is pursuing an answer to the question of why a certain group of women want something more than another group.

    • John Gruska

      I think something that may not have been mentioned is the tendency for people not be completely forthcoming when answering questions related to sex. Someone considered “very conservative”, for example, will be much less likely (I would argue) to admit to wanting more sex than someone “liberal”.

      • Mark Regnerus

        I think the reverse is also becoming a possibility–that more liberal women perceive themselves as less liberal if they give what sounds to them like a conservative answer. In general, perhaps we should take people at their word. If we don’t, we are left solely to speculate about who’s lying more than others.

        • John Gruska

          You’re obviously not a big fan of House. :-P

        • jose

          The difference is we have abundant evidence that religious people do lie a lot about sex and marriage for fear of community rejection and because of the guilt from not following their religion’s moral dictations, and you are not taking that into account.

          • Mark Regnerus

            These are adults taking the survey privately, by themselves. While some degree of social desirability bias may exist, I think less religious people may experience some degree of this as well, leading them to sound more “sex-positive” than they may actually be.

  • Mark Regnerus

    And this is not so much an additional theory as it is (potentially) more evidence for the reaching-for-transcendance theory: among women, the association between political liberalism and wanting more sex looks quite comparable to the association between liberalism and recent masturbation (in the past week). From _Premarital Sex in America_: “Masturbation….relieves pent-up sexual tension, of course, but it’s hardly the same sense of emotional connection as paired intercourse. There’s a physiological reason for that, too: research into orgasms notes that prolactin–a hormone that serves to diminish arousal and thus provide sexual satiety–is released following intercourse at a rate five times that following masturbation.” The association between liberalism and masturbation remains stable after controlling for age, education, recent sexual frequency, anxiety, etc. It, too, disappears when controlling for religious service attendance.

    • http://lbo-news.com Doug Henwood

      As a friend suggests, couldn’t it just as easily be that conservative women are substituting religion for sex?

  • http://gruntledcenter.blogspot.com/ Gruntled

    I was thinking as your economist friend did – that liberals use sex as a religion substitute.
    But, to be sure that we are not missing a more prosaic explanation, could liberals have a broader definition of sex than conservatives? Could conservatives be thinking “I get all the intercourse I want – but I would like more of the other stuff,” whereas liberals are including the whole range of “sex” in their answer to this question?

    • Mark Regnerus

      Note my earlier reply, Beau. There appears to be a reaching for a greater range of sex, yes. But it doesn’t seem to explain the remaining variance in the “liberal effect.” Glad you thought the same thing as the economist friend.

  • Luna

    Yes, it makes perfect sense that a woman (or anyone else) unrestrained by frigid, anti-pleasure religious dogma would feel freer to enjoy satisfying her natural instincts and not be ashamed of it either.

    • Gigi

      lol @ this. Whose religion is anti-pleasure? The Catholic Church isn’t. The Church simply teaches that sexual activity belongs within marriage. I don’t believe this to be anti-pleasure and quite honestly it seems to me that the culture’s divorcing of sex from marriage (which I’m guessing you believe brings everyone more pleasure?) has hardly brought about a better state of physical and emotional health for women and children.

      • Tim

        Luna’s idea probably does contribute to the effect.

        I absolutely agree with you that “conservative” religion does not have any inherent anti-pleasure element, and there is actually a strong tradition of affirming sex as a good gift from God. Even aside from procreation!

        However, someone from a conservative religious background is more likely than others to have learned inhibiting or anti-pleasure attitudes–either because those were actually taught & modeled by the people in their lives, or because the conservative misunderstood something.

      • Niemand

        The Church simply teaches that sexual activity belongs within marriage.

        It also teaches that gays and lesbians should not be allowed to marry. Therefore, it prohibits the enjoyable and bonding activity of sex for at least a portion of the population altogether. It also teaches that sex should only be allowed when it is coupled (if you’ll pardon the pun) with the risk of a life threatening pregnancy. I’d find sex less enjoyable if I knew I had a risk of dying as a result of it.

        In addition, of course, if you limit sex to marriage you encourage people to marry younger and marry more rashly. A couple that marries because they want to have sex is less likely to be compatible for life than a couple that marries for friendship and shared values. Hence the high divorce and domestic violence rates in the most religious parts of the US.

