Added: Meggie Decosta - Date: 19.07.2022 23:11 - Views: 15198 - Clicks: 3037
I really did want to like this book. I support Bettina Arndt's mission to restore respect for male sexuality. Since her days as editor of the explicit sex-help magazine Forum in the s, Arndt has revelled in controversy. Too often, this overwhelms the value of what she has to say. Last year The Sex Diaries saw her urge women who had lost interest in sex to "just do it" for the sake of their relationship. Once they got into it, she suggested, they might even enjoy themselves — with satisfied partners, increased intimacy and happier relationships as an outcome.
Fair point, I thought. Who hasn't done this? I certainly have. And although at no stage was she suggesting women succumb to abusive or violent partners, the outrage was immediate — and predictable. It was classic Arndt. What men want in bed Credit: Katja Govorushchenko. Add some of her recent newspaper columns — whether an unmarried, cohabiting Prime Minister is a good role model for the kiddies — and you have to wonder why she does it. Is this the considered thinking of an outspoken social contrarian urging us to question our values and broaden our minds?
Or does she just like the attention?
Things didn't start well with What Men Want. Arndt opens the book with a quote from Philip Roth, one of the most odious of the randy old bulls of the uber-macho postwar, pre-feminist era of American writing. After spending his career, "writing about the pulsating, driving life force that is male sexuality", Roth, nearing 70, "provides a telling insight into what sex means for men".
As he puts it in The Dying Animal : "Only when you f is everything that you dislike in life and everything by which you are defeated in life purely, if momentarily, revenged.
Jeez, that sounds like a romantic night in. I can't start to understand why the womenfolk wouldn't go for that. If, by Arndt's standard, the egocentric, neurotic and controlling Roth is the measure of a man, then God help the rest of us — men and women — from her conclusions that follow. Intrigued to better understand this pulsating, driving life forceArndt enlisted men and some of their partners to answer survey questions and record for her "their innermost thoughts about their day to day experiences".
From these, she again paints a picture of a gender which overwhelmingly feels frustrated and misunderstood — with "mismatched desires" too often denying them the sex to which they feel entitled. We hear, for instance, that while women's negative opinion of their bodies puts them off sex, men love their wives just the way they are; that while wives might feel threatened by their husbands' attraction to pornography, men still prefer to have sex with the woman they love; and that men are far more likely than women to have a secret fetish wanting to wear women's underwear is the most common.
For most men, Arndt concludes, their sex drive is a "relentless, uncontrollable, all-consuming hydra-headed urge" which if not pacified in the "great cage of domesticity", will hunt outside for a meal. This is where she lost me. In my experience men like this are in the minority and I wondered, with Arndt's very public sympathy from The Sex Diaries drawing them in, if her self-selected diarists might over-represent this type.
She appears to draw her conclusions from only a handful of her contributors.
Although she tells their often sad and painful stories with empathy and even tenderness, the omission of the other and-something men we never hear from left me questioning the entire process. Are the majority silent because they are quietly going about their lives, like most of us, in some approximation of happiness? As if to underline her rather Rothian idea of male sexuality, five of the 12 chapters of this book are devoted to cures for erectile dysfunction. Every second man over 50, she tells us, experiences difficulty getting or maintaining erections.
Although I've often heard men say they find the easing of libido a relief, Arndt distinctly does not belong to the school of thought that the pulsating, driving life force should be allowed to droop gracefully into old age. These chapters contain good practical information and moving personal stories about pills, pumps, implants and self-injections to help men — particularly with medical impotence — regain their lost mojo.
She also points to the glaring inequity that while prostate cancer outs breast cancer by about a third, breast reconstructions attract a Medicare rebate but treatments for post-prostatectomy impotence receive none.
Despite Arndt's heavy editorial hand, I think her intentions are good. And her diarists have done something vitally important. By sharing their stories, they are helping others — men and women — feel less trapped in theirs. What Men Want In Bed. Please try again later. The Sydney Morning Herald. By Review by Alan Close September 17, — 3. Save Log inregister or subscribe to save articles for later. Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size. this article.Women want sex Fairpoint
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A sex strike is not enough: women need to down tools completely