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Women are sexually aroused by women regardless of which gender they have sex with. "Researchers measured the psychological and physiological sexual arousal in homosexual and heterosexual men and women as they watched erotic films. There were three types of erotic films: those featuring only men, those featuring only women and those featuring male and female couples. As with previous research, the researchers found that men responded consistent with their sexual orientations. In contrast, both homosexual and heterosexual women showed a bisexual pattern of psychological as well as genital arousal. That is, heterosexual women were just as sexually aroused by watching female stimuli as by watching male stimuli, even though they prefer having sex with men rather than women."
posted by NortonDC (96 comments total)

 
I always wondered why women's magazines were always full of pictures of women, whereas men's magazines were always full of pictures of women.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:51 AM on June 14, 2003


Not if you buy the right kind of men's magazines.....

Really not surprised by this. Women are generally more intune to their sexuality than men, even heterosexual women versus heterosexual men. The women I know tell me about how when they were little, they would think nothing of having sleepovers, and everyone might be naked while changing, and it never phased them. Men, on the other hand, wouldn't think of dangling their stuff out in front of another man, mostly out of homosexual fears which almost seem genetic.
posted by benjh at 8:54 AM on June 14, 2003


so, who's up for a three-way? :-)
posted by quonsar at 9:01 AM on June 14, 2003


I knew it, I just knew it.

Just think of the number of bar bets that this is going to settle.
posted by tommasz at 9:09 AM on June 14, 2003


The problem is that, while men are more or less all the same, whatever their sexuality, every woman is different. All the women I've ever met are genders unto themselves. For a long time, I suspected they did it on purpose; had all received this secret memo when they were born; just so we'd never be able to get a handle on them. Now I'm absolutely convinced it's true.

Lest we forget that the only question Freud was unable to answer - in fact he shuddered to even bring it up - was:

"What does a woman want?"

Gotta love them for that. Not that there's much else you can do.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:14 AM on June 14, 2003


This is because no matter how you're programmed as far as mating goes, women are more aesthically pleasing, and that gets juices flowing. Women are beautiful goddesses, and men are well, shaved apes.

BTW, sorry I've been such as cantankerous bastard lately. I've been stressed. I ran into languagehat at a bookstore yesterday and he forgave me...
posted by jonmc at 9:15 AM on June 14, 2003


Let me know how referencing this works out with the woman in your life fellas. "Honey, here's some new lesbian pr0n I bought . . . honey?"
posted by yerfatma at 9:17 AM on June 14, 2003


I ran into languagehat at a bookstore yesterday . . .

Aren't you supposed to be in music stores? languagehat:bookstores::jonmc:music stores or something? No wonder you're stressed.
posted by yerfatma at 9:18 AM on June 14, 2003


Yes, women are turned on by stimuli of either sex, but that doesn't mean they WANT to have that kind of sex. I'm sure that guys are turned on by some weird p0rn (like women screwing dogs and such) but that doesn't mean they want to do that or see it in real life or that they want their sex life to have animal sex as part of it.

We're (women) just not as *terrified* of homosexuality as straight men are. Heterosexual men are simply terrified of it-of seeing it, of possibly being considered as such, by the idea that they might be interested in it or turned on by it. I think that even if there's a possibility they would enjoy watching homosexual p0rn, the societal fear of all things homosexual would drive it away before it has a chance to appear. It's weird, I've never understood it.
posted by aacheson at 9:28 AM on June 14, 2003


This verfies what has long been known. Women have a wide wave length on sexuality whereas men have narrow one. Many woemn come )nop pun) and go into lesbian thing and end with guy; men either are or are not (exception claimed for bi, but I don't trust that).
Ancient time: a woman had but her virginity to bring as marriage bargaining thing. She could do anything with women etc so long has kept hymen intact; men were told (tribal society) not to spill their seed on the ground (Onan story in bible).
Women in big city can live together and it is helpful for rent. Period. Two men after , say 35, doing it is clear evidence of, well, gayness.
Question: ask a woman (or guy) if, given choice, wluld prefer threesome with two of same sex and one of the other and which two would be of same sex...ie, would a woman prefer another woman and a man or two men. And you, reader?
posted by Postroad at 9:29 AM on June 14, 2003


I already knew all women are lesbians at heart.
posted by angry modem at 9:35 AM on June 14, 2003


What's the matter Angry Modem? Can't get a date?
posted by bas67 at 9:37 AM on June 14, 2003


I think they've come at this all backwards. What they've really proven is that, on average, female porn stars are more attractive than male porn stars. Which should surprise nobody.
posted by ook at 9:37 AM on June 14, 2003


I think you're on to something there ook.

