Women Want Casual Sex? Yes and No

Women want casual sex as much as men, says one study. No they don’t, says another.

Which is it?

Maybe you’ve heard of this project: strangers approach students on college campuses and propose a one night stand or a short-term fling. Women almost always decline, but a lot of men accept.

Standard conclusion: evidence supports evolutionary psychology which claims women are picky, wanting faithful men with good genes, who will provide for their children. Men, on the other hand, will have sex with as many women as possible to better “spread their seed.”

But wait. A new study found that women were as likely to accept casual offers as men. So long as the possible partners were Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp.

Neither Brad nor Johnny propositioned real live research subjects. Rather, men and women were surveyed on a variety of scenarios.

Would you like to have sex if a stranger propositioned you in broad daylight? Survey says women find this set-up is no more appealing on paper than in the real life original study. Real or imagined, men were much more likely than women to accept.

What if fears of violence were removed? Women were asked if they’d like to have sex with their best male friend. Not really. Men were much more interested in sex with a female friend.

How about sexy men who seemed non-violent. Johnny Depp or Brad Pit? By all means, YES!!! Just as interested as men were in having sex with Angelina Jolie or Christy Brinkley.

Researchers queried on a variety of factors that might drive appeal or repulsion, including assumed sexual capability, status, warmth, faithfulness, likely gift-giving, or worries about danger, STDs or mental illness.

For women, nothing much affected their feelings other than worries about violence, or most especially, sexual capability.

For the most part, women said “no” to strangers and good friends because they didn’t think they’d enjoy sex with them very much. And they said yes to Johnny and Brad because they thought they would.

Still, another survey found that large numbers of women regretted one-night stands. While 80% of men had positive feelings, only 54% of women did. Displeased women felt used or worried about their reputations, while the men felt even more confident after these encounters. Lead researcher, Professor Anne Campbell of Durham University (UK) explained, “What the women seemed to object to was not the briefness of the encounter but the fact that the man did not seem to appreciate her.”

Others have found emotional connection to be extremely important to women. Women who respond to my blog constantly say they enjoy sex, but that it needs to be with someone they care about.

Maybe the truth lies somewhere in between. I need a strong emotional connection, myself. But I’d make an exception for Brad or Johnny.

Is my general preference due to evolutionary psychology? I doubt it. American Indians and Tahitians were promiscuous before European contact, so I don’t think monogamy’s in the genes.

In the western world women’s sexuality is repressed by negative messages from parents, friends, religious instructors, words like slut and whore, and worries about reputations. The threat of sexual violence can make sex seem fearful, while the act of sexual violence can make sex seem abhorrent. Since women are the sex objects, we don’t have sexy men to focus on. Instead we too often dwell on ourselves, distracted by how good or bad we look. All of this makes emotional connection an important component for many women.

My conclusion: Women are as biologically capable as men of wanting casual sex. But a lot of women want a lot more.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on March 23, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, men, psychology, sex, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. I do agree with your perspective on woman’s take about having casual sex. As a young college student I can agree with the statement that women enjoy sex just as much as men, but they do want more. It’s is this double standard that society has set up for men and women. Men are known in their biology to be promiscuous, whereas women have been told that being promiscuous will hurt their reputation, regardless if their biological makeup is the same as men in sexual desire. A man who sleeps around a lot is known as a “player”, but women still want him; a woman who sleeps around a lot is considered to be “easy” or a “slut” and most men stray away from those kinds of women when they look for a stable relationship. Why though? Society has set up guidelines that influence the way people think so much that is effects the lives of many people on a daily basis, regardless of how validated those guidelines may be. Society has taught women to not be “easy”, and to only have sex with partners that matter to them because that is how a women should behave. But if both men and womens biological makeup for sex is built the same way, why doesn’t society take that into consideration?

  2. Marisol Sanchez (From Randy Splitter EWRT 1B class at De Anza)

    I find this very interesting and i agree with that. I do believe women want more than just casual sex because we think more about ourselves and our futures. Women overthink everything for example if that person is healthy, does he work or go to school, family history. we don’t want to be having casual sex with random guys we don’t know. But it was interesting how women would say yes to having casual sex with Bratt and Jhonny. I think women said yes to that because these guys are in the public eye so we know that hey aren’t sick and they are good people with good family history. Also since they are famous people women wouldn’t mind one night because we can see them in movies and we wouldn’t mind living the story in the movie with these guys.

  3. I believe when it comes to sex women and men see sex in a very different way. For a women sex is not just sex, it’s more than that. It’s about making a connection with their partner and with casual sex they won’t make the connection that their looking for. For men they don’t care to make connection with the person they are having sex with. That is why more men have more one night stand then a woman would. For men it’s easy to have sex with strangers or friends with no feelings attached. More women don’t like to have sex with their male friend. But even if they do sooner or later they are going to be attached physically and emotionally to their male friend. And in most cases the women is going to get hurt by the male friend. Because the male friend just want to be friends with benefits and nothing more. So the answer to your question is no.