        • http://industrialblog.powerblogs.com IB Bill

          “It also teaches that gays and lesbians should not be allowed to marry.”
          Subtle point, but necessary: The Church teaches that it impossible for two people of the same gender to become married to each other, no matter how much they claim it. Whatever their love for and commitment to each other rises to, it ain’t marriage. And gays and lesbians are of course allowed to marry someone of the other gender.

          • jose

            Too bad the church doesn’t own marriage.

        • http://www.hierodulia.com/ Paul Duggan

          Actually, the church kinda created the current form of marriage we enjoy in the modern era, by banning the practice of arranged marriage and making the consent of the heterosexual couple the sine-qua-non of marriage.

          • Christianbycustomlawandfaith

            I agree. I don’t think anyone whether Christian, Muslim or Jew can stop gays from marrying if they want to. They might disapprove or use force ( a small segment of folks) but if gays wanna get married they will and do, and I doubt any christian here is stopping that. However a Christian marriage (as distinct from marriage’s of the ancient world or modern marriage’s which most non believers and some gays engage in) is a sacrament ordained by God and is between a man and a woman so this argument in the press really is a false argument. Noone is stop gays from marrying. They can marry just fine.

    • Ted Seeber

      That would only make sense if random sexual hookups produced anything other than increasing the suicide rate.

      There’s no happiness outside of committed relationships. Only heartbreak.

      • Niemand

        Ted, citation needed for both claims.

        • Ted Seeber

          The first does indeed need a reference. The second is a logical extension of the first.

          http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/255/27/

          Think about it. Casual sex destroys human dignity, and when a human being has no dignity, their life isn’t worth anything, and thus, we get increasing suicide rates.

          Non-committed relationships eventually produce divorce and breakups, neither one of which is conducive to human happiness.

          It’s called common sense.

          • Niemand

            Sorry, but your citation is inadequate. It includes only unreferenced claims by a group with a known bias. Unconvincing.

    • BelindieG

      Certain Judaism is pretty big on sexual connection for married partners. I’m not sure that many churches, outside of the Shakers, frown on married sex. But of course, it’s easier for the liberal mind to believe otherwise.

  • Guffaw

    @ Luna: Please. I mean, really. Please. Could there by anything … anything … more “anti-pleasure,” less life-affirming, and, all around, less conducive to *fun* than left-liberal ideology of the Dunham-Obama variety? Do the kids on *Girls* seem happy to you? Does Obama seem happy to you? I rest my case.

    • Niemand

      Does Obama seem happy to you?

      Obama seems stressed to me. Every president except Reagan visibly aged during his term in office and Obama’s no difference. OTOH, he seems to really like his wife and kids, a lot more than Romney appeared to, so I’d say there’s an advantage to sleeping with liberal men based on that anecdote.

      • sasha sanchez

        Of course Obama loves his wife and kids more than Romney does. If Romney showed the kind of interest in Michelle that Barack does, we’d have a serious problem on our hands…

  • Guffaw
  • Joe Canner

    Mark, do you have any information on the marital/relationship status of the women in this survey? For the married women or women in stable relationships, it seems like one ought to wonder about the role of their partners in all this; i.e., why are their (presumably liberal/non-churchgoing) partners not “putting out”.

    For women who are single and not in a relationship, one might also speculate about the desirability of liberal women. Leaving aside the crude stereotypes that some conservatives have proposed about the physical desirability of liberal women, perhaps men are turned off by strong, “liberated” women. I vaguely recall having read of a study that proposed such a conclusion. Whether this reflects badly on the women or the men (or both) probably depends on your perspective, but the point is that there are a multitude of possible explanations for these findings.

    P.S. I re-read the post and saw that you adjusted for marital status. However, I don’t think that would address my question, since the sexual dynamics for single women in a stable sexual relationship would presumably be fairly similar to those in a marital relationship. Do you have information on that? How about information on their partners?

    • Carys Birch

      The results, if you read the article, didn’t show a major difference between the amount of sex the groups were actually having. So it’s not that the partners are putting out or that “nobody wants” liberal women.

      “And women of all political stripes report statistically-comparable frequency of sex.” – translated: all the groups, on average, are having roughly the same amount of sex. It’s just not enough for the liberal women. I know that for me, as I became more liberal, I became more willing to admit -to myself- that I enjoyed sex and would like to have more of it.

      • Carys Birch

        That should have read *aren’t* putting out, in the second sentence. Whoops.

  • Patrick

    Isn’t it a leap in logic to accept that non-religious liberal women struggle with a sense of transcendence in their lives?