I enjoy all kinds of porn, het, gay, lesbian (no animals please). As a lesbian I guess I should only like lesbian or heterosexual porn but in gay porn the men are so beautiful.
posted by bas67 at 9:41 AM on June 14, 2003


Also in most so called lesbian porn it just seems to be two or three women laying around rubbing each other and wishing some man would show up. I got news for you guys, that's not what lesbians do.
posted by bas67 at 9:43 AM on June 14, 2003


Ook, I think you have a good point there. As much as I love the guy, Ron Jeremy does NOT turn me on.

Men, on the other hand, wouldn't think of dangling their stuff out in front of another man, mostly out of homosexual fears which almost seem genetic.

I would dangle my stuff out all the time, if it wasn't illegal in public. I would dangle all day. I would dangle in the dark, I would dangle in the park. I would dangle in a train, I would dangle in a plane.
posted by bradth27 at 9:43 AM on June 14, 2003


Two men after , say 35, doing it is clear evidence of, well, gayness.

fuck. so much for the rent-sharing roomate...
posted by quonsar at 9:45 AM on June 14, 2003


Yes, women are turned on by stimuli of either sex, but that doesn't mean they WANT to have that kind of sex. I'm sure that guys are turned on by some weird p0rn (like women screwing dogs and such) but that doesn't mean they want to do that or see it in real life or that they want their sex life to have animal sex as part of it.

"Okay, I didn't think I was going to be talking about Man on Dog, Senator; it's sort of freaking me out."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:46 AM on June 14, 2003


I would dangle my stuff out all the time, if it wasn't illegal in public. I would dangle all day. I would dangle in the dark, I would dangle in the park. I would dangle in a train, I would dangle in a plane.

Blue Balls and Sausage.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:48 AM on June 14, 2003


Also in most so called lesbian porn it just seems to be two or three women laying around rubbing each other and wishing some man would show up. I got news for you guys, that's not what lesbians do.

go on...
posted by quonsar at 9:49 AM on June 14, 2003


i've always wondered what the studies would show if society were matriarchal rather than the opposite. is it the male value systems that rule this kind of pattern? does the male value system dictate societies norms?
posted by poopy at 9:50 AM on June 14, 2003


That's a well kept secret quonsar. If I told you I would lose my lesbian card.
posted by bas67 at 9:53 AM on June 14, 2003


Does this beg the question of whether rates of same sex 'experimentation' are higher in women than among men?

Any informed opinions out there?
posted by dmt at 9:55 AM on June 14, 2003


I think something that's being missed here is that a woman is probably more likely to enjoy seeing another woman's pleasure and can visualize herself feeling the same way. "Like, wow, that *would* feel good . . ." Pleasure is pleasure, people.
posted by lubricumlinguae at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2003


As much as I want to go along with the "all women really dig chicks and so threeways are just a matter of getting them comfortable with it" chest thumping that's going on in here, (and I can verify in certain instances that it's true) lines like the following one give me a bit of pause.

"Even gay men who deny their own homosexuality will become more sexually aroused by male sexual stimuli than by female stimuli. "

In other words, if the facts don't fit the result we want, we'll change the definitions of the facts. Dude who is turned on by a dude? He's gay. Claims not to be gay? I'm a scientist, I say he's gay. Or so claims the article. Limits my ability to believe ever so slightly.

We can't just accept different strokes (pun sort-of-intended) for different folks when it comes to porn?
posted by swerdloff at 10:04 AM on June 14, 2003


swerdloff, I suspect that the dissonance is not between what the scientist says he is and what the subject says he is, but rather what the subject says he is and what the subject says he does.
posted by NortonDC at 10:11 AM on June 14, 2003


"But I have long suspected that women's sexuality is very different from men's, and this study scientifically demonstrates one way this is so."

Yeah, cause, like.... girls have a vagina, and boys have a penis and stuff.
posted by bradth27 at 10:25 AM on June 14, 2003


The problem is that, while men are more or less all the same

Yeah the brutish beer-swilling, football (either one, really) watching, cursing, breaking shit and blowing it up, fuck anything with a vagina that says yes is the only kind of guy out there. Fuck personalities and personal preferences, we've got antiquated stereotypes!

Heterosexual men are simply terrified of it-of seeing it, of possibly being considered as such

Um, not all of us. Maybe more than half, granted (at least where I live) but not this one, anyways, thankyouverymuch.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:37 AM on June 14, 2003


I think they've come at this all backwards. What they've really proven is that, on average, female porn stars are more attractive than male porn stars. Which should surprise nobody.

It cracks me up to read adult movie reviews because they refer to the men as "parolees" and things like that. Seymour Butts was on Conan O'Brien recently and after Conan quipped about how most men in straight porn are odd looking, Seymor said that you had to keep in mind that a good portion of these people couldn't really get a job doing anything else.
posted by bargle at 10:55 AM on June 14, 2003


i've wondered about this for a long time - the phenomenon of women being stimulated by other images of women . . . and the most satisfying conclusion that i've come to thus far is the sheer number of images of women impressed on consumer culture for years and years.

i think it would be interesting - if not completely impossible - to have some sort of comparative analysis based on sexual response say, from men and women in the 20's vs. men and women in '00s.

doing a quick cross section of visual representation in pr0n - 99% of the images are completely composed of women and their expressions of pleasure - with the occasional penis jutting in from the edge of the picture. the same thing applies with most fashion mags. then of course you see men more fully in gay pr0n, but as people have mentioned above - most boys that are straight don't look or tell people they don't look.

