In Part I of this series I examined the patriarchal origins of modern sexual beliefs and behaviours. We saw how these led to the ‘three M’s’—married, monogamous and missionary (position)—as the invisible framework of what we wishfully believe to be our freely chosen behaviours.

The three M’s are not the only extent to which unconscious patriarchal beliefs drive our sexual behaviour—in fact it is only the beginning. Our whole attitude towards sexuality has been skewed to a masculine-dominant perspective where the hidden forces underpinning patriarchy exclude all other factors.

The fundamental driver for sex in patriarchal societies is male penetration and ejaculation. This is because the fundamental driver of patriarchy is survival. The patriarchal male brain is wired to think only of penetrating and ejaculating into the female to perpetuate the DNA of his bloodline.

Thus when a male with patriarchal conditioning has sexual feelings, they unconsciously and unerringly veer towards penetration and ejaculation. This is true whether we’re dealing with porn—where the shot of a man ejaculating onto a woman’s body is called the ‘money shot’—or with actual sex.

End-goal oriented

The male sexual experience—actual or imagined—becomes end-goal oriented. There is no particular pleasure in the experience because of the fundamentally shameful nature of sex in patriarchy. Thus sex becomes a headlong rush for the end-point of ejaculation, with (in the case of real sex) penetration as the only significant marker along the way—the marker of whether sex actually occurred, whether the man can add another sexual notch to his belt.

The invisible drive for penetration and ejaculation explains a lot of male sexual behaviour: impatience with the preliminaries of sex, including talking, holding hands, cuddling, stroking, kissing and foreplay. Instead the male “stampedes the vagina,” as I once heard it described, rushing for his unrecognised goal.

Under this stampede, most of what is important to the woman gets lost. To him, the transaction has little or no emotional value. To her, this is vitally important.

Under this stampede, most of what is important to the woman gets lost. To him, the transaction has little or no emotional value. To her, this is vitally important. But even her physical desires are subsumed. Women take longer to become aroused and place much more emphasis on both foreplay and the indirect aspects of sex such as eye contact, playfulness and emotional connection.

Over and out

Even the man does himself no favours physically—as André van Lysebeth writes in Tantra: the Cult of the Feminine, men often have sex so quickly that they never have time to achieve their fullest possible erection. (See Does sexual shame affect penis size?)

Thus the woman finds penetration thrust upon her—no other verb will do—before she is emotionally or physically ready, while the male is on the brink of premature ejaculation. Male sexual stamina, often poor in patriarchies, sets the duration of the sex act. He is over and out before she has barely gotten started.

Even then the humiliation and indignity of these stunted couplings does not end. Women highly value post-coital cuddling—while many men find it repellent as their sense of shame impels them to flight immediately after ejaculation.

All of this leads to another damaging effect of patriarchal sexual conditioning—the tendency for women to zone out during unwanted and disappointing sexual experiences, to ‘lie back and think of England’, as it has been described. We’ll examine that in Part III.