What would happen if a complete stranger walked up to you on the street and offered you sex?
YouTube star Andrea Wendel did just that in a new video, asking 100 men on the street to have sex with her after not much more than a greeting.
Not surprisingly, Wendel got a number of "Let's go" and "I would love to" responses from many men.
However, she also received a number of reactions that were less thrilled about the prospect of sex with a strange woman — a proposition straight women don't normally initiate and something straight men don't often hear.
"No, it's a very weird proposition and that's very strange. Plus I think that's stepping out of regular social conventions. I'm going to walk away now," one man said, commenting on the cultural belief that women don't normally offer men sex.
"You're kidding, right? What's wrong with you," an older man replied, suggesting that she seek help.
Wendel got 30 men to agree to have sex with her, while 70 declined. Though the high number of "no's" might come as a shock, each man had reasons for turning her down — a girlfriend, a busy schedule, discomfort with the entire situation. A few men, unaccustomed to the offer, even asked if she was a sex worker.
Similar social experiments (or pranks, depending what you want to call it) have had varied results. But the outcomes of this video are a curious rebuttal to our socially constructed concept of the genders: men in constant pursuit of sex and women as the guardians of it.
The myth of men always wanting sex more is rooted in skewed notions of sex drive. As Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First: the Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman, told Salon, "I would say that women tend to experience 'responsive desire' ... while men experience 'spontaneous desire.'" The more random nature of men's sex drives, Kerner said, can make it appear as though they want it more often.
Yes, Wendel's targets might have offered less flattering answers had she approached them in, say, a dark club on a Saturday night rather than in on the street in broad daylight. But the truth remains that men are more than walking sex drives and women are far more than goalkeepers of sex. Seeing that fact any other way undercuts and undervalues sex for both men and women — no matter who's asking for it.