Is Sex Fair?

The first time I pondered this question was with my group of 6th grade girl classmates who had just been shown ‘the period movie’ without the boys.

“Boys don’t have periods!  It’s so UNFAIR!” we moaned.  What we didn’t know was that boys jizz in their PJs and then have to try to hide them from mom on laundry day; now doesn’t that seem a bit unfair?  And I can’t help but wonder:  While we were seeing ‘the period movie,’ did they get ‘the jizz movie’?  If not, that’s more than a bit unfair!

The next time it came up was when we learned more about the real deal of childbirth.  “Men don’t have to go through that!  It’s so UNFAIR!” we cried.  Only later would we learn that men don’t have a say in whether we keep a pregnancy – not a legal say, anyway, though they do have louder and sometimes more dominating opinions.  Nor do they have a say in whether they have to pay child support – again, not a legal say, but plenty vote with their feet.  On the other hand, women can actually DIE during pregnancy and childbirth, so why shouldn’t we have the say and men have to pay?  Not to mention how our backs go all wonky (forever) and our straight hair frizzes or our curly hair goes limp (forever), plus he didn’t want to use a condom in the first place.  Where is the fairness in all that?

The boy who most wanted my virginity told me that he was getting some from an older woman, and he was so sorry, but he couldn’t really give that up – well, unless…  Today I might think I was being played, but she actually drove up and whisked him off while he was talking to me, a resolute look on her pretty but mature face.  I remember thinking that even though she knew sex tricks I didn’t, I could learn sex tricks (couldn’t I?)  Whereas she was old and would continue to get older while I was still young.  Now why that soothed my hurt feelings I’m not sure – because I would get older too (wouldn’t I?)  And right then he was driving off with her while I stood alone on a street corner with my ‘precious gift.’  Who got the fair end of that?

The age thing came up again when I was an attractive young woman driving a series of somewhat rundown heaps.  I saw the women of a certain age and status in their sports and luxury cars.  I thought, why can’t I have one of those; doesn’t it make more sense for a hot girl to be driving a hot car?  (Yes, at times I could really be that shallow.)  Now I’m the mature woman, and I just went back to driving a sexy black Mustang GT.  Ultimately I think it’s fair that I do, considering that I also have the battle scars of my age, plus I’ve put in the time on my career to afford the car I want.  Nature sure has a way of evening things out.

Now some of my mature women friends talk about how some men of a certain age don’t seem to want sex as much anymore.  Whereas we want it more than ever!  “Where is their testosterone?  It’s so UNFAIR!” we sigh.  Well, back when we were the pretty young things driving the dumpy worn-out cars, young men were being driven nearly mad with that testosterone.  And hand in hand with their high desire was a low sophistication about how to actually get a woman into bed.  Furthermore, many of the young women they desired were more interested in the flowery compliments, the roses, the steak dinner, the jewelry, than in the hungry mouth that would jam its tongue down their throats or the hard erection that would chafe and leave that aforementioned jizz in their vaginas.  But later, many of those boyz-2-men pay it back, whether they mean to or not.  Their waning testosterone can mean they’re more interested in the beer and ball games or the easy porn on the internet than in richer but more complicated sex with their mates.  Poor us!

What can we do about these discrepancies?  Is the ‘war’ between the sexes unwinnable?

Maybe when one of us wins, none of us wins.  Maybe winning just doesn’t promote the equity and empathy that are so crucial to a happy mentality and a healthy relationship.  What serves us better, if I can steal a couple cliches, is to understand that when the grass seems greener on the other side, it’s often just that we can’t see the forest for the trees.  It’s not easy to be alive, whether female or male.  It’s not easy to be young, it’s not easy to be old, and it’s not easy in between.  But I’ll still take that over the alternative.  Won’t you?

Young man and woman b&w In my book Licking the Spoon, I discuss the differences between the sexes that can threaten relationships, and some strategies for dealing with them.

91 thoughts on “Is Sex Fair?

    • Really enjoyed the story. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Oh, if only I had the wisdom from my years back then when any of those “it’s not fair” moments came up. Now I’m learning to just take one day at a time and ” be happy to wake up breathing” as mom used to say. She gave up the battle of what’s fair a long time ago.
      Too exhausting…..and you’re right, no real winners.

