What Men Want

 

shutterstock_265843157“[Sex is] a contest to see who cares less, and guys win a lot at caring less,” Amanda says.

A brutal Vanity Fair column about the instant hookup world of Tinder shows one side of what men want and what they don’t. And it’s neither pretty nor surprising.

“When it’s so easy, when it’s so available to you,” Brian says intensely, “… it’s very hard to contain yourself.”

“I don’t want [a relationship],” says Nick. “I don’t want to have to deal with all that—stuff.”

“You can’t be selfish in a relationship,” Brian says. “It feels good just to do what I want.”

In the piece, the author asked young women what percent of young men they thought were in it just for the sex “without any intention of having a relationship with them or perhaps even walking them to the door.”

“One hundred percent,” said Meredith, 20, a sophomore at Bellarmine University in Louisville.

“No, like 90 percent,” said Ashley. “I’m hoping to find the 10 percent somewhere. But every boy I’ve ever met is [just out for sex].”

I don’t presume I know what women want, but it doesn’t seem to be this:

“… it really is kind of destroying females’ self-images,” says Fallon.

“It’s body first, personality second,” says Stephanie.

“Honestly, I feel like the body doesn’t even matter to them as long as you’re willing,” says Reese. “It’s that bad.”

“But if you say any of this out loud, it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism,” says Amanda.

The post had me on the verge of tears for the pain of the women and for the emptiness of the men. We all know –or always knew, until recently — what men want on a primal level. That’s how we were built. But we can grow into what we’re meant to become.

Fortunately, Mona Charen’s Manliness: An Unsung Trait of the Train Heroes saved me from despair over the matter. It gives a far more inspiring view of what men could and should be, and what many men are.

Charen started from the premise that, by nature, men are rambunctious and have violent tendencies, but that Judeo-Christian culture has taught them how to channel their urges into virtuous expression. In contrast, the Vanity Fair article started from the premise that, by nature, men were like women, but the “cultural milieu” had made men pathetic jerks. That all would be good if we weren’t “censured by church or state.” “In a perfect world, we’d all have sex with whomever we want” and we wouldn’t have to worry about jealousy, sexism, or “the still-flickering chance that somebody might fall in love.”

This being Ricochet, the comments section on Charen’s piece was equal to the article. The outpouring of appreciation from men showed what they really crave but can rarely find:

  1. A woman praising masculinity. You can see this reaction whenever women praise men and masculinity.
  2. An inspiring model of who men should be. A model that celebrates masculinity in particular and gender differences in general, instead of denying and demonizing them.

Finding sexual excitement is quite easy today; far too easy. What’s hard, and infinitely more valued, is finding affirmation that women want us to complement them. That they see us not as broken women, but as their other half, appreciated both for our similarities and our differences. Men and women can give each other what they want, and what they need.

Or they can use Tinder.

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  1. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Once the concept of marriage is completely destroyed. Once the churches have been shutdown. All this anxiety about womyn and men having sex will fade away. Casual sex, hook ups will be the norm. Relationships, couples, marriage, family will be ancient history.

    • #61
  2. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    Majestyk: It’s classic supply/demand behavior.  The price of seeking sexual gratification for men has been lowered; they are consequently consuming more of it.  The demand is always there, it was previously just restrained by price.

    I think the hookup culture started (or was at least first noticed) among college students.

    The hookup culture is explained by simple economics:  The female-male ratio on most co-ed campuses has been between 60:40 and 2:1 for close to 15 years.  When supply of a commodity exceeds demand, the would-be sellers must lower the price to move the goods.

    • #62
  3. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Here we get to see the overlap between conservatives and sex-negative feminists. The sexual revolution was all upside for men, because we all know men only care about one thing. The CDC found that millennials have less sex than the previous generation, but let’s not waste a good excuse for hand-wringing.

    Z in MT:As George Gilder taught us a long time ago – men are barbarians that are only civilized through marriage to a woman. When men can easily get sex without marriage they have no incentive to become civilized.

    Yeah, monasteries are a breeding ground for the most savage, violent monsters in the world.

    • #63
  4. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Arizona Patriot:I also think that the whole “falling in love” idea is a source of the problem. “Falling in love” is infatuation and sexual attraction. It is eros.

    Marriage is a commitment to love. It should be at least phileo, and agape when we can manage it.

    I find these artificial Greek boundary-words to be counter-productive.

    Marriage is the whole enchilada – it should include respect and love and infatuation and – you betcha – old-fashioned lust, too.

    • #64
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    EThompson:Ick … not the right answer!

