Why this story matters:
Sandra Konrad conducted in-depth interviews with over 70 women about their sexual self-determination. Her findings are featured in her recent book, "The Mastered Sex, Why She Wants What He Wants."
Her interviews show that women are concerned with male gaze and male desire, and exhibit deep-seated tendencies to repress certain needs in order not to come across as unattractive.
Konrad also highlights the contradictions of modern sexuality. On one hand women are increasingly ambitious and competitive when it comes to sexual performance, but on the other they gauge their success by attempting to fulfill patriarchal fantasies. Though they talk more openly about sexuality, the MeToo movement showed the degree to which abuse still lurks in the shadows.
In short, two thousand years of male dominance cannot be wiped in one fell swoop. This is going to take time, especially when it comes to sex.
Details from the story:
- Sandra Konrad talked to more than 70 women between the ages of 18 and 45 about sexual self-determination.
- Today, women still grow up in a world where they would rather please than lead, and where the male gaze matters more than female desire, she says.
- "That's why women often behave in way that attract men, and unfortunately weaken themselves in doing so. When women defend themselves and rebel against prevalent social norms, they are often perceived as sexually unattractive."
- Konrad has a PhD in psychology and works in Hamburg as a couple and family therapist. She also writes non-fiction books about relationships ("Making Love") or family dynamics ("Staying in the Family").