This is because no matter how you're programmed as far as mating goes, women are more aesthically pleasing, and that gets juices flowing. Women are beautiful goddesses, and men are well, shaved apes.

this argument always strikes me as off somehow. how is it that men have become visions of hideous hairy monsters and women are lifted onto a pedestal of unreachable sexual arousal by their curves alone. i think the argument of women being more aesthetically pleasing comes from being told (and shown) over and over and over and over this is true.

i think that if more men were presented as valid sexual beings - as having sexual beauty - the world would be a happier place.
posted by nyoki at 10:59 AM on June 14, 2003


i think that if more men were presented as valid sexual beings - as having sexual beauty - the world would be a happier place.

Maybe. But unfortunately, I think evolution has turned a weird corner. To turn an old stereotype inside out, we men are basically here as breeding stock and that the only reason the majority of women are still heterosexual is to keep the species going. This trend here is the beginning of the end for us.

doing a quick cross section of visual representation in pr0n - 99% of the images are completely composed of women and their expressions of pleasure - with the occasional penis jutting in from the edge of the picture

This because, to extend my theory further-naked women look beautiful, and naked men look ridiculous. This study seems to be bearing that out.
posted by jonmc at 11:05 AM on June 14, 2003


Pleasure is pleasure, people.
posted by lubricumlinguae at 1:03 PM EST on June 14


well, i can't top that !
posted by quonsar at 11:07 AM on June 14, 2003


Urgh. Some of these posts are the most willfully ignorant and wrong-headed I've ever seen on MeFi.

Perhaps the most retarded thing in this study is the so-called professor saying "I have long suspected that women's sexuality is very different from men's, and this study scientifically demonstrates one way this is so."

Women's and men's sexualities are very obviously different. Firstly, women have a vulva and men have a penis, testicles and a prostate gland. Women are typically multi-orgasmic; it takes the majority of guys a great deal of training before they can claim the same. Women generally need foreplay before they are read for sex; most guys can go from thinking about baseball to full-masted readiness in a few seconds.

Anyone claiming all guys are the same, even on a fundamental sexual level, really needs to meet more guys. Anyone claiming that bisexuality is 'false' for guys needs an attitude adjustment. Many straight males have male room-mates, even after the age of 35. Ever heard of having a best friend?

Please people, think before you post.
posted by sid at 11:08 AM on June 14, 2003


Please people, think before you post.

oh, bite me, mr. anatomy lesson.
no, really. bite me right there. that's right! mmmmm!
posted by quonsar at 11:11 AM on June 14, 2003


Women's and men's sexualities are very obviously different. Firstly, women have a vulva and men have a penis, testicles and a prostate gland. Please people, think before you post.

I think I already said that. -"Yeah, cause, like.... girls have a vagina, and boys have a penis and stuff."

Please people, read before you post.

And bite me too. right there - no, wait, right THERE.
posted by bradth27 at 11:23 AM on June 14, 2003


Heterosexual men are simply terrified of it-of seeing it, of possibly being considered as such

Really? I know plenty of women who understand. Have you ever seen what straight people do to gay guys? Alienation from family, friends, work, culture. Women can be "gay" without really being gay and get away with it she is much more flexible in her sexuality as the article says. A guy doesn't have that freedom.

sid.. one more point, men have about 10 to 20 times the amount of testosterone to control at any given moment. I read somewhere about some women who took testosterone shots and they said they finally understood what it was like to be a man.
posted by stbalbach at 11:24 AM on June 14, 2003


i've always wondered what the studies would show if society were matriarchal rather than the opposite.

They would show that lateness was chronic in said society, but everything smelled a whole lot better and sheets got changed more often than with their patriarchal neighbors.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:27 AM on June 14, 2003


Really? I know plenty of women who understand. Have you ever seen what straight people do to gay guys? Alienation from family, friends, work, culture.

Look, I'm a straight guy...and I have never alienated a gay male from his family, friends, work, or culture.

However, I do try to alienate them from my penis as much as possible.
posted by bradth27 at 11:28 AM on June 14, 2003


Personally, I reckon if they'd showed some Bel Ami porn, there would have been a few more stiffies.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2003


I want to add to this:

What about Ancient Greece? Or modern Brazil (?) where it's quite common for "straight" guys to blow other "straight" guys.

Maybe the "straight" guys in the lab, were just good at repressing their bisexuality, because of sociological taboos on straight men, whereas there isn't really such a taboo against girl-on-girl action.

If it's not a culture-specific inhibition, how does this explain cultures where male-on-male action occurs?

