At the dawn of the 20th Century, it was risqué for a girl to wear fewer than three layers of underwear. Now yoga “fuck me” pants are the norm. Women’s fashion has gone back to where it was before Christianity when sexuality was considered too natural to be defiant, and instead was simply a consequence of comfort. In a way, a woman who unbuttons the top button on her blouse on a warm day is more sexual than a stripper who picks up money off the stage with her vagina. But what’s important is both of these freedoms exist.
Yes, it was a good Century, and as much as I would have enjoyed living in the PC-blind, bootstrap-pulling, Teddy Roosevelt-rhino-killing age of the early 1900s, there’s no doubt that the sexual freedom of today makes being alive at this moment the greatest thing ever—even if it means not having piano keys made from elephant teeth.
As great as women’s sexual freedom is, it’s more than just an end in itself: it’s a tool that has made women more free in other areas of life. This empowerment makes them think they’re also empowered at math. It also makes them feel empowered to give their opinion on something besides cookware, which is entertaining.
But sexuality is a two-way street, otherwise it would be asexuality. While women have spent the last century breaking out of their shell, men have spent the last century crawling into their shell. We don’t ask girls out, we hang out with them. When we text girls, we use emoticons. The text is the 21st Century version of the grunt and we’ve ruined it with emoticons. As a result, we’ve gone from dating girls to being friends with them. If Friends would have come out in 1894 instead of 1994, it would have been called Ownership.
It may not seem like a big deal to sit in the passenger seat and watch women navigate their sexuality while we look up directions on an iPad. But sexuality is the most powerful force since two amoebae figured out their genes would have a better chance of surviving if they mixed to produce offspring, instead of simply replicating themselves. Wait, that is sexuality. But you get my point.
So is it any wonder why women make more and more money while men change more and more diapers? Women have come to own their sexuality while men rent it on occasion in moments of braggadocio that are ultimately poor investments.
Men could get away with being asexual dorks when women wore seven layers of underwear, but now, as we have already appreciated, women barely wear one. The burgeoning sexual confidence of women isn’t something to gawk at, it’s something that needs to be met with an equal or greater amount of sexual confidence. The existence of cleavage isn’t our cue to pretend that we don’t care about cleavage; it’s our cue to light up.
To compound the problem, men try to match a woman’s sexuality by being more sexual in the feminine sense, namely by looking hotter. This works about as often as female bodybuilders don’t elicit a gag reflex.
A great first step in becoming more in control of sexuality and so our lives is to be able to express sexual desire for a woman without shame or agenda. Men usually think, however, this outgoing behavior is needy or at least awkward, which ultimately leads to a rise in hair gel sales. Even typically confident guys will put on their “too cool for school” persona when a babe walks into a room. It’s good time to start talking about what a big shot you are at work for some reason and then call your friend a fag.
Or next time you see a girl who you think looks cute, tell her that you think she looks cute through your best shit-eating grin. This simple act won’t make up for all of your XBox playing, and it won’t even make you that much more confident, but when you start to speak to all girls like they’re girls, even in a subtle way, you will naturally continue down the path of being a more sexually confident male.
If we don’t decide to be more open about our sexuality, then we will continue to relinquish its power to women, and so we will continue to relinquish the world to them. No amount of posturing or being good at math will get it back. Men, without their sexuality, are unnecessary. I’ve met some pretty butch lesbians who could take our place. We’d be shipped off to China to be raised on their math and science farms. The women in charge will reward good behavior by sending us to a rub-n-tug factory, but it will really just be their way of milking us for our seed while keeping us docile.
The only other way to maintain the balance of sexual power is to make women feel insecure about their sexuality. Some societies have been able to maintain the balance quite well through this method. We could treat women as little more than baby farms, make them wear burqas, and stone them when they allow themselves to be raped or open up a science book. When we become too shameful to look at ourselves in the mirror, we can always hide behind a fatwa of facial hair.
I’d rather feel good about myself, even if it means being okay with woman feeling good about herself, too.