Men v Women: How Flexible Is Orientation?

Multiple partnersWomen’s sexual orientation is more fluid than men’s, says University of Utah professor, Lisa Diamond. Well, women have a basic orientation, she says, but it seems to be a bit easier for women to crossover. For both cultural and biological reasons.

Research from the University of Montréal seems to bear that out. The study had simply looked at how common different sex fantasies were. But comparing men and women, you see more fluidity among females.

The researchers asked around1500 Quebec adults to rank 55 fantasies and describe their personal favorite in detail. Average age was 30 and 85% were straight while 3.6% were gay/lesbian, and the rest were none of the above.

Below are the percentages of women and men who have had each fantasy.

Multiple partners, multiple sexes

Whether swinging, threesomes or orgies, women were generally less likely to fantasize about it. But women’s interest was less affected by the sex of the participants than men’s.

Women’s interest in multiple partners hovers around 30%, regardless of gender. But men’s interest can drop by half — or more — when moving from an all-female to an all-male scenario.

Sexual swinging with a couple I don’t know

Women 27, Men 40

Sexual swinging with a couple that I know

Women 18, Men 42

Sex with more than three people, all women

Women 25, Men 75

Sex with two women

Women 37, Men 85

Sex with two men

Women 31, Men 45

There was only one scenario in which women were more interested than men (although, relatively speaking, women were still not excessively interested at 28%): Sex with more than three people — who were all men. Then male interest dropped to 13% — which reflects the “non-straight” part of the sample.

Sex with more than three people, all men

Women 28, Men 13

Sexual fluidity

Sexual fluidity

Not sure why nearly half of the guys had fantasized about sex with two men, but when the number of partners rose to more than three there’s a big dip.

Finally, there is actually one more scenario in which women appear to be more interested than men. But the numbers are so out of whack that I wonder if it might be a typo:

Sex with more than three people, both men and women

Women 57, Men 16

In every other instance, except for men having sex with a bunch of other guys, male interest is pretty high, so why would it would drop to 16%. I mean, an orgy of men and women… what’s a guy not to like?

And why would women’s interest — which had hovered from the mid-20s to the mid 30s —suddenly jump to nearly 60%?

Women’s sexual fluidity

With rare exception — and maybe a typo — women’s interest in multiple partners is pretty stable, regardless of gender. Unlike men’s.

And women’s interest in same-sex sex stays pretty stable too, hovering in the 30% range, when it comes to fantasies about a single partner, too:

Having homosexual or gay sex

Women 37, Men 21

So while only about 15% of women study participants didn’t identify as straight, more than twice that number —37% have fantasized about same-sex sex. That’s much more — and a much bigger jump — than the 21% of men who have fantasized about gay sex, in the face of about 15% not identifying as straight.

And if you only have to watch women make love, and not participate, the number rises to 42%:

Watching two women make love

Women 42

notch bedpost(And women are much more interested in watching two ladies than two guys — only 19% fantasized about that.)

Men’s lack of fluidity

Outside the roughly 15% of guys who don’t identify as straight, men generally aren’t interested in sex with men:

Watching two men make love

Men 16

Sex with more than three people, all men

Men 13

Having homosexual or gay sex

Men 21

The overall feel of this study suggests that women’s sexuality is more fluid than men’s.

But if it’s true that 45% of men have fantasized about sex with two guys, then their sexuality might be more fluid than previously thought.

At least if that number is not a typo. And if the men hadn’t simply misinterpreted the question, imagining two guys having sex with a woman — and not with each other.

Otherwise, keep in mind that women were more likely than men to make a point of saying that they never wanted some of their fantasies to come true. That was especially true of fantasies about domination and submission, which I will discuss later.

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About BroadBlogs

I 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 March 9, 2015, in men, psychology, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 70 Comments.

  1. I haven’t come across with such stats before…sounds quite interesting.

  2. Excellent and interesting post. I reckon that since I do not fall within that 45% of men who like to see men have sex with men, I’m about as straight as possible.

    Surprising, however, was the 42% of women who liked watching two women have sex, and I am definitely in that 85% of men.

  3. I’m curious to know if the cultural and biological factors weren’t in play if men would feel just as fluid about their own sexuality and if so this makes me wonder about the ways in which they too are suppressed but that remain unacknowledged.

    • Lisa diamond talks about both the cultural and biological factors at play. I suspect that men could be more flexible than they are based on our culture. But maybe not. I plan to write more on this later.

  4. But how much of it is biological and how much of it is social constructed?
    Lesbian porn and FFM threesomes have become very popular.
    Even mainstream movies must have a lesbian scene, music videos are all about women, men get turned on by the idea of two women together and that could influence women too.

    • The real question is:
      “If they do want to have sex with women then why do they still identify as straight? are they in denial?”

