Men Have Higher Sex Drive. Why?
Posted by BroadBlogs
While some women have stronger sex drives than some men, generally the pattern goes the other way.
Why is the male sex drive usually stronger?
Researchers at Indiana University say,
Women had a wider range of response, with some loving sex, and others feeling uninterested. Generally, women have more difficulty with arousal for both anatomical and psychological reasons.
Difficulty with arousal won’t likely lead to a strong sex drive. Biology and psychology both seem to play a role. Let’s start with biology.
According to Louann Brizendine, author of the books, The Female Brain and The Male Brain, the area governing sexuality takes up twice as much space in the male. And the part that controls desire to pursue is 2½ times greater, and more quickly activated. (This is exaggerated and stereotyped in the accompanying photo.)
Brizendine tells us that when the male brain is sexually activated pretty much everything but thoughts of sex shut down. Women certainly can stay focused, but they are more likely than men to be distracted with concerns about the kids’ lunches, a scheduled business meeting, or whether they’ll be labeled a “slut” the next day.
But Dr. Brizendine’s book has met criticism. Dr. Cordelia Fine is a University of Melbourne professor who specializes in social psychology and neuroscientific research. She points out that 1) neuroscience is in its infancy, 2) you cannot determine whether any particular brain is male or female at the individual level, and 3) brain structure is affected by experience. If a woman’s sexuality is punished and repressed, the parts of her brain associated with sexuality will be affected. If a man’s sexuality is celebrated, his brain will also be affected.
But anatomy could have an effect. A penis must ejaculate on a regular basis to create fresh sperm. A penis is also larger than a clitoris. Both of these things might make its workings more obvious so that boys are more likely to masturbate, and girls are less likely to get to know their bodies and what arouses them. An erect penis also gives men a lot of feedback, while women’s genitals seem to provide less: Men looking at a naked body are much more likely to feel aroused than women doing the same thing. But women’s bodies are also much more sexualized by our culture — that may play a role. And the repression of women’s sexuality in our society may also affect genital feedback to the brain.
Of course, men do have much more testosterone, crucial to sex drive. Even when women and men are both treated with testosterone for low libido, the hormone is less effective in women, according to Dr. Glenn Braunstein of Cedars Sinai Medical Center. But women are more sensitive to the testosterone that they do have.
But in women’s favor, they seem to be more capable of multiple orgasm. Some think women’s sex drive could be innately stronger than men’s for that reason. Who knows?
Because psychology affects biology, I’ve already mentioned that women’s sexuality is more punished and repressed in our culture. Men who have sex have been variously praised as players, studs, Casanovas, Don Juans, and lady killers. They are “high-fived” for “scoring.” But women are called sluts, hoes, whores, skanks… Men sport a cocky cock, while a vagina is called “down there.” Or, women get screwed, rammed, nailed, cut, boned, banged, smacked, beaten, and f’d, in street parlance.
Sexual violence doesn’t help, either, and it’s something that more egalitarian, sex-positive societies lack.
Meanwhile, because women’s bodies are so much more sexualized and sexually revealed, men get far more provocation on a daily basis.
In societies where women’s sexuality is not repressed and not objectified, they greatly enjoy sex and behave in ways that are similar to men.
But in our repressive world, women experience more sexual problems. In fact, nearly half of American women report having experienced some form of sexual dysfunction. University of Texas, Austin researchers reported in Why Women Have Sex that one-third of women, aged 18-23, felt little sexual interest in the prior year. But only 14% of men did. Meanwhile, 30-40% of women reported difficulty climaxing. Among those in a relationship, 75% of men said they always had an orgasm, but only 26% of women did. This difference likely affects how much each gender desires sex, since one is more consistently rewarded.
Interest and enjoyment needn’t be such a problem for women. And culture, more than biology, seems to be the culprit. The University of Texas researchers note that women are easily orgasmic in cultures where women are expected to enjoy sexuality. But they aren’t in places where they are repressed.
While women are taught that they are bad if they like sex too much, men are taught the opposite. The male role casts men as being ever-desirous, which could propel them to live up to expectations.
Meanwhile, both men and women learn to see women as the sexier sex. So men can be with someone who’s very physically alluring. But women aren’t taught to see men in the same way. Men can focus on a breast fetish. What are women supposed to pay attention to? No fetish is attached to the male. No wonder we’re less interested.
Sex also provides one of the few vehicles for men to experience emotional closeness. Men need that intimacy, yet the male role leaves them repressing their emotions. Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, feels that “For men, sex is the connection. Sex is the language men use to express their tender loving vulnerable side.”
So how do women and men come together? Large cultural changes would help. Seeing women primarily as the sexy half of the species doesn’t aid women’s sex drive. It would help women to live in a less sexually repressive culture, while men would gain from a less emotionally repressive society. But given that this is our reality, perhaps both women and men could use some counseling or therapy. Communication and acting from a place of love to accomodate each other would surely help, too.
Sure, some women really take pleasure in sexuality, but the heightened and more widespread enjoyment of our sisters who come out of non-shaming cultures tell us that women could be loving sex a whole lot more.