  4. I’m not sure woman want casual sex as much as men do, but I am sure we want something; something more than sex. It’s funny how my boyfriend and I argue about this quite often. We agree that more girls and at younger ages are more often having casual sex, but as he would say it in his own words, “their being sluts.” According to him, it’s the new “cool thing” for young girls to do, but I don’t agree. These young girls are learning it from someone or something. We know there are so many influences which are to be blamed for the problem, but in the end it all boils down to one thing, “why is it such a problem?” These young girls are just exploring their sexuality just as men do. I’m a 23year old woman now, and I know that is young, but I was once a younger woman who tried to be “sexually experienced” yet “sexually inexperienced” at the same time. Although I was influenced by the ideals of what woman should be, I’m glad to say I was able to experience because it’s part of what made me who I am today. According to me, woman just want equality. Woman are fed up with being restricted to what men say is okay for them to do or not do and their doing what feels good, sex. After that, they will decide if it’s going to be casual or not. Why does it matter? If woman having casual sex can be accepted as the norm, than maybe this is a step toward greater equality for woman.

  5. I definitely agree that the message women receive about their sexuality is obscured and unreasonable. I think that men and women are equals on a sexual plane but it is unfair for a woman to ‘want more’ than a one time deal when considering regular guys as opposed to the likes of Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. This is clearly a double standard and to be completely honest it makes women just as shallow as men,not just regarding looks but also wealth, fame and power. Finally I believe that the main reason promiscuity is normative amongst men and torrid amongst is because men lift up men while women drag down women. If a man sleeps with woman, the man leaves feeling happy while his friends are happy for him whereas as the woman maybe be happy at first but once her friends are clued in they begin to negatively judge her.

  6. Woman Want Casual Sex? Yes and No
    I think some women want casual sex, however if a woman can get more she will.. I also think that there is a small portion or percentage of women that act like men and think like men, well they try to think like men.. When I say women try to think like men, some women are hurt and have been hurt some many times, they put up a guard. Now don’t get me wrong men have been hurt too, that could be the reason why some men are dogs, some women are dogs too, said but true. Some women that I know have the attitude as some men. They just want casual sex, friends with benefits, sex with no strings attached…. They don’t mind sleeping around as long as there is no pain involved no deep feelings. All in all I do think women can have casual sex. I just wish more humans would be safe about what they do and how they do it.. Everything is not everyone’s business be more discreet you shouldn’t endanger yourself over a piece of butt. Just think, it only last for a few minutes…That’s after the four play if you’re lucky..

  7. Woman Want Casual Sex? Yes and No

    A friend of mine would not accept the proposition of having a one night stand with a complete stranger. She would want to get to know the person first whether or not she is intimate with him. She is waiting until marriage because she feels that waiting is the right thing to do. At least for her it is. She doesn’t have to worry about birth control, STDs, getting pregnant, and other things. It is just easier that way. There are two ways that could go. Being intimate with her boyfriend could strengthen their relationship or it could ruin it. She feels that being intimate is special and should happen when she and her boyfriend are ready. If her boyfriend is not willing to respect her and her choice then he’s not the one for her. If he cared about her he would wait. Also, if he could not wait until marriage then they should break up before he were to pursue another woman who was willing to have sexual relations with him. Also, her boyfriend’s mother believed that they were having sex so she told her son to be safe. She has daughters but she would probably tell the daughters to wait until marriage. Boys are told by their parents that as long as they are safe they can have sex. Women on the other hand are just told to remain abstinent. Do women want casual sex? Some do and some don’t. Men are told that they can be promiscuous but women are supposed to be sexy but virginal. Women want to have a spiritual, emotional, physical connection with the person they choose to be with whether they have sex or not. I agree with Princess C. Many women and men have been hurt so they get with as many partners without the deep feelings so that they do not get hurt again. They do need to be safe about how they do this though. It is alright for everyone to have casual sex in my opinion if that is what they choose to do. As long as no one gets hurt and everyone is safe then it is up to them if they want to have casual sex or not. It should be private though and not broadcast for the whole entire world though.

  8. Jessica Ayala

    I believe that there are some women out there that really don’t like to commitment part of a relationship but I don’t believe that they want casual sex as in a different partner all the time, but I do believe in the friends with benefits concept. Right after I got out of my 7 year relationship I stayed single for 3 years, until I met my husband, and I had a friend that we really were just friends that hooked up sometimes. We had dated a bit and tried to do the relationship thing and it just wasn’t what we both wanted but the sex was great. So we decided to keep having the good sex but no commitment involved. The best part of it was that we were great friends. I know as a woman you have to have some kind of emotional connection to someone in order for the sex to be good there has to chemistry of some kind for a woman or it’s just not there. Some men, not all, are very different than women; they can have sex with a girl one night and move on to the next the very next night. There is no emotional connection for them to get turned on. For women we need that, we need the spark in order to be turned on it is not enough to just be good looking. I just don’t think that women can have sex like men do.

  9. For the most part, women said “no” to strangers and good friends because they didn’t think they’d enjoy sex with them very much

    Honestly, the traditional evo-psych theories never-claimed women don’t want casual sex in and of itself, just not in the way men do (have sex with any woman passing a certain level of threshold) – and that men would be programmed to find sex pleasurable as long she meets certain basic criteria. Whereas (it claimed) women would prefer it with higher-status and socially popular men.

    • But EP was using this study, which was disproven, to support their theory.

      • On your latter point, I teach this stuff and and have written about it, and you’re the only person I’ve run across who’s never seen any evidence of it in real life. Most people easily recognize this from their high school/college experiences.

