The first date for 22-year-old Einav and 25-year-old Uri (not their real names) was great. They walked around the ruins in Caesarea, talked about philosophy, and kissed as the waves lapped up on the beach. The date was so great that Einav decided to end it in Uri’s bed.
“The chemistry between us was amazing, and it just seemed right to both of us,” she says, “but the second he came his behavior toward me changed. Suddenly he had to arrange something in the room so he kicked me out and sent me to his brother’s room, and on the way home he didn’t say a word to me. Two days later he sent me an SMS saying that he’d gotten back together with his old girlfriend.
“Several months later I bumped into him by chance, and he admitted that he’d been enthusiastic about me, but after I ‘put out’ so quickly he wasn’t able to look at me in the same way. I thought that was ridiculous, that it was the worst reason to break up a relationship, but I gradually realized that this is the way a lot of men in the world - even the intelligent ones - see things, that they need that expectation and that challenge.
“I’ve slept with a fair number of men on the first date because of the approach I used to take: that if I don’t I’m taking just the way he is, and if that’s what causes him not to want me, then he must be stuck in the Stone Age. Over the years I’ve realized that it may be progressive and feminist to think that way, but it’s not too practical. When you really want a relationship, it’s best to drag it out for several dates.”
When is the right time?
Every young woman has encountered this age-old problem: How many dates should you wait before sleeping with the guy? Let’s say that you are going out with a new guy and you decide that this time you’ll manage to keep him for more than two dates. On the one hand, you have your friends who forbid you to sleep with him until at least the third date, because that’s the rule. On the other hand, there are your male friends who tell you how they met their greatest love through a fling.
Dr. Diana Luzzatto, a sociologist specializing in gender and sexuality at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, explains that the traditional approach claims that the man can have sex as his main goal, and that his emotions develop afterwards, while the woman must feel: “According to the doctrine of evolution, the instinct of the male is to spread his seed. The woman can have one child each time, and therefore she must be choosy. This approach has given men legitimacy to have sex for the sake of sex, because that is their biological inclination, as opposed to women, who are discriminated against sexually.
“According to the Freudian approach, which has been distorted over the years, a normal woman must be passive compared with the man. Later there were the neo-Freudian approaches that continued in the same vein: The woman needs emotion, and the man is the animalistic conqueror.
“The feminist approach claimed that the patriarchal establishment feels threatened by sexual women because they undermine male dominance, which is based on the woman being passive and lacking desire, and therefore women whose sexual behavior has ‘masculine' characteristics are called names like ‘whore.’”
Are things different today?
“Today, in the wake of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the feminist revolution, there is more legitimacy for women’s sexuality, but there are still vestiges of the traditional approaches. On the other hand, I can see from research I am doing that men aren’t always comfortable being stuck in the role of the eternal penis. Just as there are women who want sex more, there are also men who want sex less, and sometimes they do things they don’t want to just to fulfill their ‘masculine’ role. I think that it will take a lot more time until we get to true liberation, which actually means providing a choice.”