Disclaimer: this is not a man-bash. If anything, it's a media-bash. But yeah. Much bashing occurs henceforth, so polish your pitchfork.
I was a teenager in the late 90s/early 00s (I left highschool in 2002) and it was very much magazine territory. Bliss, Mizz, Cosmopolitan, Shout, More (shudder)...no matter the name of your glossy of choice, the message was clear: boys like sex. They like it a lot. They probably like it more than anything else, actually, so you'd best be prepared for that.
My response, purveyor of loose morals that I am: awesome. Me too!
It was a relief to hear that boys liked sex that much because at least I'd have it in common with somebody (I later learned that as a girl, I wasn't alone. We don't all prefer a hot chocolate). Even the boys' equivalent magazines confirmed this sentiment; FHM, Nuts, Maxim; they screamed, hello boys! Like sex? Of course you do! You're male! You like sex and video games and sex and sports! Come hither, and let us fulfill your wank fodder needs.
The years went by, I went to uni, and it seemed that the magazines were right. Boys really did like sex more than everything else. Life was awesome. Huzzah.
And then I left uni, and something funny happened.
All the boys--men--who liked lots of sex just dried up*.
Have you picked up a copy of FHM recently? Oh, there's a cheeky bint on the cover with a pneumatic pout, but the ratio of naked ladies to metrosexual fashion articles is severely troubling. Male friends these days are less than excited about getting laid (which would totally not happen if they were fifteen. Or in a sitcom. Or both). World-wide Steak and Blowjob day is met with a damp squib of enthusiasm. What is happening?!
I'm not the only one who's noticed this. Plenty of my female friends have sighed and grumbled about wanting more sex than their partners. If you've been hard-wired to think that sex is a man's biggest priority, a rejection is always taken personally. This isn't good for a relationship, but it isn't the man's fault, either. It's these frickin' magazines. Truth is, men and women have varying sex drives dependent on their personalities, and matching them up is more of a dark art than this woman expected. Bummer, huh (or not!).
Now we have the emergence of hundreds, thousands even of female erotica writers. Women have, of course, been writing this stuff for a long time, but never in such numbers; certainly, the market is growing as fast as the author pool is. My guess is that some of this fiction is born out of frustration. Not all female erotica writers are shrivelled singletons with cats--far from it--but I wonder if somewhere in our work, there's a search for this breed of man that we were promised. The one who could never keep his hands off us, even twenty, thirty years down the line. The one who can't hide his erection when we blink. Sounds ridiculous, eh? Somebody go back to the offices of Bliss in '96 and inform them, please?
Not all men have fallen short of my expectations, and I am aware that there are still men who want lots of sex. The erotic writer in me is just disappointed that it isn't a defining characteristic of their gender.