Asking for Sex: What Do You Do When the Guy Says No?
#TrueStory: chalk it up to #VenusRetrograde but last month saw exes coming out the woodworks. I had a chance to have dinner and clear the air with one that I really liked. After a lovely dinner and good conversation (not to mention an extended drought), I asked if he’d like to accompany me back to my room.
Surprise of surprises: he declined. Exasperated (and horny) I asked “Why?” Lo and behold, he flipped the gender script and told me some version of: “I’m happy to have you back in my life. I don’t want to move too prematurely because we are rebuilding our relationship.” Riiiiight. What I wanted to know is what our “relationship” had to do with the sex that I needed to have right then and there.
For that there were no answers.
But what I can tell you is this: Getting my courage up to ask a partner that I trust for the sex that I wanted only to be turned down left me feeling hella disempowered.
As feminists one of the major tenets of hetero-sex positivity discourse is making women feel empowered to ask for what we want, to know that our needs and desires matter. Back in the day, some of the original pro-sex Hip Hop Feminists, TLC said, “yo, if I need it in the morning or the middle of the night, I ain’t too proud to beg”
Now that women are prioritizing sexual pleasure, men are changing the rules. They are recognizing that sexual performance can decline with age just like beauty.
But frankly, strictly speaking from my own experience, I think that men say no as a way to regain power.
I have a strong personality, I’m outspoken, and smart. Whatever the fuck Steve Harvey says, I know some brothers have found it intimidating. Denying sex becomes an easy way for men to let you know who’s boss.
Of late, I’ve had more than a few homegirls tell me about the negative reactions that they have gotten from men they were casually involved with, when they tried to prioritize sex in the interaction. Apparently, even when these brothers weren’t all that interested in a relationship, they took it as a serious blow to the ego, to find out that sisters just wanted to engage them for their bodies and sexual talents.
And in the classic fashion of those with privilege, they played the victim, changed the rules, and refused to give the thing they had the power to give. In this case, sex.