Dr J's Sex Facts

Fun sex facts and accurate information from a clinical sexologist for a hotter and more fulfilling sex life.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Women and Men: What Can We Learn from Each Other? Part II

Hi all. It seems that sex and gender is a hot topic with everyone! Last week's post engendered so many good comments that I'm reprinting them here, along with some commentary.

The first sequence is from Love Slave, with comments by myself and reader SDK. It's an excellent example of how hard it is for all of us to begin the process of talking to our partner and how rewarding it is when we finally do.

Dear Doctor J,

My boyfriend really likes to role play and I’ve been up for just about anything, including lingerie, toys and positions. I would do anything he asks but recently he started calling me his whore when we’re making love. It really seams to turn him on and I love making him happy, but that word is a problems for me. I tell myself its just part of his fantasy cuz the rest of the time he says I’m his princess and he always acts super super nice, but the word still hurts. Am I being to sensitive? I’m just so confused.

his love slave
9:41 AM

Dr J said...

Hi Love Slave.

Great question! Lots of women have a negative reaction to being called a “whore” because this word has historically been used to denigrate and otherwise judge women, so I’m not surprised you’re uncomfortable with that word. However, some men use it in fantasy merely to turn their partner into a “bad girl,” (which can be very sexy). How about checking with him to be sure it really is just part of a “bad girl” fantasy, and not said to put you down? Once you’re clear, embrace your “inner whore” and let that bad girl out!
11:52 AM

SDK said...

Dear his love slave,

As drj points out there are a lot of charged words like "whore", "slut", etc. that men (& women too) have used to put down women they think are "oversexed" or "promiscuous" or whatever but that some people find really a turn on to use during sex. (One of my g/f's used to like to get on top and call me her "bitch"! Ooh baby) As long as its OK with both you and the b/f and you both know how its being used (in role playing) go for it. Like Madonna says "treat me like I'm a bad girl/even tho I've been good to you".
3:25 PM

Anonymous said...

omg-omg-omg! I talked to my boyfriend about he calling me a whore when we’re making love and he totally said it was like what you said. I tried what sdk said about calling him my bitch, but when I did we both laughed so hard he almost slipped out. Than we did it so intense I nearly cried. Thank you, so much Doctor J. It was hard for me to bring it up but I think it really brought us so closer.

his love slave
9:13 AM

Dr J said...

Hey Love Slave: OMG right back at you! How totally cool is it that you and your partner can now actually TALK about sex and make it even better!! You are an inspiration to us all. Keep writing, and let us know how you're doing. Dr. J
10:55 AM

Anonymous said...

actally this time I want to thank sdk. Thank you so much for you're suggestion. I didn’t mean to sound like we made fun of you're suggestion it just made my boyfriend and I laugh cuz I'm never like that. But I'll keep trying cuz if it feels so good when he holds me down than I want to be the one to hold him down.. Only thing is there something else I can call him besides my bitch?his sex slave
2:53 PM

Anonymous said...

Doctor J,

I was just multitasking and noticed how awful my spelling was in my letters. Sorry. Oh and I signed my last letter wrong too, my bad. Please don't think I'm a total barbie.

his love slave
4:51 PM

Dr J said...

Love Slave: Of course I don't think you're a total Barbie (cute expression though). You asked whether there's something else you can call your bf besides "bitch." You know what I'm going to say, don't you? Figure it out! Think about words that might turn you on and then say them to your partner. You'll have lots of fun figuring out which ones have erotic possibilities. Enjoy.

Dr. J
1:07 PM

So Love Slave discovered that not only can she talk to her bf, but they can learn things together to make their sex even hotter. AND SDK provided some great suggestions as well.

Here's a separate chain from James regarding gender roles and all the confusion relating to them:

James said...

There’s so much to respond to and comment on in this post, and I’m in agreement with a lot of what you’ve laid out here. Let me just pick on one thing to start. In asking what “men and women” can supposedly learn from each other, we end up pretty much back where we started: with the presumption that there are certain behaviours that are in the domain of men and others that are in the domain of women. Could we be doing a disservice to ourselves by framing the question this way? Maybe I have some ways of being or doing that might seem “feminine” to one way of thinking, but are actually just mine. Is there a way to learn from each other without labeling attitudes or preferences as being male- or female-identified?
10:09 AM

Dr J said...