      Don’t make us wait so long for your next story. Love reading your writings.

  1. Great read! I really liked what you wrote “Maybe when one of us wins, none of us wins. Maybe winning just doesn’t promote the equity and empathy that are so crucial to a happy mentality and a healthy relationship. ” I think that a lot of times many of us see it as a competition but in the end “winning” doesn’t promote anything at all.

  2. Sex seems to be pretty fair. In the end everything gets turned around. Women should be the ones to decide whether or not men should pay for our expenses when pregnant and during the child’s development. Although, I do believe that men should be taught about their jizz accidents as adolescents.

  3. Driving a fast car, hot girl friends, muscles, and having money are important to men these days but we forget that there’s much more to getting a woman into bed. Women want to feel above all else an object of a man’s desire when compared to his “low testosterone” habits. It’s not fair for either sex but sometimes the partner can make things much more complicated than things should really be.
    Mo Money Mo Problems

  4. I like the story. It is a fact that when men tend to get older sex becomes less with older women but older men also tend to be attracted to younger women. I believe that older men still desire for sex for younger women.

  5. It’s so unfair that many men get intimidated by a women who are successful and better off then them. We live in a society where men always wanted to dominate everything and women should only have a submissive role.

  6. This is true, but at the same time society looks down less upon young males having healthy relationships with their bodies (either with another person or themselves). Ultimately, most repression and lack of education (in all genders) does seem to be rooted in internalized sexism and patriarchally based ideals.

  7. Desire wanes differently for each individual and for men and women it can be substantially different. Age proves to be a difference maker in sexual desire, and I believe experience in coitus for males might be another deciding factor as to why their sexual interest is not as high as before. What do you think?

    • Well, I’m not exactly sure what you mean about experience. Do you mean they have experience and so are bored? Or something else? I know the waning hormone testosterone has a lot to do with it. And if men have not taken care of their health, that’s a factor too.

  8. But is it really a matter of unfairness? Don’t get me wrong, this was a wonderful read and I enjoyed it very much but I believe it’s more of a matter of perspective. I wouldn’t say it’s unfair that we have to deal with terrible cramps and stained sheets every month– it just happens. Not having nice cars at a prime (attractive) age? It’s not that it’s fair, it’s just most people’s incomes at that age won’t allow for that. So is it really unfairness? Or is it just a matter of perspective and how we internalize these “situations”?

    I don’t know, just a thought 🙂
    (Like I always try to say when something seems unfair “Why me? Why not me?”

    • I like your questions to yourself when something seems unfair! “Why not me?” Most people never ask that. And yes, the things I’m describing are situations that just happen, not necessarily something we can do anything about. I was just musing!

  9. That’s interesting. I enjoyed timeline of the thoughts. I guess there’s always going to be problems at every age.

  10. Men do enjoy some advantages and privileges that women do not have, but women also have privileges men do not have. For example, on a night out, women are always getting in for free, while I have to pay $20. They receive free drinks, while I have to pay $10 for mine. There are countless examples of where both men and women get away with things because of their “sex” or gender. I think this piece brings up a good point about both males and females both looking others and thinking “why can’t that be me?”. When we see others with things we do not have, we want to have those things because we may feel that we deserve those thing through the good person that we are or the hard work that we have done. I think it is mostly a feeling of life’s overall feelings and emotions that we have as humans.

  11. I ask myself everyday “ugh why can’t guys have periods and babies?” Boy, would it be nice to change roles for a day or a week. I always find my boyfriend telling me that cramps are just cramps, or stop being emotional. It’s irritating, but that’s life. I now realize how great it is to be a woman. We get to experience holding life inside of us and giving birth, unless one is unable to. But we get to be women and really show men that we can do things better or just as great as them. I agree with you that I find myself thinking “why can’t I have that car? I can afford the payments.” But then I know that I can wait for those materialistic things and I don’t need them in order to be better than a man.

  12. Interesting point of view- maybe it’s not quite as uneven as I previously thought, but I still believe women got the short end of the stick!

