Many heterosexuals like the fact that the opposite sex is fundamentally different. Both our sexuality and our emotional responses differ.
Men are macho, sometimes a little insensitive, largely disinterested in how they look, social issues or children. Women are pretty, sometimes a little controlling, largely disinterested in getting dirty, doing battle or anything remotely technical.
When we generalise we need to be careful not to imply that everyone is completely categorised by their gender. Gender and the associated hormone drives need not always totally determine our individual priorities in life.
“Both men and women seem to accept that gender differences will remain.” (p6 The Bluffer’s Guide to Men)
We accept that men still fight and play sport separately from women but the issue of sex drive or sexual desire is a more sensitive topic. My mission has been to try to get acknowledgement of the different emotional drives that influence our lives.
The defensiveness surrounding the sexual politics of heterosexual society means that no one wants to admit what we stand to gain from the other sex. So no one questions why women spend so much time on their looks and why men subsidise women’s lifestyle. Women’s financial dependence on men is taboo because of the social custom of women trading sex for money.
Have you ever wondered why only women are called ‘whores’? The fact is that men rarely need a financial incentive to have sex. Yet even a man would struggle to orgasm with any woman regardless of age or attractiveness. Women are able to have sex with a conveyor belt of partners because they DON’T orgasm during sex. Men don’t lack stamina; they just orgasm easily.
Even today female sexuality is associated more with women’s role in providing men with sexual pleasure through intercourse than in enjoying their own sexual arousal and orgasm. Even a man would struggle to reach orgasm with the amount of genital stimulation that women get from intercourse. Yet such is the confusion over female orgasm that even women themselves insist that they can orgasm from vaginal intercourse despite the fact that it provides insufficient clitoral stimulation for orgasm.
If we understand what makes each other tick, relationships and family life could be more harmonious. There needs to be more honesty about pornography – what is exploitative and what is simply innocent eroticism. Women also need more information to learn how an appreciation of eroticism can lead to enjoyment of their own sexual arousal through female masturbation.
Men’s subconscious sexual desire is generally aligned with their conscious mind. I find that it takes a considerable effort to get my conscious mind in gear. So I often go along with sex more in response to my partner’s initiative than my own desire even though sex can be very pleasurable. It would seem that physical pleasures do not motivate me as they appear to motivate men.
I don’t remember ever being aware of my own physical arousal (erection) when I was younger. When I came off the pill at 35, intercourse became much more comfortable and naturally lubricated. Before we always used an artificial lubricant (e.g. KY jelly).
My physical arousal (erection) is often linked with seeing my partner’s penis or by giving him fellatio (oral sex). The swollen pubic area is very noticeable both to touch and to the eye. Sometimes I also have a heightened awareness of my arousal.
Stand by the bath with one foot on the floor, the other on the side of the bath, and place your fingers down over your vulva. Place your middle finger on the skin (hood) over your clitoris and rest the two other fingers either side of your labia. If you have an erection, you should be able to feel the solid bulge of your erection since the erectile tissue either side of the labia protrudes.
Although I experience my most satisfying orgasms through masturbation alone (when I can focus fully on fantasy), I am never aware of any degree of clitoral erection when I masturbate. Perhaps, for women, an erection is simply another evolutionary redundancy? Even with my partner, an erection does not mean that my mind is consciously tuned into sexual activity at all.
I would say that this is one of the main sexual differences between male and female sexuality.
Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)