Below is a repost of a brilliant article which points out that a ‘no’ from a woman is quite often a barely veiled ‘yes’.

She wants you to seduce her, but she feels the need to put up a few barriers along the way.

So, see those barriers for what they are and enjoy the process of getting pas them, as she will enjoy watching you do it ;)

 

Reposted from: Murphy, R. (1977). Male initiative, female restraint. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences.

There is enormous variation from society to society in standards of sexual property and expression, but a common theme seems to run through most.

This is simply that the standards are skewed in such a fashion that male roles are different from those of females in predictably consistent ways.

Men are considered to be the dominant sex in terms of both authority and ease of access to the central values of the society and, congruent with their superordinate positions, they are expected to maintain and initiate in sexual relations.

The male is the seeker of sex and the aggressive actor in romance.

He is the seducer of women, the potential rapist, the eternal reservoir of libidity. The woman, on the other hand, is supposed to maintain a certain reserve and modesty regarding her sexuality.

It is not something to be given freely, and an essential part of female education is the inculcation of the propensity to withhold.

 

Just as a female is supposed to guard her sexuality, a male is enjoined to express his own.

The result is a rather interesting paradox for, quite commonly, the very societies that place the highest premium on aggressive male sexuality are also those that require the most stringent decorum on part of their women.

The “double standard” truncates and stultifies the sex life of the female, while at the same time frustrating that of the male.

The terms “restraint” and “initiative” best characterise these quite general, though not absolutely universal, qualities of sex roles. By “initiative”, I mean very simply that the man is expected to take the lead in amorous encounters.

It is the male who is expected to be the seducer in non-marital relations, a role that is carried over and the widespread norm by which the wife is supposed to respond to the sexual demands of her husband.

Similarly, it is ordinarily the male who assumes the lead in courtship, who selects out a desired female for pursuit, who attends to her while she assumes the less active role of either accepting or discouraging his advances.

In some societies the men are faint suitors, while in others, their very honour and manhood depends upon their relentless search for women.

Whatever the variations, however, the general pattern is that men are expected to be seeking, acquisitive, prepared to seize opportunities for heterosexual contacts, while the women are supposed to wait the approaches of men.

 

“Restraint” is the opposite element of the syndrome.

Women are not expected, whatever their inclinations and drives, to aggressively seek out male partners and initiate relations with them.

Rather, their role is to respond to the actions taken by men. It would be a confession of weakness to take initiative.

For a woman to do this in the early phase of a relationship would make her appear over-anxious, would constitute an admission that she was not being sought by other men, and would be viewed, quite probably, by the male as an intrusion upon his domain and an attempt to limit his freedom.

This was certainly true of times past and is still largely applicable to the more open climate of today.

Going beyond the diplomacy of courtship, women are expected to observe a general stance of withholding themselves sexually, giving the sex act the appearance of a female beneficence.

 

Times change, and young girls no longer query whether it is proper to kiss a boy on the first date.

In fact, they may well ask whether sexual relations are proper on the first date. This is a shift of degree and not of kind, for the basic question remains whether to yield or not.

Everybody, however, knows that women do not just sit back and wait for men to take the initiative but, rather, use a series of techniques to make sure that the male does take the initiative, and in the way desired by the women.

But this is a delicate game, and women in all societies manage the activities of their men while maintaining an overt stance of withdrawal.

Moreover, the double standard provides the basis for manipulation of males by women through the giving or withholding of sexual access.

It is a disability for women, to be sure, but it is often used by them to advantage.

Discussions of the relative status of the sexes usually centres around such binary concepts as dominance-subordination and activity-passivity.

I have chosen not to phrase the problem in these terms for a number of reasons. Several studies indicate clearly that male dominance in many societies is more noise than substance, leaving female in firm control of certain vital sectors of economy and society.

Activity and passivity are equally elusive terms. Though the notion of activity fits easily into what is meant here by initiative, passivity and restraint are not at all synonymous.

Passivity implies a total kind of receptivity and vulnerability, an inability for self-assertion, a world-view that promotes the acceptance of the buffetings of fate, a lack of either ability or desire to actively maximise one’s own pleasures and goals.

This is hardly descriptive of women in any society for, within the often loose confines of their roles, they do indeed assert themselves, decide their own fates, and resits the assaults, intrusions, and indignities of society, including those visited upon them by males.
And they frequently accomplish these ends through restraint.

Restraint actually implies a certain activity, a kind of non-giving and self-assertion, as well as good degree of control over one’s body.

In a sexual sense, it does not connote physical or emotional passivity, for the inhibitions of restraint can be dropped at appropriate times.

Thus, restraint implies that though a woman may not openly take initiative in love, and certain other activities, she guards herself in such a way that she has ample latitude and maneuvering room in which to either accept or reject the initiatives of others.

It is through these mechanisms of distance setting that restraint becomes generalised from sex to other aspects of female behaviour.

Women are generally expected to be more reserved than men.