      • Another question:
        All these high numbers about women having sex with women, how does that fit with what you have found about only 10% of women fantasizing about a threesome, and not necessarily with another woman

      • All of the numbers here are about fantasy. The 10% number was in response to whether women would want to do it in real life. And the women in this study were much more likely than men to say that they may not want to actually do what they had fantasized about.

      • Lisa diamond talks about that in her book. Although she was focusing on sexual minority women. Apparently, if a woman almost always wanted to have sex with other women, but every now and then she was interested in a man, she most likely still identifies lesbian. If a woman felt emotionally + sexually attracted to women but only sexually attracted to men I think they still saw themselves as lesbian. Which seems to be what happens with women who call themselves straight because they are both sexually and emotionally attracted to men but only sexually attracted to women. But most of Lisa diamonds sexual minority sample change their sexual identification at some point because it was confusing. Maybe from lesbian two bisexual to unlabeled, for instance.

    • Both seem to be in play but it’s hard to know the exact proportion. But I plan on writing more about this later.

      • So if these were numbers about women’s fantasies without necessarily feeling the need to act upon it, it could be the equivalent of men ogling women. Men like looking at other women and most likely fantasizing about them, without necessarily feeling the need to act upon it

      • That makes sense, depending on the situation.

        If the guy just wants to be with his partner but enjoys looking with no interest at all in acting out the behavior then yeah, I guess so.

      • It these were numbers of fantasies, it should also be noted that in the book “My secret Garden” which is a collection of female fantasies, some very popular fantasies are the ones of rape and bestiality! yes, it says that many women have *fantasies* of having sex with dogs!

      • Well that book doesn’t even attempt to be a random sample, but this study does. And sex with animals came in at 3% for women and 2.2% for men.

  5. Remember how you said how you and other straight women have a breast fetish and it’s culture that causes women to do this. When I think women seem more easily veered, due to women being more sexually fluid than men. That 45 percent doesn’t make sense, unless there were more gay and bi men voting for whatever reason and maybe more bisexual men still have more interest watching straight sex or lesbian sex than gay sex, but want to fantasize about havign sex with two men? Women’s attractive seems more than the media and objectification, because it seems like women’s visual stimuli is more moldable it seems than men’s or can go either way easier or not concrete.

    And maybe this fluidity is because how women are less visual than men, so not as concrete of a visual orientaiton. The reason I say this is because straight women getting turned on by lesbian porn, but also lesbian woman getting a rise out of gay porn. Maybe you can partially explain lesbian porn with sexualizing women’s bodies, but I can’t find an explanation for lesbians to watch gay porn and two men since men aren’t sexualized, lesibans aren’t supposed to be visually or sexually attracted to men’s bodies, yet they are getting turned on watching two men. This sure makes it seem like women are more often maybe leaning one way or the other on straight and lesbian, but not concrete or polar like men. Otherwise lesbian would should be disgusted or atleast very bored at watching two men having, though straight women should be bored watching two women too. But it just shows why men find women so confusing, because of the actions and behavious that seem like contradictions.

    • The 45% number is so inconsistent from the rest that I don’t have a lot of confidence in it. But who knows?

      It’s not clear that women are less visual than men for any biological reason. The fact that many women develop a breast fetish, or learn to find them attractive – Despite the fact that tribal men don’t – suggests that women have the capability of being quite visual but that there isn’t anything visual that is acceptable to develop a visual fetish around. Some manage to do it despite its unacceptability – or maybe the taboo makes it stronger, if it’s not repressed. And some women don’t experience it because they are too busy comparing themselves – being in competition. And maybe even resentful.

      I’ll write more later about why scientists think that women are more flexible. But it seems to have something to do with a culture that creates a sense that females are the sexy half of the species. And interestingly, the fact that men’s sex drive is stable and high, whereas women’s is more flexible, peaking during ovulation, seems to play a role – among other factors. So their theory is a little bit like yours, in that it has to do with stability, but they are more focused on the sex drive then the potential to be visual.

      When it comes to lesbians watching gay porn it seems to be because they’re doing something sexual but they don’t have to get distracted by being upset by how women are being treated or portrayed. I guess it gives enough of a stimulus to perk things up a bit, given that pretty much any sex act seems to have some effect on women.

  6. Many of the numbers are inconsistent and counterintuitive. For instance, only 21% of men fantasized about having homosexual sex (with one partner), but the number doubles to 45% for fantasies about sex with two men. For women, the same number (37%) fantasized about having sex with another woman as did about having sex with two.

    Are two men twice as sexy? Not as far as women are concerned, for them the interest in fantasies of two men dropped to 31% from 85% for sex with one man (presuming all straight women fantasize about straight sex).