  13. At times, I have thought about how unfair it was that females had to be the ones that had periods and gave birth, but I’ve never thought about what males have to go through as well. I’m very glad that I read this, it really changed my perspective. Thank you! 🙂

  14. I think sex is fair because sex is tied in to gender. That means that people regardless will have expectation of male and female. Male have to deal being the ideal man and female being the ideal women in life. Although i do believe that women deals with more pain than men by anatomy wise.

  15. Sometimes I think it’s fair, other times it can not be due to x y z variables of everyone’s different perception. Great blog though!

  16. You have an amazing way with words! I definitely agree that it’s unfair!

    In my experience, when it comes to sex, I am always the “pleaser” and often my partner refuses to reciprocate after they have finished. Sometimes I wonder how it’d be to be with a mature/experienced partner!

    • Even a mature partner can be selfish. But an experienced, or maybe even just sensitive, partner would know that the greater pleasure is possible when both people achieve ecstasy. You might try holding back until you feel your partner has your interest in mind.

  17. great article! and yeah some times sex seems unfair but some times is just a matter of realizing where we are standing and enjoying our resources according to our age, before time passes and we missed many great sex opportunities.

  18. Your final statement and question resonated the most with me. Sure, life can be unfair, but I’ll take the fortune of being alive over an eternity of unconsciousness. The more I learn about the history of the universe, the history of life’s evolution, or the history of anything at all, the more I realize how unlikely and improbable our existence is. Here we are, born from the chaos of infinite possibilities, conscious. Conscious of the world, conscious of ourselves, conscious of others, conscious of intangible emotions and feelings between us and within us. So yes, I do agree with what you have to say Professor Hoggan. Even if life is unfair, I would still take it over the alternative.

  19. Good post! I too have thought many times how unfair it is that women go through monthly periods and cramps, and childbirth and everything else we go through but then remember that men have things that we don’t have to go through and think where one sex has it easier the other doesn’t. I’m just glad that if I’m ever turned on in public nobody can notice like they’re able to notice in a man with a stiff bulge coming from their basketball shorts. Haha

  20. Very interesting and insightful look on how different girls and boys perceive their sexuality, and how they react to it as they grow older. Great read, and great article that really makes you think about sex and gender!

  21. This story has so much truth to it! It does seem unfair that us women have periods, give birth, then go through all these hormonal changes throughout life and then get menopause! Men sit back and watch, or just think we are crazy! I especially could relate to your thoughts on the grass is always greener. It is so true how no matter what age or how beautiful one is, That there is always someone that is younger or has more money and their life seems better. I see this with my clients because I do hair. The ones with curly hair want their hair straight the ones with straight want their hair curly. People are never satisfied!

  22. First thing I would have to say is honestly I laughed because i remember when i was in elemetry school and the girl went to one class the boys went to another. So that brought back memories thanks for that ahha. But, back to the subject when it come to this I really dont see it as a mater of fair i feel like that is life and their are struggles for both male and females. There would be no point on me having to watch that video if im a boy why that isn’t going to happen to me. So it is a sad truth but it is reality and there is not way to change it girls have things they have to go through and so do guys and thats the end of the story.

  23. Women do seem to have more bodily extremities than males and this is something I will personally always admire about the “Woman”. I can definitely say that as a male, I do not envy women in any way shape or form. I do find it interesting that male and female sexual “clocks”, don’t coincide. With women having more of a drive later in life and men having it earlier in life. Although, I do wonder if thats because men choose more with their eyes rather than their hearts and at an age where what was once pleasing to the eye is not as pleasing as before, women have grown into a superior sexual beings that can appreciate the true meaning and pleasures of sex.

    • I’ve heard an evolutionary explanation of the difference you describe. It’s called resistance. The theory is that it’s nature’s way of keeping the sexes off-balance and interested in each other. Hmmm…

  24. I remember that women video from middle school. The “Just around the corner~” jingle would be that catchy tune all the girls remember because it was dug deep into our brains. My first thought were wondering how long this “period” would last because one situation would have a period for a month. Must be an old outdated video but anyways is this T.M.I.? Sorry but anyways when I first started I ran to my mom and she just did a quick explanation that ended with “you’ll get used to it.” So female vs. male. I honestly think it would be women winning because come one “pregnancy” its without a doubt unfair to go through. Maybe in the future there will be a pregnancy stimulator for men haha….

