In "Why Men Do Stupid Things: The Psychological Appeal of Prostitutes," psychologist Michael Bader writes that men seek prostitutes because they are "psychically weighed down by the belief that they're supposed to take care of women, that they have an obligation to make women happy, to please them." A man wants a woman who will be completely devoted
to his pleasure, his satisfaction, his care, his happiness. The man doesn't have to please a prostitute, doesn't have to make her happy, doesn't have to worry about her emotional needs or demands. He can give or take without the burden of reciprocity. He can be entirely selfish. He can be especially aggressive or especially passive, and not only is the woman not upset, she acts aroused. He is not responsible for her in any way. She is entirely focused on him. He is the center of the world.Because that never happens outside of prostitution. Men who patronize prostitutes are never selfish with other women, and women never pretend to be aroused or pleased when they're not.
What are the implications of Bader's analysis? Should men worry less about pleasing women? Should women do a better job of reassuring their partners? What about women who worry about pleasing men and who want to be "entirely selfish"?
Bader has written similarly about pornography. In most porn, women act happy, even when they are being violently degraded, he claims. He says this isn't misogyny. "It's sad because men in our culture are so disconnected from themselves and women, and often feel so helpless in their efforts to make women happy, that they require these kinds of fantasies to get aroused ..."
I'm so worried that my blogging won't please men like Bader that I need to go now and watch a film of men being tortured. Don't get me wrong; I love men. I just need to find a way to relieve my guilt.