    So what’s going on? The sample size is fairly large (n=500), so it’s unlikely the disparity is just random variation. My best guess is that for some reason scenarios of exactly three men having sex are disproportionately represented in the pornography those who enjoyed the fantasy consume. It would be interesting to see what other people think.

  7. Does that mean that women are more likely to be bisexual and accept threesome?

    I really don’t have much to say about the topic but as from my own basic knowledge of my background, women are only allowed to have one man while men can have 4 wives. However, he cannot have sex with all of them at the same time for obvious reasons. But I totally agree that women are more flexible. I have had female friends who would have an intimate “girl” friend which they would treat her like a lover and after a while those girls would have boy friends. I don’t know how to explain this but to say its probably lack love and attention. And those girls need to feel loved from either side. I personally don’t mind taken care of by either gender, which I have already done it. However, all who have been in my life were no more than friends and never fantasized about any of them. Of course, I would think of holding hands or hugging maybe to fulfil my need of feeling loved, but sincerely, no more than that 🙂

    • I do think women are more conservative about talking about their sexuality but many women are prone to be open to being more sexual with a girl friend that going around with guys. Well this is my opinion but I torally understnd your point when u mention that men can have more than so many wives as for some tend to stick to 1 or 2 men in their lives.

  8. “When it comes to lesbians watching gay porn it seems to be because they’re doing something sexual but they don’t have to get distracted by being upset by how women are being treated or portrayed. I guess it gives enough of a stimulus to perk things up a bit, given that pretty much any sex act seems to have some effect on women.”

    But doesn’t this conclude what I’m talking about as far as women being flexible with their sexual orientation? Yes women might react to stimuli because of a protective nature maybe to lubricate or defense mechanism. That’s all fine if watching a video for a study and not of your choosing and being studied and monitored. It’s another thing to choose a type of porn and get turned on by it and like it with such gay men and their bodies in it.

    That seems to suggest that women don’t have a concrete visual arousal selection perhaps biologically and maybe why women are easier molded by culture and sexualizing to gear their arousal. I think men would be more admiring of men’s bodies and size men up more, but I still doubt men would be watching gay porn and prefer that even if things were in reverse, just because of how men and women are showing their pattern. You say it’s because female sexualization, but then gay men should have some interest in lesbian porn, but they don’t or not like lesbian women for gay porn…

    • What you say makes sense.

      • It makes me think women are just less visually oriented than men biologically though. Because back in the early 1900s, men didn’t go shirtless at the beach and it was actually taboo. At some point it happened though and there was a brief shock, but what never came up, is did this time when men were first showing themselves shirtless on the beach. If this actually turned women on? I don’t think so, so the though of a body part being covered up, making it fetishzied makes me not sure. What is it, body parts not allowed to be shown or sexualizing body parts?

        Because some body parts are or can be shown, but still be arousing. The difference is the viewer though. Men’s chests and torso are casually shown, yet, gay men still sexualize men’s chests and get turned on by men’s chests or pecs and gay men will look up such body parts like chest that are not taboo and can be seen commonly. If that’s the case, then why aren’t women sexualizing men’s chests like gay men do? And on the same token, lesbian women aren’t looking up boobs like straight men do. There seems to be a common denominator and it being Men.

        Also what I’ve noticed is that women seem much more like not simply to be bisexual, but pansexual, which shows to me the more “emotional, less visual, person related women are. Because pansexual is about being sexually attracted to the “person” and not the body or the sex doesn’t matter as much as the individual person, so it’s more on an emotional, less or non visual/physical basis. Can’t that be the reason why women are moldable, is not because of culture, but culture an example of how because of women being less rigidly visually attracted than men. That a culture sexualizing women can cause women to fantasize or get turned on by other women, more so than men to other men. I think there would be more curious men, but I still think men would have less gay fantasies and still can;t imagine men preferring gay porn or watching it even if things were flipped around with men’s bodies taboo and sexualized.

        The thing is that it’s been proven that men can be very visual easily as long as women’s bodies aren’t desexualized and constantly shown naked. But it’s only speculation that women can be as visual if things are reversed. It hasn’t happen or proven, so you can;t really say women would be aroused toward men’s bodies if men’s were sexualized like women’s or hidden and that women would fetishsize men’s bodies. Also many if not most women seem “bi-curious”

      • At the same time, plenty of men in tribal societies aren’t visual, At least when it comes to the breast fetish, or the butt fetish. And same with European men who grow up with public nudity. And tribal societies were the normal state for most of the human experience.

