Sexperts: Double-Standards of Sexual Experimentation

February 6, 2014 Columns, Opinion, Sexperts

It wasn’t the first time we had tag teamed for free drinks: I guess watching two inebriated girls lock tongues at a party is a fantasy of sorts for some guys, even for my boyfriend at that time. It seems that same sex experimentation among women has practically become a milestone for college girls.

According to the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, the number of women who had admitted to engaging in same sex experimentation had increased by 400% from 1990 to 2010, while the number of men who had admitted to a same sex experience increased by only 1%.

To justify the lack of reported gay experiences among men, one must dissect the stigma that continues to surround same sex experimentation. An inherent homosexual panic among straight men can be credited to society’s stigmatization and, by declension, rejection of same sex experimentation: exchanging any sort of sexual gesture with another man is grounds for branding a man as “gay.” If the man later attempts to pass the gesture off as an innocent product of sexual curiosity ignited by that last double shot of Fireball, the man is immediately branded as “in denial” about his sexuality.

Men are not afforded the same privileges as women; men cannot engage in same sex experimentation without receiving criticism or retaining their identity as a straight man. Instead, men must constantly assert their masculinity to avoid appearing as homosexual.

It is critical to consider, however, that the statistics may not represent an accurate depiction of same sex experimentation: if same sex experiences between men are heavily stigmatized, some of these experiences may have gone unreported, thus skewing the accuracy of the statistics.

Same sex experimentation among women, however, is more broadly accepted as it lacks the criticism which men commonly receive. Erected by society, the sexual boundaries of which women are expected to adhere have become skewed: a woman is allowed to dabble in drunken same sex experimentation, but still retain her identity as a straight woman on the morning of her hangover.

The boundaries are further skewed by the overwhelming support from straight men: from The Global Sex Survey 2005, 50% of straight men claim they would feel comfortable if their girlfriend had a lesbian lover. Essentially, 50% of men in committed relationships do not feel threatened by their girlfriends experimenting with women. For straight women, this acceptance allows a woman to tap into the fantasy without changing her relationship status on Facebook.

For women who identify as lesbians, however, problems arise: the term “lesbian” is not afforded the same level of significance as “gay.” It is criticized as a “phase” rather than an established sexuality.

While modern culture has advanced in liberating attitudes towards women experimenting with same sex encounters, men are not afforded the same sexual privileges.

I challenge you to experiment and indulge in your own sexual curiosities, and not just for the free Cosmo.

 

 

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur, its staff or Rollins College.

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