Some rainforest (?) society where the older males would exchange blowjobs with the younger males, also springs to mind.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:37 AM on June 14, 2003


i just think that modern society has a problem with gay _men_, not _women_, at least in america (please, somebody else clue me in to how the rest of the world perceives this 'cause i haven't a clue). my brother was gay - well, bi really - and he spent his entire life terrified to admit that he was attracted to men. when he finally came out and told the rest of us what was up, it was too late: 3 months later he killed himself. again, i'm curious as to why we view gay females differently than males. i'm thinking it's a male thing.
posted by poopy at 11:40 AM on June 14, 2003


We might better make a case if some posters could supply a large variety of appropriate PHOTOS
posted by Postroad at 11:48 AM on June 14, 2003


My personal opinion about why we view them differently is because we are a patriarchal society. Men don't see two women together as a threat. They do however see two men together as a threat to their sexuality. These are sweeping generalizations though.

Part of my reasoning is because of my own experience. My girlfriend is a bit of a tomboy and I'm what many would call a girly girl (looks only). What I have noticed is that men enjoy seeing two girly girls together, they make fun of two tomboy girls together but they become angry at the sight of one of each together. I don't know why other than to think that they see my girlfriend as a threat or that they are not needed. This is only my personal experience.
posted by bas67 at 11:51 AM on June 14, 2003


Blue Stone, in ancient Greece citizens (a group composed only of men to begin with) could not be the receptive partner in sex, hence the insult of "round anus."

It wasn't quite the libertine free-for-all many people imagine it to be.
posted by NortonDC at 11:53 AM on June 14, 2003


i'm curious as to why we view gay females differently than males.

i think this might explain a bit of your question - not the whole summation of answer but a section of it . . .

Also in most so called lesbian porn it just seems to be two or three women laying around rubbing each other and wishing some man would show up.

gay pr0n is all about action with other boys. a predominant amount of "lesbian" pr0n is just as bas67 explains - women expressing sexuality for a very male camera. no lesbians i know simultaneously stick their rears in the air side by side for pleasure.

I got news for you guys, that's not what lesbians do.
posted by nyoki at 12:03 PM on June 14, 2003


thanks bas67.

it's weird because i've talked to lots of women on the matter of homosexuality and the ones i've talked to (mainly straight) seem to have the same opinion of gay men that the rest of society has (that the idea of 2 men having sex is not sexually attractive), yet they don't cringe at the idea of 2 women together and this post (great post btw!) made me think of how society shapes the behavioral norms of BOTH male and female.
posted by poopy at 12:04 PM on June 14, 2003


I heard about this about a year ago, I think in psych class. Oddly enough, I have almost nothing to say.

I guess it's a sort of conviction I have that says leave the theorizing to people who actually know what they are talking about : P

Then again, I suppose we might be able to come up with experiments that could test some of the theories we've got.

For example, we could try the experiment with videos of less attractive women fucking to test the 'female porn stars are better looking' theory. We could also try to find some of the more effeminate gay guys who might look nice even to het guys

Another experiment we could do is to measure the stress level in people watching this porn. I think that people are just as easily discussed by pornography that seems 'weird' to them.. So we could see if most guys are actually discussed by gay porn. What we might find, is that people are either totally turned off or else turned on. That would support the theory that guys are just afraid of gay sex.

I wonder if the researchers looked into the attitudes of the people in the surviey as well. I think that there would be a whole class of people, especialy women, who would not be willing take part in such a survieh
posted by delmoi at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2003


Women would probably be ugly too if we weren't pressured by society to spend so much time worrying about what we look like.

In our society the female body is sexualized and the male body isn't. These researchers have mixed the chicken with the egg.

Male porn stars are hideous looking so that male viewers will feel good about themselves. It's deliberate.
posted by goneill at 12:12 PM on June 14, 2003


*banging my head against the metaphorical mefi wall*

It's not often that I read a thread and disagree with almost every single comment, but perhaps, like jonmc, I've been stressed lately. I'll just add a couple of things here, rather than ranting: What do women want, Miguel? Easy: the same things men do. Security, social status, a regular supply of food, a place to sleep, a better life for their children, etcetera. Trying to draw conclusions about something as complex as sexual behaviour--and then trying to extrapolate that to *all* women, and *all* men, using a study such as this one, is just inane and pointless. There are more social taboos against gay male sex because it's more threatening to the status quo; but watching women's sexual behaviour together is a long standing male fantasy, which, after reading some of these responses, I begin to think might be rooted in incomprehension. Do consider a couple of things: when you are talking in generalizations about women's sexuality, don't forget that it's only been in the last few decades that reliable contraception has been available, and then only in the industrialized world, so it's a little difficult to speculate on what female sexuality is like outside of societal strictures and consequences. Same goes for men. I've known wildly non-monogamous women, and utterly monogamous men: the differences between individuals are far greater than differences between genders.