    Full agreement. Like everything else, sex can be used for good or ill. It is potent – but just as potentially constructive as it is potentially destructive.

    • #65
  6. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Martel:Virtually all seculars and a lot of Christians recommend that their children not get married too soon, that they spend most of their twenties “finding themselves” before they “settle down.” ….

    Most twenty-one year olds of both genders see marriage and family as a long way off (unemployment and student debt don’t help, either), so they put off valuing those traits that make good husbands and wives, too. Thus Mr. Right Now beats Mr. Right, and he’s going to so long as we encourage postponing marriage like we do now.

    Which is one reason why I am delighted that my 19 year-old is engaged. They will grow together – just as my wife and I are growing together.

    • #66
  7. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Cat III:

    Z in MT:As George Gilder taught us a long time ago – men are barbarians that are only civilized through marriage to a woman. When men can easily get sex without marriage they have no incentive to become civilized.

    Yeah, monasteries are a breeding ground for the most savage, violent monsters in the world.

    Cat, I admire the use of your claws.

    • #67
  8. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Nick Stuart:SexualityExplained_sized

    If I’m not horny, make me a sandwich.

    Love it. Imagine creating an Artificial Intelligence to simulate a woman’s inner world. You’d have countless fluctuating variables interacting with each other. Then for the men you’d take most of those out, and ramp up the volume on the testosterone.

    • #68
  9. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Cat III:Here we get to see the overlap between conservatives and sex-negative feminists. The sexual revolution was all upside for men, because we all know men only care about one thing. The CDC found that millennials have less sex than the previous generation, but let’s not waste a good excuse for hand-wringing.

    Z in MT:As George Gilder taught us a long time ago – men are barbarians that are only civilized through marriage to a woman. When men can easily get sex without marriage they have no incentive to become civilized.

    Yeah, monasteries are a breeding ground for the most savage, violent monsters in the world.

    How many men enter monasteries these days?

    • #69
  10. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Merina Smith:

    Cat III:Here we get to see the overlap between conservatives and sex-negative feminists. The sexual revolution was all upside for men, because we all know men only care about one thing. The CDC found that millennials have less sex than the previous generation, but let’s not waste a good excuse for hand-wringing.

    Z in MT:As George Gilder taught us a long time ago – men are barbarians that are only civilized through marriage to a woman. When men can easily get sex without marriage they have no incentive to become civilized.

    Yeah, monasteries are a breeding ground for the most savage, violent monsters in the world.

    How many men enter monasteries these days?

    And do they do a lot of breeding there? Do you have numbers for this, or are we just having fun demonizing Christians?

    • #70
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Martel: However, biological reality dictates that under most circumstances, sex happens after the woman consents, not the man.  Male desire is constant, female desire variable. Yes, men need to behave themselves.  However, if men stayed like they are now but 95% of women forswore premarital sex, there would be almost no premarital sex.  If 95% of men did the same but women remained promiscuous, that remaining 5% of men would have the time of their lives.

    This.

    Women control sex.  Men can only have sex when women let them.

    To put it in slightly more graphic terms (and leaving apps like tindr aside), if a woman decides, “I want to go out and [have sex] tonight”, there is a virtually 100% chance she can do so.  Admittedly, it may be with a guy she wouldn’t necessarily find to be the most wonderful, but if she’s willing to lower her standards, it will happen.

    The same is not true for men.

    • #71
  12. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Martel:

    Ed G.:

    Gil Reich:…..

    I don’t think we should be saying civilization requires women to say no to sex, and if they don’t they’re letting us all down. Cause men can’t control themselves.

    That’s not the direction we should be taking this, IMO. Men need to step and grow up, and not say we have no agency, if women let us be jerks then that’s on them.

    It’s not either/or, it’s both.

    Not good enough. It’s the man’s fault. Period. If a husband cheats on his wife, it’s his fault because he’s a selfish pig. If a wife cheats on her husband, it’s his fault because he failed to meet her emotional needs. If he falls out of love with her, he needs to grow up. If she falls out of love with him, he needs to grow up, too.

    “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Nonsense. Men fall short and women suffer because of it. For every mistake a woman makes you can be sure to find a bad father or abusive boyfriend who drove her to it. When men screw up they just need to “man up” and accept responsibility. It’s his fault and his alone.

    Jack Nicholson in “As Good as it gets” when asked how he writes woman characters so well:  “I think of a man, then take away reason and accountability”.