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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 January 31, 2011, in feminism, gender, men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged biology, breast fetish, culture, feminism, gender, high sex drive, low sex drive, men, men's health, objectification, orgasm, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sex drive, sexism, sexual objectification, sexual repression, sexuality, social psychology, society, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.
It’s no secret that men are consumed by sexual thoughts and tendencies. It starts very early on during a time of physical pubescent changes and a new influx of hormones that coalesce into a bizarre mess. I can vouch from experience. But why is this such a tumultuous struggle? I’ll be honest I didn’t know about the biological differences that were outlined in this piece, but in conjunction with all the social influences and expectations, it all starts to make some sense.
I’m not going to claim to understand the complexities and multi-layered nature of a woman’s mind. However, in the context of this piece, the combination of added pressure from being the “more attractive sex”, the inherent susceptibility of being distracted, and the hormonal dissimilarities from men create an insightful image. In the general sense, sex drive is something that men and women experience and express differently. It’s absurd to try to compare the two, they’re their own respective mysteries.
reading this post with interest, the issue of sexual arousal has filled me with shame and guilt for quite a number of years and here’s why. although later I did learn that becoming sexually aroused is often beyond my control and it just happens without any warning whatsoever, for a long time I was always told to try and control it even if it meant diverting my brain and as one councillor I saw when I was a teenager put it “thinking of something disgusting like bugs and creepy crawlies would diver the brain just enough to prevent it happening or if it was happening it would attempt to stop it in its tracks”. there was one particular incident I was out with my mother and arousal came upon me without warning as I went to get out of the car with my mother and she practically swore at me to control it before I got out of the car sometimes the thought of women or girls can creep up no matter how hard you try to divert your brain and stay focused on other tasks sometimes the brain’s way of thinking can really be a pain in the you know what. keep in mind that sometimes telling stories here helps me to ask if a lot of what I say is true or a lot of it is myth or whether I should just drop the shame guilt and fear and really start asking questions of a professional who knows about all this stuff without even going to the parents
Unless for some reason behavior harms another person, I’d drop the shame and guilt.
Louann Brizendine wrote in her book that ” Thoughts about sex enter a woman’s brain once every couple of days but enter a man’s brain about once every minute”—- Lol.. !! Is that true? What you think? She also said “excess testosterone makes the part of the male brain that processes sex twice as large.”— So Guess what.. I think since Lesbians have similar brain structure to men, I think lesbians are enjoying sex as much as men than hetero women. And the part that controls desire of lesbians to pursue sex is 2½ times greater, and more quickly activated. May be.. I would like to know your opinion about that. Thanks
The data on testosterone it’s complicated, which I Think I describe this post.
Louann Brizendine is also controversial. As is neuroscience.
I think I talked in this post about how environment — social and physical — affects our brain structures. And women’s sexuality is more punished and repressed, Which could affect their brain structures.
I’m not aware of any good data that shows different brain structures or chemistry in lesbians. And it’s actually bisexual women who seem to be more interested in sex.
One possibility is that bisexual women are simply less repressed, And hence more open to their sexual fluidity.
In societies that don’t repress women’s sexuality, Women appeared to enjoy sex more: to be more easily and multiply orgasmic. I’ll be writing about that more in the future. But sex researchers like David Buss make this point.
Kk.. Thanks for the reply.
I can very much agree with all of the evidence stated about how women’s sexual drive is suppressed because of the slut-shamming, and how males aren’t sexually represented through media. I have some personal experience with slut shamming while growing up in the seventh grade I was often bullied because I was more developed than other girls in my class. Everyone assumed that I had already lost my virginity, and that I was sexually active. I stayed a virgin till about 16. The first month or so wasn’t pleasurable because I constant kept reevaluating if my boyfriend and I were going to work out, and if not then what if he tells everyone I’m a slut for giving it up to him so soon. These pressures are real. I’m sure many girls experience the negative emotions of being slut shammed into their early relationship at least once.
Yes, nurture affects nature and so I even wonder if the fact that more of the male brain is taking up with sex has something to do with their nurture. The way boys are treated would quite possibly expand that part of the brain, And shrink the same portion in females. I will probably edit this post at some point to bring that up.
I believe that males may not necessarily have a higher sex drive than women, it’s just that society plays a major role in influencing the media to show that males have a higher sex drive than women. The media is filled with extremely “masculine” men who’s sexual appetite is always appeased whenever he feels the need to do so. At that point in time there will always be an alluring lady to satisfy him. It is not that males may necessarily have a higher sex drive than women, it’s just that the sexual appetite of males are more closely documented in media that we tend to lose our perspective of the topic altogether.
As I’ve said to others:
It’s actually the rare woman in the modern Western world who experiences sexuality with the same enjoyment and gusto as a man does.
And a lot of Western women don’t realize that they are repressed. But you see it when less than one third of women have orgasms with her partner, and when most women need a vibrator. Some women may be exceptions, maybe because they grew up in More sex-positive subcultures, or ever been might actually heightened desire. But when you compare women in our society with women from sex positive societies, there is a huge difference.
