Women Want Emotionally Connected Sex. Why?
Posted by BroadBlogs
Not all women, all the time, but University of Texas psychologists, Cindy Meston and David Buss interviewed over 1,000 women around the world for their book, Why Women Have Sex, and what did they find? Both women and men have sex because they are physically attracted, for pleasure, because they are in love, or just because they’re horny… the list goes on. But most women want emotionally bonded sex.
Conventional wisdom looks to evolutionary psychology which says that women are genetically driven to be more monogamous so that fathers will stick around and provide resources, helping children to survive. So perhaps women pass up casual sex with whomever in favor of the connected sex that would provide those good-for-baby resources.
Yet not all women are terribly monogamous. And in some cultures, none are. Women who belong to tightly-knit, interdependent tribal groups often have sex with many men, often outside their marriages or partnerships. In these places the entire tribe raises children so paternity is unimportant and women’s sexuality is not guarded. These sex-positive cultures produce women who are highly orgasmic and who greatly enjoy sex.
But when these societies are destroyed (as with the Cherokee and Iroquois) immersion into a sex-negative culture (for women) can quickly turn their sexuality around.
Today in the U.S. a sexually interested and active woman may be called a slut, whore, ho’, tramp, skank, nympho, hussy, tart, loose, bitch, promiscuous, and perhaps most tellingly, freak or super freak.
Women leaving the frat house Sunday morning may be chided for taking the “Walk of Shame” as frat boys returning from the dorms stroll the Walk of Fame.
Slang for our privates? “Cock” versus “down there.” Put another way, cocky versus unspeakable.
And who gets screwed, f’d, banged, nailed and rammed?
Meanwhile, women are the sex objects in our culture, with busts and butts ogled in word, picture, and x-ray vision, offering men a trove of sexual stimulus. What do women have to look at? Not much.
But as sex objects, women may also become more focused on how they look in bed (whether good or bad) than enjoying anything erotic.
Add to this the sexual violence that so frequently ends in lost sexual interest.
All of this leaves women less responsive, with a University of Chicago study finding 43% of women experiencing dysfunction.
Any wonder men are more interested in random acts of sex, while women are more inclined toward emotional bonding? In the arms of someone she loves a woman may feel free from slut-shaming. She may focus on intimacy and not how fat or thin she is. She is freed from worry about being screwed. And if she has difficulty achieving orgasm, she can still revel in her man’s love-filled attentions.
On top of this, women are more often taught that “sex is okay if you love him.”
Of course, women have varieties of social experiences and personalities, so despite the culture, some will certainly be up for sex with anonymous others.
The longing for bonded sex emerges from sources other than the horrors listed above. And certainly, many men want loving, connected relations, too. Justin Garcia, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University, observes that, “Having deep relationship with someone can be really magical and people all over the world experience that… (it) can really change someone’s life.” But for all the reasons listed above, sex-for-fun may not be so fun for a lot of women, which can leave other options out.
About BroadBlogsI have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social 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. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.
Posted on July 20, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, men, objectification, psychology, rape and sexual assault, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged body image, culture, emotionally connected sex, Evolutionary Psychology, feminism, gender, men, men's health, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, sexual assault, sexual dysfunction, sexual repression, sexuality, social psychology, women. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.