Sex Drive: How Men and Women Match Up
According to Marta Meana, psychology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, data overwhelmingly show that, typically, men have a higher sex drive than women, when measured by the frequency of fantasy, masturbation and sexual activity.
WebMD concurs, noting that study after study shows men with the stronger drive: “Men want sex more often than women at the start of a relationship, in the middle of it, and after many years of it,” according to Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University. Most men under 60 think about sex at least once a day, but only one-quarter of women do. Older men fantasize less, but still twice as often as their female counterparts. Men say they want more sex partners in their lifetime, they are more interested in casual sex, and they are much more likely than women to buy sex.
Norah Vincent passed as a man in an attempt to get inside the male psyche. After living as a “man” among men for a year and a half, she described the male sex drive as “relentless,” an “obsession with f’ing.” Male reviewers of Self-Made Man found her insights credible.
Or as one man described the unyielding obsession, “Someone needs to invent a drug which has no hormonal imbalance side-effects but is able to erase a man’s sex drive and attraction to women. It would increase productivity rates to incredible heights. I’d be free and happy. I’d feel complete. I’d be able to concentrate on my biochemistry studying.”
Some women want more sex than their partners, but in general the pattern goes the other way.
Given their lower drive, it’s not surprising that women are also choosier. Most men find most women at least somewhat sexually attractive, whereas most women do not find most men sexually attractive at all, according to the University of Texas, Austin researchers who wrote Why Women Have Sex.
And, women are pickier about both “who” and “how.” They tend to want more connection and romance. Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, says that women’s desire “is more contextual, more subjective, more layered on a lattice of emotion.” She says, “For women there is a need for a plot — hence the romance novel. It is more about the anticipation, how you get there; it is the longing that is the fuel for desire.”
Life can be difficult with such a large gap between the sexes.
Next week I’ll discuss which biological and cultural factors create this gap, and how we might even things out.
Posted on January 26, 2011, in gender, men, psychology, relationships, sex, women and tagged gender, men, men's health, relationships, sex, sex drive, sex research, sexuality, women. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.