Women Want Emotionally Connected Sex. Why?

105464-103886Women want emotionally connected sex.

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.

Why?

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.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Men Watch Porn, Women Read Romance. Why?
Lose Virginity, Lose Self-Esteem?
Sex Objects Who Don’t Enjoy Sex
Why Hasn’t Open Marriage Caught On?

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 July 20, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, men, objectification, psychology, rape and sexual assault, relationships, sex, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. i do feel that women would rather have a more emotional connection then men would. sometimes i feel that with most men are age, it;s about how many girls he has, or how many girl want him, and hes a “player” and such. if a girl was caught trying to achieve this status, she would instantly be called a hoe, slut, loosey, whore, etc, but both man and women. i don’t think if far at all how separated we are, and how we we do the same actions, but get different results because of our race, or gender. it really shoulder matter.

  2. I actually agree that not all women are all that monogamous free willingly. Not according to my circle of friends anyway. And none of them are “tarts”. In fact, they are respectable, professional, productive, and kind women. Having said that however, they don’t go around boasting about their adventures because they don’t want to be thought of as promiscuous, which is exactly the label which would be assigned to them if they did. Further, they indeed are also looking for someone to settle down with, have a long lasting relationship with, and experience the emotional bonding mentioned. They seem to not be part of the 43%, BUT, they do worry about how they look — so who knows how things can change as they age — especially as instant access to visual technology advances. Ultimately I think that we have a long way to go as far as choice goes for women. In a true realistic sense, if a woman connects with a man, and he wants the relationship to move forward monogamously, yet, she is the one to want to continue to “date” other men, she spirals down into a no win situation. She is thought of as selfish or cold for not appreciating his affections and yet haphazard in her relations. So now she is hot and cold at the same time. To avoid this, she may actually acquiesce to his advance, get married or into a committed relationship, and then, well, may find herself no longer in the “sex-for-fun” category. In this sense, the emotional connection and sex can end up on opposite ends of the spectrum.

  3. Everyone wants to be loved on way or another. Some women feel as though sex can give them the love connection they long for in a monogamous relationship. In many cases having one partner can make a woman feel good about herself in the harsh reality of society (always being judged). Through sex with a spouse or boyfriend women to some extent can let their guard down–not thinking about being fat, too short, or not having manicured nails because they know their partner loves them enough not to care about the little things all the time. On the other hand, women who want children have a great desire to feel a connection with someone/potential spouse because the American dream of owning a house, children and the financial stability of their mate to take care of the extra responsibilities to provide such lifestyle (keep in mind some women, not all). The post stated “Women have varieties of social experiences and personalities, so despite the culture some will certainly be up for sex with anonymous others.” I know some women who just enjoy having sex, and the emotional connection isn’t a concern. Then there are others who promise themselves they won’t get attached to their sex partner, but continuously have intercourse with them. Eventually feelings develop and their emotional connection affects their primary intentions.

  4. Last week Rush Limbaugh launched a misogynistic public assault on women when he viciously attacked Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student for her voluntary testimony before a Congressional committee about women’s need for contraceptive health insurance. For three days Limbaugh continued to verbally rape and assault Ms. Fluke calling her “a slut”, “a prostitute who wants to be paid to have sex”, ” an anti-catholic plant” and a parasite that wants to feed off of the decent, God-fearing taxpayers of America. Then when he is faced with the backlash he backpedals claiming he was just joking and “illustrating the absurd with absurdity”. Hardly, Limbaugh knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s feeding the beast. In The New York Times March 4, 2012, Maureen Dowd calls him out as,”the puppet master for the Republican Party by stirring up blood lust”. Limbaugh attempted to equate a woman’s right to reproductive control over her own body as some bizarre demand the the US Government should pay for her sexual services. It is so far beyond the pale that it is almost impossible to fathom. One simply doesn’t want to enter the fray. And it seems very few did. Speaker of the House, John Boehner only called the insults “inappropriate” , Rick Santorum wrote it off as” an entertainer being absurd”, Mitt Romney said “it’s not the language I would have used” to which Ms. Doud asked, “Is there a right way to call a woman a slut?”

    So, the lesson here is crystal clear. Women, if you are not in a monogamous, committed, sanctioned relationship you have chosen to be a target for sexual assault, abuse, humiliation
    and defamation.The G.O.P. has gone even further and waged war on US women. Their entire campaign is shaping up to be nothing more than platform of fundamentalist terrorism.

  5. Why? Because Society says so.

  6. Women are emotional and work off feelings filled with emotions. Women prefer to have sex with someone whom they feel close to. Also when having sex they are looking for a relationship not just a one night stand. As the article stated most women are monogamous; most women probably couldn’t be with more than one man at the same time. If a women displayed this type of behavior she would be looked as the article put it a slut, hussy, whore, hoe and some other stereotypes related to having sexual relationship with more than one man. Women are looking for that feeling of intimacy and attachment when having sex without this sex is meaningless.

  7. I’m sorry but you talk about women not being seen as sex objects but then condone emotionally detached sex which is just a woman begging to be seen as a sex object not a person. I’m sure that whatever man sleeping with her is not going to care whether or not she likes sowing or if she can play the guitar. He especially won’t care what she’s thinking or feeling when he’s not there in the morning or worse, tells her to leave. There’s nothing empowering about being disposable. Passion and intimacy without commitment is succesful when two people are emotionally sadistic, selfish and cold enough to not stay. Not only this but encouraging women to be on the prowl, hook up and leave is also condoning women to see men as sex objects and not people. Only sociopaths are unfeeling, manipulative and use others for their own gain, I mean thats exactly whats happening with people into hook up culture. They are being socially engineered to become sexual sociopaths. Men actually hate being objectified even though they might say something to the contrary and don’t tolerate it as they get angry, as they should. As we should. Objectifying somebody is to dehumanize them. Making matters worse is to condone using that person for selfish, hedonistic purposes without so much as giving it a second thought. Selfishness is the root of all evil and we seriously don’t need anymore entitled, selfish jerks from EITHER gender. The hypocrisy needs to stop.

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