Expert Speak

No means NO! Why men can’t take ‘NO’ in bed

What are the reasons why men can't take 'NO' from a woman in bed?
Young girl holding her hand saying no

The only things we teach our boys are persistence, ambition and determination

You can’t discount or dis-acknowledge the fact that sex is the most primordial of experiences of human existence. And it’s the most basic, the most natural process of seeking satisfaction, reward and pleasure. And the mind, while it grows with the body, identifies desire without even understanding it. Purely because the mind has not gone through its own developmental stages to understand desire. Basically there is no need to understand desire per se. We begin to acknowledge desire as right and wrong much later, when the society and parents tell us how it is appropriate or inappropriate to express desire. So, if we, from the very beginning, teach our sons to approach everything they do with persistence, ambition and determination, how can the most basic of their experiences be devoid of it? It becomes a reward for them. And every ‘no’ is seen as another challenge that they must fight, conquer and persevere until they turn it into a ‘yes’.

It’s got less to do with sex and more to do with power

Have you observed or felt how honking loudly on the road (even when there are no vehicles ahead) is nothing but a blatant display of sexual prowess? That’s what has to do with power. Being a man is almost always synonymous with being powerful. Even as parents we tend to make our children aware of this idea of power: Be a Man! Have some balls! Boys don’t cry!

Everything is about the idea of power. So, to take NO is to accept defeat.

And in a society like ours, friends and peers only condemn such defeats. That is exactly the reason why men have no concept of virginity, while women do!

No means Yes

A lot of men would also like to believe that every ‘no’ by a girl in bed is coming out of a sense of arousal. No wonder so many men suffer from rape fantasies, because they feel that the woman says no under the pretext of wanting it more, and wanting it with coercion and roughness. Their own idea of being alpha and rough, finds projection in the ‘no’s of their women. And hence, the sick joke: she likes it rough, man!

It’s not just in real life… Even in mythology we find these stereotypes carry on.

Hierarchy in sex

For a lot of Indian men, the idea of role-playing is the only idea they have of kink! Where the man must be dominant and the woman must be a slave by default. This again emerges from what these men learn about being men from the society. The mere existence of physical strength, when it comes to men, is not enough. A display of that strength through ways of domination is more necessary – to identify as a man. Therefore, for a man to be anything other than the dominant one is nothing but pure shame. The woman automatically is considered hierarchically low! Sickening as it sounds, taking a ‘no’ in that case is being a chicken!

Romanticising persistence

Be it television or be it our novels. Every medium teaches men to be persistent, because it is believed that if they are, then the woman will give in someday and the universe will conspire to make her go to him. Which is absolute rubbish! It’s nothing but romanticising the whole idea of harassing a woman till she says yes. That attitude also finds expression in bed. When women say no, men only take it as a signal to boost their hollow self-confidence and tell themselves to keep at it, till she lets him in!

Published in Expert Speak

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