  9. I don’t think women are more ‘sexually fluid’ than men, and I think historical stats bear that out. It may be around equal, but male bisexuality seems more documented in the past and in different cultures. I’m a ‘basically straight’ man, but have I ever thought or had a fantasy about another men? To be honest, yes. And I’d be lying if I hadn’t watched gay (and a lot of other porn, not into pedophilia or zoophilia though, or anything to do with urine or feces or anything like that lol). And I think a lot of men would not admit that, even in an anonymous survey. Or else, it’s a lot social conditioning. Social attitudes/psychology is too complex to be reduced down to numbers anyway.

    The bit about women preferring lesbian to gay porn was intriguing. I mean imagine if a self-identified straight man said he preferred gay to lesbian? TBH I used to watch a lot of lesbian porn…but there might be a lot of reasons for that. Apart from the fact lesbianism is seen as sexy, is in mainstream porn, it might be an arena which feels less threatening, more focused on exploring the female anatomy without the more mechanical act of sex. Or just something different.

    I think society definitely permits women to be more sexually experimental/fluid, and also sexualises women, and like you say associates women with sex, so these results are hardly surprising. Since none of us can exist in a vacuum, you definitely can’t say this is all innate or ‘purely biological.’ Almost nothing is, since we are part of the environment, and an interaction of genes with environment.

    The 57% figure does sound like a typo to me.

    • Well there seem to be both cultural and biological reasons, Which I will talk about in another post. Our culture would probably lead to seeing females as the sexier half of the sex, If you just take a look around at any sort of advertising, Or even street clothing. Plus as you say, Women are less punished for same-sex sex. And some studies suggest a biological reason for female fluidity — which I will discuss later. Interested to see your thoughts on it.. I’m not sure which other cultures you’re talking about. In ancient Greece it seems to all have been about culture, As well as some tribal societies where boys are expected to drink the semen of men to help them become men. It’s not about orientation so much as what’s expected, Even if you aren’t that interested. People often think that everyone is similar to however they are, I’ve noticed, Too.

  10. This was a very interesting topic in my opinion because men are always so private about their sexuality especially when it comes from fantasizing two men. As for women we like to show off about women on women sex because it brings in attraction to men when they see two women in action. But then again at the end of the blog it said if men didn’t interpret the question in a different way then it would suggest two men having sex with one women. I thought that was quit funny but over all this topic was interesting and well shocking to know as well.

  11. Let’s just say I have three friends who have engaged in sex with men but don’t admit it to anyone but close friends. I’ve also known a lot of women who identify as bi who haven’t so much as kissed a woman. I do think openness definitely plays a role…it also depends on the ‘circles’ you hang around. I know quite a few queer people in general, and had a bisexual trans friend.

  12. “At the same time, plenty of men in tribal societies aren’t visual, At least when it comes to the breast fetish, or the butt fetish. And same with European men who grow up with public nudity. And tribal societies were the normal state for most of the human experience.”

    They are trained to not be visual, because they are numbed to it. Naked bodies everywhere in no sexual context, in a very basic primal state. European men who grow up with public nudity don’t get a rise seeing it at the beach where it’s common. Yet have those same men see a woman topless at say the mall, and they will stare and ogle at the womans boobs despite them having seen topless women at the beach. It’ context. It’s not arousing at the beach because they got used to it. Women still aren’t topless everywhere and men will still see it erotic when those breasts are not treated in an unsexual manner.

    Men can be unvisual when things are set to make them lose it. Though men can just as much be highly visual. What makes you think women can be as visual as men, when there’s never been a situation since men”s bodies have never been fetishsized to show that woman can be as visual as men? It’s speculation on that part. Unless men are so ugly that they can’t provoke that while women can for other women. But even supposed straight women being turned on by boobs, I’m pretty sure their arousal isn’t direct as in what they want to do with those bare breasts they see, ( you know like what would or could come across a straight man’s mind).

    Yes, they’ve done studies and having woman watch porn and how most porn seemed to get women wet, and have an effect. But that’s more likely women being more sensitive to sex or erotic stuff and their body responds to, whereas, actually desiring to do such stuff, a whole different thing. Arousal and desire don’t seem to be as connected as it is for men. Explain women being as visual as men, but more likely to be “pansexual”? A very person oriented sexual orientation, and much less physical/visual basis, gender basis one.

    • Except that it works the other way. There is no natural reason for men to internalize a breast fetish. And there is certainly no reason for women to do so, and yet have plenty of women do. Plus, in some societies women’s ankles have been considered incredibly erotic, and so has hair. Is hair just naturally incredibly erotic, but because we are exposed to it all the time it loses the eroticism?

      Fetishes are created through a particular process: Selectively covering and hiding, and doing so because you teach everyone that the thing is so powerfully sexual that you can’t look at it. Plus cultural obsession.

