In the most recent Letters to the Editor section of Atlantic Monthly, an author, whose article the previous month had been on novels for teens, finally wrote out the moral to her previous article in response to some letters:
What girls are discovering, to their infinite heartbreak, is that boys will happily agree to any form of sexual experimentation a girl cares to offer, but will reserve certain honors for the girls who build power in the ancient ways. If you want a boy to invite you to the prom, or treat you well, or to speak highly of you to his friends, or to spend long hours thinking about how he can work his way into your heart -- if what you want from him is courtship, romance, and respect -- the very last thing you should do is ambush him with a sexual favor. That girls no longer know this to the marrow of their bones -- that this knowledge comes to them in a slow awakening of misery and shame -- is testament to how badly our culture has failed them.
The young man in his 20's who pointed this out to me said, "This is just weird shit. No girl that I know wants all that 'courtship, romance and respect' stuff, and most of them make fun of those who do in front of me. Sure, I'll take any sex on offer -- who wouldn't? -- but this other stuff is too old for words."
I'll throw it out to comments: is either of them missing the point?
Meanwhile, this is all sounding reminiscent of some advice I was offered when younger: "There are a lot of women who will volunteer to become your mistress. It's up to you, but the usual pattern is to accept it, enjoy yourself, and move on when she becomes too demanding. In general, mistresses are not worth marrying. It's the ones who intrigue you that you should pay attention to." At the time, there was a serious herpes epidemic: so free sex had limited appeal, and I didn't take the advice to enjoy and forget. It was the late 70's, after women had decisively lost the "battle of the sexes", and, since they've never regained anything like their former power, it just didn't seem worth bothering with.