Gender Roles & Sexual Assertiveness: The Character Development of Zoe

Normal: a temperature between hot and cold.

Sexual assertiveness is one of the most rewarding factors that affect sexual satisfaction. So, why aren’t woman more assertive when it comes to sex? Perhaps one reason is gender norms conflict with their capability in expressing their sexual desires. Women suppress their sexual desires because social norms dictate that they should behave in a manner that is ‘woman-like’. However, sexual interactions can be healthy, especially for women, releasing oxytocin, reducing their stress hormone cortisol and releasing their happy hormone dopamine.

There is no debate that there is a difference between the sexes when it comes to hormones that influence behavior. However, what about social learning theory of gender development or cognitive development theory of gender development? These are prescribed beliefs that have been created not innately but by social norms. Think about how biological, social and cognitive factors produce behavior for each gender. Have you fallen into the same social beliefs as others? With social labeling and differentiated treatment amongst genders, coupled with our biological and cognitive differences, we have created gender stereotypes.

Socially prescribed norms mandate the behavior of both males and females. The expectations of females include interpersonal skills, expressive, emotionally sensitive, care-taking, and domestic roles. Males expectations include self-orientation, independence, assertiveness, and leadership to mention a few. These attributes lead to different interests, hobbies, and career paths.

What comes to mind when I say cock. What if I say pussy? What is your cognitive response to those terms? Does your perception differ when I change the language to penis and vagina? The other contributing factor that influences our perspective of language is the recent experiences we have had in the past few days. Have you recently watched porn? Because if you have, the language will provoke certain thoughts and images.

This blog isn’t about giving you answers, it’s about making you aware of gender roles prescribed to us by social norms and perhaps changing your beliefs. 

FAIRY TALES – From an early age, girls are made to believe that their knight in shining armor, also known as prince-charming, will rescue and love them, for example, Cinderella. I find that absolutely absurd. What fairy tale has a narrative of an independent woman who is in full control of her life and doesn’t need a man to complete her? My favorite, The Paper Bag Princess…the fairy tale that should be read to every child repeatedly. Robert Munsch is brilliant! Would our view of gender roles differ if we weren’t introduced to fairy tales with prince-charming? 

FEMALES THAT DOMINATE THEIR KINGDOM – There are female species that dominate their kingdoms, who are stronger than their male counterpart, who are the leaders, the strategic thinkers and who support other females in their group. For example, African lions form female-led prides. The lioness stays in the area where they were born, giving them the advantage of knowing the best watering holes and hunting grounds. Another example is the spotted hyena who is physically larger than the males and fight on the front lines in battle. Female hyenas also have what’s called a ‘pseudo penis’ which is actually a 7-inch clit, and have been known to mount male hyenas as an expression of dominance. They also have higher levels of testosterone than males. These are the mammals we should be writing fairy tales about. 

Woman who are sexually assertive are more likely to have an orgasm.

I have created the character of Zoe Winstein to challenge the stereotype of gender roles, and I have done so in a bold attempt to transform our cognitive process when it comes to women and their purpose.

Real estate and prostitution are said to be the oldest professions. Women have been used for the purpose of sexual release by men since the beginning of time. Is that such a bad thing? What if certain women enjoy sex? What if certain women crave sex more than their male counter-part? That is the character of Zoe Winstein. She is bold, direct and isn’t one bit shy. 

She is fully aware that she is being used, but the relationships she has with her men is mutually beneficial. Powerful men want to sleep with her. She enjoys sex and extracts information from them. It’s a win-win for Zoe. Others may believe that Zoe is sacrificing her integrity, her womanhood, her pussy…but I challenge you to change your perspective.

What if I were to tell you Zoe is fulfilled and satisfied with her life? That if she wasn’t behaving in the manner that she was, that she would be unfulfilled? That her happiness would dissipate if she wasn’t sexually assertive?