      • It makes sense for men to be turned on visually be a beautiful, sexual body part like breasts. And such body part that is very feminine and shows signs of her fertility as well as feminine curves. Lesbian women should be as fetishy towards women’s bodies, as straight men are. Yet, men have more fetishes and yet gay men have more fetishes than lesbian woman and straight women.

        No, it’s because aesthetically, hair is nice and but arousing, just like ankles. It explains to me why nobody gets turned on by ears. I mean look at them, they are pretty weird shaped. Women’s midsections are shown a lot and normal, yet I find abs or nice stomach more sexually appealing on a visual level than hair. Because aesthetically, tone is something to really appreciate and possibly sexually appeal to, compared to hair.

        Though I do find long hair sexy and a quality, but that’s more in a appreciation of women in a general sense. It has to be pleasing to look at. Doing that with women’s stomachs or legs might cause that for me, but not ears. Hiding something that isn’t that pleasing to look at and pretty boring, doesn’t add intrigue. Breasts and butts that can happen, and even legs, because there’s a sensual essence to them and because boobs and butts and hips. They are curvy, so those body parts stick out and fill out clothes over them, so in a natural teasing fashion. Wherese, a flat body part or one not shaped niccely like that, doesn’t provide the visual peak to see what’s underneath.

      • But straight men in some cultures — the type of cultures (tribal) that have been around for most of human history — don’t experience a breast fetish, but there is evidence that most western women these days do, Even if they are not lesbian or bisexual (No interest in having sex with women).

        And the thing is that guys do get turned on, or have get gotten turned on in the past, by both ankles and hair. So do you think that men in our culture don’t get turned on by hair or ankles just because they see them all the time?

        All of this focus on women’s body parts and what they should look like is actually really bad for women’s sexuality– Not to mention their self-esteem. Men don’t get this constant focus on what’s sexy and what isn’t, Leading men to worry that they aren’t physically attractive enough. As it is, 80% of young women have poor body image. Bad for their self-esteem. And when they get in bed they are often too worried about how they look to focus on how they feel. That isn’t good for sex for women or men.

      • Yeah in tribal societies where people are naked or nearly naked men and indeed women would be less visually stimulated. If you always see breasts, they’re just ‘there’. I do think men might still be more visually aroused (even something as simple as approaching from behind, the oldest mating posture). I think (and I don’t mean to sound racist) maybe in tribal societies it’s more akin to animal attraction, where things like scent, touch, sound etc plays a role. I might touch is obviously quite arousing for most. If not people wouldn’t have sex in the dark or blind people wouldn’t have sex.

      • Men seem to learn to be visual. I doubt that tribal men need to see a woman kneeling with her butt facing him to get aroused. And I don’t think it’s racist to talk about tribal peoples using other senses — and if anything it would be racist against our own kind because using a variety of information seems more well-rounded.

  13. Howard Houston

    As a young man in society, the numbers in this article coincide to the way I would have answered to the questions. For men, I have noticed, it is a lot harder to discuss their sexuality and for women, it is a lot easier. Just from the stories my girlfriend tells me about what she discusses with her friends, it is easy to see the difference. However, for me, as I have grown older, have found it a little easier to talk about my sexuality and preferences, but it is always with very specific people. I can never admit things like sexual preferences to someone I had just met or to people who I do not trust. A lot of women do not mind showing off their sexuality, and to many men it is sometimes attractive. However, I find a women who keeps herself private is ten times more attractive than her counterpart. Overall, I really enjoyed reading about the different preferences between men and women.

  14. “But straight men in some cultures — the type of cultures (tribal) that have been around for most of human history — don’t experience a breast fetish, but there is evidence that most western women these days do, Even if they are not lesbian or bisexual (No interest in having sex with women).

    And the thing is that guys do get turned on, or have get gotten turned on in the past, by both ankles and hair. So do you think that men in our culture don’t get turned on by hair or ankles just because they see them all the time?”

    There’s nothing aesthetically arousing about ankles, the shape and look. That’s why many people don’t understand foot fetishes. They were turned on probably just because any part of a woman’s body showing something seemed special. But abs are shown often, yet they are more sexual than ankles. And to me, it’s because of aesthetics. You don’t think aesthetics make a difference in arousal? Why do you think nicely shaped butts, are more arousing usually than unshapely, fat or flat ass. man boobs vs toned pecs. pert boobs vs droopy boobs, etc.

    Women have this fetish, but it’s in a different way, probably more because of the obession of boobs and women internalizing this sexiness that they yearn to have. But it’s not directed towards breasts. If women are supposed to be as visual as men, then why are lesbian, bisesexual women, less fetishy towards women’s bodies than gay bisexual men are towards men;s bodies? Lesbian women have all the material as you say, though they have boobs themselves. Boobs and ass are flaunted yet hidden, most media is of sexy, sexualized women and most porn is for the viewer that is attracted to women for the internet.

