By Lisabet Sarai
How many acts of everyday violence are triggered by sexual frustration?
Or, looking at things slightly differently, how many serial killers, mass murderers and terrorists do you think have healthy, fulfilling sex lives?
There have been many studies linking male feelings of sexual rejection to violence. Sometimes the perpetrators openly complain how woman haven’t given them the attention they deserve. Alek Minassian, the man who ran down dozens of pedestrians, mostly women, in Toronto last month, raged against the women who had made him “Incel” (involuntarily celibate) and vowed to take down the “Chads and Stacys” – online term for people with active sex lives. In 2014, Elliot Rodger killed seven people, explicitly to punish women who had rejected him and men who were sexually active. In 1989, Marc Lepine murdered fourteen women and wounded ten more, claiming that feminism had ruined his life.
You might object that severe psychological problems were at the root of these crimes, that the difficulty these men apparently had in connecting with the opposite sex was the consequence of their poor psychological adjustment, rather than the other way around.
Look around you, though—listen to the way some men talk—and you will realize that a significant proportion of the normal male population is sexually unsatisfied, and angry as a result. This anger might not express itself in atrocities, but it definitely contributes to domestic violence. Men blame women for teasing them, then “not putting out”. They may feel it’s their right to rape a woman whom they perceive as open to sex, but who does not give them the satisfaction they “deserve”. Married men all too often view their wives as the enemy whom they must trick or bribe into having sex. They may justify extra-marital affairs based on the fact that their wives are “frigid”.
Male status is (still) very strongly linked to sexual success (at least in the minds of many men). Thus, not only do men who don’t have regular, enjoyable sex feel physically frustrated, they also experience a sense of inadequacy, especially in our media-saturated culture where they’re confronted every day by celebrity studs.
Please understand that I’m not blaming all this on the men. I believe that the generally poor level of sexual satisfaction experienced by all too many people, both women and men, is a product of how our society understands, presents, reacts to, and educates people about sex.
First of all, sex is still shrouded in shame. Talking and writing about it is not socially acceptable. The whole topic is understood to be fundamentally impolite, nasty, dirty, even evil. Look at Amazon’s attitude toward erotica. Sure, it sells, but you better keep it under wraps if you don’t want to get censured—or censored. Being open about sex still makes people uncomfortable.
Second, our culture often portrays sex is something you “get”—like money, or a degree, or a new car— not something you experience. “Did you get any last weekend?” is a common Monday morning greeting from one guy to another. This perspective tends to focus attention on quantity, rather than quality. Furthermore, it reinforces a view of sex as mostly physical, rather than embedding it in the context of emotional connections or relationships
Third, we’re led to believe that there’s a limited amount of sex to go around, so you’re always in competition. This attitude is prevalent in both men and women. If my husband’s having sex with his administrative assistant, he won’t have any left for me. This notion of sex as a limited resource fosters jealousy and encourages deceit. This is one explanation for why swingers seem to have happier marriages than the average straight couple.
For women, there are additional complications: the possibility of pregnancy, the realistic fear of physical abuse, and perhaps most serious of all, the fear of being labeled as a slut. As archaic as it seems in the twenty first century, sexually active and open women are still viewed in a negative light. Being a stud enhances a man’s reputation; equivalent behavior in a woman can destroy her credibility, threaten her social status, even cost her her job. (I know one erotic romance author who was fired and had to move to a new town when someone outed her.) Even when a woman genuinely craves sexual connection, it’s hard to work up the courage to say yes.
So what’s the solution? Obviously even if everyone agreed with me, we can’t remake society overnight. It’s clear from my personal experience, though, that education is key. Early experiences in the family strongly influence later sexual satisfaction.
I was fortunate to have parents who were pretty comfortable with sex. I never got the message that sex was dirty or wrong. My mom explained the nuts and bolts to me when I was a pre-teen, including the basics of contraception. She didn’t tell me to stay a virgin until I married—in fact, there was never any pressure to suggest that I was expected to get married—but she warned me to be careful, that I’d have a strong emotional connection to my first lover.
As a result (at least, I see a cause and effect relationship), I think I’ve experienced more sexual satisfaction than many women. Furthermore, I’ve seen the reactions of men to my sexual openness. So many lovers have complained about how hard it was to get women to have sex with them. They’ve been surprised and delighted by my eagerness for erotic connection.
If we want to bring up sexually fulfilled adults, we have to start when they’re kids.
But what about today’s men and women, suffering from isolation and frustration, blaming each other for their unhappiness? Could we somehow create an environment where they could learn to let go of some of the negative attitudes they have, not to mention the preconceptions about the other’s desires? Is sexual rehabilitation possible? Or are these people doomed to live out their lives without the blessing of great sex?
Violence and terrorism have become so common. In a way, it’s not surprising. Just imagine you’re a young man who believes in conservative Islam. How frustrating that must be! The women around you are covered and veiled. You can’t even admire their beauty from afar. You’re so desperate you’re willing to give up your life to experience sexual satisfaction in Paradise!
Here’s a flasher on the topic, to end this post on what I hope is a lighter note.
We Were Promised Virgins
By Lisabet Sarai
“By the Prophet, you are beautiful!”
“I’m Miriam. I’ve been assigned to your case.”
“Lie down, woman. I will take you now, before the others arrive.”
“No, no, Abdul—you mustn’t rush! Let’s begin with your licking me between my legs.”
“What? How degrading! No man would lower himself to such an act.”
“If you use your mouth on me, I’ll do the same for you. I see you need relief.”
“I’ll find relief in your virgin cunt!”
“Abdul? Will you eat me out or should I leave?”
“Don’t—alright… Mmm! You’re sweet as ripe pomegranate. Oh! I never…”
“Oh! Oh, yes! Oh, Abdul, YES!”
“Are you well, Miriam?”
“Very! Excellent job! Now you…”
“Allah preserve me! What a wicked mouth! I can’t hold back…”
“No need to.”
“No virgin would use such tricks!”
“I never said I was a virgin.”
“But we were promised virgins in heaven.”
“The bomb didn’t kill you. You’re being rehabilitated.”
“This isn’t heaven?”
“You’ve been transferred to the School for Healthy Attitude Generation – S.H.A.G.”
“Very much so. Mmm. Tasty cum!”
“No, I’m a volunteer. When you recover, we’ll fuck. Meanwhile, I have to work with the pussy grabber in the next room.”