Though women are stereotyped to be “more emotional” than men in Western society, probably because of our strong inhibition against male weeping, men are actually expected in our own society and most others to be more boisterous, outgoing, mirthful, and quick to show anger.

If sexuality is to be used for social purposes, it must have a certain value placed upon it; in short, it must be in scarce.

The first thing that must be understood about the scarcity of female sexuality is that it is artificial and humanly created – that is, it is cultural, not natural.

Sharinahua Indian women of Peru, for example, withhold or give sexual favours in order to motivate men to hunt.

It is a striking example of the equivalency of food and sex [and economics – not romance – applied to relationships]. The shortage of female sexuality is artificial and is maintained in three ways: through sexual morality, polygyny, and female infanticide.

The value placed upon women in all societies reinforced by a series of norms that may include, with varying emphasis, the ideal of premarital chastity, a sense of personal modesty, the institution of marriage as the approved outlet for sex, the exclusiveness of sexual rights in marriage, supervision and control of the sexuality of the female by others, usually men, and the basic injunction that a woman should withhold access to herself except under defined and sanctioned circumstances.

One of the great revelations of the research into sexuality by Masters and Johnson is the sometimes known, frequently suspected, but rarely documented potential of female sexuality.

It is as if it were a vast subterranean stream, commonly stopped by convention and muted through all the mechanics of socialisation.

What is especially important in the Masters and Johnson research is the demonstration that female capacity for female gratification transcends that of the male in both duration and frequency.

That the female sexual drives are so often muted or totally repressed is, then, hardly a matter of biology, but rather of culture.

Mark Twain undertook to show that laws of man given in Bible (which we would translate as culture) are invariably in contradiction and violation of the laws of God (which Twain himself defines as nature).

One of the laws of God is that sexual competency of males blooms late, dies early, and is unreliable at most times.

From Mark Twain. Letters from the Earth:

The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in woman’s construction is this: there shall be no limit put upon your intercourse with the other sex sexually, at any time of life.

The law of God, as plainly expressed in man’s construction (Bible), is this: during your entire life you shall be under inflexible limits and restrictions, sexually.

Seriousness is man’s oldest con game. Twain’s truth is that culture is inversion of nature. Culture creates an artificial and untrue shortage of female sexuality whereas, in nature, the supply of female sex far exceeds any possible demand that males can make upon it.

The cultural inversion of female sexuality is a matter that is widely known but seldom admitted.

An essential element in the widespread fear among men of most cultures is that the sexuality and sexual functions of women are riddled with danger.

There is an unconscious anxiety that male dominance in sex, and in extension in society, rests on fragile ground. The female, if her capacities to be released, would prove to be destructive of the male and his powers.

The bottom line is that society gains control over its members in part through the imposition of a scarcity value upon sex.

This is accomplished naturally in the male, whose limitations are patent, and culturally in the female, who suffers from no such natural limitation.

The burden of restriction falls, therefore, upon the woman, who is restrained by the force of social convention and socialised to these restraints as an integral part of her femininity.

Sex, as Simone de Beavoir has reminded us, is submerged in service to the continuity of the species.

It is a source of great pleasure, to be sure, and gratification is hardly restricted to heterosexual intercourse, but neither pleasure principle nor polymorphous perversity negate that it is in the first instance a reproductive act.

Individuals may well regard sex as fun, but in terms of biological and social evolution it is serious business.

The fundamental relations involved in reproduction are oriented toward intromission and male climax, nothing more. The truth is that in most societies, men maintain a considerable initiative in precipitating coitus is one guarantee that such connections will occur.

It should not be a cause of great wonder, then, that this active stance of the male carries over into related areas of behaviour, as does the restrained attitude of the woman.

Anatomy is not destiny, but the body is indeed the primary means by which we apprehend the world, and ourselves, and it is indeed the limiting factor for our projects, though not a determinant.

The limitations of the body do not cause sex roles, but influence the ways in which we address ourselves to the world.

 

Conclusions

It has been argued in this paper that female sexuality is culturally scarce but naturally abundant, whereas male sexuality is culturally thought to be abundant though it is naturally limited.

Two principal conclusions have from this line of reasoning.

First is that the male sexual dominance is in part explainable by the limitations of male sexuality. Men are formally given the right to pick time and frequency of coitus, because timing is important to their disposition, and thus competence, for the act, and because males are commonly unable to engage is sexual relations at the same level of frequency as the female.

Thus, the male posture of initiative, with all its concomitants, is in this, as in other aspects of sexual relations, primary defensive of weakness.

The second major conclusion of this paper is that culture has been demonstrated, once again, to be a reversal of the natural order and the promulgation of a relative falsehood.
Related Readings:

Simone de Beauvoir. (1953). The second sex.

Claude Levi-Strauss. (1969). The elementary structures of kinship.

Margaret Mead. (1949). Male and female.

Amram Scheinfeld. (1944). Women and men.

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