Men: Climax More Likely in Relationship Sex
Indiana University’s recent sex survey found that men were more likely to climax if they were in a relationship. But women had more difficulty with arousal when they were in one.
Surprising! What’s up?
Today we’ll explore men. (A past post explored women.)
On the one hand, men say they’d like a lot of partners. According to The Male Brain, men report wanting 14 partners, lifetime, while women say they want only one or two. In my women’s studies classes many men felt that their friends would like to have sex with as many women as possible. Researchers at the University of Texas found that men were far less picky than women, and were more likely to have sex simply because the opportunity presented itself. An awful lot of porn (men’s fantasies on screen) revolves around sex with lots of random women, too.
So the Indiana University study doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. You’d expect that men would be more sexually satisfied with a lot of casual partners.
But that’s not what the data showed. Researchers asked men and women about the last time they had sex: Were you with a relationship partner or not? What activities did you engage in? Did you have an orgasm? How much did you enjoy the sexual experience?
When controlling for age and health, men aged 18 to 59 were more likely to enjoy sex and achieve orgasm when they were in a relationship than when they were with a new partner. They indicated greater arousal, greater pleasure, less pain, fewer problems with erectile dysfunction, and greater chance of orgasm.
So what’s up?
Imagination versus reality: Fantasy may seek novelty and variety, but men feel more comfortable and relaxed with their partners, who show patience and give reassurance if there are problems, leaving men with less performance anxiety. Partners who have been together a while may have honed their techniques, too.
Sure, men can feel relaxed with dream partners. Reality can be different.
Something deeper may be at play, too. Women often say sex is best in a context of love and connection. Men don’t talk about this as much, but sex can take on a deepness and richness in relationship that casual sex can’t match, whether you are male or female.
Popular culture sees women as out to trap men, becoming the old “ball and chain” when they succeed. But men need companionship. They rarely leave their partners unless they’ve got someone else lined up. After a death or divorce men are much quicker than women to remarry, forgoing an unfettered sex life. Partly because women care for men, support them, and create emotional closeness.
But relationship may also bring men better sex.
Posted on January 4, 2011, in gender, men, psychology, relationships, sex, women and tagged arousal, gender, Indiana University Sex Survey, libido, men, orgasm, relationships, sex, sex research, sex surveys, sexual repression, sexuality, women. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.