        Students constantly relate their experiences with this phenomenon.

        I’ve also had a lot of personal experience with this, so much so that I was more sexually interested at 10 than at 20. Other women have had similar experiences. I wonder how many men have this experience? You also see the effects of culural repression when you compare how much more orgasmic women are in cultures that don’t repress their sexuality.

        I wrote another piece on “Frats invite sluts, bitches…” and you can see it even there. Women who are sexual are seen as sluts. Men aren’t.

        Take a look at Michael Kimmel’s “Guyland.” He studied college men. There’s ample evidence in this sociological study, as well.

        And I am talking about what is typical. Which is probably 9 partners for men. If men are having sex with hundreds of women (which few are) then they would be labeled “man whores” or the like (the addition of the word “man” telling you who is normally the whore – women. Takes way fewer partners for women to be labeld this.)

        The references for both quotes you ask about are the book I linked to at the beginning of the said paragraphs: Why Women Have Sex by Cindy Meston and David Buss. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Women-Have-Sex-Understanding/dp/0805088342

        the IU sex survey I link to at the top also mentions this.

  10. I don’t think women are as biologically apt for casual sex as men. biologically sex has a great connection to pregnancy and for a woman that means carrying a child, which today can be serious business especially if there are economic difficulties or not much space at home. i think that men too should be wise about “casual” sex and probably not just ejaculate left and right because I think it has a stupefying effect. better to practice tantra or karezza.

    • Maybe. But women who live in sex-positive cultures typically have many partners (Tahitian and American Indian before EU contact, eg). In those communities the village raises the child with brothers, in particular, very engaged.

  11. There is a serious flaw in the conclusion that women are not interseted in casual sex becuase they all turn down a sexual propisition when approached by a stranger in the street. The flaw is that there is no seduction. From personal experience I have found women to be interested in casual sex or a short sexual relationship but only when there has been somekind of sexual attraction and a build up of sexual tension. I think woman are open to sex like men but they have to be in the mood for it. Sure they worry about their reputations and getting pregant etc, but when she is sexually arroused it is hard for her to resist. Approaching a woman in a very practical and unemotional way without anykind of seduction is unlikely to produce a positive response. Why not repeat the same experiment with women that have been sexually arroused in some way.

  12. Bridget Madsen

    I think there is a certain point in a woman’s life when we want casual sex without commitment. Whether it is because we just ended a relationship or were dumped, we might want to have a one time sexual encounter with someone because we think it will make us feel better. Or we do it just to satisfy some sexual urges without committing to a full on relationship. This is all well and good in theory, but it usually does not work out and we end up feeling worse about ourselves. We then realize that this is not the kind of life style that has any sort of positive future in it, unless one of the one-night-stands turn into an actual relationship which is what we ultimately want in the end. This is what differs us from men because they are usually not thinking about pursuing a committed relationship with a women they are having casual sex with, when women are almost always considering it.

  13. These statistics are not based on women of the same culture, and family values, culture, religion and moral principles that make a huge impact on women’s decisions to accept casual sex or not. Women act differently depending on the race what they belong to, or the ethnic background that each woman has, all those facts above influences women thinking and lets them care about their reputation.
    On the other side I see that it’s the beginning of a big chain, because there are young women who want to be part of certain groups of peers and these woman just pretend to enjoy casual sex even if they never had it, just to be accepted by the group, and this kind of woman can help to increase the “yes” answer and let studies of researchers show up that women were as likely to accept casual sex than men.

  14. What if a man who I slept with and loved him betrays me? I’ll go crazy! I mean a man should be trustworthy in the first place.

  15. I do agree with this as I also need “a strong emotional connection.” But I also think casual sex is not bad if women like it, and maybe it can loads of fun. For me, though, sex without an emotional connection turns to be “lending my body to a person.” I do not want to be just an outlet for men’s sexual desire, that is, a sex object. Only if my partner loves me, respects me, and cares for me, I would have a wonderful sex. I’d respect women who want to enjoy casual sex, but they should know that it has a lot of risks and men have more advantages than women when it comes to casual sex..I think.

  16. This article makes very interesting points. I am one of the women who agrees that I would prefer an emotional sexual connection rather than a one night stand or even a special but non commited “friend”. I’ve had serious relationships to one nighters to exclusive “f” buddies. However the serious relationships lasted the longest because that’s really what I am always looking for. I don’t feel good about one nighters or even an exclusive, yet non labeled relationship. At least for myself I can say that I agree with the last paragraph stating that because it is women that are the sex objects we are constantly scrutinizing ourselves during the act. This takes away from the enjoyment of casual sex and yes this is why an emotion component is of value to women. I like sex just as much as the next man or woman but I also know I need an emotional attachment to feel comfortable enough to enjoy myself with this person. I have a friend that jumps from guy to guy, but it’s not even about sex for her because she’s admitted to me that she doesn’t even really enjoy sex that much. And she never fails to try and morph these casual sexual encounters into a relationship. I know females that have a higher sex drive then their partners but all of them, hands down want love to be the key emotion involved.

