Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Bettina Arndt Says Men Want More Sex - Arndt is a one-woman battering ram against the suffocating excesses of feminist victimology.

Bettina Arndt Says Men Want More Sex

Paul Sheehan

Edd Aragon
Edd Aragon Illustration: Edd Aragon
We are awash with an appetite for romantic and sexual fantasy. Call it the Twilight phenomenon. It merely adds to the sexual suggestiveness which permeates our lives. But underline the word ''fantasy''.

Almost
40 per cent of marriages end in divorce. Of the rest, the majority end
up in ruts, financial compromise, sexual arid zones, or all three. The
great majority of sexual relationships end in break-up, sexual
mediocrity or no sex at all.

"Arndt is a one-woman battering ram against the suffocating excesses of feminist victimology. "
Today, at the National Press Club in Canberra,
Bettina Arndt will return to this treacherous emotional sea when she
talks about her new book, What Men Want - In Bed. In the
process, she will remind her audience why she is much more popular with
men than with women. She is a one-woman battering ram against the
suffocating excesses of feminist victimology, with its irritating
assumptions of moral superiority.

Arndt's previous book, The Sex Diaries,
published last year, built on a foundation of diaries kept by 98
couples, plus a survey of the relevant research. It concluded that the
majority of woman experience a precipitous fall-off in sexual interest
as they grow older, especially after having children, and/or being with
the same partner for a long time. This erosion in sexual interest is not
as marked in men, leading to a host of predictable problems.

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The methodology is not as rigorous this time around. For What Men Want - In Bed,
Arndt recruited 150 men to write to her over the course of a year about
what they want from women, which in most cases meant their wives. What
they want can be summarised in two words: more sex. What they get, in
the majority of the case studies, is the opposite.

This disparity
has been exacerbated by technology, the Viagra revolution, as millions
of men have been able to arrest the inevitable decline in their sexual
potency by simply popping a pill, at about $10 a shot, of Viagra, or
Cialis, or Levitra, and feeling like a 20-year-old again. Ageing men are
not taking the hint from nature. Pill-popping men pervade the book,
sometimes to the delight of their partners, sometimes to the
consternation of women who would rather have a cup of tea.

Most of
the 150 male correspondents in the book don't have much to say or
aren't quoted. The load is carried by a startlingly frank minority. Some
of these men are sensual boofheads, with poor communications skills and
stunted ideas about sexuality. But even the boofheads suffer from a
mismatch not of their own making - the changes in physiology than can
make a woman drift from being sexually charged to sexually fallow.

Arndt
told me her favourite person in the book is a transsexual, Anita Wolfe
Valerio, who became Max Wolf Valerio, and wrote a memoir about the
metamorphosis from woman to man. In The Testosterone Files,
published in 2006, Valerio confronts, from first-hand experience, the
divide caused by differing male and female testosterone levels: ''Now
that I am Max, I see this rift, this fundamental chasm between men and
women's perceptions and experience of sexuality, is one that may never
be bridged. There certainly can be no hope for understanding as long as
society pretends that men and women are really the same, that the
culture of male sexuality is simply a conflation of misogyny and
dysfunction. That the male libido is shaped and driven primarily by
socialisation that can be legislated or 'psychobabbled' out of
existence.''