In pursuit of knowledge and understanding of sexual arousal, I went to a large newsagent in London’s Oxford Street to review the covers of fifty or more pornographic magazines lined up on the top shelf. Over 90% were directed towards heterosexual men. Most of the remainder was male homosexual pornography. The few pornographic magazines for women were for lesbians.

Although pornography is labelled ‘adult’ as if this is a unisex indulgence, the truth is that the vast majority of women never engage on the subject. Censorship protects not only minors but also the many adult women who are disgusted and offended by men’s enjoyment of the physical.

Officially, human sexuality is always presented in terms of a relationship. This allows male and female sexuality to be viewed purely through social liaisons and reproduction. Little importance is placed on the massive sex industry because of the taboo over men paying women for sex.

The British magazine ‘Men’s Health’ (March 2000) refers to men’s ‘secret porn stash’. Men’s sexual arousal is usually easy and men buy pornography because (in the absence of the real thing) they need assistance with releasing their sexual frustration caused by their daily arousal.

“After thinking about sex every six seconds for six days, men are beginning to need to do something about it.” (p15 The Bluffer’s Guide to Men 1998)

Younger men can make do with masturbation (sometimes as much as two or three times a day) for days at a time but eventually (usually by the weekend!) they want to engage in some real action. If men were happy to masturbate indefinitely as a substitute for sex then there really would be a chance that the human race could die out! Men may find thrusting during penetrative sex to be the most satisfying way of releasing their sexual emotions simply because nature intended it that way.

Men’s sexual fantasies map onto reality more easily than women’s

Perhaps it is worth stating the obvious that men do not reach orgasm simply through looking at images of the female form. In their minds, they also need to contemplate what they would like to be doing with a sexual partner.

Men have a much easier time, than women typically do, of transferring orgasm techniques to sex. On the physical side, the vagina may not grip the penis as firmly as a hand but the penis is still directly stimulated. Equally men’s sexual fantasies map fairly easily onto a real life sexual encounter. Instead of looking at pictures of naked women, a man now has the real thing in front of him.

“Reality and fantasy are further apart for women than for men …” (p179 Satisfaction Guaranteed 1996)

Initially, the turn-on of a new sexual partner is enough for a man to reach orgasm without any further assistance. However, over time men also use sexual fantasies to help them through more routine sex by visualising more adventurous sexual episodes.

“ … people who report most guilt about having fantasies during intercourse have higher levels of sexual dissatisfaction and dysfunction than those who are relatively guilt-free.” (p417 Human Sexuality (fifth edition) 1995)

Since a woman is not biologically driven to reach orgasm, she approaches sex appreciating how her body causes a man to become sexually aroused. A woman enjoys her own sexual arousal by focusing on fantasies that revolve around imagining a man’s desire to enjoy her body sexually and to penetrate her (take her). Women’s sexual psychology is naturally tuned into being on the receiving (as opposed to initiating) end of sex. So women get turned on by the idea of things being done to them.

Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)


  1. Thanks for the comment, Punditty, and the tip about Playgirl. I wasn’t particularly aware of the magazine but looking at it certainly promises pictures of nude men.

    I don’t happen to find pictures of nude men and their sexual attributes, butts & penises, cause me to become aroused enough to reach orgasm. I assume this is also true for most other women since few such magazines exist.

    I use erotica and scenarios for arousal during masturbation. But if any women out there like such things this looks like the magazine for them. Of course, there are plenty of male homosexual magazines that also contain pictures of nude men.

  2. Great article, nicely and truly sumarizing the main differences between male and female sexuality.

    As for Playgirl magazine, as far as I know from several studies, it was originally intended as erotica / soft porn for women but it turned out that it was bought mainly by gay men, so it just confirms your basic insights.

    Your analasis of male sexual fantasies is correct, I suppose, but what is quite interesting is that among males there are probably more variations (somebody would say “deviations”) from the norm than among females. Naturally, these deviations or variations are reflected in their fantasies as well.

    “Men may find thrusting during penet­rative sex to be the most satis­fying way of releasing their sexual emotions simply because nature intended it that way.” – this certainly holds true for the majority of men (I guess) but unfortunately I seem to be far away from this norm. As for sex with a partner, I have always preferred to have my orgasm by non-coital activities, especially handjobs done by a female partner or when it comes to intercourse, I prefer ejaculating with the woman on top while she is moving herself without my thrusting. As for sexual fantasies, my number 1 fantasy has always been the visual “idea” of watching a woman masturbating herself. This was also my favourite genre of porn, then number 2 would be handjobs or eventually blowjobs and number 3 would probably fall into the SM category ( femdom). So in this point I am quite different from the male norm – I do not imagine doing something but I am aroused especially by the idea of a woman doing something (to herself – masturbation, or to a man – handjob, femdom etc). As for cunnilingus, it is probably my second favourite sexual activity in real life sexual encounters (so at least here I prefer taking the active role ) with number one being watching my partner masturbate herself “live”.

    Having said that, I do not want to undermine your conclusions because they are definitely correct for a vast majority of men and I am fully aware that I have always been weird and abnormal when it comes to sex, but also in other aspects of my life which are not so relevant here. What is sad is that the more different from majority you are, the more difficult life can be for you – also in sexual issues.

    I know that this site is dedicated mostly to women and their orgasm techniques and fantasies, which is great, so I apologize for “hijacking” this post and writing about my (male) sexual fantasies and preferences but since it is a story about male fantasies I hope that I am not completely off-topic.

    Please keep writing, your webpage is great and full of true and realistic ideas.

    Best wishes,
    male, 36

  3. Thanks Severin.

    Apologies – I am not suggesting that all men are the same. I am simply suggesting possible reasons for why ‘hetero-sex’ is nearly always focused on intercourse. When we talk about ‘having sex’ we mostly mean intercourse and other activities are usually considered to be ‘foreplay’.

    It makes sense from a biological perspective that men should want intercourse (because it is a reproductive activity). This is also why I am suggesting it makes sense that women are less responsive.

    Nature wants women to focus on providing men with intercourse rather than being focused on their own orgasm, which I believe relies on continual clitoral stimulation to the point of orgasm.