'Cock tease'

(94 Posts)
TrickyBiscuits Sun 07-Jul-13 12:35:28

DH and I just been discussing this expression and I'm having difficulty explaining why I find it so repulsive.

My usually liberal and progressive DH has shocked me to be honest: he says that there are women who deliberately go out in skimpy outfits and act in a sexually provocative way only to later make it clear to a guy they were flirting with that sex absolutely isn't on the cards. I say they're perfectly entitled to do this, he agrees, but says in some women it's a form of deliberate manipulation, hence the derogative label being applied to them.

I think there are 2 main things which are pissing me off the most:

The phrase itself (it's actually 'virgin bitch' in his native language which I think is even worse) is so bloody dehumanizing. As if female behaviour should automatically be viewed through a penis-shaped lens.

And also, the spectrum of application is huge... where does dressing attractively and behaving in a flirty manner end (if that's even allowed hmm) and 'cock teasing' begin? it just seems to be a label to exert power.

Bloody hell I'm cross. I'm having difficulty articulating myself.

Any thoughts?

Eyesunderarock Sun 07-Jul-13 12:52:29

It is an unpleasant phrase, and I agree that women should be free to dress and talk to men as and when they please.
But DS has had a lot of bother with girls and young women being flirty, being over-familiar, touching him and innuendo that he finds very annoying.
He is tall, dark, handsome, artistic, intelligent and reserved.
He is also an Aspie.
He has friends, both female and malewho tend to shield him from a lot of the irritation, but he gets pissed off at the snarly reactions of 'FFS are you gay or what?' when he doesn't respond in an interactive manner to the 'cock-teasing' behaviour.
Last time he said it was like having a dog sniff your crotch, all you want is to be left alone but some dogs are just rude and won't behave themselves.
DD is also very Aspie and handles males being flirty, being over-familiar, touching her and innuendo with firm confidence. But her verbal skills are fantastic.
So I don't know really, some members of both sexes find it hard to draw the line when interacting, some people think that certain behaviour on the part of others gives them the right to feel entitled, or to sulk if not.
It's a very complex area of human relationships.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 07-Jul-13 13:07:07

I think it comes from madonna/whore thinking.

So a woman is either up for sex with any man, any time, or is not up for sex with any man at all.

The thinking is that a woman can't be in between ie maybe up for sex if she gets on well with a guy and doesn't feel like going home when her mates want to go or whatever. If she is like that.

Do you think your DH sees it that way?

Not denying that some women enjoy the power that deliberately attracting attention and then rejecting sexual advances makes them feel. I think some men do it too...

But.

IMO "cock tease" is an insult thrown at a woman who has created an expectation that a man will "get some" and then hasn't delivered on this expectation. It is founded on the women as gatekeepers of sex idea, but that if they send certain "signals" then they set a process in motion that nobody is in control of. Like starting a fire.

Short step away from outright victim blaming for sexual assault, really, and certainly contributes to rape culture.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 07-Jul-13 13:09:47

How can your DH tell the difference between "deliberate manipulation" and other matters eg not liking the guy enough once they've chatted, needing to get the last train, coming out maybe with a view to having a snog and getting a guy's number but that's all?
What's the goal of the "manipulation" in his eyes? Having drinks bought, or something?

scallopsrgreat Sun 07-Jul-13 14:29:55

Manipulation is a loaded sexist word in itself. It is far more often applied to women and often by controlling abusive men. A woman is 'manipulative' by just saying no to a man. It is pure and simple misogyny to suggest women do this.

I think you nailed it with As if female behaviour should automatically be viewed through a penis-shaped lens. It is male privilege to think that if a woman is dressed up it is for them. If they are talking to them (I remain unconvinced that all these women are flirting) it must mean they are 'up for it'. If they are flirting does that mean they have entered into some type of contract with the man? Are men so weak that they can't just have a flirt and a laugh? There is also an element of having put the time in to having a conversation with the woman therefore they should get something out of it hmm Sense of entitlement. And for some reason they feel a removal of their male power when a woman says no. Awwww.