Here’s a little bit of a hint as to how sexism creates these problems:
Repression: Not What You Think It Is
I have never really been effected by the slut shaming, I have had sex with a lot of people. Never really been called negative names.. I think its down to how I handle sex overall. I am a social butterfly who has many circles of friends and have always tried to kept my sexual needs away from drama.
So moral rules, Don’t sleep with someone who has a girlfriend, Don’t sleep with someone who’s sleeping with one of your friends, don’t sleep with more than 2-3 people from one social circle.
Mostly people don’t even know that I am sexually experienced they have an idea. It seems to more boil down to if Women have sex with everyone in a social circle they get bad names.
Example if a women has 30 friends, and she’s slept with 10 of them people notice. However if a women’s got 1,000 friends and slept with 20 of those who don’t really know each other.
Not only this I am very open about my sex life. I openly tell people I have slept with lots of people in a positive way, There has been many occasions however where I have been sat in a room and people have discussed how many? This always causes a bit of fidgeting on my part I wait until everyone else has said there and if my number is higher which it 90% of the time is I keep my gob shut… or give a vague its more than you.
There are also a lot of women who have never really spoken about sex until they have met me.
I have now settled with a boyfriend who’s sex drive is much lower than mine and it can be frustrating I feel like I have some how developed the stereotypical male brain when it comes to sex. The expectations males of given really effects our relationship I think. Iv never had an issue with a guy not wanting sex.. but due to social conditioning, I feel unattractive when it happens.
However I have seen slut shaming done many times, Mostly I say… Well I have slept with more people than them dose that make me a slut? I have also noticed the reverse happening with men, That slut shaming has started to be aimed at men. Known as “Man slags” Whats your thoughts on this?
We are all a mix of our biology + social experiences + culture. So everyone is a little bit different and has a little different experience. So I’m talking about broad patterns which you seem to largely be an exception to. I’m not saying that you are the only one, but just that you are in the minority. I have noticed that men are increasingly hearing words like “male whore” But it seems to happen a lot less often and with a lot less negative outcomes. But it’s really interesting to hear your experience and why you think it might be different from usual. Thanks for sharing.
“Men can focus on a breast fetish. What are women supposed to pay attention to? No fetish is attached to the male. No wonder we’re less interested.”
I agree with this 100%. A large part of why men think about sex so often is because of women’s breasts. So you’re right. What are women suppose to pay attention? Men don’t have fetishes that make women want them constantly. The anatomy, the way that we are constructed already gives women an advantage, but why aren’t we enjoying ourselves more? Culture more than biology definitely plays a role. I believe women need to be taught to enjoy sex rather than have the idea of being repressed by it. If we know it is being accepted by society, it will be more enjoyable for us because it is expected.
I think that, in this aspect of the horrible Gordian knot of female sexualization, the problem lies in the divorcing of the woman from the fetishized body part. So many ads will just show (what would normally be called a creepshot) a woman’s behind in a short skirt. No face, no person. Just legs and a butt. Dehumanizing.
“An erect penis also gives men a lot of feedback, while women’s genitals provide much less.”
It may possibly be due to repression, but typically women don’t experience clitoral erection as easily as men experience penile erection.
In Meredith Chivers research, which 1) surveyed people on what they found attractive and 2) measured bodily response, she found that men’s bodies and surveys matched, but women’s bodies and surveys didn’t match at all. She suspects this is because women’s bodies don’t give as strong of feedback as men’s do, so that what they find arousing is less obvious to them. And so women tended to answer the survey questions in ways that would be socially acceptable, instead of what their bodies were suggesting.
It could also be that most sexual imagery is directed toward men — so that “What’s sexy” — what’s internalized and learned as “sexy” is female rather than male imagery. Both men and women internalize this. But it’s not considered appropriate for women to find women sexier than men, and so their bodies register greater arousal looking at them, but the women don’t want to answer the survey that way. Or, they may repress the arousal so that their bodies can’t give good feedback.
Huh, okay. Weird…but if the women involved are that repressed then I suppose it’s entirely possible for them to “block” the signals their genitals are giving. That is sad. 😦
This is an interesting post that explains a question in my mind. My girlsfriends told me that their boyfriends will be aroused easily though they just doing some little things like combing hair, reading on bed etc. We were so confused and do not understand why men are so sensitive to sex. We felt bad and wired. However, I found the answer from this blog. “According to Louann Brizendine, author of the books, The Female Brain and The Male Brain, the area governing sexuality takes up twice as much space in the male. And the part that controls desire to pursue is 2½ times greater, and more quickly activated.” This explains why men are so sensitive to sex. I think we should change our minds on viewing men as men could not control their minds and reactions sometimes. However, I still believe that men can control it if they want it. I wish men try to control themselves and change the objects while they are thinking something bad to women.
“My girlfriends told me that their boyfriends will be aroused easily though they just doing some little things like combing hair, reading on bed etc…I wish men try to control themselves and change the objects while they are thinking something bad to women.”