    • #72
  13. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Miffed White Male:

    Martel: However, biological reality dictates that under most circumstances, sex happens after the woman consents, not the man. Male desire is constant, female desire variable. Yes, men need to behave themselves. However, if men stayed like they are now but 95% of women forswore premarital sex, there would be almost no premarital sex. If 95% of men did the same but women remained promiscuous, that remaining 5% of men would have the time of their lives.

    This.

    Women control sex. Men can only have sex when women let them.

    To put it in slightly more graphic terms (and leaving apps like tindr aside), if a woman decides, “I want to go out and [have sex] tonight”, there is a virtually 100% chance she can do so. Admittedly, it may be with a guy she wouldn’t necessarily find to be the most wonderful, but if she’s willing to lower her standards, it will happen.

    The same is not true for men.

    I think it often can be true if the man is willing to find a woman far below his equivalent desirability. The reason it’s often not true is many (most?) men are too close to zero to get a large enough gap.

    • #73
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Mike H:

    Miffed White Male:

    Martel: However, biological reality dictates that under most circumstances, sex happens after the woman consents, not the man. Male desire is constant, female desire variable. Yes, men need to behave themselves. However, if men stayed like they are now but 95% of women forswore premarital sex, there would be almost no premarital sex. If 95% of men did the same but women remained promiscuous, that remaining 5% of men would have the time of their lives.

    This.

    Women control sex. Men can only have sex when women let them.

    To put it in slightly more graphic terms (and leaving apps like tindr aside), if a woman decides, “I want to go out and [have sex] tonight”, there is a virtually 100% chance she can do so. Admittedly, it may be with a guy she wouldn’t necessarily find to be the most wonderful, but if she’s willing to lower her standards, it will happen.

    The same is not true for men.

    I think it often can be true if the man is willing to find a woman far below his equivalent desirability. The reason it’s often not true is many (most?) men are too close to zero to get a large enough gap.

    But the woman still has to “let him”.

    • #74
  15. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    iWe:

    Arizona Patriot:I also think that the whole “falling in love” idea is a source of the problem. “Falling in love” is infatuation and sexual attraction. It is eros.

    Marriage is a commitment to love. It should be at least phileo, and agape when we can manage it.

    I find these artificial Greek boundary-words to be counter-productive.

    Marriage is the whole enchilada – it should include respect and love and infatuation and – you betcha – old-fashioned lust, too.

    I find that we have a poverty of language, using love for several different, though often related, concepts.  Sorry to have to use Greek, which is the best that we have, and familiar to many from Bible study.

    • #75
  16. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Miffed White Male:

    Mike H:

    Miffed White Male:

    This.

    Women control sex. Men can only have sex when women let them.

    To put it in slightly more graphic terms (and leaving apps like tindr aside), if a woman decides, “I want to go out and [have sex] tonight”, there is a virtually 100% chance she can do so. Admittedly, it may be with a guy she wouldn’t necessarily find to be the most wonderful, but if she’s willing to lower her standards, it will happen.

    The same is not true for men.

    I think it often can be true if the man is willing to find a woman far below his equivalent desirability. The reason it’s often not true is many (most?) men are too close to zero to get a large enough gap.

    But the woman still has to “let him”.

    I think Mike is correct though.  Women also want to have sex, and in the case of a guy who is significantly more attractive relative to the woman, he is letting her have sex with him.

    • #76
  17. ConservativeFred Member
    ConservativeFred
    @

    Frank Soto:

    Mike H: I think part of the disconnect is that women like sex a heck of a lot more than they let on. They don’t like to advertise these desires because it lowers their stature in the marriage market.

    This is part of it. There are a lot of women who cannot understand the disconnect between the caliber of guy (in terms of career success, physical attractiveness and so forth) who will sleep with them, and the caliber of guy who would be willing to marry them.

    When the sex and marriage markets where closely linked, things were clearer for women.

    This is the most insightful and succinct comment I have read on this topic.

    In economic terms, the price discovery mechanism in our society has gone horribly awry.

    • #77
  18. Could be Anyone Member
    Could be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    I concur with Gil Reich to a degree. I would refine it a bit more. Just looking at men and women in their natural structure and you will see the issue, which Plato tried to explain over 2,400 years ago. Humans have physical appetites and psyche appetites to say the least. These, I would hope, serve some functional purpose. Sex, from what the body of scientific information we have, indicates that it is

    A) Very pleasurable.

    B) Creates a bond (several studies with genetic material and women have shown this) between male and female.

    C) Is necessary for the human species to continue existing in the absence of technology.

