Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun. Where do men get the idea that women like rough sex and where do women get the idea that they ought to like rough sex? Well, one place might be popular culture — although we think it goes much deeper than that. Let’s start with the movies and take one as an example.

Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun
Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

A number of years ago a movie with Al Pacino called Sea of Love told the story of a policeman searching for a woman who murdered men she met in the personal ads. In the movie, he meets a woman, played by Ellen Barkin, whom he suspects (but who turns out not to be the murderer). Nevertheless, there is a game of “cat and mouse” as he becomes tremendously attracted to her and tries to decide if she is guilty.

Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

When they finally do have sex, it’s rough. They claw at each other and he pushes her with some force against a wall. It is clear that we are supposed to believe this is the height of passion. But is this the way it goes in real life? Would women really like this? Or might it feel scary and unsexy?

Images of Gender and Rough Sex
This myth stems directly from gender roles that suggest that men should be sexually assertive and a man that isn’t, well, he’s not much of a man after all. Likewise, the companion piece for women is that their natural state is much more passive and they need to be aroused (Kiefer and Sanchez, 2007). The idea is that “consensual rough sex” where the woman is hesitant, then aroused, and then inflamed with passion, is all due to male sexual agency.

Her sexual submission is what he is after and so whatever level of intensity he provides (up to and including violence or physical abuse) is okay. Unfortunately, it is not clear what would qualify as “abuse” and what is supposed to be mutual passion. And our culture, through sexual imagery, feeds this blurred line. Consider these common concepts from porn, mainstream movies, and books.

Hard, Fast Action
Male movements in sex scenes are often intense. They grab women roughly and hold women tightly by their arms, necks, and butts — tight enough that if it were real, the woman could get bruised. And then of course, there’s the deep and hard thrusting that often goes on for quite some time. We believe that many real women would get tired of this or find it painful after just a few minutes.

Sexual Compliance
In much of our imagery, women are not just submissive, they are thrilled with that submission. Of course, its most popular and extreme presentation is in the wildly successful 50 Shades of Grey trilogy in which a 21-year-old-virgin meets an extraordinarily handsome, smart, and successful man who likes dominance and bondage and whose sexual mode varies from slightly to greatly sadistic. The young woman’s sexual pleasure is, in general, hugely enhanced by her helplessness and very rough sex, including heavy spanking, pain, and the inability to do anything but receive that kind of “pleasure.”

While she stops him when he becomes too violent, the kind of sex they enjoy together could certainly be described as dominating, male directed, and rough, to say the least.

Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

Obviously, at the level of fantasy many women found it arousing (at one point it seemed like everyone was reading it and the first movie is being made as we write this) and its success certainly fed into the idea that women are interested in rougher treatment.

The real life explanation, however, may be more disturbing — that is not that women are interested in rougher treatment, but they are compliant to it when they are worried about even more aggression from their lover or partner (Katz and Tirone, 2010). Women may also acquiesce because they want to be in the relationship and so they agree to what is asked of them, even though they don’t like it (Katz and Tirone, 2009).

Token Resistance
The overstatement of women’s desire to have rough sex is also supported by the idea that their protests are just part of the dance of male initiation, female coyness, and ultimately women’s aroused submission. A total misunderstanding of women’s protests and clear statements of not wanting to have sex, or not wanting a certain kind of sex, can badly damage or even end a relationship.

Moreover, the whole idea of “token resistance” — that men should press on with their sexual advances over and above what a woman says because she ultimately really wants to be pressed into sex — puts women at risk of being mauled or raped and men at risk of being jailed for sexual assault. Indeed, there is a correlation between having the belief that women say no but mean yes, and whether or not a man thinks that date rape has occurred.

When shown scenarios of coercive sex, men who believed that saying no was just part of the dance were less likely to label the scenario rape if the woman only resisted verbally (Osman and Davis, 1999).

Consequences of Rough Sex
Some women who are having rough sex seem to be experiencing discomfort and even pain. In a large random sample study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Laumann et al., 1999) one of the most common complaints of women who had sexual issues was pain caused by intercourse. These women were not all having rough sex — some of the pain was caused by women who were in menopause or who, for other reasons, did not lubricate enough. But there were also reports of pain caused by abrasions to the cervix and vagina through too vigorous thrusting.

Women and men should remember that some positions, such as “doggie style” or legs over the man’s shoulders, foreshorten the vagina and make very deep penetration possible. This deep penetration can lead to battering of the cervix which can cause intense pain and even injury as well as making pre-existing issues such as very sensitive skin or pelvic floor problems much worse (Coady and Fish, 2011).

Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

There are also dangers to having rough anal sex, especially without enough lubrication. The delicate skin around the anus can tear which can increase the risk for HIV infection and other STIs (if the sex is not protected by a condom).

Even actions often seen in porn movies such as raking long nails across a man’s back or holding a partner down tightly by the wrists can lead to unnecessary scrapes and bruises.

Creating a Mutually Pleasing, Safe Sexual Style
If rough sex is the assumed approach, it may very well hurt, bewilder, offend, or anger a partner (be they male or female). Many people would just be perplexed and wonder if they were being loved or used. Others might have strong emotional reactions, especially men or women who had been the victim of rape or other violence. Many people enjoy fantasizing about rough sex and some people (though we bet this number is smaller) enjoy having it in real life but there are others who want nothing whatsoever to do with any sex that is not gentle and loving.

Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun
Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun
Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

We are not opposed to rough sex, it can be fun and spice up a sex life. However, it has to be something both partners agree to in advance. Don’t assume that your partner (male or female) likes it rough — ask and then come up with a plan that you both like.

Thanks for Reading — Women Want to Be Dominated in Bed, Rough Sex Is the Most Fun

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