But why is wanting to have sex with their girlfriends “thinking something bad”? Not that everyone should think as I do, but I enjoy it when I’m combing my hair/cooking/reading and my lover decides to initiate sex. It’s wonderful knowing that he’s turned on while I’m doing mundane, non-sexy activities and he wants to share pleasure with me at any time.
I do the same thing, where I’ll start giving him a scalp massage as he’s reading or trail my fingers over his leg when we’re watching a random tv show. It’s to let him know that, yes we aren’t doing anything special or romantic, but I still am thinking of having sex with him in the back of my mind.
When I was reading this sentence, that is “Women’s sexuality is also more punished and repressed in our culture. While men who have sex are praised as studs and players, women are called sluts, whores, tramps, skanks… Men sport a cocky cock, while a vagina is called, “down there.”,” I felt sorry for women. Even though it’s said men have higher sex drive, that doesn’t mean men can hurt women in sexuality.
As the post says, our culture(s) make an impact on the image of sexuality, and I think some of the effects cause women to live in the culture with discrimination and bias. To live without being harmed sexually, I think sexual education will play a really important role. My policy in sex is that I’m going to keep myself sexually pure until I get married (I’m not religious, I just decided to keep it since I was little.) Regardless of what people think about sex, understanding to sexuality is essential for all in order to respect each other, men and women. The more understanding we have, the more respectful we cold be towards opposite sex.
Thank you. I appreciate hearing a man’s perspective–especially one like this.
I was just trying to explain my view of “slut-shaming” which you are referring to in your post. And I think it could be explained by higher moral standards for women, who in fact are regarded as the better of the two sexes, though few people would really express it openly. My criticism of feminism wasn’t referring to your post, it was more like a general criticism.
Sweet of you to say that women are better, but I don’t believe that either sex is better than the other.
I also define morality differently. My standard of morality is based on whether harm is caused. When people aren’t sexually responsible harm is caused. People aren’t perfect, so the best way to diminish harm is to sexually educate everyone, both in terms of the science of sexuality, preventing disease and pregnancy, and providing the means to do that. But also get people to think about consequences, what they’re physically, emotionally and economically prepared for. And how they treat others. Don’t use and abuse, for instance. So no double standard that says guys can’t behave any better than to do that. I know men are perfectly capable of being good, loving, responsible people. And no one should be slut shamed. In addition to the emotional harm that bullying causes, it also creates more disease and teen pregnancy because girls will be less prepared to protect themselves. Plus, you get more abortion out of shame. And more sexual dysfunction, which is something I have struggled with. It’s not like you get married and suddenly sex is wonderful. The shaming makes sex difficult to enjoy after marriage. That isn’t good for marriage.
As a critique of patriarchy, consider that in patriarchal societies there is more rape, wife battering, young girls are married off and too often die from sexual injuries, or develop fistulas that make them smell bad and they become ostracized, women are blamed for being raped and battered, men are let free, women can’t make good wages to support themselves. Bad in itself, but also traps them in abusive relationships, women must get male permission to walk around in the world or even to get medical care, laws are written from a male perspective… I could go on.
We have to recognize that a very idealized image of women is predominant in our society. Just take a look at the Bem Sex-Role Inventory. To be affectionate, compassionate, sympathetic, loyal, tender, selfless is considered as typical feminine, whereas masculine traits include aggressiveness, dominance, risk-tasking, individualism and so on. No surprise that today’s society implements higher moral standards on women than on men in general and concerning sexuality in particular. Not the image of women in our society is the problem, the image of men is. It encourages men to be callous, disrespectful, selfish, superficial etc. This is what feminists obviously don’t understand as they try to make women sexually act like man instead of vice versa.
I’m afraid you’ve read something into the post that I haven’t said.
I was trying to find a link to a post I wrote that discusses this issue called, “Are women’s or men’s ways of doing sex better?” but apparently I haven’t posted it yet (I write many posts in advance) or else I forgot what I called it.
Anyway, it’s based on a class discussion. I ask students:
What are the sterotypes for how women and men do sex?
How true do you think these stereotypes are?
What’s positive or negative about so-called men’s ways of doing sex? And women’s?
So I see both negatives and positives on both sides. I don’t think either is the best way. For instance, men’s sexuality is less repressed and guilt ridden, which is good. But women are more likely to have sex in a context of caring about their partner, which I feel is much more humane.
It’s really interesting how much our culture can affect our sexuality. Seeing how most peoples sexual activities are done in privacy it’s a bit mind boggling how much it can be repressed for women because of the negativity our society puts onto it. This is clearly demonstrated in other cultures where women are not sexually repressed. Women enjoy sex a lot more and do what pleases them and their bodies, not what society thinks they should do or be. I also found this rather interesting as well, ” when the male brain is sexually activated pretty much everything but thoughts of sex shut down. Women are more likely to think about things like the kids’ lunches, a business meeting, or whether she’ll be labeled a “slut” the next day.” It seems like a shame that women aren’t fully focused during sex, does this mean they don’t get into it and enjoy it as much as men or is this only for short periods of time before it gets more intense.
