So I’ve been reading a lot about “women and sex” over the last couple
weeks days. (I’m talking to a bunch of women about the subject tomorrow night at an event for my new(ish) venture, Your Relationship Doc…)
PRETTY MUCH, MY OVERALL CONCLUSION IS: OH MY GOSH, THIS IS A COMPLICATED SUBJECT.
Here are some of the interesting findings I came across…
1) Women want novelty.
According to research, women show a much more dramatic physical arousal (measured in a lab with a machine) to strangers than to their own partners (the women in the study listened to sexual audio recordings involving friends, strangers, and lovers.) Some sex therapists even suggest seeing less of your partner for a period of time as a strategy to increase desire.
2) Women get turned-on by pretty much anything.
One study measured physical arousal of women while watching videos of homosexual, heterosexual, and animal (bonobo apes) sexual activity. A machine showed that women were physically aroused by all three, whether or not they verbalized that this was the case.
3) Women downplay/won’t admit their sexuality.
In one study, women lied about how much they masterbated or viewed pornography if they weren’t guaranteed that their answers would be confidential. If they were told their answers would be confidential , they admitted to a lot more; If they were hooked up to a fake “lie detector test,” they answered pretty much identically to the male responders.
4) Women want to be “desired” more than they actually “desire.”
Women spend way more time primping and attempting to look attractive than actually thinking about or enjoying sex itself. Women’s arousal occurs largely as a result of their partner desiring them, not simply because they desire their partner. If a woman feels more attractive (aka worthy of being desired), she will have a stronger sexual response. This has lots of implications for relationship partners– It implies the importance of the man initiating sexual activity and the importance of women taking care of themselves physically for the sake of maintaining their sexual satisfaction.
5) Women feel emotionally connected by an egalitarian partner; but sexually desire a dominant partner.
Evolutionary psychologists point to the fact that women can only chose one man every nine months to father her offspring, so it is desirable to ensure that this man has the power and means to protect and care for the offspring. Women may feel more loving feelings toward a sweet partner, but are programmed to want to have sex with a dominant man. This means that in order to preserve a strong sexual relationship, the woman has to be careful not to emasculate the man, and the man has to step up to the plate and remain involved, capable, and responsible.
6) Boredom is not just for men.
A study showed that for every month that a woman is in a relationship with the same man, her sexual desire declines 2%.
7) Long-term, monogamy may be natural, but life-long monogamy is something that needs to be worked-at.
Anthropologists found that across the few monogamous cultures that exist, human-beings are typically only monogamous for 4 years at a time.
8) Mind-set is important.
Women have a tendency to think about twenty-five things at once instead of focusing in on only the task-at-hand. This can get in the way of being sexually present. Women who take time to meditate or wind-down before sex report higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
9) Women are selfish lovers.
Studies show that women get pleasure out of….getting pleasure. They don’t get pleasure out of giving pleasure, as is generally the case with men.
10) When women cheat, it has nothing to do with sex.
Yes, women want variety and novelty, but not as badly as they want emotional connection. The top reason that women step out of their monogamous relationships is that they are feeling lonely.