ONCE upon a time, men were the ones who couldn't wait to brag to their friends just how many women they conquered and how good (or not) their conquests were in bed. The more women they had the more of an ego boost they got, and many men created literal or figurative notches in their bedposts to celebrate their achievements.
On the other hand, women were so reserved and shy that they wouldn't tell even their best friends who they 'mistakenly' slept with.
But gone are the days when women marry as virgins and blush when the word 'sex' comes up.
According to sex therapist, Dr Sidney McGill, women are becoming more assertive in bed, not waiting for the men to make their approach, but instead using all their feminine wiles to conquer him and then rate his performance afterwards.
Recently, 22-year-old Duke University graduate, Karen Owen, wrote a pretend thesis rating the men she slept with in college, complete with graphs. Her 42-page presentation entitled An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling In the Realm of Horizontal Academics, sparked a controversial gender debate when it was leaked on the Internet.
Was she too brash to have rated her men? Did she go overboard? Was society ready for a situation where women were now counting the notches in their bedposts? Worse yet, were men now willing to be rated, publicly?
Owen's thesis skilfully spoke of her sexual conquests of 13 of the university's athletes. It not only provided ratings on a scale of one to 10 for the performance of each athlete she slept with, but she also provided the names, dates, photos, and physical attributes they all possessed, including the length and girth of their members.
And though Owen got a lot of flak world over for her openness, still many other women -- and men -- celebrated her bravery in turning the wheels on female sexuality.
"I believe women -- especially women who are financially independent -- are becoming more assertive generally," Dr McGill says. "More of them are telling their sex partners what they want, initiating sex, being actively involved in foreplay and even experimenting with sex positions that require some degree of acrobatic skill. There are more sex toy shops around and women tend to be the ones who visit these stores more regularly."
He added: "I think we live in a sexualised era. [We] live and breathe sex during our waking hours. The moral boundaries are surely not as high as they were say 15 years ago. So women have greater freedom to choose who and what they want -- including other women -- and refuse the macho facade of many young and inexperienced studs out there."
He says as a result of this era, lesbianism is on the rise in Jamaica and world-wide, with even young girls in co-ed schools preferring other girls and young female teachers over their male peers.
He noted that for years the working world was a man's domain, but with far more educated women vying for management positions in the corporate world, women have learned to adjust to the macho workforce culture in order to move up the corporate ladder.
"So the view of the stereotyped woman has been crumbling," Dr McGill says. "Many young girls cannot cook and think nothing of the lack of home making skills. With the gradual collapse of male/female stereotypes a woman is not concerned about being termed a 'slut' because she enjoys multiple sexual partners."
Like the 22-year-old Owen, Cristine T, a Kingston resident, boldly speaks about her sexual escapades.
The 27-year-old cosmetologist and mother of a nine-year-old son says she has lost count of the number of persons she has slept with, several of whom were females.
"I am not afraid to go after any man or even woman that I see fitting to my eyes and after I spot my prey(s) they are mine for the night -- it's as simple as that," Christine stated in a recent interview with All Woman.
But does she consider her actions to be unladylike? Cheap?
Not at all, and she is quick to point out that she is just being genuine and pleasing herself.
"I am in control of my sexuality and I really don't care what others think. I am just being genuine and pleasing myself," she says. "In society a man is considered to be a gyalis or macho when he sleeps with one or more woman per day and brags about it. Yet when a female does the same she is considered to be promiscuous. Well I honestly don't care what the world thinks of me, I am just proudly satisfying my sexual curiosity."
While some members of the opposite sex may take favour in Owen's and Christine's sexual patterns, there remains others who believe their behaviour is a sign of emotional instability and loose morals.
"When all is said and done a woman will never be seen equal to man as it relates to sex, as a man's outlook on sex will always be different than that of a woman," bank teller Christopher Scott says. "Unless a woman is a prostitute she usually does not have sex with a man she does not feel emotionally attached to and should not have more than one sexual partners. That behaviour spell promiscuous."
Dr McGill says though, that although some of the rules have changed, the one regarding 'one woman to one man' hasn't totally. He says people still eventually want an exclusive, loving relationship that does not include competitors for a partner's love and attention.