Women can get into sex just as much as men, and be totally focused on sex. But women are also more likely than men to be thinking about other things. Not all the time. But it happens.
The main reason, biologically, why men have a higher sex drive than women is because they have higher level of hormone ( tetosterone) compared to women. This hormone is responsible for the feeling of arousal and excitement in one’s body. Although hormone might be the main reason, social influences can also be the reason to increase the sex drive of men.
Actually, we’ve recently found that hormones don’t have all that much effect.
If you want women to enjoy sexuality more, then don’t be sexist. And based on other comments you’ve made, I’m sure you aren’t, yourself.
If you really tried to experience what I’m talking about, and consider how these things might affect men if things were turned around, I think it would be easier for you to get what I’m saying.
This post adds a bit more discussion of the social component:
Sexual Desire & Sexism
“Women do not have specific signs they cannot ignore.”
Umm, I’m sorry, but…what? Who said this? Not to be crude, but if a woman has a raging hard on, it’s VERY difficult to not notice. Our clitoris’s may be small, but they are still made of sexually charged erectile tissue!
My post this Sunday is going to touch on some aspects of this. Namely, how someone who is more masculine (regardless of actual sex) conforms more to what stereotypical male sexuality/behaviors is said to be. I think it will be interesting to hear comments back on this, and would invite you to give your opinion as well.
If you aren’t busy, of course.
I’ll look for it. Thanks.
A quote that really grabbed my attention was , “While men who have sex are praised as studs and players, women are called sluts, whores, tramps, skanks..”. I think that men have a higher sex drive because they really dont have much to worry about. Yes, they are responsible to think about if the women becomes pregnant but thats not what is on their mind at the moment. Also, a i believe that a man is less likely to care if the women talks about how he is at having sex. They would not worry about the girl talking about hi,, because even though he was “bad” at sex atleast he “banged” her. the women on the other hand has many things to worry about. like what if she becomes pregnant. what if he doesnt like how shes having sex. what if the next day he tells all his friends he had sex with her and people start calling her names. I believe that girls are more ashamed at that certain point and do not really concentrate on much. physical wise, men focus on the breast, the butt and the curvy body of the women and thats how they get turned on. Women don’t really have much to look or touch on to fet turned on really quick like they do.
Really liked this. It’s always bothered me how harshly women are judged for their sexual choices. Is like it’s ok -ish for us to enjoy sex, as long as it’s within certain boundaries, that is, a serious relationship. Step outside that and you are a ‘slut’.
In the past, I have learned about the differences between men and women’s brains and how they function differently on certain aspects psychologically and biologically. “Women had a wider range of response, with some loving sex, and others feeling uninterested. Generally, women have more difficulty with arousal for both anatomical and physiological reasons” (“Men Have Higher Sex Drives. Why?” by Georgia Platts. Broad Blogs. Blog at WordPress.com. January 31, 2013. https://broadblogs.com/2011/01/31/men-have-higher-sex-drive-why/). It is interesting to think about because it is stereotypically thought that women are more tied to love than are men, although psychology and biology claims to differ. In our society, open sexuality is frowned upon women, while men are essentially praised, although American women are much more liberated now as compared to other countries and cultures. Men are more known for raping than are women, but reports are mostly from women because most men’s self-esteem shoots down more than females especially when society believes only men are able to rape. Most claims and stereotypes like these have underlying facts, but they all begin from single definitions (as from science such as psychology), and accusations begin from there, where all the “facts” branches to different theories (mostly false) from society to society.
This was a very interesting read! I had an idea that men think about sex a whole lot more than a woman think about sex, but I was not aware that biologically, men have higher sex drives then women. I really had a feeling that the amount of times men and women masturbate was just about the same. But in this read I learned I stand corrected. Another thing I found interesting was in the read it said,
“Women’s sexuality is also more punished and repressed in our culture. While men who have sex are praised as studs and players, women are called sluts, whores, tramps, skanks…”
This is something I have always wanted to discuss and point out about. I feel like it is very sad, judgmental, and unfair for men to be praised for sleeping with multiple women or the more women they sleep with the better they look. But as for women, the more men you sleep with you’re automatically labeled as a slut. It is a ridiculous idea and an issue I never really understood or agreed with. Every person has their own past. Male or female, I believe that a woman’s reason to make the decision to sleep with the next man is pretty much the same reason why a man decided to sleep with the next woman. Point is, woman don’t have any less or more of a right to not sleep around as much as a man does and right away be degraded and be known as a slut. It’s wrong, unfair, and just straight up non sense.
It makes so much sense that other parts except thoughts about sex in male’s brain shut down when they think about sex while female can do multitasking, concerning about laundry, homework, and being worried about love handle recently she got. This information helps me to understand my husband’s behavior. 🙂 I used to think that he becomes dumb when it comes to sex. I did not understand him since it looks so odd to find the incongruity between him being so much passionate about his work and study and becoming dumb when it comes about sex. On the other hand, I have to or do think about laundry and homework even in such a situation. It feels like I am getting advice in relationship therapy session. Thanks.
