Learn About Sexuality

Differences between men and women’s responses

The key difference between male and female responsiveness is that male orgasm is needed for reproduction. Female orgasm is not. When a man is aroused, he has an erection, which makes penetration possible. Male orgasm triggers ejaculation, which transfers genetic material (spermatozoa) from the male to the female during vaginal intercourse.

Men’s sexuality is dependent on interaction with another person whereas women typically experience orgasm alone. Male fantasies focus on realistic sexual activity with a lover. Female fantasies can be unrealistic because women don’t have a biological need to orgasm with a lover.

Men do not usually want to be paid for engaging in sexual activity. Although men have varying degrees of responsiveness, even a man with low responsiveness only engages in sexual activity because he is reasonably confident of being able to achieve his own orgasm. Men are often happy to look at body parts and don’t need to know anything about a person they are attracted to. This is men’s biological drive that comes from their own body. It has nothing to do with having a relationship.

Men are aroused spontaneously and beyond their conscious control. Men have the benefit of both a biological arousal and an ability to be aroused by many triggers in their daily lives. Men are consciously aware of their arousal and have a sense of wanting to resolve that arousal as orgasm. Men become easily erect when aroused.

Men display themselves (usually to a lover) because they want to demonstrate their erect penis and their desire to offer penetrative sex. Women display themselves in a very different way. Typically women focus on obtaining social admiration. So they are more often either fully or partially clothed. They may dress for a lover so as to provide a turn-on.

Some men (75%) have sex dreams that result in orgasm at some point in their lives. Women rarely have sex dreams but if they do such dreams are romantic scenarios based on the emotional aspects of intercourse. Romantic fantasies are based on real men. Women don’t orgasm when asleep because it is such hard work even when fully awake. Also the psychological environment of dreams is not intensely focused enough to lead to orgasm. A woman has to push her way towards orgasm at every stage with studied concentration. At no point is female orgasm inevitable except once it is already happening. Women’s dreams do not focus on their erotic fantasies or even on the genital stimulation they need for orgasm.

Men are much more flexible in terms of how and when they can orgasm: either alone through masturbation or with a lover through oral sex or intercourse. Men use a variety of positions for masturbation and for sex. They can also orgasm from different forms of penile stimulation such as oral, manual and penetrative sex. Women can only achieve orgasm through masturbation alone. During masturbation alone a woman is much more limited in the position and the kind of stimulation that leads to orgasm.

Even when masturbating to orgasm a woman has much less conscious awareness of any physical arousal. Women have to make a much more conscious decision to become aroused enough for orgasm.

A woman cannot easily see her clitoris. But she has no particular motivation to do so. The clitoris is only a source of private pleasure for responsive women. A woman who masturbates to orgasm enjoys the sensations of orgasm without being aware of the source. She may find it interesting to know that these sensations come from the clitoris. But the information does not add anything to the experience. Research tells women that they have a clitoris but few women are interested in the information.

At a basic and instinctive level, sexual activity is distasteful to women. The genitals that fascinate men, are hairy, smelly and ugly to a woman. The body fluids, that men enjoy so much, are revolting to a woman. When lovers are young, a woman can enjoy the sensual aspects of sex. She feels proud of the attractiveness of her own body and she can enjoy caressing her lover’s body. But as a couple age and if they don’t take care of themselves sexual activity becomes much less attractive to a woman. Having sex in the dark adds to the mystery and makes sex more romantic.

The male is aroused at observing his potential sexual partner, as most females are not. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)

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