Are Men Turned off by Sexually Aggressive Women?

Expectations from a romantic relationship do not merely depend upon the concerned individuals, despite what popular media may have to say. Historical and cultural influences often play a major role in building up gender roles and determining what partners find attractive in each other.  So if you were wondering whether men are turned off or attracted to sexually aggressive women, here are a few thoughts to chew on.

Traditional conditioning

In earlier times when patriarchal underpinnings of the society were much stronger, wives were primarily expected to play a passive role in the relationship – she was the nurturer, the helpmate and source of emotional support, never an individual in her own right and thus with no scope of asserting her own needs and preferences, whether in the context of money, daily living or sex. Such gender norms go back to the roots of patriarchy which evolved as a way of controlling the sexuality of women. Since a man found it impossible in those times to determine which offspring is biologically his and which may have been fathered by a paramour of his female partner, the only way to be certain of raising his own offspring was to restrict his female partner’s sexuality. With the woman straitjacketed in the role of a wife in a monogamous or polygynous marriage, there was no way she could express her sexuality in other ways like choosing her own sexual partners. This was the origin of the passive role women were expected to play in sexual relationships and over time, it was set into a norm through varied means ranging from punishment on charges of adultery, social boycott of single mothers to idealization of the passive and even virginal female figure. Though times have changed now and women have found financial independence and social liberation, traditional sexual mores continue to cast their shadow on many male preferences. Women who are confident about expressing their own sexuality thus continue to be a turn off for many men who still like their women feminine and submissive for the simple reason that it is easier to control them.

Possible impact of women’s lib

In fact to some extent, the male discomfort with sexually aggressive women may be partly a consequence of women’s liberation in modern times. While in earlier ages, a sexually expressive woman may have been cherished as a fiery concubine or mistress, she would never have threatened the social and financial confidence and superiority that men enjoyed in day to day life. Now with women increasingly competing for the same college seats, jobs and official positions that men have long taken as their inalienable right, their distaste for ambitious women has increased. Not only do they see such aggressive women as a threat to their immediate economic and social standing but harbinger of future uncertainty and difficulties. If competing against other men for promotions and social influence was a pain till now, the entry of qualified women into the picture has made things even tougher – no wonder then ambitious women tend to raise the hackles of men. One of the ways that this is expressed is through their rejection of sexually aggressive women. Since the sphere of personal and intimate relationships – as opposed to the workplace and civic life - are perhaps the few remaining sites where they can exert their preferences, many men tend to repel the advances of sexually aggressive women in an attempt to maintain control in areas of their lives where they still can.

Individual preferences

And yet not all men are the same – just like personalities and traits differ, it is only natural that men exhibit differences in their preferences of sexual partners. Some men may find the idea of his partner taking the initiative in love making incredibly arousing – after all who doesn’t want to be told that he is loved and desired. In fact in this matter they may not be so different from women – just like women like to be complimented on their appearance, so too men like to be told that they are sexy and desirable.

Sexually aggressive women can in fact make for wilder sex. Since this is a woman who is not afraid to express her sexuality, she'll always be up for a sexual escapade with her guy and she'll likely be bold in and out of the bedroom. Her partner can rest assured that she will not be shy or uncomfortable about discussing fantasies, indulging in some pillow talk or experimenting with naughty role playing ideas. Above all the fact that she is in tune with her sexual needs and pleasures takes away some of the pressures that most guys feel when it comes to having sex. Her partner need not worry about making her climax because she will probably guide him along and even ensure that the both of them do.

Again some men’s preference for sexually aggressive women can come as relief. For ages men have been told to initiate everything -- from the first contact to sex to proposing marriage. It is not unimaginable that guys sometimes think they are the ones who have to do all the hard work while women sit around and wait for wonderful things to happen. What are the odds then that at times they feel fed up of being the one who always has to do the pursuing rather than being the one chased by an admirer? Thus dating a woman who is not afraid to make the first move can come as manna from heaven for some men. They may be eager to get out of the driver's seat, having shouldered all of the responsibility for sex till now, and would love for their female partner to “put the moves” on them.

Changing social and sexual norms

Above all, both men and women are a product of the times they live in. With changing social and sexual norms, women are quickly picking up on the fact that being sexually aggressive does not necessarily make them tramps. Indeed many girls and boys are now raised in an environment in which sexuality is not shunned or treated with disdain for either gender with the result that men accept a woman’s expression of her sexuality as natural.

So in the end the answer to whether men are turned off by sexually aggressive women probably lies in a complex interplay of many factors, ranging from culturally conditioning and individual preferences to the changing norms with changing times.