I really think that this blog is a very interesting blog. Coming from a country like Indonesia, where pre-marital sex is treated as something bad, for both male and female. I have never really been concerned about the sex drives of male and female. Reading this article have let me learn about something new and interesting. I was particularly interested in the cultural reasons why male have more sex drive than female. ‘Women’s sexuality is also more punished and repressed in our culture. While men who have sex are praised as studs and players, women are called sluts, whores, tramps, skanks’ I think that it is unfair that society has a double standard on male and female about sex, they judge women more negatively if they are having sex. I was also particularly interested in the part where you stated that ‘both men and women learn to see women as the sexier sex. So men can be with someone who’s very physically alluring. But women aren’t taught to see men in the same way’. I think how we perceive men and women in a society has a tendency to make men have more sex drive than women, as men is attracted to women and women is attracted to men. But on the streets and on magazines, there are more pictures of sexy women than sexy men, I think that is a reason why men have more sex drive than women as they are exposed to more sexy women than women is exposed to sexy men, as men is exposed to ‘sex objects’ that gets them aroused almost everywhere. But, I am very curious how the women’s sex drive is in a egalitarian society where men and women are treated equally, will It be lower than men’s sex drive or will it be the same? That is a question that I will definitely look into.
Seems to be the same.
I always thought that biologically men were just more sex driven then women were. I never really took into account the culture behind a person; but it makes sense. Growing up I was always taught not to have sex, that if a woman has sex she’s easy, or that it’s wrong for her to enjoy sex. When I got into college I got a completely different view. Looking back I think that it’s horrible to tell a child she’ll be a whore if she has sex, I’m not saying we should be encouraging everyone to get out there and have a ton of sex. But it’s unfair how men can have sex with whoever they want or as many people as they want and not be judged like a woman would be. Everyone should be taught the same thing and that it’s okay to have sex. Not that it’s okay for men, but now women Both partners should enjoy sex, not be repressed for wanting it.
So men naturally or biologically want more sex than women because of testosterone. And society has told them to want sex all of the time, does that mean that men have sex when they don’t want to? And women don’t have sex even though they want to. But when they do have sex they are not having as much pleasure because they are not used to their bodies and what to do with them. Sex has been centered around the man because according to society they are the only ones who want to have sex, and enjoy it.
Women can enjoy sex a lot, but typically it doesn’t come as easily for them because of all of the repression that they face. And women tend to enjoy sex more over time, partly because if they’re with a stable partner their repression can fade away. Now, that’s on average. And having a stable partner is helpful because of the slut factor. Other women, especially those in subcultures that value women’s sexuality, will have less problems and enjoy sex more.
I enjoyed reading this blog. This article seemed quite intriguing to read from first glimpsing at the title and then reading the first sentence of this blog. ”While some women have stronger sex drives than some men, generally the pattern goes the other way.”Everyone knows all women and all men are not the same and from reading I figured I would learn the sexual patterns of both male and females. From experience I agree with Louann Brizendine “that when the male brain is sexually activated pretty much everything but thoughts of sex shut down. Women are more likely to think about things like the kids’ lunches, a business meeting, or whether she’ll be labeled a “slut” the next day.” My partner seems to not be easily distracted from sex when he aroused. And on the other hand I am easily distracted thinking about, work, kids, college etc. For a long time I did not understand my partners high sex drive and my low sex drive. We both thought if I seen a professional and was prescribed testosterone would help improve my libido I’m not sure what to do now because if the treatment of testosterone for libido is less effective in women than what are the alternatives? After all I feel like I have a better understanding and all the information I learned is useful.
This article was informational and a great topic to use for discussion.
Thank you !!!!!!
These posts might be helpful:
Orgasm: It’s All in the Mind
Wanting “X” from Sex, but Doing “Y”
“Negative imagery is often associated with sex as women get screwed, rammed, nailed, cut, boned, banged, smacked, beaten, and f’d, in common street parlance.”
Is not it a rapist’s point of view? What is rape? if not bullying women physically and psychologically! It is perhaps Nature’s ordain that women have sex to procreate and carry forward human civilisation while men have sex because it is ALWAYS pieasurable, even if it involves loss of sperm and energy.
The words definately mimic rape. Don’t know if that behavior necessarily follows. Could be guys showing off, verbally, to other guys about how manly they are.
It’s not natural. Rape rates are highest in the most patriachal cultures, and pretty much non-existant in egalitarian cultures. I’ll write more about that later. What you suggest comes out of evolutionary psych. Here are a couple critiques of the discipline:
Are Women Naturally Monogamous?
Black Isn’t Beautiful Claims Evolutionary Psychologist
And here’s a warning against jumping to conclusions that biology explains everything:
Education Will Shrink a Woman’s Uterus?
“What are women supposed to pay attention to? No fetish is attached to the male. ”
Really? Theres no “buns watching” amongst females?
A fetish creates a high state of sexual arousal. Breasts do that. Other sexy things don’t.
So a man may be a leg-watcher, or a woman may be a bun-watcher, and find each attractive and sexy, but not create a heightened sense of sexual excitement.