That said, does sex between women in general tend to be more satisfying? Depends on who the women are, I'm guessing. Men are just as capable of getting off with partners of either gender, but the cultural anxiety over male homosexuality makes it more difficult. Female same sex relations have a different set of taboos, ones which try to contain it as something done for male delectation; and which have little to do with what women actually do together sexually. Women watching women in porn and being aroused? Sure. Did the study look at how the use of porn tends to be much more a male rite of passage? I would guess that all the men I know have used porn at one time or another during their youth (and beyond); most of the women didn't. Oh, and even in our modern climate, I would just like to note that it's only in the last decade or so that you would ever, *ever*, see the word "clitoris" in a public forum. Okay, end rant there.
posted by jokeefe at 12:14 PM on June 14, 2003


The real question is: what kind of cars do they drive?
posted by adrober at 12:20 PM on June 14, 2003


We might better make a case if some posters could supply a large variety of appropriate PHOTOS

Of Ron Jeremy?
posted by bargle at 12:26 PM on June 14, 2003


i'm curious as to why we view gay females differently than males. i'm thinking it's a male thing.

Just a thought:

Look at some of the negative stereotypes of straight women: flaky, emotional, obsessed with how they look/taking too long to get ready, etc.

A (very prevalent) negative stereotype of straight guys: hornyhornyhorny, fuck anything, do what it takes (hopefully within certain means) to get to fuck,etc.

Look at negative sterotypes of gay guys, and you get a cross-section of both of those (and then some). In some people's minds you'll find that gay men are all of these and then some, thereby posing a bigger threat to everyone (not even mentioning gay guys being pedophiles, animal-fuckers, disease-spreading, etc.)

Too often when you find people discriminating or bashing a certain segment of society, you'll find that their opinion is based on little but negative stereotypes and ignorance. And, cliched as it is, ignorance does (most of the time) lead to fear, which leads to hatred.

Lesbians are exempted from this b/c (as numerous people have pointed out) they're harmless and pretty.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2003


Lesbians are exempted from this b/c (as numerous people have pointed out) they're harmless and pretty.

*Shriek!* Except, of course, for losing your kids in the divorce, being forcibly confined in a mental institution, being fired from your job, and so forth. It really hasn't been that long since all these things were common consequences for lesbians who took the risk of coming out.

Feelin' kinda historical and out of step with all these lighthearted comments, I suppose.
posted by jokeefe at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2003


I'll just add a couple of things here, rather than ranting: What do women want, Miguel? Easy:

All I can say is that what women say(and to be fair, men), and what they do are two different things.

Male porn stars are hideous looking so that male viewers will feel good about themselves.

Well, duh! If these men were attractive they'd be out having sex...with something, rather than watching porn. Gotta cater to the audience.

In our society the female body is sexualized and the male body isn't. These researchers have mixed the chicken with the egg.

Oh please. Women, no matter what they say, are as looks obsessed when it comes to their partners as men are. I've know plenty of average-looking but witty, intelligent and charming guys who sit home watch TV and dating Rosie Palms while plenty of handsome jackasses are wading in female flesh. I think this may be nature too. I've seen it happen. If a man is good looking enough, women will put up with any amount of shit from him. I've seen it.

That would support the theory that guys are just afraid of gay sex.

Not me. I wish there were more gay guys. That would leave more available women. Who if this study is correct are probably lesbians.

It's a vicious cycle......
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on June 14, 2003


Male porn stars are hideous looking so that male viewers will feel good about themselves. It's deliberate.

Which explains why every male porn star has a small penis.
posted by NortonDC at 1:23 PM on June 14, 2003


what i'm really wanting to know is the experiences of other people here of how their friends and family view the whole gay/lesbian thing and whether or not the idea of two men having sex is somehow difficult to endure (from both a man/woman's perspective) while the image of two women together is erotic.

i know my take on this: i'm straight (although i have had soft-core homosexual encounters in the past) and there are particular gay scenarios between men that turns me off, and like i said before, i've asked some women and they say the same thing. OTOH, the idea of two women having sex (and no, they don't have to be there just to invite me in) doesn't bother me at all or those women that i've talked to.

but i live in a very small world and i want to know what the rest of you have experienced (on a personal level, not another scientific diagram) in this matter.
posted by poopy at 1:30 PM on June 14, 2003


i'm straight (although i have had soft-core homosexual encounters in the past)

Sorry, then you're not straight. Try again. :)
posted by jokeefe at 1:36 PM on June 14, 2003


Lesbians are exempted from this b/c (as numerous people have pointed out) they're harmless and pretty.

There are a few bars in my neighborhood where saying something like this will get your ass kicked by some harmless, pretty lesbians.
posted by wrench at 1:38 PM on June 14, 2003


OK, not to get all Robert Wright or anything, but could there be an actual primitive mammallian basis behind male homophobia? In many primate societies, "social presenting" (as buried on pages here. here, and here,) is a signal of submission and a relinquishing of a leadership role, a painful thing to admit in many human cultures.