My question would be, why don't men flirt and then not have sex? Why are some men expecting every flirtatious encounter with a woman in a short skirt expected to end in sex? Or maybe they do have flirty conversations just because they enjoy it? In which case, where is the equivalent derogatory male phrase?

But I am not sure why your husband cares about whether women do this? Is he frightened one of these supposed women are going to manipulate him into not having sex? What actual harm is done by flirting with someone and then not having sex with them shock. Why does he, as a married man and therefore not really in a position for women to manipulate into not having sex, feel the need to use the phrase and categorise women as such?

<now waits for larry to appear and tell us how we should let men cross our boundaries>

LRDLearningKnigaBook Sun 07-Jul-13 14:36:15

This annoys me.

Some people enjoy flirting.

Some people enjoy flirting and then sex.

Sex isn't anyone's 'right'. So what? Sure, it's a bit disappointing if you discover you're one of group 2 and the person you were flirting with is group 1, but boo hoo. You need to learn that not everyone is precisely like you.

I've come across loads of blokes who enjoy flirting but don't then want sex. I dunno why people seem to think this doesn't happen. It's not rocket science: sometimes you fancy a nice dance or a drink, but you don't actually want to go home and shag.

scallopsrgreat Sun 07-Jul-13 14:38:14

In fact that is it! Some men want impunity to cross women's boundaries. When women say no and create that boundary these men try and make the women feel shitty for creating that boundary, so they'll think twice about saying no the next time.

It's all about controlling women and their behaviour.

Yeuch!

scallopsrgreat Sun 07-Jul-13 14:39:42

Sorry cross post with LRD. Obviously the first part of my last post refers to the last paragraph of my first post.

<slinks off having confused everyone thoroughly>

LRDLearningKnigaBook Sun 07-Jul-13 14:56:47

Yes, absolutely agree scallops. It is about boundaries.

KaseyM Sun 07-Jul-13 15:11:29

It's funny that women are the ones seen as manipulative because the most manipulative behaviour I've seen has been from men trying to get their leg over.

In fact I think that the word "cock tease" is often used as a form of manipulation, a way of making the woman feel guilty and cave in.

Once this Danish guy walked me home and when I didn't want to invite him in he told me that I was being a pricktease cos it was the custom in Denmark that if you let a guy walk you home it meant that you wanted to have sex with them. Have never met a Danish person to verify! But I'd say that was very crafty and manipulative on his part.

Lucky for me I said no but one poor girl fell for the guilt trip though. He dumped her the next day and she was heartbroken.

LRDLearningKnigaBook Sun 07-Jul-13 15:20:56

It is manipulative. It makes me really sad (and cross) that if you look at the way people respond when it's the other way around, it's still about making the woman feel bad. If a woman says 'I met this really great guy, he seemed really interested, very flirty, but then I suggested sex and he said no', she will get told 'oh, he's just not into you', or 'you probably misunderstood' or 'oh, maybe he's married'. She won't get 'OMG, how unfair and prudish of him'.

Yes, we will always be at fault. Probably best to just come to terms with that, eh?

OR NOT!

AuntieStella Sun 07-Jul-13 15:32:48

Deliberately manipulative behaviour is shitty, so yes, I'd agree with DH to the extent that his scenario is possible and that behaviour is deplorable.

I'd disagree with him that it is frequent. And would be very wary if (rare) examples of anti-social manipulation were extrapolated to cover the (for more common) occurrence of someone discovering that after spending a bit of flirt time with someone decides he's not so fanciable after all and disengages.

I would be appalled by an adult male saying it. I thought only 15 year olds thought like that.

It implies that the male has somehow earned (or even purchased) sex from the female by dint of giving her his time and attention sad

AnyFucker Sun 07-Jul-13 15:44:10

I am not surprised you are rather shocked at your partner's comment if he is usually an enlightened type

That comment is 101 in the victim-blaming manifesto

Earthworms Sun 07-Jul-13 15:48:45

I was just going to post what buffy said.