James: Thanks for making these excellent points. I could easily frame this discussion with questions such as: “What can shy, quiet people learn from outgoing ones?” Or “What can artistic introverts teach frenetic engineers?” etc. However, most of us relate to the whole female/male thing—and many of my students and clients frame their questions in those terms—so I’ve organized this post accordingly. As I’ve previously noted, there's really no such thing as "masculine" or "feminine" (it's all culturally defined); but many of us all fall into these gender traps as a result of our cultural/familial backgrounds. It’s hard to escape being programmed as a boy or girl—and very difficult to simply be yourself. You exhibit the wonderful concept of androgyny: being comfortable expressing ALL your qualities, whether the culture identifies them as “masculine” or “feminine.”
1:31 PM

James said...

Dr J.,Thanks for your response. I agree that most of us do relate to the male/female dichotomy at some level. I wasn't trying to say that I think there aren't characteristics which are specific to each sex; physically, there are certainly differences. I'm just trying to figure out where sex and gender intertwine. BTW, speaking of physical differences, have you read anything on the McMaster University study or other research that claims to show that women have more brain cells available for the "higher" mental processes than men do? I have no idea whether these ideas actually hold scientific water, but I'd be interested to know... On another (minor) point, I'm not sure how fond I am of the term "androgyny." I understand how you're using it here; maybe it's just how it strikes my own ear. In Greek, the word reads, literally, "man/woman-ness". I suppose perhaps it often gets used (and not as a compliment) to denote a male who looks/acts "girlish" or a woman who seems "boyish." ???
3:58 PM

Dr. J...

Hi James. Yes, I've read some of the McMaster Univ. study. I've also read countless OTHER studies claiming to show men's brains superior to women's in certain areas, and vice versa. My general rule as a scientist is to take everything with a big grain of salt until it's been replicated, replicated and replicated. And maybe then, it'll have some credibility. Who knows WHAT effect our brain chemistry has on gender? I once read a study which purported to prove that men's brains were more suited to organization tasks such as lists. How does THAT explain that when you give a man a shopping list, he always comes back with several things missing? Sorry. Couldn't resist :)

Personally, I hope these questions are never answered, because then there's a danger that the data will be used to advantage one or the other gender (e.g., if men's brains are shown to be more adaptable to science; men will get most of the science scholarships). And we don't want THAT, right?

As a sexologist, I use the term androgyny as defined by Cornell Univ. Professor Sandra Bem. She views androgyny to mean both highly masculine and highly feminine, rather than neither masculine nor feminine (i.e. midway between the two extremes). She asserts that from a psychosocial standpoint, developing androgyny makes sense in today's society, as men and women need to be adaptable and willing to share all types of jobs, without saying that one job is woman's work or another job is just for men. You can read more about her work in: Bem, Sandra L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 42, 155-62 or go to Answer.com for citations.


I invite those of you who haven't yet joined our discussion to jump in. And, of course, I welcome comments from you repeat offenders too.

Coming attractions: Your Conditions for Good Sex.

With Pleasure,

Dr. J


  • At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I know this'll proly sound like a goof but I'm serious. Right now my sancha has a totally awesome landing strip but she now says she wants to take up the carpet and get down to the hardwood floor. Aside from the obvious turn on that she's doing this for me (her words) I'm more than a little concerned about what'll happen between shavings. She says s'all good but to be honest the poodle's been an issue when it hasn't been to the groomer. I want to sackup and take it like a man, but rough and scrumble isn't a place I want to put my hard jewelry.

    I appreciate your help drj and I'd also like to send this question out to all your readers. Anybody had any 'sperience negotiating sumpin' like this. I can't Tan Q all enuff.

    shadow boy

  • At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    dear shadow boy,

    Welcome to what it's like for girls when there boyfreind "forgot" to shave. I think my man looks wicked hot with a few day's stubbel but I'll gladly wait for him to run a razor across his face before we get down and flirty. Oh and about your jewelry, how do you think we feel when you take that sandpaper face downtown??

    And when your sancha waxes her floorspace shes gonna want to keep current on maintenance cuz it'll be way more uncomfortable for her than you. Trust me on this.

    his love slave (and not yours)

  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Dr J said…

    Way to get feisty, Love Slave! Thanks to you both for bringing this up and discussing.

    Shaving vs. waxing: now THERE'S a painful choice! Waxing lasts longer, but it's expensive and can be painful. There are some home-wax kits out there if you dare. Shaving is inexpensive and easy, but must be done more often than waxing. TAhe best solution is for you and your partner to decide on the best option together. Dr. J


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