Being new to blogging (even though I've been hanging around for a while) means that I keep seeing fairly old posts. This one is about 1/9 of the way down the huge pile of comments on this thread:
In casual social situations of single people, if a woman suggests sexual activity to most any man there, he's willing, probably eager, and more than likely thrilled. If most any man there suggests the same to a woman, she'll say no, probably be offended, and very likely will decide that he's a shallow jerk, regardless of whatever interests and attitudes he might have.
I quote it not to refute that statement in particular, but because I have my own thoughts on this phenomenon, and I was finding it difficult to describe without sounding silly. I kept saying things like "People think women can have sex whenever they want, whereas men have to keep asking and asking", which is ridiculous, everyone knows there are plenty of sexually frustrated women out there (don't they?), and the reason men have to 'ask' is because that's the convention and women don't usually break it (my discussion below should suggest some reasons why they don't break it to anyone with sufficient imagination). Described as above, though, it at least seems to be getting at something that looks like it might have a grain of truth in it. I do think there is a(some?) genuine social phenomenon(s) here, buried under the inevitable generalisation.
Before I get to my main point, though, I wouldn't be me if I didn't nitpick:
In casual social situations of single people, if a woman suggests sexual activity to most any man there, he's willing, probably eager, and more than likely thrilled.
Ok, can I just ask something? How many men have actually been in that situation? I mean, when men say they'd be thrilled, can they point to any examples? And if so, was the man in question in fact thrilled? I'm not a man, let alone an "average man", so I don't know if the average man would be thrilled if the average woman suggested sex. I have had at least one male friend mention being propositioned with the remark "not flattering, trust me", so I know it's not always true. The question needs to be asked if it is true in general. I'm wondering if part of the reason men can say that is because they've never seen the reality, but I don't actually know if that's a reasonable suggestion.
Now that I've got the minor question out of the way, I'll get to my main thought on this matter.
As far as I can tell, in a "casual social situation between single people" it is just about impossible for a man to lose status by having sex.
There are some notable exceptions to this, the cruellest and most obvious being "unless the girl is fat", but, in the main, I think it holds.
Similarly, it is just about impossible for a woman to gain status by having sex.
Exceptions to this rule tend to be both equivocal and reliant on there being some commitment between the two people. For example, a woman might gain status by having a successful husband (personally I think such 'status' would probably annoy the heck out of me, but some might disagree). However, this is a far cry from a casual sex situation. In general, a girl having casual sex is going to have to fight to keep the status she has, let alone gain any. Sometimes I scare myself by wondering if the word 'slut' has more synonyms than the word 'good'. If it's true, I don't want to know. The idea behind the word is pervasive, and it means more than 'promiscuous', it means more than 'woman who has sex'. Mostly, the meaning which bothers me is that of woman who is used - used sexually by men. And if being perceived as being used doesn't lower your status, I don't know what does.
A woman is less likely to be perceived as being used if she makes a show of being choosy. That's a point in itself and I'll leave it there.
Another point, though, is that if a woman appears eager for sex, she might end up with less control over the situation. Unless she trusts the man, she can't be sure he won't just do whatever makes him happy with no care for what she wants. Ideally, she would have a say in these things no matter what, but there are men who would be oblivious to their own sefishness (especially if she was begging for sex in the first place), and there are women who would find it hard to protest.
Add that to the fact that the man is essentially asking her to put the way people see her on the line in a way which simply isn't true for him, and the fact that it still isn't conventional for the woman to do the asking; add the stereotype that women are less interested in sex...
... and biological determinism really has only so much explaining left to do.
EDIT: It occurs to me that I didn't really need to reference biological determinism to make my point. The stuff I've shown gives reasons why women might appear less interested in sex that do not rely on any actual difference in sexual interest between the sexes.
There may well be a difference between male/female sex drive, on average, but I think people probably overestimate it - there are just so many reasons why they would.