Zoe enjoys playing the game. She doesn’t want pity. She wants to empower women.

A guide to being Sexually Assertive

  1. Know your rights — it’s definitely okay to say NO and it’s definitely okay to want sex 
  2. Take control of your thoughts 
  3. Know the difference between being assertive versus being aggressive 
  4. Say what you want — give clear instructions
  5. Acknowledge your limits 
  6. Communicate your sexual values with your partner(s)

ZOE IN A SEXUAL ASSERTIVE ROLE

Alessandro takes me for dinner to this quaint Greek restaurant with bouzouki music being played in the background with painted walls of Santorini; we feel as though Greece has come to us. I gaze attentively into his eyes, holding on to every word that comes out of his mouth. This encounter isn’t about me…it’s all about him. It’s about his needs. What are his needs you ask? First and foremost, to be heard.

“It was such a crazy night last night. I parked my car and some guy would not let me leave. He put his car in front of mine claiming I used his spot. I had to call the police. He most definitely was on something. Crazy, crazy shit,” he tells me in an animated voice.

“Only you Alessandro.” I consciously say his name. That’s part of the play.

“Only me. I am God’s court jester. When he needs to laugh, he defers to me.”

“I am totally stealing that line.” 

“All I can tell you was I was talking to the clouds last night…’you had to pick tonight? You had to have me park here?’ Go ahead. Laugh away,” he says as he laughs himself to more laughter.

His laughter is contagious, making me bellow burst with amusement.

“I get it…it was just one of those days.”

“Do you have many crazy, crazy shit days?” I inquire.

“Apparently I’m God’s court jester on a daily bases these days.” 

I stare deep into his eyes as he takes the last bite off his plate and say to him point-blank, “Take me home.”

He doesn’t need to respond, he needs to act. I have given him permission to take me home and have my body submit to him.

He gets the waiter’s attention to bring the bill over to our table. Alessandro doesn’t say a word to me, nor do I to him. We are in dialogue, without words we understand each other and are now communicating with our bodies. We gaze into one another’s eyes anticipating what is next to come.

Once he pays the bill, he stands, walks around the table and pulls out my chair. “It’s time for me to take you home.”

I give him the illusion that he is in charge by staying silent but my body is already giving in by allowing his hand to wrap around my wrist and control my rhythm.

During our drive back to my place my lips have teased his plump lips as my hands run through his thick and lengthy salt and pepper hair in the back of the Bentley as the driver pretends to look away. A man whose body resembles that of a God, with thick shoulders, bold chest and sculpted abs that I press my fingertips against his tight black shirt.  I am touching him with passion and desire. A man who I have not had yet, who I wanted to devour and claim him as one of my prizes.

I unlock my door and walk straight into my bedroom. I accentuate the sway of my hips as my heels click on the hardwood. Alessandro knows to follow me. I don’t wait for him to undress me. I stand there in my heels and reach to my back zipper and begin to unzip myself while I continue to gaze into his eyes. I don’t look away and neither does he. I want him to watch me as a slowly lower my dress before it hits the floor. I want him to admire me like a piece of artwork by Picasso. He can look, but can’t touch…at least not yet.

I stand there tall and naked, still maintaining eye contact. I slowly walk towards him and finally reach his chest after a few steps. With my hands flat and spread out I caress his abs, working my way towards his chest, to his shoulders. I wrap my fingers over his shoulders and jerk him closer to me as I draw my lips to him. I tease him, listening to both his breath and mine. I move my hands to his hips and undo his shirt from his pants and throw it over his head. I take a step back and pause, admiring him and his body. I walk backward until my hamstrings meet the edge of the bed and fall onto my back.

He unzips his pants before crawling onto me. I wrap my arms around him and begin to dig into his back with my nails as I whisper into his ear, “This feels so good. Mmmm. Oh, God.” I squirm, wrapping my legs around him…

And that is Zoe being sexually assertive. Now it’s your turn.

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