  • Niemand

    An alternate theory to explain the data: Liberal women are more likely to marry someone they like rather than someone their parents think suitable. They are also more likely to marry later in life and after having some sexual experience. Thus, they are more likely to marry someone they are attracted to and less likely to marry someone they are sexually incompatible with. Thus, they have more fun during sex than conservative women and therefore welcome it more.

    • modaca41

      Contrary to the idea that more sex means satiety and less desire for sex, my husband and I noticed that the more we did it the more we wanted.

    • James

      Perhaps another theoy. When you say ‘sex’ to a woman, she thinks ‘make love’; whereas to a man, sex means the physical act only. It is pretty common knowledge (I think studies in the 90′s confirmed this) that teenage girls will trade sex for love and boys will trade love for sex.

  • George

    I don’t see any reason why the theory your economist friend proposed would apply any less to men than to women. Yet, if we assume it’s correct, then it does. Any thoughts?

    • Niemand

      That’s easy. Conservative men believe that once a woman has said “yes” once then she’s said “yes” forever. So they are fine with raping their wives and girlfriends and have their sexual needs fulfilled. Liberal men, sometimes less so. (But not all “liberal men”: any “liberal” man who is “pro-life” will be willing to force sex.)

      • Tom

        Conservatives and pro-lifers are rapists. Nice.

      • Ted Seeber

        Thus the difference between a committed relationship and lying to your partner.

      • Deoxy

        Wow, no fact-less, liberal-fantasy-world bigotry there, oh no. Thank you, oh “tolerant” liberal!

      • Antigone10

        I could believe this (as a liberal-ish) woman. I do consider sex (good sex, at least) to be described as something close to “transcendent”. But, where you slip up is starting to equate “transcendent” as “religion”. Religion is many things to many people, but I would suspect that there are more than a few people (myself among them) who religion might as well be the opposite of transcendent.

        If I were to get that survey, I would probably say I wanted more sex. But I can’t have more sex (though my husband would be willing) because I’m too stressed/ tired/ sick to muster up the energy to actually enjoy and have sex. I’d like to dance more, but I don’t for the same reason.

        I suspect, fairly strongly, that most liberal women have other things that they’d also like to do that they would also describe as transcendent as well.

      • Jonah

        Goodness, do you really believe being politically conservative or “pro life” indicates a willingness to rape?

        • Antigone10

          In general, I consider it a willingness to not believe rape victims, to equate “rape” with only “stranger behind the bushes” nonsense, and to minimize rape.

          Why do I? I’ve read what they have to say on the subject.

      • Cato

        Mr./Ms. Niemand,

        That seems a bit strident. Mr. Regnerus’s original post seemed to me to be directed more toward gaining an understanding than toward swapping hostile barbs.

        One example doesn’t prove anything of course, but Bill Clinton was a Democrat, a liberal, and not pro-life, and yet he was a sexual predator who raped Juanita Broderick (and perhaps others?), then committed perjury to cover it up for political reasons.

        I don’t have any data on this, but I wonder if some men who are in favor of legalized abortion are less interested in protecting women, and more interested in letting themselves off the hook if she gets pregnant.

      • http://www.hierodulia.com/ Paul Duggan

        The stereotype you make of conservatives here is libelous sir!

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  • mike88

    What would be interesting is to see if this “more wanting”amongst liberal women carried over to other presumed goods in life – e.g. health, wealth etc.

    Then you might be able to say that liberal women are more aspirational/less easily satisfied in general, not just on the issue of the amount of sex they are receiving.

    If it didn’t carry over, you could then start to look for a sex-specific explanation

  • David

    You’re assuming subjects answered truthfully. How did the NFSS ensure this with such sensitive questions? Perhaps one group is more inclined to lie? Perhaps both groups tend to give the answer they think they are “supposed” to give as opposed to telling the truth?

  • http://rachelmariestone.com Rachel Marie Stone

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc much?

  • Dan Kervick

    Maybe heterosexual liberal women are more likely to have passive, deferential liberal male partners who don’t initiate sex as often as their more overbearing and assertive conservative counterparts. So liberal women are more likely to feel like they have to do all the work, and are more frequently in a position of needing more. Conservative women with sexually aggressive partners are more likely to feel, “I’m getting quite enough, thank you – maybe even more than enough.”

  • Joanna Bujes

    Two additional possibilities:
    1. Liberal women are more likely to use birth control and therefore less likely to be anxious about pregnancy.
    2. Liberal women are more likely to be sleeping with liberal men who, perhaps, might be more experienced and attuned than conservative men.