  17. Karine Alves

    About the project with strangers approaching students on a college campus sounds a little awkward to me. It’s not an ideal environment to test such thing. In my opinion, proposals to casual sex most often happen in a different context, such as a parties or clubs. There is a possibility that some of those people who were approached by the stranger might have felt that something wasn’t right, or it was being tricked or simply didn’t feel attracted by the stranger. The same people (women) who said no at the college campus, perhaps would have said yes if they were in a party and if they felt attracted by a stranger. What I mean is that this project doesn’t seem to me like a reliable way of finding data/evidence in this case.
    I think that one of the reasons why women might be interested in casual sex is to explore this experience that apparently makes men feel so empowered. Also, before wasn’t common for women to want casual sex because they used to be way more worried about their reputation. But nowadays, not that I agree or think it is any good, but values have changed a lot and, unfortunately in a sense, people became way more liberal about sex.

  18. I think biologically this makes sense. The point is to reproduce with your offspring having the greatest chance of not only surviving but being awesome.

    Men want to have sex with lots of hot women. It makes sense because even if they bail, the hot women can still find some guy who will provide for her and the baby somewhere down the line.

    Women are not only looking to reproduce with hot guys but not die during pregnancy or caring for the baby. So she not only wants the hot guy but she wants the guy at the top of the social ladder who can provide what she needs when she needs it. People like Brad Pitt etc fit this mold they’re good looking rich famous adored by all. Some stranger or your guy friend probably doesn’t fall into that category which is why women naturally don’t see casual sex with them as appealing. It’s why women are cool with having guy friends because if the powerful male bails on her she has a fallback plan in place with an army of guys who’d give their left arm for her. So she’s able to get the best seed and still provide for the young it works out.

  19. The double standard is harmful to both genders and it needs to be stopped, NOW. Even language like ‘easy’ has assumptions behind it that it is a man’s goal to have sex, but it is a woman’s goal to refuse sex, so if they end up having sex, the woman was ‘easy’ to get into bed. The double standard pronotes stigmatisation of lone mothers, rape culture, victim-blaming and slut-shaming. Of course both genders love sex equally, let’s just accept it. And even children are sexual/exploring sexuality eg kissing other children (as I did aged 4/5) and saying they are boyfriends and girlfriends. In one school in America two 6 and 7 year old kids had oral sex. See, sexuality is inherent in us. Freud tried to tell us that a century ago (although he degraded female sexuality, stigmatised gays etc) but WE STILL CAN’T ACCEPT WHAT THE VICTORIANS ACCEPTED. Personally I would never sleep with a bad person or Creationist. I’m selling my virginity to a guy I like – I dunno if that is an emotional connection? – but I find unattractive. I met him once to be photographed nude for £100 and then I asked him if he wanted to buy it.

    • I agree that both genders have the capacity to love sex equally, and that women in our culture enjoy it more than a lot of men think they do. But women’s sexuality is repressed more than men’s, and that negatively affects their enjoyment/interest. Even the fact that men more often buy sex, while women rarely do, reflects uneven sexual desire. (Also, while Freud accepted women’s capacity to enjoy sex, Victorians generally didn’t.)

      Otherwise, this experience of selling virginity sounds interesting, to say the least.

  20. You don’t need a PhD or expensive studies to see the obvious which is women simply don’t get much pleasure from sex. If they did then they would do it all the time as we are driven to engage in pleasure. It’s clear that both men and women get lot’s of pleasure from food. I never meet a women too tired, too busy, require loads of romance, emotional connection, and the absence of all stress to down that piece of double layer chocolate cake!

    I’m really not trying to bee a jerk, but we should all face facts. Men get an intense spike of pleasure just seeing a women, not to mention the sex itself. Women barely have sexual thoughts and they mistake their desire for protection, resource support, social acceptance, and companionship for actual sexual desire for which they have none or very little.

    As a man you can manipulate her non-sexual needs to get her into bed, but I feel that is sad and unsatisfying. I truly wish women could be a partner in pleasure, but that is not reality. Nature doesn’t care about that just crating and raising the next generation, which doesn’t require female pleasure. Wish I was gay.

  21. Men and women are two different beings. The sooner we learn to live together and take time to learn about each other, things will change

    • Yes, women and men are, on average, different. Interesting to explore how much of that difference comes from biology and how much comes from growing up in different subcultures.

  22. Well if this study is correct then it’s only fair that men start getting better and more “sex positive” from women and feminists.

    It’s not fair for men to be constantly told (from people who claim to be cool with casual sex) that if they desire sex with someone and attempt to bed someone prior to getting to know them on some level then they are “superficial and mean” as one women put it to me or treating a woman as if she was a “vagina”.

    Yet this seemingly means that it’s cool for Brad Pitt to be “mean”, “shallow”, and treat women like a “vagina”

    • In sex-positive tribal cultures women are good with lots of sex with lots of men, though since its tribal it’s not strangers, so unsure if it qualifies as casual. If we lived in a more sex-positive culture for women I’m sure they’d be less repressed, more easily orgasmic and multiply orgasmic. And more interested in sex. I suspect our culture of “true love” and soul mates may make things different than tribal life, though.

      I get that many women will feel like vaginas if only sex is desired. Makes sense to me to want more than that

      I suspect the appeal of Brad and Johnny goes beyond good lovemaking. Attracting them would also be a huge boost to self-esteem, so it also tells women something very positive about themselves. From reading about groupies, it may also create a sense of intercourse with the gods – intercourse in more than one way. Maybe I’ll write on that sometime.

