We have a predator/prey vision of sexuality. Male sexuality is characterized as predatory and acquisitive. Women are characterized as receiver/prey/gatekeeper. In this dynamic, entitlement for men is encouraged, for how do you pursue if you do not feel entitled to your prize? How could you fail to see the gatekeeper of sexuality as an enemy to be defeated?
In a predation dynamic, desire translates into manipulation and strategy to “win.” It encourages men to “play the numbers” and push boundaries in order to increase their “winnings” and thus raise their self esteem. Failing to win results in hurtful rejection. It either means you are personally unworthy or you personally failed. It requires women to insult you in order to say no.
Predation also casts men as undesirable and undesired. No one is seeking them out. No one is captivated by them just standing around. Their prospects are deemed hopeless unless they pursue and initiate. Female sexuality is robbed of animus and desire. Women are forever the passive objects of desire, never desiring or seeking for themselves.
This is a far cry from a consent and inquiry-based dating scene. Consent-based dating forces men to consider who would want them back, what they have to offer the other person, and what might be pleasing to them. It saves them from rejection and from delusions of worthiness in order to fuel their pursuit. Desire translates into considering the other person’s perspective and making an inquiry.
Rejection, in this context, is no more humiliating than the information that the partner who is into doing that with you is not, in fact, here. It is no insult and no discouragement to further inquiry elsewhere. It demands of women that they must seek out what they want, not just wait for it. They must discover it, declare it, and must also inquire for themselves to get it. It encourages their voices in creating “the market” for intimacy.
Consent-based sexuality prioritizes mutual pleasure. It depersonalizes rejection and discourages boundary violation. Making someone feel uncomfortable actually ruins things in this context. Consent-based dating presumes both genders would like what pleases them, putting the onus on no one in particular to pursue it. It also discourages presumption, as each individual is the sole arbiter of what pleases them. You need to inquire of them to find out if you want the same things. And you need to inquire in a manner that will be conducive to enthusiastic consent.
What an improvement that would be for everyone! Why are we so freaked out by this?