You know how Cosmopolitan and most Katherine Heigl movies like to inform us all that men are “only after one thing” and once they get it, they’ll split? You’re supposed to reel them in using some ridiculous philosophy involving a game wherein which you toil away three days between each call and don’t fuck on the first date and eventually, perhaps they’ll like you so much, you can dupe them into a relationship? (Because obviously, all women want relationships, marriage and to avoid casual sex forever.) Well, unsurprisingly for those of us who have a shred of respect for diversity in human sexuality, one expert has written a whole book combatting the topic.
In an interview for Salon, Andrew P. Smiler examines what he calls the “Casanova stereotype,” in which men are shown as “primarily interested in sex, not relationships.” This, Smiler says, leads to men being classified as idiots emotionally and unable to connect with their partners or process genuine intimacy.
In his new book, Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male, Smiler uses research and recent news stories–like those of Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger–to explain that most men do not actually exemplify the “get laid, get lost” mentality.
According to him, only 15% of guys have 3 or more partners during a 12-month period, and if followed for 3 years, only 5% of men consistently have 3 or more partners a year. If true, this statistic dissolves the idea of men running around, “spreading their seed” (one of my least favorite euphemisms) and saying “Eyyyy.”
I think this stereotype is a pervasive to our generation, as well as ones of the past. Films, magazines and television have infected us with this idea of most men being “dogs” who simply run around, trying to sleep with as many women as possible. Whether it be via taking advantage of women’s supposedly vulnerable state at weddings (when, it fact, most of us are just happy for our friends) or by giving her an unnecessary “makeover” to win a bet or even the ever-sleazy “just get her drunk” plot, we know that men aren’t actually the way they’re portrayed are in popular fiction.
So, while this is a big “uh, obviously” to anybody who already realizes the above, it’s good that more experts are directly addressing that aspect of male behavior, particularly when it’s one that’s so widely generalized by men and women alike.