  23. Blessed Son of Man

    It boils down to the simple female desire : Status. A women will easily give it up for a man with high status Johnny Depp and Brad Pit have status. That is why men that are in powerful positions often get into trouble because they approached often.

    • While on average women’s sex drive is lower than men’s and they’re less likely to enjoy sexuality, women are very capable of enjoying sex. And I’ve written posts on how to help them.

      Years ago, before women could support themselves, they on average cared more about a man having money and status than loving him. Now that they can make their own money they care more about being in love with the man – and yes, enjoying sex with him.

      In the study the women said the reason they were most interested in sex with Brad and Johnny was because they thought they would be great in bed. They were less sure that strangers and men they knew would be good in bed. But if one of their friends was rumored to be great in bed the women were into it.

  24. There is a large group of women, in fact, mostly all women, who go to bars and lounges, expecting to get picked up and go home with somebody. I don’t know, necessarily, whether they are looking for just sex, or the future possibilities that happens after the one night stand. Sometimes, women might suffer from the delusion that guys from bars will like them for their identity and who they are inside, not just because they’re another female body that is available for access. And that, is why even though one of your followers says that “it needs to be with someone they care about,” there are tons of women out there who are more than willing to involve themselves with guys from bars even though deep down, they probably know that it’s not going to get anywhere. They suffer from the fantasy that it may lead places.

  25. I would not regret causal sex if he comes back asking for more (either more sex or a relationship). I may likely not want more with him, but it relieves me of the worry I was unappreciated/unsatisfactory. Of the casual encounters where he did want to go on and I did not, I have no regrets and am glad I had them. Of the ones where he disappeared, I am at best neutral, of some concerned if maybe I had somehow underdelivered – even though rationally I realise that likely he was not looking for anything more in the first place.

  26. Melinda Jeffries

    “My conclusion: Women are as biologically capable as men of wanting casual sex. But a lot of women want a lot more.”

    I agree with this statement. Women are more emotional creatures. I would find it hard to have sex just to have sex with someone. I would have to have some kind of feelings for that person. Usually after I had sex with someone I liked, my feelings got stronger for that person. As far as having sex with Johnny or Brad…well I would make an exception only because I know I couldnt have them and that oppurtunity would never come around again..Im sure that if I was friends with both of them I would probably feel differently…maybe. I have often thought what it would feel like just to have casual sex with someone but I dont think I could ever bring myself to do it. I was raised in a military home and taught to respect my body and to hold on to what is consider sacred. With that being said, I didnt give myself to just anyone. I can count the number of men I have slept with on one hand.

    Men can have casual sex because most of them are physical creatures and often dont give the “emotional” part of it a second thought unless it’s someone that they are in love with. It seems that men + casual sex = a right of passage..

  27. “In the western world women’s sexuality is repressed by negative messages from parents, friends, religious instructors, words like slut and whore, and worries about reputations. The threat of sexual violence can make sex seem fearful, while the act of sexual violence can make sex seem abhorrent. Since women are the sex objects, we don’t have sexy men to focus on.”

    True. But why is that? Is the double standard a consequence of patriarchic rule or is it a consequence of natural sex differences? As the studies show us, it is much easier for a woman to have sex than it is for a man. Thus a man gets appreciation for his “achievement” whereas a woman comes across cheap and slutty. In my opinion that doesn’t even imply a moral judgment. Morally, promiscuous behavior is generally viewed negatively, regardless of gender. In fact, there even is a tendency to idealize “female sexuality” in our society, as it is seen as more emotional and relationship-oriented than “male sexuality”.
    And why do media and sex industry focus on women as sex objects? Probably because it works. After all, capitalism is about realizing profit, not about suppressing women’s sexual desires.
    Moreover some kind of monogamy (probably serial monogamy) had to be present in our evolutionary past. Otherwise we wouldn’t even have the (hormonally promoted) desire for pair bonding.

    • Women’s are culturally repressed. It’s not natural.

      When the Europeans came to the American continent they couldn’t believe how sexual the American Indian women were. They were easily and multiply orgasmic and had sex with plenty of men. But these women also lived in a culture that was both egalitarian and sex positive for women. And why do you think Gauguin enjoyed Tahiti so much? Another egalitarian sex positive culture for women. For more see:

      Are Women Naturally Monogamous?
      http://broadblogs.com/2010/12/20/are-women-naturally-monogamous-2/

      Do you really think that calling women sluts and ho’s has no negative impact on their sexuality. Women are way more repressed than men. For more on how our culture represses women:

      Sexual Desire & Sexism
      http://broadblogs.com/2012/05/07/sexual-desire-sexism/

  28. Depends on what you call “negative”. I personally do think that casual sex is negative. And I also think that alone human inhibition systems should widely prevent us from having casual sex (intimate contact without close relationship). This is something which distinguishes us from animals in my opinion. .

    Whatever, you have to see that it is not only men that are calling somen women “sluts”. Women themselves have their own interest in calling other women “sluts” and they do it quite often, quite possibly way more often than men do. Actually, a man doesn’t really care about the sexuality of a specific woman, as long as it is not his wive/girlfriend, daughter, sister… If anything, most men would be very happy to see women engaging more readily in casual sex.
    Naturally, when society constrains female sexuality, it constrains male sexuality as well.

