the innocent allure of a hot drink


he really could have just wanted to speak to her

There’s a bit of confusion in some sectors of the population, hopefully not many, about where the modern feminist expression of female sexuality overlaps with acceptable courting rituals.

In terms of feminism (that women should receive the same treatment and have the same opportunities as men) the shift in matters of sexual behaviour entitles women to express their sexuality without the labels and attitudes with which men are rarely tarnished e.g. ‘slut’ if she chooses to have many sexual partners versus ‘stallion’ if he has many sexual partners; or ‘frigid’ if she chooses to not have many sexual partners versus ‘admirably waiting for a meaningful relationship’ for him.  Everybody being regarded the same in these respects is the equality of opportunity and change in perception people wish to see.

However, there are some key biological differences between men and women that don’t suddenly disappear when addressing changes in sexual attitudes.  The first one I would like to address is that men, in general, tend to think about sex more frequently than women do.  A woman, being aware of this, is not being presumptuous and weird if, for instance, when a man invites her to his bedroom at 4am for a coffee, she suspects his motivation may be sexual.

The next fact that keeps the whole sexual arena from being a completely even playing field, is that between a fifth and a quarter of women are at some point in their life subject to a sexual assault by a man.  So, chances are that even if they manage to avoid such an unpleasant experience themselves, women are likely to know someone who has been sexually assaulted. I believe the figures for the reverse scenario are negligible and therefore this is not a concern for men when assessing the behaviour of women.

Now, taking my two handy facts together, I would suggest that it’s not unreasonable for a woman to show caution and even feel a degree of discomfort when she finds herself alone in a confined space with a man she does not know, who is expressing a desire for her to join him in his bedroom, even if he includes the seemingly innocent allure of a hot drink.  I understand that a heterosexual man being invited to the bedroom of a woman is unlikely to feel the same way, but hopefully you’ll agree with me that until women are sexually assaulting men at a similar rate, they really don’t have the same kind of concerns.

So, there are some basics.  I’m not going to go into the irritation a woman may feel attending an event in a professional capacity, watching all the men taking each other very seriously, but relating to her in a ‘fancy a shag’ capacity.  I’m not going to talk about the importance of flirtation in establishing the interest level before attempting to move things to a more intimate setting.  And I’m not even going to discuss the absurd suggestion that, as atheist females aren’t bound by Christian moral standards, they should therefore be flattered and unconcerned by any and all sexual advances.