Sexual Scripts.

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Take the lead.

Make a move.

Show her that you want her.

Act tough.

Do it right.

Know what you’re doing.

Expertise, expertise.

Let him lead.

Wait till he makes a move.

Make him want you.

Listen to him.


He isn’t looking for anything serious. He doesn’t have relationships.

They bind him. He needs room to explore, he needs space to build himself.

A Casanova. A cad. Intriguing. Mysterious. Adventurous.

She isn’t looking for anything serious. She doesn’t want relationships.

She doesn’t feel anything. So heartless. She doesn’t have the courage to commit.

She’s a bad woman. Not a nice girl. Nice girls fall in love, not lust. Nice girls settle down, not explore. Nice girls don’t sleep around.

Such a whore.


He currently prefers casual sex. It’s not an idea that he believes in or a way of life he’s assigned to himself, it’s just something he’s doing right now.

“Because I want to”, he says.

She currently prefers casual sex. It’s not an idea that she believes in or a way of life she’s assigned to herself, it’s just something she’s doing right now.

“Because I want to”, she says.



I remember reading about the higher level of satisfaction, emotional and physical, reported by men as opposed to women post a sexual encounter – particularly a “casual” one. I remember thinking that this could not possibly hold true in circles I was a part of. I remember thinking that the urban cultural set up I was a part of was far too egalitarian, informed and individualistic to conform to these statistics, and therefore must necessarily fall outside those demarcations.

I realize now that I thought wrong. It was something I would like to have believed, but it wasn’t necessarily true. Female sexuality, if grudgingly acknowledged, is either invariably curbed by its necessary association with female fidelity, which comes as a prerequisite for respectability, or cloaked under the pressure to imbibe subtlety



In the male members of society, the existence and exploration of sexuality is “natural”. So is the need to exhibit it. In the female members this right is threatened. Its occurrence, if acknowledged, is deemed necessary to be cloaked under the guise of respectability that then necessarily implies a lack of sexuality in it’s very definition, when used as an adjective for women. The existence of sexuality in women  is not considered a natural reality but an aberration.

A sexually active woman, then, is subject to much speculation. Even if one goes so far as to “reason out” such behaviour, such reasoning implies that the need to exhibit sexuality involves a necessary deviance in the woman’s way of life, as a causal attributional factor in the creation of this need. Meaning that the need to be sexually active in a woman could not possibly arise naturally, as it would in a man. It must have been fuelled by some terrible cognitive, emotional or behavioural mishap.

These conclusions are often drawn as a sympathetic alternative to outright ostracization, as though an attempt to “understand” the cause of such behaviour and “forgive it” is the noble thing to do. This further marginalizes women with the courage to explore their sexuality, by means of creating an aura of criminality/ deviancy around female sexuality by articulating female sexual behaviours as a thing to be forgiven, discouraging other women from embarking on such quests of personal exploration.

Its repercussions are felt, not solely by the female, but also the male members of society. While female sexuality is rampantly ignored, male sexuality is most often vigorously highlighted.

It creates a culture where traits such as fidelity, emotional expressivity, failure to explore sexuality in males are denounced as an abnormality, thus forcibly consigning them to a supposedly more “liberated” way of life. Exploring sexuality then becomes not so much a tool for creating the self as conforming to the expected ideals of society for its male members. The expression of this sexuality, often violently, follows the expectation of such an expression.  While the apparent desirability of behaviours expected of men may cause the limitations it sets on them to go unnoticed, these limitations exist.

Male infidelity, the triumphing of physical realities over emotional realities all are behaviours often reinforced in the male members of society. They cause the creation of an entire culture of forced expression of male sexuality versus the forced repression of female sexuality.

These rigid rules of behaviour create sexual scripts to be adopted by men and women. We all follow sexual scripts handed down to us by elements of cultural perpetuation. By agents such as the media and people who make up society.

Exploration. Independence. These are scripts only boys are meant to follow. In a girl they take on labels such as promiscuous. Uninterested. Heartless.

Men are thus as much subject to these scripts as are women, and are as likely as women to incur criticism on violation of these scripts. Scripted behaviours imply that the element of choice involved in sexual behaviour, in its experience and expression, is naturally inhibited/eradicated.

We are all, then, just performing. But god forbid we don’t like the role. Then we’re out of an act. We’re out of work. We’re out.

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