    • Hard to say who calls women sluts more often. Certainly there’s plenty of it in rap music. And certainly plenty of the men who buy rap – 80% of sales going to white males – enjoy using the word to describe women.

      I am also well aware that women today tend to support the double standard more than men do. A lot of my students are surprised to hear that — until I explain that men would get more sex if women were less fearful of slut-shaming. Meanwhile, because women’s sexuality is more repressed they are less likely to want casual sex and to want relationships instead. And I’ve commented before on why women sometimes call each other sluts. Usually they are jealous of some woman who is very attractive or getting a lot of attention from men. They feel jealous. Men use the term more often to create a sense of superiority over women, who are all a bunch of sluts.

      Of course, not all women nor all men slut-shame.

      Regardless of who uses the term, slut shaming has the effect of repressing women’s sexuality. And that’s bad for both men and women. After marriage women are less likely to be able to maintain sexual interest because their sexuality is repressed, for instance.

      The origin of slut shaming likely comes from patriarchy, though. In cultures where women can have sex with whomever they please no one knows who dad is. In those cultures, family name is passed thru women, women are heads of home — in name, at least (dad can’t be because no one knows who dad is), and property passes through women. That gives women a lot of power. If you want patriarchy you have to stop women from having sex with whomever they want.

      I’ll have to blog on this sometime.

  29. I don’t know that men want sex more than women… I think that women decline because we’re pressured to not appear ‘easy’, and if a man were to deny casual sex it might detract from his masculinity. This obviously contributes to an unhealthy sexual drive for both men and women. Maybe that sounds weird, but I definitely have guy friends who have had a lot of sex and regretted a lot of it. They just felt the need to assert themselves as men, I suppose. I know that there are women who repress themselves as well because they’re too afraid of appearing easy.

  30. I think it varies from woman to woman. I can see the fear of having casual sex with just anyone right off the back. You don’t know if they have any STD’s or how aggressive they can end up being;It’s definitely something to think about before you go ahead and do it. I would probably have sex with my best friend before I had sex with a stranger though. It’s very true that many women will regret a one night stand or will say no to casual sex because of the reputation it might bring them. I know a friend that had a one night stand and is still okay with it. There are woman who like sex- just like men. Sex is sex to me.

  31. We also have to ask, why were boys told that masturbation causes blindness? Why is Pornography (which is primarily male-targeted) restricted or even banned in very conservative societies? Why is the “sexualization” of women’s bodies in today’s modern societies way more apparent and accepted than in more conservative societies?
    Every civilized culture has to repress sexuality in a certain way. No surprise that religion, which has mirrored or even shaped our moral codes, is negative towards sexuality in general. It is just easier to repress women’s sexuality, because their sex drives are lower (testosterone etc.).
    I don’t know about Tahiti, but I guess scientists are aware of such things and probably have an explanation for it. I do believe that human sexuality is more “wild” and unrestricted in certain environments. And no one says that women could never enjoy casual sex at all.

    • Why would you need to repress the sex drive other than when it comes to adults with children or animals (adults and whatever can’t consent)?

      Women’s natural sex drive is not actually lower than men’s. Newer research has found that testosterone doesn’t affect it that much. In societies that are sex-positive for women, women enjoy sex as much as men do. See the book “why women have sex” by Cindy Mesten and David Buss.

      Patriarchy/sexism is what lowers women’s sex drive. see: Sexual Desire & Sexism http://broadblogs.com/2012/05/07/sexual-desire-sexism/

      Because of their higher repression, women get bored with sex quickly in marriage (if they are able to enjoy sex at all). So repressing women sexuality doesn’t work for anyone. See, for example: Female Viagra May Work Too Well? http://broadblogs.com/2013/06/10/female-viagra-may-work-too-well/

  32. But why wouldn’t this (lowering the sex drive) work with men’s sex drive? As i tried to make clear, men’s sexuality is repressed as well (I guess because an unrestricted sexuality would lead to chaos and “splinter society”). Possibly not to the same degree, but it is repressed. It obviously doesn’t lead to low sex drive in men.
    I’ve never read the book from Buss and Meston. To my knowledge, they are evolutionary psychologists. Would be surprising to me if they really say or suggest that women enjoy sex as much as men in “sex-positive societies”, but I cannot say much about it. Though I would not say that women couldn’t enjoy sex as much as men under the right circumstances.
    A purely biological view of human sexuality isn’t very appealing to me either, but feminist theories (patriarchal repression of female sexuality) are a little bit too ideological for me.

    • You must not have read the link I sent you on sexism and sexual desire. Women’s sexuality has been repressed in all the ways that men’s have, plus all the things that I discuss in this link. So women’s sexuality is much more repressed than men’s.

      re “feminist theories (patriarchal repression of female sexuality) are a little bit too ideological for me”: Imagine men’s sexuality being repressed in all the additional ways that women’s is. If you are able to do this, you should be able to see how women sexuality is negatively affected.

