7 Things Guys Still Don’t Get About Having Sex With Women

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For all the flack men get about only being interested in sex and acting like insensitive dolts I feel like we're actually on the same page about a lot of things. We all want connection, we all feel vulnerable sometimes, we all want to feel loved. But there's a new sex poll commissioned by Esquire and Cosmopolitan that makes me wonder ... do guys still NOT get it?


The "Sex and America" survey asked more than 40 questions on everything from chivalry to sexual assault -- you can see full results in the April issues of both magazines. But looking through some of the highlights I get the impression that we agree on generalities -- like that rape is bad. (Of course!) But how do you define rape, exactly? That's where our opinions diverge.

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  1. This request would creep us out. Eighty-five percent of women said that a boss telling her to dress “sexy” for an important meeting constituted sexual harassment; 73 percent of men agreed.
  2. Yes, the cat-calling is that bad. Fifty percent of women said they routinely experience or witness sexual taunts walking down the street, while less than a third of men said they thought it was a common experience for women.
  3. Making out at a bar doesn't entitle you to sex later on. Sixty-four percent of men and 50% of women believe if you make out at a bar during a first or second date and then go home together, it is reasonable to assume that it will lead to sex.
  4. You should believe a woman when she cries rape. Sixty-six percent of women said that if a woman accused a man of rape or sexual assault, she should be presumed to be telling the truth, whereas 49 percent of men agreed.
  5. Rape happens more often than you think. Fifty-two percent of men said they thought the Center for Disease Control’s estimate that 1 in 5 women would be the victim of rape in her lifetime was higher than they expected. Only 31 percent of women thought so.
  6. OMG, can't even with this one. Fifty-two percent of men said that under the right circumstances, most men are capable of rape. 48% of women agree. (MOST men??? What circumstances could those possibly be?!?)
  7. Ugh, that song/image/movie treats women like meat! Eighty-two percent of woman believe American pop culture is demeaning to women and 68% of men agree.

Is it me, or does the world of sex and dating seem more dangerous to women that men realize? That's the message I got from this survey. The differences aren't that dramatic -- but they're still there.

I feel like we've all had these conversations with the men in our lives. We go through the list of sexual violations we and the women we know have survived -- and our boyfriends and husbands are shocked. We share that video of the woman getting cat called on the street -- and they had no idea it was that bad.

But like hope lingering in Pandora's box, there's one statistic that makes me think we may get closer eventually.

  • Twenty-nine percent of men said they considered themselves feminists, while 51 of women said the same.

Maybe I've been especially pessimistic, but wow -- almost 30 percent of men are willing to call themselves feminists. That's more than I expected! And for all those men, there are a few others who pretty much agree to all the ideas behind feminism but just don't like the word because of its history.

So my final takeaway from this poll is that we need to keep talking. Keep telling your stories to the men in your lives. The more we talk, the more we understand each other.

Do any of these differences of opinion surprise you? Do you feel like the men in your life underestimate the risks of sex and dating for women?


Image via Ammentorp Photography/Shutterstock


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