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Do Women Like Sex Less Than Men?

9-Treatments-for-Sexual-Dysfunction-in-Women_full_article_verticalResponses to my post asking why women like sex less than men included:

  • Says who?
  • I think it’s the opposite – I think women like it more
  • I don’t think anyone can know who likes sex better

Or as one man put it,

The overwhelming majority of men and women get their attitudes and desires for sex primarily through the natural, healthy desire to have sex… Women are equal to men and thus capable of every form of behavior that men engage in.

To which I respond: no and yes.

Women are certainly capable of enjoying sex immensely. Given their capacity for multiple orgasm, perhaps more. In some societies women are highly orgasmic and take pleasure in engaging in sex with great frequency, as did Tahitian and American Indian women before contact with Europeans.

But highly orgasmic American women? Not so much. Forty-three percent suffer from sexual dysfunction.

While the experience of orgasm is similar for women and men, women are less likely to have one. Sociologist Michael Kimmel surveyed college students on their most recent hookup (where actual sex may or may not have occurred). Only 44% of the men reported having an orgasm. Bad enough. But only 19% of the women did.

Expanding beyond hookups, an Indiana University survey found that 91% of men had an orgasm the last time they had sex but only 64% of women did. And only 58% of women in their 20s had an orgasm in their last encounter.

And orgasm seems to correlate with sexual enjoyment with 66% of women saying they enjoyed sex “extremely” or “quite a bit” while 83% of men did.

Modern American women also have a weaker sex drive, compared with men, with more than one quarter of young women feeling only weak desire according to the Archives of Internal Medicine. Research at the University of Chicago found that 32% of women
(but only 15 -17% of men) have low libidos.

Not surprisingly, 40% of men say they would like to have more sex than they do now, but
only 28% of women feel the same way.

Men don’t want to believe that women are less likely than them to enjoy sex. And women feel insulted if anyone suggests as much.

As I said, women are certainly capable of having great sex. But the extent to which they actually do depends on factors other than just what nature brings them. Repression plays a role as women get labeled sluts and ho’s for indulging. Sexual objectification can leave women more focused on how they look than how they feel. And male dominance takes a toll when it takes the form of rape, incest and child sexual abuse. I’ll explore all this is greater depth in future posts.

Women and men must both deal with a prudish society. But women must also contend with sexism. Still, many think our society has no negative effect. Maybe that’s why we don’t do anything to create change.

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Women Want Emotionally Connected Sex. Why?

105464-103886Women want emotionally connected sex.

Not all women, all the time, but University of Texas psychologists, Cindy Meston and David Buss interviewed over 1,000 women around the world for their book, Why Women Have Sex, and what did they find? Both women and men have sex because they are physically attracted, for pleasure, because they are in love, or just because they’re horny… the list goes on. But most women want emotionally bonded sex.


Conventional wisdom looks to evolutionary psychology which says that women are genetically driven to be more monogamous so that fathers will stick around and provide resources, helping children to survive. So perhaps women pass up casual sex with whomever in favor of the connected sex that would provide those good-for-baby resources.

Yet not all women are terribly monogamous. And in some cultures, none are. Women who belong to tightly-knit, interdependent tribal groups often have sex with many men, often outside their marriages or partnerships. In these places the entire tribe raises children so paternity is unimportant and women’s sexuality is not guarded. These sex-positive cultures produce women who are highly orgasmic and who greatly enjoy sex.

But when these societies are destroyed (as with the Cherokee and Iroquois) immersion into a sex-negative culture (for women) can quickly turn their sexuality around.

Today in the U.S. a sexually interested and active woman may be called a slut, whore, ho’, tramp, skank, nympho, hussy, tart, loose, bitch, promiscuous, and perhaps most tellingly, freak or super freak.

Women leaving the frat house Sunday morning may be chided for taking the “Walk of Shame” as frat boys returning from the dorms stroll the Walk of Fame.

Slang for our privates? “Cock” versus “down there.” Put another way, cocky versus unspeakable.

And who gets screwed, f’d, banged, nailed and rammed?

Meanwhile, women are the sex objects in our culture, with busts and butts ogled in word, picture, and x-ray vision, offering men a trove of sexual stimulus. What do women have to look at? Not much.

But as sex objects, women may also become more focused on how they look in bed (whether good or bad) than enjoying anything erotic.

Add to this the sexual violence that so frequently ends in lost sexual interest.

All of this leaves women less responsive, with a University of Chicago study finding 43% of women experiencing dysfunction.

Any wonder men are more interested in random acts of sex, while women are more inclined toward emotional bonding? In the arms of someone she loves a woman may feel free from slut-shaming. She may focus on intimacy and not how fat or thin she is. She is freed from worry about being screwed. And if she has difficulty achieving orgasm, she can still revel in her man’s love-filled attentions.

On top of this, women are more often taught that “sex is okay if you love him.”

Of course, women have varieties of social experiences and personalities, so despite the culture, some will certainly be up for sex with anonymous others.

The longing for bonded sex emerges from sources other than the horrors listed above. And certainly, many men want loving, connected relations, too. Justin Garcia, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University, observes that, “Having deep relationship with someone can be really magical and people all over the world experience that… (it) can really change someone’s life.” But for all the reasons listed above, sex-for-fun may not be so fun for a lot of women, which can leave other options out.

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

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