      I had a higher sex drive at age 10 than I did at age 20 after worrying about things like slut-shaming (maybe it would help to understand that when a woman needs to “turn off” her desire to make sure she “doesn’t give in” it can really repress sexuality), coming to feel that my body wasn’t sexy in the way was “supposed to be” (and about 80% of women have poor body image) so you’re always distracted by worrying about how you look instead of enjoying the experience. Plus, men’s bodies aren’t sexualized or fetishized so looking at the guy’s body did nothing to get me excited. In addition to that, I experienced some of the repression that men who come from conservative religions can also experience: believing that sex was dirty and bad. Another study found that atheists were the least sexually repressed and most enjoyed sexuality, whereas people from very conservative religions were the most repressed and least enjoyed sexuality.

      So I know from personal experience about the effects of society. I’ve had to work a lot to overcome my repression and I am now more interested in sex than I was at age 20, but I’m still less interested than I was at age 10.

      If you don’t believe me about the book, go buy it or check it out at the library. There’s no point in us arguing about it. Go see for yourself.

      Evolutionary psych has some stuff that is true and some stuff that is not — that you don’t find cross-culturally.

      Buss is an evolutionary psychologist, Meston is not. At least David Buss was honest enough about the realities of the world to recognize that there are sex-positive cultures in which women greatly enjoy sex.

      Or read up on the artist, Paul Gauguin, who never wanted to leave Tahiti because the women were so sexually interested and easily orgasmic in that sex-positive culture.

  33. I’ve have read your link and I tried to argue against some of the assumptions in it. E.g. why is the “sexualization” of women’s bodies in these days way more common and accepted than in more conservative societies? This shouldn’t be the case if it was an instrument of evil patriarchy. And I didn’t say that I don’t believe you about the book. You just didn’t make clear, what exactly Buss und Meston say in it.
    But I don’t think this discussion could lead to anything. I respect your opinion, though I do not agree with it.

    • I’m sorry that you are unable to read what I wrote and be empathetic — to feel what I feel. To feel what a typical woman feels. That inability will blind you to others’ pain and difficulties. Maybe you choose to blind yourself so that you can avoid changing your ideology.

      And I told you exactly what Buss and Meston say: in societies that are sex-positive for women, women enjoy sex much more and are easily and multiply orgasmic.

      re “Why is the “sexualization” of women’s bodies in these days way more common and accepted than in more conservative societies?”

      Actually, women’s bodies are the most sexualized in the most conservative societies. The Taliban is as conservative as you get. And yet by covering a woman’s body, every single part of her body is sexualized. Under the Taliban a woman’s arms are so sexy that they must be covered or else a men can’t help but rape her. Same goes for her hair, her face, her eyes, her feet. She can’t even walk so that you can hear her feet without that being considered arousing.

      A society like ours and a society like theirs both sexualize women through covering, they just cover/sexualize in different ways. The Taliban, Saudi Arabia, and most of the Middle East, cover women’s bodies, and whatever’s covered is then considered sexual. In the US we selectively cover and reveal. That mixed message creates a fetish for the covered body parts.

      Tribal societies are the most egalitarian and least sexualize women’s bodies. Such as the !Kung. There, women walk around nearly naked and no one cares.

      The increased sexualization of women’s bodies in the United States may well be a backlash to women’s power. As women have gained more power, their bodies have become more sexualized. The message: you’re nothing but your body and your body only exists to sexually satisfy men. In fact, consider Gloria Steinem, the “face of feminism” of the 1970s. Some antifeminist men painted a nude mural of her in order to create that message. The US is not an egalitarian society yet. There’s still a big backlash.

  34. I agree with the main point of your article, saying that women are perfectly capable of wanting casual sex but often also want more. It’s something that I myself have experienced. There have been times where i just wanted something physical with a person without having to deal with all the complications of a relationship or feelings being involved, but after experiencing that, I came to the conclusion that while something only physical is nice, its not quite as fulfilling as something physical with someone you have an emotional connection with. that’s not to say that a woman needs to be in a relationship with that person, but as long as the people involved care about each other and are interested in making the other enjoy themselves, it just always seems to work out better.

    since it is less socially acceptable for women to seek out casual physical relationships, they are a lot more likely to hide it as well because they think it’s something to be ashamed of.

  35. “A new study found that women were as likely to accept casual offers as men. So long as the possible partners were Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp.”

    There is possibly more going on here.
    Women were likely to accept casual offers by “possible partners Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp” because they are famous and they think they know them so they think they can trust them?

    If it the offer was made by a Brad Pitt-level good looking man but who wasn’t famous, would they accept it?
    or it had to be Brad Pitt the famous wealthy movie star himself ?

    What if the offer was made by a famous movie star that wasn’t attractive, would they accept it?

    Could it be possible that the women would have accepted the casual offers not because it was made by an attractive man, but because it was (supposedly) made by a famous movie star?

    • Probably. Because she’ll be more likely to assume the following:

      1) he’s safe
      2) he’s sexy/good in bed
      3) my self-esteem will rise through the roof (he wants sex with me, after all)

      • that goes for
        a)the famous Brad Pitt
        b)a famous but unattractive movies star or
        c)a Brad Pitt look alike who isn’t famous ?

        1)that could for Brad Pitt or any famous but unattractive movie star. It’s not the looks that matter for that but the fame, so she could feel she’s safe even when the offer was made by an attractive but famous movie star.

        2)Why Brad Pitt would be better in a bed than an unattractive but famous movie star?
        they are both famous, so it’s not the fame. Is it the looks?
        so she would think that a Brad Pitt look alike who isn’t famous would be good in bed?

