In the first three parts of this series I wrote about how the dominant patriarchal sexual model—married, monogamous and in the missionary position (see Part I)—propelled men and women in different directions where their sexual imperatives became irreconcilable.

In Part II, I wrote how men unconsciously acquired the urge to penetrate and ejaculate to ensure the continuation of their bloodline. In Part III we saw how women were relegated to a secondary status where they were expected to be virtuous, pure and free of sexual desire despite the slight biological catch that only they could actually give birth to continue the bloodline.

The patriarchal urge for men to sex as many women as possible naturally gave rise to social structures that catered to this demand. These structures originally included multiple wives, slaves and prostitutes.

As the 21st century unfolds, advances in women’s rights have eliminated many of the worst excesses of the patriarchal sexual paradigm. What has not changed is the underlying male sexual urge. The result is that not only is prostitution as prevalent as ever but pornography and men’s clubs have also become ways that men seek outlets for their frustrated patriarchal urges.

Hierarchy

While it is tempting to conflate male use of prostitutes, porn and men’s clubs as different versions of the same thing, there is actually a fairly strict separation and hierarchy between the three. Where men fit into this hierarchy depends on how much pressure to express their sexuality (aside from their wife or partner) they are under.

At the bottom of this hierarchy are men who are satisfied with their sex lives, or who are successfully repressing any unmet urges for sex. The next level is porn. This is a safe outlet for men to indulge in their desire to see sex acts of various kinds without violating their marital vows, but is obviously unsatisfying in that it doesn’t allow for genuine sexual expression. This is what drives porn addiction—watching porn is arousing, but no matter how much or what you watch it never provides release.

The next highest rung on this ladder is gentlemen’s clubs. While often regarded as selling sex—and some clubs do provide actual prostitution—for the most part they sell titillation up to, but not crossing, a specified boundary. That boundary may be a topless waitress, a striptease act or a lap dance, but it is in place to give men the impression of sexual liberation whilst technically remaining within the limits of monogamous relationships, as the patriarchal paradigm demands.

At the top of the ladder is prostitution. I don’t want to get into a discussion of its acceptability (personally I support the New Zealand model that recognises women’s rights to make their own choices). With prostitution, men cross the line and violate patriarchal taboos on sex outside of monogamous marriage.

Use-by date

All three of these sexual outlets—prostitutes, porn and men’s clubs—exist in response to historic patriarchal sexual ideals whose use-by date has long passed, yet most people do not realise this as they grapple with sexual issues inside their relationships. We tend to see the problem as lying with individuals when in fact it is a collective issue.

All three of these sexual outlets—prostitutes, porn and men’s clubs—exist in response to historic patriarchal sexual ideals whose use-by date has long passed, yet most people do not realise this as they grapple with sexual issues inside their relationships

As a society, we are un-repressing. For women, this has meant a very welcome growth in sexual rights. For men it entails the painful realisation that the unconscious, masculine-dominant sexual behaviour of the last few millennia needs to be released. Only then will we come into a state of harmonious sexual relations, with a corresponding change in the ways our sexuality is expressed.