In her He for She campaign speech at the U.N, Emma Watson (video at the bottom) told the world it’s time for us all to perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.
 
She argued that “men are imprisoned by gender stereotypes. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.”
 
Several sentences later, standing ovations ensued, social media storms erupted and those of us watching stopped for a fleeting second to imagine a world where Emma’s vision was reality.
 
It all sounded so possible. So believable. So real. Until we realised something was missing. A piece of the jigsaw puzzle that somehow didn’t “fit”.
 
Because if there’s anything history and biology has taught us, there are some things you can never change.
 
Now I’m not talking about gender equality here. That can be changed and it is thankfully already changing for the better.
 
No. What I’m talking about is basic sexual desire. What makes men attracted to women and women attracted to men. Evolution, biology, whatever you like to call it, you cannot ignore it. 
 
So although the idea of the world being a place where women can accept a man who’s delicate, tentative and politely thinks about you and asks if this is ok or that is ok sounds great on paper, does anyone genuinely, hand on heart believe that history can write a new chapter for this emasculate man to become the type of man women will one day become uncontrollably filled with desire for?
 
Marta Meena, an established researcher at the University of Nevada has argued that this type of man who may meet the expectations of your gender politics (treats you as an equal, is respectful to you, communicates with you and meets your parents’ preferences), may also put you into a sexual coma – not despite these qualities, but because of them.
 
And if History and the fictional characters like Christian Grey and Don Draper women fantasise about are anything to go by then we know that the type of man most women truly desire might actually be the complete opposite of what they believe they want. It’s paradoxical.
 
Georgia Knapp, a self-proclaimed, shouting from the rooftops feminist, who writes for The Purple Fig, experienced this paradox when she found herself turned on by “bondage” and “submission” porn – which being a proud feminist – fiercely contradicts her everyday morals.
 
She felt sinful and immoral for getting aroused by it, yet continued to set her browser history to private and accept the shame that came with watching, even though it meant the possibility of her feminist card being revoked.
 
A friend of Georgia said that for someone who lives their life being strong and independent, perhaps the thrill for her was shedding that self and becoming the exact opposite in bed. It didn’t mean she was any less of a feminist or that she was spitting in the face of all womanhood. It just meant that she was human, she had urges, and to put it simply – what turns you on, turns you on.
 
Perhaps this explains the unrivalled success of 50 Shades of Grey? And why feminists around the world simply cannot deny the male protagonist, Christian Grey, is a total turn on. Even though he’s a manipulative, controlling bad boy whom Anastasia falls for despite taking the submissive role in a violent sexual relationship. 
 
Are Christian Grey and Don Draper anomalies? Or are there countless other fictional characters just like them who women shouldn’t find sexy but secretly lust over? And how do these ultimate bad boys stack up against your typical nice guy?
 
What makes the ideal boyfriend?
 
To answer this question once and for all, I went on a mission to uncover the truth.
 
Since women love expressing their infatuation for fictional TV boyfriends in lengthy articles online, I trawled through dozens of “most dateable TV character” lists and looked for patterns…
 
53 lists and 444 votes later I made this controversial discovery:

TV Vampires, Psychopaths & Serial Killers: Perfect Boyfriend Material? Via Dating Metrics

 
 
 

Sure, these guys are fantasy boyfriends, but when it comes down to desire it’s pretty clear that alpha male bad boys are still women’s first choice.

 
Perhaps the excitement, mystery, surprise and drama a bad boy offers is too good to pass up?
 
Whatever you take away from this, one thing is clear – no matter how much we try to deny it, evolutionary sexual desire will always find a way to trump rational thinking.

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