    Yet you look up searches like pecs and boobs, guess what the majority of viewers searching such body parts are? Yep, gay men for pecs and nope, not lesbian women, but straight men for boobs or tits. If so, lesbian women should be all obsessed and looking up tits just as much as gay men do or pecs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Gay men seem more visually interested in men’s body parts than lesbian women toward women’s. Not to say that lesbians women aren’t strongly visual, because the lesbian porn or other porn shows otherwise. But yet, gay men, when they shouldn’t still do.

    • I do suspect that the aesthetics makes a difference. But it’s not enough in itself. Hair is very beautiful and yet it is arousing in some cultures but not in others.

      “If women are supposed to be as visual as men, then why are lesbian, bisesexual women, less fetishy towards women’s bodies than gay bisexual men are towards men;s bodies?”

      Not sure. Maybe men grow up from a small age learning that they’re supposed to be visual in our culture — but not in other cultures. Because you don’t seem to find it everywhere. Maybe it’s a mix of biology and culture. But you seem to need both and not just one.

  15. I found this post to be very interesting. I have heard the saying “women’s sexuality is more fluid than men’s” from various sources, such as friends and the media. From my personal experiences, I have found this to be quite true. My boy friends are usually very defensive about their heterosexuality and are usually offended (very uncomfortable) when someone brings up the topic of sexual relations with other men (even when they are not at all homophobic). On the other hand, my girl friends are much more open to “trying things” with the same sex. To me, it seemed more like a cultural reason for why women’s sexuality is more fluid than men’s… just like the cultural reason for why women complimenting women on their physical appearance is seen as a normal thing whilst men complimenting another man’s physical appearance is considered by many to be “too gay” (whatever that means…). I was not aware that there was an official study done on this subject matter, and it fascinates me that there is also a biological reason.

    • Yes male homosexuality has and is more vilified in this and many other societies, so many men are hesitant to express anything that would give the slightest hint they are anything other than dead straight. Maybe it’s changing with the youngest generation, however. A lot more non-sexual intimacy is also accepted between females and female friends, for instance kissing on the cheek, or holding hands in public. It’s interesting this is the case in places like India and the Middle East for men, yet the latter especially is at least openly very homophobic. In India it’s more common to see male friends display affection for one another in ways that would be seen as ‘gay’ in the West.

  16. I had asked once a straight woman why is it ok for women to experiment but its not ok for men.
    Her reply was :
    “a woman having sex with women doesnt affect her womanhood. But if a man has sex with men that compromises his manhood.”
    That sounds to me as completely social conditioned.
    As for biological reasons there has been researches that the increase of chemicals in the nature has affected the levels of estrogen and has caused an increase in homosexuality of men. Fetus are exposed to more chemical pollution altering their hormonal balance

  17. ” Which seems to be what happens with women who call themselves straight because they are both sexually and emotionally attracted to men but only sexually attracted to women. But most of Lisa diamonds sexual minority sample change their sexual identification at some point because it was confusing. Maybe from lesbian two bisexual to unlabeled, for instance.”

    Which brings up the point as far as lesbian porn or women getting turned on by other women maybe from images, but saying they are straight and can’t see themselves having sex with another woman or being with another woman or how they have only been with men or have a bf for so many years. It always makes me wonder because the basis is “I can’t see myself with a woman or don’t have the desire to” or something arbitrary like that. So it makes it seem not because they don’t find women sexually attractive that they are bisexual but because they aren’t interested or don’t get much out of it. Which seems like some underlying thing.

    To me, probably because I’m a guy, sexual attraction is a part of sexuality and orientation. I go more with the physical side, and the emotional on top of that, that decides sexual orientation. I mean after all, you can like men and women emotionally right? And love the person and their personality, but it’s only women I want to touch and have sex with, therefore, I’m emotionally attracted to as well, because of my desire to have sex and from there, from the physical sexual attraction. The desire to have a relationship and emotional bond. But there isn’t a desire for that emotional bond without visual, physical sexual desire based on the woman’s body and looks.

    That’s why there’s no emotional attraction from straight men to each other, because straight men no pretty clearly from their eyes that they do not want to touch another man sexually. The same reason why straight men, even one’s who aren’t homophobic have no desire to see gay porn, either repulsed by it and even if that was due to conditioning. I still think most straight men would find gay porn as exciting as watching paint dry. Actually watching paint dry would probably be better to watch. With lesbian porn and straight women and gay porn with lesbians. Does this mean most women are not completely straight or lesbian and a little bi to some extent. That’s the only thing that I can make sense of it from. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense and seems like a contradiction.It’s weird too though, that women say, fantasy doesn’t mean desire. But yet it seems for whatever reason thats more true for women than men. A lot of men’s fantasies they would do, if not for the consequences of the actions or embarassment, etc. But it’s not lack of desire or arousal stopping them from doing it in reallife, but what could come from it. That’s why it’s weird for women to say that, as why are you aroused if you don’t desire or wouldn’t do it if in the right circumstance?

