Out of the Gray-Zone; We Shouldn’t Pressure Women to Endure Uncomfortable Sex
Sexual predators and harassers are on the run. It became apparent during the Harvey Weinstein allegations that a new day had dawned. No longer would sexual harassment be an ugly reality that we publicly decried but privately permitted. #MeToo took hold, and the impressive weight of solidarity was brought to bear.
Perhaps for the first time, women who thought they’d been abandoned and alone in their victimhood could finally hear voices of support. And then we learned something terrible about ourselves: it’s not all casting couches, horrific quid pro quo, and blackmail. There is also a much more common “gray-zone” of consent/non-consent in which women feel pressured to have sex they don’t really want to have.
I recently read an article entitled “The Female Price of Male Pleasure” by Lili Loofbourow and was shocked to learn the number of women who experience pain during sex. Loofbourow’s explanation for why women would allow this phenomenon basically suggested that society has conditioned women to de-prioritize and de-emphasize their own physical comfort for the pleasure of men.
The argument is compelling, and the situation is tragic. This should not be the case. Women should not feel pressured by an outside entity to accept pain during sex if that is not their own decision. Don’t get too wrapped up in the “if it’s not their own decision” part yet; we’ll get into that in a minute.
In the article, Loofbourow cites some research that indicates the high percentages of women who experience pain during sex and the disproportionately high percentage of women who don’t tell their partners when sex hurts. They are conditioned to endure the pain and to not object to it, she explains. This conditioning, she continues, is why women find themselves having sex with which they are uncomfortable. This reality should be wholly unacceptable to everyone, and we should vehemently and categorically oppose it.
It is also, however, our duty to not only acknowledge the wrongdoing but to also put an end…