Female desire: down with porn! up with Orlando Bloom!

I think it’s kind of funny and cute that everyone is still trying to figure out what makes men and women different. I mean, now that boys are wearing pink nail polish, maybe people are starting to think, “What if we’re not that different after all?! Oh my god!”

The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece about porn. That was a fun sentence to write. The piece is about desire, really. About how it’s different in men and women. Women tend to read romance novels and sexy fan fiction and try to learn more about Orlando Bloom’s personal life. Men tend to watch porn. One of the reasons the study is so interesting is that it shows how much the internet age has added to sociological inquiry. And how easy it is for researchers to find out exactly what you’ve been googling. Which is a little embarrassing for me, because mostly I’m googling really obvious words that I’ve forgotten how to spell.

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But it’s true, men and women are different. I know. Because I sat next to a couple on a first date yesterday.

This is how it went:


Man: So then I got a great offer from a start-up in Silicon Valley, so I went there, and really turned that company around. Good stuff. I thought I’d be there a while, and then the company sold– and it sold big– and I got this other offer, from a place in Toronto–”

Woman, leaning in and opening her eyes wide: Wow! That’s amazing! My friend actually worked for a start-up in Toronto–

Man: Yeah, it was good. It was good. So in Toronto, I was actually doing more mergers and acquisitions, and we were going after Microsoft for this deal-

Woman: So, ok, is that like when you’re trying to sell your own company to a bigger company or–

Man: No, no. I mean, you’re close. But– (words lost to wind at in outdoor seating section of Boat Basin Cafe)

Woman, leaning in, playing with hair, smiling: What a career! This is all amazing. I can’t believe how much you’ve moved around!

The man talked for twenty minutes straight about his various jobs. He mentioned that he had an expensive apartment. With a gym in the building. And a roof deck, of course.

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I laughed aloud, by accident. The woman looked at me and laughed, too. Our eyes met for the slimmest second.

The man wasn’t actually a bad guy. He was a little nervous, and he wanted to impress the woman, and he was intent on telling her about everything he’d ever done well. The woman was beautiful, friendly, and let him talk forever before she deftly turned the conversation to her own life.  Honestly, I think she liked him.

I met Bear on OKcupid, and a lot of my friends use the site, too. They send me quotes from the guys who message them, or bits from their profiles. Here’s one of my favorites:  “I’m generally super modest and I have a strong distaste for those who conduct themselves with an air of entitlement or a pretentious attitude. However, I will say that I can typically recognize an artist on the radio in one second (literally).”

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In general, I’ve noticed that guys online are a little oblivious. Everything is out there. “I’m a great guy! I have a great job! I make money! I am cool! I am into fun stuff!” Or “I’m totally countercultural! I don’t care about making money! Because I’m much cooler than that! I’m an amazing musician!”

There’s something sort of endearing about it, even though it makes me want to smack them.

Anyway, women and men act differently in many situations. But then it’s all complicated, because I don’t like romance novels. See how that works? BAM. Wrench in the machine. Wait– that’s not really the expression. What is it? Anyway. I don’t like romance novels, even though I write romantic novels (there’s a difference!), and I have never read fan fiction, and I don’t look up Orlando Bloom and fantasize about him proposing to me.

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But the Wall Street Journal is ready for me. The article concludes with a paragraph explaining that if you’re a woman reading this and thinking that it doesn’t sound anything like you, that’s OK, because women like porn, too, sometimes. And the women who like porn?

“Our data suggest that these women probably have a higher sex drive than other women and that they are more socially aggressive and more comfortable taking risks.”

HELL YEAH.

I mean, wait….So I either read romance novels or am a risk-taker?

Hmm…Sigh.

And if I recall correctly, Bear did not talk about his career at all on our first date. He asked me a lot of questions about my life, though. Which sounds pretty girly, in retrospect. Maybe there’s something wrong with him? And with me?

Maybe there’s something wrong with studies that keep trying to crack the gender code. They’re tons of fun, but let’s not get carried away, folks. I mean, I’m not really a terrible speller, even though my search history makes me look that way :)

(source)

*  *  *

Un-roast: Today I love the skin on the backs of my hands. It really has a cool texture. I like being aware of it, because I know it’ll change a lot as I age.