    • Christianbycustomlawandfaith

      Experienced? lol. You mean experienced by sleeping with a 230 other liberals before you, it’s almost a competition amongst these men. Oh how many liberal women did you nag, get? (insert any other crude language here). As a Christian I enjoy sex with my wife and I make sure her pleasure comes first whether is is sensually, most important, sexually and verbal stimulation. Not the crudeness of contemporary love or sex but Christ like love and intense passion till death do us part. She is the most important person in this life and I care about her burdens as she does mine as we both try to live a life of Christ and enjoy Christ. Anyway not to air my dirty laundry all here since I am a dinosaur (Alas Victorian and Edwardian in outlook so I a stopping…lol)

      P.S. I am very conservative in my outlook but if morality equates consevatives these days *shrugs* can’t talk about liberals though. My wife is conservative, dresses modestly and loves learning.

  • Bruce

    It seems that liberal women are more sexually frustrated – regardless of the amount of sexual activity in which they engage.
    Perhaps their choice of partners is a factor?
    Could conservative women – probably more likely to engage in sexual relations in a monogomous relationship, or with more conservative men – be more satisfied because of the nature of the relationship or the nature of the man?
    Perhaps conservative men – who are more likely to take the lead in their relationships in a traditional manner – are therefore better lovers and more likely to fulfill their partner’s needs. This could also explain the current popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey – where women find satisfaction in the fantasy of a man who is in control (sexually and financially).
    Perhaps this says more about conservative women – being more likely to seek and find fulfillment in their relationships – than it does about their liberal sisters.

  • http://www.paperlessovernight.com KC Truby

    Your commentators must not be very observant. Conservative women are just plain hotter then liberals. So they get what they want.

  • mrb394ever

    I’m prepared to duck, but still need to say it: if they’re talking about hetero sex, liberal women may not be getting enough because they are UNATTRACTIVE to the opposite sex. Simple as that. The Ugly Stick has gone crazy on the Left!

  • JT

    Maybe liberal men aren’t up to the task…

  • Dutchwayne

    Maybe they are asking the wrong question. Not knowing all the data, but noting trends, it is assumed conservatives are mating with conservatives , liberals with liberals etc. Maybe the question should be are Conservative men better at sex than liberal men? There is a clear trend here and there is no reason to think that there is anything wrong with the women. Before I settled down, I dated several very liberal women were amazing in bed and who clearly enjoyed me. From their comments, I think the issue is that liberal men are to passive and women in general enjoy a strong man. He does not have to be dominating in leftist steriotype, but sex is more fun when both partners assert what they want. Liberal men are too passive. Hence James Bond.

  • M. Temple

    Conservative women get more sex.

  • Ken

    You are WAY over analyzing this. The reason liberal women aren’t satisfied with the amount of sex they’re getting is because liberals are never satisfied about anything. No matter how much they get they always want more.

    • http://industrialblog.powerblogs.com IB Bill

      Wins the thread!

    • Dutchwayne

      But the liberal men are in fact satisfied with the sex, so the issue is either no one can satisfy liberal women (something I disagree with based on personal experience) or liberal men are selfish whimps who just don’t have what it takes to satisfy women. Also explains the higher divorce rate among liberals. limp wristed whimpy guys who just can’t deal with it.

  • John Miller

    It’s pretty simple–forget the date, the study’s frame of reference is backwards. “Basically, liberal women substitute sex for religion. ” Or Conservative women substitute religion for sex? Sex is a much more powerful instinct and driver of human behavior than a “desire for transcendence.” In fact, such things as “desire for transcendence” are driven by the sublimation of sexual desire. Desire for more sex is normal in anyone, what should really interest people is why conservative women don’t want more sex? Or rather, both questions are fairly interesting, and there are probably a multitude of factors affecting both– but are they questions that the author finds worthy or asking, and are they measurable? For example, maybe Conservative men make their women have sex more as part of their religious duty, and they’re just worn out?

    • Geodkyt

      I’d say most everyone has gotten lost in the weeds of the “liberal vs. conservative” dichotomy.

      Recall: the ONE factor that eliminates the statistically significant differences in satisfaction with frequency is not political views, marital status, current frequency of sex, or anything else. It is RELIGION.

      Religious conservative women tend to have the same level of satisfaction with current frequency as religious liberal women who are similarly situated in terms of current frequency, marital status, frequency of masturbation, etc. Likewise for nonreligious conservatives vs. nonreligious liberals.