  25. I feel like sometimes it can be unfair and other times it is fair. Maybe it depends on how much support the person is getting from their partner and friends and family or maybe depending on financial situations. Obviously the biological differences can be seen as being unfair on the womens’ side. Coming from a guy. A few wet dreams at an early age and hiding it is a small negative compared to the women who have to deal with periods each month for around 3 decades.

    • I hear what you’re saying. I might surprise some by saying that I missed my periods when they stopped. A little. Sometimes. LOL. Mostly because when I had them I knew I was fertile and in sync with the universe.

  26. I think men and women both have their share of responsibilities. Yes, women have to endure a wide variety of pain throughout their lives, but men are left with the responsibility to take care of the family… emotionally, physically and financially. Yes, that might not seem very hard but it all depends on the current situation of everything. Over all, life is a bitch sometimes. Everyone should focus on the positive more than the negative. Plus, sex is always a great way to forget the negative too… atleast for a little while. :p

  27. Really fascinating, as I have often thought of it as unfair. But now I can understand all of this a little better! thanks for that!

  28. This was a nice story. I really liked how you wrote about both sides because I always thought women had it worst on some aspects in life but I can see that men can go through some hard times as well.

  29. Your hit it right on the pin! That is so true. Its either one wins and the other does not! It can never be both but i enjoyed your story and i agree with what you have to say!

  30. I find it crazy that you said that a man lost his want for sex. Most men want sex more! But i liked your story and found it very interesting!

  31. hahaha i totally picture you having a mustang, i bet you had one back in the day.
    I hate when guys press girls who have guidelines, i mean thats not cool to make someone feel like they have to do something or they will leave you. a virgin is something to be treated with care. the psychological factors and environment are important.

  32. life unfortunately always seems unfair especially between men and women. that includes everything you have stated and there have been a lot of issues throughout history with equality. the thing is, we will never be equal, there are many ways that women win and many ways that men win. one just has to accept and be happy with who they are and stick to that.

  33. What an ass. I can totally picture you seeing him on the road one day.

    You’re at a stoplight.
    He’s in a 1997 Toyota Corolla. The front bumper is gone.
    You’re in you just washed Mustang GT.
    You lock eyes.
    He rolls down the window, in awe.
    You roll yours down too.
    He starts to say something.
    The light turns green.
    You put on your sunglasses.
    Flip him off.
    And speed away.

    Beautiful.

  34. After reading this article i was actually surprised because in my opinion i think its fair because women and men both have struggles and they go through different things they might not be the same but we all face difficulties one way or another.

  35. I can see that sex may seem unfair to females, or to males. I think age is a huge factor in understanding the fairness of sex. For example, when I was younger I believed that the boys had it easy. In my opinion, as one gets older and enhances their knowledge, females and males can see both sides to the degree of whether sex is more fair to the opposite sex or not.

  36. I really enjoyed this post. Growing up I always thought that it was unfair that females had to go through periods and mood swings and other stuff, and I always thought to myself “gosh guys have it so easy I wish I was a guy.” However, with time I learned the beauty of being a female, and I understood better the things that males have to go through. Like you said they have to worry about hiding their Jizz on their Pjs, especially when it’s on an all-female house. There are some things about both gender that are unfair, such as pay amount, benefits and such, but having a period is not unfair it’s a natural for the female body. I do find it a little funny how life changes as you grow and suddenly you want the things that you had before, but at the same time there’s things that make up for it like your example with a luxurious car. Moreover, I think you win when you are truly and genuinely happy, and time and age do not matter for this.

  37. I don’t think its fair at all. I find it crazy that males over time loose interest in sex and we want it more! Whats that about?!

  38. I thought this was definitely a very interesting post, and true at that. We’re always so preoccupied with who has it better and trying to win this ridiculously long battle of the sexes. Ultimately I think that as a guy I have it much better, I’d rather deal with awkwardness over periods any day heh. However, I’m not looking forward to getting much older in relation to all the fun stuff that happens to the body. Life is gonna be a great adventure I suppose.

    • Yes, life is a great adventure! It’s a bummer what happens to us as we get older, but believe it or not, there are some payoffs that make it worth it. Not that we have a choice. But we have a choice in our attitude, I guess.

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