    • Humans are more symbol users been going by pure biology. That’s why men learn to be aroused by things that they are biologically meant to be aroused by, necessarily. Men and women can both learn The breast fetish. And it’s something that you don’t find in all cultures. It’s something you don’t find an earliest human cultures at all, that’s how you know it’s not biologically-based.

      And when you say that for women fantasy doesn’t mean desire I assume you meant it like this (the way I meant it): that women have sexual fantasies they typically want to enact them in real life. But a woman can have a fantasy that gets her aroused is you might just want to turn to her vibrator, or her partner but aroused by whatever she was fantasizing over, but not necessarily wanting to do it.

      • Women for whatever reason, can have more sexual fantasies but not desire or ever wanting to do through with them even if opportunity comes or to set it up. It’s weird, because for men, such fantasies come with a purpose. It arouses a man and because it turns him on, it means he wants to do it or would love to. Somethings a man won’t, not because he doesn’t want to do it in itself, but the consequences. Say a man has an exhibitionist fantasy, which is fairly common and women have them too. You know having sex where people are near or could watch.

        A man might not do it, or try, not because he wouldn’t enjoy, but maybe because doing so could get him arrested for public indecency or maybe embarassement, etc and it on the basis of the consequences of the action. But not because doing it wouldn’t be fun for him or he doesn’t want to do it. But doing so could set up a situation he doesn’t want, despite him wanting to enact such fantasy, so it stays just as that, as a fantasy. But not because he wouldn’t want to do it if the situation was set up right for him without a bad consequence. It seems like women don’t go forward with fantasies more so regardless of consequence and women rather just stick with what is “safe” and comfortable.

      • All I can say is that it does create desire to enjoy sexuality, but not desire, necessarily, to enact the exact thing.

  18. It’s weird, it seems like there is a disconnect for women or not exactly connected like for men with arousal-desire. It seems like arousal is the purpose of having desire, so why is there arousal if not desire? Arousal just for arousal sake and nothing to do with it? I mean arousal=desire makes sense and you would think would work like hunger-desire to eat. I mean you get aroused and thefore want sex or something sexual done to release their urge right? You know just like when you’re hungry, you feel this hunger, because you want to eat right? Arousal for the sake of arousal without desire, seems like craving and being hungry for food, but being hungry for the sake of it without planning on eating with that hunger or craving and satisfy or there should be something which it promoted a desire to satisfy in the first place.

    • As far as I can tell this just goes to show how our culture has regressed women’s sexuality. To the point where a woman can experience arousal in her body, if not in her head, at least to protect her body from anything that might invade it. But if you look at sex-positive cultures women seem to be more easily aroused in their minds, too.

  19. Although the male body is ignored in the media, there are some women who get turned on by the male body. How can they do that even if they never learned a fetish about the male body?

    • There are different possibilities. Some lesbians say they prefer gay porn because they can watch sexuality without getting distracted by how women are being treated. Just the fact that something sexual is happening all apparently helps them. So it’s not necessarily a fetish but something that can heighten the experience. But also, how anyone experiences a mix of their biology, Their culture, And their social interactions. Get enough people and all of those things will get mixed together such that at least some women will get aroused by watching guys having sex.

  20. I thought you said, even with women looking at certain types of porn, that most women don’t watch porn or turn to erotic novels instead. So is this inaccurate or the person wrong because in this article right here:http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/female-desire. “and a recent Neilson report found that one in three porn users was female” That’s 33.33%, is it not for 1 in 3 or 1/3 right? That’s pretty close to half and quite a bit. But is that misleading and like you said many subscribers or users or watchers are actually men, but using their wives accounts or credit cards or something?.

    • We know that a lot of the users are men using their wives or mothers names. But a lot of my female students have said that they watch porn because they want to know what men like. So they are watching it but more to know what to do than to get off. Which is why Playgirl was constantly going bankrupt before we had the Internet. Some women do watch porn but it seems that about nine out of 10 viewers are male.

  21. We should take in consideration that these results were from studies in the western world were the suggestive media are all about the female body. So were these study’s results natural or the product of numerous years of media selling the female body as sexy and the increased popularity of lesbian porn and bisexual women even in the media?
    We will never know because we will never see a study done in a country that hasnt been affected by the western media.
    So for all we know the conclusion of this study could well be something like “women’s sexuality is heavily affected by the suggestive media”

    • Who knows? There are some biological differences too, but I would need to take another look at those. And biology is affected by our social experiences.