If buns got women aroused like breasts do, then there would be plenty of porn for women focused on men’s buns. There isn’t.
This article left me with more questions than anything else. I want to know about how the scientists can MAKE testosterone…..I thought GOd made testosterone when God created humans….and it affects women less ? I thought it would affect it more because women are less used to it.
Biology is not destiny and intrinsic genes can only shape our personality to a certain extent. For example, I think that my empathy is intrinsic It’s a natural personality trait. I was born with it. Me wanting to not harm people is a trait and it’s culturally constructed. In fact I think humans would be alot more violent if culture and society didn’t shape their personalities to not be violent.
As for the slang terms, they deomnstrate gender inequality. GIrls don’t want to consider themselves being “rammed” or “pounded.” THey want to “make love,” and they have vaginas. It’s okay to use the word “vagina” in any culture. It’s not “down there.” If some one calls their vagina “down there” I think they are most likely not ready to have sex.
“getting rammed” is such a turn-off and to think people wonder what sexually represses women.
With gender equality will come less sexual repression.
I’m glad you’re left with questions.
According to the wiki on testosterone, women do have less testosterone but are more sensitive to it.
I hate those slang terms too. It’s a good thing they are mainly relegated to porn and talk amongst males when women are not present. Otherwise the repressive effect on women’s sexuality would be much greater.
Yes, I agree.
It’s funny to see how humans seem to be in such denial of how easily influenced we are. It’s so backwards the way that we all get influenced into liking something, and then get to the task of coming up with a “scientific” explanation for it. In the Middle Ages, small, wide-set breasts were considered the most attractive. Also, it’s easy to see from classical Roman art that skinny with big breasts was not the apex of attractiveness. Same goes for other sex-related things, such as who enjoys sex the most and seemingly universal fetishes. We’re not as free-willed as we think we are.
There are two main reasons why men have higher sex drive than women, biological and cultural. Biologically men have higher levels of testosterone than women, which contribute to most of the excitement and arousal before and during sexual encounters. Another is culture. Society and what you observe has a large influence on your behavior and your psyche. Society has brainwashed men into believing that sex makes you a man, and lots of it. The idea for men is unnoticeable for them and they are usually unaware of their behavior changes.
I disagree that there is a biological reason for men having higher sex drive. Biologically, one can also say that women can have sex in succession and can orgasm many times and still desire more sex. Whereas men can’t have more sex right after they orgasm. Here’s also a Harward study that shows that human as well animal females are naturally polygamous (by Sarah Hrdy). Plus, I think the very fact that many women get sexually aroused when they watch porn or see a naked, attractive man shows that we are not supposed to stick to only one man.
I’m sorry I can’t name the exact name of the study and researchers but I also clearly remember reading some other research study stating that virtually all the tested women’s vagina was wet and their body was ready for sex when they were watching porn; however, the curious fact was that a relatively high percentage of them did not perceive themselves as sexually aroused. The fact that their body was ready to have sex and their mind was not clearly shows that the lack of sex drive is in their head (which is apparently brainwashed by the society).
Maybe I’m different (but I don’t think I am) but, in my experience, as a woman, I desire sex more than most of the male partners I had sex with. I cannot really recall a time when I didn’t climax with a man, except for the first couple months of my sexual life when I believe I was still exploring my body. I’m believed to have a high libido but I think I have a libido that any woman has, the only difference between me and other women lies probably in the fact that in my formative years the idea of sex being less appealing for women (which is plainly not true) somehow never got to me.
I have never felt anything wrong with having many partners and enjoying my sexuality with many beautiful, sexually irresistible men. Likewise, I never fear to ask what I want in bed. For example, if a man orgasms earlier than me I never see it as a reason to stop and not to enjoy the climax myself, in which case I either ask him to use his fingers or perform oral sex. I don’t see it as fair that sex is not supposed to be over until a man climaxes and can be supposed to be so if a woman doesn’t.
Women’s sexual desires are often not taken seriously and, just as the article says, women’s sexuality has been repressed for a long time. The idea that I’m trying to communicate is not about monogamy or polygamy and not about ‘sluts’ or ‘stunts’ but about women missing on so much pleasure of which they are all naturally and biologically capable. Instead, society has created millions of women who have never experienced the wonderful moments of never-ending orgasms and burning passions. And yes, those moments can happen with someone they barely know and never want to date as a boyfriend, yes, they can be casual, yes, they can last one night, but they are always magical (just never forget to use the protection…)
You may be right, but all the sex research I’ve seen says that men have a higher sex drive for both biological and cultural reasons. Multi-orgasmic women would at least temper that difference. And in sex-positive cultures (for women) most women are multi-orgasmic and they do behave quite a bit like men, including being polyamorous, as you say.
But few women in western cultures are multi-orgasmic and 43% have reported sexual dysfunction, which ranges from disinterest in sex to difficulty achieving orgasm to an inability to orgasm at all.
In fact, people often get to my blog by googling “why don’t women like sex.” I’ve never seen the phrase “why don’t men like sex” and I have a hard time even imagining someone googling that.