P.S. Honestly, I never really got the whole Orlando Bloom thing. But googling him just now was pretty fun. He almost never seems to have his shirt on and his expression is very, very serious. Also, are women still into him?  Wasn’t that a few years back?

 

28 Responses to “Female desire: down with porn! up with Orlando Bloom!”

  1. melle responded on 04 May 2011 at 11:46 am #

    haha omg yep there’s something wrong with that study! I would probably prefer porn over romance novels, yet I do not have a sex drive at all and I certainly am not a risk taker! Quite the opposite! And orlando bloom actually repulses me a little bit.

    well shucks.

  2. Kate responded on 04 May 2011 at 11:53 am #

    LOL! you need to write to them and be like, “explain THIS, Mr. Researcher!”

  3. Kerry responded on 04 May 2011 at 11:59 am #

    You’re going to get a whole new slew of readers out of this post when all of the people searching “orlando bloom porn” end up here :)

  4. Kate responded on 04 May 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    And then they’ll be really, really disappointed and also a little angry.
    :)

  5. Claire responded on 04 May 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Have you read the book Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy? It ties into this post really well! Really thought-provoking book!

  6. Kate responded on 04 May 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    No, but that’s the 3rd or 4th time someone’s recommended it to me. I really have to read it now!

  7. B1 responded on 04 May 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    OMG! This had me giggling! I love it when they do studies that put people into pigeon holes. My best friends growing up were guys until I became an adult then every girlfriend/wife thought that there was more between me and their guy. I’m a tomboy, I used to love watching sports, and abhored the whole girly thing, and the catty thing that came with girlfriends. My guy friends didn’t have that drama and that’s what I liked.

    Regarding Orlando Bloom, I think he’s cute, I think he has an interesting story before the Lord of the Rings, but I don’t go looking for him on the internet. I don’t fit the mold of that story either.

  8. tatiana responded on 04 May 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand the preoccupation with trying to divide the genders down the middle. I love porn, and I have a great aversion to romantic anything. I just don’t like love stories. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Orlando Bloom – an actor becomes attractive to me if he has skills, not a pretty face.

    I do believe that men and women are different because the genders don’t really seem to understand each other. Like, I’ll never understand boys – it’s why all my friends are women or gay men. I don’t keep male company. But I like things normally associated with men: video games, comics, violence in my movies, half-naked women.

    So it’s hard to create a single line that divides the sexes because there really isn’t one, I think.

  9. Trisha responded on 04 May 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    You would Love “Are Men Necessary” by Maureen Dowd, a great read. Maybe life would be simpler if we stopped try to catagorize men and women so much and just refered to one another as “people”.
    PS I watch porn
    PPS Half of my time online is spent googling words that I’ve forgotten how to spell.

  10. Jak responded on 04 May 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Um, yeah, I watch porn and am not a risk taker. Also not a huge fan of romance novels unless they either have a really strong story line or have a lot of sex. I don’t search them out, though.

  11. nova responded on 04 May 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I was strangely attracted to Legolas. But not Orlando Bloom. At all. I think it was half the hair and agility of the character, hahaha. How embarrassing that I just admitted that.

  12. Kate responded on 04 May 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    @Nova
    The hair was great.

  13. Laura responded on 04 May 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Hmmm, interesting. I am a little bit of a risk-taker but it isn’t a natural character trait (in fact I naturally have quite a strong aversion to risk) but I have pushed myself to take calculated risks over the years. I have a relatively low sex drive, but if I’m turned on, I like porn. So yeah, I guess I’m messing with their classification system.

    I do think Orlando is pretty hot though :)

  14. Jen responded on 04 May 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    @nova:

    The hair was “ehh” but his confidence while blatantly NOT bragging about himself were appealing. Every scene in LOTR features someone I don’t mind looking at (except Smeagol/Gollum. I have limits).