    We also know that males tend to be more physically geared and that women tend to be more nurturing geared. This makes sense to a degree since its the mother that births the child and is equipped for raising the child (mammary glands) and given our dangerous world that means the mother could possibly be vulnerable (at least in the stages of carrying the child in the womb and several years afterwards due to breast feeding) and therefore may need protection.

    On a more philosophical/historical note we know that women and men have desired relationships (generally permanent) for thousands of years. These relationships vary across societies but almost always have the similar pattern of one male and female(s).

    (To be continued)

    • #78
  19. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    I’m late to this thread — and if somebody else has already posted it, my apologies — but part of the reason things are so bad in Manhattan and on colleges is that those places have a surplus of young women and a shortage of young men (and in Manhattan, you’ve the additional issue of what men there are being disproportionately gay).

    Upshot: men have the advantage in setting the rules. Rather than having women (generally) control when sex happens within a relationship, you more often get men controlling when relationships get to grow out of sex.

    Midge posted this video a while back and it’s really one of the sharpest takes on the matter I’ve ever seen:

    Ironically, the best way to make a dating culture less sex-obsessed is to have fewer women in it.

    • #79
  20. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Frank Soto: I think Mike is correct though.  Women also want to have sex, and in the case of a guy who is significantly more attractive relative to the woman, he is letting her have sex with him.

    images

    • #80
  21. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    I would say women are more likely to want to make love, not just have sex.

    • #81
  22. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that at least one man would like a hot fudge sundae and a mug of Colombian coffee or a beer and a fajita .. it’s a toss up.

    • #82
  23. Wily Penelope Member
    Wily Penelope
    @WilyPenelope

    It takes a lot of confidence to deny sex to a guy that you are really interested in. What you are basically conveying is that you are not going to utilize your greatest power because you are confident that you don’t need it to nab him.

    In my experience, women who love men qua men and are comfortable with masculinity are better equipped to close the deal and get the guy to marry them. The ones who are sort of in the dark and confused about what motivates men have a more difficult time because they don’t utilize things like sweetness, flattery, reverence, respect, and innuendo to their advantage.

    Unfortunately, feminism and a loss of fathers in the home have left women sort of in the dark about men, and have contributed to an overall cluelessness and lack of confidence in dealing with them. I think a lot of women go the shack-up route because they think sliding in to marriage is the only chance they’ve got.

    • #83
  24. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Wily Penelope:It takes a lot of confidence to deny sex to a guy that you are really interested in. What you are basically conveying is that you are not going to utilize your greatest power because you are confident that you don’t need it to nab him.

    In my experience, women who love men qua men and are comfortable with masculinity are better equipped to close the deal and get the guy to marry them. The ones who are sort of in the dark and confused about what motivates men have a more difficult time because they don’t utilize things like sweetness, flattery, reverence, respect, and innuendo to their advantage.

    Unfortunately, feminism and a loss of fathers in the home have left women sort of in the dark about men, and have contributed to an overall cluelessness and lack of confidence in dealing with them. I think a lot of women go the shack-up route because they think sliding in to marriage is the only chance they’ve got.

    This is a really good observation.

    • #84
  25. Could be Anyone Member
    Could be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    (Continued)

    In these relationships the couple (male and female or females) and the two parties roles are set to a degree by these facts of life. Men in a marriage would generally have employment and deal with external matters of the family unit. Women would generally deal with internal matters of the family unit like child rearing and taking care of the home. This isn’t to demean either sex or their role (both are very important), but rather to explain their predispositions.

    A woman can in fact, if she so chooses, live (or attempt) a life as a single lady (mother also) and have sexual relationships at will and use contraception and abortion to negate the natural consequences (or have children) of these actions and attempt to have employment (and possibly raise the children). The issue is the cost of it, work is at least 40 hours a week in most middle and lower income employment. This puts extra strain to the woman because she is filling both roles in a relationship so to speak if she decides to raise the child.

    It is also an issue because sexual reproduction is supposed to be about continuing the species (at least in a biological vision) and so it supposed to create a bond in the case of humans in order to further the species. When you use it willy nilly you are in fact messing with your design and there are consequences of that.

    (To be continued)

    • #85
  26. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Frank Soto:

    Wily Penelope:It takes a lot of confidence to deny sex to a guy that you are really interested in. What you are basically conveying is that you are not going to utilize your greatest power because you are confident that you don’t need it to nab him.

    In my experience, women who love men qua men and are comfortable with masculinity are better equipped to close the deal and get the guy to marry them. The ones who are sort of in the dark and confused about what motivates men have a more difficult time because they don’t utilize things like sweetness, flattery, reverence, respect, and innuendo to their advantage.