All of this argues for a much greater sexual interest among men than women in our culture.
Keep in mind that if men do have a higher sex drive, that doesn’t make them superior. And women’s difficulties arise largely from sexism, which we need to get rid of.
And some women do have a higher sex drive than their partners (and I know some of these women) but all the research in the US shows that it typically goes the other way. I’m glad you are so able to enjoy your sexuality!
I am familiar with the source which talks of women getting physically aroused over every visual stimulus they see. It’s here:
But the fact that women aren’t aware that they are aroused will not help their sex drive. If a woman sees some monkeys having sex she’s unlikely to get sexual thoughts and want a sexual release. And in that same article sex researcher, Meredith Chivers, says that men have a higher sex drive.
And they do, at least in most modern cultures where women’s sexuality is repressed.
A couple posts you might like that are relevant:
Are Women Naturally Monogamous?
Orgasm: It’s All in the Mind
Maybe these posts will give you insight into the matter of why most women have a lower sex drive than men. If you can read and then enlighten me on how your experience seems to differ, I’d be interested to know.
Surprises in Indiana University Sex Survey
Sexual Desire & Sexism
Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?
Sex and the Walk of Shame
Women Want Emotionally Connected Sex. Why?
Sex Drive: How Men and Women Match Up
You only approved the second comment. Maybe the first one got stuck in spammie…
To answer your question. You’re actually assuming that I disagree with you, even when I don’t disagree 🙂
Who says I don’t think they have an effect?
You’re the expert, and I didn’t come here to challenge your expertise 🙂 I was just clarifying one small thing, not disagree with your overall thesis of WHY – because I’m not qualified, I have no knowledge on the issue and I trust your theory more than I trust myself (because I don’t have my own theory).
I just wanted to point out a small a subtle distinction that’s all – its not that men have unrestricted sexuality and women have restricted sexuality, just that one has it more restricted, and the other less. But neither has unrestricted sexuality. And its not just monogamy. Its considered to be SICK to want sex beyond a certain point, quantity etc, where there’s no biological basis for it.
I’m relieved to know you trust my expertise! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I found your other comment and approved it!
Thanks for your input.
It’s “ok” for men to enjoy sex, as long as they only have 50% more partners than the average woman (called the having fun period), after which they’re required to settle and its only acceptable for them to enjoy sex with a single, monogamous partner – otherwise they’re told to be little-dumb-boys, needing to grow up, immature pricks, addicts etc…
So, this is true what you say, but up until a threshold, as in, only up to mid 20’s and only up to a certain number of partners, after which men start getting shamed just as much into “monogamy”.
True, many men may be shamed into being monogamous (and many actually want to be monogamous), but they they don’t feel shamed about being sexual human beings, and their isn’t nearly the sheer amount of shaming on men.
Why do you think women have some much more problem w/sexual dysfunciton? The difference in repression shows up in dysfunction.
And if you think these repressive forces have no effect, what’s your theory as to why women’s sexuality is so much more repressed and as to why they experience so much more sexual dysfunction?
Links? Seems fascinating.
Honestly I’ve seen no evidence of this. I know a lot of men who have had hundreds of partners. They’re universally hated, insulted, and treated with scorn and derision. I hear this about such men in most countries in the world. Turn on the media and see the agressive stance and shaming attitude taken toward such men.
Unless you mean in medium numbers like say “5-6 partners” in which the guys will be seen as studly as opposed to the women with similar numbers. But anything much above average, and the men get as shamed as the women.
I was never taught to love sex at an early age, I was only taught to be careful and thoughtful about sex. So as I experienced sexual encounters, yes I was careful most of the times and thoughtful all of the times. As women become their own and create themselves from life experiences, I believe good and bad sex is a part of this growth. When I mention being thoughtful (back in my 20’s and 30’s) , I am referring to reflecting back on what was good and what was bad about the sex. I made sure I mentioned what I liked and hence good sex for me!! I think it is important as women grow in every aspect of life that they take control of their choices and having an orgasm should be their number one choice when having sex!
I never questioned why men in general seemed like their lives revolved a lot around sex and women’s didn’t until this blog. It really was an eye opening experience and what caught my eye the most was this quote:
“But women’s sexuality is punished and repressed in our culture, too. While men who have sex are praised as studs, players and pimps, women are called sluts, whores, tramps, skanks… Men sport a cocky cock, while a vagina is called, “down there.” Negative imagery is often associated with sex as women get screwed, rammed, nailed, cut, boned, banged, smacked, beaten, and f’d, in common street parlance. Sexual violence doesn’t help, either, and it’s something that more sex-positive societies lack.”
Women have been taught in our culture that sex isn’t okay. As young girls we are taught that abstinence is the only way, but boys on the other hand are counseled on the importance of condoms. We are keeping a stereotypical divide between genders and how they enjoy sex. It is okay for men to enjoy sex, but women are condemned if they do. It is horrible that a society and an entire culture would push these norms onto their people.
I think the terms studs players pimps are just as negative as the terms sluts and
whores but live in a society there women are second class citizens. But in reality these
words are all negative.
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