In Belgium a plastic surgeon has sparked a lot of controversy for saying women are now refusing to have sex. He claimed women now want the goodies male creativity can offer them, but they don’t want to pay for them anymore via sex (or otherwise, I suppose).

Viewers came away with the message: women used to have sex to please men and get favors from them. Now they want the favors, but they don’t want to spread their legs anymore. His words.

The reactions were an avalanche with two lanes. Some said what he did was spreading hatred. Others agreed with him. Nobody seemed willing to try and come to some sort of factual conclusion.

Do women use sex only as currency to basically exploit men’s talents, creativity, protective powers, etc? I started thinking specifically about the question: when does a woman have consensual sex? Here is an attempt at compiling a list of possible motivations or circumstances:

  • Women have sex because they enjoy it. When they run into a willing attractive partner they sometimes have sex because they simply enjoy it. What attracts them to that partner may be many different things as no two women are entirely alike. In general women are more willing to have sex with a man who will stick around and can provide, but that is by no means the only conditions for her to have sex. Ergo: lots of women have sex with men without expecting anything back in any material sense.
  • Because she feels lonely
  • Because she wants to forget the things that depress her. Women can use sex as escapism just like men can
  • To tie a man to her. Yes, sometimes women decide to have sex just to keep their man happy or to try and stop him from leaving her. Again, men sometimes do this too.
  • For the sake of adventure. To have a cool memory. Out of curiosity. Bascially in a mood of why not? Maybe on holiday when nobody is around to judge her.
  • Cause she got drunk and some dude was ready and willing. Again, not a situation men never find themselves in
  • Yes, in threatening circumstances she may decide to have sex with a powerful male to keep her safe. Again, men may end up doing the same in some specific circumstances
  • Cause she happens to be super horny
  • To get pregnant, obviously
  • To feel desired
  • To feel young
  • To feel alive
  • To feel like she’s still got it
  • Out of pity. To give some guy she is not that attracted to, at least not physically, a nice experience. Once, maybe twice. Sympathy fucks are a real thing.
  • Cause she’s bored
  • To punish her boyfriend or husband or girlfriend by sleeping with someone else
  • To punish and degrade herself, usually because she was victimized in her formative years
  • Maybe when she has a drug addiction and sex is the way to get to that drug. Again something that could happen to men as well
  • To protect her children
  • Because it’s part of her routine with a husband of many years. Friday night, sexy time. It’s something you do like regularly clipping your toe nails, though slightly more enjoyable
  • To fantasize about someone else. Men would be very, very surprised if they could download a movie of where the mind of the woman they have sex with wanders to…
  • Out of nostalgia
  • To prove something to herself
  • Because she has a chance to have sex with someone all other women seem to want to have sex with. So basically for ego reasons or to get an imaginary trophy. Men almost always become more desirable when a woman knows other women desire him. Especially if she knows those women
  • Similar to the above: to feel like the chosen one.
  • For status reasons
  • Because for some reason she thinks the sex with this person may be better than with previous partners. So purely out of hedonism and pleasure seeking
  • To ‘train’ an inexperienced person. The joy of introducing someone to something special can blend with the thrill of the act itself

And so on and on and on and on. A lot of these motivations may overlap.

Do women use sex purely as a way to improve their material situation?

Definitely not.

However, the more she feels like that option is the best option to improve her situation the more likely it is she will indeed use her sexuality as currency to get to money and power.

The more opportunities and material well being women have the less material comfort will be on her mind when selecting a sexual partner.

A woman who makes enough money on her own will look for other things in a man than his ability to bring in money.

Also a married woman will look for something entirely different in the men she chooses to have an affair with.

There are also cultural differences.

In the Netherlands it should be fairly easy to find a woman to have a sexual relationship with, but harder to find someone to settle down with for life. In Slovakia it’s the complete opposite. Young women do look for a stable provider here. This would change if Slovak women could make a lot of money on their own. This is anecdotal evidence, but the Slovak women I have met who did have many sexual partners either didn’t care about the typical house, car, holiday in the sun + kids formula (artists, intellectuals, free thinkers…), or already had that or made more money than most Slovak women.

Bottom line: to say that women only have sex to get ‘privileges’ that men can provide is an oversimplification that is very often incorrect.

I suspect those who repeat this idea of not wanting to make the many, often frustrating, efforts required to meet willing female sexual partners.