Julie Morley, Personal Psychotherapist and Women's Stress Consultant
(MNCS Accred, Hyp.dip, dip.psysextherapy, Adv.dip.CP, )
Market Deeping, Peterborough, UK
Mob: 07761 065 726 Email: [email protected]
Why can people have sex with people we don’t like or not attracted to?
As a society we seem to accept that men can ‘do’ sex without having to be in love or without that being ‘the one’ and many people are taught by their parents that we only have sex with someone special.
In reality however, this is not generally true. Its easy to see how men’s ‘drive’ can over ride this and we are accepting that men can just go around doing sex. So for most men, this is relatively easy and accepted and we suspect perhaps that maybe they objectify women sometimes, so as to be able to do this. In evolutionary terms, sewing their oats clearly would have an evolutionary benefit and this would ensure that it is more likely that genes are passed on and the human race continues.
However, through evolutionary history, women have a lot more to lose to fall pregnant as we could quite easily die in childbirth, be tied down and unable to hunt or find food easily and not to mention how it affects her body in general. And so women are known to, in the main, do sex only with people that might be more secure so that if we do survive, there is more chance of the support we might need while we are vulnerable with a baby as survival cannot happen if we are alone on the plains of Africa.
The falling in love response can assist to get humans in the sack together as can general physical chemistry (pheromones) . So whether its going to kill us or not, after the falling in love response happens, or if the physical chemistry is strong enough then women will lower their personal risk taking response and also have sex with men whether they’re intending or hoping to have a longer term relationship or not.
So what about women’s ability to have sex with someone without any fall in love response and without chemistry?
Back in cave man times, if men are driven to go around sewing oats, with no intention of supporting mothers and babies, including using some tricks, persuasion or even force to ease their drive, then the females response needs to supportive of genetic reproduction and the continuation of the human race. This means that women’s bodies are perfectly capable of being turned on by sexual activity with someone they are not choosing to have sex with or have a long term relationship with. This is confirmed by the common female response during sexual abuse, so as to prevent injury and pain and support genetic reproduction as much as possible. The automatic switch to relax is there most of the time- this is likely to be a throwback to way beyond modern humans and is an animal instinct. Obviously during abuse a woman is not in any way choosing to feel pleasure and it is certainly not the same pleasure as would be if she was willing.
Further to this, it is understood in science & social research that women hold a lot of control when it comes to sex. We can give it, with hold it, trade it and even sell it! (Incidentally the oldest trade is not prostitution, it is midwifery). It would have had to be this way or else the human race would have died out with everyone dying in childbirth eventually.
It was only a couple of decades ago that women could ‘sleep their way to the top’ of a business empire and we can know for sure that women did not necessarily like these men and I can guarantee that the men also, were not always attracted to the women giving them pleasure (& power).
So in summary, it is perfectly possible for women and men to have sex with people they don’t like, or don’t intend to have a long term relationship with and we certainly can have sex for the sake of physical gratification and we can have sex for personal gain and do play out power dynamics. This is all in our biology.
Whether we ‘should’ or ‘should not’ do this has a whole load of controversial discussion but these days, we are absolutely sure of one thing, and that is the arrangement of consent and over time has been part of a lot of social contructs.
A brief look at social expectation suggests that there are a variety of moral values that define where we might over ride biology or not and not only would this vary in person to person, it will also vary throughout a person’s life or even day to day depending on whats going on for them internally and externally. It has also been suggested that because women do hold a lot of power in the area of sex, many men (and certainly not all) do not like the fact that women have a lot of power around sex which is understandable as it can be used and also mis used and has been throughout history. In times past, it was also not even recognised (by science (male scientists)) that women can actually get enjoyment from sex and certainly not real orgasm! In fact it only became scientifically accepted somewhere between the 1950's and 1970's and even then it was very often denied.
So to be asked how can a women have sex with someone she dont like holds a few million years of evolution, against about 50 years of accepting that women enjoy sex.