Men, don’t take this the wrong way and things, but I need a chat with some of you. I really didn’t think this would need saying to anyone beyond their teens or very early 20s. But it appears to need saying to some men who are much older than that. And that’s quite alarming.
Here is something you may or may not have realised about the different cultural messages men and women get about sex and relationships. Women are brought up believing that we get those things either when we’ve sufficiently prettied ourselves with a mountain of products, or when one of you’s desperate enough to get around to us. If we’re not wanted, it’s probably our fault. Either way, if no-one wants to have sex with us, nothing very awful will happen to us and we just have to suck it up. As it were (I mean, if you read Femail everything in the world is our fault, so what does it matter really…)
You, meanwhile, are brought to believe lovin’ action is a necessity up there with oxygen and water. Your sexuality is a given. Doctors will usually tell you about the sexual side effects of any medication you take, and not dismiss your frustrations about them (yes hello there, undergraduate-era SSRI experience…!) You r’aison d’etre is to persuade some pesky reluctant woman to sleep with you – or pay her to – because if you don’t get any, you’ll shrivel up and bats will rain down from the sky. Most significantly, if you don’t think you’re attractive enough to persuade someone in a positive way, then appealing for sympathy is said to do the trick. And this, I have a little bit of a problem with. No, a big bit of a problem.
You may’ve inferred I have led not the most charmed and carefree of lives to date. Despite that fact, I’ve never, ever believed anyone owed me sex. Or a relationship. Or even a cup of tea. The reverse in fact. The less charmed and carefree it has been, the less I feel entitled to anything most people feel vaguely entitled to. So it’s quite baffling to encounter some men (and yes, it is always men, not women. Note, I said “some”. Not “lots”, not “all”) who seem to feel that the harsher their life has been the more boning opportunity they are owed. It has nothing to do with whether men want sex more than women, it’s about entitlement. Desire and a sense of entitlement are two different things. I like Italian food, I don’t stand outside Carluccios demanding a free meal because I’m skint, and getting cross with waiters who say I can’t have one…
You are not owed sex because life has dealt you a bad hand. You are not owed sex because you’re lonely, or depressed, or ill. You are not owed sex even if you’ve seen the most horrific sights imaginable (and if you have, I’d suggest you need counselling, not rogering). The only earthly reason anyone should be having sex with you is because they’re attracted to you. Which, if they’re a healthy, sensible individual, should not be solely because you’re vulnerable. And some people won’t be attracted to you; not because there’s anything wrong with them or you but because that’s life and most people aren’t attracted to most people.
I know it’s difficult and awful and painful and all the rest. I really do. I can understand you wanting to find somebody special, and trump all the baggage and barriers in the world to be with them…as long as they feel the same way about you. When you think someone is obliged to be with you because of anything you are or anything that’s happened to you, that’s when you lose me. If you think that way then frankly, loneliness is the least of your problems.