Cultural taboos against a lack of status versus primitive behavior patterns at cross-purposes, perhaps, leading to heterosexual male discomfort with the very idea of homosexuality? Dunno...just riffing. I work in the theatre, so you become acclimatized or else....
posted by umberto at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2003


This is pretty silly.

Of course both men and women find women sexually arousing, because women are sexualized by popular culture. Even if there was some kind of genetic basis to the idea that women are sexually aroused by women regardless of which gender they have sex with, it is impossible to do a study on western subjects without using contaminated data.

This study would be worth noting if it used tribal/rural people as subjects, people who haven't been bombarded with images of airbrushed, pouting, half-naked, sexualized women their entire lives. As it stands now, all the study proves is that advertising works.
posted by Jairus at 1:46 PM on June 14, 2003


i'm straight (although i have had soft-core homosexual encounters in the past)

Sorry, then you're not straight. Try again. :)


You might want to back down off the sarcasm. I know many gay men who were married and had children but they are most definitely gay. I myself was married and had a son but if that automatically makes me straight then you better tell my girlfriend. She's not going to take it well, we've been together for 7 years.

Having sex with the same/and or opposite sex does not brand you gay or straight.
posted by bas67 at 1:49 PM on June 14, 2003


dammit jokeefe, you've exposed my true identity! you will burn in hell for this transgression, mark my words....hahahahaha!!!! :)

on preview: i think jokeefe was just playing bas67 :)
posted by poopy at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2003


homosexual? what's a homosexual? what's this 'lesbian' they speak of?
posted by PigAlien at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2003


"...watching women's sexual behaviour together is a long standing male fantasy, which, after reading some of these responses, I begin to think might be rooted in incomprehension."

There's no incomprehension.

Two boobs, one vagina = good, four boobs, two vaginas = better, 6 and three, MUCH better, and so on and so on like the shampoo commercial.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:00 PM on June 14, 2003


Of course both men and women find women sexually arousing, because women are sexualized by popular culture.

Do you have any actual evidence to back that up? or are you just saying it because it fits well into your particular worldview?

I'm not trying to be snarky, your just providing a very easy answer to the old "nature/nurture" conundrum thats plagued society for years, I figure you better be going on more than your instincts.
posted by jonmc at 2:00 PM on June 14, 2003


Two boobs, one vagina = good, four boobs, two vaginas = better,

Crash has a thing for Siamese twins. I better cancel that trip to the circus we were planning.
posted by jonmc at 2:04 PM on June 14, 2003


The way I see it, there's nothing sensual about anal sex between two men to the heterosexual mind. But lesbians embody sensuality.. its all soft and pink.. and.. moist.

*ahem*

women know what they want, etc. they know exactly how to please a woman..
posted by shadow45 at 2:10 PM on June 14, 2003


Two boobs, one vagina = good, four boobs, two vaginas = better.

Speaking from experience, that equation falls apart at this point. I had the fortunate ( initially, at least) experience of living with three girls in my early twenties. After a few weeks of fun and games, 6 boobs and three vaginas = a very tired boy who would rather play video games and sit on the couch.

Now, wait a minute...after being married for 10 years and looking back at what I just typed.... I think I might be gay. I better go check out some male-on-male porn and see if it does anything for me.
posted by bradth27 at 2:12 PM on June 14, 2003


6 boobs and three vaginas = a very tired boy

There is nothing more aggravating than someone who has a bunch of crazy sex, and then complains about it.
posted by majcher at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2003


jonmc: Plenty of actual evidence to back it up. A half-bookcase worth, actually.

There's a lot of research out there on the effects of growing up in a media-rich culture, especially one that by all accounts oversexualizes and objectifies women much more frequently than it does men. One of the net effects is that women are, in general, seen as more sexually desireable than they might otherwise be.

As this is something that's pretty pervasive in our culture, it's impossible to do an accurate study of this nature without taking this into account... Again, had they used subjects that haven't grown up with perfume-ad billboards and beer commercials and whatever else, and used people who aren't so typically/neoclassically beautiful they make a living being naked (porn stars), the study might have produced some useful data.

For the same reason, you should expect a study conducted in Sweden to find white people universally attractive to local white and black people, and the same study done in the Congo would show black people as universally attractive to local blacks and whites. You cannot separate subject from society so easily.
posted by Jairus at 2:16 PM on June 14, 2003


bradth27
posted by stbalbach at 2:20 PM on June 14, 2003


Jairus (and everyone else) - Nowhere does the article say that the experiment used what we think of as porn, so all judgements of this experiment that draw upon what's found in porn are very shaky, to say the least.
posted by NortonDC at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2003


NortonDC: In an article from The Washington Times on the study, it's stated that the video material was "commercially available". I think it's safe to assume that it's off-the-shelf porn.