        3)That’s because Brad Pitt is famous or sexy?
        How about an unattractive but famous movie star or a Brad Pitt look alike who isn’t famous?

        My guess is that she would accept Brad Pitt’s offer because he is famous AND good looking.

      • Did a study. Women were mostly only interested in movie stars they thought were sexy and good in bed. Not so interested in Donald Trump, Carrot Top.

      • Yeah but how did they assume that Brad Pitt is good in bed?

        I think that it has to do with intimacy.
        In real life a woman will fall for a man after she gets to know him well enough. Women watch Brad Pitt in movies and they “think” that they got to know him well, or at least his movie characters. He’s showing emotions and exhibits charming traits and women fall for him slowly movie after a movie. When they see him on a movie it’s like they are “dating” him, they get to know him better. So they think they there is an intimacy.
        I have read that women on average need 4-10 hours interacting with a man before they feel comfortable enough to have sex with him, whereas a man could easily have sex with a strange woman no questions asked.

        an actor, no matter how attractive he is, he has to slowly build up his name. George Clooney became a star in his 40s. Brad Pitt became a star after many movies, building his fame bit by bit after each movie.
        Women need time to “get to know” a man even if he’s in movie.

        Whereas an actress can become a star overnight. Like Julia Roberts did with Pretty Woman.

      • It makes sense that the women probably also feel like they know these men and feel a certain amount of intimacy with them, from watching them in films. But the men also look sexy, and we all may well assume that people who look sexy will be good in bed.

      • “But the men also look sexy, and we all may well assume that people who look sexy will be good in bed.”

        Yes, but then an “attractive stranger” (this term was used in the study) would be assumed to be good in bed, too. But obviously women don’t think that they would enjoy sex with a stranger, even if he is sexy. Don’t know how much this has to do with safety concerns. There is a study from Nicolas Gueguen which is similar to that where strangers approach students on college campuses. In this study a surprisingly high percentage of women agreed to go to the attractive men’s appartment (I think around 50%), but almost none agreed to have sex. That in my opinion disproves the assumption that safety concerns play a large role.
        I personally think you hit the nail on the head by pointing to Depp’s and Pitt’s god-like status.

        Happy new year by the way :-)

      • Happy new year to you, as well.

        btw, I have never seen a study that shows that a high percentage of women were willing to go to an attractive man’s apartment. Can you link to the study? I’ve seen the opposite. I know I’d fear going to an attractive stranger’s apartment.

      • Yes, here is a link:
        http://nicolas.gueguen.free.fr/Articles/ASB2011.pdf

        There was also a similar study in Denmark, where a relatively high number of women were willing to go to the stranger’s appartment. Actually this was surprising for me, too.

        http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(10)00075-9/abstract

      • Women may be more likely to go to a man’s apartment in Europe because rates of violence are so much lower there, so there’s less fear. Reported rape is lower in Denmark and France than US, AND I suspect that in those countries women are less likely to be blamed for rape, and as such, are more likely to report it, so that the numbers may actually underestimate the rate of rape here versus in those countries.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#Rape_statistics_by_country

        So in Europe, where safety concerns appear to be lower, it does look like women are not inclined to see a sexy man, think he will be good in bed, and want to have sex with him. And I don’t know enough about these cultures to guess why men are much more likely to want sex with a stranger.

      • There is another interesting study, this time it was a questionnaire with an imagined proposer. Women from Germany, Italy and the US were interviewed. They did not differ in their reported likelihood to have sex with a stranger or to go to his appartment. 52% of the women didn’t rule out that they would be willing to go to the highly attractive man’s appartment, but after all 23% would even consider having sex with him.

        http://v-scheiner.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/4905/1/Fulltext.pdf

      • Interesting. Wonder if US women are braver in surveys than real life (going to attractive stranger’s apt).

      • “But the men also look sexy, and we all may well assume that people who look sexy will be good in bed.”

        Yes but is it because of the looks or because of the fame-high status?
        So women will feel, think and assume the same about a very good looking man who isn’t famous?

      • Women were surveyed on this question and they were interested in having sex with nonfamous sexy men. But fears could get in the way of actually wanting to pursue the latter in reality.

  36. As you said, you would make an exception for Brad and Johnny. That is probably what these women would do, because Pitt and Depp have a status that no other men have. They are not only sexy, but they are famous, too. In fact they are famous movie heartthrobs, adored by millions of women around the world. I know the women in these study claimed that it isn’t about the status, but I think it is rather than safety. People are not always aware of why they feel a certain way, so you cannot always rely on self-report in questionnaires.

    • I know that people aren’t always aware of why they feel the way they do. All you can look at is how people respond and be aware of the limitations of survey data. But it likely points to something.

      For instance, the women generally weren’t interested in having sex with their male friends, though men were interested in having sex with their female friends. That data is probably capturing a lot of truth.

      But in fact, the questionnaire didn’t ask anything about status. That’s my own theory, based on the social construction of personal identity. A lot of our motives are based on the desire to feel good about ourselves. If a high status person is attracted to you, that tells you something pretty Great about yourself. So I’m the one who added the theory that a lot of the attraction was likely the men’s status, put out there for your consideration.

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