In my younger days <gimmer> I would dress up and flirt if I felt like it. I also enjoy sex. The fact that I flirted then didn't want sex meant I had, I suppose ' decided upon further investigation not to have sex on this occasion.

To dismiss this as cockteasing makes it seem as though I somehow owed him for his time. What about my wasted time eh? You were judged and found wanting. Not my problem

AnyFucker Sun 07-Jul-13 15:50:17

Brilliant, EW.

You were judged and found wanting

Now if we lived in a weird parallel universe where women had the privilege, then this would be how everyone saw it. grin

Yeh, it's really unfair and offensive.

If a guy thinks things are leading towards sex and they turn out not to be at some point he read things wrong/ she changed her mind. Too bad !
He probably had a pleasant evening with a lovely girl and got some free practice at improving his charm/ relationship skills.

Nacster Sun 07-Jul-13 18:59:04

I love that, EW!

I know so many arseholes chaps who view the whole process of flirtation/ relationships as transactional. I won't even let most men buy me a drink any more, since clearly I "owe" them something. (I play in a band, I've had drinks sent up by men who then think I owe them time chatting while I'm breaking down gear, or stand threateningly close trying to talk while I'm on a break, that style of thing. If you want to buy me a drink, do. Don't expect me to engage though!)

The one woman I do know, and am close to, who uses sex in a way that could be described as cock teasing, is very damaged and has her whole self-worth tied up in being found attractive. It's the only part of herself that she views as important. I wish I could help her. Another woman I am related to actually says she "has" to fuck men who have bought her a drink/ brought her home. It's scary.

I do not flirt, ever. I'm not good at it anyway. But I would be concerned for my safety if I did, in the environment I work in (only woman, alcohol flowing, neanderthal idiot men who don't actually think women are human.) The only way I feel safe is to completely shut them down. My (male) friends seem to think it's a spectator sport. hmm

PoundlandClareRayner Sun 07-Jul-13 20:48:39

Nacster you need to find new friends, dude

TheSmallClanger Sun 07-Jul-13 21:44:29

I hate this. I remember having to deal with female Personal Tutor students at the college I used to work at, who had endured all sorts of crap (up to and including unwanted pregnancy, and a subsequent abortion), in the name of not being seen as a "tease". They really still seemed to believe that lie that once a man is turned on, it's an unstoppable thing and you can't say no, because his balls will explode and it'll be your fault.

Anyone has the right to refuse sex, at any time, for any reason.

TrickyBiscuits Sun 07-Jul-13 21:56:21

Sorry for posting then running. In hindsight I should have started the thread after the family event we were going to this afternoon, after I'd had another discussion with H about this I'd ran out of time to update.

Anyway

DH agrees that the labels themselves are pretty grim and that to use these sorts of concepts to justify sexual violence is abhorrent. He also acknowledges that it is hard to determine from the outside what is a woman just changing her mind to somebody deliberately playing a game. Nevertheless he maintains that it absolutely does exist: women who set out, purposefully, to play a nasty game for some reason (he can't think what the reason could be though). He's not talking about generalised behaviours apparently, but when a woman explicitly says she intends to have sex, then says she doesn't. (I can't help thinking about the amount of times, when younger, I met a guy out i thought was lovely, only for him to say or do something that showed him to be a total idiot hmm)

My problem here is that, of course, on the basis of the amount of people out on an average saturday night, then perhaps a few are messed up enough to do weird things, but the number must be so small it's almost negligible. It's certainly not enough to justify the existence of a (unfortunately widely used) label. So why then does it exist at all? IMO, precisely because it's serving another agenda!

So that's what upset so much I think ( I couldn't get it straight even in my own head before why the use of the term angered me so much) By using the term people are automatically, tacitly, placing the responsibility of successful social/sexual interactions on women alone, it shows a refusal to acknowledge that men's behaviour or actions could have an effect in any way confused. Is that even fair on men?! Plus, like it or not, it's implicitly connected to rape culture.

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