      • How about straight men having gay fantasies? You may think those stats are low but actually are high if we consider the gay male bashing in our society. Plus many men would never admit having gay fantasies so the numbers would be higher.

        You find the 40% of women having same sex fantasies high? I find it surpringly low. Given the fact that women’s sexuality is fluid and therefore malleable, adding the media selling the female body and female bisexuality as sexy even in the mainstream media, i find it surpring that not 90% of women have lesbian fantasies. I even find surpring that some women still prefer men over women. How can possibly some women still do not like women?

        For instance, on another post you said that only 10% of your female students would be interested in a threesome and that could well be with another man. Lets assume that the entire 10% were interested in ffm tthreesome. Only 10%?!
        With the media constantly selling the sexy female body and the female bisexuality and the female experimentations in colleges, one woud expect the most if not all college girls would be interested in having sex with another female.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if both men and women are more likely to have same-sex fantasies then admit it. My point about women at 40% is that it is much higher than what men say. I don’t find it surprising that women would still be sexually attracted to men since it is probably biologically instilled, If you are heterosexual, in order to keep procreation going. And from personal experience, although I have experienced the breast fetish I’ve never had a fantasy about being with the woman. Just doesn’t interest me and the genital part seems nauseating. So I totally believe it. And the depictions that socialize women to find women sexy are more sexy than sexual, So maybe that explains it. (Sexy is how you look, Sexual is how you feel.) Also keep in mind the distinction between fantasy and wanting to do something in reality. The women often said that they didn’t want to do things in reality that they have fantasized about, So a higher percentage of women could fantasize about a threesome than actually wanting to do it in real life.

  22. Well, Prof. Diamond says women have a basic orientation, but it seems to be a bit easier for women to crossover. For both cultural and biological reasons.

    You mention some of the cultural reasons here. And I would add one more: since women’s sexuality is more repressed not only are they less likely to admit to their fantasies, they are actually less likely to have them.

    She gets into the biological reasons in her book, which I will write about someday, too.

    • Well, Prof. Diamond says women have a basic orientation, but it seems to be a bit easier for women to crossover. For both cultural and biological reasons. You mention some of the cultural reasons here. And I would add one more: since women’s sexuality is more repressed not only are they less likely to admit to their fantasies, they are actually less likely to have them.

      She gets into the biological reasons in her book, Which I will write about someday, too.

  23. This is a really interesting studie. When I was reading it I was trying to put my thought into it. Would I be one of the % of women? 42% would watch two women make love, does seem right to me. I would rather watch women make love than watch two men make love, and I am straight. I think as women we are also more open minded about sexuality. I also consider the sex with two men as 45% of men would want to do it as a type, because the gap between more than three people for men is 13% is a huge drop. What didn’t surprise me was that 85% of the men would want to have sex with two women. Sometimes we see this as a stereotype that man dream about threesomes with women, but the numbers don’t lie about that.

    • Do you “like” women’s breasts and vaginas then to not be visually repulsed or atleast turned off by seeing two bodies and people that you I would think are supposed to not find sexually attractive visually, touch each other’s parts sexually? At the very least, shouldn’t it be boring or “meh” to you?I can understand not wanting to see men have sex, I don’t understand how people could want to see men fuck each other in the ass. That would seem like to be quite an eye sore. But I still would think the preference should be none or for straight porn, compared to lesbian porn. There is non degrading porn, like amateur porn where couples have sex and women are enjoying themselves unlike the very fake main stream porn.

  24. I think this correlates with the socialization of men versus that of women in American society. For example, it’s not uncommon for women to “experiment” with other women and still be considered fully heterosexual. On the other hand, men don’t typically “experiment” sexually with other men, while still being fully heterosexual, and viewed as classically masculine. When straight women push the boundaries of heterosexuality, their femininity or value as a woman is not questioned. However, I don’t think that the same can be said for straight men. I definitely believe this has a lot to do with the way we socialize men in our society.

    • Culture does seem to play a role.

      • That’s my point though, you argue that women maybe be more fluid than men, but it doesn’t mean women are more bisexual than men. It seems like more women are bisexuall than men or definitely, I don’t know about most but much more than men. Might be culture, but arousal patterns say otherwise annd then like Rebecca said, many girls and women have bi curious thoughts and tendencies which means some sexual attraction. Sexual attraction whether utilized or not, is a big part of sexual orientation. You aren’t going to even consider or be turned on or try sex with the same sex if you don’t have any sexual attraction to the same sex or don’t find them in the one bit sexually attractive. It would seem it should be repulsive if anything. It’s not the same thing as attractive. You can find a person attractive but not sexually attractive. Actually a secure person can do that. But often it would seem a person finding someone attractive is just that, it would not prompt arousal or visual liking to that body.

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