Even the study itself doesn't reference the film clips used, which to me, indicates a serious lack of professionalism. I can't take a study seriously that doesn't source the materials at the heart of the experiment.

For all we know, the m/f and m/m videos were made by disfigured amputees. There's no way to independently determine if the quality of the films used were comparable to each other.
posted by Jairus at 2:51 PM on June 14, 2003


Seriously. This 4000-word study would have been tossed out had it been submitted by any first-year university student here in Ottawa. It doesn't take into account age, race, sexual history, anything. It doesn't reference source material, nothing.

It's so very biologically deterministic as to be worthless. Determining the objects of peoples sexual desire is not a matter of simple biology.
posted by Jairus at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2003


Jairus: I just graduated from NU last year, and one of my best friends worked in Bailey's lab, and ran subjects on this research. The m/f and m/m videos, as far as I know, were your basic vanilla porn. Not a lot of kink or S&M, just throbbing... music and moaning.
posted by gramcracker at 4:27 PM on June 14, 2003


I guess equalizing it would require having the same performers in all gender-appropriate roles. Paging Peter North, paging Peter North...
posted by NortonDC at 4:34 PM on June 14, 2003


So I worked with this girl who is now married to a guy who plays for the Nashville Predators, and we were talking about past relationships, and she thought one of her high school ex-boyfriends had really been gay. (But wouldn't admit it.)

She thought that was gross. Gay men = sick.

However, she said, she could sort of understand lesbians, because "it's kinda like they're just really good friends."
posted by Fabulon7 at 4:35 PM on June 14, 2003


go away, brad.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:00 PM on June 14, 2003


Perhaps Our Professor should have made a study of men exiting prison after an extended time in an enviornment where situational homosexuality is quite the norm...you may go in straight, but you probably won't, uh, come out that way.

No, I'm not talking about prison rape.

Paging Peter North, paging Peter North...

Please. It's Matt. Matt RAMsey. ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:36 PM on June 14, 2003


Could the answer be staring us all in the face right there in the title bar? "Everybody Loves Boobies," NortonDC sez, and it's silliy, but also a point worth considering. Women are sexualized by this culture to absurd extremes because it suits the goals of the power structure, yeah, BUT there is a certain deeper basis for the phenomenon - everybody's (OK, nitpickers, 99.44% of us) first love object is a woman. Breasts are our lifeline, and breastfeeding is designed to give pleasure above and beyond that of getting fed. It's no shock that this emphasis would linger into our "grown-up" sex drives. And as Nancy Chodorow pointed out, it's also not a merely biological process either, for the mother-child relationship is also impacted by social conditioning.

On the other hand, as some of you have already pointed out, the social stigma against allowing homosexual arousal in men could, I believe, be internalized by adulthood to the point that in some men the "scientific" results could be skewed by their success in "controlling" their body, as we've all been taught we must do. What would have been interesting would be to have a movie of a convincing transsexual orally pleasuring a "straight" guy, with the unmasking of the transsexual occurring gradually. Get an ongoing readout on that from your average "straight" guys and I think you'd have a wealth of very interesting data.
posted by soyjoy at 6:59 PM on June 14, 2003


on preview: i think jokeefe was just playing bas67 :)

Oh yes, most definitely, thanks for that, poopy. That's why the little smiley face, etc. bas67, my experience parallels yours, btw.

Having sex with the same/and or opposite sex does not brand you gay or straight.

In a perfect world we wouldn't have to worry about categorizing ourselves in this way at all... I was just poking fun. No offense meant.
posted by jokeefe at 7:01 PM on June 14, 2003


< the way i see it, there's nothing sensual about anal sex between two men to the heterosexual mind.

Ah, shadow45, ever read any slash?

Oh, you mean the male heterosexual mind. Okay, carry on.
posted by jokeefe at 7:05 PM on June 14, 2003


whoops. preview, preview, preview.
posted by jokeefe at 7:06 PM on June 14, 2003


Women are sexualized by this culture to absurd extremes because it suits the goals of the power structure

Sex is power. Sex is culture. Goes without saying.
posted by stbalbach at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2003


New Tag Line:
Metafilter, where most guys can go from thinking about baseball to full-masted readiness in a few seconds.

The lesbian sex is p0rn is baloney (unless it's made by lesbians for lesbians.) It's what heterosexual men IMAGINE lesbians do. It's what they want to have done in a three-some. It's made BY men FOR men. Straight women find it a turn on probably because we can imagine ourselves having a great orgasm like that, not necessarily because we want to have sex with women.

Many guys who say they are "ok" with lesbianism are "ok" with their heterosexualized version of it. Two ""manly dykes"(who don't give a whit about men) having sex for each other would send many men running for the hills.