    Unfortunately, feminism and a loss of fathers in the home have left women sort of in the dark about men, and have contributed to an overall cluelessness and lack of confidence in dealing with them. I think a lot of women go the shack-up route because they think sliding in to marriage is the only chance they’ve got.

    This is a really good observation.

    I very much agree, though there’s also plenty of women who know exactly what they’re doing and yet make make decisions none of us wouldn’t approve us.

    • #86
  27. Could be Anyone Member
    Could be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    (Continued)

    Couple this with Plato’s observations of man and we have the creature that not only has appetites of food and sex but also rational free will. Man can decide to follow the rules of his existence (like observing that he cannot fly so he might as well not try to fly and walk instead) or denying them and attempting to live as if they didn’t matter (getting to the top of a 30 story building and jumping off with the hopes of flying because you think natural law doesn’t matter).

    In this case the male is the one in a relationship with the least vulnerability. He doesn’t (necessarily) have to carry another life inside him and he doesn’t have to care for it or birth it. He could technically find another mate more suitable to his “tastes” and have offspring with that mate. Whereas a female does have physical implications of the relations with children and the bonding felt during the relations. This results in a female being confused on how a relationship works because they enjoy the relations as well but afterwards are left confused because the male (at least in hook ups and short relationships) left them and felt nothing where they did feel something.

    It probably makes a female wonder about the validity/truth of her feelings and to distrust future suitors because of it.

    (To be continued)

    • #87
  28. Could be Anyone Member
    Could be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    (Continued)

    Add in feminism and you get even more confusion because feminists advocate that males and females are essentially the same being with different reproduction organs. They preach that a woman should love her physical appearance and flout it while at the same time condemning men for viewing women as meat. The influence of feminism and their historical narrative creates a rational (using it loosely) basis for women to view sexual relations as “empowering”. They support women being promiscuous and nudity (which gives misogynists what they want, eye candy to view; great job fighting the patriarchy… not) as the transcendence of females.

    This adds more confusion to females because you have your intuitions, your physical sensory, and your rational being all giving differing signals (one heaping massive mess). Young ladies think they are empowering themselves and they feel the pleasure (which the feminists emphasize) but at the same time they feel the betrayal of the male leaving after a hook up (intuitions) or short relationship and then you also have to worry about the physical implications of pregnancy and those hormonal changes. Pretty painful combination if you ask me.

    The solution though is to view man and women in their natural settings and to advocate a prescriptive solution which respects the value of both sexes.

    (To be continued)

    • #88
  29. Could be Anyone Member
    Could be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    (Continued)

    So what (most) men (assuming they desire to do right and know what right is) want is intimacy. They desire love (agape, best friend for life), a deep intimacy and vulnerability with a female partner that lasts a life time. The issue is that physical pleasures can blind men to this and they can choose between the short run pleasure or the long run joy of life long commitment to a person that knows you, desires what is best for you, and acts on it regardless of bad times or good times.

    Likewise with (most) women, they too desire that relationship. A man that will cherish them, protect them, and value them too for their character regardless of time. They too can, however, choose the short run over the long run and it hurts them more unfortunately in a physical sense (spiritually I would argue it hurts both tremendously as it numbs our humanity as they choose physical pleasure repeatedly over anything else and that causes entropy in other key areas). There are temptations on either side to enjoy the short run and it continuously is in their face.

    Things from pornography to prostitution stand to cause men and women to practice the belief that humans are just thinking meat bags. But when they practice the belief of the incalculable value of humans through acts like marriage and abstaining  they elevate the value of those acts which ultimately serve for the preservation and expansion of life.

    • #89
  30. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    @Tom Meyer at #79:

    As an active dater from junior high school (and I am not referring to hook-ups) to the day of my engagement, I am appalled at how both men and women have managed to ruin one of life’s most pleasurable experiences.

    It just doesn’t need to be so complicated.

    Men: Stop with the suspicious behavior and show some courtesy and class. Don’t go “Dutch” and do ask a girl out a few days in advance. If she’s worth a minute of your time, she’ll appreciate these gestures. If not, you need to work on your observational skills.

    Women: Stop accusing men of “playing games” because that is not a bad thing. Lighten up. Learn about sports. Develop a sense of humor if you haven’t already and dammit, relax. Talk about yourself and ask questions about him. And above all, don’t get inebriated unless he’s your boyfriend and you can trust him to look after you.

    That’s all.

    • #90
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