  15. Anna responded on 04 May 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    i blame culture, i think men are still given more of a green light socially to look at porn, and most porn is geared toward men. romance novels give women what they’re looking for, but feel more discreet. i think it’s not a coincidence that women who like porn generally have more confidence – you would have to, to go against a social norm (albeit a changing one) and confront your sexuality.

    as for orlando! i dislike him for two reasons: he can’t act, and i don’t want to date a man who is prettier than me. i am an aragorn girl, i like a man with scruff on his chin.

  16. Anna responded on 04 May 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    (and no his carefully groomed goatee in pirate’s doesn’t count as ‘scruff’, although it was a step in the right direction :) )

  17. Ivy responded on 04 May 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    It’s also interesting — why does it have to be either/or? I don’t like romance novels, but I do like fanfiction. And porn. Sometimes I feel more like one than the other. Sometimes I don’t feel like either. Because my fantasies and thoughts aren’t all identical and sometimes one is just more fitting than the other, you know?

    Not sure if I’d call myself a risk taker. Maybe sometimes, for some things. But not always. I guess I’m not so good at boxes.

  18. Liz Nord responded on 05 May 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I have a few things to say here:

    1. Love the Post

    2. Never thought Orlando was hot–ever!

    3. Let’s be real–The people being interviewed for the “research” were probably not being 100% truthful.

    4. Life is too complicated, messy, and everchanging to be categorized by a survey.

    5. Completely random here: But what would happen if (for 24 hours) we consciously reacted and acted the polar opposite to how we usually do. I wonder how that would feel…Hmm. We should try it, Kate. :)

  19. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot responded on 05 May 2011 at 7:03 am #

    Well really what is the difference between drooling over a fully clad man and a naked one? Personally I prefer a few strategically places garments – a little mystery is always more titillating.

    I was laughing yesterday at some old style male pin ups from the seventies. Real men like Magnun PI…. They had hairy chests and flabby guts! None of these denuded torsoes and six packs hot men are expected to sport these days. Poor modern chaps! I guess that’s why men are said to be struggling with body image as much as us these days:(

  20. Mandy responded on 05 May 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Jak@
    Try Emma Holly. She writes amazing and very hot romance novels.

    And, on the subject of Orlando Bloom, I remember walking out of a movie theater, having just finished watching the first LOTR movie and listening to a pair of pre-teen girls giggling and gushing that Legolas was “so cute!”
    If I’d been in any danger of developing even a minor interest in Orland Bloom, that would have brought it to a screeching halt, right there…

  21. Emily responded on 05 May 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Interesting post, per usual :)

  22. E responded on 06 May 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Oh no! I totally fit the female stereotype! Well, okay, I haven’t actively googled Orlando Bloom in several years, but I certainly didn’t mind looking at the pictures you included. And I definitely prefer reading sexy, romantic stories to watching people have staged sex. I love you for writing about this, Kate!

  23. Kate responded on 06 May 2011 at 10:10 am #

    @E
    Aww! Nothing wrong with that! :)

  24. Sam Brightwell responded on 09 May 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Seriously? Are we still into Orlando Bloom? Wow! Just look at your pictures in this post. Personally, I think he’s a bit of a male bimbo, but every lady needs one of them to dream about sometimes. Orlando is perfect. I love him.
    Thanks for a great post.

  25. Danielle Meitiv responded on 10 May 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I write romantic stories. I read romance novels. Bit I’m also socially aggressive, into risks and have a high sex drive. Maybe I’m a hermaphrodite! :-)

    I’m not into Bloom but like his characters (big LOTR fan and enjoyed him in Pirates as well..)

  26. Hannah responded on 11 May 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    “I’m googling really obvious words that I’ve forgotten how to spell.”

    That makes me feel so much better about my search history.

  27. Jessica responded on 12 May 2011 at 12:04 am #

    So I’m reading this post in my reader – and forgot for a moment who I was reading, because this sounds just like a post that could be found in the blog for the book “A Billion Wicked Thoughts”. Both your blogs are worthwhile reading – so I thought I’d share the connection I made today! :)

  28. Marklar responded on 14 May 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Zzz… By the way, the expression is “spanner in the works”…