Soyjoy, I don't understand this comment: "Breasts are our lifeline, and breastfeeding is designed to give pleasure above and beyond that of getting fed." Are you saying that breasts exist to give women pleasure? Or men pleasure? Frankly, breasts really exist to feed babies. Everything else is secondary. There are many cultures for whom breasts are completely non-sexual. Please clarify that comment.

I'm enjoying this discussion. Very interesting stuff.
posted by aacheson at 9:02 PM on June 14, 2003


aacheson ...
One of my favorite things in life to do is take guys who are 'comfortable' with homosexuality to a gay bar and then introduce them to some REAL lesbians. Watching them while they realize that lesbians, unlike what they've perceived via porn, don't need men--at all--can be quite revealing. It's intimidating, deflating (in more ways than one), and extremely threatening to some. I then gently tell them that the reason they love lesbians in straight porn is because men are, essentially, lazy creatures. Watching them think about that for awhile is most entertaining. Watching them realize that they're actually more comfortable with male homosexuality is ... delicious.

As to the boobie fixation: I find it very telling to watch the wholly computer generated "Final Flight of the Osiris" short film that's part of "The Animatrix" (which is better, to me, more elegant in its storytelling, than Matrix Reloaded, and I liked that film quite a lot so go rent Animatrix RIGHT NOW). And I guess I should put up a spoiler warning for those who, for some reason, haven't submitted to pop culture's inexorable charms. Read no further if you know you don't have a television.

The opening sequence of the short film is stunning: a man and a woman are in a martial arts simulation, and they, while fighting, undress each other through practiced swipes of their weapons. At certain points in the combat, man and woman, both blindfolded, each take a peek at their adversary. When the female looks, her eyes first bounce down, to the male's groin, then up to his chest. She spends an equal amount of time and appreciation on the primary and secondary sexual characteristics of the male. When the male looks, his eyes barely...barely...glance down before bouncing up and ultimately centering on the breasts. Equal time is not spent here. And since right before this happens we're given a long and loving shot of the female's perfect and glorious (and utterly binary) heart-shaped ass, one has to wonder just what he was glancing at before moving his gaze up.

The behavior of these computer generated characters is utterly believable ... that scene is way hotter than the Neo/Trinity/"rave" scene in Reloaded, especially since later on in the short, when the chips are down and there's damn little hope left, each character admits they peeked at the other, lending a poignancy absent from the "real" movie's love scene. The people behind the animation, by the very nature of their business, are students and observers of human animal behavior. Someone had to sit down and think this one over and make a decision about how each character's eyes would 'bounce'. To me, it's extremely interesting the choices made in this bit of cinematic portrayal.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:16 PM on June 14, 2003


Apparently, a straight male's most reliable companion is an asterisk.
posted by Opus Dark at 1:46 AM on June 15, 2003


Umm guys, don't get too excited by this (pun intended, sorry). This certainly appears to be the same J.M. Bailey that recently published his book on transsexuals, "The Man Who Would Be Queen." That book has been heavily criticized, see here and here for reviews and more links, for his bias, questionable research methods, and conclusions.
posted by given2fli at 3:08 AM on June 15, 2003


Are you saying that breasts exist to give women pleasure? Or men pleasure? Frankly, breasts really exist to feed babies.

exactly. Remember what babies grow up to be?
posted by mdn at 8:08 AM on June 15, 2003


I'd be the outlying data point in this study. I really dislike female-on-female porn, to the point where I wince and leave the room. No, it does not turn me on. At all. Period.
posted by beth at 11:38 AM on June 15, 2003


But, beth, is that reaction different from your reaction to male/male porn? That's what it would take to make you an outlier.

google -- outlier:166,000, outlyer:4,020
m-w -- nada

posted by NortonDC at 11:54 AM on June 15, 2003


shit, m-w does have "outlier." nevermind.
posted by NortonDC at 11:57 AM on June 15, 2003


This whole post... was about ladies minds reacting in the same pattern over a female's anatomy in coitus as a males.

Just wanted to say.
posted by Keyser Soze at 7:34 PM on June 15, 2003


I have a pair of underpants signed by Ron Jeremy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2003


Any "research" done by Bailey is about as scientifically credible as Weekly World News. The man has some serious, serious problems, and sees the world through a weirdly tinted prism of his own.
posted by adzuki at 2:14 PM on June 16, 2003


"Breasts are our lifeline, and breastfeeding is designed to give pleasure above and beyond that of getting fed." Are you saying that breasts exist to give women pleasure? Or men pleasure? Frankly, breasts really exist to feed babies.

Exactly. And to make sure that the system works, both the mother and the baby are psychologically and biologically prepared to derive pleasure - above and beyond filling the tummy or letting pressure off the breast - from the act of breastfeeding. You know, the skin-to-skin contact, the "love hormone," and all that. It would not be surprising if the child, male or female, who has had this imprinting experience would continue to find pleasure in seeing, touching, kissing, etc. breasts. That's all I'm sayin.
posted by soyjoy at 10:58 PM on June 16, 2003


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