Beneke, says a common theme for men who seek a sexual encounter is, "having sex is an achievement; the achievement is gaining possession of a valued commodity; the valued commodity is a woman". He suggests that there are metaphorical structures that represent our different views of sex. First we see sex as an achievement:
SEX IS A GAME: If you PLAY YOUR CARDS right you'll SCORE. Your BEST BET is to go easy or you'll STRIKE OUT.
SEX IS WAR: He got SHOT DOWN while trying to WEAR DOWN HER RESISTANCE because she knew he was always HITTING on other women.
SEX IS BEING SERVICED BY A WOMAN: She wouldn't PUT OUT FOR ME. She DID IT FOR HIM, but she wouldn't DO IT FOR ME.
Once consent is gained Beneke says that achievement becomes performing well sexually:
SEX IS PERFORMANCE: You were GREAT LAST NIGHT. He wasn't able to FILL THE BILL, but I got RAVE REVIEWS in bed.
SEX IS INSTRUCTION: I know how to SHOW A WOMAN A GOOD TIME. You could LEARN A LOT from me. He could TEACH HER A THING OR TWO.
Other metaphors show the woman as a commodity that can be possessed or stolen:
SEX IS A COMMODITY: I never had to PAY FOR PUSSY. Why would a man rape if he could GET IT FOR FREE. She wouldn't GIVE ME ANY, do you know any AVAILABLE women?
SEX IS A POSSESSION: I'd like to HAVE HER for a night. I bet I could GET HER if I want because he's GONNA LOSE that girl.
SEX IS FOOD: What a DISH she was the BEST PIECE OF ASS that I ever had.
WOMEN ARE OBJECTS: She's a cute THING. Check THAT out, she is strutting her STUFF. How would you like a LITTLE BIT OF THAT?
Women are also seen as animals or children.
WOMEN ARE ANIMALS: She's a nice CHICK. What a FOXY lady. Check out the Playboy BUNNY she's a great PET of the month. Let's see if we can shoot some BEAVER. What a DOG. She's a BITCH.
WOMEN ARE CHILDREN: Do you like the GIRLS at the office. Hey, BABY!
Sexual feelings are seen as being out of control and/or violent:
SEX IS MADNESS: I'm WILD with desire every time I see that woman I GO CRAZY.
SEX IS HITTING A WOMAN'S GENITALS: He'd like to BANG her BOX.
MASTURBATION IS HITTING ONE'S OWN GENITALS: I like to BEAT MY MEAT. He WHACKS OFF.
IMPREGNATION IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE: He KNOCKED HER UP.
A PENIS IS A GUN: He SHOT HIS LOAD into her.
Beneke says, "The above examples partially illustrate how a significant number of heterosexual men structure their experience of themselves, women, and sex. Most heterosexual men have used some of the above phrases at one time or another, and some men regularly talk that way". He says these metaphors address four basic aspects of sex: status, hostility, control, and dominance.
"STATUS. Clearly, achievement has much to do with status. Performing, triumphing, instructing, winning wars, conquering, and being serviced are all activities that confer superior status. And gaining possession of a valued commodity also gives one status in two ways: one has status over the woman because one possesses her, and one is given status in the eyes of other men.
HOSTILITY. To regard women as commodities to possess is an act of hostility[...]as is thinking of sex as war, triumph, theft, hitting a woman's genitals, a hunt, or possession.
CONTROL. In achieving possession of a commodity, one is trying to maintain control, to control the woman's behavior and control one's own performance.
DOMINANCE. To posses a commodity is to dominate it; to triumph, win a war, succeed in a hunt, win a game, or be serviced by a woman all express dominance".
Beneke then quotes psychologist N. Groth who said,"Rape, then, is a pseudosexual act, a pattern of sexual behavior that is concerned much more with status, hostility, control, and dominance than with sensual pleasure or sexual satisfaction". Works by J. Drake and D. Russel also confirm domination and power as significant components of many rapes.
Our language makes women's appearance a weapon:
WOMEN'S APPEARANCE AS A WEAPON: She's a KNOCKOUT! What a BOMBSHELL! She's STRIKINGLY beautiful! That woman is RAVISHING! She's really STUNNING! She's a FEMME FATALE! She's DRESSED TO KILL!
As Beneke says, a woman's appearance can, "knock a man out, explode and kill him, strike him, it can ravish him (notice the reversal-SHE rapes HIM with her appearance), it can stun, i.e., hit him on the head and again (twice) it can kill him. Everyone, man or woman, who learns American English and can understand the seven sentences above at least unconsciously understands a woman's appearance as a powerful physical force".
Thus sexual aggression become a way for the man to fight back. "One understanding of the penis as weapon: a means of getting even by inflicting pleasure (sex is triumph) and at least momentarily silencing the power of women's appearance". Of course in this light rape is the ultimate domination and victory over women's power.
Beneke then delves into a "folk theory of sex". "In a metaphor we understand one thing in terms of another; in a folk theory two normally separate things may be so collapsed together that it is difficult to separate them". These terms involve explicit language, if you find this offensive feel free to skip this message.
*** WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE FOLLOWS ***
According to Beneke the following phrases are folk phrases:
I got screwed by the IRS
Get fucked! He says:
"We are able to make sense of the above statements because we not only understand sex in terms of aggression and degradation, but because we actually take sex to be that.
SEX IS AGGRESSIVE DEGRADATION: I'd like to SCREW her. I want to FUCK her.
And if sex is aggression or degradation, a penis is a weapon.
'Fuck you!' and 'Get fucked!' are both rape insults. In an insult one often verbally wishes on someone what one would like to see happen physically. 'I got screwed' expresses a feeling of violation[...]
Try saying 'Fuck you!' aloud several times. What thoughts, feelings, or images arise? Is there anyone you wish to say this to? In wishing to say this, are you wishing violation and rape upon them? A rapist who uses his penis as a weapon is acting out A VALUE THAT WE EXPRESS REGULARLY [emphasis mine]. A man may never relate to women in a sexually abusive way, but if he uses this language he is reflecting a view of sex as an aggressive, degrading act".
"This language probably will not change till our conception of sex changes. For the present, it is important to know what we're saying and why we're saying it".
At this time I look forward to any comments people might have about Beneke's ideas.