What has changed in women’s sexual lives since the ‘burning of the bra’?. Dr Margaret Redelman Medical Sex Therapist Bondi Junction, Sydney 5 th SDC, Queenstown 29.4.2012. My thoughts on some of the events shaping women’s sexuality over the last 50-60 years Western societies
Dr Margaret Redelman
Medical Sex Therapist
Bondi Junction, Sydney
5th SDC, Queenstown
B. Stevenson & J. Wolfers. Am Econ J: Economic Policy 2009, 1:2;190-225
↑ in the total amount of work women do
Women continue to maintain the emotional responsibility for home and family & have taken on traditional male work roles
A man ‘helps’ around the house
“babysits” the children
Hochschild and A. Machung 1989. The Second Shift. New York. Viking
marriage, children out of wedlock, birth control, TOPs, divorce
Men may in fact have benefited by being able to ↑ pressure for sex in the face of ↓ sanctions and ↓consequences
? More sex, more varied sex
? More partners
? Younger age
However, this is lower for women who work than stay-at-home women & the correlation has fallen over time.
(1) Changes in ideas re female sexual responses ‘women’s liberation’
(2) Changes in social mores, freedoms, expectations and entitlements
(3) Pharmaceutical options
(4) Technological advances
(5) Changes for young and older/old womeninternet/cougar culture/entitlement
(6) 3 influential women
How women’s sexuality is seen
Orgasm ‘women’s liberation’
Sexual Excitement/ Tension
TimePatterns of Sexual ResponseMaster’s and Johnson’s linear modelexcitement/arousal → plateau → orgasm → resolution
Masters EH, et al. Human Sexual Response. Boston, Mass: Little Brown & Co.; 1966.
Lief I. Inhibited sexual desire. Med aspects Hum Sex 1977;7:94-5
Kaplan HS. Disorders of Sexual Desire and Other New Concepts and Techniques in Sex Therapy. New York, NY: Brunner/Mazel Publications; 1979.
Rosemary Bassoon’s circular model
Basson R. Biopsychosocial models of women’s sexual response: applications to management of ‘desire disorders’. Sexual & Relationship Therapy 2003;18(1):107-115
Willingness culturally/norm determined
Social changes ‘women’s liberation’
Social changes ‘women’s liberation’
With the liberation of women from ‘bondage’ in marriage or attachment to a male for validation, the rationale for relationships changed
Western marriages: sexual pleasure and emotional intimacy, personal goals.
Non-western marriages: social, financial, companionship, caring, common family goals & children
Interviewed 1006 women, worldwide about sexual motivation and identified 237 reasons why women have sex.
Women use sex at every stage of the relationship, from luring him into it & “mate poaching”to keeping him “mate guarding”,manipulating him (sex economics), punishing him and making him leave.
Genetic benefits vs resource benefits
Meston, C.M. and Buss, D.M., "Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge". Times Books, 2009
Genetic vs resources sex
Sex = way to manage complex social networks
Control of female sexuality
36 yr old newly married male recently told me
“ I know I’m not going to be faithful. I like
passionate varied sex. I’ve already hooked
up with a secretary at work. “
Oral contraceptive pill in the 60’s liberated women from the major horror of pre-marital pregnancy, forced marriage or social calamity, sex and uncontrolled fertility with large families and bodies that had no pelvic structure
Song: If you can’t be with the one you love
Love the one you’re with
While the economy struggles, the sex industry is booming, writes Suzanne Daley. SMH 8.4.2012
She had expected a job in a hotel. But when Valentina arrived in Spain two months ago from Romania, the man who helped her get here - a man she had considered her boyfriend - made it clear that the job was on the side of the road.
He threatened to beat her and to kill her children if she did not comply. And so she stood near a roundabout recently, her hair in a greasy ponytail, charging $US40 ($38.80) for intercourse, $US27 for oral sex.
''For me, life is finished,'' she said later that evening, tears running down her face. ''I will never forget that I have done this.''
La Jonquera was once a quiet border town where truckers rested and the French came looking for a deal on hand-painted pottery and leather goods. But these days, prostitution is big business here, as it is elsewhere in Spain, where it is essentially legal.
While the rest of Spain's economy may be struggling, experts say prostitution - almost all of it involving the ruthless trafficking of foreign women - is booming, exploding into public view in small towns and big cities. The police recently rescued a 19-year-old Romanian woman from traffickers who had tattooed on her wrist a bar code and the amount she still owed them: more than $US2500.
In the past, most customers were middle-aged men. But the boom here, experts say, is powered in large part by the desires of young men - many of them travelling in packs for the weekend. ''The young used to go to discos,'' said Francina Vila i Valls, Barcelona's counsellor for women and civil rights. ''But now they go to brothels. It's just another form of entertainment to them.''
There is little reliable data on the subject. The United States State Department's 2010 report on trafficking said 200,000 to 400,000 women worked in prostitution in Spain - 90 per cent were trafficked.
But police officials and advocates say whatever the number of victims, it is growing. Thousands of women are forced to work - often for even lower pay now, because of the economic downturn - everywhere from fancy clubs and private apartments to industrial complexes and lonely country roads. ……….
(4) writes Suzanne Daley. SMH 8.4.2012Technological advances
Pornography has become both more mainstream and more hardcore
Pornography now enjoys unprecedented legitimacy around the world
Globally, it has an annual profit of US$24.9 billion
In a 2006 study of 13–16 year olds in Australian schools, 93% of males and 62% of females had seen pornography online
Fleming, Greentree, Cocotti-Muller, Elias & Morrison 2006
Widely accessible, anonymous and unregulated
Sexual abuse and predation
Educated white married man → fantasy
“anal sex with a black woman with huge breasts”
Long term consequences of cyberspace stuff ??
Age disparity in sexual relationships
Whether these relationships are accepted?
Accepted if man older in most cultures
What counts as a significant difference in age has varied over time; andvaries over cultures,different legal systems,and different ethical systems.
The Unequal Marriage by Vasili Pukirev1862
80 yo with 23 yo Filipino lover
Women’s ability to have sex
What about the costs?
Comes from a medical background and has self trained into sex therapist, educator and author with over 30 years of clinical experience.
Has written 2 books specifically applicable to women
One of Australia's first sex therapists, social commentator and educator
“Just do it”
The pornification of culture
strip clubs, sexting, role pornography plays in shaping the advice proffered by sex therapists, pornography that uses violence, abuse and exploitation, the ubiquity of porn on the net perverting our experience of sexuality.
She argues that all porn is degrading because uses another person as an object for sexual gratification. That any depiction of women as service stations for men and boys is dangerous.
She also believes that abortion is a form of
‘violence against women’.
Reist’s brand of feminism has been described as “one that wants to protect women, whether it be from men, from sexuality, or something else”.
Pussy drinks ? pornification
On the net
In my face without my permission – no choice
treated badly → be good to me → great sex partner
fragile libido → accept reality → do it
fragile → too much/too bad → protect
Searching for romantic true love with “traditional” values
Least romantic: declaring one’s affection /relationship status on facebook
Most women still hope to meet their partner in traditional ways
Don’t want sex to be expected on a date
Harlequin Enterprises(Australia)P/L conducted 1200 internet interviews 27/1-4/2 2012 on women 18-55yrs.