Sex is Fun podcast: How sexism affects your sex life

I've been doing periodic appearances on Sex is Fun, a sex-positive podcast aimed at providing fun, informative sex ed. for grown-ups. Last time I was on the show, we talked about some funny animal sex studies and what they can and can't teach you about human sexual behavior. This time around, we talked about a couple of recent studies focusing on sociology and sex.

In particular, we focused on a study from last fall that surveyed students at the University of Kansas to find out how men's and women's internalized sexism affect their relationships with each other. If you've ever watched one of those shows about so-called "pick up artists" and wondered, "Who the hell are the women falling for this crap!?", then this is the show to listen to.

Check out the podcast at the Sex is Fun site!

Image: IMG_9459, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from jon_knox's photostream.


  1. From the link: ” This suggests that they find men who treat them in a dominant way during courtship more desirable, because it is consistent with their sexist ideology.”

    LOL, this should be catnip to macho jerks.

    There is this big internet topic of the friend-zone. I’m sure anyone turning up on this site knows all about it, e.g

    The other side of this coin is guys who get super bitter, decide that “women like assholes” and somehow try to turn into complete pricks in order  to get laid. Haven’t actually heard an account of it working. But at least they are sating their new-found hatred of women… I guess…

    What they never seem to realize is that women don’t like jerks. Women are prepared to put up with jerks if they are extremely sexually attractive. But the former is easier than the latter.

    The dating gurus kind of fall somewhere in the middle. You are bitter about the friend-zone, so you use every trick you can find in the hive-mind of the internet to get your end away. Oh yeah. You will show them, through your superior knowledge of Google.

    If you do get it away, it’s because you managed to fake not being anxious for an hour or two. Once you have come, well, mission accomplished. But wouldn’t you really prefer not to feel anxious in the first place?

    1. Have to go back a long long way to remove the anxiety, I think – seems to me there are ideological, cultural and epistemological problems here.

    2. The other side of this coin is guys who get super bitter, decide that “women like assholes” and somehow try to turn into complete pricks in order  to get laid. 

      At some point in my late 20s, I got bitter and decided that women like assholes (at least, a depressingly large percentage of the women I knew), but I never could bring myself to try to become a complete prick.  I just didn’t get laid.  I’d be damned if I was going to feed that particular dysfunction and become the very thing I despised.  My “hatred” of bad-boy-loving women simply began to manifest itself as an apathetic attitude toward their inevitable heartbreaks.  My sympathetic ear was abused once too often by recidivists who just couldn’t stay away from those demeaning, possessive, disrespectful, abusive (but devilishly charming, strappingly built, and opportunistically silvertongued) dickheads, so at some point or other I started to recoil from my accustomed role as shoulder-to-cry-on.

      It’s one thing for a woman to be stuck in an abusive relationship and feel she has nowhere to turn.  That’s a genuine tragedy, certainly worthy of attention and intervention.  But if she knew the job was dangerous when she took it, and keeps going back to such situations time and again, maybe wondering if she deserves such treatment?  Honey, I’m not paid enough to be your therapist, nor should you seek all your self-esteem affirmations from me when you’re getting none from the fella you call your boyfriend.  I’m happy to fix your car and help you move, just as I’d do for my male friends, but if Mr Fabulous there is making you miserable, then dump him or shut up about it.

      Jesus.  Maybe I did turn into a complete prick after all.

      1. People will problems will wear you out, whether their problems are through the bad relationships they get into, the drugs they just can’t stop killing themselves with, or whatever it is that seems to be destroying them. Help, but only to the point where it isn’t abusing yourself. Or else, you’re just like them :/

      2. I used to be in that position quite often as well. It still happens once in a while, but not as often – I’ve been moving around and acting the loner lately, though, which explains that.

        It really killed me though when a girl I was madly in love with did it to me with two different guys in a row, even though she knew I was interested in her. That’s what started me on listening to The Smiths.

        But, then I found myself in the position of being the shoulder cry-ee to a girl I liked (and who I think liked me at the time) and it ruined everything – haven’t talked to her since. Which means I’m even more bitter and cynical about it – the one time I’m the cry-ee instead of the shoulder, I get shut down.

        Ultimately, however, I’m still gracious and open to being the shoulder if asked by people I like as friends – the curse of being a “nice guy”. As blueelm says, it’s best to keep helping people if they ask, up to a point :)

    3. There’s also cognitive dissonance: imagine you enter a relationship into which you’ve invested time or made some sacrifice to be in. The other person starts to suck. Do you– eat it and bail even if it’s kind of a loss for you or suck it up and see if you can *win* some how. Not that that’s good thinking, but lots of things go on in people’s heads. 

      What I don’t understand is people who say “men” this or “women” that in the first place. Sure, biology sets us up with some things but it seems like a bit of real listening to people would make it pretty clear there’s *a lot* of “wiggle room” in the behaviors, thoughts, desires, and pathological problems of people of either gender.

  2. Doesn’t it make sense that people are going to have certain constructs about reality, including the opposite sex, and then seek those out?  And something tells me that women who have serial relationships with the “bad boy” type  probably have something in their past that might contribute to that, just like men who have commitment isues, ect..

    And on the second part about the birth control, I totally agree.  My wife has been on about 4 different forms of the pill and does well with her current one, but I think she’d do much better if she wasn’t on it.  Needless to say she likes being on it not for the pregnancy issue, but for her time of the month issues.  Unfortunately there isn’t a lot I can do to help with that.

  3. If you keep listening they invent the word ‘anecdata’ as the plural of anecdote and give it a thorough test drive. Really hurts my confidence in their analysis of papers they unfortunately didn’t clearly identify or link.  

    I’m particularly interested in the study demonstrating that hormonal birth control is bad for sex as the findings contrast other (poorly designed and controlled) studies I’ve seen in the past.

  4. So…

    One thing is that, for a lot of us nerdy types that can’t get a date to save our lives, we’re pointed towards pick-up artist tactics, or for those of us that think that the PUA tactics are reprehensible, those authors simply take some of the PUA tactics, and wrap them up in a veneer of gender-positive interaction.

    (Although, I will say that trying to separate the woman from everyone else isn’t necessarily a PUA tactic – it’s sometimes meant to reduce the sting of rejection by making the rejection not occur in front of everyone. Which, yes, is a defeatist attitude, but some of us have literally been rejected every time…)

    Myself, I don’t have any problem interacting with females as friends, but trying to cross the border into anything more than that, it looks like all the tactics that are “required” to be successful require being sexist at some level, and all the others are creepy, it seems.

    Which basically means I’ve given up on dating – last thing I want is to be creepy and/or sexist, so I end up treating my female acquaintances and friends (some of whom I am attracted to) just like male acquaintances and friends (who I’m not attracted to at all).

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