      The study’s results only indicate that RELIGIOUS women are more satisfied with their current frequency as NONRELIGIOUS women. In tbis context, it is merely a coincidence that there is any correlation between political views – liberals are simply more likely to be less religious than , conservatives.

      That reinforces the hypothesis that there is a substitution for the satisfaction derived from sex and the satisfaction derived from religion. However, keep in mind that this isn’t PROOF, only SUPPORT for that hypothesis; although it is the only hypothesis proposed in the article OR the comment thread that has ANY support from the data presented. Nor does it establish WHICH way the substitution tendancy is most prevalent – it is possible that religious women are the ones desperately seeking a substitute for something, that nonreligious women are the prime substitutors, or that each are equally substituting in the other’s direction.

      However, since religious women are reporting more satisfaction (regardless of politics)

      • Geodkyt

        (Con’t)

        However, since religious women are reporting more satisfaction, it appears that if any substitution is going on, it is either that nonreligious women are more likely to be substituting sex for the religion they lack (sinse, generally, substitutions are less satisfying than the core desire they replace), or religion is simply a more satisfying substitute for increased sexual frequency than sex is for religion.

      • Geodkyt

        Please forgive the typos. Tiny Android screen + fat fingers + no mouse = many errors.

  • Leo

    Perhaps liberal women are simply not as happy as moderate or conservative women, and think that more sex will make them happier since their other daily pursuits don’t fill the void. Could it be that some aspects of feminism don’t really sync with what makes women most happy so they try to use sex as a replacement for what is missing in their lives.

    • Carys Birch

      Perhaps liberal women are happier and less stressed, and therefore more likely to be in the mood for frequent sex. :)

      • Mark Regnerus

        But that’s not the case. In the NFSS, they tend to be more anxious.

  • http://www.hgdlawfirm.com Honza Prchal

    Or … it could be social pressure. Liberal women found the ad you mentioned entertaining BECAUSE it is the sort of values their cohorts expect them to have, whereas conservative ones are appalled at the ads’ objectification of women and trivialization of permanence in sex.
    I also wonder if the desire correlates to the expected permanence of relationships. For those women given to flighty ones or at least expecting them, well, the experience, rather than the commitment, had better be intense, eh?

  • Birdman

    You asked for additional theories for why liberal women want more sex? I have one. Married women tend to be more conservative – ergo, they attracted a man, tend not to need government support, and live happily ever after with an adequate sex life. On the other hand, liberal women tend to be single, ergo that can’t attract a man, need government help, and are sexually unfulfilled. Why? It only stands to reason liberal women are fat and ugly. Simple logic.

    • Sunny Day

      The millions of married women with families on government support are looking at you right now wondering about the nonsense you’re spouting.

  • Sunny Day

    NOT being taught that sex is something to be ashamed of and restricted to only certain times, places, and people probably has something to do with it.

  • hazard66

    transcendence! what a great totally meaningless bogus word to use to describe the release of chemicals such as dopamine! have you really missed the hundreds of articles linking religious activity in the brain via MRI scans to the same centers in the brain as drugs and sex?
    your article could be titled “tangible things that exist replacing fairy tales as people become more educated”

  • Josh Klugman

    In all seriousness, if attending religious services results in such fulfilling transcendence, why is the percent of Americans reporting to the GSS that they never go to church going up over time? The correlation between year and the percentage reporting never going to church is .84.

  • http://jaymans.wordpress.com/ JayMan

    Very interesting. However, did you control for race?

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  • V

    Having been a liberal woman, I think one can say that sex is compulsory FOR a satisfying relationship in the liberal mindset. If you aren’t “putting out” it’s not a relationship. I dated wonderful people, but I felt this unspoken pressure to preform– and to like it. If I didn’t then I wasn’t true to my declared principles. And, even if you aren’t being looked on by your peers– to believe this is necessary to keep functioning.

    Now things are better. And knowing the guy in bed with me would die for my sake– is hot. Sex without safety nets is risky– and means something, which is far more satisfying than sex that goes nowhere with chemicals and contraceptives. You get this vague feeling that there’s supposed to be more– but the harder you chase, the more fleeting that something becomes. One can have all the sex in the world, and at the end of the day, if it doesn’t mean much, it doesn’t satisfy.

    In the end we are biological– _reproductive_ beings. The body seems to know when it’s not doing what it’s supposed to.


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